Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas


Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat;
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha'penny then God bless you!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tea Party toy


There are lots of tea party toys on the market this season, but since my daughter said she preferred educational toys, I thought this would be welcome.  Of course, Nana is always happy to give a gift with a tea party theme.  Amazon has this Leap Frog Musical Rainbow Tea Party for a good price.


I can’t wait to enjoy this toy with my little Santa’s Elf grandbaby.  ☺ 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Cross-Stitch Teapot

Last spring I posted about a Transferware Teapot pattern that I asked hubby to stitch for me.  When I picked up the November/December issue of Just CrossStitch magazine for a stocking stuffer, I saw another pattern (last in the six part series) that I hope he will make for me.


The pattern designer is Donna Giampa and the teapot features a beautiful pair of cardinals with a pretty holly border.


How about you – do you stitch Christmas cards or special Holiday pictures for your home?  Or like me, does someone stitch them for you? 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Wilkes House in Savannah, GA


On a recent trip to Savannah I enjoyed lunch at the The Wilkes House  for the first time.  Now I can’t wait to go back.  If you enjoy Southern style food including wonderful fried chicken, cornbread dressing, sweet potato soufflé, black eyed peas, okra gumbo, creamed corn, biscuits and so much more, then you’ll love Mrs. Wilkes dining room. 

From their website: “Boardinghouse Ruminations

Most Southern towns used to boast a boardinghouse where you could find a simple, quiet room and a communal dining room that offered at least two hearty meals a day. Boardinghouse food was de rigueur daily fare for locals, among them young, working class laborers, schoolteachers, bankers, washerwomen and middle-class merchants alike.

In 1943, a young Sema Wilkes took over a boardinghouse in historic downtown Savannah. Her goal was modest: to make a living by offering comfortable lodging and homestyle Southern cooking served family style in the downstairs dining room. Mrs. Wilkes picked up where the previous proprietor left off, cultivating relationships with nearby farmers who dug sweet potatoes for her in the fall and shelled whippoorwhill peas in the summer.”

This lunch served as our Thanksgiving dinner, since we were travelling the next day.  They don’t take reservations, so we lined up outside around 11:30.  It was very cold that day, but we persevered and waited about an hour before we got in.  It was fun talking to other tourists waiting in line and, as it turned out, well worth the wait. 

IMG_0739Our table was loaded with dishes, at least two dozen bowls.  It really was next to impossible to try everything.  There was something for everyone.  If you don’t like fried chicken (gasp!) there was stew, sausage & rice or pulled pork.


My plate was filled with delicious fried chicken, cabbage, mashed potatoes & gravy, mac & cheese, okra gumbo, cucumbers and collard greens.  There was banana pudding and cherry cobbler for dessert.

We’ll be back in Savannah next summer and I plan on being in line for lunch at The Wilkes House.  ☺ 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Books and Magazines

At this time of year I’m always tempted to add a few more favorites to my burgeoning collection of Christmas books and magazines. 


I’ve been enjoying the Taste of Home magazine lately, so when I saw this Taste of Home Christmas book on Amazon for a good price, I ordered it for my collection.  There are several recipes I want to try (honey barbequed wings, Tijuana tidbits, candied cherry nut bars and several others).  The Winter Wonderland Coasters are a cute craft and they should be a great conversation starter made with old family Christmas photos.


My Christmas book collection includes Gooseberry Patch Christmas books 1-14 (this year’s issue #15 is on my wish list) and some special issues like the recent addition shown above.

This contains so many great projects like vintage handkerchief pillows, dish towel apron, cute wrapping and wreath ideas and lots of recipes. 

IMG_0704The November/December issue of Southern Lady magazine is full of elegant décor and entertaining ideas, plus luscious recipes and travel features. 


Tea Time magazine is a one of my favorite subscription magazines and their November/December 2013 issue is lovely.  I like their recipes with tea sommelier food and tea pairings.  I’m looking forward to baking the cinnamon-date scones from this issue.


King Arthur Flour catalog is a great free Christmas idea and recipe source.  I’d like to order some Espresso Powder and Vermont Cheese Powder from King Arthur, as well as try their recipe for Cheddar-Cranberry Soda Bread.  If you’re looking for scone baking pans and mixes – they have them.

Do you like to pick up holiday books and magazines too?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tea Party Napkin Folding

These pretty napkin folds would be perfect for a holiday tea party.

