Monday, 31 August 2015

Shibui Matcha Green Tea


Shibui Tea




A bit about who Shibui Tea are:

Shibui Tea was set up over a few pots of tea with the simple philosophy of sourcing and sharing great quality tea. We have created a menu which covers a wide range of loose leaf tea with flavours to suit all palates. With a choice of premium classics through to fun and modern concepts, Shibui’s tea drinkers can be assured of a consistent quality product they can trust.

We are a family run business - together with over 35 years of experience in the industry - with our head office split between the UK and Canada. Two brothers run the operation - John in the UK and Paul in Canada.

Our teas are sourced from all over the world, primarily from China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, and Taiwan. Our locations in both the UK and Canada give us the ability to effectively service both the European and North American market places.

By visiting Shibui Tea online, you can browse and choose from over 200 teas and be assured of our excellent customer service. (Taken from their website)



So far I have reviewed Blueberry Rooibos and Chocolate and Ginger, today I decided to give their Matcha Green Tea a go. 

This is how my sample arrived - just with all Shibui teas, vacuum packed and sealed for freshness.  




The first thing I noticed about this Matcha was the colour, this seemed a much more vivid green than some I have tried in the past. I did a bit of research and the brighter more vivid the green, the better quality it is. This did not surprise me as so far Shibui tea seem to be high quality with all of their products. 






I realised that it is very important to follow the instructions when making Matcha tea, if you don't it is very easy to get residue at the bottom of the cup. Shibui make it easy for you by including instructions on their page. Once I had whisked the tea I got a frothy foam across the top, I knew then that I had followed the instructions correctly. 

To be honest I did not like the smell of this tea when brewing it, however all the Matchas I have brewed smell similar and I didn't like them either. Taste for me was the key, I have tasted some really bitter ones in the past and the less bitter the taste the better quality it should be. With Matcha, you will always get some better taste but it should be smoother. I did find that this once, although slightly bitter to begin with, a. got better the more I drank and b. was smooth to drink. This again showed me that it was of good quality. 

Out of all the Matchas I have tasted I would say this was one of the better ones and if I was to regularly drink it I would happily purchase this one. 

Unlike a lot of Shibui teas this cannot be bought in tea bags. This tea is one that is mixed within the water. 

The tea is quite expensive at £22.99 for a 30g tin, however I believe that this is of good quality Matcha and that you pay for what you get. A 30g tin should last you a long time. 

If you would like to purchase these or see what other teas are available please visit their website: Shibui Tea

I would like to thank Shibui tea for supplying this sample for an honest review. 






Sunday, 30 August 2015

Weekly Wrap Up - 30.8.15


The weather this week has been dreadful! This has given me some reading time as I was unable to do anything out in the garden this week, I did also have a wedding to go to though, which made me loose a bit of reading time. I am a little sad too as the summer holidays have whizzed by and next week I am back at school! I thought I would do a wrap up of all the books I have read over the summer - not as many as I had of hoped. 

It is an exciting time going back to school though as I am at a new school, I think this will make the weeks go so quick as I am learning all the time again, I cannot wait for my holiday in December, I am hoping this hurry's up. :)


Books I have read over the summer: 

Why we broke up by Daniel Handler - Review
Sing No Evil by J.P. Ahonen - Review
In Their Shoes: Fairy Tales and Folktales by Lucie Arnoux - Review
The Other Me by Saskia Sarginson - Review
Love Comes Home: A Collection of Short Stories by Kristi Rose - Review
Johnny's Girl by Paige Toon - Review
Colour Me Mindful: Tropical by Anastasia Catris - Review
Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers - Review to come 
The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson by Paige Toon - Review to come 
Asking for it by Louise O'Neill - Review to come 
Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan - Review to come 
I need a Hero by Emma Bennet - Review to come 


Books I have read this week:

Burnt Paper Sky - Gilly Macmillan 
I need a Hero - Emma Bennet


So I read 12 books over the summer, I don't think that is that bad, I also have a few days still off the beginning of next week so hopefully I will be able to up that amount. Considering I have had to move home and had 2 weddings to attend, which have been longer than the day. I think I managed to fit quite a few in. 

I also have reviewed other products over the summer including the Bookish Box You can find that review here along with tea and beauty.

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know

Friday, 28 August 2015

Shibui Chocolate and Ginger tea






Shibui Tea 

A bit about who Shibui Tea are:

Shibui Tea was set up over a few pots of tea with the simple philosophy of sourcing and sharing great quality tea. We have created a menu which covers a wide range of loose leaf tea with flavours to suit all palates. With a choice of premium classics through to fun and modern concepts, Shibui’s tea drinkers can be assured of a consistent quality product they can trust.

We are a family run business - together with over 35 years of experience in the industry - with our head office split between the UK and Canada. Two brothers run the operation - John in the UK and Paul in Canada.

Our teas are sourced from all over the world, primarily from China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, and Taiwan. Our locations in both the UK and Canada give us the ability to effectively service both the European and North American market places.

By visiting Shibui Tea online, you can browse and choose from over 200 teas and be assured of our excellent customer service. (Taken from their website)



So far I have reviewed one of the teas I was sent - Blueberry Rooibos, today I am reviewing Chocolate and Ginger. 


How my sample arrived: 


                                                                            

Once again I was very impressed with the quality of the product, it came in a lovely sealed bag, which made sure the tea was fresh and ready to use. The tea bag is made of material rather than paper and it has small holes in it, which allow the air and water to move around the leaves inside the bag. 


Once placed in a cup, I began to pour the boiling water over the tea bag I left it to brew for some time to allow all the flavours from the bag to be released and create a lovely cup of tea. You can see below the brewing process.

                                                                               



                                                                              

During the brewing process I got a really strong flavour of chocolate. I was really excited to try this tea as I love hot chocolate and was hoping this maybe similar. This would certainly be a hot chocolate which would be better for you! 

Just like the Blueberry tea that I sampled the depth of smell from this little bag was incredible, it was so strong and I was really looking forward to trying the tea once it had cooled down. 

After 5 or so minutes, when I began to try the tea, to be honest I was a little disappointed. I had been so spoilt with the smell coming from my cup that I expected the same level of taste. For me this did not live up to it's expectation. It was sweet to drink and you could certainly taste the ginger coming through but the chocolate that smelt so wonderful seemed to get a little lost in the flavours. Even though the tea was left to brew with the teabag in for a good 3 minutes there seemed to be a lack of depth of taste of the tea. This was something that I didn't find with the blueberry bag. 

Just like most of Shibui tea's this one can be purchased as bags or as loose tea. For a tube of 15 bags its £3.95, I think this is extremely reasonable. If you buy fruity tea bags from the super market you can pay more than this, this is a family run business, who personally I would prefer to support. You are getting good quality in these tea bags and good service. 

If you would like to purchase these or see what other teas are available please visit their website: Shibui Tea

I would like to thank Shibui Tea for sending the samples in exchange for an honest review. Please check back for more reviews of their teas. 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Exclusive Short Story by Emylia Hall - The Seashell

I am extremely excited to the able to bring this post to you today. I recently entered a competition to win a short story by Emylia Hall. Emylia has got a new book out today and to celebrate this she has written me an exclusive short story!!! 

This short story you will find no where else, so you can imagine how pleased I was when I found out I was the winner! 

Anyway back to the short story! - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Seashell

Emylia Hall



I stood in my kitchen, holding in my hand a dogwhelk. It was pretty enough, with its pointed end and so smooth shape, but not an uncommon shell, not, to many, an object of particular curiosity. But I folded my fingers around it, and held it tightly. To me, it was one of the most remarkable things I’d ever seen.

Ever since I left home, I’ve been a gatherer of seashells, a collector of shoreline curiosities. I’m the person you see skirting the edges of the tide, with their head dipped, eyes fixed. I stoop to pick up rounded fragments of sea glass, lengths of razor clam, a piece of cuttlebone looking just like a bar of soap gone dry in a dish. I’ve made many a necklace threaded with periwinkles, the sound of clicking and clacking accompanying me wherever I’ve gone - and on the infrequent occasions when my path has crossed with my mother’s, a tut-tut-tut joining in, the sound of her obvious disapproval.

My mother was never one for trinkets, and certainly not the salvaged kind. There were no rings on her fingers, no flowers in her hair. Apart from a single string of pearls, an occasional bracelet, she was an unadorned woman. Starchy, in truth. She always told me that she didn’t believe in happy endings, and yet when her time came she was sleeping in a chair by the fire, her old cat Sammy curled in her lap. She was eighty-three, and I know those years of hers will have contained mysteries I’ll never, ever fathom, but I thought I had the basic measure of her, all the same. I thought I knew the person she was. Brisk, and tightly buttoned. A hard hand, and a harder tongue. For most of my childhood she rode a blue bicycle without any sense of pleasure. The socks she wore were always beige, and always matched.

When she passed away, she left me her jewellery box. Even though some part of it seemed familiar – the black lacquered lid, perhaps, or the pale velvet lining – I’m sure I don’t remember it from my childhood. I’m surprised, in truth, that she owned enough pieces to warrant a box to keep them in. Although, perhaps this last makes sense, because for my mother, everything

had its place. All was boxed. Where else to keep a string of pearls? Certainly not on her bedside table, coiled like a sleeping snake. Inside, alongside her necklace, I found a plain brooch, her silver bracelet, a scattering of hairpins and… a seashell. I’d taken it out, so very carefully, holding it between my finger and thumb. I’d held it to the light, as though looking for a silver mark, or the kind of hologram that appears on banknotes. I’d peered inside it, its interior as pale and delicate looking as the underside of a wrist. The faintest traces of beach sand were still caught in its groove.

I’d thought of him, then. My father. Or the few pictures I’d seen of him, anyway. Their wedding day, with the two of them standing side by side on the steps of a registry office in a landlocked town. Him in a suit, straight-legged, narrow shouldered, a mass of wayward curls throw up by the wind. Her in an uncharacteristically flouncy, high-necked dress, a modest bouquet of garden flowers gripped in her hand, a nervous not-quite laughing mouth. Another version of him – this time holding me, the baby me, the only picture I have of the two of us together. I’m curled in the crook of his arm, tight as a limpet to a rock, and on his face he wears a look of puzzlement – as though he’d seen the world in a grain of sand and found it to be nothing like he’d imagined.

I know he’d been living by the sea when they’d met, and that she’d lured him inland, briefly, to a place where seagulls still wheeled in the skies but didn’t know how it was to steal a chip from a holidaymaker’s fingers. My parents lived in a terrace of miners’ cottages, with a fire that spat sparks on a grey rug and a wailing baby in the room upstairs. My mother hadn’t held on to him for long. Nor I, despite the mollusc me, the limpet me, soft-headed and pudgy-handed and wrapped in a blanket that my grandmother would never have knitted us. He went back to the waves, she said, followed that siren song all the way to the sea, leaving the pair of us tossing grimly in his wake. I suppose that was the reason why, throughout my childhood, we never went anywhere near this island nation’s shore. There were no sandy sandwiches for me. My hair never grew salted and tangled. I never stood on the shoreline,

icy water stopping my tracks, only to go running in with my skirt held up above my knees, my voice coming shrill and unguarded. I discovered these things for myself at a much grander age, my own children happily in tow, them not understanding what strange beauty it was to kick through beach sand, how very precious it was, for me, to lie as human starfish, bobbing on an incoming tide.

Now, somewhere behind me a kettle was boiling. My toast popped and stayed put. Later I’ll find it, cold and rigid. I’ll make a cup of tea with lukewarm water, and probably drink it anyway. There has always been much I haven’t known, but life has found its way of tricking me, just as it tricks so many. It has permitted me to drift, unquestioning, from one day into the next.

And now I know this: My mother kept a seashell in her jewellery box.

I release it from my hand, reluctantly, and place it on the table. The light from the window catches it, sends its surface gleaming. For a moment it appears just-washed, sea-wet, a dazzling little dogwhelk on the shoreline, ripe enough to pluck. Precious enough to pocket. While the memories it holds can’t be mine to know, I try to imagine them all the same. Or, to be more accurate, I try to imagine my mother in possession of them. Permitting herself this much, after all. Sitting on the edge of her bed in her brown slippers and stiff housecoat, a certain look, one I never once saw, or perhaps never recognised, lighting her eyes. Or dozing in an armchair by the fire, lulled by the softest sound of the sea, not an uncomplicated sound, but neither a wholly unwanted one. Or, only really for the first time, I see her walking by the water, back when she was young, and breezy, and, I like to think, in love. The world is at my mother’s feet, and in her hand she holds a seashell.

The Sea Between Us is Emylia's new novel out today! 


The blurb:

In a remote Cornish cove, on one of the last days of summer, Robyn Swinton is drowning. She is saved - just - by local boy Jago Winters, and it is a moment that will change both of them forever.

Over the next seven years, Robyn and Jago's paths lead them in different directions, to city streets and foreign shores. Will the bond forged that day Jago dragged Robyn in from the sea be strong enough to bring them back to one another, or has life already pulled them too far apart? - Taken from Amazon


To buy a copy of this stunning book here

I would like to thank Emylia for writing this short story and for allowing me to feature it on The Book Corner, I would also like to thank Headline for running the competition. 


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Free Audio Book download - Every download helps animals under threat.






Recently we have heard in the news about Cecil the Lion in Africa, who was hunted. Everyone wanted to do what they could, and of course they wanted to make sure that the 'hunter' was caught. Most of us, however sad we felt about it, could do very little. Perhaps offer some support through social networking sites, but not a lot else. 

I for one, wanted to help the animals, not just the lions but all of the endangered animals and try to protect them. Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to be able to offer money to the cause. When I got sent the information about this I couldn't believe it. I had the opportunity to download a book AND help the animals. This was perfect for me, knowing that my download was going towards helping them. This is where you can help too, every time the adaptation of The Jungle Book is downloaded for FREE 25p will go to help ZSL build a future for the wildlife. 

So all I am asking you to do is, if you care about animals and felt appalled about what happened to Cecil the lion then please use the link below and download it. 

Here is some more information: 

FREE: Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories | [Rudyard Kipling]



Bill Bailey, Richard E Grant, Colin Salmon and Celia Imrie join host of talent in new audio adaptation of The Jungle Book




Audible.co.uk to donate 25p per free download of new all-star audio adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book- The Mowgli Stories to ZSL



UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 00:00 26 August 2015: Audible.co.uk has produced a new full-cast dramatisation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book – The Mowgli Stories, in association with charity partner the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).



Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book - The Mowgli Stories is out on 26 August and available for free at: www.audible.co.uk/jungle. 25p from every download goes to help ZSL build a future for wildlife.



The magical story-telling and unforgettable characters in Bev Doyle and Richard Kurti’s audio adaptation of this children’s classic have been brought to life by many well-known voices from British film, TV, radio and comedy, including Bill Bailey as Baloo, Richard E Grant as Kaa and Martin Shaw as Shere Khan.



The partnership between Audible.co.uk and ZSL will help highlight the plight of many of the animals who featured in The Jungle Book and are under threat in the wild, such as the Bengal tiger (Shere Khan). The creation of India’s tiger reserves in the 1970s helped to stabilise numbers, but poaching to meet a growing demand from Asia in recent years has once again put the Bengal tiger at risk. The sloth bear (represented by Baloo), which could once be found throughout India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, is now threatened by hunting and habitat loss. Sloth bear numbers continue to decline and it is now listed as vulnerable by IUCN.



Sandra Crewe, Head of Corporate Partnerships for international conservation charity, the Zoological Society of London said: “It’s a sad fact that many of the animals that inspired the characters of The Jungle Book are today battling against unprecedented threats in the wild, with some, like the tiger and elephant, facing the terrifying prospect of extinction. We are delighted to be the official charity partner of Audible’s production of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book – The Mowgli Stories. This fantastic new adaptation is an opportunity to raise awareness of this issue and raise funds to support our worldwide conservation of wildlife and their habitats.”



Audible.co.uk head Tracey Markham said: “We are committed to producing new exciting audio content for our listeners and this adaptation is really something special. We are working with some of the most talented writers and actors around to make brilliant new audio entertainment. The charity partnership with ZSL is the first of its kind for us and we are really excited to be working with them to support wildlife conservation around the world.”



The cast of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book – The Mowgli Stories includes:

· Bill Bailey (Black Books, Stand-Up Comic) as Baloo

· Richard E Grant (Withnail & I, Downton Abbey) as Kaa

· Colin Salmon (James Bond, 24: Live Another Day) as Bagheera

· Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango in Halifax) as Mowgli

· Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) as Mother Wolf

· Meera Syal (Broadchurch, Goodness Gracious Me) as Chil

· Ralph Ineson (The Kingsman, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows) as Father Wolf

· Martin Shaw (Inspector George Gently, Judge John Deed) as Shere Khan

· Tim McInnerny (Blackadder, Notting Hill) as Kipling

· Bernard Cribbins (The Wombles, Jackanory) as White Cobra

· Russell Tovey (History Boys, Being Human) as Banderlog 1



Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book – The Mowgli Stories can be downloaded and enjoyed on a wide range of devices including Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Touch, Kindle Fire, the Audible apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8, PC, Mac or an MP3 player. The production provides three hours of listening entertainment and it is most suitable for children aged 8 and over, as well as adults of all ages.



It is the fourth production from the original programming team of Audible.co.uk. Previous productions include The Child and AMOK, two full-cast adaptations of best-selling novels by Sebastian Fitzek, and Six Degrees of Assassination, an original thriller by Meadowlands and Silent Witness writer Matt J Arlidge.

Thank you again for reading this post and I hope like me you want to help the wildlife and you will show your support by downloading this for free. 

I would like to thank Audible for sending me this information to share with you. I did not receive any compensation nor will I receive anything if you download a free copy.

Colour Me Mindful: Tropical by Anastasia Catris

Colour Me Mindful: TropicalColour Me Mindful: Tropical by Anastasia Catris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Not just for kids anymore, colouring delivers a deeply satisfying experience that is almost meditative and colouring books are growing in popularity as anti-stress aids for adults.

Complete with intricately detailed and beautiful line-art, this book depicts beautiful tropical scenes.

Your mind will focus as you fill the pages with colour, becoming calm and reducing stress. This is mindful, simple therapy for adults that can be carried out every day.

With stunning illustrations to colour in and admire, this book provides a creative outlet and a deeply soothing mindful experience for those in need of a little artistic stress-busting.



When I found out I had won a competition and this was one of the colouring books I had won I was jumping for joy. I loved the look of this book, it is perfect to fit in your bag to keep it with you. Whether you use it for commuting to work, travelling on holiday or just relaxing at home. This is the perfect size.

This comes with a mix of wonderful illustrations, it is clear that Anastasia is very talented, she has included just the right amount of detail in the images- which don't become so over whelming for you to colour.

I am currently just using colour pencils, however I feel that pens could be used in this book as the paper seems quite thick and of good quality. I did find that the sharper the pencils the better the effect you get, as some of the images are quite tiny, due to the size of the paper. I like to make sure that the pencil stays inside the lines and this is a way of helping that.

I would recommend this colouring book, I have got a few now and this is one of my favourites. Anastasia is also bringing out some more later in the year, I cannot wait to try these as they look like they are going to be even better than this one!

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

These are a few of the pages that I have coloured. 

         




Buy it today from the Bookdepository for only £2.99!!! Click here to grab a bargain!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Johnny's Girl by Paige Toon

Johnny's GirlJohnny's Girl by Paige Toon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meg's life has taken a turn for the perfect. She is the envy of millions with her drop dead gorgeous husband, their two beautiful sons and her new mansion in Henley. Her celebrity PA days are over. But desperate to keep up with her rock star husband, Johnny Jefferson, she uproots her perfect family and moves back to LA. 

Meg has to learn to live with her new celebrity status and the insecurities of her old life, which keep reappearing. Under the paparazzi flash of an A-List party, complete with red carpet, champagne and canap├ęs, Johnny's rock star past catches up with him and Meg's worst nightmare becomes a reality…



Paige Toon is one of my favourite authors and when I knew she was writing a novella as a sequel for Baby Be Mine I knew I would have to read it. I have read it quite late actually, it came out over a year ago but I decided to wait so I could read her YA book based on these characters after. I am glad I read them in the correct order and that I fit the short story in before, this helped me remember what had happened and got back up to speed with the characters.

During this short story we get to meet the characters again, Meg and Johnny are living in England, (where Meg is from) but his work is driving them back to the States. After having a holiday over there Meg realises that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to move back again.

I really loved this novella, it was fun and hooked you straight in, even if you haven't read the other two books you would be able to fill in the blanks. On the other hand though, why would you not of read the other two? They are pretty fantastic!

One thing I love about Paige's books is that they seem to all connect in some way or another, I liked the added bonus of hearing about Alice and Joseph Strike, I always think that reading a Paige Toon novel is like a hug in a mug, you feel warm when you read her books and that you're at home. This novella for me was no exception.

After reading this novella I was well equipped to begin The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson, and cannot wait to begin, I feel like I have had a small taster of what is in store and I love it. This novella was only about 100 pages but I whizzed through it and if that is anything to go by then I know I will be finishing the two YA's in no time at all.

The added bonus is that this ebook is free at the moment so you have no excuse not to grab yourself a copy.

Well done Paige for me you have done it again, loved every minute of it.