Monday, July 31, 2017

Model Monday: Grace 4

Summer Cool

Hi! We've been having some really nice days lately, but the humidity and temperatures are supposed to go up again starting tomorrow. Today we started out at 60, but are heading close to 90. Layering is key. I quickly threw together this outfit. How do I look?

Outfit Details

You're going to notice everything has one thing in common...being retired. What that means is if you look in the wardrobe you have (hoping you don't fall through to Narnia), you might create some really cool new outfits without spending anything.

Glasses: AG Rosy Glasses (retired)
Shrug: OG Wearever and Ever (retired)
Tank top: AG Play Outfit (retired)
Shorts: AG Lea's Bahia Outfit (retired)
Shoes: AG Cargo Outfit (retired)
Necklace: AG Saige's Sparkle Dress (retired)
Bracelet: Multi-colored turtles; from local drug store/gift shop
Watch: AG Reversible Schoolbag set (retired)

Reader Challenge

We would love to see (doll) outfits you've created from your (doll) wardrobe. So take a look through your wardrobe, put together a great outfit, take a picture, and send it to us at with the subject Reader Challenge.  If we get a few, we'll create a post using them. Be sure to tell us the outfit details in your email.

À bientôt!

Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with American Girl or Our Generation. The items creating the featured outfit are from our collection amassed over time with our own funds or through gifts. The links provided  share details on the origins of the outfit pieces. No purchase is suggested or required to enjoy the post.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Fun Friday Friends Blox

Collections Overlap

Lego Friends and American Girl Mega Blox

Doll Comparison

Grace, Haley, Kaya, Kirsten, Lanie, Lea, Melody, 2 or more

The other day we finally opened our American Girl Mega Blox figure and had her visit the calendar scene.
That's when we noticed a difference.
Or many differences and had to share them with you.
So here you can see Tanya, our name for her, with Friends Andrea. Tanya looks like Andrea's big sister!
Back to back Andrea only comes up to Tanya's shoulder.
Do you notice something else in that picture? Tanya has knees! More on that later.
Both can sit, but we had to take Tanya's skirt off. She won't sit with it on.
Because she has knees, she can sit well perched too.
Tanya actually has articulation or joint movement in her shoulders too.
And her hips swivel a bit; I mean her legs can turn other than just bending and sitting.
This is kind of neat, but makes taking her apart to change skirts strange.
Also takes more time to get her to stand, because everything has to be aligned just so.
Tanya is one of eight in series one of the American Girl Mega Blox single figure release.
Each mini doll comes with a stand.
Plus one interchangeable component. In Tanya's case it is her skirt. The little poster shows you each dolls extra piece.
I have a feeling all the wigs are too. But these pieces can't be shared with the Friends dolls because the Mega Blox wigs have a peg and the Friends have a divot. Plus the Friends heads are much smaller.
Tanya's feet can be anchored on a Lego. Yay!

(giggles) Tanya could be the headmistress of the Beauxbatons Academy and the Friends her students!

Do you have any of the American Girl Mega Blox single figures or sets? If yes, which ones?

Best wishes!

Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with American Girl, Lego, or Mega Blox. All items featured were purchased with our own money for our collection. The review is unsolicited and comprised of our own opinions, thoughts, and words. No purchase is suggested or required to enjoy the post. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What's What Wednesday 3


Time and Temperatures

Hi! Today let's talk steeping or brewing tea. Specifically the water temperature and how long the leaves should be in the water.
Did you know that each type of tea has different requirements? Well, if you've been with us since the beginning you probably picked up on that fact during our reviews when we look at the instructions.

Thankfully, most tea purveyors give you a helping hand. But if you find one you'd like to try at a festival where they scoop the tea into a bag and send you on your way...Anyway, I channeled my inner Hermione and grabbed my favorite research tools.
Found quite a few super helpful charts while scrolling Pinterest. I chose four examples.

I love the color and graphics on this one. The little tea cup and bag shows the type of tea and caffeine, then the time, and temp.

