Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Obsession Patisserie-Bakery Macaron Review

My sister and her kids are visiting me from Montreal this month and my sister brought me a treat from her local Patisserie called Obsession in Chateauguay Quebec.

In a quiet moment to myself after a much needed nap (we were up all night, heat wave, late flight and no power at home made for a 2 hour sleep Monday morning) I opened this lovely little package of indulgence.
This little container makes taking these delicate cookies to go so much easier, all my take out macarons are cracked or smushed by the time I get them home. These were as perfect as when my sister picked them up and brought them 3,000 miles to my tea table.
Savoring these tasty bites with my Heavenly Cream tea from Neverland Tea Salon in Vancouver, I first had the Mocha ones, then the "oreo" flavored one and saved the S'more for last...each was a taste unique and complimentary to each other, three very rich and decadent cookies were such a treat!
If you happen to find yourself near Chateauguay Quebec I highly recommend stopping in and bringing these home to your tea tables.
Thank you for joining me for A Cup of Tea and A Cozy Mystery. As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Most beloved Tea Spoon...and Wish List!

This may sound odd to some but I have a favorite spoon, it doesn't match any of the spoons in my cutlery drawer but I am drawn to it more then any other. It is an ordinary spoon that I am sure my mother picked up at a yard sale and for some reason or another it ended up at my place when I helped my dad move to his apartment when he was ready to sell their home a few years after she passed away.
I have not always had a "connection" to this spoon but in the last few months there is an odd calm that comes to me when I grab it out of the drawer. Perhaps it is because it is more dainty then the chunky ones we have in our matched set or because of it's light weight but I can honestly say I love this spoon and if it were to disappear I would be quite sad. It fits the perfect amount of honey when I am sick, fits a Hersey's chocolate Kiss and even the right amount of ice cream I occasionally sneak.
I have thought about having it stamped like the ones I favorite on Etsy, actually I  consider filling my cutlery drawer with a few of these fun tea spoons. This one is from Bstamped Etsy Shop and one I really love. 
I am really looking forward to purchasing this beautfy! I am a big fan of Witch Mysteries and think this is perfect for my tea time and table. PrettyAgnes is going to be taking my money soon! 
Spoon Tracker Etsy Shop also has some lovely's like this one. There are so many spoons I would love to add to my collection. I think I need to start my Christmas Wish List early!
Do you have a favorite Spoon or a Vintage Tea Spoon Collection?
Thank you for joining me for A Cup of Tea and A Cozy Mystery, I look forward to sharing another review with you soon!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fatal Fairies Is A Fun Read!

I was sent an advanced reading copy of Fatal Fairies to read by Joyce and Jim Lavene  for my Kindle app which has been on my table the last few days. This is book 8 and the first I have read in the series.

Even though I had not read the previous stories I truly enjoyed this one. This cozy had it all, Magic, alternate reality, Knights, King's, Queen's and so much more. Fatal Fairies is out July 7 and you can pre order for your kindle by clicking here. 

Thank you to Joyce and Jim Lavene for allowing me the chance to read it early! Thank you for joining me for A Cup of Tea and A Cozy Mystery.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, June 27, 2015

On My Table And In My Cup June 20th-27th

School is out, calm is in and the boys are home! That first cup of tea yesterday knowing that I did not need to rush and the fact that I slept in until 7 am was delightful. This past week has been so hurried and so rushed and at times I felt like I had the weight of the world on my table and my shoulders. It feels fantastic to have that week over and weight lifted.
I get restless when I do not have an actual paper book to read and took a trip up to the library this week where I joined the Adult Summer Reading Club and spun the racks for some wonderful titles. Buried in the Bog I read and completely fell in love with it's series and can not wait to read the rest in the series.

I will tell you that my little library I love has a great cozy section and some wonderful programs as well. It is also located in a tiny village called Edgemont about 10 mins from me and boasts a library, Starbucks, Davids Tea as well as fun shops and places for food. It has a wonderful small town cozy feel to it and is a place I delight in going too. If you are ever my way check it out or visit it virtually by clicking here. 
A wonderful surprise in my in box this week and now on my Ipad and on my table is Fatal Fairies, an up coming release from Joyce and Jim Lavene, such a treat to have it first and a fun renaissance village read! My review will be up very soon and I am so touched to have been selected to review it.
I love fairies, I always have so reading any cozy mystery where I can find mention is always welcome. I also love garden gnomes so if you happen to know of a folklore cozy featuring them do let me know!

Some truly beautiful cups graced my table this week and they are such a pleasure to use and share. On my table were vintage cups from Royal Standard (shown above),Royal Adderly, Adderly and Royal Albert all containing black teas I purchased Sunday from Neverland Tea Salon. They are currently my favorites. They have a black tea called Vanilla Ice Cream that is a wonderful afternoon treat and their Heavenly Creme is most often in my tea pot these days.
Thank you for joining me again this week for a recap of what has been on my table and in my cup. I look forward to sharing more tea, more reviews more crafts and more books with you again soon.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Week of Wonderful Tea Towels For Tea Time...

It's Friday and I am having a bit of a late start. It is the first day of no school for Summer 2015 and while I should be cleaning and such I am on my 4th cup of tea and window shopping on Etsy.
I have a fondness for tea towels and though my collection is few and mostly used there are so many on Etsy that would make welcome additions to my collection and look fantastic on my tea table. The above is a listing that caught my eye from Ladybug Lane EMB Etsy shop, This set is called Tea Time Birds of the week and It is on my wish list!
These lovely designs are on each towel which is made from flower sack material which will not leave lint on your dishes.
I honestly wish I had the time and the talent to make these myself but for the price they are offered at  ($30US)even with shipping to Canada these would be a welcome site (and a great value) at my daily tea times. Do not be surprised if you see these on my table in the near future, let me know if they are something you would put on yours. 
As with all my post I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Special Surprise At My Door

Life has a way of surprising you in the most difficult of times.This beautiful candle teacup & saucer arrived at my door yesterday with out much notice or fan fair, smack dab in the middle of a complicated and tough day. A simple brown box containing the very encouragement and thoughtfulness of character one could only hope for in a friend. Arriving unceremoniously and with out even a card inside indicating who the sender might be!This was a true cup of tea, candle and a cozy mystery....What a lovely treat someone had in store for me.  I am so thankful to the lovely person who sent this my way and to whom I feel truly grateful.

 In my very hectic and busy life I treasure the quiet stolen moments in the sea of chaos. About a year ago I started to hold myself accountable for the moments I choose to take for myself, which is really how and why my tea photos started to appear on line. You see I made myself a promise to start the day in a positive and as stress free way as possible. To do something nice and something beautiful just for me. Too make sure I would be accountable for the effort I put into it every day I took photos of what I was doing.  I got up early, made myself a pot of tea, lit a candle and enjoyed the very peace and quiet that I craved in the day but only could find before the day started. Pretty soon this ritual became habit and the photos were making a difference in not just my day but I would come to learn some months later, a difference in other peoples lives as well.
Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to comment, share and let me know you like what I do. It is now not only for myself and my own happiness that I continue to do what I do with my photos and book reviews.

This morning along with my cup of tea may I share a favorite artist from Etsy. I have been buying her cards for a year now and if you take a look at her studio you will see why. I wish I could draw the way she can and I love how she can capture my very thoughts and heart with each drawing and sketch.  This was the first card I ordered from her and it spoke to me and affirmed my belief in what I do. Check out Rosehill Design Studio and this card on Etsy by clicking here.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea this morning and thank you for allowing me into your homes and allowing me to share what I am passionate about.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Buried In A Bog- Wow Just Wow!

I wish there was a word better then "Wow" that I could think of to express how I felt when I closed Buried In A Bog by Sheila Connolly last night. Let me start by saying that this book jumped out at me, literally. During my recent trip to the library and my method of "spinning the racks" Buried By A Bog, actually caught my eye as it fell into my hands.

If you are new to my blog then you may not know that recently I found out that I am Irish. My mother was adopted when she was 5 and she never knew anything about her past. She passed away 5 years ago and for my 40th birthday this past April I asked my husband for a DNA test from 23&Me where I found out that I am Irish/British. My mother was a voracious reader and she loved anything Irish, she always felt a connection to Ireland, but never knew that she was Irish, finding out that we are Irish was an amazing event in my life.
  I immediately felt a kinship to Maura the main character in this book. This story is really a journey of self-discovery and in finding out where you came from. The story starts with Maura traveling to Ireland after her Gran dies. With no family and very little money she honors her grandmothers last wish and embarks on her journey in an unscripted sort of way, with out thought of the future, living in just that moment. One foot in front of the other, doing what is expected to be done.  Even though the character knew she was Irish, she and her Gran who raised her, never spoke of Ireland or what is meant to be Irish. I identified personally with Maura and her feelings, of mourning a loss and finding a new "normal" in your life. That new "Normal" was not what Maura expected, the same way I felt after my own mother died.
Maura's story and the characters she meets in this story felt very real to me, I felt the warmth and embrace of this cozy Irish town and it's inhabitants from the first chapter and feel that I have found a wonderful cozy series to come home too. True to my belief that Libraries do sell books, I am off to order myself the rest of the series from The Book Depository now. 
 I believe in serendipity, and this book confirmed that belief for me. I highly recommend this book, to order your own copy which I think I will do as well, please click here.
Thank you for joining me for this cup of tea and cozy mystery.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Adult Summer Reading Club At My Library! Another Reason To Love Going To the Library This Summer

It is hot here in Vancouver, not a normal heat wave for us here in what is supposed to be a rain forest.  Really I should not complain but last night I was hot, tired and miserable after the mail man did not deliver me any paperback books... With out a tangible paper back (or hard back) cozy to read I get anxious. So I headed up the hill to our library for a cup of sanity, some air conditioning and to sign the boys up for the summer reading club. I was delighted to find that again this year our library is having an Adult Summer Reading Club. Just another reason to love going in this summer.
Unlike the kids reading club as an adult you only need to read 4 books to be entered into the random draw for gift cards to buy books! Though I think I would like that chance to earn a medal like my boys get! Still this is a really fun way to get the adults involved this summer.
I am actually doing an entire Flat Stanley program with my 7 year old this summer, and Stanley has already been around here for a few weeks. We are taking Stanley with us everywhere this summer while my son reads through the series which I ordered from The Book Depository
I am already loving having this little guy around!

