Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Lovers Tea

Greetings one and all!
I am your hostess, Heather, bringing you our final June tea for Team Darjeeling, for the FB group Afternoon Tea Across America.

Last week, Tilly TARDIS and I prepared our invitations to send out to the ATAA members who had agreed to attend our Book Lovers Tea.
But, before I get to that, let me remind everyone (in case ya missed it) what a TARDIS is.  TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimensions in Space.  Dr. Who is a BBC tv series, and his spaceship is hidden in plain site as an old-fashioned police box (but, it's bigger on the inside).  You can click here for more details.
Ok, back to the invites!  Since it is a book lovers tea, I decided to design my invitations to look like little books.
CLICK here to order these note cards
 (box of 20, each one different!)

I used blank note cards I already owned, and stapled in blank papers.  I also added a title, and author (that's me!) with a calligraphy pen.

Forward: This is the tale of the adventures of Tilly TARDIS and a Book Lovers Tea.  An opportunity for tea sisters from the group Afternoon Tea Across America to come together and fellowship, sharing their recipes and tea books, while brewing new friendships.
Ch. 1 The Date, Ch. 2 The Time, etc. etc.

Ch. 6 - 9

Music to greet the guests at the door (thank you to whomever posted this selection on the FB group page. I LOVE it!)

The lovely guests who traveled 
from far and wide through
time and space to be here.

Tea Music playing in 
our tea room.  Antonio Vivaldi 
6 hours on this YouTube link


The Tea Table


Last minute inspiration struck
this morning & I hung miniature 
tea books from the chandelier :)













citrus




A candle 


& more tea music

in the powder room


The Art of Tea

my #1 rule/tip for any party:
deep clean your bathroom
the day before, and give it a quick wipe down again after you finish getting ready
the day of.  Your
guests will appreciate it! 
However, if you have a yucky
bathroom, your guests will remember. ;)



Here are our 3 teapots.  Tilly
is center stage.  For
inquiring minds, she holds 
approx. 24oz comfortably. 

For Lady Heather

For Lady Bonnie

For Lady Juanita

For Lady Kay

For Lady Mary












































































































Napkin & flatware
tucked inside a paper doily, sealed with a sticker.
Thank you Pinterest!

And nooooooow, the FOOD!

Lady Mary & Lady Kay (twin sisters btw), brought orange dreamsicle fairy cakes, chicken salad sandwiches, and pastel ribbon sandwiches, thoughtfully placed
on a tiered stand.

Here is the recipe for the unique and 
tasty chicken salad sandwiches.  The ladies kindly brought the book!












I did not get
the ribbon sandwich
recipe, but hopefully one of them can post it to the FB page :)












Lady Juanita brought this scrumptious
crustless quiche featuring 
ham, spinach and artichoke heart spread.  
Why, yes, it was amazing!

She also blessed us with chocolate chip walnut drop cookies, white chocolate orange zest cookies, and I think baklava (sorry, I forget...but it was delish!).  
And isn't her plate gorgeous too?

Lady Bonnie prepared baked havarti cheese & dill croissants.  What's that? Oh, YES.  I will be
needing to diet for the entire month of July!
But, wait.  There's more!
She also brought this darling little cake in purple and lavender.  EEEEEK! 
My favorite colors!
Oh, pardon me... minor burst of excitement.
In the background are some of the books we
discussed.  The one on the far right is a Shutterfly book I designed featuring 2 of my daycare Littles posing with tea & featuring many favorite tea quotes.  The center book matches the invitation note cards and is available on Amazon.  The one on the left was gifted to me by Mary & Kay :)
We spoke about other books, and 
recipe tips as well.

I made: Blueberry Scones 
(Sticky Fingers brand)

Served with "The Works"!  I learned this from a former So Cal tea room, La Tea Da, long since closed, but still living on in the hearts of many .
You slice your scone horizontally, top with fresh fruits, and drizzle with creme fraiche (pronounced crem fresh).
Below is my customized recipe (it's good on waffles too!)
This recipe can easily be halved for small groups
such as we had today.

Speaking of La Tea Da; we reminisced of past tea rooms we had been to: Frills, Buttercup Cottage, etc.  And we made tentative plans to get together again and travel to ones we'd like to visit (click name to see their page): The Queen Mary Tea RoomThe Tea House on Los RiosMarlene's Tea & Cakes, and more, not to mention each others homes.  We can't wait!  BTW in Southern California, regarding travel time, we say "Only an hour away.",  such as the distance from the twins house to mine.  Whereas other states might say.  It was AN HOUR away!   Hee-hee.  Perspective.



One of the books Kay brought was this charming tale of Abigail complete with stuffed, talking bunny, tea blanket and plush tea-wares.  PS: She kicked off her vacation with today's tea! Woo-hoo!!!


Besides books to share (and give!), Juanita brought this lovely demitasse cup and saucer she recently found.  Notice how the saucer has been repaired at the bottom of the photo (glue and staples).  She shared about a recent surgery, and how this sweet little set (she found at Goodwill for under $2), really spoke to her heart, reminding her no matter how broken a person is God can make her useful again.  Isn't that lovely?  We were all touched, and other ladies shared about their own medical testimonies. 


The Favors:

Each lady received a bookmark,
with her name on it 
(doubling as a placecard), 
which I wrote in calligraphy.
It features the name
Blue Jeans
and Teacups, 
which is the name of my blog.
I choose this name because years
ago, when I was first
introduced to tea, I had
the misconception that
ladies needed to dress to the
nines to enjoy tea.
I would think rude thoughts 
in my head when "un-educated" guests came to my home in jeans.  Whatever were they thinking?
Well, God did a work in my heart, and I learned, it's not about the clothes or how fancy the party is.  It's about the fellowship, and the friendships that are cultivated by being real and being open, and being gracious.  These days, I want everyone to feel comfortable, and I don't mind it for myself either! :)

Juanita handmade these angel earrings for me.

She also gave me these tea samples.  Mary made the little cards with teapot bookmark charms, wrapped in tea gift wrap & also brought tea samples.

Kay brought me this teeny ornament!

The sisters also brought little porcelain treasure boxes for us.

Bonnie brought me this beautiful floral porcelain bag.  She suggested I use it for my sponge in the kitchen! How clever.

Sadly, Lady Sylvia was not able to join us at the last minute as she was busy being a faithful servant of the Lord, and caring for an elderly couple; the parents of a close friend.  Sylvia, you were missed, but we do plan to have you join us next time!

I am so warmed to have had the opportunity to host the traveling teapot.  I have made many new friends, and look forward to future memory making opportunities!  Thank you ladies, from the bottom of my heart.  And thank you LaDonna and Rain for facilitating.

For now, the TARDIS is on her way to the next hostess in St. Louis, MO.  I can not wait to see what Mary will name her for the month of July, and what adventures await!

Thank you for joining me dear friends.
I pray you have a lovely rest of your weekend and look forward to hearing from you.

God bless you. Hugs and a cup of tea!
~Heather Elizabeth 
Guest blogging for Team Darjeeling at: 
Afternoon Tea Across America

Friday, June 26, 2015

IRISH MEADOWS - BOOK REVIEW

#1: Irish Meadows  -     By: Susan Anne Mason
Click here to pre-order at a discount!


IRISH MEADOWS
by: Susan Anne Mason

BOOK REVIEW

Courage to Dream Series Book#1

EDGY & SECRETIVE
is how I would describe this historical Christian romance.
This book was extremely detailed with several characters. 

I describe this book as edgy because it goes further than I am used to seeing other Christian authors go with danger and steamy scenes, but does not cross any lines.  I was quite happy with the results.  I definitely don’t consider this a “light” read.  It took me the better part of a week, for all of the details, and I do recommend it.  The story is told from various characters perspective, which I also enjoyed.

There are two strong story lines developing in 1911 Long Island NY, which I really liked.
One focuses on Brianna O’Leary and Gilbert Whelan who grew up together under the same roof after the O’Learys took in Gilbert following the death of his mother.  They were always the best of friends, but along the way Brianna developed a crush on Gilbert.  After returning from college to the country home and horse farm of the O’Learys, Gilbert hopes Brianna’s crush has diminished with time, and he can repay the kindness of the O’Learys until he saves up enough to realize his secret dream of buying his own horse farm.  Brianna, however has secret dreams of her own; going off to college and furthering her education.  In 1911, most women are expected to learn proper housewife duties and be perfectly happy with that.  In particular, her father requires it and has every intention of marrying his daughters off to wealthy young men.
Click here to go to the author's website
Colleen O’Leary is Brianna’s older sister, and a flirtatious brat who dreams only of marrying the wealthiest man she can find and living in the lap of luxury with servants to do her bidding for the rest of her life.  She harbors a deep, painful secret that has caused her tainted view of the world.
Rylan Montgomery is a distant cousin to the family, and arrives from Ireland to further his goal of becoming a priest.  Rylan is my absolute favorite.  He is kind, and outspoken, patient and understanding.  He gives Colleen a run for her money and sees beyond the shallow exterior that most men see.  He is also quite funny.  Pg#52 “You didn’t say how Colleen found you at the station this afternoon. I trust everything went smoothly.” “Smooth as mud, Mrs. O’Leary.” (in context, that had me laughing out loud!).
5 STARS

I am looking forward to Book #2, A Worthy Heart, available in 2016 
Gorgeous cover of book 2 from author's website (click here)

I received an advance copy of the book as part of the Influencer Team for this author. My opinion is my own, and given freely.
Read: 06/19/15-6/24/15, Reviewed: 06/26/15
SERIES: Courage to Dream
Irish Meadows - Book#1 – 06/30/2015
A Worthy Heart – Book #2 – 2016
no info at this time – Book #3 – 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flag Day Tea by the Sea

Dolphin Fountain & Palm Trees
In front of the Aquarium
Since I am guest blogging over at Afternoon Tea Across America and hostessing the Traveling Teapot for the month of June, my next adventure with Tilly TARDIS takes us to the beautiful Pacific Ocean in Long Beach, CA and the Aquarium of the Pacific as we celebrate FLAG DAY 06/14/2015! 

Approaching the Lion Lighthouse

Patriotically attired: Niece, Daughter, Niece, Me, Sissy :)
Tilly TARDIS proudly posing
next to the American Flag.
In the foreground are flag
chocolate bars I found and
in the background is the Queen Mary
(where, by the way, you can also enjoy tea)


Drinks consisted of Iced Very Berry White Tea, Blueberry Lemonade, and water I embellished with patriotic whale stickers :)

I made my recipe for Curried Chicken & Fig (pinwheels), but modified it using Peppridge Farms Puff Pastry Shells.  At $5 for a box of 6, I really was not thrilled with these.  Biting into it reminded me of a Pillsbury Grands biscuit.  Additionally, instead of the fig spread I normally buy from Trader Joe's, I used fig spread I found at a dollar store from Egypt.  It was much more gelatinous; definitely not the same quality, so, lesson learned.  I have also tried this recipe on Oatbread, and find it quite pleasant.

Other menu items included Egg Salad Sandwiches with fresh spinach on Hawaiian bread rolls (thank you sis!), tomato basil Wheat Thins,  Strawberries, Blueberries, Watermelon, Red Vines and of course...
Cranberry, Blueberry Scones with Lemon Curd

Following our lovely meal, we headed to the aquarium and saw many exciting ocean creatures, and water fowl. 

[Gen 1:20-22 ESV] 20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens." 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
Upon entering, you are greeted by a life-sized
replica of a blue whale.
There are many types of jelly fish











And energetic Sea Lions
Adorable Sea Otters
Sea Horsies :)
Rays, fish, and sharks you can touch!

More sharks to touch! ...and no, I did not :)
BIG shark tank (noooo touching).
Penguins!
ummm?, birdie!
I was taking random shots of ducks splashing and
flying low on the water, and did not realize I had
captured this fun shot.  Look closely and you will see
MANY colors, like jewels on the water. :)
for a mere (eh, hem) $3, you can feed the
Lorikeets a tiny cup of nectar.  They will land right on
your arm (head, shoulder, etc.) to get to it.
I figured they did not need any
more food from me, so polite pass. :)
Guam Kingfisher (I will have to ask my dad if
he saw these when stationed in Guam
while in the U.S. Navy).

Cute Mary Englebreit tea mugs spotted in the gift shop
(but at $16 - no, no, no)
This sweet little fairy sized mug came
home with Tilly, and will make its
way through time and space to
become a gift (for someone
else's fairies).


We really enjoyed our day and give praise to God from whom all blessings flow.
Thank you for joining me for another exciting adventure!!
Until next time,
Hugs and a cup of tea!
~Heather Elizabeth
 
guest blogging at: The Traveling Teapot II
for Team Darjeeling

PLEASE NOTE: ALL HIGHLIGHTED TEXT HAS A LINK IF YOU CLICK ON IT. :)