Posts Tagged ‘TeaLula’
We headed to our favorite tea shop for Mugshot Monday. Yesterday morning was a little more festive than usual – TeaLula celebrated its five year anniversary! (What a great milestone for a new business!) Check out the big number five – a picture of Oliver is at the tail end. He fell asleep on that table, in that very window.
Mingling around with our tea friends, having a spot of tea, scones and fruit made for a lovely morning.
It’s hard to remember now, lugging Oliver’s infant car seat into the shop. (So sweet how the staff remembers.) Then he learned to sit up at the bar and sip his rooibos… totally content. Now we bring the iPad so I can have a little more time to chat with our friends.
It wasn’t just a teashop for me. It was my refuge once a week, a time to talk with “grown-ups”. (We tease now because we’re not sure how “grown up” our conversations were!) I was settling into my new role as a stay at home mom, and with postpartum depression experience from the first time around, I was hell bent on not going down that path again. TeaLula was my way of doing something for me, even if it was just for an hour or so.
When I first went to the store, I could not get over how quaint and cute everything was. Talk about wanting to buy everything…
So, congratulations and thank you, Sheila, for not just creating the loveliest, cutest shop ever, but creating an atmosphere of friendship and hospitality. It’s a haven for anyone. The best part wasn’t learning about all the delicious teas from around the world, it was meeting you and everyone at TeaLula who I can call friends. Here’s to more good old days.
Surprise visit from my sis-in-law, birthday project, works-in-progress… no wonder I missed posting on Monday! Well, not totally. I did post my mugshot on Instagram. But here’s an “outtake”.
Here I have a mug of Café Maté from our favorite tea shop … a delicious alternative to coffee, lovely with milk. Almost enough to wake me up from the Daylight Savings stupor. What it as bad for everyone else? Awful.
Speaking of TeaLula, we did the Harlem Shake! Crazy tea shop friends.
So, what’s been churning in the craft room these days?
Here’s the finished nursery art project for my niece. I went with a monkey theme after the burp cloths I made for her, and she just loves her monkey “binky”. My daughter made the quilled bananas, and I found the little bugs on sale at Michael’s. I added some bling (what girl doesn’t like bling?) and buttons to add some interest. Want a closer look? I posted a picture at the Facebook page.
A Chicago Bulls fan, quilt in progress, read on!
I don’t start my day without a hot beverage. And, we’re an equal opportunity household – coffee and tea – with a pretty diverse selection at home. From Ethiopian Harrar (we heart Valhalla) to Starbucks Christmas Blend, from Earl Grey to Peach-Mango, Sweet Lychee to Yunnan – I brew them both.
But there’s nothing like stopping into your favorite spot for your cup o’ joe, or maybe you frequent a tea place. I’m soooo lucky that there’s a local tea shop. I’ve mentioned TeaLula before. I visit with my kids, my husband, by myself… TeaLula, how we love you so. And it’s not just a shop with all things tea, and a hundred different loose teas, it’s an oasis for me. And I feel like we’ve made some very nice friends over the last couple years…
You know when you go to a restaurant and order the same thing every single time? I thought it might be nice to start off the year with something… new (innovative, I know). Since I visit TeaLula on a fairly regular basis, I thought it might be fun to journal about the brews. Recently I tried a white tea, Spiced Pear Bai Mudan. Mmmmm. Sounds like it could be a swanky cocktail. Instead, it’s a swanky tea.
Bai Mudan is tea from the white peony. This blend has some star anise, sweet pear and see the helichrysum flowers? Adding a bit of sugar made the flavors more defined. Lovely. It’s light, unlike a black tea, and this blend has a fruity aftertaste with a surprising cooling sensation. Almost minty… it lingers on your tongue. (Made me want more, just so I could figure out what that taste was.) My daughter said only two words after sampling the Spiced Pear Bai Mudan: melted pears.
More flavors and tidbits from the tea bar next
If I don’t get back here before the weekend, I wish everyone a happy Chinese new year!
Shower Day was fun with an intimate crowd. It’s amazing how quickly it all happens after a few months of planning, but rest assured, we all enjoyed the afternoon. My sister-in-law’s maid of honor and friend, Megan, helped the night before.
Tabletop: Napkins had Gerbera daisies and stripes, drink umbrellas were perched in square vases with coffee beans, simple bouquet became three small arrangements.
Other decorations: pom-pom paper flowers and wire-edged ribbon
Menu: Vegetable pizza appetizer, veggie bites (aka crudites) with carrot-ginger dipping sauce, poached salmon sandwiches with orange wasabi mustard and asian pasta salad from All on the Road, chicken salad sandwiches, mac-n-cheese, fruit, marble cupcakes with edible flowers, candied orange peels with chocolate dipping sauce, and yellow cake.
Shower games: Who has the closest birthday to the wedding date? and Bridal Bingo
Shower Favor: individual, hand-packed tea bags (theme related) with personalized labels. In this case, we had Orange Orange Pekoe for the happy couple. Thank you, Sheila!
Another quick tip: decorate the gift box instead of wrapping it.
What is summer without a local carnival or food fest? We might not be at the swimming pool at lot, but tasting food… you’ll find us! We paced ourselves this time and went during lunch on two separate days. It was so nice not stuffing ourselves to oblivion, but I’m sorry we didn’t have a chance to taste everything. One day it rained, and vendors weren’t quite ready for the lunch crowd, but otherwise, it seemed like a successful “Taste”.
The Matcha Latte from TeaLula was great relief from the heat. It was like tasting green tea ice cream, melted. Mmmm… And, the Ryne Palmer (a.k.a. Arnold Palmer beverage) can’t be beat: fresh lemonade and fresh brewed tea. Uncle Dan’s, a new place in town, served up cheese pizza and cinnamon bread among other things. Both were tasty, but they ran out of calzones… bummer. I really wanted to try J.D. Kadd’s Smokehouse pulled pork sandwich. Since I’ve stopped working in the south suburbs, I haven’t found a sandwich that compares to the BBQ places near my old office. This one was nicely seasoned, not too salty, generous portions. One of our favorites was the Cajun Shrimp wrapped with bacon & remoulade sauce from Barbara at All on the Road. The shrimp were cooked perfectly, and the sauce had a nice kick. I’m such a sucker for cajun food.
Last year we tried the stuffed mushrooms from Cafe Zalute and were happy they were there again. The junk yard dawg fries at Dawg House Grill were a hit with our kids and us. What’s not to like: cheddar cheese, sour cream and bacon.Â Lastly, we had a nice portion ofÂ Salsaccia (Italian Sausage wrapped in a potato crust) from The 3 Olives. Never had this before, and while it was delicious, it was slightly salty for me.Â Can’t wait until next year.
What’s a tea party without a description or pictures of food? This is what my husband orchestrated…
Thanks to All on the Road Catering…asparagus wrapped with prosciutto, empanadas with caramelized onions and goat cheese with tomatilla dipping sauce, shredded duck with cherry marmalade boats, wild mushroom strudel garnished with green onion, brie and caramelized apples crostini.
These were devoured: ham with brie and mango, turkey with guacamole, and roast beef sandwiches.
Chocolate cake goes really well with raspberry flavored tea. Trust me.
We all had plenty to drink. Iced tea on tap: South Beach Peach, Fourth of July. Tried some “Triple Flip”… really gingery, orange flavored green tea. (I think it’s green tea. Can’t remember.) Even the kids had fun.