Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The British Tea Room Helps You Keep Calm!

Now that Summer is here,you may have time to take a morning, or afternoon off, and create some special memories with your daughter.

If you live the in the NOLA area, then there is a restaurant/store on the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain, that is the PERFECT place for relaxing and enjoying your time together, in proper British comfort, with a lovely cup of tea:

the english tea room logo

Situated in a converted craftsman bungalow on E Rutland St, off Lee Ln in Covington, LA, The English Tea Room is unique both in its decor, and its menu!

enlish tea room queens room

When you walk in, you are of course greeted by her Majesty, the Queen, well, by her cutboard image! LOL  

english tea room for sale wall

From there you will awed by the teacups, teapots, and decor! There is a whole wall of items for sale, so you can take a memento home! There are multiple rooms to dine in, and each has it's own unique name and decor, like the Queen's Room (main room), The Tudor Room or the Churchill or Sanctuary rooms, with their settese and chair, perfect for a party of 2. And don't miss the 'Loo' with its red telephone box door!

But as charming as that all is, what makes The English Tea Rom the TEA Room, is the TEA!

miss grace at the english tea room

They have an entire menu of teas to choose from! No matter your favorite, black, Ceylon, green, Oolong, Roobios, white, flavored, even Chai! They have over 200 teas!

Overwhelmed? No problem! Tell your waitress (in traditional British tea room uniforms, no less), what type of tea you like and they can recommend one! Miss Grace found her new favorite, Irish Breakfast Cream! I was wowed by Trafalgar Anniversary and it's Oak base, that took cream so beautifully!

the english tea room sugar and cream

Miss Grace also fell in love with their brown sugar cubes! Hence the picture, LOL 
And yes, you do get proper cream!

the english tea room teas

When you order tea, you get your own individually brewed tea pot, that holds about 3 cups worth of tea. Each table is set with china tea cups and small tea spoons, so you truly feel like you are across the pond, and having a lovely afternoon with a proper cuppa!

the english tea room and miss grace 2

They also have a full menu, perfect for Breakfast and Lunch, as well as a Lil Brits (kids) menu, besides the full proper British tea service! For Miss Grace and I, we were having a mid-morning tea, so we each opted for tea and a light 'nosh'. She opted for Cinnamon Toast, which she was surprised came just like we prepare it at home with lots of butter and cinnamon/sugar! It took some explaining to get her to understand how we came to do it the English way, if my Grandma was Canadian French! LOL. The plate also has a strawberry, orange slice and some grapes. 

the english tea room scones

I opted for traditional scones, as we just don't make them enough at home! Plus at The English tea Room, you get them properly served with clotted cream and lemon curd. I know, so YUM,  right? Seriously, they are SOOOO perfect! It doesn't matter which flavor you get. and each day thery offer different flavors of the day. This day it was vanilla and chocolate chip. I really couldn't pick which one, so teh waitresses suggested to try both, and that was the perfect option! The vanilla really went above and beyond with the lemon curd, whereas the chocolate chip was so much more with the clotted cream! I flashed back to the afternoon teas between my grandmother and her sister, where I would flutter in and out from the 'puzzle room' (my great aunt always had at least a 5,000 piece puzzle going at any given time). Those days taught me patience, the love of a proper tea, and how it can bind us together! So being able to share a similar experience with Miss Grace is priceless indeed.

miss grace frnting the english tea room

You'll recognize The English Tea Room by it's English flags and outside decor. And you will definitely be taking home some mementos, like a teaspoon with an adorable cup on it and some tea! They do offer all their teas in varying size amounts, and will help you decide which one you want to try!

Be sure to check out their Event Calendar- as they have special 'theme night' teas like Mary Poppins,  Murder Mystery, Downtown Abbey, Dr Who and James Bond. And of course they recently had a Dinner tea in honor of Her Majesty's 90th Birthday!

bouquet at the english tea room

You can pop in Monday thru Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm. Reservations aren't required, but recommended for busy times, especially if you have more than 2 people in your party.  private party events are held on Sundays, and they have an adorable back courtyard, perfect for a young lady's birthday party. They have hosted some lovely baby and bridal showers as well! We're debating having Miss Grace's next birthday party there!

