Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tea sampling from a samovar

I'm just catching up on some activities of the past weeks. I follow Jolie Tea Company on Facebook and recently they posted that they were having a tea tasting of their Doctor Zhivago blend. They were pouring the tea from a samovar. Unfortunately, I only found out about the event the day before and I had a few things to do the day of the tasting. I had to miss it.

A few weeks later, they posted that they were going to have a tasting of their Russian Caravan tea from a samovar in honor of the Sochi Olympics. I made a point to visit the shop for that sampling.

I met the shop's owner and she was delightful. I love her enthusiasm and passion for tea. I told her I wished I could have been there for the Doctor Zhivago blend sampling but I had been busy that day and there was also a snow storm that day.  She said yes, it had snowed and it was magical and so perfect to have a snowfall during the tea tasting.

I really enjoyed my cup of Russian Caravan. It was not as strong or smoky as I anticipated.

My trip to the shop was right before Valentine's Day so there were many romance related items for sale. I bought a hostess gift for the Cupid's tea here.

I love all the little pretties in the shop. It is all so beautifully displayed and there is always something new that catches my eye. The staff is attentive but not intrusive. You could say they let you drink it all in at your leisure.

I bought a small pouch of Dr. Zhivago blend. I have a non working samovar, perhaps I will take a photo of it with the tea and a favorite teacup.

It's fun to see all the different blends they offer. Some have such nice names. I want to try them all!

I think next time I will buy a sample size of the Winter Solstice. I have a feeling Winter is not leaving these parts anytime soon.

I love browsing the tea book section. I have a few of the Vintage Tea Party books. They have such adorable illustrations in them.

I always have such a nice time when I go to Jolie Tea Company. If you're in the area, stop by. Maybe you'll get to drink from the samovar too!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Shipping out of Boston - a family gathering

Saturday afternoon was warm, like 50 degrees warm. A sunshiny spectacular day. It was a perfect day for a family gathering.

My cousin Beth, her husband Dana, and their children moved to their new home in January. This could have been a housewarming party but it was actually a gathering to wish my cousin Colin well  Tomorrow he joins the US Marine Corps.

The appetizers from the caterer Saltbox Farm of Concord were delicious. We had mini blts, shrimp and flatbreads.

Here's the full menu. So many delectable dishes. I had a sample of each.

I ate this so fast I did not even notice it was a braised lamb flatbread. I can tell you it was very good.

Our chef got straight to work on the pasta. I always like to watch a chef cook. They do it all with such ease.

Dana and my Uncle Al were deep in conversation. My Aunt was unable to make the trip down from Maine.

Here's my Uncle Al and my Dad.

And meet the newest member of Beth and Dana's family, Bailey. I instantly fell in love. She is very rambunctious but hey, she's a puppy. She likes to chew- everything!

Beth's son, Brian, took Bailey out on the deck to burn off some energy. She posed for me. Good Dog Bailey!

She really is adorable! I believe she is going to get quite big when she grows up.

The girls, Megan, Amy and Beth, got an update on my Aunt's health.

Megan is Beth's daughter and Amy is Beth's sister and Colin's mother. It is hard for me to believe that Amy has a son old enough to join the military.

Here's my Dad with my cousin David, everyone thinks they look amazingly alike.

There's Sean, Amy's oldest son with my cousin Tommy.

More cousins, Bobby, and Tommy's son Mark and Bailey of course.

Tommy and Amy are brother and sister.

Beth was able to calm Bailey enough so she behaved for the rest of the party. Beth says she is the dog whisperer. Sure seems like it!

 Here's the next generation of cousins. They are my second cousins. Brian, our soon to be Marine Colin, Megan and Sean. Brian and Megan are brother/sister and Colin and Sean are brothers.

Ha, ha I caught them before they were prepared for the photo. Amy was insistent that Sean take the toothpick out of his mouth.

Megan in her new kitchen. How I love a white kitchen! And the size of that island is about the size of the kitchen in my condo.

Time to make the scallops. One of my favorite dishes. When I go out for dinner, I often order scallops.

I think this is the shrimp brochette. It was delicious.