I’m going to start practicing my favorites now, so I’ll be ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas tablescapes.  How about you – do you use any of these special napkin folds?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Floating Tea Strainer

Check out this interesting tea strainer on CubeMe


This looks like it would be fun and mess free to use.  Also easy to clean and nice for travel. It comes in lots of cute colors (blue, yellow, pink, lavender) and is available on Amazon (a little pricey at $15.68).  It is also available at tea shops such as Two Leaves Tea Company and others.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tea Quote

antique tea set

Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whist the wind and rain are raging audibly without.

Thomas De Quincey

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Looks Hair Salon - Fall Hair & Fashion Show

What a lovely warm fall day to enjoy an outdoor fall hair and fashion show at Mayor’s Walk in Locust Grove, GA.

Looks Hair Salon did the hair (gorgeous shades of red) and makeup for the models.  Fashions were provided by Dress Barn. 

IMG_0670I arrived early (as always ☺) and enjoyed a latte from the French Market while I waited for the show to begin.

IMG_0674 Loved the animal print skirt and ankle boots.  This was one of my favorite haircuts.


Great look for the business woman.


What a pretty color sweater – looks nice with the short leather jacket.


Really like this warm weather look.  Great neutral colors.


Pretty casual look – nice boots and scarf.  The shorter hair cut and red color look great on her.


Her hair cut, color and style is pretty and the casual warm weather outfit nice too.

IMG_0688 Cute short cut and I like this color of red hair.


Another great casual look.  This models long hair with red highlights was delightful.  That super big handbag is just what I need.


Love the grey and black color blocked dress and grey pumps.


This was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.  Looks Salon provided goodie bags with coupons and store info.  I’ll be getting my hair cut at Looks Salon next week.  I think I’ll also be checking out the fashions at Dress Barn soon too.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween


How about sipping a cup of Happy Halloween blend tea (black tea, cloves, ginger root, cardamom pods, cocoa nibs, orange peel and more) from Adagio Teas on fright night? 

Munching a yummy piece of pumpkin bread with the tea, while hubby hands out the loot to the trick or treaters, sounds lovely too.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

National Oatmeal Day

Every day is oatmeal day for me during the fall and winter.  I happen to really like it and that’s a good thing since it is said to reduce cholesterol.  My Doctor even told me that “he’d kill for a cholesterol level like mine”, so maybe it works!  ☺


Apple-Cinnamon Tea Oatmeal 

For one serving:

3 pinches of ground tea leaves (any kind you like)

1 tablespoon chopped almonds

1/4 cup of chopped apples

ground cinnamon

Prepare the oatmeal as per package directions.  Add the dry tea and top with the almonds and apples.  Dust with cinnamon.

This recipe is from the book “The Ultimate Tea Diet” by Mark Ukra.  You can check it out here.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Finally, there is a word to describe the growing problem of people paying more attention to their cell phone than to other people. 

Obviously, many people find phubbing to be very annoying.  Now a small group (meeting at the Sydney University in Australia) have coined this new word and it has made its way into legitimacy by being added to the Macquarie dictionary and into common usage.

My experience with phubbing is mostly through family members, but I would now politely ask a friend or acquaintance to stop phubbing me if the need arose.  What about you - how do you deal with this 21st century phenomenon?

There is even a stop phubbing campaign that has gained a lot of media attention.


Let’s hope that phubbing has not crept into and spoiled your enjoyment of afternoon tea time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tea Horse

Recently, I received some tea samples from Tea Horse in the UK.  My selection included Darjeeling 1st Flush Margaret’s Hope, Sencha Fukujyu and G & T Blend. 


Since I’m a lifetime black tea lover, I tried the Darjeeling first.  I eased up on the water temp (suggested 95 degrees C) and steeped for three minutes.  I’m used to drinking my black tea with milk and find that without it my throat is irritated).  Since the label said “ideal to enjoy without milk” I gave it a try.  What a pleasant surprise.  The tea was smooth and delicious without milk.  This Darjeeling is a very enjoyable cup of tea. 

Since I recently purchased a hot or cold tea jug, I decided to put it to use by making iced Sencha Fukujyu (Japan’s most popular steamed green tea).  Following the label directions I let boiled water cool for five minutes and then brewed the tea for one minute.  I added a little honey and then poured the tea into my ice filled jug.  It was not overly grassy and certainly not bitter.  The flavor was lovely, even with such a short steep.  I steeped the leaves for a second pot with equally tasty results.


