Jul. 7 2015

Welcome To ‘Mel Had Tea’

Hi friends. Thanks for reading. I’ve changed a few things around here.

What’s New?

  • I’m now self-hosted and running WordPress. I did some tech-lifting and coded/switched everything over by myself!
  • My URL is now melhadtea.com. People usually recognized me by my synonymous Twitter/Instagram handle anyway, so I thought it made sense to brand the site so everything matched. There’s also a little tea mug I drew in the logo now. Yay!
  • There’s a Facebook Page. This is a whole new thing for me!
  • Re-Designed Layout
  • Cleaned up post categories. There was a mess of categories from old iterations of my site. I’m still working on sweeping up some of the debris, but I’ve introduced a whole new category system, which I think gives a better impression of where I want the site to go.

What’s Coming?

  • Tea Shirts! I’m designing a line of tea and travel-related shirts for purchase. I’ve ordered some testers and will let you know a soon as they’re available!
  • The Great North American Road Trip. My guy and I are setting out from Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 1st, and plan to make it to Vancouver Island and back by the first week of September. The summer of the road trip I always dreamed about.
  • Tales from J-School. I’m not sure what to expect from journalism school, but I’m sure I’ll be all over the Maritimes covering interesting stories starting in the Fall.
  • More Posts! I’ve got about 1,513 ideas (That’s the note count on my Evernote ‘Post Ideas’ Notebook). And I’ve got 22 almost ready to go (The count on my ‘Post Drafts’ Notebook).

Some Growing Pains: When I was moving my site to WordPress, I just could not get the old Disqus comments to appear on my posts over here. I tried everything recommended on Disqus’ site, but nothing worked. So for now none of my old comments are displaying. I do have them saved to an XML file on my desktop, and I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out how to get them up, but if you don’t see your old comments, that’s why.

Thanks again for keeping up with me. I look forward to more travels and getting to write and have discussions about tea, travel, life, photography, and philosophy.

Now, the fun:


To celebrate the new design I wanted to send a surprise present to one reader.

I’m not 100% sure yet what the contents will be, but I plan to put together something special while I’m visiting San Francisco and Portland over the next two weeks. In addition to one giveaway surprise there are also be two consolation prizes.

How To Enter: Just leave a comment below! Please make sure to include your name and email address in the comments form so that I can email you to let you know you’ve won. I’ll be drawing names from a hat, so your comment doesn’t have to be long or fancy to win. The deadline to will be  9am Pacific on July 14th.

p.s. Did you say Portland and San Francisco?

Yes! I’ll be on the Pacific Coast from July 8th until July 22nd. I’m going for World Domination Summit in Portland. I have rented a car to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, where I’ll be staying another week. Tea drinking spots, the Californian Redwood Forest, and Big Sur are on my list, but if you have any good suggestions for stuff to do in and around Portland or the Bay Area, please leave them in the comments below!


Winners Have Been Picked! I was having a lot of fun shopping for souvenirs on the Pacific Coast, so I decided to double all the winners.

Two Giveaway Surprises:

  • Brenda Linstead
  • Denise

Four Consolation Prizes:

  • Kristine R
  • Bonnie McGrath
  • Mel MacCoubrey
  • Jackie Kidd

Names were picked using a random name generator online. I had to enter all the names manually though, so if anyone has any insight as to a better way to take entries for future giveaways, I’m open to suggestions.

Thanks, everyone for playing! I’ll reach out to the winners to get their addresses for present fulfillment. πŸ™‚


Bon voyage !!! Enjoy the Pacific Coast !!! πŸ™‚

Thanks Jennefer! I start driving tomorrow. I think I walked about 100km these past few days in Portland, so hopefully my body will enjoy sitting during the drive. Podcasts are key.

Hey Mel,
This is my first time on your blog. I’m looking forward to hear all about your travel experiences. I’ll be heading to Vancouver for a week in August for my first time , any tea recommendations for while I’m there?

Hi Sara! Sorry for the delayed reply. Somehow this got caught in my spam filter (might have been the Dal email address, but who knows!). I’ll be going to Vancouver for the first time myself in August, and will be hitting up a lot of tea spots. So far, the Urban Tea Merchant and The Granville Island Tea Company have been recommended to me. As for my personal recommendations, none yet! But check back in September. If YOU find any great places, please let me know! I’d love to check them out and write about them. πŸ™‚

ARRRRRIBBBBAAAAA leaving a comment because I want free stuff. That’s it. Nothing else. Definitely not to support you at all. JUST FOR FREE STUFF! πŸ˜‰ <3 p.s. this blog is beyond good. I feel like I could sit down with a morning tea and scroll through your articles.

