I am not sure what one says to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee.  ‘Congratulations!’?  ‘Well done, Ma’am!’?  ‘Jolly good jubilee!”?  ‘Great weather, heh?  Typical.’?  Whatever it is polite to say, I’d like to thank her for the extra day Drew had off work.

We didn’t do much jubilee-ing, but we did attempt to see the flotilla on Sunday.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get close to the river (I can’t imagine how early we would have had to get there to see the river).  Elsa made sure that Kenneth was captured in his red, white, and blue.



photos courtesy Elsa Konig

We also attended a concert with a jubilee theme.  Kenneth didn’t seem to notice the beautiful music, but it was nap time….  Speaking of sleep, Kenneth has begun sleeping in his own bed, in his own room.  Mummy is exhausted, but it has been very worth it, I think, for us all to begin this process.

So, um…. Happy Diamond Jubilee ya’ll!

Full Circle

Just four nights ago I was glued to the live feed on BBC’s website in the middle of the night. It is hard to believe that last night at a similar hour, I was awake with leg cramps—giggling deliriously at the new choreography Peanut has learned. How can a person so quickly move from fearful to thankful? What has changed?

London was wide awake for three nights in a row while riots and looting sprang up in neighbourhoods across England. I won’t pretend that I can give you the best report of the events which passed, but I can recommend this BBC web page for a summary of events and this Guardian article for a refreshing look at the ‘why’ of these events… I have not been scared for my own safety in the midst of the disorder; I am very fortunate in this regard. Electronics, sporting goods, and other high street shops were the targets of choice, of which there are none in our immediate vicinity. The most action we saw was on the water; narrow boats moved in from Camden in the East and Hackney in the West. As he rearranged his boat along our part of Regents Canal, a man on one of the boats yelled an apology for waking those of us standing curious on our balconies, explaining that he had been advised to move somewhere safer than where he had been docked. I think we were relieved to hear that danger was still miles away…

Hearing the interviews of rioters is just further proof [to me] that we cannot afford to ignore where we are falling short of creating a family centred society (globally) and where we have turned our backs on society’s responsibility in terms of early childhood development. This is not a suggestion that governments should give more handouts (in fact, I might argue that this is highly undesirable). It is merely my personal reflection on the state of what is fundamental to our survival as a human race as well as what my role is in all of this.

The overlap of education, child and adolescent development, and psychology (in general) has been a passion of mine for years. Suddenly I feel like I have been witness to a very large case study in my chosen discipline…

Coming full circle in moments, four nights ago I looked away from the scene of fire, riots, and looting to my growing belly and knew that the very best thing I can do in this world is to provide love to my child(ren) in a stable, healthy environment. It is imperative that I continue to be a light in the world and that I take action, inside and outside my own home.

I am changed by the roller coaster ride of late. I don’t know who I am, but I like her.


Here Today, Goo Tomorrow

Generalizations can be bad, mmkay? Generalizations can also be funny. Let’s have fun with that.

I have no idea what bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter (although I do know how they came to be entangled in the observance of the holiday), but I have learned what it means to the British when one of their favourite (yeah, that’s a “u” in favourite) local companies falls prey to stockholder interest. It means hostile takeover.  So, what’s the big deal?

The average British consumer is a snobby, overbearing foodie. They would like to believe that the meat and vegetables in their shopping are sourced “cleanly” and from local suppliers. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a niche market of budget shoppers, but they don’t seem to be the majority here by a long shot.

You can imagine the chaos that erupted when the announcement was made that Kraft engaged in a hostile takeover of Cadbury this past week if you understand the psychology behind it. In a city that celebrates the season of the Creme Egg – which signals the impending bloom of the tulip and the coming of the Easter Holiday, this is devastating news. After all, Kraft is associated in the British consumer’s mind with words and images related to plastic, neon yellow, food-flavored substances, and discount foodstuffs. The reputation of Cadbury is quite the opposite; Cadbury is known for its careful ingredient sourcing, superior methods of chocolate making, ethical product line, brilliant commercials, and ushering in the most important of yearly celebrations.

Yes, Drew and I have actually debated about the best Cadbury commercial. We all know there isn’t really any contest. Everything was better in the 80s. Did you spot the generalization there?

Suffice it to say, the nation is reeling.

The public is concerned about the fall out which undoubtedly result when a company that makes cheap yellow edible plastic gets its hands on the secret Cadbury recipe(s).  It’s Arthur Slugworth meets Willy Wonka around here.

Why don’t you pop on over to the website and make sure you’re up on the lingo?

Harry Patch

Harry Patch

I knew nothing of Harry Patch until his name was everywhere I looked this week. He was a beautiful little old man who had fought in the trenches of the first world war. At the ripe age of 111, he passed away. Harry was the last surviving British soldier of that war and yet did not speak of his experience until age 100. After that he became somewhat of an advocate for peaceful resolution of conflict. His story moves me.

It is so easy to forget how real, and how close, war is to us all.  We all know someone affected by it, whether or not they are happy to speak of it.  No matter how any of us feel about war itself, isn’t it important that we remember the humanity of those fighting?

Dear ol’ Dad

Reminders are everywhere; today is the day in the UK to celebrate dads, too.  I’d like to do a little celebrating myself.

I have an amazing dad who loves me fiercely, continues to teach me things, laughs as often as he can, keeps life simple, and deals it straight.  He used to sing with me and take me to work with him (where I was a very big help I am sure).  And he made time for our date night every week until I moved to London.  (Thanks, Carol, for those nights you cooked!)

I also have a wonderful stepdad who loves me as much as he loves my step-siblings, taught me about the wonder of late night banana splits at Denny’s, who likes my impossible (though quite handsome) cat, and gave me a lot of extra attention when I was a bratty, awful, mouthy teenager.  (I might still be that way?)  How did he put up with me?!

I am lucky to have had twice the love and support.  Maybe that’s part of the reason I picked such an amazing husband; I knew how I liked to be treated because I had two dads do their best to make me feel special, share my heartaches, and make me laugh.  And I have two dads that would set things straight if I ever needed it : )

I love you!!

Columbia Road Flower Market

In Shoreditch there is a lovely Sunday stroll squeeze I recommend: the Columbia Road Flower Market.

I couldn’t help but think about how much my mom (and her mother) loved peonies.


But I also started thinking about Danielle’s bouquet…  Did I mention my oldest younger sister is getting married?!  Yeah, the wheels are already spinning in my head…  (No, pressure Danielle.  Rock that NCLEX and we’ll talk then, haha!)

The prices are quite competitive and the flowers seem to be of such good quality.

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I guess that’s what happens when vendors sell so close together.  It’s also probably the case that these flower are direct from the farm.

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I wonder what kind of flowers are Andrea’s and Ashlee’s favorites, too…

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Ah, how I love how simple and messy this little bunch is.  Kind of like me : )

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You can also get great pottery and vases along the way.  Other specialty shops line the streets, though I couldn’t see everything that was featured while fighting the crowd and trying to keep an eye on our friends.  I do highly recommend the flower market, even if you just wander through for an eyeful…  Then, head over to The Marksman for a pint or a Sunday Roast (the vegetarian options are quite good as well)!

Columbia Road
E2 7RG
020 7377 8963

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Nano Does What?!

I recently saw a headline that made me stop in my tracks.  Unfortunately, it was an article someone else was reading on the tube and I couldn’t get my hands on it.  My curiosity led me to discover that we live very close to the relatively new London Centre for Nanotechnology.  I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more information regarding what kinds of study are currently underway in London, though I do know that a conference is scheduled for 30 April where an American group will be presenting nanotechnological issues relating to food and diet.

I think this is the technology that we hope we can someday use to inject a little “machine” into your blood stream to repair things rather than performing invasive surgeries or overwhelm your system with side effects.  Maybe I’m mixing up real science with something I’ve seen on Star Trek.  Whatever the case, if you’re interested, you might be able to catch a lecture on the subject when you visit!

Yeah, yeah, it’s a light fixture.  It looks pretty cool anyway… 


Check out wikipedia for more information on the study of nanotechnology.

Josef Fritzl on Trial

I wish that the news was bubbling over with fantastic and uplifting stories. There have been some of late that didn’t make my stomach hurt, but the story of Josef Fritzl, has shocked Europe. You can find the full stories here.

Why anything would shock us anymore is almost beyond me.  Still, though, this case is bizarre.  It has shaken Austria and ignited the outrage of large groups of local people.  Fritzl’s trial, which began Monday, is expected to be called to a close on Friday.

Did you know that in Austria juries not only decide guilt or innocence, but also assist the judge with sentencing?  I suspect that this jury will not deliberate long and they will ask for the maximum sentence on all counts.

B (Never too Busy to Be Beautiful)

Entering a B (Never too Busy to Be Beautiful) shop feels to me a bit like being back stage at a Fashion shoot.  Most people who know me understand that an environment like that tends make a simple girl like me a little nervous.  Don’t get me wrong, I have glitter eyeliner in my make-up case, but I tend to be easily intimidated in a shop filled with staff members who could all be models.

The real kicker is that I have found the staff at my local Covent Garden store to be quite approachable, friendly, and willing to help even a girl in trainers pick out tinted moisturizer.


At prices comparable to what I had been spending at Clinique in years past, I have happily purchased cosmetic products that make me feel all warm and fuzzy.  B shops, like their sister stores, are designed for your testing pleasure.  If you happen to be celebrating – or you just have occasion to be pampered – B provides a reasonably priced make-over service that includes a cocktail.  I would recommend this to someone on holiday or planning a special night out.  It would be especially nice prior to a photo shoot!


According to Jen, Lush is a luxury worth working into your grocery or personal maintenance budget.  If you are already spending money on high end soaps, natural products, animal free concoctions, or anything specially designed for troublesome skin problems – then Lush is definitely worth a try.  The staff in each shop are friendly and knowledgeable about Lush products as well as common skin conditions plaguing their customers.   Multiple stations are sprinkled throughout a space designed to put you at ease for your testing pleasure, but please do resist the urge to eat what you see.


I spent less on the facial cleanser, toner, and face mask purchased than I would have spent at Clinique or Whole Body.  Ingredients are clearly listed on each product (and certified, if vegan).  Hopefully my skin will thank me for being so smart.

Red Nose Day

It turns out that Comic Relief celebrated Red Nose Day yesterday.  There is a brilliant Pick Your Nose scheme that reaches millions of individuals through advertisements and donation opportunities at local shops.  The good news is that loads of people are raising money for children in less than unfortunate situations.  The bad news is that I watched a good portion of the variety show-type telethon and I still don’t understand British humor.

Snow Day!

Sky news claims that 7 million London based workers stayed home from work yesterday and another 2 million played hooky today due to the worst snowy weather London has seen in 18 years.  Drew managed to walk to work this morning.  Living close to work has its benefits and its drawbacks…  I must say, though, I would have gone if I had the choice myself.  The grass is always greener on the other side.