Thursday, May 29, 2014

North Carolina Deck Dining

When we are at our place in North Carolina
we have all of our meals on the back deck.  
It's our favorite place to be.
 View below deck to the golf course.
We watch the hummingbirds while we
have coffee and breakfast in the morning
Its a large deck off the back of the "cabbage".
(part cabin, part cottage)
At night we light the hurricane lamps 
and turn on the little white lights.
Larry hung them under the railing.
Set for dinner.
Can't wait to go back!


Monday, May 26, 2014

How I Organize My Bed Linens

I showed How I Organize My Bathroom,
 and How I Organize My Drawers, so today
I'll show how I store and organize
my bed linens in the bedroom.
I have this huge armoire cabinet in the 
bedroom that is opposite the bed. I had
 been looking for one that, not only had lots
 of cabinet storage, but drawers as well.
 I could use drawers in place of a dresser. 
I finally found this one on Craigslist for $250
 and they threw in the 36" TV because they 
were getting a new one. A good deal!
This was just what I needed.
 It's all solid wood and very heavy. I plan to
 paint it or at least change the hardware as
 soon as I find something I a bargain.
 You've see how I filled the top with quilts
 in this post, Decorating With Quilts.
 The cabinet on the left side holds all the
 sheets and pillowcases.
 I moved them out of the bathroom closet 
because it made more sense to store them
 here in the bedroom,
 I don't think of these things all at once. 
Sometimes it's a 'duh' moment. 
Know what I mean?
 I keep the top sheets on one shelf and 
the fitted  bottom sheets below. I have
 lots of pillowcases. I like to mix and match. 
I fold everything in half then in thirds 
so that the folded smooth edge
 shows out and it keeps everything neat.
 I made a few lavender sachets for the linen
cabinet using my Mother's vintage hankies.
note: Loose lavender stored in a tennis can.
 A pile of loose lavender in the center.
 Tied into a bundle with ribbon.
This sweet little reminder sits on the shelf. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

How To Make A Perfect Pot Of Tea

I always, always, always, make tea in a
teapot and never, never, never
just in a mug!

It's one of my top 2 pet peeves.
Ok I have more, but this is at the top.
I do not like to see a tea bag hanging
 out of a mug. I do not like a tea bag just 
dunked a few times in a mug. I do not like a
wet tea bag in sight. I do not like it anywhere. 
Besides, Dunking a bag up and down a few
times doesn't give the tea a chance to
brew. Tea needs time. That one tea bag will
make a whole pot of tea, 4-6 cups.
It's just too easy to make a proper
pot of tea.  It's so civilized.
Tea drinking should be a pleasure.

To make tea properly there are a few crucial
 steps, and just two ingredients;
tea and water.
A kettle to boil the water and a tea pot
 (now you're talking!) is essential to brew
the tea. You'll need one (or two, if you
 you like it very strong) tagless tea bags,
or loose tea in a tea ball.
1. Fill your kettle with fresh cold water,
from your tap is fine.
2. Bring the water just to a boil, before the
kettle is fully whistling.

 3. Do not let it continue to boil or use instant
 hot water. It will give you a flat,
dull tasting tea. 

4. Pour a little of the hot water into your
 tea pot, replace the lid and give the pot
 a little swirl and let sit for 30 seconds. 
Pour out the water thru the spout.
This warms the pot and spout.
 5. Add the tea bag. I prefer tagless,
they're cheaper. Now replace the lid and
 warm the bag for 30 seconds.
 This gently releases the tea oils.
OK you can skip this step steps people.

6.  Now gently pour in the water to fill the pot. 
Cover with the lid and let steep
 for 3-5 minutes.
7.  Give the tea a stir and remove the bag.
Leaving the bag in after it has brewed will
make the tea taste bitter.

8.  Now pour yourself a lovely cuppa tea! 
Tea on a New Jersey porch
Even when I'm visiting family, I'll find their
one hidden teapot, wash it and put it to use.
Click on the photo above to read that post.
You can add milk, sugar, or lemon to your
cup. I like mine straight. Tealightful!

 Pass the cucumber sandwiches and scones
Tea is lovely to share, but 
I do this even if it's only just for me.
 I can pour myself a second cup. Then, after
the tea cools I'll save it for iced tea.
 One of my dislikes is a teabag in a cup or
mug with the string and tag hanging out.

 Dislike is a mild way of saying that it totally
makes me nuts! Along with: wine in a paper
 cup, instant coffee, instant anything really,
no turkey on Thanksgiving, pillows askew,
ugly soap dispensers, ugly coffee mugs,
chairs that aren't pushed in around the table,
......sorry, you get the idea.
I think I need a cup of tea from one of my
cute teapots. I love, love, love teapots!!
 Here are sone of the teapot you've seen in
my blog post over the years.

*see my post on the benefits of buying 
teabags tagless v strings here.

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