Thursday, April 30, 2020

Early Morning Thoughts in The Dark

As I write this I have been up more than and hour, its still black as night and just after 5 am here on the West Coast. I woke from a fitful sleep and decided now would be as good a time as any to get up. Just the cat and I this morning surrounded by birdsong and anticipation of the daily news. 
My sister in London is up, she messaged me about an hour before I got up wondering if I was up, that would have been just about 3 am. Our daily conversations are quick, few sentence statements about the world and the virus that has many of us safe at home.  For those of you who don't know I am in Canada, on the West Coast, my sister is in London England. As of yesterday more than 26,900 people in the UK have died from Covid-19, in Canada, a country so much larger, we are at 2,996.  The numbers are staggering and very much disheartening as much as vastly different. 

I have been taking comfort in being home, safe at home, yet constantly in a state of panic. From one moment to the next, I can feel comfortable and happy and completely at a loss.  The constant state of anxiety and heightened awareness gnaws at the back of my neck and the pit of my stomach. It robs me of the gift of the present and steals from my tomorrows. On the times I do venture out, the anxiety gives way temporary to the task at hand, yet the very act of going out, putting everyone at risk, is unbelievably outwardly normal looking. For a second, being in the car seems normal. Going to the store, despite the lines, feels somewhat routine, yet on the way home the knowledge that things are far from normal and guilt for even the simplest trip grips at me.

I try not to check the news every hour, but it is hard to refrain. I busy myself with crafting and projects I have always wanted to try but never found the time. But distraction is only a temporary relief. I was for the last 6 weeks worried about being at home, worried about the people in my community, my home and family. Now I am worried about going back, out into that same community, back to work, back to the unknown.  I feel like we are at war with an unseen entity, fighting blindly and unmatched in weaponry. I wonder if this feeling will pass, or if this unsettled new way of being is our new normal.
I feel a little like this fairy jar I made, safe and warm inside, looking out at a world in a shroud of darkness, waiting to be let out.

Hoping your feeling safe at home, and that sharing these feelings are more of a time capsule of a glimpse into what it truly felt like to live through the pandemic and survive to come out on the other side of it.
Thank you for allowing me to share and for joining me for these early morning thoughts. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tea 101 With Monarch Tea Co.

On Monday evening I took a very fun course from Monarch Tea Co. This was a class I found on instagram and signed up for. The course fee which was very reasonable was $35 and it included the shipping of 6 teas which we brewed and talked about throughout the class.
Mine arrived just hours before the class and they were beautifully packaged. Teas included were Pai Mu Tan, a white tea, Huji Cha, a green tea, English Breakfast, a black tea, Ti Kuan Yin, an Oolong,  Pu'erh Tea, a fermented tea, as well as a Fruit Tisane which was called Mango Love, I did not have this one as I have a mango allergy.
I had a fun time with this, we steeped the tea and covered with the saucers and sipped and chatted about the teas we were enjoying.
I have a great love and passion for tea, working in a tea shop I furthered my knowledge of tea, and I was drawn to the class because it was taught by a Tea Sommelier. What I did not expect to get out of the class was a renewed sense of passion for tea and that our instructor  Katie shared her knowledge and passion in a very engaging way. I was also thrilled to find I learned quite a bit about tea that I did not know.

I am trying to make the most of my time being laid off, learning and trying new things. This class was a bright spot in my social distancing and self isolation. If you wanted to learn more about tea, consider taking a class from Monarch Tea. Thank you for joining me here today for a cup of tea and a look at a great online learning class. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

My Mixtiles Me Moment Wall

I got a one square Mixtile box in my mail today and it had the bottom right tile for my bedroom wall of my tea photos in it. I love how it turned out and how this wall is coming along. For me the morning me moment tea is one of the most important parts of my day. I love the simple beauty of taking that time for myself and using my treasured teacups, lit by candles and often accompanied by my cat Squirrel.

My sister introduced me to Mixtiles, something she started ordering two years ago and I love them so much. They cost very little and are easy to put up and take down. I love that I can swap them out, and add different ones for the holidays. I have them on every wall of my place!

