Egg-citing!

Yeah, I know that’s a really cheesy title for this but it’s about as creative as I get when it comes to this stuff. The original title was going to be, “Egg Decorating”. See what I mean? So, I just went with the cheesy.
Anyway, last night I went over to a friend’s flat to decorate some eggs. She emailed me saying she wanted to do something like this for Easter and since I hadn’t decorated an egg since I was 10 I thought, “Yay! Something to make me feel creative!” They invited me over for dinner and afterwards we got right down to it. Now, of course I was thinking we were going to decorate hard-boiled eggs… ehem, no. We poked holes in them, blew out the insides, and then nuked them in the microwave to make sure they were good to handle. Yeah, so, now I know how to empty an egg of it’s insides. Good friends are the ones that teach you something new ;)

Of course we had to take a break for tea and ice cream!

And there are our beautifully crafted Easter eggs!
It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The most complicated part, for me, was trying to figure out how to decorate the egg… like I’ve mentioned, I’m not very creative. I’m also not the biggest fan of decorations. I like them, but 100% content not having to deal with them. I’ve always viewed them as a waste of space because they only come out for their annual event and then stay put away the remainder of the year. To me, that’s pointless. Especially now that I live in a place where space is precious I’m even more hesitant to load up on decorations. But, I will say that being in a place where Will and I are still figuring out our own traditions has made me re-think my stand on decorations. I’m not saying I’ll be busting out an inflatable Santa this Christmas, but, it would be nice to still have these eggs and 7 years down the road while teaching my kid(s) how to decorate eggs I can also tell ’em how when I made these eggs I made Nathalie be a better mom to “Elib” (<– that one’s for you, Nathalie!).
Has anyone designed eggs before? I think next year it would be fun to do a Design*Sponge -esque affair, but maybe not charge $50. What do you think?!

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The Nook

While we were working on the pantry we also had the nook to deal with. Here’s what it looked like before.

And here’s what it looks like now!

And we have a little office area where the bookcase used to be.

Isn’t that desk adorable!?! £30 at a charity shop. Win!
Now, did we immediately come to this conclusion? No, we tried a few different options. Here they are.

Do you guys think we made the right decision?
The nook feels so cozy now and the desk is a wonderful addition. We’ve already made use of it several times.
We’d like to hang up some art/pictures and add a little end table as well as a foot stool in the nook area and have a “command centre” type thing by the desk. I’d also love to spray paint the chair I have there red but I don’t really have the space or the good weather to do that. We might end up returning the chair we already have to a charity shop and look for a different chair. Or we might not. We’ll wee.
So, what do you think so far?

Bookcase Meets Pantry

This holiday season we made a lot of changes to our kitchen and among those changes was the pantry. You may have noticed in my post about the kitchen that the pantry was looking a little, well, disheveled and inefficient.

Will and I have been trying to come up with a plan of adding more storage without having to nail a shelf up to the wall and we came up with looking for a bookcase that would fit in the space. Welp, we found just that! Hello book case!

After a good cleaning we took a step back to see if they were a good fit together. What do you think?

Not bad, eh? The bookcase is about half as deep as the shelves but it all works.

The bottom is a lot of back-up-type stuff like sugar, rice, salt, and oil. We also keep our pasta  and our plastic bags down there too.

The Middle is where I have all of my baking stuff and jars of lentils, orzo, cous cous, etc.

Up top I put jars and cans and condiment/snack stuff. I feel like, typically these things should all go in the middle but I bake more than cook so I feel a bit justified in the arrangement I have now; though it’s subject to change. Depending on my mood. Oh, and on the upper-most shelf I put our first-aid kit, our candles, and our Christmas stuff: the stuff we don’t need very often at all.

Oh, and remember when I was trying to figure out labels for my jars? Well, I figured that I liked the typewriter labels so much more than the chalkboard ones that I decided to try it out. Ta daaa!

It’s much cleaner don’t you think? And the pantry too. Here’s a before…

… and now the after.

Such an upgrade!

Pantry. Done.

Wildflower Friday

Happy Black Friday! What did you do today? Did you shop? Did you continue to sleep off all of the food you consumed yesterday?
Will and I haven’t had our Thanksgiving yet. That’s going to be tomorrow with our Edinburgh family! I can’t wait. We’re also having an “open-house” Thanksgiving lunch for our neighbors to meet them. Crossing my fingers more than 1 person shows up.
Anyway, even though Thanksgiving isn’t really a holiday here in the UK I took Black Friday off. I didn’t have any plans except to lounge as much as possible. And clean, for tomorrow. But mainly lounge. And loung I did. I also caught up on all of my blogs, one of them being Wildflowers Photography and coming across her camper van reno and pictures of her family’s camper-holiday. Now, I had blogged about wanting a camper van to travel whatever landmass my family and I are living on at the time and here is someone doing just that! Ugh, be still my anxious heart!

*Note: These are all Joy’s pictures from her blog.

Amazing, right?!

Dear Will,

     You better believe I’ve already mapped out our first two camper van holidays… no matter how many kids we have and what age they are… oh, and the dogs are coming too!

Your love,

Jackie

A Few of My Favorite Things

When I was preparing to move here I had no clue what to bring. I scoured the internet for any insight as to what to pack and how to pack it. It wasn’t like any other move. I couldn’t jam it all in trash bags, stuff them in a car and then drive to my new home. Nope, my new home had to fit in a suitcase or two… or three.

While doing a little research I came across a blog that recommend I bring along little knick knacks that would make me feel more at home (i.e. pictures, measuring cups, favorite mug, etc.). So, I started thinking of what would make me feel more at home… and fit in a suitcase… and weigh less than 23kg. These are those things:

A clock, an elephant we bought in India, a dish my wonderful friend Leslie gave me for my wedding, my jewelry stand, an alarm clock I bought years ago with my best friend for our flat together, Will’s grandmother’s clock, my “J Mr. Mug” from Anthropologie.
Trader Joe’s cloth bags, my Anthropologie silverware, my measuring cups, a ceramic dish my mom gave me as a little girl, our Nalgene bottles.
A couple of oven mitts/potholders/trivets, the cutest s&p shakers from Anthro I’ve had for years, must-have Goya products for cooking, our favorite Teavana teas, and the mortar and pestle my mom gave me a few years ago.
Some of our favorite pictures (us as kids, our families, and one of RVA from Libby Hill!)
UR blanket, a tray I bought when I was in Thailand, and my apron.

 

I know this doesn’t seem like a lot but these things are what have linked my past homes together. The pictures are obvious but stuff like the tray and the cheap-looking alarm clock are comforting to have because I’ve had them for so long. The measuring cups were a genius recommendation because I had brought some of my American cookbooks and the UK doesn’t make American measuring cups. The silverware and apron were a must because I rarely used them in the States and I didn’t want to go four more years NOT using them. Now, I use them every day. A few things we brought as well are our bikes, Will’s guitar, a couple of books, my cameras, Will’s Florida State blanket (correction: Will’s dad’s Florida State blanket), and some sports stuff (an American football, our soccer cleats, and my climbing gear).
So, there you have it, some of my favorite things.

What about y’all. What are some of the things you’d bring if you had to pack your life in a few suitcases?