My New Favorite Necklace

Now while I love each and every one of my creations at my shop, this necklace is my absolute favorite.

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A Quidditch necklace!  Love it!

And I love how this piece came to be.

I was working on another necklace, my Miniature Time Turner necklace -

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As it happens, those gold rings I use to make that necklace come as a set of three, attached to each other. I have to cut off one of them to free the right sized one for the time turner.  So I have some unused tiny rings left.

I was just staring at those rings on my counter that day, and wondering what I would ever do with them, when they reminded me of something.  The rings on the Quidditch goal posts.

I had a vision of three rings hanging from a necklace, but wanted to add more.  Having just made a tiny golden snitch necklace also, I found the inspiration I needed.   I would represent the game of Quidditch in a necklace with the goal posts and all the various Quidditch balls.

I chose to do it as a two layer necklace.  The longer one with the three goal rings, and the shorter one with the Quidditch balls.  The golden snitch is the centerpiece of the top layer, and then I added beads to represent the quaffle and bludgers.

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No, I didn’t use the gold rings.  They just didn’t look right.  But those engraved silver ones are simply perfect for this necklace.  The chain is very fine and bright silver.  The whole necklace is very delicate and understated, even with all those elements, as they are all quite small.  It is quite simply, gorgeous.  It has gotten me more attention and compliments than anything else I have created so far.   I just love it :)

Hop on over to my shop to get one for yourself!

And come back soon to hear about more of my wonderful creations :)

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I Guess You Really Can’t Please Everyone…

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of receiving my first negative review at my Etsy shop.  Ouch, that hurt.  I am always living in fear of getting a bad review, my heart skips a beat every time I see a review has been left.   It was just as bad as I feared.

It was referring to an anklet this customer bought.  Unfortunately, the item broke and she was obviously frustrated.  And understandably so.  But so am I.

I hate it as much as anyone when something I make and sell has a problem.  I never want that to happen.  I do everything I can to make sure every item is perfect before I ship it, but sometimes something goes wrong.  Maybe it’s just a bad part, or maybe I made a mistake.

No matter what, as I put in my shop policies, I stand behind my work and will repair any jewelry item I sell, any time, for no cost.  {Except for the cost of mailing me the piece, but that is usually quite minimal.}

That’s why I am so frustrated.  I want to fix the anklet for her, or do something to make this right.  I wish she had contacted me first.  I would have helped in a second.  I’ve had to deal with a few repairs over my year and half in business, and it’s always been a easy and pretty pleasant experience.  Live and learn, I guess.  As they always say, you just can’t please everyone.  

I’m now debating putting out a public response.  I just don’t know what to say.  I drafted a long response, but upon doing some research, I am finding that short and sweet, or simply letting it go are my best options.  I’m still holding on to the hope that the emails I sent this customer a week ago will by some miracle be answered and we can work it out to a good solution that inspires her to change the review.

But the more I mull it over, I ‘m sure I’ll post a short response simply to assure future buyers that I will be there to help if anything happens to their item.

And I need to remember that one bad review among 110 good ones is not so bad.

At least I’m stronger now.  I can handle this.  And I know my items are still awesome.

 

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Our New Addition

You may remember my last post mentioning how we were soon to be bringing home a puppy.  It all came together rather quickly I must say, but a great breeder near us just happened to have a puppy available, so we just had to have him.  Or, I had to have him.  This was all my idea, my husband wasn’t so sure.

Here’s our new baby -

 

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He’s a Boston Terrier, and pretty much the cutest thing ever.

It took us a few days to decide on a name, but we did – Shaw.

I love it, it’s a cute, and definitely unique name, but it’s perfect.  Even if it wasn’t my idea :)

My husband stated on our drive home from the breeder that he wanted the puppy’s name to be something Blackhawks related.  He’s completely obsessed.  And hey, they are the current Stanley Cup Champions.  Still,  I laughed it off.

I mean, my dog really should have a Harry Potter themed name, right?  lol

We threw around a lot of names, including some that were not connected to anything.   In his continued effort to get his way, my husband would just casually throw out various Hawk’s players names.

But one kinda stuck with me.   I didn’t tell him until the next day, but I really was starting to like the name Shaw.  It just fit.  So he won, which by the way, is quite rare around here.

It’s amazing how much having a puppy is like having a new baby.  I’m even getting up in the middle of the night to let him out.

But Shaw’s such a great puppy.  Smart, adorable and sometimes a bit rambuncous, but that comes with the territory.  I am totally in love with him, and so are my two boys.  They are having so much fun with him.

And my husband, the one who “didn’t want a dog”, is the one who looks forward most to coming home and letting Shaw nap on his lap.  So, in the end, I still won.  We did need a dog.

 

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A Puppy Shower?

Yep, we’re getting a puppy.  I am so excited.  And a little nervous.

It’s almost like bringing home another baby.  Well, it is a baby, just not a human one ;)

We are going to meet our new puppy this weekend at the breeder’s, so I went out and did some supply shopping today.  Whoa, I forgot just how much gear a puppy requires.  That stuff adds up fast.

So it got me thinking.  Why don’t we give puppy showers?  No, really.

First you go to the pet supply store, and register for all your puppy gear.  Then you get a party, where you and all your friends and family can ooh and ahh over those cute leashes and dog beds.   Hahaha, can you imagine?

Ok, so they don’t need quite as much as babies, but it sure is a lot.  I myself would love to go to a puppy shower.  I think it would be a blast.

Anywho, I can’t wait to meet my new “baby”.   And yes, he will be my baby.  My husband is convinced he will end up sleeping in our bed.  To which I replied – of course not, just a dog bed in our room :)

I am a little worried that I don’t really know what I’m getting into.  I haven’t had a puppy for 14 years.  And that was before having kids.   But it will be worth it, I’m sure.  After many years I’m ready to have a pet again, and I think it will be a wonderful experience for my boys.

Why 14 years? Well, 14 years ago my husband and I got a Lab.  I wanted a Boston Terrier, but he convinced me that a big dog, more specifically a Lab would be best.  And there is no way I could have resisted that adorable puppy.

 

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Reese was a wonderful dog.  So sweet and gentle.  And a little hyper, but he was just so excited about life.

It was incredibly hard to give him away when he was 6.  But my oldest had allergies, and was sick all the time.  Seeing as though he was only allergic to cats and dogs, and we were soon moving into a brand new home, the best option seemed to be to put my son in an environment without pets.

We found an amazing family for Reese, and they loved him so much and gave him a better  home than we could have asked for.  He passed away 2 years ago when he was 12.  We will forever be grateful to them.

My mom took our cat, Mel.  She was older and passed away just a couple years after she took her.  We are also very grateful to my mom for this.

Our son did better in our new home and after having his tonsils and adenoids removed in 2010, has been healthier than ever.  And recently we noticed that he would be at friend’s homes with pets, even for sleepovers, and not have a reaction.  Yay!  It looks like he outgrew his allergies!

So I dediced this past winter that I wanted a puppy.  My boys loved the idea.  And while my husband pretends not to be, he is excited too.  I know it.

And this time we are getting, wait for it … a Boston Terrier!  I’ve waited a long time for this little guy, and I can’t wait for this new adventure.

Stay tuned for new puppy pics and stories about our adventures with our new family member.

 

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Awesome New Creations!

After the Christmas rush ended and I had a little extra time on my hands, I was actually a little excited.  I mean, I loved having tons of orders rolling in around the holidays, but I was missing out on one of my favorite things – creating new items.

With barely time enough to fill all those orders in time, there was not a moment to spare for new creations.

That’s all changed now.  And I’ve gone a bit nuts creating and listing new items.  I’ve added 25 items this year already. Yea, I should probably slow down, but I had so many ideas in my head and I couldn’t wait to turn them into reality.

Now since I’m such a scatterbrain when it comes to creating, my latest additions are all over the map.  And that’s a good thing.  I love having a shop with such a wide variety of items, although lately I am a bit heavy in my Harry Potter section, but I just can’t help myself :)

And keeping with that tradition, plenty of my new items are inspired by Harry Potter.

Let’s start with these two necklaces.  I just love them, especially the miniature time turner one.  The third book is my absolute favorite and the sequence with the time turner is the best part.

First is my book locket necklace featuring the first and last words of the series.  This is the inside of the locket.  The outside has a hand painted lightning bolt on it.

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And here is my miniature time turner necklace.  I LOVE this necklace!

 

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I also had a brainstorm when trying to figure out just what to do with these infinity charms that I had.   Infinity bracelets with Hogwarts house colors!  These turned out so cute.  All the materials are so nice and it’s such a pretty and simple way to wear some house pride :)   Available as bracelets or anklets!

 

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I’m calling these the {insert house here} forever bracelet/anklet.  You know, because infinity=forever=always.

It’s Slytherin forever for me :)

Now onto some other stuff.   Besides all those awesome Potter items, I have also felt inspired to create some gorgeous spring wreaths.

Spring cannot come soon enough around here.  This has been an incredibly cold, snowy and LONG winter for us folks in the midwest and I have never been more anxious for some warmer weather.

Needing to feel like spring really will come, and because I have learned it’s best to list items early, I created these three spring inspired wreaths:

 

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newgreenivorywreath

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LOVE these wreaths.  Any of them are sure to brighten and beautify your front door!

Lastly, I added some beautiful, non Potter related jewelry.

They feature another of my favorite design inspirations – vintage style jewelry.  I created this super cute charm bracelet and these gorgeous purple earrings.  They have real vintage vibe, and are great additions to any woman’s jewelry collection!

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So there you have it, the highlights of my most recent additions to my shop.  A little bit nerdy, a little bit sweet, and no doubt, every piece is 100% chic ;)

Click the pics or my shop link on the sidebar for even more of my original creations.

And come back soon more even more new stuff!  This is going to be a great year!

 

Happy Crafting,

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Coconut Chocolate Chip Chia Oatmeal

 

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Meet your new breakfast obsession.

Delicious? Check.  Healthy? Yep.

First things first, yes,  I have jumped onto the chia seed bandwagon.  It’s packed with fiber and Omega 3′s as well as many other health benefits.  And it’s so easy to add them to a lot of recipes.  I like mixing them into my pancake mix and a delicious quinoa and brown rice dish I will be sharing soon.

I love these tiny powerhouses, even if my husband is convinced I’ll turn into a walking chia pet.  Ch, ch, ch, chia!

A few weeks ago, I was looking online for a new chia recipe, and I came across one for chia seed pudding made with coconut milk.  Only I don’t really like pudding. Or yogurt for that matter.  I’m weird, I know, it’s a texture thing.  But I do love coconut.

Instead, I had an idea to make oatmeal with coconut milk, add some chocolate chips, because I am a sucker for a sweet breakfast and mix in those trendy chia seeds.  To make it extra healthy :)

I was a little worried about the coconut milk.  Would it cook the oatmeal like normal milk? Would it actually taste coconutty?

The answers were yes {but it takes a little longer} and yes.

 

Here’s the ingredients I use:

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup plain {sweetened} coconut milk

1 TBSP chia seeds

sprinkle of mini chocolate chips 

 

To Make:

Pour oats and milk into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes depending on your microwave and how thick you like your oatmeal.  I love a very thick, not at all soupy oatmeal, so I cook mine for 2 1/2 minutes.  

Carefully remove your bowl from the microwave, it will be hot.  

Stir in the chia seeds, then sprinkle on the chocolate chips and enjoy!

Perfect for breakfast, or a midnight snack :)

 

I love it.  It’s so yummy and keeps me full for a long time.  I mean how can you go wrong with coconut and chocolate for breakfast that’s actually good for you?!

What are some of your favorite chia seed recipes?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

 

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Cool Tattoo. What Is It? Does It Mean Something?

That is what I hear a lot from those who notice my latest tattoo.  And every tattoo has a story, long or short.  My first tattoo is a short story, my latest a longer one…

I love tattoos. On me, or anyone else.  And so, ever since I got my first tattoo 10 years ago, I wanted more.

But up until a few months ago, I didn’t have a clue what to get next.  My first tattoo is a dolphin.  It’s just above my right hip.  I got it when my first son was a year old.  Not that it has anything to do with him, I had just always wanted one and being a mom wasn’t going to change that.  I’ve always loved the beach, the ocean, and dolphins.  It is a dream of mine to one day live by the beach.  I even considered trying to become a dolphin trainer at one point.  Don’t know where that went…

So, ten years passed, fairly quickly I might add and there I was, still wanting another tattoo. My life had changed so much in that time too.  I had another son, moved twice, made new friends and reconnected with some old ones, and discovered a story that would change my life more than I ever imagined.   A story that even inspired me to start my Etsy shop, and having my craft business has made me happier than I’ve been in a long, long time.

It all started three summers ago when my brother brought over some books he thought my oldest might want to read.  He did, loved them and told me I should read them too. Reluctantly, because in my head they were children’s books, I started reading.   One chapter in I had fallen completely in love.  Two months and seven books later, I was forever changed.  Never has a story touched me so deeply, or inspired me to follow my creative passion and finally find my calling.  Harry Potter had just changed my life.

About a year and a half later, when my oldest was turning 10, we had this wild idea to act out the first few Harry Potter movies as a family as a part of his birthday celebration. We needed costumes and props, so I brought out my creative and crafty skills and got to work.  I learned how to sew wizard robes, and learned to become a wandmaker.  Those wands would become my inspiration to start an Etsy shop.  After my husband planted the idea in my head to sell them.  I did, and quickly discovered jewelry making too.  Now my shop is full of Harry Potter themed jewelry, wands, art as well as a bunch of “generic” jewelry and other crafts {because I do love other things too, believe it or not :) }.

Early this summer, my shop took off and is now quite a success.  Some weeks, I work a full time job filling orders, shipping, writing listings, etc.  And I LOVE IT.  This is what I am meant to be doing.  {Sorry Shaklee team}  And yes, sometimes keeping up with this blog is a challenge.

So, back to the tattoo.   Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the Harry Potter world, one huge part is Hogwarts – the school of witchcraft and wizardry.   And within Hogwarts, all students are sorted into one of four houses – Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, named after the school founders.  Placement is determined by the Sorting Hat’s analysis of who they truly are inside.    And I am a Slytherin. 100%. Without a doubt.  That is a good thing, no matter what anyone may try to tell you.  Remember – “Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that” :)  

Now for some time I’ve known my second tattoo was going to be Harry Potter related, I just couldn’t decide on what it should be.  Then I saw a picture on Pinterest and I knew it, that was the tattoo I was going to get.  It was simple, sexy and so perfect.  It showcases a whole other side to me not many have seen. And even though it’s really not easy to take a picture or your own back, here it is -

 

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If you don’t recognize it, it’s the snake from the Slytherin house crest, done in black.  It took me forever to figure out where to put it.  I knew I wanted it more visible {much to my mom’s dismay} and small.  I chose the center of my upper back, just below my neck. I absolutely love it.  So does my husband.  Of course he does, I mean for a geeky tattoo, it sure is sexy ;)

Now, what next?  I don’t know yet, but I do know I’m not waiting 10 more years to figure it out.

 

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2013 Wrap Up and 2014 Goals

With 2013 now in the past, I thought I would look back on my successful and not so successful ventures from the year that was.

The best thing to happen this year was the success of my Etsy shop.  It was slow going for much of the year, and discouraging at times, but I stuck it out, kept up the effort no matter what, and now it is amazingly successful!  I still can’t believe how far it’s come.  I started out the year with 5 sales, hit 100 mid July, 200 by mid October, and ended the year with an amazing 560.  Yep, it was crazy busy for me in November and December, but I will never complain.  This is a dream come true, and has given me even more inspiration to continue creating.  I love it.  And I am incredibly grateful to each and every of my customers, they are the ones who make this possible.  Thank You :)

The year was also full of little, but important successes.   My boys started new and exciting chapters in their lives.  My oldest entering middle school, which he LOVES, and my youngest starting first grade {his first time in school all day}.  It wasn’t easy on him at first, but he is doing awesome now.  And this mom got both kids off to school all day for the first time :)

I also finally got my 2 story foyer painted {after 6 years}, a small victory, but something I had been wanting done forever.  It just took me nearly 6 years to pick the perfect color.

What didn’t go as planned?

Let’s start with Mission:2013.  Or, my plan to get my home fully organized.  That didn’t happen.   My hall closets and a few cabinets are organized, but as a whole my home is even more of a mess…   Mostly because my business supplies are taking over.  I really need a craft room now.  Maybe I’ll just roll it over and try for Mission:2014 instead.

I also said goodbye to my Shaklee business.   I just didn’t have the time, or drive, to put the effort I needed into it to make it successful.  I love their products and will continue to use them, but I don’t know if I’ll go back to selling them.  Sometimes I want to, sometimes not.  Sorry Bonnie.

And lastly, I didn’t repaint my kitchen and family room like I wanted.  For the fourth time, by the way.  One of these days I will find the perfect color ;)

What about some goals for 2014?

Well, for one I want to grow my Etsy business even more.  I have a long list of awesome ideas and my number one goal is to get each of those made and listed.  Which won’t be easy because I know there will be many more additions to that list as the year goes on.

I also want to  embark on a major redecorating venture in my home.  Even though we’ve only been here 6 1/2 years, there is a ton that I’d like to change.  Mostly adding more crown molding, re-painting the kitchen and family room and re-doing our master bathroom to finally say goodbye to the builder grade finishes.  And maybe, just maybe start finishing the basement.  This is the longest my husband and I have owned a house {this is our third} and since the market is still not good enough to move, I’ll have to settle for changing my current home.  

That’s all for now.  I’m sure my goals will change as the year goes by, I just hope I can reach at least one of my goals this year :)

 

Happy New Year,

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Quick Update and New Creations

Yea, I know I have not been good about keeping up with my posts lately, but it’s been a crazy couple of months.

In November, the holiday rush began and my Etsy shop just took off.  Which is so awesome by the way, but it also means that I have been insanely busy filling all of those orders.  It has become a full time job lately, but I love :)  I seriously couldn’t be happier about it.  This was my dream goal when I started my shop.

Anyway, I haven’t had much time to blog lately.  I haven’t even been checking on my site.  Sorry to the person who left a comment and didn’t hear a reply from me for nearly a week.  For some reason my site decided it didn’t need to notify me when there is a pending comment anymore.

Now the one thing I am missing in all this craziness is the time to sit down and create new items.   Although I did manage to squeeze in just a few that I started working on before things got too busy.

Here’s the first one:

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Yep, that’s the Sorting Hat.  As a Christmas tree topper.  Isn’t he wonderful?  He {yes, he} was even featured in an article on Buzzfeed, how cool is that?  Unfortunately he’s all sold out for this year, but he’ll be back next fall to create more Harry Potter Christmases for some lucky customers :)

I also made some new scarves.  Some soft cozy warm fleece infinity scarves perfect for the cold weather.  I made them in Hogwarts house colors, of course.  And if things slow down after the holidays, I am going to add some sports team color ones also.

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My last addition(s) to my shop were these adorable tie necklaces.  Again, in Hogwarts house colors, what else do you expect from me? :)  I love these little charms.  I hand paint them in the house colors and them cover the paint with resin to seal it.  They are small, but super cute.  And I only went through about 20 charms trying to get them to look perfect…

 

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Hope you like these latest additions to my Etsy shop.  Click the pics or the Etsy shop button on the side ofthe page to see even more of my creations.

And it’s not too late to pick up a Christmas gift for someone special while you’re there.  Just sayin’ ;)

 

 

Until Next Time,

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The Trip of a Lifetime

Two years ago my husband got an opportunity to travel to London for work.   My first reaction was “can I come with?”

London had always been one of those places I had always wanted to go to.  And with my new found obsession with Harry Potter, it was topping that list.

Long story short, I did go with.  I even survived three days completely on my own in London.  And I loved every minute of it.  I had never before felt so comfortable alone in a big city.  I truly felt like I belonged there.  Oh, and I still do.  I so wish I could move there…

Anyway, ever since I came home from that trip, I had been trying to figure out any way possible to get back to London.  And then I found it:  I would take my oldest son, Ryan, there.  Just the two of us.  Why not?  It would be an amazing bonding experience, and he too had an affection for the city brought on by Harry Potter.

It was more than a year after I first hatched my idea that our trip became a reality.  And it wasn’t without it’s hitches, including a cancelled flight, but it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Up until a week before our trip, I was nothing but excited.  Then I got nervous.  I had never traveled alone before.   Not that I would be alone, but for the first time, I would be the only adult, I would be the leader.

The day we departed came on so fast, and before I knew it, it was time to drive to the airport.  My husband drove us there, we said our goodbyes {we said goodbye to my youngest at the house and sent him off to have fun with Grandma to make it easier} and then we were on our own.

Navigating our way through the airport was super easy and we were through security in less than 15 minutes.  We sat down to dinner and then waited, and waited.  Finally, we boarded the plane.  Planes don’t exactly have good lighting for a picture, but who cares, it’s vacation! :)

 

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The flight there was great.  Nice and smooth and it went by surprisingly quick.

After landing and getting through customs, we took a taxi to our hotel and breathed a sigh of relief.  Our adventure could finally begin :)

That first day consisted of nothing more than naps and meals.  Not that it bothered me at all.  I was in my favorite place in the whole world.

After a great night’s sleep, we headed out the next morning to see the city.  Ryan decided that Big Ben should be our first stop.  So, it was off to the tube.  I relearned the system quickly and was actually so happy to be riding it again.  Except for the no air conditioning.

We spent that our first two official {no travelling} days exploring a few landmarks and museums, which also are oddly {at least to my American self} missing air conditioning.   Ryan loved everything, but did get quite tired out from all the walking.  He was a trooper though and kept up quite well with me.  He especially loved the flight simulator attraction at the Science Museum.  Good thing he could do it alone, it made me nauseous just watching.

 

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After a couple days seeing sights in London, it was time for the highlight of our trip, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of the Making of Harry Potter.  It was amazing.

I took so many pictures I killed the battery in my camera.  {Thank goodness for my phone}  It was Ryan’s and my favorite part of our trip. There is so much there, it would take me pages and pages to describe it all.  We saw countless props and costumes, so many of the sets and even got to try our hand at some green screen broom action. Here’s just a taste of our tour:

 

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After that, we spent the rest of our trip seeing more of the sights in London.

Next to the studio tour, our other favorite site was the London Eye.  It looks like a giant Ferris Wheel, but it’s not really a ride.  It moves so slow you can’t even feel it, and the views of the city from up top are breathtaking.

 

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I picked up my favorite souvenir after the London Eye.  I had decided that Ryan and I should walk along the South Bank of the Thames River down to the Millenium Bridge. On the way, I spotted a street vendor selling old books.  I picked up this little treasure, book jacket and all, for a few pounds.  It’s either a first edition or a reprint of a first edition, I don’t know how to tell, but either way it’s one of the first printings and it’s cool to have.

 

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Another of my most favorite moments of our trip happened later that day.  Before dinner, we decided to make a quick stop at Kings Cross station, to find platform 9 3/4 of course.  Last time I was there is was under construction and the sign and a section of brick was sitting outside the station, no big thing.  Now, it’s a true tourist attraction.  I was surprised to see that while the sign is always there, they take the trolley down after a certain time.  They also make you wait in line, have a professional photo taken and try to get you to purchase it.  When we first got there, the line was long so we decided to go have dinner first. At first Ryan said he really didn’t care about the picture, but I knew better.  So we went back after dinner.  Only to arrive literally half a second after the attendant was closing off the line.  After some pleading and maybe a touch of flirting on my part, the attendant told me he would take his time removing the trolley so if we snuck in real fast, I could snap a picture.  He even told me where to wait.  Yep, I’ve still got it, lol.  It worked and I got the perfect {and free!!} picture.

 

kingscrossblog

 

After some more sight seeing and museum days, we decided to spend our last (or what we thought was our last) full day in Windsor.  Funny enough, it was the only day that it rained.  Of course.  We still enjoyed touring Windsor Castle and having a quaint lunch at the Crooked House of Windsor despite the constant rain.  Especially the constant stream of tourists snapping pics of the Crooked House as we ate :)

 

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On the day we were scheduled to leave, we slept in, packed our bags, checked out of the hotel and headed out for our final morning in London.  Ryan wanted to try the flight simulator at the Science Museum one more time so we did that, then spent a short time at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  After that it was time to head to the airport.  We got our bags from the hotel, and headed to the tube for the last time, :(

Everything went well at the airport.  We got there, checked in and grabbed a quick lunch.  Then we went through security pretty easily and entered the terminal.  Then we checked the board to find our gate.  I almost didn’t believe what I was seeing.  Our flight had been cancelled.  I figured there had to have been some mistake.  I had checked it online in the morning, and when we got to the airport and it was fine.  So I headed to the American counter to talk to someone.

Having never been through this before, I was clueless, but I so wish I had spent some time learning my rights before I traveled.  If there is ever a next time, I will not do what I did in London.

Ok, on with the story.  Now if you’ve ever been to Heathrow Airport, you will know how not easy it is to get anywhere.  I mean really, gates with a 20-30 minute walk time from the waiting area, crazy.  Anyway, after a long walk, we found the American desk.  I was stopped in line by an agent who told us we needed to go back to departures.  Lesson #1 – I should not have listened to her.  I should have insisted that an agent there re-book us immediately, but unfortunately my clueless self let them take advantage of my lack of knowledge and proceeded to departures.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was going to mean that we had to go through customs, again.  What a pain in the a**.   On our way to customs, I called my husband in tear and told him what was happening.  He ended up being our hero in the end, more on that later.

Finally, we got through that line and headed for the American counter at departures.  An agent there explained that there had been a mechanical problem with the plane which caused the cancellation.  Ok I thought, that’s probably a blessing.  After a very long wait in line, we got up to the counter only to be handed a hotel voucher and told that they weren’t re-booking there either and we just had to call the airline.  What the hell?  I tried to plead with him, but my mistake did not insist or ask for a manager, but didn’t succeed.   Good to know – no matter what they tell you the airline HAS to re-book you, you just have to insist on it.  I learned that from former travel agent friend of my mother in law’s (our other hero).

So, Ryan and I hopped on a shuttle to a not so great hotel and tried to relax.  No luck.

Now at this time, my husband was busy securing his hero status.  He had his mom’s travel agent friend on the phone, as well as the travel manager for McDonald’s, all trying desperately to re-book a flight for us.  She now works for McDonald’s by the way.  He spent hours on the phone for us while we had dinner.  After getting back after dinner, my husband called and told us we had a flight, only we would have to first fly to Finland (what!?!) and then home.  Why the bleep did we need to go farther away in order to get home.  Whatever, I thought, I just want to go home.  We would have to be getting up at 3 friggin AM so we went to bed early.

Another round of airport fun and Ryan and I were finally on our way home.  Boy was I scared that day that we would go through that again, but it all went fine.  12 hours of flying later and we were home.  I have never been so happy to see my husband, lol.  We were so exhausted, but happy to be home.  I think I feel asleep on the couch that night, Ryan on the family room floor.

Overall, it was the trip of a lifetime.  I am so glad I did it.  It was an amazing bonding experience for me and my son.  We’ll have memories just for us that will last forever.  Looking back on it now all I think of was the good times.  It also gave me one last little gift: I am no longer scared to travel alone.  I guess at 34 it was finally time to grow up, well, just a little.

Now, when can I go back to London? :)

 

Happy Travels,

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