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!

Monday, July 18, 2016

GIVEAWAY, Birthday, and Book Review

Amazon Link

Wonder at the Window
A Meaningful Book to Grow Your Prayer Life 

Let me start by saying that Sharon Riddle is a friend of mine, that I have known for many years as a strong woman of integrity, through our former church and Christian school.  Today, July 18, is her birthday and so I thought a review of her book I recently finished would be a lovely birthday gift to her.  Happy birthday Sharon.

Long ago, at a tea party, Sharon shared with me and my sister her prayer journaling system.  She showed how she would write requests, and later highlight and mark God’s answers to those prayers.  If the requests were not highlighted she would keep praying.  I know I have been included in those journals, and am most grateful.  I have seen her walk the campus of our church/school praying over it and everyone inside.  She is a true prayer warrior.  When she and her husband, Ike, my beloved Pastor moved away to TX a number of years ago, it was a sad day indeed, but I knew it was God’s best for them.

I ordered this book as a birthday gift for a friend last year and was able to borrow it back; I absolutely loved it!

I immediately loved how big the font was, and the size of the book was fairly small so I don’t believe anyone would find it intimidating.  It’s packed with meaty scripture, as well as personal stories.

courtesy of pinterest
These are the chapter titles:
Wonder of His Power
Wonder of His Plan
Wonder of His Promises
Wonder of His Preparation
Wonder of His Processes
Wonder of His Purposes
Wonder of His Priorities
Wonder of His Prophetic Word
Wonder of His Path

Pg.20 “When you need to hear the voice of God, the place to hear it is in His Word and His presence. If you are coming regularly to His feet and asking Him for wisdom and guidance, He WILL provide the necessary direction.

Sharon shares times of long waiting on the Lord that she has done.  She encourages you (me) to stay in prayer, and nurture your faith on a regular basis.  She also shares some of the blessings God has provided to her, her family and her friends, like after many years of praying for an atheist friend, he finally began walking with God. “Prayer is insisting upon Jesus’ victory and the retreat of the enemy on each particular spot and heart problem concerned. – S.D. Gordon Pg. 98
“All the powers of evil seek to hinder our prayer life because prayer, by nature, involves conflict with opposing forces.  May God give us grace to strive in prayer until we prevail.” – Andrew Murray Pg. 98

Ch. 11 was special for me, because the book was complete at Ch. 10, but God told Sharon to add this next chapter.  I recently finished reading the first five books of the bible (a first for me!), and so I could better appreciate the scripture references from Deuteronomy.

"Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. -Deu 8:11-14 NASB - - - Rather poignant words for these times we are living in today.

"In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. - Deu 8:16 NASB
Sharon says, “We must experience a humbling season so we will learn to live by His Word.  The Lord uses the word ‘discipline’ in this passage. His discipline comes not because you have been bad, but so that you can experience good.  You are the child raised to know how to live better.” Pg. 102

I definitely recommend this book. (5 stars)
© 2015
I purchased this copy and am providing my own opinions for no compensation.
Read: July 2016

I also own her children’s book The King’s Silverware, and highly recommend it.

About the Author
Sharon (Newland) Riddle, her husband Ike and daughters Beth and Mary live in New Braunfels, TX.  She is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University and attended both Western Evangelical Seminary and Azusa Pacific University's Graduate School of Theology.  She teaches God's Word to women and children at Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, TX, writes lessons for the interactive white board and loves spending her days getting and passing out fresh manna.


Amazon Giveaway

I am offering a chance to win ONE copy of Sharon's book, to 1 lucky U.S. reader. {sorry, Amazon only allows for U.S.}
To enter, kindly follow my blog by any of the selections in the right column, and once you are linked to Amazon, you will be asked to follow the author's page as well (where you can watch a sweet video of her sharing about herself... I notice she has picked up a teeny Texas twang...hee!).  Also, please comment below that you entered & how your Amazon experience was... I'm super curious how this will go, as it is my first time both running a giveaway, and trying it through Amazon!

>>> THE FINE PRINT: "Enter for a chance to win" / "NO PURCHASE OF THE BOOK IS NECESSARY, Blue Jeans And Teacups blog has paid for all prizes, sales tax, and shipping. Entry requires an account. Amazon will ship prizes to winners. Winners' names may be made public. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Every eligible entry has 1 in 2,000 chance to win, up to 1 winners. This giveaway started July 18, 2016 2:48 PM PDT and ends the earlier of July 25, 2016 11:59 PM PDT OR WHEN all prizes have been awarded. See Official Rules. " The official rules for Amazon Giveaway can be found at Giveaways are only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. or D.C., 18 or older.

Purchasing Information:
Autographed copies may be purchased at: Sharon's Shop Link
along with her other books, and her handcrafted quilts.
Additionally, you may order from Amazon by clicking here
This book is currently $0.00 if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Be blessed & be a blessing.
Hugs and a cup of tea, 

Ps: kind of excited because I bought this prize through Amazon Smile, so a donation will go to Samaritan's Purse / Operation Christmas Child - Bam! Double blessing :)