Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A new scrub with green tea

It's been a while since I've spotted any new cosmetics containing our beloved camellia sinensis as an ingredient, so I was delighted to come across this Raw Sugar Whipped Scrub with green tea, cucumber, and aloe vera at Kroger recently.

I was especially delighted that it was in their clearance section, so this $15.49 product was just $5.42, and I do love a good scrub cream. Olay made a great one with tea in it a few years ago, and I bought it every chance I got, but alas, it disappeared from shelves. Lots of products these days claim to have green tea in them, so I've learned to really read the labels to make sure it's not just the *idea* of tea that they're selling!

This scrub's lovely floral scent is just divine, and it's a thick, paste-like scrub, and with almost 60-year-old skin, I appreciate that it's only lightly scrubby, with not quite the grittiness of the old scrubs that felt like melted sandpaper. I like sloughing off a few skin cells but certainly not all of them, if you know what I mean, and I definitely follow up with a light moisturizer these days. A little googling revealed that this scrub cream is occasionally on sale at various drug stores and grocery stores, and I see it's currently part of a bundle on Amazon, too, so if you're in the market for a scrub cream, you might look for this one! 

Updated to add: In response to a reader question, I wanted to note that yes, this IS a body scrub, not a facial scrub, but because it said "for sensitive skin," I've been happy using it as a facial scrub. If you have SUPER sensitive skin, this may not be something you want to try. (But boy, do I love mine!)

Monday, February 26, 2024

A family birthday lunch!

Yesterday after church, Alex and I headed to my sister's house for a soup-and-sandwich birthday lunch in honor of Daddy, who turned 85 last week. Now, how many pitchers of tea do you suppose I've shown here over the years? Dolly Parton was definitely right when she called this "the house wine of the South" in Steel Magnolias.

Daddy is in great health, has a lovely lady friend (someone our family went to church with years ago, which is a bonus!), recently took up pickleball, and was telling me something about "some elderly people" last week, so I'd say that at 85, he's doing pretty good. Here he is with his first great-grandchild, baby Ezra, who was born to my niece Cari and her husband, Blake, last July. Ezra is the star of the show at family gatherings these days.

Cari's older sister, Madison, loves nephew Ezra and has babysat him on many occasions already.

Amelia, my youngest niece, is one of Ezra's favorites as well! (We all love that he is going through his little mohawk phase.)

And here's Daddy with my sister, me, and Cari. Very grateful for another fun day celebrating my dad! 

Friday, February 23, 2024

A trip to Cheaha State Park and a fun find

Yesterday was such a pretty day that Alex and I decided we needed to get out of the house and go gallivanting, so we ended up in Alabama at Cheaha State Park, which is the highest point in Alabama and definitely feels like it once your car winds its way uphill! Here, we had stopped to enjoy the view when we realized we were looking down on …

A helicopter! It appeared to have picked up a large red box-shaped something or other way down below, and we agreed it seemed highly unusual to be looking *down* on a helicopter in the air!

We stopped at several stores along the way, including a couple of thrift shops, one of which appeared to be open but was closed (lights on, cars lined up out front) and one of which appeared super junky outside but inside was one of the nicest, most well-organized thrift stores I've ever been in. Didn't buy anything there, but it was fun to look. Then, Alex spotted an antique mall near Lake Wedowee. The first thing I saw inside was a nice display of uranium glass, which my friend Connie has asked me to be on the lookout for. And what did I buy for myself?

Only one thing, but it was something I've had on my bucket list for a while, a vintage Blue Willow teapot! I've been around Blue Willow all of my life, it seems, but developed an appreciation for it only later in life. I had priced new Blue Willow teapots on Amazon for about $50, but this isn't exactly a scarce pattern, and I certainly don't need a big collection or anything, so I had a feeling I would spot one "in the wild" one day. This Sadler version was just $17, in mint condition, and it was the perfect souvenir of a fun day trip!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

American Dream Tea

I was at my friend Nancy's Carriage House Country Antiques and Gifts in Senoia recently when I spotted a new-to-me tea blend, this American Dream Tea from Metropolitan Tea Company.

I loved the bright, strong scent of the tea bags when I opened this *paper* canister of tea. Although the front of the package describes it as a black tea, the back says it includes black tea, green tea, and natural flavoring. Interesting!

I wish I knew what all was in this blend, because it's great! It's definitely a brisk blend, but I also detected something floral. Maybe the green tea was a jasmine-flavored one? Or maybe it's the natural flavoring? I actually bought this tea mainly because I wanted the cute container for my July Fourth tea trolley, so discovering that the tea is tasty, too, is a nice bonus!

Monday, February 19, 2024

Mark your calendar for February 29 …


Isn't this tea blend lovely? It's got both Assam and Keemun tea as well as cornflowers and some Silver Needle tea. The scoop?

It's the Brigadoon blend from Adagio Teas, and like the fictional Scottish town for which it is named, it will be "fading into the mist" after February 29, 2024, as it is available only on that day! Adagio sent me some samples to try, and I enjoyed this brisk black blend very much. I've been polishing off my Christmas teas (because who wants to drink spicy teas on St. Patrick's Day?), and this Brigadoon tea is perfect for easing my taste buds into spring!

The blue tea tin is so pretty!

And the tea will also be available by the bag. It's such a fun idea for a specialty tea blend, and if you want to check it out, click here!

Friday, February 16, 2024

The Harney Gift Card winner is …

 Jan H.! Congratulations to all who won this year's Valentine's Week giveaways!

Tea Time and a Cross-Stitch-Themed Tea Party!


I always love it when the new issue of Tea Time arrives, and I enjoy discovering what the special themes are for the issue.

The article on "Teatime and Cross-Stitch" in the March/April issue immediately became one of my all-time favorites. Why? Well, because it features the Royal Albert Petit Point pattern, and I have several pieces (but not the teapot, for which I'm simply unwilling to pay full retail, so holler if you see one for $5 at a thrift store!).

The recipes in this article all include a sewing theme, like these Vegetable Skeins made of spiralized zucchini, herbed cheese spread, and prosciutto. Clever!

And the pièce de résistance? These Scissor Meringues with silver luster dust on the "blades"! Sewing sisters, is that not the coolest thing you've ever seen for a tea party? Now to see if I can make them …

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The tea mug winner is …

 Nancy in Northeast Iowa! Congrats!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #4: Harney & Sons Gift Card


To conclude our Valentine's Week celebration, I wanted to wrap up by giving away a $20 gift card to Harney & Sons, because we all can use more tea! And standard shipping is free, so hopefully you'll find something you'd like to try! If you'd like to win the Harney & Sons e-gift card, just sign in to your Blogger and/or Google account to leave an "Enter me" to this post by 7 a.m. EST on Friday, February 16, and you'll be entered to win. You can also enter on the Tea With Friends Facebook page here, or you may send me an email at angelamcrae at charter dot net. US only, please. And good luck!

And for my final vintage valentine this year, I thought you might enjoy seeing this lovely old Hallmark valentine with a lace-patterned edge. Although it does say Hallmark in tiny print on the back, there's no copyright year I can detect, but I do believe this is a very old valentine.

I don't know who Aunt Harriette was, but I imagine she made her niece very happy with this sweet valentine. And with that, I wish you all a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2024

The winner of the teacup figurine is …

 Marian M. Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy it!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #3 — A Glass Mug with "Heart"

For Valentine's Week giveaway #3, I'm offering this glass mug with a heart-shaped insert! I found this on Amazon and thought it would be perfect as a Valentine's gift.

Would you like to win it? If so, just sign in to your Blogger and/or Google account to leave an "Enter me" to this post by 7 a.m. EST on Valentine's Day, February 14, and you'll be entered to win. You can also enter on the Tea With Friends Facebook page here, or you may send me an email at angelamcrae at charter dot net. US only, please. And good luck!

I'm also continuing my tradition of sharing photos of my new tea-themed vintage valentines, which aren't part of the giveaway but simply recent additions to my collection. This postcard-style Hallmark valentine I found on Etsy looks newer, from the 1960s or 1970s versus the 1940s or 1950s, and I love it!

Friday, February 9, 2024

Valentine's Week Giveaway #2 - For Bunny and Butterfly Lovers!

I should have labeled the Wednesday giveaway as #1 (it was a last-minute idea), but here we go with giveaway #2! I do believe this is the first time I've offered an Easter item as a Valentine's Week giveaway, but hey, it's cute, and a tea lover definitely needs to own this sweet piece, which I found at T.J. Maxx this week. It's the size of a small teacup and is made of some sort of heavy resin or plastic, I believe. I will package it carefully so that it gets to you in one piece, but after that, the bunny ears and the butterfly are YOUR responsibility, okay? If you'd like to win it, just sign in to your Blogger and/or Google account to leave an "Enter me" to this post by 7 a.m. EST on Monday, February 12, and you'll be entered to win. You can also enter on the Tea With Friends Facebook page here, or you may send me an email at angelamcrae at charter dot net. US only, please. And good luck!

Continuing another tradition I've followed for years, I'm sharing photos of my new tea-themed vintage valentines. These aren't part of the giveaway, just recent additions to my collection since you all seem to enjoy seeing them each year. This one is what they call a mechanical valentine because it moves.

Not exactly sure why her body needs to bob down that far, but this was still a fun addition to my valentine collection this year!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The winner of the Cupid's Cup tea is …

 Daniele K., so congrats! And stay tuned – more Valentine's Week giveaways are coming!

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Valentine's Giveaway: A Bag of Cupid's Cup!


After I reviewed this great new valentine's blend from Adagio Teas the other day, it dawned on me that I should give away a bag to one of you as part of this year's valentine's giveaways! And I'm afraid they might run out before Valentine's Day (it's so good, y'all), so let's do a quick giveaway today. You can sign in to your Blogger and/or Google account to leave an "Enter me" to this post by 7 a.m. tomorrow, February 8, and you'll be entered to win. You can also enter on the Tea With Friends Facebook page here, or you may send me an email at angelamcrae at charter dot net. US only, please. Good luck!

Monday, February 5, 2024

The Valentine's tea trolley, 2024 edition

I'm not quite finished decorating for Valentine's Day just yet, but this weekend, I did manage to get the valentine's tea trolley decorated, and I plopped some valentine decor in other spots around the house, too, so I'm sure I'll share more as the days roll by.

But first, I can't believe it hadn't occurred to me before that I should put the tea trolley vintage valentine on the actual tea trolley!

I pulled out my pink faux feather tree as well and clipped some of my tea-themed vintage valentines to it.

At an antique store on Saturday, I found the vintage pink plastic heart box, which has a pink bottom and a clear lid. Some of you may remember when baby comb-and-brush sets came in heart-shaped boxes that were pink and blue. Well, this is the same sort of design, but the box is only four inches tall. Maybe it once held candy?

And I know these boxes once held candy! The local antique stores didn't turn up a single vintage heart-shaped candy box this year, but I did find the red one here for $10 on Facebook Marketplace last year.

There was a time I would have been horrified at the idea of decorating with plastic flowers, but now, I find them quite cute in a kitschy sort of way!

Friday, February 2, 2024

A cup of tea from Cupid!

Look at this loose tea! You can see the rose hips and the fruit pieces, but do you see the tiny little heart sprinkles? Oh. My. Goodness!

This delightful blend from Adagio Teas is called Cupid's Cup, and they were kind enough to send me a sample bag to try!

What's in this caffeine-free blend? All sorts of good, yummy stuff! 

The steeped tea is a dark-ruby color, and I expected it to be overly tart, but it wasn't. This was a very smooth blend with a sweet and fruity flavor, and it definitely had that "dessert tea" feel. Maybe it was those tiny heart sprinkles that added just the right finish. I absolutely love this tea (I've had multiple cups already, with multiple steepings), and it's available only through February 14, so click here if you'd like to order a bag for yourself. (Just $15 or free with a $59 purchase!)