The last thing you want on Halloween is for there to be confusion about where the parking is. This easy vinyl tutorial will help all the creatures that go bump in the night know exactly where the broom parking is come All Hallows Eve.
I love decorating my porch and this project can be hung outside or repurposed inside the house for a different look. I happened to have an old planter that was already spray painted to look somewhat like a caldron so adding some florist foam, spanish moss and broom was all I needed to create the parking place. Continue Reading…
Halloween parties are about costumes and fun, not spending the entire evening in the kitchen. We’re inviting friends and family over for a party the weekend before Halloween and I want to share some easy appetizers that are so delicious they’ll disappear – almost like magic.
Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. There’s no required way to celebrate and a plenty of reason to decorate the house and wear fun costumes. What more could you ask for from a holiday? Aside… I CAN NOT WAIT to share my Halloween costume. …
Throwing a party is fun, but dependent on the night of the week a big celebration might be more than you need. Halloween happens to fall on a Monday night this year so between work and looking forward to seeing the neighborhood trick or treaters we are planning for a low-key night in.
Nearly six months ago we packed up a backpack a piece and caught a flight over the Atlantic to spend a week in of the oldest modern cities in the world. Visiting London as a couple was something we’d been looking forward to since our wedding. As we planned our trip we listened to tips from family and friends, read travel blogs about the best sights, and created wish lists of things we wanted to do while abroad.
As a couple prone to over scheduling ourselves we left most of the trip agenda free so we could enjoy the city and enjoy our adventure. I’ve outlined some of my highlights from the trip throughout this post, but our FAVORITE part of the week we spent in the city was wandering town with the lovely Sarah of Sarah Wayte Photography taking photos at some of the most popular tourist sites.
By scheduling a local photographer we benefited from her better understanding of the city and landmarks and allowed us to enjoy the rest of the trip without feeling the need to haul a camera with us wherever we went.
Tips for Visiting London as a Couple
1. Select a hotel near a tube station
Everyone says [and is correct] that London is very expensive. When we were looking for hotels we originally selected an option close to Buckingham Palace but upon starting to book the trip found that it had doubled in price. Unbeknown to us, our backup choice [The Premier Inn Waterloo] was a block away from a the Waterloo Tube station and within walking distance to dozens of iconic London spots.
A value hotel chain the Premier Inn provided everything we needed – a king size bed and great location. Beyond that, the Premier doesn’t have many other features you might get in a more expensive hotel option. Our hotel happened to be just across the street from the London Eye and a few blocks from the South Bank, Big Ben, Westminster Abby and more. The location won us over and I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.
2. Buy an Oyster Card
As anyone who lives in a big city knows, public transportation is everything. We purchased a week long Oyster Card for the central area of London and spent a TON of time traveling the city via Tube. We never felt the need to take a black cab since everything we wanted to see was convenient to most Tube Stations.
3. Talk to the Locals
To really experience a city you have to check out the places that are off the beaten path. While browsing the shops on Regent Street I ended up in the Kate Spade store chatting with an American student studying at the London College of Fashion. We asked where the best place to grab dinner was and she recommended a steakhouse nearby called Flat Iron who’s specialty is a simplified menu at a fantastic price.
No reservations allowed the Flat Iron serves a single entree of a beautifully cooked Flat Iron steak along side 4 side options. This low-key meal was the best value we came across throughout our trip and we enjoyed it so much we stopped by two different locations for dinner on separate evenings of our 6 nights in town.
4. Select a good guide book
I loved having my Rick Steve’s London book to rely on and share tips and history of the city. I purchased two books for this trip (both this one and Ireland) and I definitely got the most use out of the London edition.
Before our trip I flipped through picking places I wanted to visit and once we were on the ground in London I used it to learn more about places as we visited them. The book itself was a bit bulky to carry around in a handbag but when I used my daypack it was perfect to include for the day.
5. Find a Local Photographer for Photos
I don’t think I can say enough how much I loved having Sarah take our photos on this trip. Instead of asking strangers to take photos and being sad with how they came out, we were able to give Sarah a list of places we wanted to capture and she did all the rest.
There are tons of services that specialize in tourist photography but after researching the options I didn’t like how short the shoot options were. Instead, I asked a photography group that I’m a part of on Facebook if they had any recommendations for someone based in London. I spoke with a lady who happened to be in London, but was unavailable during the time we were traveling – ultimately she recommended we reach out to Sarah. Photographers are a wonderful community to be a part of and its amazing how easy it was to find someone who was available and excited to help us capture special memories of our trip.
London was so much fun and there was no way to pack in all of the places we wanted to see in just one trip. I can’t wait for our next trip! What tips do you have for visiting The Big Smoke?
Photo Credits: Sarah Wayte Photography
As we well know from The Sound of Music jam & bread is ALWAYS a winning combination. The weather in Colorado is just starting to take a chilly turn and the brisk evenings call for a warm cup of tea and a sweet buttery shortbread bar as a treat before bedtime.
Quick to make, this recipe whips up a tray of shortbread bars you can snack on all week long (if they last past the first evening). Continue Reading…
As adults without children we see a lot of animated movies, probably more than most of our friends who have kids. I love the simplicity of animation and the authenticity that can be brought to life by a non-human character. When we received the opportunity to see a pre-screening of the new Storks Movie I was excited to get to check it out before the formal debut in theatre’s this weekend.
When the work week is go-go-go it’s hard to make dinner plans that involve more than grabbing something when running from one place to another. When I have a calm night at home the last thing I want is to have to make an elaborate meal the dirties up half the kitchen – which is why meals that are ready in 30 minutes or less are perfect for me.
Using Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork, I was able to whip up this delicious dish in less than half an hour AND have left overs for lunch this week. Perfect for any night of the week, Smithfield Marinated Pork is available at Safeway and comes in several delicious flavors that can be tossed into the oven or on the grill for a quick meal.
I used Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet for my dish because bacon is my favorite compliment for the rich earthy flavor of brussel sprouts. Continue Reading…
Peach season is nearly over but the fruits of the fall are yet to come. During the month of August we see produce stands pop up on every corner, starting with peaches grown on the western slope of Colorado in August to roast New Mexico Chilies in September. Stopping by these roadside vendors is one of my favorite ways to start a weekend!
Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to relax and catch up on any yard work before the fall months start to set in. After spending a few hot hours in the sun this quick and easy Peaches and Cream popsicle recipe is a healthy way to enjoy your favorite fruit and cool off.
Celebrating an engagement with a DIY Cheese Gift Set
My cousin Jeannie and her boyfriend Andy got engaged over 4th of July weekend and we celebrated their engagement at a fabulous wine and cheese party last weekend. They’ve been dating for several years now and I’m so excited to be a part of their wedding party and celebrate with them as they plan their wedding.
The engagement party was a wine & cheese theme so I knew I wanted to give them a Hickory Farms Cheese Sampler Gift Box to enjoy alongside a fun DIY Cheese Board. Personalizing a Cheese Board with a bit of wood burning takes just a few minutes and is the perfect addition to any gift set!
Backpacking through Europe may sound like a college student’s cliche but I can promise you that there is nothing more freeing then having only a single, easy to carry bag, when you are traveling. This of course means that you can’t bring as many things, but once you are realistically looking at what you need for leisure travel you might be surprised at how little you actually need to pack.
We spent 2 weeks visiting London and Ireland, using just a single 50 liter back pack each. I’ve pulled together a list of all the tips we learned during the trip and from friends before traveling.