Christmas Friendship Tea

Hi, my lovely friends!
Today is Tuesday and as you know every Tuesday I host
Roses of Inspiration.
Well, today is going to be a little different. . .
forgive me for not giving you any warning last week.
I originally planned on hosting the party today,
but you see, I have decided to take a little break from my blog
during this Christmas season.
Christmas is next week, sweet friends,
and I want to enjoy the most of this beautiful time with my family.
Baking, wrapping gifts, singing carols around the piano,
sledding and playing in the snow, enjoying Christmas tea parties,
and reading by the fire while sipping hot cocoa.
There is something special and delightful about Christmas
and it only comes once a year.

Now won't you join me for a festive and sparkly tea party?
This tea is for YOU, dear friends,
May you know how much I appreciate each and every one of you,

Friendship is a precious gift
to give at Christmas time.
A cherished gift,
a treasured gift
that lasts through all time.

From home to home
and heart to heart,
from one place to another
the warmth and joy of Christmas
brings us closer to each other.

So much I would wish you for Christmas
yet only my greeting I send
For all that I have to offer
is the sincere heart of a friend.

Some Christmas gifts are big,
some are small,
but the gift of your friendship is one 
I hold close to my heart
every day of the year.

God made Christmas happen;
friends make Christmas beautiful,
music makes Christmas festive;
giving makes Christmas joyous,
love makes Christmas complete.
- William Arthur Ward - 

Christmas blessings. . .
the joy of family,
the treasure of friends,
the miracle of God's love.

When pausing to think about all the ways
I've been blessed this year,
it's people like you who keep coming to mind.

Sweet friends, please know that you are thought of during this Christmas season
and please know that I am truly thankful for all of you.
Thank you for making my life more rich and beautiful!
I sincerely hope you and your loved ones have a most blessed Christmas.
Find time to relax and simply enjoy this wonderful time, dear ones.
And during this holiday may we keep our focus upon the true meaning. . .

And thou shalt have joy and gladness;
and many shall rejoice at his birth.
- Luke 1:14 -

Our precious Lord came to earth to be born of a virgin
so that we, His creation, could have life with Him for all eternity.
He came to earth because He LOVES us
and desires for each one of us to know Him personally.
Simple faith, my friends. . .
Faith in the one true Savior.

That is thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.
- Romans 10:9 -

May home be warm,
your holidays grand,
and may your heart be held gently 
in the Lord's hands.

Merry Christmas!

I will be back to posting on my blog
when the new year begins.
See you then, sweet friends!

Much love and tender hugs to you!

Linking up with:



Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
which is Christ the Lord.
And suddenly there was with the angel,
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men.
- Luke 2:11,13-14 -

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King:
peace on earth, and mercy mild - God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies:
with th'angelic hosts proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ, by highest heav'n adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord:
late in time behold Him come, offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th' incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die;
born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Come, Desire of Nations, come! Fix in us Thy humble home:
Rise, the woman's conq'ring seed, bruise in us the serpent's head.
Adam's likeness now efface, stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above, reinstate us in Thy love.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"
- Charles Wesley -

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.
- James Montgomery -

Sweet friends, may you have a most blessed Lord's Day
as you worship the King of kings!
Much love to you!



A Respectable Actress - Book Review

When India Hartley is accused of murder,
she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.
India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress,
is now alone after her father’s death
and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South.
Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace.
On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong.
Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house,
and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair,
the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India.
A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent
his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island.
He needs to increase his income from his law practice
in order to restore Indigo Point,
and hardly anything will bring him more new clients
than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed,
Philip persuades the judge handling her case
to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date.
India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country
and is increasingly drawn to Philip.
But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife
and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions.
Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel,
India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip,
secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom.
If only he will believe her.

My Thoughts
A Respectable Actress was okay. . .
To be honest, I am having a hard time rating this book
because there were parts of it that were good
and parts that were not so good.

First of all, the setting was delightful
and probably the best part of the book.
The book is set in the 19th-century post civil war era
in Savannah, Georgia.
I thoroughly enjoyed the description of Indigo's Point
and often I found myself imagining what the island looked like.

The characters were enjoyable, 
but not exactly memorable.
I read until page 155 and up to that point
I felt it took the author way too long to bring in some clues and excitement.
I thought the author spent too much time on subjects that did not matter
and not enough time on the ones that were important-
such as the relationship between Philip and India.
One minute they are acquaintances and the next India is in love with him.
The story seemed to drag and I lost interest more than once,
and for the first time ever I jumped to the end of the book. . .
well, almost the end - more like a few chapters before the last page.
My friends, I never do this!
I truly feel guilty if I skip some of the book that I am reading,
but with this one I simply had to in order to finish it.
To be quite honest, the ending was the best part
and for the last few chapters I was completely engaged and interested.

All-in-all I would give the book 3 stars.
The author is a talented writer,
but this book just didn't do much for me.

** I was given a free copy of this book 
from the TNZ Fiction Guild Team for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **


A Sweet Ornament Exchange and A Lovely Pocket Letter Swap

Happy day to you, sweet friends!
How are you on this fine Friday?
I am sure as Christmas draws closer 
you are beginning to enjoy many beautiful holiday festivities.
Speaking of which,
I was able to participate in two lovely Christmas swaps,
one being an Ornament Exchange hosted by the wonderful Vicky
and the second being a Pocket Letter Swap hosted by the delightful Deb

Let's start with the Ornament Exchange, shall we. . .

Sweet Sherry from Thrift My House
sent me an incredible ornament package.
As I opened each beautifully wrapped gift I was greatly touched 
by the love, kindness, and generosity that was overflowing from the box.
Let me show you what I mean. . .

When I opened the brown packing box
I was greeted by this charming bird box - how did Sherry know I love birds?!

Then I took the lid off and oh my!
It felt like I had just opened Mary Poppins purse
as beautiful things continued to come out :)

Sweet vintage glass balls. . .oh, I'm in love!

This cute mirror in the shape of a heart -
yes, I LOVE the roses on it.

And inside was a little message. . .
Bless you, Sherry!

Also included was this darling bird sign
along with a magnet that had birds and a Bible verse on it.
Absolute perfection!

Sherry also gave me a handmade heart ornament
as well as a pretty bag with dried lavender. . .
oh the scent was heavenly as it wafted its way up to me 
while I unwrapped everything.

And to finish it off I found a package of dark chocolate covered espresso beans.
Wow, are they ever good!
I have them sitting by my hot cocoa station 
and I must confess that I tend to sneak a few beans throughout the day {{smiles}}

I am truly grateful for such generosity demonstrated by Sherry.
She went above and beyond anything I could have imagined.
My sincerest thanks to you, sweet Sherry!
Please know that your love and kindness is very much appreciated
and every time I decorate the Christmas tree I shall think of you and your friendship.

Also, many thanks to the lovely Vicky 
for hosting this wonderful event.
This was the third annual Ornament Exchange
and I have had the joy of participating in all of them.
I am ever so thankful for all of Vicky's hard work 
and the extra time she puts into this swap.
This is one swap I look forward to every year :)

I had the honor of sending to Terri from Our Good Life
and this is what I sent her way. . .

A handmade snowflake ornament with the breast cancer ribbon.
Terri decorates a Christmas tree in her home that is all pink 
in honor of breast cancer.

She also likes gingerbread so I filled a little basket 
with some baking goodies and a kitchen towel.

Now onto the delightful Pocket Letter Swap.
Dear Deb introduced me to Pocket Letters when she hosted a swap in the fall.
I was tickled pink to join the fall swap and had a wonderful time
so when she announced she was having a Christmas one I just had to participate :)

I was paired with the oh-so-sweet Cindy from

I had such a wonderful time corresponding with her through email
before sending off her Pocket Letter that by the time I sent it
I felt like I was sending it to a dear friend.

Here is what Cindy sent me. . .

All kinds of goodies were added to the pockets
such as pretty snowflakes and delicate cream bows.

And I simply love the vintage graphics!

The back was just as lovely!
I am looking forward to enjoying the raspberry and white tea.
In fact, I think I shall make me a cup and enjoy it 
while sitting by the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights.

Cindy richly blessed me with her beautifully-made Pocket Letter.
as each detail showed that she put a lot of love into the pockets.
I am so thankful to have a new blogging friend in Cindy.

This is the Pocket Letter that I made for Cindy. . .
I tied on small glitter ornaments 
along with a bunch of fun ribbon to the side of the letter.

And this is the back of the Pocket Letter.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to to you, dear Deb,
for all the work and effort you put into making the Pocket Letter Swap a possibility.
It's truly a joy to participate.

Thanks to you, sweet friends, for visiting and commenting.
I know today's post has a lot of photos
so I appreciate you taking the time to look and read.
May you have a splendid weekend!

Love and hugs to you!


Primitive Country Christmas Pillow

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,
and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit,
become a child again at Christmas time.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder -

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Pull out your sewing machine, sweet friends. . .
I have a fun and easy sewing project today :)

Supplies needed for the pillow:


Cut two pieces of fabric that are
10 1/2-inches across and 6 1/2-inches down.

Cut one piece of fabric that is about 
3 1/2-inches across and 4-inches down
{this is for the pocket}.

Sew on the doily to the top piece of fabric.
I sewed mine on near the left edge.

Fold the edges of the pocket about 1/4-inches in and iron
{you can leave them unfolded for a nice fraying look}.
Sew the top edge down
and then place the pocket over the doily 
and sew along the side and bottom edge-
do not sew the top as it will close the opening of the pocket!

Place the two piece of fabric right sides together.
Pin into place and then sew along the edges.
Leave a small opening on the bottom.

Turn the pillow right side out
and fill with batting.

Hand sew the closing.

Supplies needed for the pocket:

Spanish moss
red beads
frosted pine cones
metal heart or star
{ you can even use cinnamon sticks }
fabric tied into a bow

Sew or glue the bow and button onto the corner of the pocket.

Fill the pocket with moss and add the red berries and pine cones
as well as the heart or star.

You can also add a fabric flower to your pillow.

And you're finished, sweet friends.

A delightful pillow to add to your home during the winter and holiday season. . .
or you can give it to someone special :)

I made another pillow that was slightly bigger
and I placed the doily on the bottom edge rather than the side.

And I even made some matching flowers
that sit in glass jars and a country wire basket.
I wrapped the basket handle with the matching beads.

And here is a slightlydifferent version
with a bell pinned onto the pocket and cinnamon sticks tucked inside. 

Happy sewing, sweet friends!
Have a blessed and joyful day.

{{{ HUGS }}}

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth
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