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.

Wednesday 27 November 2013


"Dear God,
Protect our going out and coming in; let us share the hospitality of this home with all who visit us, that those who enter here may know Your love and peace." ~ Author unknown

Hello my lovely friends and welcome to my HOME! I would like to wish all of my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends!

I am delighted you have stopped by today and blessed me with your presence. I really do appreciate all of you, my bloggy friends.

Before I actually begin this week's party, I must share with you from a very thankful heart that God has just answered a very big prayer request concerning my mother this morning.

It is a very long story and I cannot go into specifics but it took a miracle for this to happen. And it took two years for this prayer to be answered. God is so good!

One thing I have learned well over the years is that prayer really does change things and we should never give up hope!

This week for my tea party, I shared a little bit of Christmas for my tea. The teapot was a gift from my son and DIL last year and the Spode mugs, I found out in Vancouver last Christmas for half price. They are a set of four.

My little tree is one that I set in a mercury glass hurricane candle lamp and decorated with mini lights inside the lamp and on the tree. I thought it looked pretty cute and gives off a soft glow.

As promised, I will share the recipe for the Cranberry Squares I served for tea this week.

Most of you probably have your own Cranberry Sauce recipe but this is mine which I also used in the square recipe.

Cranberry Sauce
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
pinch of salt

Bring water, sugar, and salt to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Add cranberries and cook until the skins pop. About 7-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add 1/3 cup of orange juice. You could add a bit of orange peel too.
Cool and refrigerate.

Cranberry Squares
Mix together:
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Cut in 3/4 cup of softened butter and mix altogether until crumbly.

Press 2/3 of the oat mixture into a greased 9 inch square pan. Top with 1 cup of the cranberry sauce and then sprinkle the rest of the crumbs over the cranberry layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool completely and cut into squares.

Here are some wonderful features from last week~

Ruth @ Antiques and Teacups shared a charming teapot made by Staffordshire. It is adorned with transferware scenes from the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Courtship of Miles Standish." Isn't it lovely!

Diane @ An Extraordinary Day shared her fabulous sweater stocking tutorial. Hers was also the most viewed post.

Make a #SweaterStocking for #Christmas  #Recycle ::

We have a tie for the second highest viewed posts:
Debbie @ A Debbie-Dabble Christmas shared the wonderful Christmas department in a Wegman's grocery store. What fun!

And Poppy @ With a Dash of Color shared her fabulous French Country bathroom. Just beautiful!

Dianne @ Shabby Gals shared her gorgeous 1933 chest of drawers which she transformed into a thing of beauty. It even has a jewelery box built into the top of the chest; quite unique!

Coming up, I will be hosting a "HOME for the Holidays" Party beginning December 11 until the 22 of December.
You are invited to share all your Christmas and holiday decorations, baking/cooking, tablescapes, etc. Anything and everything which makes your HOME a beautiful place to be during the holidays. I hope you will plan to join me.
I know there are lots of parties coming up in Blogland and I always say, 'The more, the merrier!' 

This is my button should you wish to use it.

Thank you dear friends for welcoming us into your homes every week and thank you for visiting me today. Have a wonderful holiday this week.

"Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy beauty and Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place." ~ Edgar A. Guest

As a courtesy, please link back to me so that your visitors may find their way here to visit with all my lovely participants.

I am joining the following parties as well~

What's It Wednesday~
Home and Garden Thursday ~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 25 November 2013

A Little Christmas for Tea Time Tuesday

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday, friends, and  Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!I would like to wish all my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah as well! May your holiday be beautiful and bountiful as you celebrate this week!

One month from today is Christmas Day, can you believe that? So, to start the season off, I'm sharing a little bit of Christmas for tea today.

The teapot was a Christmas gift from my son and DIL last year. It is made by Ganz and I thought it was the perfect companion to my new Christmas mugs.

The mugs are made by Spode and I found them in Vancouver last year when Hubby and I spent the holidays with our middle son and his family.

The best part; I got them after Christmas for half price! There are four of them but I will use two today. One for you and one for me.

They are each decked out with a Christmas tree on the front and a rich forest green band around the rim.

On the back is a sprig of holly and inside is some  mistletoe.

A Little Bit of Mistletoe Folklore which I found on the Internet~

Mistletoe was a plant of peace in antiquity. If enemies met by chance beneath it in a forest, they laid down their arms and maintained a truce until the next day. This is thought to be the origin of the ancient custom of hanging a ball of mistletoe from the ceiling and exchanging kisses under it as a sign of friendship and goodwill.

