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.

Friday, 15 March 2019

St Patrick's Day Tea

Time is a great storyteller. ~ old Irish proverb

Welcome, Lassies, St Paddy's Day is upon us and I thought it a good time to bring out my green transferware again. I did a post a few months ago with these dishes but I love them and they're green, so why not?

Hills as green as emeralds
Cover the countryside
Lakes as blue as sapphires –
And Ireland's special pride
And rivers that shine like silver
Make Ireland look so fair –
But the friendliness of her people

Is the richest treasure there. ~ unknown

It's true about the Irish being friendly. My hubby has a lot of Irish in him and he's one of the friendliest guys you will ever meet. His whole family is like that. One big boisterous lot, they are! I remember the first time I met them, my middle hurt from laughing so hard. After all these years, he still makes me laugh and laughter is good medicine, as we all know. 
I'm a wee bit Irish but I'm also English and German, as well as a bit Scottish too.
May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore. ~ an Irish Blessing

I made my hubby some scones yesterday. I had some fruit left over from making my fruit cakes and decided it would be a good way to use it up.


Spicy fruit scones with an almond glaze will be our treat for tea time today.

Would like like to join me? I don't own any shamrock china although I do have an Irish cup my son gifted me with one year. 

I love these green cups and saucers made in England. They are Staffordshire and with their green pastoral motif, they are perfect for St Patrick's Day.



Green is such a fresh and beautiful colour which signifies both St Patrick's Day and Spring. I am longing to see green outside my window. I can see the snow going down day after day so I know it won't be long. 

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~ Hal Borland


I wish you... a warm cup of tea by the fire.


Laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
And all that your heart might desire. ~ an Irish Blessing


I had to turn my setting away from the windows because too much light was making the pictures dark.

Bright yellow tulips add a lovely pop of colour and a whisper of springtime. 

I have a yearning for some Irish soda bread so I may make that tomorrow. We usually eat dinner out on Sundays and I'm sure Hubby will have his corned beef and cabbage. What will you be having on St Paddy's Day? 

Happy St Patrick's Day, dear friends!

May the friendships you make,
Be those which endure,

And all of your grey clouds
Be small ones for sure.
And trusting in Him
To Whom we all pray,
May a song fill your heart,
Every step of the way. ~
 Irish Blessing



Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Signs

It is always safe to dream of spring. For it is sure to come; and if it be not just as we have pictured it, it will be infinitely sweeter. ~ LM Montgomery - The Story Girl

When the sun is up earlier and higher in the sky; when there are only a couple of weeks of winter left, one begins to notice signs. 

There is only a certain time of year that the sun light hits the crystal finial on top of our lamp in the living room and a prism effect reflects on the wall behind it. 


The driveway is bare most days now and the ice and snow are slowly going down. We have been having snow storms once a week, in fact we had a big one on Monday, but I know the newly fallen snow isn't going to stay around very long. March is here! Winter is almost over.

At the feeders, one can see the goldfinches are beginning to change from their olive feathers into their bright yellow plumage. That is a good sign!


When I see these signs, my heart feels lighter and there's a song in my heart because I know Spring is coming! I understand completely why the young calves, when they are let loose from the barns, are frisky and kicking up their heels in glee. Spring is upon us! 


The dictionary defines spring fever as a feeling of excitement and restlessness at the beginning of spring. It is any number of mood, physical, or behavioural changes which may be experienced coinciding with the arrival of spring.


There is a definite change in people's countenances. It's been a very long, cold winter and we're all ready for spring here on PEI.


When I took the Christmas tree down in January, I left the mantel decorated but switched out the poinsettias for roses. 

I will be packing this away next week as I will be decorating for springtime. We will miss the soft glow of the lights in the room. It was always nice to sip our tea and coffee in there with the glow of the mantel's lighting. But spring is coming and a fresh new arrangement on the mantel will be so welcome.

My poinsettia is still doing well although it is thought of as a Christmas plant. The bright pop of pink in the room has been enjoyed over the winter months and with spring coming, it still looks lovely.

With St Patrick's Day on the way, I sneaked a little green into my tea time with this teapot. It has a soft green background.
I am having tea by myself today because Hubby is working. I decided to have some cheesecake with it. Isn't it pretty? Strawberry swirl cheesecake.
Tea is like a hug and a handshake; something about it warms friendships and inspires confidences. ~ Victoria magazine



I would love for you to join me! It's no trouble to set out another cup and another slice of dessert. 

Before I go, I want to thank all of you dear ladies who have prayed for my son, Jeff. He is having a rough go of it and his concussion isn't getting any better. He will know more what is going on once the results of the ct scan come back. 


Meanwhile, he is very dizzy from the vertigo which bothers him even when he tries to sleep. When he goes out for an appointment, someone has to drive him. It is sad to see my big strapping boy so helpless. Bless his heart!

If you want to change the world, go home and love your family. ~ Mother Teresa

Thank you for your visit and do take care. Enjoy the rest of your week and God bless you!





Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 4 March 2019

A Prayer Request


If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give. ~ George MacDonald

Hello dear friends! We are having a big snow storm today so Hubby and I are hunkered down out of the weather. I'm so happy he is off today!



Some of you may know that my son who lives here on the Island fell on the ice and hit the back of his head on Valentine's Day. He has been miserable with this concussion. He can't drive or work of course and he has bad vertigo among other things. He had a ct scan this morning. We are really quite concerned for him. He is the father of three boys.

Those of you who believe in the power of prayer, would you please pray for him? Thank you so much! I am also thinking of those folks in Alabama and Georgia who have been devastated by the tornado yesterday. God bless them!

I will be back in a couple of days with a new post. Enjoy your day everyone!


Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 25 February 2019

Purple Pansies and Violets, Roses and Tulips


Call me old-fashioned but I believe that...enjoying the simple things in life, being thankful and content with what you have will give you a sense of well being, peace and joy. ~ unknown


Good morning dear friends! It's the last week of February and I thought I should bring out my Purple Pansies teapot and my RA Violets teacups for the month of February. My roses from Valentine's Day are still doing well and Hubby brought home some pretty tulips so I have set everything out on the table in the front room. 




My crocheted tablecloth is on the table and I especially like it this time of year because it looks like it has snowflakes crocheted in it.



My dear son fell on the ice on Valentine's Day and he has a bad concussion so I made some chocolate chip muffins and we took them over to him. I knew the boys could all enjoy them. The next day I made another batch of muffins because my hubby likes them too. So, we will have some muffins with our cuppa today.



I have two of these February Violet teacups. One was from my hubby's aunt and the other belonged to his mother. I treasure them both especially now that both ladies have passed.

The Purple Pansies teapot usually only comes out in February as do the teacups so I'll enjoy them for a few more days.


When we sip tea, we are on our way to serenity. ~ 
Alexandra Stoddard


The violets and the tulips remind me that Spring is on the way! Although we are still having snow storms {in fact, we're having a storm today} and there is a lot of ice around, we know Spring is only three and a half weeks away. I will be happy when it arrives. It has been a long winter with snow arriving in November and never leaving.

I know two of my blogger friends celebrate a birthday this month. Happy Birthday,
Bernideen and Kitty


Have a wonderful week everyone, and prayers for my son would be appreciated. Thank you and the Lord bless you!



Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 18 February 2019

Valentine's Day Fun with My Hubby

A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn't put there to stay -
Love isn't love 

'Til you give it away. ~ 
Oscar Hammerstein, The Sound of Music 


Hello my dear friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and Valentine's Day was a delight for each of you.



Valentine's Day is special and it's not limited to just sharing it with your sweetie either. It's a day to do something special for someone you love. I always get my mother a Valentine card and flowers. When my guys were growing up, I always baked a chocolate heart cake and because I drew a lot in those days, there were homemade valentines all over the house. It was fun to do that for my kids.
My son's girlfriend brought me these chocolate kisses.

When I was a little girl, my father used to take us camping every summer for two glorious weeks. Oh, we had so much fun! But you know, we never had S'mores around the camp fire! Can you believe that? We roasted marshmallows and hot dogs but never ate S'mores. And even though my hubby spent a good deal of his childhood at the beach and did some camping too, he also never had S'mores.

On Valentine's Day, Hubby didn't want me to have to cook so he brought home Chinese food. One of these days, I would like to attempt to make my own Chinese food.

And guess what we had for dessert? You guessed it! We had S'mores! I wanted to do something fun instead of making an elaborate dessert. 

Valentine's Day usually includes candlelight and chocolate and we had both with the S'mores. 

I thought about throwing a blanket on the floor in front of the fire and having our S'mores there. But I'm not seventeen any more and my back wouldn't have appreciated it! So I set everything on the table.

Life is a journey, and love is what makes that journey worthwhile. ~ unknown

I got a nice big pillar candle out and I used my three tiered cake stand for the goodies to make the S'mores. Well, he was surprised! 

At first he thought we were having a fondue but I haven't had a fondue in years. When I told him we were having S'mores, he wasn't sure what that was. So, I showed him how to roast his marshmallow over the flame and put his S'more together. 

Hubby doesn't enjoy drinking from a teacup so I am using my Johnson Brothers mugs.

Tea is a time in which we were perfectly contented with ourselves and one another. ~ Charles Dickens

We had so much fun roasting our marshmallows and smushing them between the graham wafers with a piece of chocolate bar.

There was a sweet surprise in this little package; a heart pendant. Hubby had left it tucked in alongside the tiered stand.

A few times, the marshmallows got a bit crisp but I like them that way. As a kid roasting marshmallows, I tended to burn mine a bit because I liked them all gooey inside.

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. ~ Victor Hugo

I have to thank Margie for my coming up with this idea. About a month ago, she had shared about a S'mores tea she and her co-workers had at work. I thought it would be fun to do that for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is also the perfect time to honour a dear friend, a parent, or your family. Spread the love around.

Love first came to us from the Father and because of His love, we are reaping the benefits of it.
Have a lovely week everyone!


courtesy of the internet

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Rose Chintz and Tulips

Life is like a camera...
Focus on what's important
Capture the good times
Develop from the negatives
And if things don't work out
Take another shot. ~ unknown

Hello everyone! It has been very cold here on PEI. At the moment, the sun is shining brightly but the temperature is cold at minus twelve degrees Celsius and a wind chill of minus twenty-one. So, what does one do when it is too cold to venture outside? Well, one hunkers down inside with a cup of tea or coffee. 

It was one of those weeks when I didn't have a lot of energy so I didn't get a post ready until the weekend. Extreme temperatures play havoc with my body and I figured I had better get a picture of these pretty tulips before they start dropping their petals. 





They were the most gorgeous shade of pink in the beginning but after a few days, they have faded and they are opening up to resemble something else. Tulips this time of year are such a welcome sight because they bring a little touch of Spring into one's home.


Tea is to the body as music is to the soul. ~ Earlene Grey

Tea is on the menu today as well as some sugar plums I had frozen from Christmastime. My family loves them and I have a few left to nibble on.


I brought out my Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz as I haven't used it for tea time in a while. I have many pieces of the pattern now since my auntie gave me all of hers and I use it every day. I oftentimes use other teapots but the colour of the tulips goes so well with the pattern. 


The curtains are drawn most of the way today because the wind is howling outside and one can feel the cold just looking out the window.

Another angle I thought was pretty. Yes, I have eaten one cookie already!


Tomorrow, there will be another snow storm with twenty to thirty cm of snow. The older I get, the more I detest the wintertime. I try to enjoy it but it's not easy. 

When one is sitting around home a lot like I do, you tend to do a lot of over-thinking. I am housebound most of the time because of a medical condition but I try to keep my mind active. These are the times when I have to turn my mind over to thinking on the blessings in my life and not the negatives so much. I'll be honest, I find wintertime the hardest. So, I drink some hot tea, read a good book, watch a good movie, or listen to music. On a good day, I will have a friend over for company.  And I pray. 



I often pray when I'm doing the dishes. The warm sudsy water on my hands is soothing and whenever I pull up a piece of pretty china from the water, it makes me happy. That's why I think it's important to use pretty china. Don't leave it in the cupboard until a special occasion. Use it now; enjoy it! 
In my case, the Rose Chintz reminds me of warm summer days and whisks me back to my childhood when I visited my auntie. Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time  knows the story of the Rose Chintz and how special it is to me. 

Someone once said that if you have something in your home that is not beautiful or useful, then it's best to get rid of it. This is why I use pretty china. It is beautiful, it is useful and it makes me happy. 

How about you? Do you have pretty china that makes you happy? Do you use it often or does it sit looking pretty in your cabinet?

I lead a simple life and I enjoy simple things. A sunny day, the laughter and love of family, a message from a grandchild letting you know they love you, etc... My life is not at all the way I thought it would be but it's the life I have been given and I thank God for it.

Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you're living. ~ unknown

I am planning a special treat for Hubby on Thursday. I'll tell you about it next time.

Have a beautiful day, dear friends, and enjoy it to the fullest. Happy Valentines Day!



Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Thursday, 31 January 2019

An Easy Peasy Recipe and My Four Foot Tree for Valentines Day


There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere...and of leaving it behind them when they go. ~ Frederick Wm. Faber

Hi everyone! Here we are, the last day of January and I'm so glad! Not that I'm wishing my life away, but I'm always happy to get January and February over with because I know Spring is that much closer. 

It is cold outside but looking out my window today, it is bright and sunny. Nature has gifted us a fresh blanket of snow which appears to be strewn with diamonds glittering all over it. It is a beautiful day and I am sipping my first cup of coffee, feeling blessed!

I still have my four foot tree up in the family room. It is decorated mostly in reds so I'm leaving it up for Valentines Day. My guys decorated it when they were home for Christmas and other than the beaded star they hung on the top, I haven't changed it. The star has been replaced by my little fairy which I think is more in keeping for Valentines Day.


This tree holds mostly ornaments gifted to me by family and friends. There are a lot of birds on it because everyone knows I'm a bird lover. There are also snowflakes like this beautiful Swarovski crystal ornament given to me by a good friend at Christmas. The ornament was very hard to photograph and this is the best shot I could get. The second photo shows the thickness of it with the crystals in every other point.  




Silently, like thoughts that come and go, 
The snowflakes fall, each one a gem. ~ William Hamilton Gibson

There are hearts too. 

This sweet quilted one was gifted to me by a blogger friend and the teapot below was also gifted to me by a blogger friend. This one has upside down hearts in it.


The birds were all given to me by my sons. Mostly cardinals but there are a couple of doves and a gold finch.



Oops, these are blue birds, but they're cute snuggling under the hat!





The guys also paired red and white balls on the tree. That is something my youngest always saw me do when he was growing up. 

Hubby and I enjoy the soft glow of the lights when we spend time in the family room.

This is the time of year that I like to make comfort food. The other day I made Johnny Marzetti. I got this recipe from a friend back in the seventies and I make this every once in a while because it makes a great big roaster full. We enjoy it for a couple of meals and then I freeze the rest for later. 
I used to have large groups of people in and this was always one of the dishes I made because it feeds quite a few people. It is very easy to make and would be wonderful for a church supper or any large gathering. I always serve it with salad, rice, and garlic bread.

I was curious to find out where the recipe actually came from and this is what I found. It originated in Columbus, Ohio at Marzetti's, an Italian restaurant established in 1896 by an Italian immigrant named Theresa Marzetti, and Johnny was her brother-in-law. Theresa must have been quite the cook!

I don't know about you, but I love old recipes that have a history like this one!

I make my recipe a little different than some. It calls for both hamburg and sausage, but since I can't eat sausage, I make it with all hamburg.

Here is my recipe:

Johnny Marzetti

3 pounds hamburg 
          or 
2 pounds hamburg and 1 pound of mild sausage
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper

2 large tins tomato sauce
2 large bottles spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
2 cans mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 cups pasta bows, cooked
1-2 cups of cheddar cheese

Salt, pepper, oregano, and Italiano blend of herbs to taste.

Cook the hamburg until brown then pour off the fat. Saute onions, celery, and green pepper and add to hamburg with the drained mushrooms. 

*I cooked everything on top of the stove in the roaster before putting it in the oven.

*My recipe called for pasta bows but I didn't have any on hand so I used shells instead.

Add the tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, and cooked noodles to the hamburg mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serve with rice, garlic bread, and a salad. 
This recipe will make a roaster full and it will freeze well. Enjoy!

Have a delightful day, dear friends! 

In winter we lead a more inward life.
Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts. ~ Henry David Thoreau



Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi