Monday, September 29, 2014

hello, sunshine!

Cutest mommy / sweetling moment this morning...

I came downstairs wearing a yellow sweatshirt that Ila had not seen on me before. She took one wide-eyed look and giggled and said, "Mommy, you look like sunshine! I think it suits you!"

Tucking that love note away with joy ♥

Saturday, September 27, 2014

sweetlings, tea & celebrations

Have you taken any time for tea lately? It occurs to me as I sit to write this afternoon that it has been quite some time since I have taken time for tea. The sweetlings and I usually share a cup often, but we have not done that this month that I can recall. Nor have we shared a tea party since the spring - wow! I am amazed, but what a wonderful challenge to make sure that we do take some time for tea this coming week :)

While we are on the subject, I thought I would share a few of our favorite "tea times" with you. I hope that you find here an idea that will bless you - along with lots of joy and love that we always bundle into our tea time baskets ♥

Breakfast Tea – The sweetlings and I love to combine tea time and breakfast time. This is a favorite meal of the day, so they always have some scrumptious ideas for what we can serve. Sometimes we go a bit heavier with eggs and breads, other times we just do English muffins or bagels or muffins with yummy toppings and always some fresh fruit on the side.

Afternoon or Evening Tea - This is a very special time for us :) It means that we have invited someone we love to come and share tea with us. We get out some of our loveliest china and linen and set a celebration table. Then we bake and slice and arrange - usually we serve a homemade cake of some kind, a fruit cup, and some tiny tea treasures (like cinnamon flowers or lemon pastries). Adding to this, we like to have flowers and candles on the table and a little gift for our guest.

Heirloom Tea - This is a theme tea, and it makes for a wonderful party. You can use this idea for a birthday tea or a mother-daughter tea. You set the table with a different china pattern at each place. Use a lovely mix of serving pieces as well. Bake treats from your recipes and from those of your mother and grandmother, etc. As we share in an Heirloom Tea with our guests, we share the story behind the china and serving plates, and the story of the foods, too.

Teddybear Tea - M's first birthday was celebrated this way. We did a nursery tea - using small cookies and cakes and cambric tea (milk with a splash of tea) for the littles. Each guest was invited to bring her favorite childhood teddy bear. This tea included friends from the age of one and a half to eighty something, so the guests could share about their bear if he/she was no longer with them :)

Family Time Tea - This is another very special tea time, as this is the tea that we prepare for when Jamie arrives home from work. The sweetlings and I set the coffee table as our tea table, and we usually use one of their small tea sets for this. We serve blueberry muffins and fresh fruit and something chocolate (since Jamie loves it). We do our best to keep it a surprise, and J is always delighted to come home to Family Time Tea.

Christmas Tea - My sister, Paige, and I hosted several of these, and they remain some of my very favorite tea time memories. We invited ladies who had blessed our lives in special ways. Each lady was asked to bring her own tea cup and saucer. It is a marvelous time of sharing and remembering and tea :) For Christmas Tea, we always serve several types of tea, family favorite cakes and breads, and lots of holiday tea time goodies. It is all quite dressed up with our finest china and silver and linen.

Under the Tree Tea - This is a tea for two :) It is simple and elegant and is especially meaningful on Christmas Eve. Everything for Christmas Day celebrations is complete. We turn off every source of light except the Christmas tree and brew a pot of tea. We share tea time cuddling and sipping and just being... lovely!