A couple of months ago, I wrote this post and included a video of Madeline being enthralled by a brochure from 8 Great Towns. I posted the videos because I thought Madeline was acting super adorable and grown up. (What else is new?) (And yes, I totally just watched the videos again because I can't handle the adorbs.)

Well, the people at 8 Great Towns thought Madeline was pretty darn cute too and sent her some gift certificates to thank her for loving their brochure.

One of the gifts was to The Ruby Pear, a tea parlor in Noblesville. We invited our friends Andrea and Addie because I want to start a club of Ladies Who Lunch and Toddlers Who Tea.



"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your  heart go walking around outside your body." Elizabeth Stone

If you need an hour or two to feel like a feminine woman again, a tea parlor will do that for you. Forget that yesterday I floated in the pool like a hippo, just minus the mud.

Today I sat in a little airy green room with flouncy white curtains and ate on mismatched floral china. I drank the hot Midsummer Peach tea and ate a cucumber cream cheese sandwich, a pecan chicken salad sandwich and a white chocolate cashew scone with Southern cream and lemon curd.

Even the girls' apple juice was served in a little but heavy glass pitcher.

It's hard to describe how that fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine but it did. I am obsessed really like English movies and books and have heard about clotted cream with scones for a very long time. I've wanted to try it for just as long because anything with cream? Sign me up.

And today I smothered my scone in the Southern cream (their version of clotted cream) and then immediately ordered some scones and cream to go. When I'm eating breakfast tomorrow morning in my PJs (which are not a little sexy satin number but instead a ratty tank top and cotton shorts), I can eat my scone with Southern cream and imagine that Princess Kate is doing the same thing at tea time.

I believe in the soothing power of daydreaming, people. Don't touch that bubble. Don't even go near it.

I really loved The Ruby Pear. I always judge a place by whether or not they give me the stink-eye when I walk in with a kid. (Because, as every mom knows, this does happen and it makes you want to immediately walk out.) I was thrilled when the owners of The Ruby Pear passed that test with flying colors.

The tea parlor is in an old, renovated Victorian home in the historic downtown Noblesville. The layout is very private with tables in multiple rooms, more private than other tea houses I've been to. We had a tiny room of our own, the Garden Room, which was perfect for two adults who wanted to catch up and two kids who weren't in danger of ruining anyone else's special time.

While being everything a tea parlor should be, the atmosphere was far, far from pretentious or stuffy. Canvas paintings hung on three of the walls in our little room but the fourth wall had beautiful aprons strewn across a clothesline. Our mismatched chairs were oversized and cushioned so you sank back comfortably. P.S I just love mismatched style.

The Ruby Pear is a place where you could have a wonderful, lovely lunch with girlfriends and forget the mounds of laundry at home. Or a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party or an "I survived this week" party.

Or you could totally bring your kids if you need a nice afternoon to remind yourself that real plates (read: fragile) still exist and not just the Disney plastic ones. Just be sure to load them up on Fat Rascal cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries and they'll beg to come back. At least that was Madeline's experience.

My other favorite part was the little shop in the front of the house. The owners have selected the cutest collection of jewelry, handbags, china, doll accessories and the like. I found a drawer full of vintage earrings and couldn't pass up a set of big pearl-colored earrings for just $6. You know they're real vintage when they aren't even clip-on earrings but screw-back. (Since they don't require a pierced ear, Madeline has claimed them as her own.)

Thanks so much to 8 Great Towns for providing a wonderful afternoon with my girl and our friends. And thank you again to The Ruby Pear for not giving us the stink-eye. We loved it!