Expressing Gratitude | Meredith Sweetpea


Growing up, I don’t remember being forced to write thank you notes, but I did anyway. Now, as an adult, Miss Meredith Sweetpea finds that it is more important than ever to graciously express gratitude.

Showing that you are grateful for something you’ve received, or a kindness or gift someone has bestowed upon you, can often be a several-step process.

Say Thank You

First, say “thank you” immediately upon receiving a gift. I have unfortunately witnessed people who, upon receiving a gift, state, “Thanks, but I don’t need this or want this. You’ll have to take it back.” Instead, they should have graciously accepted the gift for the gesture for which it was intended–to honor the recipient, perhaps for a birthday, holiday or special occasion. Simply said, a heartfelt “thank you” will honor the giver who took their time and effort to arrange a special treat just for you. You can always do with the gift what you want later on (donate it or regift it if you don’t want it, or use it or display it proudly.)

Send a Handwritten Note

A handwritten note does NOT mean an email or text–yes, even in today’s electronic times. It means writing words of gratitude on a piece of paper or card and putting it into an envelope that is mailed to the giver’s address, preferably their home address. I recently heard from someone who received a handwritten thank you note who said, “I was so surprised to receive a real letter in the mail. I so rarely get anything that’s not a bill or a solicitation anymore. It was so exciting!” This little gesture can mean so much to the person who took the time to arrange for your gift or service, and is a reminder they will often keep, display, and read again and again.

Tell Others

Spread even more love by telling the recipient later on how much you’re enjoying the gift and how you are using it. Also, glowingly tell others about the gift you received. Even if the gift-giver never hears you telling others, the pleasure you feel from recounting how you received this gift will bring you renewed joy each time you tell it.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Television personality and media mogul Oprah Winfrey swears that her gratitude journal has changed her outlook on life. Writing in it each evening, she recaps the things that happened during her day for which she is grateful. Singer/songwriter Willie Nelson said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

Keep your own gratitude journal and list at least 3 things each evening. At first, you may find it a struggle to find things to write. It is OK to put down things like, “I’m grateful because I felt energized today,” or “I’m grateful to receive a paycheck today.”

As time passes, you will start to notice more and more little things, and you will actually begin to change your mindset from feeling overwhelmed by life’s daily challenges to recognizing life’s little joys. Your entries might change to, “I’m grateful for the bird song I heard when I awoke this morning,” or “I’m grateful that the clerk at the grocery store complimented me on my new necklace.” Be open to whatever highlight enters your consciousness, from world events to the tiniest little spark in your daily life. Make these points the grace notes to the symphony of your day.

Secrets to Love: Respect


always-love-&-respect

While reading through one of her favorite books, Miss Meredith Sweetpea came across a section titled: Secrets to love: Respect. She’d like to share those words with you here, in hopes that all might glean a bit of insight into making your love life a little sweeter.

Secrets to Love: Respect

Excerpted from Living Romantically Every Day, by Barbara Taylor Bradford

I think that in order to love someone, you must first respect him [or her] and that respect must be tended to for the duration of the relationship. A romantic partnership is a relationship  between equals — I believe it ‘s virtually impossible to have a successful relationship, let alone a romantic one, with someone you don’t’ respect as an equal. Respect is a form of honoring a person and his individuality, and it’s so important that it’s part of the traditional wedding vows (“love and honor”).

Be attentive when you listen

Respect means holding your partner in a position of high regard and showing that you believe he is genuinely worthy. An important one is to be wholly attentive when you listen. If he’s telling you  a story, don’t interrupt. When he’s done, ask him, “Then what happened?” or “I think the part about X was so interesting. What do you think?”

Respect your partner’s ideas and opinions

Don’t expect the two of you to agree on everything. Agree to disagree about certain issues. As long as you agree on core values, such as how to raise your family, there’s a lot of room to debate everything else. Continue reading

The Butler’s Guide to Living Like Downton Abbey | Meredith Sweetpea | Books


image-of-the-butler's-guide-to-running-the-home-by-Stanley-Ager-and-Fiona-St.AubynMiss Meredith Sweetpea is quite enamored with Downton Abbey (along with many, many other people) and was delighted to find a new book titled “The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces,” by Stanley Ager and Fiona St. Aubyn (Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York).

Relating to the popular British PBS series, the forward is written by Alastair Bruce OBE, historical advisor to Downton Abbey.

The Butler’s Guide shares butler Stanley Ager’s “skills acquired during his career, which was a sort of ‘calling’ dedicated in his own words, to ‘the three most important qualities for running a home [which] are punctuality, organization, cleanliness.  If you master these, everything else should fall into place,'” writes Bruce.

The book is written with co-author Fiona St. Aubyn, the granddaughter of Ager’s last employer, the third Lord St. Levan.

Just Like Downton Abbey

Ager became one of the few in his profession to actually record what he knew Continue reading

Have a Dickens of a Victorian Christmas | Victorian Holidays | Meredith Sweetpea


A-Christmas-Carol

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

What’s more beloved at Christmastime than A Christmas Carol by English author Charles Dickens.  We all are familiar with that story, but do you know the story behind the story?

A Christmas Carol was first published as a serial, telling the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his supernatural visits by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. It was an instant and popular success.

Written in the Victorian Era

The book was written and published in Britain’s Victorian Era, a period where old Christmas traditions were Continue reading

Tea With Friends: a Literary Tea Party | Tea Parties


photo-Elizabeth-Knight

Author Elizabeth Knight

Not all too long ago, Miss Meredith Sweetpea had the honor of meeting in person Miss Elizabeth Knight, author of books like Tea with Friends. Miss Elizabeth was a charming woman, and shared her passion for tea and tea parties with our group.

What’s nice about Tea With Friends, is that it takes the reader month by month through a year of ideas o how to have tea with friends.  Following is an excerpt from that book that would be perfect for a Fall tea party.  Warm tea, crackling fire, and good company. What could be better.

image-of-books-and-tea-cupSetting the Scene for Your Literary Tea Party

A living room, book-lined study, or library with comfortable seating is the idea setting for your literary tea.

For a Centerpiece

In the eighteenth century, bookish society ladies who attempted to Continue reading

Chinese Teas | Tea History


image of book Tea & Crumpets

Order Tea & Crumpets today

Miss Meredith Sweetpea has taken quite a liking to her new find–Chinese Oolong Tea.  Therefore, she thought it might be interesting to learn a little more about Chinese teas in general, and share it with all of you.

Chinese Teas

Here is an excerpt from Tea & Crumpets: Recipes & Rituals from European Tearooms & Cafes, by Margaret M. Johnson, a book that delightfully offers a history of tea, along with mouth-watering recipes.

“China remains famous for its Continue reading

Writing a Love Letter | Gracious Living


Keep your love letters and read them over and over again.

Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned love letter? Meredith Sweetpea  remembers finding sets of love letters from her grandparents tied up with a satin ribbon. How delightful it was to read about their early courtship days in the early 1900s.

Today, with email and text messages, I believe the essential charm of receiving a hand-written love letter is lost. With a letter, the reader can hold and touch something that the other person held, which creates Continue reading

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