Friday Favorites: Builder’s Tea, Dash & Lily

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have recently finished proofing my YA fantasy, Out of Time, and it is now officially published. And what a lot of work that was! Lucky for me that as I was proofing, I had something to give me a little pep, a recommendation from my blogging friend at Tangly Cottage Gardening Journal. That something was Builder’s tea, which bills itself as a full-flavored “cuppa.”

Yes, it is. I can only let a bag steep for two-and-a-half minutes rather than the customary five. But after all, Britain wasn’t built on chamomile, and I suspect few writers are fueled by chamomile as they labor and toil on their books. (A fun coincidence: Chamomile tea plays a major role in my new book, Out of Time.)

By the time I was coming down the homestretch with proofing, I was gulping down Builder’s the way a lost traveler in the desert would gulp water at an oasis.

Recently I confessed that I have begun putting up my Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, a sort of no-no in the United States. Well, I have another confession: I have started watching Christmas movies and specials, too. I know, I know:Talk about jumping the season. But I can’t seem to help myself. For the most part, Clif is a pretty good sport about my holiday-movie obsession, but my kids are starting to wonder if some kind of intervention is necessary.

However, because of my early viewing, I am able to make recommendations to those who need a little holiday cheer. And this Friday that honor goes to the Netflix limited series Dash & Lily, a sweet, charming Christmas Rom-com that will became an annual tradition in our house.Now, it must be said that the premise of most, if not all, holiday shows requires a willing suspension of disbelief, not a problem for someone like me who reads and writes fantasy novels. In short, these are not plots that will stand up to nitpicking. And so it is with Dash & Lily, the tale of two lonely teenagers in New York City who start a romance via a red notebook—left by Lily—that Dash finds at the fabulous, wonderful Strand bookstore that calls to me like a beacon whenever I visit the city. (Eighteen miles of books? Holy cats!)

Dash is a cynical teenager who has been hurt by his parents’ divorce and by a former girlfriend who has left the city. Lily is a creative book nerd who feels out of step with kids her own age. (Did I identify with Lily? You bet I did.) For different reasons, both Lily and Dash are adrift at Christmas.

Most of the episodes involve Lily and Dash, without ever meeting, leaving clues and tasks for each other via the red notebook. But through the course of the series we see that Lily and Dash are kindred spirits, and gosh darn it, we sure do root for them.

As an added bonus, New York City is gorgeous during the holidays, and in Dash & Lily, Christmas time in the city has never looked so beautiful.

So if you want a little holiday cheer during these gloomy times, do watch Dash & Lily. I guarantee you will be smiling by the end.

For more joy and small pleasures, check out the blog Thistles and Kiwis.


50 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Builder’s Tea, Dash & Lily”

  1. With Christmas only 35 days away, I don’t think you are jumping the gun. With a variable date for T-day, it’s only a month thereafter to Christmas. Spread the joy! ❀

  2. Congratulations Laurie! And this post made me smile. My daughter-in-law, in Alaska, has been “sneaking” Christmas decor into the house (my son is not observant obviously) and she’s calling it the Secret Santa Operation. She sends me videos when she puts up new things. I say celebrate whenever you want! The movies are always feel-good and boy, do we all need it this year! Thank you for sharing the series. Stay blessed!

  3. Congratulations! I enjoyed the post, made me want some tea. I haven’t brewed tea in awhile so I may just do that in a bit. I don’t have Netflix so I can’t see the movie. The movies that are showing right now I have seen so many times I almost know every word they are going to say before they say it. lol I may decorate some but not for awhile yet. Enjoy those decorations and movies.

  4. Hi, Laurie – This post is a great example of why I faithfully follow your blog. Builder’s Tea? I definitely learned something new here. And early Christmas Cheer (I could definitely use some of that right now). Most importantly, you are an incredible inspiration. Congratulations on all of your hard work on Out of Time!!

  5. I think you should celebrate Christmas whenever you feel the spirit. I had a friend you kept his tree up all year behind a screen in the family room, and he pulled it out and turned on the lights whenever he needed a pick-me-up, even if it was the middle of July.

  6. Even though I love Christmas, I love the four weeks of Advent, too. I tend to keep the decorations to a minimum during Advent, partly because I don’t take things down until Epiphany. But this year? There are times for special dispensations, and if this year isn’t one of those times, I don’t know what would be!

    For several years I’ve been a laggard, and haven’t written the post I have in mind about my own favorite Christmas movie. This might be the year to get it done. In the meantime, I’ll check out your recommendation.

  7. I can say that Chamomile is one of my least favorite teas. But to celebrate this post, I’m now in the mood for a cup of something … but which will I choose? Hmmmmm ….

  8. I didn’t realise it was a no-no to start Christmas early …. I always assumed that with the prep for Thanksgiving, one just didn’t have the time & space to do Christmas till after then!

  9. Builders tea – had to laugh! Should be served with milk and two sugars

    Thanks for the mention! That movie sounds like a Sunday afternoon curl up on the sofa type of thing.

  10. My mouth waters at the thought of tasting your Builder’s Tea! I enjoy strong tea much more than chamomile, for example. Congratulations too on completing and publishing your book after what sounds like a really hard push!

  11. I think it is a great idea to begin decorating for Christmas…this is such a time of celebrating with family and friends and a time of hope for the New Year…. SO important this year.πŸ’•

  12. Oh I love Christmas shows…I will definitely check out Dash & Lily, but I too have an unspoken rule for myself about waiting for December…not sure I’ll make it this year πŸ€”

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