Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Spot For Tea painting

"A Spot For Tea" original painting by Susan Rios.

Susan Rios the artist.
Soon you will be able to take a painting of A Spot For Tea home.
I first learned about the artist Susan Rios in the Summer 1988 edition of Victoria Magazine. The article "Personal Impressions" featured some of her artwork and also a glimpse of her life. There were pictures of her and her daughter, Olivia, taking tea at the Rose Tree Cottage Tea Room in Pasadena, California which was one of their favorite spots.
I loved her art work and found the book The Art of Susan Rios that she had autographed in 1988. Fast forward 20 years and while speaking at the 2008 World Tea Expo in May I got to meet her in person. Susan Rios is an open-hearted, bright eyed woman who creates environments where people like to be (including myself). Her paintings are said to reflect her infectious personality and reveal her sense of graciousness.
She has illustrated many of the tea books we have for sale in the tearoom: The Twelve Teas of Friendship, The Twelve Teas of Inspiration, Join Me For Tea, The Twelve Teas of Celebration, Frienship Teas To Go, A Tea To Comfort Your Soul, and Everything I Know I Learned Over Tea.
I am very excited to announce that Susan Rios has completed an original painting of the tearoom 12 x 16 and we will sell 6x8 prints of that painting to our customers. The cost for the prints will be $45.00 each and we are hoping to have them available for purchase in September!
We will also be selling some of her other tea prints. To those who would insist that her paintings are escapist. Rios has a well-thought-out answer. "There are terrible pressures in contemporary life, and largely because of the media, our society has focused on how horrible things are in the world. Subsequently, people have lost the ability to recognize that they have a choice about what kind of world they live in. I have a very different philosophy. What I'm saying with my paintings is that you get to choose. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and lose out on the best parts of life," she continues, "I want to remind people to pay attention to the good things, to stop and appreciate the small, quiet moments, because they're the most important times in life." taken from her book The Art Of Susan Rios.
For more information on Susan Rios and her art you can visit her website at
1 Thessalonians 4:11 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rose Cottage Mosaic

Memories are made of the end of childhood we ask ourselves how many ways did we savor the moments? Here is a mosiac of memory making moments at A Spot For Tea. Tea parties and dress up are saying "yes" to life's wonderful celebrations.

Psalm 115:14 "May the Lord make you increase, both you and your children."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Heart Story by Lindy Jerlow

Lindy Jerlow with her painting "Walled Garden."

"Waiting" series available in the retail area by the fountain.

"Chloe" watercolor by Lindy Jerlow.

If you've ever slowed down long enough to savor all A Spot For Tea has to offer, you quickly discover there is more to this place than meets the eye. Venturing further back beyond the dining area there lies a painting entitled "Walled Garden." It is one of my favorite paintings that I have recently completed not because I felt more accomplished as a painter but more so for what it has taught me personally.

I wanted to feel lost in the garden but not forgotten and alone. This wall is not meant for containment and restraint but rather protection and shelter. I hope the viewer finds challenge in this pathway. The end is not clear and only when ventured can one find where it goes.

This has been laid upon me - the concept of daily life and which direction we are moving in. Do we find ourselves moving in a walled garden with a path directing us or are we lost in the forest outside the shrub with a path directing us or are we lost in the forest outside the shrubbery wall? What have we chosen?

Life is constantly giving us choices and I find myself having to be more deliberate in those choices. There are obvious choices of what we are watching and reading, saying and thinking. But what about the choice to face the paths in that we avoid but know we are to walk? Are we facing those paths? Are we going through them, or, are we avoiding and stumbling in the thicket to make our own way, a way we were not intended to pursue? We blame the things around us, the people from our past and present, and the chances we never had but now what? Where does that leave us?

I'm convinced that we are always moving no matter our beliefs. Whether forward to backward we are never standing motionless in our decisions because we are constantly choosing. Dance the irony of moving but being still. Feel the place of PEACE in letting go. May you be challenged to not just taste chance but savor the risk of trying today; trying to move in a purposeful direction led by you heart's compass and His hand.

A Spot For Tea has been a "Walled Garden" for me and those I love, therefore, I cannot end without expressing my thanks to the owner, Tammy Seibert. She is a woman who has shown me the door of possibility. Tmmy is a doer. To exist in the world of Tammy is to find all dreams tangible. She is the reason I have been inspired to move and not just move in comfort but live in a world of limitless potential. Standing next to someone so strong in belief can do nothing short but inspire the greatest of hopes and persistence. These inspirations have cultivated into my latest series located by the fountain area entitled "Waiting." Through these paintings my prayers have been answered and I have fallen in love with the joy of simply holding a brush again.

Lindy's painting "Walled Garden" that she gave as a gift to a Spot For Tea is on display by the elevator at the back of the dining room. If you are interested in purchasing prints or watercolors in the "Waiting" series they are available in the retail area by the fountain. Lindy has also painted teacup note cards that are available. She is a special friend of A Spot For Tea and we wish her success in pursuing her creative dreams.

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Children's Tea

Grandma, Mommy and me having tea!

Grandma and me having tea together!

Bring the kids in before school starts for a time of tea and dress up upstairs in the Queen's Room.
The children's Tea includes, food, tea, dress-up and a favor. Please make reservations at least 24 hours in advance. Teas done at 11am and 1pm.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

25 % off in the Queen's Room Tuesday - Friday
Expires 8/29/08
"The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary
one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things." Veronique Vienne
Psalms 131:1 "I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Heart Story by Debbie Dawson

I had planned to have a tea party at A Spot For Tea for my mother and some of her friends on her next birthday. But God intervened before that time and a friend gave me a gift certificate for an afternoon tea. It was around Christmas when she gave me the certificate and I thought that would be a great time for my mother, sister, niece and me to have a girl's time together. We scheduled our afternoon tea for December 28, 2004. We all enjoyed picking our own flavor of tea and the great assortment of muffins, scones and sandwiches. My mother's favorite thing was the lemon curd. After we tried a little bit of all the goodies, it was time for pictures. With much protest from my niece, we took pictures to add to our scrapbooking memories. It was a wonderful afternoon of making memories and taking time from our busy lives to be together. A time that I will always remember of Mother in a red hat and enjoying tasting all the little treasures on the silver trays. I am so thankful we took this time to be together. My precious little mother went home to be with her Lord and Savior on March 5, 2005. Thank you A Spot For Tea for creating a special memory for my family.

Romans 8:17-18 "The Spirit intercedes and pleads (before God) in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will. We are assured and know that.....all things work together and are (fitting into a plan) for good to and for those who love God and are called according to His design and purpose."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Signature Style

"Follow Me To A Spot For Tea" TEA Shirt!

Tea Time Scrumptious Cookbook, A Spot For Tea mugs and Tea Shirts on display!

Sipping tea from our signature mug!

Pretty in Pink!

Our Tea Shirts retails at $16.99.
Our tea mugs retails at $5.99.
Our cookbook retails at $12.99.

Take a little of us home with you and don't forget

the wonderful memories you've made while having tea.

As Gail Greco says in her book Tea-Time at the Inn, "Tea-time is not only on the table but also in the heart."

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteouness,
for they shall be filled."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Last Mango In Paris

A Cup of our "Last Mango in Paris" seasonal tea with the guide to tea in Paris.

Famous landmarks of Paris!

Mariage Freres tea pot, strainer and tea.

Mariage Freres Teapot and label.

Our seasonal tea is Last Mango in Paris a fruit and herb tea with a fantastic flavor of Micronesian mangos. Fruity, lively and bright. Start a new love affair with our summer selection. We sell 2 ounce loose leaf tea bags of our seasonal tea for $5.99 each.
I visited Paris in the summer of 1984 when I was about to turn 21, still in college; with three girlfriends on a whirlwind tour of Europe in 10 days. The City of Lights had me in awe with outdoor markets, daily menus chalked on outside cafes and sight seeing to famous locations like the Louvre, Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower. Tea salons in Paris have some of the most complete tea menus to be found anywhere.
We sell "Tea In The City Paris" by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson at A Spot For Tea for $18.95 each. Its a tea lover's guide to sipping and shopping in the city. It is a splendid resource for tea rooms, tea shops, tea lounges, tea salons, hotel teas, cafe teas and museum teas.

Mariage Freres offers the best of world teas in an environment that is intelligent, informative, and classy. The service is impeccable, customers are respected, and one senses an extreme dedication to all things tea. One of the oldest tea salons in Paris with more that 500 teas from all over the world. So whether you are planning a trip to Paris or just dreaming about someday visiting this famous city, come in and try a cup of tea and be transported at least for an afternoon. Bon Appetit!
Psalm 77:5 "I thought about the former days, the years of long ago."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seibert Lane

The entrance to our boy's favorite place on earth.

Looking across the pond at house, dock and pool.
The view from the pool back across the pond.

Benjamin holding up his big catch.

Blake measuring his fish!

Blake and his cousin Eric with their wading boots on.
Twelve and Thirteen years old this summer.

Eric's parents and family around the table. Eric and Benjamin all in a day's work!

Youngest Seibert (Brock) not to be outdone by his brothers.
Our family takes a summer sojourn every year to Seibert Lane in Arcade, New York. Eric's family has a vacation home on 42 acres and it is our boy's paradise.
We took our friend Kristen Keyser in 1998 and this is what she wrote after her visit:
"It is the embellishments of childhood that stand alone. Until this summer I have only dreamed of this place, but upon arriving in Arcade, New York, realization set upon me that this, in fact, was the place. 'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.' The words of Robert Frost echoed in my thoughts. The entrance to my haven was marked with an ordinary street sign labeled Seibert Lane. Turning onto the unpaved road the trees seemed to silently await my arrival. The branches stretched forth, curving over and bowing down as I passed through. A man-built lake comes into a view as the road bends around. The lake is absolutely beautiful and is the color of greenish-brown, completely silent except for the ripples of surfacing fish. Behind the lake are gently, sloping hills that round off into a wall of infinite blue spruces. Trails wind in and around the lush greenness. Located near the dock of the lake is the house...the modest home with few signs of the increasing technology available. The house does not impose on Nature's vast greatness. I learned to just be."

I'm so grateful that Eric's family have added to our boy's childhood with this special place that is on the map but more importantly tattooed on their hearts. It is the place that one day they will tell their kids about the way they spent their summers in New York with their grandparents fishing, swimming, running barefoot and building bon fires.
Matthew 4:18: "They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, 'Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.' They didn't ask question, but simply dropped their nets and followed." The Message Bible

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pure Decadence - Our White Chocolate Bread Pudding

So you need a little comfort food? Nothing says comfort quite like our decadent White Chocolate Bread Pudding. Please don't even consider counting the calories on this delicious dessert. It's pure pleasure!
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
3 cups whipping cream
10 ounces white chocolate
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
8 egg yolks
Croissant bread or 1 loaf French bread, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces and dried in oven.
(We use our leftover croissants for this recipe)
Heat the cream in a double boiler and add the white chocolate; when the chocolate is melted, remove from heat.
In a double boiler, heat the milk, sugar, eggs and egg yolks until warm. Blend the egg mixture into the cream and chocolate mixture.
Place the bread in a baking pan. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the bread and let settle for a while, making sure the bread soaks up all the mixture. Top with the rest of the mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
For the Sauce: 8 ounces white chocolate, 3 ounces heavy cream
Gently melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in heavy cream. Spoon over bread pudding.
This recipe can also be found in our cookbook, Tea Time Scrumptious $12.99 each
Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are your words to my taste."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Be An Original

An original teacup picture hanging in the tearoom hallway by owner, Tammy Seibert

"Bringing people joy in a teacup" is our mission at A Spot For Tea.

Instead of being unique, have you noticed that people are becoming uniquely the same. Whether it's a cell phone ring or a huge, gas guzzling SUV, the latest fashion trend, current slang, greatest bling and more individuals in their quest to be an original, are in fact, a carbon copy of someone else. They look the same, act the same and talk the same. What many of us don't understand is that it's only when we cultivate our own personality and be our own person that we are able to move from being just another face in the crowd. That quirky trait, your love of hats, whatever sets you apart and makes you stand out. Barbra Steisand's nose as an example...if she would have had a nose job her singing voice would have changed and we would have missed out on one of the most powerful voices in our generation.

Being original, being unique, is all about being yourself. And it doesn't require a great deal of skill or money. It only requires a true commitment... to make your own path, chart your own course, be an individual. Many people may try to copy you or imitate you but they can't BE YOU! No one else can walk in or fill your shoes. God made you and threw away the pattern when He got finished designing YOU! There can never be another person ever with your personality or looks. You are one-of-a kind.

Understand that the stuff you own doesn't make you stand out. When everyone around you is struggling to pay for their stuff, and you're not, that's when you really stand out. Some people think that status and the right address will get you where you need to be. If you know the right people it will open the right doors. I've had many tell me its not what you know...its who you know. When you actually leave your job to pursue a dream, instead of merely talking about it and staying where you are out of fear thats being an original.

Realize that sometimes, many times, the group is wrong. Like my mother always said to me "If so and so is jumping off a cliff, would you jump too?" It takes great courage to be true to your values, hopes and dreams. Being authentic isn't just about speaking your truth - it's also about becoming the person you were meant to be in this life. Too many amongst us would rather be seduced by the illusion of security than take some risks to get to their personal mountaintops. And so their lives stay small.

Nothing worse than getting to the end of you life and realizing you lived your neighbor's life. Don't keep up with the Jones'...whoever they are. Sing your own song. Enjoy your passions (mine just happens to be tea, teaparties, art, writing).
It doesn't matter if others laugh....You'll be YOU!

Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Emma's 5th Birthday

Emma and Ethan Pilcher and Emma's 5th birthday party!

Pastors Darren and Michelle Pilcher with their beautiful children!

Emma's guests at her birthday party all around the fountain!

This was a very special tea party for me to host because this was for our pastor's family. Our family attends Lakeside Assembly of God and you can visit my pastor's blog at People who rise above the crowd have standards higher than the crowd's; their lives are not solely their own but are invested in something much larger than themselves. Dedication, consecration and surrender are interchangeable terms that apply to pastor's families. Being a P.K. (preacher's kid) myself, I am partial to my pastor's family because Darren and Michelle are both preacher's kids. It takes one to know one. You can't shine your brightest in a world that's going on twenty-five watts. When you put effort and energy into what you believe in, you're using the power of your inner light to effect change for the better, not only within yourself but all around you. Pastor Darren is always using the lighthouse as a metaphor for our lives as Christians and also our church.

Let your little light shine..."some people are called to large efforts in the world, others to large efforts on a smaller scale. Destiny and temperament determine the size of your stage; you yourself determine the quality of the performance."
Lit From Within - Victorian Moran

Matthew 5:15 - "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tearoom Travels Revisited

Cathy Higgins and myself having afternoon tea at The Adolphus Hotel.

Hotel's skilled tea captain, Michele McCreary

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches (first course)!

"Sometimes a person has to go back, really back to have a sense,
an understanding of all that's gone to make them - before they go forward."
- Paul Marshall

I recently went to Dallas and had a wonderful tea time treat with my best friend Cathy. I called and made reservations for afternoon tea at the The Adolphus Hotel, Served are the traditional cucumber and watercress sandwiches, and English scones topped with Devonshire cream and raspberry marmalade. The pastry kitchen also prepares a selection of petit fours and other delicious desserts. Each table is set with fine china, fine silver and crisp white linens. A pianist entertains tea guests at the ornately carved 1893 Steinway.

With the opening of A Spot For Tea we had not seen each other in almost four years...checking in only by phone every couple of weeks and having our girlfriend conversations sporadically as time allowed. We've been friends for over 26 years, and first met when we became roomates in our sorority house back when we were young, eighteen and carefree. We have seen each other through boyfriends, heartaches, we stood up in each other's weddings, we came to the hospital when our children were born and have the common fun task of raising all boys (she has two and I have three). We know each other's secrets, and we share common memories.

How we remember, what we remember and why we remember form who we are. When taking a backward glance, our mind can be fickle and our memories fragmented. That is why it is so important to have a touchstone (a test or criterion for determining the quality of genuineness of a thing). I am a firm believer that this can be a person that has known us for a long time and has watched us encounter many of life's ups and downs. This person helps us remain true to ourselves.

During the no rush afternoon of sharing four courses of tea fare and three different types of tea (Darjeeling, Pear Caramel and Rainforest Mint) we talked and laughed and time remained still long enough to feel connected. As a well known credit card commercial states,
"Cost of tea: $35.00 a person, connecting with an old friend:
PRICELESS." How valuable our friendships and memories.

Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loves at all times. And a brother is born for adversity."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July Celebration

Raspberry Iced Tea....refreshment in the afternoon!

American Flags waving on the table.
Tea Lady relaxing in the point of view from raft.

Spending the day with friends and family at Bethany Fourth of July Celebration!

Our three boys on each other's shoulders...Biggest to Littlest!

Toothless grin of our soon-to-be first grader! Brock! Blake!

Going off the slide....Benjamin!

"Celebration generally involves activities that bring pleasure-
gathering with people we love, eating and drinking, singing and dancing.
Spiritual celebration means doing them while reflecting on the wonderful God
who has given us such wonderful gifts.
We are able to take delight today in something we wouldn't have even
noticed yesterday. Our capacity for joy increases."
The Life You've Always Wanted - John Ortberg
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice." Philippians 4:4

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Summer Fun

Girl Scout party during their summer break!

Pink Hydrangeas blooming in the garden!
Just beautiful....pinks and purples.... all of God's extraordinary colors!

My boys favorite...S'mores. Graham crackers, chocolate candy bars, marshmallows.

Making our own little campfire in the backyard watching the sunset.

G.K. Chesterton says "Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, Do it again; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, Do it again, to the sun; and every evening, Do it again to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

C.S. Lewis "Joy is the serious business of heaven."

Nehemiah 8:10 "The joy of the Lord is your strength."