Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Tea

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As usual Santa brought lots of tea  – it’s nice when people know what you like – no toe socks or drudge gifts.  Hubby gave me a Kindle Fire and I’m loving it.

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Nana has been enjoying playing tea party with my little granddaughter today.  This photo shows her washing up after our tea party.  Can’t wait to take her to her first tea room visit – maybe when she turns three in May.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

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May your Christmas be blessed with peace and happiness.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Madison Tea Room and Garden

What better way to enjoy a Christmas visit with a friend than at a lovely tea room that I’ve never visited before.  I set out Wednesday morning to drive to the historic district of Madison, GA and meet Angela (Tea With Friends) for our 11:30 tea time.

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As soon as I drove into a parking space right in front, I knew this would be a lovely afternoon tea.  The outside was decorated for the Christmas season.

PC195056The inside was light and airy and packed with beautiful tea ware, Christmas floral arrangements and gift selections.

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The tables with matching Christmas pattern china were lovely – they were set for a large party meeting in the back area of the tea room.  It was obvious that the proprietress, Kathi Russell, has been collecting wonderful tea cups for many years.

 

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Angela and I ordered the Queen Victoria London Tea, which is a traditional English style afternoon tea.

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The food was delicious with a selection of sandwiches, including chicken salad, cucumber, egg salad, turkey and a tasty mini quiche.  The scones were cranberry and the sweets included a selection of cakes (the lemon square was a favorite).  We were offered the house blend tea that was a fruity currant black tea.

PC195082There was an artful arrangement of gorgeous hats to try on and Kathi graciously offered to snap a photo of Angela and I in our finery.

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We enjoyed a leisurely visit (we never felt rushed and knew we were welcome to sit as long as we wished), then we shopped for some nice tea items.  We both bought a copy of the book “Tea Celebrations” from Teatime Magazine.

Although this tea room is not close to where I live, it was worth the trip and I hope to visit again soon.

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Thank you Kathi Russell – you really do provide a place to “relax and enjoy yourself in the art of civilized  pleasure and taking time for tea”. 

You can see more at Tea With Friends and Madison Tea Room and Garden.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Teatime Fleece Throw

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Last time I was at a Jo-Ann craft store, I saw a display of fleece throws in many different patterns.  I was not looking for a throw, but luckily this one jumped out at me.

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This comes as a kit with a patterned front panel and a solid coordinating color for the back.  I loved the pink and white stripes with a solid pink back.  The idea is to cut 7 inch strips around the outside of the two pieces and then tie them together to make a fringe.  I decided that this pattern was so cute that I’d sew the throw together and not lose any of the pattern (plus it would seem larger).

My kit looked like it had been dropped and had a slightly soiled area (plus a rip in the cardboard packaging), so I was able to negotiate a bargain price of $8.25 for this originally $32.99 kit.

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Has anyone else noticed that these tea theme items always seem to pop up when you are shopping for someone else.  I’ve come across several great tea items while Christmas shopping.  PC145043

These lovely Christmas cards were purchased at Ross.  There are nine in each design.  If you check Amazon’s web site under Punch Studio you will find many other beautiful cards, notepads, etc. with teacups or teapots using Victorian ephemera designs.

I can’t believe that I’m not yet finished my Christmas shopping but, on the bright side – I may come across some more lovely bargain tea gifts for me

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sewing Seeds Christmas Party

My sewing group (the Sewing Seeds Quilting Bee) had their Christmas party last evening.  Of course the first thing we did once the six of us had assembled, was to dig in to a wonderful spread of finger foods and desserts.

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There was such a large selection, it was hard to decide what to put on your plate first.

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This is a sampling of the desserts.  There was also fruit, caramel popcorn and hot spiced and Tower of London teas.  My contribution was the cranberry scones with lemon curd and a pecan cheesecake pie.

We played a couple of fun Christmas word games and then we had our “stuff a mug” and drawn name gift exchange.

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Emalynn had drawn my name earlier this year and boy does she know what I like.  She sewed me a lovely table topper with four matching napkins.  She even made the napkin rings decorated with greenery and little teapots and cups.

PC074967Couldn’t wait to use this set for a cozy tea for two.

My “stuff a mug” gift was from Joyce, who happens to be the first friend I made when we moved to this town many years ago. 

