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.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

O, little town of Bethlehem, 
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep 
The silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The  everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight. - Words- Philip Brooks, 1868,  Music- Lewis H. Redner, 1868

"....for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." 
Luke 2: 11-12

The greatest Christmas gift of all
Was never placed beneath a tree,
But lay within a manger
Beneath a star, for all to see. Unknown

From my home to yours, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! 

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 21 December 2015

No Place Like Home # 8

Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart... filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. ~ Bess Streeter Aldrich

Hello dear friends and welcome to my last No Place Like Home before Christmas!

The minutes are ticking down and the day we've all been busy as bees getting ready for is just about here. I have some last minute baking to do like my donuts and pies. We will have lots of family around this year. How about you? Are you just about ready?

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~ Edith Wharton

This is my centrepiece on the coffee table this year. A mercury glass lamp is surrounded by greenery, winter berries, pinecones, magnolias and hydrangea petals.

Peace on earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day. ~ Helen Steiner Rice

Over the weekend I shared my main Christmas tree and a Christmas Roses Tea. I also shared another little Christmas tree that I decorated.

If you would like to see this post, you may click here.

Now, on to my features this week. I am always amazed at your posts, the creativity and the beauty of them. You're all so talented and I am so happy you could share them with us.

If you have been featured at my party, you may take this "I was featured" button to place on your blog if you wish. Just copy and paste.

My features this week are~

Mrs. T @ Across My Kitchen Table  had the most clicks on her post. She shared some wonderful ideas using fabric from her Christmas fabric stash such as this cute yo-yo candy cane. Congratulations Mrs. T!

Kitty @ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen shared her beautiful Christmas Rose teacup as well as her recipe for her scrumptious Eggnog Bread. I know I'm going to make this.

Martha @ Lines From Linderhof shared an outing with a friend to celebrate their birthdays at a wonderful Tea Room. The food looks fabulous and Happy Birthday Martha!

Gina @ Victorian Wanna Be  shared her Christmas in the dining room. Isn't this a gorgeous room? Love the wallpaper!

Christina @ Cloches & Lavender  shared her lovely foyer all dressed for Christmas with some very unique pieces including a tree decked out with German glass ornaments. 

And Judy @ Gold Country Cottage shared her Christmas around the cottage including her darling tablescape set with her special china and bunnies.

Thank you everyone for sharing last week. Now let's see what you are creating in your home to make it a cozy place to come home to for your family, your friends, and yourself. 

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~ Roy L. Smith

As much as I don't like to cancel parties, No Place Like Home will be cancelled next week due to the Holidays. I will return in the New Year on January 4, 2016. Have a Beautiful and Blessed Christmas dear friends and Happy New Year to you all!

"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

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Saturday 19 December 2015

Christmas Roses for Tea Time

Each Christmas I remember
The ones of long ago;
I see our mantelpiece adorned
With stockings in a row.
Each Christmas finds me dreaming
Of days that used to be,
When we hid presents here and there,
For all the family.
Each Christmas I remember
The fragrance in the air,
Of roasting turkey and mince pies
And cookies everywhere.
Each Christmas finds me longing
For Christmases now past,
And I am back in childhood
As long as memories last. ~ from Christmas Past by Carice Williams

Welcome sweet friends to my last tea time before Christmas! Can you believe it is almost here?

This is my tree this year. It is much the same as last year only with all white lights instead of a mixture of white and coloured. As you can see, I have a lot of pink and teal/aqua in my decor; two of my favourite colours.

What is the Christmas spirit? It is the spirit which brings a smile to the lips and tenderness to the heart; It is the spirit which warms one into friendship with all the world, which impels one to hold out the hand of fellowship to every man and woman. ~ Anonymous

Every December I bring out my Royal Albert Old Country Roses.

This pattern boasts a rich array of red, golden yellow, and deep pink roses; perfect for December. It reminds me of days gone by; a time when good manners were still in vogue.

It also reminds me of my daddy who always admired this pattern. When I see OCR, I always think of him, because he brought my mother roses every week and he really loved Christmas. 

The teapot, you remember, was a birthday gift from my family a few years ago.

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December. ~ JM Barrie

I found another teacup and a dessert plate at Home Sense a few months ago and am happy to add them to my collection. 

Tykes on sleds and shouts of glee, icy-window filigree, sugarplums and candle glow, part of Christmas long ago. ~ Jo Geis

My decorating is finished and now I just have to finish up the baking. There will be lots of company this year as we will have family joining us. 

The holidays are a time of family traditions and gatherings with friends - simple moments to savour like a cup of tea. 

Do you remember the little twelve inch trees I found for next to nothing after last Christmas? I glued one into a Santa boot which had been a part of a floral arrangement and then I decorated it with little ornaments and Timothy the teddy bear.

The other one I decorated to match the OCR china. This is the little angel on the top of the tree.

She was put together by hand and the ornaments are all the colours in the china.

Notice the wee roses. This little tree will be part of my tea table today.

May I pour you some tea? I am having Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice which has hibiscus, roasted chicory, chamomile, rosehips, roasted carob, ginger, and cardamon in it.

Doesn't it sound delicious? I think it will go well with my Sugar Plums, gingerbread cookies, and pumpkin nut bread.

I love to capture the lights and have them reflecting in the tea!

Love and friendship are the best sweeteners of tea. ~ Unknown

In the light of that star, Lie the ages impearled;
And that song from afar Has swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame, and the beautiful sing
In the homes of the nations That Jesus is King! ~ From the Christmas Song, "There's a Song in the Air"- Josiah G. Holland {1819-1881} Karl P. Harrington {1861-1953}

I am so happy you could stop by for a visit and I hope you can join me on Monday for my last No Place Like Home before the holidays. Enjoy your weekend dear friends and bask in the loveliness we call Christmas!

 I am joining the following parties as well~

Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage and Garden Blog Party
 Tea Cup Tuesday
 Share Your Cup Thursday

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 14 December 2015

No Place Like Home # 7

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

Hello my lovely friends and welcome to No Place Like Home! I hope you all had a delightful weekend. I know I did!

Over the weekend I shared with you a special tea featuring The Little Drummer Boy. The doll holds some precious memories for me and if you would like to check it out you can click here.

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

I enjoyed a cup of tea in my December Christmas Rose teacup made by Royal Albert.

I also shared my recipe for Fruit Scones with almond icing. A nice treat with a cup of tea! You can find the recipe here.

Last week, you all shared such wonderful posts and it was difficult choosing just a few to feature. There were a couple I would like to have featured but there was no link back to the party. Remember, out of courtesy, and if you would like to be featured, you must include a link back to the party. 

My friend Bernideen @ Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage and Garden  had the most clicks on her post. She shared a tour of the Rue de Noel Paris Street Market in Denver and the 55th Annual Georgetown Street Market in Georgetown, Colorado. That beautiful car you see in the photo was the car that picked up John Denver in the movie, "The Christmas Gift" in 1986. What fun! Doesn't Bernideen look snazzy in her red scarf and jaunty hat?

Here are a few more posts that caught my eye:

Carrie @ Teatime Journeys shared with us her wonderful Christmas brunch. Wouldn't you love to partake of those goodies? Love her tiered plate stand with the teacup on top!

Terri @ Artful Affirmations shared her delightful Jane Austen themed tree. She created each and every ornament by hand. Beautiful!

I don't know about you, but I love traditions carried on by the family. This one originated in Germany and Thelma @ Thelma's Days shared it with us in her post. It caught my eye because my son and his family always hid the pickle on their tree and the children look for it. Whoever finds the pickle wins a prize. Lots of fun!

And for your sweet tooth, Mrs. T @ Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen shared her recipe for five of her favourite cookies. Don't these look wonderful?

Thank you everyone for participating last week. You really bless me when you share your talents and ideas with us here at No Place Like Home

Now let's see what you are creating in your home to make it a cozy place to come home to for your family, your friends, and yourself. 

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 love and let Thy grace 
Shine upon our dwelling place. - Edgar A. Guest 

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Sunday 13 December 2015

Fruit Scones Recipe with Almond Icing

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the weekend and this third Sunday of Advent!

What a beautiful time of year!

Today I am sharing my recipe for Fruit Scones. I hope you will try them. They really are light and wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee.

Fruit Scones 

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice or cloves
a smidgeon of cinnamon if you wish

Cut in 1/3 to 1/2 cup shortening
*1 cup mixed fruit {the kind you use in fruit cake} * or 2/3 cup raisins
* or 1 cup chopped cranberries with 1 tsp orange zest. 
1 cup milk and a small beaten egg
Mix just until blended.

Knead gently and roll out thick. Cut with cookie cutter or a glass. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-11 minutes. Makes about twelve to fourteen scones.

Drizzle with icing when hot from the oven.


1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 TBSP milk or a bit more if needed

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Friday 11 December 2015

The Little Drummer Boy Comes to Tea

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and makes everything more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Hello dear friends. I really love Christmas and I know most of you do too. I pretty much have all the decorating done that I'm going to do. How about you?

The wreath I made for the patio doors in the dining room.

Throughout the busyness of this season, we, including me, can easily get distracted by the baking and decorating, buying and wrapping presents, attending parties and Christmas concerts. So on and so on. Oftentimes, we lose sight of what the real reason for celebrating Christmas is because we're too busy.

But, let's stop for just a moment and imagine a world without Christmas! 

There would be no beautiful Christmas carols or Christmas cards, no Christmas concerts, no Christmas trees or beautiful decorations. There would be no Hope! 

Because Christ came, we are enjoying the Season of Hope and all these beautiful sights and sounds that accompany it. I believe the world is kinder and more giving because He came. Those who are lonely have a Friend who is closer than a brother. Those who have made mistakes, and we all have, have forgiveness when we ask for it. We have so many gifts from Him because He came. He is the reason we celebrate. Without Him, there would be no CHRISTmas.

So, let's slow down and enjoy the season. It only comes once a year, after all, and God wants us to enjoy it.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6 NLT 

A number of years ago when my youngest son was in the school band he played, "The Little Drummer Boy" on the snare drum. It was a moving and magical Christmas band concert that evening. I was so proud of my boy!

That same Christmas my hubby gifted me with the Little Drummer Boy. I was collecting porcelain dolls at the time and this one was so appropriate that year. Hasn't he got a sweet little face? So pensive as he played his drum for the King!

Wind him up and he plays "The Little Drummer Boy" while his arms move to the music and he beats on his little drum. I named him Yarden which is Hebrew for Jordan.

He is dressed like a little shepherd boy and he will be joining us for tea today. 

You all know the story of the little drummer boy. The song is a classic written by the American classical music composer and teacher, Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941.

In the lyrics the singer relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the Magi to the nativity where, without a gift for the infant Jesus, he played his drum with all his heart. 
Mary approved, and he remembers, "I played my best for Him" and "He smiled at me."

The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in his Presence. ~ unknown

It's only a song but a very poignant one, a favourite every year. What can we bring Him this Christmas? The best I think we can give Him is our heart. He wants to take all our baggage and dispose of it. He can make us brand new so we can be of good service to Him and others. He can give us a brand new life. He surely is worthy to be worshipped. May we all be like the Little Drummer Boy!

"I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum....,"

Now how about a nice cup of tea?

...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

My teacups are both special because I only bring them out during the month of December. 

The holly teacup I found at the 70 mile yard sale years ago. It is made by Royal Stafford of England. I think I paid a couple dollars for it.

The Royal Albert December Christmas Rose I found at an antique shop.

The teapot holds Murchie's Christmas Blend tea which was a gift from a blogger friend. 

Please help yourself to my fruit scones drizzled with almond icing. I make scones year round but I usually only make these at Christmastime. They are light and filled with spices and fruit; a treat with a cup of tea.

I am sure I have shared the recipe before but I will share it again on the weekend.

Thank you for blessing me with your company today and please come back and join me on Monday for No Place Like Home

Have a delightful weekend everyone and God bless you!

The first snowfall is not only an event but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found? ~ J B Priestley

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

I am joining these wonderful parties ~

 Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage and Garden Blog Party
 Tea Cup Tuesday
 Share Your Cup Thursday
 Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 7 December 2015

No Place Like Home # 6

"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

Welcome my lovely friends to another No Place Like Home where you are invited to share all your home related posts; DIYs, gardening, home decor, recipes, tea time, etc..

I had an exceptionally busy week so I didn't do any crafting although baking and decorating, there was plenty of that.

This is my new teacup which is perfect for the season. I do love cardinals although I have never seen a real one. I have plenty of cardinals in my home however. They are on the tree, on china, on wreaths, etc.

I enjoyed a cup of tea in this new teacup with some mincemeat tarts.  If you would like to see more of this post, please check my previous post here.

There were so many lovely posts last week that I was hard pressed to pick just a few to feature. I would like to have featured a couple more but alas, there was no link back to my party. 

Deanna @ Creekside Cottage shared with us a wonderful Tea in the Highlands. Her use of tartan, silver, red roses and candlelight, and exquisite teacups as well as wonderful food made this a hit with me. I would love to have attended.

Poppy @ With a Dash of Color shared a Scandinavian tablescape in rich reds, whites, and lots of sparkle.

Margie @ Tea in the Valley shared a Victorian Christmas at Dundurn Castle. Love the table top Victorian tree in the drawing room!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage shared her recipe for Scottish Dundee Cakes. Doesn't it look wonderful! Notice her cup?

And Debbie @ Debbie-Dabble shared her recipe for Sausage Filling. Debbie claims she doesn't like to cook but her filling sounds simple and delicious! 

Thank you everyone for participating last week. As a courtesy, and if you would like to be featured, you should have a link back to my party. Please don't post any more than three links. Now let's see what you are creating in your home to make it a cozy place to come home to for your family, your friends, and yourself. 

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 love and let Thy grace 
Shine upon our dwelling place. - Edgar A. Guest 

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi