Paris Day 2

Day 2 in Paris! Saw a bunch of major sites! It was all very exciting and now I'm relaxing in our hotel room and putting my feet up! Lots of walking! Enjoy the photos! 
Arc de Triomphe

I'm in love with these cream colored houses and their red flowers! They look so much fun to paint! This is only one of the many (and I do mean many) photos I took of these types of houses! 

 First glimpse of the Eiffel Tower

Hard to believe it was real! After only seeing it in photos all my life and to be standing in front of it was pretty amazing!

I once photoshopped the Eiffel Tower into one of the backs of my photos, but today, I didn't have to! 


Another view of Champs-Élysées

Tuileries Garden

Love Lock Bridge

My first real French Crepe! 

Chocolate filled crepe! Amazing!

It was so amazing, I had to have another one! So I bought another one down the street!

These two look like they are having a romantic dinner. 

Night life in Paris! 

First Day in Paris

Bonjour Tea Friends! I arrived in Paris yesterday and wanted to share some photos with you of my first day! 

On our way! Left Dortmund around 6 am in the morning. Going to travel by bus! The ride was comfy and I slept almost the whole way! *smiles*

First sign for Paris! Oh La La! 

Paris welcomes you! 

Paris! The Seine! 

Streets of Paris! I love the trees that are planted along the road! 

Galeries Lafayette ~ Famous shopping mall! Very expensive but fun to look inside. 

Lines and lines of people waiting to be let inside expensive stores like Prada. If you don't look wealthy, they won't let you in!

The center of Galeries Layette! 

Isn't that gorgeous! 

Real French Macaroons! So yummy!! I've had them before in the states, but these were unbelievable! 

La Louvre! 

Crossing the Seine... to you see something tall on the skyline? Hint it starts with an "E"... we shall see that on our second day!! 

Notre Dame! 

My friend, Kaya and I outside Notre Dame! 

Au Revoir for now! 

True Friendship Never Fades…

True friendship never fades, but shines in life’s different seasons. Neighbors come into our lives, some move away, some stay, some wave, and then there are a few who become true friends… When you develop such a strong friendships that last 25 years, it is amazing. ~ Cynde Vits 7/21/14

We had the privilege of having old friends over for dinner this past weekend…I was going to blog on this, but Cynde beat me to it and penned these eloquent words above on her Facebook page; I couldn’t have said it any better.

We became friends in our Iowa City days…Cynde and Charlie shared in the joys when Don and I brought Miss Spenser into the world. We both moved on with jobs in the 1990’s – us to California and then back to Iowa 6 years later and the Vits to Michigan and then on to Indiana. Over the years, we have stayed in touch, Cynde and Charlie visiting us twice while in California and then we visited their lovely home in Indiana when Grayson was a few months old. Charlie and Cynde are the kind of friends that when you meet again, it seems like no time has passed! I like what Cynde said about this: 

"Although we had not seen one another in years, it seemed as if we had just walked across the field to have 'tea'."

We wanted to treat Cynde to a “tea-like” luncheon – so we served brunch with quiche and tea sandwiches. We had fun hosting the meal in the tearoom.

It was Charlie’s birthday – won’t say what number…but had to celebrate with chocolate cake of course! Oops, we forgot to get a picture of it before we dug in…it was yummy!

What a special day…I reveled in the afterglow of all the table talk on Monday, it left me feeling a bit melancholy, but also grateful to God for the lasting friendship!! Hopefully, we won’t let so much time go by before we meet again! Enjoy the photos!

Tea Friends go to Downton, Highclere Castle

In May, a couple of our regular tea friends traveled with Iowa Public Television to England…one of their stops was Highclere Castle, the home of Downton Abbey. 

Here is Shirley, on the left, and Judy on the right. 

Can you find them in this picture? 

At last month’s tea event, you can imagine our excitement and JOY when the two of them told us that our teas are better than “Downton” teas!! They told us they love our variety and offerings…naturally, we were very happy and asked if we could broadcast this great news…and they graciously agreed!! 

If you feel this way too…why not leave us a review on…this is a very helpful way to let others know who we are and what we do. Thank you in advance!!

A Special Birthday Party: A Trinky Celebration

This past month, we had the privilege of hosting a 90th Birthday Celebration for a very special lady – Mildred Thomas – better known as Trinky. When asking her how she got the nickname Trinky, she said she wasn’t sure, her grandfather gave it to her, and it has stuck now, some 90 years later!!

A little funny trivia about Trinky and her birthday: Growing up, her family celebrated her birthday on June 16. It wasn’t until she was filing for her passport, that she discovered her “real” birthday is June 17. How funny is that?!

We met Trinky at the very FIRST tea party we ever hosted as Miss Spenser’s Special-Teas. They had hired us for their Tea Guild get together and it was to be hosted in Trinky’s home. She greeted us at the door with that ever-present smile and twinkly eye…unbeknownst to her, she was our first customer; naturally, we were a bit nervous, but her graciousness and gentle spirit calmed us immediately!!

We are posting several pictures from the day, some poems and tributes that her two daughters, Karen and Pam, put together for the special day. We hope you enjoy!

Now, this lady knows how to treat her guests…they were all escorted to Miss Spenser’s by Charter Bus!!

Trinky got out her hats and all the granddaughters and great granddaughters picked one to wear for the day.

Trinky’s dear friend from High School – she shared lovely memories of how giving and devoted she was as a friend. One of the special memories was of the “shared dress.” Trinky was fortunate to have been able to purchase a new dress…she let all her friends borrow it when they would have a special function to attend.

Now, it’s Trinky’s Birthday Party – but what does she do?? She brings gifts for Spenser and I – two lovely teacups from her personal collection…so special, lasting treasuers! Thank you Trinky!!

Pam and Karen – her two, precious daughters who helped put this party together for her. Pam shared about the thing she loves about her mother – “Now”

Pam: "I love waking my mother up in the morning; she always wakes up with a smile.
My mother is a wonderful encourager – she says something encouraging to me just after she wakes up as well. My mother is a giver. She would give me anything of hers, the shirt off her back. She is a wonderful example to me of always putting others first. My mother loves the Lord Jesus. She is always eager to pray together and ready to read the Bible or devotion book with me. Some of our favorite things we enjoy: Eating caramel corn, going for a malted milk, watching the Gaithers on t.v. followed up by Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk. Worshipping at church and finally…going to TEA!"

Karen, her other daughter, amazed all of us by writing this wonderful poem that spans a life-time! I am sure after this post, you will agree – that Trinky is a very special woman and those who have had the privilege of knowing her have been blessed indeed!! We hope you enjoy this tribute to our very first tea friend!!! Birthday Blessings Trinky!

She isn't big, in fact she's quite dinky 
Perhaps that's why she was nicknamed Trinky 
With a twinkle in her eyes and a scrunched up nose 
She smiles and laughs with the cutest pose

A small package of good - that is my mom 
She loves being with people and helping everyone 
She loved to cook and she spent much time 
Preparing meals for others to dine

She loves Tuesday coffees with her north high friends 
Sharing lives together for years on end 
She loves her church and Bible studies too 
Quilting, sewing, so much to do

Bridge is the game she yearns to play... 
It doesn't matter what time of day 
Get out the nuts- oh so yummy 
And don't think my mom is some kind of dummy 
She knows her cards and plays them well 
Marilyn and Audrey have stories to tell

Mom loved volunteering at the Church of the Land 
And cherished her time with Joanna her friend 
They would share the church history with those who came through 
And would quilt and talk and eat donuts too

While my mom couldn't sing, she did love to dance 
And enjoyed square dancing and ballroom when given the chance 
My parents would dress up in fancy clothes 
They were completely decked out from head to toe 
Mom knew fashion-- dresses, hats, shoes 
Her closets were full with the styles she'd choose

Watching shows together was a great family time
Lawrence Welk, Ed Sullivan and What's my Line. 
Dad would pop corn with a little melted butter 
Such great memories among so many others

Mom loved cows and had lots for awhile 
But tea cups took over ------they just made her smile 
Some with flowers on them, some with clover 
My Dad insisted they were going to take over

Proper attire, manners and delectables too 
Mom learned about tea parties and what one should do 
Cucumber sandwiches, scones and such 
One can never have too much 
Lemon curd and strawberry soup 
These led us to find a tea party group 
We made several trips to the small town of Perry 
Where we were connected to Ramona and Sherrie

With these friends we travelled to England - so fine 
Kathy and Pam, was that not the best time? 
Thymes Remembered closed - now where could we eat 
When we yearned for Earl Grey and 3-tiered tea sweets 
We have found the answer to our greatest passion 
We drive south to Miss Spenser's tearoom in fashion 
Our thanks to Donna and Spenser we bring 
For filling our hearts with love and good things

The Bible talks about the fruit of the Spirit- my mom displays them well 
She's been the best example in my life ...for that I'm pleased to tell 
I thank The Lord for giving me the best most wonderful mother 
I simply can't imagine my life if I'd been given to another 
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness and self control.
Mom you are all of that to me and more 
Happy 90th birthday to the Mother I adore

Hightlights from our Black Beauty Tea

“No hour is lost that is spent in the saddle.” 
– Winston Churchill

This past weekend we hosted our Literary Tea Party – Black Beauty. What a wonderful turn out we had on both days, thank you to all for coming out! We were grateful that the weather cooperated so all of our guests were able to meet, greet and get their picture taken with our “Beauty,” a/k/a Mr. Darcy. (smiles)
Our Black Beauty and Joe
(Photo Credit: Wendi Taylor) 
Black Beauty is a timeless classic, that has nuzzled its way into the hearts of our childhood memories and its lessons of compassion and kindness are something we carry with us like sugar cubes in our pockets throughout our adult years.

Just like people, horses respond best to kindness. Horses, even though they are such big animals, are quite sensitive. They usually respond well to whispers and gentle touches. When properly trained, horses will do many different tasks at the slightest touch. 

"The horse has so docile a nature, 
that he would always rather do right than wrong, 
if he can only be taught to distinguish one from another."
~ George Melville

Black Beauty Tea Foods: 

Arabian Night Tea ~ in honor of Black Beauty's Arabian Ancestry! 

Tea treats with a Horse-licious twist: 
 Yummy Oat Bars 
Carrot Cupcakes 
 Lemon Blossom Cookies 

Your horse loves you; 
Not for your looks, but for your love! 
He knows when you’re happy, 
He knows when you’re comfortable, 
He knows when you’re confident, 
And he ALWAYS knows when you have carrots! 
~Author Unknown

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