Introducing The New “Tea Party Girl” – Sonya Michelle

Sonya Michelle, Tea Party Girl

 

It’s hard to believe that today has finally come.  Today is the day I turn over my “hostess” responsibilities at Tea Party Girl.com to a special someone.  I have loved owning and operating Tea Party Girl and I have so enjoyed getting to know each and everyone of it’s readers. (like YOU!)

So without further adieu let me introduce to you, Sonya Michelle, the NEW, “Tea Party Girl.”

Sonya Michelle, Tea Party Girl

 I’m ready to bring you more exciting ideas, stories, information and recipes on Tea Party Girl.com

Q: Welcome Sonya Michelle.  First things first.  All of the readers of this blog are dying to know your personal tea story.  We want to know the nitty gritty on how you came to love afternoon tea and what it’s like to “take tea” in Australia (where you live!)

A: Thank you all for a lovely, warm welcome!  I am sooo delighted to meet the criteria and pass the test to qualify as the new hostess of afternoon tea with Tea Party Girl. Yes, I am an Aussie and I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the two years that my husband, Tony, and I spent living in Atlanta GA, USA,  working and living like a local. Traveling a bit and exploring a lot and loving our lives and friends over there! Back home here in Brisbane, Australia – now with 3 beautiful sons – nothing gets me through the day quite like a cup of tea, or two, or three….

 

Sonya Michelle and Family

 

Here’s a photo of me with my husband, Tony, and my three Boys Charlie, Max and Rhys (L-R), earlier this year.

 

I haven’t always been, but for the past 12 months or so I have become almost exclusively a tea drinker, so I think it is curious that this new venture has presented itself to me now.  Doesn’t life work in curious ways?
Australia, just like the USA, is a large country, so I’m sure I can’t speak for all Australians, but taking tea in the typical circles I circulate in involves – tea bags and mugs!  Occasionally a cup and saucer, but usually a mug.  We’re usually all in such a hurry it’s a teabag and a mug – and if you’re at the home of a coffee drinker, it’s a coffee mug at that!

At a coffee shop or café, a teapot and strainer and cup and saucer will be served (but the mug will be thick and clunky and not at all elegant, sob!).

It hasn’t always been the case in my life … my Grandmother would serve ‘proper’ morning and afternoon tea, with fine china, a teapot and homemade date slice (I must see if I can get hold of that recipe from the family – it was delicious).  More recently, a very sophisticated and charming neighbor would serve an elegant afternoon tea, with delightful teacups, company and chatter.  But everyone seems to be in such a hurry these days, and everything is done ‘on the run’.

 

I’m on a mission to bring the experience of soul nurturing afternoon tea times back into our lives.  Surrounded by friends and/or family and treated with small, delectable treats is what we need.

 

 

 Q:What part of Australia do you live in and can you tell us something about YOU?
A: I’ve lived in a few parts of Australia in my time, but find myself happily settled in ‘rural-residential’ acreage suburbia in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  With three growing and lively sons, we have the space to move here, and grow and be noisy and keep chickens and run with friends, get muddy, graze knees, laugh, love and live.

 

Tea for Two - Australia with Sonya Michelle

 

“Tea for Two” in Australia : Two Rainbow Lorikeets having bread and honey on my back deck.

Besides being a full time Mom and happy wife, I also love the internet and connecting with people with similar interests to myself through my computer! I love fresh, healthy food and looking after my health and the needs of my family.

To me, tea is a big part of this healthy living and I’ve become increasingly interested in the health benefits of different types of tea.  (Not to mention the healthy social aspects!)

I love spending time with friends, caring for our animals, spending time at home and I always endeavor to make my interactions with others a positive experience.

 

Q:What made you connect with “Tea Party Girl.com” ?
A: My increasing interest in having a healthful lifestyle and excluding harmful and unnecessary ingredients from our bodies had led me to thinking more about what I consume – is this a dead giveaway for my age? – and a love for drinking tea and sharing a social ‘cuppa’ with special people in order to connect, and enjoy, made the opportunity to join Tea Party Girl literally “jump out” at me.

There are so many aspects to enjoy about Tea Party Girl.  The drinking of the tea for taste and refreshment, the gorgeous accompanying accessories (the ‘pretties’ – teapots, teacups, tea towels, trays, sandwich platters, table cloths….), the opportunity for friendship, sharing, connecting, the opportunity for charitable events and business endeavors.  Tea is so easily interwoven with so many aspects of life!

