Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Cricut Joy...my favorite impulse buy.

I am having a great deal of fun, "joy in pockets" they call it, between the bouts of over and under reacting to what is going on in the world. I recently impulse bought the cricut joy when I was at Michael's getting much needed sanity supplies (I was masked and it was in and out) when I was standing in line  (6-8 feet social distancing from others sanity shopping as well,) I thought oh I hope they have a kit kat.  Where they normally have the kit kats they had the cricut machine and it was a split second decision that I am thrilled I made. Tuesday I personalized my machine with this adorable tea decal I made from a free image on the easy to use site. I am not being paid or sponsored by cricut, I just honestly bought it on a whim and am crash coursing my way through the process.
 There are a few really easy steps to making these personal stickers and labels.
I honestly have been very impressed, only slightly frustrated as I did not know about the weeding tools and the scraper so I ended up ordering them and a few other supplies on Michael's website and they got delivered in just a few days. 
I made a new sign for my gate as the first beautiful one I decoupaged got wrecked in the rain. It is not as colorful but it made me smile and it looks cute on the gate, while I figure out how to make the old one look new again.
 Using a dollar store chalk board sign and the white vinyl I am thinking this will hold up better. 
I have even started to make over my door, though I need to order more purple to go over the rectangles. This is removable so I am not wrecking the door!
I am really enjoying this fun new tool. If you have experience with cricut or you have a cricut joy as well please let me know, I would love some tips and tricks. 
Please know that I am taking the situation of being  temporarily laid off and helping my boys with their home learning, that there are moments in the day where I am full of anxiety and stress, but I am also making sure that I have time for joy, that I make time to turn off the social media, turn off the news and focus on being creative, getting out of my own head. 
I hope you can make time too. Oh and if you have a spare kit kat send it my way I still have not gotten one. 
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

A Tea Time Trip Through Memory Lane and Indulging My Inner Child...


Spending time at home during this difficult time, I have decided to indulge the doll lover in me, with a little help from my orders for household items on Amazon. I am not an Amazon affiliate and am not trying to advertise for them. When I ordered my laundry soap, I noticed that I needed to round up for free shipping and as I had been looking at Barbie items, this outfit popped up and fit the bill perfectly, literally and figuratively. I also loved that it was over night shipping so I did not have to wait long to have a bit of fun. I am rationalizing this as it is my Birthday month and as a gift to myself I have indulged in a few new Barbie accessories... 

I have always loved dolls, Barbie dolls are something I still get excited about and love to look at. One of my calming methods when my anxiety is high is looking at Barbie Instagram, if you too like Barbie as I do you would be amazed how realistic and how much fun other adult doll lovers have photographing their dolls. 

I love my Wonder Woman items and finding a Barbie outfit with this print made me even more pleased. I had fun dressing up my doll and sipping tea. I have decided I liked this so much that my container of naked Barbies I have hung on too since I used to look after my nieces, should also have some new clothes. I will share more of those with you next week.  I hope that you can find ways to boost your joy during these trying times. I was able to connect with three of my nieces over Face time and show them this outfit, we had a quick virtual hang out and my middle niece even said she would like to learn how to make Barbie clothes for her birthday in May. 

Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and some Barbie play time fun. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Gardening Update!


"There are no gardening mistakes only experiments" - Janet Kilburn Philips

Today I am sharing a successful update. My seeds have germinated and some were ready for replanting, though I am still keeping them inside for another week, I was able to transplant what I labeled, though am not quite sure are carrots, the beans and peas!

I did label with sticky notes, each seed line but I am very dyslexic so either I transplanted carrots or cat nip, either way they grew the tallest and fastest!
Next up were the peas and beans, now I have never in my life done these steps so I have no idea if I have done it correctly. So please feel free to comment and let me know.
I am grateful that my friends mom told me to peel away the netting, I would have had no idea about that!
I am hopeful that my experiment with container gardening will be a successful venture. I am also thrilled I put my Rae Dunn watering can to work! This was a post Christmas splurge, which I picked up for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks from my local Winners Store. 

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a gardening update. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, April 6, 2020

Cinnamon Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread...

