Literary Tea Parties

So I few years ago I did a post on a tea party that we had at my church. Of course, you know how I love books…I just had to tie them in together!

To read the whole post, click here. So every year at my church we do a Christmas Tea Party, and the past three years my friend and I had a table that I’ve been in charge of decorating. And if you think I just had to feature a book each year, than you are right! I love books!

In 2016, the theme was “Our Journey”, and shoes were the center as it was about “the paths we take”. Of course shoes made me think of one thing:

As Dorothy and all her friends go on a journey, along with having a magical pair of shoes,  it was PERFECT! We did a:

  • Yellow Brick Road Runner: Canvas that we painted with three different shades of yellow
  • Poppy Magnets as our favors: I used this one from Hometalk and did button centers and glued magnets on the back.
  • Mason jar water glasses with gingham ribbons and red mugs for coffee or tea.
  • Wicked Witch of the East candy straws: I got the straws from Wal-Mart and made the shoes from Swedish Fish.
  • We painted our own Emerald City on glasses.
  • And I sewed a sock monkey king of the flying monkeys, out of black and white socks (just like the ones the Wicked Witch of the East wears). Yes, I sewed it-help from Madsen Creations and my mom.
  • We made our own Dorothy’s magic red shoes, but they weren’t ready when I took the picture, so I put my own red shoes in there.
  • And of course, a copy of the book.

The next year the theme was “Friendship”

So my friend and I choose to do:

Last Christmas the theme was Holy Ghost…hmmm ghosts. Which book? 🙂

  • We used a holly and cranberry patterned runner on the table.
  • Sheets of music as place mats, with red chargers over them.
  • The centerpiece was a Christmas Tree, as those became popular in the Victorian era with Prince Albert, that I strung with popcorn.
  • I also placed a basket with the Christmas gifts/favors as that was how Victorian tables were set up. Each package was a different copy of A Christmas Carol. I got them all by swapping on PaperBackSwap.com I wrapped them up in brown paper and red yarn.
  • We had chestnuts on the table and each place setting got on orange, as they were very popular gifts, but I didn’t put cloves in it as you can’t eat them when you do that.
  • We had Earl Grey Tea, Hot Chocolate, and candy canes.
  • Each person received a homemade Christmas Card (made by me), and each had a little token in it, my version of the Christmas pudding.

This year the theme is gifts and I have to admit, I’m a bit at a loss. Any ideas of a book that gifts plays a role?

Please help me!

For more on The Wizard of Oz, go to Bookish Thank You

For more on A Christmas Carol, go to Book Club Picks: A Christmas Carol

For more tea posts, go to I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

For more book-filled posts, go to Stranded at the Bookstore

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I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

So buttermilk…I have never really drank it or used it except when making Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Next year I promise to do a post on it, for now if you want to make it yourself, head over to my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.comAnyways, every year I am leftover with buttermilk and have no clue what to do with it.

I know most of you are thinking: pancakes.

I’m not really a big pancake fan, so I’m not into that.

Meh.

The other day I ran out of milk, and I LOVE milk in my tea. I don’t like to drink my tea without it.

Now normally I would just go to the store and buy more but its been raining.

Actually, that’s not an accurate description. It has been storming-windy, sheets of water, etc. The type of weather that makes you want to just stay home in pajamas with a good book or movie…

 

And tea!

But I had no milk!!!!!

So then the idea came to me…what about buttermilk?

I had never even drank buttermilk before, I mean I know you can make a substitute using vinegar so I’m pretty sure it isn’t sweet. And I know in the one Ramona book they call it “sour”

“How else am I supposed to reach things?” Ramona successfully broke the egg and tossed the shell onto the counter. “Now I need buttermilk.” Beezus broke the news. There was no buttermilk in the refrigerator. “What’ll I do?” whispered Ramona in a panic. “Here. Use this.” Beezus thrust the carton of banana yoghurt at her sister. “Yoghurt is sort of sour, so it might work.” The kitchen door opened a crack.“What’s going on in there?” inquired Mr. Quimby.” Ramona Quimby, Age 8

But then in Westerns they always have the men drinking it when they come back from working the fields and such.

So I tried it and…

It is so sour! It’s like drinking plain greek yogurt.

I can’t imagine drinking a whole glass of it. But I thought maybe a few drops…?

It came out…okay. I only did a tiny bit and put in quite  lot of sugar. I don’t recommend it for everyday use, but only in a tight squeeze and only a little bit.

Well in the end it worked out, and I got my tea.

For more tea posts, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

For a recipe that uses buttermilk (which I had completely forgot about), go to Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones

For more rainy days, go to A Water-Logged White Christmas

For more C.S. Lewis’ quotes, go to Book Club Picks: A Wrinkle in Time

I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

So last month Tea & Me did a post on freezing tea, and then placing these cubes on your face. (You can read about her experiences here.) When I read that I was like:

But hey, I’m down for trying it out, at least once.

My skin and I do not get along. As I have said before it is dry and oily-making it so hard to try to figure out what skin care/products to use.

Besides that I have very sensitive skin. It is so sensitive I don’t even know half the things I am allergic to. Sometimes I am just going about my life and my skin gets irritated, hives break out, and next thing you know I’m scratching and breaking the skin.

It burns

Like my post on a Tea Hair Rinse, I waited so long to do this review, because I wanted to try out at least three different teas.

  1. Boil water.
  2. Make a cup of tea.
  3. Steep until tea has cooled
  4. Once tea has cooled pour in clean ice trays.
  5. Freeze for two hours or until completely frozen.
  6. Try and open pores by putting a warm clean washcloth on or using steam from shower.
  7. Wash face.
  8. Using a washcloth, grab an ice cube and rub all over face.
  9. Rinse face with warm water.

So first I tried the Kukicha Green Tea.

“Green Tea [contains] antioxidant and disinfects.”

The second time I did the lavender tea.

“Lavender Tea soothes irritated skin and disinfects.”

The last one I did was Earl Grey, my favorite to drink.

“Black Tea disinfects.”

So I’m not sure I did it right, but I just used the cube around my face until I couldn’t stand the cold, after rinsing my face with warm water. I loved doing it in the morning as I have to get up 5-5:30 and that really woke me up as it was freezing cold!

The first one I did, Green Tea, I felt was the best. Like I said in a previous post, Green Tea is great for soothing irritated or dry skin, which I had been struggling with-more than usual. You know this weather.

Ugh!

The lavender and black tea I didn’t see an immediate response like the green tea, however, the other day my period came and was awful.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

And I got this giant zit on my chin, that ended up popping. It hurt so bad and when I bleed, I bleed a lot. I put the Earl Grey iced cube on it, which not only numbed, but disinfected and helped stop the bleeding.

For more on Tea & Me, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Hair Rinse

For more tea posts, go to Use Tea to Soothe Dry or Irritated Skin

I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Hair Rinse

So a couple weeks ago Tea & Me did a post on things to do with your tea bags and loose leaf tea, after you make your cup.

Something that has always bothered me about making tea is throwing the leaves away after you use them. Even though you can’t make endless cups with them (that would be SUPER weak tea), if only there was something you can do with them.

A MYSTERY!!!

She gave out a list of things you can try to do with tea, and one was to do a hair rinse.

Hmm…

My hair and I have a “special” relationship. Basically it does whatever it wants and I hope that I can do something with it.

Even my hairdresser has said she has never seen such contradictory hair. If I want it to be dry-it stays wet. If I want it wet-it dries instantly.

When I get it a way I want it-DONT MESS WITH IT!

Lately my scalp has been driving me crazy. I have been switching from product to product-trying to find something that would help-but to no avail.

Ugh!!

So I was psyched about the tea rinse. I waited so long to do this review, because I wanted to try out at least three different teas.

  1. Make a cup of tea-as you usually do.
  2. When you finish steeping your tea, put them in another cup and steep in hot water for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Allow the tea to cool completely before using.
  4. Detangle your hair before you step into the shower to avoid knots and breakage.
  5. Wash and clean your hair well with your usual shampoo.
  6. Proceed to condition your hair. …
  7. Rinse the conditioner out of your hair.
  8. Pour your hair rinse through your hair and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  9. Do not rinse hair any further.

So first I tried black tea, Earl Grey, my favorite!

“Black Tea [is supposed to] strengthen hair roots [and] darken hair.”

The second time I did the green tea, Kukicha Green Tea.

“Green Tea prevents early grey hairs, [along with] strengthen[ing] and shin[ing] hair.”

The last one I did was this calming Lavender tea that my friend bought me.

“Lavender Tea moisturizes and conditions hair.”

So after the black tea I didn’t feel any different. I’m sure this is something you would have to do over time to see a difference. I’m not sure I will as I do not want to darken my hair.

With the green tea-I don’t have a grey issue, I think the strengthening would take time, and my hair is always shiny looking-so I couldn’t really tell a difference.

Hmm…?

I did see an improvement with the lavender tea as I needed my hair to be moisturized and conditioned.

Above all, I really enjoyed this as I loved using the tea bags and leaves. It was great not just throwing them away-it definitely felt less wasteful and that I was recycling.

For other things to do with your tea bags and leaves, check out Tea & Me’s post, I Made Tea…Now What?

For more tea posts, go to Use Tea to Soothe Dry or Irritated Skin

For more hair posts, go to Why the Princess Leia Crown Hairdo is Awesome

 

Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

I LOVE tea!

So when I see tea smoothie’s I’m down for that! A while back I made an Earl Grey Blueberry Smoothie, and it was alright. I liked the concept better than the taste and began searching the internet to see if I could find a better version.

This is based on Mid-Life Crossiant‘s recipe, but I did change a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teabags or 2 Tsp of Loose leaf Earl Grey Tea.
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Oats (I use Quaker Oats)
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Cup of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Microwave the milk, or warm in a pan.
  2. Steep the tea in the warm milk for 5 mins.
  3. After tea has steeped, allow milk to cool.
  4. When milk has cooled, put in blender.
  5. Add oats, blueberries, yogurt, and maple syrup.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Serve.

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!

IT WAS SOOOOOOO GOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!

It is one of the best smoothies I have ever, ever, ever had. It was soooo delicious I wished I had more.

For more recipes, go to Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

For more on tea, go to Tea Chocolate

For more smoothies, go to Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Smoothie

Tea and Biscuits

I love tea.

Tea time is the best!

And what is best with it? A biscuit!

I’m not talking about our American biscuits, but the European ones-the shortbread cookies.

Yes, my brother and sister-in-law went to Hawaii and brought me the perfect cookies for my tea time. It’s my new ritual.

For more tea time posts, go to Teatime is So Much Better With a Teapot

Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Smoothie

So you know me. I love tea.

There is nothing better than starting your morning, afternoon, evening-or every hour with a wonderful cup of tea.

You may or may not know that I also love smoothies. I get up early every day so it is nice to be able to run out the door and drink my breakfast on the run.

So as I was looking through Pinterest, I found a recipe Berry Colombo Smoothie, from RefuTeaI don’t have Colombo tea, so I had to use a different brand and I didn’t have strawberries, so I had to leave them out. Oh well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup of Earl Grey Tea

Directions:

  1. Brew the tea, using 1 tbsp as you need to have the tea be strong.
  2. Blend all together until smooth.

I thought it was pretty good. I couldn’t really taste the tea really, but it was still good.

For more recipes, go to Basic Chicken Salad

For more tea posts, go to Teatime is So Much Better With a Teapot

For more blueberry recipes, go to Irish Blueberry Scones

For more Earl Grey Tea, go to London Fog Smoothie