An Invitation To Tea

Hospitality should have
no other nature than love.
- - Henrietta Mears - -

My sweet friends,
the other day I was reading in my
Tea Lover's Devotional by Emilie Barnes
and I was truly blessed by her words
so I thought I would share them with you.

Take a moment
and slow down, dear ones.
Enjoy these words written by Emilie Barnes.

There's no hurry about the ritual of tea
since you can't go ahead with the tea
until the water is boiling.
And there's more waiting to do even then,
because the tea leaves or tea bags
must steep in the pot.
But while you are waiting for the liquid
to turn its fragrant amber,
you can carry the tray to a comfortable nook
and wait in peace.
If you are with friends,
this is a wonderful time to reconnect with one another.
If you are alone,
you can read or think or pray or just "be."

The brewed tea is too hot to sip quickly,
but it will cool.
You can simply sit and wait until the boiling liquid
settles into comfortable warmth.
Maybe you can read yet another page of your book.
Or you can politely pass the cream and sugar
and cookies or fruit to your friends - more ritual.

Then your cup is ready to enjoy.
And somehow as you sip,
your mind continues to settle down 
from its habitual rush.
Your words and your musings slow down
and sink deeper.
Your relationships - even your relationship with yourself -
are granted space for a leisurely stretch.
And the beautiful thing is,
all this slowdown takes so little time!

Enjoying a cup of tea
is not like taking a summer off
or going away on a retreat.
It's an island of calm
you can reasonably visit in the course
of your busiest day.

Once you make the decision to adjust your pace,
you can relax and enjoy the journey.
You may need to change your mental gears
to enjoy it fully.
You may need to practice waiting
and learning to enjoy the repetitive freedom
of the ritual of tea.
But once you do,
the change of pace will renew your mind
and refresh your spirit.

Plan a tea party to gather some old friends or new friends.
Even having just one person over
for a cup of tea and good conversation
will create a time of hospitality and connection.
Make it simple so that you enjoy it
and can focus on sharing your heart with your guests.

Last week I held a giveaway for the children's book
Busy in Boots by Madison Meadows
and today I am announcing the winner.
Many thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway.
The lovely winner is. . .

One last thing. . .
many of you know my dear mom
who blogs over at 
Today is her 60th birthday
and I want to wish her a year 
of happiness, love, and sweet blessings.
She is a beautiful woman inside and out,
and it's an honor to call her my mother.
Happy Birthday to a rare 
and truly amazing gem!

Have a most wonderful day!
Love and hugs to you, my friends.


Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sandwich Cremes & A Giveaway

Here's a cookie for you.

Hello, beautiful friends!
Today I have an extra sweet treat for you,
melt-in-your-mouth sandwich cremes.
I shared a picture of these cookies
on my Valentine's tea post last week
and several of you lovely ladies asked for the recipe.
I want to personally thank Janet Karst
for following my blog and leaving a comment for the first time.
It's always a pleasure to hear from new readers
and please know that I enjoy and appreciate
every one of your comments.
Thank you, friends, 
for faithfully visiting and commenting.

Many of you also inquired about the Lamingtons recipe.
I will share the link to that recipe at the end of this post.
Now let's get to the cookie recipe!

- - Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sandwich Cremes - -

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
sugar for cookie coating

In a large mixing bowl,
combine the butter, cream, and flour.
Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours,
or until the dough is easy to handle.

Divide the dough into thirds
and on a floured surface, 
roll out the dough to 1/8-inch in thickness.
Cut with a floured cookie cutter.
Place the cutouts in a shallow dish
filled with sugar, turn to coat.

Place 2-inches apart on a baking sheet 
lined with parchment paper.
Back at 375 degrees F for 7-10 minutes.
Remove to wire racks
and cool completely.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
food coloring

In a mixing bowl,
cream butter and sugar.
Add vanilla and tint with food coloring.
Spread about 1 teaspoon of filling
over half of the cookies;
top with remaining cookies.

Just look at this flaky goodness,
my friends.
Yes, these cookies 
will melt-in-your-mouth.

Life is short.
Surround yourself with kind and loving people. . .
and eat only good cookies.

Some of you also asked about the Lamingtons recipe
that I shared on my post last week.
You can find the recipe here.
The recipe called for dried coconut
which I could not find
so I used fresh and while it tasted good,
I think dried would have been much better.
Also, I did not make the chocolate syrup
that the recipe calls for,
but rather made one with confectioners' sugar.

Here is the recipe for the glaze icing:
1 pound of sifted confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons of butter, softened
1/2 cup of milk or water
(you may need a little bit more if the glaze is too thick)
food coloring 
(add it before you heat the glaze 
and add it sparingly if you want soft pastel colours)

Mix it all together in a small pan 
and heat it gently until warm and pourable.

And now for the giveaway. . .
a lovely friend and talented author,
Madison Meadows,
offered to give away one of her sweet books
Busy in Boots.

This book teaches respect of all professions and people 
and shows how important it is for everyone
to have that special person in place
to make the city a safe and fun place
to live, work, and play.
The book itself is charming
and the illustrations are simply adorable.
Busy in Boots is perfect for families 
with children of all ages.

I have a signed copy of the book
and I would be most happy to send it to someone special.
To enter the giveaway,
please leave a comment below 
sharing who you would share the book with
whether it's your children, grandchildren, 
nieces, nephews, friend's kids, etc.
I will announce the winner 
next Wednesday, February 27th.

You can also find a copy of this book

Enjoy the remainder of your week, sweet friends!
Love and hugs to you.


A Valentine's Day Tea Party

Hugs, kisses,
and Valentine's wishes.

Join me, lovely friends,
for a cup of tea 
and some Valentine's Day treats.

The table has been set
and the food has been served.

My son and I hosted this delightful tea party
for a very special lady. . .
my mom.
We wanted to spoil her
and show her just how much we adore her.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner
it seemed like the perfect time 
to shower some extra love on her.

I filled mini black buckets with chocolate hearts
and set one at each place setting.
The bucket had handles so I tied tulle around them
for added charm.

Black sparkly balls
and small pink crystals
adorned the center of the table.

My mom loves pink, turquoise, and black
which is why I used those colors for the tea party.
I searched high and low
for a pink and black tea cup
because I wanted to give it to my mom.
I found this little beauty on online
and it was simply perfect.

And because my son was joining us
I wanted a "manly" tea cup for him.
He is into knights and kingdoms right now
so when I saw this tea cup
at this lovely Etsy shop well,
I just had to get it for him.
And it being in black was an added bonus.

I used my pink rose dishes
and the turquoise linen napkins 
added a nice splash of color.

I found the "LOVE" sign at Hobby Lobby 
and I made some pink hearts
to place around the sign.

This is what we had on the menu. . .

Thick and creamy potato soup
along with cucumber sandwiches
and mini BLT's.

Oreo and mint
cheesecake trifles
topped with fresh raspberries.

Homemade Lamingtons.

Lemon and raspberry tarts.

Chocolate wafer cookies
dipped in white chocolate.

And butter sandwich cookies
that literally melted in our mouths.

I was truly blessed as we sipped our tea
and nibbled on food throughout the afternoon.
I am immensely grateful to have my precious mom in my life
and I truly cherish the moments my son and I have with her.
She has poured, and continues to pour, so much love on my life
and the life of my son that it's a joy and gift 
to be able to shower her with love as well.

I hope you have a most beautiful Valentine's Day,
sweet friends.
Pour a little love 
on someone special in your life.

You have this incredible way
of making my heart happy.
- - Unknown - -

Last week I shared that I had been absent from blogging for good reasons.
Well, on February 1st my husband, son, and I
took off for Arizona for a nice 10 day vacation.
Oh, what a lovely time we had!
We so love Arizona and any time spent there
is truly a blessing.
We were able to see my grandmother and mom
which was simply wonderful.
I hadn't seen my grandma since last summer
so it was a joy to spend some time with her 
and to see that she is doing well.

Thank you for visiting, dear friends.
Love and hugs to you!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Flower and Lace Coasters

You keep calm. . .
and I'll drink coffee.

Hi, friends!
Need a coaster for your coffee mug?
Or maybe something to set your tea cup on?
Well, these charming little coasters will do the trick.
And the best thing
is that you can whip up a set in no time.

Here is what you will need:

scrap fabric, or better yet, charm squares
fusible fleece
crocheted lace trim
mini silk roses

For one coaster you will need two 5-inch squares
and one square of fusible fleece that measures 4.5-inches.
Iron on the fusible fleece to the back side
of the front square.
Does that make sense?

Sew a strip of lace to the front square.

Place the two squares with right sides together
and sew along all four edges with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Leave a small opening.
Also, trim the corners,
but be careful you don't snip your seam.

Pull the coaster right side out of the hole
and press with a hot iron.
Top stitch along all four edges.

For the fabric flower
cut a strip of fabric that is 1.5 x 8-inches and fold in half.
Sew a gathering stitch along the raw edge
and gently pull to create a flower.
Sew the two ends together.
Apply a bit of hot glue to the flower
and press onto the top of the lace.
Add a silk rose to the center.

Heart warming tea
on a cold rainy day.

It's always a pleasure to read your comments.
I appreciate the time you take in visiting.
Forgive me for not being around, dear friends,
but I have been absent from blogging for good reasons.
I will tell you more about it next week.

Love and hugs to you!
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