Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tea Bag or Gift Card Folder

I have been working on a couple of simple paper crafts for a ladies day at church.  I’m planning on a couple of items that can be made in an hour or less.


These little folders are easy to make and can be customized to hold a tea bag or a gift card.




I also want to make a full size Christmas card that will be easy to put together from the kits I’ll make up.  At least I have another month to work on ideas for these projects.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

30th Anniversary Celebration

My younger daughter blessed us with an anniversary party this past Saturday.  Over thirty people came by her home to celebrate with us.  She did a wonderful job with the food and party decorations – everyone enjoyed themselves.


Most people know that 25 years is the silver anniversary and 50 years is the golden anniversary.  The thirtieth anniversary is pearls and I’m wearing several faux strands that were part of the party theme, along with lots of pearlized balloons, streamers, confetti, etc.

Although the party itself was not a surprise, Cynthia did manage to arrange one for us.  The night before the party I answered the door to find two of my brothers and my sister-in-law who had driven all the way from Canada to celebrate with us (a two day drive).  It had  been two years since I’d seen my eldest brother and his wife and over eight years for my middle brother.  What a fantastic surprise!  Sadly they had to leave on Sunday morning.

I’m so proud of Cynthia.  She managed to put this party together while working full time and going to school nights and weekends to get her four year degree.  Each time I offered to help with the preparations, she said that it was her gift and she wanted to do it herself.  All you moms know how hard it is to just stand back and observe.

I will treasure these special memories always. 


Friday, September 25, 2009

Chai tea

American sales of chai jumped $46 million between 1999 and 2002 and I can see why.  A hot cup of chai is a wonderful warming drink for fall.  There are many recipes each containing some mix of milk, black tea, and spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, pepper, and ginger.

Chai tea spices

One of my favorite tea books is Tea Party by Tracy Stern.


There are 20 themed tea parties, with lots of recipes and tips on decorating, party favors, etc.  I have made the chai tea with milk and honey and the granola recipes from the Chai Breakfast section many times.


It is fun to try different chai recipes, but if you don’t want to make your own there are plenty of options.  You can buy chai spice loose tea and tea bags from companies such as Adagio, or premixed chai in cartons from companies like Oregon Chai.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Grand Floridian Breakfast

We thought it would be fun to have breakfast at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort on our anniversary.


It is a Disney flagship resort and is in a grand Victorian style.  The gardens and lagoon are beautiful.    Afternoon tea is served in Park Fare off the grand lobby.  I posted about afternoon tea there with my daughter and her friend last September.

This was a character breakfast and there was plenty of opportunity for photos with Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Pooh and Tiger.  Christian had his autograph book signed by them all.


Of course I had to talk tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter.  Alice was cute, petite and fit the part perfectly.  Can you tell by Christian’s expression that he is thinking “this is too girly”.


The Mad Hatter had quite the nose and was a very jovial fellow.  He also looked a little “mad” – I guess too many unbirthday teas will do that to you.


The breakfast fare was great - so many choices.  I enjoyed the omelet station and had the chef make me a cheese and veggie one.  They had delicious bread pudding with warm vanilla sauce (I’d love to get their recipe) and just about every breakfast food you could think of.


They had a professional photographer to take portraits (wish I had a scanner).  The server gave us a signed and dated certificate which was a nice touch.



Before we left the resort, I had to check out the gift shops for any tea things they might have.  All I found was an Alice cup and saucer


and some English Breakfast tea.


It was a lovely morning and we were ready for a refreshing swim by the time we returned to the resort.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Florida Vacation

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.  - Leonardo DaVinci


The abundance of beautiful lakes, plants and birds in Florida is always such a pleasant surprise,  and especially in a busy central location like Orlando.


It is so nice to take the time to relax and really appreciate the  surroundings –  to come home and not need a vacation from your vacation.


We spent most days enjoying the many amenities of Oasis Lakes At The Fountains resort.  The beautiful swimming pools, our spacious balcony overlooking Lake Eve and the many paved walking paths were wonderful.  There were 54 acres to explore.  The resort had many organized children's activities for Christian and even some for Don and I, like merengue dance class.  Some were family oriented like a game night (Deal Or No Deal) and Bingo.


You can see what a lovely view we had from our third floor balcony, even though this photo was taken through screen.  This view of one of the pools was from the side and the lake at the right was in front of us.  The lake view could also be enjoyed from the living room since a wall of sliding glass faced the lake.

We enjoyed our character breakfast at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort on our anniversary.  I’ll share my tea purchases and photos later.  Our first visit to a Bahama Breeze restaurant was also nice – great seafood paella and tostones (fried plantains topped with chicken, sweet peppers, mushrooms, onions, cheese and fresh salsa – unusual but yummy).



I’d definitely recommend this resort as a pleasant place to get away and I hope to stay there again next time we visit Orlando.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Anniversary Trip

Sunny Morning Ladies Breakfast Tea

It’s time once again for our anniversary trip.  We usually drive to Florida and celebrate in Orlando on the 15th.  Don and I have been married for thirty years.  We plan to have the special character breakfast at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort on our anniversary.  Christian has his autograph book all ready.  Of course I’ll try to fit an afternoon tea into the trip, and be on the lookout for new tea things.

You probably won’t see a post from me for at least a week.  I’ll miss you all.  Won’t I be busy when I return trying to read all that I’ve missed on your blogs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weekend Sewing

Friday morning I received a phone call from my friend Pam.  She told me that she had the day off and would I like to visit the tearoom in Barnesville.  Yes!  We had a lovely lunch and then drove back to her home where she invited me to bring my partly finished quilt top to her sewing room. 

She searched her stash until she found the perfect black fabric for the borders and then she cut the 6 l/2 inch borders.  Oops – not quite long enough.  No problem, I’ll add corner blocks.

Thankfully, I had enough tea theme fabric left to cut four corner blocks.  Hubby worked on Saturday afternoon, so I got busy and sewed the borders on.  The quilt top is done.  Now, I just need to find backing and binding fabric and Pam will show me how to use her professional quilting machine to do the quilting. 


It looks like I may actually finish a quilt in the near future, thanks to Pam’s help and encouragement.


I know, this is a weird angle, but it’s not easy trying to stand on a step stool and snap a photo.   The pretty fabric with the large blue  cups and china was the gift from Pam that started me on this project.  I was fortunate to have the Mary Engelbreit teapot fabric in my stash.  


Saturday, September 5, 2009


Nothing complements a nice cup of tea like a warm and fragrant madeleine cake. They are not too sweet and have a lovely delicate texture.



2/3 cup superfine sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of salt
1¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

- preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter 24 madeleine molds
- in medium bowl beat the sugar, whole eggs, egg yolk, lemon juice and salt at low speed till well blended
- fold in the flour
- slowly add the melted butter and stir to blend
- spoon the batter into the molds, filling no more than 2/3 full
- bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes or until just golden
- unmold and cool on wire racks
- sprinkle with icing sugar

Madeleine molds are available at Amazon and Sur la Table online and at many cookware stores.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Holly Cottage Tearoom

What could be better than tea with a friend at a brand new tearoom.  Yesterday Angela from Tea With Friends met me at 8 Savannah Street in Newnan, GA to take tea at the newly opened Holly Cottage Tearoom.

P9020798 Of course, I arrived early for opening day and was given a nice tour of the tearoom by the owners Mum.  She pointed out some of the Bronte pictures,  vintage style clothing and other accessories.

P9020805The servers were two lovely young ladies, Rachel and Michelle (the owners daughter) who were dressed in pretty and more importantly, appropriate English tearoom style.

P9020800  Our traditional afternoon tea was served on a three tier tray and included delicious sandwiches, Cornish pasties, scones, lovely cakes, tarts, fruit and truffles.  Everything was fresh and delicious.

P9020813We enjoyed our tea and conversation for over two hours.  I joked that I had to wear a hat because of a bad hair day, but the truth is I just like hats.  Angela looked lovely in her embroidered top and tea themed jewelry.

P9020812 It is so refreshing to visit a tearoom that takes it’s tea seriously.  The tea menu features some excellent choices and their signature Yorkshire tea was very good.


This tearoom has a lot to offer besides a traditional afternoon tea experience.  They have a lunch menu with items such as Panini sandwiches and there is a meeting room which can accommodate up to 25 guests.  It is equipped with DVD and power point media for business meetings.


I really liked this tearoom and although it is an hour drive from my home, I plan to return soon to enjoy another delightful meal at chef Linda Rivers new establishment.  You can find more info here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tea Bag Wrappers

I like to save tea bag wrappers for craft projects. You never know when these small pieces of paper will come in handy.P9010797 This morning I needed a thank you card in a hurry, so I grabbed my bag of wrappers and five minutes later I had a little card.


My friend Angela at Tea With Friends, has made some fabulous things using tea bag wrappers, including a covered clip board, flowers and a wonderful teatime wall hanging that was published in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.

So don’t just toss those wrappers, get creative with them.

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