Does your local library do an Adult Summer Reading Program? I would love to know.
Thank you for joining me for A Cup of Tea and A few Cozy Mysteries I choose by their covers to kick of the summer of reading.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cover Reveal For Lucy Arlington's New Book Off The Books!

The most fun part of being a blogger and sharing my love of tea and cozy mysteries is being able to see the cover art and hear about books coming out by my favorite Authors.  Lucy Arlington's A Novel Idea Mystery series is one I truly enjoy and the cover art is always spectacular. I am certain the next installment is going to be another wonderful read and it comes out in 224 more sleeps!
You can pre order it now (with free shipping) from The Book Depository by clicking here. Not all the websites have the cover art even up yet but thanks to the wonders of Facebook I am able to share it with all of you.
Lucy Arlington's work and series inspires me in so many ways. I love how the main Character Lila handled her situation and life, having to start over the way she did, taking that leap of faith when life handed her the short end of the stick and the fact that she was a single mother raising a teenage son quickly endeared me to this series. I think Lila's mother could stand to have a series of her own, I mean it I would order that book in a heart beat. There are so many of the wonderful characters in this story I found it so easy to get into and so hard to leave at the end of each book.
I truly love interacting with Lucy Arlington and her fans on Facebook, especially when she shares such inspiring photos of scooters, vespas and such.

 I love that in most cozy mysteries the side kick is a pet but I really feel like Lila's Yellow Scooter as much a character in her books as any cat, dog or parrot in all my other favorite cozies! I was so inspired I tried my hand at drawing one...

I have this charm on my purse too....
So if you are looking for a great established series that is inspiring and fun check out all her books at www.lucyarlington.com
Thank you for joining me for A Cup of Tea And A Great Cozy Mystery Cover Reveal! As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Use The Good Stuff, What Are You Waiting For?

Good morning to you all. A friend messaged me this week and had been going through her mothers things, (she had recently passed). I was offered some of the most beautiful teacups and saucers from her collection.

What an honor to help them reach their full potential and have them again see the light of day. These teacups that have been stored in the cupboard for years now magically grace my table. I think it is always a good idea to use the good china, do this for yourself and your loved ones.

We all know how precious life is and it is not worth waiting for a special occasion to pull out the good stuff. That special occasion is now, you are that special occasion, now is the time to enjoy and celebrate, give thanks and of course to reflect even when it feels hard and unfair like it does right now. With what we see on the news, hear in the media, experience in our own communities. Life is often difficult and far to busy.

 I even let my youngest nieces and even my boys use the good stuff, you see they are worth more then the cost of replacement of a few dishes, the memories are worth the risk of a few chipped or broken pieces, I have learned more from those very few chips and enjoyed that time we all have had together. So pull out the good stuff and remember to use it.
Thank you for joining me for A Cup of tea and I hope you will be inspired to get the good stuff out and use if even if you only use it daily for yourself!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, June 20, 2015

On My Table And In My Cup This Week June 14-20th

This week started off with the solemn news that my friend Gienna's daughter Ahmie who had been battling Cancer passed away early Sunday morning. Ahmie was amazing.  At 14 she was able to accomplish more in her short time here then many do in their life times. Though she lived she also suffered and her family allowed us to follow their journey.

 She asked that we not be sad so I wont be sad but I will think of her often, with each first morning cup of tea and remember her accomplishments and family. May she live for ever in our Memories and her family know and feel the love we all feel for them. Please keep her family in your thoughts and lift your cups high in her honor.
On my table a very special cup from a very special lady. Thank you to all of you who have prayed for and thought of my friend Ahmie who passed away this week, I was able to visit with her and her family on Monday and take home her special cup. What an honor. 
On my table and side of my chair this week has been A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett. I love this series and hated to have the book end!
My pillow arrived from Etsy and it reads "I just want to drink tea, read, sleep and create stuff" which is pretty much me in pillow form.
I have been pulling out some old favorites in my tea cup collection and am blessed with a whole bunch of new ones from a friend who thought I could help her tea cups reach their full potential and see the light of day.
This stunning Adderley set reminds me of Cicely Mary Barker Flower Fairy Fairies books.
"No need for journeying, seeking afar, where there are flowers the fairies are "

This morning I chose this stunning corset style lavender Royal Albert beauty that was included in the gift collection from my friend. It is so elegant and such a beauty! 
I had a special visitor in all her first tea party finery! My niece Phoebe, Sporting her new and adorable teething necklace from loulou Lollipop Vancouver a local company that makes teething jewelry that moms and tots will love wearing! We had our first outdoor dolly tea party. Even my cat Squirrel put in an appearance.  

Thank you for joining me for A Cup Tea and A Cozy Mystery this morning and I look forward to another week of mystery and fun to share with all of you. As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com