It's almost time to say goodbye to another year, but first I thought I'd do a quick look back by reviewing some of the highlights of my "tea year" for 2012. In January, I surprised myself by successfully baking the elegant teatime treat of macarons for the first time!
In February, my sweetheart continued his annual tradition of taking me to tea for Valentine's, this year a most memorable visit to Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party in Atlanta. February also saw me hosting my annual week of Valentine's giveaways in honor of Valentine's Day. Over the weekend, I bought the first Valentine's gift for the 2013 giveaways, so stay tuned!
In March, I made the "English Tea Scones" (not traditional scones; recipe here) found in the Sandy Springs Garden Club cookbook I had picked up at an area antique mall. Later I heard from a member of the club, which is now 70-something years old, about how they had been on the lookout for a copy of this book and asking for information on it. I made myself a copy and sent the very gracious club members the original, and was just so happy I could help them "recover" a small bit of their club's history. It still amazes me that tea blogs and the internet can make fun things like this possible!
In April, the highlight, easily, was getting to host a birthday tea party for my niece Cari as she turned 13. As a friend pointed out to me, it's not just every teen girl who is still into tea parties, much less letting her middle-aged aunt throw her one for her birthday. A lovely, fun time!
May is my birthday month and almost always includes some tea surprises, but the best "tea gift" of all in May 2012 was getting to finally meet some tea blogger friends face to face in Asheville, N.C.! I still have such wonderful memories of meeting Linda, Phyllis, and their non-tea-blogging but tea-loving friends Sandy and Lynn. We were also joined by another Lynn, Asheville resident and tea blogger "Frivolitea," whom I'd had the pleasure of meeting before. Those of us from out-of-state stayed at the Pinecrest Inn, a charming B&B (thanks to our Kentucky friend Linda, planner extraordinaire). We enjoyed a great time taking tea and even enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of Biltmore House. A friend back home asked if I wasn't nervous meeting up with "strangers" like that. You know, after years of our blog friendship, I felt I truly *knew* these women, and it turns out I did! And I am counting on a reunion event, preferably sooner rather than later. Will I get to see them and/or some new tea blogger (or reader) friends in 2013? Oh, I hope so!
In June, I joined many of you in pulling out some royal teawares and new teas in celebration of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. Wasn't it fun watching all the royal celebrations? I may not be British, but I certainly join them in saying, "Long live the Queen!"
July was a typically hot summer month filled with lots of iced tea, but I also took time for a proper cup of hot tea after my mom found me a pretty vintage tea tray for 50 cents at a yard sale!
I look for vintage tea goodies all the time, and in September I found one of my best finds ever: this set of old Jackson's of Piccadilly teas in tins designed to look like books. I have these out on a small desk in my crafts room next to a lamp, and I just love knowing these "books" aren't what they appear!
In September, our newly-formed Crossroads Garden Club welcomed fall with a Harvest Tea. Our club has had a lot of fun together this year, and I'm very much looking forward to another great year with these fun and knowledgeable folks!
Also in September, I hosted an end-of-summer tea with some friends I'd been eager to have over to the house. I always enjoy having "big girls" for tea, but it's a special treat to have little girls there too! (Shown here: Olivia, Isabel, their mom (and my friend) Angie, and my friend Amy.)
In October, my husband and I traveled to Mississippi for what I called my Mississippi Delta Sweet Tea Tour, since I decided to review the many glasses of sweet tea I enjoyed all along the way. A fun, fun trip!
In November, I was all about Thanksgiving, since I got to host the meal this year. I added some new turkey dinner plates to my stash, these from Royal Stafford with a lovely fruit and flower border.
And the tea highlight of December, of course, was visiting the wonderful Madison Tea Room in Madison, Ga. and getting to enjoy tea with my dear friend Maureen! As I look back, I am once again reminded of how very blessed I am. And best of all, I see once again that I remain very, very rich in family and friends! Thank you, dear readers, for being "tea friends" with me in 2012, and I'm counting on us all having a great 2013 as well!