Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015--a year in review

Happy New Year's Eve!  On this last day of 2015, I thought I would go back and recap my favorite posts from this year, especially since I've enjoyed other bloggers' recaps.  So for a bit of photography, poetry, and parties, let's begin!

January:  First snow, "in the bleak midwinter, long ago..."  ~Christina Rossetti

February:  February Tea, a beautiful purple and tea! themed cake for my birthday

March:  Mardi Gras Tea Party, letting the good times roll with gold and green glass

April:  Daisies and an Old Mill, featuring one of my cottage sets and bunnies

May:  Ile de la Cite, the second of my posts from this year's France trip

June:  Roses, Nostalgia, and Tea, with my first tea set and pretty apron, both gifts from my grandmother

July:  An Afternoon Tea in Paris, my first foray into French macarons and a tea for a new meetup group...this is also one of my favorite pictures from this year's blog

August:  Tea in the Plains, a visit to Crest Hill Antiques and Tea Room

September:  Opequon Presbyterian Church's Aloha Tea, arranged by my aunt at her church in Winchester, VA

October:  Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, the first post from my trip October trip to Orlando, Florida...I had a hard time choosing between this one and the post from Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (the post that follows this one)

November:  Chrysanthemum tea, from 2015's flower of the month post series, and featuring dried chrysanthemum pretty when brewed

December:  A Christmas brunch, with my kitchen sweets tree in the background, and featuring white chocolate peppermint cupcakes and gingerbread


Cookies for...Mickey?

One last tree to share for Disney themed tree!

If you've visited my blog before, you probably aren't surprised that I have a Disney themed tree--I do love Disney!
First, let's start with the tree.
The tree topper is one of my ear headbands from Walt Disney World and the "wishing star" just below was a little gift included with my first dinner in Cinderella's Castle in 2014.
The little card that says 25 I received when I visited Walt Disney World for their 25th anniversary in 1997--the year the castle was a pink cake!  We were given the cards which say "guest of honor" at the top, and a sticker was applied for the year of your first visit--mine was in 1987.

The pumpkin Mickey candy bucket in the picture below is from this year's Halloween themed visit.

I've started collecting a pin (or two) for each of my trips for the special events I've attended and the different Disney resorts I've stayed at, some of which you can see below on the tree.
Shoe ornaments are a big thing at the parks--this one is Mulan's design,

and of course no Disney tree is complete without the Disney princesses, 

(This picture includes Ariel, Snow White, Tiana, Belle, and Rapunzel from Tangled)

and Frozen! 
Do you want to build a snowman?

Here are some of my Disney gifts this year:  Olaf, a Mickey shaped cookie cutter (maybe there will be a Disney tea in my future...I see a tea sandwich cutter!) and a Mickey shaped gingerbread cutter!!!  Next year I will have a lot of fun with my gingerbread cookies.

Under the tea I have characters from Mickey's Christmas Carol, which is probably my favorite childhood Christmas film.

I have a little picnic tea set under the tree so Santa can take a cookie break, with a Mickey mug perfect for milk (or tea or hot chocolate). 
My sister got the mug when were at Walt Disney World for Christmas in 2011 during Mickey's Christmas Party, and I borrowed it for today's post.

My Minnie cookie plate from last year's after Christmas sale.  It has a bit of a chip at the end of her hat, but a bit of clear nail polish and we are ready to go!

 And here ends my tree posts of 2015!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The (tea) trees of Christmas

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!  I'm all sorts of behind in my Christmas posts--unfortunately, I left my camera at my parent's house and had to go back over and get it.  I figure I can still post Christmas trees until New Year's anyway--I keep my outside lights on until then, so trees should still be acceptable as well :).

This post focuses on my two trees in with tea related decorations.  First I'll start with the tree in my kitchen (it may look familiar, this tree was in the background for my Christmas brunch post).  This tree has a sweets theme--especially gingerbread!

(Isn't the gingerbread teapot bag adorable!  My aunt and uncle gave me a cute ribbon candy ornament in this bag, which quickly became part of my d├ęcor)

(I found this ornament this year and the large heart cookie was screaming to be personalized)
I'm obviously a big fan of the gingerbread/teacup combo.  Next I thought I would share my actual tea tree:

 I first shared this tree last year, but I thought I would post this years updated tree, to showcase my new acquisitions.
(Mrs. Potts!!!  I found her in a consignment store and was so excited.  I'm not sure if she will stay on the tea tree next year...but more on that with this week's tea party post)

(the Irish teapot with the crystal drop)

(A teabag rest I found at Oatlands after the Christmas tea I attended)

(The teapot and matching cup and saucer with the pink rose surrounded by blue were new Homegoods finds this year--they are Royal Albert)

(I was really excited to see this teapot--it is Royal Albert Cheeky pink!  One of my favorite patterns)

(Matching cheeky pink cup and saucer)

Next a tea tin find from a trip to Houston, TX for work last month.

I LOVE this Christmas tea tin by Ahmad Tea.  Big Ben, The London Eye and even a bit of Westminster Abbey in the background.   
It reminds me of my 2013 trip to London, although it was definitely not snowing then!
I hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

Monday, December 21, 2015

On this winter's night

Happy Christmas week, and the first day of winter!  With all the last minute hectic-ness, how about we take time to relax with a cup of tea by the fire,

With some relaxing music?

The candle's burning low upon my table top,

The snow is softly falling.

I brew a pot of fragrant (Downton Christmas) tea,
the steam rising in the shadows overhead

my cup is almost empty.

I would be happy to share this thing I love,

Upon this winter's night with you.

The fire is dying now, my lamp is growing dim
The shades of night are liftin'
The mornin' light steals across my windowpane
Where webs of snow are driftin'

The sun's rays gleaming overhead
The white wilds are wakin'

This tea has a bit of a poinsettia theme for December's flower of the month tea, so I also wanted to share a couple of pictures from the National Botanical Gardens in D.C.  Every Christmas season the botanical gardens are taken over by poinsettia and models of the famous buildings and monuments around town, all made out of plants.


(Supreme Court)

 (Washington Monument)

(Lincoln Memorial)

(White House)

Thanks so much for joining me!  The cookies I served at tonight's tea are white chocolate cranberry pretzel...I'll share the recipe later this week.  I really enjoyed the Downton Abbey tea and it was even good iced!  I really should try and watch that show.

I'm linking to these parties this week: