The Treasures I Brought Back From England & How I’m Using Them Here at Home

Welcome to the 563rd Metamorphosis Monday!

No major Before and Afters to post today so I thought I’d share some random updates along with the special souvenirs I brought back from England this past summer. By the way, I decided to give having my groceries delivered from Publix a try–a suggestion left in the comments on a previous post where I shared about Dorothy Lane Market in Oakwood, Ohio. The groceries were delivered this morning just as I started writing this post.

The delivery went okay but unfortunately, they were out of several of the items they had advertised and allowed me to purchase online last night. The “shopper” attempted to text me this morning to suggest replacements, but I had my phone on “Do Not Disturb” as I do 24/7 so I didn’t get them.

I keep my phone in the Do Not Disturb mode full time so I’m never interrupted throughout the day with sales and scam calls. Family and friends can always get through because I have their names “starred” in my phone so it always rings or beeps when they call or text. I figure if anyone I do not know is calling, and they are legit, they’ll leave a message.

Since I didn’t answer their texts this morning, they ended up replacing the items with things I didn’t want, so I’m not sure I’ll do this again. I would have preferred they just left those off. It’s a shame they don’t keep the website properly updated with the items they actually have available. I would have to have a really good reason to use the delivery service again, like if I’ve just had surgery and couldn’t drive. Just wanted to share my experience in case you found it helpful.


How Did the Puzzle Board Work for Transporting My Puzzle Home?

So remember the puzzle board I purchased while I was in Ohio visiting family?

Puzzle Board for Working Puzzles While Standing or Sitting


I put it to the test to see how it would work for transporting my puzzle back home.

Puzzle Board Cover


It did great! When I arrived home, the puzzle was still fully assembled. It had slid down to rest on the bottom of the puzzle board, but it was fully intact. I slid it off onto the floor of the upstairs family room since I wanted to start another puzzle right away. It always takes me a few days to get up the nerve to take one I’ve finished apart. lol I hate doing it! (Puzzle below is available here: Cat Library Puzzle.)

If you love doing puzzles but don’t like how your back feels afterward, you’ll find this puzzle board available here: Puzzle Board. It definitely saves the back and makes doing a puzzle a lot more fun!

Transporting or Moving a Finished Puzzle


This was the puzzle I was eager to start. I ended up doing it on my old puzzle board that I keep here ar home. I’ve decided to take the blue-back puzzle board back to Ohio when I next travel there since the black background ultimately works better in my office. Also, the blue one is better for transporting puzzles due to how the cover is designed.

This puzzle only had 500 pieces so it went very quickly. Kinda sad it went so fast because I love the scene. You’ll find this puzzle here: Cozy Winter Puzzle.

Cozy Puzzle for Winter


What Did I Bring Back From England?

In a previous post I shared these hilarious rubber duckies I brought back from England after my friend, Mary Beth, shared how she collects them whenever she travels. I already had one ducky, a Maasai Warrior ducky, received as a gift during a visit to Mahali Mzuri in 2015.

Whimsical Linen Storage with Rubber Ducks, Duckies


Once back home, Mary Beth always tucks her newly-collected duckies away in her linen closet to surprise and delight family and visiting friends when they seek out a towel for bathtime. Can you imagine opening a closet and finding these inside? I have my guest linen closet ready for when I have family here for Thanksgiving.

Queen Elizabeth Rubber Ducky


I loved that idea and posted all about it here: An Absolutely Ducky Idea for Shelving in a Bathroom or Linen Closet. I picked up all these adorable duckies while traveling across England, including this cute Shakespeare ducky I found in the gift shop of the Globe Theatre when we were there for a play.

Wiliam Shakespeare Rubber Ducky


This was one of the other items I purchased in the gift shop of the Globe. I’m a member of a Shakespeare class here at home that meets twice a month throughout the year, so this is perfect for transporting the books and items I need for class.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Souvenir Tote


During my trip to England, I visited The British Museum where I saw the Rosetta Stone in person. I was in awe after having heard and read about this amazing discovery all of my life.

As you can see below, this photo is one I shared during my trip at the “Between Naps On The Porch” Instagram. It’s so much easier and faster to share things with you there in real-time, so if you’re not following me on Instagram, please consider doing that. You’ll find the BNOTP Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.

Rosetta Rosetta Stone, The British Museum


Afterward, I purchased these cute socks in the gift shop for myself and for family. I wish I had purchased more because they are really comfortable, the perfect thickness for my winter boots. I noticed when I was in Ohio that my son and dil were wearing their Rosetta socks. I also purchased a Rosetta Stone-themed coffee thermos while there but I couldn’t find it to share this morning. It’s around here somewhere.


The other place we visited during that trip that left a huge impression on me was Stonehenge. I need to finish going through all my photos so I can share them with you. This was the photo I shared in real-time on Instagram as I stood with goosebumps just a few feet away from this prehistoric World Heritage Site.


I made a beeline for the gift shop after touring the site and purchased several items to commemorate this special day. I picked up this super cozy fleece jacket, I’ve already worn it a few times this fall.


A close-up of the Stonehenge logo…

Stonehenge Souvenir, Fleece Jacket


I also purchased this woolly throw. I have a thing for throws. I absolutely love them, the woollier the better! If there’s ever an apocalypse and a throw shortage ensues, just stop by my house. lol

Wool Blanket from Stonehenge


I double-checked to make sure it didn’t say, “Made in China” before buying it. This was one item I wanted to make sure was made locally.


The final item I’ll share is this beautiful, light-weight scarf I purchased in the gift shop of the Fashion Museum in Bath.


I loved the blue and white print and it’s the perfect weight for a summer scarf.


The day I purchased it I was wearing this dress and I was surprised to see how nice it looked with it. I ended up wearing it the whole day.

Blue and White Gingham Dress, Lemon Motif


So, those are the purchases I made during my trip to England, or at least the ones I could find last night as I gathered them together. I bought a few books, too–I think.

I’ll try to go through my England photos soon so I can share more from that trip with you. In the meantime, check out the photos at Between Naps On The Porch on Instagram at the links below. Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

Pssst: Did you know Between Naps On The Porch is on Instagram? You’ll find my home and garden postings on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch AND my fashion postings here: Under Moonlight and Magnolias.

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  1. Ha! “The Duckies” was one of the first of your posts I ever read, and I loved your sense of humor so much that I continued on and read a whole bunch more! Now I wouldn’t miss one. Amazing what a duck can start! 🙂

    I love all the things your brought back from your trip – especially that beautiful throw! Thanks for all the great ideas and your always-fun posts. Happy Monday!

  2. Thank you, Susan. I always love seeing the souvenirs you have purchased. I was also in awe of Stonehenge. My son bought the fleece jacket and sorry to say, I did not. It was difficult to leave the historical area to take time to shop, as much as I wanted to. I just wanted to stand there and gaze as long as I could.

    • I known what you mean, I hated to leave it, also! I loved walking around and around while listening to the history of the site though the device they gave us.

  3. What a fun time you had! As usual. Nice post. But I must say public’s tried. This service will be a godsend to those that find shopping a challenge! Maybe they need a do not substitute box. I’m surprised that you weren’t a bit more forgiving

    • They did have a box to check like that last night when I placed my order, I checked, Do not substitute. The items that they substituted today we’re not the ones they showed last night. They were items that they claimed to have in stock last night when I ordered them. They should never have just substituted them without confirming I was okay with that.

    • Okay, now that I’m back from having my tires rotated, I can better reply. Meg, it’s not a matter of being “forgiving.” Publix is a store, a business. I am a customer. I ordered certain items last night online because they said they were in stock. When I got to the last screen before placing my order, it informed me that the prior information was wrong and that they didn’t have two items it had allowed me to place in my cart. It asked if I wanted substitutions and I chose “No” in both cases.

      First strike against them was offering me items they didn’t have, then disappointing me at check out by stating they weren’t available after all.

      The second strike came when they decided to substitute two more items this morning for two items that were supposed to have been in stock. Since they weren’t able to reach me, they should have just left them off. In the end, I paid for two items I didn’t want. Someone at Publix is not doing their job in keeping their website current with what products are actually in stock in each store.

      In the end, they charged me a $4.30 service fee and another $4.30 tip for the driver. That would be fine if they had handled my order correctly and had the items in stock as indicated when I placed my ordered. I’d rather save $$$ and actually get what I want than pay a fee to receive items I didn’t order and don’t want.

      So, yes…my first experience was not great and I would only use the service if I’m desperate, meaning I can’t drive to the store due to illness or something like that. I’m sure it’s helpful for those who are homebound or just don’t care if they get stuff they didn’t want and didn’t order.

      If you always settle for subpar service, that’s what you’ll always get. They need to do a better job of inventorying what they have and updating their system or they will have fewer and fewer customers using it.

  4. Bernadette M Gibson says

    When my husband was ill, and I didn’t want to leave him, I, too, had food delivered from Publix. That was about a year ago. I now have them deliver whenever I don’t feel like going to the store, or I’m too busy, or in the middle of something. The shopper would called me and tell me if something was not available and asked if I wanted a substitute. I loved having my groceries delivered in the snow and rain. Easy peasy. I hope you give it a try. It really is so convenient when you don’t want to be bothered.

    • Thanks, Bernadette! I did give it a try and unfortunately, it didn’t work well for me because they didn’t have the items they said they did and then substituted with items I didn’t want. Glad you’ve found it helpful, though.

  5. Franki Parde says

    I like the way you think (shop!!) franki

  6. Katherine Godoy says

    Great post! I’d love to see the scarf as a scrunched up table runner for a blue and white themed table!

  7. I love your duckies especially the Queen duck! Super cute and fun.
    I hear ya on throws and blankets. My daughter says I have a blanket fetish. lol I love being warm and cozy and I want everyone who visits to be comfortable so I like having lots of blankies on hand to wrap up in.

    • I think I have one, too Dawn! I blame it on the fact I hate being cold, even a little cold. lol I just love the softness and the warmth and I love how they look draped across a chair of sofa. They make the room so much more inviting, don’t they? Hope you are staying snuggly warm today. It’s freezing here and with the insane wind, it feels like it’s 5 degrees outside!@

  8. The idea of having my groceries delivered has always appealed to me. The glitch being, how can you actually entrust another to shop as you would – to pick out the produce, etc., that you would? I live in a small bedroom community, which is in the greater San Francisco bay area. (You may have heard about our recent, horrifying mass shooting on Halloween. It actually made the national news. I suppose because that sort of thing never happens here, where the public schools are excellent, and everyone is very invested in their community. It was a very large house that was rented out on AirBNB.) Anyway, I’m digressing. Unfortunately, there is only a sub-par Safeway here – the only game in town. I never buy anything there except kitty litter and Haagen Daz. I drive about four miles to the next town, which has an upscale gourmet market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and a better Safeway. If I’m in the mood, I will drive west to Berkeley Bowl, which is a HUGE market with the most fabulous and amazing produce department.

    • Yeah, produce is a tricky one. You have to hope you get someone who would do it as you would, I guess.
      I don’t watch the depressing, often fake news so I didn’t hear about that. That’s horrible, Lisa. So sorry that happened in your area! Berkeley Bowl sounds awesome! We used to have Harry’s Farmers Market here and you could tell such a big difference in the produce. Fruit and veggies bought there stayed fresh sooo much longer than what you picked up in the regular grocery stores.

  9. Hi Susan- There is a learning curve with ordering groceries online. If you check “Allow substitution”, specify exactly the item you will accept in the “Special instruction” box. I never allow them to substitute anything of their choosing. There are others shopping online and in store when you place your order and until you receive your order, so by the time you click “Place Order” and when your order is gathered for pick up or delivery- it may no longer be in stock. Also select text message notifications about your order and be available to respond immediately. Expect a text within a couple hours of order delivery or pickup time confirming your order or substitution questions. I hate grocery shopping, after decades of it, so I order online the night before and pick up the order myself the next morning- for over a year now, twice a month with no problems. It also helps to save your grocery order list on your website account, so you can easily shop or modify future orders. As a security measure, do not save your payment method information in the website account- enter it each time you place an order. Hope this helps!

    • The items I was ordering were very standard items, nothing fancy, so I was surprised they didn’t have them this morning. I did click to not allow any substitutions last night on the items that I had in my cart that they said weren’t available…after it let me put them in my cart. Unfortunately, this morning when it turned out there were additional items not available, they substituted for those even though they didn’t reach me to okay it. The Publix near me has really gone downhill over the last few years. They used to have an outstanding manager and the store was always well-stocked. About 2-3 years ago that all changed and they were often out of stuff or it wasn’t stocked on the shelves. Also, the produce dept looked terrible with old produce that looked past its prime. I asked someone what was going on and they said that they had moved the store manager who had been there many years to another store that was having issues. The new manager was def not doing a good job. Not long after that, they added all the self-checkout lanes. So it’s def not the store it once was.

