Europe Day 3: Scotland, Edinburgh

Day 3! We woke up in Aviemore and drove to the Cairngorm Mountians for a little more hiking, which was really just like walking on a big open trail. No trees, no hills, no steep climbs or scary rock edges.

Caringorms 4Caringorms 8After we left the Cairngorms we drove to Aviemore to an ADORABLE village where we stopped for lunch at the Mountian Cafe. We had no idea what we were in store for, but the food was beyond amazing, delicious, fresh, and the pastry selection would make anyone drool.

This cafe was having a “name our cookbook” contest. I put my slip in, for a name, and totally forgot about it. Then I was searching for a wedding present 11 months later for my friends that got engaged in Scotland and went to see if the cookbook existed yet, and it did! They got “The Mountian Cafe Cookbook, a Kiwi in the Cairngorms” for their wedding and were thrilled, since they too, forgot about the cookbook.

After lunch, we were off on our way to Edinburgh! We found our loft where we rented a room in a very generous English family’s house and then went off on a street adventure.

Edin Street

As beautiful as Edinburgh is, it was beyond crowded for the Fringe festival, and really needed a good pressure washing.

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Edin 5

Edin 2

One of our first stops was to “The Black Cat”, a Whisky bar suggested to us by our water at the Red Skye restaurant in Skye.

Our first Whisky in Scotland! Next, we went to a place called “Dirty Dick’s” for dinner. We mostly picked it due to its humorous signs outside and the fact that they had a deep fried Mars Bar. Which happened to be a big thing in Scotland.

Edin Dirty 1

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Genius Marketing at Dirty Dick’s.

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We then walked around a bit, came across the Elephant House, a cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote parts of Harry Potter!

I did not go in since the crowd was HUGE and there was a fee for people just walking in… So Reanna walked right in, ducking into an Asian tourist group, and took photos of the graffiti in the bathroom.

Edin 9

We rubbed the nose of the Grayfriar’s Bobby, the statue of the loyal dog on our way back to the loft for the end of night 1 in Edinburgh, day 3 of the trip.


Europe Day 2: Scotland

We woke up actually pretty alert for a melatonin induces sleep and started our day ready to go! We took turns showering in the TINY bathroom/shower combo room and packed up our bags. We went across the water from the Cowshed Boutique and grabbed some coffee and after a rude interaction with a local bakery owner (who kicked us out for having someone ELSE’S coffee in hand, when he didn’t open for another 20 minutes as he explained when we ran into him outside so we decided to go get our coffee at the Isle of Skye Brewing Company and come back for his pastries, and we didn’t even end up with his delicious looking baked goods since he told us to leave…), well, once all that happened, we were ready for the day.

Scot Dog

A real Scottie dog, in Scotland!

Stop #1 in the itinerary was the Fairy Glenn. Again, a place with NO Fairy history or lore, just a cool looking natural formation. My travel mates got engaged at the top on this trip!

We then headed to Duntulm Castle, a super haunted crumbling structure in the Trottenrish, near the Isle of Skye. It was very windy and very steep to the bottom to get a good look, so we didn’t stay long before heading to the Quiraing for some hiking.

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Thank GOODNESS our travel companion Dennis was a professional photographer and took some amazing shots of our adventures!

After hiking, we drove towards Aviemore to get some food and find our AirBnb and HAD to pit stop in Loch Ness. We did not see Nessie, but we saw a LOT of tourist gift shops.

Aviemore 4Aviemore Phoenix

We found a great pub called “The Ashes of the Phoenix” to get some much-needed dinner of Haggus Pot Pie and beer (and it was good!) We headed to Inverness to get some sleep.

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My adorable Scottish room! The wallpaper was little deer that were wood grained. I want it. Tomorrow: Day 3 and the drive to Edinburgh. Happy Travels!

What’s New?

So readers, you may (or may not) have asked yourself what happened to Roxanne? It’s been since September since she’s taken the time to write anything at all?

WELL let me tell you. I’ve been super busy but I’ve also wanted to share it with you. Promise.

I’ve wanted to take Verbena and transform it into more of a lifestyle blog. I know it already is, but more of a ‘personal adventure’ blog. I mean. I was in Europe for 12 days in August. 3 countries in 12 days! I helped plan a Halloween party for the Red Cross. I went through heart break and mending that heart, a couple times. Read some books, learned some lessons. Busted my arm in the middle of the street after an Octoberfest celebration. (Welcome adventures in cast land.) Saw the live Rocky Horror Picture Show. Won tickets to the Green Bay film festival. Had a birthday on Daylight Savings day that ended with a bottle of pink champagne in the local dance club. Had a radical late night Thanksgiving adventure that includes the Rotary Lights and a 20′ tall reindeer. Joined a dating site. Went on a bunch of first dates… Canceled my dating accounts. Had a great New Year’s Eve with some great friends.

And here we are… 2017. Oh the stories!

Where to start? So my question to you, readers, is would you be interested in more of an adventure / photo / life and times and thoughts / musings of Roxanne blog? I’ll take your input into consideration and just do what I want anyways but I like advice and constructive criticism.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


On the Set Design : Because I Said So – Milly’s Loft

So I realize that all of these posts I do on movie houses and apartments don’t have to do with living frugal and fun and simple. But I’m an Interior Designer, and I LOVE movie sets that move me. I will watch a bad movie over and over if the houses are beautiful. True story. So every now and then I’ll do a post on set design, and that’s that. It makes me happy. This one will be about the industrial, colorful loft in Milly’s Loft in “Because I Said So.” The movie with the bossy mom played by Diane Keaton and her 3 daughters (Mandy Moore, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo.) Milly lives alone in a loft in LA that I’m thinking would be too expensive for someone running a catering company, but she makes it work.

Entry Way

Milly's Lockers

There aren’t many shots of the entry out there. I will have to take some more screen shots to get better ones. I love the vintage lockers, that must be her closet, since I didn’t see a closet in her bedroom.

 You get a good idea of her entry hall in this scene where Milly is shooing her mom out the back door.

Living Room

Living Room 2

Upon entering the loft and looking left, you see the large living room, with brick walls, a burgundy velvet chesterfield sofa, and bright bohemian accents.

living room 4

Here’s another shot of the living room.

Living Room 3

Here you see Milly and her mom Daphne (Diane Keaton) re-arranging the living room.

Living Room


Kitchen 2

I LOVE the chalkboard fridge. What a great idea for a Chef, and most other people that need reminders.



Here you see a LOT of open shelving. I wish I had this because then I would never have to dig for anything. And a commercial grade dishwashing sprayer? That would make cleaning easier.

kitchen 5

Behind Milly you see her taste in dishes, her fiesta wear and her warm, orange walls.

kitchen 4

That island! It’s so grand. Her cooktop and sink are both in there.

kitchen 6

This is a great shot of half of the loft. You can see all of the vintage and retro colors that Milly likes so much.

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You can see the formal dining table back behind Milly, and the door to her bedroom. I bet she has some killer dinner parties!

Milly dining area

Here’s a shot of the dining area.

kitchen 3

Behind Milly and her mother you can see a cute vintage little seating area for coffee and breakfast. And here’s that area:



There’s only one shot of the bedroom in the whole movie:


Here’s my plan for Milly’s apartment:

  floor plan Milly's Loft

Image Credits, thanks to Hooked On Houses, Reflections from a Coffee Mug, Deliciously Noted, for already having great screen shots of this amazing movie set! Happy Movie Watching!

On the Set Design: 27 Dresses

Ok, so (almost) every girl loves a good Rom-Com. But (almost) every designer girl loves a good Rom Com with a great setting and good design. One of my favorites is the apartment in 27 Dresses. It’s tiny, it’s chic, and it’s got great design.


The apartment (and the filming) takes place in New York city. Image credit.

27 dresses foyer

Upon entering the apartment you see great Greek columns, a dark sage green wall, and black and white vintage tile floors.

27 entry way

Here’s a better shot of the entry way.  Look how sassy they both are!

27 dresses kitchen

The kitchen. I love the vintage white cabinets, and open shelving.

27 living room

Here you see a camel back velvet sofa, vintage Chippendale style in the living room. Image Credit.

27 bath

Here is a shot of the gorgeous robin’s egg blue bathroom. Image Credit.

27 closet 2

A shot of the apartment leading into the closet. She has so many cute little antique tables. Image Credit.

The infamous dress closet. Again you see the sage green wall, wainscoting and great molding, and a wooden panel wall going into the bedroom. Image Credit.

27 living room 2

This shot taken from the living room shows a peek of the bedroom behind. It’s got an urban white painted brick wall, and upholstered headboard bed.

27 james

Image Credit.

27 desk

The workstation for the workaholic is located right in the living room too.

27 living room 4

And behind a happy Jane you see the rest of the workstation and pin up board. Image Credit.

27 living room 3

In the living room you also see the colorful sheer roman shades, the long window seat, and all of the great and stylish furniture and accessories. Image Credit.

27 living room 5

Look at this great behind the scenes shot! And those pink bedroom walls!

And since I’m obsessed with floor plans, here’s my plan for Jane’s apartment.

27 Dresses Floor plan

Happy movie watching!

My Name is Roxanne, and I am a Francophile

a person who is fond of or greatly admires France or the French

It has come to my attention over the years that I have a slight obsession with the French culture. Some of my favorite movies are Amelie, Midnight in Paris, and A Good Year. I loved Ratatouille, (the film about the mouse chef in Paris), so much so that I own the movie and soundtrack. I listen to French Jazz stations on Spotify all the time, and even took French in High School, remembering very little after 15+ years.

As a women who has to dress herself, I’m drawn to the simple French Street Style of jeans, flats, and a plain T-Shirt. Half of my wardrobe is Black because it goes with everything, and my favorite accessory is my gold necklace with two little feathers, one gold and one ivory.

French Wardrobe

This pretty much IS my closet.  This collection was inspired by Parisian Street Styles. It’s all about comfort, and timeless simplicity. These women do a LOT of walking, so shoes need to be comfortable.

Now as an Interior Designer, I realize I am always drawn to French design, the look and feel of a countryside Chateau, and dream of visiting Paris and the southern French lavender fields. What about this culture is so exciting to someone from Wisconsin, that doesn’t even have a passport?


It’s the feeling you get when you imagine bundles of dried lavender, ratty wicker baskets filled with striped linens, wooden chairs on a stone patio surrounded by friends, fresh foods, and bottles of wine.

flea markets

I would be in heaven, and bankruptcy if I went to these French Flea Markets. I try to re-create these looks here, with trips to the Antique store, craft fairs, and thrift shops. The best part about the French look, it’s not brand new, and that look can save you money!

French Window View

Every photo of Parisian apartments I find look like this. Wood floors, iron rails on the windows, wood, shutters, views of vintage apartments, and or / the Eiffel Tower.

My favorite French Blogs:

Manger Kitchen

This photo is from Mimi Thorisson, the blog writer and owner for Manger. A blog about cooking, french food, and family. I’m in love with her kitchen, and her photographs of food!

Chateau De gougans

This photo is from Chateau de Gudanes, and the Australian couple that bought the 17th century French chateau and have slowly been remodeling. I have dreams of doing this someday.

And then there’s the architecture! France is much older than the United States, and the architecture has been around much longer, and is much more detailed.

Architecture of Paris

Clockwise: Paris Opera House, Elysee Palace, Notre Dame, the Louvre Museum.

So of course I’ve romanticized my love of France, and Paris, but I think that’s ok. I live in Wisconsin, and dreaming of a vacation to another country is something I’ve wanted for a long time. Where would you go if you could choose anywhere in the world?

On the Set Design: Jamie’s Apartment in Friends With Benefits

In the 2011 movie “Friends with Benefits,” Mila Kunis’s character Jamie and Justin Timberlake’s character Dylan meet, become friends, then more, hence the title of the movie. And in true Hollywood form, there’s conflict between them only because of their underlying feelings for each other that they are suppressing due to past hurts, they argue, they work it out, they fall in love, the end! (Did I spoil anything that wasn’t implied?) The movie was way better then it’s twin, “No Strings” staring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. It was pretty much the same movie as FWB with half the wit and none of the realistic emotions. One of my favorite parts of FWB is Jamie’s apartment.

It’s a vintage, eclectic, and antique filled, super huge Manhattan apartment is full of spring colors, tons and tons and tons of lamps, and long flowing drapes. I’m in love.


Entry 1

When Jamie opens the door, you see a great detailed mirror behind her, and a reflection of a wall sconce.

Entry 2

I love the vintage looking (or Chalk Painted?) cabinet behind the door. There is no shortage of wall scones here.

Entry 3

Behind Jamie and Dylan you see an awesome vintage framed Cuba poster, and Ikea floating shelves full of books and knick knacks. To the left is the entry door.

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This photo from Cindy Coburn shows a more professional shot of the entry. I don’t know who needs 2 desks, but Jamie must be a pretty busy person.

Living Room

Living Room 1

The living room is huge. And count the lamps: 5 lamps and 3 wall sconces. I’d hate to see her electric bill.

Living Room 2

In this shot you see the entry to a gorgeous brick patio to the left, and the kitchen to the right. And yes that window goes to the kitchen.

Living Room 4

There are so many pieces of vintage furniture here. I love the light green painted table on the left of the bench, and the wall and trim colors.

Living Room 5

Here you can see how she moved the TV to watch a movie from the sofa. It must be on a rolling cart. You can also see the window to the kitchen here better, and it looks like tile work on the kitchen floor.

Living Room 6

Here you can see the shutters on the windows, the long floor to ceiling drapes, and the spilled popcorn.

Living Room 7

Everything looks second hand, from the bamboo coffee table, the green ceramic lamps, the green painted cabinet in the background, and the one cushion, blue velvet sofa.

Living Room 8

I love the color scheme, the honey brown candles, the knit throw blanket.

Living Room 9

I love the light green chair behind her mom, and the tall glass door hutch in the corner. I can’t decide if there are too many window treatments here. Drapes, shutters, and matchstick blinds.

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In this professional photo the room is tidy, and well lit. You can see the parquet floors, the design on the rug, and a basket of blankets by the fireplace.

Jamie Living Room

Here’s my assumed plan for the living room based on watching the movie and seeing screen shots.


Kitchen 1

This kitchen is small, but has all of the room it needs. I don’t think I would want to see the toilet from my kitchen (in design school, it was a faux pas.)

Kitchen 2

A close up.

Kitchen 3

From this shot you can tell the kitchen has a cut out into a hall behind it, that you rarely see, except from Jamie’s bedroom. There is also a door onto the patio from the kitchen, which I think is valuable kitchen space that could have been used, and the door to the patio could have been in the living room.


Bedroom 1

In the first scene where you see the bedroom (and more) you aren’t really looking at the bedroom, for obvious reasons. But upon closer inspection, you see more floor to ceiling drapes, in a dark peacock green/blue, more tiny shaded wall sconces, and a view right out to the patio and through to the living room.

Bedroom 3

Here’s a closer shot of the adorable gold vintage headboard and the poster above the bed. “It Happened One Night” is an amazing movie, if you haven’t seen it, DO!

Bedroom 2

In this shot you see the door into the bedroom on the right, and the bathroom on the left. Out of the door you can see down the hallway that you don’t otherwise see.

Bedroom 4

Here you can see out onto the patio from the bedroom.


Is ANYONE ELSE obsessed with finding this robe?

Bathroom 1

Here’s a closer shot of the bathroom. It’s clear where the toilet is here.

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Here’s a set photo of the bedroom from the patio. You can see the tufted bench at the end of the bed.

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In this shot you see the whole closet.

And because this is what I do (Interior Design), I see movies and think of floor plans. This is my assumed plan for her bedroom.

Jamie Bedroom FWB

And after much (oddly obsessive) movie watching, here’s my assumed apartment plan:

Jamie's Apartment

What movies inspire you? Happy viewing!