“Imagine all the wondrous things your arms might embrace if they weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles.”-Sheila Burke

Saturday I made this blueberry banana loaf from a recipe I was directed to on a friends Facebook page. Now  I used to bake everyday and I have not in quite sometime. I am also very conscious of using supplies I currently have on hand and rationing things so that I do not waste. I had three bananas in need of use and all the ingredient on hand so I proceeded with the recipe from  Crazyforcust.com

This recipe surprised me in that it only used two eggs and no baking powder. Also it did not have brown sugar in it either. It is a very dense and rich banana bread and one I am sure I would make again.  
For the recipe from the website crazyforcrust.com please click here. 

Thank you for joining me here today I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Cozy Corgi Cozy Mysteries by Mildred Abbott

The Cozy Corgi Cozy Mystery series is currently free on Amazon.ca kindle, however I bought this a few weeks ago when it wasn't and I am so glad I did. I am more than slightly excited about the idea of having corgis, two actually. During this time I have found it very hard to read, nothing keeps my attention for very long so it was delightful to read something that I could not put down. The first book in the Cozy Corgi Series is called Cruel Candy. It was a truly delightful read. I actually did not find this to be easy to figure out and I was just as interested to learn about the characters in this new to me series as I was to figure out how this mystery was going to unfold.  If you are looking for a well established series and a wonderful read I suggest downloading the first three books today!

Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, a cozy bookstore and bakery… and murder.Cruel Candy: Book OneWinifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the Reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, but before she can begin her new life and put her plans into action, Fred and Watson have to clear her stepfather of murder.

I am not an amazon affiliate so if you click the link I don't gain anything, so to find the book please click here for Amazon.ca 

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Grateful Saturday Moment


Hello my friends and welcome back. It is Saturday and already 1 pm here on the West Coast. I am thrilled to report that for the first time in as long as I can remember I had a really good sleep and a nice dream. Which is much needed in these most trying times. 

How are you spending your time if you are not working the front lines? For me it has been a mixture of emotions from guilt to glee and back again. I hate the feeling of not being in control or on top of this virus. I am learning to take back moments of control and I hope you can too.


I have spend much of this week in pockets of time where I felt in control of my environment, and I spent almost equal times of feeling guilt for not being on the front lines. What we are asking of people to put their lives ahead of their own and their own families is extraordinary. The vital role that we all play in this is nothing to feel guilty about.

It is my hope that as we all do what we can to help stop the spread of the virus, that we learn more about the resiliency of ourselves, our neighbors and our community. That we come out of this more compassionate and understanding. That we learn and take the time to thank others for the rolls they play, we all play in society.
If you find yourself struggling in moments, take back the control. Slow down, take down that cup and saucer, put on the water and make yourself a cup of tea. Sip and savor the tea and give thanks for the moment and put yourself back in the driver seat of your own life. You are not stuck at home, you are safe at home and the sacrifice we make to do so is as important as the front line workers. Light a candle in the darkness, phone or write a friend, I would love to hear from you, so please email me at karenmowen@gmail.com
Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a grateful Saturday moment.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tuesday...

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Edward de Bono

I have had my days and nights mixed up now for what seems like forever, but in reality it has not even been a week. I saw a meme this morning and it said what a long year its been this week and it is only Tuesday and I agree it does feel like that part of the time.  While my entire schedule has been off I have tried to keep some sort of routine and at least still do my morning (or afternoon) tea photo. If you are new to my blog this is something I have done every morning (save one or two weeks of being very sick and bed ridden) since my mother passed away in September of 2010.  For me it is a way of grounding myself, taking a much needed "me moment" and if you have instagram you ca find it at @teawithkaren.



So what have I been doing in the moments between the chaos...
Well I have gone through my clothing and in true Marie Kondo Style, I thanked and parted with two large bags of clothing. I organized my laundry closet, put away my Christmas decoration bins and started on my room. 



I have sewn 20 masks for friends and family whom are medically sensitive or working on the front lines. 


I painted a beautiful sign for my gate, which now is a total mess due to the rain we got over night. Not to worry though I made a large impulse buy which I am sure will help me fix that in the coming days, bare with me as I learn to use a new piece of tech. 

I have been starting seeds for my container gardening plan and sleeping a lot. I am surprised that I am still really tired even though I seem to sleep every few hours...my therapist says that it is the body and brains. response to trauma.  I have the best case of bed head...


The important part I am taking from this is that in the coming days there will be more pockets of joy, and that it is okay that even in the current crisis, to take time for yourself. My goal going forward is to try to add some reading back into my day. I have found that to be one of the hardest parts, I have ADHD and my mind never seems to shut off and makes it really hard to read in times of stress. I am working on it though. 

I hope this post finds you well. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmial.com 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday...




“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths”-Etta Hillesum

Greetings from my table to yours. Hoping that this post finds you in good spirits. It has been a long week, Saturday offered me a bit of refuge in that while I could not sleep more than a few hours last night, I did get a restful nap in. I woke up feeling much better than I have in days. I think the lack of normal routine and the daily constant flow of information, and panic have more than taking its toll.



I have tried not being on social media constantly and have binge watched Marie Kondo on Netflix this week. If you are not familiar with this show its about a lovely and very enthusiastic Japanese lady who helps you to organize and prioritize your belongings based on weather or not they bring you joy.    After my nap I found the energy to create a mountain of my clothes...and parted with almost two full garbage bags of my clothing.  Still overwhelmed by how much I actually had, and still have.  My room is an on going nightmare, I mean progress. 
I did one drawer the junk drawer in my kitchen and way more success and gratification with that one. 
I ventured out to the grocery store for the first time in a week, grabbed some much needed fruit, and perishables, and Doritos, returned home and made my first really non pasta dinner in a week and sat down to write my blog. I did feel odd being out, nervous, but not overwhelmed. Glad that with what I got I should not need to go out for at least another week and a half. 
I have downloaded a book to my kindle I hope to read if I can keep my eyes open that is. 
I hope that wherever you are that you are safe and comfortable in these strange times. 
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Check In, The New Normal

“Strength grows in the moments where you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway”-author unknown

It's Friday, almost 7:30 at night and I am exhausted, this is after a three hour nap and a day of wonder and trauma. I spent almost two hours on line applying for EI and that pretty much took every ounce of energy I had. The delicate balance of optimism and anxiety is a wire act I just feel I have not had the correct training for. I had lots of plans of productivity today and instead of being able to follow through on easiest of the best made plans, I did very little. I ate PB&J for the second day in a row and not out of  desperation but comfort. I spoke to my Aunt Sandi this morning, the loss of her sister has taken a huge toll on our family this week. My Aunt Nat lost her battle with Cancer, and they live 3,000 miles from here. I can be of little help. 
“At the end of your day, all you need is hope and strength. Hope that it will get better and strength to hold on until it does” -author unknown
Holding on to this quote a little tighter tonight and riding the waves of grief and uncertainty, hoping things are a little easier on all of you.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at  karenmowen@gmail.com 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Container Growing Challenge and A Cup of Tea...

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."- Audrey Hepburn
I will admit to being a very novice gardener. I am starting some container plants of vegetables and fruit as well as cat nip for my cat (and to add to my own tea if I can get it to grow).


 Motivated by the current pandemic situation partly, and serious curiosity and I am setting out to see just how green my thumb actually is...

I think I make gardening look good! LOL well lets see how this goes....I am guessing I should likely label the seedlings right?
Here goes everything, stay tuned and send me your tips for growing from seeds and in containers and in shade and in a rain forest....heck you might just need to send me salad dressing before you know it!
Thanks for stopping by for a cup of tea and a look at my container gardening debut.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tea-a-storic Times call for Tea-a-storic Maeasures... A Roary The Tea Rex Story By Karen Margaret.

This is Roary The Tea Rex. Roary is feeling very isolated at the moment because things are not quite the same as they were a little while ago. A very serious virus called the Covid-19 Virus has all the grownups, kids, dinosaurs and unicorns very concerned. In order to keep as many people safe as possible, people are being asked to stay away from work, schools, daycare centers, their grandparents their friends and playgrounds.  Working together to stay home and keep people safe is the best thing people, unicorns and dinosaurs can do. Unless you are a first line worker like, hang on this is a long list....Grocery Store Superheros, Doctors, Nurses, Hospital Staff, Janitors, Garbage/Recycling People, Post Office Workers, Pharmacists, Police, Fire and Ambulance Drivers and Paramedics as well as Bus Drivers,  Chefs and Delivery people, who are all doing the best they can to keep us all safe and well. 

