Sunday, December 21, 2014

Advent 2014: Week 4

Hark, The Herald Angels...

From the Realms of Glory

Last doors to open on the Advent Village! 

My favorite set of doors.

Are you ready for Christmas? We're ready with the holy side of the holiday, not so much the other side. But there are 12 days of Christmas, so we will get everything done before the kings arrive. :)

Loo loo loo l'loo loo loo loo...

I can't wait to show you how pretty our church looks! but that's another post. :)

Warmest wishes for the holidays,

Friday, December 19, 2014

All the way from France

The French Rag Doll


This is Annette (pronounced ahn-yet). 

I found her on a trip to France. She was in the boutique at our hotel in small town near where the Channel crossing ferry lands. As soon as I saw her I had to have her...well, I waited until after breakfast the next day, but I bought her before we left for our next destination.

Sadly, her bonnet has been lost and her pantaloons have seen better days. She is still lovely and huggable.

If she could stand, she'd be taller than an American Girl doll. Her shoes are permanent. I think her dress is too. Both are a pretty, pink floral calico material with ivory lace trim. The thread that gathered the main part of the bonnet broke, so it no longer fit her head and is why it is missing.

Her face...the beautiful, big, brown eyes; button nose, tiny smile, and lovely blushing cheeks - who could resist her?

Every time I see her on her perch (not normally on the porch), she reminds me of the channel crossing and the birthday dinner we had for one of my schoolmates. It was the first time any of us had seen the tall slender candles used on French birthday cakes. And also the lovely little town and gardens we toured before making our way up to Paris.

Do you have a doll or other item that reminds you of something great in your life? If yes, please share what it is in a comment below.

Best wishes,

Blog Awards Question

Assistance Required

Hello fellow bloggers!

The fall awards season was wonderful! In fact, it started way back in August!

Several of you nominated Melody and our blog for awards and we want to make sure we follow up and post about them. Since a bit of time has passed (we are very sorry for the delay), we need to beg your help. If you nominated Melody/us for any of the following awards, please put a link to the post in a comment below.

Thank you very much for your help. :) And again, thank you for the nominations. 

Note: GPL, I have the link to yours in a word document, but please add it to the comments as well. Thank you.

Best wishes!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tea Review: Bingley's Miss Elizabeth

Jane Austen Teas

Bingley's Teas, LLC.

Kirsten, Xyra

Miss Elizabeth

Which of the four should we try first?
Hmm, Mr. Darcy? No, I think not yet. 
I think we should start with the main character...Miss Elizabeth.
Very good.
Oh, it's so pretty. Smells lovely. Look at the blue.
Yes, I believe that is the blue mallow.
We've learned a few things lately and will try them in the steeping. First we'll warm the steeping pot. Add the tea.
Add the hot water. Set timer for 4 minutes.
Watch those leaves dance.
Wow! Miss Ellizabeth really knows how to move! (giggles)
Shall we add sweetener?
It smells kind of flowery so why not add some honey?
Sounds good.
It has great color.
Tastes good.
Now with a bit of milk. 
Nice flavor, but I'm not sure it will go on my favorites list.

Second Try

Our first try went well, but the blend was not one of my favorites. Too flowery. Was good hot and lukewarm, but not cold. So we contacted Bingley's for some tips.

This time we are going to use our IngenuiTEA pot. 
Tea in the pot.
Oh, no! We forgot about the tea.
Not good! We've over steeped!
Look at how dark it is...
...even with milk.
When you over steep your tea it will be bitter. Some blends can be decent with a bit of sugar. Others are terrible. Whenever possible do NOT over steep.

Third Try

Third time is the charm, right?
Has to be.
So tea leaves in the infuser. Infuser in the warmed pot.
Pouring water over. Steep 4 minutes. Setting the loud timer this time.
(laughing) Good idea, Kirsten.
Now, this looks good. Smells good too.
Remember no sweetener.
Right, just a bit of milk (sorry, no cream on hand). Yummy.
Tastes great with Gramma Enne's Christmas bread.

Xyra Note
Not everyone has the same likes and dislikes with tea blends and flavors. Don't be afraid to try something new. In fact, try it more than once. It took us a few tries to get this blend steeped and accented properly. At first, I was not a fan, but this is a nice blend. Don't hesitate to ask for help either. Bingley's Teas was very gracious in helping us get this tasting right. Or as close as possible. Cream would help bring out the chocolate note better, but it was lightly present with the 1% milk.

If you have read or seen Pride and Prejudice, what are your thoughts on Miss Elizabeth?

This is our 500th post! Yay!
Thank you for all your support! We love our followers.

Best wishes,

Note: All opinions shared in the above post are our own and unsolicited. All links are for education purposes - no purchase is required or implied.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Card Swap

We Made It!

Christmas Card Completed

Xyra is still working on our family Christmas newsletter, but was able to help us finish our photo Christmas card just in time for Vinyl * Girls card swap deadline (December 17, 2014)..

If you are interested in collecting the different dolliday cards, check out Vinyl * Girls blog later this week or early next week for a printable. 

Warmest holiday wishes to all!

Advent 2014 Week 3

Preparing the Way

Well, we missed St. Lucia Day this year. Pageant practice at church came first. Oh, well. Next year. We did remember to call Gramma Enne, though. Wished her Happy Birthday! Since I didn't get to do my holiday thing this year I got to open this week's Advent Village door.
This angel is caring for animals. We can totally relate to that door.
The angel is also ringing a bell. It's amazing that doe stays put. Most of the deer we encounter bolt at loud noises.
Only one more door. Wow! How time flies!

Are you ready for Christmas? Hanukkah starts soon too. Who is ready for the festival of lights?

Warmest holiday wishes to all!