Fall Quilt – featuring Hello Bear fabrics

I started making this quilt back in November 2017! I finally finished it in 2018, but never got around to writing the blog post! Apparently, I had already written everything you’ll find below in 2017, and now I’m finally publishing…. Working on catching up on posts for what I’ve made, because this is where I keep track of all the things, and if I don’t write the post I’ll forget all about it!

Fabric Choices

I went to FabricBubb.com for some bundle inspiration and saw this fall bundle with Hello Bear πŸ™‚ I’m really obsessed with this fabric, even though it might fit better in a kids bedroom than in my living room. Whatever, I love it. I needed more fabric to make the twin size, so I started with some of her choices and expanded a little…. Here’s the list of what I used to make this 72×90 quilt.

  • 1 Yard Hello Bear
  • 1/2 Yard Pearl Bracelet
  • 1/2 Yard Gold Metallic Creativity text
  • 1/2 Yard Gold on Grey Arrows
  • 1/2 Yard White with Orange Animals
  • 1/2 Yard Grey Owls
  • 1/2 Yard Grey Hexis with Orange
  • 1/2 Yard Grey Leaves
  • 1/2 Yard Orange “Follow Suit”
  • 1/2 Yard Orange with plus signs
  • 1/2 Yard Dark Brown with White spot strips
  • 4 Yards Essex Linen in Natural (because I’m obsessed… I should probably buy a bolt of this stuff
  • Backing from Joann’s (plaid flannel)
  • Binding from Joann’s (orange gingham)

This was barely enough fabric for the quilt I ended up making, but it worked

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Shark Week 2019 – Dog Costume (Video)

Well, friends… it’s been a while. Over a year apparently. I really thought there were some more posts mixed in there, but I guess not… I intended to write a post about turning 29 (and Lucie turning 2), but that didn’t happen with the craziness of my sister’s SURPRISE WEDDING.

Now about Shark Week…

standard poodle lucie dressed up in an altered shark dog costume

I’m afraid of sharks, so this week tends to freak me out more than excite me. I never want to go to the ocean again after watching half an hour.

BUT I’d never miss an opportunity to dress up my dog as something adorable. View Post

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Turning 28 (and Lucie turns 1!)

*this post contains Amazon Affiliate Links!*

Well, it’s another birthday! In case you haven’t heard, Lucie (my poodle) and I have the same birthday. Of course, I thought she was adorable first, then saw her birthday and knew it was meant to be! I think she’s a big part of why I had a better year this year πŸ™‚ This may ramble, but I’ll try to break up the thoughts with photos πŸ™‚

I don’t know about you, but birthdays can be hard. Cake and flowers are always fun, but there’s inevitably at least one person in your instagram feed who has achieved all your life goals 5 years earlier than you.

In Girl, Wash Your Face Rachel Hollis talk about exactly this issue:

The Lie: I should be further along by now…

God has perfect timing… You look at your life and the eight things you though you’d have accomplished by thirty-five and feel depressed. But maybe it’s just that you don’t have enough life experience yet… Or maybe that goal wasn’t ever meant to be yours. Maybe you are destined for something so much cooler, which won’t come until five years down the road. Maybe you have to walk through this space you’re in to be ready for that. Nothing is wasted.

But whether or not you choose to see this time as something wonderful — the time when God is stretching you and growing you or maybe forging you in fires hotter than you think you can withstand–all of it is growing you for the person you’re becoming.

Set goals, not time limits: I love goals. They can help you become your best self… but big dreams shouldn’t have expiration dates. As long as you’re working toward the things you hope to accomplish it shouldn’t matter if it takes you a month or a decade.

This year was different for me. View Post

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London: Where We Ate

London: Where We Ate

Since this is the Eat Well Travel Often blog, and if you followed our instastories, you know we ate our way through London.

We were pleasantly surprised by the food in London. They have a great selection of more formal cafes with beautiful cakes and desserts, as well as yummy places to eat dinner. Almost every shop we went into even offered gluten free or vegan options!

To be honest, the food might have been better in London than in Paris – but you’ll find out if you keep reading!

This was a great time to visit because of the Chelsea in Bloom festival – many of the store fronts were elaborately decorated in flowers and the perfect backdrop for photos!

Their casual food is what you expect from England: fish and chips. So. Not much to say there.

FYI:

You don’t need to leave a tip in London. If you look at your check, you’ll see that a 12-15% service charge is already added on πŸ™‚ Obviously, you can leave something for exceptional service, but you probably won’t receive exceptional service… Servers just take your order, bring your food, and leave you alone. You’ll have to wave someone down if you want a refill or a dessert menu.

Also – this list is not in any kind of order, because these are all amazing restaurants.

Markets

I read about the markets in London but had no idea the selection. We ate our included-breakfast at the hotel and couldn’t eat everything at the markets, which was very disappointing for us. You will find alllll types of food carts at Brick Lane Market (only open Saturdays and Sundays), so arrive hungry and be ready to try everything!

Spitalfields Market has several restaurants and food trucks, as well. And then there’s Portobello Road Market (which we didn’t get to). Brick Lane seemed to have the most options and variety, but you’ll definitely find something to eat!

Peggy Porschen Cakes

During the planning stage of our trip, we stumbled on Peggy Porschen and their pink bakery. We fell in love. On top of the pink shop corner, they were all dressed up for the Chelsea In Bloom festival, with artificial wisteria hanging from the doorframe.

We were there at least twice and chose these beautiful desserts. They tasted as beautiful as they looked, and we left inspired.

Sketch

Let’s continue the pink theme with Sketch! This restaurant hosts an afternoon tea, but we didn’t make reservations in time (I guess we’ll need to come back!). Instead, we made dinner reservations in the pink gallery, and it was quite the experience.

The place is gorgeous and gives you all the Wes Anderson vibes. We even loved the waitstaff uniforms at this place! The bathrooms are these weird pods, and that part wasn’t my favorite.

Dress Code is: Smart Art Casual…. So whatever that means, but I think we did it right.

This trip was partly in celebration of my birthday, and we forgot that we had mentioned that on the reservation! No, they did not sing.

The food was delicious, but definitely one of the pricier places we went.

Elan Café

We spotted this shop on Instagram and made our way to one of their two locations. While we didn’t order one, we did love their take away paper coffee cups with inspiration quotes.

They also had a big flower wall that was perfect for photos! We noticed coffee shops in London bottle their coldbrew, which is pretty cool! We love the opportunity for branding and customer loyalty πŸ™‚

 

Duck & Waffle

Yummm. We thought we signed up for brunch, but we actually went for normal lunch. The menu is slightly more exotic than we’re used to in the states… Also, the brunch menu looks a little more fun based on Instagram photos. But they have cheese-y bread, so you can never go wrong with that!

I’m not kidding. They actually fresh-bake a small loaf of bread and melt gruyere cheese on top. We also shared a cauliflower appetizer and the famous Duck & Waffle.

This restaurant also has an amazing view of London and should NOT BE MISSED. Apparently, they ask their guests not to wear sneakers… but we didn’t read that until we were in the elevator, and they let us in. But just keep in mind that it’s more a business casual spot. No leggings and tees!

Dishoom

Dishoom serves traditional Indian food and was a highlight of the trip. They have a few locations, but we went to the one in Carnaby. By the way, if you’re hungry…. Wander around Carnaby and choose any restaurant.

Everything at Dishoom has some heat… even the items not marked spicy. Our faces felt like they were on fire, but we could still taste everything. 100% worth it, and Stefanie generally doesn’t enjoy spicy food.

Harrod’s

We’ll talk about this more under shopping, but the food here!!!! They ring a bell when something comes out of the bakery oven! They have a coffee bar… Several restaurants… an ice cream parlour, and an entire Food Hall for grocery shopping. We have some photos, because it’s pretty difficult to describe this place.

Crosstown Donuts

Because we love donuts! Delicious!

How to spend 5 days in London and fit it all in

Dominique Ansel

Had to stop here when we saw it! We just ordered a coffee and a cronut, because the line was non-existent (if you’ve ever been to the NYC location, you know they sell out of cronuts pretty fast). Delicious and a beautiful setting.

Soft Serve Society

This is where we trying to go after walking the wrong bridge and running out of money on our bus cards… They also have crazy milkshakes!

V&A Café

The food is not too exciting, but if you’re there, it’s definitely worth taking a seat for lunch. The museum is free! And apparently this museum built the first cafeteria inside – and they decided to do it in marble and crystal and art.

Now I want to go back to eating cakes in London…. When we go back to London, we’ll definitely add to this list with more yummy places!

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Packing for 10 Days in Europe

Check out everything you need to pack for 10 days in Europe... all in a carryon at EatWellTravelOften.blog! Wwe learned from our mistakes!

I’ll start by admitting that we overpacked for this trip to Europe. But we really didn’t know what to expect weather-wise. And we thought we might go out for more fancy dinners. Anyway. Here’s what you actually need to pack for a trip like this.

I’m going to assume you can’t do laundry for 10 days, but that you’re also not a fashion blogger. I’ve packed it all in a suitcase to demonstrate, and I’m confident you can do it, too! I try to fit as many necessities in my carry-on (and backpack) as possible and leave the bigger luggage for larger cosmetics, souvenirs, and any gifts for friends πŸ™‚

Tops

  • 5 t-shirts in different colors (We love the JCrew Mercantile Tees)
  • Blouse-y tank
  • Chambray top
  • Other interesting shirt?

If you followed along in our instastories, you know we wore the same tanks and tees on different days. So I recommend bringing several, and I wish I had brought one long-sleeve tee. You never know what the weather’s going to be!

Bottoms

There’s some variation here for personal style, obviously. Stefanie and I prefer skirts/ dresses, and these looked cute with sneakers every day. However, if you’re going to Paris you NEED dark denim and black dress pants. Or black denim. Basically — it’s true that they wear dark pants, but never leggings, all the time.

  • Dark jeans
  • Denim skirt
  • Other skirt/ fancy shorts
  • Joggers
  • Black dress pants (BR Sloan, Gap Super Skinny, etc)

As Jersey Girls, it was hard to put away leggings for the 10 days we were in Europe!!! We only wore them on the plane and during the bike tour 😢 Joggers are great, but not quite the same.

Dresses

These should cover any nice dinners, as well as just being comfy running around town.

  • Solid
  • Stripe
  • Floral

We definitely packed more dresses than we needed. Like I said earlier, we thought we would go out more. You only need a few.

Accessories

  • Umbrella
  • Raincoat
  • Cardigan
  • Crossbody bag
  • Large Scarf
  • Little Neck Scarf for Paris! They keep you warm and they’re chic!

Apparently, I don’t own an umbrella at home, but you definitely need one while you’re traveling. We picked one up at Harrod’s when we realized it would be raining all day on the bus tour.

Shoes

  • Sneakers: black Nikes and white Sperry’s!
  • Flats/sandals
  • Heels

Wear on the Plane

Some of these things you won’t even need to pack because you should already be wearing them!

  • Sneakers: I wore the black Nikes on the plane.
    Even those these can be hard to take off in security (TSAprecheck solves that problem!), the socks are worth it when you’re on a loooong flight. 
  • Jacket: This can take up a lot of space in your suitcase, so just wear it on the plane.
    And it keeps you warm in the cold cabin!
  • Large Scarf: Obviously. This serves as a second blanket, eye mask, etc. You need it on the plane
  • Leggings! You probably won’t wear them once you’re in Europe, but you need them on the flight!

In your backpack/ tote:

I prefer a backpack because it won’t hurt your back as you run around, but there are a lot of great totes that attach to your suitcase. Here’s what should go in there!

  • Laptop
  • All your chargers!
  • Small Cosmetics (or all your cosmetics if you’re not checking a bag)
    This makes it easier to remove in security
  • Travel Documents
    Keep them accessible!
  • Clorox Wipes
    I have gotten a cold twice on overseas flights. CLEAN EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH.
  • Refreshing Face Masks
    Important for feeling human after a 7+ hr. flight
  • Books πŸ™‚
    I usually load up my kindle, because I never know what I’ll be in the mood for
  • Journal
    Usually for reflection during the flight home

Packing for Europe:

Linked our favorites or similar items below. I was able to find some of the exact items we wore, so you’ll see them pop up in photos over the next few weeks!

what to pack in your carry-on for 10 days in Europe on EatWellTravelOften.blog

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5 Days in London

We just got back from an amazing trip to London and Paris! This was our first time visit in London, but somehow we managed to fit in almost everything we wanted to see. This post is an outline of all the tourist-y sites, and then we’ll have a post on the food (unreal) and the shopping (want to buy everything).

Arriving in London

We left the US on a Friday and arrived in London at 10am on Saturday. Since it was the weekend, we had quite the journey out of the airport. We stood in line at customs for almost 2 hours, but then we were free! Next, we bought a SIM card in the airport (much cheaper than the Verizon Travel Pass) and booked our London Pass (more on that later). Thennn, we got coffee, figured out the train system and eventually got to our hotel room around 2:45…. Long morning.

Where we stayed: The Double Tree Westminster on Stef’s hotel points (it was free! Bonus of the financial consultant life). So we started by wandering around the city from there. Obviously, the discount on this hotel was ideal, but next time we’ll probably stay closer to the Oxford Street area (more food and shopping).

Everything was in bloom! Which was beautiful, but also made us sneeze constantly. Don’t forget your allergy meds while you’re traveling!

House of Parliament

To be honest, we were pretty bad about learning about London ahead of time, and we didn’t know what all of the buildings were. We could have taken a tour of the House of Parliament, but we didn’t. London takes several trips to get through everything!

This first day we spent mostly getting acquainted with the area and finding possible food options, since we didn’t have a ton of recommendations when we arrived (other than what we found on Instagram!).

Buckingham Palace

We found the palace on our walk and took a bunch of photos πŸ™‚ Monday was a bank holiday in London (as well as Memorial Day in the U.S.), and they were preparing for a 10k around the palace – resulting in closed streets for great photos!

Day 2 (Sunday) – Shopping Day

Sunday was spent eating and shopping through London. And we’ll have entire posts on both of those topics.

We’ll have a whole post on shopping in London (AMAZING), but just want to point out that all the best markets are only open on the weekends, typically. If you’re planning a trip, schedule a shopping day on Sunday! Or both days, because the shopping is great.

Day 3 (Monday) – Museums

The original plan was to do our bus tour on Monday, but with the 10k in the city, the guide suggested we choose another day because of all the diversions.

Victoria & Albert

Most of the museums in London are free, including the V&A! We chose the paid Fashion and Nature Exhibit included with our London Pass. We also ate lunch here because the café is beautiful!

Always having fun in the museums…

Royal Albert Hall

Once again, we knew this was a monument we should see but didn’t know much about it. The guided tour was included on our London Pass, so we took advantage of that and learned a lot! However, by this point in our trip our feet were exhausted from all the walking!!

Tate Britain

We didn’t make it across the river to the Tate Modern, but this is another free gallery that was beautiful.

While we got our money’s worth out of the London Pass, most of the museums are free and you may not need to buy the pass.

After the museums closed, we went to Dishoom for dinner and stumbled upon Liberty London and Carnaby! More on that later, but just giving you an idea of the whole day πŸ™‚

Day 4 (Tuesday) – Bus Tour

We chose the Big Bus Hop On Hop Off tour through our London Pass, but we’re not recommending a bus tour at all really.

London is SPRAWLING, and while it’s nice to be dropped off at all the sites you need to see, most of the time is spent driving through the city. Since the public transportation system is SO EASY, you probably don’t need a Bus Tour. Just buy a guidebook and drive around on a double-decker red bus for £1.50.

First Hop-Off was at Harrod’s! But that will be in the shopping post!

Kensington Palace

Tuesday was the only rainday in London (also the only day with 1% chance of rain predicted), so we weren’t able to go through Kensington Gardens πŸ™ We enjoyed the palace though, despite the downpour walking there.

This was also included on our London Pass, and there’s typically a fee to get inside.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go inside because the tour was ending. But here’s a photo!

That night we had dinner at Sketch.

Day 5 (Wednesday) – Shakespeare Day!

Shakespeare’s Globe

We purchased our Globe tickets ahead of time, and this was definitely a highlight of our trip!! We also got a tour of the Globe through our London Pass, so we did that first thing in the morning, went to lunch (Duck & Waffle!), then returned for the matinee of As You Like It.

I can’t tell you how much we loved this play. This was a more traditional setting of the play, and they had music and singing and everything. They used a small cast with actors playing more than one part with minimal costume changes – like it would have been in Shakespeare’s time.

Rosalind was played by a man (just like Shakespeare) and Orlando by a woman, which just made the height jokes and disguise situation more comical.

They also had a deaf actor playing Celia, which I wasn’t too sure about when it started (I don’t know BSL), but she was just an excellent actor and the rest of the cast supported her. While I didn’t know the exact words she was saying (why didn’t I bring my copy??), I understood everything she said.

The Shard

We went over to the Shard to see the view of London. 

Since the River Thames winds through the city, you don’t see the Tower Bridge from the London Eye, so this viewing spot worked perfectly. And the sun came through the clouds magically. Also had free access to The View with our London Pass!

The London Eye

On our way to get ice cream and go to the Eye, we had a public transportation/ map fail where we ran out of money while jumping on a bus, walked over the London Bridge instead of the Tower Bridge and just couldn’t get to our ice cream! But we made it eventually.

Important Tip: Do the London Eye on a weeknight right before it closes! We got there at 8:15 (closes at 8:30), and there were no lines, but it was sunset! So we saw the city during golden hour. Dreamy!

Then we were exhausted from all our walking and transportation stress, so we went back to the hotel and packed up to get ready for our trip to Paris!!

PS – Big Ben is under construction for 4 YEARS!! So that’s all we got to see.

Day 6 (Thursday) – Tower Bridge

We tried to get here earlier… but this worked out. Our London Pass expired by this point, so we didn’t have free access to the exhibit. HOWEVER, I’m pretty sure this exhibit involves a glass floor high above the river. NOT INTERESTED.

Stef took some fun photos, we grabbed lunch, ran back to our hotel, got in an uber, and went to the train station! Oh, and we stopped to pick up our London Starbucks mugs (couldn’t forget those!).

Things we missed:

PHEW that made me tired just typing. And I haven’t even told you about the food and shopping yet. We packed SO MUCH into these days, but still couldn’t get quite everything. Here’s what we’re planning on our next trip to our new favorite city:

  • Tate Modern
  • The British Museum (this is kind of embarrassing… should have been a priority)
  • Kensington Gardens (we were there… but then the rain)
  • Charles Dickens’ House & Museum πŸ™‚ just because I’m an English nerd
  • Maritime Museum? Next time Eric will be coming, and he’ll want to see this for sure.
  • Paul’s Cathedral (not just the outside!)
  • Westminster Abbey
  • House of Parliament
  • Trafalgar Square / Picadilly Circus (we were here plenty of times, but apparently these are typical tourist photo ops??)

Up Next…

This post didn’t even include all of the food we ate. So. Stick around for more on London and Paris!

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