Come to a “Tea!”

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“The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to a happy repose!” ~ George Gissing

“Drinking Tea means a moment of calmness. It brings you back to your center.” ~ Miriam Vovalle

(For all of you ladies out there,) remember when we would dress  up in our ‘Sunday – best’, place our new tea pot and delicate cups and saucers we received at Christmas time upon a little table set up in our bed rooms? We would invite anyone who would come to our Tea Party. (Even if a few of the settings ended up being for our fair-haired and favored bears and bunnies, our grandpa or beloved dog, Sparky. ) 🙂 There is just something about a tea party that still warms our hearts as grown women. Maybe it is the beautiful china, the fresh flowers, the delicious delicacies placed before us, the smell of our fresh teas brewing or perhaps enjoying the blithesome  companionship of our dear friends.

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There are a variety of choices when you are desiring to ‘go to a Tea!’  One  type of Tea is held at an exquisite and elegant Tea House that hosts the entire party for you and your friends. (You are even treated to fancy hats to wear as you sit at your table and are served, waited upon, pampered and treated like royalty.) In our city,we are graced to have “The Victorian lady.” It is  a beautiful tea room filled with winsome china’s, fancy hats, delicious scones and teas as well as small menu items.   Z803

There is also the exceedingly, elegant and prestigious High Tea at The Ritz Carlton Hotel, or the refined and gallant Afternoon Tea held at the prestigious, Windsor Court Hotel in Louisiana, New Orleans where you are served elegant cakes and pastries with superb blends of tea while you sit amongst beauty and elegance. I would love to travel to either of these renowned and eloquent Tea rooms.  🙂  Maybe someday!

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The ladies Tea that I know the most about is the ‘Tea’ that is hosted by either yourself or a dear friend, held either in the garden, on the veranda or in the dining room. (Though by the end of the party, everyone has migrated to the living room, enjoying themselves so much, chatting the hours away until they forget the time…drowning  out the sounds of their families beckoning them to “come home and fix  dinner.”) 🙂  ritz4

  I personally  adore them all but I think the one I love the most is hosting a Tea for all my girlfriends here in our home. It is a special present I can give to my friends as it blesses all their senses, enables their worlds to slow down and they feel like a ‘Queen for the day.’ One year, my husband even dressed up, (looking mighty dapper I might add,) 🙂 and  gracefully served us throughout the meal with refills of tea, coffee and then of course, the  scrumptious desserts.   It was a wondrous day! (Looking at my husband as they left,) some of the ladies commented; “I want one of those…a man who serves.” I do have to say, I feel very blessed to have him.7.jpg

Excitement fills my very being as I bake, polish silver, iron my white napkins, create my spinach, bacon and cheese quiches and prepare my three section cake plate, each tier topped with my cherished Haviland china, ( inherited from my grandmother.) The next event at hand is to fill all of the tiers as they await the dainty sweets, chocolates  and slices of homemade sour cream coffee cake. Some of the ladies enjoy tea so I have a potpourri of flavors to choose from… Other ladies want coffee, so I make sure there is a fresh pot brewing.(Accompanied by flavored creamers of course.) The hours seem like minutes as we share and catch up on our lives, laugh, and live in the delight of feeling like ROYALTY,coddled, pampered and convivial, all wishing the day never had to end.

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If you are blessed to live in a home adorned with a beautiful backyard, a peaceful veranda or live in a wooded area, having your Tea outside  during the warmer months would be ideal. There is nothing like sunshine and cool breezes to enhance any gala.mh70

My Tea’s have always been inside the homes I have lived in. I think decorating our home and the dining room table is my very favorite part of the preparation. Creating a table with beautiful and enticing settings that bless each woman is a gift that fills my heart to overflowing. Amidst the wondrous teas, fine cuisine and beautiful table, I enjoy treating my friends to the blithesome Victoria Secret London Symphony orchestra, where each refrain brings serenity and peace to the gala and to each ladies soul.

With each season, the theme of the Tea changes…I think my two favored times of the year for a  Ladies Tea are autumn and Christmas, but I love the spring too! A snowman theme in the winter is a lot of fun! I guess they are all my favorite!Z-807 🙂 What season or occasion do you think your favorite Tea would be served in?afff

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Take some time exploring and giving a TEA for your friends and family. Half the fun is in the planning, creating and decorating stages of your  fancy gathering. In my other blogs under this category; “Come to a tea,” I will be sharing in depth, ideas for seasonal ladies tea parties so please take a look and let me know what you think.

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The Living Room…the place where happy sounds reverberate throughout the room.

“You are a king by your own fireside as much as any Monarch in his throne.” ~ Cervantes

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Did you know that your living room creates a lasting impression to all those who enter it’s doors? It ‘tells on you,’ whether or not you are a laid back kind of person, a collector of antiques, country at heart, formal or a lover of hodgepodge. With first time visitors to your abode, your secret is now out!  🙂  This room is a very special room for in actuality,  it sets the mood for the rest of your home.

“Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest, is surely home , and home sweet home, for there your heart can rest.”  ~ Henry Van Dyke

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I again liken the creation of this very eventful room, to an artist that has been given a blank canvas along with the tools to bring forth the dream within their heart, thus the dream becomes reality, so that many others may behold the beauty. YOU are the artisan…your living room is your fresco! Creating a painting is likened to deposing a brush stoke around a concept, notion or idea. Never be afraid of YOUR ideas!

I like to think that at the core and center of every home, there is a personal tone and fashion that always illuminates through. Where does it come from?  Perhaps from our roots, escapades and adventures in life, our interests as well as our passions. Create your home, each and every room, from what is within! (You can never go wrong!)

“Where we love is our home, home where our feet may leave but not our hearts.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Z-3060

Whether you call your main room your living room, sitting room, parlor or drawing room, It is the room that is ‘lived in’ the most. It is the room where you will entertain guests, do homework with your kids, watch great movies, listen to your favorite, (or everyone’s favorite 🙂 ) genre of music, and enjoy one another as you share your lives together. It is your ‘hearts gratified snuggery room’…you get to chose to open your door to the outside world or leave it shut! Create your ‘parlor’ to be a room filled with all the things YOU LOVE and that you are in love with.

Our living room is a sundry of decorating themes but I liken it mostly to the Shabby Chic style accented with a little Victorian amidst a bit of a country-cottage air.

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old, wanting to get back to.” ~ John Ed Pearce

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Our living room has witnessed a myriad of memories. Game playing, movie nights, bible studies, Ladies tea’s, birthday parties, sleepovers, (we have a couch bed and an abundance of out of state guests,) laughter, tears, joy, delicious cuisine, entertaining friends and family and lots of ‘nosy neighbor behavior,’ as we have a lot of windows. (Yes, we are the nosy ones! OK, It is really our Briard Graham and I that are the inquisitive ones.)  🙂   It is our families favorite room. (But not because of the windows.) 🙂

Whether your tastes are nautical, formal and elegant, pure country, a potpourri of different themes mixed together, country cottage or vintage, beautify your place with all the things you love, your favorite colors and furniture, and of course all your  treasured accent pieces. Some of our prized and significant decor items are  seasonal throws, candles, hutches adorned with garlands intertwined with enchanting lights, a montage of throw pillows, accent rugs, an old, solid oak and very handsome over sized desk that I do all my work at and adore. We also display a few very beloved teddy bears, a tea pot shaped pewter lamp, lit up seasonal trees, photographs, ornate plates and my hope chest, often times used our our coffee table. What I love most about each friends or family members homes that we visit, is how very different all of our tastes are and how much I love their decor as it fits them so well. All of their homes are warm, alluring, and cheerful (just like them) and truly displays a part of their personality.

“The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there.” ~ Ellie Rodriguez

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As you create your living room, remember that all the fabulous things you love, bring accolade to one another. Have fun, enjoy, show off your personality and then DELIGHT yourself, every hour you spend in your ‘hearts jubilant snuggery” with the ones you love the  most!

*Be sure to check out the other blogs on how to decorate your living rooms in different styles and themes,  located in the “Living room” category!

Happy Decorating!

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Celebrated and historic decorative items to warm your hearts as well as home.

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Whether from an adventurous Alaskan Cruise, a long awaited trip to Paris, a visit to England, Italy, Washington DC or a drive to the prominent Charleston, South Carolina to enjoy the beaches, historic sites and fantastic eateries, the things we buy while we are away on our excursions, become treasures, wondrous memories and a great way to add decor to our homes.

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While visiting ‘lands from afar,’ some blithesome keepsakes to buy (to keep the special  memories  of your holiday and furlough alive,) might be an exquisite duvet for your bed or an ornate china plate to display on your hutch, bedside table or in a snug kitchen corner. How about an Eiffel tower ornament to place upon your tree at Christmas time, reminding you of your time in Paris.  Some other ideas, (these you may want shipped home and forgo boarding them on the plane,) are a delicate and fanciful lampshade, an elaborate antique mirror for your guest room and perhaps a breathtaking cup and saucer from the 18th century.   All of these tokens not only beautify your ‘castle,’ but beckon you to revisit your time in that “far away land”  that you spent so many hours getting refreshed.

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For your children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren or the ‘child within you,’ a fun memento from your travel days would be to bring home an ‘irresistible,’  beloved Teddy Bear, (they even have passports for them now-a-days,) (truly they do!) 🙂  How about a stunning  rooster from France for your kitchen or a ‘Mr. Chef,’ to remind you of all the scrumptious and inciting cuisine you enjoyed in Italy?

