11.11.2009

A Perfect Princess Tea Party

Time to dust off my keyboard and get back to blogging....

Here are photos of Raina's "Perfect Princess Tea Party" to celebrate her 5th Birthday. Thank you so much to Elegant Visions for the professional images, Dean is just the sweetest guy, and delivered the images so fast!

Click Here to view the entire photo gallery with music.

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I am so grateful to my good friend Carolyn of CHS Creative Productions for coming over and setting up all the gorgeous pink fabric draping and the canopy over the tea table, and loaning me some of her props and silk trees. If it wasn't for her beautiful drapery, then it would have looked just like a normal drive-way. She created the perfect ambiance for the party! If you in the Los Angeles / Orange County area and need event, wedding or holiday decor or draping, she is amazing. Thank you Carolyn, I *heart* you so much!!!

Kelly, from Kelly's Karacters was the perfect Cinderella princess to come and visit with Raina and her party guests! She conducted a princess coronation, sang beautifully, played games & dances, taught the girls tea table etiquette & manners, helped with the birthday cake and decorating cupcakes and just made the party so very magical! I can't imagine what the party would have been like without her talents, it would not have had the "sparkle" without her! Thank you so much Kelly for your graciousness and loveliness!

It truly was a "perfect" princess party, but not without the help of true professionals! Thank you so much again, and I will forever treasure the memories.

9.20.2009

Forever In Our Hearts

Regina Melody Tan
9/19/99 - 9/20/09
Forever In Our Hearts

Please feel free to leave a comment on Diana's blog (her mom)
she appreciates your kind words:

7.30.2009

Mari Robeson Style's Newest Launch & Give Away!

My fellow blogging friend Mari is having a Give Away to celebrate the new launch of her fabulous fabric line! I am so proud of her and her newest venture!



To refresh your memory, Mari is the one who painted and gifted me the gorgeous "ParTea Time" banner for the photo shoot I did for TeaTime Magazine. And I have to tell you.....I received more emails from tea lovers requesting info on how to get their own painted banner than anything else regarding the feature in the magazine! She is one very talented and sweet lady.


So please take a moment to view her new textile line, leave a comment and you might win! Or stop by her boutique if you are in the Central Coast area of California.

Mari, best wishes to your launch party and much success with this newest venture! I wish I could be there to congratulate your efforts in person!









5.06.2009

D.I.Y. Simple & Cost Effective Centerpieces

For our upcoming MOPS Tea Party this week, I needed to make centerpieces for the mom's tables that I am contributing. Since we are on a budget, fresh flowers were not an option. Besides, I can use them over and over. I purchased the supplies from Dollar Tree (we finally have one close by! yay, before I had to drive way far to the nearest one!).

Sometimes with silk flowers it can be tricky to get a nice arrangement, because let's be honest - some silks look really cheesy-tacky, especially from a dollar store. So I just spent time pulling different bunches and putting them together to see what worked.


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You can see the tin containers were originally an ugly green and orange brushed-on color. So I just sprayed painted the outside of the tins with my all-time fave spray paint white Kilz to get rid of the uglies. Keep that in mind when searching for cost-effective containers - "Can it be spray painted, if it needs a makeover."? Make sure your container isn't too big since it will have to be filled.

Each silk bunch stem got bent in half to fit the height of the tin. Then I bunched them together moved some of the colors around and tied securely with a wire tie. You could use florist wire, pipe cleaner wire or a chenille wire as well. Then I bent some of the flowers forward, so they would hang over the container edge.



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Shoved it in the container, fluffed it a bit and boom, done. After the pic I did add some pink feather tufts that I cut-up from a boa.

Total cost for each arrangement: $4

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I will show pics of the centerpieces at the tea party later!

4.30.2009

Peppermint Cream Cheese Mints

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I made 200-something of these Peppermint Cream Cheese Mints yesterday for our upcoming MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Tea coming up next week, and will make each mom a favor consisting of three mints, and a mint teabag. I found cute favor boxes at the dollar store, and will attach a silk flower on the top of each one.

The mints remind of what my mom used to make when I was a little girl.

The mini-rose mold is just a candy mold from Michaels. I got three of them and just kept rotating them in & out of the freezer as I made them. Even Raina, my four-year old daughter could help me make these! These are SO MUCH EASIER to make than chocolate favors! I always seem to scorch chocolate, and it is so messy. However, if you are good with chocolate then you can dip these minty babies into chocolate and make them like York patties!

So try these for favors the next time you have a tea, shower or party! Copy and paste the above image, it is sized for 3½ x 5 for your recipe box. Enjoy!

4.27.2009

Women are like tea bags...

"Women are like tea bags, they don't know how strong they are until they get into hot water."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

This is one of my favorite quotes. Not only because it is about tea, but it envelopes the tenacity of women.
I have had several blog followers email me to express how they have missed my posts. Thank you to everyone who comes to visit me from time to time. I know I have been a terrible blogger and not very interesting, but sometimes life gets in the way of getting to do what we love.

The past couple of months have been challenging. I have been having problems with my left arm since last May. My pinkie & ring finger have been numb, my grip weakened to the point where I could not hold onto fingernail clippers to clip my right hand fingernails, or open up packages and I was losing muscle in the hand. But as most of us moms will do, we put our own health on the back burner until it gets so bad that you are forced to deal with it.

So finally after many doctor visits, tests, MRI's, hand therapy, and more tests, the assessment is I needed to have surgery on my ulnar nerve for "cubital tunnel syndrome" which means the unlar nerve (your funny bone, even though it isn't a bone) was pinched and the doctor needed to move it. I did not want the surgery and tried alternaive methods such as accupuncture and chiropractic care, but it was just not going to relieve the symptoms.

I had the surgery a couple of weeks ago and am still recovering. The feeling is coming back in my fingers and I can actually type better now and gradually getting the strength back. I now have a 5" scar down the back of my arm and elbow! Be glad I don't post photos of it here, even though I did on Facebook, it's kinda gross.

But the teabag quote got me thinking after I saw this really cute craft. I will be providing my teacups and teapots for our upcoming "Tea & Testimony" at my M.O.P.S. group in a couple of weeks. I wanted to find a cute rubber stamp set, and in my Google search efforts came across this cute craft tute to make a mini album from tea bags (click on link for tute):

Turtorial Tea Bag Mini Album




Thank you to Paper Blessings for posting this very creative craft!

3.17.2009

A St. Patrick's "Irish Cream" Tea Time

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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I had not planned on doing anything special for St. Patty's day. I ran to the grocery store for a few things for dinner, and the bakery had all their seasonal - and very cute - tempting green frosted cookies and cupcakes right there front and center. Dammit, they did it to me again! Well, actually they did it to Raina who zoned in on them immediately. So I said okay, she could put the clamshell container of the two-bite cupcakes (the label says two-bite, but uhm, it's really one-bite) in her mini-shopping cart, and that we would have them for dessert.


You know those children's books "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" where one thing leads to another? I feel that is generally how my days just end up sometimes, all kooky and crazy and totally A.D.D.

So......we have these cute cupcakes........why waste the cuteness on just dessert? Let's have them for a tea time instead!

Well, if we are going to have tea, then I will need to bake some scones.

And if I am going to bake some scones, then I will need to look up my favorite scone recipe on my computer folder.

While I am at it, I should organize my scone recipes from favorite to low-fat.

Now that they are all organized, I should print them and put them in page protectors.

Since we are having a tea with a theme, I should find any St. Patrick's day stuff to add to the cuteness. And on and on it goes.

You get the idea.

So here are the results of an impromptu "Irish Cream Tea"..........thanks to one-bite cupcakes.

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Raina and Holly-Doodle ready for tea.



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Very green Irish Cream scones (sprinkled with Lucky Charms ♣),
and store bought cookies & cupcakes.
The cupcakes that started it all today.....


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She prayed for all the Disney Princesses. And Prince Phillip, whoever that is.


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Pouring her "tea". Then she added three sugar cubes.



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What a poser.
All the stains on her shirt are from some chocolate coins
someone gave her at pre-school. I thought about Photoshopping the stains out so you
wouldn't think I was too white trash. That thought lasted for a second.
I'm over it.
So, I hope everyone enjoyed their St. Patty's day and that the Luck 'o the Irish was with you!

2.13.2009

Fake it till you make it

So a holiday - Valenine's Day - is coming up, therefore the proverbial sign-up sheets appear as you enter your child's pre-school for the upcoming Valentine's "Exchange" (translate - party). They come up with all these different words so it doesn't sound like they party all the time around holidays - why not just call it a party? No one really cares.

Why is it I become instantly delusional and always write my name next to the most difficult item on a sign-up list for my kids' class parties? So, I signed-up for a dozen plain heart shape cookies so they can frost and decorate them at the "exchange-aka-party".

I do enjoy making real homemade cookies, really I do. Where I actually dust off my Kitchen aid mixer and find somewhere in my pantry flour, baking soda etc., pull out my Mom's beloved recipe for "Cookie Cutter Cookies" and appear somewhat June Cleaverish is a great feeling. And it is fun to roll out the dough, cut them out and try to get them to the perfect golden baked goodness with a hint of tan on the bottom signaling they are done.

So these are the nano-visions that flash into my delusional, over-achieving, right-side of my brain whenever I see the (usually) blank line for something home made.

But sometimes life takes over even when the best of intentions are sincere. So I got the flu, and really did not feel like digging in my very disorganized panty for all the ingredients. Our local Ralph's grocery store sells plain sugar cookies already in holiday shapes so I thought that may be my saving grace. NOPE, need to compromise. So it's time to "fake it till you make it" which is one of my creeds I live by.

I just got a plastic clamshell of sugar cookies, took them home and got out my metal heart shaped cookie cutter and faked it. Took me five minutes. Really. How are a bunch of four year-olds going to know the difference?


Before:

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After:

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Anyone can sign-up for, and bring paper plates and cups. It takes determination to sign-up for the things that come from the heart .... or at least a cookie cutter heart.

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Getting ready for pre-school on the day of the Valentine "Exchange", Raina picked out the dress herself! I was shocked, since y'all know she rarely likes to dress-up. Did my heart good, though.

1.12.2009

Romantic Adventure layout

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My friend Phyllis, at Shabby in the City had a great idea for a project. She took a pic of a book page (scroll to the end of her post for the photo) then suggested we create something from it. So I added a couple of Photoshop brushes to it and a photo of hubby & me from our Honeymoon cruise.

It was a lot of fun, thanks for the idea Phyllis!

1.02.2009

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!
from Holly, the ParTea Goldendoodle Girl


Our newest addition to the family. Santa brought her to us on Christmas morning.
She is my BFF (Best Furry Friend).


Here is her Doodle page, if you or someone you know owns a Doodle.


I hope for you and your loved ones, that 2009 will be filled with good memories, good health and gratitude for each and every day we have with our family and friends.


Enjoy some more pics from
Holly's First Photo Shoot
(taken in my daughter's room!)


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Holly, the Goldendoodle Princess

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Holly, the Goldendoodle Fashionista

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Holly, the Goldendoodle Tea Party Girl

12 Days of Christmas Tea & Cookie Recipes Swap

Finally I am getting around to uploading all the fabulous swap goodies that
Jeannie from "I Craft"
sent me for the 12 Days of Christmas Tea & Cookie Recipes Swap.
Between making arrangements with Santa to get a Christmas puppy
and having family stay for the holidays it has be crazy 'round here.

Here are the goodies!

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A couple of items didn't make it in the group shot.
I think my daughter took it out to look at it (?).

Photobucket A I love this mini pan for an ornament!

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This darling house held a teapot ornament (see below).

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Jeannie cracked me up with her cookie recipes! I showed my mom and she cracked up too. But this book is PACKED with awesome cookie recipes! It's a keeper for Christmases to come....

Photobucket I've seen Jeannie's cupcake toppers on her Etsy shop, and was secretly hoping I would get some in the swap. YAY! Look at all the pink cuteness! Cupcake shnupcake. I'm putting them in my hair or something! Or making them into brooches. They are too cute for just cupcakes....

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This cute little tree contained these vintage beautiful earrings.
Then I put the tree on my pink tree.

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Inside this awesome floral suitcase was filled with sugar-y mistletoe, a vintage ladies hankie and the cream teacup & saucer with more sugar-y goodness candy!

Photobucket Beautiful cream teacup & saucer with my fave colors - pink & green.

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This is MY TREE.
My beloved pink tree that is in the living room. On it I put all my favorite things.
Below are the wonderful goodies that Jeannie sent:

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Sugar-y, glitter-y teapot

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Sugar-y mistletoe.

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Darling tree box.

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"I love you for your pink cadillac" ~ Bruce Springsteen


THANK YOU SO MUCH JEANNIE, for giving such pinkalicious Christmas goodies. And not just the goodies themselves, but how you wrapped and decorated everything was just DIVINE. I didn't want to open them, it was so darn cute! You are very talented, and I appreciated every bit of hot glue and glitter that you did!
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I am still waiting to hear back from others who participated. I know it is a crazy time of year to try to add on tasks to do, such as blog swaps. So those of you who played, please send me the links of your swaps and I will update this post. Thank you to everyone who enthusiastically and joyfully signed up!


Swaps:

Lady Katherine received her swap goodies from Lady Jane
Lady Jane received her swap goodies from Lady Katherine
Phyllis, from Shabby in the City received her swap goodies from Erin
Looking forward to seeing the rest of the swaps!

1.01.2009

11.17.2008

Need prayers for my dad

To all my e-friends:

Please keep my dad, Lloyd, in your prayers on the morning of November 18 (PST) as he will be having major shoulder reconstructive surgery. His ligament has completely torn apart, with another almost torn apart, and we are hoping the surgeon can re-connect the ligament successfully.

I fully believe in the power of prayer, and I know there are some prayer warriors who read my blog. It is now that I humbly call on you to send healing thoughts and prayers his way.....

Thank you in advance.

xoxox,
Risa


UPDATE:
Thank you so much for those who posted a prayer comment or who prayed for my dad and his surgery. It was a success, the surgeon was able to re-attach the ligaments. He has a long road of tough re-hab awaiting him for the next few months. Again, I appreciate your kind hearts and kind words! It really means a lot to me knowing there are e-Friends out there who genuinely care about others....

xoxoxxo
Risa

11.13.2008

12 Days of Christmas Tea & Cookie Recipes Swap

Join me and others who LOVE tea time and want to have some fun with a Holiday Swap! At the last swap I hosted, there were many ladies asking about a Holiday Swap, so here it is:

The theme is "12 Days of Christmas Tea & Cookie Recipes"

The swap is to consist of 12 items, all individually wrapped:
* A Christmas or Holiday print teacup & saucer.
* 3 of your absolute favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes on a 3x5 or 4x6 card.
* The other 8 items should be holiday and/or tea-related items.
For instance: (this is only for inspiration, you can choose whatever you like) Your favorite tea, a scented votive candle, a linen napkin, a silver spoon, decorated sugar cubes, a cookie cutter, an ornament, a tea towel, etc. - try to keep it tea time related! At least one homemade or handcrafted item(s) should be included as one of the items (i.e. a tag, a paper crown tiara, pinwheel etc).

Your Swap Sister may choose to open one gift a day leading up to Christmas, or she can open them all at once...it's her/your choice.

The t&s (teacup & saucer) may be vintage or new, one that is in your personal collection or a purchased one. Please swap a t&s that is functional (no cracks) and one that you would appreciate receiving (ie. no chips, crazing, fleabites). The spending limit is $20 (not including shipping cost).

Deadline to sign up by:
~ December 1, 2008

Parcels mailed out by:
~ December 12, 2008

Click here for all the details and *ahem* "rules".

UPDATE:
I've been getting requests to sign-up for this swap either at my regular email or through the comments box on this post. In order for me to keep all the requests organized please send your request along with your NAME, EMAIL ADDY and BLOG ADDY to this email: parteatimeswap [at] gmail.com (you do not have to have a blog to play).

Thanks a bunch!

11.12.2008

Easiest Pumpkin Muffins

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This post may be a little belated, but the muffins would be great for a Halloween or Thanksgiving tea:

I just made these mini-muffins for the first time for my son's class Monster Mash party and they are mucho yummy! Even my one kid who doesn't like pumpkin gobbled them up. They are very moist. Got it from AllRecipes.com but did a bit of my own thing. Here is the recipe:

Easiest Pumpkin Muffins

1 box of spice cake mix
1 can (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix both ingredients until smooth (do not add the egg or oil like the cake box says).
Spoon equal amounts of batter into greased muffin pan or paper cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven, until a toothpick comes out clean.

I added some dashes of ground cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves in the batter.


Then I sprinkled brown sugar and some orange colored sugar I had on hand on the tops before putting into the oven.

This is great for classroom treats - especially since no eggs are in the recipe. Also a sneaky way to get some protein in the kiddies! Can also be frozen and defrosted when needed.

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