Summertime GIVEAWAY!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Summer is such a perfect time to gather, don't you think?

Whether it's spreading out an old sheet for a picnic in the park, dinner under twinkly lights on your patio, a casual BBQ with all the fixings, or an outdoor movie in your backyard...these warm months make everyone want to live a little slower and enjoy moments more fully.

In honor of opening our door and inviting people in, I thought a giveaway full of fun hosting essentials would be a fantastic way to welcome summer.

Who says paper plates need to be boring?  These pretty floral plates will liven up your outdoor tablescape (even if you have a black thumb in the garden, like I do)!

Wondering what this cute little swan is? Leave it to Anthropologie to come up with the cutest bottle opener ever (PS I have it, too! With a maiden name like Swanstrom, I'm kind of a fan of swans).

Ahhhhh linen. I may not wear linen clothes often because hello, wrinkles! But there's something just so elegantly casual about using this beautiful fabric on the table (especially when it comes from Williams Sonoma). And this light mint color is neutral enough that it can be used all throughout the year!

Truth be told, I nearly kept this little salt grater. How cute would she be on the table (yes, it's a she)? I found it at Williams Sonoma the day I bought the tablecloth, but realized later you can find it for less on Amazon (yay Prime)!

What meal is complete without pretty napkins? I'm including not only cocktail napkins for drinks and appetizers but floral cloth napkins as well!

Are you in absolute LOVE with these metal rose gold napkin rings?! I sure am.

If ever there was a season for salad-eating, Summer would be it. These wooden salad tongs are a favorite in our kitchen!

Need some Entree salad recipes (and great summer dressings, apps, and an easy/yummy/beautiful make-ahead dessert? Click here!)

I know, I know...I had you at Kate Spade. These charms will definitely help you remember which drink is yours! 

Are you a fan of place cards? I sure am. I love helping my guests get outside their comfort zone, sitting them next to people they don't know well (but folks I know they would love!).

My favorite part is seeing guests sit down uncomfortably at the beginning of dinner and exchange phone numbers and hugs with their new bestie by the end of the night!

I just had to include this little bag of coffee by Two Rivers Coffee because, well...doesn't an iced coffee just sound so good right about now? I bet your guests would agree!

I use these paper bowls all the time. From ice cream to popcorn to watermelon wedges and frozen berries, they're the perfect way to add color to the table without having to wash a single dish! And the wooden spoons just remind me so much of buying ice cream from the ice cream truck when I was little. So nostalgic.

Speaking of paper, if you've ever been to a party at my home, you've probably sipped a cool beverage through a cheerfully colored paper straw. I'm more than a little obsessed with them.


What do you think? Good stuff? Entertaining essentials you'd LOVE to use at your own little dinner or brunch?

Which are you most excited about??

You ready to talk rules??

GIVEAWAY RULES

.ONE.

Make sure you've subscribed via email to www.teresaswanstromanderson.com. You can do so by clicking the prompt in the sidebar.

If you're already a subscriber then skip down to number TWO!

Head over to Instagram & Facebook feeds and follow both! (we will be checking)

.TWO.

Take 60 seconds to fill out this survey below. Tell me what you're loving about the site and what you'd love to see more of.

(New to the blog? Don't worry! Answer what you can and share what you'd like to read and see in the future!)

you're entered! yay!

.THREE.

WANT EXTRA ENTRIES? OF COURSE YOU DO.

for 1 extra entry - Simply tag a friend on the Instagram post (tag as many friends as you like! 1 tag = 1 extra entry)

for 1 extra entry - Simply tag a friend on the Facebook post (tag as many friends as you like! 1 tag = 1 extra entry)

for 5 extra entries - Share the giveaway photo on YOUR Instagram feed (tagging back to @teresaswanstromanderson)

for 5 extra entries - Share the giveaway on YOUR Facebook page (tagging back to this blog post)

.FINE PRINT.

GIVEAWAY CLOSES 11:59PM PACIFIC TIME ON THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2017.

The winner will be chosen at random (by looking at Mail Chimp's list of those subscribed to the blog as well as Survey Monkey's response) and will be announced on Instagram and Facebook on Friday, June 16.

If the winner does not provide their mailing address by Tuesday, June 20th, an alternate winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!

Take Joy,

Teresa

Petra, prayer groups, and personalized journals

A few months ago while I was praying for deeper friendships, a dear friend asked if I'd be interested in starting a Prayer Group with her that just met one evening a month.

You know I jumped at it.

We knew we wanted it to be small and intimate. We didn't want it to be a clique of our closest girlfriends...but rather a group of ladies who were open to being authentic and raw and real with each other.

Petra 3

We've met for a few months now, and are learning more and more about one another as we humble ourselves and allow the things that are uncomfortable to share...to come to light and be prayed about.

I'm truly honored to be a part of this group of incredibly loving girls. They inspire me so greatly.

We didn't really have a name for awhile, when I sent emails out, I just referred to us as "Nourish | Prayer", after the Evening to Nourish dinners I have each month. But it didn't seem right...this was different. Though I always create an inviting table for our prayer night, there wasn't the...I don't know...grandiose effort, perhaps.

 I look at it more as setting the table for family, rather than guests. And we all bring food, just something small and easily munched. Appetizers and snacks. Sometimes there's a big bowl of popcorn, sometimes brownies, sometimes bacon wrapped dates or spanikopita. Nothing that takes longer than five minutes to personally prepare.

Petra 2

Because it's  not about the food, right? It's not about a beautiful presentation.

It's about sitting together. It's about a group of Jesus loving women who feel the deep need to pray over their families and over one another as we grow together in Him and with one another.

It's about approaching the Throne on behalf of one another, in both petition and thanksgiving.

stripe - double - pink

After our May gathering, I posted this photo and caption on Instagram...

May

Just finished our Prayer Group. As my sweet friend closed us in the most beautiful time before the Throne, I felt God whispering..."These girls. They're your Rock. They're your Peter. Trust them. Love them. They're Mine."

So thankful for reaching out to a bunch of Godly women I didn't know well...but wanted to know better. Ladies I knew love Jesus deeply.

I had no idea if they had a community of women they already embraced in prayer. And you know what?! They didn't either. So now we are. Two months in and HE is so very present.

stripe - double - pink

After that night and that deep feeling in my soul about the importance of this group, we renamed ourselves Petra (Greek feminine for rock. Not to be confused with the 90's Christian rock band, haha).

I had these beautiful Prayer Journals made over at Tiny Prints for each girl (they have tons of gorgeous styles, fyi). Aren't they fantastic? I mean, watercolor and chevron and ombre?! And a chalkboard-ish looking square for personalizing?!

Petra 1

We're all so excited to have a place to write everything down so we can continue praying throughout the month. And thrilled to be able to look back and see God's goodness in answered prayers, and remember that hindsight truly is 20/20 as our eyes are opened as His "No" or "Not Yet" begins to make sense.

group

Don't wait for one to find you, don't wait to be invited. Form your own as we did. Pray about whom to form the group with...and reach out even if you don't know some of them well. Because God will bring the specific ladies into the group as He knows best.

He is a great God...and He does great things.

take joy-signature-new-pink

 

Ladies who Lead + ChariTea

charitea 14

A month or two ago my sweet friend Brandi invited me to have lunch with an incredible group of women here in Colorado called, Ladies Who Lead.

beauty for ashes uganda

As I sat at lunch hearing their mission and stories, I thought "I should not have been invited, what am I even doing here?! This is so cool."

I mean these women are legit. They're all passionate, Jesus loving women who are doing major world changing things.

beautiful and beloved

Things like founding their own organizations in empowering the marginalized and formerly enslaved (check out Beautiful & Beloved's shop) and working in Uganda empowering women (especially single mamas and widows) to reach long-term sustainability for their families (Beauty for Ashes Uganda), and a dozen other things.

charitea 2

You know who I also met??

This girl.

Courtney Skiera-Vaughn...the visionary behind a.k.a. HOPE and ChariTea.

IMG_0297

Shortly after getting married, she and her husband Chris traveled to Uganda serving the less fortunate. The life-changing experience helped open their eyes to how they could help and decided to partner together to found both organizations.

IMG_0298

Their hearts beat deeply with the aim in assisting a specific group of children in the Naguru slums on the outskirts of Kampala. Mostly orphaned and many displaced as refugees, they have been driven from their homes and largely forgotten by the Ugandan government and foreign aid-workers.

These kids have fought to survive civil wars with terrorists, genocide, death, and trafficking, as well as the tough life living on the streets and in the slums. Their mission is to help provide security, meals, education, love, and hope of a better life for them.

charitea 5

There is so much about Courtney that I adore...her mission, vision, her passion.

And knew I had to work with her.

IMG_0304

After a few texting conversations about some fun events I have up my sleeve, sweet, {{ sweet }} Chris brought by a crazy generous sampling of the tea that Courtney had sent him over with.

We tried it for the first time at June's Evening to Nourish.

nourish june 1

We poured several varieties and ohmygosh...each one is phenomenal.

charitea 7

And gorgeous. I mean, this spiced hibiscus one is PINK!

charitea 8

Smelling this Jasmine Rose tea totally reminds me of all the Blooming Night Jasmine growing in our garden when I lived in California as a little girl.

Isn't it fun how scents just take you back?

charitea 3

I'm saving all these others for Imani's birthday party next month.

charitea 4

Because she wants to have a Tea Party birthday party.

I can't wait to show you all I've collected for it!

charitea 6

We did decide to have a little tea party today though while I took all these pictures.

We just couldn't resist.

charitea 1

pink double stripe

tea

With so many varieties of tea to choose from, not to mention all the health benefits, it's time to take tea to a new level.  Tea is the perfect beverage to take on adventures whether that be a weekend camping trip, a bike-riding excursion, a day surfing, or even to the library for a late night cram session.
.
You have an activity?  We have a tea for that.  Show us where you take your tea with #teaontop.
charitea 11
 

Tea has been around for 4000 years, but we believe now is the time tea can help change the world. And you can be a part of that! 100% of the proceedsfrom your purchase goes to a.k.a. HOPE Inc.  Check out Our Cause to read more about how your purchase directly affects children across the world.

charitea

All our teas are Specialty Teas and USDA organic certified because you deserve only the best ingredients.  Our black tea blends are fair trade as we partner with local farmers in India to bring this quality tea to your cup. Any questions about a specific tea?  Check out the circle markers for each of our teas in the Our Tea section.
Charitea 12
.
sipping
take joy-signature-new-pink