What Is Your Morning/Afternoon Ritual?

January 26, 2009

I’d like to talk about tea for a moment because I just had the most wonderful cup and since I can’t pour one for you I’ll have to put into words just how special it really was. And no I’m not losing my mind, I am simply enjoying the simple moments in life a little more as it is my resolve for 2009 to spend time focusing less on things that I cannot change and more on things that I often overlook that would make my life a little sweeter. Noticing the little things. For instance, I saw beauty in my afternoon today and captured it in a photograph just for you…

I’ve seen THE O DOR many times but never once did I consider purchasing it because I figured it’s just another tea in a pretty container with an expensive price tag. Wrong! It’s heaven in a tin and I’m so happy that I gave it a chance. As I sat on my sofa this afternoon taking a break — sipping tea, flipping through a magazine, and admiring the garden roses a friend delivered on Saturday, I felt at peace and happy despite that it’s a Monday and well, who really loves Monday. Can you smell the bergamot, vanilla, marigold, and jasmine in my green and black tea? It’s mixed with the scent of garden roses… If you can, may I suggest buying yourself a small bouquet, some tea, and 20 minutes to relax with your favorite book or magazine either today or sometime this week? You won’t have a single regret…

A comfortable mere 20 minutes dedicated to me was an amazing pick-me-up and a great way to begin a new week. Try to notice the little things today…

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Do you have a favorite morning or afternoon ritual? What is it? Afternoon tea is mine. It was coffee but I’ve learned to appreciate a cup of black tea and so glad that I did.

(images by holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply nichole January 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Despite the hectic life of writing and rearing, I make sure that my routines are not interrupted. My friends think I’m crazy for making a “sit-down” breakfast every morning, and I would rather chew glass than forgo my afternoon coffee and pastry.

    I prefer moments to the material and I’ve lived this way for quite some time. I stray every once in a while, but it’s nothing a good purge and a few minutes of peace with a book can’t cure.

    nicholes last blog post: Be Mine?

  • Reply Katie January 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Your pictures are so inspiring in themselves. They include my favorite things–tea, flowers, and books. Thank you, Holly.
    Part of my afternoon ritual is turning off the computer and spending some time in the kitchen or with my paint. I spend time creating without the computer distracting me. I was just off to do that when I saw this beautiful post…

    Katies last blog post: Inspired Giveaway: Recycled Painted Art

  • Reply Trina January 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    As soon as I get home from my “day-job”, I make myself a cup of earl-gray tea, and indulge in my weekday sin, the Young & the Restless. It’s my way of turning off all the stresses of the day, and taking an hour to unwind, not to mention be thankful that my own life is no where close to those on Y&R. LOL!!!!

    Trinas last blog post: gorgeous wall wear {neawear}

  • Reply Renovation Therapy January 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I am a tea addict. Between me and my Fiance there are easily 25 varieties in our cabinet. I’ve been loving Honeybush lately…

    Renovation Therapys last blog post: Silver Polish, Elbow Grease & Cat Butt…

  • Reply michelle January 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    brand new morning routine is becoming hopingon twitter and checking out what everyone is up to for the day.

    michelles last blog post: One World One Heart Contest…This Should Be Fun

  • Reply Adrienne January 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Wow- this post totally made me slow down a little and think about taking some time. Lately I’m so busy at my job that I don’t get those moments to myself, let alone a lunch break. I’m going to go brew some Slim Life Green Tea from Yogi Teas (a favorite of mine) and take in the moment. I always love that Yogi Teas have little insights on the tea bags- this one says: “Recognize that the other person, is you.”

    Adriennes last blog post: Whack Job

  • Reply Sheri January 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    hands down, it’s afternoon tea. my fave is peet’s genmai cha. but i also love a black tea. yours sounds yum.

    Sheris last blog post: deer in the woods

  • Reply H is for Home January 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Morning rituals can be good & bad – I’m not generally a morning person so it’s only on weekends that I can enjoy my preferred ritual!
    A much looked-forward-to lie-in ’til 10am, breakfast in bed of fresh coffee & blueberry porridge. Long walk in the hills with the dog then back home for a lovely strong cup of tea (loose Yorkshire tea for me!) and a sit down with the newspaper.

    H is for Homes last blog post: Y is for…

  • Reply toscano January 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    is that milk in the tea?????

    • Reply decor8 January 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm

      Toscano – a little soy milk and a tiny bit of sugar. I cannot drink it black, same for coffee.

  • Reply Lisa H. January 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve established a very gratifying morning ritual of taking my dog for a nice long hike up in the woods in the park near my apartment (regardless of the temperature!). Somehow, I find it both invigorating and relaxing (if that’s possible). The physical exertion is stimulating, and the solitude of an empty wooded area helps me focus my thoughts on the day ahead of me.

    The dog seems to love it, too :)

    I’m also “rediscovering” tea in the afternoon, but I don’t have much of a ritual attached to drinking it.

    Lisa H.s last blog post: Translucent Hearts Card – yellow mesh and blue

  • Reply Amie Hartman January 26, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you for this post! The picture is so calming.

    While I don’t have a morning or afternoon ritual, I do have an evening ritual which begins after the kids are off to bed. I chat with my husband to catch up on the goings on during the day while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. Lately, I’ve favored a wonderful genmai cha that my favorite sushi joint allowed me to buy through them. It’s so authentic, the label is mostly in Japanese. The aroma of this tea automatically slows me down.

    Amie Hartmans last blog post: Dressed windows, yayyyyy

  • Reply jaime January 26, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    i used to read all my feeds in the morning, but seems that things have shifted for me since beginning my new job. My new thing is reading twitter on the train to work.

    jaimes last blog post: Kyle Ranson

  • Reply toscano January 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Fair. i can’t drink black tea sans sugar, either.
    Those are very nice roses.

  • Reply Kathrin January 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    My morning ritual is having breakfast with my son and husband. It’s the one meal we defineltly eat together. And it’s a perfect start for the day.

  • Reply Jennifer January 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    My evenings have developed a ritual almost on their own. Around 9:00 p.m. each night, I start up my hotpot warming some water while I go wash my face and put on pajamas (if they’re not already on, as they are most days). I return to the kitchen refreshed and make a cup of chamomile, with honey and lemon. Then it’s off to bed, where I indulge in an hour or more of reading, tea-sipping and relaxing.

    My husband often makes fun of me for “going to bed” so early, but this night time ritual has led to an almost indestructable lack of insomnia. By the time I put my book down, I’m nearly asleep and I just fall away from the world with incredible ease.

    Jennifers last blog post: Pot(un)lucky

  • Reply Bridgett January 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    On the weekends I love to mid-afternoon naps with my toddler. I really think naps should become a staple in the corporate world, it makes a huge difference on your outlook.

    I’m a big coffee drinker but dabble in tea every once in a while, have you tried the London Fog from Starbucks? Tea + milk = delish!

    • Reply decor8 January 26, 2009 at 4:38 pm

      Bridgett: YES, London Fog is ALL I drink at Starbucks right now… It’s delish. I love the lavender in it don’t you?

  • Reply Vera January 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    which O Dor tea is it?

    • Reply decor8 January 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm

      Vera: If you go to http://www.sweetea.com and under Main Menu click on Loose Leaf Teas in Tin>Four Seasons Collection>Histoire Tibetaine (in the creamy white tin with gold letters).

  • Reply MsGourmet January 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    just had a look @ THE O DOR and the tea looks divine – thanks!

  • Reply Andi January 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I usually start my day with black coffee. I’ve been wanting to give tea a chance, but I never know which to try!

  • Reply Carolyn January 26, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Such a great post — especially for Monday! I just got my daily Starbucks coffee, but am going to try the London Fog tea tomorrow (sounds delicious) and perfect for the cold weather and very gray days in Boston!

    How fun is this MacKenzie-Childs tiered stand for afternoon tea! http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod76050161&parentId=cat18640732&masterId=cat17640813&index=12&cmCat=cat000000cat000553cat14090736cat17640813cat18640732

    Carolyns last blog post: Love Monday

  • Reply Dariela January 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Oh my! That tea looks delicious!! Thanks for the idea. I usually drink my coffee in the morning with ice and milk but I’ve been having to change lately because it’s too cold.
    I’m getting used to doing more ritual types this year, It does feel good doing something that you enjoy everyday for yourself, whatever it is!!
    I’m going to prepare myself some tea now!!

    Darielas last blog post: Change is in the air

  • Reply Dariela January 26, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    By the way… When I have a chance I’ll try that Starbucks tea also, never heard about it!!

    Darielas last blog post: Change is in the air

  • Reply Sherry January 26, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    My afternoon ritual is a round of Babybel cheese (you know, the little red wax covered cheese wheels that you peel) and three Hershey’s Kisses. It sounds weird but it always hits the spot. Lovely post and lovely photos as usual.

    Sherrys last blog post: How To Stain A Concrete Floor

  • Reply kathleen January 26, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Every morning my boyfriend, Jeremy, makes coffee with our french press as I put my face on. We used to take it to go as we headed off to work but lately we’ve been enjoying our coffee together in our breakfast nook – even if it means we get out the door 15 minutes later than usual.
    – Kathleen

    kathleens last blog post: Ice day.

  • Reply Lexy January 26, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I start my day by taking my dog Shadow for a walk to watch the sunrise – my “me” time – to get my thoughts/plans in order, and to just relax. I can’t wait til the weather cools down a little though because it’s still pretty toasty here at sunrise in Brisbane!

    Shadow and I finish the day with another walk at sunset, and this time my fiance comes along too. I look forward to it every day.

    (there’s at least one cup of tea somewhere through the day too, when I give my hand a rest from drawing!)

    Lexys last blog post: Oh I suppose a quick, tiny peek couldn’t hurt:

  • Reply Sara LeeAnn January 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Tea really is good for the soul, isn’t it? So many, many beautiful rituals here! I really ought to follow in Lexy’s footsteps and begin my day with a dog-walk. I like that…

    My evening ritual is something I look forward to every day. Just after sunset, when my husband returns home from work and is reading our 2-yr-old daugther her three bedtime stories, I pour myself a glass of wine, light the dozen candles in our bathroom, run a hot bath, pour a few drops of lavender or bergamot oil in, and soak for half-an-hour. It’s heavenly.

    Sara LeeAnns last blog post: Coveting: Red Leather

  • Reply Erin January 26, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Afternoon tea is by far one of the most favorite parts of the day. Every afternoon, at 3:00, I will pour myself a cup of tea. If I am out and about, I will make a point to stop by a local coffee shop so that I can still enjoy what is a true hobby!

    The photograph you posted is beautiful and very inspiring!

  • Reply adriana January 26, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    What a lovely picture and what a lovely mug. Who makes it?

  • Reply Ashley January 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Tea and tea. They both fit for my morning and my afternoon rituals. Usually it’s a nice strong cup of PG Tips.

    Ashleys last blog post: Schooled in the Art of Gift Giving

  • Reply Janelle January 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    My absolute must is a cup of hot black tea (Ty-Phoo or Barry’s) in the morning. Even if I have to make it in a travel mug and fly out the door with it.

    Better still (and definitely preferred) are the mornings I don’t have to go anywhere too early and I can drink my tea at leisure and read my blogs (like this one!) to kick-start the ol’ visual side of the brain. Lucky for me, as a work-from-home artist, the blog mornings greatly outnumber the frenzied ones these days.

    Janelles last blog post: Pimp my studio (or whatever the hip kids would say)

  • Reply Jonathan January 26, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I don’t really have any rituals that I do on a daily basis.

    Most days are go-go-go from the time I get up until I get home and have dinner. Usually after dinner, I turn on my new laptop to check my emails and respond to them if I’m in the mood to do that.

    Because I eat breakfast to myself, I eat it as I check out my bloglines.com account. I sometimes remember to check the two comics online: For Better or For Worse and Zits.

    At work, I don’t really do any rituals. I do make myself remember to have something to eat at 10am and at 3pm or else I become too hungry and get a headache by the time lunch or dinner comes. Otherwise, from the time I arrive at work at shortly after 830am, it’s just a mad rush of teaching, keeping up with my emails at work, going through the paperwork, working with students on an individual basis, and more. I am lucky to be able to zip out by 330pm so I can do my 35-minute commute to the gym to do my cardio (usually treadmill if it’s free) for 30 to 50 minutes before returning home for dinner.

    I don’t really have any rituals on weekends. I do make certain things at the same time each week, like recording all of the things I bought in a week on Friday night, picking up my mails after work on Fridays, doing grocery shopping on Friday evening after dinners, etc. Since New Year, I’ve decided to do this so that I don’t waste time that I don’t need to do more than once a week.

