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Month: October 2015

London Travel Part III

Final bit of the trip before I headed home. London! Tash and I took the train from Edinburgh (mistake: plane would have been cheaper and faster!) and stayed with our beautiful friends Kate and Rachel. Thanks guys! 
IMG_6098Isn’t that just pinterest perfect? Mockingbird Cafe for the win.IMG_6073“Dear Rufus, you belong in jail” The travel bookshop from Notting Hill! Best romcom ever?IMG_6125Sky Garden!! At the top of the Walkie Talkie building is an indoor garden with a cafe (with what looked like yummy scones) and beautiful views! fo free!!

us at the top
us at the top

IMG_6109Chin Chin Lab makes ice cream using nitrogen gas. How cool ;) IMG_6110IMG_6137What uppppppppp. Yall. This is Sketch. One of the top instrammed restaurants in London. The service was outstanding and the best afternoon tea of mah life dahling! Seriously our waiter stood by our table the entire time and I have never felt so fancy.IMG_6210This was for two people and oh so good. after they asked if you wanted more of anything. umm yes please. IMG_6139

pretty ladies
pretty ladies <3

IMG_6198Obsessed with this girl.

and now we get serious. I don’t know about you but i always judge a place by the toilets. and let me tell you, this place is number one. Prepare yourselves.IMG_6206Those eggs are the toilets!!! IMG_6208whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. THE END. i have seen everything i ever need.

London is my favorite city in the world and I love seeing all my favorite peeps up there. If the egg toilets haven’t convinced you I don’t know what will.

As they say: London is always a good idea :)

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Scotland Travel

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Scotland time! The whole fam (minus Athena) went up for our cousin Antony’s wedding. IMG_5644

Check out this killer airbnb I booked for us! Oh it’s a beaut! Right on the Royal Mile and super close to the wedding venue.IMG_5646

First things first, scones. I went to Bon Papillon which is both an art gallery and cafe, AND rated best scones in Edinburgh. exsqueezeme while I drool. They didn’t have plain scones but this blueberry one was delish.IMG_5676
My sister and I gatecrashed our cousin’s stag do when we heard he was doing a chain walk for part of his festivities. I’m so glad he did! We drove out to Kingdom of Fife and it was the most beautiful day we could have asked for. seriously. IMG_5673IMG_5707

Natasha and Antony!
Natasha and Antony!

IMG_5703IMG_5697 And then it was time for the wedding! Except I took a taxi seperate from everyone and got there on time while the fam couldn’t get a taxi. Leaving me alone, clueless of what to do. I knew we would be sitting at the front and didn’t want to go in by myself especially since I didn’t know anyone ah so awkward. So I sat in the corner by the entrance frantically texting the fam telling them to hurry up, possibly sweating from nerves.IMG_5711

I ended up going once Dan (cousin) showed me where to sit and held down the second row by my onsie.

Cousins! Aren't they great?
Cousins! Aren’t they great?

IMG_5719The next day we all decided to do Arthur’s Seat which the scots call a “walk”. mmmmm ok. and off we went! IMG_5729At this point we were about half way and lost mom and dad so we waited for them to catch up. then we got this text..

*A 99 is an ice cream
*A 99 is an ice cream

Classic ‘rents. IMG_5767I won’t say it was a competition but I totally made it to the top first. Here is James reaching the top!IMG_5776Edinburgh, I’m yours.IMG_5789Dan and I took the more adventurous route down. This is my all time favorite picture from the trip. I think this is right before I fell, ha!

It was honestly the best catching up with the family again. We are so lucky with the technology nowadays but growing up it was hard to know someone living on the opposite side of the world. I like getting to know them better with each visit.

After the wedding and fun, the boys went home and mom, tash, and I started our roadtrip to Isle of Skye.
IMG_5803Me dancing in my new fav sweater. How cool are the Kelpies? My great aunt lives near them, how lucky is she?IMG_5809Natasha loves castles. This was a great pick from her. It was such a pretty walk to the ruins. IMG_5820

How cute is my mom?
How cute is my mom?

IMG_5834IMG_5883HOGWARTS! We were super lucky to also see the steam train pass by! I took the trip before in 2008 I think. This was way better because you could actually hang about and admire the structure.

And now to Skye! IMG_5919

IMG_5942 IMG_5945IMG_5959You walk in the circle, around and around, to the center, leave a present and make a wish. Then you have to walk out backwards for the wish to come true.

Which I obviously did.
Which I obviously did.

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At our hostel. How cool!?
At our hostel. How cool!?

The Isle of Skye was incredibly beautiful. You need a car to get around and lucky for me Natasha was the driver. It was a hair scary at times because most of the roads are two way with only enough space for one car; it’s a bit like playing chicken. Beware the no wifi/reception in most of Skye. We frequented The Old Inn for dinner every night to get their wifi, though the food was delicious so it wasn’t a hardship :)

Not photographed: I met up with my friend Bethany who I met in New Zealand. We were both WOOFing through the country and met at Harmony Farm (yes exactly as you imagine it to be). We had so many adventures together and I swear we are soul sisters. We traveled with two other girls, Annie and Vera, and did the three day hike up Mount Doom. These ladies have seen me at my happiest and honest to goodness worst. With the whole family bonding/wedding stuff going on it was difficult to get the time to see Bethany, but on Monday morning I walked her to work! haha you gotta take what you can get my friends! It was so good to see her and she is the same bubbly person I remember. #neverchange #lylas

Scotland is one of the prettiest places I’ve been and without a doubt has the funniest people in the world. I can’t wait for the next family wedding for an excuse to go!

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Friday Favs

This dance crew from New Zealand is jaw dropping amazing in JB’s new music video!!

I am out of control excited for the Gilmore Girls revival. I need it like I need air.

DIY pun-kins just in time for Halloween

What a gorgeous living room!

Lord help me. It’s fall and all I want to do is bake.

There seems to be a lot of bad press about Texas right now and I’m totally embarrassed to call it home. I might jump on the bandwagon of the new Norwegian usage of Texas = crazy.

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PSA! Tom Felton is Louis Leonowens

I watched Anna and the King last week and thought, “wait a second… I’d know that smirk anywhere!”

Tom Felton IS Louis Leonowens. but I think we all remember him as our favorite Slytherin.

Knowing it was baby Draco in Anna and the King made the movie *that* much better.

I also never appreciated how cool it is that the movie is based on real events and real story line. I got interested and look up more of its history.

  • The real king’s face was half paralyzed.
  • Anna taught the King’s 64 (!!!) children
  • After Anna wrote her novel about her experiences the king wrote she “has supplied by her invention that which is deficient in her memory.”

I think this story will continue to be popular regardless of the accuracy, or lack of.  Maybe because we are all suckers for a good story with a little love involved :)

annnnnd because i couldn’t resist…

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Instagram vs Reality

I love a good insta and will go to lengthy measures to achieve one. Such strategies include:

  • Hi stranger, can you please take a photo of me?
  • No sister, I need at least 40 more shots from various angles.
  • Oh there’s a fee to enter this building with great architecture that I need for a sweet insta? No problemo.

I live in a very uncool time and would like to blame today’s youths.

As in love with insta as I am sometimes I think “wait why isn’t my life like that?” which is so depressing. Say it with me now, comparison is the thief of joy. there is a wide gap between what we see and what is really happening when someone takes an insta. I swoon over other people’s insta lives (and their great outfits) as much as the next person, and it’s important to remember that they too probably looked like a little foolish trying to achieve a good selfie

Example A: Pulling up the jeans and hoping the people behind me would move out of the frame. didn’t happen. and yes this is the time I paid around 40 danish kroner just to go inside for this insta. IMG_5305IMG_5338

Example B: I wanted to try a Buzzfeed and friend’s suggestion at The Breakfast Club.

