Audrey Tea Strainer by Koziol

Here is a lovely tea strainer great for a special gift for yourself or someone else. Simply place flower over cup, add tea leaves, pour boiling water over this, steep and place flower into the leaves for a beautiful presentation.



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Chinese New Year Tea

This year, Chinese ushered in the Year of the Ox on Jan. 26, according to the lunar calendar. The holiday is traditionally a 15-day celebration filled with a whirlwind of special events. I planned a tea to celebrate the Year of the Ox and did some research on what to serve and know about Chinese New Year. These are some of the things I found out from many areas of the internet. What a wonderful celebration of family and life.

To the Chinese, food signifies blessings of good fortune, especially during the Chinese New Year. Some of the foods include:
Bamboo shoots - is a term which sounds like "wishing that everything would be well"
Other foods include a whole fish, to represent togetherness and abundance, and a chicken for prosperity. The chicken must be presented with a head, tail and feet to symbolize completeness.
Noodles should be uncut, as they represent long life.
Eat oranges and tangerines or decorate your home with them—these symbolize good luck and wealth.
A must-have during the festival each year is pineapple tarts. They consist of homemade pineapple jam encased in a golden, buttery shell. The color of the little bites represents wealth and money.

Color is an important part of the Chinese New Year
Decorate your home with traditional Chinese decorations with liberal use of red and gold to symbolize wealth and good luck In Chinese culture, red is a popular color to wear and use around the new year. Not only does it attract good luck, it symbolizes happiness.

Chinese New Year is all about rebirth and new opportunity, and one of the most exciting ways to embrace this is with the Red Envelope – a tradition dating all the way back to the Qing Dynasty. On New Years day, everyone receives leisee - red packets decorated with gold symbols and filled with “lucky money”.

Days before the new year
On the days before the New Year celebration, Chinese families give their home a thorough cleaning. It is believed the cleaning sweeps away bad luck and makes their homes ready for good luck to arrive. All brooms and dust pans are put away on New Year's Eve so that good luck cannot be swept away. Some people give their homes, doors and windowpanes a new coat of red paint. DO NOT clean your home during the first few days of the New Year. You do not want to risk sweeping away the good luck of the New Year.
Don’t cry on that day or raise your voice to your children or you’ll be setting a tone of discord for the coming year.
When your guests arrive, encourage them to take off their shoes and walk softly into your home as it invites a smooth transition into the New Year.

Kitchen Renovations

The 6th photo in my 6th file happened to be a picture of my newly renovated kitchen. This project began the end of October and as I was told turned out to be way more than I planned on. It was worth it and now I truly feel like it is my kitchen. Prior to this I had very little cupboard space and 3 tiny drawers. Now I have a place for almost everything. Don't we always need more space? Of course the great kitchen has led to redecorating and painting every where else. Valerie

I've been tagged!!

My friend Anne of has tagged me. This is a fun way to see who we all look at and admire. I admire many who are good about updating their blog. I just never seem to find the time to do so but promise to do better this year.

Here are the rules to the photo meme: 6th Picture Meme!
1.Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2.Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder.
3.Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.
4.Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

Here are my 6 blog picks: - Melanie is my daughter who not only has 2 of the most wonderful little boys (my grandsons) and a truly great husband but works full time and maintains her blog every day. -Susan who I envy for her lovely gardens - Cheryl in Arizona who I got to visit in November - Linda in Kentucky whose daughter and mine are blog pals - great subjects and information - great author Susan Whittig Albert of the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries