Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MOVED: Please visit my new blog at Live Healthier and Happier

Hello Friends,
Thank you for stopping by.
Please visit me at "Live Healthier and Happier"!!!

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Honoring Special Women in My Life

I had the pleasure of honor some very special women in my life growing up. Both of these women are now in their 80s and 90s. Mrs. Florey does not leave her home any longer due to some health conditions; however, she managed to press in and make to my speaking engagement at the church I grew up in. You can read the full story in my post from Day 10 of 21 Days to Living Healthier & Happier Series...

Day 10

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

21 Days to Living Healthier & Happier Series

I started a series : Living Healthier & Happier. For 21 Days I will be sharing keys to staying healthy and happy. I have some great guest bloggers lined up as well! Please visit my health blog to follow along!

21 Days: Living Healthier & Happier Series

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

What a busy month January has been! Since I have launched Healthy Beauty Secrets where I blog all things healthy, opportunities have opened up within the past 30 days. It has been very exciting! I have been Vlogging, connecting with businesses to do Reviews, and having Give-Aways. If you have not visited my health blog, please swing on over and check it out. Feel free to subscribe to my health blog via RSS or have delivered your email automatically.

I have been blogging for a year and a half and it has helped me to come out of my comfort zone in many aspects. Writing was not my strength in my school days. I am considered to be creative with ideas, vision, and passions; however, the fear of being inarticulate has always kept me from writing the things that I am passionate about.

Blogging has allowed me to be more comfortable about writing. Having gone back to college and taking a couple of English courses with several writing assignments have certainly helped me to overcome this fear as well. Getting out of my comfort zone didn't always feel comfortable and I still struggle with it at times but I have chosen to I press through those feelings and just write anyway and tackle each fear that I deal with in my own life.

One thing that I have learned earlier about blogging and social networking is there must be some level of transparency. By that, I don't mean that you have to air all of your dirty laundry, reveal your whole life secrets, or share your whereabouts (practice internet safety); however, people want to know that you are real and that you are not just a mask behind your blog, profile, or avatars. That is a sure way to lose readers, social media friends, and followers when they discover that who you are is not really who you appear to be.

If you landed on this post you can learn more about where “A Cup of Tea ” came from in the post, Welcome to A Cup of Tea. This is definitely a place where I will be a little more candid. I write to educate, encourage, and empower so if you are looking for something a little juicer, you won’t find it here. That is just not my style nor my personality; hence it would be difficult for me to write. I am staying true to who I am.

If you would like to join me for A Cup of Tea about faith, family, relationships, kids, ups and downs of life and just real stuff that women can relate to, please feel free to subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. We are going to keep it real here! Until our next cup of tea….have a great day!

Places where I have appeared or have written for: Featured

@2009 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Unforgiveness: A Deadly Virus

Have you ever received an email with a subject title similar to: "Warning: Virus-Do not open!" I remember when I first started using email, it seemed like I was getting one of these virus warnings about once a week. Since I was so new to the tech world, I was so afraid I would accidentally open something that would wreck our computer. When I read the email, it went on to tell about a computer virus that could potentially destroy your computer if you opened the attached.

Do you know what a virus does? A virus spreads rapidly from one person to another and some are known to be deadly. A computer virus that travels from one computer to the next has the potential to cause major destruction. Once a virus is registered on a computer, it automatically picks up certain codes that literally swifts through your files and destroys all of your personal data. Other times a virus can actually sit on your computer long before it releases itself, meanwhile, this dangerous virus has been spread to other computers causing damage to the unsuspecting.
I am not a computer wizard, but I have had to learn many aspects of the computer in order to maintain my website and blogs. Unfortunately, I have contracted computer viruses on my own computer causing severe consequences. What does a computer virus have anything to do with my subject on "unforgiveness"?

