Monday, January 23, 2017

Born Free

I love freebies so I took advantage of the special offers that celebrated my turning another year older.

I enjoyed a free all-you-can-eat lunch at Tucker's Marketplace.

As a Frequent Steeper at David's Tea, I was treated to a free cup of tea, Oolong Supreme, on my special day. The DT staff loved the tea cozy handcrafted by my talented friend!

Last but not the least, I used my Starbucks Rewards card to score a free beverage of my choice: a Venti Smoked Butterscotch Frappuccino.

At the family gathering, I used my Royal Albert Polka Blue teapot (a Christmas gift from my parents) to serve one of my birthday gifts: For Tea's Sake Sour Apple Martini--a light, fruity green tea that was a hit with the guests.

My family and friends showered me with tea-themed birthday gifts.

China fit for royalty.

Come on, come on, turn the radio on...

A matching purple cup, tray/plate and spoon by Hampstead Fine Bone China.

My tea tastes better in this adorable mug from my sweet godson.

A cute infuser and pretty teabag holders.

My old soul loves this vintage-style "Tea Party" oven mitts, paper napkins, and tea towels.

Put a ring on it!

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

For my dry skin: Bath and Body Works Georgia Peach & White Tea body cream.

Tea samples tucked in birthday cards from my blogging friends.
Not pictured: the teas already consumed.

Thank you all for the birthday blessings!


I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Flashback Travel: Bavaria (2008)

During my younger and more adventurous days (aka pre-teaware obsession era), I traveled quite a bit through Europe. I always wished that I had brought home teacups as mementos of my international trips...

...so I was beyond thrilled when my friend gifted me this gorgeous teacup from West Germany for Christmas!  The contemporary Victorian-inspired teacup featured a courting couple.

The inaugural cup of tea.
A sip of the yummy Stash Black Forest Black Tea transported me back to my 2008 visit of Germany.

On our way to see Schloss Neuschwanstein, the most popular castle in Europe, we passed the 19th century Schloss Hohenschwangau. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to stop for a visit.

At Marienbr├╝cke ("Marie's Bridge"), we enjoyed stunning views of the castles, mountains, and lakes. Just don't look down!

A view of Schloss Hohenschwangau from Marienbr├╝cke.

The magnificent Schloss Neuschwanstein was built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II whose nicknames included: Fairy Tale King, Swan King, Mad King of Bavaria. You can read more about the castle and king's interesting history here.

Almost there...

Castle entrance
Unfortunately, photography was prohibited during the 30-minute guided tour which was limited to certain floors/rooms. You can do a virtual tour of the beautiful interior by clicking here.

photo credit: lhbrizzante CINDERELLA'S CASTLE via photopin (license)
The resemblance between the Bavarian Fairy Tale Castle and the Magic Kingdom is no coincidence. Walt Disney had modeled Cinderella's Castle after Schloss Neuschwanstein.

photo credit: Eric Black Forest German Cake via Flickr (license)
I tried to order Black Forest cake during my trip, but had trouble finding it at the cities that we visited (Munich, Berlin, Dresden). I did enjoy quite a bit of Bavarian Apple Strudel though!

What's your favourite German dessert?


I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Spoiled!

Once again, I'm very grateful to my thoughtful family and friends for spoiling me with tea-related gifts on Christmas.

I adore the purple teacup on this Peter Pan quote:
"Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have tea first?

Tea first!
New herbal, black and green teas to sip before embarking on an adventure.

This adorable infuser is a marriage of my favourite things: tea, purple and polka dots!

Good thing that I meet the minimum age requirements for this sweet miniature ladybug tea set!

How cute are these handmade coasters?

A tea nerd can never have too many tea-themed towels...

...or tea-themed cards!

 Socks to be me!

Green Tea bath and body products.

This "Teacups" puzzle will be a fun indoors activity during winter.

My generous family and friends also gifted me beautiful teawares which will be shared in future posts. Since I now have more than enough teas and teawares, I've gone on a "tea diet". We'll see how long I stay on the tea wagon! 

Now it's time to announce the winner of my 2-year blogiversary giveaway!

And the Winner selected by Random.org is...(drum roll):

Sylvia from SMD Paper Arts.

(How cool was it that the random number that was generated was my birthday?!?)

 Congratulations, Sylvia!!! 
Please send me your mailing address and tea preferences (e.g., black, green, herbal, etc.) and I will ship your prizes you.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway!


I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Two

Let's welcome 2017 with a cup of tea!

 This Calendar Girl couldn't resist purchasing this 2017 calendar--a Boxing Week score.

My first cup of tea in 2017 was the classic English Breakfast.

Before the office shut down for the holiday break, I organized the last tea social of 2016. 
I brought in the festive tea set and Nutcracker Sweet black tea, while my co-workers brought the delicious foods.

Over the holidays, a friend and I met up at Taylor's Tea Room for some overdue catching up. 
I enjoyed a pot of Milk Oolong tea, a tasty pear and Earl Grey soup, and a blackcurrant scone (not pictured).

Another holiday treat that I enjoyed was the chocolate roll by Goldilocks Bakery with a cup of tea. I can eat the yummy chocolate icing by itself!

Purple cake made by my aunt last summer.
This week, I'm celebrating my 2-year blogiversary!
Blogging has been such a rewarding experience for me. I am incredibly grateful for all the visits, comments, and connections made on my offbeat little blog and beyond!

To thank you all for your awesome support, I am hosting a 2-Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

2017 Giveaway Prizes

The giveaway winner will receive:
1) "There's always time for tea with you" bone china mug by Cambridge (English by Design);
 2) Paper napkins with pink cupcakes and pink sugar cookies;
3) Some tea samples (to be determined based on the winner's tea preferences);
4) Some surprise items.

Eligibility: 
Due to high postage costs, the giveaway is only open to residents of Canada and U.S. (sorry!)

How to enter: 
Please leave an "Enter Me" and an e-mail address in the comments below.

Entry Deadline: 
5:00 pm EST on Sunday, January 8, 2017

The winner will be chosen via Random.org and announced on: 
Monday, January 9, 2017
If the winner doesn't contact me within 48 hours, a new name will be drawn.

Good luck everyone!!!


This week, I'm joining the parties: