What I Love About Afternoon Tea!

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Hello!

Last October, when I stayed at my mom’s work while she recovered from her second surgery, my nana and I got to have a lot of fun together and one of the things we both got to enjoy was a theme dinner there at the nursing home.

Gail who works in the activities department explained to us that they try to have four different themes in a year. She and the other girls decorate the different dining rooms and they plan with the chefs of a meal that would go with that particular theme. The one I got to enjoy was “Serenade At The Seven Seas” or something like that. I liked it. I also loved trying the different courses, but the other ladies were a bit mixed though!

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The theme was called “My Fair Lady” and I guess the ladies in the activities department decorated the dinning rooms and made feathered hats or “bonnets” for the female residents! She took pictures and even wrote out the menu of what they served to the residents! I was going to use the one she made, but it had some spelling mistakes so I just redid it – later I realized I could have spelling mistakes on mine! Funny how they works!

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They also had a little tea party too!

According to Gail, in the film a couple of characters host a party and they decided to recreate that with the residents, so they decorated the large activity room with very pretty and colorful table clothes and had these beautiful centerpieces in the middle of them. They looked very vintage but yet modern too! They also made the ladies hats with feathers and ribbons in crafts. My nana really loved that, but as you can see apparently so did Alex!

28535342_1768924659838523_1707063689_nIn 2016, I actually wanted to have an afternoon tea themed birthday party. I had so many ideas that I wanted to do. I wanted to decorate my grandparent’s kitchen table with different fabrics, and since my birthday is like the day after Halloween, I knew my nana had a large black table liner and I thought if we put that on the table itself and laid out a red runner in the middle that way it wouldn’t look too dark and gloomy for the party!

Over the course of the last two years, I’ve actually wondered what I’d serve to this tea party if I ever had one! Since I read so many of my fellow blogger friends going to afternoon tea at different hotels or just plainly at home with their family members and/or close friends., I’ve been able to figure out what all is served, and I’ve grown to love the three teared stand of food that is laid out on the table. The first thing they give you is your tea. However, I’m like the 1% that doesn’t like coffee or tea, so I’m more interested in finding a good lemonade recipe. My mom actually made a homemade strawberry lemonade last year, where she let the strawberries sit out in the juice overnight to allow the flavors to marinate together. I’m kind of partial to anything raspberry, so whenever I see a “raspberry lemonade” on a menu at a restaurant, I instantly order it! So I’d rather have a raspberry lemonade instead.

As much as I’ve gathered, you usually start with the sandwiches, they are usually placed on the bottom and bigger tear. The traditional flavors are egg salad, smoked salmon and cumber all cut in small bites so they look more dainty, and they always have the crusts cut off! Now I look on Pinterest for other ideas to make this a little bit more casual, so I am curious about creating a sandwich or two as some kind of wrap or pinwheel–using the traditional plain tortilla or having a variation of spinach or whole wheat!

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On the second tear you had the scones, which apparently in the states we say the word completely wrong! I’d explain on how it’s really pronounced but I don’t even know how to describe it, so I apologize there.

I have actually seen quite a few of my favorite chefs make scones on their television programs, so I already know of some different kinds I’d like to try out. I also know that when you’re making them for the first time, they’re suppose to be crumbly, so there’s nothing wrong with them, that’s just how they’re meant to be! Ree Drummond created the Maple Oat Nut Scones after not being able to visit a Starbucks where she lives; they look really good! The way she described them on her show The Pioneer Woman they taste like a biscuit type of pancake, because it has a strong taste of maple syrup! However, I think I would have to keep the coffee out of it! And then there’s a Cheddar and Dill Scone recipe from Ina Garten, she’s made this with both cheddar and a Stilton, which is like a stronger blue cheese! She’s very inspired by French food and had a gourmet food store back in the day, so she’s figured out different ways to make a good savory scone!

