Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tiffany's Tea-themed Bridal Shower

My oldest granddaughter's bridal shower was the following Saturday after I returned from Biltmore [May 30th].  Tiffany said she wanted her shower to be tea-themed, but preferred it not to be too frou-frou, so we followed her wishes.

As hostess, Lori, [my daughter] had the biggest responsibility in preparing for the shower, but Tiffany's fiancé's mother, sisters, and I helped.  It seemed fitting that the shower's color scheme should be Tiffany Blue [the robin egg blue color used by Tiffany & Co., the NYC jewelry company], since the bride-to-be shares the same name.

Below is the shower invitation and recipe cards that were mailed out.  [Each attendee was asked to write out two of their favorite recipes to share with Tiffany and John.]

~ Photo memory board that Lori put together. ~

The night before the shower a group of us went over to the church fellowship hall to set up tables and decorate.

I volunteered to do favors, tea, and scones.  I ordered teapot demitasse spoons, and secured them to a nylon bag with a drawstring.  A Twinings Lady Grey teabag was placed inside each nylon bag .

~ The favors were at each place setting ~

I ordered French Caramel Creme Brulee [a black tea], which is a favorite of Tiffany's. There was also punch and coffee.

Beverage table [below].  I made a tea concentrate the night before the shower, so all I had to do was add hot water the day of the event.  

~ I confess, I purchased blueberry and raspberry scones rather than making them myself. ~

~ There was only one game, and John's sister was in charge of it. ~

~ Prizes ~

~ John's mother and oldest sister did the dessert table. ~

~ Yummy filled cupcakes ~

[L-R:  John, Tiffany, Lori, and Marissa]

[Lori and her two daughters - Tiffany and Marissa]

[L-R:  Me, Tiffany, Lori, and Marissa]

~ Tiffany and John in the buffet line ~

Boneless Breaded Chicken Breast, Farfalle Alfredo, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Beans Almondine, Salad and Rolls - Tiffany's favorites.

~ Tiffany and John opening gifts ~

I got them a tea kettle, and a set of four teacups & saucers and luncheon plates in the Blue Willow pattern, since the legend behind the Blue Willow china is a love story [albeit a rather sad one].  I also ordered a 6-cup teapot, creamer and sugar to match, and I'm STILL waiting for them to arrive. They've been on back order since April! 

Every object in the Blue Willow pattern is from the legend, so I printed out a 'key' to help them know the meaning of each object.

~ They're opening the Blue Willow gift below ~

Lori gave them a large basket full of kitchen items [cookbook, gadgets, cleaning supplies, etc.].  I wish I would have photographed it, because among the items were kitchen towels for every holiday of the year.  She planned ahead and purchased the towels throughout 2014. What a great idea!

~ Tiffany's thank-you's coordinated with the shower color scheme ~

And now we wait for the August wedding, which will be here before we know it!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Antler Hill Village and Antiquing

On our second day at Biltmore we visited Antler Hill Farm and Village.  The farm reflects the estate's agricultural past, and the village is where The Biltmore Legacy [an exhibition hall that opened in 2010] is located. 

The current exhibition is The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad, and was well worth visiting. At one of the exhibits I learned George, Edith and Cornelia narrowly escaped perishing on the Titanic. They had made plans to return to Biltmore on the Titanic, and had sent their luggage on board the Titanic with one of their servants, who was a second class passenger. For an unknown reason George Vanderbilt canceled their plans to sail on the Titanic one week before the voyage.  Tragically, his servant perished on the Titanic.

The exhibition displays many of the collections the Vanderbilts attained during their world-wide travels.  An informative video about the family was also shown.

The village also has a restaurant, playground, and gift shop.  In front of the restaurant are bronze statues of Cornelia and Cedric - the top dog at Biltmore.  He was the first of a long line of St. Bernards owned by the Vanderbilts.

Sadly, George Vanderbilt died of complications from an appendectomy in 1914 at the age of 52.

On a more uplifting subject, when we left Biltmore, we decided to do some antiquing.  I remembered a series of antique stores on Swannanoa River Road that my girlfriends and I visited in 2012, so we went there.  

I only made one purchase - a vintage Chinese tea set in a wicker travel basket.  I've eyed them on E-bay for a very long time thinking they'd make a great visual for a tea presentation, but they're often pricey, and with shipping fees were always more than I wanted to pay.   Imagine my delight when I spotted one for $28 in excellent condition!  I love the fish hook closure.

When we were done antiquing we stopped at Olive Garden for dinner.  On our way back to our hotel I spotted a Ross Discount Store. There are none in my area, and I'm always reading about the great purchases my friend, Angela, at Tea With Friends blog finds there, so I asked my hubby if  I could go in for a quick look.  

I was 'tickled pink' to find a Gracie China teacup in the Lucy's Love pattern.  At least three of my blogging friends have featured it on their blogs at Valentine's Day.  It was just $5.99, so it didn't take me long to decide if I wanted it.  Now  I'm all set to sip tea in a themed teacup on Valentine's Day 2016!

I spotted a TJ Maxx across the parking lot, and since I seemed to be on a roll, I popped in there too!  I didn't leave empty handed.  I found a Johnson Bros. Rose Chintz luncheon plate in the clearance section for $3.  I purchased a cup and saucer a couple of years ago at an outdoor antique market, so this plate will make a trio.  Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage blog has an entire set of these lovely dishes.

All in all it was a very good day!  We headed for home early the next morning.

*  *  *

Today I'm joining Lavender Cottage for Mosiac Monday

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Reflection...

When I was in England recently I saw two mighty fortresses - Windsor Castle and the Tower of London.  

They reminded me of David's words in Psalm 18:2  "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge."  [NIV]

Martin Luther wrote a timeless hymn conveying the same thoughts:

 "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing:
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow'r are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth is His name.
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle

May God bless your week!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Biltmore Café and Gardens

There are several eateries at Biltmore, but we ate lunch at the Stable Café, near the gift shops.

Jerry ate healthy with a salad and quiche...

 I ate unhealthy, and enjoyed every bite!  ;-)

Refillable glasses of delicious Southern iced sweet tea!

We were now fortified to go out and tour Biltmore's beautiful gardens.

~ Even though I'm not a gardener, I appreciate the beauty gardeners create ~

  The rose garden section is for all my gardening friends!

~ Many varieties of tea roses ~

~ Garden Ladies ~

~ England would be proud of Biltmore's beautiful gardens! ~

~ Leaving the gardens ~

~ Leaving Biltmore for the day ~

End of Day 1