Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Harney Tea Collection

My love of tea started very early in my life.  Like most Southerners, I was introduced to iced tea at a young age.  Over the years I have experimented with various flavors of iced and hot tea and all of the varieties of tea.

This is my hot/iced tea collection--including all varieties of tea.


All tea comes from the same plant, a first cousin to our southern camellia bush--Camellia Senensis (a warm-weather evergreen).

It is the region it was grown, time of year picked, stages of processing, and contact with oxygen that determines the types of tea and their flavors.

Stages of Tea Processing:

Withering--done by spreading tea leaves to wither and become limp.

Rolling--done by machinery to rupture the leaf cells.

Oxidation--process that exposes the leaf juices to air.

Firing--done by applying heat to stop any further chemical changes and dry the leaf.

Sorting--grades the sizes of the leaf.

Varieties of Tea:

White Tea--is produced in Southeast China.  It has a very delicate, sweet and light flavor and has very little caffeine.  This is the least processed tea and is high in antioxidants.

Green Tea--is produced in China & Japan.  It has a grassy, vegetal or nutty taste.  It is non-oxidized and high in antioxidants.

Oolong Tea--is produced in China and Taiwan.  It has a rich and fruity taste.  It is partially oxidized and aids in digestion.

Black Tea--is produced in China, India, and Sri Lanka.  It has a rich taste and can be enjoyed with milk, lemon, sugar, or honey.  It is fully oxidized and may help to lower your cholesterol.

Tisanes--are herbal infusions and made from flowers, bark, fruit, and leaves; not from the tea plant.

Rooibos--is produced in South Africa and has a sweet and nutty flavor.  It is caffeine-free and high in antioxidants, rich in vitamins, and natural minerals.

I truly cannot pick a favorite variety of tea.  I love them all!  Obviously, I’m partial to Harney Teas.  I have been sipping their teas for many years and never tasted one I didn’t like.

To sit and have a cup of tea is one of the most relaxing things you can do.  It is not the actual drinking of the tea, but the ritual of boiling the water, preparing the tea, and patiently waiting and anticipating some quiet time.  It slows you down from your hectic pace and gives you a chance to take a deep breath and relax.  It is a gesture of hospitality that is universal.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Manners vs Etiquette


I’m often asked “What’s the difference between Manners and Etiquette.”

The English gentleman in the photo above, etiquette expert William Hanson, is showing the proper/improper way to hold a teacup.  

In the photo on the left, he’s demonstrating how to hold the teacup in the proper way.  A handled teacup is held with the index finger through the handle, the thumb just above it to support the grip, and the second finger below the handle for added security. The next two fingers follow the curve of the other fingers. 

In the photo on the right, Mr. Hanson is a demonstrating an etiquette faux pas by extending his pinky finger while holding the teacup.  It is considered an affection to raise the little finger, even slightly.  

Etiquette is the rules of correct and polite behavior in society (knowing how to treat people).  Etiquette is a French word from yesterday for today--"little sign."  In the 17th century, King Louis XIV had a magnificent chateau with beautiful gardens and parks all around it.  Often, when he hosted parties, people would walk all over the grass, pick the flowers, wade in the fountains, and leave litter behind.  They didn’t have formal gardens at their own houses and didn’t know how to behave.  The head gardener went to the King in great distress and asked what he could do to keep things nicer.  They decided to put up "little signs" all over the place:

~Keep on the paths

~Enjoy the flowers, but please don’t pick them

~Stay out of the fountains

~Please don’t litter

Etiquette still is simply a collection of "little signs" to guide us in all situations.

Good Manners are simply doing your best to follow the rules of etiquette (how your treat people).  So, you should never point someone out for commiting an etiquette faux pas.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My Kate Spade Handbag Collection

I can remember my first Kate Spade handbag.  It was the black nylon "Sam" bag.  I bought my first one at Goldsmith’s Department store at the Oak Court Mall in Memphis, Tennessee.  I thought it was so tres preppy chic!  I ended up purchasing this bag several times over the years...it was such a practical and ever-so classic bag.

Looking at this bag takes me back to the days I wouldn’t leave the house without it or my "Rouge Star" Chanel lipstick, a totally black outfit, and black Chanel flats.  

Fast forward and this is my humble KSNY cheerful bag collection today.  The "Quinn" bag is clearly my favorite--it’s the same shape as the "Sam" but in all the colors that speak to my matchy-matchy self.  It is such a timeless, classic-preppy bag and looks even cuter when adorned with a bag charm or scarf.  Definitely NOT the high-end KSNY bags, but they are the ones that I love.  The Metro totes and crossbodies are also my faves.

These two bags are on my "short list," because I need to complete my KSNY color wheel y’all. 

I mean, how adorable would the orange bag look with an orange clic-clac and tortoise shell accessories? On my list!




This lemon yellow bag would look adorable with kelly green pants and that cute lemon cardi from J Crew!



Okay, so I got off subject.  But don’t you think Kate Spade made adorable (and practical) handbags for all of us?  Whether you shop at Kate Spade signature stores or the KSNY outlet stores, you are sure to find that preppy chic item that will help to bring your colorful outfit together.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Bye Bye Bikini - Miss America

I’m clutching my pearls today y’all.  Every since I was a little girl, I have looked forward to watching the Miss America Pageant every September.   Well, as of today, I’m done.  No more stalking the local and state pageants and trying to pick the winners.  All the fun is gone as far as I’m concerned.  What a great tradition it was!  

Today, the chair of the Board of Trustees of the MAO, Gretchen Carlson (a champion of the #metoo movement) announced that they will no longer judge contestants on physical appearance.  (Insert side-eye emoji here).  What in the world is wrong with being pretty and having a great figure?  There will be no more swimsuit competition.  No more evening gown competition either.  This is the most ridiculous thing ever!  They should just go all in and prohibit makeup as well.

 

The new Miss America will no longer be a Pageant, but a competition.  (Insert another side-eye emoji, please).  The "competition" will consist of talent and an interview with the judges.  Are you kidding me?  I’m pretty sure America already has more than enough talent competitions; i.e., American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, etc.  So Gretchen, you’re going to have to call your competition something else.  I mean, placing a crown on the head of a pant suited-up talent winner?  

Back in the day (before she sued Fox Network and made millions for a sexual harassment case), Ms. Carlson dressed for success on the set of Fox & Friends--practically wearing a one-piece bathing suit to report the news.  I’m not judging her...just pointing out that as a former Miss America, she used her looks in a big way.  

Remember that crown that was tarnished by former CEO Sam Haskell??  I predict it will be buried in the sand on the beach at Atlantic City by Ms. Carlson. 

Bye Bye Miss America.  At least I still have Miss USA!