My husband grew up in England.  I grew up in Miami with a Southern momma.  This meant that tea has always been a big part of our lives, but in very different ways.  For the Husband, ‘tea’ meant a proper pot, a strainer, a timer, tea cups, little spoons, saucers, and – mostly importantly – loose-leaf tea.  For me, ‘tea’ meant a tall tumbler of icy Lipton tea, sweetened with copious amounts of white sugar and filled to the brim with big ice cubes. 


The Husband has successfully converted me to his ways.  Although, sweet tea every now and then is mighty refreshing.

(How to Steep Green Tea)


I have recently discovered China Breakfast tea – it’s kind of like the more well-known English Breakfast but more malty and robust. Obsessed. One day, I need to take y’all on a tour of our tea cabinet.  It’s extensive and ridiculous. But so delicious.




An egg scramble with carrots and green beans (veggies were leftovers that I just chopped up and added to the egg mix – easy!), toast, and fruit.


The Naked Face Project Follow-Up


About two weeks ago, I wrote my conclusions on The Naked Face Project.  I wanted to follow up because I thought I’d return back to many of my old habits… but I never did.


I wrote that, “To me, wearing makeup every single day was a huge chore.  That being said, I do think I’ll wear makeup a few times a week, maybe for nights out or when I need a pick-me-up after a sleepless night.”  The reality? My return to makeup has been extremely minimal.  I’ve worn it maybe three times total over the last two weeks, and I haven’t put on a ‘full face’ at all.  I’m really surprised that this is how it’s all panned out, but I must say that it’s quite nice. Not so much that I’m free of the actual makeup (I still don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with it) but that I’m really free of the obligation of it.  And I like myself just the same, with makeup or not.  Going to the Beauty Desert was very good for me.


Gossip Girl Challenge


And here’s a little update on my current personal challenge – the no-celebrity gossip challenge.


I’ve caught myself twice mindlessly typing in the web address to celebrity gossip sites, but I quickly closed out.  So much of this is purely habit-based!  And when I got my hair cut yesterday, I was tempted to read a gossip mag but got some work done on my laptop instead.  I’ve also been reading and listening to more news again, which is very nice.  Basically – so far, so good. 


What personal challenges you are tackling right now?  Training for something?  Breaking a habit?  Making a new one? Working towards a promotion?



  • Bernadette April 13, 2012, 10:05 am

    OH PLEASE give us a tour of your tea cabinet!! I have always wanted to try the loose tea but dont really know where to start… that would be awesome!


    • Jackie May 8, 2012, 8:15 pm

      The tea shop I visit has little samples you can buy for $1. That way you can try new flavors. The biggest mistake I made was not knowing how long to let it steep. Too long and it’s bitter. And you can buy a little basket that goes in your mug – so you don’t spend money on a pot and decide it’s not your thing.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB April 13, 2012, 10:10 am

    I gave up meat for lent and am still not eating it. Starting on Monday I’m going to eliminate almost all processed sugar (well, anything with more than 4 g) for a few weeks to wean myself off this crazy sweet addiction I’ve acquired. Funnnnn.

    • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 4:53 pm

      oh man. good luck, girl!

  • Lindsey April 13, 2012, 10:11 am

    Have you tried Adagio Teas and the ingenuTEA brewer? I got it for Christmas and I’m in love! Even without the contraption, their teas are wonderful! I just got the Dragon Oolong Sampler, and I’ve been enjoying trying something new every day this week.

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith April 13, 2012, 10:12 am

    I wasn’t wearing makeup the other day and I walked into a meeting and had someone tell me I looked tired. Ugh – this is why I wear makeup. I know I shouldn’t care, but …

    • Caitlin April 13, 2012, 10:13 am

      People stopped asking me that when they got used to me without it – it’s weird. I know this is one of the primary reasons that Nicole from does not wear makeup to work. Do you normally wear it?

  • Hillary April 13, 2012, 10:14 am

    I’m trying to break myself of the habit of mindless eating. It’s a trap I fall into when I’m bored, especially at night, when I’m vegging out in front of the TV or computer. I’ll eat when I’m not even hungry (or even CLOSE to hungry) just because it gives me something to do. The last couple of nights, I’ve tried to focus my attention on more productive things that are just as relaxing: reading a book, listening to music, Skyping with a friend. So far, so good!

    • Michele April 14, 2012, 3:48 pm

      I broke myself of mindless eating at night by painting my nails a different color each night as soon as I finished cleaning the kitchen after dinner. I took my time and let each coat dry before putting on the next! I could never snack because I would ruin my nails.

  • Regina April 13, 2012, 10:20 am

    I’d love a look at your tea cabinet. I use a lot of loose tea and my favorite is Assam black, but I feel like I’m in a rut. I am a little picky about it though, so it’s probably my fault. Cheers.

  • Emily G. April 13, 2012, 10:25 am

    Your belly made!

    • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 4:54 pm

      That is kind of weird. LOL

    • Sonia the Mexigarian April 13, 2012, 6:31 pm

      I saw it there last night too! Lol! I was like “that looks like a HTP baby bump”.

  • clare @ fittingitallin April 13, 2012, 10:31 am

    I’m trying to get back into my healthy eating habits – since starting work at a new office I’ve fallen prey snacking on junk food DAILY. not okay. sometimes is enough!

  • Laura @ My Pink Thumb April 13, 2012, 10:41 am

    I would love to see your tea cabinet!! 🙂
    I’ve recently just began a 5 week 10K training plan for an upcoming race to benefit kids with caner. I’ve been through a lot in the past 6-7 months or so due to unforseen health issues and never really thought that this race would be possible fore me this year! Things have been going well for me health-wise lately *knock on wood*, so I bite the bullet last week and signed up for a race! New shoes are on order and I’m feeling great! 🙂

  • Jen April 13, 2012, 10:42 am

    I’m working on re-gaining my old habits of balanced eating and regular exercise. It seems that the last month of my pregnancy I’ve been thinking I was doing better than I actually was. Now I’m making sure it hit all food groups appropriately, and taking a daily walk at minimum. Not only benefiting me, but the tiny baby I’m growing!

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras April 13, 2012, 10:43 am

    My roommate and I are total tea snobs. We have a whole cabinet full of expensive, loose leaf tea. We just bought some Chinese Breakfast a few weeks ago, and I’m a huge fan.

  • Ashley April 13, 2012, 10:46 am

    LOL I also mindlessly typed out a couple of celebrity gossip websites the day after I committed to the challenge. I ended up closing the website down as fast as possible and covering my eyes.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 13, 2012, 10:47 am

    Congrats on your progress Caitlin! Right now I’m working on ensuring that I stretch more post-run, and in general after sitting at my desk for long periods. I’m also working (not as successfully) on sticking to a budget…. that’ll be a never-ending challenge I’m sure! 😉
    PS. Your tea strainer is so cute!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 13, 2012, 10:54 am

    I have found the less I wear make up, the more that continues. I just hate putting it on and then washing it off, especially if I’m just going to class or errands!

  • Shelly @ April 13, 2012, 11:01 am

    I would love a tea cabinet tour!!

  • Faith (Gracefulfitness) April 13, 2012, 11:05 am

    I am working on procrastinating less. I have a bad habit of letting bills/e-mails pile up so I am trying to respond asap, which saves time, stress, and possible embarrassment (I’ve written “sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you” a few too many times!).

  • Sarah April 13, 2012, 11:43 am

    I’m loving green tea with toasted brown rice lately. Have you tried it? It’s really savory and fills the need for that salty afternoon snack I’m always craving.

    My current “challenge” or goal is to polish off those student loans. Only 10 months to go! Then it’s (hopefully) baby-making time 😀 Talk about motivation!

    • Bonnie April 13, 2012, 4:32 pm

      I love green tea with brown rice! I got it in a pack called Genmaicha and it was delicious! Who would’ve thought about brown rice in tea??

      • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 4:54 pm

        How do you make it???

        • Sarah April 13, 2012, 6:24 pm

          I just buy it in the store in tea bags 🙂 You might have to go to a specialty Asian market depending on how well stocked your store is. It’ll be with the Asian teas and should say something about brown rice or toasted rice. It comes in bags or loose leaf.

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture April 13, 2012, 12:12 pm

    Right now I’m focusing on eating mostly raw plant based foods and juicing at least once a day. I felt like my eating habits had slipped back into less than stellar territory and I always feel that stripping things back to basic is a really good way to ‘reset’ the system! 🙂 So thats my challenge. Also I want to spend less time on the internet… fbook, twitter, blogs etc and spend more time on my school work. As you can see that is a work in progress! 😉

  • Nena April 13, 2012, 12:16 pm

    This year I said I would start a blog…have yet to start one. But I have started the habit of reading them, lol.

