My Gratitude Journal

Kew Gardens in Richmond, London

It’s way-back Wednesday. I’ve been reminiscing about my travels in the past. Flashback to 2018 and our trip to London. My first trip to London was in 2017, also in November, to visit my daughter. London, baby‚Ķ We also visited Paris during that trip. Paris, baby

During this 2018 trip to London, we visited Kew Gardens in Richmond, London.

Our first stop was the glasshouse at the Princess of Wales Conservatory. We climbed up the winding staircase and walked along the top.

My son had fun exploring the big treehouse.

We walked around and enjoyed the gardens.

We finished off our day with afternoon tea and a scone at The Botanical.

What a relaxing day at the Kew Gardens.

My Gratitude Journal

Our day trip to Notting Hill, London

It’s flashback Friday. Flashback to 2018. I took a trip to Notting Hill.

“I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

Notting Hill, 1999

No, not that Notting Hill. Although I love cheesy romantic one-liners (sometimes), I’m actually talking about Notting Hill in West London. My son and I went to London back in 2018 to visit my daughter, who was living there at the time. We took a day trip to Notting Hill.

I saw this charming picture of my daughter at Notting Hill over the summer and I asked her to pretty please take me there!

What a cutie…

It was November by the time we made it to Notting Hill so we had to bundle up but that made it all the more fun. Lots of brisk walking in cold weather while taking in the sights. It’s a great feeling.

First order of business was food. We decided on an Italian restaurant called Portobello Garden Arcade for lunch. I was in the mood for coffee, so I ordered a cappuccino. The perfect hot drink after a walk on a cold day. For food, we ordered a charcuterie board and pizza. The meats and cheese were delicious. The olives were so good. They tasted great with the hot bread and olive oil to dip it in. I loved the ambience and whimsical decor. It felt like we were eating lunch in a kitchen of an Italian house and the owners of the house had just finished making fresh bread. You could actually smell the bread throughout the whole restaurant. What a great feeling on a cold day.

After our delicious and fulfilling lunch, we took another brisk walk to visit the colorful houses. It was fun taking pictures with my children. So pretty!

We finished our day with some window shopping on Portobello Road. Lots of quirky antique, second-hand and vintage shops. More colorful houses. And ice cream.

A fun, flashback Friday!

I am grateful for reminiscing about fun day trips, cheesy romantic one-liners, whimsical restaurants, delicious charcuterie boards, colorful houses, window shopping and ice cream on a cold day.


Simplicity 8926 Review- A Squared Neck Crop Top

I bought this Simplicity 8926 pattern initially to make the dress in View A. I liked the looseness of it. I also liked the square neck and sleeves. I thought the plaid fabric was perfect for it.

I bought my fabric online at I thought I had picked a fabric similar to what the model was wearing. The fabric I purchased was a polyester/rayon blend and satin-faced challis with the colors of rose, light tan and ruby in a plaid pattern. When it arrived, I didn’t like it. I think that’s the risk of buying online. It’s very convenient but being able to actually look at and feel the fabric is important, especially if you have something specific in mind. Lesson learned. The fabric seemed too busy for a full dress. The colors were too bright. I didn’t like the “satin-face”. So instead of making the dress that was initially planned, I decided to make the top (view C).

The top comes in 2 lengths- crop and regular length. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite state that it is a crop top in the pattern. I thought it was just a shorter version. I didn’t find out it was a crop top until later when I read some reviews online. In addition, the top comes in 2 styles- with or without trim. Suggested fabrics are batiks, challis, cotton lawn, eyelet and seersucker.

The top was fairly easy to put together. The instructions were easy to follow. I would say this pattern is good for an advanced beginner. You will be doing gathers and putting a neckline facing together.

I like the top but I didn’t like the fabric that I chose. Also, it was my first time working with plaid and I realized after sewing it together that the lines ended up slanted or crooked, not straight across on the front part.

But I guess crooked is my jam

Overall, I like this pattern. I will use it again but next time, I will make the long sleeved dress (view A) as originally planned but in a solid color. I would also like to make the regular length top but without the trim (view B).

I think that the long sleeved dress is a perfect dress for the Fall and the short sleeved dress and tops are great for the Summer months. The tops even come with pants to sew up that will match with the top!

Until then, happy sewing!