As winter drags on here in Colorado it can make one a little anxious. Here are some things to help pass the time and entertain! Have you ever had a ‘blooming tea’? This is a centuries old form of art from China. Put this small bundle of hand tied tea leaves into a clear glass teapot. After you pour hot water over the tea it begins to unfurl to reveal a secret flower hidden inside. The flowers inside vary from jasmine, chrysanthemum, globe amaranth flower, osmanthus, and others. These are wonderfully entertaining to watch and beautiful, inexpensive entertainment for yourself and children. And of course you are aware of the many health benefits of green tea both internally and topically. Do a google search for blooming teas and you’ll be surprised how many sites there are and they are not expensive.

Also, although I have not read the original research on this; here is a link to a news article that says green tea can inhibit the H1N1 virus! Drink up.

Nuts are a great wintertime treat and often given as gifts during the Holiday season. I love trying to crack the walnuts open while trying to keep the halves perfectly in tact. There are many crafts you can do with walnut shell halves. If you put a cotton ball in there you have a small fairy bed. You can cut tiny paper ears and glue a yarn tail on to make a tiny mouse. But my favorite is to make candle boats to float in a bowl. Just use birthday candles, drip a little wax from them in the bottom of the walnut half to stabilize them and carefully set in the water. In this picture I have also floated some rose petals. Have each person in the household make a boat and see which one lasts the longest if you are competitive. But do enjoy the candlelight given off from your boats. And eat those walnuts, they contain omega 3 fatty acids that are good for your skin, heart and your brain!

Do you have fun activities you like to do in your house to while the cold winter away?