refreshing others · refreshment at home · Winter

Perk Up An Afternoon With Winter Tea

Rather than sharing a recipe today, I’m sharing an idea using food that might perk up your lingering winter months! February can be snowy and cold, so perhaps having a fun event in the afternoon will make it a little more enjoyable!

Last month I spent a good part of one week with my parents in Kentucky. I always love being with them in their home. It’s cozy, inviting, has sunny rooms and comfy places to sit. I was there to help out while my poor mom was dealing with Sciatic nerve pain. I had the fun of cooking and helping with some of the household chores while she rested. My dad does a great job of keeping the house cleaned up, so there wasn’t a whole lot to do when my mealtime work was ended.

But as many older couples have experienced since March, they’ve had few outings, for safety sake. Life can get very routine and drab in the wintertime, and especially so when someone is not well, so I thought it would be fun to do “Winter Tea” one afternoon. I’ve enjoyed that treat many times when I’ve visited them in the past, and I knew it would be something they would enjoy.

I didn’t do a full-fledged tea with cookies, cheese and all the sandwiches – I opted for just dessert. My sister had made a delicious sponge-like cake with raspberry filling for my dad’s Christmas Eve birthday and my mom had popped the leftovers in the freezer. It was perfect. Not only was it good, it also looked really pretty on the Country Roses dishes!

I set the table with the Country Roses dishes, got the hot water in the tea pot and put out flavored teas bags. Then I went to Amazon music and found a playlist of piano songs for an afternoon tea. It added a nice atmosphere for our “event.”

We had such a good time sipping tea, enjoying the cake and ice cream and just lingering at the table chatting. It was a fun way to spend an hour together.

Children would also enjoy a tea! You could use dishes that were a little less fragile, perhaps, but still make it special, pretty and delicious. It takes a little effort, but you could make a fun memory for a child, a group of friends…or your parents.

Why not refresh an afternoon with a lovely cup of tea and cake?

Refreshment · The Scenic Route · Winter

Beating the Winter Blues

The winter blues are a real thing and I find it crucial in the middle of these winter months to make special effort to stay encouraged. Simple pleasures can go a long way in perking up my dreary spirits. Here’s a sampling of some of my recent winter day activities that helped beat the blues.

The best way to defeat being down is to have my heart lifted up through the Truths of God’s Word. This year I’m reading through the Bible using a chronological plan. Already I’ve seen new truths, been comforted about God’s care and presence, and have been reminded that God always has a plan for every person in every situation. That means right now in 2021, during a pandemic, on a dreary winter day, He is at work!

My husband and I played a round of Rummikub on Sunday evening. It was a cold night, so we set up a small table in front of the fireplace and enjoyed the warmth of the fire while we played. It was warm, it was fun, and we had time together!

We had a sunny day this week and I was determined to make the most of it. This was my radio recording day, so I headed out early so I could get my Jeep washed and also do a little shopping beforehand. It was a needed morning out!

I’ve been working on redoing our family room since September and the last piece of furniture I need for that room is a love seat. I’ve been looking for months and just couldn’t find what I wanted. We took a drive to Greeneville, TN to Robert’s Furniture Store and I found this lovely piece that is going to be perfect in my newly decorated space! It will be delivered later this week and I can’t wait. I am going to paint a wall, then I’ll be anxious to make a reveal here on my blog!
If you’re in East Tennessee, you need to visit Robert’s. It’s a locally owned business with the sweetest people and quality furniture. I can’t say enough about our experience with them!

Doing what we love, my husband and I took the scenic route through the country to go to the furniture store. The views are so pretty and the drive just made my heart smile! The sky on the way home was gorgeous…

I also spent some time in the kitchen this week. I’ve made several new recipes for supper, baked some bread, made more Rice Krispy Treats (for our small group) and also some Chicken broth in my crock pot. It feels good to be productive in the kitchen!

I pray that your winter days are being filled with blessings that you recognize as gifts from God’s hands. He’s the giver of them all.

P.S. I mentioned my radio recording – in case you don’t know, I do a daily broadcast on a local radio station. My church has all the recordings on their website. I linked it earlier and I’ll link it again, here, in case you’re interested. There’s a plethora of subjects from character traits to homemaking advice. Each broadcast is 15 minutes long. It is aired each week day on WHCB at 2:30 (recently changed) and on Saturday at 3:45. This is a ministry that the Lord placed in my lap, and I feel like the most unlikely person to be on the raido! There are days I wonder if anyone hears it, but I j ust know that I’m obeying the Lord in His direction in my life. So there you have it. If it can encourage you, than I’ll rejoice!

Tell me about one of your activities that helped you beat the winter blues!