I believe that unforgiveness can be a deadly virus in our lives if we leave it untreated. Many health experts refer to it as "deadly emotions." Researchers even agree that unforgiveness is linked to a variety of health issues. There have been studies conducted to measure heart rates, sweat rates, and other responses of volunteers who were asked to remember the wrongs that they have experienced. According to Professor Charlotte Van Oyen of Hope College in Michigan where the study was done, the subject’s blood pressure and heart rates increased, and muscle tension was shown to be higher. This demonstrates that stress levels are higher when an individual is walking in unforgiveness as oppose to forgiveness. Stress leads to a host of other illnesses that lands people in hospitals. Dr. Don Colbert, M.D. says, "One of the secret causes of stress plaguing millions of people is unforgiveness."

What does it mean to forgive? In The Five Languages of Apology, by Dr. Gary Chapman (also author of The Five Love Languages) simply states to "forgive means to cover, to take away; to pardon; and to be gracious to." When we forgive, it means to lift the penalty and to pardon the offender. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a decision. This does not mean that trust is immediately restored."

Whenever we are wronged or an offense has been committed against us we have the option to forgive that person or that wrong. The human brain is like a computer; it is a memory bank and, whether it is short term or long term, it releases biochemical stress responses when you meditate and rehearse all the offenses that have been committed towards you. I have heard it said that the individual that is living in unforgiveness is the one drinking the deadly poison, but instead wishing the other person would die.

Colossians 3:13 says, "You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others"(NLT).

We have all been hurt and devastated by someone close to us, but we have the option to not allow the hurt to get rooted in bitterness, which then causes stress and stress causes a variety of sickness and disease to harvest in our lives. This can be a viscous cycle and we are surrounded by people daily that live in this cycle of unforgiveness.
We must choose whether or not to forgive a wrong that has been done to us and it can a difficult thing to do. Some offenses may seem minor, making forgiveness easy however, true test is when it is difficult and we choose to forgive anyway. Remember Dr. Gary Chapman's definition of forgiveness: "When you are willing to cover; to take away; to pardon; to be gracious to; to lift the penalty and to pardon the offender.”

In order to prevent the dangerous viruses from infecting our computers and causing permanent damage; companies have created an Anti-virus software, an option that is now available and protects our computers from contracting these harmful viruses. Like the anti-virus software, forgiveness is the only remedy or antidote to unforgiveness for our own well-being! No matter how difficult your situation is, choose to let go. Forgive that person that hurt you, the words that were spoken over you, the abuse that you may have experienced, the husband or wife that walked out on you, the children that rebelled and didn't appreciate what you did for them. Perhaps you need help to get through this, it’s OK, get the help you need. The longer you live in this cycle, the more damage the virus will cause. Am I saying you need to interact or stay in an abusive relationship? Absolutely not!

Don't drink the deadly poison, and don't allow the deadly virus to spread through your body robbing you of health and vitality; robbing your precious life of joy that belongs to you. Forgiveness is powerful. You can do it! Choose to experience total freedom, health, and healing in your spirit, soul, and body!

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Healthy Beauty Secrets With Duong: New Blog Reveal

The Big Reveal! Rachel at Blog Candy Designs worked her magic and completed my new blog within a week's time. I am so impressed with her work. She is very talented!

I have been totally neglecting my personal blog due to the Healthy Beauty Secrets with Duong blog project and launch. It has been up for approximately 2 weeks. If you have landed here, please visit my new health blog. Healthy Beauth Secrets with Duong is about "Empowering women to live healthier and happier from the inside-out...spirit, soul, and body." Please drop me a comment on my page and let me know that you stopped by!

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Beginning: Passion, Purpose & Promises

What a year 2008 has been for our nation! For many families and individuals, it has been a year of economic discouragement. Has the economy affected your family in anyway? Have you lost your passion that you once had for something great to happen? Are you questioning your purpose for which you were created? Are wondering and asking God when are you going to experience his promises for your life?

"What appears to be the end may really be a new beginning" (unknown). Isaiah 43:18-19, encourages us with this passage, "Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder on things of the past. Behold, I will do something new..." When things look hopeless, God will give you hope. When a door shuts, He will open a new door for you that no man can close!


God has placed a special desire or passion on the inside of us. You need to pay attention to what drives you in life. What makes you excited when you talk about "it" with friends or people in your life? It is time to acknowledge your passion and pursue it. Passion is a strong desire, a zeal or fervor towards something. If you do not know what you are passionate about yet, that is alright. As you journey through life and discover your gifts and talents, what it is that gives you a burning desire, you will not be satisfied until you do something about it. Sometimes, we get discouraged with issues in our life that we lose our passion for the very thing that God place in side of us. It's a seed for something great to happen; however, we've allowed that desire to die due to hopelessness that we may have experienced.


I hired Effective Strategic Coach-Karin Syren, to help me organize my ideas for launching my health website. During one of our sessions, she clarified the meaning of "purpose" with and shared with me that, "purpose is why you were created and mission is what you were meant to do about it. Identifying what your purpose is will help you determine what you are meant to do about it." It was an ah-ha moment!

Jeremiah says that before you were formed in your mother's womb, God knew you. Even though you may feel like you are not accomplishing much right now in your life, you still have a purpose!


The promises of God are yes and amen. I have heard there are over six thousand promises in the Bible! If you are a parent who makes a promise to your children, because you love them, you will fulfill that promise. How much more will God keep His promises for His children? Below are just a few of promises from God. You can search the Bible and find thousands more.

He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
He will reward those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
He sent his Word and healed you. (Psalm 107:2)
He gives eternal life to those who believe in His son Jesus. (John 3:16)
He will do exceedingly above all that you can ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)
He gives us wisdom if we ask for it. (James 1:5)

2009 is a year for new beginnings! Find your passion, or if you've lost it, make an effort to refuel that passion, know that you have a special purpose, and trust in God's promises for your life.

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

New Blog: Healthy Beauty Secrets with Duong

One of my 2009 goals is to re-design/re-launch my health blog. It was time to take my blog/blogging to another level. I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of another web design project; however, I was quickly reminded that his goal was not going to be achieved if I stayed in that thought process and didn't move on it! After all, 2009 was less than a week away! (GULP)

For this re-design/re-launch, I did not want to use a pre-made blog template, due to certain features that I wanted on my blog...so the search began. Through Twitter, I connected with a couple of blog designers and selected the person that I felt could achieve the look I wanted, however, she was not taking any design jobs until after the New Year! Grrrreat!

I do not give up easily...I decided to send Rachel at Blog Candy Designs an email to see what the possibilities were for her to take this on...and to my surprise I got a response the day after Christmas and voila-we've been working together ever since to get my new Blog out this week! (Favor of God!) Let me tell you...she is quite amazing. So keep in mind, if you need a blog, click on her link and check this girl out! Our project has been primarily via Instant Messaging and emailing! (only because she is also on vacation, and didn't have her charger-she took my job while on vacation? More than amazing!) It's pretty crazy doing this virtual, but I'm realizing that anything can be done through the internet...love my laptop!

I can't wait to reveal the new blog: Healthy Beauty Secrets with Duong "Empowering women to be healthier and happier from the inside-out...spirit, soul, and body" Lots of new stuff...coming soon!

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Detox: Ten Day Perfect Cleanse

As the founder of Beauty Secrets Spirit Soul & Body; I'm passionate about empowering women to achieve optimal health in every area of life.

We all have a destiny to fulfill and too many people are suffering sickness and disease that is robbing them of fulfilling their calling in life. One of the ways to achieve your optimal health (one of my healthy beauty secrets) is to cleanse your body from toxins that have accumulated over time. Please read The Role of Toxins for additional information.

On January 12th, we will be starting the Perfect Cleanse, by Garden of Life. I've tweeted this on twitter and several responded with an interest in joining me as well as others who are not on Twitter. Feel free to join us in achieving your optimal health as well. I believe beauty comes from the inside out, not just spiritually and emotionally, but physically as well. We have all heard, "You are what you eat". What we eat, shows up outwardly in various ways. (I will share more at a later time).

The Perfect Cleanse is 3 products that are taken around meal time and before bed: 30 minutes before dinner and 30 minutes after dinner, and right before bed. While you are sleeping your body is at work to detox. See how Perfect Cleanse works.

I believe as mothers and women who run the house, our family suffers when we suffer. When mama's not happy nobody's happy! Why not start out your New Year by achieving your best health by starting with a cleanse. I will be posting a recommendation for what foods to eat while you are on the 10 day cleanse so make sure to come back for the list. It's really simple!

I've started a hash tag on twitter #10dayperfectcleanse, so follow along!

Where to purchase Perfect Cleanse: at a local Vitamineshoppe, Wholefoods, or your local health food stores. (I recommend getting it asap. Last year it was sold out in several stores).

Give Away: One winner will receive 6 Health Coach Sessions (valued at $210), TWO Perfect Weight America Books. Participate in Drawing by:

1. Comment on how you plan to achieve your optimal health in 2009 or perhaps how you desire to but but need support.

2. Tweet this blog and hashtag #10dayperfectcleanse at: http://ad.vu/bu3y (be sure to leave me comment that you Tweeted this).

3. Blog about your health goal and link it to the comments.

Drawing will take place on January 12th when we launch the 10 day Perfect Cleanse. Best wishes! (only those who comment/RT will be eligible for drawing).

Visit Beauty Secrets Spirit Soul & Body for more on how to achieve your optimal health!

My Testimony:
After doing the Perfect Cleanse in 2006, I was so impressed by the the results that I submitted a testimonial letter to Jordan Rubin, the world's leading holistic and natural health expert, NYT's best selling author, CEO, and Founder of Garden of Life; sharing what the Perfect Cleanse did for me. As a result of this letter, I was contacted by Jordan's writer/editor @mikeyorkey several months later and was featured in his new book that launched in January of 2008 "Perfect Weight America" (page 139).
What Perfect Cleanse from Garden of Life Did For Me By: Duong Sheahan

"I'm a busy mom with three school aged children and a loving husband in the Chicago area. Last New Year's Eve following my sweet tooth marathon over the holidays, I knew it was time to clean house. Perhaps it was the sugar overload I felt in my system. At any rate, I began doing the Garden of Life Perfect Cleanse.

I had incredible results the first day. By the third day, I felt like a revived person because the toxic build up in my system was leaving my body. My energy level increased immensely as well as my mental alertness. Trust me I need to be alert and full of energy everyday.

I've recommended Perfect Cleanse to a few of my friends and they loved the results as well. The simple to use directions on the box are great: Just follow the 1-2-3 steps on each bottle and you can't mess up! I love that Perfect Cleanse is easy, safe, made with organic ingredients, and is whole food based. I also love the way it doesn't introduce extraneous toxins back into my system. I even lost my cravings for sweet things like chocolate and that's not easy!"

Source: Perfect Weight America, Silaom 2008 (page 139)

If you are interested in join us, please leave a comment below letting me know!

"An inch of prevention is a mile of cure". (Unknown)

Passionate about your health,

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

(Please consult w/your physician if you have health issues prior to doing any cleanse)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why New Year's Resolutions Fail & How Yours Won't

Are you starting to think about your New Year's resolution? I've been thinking about some goals that I would like to accomplish for 2009. I joined #15daysNYE with Jessica at www.jessicaknows.com. I'm excited about 2009 and some of the goals that I have for my own personal achievements. I remember not even having New Year's resolutions for many years like many people because they get broken and unfulfilled. I believe it's because I focused too much on the doing, and not the purpose for why I was doing the goals I have set.

What does it mean to make a resolution? According to the Webster's 1828 Dictionary resolution means: a fixed purpose or determination of mind; as a resolution to reform our lives; a resolution to undertake an expedition. If diet or exercise is our resolution for the New Year, we'll go out and buy the latest diet book, work out attire, a membership to the fitness center, and we may even cut out a photo of the ideal body image and post it to our refrigerator as an inspiration to achieve our goal.

After the first of the year, fitness centers across country are filled with ambitious resolution makers; however, after just a few weeks, many of them will empty out those enthusiastic people. According to one study, only 8% of all New Year’s resolutions will be kept and most are broken before the first quarter. Some won't bother to make a resolution that they know they won't keep, so why bother?

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

1) Commitment: If there is a pattern of breaking commitments in your own life, chances are you will not be able to keep a New Year's Resolution. Commitment is a promise and the ability to keep on keeping on, even when you want to quit at anything!

2) Doubt: Allowing doubt to filtrate your mind once you set your goals. Fear of failure causes doubt to enter in. Questioning whether or not you can meet your goals- that is called being double-minded. The Bible says in James that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Being double-minded causes instability and will not accomplish much in any area of life, let alone a New Year's resolution.

3) Unrealistic Goals: Setting goals that are way beyond what you can attain. Set smaller goals that are reasonable. Dream big, but start small and soon you will see progress- that will motivate you to keep moving towards that end result.

4) Self-defeating prophesies: Having negative thoughts and speaking negative words over your situation will keep you from fulfilling your New Year's resolution. Before we even start, we are pessimistic and we wonder why we have failed our resolution only two or three weeks or for many a few days into the New Year! As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

5) Accountability: We are not accountable to our commitment. Having an accountability partner will keep you check, where you are motivating one another, encouraging one another, and keeping each other accountable until you reach that goal together!

How Your New Year's Resolution Won't Fail

1) Understand why you are making a New Year's resolution: Having knowledge of why you want to be debt free, exercise, or lose weight is key to fulfilling your new resolution.

2) Have faith. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Faith allows you to see your end results. Faith says that it doesn't matter what I see or how I look right now, I can do this. Another passage in Matthew says, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. Some mountains in our life may be debt, illness, weight, etc. A mustard seed is as tiny as a pin needle. That is how much faith it takes to start to move mountains in our life. Imagine the power that we have and what we can accomplish if we just had faith as small as a mustard seed!

Note: Remember, faith without works is dead. Yes have faith, but faith is action! You can't say, "I have faith that I can lose twenty pounds" and continue to eat donuts, fast foods, and potato chips or I have faith that my debt is canceled but continue to charge up the credit cards and spend frivolously, and then say, "see, faith didn't work."

3) Be diligent. Diligence is when you are committed regardless of circumstance around you that will try to keep you from accomplishing your new year's goals. The diligent hand will rule.

4) Think and speak optimistically. Old habits are hard to break. If we continue to meditate on all the things that we can't do and accomplish, before long, we'll be speaking it out of our mouth and seeing these negative things come to pass. Proverbs tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Your tongue can either create for you- life or death to your situation. The tongue is a powerful weapon. Successful people understand this principal. If you are going to succeed at your New Year's resolution you have to determine in your heart that you will only think and speak positive things.

5) Patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4). Change will not happen overnight. It's line upon line, here a little, there a little. Anything that is worthwhile and will produce lifelong results takes time, therefore be patient!

I believe if you apply these principals to your New Year's resolution or any other goals that you want to accomplish in this year and going forward, you will not fail! You can do it!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Ephesians 3:20). The power is within you!

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Start Blogging

Have you been wanting to start blogging, but just a little overwhelmed or confused and don't know where to begin? I started blogging over a year ago with a little self tutorial from the Blogger provider. It's simple, basic and can help anyone get started. I have to admit a year later, I wish I would have learned a few more things to make my blogging more affective; hence, I am in the process of revamping my blog and websites.

I have been doing a lot of research on how to go about the transition. It's been a bit overwhelming. I came across a great resource on "How to Start Blogging" and wanted to share it with any Blogger newbie.

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Smilebox- Free E-Cards & Online Scrapbook

My favorite online Virtual Scrapbook has to be Smilebox. What a clever way to upload photos with thousands of layouts, themes, styles, and designs for any occasion. What I love about Smilebox is that it's FREE for using their basic version. With a tight economy I have seen people use Smilebox to send E-Christmas Cards this year. As a matter of fact my business & marketing instructor and Chief Mom Officer of Wishpot, Jessica Smith at www.jessicaknows.com was interviewed by the Associated Press this week about her choice to use Smilebox in effort to cut back on her family's budget.

The basic features are wonderful as you can select music to accompany your Scrapbook free of charge. If you do not like the free selections offered, you may upgrade for a small free. What is awesome is that you can post your Smilebox to your social networks, (blogger, facebook, myspace) or simply send an email to your contacts.

I selected a few of my favorite photos from this past year as we conclude 2008.

Sheahan Family's Year in Review....Enjoy!

Click to play Sheahan Family~Smilebox
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cookies: "Albino Reindeers"

I saw these adorable peanut butter Reindeer Cookies inspired by Jyl Johnson Pattee at http://mommygossip-gno.blogspot.com/. I never took interest in baking, but thanks to my friend Julie who started baking with my daughter when she was very young, we have Christmas cookies every year. I am convinced Julie is the reason enjoys baking so much, and rather than the cut outs from Nestle's or Pillsbury we have had some great Christmas treats!

This past weekend we Megan attempted to make the reindeer cookies by Jyl, however, we had to improvise our peanut butter recipe for short bread, due to our youngest having peanut allergies.
They are so cute, but because they are so light compared to Jyl's cookies, we named ours "Albino Reindeer Cookies". For jyl's reindeer cookie recipe click here

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

RAK: Make My Day!

RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) The girls at GNO did it again, offering a Happiness Headline Challenge to make a difference in someone's life. My new friends Jyl and Carissa have posted some really great RAK's this past week.

As I thought about what I would like to do as a RAK, I thought about some things that I could do for someone that may have affected me personally at one time or another. RAK is something that my husband does regularly in his everyday life! When I first met him, he would do RAK while were out on a date and I just thought, 'what a show off'; however, we've been married for 17 years and he continues to show RAK!

First RAK: Where I live, every time I enter or exit the high way I get to pay a nice little toll. I don't know about you, but have you ever gotten to the toll both and discovered that you do not have any change? There is no attendant around and you are tempted to scrounge up some change from those who missed the toll tub? Ahhh...well, that was me, yes I did once or twice until I heard it was illegal. I upgraded to an I-pass that automatically fills up whenever it's low so I don't have to go through that, having cars honk at me for miles back. LOL.

On my way to Trader Joe's yesterday where my second RAK took place, I thought I would bless the next ten cars behind me and pay their toll. If you don't have an I-pass the toll is double! So instead of .40 toll, it's .80! If you commute, a few of those back and forth each day can rack up quickly! The gentleman at the toll booth noticed my I-pass and says, "You're good to go". I quickly responded, "Sir, would you please take my cash and take car of the next ten cars for me?" He looked at me with the sweetest grin and said, "Well, Merry Christmas to you!" And Off I went to Trader Joe's...my next RAK destination.
(taking a picture driving is just as bad as texting and driving!)

Have you ever gotten to a check out lane with all your groceries to discover that you went over your budget and had to pull items off the belt? My next RAK was at a grocery store, hoping to help someone with their groceries. I really wanted to pay for someone's groceries, but I did not want my giving to create a scene. I prefer it to be between me and the person that I am giving to. Before shopping for my groceries, I decided to stop at the counter to purchase a gift card. As I shopped, I secretly scouted for someone who would be a recipient of my RAK.
As I was checking out my groceries, the line behind me was getting really long. Even if I handed someone a gift card, people around me as well as the cashier would know what I was doing. I thought well...I may not get to do a RAK here...it's just too busy. Maybe I need to save it for my next grocery day and put it towards that bill. Nahhh...I will find someone to bless this with. I exited the store still hoping that the right person would appear.