 

Q: What’s your favorite tea?
A: Is anyone else like this?  I seem to go through phases, where one month I will like one tea, another time I will prefer another tea.  I also prefer different teas at different times of the day, before and after particular meals.  At the moment, my overall favorite is peppermint herbal tea.  It is soooo very refreshing!

 

Q: What’s your favorite afternoon tea food?
A: Oooooh…well, because I’m on a plan to live to 100 years of age (there’s just so much to DO), and I’m taking a particular interest in healthful (but plentiful and delicious and more-ish) food, I particularly love tasty morsels of Orange and Almond Cake (made with oranges, almond meal, eggs and a little sugar) and dried fruit balls (made with chopped nuts, dates, raisins, coconut, …..) and I have a lovely and adaptable recipe for a “fruity carrot loaf”.  These all go beautifully well with most teas I drink – and are delightfully guilt-free.  Of course, if someone puts a dark chocolate mud cake in front of me, it will disappear in a flash as well…

 

Q: I know you have big plans for this site and for connecting with the readers.  Can you share just a few things we can all look forward to?
A: Where to start? I can’t decide if exploring the stunning array of tea cups, teapots and afternoon tea accessories out there should be first, or, perhaps an exploration of just how many different types of tea that are available to us to enjoy. Then again, the health benefits of tea are incredibly important to appreciate, so that will be a high priority.  The business of tea is an attractive and lucrative one to be in, so exploring further details of how this can be realized is on my list – and I’ll be asking you, Dawnya, to assist me here with your vast experience and knowledge of this area!

Fundraising for charitable causes is also of interest to me, and I imagine will be of interest to some readers, so I will be reporting on some ideas there.

In September, a “High Tea” is being held at a local ‘Bush Garden’ in my suburb and I will be attending to enjoy the experience, review the event and talk with the hostess about the proceedings.

I will also be visiting some local tea rooms (in comparison with coffee shops, they are few and far between, here, I can tell you!) I have just recently learned about, to report how those businesses attend their customers and what really makes them “tick”.

Have you ever heard of “Billy Tea”?  Well! That is an Aussie “experience” and a half.  I won’t call it a tradition, but it’s from folklore in this country and something to be experienced at least once!  If you like tea out of an enamel mug, with bits of ash from the open fire in it, and campfire smoke in your hair while you’re drinking it, you’ll love it!

 

Q: Where can the readers connect with you?
A: Since I’m nearly always connected to my computer, I’ll be close by if you post or send a message on Facebook or via contacttpg@gmail.com or the Contact Us page on teapartygirl.com  And on that note I warmly invite you to reach out and let me know your thoughts and wishes and requests for posts, information, solutions, recipes and topics for future blog posts.

 

 I want to thank you, beautiful Dawnya, for entrusting your much-loved Tea Party Girl blog to me, and thank you readers, for the opportunity to serve you and be in your lives.

 

Dawnyahat

Well ladies and gentleman.  I know I leave you in great hands and don’t worry, Sonya Michelle and I plan to work together from time to time.  I still have a contribution or two to make to the world of afternoon tea.

“Until then, pour yourself a cup of tea, sip, sigh and know you are loved.”

-Dawnya Sasse Tea Party Girl – Retired

 

Now You Can Host a Tea Party and Delegate it, Too!

Tea Hostess

 

 

Let’s face it. Many of us already work really hard. And for some of us, hosting any kind of event sounds like a lot of work.

Even more of us, especially independent Americans, rarely delegate for a number of reasons. I struggle to delegate because frankly, it’s often “easier” to take care of the responsibilities myself than try to communicate with others what I really want them to do.

However, my mother, Anne Evans of Teaching Tea recently participated as ONE of the hostesses of a progressive tea, where the participants visited four homes in an afternoon for each of tea courses. What a great idea!! She graciously offered to share her experience with us.

Be sure to notice: The guests received a gift to take home at each stop! Wouldn’t you enjoy attending a tea like this?!

“Let’s put on a progressive tea,” a friend suggested to me recently. I liked the idea and soon found two other ladies willing to open their homes, set the table, and prepare one part of an afternoon tea. Only one of us had done anything like this previously, though we each really enjoy hosting.

First the four of us met together to plan. Our homes are only 15 minutes apart, so we allowed 45 minutes for each stop and 15 minutes travel time. We provided a map at each place giving directions to the next. One lady planned to seat guests in her shady yard. Two ladies had enough tables to seat the guests. One hostess used chairs and end tables through the main part of her home to augment the limited space at her dining table.

The tea day dawned. At the first house, the participants enjoyed a strawberry and greens salad, a simple pasta salad, and iced tea. The hostess had a guest book for signing and gave each lady a little nylon bag filled with dried lavender and rose petals as she departed.

At house two, the savories graced the kitchen counter. There were egg salad sandwiches on sprouted grain bread, broccoli spears dipped in seasoned mayonnaise and toasted, chopped walnuts. Also included were ham and chutney roll ups, open-faced cucumber sandwiches, and tiny pastry shells filled with artichoke spread and topped with shredded carrots. A caffeine-free herbal rooibos tea refreshed everyone and directions for making
tea along with some tea samples provided the parting favor.

House three served scones with jam, lemon curd, and clotted cream along with mango blackberry hot tea. White Jordon almonds in a handkerchief were tied with a pretty ribbon and given to each guest.

The fourth house hosted the sweets which were lemon squares, fresh fruit, and chocolates along with a creme brule` hot tea. The favor here was a little, cloth hat purchased at the Dollar Store. We each donned our hats as the hostess had arranged for her neighbor to pop over and take a group picture.

Everyone talked and laughed their way through the entire tea, learning new things about the whole wonderful affair of making friends with tea.

The four of us met a week later to savor our success and ponder any improvements for next time. We decided our only misstep was in not writing our phone numbers on the maps. One lady did need some intervention on directions and a number would have simplified that frustration for her.

So, if you’re not wanting to tackle a tea all alone, how about getting together with a couple of friends for a progressive tea? Start small and simple. You’ll be amazed how delighted your guests will be.

3 Secrets To Amazing Health With Tea

black tea

 

black tea

 

The great thing about tea research is that new things come along all the time. And, every great discovery or new suggestion seems to spawn at least two new studies to go along with it. The following 3 discoveries are worth a closer look for any tea lover that is interested in building their overall health by drinking tea. Adding tea to your regular daily routine can not only increase your health, it can hydrate and energize you.

 Discovery #1: Herbal Tea And Colon Cancer

A recent laboratory study researched the effects of hot coffee, black or green tea,herbal tea and iced coffee. The study found that people who regularly drink herbal teas (at least once a week) appear to be less likely to develop bowel and colon related cancers.

This study is by no means complete and should not be taken as law. It is however interesting to consider. Herbal tea drinkers may also have a greater link with healthy eating than other beverages and this too may effect the research.

You can read more on this discovery at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-herbal-tea-offsets-colon-cancer.html

Discovery #2: Earl Grey And Heart Disease

Earl Grey combines rich black tea with the fragrant Mediterranean fruit known as Bergamot. Considered a classic, Earl Grey lovers span the globe and most people agree that you either love or hate Earl Grey Tea.

Today, UK Scientists are loving Earl Grey. A recent study showed that the “super fruit” combined with black tea may just lower cholesterol and help with a variety of cardiovascular difficulties. Bergamot appears to contain an enzyme which attacks bad proteins in the body, increasing your overall heart health.

Evidence is still in the infancy stage but so far the research looks great. If you want to become an early adopter, read the original article and see what you think:

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/a-cup-of-earl-grey-keeps-the-doctor-away-the-drink-could-guard-against-heart-disease-scientists-say-9225399.html

 

Discovery #3: Black Tea May Steady Blood Pressure

 

Scientists have long touted black tea and its positive effect on the heart. In 2013, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claimed that drinking black tea would reduce variations in blood pressure. Why is this important? Fluctuation in blood pressure can be a warning sign for stroke or heart attack. Australian researchers followed a large group of adults who suffered with hypertension over a period of 6 months.

One group drank black tea three times a day for the entire 6 months. The results showed that tea helped avoid blood pressure fluctuation a full 10%. Additional research is being done on this topic but scientist are convinced it is the tea and not the caffeine that is offering this amazing benefit.

Read more here: http://www.medicaldaily.com/black-tea-can-help-lower-blood-pressure-244903

 

Regardless of how you choose to use these 3 health tips, new tea discoveries are happening each and every day. Don’t just sit on this new knowledge and forget about it. Put it to good use so you can live a healthy lifestyle, which is really what every tea lover wants, right? Of course!

 

Detox and Tea – Is It A Good Match?

detox and tea

detox and tea

Ok.  Detox is a huge buzzword but what does it really mean?  Can detox and tea go hand in hand?  If you want to start a detox what should you do?  Each of these is a great question that deserves an answer!  This article will teach you exactly how to incorporate detox and tea into an easy regimen for a 3 to 5 day process.  Test it out and tell me what you think!

-Dawnya

Detox and Tea – Is It A Good Match?

by Susan Strut

The question of using tea as a healthy part of your diet is a no brainer, everyone knows that tea contains numerous health promoting properties such as high levels of antioxidants and flavonoids.

You will see on the market that there are so many different types of skinny teas, body teas and diet teas so how do you choose the best one for you? Some of them taste horrible or want you to change your diet completely and some just cost a lot of money and do nothing better than your local supermarket brand tea.

Like most things in life simple is usually best and it is the same when it comes to detox tea. I don’t like the idea of having to go on a special diet or only consume this or that when it comes to my health. I want to be able to add something to my existing diet or replace something that I am already doing with a better option. When it comes to detox teas I believe that having a tea that is organic and uses the highest quality natural ingredients is best. You want the tea to taste great and be good for every organ in your body, from your heart to your skin and even eyes. The detox tea that I prefer contains all of these with a long list of healthy, detox promoting herbs. This detox blend from the tea hut is amazingly high in all the good things that your body needs to clean and repair itself. It contains nettle, spearmint leaves, burdock root, liquorice, lemongrass, fennel and calendula petals, and each ingredient is of the highest quality and also 100% organic, natural and hand blended for optimal taste.

Here are just some of the many benefits of each ingredient:

Organic Nettle: Super high in iron and a powerful blood purifier.

Organic Spearmint: To aid the release of bile and stomach juices and promote natural digestion.

Organic Liquorice: To protect & support the liver.

Organic Burdock root: Contains blood purifying properties.

Organic Calendula petals: Contains flavonoids that prevent infection and inflammation.

Organic Fennel: Used to treat digestive problems.

Organic Lemongrass: An aid in detoxifying liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and digestive tract.

Another benefit of detox tea is that it is naturally caffeine free, this means that you can have it at any time of the day. When using detox tea I prefer to drink it in the evening so that your body can use the tea as a tool to help your body’s natural detox process while you sleep.

So if you feel like you need to detox and want to do it the simple and best way then how about adding or replacing your existing tea with this amazing organic herbal detox tea blend.

Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

Mothers Day Afternoon Tea

Mothers Day Afternoon Tea

Need a simple idea?  Why not host a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea?  I am not talking about a lavish event instead I am suggesting an intimate affair for you and the one you love.  Mother’s Day is May 11th this year, just a month away. Your typical Mother’s Day may be as simple as sending a card or flowers, or picking up the phone. Do you try to get together with your mum?   If so, what about setting aside some time for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea instead of fighting the Sunday brunch crowds?

Most mothers I know desire more quality time. Either their children are young, and they long for quality, uninterrupted time with their friends, or their children are grown and desire uninterrupted conversations and the full attention of their busy adult children. What could a mother enjoy more than a chance to sit down over a pot of afternoon tea and an opportunity for quality time with their loved ones?

Here’s a few simple ideas to get started:

1. Properly invite your mother. Decide whether to bring your Mother’s Day afternoon tea to her or host her it your home. Call her with a specific time and place that’s easy on her.

2. All you need for the event, especially if afternoon tea is a brand new experience is:

  • an uncluttered corner with two comfortable chairs and a small table.
  • a tablecloth or piece of pretty fabric to cover the table.
  • a small bouquet of flowers. Grocery store flowers work as well as the abundant wild flowers available right now.
  • a pot of properly-brewed tea.
  • two pretty tea cups. (If you don’t have any, ask a friend or even your mum!)
  • a particularly yummy dessert you make yourself or pick up at a bakery.

Now, there are many little details one can add to this event such as: linen napkins, instrumental music, or a savory. However, if you have never hosted afternoon tea, keep it simple and remember that the gift of quality time is your focus. If your mother mothered you before 1970, a Mother’s Day afternoon tea may very well have been a part of her history, yet not something she’s experienced with you.

If you’re a mother who needs quality time with your friends, see if you can modify the above with 3 or 4 of you on the Saturday afternoon before Mother’s Day. See if dads can watch the little ones, keep it simple, and give yourselves time to enjoy one another un-rushed and un-interrupted.

What mother do you know could benefit from sitting down over tea this spring for Mother’s Day?

 

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