c November 2015 | Garden, Tea, Cakes and Me

#GeorgeSecretSanta Gifts for Christmas

Being part of a workplace Secret Santa is just one of the great ways to celebrate the festive period at work. But this year I would not be at the office to take part, oh no it's a Christmas disappointment in the making! But wait, what was that, the wonderful people at Talented Talkers want me to be part of the #GeorgeSecretSanta for bloggers - hurrah to Secret Santa!

yankee candle gift idea


Here is how the blogger secret santa works. I was given another bloggers name, and then the online research began, I search through their blog and social media accounts to give me a feel of which gifts would match their personality and interests. There were no shortage of items to choose from that fit the bill from George Asda Christmas Gift range, they had a huge selection. 


I wanted to say thank you to my Secret Santa blogger, who delved into my blog, Twitter and Instagram feed. I received some fabulous gifts. All of them arrived gift wrapped by the secret santa elves!

Christmas Bauble Effiel Tower

Wonderfully scented Vanilla Frosting Yankee candle in a jar £13.00, when lit this fills the air with a wonderful homely fragrance.

Glass tear drop snow scene Christmas decoration, this is intended as a tree decoration but as it has a flat bottom I think it looks wonderful on my bookcase. A festive scene in miniature. 


Monogram letter cushion

I adore my fantastic letter cushion 'A', it is just perfect and great value at £5.00. Although I may have to fight my niece for it when she visits, as both our names begin with A! 

George Birdcage toiletries

Gift set of toiletries, I love the wire birdcage these are presented in, will certainly be finding a use for the decorative cage in the new year.

George Asda Birdcage toiletries

Fluffy slipper, I'm a slipper lover no matter what time of the year. Knit boot slipper £8

Secret Santa Gifts


Warm and cosy snugly dressing gown complete with hood in dusky pink, which will certainly keep out the Winter chills. Hooded dressing gown £14.

A huge thank you to the elves at Talented Talkers and Asda George for creating an exciting and fun blogger project to work on.
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Join in with my Festive Instagram Photo Challenge #25FestiveDays starts 1 December

The festive season will soon arrive, and I am welcoming it with open arms. I have promised myself this year to fully embrace all things festive - and I pretty much have some thing planned for every day in December. From a day out celebrating a Victorian Christmas to cosying up at home watching Christmas movies and eating homemade mince pies.

I have taken the plunge to create a festive Christmas Instagram Photo Challenge called #25FestiveDays giving anyone with an Instagram account the chance to join in and share a themed festive photo.

#25FestiveDays


How to join in:-
  • The challenge starts 1 December ending 25th December
  • Regram my Instagram #25FestiveDays Photo Challenge picture 
  • Share a photo each day using the theme listed include the #25FestiveDays hashtag
  • I will regram my favourite #25FestiveDays photos
You can follow me on Instagram GardenTeaCakesandMe to to see all my #25FestiveDays photos

I do hope lots of you take up the challenge, I am looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets the daily themes.

Happy #25FestiveDays everyone!



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Decorating a 60th Birthday Cake the Easy Way

Happy 60th Birthday to my uncle! I wanted to make him a 60th birthday cake that was not too fussy and did not require too much time to create it. I settled for a simple sandwich cake, filled with lemon curd, fresh fruit (raspberries from my garden) and fresh cream. Decorated rather successfully, if I do say so myself, with a chocolate birthday message and a 60 chocolate button. All of which I made using Choco Writers. It tasted divine and was very light too. I will be using this recipe again but may add a different flavoured curd - possibly lime or passion fruit and orange. 


Decorating a 60th Birthday Cake

If you would like to try some easy cake decorating yourself, I am pleased to say that Choco Writers are offering one of my readers the chance to win a set of choco writers one, white, dark and milk chocolate. You can also see my Choco Writers review for more information.

Giveaway



If you are new to using the Rafflecopter widget to enter a giveaway, simply register with your name and email address to activate the Rafflecopter widget, which will collate all your entries. 

At the end of the giveaway once the winner is selected you will receive an email (using the email address you registered to use the Rafflecopter widget).


Giveaway open to UK residents only. Closing Date: 10 December 2015


Good Luck. 

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British Tea Customs - The Great British Brew

So  many interesting facts about The Great British Brew, which for the majority of the British population is tea. I, in common with over half of those of us that drink tea, enjoy it with milk and no sugar. I know that some of my readers who live elsewhere in the world will  find these facts most amusing. But I for one can identify with many of them,  the exception being 'a cup of Snargul' which sounds like a tea from Harry Potter book maybe? Oh, and anyone that know me will agree that I am somewhat fussy about how my tea is made - but then again aren't we all?

I hope you enjoy this fascinating insight into The Great British Brew, that Sykes Cottages have put together. I am sure you will have a favourite fact.  I will leave you with mine, that British tanks are equipped with tea making facilities - I kid you not!

The Great British Brew
The Great British Brew Infographic by Sykes Cottages
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.
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Gardeners Gift Guide - Gift Ideas for a Garden Lover

Christmas or Birthday shopping is always so much easier if someone does the gift suggestions for you. For those of you that know a gardener but are not green fingered yourself may find my Garden Lover's Gift Guide just the solution you have been looking for. Gift suggestions from the practical to the indulgent, budget to extravagant - happy shopping.


Gardeners Gift Guide

Gardeners Gift Guide by gardenteacakesandme 

 Kew Gardens Private Guided Walking Tour for Two  Nothing quite like admiring and enjoying someone else's garden. Red Letter Days £100



Burgon Ball Mini Snips Never without a pair of these when I am in the garden or greenhouse.amazon.co.uk £7.99


Burgon & Ball Square Cell Tray Tamper for planting seeds into individual cells amazon.co.uk £9.99
Secateur Sharpener  an essential tool to ensure one of the garden's most useful tools     remains in tip top condition.   amazon.co.uk £5.47


 RHS Good Plant Guide Paperback a very useful compact book for identifying plants
 dk.com £9.99


David Austen Rose - Olivia Rose Austin a pink fragrant bloom
davidaustinroses.co.uk from £16.50


Gardener's handmade soap take care of your hands in all weathers with Gardener's Scrub handmade soap. Support a local small business this Christmas such as Walk Mill Botanics based on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border.


Ladies Wellington Boot Socks from Heat Holders perfect for the colder weather or for winter walks, tog rated welly socks to keep your toes warm.
heatholders.co.uk £9.99



Disclosure: contains some affiliate links.
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More than just a Dressing Table from Oak Furniture Company

When you initially buy a piece of furniture you usually have specific room and purpose in mind.  Yet by choosing the right piece of Oak Furniture, you can welcome a piece of furniture that can grow along with your family or follow you to a new home with a new purpose.   You may think a 'Dressing Table' is just that a dressing table, but do not let the label distracted you.  

Not just a dressing table
Not just a dressing table by gardenteacakesandme

 Oak Furniture Company Cadiz dressing table £199  / BOBBY multi coloured light / Scion yellow tea cup / Rectangular wall art, £39 / Brown window treatment, £40 / Throw pillow / Grey home decor, £22 / Parisian wall art / Stackable storage box, £16 / Anorak Hedgehog A5 Out & About Notebook / Yellow home accessory / Wood home decor, £79 / Modern home accessory / I am a white pencil / Muuto chair


Take the Oak Furniture Cadiz Dressing Table for £199. Perfect for today's modern desk, smaller laptops and tablets require less desk space. Smaller room sizes require clever use of furniture - perfect.  Create a funky modern look that will stimulate thinking and working.

Moving home and no longer require the desk or a dressing table for the bedroom? If you have a hall way you most certainly will want a side table. Some where to put your keys, small drawers for those endless items you need easily to hand.  A dressing table can be utilised in a walk through area.

So, if you are thinking of new furniture, consider oak furniture and the flexibility it offers  through out the home. Regardless of room identity and space. I know my first dressing table followed me to my first home - was sat at daily getting ready before going out, used to study at. Then following a move around used as a side table in my lounge. 

Hallway Welcome
Hallway Welcome by gardenteacakesandme featuring Oak Furniture Company

Oak Furniture Company Cadiz dressing table  £199 / Round light, £53 / Home decorators collection rug, £26 / Kate Spade square serving tray, £26 / Wall mounted coat hook / White home accessory, £79 / Present Time 4x6 frame, £36 / Umbra hook, £33 / Poncho Goldstein text sign, £30 / Fairy home decor / CB2 accessory, £20

Platinum & Pink Bedroom
Platinum & Pink Bedroom by gardenteacakesandme featuring Oak Furniture Company

Grey shades / Estiluz brushed nickel lamp, £530 / Safavieh non skid area rug, £110 / Regalia Tray Round Champagne, £10 / Chanel flower home decor / EFF blackout panel, £43 / Kate Spade pink toss pillow, £33 / NOVICA flower home decor, £24 / Pink home decor, £3.28 / Universal Lighting and Decor lit mirror, £66 / Paper wall art / LAFCO peony candle / Inspire Q gray linen headboard, £370 / Tom dixon furniture, £410 / Oak Furniture Company Cadiz dressing table £199


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.
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Be quick! Send for your Free Trex 2016 Calendar

Last year I shared with you the opportunity to send for a free 2016 Trex calendar. Good news they are giving away almost 10,000 calendar's again this year! I have successful registered for a calendar the last few years, and have been quick to sign up for the 2016 calendar
Photo credit: Trex
They are very useful calendars plenty of room for you to write down your important appointments. Each month includes a recipe, using Trex - which I always have it he fridge. It is a dairy free alternative to butter.  They are very good quality, in previous years the calendar included Trex discount coupon. But I noticed last year they no longer included them, what a shame. 

I am sharing this with you because I think it is a great offer, not because Trex have asked me to. 


Be quick and register for a Trex calendar now. Good luck!



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Nell Makes Handmade Christmas Cards and Giveaway

I am so pleased to share with you details of my friend who has taken the plunge and set up her own website and Etsy shop called Nell Makes, to sell her wonderful handmade cards. It is a big step to go from handmade crafts for yourself to attending craft fairs and selling on the internet - so well done Helen and good luck with your new adventure.

Christmas Cards handmade in Shropshire
Handmade in Shropshire by Nell Makes
Handmade in Shropshire by Nell Makes
Christmas Cards by Nell Makes
Nell Makes creates handmade Christmas and Birthday cards, a selection of felt or origami designs. I particularly like the Christmas cards with festive origami star and Christmas tree made from the pages of old books, how clever! There is a selection of fun dinosaur birthday cards too. You can choose which colour card and which colour felt you would like your design to be made from.



To celebrate Nell Makes new website and Etsy shop, I have one set of 4 lovely handmade origami Christmas cards as a prize for one of my readers. Or you can order a set of cards yourself from Etsy, go on help support a Shropshire crafter.

Nell Makes handmade cards
Origami Christmas Cards by Nell Makes

Crafting using old books
Crafting from old books
To enter all you need to do is answer the following question: 
What is your favourite Nell Makes card design? (leave your answer as a blog comment and confirm your entry using the rafflecopter widget below)

If you are new to using the Rafflecopter widget to enter a giveaway, simply register with your name and email address to activate the Rafflecopter widget, which will collate all the entries. 

After answering the question all other entries are optional, however they do get you extra entries into the final draw. Giveaway closes 29 November 2015. Sorry this giveaway is only open to UK residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The Big Christmas Giveaway win £150 Amazon Vouchers - closed

I am so pleased to give my readers a chance to win a super prize that will help you start or finish (depending on how organised you are) your Christmas shopping.  Or treat yourself, the choice is yours. Best of all it is open to all, hurrah - so all my readers where ever you are UK, USA or any other county can enter too!


This Christmas I have teamed up with a wonderful collection of bloggers to giveaway an amazing prize just in time for Christmas. One lucky winner will be walking away with a fantastic £150 worth of Amazon vouchers while two runners up get £30 each (if the winner is from a country other than the UK the prize will be delivered via PayPal cash). Before we get down to business lets meet the blogging team:


Sally Akins | The Gingerbread Hous | Mummy Lala | Bubbablue and Me | You Baby Me Mummy | Madam Gourmand | Missing Sleep | Wishful Wonderings | Trials & Tribulations Of A Brummie Mummy | Hello Beautiful Bear | Cookies and Cwtches | Odd Socks & Lollipops | Futures | Don't Cramp My Style | Ickle Pickle's Life and Travels | Bark Time


Rambling Through Parenthood | Life at 139a | Julie's Notebook | Spanish Mummy | Hex Mum | Garden, Tea , Cakes and Me | Mummy's Little Monkey | A Testing Time | Bump And Beyond | Emmy's Mummy | Angel Eden Blog | Precious Little Worlds | All The Beautiful Things | Hubby Helps | Life in a Break Down | UK Bloggers | One Frazzled Mum

To enter all you need to do is answer the following question: 

What is your favourite thing about Christmas? (leave your answer as a blog comment and confirm your entry using the rafflecopter widget below)


Good Luck. *Please note all other entries after answering the question are optional, however they do get you extra entries into the final draw and help support all the bloggers who are helping to provide this wonderful prize.


If you are new to using the Rafflecopter widget to enter a giveaway, simply register with your name and email address to activate the Rafflecopter widget, which will collate all the entries. 

*Please note all other entries after answering the question are optional, however they do get you extra entries into the final draw and help support all the bloggers who are helping to provide this wonderful prize.


At the end of the giveaway once the winner is selected you will receive an email (using the email address you registered to use the Rafflecopter widget).


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Time for a nice cup of Piacha tea

It is not just a case of having a hot drink to warm you up. The right drink can put you in the right frame of mind to face the world or escape the world. It is no secret I love a nice cup of English Breakfast Tea, but for those days where I feel sluggish or have enjoyed days of overindulgence in food I always turn to a Mint Tea. 

Engliah Breakfast loose tea from Piacha Tea Bar
English Breakfast loose tea from Piacha Tea Bar

For the last few weeks I have been drinking tea from Piacha Tea Bar. An Islington tea bar in London that sells their own tea blends.  For those of you, like me, that live in a county far removed from London you can still enjoy the Piacha Tea Bar, at home. They sell tea cards, a sealed pouch filled with flavoursome loose tea, perfect for delivery in your morning post through your letterbox. A perfect pick me up to send in the post to yourself or a friend.  

Piacha Tea Cards
Perfect Piacha Tea Cards - Tea in the post!

Tea Revives You Cup

All the teas when brewed are refreshing and delightful, my favourite has been the Moroccan Mint. A blend of Chinese green tea, spearmint,  peppermint and rose petals. At just £3.20 for a tea card, they are affordable and say so much more to a friend than just a cup of tea. There is a wide choice from the Moroccan Mint, English Breakfast to the refreshingly yet relaxing sounding Chamomile Citrus.

Do you have a favourite tea? Or maybe you are a coffee drinker?


Disclosure: I was sent some tea cards from Piacha for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own.

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