      • You might consider ordering from a different Publix store that is well-managed. Ironically, the first time I placed an online grocery order, the manager of the store was fired that day. I made 3 trips to pick up that order, but was told each time, when I parked in the Pick Up spot and called to alert them I arrived- the order wasn’t ready yet and to return in an hour. After the 3rd trip, someone FINALLY explained the store was in bedlam due to this firing and abrupt departure and they didn’t know if my order would be fulfilled that day; I replied I was not coming back.

        Fuming, I went home and called their corporate headquarters to report the situation! It was 6 months before I dared to place an order after that awful experience. Now, I only shop in person at Fresh Market and Sprouts occasionally. All my other grocery staples are ordered online and I pick them up twice a month for less than $5 cost per order and my local grocery store is just 5 minutes away. I love the convenience! The other plus- my big Chocolate Labrador Retriever loves the ride to the store and the really nice employees that bring the order to my car.

        • That is insane! I would have been livid! You would think one person in that store could have pulled your order for you. The corporate off should have given you a big gift certificate or something for what you went through that day. So often, companies show us they do not value our time at all…like installing self-checkout instead of hiring additional personnel to man the registers. Glad you found something that works for you. I may give Publix another shot, but so far, I’m not impressed with how it went.

  10. I have practiced cool and calm before my grocery items are delivered. Yesterday was the first “good one” I’ve had in a few years. I’ve had Coke Zero(4 packages of 12) foisted on me by someone who said it had replaced Caffeine Free Diet Coke. I couldn’t even give it away. Turkey bologna instead of regular.(Iknow, but I love bologna!) Non fat items when the only dietish thing I order is Diet Coke and 2% milk. Unsalted butter – 8 sticks when I order only salted. It’s cost me a lot of money over the years when all they need to do is train the “pickers” to make sure that what they pick looks like the picture I selected from. When I ordered they had a new feature which was three places to check 1)substitute only for size 2) sub same size different brand and 3) no substitution. It went way better, but how helpful a little line for further instructions would be. I stay away from Instacart, because they tell their shoppers that they must try to talk the customers into subs. I’m stuck with it, so I need to regulate my temper, but jeez! Sorry. I’m exhausted and you’re bored, but I needed to get it out and my children are about to adopt me out…

  11. “couldn’t find it to take a photo. It’s around here somewhere.” You seem so organized, now I won’t feel so bad when I can’t find something that I know is “around here.”
    The throw is beautiful. The ads for English wool make it so appealing and I always wonder if it is non itchy since I get a rash from so many wool things. Is yours soft? I inherited a throw of Irish wool that is so soft. I used it today, be glad you are not in Ohio now, temperature is going into the teens tonight. Stay warm!

    • lol I didn’t have time to look very much this morning, was running way behind. My problem is I “put stuff up so I won’t lose it” then forget where I so carefully put it.
      This one is very soft, not really scratchy feeling at all. I have the same issue with wool sweaters, have to wear really thick turtlenecks under them unless the sweater is cashmere.

  12. Thanks so much for hosting each week!!

  13. I don’t often write but it’s always a delight! Thanks for all the ideas and all the joy!

  14. Hi Susan

    Good to hear that you enjoyed your visit to England and I look forward to seeing your photos. It’s very rainy and dismal here today.

    The throw looks very similar to one I have which was made by a well-regarded company in Yorkshire.

    The label on your throw doesn’t say what type of wool it’s made from other than ‘All New Wool’.

    My throw is 100% pure new Shetland wool. Bronte by Moon also make the same design in 100% Merino Lambswool, which is likely to be softer than Shetland wool and more expensive.

    I also have a Foxford Woollen Mills throw, made in Ireland. The label on it says it’s 100% Lambswool. The lambswool throw is softer than the Shetland wool throw.

    I hope that answers Mary Lou’s question!

    • Hope it’s much prettier today, Di! Wow, those throws sound wonderful! I just checked out the website and I’m holding you personally responsible if I go crazy on that site and spend a ton of money! 😉 Some beautiful things on there! Oh my, goodness!

    • Di, I was curious what exactly is “All New Wool” and looked it up. I found this info online:

      • Susan, Hi. A much prettier day today with blue skies and Autumnal colours here in central England but the rain is due to return soon.

        Apologies if you are tempted to go crazy with throw purchases!

        Thank you for the link about ‘all new wool’. Here in the UK a logo – the ‘Woolmark’ – also appears on pure new wool items. It’s easy to find the logo in google.

