Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An Afternoon at Hampstead Heath

A few weeks ago we took Oliver along with our friends to Hampstead Heath for a long Sunday stroll in the park. Hampstead Heath is an amazing HUGE park directly in London that covers over 790 acres of land and is pretty much Oliver's favorite place in the city. It was a muddy, foggy day in London. 
 Wellies on, we made our way around the park and had a blast. 
Wellies are an absolute MUST on British days like these! Trying not to get in the mud pretty much, didn't exist. Not only are they cute, but living here in rainy England, they are essential. 
I had to snap a pic of this gentleman coming up over the hill, through the fog. Doesn't he look like he is out of a Downton Abbey show, typical British, just like he is out to go hunting with his hounds. 
 The park is gorgeous and has ponds that you are able to swim in and tons of perfect paths for running. I felt like I was in the English countryside, however it was ten minutes from our flat. Can't you tell Oliver loves it? He didn't running the entire two hours. 
I know I'm the cutest muddy dog around!
A long walk through a big muddy park requires a cup of tea and coffee after, for sure. Don't worry, Hampstead Heath also has an adorable outside cafe that I felt was more of an adorable dog cafe! The cafe was filled with dogs sitting by their owners. If you are a dog lover, this is one place to hang out and see every breed, from huge sheep dogs to sweet little pugs.
Muddy, tired Oliver can't wait to go back, I can't either...maybe a little less mud this time. 
 Hamsptead Heath is easily accessible by Public Transportation as well! The overground stops just a few minutes away, perfect to bring your dog and go for a run.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Rebecca's Recipes: Paleo Pancakes

I am proud to say that after three weeks of trying the Paleo Diet, we are still going strong! OK, yes, I have had wine and a bit of cheese, but all in all it is going great and I have lost five pounds as of today! Training for the Bath 1/2 Marathon  is in full swing and after our 8 mile run today all I was craving was an Everything Bagel toasted with cream cheese and tomato from Bethesda Bagels, too bad I don't live anywhere near there anymore and also, a bagel is nowhere in my diet plan! Enter the delicious Paleo Pancakes I had read about and thought it was the perfect time to try. 
{this image was snapped on my iPhone of the finished product. Looks like normal pancakes right?}

I was completely skeptical about making these since they didn't include any flour, how would they really taste? End product...delicious and SO easy! A few bananas, a few eggs, a little almond butter and cinnamon and you have pancakes Paleo style and ready for a perfect after run breakfast! 

Paleo Pancakes or as I am calling them "Delicious Banana Pancakes"
3 bananas {preferably ripened, those work best}
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Preheat a skillet to 350 degrees F

Combine all three ingredients in a blender, mixer, chopper, whatever you have 
that will mix the batter really well. 

Grease the skillet with coconut oil and pour your batter making 3-4 inch pancakes

Cook 2-3 minutes per side and then flip for 2-3 minutes.
 Unlike regular pancakes they made need a bit longer to cook through. 

Serve with your favorite topping. I warmed up some blueberries with coconut 
oil and smothered them in blueberries, yum! 
Enjoy! xoxo~Becca  

Searching for Spots

I have a confession to make, I am obsessed with this leopard coat and MUST find it! I seriously can not get it out of my mind. I was on the tube last week and I saw three girls walk by me wearing a similar one, it is a sign! I must find it, it will be mine, hee hee hee {turn to evil laugh!}. Every site I check,  every store I look at, it is sold out! I went to order it from Forever 21 to send to my friend visiting in March and have her bring it over, and much to my disappoint....sold out! 
SO.... if you live near a Forever 21 and happen to be shopping some day and happen to see it....size Medium please? Well, I'm kind of not kidding! :) If you see a vintage one similar to this or one at Topshop, ASOS, anywhere, let me know. I mean how chic would throwing over this leopard loveliness over my shoulders on a dreary London make me feel? See the ladies below, don't they look fabulous in their spotty coats?
{Image from Pearls & Twirls}
{Image by Caitlin McGauley}
{Image from Atlantic-Pacific}
{Image from A House in the Hills}
{Image from Six2Eleven}

Dreaming of a spotty coat! xoxo~Becca

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Hour: The DC Cherry Blossom

Monday evening we had a little get together with some of our expat friends to watch the Presidential Inauguration. I decided that celebrating another term in DC required a little celebratory cocktail! I was so glad that Bobbi stopped by and got to see my flat and meet some new people, she also snapped a few pictures of the get together. The beverage of choice this week; The DC Cherry Blossom! 
{Image by Today, I'm Bobbi}

{Image by Today, I'm Bobbi}

DC Cherry Blossom Cocktail
(1) shot cherry juice
(1) shot cranberry juice
 Splash of elderflower syrup
Top off with Sparkling Wine/Prosecco/Champagne

Happy Friday everyone! Cheers! 


Make sure to stop by Bobbi's blog to see the images she took during the night! So fun to have her over. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Martha Book

Last week a large package arrived at my flat and when I saw that it was from one of my college besties,  Emily, I knew just what it was....the Martha Book! Years had gone by, my girlfriends got engaged, married, had babies and I thought, "hhhmm, when will I get the Martha book?". Well it has arrived. It is one of the sweetest, best traditions my girlfriends and I have and I am so excited to share a little bit of it with you. 

 My best friend Brandi use to write a blog post for work during her engagement. I reread her post about this book and got happy tears in my eyes because she summed it up so well! I am a lucky girl to have such a close group of five girlfriends that I have been friends with ever since we met on the steps of our sorority house at Syracuse University. Even though none of live in the same city and me in a different country, we are ALWAYS there for each other. Between the five of us we are a dynamic team of some amazing woman! We have travelled together, danced at weddings, stood up at weddings as bridesmaids, celebrated new babies, cried and supported when roads got bumpy, cried on each others shoulders during breakups, gossiped about new boyfriends, laughed at bad haircuts, emailed about new jobs, we have been friends through so many moments that make me laugh and smile and I am aware that I am a lucky girl to have them!

 Back in 2005 when the first one of us got engaged, we bought Jenn the Martha Stewart Weddings book and wrote a little note in it to pass it along to the next girl who got engaged. There were no wedding blogs at the time, Martha was {and pretty much still is} our wedding bible! I placed post it notes all over the book on items I loved and comments of what I thought Jenn would love as well. When Christa got engaged in 2007, Jenn suggested that wouldn't it be great to pass it along, write more notes and sent it on. Sprinkled with post it notes, comments and letters, the book was used by Christa and then passed on to Brandi and then to Emily in 2010. I had been dating Beau for many many years, my love for weddings and my career in events started to make me wonder...will the Martha book ever make it to me? Well as you know, my fiance {fancy!}, my "Beau" popped the question in September right before we moved and I then I thought...oh no, international shipping, it is OK, I don't need the Martha Book. When I received the book last week it was the sweetest thing to sit down and read through the comments. It is funny because just like Brandi wrote, flipping through the book made me feel like I was with my girls. I may be miles apart, but wow, I was almost feeling like over a glass of wine I was sharing my engagement with them!
 Emily wrote me sweet notes in pink {of course!} throughout the pages that just oh so perfect and genuine and sweet. 
 This little note made me laugh because I wasn't dating Beau at the time Jenn got engaged! I asked her to sit me near a nice boy at her wedding. haha! 
 Wow! How sweet is this, it is really weird to see, but does make me so excited.
 Little notes about flowers and cakes flow through the book and I can tell who wrote what with each ones personality! 
 I love that there were a few post it notes on the page...I love LETTERPRESS!
This sweet note is absolutely lovely. I as well really want to monogram my dress. 
Emily's note made me smile from ear to ear. She writes, " Enjoy the planning, embrace all the fabulous details both big and small and during those times your feeling like its just overwhelming, take a step back and remember its about the love me and Beau have for one another". Thanks Em! I am a bit teary eyed. 

So yes, that is our little tradition. Some day our daughters will get the book and we hope they pass it along and love it just as much as we do. To my girlfriends I love you. Thank you. I can't wait to pass along the love of the Martha Book! 


{yes, Bran, I stole your post header, it was too good to resist! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Day USA!

Even though I am MILES away from Washington today I woke up and was excited to see all of the inauguration festivities on TV. I think that for the rest of my life, every Inauguration Day that comes up I will remember standing on the Mall, behind the Washington Monument with my sisters and listening to Obama's speech, it was a lifetime moment for sure! Today I have invited a small group of expats over for American food {sliders, bbq chicken, cherry blossom cocktails!} to celebrate. 
I started singing Proud to be an American last night out all proud, haha. Beau just laughs at me, but hey, its true. I love England, love living with the Brits, but truly, I'm an American girl that is excited to see good things for the USA. Happy Inauguration Day USA, I'm waving my flag from abroad! 

....how cute is Jackie O. on the way to Inauguration Day back in 1961, eeek! 


Borough Market

Last weekend Beau's mom was visiting and we spent the morning at our favorite market we have found in London....Borough Market. Having only lived here three months, we have been here three times and love discovering new stands each time we go back. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen a few of these pics {since I took all of them on my iPhone}, however the place is so fabulous that I had to share with everyone! Here are a few of my favorites from one of London's best markets...
I started singing out loud when I saw these adorable little chairs at the market! Food, Glorious, Food...I guess it is natural we named our dog Oliver:) 

Homemade Pretzels, too bad I started Paleo right before our trip to the market, the bread was yelling at me! 
You will see many towers of brownies throughout the market, and each one says they are the infamous brownie, however, they all look famous and delicious too me! 
Cheese. Cheese. Cheese. Looking for an amazing Stilton? Having a dinner party? Borough Market is the perfect place to stop by and grab some goodies before you plan a little soiree. 
Hello Truffle! OK, so this little guy was quite a bit over my budget {INSANE!} however I did pick up a little bottle of truffle oil and a little sprinkle on my scrambled eggs makes me feel quite fancy.
These English muffins stopped me in my tracks. I mean seriously, these are not any Thomas English American muffins, these things are the real deal. Oooo, I may need to splurge and get one next time! How about an egg sandwich on these!!!
Neal's Yard Dairy is one of the best cheese shops in the market, not a stand but a stand alone shop. If you are looking for an English cheddar, this shop is the place to be. The staff is knowledgeable in all cheeses and always happy to let you sample away, I'm a sucker for samples. 
It was about 1C {30F!} when we were walking around, with wind on top, yes, it was a chilly market day. Spotting the Hot Mulled Wine stand was PERFECT! I think going to the market in the winter requires hand down a cup of cider to keep your hands and inside warm :)
I have walked by the Paella stand a few times and never stop. You see people walking around the market with bowls of curry and paella eating as they stroll, the stand calls out for samples and I thought it was whatever. Well, this time I stopped and gave it a try.....hello yummy curry! You can't miss the booth, they are in the center section on the corner.....just follow the delicious smells.
Everyone thinks of London just for its tea, but honestly, there is an amazing coffee culture here. Flat Cap Coffee Co. makes a mean latte. They make them so pretty that I barely want to drink it. 
Citrus season in Florida made me think of my Floridian Weddings girls when I saw these pretty wrapped blood oranges at Turnips stand. 
Obsessed. Yes, I am now obsessed with Mini Magoo's and there Fun Stuff mix. The mix is not 100% Paleo friendly because it has Agave Syrup in it, but everything else is perfect: shredded coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, hemp seeds, linseeds...sprinkle over coconut yogurt with blueberries and its the perfect quick breakfast. I need to stop by this weekend and stock up on more!
Even if you are only visiting London as a tourist, it is completely worth a stop! Amazing butchers, produce stands, coffee shops, restaurants...a food lovers dream! 

xoxo~ Becca
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