Welcome to the Tea for Teal blog!

Thanks for reading! Here you'll find a random assortment of sewing projects, food, make-up reviews, the occasional book and movie review, my travels, and anything else that pops into my head!
If you like something please feel free to Follow Me on Pinterest

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Southern Christmas - Savannah, GA

Our romantic day in Savannah, GA

       Ansell and I passed through Savannah before, on our first road trip from Florida to DC. It was Ansell’s idea to stop in then and I loved it. My only regret was not getting to stay longer so we were determined to get at least a day there for Christmas.

Outside a fancy hotel (not ours)

We got a pretty good deal on a nice hotel room. It was huge! Shame we were only there one night.


Savannah has some beautiful spots. Parks are plentiful and everywhere you walk church spires peak through trees laden with Spanish moss.

The old houses were lovely and most of them had little garden areas or porches; very southern.


There were some also special unique things sprinkled along the way, like an antique police car (they were brown) or a gorgeous old fountain.

We tripped across a teashop which I HAD to stop in and try. I had mercy on Ansell and left him to his own devices while I sampled their wares. Anyway, I needed all my faculties to appreciate the cream tea I ordered.

The scones were a little doughy but the cream and jam was top shelf and all together it was delicious. Although it kills me how small they make scones in America. I guess American’s think that they are dainty but I never met a real British scones that wasn’t bigger than my mouth.


I tried the Savannah Grey, but was disappointing. It tasted like Early Grey but with less flavor. It was sadly a bit boring but I still enjoyed it.

While at the shop part of the teahouse I discovered a series of tea-related mystery books. You read me correctly. The titles were hysterical “Scones and Bones”, “Chamomile Mourning”, and “The Teaberry Strangler” are just some.

There is also a scrap-booking mystery series. I know.

I bought “The Teaberry Strangler” just for fun. The book covers show different tea sets. Hilarious!

The Christmas decorations were very nice and plenty of the residents went all out with the Christmas trees.


Ansell and I had our romantic Christmas dinner at Circa 1875.

We opened our presents (different blog post about those) in the bar area.

Then moved downstairs for our fancy French dinner. Apparently, the downstairs eating area, which they did to a catholic theme, is haunted. ;) Whatever, the food was amazing, ghost or no.

The most delicious Crème Brule was for dessert but I wasn’t able to take a picture of it before it was gone. :D

We had a wonderful day in Savannah and I was sorry to leave, but it was time for our night-drive to Tampa!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Upcoming Sewing Projects!

I’m very excited about the dresses I’ll be making in the new year. It would be more practical to do warmer stuff but for right now I just want to make pretty dresses!

Here are some projects I’m interested in. Feel free to give me suggestions etc.


The blackberry dress is the one I most want to do. I LOVE the fabric! I’ve been thinking about lining it with orange for a surprise kick.

Lobster Sailor

I love nautical dresses and would like to play on the theme. I adore the sweet little lobster print. I’d like the front panel and skirt to be in the print and the side panels in plain navy. I’m thinking the top collar and belt bit would be red with gold buttons. I think the overall look would be stunning.


I love this classic dress. It’s modest but sweet, so I think it can handle a bold print. I haven’t thought through how to use the print. I think I would just use it for the skirt, but I’m not sure what other fabric I could use for the top to match with it.
I know I will use this basic dress pattern for several more dresses.

Sweet Tooth

This dress is definitely more ambitious. I have wanted to use this print before because I think it’s so sweet (pun intended). I love beautiful candy but actually like looking at them more than eating them. So this print is perfect!

I plan on making the top, skirt, and bow in the print but the middle section and possibly the collar in a complementary color. I would buy the print first then see what colors I think would go well with it.

English Rose

I’d like to try an all over bold, fresh print in a bright color. I love the cut of this dress, it’s somewhat princess without being too obvious and the bodice line is nice. I think the combination of print and dress would be very sweet, if I can pull it off!

Summer Garden

I adore adore ADORE this dress. This is the dress I want to wear on the first day of summer. It is so beautiful! I love the original print of the dress but I haven’t been able to track it down so I’ve been looking at other floral prints. I’m not sold on any of these but I do think they are really nice.


Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm back! With new shoes!

I'm so back!

I’m back! My goal was to finish my journey through South America but I’d rather get back into the blogging world then wait for the magical day I’ll actually finish talking about South America. Hopefully I will revisit it one day though. Colombia was amazing and deserves attention...especially the food.

Holding the best shrimp calamari cocktail I have EVER eaten.

For now I would rather focus on stuff I enjoy. I plan on getting back into sewing in a big way and that’s what I will blog most about, along with whatever else jumps into my head.

With that, let me tell you about my new cool shoes. I’d been looking for some new brown knee-high boots but instead I found these old-school wingtip high heels. They were only $18 at Ross! Nice!

Sweater by Ross too. It's super soft!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cusco, Peru, South America April 29th – May 29th, 2011

Cusco, Peru, South America
April 29th – May 29th, 2011

My intention for Cusco was to write several blogs. One within the first few days of being in Cusco for first impressions, one in the middle to see how things were progressing, and a final one wrapping up my experiences and impressions.  My hope was that I could compare my experiences from start to finish. Now, as I finally write this, at least a week after leaving Cusco (and as I’m publishing at least two weeks after), I find that all my memories are jumbled and grown fuzzy by newer experiences. Such is life.  So, I will talk about what I want to talk about regarding Cusco, which will take a few blogs, but they won’t follow a particularly strict time-line.

We pulled into Cusco on a Friday afternoon after 20 hours on a bus from Lima. The ride, so new to me at the time, was typical of Peru. Winding, small mountain roads, heights that give one vertigo and moments of wondering if you were going to make it out alive, all punctuated with fabulous scenery and shantytowns. Now, I take these bus rides with the same eagerness and excitement I approach roller coasters.

My first thought in Cusco was how dusty the place was. Cusco is dusty, no lie. At the bus station we were picked up by Gleni, FairPlay Peru’s assistant, and taken to FairPlay’s headquarters. At FairPlay we met John, co-founder of FairPlay (with his wife Fanny).

John is an interesting man. My first impression was not the most favorable as I was nervous and excited while he seemed uncaring. As I learned in my weeks with John what I took as reticence was actually extreme laidbackness and, his best quality, flexibility.  John rarely judged, took punches rolling, and was extremely kind. Behind this calm exterior burned a passion for what he was doing. John is one of the few human beings I have met who genuinely wants to help others, without thinking too much about how others view him or requiring accolades. John told us that when he went into Non-Profit work a friend confided in him three rules.

1.  Be passionate. You have to have the fire to see you through the projects.
2.  Have a part of the project that will actually make some profit; think about business.
3.  Don’t ever, ever expect gratitude. No matter what you do, you will never get thanked.

I think John took those rules to heart. As a result he took the influx and outflow of volunteers, strange behaviors of those he was helping, and general craziness with an emotion that at first I couldn’t identity. Later I found it was grace. He was a 20 times a day coffee drinking, hard smoking, fanatical meat eater, loving father, and forgiving boss who was no push-over and had big dreams that were slowly, achingly being created in reality.  Stupidly I never took a picture of him. Here are pictures taken from the website of Fanny, manager and co-founder of FairPlay Peru and John’s amazing wife, and John himself.

Fanny: She mostly runs the spanish school side of FairPlay Peru
John: He mostly runs the non-profit side of FairPlay Peru

Please check out FairPlay Peru here: http://www.fairplay-peru.org/

While exploring Cusco, in the Los Nogalles area where we were to live, it was obvious that Cusco was poor. Buildings were left unfinished and the constant dust was a nuisance. Stray dogs, ten to a street, slept in the dirt, their fur matted, trotting in and out of the few restaurants and local shops.

And yet, Cusco had charm. Los Nogalles was surrounded by mountains and the natural greenery softened the ugly concrete of the buildings and gave the place life. The people were nice and went about their daily business. Los Nogalles may have felt poor (and was poor) by American standards but the people never acted like it was. The culture of poverty wasn’t strong here, or seemingly in Cusco in general (from what I saw).

      That weekend we explored downtown Cusco. Here is where the most money is sunk, tourist money, and it shows. The main plaza is dominated on two sides by large Cathedrals and the other two sides are lined with shops, restaurants, and clubs. Spreading out from the main plaza was a network of additional plaza’s and streets packed with tourist shops, mountaineering stores, tour places, and restaurants.

            Come Monday we would start our first day at Helping Hands and my first Spanish lessons. The next blog will be about Helping Hands.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fifth day! – Lima - April 29th, 2011

Fifth day! – Lima

            Today was our travel day. We were to take a bus from Lima to Cusco, which would take 20 hours. The bus left in the late afternoon, so we spent the morning at the Museum of Anthropology and Archeology. It was a decent museum but nothing can compare to the first museum we went to, the LARCO Museum.

Some of the Incan people would put boards on the heads as they grew to flatter and elongate their skulls. It was the plastic surgery of its day.

Even the ancient people thought owls rocked

            Eventually we went over to the Cruz de Sur bus station. It was a bit like an airport, where you checked-in, went to check your bags which got it’s own receipt and was recorded in their computer, then walked through security, before climbing into the bus. It was a pretty organized operation and I was impressed. Especially since America’s bus system is essentially crap. I hate Greyhound.

            The bus itself was great. We got big reclining padded seats with footrests. We also got little pillows and thick blankets. They played movies and served dinner and breakfast. It was as nice as a 20-hour bus ride could get if it weren’t for…
the baby!
            Why are you taking a baby on a 20-hour bus journey!!! It was fine during the day but cried throughout the night. Apparently it was sick and we had to deal with its cries for hours. It was awful. I considered babycide.
            Luckily Ansell and I managed to get through the bus ride without killing anyone and gratefully disembarked in Cusco.

Looking down on Los Nogalles the area we stayed in Cusco

Thus ends my account of Lima. Next post I will talk about Cusco, which is far different from Lima, and our experience with FairPlay Peru and Helping Hands.