Thursday, September 12, 2013

Afternoon Tea Giveway

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the latest book from the editors of TeaTime magazine. TeaTime is a sister publication to Victoria, and one of my favorite Hoffman Media titles. Afternoon Tea is a visual feast! Tantalizing recipes, exquisite photography and lovely design make this a book you will want to linger over for hours -- preferably with a cup of tea in hand and a tiered server laden with treats nearby.

There's no better companion to an afternoon pot of tea than a three-tiered serving tray laden with light and fluffy scones, delicious savories, and delectable sweets. In Afternoon Tea, the editors of TeaTime magazine explain how to find the perfect balance of these essential components of the traditional tea menu. With more than ninety recipes, five menus for special occasions with expert tea pairings, tips for composing a teatime menu, and an informative chapter in which Jane Pettigrew traces the history of the iconic tiered stand, this book is sure to please tea lovers everywhere.

In my new position with Victoria, my desk is steps away from the office of TeaTime Editor Lorna Reeves. She has graciously offered a signed copy of Afternoon Tea to a reader of A Little Loveliness. To enter this giveaway, please leave a separate comment for each entry you choose.

(1) Tell me about a favorite teapot or tiered server.
(2) Follow A Little Loveliness (find the link on my sidebar).
(3) Like ALL on Facebook.
(4) Follow ALL on Networked Blogs (find the link on my sidebar).
(5) Add my badge to your blog (HTML code found on my sidebar).

I will announce the winner in an upcoming post.

"It is the personal choices and individual creative touches to the tiered stand that make teatime such a timeless pleasure." ~ Jane Pettigrew

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Tour of Our New Home

"Home the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest."
~ Robert Montgomery

What a busy month this has been! We have been in the process of moving, so I apologize for my lapse in posting. We relocated to the Birmingham area to be closer to my job as assistant editor of Victoria magazine. We are still making our new house feel like home, but I wanted to give you a quick tour. These are the previous owner's MLS photos. The above photo shows the exterior of the house. One of my favorite features is the charming portico on the left. It is just the right size for a petite table and chair -- the perfect spot to pause for a morning devotional and cup of tea.

Inside the front door, a dining room sits to the left and a small sitting room to the right. I hope we can add some more architectural details to both spaces. Our new dining room is slightly larger than our previous one, so I am eager to entertain here. I don't have a photo of the sitting room, but will try to share that space before long.

This is the living room, which is my favorite gathering place in the house. It feels smaller than our old family room, but I am enjoying the intimacy. We have enough space for the whole family to live comfortably in the new house, so I am trying my best to train everyone to keep this room neat. Our living areas get cluttered so quickly, but my goal is to keep the main floor presentable and stash shoes, backpacks and toys in their appropriate zones. The living room opens to the kitchen.

When my mother-in-law toured this house with us, she wasn't sure about this kitchen. My first impression was that it was small, but as I am unpacking, I am finding that the cabinets are more spacious than they appear. The finishes are very nice, but a little dark for my tastes. Down the road I hope we can lighten things up, but for now I am just counting my blessings that I can cook dinner for my family and gather everyone into this cozy space. Chicken and dumplings are already simmering in the crockpot for tonight!

This low-resolution photo shows the french doors that lead to the deck. To the left of the deck, you can make out faint lines of a screened-in porch. The previous owners used this space daily. I anticipate that we will do the same. Our lot slopes sharply away from the house, and the backyard is filled with trees and foliage. We feel like we are in a tree house when we take in the view from the back porch. I don't have photos of the deck but will try to take some "before" photos of this area before we make it our own.

I don't have photos of the master bedroom, but have this photo of the master bath.

We are enjoying the spa-like feel of this spacious bathroom. Again, it is a little dark for me, so I am looking for ways to lighten it up. The space works beautifully for us, though.

With four children, we had almost given up finding a house with enough bedrooms for everyone. We were delighted to find this five-bedroom home with ample closet space. All the kids have their own bedrooms, and the boys and the girls, respectively, have a shared space, as well. The photo above shows Christian's bedroom. It is a disaster right now, so I am encouraged by the potential looking at the previous owner's photo.

This space has gone from their Carsyn's nursery to our Carson's bedroom. All the bedrooms are spacious, but this one is the largest. Both boys want blue rooms, so look for before-and-after photos soon (I hope).

The boys' bedrooms are on one side of the house, and the girls' are on the other. This is Mary Ashley's room. We still need to set up her bed, but I hope to get that accomplished tonight. There is plenty of room for her sewing machine in this airy bedroom, and the view out her windows is gorgeous.

This charming space is Emma's bedroom. It suits her so well! It is the smallest of the bedrooms, but still a nice size. Because it is a converted attic space, this room is more challenging to heat and cool, so we may ultimately switch her bedroom with the space below.

This is the playroom, which is off Emma's current bedroom. When we first started house hunting, the girls said they would be willing to share a bedroom so they could have a playroom. We feel very blessed to have space enough for separate bedrooms and a playroom. I can't wait to decorate this haven!

The children have nice bathrooms upstairs. My boys share this bath, and the girls share a Jack-and-Jill style bath. The new house has four-and-a-half bathrooms, so keeping them clean will definitely be a community effort.

The partially-finished walkout basement features this room for the boys -- a gracious space for welcoming friends. I hope teenagers will be piling in soon for youth devotionals, games and hanging out.

Well, that's the grand tour! Thank you for your patience as we get settled in. I hope to return to regular posting as soon as we get unpacked. Speaking of that, has anyone seen my camera?

"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

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