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 24 November 2014

Time for Tea and Preparing for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
With the kids jingle belling,
and everyone telling you,
"Be of good cheer,"
It's the most wonderful time of the year. ~ Eddie Pola, George Wyle, 1963

Welcome friends to Tea Time and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends this week!
When we forget the obvious, the little joys, the meals together, the birthday celebrations, the weeping together in time of pain, the wonder of the sunset or the daffodil peeping through the snow, we become less human.~ Madeleine L’Engle

Do you like my posies? The bouquet of roses was a good deal at the grocery. Two yellow, two white, three pink, and three red roses makes for a colourful arrangement for my tea table today.

A month from today is Christmas Eve. Are you getting ready? 

This time of year always brings a bit of nostalgia as I unpack the treasured ornaments from over the years.... 

The special little rocking horse my second son gave me when he was ten years old.

The drummer mouse my youngest son gifted me with for my birthday one year. He had played the snare drum in The Little Drummer Boy in the school band.

For Christmas is tradition time - 
Traditions that recall 
The precious memories down the years,
The sameness of them all. ~ Helen Lowrie Marshall

These two boys get a little sentimental around this time of year. For one, it's the music which brings back fond memories of his mom in the kitchen baking holiday treats and trimming the tree while the music played. 

For the other, it's the music, the food, the decorations and everything else the holiday inspires. He is truly a kid at heart at Christmastime. He takes after his mom and grandfather who always loved the holidays.

Both of these boys live far away, one in Vancouver, BC and the other in Illinois, and I will not see them during the holidays so it's an extra sentimental time for this mom. I am so very thankful for Skype however, and very thankful that my oldest son and his family live just five minutes away!

As you all know, I am a bird watcher and I enjoy our little feathered friends. I love the cardinals but I have never seen one as we don't have them here. My son who lives here on the Island gifted me with three red cardinal ornaments one year because he knows I love them. 

I have used this one in a wreath which hangs in the dining room. 

I have the best kids!

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

For our tea, I have set out some of my Johnson Bros. Friendly Village. 

It's perfect for this time of year with each scene of yesteryear transferred on to each piece!

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

All of my Friendly Village; dinner plates, salad plates, bread & butter plates, bowls, teacups and saucers, is vintage except for the teapot and the creamer.

I have made a short cut version of a Victorian Sponge cake for our tea. The cake is layered and filled with strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream; yum! Hubby isn't a big cake lover but he sure enjoys this one.

I liked Karen's sentiment from her last week's post. She said blog land is like a Friendly Village and I agree with her. It's a lovely place where we can stay in touch and share one another's interests, especially pretty china and tea. 
We are inspired by each other and care deeply when one of our friends is going through a difficult time. Blog land is a wonderful community of bloggers and I am so happy to be a part of it.

Next week is the first of December and I will begin sharing some Christmas inspired teas with you. I also have a special Christmas Tea planned for you on December 15th. I will tell you more about it next week.

I am delighted you have visited today and I am always happy when you join me for tea and conversation.  

If you have something related to tea time or coffee break, please link up with me and I will be happy to visit you. All teacups/coffee cups, teapots/coffee pots, chocolate pots, tablescapes, tea time recipes, and visits to a Tea Shop are welcome.

Have a wonderful day, dear friends, and I wish all of you in the US, a bountiful and beautiful Thanksgiving Day!

I am linking to these lovely parties as well this week~

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

Monday 17 November 2014

Beau-tea-ful Blue for Tea Time

Dashing through the snow, 
In a one horse open sleigh,
O'er the fields we go, 
Laughing all the way... ~ James Lord Pierpont

Hello ladies and welcome to Tea Time! It's the third week in November already.

It started to snow on the weekend and it's still snowing. The white powdery snow covers everything. The Baby Boo snuggled up to my roses is sprinkled with glitter but the pumpkins out on the side deck look like this. Does it snow where you live?

Brrr! It's too early for this stuff, pretty as it is!

My tea table today is set in blue and white with a beautiful bouquet of pale yellow roses for a little complimentary colour.

My transferware is a mix of patterns but they all go together like tea and cookies. 

The teapot is Blue Willow made by Churchill

The very sight of a teapot puts a smile on the face of most people. One cannot help but think of more serene and genteel times....They are a subtle reminder of all that is good in the world. ~ Barbara Roberts 

I have several blue teacups in various patterns and the little square plates are yet another pattern. 

From top left to right~ Blue Willow by Johnson Brothers, Spode Blue Room, Royal Homes of Britain by Enoch Wedgwood, and the last pattern is Old Britain Castles made by Johnson Bros. I have two sets of Old Britain Castles in blue.

These sweet little square plates are Adelaide Blue made by 222 Fifth fine china. I love this pattern and I have four of these plates.

I have adored transferware ever since I was a little girl. The main reason being is that the patterns evoke such whimsy and old-fashioned charm. 

I made some mincemeat tarts because, like the cornbread a couple of weeks ago, I have been craving the spice. These tasty little pies are easy to make with Pillsbury pie crust cut out with a cookie cutter and pressed into a mini muffin tin. I simply filled them with mincemeat and the left over pastry comes in handy for the little stars on top. 

Why not have a little dollop of fresh whipped cream sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon for an extra special treat?

Please allow me to pour you some Stash Chai Spice tea and help yourself to a spicy tart.

Let me know when you begin the new tea...My present elegancies have not yet made me indifferent to such matters. ~ Jane Austen

According to what we read about author Jane Austen, tea played an important role in her daily life. 

Tea time is an important part of my life as well. It is a quiet time when I come away from my usual routine around the house and savour a lovely cup of tea. 

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays nearing, do take time out of your routine and enjoy some solitude with a nice cup of tea. It will revive you and as you know there are many health benefits to drinking tea.

The sun has set and the fire glows brightly in the fireplace. It's warm and cozy. Soon the lights from the Christmas tree will lend a soft ambiance in the room.

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet? I have and I will give you a little peek next week.

Thank you for stopping by for tea once again and if you have anything tea or coffee related you are welcome to link up with me. I would love to see your teacups/coffee cups, teapots and coffee pots, chocolate pots, tablescapes, a recipe for tea time or a visit to a Tea Shop. Have a fabulous day everyone! 

I am joining the following parties as well~

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

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 10 November 2014

Honouring Our Heroes for Tea Time

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.~ John McCrae, 1915

Hello dear friends and welcome to another Tea Time. On Tuesday, November 11th, we honour our veterans, both past and present, and our military.  

Cenotaph - Charlottetown Guardian
Wreaths and crosses adorned with poppies will be placed at the Cenotaph by dignitaries and those who have lost loved ones to war. 

The cenotaph was constructed in 1925, in memory of all the fallen from the province who gave their services in the day of our country's need. It stands tall bearing three brave soldiers and honours those who fought in World War 1 and World War 2 as well as the Korean War.

I remember my father taking my brother and me every year to the parade and then to the Cenotaph to watch as folks laid their wreaths. It was sobering even as a little girl.

My father-in-law and his brother were two of those brave young men who went off to war. 

Taken sometime in the 1940's

My father-in-law was in the Navy and his brother was in the Army. Sadly, my father-in-law lost his brother. One of my father-in-law's ships was torpedoed while he was at sea but thankfully he escaped to safety. My father-in-law never liked to talk about the war as it was probably too painful for him.

Today his medals are framed and will someday be passed down to my son who takes great pride in his grandfather's accomplishments. 

                                            Rob Johnston's photo.

We owe a great debt to those who have gone to war and given themselves to keep our country free. To all of you here at home and abroad, thank you for your sacrifice and God bless you! 
You are our heroes!

My tea today combines silver and crystal with the red of roses and poppies. 

Please make yourself at home. The lighting is very poor, sorry. It was a dreary day with high winds when I took these pictures.

I am using a special teacup gifted to me by my brother many years ago.

It is called Buckingham made by Royal Stafford of England and is very regal in its appearance. The rich black and gold make this teacup very appealing to the eye.

There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life. ~ Lin Yutang

My tea today is David's Organic Stormy Night. It is a black tea with chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, vanilla, and natural vanilla flavouring.

Teas vary as much in appearance as the different faces of men. ~ Hui-tsung

We will enjoy our tea with a couple of butter cookies topped with chocolate to nibble on. 

Just for fun, I've added my little mercury glass pumpkin to the tray.

Thank you for stopping by for tea and have a beautiful day everyone.

Thanksgiving is a day when we pause to give thanks for what we have.
Veterans Day and Remembrance Day is a day when we pause to give thanks to the people who fought for the things we have. ~ Author unknown 

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 5 November 2014

Cornbread with Jalapeno Peppers

Home is where your story begins.

Hello everyone~ I hope you are all having a wonderful week.

For tea this week, I served a cornbread with jalapeno peppers. I love cornbread and I make it two different ways. One is sweet served with maple syrup and the other is a more savoury cornbread which is baked in a skillet. 

I am sharing the savoury cornbread with jalapeno peppers today.

I have tweaked the recipe a bit and I hope you enjoy it. It is wonderful just on its own with butter or served with chili or any other savoury dish.

Skillet Cornbread with Jalapeno Peppers

Heat oven to 450
Melt 2 TBSP butter in a cast iron skillet in the oven then remove from the oven and coat the bottom and sides of the skillet with the butter. Let set while mixing the cornbread ingredients.

Mix together:
1-1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl

Beat together in a medium bowl with a fork:
2 large eggs
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
Beat in the melted butter from the skillet.

Wash and remove seeds from 2 jalapenos. I used about one heaping TBSP each of green and red, chopped into small pieces but you may add more depending on how hot you like it. Add to the milk mixture.


Add the milk mixture with the peppers to the cornbread mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon just until moist. The batter should be a bit lumpy. 

Pour the mixture into the skillet and bake about 22-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick. It should come out clean. Serve hot and slice in two and spread with butter. 


Thank you for visiting my cottage today and enjoy the rest of your week.

I am sharing this with these wonderful parties:

Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 3 November 2014

A Lavender Tea

I’m so blessed to have friends like you to share in everything I do. For one special friend sharing a special cup of tea truly makes this a perfect recipe. ~ Author unknown

Welcome friends to a new month of Tea Time Tuesday. I would like to thank all of you who participated in my Pink Tea for Breast Cancer Awareness in October. It is a cause that I very much believe in.

November has arrived and the time has gone back one hour again giving us less daylight hours. It invites us to light the candles and bask in the warmth of a fire; a time to cozy up on the sofa with a throw, a good book, and a hot cup of tea.

The busy season is upon us; Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here in Canada we have already enjoyed the bounty of Thanksgiving so our thoughts turn toward Christmas; my favourite holiday of the year.

The other day a package arrived in the mail from Marcia Pilar. I had won her pretty tea tags in a give-away. Thank you Marcia!

Before I begin pulling out all the Christmas decorations I am having a Lavender tea with little pops of Autumn colour. Would you care to join me?

Beneath the tea setting today is my favourite seasonal topper which I won several years ago from Bernideen

I love the cut work and gold thread embellishment. The orange and purple motif make this a very attractive addition to an Autumn tea.

I am using my Purple Pansy teapot and violet teacups made by Gracie.

My other teacup is Royal Albert Road to the Isles. I like the autumnal landscape with the addition of heather on the teacup and saucer.

The backside of this lovely cup.

I have been meaning to make cornbread for a while and last week Cindy at Grandma's Afternoons  had cornbread in her tea post. 

This gave me the incentive to bake up some in my iron skillet. I will share my recipe later on in the week. This time of year especially, I do love the spices so my cornbread has jalapeno peppers in it.

The cornbread has a bit of heat so I am sipping Earl Grey tea to cool down the palette. The cornbread is wonderful served hot and smeared with butter.

Tea Tip ~ When making tea sandwiches, remember that they should be easy to eat. They should not be overly large with chunky ingredients that might fall apart into one's lap.~ Internet, Thrifty Foods


Afternoon tea is a lovely time to indulge in pretty china and a delicious beverage. It's a time to enjoy a few moments of solitude or the companionship of friends. 

Before I close my tea for today, I thought I would share a little more lavender or purple. This is my little three year old granddaughter wearing her new jacket which she picked out herself. 

I am so happy you have stopped by and thank you for visiting. Have a lovely day!

I am sharing this post with the following parties ~

 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