Archive for the ‘CELEBRATIONS’ Category

Be My Valentine!

P1070225Dear Romantics,

I’m just popping in to wish you all a beautiful Valentine’s Day! Won’t you join me in a cuppa cherry tea and a little ‘spring dreaming’…


“They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything.” Bill Keane


“There’s a long life ahead of you and it’s going to be beautiful as long as you keep loving and hugging each other.” Yoko Ono


I just love anything under a glass cloche!P1070232

And, I love decorating with florals and birds and watering cans and… Lol  It just makes me happy!P1070229Are you longing for a glimpse of spring like I am? I was sifting through some old photos this morning and came upon these few, so I thought I would share them with you. If you, too, have cold temperatures and lots of snow where you live, then I hope these images will bring you some warmth today.


Do you like to add little touches of whimsy to your table settings? What fun!P1070224

Of course, the china pattern is “Apple Blossom”, one of my favourites.  I know many of you share this particular dish love. My talented friend Maria makes these amazing sugar cookies.  Aren’t the teeny marshmallow hearts so sweet, too!P1070144“A little romance with one’s tea is good for the soul, I think…don’t you!” XOXOXO


I love it whenever you take a few moments to stop by and am so appreciative of every second you are here. Wishing you a beautiful day filled with love, romance and chocolate and a wonderful week ahead!

Cheers, Linda

I am joining the party today at A Return to LovelinessFriends Sharing TeaShare Your Cup ThursdaySimple and Sweet FridayShabbilicious Friday, Fridays UnfoldedHome Sweet HomeShow and Tell, Show Off Saturday, What To Do WeekendsPink Saturday, Amaze Me Monday, Inspiration Monday, Creative Mondays, Much Ado About Monday, Tea Time Tuesday, Tuesdays At Our Home, Friends Sharing Tea, Wordless Wednesday, WoW Us WednesdayHome and Garden Thursday.


Pink Trees and Cherry Tea!


Happy Spring,

Dear Friends!

Today, I am steeping one of my favourite teas – Kyoto Cherry Rose scented with natural cherry and rose flavours.  It is pale yellow in colour with a heavenly aroma and sweet taste.

Would you like a cuppa in my prized vintage China pattern? “Apple Blossom” is a stunning profusion of pink-petaled apple trees.  I LOVE this pattern!  I found it when I wasn’t looking at a roadside antiques barn while vacationing on Prince Edward Island a few summers ago! It was such a thrilling and unexpected find. Isn’t that always the way! I think I must have danced right out the door with my newspaper-wrapped bundles of joy! I hope one day to stumble across a matching teapot to complete the set.  I will just have to keep on treasure hunting…

I LOVE this pattern’s history in that it was insightfully commissioned in the early 1960’s by the Chair of Nova Scotia’s Apple Blossom Festival, then in just its second year. This enduring pattern is an artist’s rendition of springtime in Annapolis Valley when the apple blossoms are exploding all over the countryside. All these years later, the festival remains a much-loved annual tradition there.

I LOVE, too, pink-flowering trees! But you probably could have guessed that already? Each spring, I make a special pilgrimage to a particular street in the heart of our city that is lined with gracious century-old homes on handsome, mature lots.  One home on the street stands out from the rest.  Along its perimeter marches a legion of stately Japanese Cherry trees.  Their entangled branches, thickly laden with exquisite fluffy pink blooms, reach way out over the hefty black fence that rings the property, and bend down to the street like low-hanging frothy clouds of cotton candy!  Delicious, pure pink abundance!  My feet and heart always dance together at the sight.  It makes my day every time!

P1070224Wherever these frothy pink specimens grow in abundance, there is an intense ‘Bloom Watch’ and visitors queue by the hundreds to see the magic of the cherry trees unfurl in a fleeting spectacular show of renewal. Their pink vapour of nature’s perfection fill the landscapes with intense beauty, wonderment and emotion.

To the Japanese, the fallen petals of the cherry blossom symbolize a soldier who has died in battle long before his time. But Spring blooms also represent strength, rebirth and hope for the future…

Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow!” She was so right about that. To plant pink trees is to beautify our communities and to help grow a future without breast cancer…I believe! The seeds of Pink Days In Bloom’s “The Pink Tree Project” in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Atlantic Region are just beginning to be sowed…

Those of you who have been following my blog for some time already may know that I am a breast cancer “Thriver” and that when I was on medical leave a few years ago recovering from treatments, I decided to combine my love of gardening with the overwhelming need to do something, anything, to help fight this disease in some way…

0001GpHere are several links to some of the articles about Pink Days In Bloom in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Atlantic Region that appeared in our local newspaper last year. It’s a bit of a story and I think these next few articles probably best summarize how the seed was first planted and how it has continued to grow and flourish with the support of an amazing group of like-minded, dedicated volunteers and a caring business community:
PHOTO:  Pink Days In Bloom’s Signature Garden Faeries ‘Hope’ and ‘Invincibelle’ with O’Brien’s Boat Tours‘ mermaid mascot, Miss Shell, during ‘Pink Days In Bloom On the Sea!’ in the Town of Bay Bulls last summer…
The Empress Hotel’s world- famous Tea Lobby is a glorious place to enjoy a spot of tea!  You can see some photos of this grand lady in my previous post, THE ELEGANT EMPRESS.
During “Pink Tree Day in the Park” and “Tea Sea-to-Sea” on June 8, at the same hour that we will be planting a pink-flowering tree in Bowring Park, one of our city’s most cherished parks, here St. John’s, Newfoundland on Canada’s East Coast, our dear friends at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia on the Country’s West Coast will also plant a pink “sister” tree on their hotel grounds.
And, while we are celebrating and FUNdRaising over tea and champagne at The Bungalow, The Empress team will host a Pink Days In Bloom Tea of their own and “Sip in Support”. Isn’t that AWESOME!  
On June 8th, you, too, can pick up your cup in support, whether on your iPad, in the office, at the kitchen table, by the pool or wherever you happen to be via a Virtual Tea!  I would love it if you could join us. Simply brew your favourite cuppa and click:  Ask your family, friends and co-workers to join in, too. It’s that easy!
For TWITTER LOVERS:  On June 8th, Tweet about your tea experience at #PinkDaysInBloom and your Tweets can be seen by guests of The Empress on a screen near their world-famous Tea Lobby, bringing us all even closer together in ‘growing’ a future without breast cancer!
I am so excited about this next beautiful event! THANK YOU to our dear friends at The Empress for sharing in the cause! Please show them your LOVE! ‘Like’ The Empress on Facebook. Or, visit them at to discover their fabulous get-away packages and legendary afternoon teas…If you haven’t visited The Empress and Victoria yet, it’s a must to add to your bucket list!
Read all about this exciting and meaningful event below! I hope it will help explain why I have been away from my blog these past few months!
I have met so many beautiful people on this journey. Thank you Proven Winners for the ‘Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea’ – a tough plant that is working hard to find a cure, to all the committed volunteers and amazing supporters.  Without you, it would not be possible.  It means so very much to me and so many others. XO  I hope you will join us wherever you are on June 8th for pink trees and cherry tea and for HOPE, AWARENESS AND SUPPORT!
I hope you enjoy the photos of pretty china and the pink tree cookies made by my sweet friend Maria of Petite Sweet! Thank you so much for taking precious time out of your day to visit with me. Please leave your beautiful footprint to let me know that yo were here, and so I can visit you in return!  XO
Wishing you a beautiful day and Happy Mother’s Day weekend,