  • Reply Anna January 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I actually drink The O Dor often as an afternoon ritual! It is quite difficult to find in the states, but here is another place you can purchase it: http://www.shoppolitesociety.com/home_body/category.aspx?categoryID=Tea&sort=name&showall=1

  • Reply Laura January 26, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. Such a good reminder that it’s the little pleasures that are really what life is all about. I’m not sure that I have any daily rituals like this, but you have just inspired me to start one: Monday morning teatime and fresh flowers. *sigh* You’ve just made my day.

    Lauras last blog post: Childhood Obsessions: Dinosaurs!

  • Reply lindsey clare January 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    beautiful photos, Holly.

    i too am a tea lover! i tried to google where Theodor is available here in Australia but didn’t come up with anything. shame, cause those tins sure are lovely.

    i make myself a cup of milky tea every morning around 10:30, and catch up on a couple of favourite blogs while i sip. it is the best way to take a moment.

    lindsey clares last blog post: Things I Love – Wednesday 21st January 2009

  • Reply Andee January 27, 2009 at 12:11 am

    Just so Trina doesn’t feel alone, I’ll admit that my afternoon ritual is watching As the World Turns and taking a short nap while my little girls sleep. It is heaven!

  • Reply alis January 27, 2009 at 3:14 am

    I cherish my morning ritual so much that it’s almost a ceremony every day! I have a classic Turkish breakfast, everyday, no matter what. Ideally I eat it in front of the TV with my favorite show on, but these days I have to have a deskfast at work. My breakfast is black tea, toast, best kind of turkish white cheese, organic olives from my parent’s olive garden(hand picked and organically processed by them), tomato/cucumber salad with olive oil, and the occasional chestnut honey(a dark, slightly bitter honey with healing values, bees make it from chestnut trees).
    I don’t even answer the phone while I’m having my breakfast :)

    aliss last blog post: A Wabi-Sabi Accessory

  • Reply Nielfa Hanifa January 27, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Tea… a simple abundance and a blessing of note :)

    My mornings aren’t the same without me having a cup (it’s more a mug) of tea while sitting at my desk.

    If I don’t have tea, it’s like my mind missed a connection somewhere, I don’t function as properly as I should and my day feels a little ruffled until the aroma of a fresh brew fills my sense of smell.

    I can live without coffee… but tea, NEVER!

    Nielfa Hanifas last blog post: Etsy earrings…

  • Reply Hazel January 27, 2009 at 8:36 am

    My tea tradition started when I was about 4. Mum would make me milky tea and after school I’d sit and drink it with two “French Cream” cookies.

    Forty-odd years later I’m still a tea person, but I’m getting a little bored with English Breakfast and Orange Pekoe. But I don’t really like herbal either.

    I love Chai {I wish the coffee chains would realize that it’s just Chai – not Chai Latte – Chai is traditionally made with lots of milk. The juxtaposition of the Indian word and the Italian irks me a little too }

    Another real treat can be made in the french press. I take a couple of bags of pure peppermint tea. Break them open and add them to the carafe and half-fill it with boiling water. After about 5 minutes, plunge and add soy milk to the top, and a squirt of chocolate syrup. It’s really delish.

    Hazels last blog post: Paris Walks

  • Reply Terriaw January 27, 2009 at 9:39 am

    In the mornings during the week, I sit down with breakfast and coffee and read my blog feeds and a few emails. But it’s just not enough time to feel relaxed because work is looming over my head. I don’t have an afternoon ritual, but I usually start to fade around 3:00, so I think I might start this tea time idea. I would love to be able to leave work at 3, but maybe this will help get me through the rest of the day. I am always looking for a really good tea, so I will try these suggestions. Thanks for the reminder to take time!

    Terriaws last blog post: Sunday Stash – Feathered Friends

  • Reply ah Teo January 27, 2009 at 9:42 am

    i have just begun to appreciate tea recently too. I have been drinking this fairtrade English Breakfast Tea with some milk and raw sugar in mid mornings and then surf your blog for my daily dose of inspiration. :o) it felt good and although tea has more caffeine than coffee, it sure perked up my days recently.

    ah Teos last blog post: Random eats

  • Reply Morgan January 27, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I love the fallen petals.

    Morgans last blog post: Beloved Curiosity: The typewriter.

  • Reply Lady Ann January 27, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I also recently started drinking tea too…my favourite is English Breakfast or Early Gray with a little milk and sugar. Then I sit at my desk for about 15-20mins catching up on todays blogs. Then I start work. I work from home so its a nice ritual for me.

