Posted by: Sarah | June 23, 2011

Thursday Tea Party: New Arrivals

The Book:

A new shipment arrived! And I don’t just mean books. While this lovely new stack of reading friends is exciting, the little fluff ball beside it makes my heart just about swell to pop. I’m proud to introduce to my tea party, the dashing Mr. Gilbert. He’s a nine-week-old Coton puppy I brought home from Chicago. Please excuse my fur-mama gushing, but I think he’s positively delicious. I’m thrilled to have this new addition to my family. In honor of my wonderful friend Courtney and her equally scrumptious fur-babe Landon, I’m reading Maine today. The book is just about as big as Gilly, which furthers my argument to friends and family that books, pets and babies are all “children” to me. I’m excited to jump into this new adventure and get to know the characters. I’ve never been to Maine but hear dreamy tales from everyone who has. I’m sure the book will capture that spirit and more. I think Gilly approves too.

The Tea:

Today, I have a cup of Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast. There were no less than two fully stocked, glorious TJ’s in Chicago. The closest one to me in El Paso is in Albuquerque, four hours away. So needless to say, when I find a Trader Joe’s, I stockpile. If anyone comes to visit and they happen to hail from a Trader Joe’s location, I ask him/her to act as carrier mule. I have no shame about this. In my mind, it’s like finding a lost soul in the desert and giving them a bottle of life-saving water. Actually, it’s exactly like that. El Paso being in the Chihuahua Desert. Only my ‘water’ isn’t water, but all things Trader Joe’s. I could go on and on about the products I adore from the TJ oasis, but this is a tea party so I’ll focus on the tea. I’ve got a cup of TJ’s Irish Breakfast, which boasts that its tealeaves are the “finest second flush Assam—vacuum-packed for flavor retention” and are blended with “quality high grown Kenyans.” I happen to adore a stout Irish Breakfast. Each brand blend varies slightly in taste. Trader Joe’s is a little mellower than some bolder brews. I think it’s probably the one to cut your teeth on if you haven’t had Irish Breakfast before.

Sarah’s Sipping Summary:

It just so happens that Courtney’s novel follows the Kelleher family. I don’t have to tell you that “Kelleher” is a good, old Irish surname and, indeed, they are Irish-Americans through and through. I swear to you, I did not plan this as I sat down with my Irish Breakfast in hand. I believe kismet has a role in every moment of our lives—from the extraordinary (welcoming in a new member of the family) to the ordinary (sitting down to tea). So I like to imagine Alice Kelleher welcoming me (a half-Irish lady) and Gilbert into her home, pouring out dark cups of tea and introducing all the wonders of Maine.

 Cheers, my dears! Sarah

 As always, remember to click over to Miss Beth Fish Reads and Miss Anastasia for more Thursday Teas. 



  1. (1) Your puppy is adorable (glad to see another pic from what you had on Twitter!)! (2) I love Irish Breakfast tea, too, so I appreciate the Trader Joe review. By the way, we just this year got a Trader Joe in Portland, Maine! I was just like you — everytime I was in Boston, I had to go there. Now that there’s one nearby I rarely do….go figure! (3) I need to read MAINE (moreso since I live in the state and it works its way into my blog, too!); I’ll look forward to hearing what you think!

  2. Gilly is the sweetest pup ever….well then again there is my sweet girl Bella, an almost 2 year old 5 pound Yorkie that I adore.
    I’m so very backed up on my reading, need to turn the computer off and read more. I really look forward to reading MAINE, I love family stories.
    I have never been to a Trader Joe’s!! There are none in FL, I may have to venture to GA to see one.

  3. 1) MAINE is a must. Courtney is a gorgeous person and her book is no less stunning.
    2) Anita, you MUST share your first TJ’s experience. It’s phenomenal. Julia, hurray for TJ’s expansion to Portland! I would sacrifice all the contents of my pantry and re-purchase everything Trader Joe’s if they would just come to El Paso.
    3) Gilly has me completely puppy-whipped.

  4. Your fur baby is ADORABLE and so tiny next to those books. Thanks for introducing MAINE. It looks like a must-read!

  5. Dang, I want that puppy. So cute!
    Maine sounds like a fab read.

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