Monday, November 30, 2009

No Golf at World Golf Village

We arrived home last evening after an 8 1/2 hr drive home from St. Augustine, FL.  The extra time in the car was well worth it to avoid the horrendous truck traffic and insane drivers who traverse hwy 75.  For much of the trip we had the road all to ourselves.  The only drawback was the total absence of good restaurants and gas station restrooms.  You definitely want to avoid that extra cup of tea before getting in the car and maybe pack yourself a picnic lunch.

We stayed at the Grande Villas at World Golf Village.  Our one bedroom villa had all the amenities and a lovely view from our second floor balcony.  The kitchens are well equipped, which was handy since we cooked all our meals, including a nice turkey dinner on Thursday. 


Our building was right next to the entrance to the Village.  I always enjoy the Walk of Champions, a circular brick paved walkway with the names and signatures of Hall of Fame members written in the stones.


It surrounds a small lake stocked with large fish that we enjoyed feeding.  We had perfect walking weather, cool enough for a light jacket.  Not great swimming weather, although the gorgeous pool was heated.  My grandson did brave the cool air a couple of times to go for a swim.

PB261056It is rather hard to see, but this shows a picture of Bob Hope who is featured in a special exhibit called “Bob Hope:  Shanks for the Memory”.   I just love that title.  There are more than 400 items, 300 vintage images and two hours of video that chronicle his life and love of golf.

PB261062When I said no golf at the Village, I was referring to the fact that the only golf any of us play is the miniature kind.  Here is my younger daughter taking her shot, hampered by mom’s shadow – she still managed a couple of hole in ones.  For real golfers there are lessons at the PGA Tour Golf Academy at the Village and a Challenge Hole and Fame Putting Course at the World Golf Hall of Fame. 

Just 15 miles south of our resort was St. Augustine, founded in 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles.  My hubby and grandson enjoyed visiting Castillo de San Marcos which is constructed of coquina (a shell-rock formation).  There are lots of museums, historical buildings, shopping, a winery, helicopter tours, trolley tours, interesting eateries, parks, etc. for those who like a busy vacation.

PB271064 There was a  loose tea and spice shop in the Old Town (Spice & Tea Exchange), as well as a Parisian style restaurant called Bistro de Leon that served tea and pastries in the afternoon.

PB271065So, if you are ever heading down the Atlantic coast of FL, it’s fun to plan a stop at the oldest continuously settled city in the nation.  St. Augustine will celebrate its 450th anniversary in 2015, a good year to plan a visit.       


Monday, November 23, 2009

Martha Stewart Estate Tea Sampler

On a recent trip to BJ’s I came across this boxed tea gift set by Martha Stewart.

PB231036 The box contains three tins of loose tea – Estate Earl Grey, Estate Green and Golden Assam Rare Exquisite Black.   There is also a tea book called Tea 101 and a tea infuser.

PB231037 Since my daughter bought this as a Christmas gift and whisked it away to be wrapped up, I will have to wait till later to review the tea and book.

I’m off tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving in St. Augustine, FL and won’t be around to read your posts or to post on my blog for at least a week.  I’ll miss you all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tea Bag Holders

Since I had to make a trip to one of my local quilt shops this morning, I thought I’d stop in at the Goodwill thrift store nearby.  I found several books I liked for $1.50-$2.50 each.  One is a clip art book with CD.  My tea find was this black metal holder with four cute tea bag holders.

PB181024 The stand has a little teapot shape at the top.

PB181023I like the cheerful look of these tea bag holders.


I could only find one set like this online and there was no information included.

PB181027There was a small chip on one holder, but hey, for $4.54 for the set I can live with it.  If anyone knows what company the CB stands for, please let me know. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tea Sandwiches

Tea sandwiches tend to be pretty to start with, since they are usually cut in smaller dainty shapes and have the crusts removed.


You can give them an added touch of elegance by buttering the edges and dipping them into chopped dill, chives, parsley, or lavender.  If the filling is sweet, such as cream cheese with fruit, try dipping the edges in finely chopped nuts.

One of my favorite tea sandwiches is basil poached pear with gorgonzola on pumpernickel bread.  This is on the menu at the Grand Floridian, but I don’t have the recipe.  Here is a similar one from Recipe Zaar.  I also like the more traditional sandwiches such as cucumber, egg salad or smoked salmon.

I prefer to make salmon spread, instead of smoked salmon sandwiches.  It’s an easy and delicious recipe.  I have made this for several functions and a lot of people say they have never tried it and are only familiar with tuna salad.  If you haven’t tried this sandwich filling – here is the recipe.

1  (15 ½ oz) can red salmon (you can use pink, but the filling will not look as pretty) 
½ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1  tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup mayonnaise  (I use Miracle Whip light)
salt and pepper to taste.

Remove bones  from salmon if desired, and mash salmon with a fork.  Add celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice.  Mix well and fold in the mayonnaise.  Season with salt and pepper.   Makes 2 cups.  I like to use a layer  of wheat and a layer of white bread in each sandwich. 

If you would like a really good recipe book, try Tastefully Small:  Finger Sandwiches  by Kim Hendrickson.  It includes sandwiches that are cut with a knife,  or rolled, pressed, cutout, open faced, stacked, kid friendly and more.  There are many unusual fillings and presentation ideas.

So, what’s your favorite tea sandwich? 



Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Hearts & Homes

The Holiday Hearts and Homes event this past Saturday was such a fun event and a successful fundraiser for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  Our speaker, Mr. Lane Owings, gave a very interesting talk on his volunteer mission work in Cuba.

We enjoyed breakfast and lunch with a choice of three craft workshops in between.  There were nine workshops to choose from, including quilting, snowman candle holder, pinecone and ribbon garland, Christmas card holder tree and more.  My workshop was card making – a Christmas card and a gift card (or teabag) holder.

After our crafting sessions, we gathered for lunch.  Several ladies volunteered to decorate a table.  There were many lovely Christmas centerpieces.  In all the hustle and bustle, I didn’t manage to take many photos.

PB140985My table had a Scottie dog theme in red, green and gold.  The angle in this shot is not great, but you can see the plates on gold chargers, one of the two Scotties, the green teapots and the white pillar candles on black metal stands.  The cloth was a sparkly gold lame type fabric – much prettier than it looks here.  The black favor bags contained a box of tea, Mary Englebreit teapot magnet and chocolate truffles.  There were Christmas crackers at each place – not the kind you eat, but the kind you pop – filled with a paper hat, riddle and toy.

PB140987I found the Scottie dog figurines at the new Hobby Lobby that just opened in my neighborhood. 

PB140988They were cute little fellas with their festive bow collars.

PB140995There were quite a few lovely floral centerpieces.  I really like the amaryllis flowers in this one. 

PB140997This one with plaid ribbon and sugared and gilded fruit was very pretty.

PB141000  This traditional arrangement with poinsettias and red candles is lovely.

PB141004This table featured a china nativity set displayed on a cloud of lace.PB140993There was a group of cheerful snowmen.

PB141003The jolly old elf himself was there too.  Isn’t this an adorable cookie jar?

Each lady went home with three handcrafted items, a door prize, a little book of poems, recipes, etc. and the joy of helping missionaries to reach others with the true message of Christmas, the birth of Jesus and His ultimate gift.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Giveaway Winner

The winner of my first giveaway, celebrating 100 posts, is Marlena of Tea For Today.

Congratulations, Marlena.    

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Table Centerpiece

Saturday is our Holiday Hearts and Homes event at church and I volunteered to decorate one of the tables, as well as do a card workshop.  I wasn’t sure what to do for a centerpiece, but then I found this cake stand at BJ’s.

PB090989It is bright and cheerful, but what I loved about this cake stand, besides the $9.99 price, was the way it can do double duty as a chip and dip plate.  PB090990

I love the polka dots on the flip side and the bowl is nice and deep.  This piece also comes in solid white for year round use.

PB090991 Then I found this wreath to add to the cake plate.

PB090992I filled a crystal compote with mints and a pillar candle.  Of course I had to unwrap them all and add quite a few more than shown here.

PB090993I thought that it looked quite nice and a good size and height for the round table.  I’ll post pictures of the finished tablescape, as well as some of the others.

Monday, November 9, 2009

100 Posts Giveaway

How did it get so late so soon?  It’s night before it’s afternoon.  December is here before it’s June.  My goodness how the time has flown.  How did it get so late so soon?
-  Dr. Seuss

Even with my sporadic posting schedule, I’ve reached 100 blog posts already.  It has been an enjoyable experience and I feel like I’ve made some new friends.  I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite posters, Angela McRae, in person.  Her Tea With Friends was the first of many blogs I now follow.

To celebrate all the fun I’ve had reading your comments and your blogs, I’m having a little giveaway.

PB090985I’m sure any tea enthusiast will enjoy Gail Greco’s book Tea-Time Journeys.  It is filled with lots of traditional and unusual recipes, such as Glazed Lemon Herbal Tea Bread, Sugarplum Scones and English Toffee Shortbread with Chocolate Frosting.

All you sewers and crafters will appreciate the new book Home Sweet Sewn by Alice Butcher & Ginny Farquhar.  I really like the vintage look felted wool tea cozy on the cover.

I’ve also included a “sensuali*tea” notepad.  Aw come on, you all knew that taking tea can be romantic, didn’t you. 

So leave me a comment before 6 pm on Friday November 13th and I’ll throw your name in the hat.  I’ll announce a winner soon after that.  



Friday, November 6, 2009

I Used To Paint

One of my favorite blogs Delights of the Heart mentioned pulling out some paints and it made me think about how I used to enjoy painting many years ago.  Seems like the only painting I do these days is the odd tag or scrapbook accent.

When I was attending Sheraton College, my interior design curriculum included drafting and watercolor painting.  A few years before that I took a tole painting class through the Parks & Recreation Dept of my hometown. 

P7130715This bread board was my first tole painting effort.


Next I painted a bunny basket with daffodils for Easter.  I also painted several small Christmas ornaments before losing interest and going on to other things.

I’d like to take up watercolor painting again, but I’m not likely to get back into the tole painting on wood.  I know many of you are very creative and I’d like to know if you have also tried painting.

One of my favorite artists who has combined her love of tea and painting is Sandy Lynam Clough.  She has illustrated many books and her work is featured on china, giftware, etc.   One such book is If Teacups Could Talk by Emilie Barnes.   

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Tea Tree Treat

Today, I treated myself to my first new tea tree ornament of 2009.

PB050983 I have always liked Wedgwood jasperware, but didn’t think that it would ever be affordable.

PB050984This miniature teacup is perfect for my tabletop Christmas tea tree.

PB050987This ornament was the last one on the shelf at my local Tuesday Morning store.  I’m looking forward to putting up my tree and unpacking all my treasured miniature cups, teapots, spoons, trays, etc.  

Meanwhile, I’d better get back to preparations for the workshop and the tea table that I’m doing at our church Holiday Hearts and Homes event.  The holiday busyness has started already. 


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