Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Christmas Tree Tea

Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book. ~ Bill Watterson

Hello my lovely friends and welcome to my blog! Won't you join me for a nice cup of tea and some treats? 

I am using my Spode Christmas Tree teapot and cups/mugs today. The teapot was a birthday present and I found the cups in Vancouver, BC on our last visit. I got them for half price so I was doing a happy dance when I found them. The matching plates I found at Home Sense. It's nice to have a festive tea set this time of year. I didn't have one until now so I am enjoying it for sure.

Christmas is a season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame for charity in the heart." ~ Washington Irving

Today there is spicy Cinnamon Vanilla tea in the pot and I have homemade oatmeal-chocolate chip-cinnamon cookies that a friend brought me. 

Serenity is a solitary cup of tea; pleasure is sharing it with another. ~ Victoria magazine

I am also having mincemeat tarts. These are the best bakery mince tarts I have had. I always make my own but Hubby brought them home because he doesn't want me to overdo it in the kitchen. I am having an awful time with a torn rotator cuff and carpal tunnel. Of course it is my right arm and wrist which is affected and I am right handed. It has been quite the year for pesky health issues. I hope and pray the new year will be much better.

We are starting to get a little snow now. The roads are getting slicker and everyone is bundled up when they go out. 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

The other day I treated myself to a new book, "Shepherd's Abiding" by Jan Karon. 

I'm sure many of you are familiar with The Mitford series and this story does not disappoint. It is as charming as the previous stories written by Jan Karon. 

The first few books of the series were loaned to me but I am planning to start my own collection. Some stories are just worth while reading over again like the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs. On a cold winter day it is nice to curl up with the Christmas lights on, a fire blazing, and sipping a hot cup of tea while reading a good book such as this one. 

Hearts are aglow when we fill our homes with domestic warmth, nostalgia, and the beloved trinkets that symbolize the season. ~ Victoria magazine

I have decorated our little four foot tree for the family room. The cardinal teacup and drummer bear were two ornaments my youngest son gifted me with. My hubby loves this little tree because it's so whimsical. It is decorated with red and gold ribbon and pretty much every ornament on it was a gift from a family member or a friend. 

I don't think the camera did it justice. It's so much cuter than how it appears here. Oops! I forgot to move the phone and I haven't finished sprucing up the deer scene but it was the tree I wanted you to see anyway!

Thank you for your visit and please take some time for yourself during this busy season to sip a nice cup of tea and read a book.

Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends!

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said many times, many ways,
Merry Christmas to you. ~ Mel Torme and Robert Wells, "The Christmas Song"

I am joining the following parties as well~

 Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Friends Sharing Tea
 Share Your Cup Thursday~
 Home Sweet Home~

 Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 4 December 2017

Come On Ring Those Bells, Light the Christmas Tree....

From home to home, and from heart to heart, from one place to another, the warmth and joy of Christmas brings us closer to each other. ~ Emily Matthews

Hello dear friends! Well, the countdown is on; less than a month to Christmas. I have my tree up and I am loving my new ribbon! It is a mesh with iridescent glitter all through it and it sparkles whether the lights are on or not. 

I have paired it with a gold sheer wired ribbon from last years's tree with a glitter design on it. 

I enjoy the music as much as the decorating. I always have the music playing while I'm decorating and baking. It makes that time spent so much more enjoyable.

I have my favourite Christmas music too. I still love the Spirit of Christmas with the Living Strings. 

My children grew up with the Strings along with Evie, Michael W. Smith, and a number of other favourites as well as those oldies but goodies. My middle boy is so sentimental that he purchased Evie, "Come On Ring those Bells" Christmas online. Does anyone remember her?

Actually my son and his family went to hear Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant in concert a week ago. My little granddaughter loved it and she smiled all the way through it! My youngest likes the Living Strings and Michael W. Smith but does usually prefer the instrumentals. My oldest, I'm sad to say, likes anything country. Yeah, I'm not a big country music fan. Sorry, to those of you who are!

Speaking of bells; I have a small collection from over the years. Each one was a gift.

All of these bells hold special memories. The blue Vancouver bell was from my oldest son when he went on a youth exchange and another was from a nice young man we had at our home also for a youth exchange. The one from Hawaii and the blue Currier and Ives are from my uncle while the others are from my hubby. The crystal one was a gift from my SIL on Hubby's and my 25th anniversary.

When I was growing up it was more Christmas concerts than records and tapes playing. My father was involved in the church and he and I both sang in the choir. I sang in almost every Christmas concert there was, school, Sunday School, Girl Guides, etc. If there was a concert, I was singing in it.

My guys don't sing but they do play instruments. Two of them play drums and bass/acoustic guitar. 

My youngest always preferred percussion and the keyboards. Now one of my grandsons plays guitar and he loves music too! This is him about a year ago playing with his father at church. My son is behind the music stand so you can't see his face. He was playing guitar as well that morning.
This is my grandson today. I am amazed at how much a young man can change in only one year! I think he grew four or five inches as well.

They say music is the universal language and I certainly agree with that. Music has always played a big part in my life; in our lives. I have so many favourite Christmas songs that I can't pick just one. Each one moves me in a different way. What is your favourite Christmas song?

Today I am having a winter white tea. We've been getting a little snow which quickly melts but we know there will be lots more coming.

My teapot was a Christmas gift one year and I like the simplicity of it, winter white with embossed snow flakes.

Tea is ready and we'll enjoy a cup with some ginger cookies. 

You may choose your cup. The little silver spoon sitting on the crystal studded saucer is one I found at an antique shop just recently. The pattern is South Seas. I love those little silver tea spoons, don't you?

...Perhaps that is the true gift of a teatime celebration: It fills our cups with joy and warmth and friendship. May the echo of the teacup's message be heard not only at Christmas, not only on special occasions, but anytime friends come together. ~ Emilie Barnes

I got one of my fruit cakes made. This one has just cooled off and will be getting wrapped to age very shortly.

Fruit cake is a lot of work but the end result is fabulous! For those of you who don't bake or don't like to bake, I find baking most inspiring! There is something purely magical about taking some flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, add in some flavouring and fruit, and pour the batter into a pan. Bake it in the oven and out comes this beautiful confection, fit for those you love. And for those of you who claim not to like fruit cake, I believe you just may not have tasted a good one. This is my grandmother's recipe and it has never failed me. I have been making it for years and everyone enjoys it. Some of it will be going to Colorado to my youngest son for Christmas.

I kind of wore myself out last week with the decorating and baking which is why I didn't get a post up. I told Hubby this will be the last year I will be putting lights on the tree. We will look for a pre-lit one after Christmas. 

That's my update for this week but before I close this post, I want to send a great big Happy Birthday out to my little granddaughter who is seven years old today! Like her Nanny, she loves tea parties!

Wish Nanny and Papa could be there to celebrate with you, little lambie!

Have a lovely week everyone and thank you for visiting.

Everybody likes to take a holiday
Everybody likes to take a rest
Spending time together with the family
Sharing lots of love and happiness.

Come on, ring those bells,
Light the Christmas tree,
Jesus is the king
Born for you and me.
Come on, ring those bells,
Every-body say,
Jesus, we remember
This your birthday. ~ written by Andrew Culverwell

I am joining the following parties as well~

Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Friends Sharing Tea
 Share Your Cup Thursday
 Home Sweet Home

 Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 20 November 2017

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

You should always be the best decoration in your own house.~ Phoebe Howard 

Hello dear friends and welcome! It is that time of year when we are all thinking about the Holidays. My American friends are celebrating Thanksgiving this week and then they will move right on into the Christmas season. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I have done a bit of decorating and I'm anxious to put the tree up. 

Our main tree is going to be upstairs this year in the front window which means we will have to rearrange the furniture. It should look nice from the street.

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." ~ Meredith Willson, 1951

I know all of you have ornaments that are real treasures because of the memories attached to them. Mine are no different and when I hang each one on the tree I am reminded of that special family member or friend who gifted it to me. 

Some are reminders of a special occasion too which is why I always call my tree my Tree of Memories. 

This was my tree two years ago.

Tea time...

I have a little tea set out today and I'm using my green transferware which I haven't used in a long time. 

These pieces were gifts from my hubby one year.

They are Staffordshire and made in England and I love the colour green! Transferware evokes such old-fashioned charm, don't you think?

A pot of chai tea and a plate of macaroons snuggle up to my pink poinsettia. 

A lovely way to relax and think upon the Christmas season while the music plays softly in the background. 

I have many teacups and saucers and a number of teapots collected over the years. Many of them were gifted to me.

Have you ever really looked at teacups and saucers? There are many similarities among them, yet many differences. Yet...all cups and saucers were designed for a common purpose. Perhaps you have heard and in all probability have even used the phrase, "tea service". You see cups and saucers were created to serve. 
Teacups and friends? The comparison is obvious. We too have many similarities, many differences, many unique characteristics. We are all different, yet all needed. Fortunately, it takes all of us, each with her own gifts and talents, to serve the needs of God's children. 

Next time you pick up a teacup, think of a friend. ~ Linda Gaither

Happiness is the realization
of God in the heart.
Happiness is the result
of praise and thanksgiving,
of faith, of acceptance;
a quiet tranquil realization
of the love of God.~ 
White Eagle from the book "A Book of Joy" by Thomas Kinkade

Thank you, dear ones, for visiting and have a lovely week celebrating with family and friends. God bless you all!

I am joining the following parties this week ~

Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Friends Sharing Tea
 Share Your Cup Thursday
 Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi
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