Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!

From our door to yours, 
we wish you a very 
Merry Christmas.

May your holiday sparkle and shine.

May you be filled with joy
 at the significance of "Oh, Holy Night."

And find peace 
wherever or however you worship.

May your Friendship Angel always be near.

May your heart be filled
 with love and gratitude.

May jolly old St. Nicholas
 bring you a pleasant delight or two...

And fond memories of Christmas long ago.

Cousin Kathie, Dad, Mom, bro Danny, sis Mary
and little me circa 1963.

And may the hope and wonder and 
make you feel just like a child again.

Vivi - first Christmas tree 2017.

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Comment-free to give you more time
to be with your loved ones. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Pretty Christmas Tablescape

This year we have 13 family members attending
 Christmas Day dinner here.

I set up our formal dining room tablescape  in green and gold
 with a touch of deep crimson red to pull it all together.

Red, green and gold is just so Christmas-y and traditional.

And for those who know me, I seldom use color.

My Christmas decor is all white - but the table is a nice
bit of color in my very neutral universe. ♥

I have six here and will host another six plus high chair in kitchen.

I thank God every day for the blessing of family,
 and for providing our home and space so that we may share it
 with our beloved family and friends whenever we are able to do so.

I only bought a couple of new or new-to-me things this year,
 as I am trying to lighten the "stuff" load we have for the holidays.

However, I recently bought this opaque glass centerpiece
candle holder base at my favorite local thrift store.

I placed it in a vintage silver plated bowl from my stash,
cut some arborbitae from out back and placed a few
smaller glass ornament bulbs around it, making 
a simple, traditional and inexpensive centerpiece.

And this is how it looks when lit with a candle,
casting its peaceful warm glow on the setting.

The two faux boxwood tree things I had in the basement
haven't seen the light of day in a long time.

I thought they completed the look,
 along with a metal reindeer.

I think post-Christmas by using white plates and 
different napkins,  and putting away the ornament bulbs
this tablescape could be used most of the winter.

That is until we get lots and lots of snow,
then I may have to go all out using my glittering snowflake stuff.

Earlier in the Advent season I had been playing with my holiday table
and had set it up in a much more red and bold style.

I thought I'd show you how the table looked then.

It's fun to compare how different with just a few simple
changes it can make. 

I used the gifts I had then later taken and given to my tea sisters
 when we exchanged gifts as part of the tablescape decor.

If you missed the extraordinary Christmas Afternoon Tea party
 I went to there's a link to it at the end of this post
 you won't want to miss. *

Tying ornaments on is a nice way to embellish any packaging.

This was what I used in the centerpiece
 before I found that new-to-me candle vase.

It's much larger than it looks in this pic.

I ended just flipping over the table runner
 when I finally decided to lose all the bright red
 in my final decision on the table this year.

*Here is the tea party link in case you missed it earlier.
It is a two-parter, and part 2 is at the bottom of this
post in a clicky link, too. 

As always, thank you for your visit.




Friday, December 15, 2017

An Christmas Afternoon Tea Part 2

OK- as promised, here is Part 2 of one of the very nicest
 Christmas teas I have ever been blessed to attend.

This time I am sharing later in the evening.
 I mentioned in the previous post, our teas are marathons.

Auntie Pam changed out the china
 and then hosted a hearty delicious dinner for us as well.

(I will forever be in awe of this amazing woman!)

She placed a beautiful candle at every setting. 
It was so pretty once the lights were dimmed a bit.

The yummy menu was buffet style,
 and everything was made from scratch.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie
Spinach Salad w/ homemade strawberry dressing
Sticky Toffee Pudding
~and assorted sweets left from tea earlier~

This was the very first time I've ever tasted Sticky Toffee Pudding.

It is beyond description. 

It is rich and decadent and truly beyond compare.


Next time I visit Auntie Pam's
 gorgeous new custom-built home
 I hope to just showcase it for you.
 It's so awesome.

It's the perfect size and so sparkly new, oh it's pretty!

However this post is all about Christmas and the tea,
 dinner and her over-the-top beautiful decor......
I will just let the pictures do the talking.

Some whimsy in her kitchen:

I'm disappointed in my pics - I didn't seem to capture much,
 as EVERY square inch  of her home from porch to bathrooms
 and every room in between was so tastefully  decorated.

 I can't even imagine how she does it!!!!

(Or where she keeps it all stored!)

And she had all sorts of bling!

The candle light, the shimmers and sparkles
 created such a gorgeous mood
as the evening wore on.

And, of course, she had THE brightest bling in all the universe
 displayed in fine and full Glory: Baby Jesus

I hope you've enjoyed Pam's parties
 and home as much as I have sharing it with you.

As always, thanks for your visit.

Hugs and prayers to each of you!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Christmas Afternoon Tea Part 1

Oh, the joy of spending time with my tea society sisters!

I had the delight of being invited for a lovely out of town 
tea-time weekend with my dearest friends this past weekend.

Our amazing hostess, whom we lovingly call Auntie Pam showed us
her gorgeous newly built home for the first time,
 and also hosted for us the most exquisite afternoon tea!

We truly felt as if we were royalty this special day.

I cannot thank dear Pam enough for such a special tea!

She started the party out offering us delicious
 appetizers and champagne with raspberries.

This is a clever way to serve shrimp cocktail;
in individual glass cups on ice with demitasse forks.

Her homemade cocktail sauce was incredible.

She provided a large assortment of sweets

for us to nosh on as we cajoled.

Our teas together are true marathons.

I am glad she kept fuel so close at hand!

This was the most decadent, light, rich and moist cream-filled "coffee" cake
I have ever had in my life. It was very sweet and buttery and nutty - no cinnamon or coffee
crumbs - it was heavenly, and I'd give anything for another piece of it right now!

Her tablescape could win an award, I kid you not.

She has mad decorating skills.

My quick pointing and clicking pics
didn't do any justice to all the beauty around me.

All was completely over-the-top gorgeous.

I just couldn't quite capture the beauty, and truly failed
to capture the MOOD her decorating invoked!

She gave us TWO different gifts!
One was at our table, wrapped so beautifully!

Inside the pretty boxes were two little white
glittery ceramic birdie figurines.

I already have them in use, and have plans to show you soon,
if when I post my Christmas home tour.

Auntie Pam travels the world and has been to England 
several times on extensive tours.

She shared with us 4 different kinds of tea.

My very favorite was her Sally Lunn, which she purchased
in Bath, England while taking tea at the famous tea house.

Here is a bit of history I found online. 

Pam collects interesting tea tins from her travels as well.

Our main course was a super fluffy quiche,
served with mixed fruit.

I wish I had a picture of my mile-high quiche -
it was huge, and so so delicious!!!

She had scones for us too!

This is getting way too long, so part 2 will be the DINNER
she prepared for us as well.

And yes, she changed tablescapes.

We also had a wonderful gift exhange.

And yes, we were there for hours and hours and hours.

I will be sharing her amazing Christmas decor, too.

L to R:  Dawn, Pam D., Mary D., Karen, Marina and Auntie Pam

These are very beautiful, special and dear tea sister-friends.

I am truly blessed to have them to hug and love.

I am so happy to be able to share this fun day
with YOU, my very special blogging friends, too.

PART 2 here:  Afternoon tea turns into dinner and decor.

More coming soon, as time allows during this holiday season!


Hugs and prayers.