V&A Jewellery

Rooms 91-93 at the V&A are full of jewellery (as the Brits call it).  The collection is fascinating.  They had some pieces, like this brooch, that belonged to Jane Morris - the wife of William Morris.  Below is a sample of some of the other objects.  Tony liked the really sparkly things, like this tiara (bottom).


Millionaire's Shortbread

Everyone knows that Scotland has the best shortbread.  While we were in England, we discovered Millionaire's shortbread.  It's shortbread with caramel and chocolate on top.  Yum!  Go here for a recipe from the BBC.


British Textiles: 1700 to the Present

When we were at the V&A Museum, I found this great book: British Textiles: 1700 to the Present.  It was large and hardcover and expensive, so I didn't get it.  (But it's a lot less expensive on Amazon... so I'll have to save my money!)  It's edited by Linda Parry, the textiles expert, and it looks like a fantastic reference.


Penhaligon's - Vaara

We enjoyed some shopping when we were in London this time around.  Regent Street is fabulous (and Jermyn Street, etc., etc.).  We visited a great Penhaligon's shop, and, as you can see, they had plenty of scents for us to sample.  I really liked the new scent, Vaara.  It was created for the Maharaja!


Love is a Verb

Back in May we were invited to a screening of the documentary Love is a Verb at Navy Pier downtown.  The film is about Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet movement.  The film's web site explains that Hizmet is a social movement of Sufi-inspired Sunni Muslims that began in Turkey in the '60s.  Hizmet is the Turkish word for service, and that's really what it's all about - giving back.  It was interesting to watch the film and to think about some of these ideas.


Coldplay - Ghost Stories

Do you love Coldplay's new album?  I do.  Coldplay was playing over the speakers when we arrived at Heathrow, and I thought that was very fitting.


Liberty of London

I really, really loved the Liberty store in London.  It was so amazing that even my husband wanted to go back a second time!  We, of course, adore the classic Tana Lawn cotton.  It was about $40 per yard, though, so instead I took a picture of the beautiful bolts.  The Liberty print shirts were well over $100, so I took a picture of them, too.  A girl can dream!  What I actually walked out the door with was a lovely Liberty print handkerchief.  If you ever get to London, go to the store - the entrance is just off Regent Street.



Did you see the NYC 4th of July fireworks on TV?  They were amazing.  We were mesmerized by the wall of fireworks raining down from the Brooklyn Bridge.  This photo by Jon Armstrong shows how incredible it looked.

Rocheport House

The other day as we were surfing online we found this house for sale in Rocheport, Missouri.  It's just around the corner from where we used to live, and they have been working on restoring it for years.  I think it's such a cute house, and from what I can see it looks like they did a fantastic job improving it.  A bookcase with a ladder would definitely be a dream come true!


Tart Lime Pops

I just made up some of these tart lime pops.  They tasted good before going into the molds, so I'm betting they'll be delicious when they're frozen!  Find the recipe from Real Simple here.

World Cup

OK - my life can get back to normal now that the World Cup is over!  It was a fun month of watching soccer.  In the 16 years that I've been watching the Dutch team, there have been many highs and lows.  I have to say that overall, I am pleased with their 3rd-place finish.  Here's Van Persie taking on the role of the Flying Dutchman and scoring one of the best goals of the tournament.  (The U.S. was also fun to watch - they're getting better all the time!)


Bernardaud Etoiles

Being in England got me thinking about fine china again.  Macy's carries this beautiful line by Bernardaud.  Etoiles Limoges Collection is made in France and is stunning.  But at $112 per dinner plate, I'll just have to admire it from afar (like les etoiles...).


Wrendale Designs

We saw these adorable mugs in many gift shops in England.  They are Wrendale Designs for Royal Worcester, and I love the depictions of British critters.


Benjamin West - The Nativity

One of the places that we visited in England was Petworth House, a 17th-century estate owned by the National Trust.  It is a truly great house with fabulous grounds and gardens.  It is noted for its fantastic art collection.  They own many paintings by J.M.W. Turner and other English artists.  One piece that I liked was The Nativity by Benjamin West.  It is a cartoon for a window that West was to paint in St. George's Chapel at Windsor.


Star Spangled Banner

Have you seen the original Star Spangled Banner?  It's pretty incredible.  The Smithsonian National Museum of American History houses it in a new gallery where you can appreciate its immense size and delicate condition.  Viewing it is a neat experience that every American should have.  Happy 4th!



In England, flapjacks are not pancakes.  They're a bit more like an oaty, chewy granola bar, and they're delicious.  I found a recipe that I'm going to try.  I'll let you know how it turns out!


Lizard Girl

We saw some interesting 15-minute shows on BBC Two when we were in England.  One of them was called Lizard Girl.  Really it's about a girl trying to fit in.  It was cute and funny.  I'm still trying to find a place to view it online (this doesn't seem to be working)...


Travel Tip

Here's a travel tip that I picked up somewhere and found really useful.  When we went to England, we each took one carry-on bag and one backpack.  So we needed to economize our space.  Beauty products can take up a lot of space if you let them, but how much do you really need in one or two weeks?  For moisturizer and night cream you won't need a whole bottle!  Put some in each side of a contact case, and it should be plenty.  I found this cute owl case for a couple of bucks at Target.