Europe Day 5: Edinburgh – London

Where were we?! I have 6 more days of this trip left to blog about! We woke up at our loft in Edinburgh and our lovely hosts made us breakfast and offered to drive us to the train station.

A view from the loft window into the backyard.

We waited for our train, got some stickers at the Paperchase store (love) and were on our way to London! Once in London we arrived at the train station and took the Underground to our destination off of Picadilly Circle.


Kings Cross Station!

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Of COURSE, we went to the Platform 9 3/4! Which is actually not located ON the train platform, but in the atrium of the train station, by the Harry Potter gift store.

I made my travel partners climb THOSE stairs up from the London Underground. I was feeling ambitious! We walked to our loft, on the top of the 5th floor of a building in Soho, above a small convenient store, dropped off our things, changed, and went walking around!


The back of the loft had an amazing view!

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This was the view out of the window of my loft bedroom. I mean COME ON. Love.

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With a special social network connection my travel partner had, we were able to locate a super secret underground bar called “Cahoots” located in an old subway station. It was like walking into a time machine, the cocktail servers were all dressed like it was the 1940’s, and the drinks were all old timey, served in super cute cups.

Cahoots 1

The drink menu looked like an old newspaper.


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My drink came in this cup!

Next, we went back to the loft, changed again, and went for dinner and a walk by the Parlament.

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Taking a photo of this lovely curved street!

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The lovely curved street!

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We found the Sherlock Holmes bar! Not the museum, not 22b Baker Street (which was WAY across town) but they had a mini-museum and some great beers on tap.

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We had dinner at Yalla Yalla, a Burmese restaurant in Soho, and the food was amazing.

While walking around the Parliment, and looking into the great, many carvings, I touched the building and had a moment. This wasn’t a photo or a video that someone was showing me, this was real. This was a real life building, and I was here in London! So I gave the building a hug, which made me happy.

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We ended our night with Frozen Yogurt at “Snog” which was on the same street as our loft and climbed the 5 flights of stairs to our room for much needed sleep.

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Next, more of London!


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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Here’s another shot of the living room.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Image Credit.

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

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

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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.

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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?