Friday, December 30, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations sslindseymorgan is the winner of Savvy Saving Book by Melissa and Shelley the gals.  I am Melissa's mom and I am amazed at the money she has saved by using coupons and stockpiling.  I look forward to hearing from sslindsdymorgan so I can mail your package to you. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Giveaway — Savvy Saving - Couponing Secrets from the Stockpiling Moms

Our #1 daughter, Melissa, and her business partner and friend, Shelley, who are well-known for their money-saving blog,, have published their first book,
Savvy Saving - Couponing Secrets from the Stockpiling Moms.

I am offering a Giveaway of the book.  Just leave a comment to enter the drawing. 

Be sure to leave an email if you don't have a blog where I can contact you.
Please spell the symbols  @ (at) and . (dot) so you won't receive spam.

I will announce the winner on Friday evening December 30th. 

By the way, if you think you don't need the book, please enter and give it to a young mother or someone who needs to learn to be more aware of couponing and money-saving.  Melissa and Shelley have been able to be stay-at-home moms with their boys and save money for very special vacation trips and more!  Their success has been amazing!
I will provide tea samples as a bonus to this special giveaway!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas with Family

Merry Christmas from our family.
We have a variety of family activities planned during the children's school break.
As result, I'll be taking a blogging break.. 
Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Chex Mix

I needed a very quick and easy recipe for a snack for AJ to take to his piano Christmas party.
Each student played a Christmas carol throughout the evening while families mingled and enjoyed munchies.
I remembered my friend, Patty, makes this sweet snack during the Christmas holidays.  It was perfect for this event.

Yummy Holiday Chex Mix
3 c. Corn Chex
3 c. Rice Chex
3 c. Cheerios
2 c. Pretzels (Tiny Twists broken into pieces)
2 c. Cocktail Peanuts
12 oz. M & M's (Red and Green for Christmas)
1 lb.  White Candy Coating

1. Mix dry ingredients. 
2. Melt white candy coating and pour over the mix. 
3. Stir until coated.
4. Pour onto wax paper and let dry until cool.
5.  Break into chunks and store in a covered container.

I divided this mix into two containers.  One to take to the party and one for the guys to munch on at home. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teacup Thursday — Rosina Yuletide

I collected the Queen's Rosina Yuletide, a trio at a time, from eBay a few years ago
to use when serving our family Christmas afternoon tea.   

Here we are in 2009 using our pretty Rosina trios. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tea Themed Christmas Tree

This year we set-up our tea-themed Christmas tree in the window in our "tea room"
 so that our neighbor across the street could enjoy seeing the lights.

These are a few of my favorite ornaments, purchased while traveling.  

My tea tree has grown from a 3-foot tree  to a 5-foot tree as the ornament collection grew.

Do you have a themed Christmas tree? 
AJ has a soccer tree in his bedroom. 
Our tree at the farm house is decorated with angel ornaments.
Do you have multiple trees in your home?
A few years ago a friend had 18 trees up during the Christmas season.  They were all themed.
There were a few large trees and many small ones.  She had a sewing tree in her sewing room,
a kitchen tree in the kitchen, and more.  Needlsess to say, she no longer has the time or energy to
decorate all those trees.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tea Room Christmas Village

This is my Christmas Village. 
Notice anything unusual? 
It is all tea rooms and tea shops, a collection I have gathered over several years.  

I added the Joseph Edward Tea Shoppe this year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Teacup Thursday — A Cup of Christmas Tea

I purchased "A Cup of Christmas Tea" teapots, teacups and accessories one at a time on eBay a few years ago. 

My goal at that time was to set a themed table at the 2009 Berea Health Ministry fund raiser tea.
It took months to collect various co-ordinating pieces. 
I used Aunt Ida's green glass plates to complete the place settings. 
This was one of the most fun tea table themes I have put together. 

Our family will enjoy several cups of Christmas tea this season.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Memories of Family Christmas Traditions

One of our family Christmas traditions is to hang stockings for "Santa" to fill.
We go through our stockings first thing on Christmas morning.
Our stockings are not filled with wrapped gifts, but small unwrapped items, some are special or useful and some are just for fun.
After the stockings, we open our gifts while sitting around the tree sipping on mugs of tea or hot chocolate.

OK, I need to clarify.  This is a tradition I brought to our marriage from my childhood.
When I was a little girl my dad told his memories of finding an orange, nuts, and a toy in his Christmas stocking when he was a child.  He was very strict with my brother and I about keeping the fun tradition of stockings and opening gifts only on Christmas morning.
The hubby's family had very different Christmas traditions.
But, they also had a house full of anxious children.  He had 8 siblings!
They didn't hang stockings.
Santa came early in the evening on Christmas eve while his mom and the kids
 were out driving looking at the Christmas lights around town.  
When they arrived back home, Santa had come. 
Did they ever wonder why his dad didn't go with them? 
Memories of Family Christmas Traditions

I remember when Aunt Mary had become blind with Macular Degeneration and could no longer make her Kentucky Jam Cake and her Fruit Cake Cookies.  She cried because it was her Christmas tradition to make those special treats for family and friends.  I cried with her, and told her we would make new Christmas traditions. 

Oh, how we miss her jam cake and fruit cookies, my mom's cranberry orange bread and thumbprint cookies, and Aunt Ida's coffee can bread, just to name a few.  
I don't even try to duplicate those recipes because they just wouldn't taste the same. 
As my friend Mary says, "you can't compete with a memory." 

We began some new Christmas traditions.
 For dessert we enjoy homemade southern pound cake with peppermint ice cream or southern hummingbird cake.
AJ and KJ decorate the Christmas cookies. 
(We make cookies from a package instead of baking all day, as I did when our girls were little.)  
Country ham and biscuits are a must!
We decorate our Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music. This year, AJ has been playing carols on the piano while we all sing along. 
We have a family afternoon tea during the holidays.
We leave cookies and milk for Santa.
GJ reads the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible before bedtime on Christmas eve. 
On Christmas morning, we open gifts, one at a time, with the youngest beginning first.
A few years ago, I gave the daughters and sil's their personalized stockings which once hung with ours.  They celebrate with their children on Christmas morning in their own homes. 

These are just a few of our family Christmas traditions. 
We have several more I could share, but I would like to ask you to please leave a  comment and share as few of your family holiday traditions.   

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Tea Brick

My Tea Brick (above)

The Fall 2011 issue of TEA A MAGAZINE features an interesting article by Eve Hill about Tea Bricks.
According to Eve, "tea bricks are made with tea leaves that are usually dried, ground to powder form, then compressed."  Tea bricks were once used for making tea.  Currently, they are more often used as a decoration or a conversation piece.  I used mine, shown in the top photo, for demonstration purposes when I present
 tea programs and classes.

I hope you pick up a copy of this issue of TEA A Magazine or contact for a copy.
This issue contains several interesting articles about the tea world. 
I have subscribed to this magazine for several years. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Leaves of Green" Magazine Article

The hubby, GJ, brought home a copy of a special issue of NYSE Magazine with an interesting article about
Andrew Mack, founder of Teavana.  The company currently has 200 stores.  Mr. Mack states he expects to to have 500 U.S. stores by the end of 2015, plus additional stores abroad with the help of franchise partners. 
Teavana has come a long way from the original store which opened in Atlanta in 1997. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gong Fu Tea Set — A Gift from a Friend

A  long-time friend gave me this Gong Fu Tea Set as a gift yesterday. 
It was purchased in Hong Kong several years ago. 
He gave it to me because he knew I would appreciate it.
Thank you Paul for the lovely gift!  
Perhaps it time I learn more about the Gong Fu Tea ceremony.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Teacup Thursday — Handpainted Orion China

This pretty vintage teacup and saucer was given to me by Aunt Ida.
It is one of a dozen+ she collected while "antiquing" with lady friends
along the scenic back roads of Kentucky.
It is a hand painted Orion China made in Occupied Japan,
probably from 1945 - 1952.
This special gift from Aunt Ida sits in a place of honor on my mantle
in memory of a very special lady.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dainty Dining Book

Angela McRae, a fellow tea blogger, and a good tea friend,
 at Tea With Friends has written Dainty Dining
"a book of Vintage recipes, memories and memorabilia from America's department store tea rooms."

 Oh, how I remember shopping at large department stores in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati
with my mother and aunts in the early 1960's.
Those were the days when ladies wore hats and gloves for shopping trips to down towns of "big" cities.
A shopping trip was an all-day excursion, and always included lunch at the department store tea room. 
 Chicken salad was my favorite then, and still is, as I continue my search for the "perfect" chicken salad.

In Dainty Dining, Angela includes historical information about 20
 U.S.A. large department stores of the early 20th century with photos and a recipe from each. 
She also features photos of her collection of department store memorabilia.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dainty Dining. 
It's a great addition to the library of this tea-drinker,, recipe book collector, and
history buff with memories of department store shopping and store tea room dining.

I can't wait to try some of the delicious recipes! 
OK, where should I start?  Chicken salad or Fudge cake?

Please visit Angela's Blogs at to learn how to purchase the book or for more information and recipes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Store-Bought" Scones

A couple of tea friends told me about "pull-apart" scones from the grocery store.
I've been looking for for several weeks.
While shopping at our local WalMart, I found these Barista Baking Company™ "Break and Bake" Scones.
There were two flavors to choose from, Almond and Chocolate Chip.
I purchased a package of the almond flavored scones to bake at home. 
I baked and taste-tested them last night.

These are NOT sweet and frosted like the cake-textured two bite scones found in most grocery stores.
They were "ok" but, keep in mind I am very critical of scones.  They would have been much better if I had clotted or Devonshire cream and curd or preserves to eat with them!

However, in my opinion, you can't beat the taste of fresh, home baked English scones. 

Comment added later, thanks to Ruth's question:
These were in the refrigerated section near the canned biscuits and regrigerated cookies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Library Tea Program

 I presented two-hour tea programs at branches of of the Madison County Public Library. 
The two room and kitchen set-ups were different. 
There was an electrical problem at the first one on November 5th at the Berea branch and I could only heat on 6-cup electric tea kettle at a time. 
The power situation was the same at the Richmond branch on November 12th, but fortunately, we were prepared and used extension cords connected in the hallways outside the community room to be able to use all three of my 6-cup Capresso electric tea kettles. 

I discussed how tea gets from the plantation to the cup and demonstrated proper brewing methods of black, green, oolong and white teas.  Everyone sampled these four types of tea. I disused the difference between afternoon tea, royal tea, high tea and cream tea.  And, we served a cream tea  ( a pot of tea served with scones,  mock Devonshire cream, and lemon curd.)

I could not have presented the programs, brewed and served multiple pots of tea and the food without the help
 of my great friends, Patty and Lynn.

The aprons are mine, their outfits of red sweaters and black pants were not planned. 
Gotta love these gals!!

Thank you to Christina at the Madison County Public Library for inviting me to present the tea programs,
and thank you to the ladies and 3 gentlemen who attended. 

(visit my post from November 11th to read a little of the "tea education" I presented.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Camellia Sinensis the Tea Plant

I recently purchased two Camellia Sinensis plants (Tea Plants) from
These plants came from Larry's Orchids.

What an impression they made on Saturday at the tea program at our local library!
I am presenting another program tomorrow at another library.

Our weather here in southeastern Kentucky is too harsh in the winter to plant these outside.
Hopefully, they will survive inside this winter.

A little tea eduction:
TEA is produced from the Camellia Sinensis,
an evergreen plant
discovered in China nearly 5000 years ago
grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates.
There are thousands of different varieties of teas made from the Camellia Sinensis.
The most common types of teas are
Black, Oolong, Green, and White.
The Camellia Sinensis is currently grown in thousands of plantations in 80 countries around the world.

Come to my tea program at the county library tomorrow morning to learn more! :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scones and Tea

My copy of Hoffman Media's Teatime Magazine's, Scones and Tea arrived today.
As you know, if you are a reader of this blog, I am a long-time subscriber of TeaTime Magazine.
I have every issue of the magazine and use them as a tea party planning resource. 

Scones and Tea is a collection of beautiful photos and recipes of sweet and savory scones and toppings for the scones. 
I recommend you add this beautiful book to your tea library!

The above strawberry scone recipe is from one of our favorite tea rooms,
Camillia Rose Tea Room in Plant City, FL. 
I posted about our tea-lightful 2010 visit at

Plain scones are my favorite, because I learned to eat scones in Britain.
But, most folks in the USA enjoy flavored scones.
Everyone should be able to find a favorite iamong the variety of recipes n this book!


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