Britain and Ireland Highlights

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 No comments
 I spent the first two week's of June touring Britain and Ireland.  I've shared more pictures on Instagram, but I had to give the trip one blog post, though I could never do it justice in photos or words.  I went to Ireland and Scotland three years ago and loved it so much I wanted to go back, but this time I wanted to see more of England's country side.  We started and ended our trip in London.  This was my second stay in London, and this time I wanted to see some of the famous neighborhoods.
 One of my favorite was Notting Hill.  The colors of the buildings, the doors, and the shops were right up my alley.  All the flowers were in bloom, and it just made the walk worth the trip over.
 I told my Mom for my (upcoming) birthday, I really wanted to find an afternoon tea somewhere in the city.  I don't like tea, but I like all the things that come with the tea.  We booked the Savoy, I beautiful hotel in London with a piano player entertaining us throughout the whole tea, and the most incredible tasting scones I've ever had.  I like scones, but these scones....make me love scones.
 We also headed through some great cities in England, Stratford Upon Avon, and Shakespeare's birth home (above), York, and we took a cruise on Windermere (below) in the Lake District, which was gorgeous from start to finish.  The roses climbed the buildings, and gardens were exactly like a Jane Austin scene.
 After a few days in England, we headed to Edinburgh.  The Royal Mile that leads to the castle is one of most interesting streets I've ever walked (and shopped) b/c it climbs towards the castle with colorful and varied store fronts.
 We then went on to Dublin, and the Highlight there was a side trip to Glendalough.  It was the stunning ruins of a monastery that has stood here for almost 1000 years.  It never ceases to amaze me the proximity we are given to ruins to climb about and explore.  In the US, if it's 100 years old it's roped off and protected, but these stones have somehow stood for centuries.
 I also got to tour the Irish National Stud farm, and really, baby ponies, need I say more?  Sure there were race horses that have one millions of pounds, but...baby ponies....
 We went to Waterford and see the expert crystal designers at work, which exceeded my expectations.
 And I toured a small piece of Wales for the first time, including the most stunning vineyard where we had dinner prepared by the family.  It was my favorite meal the entire trip (Glyndwr) and even more beautiful that the vineyard was the garden that surrounded the house.
 Another fun stop was Stone Henge.  It poured down rain during this stop, but beyond the mystery of the location, just to say I've stood here....it was definitely on the list of places to see.
 After a whirlwind 10 days, I found myself back in London.  I headed to Covent Garden this time and we enjoyed Sunday Roast at Hawksmoor.
 We also went to the Churchill War Rooms to see where the English govt operated during WW2.
 I walked away, having seen so many things, I'm still processing, but I hope it'll be one of many trips across the pond.

Grilled Corn

 I love corn.  I love it on the grill.  Just in case future me forgets, you have to soak the corn (in the husk) for 3-4 hours before cooking, and then cook it directly on the grill for 20 minutes, turning every five minutes or so.
Let it cool a bit, and then peel back the husk and gnaw down.

Travel Journal Prep

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 1 comment
 I'm sitting in my time machine now typing this a month in advance.  I'm slowly figuring out how to make travel journaling work for a person who likes a cute sticker or six.  My goal is to be able to fly home with an almost complete album, so here's my prep for my upcoming England trip (which I should have returned home from yesterday with, hopefully, a full album I can pop on youtube).
 I'm going quite a few different places, but I know I'll start my trip in England, so after my first few travel pages (below), I did a few England pages.  1)  I was eager to get started on the trip and album & 2)  I figured the first few days I will be jet lagged, so all I have to do is the writing and not catch up on the decorating if I have the first few pages ready.  BUT I didn't want to do too much b/ c I never know how much space each day will take.
 My first few pages are the intro/intenerary.
 Page two I left to tell travel tales.  My prayer is two uneventful, on time flights, but I put a glassine pocket (with the date stamped) on page two, so I could always add a fun story to the pocket before turning to the next (London) page.
 I packed some fun stickers to creating headings for each new location, some stickers, paper, and ephemera.  I also wrapped washi tape around some scraps of paper to take and cut.  I'm bringing glue, a stapler, scissors (I'll pack in my bag), pens, colored pencils, and this time....
I stamped a tag for each day I'll be gone I can use or not use, but they are ready to go if I want to use them.  When I get home I'll probably add a few 3D Stickers, but I'm planning on using this travel journal all summer (assuming I don 't fill it up, which I'm fine with too), so I don't want it too thick!  I also am bringing my Canon Ivy-not an add, I just love it, and I love being able to print a photo or three each day to add to help 'tell the story.'  I've kept a travel journal for probably almost 20 years, and I look back at the journals often when I revisit a city to remember favorite spots, restaurants, sites, or share hotel suggestions with others, but now I'm turning it into my scrapbook/journal.  I'm sure I'll be sharing my completed album momentarily.

Grilled Corn

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 No comments
 ...and thus continues my "If it's not nailed down, I'm going to grill it..." summer.  Pineapple!  A delicious dessert, or a burger topping, whatever floats your boat.  They really were delicious, especially the pineapples that got a little toastier and caramelized.
Grilled Pineapple
1.  Drain a can of sliced pineapples.  
2.  Cover with 1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar and let them sit for 10 minutes.  
3.  Spray with cooking oil and then place them on the grill.  Flip after 5 minutes.  Cook a total of 10 minutes.  

Ribbon Mobile

Thursday, June 06, 2019 No comments
I'm helping a friend out with her nursery.  She is doing a lot of purple, and a little pink, and all the monograms.  I've made quite a few flowers, but I was trying to think of a fun mobile to go in her room, and saw these little guys on the web.  They are really simple to put together, and they would be cute in the corner of a room hanging from a ceiling as well.  
 I bought a 10 inch embroidery hoop, and 11 different ribbon spools.  I didn't use all the ribbon from each spool, but I did need 6 feet of each (as you are measuring, just to let you know this took 66 feet of ribbon).  Hobby Lobby has their ribbon on sale every other week, so I always wait for a sale week for projects like this, and they had a bunch of fun textures. 
 I looped these onto the outer ring.  I cut each piece 24 inches and folded them in half. 
 I pulled the ends through the loop, and pulled to tighten. 
 You could add a glue dot at this point, but I used the inner circle later just to hold them into place. 
 I figured out my 'pattern' and did three rounds of each ribbon. 
I then put two pieces of twine criss cross across the top and attached the inner hoop and tightened to hold it all in place.  Simple, cute, and it definitely hit the girly quota!

Grilled Asparagus

Tuesday, June 04, 2019 No comments
I bought a new grill recently...nothing fancy, but the theme of my spring (and now summer is)…."I bet I can grill that."  I've grilled asparagus before, but it's so good, it's worth a repeat.  It's a hearty enough veggie that it's easy to throw down on the grill and roll.
Grilling Asparagus
1.  Wash and trip your asparagus.
2.  Take 2 T of extra virgin olive oil 1 t. of salt per pound of asparagus.
3.  Place the asparagus, oil, and salt in a bag and shake it around until all the asparagus is covered.
4.  Grill for 10 minutes, flipping one time half way through.
If you place it in the center of the grill, it will get pretty roasty, but that's how I like it.