This one is cool. It the type and gives extra information like flavor, health benefits, fun facts, and steep time and temp.

These two are essentially the same simple grids, but one uses a fancy font. Which, of course, caught my attention right away! 
If you look closer at these you can see they also tell you how much tea to use if you are making hot or iced tea. Cool, huh?

Anyway, here's what I found out. There are five types of tea and three blends called tea that aren't because they aren't from the camellia sinensis plant. Of the three, mate does have caffeine...but that's for another Wednesday. 

So it boils down to this (giggles). When you are in the mood for a cup of tea no matter the type, you want it to be tasty. To get the best flavor you want to use the right temperature water and let the leaves sit for just enough time to release the flavors without bitterness. There are special pots out there to help with this. Teavana has one that "does everything but drink it for you." but it costs close to $300. Yikes! You can do this at home with your own kettle and timer and thermometer. 

Ha! The charts are ever so slightly different. Well, there you go! More debate! I'll give you the agreeing parts. Let's look at temperature first. 

Water boils at 212F/100C. Pu'erh is the only one that should get boiling water. All the rest are just under boiling or less. Mate, herbals, and rooibos steep best at 205F-208F/96C-97C. Black tea is best at 195F-205F/90C-96C. Oolong from 185F-195F/85C-90C. Whites and greens the coolest at 175F/79C.

Once you get the right temperature water on the leaves you'll set your timer minutes like this:
  • Green: 1-3
  • Black: 3-5
  • Oolong: 3
  • Pu'erh: 3-4
  • White: 4-5
  • Herbal, Mate, Rooibos: 5-6

All of them stress if you want stronger tea you add more tea NOT more minutes. Adding minutes usually results in bitterness.

I decided to check the temperature of the water we usually use for our tea in the morning. Um, it's best for whites and greens. However, we still get good results for our black tea blends with it. Probably not the best cup we could, but not the worst either.

I really hope this was helpful. It's a lot of information, but I know I learned a little something from my research.

Thank you for stopping. Happy sipping.

See you again soon!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tea Review: HD Pomegranate

Tea for Tuesday #10

Harry & David Pomegranate Green Tea

Mal and Evie on the Lanai - Make that Mel and Elee on the Lanai 😉

Hi! Thank you for joining Mel and me. Today we are trying out a tea blend from Harry and David.
It's one of four that came in a sampler Nonna gave us. Since it's been so hot lately, we thought we'd try the Pomegranate Green Tea iced.
It's kind of blurry, but the front of the box clearly notes, "A delightful green tea with light, fruity notes. Natural and artificial flavors." The last item...
Anyway, the tea comes in square, tagless bags. Xyra used four of these in our iced tea maker to brew the tea. 
There are ten in the little box.
Green tea hot or iced is much lighter in color than black tea. Here it is in our pitcher.
And there is plenty to share.
(giggles) The ice has melted.
True, but it's still cold.
Have a seat and fill the cups. Oh, by the way, it's unsweetened.
(sips) Hmmm, yes, light and fruity. A little sweet on it's own too. Refreshing.
(sips) Oh, yeah. I agree. The artificial flavor is subtle, but lingers in the aftertaste. Otherwise very tasty.
Okay, so with iced tea, if you want it sweet you should add your sugar or honey while it is still hot.
Yeah, that way it dissolves fully into the tea. I think this would be good sweetened too.
Perhaps. Just too sweet for me. (giggles)
Overall, the Harry and David pomegranate green tea blend makes a nice pitcher of iced tea.
As we mentioned this was one of four blends in a sampler box; we could not find it on a website. 
So we urge you to find your favorite fruity, green tea blend and brew up some iced tea to share with your family and friends on your lanai or porch or stoop or...

Do you take your iced tea sweetened or unsweetened? Or does it depend on the flavor?

Best wishes! Tchau!

Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with American Girl or Harry and David. The tea featured was given to us for our collection. The review is unsolicited and comprised of our own opinions, thoughts, and words. We were unable to locate the featured tea online; you may be able to find a store close to you using this link. We do not know if you will find this particular blend in the store.