Sunday, February 2, 2014


As I reflect on this past week and prepare to host a special Downton Abbey tea at my home this evening, I am feeling very blessed to be surrounded by good friends and everyday surroundings that bring joy to my heart. While most everyone else will be watching the Super Bowl, a few friends and I will be enjoying a Downton Abbey tea (We all love the television series and look forward to each new episode). I'm not really a football fan but I do love hockey and am watching that this afternoon now that my Lady Carlyle teapot, teacups, and other tea accoutrements are all out and ready for tea!

Have you seen the unofficial Downton Abbey cookbook that came out in 2012?

I bought it last year but have yet to try the recipes. Many look rather complicated. For now, I'll stick with my simple tea fare. My staple is cucumber watercress sandwiches.

This morning I was delighted to find that several African violets are now gracing my windowsill with their pretty blooms. I grow them in my kitchen window wells, which are extra deep. This allowed us to insert glass shelves into them. Many years ago when I was a youngster, I remember driving by a wonderful old home with a huge picture window adorned with shelves of colorful glass. Ever since then, I vowed that I would one day have a house where I could create window vignettes—only I paint mine with violets instead of glass! I think I will bring these pink-flowering pretties out to adorn the tea table! It's amazing how much beauty there is around our everyday surroundings. I find it in the smallest of things like these miniature violet trailers.

I always try to find something to be grateful about each day—some days are harder than others but this Friday, it was very easy because I was able to enjoy a nice lunch and afternoon with my friend, Merry. Always generous in spirit and heart, she surprised me with one of the most precious gifts I've received. She had it all packaged so sweetly in this felt owl bag. It was enough to make this owl-obsessed person squeal with delight!

Inside that sweet owl bag was an exquisite owl bento box! 

Here's one of the two little owls...

Also included in the owl gift bag were the cutest little Japanese condiment containers!

It was such a thoughtful gift and I was so touched that she took the time to search for an owl bento box for me. I've been wanting to learn more about bento box recipes and even purchased a cookbook (below) on the subject last year.

With a grateful heart, I am saying a prayer of thanks for all the good things and people in my life. I wish you all a good Sunday!