Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sunflower fields

Won't you take a little stroll with me?

Along the garden paths,

among the Gaudy leonine sunflower

Maybe a quick stop for tea?

A table of red poppies and yellow sunflowers

freshly cut from the fields,

With a couple summertime visitors.

Pale guests crossing the forest line for a quick snack.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Disney Princess Tea

Once Upon a Dream
In a Tale as Old as Time
Whole New World
opened up, because a dream,
is a wish your heart makes,
and now I'm Almost There
now that, at last, I've Seen the Light.

And you can join me, as I invite you to pull up a chair as the dining room proudly presents-- a Disney Princess Tea!

It has definitely been a while since my last post!  I am way behind as you might guess, so lets go back to the end of June when I held a Disney Princess themed tea for some of my sister's friends!

First tea start with a glass of Peach Muscato while waiting for everyone to get there--you can see one at the opposite side of the table, left side--Katie (my sister) and the first guest had stepped outside to greet another guest and I decided to take pictures really quick because the lighting was so good with the front door open--I'll have to remember for the next time I take pictures.  Katie loves peach flavored things.

I really was extremely excited about this tea--each place setting had a menu and a favor specialized for each princess "guest."  The favors I put in little white boxes with silver ribbon and a sticker of the princess on each side.

I also served an item of each of the Princesses during the party:

Savories:  Ariel's shimp salad on a croissant, Rapunzel's cucumber flowers, and  Jasmine's hummus on pita bread.

I really loved these napkins, shown above with the Rapunzel place setting--I really wanted some that said Once upon a time, but didn't see any I could easily get online or in stores, and then two days before the party I saw these little beverage napkins at homegoods!  They even had gold accents to match my new small set of goldware.

The last savory was Tiana's chicken creole bites on the light green stand I got from the last teacup exchange around a frog prince in his top hat finery.  This place setting is Tiana's of course.

(Jasmine's place setting)

(Belle's place setting)

The scones were Belle's peach buttermilk scones.  I even put a bit of yellow sugar on top to give them a golden look.

And next for dessert:  Cinderella's pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream, and Snow White's apple rose tarts.

(Cinderella's place setting with my Cinderella's castle music box)

And finally, Sleeping Beauty's cream puffs with vanilla pink and blue filling.

(Sleeping Beauty's place setting)

I served three teas at this party--Mulan's mystic dragon tea (a green tea with ; Elsa & Anna's chocolate tea (a black tea with chocolate and a hint of vanilla and whiskey); and Moana's pineapple blooming tea.

The favors were a Lip Smacker's lip gloss for each princess and a pink wrapped Godiva truffle.

Image result for princess lip smakers

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Italy Day 14--Venetian Lagoon

Hello all!  So this is the last night of my trip.  Today we got up a bit late again (8:00ish) and went down to breakfast at 9:20.  

(I even tried an espresso)

We headed to San Marco piazza and noticed that the line for the tower elevator wasn't too bad, so we took it up so we could get pictures of St. mark's square (Katherine had really hoped we could fit this in).  

Gorgeous views!  I think the bells started ringing while we were up there too.

(here is zoomed in where we are heading next!)

We then went to the docks to try to catch the fake gondola--but they were no where in sight.  Instead, we just took the vaporetto over to this baroque church that is on the fishhook part of Venice.  The vaporetto boat was already paid for because we bought passes yesterday due to the daytrip and today's later journey, so it was essentially free to go over there.  The church (La Salute) was pretty.

We took some pictures of the view from the fishhook while waiting for the boat back towards St. Mark's Square.

After arriving, we walked to a vaporetto stop a bit down to change boats for the first leg of our journey to Burano.  

To get to Burano, we rode roughly 15 minutes to Murano (famous for glass) then caught a different boat and 1/2 an hour later, we were in Burano.  Burano is a cute little fishing village with multi-color pastel homes.  It was adorable!  

We went immediately to a restaurant Katherine had wanted to go to for lunch on the island (something with cat in the name) but it was completely reserved, so they couldn't seat us.  We walked until we found another, and sat and had lunch.

I had risotto (first of the trip actually) with a fish sauce and a Spritz Aperol (a popular afternoon drink in the Veneto region).

We continued to walk along the rainbow streets with lots of picture breaks, until we reached the main square where the local church is located.

We went in a few shops and I bought a couple of things for my tea table (or other tables).  Burano is famous for lace, and we saw some older ladies making the lace while we walked in and out of the stores.  I even met the woman who made the piece I bought.

(I bought lace from this shop!)

 We went into the San Marino Church and saw its leaning bell tower.  

Across the street was the small lace museum, which was included for free on the pass we got for Venice museums, so we stepped in there for awhile to see antique Burano handmade lace from the 17th century.  Pretty cool, actually.

(this lady is styling burano lace)

After this we just sat for a bit by the water before starting to wander back towards the boats (when impulse buy number 2 happened).

We caught a boat back to Murano, where we changed again before going back to Venice.  We talked about walking around Murano a bit, but Katherine wasn't up for the glass museum, and I think that would be a big part of visiting Murano.  Murano is where venetian glass is actually made--because it is a fire hazard, it was moved off of the main part of Venice.

Instead we caught the boat back to San Marco,

and stopped for gelato on our walk back to the hotel so that Katherine could plan her travel tomorrow (she was going to her next stop in Italy) and I could repack my bag so I would be pretty much ready to go.  We did stop in one final church, San Zulian, very close to our hotel that had been closed when we tried on other days.  This church also served as a useful orienting landmark to find our hotel.

(forgot to take during the day, so snapped at night)

Dinner was at a restaurant on the canal near our hotel that we had passed a few times (and, coincidently, it wasn't far from St. Mark's Square).


We ended our time in Venice with one last trip to San Marco, where we got second dessert (and i got a limoncello) and sat and listened to the live music.

I was a bit nervous about transportation to the Venice airport--whether to take the hour long boat or take the vaperetto to the bus station and catch the bus.  I was leaning towards the bus, but I talked to the receptionist in the lobby and she recommended the direct to airport boat, so I decided to try it--and it was super easy.  I had read that it fills up quickly, but it was fine.  My flight was a bit delayed, but better to already be in the airport than worried about getting there!