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How in the world did that guy’s breakfast end up so pretty?!

Example C: I made my sister switch seats with me because I wanted more pink in the photo (after at least 15 pictures) but ended up going with the very first photo she took of meIMG_6179IMG_6152

More examples because we’ve all been there!

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Copenhagen Travel

In the words of Beyonce: I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.

No lie, two streets over from our airbnb was Copenhagen’s top rated brunch place Mad & Kaffe. We called it Mad Cafe and our airbnb host thought it was hilarious. we got jokes people! but seriously, one thing i never joke about is food. check it:
IMG_5629We went there twice and no regrets. We stayed in Kobenhavn which is the foodie hipster area and was about a 20 minute walk from the city centre, however if we dared to it was only an 8 to 10 minute bike ride. These bikes were cutesy like this one:IMG_5428They were clunky with impossibly high seats that in fact did not lower to wear I could sit and easily get on and off.  I think it’s because everyone in Copenhagen (and possibly all of Denmark) are tall, blonde, and beautiful with great clothing. The bikes we used were called GoBikes, electric bikes with GPS, and our host gave us his account so there were free to use. Seriously he was the best, more on that later. I almost got myself and others killed because I’ve only ever ridden my bike for leisure around my neighborhood, never in a city and never on the road with tons of other bikers. Copenhagen is known for being a great bike city for a reason, it’s the fastest way!

Now on to the adventures. First up Christiansborg Palace.
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check this tapestry out!
check this tapestry out!
This sofa looks beautiful and uncomfortable. I need it.
This sofa is beautiful and uncomfortable. I need it.
Mr. Tumnus? That you?
Mr. Tumnus? That you?
Tell me this isn't Belle's library come to life!
Tell me this isn’t Belle’s library come to life!
Went and saw the original
Went and saw the original. sup.

IMG_5272I had heard this pastry was a must to try. I can’t remember what it’s real name is but translated it’s “director’s snail” and the best place to get one is from Lagkagehuset bakery. We walked right past one and made Natasha stop in to get one to share.  because that’s what sisters are for, right? :)IMG_5270IMG_5342We went on a free walking tour and Natasha was picked to be a physical representation of one of the islands that was “small and not much to look at” baha I think everyone’s faces here accurately describes the awkwardness IMG_5350My peeps. We found ourselves in a bit of a pickle when it came to do our laundry and our host was out of town. We had to connect the washer to the sink for water (and various other steps) and we could-not-figure-it-out. I’ve known some places in Europe have this set up (I mean both washer and the pictured bathroom set up) in theory but I’ve never seen one in real life. I wasn’t bothered with the shower just being there next to the toilet and next to the washer, it was definitely more cozy. IMG_5358IMG_5354It took us over an hour to figure this out. Embarrassing I know. Also, one of the settings on the washer was “5 shirts”. why would anyone waste a load on 5 shirts??? Baffled.

A note on dryers. Most people in Europe don’t have them. They think we are crazy for using them because it’s a huge energy waste. I agree. Specifically for Texans where it’s hot most of the year and if you put your clothes outside in the summer they will most likely be dry in 5 minutes. and you just saved an hour’s worth of money. the weird/sad thing is this idea has never occurred to most people in the states because it’s never mentioned. ok off my soap box. or should I say detergent box?

Me: are your jeans going to bleed?

Sister: No

Me: Are you sure?

