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  • Writer's pictureNancy, Hostess of Cup & Crown


Hello, Faithful Friends. It feels like donkey’s years since I last sent you an issue of "The Tea Leaves." And there's good reason.

I wear many hats these days. Oh yes, I DO love to wear hats! But I’m not referring to the pretty fascinators in my closet; I’m speaking figuratively about the web of jobs and tasks that string my days together, to which I’m sure many people - moms especially - can relate. On an average day, the hats I wear are those of mom, wife, educator, pantry manager, meal planner, cleaner, organizer, transportation director, nurse, and so many more. Add to that another stack of hats that I wear simultaneously as the owner of a small business and someone with her fingers in several creative outlets… I haven’t had a free hand to type out a new blog as I’ve had to use both of them to keep this pyramid of chapeaus from toppling over. So as I sit here drinking a lovely cup of Kenyan black tea (lemon and sugar, please), let me share with you what Cup & Crown and I, personally, have been up to.

Here in the county of Fairfax, Virginia, public schools are 100% virtual instruction because of the current pandemic. Two of our kiddos are home all day, one of whom has special needs and requires me to be her eyes and ears throughout a good portion of her class time. I have been bound to the house except for lunch breaks and evenings, leaving little time for planning teas or anything outside of supporting my children’s schooling and acting as manager of our household - an abundance of daily chores and tasks to keep our house clean and our family fed that I won’t detail beyond what I’ve already mentioned… but you stay-at-home parents know of what I speak!

More thanks to COVID-19, my preparations for hosting elegant bridal shower, birthday party, and family reunion tea parties has been pushed into the background for the time being. But like Hyacinth Bucket, I have been keeping up appearances to maintain my presence throughout my media. One of the ways I’ve done this is by turning to my photographic talents. I have created dozens of new tea- and Anglophile-related images for my Instagram page and Pinterest boards as well as for Shutterstock and Pixabay as a contributor.

In addition to creative still-life photography, the fall is peak family portrait season. As a partially-professional photographer, I have been fulfilling requests to capture family images that so many want for their holiday greeting cards. I invite you to view my family portraiture at

As a member of The Knot, I have been attending webinars regarding the current bridal industry environment. All trends are pointing to one of the busiest engagement seasons ever. This is good news for us party planners! But until people are safe and comfortable gathering groups together for such special occasions, I continue to show and share my enthusiasm for and expertise on teas and tea parties with “Afternoon (Virtual) Tea with Nancy.” If you haven’t already, tune in to this (almost) weekly Zoom event, recorded and shared on Facebook where I’m joined by a friend or colleague for a cuppa and conversation about our respective professions, how we know one another, and some wit and wisdom [more wit than wisdom] during these unusual times. If you’d like to join me as a guest, please let me know:

Also by means of Zoom, I have created a monthly tea-tasting across the miles with my fellow Anglophile and tea hostess, Amy Mitchell of Houses of Windsor in Orlando, Florida. Amy and I sample 3 teas and offer our flavorful experience and opinion to viewers. Don’t miss our next tasting on November 17 (on my Cup & Crown Facebook page), where we will try some autumnal and pre-holiday delights. Maybe one of those teas is a “must have” for your holiday shopping list!

Betwixt the challenges that recent months have held for both me and for my business, there are joyous days to tout as well, not the least of which is the surprise party my husband arranged for my 50th birthday. After that, we flew to Florida to see my niece marry a wonderful guy. And only last weekend, I happily hosted a tea “al fresco” at the book signing party of an enterprising neighbor-turned-authoress, Judith Baroody for her publication Casablanca Blue.

Looking ahead, I see days bustling with Thanksgiving travel, Christmas preparations, and more fun events for Cup & Crown. So I’ll be adding more hats to the growing stack upon my head… one chef’s hat; one pointy, fur-trimmed elf’s cap; and always - ALWAYS! - a pretty fascinator on the top.

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