How to Host a Vintage Tea Party…in a Corporate Conference Room?!

One of my office’s amazing former intern-turned-staff members graduated from her Master’s this spring. We knew we HAD to do something special to make the occasion for her, but we also had to balance a particularly busy and high-stress work period. We regularly go out for lunch as an office but my co-workers and I wanted to try something more fun than the usual.

You know I’m always down with something vintage-inspired and our current intern is also keen to embrace the quirky and historical so we were in quick agreement to plan a vintage tea-party right here in the office.

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Fortunately, my collection of vintage goodies is plentiful so I was able to supply a few pieces that I knew would be easy to bring in to work.

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Can you spot the vintage goodness? There’s milkglass, FireKing, and a gorgeous Yugoslavian enamelware teapot – not to mention the teacups!

And yeah, I know it’s not vintage, but I just adore my Cath Kidston tablecloth.

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For simplicity’s sake we used some cute little paper plates and napkins from the dollar store but made sure the colours coordinated with the vintage teacups and whatnot.

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The teacups were filled with puffs of cotton candy to add to the whimsy of the tea party.

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We served candy, raspberries, and some delicious President’s Choice gluten free strawberry cake.

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We went “local” with the tea and served two choices from the World Tea House and the ever-charming Sense and SensibiliTEA.

Plus, doilies. Obvi.

If we can transform a boring old conference room into a whimsical, sweet vintage tea-party, anyone can! What’s your favourite vintage accessory?

~@halitrax

Unhelpful Recipes: What the Heck is a Fiddlehead?

This post is part of the ECM Fiddlehead Bloggers Hop! Be sure to check out the other fab posts on Fiddleheads from some other local bloggers.

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Until I moved to Atlantic Canada, I had never heard tell of a Fiddlehead – with the exception, of course, of the genuine article that’s found at the top of a violin. Typical Ontarian, eh? That first spring of my residence in New Brunswick, I began to see them around the Farmer’s Market and at the grocery store. Curious, I began to probe…

For those of you who have also been in the dark on this weird and delicious springtime green, a Fiddlehead is actually a type of fern. They’re only delicious while they’re young and curled so the window of the season is quite short. Sometimes you can spot them in the forest – but definitely wait until you get home to properly clean and cook them before eating.

Personally, I was taught all this great info within seconds of asking “What the heck is a fiddlehead?!” It seems my Maritime friends were eager to share in the secret delicacy. What I didn’t expect was to open up a great debate on the best way to devour these delicious green morsels. I’ve discovered that there are two schools of thought on the matter: Team “Butter is Better” vs Team “Tart and Tangy.”

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Edit: This picture is NOT an example of the genuine fiddleheads that are safe to eat. True fiddleheads are covered in a brown paperlike coating and are never fuzzy even as they grow. Shoutout to reader Rhonda for the wisdom that only a Maritimer would know!

Since, as you well know, I’m not really here to be of any help to any of you in this arena, I’ll just give you the two unhelpful recipes and let you make up your own minds.

Team Butter is Better

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain fiddleheads. You’ll want to make sure you pull off the brown/white papery sheath to reveal just a fresh, green curl.
  2. Steam in vegetable steamer or over shallow boiling water.
  3. Toss with copious amounts of butter.
  4. Serve.

Team Tart and Tangy

  1. See above.
  2. See above.
  3. Drip on a vinegar of your choice. Personally, I like a nice balsamic but cider vinegar also works well in this context. But I’m not your mother. Use whatever vinegar you want.
  4. Serve.

I have to admit it: Fiddleheads are delicious either way (and many other, more complicated ways) but I’m definitely team Butter is Better. Butter forever! Butter for all! You might even want to add a wee sprinkle of parmesan, if you’re so inclined.

If you don’t like either suggestions, that’s fine too. As I mentioned at the top of this post, I’m participating in the ECM blog hop, providing links to some other amazing local bloggers who will probably have much more detailed and helpful guides on how to prepare these curly tendrils. But we both know that’s not going to happen here on this blog.

Happy fiddleheading!

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The Electric Connections at BConnected

It’s only been one week since the BConnected conference for bloggers and influencers took place in Toronto but I feel like I’ve been fuelled up with enough energy to carry my blogging efforts forward for so much time to come.

My first year (and, unfortunately, last as the conference won’t be hosted again) at BConnected and I was fortunate to attend with my business besties and BlogJam Atlantic Co-Directors, Renee and Kerra. You know we know a thing or two about blogging conferences so I would say the three of us are well positioned to offer a critique. The fact is, it was positively electric – we all agreed.

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Photo credit: http://www.mostafaphotography.net

A First Time for Everything

While I’ve done a few sponsored posts and reviews here on the blog, I’ve never actually done a face-to-face pitch. I can’t say I wasn’t nervous but BConnected had arranged a “Speed Networking” session that had participants bouncing around with sponsors to exchange contact info, give their pitch, and hopefully develop some lucrative or lasting partnerships. I arrived with my secret weapons: a new business card and a new media kit to help me build my case and I left feeling good about the opportunity to share my blogging story.

Connecting Locally

We BlogJammers wanted to hit up Toronto fully representing our Atlantic Canada home base. We were generously provided these adorable tote bags by Made in the Maritimes and outfitted with fantastic shirts from My Home Apparel. How awesome do we look all matchy matchy and ready for some conferencing?

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Photo credit: http://www.mostafaphotography.net

The Blogging Community

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a sense of community is always what I’m striving to discover, achieve, build, or maintain. BConnected did a great job of uniting the community of all us weirdos who just CAN’T GET ENOUGH BLOGGING. Plus, these are the kind of events where no one minds if you have your phone out the whole time or if you need to just take a quick selfie.

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Photo credit: http://www.mostafaphotography.net

Inspired to Action

All the speakers did an excellent job of addressing some of the frequently asked questions and issues that arise in the world of social media and blogging, but I did have a few favourites. In particular, I enjoyed the update from Richard Archambault on Jetpack (because WordPress forever, duh!), the girl power of the dynamic duo that is Wholly Art (wee published authors!), and Erica Ehm (obvi) – in particular because I had nary a hot second to enjoy her session at BlogJam 2016 so it was a nice change of pace to be able to actually stay seated and hear what she had to say.

Overall it was an excellent, dynamic conference and I’ll be working to implement all my newfound knowledge to improve this old chestnut.

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Thanks and congratulations to Lyne and Sandi for a great event! Can’t wait to see you in Halifax this fall!

~Krista @halitrax