Posts Tagged ‘England’

British Teacup Cake

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016


To make this fashionable British teacup cake, you will need one cake mix, two containers of cherry frosting, one container of chocolate frosting, and a strip of licorice. You will also need a round cake pan and a glass oven-safe deep bowl.

You can see in the picture below that I placed half the cake batter in a regular round cake pan. I put the other half in a deep bowl that was the perfect size and shape for the cup. It was a pyrex glass oven-safe dish. It was rounded and almost pointy on the bottom.

I dug out some cake from the “saucer” part, so that the teacup could rest inside the “saucer.”


I smoothed the top of the “cup” by leveling it with a knife. I suppose if you want the cup to be hollow, you could dig out some of the cake in the “cup.” I wanted it to be full of tea, so I just left it.


I removed the cup part and frosted the saucer part first. I used cherry frosting.


You will need two containers of frosting because it would be nearly impossible to cover the cup after having covered the saucer with frosting so thoroughly. You can decorate further by adding flowers. You can even buy candy flowers to make it look more professional than mine. In this case I used a spray icing that created the flowers, but if you bought vanilla frosting and tinted it pink, you could create a lighter pink for the flowers without spending money on the spray can.


For the finishing touches, frost the top of the cup with chocolate frosting to fill the cup with tea. Then add a handle to the teacup with a strip of licorice.


There you have it: your finished British teacup cake! If you liked making this cake, you will love my England Unit Study.

Travel Articles

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

These fun travel articles are personal stories from my own travels, mostly before I was married:

Growing Up in Guatemalatravel-articles-1


Living in Englandtravel-articles-2


Nightmare Through Europe” Backpacking Triptravel-articles-3


Travel that Got Me into Trouble


Travel that I Actually Enjoyed When I was Singletravel-articles-4


Travel in the U.S.A. with my Husband and Kids


Travel Humor

My Baby Dragon

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

my-baby-dragonTen years ago, when my oldest son was only 7 months old, I decided to fly to England with him. I had found a dirt cheap plane ticket. (I think it was only $400 round trip, because it was February, and all the planes were empty. Plus, I stayed with a friend, so lodging was free. She even came to pick me up from the airport.) The baby flew for free, since he was considered a “lap baby.” My husband had to work, and he wanted to hold up his end of the bargain. You see, before we got married, I told him I wanted to live the rest of my life in England. He said, “Choose a state, any state, as long as it’s the United States of America.” I initially chose Texas because my best friend lived there, but after I put him through college, I wanted to find a state that looked more like England. That’s why we live in Washington. But one of my requests before we got married was for him to let me go back to England every once in a while.

I weaned the baby to prepare for the trip; otherwise I would be in pain, since the time difference is so huge. Plus, I didn’t want to nurse the baby in public, and I would be on the plane for 12 hours, making it impossible not to feed the baby while on the plane. The only place for privacy in the airplane is the bathroom, and it’s so tiny and unsanitary (because turbulence causes spills; you can be sure of that!)

my-baby-dragon-2I was going to be gone for 7 days, and I bought baby food jars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I spread them out on the floor and separated them by days, making sure that the meals were well-balanced. I saw that fruit was represented each day, as well as vegetables, and that the dinner one had enough carbohydrates to enable his stomach to make it to morning time. I wrapped each jar in brown paper, labeling each one with a black Sharpie marker. “Day one: Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries.” And so on.

In the airplane, I opened the first jar. A man behind me looked at me in an amused fashion, asking me if he could please show his wife one of my neatly labeled baby food jars. I handed one to him, and the couple had a good laugh. They were obviously not first-time parents like I was. Now, looking back, I could have easily made food in England. Like I could have mashed a banana or whatever. But since I only had one week there, I didn’t want to waste time going to the grocery store.

The baby was sleeping soundly on the airplane, in his carrier by my feet. I was located at the front of the economy section, where there is more leg room. I was so happy because if the baby slept during the entire flight, his body clock would be perfect when we landed. But no… The stewardess forced me to wake up the baby, unstrap him from his carrier, and hold him on my lap. The turbulence was so tiny, I could barely feel it. I begged her to please let my baby sleep, but she didn’t care. As a result, my baby was “off” for days while we were in England, wide awake in the middle of the night. It was a nightmare because of the decision of that stewardess.

I took a backpack carrier and put by baby in there as we walked around London, visiting old haunts. Just seeing England again gave me such a feeling of elation. I feel different when I’m in England, almost like I’m in a fairy tale with castles and thatched cottages in the countryside. It was wonderful, even in my cloudy state of exhaustion due to the baby not sleeping properly.

We went to a castle, and I dressed my son up in the little dragon costume I had brought. I had a picture taken of me in front of the castle, holding my baby dragon.

Coat of Arms

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

coat-of-armsWhy not have your kids make a coat of arms when doing a Medieval unit study? If your kids don’t know how to sew, they could simplify the project by gluing felt with fabric glue, reducing the project to about an hour instead of a few weeks.

The coat of arms pictured above is hanging in my living room. Here is the story behind it:

When I was an English teacher in London, I had a small underground literary society. Some of my students were only reading one type of book and not branching out to the classics. I made them a deal that if they read a book that I recommended to them (based on the personality of the student), I would read one book that they wanted me to read. That way we could discuss the different books.

Back then I was single, and I spent most of my free time reading or traveling. I read War and Peace that year, because I had nothing to do once I got back to my apartment. I had no TV, no computer, and no stereo. My flat was tiny, made up of only one room except for the bathroom. You’ll never believe this, but I had to pull my bed down from the wall to go to bed. When the bed was down, there was hardly any space to walk. You get the picture.

One of these students from this literary society gave me so many books about dragons, and I enjoyed them all. When I got engaged (the day after directing the play “Fiddler on the Roof”), my students noticed I had a ring on my finger. This girl who loved dragons told me she wanted to sew me a coat of arms for my wedding. Since my wedding was a year off, I thought the plan was doable, so we went to a cloth store and picked out the fabrics. We talked about what my fiance and I would like on our coat of arms. I wanted two dragons facing each other. We also wanted swords, since both of us loved swords. I can’t remember the symbolism of any of it, but we were going to write some words in Latin on the bottom. Something about faithfulness, honesty, and loyalty, since that represented my relationship with my soon-to-be husband. We had remained friends for 8 years through many storms before we got married.

As the wedding date drew closer, my sweet student wasn’t finished yet. Years later when I went back to visit, I found her, and she gave me the unfinished coat of arms. I told her I would finish it, and that it meant a lot to me that she had already put that much work into it. Little did I know that she and her sister had spent more than 100 hours doing this! How do I know? Because it took me 100 hours to finish it, and more than half of it was already done. My half wasn’t as good as her half, and I never added the Latin words because I love it just the way it is. And I get to see it every day on my wall, hung on the rocks next to the fireplace. I love it, and it makes me grateful for having taught such a talented student!