Will and Kate Forever

Ok, I will admit to not following all the knitty gritty details of the upcoming nuptials of the Royal Couple but how often do you really get to have a royal wedding?  If I had the day off I would totally be glued to my tv to watch the whole procession and revel in my inner 7 year old’s wish to be a princess (yeah I was that girl.) Here are a few towels for all of us “grown up” princesses.

I think this towel says it all- From Taylors Type

If you go for something more subtle and reserved this crown print is jolly good- from enormouschampion

Strap on your gloves and make sure you have your mouth guard ready for the throw down!- From the Screen Prince- Luke James

Just in case it wasn’t clear why she is marrying him- From Who Did This

Time to break out the celebratory packet of Digestives and toast the happy couple with a Cuppa!

Will and Kate, truly, all the best.

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In the Pantry- Handmade Tea Chests

I am always looking for the best way to store all my tea. Tins, jars, boxes, bags. I get tired of all the cardboard boxes of the bagged teas I like. I am not OCD or even all that tidy but I like to think I could be. So here is a round up of a few of my favorite tea storage options.

This is my new tea chest (Thank You honey!) from Leo’s Woodworks. It is made from Cheery and the story that came with the box said the wood is from a tree that came down in a storm. The box is beautiful, very sturdy and came pre-loaded with tea! Only problem is I have to drink it all before I can put my tea in it (tough life I know). There are a few styles and sizes and they are all beautiful. Teal albatross not included.

If you like to have your tea in easy reach and want to enjoy the graphic quality of your tea boxes this tea shelf would be great. Made from old wine boxes, this shelf is a clever re-use. From Remnant District Designs.

If you drink a lot of loose tea that you order in bulk these tea tins from Specialty Bottle are great. We used the smallest size to make our wedding favors and filled them with a Peach Black Tea. How much fun would it be to design your own labels?!

Now that I am all organized (in my mind anyway) it is time for another cuppa!

 

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Spring is Here!

There are so many little green things sprouting up in my yard (only to be eaten by the chickens) and when it is not raining the sun is out and the weather is lovely, Spring is definitely here. The birds that live in the lemon tree outside my kitchen window never seem to stop making a rukus this time of year. Here are a few towels to help with the spring cleaning.

Add a bit of retro spring fun with this pretty blue flower towel from Sweet Harvey.

This little guy is probably not likely to show up in your tea cup but he is very cute. From Design Kitty.

These two are as twitterpated as the birds in my tree! Not sure which I like more the towel of that cup. Design by New Leaves Studio.

Now, what I want to know is what is your favorite spring time tea? Leaves us a comment and let us know!

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This Place Needs Dusting!

We are still here though things have been rather quiet. The holidays were very busy and we have barely seen each other (Libby and I) let alone done much blogging. We hope to fix that soon though and bring you reviews of a few other tea spots soon. Mean while there are always towels right?  Here are a few we scoped out in the last couple months.

Hand Woven Towels from milka-Loom- Bright geometric borders make me want to break out the Fiestaware (if only I had some!) and host a brightly colored tea party.

Fantail Bird Tea Towel from Melina Martin- I am sure you have noticed that I like bird prints, this fun detailed print of the New Zealand Fantail is no exception. Now if only her Hey Diddle Diddle pillow came as a towel!

Kitchen Conversion Towel from Sweet Fine Day – I love the graphic on this towel, not to mention how handy this would be when baking as the measuring cup I want always seems to be in the sink.

Today I also have a recipe recommendation for you. Over the holidays I made these Smocky Bacon Ginger Cookies after reading this post over on Pork, Knife and Spoon.  I love Shauna’s blogs, there is always something yummy to try out (even if you aren’t gluten free). My mother-in-law didn’t even give me the option of taking the leftovers home they are so yummy.

Well, time for another cuppa, thanks for stopping by!

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Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cake


1. Happy Thanksgiving!!!, 2. Stuffed for Thanksgiving, 3. Thanksgiving Cookie Mix 2009, 4. Candied sweet potatoes, 5. cranberry squircle, 6. Happy Thanksgiving, 7. 93/365 i LOVE yOU!♡♥♡, 8. Happy Thanksgiving ! ………., 9. Pizza Rolls, 10. Happy Thanksgiving All*, 11. Curly, 12. Pumpkin Pie, 13. Mash Potatoes from Tavern on the Green, 14. Pumpkin Pile, 15. Fall & Thanksgiving day in Florida, 16. Glazed Roast Turkey with Cranberry Stuffing Recipe

Nothing really says fall like pumpkins, I love pumpkins and pumpkin pie. Back in college I came across a great recipe for pumpkin bars, but really it is more like cake so that is what I call it. This cake is moist and flavorful with out the dense “sit in your stomach” feel that pumpkin pie can give you. Since Will’s birthday is in the fall he gets this cake  and he has been known to finish off half the pan all by himself.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of turbinado sugar
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Mix the wet stuff (eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin) in a medium sized mixing bowl. In another bowl mix the dry stuff (flours, baking power and soda, spices and salt). Combine dry ingredients with wet by adding small amounts of the dry stuff at a time, stirring as you go until totally combined and not lumpy, a whisk helps, but stop mixing asap or you will end up with a flat cake. Pour into a greased and floured baking pan 9×10 and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 min. Cake will pull a bit from the sides of the pan and a knife will come up clean in the center when done.

For an easy icing I just make a glaze with confectioner’s sugar, a splash of vanilla extract, and a few tablespoons of milk. I don’t measure this out so you will have to play with it or get a can of your icing of choice, the original recipe called for a cream cheese icing but that was a bit rich for us.

Also, this recipe is great if you have lactose intolerant friends, the only dairy is in the icing and you can skip that and get some soy vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy with your favorite tea and have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Happy Halloween!

The Great Pumpkin is stirring, preparing for his rounds on Sunday. So in the spirit of ghouls, witches, vampires and pumpkins of course here are some fun towels to help celebrate.

The Pumpkin Harvest- From Sara Parker Prints- I would like to go pick out a pumpkin here.

Cameo Skull – From Brilliant Trees Collective- I love cameos, what better for Halloween then a creepy skull cameo!

May you have a wonderfully spooky holiday!

 

 

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The SF Japanese Tea Garden

A couple weeks ago my mom came up from SoCal for a short two day visit. We took the chance to check out an exhibit at the de Young Museum on resist dye textiles. After the exhibit we headed over to the Japanese Tea Garden which is right next door.

The Japanese Tea Garden was originally built as the Japanese Village for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition by Makoto Hagiwara. He designed the bulk of the garden and was the caretaker from 1894 until the anti-Japanese hysteria during World War II.

Here are a few photos (phone camera) from the garden:

This little pagoda and wishing rock are in a nice shady path that made for a nice break from the warm afternoon.

There were Koi hiding in the shadows of the little bridges that connect this pool and several others that run through the garden.

This bridge was VERY popular with the kids visiting the garden, this was one of the few moments it was not being climbed on. The little guy in the corner of the frame was very determined to get his chance at a climb no matter what Mom had to say about it.

There is a small gift shop in the gardens that offer nice tea and sake sets, origami paper and other souvenirs. This little beggar comes regularly into the shop and gets walnuts from the ladies behind the counter. He climbs right up their pant legs to take the walnuts from there hands, then he runs over to this isle to eat it and then go back for more. I caught him mid snack.

After watching the squirrel get his snack we realized if we were going to survive the Muni-BART trip home we needed some sustenance ourselves. We headed to the Tea House where they serve several kinds of green tea along with traditional Japanese sweets. I got the Jasmine Green Tea set with salty crackers and an separate Hawaiian Coconut Mochi Cake. Normally I am not a big coconut fan but the mochi had just enough coconut flavor to be yummy and not over whelming.

If you are in the Bay Area and haven’t had a chance to check out the Japanese Tea Garden I highly suggest going and having some tea and mochi. Of course the best part of the day was getting to hang out with my Mom.

Cheers!

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Filed under Green Tea, Jasmine, tea, Tea House, tour