 Please ‘Like’ Pink Days In Bloom on Facebook.


P1070144P1070147P1070151P1070163P1070153A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water. – Ancient Chinese proverb



Hope yours is a blue-sky kind of day…

I’m happy to be sharing today in honour of Mother’s Day at Inspiration Monday, Make It Pretty Monday, Tea Time Tuesday, Return to LovelinessMartha’s Favourite, The Scoop, Inspire Me Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Do Tell Tuesday, What’s It Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, Wake UpWednesdayWhat We Accomplished Wednesday, Before and After WednesdayHope in Every SeasonCottage Style Party, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Simple and Sweet FridayFeathered Nest Friday,  Show and Tell Friday, Fabulously Creative Friday, Shabbilicious Friday, Saturday Show OffWhat To Do WeekendsPink SaturdayThe Charm of Home, Bouquet of Talent!

Romantic Easter

Dear Friends,

It’s end of day and I am just steeping a cup of chamomile tea.  Would you like to join me?  It’s hard to imagine that Easter has nearly passed, particularly since the ground here is still covered in a blanket of white.  It has been snowing on and off over the past few days. This morning the roads were icy and treacherous in places.  Today, it was less like Easter and more like Christmas with a long weekend, shovelling, church services, family gatherings, roast turkey, wrapped gifts and chocolate.  Lots of chocolate. Our family and neighbours were even exchanging tongue-in-cheek greetings of “Merry Christmas!”  It was as if time had stood still and we hadn’t moved past the 25th of December!  Sigh.



PHOTO:  Aren’t these Easter cookies glorious?  They are sugar cookies made by my new friend Maria.  She is a genius when it comes to creating these confections for holidays and special occasions.  They are truly ‘Works of Heart’.  I was so excited that she was able to make me a batch for Easter gift giving.  She even packaged them individually in cello bags and tied them with pretty ribbons.  

My hubby and I were grateful to be able to enjoy a delicious dinner with my sister, niece and her beautiful family.  We had lots of laughs.  My niece Janell’s children are Lily, age 2, and Victoria, age 9.  They are always entertaining and just a barrel of fun.  They LOVED their Easter cookies! Lily’s first word when she spied them was, “WOW!” And, she ran to give me a big hug!  I hope you celebrated and enjoyed your time with loved ones as well.


I am enjoying an Easter vignette in a teeny corner of my kitchen tonight while sipping a cuppa. My husband has gone to bed. I decided to stay up for awhile to wind down after the day’s festivities and savour the quietness of the house. Our cat, Monza, is nearby cozily curled up in his basket and snoozing away. I think I can hear him snoring!  The cat. Not hubby.

I am loving the way the chandelier prisms refract the light and cast shadows on the wall at this time of night. A lamp stands on the pine dresser re-purposed as a sideboard. The glow from it is almost ethereal and bathes the entire room in its warmth. I thought I’d share with you some photos of the Easter decor before it goes away for another year…
I love the soft colour palette, touches of lovely pale blue, celadon, peachy pinks and creamy whites. Rabbits and roses, birdhouses and candles are whimsical touches that are lovely at any time of year. The subtle sparkle from the chandelier really adds that touch of glamour to an otherwise simple spring setting. I hope you don’t mind that the light is low and I let the pictures do the talking.  I need to sleep now…

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I just want to tell you how touched I am by all the lovely comments you left on my last post, Easter Blessings!  I am so glad you enjoyed it. I was really quite surprised by the number of visits it received! And, thank you for coming to see me tonight, too! Sweet dreams of Easter…

Wishing you a beautiful start to a new week,


I am joining A Return to Loveliness, Make It Pretty MondayMop It Up Monday, Met Monday, Mosaic Monday, Mod Mix MondayCreative Blogger, Teatime Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Make the Scene Monday, Cottage Style Easter/Spring Party, Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Tuesdays at Our Home, Tweak it TuesdayMartha’s FavouritesTabletop TuesdayWhat’s It Wednesday, Friends Sharing Tea, Cottage Style Party, Primp Your Style, Wordless Wednesday, Be Inspired, Whatever You Want Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, What We Accomplished Wednesday,  Blissful White Wednesday, Wholehearted Home, Outdoor Wednesday, Show and Share, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Pearls and Lace Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Transformation Thursday, Homemaking Linkup, Thursday Favourite  Things, Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits, No Minimalist Here, Feathered Nest Friday, Shabbylicious Friday, Fabulous Creative Friday, Home Sweet Home, Show and Tell Friday, Be Inspired, Open House at Bernideen’s, Pink Saturday, Saturday Show Off , What To Do Weekends, Seasonal Sunday and Sunny Simple Sunday!

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Easter Blessings!

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are having a lovely day. It’s spring! Does it feel like spring where you are?  I’m just popping by briefly to bring you a big beautiful bouquet of wonderfully warm wishes for a sublimely special Easter! I’m practicing my alliteration skills. Lol I was browsing through some old photo albums the other day, and with Easter fast approaching,  I thought that I would share these with you.  


A white rabbit appeared on the dresser in my kitchen! At first there was one…

Although most of our snow has already melted away and the sunlit days are lengthening, I have yet to see a crocus braving its sweet head above the soil.  There are no bird choirs rehearsing and just a few mornings ago, we awoke to a little snowfall that softly blanketed the lawns and streets. Thankfully, it left as quickly as it came. It’s cold here still and there is more snow in the forecast. The mercury is slowly climbing and so what happens to fall shouldn’t last long. Fingers crossed. Like many of you, I am done with winter. And, so I am sharing a decidedly floral theme to help brighten your day and warm your heart…   


Mr. Rabbit sits on a wicker basket filled with accoutrements for the perfect picnic!

I hope you don’t mind that these photos are not of ‘the real thing’.   Could you tell? Of course, there is no substitute for natural flowers but whenever I see a flattering imitation of a real bloom, I can’t help but scoop it up to use in my displays and projects, particularly my garden/tea wreaths.  I love crafting them for gifts and fundraisers.  (Click “A Garden Tea Wreath” for some beautiful inspiration.)


A gorgeous winged creature and a teeny watering can adorn my garden/tea wreath.

Many of these blossoms may look familiar to those of you who drop by regularly. They have been recycled from a ‘Surprise Wedding’ that I planned a few years ago for a co-worker. Yes, I did say, ‘Surprise!’ Have I peaked your curiousity? Well, you can read all about it here, if you like, at (The Gift of A Wedding)!  What delightful memories! Even though these flowers are ‘Everlasting’, I think they are very cheerful.  They bring a smile to my face every time I see them and I hope they will bring one to yours, too! Can you spot the real flowers amongst the imposters in the photos below?


Broken bits of china peep out from the delicate ferns and rose leaves.


This china cup with a rose motif is perfect for this symbol of welcome.

What comes to mind when you think of Easter?

  • Decorated eggs hung on tree branches
  • Tulips, lilies and hyacinths artfully arranged, tied up in raffia 
  • Glittery greeting cards tucked inside minty aqua envelopes
  • Easter grass, chocolate rabbits, marshmallow peeps 
  • Names written on confection eggs, basketweave icing
  • Rainbows of jelly beans in carrot-shaped cello
  • Brightly woven baskets and pastel ribbons
  • Floppy-eared furry rabbits and fuzzy yellow little chicks
  • New skipping ropes, bubble wands, sidewalk chaulk and paint sets  
  • Beautiful spring mornings and wide-brimmed hats
  • Church bells and services at sunrise  
  • Family gatherings for a special feast  
  • Easter breads and hot cross buns fresh from the oven!
  • Outdoor egg hunts
  • The promise of renewed faith and hope 

Easter means many things to many people.  It is perhaps the oldest, most significant and most celebrated occasion of the Christian church.  The date varies each year falling somewhere between mid-March and late April. The symbolism and customs vary widely all over the globe.  Whatever the Easter season holds for you, may it be filled with love and joy and may you have the great gift of hope – and a little chocolate wouldn’t hurt either!

EnJOY, dear friends, and Happy Easter from Newfoundland!

Are you comfy in that chair? Here’s a plump little pillow for your back. While you are having a browse, would you like to share a cuppa ? I’ll put on the kettle. The tea won’t be but a few minutes brewing.  You pick the teapot!  I’m thrilled you came to visit…

Wishing you a beautiful day,


“The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.”  Robert Flatt


Mr. Rabbit appears in a corner of my kitchen every year around this time! The shelves of the wine rack are draped with leafy green garlands and blush silken roses peeping out here and there. In the photos below, a springtime wreath hangs on the wall and I arranged some flowers in a french bucket just for you!




A close-up of the blooms in the bucket…


A close-up of the spring wreath…


I do love the colours – they’re so uplifting!


There’s a rooster in just about every room in the house!


A garden faeries waits to return to her home in our garden.


A collection of tea books, a delicate nest and a packet of foxglove seeds hint to warmer days ahead.


Would you like to borrow a tea book?


Roosters sit on a re-purposed dresser in the kitchen. Can you see the reflection of the leafy trees in the glass picture frame?   The top pedestal was my great-grandmother’s.


A prettily decorated egg is being cautiously watched.  Can you guess what the birdie will look like when it hatches? Lol


Can you see the oval rose-patterned platter on the easel behind the Tea Library?


A three-cup teapot sits at the feet of a prized garden fairy and an attentive frog.


A whimsical teapot, a fairy shoe and a wee purse!


A lovely coffee pot…


This round rose-strewn cake plate is my favourite!


Pick a pot!


Another collection of beautiful books!


Would you prefer instead a glass of wine?


I love this decorative tin can!


The rose in the print is so similar to the roses on my tea wreath!


This gorgeous set has 6 matching teacups, saucers and side plates.


On another day, I will show you my collection of pink porcelain heart-shaped teacups (18 of them) that are the same colour as the teacup in this photo. LOVE!


This teapot is a Sadler. I love its lattice design and the roses that bloom on its face. The yellow jugs with pink lilies on the handles once belonged to my mom’s mother.


This teapot is over 100 years old and it weighs a ton! The sugar pot was made in Germany and its design is hand painted. Both are gold-trimmed.


The tiny framed photo of the olive tree was purchased in Provence where I toured with a friend some years ago.


My tulip wreath hangs on a half wall in the kitchen. The large jug is White Wheat ironstone and belonged to my mother-in-law’s mother. It, too, is over 100 years old.


I added a full-blown rose to the ringlet of budding tulips.


The milk-and-honey jug came from Winners.




Supermarket soup tureen


A tea set from Bowring (See post  “Life Can Be A Walk in the Park”)


Another tea set from Bowring, teacup print from HomeSense


A trivet from Winner’s


Love this tiny ‘chocolate’ bunny


Bird condo


I am addicted to teapots!


Hmmm…What a great cuppa!