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Maybe your trip away won’t be out of the country…perhaps a drive to the beautiful East Coast to visit it’s famous beaches and historical monuments. Being that my heritage comes from the south, I love paintings from southern artesians or places I recall growing up. (One of my favorite being Charleston South Carolina.)  Multicolored beach towels and creative coffee mugs are a great souvenir to recall  long chats on the beach, listening to the waves roar and feeling the warm sun glistening upon your skin.  They add charm and cheerfulness to your home. Decorative throws not only add texture and color to your abode but keep you warm and cozy in the chilly winter and fall months. They are also great for our beloved porches in the spring and summer seasons, as they beautifully adorn your wicker furniture. Little memories are perfect to tuck away in your suitcases…starfish from Myrtle Beach, ceramic plant pots or flower holders and topiary bunnies from the outlets at the shore. Our vacations are what memories are made of.

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“One should never be the oldest thing in ones house.” ~ Patsy Stone

“Decorating’s golden rule: Live with what you love.” ~ Unknown

“Home is the nicest word there is.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

“I have collections of quirky things from places I have  been to, like a set of Russian dolls.” ~ Emma Watson

“Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.” ~ Charles M. Schultz  (A little humor here! 🙂

“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

In this blog about celebrating our memories and history,  don’t forget there are a myriad of treasures containing  the very things our ancestors  have passed down to us that bring people and  our heritage alive amongst our everyday lives.  China tea cups passed down from your grandmother, a silver candelabra inherited from a beloved parent, Victorian picture frames from a cherished aunt and lastly, a beautiful purse purchased abroad and sent your way ‘just because.’

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When I look around our little haven, I am filled with so much awe, joy and fulfillment, accompanied by many smiles as I envision all the love stories behind some of my prized decor items. For some reason, they mean a little bit more than the plate hanger I found at the flea market or the throw pillows I bought on sale at a  countryside boutique. Take some time to re-visit your past and the things, (perhaps packed away or just hidden from view,) that make your heart smile as you recall the wonderful memories they bring to life.

HAPPY HUNTING!

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LINKS to come! 🙂

 

 

When a man loves a woman…..

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered.  “Yes Piglet?” “Nothing.” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” ~ A.A. Milne

I love this writing about Pooh and Piglet as it says a lot in very few words. We all just need ‘to be sure of’ someone’…a sureness they will be there, love us and stand by our side… It is a beautiful thing to have!

“We are each of us angels with only one wing. And we can fly only by embracing each other.” ~ Luciano de Crescenzo

Ah the things a man does when he is in love with ‘his woman.’ Here are some creative ways to put your love into action to SHOW her just how much you adore and care for her.

Create a visceral response in her heart. Surprise her and serve her breakfast in bed.  (We love a  red rose on the breakfast tray as it makes us feel pampered and romanced.) breakfast in bed

Cook her a ‘feast imbued with romance.’ Secretly, buy all the ingredients, do all the preparation, create her favorite cuisine, use the best china and crystal,  display a myriad of candles and then, (big drum roll please), clean up all the dishes as she watches her favorite TV show.

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Give her a foot massage, neck rub or shoulder and back massage. Facials are a great way for women to relax as well. (Maybe surprise her with her favorite romantic CD.) 🙂

Take the trashes out, and often. (Especially when it is snowing!) 🙂

Surprise and Kidnap her, taking her to her favorite eatery. Do it right around the 5 o’clock hour when she is beginning to prepare dinner. (Also, make sure  it is on one of her good hair days…) (Sorry guys, but that really does matter to us.) 🙂

Take her on a spontaneous walk amongst the romantic moonlight, bringing a long two chutes of sparkling champagne or cider.

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Pour her a  rhapsodic, lavender bubble bath along with warm, fresh bath towels set out and flickering candles, creating ‘just the right light.’ (A glass of chardonnay and fresh flowers are a nice touch too.)Z-98On your way home from an errand, surprise her and pick up two topiary trees for the porch, or any items she has an affinity for… Running shoes, Dove chocolates, a brand new set of cookware, a Alexandra Stoddart book on “living beautifully” or her favorite magazines.  Z-97Write her a letter of your appreciation, love and devotion to her. (By hand and not on the computer.) 🙂

letter writingBless her with fresh flowers for no reason at all…she will be in a heavenly repose.Z-93Pick up a bottle of her favorite perfume. Put a little dab behind her ears and tell her how good she smells.

Honor and esteem  her in front of all your friends by the things you speak about her while she is present.

If your “woman” is a writer or avid reader, surprise her with some blithesome stationary or a Kindle. (I adore my kindle and it was one of my “most impressive and memorable” Christmas gifts last year.)

Ask her to take a walk with you…hold hands, take time just for her.

Secretly buy her that one “Chic Flick” she keeps talking about and surprise her on a Friday night with a Pizza and movie night.

Give the dog a bath so she can have some quiet time to read her novel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are a praying person, pray for her when she is hurting.

Bring her home a new Teddy bear. (We never outgrow those you know?) 🙂

Z-94Call her ‘just to say,’ “I love you.”

Be demonstrative with your love…give her a loving and tender neck rub when she tenses up, a kiss on the cheek, a big, long hug and a smile for no reason.

Tell her every day that she is still your very first ‘pick’, “YOUR NUMERO UNO” and  BEAUTIFUL. (We forget otherwise.) 🙂

Applaud  and praise a thoughtful act that she does.

Attend and hearken to her words…( I know women have the need to talk and process their thoughts with approximately 20,000 words a day and men, not feeling that  same need, approximately 500…) But try!…(I know it is a lot of listening but a little bit of effort goes a long way.)

Add to her repertoire of books…maybe  a new devotional, an autobiography, decor book, journal, good mystery novella,and of course, romance novels. book collection

I hope these ideas inspire you, or at least some of them. ” You can never be kind  and thoughtful without it  boomeranging  right back to you.” 🙂

 

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***To learn about the links and their purpose on Living Winsomely, please see the blog; “WE NOW HAVE LINKS!”

 

Acts of kindness mean everything!

“I climbed up the door and opened the stairs, Said my Pajamas and put on my prayers.Then I turned off the bed and crawled into the light, All because YOU kis208319_3651918263693_1861412870_nsed me goodnight!” Author unknown

There is no doubt that the gift of love is the greatest gift of all time…When we meet and fall in love with our mate, love seems to be so effortless and palpable. That same love keeps growing and  then becomes the glue that keeps relationships together as the seasons of life come and go. SHOWING our love in acts of kindness and thoughtfulness goes a long way and brings so much beauty into  our lives. (This photo is my husband and I on our wedding day…wow, this was about 24years ago!)

My husband and I love a good murder mystery and our favorite program is Castle. Last night, the show was all about Castle, (a mystery writer) and his girlfriend Kate, who is a beautiful detective. For his birthday, she went out of her way, (a long with the help of many others who love Castle,) to bring him the most galactic and grand birthday surprise he would ever have.  They staged an entire hoax based upon Alfred Hitchcock’s  famous novella “Rear Window” in the apartment building across from his penthouse suite. (The setting was easily created as Castle broke his ankle on an exhilarating ski trip with Kate and  was laid up for weeks in his home, having to use crutches to get around.) (If you knew Castle, you’d know he would soon be up to “NO GOOD! 🙂 552x368xa-bored-castle_552x368.jpg.pagespeed.ic.qPHeM2JFaW

He was beyond bored and restless…unbeknownst to her dad,  his daughter brought out a couple pairs of binoculars with hopes he would begin looking through his neighbors windows to entertain himself in his melancholy and doldrums. The police department was made aware of what Kate was planing and all the actors played their part as Castle watched for days and really believed  a woman had been murdered. Just like the film, he saw what appeared to be a killing, a removal of the body and a ‘cleaning up’ of the bedroom. He tried to convince them all but they told him he was crazy. As he went to the ‘murdered woman’s’ building himself, now believing his girlfriend was in danger, (long story,) he breaks  down the front door and suddenly and unexpectedly, amidst the pitch black dark, a light went on and his police friends, Kate, his mom, daughter and all the actors, (yes even the allegedly dead woman,) said “SURPRISE” and “HAPPY BIRTHDAY.”

Okay, you are wondering why I shared this story? It took my husband and I aback as the love Kate had for Caste was so touching and she had gone out of her way for weeks to concoct such an event that he would remember the rest of his life, (being the mystery writer and absorbed, preoccupied  murder solver  that he was.) 🙂 Yes, (after getting his emotions in order,) he did  manage a big smile at the end as he was VERY TOUCHED by how much these people loved and cared for him to go to such extremes to bless his special day. This blog Category, “Acts of kindness mean everything,” is all about love and how in showing that love by our actions to our mates and family, we will create intimacy, blissfulness and bring forth  resplendence and grandeur to our  own lives.

What acts of kindness can you think of today?  Perhaps “playing dress up” with your precious little one, letting her wear your jewelry and drink some chocolate milk out of  one of your ‘fancy tea cups,’ putting on a formal dinner party for your husbands promotion at work, or leaving a rose,  an array of kaleidoscopic flowers, a new pillow or some thoughtful, Romantic touch for your wife to find after you have gone to work for the day?   Plan an outside luncheon for your best girlfriends, or take the dogs for a long walk down by the River walk…(for your pups, that is heaven,) kind of like going shopping at the mall for us ladies, or playing an afternoon game of golf for all you guys out there. Just watch and see the blissfulness, joy and smiles  that will come your way in your loving, thoughtful acts of kindness. 🙂

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