I’ve so enjoyed working on my Goldwork pieces from the RSN classes I’ve taken, and here’s the first one I’ve finished! I love the Tudor-inspired motif.

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Devil’s Bridge

ALP and I decided to take a taxi to Devil’s Bridge rather than the steam train, since a taxi was both cheaper and faster (by 40 minutes).  I admit, I get why driving is viewed differently in the UK than it is in the US.  After a few miles on those hilly, winding roads, I realized long car trips over that terrain would never be a possibility for me.

We arrived at Devil’s Bridge, and paid admission to the hiking trail.  First we viewed the bridge itself, which was beautiful.

Then we began the hour-long hike down into the valley and back up, so that we could view the waterfall from every vantage point.

The trail was narrow, slippery, and steep, but absolutely worth the sore legs I had for the next few days.

When we got back up to the top, we sat for a while to gather ourselves, and then headed across the street to the only available restaurant for lunch.

And hot chocolate!

Bonus shot: Jacob’s Ladder (not for the faint of heart, I held on to the railing the entire time like an elderly lady terrified of breaking a hip).

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Afternoon Tea at Nanteos

Only two miles outside of town is Nanteos, and ALP and I decided to have afternoon tea there one day.  They offer a tour before tea, and I’m SO glad we took it.  It was an informal tour led by the very knowledgable receptionist, who told us a lot about the family who built the house in the eighteenth century.  They’ve renovated and updated the house to become a hotel, but many original features are still present.  The stone flooring in the servant’s quarters is original, and worn down in the middle by centuries of feet hurrying past.

Click here for more on the history of Nanteos–

It was such a beautiful day!  Green fields, blue skies, and white sheep grazing opposite the house. (One got outside the fence and was laying in some greenery 🙂 ).

The last direct heir of the family, killed four days after peace was declared.  Apparently his family received the news while they were celebrating.

And the absolutely stunning music room.  It’s one thing to read descriptions in novels, but actually standing in this carefully preserved eighteenth-century music room defies description.

Lots of luxurious, extravagant detail.

And afternoon tea! 

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The Pembrokeshire Coast

My dear friend ALP and I went to the Pembrokeshire Coast last week for one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating vacations I’ve ever had.  The scenery was breathtaking, and the B&B was the perfect combination of antique quaintness and sleek modernity.  We explored Cardigan, Newport, Moylegrove, and the Welsh moorlands.

The guide rather lamented the lack of a clear day to see the view below, but I was ecstatic to ride through the fog on the moors.  It was like being in a novel. 🙂

The B&B was so perfectly appointed, and we were so comfortable during our stay.  I highly recommend The Old Vicarage Bed and Breakfast in Moylegrove to anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation in beautiful surroundings.

We walked down to the Perrog on the Coastal Path one afternoon, and reveled in the fresh air and amazing views.

We saw this abandoned rowboat on the way.

And these moss-covered rocks separating the beach from the street were so picturesque.

Just down the road from the B&B was the most beautiful little country church.  We were able to go in and look around!

I believe this was the castle in Cardigan, privately owned and currently operating as a guest house according to someone we spoke to.

I’ll remember this trip always!

As I wrote this blog post, I realized I was listening to the playlist of a CD ALP made for me years ago!  How perfect. 🙂

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Prospectus Approved! 

I’m finally ready to begin the last stage of my doctoral degree in earnest! Two years of writing, here I come!

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Breaking News

Netflix has removed Lo que la Vida me Robó from streaming!  This is what you get for finishing your prospectus instead of your telenovela.  :/

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Goldwork Day Class: Stitching at Hampton Court Palace

I took the train from London Waterloo to Hampton Court Palace for a Tudor-Inspired Goldwork class at the Royal School of Needlework! I made sure to arrive early, so I had a hot chocolate at the Palace Cafe across the street from the station before crossing the bridge to the palace. We all met in the designated area and were led away from the public areas of the palace to the RSN’s studios on the sixth floor. It was so exciting to be able to go behind the little black gate tasked with keeping regular tourists out. 😉

This motif was waiting for me, already in the hoop on a lovely red cotton dress velvet. 


I was particularly excited to work with the metallic tissue, I’ve never had the opportunity to use it before. I also enjoyed learning to do a proper padded satin stitch on the flower petals.   

I learned to couch gold threads at the three day class I attended in Chester, so this was a welcome opportunity to practice couching and plunging the threads. I love the curlicue of the gold twist! 


Only a bit left to do and I’ll be able to prepare it for display!

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Easter in London!!!

I was up at 4:15 to catch the 5:30 train to London, and in my rush I forgot my Oyster card. 😕 But luckily, I was able to get a new one at King’s Cross for five pounds. 😉

I met my friend A.K. at the hostel, and we grabbed a quick lunch (Burger King, I needed something American, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen). Katie and I started planning out our itinerary for the weekend, which included the Sherlock Holmes museum, Chawton House, and eating at Nando’s!

We also planned to go to the Holy Saturday evening service at Westminster, and I’m so glad we did!

This is now my dream living room.


221B Baker Street!

And this is my dream writing desk.

And seeing Jane Austen’s writing table was just a dream.

I’m so glad we decided to take the train out to Alton to the Jane Austen House Museum, it’s one of my best memories of the trip.

I also really enjoyed the eighteenth-century exhibits at the Museum of London, they were very well done!

Eighteenth-Century Exhibit at the Museum of London

I had such a wonderful time during my whirlwind weekend in London, and I highly recommend staying at the Macdonald Hotel near King’s Cross/St. Pancras.


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My Telenovela Obsession

In honor of reaching the 30th episode of my latest telenovela, here’s the vlog I made when I was in the middle of my first ever telenovela, Cuidado con el Angel.  It is a masterpiece and a roller coaster of emotions and you have to watch it (be ready to give up 187 hours of your life).

I’m now super into Lo que la Vida me Robó, and I just know Montserrat will end up falling in love with Alejandro!  But Jose Luis is so wonderful too!  Oh, the conflict!

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Welsh Dragon


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