Tommy holds court.

Nice kitchen, great food.

Mother and son have a chat

Sean and Dad have a conversation.

Dave and Mark are watching a golf app. I come from a family of extreme golf enthusiasts.


Heather is Tommy's wife. Bobby is Tommy's brother.

Father and daughter had dessert at their own private table with a view. Right now the view is snow. It's going to take a while for all that snow to melt.

Bailey was amused at Bobby's snow shoveling technique.

Dana and Megan enjoying their desserts.

I forgot to mention that the desserts were an apple tart and chocolate cake. Both were good but the apple tart was perfection!!

The parting brothers shot. Sean is seated and Colin is standing. Colin is starting the next exciting phase of his life. His family will miss him. They are already making plans to see him in June. Godspeed Colin.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Photographing The Norton Affair - My first wedding shoot

When our server at the Aroma Café asked me if I would be her wedding photographer I laughed.
"Oh I can't." I said, " I've never photographed a wedding!" Then she told me the wedding would be small, only about 40 people and so I reluctantly agreed.

This was a DIY wedding for sure. The bride had a vision of a rustic wedding and she was going to create it herself.

The tables were made from wood pallets that she picked up at a construction company. She filed in the open spaces with more wood, The burlap placemats were made by a friend,

Lace curtain panels were used to cover chairs that were purchased from a local church.

The event, dubbed The Norton Affair, had so many special touches. Glass carafes were filled with candy and goldfish crackers.

This was one of the earliest shots I took. I was testing out my flash. I have to say when I entered the space I was awestruck. The ceremony and reception took place in a warehouse. The space was totally transformed with twinkle lights, lace, candlelight and greenery. It was magical.

A lovely tribute was set up with old photos of family members. Those who had long ago passed  were remembered on this special day.

The bride loved this quote and made this board. There was no seating plan So guests made some new friends.

There were so many little details and vignettes. I literally took 1000 photos!

When all the candles were lit it was absolutely breathtaking and so romantic. The bride brought many home décor items from her home.

The sweets table looked festive and delicious. Birdcages, mini trees, and ornate cakestands were unique items adding to an adorable vignette. Cookies made by the bride were placed in apothecary jars and handed out as favors.

The wedding took place shortly after Christmas so there were a few Christmas trees on the tables. Can you tell these ornaments were made from toilet paper rolls? So clever!

The bar was illuminated beautifully and pitchers of sangria were pretty and plentiful.

The bride's daughter was dressed in lace and cowboy boots. Many of the guests wore jeans and cowboy hats.

The bride was escorted to the ceremony by her two sons. I loved her dress and shawl. She wore cowboy boots too.

The bride is the nanny of the sweet ringbearer. He was good at his job and so happy to perform.

The arch was created by wrapping a garden trellis in white lights, vines and tuille.

He put the ring on her finger and then it was official. They became Mr. and Mrs. Norton.

Of course the bride made her bouquet.  My sister said she had better not throw it because she could hurt someone. The bouquet was made from the bride's collection of rhinestone pins.

We all toasted the happy couple.
This was definitely a modern day wedding

You can see how much these two love each other.

I just love the facial expressions in this shot.

Here's the happy couple!

The Nortons had these wine glasses made specially for the wedding.

At the end of the night things turned violent as big brother beat up on his little brother. Only kidding! They were just getting a little crazy. That is a ping pong paddle. Yes, there was a ping pong table on the premises.

 The cake was sophisticated with just the right amount of bling. Love the ribbons.

The bride's daughter sang a few tunes. She has a beautiful voice.

Time to cut the cake. The groom did not want to do the formal feed each other cake ritual.

Here's the fabulous brooch bouquet.

As the guests were leaving, they had their photos taken with this prop. Cute idea!

A tender moment.

A better view of the cake.

The cake stand consisted of two cable spools purchased from Craigslist.

Her boots say I Do and his say Me Too. His words wore off. Probably due to the torrential rain that night. It was definitely a dark and stormy night.

Once I got over my initial nerves, I actually had a great time photographing the wedding. I did exactly as the bride instructed me to do. Do what you do.

Now on to the photo book!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin