Monday, June 13, 2011

Tea Time Tuesday~Afternoon Break

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday, hosted by the dear Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage.
Today I would like to invite you to tea in my kitchen as I take an afternoon break from a very busy creating day. Summertime gives way to lots of breaks when the temps are soaring and while it is 100 degrees outside, it is cool and cozy inside.

I have set my table with a gorgeous vintage set given to me from my mother, when I married. She enjoyed it first in the 50's and then passed in on to me when I married in 1973. Called Luster ware, the design is so pretty and hand painted on each piece including the teapot, cream and sugar, cups and saucers. The china is thin and nearly transparent. The colors still brilliant after all these years. I remember how proud I was to display this set in our first little apartment 38 years ago. And, I am still just as happy to include it in my decor today. It is a sweet reminder of the love my mother had for me when she took the pieces off her hutch and passed them on to me.

So let's enjoy tea with my pretty white rooster and my fresh picked flowers from my garden, just for you!

Recently, I added two little bowls I had for some time, with two of the cups and saucers making a trio which I love together. The tea set has 4 cups total, so now I will be on the look out for 2 more bowls to add.

Love the floral tea cup design.

Love, the pretty bowl pattern.

The markings on the tea set from Japan and the bowls Pegasus, made in the USA.

With our table set and a rooster pillow for your comfort, let's enjoy Earl Grey tea and my banana tea bread topped with strawberries.

In my treasure hunt recently I found a set of 4 very pale pink water glasses. They are in perfect condition and I wish they had more, for I would have snapped them up.

Here is my recipe for the banana tea bread. I have been baking this for over 30 years and it has always been a hit.

Tea Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons veg. oil or canola oil.
1 1/4 cups milk~ (I use skin milk)
1 egg
1 cup finely chopped nuts optional (I have used pecans, walnuts and peanuts at different times and all give an individual flavor)
Ready to be baked this way or by adding the bananas it changes slightly~~

For Banana bread as I have made today, decrease milk to 3/4 cup and add 1 cup mashed bananas, about 2-3 med. I have learned using 3 average size bananas makes for a more moist bread.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured tube pan or loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes.
Makes approx. 16 slices.
Also freezes very well.

Thank you Sandi for hosting our Tea Time Tuesday. To visit more participants, travel HERE to Sandi's and view the list of more tea parties to attend.

I'll send you off with my bouquet of flowers and many thanks for coming to tea today and taking a break with me this beautiful afternoon. As I put away my tea set in my kitchen hutch till next time, I hope you enjoy a beautiful rest of the day and all good blessings be yours.

Smiles from Texas,
Celestina Marie

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~~A Day At Stoney Shell Beach~~

Well, my poolside beach anyway.

Welcome Friends! Temps are soaring here in the Lone Star State and today we nearly reached 100 again.
As you may recall from past posts, my sweet golden, Miss Beazy Lee, loves to swim. So after a full day of studio work, I promised her we would go swimming this afternoon.

Miss B loves to fetch her pool toys and swims plenty of laps in doing so. Boy it's hot! Just how warm is the pool water? Let's see~~

Wow, a bathwater warm, 92 degrees!
So with my pool tote filled with magazines, sunscreen, water jug, beach towels and pool chair, I am ready to relax.

Okay Beazy is jumping in, and I'm right behind her.

I'll throw her frog toy out so she can swim and fetch~ there she goes~

She's got it and swimming back to me, Good girl Miss B!

Are you wondering why I am calling this poolside retreat, Stoney Shell Beach? Well, let me show you.
Last Spring, my dear guy and I brought in yards and yards of pebble stones for beyond the pool area when we redesigned our yard. We planted a new garden, and made a beach area to sit by the pool under the tree.
The area gets morning sun and shade in the heat of the day. Over the stones I sprinkled lots of beach shells and pretty blue crystals gems. It makes you feel you are at the beach when the sun hits them giving a shimmering glow. It would have been nice to place real sand for a real beach, but for obvious reasons, that could not work. So this is the next best thing. You can't go barefoot here, but in Texas, you really don't go barefoot anyway. Just too hot and the ground can really burn your tootsies. So flip flops are in order.

Pool blue chairs for comfy relaxing, next to a lighted bird bath table my hubby made with shells inside. At night, the inside lights up between the shells for a warm glow.
Look close at the ground stones and you can see the shells here and there. Even after our hard icy winter, they did fine.

Next to this area is my Garden Chic potting bench. I love this spot to work my flowers in pots and have the extra storage. This bench was built by my son for Christmas a few years ago. It was a special surprise and I so enjoy it. The window was painted by me a few years ago and has also done well through our harsh weather this past winter. It currently is the photo for my blog header.

As you walk up to this part of the yard, you pass under an iron arch where I have planted white roses called "Lady Banks." They are thornless and perfect for a pass through. My dear guy surprised me with them this Spring. They are nearly to the top already and I can't wait till next year when they will be in full bloom again. I had the yellow Lady Banks in this very spot for years, but they had to be taken out with the redesign last year. My sweetheart knew how I missed them, so he surprised me with 2 new vines this season and I am thrilled.

The new plantings from last year have really grown, and what was rather small and lonely, is full and lush this year.

As we walk to the sideyard, we pass my little bistro table and chairs. I am in the process of making chair cushions for the seats. As we meander around, notice the little bunny keeping company with the lavender on the little park bench my hubby made. Also see the pots of Balloon Flowers ready to be planted. They are a gorgeous blue and look just like a balloon till the flower opens. And, my bunny friend stands guard in my little Cone Flower patch.

Some of my garden friends would like to say hello. Please meet Grow and Dream Fairy Angels, who look like they are taking an afternoon nap as they watch over my garden.

Oh Miss B is enjoying the geraniums as she looks out over the water.

Meet Miss Poolside Angel who loves to stretch out on the brick ledge.

And, meet a few more friends relaxing around the garden. Yes, it is a lazy Texas day.

It has been a very hot afternoon and Miss B and I have enjoyed taking some time to relax with you and take a swim. I know she will be taking a nap soon as all the frog fetching has got her mighty tired!

While we are drying off, let's visit with Miss Storytelling Angel as she reads from her book and cools her little feet in the clear blue stone water. If we listen closely, we can hear her story.

Till next time, have a wonderful June day.
Hugs from Texas, Celestina Marie

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