Archive for April, 2011

Kate’s Big Day!!!

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Did you watch the Royal wedding?  We absolutely loved Will and Kate’s nuptials!  William and Harry were so cute, Kate was stunning, vows and hymns were perfect, it was indeed wonderful to watch.   It made us both super homesick and wanting to be home to celebrate with our friends, family and whole country.  Love to all xxx

English Scone Recipe

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Tonight I decided to whip up a batch of English Scones just in time for the Royal Wedding. I’m sure nothing at 3am is going to seem appetizing so I may have to wait until normal hours to taste them, but let me tell you they smell delicious!

Recipe:

2 Cups of Self Raising Flour

1/2 cup of Sugar

1/2 cup of Butter (room temp)

1/4 cup of Lard (room temp)

2 Eggs

1 cup of Dried Fruit (optional)

Method:

Mix flour and sugar together, then add the fats and blend with fingertips until all the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Then make a well and add the eggs, blending in the dry mixture gradually. The dough should hold together nicely and shouldn’t be sticky. Flour flat surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into circles using a cutter or a glass (dipped in flour). If desired brush on a milky egg-wash on the tops, and dust with fine sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on rack. Serve sliced in half with butter and jam, or jam and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Day Trippin: London’s Must Do’s

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Five items to bring on a day trip:

No. 1 Comfy Shoes: There’s been many times I’ve made the mistake and gone away with just a pair of ballet flats, those these are great at home and running errands, but it’s a completely different story when out walking around ALL day. A well broken in pair matched with great socks, will keep you going long after the museums are closed!

No.2 Big Bag: Big enough to carry camera, water bottle, snacks and souvenirs. Too many bags can lead to an early mental breakdown while you’re hoping around the city, relieve the mental stress and keep everything in one place.

No. 3 Hand Sanitizer: Quickly bobbing around the city can soon leave you feeling more than gross, it’s amazing how having clean hands can make you feel so much better.

No. 4 Scarf: You already know how much we love these, but while on a day trip they are essential. They’re light to carry and keep you snug as the evening draws in, or any sudden weather change.

No.5 Umbrella: There’s nothing you can’t see in the rain than in sunshine, and in London it’s more likely to rain, even a small one you can easily fit in your purse is worlds better than getting drenched and cutting your day short.

Five places you must see visit:

No.1 Westminster:  Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, 10 Downing Street and Westminster Abbey are all found in within this small area.  The architecture of these buildings alongside the Thames makes the view absolutely breathtaking.  You simply cannot go to London without having your picture taken by Big Ben and peeking down Downing Street on the off chance of seeing the Prime Minister.  If you have time we would highly recommend sitting in on the houses of commons for a taste of British politics.  Also, right across the river you can hop onto the London eye, to see views of all of London.

No.2 Tower of London: This destination is easily one most fascinating places in London, it’s packed with history and chilling tails of darker days. It’s home of the crown jewels, royal armor of several past Kings, and the famous ravens. The only problem is there might be too much to see and you could easily spend the whole day here (which we highly recommend), but if you don’t have time you at least have to go see the surrounding walls and get your photo infront of Tower Bridge. Tickets are £19.80 per adult, but can be purchased cheaper online HERE, or if you’re traveling into the city by train you could qualify for 2 for 1 admission read more HERE.

No.3 Buckingham Place: If you go to London you’d better go visit the queen, or at least go see the Changing of the Guards. It’s extremely royal and extremely free so it’s a must! See HERE for schedule.

No. 4 St. Pauls Cathedral & Area: Again it’s just a beautiful place to visit, and it’s packed with history. It’s been on the site since 604 AD. They welcome visitors for daily services, which I like to do to relax and soak up to the atmosphere, info HERE.

Across the way there is Millennium Bridge which is worth a walk across. The bridge was built as part of the city’s millennium celebration and you may recognize it from the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Once across you’ll see Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, we’re yet to see a play, but the standing tickets start at only 5 pounds quite a deal, see HERE.

No. 5 Harrods and Liberty:  Harrods is as famous as a store possibly can get.  This store has it all.  It is the perfect place to buy souvenirs and gifts for home.  Make sure to check out their food courts, which are out of this world.  Also, the children’s toy department is pretty hard to beat.  Liberty of London is one of favorite store in London.  It is famous for it’s fabrics and unique designs. Liberty’s current location is on Regent Street in an old Tudor building built from two ships in 1924.  It is definitely worth visiting and is not known to many tourists, so is usually a nice, quieter place to shop.

London has many hop-on/hop-off tour buses that we would highly recommend to see lots of things in a limited amount of time.  It is well worth the money to get an audio tour of history while seeing the sights, and beats wasting time traveling from place to place using the underground.

Sarah, our sis Helen, and Em seeing the sights (and being wind blown) on a tour bus Autumn 2010.

We may be slightly biased, but this is our favorite city in the world! We hope this post will make your London experience comfortable and easy, and help you fall in love with this fabulous city.

Royal Films

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
image via amazon

Academy Award winner, The King’s Speech is based on the true story of King George VI.  I loved the acting (Helena Bonham Carter was AMAZING), and the plot line, but mostly how well the film gave me an insight to London in the 1930’s.  It just became available at Redbox.

image via dancerindc.wordpress.com

Another Academy Award winner, The Young Victoria is a must see.  I absolutely loved this story portraying Queen Victoria’s first years as queen and her romance with Prince Albert.

image via imdb.com

Helen Mirren plays an excellent Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.  The movie is a drama about the royal family’s reaction to the death of Princess Diana within the family, as well as with the Prime Minister and the people of the UK.

image via smartcine.com

Both Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age are a wonderful depiction of Queen Elizabeth I.  The history, the romance, the costumes, we love it all.  Definitely a must see.

There’s only a few days to get your royal movie fix before the big day!  What are your royal movie faves?

Room Makeover: British Invasion

Monday, April 25th, 2011

We’re getting excited for the Royal Wedding around here, and to celebrate we have a week of British goodness to share. First off, my patriotic guest-room:

This room has been on my radar to decorate for some time, but I’m still not sure if I’m going to keep it my guest-room so for now I’m holding back on the paint rollers and simply giving it a burst of life. Em came over one afternoon, and this is what we came up with:

I’m happy with the results, and even more pleased that it cost under $10 using things I already had.

I’m partially liking the new look of my lamps, originally bought for our first home with a green palette, we simply switched out the shades to get two new lamps. The two posters on the wall are wrapping paper mounted on plywood, and the union jack pillow was made out of a sweater I had accidently shrunk years ago. The cheers pillow is part of our Twine & Twig collection, this week we have it on sale for $27 with insert. Please contact: mail[at]boxwoodclippings[dot]com if you’re interested.

Now I’m all ready for our Royal Wedding sleepover, I hope you guys all have fun plans too!