    Reading blogs has always been my morning ritual. Thanks for having a great and inspiration blog!

  • Reply Joanna Symonds January 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I’m English but sadly not a tea drinker – it’s coffee all the way which is something to do with living in France for a while! Some good old fashioned British advice is to drink your tea from a bone china cup and use loose tea with a teapot and tea strainer – a small amount of milk in the cup first and then pour when the tea has had a few minutes to ‘brew’ in the pot. I grew up being told that this was the best way to enjoy your tea – definitely invest in a pretty bone china cup and try it out:-)

  • Reply ktmcmillan January 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I adore these photos. I love the creamy stillness… my morning consists of hot creamy coffee… warming my toes by a fire… and nursing my baby while I try to blog…

    ktmcmillans last blog post: Nifty Gifties – Put Your Red Stamp On It…

  • Reply Allison January 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Tea has become very much a part of my morning ritual since I moved to Germany. It is definitely more part of the culture here and I very much enjoy the slower pace. My morning usually starts off with tea, yummy German bread, and lingering at the breakfast table to watch our pheasants in our back yard nibble on the corn we left out for them. And to think, we even live in the city!

    Allisons last blog post: It’s The Little Things That Count…

  • Reply Stephanie F January 27, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I’m a morning person, I like to start every morning with a cup of green tea and a few minutes catching up with my fav blogs–including this one! My day just doesn’t few right if I don’t start this way :J)

  • Reply Alicia January 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I was inspired by Jen of simply breakfast to take the time to make myself breakfast every morning. I get up before my children–usually around 5:30 AM– and I make a pot of coffee and breakfast of sourdough toast with blackberry jam or a frozen waffle with 100% pure maple syrup. I also make sure to take my vitamin supplement at breakfast as part of caring for myself. I have a very, very busy day, so this is my time for myself.

    I am now getting inspired by Camilla to start having a an afternoon fika, or coffee, with a snack. My assistant makes a pot of coffee for me every day (she spoils me so) and in the afternoon I’ll have coffee and an apple with some dark chocolate, or Trader Joes peanut butter pretzels or something leftover from my lunch. It’s a nice break from being buried in work.

  • Reply Margarita Lorenzo January 28, 2009 at 8:02 am

    What I would do without my TEA break!!! I work mainly from home, and I love having my TEA and browsing one of my magazines. It takes my mind away from work and allows me to dream of my next beach holidays, the new lamp for my bedroom, decorating my house, etc…

    By the way very nice pictures Holly, i love the roses!!

    Margarita Lorenzos last blog post: ART or CRAFT??

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente January 28, 2009 at 10:40 am

    What an absolutely gorgeous capture Holly! It is so lovely and so serene….out of the pages of a lovely home mag. *sigh* I do love a wonderful cup of tea( a new obsession, thanks to Ez) :) and loved hearing about the lovely new tea you found! Thank you for this, it made my day.

  • Reply Janelle January 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Now that I’m working part-time, I have more opportunities in the morning to just take my time and relax. I love a rich cup of coffee with flavored creamer and BROWN sugar. Years ago a client told me that he put brown sugar is his coffee (something I hadn’t considered…). I asked him what it was like. “Dessert” was his reply. So I gave it a try. Let me just say, I can see why he was addicted! Back to the topic. I enjoy reading the newspaper with my coffee, reading this blog, and checking out Etsy. It’s crazy how many hours I could sit in front of the computer looking at all of the beautiful arts and crafts online. Thanks for the beautiful picture of your morning tea Holly!

  • Reply alex January 29, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Oh my gosh I love this tea! It sells near me at Jin Patisserie in Venice CA and I’ve found myself on several occasions hitting Abbot Kinney just to take an afternoon tea break.

    I’m a huge, huge afternoon tea girl and I’m not even English!

    alexs last blog post: Where To?

  • Reply juli January 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    i love grabbing a cup of coffee and catching up on my favorite blogs. it gives me time to de-groggify :)

    julis last blog post: The Cool Crowd

  • Reply Carolyn February 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Holly – Question unrelated to tea (although i LOVE this post). What is the paint color on your wall??

    Carolyns last blog post: Feed Me

  • Reply Rad June 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

    OMG! Thanks for the idea. That tea looks delicious!! I usually drink my coffee in the morning with ice and milk but I’ve been having to change lately because it’s too cold.

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