The third tea, G & T Blend (shown above) is quite different to anything I’ve tried.  It is made with Sencha, but also includes juniper berries, coriander seed, cardamom, angelica root and lemon peel for a gin inspired flavor.  I’m not finished tasting this one yet and I think I need to crush the berries more next time before infusing the tea.

IMG_0652Tea Horse included a recipe card for a G & Iced Tea drink.  This sounds very refreshing and I think I’ll give it a try.

You can visit their tea shop to find taster boxes, accessories and more and they also have a blog.       


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Love Aruba

It really was “One Happy Island”.  We just returned from the island of Aruba.  What a great place!  Beautiful people, beaches, fun snorkeling and sunset cruise excursions and a bunch of excellent restaurants.



We stayed at La Cabana Beach and Racquet Club and found this resort to be perfect for us.  It was right across the road from gorgeous Eagle Beach.  We had a splendid view of the resort and beach from our balcony and the unit was equipped with a kitchen (very handy).



This small Caribbean island looks tropical, but has large dessert like areas, although the resorts all boast lots of palm trees, grass and flowering shrubs.  


We had a blast on the Jolly Pirates morning snorkel tour and would definitely do that again next time and there will be a “next time soon, I hope.  I even took a turn on the Pirate rope swing – twice.


 One of our favorite snorkeling spots was off the west coast at Arashi Beach with shallow water, excellent visibility and lots of colorful fish.  Baby Beach on the southeast coast was also fun and you might even catch a lobster for dinner there.


These little black and yellow striped fish were my favorite.  They would come within inches of your snorkel mask almost posing for you.  There were also schools of little silver fish that would actually nibble your fingers and toes if you stayed still.


We had several memorable meals, including a romantic anniversary dinner at Passions on the Beach.  (I want one of their color changing cone lights that they used on the tables.) ☺  One of my favorite lunches was at Zee Rover in Savaneta, a place we found after talking to some of the locals.  It is a combination fish market and casual pier restaurant.  You tell the server how much you want of the fish of the day or shrimp, etc.  and she weighs it, puts it in a basket and sends it off to the cook.  We were fortunate to have Mahi Mahi as the catch of the day.  First time I’ve ever had whole cooked shrimp too (snapping the heads off was a little disconcerting, but well worth the effort).  ☺



A lot of places served mashed sweet potatoes with the entrees – very good and we liked the chimichurri sauce that was served with the steak.

After visiting Aruba, it’s not hard to see why so many people visit year after year.  One couple we talked to at the resort pool said it was their l5th year of visiting the island.

We had a wonderful sunset display each evening around 7:15.



This was one of our best vacations ever.  I love Aruba.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Country Roses Cheeky Pink

I’ve always liked the Old Country Roses china pattern and now I’ve found a new favorite roses pattern that I like even better.  Have you seen the new Royal Albert New Country Roses Cheeky Pink?  It is a little less formal looking and very cheerful.


Old Country Roses Cheeky Pink

It is such a pretty pattern with that delightful pink color and the polka dot background.

Cheeky Pink Teacup

The cup and saucer has a lovely shape and a feminine scalloped edge.  I noticed that there is a set of ornaments in this pattern on their website.  These will be going on my wish list to decorate my Christmas “Tea Tree” this year.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

National Relaxation Day 2013

Hope everyone is enjoying a little relaxation today.  Sitting down with a nice cup of tea and a good book, or maybe treating yourself to a massage or pedicure, or a walk in the park.  Whatever helps you to relax and de-stress.  A piece of cheesecake to go with that tea wouldn’t hurt either.  ☺ 

Cup and Saucer on Book 

As for me, I’m enjoying(?) a little forced relaxation.  I don’t recommend a fractured rib as a means of slowing down to a gentler pace.  Boy, it sure makes you feel old when you start doing crazy things like falling in the shower. 



Friday, August 2, 2013

Teas’ Tea Latte

My husband and grandson spent a day with the folks at Whirlwind Missions and visited the Buford Hwy Farmers Market as part of the trip.  They had an exciting day and came back with lots of stories and a few treats from the market where they enjoyed lunch.


They brought home a bottle of tea for me and said that I would have loved the huge selection of teas that were available at this market.


I liked the haiku poetry and health information on the label.  The tea itself was not to my taste (a little sweet).  The Ito En online store has several other items that I’d like to try including Sencha Shot, Oi Ocha and some interesting tea ware.

Have any of you checked out the tea selection at the Buford Hwy Farmers Market?

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