Sunday, June 5, 2016

Tea Time with Pink Peonies

Oh boy, we have just had way too much rain lately!

Today it rained and rained - and poured- but then it actually stopped!!!!

And out came the warm bright wonderful sunshine! 


So I made a lovely cup of tea, grabbed a dessert to nosh, 
quickly went and cut some gorgeous pink peonies
that just blossomed a few days ago,
and poked them into a favorite teapot.

I then scurried fast to enjoy my favorite place for teatime
  my covered shady patio
 to watch this elusive and rare sun -
 which I love as long as I am in the shade, haha.

It seems forever since we've had any sun, or sun that I was
 free enough to notice and enjoy (life has been hectic lately!)

That glorious sun:
nearly as rare, quickly gone, and elusive as the lovely peony!

So I share my pics of this moment with you all today,
 and pray you are all well.

I had been waiting (and hoping) I could share them 
with you before the rain ruins their delicate petals.

These are cut from my neighbors garden.
She is out of town and said I could have them all.
I settled for just a teapot full.

My peony has only produced a couple of blooms,
and didn't like the rain - hers are older, heartier,
get more sun and are pink.

I think I may give up on my peony in the spot it is in.
My trees are shading it too much, so I need to move it
or lose it, I'm afraid.

Maybe Ellen will let me just plant it over there -
they love all that sun!

A pretty napkin seems right at home here today.

This very old and very very delicate Bavarian set
 is my largest set (tons of it collected over years)
and is my most feminine and pretty.

It's been a while since I have shared it with you all- 
but I just had to put those beautiful peonies
 in the loveliest of all my china!

I see a varnished gleam in my heart's eye
While peonies are climbing at the gate.
That birds of red and yellow twit nearby,
Enchanting leafy maples, so ornate
Till sun dew bursts of fresh morn, to elate!

~S. Kendrick

Garden Party

Summer breezes gently 
Brushes against my face
Sunlight teases my eyes
Wakens me 
Its morning 
Bouquet of fragrances to my nose
Guides me to my garden
Its there I find my peace
Eagerly stepping onto glistening dewy grass 
Placing myself among the copious of blooms
I sit beneath my maple tree upon a rattan chair
I sip my tea, I breathe in my solitaire
They don’t seem to mind
My company spends time
Creating the sounds of summer
My buzzing bees they notice me 
And thank me for pink Peonies
Butterflies like swimming high
Above their purple Buddleia
Kissing nectar for their breakfast 
As fragrant aromas surrounds me
Infusing my tea while I see 
A white blossom tree
Good Morning Dragonfly perching upon his Goldenrod
Shimmering purple through his transparent wings
Dancing to the waterfall like a King
Dawn brings the cooing voice 
Of music from the Dove
Hummingbirds flying backwards
Display their iridescent plumage
Drinking sweetness from the trumpets
Blackbirds flying downward
Yellow beaks hunting 
Consuming food from falling seeds
Vibrant colors all around
Pleasant sounds resounding 
Grandstand of fragrances 
I refreshingly embrace
A reception of hospitality
Welcome to my Garden Party

~M. Franceschini

As always, thank you for your visit!



Friday, May 27, 2016

Have a Happy and Safe Weekend!

Just popping in with a big hello
to wish you all a safe and wonderful weekend.

I have about a bajillion things to share with you...

...and hope to do so very soon!

In the meantime, I miss you and love you
 and wish you all of


And a huge thanks to our brave who have kept us safe and free.


Huge hugs and prayers!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kentucky Derby Tea Time

Well, what a very busy weekend!

Did anyone attend the Kentucky Derby this year?

I did not get to go, as I attended my annual civic women's club
 Spring Fling Ladies Brunch and Style Show.

However, I made up for not being there in great style!

I recently won a wonderful tea giveaway
from Linda at her blog called FRIENDSHIP TEA.

She gifted me TWO large containers of the most wonderful
Black and Green Teas which she explains in detail 
on her giveaway post here.

They came in those wonderful nylon pyramid sachets, 
and both are so very tasty!

I had a whirlwind weekend -  had an out-of-state tea sister
 come in late on Friday for a fast overnight stay.

 She was in town to attend her daughter's
smaller local second bridal shower in our area.

 Then the next day she was gone by 9am to attend
 her daughter's final dress fitting (bought locally) for the wedding.

Then my husband grabbed my 7th grade niece while I got ready
to take her to the ladies brunch and style show by 10 am.

(We had a wonderful time! Such a good time I took no pics.)

After we finished there we came back to our house and 
put together a pretty planter and homemade card for her
mother (my younger sister) for Mother's Day.

A bit later we three attended Mass, and I sang in choir for the
Saturday evening service - as traditionally the little ones sing
for the mothers on Mother's Day sunday.

THEN we hurried over to our favorite local pub and got a nice meal
and watched the derby on all the large flat screens.

SUCH FUN! Such yelling! 

Good job there, Nyquist!

By the way, my little sister is a University of Kentucky graduate.
She loves The Derby and I will never forget the first time 
she went - with her sorority sisters (Pi Beta Phi.)

As we are true Yankees, it was quite a surprise for her to discover
at the Derby (and at all the school ball games) one can always
catch a whiff of Kentucky Bourbon in the air.  ♥

My sister didn't go this year because she was one of the organizers
 for a huge gala for the  Free to Smile Foundation philanthropy.

She organized the donations to help that wonderful cause. 

This annual event was hosted at the awesome
"Party Barn" at the Les Wexner residence. 
(These are the well-known Wexners who own The Limited.)

So between my busy sister and my busy self 
we had to celebrate the Derby the best we could this year.

So in honor of the Derby, and to happily
enjoy my own win - I baked white chocolate cookies,
brownies, oatmeal jam bars, and pecan chocolate chip cookies
and well enjoyed tea time yesterday.

Sipping on Elwood's Bourbon Tea was extra special.

Elmwood Inn

From Wikipedia on the net
Elmwood Inn in historic Perryville, Kentucky is nationally known because its signature facade is featured on thousands of tins of tea and recipe books that ship every day under the banner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas company. Built in 1842 by local merchant John Burton, the Greek Revival mansion was used as a makeshift hospital during the 1862 Battle of Perryville in the American Civil War. The handsome building served as boarding school from 1896 until 1924 under the care of headmaster Thomas Poynter.
Elmwood was rescued by preservationists in 1974, placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated as a Kentucky landmark by Governor Wendell Ford. It served as a regional restaurant until 1989. Noted guests during that time included Ronald Reagan and KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders. The inn was transformed into one of America's best-known tea houses in 1990 under the ownership of Bruce and Shelley Richardson. In 2002, Elmwood Inn was named by the UK Tea Council as the first American tea room to be included in their prestigious publication "Best Tea Places."
Elmwood Inn closed to the public in 2004 and the grand house is now the private residence of the owners.
Elmwood Inn Fine Teas began importing, blending and packaging specialty teas in 1993 and now supplies teas to tea rooms, restaurants and gift shops in every state. Elmwood Inn's publishing division, Benjamin Press, is the publisher of over 17 books, mainly on the subject of tea.
The Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and Benjamin Press offices, blending and packaging operation is located at 135 North Second Street in Danville, Kentucky. A tea shop for retail and wholesale customers is located in that downtown facility.

One more thing I also had to miss this past weekend
 was our family's annual Cancer Walk.

Here is a cute pic of just a few of our family's "Mob" 
walking for a cure and making a difference, one step at a time.

Rest in Peace, Pop Patrick, we love you.

Sunday my husband Michael, and the girls and their husbands
all took me to The Worthington Inn for a Mother's Day brunch.

I ate so much I nearly needed a nap, it was so delish!


So - thank you, again, Linda, for helping me so enjoy
a little taste of your Kentucky at this special time of year.

I appreciate trying new teas, and these did not disappoint!

Linda is quite knowledeable and ALL about tea and travel.
 Be sure to stop by her blog for a visit soon!

As always, thank you all for your visit!



Monday, April 18, 2016

Teacup Exchange Reveal!

Twice a year sweet Stephanie from
The Enchanting Rose blog hosts
 a teacup (or mug) exchange event -
 once in spring and once in autumn.

The spring EXCHANGE 2016 marks her 8th swap event!

 It is sooooo much fun to participate!

 And to be honest, I'm not sure which I like best:
 the receiving or THE GIVING!

 It is wonderful fun to put together a package of beautiful items
 for a person one doesn't even know.....
and finding them to become a new fast friend! 

This is only my second time doing this -
 somehow in blogdom I missed knowing about this till last fall!

I participated in two swaps last fall:
with Margie and Tammy

I hope never to EVER miss again, it's that much fun!

Please allow me to introduce to you a wonderful blogger named 
Karen at the blog Beatrice Euphemie with whom I was the lucky recipient of a box full of wonderful treasures this swap! 

She sent me the most lovely items!

Of course, again, I got SO excited about gathering my own items
and packing them protectively that I completely forgot
 to take pictures of what I sent. *Sigh*

 I really can't believe I did that yet again.

I sent my package to a non-blogger named Jacqueline who sent the sweetest thank you card to me! I am so happy she loved her items.
She told me her daughter already nabbed her teacup, haha!


Jacqueline sent a pic in to Stephanie showing what I sent:

Japanese teacup, note cards, soap in cute box,
organic lavender buds (can't see in back,) little box of chocolate petite fours,
box of peppermint tea (Steph said she likes mint,) because I sent this around Easter there's a little metallic mini basket with faux robin's eggs for decor, a Tyler Candle votive (Tyler is my fav candle company)
a teapot-shaped spoon and a handmade card (tucked behind, can't see.)

Anyway, without further ado,
 here's my big reveal:

LOOK at all the wrapped treasures Karen sent!

Everything was wrapped up so pretty
 in springtime tissue paper and satin ribbons!

I had such fun un-wrapping and delighting in each surprise!

The highlight of the day was receiving 
this gorgeous Royal Albert teacup!
Isn't she a beauty?!!?

Here is the beautiful card she wrote and tucked inside the box.

And she hand-made me the sweetest heart-shaped sachet
stuffed with her very own lavender and rose petals potpourri!
 It smells absolutely heavenly..... and is so cute!

In keeping with her spring floral theme -
she sent me a HUGE lilac candle tied up with ribon & silk flowers.

As I am unsure our lilac bushes will even produce this year
after this weird weather we're having, I appreciate this so much!

Also in my package was a humungous amount of
 Breakfast in Paris tea by STASH.

This is a tea I hadn't tried before - it's lavender tea and is awesome!

I've even been able to share this bounty with a few others, too.

And Stephanie must have told her how much I adore
 triple milled French soap - she sent me TWO full size bars!

One is half gone already, I use it twice a day ♥♥♥ it!

I received not one, but THREE really cute note pads!

These are perfect for so many things-
I think I will use the SCATTER JOY one as an address and note book
about my blogging friends.

Perhaps I will use the HAPPY DAY one to keep track of
tea parties I have or attend.....and the LOVE one
may possibly end up my tea and wine tasting notebook.

And beautiful floral notecards..........

I don't believe Karen could have ever sent a package to a less appreciative recipient. I am thrilled beyond words!

If you get the chance please visit her blog, too!

Last week it snowed for 3 days -
 and today it is almost too warm to stay out too long.

 SO weird.

But I found a nice shady spot in my covered patio area
and enjoyed teatime with my beautiful new teacup
with some freshly baked white chocolate chip cookies.

Life is good. And a fun tea cup swap made it so much better.

Be sure to pop on over to Stephanie's post on Wednesday at her blog

The Enchanting Rose

to check out her linky party of the exchange/s,
 and maybe even some pics from non-bloggers who participated.

AND a reminder: as we're drawing nearer to Mother's Day: 
if you are looking to find a unique, affordable perfectly lovely gifts
 be sure to check out Stephanie's etsy shop called

It's filled with the most beautiful hand made
 lacy, pearly, girlie and beautiful items for those special mom types!

As always, thank you for your visit.