Houjicha is a Japanese roasted green tea. According to Wikipedia, houjicha is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal. So that explains the reddish color and the smoked scent of this tea.

Before my Japanese friend head back to Japan, I ordered another bunch of Japanese snacks and teas. I got one pack of sencha, matcha and a 20 pack of houjicha. I didn’t get the tea box because we didn’t want a bulky packet but she put it in a zip locked bag so the freshness is still kept.

I like the color and design of the tea pack but bf has mistaken it for … condoms! >.<! I guess it’s because of the glossy sachet packaging. Hmm..  What do you think?

Anyways, the brand name of this houjicha is Oi Cha Ito En. According to a friend, this is one of the famous beverage brands in Japan.

Steeping time is 30 seconds to 1 minute in 85 degrees C water.

Since this tea has a lower amount of caffeine compared to other teas like sencha and matcha, you can drink this before going to bed. When it comes to taste I find it unique because of the roasted smokey taste. I’m not sure if my description fits but just imagine sitting at a bonfire and smell the scent of burning dried leaves.




Cute design. But please this is not condom!😛



Reddish brown in color just like autumn

Saturday with Zorro

It’s just the two of us this weekend. So I try my best to make it great for the both of us even though I’m not feeling well because of the hangover (hehe). I’m so proud of myself today because I went for a short trip to the mountain despite of my poor *ahem* condition. Hiking when you have a hangover is uncomfortable because of the headache, dizziness and nausea. Do not forget the very low energy level as well. It’s like going to war sick and unprepared.

After doing the laundry, I changed clothes and went for a short hike with Zorro. I thought that I wasn’t in the mood for a hike and I was thinking of going back but then I looked at the dog and I felt guilty because I haven’t taken him for a hike these past few weeks because of my hectic schedule.

I struggled all the way to the top. It was an exhausting trip but it cured my hangover. So the saying is true that nature cures everything.

Anyways, here are the photos that I took today. Have a great weekend!



A photoshoot before we go.



On the way to the top. Zorro and I felt the need to stop and enjoy the view from this height.



On the top! Beautiful autumn colors indeed.

A Rare Phenomenon

It is already mid October and the weather is surprisingly lovely in most parts of the country for almost two weeks now. I am not complaining though. The weather is just perfect for hikes, road/boat trips, picnics and you name it but do not let the sunshine and the blue skies fool you because it is absolutely cold.

A week ago we visited my partner’s family and while the bf was busy with his father’s garage I took our dog and the dog of his sister out for a walk. My plan was to go to Vardetangen but had to change course because I suddenly got a problem with one of the dogs. So I followed the sign to Fonnes kai(quay) instead and tada, a beautiful scenery welcomed us.

Times like this should be spent wisely, especially here in Norway because you never know what the next days gonna be when it comes to weather. For some reasons it is not easy to predict the weather anymore.


The Hills Got Eyes


This shot was taken during my short trip to Eidsvågneset today. I asked my bf to take me to somewhere nice today because I can’t stand staying home all the time. I’ve been staying at home these past few days because of my stomach virus.

So anyways, I’ve never been to this place before. I think… but bf was insisting that I’ve been here before. I can’t really remember and I don’t remember the paintings on the wall on the hill. Nevertheless, whoever painted the eyes did a great job. He/she made the boring wall cute and mysterious.

Btw, this post is my take on The Daily Prompt, facade.




Another tea has been added to my collection. Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea with roasted brown rice. This type of tea is also known as the popcorn tea because you can hear a popping sound during the steep. I’ve been ordering this type of tea from my Japanese friend every time she travels to her motherland.

I did a bit of a research (Google-ling) about this tea. The brand is Seiyu Acknowledged by Everyone. Sounds a bit weird to me, but at least it is acknowledged not only by the Japanese folks but everyone… Lol. But seriously, that is the brand name. Google does not have enough information about the brand. Maybe the Japanese Google has more?

Anyways, personally I find this tea mild in taste compared to sencha and matcha. It has also a sweet and nutty taste. I think genmaicha would be the perfect tea for the first time green tea drinkers because of the subtle taste of tea.

This pack of tea comes in 20 teabags perfect for people like me who are always on the go or for those who does not have teapots. Brewing time is just 30 seconds in 84 degrees C water. You can find this on Ebay too, I think. If not ask the store owners who sells Japanese products. If you are living in Norway, you can find genmaicha in the tea shops.



The box.


Instructions in Japanese. Of course.


Not much waiting. Only half a minute!

Trapped Inside

I never thought that a time would come that I would fear for my life. This was a new phenomenon to me. Should I seek help from the people around me or just pretend that I’m a brave woman?

Deep inside I was shouting for help. I thought that I’d drown in my own thoughts. Thank goodness it’s just in the mind. However, it has already taken my energy, a portion of my sanity and it has already left an invisible scar on me.

Sometimes I succeed in concealing my fears but most of the time I get caught by people close to me and when I tell them what is making me anxious or what is making me tremble, they would answer me with “why is that?” and laugh at the same time. Some told me that it’s only a product of overthinking and imagination.

As days went by, I started to isolate myself from the world. I hated the things that triggered my panic attacks. One of which is taking the express bus. I know it sounds ridiculous. Fear of taking the bus? Actually it’s not the bus that is the issue, but it is the thought that I don’t have control over the bus. Whenever I sat on the bus, it feels like I was sitting on a roller coaster.

My confidence went from a 100% to a 10%. I didn’t trust myself anymore and I started thinking that emotions made me weak. My health condition was not good either. The gastrointestinal problem that I had before came back because I was stressed by the thought of my panic attacks coming back. I was anxious about being afraid and what would happen if I lost control over something.

I went to a therapist because I wanted to put an end to this nightmare. I was sick and tired of negativity. To make the story short I got better. The therapist told me that my anxiousness was a phase in my life. My mind was on its defence mode because of the sad happenings that I experienced in my life lately and stress from work made it worse. So her advice is to go out and never allow fear and depression stop you from living your life. Being afraid is normal because it is our body’s way of warning us of dangers but it is up to us on how we are going to respond to the situation.

If you’re going to ask me how am I today, I’m absolutely better. I still have some of the irrational fears but I don’t get panic attacks anymore. I guess that my healthier lifestyle (which includes a balance diet, exercise, water and proper supplements) today is helping my mind to cope better with the negativity coming into my life. I also learned something from myself too that no matter how intimidating or nerve-racking the situation is, quiting is not in my vocabulary.


This post is my response to The Daily Post Daily Prompt Challenge, Panic.