The tulips are real. The rabbit is not.


Isn’t this a cute little bunny plate?


Did you choose a teapot yet? Or, would you prefer the-Tea-for-One pot?


This gorgeous butterfly candle always lifts my spirits.



Would you like a ‘Cuppa Cookie’?


Sweet blessings!
Thank you for your beautiful footprints on my blog!
You are all awesome! XO
Hoppy Easter!

I’m thrilled to be joining Bernideen’s Tea Time, Creative BloggersA Return to Loveliness,  Cottage StyleBetween Naps on the PorchMop It Up Monday, Sunlit Sunday, Seasonal Sunday and Sunny Simple Sunday, Teatime Tuesday, Teacup Tuesday, Tabletop Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,  One Project At A Time, What’s It Wednesday. Friends Sharing Tea, Cottage Style, Primp Your Stuff, Wow Us Wednesday, Wordless WednesdayWhat We Accomplished Wednesday, Blissful White Wednesday, Be Inspired, Pearls and  Lace Thursday, Home and Garden ThursdayTreasure Hunt Thursday. Creative Things Thursday, Thursday Favourite ThingsFine Craft Guild, Feathered Nest Friday, Fabulously Creative Friday, Home Sweet Home, Open House Party,  Open House, Show and Share, Show and Tell, ShabbyliciousInspiration Gallery, Simple and Sweet Friday, Tips, Tidbits and Tutorials, Favourite Photo Friday, Thrifty Things FridayBe Inspired, Pink Saturday, Easter Show Off and Easter Party Cottage StyleCreative Blog Hop, Homemaking Link Up and The Tablescaper!!

To Lift Your Christmas Spirit High!

Merry Greetings, Everyone!

This AMAZING commercial is so beautiful and heartwarming that I just had to share it with you all. Be prepared to get up and move! Get your ‘happy’ on and share the love…

Enjoy! Happy, happy Christmas,

PS. I will have at least one more very special (Christmas Tea and Tour) post before Christmas, so stay tuned, my friends.

A Fear-Free Fright Night!

Halloween countdown banner


Well, folks, the Halloween chill is in the air.  Orange and black (and purple) are everywhere and, in just a few days, pirates, princesses, action heroes, and monsters big and small will be filling our residential streets and knocking on doors hoping for treats.  Amidst all the fun and excitement, we need to recall our safety rules for this special night.  Although, we’ve likely heard it all before, it can’t hurt to be reminded and might even save a life if we all were to follow these familiar guidelines…

Remember that on Halloween our pets need to be safe, too.

Please keep them inside on Halloween night – there will be lots of scary characters out and about, as well as traffic, and loud, unfamiliar noises that might cause them stress.  
And be sure that your pets are wearing identification collars in case they happen to slip through the door when you open it to trick-or-treaters.  If at all possible, keep them comfortable in another part of the house to prevent this from happening.

My grandniece Victoria a couple years ago in her "good witch" costume outside our front door...


  • Reflective, Reflective, Reflective  – The 3 R’s of Halloween dressing for trick-or-treaters.  You can add strips or shapes of reflective tape to trick-or-treat bags and costumes to make your little goblin more visible.
  • Flame Resistant – Check labels on costumes and wigs to ensure they are fire retardant.
  • Warm Wear – Thermal underwear underneath costumes is perfect for cool-weather haunting.
  • Fit-Well Footwear – Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and falls and are not restrictive to movement.
  • Make-up  Not Masks:  Non-toxic/hypoallergenic creative face make-up and festive hats or decorative headbands are a safer alternative to masks that can interfere with your goblins’ vision at night.


  • Have a full “spooky” dinner before heading out to trick-or-treat. Children will be less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them if they’ve already eaten a satisfying meal.
  • Flashlights for Everyone  – Load them with fresh batteries for trick-or-treaters and for chaperones.
  • Make a Plan – A parent should plan the route for a well-known neighbourhood, and a responsible adult should always accompany young ghouls and goblins and stick to the route. Stay in a group – trick-or-treating together is more fun anyway! Walk slowly and communicate to each other where next you are going along the pre-planned route.  Remain only on well-lit streets and only approach homes that have a porch light on.
  • NEVER approach or enter a stranger’s car for a treat.

    Falling for fall - a happy Jack-O-Lantern outside a home that I admire...(This photo was taken a couple of years ago. I submitted it with another below and it recently appeared in our local newspaper!)

  • NEVER enter a stranger’s home for a treat.
  • ALWAYS walk and don’t run across a street.
  • Walk only on sidewalks and facing oncoming traffic.
  • Use only crosswalks or an intersection when crossing the street.
  • Don’t  dart in and out between parked cars.
  • Avoid shortcuts between back alleys and back yards. Stay on main streets where there are streetlights and plenty of other  residential lighting.
  • Save the rollerblading, skateboarding or bicycling for another time.
  • Ensure kids understand NOT to eat the candy they collect until a parent has had a chance to check through it all.
  • Everyone who is old enough should know their home address and phone number in case they happen to get lost.
  • Someone in the group should have a cell and parents should have the cell phone number.
  • 911 can be dialed FREE from any phone.

A smiling Jack-O-Lantern that hangs outside our front door...


Sailing by a pumpkin patch...This photo also appeared in our a local newspaper earlier this week!

  • Leave the pumpkin carving (with sharp knives) to the adults.  It’s much safer to just let the kids scoop out the pumpkin and simply draw a face on it, or use stickers and sequins especially for this purpose (Michael’s).
  • Battery-powered jack o’ lantern candles/lights are safer than candles. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended and always keep them far away from drapes, flammable materials such as paper or fabric decorations, or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.
  • Take a few moments beforehand to remove any tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check your property for overturned flower pots, overgrown shrubbery, broken or low-hanging tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to trick or treaters.
  • SLOW DOWN and drive below the posted speed limit, if necessary.
  • Be on the look-out as early as 4:00 pm for tiny ghouls and goblins, especially near intersections and crosswalks, and also watch for them darting into the streets in their excitement.
  • Drive sober.
  • Report to the police anyone whom you think might be driving impaired.
  • Buckle up.
Wishing you a Safe and Spooktacular Halloween!
Warm hugs,

A ‘Royal-Tea’ Watch Party!

