Miriam's birthday tea party

Miriam’s Birthday Tea Party

Miriam’s Birthday Tea Party

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2

Week 17: April 30, 2022

Our youngest daughter Miriam requested ⛅️ “morning tea with Mom” ☕️🫖 for her birthday on Thursday.

Miriam's birthday tea party

I enjoyed creating a pretty tablescape for the occasion, pulling fir cones, herbs, and rhododendron blooms from outdoors along with a blooming African violet plant started in the mid 1990’s from a leaf of a plant belonging to Miriam’s Great Grandma.

Miriam's birthday tea party

We enjoyed a pot of Miriam’s very favorite tea, Bigelow English Breakfast, with local 🍯honey and real cream in my thrifted tea service. I had baked heart shaped cinnamon bread a few days earlier. Toasted, the heart slices made a nice addition to our teatime repast.

We enjoyed ourselves immensely and I think her “gift” was as much for me as it was for her. 🎁

heart of bread

Heart-shaped bread baked in special pans made by dear family friends…soon to be available for sale here at Chocolate Box Cottage!

I enjoyed a visit with a new friend, Sheryl O’Neal, and her four children on Friday afternoon. Oh my, what fun we all had meeting the farm animals and munching Sheryl’s home-baked brownies! Once raindrops forced us indoors we enjoyed ☕️tea and conversation at the kitchen table. I am so glad their family moved to our little town! And wish I had snapped a few pictures!

Videos on YouTube

Michele in kitchen studio

Kitchen studio: I am back to making videos! The first one uploaded to YouTube May 3, 2022. A new video is added each week. Pop on over to my YouTube channel, Chocolate Box Cottage, and say hi in the comments!


brush pile in the woods

Saturdays are for getting firewood, so we headed back to the big 🌲Douglas fir tree we have been working on. Rain did not dim Sam’s enthusiasm for the task one bit! 💦☔️💧

This pile of limbs and brush is one of many in the woods, ready to be burned in an effort to reduce fuel for forest fires. The pile is about 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

It was raining and Sam made a small campfire to help me keep warm and so we could occasionally dry our gloves. The stump pictured is a dead Douglas fir that we cut for firewood. Squirrel, our little Papillon mix, enjoys the view from on high.

Sam cuts log rounds

The closer we get to the base of the tree, the heavier the rounds are. These are about 250 pounds each, too heavy for me to roll. My usefulness was limited to stacking wood and keeping Sam and Squirrel (our little 🐶 dog) company.

These boots are made for workin’! After the truck was loaded with firewood, we took a break by the campfire. It was a magical moment we will both remember: the rain soaked smell in the air, warming hands by the fire, and hot cocoa, made from a Homemade Mix.


The hanging basket geraniums are lush and full and eager to take their places on the front porch.

Basil babies are looking good after the snowstorm and up-potting.

Tiny lemon-scented eucalyptus tree seedlings are growing and I am thrilled that these Four o’clocks germinated! I saved the seeds in 1997 from the flowerbed of the tiny house I lived in when Cameo was born.

Good Food

Tuna Harvest Platter

Tuna Harvest Platter for a quick lunch with steamed carrots and potatoes, celery, cucumbers, and freshly made aioli flavored with roasted garlic, fire cider, and lime zest.

A good countertop vegetable spiralizer is a help in adding more veggies to our meals. This particular model, the Inspiralizer, is no longer available, but this spiralizer is a good alternative. Here I am turning beets (beetroot) into “noodles” to sauté to make a base for baked herbed chicken thighs.

Painted desert sheep in the yard

Two silly Painted Desert sheep sneaked into the yard – again!

Have a good week, friends!

🌸 🏡 🌸Michele

PS. Want to read about another week at Chocolate Box Cottage? Take a peek here.



  • You are an inspiration and I bet Miriam had the best birthday ever with Mom 🤗🤗

    • Thank you, Bhanu. Birthdays with grown children are different. It was a sweet time.

  • Thank you for sharing your lovely lofe, home, soecial occasions, tips, and hard work with us! A trie treasure.

    • Thank you and big hug to you! I always appreciate your comments.


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