Voila! I see an older couple about my parents age walking towards the store entrance. Knowing how hard it is for retired folks to live on a fixed income, unless they have invested well and are retiring in style. The fact is, only 2% are really retiring comfortably. As this couple came towards me, I grabbed them by the arm and told them that I wanted to help them with their groceries today and handed them the gift card that I just purchased.

Their eyes both lit up with amazement and responded with such gratitude! The woman's eyes looked like it was starting tear up. I'm a sensitive person; therefore, before they could see my glossy eyes turn teary, I wished them a Merry Christmas and headed to my car.

My heart was so overjoyed and all though I may have made their day-it 'Made My Day' all the more! Why? Because I've learned that it is always more blessed to give then to receive!

Merry Christmas!

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Decorations: Deck the House with Bows and...

Deck the house with bows and garland...falalalala, lalalala...(Post edited Dec. 18th to add Christmas Tour of Homes 2008)

I just added this post to The Christmas Tour of Homes 2008 along with 879 other Posts from women all over, sharing their Christmas Decorations online at BooMama. If you are visiting this post, I highly encourage you to click on BooMama and check out all the other posts. Just click on a name and start your online tour!

I have been asked by friends in the past to consider starting a Christmas Decorating business during the holiday season or to post pictures online. Well, that was before I even knew how to use computers nor did I have a digital camera, but here we are years later and with technology, I'm able to post a few photos of my Christmas Decor. After a day of decorating my own home, I'm not sure if I would have the energy to do this as a business! This is not 'In Style Home' by any means:I started collecting photo framed ornaments years ago and place photos of the kids in it each year. They add such a lovely personal touch and I get the most complements when people come by. One day, when my children leave the nest, they each will be able to take their own photo ornaments with them as a keepsake for their own tree. Hopefully, they will continue the tradition and add their own photo ornaments so that I can enjoy them when I come for the holidays.
I fill the stockings with tissue to make it look full and by Christmas Eve they are filled with little goodies. I added a photo ornament to the stocking that belongs to each child (before I had framed stocking holders with their names).
The Stocking holders are photo frames that I picked up one year at the after Christmas sale for dollars. Since the Christmas tree is full of photo ornaments, and the stocking has their picture on it, I opted to framed each of their names.
This year, I decided to keep the color scheme in cream, gold, and a touch of red as well. A little simpler due to the Flat Screen TV that is sitting in front of my fireplace. For some, less is more.
Reindeer hangs out on the fireplace with straw boxes, sometimes used for extra ornament storage or cards.

The fireplace mantle is draped with 2 Greenery attached at each end with a green centerpiece to give the center fullness. Christmas lights, beads, and picks add to the garland, and a small bow in the center. I placed various size candle holders across the mantle. What a warm ambiance we have when just the lights from the tree, the mantle and the candles are on.

Last year, angels draped the mantle in various sizes, shapes and colors. This photo was taken without a flash, but turned out better than the one I used with the flash.
As you noticed, the we didn't have the flat screen sitting in front of the fireplace, hence I was able to enjoy a fire frequently and the lights dimmed was absolutely divine! Hopefully by Christmas we will have a permanent home for the new TV somewhere else!

The large lights are Rosettes purchased from Michael's back in 1994 and I've been using them ever since. They really do make the tree stand out! (Tree is pre-lit and I add additional lights). Tree topper is a lighted Snow flake with multi-colored gold/cream sheer bow with long tails. It has changed each year with different toppers.
My dinning room table center piece this year is simple: Holiday cake plate on pedestal, surrounded with greenery, holiday picks, and a few candle holders on top.

This is fun; I found hanging tea lite candle holders that hang from the ceiling right next to my bay window:

Happy decorating and Merry Christmas!!

@2008 A Cup of Tea with Duong