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.

Saturday 23 December 2017

A Dessert Tea for the Holidays

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

Merry Christmas dear bloggy friends! I decided to do one more post before the Holidays.

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

I have set out my Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles for a dessert tea with my pink Queens Christmas plates. 

We had our Island family over for dinner the other night when we gave our grandsons their presents before they go to Ontario for Christmas. I made pumpkin pie for them and I picked up the Yule log cake at M and M's because one of them prefers cake. My lovely friend Marilyn brought me the sticky date pudding with the sauce. So, we will enjoy some of these treats today.

You may choose pumpkin pie...

Buche de Noel, a lovely log cake filled with mousse and raspberries.

or Sticky Date Pudding with warm toffee sauce. 
The holidays are a time of family traditions and gatherings with friends - simple moments to savour like a cup of tea. 

There is a Christmas tea in the teapot ...
and hot chocolate to go in my newly acquired Old Britain Castles mugs which were my impulse buy a few weeks ago. I have four of them.

I already had a few place settings in this pattern and I couldn't resist getting the matching mugs too. I adore red/pink transferware!

The table is set so let's enjoy a treat.

Tea is a time in which we were perfectly contented with ourselves and one another. - Charles Dickens 
Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. - Luke 2:11

A little tidbit that some of you may not know:
Did you know that the wise men did not visit the stable when Jesus was born? Yes, they are very much a part of the Christmas story but they didn't actually arrive to worship the new born King until a couple of years later when Jesus and His parents were living in the house. {Matthew 2:11} The wise men did follow the Star to Bethlehem and the gifts they brought Him were used to help the Holy Family escape to Egypt where they remained until Herod had died. God protected the Family and kept them safe. After that, the Holy Family returned to Nazareth where Jesus grew up. 

Thank you for stopping by for a visit and please know that I have loved having you stop by this past year. Your visits and comments are what make blogging so worthwhile. 
Many of you stood by me after I closed down my parties for health reasons and you have prayed for me when I was going for my surgeries. You are all so precious and I thank God for each one of you.

This will be my last post until the new year so I will take this opportunity to wish you and those you love a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May your holidays be filled with love, joy, hope, and peace. The Lord bless you all!

I am joining the following parties as well~

Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Share Your Cup
 Home Sweet Home

 Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 18 December 2017

Christmas Time is Here

Snow flakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share.

Sleigh bells in the air

Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here

We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see,
Such spirit through the year.... ~ From A Charlie Brown Christmas

Hello friends! I love that song! Don't you just love this time of year? Our kitchens are filled with the aroma of baked goods fresh from the oven. You know, those treats we only bake for Christmas?The Christmas lights twinkle from our trees and windows and the sound of music permeates every room of the house. There is a sense of expectancy in the air and one cannot help but feel thankful for such a beautiful season.

This sweet little wooden teapot ornament arrived in the mail the other day from my friend Margie. It is in good company with many other special treasures gifted to me over the years by family, friends, and yes, my blogger friends too. Thank you, Margie!

It looks cute on my whimsical memory tree.

Hubby and I have been very busy and to top the busyness all off, we have been sofa hunting too! We finally settled on a Lazyboy sofa in teal. The fabric on the left looks wonderful with my pillows and drapes.

I am excited for it to arrive which won't be for nine weeks but that's OK. I have something nice to look forward to.

Today I am using some Christmas inspired china for our tea time. There is a spicy tea steeping in the teapot and there are a variety of cookies to enjoy.

The teapot was a Christmas gift from my son and his family a few years ago. It is made by Ganz. I love the holly motif on it! 

This is a Royal Stafford teacup with a pretty holly motif I found at a yard sale years ago.

Of course, you all know this is Royal Albert's cup of the month for December; Christmas Rose.

A plate of lovely cookies. There are chocolate peanut butter balls, sugar cookie trees with sprinkles, chocolate dipped almond crescents, Scotch cookies, spider cookies, and snickerdoodles.
Please help yourself to cookies and a cup of tea.

I think it's important to take some time to relax and not allow the hustle and bustle to rob us of the beauty of this holiday season. 

Taking time for tea is a lovely way to just sit and savour not only tea and treats but the traditions passed down. Most importantly, the Reason for the Season; the first coming of our Lord Jesus. 

Christmas is that moment in time when God, in His unconditional love, stepped out of heaven and onto earth, in order that we might one day step out of earth into heaven. - Charles F Stanley

Thank you dear ones for stopping by for a visit today and may the Lord bless you and your family this Christmas!

Country Christmas

It's Christmas in the country,

The mantel's trimmed with cards;
Friends and neighbours far and near
Stop in with their regards.

A cheery wreath adorns the door,

An angel tops the tree,
And coloured lights are strung about,
Twinkling merrily.

Mistletoe hangs from the door,

The children just can't wait;
Time seems to pass so slowly,
They want to celebrate.

Then when at last the day arrives,

There's magic in the air--
It's Christmas in the country,
And what a grand affair! ~ Kathy A. Schaeffer

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

Thursday 14 December 2017

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea

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

Dear friends, one of the most fun times I think I ever had putting a post together was this Sugar Plum Fairy Tea. Some of you may remember it when I was hosting my weekly tea parties. Anyway, I thought t'is the season for whimsy and having a little fun so I decided to share it again today.

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie {1845-1916}

I took my inspiration for today's tea from a favourite piece of Christmas music, The Nutcracker Suite. Most of us are familiar with the story of Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy who introduces Clara to the Land of Sweets. A little fantasy is fun for a change, don't you think? Especially at this time year! Are you feeling a little nostalgic?

The Nutcracker Ballet was first performed on December 18, 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is one of the most famous ballets to be performed this time of the year. I have never had the pleasure of seeing a live performance but I would love to.

"Would you like an adventure now or would you like your tea first?" ~ Peter Pan

My table is sitting in front of the Christmas tree which I think lends a magical feel to our tea today. So please make yourself at home as we indulge in some spicy Christmas tea and lots of goodies. 

My Sugar Plum fairy is dancing about in her lovely white tutu while the Nutcracker looks on.

"She balanced on one toe on the floor and spun around in a tutu that looked as though it had been fashioned from clouds and snowflakes. " ~ The Nutcracker

The Gingerbread house plays "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy." When you ring the door bell  the gum drops on the roof light up and keep time with the music. It's a child's delight!

This green Staffordshire teacup trio is a set I found at an antique shop and it is made in England and represents the charm of the country so well.

I think they look lovely paired with the creamy white.


My other teacup is Cream Lace made by Skye McGhee. It has such a sweet saucer.

At Christmas-time, I really enjoy the holiday teas such as this Stash Holiday Chai.

The teapot is also Cream Lace by Skye McGhee.

My Land of Sweets consists of a fruit cake I made
for the holidays.

There are also some mincemeat tarts, melt-in-your-mouth Swedish Butter Balls, and Snowballs. 

I hope you're not watching your waistline!

There are gum drops and candy canes and chocolate of course.

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

Happiness is sharing tea with a friend.

"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 

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself. 

"Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, And love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children In Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, To live with Thee there." ~
From the Christmas carol "Away in  a Manger" - John T. McFarland, {1851-1913} John R. Murray, {1841-1905}

Merry Christmas! 

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 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 does 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

 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