Welcome to my tea blog! Here, have a cup of tea :).

In this blog, I will be drinking a lot of tea, but I am willing to share! I also will talk about my quest to create a comtemplative tea lifestyle and slow things down so that I can enjoy my life more, and about how drinking tea brings peace to my day.

It, truly, is the pause that refreshes, and I am asking myself how I can create more of that and less of the crazy-buzy, hurry-to-get-to-the-next-thing energy that all too often adds pressure and tension to my day.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Introducing Myself, My Business & My Family

Show Us Your Business Wednesday

I am Jeanine Byers Hoag, a tea entrepreneur and tea blogger (multiple blogger), a write-at-home homeschooling mom, a certified holistic health practitioner, an INFP and an Enneagram 4. My partner and I have a 15-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son.

I am a tea consultant with Tealightful Treasures. Our teas are all-natural and a few are organic. We also offer scones, cookies, teapots, tea cups and other goodies and accessories.

I've loved tea for a long time! A year ago, I had to give up the caffeinated sweet tea I had come to depend on so much, and I discovered how much I like slowing down for a cup of tea and contemplation. I am also a healing practitioner, passionate about all things healing, and I think of the tea lifestyle as having healing impact. It certainly has been powerful enough to turn a cranky mom into a tranquil one (time and time again).

What's your favorite tea?

Tea Party Themed Wedding Reception Menu

Tea Party Themed Wedding Reception Menu

I recommend a black tea to serve with scones, cucumber tea sandwiches and other sweets. Serve your scones with clotted cream and cut your sandwiches into heart shapes.

If cucumber sandwiches are not to your liking, you could serve roast beef or ham sandwiches, instead. Just be sure to add cheese, to make the sandwiches small, and to serve a strong tea with them.

Suggested Menu

black tea ~ earl grey or english breakfast
scones with clotted cream
cucumber tea sandwiches (heart-shaped)
roast beef and pear chutney sandwiches (heart-shaped)
vanilla tea-infused sponge cakes

~~menu is taken from Tea Party: 20-Themed Tea Parties with Recipes for Every Occasion, from Fabulous Showers to Intimate Occasions, by Tracy Stern

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Show Us Your Business" Wednesdays

Show Us Your Business Wednesday

Tomorrow begins a weekly extravaganza that involves a dedicated group of mom bloggers and an opportunity to connect with each other.

Each week we will respond to the same blogging prompt and then share the links to our blog posts so we can all read each other's blogs and get to know each other. I'm looking forward to participating!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Planning Your Tea-Themed Wedding Reception

Afternoon Tea Decorations Ideas

I suggest using heart-shaped tea cups and saucers, round skirted tables with flowers and teapots that match the theme, and tiered trays to serve the sweets.

For choosing where to have it, I recommend a cozy room with a fireplace or a larger room with a cozy or warm seating arrangement.

Afternoon Tea Music

For your music choices, you could use romantic classical selections or soft jazz or both. If you are going to hire a band, have them play the kinds of music you are considering to see how it feels and determine whether or not it fits your theme.

Next Post: the menu...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Teatini Recipe for Bridesmaid Tea Party

"Go beyond the typical bridal shower [or bridesmaid party] activities and create a party the bride-to-be and her friends will really love: a spa night that helps everyone relax and have a great time. Serve healthful, delicious foods buffet style, and offer a selection of fun tea-based martinis." ~~Tracy Stern

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bridesmaids Tea Party

The Luncheon

In whatever way this get-together occurs, if you are the bride, get some help with the planning! You are too busy as it is. For decorations and menu suggestions, use the same ideas presented for the bridal tea.


Here is a recipe from Bridal Teas.

Deviled Ham Sandwiches

1 1/3 cups finely chopped ham
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

The Gift

They are your friends, they are family, and they have been a help or a comfort to you throughout the wedding planning process. You want to thank them in a way that let's them know how special they are to you, without breaking the bank (especially if the wedding is already doing that for you!).

In keeping with the theme, I suggest giving them a tea service, even if only for a tea party of one. Add a tin of the loose tea you will be serving at the reception and call it done!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Afternoon Tea Bridal Shower

Bridal Shower Tea Party Menu

Have an assortment of different types of teas, including iced tea, and you may want to include coffee for guests who dislike tea altogether. You also should provide simple tea fare, such as cakes, cookies, scones, pastries. Feel tree to take a trip to the bakery if baking in any form is not you thing.

Bridal Shower Tea Party Decorations

"The brides colors. Decorate using flowers and linens that coordinate with the wedding colors. Decorations at a bridal tea are often more elaborate than a regular tea party. Many people like to keep with white linens and merely accent with the brides wedding colors."~~Tamera Bastiaans

Bridal Shower Tea Invitations

You could go with either the tea theme and look for invitations with teapots or tea cups, or you could go with the wedding theme and use that as your guide in choosing invitations.

Here and here, too, are some really cute examples if you prefer the tea theme.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Afternoon Tea Wedding Invitations

"Your wedding day is one of the most important events of your life, so the invitation you choose should not only set the mood for the occasion, but should reflect the individual personalities of the bride and groom."~~Wedding Invitations Plus

For more casual invitations, tea themes abound! You won't find it hard at all to find invitations you can adapt for use with your wedding or commitment ceremony.

But for a more formal invitation, you may want to go without a tea theme or have your invitations custom-designed so they look exactly the way you want them to and include the tea theme you want.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Designing Your Tea-Themed Wedding: Location


Most people choose to tie the knot in a church or synagogue or other place of worship. To support the tea theme, you might consider an older church or Victorian decorations.

But if you are considering an other places for your ceremony, how about a country Bed and Breakfast or cottage? They often have deep front porches and Victorian decor and some have afternoon tea built into their schedules. Or, you could have an outdoor wedding beneath a gazebo or by a lake.

Destination Weddings

Are you thinking about a destination wedding? A B&B in England would fit in even better with the afternoon tea theme!

This web page has links for several articles about planning destination weddings. One very important piece of advice for destination weddings is to take a trip to the place you're considering. If there are several, that could make for some fun vacations! Just call it "research."

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Create Your Own Afternoon Tea Wedding

"Marriage is the joining of two lives, the mystical, physical, and emotional union of two human beings who have separate families and histories, separate tragedies and destinies. It is the merging and intermeshing not only of two bodies and two personalities, but also of two life stories.

To be married means we belong with someone else, that we are no longer always alone, ... that there is a parallel presence and spirit in all that we undertake. We are bridled, connected, attended. We move in the midst of the aura, the welcoming soul-filling presence of another human being."~~Daphne Kingma, Weddings from the Heart

The Essentials for Planning Your Ceremony

Congratulations! Or please pass my congratulations on to whoever you're thinking of as you read this post.

And how fun that you're interested in having a tea-themed ceremony. This week's posts will give you advice, ideas and suggestions for infusing the spirit of tea into every aspect of your wedding experience...

Designing a Tea-Infused Wedding or Commitment Ceremony

Sending Tea-Themed Invitations

Planning a Tea-Inspired Bridal Shower

Planning a Tea-Themed Bridesmaid Luncheon

Planning a Tea-Themed Reception

Friday, June 11, 2010

Meditation for Your Tea Retreat

"Ceremonies we create for ourselves are our way of reclaiming our soul time so that we can be nourished by whatever we hold sacred." -Donna Fellman & Lhasha Tizer, Tea Here Now: Rituals, Remedies & Meditations

Start with a minute or two of deep breathing, perhaps while looking outside and contemplating nature. This could happen when the water heats up.

While the tea brews, take as much time as you have to do a brief meditation, whether that's five minutes or ten. You could create a peaceful scene or follow a guided meditation or just breathe in nature.

This contemplation could continue as you sip your tea or you might sip while writing insights in your journal.

"With each sip, we become more grounded and open to an inner knowing. The tea helps us quiet our mind, come into focus, and find a still point of concentration. We begin to notice if there is something that is longing for our attention, that we wish to come to terms with, or that we want to know more about. Is there an unanswered question nudging at us? With a cup of tea at hand, in a spacious, natural setting, there's room for all of our questions and concerns." -Donna Fellman & Lhasha Tizer, Tea Here Now: Rituals, Remedies & Meditations

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Perfect Cup of Tea

To make a perfect cup of tea, heat your water, and when it is almost boiling, pour your heated water into your teapot and your tea cup to warm them. Once they are warmed, you can pour the water out.

Put a carefully measured amount of loose tea into your teapot. How much you pour into it will depend on the type of tea you are using. Check your recipe.

Pour the water over the tea leaves and let it steep. Green teas will take 2-3 minutes. For oolong tea, you will need 4-6 minutes. Black teas require 4-5 minutes and herbal teas often need 5-10 minutes. It may take some experimenting to determine the exact amount of time for your tea.

Pour your tea into your teacup and enjoy it!

Monday, June 7, 2010

How Afternoon Tea Began

Afternoon tea, as we know it today, began in the 19th century, around 1840. During that time, it was customary for lunch to be served early, but dinner often did not occur until 8pm or 9pm at night.

According to the story, Anna Maria, who was duchess of Bedford (the 7th one), asked her maid to bring her a tray with some tea and sandwiches. She liked it so much that she invited friends to come have tea with her and eventually began to add pastries and other sweets.

That was when afternoon tea was born and it wasn't long before other women began to host their own quite elegant tea parties. At that time, the tea, the eating, was far less important than the gathering itself. They gossiped, enjoyed each other's company and learned all about the latest goings-on.

It only took a few decades for it to become a well-established custom.

Afternoon tea usually was held between 4pm and 5pm, and women got quite dressed up for it. It became so popular that tea shops and tea rooms opened and fancy hotels began serving afternoon tea, as they still do today in London.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Designing Your Afternoon Tea Retreat

"In the practice of tea, a sanctuary is created where one can take solace in the tranquility of the spirit." ~~Seh Soshitsu XV

Dedicating daily time for a tea ritual slows you down long enough to get centered again and provides time for reflection. It also can give you a few minutes to reconnect you with nature.

(1) First, choose the place for your ritual, and decide what you would like to have with you in your space. You might want to place a candle there, to light during your ritual, and a book that inspires you. Or a fresh flower from your garden.

(2) Then, create your ceremony by deciding on the sequence of steps you will use. You might decide to start with a brief meditation, drink your tea and then, and then, write in your journal.

(3) Designate an ending for the ritual, like blowing out your candle, or sounding a bell.

"Just a cup of tea. Just another opportunity for healing. Just the hand reaching out to receive the handle of the cup. Just noticing hot. Noticing texture and fragrance. Just a cup of tea. Just this moment in newness. Just the hand touching the cup. Just the arm retreating. ... What a wonderful cup of tea. The tea of peace, of satisfaction. Drinking a cup of tea, I stop the war." ~~Stephen Levine

Take a Little Time for Tea

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More Reasons Why You Need a Daily Tea Break

Those of us who work from home or stay at home with our kids never seem to schedule in time for ourselves to relax. Our daily focus often revolves around what still needs to be done and how we're going to do it.

But tea has a way of slowing us down long enough to breathe a little more deeply, let go of some of the tension that we often carry around unrecognized and allow enough space for insights and creative solutions to float into our minds. The ones that might make the rest of our day a little easier.

"So steep a small pot, retrieve a cup and saucer and renew your spirit. The tea break has a long tradition." ~~Kim Waller, The Art of Taking Tea.