28536475_1768924629838526_1468751189_nNow the real question is what would I do about the clotted cream and jam that they serve alongside the scones itself? I know we don’t have the traditional clotted cream or nobody makes it to that level as the British, so the next best choice to have would either be mascarpone or cream cheese! Personally, I’ve never been in jam or perseveres, so I wouldn’t necessarily put it out as an option if it was only me, but if I had a group of people, I’d probably get a small jar of strawberry or blueberry jam, but for those who want to be really adventurous they can try out the marmalade. You know, I love the smell of that stuff because it’s like oranges, but I have never tried it before and if it was put out there on the table, I probably would like to try a small dab of it.

As far as the top layer of the stand, my thoughts have differed, sometimes I think a very casual take on decorative cupcakes would work out very nicely! You could make minis so they’d fit on the tear better. However if you wanted to add a fun twist to them, like stuffing them, it wouldn’t necessarily work on the tiny ones. I’ve noticed I keep looking into French pastries. You’d think I’ve been watching too much Ina Garten lately! So the possibility of having macrons, which is something that is on my food bucket list (yes, I do have one those! I actually need to work on that soon!) and there’s the tarts or tarlets you can make, like the Mini Raspberry Tarts that Julia Baker made on her TV show! These were so cute and seemed really easy to make! If you’re a chocoholic, in which I sort of am, you need a couple of good chocolate desserts too! Truffles would be a good idea, as you can just eat it in one bite! You could dip strawberries in chocolate or make little pote de creme (puddings!) in mason jars too.

There doesn’t seem like there’s a right or wrong way to create your own afternoon tea! If you’re interested in learning and seeing what is actually served at the teas in the United Kingdom, I have compiled a list of favorite blog posts for you! I hope you have enjoyed this post!

A Candy Shop Afternoon Tea at Conrad St. James – Lux Life | Love Is In The Air at Langham London’s Valentine’s Afternoon Tea – Fresh And Fearless | Afternoon Tea at Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour – Little Miss Katy | Afternoon Tea at Rockcliffe Hall – This Northern Gal | Sweet Treats: Glam Rock Afternoon Tea at K West Hotel & Spa – AbsolutelyLucy

Have you ever attended an afternoon tea before? If you have, what was it about it that you loved the most? For those of you who haven’t, have you ever been tempted to create one yourself? Let me know in the comments!

snowflake

Finding Your Purpose

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Hello! 🙂

I watched a movie. well I’ve been watching a lot of different films lately. If you read my 2016 and 2017 “coming soon” movie lists; from the end of July to the start of September I have seen over ten movies! Here are a few I’ve seen: Star Trek: Beyond, Me Before You, Arrival, Jackie and most recently Wonder Woman

There was also one movie that I hadn’t wanted to see until I was scrolling through my movie guide and I read the description of it. I thought the concept of two different people and two stories discussing the same subject: food was interesting, but I thought it must’ve been a pain in the ass to write the scripts and make sure they made sense to production agencies, editors, directors, and the cast themselves!

Anybody seen Julie & Julia before?

Now I know it’s technically an older movie, but I watched it for the first time on September 3rd, and I watched it with sleepy eyes because even though I ate two granola bars that morning, I was supposed to go back to sleep afterwards. In my defense, I had actually gotten some good sleep that night and didn’t really feel like going back to bed and I knew this was sitting in my DVR waiting for me.

I watched it not really knowing if I’d really like it, but still I took my chances only because I’m slightly becoming obsessed with Amy Adams. She plays Julie Powell, a young women who works at a government job. She has a husband named Eric and a cute ginger cat that I’ve named “Simon” for this post. The film follows her trying to find her purpose in the world, her friends are moving up in the world and she’s just there. However you also have the story of the infamous French chef Julia Child, before she was ever Julia Child. She and her husband Paul worked for the government during World War II and while Paul was working for the embassy, they sent him and his wife to live in Paris. She fell in love with it, but she didn’t know what exactly to do with herself there.

These two characters go outside their comfortable zones. Julie decides she is going to create a blog and use Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking and cook her way through the book itself for a whole year. So that’s 365 days and 254 recipes. And while she does this, Julia starts at the Le Cordon Bleu and excels in the advanced courses where it’s all men. Both women fall deeply in love with French food and they let it rule their lives basically. Julie is asked to be interviewed for newspapers, magazines, etc and Julia and her friends Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholie decide they’re going to write a book for the “serventless” cooks in America.

Of course, I loved the movie because it was about a blogger. I follow a lot of food bloggers, and then you have the travel and food bloggers which just floor me! I’d love to be able to travel to different place, eat and blog about it at the same time. You feel the need to bow down to some of these people if they also have full time jobs and are making time in their day or losing sleep at night to create their new blog posts to share with their followers from all over the world.

I also thought like the movie itself was a wake up call for me too. I have often felt like I have no purpose in the life. I’m just going through motions of what I do everyday. I’m co-dependent because of my disability and that definitely doesn’t help. I also don’t finish anything I start just like Julie, that is until I started my blog. As you read at the top, I watched the film in early September. And here it is October? Something feels off here, doesn’t it?

Well, today is my 8th anniversary of blogging! Yup, that’s right. It’s been EIGHT years since I fell in love with blogging in my Grammar classroom. I sat on the right side close to the door and the light would slightly flicker throughout most of the semester before one morning I rolled in and noticed my side of the room was very bright! We were given these tiny little laptops and shown how to create our very first blogs on Blogger and we’d do our assignments on there every other day before the final day of class where we had the option of keeping the blog or deleting it forever. I still don’t know why I kept it because I didn’t think I had really fallen in love with it since we only used it for three months.

Two years later, I created this blog so apparently I liked enough to continue writing out my thoughts and feelings for the entire world to see. However, again I had no direction. I didn’t know what a lifestyle blog was, nor did I really think if I wrote about the ins and outs of the life of a disabled woman would be acceptable, but I just felt the need to write all the time.

Unfortunately, I have had many burn outs; days where I’ve felt I was doing wasn’t mattering at all. The quote “if you don’t like something, change it” would pop up every once (or sometimes twice) a month and I’d try to escape into the darkness for comfort. It’s hard to see that quote and not say, “you’re not living in my situation though” because for somebody with a physical disability of some sort and always needing somebody to help you just destroys whatever you really want to do. It’s easy to say those words, so I understand what Julie was going through in the movie.

I’ve been offered opportunities because I’ve kept up with blogging as a whole. I’m slow from August to October from previous depression spells that happened years ago. I always try to finish what I start and if I can’t, I basically want to wrap myself in my Transformers blanket, cry my eyes out and finally disappear. That is, until the next day and I flip that blanket off and turn my TV to the music channels and sign into my social media accounts to say “good morning” to my Twitter followers while casually look on my dashboard on WordPress and look at my stats and check to see if I have any notifications on my second tab.

Everytime I feel like I’m going to be behind on the month, I still manage to pull something out of my ass. Don’t worry, if there are posts I don’t end up liking after I’ve written them, I’ve trashed them either a week or two days before. It’s happened people! The life of a blogger is literally “Write. Photos. Edit. Schedule. Eat. Sleep.” And it revolves like that for most of the week, especially if you’re like me, who doesn’t have a job or a husband. That’s where I differ from both Julie and Julia, but I do have parents, sister, brother-in-law, nana, and nine cats that seem to appericate what I write and are always willing to help capture the essence of the moment. Blondie posts the pictures and I steal and publish them on here. I think that’s called teamwork my friends!

Is it crazy to think in exactly two years, I’ll be blogging for 10 years?! Isn’t that nutty?! Hopefully we’ll get there! Oh, and since I’m always watching the cooking shows, if I ever decide to start writing recipes of a cookbook, I’d either do something by Giada de Laurentiis or Ree Drummond (who also started out blogging too!). I like pasta and simplicity And yes, I dream of changing different recipes that use mushrooms in it, because they are disgusting! Yuck!

Anyways, I’m finished. Thank you for the lovely eight years of blogging even if you’ve only recently started reading this blog, that’s better than nothing! You give me a purpose to wake up in the morning honestly. 🙂
snowflake

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