Sister: yes

End result: They bled and all our whites were turned a blueish gray. AND clean! huzzah! IMG_5362Read about Dyrehaven in a New York times article and luckily it was just down the street from where we were staying! we tried the recommended potato open faced sandwich and the eggs benedict, so yum!IMG_5452Tivoli! I get why all the reviews said to visit at night now. All around are lights and light display/shows in the gardens that would have been sooo pretty once lit up! There were tons in the weeping willows that I know would have been beautiful! So take it from a nonbeliever and go at night. IMG_5437IMG_5464Natasha went on all the rides and I went around taking photos of the cool plants :)IMG_5280

Go to "Whoopie" and understand life.
Go to “Whoopie” and understand life.
canal tour, so lovely
canal tour, so lovely
the national library, the Black Diamond. appropriately named don't ya think?
the national library, the Black Diamond. appropriately named don’t ya think?

On our last day we went on a tour to a few castles outside the city, but my favorite was the viking museum because we got to dress up :) !IMG_5484IMG_5492

I'm told this is the traditional Viking pose
I’m told this is the traditional Viking pose
mandatory apple pic
mandatory apple pic
The Macbeth castle!
The Macbeth castle!

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Last but not least… lolz just kidding the Little Mermaid statue is rated 2nd most disappointing landmark/statue/thing to see in Copenhagen. IMG_5416

Copenhagen Roundup:

Copenhagen is full of beautiful people and they all speak English! They are all so nice

Our man, Frederik is bomb and the best airbnb host of my life. He got us in to Tivoli for free, packed us snacks for our day tour, and left us parfaits for our plane ride. andddd he didn’t hate us completely when he found out Natasha’s pesto from Italy had somehow leaked through into his coffee table. We love you!! *also the wifi was the best we had on the trip and we are forever grateful for that, we made great headway on Happy Endings <- so funny! we had never watched it and all three seasons are out!

It’s way easy to get around if you are a fearless individual on a too tall bike. I was game a couple of times but mostly I didn’t mind walking because I didn’t block traffic or have major anxiety.

People are so chill here. I get why Copenhagen is ranked the happiest place in the world to live.

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Have a Beautiful Weekend

The weather has been so beautiful it feels like I’m not in Texas! I’m going to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I did just grease up the ol’ rollerblades…

To the links!

This song is made for the end of summer

For all of you looking for a little escape in nature

I love it when people actually believe the Onion. This time they did something different, or the same, and people are taking notice.

I’ve been following Sarah’s blog for seven years and she announced she recently got married! I love when people create meaningful moments without all the crazy hoopla :)

If it’s not a dry cut, you’re not touching my hair.

These flats are so sweet (and out of stock!)

Caffeinated peanut butter?? That’s a thing?

 

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Book Review: Rising Strong

Brene Brown is a bad ass bitch. I can say that about a PhD professor and Oprah’s new bestie right? If you haven’t heard about my girl Brene you have been living under a rock. Her TedTalk went viral, The Power of Vulnerability and it’s a life changer. Quickly after she wrote The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly and another TedTalk: Listening to Shame.  She’s from Houston and is a huge deal in the yoga community (and everywhere else, hello she’s friends with Oprah!). We are always referencing her and I even used some of her insights when I taught a public speaking class. Anywhooo on to her newest book!

I went up to Austin for a signing because the Houston event was sold out. I got such a great seat! FullSizeRender (1)
I promise all those seats were filled after. Brene is a great story teller and I left inspired! After I finished the book I felt a little bummed though. You know when all the good bits were in the trailer? That’s how I felt happened at the signing, she was too good at speaking that without her the book fell flat and I wanted to watch her TEDTalk instead. I was too bored.

The two main ideas/takeaways I got from Rising Strong are

  1. “The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness- even our wholeheartedness- actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the fall”. You can see why Oprah loves this girl.
  2. “I assumed that people weren’t doing their best so I judged them and constantly fought being disappointed, which was easier than setting boundaries.” AHA moment! The whole idea that people are actually doing the best they can. That changes everything doesn’t it?

I looked up some of the reviews on GoodReads and some people mentioned they liked her other books more than Rising Strong and how this one felt more self help.  I haven’t read her other books so I can’t say personally but I want to agree.

Official rating: 3/5

Looking for more book recs? I just discovered this great blog and am in love!

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