Mind sufficiently blown.

Did I ever tell you that I wanted to be an astronaut growing up? I know, shocking that my aspirations weren’t to have a blog and the ability to stay up past 9pm (had I wished for the latter, I would be in a totally different position now). I was always obsessed with outer space. My dad put up glow-in-the-dark starts in the shape of the Orion constellation on my ceiling when I was younger; I can still spot that one in the sky at night. I loved watching Apollo 13 over and over again, going to the Planetarium, eating freeze-dried ice-cream sandwiches, or reading my book about constellations. Also, I really loved the Jetsons, and that counts.

Anyway, my dreams were dashed when it became obvious that my aptitude for math was on par with, say, my New Kids on the Block lunchox (YES, I’M STILL TALKING ABOUT THEM). Which never made any sense to me, because why do astronauts have to be good at math? Does anyone really expect them to solve differential equations while floating around without gravity and drinking lots of Tang? So lame. But you know what isn’t lame? This video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_MSEWUbhtw&feature=share

I watched the entire thing with my jaw on my keyboard. How amazing is that? It makes my heart swell up and I wish we lived in the future where everyone lived in space-pods near Mars or Saturn or something.

Also, it kind of reminds me of Christopher Kane’s Galaxy collection from a while ago. He took actual images from telescopes and printed them on dresses, shirts, and scarves.

The entire line is just so gorgeous and so dreamy. He also had a line of silk scarves, one of which had Orion on it. Because they aren’t carried anywhere anymore, I did some googling and found perhaps the most gorgeous alternative I could have ever hoped for. I gasped audibly when I saw it. If anyone wants to know what to buy me for Christmas, look no further:

from here

I mean, really. How gorgeous is that thing? It also costs way, way less than the Christopher Kane scarves, but I love it just as much if not more. And just as a bonus, galaxy nails!

So now I’m curious. What did you want to be growing up? And do you find yourself drawn to things that are related to that now, later in life? I can’t believe it’s Thursday already. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Friday Five.

(Also, did you notice that I tagged this post as “travel”? It counts, right?)

All That Glitters

So the other day I was stumbling around the internet looking for things to spend money on, when I found the most ostentatious, unnecessarily sparkly heels of all time, from Old Navy. Immediately, my pupils dilated and I thought, “BIRTHDAY SHOES!” And then I realized that I cannot function in heels and what limited ability I have is going to be completely voided by the number of girly cocktails I will hopefully ingest at said birthday. But still! Glitter! Sparkly! Rainbows! Amazing, but totally absurd.

Then, in looking for a dress to wear to my company Christmas party (I was really on a roll that day), I discovered that these glitter heels have a much more ridiculous, much more expensive twin. At ten times the price, these Kate Spade version give an all new meaning to “ludicrous.”

Sure, we could get into the merits of spending $350 on a pair of shoes that will give you blisters and make it look like a fairy princess threw up all over you in the process, but let’s just call it like it is: unless you are Carrie Bradshaw, you’re not spending that much money on glitter shoes.

But it got me thinking about how much I love sparkly things. And maybe since I am challenged when it comes to wearing heels, I could integrate glitter and sparkle into my life in other, less threatening ways. (What it really boils down to is that I want to spend money on something glittery and justify it in some way.)

1. Alexander Wang pants / 2. Jimmy Choo luggage tag / 3. Juicy Couture iPad case / 4. Deborah Lippmann nail polish / 5. Make Up Forever Glitter / 6. Aldo clutch / 7. West Elm Sequin pillow / 8. Topshop belt

What about you guys? Would you go for the more expensive heel or no glitter heels at all? I love living vicariously through those of you who can pull off heels.

Eleven-eleven (a few days late)

I was fortunate enough to have off from work on Friday in observance of Veteran’s Day, and what better way to celebrate a day off then by starting it watching Spice World in bed? Full disclosure, that movie is still amazing, and might, in fact, like a fine wine, have gotten more amazing with age. Have you forgotten just how amazing? Allow me to remind you:

Do you know how long I struggled trying to decide whether to use that clip or the alien-encounter scene in the forrest? I ought to be embarrassed, but I’m not. I’m pretty sure at least two of my friends can count on getting a copy of that movie on DVD for Christmas.

The rest of my Friday was deliciously low-key, but I made sure to follow my mom’s suggestion and, to commemorate the once-every-100-year-occurrence of 11/11/11,  take a picture at 11:11am and 11:11pm (as you’ve probably gathered by now). Although, when you start your day off as lazily as I did, making it to 11pm was no small feat. My eyes were drooping by 9:45, so I tried to bribe myself to stay awake by eating a chocolate bar, having a glass of almost-flat Prosecco, and reading my favorite magazine (it’s unfortunate that the no-talent Scar-Jo was on the cover). But then, of course thanks to the trace amounts of caffeine in the chocolate, I was wide-awake until 2am watching a marathon of House Hunters International.

Anyway, the weekend went by way too quickly, even for a 3-dayer, but picking up my camera on Friday got me back into the habit of carrying it around with me wherever I go, just in case. So here are 3 extra pictures from the weekend for your viewing pleasure. Some good fall colors and the last farmer’s market in the neighborhood until next year.

How was your weekend? Do anything fun to celebrate 11/11/11? I’d love to know!

Inspiration

I had a blissfully low-key weekend and spent much of it with some weird stomach-ache that made me all mopey and especially pitiful. Fitz does not yet seem to grasp the concept of “Mommy is sick,” so to him, my pathetic (and constant!) moaning meant it was his cue to bounce around the sofa and onto my stomach with all four of his toothpick-legs. The perfect pick-me-up? Why, beautiful home interiors, obviously! Well, that, and trying to plan a European vacation for next spring. Stockholm is looking ever more interesting, so I spent a lot of time on Sunday combing through Swedish real estate websites looking for stuff to pin. God, how did I sort all of the interiors pictures I found on the internet before Pinterest?

 

all 3 from here

I sucked in so much air gasping so dramatically when I saw all of these. They are from the amazing blog of Anna Lenna, and it should not surprise you at all that she is Swedish. I don’t get it, but apparently being born there endows you with some otherworldly design sense that makes everything you touch turn gorgeous. If the front hallway of my house looked like that, I wouldn’t ever make it through the door. Her home is beyond beautiful and her style is something I wish I could bottle and steal. Jealousy is not a pretty color on me.

from here

I just can’t. I don’t even have ONE Eames chair, and this house has 6! The house is for sale, too. In Stockholm. Don’t think I didn’t consider how to afford it.

from here

Sweden, obviously.

from here

What a perfect kitchen corner. Philia is from Sweden. Surprise!

from here

There is a door ABOVE THE DOOR, do you see that?? How can you make that entry better? Add more doors.

from here

That map of the world pillow and the sawhorse desk are kiiiilling me.

Happy Monday, kiddos! How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Stockholm? Any other cities that you are particularly drawn to for one reason or another? Ses i morgon! (“See you tomorrow!” in Swedish)

Not a Friday Five

I know, I know, I was doing so well there for a while, posting Friday Five’s so regularly that I’m sure you thought it would be a permanent thing. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but despite actively seeking inspiration for five things to gather into one post to cap off the week, it just wasn’t coming to me. And that’s okay, because there is still something I want to show you:

Do I have your attention? Good.

That shot was taken in the Amazon, by my friend and talented photographer Thomas Coulon. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, he’s French, and yes I’m probably predisposed to liking everything he does solely based on that fact alone (sorry, ladies, he’s taken!). But he has one of the finest eyes for photography I’ve ever encountered, and he surprisingly has no formal training. This just further proves what I learned while studying Photojournalism: either you have an eye for it or you don’t. It can’t be taught.

When I first stalked Thomas and forced him to be my friend met Thomas, we were both undergraduates riding the shuttle around campus. We used to send each other pictures back and forth and ask for each other’s advice or opinions on composition, cropping, and everything else that nerdy photographers obsess over in their own photographs (sorry I just called you a nerd, Tom). I even got a sneak preview of some of his work from his trip backpacking through the Amazon close to 2 years ago. Since graduating he has traveled the world, hitting 4 continents, and taking some absolutely stunning photographs of places I only dream about going.

He’s having his first ever solo exhibition, “World Encounters” this weekend at a gallery in New Jersey, and if you are in the area I’d highly recommend going out and supporting him! It’s a tough thing, trying to pursue photography. I never had the balls (talent?) to really give it a legitimate try, and I commend Thomas for going for it. The folks at Gallery 13 are lucky to host him.

Here’s a video of Thomas talking (in his adorable French accent) about the exhibition: (if it doesn’t load immediately try refreshing the page. I don’t understand what its deal is)

Inspiration: Workspace

Are we all familiar with Jenna Lyons already? The glamazon President and Creative Director of J. Crew who, in addition to being the genius behind some of the most delicious high-low fashion, has probably the world’s most gorgeous home in Brooklyn. No? Let’s refresh your memory:

Are we on the same page now? Good. It should come as no surprise to you, then, that her office at J Crew is equally as incredible. I should have been fully prepared for it, but it still sort of knocked me on my butt and made my jaw hit the floor. It also made me seriously rearrange my priorities in life to include wearing poppy lipstick on the regular. Or any lipstick at all, for that matter.

Needless to say, I am in love with this workspace. It’s surprising, because I know I’d never be able to function in an office with that much clutter or stuff on the walls (even if it is cute pieces of inspiration or 3 Tivoli radios). If you want to get the same look and feel as Jenna’s office (minus the high-rise views of New York and her amazing job title), here’s how:

1. T Pins / 2. Heels / 3. Suitcase / 4. Radio / 5. Chair / 6. Desk

I have a Tivoli radio, and I love it. The sound quality is impressive and the design is unbeatable. I inherited mine from my dad, so I don’t know if I’d be willing to shell out that much money for it on my own, but it definitely enhances an otherwise normal activity like listening to classical music and taking a bath. Also, that table has stolen my heart. I’m trying to think of a realistic way to bring it into my life, even though I’m completely smitten with my Parsons desk. I like, I want it, and it’s 20% off through November 8th! Can we pretend my birthday has come early this year? Someone? Anyone?

 

Happy Halloween!

As promised on Friday, in the un-spooky spirit of Halloween, I’d like to share some pictures of previous Halloween costumes. Not pictured is the Phantom of the Opera costume I wore in 4th grade or the scarecrow costume from 5th, when I walked around all day with a yardstick through the shoulders of an old plaid shirt with actual hay sticking out the sleeves. My mom dug these photos out for me at my request somewhere in the millions of albums she has from my childhood. I really wasn’t all that interesting, but okay.

Also, what you’re about to see should be completely embarrassing. Notice I said should be, meaning it isn’t. I’ve done my fair share of embarrassing things in my life, but none of it occurred when I was little and cute. Enjoy!

This is when I was 3, and I was a witch. I was very scary. In fact, I am giving my scariest face in this picture. Have you ever seen a more terrifying witch? I didn’t think so.

Here I am again. Scary witch! Someone should have told me that I was flying on the broom incorrectly, MOM. Parent fail. I’m pretty sure I was doing something awesome in this photo, like pretending I was flying. Also, please notice my bangs and turtleneck. Apparently nothing about me has changed in the intervening 22 years.

Good lord, I was cute. Here I am at 4, as Rainbow Brite. Rainbow Brite was like crack cocaine to me. I adored her. I worshipped her. And luckily, a classmate’s older sister had this costume laying around. This might be my favorite Halloween of all time.

Here I am at school in 1st grade as the tooth fairy. Do you see the styrofoam tooth hanging around my neck? My dad carved that himself. The cowgirl is my childhood best friend, Catie. Catie, if you are reading this, your costume rocked. Also, I have bangs in this picture and am wearing a turtleneck. Seriously. This is a reoccurring theme.

Here I am at 7 or 8, in probably the first photograph of me up to that point in my life where I am not wearing a turtleneck. I do, however, have bangs, but they are tucked under the wig my mother braided and stuck wire through to make curl up. In case you hadn’t guessed, I was Pippi Longstocking. My mom sewed those patches on. That woman isn’t my mom, that’s our neighbor, and for her sake I cropped her head out so she didn’t have to relive her amazing early 90s hair-do.

Shifting gears from the Halloween costumes, and continuing on with the bangs-and-turtlenecks theme…

Holy adorable. This is me at 2, with bangs and a mock turtleneck. It totally counts. I’m probably mid-sentence in this picture, so that explains the puckered expression on my face. It’s a safe bet to assume I was talking, since it’s all I did. All day, every day, and even in my sleep. If the internet had existed when I was a kid I would have had a blog.

This picture is from my About page. I’m 3 years old here, and I have bangs. I’m wearing a turtleneck, but no pants. I was, however, wearing sunglasses. Indoors. Interestingly, I could be found in this exact same get-up the last time I was super hungover.

This is me, age 6, wearing a Cosby sweater and a turtleneck and riding a bike indoors (?? great parenting skills). Check out my amazing feathered, side-swept bangs. This might have been right around the time I stole a piece of candy from the holiday candy bowl and hated it and spit it out directly into my hair, where it got stuck, so I cut it out with kitchen scissors and attempted to hide the evidence in the play kitchen pictured above. THIS IS WHY I NEEDED A SIBLING.

I would kill for that plaid suit jacket right now, you have no idea! And check out my little pose: hand on hip, foot arched up. Sassy since day 1. Please notice the bangs, all this talk leads nicely into…

Me with bangs, present day. Wearing a turtleneck. I might have put it on specifically for the purposes of this blog, but there was like, an 85% chance I would’ve worn one anyway. Also, I don’t know what happened to my blond hair, but if you’ve seen it, I’d like it back.

And here I am dressed as a lobster for a Halloween party I went to this weekend. Pardon the quality, this was taken on my phone to send to my mom. My claws are pot holders I strung through the back of my shirt like little kid mittens. And I hot-glued on big white pom-poms and googly eyes to an old red hat. Did you know they sell pipe-cleaners in individual color packs at the craft store? I didn’t either, but that pack of red came in handy for my antenna and feelers. I don’t even like lobsters, but I don’t really like Halloween either, so I think it all evens out somewhere. See that pumpkin hanging over the railing? That was Fitz’s costume, and he stayed in it all night. Even as he tried to furiously hump the other dog at the party. (Edit: hahaha oh my god, I just realized I’m wearing a turtleneck, too)

Happy Halloween everyone! I can’t believe tomorrow is November already. You can expect a new Tuesday Tunes tomorrow (crazy, right?).

Friday Five, Halloween edition

I’ll just put this out there, and I am obviously in the minority with what I’m about to admit, but here goes:

I don’t really like Halloween.

Why, you ask? Well, living on my own was an experiment in how many lights I could leave on at night and still sleep; I can’t watch Law & Order when I’m home alone because I just know the evil murdering rapists are hiding in my closet ; I have a paralyzing fear of spiders; I instinctively check on the other side of the shower curtain both when I get home and when I’m in the shower because I’m convinced there is a mass murder with a chain saw waiting for me; and I come from a long line of people who have night terrors. The scariest Halloween movie I can watch is “Hocus Pocus”, and I still have to cover my eyes during the parts where the zombie with the sewn-together lips gets his fingers cut off under a manhole (OMG now I won’t be able to sleep). And that movie was made for CHILDREN!

(You know what else was made for children? “Frankenweenie”, but I screamed uncontrollably for something like 3 days straight after watching the first 5 minutes and still cannot see one of those dogs on the street without losing my shit. All because the dog gets hit by a car, like, 20 seconds into the movie and then has his head sewn back on and then whenever it drinks water and it spurts out the holes in his neck. Classic Tim Burton, but maybe not an appropriate movie for a 4 year old. My father became apoplectic with laughter and I thought Satan had crawled out of the tv and into my eyeballs. And they’re making a remake! WHY. STOP. NO.)

So obviously, I am diametrically opposed to a holiday that fetishizes everything scary and spooky. This isn’t to say that I didn’t have some awesome costumes as a kid, because I did. (And I have pictures to show you on Monday, of my little kid self all decked out in Halloween costumes.)

No, it just means that, at 3, I made my dad put his jack-o-lantern outside because it scared me. And that when friends went to a haunted house for a birthday party in 2nd grade, I stayed outside with the adults, trying not to pee my pants. And that when my dad and I tried to visit a haunted house in BROAD DAYLIGHT when I was 15, I didn’t make it in the door, and the lady felt so bad for me she gave us a refund (this comes up again later). And that all my mom has to do is say “boo” when I can’t see her, with no more intonation that if she were saying “oh” and I will be so startled  I will shriek wildly and drop to the floor. And it means that I don’t care how fake that decorative spider looks, part of me still thinks it is going to spring to life and try to crawl up my nose and lay eggs in my brain, YOU NEVER KNOW.

Overcoming your fears is overrated, kids. That’s why this Friday Five is dedicated to the gentler, less spooky side of Halloween. Because honestly, I had enough trouble with this post as it is.

 

photos from Nightmares Fear Factory

Maybe I lied when I said “gentler,” but this photos are so hysterically funny I just couldn’t help myself, even if they are from a haunted house. This is just genius. Set up a camera at a particularly scary part of the tour, and capture the hilarious faces of the poor idiots who actually paid money to have the bejeezus scared out of them. Talk about capturing the exact right moment! I’ve never seen such unbridled fear and sheer terror in my life. There are 20-something pages of similarly awesome photos in their Flickr stream, and I almost gave myself an asthma attack laughing so hard. Of course, this just further proves my point about why Halloween is the worst holiday ever. This is what I would look like if I participated in any festivities, so I’ve taken great pains to avoid it. Teehee, look at their faces!

 

Monstercake!

I might have an objection to Halloween, but I launch no such objection to Halloween goodies. Treats not tricks, got it? This monstercake is 20 different kinds of adorable, and if I possessed even an ounce of patience, you can bet I’d be piping on orange frosting to look like fur and making cake-balls for googly eyes. The only problem I have with this cake is that it looks too good to actually cut into, and when I am deprived of cake (especially when the cake itself is depriving me) I become extremely fussy.

 

Pumpkin Candles, West Elm

Ah, see? Nothing spooky  or  gross about these. THIS is the kind of Halloween I wish we had, instead of one with blood and gore and mummies popping out of every corner covered in spiderwebs and death. I love these candles, and I think they celebrate everything nice about the season without being the least bit creepy. They’d make a beautiful centerpiece on a table if you had 4 or 5 of them. I even love that they styled them with a burlap tablecloth! So perfect.

 

Silly Dog Costumes

Does this require an explanation? Really? You’re not convinced simply based on the pictures? Fine. One of the best things Halloween has done for the world has been to provide pet owners with the adorably insane notion that they need to extend the dress-up to their 4-legged companions. And thank god for that, because nothing is cuter than the puppy version of anything. Oompa Loompa? Cuter if it’s a Daschund. Think your Dalmation has been giving you too much attitude recently? Affix an inflated pink balloon to its undercarriage and tell people he’s a cow. I love pet costumes. This is a Halloween tradition I can endorse.

 

Salem Witch Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

Okay, so despite my debilitating fear of anything scary (as well as some un-scary things like sand and elevators), I was hugely into the Salem Witch trials for about 6 or 7 years of my life. I read historical fiction, non-fiction, everything I could get my hands on regarding the trials. Nineteen men and women were hanged, and one man, Giles Cory, was crushed to death with heavy stones. My dad and I took a trip up the east coast to visit family friends in New York and Massachusetts every summer, and once my fascination with Salem started, we added it to the itinerary. We would make sure to hit all of the tourist attractions, including the graveyard where the alleged witches were buried, as well as Salem Willows, the most amazing and old-timey arcade and park with a bandstand right on the water. We also tried going to one of their famed haunted houses, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, and the “guide” jumped out of his dark creepy doorway to lead me to my death and I screamed bloody murder. I was 15.  Anyway, we also made sure to visit the Salem Witch Museum, which recounts the entire history of the trials through wax figures. It’s really pretty cool, and the museum is right across from the park at the center of the adorable and charming town. The first time we visited, though, and they got to the part about how Giles Cory was executed, his wax figure has a voice over of him begging for more weight in this really sad, horrible whisper. I mean, imagine people crushing your body with giant stones and you’re refusing to admit you’re a witch but hello, you’re being pressed to death. Sad, right? Apparently not to my father, who collapsed into full body hysterics and angered every other family in the room. Go dad.

Happy Friday! What are your feelings on Halloween? Are you dressing up as anything this year? I’d love to know, unless you’re going as that guy from the “Saw” movies in which case, keep it to yourself. I’d like to sleep tonight.

I’ll see you on Monday with some embarrassing pictures of me as a kid. Enjoy your weekend!

New Books

I take two forms of public transit every morning, a commute totaling half an hour, which provides me with plenty of time to read. I’ve gone through a bunch of books and magazines just by reading on the bus while commuting to work the past 8 months, so I’m always keeping my eye out for new reads. Reading, though, is an expensive habit. If I examined my budget, I’m sure buying books takes up a substantial portion of it (stuffing my face with candy comes in at number 2). Everyone I know has a Kindle or some other eReader and swears by it, but I stare at enough computer screens all day for my liking, and it’s nice to be able to disconnect and sit with a good book.  And besides,  nothing can ever compare to actually cracking a book open and physically turning each page. I don’t care if I’m the last person alive that prefers books, I’ll never convert to an eReader.

While I’m busy getting off my soapbox, let’s take a look at 2 new books that have piqued my interest recently:


“Dear Me: A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self” by Joseph Galliano

This book was just released this week, but have you seen these? Excerpts taken from letters written by celebrities to their younger selves, aptly titled, “Dear Me: A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self.” Full of advice, humor, love, and some sadness, with a foreword from one of my favorite authors. Warning themselves not to do drugs, telling themselves they matter, it will all be okay, and not to let that one person break their heart. It makes me wonder what I’ll have to tell my 16 year old self when I’m older. Of course, trying to write a letter to myself at 16 now when I’m barely 9 years older is pointless, because so often I still think of myself as being an awkward high-schooler. Every time I pay a bill or remind myself to pick up laundry detergent, I experience a brief moment of shock, like, “I’m a grown-up? Since when?” If I had to give 16 year old Erin some advice it would be to put school before boys, stop worrying about your boobs (FUTILE), and that, yes, everything will be okay. Pinky promise. Oh, and invest in Facebook.

 

“Van Gogh: The Life” by Steve Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

I saw a segment on 60 Minutes last week about this book and the art history nerd in me has been freaking out over getting my hands on it ever since. It’s an 800 page behemoth on the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh, arguably one of the most influential and famous painters in the world. It chronicles his history with depression as well as his relationships with his family and calls to light a new and interesting (and convincing) theory on how he died. Illuminating stuff, if you like that sort of thing. Which, I do. Unfortunately, its hefty size precludes it from being a “read it on the subway” kind of book, since I don’t think I’ll enjoy schlepping it back and forth all day. The thing is 3 pounds!

What about you? Reading anything good lately? I’m curious, what advice would you give your 16 year old self if you could? Would you, at all? And why is it that 16 is always the most talked about age? Anyway, I’ll see you guys tomorrow with a Halloween-themed Friday Five! I promise it’s a good one.

London Love

photo by Alan Klim

I’ve talked at exhaustive length about my love of Paris and Sweden, but it’s only fair to give some special attention to my other favorite city in the world: London. I have family right outside the city and along the southeast coast, and on all of my trips across the pond I fall more and more in love with the country. It boasts one of the most easily navigable public transit systems in the world, and some of the craziest, most bi-polar weather as well. The accents, the countryside, the history, the architecture, the food (yes, I said food. I’m part English, I can’t deny my love for Yorkshire pudding), and the television shows and movies that come out of that country (my dad and I broke our VHS tape of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” from watching it so many times), are some of my favorite things in the world. So what better way to celebrate jolly old Grey Britain than by turning it into a retail experience? Love London? Here’s how to incorporate it into your every day life:

 

1. A to Z of London Tea Towel, Keep Calm Gallery / I love tea towels to begin with, and on my most recent trip across the pond, I bought back this one for like, 5 different people. I love tea towels more than standard American dish towels, and this one, which highlights 26 different London attractions (did you notice “I” is used for the London Eye?) is too adorable for words.

2. Underground Map Jute bag, London Transport Museum / I almost bought this from some vendor or souvenir shop on my last trip but didn’t, deciding I had enough things in my life emblazoned with the map of the Underground. But I’ve regretted it ever since. I can just picture carrying this tote around farmer’s markets, stuffed with fresh local veggies and a giant bouquet of wild flowers.

3. PG Tips Tea / This is the best tea in the entire universe. The end. No arguments. I’ve never ever been a coffee drinker, and since I can’t really handle caffeine at all, I don’t really have tea too often, but (I’m about to rip off the Dos Equis commercial) when I do, I prefer PG Tips. My mom and I used to smuggle it back in our suitcases by the hundreds to stock up on it, and this is the tea my family overseas drinks exclusively. And now we can finally get it in the states, but it just isn’t the same as when my cousin would make me a cuppa. It still comes pretty close though.

4. Aero Candy Bars / Something happens to me when I get around Aero bars, the delicious chocolate bar that is filled with air bubbles, and it is similar to the behavior exhibited in primates when they go into heat. I am crazy about these candy bars. I can’t ever eat just one, no no. I consume probably 10-15 bars A DAY when I’m in England, and then I take tons back with me. I bought 5 giant size bars in the Heathrow airport before my last flight out and only made it off the plane in New York with 1. A former co-worker had a lay-over in London last summer and picked me a few bars up…and then I promptly asked him for his hand in marriage.

5. Union Jack Dog Bed, Unleashed Life / This is just adorable. I’m pretty sure I just figured out what Fitz is getting for Christmas. Beagles are, after all, an English breed, so this Union Jack doggie bed is quite fitting (quite!) for him, don’t you think?

6. Waving Queen, Museum of London / And speaking of adorable, someone over at the Ministry of Adorability needs a raise for coming up with a little model of the Queen that is solar-powered (see the panel on her purse?) and waves, smiling cheerily all the while. I want one of these SO BAD. Can you imagine the non-stop giggling?

7. Melamine Tray, Transport for London / Can’t you just imagine serving afternoon tea and bickies on this, or even leaning it on the counter behind your sink for a gorgeous visual element in your kitchen? It’s so graphic and hip while still managing to incorporate all of the iconic London architecture (Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Eye) without being too clichéd. I absolutely adore it and think it could work as wall-art.

8. Red Telephone Box Cabinet, Amazon / Don’t be fooled, this is not just any ordinary red telephone box replica. This is a 4′ tall storage cabinet, inside which you can store DVDs (like your very own copy of “Midnight in Paris”, ahem ahem) or trinkets, or maybe other London souvenirs. I keep thinking this would make an adorable toy chest for a kid’s room. Or a liquor cabinet. OR, if you still own a landline phone, you could route out a hole in the back for the cord and put your phone inside and make it an actual phone booth. Assuming you put it on a table or dias or something, because it would be annoying to have to bend over to answer the phone. Um. I kind of want this. I’m seriously debating buying it.

Well, there you go. And of course, I can’t forget to mention my favorite piece of London transit memorabilia, my travelcard cushion!

And, because I’m feeling extra generous, some pictures of London by yours truly from my most recent trip:

Liverpool Station

The London Eye

taken from the top of the London Eye

This is me and my cousin, Nicky. He was born, raised, and still lives in England, and the poor sod agreed to take super tourist-y pictures with me around London one afternoon, including up in the London Eye. He was such a good sport about it, and we had a ton of fun and laughed the whole time. Although, he did apologize to that guard by saying, “I’m from here.” The rest of the trip the whole family kept giving each other thumbs up. Nicky also now calls Aero bars “Erin bars” because I ate so many of them. And, knowing how much I love Big Ben, he popped into a souvenir shop and bought me a small glass figurine with Big Ben etched inside. It has been sitting on my desk ever since.

See you tomorrow morning with another post! (I’m really on a roll here!) Oh, and happy hump day! I’ve always hated calling Wednesdays that. Can we think up a new name for it? Like Joey did on Friends? “Monday, one day. Tuesday, two days. Wednesday, huh? what, when? Thursday, the third day.”