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She included lots of goodies in this pretty Christmas mug.  I love the Clinique “chubby stick” lip balm that I’d never tried before and all the other items, including a cute bag that she sewed with a unique snap close opening.

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This is one talented group of sewers.  There were gorgeous tote bags and casserole carriers and other great items. 

Well, the holiday season is in full swing now.  I have our church party tonight and a company party on Saturday.  Hope you are all enjoying your parties too.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Southern Living Idea House

My friend Lynn and I decided to visit the Southern Living Idea House in Senoia, GA this past Wednesday and I’m so glad we did.  We both came away from this historic farmhouse renovation with lots of design and Christmas d├ęcor ideas. 

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The new wrap around porch was lovely with an eating area and a cozy swing.

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There were lots of different styles ranging from contemporary to rustic country. 

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There were pretty Christmas table settings.  I liked the square wreaths in the windows and the very simple pine cones and candy canes decorating each plate.  The designers made good use of fresh greenery, pinecones, silk flowers and glass ornaments.

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There was great use of space with lots of shelving and several storage pieces that I would really love to have in my own home.

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This house would be wonderful for entertaining.  The totally screened in porch with pull down screens that can be raised when not needed and the backyard fire pit area were outstanding.

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There were four bedrooms with decor ranging from modern luxury to down home country style.

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There is so much to see that I can’t begin to cover it in a blog post.  You can always visit this Historic Farmhouse Renovation online – it’s well worth the time.

PB284938I know that I’ll be using some of the Christmas decorating ideas that were presented and filing away some great renovation plans for later. 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mini Scone Pan

I’ve always made scones by patting the dough into a circle and then cutting it into wedges to be placed on the baking sheet, or in my case onto a baking stone.  I felt it might be time to try something new, so I picked up a Nordic Ware Mini Scone Pan at TJ Maxx.

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It seems like 16 smaller scones would be nice for entertaining, rather than the much larger scones that I usually bake.

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My first batch in the new pan was dried cranberry scones – quite plain and not too sweet.

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The dough is quite sticky and it was challenging to get it divided evenly between the 16 sections and spread into the corners.  Does anyone have any tips to make this step easier?

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Some of the scones were thinner than the others, but they did release from the pan very easily.

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You can see how nicely browned the bottom and the sides of these scones came out.

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I’d say that this baking pan is worth having and I’m looking forward to baking more scones in it and also cornbread triangles to enjoy with soup or stew.  Do any of you use one of these scone pans and  do you like it?

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

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For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Keep Calm and Make Tea

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This cute tea bag holder was a recent TJ Maxx find.  It came in a pack of two and unfortunately there were only two packages left.  I snapped those up - one to add to my collection and three to attach to Christmas gift bags).  These “tea bag tidy” sets are made by Creative Tops - Bright Ideas for Creative Living.  There is a lovely website here. 

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The tea bag holders are a nice match for the cheerful mugs (also by Creative Tops) that I purchased at TJ Maxx a while ago.  I believe the mugs also came in white with red lettering.  

PB164885The tea bag holders are a generous size, with large, flat centers and can be used for coasters as well.

 

 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Frozen Tea Treat

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On a recent grocery run to Kroger I found this So Delicious Green Tea frozen dessert.  I liked the fact that it is made with coconut milk and soy free.

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A half cup serving is only 130 calories - it is sweetened with organic agave syrup and not overly sweet.  It contains green tea powder and I found that the delicious green tea flavor really stands out.

PB034884One day I may try making homemade green tea ice cream with Matcha powder, but until then this is a nice alternative.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Williamson English Breakfast Tea

Williamson tea is grown on farms in the highlands of Kenya.  These company farms are all Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certified.

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I’d never tried this brand of tea, but when I came across one of their elephant tins (containing English Breakfast tea bags) at TJ Maxx, I couldn’t resist.

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You can order a limited selection of elephant tins online at Amazon for around $20.  There are many other lovely tins on the Williamson website. 

PA164882I’d like to try their Lifeboat tea.  A portion of each sale goes to RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) to help save lives at sea.  This sounds like a robust black, single estate tea that I’d enjoy.

The 40 English Breakfast teabags in the tin are packaged in an airtight silver bag.  The tea is “rich and refreshing” according to the package and I agree – perfect for my morning cuppa.

I hope to add more of these unique tins to my tea tin collection, starting with the Jubilee tea.

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