Happy Birthday to Charlotte Brontë!

Happy Birthday to Charlotte Brontë! 

She would have been 198 today! She wrote quite a few juvenile and 2 poetry books. However, she is probably best known for her work as a novelist: 
Jane Eyre 
Shirley 
Villette 
The Professor
Emma ~ was not completed

Have you read any of them? Jane Eyre is one of my most favorite books of all time!  I've read it a few times and love it more and more each time I read it!  

This is my favorite movie adaption of Jane Eyre - the 2006 version from BBC: 
(don't tell my dad, but mom is secretly in love with Toby Stevens as Mr. Rochester - heehee) 
It's slightly rainy outside today... sounds like a good day to pull out some Brontë books and enjoy a good read! With a pot of tea of course! 

Easter Cake Ideas

We've been admiring the fun Easter Cake ideas that have been circling around online. There are some really creative and charming cakes out there. We've put a small collection of them together to share with each of you! 

Bunny Cake from SheekShindigs Blog

Perfect for a Teaparty ~ Easter Egg Cupcakes from Bella Bobbin Blog


Kit Kat Easter Cake (source unknown) 


Bunny Cake Retro Style from McCormick Recipes

CakeBlog has quite a few fun Easter Cakes: 

Bunny Cake 


An Easter Cake from our British Friends! 


Do you have an Easter Cake tradition? Or are you making anything special this year? Please comment below, we'd love to hear about it! 


Daffodils whisper "Winter is Dead"

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet, 
She wore her greenest gown; 
She turned to the south wind 
And curtsied up and down. 
She turned to the sunlight 
And shook her yellow head, 
And whispered to her neighbor: 
"Winter is dead." 
A.A. Milne - When we Were Very Young

Look at these charming daffodils that our sweet tea friend brought us at our tea last weekend. They were the first of her garden! We were so touched she gave them to us! They've last all week, just in time for ours to awaken in the garden! 

Baby Prince George Down Under

I'm sure you all have seen pictures of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their darling Prince George on their Royal Tour! However, I couldn't resist sharing some of my favorites with you! 




Yes, yes, Prince George we think your mommy's hair is pretty too!


Snuggle time! 







Does he look like a Windsor or a Middleton??


It's not only Kate who charms the world now, but this Little Prince too!  

Happy Mothering Day - An English Holiday

Today, Sunday, March 30, is Mothering Sunday in England. This day was originally a religious tradition originating from the 16th Century when people returned to their mother church or dioceses for service during the Lenten period. It was also known as Refreshment Sunday, wherein it was designated as a day of relaxation from the normal rigors of the Lenten season. Children and young people, who were indentured servants at the time, were allowed to return home on this day to visit their families. Many would pick wild flowers along the way to place in the church or give to their mothers. Over time, the religious tradition evolved into Mothering Sunday, a secular tradition that honors mothers with gifts, flowers, and cakes, much like our American holiday in May, Mother’s Day. 

Today, we would like to send a “Happy Mum’s Day” to one of our sweetest English friends…Ilse Ridgway! 

 Here is a lovely picture of Ilse and her husband, Alan. As many of you know, we met Ilse and Alan through the tearoom. One day, Miss Spenser received an e-mail inquiry. The address on the form said: “Horsham, England.” She initially thought it was a joke, for who would travel from England to visit our little “Iowa” country tearoom?? Ilse and Alan were coming to Iowa to visit family and wanted to bring their family down to our tearoom. From there…has followed the loveliest friendship. These wonderful people were so kind to take us in when we visited England last August taking us to some spectacular places…one of them being TEA at the Ritz!! 

We thought we'd put together a special post about if you lived here what we'd do! 


First we'd invite you over to our House... 

Have Erika and Paul over to Surprise You too! 

Light a fire and create a cozy atophomere... 

Layout pretty china... 

Make up a variety of Tea Sandwiches... 

All the while keeping calm as we put the kettle on! *wink* 

Make a batch of Scones... hopefully they'll taste half as good as Alan's! (FYI - Alan makes the best scones ever, they should be on the list of 100 things to eat before you die!) 

Serve yummy cakes... we'll attempt to make a Lemon Cake hopefully it will be as yummy as Ilse's Lemon Drizzle Cake! 

See if we could hire a Parlor Maid to assist.

Pour you a great cup of tea! 

Lastly invite some silly clowns because they always add Fun to a gathering! 


 So, here’s to you Ilse, we hope that you have a WONDERFUL “Mum’s” Day Ilse!! 

Sending Love from Across the Pond!


Birthday Week

This past week we celebrated two birthdays!

Zachary turned 19 on Saturday, the 22nd...

and Chase turned 21 on Tuesday the 25th. 


Where on earth did the time go? 


(Notice Zach playing the "one-stringed" guitar!) 




Those easy days of PJ’s until 10 a.m. and Barney are gone… now mornings are filled with rushing around and getting to college classes on time. I DO love them being adults; I enjoy the interaction with them, but in looking back, I miss those early years. Funny how it is though, I remember thinking those early years as hard, I was always tired! Ha. A reminder to myself to enjoy each day as it comes… 

Left to Right: Zach, Grayson, Chase, and Miss Spenser

Zachary’s Birthday Cake: 
Chocolate Kaluah Cake (Recipe from Cookbook Vol. 1) 



Chase’s Birthday Cake:
Cinnamon Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Barney is our cake-topper tradition with Chase because he loved Barney so much as a little boy. This figurine has been around for a long time and made it through many moves... it evens holds a special place along with our children's nativity set! 

~ Lady Donna 

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