SOMETHING BLUE: Just one of many versions of commemorative crockery of the Royal Wedding, this particular one is a charming palest blue pattern reminiscent of Victorian times. Click on the photo to take you to "Lovers of Blue and White China Antique" online shop...NOTE: THIS PHOTO KEEPS CHANGING WITH THE COMPANY'S LATEST OFFERINGS and it may no longer show the commemorative china. You may have to check it out on the site!

Welcome To You, My Lovelies!

The tea is steeping and your chair is waiting…as are people the world over, waiting with great anticipation for the majestic royal nuptials of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales to Miss Catherine Middleton on Friday, April 29th, albeit long miles and many time zones away.

Blimey! Wear your Union Jack PJs – television coverage starts outrageously early. The church ceremony begins about 6 AM Eastern Time (7:30 AM NT). You’d better check your local listings because the ringing of the church bells and all the pomp will start even earlier, about 2 AM Eastern Time (3:30 AM NT).  If you happen to have a rooster or two (I adore Rhode Island Reds), keep ’em nearby – that is, if you’re planning to watch it on live TV cause you’ll need a sure-fire wake-up call!!!  Thank goodness for the wonderful invention of digital technology; it will make the ‘Royal-Tea Watch’ a whole lot easier! 

POSTAGE STAMPS PLUS: Click on the photo to take you to Canada Posts online shop for Royal Stamps plus more...

As anyone could have predicted, the upcoming Royal Wedding Day has created a production tornado of celebratory memorabilia from tableware to clothing, to flags and wacky face masks and candle snuffers in the couple’s likeness, to travel-to-the-royal-wedding kits and Canadian postage stamps.  The stamps can be pre-ordered but you shouldn’t have any trouble purchasing as they’ve been printed in the millions and millions!   Who knew?!  Simply click on the photo above to take you directly to Canada Post’s website for some ‘Royal’ online gift shopping.

TWININGS ROYAL WEDDING TEA  Since Royal Weddings and tea are iconically British, the Master Tea Blenders at Twinings have even concocted a limited edition Royal Wedding Tea Blend! Oh, how I wish I could get my hands on a teapotful to ‘suppa cuppa’ on the BIG day… The black tin tea caddy is ‘tastefully stunning’ with an image of an elegant, young brunette bride painted on it, together with couple’s monogram, their wedding date and place of ceremony.  The tea it holds is said to be a delicate blend – quite fittingly, a sparkling amber blend of a rare white Earl Grey  with touches of bergamot and rose petals. So that it may enjoyed and appreciated to the fullest, the Tea Masters recommend it as a tea best supped on its own (in its purest form without milk). Reportedly, the white tea – said to be the most delicate of all teas – signifies Kate’s wedding gown; while the infusion of rose petals represents the happy wedding confetti.

Click on the photo to take you to Twinings UK online shop...If you can find this tea locally, please let me know!

DID YOU KNOW?  Twinings is perhaps one of the oldest English tea companies. Twinings’ founder, Thomas Twining, is said to have opened the first tea room in the early 1700’s in London.  Twinings tea shop on The Strand has been operating since that time and also houses a museum of most unusual tea items from around the world. Several members of the Twinings ‘tea family’ are said to have helped to remove the tax on tea so that everyone could afford to drink it.  Twinings has supplied tea to the Royal Family since Queen Victoria appointed Twinings a ‘Royal Warrant’ holder in 1837 (as per

COULD YOU IMAGINE?!  Having been in the business of bliss for many years (now retired), it’s no surprise that I love a wedding (See my post The Gift of A Wedding), so I won’t want to miss the event being heralded as the wedding of the century!

It’s hard to imagine now that my hubby and I played a teeny part in Princess Anne’s visit to our fair city many moons ago.  It seems our wedding backdrops were required at our local Arts and Culture Centre to camouflage some rather unsightly vending machines that the Princess would be walking past en route to a room where she would be dining with dignitaries!!!

WEDDING BRUNCH No matter if you’re a royal watcher or not, it’s certainly wonderful to have any reason to celebrate life! Unless I can find a ‘Royal-Tea Watch’ at a tea room or Inn nearby :-), just for fun (while glued to the telly), the brunch fare at this house will be simple and light:

  • Champagne & Orange Juice
  • *”Buckingham Palace Garden Party” Black Tea – The same variety served by Her Majesty the Queen  at her Annual Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, available at *Britannia Teas (*Watch for an interview soon with ‘The Tea Queen’ on Water)  In the meantime, if I can track down Twinings Royal Wedding Tea that, too, will certainly be served in my most precious teapot 🙂 !
  • Mini Quiche Lorraine
  • Fresh-from-the-oven Scones with Cream and Jam
  • Cheese, Fruit and maybe even a few
  • Pink Champagne Cupcakes!!!

Don the fancy hats, hair frills – plumes, bows n’ all – and get in the spirit…Perhaps these YouTube videos of  past royal weddings just may inspire you!  Enjoy!







Silken old-fashioned rose blooms, crystals (from an old chandelier fixture), gilded antique-style heart ornaments (normally reserved for the Christmas tree), sheer gold-edged ribbons and diamond party confetti adorn the fairytale cake.

Thanks for dropping by, my friends!!!  Hope you all had a sweet Valentine’s Day!

I am sooo excited that you chose today to visit!  In honour of romantic February, the month of the rose, I thought I would

My kitchen table centerpiece...I like to use pedestal cake stands to elevate vignettes like this one to give them more oomph.

share the most precious fairytale – “The Gift of A Wedding”.  We all love happy endings and I am certain you’ll love this inspirational story!  And… it was captured on film (or should I say ‘digital’ – I’m telling my age), which makes it all the sweeter cause I know how y’all looove the photos.

Oops, in my excitement, I almost forgot to brew the ‘special’ tea I’ve selected for our visit, also in tribute to the dear rose – Celestial Seasonings’ ‘Vanilla Strawberry Rose’, a black tea deliciously flavoured with hints of cinnamon, natural vanilla, and strawberry – even rosebuds!  I love its packaging, so nice for gift giving.

And, I’m using my pretty rose-strewn Sadler teapot for the occasion (see photo below).  So, put up those cute toes and find yourself a comfy armchair.   I hope you enjoy our time together…

Sugar orchids, stephanotis and rosebuds dress the face of the bridal cake. It just seems to smile with delight!!

Winsome pink cabbage roses climb along the ivory trellis on this antique Sadler teapot. It was a serendipitous find many moons ago at Polyanna Antiques & Gallery in the Downtown. The 'sister' jugs in the foreground are from my mothers's cupboard. These ,what I like to call 'Time Travellers', are a little crazed-crackled now. Hint: I handle them with the utmost kindness, being careful never to run hot water directly over them, rather I just dip them gently in a warm sudsy bath in effort to prolong their gorgeous lives. They seem to really like it! 🙂

A wreath of lifelike florals, golden hearts and crystal chandelier prisms encircles the cake base.

One day last July, I had just come home from a chemotherapy treatment to find these glorious roses on my doorstep. They were a gift from the girls at the salon where I get my hair done (although I haven't been there in quite awhile - waiting for my hair to grow back). Those gals are real-life dolls and the blooms they sent cheered me on an otherwise dreary day...How very thoughtful! Kisses...

February is the month of the rose...How romantic!


“If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you’ve made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.”

Won't you join the celebration that is about to happen?!

A special chair is waiting just for you...


Because we are truly blessed

to be surrounded with the

love of family and friends,

It is with great honour and joy

that we invite you all

to share in witnessing

the beginning of our

new life together

as we exchange marriage vows

On this evening

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

At this place

At this very moment in time…

We are forever grateful

for your friendship

& support

Ed & Christina

“Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.”  Anonymous


“The Gift of  a Wedding”


Roses bloom prolificly over the tapestried screen and table covering, beautiful complements to those that adorn the bridal cake and topiary forms.

On March 3rd, 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn’t have time for that. I was busy preparing for a very special corporate event at my office – Employee Recognition Night (April 17th was to be the highlight of the year)  – oh, and ….a ‘SURPRISE WEDDING’ for one of my co-workers! I asked the surgeon to delay my mastectomy for a couple weeks. He agreed.  It was a blessing in disguise – planning the wedding – not the cancer. I’ll never say cancer was a blessing, no matter what I’ve learned, and am still learning, about myself or others.  It steals your bliss and robs you of your peace in life.  It changes everything forever. There’s no going back.  Enough about that. The wedding would be a wonderfully positive distraction at a time when I needed one most.

When I first heard the news that my friend and co-worker Ed had gotten engaged to his beautiful love, Christina, on Valentine’s Day,  I was elated! They are a lovely and kind couple, so deserving of every happiness in this life.

On the day I got the happy news, I was busy- as-a-bee planning the company’s annual night of recognition for its deserving employees.  About 180 persons had already confirmed their attendance.  Everyone was looking forward to an evening out.  And, despite what was going on in my own life,  I was determined to make each and every person who would be there feel special and appreciated by the company.  It’s a project I look forward to and take on with gusto every year.

While my mind was spinning with the details, I got to thinking about Ed and Christina’s romantic engagement.  What if…What if I were to approach Ed and invite him to have his and Christina’s wedding on the same night as our big corporate party?!

Crystal teardrop-shaped prisms and an antique hatpin are tucked in amongst the pink and yellow florals.

Thinking back to the company’s celebration of its employees the previous year, I had been announcing the names of individuals asking them to come to the front of the room to be recognized for their years of dedicated service.  Ed was among them. When he stepped forward to receive his gift from the company, I teased that since the tables had been sublimely appointed with flowers and candles; and since there was music to fill the air, and since we (his good friends and co-workers) were all here together; and since the Mayor was present to bring greetings on behalf of the City and could officiate was not THIS then the most PERFECT time, if not the most economical time, for he and Christina to be married?!!  Everyone laughed at what they thought at the time to be a great joke.

The seed had been growing in the back of my mind since that night back in April 2009.  I had left a message for Ed with our transit dispatch team for him to drop by my office to see me.  A couple days later, Ed appeared at the door to my office; a mischevious grin on his face a mile wide, which I should mention was not at all unusual for Ed.  He is a man who enjoys his life.  He always wears a mile-wide smile.  After, I congratulated him on his recent engagement, he could not wait to tell me again that he was engaged. We laughed and hugged.  His happiness could not be contained.

I immediately put the question to him that I’d been eager to ask him for a few days, “Ed, what would you say if I told you that if you and Christina would like to be married on Employee Appreciation Night, at the end of the award ceremonies, it could happen! Wouldn’t it be so great?!  Everyone would be there already!  I’d even ask the Mayor if he’d be willing to perform the ceremony! The dinner, the flowers, the music, the decorating – it would all be in place! I’d even design the invitations!  And everyone would be there!  We could keep it a total secret up until the very moment of the wedding.  You just leave it all to me.  Oh, Ed!  Wouldn’t it be so perfect!” I could hardly contain my excitement.

A fairytale comes true...

Ed immediately loved the idea and promised to consult with his new fiancé.  Now all I had to do was to convince my boss that it would be a beautiful thing for the company, too…

The rest, as ‘they’ say, is history…(Be sure to read the Telegram article below*).

The secret was well kept for the nearly six weeks leading up to Employee Recognition Night.  The night turned out to be in a word – WOW! People cheered.  People laughed.  People cried.  People embraced one another in the moment and all the love it held.  It was the most beautiful wedding I’d ever been a part of  and I’ve helped a few couples marry in my day!  (Secret:  I was a wedding consultant/site decorator/bridal-cake-maker for over 20 years.  I’ve since retired from the business.  Today it is a labour of love reserved for dear friends and family.)

The morning after the wedding, Ed and Christina drove to the bus stop at the Village Mall where Ed knew that some of his fellow bus drivers (who had been working their Saturday shifts the evening before) would soon be arriving.  They brought with them wedding cake and (non-alcoholic) champagne.  They revelled in telling the news! Although by that time – in fact within mere moments of the wedding – the news had spread clear across the country by phone text!

Apart from everyone in the company buzzing about it, the local newspaper and radio station covered the story.*  Ed and Christina’s wedding was the talk of the town for days after.   Everyone really does love a fairytale with a happy ending.  (FOR ALL THE HAPPY DETAILS, READ TELEGRAM, SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2010 ARTICLE BELOW*)


The 'Bella Vista's Green Room' looks fabulous all dressed in white.

Refined notes of white punctuated the entire room from the floor-length table skirts and sashed-covered chairs, to the blooming table centerpieces and glowing candles, to the pretty paper lanterns that hung from the ceiling and the fluffy marshmallows that filled oversized apothecary jars…the room was all alight with white!  The decor trick was in the details.  It could be an elegant corporate affair or, for that matter, a wedding.  Who knew?! No one…until “A Moment In Time”.

Whether I'm trimming a Christmas tree, or a setting for a wedding ceremony, I always do 'the squint test'! Giant champagne glasses (Michaels) hold tealights. Ya just gotta love it!

The blissful confection - a 'lovegift' to the newly married couple! Festooned with garlands of full-head roses, ribbons and crystals, the cake sparkles!

THE BRIDE WORE ‘QUIET ELEGANCE’ Actually, the bride wore pink!  My all-time favourite colour on this earth.  Christina looked nothing less than radiant in a sheath and 3/4-length sleeve jacket over top. Flattering her hair and complexion beautifully, the colour of her dress reminded me of the softest seashell.  The dresses worn by her willing attendants mirrored the ruffles in her own dress. The wedding was kept a secret even from the couples’ families until mere days before the wedding.  Ed’s daughter stood for him. Christina’s stood for her.  Considering both girls were told of their parents’ marriage plans only days before, they did a wonderful  job in pulling together ‘the look’ of the wedding party.

A beautiful floral scene is set on the edge of the room's dance floor. I can hear guests exclaim, "What a lovely backdrop for (award) picture taking!" No one is the wiser that a wedding will be happening on this very spot in just a few hours...I can barely stand the excitement!!!


I decided from the start to make the wedding cake myself.  A special gift of ornate layers of vanilla happiness; the cake was a lovely spectacle.  Its crowning glory was fashioned of silken full-blown roses, feathery ladyferns, rhinestones that winked in the candleglow and crystals that happily refracted the light.   Twining ivies,  twirling and swirling organdy ribbons and chandelier garlands enwreathed the cake’s base.  I’m sure I must have beamed with pride.  It was delicious, too.  Gracious goodness!

Chandelier garlands refract the candlelglow. Oh-so-romantic! Don't the flowers look real?!


I am a self-taught cake artist.  I use the term in the most casual sense.  I have never formally developed proper technique or cultivated the temperament required of a true cake artist.

Through the years, I’ve made many ‘dream cakes’ for brides.  I was first inspired by my mom-in law who made the cake for her son Eugene’s wedding to darling Jane some 28 years ago.  (I hadn’t started dating my husband then.  In fact, I went to that wedding with someone else!) What caught my eye back way back when (some 28 years ago) was the cakes my husband’s mom had lovingly made in celebration of the occasion.  The main bridal cake had an intriguing fountain that sat underneath its base and each of the bridesmaids had their own tasty creations, all wearing frocks of frosted cake to match their gowns – like giant placecards.  I’d never seen anything like it!

My mom-in-law had never had any formal training in cake decorating herself.  It was for her solely a labour of love. She was to convince me some years later, when I first started showing signs of interest in the craft, that I could do it, too.  I would never have attempted then what seemed to me to be an impossible task if it had not been for her encouragement and guidance.  Little did I know at the time that it would become a passion which eventually turned into a profitable business. The gift of my mom-in-law’s inspiration and confidence in my ability was to be a true inheritance.  Frosting a bridal cake has since become for me a kind of calming, creative and thoughtful process, even therapeutic when I am  ‘in the zone’.

BOUQUET OF HAPPINESS At my urging, Christina left all the wedding plans in my hands.  She trusted me and I was glad that she did.  Without knowing what the colour of her dress would be – she wouldn’t even find the perfect dress until just a few nights before the wedding – I selected a simple, sophisticated cluster of shell pink and cream peonies and tea roses, a gift to the bride from the groom.  The floral stems were daintily wrapped in a braid of satin ribbon and a glittery rectangular rhinestone buckle rested just beneath the fluffy blooms.  Petals were randomly studded with sparkly rhinestones, as were the silken blooms that festooned the cake.    Ooh, so pretty!

The wedding cake, yet to be revealed, is well hidden behind a stunning screen that will soon become the backdrop to a 'Surprise' wedding ceremony...Isn't it so exciting?!


I designed this tri-fold screen well over 20 years ago.  It was expertly cut and upholstered by Terry, a good friend of ours.  Its ‘home’ is normally along a wall in our living room (to camoflauge an ugly thermostat and box for the doorbell).  On the eve of the wedding, under the cover of darkness, it was relocated by my husband and the groom-to-be to the Bella Vista’s soon-to-be-transformed banquet room.  The rose-strewn tapestry was the perfect backdrop for such an occasion.  Draped with lush garlands of English ivy and maiden hair ferns, old-fashioned cabbage roses and tiny twinkling fairy lights, it served as a beautiful focal point in the room where the ceremony would take place.   The instant after the Mayor pronounced Ed and Christina to be “man and wife”, the celebration cake was swiftly brought on its festooned table from behind the screen!  My husband deftly carried the cake table on one side while my boss’ husband supported it on the opposite side.  Great footwork, clever husbands!

———————————————————————————————————————————————*The Telegram, Saturday, April 24, 2010  BY DANETTE DOOLEY / SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM

AWARDS NIGHT TURNS INTO NIGHT OF NUPTIALS – Metrobus plays host to unique wedding

More than 200 people attending the St. John’s Transportation Commission’s annual employee appreciation night at the Bellavista Saturday had their curiosity peaked when given a sealed envelope and cautioned not to look inside until told to do so.  “After everyone had an envelope in their hands, they were instructed to open them, in unison, on a count of 1, 2, 3. There was laughter and well wishes,” says commission executive assistant Linda Ryan, when people realized the envelopes contained a wedding invitation from Metrobus driver Ed Grouchy and his finance Christina Byrne.

“Smiles turned into dropped jaws,” Ryan says, “as people read down through the invitation and realized that the wedding was to take place “on this evening, at this place, in this very moment in time.”

Ryan, a retired wedding consultant/decorator, was the instigator behind the surprise.  Grouchy has been a Metrobus driver for over two decades.  “He’s a humourous man, well liked by his co-workers,” Ryan says.  “Everyone had been teasing him and asking him when he was getting married, some even volunteered to be ring bearers and they really wanted to be at his wedding one day soon.”

Ryan pitched the wedding idea to Grouchy while planning the employee appreciation night.  Once the couple agreed, plans moved quickly.  The wedding took place immediately following the awards ceremony which included another surprise – the recognition of six employees (Grouchy included) with a new award.  Wow! Awards are based on feedback from customers as well as employees.

The couple got hitched, without a hitch.  “The DJ played “Here Comes The Bride” as I passed along the bouquet to the bride and the boutonniere was pinned on the groom,” Ryan recalls.  St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe performed the ceremony.  The couple danced their first dance as husband and wife to Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On.”

The wedding cake (a gift from Ryan) soon appeared from behind a screen where it had been hidden throughout the evening.  Champagne was served.  The couple cut the cake to the beautiful song “At Last” by Etta James.

“It was a moment in time that everyone will always remember, a real fairytale wedding,” Ryan says.


Grouchy met Byrne while driving his bus.  She is a regular passenger and the two chatted often. They got together, for the first time, on Boxing Day four years ago.

“It was Ed’s hard-nosed, straight-faced exterior and his soft, teddy bear interior that intrigued me,” Byrne said during an intrview at their home just days after the wedding.

Byrne works for the provincial government.  Both are from St. John’s.  This is the second marriage for them both.  Grouchy has a daughter.  She stood for him at the wedding.  Byrne has a daughter and a son.  Her daughter stood for her.  Her son lives outside the province and was not at the wedding.

Sitting next to each other on the sofa, Grouchy is content to let his bride talk about their initial reaction when Ryan brought up the subject of a surprise wedding.  “I thought it was so nice for them to offer to do that for us.  I told Ed they must think a lot about him,”  Byrne says placing her hand on Grouchy’s knee.  After thinking about the offer for a couple of days, Byrne said she began having second thoughts.  “Really, it was their (Commission employees) celebration, not ours.”  The pros, however, outweighed the cons.  They decided to go for it.

The reaction of Grouchy’s co-workers when they read the invitation will stay with them both for years, Byrne says.  “I don’t know who was more surprised (with their responses to the invitation) them or us.  They were all clapping.  Some of them were crying.  I looked at Ed and he looked at me.  He was ready to bawl.  The whole thing was so beautiful and overwhelming, much more than I expected.”

“It was Ed’s hard-nosed, straight-faced exterior and

his soft teddy-bear interior  that intrigued me.”

New bride Christina Byrne

When contacted by telephone about the ceremony, Metrobus General Manager Judy Powell said the wedding was one of the most romantic she’s ever attended.  “Ed is so fondly thought of here at Metrobus.  He does a lot for people here and he does a lot to represent Metrobus out in the community with different volunteer groups.  It was an honour for us to do this for them both.”  /


I am excited to be sharing this post as one of my favourites for 2011 at Michelle Ravin Designs for Primp My Stuff and The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home.  I was honoured that Sherry at The Charm of Home featured my post “A Christmas Tea, Tour and More” last week on her beautiful blog.  Thank you Sherry!

Thanks for stopping by my lovelies.  Every day should be Valentine’s Day…

After cutting the 'Celebration Cake', the newlyweds steal a romantic kiss...

'An Evening of Cake, Champagne and Roses'...

A single white mum floats in a large martini glass. Smaller 'satellite' martini glasses hold floating candles. White votives are reflected in the mirror at their base, doubling the images of the candles and creating a beautiful ambient light. Diamond-and-crystal-star confetti completes the elegant setting.

Economical mirror tiles from the hardware store, martini glasses generously loaned by the caterer, white floating and votive candles (from Michaels), and fresh white spider mums and roses from the grocer combine with diamond table confetti to create stunning centerpieces! You can almost feel the magic in the air...

Giant-sized champagne flutes (Michaels) hold tiny tea lights. What a pretty picture!

A giant celebratory toast! The glassed are filled with 'The Champagne of Gingerale'. How cool is that!

Tone-on-tone antique gold tapestry covers the tri-fold screen and the cake table. I remember carrying an entire bolt of the fabric, for what seemed to be miles, along Young Street in Toronto to my hotel on what must have been the hottest day of the summer that year. I later carried it onto the plane for the trip home to Newfoundland. That was a long time ago! Try boarding a plane today with a bolt of fabric under one arm and a table lamp under the other - it would never happen! 🙂

A beguiling garland of faux cedar, fern and ivy is studded with the occasional rose bloom and cascades over a 41/2-foot tall column that resembles an oversized cake pillar! The column was designed and crafted locally by a talented carpenter. I'm sure even 'Wilton' would envy it! 🙂

Crystal teardrops (that do double duty as Christmas tree ornaments) are twined through the floral garlands for a touch of pure luxe!

White twinkling fairy lights cast a magical spell...Who can resist the romance in the air tonight?

Luscious layers of vanilla pound cake studded with fresh bing cherries. The crowning layer was yummy-in-the-tummy carrot cake. Good thing the Easter rabbit wasn't around!

The flowers looked so real. Enchanted guests put their noses close and tried to smell them! Now, that's a bunch of fresh-looking blooms...Mission accomplished!

An artfully arranged mass of stunning lifelike blooms: pink and chartreuse hydrangeas, creamy pink peonies (similar to those in the bride's bouquet), yellow, pink and white roses, stargazer lilies, English ivies and maidenhair ferms - all spill over the top of a white fibreglass urn. The urn only looks as though it's made of heavy iron! It is actually very light and super easy to transport. This vessel will be transplanted to my garden come springtime.

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