Irish Tea Traditions: From a Cozy Morning Brew to Afternoon Chats

Whether you’re starting the day or winding it down, the art of crafting the perfect cup of Irish tea is simple.

Here’s your cheat sheet:
  1. Boil fresh water and warm the teapot. Fresh water is the foundation.
  2. Measure the tea leaves (or tea bags): A teaspoon of loose tea leaves per person, plus a little extra for the pot.
  3. Pour and Steep: Hot water takes center stage, dancing with tea leaves for 3-5 minutes. Go bold or go home—your call.
  4. Warm Your Cup: Splash some hot water into your cup; think of it like prepping a cozy nest for your tea.
  5. Customize with Milk and Sugar: Choices, choices. Black, strong, with milk and a bit of sugar—make it your own. I prefer my tea black.

Irish Tea

 

Now let’s set the scene: Picture your friend’s kitchen, perhaps with the delicious aroma of warm scones.

Tea Selection: Irish breakfast tea is no-nonsense and reliable. A bit strong, but perfect.

Delightful Treats: Serve scones and sandwiches that fill you up, and maybe a bit of cake.

The Art of Conversation: Tea is poured, treats are passed around, and stories flow. No fancy formalities; it’s all about catching up, laughing, and sharing tales from the local pub.

Enjoying the Ritual: There is no rush during an Irish Afternoon Tea. Take your time and enjoy the simple pleasures of good company.

Sláinte!

It’s a 99 cent Amazon Kindle Countdown for my sweet “Irish” romance, 1-800-IRELAND (US only).

A strong-minded Irishwoman is pursuing her dream. A disillusioned businessman is ready to retire.
Can two determined people find true love at the end of an Irish rainbow?

Irishwoman Kathleen Kelly wants to renovate her new teahouse in America to a sparkling shine, enticing droves of customers to Roses, NC. But the project quickly takes a turn for the worse when her hard work falls flat.

Rob Taylor knows a thing or two about running a business. He’s built Rob’s Marvelous Muffins into a thriving business. With Rob in Miami and Kathleen in Roses, a May-December romance isn’t part of Kathleen’s carefully laid-out plans. Besides, they’ve both admitted to each other how unlucky they are in love. It’s better to leave romance out of the picture and stick to friendship and hard work. However, Kathleen has no choice but to face what she is most afraid of … commitment.

And it will take more than hot tea and marvelous muffins to bridge the gap between them.

Grab your copy of 1-800-IRELAND today before the price goes up.

 

Available in ebook, paperback, large print paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.

Digging Deep: Focus

Lately, I haven’t been as focused as I should be. I guess because I have too much on my plate and that, in itself, contributes to me being overwhelmed. For many writers, trying to cope with the many demands of life, plus the book publishing business can be draining. I’ve been thinking about all the things I know I should do but haven’t really focused on doing. But, it’s time to get back to basics. Here’s what it looks like:

Photo by Lisa Fotios: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-rolling-armchair-beside-table-1957478/

Stop over-committing. I’ve been more disciplined about the “sparkly new idea” syndrome, but I still need to dig deeper and find the discipline to say no to new projects that will consume more time than I have.

Let “No” be no. I struggle with saying no to people, but I’m learning not to commit without explaining why I can’t. Not feeling guilty about saying no is also something I’m working on. I’d love to help everyone, but that’s not wise or practical.

Focus on what matters.  Creativity can be a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it and how you manage it. I have a kazillion ideas fighting for dominance in my mind and for my time. I’m niching down on the things I really love and that will give the biggest yield on the investments I make. Everything else can take a backseat until I free up more time and space in my schedule.

Make resting a priority. Aside from being nurturers, women hold down jobs and make important contributions to society. While we’re busy making those contributions and taking care of the home, we forget the importance of rest. Without it, we cheat ourselves and diminish our health. Get enough sleep, exercise, meditate. Your mind and body will thank you.

Self-care is important – Whether you go for a nature walk, have a spa day, or simply read a book, try to do something that is specifically for you. You’d be amazed at how invigorated you feel just by planning some activity to benefit you.

Photo by Kindel Media: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-drawing-smiling-sun-on-sand-7938450/

Life is a journey. Be sure that as you travel you stay focused on your end goals and that you’re getting satisfaction on the way.

Here’s a story about one woman who thought way too much of what others thought of her.

Caroline Byrd is living her dream—following her passion and looking forward to life with the man at the center of her world. Then family problems, involving the law, turn things upside down.

There’s no way a man like Gordon Raimes can understand what she’s going through, and she cannot risk embarrassing him and his family any further. Her plan to disappear fails because Gordon refuses to cooperate, but Caroline knows it’s a matter of time before he discovers her secret. Has she given up too quickly on the man she loves or will he prove her suspicions true?

Find out how Caroline solves her issues – https://lrd.to/Blindsided

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078T39F51/

Lessons From Hanging On & Letting Go

Photo by Kai Pilger: https://www.pexels.com/photo/assorted-clothes-996329/

I tend to be a packrat, but lately, life has taught me that I need to let go to make room for new things. In recent times, I received the gift of a new wardrobe. It was unexpected but received with gratitude. The challenging part has been what to give away to make room for this blessing.

There are so many pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve had for years but have only worn once or twice. I’m sure these would have been of benefit to others if I had made the time to de-clutter, but it’s never too late, so this has been an ongoing process.

I’ve taken away the following from this experience:

  1. Don’t block other people’s blessings. If a gift is offered, accept it in the spirit in which it is given.
  2. Don’t be overwhelmed by the process of de-cluttering. Do it as time allows.
  3. Don’t hang on to stuff that’s not needed. If someone else can use it, part with the item.
  4. Appreciate the additional space that’s created in the home or environment.
  5. Be thankful that other people will be blessed by the overflow from your life.

What tips do you have for creating space or being a blessing? Do share.

Let me also invite you to take a peek at Sold!

Feechi has her hands full with working and balancing life as a single mother. Her son becomes obsessed with owning a dog they can’t afford. When Carsten sweeps into their life, will she make room in her heart for his generosity? Find out in Sold! amzn.to/3QrzvAW

Sweet Romance title on Amazon

Family memories and secrets #RachelleAyala @Mimisgang1 #mgtab

Have you ever been amazed at family get togethers on how a single event you vividly remember is entirely different in another family member’s memory? Or how stories are not the way you remembered? Or even that you’ve reinterpreted some happening now with the distance of wisdom and experience?

These questions are ever present for me as I am now a grandmother and asked to write down memories in a book for my granddaughter. I most certainly want to present her with as much “truth” as I know or am aware of, but I’m afraid I cannot capture everything outside of my perspective. I recently read a memoir of an author who was shocked that the stories her parents told her were not what she uncovered in their paperwork, and I realized the fragility of childhood memories when research showed that many more people during world war II reported unexploded bombs dropped into their homes, even in regions with no aerial bombing.

Is it because we are suggestable people? Especially as children where we’ve heard a story and then believe it to have happened to ourselves? I know that’s the case in our family where our children to this day claim things that happened to them but we “know” were things that happended to us when we were kids and we told about them. Could it be that “dog bite” story was actually transmitted from great-grandfather to grandfather to father to son, and none of them had actually been bitten? This question has haunted me as I recall my mom’s wartime stories and witness my children thinking certain things happened to them exactly like described in a time and place they didn’t exist.

As a writer, these mismatched family memories are fertile grounds for stories, especially those in which a child was lied to their entire life. In my latest book, Going to Find Love, Penny Barnes has a big shock when she finds out her religious parents lied to her by omitting her adoption and then denying it. What are they covering up? Compelled to find the truth, Penny leaves everything behind, including her high school sweetheart, to find the answers long denied her.

I know how she feels because I know real life people who have had a similar shock [too close for me to reveal who] of finding out they weren’t who they thought they were. I hope these musings will encourage you to dig into your memories, old pictures, and documents to make a sense of your past to reexamine and preserve what you hope is closest to the truth.

Going to Find Love by Rachelle Ayala

Penny Barnes has never left home. She’s a pastor’s daughter, has a long time boyfriend, and is a hometown sweetheart. Her fairytale life is upended when she discovers she’s adopted.

Excited by the discovery of a genetic match, Penny is lured to a distant town with secrets of its own. She meets another lonely young woman who has more questions than answers. Her adoptive parents disappear. She runs into roadblocks and dead-ends, and someone powerful is determined to stop her from finding the truth.

Mike drops everything to find Penny as she digs through old secrets. When disaster strikes, will Penny leave everyone she loves behind—including her hometown sweetheart or find love on her own terms? [Pre-order Going to Find Love for 99c]