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Life’s Journey

What an incredible last couple of weeks.   We dropped off both my son and daughter to college in the same weekend so I am now officially an “empty nester,” we got hit by Hurricane Irene which has left our area without power for 5 days-no cable (TV, internet and phone), no power and tremendously weak cell service ( I cannot lie though, I have a generator which has been God sent so I do have power), and I have gotten a rash of employee health concerns coming my way…it is times like this that I just try and sit back and take a deep breath.

It is ironic, you work hard to do the right thing and keep your path moving forward but you just have to know that it is going to curve and bend when you least expect it.  You have one choice really and that is to accept the changes and adjust accordingly.

As I passed the wonderful 50 year old milestone last year, I have realized that there is very little we can “control.”  I need to appreciate all the positive moments that come my way and just hold on during the tougher times.  I need to appreciate all the good around me, like Bigelow Tea.  I just had the opportunity to send out the annual recap to the employees as well as share our expectations for this new fiscal year that just began and it was all very good news.  That is such a blessing.  The fact my children are now in the next chapter in their lives and growing everyday into more and more beautiful young adults is also a blessing.

So….did our state (and the surrounding states) get hammered by Irene?  Is my house now so much more quiet without both children?  And do I have some real concerns for the health and well being of people that I truly care about? The answer is yes but that is part of the journey we are all on.  A journey with many bends in the road, but nevertheless, a wonderful journey to be on. Breathe…..

Cindi Bigelow

 

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If High Cholesterol Is Getting You Down Cheer Up With Bigelow Green Tea

As you may have surmised by now, green tea is one of our favorite tea varieties here at Bigelow Tea. Not only does green tea contain healthy antioxidants and an average of only 25-50 mg caffeine per serving, but at Bigelow Tea it comes in so many delightfully delicious flavors like Mango and Constant Comment! That’s why we couldn’t stop smiling when we read recently that the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported: “drinking green can lower serum levels of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.”

The researchers found that green tea consumption was associated with “significant[ly] lower mean (average) concentrations of total and LDL cholesterol, respectively, compared with controls.” A total of 1136 individuals were included in the study, and follow-up periods ranged from 3 weeks to 3 months. The study also stated: “These results suggest that green tea may be incorporated into a targeted dietary program as part of public health policy to improve [cardiovascular] health.”

Many of us struggle with high cholesterol, and it’s exciting to see studies finding that the elements in green tea could have an impact on this serious health concern—and on cardiovascular health in general. We hope you’ll make green tea a part of your healthy lifestyle too. So, what are you waiting for? Brew up a cup of your favorite flavor and enjoy it with a low-fat breakfast before your morning walk. Your body will thank you!

Image by sigusr0 via Flickr.com

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Herbal Tea Is Hot And Bigelow Tea Is Pleased!

Herbal teas have been an important part of the Bigelow Tea line up for decades; now we read that drinking herb tea is becoming even more of a hot trend – partly inspired by celebrities! As we’ve reported in the past, stars like Jennifer Aniston and Geri Halliwell love their herbal tea, and with the notoriety that they provide, now even more celebrity watchers are giving herb tea a try!

In addition, according to UK tea expert Fiona Robinson, more and more people are cutting back on alcohol and replacing it with tea. Customers, she said, “Are reaching for a cup of green tea or jasmine tea instead of a G&T.” From fruit and berry flavors—like Red Raspberry—to blends that promote health—like Cranberry & Ginseng Herb Plus—people are enjoying herbal teas for both their great taste and healthful qualities. It’s all good!

So we’re happy to see herbal tea continuing to move up in popularity. And in case you’re notone of those replacing your occasional alcoholic-beverage with tea, might we suggest a Bigelow Tea cocktail that gives you a little of both? Our “I Love Lemon® Gin Fizz” is a perfect “end of summer” beverage, giving us a traditional Gin Fizz with a nice Bigelow Tea lemony twist! We think you’ll even feel like a celebrity sipping one of these…enjoy!

I Love Lemon® Gin Fizz


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A Letter From My Grandmother, Ruth Campbell Bigelow

I recently ran across this letter that my grandmother must have written back in 1945.  It brought tears to my eyes….it is a beautiful story that is truly the foundation of why Bigelow Tea is around today…I hope you will agree.  Cindi Bigelow

The sale I never forgot:

BECAUSE MAMA MOVED THE PONY STABLE

I was trying to establish a market for a new product…one that was unusual, unknown, and unbacked by a large advertising budget.  And I was trying to do it alone.

The product was “Constant Comment” Tea.  The market was non-existent.

For days I had called on retail stores in the area.  The owners’ answers were discouragingly similar.  They would smile and say, “But Mrs. Bigelow, we can’t handle a product which has no demand.  Build the demand; then we’ll handle the product.”

Then I would smile and say, “But how can I build the demand if there is no store where customers can purchase it?”

They would shrug…and I would shrug…mentally I would ring up another “No Sale.”

That night I returned home exhausted, discouraged, apprehensive.

I had given up a successful decorating business in New York, moved to the country and invested nearly every penny in this product I had called “Constant Comment.”  Had I done the right thing?

The product, I knew, was good.  I had complete faith in it.  The public, I was sure, would find it as delightful as I did.  But did I have strength and ability to sell both dealers and consumers?  At that moment I thought not.

Later that evening my sister telephoned.  I poured out my fears and doubts to her.  She listened, offered some suggestions, and as she hung up, she said – “And remember, Ruth, Mama moved the pony stable.”

I returned to the living room and conjured up that event in my young family life.  We children had a wonderful white Welsh pony named Bottoms.  Bottoms lived happily in a little stable just big enough to hold him, his cart, his sleigh and his food.  It was a very pretty stable – painted white, with hand-hewn beams and a shingled roof.  And it had a tiny hay mow that was a constant delight to my brother, my sister and myself.

One day my father announced that we were moving – from East Provident to The Hill.  As the conversation progressed it became apparent that, while Bottoms would make the move with us, his stable would not.

We children were extremely upset…Bottoms would never be happy, we were sure, in any other home.  Finally to placate us Mama said, “The stable will go too.”  Papa was appalled; he said flatly that it couldn’t be done, and dismissed the subject.

The next day Mama placed an order for a low, sturdy wagon.  When it was complete, she rented four draft horses, hired six workmen.  Bottom’s stable was levered onto the wagon, and we began our parade across Providence.  (And it was a parade – buildings were not moved with so little fanfare in those days).

Away we went…four patient draft horses in the front, followed by six doubtful and embarrassed men steadying the stable.  Next came a bemused Bottoms, following his home and pulling his cart, which held Mama and us children.  And behind us came a trail of well-wishers, advice-givers and hecklers.

Papa couldn’t be found that day.  Later he explained, “How could I, as a school principal, maintain any discipline in my school if I were associated with a scene like that?”  But even without Papa we made our way through traffic, around corners, up the back, less steep roads of The Hill to our new home.

That night we children slept in a strange new house – but Bottoms had his own familiar stable.

As I relived these scenes, the significance of my sister’s comments came to me.  If you really wanted to do something badly enough…you could.

I can’t say that I went out the next day and sold a million cases of tea.  But in those first months, when the going was really rough, I could say to myself, “Mama moved the pony stable.”  And I could find within myself the courage and the ingenuity to continue building the business that meant so much to me.

MORAL:  Your biggest sale is made when you have sold yourself on your
rightness and your ability.

– Written by Ruth Campbell Bigelow, 1945

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Pack Some Bigelow Tea, In Case Of Emergency!

It’s always prudent to prepare for an emergency, especially when we’re out and about, traveling, or trying to get through another hectic work day.  So, what do we women carry in our purses for that “just in case” moment?  Sure, we typically pack our wallet, tissues, toiletries and reading glasses. But what about a packet or two of your favorite Bigelow TeaNothing is more relaxing (and healthy) than a flavorful cup.

At Bigelow Tea we can’t even fathom an emergency kit that doesn’t also contain essential packets of tea!  By the way, if you don’t carry a purse … you can buy or design your own little tea bag wallet, which fits perfectly in any pocket! There’s no excuse to be found tea-less again!

So, Bigelow Tea is curious to know:

Photo (second) via Etsy.com.

Note added 8/26 5pm:  when we first scheduled this post, it was prior to the announcement of Hurricane Irene hitting the Northeast coast.  While the topic is timely we want to make sure that you take care of all essentials first with the highest priority being yourselves and your families.  Stay safe!  #Irene

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Back To College With Bigelow Tea By Your Side!

Here’s some of what we at Bigelow Tea know about college students: they study hard, they love parties, they always bring laundry home … and they also adore tea! Whether it’s a morning pick-me-up or a night-time study “helper,” a mug of tea is a common sight on college campuses.

That’s great news, because tea, particularly green teahas been reported to have benefits that range from boosting energy to increasing endurance. Moreover, a steamy mug can both warm up college kids on cool mornings and keep them cozy at night. And, to top it all off, tea is just plain delicious!

One college student, Kate, recently blogged all about tea, and concluded that “tea is really a perfect fixture in the life of a college student.” Well said Kate, we couldn’t agree more!

So, if you’re packing your child off to college soon, don’t forget to tuck a few boxes of Bigelow Tea—like Green Tea Chai and Pomegranate black tea—into their boxes or crates. Not only will it make your student feel better, but it will make him or her think of “home” and how much you care. Awwww. What could be better?

Image by LoopZilla via Flickr.com


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No Water, No Tea! Water Conservation Tips from Bigelow Tea

Imagine a world without … tea?  Perish the thought!  Bigelow Tea wants you to never, ever worry about that, so we all know what we need to do:  conserve water.  Water is one of the world’s most precious natural resources, if not the most precious of all.

Conservation in general is not just an ideal anymore, it’s a reality and we’re all on board. As a global community, we are learning to live a greener life and our collective motto has become: reduce, re-use, and recycle.  Yet even with the increasing occurrences of droughts around the world and the dangers of toxins in our rivers and streams, we still sometimes take water for granted. The simple truth is that water safety is high up on the world’s list of conservation concerns.

With that in mind, Bigelow Tea would like to share some water conservation tips with you so that we may all practice Sustainabili-TEA together!

 

Outdoors

  • Hydro-zone your landscape.  Group your plants, trees and shrubs together, according to their watering needs.
  • Mulch reduces evaporation in the soil, so mulch, mulch and mulch again!
  • Concrete doesn’t need to be watered, so water your plants, not your pathways!
  • Place a rain barrel or two in your garden.  Collect rain and re-use it when you irrigate your yard.

Indoors

  • Try to take more (quick) showers than baths.
  • Don’t leave the tap running (i.e. while brushing your teeth).
  • Use old water from your tea kettle to water your house plants!

If you have any nifty water conservation tips to share with us, we’d love to hear from you!

Photo via Theshinybaz.blogspot.com



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Bigelow Tea and Disney Share A Passion For Tea Parties!

The Disney fans at Bigelow Tea were fascinated by some of the wonderfully creative touches that folks at The Walt Disney Family Museum put together at the museum’s first Mad Hatter tea party.  Not surprisingly, we love tea parties, and the Alice and Wonderland theme made it all the better!

The Queen of Hearts (played by Donna Tuggle, the museum’s Director of Visitor Experience and Interpretation) set the tone of the party by announcing:

“It will be my party, as the Mad Hatter has disappeared—and all he has left is his hat!”

members-only event, this Very Merry Unbirthday Tea Party wowed kids and adults alike as they watched a whimsical Wonderland costume parade during which a cornucopia of Alices, White Rabbits and Mad Hatters all mischievously tried to remove the Queen of Hearts from her throne (although unsuccessfully)!

And what is a tea party without nibbles and tea? Food and drink were available in abundance, starting with the Unbirthday cake itself alongside delectable cookies that read “Eat me” and tantalizing bottles with the tempting words “Drink me.”  Fit for a Queen, the fanciful feast also included scones, finger sandwiches, petit fours, tarts and, oh yes, cupcakes galore!

We hope this party inspires you to have your own wonderful Wonderland tea party. One thing’s for certain: the Walt Disney Family Museum is an enchanting place to visit!

And now, we must go, as “we’re late, we’re late… for a very important date!” Tea time of course!

Images 1 and 2 via Disneypartyblog.com, Image 3 via A-mad-tea-party-with-alis.blogspot.com.

 

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Bigelow Tea For Sharing, Nourishing and Sustaining Friendships

Lifelong friendships are something to cherish, and Bigelow Tea knows that drinking tea together makes even the closest friendships stronger. There’s something special about taking a few moments out of the day to sit with someone special and share a warm, calming cup of tea.

Consider, for example, the enduring friendship of Eleanor Brown and Catherine Rea, which was chronicled recently in a UK-based newspaper. The two women, both of whom are now 96 years old, moved into the same neighborhood on the same day, back in 1950. Eleanor describes their first meeting in the article:

I had moved in that morning and Catherine arrived a little bit later,” she recalls.

The first thing I said was: ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’

“I made her one and then I said: ‘We’ll soon get our little houses together, won’t we?

They’ve been “bosom buddies” ever since! In fact, after both suffering serious falls this year, they even moved into the same elder-care home.

Sharing a cup of tea was the beginning of this beautiful friendship. It truly warms our hearts here at Bigelow Tea to think that there are many friends like Eleanor and Catherine out there … friends who share tea like Chamomile and Earl Grey as they share their lives with one another. Tea for two is certainly a special thing indeed!

Image by Wonderlane via Flickr.com

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Bigelow Green Tea For The Taste – And the Polyphenols!

There is a tea for every taste, but if you’re most interested in tea’s reported health benefits, remember that you can alwaysgo for the green! And it’s a bonus that Bigelow Tea’s many green tea varieties taste so delicious, too!

The latest research suggests that it’s the high levels of naturally occurring polyphenols in green tea that make it such a great choice for your health. Here at Bigelow Tea, you know that we’ve been avid followers of polyphenols studies on our blog. Scientists are interested in polyphenols because they act as antioxidants in the body, scavenging for free radicals that can damage cells. Researchers at the University of Maryland say free radicals are linked to heart disease and general aging of the body.

Although polyphenols are also present in black tea and Oolong tea, green tea has the highest concentration. And green tea contains a type of polyphenols called catechins; scientists at the University of Geneva have found a link between catechins and raised fat oxidation in the body – meaning that green tea polyphenols may temporarily increase metabolism of body fat!

But back to the flavor… if you’ve never tasted our green tea, give it a try! Bigelow Tea’s green tea has distinctive toasty notes that set it apart from all others. Some people prefer the delicate flavor as is, but it pairs wonderfully with other flavors, such as MintPomegranateMango or Wild Blueberry & Acai. Or try your favorite Bigelow Tea classics – like Constant Comment or Earl Grey – in their green tea versions.

Go ahead, your body and your taste buds will thank you!

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