So, if you are looking at a lovely Summer way to connect with your daughter, do what we did, and spend some time at The English Tea Room!

Book Review: 13 Under the Wire by Gil Reavill

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Alibi, Random House, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

This new book came out yesterday, and it's selling for ONLY $2..99 on Kindle!

I would have told you about it sooner, but I just got a couple 4 days ago!

13 under the wire


Los Angeles is in the grip of a monster riot.

After thirty-six straight hours on duty, sheriff’s detective Layla Remington makes an error that could cost her badge. Shell-shocked, she retreats to the LASD’s temporary staging area: a once-grand mansion that Layla knows from what seems like a lifetime ago.

It’s ten years earlier. Layla is twenty-two, a probationary cadet at the police academy. A childhood friend has died tragically in Tijuana, and Layla finds herself once again enmeshed in the lavish lives of the ├╝ber-wealthy Loushane family. The privileged kids she grew up with are taking their places among the upper crust. But as Layla wraps up the late Simon Loushane’s affairs, she stumbles upon a clue to something very sinister that haunts the family.

 Unable to quell her curiosity, Layla pulls at the threads of greed and tragedy—and unravels a twisted history of evil that stretches from the Gold Coast of Mexico to the Sonora Desert. And now, a decade later, those demons have come back to claim her.


This latest Layla Remington book (the third in the series) takes us back to Layla's life before she became a police office, and it is an interesting character study. I actually like finding out about a main character like this, after a couple of books. By then you have bonded with the character, and as a reader, you care about the backstory and almost hunger for it. So when you get a satisfying one, like this, where all the dominoes click into place, it gives you double the satisfaction! Plus this one sets up the next book and  a potential return of one of the characters to thwart Layla again- not going to spoil and tell you whom!  All in all, it is a very rewarding read, and if you liked or loved the previous two books, you will LOVE this one! The Layla Remington series is here to stay!

About the Author:

Gil is a leading true-crime journalist, with two recent non-fiction works: Mafia Summit: J Edgar Hoover, the Kennedy Brothers and the Meeting That Unmasked the Mob and Aftermath: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home. His work has been widely featured in magazines, including articles on the sons of Saddam Hussein, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano and the Rampart police corruption scandal. Reavill also works as a collaborative writer, with recent credits including I Only Know Who I Am When I Am Somebody Else , by Danny Aiello

Wordless Wednesday: Best Selfie

national photography month logo

Let the Kid take this one!

miss grace selfie

Hmm, that selfie stick work's pretty well, when Mom plops a hat on your head! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review: Rite of Wrongs by Mica Stone

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Thomas and Mercer, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

Coming out today is this new book:

rite of wrongs cover


Honor thy father and thy mother. 

Stress is a constant in Detective Miriam Rome’s life due to her heavy caseload. Now she’s facing an especially gruesome crime: a pediatrician’s wife has been brutally murdered, and a Bible verse written in her blood is found at the scene. As the tranquil city of Union Park, Texas, is left reeling, Detective Rome pursues every possible lead in her search for the murderer. When a second slaying—and second bloody quote—seems to confirm that a serial killer is at large, Rome is forced to turn to her former partner for his particular insight. Father Augustine Treece had walked away from police work, but now Rome’s request has drawn him back into the grisly world he thought he’d left behind.
Working to stay ahead of the murders, Detective Rome and Father Treece must forgive their past to protect the next victim…a task that tests Rome’s limits when the killer hits too close to home.


In many ways this book reminded me of the Bones TV series, with love lost, but found, but structured. Somehow the personal story edges out the mystery at hand. Not necessarily a bad thing I found myself in the first half wanting to skip over the mystery sections and get the dialogue between Miriam and Augustine, as it held more charge and interested. Eventually it all equalled out, and you'll figure out the killer early, but again the play between Miriam and Augustine will keep you reading. I>t's a decent read, perfect for reading by the beach, as you won't feel pulled if you put it down to immediately pick it back up, so it can last you all week without a problem.

About the Author:

A native Texan, Mica Stone has one husband (a petroleum geologist by day, an author by night), two pseudonyms (for speculative fiction and romance), three rescue dogs, four kids (all redheads), and five rescue cats. She has been published since 1993 and is the author of more than fifty books. Rite of Wrongs is the first to appear under her own name.

Solve Summer Boredom with What the Fun! (review and giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from Plume Books, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

i'm bored button

And now for a fun book to last all Summer long!

what the fun cover


What the Fun- 427 Simple Ways to Have Fantastic Family Fun

Modern family life has become a crazy game that gobbles up our days and nights.  In fact, Time Magazine is now calling parenting America’s most competitive adult sport as we drown in endless athletic schedules, music lessons, and enrichment activities.  What’s missing from these over-scheduled days?   The FUN.   Study after study has shown the value of fun and play, and even shown that not having fun is bad for children.  Fun improves communication, connectedness, and creates an enhanced sense of self and healthy behaviors. 

Emmy-nominated family lifestyle expert Donna Bozzo has shared her secrets for parenting playfulness for years through media appearances and on her website.

what the fun sample page 1

Bozzo has gathered hundreds of easy and creative ways for infusing day-to-day life with a jolt of fun! Bozzo’s prescription includes activities and crafts for young children to teens that can be added into any part of the daily routine—from mealtimes to bedtime, on special occasions, or whenever the family can use a break from the grind, including:

SIMPLE DIY GIFTS FOR MOM, DAD, AND GRANDPARENTS: Scrabble Plaque, Soda Bottle Terrarium, and Coffee Cup Sleeves.
SUMMERTIME BLUES: The Kids are Out Of School… now what?!?  Alleviate the boredom with a Full Moon Party, Family Book Club, Backyard Weather Station or Crime Scene Party.
BEACH BUM FUN! Sand Art and Message in a Bottle.
ROAD TRIP GAMES! Travel Treasure Maps and Backseat Bingo.
And more!

what the fun sample page 2


As you can see from the sample 'Funs' I've shown you, these ideas can be very simple, or more time consuming. They are for all ages of kids, in fact getting the older kids to set up say the scavenger hunt for the younger siblings, can be half the fun! Or they can be the fort builders, and the younger crew gets to attack, or vice versa. You can see how one simple idea can easily lead to another, and get the kids AWAY from the TV and otehr media devices, and into a world of make believe, something that they really NEED after the pressure of the school year.

what the fun sample page 3

And lets admit it, you need the stress free time too! Many of the ideas involve quality time with your kids- nature walks, cooking ro building together, that help to make memories that kids will not only remember, but cherish! And with over 400 ideas, there is definitely enough for one for EVERY day of Summer vacation!  This is a super fun book, and a huge help if you feel like you're running out of ideas to keep the kids occupied. Seriously, how is it we would leave the house and not return for say 4 hours, and yet our kids want us to lead their play? Ugh. With this book, you can set them up and let them go, and see what flourishes on its own! It will definitely solve the Summer boredoms!

About the Author:

Donna Bozzo has worked in the TV business for fifteen years. In addition to appearing on Today, all the Chicago TV stations, The Morning Blend, Veria Living TV, Great Day St. Louis, and Daytime, she worked for many years as a reporter, TV producer, writer, and creative director. She has written for Chicago Parent, Make It Better, Family Circle, Wedding Pages, Working Mother, and American BabyDonna has a journalism degree from Indiana University and lives in Winnetka IL with her husband and three daughters.

flashing Win


One winner will win this review copy of this fun book!

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