Sunday Morning Brew: Jeju Island Peppermint & Lemongrass with Dried Lemon

L’infusion du dimanche matin: menthe poivrée et citronnelle de l’île de Jeju au citron séché

I know it probably sounds odd to some people to put dried lemon and lemongrass together. Yet, for me, dried lemon and lemongrass have distinctive scents. I quite like them together.

Je sais que cela semble probablement étrange à certaines personnes de mettre du citron séché et de la citronnelle ensemble. Pourtant, pour moi, le citron séché et la citronnelle ont des parfums distinctifs. Je les aime bien ensemble.

Step 1: Put the kettle on. Add one piece of dried lemon and a sachet of pepermint and lemongrass blend.

Étape 1: Allumez la bouilloire. Ajoutez un morceau de citron séché et un sachet de mélange de menthe poivrée et de citronnelle.

Step 2: Add hot water and watch the dried lemon as it softens. Small bubbles may form.

Étape 2: Ajoutez de l’eau chaude. Regardez le citron séché se ramollir. Il pourrait y avoir de petites bulles.

Step 3. Quickly drain your first cup.

Étape 3. Égouttez rapidement pour votre première tasse.

Step 4. Repeat a few more times, each time waiting a little longer. Enjoy!

Étape 4. Répétez encore quelques fois. Attendre un peu plus à chaque fois. Amusez-vous!

The first place I want to go once I get out of quarantine

Le premier endroit où je veux aller lorsque la quarantaine se termine.

It’s day 7 of mandatory quarantine. I have no idea what cabin fever translates to in French but coping with it is slowly getting to me. Today I cleaned the closet and deleted all old blog posts from before the quarantine because looking at them was triggering. When I get out of here I am going to go visit the field near Hayeri Art Valley with all the colorful pinwheels. This old photo makes me remember the good old days when you could go out and feel the wind in your face.

C’est le jour 7 de la quarantaine obligatoire. Je ne sais pas comment traduire ‘cabin fever’ en français. Quel que soit son nom, y me rend lentement fou. Aujourd’hui, j’ai nettoyé le placard et supprimé tous les anciens blog posts avant de quarantine parce que les lire me faisait me sentir déprimé. Quand je sors d’ici, je vais aller visiter le champ près de Hayeri Art Valley où se trouvent tous les moulins à vent colorés. Cette vieille photo me rappelle le bon vieux temps où nous pouvions sortir et sentir le vent sur notre visage.

Madewell Bag Comparison: Zip-Top Transport Tote vs. Abroad Tote

Comparaison des sacs Madewell: Zip-Top Transport Tote et Abroad Tote

I got my Abroad Tote in this dark red color a little over a year ago after debating whether to get the Transport Tote instead. At the time, they didn’t have a zippered version of the original Transport Tote available. So I chose the Abroad Tote which is zippered even though I liked the Transport Tote better in terms of its esthetic and sheer size. However, the Transport Tote was always on the back of my mind as the ideal carry-all bag..if only it was more secure! When the zip-top version came on the market I ordered it without much hesitation.

J’ai acheté mon Abroad Tote en rouge il y a plus d’un an après je me demandais si je doit acheter le Transport Tote au lieu. A l’époque, il n’y a pas de version du Transport Tote avec fermeture éclair qui disponible. J’ai donc choisi le Abroad qui a une fermeture éclair. C’était malgré ma préférence pour le Transport Tote en termes d’esthétique et de taille. Mais, j’ai continué à penser le Transport Tote même le sac idéal pour porter tout…si seulement c’était plus de sécurité! Quand le version avec une fermeture éclair est devienne disponible, je l’ai acheté sans de hesitation.

I’m writing this post now that I’ve used both bags long enough as daily bags to be able to compare them so that anyone who is debating between the two can benefit from my personal experience. I remember how useful I found posts like this when I was researching the bags myself!

J’écris cette post parce que j’ai leur utilisé suffisamment comme mes sacs quotidiens et je peux leur compare. C’est pour que d’autres personnes puissent bénéficier de mon expérience que je partage, si elles comparent entre les deux sacs. Je me souviens que j’ai également trouvé des articles comme celui-ci utiles lorsque je recherchais moi-même les deux sacs!

The shoulder strap of the Abroad Tote has a slightly longer drop compared to the Zip-Top Transport Tote but I haven’t found the difference to be bothersome at all. I’m rather on the petite side, being 153 cm (5’0”) tall with short arms, so the shorter strap of the Zip-Top Transport Tote allows me to rummage around the bottom of the bag when it’s sitting on my shoulder just as easily as the Abroad Tote even though it’s a deeper bag. No issues to note for the Abroad Tote.

Other than the obvious difference in size and shape, the most notable difference between the two is the type of leather. Even though the thickness of the leather is pretty much the same, the Zip-Top Transport Tote is softer to the touch and more malleable than the Abroad Tote. The Abroad tote can stand up right on it’s own even if it’s not filled whereas the Zip-Top Transport Tote folds and slouches depending on how much stuff it contains. If you prefer a more structured bag with stiffer leather, the Abroad Tote is the one for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a more casual bag than consider the Zip-Top Transport Tote instead. The wear and tear on exterior of both bags have been great. I have some scratches here and there but nothing major.

Both bags are essentially bottom-less pits like all totes with one interior pocket. However, the pocket in the Zip-Top Transport Tote has a zipper while the Abroad Tote doesn’t. So, even if you keep your Zip-Top Transport Tote open like a regular Transport Tote, the added security of an interior pocket with a zipper is a plus.

The interior of both bags are unlined. Therefore, if you don’t like the look and feel of raw leather interior, neither bag would be to your taste. I quite like how the raw leather gets scratched and gains ‘character’, and I remember the story behind the major ones, but this may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Both bags darkened over time but they are different colors so I don’t think I can compare them exactly. However, I should mention that my Zip-Top Transport Tote gained more ‘shine’ over time whereas I didn’t notice the same for my Abroad Tote. I’m not sure if this is due to the different dye (or lack thereof) or leather treatment method, but something you should note before purchasing them.

Here is the view from the top looking in. I took the Zip-Top Transport Tote outside to photograph but still couldn’t get a clear shot of the bottom, that’s how deep it is! They both can hold your entire world (believe me, I’m a working-mom with two kids and both bags serve as work/diaper bag for me), including a laptop computer. The opening at the top for both bags are pretty much the same in terms of how wide they open. However, if you put a 13” MacBook in the Abroad Tote, it will bulge a little on the side at the very bottom because of its tapered shape while, with the Zip-Top Transport Tote, you couldn’t even tell a laptop computer was in there…along with diapers, bottles, baby wipes, wallets, documents, makeup pouches, keys, etc.

They both can get a bit heavy if you fill to the brim. However, this is to be expected since they are made of leather. (If you prefer lighter bags, you should check out the Longchamp Le Pilage series. I have one in purple color and it’s my go-to bag when I travel with kids. The Le Pilage tend to wear and tear more, though.) I’ve found that the Zip-Top Transport Tote can morph into weird shapes depending what’s inside and I’m not sure what long-term effect this will have on the integrity of the bag if I load it with odd things more frequently.

Finally, since they are similarly priced, if you want more leather for your buck then the Zip-Top Transport Tote is the one for you. However, the Abroad Tote is more versatile in the sense that it’s both casual and structured at the same time and is still appropriate for some work places (unless you work in a very formal or strictly corporate environment in which case you may need a more formal bag). So some people may get more use out of the Abroad Tote and get more bang for your buck in terms of cost per wear.

I hope this helps. Thanks for reading.