Sometimes I even know when I take a photo in the morning that I am going to order it as a Mixtile in my next order. If you are looking for a fun and inexpensive way to get the photos from your phone to the wall, give these a try! I am not an affiliate and not getting paid to promote, I just love them. Click here for their website, and they even have a phone app! 
Thanks for joining me for a cup of tea and a look at my Me Moment Wall. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Monday, April 27, 2020

Surprise Birthday Tea Party For One

Yesterday, my birthday,  around 11 am, I decided it would be best to get a shower in, I started to run the shower and heard an unexpected knock at my door. Wrapped in my towel, I opened the door to three smiling nieces, standing way back and offering me their hand made cards and a bag containing a tea party for one from Vancouver's Secret Garden Tea Room.
My sister who lives here and my sister who lives in London, arranged a take out order and picked it up to bring me to enjoy! I did not even realize that my nieces and nephews in London (and brother in law) were on Facetime on the phone and saw me in my towel! I was completely shocked and surprised. I absolutely loved everything in the special bag. The sandwiches were perfect, the scones delightful and the treats spectacular.  My sister for the last 10 years has made me lemon pie for my birthday, he birthday is the week before mine and when our mom died, she continued to make me the lemon pie my mom used too.  She made them into tarts for me to fit the theme.
Even with social distancing, I had a very enjoyable birthday. A friend and her daughter dropped of a gift bag, and my new upstairs neighbor, dropped me off this lovely plant. Thank you to all who reached out and made me feel appreciated and special on my birthday.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Morning Breakfast Birthday Tea...

It's my birthday today. I started my day with nod to my childhood. When I was very young my mother would set up a blanket in the middle of the floor and leave me a picnic of fruit loop cereal, a cup of milk covered with a plate and a new doll. My mom died ten years ago and it is funny what you remember and what you miss. So in a nod to the wonderful memory, I ordered Fruit Loops with my groceries this week, made my self a cup of tea in my Queen Anne Birthday Teacup and set up Bath Time Barbie, which my best friend sent me for my birthday. I felt the love surrounding me as I sipped my tea, ate my Fruit Loops (which still taste like I remember) and played with my new doll.

The thing about  my birthday is I share it, with my twin nieces Cadence and Hannah. They turned 13 today, they live in London England and I was able to get their gifts of to them in time and looks like they both enjoyed them from the photos I saw on Facebook this morning. I saw them last in October, they are both much taller than me now, I hope that in time I can get over to see them again. 

My cat Squirrel came to join me at the table as she normally does first thing shared her love and cat hair with Barbie and I.
I have been playing with my new Cricut Joy and made myself a little nightlight, I have to perfect my cutting still around the handle but I love how this turned out. I got the little light at the dollar tree and am planing on doing other crafts through out the day.
I hope wherever you are today that you find time to sit and sip some tea, turn off the world, craft, garden or play. Thank you for joining me here and I look forward to sharing more with you again soon.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Rainy Saturday Share...

Good morning from my kitchen to yours, this very stormy day. The rain is falling so heavy and I am emjoying the sound of the water filling each of my plant pots, hitting the stairs and bouncing of the pavement stones.
I have made muffins from a mix, the same ones my mom would make me on days like this, and as I write this post I am on my third, with peanut butter.
In times like this it is amazing to take the quiet moments and savor them before turning on the news, the world and the hustle and bustle of just staying home. I wanted to share a bit about myself this morning. I have ADHD, diagnosed not just saying it because it is a catch phrase. Sometimes my ADHD is a huge benefit and sometimes, like in the photo below it can be a bit of a shock...

In times of excitement and in times of stress, from the time I wake up to the time I hit the pillow my mind, is constantly racing. I am so used to it that I often don't notice it, unless I am making tea...
I have to remind myself to slow down and remember that this ritual demands 100% of my attention. Most of the time, I catch myself and remember, however this week, on more than three occasions, the classic distractions of life got my full attention and my tea did not. I found more than ten tea bags in my pot three times this week. I was wondering why my tea was so strong and this was why, I know exactly how I did it, put three in the pot, turned the water on to boil, added three more to the pot, got distracted, water boiled, put three tea bags in the pot, poured the water in....had the tea, looked in the pot and realized I had added nine and missed one when I cleaned it out.  Anyway I just thought I would share that with all of you, funny and sad, but don't worry I did not waste the tea. Just enjoyed it and watered it down with more hot water throughout the day.
May your Saturday be calm and your teacup be full. Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea on this rainy Saturday and some self deprecating humor. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Friday, April 24, 2020

Evil By The Sea by Kathleen Brdge

I was so honored to get to read an advanced reading copy from Net Galley, Evil By The Sea, the latest in Kathleen Bridge's By The Sea Mystery Book series. Book Four Evil by The Sea is being released on May 5th and is in my opinion a must read! I fell in love with this series with book one and book four builds on the dynamic characters, picturesque setting and warm fuzzy feelings of a truly great cozy mystery. This mystery surrounds a small family wedding,which is coinciding with a mermaid festival that sounds truly delightful right about now. I love the banter between the characters and B.B. the Parrot, who offers great comic relief. I found myself transported and among friends in Evil By The Sea. A great escape cozy for troubling times.

Island life can get pretty weird. Wiccan weddings, psychic brides, mermaid parades, eccentric parrots . . . Novelist Liz Holt has gotten used to it since moving back to the barrier island of Melbourne Beach, Florida, and once again working in her family's hotel and emporium, the Indialantic by the Sea. But one thing she'll never get used to is murder. Groom-to-be and leader of the Sunshine Wiccan Society, white warlock Julian Rhodes is poisoned at his rehearsal dinner on the hotel's sightseeing cruiser. His psychic bride, Dorian Starwood, never saw it coming. An old friend of Liz's great-aunt Amelia, the celebrity psychic engages Liz to find out who intended to kill her intended. With her Macaw, Barnacle Bob, squawking "Pop Goes the Weasel" at Dorian's pet ferret, and the streets teeming with mermaids in tails, Liz has got to wade through the weirdness and cast a wide net for the killer—before she's the next one to sleep with the fishes . . .

You can find Evil By the Sea on Amazon by clicking here. 
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

Thursday, April 23, 2020

It's Important to support Independent booksellers! Part of My Powell's Book Order Mircro Shelters

Times are tough for all right now, and for small independent book stores, many are facing the real possibilities of not being able to reopen. Years ago I was introduced to the magical world of Powell's Books, a store in Oregon that is an experience and pilgrimage every book lover should have a chance to visit. I saw a call to help save Powell's books and knew that even a small order would truly help this amazing independent book store. One of the books I ordered is Mirco Shelters. I have long loved the idea of down sizing and having a tiny house, truth be told, my interest began with the idea of building a tiny community complete with a tiny tea shop. Having had so much time on my hands I binge watched all of tiny house nation and made a list of books I would like to read. Mirco Shelters was on that list, and I put it along with 4 other books on to my shopping list.
 I read through the book last night and was so inspired. The ideas, fresh in my mind and a great future project for one day I hope. I have three other books to go through and share with you in the coming days, I got a very eclectic mix, trying to support a most treasured book store.
If you can, please consider supporting your local independent book store.
To visit Powell's City of Books on line please click here. 
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a independent book store review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tea Time With Barbie, if the dresses fit...

This weeks Tea with Barbie post, I am happy to report means that all my currently naked Barbie Dolls all have new outfits.
I got three individual packages for under $20  and I was so excited with the quality of what was sent.
I spent a good hour playing dress up with the dolls, combing their hair and changing their outfits, I seem to be low on doll shoes but I loved the verity of outfits that were in this package.
I hope you can excuse the background mess, My newest Barbie my Breathe with Me Barbie is wearing the most stunning gown that was in the package. This pink with lace overlay ball gown is an instant favorite.
There seemed to be the right outfit for all the dolls looks and personalities in this set.

The fun accessories that it came with had these Bunny Ears, tiaras, purses, earrings, bracelets and so much more. This Barbie Tea Time was so much fun.
Thank you again for indulging me, and for joining me for a cup of tea with Barbie.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Happy Birthday Your Majesty.

Today is Queen Elizabeth's Birthday. It is her 94th birthday. It is usually a time she celebrates with close family and friends while we all celebrate her birthday publicly with the Trooping of the colors scheduled for June 13th in London. At this time we don't know if this will carry on but I do hope it will. 

I watched over the weekend, a video from a former Palace Chef Darren McGrady on how he made scones for the Queen.  In honor of her birthday I thought I would give them a try.

I will be honest that I did not have the right sized cookie cutter and all though I love the idea of these, I did not find that mine rose as nicely as Chef McGrady's did. They were yummy for sure, but I like my way better. I was really surprised to learn that the Queen apparently puts her jam on first!
I truly enjoyed watching this video and I hope you do too. Cheers to hopefully many more years. Long live the Queen.
Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a birthday toast to Queen Elizabeth. I would love to her from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Monday, April 20, 2020

Growing my own Herbal Teas...

Something I have wanted to try for years now is how to grow my own herbal teas. I have a very small container garden tea patch on the go!

I picked up Lavender, Mints, Catnip and Chamomile from a trusted garden center and have them in a sunny spot along my fence.

 I am thrilled to have found a Chocolate Mint plant as well!
I have found a few websites that you might find interesting if you are thinking about growing and making your own herbal teas. Please see below.
Next on my list to try to find is some Lemon Verbena, Lemon Balm, and orange mint!

Are you gardening already or are you still covered with snow?
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and some herbal gardening. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Hanging with my Gnomie This Sunday Afternoon

Sunday afternoon and I took out my paints and brush, made a pot of tea and repainted my Welcome Gnome Sign my sister got me a few years ago.
I loved this sign and could not believed how faded the sign was.  In under an hour the refresh has become complete and I have it hanging up near my stairs outside. 
I have loved Gnomes for as long as I can remember, I have a little Gnome garden going, and Gnomes popping up in several little planters out side. 

The personality on this Gnomes face makes me really happy.  Doing little things today just enjoying my tea and a bit of creativity. Thank you for checking in, I am going to get some reading done now. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Friday Night Card Class Review...

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice. “-Brian Herbert

Last evening I took a class on line with my sister in law who lives on Vancouver Island and a few other ladies. It was a card making class where the instructor sent us the paper and card stock ahead of time and we all assembled them together and stamped our own images. It has been many years since I made a card and I loved it. I used to be pretty good with stamping, but I bought an inexpensive stamp pad for the card class and I wished I had my old stamping up ones. I need to re order because I forgot how much fun these are to make. 
We made one large card (which I messed up) and my glue stick was dried out.  So I had to switch to a glue gun, clearly unprepared for the card making process. 
I think my favorite part is the tiny little embellishment gem stones.  We even made that tiny pizza box to put the small cards in that is in my first photo!
The class was $15 and more than an hour. I could wear my comfy pants, sip my tea and eat two bite brownies (the evidence is on my saucer) and laugh with some crafty ladies with out leaving the house. 
Anyone else taking or offering classes during this crazy time?
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at 

Friday, April 17, 2020

A Fractured Moment in Time with A Cup of Tea and a Slice of Pie...

Checking in to see how you are all doing. I am feeling quite a bit like my plate here. When I think about life right now, I feel split in three. Like this plate when it was whole, life was beautiful (okay super flawed but beautiful). Now, life feels to me fractured. Part of me still feels like me, the small part, then the other two parts represent the feelings I have of over reacting and under reacting in these unsettled times. I know I am better off than most, safe at home not stuck at home, yet I feel helpless like a drain on society because here I sit, unemployed, and feeling useless.
 I start doing what I usually do when I feel anxious, I putter. Ever since I was a small child, I putter, clean and just always finding something to occupy my hands. To keep busy, keep my mind active. As I was tidying up I found a card my friend Karen K sent me a few months ago. I stopped where I was and I cried, frustrated and sad but also extremely happy to find a much needed message from a friend. So I took a break from puttering, put the kettle on, cut a slice of pie, grabbed another pretty plate, and tray, and I went outside. Took a deep breath, read and reread the card, while sipping tea and enjoying the pie. The world kept on turning, it did not stop because I took a pause, so maybe the lesson here I learned is its okay to feel fractured, you can always get a new plate, you just have to be patient and wait for the store to open, and things to settle down. Put the kettle on, you are brave, you are strong and you are loved.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a moment of reflection in the most fractured of times.
I would love to hear from you and how coping, so email me hare at or leave me a comment below.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Merriment and Murder by Jenna St. James & Maddy Maddison

I find it difficult to make time to read these days not because of a lack of books I have bought but due to the fact that I feel like I am stuck in a perpetual state of needing to know what is happening in the world and torn between checking my phone for updates far more often than I should.  I do however still find reading comfortable, but what used to take me a few hours to finish reading seems to take me a few days or weeks. Giving myself over to reading is something I worked at for years and I find it devastating that during this time of trauma, I feel terribly distracted while performing any task.
Now that being said, a bright spot in my last few weeks has been the ability to come back to reading the second book in the series by Jenna St. James and Maddy Maddison, this one is called Merriment and Murder. What I love about this series is that the main characters are in their late teens, it has lots of cozy feels, slight magical undertones, but mostly strong capable mystery solving best friends in a small town with a great B&B, Lighthouse and fun family run apothecary. I bought this book a couple of weeks ago on, (I am not an affiliate by the way)  and appreciated the fact it is set in December, I enjoyed that sense of being in a different time and space for a short while, I am trying not to think to far in the future as I find that the anxiety I feel about how things are going with the Covid-19 pandemic is worse when I do.  So for now I do recommend picking up a book, craft or hobby to take a bit of that edge off. For me I love having a cozy mystery to look forward too. I understand from the authors that they are working on book three, I just can't wait.

A B&B Grand Opening Party...

A Dead Body...

Tons of Suspects...

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