Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day and one of our favorite family traditions!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Today, along with donning my green scarf and purse, I am setting a green table!  

Since the kids, now 24, 19 and 15 were little, I set a celebration table for dinner. Over the years it has gotten a bit more sophisticated, less plastic leprechauns and more about color and texture. 
Naturally, I start with the color scheme, that's a no brainer, and makes it easy to build from.  Green can be incorporated in so many ways, especially if you go outside and grab a few clippings

I started with the first layer, a fun and bright tablecloth of green and purple. Very Spring-y and cheerful!
Next I brought in texture and contrast with my willow chargers. I've stacked my white embossed dinner plates on a copper colored plastic charger. The copper color gives me that Irish green and orange scheme I want to highlight. Now I've introduced more green with a cute green and white damask pattern melamine luncheon plate with another white dessert plate on that. Yes, that's alot of stacking, but it gives it such a fun and unique look to each place setting!

I found cute foam shamrocks at the craft store, some with glitter that will be used as placecards. (If only I could have found my sharpie maker before I had to get the photo done, but you get the idea)

Since my son's name is Patrick, we have alot of fun with this traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage. The "Lucky Leprechaun" comes for a visit and leaves a small green gift bag for each dinner guest! In fact, the best gifts over the years have been dollar store finds of candy- like rollos for "pots of gold" and playing cards for after dinner excitement!

I'm hoping that we can keep this family tradition thriving over the years! What tradition do you share?

Willow Chargers, Green & White Plates-Pier 1
Copper Chargers, Foam shamrocks, Green cupcake stand-Michael's Craft Store
Shamrock plant-Trader Joe's
Tablecloth-Set to a Tea
Tea- Top o' the Mornin' & Mint Chocolate Chip- Set to a Tea

I'll be sharing this over at

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Leading a coffee drinker over to Tea!

I have many coffee drinking friends, in fact I have new friends that own an organic coffee roasting company. So during the course of conversations, with coffee drinking friends and new customers, I am often asked about caffeine levels and what to do when a Doctor tells you to drink less coffee each day.
First, you cannot, I mean come on!, you cannot ask a coffee drinker to go on over the "green tea"
side of things! That is just asking for trouble! A coffee drinker has a deep need for this hot beverage
and the only way to get them over to tea is to keep the tea black and strong!
Here are my 3 favorites to get them drinking more tea after they've had their morning brew.

  1. Manor House Mornings-This is an Assam tea, rich black tea leaves and strong black tea! You can add milk and sugar to this and sip a great cup of tea to keep you going in the morning and pick you up in the afternoon! Steep this for a full 4 minutes, going past that steeping time will only get you bitter tea, not stronger tea! If you need it stronger, add more tea leaves. Start with a heaping teaspoon for an 8 oz mug and go from there. -This is a the general rule of thumb for steeping black tea!                                                                                                                                        
  2. French Breakfast- This black tea has bits of caramel in it for those coffee drinkers who add all those sugary flavored creamers to the coffee. First, lets cut back on those! This tea is heaven without milk but it sure does stand up to it, so feel free to add a dollop when you need to! The rich caramel taste is buttery, not sweet.                                                                                                  
  3. Pumpkin Muffin- I've noticed recently that coffee drinkers have embraced the pumpkin spice flavors! Whether they add the flavored creamers or dunk their pumpkin muffin while they sip, they clamor for the spicy taste! I hear groans around the country when late spring hits and all the pumpkin spice flavored coffees and treats go away until fall!  This tea, again the base is a hardy black tea leaf, has all the pumpkin, cinnamon and spices you need to satisfy those cravings, AND we carry it all year long, because you never know when a rainy August morning can turn chilly!
So, those are my three top tea picks for coffee loving friends! Remember the golden rule, if the tea tastes too weak, don't steep it longer- Use a few more tea leaves when you add the boiling water and let the leaves do their magic! 

You can click on the name of each tea and order some for your coffee loving friends, let's bring them over to the tea side of life!