Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Notice! {five minute friday} :: Giveaway Winner reveal!

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Happy Friday - to one and all!

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week away!!  One of my favorite holidays...

If you're fairly new here, due to coming by with the recent Mugs and Muffins post... than you might be wondering what this Five Minute Friday is all about. Hang on for one second.  First, a great big WELCOME to you and in speaking of Mugs and Muffins... I wanted to quick to tell you...
The Giveaway winner is::  Christine G.

I'm so happy about this.  Because, If I'm not mistaken, Christine has been a regular reader; a daily encourager of my blog, for like... what seems like forever... and I don't think she has ever won anything from here.  So - congrats to you my dear blogging friend!  Finally, it has happened for you...

Christine, I really hope you feel blessed today!

**Please congratulate her when you find a minute to do so.  And Christine, if you don't mind emailing me your mailing address I'll get this out to you - ASAP!
***

So...
Back to FMF!

This is where a community of very brave souls take on a challenge... with a particular word prompt... and writes their post in five minutes flat.
 No overediting.  No overthinking.  Just writing real and raw.

Today's word prompt is:: Notice!

Here is the link information, to Kate's blog, with all the how-to's, so you can join in, as well.

((Click on the button))

Just know that everyone should feel welcome to participate.  There is only but one rule.  You're simply asked to visit the person who entered before you... and encourage them.  I am so grateful for that, because, there are some days... I'm like, "whatever in the world did I just write?", lol!!,  and always, without fail, there will be a high-five or congrats coming through the back door.

Oh, it's wonderful to be encouraged!!  Isn't it??

So, here is today's prompt.
:: notice::

Ready. Set. Go.

She slipped quietly into the room, her husband by her side.
She didn't say much.
Her smile was present but faint.
This didn't quite seem like my friend.
The one who always appeared bubbly and sure!

I smiled from across the room.  She shrugged a half-grin my way...
but her eyes told of an ever-deepening depth to the layer of insecurity, I clearly sensed.
What?  I was left to wonder, throughout the meeting, if all was well.

They were fairly new to the group.  I was only getting to know these folks...
Bright lights to any room.
Encouragers themselves.
An aroma of Jesus...

I wasn't even sure my perceptions were correct.

Did I dare say anything??  Snuff out this flickering flame?
 I questioned...
 I worried.
But, later... in pulling her aside; prompting my concerns..and in drawing her out, she admitted...

She was hoping no one would notice ... but she was sure glad I did.

Me too!

:: stop::

***

We're looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving week ahead!  How about you?
Our children will be off of school Monday through Friday...for the Holiday, but for Parent/Teacher conferences, as well.
We have out-of-state friends coming to visit... (can't wait!)
We also have two other family get together's...
Which in turn means my kitchen will be one busy place this upcoming week! :)
We're just really looking forward to sharing this time together as a family.

We're grateful to God for his gracious, generous gifts to us!
We're so blessed!

Until next time...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mugs and Muffins :: Elevenses or Tea at Eleven - Guest Post by Shirley Ann Vels, and GIVEAWAY! {now CLOSED!}

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Welcome Back!  Thanks for popping your nose back here on Treasured Up and Pondered and seeing what this Mugs and Muffins thing is all about.  After all, with the exception of the past couple of Friday's, I am the one who has taken a bit of a blogging break and well...here I am.

Here we are!  

Happy rainy Monday Morning and it sure is good to be with you here today!!  Thank you for reading...


Pull up a chair and take a seat.  We're in for a real treat today.   We're having a true-blue Tea Party!!  This Tea Time should start at eleven... ;) but I couldn't wait to get started here today.  It's okay to come early and stay late...

 You may want to grab something nice and hot awhile... obviously, preferably tea!  Or, whatever it is you wish...I just want you to enjoy!   A plate of yumminess will be passed around shortly...

hang tight.

Today, we have a dear friend from across the pond, sharing with us today.  She'll be sharing a sweet moment that she gets to enjoy every day - with her family.  Mostly, due to culture but more than likely it's a desire of her heart.

Make welcome...  Shirley Ann Vels.  Shirley blogs daily at Under an English Sky.

:: Guest Post :: 
Tea at Eleven (or Elevenses)

Tea is big stuff here in England! Honestly, a cuppa can cure the worst of things. It’s almost a mantra to live by. Having a bad day? Have a cuppa. Feeling a big down in the dumps? Have a cuppa. Got caught out by one of our many rain showers? Have a cuppa. It cures ALL!

There’s even a special set aside time in the morning for a tea break, I’m sure you must have heard of it – ‘Elevenses’. Yip, at eleven o’clock each morning it is time for a date with the kettle and your favourite brew. Since living in England we have completely embraced this little bit of English culture. They definitely have something there – tea does seem to cure ALLOT of things ;)

To tell you the truth, I have a bit of a thing for all things ‘tea-time’. It’s such a lovely way to bring a bit of elegance and old fashioned grace to the day. I love and collect tea pots and tea cosies. Why not make tea-time as pretty as you can I say!

There is something quite calming about filling up a tea pot, allowing it to brew and keep warm while topped with the prettiest of cosies and then slowly pouring out the golden liquid into a pretty tea cup – saucer and all!

 I use a lovely antique sugar spoon to scoop the sugar into the tea cup – just to my taste. Of course no tea time is ever complete without a lovely English scone accompanied by lashings of strawberry jam cream! This cannot be a daily occurrence naturally. Imagine the size I would be! 

So a scone tea, (Yip – you guessed it. There is even a name for tea if accompanied by traditional English scones), is the exception rather than the rule. You could pop scones into your trolley for such an occasion, but let’s be honest, homemade is best! 

((go ahead, pass the plate around.  Take one if you please...  they look so scrumptious!))

((Shirley continues...))

Here is my own scone recipe, on days when I’m feeling a bit adventurous I add a handful of cranberries, or perhaps sultanas, maybe even some chocolate Chips for the children. Go wild – experiment with the basic recipe (variations below) and enjoy a very adventurous tea time.

 Who knows – perhaps Mary Poppins might be inclined to drop in on such a happy English affair!

:: RECIPE ::

Scones
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Pre-Heat Oven to 220 decrees Celsius
Ingredients for about 24 scones

125g butter
500g self-raising flour
1ml (¼ teaspoon) salt
2 eggs
125-150ml milk

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture looks like bread-crumbs. Add the salt. Mix in the beaten eggs and the milk to make a soft dough, adding more milk if necessary.
Pat or toll out the dough lightly until it is about 1.5 cm thick, and cut into 4 cm rounds with a pastry cutter. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 – 15 minutes.

Variations: Use whole wheat flour or a mixture of whole-wheat and cake flour, adding 10ml baking powder.  Make cheese scones by mixing in 50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated, and 1 ml dry mustard before the eggs and milk. Serve hot and buttered. 
You can sweeten plain scones by adding 15 ml sugar to the basic mixture before the milk. To make fruit scones add 50g sugar and 100g sultanas or cranberries to the mixture.

Wow!!  I love this.
What a great tradition to have be part of the home!!  A consistent time to just "be", drink tea and enjoy a moment of true rest and relaxation.

I asked Shirley if I might be able to ask a few questions, just to get to know her a bit better and with that, wanted her to "explain" a few things more in depth. She was more than agreeable...

Here is our time of Q & A now...

-You said, "since living here in England"... makes me wonder of assume that you may have recently moved here...?  If so, can you tell why or how that came about?
We are a South African family who immigrated to the UK in 2011. We have English roots, Trevor's mum is English, she left England after the 2nd World War. My roots are English on my mothers side and  Scandinavian and Scottish on my fathers side - a real mix we are :) We left South Africa as we felt that the crime rate was just not what we wanted for our children. England is safer and affords them more opportunity than they would have if we remained in South Africa. Having lived in England before, both of us really loved the country and felt that it was were we wanted to be. So we did it! We packed up our lives in Cape Town and set up in England. I have to say that we have seen God's hand upon us from before we even left South African shores. He has opened doors and provided for us on many levels. 

-Adjusting to English Culture... any other "surprises" or treats besides Tea Time?

 When living in South Africa I thought that we were quite 'English' in our ways and culture. But actually we are not. England has it's own quirks and ways that you wouldn't really know about without living here. I struggled initially with how 'proper' they are. It's takes a fair amount of living in one place to truly form bonds of friendship. They are hard people to 'crack'. They are completely pleasant and friendly of course, but those deeper bonds are hard to come by. I have to say though that once you have an English persons friendship it is genuine and loyal.

-You have so many "coined phrases" - it always makes me smile to read them.  They leave me wondering... ie; What is a trolley?, What are Sultanas?, Lashings...?  These are all things you mentioned in your "post" here today..
 :) Oh my goodness, I think our 'coined phrases' are definitely an English thing and was one 'thing' I didn't have to get used to when we moved to England. I was brought up on 'coined phrases' that are all decidedly English - must be my English heritage coming through. 'Lashings' is very 'Enid Blyton' (popular children's author from the 1930's and 40's, think 'Secret Seven and Magic Faraway Tree here - my childhood fodder). Lashings means to be very generous with, heaps of. So lashings of cream would mean loads of cream :). 'Trolley' is what you would call a shopping cart, ours are 'shopping trolley's' and 'Sultanas' are like a raisin. Raisins are dried white grapes, sultana's are also dried white grapes but of the seedless varieties. They are golden in colour and tend to be plumper, sweeter and juicier than raisins. I think they are referred to as 'Golden Raisins' in the U.S

What is one of your favorite pastimes - besides, sipping tea? :)
 Apart from sipping tea ;), I have so many things that I love doing. I knit, sew and cross stitch quite allot (although never as much as I would like to). I'm a homeschooling mama so most of my time is taken up with educating our girls, a 'job' which a relish and love. I am also very involved with our parish church. I sing in the Choir and generally get involved in all the lovely activities that go on in our lovely little Parish Church. My faith and the church is a bit part of my life. 

