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Bits & Pieces: London Travel Part II

Guys it’s been for-ev-er and I am back from holiday. Blogging was kinda impossible with all the sketch wifi but now i’m back in the land of the free wifi and the blog is back in business!  Here is the lowdown!

Entrance to one of the oldest remaining operating theatres
Entrance to one of the oldest remaining operating theatres
Boom!! Rachel and I shut this place down! No really, they asked us to leave.
Boom!! Rachel and I shut this place down! No really, they asked us to leave.
They discovered the operating theatre after many years, it was in an attic above a church! Oh, England.
They discovered the operating theatre after many years, it was in an attic above a church! Oh, England.
Ok seriously this is just messed up. RIP your lady bits.
Ok seriously this is just messed up. RIP your lady bits.
We also went to the Hunterian Museum which was the freakiest and coolest place I have ever been and it was free! Not for the faint of heart!! You need to find half faces and other unseemly preserved body parts preserved in jars cool. Something my sister did not and she refused to go :)
Ben Franklin's house! While interesting not as cool as I thought it would be. Still love you, Ben!
Ben Franklin’s house! While interesting not as cool as I thought it would be. Still love you, Ben!
Ah Camden Town, one of my top three favorite places in london and the birthplace of punk!
Ah Camden Town, one of my top three favorite places in london and the birthplace of punk!
Had taken only a few steps out of the tube station. #norules
Had taken only a few steps out of the tube station. #norules

Camden Market has the best offerings foodwise. Get your grub on and try everything! I would be happy if mac and cheese were what the U.S. were actually known for as opposed to our actual reputation.

Have never felt so proud #murica
Have never felt so proud #murica
helllllooooooo
helllllooooooo
Neal's Yard!
Neal’s Yard!

I didn’t end up eating anything in Camden (I know, cray) but I did head over to Neal’s Yard to try out a Buzzfeed suggestion. Intersting fact: a Monty Python filmaker lived here! Maybe explains the color scheme?

HomeSlice. Honestly one of the most delicious slices of my life
HomeSlice. Honestly one of the most delicious slices of my life
Kew Gardens!!
Kew Gardens!!

Kew Gardens is amazing. Using the actual definition of the word. I spent many hours there and there was no way of me seeing everything in one day, and I even used the little railroad cart that took you around. Scientists and other workers in Kew do research for medicine and even create face and body products sold in the UK. I had bought one the day before so it was pretty cool being there! I think Kew Gardens is also a big art in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “The Signature of All Things”- on my to read list!

I think I saw this on pinterest..
I think I saw this on pinterest..
How crazy is this tree?! It's called a Monkey Puzzle
How crazy is this tree?! It’s called a Monkey Puzzle
Walking around the tree tops! <3
Walking around the tree tops! <3

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Bricklane is known for its street art and the best place for curry. you can barter with the people trying to get you to eat at their restaurants over the price. If you take an art tour, it’s going to be in this neighborhood. People like to say Camden is the hipster part but I think it’s because they haven’t been to Bricklane. See for yourself! IMG_5039IMG_5038

Tried another Buzzfeed suggestion, a ton of people were there getting the same as me. I rate it a 5/10
Tried another Buzzfeed suggestion, a ton of people were there getting the same as me. I rate it a 5/10
Have been hearing about this place for a long time!
Have been hearing about this place for a long time!
The menu!
The menu!

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And thus ends part II. London you will always have my heart!

If you want more London, this blog is fabulous!

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The Most Harry Potter Day Ever

I’m in London traveling for a bit before my cousin gets married in Scotland (!!!!) and have been been having the best time. And then… the moment I realize I’m going to be in London on September 1st:

Items on the agenda.. first things first. To Platform 9 3/4!!!!

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at 10:15 b/c I’m a total Hermione and want to find a good compartment :)

Step 2. Tat it up.IMG_4907

Step 3. Decide to finally go into the HP store next to 9 3/4 (cuz you know it’s too expensive so why bother?) b/c it’s Sept 1 and you’re on vacation. NO RULES.IMG_4887

I got bond with some other peeps in the store by complimenting their sewing skills, a girl made her own Hogwarts’ robes! The store was so backed and housed many trinkets, I ended up getting a Hogwarts express chocolate bar and maybe creepily whispered: “I haven’t poisoned that chocolate, you know.. ” maybe..

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The line has tripled in size! Most likely bc it was reaching that magical hour of 11 AM. Hurry before the train leaves you! (yes i’m chuckling at my joke)

Step 4. SCONES

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Bill’s is right by Kings Cross and is super cute hipster. It’s my favorite scone place so far. The scones are more crispy, and make sure to take the flour off before you take a bite! The only downside was the tea (berry bramble) was totally lacking. Maybe a nice peppermint? Recommend for sure!!

Step 5. Now rejuvenated, to the ministry to kidnap some peeps!IMG_4900

muahahaha! Saw this on pinterest and had to! This area was a total ghost town expect for random business men stepping out for a smoke.

Step 6. Shoot forgot some vanishing ink. Got to hit up Diagon AlleyIMG_4901

Step 7. Hungry and decide to try one of Buzzfeed’s recommendations to mediocre success IMG_4902[1]

Step 8. Pay homage to the great and wonderful HP books by seeing the play Dear Lupin (obvious reasons) and it’s a bit weird and a bit sadIMG_4905

Step 9.  Always. 

PS. London Part 1 & Part III

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London Travel Part I

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“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking for him to love her.” yesss. Went to Notting Hill yesterday!

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Was way to early for the Notting Hill Carnival. I went in the am and apparently the party doesn’t start till evening but saw people setting up. Then I got stuck there for an hour or so because no transportation was able to get in! I guess I can’t complain too much because I was excited to walk around :)

After the Tower of London I went to Teapod and had my first scone of the trip! I’m using the London Scone Review as my go to for best scones to try. How genius is the blog? I too would love to go have afternoon tea twice a week!

Each time I visit the Tower of London I swear the Beefeater (official tour guide/guard) is the funniest yet. But seriously this guy was a hoot. I’m pretty sure this is him, upon gathering everyone up for the tour saying, “I seem expensive perfume. and pancakes” ha!

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Day 2!

I went to Hampton Court and got seriously lost in the maze. As in I almost admitted defeat and called for someone to save me.

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me only slightly freaking out.. I then spotted the outside and all was right in the world!

Since we’re on the subject.. Me walking around the gardens. sidnote to my haters (re: my siblings). My loafers are killing it! I’m pretty sure these bad boys saved my life (feet) and are the most comfortable things ever. London is saturated with loafers. and nikes. end of rant/told ya i’m cool.

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Covent Garden!!! Real talk: I would never normally tell people to visit Covent Garden. I might say, “There are usually cool street performers doing magic and stuff. It’s gotten pretty posh. or maybe has always been posh and I never noticed.”

The main reason I visit is to find my favorite candy :) and if i have spare time I wander around. Lo, yesterday was a totally different experience friends!

First off, the balloon installation! How neat! Then I remembered Shake Shack! I’m pretty sure it only exists in NYC, lononders don’t realize how lucky they are. I was curious to see if they had the new chicken sandwich I’ve been hearing about but alas, wasn’t meant to be. So I went with an oldie but a goodie. (also the concretes are fab)

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This guy was amazing! No lie. I first sat down to rest and then stayed for his entire set.

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Check these cuties out!

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The absolute cutest! I can’t tell if people were clapping for them or the actual musician.

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And finally, the scone of the day. I almost didn’t go but boy am I glad I did!

IMG_4877It’s right in Covent Garden, called BB’s Bakery. It was darling. The scone of course delicious!  I liked the better than the teapod because i’m totally partial to plain vs sultana scones.

The best Covent Garden experience to date! So don’t take my advice, go!

More scone news to come.. xx

P.S. London Part II and how to see all the Harry Potter Sites in London without having to pay!

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Book Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

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Please note the positive blurb from Marie Lu, who wrote the awesome Legend Series.  Every book i’ve read that she has reviewed has ended up being less than great. Is she a bad luck charm??

Back to the book. The Wrath and The Dawn. I got an ARC, advanced reading copy, from this years Texas Library Association annual meeting. I may have skipped an entire day of seminars to stock up..

It weirdly reminded me of the story of esther, in the way girls were rounded up for the king’s picking. except in this story each girl becomes his bride and each bride dies/is executed in the morning.  Enter Shahrzad. Her best friend was one of the brides. Shazi is there to take revenge for her friend’s murder. excepttttt will she realize there is something more to this mystery? fall in love? make some waves? The answers are obvious.

I didn’t really love any of the characters or become invested in the story. It was a good way to pass the time and I was curious to see what happened.

I rated the book at first 3 stars with the review “I like it and will probably foreget all about it by the time the next book comes out” (it’s a trilogy bc everything is these days).  My sister rated it 4 stars. Then my Erica rated it 4 stars and wrote a glowing review and I wrote saying I wanted to read this book asap it sounded so good! I looked it up and realized oh wait.. I already did. ha! my review came true! self fulfilling prophesy?! I’m a seer. After that I lowered my rating to 2 stars because it obviously didn’t leave me with an impact and no spark to continue the story for two more books.