Bahaha! You’re the best. Somehow this got caught in my spam filter and I’m just finding it today (note to self: check spam filter more often) and obviously you are not spam! (You are much tastier than Spam). However! That being said, I already have some free presents to bring to you when Rob and I come to see you in Victoria in August, so I don’t feel as bad. πŸ˜‰ You are going to love them! And thanks babe. I just want to sit down with a cup of tea and work and write on it forever. Looks like I’m in the right (write) business. Har har, puns. ;- )

Love your website! I read your post about Bloghouse before this and would love to participate next year. Thanks for sharing! You definitely gained a new reader πŸ™‚

Happy travels!

Thanks Lauren! Definitely apply. It’s an awesome experience with awesome people!

I am looking forward to reading about your travels! Have fun!!!

Thanks Maria! I feel bad we haven’t had another table tennis match since that one night. It’s been too busy, but maybe when I return and before Rob and I take off for our North American trip, it would be nice to grab a beer!

Yay I love it! (I’m also super happy that you have a blog Facebook page, so I don’t miss anything haha!). World Domination Summit sounds fun (as does the road trip… I’m pretty jealous!). Can’t wait to hear your tales from J-School either!

Thanks Katie. I was slow on the uptake when it comes to Facebook pages! At least I’m finally figuring it out. Starting the Pacific Coast drive tomorrow; a bit nervous about the long drive, but here’s to the spirit of adventure! It’s good to know that if I somehow get terribly lost, I can always curl up in a Wal Mart parking lot. Ahhhhhh, America.

Love the site Mel, way to go and enjoy the Journey!

Thanks Jeff! Trying to live as vicariously as possible. Possibly a bit crazy, but hey, comes with the territory.

Looking forward to keeping up with your adventures πŸ™‚

Thanks Claire! I’ll keep living vicariously through your flute exploits.

Looking forward to keeping up with your adventures πŸ™‚

Thanks Claire! I’ll live vicariously through your fluting. Have fun at Boxwood!

They’re doing window construction in my apartment, so I had no internet for three days. It came back just in time to see your new website on the day!
It’s so great <3. Looks really awesome.

Haha, thanks. I hope you got super windows! Be seeing you in a few weeks. ^_^ We’ll be pulling into Ottawa from August 3-5th!

Hope you have a good trip and I will look forward to hearing about all your adventures on your blog!
I always enjoy your posts.

Thanks Bonnie! πŸ™‚

This is great! Can’t wait to read about all your exciting adventures! xx

At this particular moment in time I am really enthusiastic about reading you blog. Historically, however, I have been really bad at following up on that kind of enthusiasm, so this might be the last you ever hear from me.

Still, woo! for now. We’ll deal with later when we get there.

Haha, thanks. I appreciate your honest self-awareness. πŸ˜‰

New website looks great! I’m sure a ton of time and effort went into it πŸ™‚ while out on the west coast make sure to try and hug a redwood! That was the highlight of my BC trip. Also looking forward to your Tea Shirts. Safe travels!!

Thanks Sair! I will definitely be hugging a lot of trees, and probably wishing I had longer arms. πŸ™‚

Brenda linstead

Hi Mel, enjoy your trip and be safe on your journey.

Thanks Brenda. πŸ™‚

Website looks great Mel! Very jealous of all your road tripping! Super keen for a tea shirt when they are ready! If you ever make it to Melbourne, I promise I’ll have a cup of tea waiting for you πŸ˜‰

Hey Jess! I’ll let you know when they’re hot off the press. Also, if/when I make it to Melbourne I’ll definitely call you up for that tea! Thanks. πŸ™‚

ps. Can it be a tea party with puppets?

Looks so awesome Mel! Stoked to follow your new stuff!

Thanks David! You’ll probably be a Youtube famous vlogger soon… remember me when you’re big.

Sheila Boutilier

On your way through Ontario, make sure you both plan to stop for the night here. We have a beautiful setting and I love tea.

That sounds all good! I’ll make sure Rob’s got it on the list. πŸ™‚

I love your new website Mel. What a great adventure you are undertaking! I wish you all the best.

Thanks Jackie! Sometimes it feels a little crazy, but that’s part of the adventure. πŸ™‚

Hooray! Lovely to see the new site up and running — I was sorely missing your wonderful book-a-week reviews. Terribly excited to follow your adventures (and live vicariously through your travel exploits, of course!)

Me too! I’m back on track now and will be posting them weekly again. (Also: I went to a place in Portland called Powell’s City of Books and it was like bibliophile nirvana. Seriously. If you ever come to Portland, this is where you gotta go).

Natalie Cormier

Have a great trip. Be safe. Explore. Enjoy.

Thanks Natalie. πŸ™‚

Woo! Go Mel!

Have fun this summer and safe travels! I’ll be following along!

I’m doin’ it!

But I’m doin’ it!

I can’t wait to live vicariously through your travel adventures Mel!


Thanks Jenn! I’m going to try to live extra vicariously.

Congrats on the new blog and safe travels!

Thanks Kristine!

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