I look at Valentine’s Day not in the usual candlelight and diamonds way—more like I was raised a hugger and a kisser, a don’t ever miss a chance to tell anyone I love you-er. It’s a mere coincidence I happen to fancy red & pink colour combinations, baking sweets, sending letters in the post, and dancing like a crazy person. These are a few things to make you smile, lovey-dovey or not.

From top, L to R:  Chelsea Wong / Eric Cahan / An adorable, chilly sheep at the farm show /
Moonrise Kingdom / Irresistable girliness / Best book ever / Tabletop Made cards = heart cutouts

V-tines Mix Tape Must-haves:  When I Go / EmmylouTake this Waltz / I’ve Loved You All Over the World  / You are my Joy via Annika / Holocene via Reardonk / Garden via Brad / I’m Still in Love with You via Swilly


It all happened rather fast, but our blog posts have been spotty as K is back to nonstop work and I am now in my hometown, anxiously awaiting the possibility to return to the UK with a visa. Now, a mix of blog theme from either side of the Atlantic. I’ve been here 2 days, am enjoying the comforts of home and family: have already used the laundry dryer, eaten scrapple, tickled the ivories a bit, and drove mum’s car on the right side of the road (Benny & I also narrowly avoided about 15 deer in a 10-minute drive last night). Best yet, there was my favourite lebanon bologna sandwich waiting for me in the car at the airport and a Union flag in the stuffies in my old room.

Our holiday guests—my sister Cat and friend Lesley—arrive today! In addition to eating my first
British mince pie, orange curd cupcake, and Christmas pudding (all shown above), the stockings are hung, Christmas crackers ready to be pulled, cookies baked. I’ve been wrapping up many things as of late (to be shared at a later time), and K gets the whole week off starting Monday. Tonight we head to Westminster Abbey for the Service of Lessons and Carols and then to celebrate Hanukkah with salt beef and gin at Mishkins. Wishing you all a very merry and bright holiday, wherever you are, no matter what you’re celebrating—filled with big hearts, memories, hope, toothy grins, and a good bit of Branston® pickle. From London, with love. Middle right photo by Paul Fox.

Here we are. Week one: arrived safely, found just the apartment we were hoping for, got caught in the rain, ate fish & chips (twice), had dinner at St. John’s Bread & Wine with Hugh and Jess who were passing through on their honeymoon, had Italian eats with Sam and Jo (so far our only British friends, thanks to Swilly), visited the Tate Modern, British Museum, Museum of London, Tralfagar Square, National Gallery, British Library, Spitalfield market, Notting Hill market, Barbican, Tower Bridge, heard an organ recital at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and watched the final Harry Potter film. xo.