Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Jane Austen Fun and Mug Swap Received

Goodbye August!

Somebody posted this on FB and I thought it was fun.  Want to play along?  Here is my Regency Name: Lady Elizabeth Annesley of Shortfield Castle
Now, how elegant is that?!

 Previously I shared with you here the #mugswap16 box I put together to send out.  Today, I received mine from another swapper.  Carmen sews fun goodies, such as this mug rug and table runner, through her Instagram shop @MaxeenLandShop. She also added a scarf, made by her mom.  The roses on the mug are very sweet. Thank you Carmen. Note the backside of the table runner...
It just so happened I posted a picture of my kitty, Delilah, before the box arrived.  She is sitting on a vintage sheet (same fabric) covering my office chair - because, duh, kitty hair!  She is our scaredy-cat and does not often pose for photos.
I had some fun taking pictures of the sunflowers I bought earlier this week.  I enjoyed them greatly with The Word, toasted Irish soda bread, and Harney and Sons Vanilla Comoro tea.

I love how the evening sun cascades over the flowers.

I can not wait for cooler days my friends, but until then, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you.
Hugs and warm cup of tea,

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MUG SWAP 2016 My Box to San Diego

Back on August 1st, I shared with you about a Mug Swap fundraiser here.
I managed to get my box completed well ahead of schedule & it was delivered last Thursday.  I received confirmation that my Mug Swap sister {Siraya} received it, so now I get to share my fun with you dear readers.
The different sides of the box
I decorated the inside of the box with cute pictures and quotes I thought she would like, and included a fun card. I lined the bottom of the box with a green cloth napkin, and placed one on top as well. Green is her favorite color.
She loves comics and super hero movies, so I found some fun Wonder Woman items.  Max was keen to check out the mug!
I could not decide on just one mug, so in addition to whimsical, I included a girly one with encouragement, which just so happens to be green and will go perfectly with her favorite drink!
Just like me, she's a Whovian.  We have so much in common.  We both love British.  Everything pictured below is British! Whoooop!
Both of us; Christ followers... aaawww yeah!
She's big into photography; found this cute camera washi tape WITH green washi tape.  Well, that was meant to be!
All this benefited Bags4Kids.  And to date, over $1400 has been raised on the swap.  But I think it's gone up from there since late addition swappers joined.  What a blessing!!

NOW, since I was searching for mugs... I came across something I could not resist for myself. This beautiful Jane Austen tea mug, which was ON SALE.
Check that quote on the upper right: "But indeed, I would rather have nothing but tea." Yep... that's me!

Here are a couple of fun ones that @TheMugSwap featured on Instagram. If you are a Gilmore Girls fan, you may have heard that Netflix is releasing FOUR NEW specials on 11/25/2016.  We can not wait!!! This was mine and my daughter's special mother-daughter show when she was a teen. Now, if you know me, you know I detest coffee, but these are certainly cute!
they found these on Pinterest
I hope you have enjoyed my little mug swap fun.
Remember friends,
free printables from
Be blessed,

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Heart Most Certain Book Review

I received my Influencer copy of this book August 1st, and took it on a little outing to capture a lovely picture of it.
Click here to purchase
I even posed it in this little garden wall I found, 
to create a fun profile picture. 

Melissa Jagears has captured my heart with her newest book, A Heart Most Certain.  Her story is so rich with prayer and growth of faith, and held my interest throughout.  I cannot recommend it enough.
The story takes place in Teaville, Kansas, 1905. STOP! Seriously?  Well, be still my heart… what a perfect name for a town!  It takes a hard look at how the poorest parts of town survived by being a “red light district”, and the very difficult attempt some made to climb out of that life.  It also shows how the middle and upper class viewed those people as so much “less-than” believing they were at fault for their lifestyles, and did not deserve any grace or mercy.  However, that is not the case for every citizen.  Nicholas secretly gives charity and does good works to better their lives and make a difference.  Lydia King, although quite poor in her own right, also does her part, by being a part of the Teaville Moral Society and sewing quilts for the less fortunate.  When the group decides they need sewing machines to increase their production, she is tasked with requesting a donation from the town’s miser, Mr. Lowe.

