My New Colorful Flowered Teacup

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I’m LOVING this pretty and fun new teacup I bought at Daiso over the weekend! It makes me smile every time I see it. $1.50 well spent!!

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Time for tea!! πŸ™‚

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My Easy Two Ingredient Chai Frappaccino

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I’m a loyal, straight black Irish or English tea drinker. I didn’t even like flavored black tea until a few years ago when our local Tea Room proprietor talked into trying the amazing French Caramel Creme Brule. So yummy!! So I’ll drink that, or vanilla or peach/apricot, but mostly straight black with a bit of milk.

But the moment I tried my first hot Oregon Chai, I was hooked!! All of those yummy spices and the creaminess of the added milk. Yum!! So sometimes I’ll have that for my morning tea time, especially if I’m wanting to up me protein intake.

So I also fell in love the first time I had a Chai Frappaccino! It’s especially refreshing on these very HOT days, with it’s frozen coldness. My one complaint has always been that it needs more ice, and sometimes they did it for me, sometimes not. The unique thing about the chai version is that it doesn’t have yucky coffee, and it isn’t as overly sweet as the others, just spicy. πŸ™‚

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I rarely spend the money on one, usually using gift cards I receive, and don’t really love supporting companies that endorse things I don’t. Soooo…I’m always on the lookout for copycat recipes. Have you heard of The Pioneer Woman? Well, she re-shared her copycat recipe again yesterday and I re-tried it, but it was too watered down. Her coffee concentrate might be stronger than my chai, so you should still try hers if you love coffee. But while I was drinking it, I thought, “What if I freeze the concentrate into cubes and it also becomes the ice?”

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So today I used some of the frozen chai and added milk, and it tastes just like the real thing!!! No fancy, mysterious creme base. Happy girl here!! πŸ™‚

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So here’s my super difficult recipe, prepare yourself:

Pour chai concentrate into ice trays and freeze completely.

Put 8 cubes into a blender

Add 1 cup of milk and blend thoroughly.

Pour into a glass and ENJOY!!!

Soooo, sooooo good!!!

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And only slightly more complicated than the ice cube making recipe I saw earlier today, haha!! πŸ˜‰

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Homemaking LInkup

Our Irish Party

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Ack! I’m finally sharing about our Irish party with our friends! I started it days ago, but kept getting interrupted by more urgent things. Anyway, here it is!

We have some friends that love to celebrate the Irish culture like we do, so we sometimes have get-togethers in March and mix the American with the Irish cultures.

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So here’s our serving table with drinks, dessert and the food I forgot to photograph as I was hostessing. My mother-in-law brought some green carnations for the table. We had Bewley’s tea (my favorite tea!) in our Carrigaline shamrock tea cups, punch made from rainbow sherbet and 7up for an American touch, Shepherd’s Pie, Steamed Cabbage and White and Brown Soda Bread, served with Dubliner cheese.

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For dessert we had a field of shamrock cookies and some rainbow cupcakes. All yummy!!!! πŸ™‚

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And here’s our table, festive and fun!

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Some of the decorations:

Gnomes, mushrooms and egg cups as tea lights.

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Shamrock and flower plants and this adorable painted rock my Sweetie found for my anniversary gift!

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I made this table cloth several years ago, and collected the napkins from somewhere?

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We had loads of fun eating, visiting and listening to Van Morrison and The Chieftains. The girls were even surprised to hear they ate Brussels sprouts sneaked into the gravy of the shepherd’s pie…and didn’t hate it!!! πŸ™‚

The girls spent hours in the Bear House and Secret Garden, on the swing and saying hello to the horses next door. The adults spent that time catching up, visiting, eating and cleaning up.

And HERE are the recipes if you’re interested!! πŸ™‚

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Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Homemaking LInkup

Ways to Celebrate Ireland Day

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I’ve written a bunch of posts about the ways we celebrate Ireland. Our anniversary is just a few days earlier, and we both have Irish roots. I also lived there for two years as a missionary, so we like to celebrate the friendliness, beauty, food, music and dance of Ireland’s emerald shores. We sometimes do something more Americanized like lime and 7up punch, but we mostly do things the Irish way. So I’m including the links to all of my previous posts right here, nice and handy!

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Shepherd’s Pie

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Irish Soda Bread

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Mince and Potatoes

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Our Irish Anniversary

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Lily’s Brown Bread

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St. Patrick’s Day outfits, accessories, Irish Stew and Barry’s Tea

So, take a peek and see if there’s something here to help you celebrate Irish culture and all things shamrock!

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Ladies Tea Time

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There aren’t too many activities more wonderful than a special tea time with a good friend! This image is such a sweet representation of those lovely moments I’ve shared with dear friends, whether over a cup of tea, a simple meal or simply a good chat. Looking at this brings me instantly back to those moments and a smile to my face!

Haven’t we all had those special times with our friends? πŸ™‚

Image: Facebook/Wonderful Pictures

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Brownie Shortcake

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Last weekend I made an early Valentine celebration dessert since we’ll be at a wedding on Valentine’s Day. Let me say, a wedding is going to be a fun way to celebrate!! πŸ™‚

I didn’t make anything heart shaped or dyed red or pink. I just made some brownies, topped them with sliced strawberries and finished it all off with whipped cream. This is now a new favorite dessert!! There’s something so refreshing about this lighter dessert. The yummy chocolaty-ness paired with the fresh strawberries and sweet whipped cream.Β  It’s the perfect combination! I was dreaming of another bite! πŸ™‚

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Brownie Shortcake

Ingredients:

*Brownies baked to your liking

*Strawberries, sliced and mixed with a bit of sugar to create a syrup (you could skip this step if your berries are super ripe)

Whipping cream, whipped with a bit of sugar (or not). I like to over whip my cream a bit as it holds up better and is more luxurious).

*Layer and enjoy! My Sweetie LOVED it!!

Always perfect with a cup of tea!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Spend some time with your Sweetie, and your little sweeties too! πŸ™‚

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

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We’re trying to be healthier this year. Eating more fresh, organic and from scratch meals. Although I’ve always cooked most of our meals at home, I have taken shortcuts, so we’re working on making the time again for life without the shortcuts. It’s been hard, but definitely worth it. Actually we’ve been working on this for awhile, because it’s a process, or a journey, not a destination. Finally having that concept take hold in my brain is making a huge difference. I don’t give up if I slip up, I just keep persevering. The modern idea of a diet is NOT what we’re striving for, but healthier habits and realistic, every day living. So I was THRILLED to FINALLY find a healthier cookie recipe for splurges that aren’t exactly splurges!

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It’s protein packed, which means I can only eat two at a time maximum, and has no refined white sugar and no flour. And it’s still skrumptious! If you knew how many I’ve tried, you’d understand my joy!! Yummy!

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So here’s the recipe:

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Using a large spoon to drop batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (making sure you leave plenty of room in between each).
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes

I added about 1/4 cup flour because I was worried the batter was too wet, but next time I won’t. And I’ll under cook them a bit, because I like cookies that way.

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We bought these lovely mugs in Ireland about 14 years ago, and we still love them!

But they were so great I almost cried, since I’ve searched for sooo long! Not as sweet as you might be used to, but I think it’s easy enough to get used to, especially if you’re being more careful already anyway. Our bodies do adjust. I’m very happy with them and don’t need to continue my search. :>

I’ve also committed to being in God’s word everyday, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes. That’s the real key to getting healthy…and everything else of course!

How do you build healthy habits?

**HERE’S where I found the recipe.**

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Tea For Two At Eddison And Melrose

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We had some unexpected, paid time off after Christmas and decided to take another trip to Carmel/Monterey. After discovering an affordable and clean motel last March and a fabulous tea room, we were ready for a fun and relaxing break, without much planned. We also discovered Scottish scones last March at the Tuck Box, but they were closed for a nice, long break of their own. Great for them, sad for us. We did love our one time being in the area when they were open, maybe next time?

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Karen and her tea room were just as charming as last time! I told her about my birthday and she had pretty sparkling juice for us, a candle in my cupcake and sweet birthday wishes. I also love the rose that garnishes the tea tier! She also volunteered to take our photo and I found a hat on her rack that perfectly matched my outfit! She always makes us feel so loved and special. In fact, when I told her that, she said she thinks of her shop as her living room. And that’s EXACTLY what it feels like…visiting a dear friend!! I should have snapped a pic of her! :>

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And super skrumptious yumminess for a decent price!! And cream scones!!! So skrumptious!!

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Elegance at it’s finest!

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And we were the last customers so I took some photos of the gorgeousness with my real camera this time! I just love the decor and colors!

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More pics of us:

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**Here are a few phone photos**

Our special, sparkling juice!

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The darling hat!

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Pretty Teapot and cup.

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I mushed up one of the blackberries and put it with my lemon curd and whipped cream and it was soooo yummy!!

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So many things make this my favorite tea room, cream scones, extra, lovely touches, pretty decor. But the best of all is Karen, her care and her staff! Kim was just as friendly and welcoming as Karen herself! Thank you both for another memorable afternoon tea!

So if you’re ever in the Carmel/Monterey area, pop into Eddison and Melrose in Monterey, meet Karen, relax and enjoy some lovely tea and fare! She knows how to see the potential and make something beautiful and welcoming! :>

Living Proverbs 31

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Tea Time Tuesday
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Stir Fry Chicken and Rice Soup

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I love happy accidents…especially when they occur by throwing a bunch of leftovers together! I made stir fry one day, then later was thinking about dinner ideas, but needed soup, so I decided to make it easy and throw in the already cooked veggies and rice. I also used our new Garlic and Herb seasoning that Whole Foods gave me because they were out of my favorite. Thanks Whole Foods. It’s a hit!! And this is our new favorite soup recipe!!! πŸ™‚

Stir Fry Chicken and Rice Soup

1/4 bag of each organic veggie:
Broccoli slaw
Shredded cabbage
Shaved Brussel’s sprouts

All stir fried for a few minutes on medium in olive oil and a bit of soy sauce.

2 cups cooked Bob’s Red Mill wild and brown rice mix

4 cups organic chicken broth

1 can chicken

1 tsp Handmade Culinary Collection: Garlic and Herb Seasoning

Throw everything into a pot, bring to a simmer and enjoy! So yummy!!

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Happy eating!!

Modest Monday: Ellie from “Up” and a Pixar Party

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Last Friday we celebrated the 23rd birthday of a dear young lady in our lives who is kind of like a daughter/niece to us. It’s always such a special time with dear young people we love so much. She decided to have a Pixar/Disney themed party, so I decided to dress like Ellie from “Up” and make her an “Up” themed gift. (You’ll see that at the end of the post) πŸ™‚

 

My dress isn’t one of Ellie’s actual dresses, but the one I found was perfect in it’s style and era, so it worked. The birthday girl guessed who I was, that’s what matters!!

 

I rushed to take some photos for her as it was getting dark, and we took my photos at the end of the party, inside, after the humidity wreaked it’s havoc on my hair. Haha!

 

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I’ll need to make a more permanent modesty panel for the new dress. Love those daisies!!! πŸ™‚

 

Now to the party pictures:

 

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Sally from “Cars.”

 

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Gifts!

 

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Hello cuties…and balloons and popcorn for the movie!!

 

 

 

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The spread and pretty flowers.

 

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The Ice Cream Cake! Yummy!!

 

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And the movie!

 

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And here’s the gift I made for her with the “Up” theme because she loves that film soooooooo much!!

 

Have a great week!

 

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