Gift Ideas for a “Teatotaller”

Put the Kettle on and Relax

No need for a tea party when you own this bit of china:  Royal Albert Cheeky Pink Tea-for-One.

Royal Albert Cheeky Pink Tea-for-One

Relax with a cuppa anytime with this tea set for one.

An added feature is that while the tea brews in the pot, it warms the teacup below.

From Royal Albert’s popular New Country Roses collection, the 16 oz. teapot with matching teacup and saucer features 22-carat gold trim.

This design not exactly your cup of tea? How about this out-of-this world design?

Dr. Who fans will recognize The TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), a time machine and spacecraft featured in the BBC Science Fiction Television series.

As any self respecting Whovian knows, the TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in time and any place in the universe… then again The Doctor is not the best driver so who knows where he and his trusty assistant will land?

Teapot - TARDIS

Like the real TARDIS, this teapot is bigger on the inside than one might expect.  Click here for more details

Now everyone can transport themselves to another place in time by brewing some tea.  Like chocolate, tea fixes any and every problem right?  Plus, it’s a nice start to the day… a delightful break in the afternoon… and a comfort after a long day.

TARDIS tea mug with lid

This tea mug with lid is a perfect companion to the TARDIS tea pot.

With any tea set  there is a matching tea cup.

If you are someone who just likes things simple, then the Brown Betty is for you.

This teapot is a favorite because it results in a perfect up a tea due to its shape.  When boiling water is added, the tea leaves gently swirl creating the most desired flavor.

Handmade in Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, England, the Brown Betty is made of red clay with a Rockingham glaze.  The  36-oz. pot brews six cups. 6 1/4″ high.  To clean, hand wash and air dry.

Brown Betty teapot

These teapots are handmade in Stoke-on-Trent, home of the Brown Betty since the 1600s. (It also comes in blue.)

Find out more about Stoke-on-Trent, the City fondly known as The Potteries:   Click here.  

Then again, if you are a traditionalist and want to impress, there is the silver tea set  such as the one pictured below, available at

Silver tea set

Serve a spot of tea with this silver tea set. 

You’ll love this heart-shaped teapot.

This red porcelain pot has a heart-shaped lid and platinum trim. It holds 32 oz. 6 ¾” wide from handle to lip, 6 ½” high.  For more info, click here.

heart-shaped teapot

Have a private tea-party for two with this stackable tea set, which is a charming addition to any kitchen. Hand-wash.

Tea for 2

Enjoy a spot of tea with your sweetheart. 

Downton Abbey "tea" shirt

It’s the most Emmy-nominated British TV show in history. Over 5 million viewers tuned in for the second season finale on PBS. The third season is now available.

* Stacked: 9″h
* Cup: 3″ diameter; 2.25″h
* Kettle: 3″ diameter; 5″h
Content & Care:
* Porcelain
* Hand wash
* Imported

In an effort to create the perfect cup of tea, this 34 oz. teapot is fashioned from clear glass so you can watch the tea steeping.  Once it reaches the desired strength, press the plunger of its infuser to instantly halt the brewing process, preventing the tea from tasting bitter. The hand-blown borosilicate glass, which was developed for laboratory use, combines extreme heat resistance with high clarity and durability. The handle provides a cool, comfortable hold, and the spout pours neatly. The lid is stainless steel.

Bodum Glass teapot

The stainless-steel infuser provides plenty of space for the tea leaves to release their full flavor. It can also be used for holding (and easily removing) tea bags. Click HERE for more.

Find more unique and functional teapot at

London telephone box teapot found on

This London telephone box teapot found on


What’s Playing

Movies to Check out for Valentine’s Day… or whenever you’re Bored


On a cold night, snuggle under the covers and enjoy. And, you could even watch a movie too!

Insomnia has been labelled as a negative.  However, it has introduced me to some films I would’ve otherwise never seen.  Sure, some have had me shaking my head with frustration screaming “I’ll Never Get these Two Hours Back!”    Yet others made me feel half-way justified for denying much-needed rest.

Now this is not your average list filled with classics we all know and love like Gone with the Wind, any Jane Austen-inspired film, the over-rated Titantic, the  3 romantic comedies starring  Doris Day and Rock Hudson and the weepy An Affair to Remember, along with its remakes including the lazily written Sleepless in Seattle.
No, this litany of films is a bit different.

Placed in no particular order, here is the sampling:

In the Romantic-Comedy Category:

1.  The Decoy Bride   After the regeneration of Dr. Who,  David Tennant went on to star in this little gem alongside Kelly MacDonald and Alice Eve.

actor David Tennant

The charming David Tennant

Tennant plays a writer joining his actress fiancée (Alice Eve) to a remote Scottish location which is featured in his latest book.  Surprisingly the writer knows very little about the place which the locals are only too “helpful” to point out.  Nevertheless, this is where the bride wants to finally tie the knot.  In order to hide from the paparazzi, village resident Kelly MacDonald  is hired as a decoy.  Comedy ensues.

2. Jane Eyre   Keeping with a Dr. Who theme, this movie/BBC mini-series starring “Lord President” Timothy Dalton is one to watch.

Actor Timothy Dalton posing as 007 James Bond

Timothy Dalton as Bond, James Bond.

Maybe I’m a sucker for James Bond but Dalton’s portrayal of Mr. Rochester made this remake one of my favorites.  He is proud man yet shows signs of vulnerability.  Great work.

3. The MatchMaker is a delightful film starring Janeane Garofalo. In this film the cynical Garofalo shows a softer side with wonderful results.

Buddy Movies:

1.  Hot Fuzz  The trio that brought you Shaun of the Dead and Spaced with Jessica Hynes  reunite for this action-packed comedy.  Simon PeggNick Frost and Edgar Wright  give you plenty of action, humor and heart in this love story to Hollywood “cop movies.”  Timothy Dalton is delicious as one of the suspects.

2.  Muriel’s Wedding  Before she was a movie mom or the United States of TaraToni Collette played the ABBA loving wedding-obsessed girl.  Regardless of what she does, you are rooting for her.

A Different Kind of Love:

3. Children of the Revolution  This is a comedy about a woman in love with Stalin (yep, Joseph Stalin).  Really, it is a comedy… starring Judy Davis and Sam Neill, who worked together previously in the much lauded film, My Brilliant Career.  Actress Rachel Griffiths, who is featured in Muriel’s Wedding, co-stars.

Queeny the Vampire in the movie Suck

Queeny and the Mad Hatter: Coincidence?

4. Suck   Forget the Twilight series.  Writer/Director/Actor Rob Stefaniuk offers us a vampire love story starring Jessica Paré and Queeny the vampire. It’s more about the lust of a band wanting to make it big in the music business with a bit of blood mixed in.  It’s a bit quirky and becomes more entertaining (and gory) as it moves along.

Plus, this film makes one wonder… did Johnny Depp borrow Quenny’s look for his Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter? Who is this Rob Stafaniuck guy and how does he know all this people?
Who knows?  Who cares?  It’s just fun to count the various celeb cameos… and see poor Hugo suffer his plight as a modern-day Renfield.

5. The Royal Tenenbaums   This Wes Anderson directed movie features a quirky family which produced three child prodigies.  The children, now adults, come back home as a result of tragic news.  As in Anderson’s films, relationships are the heart of the matter.

Is this your Glass Slipper?

6. Dogfight   Set in 1963, a young man (River Phoenix) and his buddies are celebrating their last night in the States before being shipped off to fight in Vietnam.  The viewers join Phoenix from the moment he meets the Lili Taylor character, a “girl with a great personality” until he ships off.  Stay with this one.  It is well worth it.

Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette from the movie Muriel's Wedding

Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette star in Muriel’s Wedding.

7. Mirror Has Two Faces  Babs does it again.  In her Oscar winning performance as the real-life comedienne/Ziegfeld Follies girl Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Ms. Streisand, as with Brice, got the guy with her charms and “nontraditional” good looks.
But in the end Fanny Brice dumped her gambling husband so maybe getting the guy wasn’t so great after all?

Real life is nothing like the movies.

To get a more varied and professional view, read the entertaining and educational book 10 Bad Dates with DeNiro, a book of Alternative Movie Lists, edited by Richard T. Kelly with illustrations by Andrew Rae.