Stay refreshed this winter,

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route · Winter

Winter Vacation on the Scenic Route

Most people probably only think of a beach vacation when the temps make the thermometer and your face equally red. But I’ve learned in the last two December’s that being at the beach when it’s cooler is a blessing! My husband and I went to Hilton Head last December and loved it. Here are a few reasons I love the beach in the winter…

  • It is the perfect respite after a very busy fall season and before Christmas arrives.
  • It’s not sweltering!
  • It’s much more modest (see bullet above!)
  • You pretty much have the beach to yourselves!
  • The cities are quiet.
  • It’s so restful!

After our first winter beach trip, we decided that we needed to consider vacationing before Christmas again so we could enjoy all those benefits. That’s exactly where we’ve been this past week. Due to the cancellations caused by Covid this year, our plans were held very lightly in our hands. We knew only the Lord would keep us well and allow us the blessing of traveling to another state for vacation. What a gift this week has been!

If you have been following my blog for long, you know that one thing my husband and I enjoy doing as dates is traveling on the Scenic Route. We enjoy taking the side roads and stopping along the way to enjoy the sights that pique our interest. Yes, it takes longer, but we love making a memory while spending time together.

Here’s a little window into our Winter Vacation on the Scenic Route ~

We both loving walking/running on the beach. Though we don’t stay side by side, we stay in touch with one another and love that we share the love of outdoor exercise.
We try to catch the sunrise every morning. The blessing of winter sunrisew is that they’re a little later than summertime! This one came up at a little after 7:00, meaning we could sleep in a little!
We had so much fun one day when we got to have lunch with new friends that we met this fall. We spent several hours in fellowship with them and it was so refreshing and encouraging!
We love visiting churches when we are on vacation. The church we visited last Sunday had communion, giving us the blessing of sharing this time together. Since Dale is a pastor, we seldom get to share this ordinance side by side! It was sweet.

Our time away simply allowed us to be together…our favorite thing! We don’t need to be entertained, we just like being with one another. We may sit in the same room in silence as we each work on projects, but we’re okay with that because we’re together. We do spend time chatting about upcoming decisions, God’s Word, plans for the future and memories from the past.

We’ve created some new memories this week on our second winter beach vacation and we are grateful for each part on the Scenic Route!

Have you ever vacationed at the beach in winter?

Home decor · Winter

How To Winter-ize Your Home Decor

I hear people saying, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my house!” But I wonder, did the house transform into the winter season before the halls got decked with Christmas trees and holiday decor?

I’ve shared several posts with you about Myquillyn Smith’s book, The Cozy Minimalist and how it’s changed the way I look at decorating my home, but another lesson she’s taught me is to “winterize” before you “Christmas-ize.” I love this philosophy because when Christmas is over and the holiday decor is put away, it can still look like winter in our homes. It won’t have that bare, undecorated sadness that usually prevails in early January! Let me explain what this would look, smell and feel like…

All the senses need to see, smell, hear, touch and taste winter.

  • Fresh, Green boughs on the mantles, complete with the red berries that are on the bushes outside.
  • Logs in the fireplace.
  • A warm fire burning.
  • Thick, warm throws adorn the couch or chairs.
  • Throw pillows have thicker covers over them, adding warm colors and textures.
  • Candle scents are winter smells – citrus, evergreen or pine, and cinnamon.
  • Flickering candle light adorn the tables.
  • Tablecloths or placemats are heavier. Runners added are winter fabrics.
  • Serve soups, stews and chowders. Cups steam with coffee or hot chocolate.
  • Cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on brown pieces of toast, Snickerdoodles and Cinnamon Rolls baking in the oven.

It’s kind of like changing the clothes out in your wardrobe. In winter we wear heavier layers; the same goes for textures in our home. Add layers of texture, scents and vision that warm up the space. That’s what it means to Winter-ize!

If you need a lovely scent for your winter smells, here’s a potpourri that will make your home smell wonderful! This recipe is from my dear friend, Vickie Stykes.

Christmas Fragrance Simmering Potpourri

Ingredients:
5-6 cinnamon sticks, broken
1 TBSP. lemon peel
½ cup whole cloves
¼ cup whole allspice
1 TBSP. orange peel
1 TBSP. nutmeg
1 TBSP. bay leaf pieces
2 slices apples, optional
½ orange, cut into quarters, leave peel on, optional

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and place in a simmer stove pot or in a crock pot. Cover with hot water, turn on high to bubbly, then on low to enjoy simmering scent. May be placed in refrigerator and reused several times. Just add more ingredients if scent loses aroma
.

Have you winter-ized your home? Does this idea make sense to you?

Refresh your home with winter,

Refreshment in marriage · Winter

Refresh Your Marriage – Get Out!

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This week I posted about adding a little Valentine’s Day decor to my home, just to add some warmth and joy in the month of January.  Along with the long days and months of winter, marriage can feel like it’s cold, gray and maybe even a little icy at times.  It’s so important to have a sensitive spirit about that so you can refresh your relationship, add some light and sparkle to what has become mundane! Continue reading “Refresh Your Marriage – Get Out!”