Saturday, August 31, 2019

Last Day of August

In this last post of August there are several things I want to share with you.  The first is an upcoming event that's open to the public, sponsored by The Taylor Conservatory.  Their events are always lovely.

Tea people are the most sharing people I know.  On August 19th, Angela at Tea With Friends blog, posted an adorable Mackenzie-Childs teapot lunch tote [below].  It was on sale for $20, imagine that!  When I looked at it I saw a washable, travel toiletry bag instead of a lunch tote, so I ordered one and it arrived in yesterday's mail.  I couldn't find it currently listed at their website, so it might be sold out but keep checking if you're interested.

Next week at this time the ladies' tea I've been coordinating for my church will be over, and I'll be down to just one tea to work on [Downton Abbey].  I found some cute Paris themed fabric at Hobby Lobby that was 30% off, so I bought 2 1/2 yards to make large squares for the center of each table.  It doesn't show in the picture, but the Eiffel Towers are glittery, and will be perfect for black Eiffel Tower centerpieces to sit on. 

Another thing that recently arrived in the mail was Tea Time Magazine's new Christmas book.  I'm anxious to leisurely look through it with a cup of tea.  Only 116 more days until Christmas!

Our youngest granddaughter, Ellie, arrived this morning to spend a couple of days before school starts back next Tuesday.  Her Papa took her shopping for school supplies, and a toy.

Lastly, our youngest son, Jeremy, has just started a Youtube video series [I think there'll be five or six in the series].  I know I'm prejudiced, but they're well worth viewing if you have an interest.  Each video is short, 7-8 minutes.  Simple Victory - Intro  and  Simple Victory - Identity.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!  

Friday, August 23, 2019

Family at The Whitney

Yesterday family members came to The Whitney to celebrate a significant birthday.  My maternal aunt will be turning 92 years old on Saturday.  She is the only remaining sibling of seven - my mother's baby sister.

A cousin, who presently lives in Arizona, contacted me weeks ago about getting a group together to come to The Whitney for the mini reunion/birthday celebration.  Our aunt still lives alone, drives, bowls on a league and plays cards in a pinochle club.  

L-R:  Me, Aunt Bobo [Frances], Mary [who organized the gathering], Tammy [Aunt Bobo's daughter] Heather [Tammy's daughter], Reygan [Tammy's granddaughter], Holly [Tammy's daughter and mother of Reygan], Amelia [Mary's daughter] and Harper [Mary's granddaughter].  How fun to see them again, and it was the first visit to The Whitney for all of them.

When my aunt was very young she used to say "peek-a-bobo" instead of peek-a-boo.  The result was a nickname that stuck throughout her life.

Nothing better than celebrating over tea, especially since my aunt is a tea drinker.

First tea party for Reygan and Harper.  

I love my job everyday, but yesterday was especially fun.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Yoshi Handbags

Are you familiar with Yoshi leather handbags from the UK?   I had never heard of the company before until one of my blog readers told me about them. She knew my tea friend, Teresa, and I like tea themed purses.  Turns out they have a summer sale going on right now.

A cute novelty "Afternoon Tea" brown leather purse with hand sewn appliques.  It comes in three styles:
Shoulder Bag was £85 now £51 [US $61.85]

Multiway Grab Bag comes in two sizes.
[The larger size is the same price as the purse above]

The Hudson purse was £35 now £24.50 [US $29.71]

International shipping for each is £15.00 [US $18.19].  It's a fun website to browse.  They also have a 'Perfect Pantry' purse - not on sale, and in multiple styles.

And a Tea Party Zip Top.

I'm trying really hard not to succumb to one, but after writing this post I'm leaning perilously close to getting the multiway grab bag purse.  Thanks, Cara, for telling me about these cute, unique designer purses!  They're perfect for a tea lover!

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Wizard of Oz

I don't think I've ever worked on three teas simultaneously before.  In addition to the Downton Abbey tea for The Whitney, and the ladies' tea at church [Julia Child in Paris], the monthly tea at the assisted living facility is this Sunday, the 25th.

The Activities Director has never requested a specific topic before, but this month the 25th falls on the 80th anniversary of when the Wizard of Oz was released in theaters, so she thought the residents would enjoy a program about the movie.

That's been a favorite movie of my granddaughter Brianna's ever since she was a little girl.  To be honest, I've started watching it numerous times, but I don't remember if I've ever watched it through to the end.  So that's on my agenda this week.

My hubby went on a 'guy trip' with our son, Jeremy, and grandson, Landon, Friday thru last night, so I had the weekend to myself to work on research.  I learned a lot of interesting trivia about the movie.  Did you ever wonder how L. Frank Baum came up with the name Oz?  He glanced at his file cabinets that were organized A-N and O-Z!

I don't normally shop on Sunday, but yesterday after church I was very close to the Country Store that sells unique candy [and made only in the USA].  I was in search of a treat for the residents that would tie in with the Wizard of Oz theme. In my mind I thought I remembered a rainbow shaped candy.  The owner promptly told me it's made in China and he wouldn't have it in his store.  Well okay then!  ;-) 

I ended up purchasing these sucker sticks that weren't exactly what I wanted, but will do if I can't find anything else.  Suggestions anyone???

Last month's presentation was the Women of Meadow Brook Hall:  The matriarch, Matilda Dodge Wilson; her daughter, Frances Dodge Van Lennep; her adopted daughter, Barbara Wilson Eccles; and her granddaughter Judith Frances Lavender.

~ Meadow Brook Hall ~
Matilda was the widow of John Dodge, founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Car Co. with his brother, Horace.  She built Meadow Brook Hall with her second husband, Alfred Wilson.

All four women were equestrians.  Frances had a state-of-the-arts stable complex built at Meadow Brook called "Dodge Stables".  When she married and bought Castleton Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, it then became the headquarters of Dodge Stables.  Matilda had her own stables at Meadow Brook called "Wilson Stables".  She died in Brussels, Belgium during a trip to purchase a new team of Belgian horses.  [She was 83 and had a heart attack.]

In trying to decide what treat to give the residents for that presentation, I recalled seeing several pictures of Queen Elizabeth II feeding a carrot to her horses.  So I ordered cellophane carrots filled with jelly beans from Oriental Trading.  The residents loved them.

We even had some men attend that tea and program, so we'll see if they return this month.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Church Ladies' Tea

As mentioned in my last post, I've been working on another tea for the ladies of my church [and ladies from the community].  The venue I chose is one I've used before, Sycamore Hills Banquet Center. The photo below was taken last February when snow was still on the ground.

Below is the promotional flier that I've been using. 
 [Click on image to enlarge for reading.]

I used to do teas for our church ladies twice a year - once in the fall or Christmas and once in the spring, but then they seemed to become commonplace and enthusiasm dwindled. I always made the count on the banquet facility contract, but not without a lot of work and frayed nerves, so I decided to suspend them for awhile.  Time passes quickly, and life gets busy, and before I knew it the last tea I coordinated was December 2013.  With a lot of new ladies in our church, it's time for another tea!  I'm hoping the enthusiasm and turnout will be good.

I'll be doing my Julia Child presentation and will be sure to post pictures on the blog when it's over.

A check arrived in the mail this week from my girlfriend, Lori, who is bringing four ladies with her.  The handmade note card that contained her check was so cute, I took a picture of it to share with you.

Now I'm off to buy Paris-themed fabric at Hobby Lobby for the tables, and sometime today get a publicity poster made to display at church tomorrow.   Never a dull moment!

Sunday A.M. Postscript:   I finished the poster shortly at 11:00 P.M. last night.  It's not my best work, but it's acceptable.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Downton Abbey Tea at The Whitney

Are you as anxious as I am for the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie to arrive in theaters on September 20th?

Knowing the huge popularity of Downton Abbey I asked if we could do a Downton Abbey tea at The Whitney.  To my delight the answer was yes.  This is the first special event tea I'll be involved in the planning phase since I became the tea director, so I'm very excited about it.

Since several other events are already on the schedule for this month and going into September, the Downton Abbey tea won't be scheduled until tentatively, Saturday, October 5th.   For local readers:  Please do not call The Whitney yet.  You won't be able to make a reservation until it goes up on the website sometime in September, so watch their website.  This post is just a 'heads-up.'

Below is the flier I created: [click on to enlarge for reading]

Since period dress is suggested, I've been working on my outfit.  My hubby bought me the teal velour outfit [pictured below] last Christmas, and I've been waiting for just the right occasion to wear it.  I think the Downton Abbey tea will be the perfect opportunity!

My earrings, fan, and hair piece [all ordered from Amazon] have arrived in the mail.  Now I only need to find T-strapped shoes and I'll be all set.

The earrings are totally out of character for me - I'm not a glitzy person - but they're totally in character for the 1920's.

I'll soon be sharing another tea that I'm busy coordinating for my church on September 7th.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Family Fun

Granddaughter, Isabella, came to spend a few days before school starts back.  She came Thursday evening and went home this afternoon [Sunday].  She'll be 14 next month and is full of fun.

Friday night I couldn't resist grabbing my phone to take a picture of her with her cucumber mask on.  What we women [young and old] won't do to be beautiful!  ;-)

Izzy loves Polish Pierogi, so I sent my hubby to an authentic Pierogi shop on Friday while I was at work to purchase some for dinner.  He bought Potato Cheddar and they were yummy.  For local readers, the shop is Dobre Pierogi, 48899 Hayes Rd., Shelby Township. They're sold individually wrapped [fully cooked and frozen] in packages of 12, and only require heating.

I had been seeing the movie, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" advertised on the Hallmark Channel. It was just released in theaters this weekend, so I picked up our other granddaughter, Brooke, on Saturday afternoon, and the three of us saw the movie together.

They had fun watching the movie and giggling together.  ;-)  All three of us thought it was a great movie.  If you decide to go, take Kleenex with you because it will definitely tug on your heart and get your tear ducts flowing.

~ Izzy and Papa today before church. ~

Granddaughter, Ellie, awaits her visit next.  Our daughter-in-law texted the cute picture of her taken yesterday on their deck.  Wearing her party outfit, she set-up a pretend tea party for her Mommy and her.   Love it!

Our daughter, Lori, has a birthday in a couple of weeks.  She was born while my hubby was in the Air Force stationed in Oklahoma, so we call her our "Oakie."  When I saw this T-shirt advertised on Facebook, I couldn't resist ordering one for her.  I wasn't sure if she'd wear it, but she liked it and said she would. Oklahoma is where 'her story' began.

Plans are underway to celebrate Brooke and Lori's birthdays at a family game day on Labor Day - Corn hole and croquet outside, and table games inside.   Fun!  Hope we have good weather.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

New Tea-themed Fabric

A week or so ago, the moderator of ATAA [Afternoon Tea Across America] Facebook group posted some tea-themed fabric sold at Walmart.  I went to look at it last Saturday and came home with three yards. 

It's high-quality Waverly fabric and comes in white/beige background with black print, and black/gray background with white print.

I bought three yards of the black because I want to have a jacket made to wear at work.  It's perfect for Afternoon Tea.  I bought a pattern for the jacket, now I just have to find someone to sew it because I'm not a seamstress.

If you like tea-themed fabric, be sure to check this Waverly fabric out the next time you're in Walmart.

8/17/2019 Postscript:  One of my blog readers left a comment that her Walmart had the print in a burgundy background with gold print.  So I checked the nearest Walmart today and they had it.  I don't know how I missed it before.  It's the most elegant of the three colors, so a yard came home with me!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Visit to Sweet Shalom Tearoom

I asked for the day off at The Whitney last Friday to travel 90 miles to Sylvania, Ohio for a meet-up with friends at Sweet Shalom tearoom.  My girlfriend, Lori, was my traveling companion, and it was a beautiful day for traveling.

Mary Jane, former owner of Amherst Rose Tearoom in Massillon, Ohio, coordinated the meet-up.  I roomed with Mary Jane when I went to London, England in 2007, and enjoyed many visits to Amherst Rose when it was still in business.

The last time I was at Sweet Shalom was in 2015 for their Downton Abbey tea.  This month's theme was Bats, Birds, Bees and Butterflies [all pollinators].  The tea meal was picnic fare.

~ Dining Room Interior ~

The main purpose for the meet-up was Colleen's visit from California.  She met Mary Jane on an Asian tea trip they made together in 2013.  It just so happened that everyone in our group are members of ATAA [Afternoon Tea Across America], a Yahoo e-group, so we had that in common along with our love of tea and friendship.

~ It was delightful meeting Colleen ~

Our group from L-R:  Eve, Mary Jane [who requested her image not be posted], Colleen, Teresa, Me and Lori.

~ Menu ~

~ Our tea meal began with an Orange Scone with Butter and Jam ~

It was accompanied by Black Current Tea. Our table got to make two tea selections and the other was Midsummer Peach. Later we switched to White Vanilla Grapefruit, but my favorite was Black Currant.

Following our scones was a juicy Watermelon Wedge with Feta Cheese and Balsamic Dressing served on a bed of mixed greens.  It was very good.

Our tiered server held Cucumber Tea Sandwiches, Zesty Deviled Eggs, Potato Salad, Chicken Angelique Tea Sandwiches, Decadent Chocolate Cake, and a yummy Sandwich Cookie.

To go with our dessert of Frosty Coconut Lemon Icebox Pie, we tried Indigo Punch tea - an infusion of rosehips, apple pieces, butterfly pea flowers, lemongrass, lemon peel, raspberry, and a natural honey flavor for sweetness.  It produced a purple hue.

Teresa, who went on the Michigan Tea Tour and Southern Tea Time Getaway, has a tea-themed purse collection.  This time she carried her Mrs. Potts teapot purse that she purchased at Disney World.  So cute!

Sarah, one of the owners, gave a brief program about Bats, Birds, Bees and Butterflies and how all are necessary as pollinators - even bats!  ;-)

After a fun and lengthy time of conversation around the tea table we separated to go our various ways.  

[Teresa, Lori, and Me]

Sweet Shalom has always had a gift shop, but it's a 'Bou-Tea-Que' now with cute clothes and accessories.   Lori and I tried on a couple of things to no avail, but I did purchase a cute hat.

Mary Jane gave each of us a gift bag with tea and stationery items.

Eve gave us a folder of yummy recipes.

And Colleen gave us a bar of Oatmeal Honey soap from Dutton Farm in Rochester, MI - not far from where I live, yet I've never heard of them before.  You learn something new every day!

Thank you, Mary Jane, for coordinating this enjoyable meet-up!