July 2, 2013

Stuff We Love: London & Jack Wills

The first time I came to the UK, it was to study for a year to get my Master’s.

I touched down in London {Town} somewhere around 6am their time, bleary eyed, jet lagged, and more than a little petrified of what the year ahead would hold. Since I was there on a Rotary Scholarship, for the first week I was there before moving into the dorms at my university I would be staying with a Rotary Club host family and I really really wanted to make a good impression.

As soon as I got there, I fell asleep. And apparently I slept so long that I made my host mom think I was dead. “Good heavens Mary, I was afraid you were suffering from deep vein THROMbosis. I thought we were going to have to run you to hospital.” I was not off to a good start. In the five minutes that would follow, the situation would further deteriorate quickly.

I asked for milk in my Earl Gray tea (when clearly the only correct response would have been lemon)

I told them their toilet was broken (umm no dear you just need to push the handle a little harder)

And I asked for a iron so I could iron my pants.

It was a good two days later before anyone got the nerve up to tell me that in England, “pants” means underwear. So I had essentially come downstairs and told my new host family I wanted to iron my underwear.

It was enough to make me wish for the deep vein thrombosis.

But I made it through that first week. And somewhere along the year that followed, I feel in love body & soul with a country I now consider a second home. And everything that adventure came to mean.

This week we are back over in London for a great friend’s wedding from my year abroad, and as we made that familiar drive from Heathrow into the heart of the city I realized I’m not that scared girl anymore. The way that I see life now, is that whatever it is I’m ready for the adventure.

And in my heart, I know I have London to thank for that.

And speaking of London, one of the other “fabulously British” things that we discovered this summer and have been loving is the preppy mecca that is Jack Wills. We stumbled upon it while we were out in Nantucket & I’ve been obsessed ever since. While we were there we picked up this awesome pink & navy camera strap, and I’ve been loving mine so much that we thought we’d give one away here today!

***Just leave us a note in the comment box below saying hi & we’re going to announce one lucky winner by Friday to receive your very own Jack Wills strap! And….GO!!

  1. rachel

    OH London! One of my favorite places! its great to pretend to be british sometimes :) Happy Tuesday!

  2. Morgan Leigh

    Hi, Justin & Mary! I’ve loved hearing about London & I love that Jack Wills strap! :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dani Leigh

    Aww! This is such a cute post. I love your story and sense of adventure! And I am in the market for a new camera strap!! This one is adorbs!

  4. Urška Majer

    Ahh, England :) Loved it the first time i was there and can’t wait for october to discover their south coast & gorgeous countryside!

  5. Rebecca Guyer

    Hi guys!
    I love all of your photos! You guys are an amazing team!
    I would love to win this awesome camera strap :)

  6. Ashley Lester

    Hi! I would love to win!

  7. Kali Norton

    You guys are so inspiring. I’m so grateful for the invaluable information you share with other photographers, giving hope that dreams do come true. Anddd that Jack Wills strap would look lovely with my camera. (;
    Enjoy London!

  8. Megan

    This made me laugh out loud! Cheers to adventures! Love that camera strap!

  9. Casance

    Hi, I would love to visit London one day, I hope you enjoyed the wedding.

  10. Mabel Gonzales

    I love the colors on that strap!!! I would oh so very much love to win!! <3

  11. Candice Hackett

    Love this strap! So preppy and pretty! Also, just checked out Jack Wills & I’m HOOKED!

  12. Abby Grace

    Oh Mary, I had a hearty chuckle over the "pants" semantics, too- I shot a wedding in Surrey a couple of weeks ago and asked all the gentlemen to "tuck their hand in their pants pocket" and got a REALLY weird look. Then I remembered the proper term was "trousers." Cue: beet red blush. I hope you’re having SO much fun aborad and I’m sorry we missed you guys in Paris!

  13. ailee

    love the uk, have a great trip! :)

  14. anthony didsbury

    umm hi :)

    ps. pants isn’t necessarily underwear. we have many many names for our love spud holders ;)

  15. Mia Bjerring

    This is gorgeous!! Have a great Wednesday!

  16. Dana

    I love this strap! Crossing my fingers! :)

  17. Samantha

    I am a complete and utter Anglophile and couldn’t love the UK more…in fact, I just got married in Wales I love it so much! Happy to know there’s someone who loves it as much as I do :) I’m determined to live there somehow, someday. And the strap is adorable!

  18. Dena

    Hi! I’m totally jealous that you got to spend a year in London. I’m sure it was an amazing experience! :)

  19. Pam

    As a mom, I can so relate to your mom saying she was worried that you had deep vein thombrosis. Mom’s have such wild imaginations! I literally laughed out loud when I read your post.
    Love the strap, going to check out Jack Wills

  20. Esther Gallarday

    Hello! I would love to win this strap! So cute!

  21. Claire Mc

    I LOVE how certain English words don’t translate properly between the US + UK. Biscuits + chips included.

  22. Mia Bjerring

    England is so amazing! And this strap is just gorgeous! Have a great day!

  23. Lou Lou

    Can’t wait to see you guys on saturday, maybe friday if you are getting to the hotel then?! Not sure of your plans!!
    Love the "pants" thing lol!! xx

  24. Shannon Paetzel

    Love London and love the Jack Wills strap! Can’t wait to see photos from your trip!

  25. Natalie Salim

    Hi Justin and Mary! Have fun in London!

  26. Kim Miller

    Would have loved to have been at your talk in London. Such an amazing city. Love the strap, Jack Willis is the best, who knew they made camera straps?

  27. Clara Zornado

    I can’t wait to go to London someday. hi. :-)

  28. Sara Renee

    I’m so excited to see you guys traveling and growing your tribe!

  29. Pam Hunter

    I love following your adventures! Thanks for allowing us all to enjoy your lives

  30. Erin

    So this officially makes me want to visit London… even if I’d definitely make the same mistakes as you while there.

    Y’all have a great time in the UK!

  31. Krista Campione

    I’ll be going to China in a week and have been so anxious/nervous/excited. This post just eased so much of that knowing that even if I publicly announce what I’d like to do with my undies, it can still turn in to an incredible time if you let it. Thank you for the reminder! :)

  32. Jennifer

    I love viewing your images for inspiration and reading your many words of wisdom. God bless you this season!

  33. Shalese

    HI! Excited to follow your adventures on Instagram ;)

  34. Michelle Yorke

    Hi, Have a great time in London guy’s, love the strap would look very nice on my camera:))

  35. Jena Lauren

    I love how much you guys are willing to share! Would love to win that cute little strap as well!

  36. Tiffany Bolk

    This is so adorable! I would love to fashion this lovely strap with my camera! I know it would look absolutely stunning!

  37. Ambar Dilallo

    Oh I love this. So simple and understated.

  38. Becca

    I love London! (and that cute strap!)

  39. Jeni

    I love the stripes and the fact that you ironed your PANTS ;-)

  40. Shayne Weltmer

    Your soooo lucky! The strap looks great!

  41. Kelcie Marquardt

    Currently studying abroad and in London for the first time! Made every American mistake in the book, haha :)

  42. Faye

    Hi! Would love to win the strap! London sounds fun!

  43. Kristi

    Lived in London for a year after college (nannying) and am in love with the culture, beauty, history, fashion! eek! I’ve been looking for a new killer camera strap and thinks this is it! Thanks so much for all that you share for photographers and with your faith. Inspirational!

  44. LeiLani @ Elle Golden Photography

    Ah! I adore this camera strap! I have a new film camera and it would look oh so pretty on it while I shoot my lovelies. Thanks for hosting this fab giveaway J+M!

  45. Brianna

    I absolutely love your bloggity-blog. And fabulous photography. Obviously. Hi :) I’m Bri, by the way.

  46. Johnathan West

    I want this strap so bad… It would go great with a fellow Mountaineer and Nikon rocker!

  47. Maddie Mills

    Hi!!! entering the giveaway. aw that sounds like an amazing adventure. <3

  48. Johnathan West

    I want this strap so bad!!! Come On! give a Mountaineer and Nikon Rocker some love!

  49. Kristin

    Hi. ;)

    That strap is way cute!! Your Instagram this morning of foggy rainy London makes me want to go explore there. Hope you have an amazing time! :)

  50. Nikhil

    A ‘namaste’ from India. I bet you didn’t know you had followers from there :)

  51. Ali

    HI! Happy almost 4th! This would look super cute on my new camera…

  52. Evian

    Hi J + M! Have fun in London!

  53. Amie Swanson

    I have been looking for a good camera strap and this looks like
    a good camera strap!

  54. Marcie Stoffer

    Love this! Thanks for the chance to win!

  55. Jennifer Vess

    So cute! I need it! Especially since my dog ate my camera strap!

  56. Joline

    Hello! Love this post & that strap!

  57. Joline

    Hello! Love this post & that strap!

  58. Kate

    That strap couldn’t be any more adorable :)

  59. Jennifer Judd

    Oh how I would love the opportunity to travel to London someday! That is a lovely camera strap as well beautiful colors.

  60. Eddie

    Ha! I dated a "bloke" from Northern Ireland, and after a trip to Banana Republic, he was ready to go home! Americans are so offensive!! They asked him if he needed help finding the right fit for his pants. LOLOLOLOLO

  61. Kate Kintzel

    Last October we stormed that city by foot. We took the Tube to all of our destinations, took three day-trips (Bath, Brighton and Portsmouth), shared meals so that we could try more food, stopped at every pub that made us thirsty and left a part of our hearts in every step we took. It was brilliant! Cheers.

  62. Amanda B

    I literally started to tear up reading this post… I love travel so much (or you can blame it on the hormones ;) … I just had a baby) but I’m glad you had a lovely time in London! and thanks for the tip about "pants" I am planning a trip to London next summer :)

  63. Jolie Churchill

    I know that this strap would be a great addition to my neck!! :) Hope you are having a wonderful time.

  64. Stephanie Stewart

    Cheerio! (Had to say it!) Hope you have a fabulous time across the pond!

  65. Kaitrin

    Hi from Connecticut! Just started following your blog, you guys rock! Told a bunch of my photo lovin friends about it. What a cool giveaway! :-)

  66. David

    Love it!!!! Will match my socks!

  67. Katie Smith

    Hello! From Sweet Home Alabama!
    love the strap and thanks for the chance to hang it around my neck@
    Katie in AL

  68. Rachel F.

    Hi guys! That strap is adorable! I love following your blog. :)

  69. Rachel F.

    Hi guys! That strap is adorable! I love following your blog. :)

  70. Karen Borgers

    This strap fits you! Looks amazing.. would love to have it so please send it to the Netherlands! You would make me so happy :)

  71. Joelle

    So cute!

  72. Carolyn

    Just what I’ve been looking for. Cute and classic!

  73. rachel

    LOVE THIS! it would be a perfect addition to my very first camera I just bought myself!

  74. Carrie Holbo

    Go Rotary! I got my Master’s in Spain as an Ambassadorial scholar…..best year ever!

  75. Nikki Santerre

    I have always wanted to travel abroad and life has always gotten in the way. Now that I’m finished with school, married, and we just bought a new house, it is a goal of mine and Matt’s to travel for the first time across the pond together before we have children. I’m scared to death of traveling that far from home, but I know the adventure will be so worth it! Oh, and love that strap, it would look fancy on my new Mark II! :)

  76. Lydia

    Love it!!

  77. rachel

    so cute – love london town.

  78. Lelia Marie

    So nice to know we all make mistakes. And that we can remember them with humor. :-)

  79. Emily Crall

    If you are there when the royal baby is born, I’m going to be even MORE jealous! You know Kate and I are BFFs, right? :)

  80. Alicia Daw

    My heart is still in Europe. The end.

  81. Alicia Daw

    My heart is still in Europe. The end.

  82. eryn kesler

    I’ve been seeing these cute straps pop up all over the place!! I LOVE THEM!! pick me, pick me!!

  83. denise karis

    omg hi! LOL <3 this post!! what do they call them? Trousers? Knickers? Too funny.

  84. Lauren Kaye

    Love this strap! I would happily put this on my camera!

  85. Stephanie Rita

    Have so much fun on your travels! -s

  86. Emily Kathryn Walker

    Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway. That strap is totally adorable. :)

  87. Nichole Joslin

    Love reading your thoughts! Have a winning day at winning your day. I am definitely going to start doing that today!

  88. Joe Don Richardson

    I love keeping up with you all and your London Adventures! Love the way that you both soak up life and I am do the same!

  89. Mel

    Hello! Oh my goodness this is perfect! I’ve been looking for a camera strap, too.

  90. Lindsey LaRue

    I can completely sympathize- I can’t even tell you how many faux paus I made during the summer I studied in Spain! Oh well- live, love, and learn!

  91. Brandi S

    Just happened upon your sweet blog! What a beautiful strap :)

  92. Sadie

    Love that strap, it would look quite dashing on my shoulder and camera!

  93. Missie

    That’s a very pretty strap, I like the color combo too! Thanks for sharing. Keep up the great photography!

  94. sarah

    Love the strap!

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