Monday, February 28, 2022

Some thoughts about … Tea Thoughts!


Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed getting goodies in the mail. So when I ordered something from recently and it came in *this* box, I was especially happy. (And I'm keeping the box!)

And a personal touch always means so much to me! To see a ribbon and pretty papers awaiting inside the box? What a lovely touch in today's so-often-impersonal retail world.

So what came in my package? This lovely camellia sinensis scarf (I've really gotten into scarves lately and wear them all the time) and a darling little enamel teapot pin!

Technically, this 21-inch-square piece of cloth is a "furoshiki," which I learned is "a traditional wrapping cloth generally used to wrap or transport goods." But when I read it could also be used as a bandana or neck scarf, I wanted it because of the lovely design (and the fact that St. Patrick's Day will soon be here, which will be a good excuse to wear it somewhere!).

And isn't this enamel clay teapot pin darling? This is only my second order from Tea Thoughts, but I must say that I continue to be thoroughly impressed with their items and service.  

Friday, February 25, 2022

Spring 2022 Country Home Magazine

When I got back from our travels last week, I discovered that our "held" mail had been only partially held, so the rest of last week's mail has been drifting in ever since. But one thing I was happy to see was this pretty new issue of Country Home. As I turned the pages and spotted some lovely photos, though, I remembered that I recently subscribed to Country Living but don't in fact subscribe to Country Home! I checked the label, and this was the neighbor's magazine, alas. I was tempted to read through it first, but my conscience got the better of me, so I walked it over to my neighbor and searched for my own copy since I had already spotted …

Some gorgeous photographs of vintage teacups. And tea tins too!

There are some Shabby Chic-looking features.

And a nice piece about decoupaging with pansies. Springtime magazines are always some of my favorites, and in case a misdelivered copy doesn't end up at your house, I wanted you to know about it too!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

"Saving Mrs. Roosevelt" by Candice Sue Patterson


"Shirley lifted the string of the tea bag up and down, watching the herbs steep and the water turn a dark brown." — Saving Mrs. Roosevelt by Candice Sue Patterson

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt by Candice Sue Patterson is the latest selection of my book group, and I loved it so much that I was delighted to find a couple of tea references, which convinced me that I should mention it here! This book is part of the Heroines of WWII series by Barbour Publishing, and I definitely am interested in checking out some of the other titles in the series.

Our heroine, Shirley Davenport, is bored to death trapping lobsters with her family in Maine, so she applies to join the SPARS.  Now while I knew about the WAVES, the US Navy's corps of female members during the war, I must say that I don't ever remember learning about the SPARS, the US Coast Guard's Women's Reserve. (Their name was an acronym for the slogan "Semper Paratus—Always Ready.")

When she goes for training, Shirley falls for a dashing officer, but his interest in her seems to be purely professional. He thinks she would make a great spy, and one is needed since someone back in her hometown has been threatening to kill First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Shirley and her Black roommate, Alma (an intriguing character as well), definitely prove their willingness to lay down their lives for their country, and I can't remember the last time I read a book and cheered for the leading ladies as much as I did with these gals. This exceptionally well-written book also had, to my delight, an inspirational angle, and the conclusion was one of the most satisfying I've read in a while. If you're looking for a new read, I highly recommend this one.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Home from California

I must say that "the desert" of California was even more beautiful than I'd imagined! Our time in Indian Wells (near Palm Springs) passed quickly, but I took lots of photos of the gorgeous scenery and am so grateful to Alex's client for making sure we had such a lovely week and were treated so well. They even gave us the use of one of their golf carts, so one afternoon, we rode through the neighborhood so I could take photos of the gorgeous flowers. This is the entrance to "the club" in the community where we stayed, and I was just bowled over by all those pansies!

So, so lovely!

On the golf course, everyone—and I mean everyone—had an immaculate garden, and ours had so many gorgeous roses that I just enjoyed walking out each morning and literally smelling the roses!

I'd never given too much thought to the name Palm Springs before, but now I can definitely see where the "Palm" comes from. I saw so many of them and admired the variations in shape, size, and color. What a visual feast!

And I never got tired of gazing out at those mountains. So majestic!

While I didn't make it to a tearoom or a thrift store on this trip (and there were some on the outskirts; I'd done my research!), I still got to enjoy a little shopping with the client's gracious wife, who made sure I visited some of the cutest boutiques in town. At a spice shop, I was delighted to find a decidedly homey souvenir, a Palm Springs community cookbook that was published and reprinted many times as a fundraiser for the local hospital.

I haven't had time to cook anything from it yet, and while it does include some recipes that would be great for teatime (like a pineapple banana bread), the first thing I want to make is Bob Hope's Favorite Lemon Pie. California sure pulled out the welcome mat for us, and I hope to go back again one day!

Friday, February 18, 2022

The "Poparazzi" in California


Whenever I travel, there's always some toiletry I've forgotten to pack, and this time it was hand cream. Happily, we went by a CVS soon after arriving in town, and I found this hand cream by Poparazzi.

When I can't decide which fragrance to try, I always get the one with "Tea" in the name, and this Eucalyptus & Tea variety did the trick. It actually smells more like some light floral than eucalyptus, but that's fine.

And as so often happens, I purchased the hand cream and only later realized there's no tea in it that I can find. Oh well!

But speaking of paparazzi (spelled the normal way), I did manage to snap photos of two famous folks' houses since arriving in California this week. Our taxi driver had barely pulled out of the airport when I spotted an unusual-looking house up in the hills and asked, "Whose house is that?" Turns out, it's Bob Hope's old house, and if you Google it, you may be as amazed as I was at what a modern house he had in Palm Springs.

I've been spending the week as a guest in a nearby community called Indian Wells, and I can look out my bedroom window and see this house, which was President Eisenhower's old home here. Cool, huh! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

A memorable Valentine's Day

So I'm blogging from sunny Southern California, where my husband is here to meet with a ghostwriting client, and I'm tagging along for the week! I'd been to the northern part of the state before but not the southern part, and it's been a lovely surprise so far. (More photos to come, I'm sure.) When I think of California, I think of palm trees, and they did not disappoint!

After flying in from Atlanta, we looked forward to an early dinner on the evening of Valentine's Day, and we found a nice little restaurant near us called Eureka. I saw they had lavender tea on the menu and ordered it, and it was one of the best herbal teas I've ever had. The lavender taste was light and subtle, and the tea was garnished with a pansy and mint. And isn't that glass pretty!

Alex had a fancy burger, and I had their blackened salmon salad, which was great. I'm always happy to find something that isn't fast food when I'm eating while on the road.

And when we got back to our hotel, this was waiting for us in the room.

Heart-shaped chocolate truffles. What a fun surprise and a lovely welcome to California!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Harney gift card winner is …

Ginger! Congratulations, and thanks to all of you who entered this year for Valentine's Week!

Monday, February 14, 2022

The Amazon gift card winner is …

Margie M.! Congrats to Margie, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #7


Happy Valentine's Day, friends! Now the vintage-est of the vintage valentines I've found over the last year is clearly this one, and I think it's so frilly and lovely!

In case the print is too light for you to read, it says: "Only a Greeting with Sincere Affection — Good Saint Valentine, I pray, While around this town you stray, You will keep a watch for me, For a maid who's fair to see. This, Saint Valentine, I pray, On the morning of that day, You will hand that maid for me, My Sweetheart, so fair to see." So there you go, day seven of vintage valentines, and I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I have!

To conclude our Valentine's Week celebration, I wanted to wrap up by giving away a $25 gift card to Harney & Sons, because who couldn't use more tea? And if your order is lightweight enough, it will ship for free, so hey, make that $25 go as far you can!

If you'd like to win the Harney & Sons gift card, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. tomorrow, February 15, *making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner* and you'll be entered to win. (US only.) Good luck, and I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

The tea towel winner is …

 Donna Z. Congrats, and I hope you enjoy your new tea towel!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #6


While I didn't save any of the valentines my parents gave me when I was a little girl, I do have several that they gave me as an adult, and I treasure them and the sweet sentiments they include. I imagine some little girl of yesteryear was equally happy to receive this sweet valentine!

I love that it has tea wares on both the inside and outside and is signed simply "Mother & Daddy."

So to make sure you know that God loves you and I do, too (hey, it's the Lord's day!), one of you will be getting a $25 Amazon card so that you can buy yourself a new book about tea, or a new teacup, or some loose tea, or … well, if you're the practical sort and use it to buy laundry detergent, I don't need to know about that, okay?

If you'd like to win the gift card, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. tomorrow, February 14, *making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner* and you'll be entered to win. (US only.) Good luck!

Saturday, February 12, 2022

The winner of the scarf is …

Joan EC! I sure hope you enjoy yours as much as I'm enjoying mine. Congrats!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #5

Of all the valentines I've collected, I must say that this is the one that is probably most like those I would have sent and received as a child in the late sixties. Wouldn't it be something if this really were one of the designs I sent to a classmate? If you'll note the little tabs up top, it's clear that Hallmark ditched the envelopes and went with the self-sealing kind of valentine card for kiddos.

The names, too, are more of my era. Instead of Margaret or Eloise (both of which I like, by the way), we've got a Julie and a Heidi. Funny enough, I was in the grocery store one night this week when a young mom stopped and asked me if I knew where to buy valentines. ("Am I on Candid Camera?" I thought.) Turns out, she'd been unable to find those mass quantities of kids' valentines at any of the grocery stores or dollar stores (I'm ashamed to admit I haven't even thought to look at those places, and what if they have tea ones!). She told me she might be forced to download something off Pinterest and print it out by the next morning. "God made Pinterest for a reason," I assured her.

Meanwhile, back in the land of giveaways, y'all know I love me some tea towels, and I was in a local antique shop recently (Treasures Lost and Found for you locals) when I bought one of these for me and one for one of you. 

If you'd like to win the tea towel, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. tomorrow, February 13, *making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner* and you'll be entered to win. (US only.) Good luck!

Friday, February 11, 2022

The winner of the luggage tag is …

 Suzette! And I've just sent her an email, so it will soon be headed her way. Congrats!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #4

I believe I have only one other vintage valentine with elephants on it, so I was tickled to find this one on eBay a while back. I really like the ones that say "You're My Cup of Tea."

And how sweet that this card was once sent from Nancy (my late mother's name) to Mary Ellen.

Now I'm especially excited about today's giveaway, something I bought two of back in January since I had a feeling it would be sold out by Valentine's Day, and it is. It's this gorgeous Echo teacups silk scarf that Talbots recently had for sale, shown here in a screen grab from their website.

I love mine and look forward to sharing the other one with one of you! If you'd like to win the scarf, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. tomorrow, February 12, *making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner* and you'll be entered to win. (US only.) Good luck!


Thursday, February 10, 2022

The winner of the teacup socks is …

Marilyn DKC! And I've just sent her an email and hope to have these headed her way shortly. So if you haven't won a prize yet, we've still got five more giveaways to go!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #3

Today's vintage valentine is one that I'm guessing dates to the thirties or forties based on the style of the graphics.

Inside it reads: "To my Valentine, Now certainly you can't resist, The plea my doll is making; Accept my doll, my heart and me; They're yours for just the taking." And please note the dolls' tea set!

The back of the card is signed "To Winnie From Virginia Reehl." (Or maybe it's "ReeD"? What do y'all think?)

We have tea friend Frances to thank for today's giveaway, this Harney & Sons luggage tag. She sent me a heads-up that this was on sale, and I actually needed one, but I decided to get one to give away as well. So if you'd like to win the luggage tag, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. tomorrow, February 11, *making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner* and you'll be entered to win. (US only.) Good luck!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The winner of the tea giveaway is …

Loralie! I've just sent her a notification email, and I'll have this tea headed her way soon. But we've got six more giveaways ahead, so please be sure to enter them all, friends!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #2

Today's vintage valentine is a lucky ducky lady who is happily sipping away with her cup and saucer. Isn't she cute?
You can see from the back that this was once an "easel" style of card, although the flap doesn't stand up too well now. I hope it did back when Margaret Cope first sent it!

And now for today's giveaway, some teacup trouser socks from Talbots!

And since they're green, maybe you can enjoy wearing them to a St. Patrick's Tea next month!

If you'd like to win the socks, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. tomorrow, February 10, *making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner* and you'll be entered to win. (US only.) Good luck!