Old Fashioned Quilting Bee: Pg. 11 The heavy front doors of the massive sandstone church slammed behind her, and she scurried down to an out-of-the-way room in the dank basement.  About a dozen women sat around the room’s large quilting frame.  Half of them were the matriarchs of the church, the other half their daughters or young women without children.

Pg. 15 Lydia took the comb back before Mama could turn her wavy locks into a massive cloud.

There is the occasional bit of witty sarcasm:
Pg. 68, “Don’t tell me you’re that rigid.” Henry tossed a glass paperweight between his hands. “Jesus drank wine.” Nicholas rolled his eyes. “Next time you’re over, bring a barrel of water with you, and pray for a miracle.”
Chapter 7 had me balling! Pg. 129 “Lord, help me stop these children from going where they cannot return. Surely you sent me and Lydia here this day for this reason.  Help me convince Pepper.”
Pg. 185 Wool blankets would be cheaper and could help more people, yes, but I know how it feels to have ‘good enough’. But to receive something beautiful…”She ran a hand down her sleeve, catching the bit of satin ribbon at the end.
This quilt was actually made at the same time our story is set!
(internet photo)
Pg. 193 A shiny new Burdick sewing machine with an intricate wrought-iron treadle and gleaming black-and-gold body stood in the center of the room.

Sometimes, God says, “No.”  In Ch.33, we see Lydia say a prayer that she does not get recognized in the height of danger, but later we learn that indeed she was identified.  I appreciate the fact that not all prayers get a “Yes” answer in the story, because God’s was are not our ways.

This story was packed with detail and deceit.  But it was also rich with people desiring to better themselves for God's glory, and a beautiful love story stitched together over time and circumstances orchestrated by the hand of God.
Finishing up with a cup of tea and a sigh.
5 stars
© 8/2/2016 Bethany House, 388 pages
I received a copy from Bethany House Publ., in exchange for my honest opinion, with no other compensation, which I am privileged to provide.
Read: 08/11-13/2016 - Reviewed: 8/15/2016


Book 1 is actually
a novella featured within
the collective book,
With This Ring by
various authors

Here is a fun picture we took to get 
young people interested! LOL!!!
contributing to the PokemonGo craze!
I do hope you will check out this book. 
Until next time,
Hugs and a cup of tea!

In addition to MY BLOG, Reviews posted at:
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK
Books A Million
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
My FB, My IG, Influencer’s FB page, My Pinterest
And requested my local library to carry

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mug Swap Fundraiser for Kids in Transition

If you enjoy Mug Swaps, and blessing others, there is an Instagram swap that just went live today.
However, you don't need IG to sign-up.
Just click this link to learn more: #MugSwap16
The IG page is @themugswap.  Sign-ups open through 8/7.  After you sign up, you will be directed to Bags4Kids to give a $5 donation.  {You'll read all about it at the above link as well}

Hint: Last year I told a swapper my perfect mug would be a bone china cup & saucer, and she honored my request via an afforable 2nd hand store, and said she really enjoyed the hunt :)
Ya never know... so don't be afraid to ask.

2nd Hint: I included my blog link throughout the sign-up sheet so my swap buddy could get to know me and my tastes better.

copied from InstaGram

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Good tidings to you!  This morning I am drinking Twinings Darjeeling Tea with local honey and milk.  Please grab a cuppa and join me, IF YOU DARE! Not really; I just like saying, IF YOU DARE! (heehee).

Please click the video below for some lovely background music.

Peter Rabbit Theme

Back in Februray, the host of the FB group I belong to asked me to create a banner for a group swap she was planning in honor of Beatrix Potter's 150th Birthday.
Click here if you like to join the FB group.
 It is private, so you simply request to be added. Over 500 members worldwide.
This is what I came up with, using my sweet Village cottage teapot (designed by Annie Rowe), which my mother-in-law gifted to me years ago, and also a darling Peter Rabbit cup and bowl I added to my teawares last year (from, I think, TJ Maxx, or Marshal's).
We would be swapping a Beatrix Potter themed birthday card and a tea sample.
Once we were assigned our partners in June, I found out I was matched with Robin who lives in San Diego (about 80 miles from me). I immediately asked if she wanted to do our swap in person, over tea. Delightfully, she agreed!
I told her to feel free to invite someone.  She asked another ATAA member, Rochelle.
New dress and new do!
The big day finally arrived. I had purchased a new dress, and oh, wait! I have to tell you about a lovely blessing I received!  Friday, my neighbor was outside at the same time I was.  We got to chatting, and I told her about the tea I was heading to.  She is a hair dresser, and said, "Why don't you come in and let me give you a trim?"  I agreed, and she gave me a fabulous new style; cut off a few inches, added layers, thinning, texturizing, the works!  We hardly ever get a chance to talk, but she shared how she had wanted to do this for me for a long time, and the fact it worked out so spontaneously, she said, must have been the work of the Lord. I then went home and colored and styled it, and absoulutely love it!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. Press play if you need a little more music (-smile).
Room Full of Tales
I pulled out some of my tea jewlry, which later the ladies oohed and aahed over, and asked about. So, I will share that with you as well.
My Beatrix Potter Tea necklacke.
 Click here for Shop
Earrings. Click here for Shop
Bracelet: I believe Gurrlie Girl is out of business now, but, perhaps you might find some of their jewlry 2nd hand.
Small pin on my sweater. Had this
one too long to recall where
I purchased it. :)
Saying a prayer for travling mercies, I headed out around 9am, fearing the worst in traffic, because I discovered the BIG Comic-Con convention was also happening in San Diego.  Well, the freeways were wide open, and I arrived around 10:00 for our 11:00 reservation!  The only trouble I had was, fearing I was lost because the small shopping strip housing the tearoom is located within a housing tract that doesn't even face the main street.
Me waiting outside.

A park across the street surrounded by tract homes on 3 sides.
{website photo & link}
Jay, the general manager, whom I had spoken with on the phone spotted me outside, and unlocked the door for me, as we had dicussed these fun food picks I created, and needed to slip them to him before the event.  He is very personable and accomodating. 

Are you ready for more music?  Press play :)
Chopin Piano Music for Tea

Jay also allowed me to set a few Beatrix Potter items on the table to help set the stage. If you love Beatrix Potter, I HIGHLY recommend this large scrapbook style book filled with treasures and removeable items, including a small Peter Rabbit book hidden in the back. Click here for link and peeks inside. If you would like to learn more about her, the pocket sized book, written by her great-nephew, John Heelis can be found here. Finally, the charming Peter Rabbit Set, I purchased from Barnes and Noble around Easter time, for under $20. Click here.

Robin, Rochelle, and Heather - we wanted to include the banner covering the bakery case, since it features all the tearoom details!
Introductions and warm greetings were offered as the ladies arrived, and we got to know each other.  Robin made these hats, and kindly offered them up for picture taking!
Marlene, the tearoom owner {in red}, also wanted to pose with us for a picture.  Robin actually sold several hats to her for the shop recently, and she is wearing one.

China pattern on our table
The tea room is elegantly decorated in dark greys, and wood floors, and chandeliers. Each table has its own set of matching china and lovely stem-ware, unique from the other tables.
Fresh flowers on every table.

The tea room has a set menu, that they change every month.  Note, it is listed as "High Tea".  The evolution of the terms High Tea and Afternoon Tea is explained here, which I found most interesting. Whatever you choose to call it, truely it is the fellowship that makes it special, and we certainly had that this day!
The tomato, red pepper soup was a bit strong for my fragile pallet, but the other ladies seemed to enjoy it.  The puff twist was extremely buttery and flakey.  It actually took us a while to even try our food, since we were all diving headon into conversation and sharing stories! You can really see the china in this picture, and how the small circles are raised up on the pattern. Very elegant.

Tiered stand PACKED with tasty delights!
Next our food arrived, and the ladies were SO surprised at all of the Beatrix Potter picks adorning the items.  They thought the tearoom was also celebrating, until I explained I had done it.  Aren't I sneaky? (tea-hee).
That cucumber sandwich really got us talking, because it was so fresh and tasty.  We inquired of Marlene, What made it special?  She said she does not soak the cucumber, instead she adds lemon zest to the cream cheese and fresh dill.  We all agreed we WILL be trying that at home!
Scones and fresh fruit {this 1 little dish of cream was for the entire table to share.  However, since there was a glaze on the tender and moist peach scone, we made due, and I felt it worked out fine}.
Sweets course
{those teapot warmers in the background worked REALLY well}.

Closeup of gold flakes on, I guess you might call it a blueberry coffee-cake bite.  That one was my favorite.

Closeup of sparkles on chocolate, mini-cupcake.  So pretty.

Robin tried a pot of mango tea, Rochelle favored the Harney and Sons Paris blend, and I went with a Caramel Rooibos. I did notice this tearoom chooses to use teabags instead of loose tea, which they store in glass containers on their shelves.  We each enjoyed our selections very much.
Rochelle's gift to us
While partaking, we decided to do our swap.  Turns out, Robin had well-informed Rochelle and she decided to gift us with these adorably sweet teabag girls along with a notecard, all of which she handmade, and a tea sample. Thank you so much Rochelle!
Robin's gift to us
Robin also got crafty.  She gifted us each with a teabag rest, a charming notecard filled with Peter Rabbit art, a box filled with several individually wrapped teabags, and bookmarks! She not only included Rochelle, but also included my sister, who sadly had to cancel at the last moment. Thank you kindly Robin!
My cards for the ladies (front)
I also had fun being creative and choose to include both ladies. Isn't giving so much fun?!
Inside top of my card
Inside bottom of my card

Gift bags I decorated & wrapped gift.
The quote on this bag is: "Believe there is a Great Power silently working all things for good. Behave yourself and nevermind the rest." Beatrix Potter.
Clipped inside the bag
Purple Gracie cup & saucer for Robin
I often purchase cups and saucers and tuck them away to give as gifts. Now I knew purple was Robin's favorite color (just like me, so how could I posssibly forget!), so I knew this set was meant for her. I embellished the little clothespin, and added a sweet clipart tag on top of a tea sample.
 I also ordered her a Ltd. ed. Beatrix Potter strawberry herbal tea, and had it shipped directly to her home.  But, just in case it did not arrive in time, I also printed a little picture.  Incidentally, it did arrive in time, and she brought it with her - YAY!
Rochelle's Gracie cup and saucer in pink
Now I had no idea, but of course the Lord knew, that Rochelle's favorite color was pink! Squeeee!!!! Happy dance.  Don't you just love when things work out so well.

The ladies enjoyed browsing through the Beatrix Potter Journal.  Besides Ms. Potter, we talked of so many things. Rochelle shared how she and Robin had only met a few months ago, and their common love of tea is what brought them together (through FB).  And also, how she grew up working in her uncle's winery and learning all the finer points of wine. Robin shared about her wonderful marriage, and a husband who adores her and caters to her passion for tea.  And also, how her own parents were married some sixty-something years! How marvelous.  I shared how my sister introduced me to my first tea room experience in my early twenties, and the love took hold of me, and has never left; becoming a strong part of my life in many different ways, including sharing it with my children, just as Rochelle has done.

Miss Potter (Widescreen)
CLICK HERE for WalMart link, or
simply type Miss Potter on their website

Robin and I talked about what a wonderful movie Miss Potter (2011) is and recommended Rochelle look for it.  If you have not seen it, you can order it from WalMart dot com (under $10), and have it shipped to the store, for free shipping.

Our conversation was tealightful!

Following the tea, we said our goodbyes, and I decided to drive over to the ocean. I was so close, I couldn't possibly drive home without seeing it, right?!
The view was breathtaking, high above this cliff/overlook.  A hot breeze was blowing, and a group of pelicans flew by.
I did not linger long, but smiled to myself, thanking the Lord for His handywork before heading home.

I hope you enjoyed being a part of this adventure with me, and will leave a comment below.

As a reminder, or if you did not know, I am having a give-way (click here for link), which ends tomorrow 7/25.

Thank you for dropping by dear friends.  Blessings and a cup of tea to you!