        The Stonehenge shop describes the throw similar to the one you have as being made from “super soft pure new wool”. It leaves me wondering if it’s Shetland wool or Merino lambswool? Which ever wool the throw is made from it will be a nice throw.

        As I know you don’t like being cold and if you enjoy products made in the UK, a website to temp you might be this one?

        They ship world-wide and are nicely packed. I can thoroughly recommend their bed socks which are ideal for a cold winter night.


        • Thanks for that shop link, Di. I will def check it out! You’re so right, I do not like the cold! The only good thing about cold weather is snuggly sweaters, boots and throws! I just purchased some wool socks on Amazon that I LOVE! Plus, they were an awesome price…def buying more. I’ll share them in an upcoming post, these are too good to not share.

          • Look forward to seeing the socks on Amazon but suspect the added shipping charge to the UK won’t make them an awesome price for me!

  15. Mary Mackenzie says

    You might want to try call blocking or nomorerobo. We signed up for both on the net. They block all the spam both on our cell phones and lan line. It frees your phone for calls you want or expect. If you do a web search, you’ll find all those available.

    • I tried nomorerobo about two years and there was some reason I removed it. I can’t remember now why, but there was something about it that didn’t work out. Thanks for those suggestions, Mary! I find most people just leave a message if they are legit…then I call them back. I used to block any calls if someone called and didn’t leave a message since they are pretty 100% spam. I got tired of having to go to the trouble to block them so that’s why I just keep my phone on Do Not Disturb with friends and family starred so it rings through for them. I think my phone company offers Call Blocking but I resent having to pay extra to not be harassed by scammers, so I do not have that feature on my phone.

  16. Nice post! Love that scarf!

    Maybe you could put Publix’s phone number in as a favorite and try ordering one more time from them – that way you wouldn’t miss the call if they wanted to let you know about missing/substituted items.

    Are you still using the Peloton? My son and his wife bought one and I’ve been trying to get to a cycle class once a week – I love it!

    • I was thinking about that, too. If they always call from the same number, that would work. I need to look and see what number they were texting me from…hopefully it’s their main number.
      Yes, I adore it! My dil is more disciplined than I am. She rides her bike 6 days a week. I haven’t ridden over the last month since I was out of town and got sick with a horrible cold virus. The virus is about gone now so it’s time to get back at it.
      Megan, do you live close to you son/dil? Can you ride their bike or do you go to a cycle class elsewhere? That’s awesome if you can use their bike!

  17. Was it by chance the fashion museum in Bath? I have the exact scarf, and got it there! Sadly, I snagged mine, but it isn’t too terribly noticeable.

    I enjoyed Stonehenge far more when you could actually touch the stones, but of course I do understand why they limit it now. There are actually many lesser known stone and wooden henges across Britain, that you can wander amongst and really get the chills by being right there in them. Never gets old!

    • It was! I saw so many things in there that I was tempted by. Sorry your scarf got a snag. Thanks for telling me about that, Tammy. I’ll try to be super careful when I wear this one. I wish I had seen it before they quit letting people walk up to it. I would love to see all the henges! For some reason, I have a fascination with historic sites like that…with archeology, in general. I’ve even thought of volunteering for a dig somewhere.
      I’m ready to go back to England…want to see so much more!

  18. I just wanted to tell you how much I love your rubber ducky idea! I only wish I’d known about it before so I could have started collecting them before!
    I really enjoy following you. I found you about a year and a half ago when I was researching a trip we were taking Ireland and read your blog about a castle we were going to stay in that you had been to.
    Love all your ideas! Thanks so much!

    • Thanks, Eileen! I know, I felt the same way when Mary Beth told me about how she collects them on that trip this past summer. Not quite the same, but I bet you could order one for each place you’ve been online.

  19. Your duckies are so cute! (We need to lobby for a duckie emoji ) and that blue and white scarf is gorgeous. I had to make myself walk away from it!

  20. Susan, I ordered the puzzle board with the blue felt, and love it. I also ordered the puzzle. It will be next after finishing the one I am working on.

  21. Susan, Always enjoy your posts! Which of the two puzzle boards is your favorite?

    • Kay, I just saw this comment and realized I never replied. I really like both puzzle boards. The blue color is gorgeous! They are really about the same, just different colors. So glad you like yours!

  22. jenny alexander says

    Don’t know if anyone has already told you but, it’s Dorothy Lane Market.. Colonel Deeds daughter Dorothy used to ride her pony on the Lane, hence, Dorothy Lane.. We locals just call it Dorothy. I love your posts

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