Need prayers for my dad

To all my e-friends:

Please keep my dad, Lloyd, in your prayers on the morning of November 18 (PST) as he will be having major shoulder reconstructive surgery. His ligament has completely torn apart, with another almost torn apart, and we are hoping the surgeon can re-connect the ligament successfully.

I fully believe in the power of prayer, and I know there are some prayer warriors who read my blog. It is now that I humbly call on you to send healing thoughts and prayers his way.....

Thank you in advance.


Thank you so much for those who posted a prayer comment or who prayed for my dad and his surgery. It was a success, the surgeon was able to re-attach the ligaments. He has a long road of tough re-hab awaiting him for the next few months. Again, I appreciate your kind hearts and kind words! It really means a lot to me knowing there are e-Friends out there who genuinely care about others....



12 Days of Christmas Tea & Cookie Recipes Swap

Join me and others who LOVE tea time and want to have some fun with a Holiday Swap! At the last swap I hosted, there were many ladies asking about a Holiday Swap, so here it is:

The theme is "12 Days of Christmas Tea & Cookie Recipes"

The swap is to consist of 12 items, all individually wrapped:
* A Christmas or Holiday print teacup & saucer.
* 3 of your absolute favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes on a 3x5 or 4x6 card.
* The other 8 items should be holiday and/or tea-related items.
For instance: (this is only for inspiration, you can choose whatever you like) Your favorite tea, a scented votive candle, a linen napkin, a silver spoon, decorated sugar cubes, a cookie cutter, an ornament, a tea towel, etc. - try to keep it tea time related! At least one homemade or handcrafted item(s) should be included as one of the items (i.e. a tag, a paper crown tiara, pinwheel etc).

Your Swap Sister may choose to open one gift a day leading up to Christmas, or she can open them all at once...it's her/your choice.

The t&s (teacup & saucer) may be vintage or new, one that is in your personal collection or a purchased one. Please swap a t&s that is functional (no cracks) and one that you would appreciate receiving (ie. no chips, crazing, fleabites). The spending limit is $20 (not including shipping cost).

Deadline to sign up by:
~ December 1, 2008

Parcels mailed out by:
~ December 12, 2008

Click here for all the details and *ahem* "rules".

I've been getting requests to sign-up for this swap either at my regular email or through the comments box on this post. In order for me to keep all the requests organized please send your request along with your NAME, EMAIL ADDY and BLOG ADDY to this email: parteatimeswap [at] gmail.com (you do not have to have a blog to play).

Thanks a bunch!


Easiest Pumpkin Muffins


This post may be a little belated, but the muffins would be great for a Halloween or Thanksgiving tea:

I just made these mini-muffins for the first time for my son's class Monster Mash party and they are mucho yummy! Even my one kid who doesn't like pumpkin gobbled them up. They are very moist. Got it from AllRecipes.com but did a bit of my own thing. Here is the recipe:

Easiest Pumpkin Muffins

1 box of spice cake mix
1 can (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix both ingredients until smooth (do not add the egg or oil like the cake box says).
Spoon equal amounts of batter into greased muffin pan or paper cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven, until a toothpick comes out clean.

I added some dashes of ground cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves in the batter.

Then I sprinkled brown sugar and some orange colored sugar I had on hand on the tops before putting into the oven.

This is great for classroom treats - especially since no eggs are in the recipe. Also a sneaky way to get some protein in the kiddies! Can also be frozen and defrosted when needed.

What's in YOUR Portable Studio?

My friend Phyllis at Shabby in the City is having a challenge and giveaway. For more info go to her blog at http://shabbyinthecity.blogspot.com

Here is a snippet from her blog:
So there is the challenge...fill your vintage pieces with your wonderful craft items and let's take it on the road. Show me your craft destination with photos of your carrier/caddy,box or basket, loaded down in vintage crafty goodness. Well say November 25th is our share day...exactly one month before Christmas (easy to remember, huh?) Please take the banner and post it in your sidebar, blog about it whatever....the more participants...the more fun!


They just don't get it

Hubby: What's that sound?

Me: My new clock on my blog. And it even chimes!


Me: What? You don't like it?

Hubby: Sounds like Chinese water torture to me.

Me: Well, I like it. It sounds soothing to me.


Sometimes we are like oil & water....

A Birthday Tea for My BFF


I took my BFF, the divine Mrs. M. out for an afternoon tea to celebrate her birthday at the Posh Peasant Tearoom. Mrs. M and I share a love for tea and all things PINK. I think I met my match when it came to being a pink aficionado freak when we became neighbors and friends. Oh, and she has depleted my personal stash of Cream Earl Grey loose leaf tea. She kept running out, I'd give her more, until I realized I'm all out! Have to place an order with my supplier....I don't mind, I'm just glad to be able to support a teaholic's habit.

In this pic, I brought my hats for us to wear. The one I have on is from the Mary Poppins Tea Party I produced a while back and haven't had a reason to wear it since. And I love the thick turkey feather boa the tearoom had! Boas are great for covering up your tummy when taking photos, huh?

If you would like to view all the photos from our tea, Click Here to go to my photo album (don't worry, you don't have to sign in or anything).



New ParTea Blog Header

What do you think of the header makeover?

Figured it was time to make some changes 'round here.

They are images from the photo shoot for the TeaTime Magazine article. I can't believe it was almost a year ago when we did the staging for it!

Did I ever mention some of the behind-the-scene drama that took place while preparing for the photo shoot? I'll try to remember some of it:

*I knew for a while that TeaTime wanted me to do a feature. So I waited. But when they were ready to rock 'n roll with it, I had five days notice to put it all together. I was informed a couple of days after Thanksgiving.

*While I was collecting all the items I wanted to use for the shoot, I had to move mountains of totes of china I have. I finally found the teacups in my favorite pattern, Homer Lauglin's Marilyn floral pattern. I don't have that many and they are hard to come by on eBay. So when I found them, because I was at an awkward position (you know - mountain of totes), one of the saucers slipped from my hand, bounced off the chair and broke on the floor. Mind you, I was also PMS'ing at this time. When I saw the saucer fall in slow motion and then break, I got off the chair and screamed at the top of my lungs. For like two minutes. Then started bawling. Hubby thought I was losin' it.

*I was going to go with my signature pink & green color theme design, since this was going to be in their Spring issue. But the DAY BEFORE the photo shoot, I received Mari's gorgeous custom hand-painted banner. She had stayed up until the wee hours to get it finished for me in time. When I saw how she painted the darling songbird in an aqua blue hue, I knew I had to add the aqua accent color to the table decor. My linen rental company would not have time to deliver any runners or overlays in time, so I needed to make my own. So the night before - when I should be loading up everything into the van - I'm heading over to JoAnn's to get aqua fabric and ribbon. I was also bending the forks late at night, and putting the glitter on the place card flowers at around 2:00am.

*I had brewed hot tea and had put in a vacuum pump carafe. It fell out of the van when my assistant opened the door and shattered the internal glass. So we had to ask the cafe near the photo shoot venue to make us some tea. It was so brewed too long and was so dark it looked like coffee.

*My caterer that I use for most of my tea parties and events is a great guy. But a little on the busy side, so he misses a lot of details. I ordered petits fours in pink. My other assistant picked up all the food since it was on her way. So she didn't know what I had ordered. When I opened up the bakery box of the petits fours they were decorated in red & green CHRISTMAS motifs! Augh! I was livid and said a select few cuss words (forgive me Lord)......remember I am still PMS'ing.....

*The handle on my silver bride's basket broke, so I tried to use clear duct tape to hold it down.

*I did not have any jewelry, forgot to pack anything with all the hoop-a-lah going on. So one of my friends, Kathy (in the tea party scene) had some pearls in her purse and put them on me. She IS a true Southern lady, being from Georgia and all.

*We were losing the sun and FAST. So we had to run around - click, click, click - get the photos done before the sun went down. And what was also strange was that we were doing everything all spring looking, but there was Christmas music playing from the The Cliff Restaurant above us! Just seemed odd...

But all in all, it was a great experience! It wouldn't be memorable if there wasn't any drama, eh?


The Prodigal ParTea Planner

It made me literally laugh out loud.

I got an email from Phyllis of Shabby in the City:

Did you DIE after your birthday???
I hope not! Check in sistah!

So, here I am. "checking in".

I have no excuse or reason why I stopped blogging.......

~Life gets in the way sometimes?

~Sometimes our interests sway (you know us right-brained, creative, types that just hop from one thing to the next....) so I've been doing a lot of face painting.

~I discovered Facebook. Need I say more? Now that's a whole lotta fun!

~I re-discovered my love for reading (after having three kids - forget it) and read Twilight & New Moon in four days and just got Eclipse today from Amazon. You know where I will be on November 21st! Yup. I've become a Fanpire.

~Since this past Spring, I have had to be in physical therapy for a pinched nerve somewhere in my back/neck. No relief. So I've just dealt with the arm weakness, tingling, discomfort and numbness in my left hand pinky.

~Tried to clean out the garage and get all my event stuff organized. Really. Do I need 200-something settings of china and teacups and totes of silver, silver and silver? Really! So I will be selling some things just to lighten the load from my tea hoarding years. Hubby would like to eventually claim his workbench side of the garage. I think there is a in perfect condition, barely used treadmill in there somewhere too.

~I took a break from doing tea parties (in order to do the previous). Therefore, since my whole blog genre is about tea related stuff I guess I assumed that I had nothing to blog about. But I am finding out that I was wrong. I made some wonderful e-friends from blogging in the past. And the e-mails I received due to my absence asking where was I, is everything okay etc., was very humbling and heart-felt. So thank you to everyone who sent a What Up? inquiry. I really appreciate your concern and the time to drop me a e-mail!

~When I heard Karin of Creative Chaos was just diagnosed with breast cancer, it hit me and realized how much I admire meeting such strong, fabulous, funny as heck, tenacious, down to earth and creative ladies I have had the pleasure of getting to know. Just from blogging. We need each other to hold each other up during the fun times and challenging times. Karin, you are in my pink prayers during this tough time.

I do have some photos from some recent adventures and will blog about those later. But for now I just wanted to say Hi and that I look forward to dusting off my kettle, polish my tarnished silver teapot, and getting a teacup out of storage and visiting with my friends again.




Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the "Real Moms"

For those of you who are great moms, those of you who plan to be great moms and those who have great moms...


Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of shag carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.

Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' and get their answer when a little voice says, 'Because I love you best.'

Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade...It is marked by the progression of Mama to Mom to Mother...

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.

16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it.

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

For all the Mother's of the world, have a blessed day - you deserve it!
From Risa, The ParTea Planner


Happy Keester!

Sorry, I am BEHIND on posting a Happy Easter wish!



The ParTea Planner's First Day of Spring Tea Party


I cannot believe that it has been one year already since the first time I joined in on a blogging tea party! Click here to view that post. Wow, it has flown by!

We had a really fun time at our First Day of Spring Tea Party. My daughter was so excited about being picked-up from pre-school today because she knew that afterwards was "her tea party". She even wanted to wear a dress!! My lil tomboy is growing up....

Well, just for description's sake I had to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly) because I have a lot going on right now with a wedding and some events and I've been slightly overwhelmed to say the least. So I made the sandwiches - consisting of egg salad, chicken salad, cucumber & cream cheese, and strawberry cream for Raina. Everything else was store bought. I can't seem to get away from my beloved pink & green combo, especially since we had the party in Raina's pink & green room! For the centerpiece I used the darling ribbon topiary that I received from Heidi last year at a Spring Sweet Goodness swap. It was perfect!

My mom (Grammie) came over to celebrate, and it was so nice to have her be a part of it. In a couple of weeks she and my dad will be moving back to Tennessee so I've been pretty sad about that. There was even a moment when I wanted to cry, because I will truly miss having her near by. But I held back the emotion, as I didn't want it to be a buzz kill.

Our other guest was "Puppy" who is Raina's lovie. We've always referred to Puppy as a he, so I guess by putting a dress on him for the tea party, he was in drag today. And the main reason I put on a hat for a photo was because I've been so busy I am way overdue on getting my hair colored! I think the last time I had a weave was before the photo shoot for TeaTime! Pathetic.

So I am still getting some emails and comments from all the hosted tea parties, so I will post the link list of everyone's posts very soon. I can't wait to see them all!

Thank you to everyone who participated, took some time for yourself to enjoy the rewards of a tea party, and then to post it to your blog. I absolutely love the kindred spirit that is amongst those of us who enjoy tea time!

Here's to a wonderful Spring! *clink*

Welcome First Day of Spring! Tea Party

I've been so busy getting things ready for our little First Day of Spring Tea Party that I forgot to provide a post for Comments.

So, please leave your comment here with a link to your blog's post about your spring tea party. Then later I will put together a link list.

Thank you in advance to everyone who is participating and enjoying their First Day of Spring!


Sick of sickness


I am so tired of taking care of sick off-spring. I don't know what I did to piss off the Sick Gods, but they are stickin' it to us.

My kids have been getting cyclical flu bugs. And this is the third time in six weeks. They get better then BAM. Sick again. I have the phone number to the call-in sick line at school memorized.

This is no exaggeration:

Five doctor visits (doubling-up with seeing some or all the kids).
One E.R. visit.
One Urgent Care visit attempt. Waited for over an hour, then left.
Five antibiotic rounds.
Four bottles of Children's Motrin.
Five bottles of Children's Tylenol Flu (thank goodness for bubblegum flavor).
Half a bottle of Tylenol w/ Codeine (for #1 son's ear pain)
Half a dropper bottle of Auralgan (for ear pain)
Countless nebulizer breathing treatments.
Two boxes of juice Popsicles.
One spice bottle of Cinnamon Sugar for toast.
One Costco case of Chicken Noodle Soup.
Countless water bottles (all over the place).
One friggin' tired mom.

I don't mean to be a wimpy, whiny mom because I know that there are a gazillion moms taking care of their sick ones or terminally ill children. I don't know how Diana, mom to Regina did it for months on end taking care of her and her cancer treatments.

So I shall put this all into perspective, and be grateful for many things. For the fact that I can be a SAHM and take care of them without jeopardizing a 9 to 5 full-time job. That my kids are healthy and these flu bugs are just temporary set-backs.

But if I have to hear the Wonder Pets or Doodlebops theme one more time, I'm gonna blow a gasket.


First Day of Spring Tea Party


Okay fellow tea party aficionados. March 20th will quickly come upon us, so let's take the opportunity to celebrate and usher in the First Day of Spring. In other words, it's just an excuse to have a Tea Party!

So bring out your springy-est china and decor, invite a friend or neighbor or have your kids join you and tip your teacups to the end of Mr. Winter. Since it is so close to Easter, feel free to decorate your tea table to your heart's desire whether it is a Spring theme or Easter theme.

Be sure to take photos of your tea party, post them and the details on your blog and come back over here to TheParTeaPlannerBlog.com and leave a comment with a link to your post. Then the following day I will compose a link list of all the fab tea parties so we can all visit you!

A prize will be awarded to someone's Tea Party, to whomever struck my fancy!

So I hope you will join us - spread the word and put the sidebar banner graphic I made on your blog. Click here to get the code and directions how to do it, if you are layout-challenged.

This is gonna be fun!


Where is the thrift at the Thrift Store?

Yesterday I had to go get fabric at my fave fabric store for an event I am planning. It just happens to be across the street from one of my fave thrift stores. It's a Goodwill that receives a lot of Target donations, so I usually find some great items or clothes that are brand new.

I have really cut down on my thrifting habit the past few months (can you hear hubby clapping) so I was pretty excited to go to this Goodwill and get a "fix". So I perused. And perused. Then perused some more. Everything was.....Just. So. Expensive! I'm like, Where is the thrift in a thrift store? Is it me or are prices getting jacked up at these places? Even a child's tee shirt was $4.99 that I could get brand new retail. However I did find some cute Children's Place tee shirts and a pink Hurley jacket for my daughter.

The only thing I got for myself was this cute pink thermal pot. For $7.99! Barely used, but wow that's kinda steep. But it will be perfect for a Picnic Tea Party that I have planned in my head..........along with all the other tea parties that are in there, just waiting to be planned.

It cleaned up really well, after I did my thorough hot water and denture cleaning treatment. Whenever I buy a thrift item and it can't be put in the dishwasher, I use denture cleaning tablets (I get a box from the .99 cent store) and put a few tablets in the item (tea pots, etc.) with hot water to get the cleaning bubbles inside hard to reach areas especially the neck of a teapot. Then wash with antibacterial dish soap and hot water, rinse really well with hot water. Generally it is not a good idea to use dish soap inside teapots as it may altar the taste of the tea. So I only do it the first time I purchase one new or used. Thereafter I just use really hot water with a clean sponge that doesn't have soap on it, and rinse well.

Would you like to join me?
I have been wanting to host a blogging Tea Party for the First Day of Spring, so maybe this thermal tea pot will be my inspiration and reason to go ahead and DO that Picnic Tea Party, or something else. If so, leave a comment and I will make a graphic banner for a tea party invitation to put on your blog. I don't want to do it if it looks like I will be having tea by myself!


Name Correction

If, per chance, you have Googled my name from the TeaTime Magazine feature and are trying to locate me, the magazine miss-spelled my name.

It is spelled Risa Provencio - not - Risa Provincio ........

*eye twitching*


He Loves My Heart

I hope everyone had a romantical Valentine's Day! Since the two out of three of my kids were home sick with a fever and strep throat (again! the second sick-o round this month!) I was not able to do anything special. Usually I make a really nice Valentine's Dinner with candles, and I let the kids drink sparkling cider from plastic champagne flutes and have "fancy" yummy stuff for dessert.

But not this year. They got Pick-Up Stix that hubby got on the way home after picking up prescriptions. So it was not a "love is in the air" day, but more like "germs are in the air". And because I have been in lock-down with sick kids I wasn't able to get dear hubby anything. Not that we really do romantic gestures anyway, because we both think Valentine's Day is overrated.

However, he did bring me a gift from Brighton. I kind of chuckled (internally) when he handed me their signature yellow-y, very graphic gift bag with the bright printed pink tissue paper. And the chuckle was because....well, he always gives me Brighton. Not that I'm complaining, it's just that a few years ago when I first discovered Brighton jewelry I was really into it at the time and loved their bracelets. But ever since then, at Christmas, Mother's Day, my birthday or special occasion, it's a guarantee I'll get to add to my Brighton collection. I don't have the heart or know how to tell him that I'm really not into that kind of jewelry anymore. (gosh I hope he doesn't read my blog!)

But, for some reason this gift meant something more. It was much more significant than the others:
It is from Brighton's Go Red for Women, in support for the American Heart Association. He chose it as a gentle reminder that he wants me to have a healthy heart. Sometimes he is concerned that I don't take better care of my health, which is true.

After I opened it and gave him a hug, he said "You can take it back if you want, or exchange it."

Nope. Even though I have plenty of bracelets, this one is a keeper.

And so is he....


Photos from the Photo Shoot


Thanks to Stephanie Warner of All About You Photography & Design, she provided the images from our photo shoot for the TeaTime Magazine feature. There were so many to choose from, it was so hard to decide!

So here are my favorites, located in my photo gallery. I also included "behind the scenes" photos of us setting up the shoot. Talk about having a hard time trying to get cute for the head shot, after sweating it up from the set up! I could have seriously used a hair & makeup stylist. But when you are on a budget, cute gets crossed off real quick.

Click here to view the photos.

Thank you to so many of you who have left congratulatory comments or emails regarding the feature! I've heard that you can find TeaTime Magazine at Borders or Barnes & Noble, possibly WalMart but it is all hit or miss depending on their distribution and supply. So the best way is to call Hoffman Media at (888) 411-8995 and then press 1 to go to Customer Service to purchase a copy of the March/April 2008 issue. Do it soon, because once it becomes a "back issue" the price increases!



*tapping fingers*

..........just waiting for Oprah's peeps to call.........

*tapping fingers*

Or Martha.


TeaTime Magazine Feature

So I was checking my email and Donna from Party Wishes sent an email congratulating me on the TeaTime Magazine feature. I email her back that I haven't even seen it yet! So I run out to my mailbox and THERE IT WAS!

I guess all the subscribers are getting the issue first before it hits the stands. So many friends have asked where they can get a copy, and honestly I don't know since I am a subscriber. I guess you will have to call TeaTime Magazine and ask for the distribution, or purchase one copy over the phone.

Now that the magazine is out, I will provide a link to the photo shoot so you can see all the photos that Stephanie took. But I have to get them from her on a CD, there were so many.

A big thank you to Stacey Norwood, the associate editor that helped me through the whole process. She is just the sweetest person. And I appreciate all my family, friends, blog friends, party planning friends and group board friends who have been a great support and encouragement!

Thank you for fulfilling a dream come true!

Risa, The ParTea Planner

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