    I say it’s because I don’t have the right camera. Also, I don’t know what direction to go. I want to share my life and experiences w/out being too personal. IDK…sigh..the dilemmas 🙂

  • Amanda April 13, 2012, 1:20 pm

    You really should show us your tea cabinet, I need to know that other people have extensive collections ….and what they have…..and that I’m not alone.

    • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 4:54 pm

      you are not alone 🙂

  • Kate April 13, 2012, 1:36 pm

    your naked face project inspired me and my good friend to go without makeup for a week and today is our last day but it is so awesome! it is still super hard to not get up and want to put on make-up but even just in the five days we’ve done this we both have learned so much! thank you for being really open about your naked face project and inspiring others to do the same!

  • Megan April 13, 2012, 1:46 pm

    I told my boyfriend that I was going to stay away from celebrity gossip for a month, and his exact (and very heartfelt) words were “Oh thank GOD, you get so worked up about these people and I never know what you’re talking about.”
    Flattering, no. Eye-opening, yes. Plus, now I really have to stick to it or he’ll know. He always knows.

  • Kristin April 13, 2012, 2:13 pm

    I love tea and I stay away from celeb gossip because it is way to0 addictive. I wanted to add a comment to the Naked Face Project-Over Spring Break, while on vacation in Orlando, I did my own unplanned Naked Face Project. Going to amusement parks and to the beach didn’t leave me feeling like I needed to cover my face like I usually do and my boyfriend encouraged it (how awesome is that). On the day we went to Disneyworld he proposed and I was wearing absolutely no makeup at all. Although I felt I would have liked the pictures to show me looking more glamorous, I recognized that it was pretty special that my fiance didn’t think it was important. Ever since then I feel silly putting on makeup-so yesterday I went to school without it for the first time and no one said a thing. Just like you discovered, I am slowly seeing that people don’t really care about makeup as much as we may think they do (although it definitely varies between social groups). Your blog has definitely helped me see this.

    • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Sounds like you found a winner!!!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well April 13, 2012, 3:41 pm

    It may be simple but I am trying to get into the habit of taking my supplements and vitamins every day. Also, trying to be more aware of getting enough protein at EACH meal as it really helps me feel good throughout the day.

  • Bonnie April 13, 2012, 4:30 pm

    My tea shelf is equally extensive: I’ve got, China green, jasmine green, raspberry leaf, gotu kola, lavender, rose petals, peppermint, echinacea… and more! I only get loose leaf organic. And all of the herbs have kept me cold free for more than a year!

    I’m attempting to get through school without my head exploding. I’ve spent so much time doing nothing, that I’m going straight through and after my seven classes coming up from May to December, I’ll be exactly halfway done after only a year of starting. Hopefully I can finish in this kind of time too! 🙂 Wish me luck!

  • Linda @ Lemons April 13, 2012, 5:24 pm

    I always wear makeup when I go out because I am ugly and I figure every little thing I can do can only help. You are beautiful, you don’t need makeup.

    As for tea, I really try to like it, but I didn’t grow up drinking tea so it’s not ingrained into my consciousness. I do love McDonald’s sweet tea though – mmm it’s so good!

    • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras April 13, 2012, 5:57 pm

      Whoawhoawhoa! I just checked out your blog, and you’re not ugly, you’re beautiful!

      • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Agree. Linda is beautiful through and through.

      • Linda @ Lemons April 13, 2012, 9:53 pm

        Thank you, that is nice of you to say.

  • Sarah T April 13, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I am giving up meat for the first real time. I’m on day number 3 and have been doing fine. I did take a bite of my son’s hot dog at the beach tonight and as I tasted it I realized what I had done out of pure habit (eating off his plate). I promptly spit the hotdog out. I am also desperately working to expand my children’s food choices. I’ve been introducing new breakfast foods this week. Next is new healthy snack items. Wish me luck!Thanks for inspiring me to really tackle this stuff. I read your blog daily.

    • Ali @SeeAliEatSeeAliRun April 14, 2012, 1:03 pm

      My parents did such a great job of raising me and my siblings to be adventurous eaters! I think the trick for them was huge variety and enthusiasm when THEY ate the food. When I was 4 my favorite food was snails, which was introduced to me by my Dad and in grade school when we would go out to eat I distinctly remember always ordering museli for breakfast and salads for lunch! You can do it and I commend you for being such a great Mom 🙂 Your children will thank you when they’re older too!

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