I know you have an etsy shop... what are some of the things you feature there?
 I've actually closed my Etsy shop down as I was not having much success with being 'noticed' on that forum. I've had huge success on Ebay though which is exciting. So, Ebay it is for me for the moment. I sell bunting (another very English 'thing'). I pretty much have bunting for just about any occasion in our home and if I don't have it I make it! My recent selling success has been autumn themed bunting. I have to say that being quite busy with educating my daughters I am unable to keep my 'shop' as stocked as I would like. It's a bit 'as and when' with me on that front. I intend for it to become allot more serious once the girls have 'graduated' home school and are off to college.

Would you allow questions from my readers?

I would love to answer any questions from readers :) Sounds like fun.

There you have it.  It sounds like Shirley would enjoy hearing from you, too!!  Feel free to ask any questions or share your own teatime stories.  Perhaps you could share your favorite brew and delicacy to go alongside...

:: Giveaway::
Today's giveaway is pretty nice ... if I can say so myself.  I hope you like it.  

However, I want to take a moment to explain two of the main giveaway items...if you don't mind.

First off...I am very excited to introduce to you another dear blogging friend of mine.  Her name is Pam Phelps.  

Pam blogs daily at Where Your Treasure Is.  I am so glad I discovered her blog.  Her recipes and photos are simply amazing...

Anyway.
I was reading Pam's lovely, lovely blog one day - and, on this particular day, she was sharing a tutorial (a great one, by the way!) on how to make Tea Cozies.  An idea was born (yeah!) and I garnered up nerve to ask her if she would be interested in donating a cozie for a future giveaway.  

She was elated!!  She also let me borrow a few photos for today. :)

The Tea Cozy that is part of today's Giveaway - looks very, very similar to the one in the photo.  I can't be sure if it is exact, exact.  But, it's a close, look-a-like and equally as beautiful!  (It's still wrapped up very pretty from Pam herself... well, I did manage to sneak a  peek at it.  I will tell you...It's hard to give it up!! ;)  Pam sends along her love to the blessed recipient...


The second part of the giveaway that I would like to highlight is this cookbook.   Homemade Goodness!


Homemade Goodness is a cookbook that has my sister's name written all over it.  Literally.  She was  part duo of a team that gathered recipes from former cooks to the camp where my sister, Gladys, is now head cook of.  Actually, to keep the facts straight -- She has been the head cook at this Bald Eagle Wilderness Boy's Camp for going on eight, nearly nine years.

She is one of the best cooks I know!

And, I am happy to be able to support her and the ministry, by selling off a few of these cookbooks, if  I can.

Obviously, I'm giving one a way today!

But, if you don't win and would like to have one of these GREAT cookbooks as part of your kitchen library - then let me know and I can get you all the details for making a purchase or two for yourself.
(Homemade Goodness, $16,95 plus s/h)

Thirdly, the package of Autumn Blessing Napkins are yours as well; part of this giveaway!

You never know.  They may come in handy for your own up and coming tea party, yes?

FOR (multiple) ENTRIES in THE GIVEAWAY, we'll try to keep this as simple as possible!!

Like mentioned earlier - perhaps you have a question for Shirley?  She would love to hear from you...
Maybe you have your own tea time story; a favorite tea or side to share about.  Each comment counts...as an entry...including facebook comments!   I love having the comment section be a place for interaction.   Imagine as if you're gathered around the table set for tea and this is what we do... We gab!  We interact.  We get to know one another.... 

Tell all your friends!  The more the merrier!

Maybe you're new here; this is your first time here at Treasured Up and Pondered!  If you sign up to follow my blog - I'd like that, and... it counts for second entry. Or, perhaps you've decided to begin following Shirley or Pam's blog.  Just let me know if you've become a follower... remember it counts as another entry.

This Giveaway is short lived, so act fast!
It will end on Wednesday evening, the 19th, at 10:00pm, EST.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced sometime on Friday...

UPDATE: this Giveaway is NOW CLOSED!! Thank you, all,  for visiting...the winner will be announced sometime on Friday!

***
That's it for today, Lovely Ladies!
I really hope you enjoyed your time of tea with me!

Until, next time...
Which, most likely, will be -- Friday!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

{five minute friday} STILL

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::go ::
The word and idea of community keeps swirling around in my mind.  
I am not sure if it is because I have been feeling so out-of-the-loop here of late or not, being recently sick and all.
However, this idea of being in community or relationship is so necessary.  So vital.
And, when you're feeling out touch with reality -well, that can feel like such a loss.
But.  One thing I know.
I am anchored.
I'm anchored still.
The greatest relationship and one worth keeping is with the One who matters most!

It truly is the only place one can feel safe and secure in.
The light may not be burning as brightly...
But still...I'm in the right place.

Safe.
Secure.
Surrounded.
I will not be moved.
Yet, I long for it to deepen, still.

***
Joining up with Kate and this lovely Five Minute Friday community... and, so can you!
Everyone is welcome.
Click the button-link below to view all the details.



***
May I extend an invitation?
I would like to invite you, my dear reader, back here on MONDAY morning.


It's time for yet another Mugs and Muffins!!
One that you won't want to miss...at least, I don't think so. :)
It's here that we'll have a Guest Post blogger and wonderful, wonderful Giveaway!



Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!
See you Monday!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Out the Window :: {Five Minute Friday - Turn}

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:: go ::
This whole week has been a rough one.
We've done a lot of staring out the windows.
There has been "little or no school" and a lot of couch time.
It has taken us all out.

One, by one, by one.
We've succombed to (high) fevers and severe head and chest colds.
The last man stands, literally, but barely.  He too, is on his way down.
 Yikes!
Can we change the scenery?
We wonder.
Don't get me wrong - we love what we see.  The trees all afire, and such.  It's pretty.
But with our lungs feeling like they do... they too, all afire... well, that's not funny.

It hurts.

We medicate.
We've Doctored...
We share a lot of TLC.
We've prayed.
HARD and often!

Expectant and ready.
This too shall pass..

We're ready to turn a new leaf, as it were...
::stop::

***
Five Minute Friday - 4

Joining up with a unique community...one you can easily be a part of, too...all writing in five minutes on one word prompt.
 Today's prompt was :: turn! For details, click HERE!

Until next time...

Friday, October 31, 2014

{day 31} Home Quotes and Sentiments :: Whatever you Please... and GIVEAWAY WINNER, reveal!

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How to wrap up this fun and wonderfully challenging month of blogging all on the same theme?
The photo prompt for today is:
Whatever you Please...

Simple enough... and I could go in many different directions.

Ironically, like a blown away puff to a dandelion.   My thoughts are scattered.  Truth be told - my toddler snatched this very dandelion mere seconds after snapping these photos and it was gone!!

Gone with the wind...and so are my thoughts!  I want to say, though, that I really had a lot of fun with this challenge.  As, I hope you've had just as much enjoyment reading along.  I've heard from many of my readers that you did. The month of October flew by way too fast... albeit, thoroughly enjoyed, yet, I was getting tired. :)  I'm glad I hung in there...and...

Thankfully, my heart is grounded to the word HOME!

All that to say.  Questions.  There have been a few rolling around in my heart and mind and have been recently thrown my way from my nearest and dearest.
Good questions.  Questions like...

What keeps me here?
Why am I a Homemaker?
Who do I please and why?
How do I do it all?  or Not do it all...?
Priorities... what are they?

Ones that reveal truly my heart and where I stand.
I love my home, my family, my role and my calling.
But... from within this series came a revealing that the roots were running way shallower than I ever expected.  What I thought was roots really running deep... really, weren't so much.

All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.  ~ Proverb

It's time to go love - fully - on my HOME and my loved ones!

The first indication of domestic happiness is the love of one's home.  ~ Frances D. Montlosier




I'm not saying good-bye... that I know of.  Yet!
But, just for a season, I'm going to drift off into the great unknown.  Showing only a bit of myself here and there.
I do have a few plans for an occasional post or two in the month of November.

One of them being a Mugs & Muffins post.
I already have a great Guest Post and Giveaway lined up for that, which I'm very excited about.  I pray that I'll at least have one or two readers remaining... at that point. :)

I so hope you'll check in with me - from time to time. 
 I just simply would appreciate your patience and prayers...
Thank you... oh, so much!

A home is the total contribution of love on the part of each one dwelling within it. 
~ Anne Pannell

And now, for our long-awaited..

::GIVEAWAY ::


And the lovely WINNER is...


Wow.. figuring out who the winner was (by number generator) was almost as big of a challenge as was the month of challenges in and of itself.  Congratulations, Connie!!
I'll be getting this bag out to you - as soon as possible.

I had to run the numbers several times... due to the fact that it kept on landing on someone who said they wanted to pass (this round!) on the giveaway.    Blessings go out to Connie - because I know she really wanted to win this bag!

***

Participating in:  31 days/Five Minute Free Writes/ Photography Challenge.

I'll be daily updating this link, HERE, so that you can keep up with any entries you may have missed!
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