According to the Anglo-Saxons, kissing under the mistletoe was connected to the legend of Freya, goddess of love, beauty and fertility. According to legend, a man had to kiss any young girl who, without realizing it, found herself accidentally under a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling.

If a couple in love exchanges a kiss under the mistletoe, it is interpreted as a promise to marry, as well as a prediction of happiness and long life. In France, the custom linked to mistletoe was reserved for New Year's Day: "Au gui l'An neuf" (Mistletoe for the New Year).

These mugs are so festive and very comfortable to hold. They're wonderful for hot drinks like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or hot apple cider.

"The tea party is a spa for the soul.
You leave your cares and work behind." ~Alexandra Stoddard

My table topper is a crocheted one which was a gift from a friend years ago. I like it this time of year because it resembles snowflakes.

I put fairy lights on this little tree and tucked it into a mercury glass hurricane candle lamp.

I like the soft glow from the lights I placed inside.

..."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

For our tea I have made Cranberry Squares.

These are much the same as date squares only made with cranberries instead and they are very tasty! I make these only at this time of year.

I will share the recipe at my HOME party on Wednesday.

Coming up, I will be hosting a Celebrate the Season ...Christmas Tea on Monday, December 9 and every Monday until December 23.

Here's my button if you wish to use it.

Each week, you are invited to come and join me for some Christmas tea, goodies, and conversation about this beautiful holiday which is upon us.
I welcome all your Christmas goodies, as well as pretty tea things, and any fond childhood memories you may wish to share with us.

Remember that you are welcome to share egg nog, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, coffee, or punch in a lovely bowl instead of tea if you wish. I hope you will make plans to join me often.

"Somehow not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.

And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to make you glad." ~ John Greenleaf Whittier

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness ~
Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~
Friends Sharing Tea~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Wednesday 20 November 2013


"The beauty of the home is order;
The blessing of the home is contentment;
The glory of the home is hospitality;
The crown of the home is godliness." ~ Author unknown

Hello friends and Welcome to my HOME!
I hope you're all enjoying this new week. Looks like Winter is on its way for we Islanders woke up to snow this morning.

Have you received any snow where you live?

At Tea Time this week, I shared my Aunt Judy's vintage Blossom Time china. If you wish to see more of this pattern please go here.

I also shared my grandmother's crocheted bedspread which took her about a year to complete. It is over sixty years old; a beautiful treasure!

I shared my new-to-me Royal Albert vintage china Blossom Time plate that I found while thrifting last summer. I paid $6.99 for it.

I am so pleased to have found it! Now I just have to find the matching teacup.

With the cold weather arriving, a hot meal is always welcome. Something everyone enjoys here in my home is Shepherd's Pie. I know most folks have their own version of the recipe but this one I found in a TV guide many years ago and it's always been a hit. It's the tastiest I have ever eaten and I hope you will give it a try.

Shepherd's Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
pinch dried basil
1 bay leaf
2 cups frozen peas & carrots

1/2 cup beef gravy{I use canned}
salt/pepper to taste
6 medium potatoes, peeled
3 TBSP butter
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/8 tsp paprika

Brown beef in frying pan and drain off fat. Add onion, basil, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and gravy. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Boil potatoes until tender, drain and mash with butter, salt, and milk. Add peas and carrots to beef and pour into baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven until potatoes are lightly browned. Use leftover gravy for pouring over the pie. If you have homemade gravy; even better! Serves 4.

Now for some lovely features from last week's party~

Gina @ Victoria Wanna Be  received the most views on her post about old houses. There is something about an old house sitting abandoned on the side of the road or up a long lane that conjures up fanciful thoughts of the folks who once lived there.

Penny @ Penny's Vintage Home shared her darling lace Christmas trees which she created from cardboard and bits of lace. I love them! Penny received the second highest views on her post.

Jocelyn @ Just a Little Southern Hospitality shared her tool box filled with autumnal hydrangeas then set her lovely table around it.
Leslie @ Lamberts Lately shared these yummy looking no bake cookie bars. Decadent!

Sherry @ The Charm of Home shared her charming post of memories from Christmases past spent at her Great-Grandfather's house. It's a lovely story which will warm your heart and get you in the mood for the holidays.
Thank you dear friends for your wonderful posts and welcoming us into your homes every week. It is all of you who make my party so special!
If you would like to be featured please be sure to link back to my party.

If you have something HOME related which you would like to share with us, simply create a post and link up below. I will be happy to come and visit you.

"Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy beauty and Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place." ~ Edgar A. Guest

I am joining the following parties this week~

What's It Wednesday~
Share Your Cup~
Home and Garden Thursday~
Home Sweet Home ~
As a courtesy, please link back to me so that your visitors may find their way here to visit with all my lovely participants.

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 18 November 2013

Tea Time Tuesday

Hello dear tea friends~ I am not sure why Blogger hasn't updated my blog, but wanted you all to know that this week's Tea Time Tuesday is up and running below this post. 

Hope to see you there! Have a beautiful day.


A New Treasure for Tea Time Tuesday

"Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty." ~ James Norwood Pratt

Welcome dear friends to another Tea Time! 

When I was visiting my relatives in New Brunswick a couple of months ago, I took some pictures of my Aunt Judy's china. 

If you have been joining me for tea on a regular basis then you know I have a list of favourite teacup patterns I hope to acquire. Royal Albert Blossom Time is one of them.  

My aunt has a whole set of this beautiful vintage pattern which she inherited from her mother. I hope you enjoy having a peek at it!

Her beautiful china cabinet is filled with it. We set a few pieces out on her lovely dining room table so I could get some shots. The pictures were taken at night so the colour is a bit off.

The teapot has such graceful lines and has its own trivet....Swoon!

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." ~ Maya Angelou

How gorgeous!

Some interesting history about this pattern which I gleaned from the Internet:

"On a spring morning in 1933, G. R. Palmeter left a meeting of the Apple Blossom Committee at the Cornwallis Inn to purchase china from a representative of the Royal Albert China of England. While there, he asked the salesman about creating a pattern called "Blossom Time," to tie in with the Apple Blossom Festival. A design was submitted and the factory got to work on it.

The design is an actual picture of the Ralph Eaton farm, in the Annapolis Valley - the apple trees were at the height of bloom, and this worked out ideally, from the factory standpoint.

The result was "BLOSSOM TIME CHINA," which is still in great demand all over the world, even as far as Japan – this over a period of sixty years.

The original shape of the plate was square and the factory later tried a round one but it was not well received. The mugs have changed shape and the bowl and milk pitcher have been discontinued. Other pieces i.e. a trivet have recently been added."

I was rather pleasantly surprised to discover that this pattern was actually created from pictures of apple blossoms in our own Annapolis Valley here in the Maritimes where I live!

My aunt has these pretty pink place mats which enhance the china. I love the square plates!

I was fortunate to find a square plate this past Summer for $6.99. My heart sang when I found it! Now I just have to find the matching teacup.

The back stamp.

Today I am using my Royal Albert Serena teacup. I love the graceful lines of this teacup and I thought the colours went well with my 'new-to-me' plate.

Of course, I had to include some wee pumpkins too.

I am having Apple Cinnamon Chai tea today as well as shortbread cookies.

Happiness is sharing tea with a friend.

My aunt will be passing her lovely dishes on to her daughter who also loves china.

While visiting my aunt and uncle, my aunt brought out an exquisite bedspread which my grandmother had crocheted. It is probably over sixty years old and very intricate. My uncle will pass this on to his daughter some day.

My grandmother was a very gifted lady; a beautiful seamstress and quilter among other things. This is just one of the fabulous treasures she had made by hand.

Can you imagine the hours she spent working on this? My Auntie P remembers when Granny made it and she says it took her about a year to crochet. It would make a pretty tablecloth too.

"Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume." ~ Jean De Boufflers

A priceless heirloom; both this and the china took my breath away! I felt like I was being treated to a wonderful glimpse from the past. Beautiful china and heirloom quality lace, what could be better? 

Maybe a lovely cup of tea!

Tea Time Tidbit~ Did you know that King George IV was one of the first English collectors of teapots? {The Twelve Teas of Friendship by Emilie Barnes}

I thought that was interesting! I have been enamoured by teapots for years and I have quite a few as well as a nice collection of lovely teacups. One of these days I am going to count my teacups.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my aunt's beautiful china and my Granny's crocheted treasure as well as my new plate I found thrifting.

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." ~ Proverbs 15:30

NOTE~ This has mainly been a re-post from last year because I had an incredibly busy weekend and didn't have much time to prepare a tea post.
Thank you for visiting and have a lovely day everyone.

Do you have a favourite teacup/teapot or mug that you would like to share with us today? I would love to see it and I'm sure others would too!

If you wish, you may do coffee instead of tea or the following is acceptable too:
Hot apple cider
Hot chocolate
Iced tea or coffee
Egg nog
Punch in a pretty bowl

As a courtesy, please link back to me so that your visitors may find their way here to visit with all my lovely participants.

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness ~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~
Tea with Friends ~
We Call It Olde~
What's It Wednesday~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~
Thrifty Things Friday~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi