Thursday, 25 February 2010

I Love Pictory

I recently read about Pictory on my friend Doug's facebook page. He edited the most recent feature called The One Who Got Away--short stories about you guessed it, lost loves who got away, accompanied by great photographs. I love that feature, but there's also a great one about home, specifically people's childhood homes, which you can read here. Just thought I'd share it with you since I'm so crazy about Pictory lately. They also have features on food and growing older in the archives.
Image from Pictory's site. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A Garden

I think we've found a place! I should probably wait to mention it when it's official, but it's almost official, so I thought I could at least mention part of it, and that is . . . it has a garden! The little place we might be getting has a back patio garden.  It's more patio than garden, but it's a beautiful outdoor space. Any outdoor space would make me happy after living without one for the last 4 years. Of course I'll post pictures of the little back garden if it becomes ours, but in the meantime, flickr images, like the one above, are making me feel inspired and giving me lots of fun ideas.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

On the Hunt in the Dark of Day

I feel like such a terrible blogger lately with so little posting going on. We've been busy looking at apartments so I haven't had much to write about. Apartment hunting is not very interesting (not in our price range anyway), and I can assure you that you wouldn't want to see pictures from 95% of what we've seen. It would depress you. You don't get a whole lot of square footage or quality for your money in London. But then again it's London. It has so much to offer that it doesn't really matter, does it? Unfortunately to me it does. I can't just live anywhere, in any old place. I'm a bit picky. Today on the way home from Battersea (where we've most recently been looking) we crossed the Westminster Bridge and I took this picture. When it is grey here, it is soooo grey, like soot! I get tired of the gloomy grey, but sometimes it does make for a good moody picture. On the bright side, we may have found a place today. We shall see.  

Monday, 15 February 2010


Over the weekend we went to Mudchute Kitchen and Farm. Andrew read that the cafe was a good place to eat with kids, and we thought the farm would be fun for Lois too. It was quite a haul from our place, but it was worth it. Mudchute is London's largest city farm, with 32 acres in the Isle of Dogs, just south of the Docklands. It's a bit o' countryside right in the city. Here's a peek.
A proper English breakfast.  It looks disgusting but tasted amazing. The cafe was very cozy and homey, with flowers on the tables, mismatched furniture, piles of newspapers at communal tables, and lamps scattered around.
Dessert after breakfast? Sure. We had blood orange cake, yum.
Homemade farm jam.
The specials on Valentine's.  Andrew had the second one, sausages with pumpkin mash and winter slaw.  Wow, it was sooooo good.
After we ate, we walked around the farm, got really muddy doing so, and saw lots of animals along the way.
It was interesting to see the contrast of the city behind the farm.
Cartoon pigs are WAY cuter than the real deal. Yes, I've seen pigs in person in my life, but it's been a long time.  This was one unattractive pig.
See, cartoon piglet is cute!  Oink, oink.  That's all folks!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Lois Makes a Valentine

In general I think Valentine's is a silly commercial holiday that tends to make a lot of people feel bad rather than good, but it is a fun holiday for arts and crafts, and I'm all for arts and crafts. Earlier this week Lois made her very fist Valentine card for her daddy at play group. Mostly pink with some red, and a touch of glitter and gold, here is the result. Happy Valentine's from me and Lois to you!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Niche Design in the NY Times

I love the Home and Garden section of the NY Times because they often feature great, creative spaces like this one--a tiny studio filled with lots of second treasures and meaningful objets d' art. I love everything about this little place! See more pictures and read about Mr. Motl's studio here

 All photos by Robert Wright for the NY Times.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A Little Less Conversation

Unfortunately I don't have much to post these last few days.  We've mainly been focused on finding an apartment so I have no great, new secrets from the streets of London to reveal--not yet anyway.  Last weekend we did go to my very first car boot sale, which is like a big yard sale, only sellers gather in a field or parking lot and sell out of their car.  It was so fun!  I just took this one picture, but it's a good start to what I hope will be lots of car boot pictures to come.  Back to finding an apartment--a little less conversation, and a little more action is in order if we're gonna get our lives going here!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Battersea Park

Today we went to Battersea.  Battersea is south of the river, and one area we're thinking of living, so we thought we'd check it out.  I'd really like to live near a nice park so we've been scoping out various parks. London has no shortage of great parks--Regent's Park and Greenwich Park were both amazing during our last visit, and Battersea looked like a great one too, so we went there today to check it out. Even in the dead of winter it was a beautiful park.  I can only imagine how great it would be in spring and summer.  Here are a few pictures from our stroll in the park courtesy of the iPhone via Shake It.
Battersea Power Station.  I was hoping it would look as spectacular as this, but this evening it looked simply gloomy and barren but still somehow captivating and interesting. 

The Incredible Edible (Royal) Egg

Woah, aren't those purdy eggs?!!  I thought so.  Royal eggs!  Pale tiffany blue with tiny little aqua CROWNS on them.  Cotswold Legbar eggs.  Very good eggs.  Yesterday Andrew made baked eggs with cream and butter, and let me tell you, they were the best eggs I've ever had! We didn't end up using the "royal eggs" because we gobbled those up before we got around to making the baked eggs, but the grocery store eggs were great too.  I like eggs scrambled, fried, poached . . . just about any way (except I'm not a runny yolk gal), but baked is now tops to me--with cream and butter, of course.  
So here's how Andrew made them.  First he put a dollop of butter and about 2 tablespoons of cream in some mugs, along with salt and pepper. (Obviously this is not a diet dish.  We don't really do anything "diet" in our house.)
Warm the butter and cream in the oven a bit, just till the butter is melted.  Swirl the cream and butter. While the butter and cream are warming, have the eggs resting in some warm water.
Once the cream and butter are melty, drop 2 eggs into each mug.  Put the mugs into a baking dish, then fill the baking dish with a few inches of boiling water, so they bake in a water bath, which will keep the oven moist and keep the eggs from over cooking and getting hard too quickly. 
Broil them on low for about 10 minutes or until they start to get brown on top.  
Creamy, custardy, buttery. OMG, so good!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Lambs Conduit Street and The British Museum

I've been having iPhone withdrawals since I can't use data here. The roaming charges are too expensive, even with an international plan, and my phone is locked so I can't just pop a SIM into it. So I have no access to internet or email. Poop. But today I made up for missing my on-the-go connection to the world with new iPhone photo apps. I bought color splash and vintage black and white. Color splash lets you isolate colors to highlight them, like the phone booth above, and the Underground sign below. Pretty fun, huh?
Yesterday I had a great time walking around our neighborhood with Lois and going to the British Museum while snapping pictures with the iPhone. We're staying in the same place as our last visit, a corporate apartment (until we find our own place) on a hidden gem of a street, Lambs Conduit Street.  It's lined with great restaurants and shops, tucked away in Bloomsbury. For SF folks, it reminds me of a bit of Hayes Valley and for Atlanta folks, it's sort of like one block of Virginia Highlands. Here's a peek into the neighborhood and our short museum visit.
Persephone Books.  Do you remember it from our last visit?  Lots more pics and info here
Oliver Spencer, a very nice shop for men (some women's clothing too, but mostly men's). 
Pokit, men's and women's clothing and really cool bags. 
Vats Wine Bar.  We haven't been here yet, but it's usually always busy. 
Kennards. A nice little market. Fruit, bread, cheese, wine?  Yes, please! 
Cigala. A nice tapas restaurant. We've been here twice (both times during our last visit). Our first experience was okay, the second was great. We'd definitely go again. There are a whole lot more shops and restaurants, but you get idea--Lambs Conduit is quite a nice street. You can see more from Google street view here. After strolling down our street, I strolled Lois to the British Museum.  We've been a few times before, but it's so close to our apartment, free, and just a great museum so we went again.
You can take pictures throughout the museum, but I'm always drawn to the Great Court itself and that amazing ceiling.  
Me with flat rain hair! And one random curl? (Where did that come from?, the rain brought it I guess.)
I've never been to the museum when the sky is blue and the sun is shining so I'll have to go back on a sunny day just to see the blue sky through the ceiling (that grey you see is the sky).
Lois enjoyed seeing the Rosetta Stone again, though she looks a little freaked out here.  Maybe it was all those ancient, naked sculptures.  
What's next?  Where should we go?  What should we do?!! 

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


More London updates and adventures coming soon, but we're back in Atlanta for this post. Whenever we go home to Atlanta, there are so many places I want to visit and tell you about. Usually we're so busy with family, though, that I don't get around to showing you some of the great things Atlanta has to offer. Great shops is one thing Atlanta is not lacking, and Boxwoods Gardens and Gifts is a long-time, top favorite shop of mine. I like it so much I even went twice this trip--it's hard to take it all in at once!
You know I always love a good mix of the old and new, and Boxwoods combines the two seamlessly and beautifully, which is only complimented by their amazing garden section.  They have so many unique vintage and antique pieces, scoured from the best antique markets in Europe (mostly from France, oh la la!). Those treasures are accented with the most current and modern home accessories and gifts for everyone on your list. A number of the pieces they have are architectural and used and displayed in most interesting ways, like a pair of metal French drains that adorn an entry way, and great lamps made from industrial and architectural salvaged materials. (Remember my friend Paula?  Well, those lamps are her creation!)  Here's a peek from Boxwoods! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
100 East Andrews Drive
Atlanta, GA 30305
PH: 404-233-3400
Mon-Sat 10-6