Roary is keeping busy, but Roary is feeling a bit sad not seeing in person, friends and family. But Roary had a plan...
The weather is really nice in the back garden and the grown ups say as long as you stay in the garden you will protect yourself and your friends. So Roary had a plan to have a tea party. Roary set the table with a very spring like table cloth, got out the tea pot, two plates and two cups and saucers. Roary Placed the cups, plates and saucers on the table and the cream and sugar. A beautiful bouquet of flowers was just what the back garden tea party needed for a pop of color. Roary was getting very excited.

Roary filled each cup with the teapot, 





Placing one cup and saucer at each place... but something was still missing.

Roary was almost ready, but missing their best friend Frankie...
So Roary asked a grown up to Face Time Frankie, and the two friends enjoyed a nice visit and a lovely tea party, in the garden and still kept each other safe, neither friend felt lonely today.

Roary and Frankie would like you to know that if you liked this story, we would love you to share it with someone you love. 

Remember make a cup of tea and connect with someone you love and miss today. 
I would love to hear from you so please leave us a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com  



What is The Story of Wonder Woman...

I love Wonder Woman, and I saw this and completely impulse bought it last week. This is a series of books I love and have read with my boys over the last few years. We have read many books in this series and one of the things I have enjoyed most about this series is that it is written for kids but doesn't sugar coat things. I learned quite a bit, not just about who made Wonder Woman, but I also learned about the way the world was and how the woman's movement played and active roll in the evolution of Wonder Woman.

 This was a great and fast read for me, one I think families can read together and appreciate, I think this book would make a great gift as well. I found my book at Micheal's the Craft store here in Canada but I know most book sellers on line will have this and that in the past I have ordered this series from Amazon.ca , Indigo.ca and The Book Depository.

I hope that you find time to learn something new and to read today. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Social Distancing, Day 1

Well as of last night I am not currently employed. I am not sure if I am over or under reacting at any given time to the events that are unfolding hourly around the world and here at home. I want to stay home and do my part but it has for me like many other people been a double edge sword. Fighting an invisible enemy, one who doesn't seem to care about your age, social status, ability to fight, nor your undesired ability to be a carrier with out knowing. I have tried to reconcile and make sense of things and trust what I cannot see. Hope that our provincial, and our federal governments can and will assist us going forward into the unknown.
My last day for now at Murchie's was yesterday as I said, I tried to keep myself as safe as possible and sewed a few face masks to wear when others were in the store. I will say it does give me a bit of comfort but not the invincibility I was craving. I am happy to be home and devastated not to be at work at the same time. I have been afraid to sit and write not wanting to add to the overwhelming information and misinformation that is all around us.  But I think now I am going to continue to write my blog again, about happy things and about all the things that are good, and beautiful around me.
My new outfit for "social distancing" arrived today, hope it adds some cheer to your tea time and for the neighborhood walk I am planning on taking daily. For now I leave with you this, laugh often, rest, and make tea.
I promise to share more now that I seem to have a lot of free time on my hands...
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

I am exhausted...



I am exhausted, bone tired and weary, not just because I am recovering from having Influenza A, but because of the constant state fear of the news and the covid 19 virus information and misinformation we keep getting.

I am lucky I live in Canada where I think the medical services have done an outstanding job thus far. We have had one death and yes it is in the community in which I live, and new cases are being reported every day but I feel like we are mostly safe. 

Then I get to work and I realize by the lack of traffic, and customers that fear is gripping our communities.

It is effecting every business, family and activity. Hourly I seem to check to see what is closed next, do I send the kids to school? Do we cancel plans for Spring Break? Is it safe to go to work, the grocery store, the mall.....

And then I realize, we have all been through this before, and that we are for the most part going to be okay, we can prepare for a tsunami that may never hit us, and earthquake that is going to reduce our civilization to ruins, nuclear war, world war three and corona virus, prepare is good, panic is not.
Wash your hands, put the kettle on, make a cup of tea, keep calm and carry on.

Its just my opinion, feel free to disagree, but other than going to work I don't mind staying home with a pot of tea and a really great book for the foreseeable future...
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com