(Not Quite) Wordless Wednesday: Revisiting royal fever

Underground


So. Given my anglophilia and general love of babies and happiness, I’m a wee bit excited over the arrival of William and Kate’s son. My family was in London just a week before their wedding in April 2011, a time laced with excitement and sunshine. I wish I could have hopped a flight to linger outside Buckingham Palace waiting for the royal decree with so many well-wishers on Monday but, alas, I’m a desk-bound American with no funds or vacation time save what she’s using for her own upcoming nuptials.

Still, a peasant can dream.

In honor of the Royal Prince (is he a prince already? Must Google), I’m revisiting my favorite photos from trips to English trips in 2009 and 2011 today. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: London is the city of my heart. My heart hurts a bit looking at these, remembering how exhilarating it was to walk around Trafalgar Square or along the Thames . . . some of my happiest days have been spent in London. I really must get back there. For a day, for a week — I don’t know. But I have to go.

And I really must go find myself a scone.


Trafalgar Square

Aerial view

British money

Gardens at Buckingham

Big Ben

Busy London street

Gardens at Hyde Park

Mind the gap

Hyde Park ferris wheel

Westminster Abbey


I’d prefer not to use an exchange rate, thanks

union_jack_earrings OK, it’s been a while — and you knew it was coming eventually. No, my Anglophilia hasn’t quite abated… I’m just doing a better job of not constantly talking about London! It’s hard to forget about my favorite city when I have friends like The Magnificent Stacy sending me links to stuff that further fuels my obsession. Like, say, these earrings from ASOS, a British online fashion store.

I like looking at things in pounds — mostly because I’m terrible at math, and I sort of, um, “guess-timate” how much items cost without actually figuring it out.

Cue ASOS’s currency exchange function. My adorable Union Jack embroidered stud earrings, which are on sale for £4.25, come out to $7.27 US. Still not bad, not bad at all . . . but I like imagining they’re around $4 better! Meh, I’m going to break down and buy them.

Other British goodies catching my attention right now? Let’s pop over to Etsy, my absolute favorite guilty pleasure, shall we?


Hail Brittania teacup pincushion by KellyHendersonDesign, $22

Hail Brittania teacup pincushion by KellyHendersonDesign, $22

London Skyline, laser cut & etched, hand-painted bracelet by GetPersonalArt, $30

London skyline bracelet by GetPersonalArt, $30

London -- boxed set of 10 notecards by milktoasty, $8

London -- boxed set of 10 notecards by milktoasty, $8

Set of 3 tea time postcards by Lilley, $4

Set of 3 tea time postcards by Lilley, $4

Off to London!

Off to London!


Photo by talented Flickr user Anirudh Koul

Photo by talented Flickr user Anirudh Koul



After months of anticipation, the time is finally here! I’ll be flying to London tomorrow evening and can’t wait to have one seriously jam-packed, exciting and crazy weekend. I look forward to sharing all of my adventures at write meg! when I get back! Thanks to everyone for the good wishes. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day for all in the U.S., too!

See you Tuesday!

Six days to London

The countdown is on!

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My friend and coworker Sandy made me this awesome sign to hang on my office door. Love the red, white and blue motif, don’t you? Very American in the U.K.! I’m digging it!

Stacy and I have our itinerary mostly ironed out . . . right now, it’s looking like we’re hitting up all the haunts I’ve been reading about for months: Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Kings Cross Station Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, Westminster Abbey (probably just a walk-by!), Harrod’s and, most awesomely, Hampton Court Palace — estate of Henry VIII! We have our tickets and everything!

And, of course, there will be plenty of shopping, wandering by the Thames and pub-visiting in the middle of all of that. I have four days — and I’m going to make them count!

Packing for London: The cross body experience

london_bridge2So I’m deep in the throes of planning my trip to London next month — and by that, I mean I’ve been Googling tons of places, printing out info sheets and Facebooking my friend Stacy regarding trip plans! I’m visiting her for a long weekend over Memorial Day, and she will be kind enough to escort me around the city and generally be an awesome friend! I’m so excited and nervous, I feel like I’ve swallowed a huge bag of Pop Rocks every time I think it!

And I’m thinking a lot. Obviously I need to iron down what it is I hope to see while I’m there — it’s going to be a whirlwind! I have three full days and then a half day in the city, and I want to hit all the highlights — basically everything I missed when I went the first time. Hyde Park is on the list, as is King’s Cross Station of Harry Potter fame. I want to hang out in Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, and I’d love to make it back to Buckingham Palace! Mostly I want to wander around, take as many photos as possible, talk to Stacy and just be in London.

And being in London is going to require a certain . . . wardrobe. Now, by absolutely no stretch would I consider myself a “fashionista” — I do all right and don’t usually get made fun of for my clothing choices in public, but I’m definitely not as “fashion-forward” as some folks. Definitely not as fashion-forward as Stacy. So one of the biggest dilemmas I’m facing at the moment is all about . . . my wardrobe.

I know. I’m dreading this. I’m really, truly afraid of my clothes sometimes. What I have is fine for my good ol’ American stops at Target or Kohl’s, going out to dinner or spending a day in the office. But hanging out in London, one of the world’s most fashionable cities? Uh, no.

My next dilemma? My anxiety over traveling abroad — and getting my purse stolen. Seriously, the last time I was in Europe, I carried around a really itsy-bitsy woven bag that stayed permanently glued underneath my arm. My passport, money and credit cards were in a leather organizer that hung from my neck — and was tucked into my shirt. We heard so many warnings about pick-pockets in Italy, we were terrified to have anything . . . exposed. And, sure enough, we managed to get back home without anyone stealing from us! WIN!

But this time? Stacy will be with me. And I’m not so sure Stylish Stacy will approve of my bulky leather neck organizer thing . . . and I’m not so convinced I won’t look like an idiot wearing it! But I don’t want to just throw on a random, casual shoulder bag. I’m not confident enough to carry all important documentation and the money to my name in something that a random person on the street could snatch right off my shoulder. Hi, Mom and Dad? Yeah, I’m at the U.S. Embassy. I have no ID, no money and no idea how I’m getting home. Could you, like, save me or something?

Today I found my solution: the cross body bag. You stick all that important stuff in there, slip it over your shoulder and run down to Kensington Palace. Perfect! So I started Googling around, perusing the endless online retailers who tout “cross body purses” on their sites. Of course, there are a million to choose from . . . and you can pay pretty much any price you want.

My only problem?

They’re ugly. Like, ugly. Completely unattractive, I-would-never-wear-this-in-the-States ugly. And my problem of not looking like a total goob in England resurfaces! I don’t want to embarrass my friend with my poor fashion choices . . . but I still need to stay organized and have all my stuff secure!

After my extensive and rigorous research, I’m left with a few options . . . and I’m still not completely sold on these, though they’re the best of the worst, in my opinion. Oy.

ELLE cross-body handbag in black, Kohls.com, $24

ELLE cross-body handbag in black, Kohls.com, $24

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer Bag in hot pink, QVC.com, $52.80

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer Bag in hot pink, QVC.com, $52.80

Kathy Van Zeeland Travelware KVZ Cross Body Organizer in peacock, eBags.com, $39.99

Kathy Van Zeeland Travelware KVZ Cross Body Organizer in peacock, eBags.com, $39.99

Sharif Adjustable Strap Organizer with Printed Trim, HSN.com, $54.90

Sharif Adjustable Strap Organizer with Printed Trim, HSN.com, $54.90

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer in bone, QVC.com, $54.48

Tignanello Pebble Leather Crossbody Organizer in bone, QVC.com, $54.48

I’m leaning toward the pink Tignanello . . . mostly because, well, it’s pink (that’s reason enough for me to buy most things) and it has roomy pockets and a place for credit cards and cash (on the inside, closest to my body). One of those front pockets will easily fit my camera, too, and the style isn’t completely hideous. I think I could work it. Or at least try to work it! I haven’t written off the other styles, though, and the hunt continues.

Etsy Find Fridays: Etsy and the Anglophile

It’s been a while since I posted about any of my latest “stuff” obsessions. I’d love to say that’s because I’m becoming less materialistic — not so consumed by want and supposed “need” for things to fill up some sort of “void” in my life.

But, in reality, I was just trying not to run up a big credit bill! Those London plane tickets were sitting on the statement in black and white, blinking up at me dangerously. I wrote out my little check, paid everything off and can now proceed to look at stuff again — with less guilt. Hooray!

And, as I’m beginning to plan my trip and continuously thinking about England, I’ve been scouring Etsy for Brit-related items to basically serve as eye candy until I commit to buying them. I’m still going to try and behave myself, but what’s a little treat to myself every now and then? I got a pretty critical book review back on my Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award submission, it’s pouring down rain in Maryland and I just need to daydream for a minute!

A few items to sate my Anglophilia (for the moment):


Large London cameo ring by amylynnbuttchin, $8

Large London cameo ring by amylynnbuttchin, $8

"I Heart London" original art by DaisyBowDesigns, $16.50

"I Heart London" original art by DaisyBowDesigns, $16.50

Union jack bag by CapeBags, $14

Union Jack bag by CapeBags, $14

London Times pencil pouch by kaylah7 -- $13.75

The London Times pencil pouch by kaylah7, $13.75

Great British envelopes by Bombus, $8

Great British envelopes by Bombus, $8

The Juicy Brit Bag by pudge, $18

The Juicy Brit Bag by pudge, $18

Collage journal notebook -- London by beachcottagestudios, $11

Collage journal notebook -- London by beachcottagestudios, $11

Union Jack keyring/bagcharm by PamsPrettyDesigns, $15

Union Jack keyring/bagcharm by PamsPrettyDesigns, $15