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25 April 2014

A Few Peeks Around Our Home...

A few people have asked for a few peeks around our home, so I thought I would share a few. It is still very much a work in progress. Although we have unpacked more completely with this move than any other moves in our twenty years of moving around with the Marine Corps, we still have a few boxes to unpack and there are odds and ends that haven't found a permanent place yet. (If you ask Chris, he will say that their permanent place is at a thrift shop or the local dump. Which is exactly why he hasn't been consulted!! LOL)

We have a good sized eat-in kitchen that has been modernized in our home, which was built in the 1930s.  It has a fireplace, but as it didn't have proper ventilation, it has been capped off, and is now just for show. This is our above our mantle.

The kitchen window overlooks the small back garden.

An "American-sized" refrigerator was a real plus in this house!  

Here is one quick peek of the living room fireplace….  stay tuned for more peeks soon…

24 April 2014

Portabello Road

On a recent Saturday, Chris had arranged for us to meet up for brunch with a group of his fellow MBA program students from Columbia and LBS. There was to be quite a crowd of us as many would be bringing children and spouses along.  We took the train to the Notting Hill area of town, and had a lovely, leisurely brunch at the restaurant.

Afterwards, since we cannot seem to pass up the chance to visit a market, we walked over to Portabello Road to experience the famed Portabello Road Market.  It is very, very neat, and very busy, as many tourists place it on their lists of things to do in London. But, we enjoyed it, nonetheless.  I had my eye on a set of demitasse spoons at an antiques stall, but Chris dragged me away before I could even ask how much they cost! That stinker!


The restaurant was called Notting Hill Kitchen. The food was quite good and as you can see from the pictures above, the girls loved dessert.  Here all dessert is called pudding, whether it is cake or ice cream or whatever.  

The girls and I really love Cath Kidston. We have yet to buy anything there but love all the cuteness!

Chris loved the name of this place! 

The girls thought that fresh coconut water was outstanding! 

And, we always get suckered in by the paella cooking in these huge pots. Once again, we were not disappointed - it was awesome!

And we brought home tulips!

04 April 2014

He loves me. I know this because he bought me flowers AND baked me a pie.

On a recent Friday, Chris brought me flowers. It was kind of a joke because we had just recently enjoyed watching the bunches of daffodils bloom. But, I said to him, "You know, it's Friday. And you should bring me home some tulips" He kind of rolled his eyes at me and said, "No problem," as he headed out the door. I thought it was more likely that I would sprout tulips out of my ears than he would actually remember he said he'd bring home tulips any longer than the 30 seconds it would take him to walk through our front garden and up the steps to the street.
This, my friends, is what makes Chris a really great guy.  And, he may not be perfect, but he is perfect for me.
I came in the door that evening to find him already home, and this beautiful bunch of flowers in a vase on my kitchen table.
And Chris came up behind me and said, "Look honey, I remembered to bring you tulips!"
I kissed him and said thank you and said they were beautiful tulips… for roses! ;)

The next day, I mentioned that I had picked up a gluten free pie crust mix that I wanted to try and the ingredients to make our all-time favorite - Pear Pie (Kelly Juenger - stop drooling on your computer screen).  That man I love started whipping up that pie right then and there!  


Yummmmmmm.  Yummmmmmmm.

02 April 2014

Catching up...

I usually have collections of photos to share with a certain event or outing that we have done.  But, invariably, I end up with a few random photos that don't seem to go with a big blog post and kind of get lost in the shuffle. So forgive these kind of unrelated photos of our recent weeks…

It is definitely Spring in London and daffodils are blooming all over the place - in the commons, and in the gardens of homes we pass by. They are such happy, hopeful flowers, aren't they?  We recently discovered that our local grocery carries them and they are only 1 pound per bunch, so we bought them and then the girls enjoyed seeing how they opened up a bit more each day.  They lasted over a week, and we totally got our money's worth from them!

The girls have all participated in an after school drama club this past term. Georgia at the upper school, and Olivia and Sophia together at the lower school.  Sophia was little billy goat gruff in the Three Billy Goats Gruff, and Sophia was the shopkeeper in The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  I don't have pictures of Georgia's play, but she was Jo in a scene from Little Women. They all did very well and seemed to really enjoy it.  Next term, Georgia has signed up for Musical Theatre, and Volleyball, and Olivia and Sophia have signed up for Tennis and Cookery.

What is it?  It is my brand new vacuum cleaner!  I loved the pink Dyson that I had in the US, so I purchased a Dyson for here too.  With the differences in electricity voltage and hertz, not to mention the plugs being different, my Mom currently has custody of my American Dyson.  Sadly, I couldn't buy a pink one. But, as is typical, the Dyson is just such an exceptional vacuum cleaner, that I was grossed out in no time by the funk it picked up off our floors. 

We visited Franco Manca again, the pizza place we really like. 

When we went to the store (Panzer's) in St. Johns Wood that carried all of the different American foods, I also picked up a couple of these yogurts. Not that I had any idea how they would taste, but because they came in these totally cute little clay pots. I mean, really, wouldn't you buy them just for the cute pots?  Well, imagine my surprise when I tore off the foil, dipped in my spoon and tasted the absolute, hands down, best yogurt I have ever had in my life.  The yogurt was delicious, and the pots are adorable!  I wish I had bought a dozen of them!

I recently woke up on a lazy Sunday morning to a cute little freckle faced kid who said "Mama, will you play Chutes and Ladders with me?"  I wiped the sleep from my eyes, and said, "Of course, baby, climb up here." The smile that lit up her face made playing Chutes and Ladders at 6 am on a Sunday morning the best way to wake up!

Tried a new pinterest hairstyle out on Georgia the other day.  She wanted pigtails, so I tried out this version that is done without a part down the middle. Totally easy and pretty cute.

We took the girls to McDonalds for happy meals the other day.  Their "toy" was a plastic cup from The Lego Movie.  The looks on their faces told me that they did not think a plastic cup made a very good happy meal toy.

Drove down Baker Street the other day, so I snapped a picture of the Sherlock Holmes Museum. There was a long line of people waiting to get in.

Have you ever seen anything so cute?  The year three kids recently put on a performance of The Wind in the Willows. It was Awesome. Really. Really. Awesome. And I am not saying that because of my cute little Stoat. I will admit that as far as school plays go, I have seen a few duds. Some that made you really count off the minutes until you would be released from that unique brand of torture.  This performance was crazy good. The kids were well prepared and the sets, costumes and make up were really, really cool.  Olivia was at the door with her friend, Helena, and I did not even recognize her!

Hopefully I will be able to share pictures at some point of Georgia's year 6 class play.  They performed Cole Porter's "Anything Goes".  And, I should not have been so surprised since I had just seen Olivia's group put on such an outstanding play. But, I was totally blown away.  A group of 10 and 11 year old girls put on a musical theatre production that was really awesome.  And, the champagne cocktail that we were greeted with at the door and the wine served at intermission only made it even better ;)  But, seriously, it was crazy good and super impressive that this group of girls put on a 2 hour musical and acted and sang their hearts out.

I can't believe I haven't already mentioned this, but you can have just about anything delivered here.  I have my groceries delivered once a week, and now that I have discovered that the wine store delivers, I may never leave home again! Just joking!