Saturday, April 30, 2016

Diamond (and teapots) are a girl's best friend

Wow, definitely getting this one in just under the wire!  I have a little over an hour and a half until April is over in my time zone--which means its the perfect/only time left to post April's gemstone of the month entry! 

I don't have many "novelty" teapots (I try not to add to my collecting habits), but this beauty was a gift from my sister for Christmas.

He (because I guess it would have to be a male because of the pretty coloring) is so graceful with the long curving neck lid and tail feathered handle.
Of course, because this is April's gemstone post, I just had to get out my diamond necklace:
because..."square cut or pear shaped, these rocks don't loose their shape, diamonds are a girl's best friend!"
Or heart shaped for that matter.
This necklace was a graduation gift from my parents when I finished law school--so both pretty and sentimental!
Katie also gave also gave me the two matching salt and pepper shakers .
I think they make such a pretty decorative set!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Teacup exchange reveal!

Hello everyone!  Today Stephanie at the Enchanting Rose is hosting a party so participants in her Teacup and Mug exchanges can share their packages.  I've seen on other blogs how much fun this exchange is, so I decided to join in, and boy was I not disappointed!  Not only did I get to visit the blogs of two ladies I hadn't visited before (always fun finding new to me blogs), I also had a ton of fun!

Bethany Carson of Liberty or Death sent me a package with lots of little touches, including a couple of wrapped gifts,

in addition to a lovely new three piece set (I have a slight three piece set collecting habit :)!  I could tell she looked at my blog to see what I like, which was extra nice of her)

(The cat stickers and Earl Grey tea were two of the wrapped gifts)

(such a pretty pattern!)

Bethany also sent a lovely mug with all sorts of spring flowers.

Perfect for sipping a cup of my new Earl Grey tea outside on a pretty spring evening with my last two gifts:

A gorgeous blue crocheted shawl, and a box of chocolates!  I was definitely spoiled! 

I prepared a box for Emillee of Sincerely Emillee (sneak peak below!) 

Waiting for my own box was definitely exciting (I love mail!) but it was also a lot of fun putting together a box myself and checking out thrift and antique stores and Homegoods (really I'll take any excuse).  I had a wonderful time--thanks so much to Stephanie for hosting and taking the time to match up all the participants!

If you would like to see other teacup and mug exchange packages, follow this link to Stephanie's blog.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cherry Blossoms in the Spring

What a strange thing! to be alive beneath cherry blossoms.
~Kobayashi Issa
This time of year in D.C. is beautiful--when the cherry blossoms bloom.  I image it is especially lovely to be out on those paddle boats in the water, gazing back at the trees along the shore.
Look at the cherry blossoms.
Their color and scent fall with them,
are gone forever
yet, mindless, the spring comes again.
I made my yearly spring pilgrimage to the tidal basin to see the prettiest trees with their blossoms just starting to burst into life.

The Cherry Blossom festival in the city is more than just viewing the trees, but also live music, different events over town, even a parade.  The nearby museum stores had special displays,

and even areas far away from the trees were decked out.
(I had no idea until I went into a different part of town for work that this high end shopping was even here).

Cherry blossoms definitely mean spring here in D.C.  Even my neighborhood has quite a few cherry trees.  I brought out another new Shelley set to share with this post with little pink flowers that look like they could be cherry blossoms to me:

In the cherry blossoms shade
there's no such thing as a stranger.
~Kobayashi Issa

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Carrot cake scones

When I was trying to think of what  I would serve at my little Easter tea, I figured what goes better with bunnies then carrots?  So...carrots plus tea equal carrot cake scones!

Carrot Cake Scones
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 stick butter
1 cup grated carrot
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1.  Preheat oven to 400.  Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Whisk together.
3.  Cut in butter with pastry blender.
4.  Add carrots (tossing to cover), walnuts, and raisins.
5.  Combine egg, buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl.
6.  Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing until combined (batter will be wet).
7.  Drop round spoonfuls onto prepared tray.  I covered with a bit of orange sugar for fun.  Bake for about 15 minutes.
I was very happy with the way this recipe turned out.  I started with a cake recipe and "scone-ified" it.   To get the triangles I have above, shape the dough into a long log and freeze it.  When ready to serve, defrost the log slightly (really until you get to the point you can cut it) and then slice at a slant to make small triangles.  This is actually how I do all my scones for parties since it is easier to just slice and bake on the day of the party. 
Carrots are divine...You get a dozen for a dime, it's maaaa-gic!  ~Bugs Bunny