Friday, February 22, 2013

Wales Part Five: London

When we left off three whole weeks ago (good job maintaining a posting schedule Shauna!) in our last installment of Fly Away Fridays, I told you about our long weekend in the fabulous city of Edinburgh  Scotland.  This week, it's London Baby!
I'd been obsessed with Peter Pan, and I was so excited to see Big Ben for the first time!
First I should back up and explain our predicament.  Our trip had a week of free time built in at the end of our course, during which we planned to spend gallivanting around London.  I told you about the terrorist attacks that happened the week before we were due to arrive.  Unfortunately, at the time we decided to cancel our trip and hang out back in Wales for the remainder of our trip.  

But, we had already bought tickets to see the best musical ever, Phantom of the Opera, so we decided to take the last train into the city that night and the first train out the following morning.  Being a bunch of smart 17/18 year olds, we thought it would be way more fun to wander around the city sightseeing all night long instead of booking a hotel room or anything.  I mean, we even argued about taking a cab back across the city at 4:30 AM to the train station, so you can see how cheap we were!
Upon arriving in The Big Smoke, we hopped on a double decker bus, popped into a phone booth, and got giddy at a worldwide Target van driving by. 

We visited the famous Trafalgar Square where Lindsey was kissed by two random guys within five minutes.
Malena painted the above photo into a gorgeous canvas that I've had hanging in my home ever since. 

Then it was time for the play!
Obviously we changed into our "fancy clothes" in a park bathroom because we're classy like that.

When we emerged after the show, we spent the rest of the night walking around the city, taking in the sights, being scared to death by random street corners, and bring exhausted on some church steps. 
None of my pictures turned out after dark, so I don't have much to show you, nor do I remember too much of what we saw, except that some guy at the train station in the morning was absolutely amazed by our snack size box of raisins!
I went back to London six years later and just loved it again!  I was only there for a day at the beginning and end of our trip, but I would love to go back and stay for longer one day!  You can read more about that trip here!

Next Friday is the last tale from our travels!  This time it'll be all about castles!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kick Off Your Purple Shoes!

One of the big ideas in green living, and one of the Three R's, is Reuse.  By finding another purpose for something you have lying around, you're reducing the amount of garbage you're throwing out.  Less garbage, less money wasted!
I needed a pair of purple shoes for an upcoming wedding, and after spending awhile looking and only seeing pairs for $60-70, I wasn't satisfied.  Especially because while I love purple and would definitely wear purple shoes often, I probably wouldn't rewear such fancy shoes often enough to justify spending that much.  A pair of black heels I wear often?  Sure.  But not bridesmaid shoes.

Enter in my old wedding shoes.  I kept them for obvious reasons, but mostly because I actually though I might wear them again after my wedding.  I haven't worn them a single time in the almost four years that we've been married, but I finally had a light bulb moment!
 For $4, I was able to pick up a packet of iDye for silk fabric and turn my white shoes purple! 

It was as simple as dipping a cheap paintbrush into the dye and painting it onto the shoe.  I did two coats, but the first coat was perfect on it's own! 
It literally only took 5 minute to brush the dye on, then I let them dry over night and added a second coat the following day. 

And look how perfectly they match the invitation!

The color in the photo looks like it might be a little uneven, but in person they are completely the same color all around!
I can't wait to try them out at the wedding!  Have you ever been able to re-purpose an old item for a brand new look?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dressed-Up Dresser

Just a little update to see what our teal dresser looks like nowadays!
No more Christmas, but I've got lots of metallic tones with a candle holder on Buddha, the owl I've named Hedwig, and the mercury glass lamp!

We're planning on printing some new photos for our gallery wall soon as well! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Eco Home: DIY Wool Dryer Balls

Hello!!  I've been crafting lately, and made myself some eco-friendly wool dryer balls!  Is that the funniest name or what?  

For about $5, I was able to  this pile of wool yarn
and turn it into four dryer balls!
What's the point of dryer balls?  They cut your drying time in half because they absorb moisture, and they eliminate the need for dryer sheets, which saves the planet just a little bit more!

The process couldn't be simpler.  It only took about 10 minutes to prepare, and then a spin in the washer and dryer.
All you do is wrap yarn around three fingers about 20 times, then slip the yarn off and continue to wrap a tight ball.  Keep going until it's about an inch in diameter!
Next, take some old panty hose or knee highs, and stick the balls inside, knotting each one off with some non wool string.
Wash the yarn balls in hot water and then dry them, and you're done!
Now you can toss the balls into the dryer with every load and you should see the drying time cut down!  I have found that the tend to make my clothes static-y if I restart the load to un-wrinkle items that I leave sitting there for day.  I'm lazy like that!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wales Part Four: Edinburgh, Scotland

Yay it's Fly Away Friday again!! This week brings the tales of the most bittersweet part of the trip: Scotland!  The land of my people (I'm half German and half Scottish)! 
Fresh off the terrorist attacks in London, we decided that we probably shouldn't spend the whole week there like we planned (although at this point in my life I wish we had), so we wanted to make our long weekend in Edinburgh count. 

We left the day after the attacks in London, so we were all a little apprehensive but still excited. 
Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities ever.  I had great memories of it, but I also remember the first day there, when my heart just couldn't take missing Tim anymore and I spent the better half of the day crying in our hostel and then in a phone booth calling him.  After our conversation, I laid in the park silently missing him and enjoying some rare peaceful time to myself. 
Wandering alone in a city is great therapy.  In the days before widespread cell phones, I got to walk around the city by myself while Lindsey and Malena went off by their selves.  With only a time to meet later, I finished my nap at the park and decided to take myself shopping.  I bought some great pants and I discovered H&M for the first time (this was before they were in the US). 
After our day apart, we spent the rest of our weekend exploring the awesome city and taking in the beautiful architecture and sights!

We also went on a really fun ghost tours and totally felt their presences!
And lastly, we explored the Edinburgh Castle!
As I'll tell you about in another blog, we saw lots and lots and lots of castles during this trip!  They were pretty neat!