The chance to buy amazing American souvenirs and products was pretty much overwhelming for me and I had to restrain myself A LOT from buying everything I loved. I still ended up with quite a lot of amazing presents for myself and my family so I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces I picked up.
1. Clothes – Up first is a jacket I bought in the last place we went to, Boston. We were originally looking for a Good Will (think UK charity shop but HUGE and a lot cheaper) but it was closed for refurbishment. Luckily across the road there was a shop called ‘Boomerangs’ which is a thrift store. Almost instantly I found this jacket which I think is entirely hand made and decorated with a cross stitch pattern (and it’s also reversible!). It was $9 (roughly £5.50) so who could say no! I also bought a black leather cowboy style belt with silver metalwork, and some pink leather moccasins with beadwork on the front.
2. Candles – I bought several candles whilst I was away, probably more than a person should buy in a 3 month period but they were so lovely and different to what you find in the UK. I ended up buying four very individual candles. The first was a Mexican candle but actually bought in Seattle which was very strange especially because the owner of the shop claimed it was a traditional Mexican candle but we hadn’t seen any in Mexico City. This candle is wrapped in paper and you burn it in the paper which is something I have never come across in a candle. The next candle I bought was from Bath and Bodyworks and is part of their seasonal autumn mini candles in Rum Banoffee Pie. It smells SO gorgeous and very much like a delicious autumnal dessert, I can wait to burn this candle in the winter months too. Whilst in New York I bought a candle by the company P.F. Candle Co. in the scent Teakwood and Tobacco which smells quite heavy and musky. I also bought a religious candle for about £1.20 which is for the Virgin of Guadalupe. Urban outfitters sell similar candles but for around £15 so when I saw a cheaper version I snapped it up.
3. Stationery – another of my biggest loves, apart from candles, is stationery and that was high on my list of things of stuff to buy. In then end I was quite restrained and ended up buying an Anna Rifle Paper Co. notepad, some Pendleton journals, a couple of pens and pencils, and postcards from nearly every place we visited.
4. Cape Cod Pennant – we found this vintage pennant at the Brooklyn Flea Market. It was a bit pricey but we thought it would look great hung up on a wall.
5. Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap – I have read so much about this cult soap on so many beauty blogs that it had been on my list of things to buy for a while. I know you can buy it in the UK but I had never been able to find it plus it was about half the price in America.
6. Jewellery – I actually thought I would end in with more jewellery than I did, in particular I was looking for big silver rings but couldn’t find any that fitted. I found a lovely necklace with a blue semi-precious stone pendant in Estes Park in Colorado, some brass rings at a craft fair in Chicago and two more rings at the Sackler Gallery in Washington DC.
7. Wooden Cake Mould – this is used to make moon cakes, a traditional Chinese baked cakey pie which is filled with either black or red beans (but not the kind of beans you would imagine). The result is very dense and sweet, a bit like a fig roll. When we were in San Francisco we visited Chinatown and found this mould in a cooking utensils shop. I thought I could drill a hole through the handle, tie a cord through it and hang it up in the kitchen.
8. And finally a toy horse! My boyfriend bought this for me when were at the Budweiser brewery in Colorado. Traditionally Budweiser was transported around the country by horse-drawn wagons. Despite having been replaced in modern times by lorries and trucks the horses are still bred and trained and travel all over the United States performing at various events.