Introducing The New “Tea Party Girl” – Sonya Michelle
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.”
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….
Here’s a photo of me with my husband, Tony, and our 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” 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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