Teatime

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There is something magical about a tea party.  Whether it’s meeting friends at a fancy tea room, or picnic-style on the living room floor, it’s just special.

I am a huge fan of simple and low maintenance entertaining.  A tea party may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.  Like any other style of entertaining, the thing that people remember the most is how you made them feel. I can remember being 4 years old and having tea and snacks with my mom while watching Little House on the Prairie.  It’s one of my favorite and earliest memories from childhood.

I’ve made a goal to have tea and read-aloud time with my kiddos once a week. We had our first teatime this week and I would say it was a success.  We made gluten free scones and sipped chamomile tea while I read out of a chapter book we got from the library.  It wasn’t perfect and there were many spills, but quality time was spent and memories were made.

If you are wanting to jump on the teatime bandwagon, here are some ideas to get you started:

For the Tea:

  • If you have a big group, make one or two big pots of tea. Choose something caffeine free and versatile so it will work for little ones and grownups alike. This cranberry tea looks wonderful.
  • If you are keeping it low key, use the individual tea bags. They are a hit at our house.  My little ones love dunking the bags and watching the water magically turn into tea.
  • We have milk with our tea. It’s not necessary, but it’s delicious and fun for the kids to pour.

For the Food:

  • If you love to bake, pick one thing to make homemade like banana bread, scones, or cheese straws. If you have a large group, fill out the rest with fresh fruit, chicken salad, croissants and cheese & crackers.

picnic tray

  • For weekly teatime with the kids, my plan is keeping it to one homemade item with our tea, without all the extras.  It gives them a chance to help me in the kitchen (which they are constantly begging for…and I am constantly dragging my feet about), and it also keeps it attainable.

For the Table:

  • No need for a fancy tea set unless you already have one.  We recently had a tea party for my daughter’s birthday, and I found a bunch of mismatched tea cups and saucers from the thrift store for about 99 cents a piece.
  • Use a pretty tablecloth or for an informal teatime, a sheet on the floor works just as well.
  • If doing it picnic-style is your thing, use a tray to hold your pot of tea, milk, honey, etc.
  • Picking a few flowers from the backyard and putting them in a mason jar takes 2 minutes, and it makes it feel extra special.
  • Think warm and inviting, not uptight.

mason jar flowers

So, if I’m honest, committing to doing this once a week is a lot for me.  I think there is such value in intentional time with my kids, but I know there will be times when this just doesn’t happen.  However, if I plan something ahead of time, I have a fighting chance of actually following through with it. So my charge to you is to plan something special with a friend, husband, or child this week…but give yourself grace.  Keep it simple.  After all, it’s really about the relationship and the sweet memories, not the stuff.

Cheers!

Steph

P.S. I have to include one more picture. My heart melts when my daughter wants to do things like me (the good things, that is).  After I picked the flowers in the above picture, she brought me this:

tea cup flowers

I think I like her idea even more!

 

Friday Finds: Magnolia Market

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There is something wonderful about living in a new place and getting to explore.  We are still learning the ins and outs of our new home state, and are having a great time doing so.

This past week, we decided to check out the buzz over at Magnolia Market in Waco, Tx.  Waco is home to “Fixer Upper’s” Chip and Joanna and their well loved shop: Magnolia Market.

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Apparently, we weren’t the only ones with the idea to pay them a visit.  That place was hopping with Chip and Joanna fans.  It’s really more than just a shop.  It’s kind of an event.  The crowds and lines alone were reminiscent of a Disney park.  But, that didn’t stop us.  We squeezed our way through the doors and followed the flow of the crowd through the beautiful decor we have all swooned over.

fireplace

cotton wreaths

pillar candles

flower pot chandelier

signs

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metal sign

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Something I loved was that while the girls were doing the shopping thing, the boys went outside to the astroturf field to play soccer and corn hole. Genius, Chip and Jo!

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Once we had our fill inside the shop, lunch was only a few feet away.  Food trucks lined the property.  We had choices varying from rice bowls and crepes to pizza and sweet tea fried chicken.

I was impressed by the whole package Magnolia Market had to offer.  I hear they even have live music from time to time.  While I was expecting to see more antique pieces or one-of-a-kind finds at the shop, it was fun seeing a lot of the decor they use on the show.  And of course, it gave me lots of ideas for doing some DIY pieces!

Have a great weekend!

Steph