Monday, April 30, 2018

Cristy Bennett's Downton Abbey Tea

Last Saturday my girlfriend, Lori, and I made our way to East Lansing, MI for another of Cristy Bennett's fabulous teas.  It was originally scheduled for April 14th, but was postponed due to a freezing rain/ice storm.  Mother Nature cooperated on Saturday and gave us good traveling weather.

With Downton Abbey's series over, it was nice to be reminded again of how wonderful the program was.  As always, Christy did an outstanding job.  I wished she would have known about Lady Carnarvon's recent contest 'Come and Dine' where Viking Cruises [the show's sponsor] partnered with Lady Carnarvon to fly the winner and seven guests to Highclere Castle for dinner with her and Earl Carnarvon plus one night's stay at the castle.  I know Cristy would have been among the finalists, if not the winner.

Peach/Coral was the color of her beautiful tablescape.  







Since I've been diligently working on a presentation about purses/handbags, I loved all the vintage evening purses Cristy used to decorate with.  Downton Abbey fashions were the theme of the tea since Cristy and David saw the exhibit when it was at Winterthur, home of Henry Francis du Pont.  



Our high tea meal began with chilled Sparkling Apple-Peach Juice.



The tea served throughout the meal was Lady Grey Tea by Twinings of London - a black tea with oil of bergamot, orange and lemon peel, and cornflowers.  David kept our teacups full.


Cristy's pink Depression glass took on a peach hue sitting on the beautiful peach lace tablecloth.


We played a fun game of Downton Abbey quotes at the end of the tea and a tin of Lady Grey tea was one of the prizes.



1st course was chilled English Cucumber Soup with a Citrus Orange Pinwheel Scone, served with Orange Curd.


2nd course was Chicken & Sun-dried Tomato Wellington, Praline Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Vanilla Pudding Fruit Salad.


Dessert was a yummy traditional English Bakewell Tart.


When the tea was over I took more pictures of Cristy's beautifully decorated house.







~ Lori ~




~ Cristy decorated with several reticules too.  ~

















Thank you for your labor of love, Cristy!  It was a beautiful tea and wonderful afternoon.


Friday, April 27, 2018

A Busy Thursday

Yesterday morning I opened the last tin of Harney Tea that my girlfriend gave me for my birthday - Florence, a black chocolate flavored tea.  Yum!


My daughter, Lori, ordered Einstein bagels for her staff at the children's clinic [Administrative Professional's week and because they've been so good to her], and she got some for us too.


The Honey Almond Spread for the bagels was so good.  Tea and bagels - a great way to start the day!


Late afternoon it was off to Chelsea for granddaughter Ellie's last kindergarten concert of the year.  Spring has been SO slow arriving in Michigan this year that I had to take a picture of the beautiful daffodils in the school yard.


Izzy had just come from a tennis match, so I took her picture with Ellie in the school parking lot.


 The cute little performers.  I'm particularly partial to one!



We took a few more pics outdoors after the performance. Ellie's maternal grandparents were at the concert too.  Landon had just come from a baseball game.


~ Jeremy, Samantha, Isabella, Landon, and Ellie ~


Mommy and daughter.  Cherish the moments.  It's seems they grow up in the blink of an eye!


On another subject... One of the nurses at the clinic gave Lori a 3-piece Carole Hochman lounge pajama set before she left on her medical leave. They looked great on her and she said they were so comfortable, that I decided to get some for my two upcoming trips.  That required getting a Costco membership, but we've kicked around doing that for awhile now anyway.  They come in four colors, black, navy, gray, and purple.   They were advertised online for $19.99, but in the store they were $14.99.  Yay!   I bought two pairs - one for me and one to give to a friend. If you have a Costco's membership don't pass these up.




Thursday, April 26, 2018

Purse Presentation

[Internet Photo]

As time has permitted I've been working on my 'Purse Presentation' for this Sunday at the assisted living facility.  I've asked that the residents bring their favorite purse/handbag and share a little about it.

Since I get to choose the topics I present, they're all of interest to me, but this one about purses has been particularly interesting.

Do you remember your first purse?  In the Easter [or Mother's Day] photo below my mother purchased my purse so I don't remember it.  But the photo depicts that no outfit is complete without a purse - at least not back in the early 1950's.  It's difficult to see my 'cross-body' purse in the photo, but it's there, and notice my mom's gloves in her hand. Amazingly, I still remember her navy blue purse with beige trim.  My research stated the importance of purses /handbags begins in early childhood when little girls observe their mother's purse and the prominence it holds in her life.


My first purse that I actually remember was when I was in the 7th grade.  It too was for Easter and was a white clutch purse, with pastel colored buttons on the front flap [right].  My girlfriend, Elaine, carried a black patent clutch.


I met my husband in the 10th grade, and the first gift he ever gave me [a Christmas present] was a black leather purse with a gold decorative circle on the front that could be used to unlatch the clasp.  I literally wore it out.

Below is another Easter picture of Jerry and me - probably in the 11th grade.  I vividly remember the navy blue cloth clutch purse.  Since I haven't saved my purses through the years, I'm so glad I have these pictures.  Aren't those 'spit curls' funny?  ;-)


The picture below was shortly before we were married when Jerry was stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois.  The purse on my arm was black leather with a gold band across the top.


Our first house - a rental - in Altus, Oklahoma where Jerry was stationed at Altus Air Force Base.  The purse was black patent leather.


The navy blue patent leather purse below matched my shoes.  Photo also in Altus, Oklahoma in 1966.


In my younger years it was always important to have a purse to match my shoes, but when I had my third child I was 32 years old, and it was easier to carry my wallet and other necessities in Jeremy's diaper bag than to carry a separate purse.  That's when I got away from buying a purse to match every pair of dress shoes.

While I do have more than one purse these days, I've sort of become a 'one purse fits all' person.  A basic black purse for the fall and winter months, and a white purse for spring [after Memorial Day] and summer.

The prices of designer handbags are a deterrent for me.  There has only been one designer purse that has ever tempted me, and that is a Mary Frances shoulder strap, beaded, teapot purse.  It is pricey so I haven't succumbed [yet].  Isn't it beautiful?  If I ever splurged on it I'd probably feel like I had to carry it with me to my grave. ;-)  But its price tag is mere pocket change when compared to Herm├Ęs bags that range from $1,989 up to $85,000. Their Birkin bags range from $5,000 up to $185,000!  Can you imagine!  Queen Elizabeth doesn't even pay that for her Launer of London handbags.  She orders an average of five bags a year from them [she gave them a Royal Warrant] with a price tag of $2,346 each, and she has over 200 of them.  


There are only three purse museums in the world, and one of them happens to be in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Any of you readers ever visited it?

There are numerous types of purses/handbags which include hobo, tote, satchel, and baguette.

I pondered what I would give the residents as their token from the presentation this month. Normally it's something edible, but I settled on purse-size manicure sets.  I'll let you know how the presentation goes.


For some women, handbags are literally their identity - an extension of themselves.  Do you have a purse fetish?  Is there a purse that's particularly significant to you, designer or otherwise?  Do you save your purses?   Please share.  I'll look forward to your comments on this topic.