The average rating is 4.22 on goodreads.  My official rating: 2/5.  Read and decide for yourself!

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wedding.. what to wear??

My cousin is getting married next month in Scotland. Not a total destination wedding since he lives there, I think the only people flying in is our family, but we are all excited! My dad has his kilt at the ready (seriously), my bro is deciding on suit vs tuxedo, and the ladies are sorting out dresses (ok it’s just me who has yet to decide and i’m in utter turmoil. help!).

Confession: the closest I’ve come to attending a British wedding is watching the royal wedding on television.  Do I wear a hat/fascinator? Can I wear a skirt? Kate Middleton never wears a skirt. Will I bring dishonor to my family (Mulan style) who I’ve only met a handful of times? Idk my bff jill.

This wedding is such a new and completely different ballgame, err cricket game?, ha! It’s made me really think about all wedding attire aspects. Here is what i’ve decided totally flies at an American wedding.

  1. You CAN wear black. Take in account the cut and fabric of the dress, and time of the wedding. As long as don’t look like Bellatrix LeStrange I think you’re in the clear.  
  2. Rock your crop top! *As long as the bride and groom aren’t traditional I say go for it! My girl TSwift looks wedding ready all the time 
  3. Throw on your favorite cream/white/beige dress! This one is still iffy but as long as it’s tasteful (no matter the color) and you don’t upstage the bride it can work. I wore a cream anthro dress to my friend’s wedding without even registering it might not be ok. I haven’t heard any complaints yet and it was two years ago so i think i’m in the clear :) If you are close to the bride ask, or if you are really nervous maybe think of a different outfit. I’ve been seeing this dress all over pinterest and i think it would look sweet for a wedding guest 8 amazing summer wedding guest outfits to copy - Page 7 of 8 - women-outfits.com

I’ll get back to you once I learn the do and don’ts of across the pond weddings. I’m thinking I’ll pass on the wedding hats. or not? oh dear.

May the odds be ever in your favor my peeps!

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Book Review: Me Before You

Lemony Snicket is one smart dude.  I usually pull a Rory Gilmore and carry a book around with me because sometimes I need a break from facbook stalking on my phone, ya know? This past week I reread Me Before You by JoJo Moyes in anticipation for the Best Cast Movie of All Time. Trust me. I started following Emilia Clarke on instagram when I realized she and Neville Longbottom were going to be costars ha.

Because I love books so much I want to share whatever I’m currently reading with you! I know you are so lucky :)

Truth Time: I judge books by their covers. Everyone does secretly right? Going off the title I thought it was some sad girl book where she’s looking for love after some bad break up.  Spoiler: it’s not.  Also I have this weird thing about not reading the summary if I can help it because I think it gives too much away (which makes this whole me giving reviews so ironic/challenging, i want you to be surprised!).

I had recently gone through a No More Books phase because I had wayyy too many but on this particular day I hit up Barnes and Noble and went crazy (3 books).  I was using my GoodReads app (download asap!!) on my phone, scanning all the bar codes in to see which had the best ratings. kinda felt like i had one of those metal detectors at the beach looking for some change buried in the sand.

Yall this book is so good. It follows Lou after she loses her job that her entire family depends on for income.  Lou is wacky and likable, and wears strange leggings.

Will is living this outrageously awesome life until he is injured critically in a motorcycle accident.

Watching their lives converge was fascinating in a way that was totally believable. Sometimes you know the author wrote the story just to be marketable and make some money, this is the exact opposite. This story is so real and honest.

Jojo Moyes has an excellent voice and a gift for storytelling. Warning: beware the ugly cry.

What book can you normally say is even better the second time around? This one!

Official Rating: 5/5

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much needed

Story of my life, amirite?! … Just me? :)

I realize Motivation Monday is a thing and I’m a day late buttttt I’m needing some inspiration today!  As much as I love yoga (for real I could go on and on. and on.) I haven’t been excited about practicing like normal, in a total funk! I’ve tried spin classes and I don’t get it, zero fun being had on my end! I must be missing something :p

I’ve been thinking about trying Barre (I know so behind on the times) and maybe some version of HIIT? What’s your favorite way to work out that’s fun? I need to shake things up! Maybe a hula hoop class?

 

 

 

me – comfort zone = possibilities

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it’s the theatre, darling

Houston has great musicals and plays all year round, something I love to take advantage of! Lately I’ve been hitting up more of the intimate spots outside the theatre district, and it’s been so fun to experience a performance only feet away from the actors.  Take a look!

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I sat front row (on the stage!) for Assassins the musical at the Obsidian Theater in the Heights. There are three sections of 5 rows with 8 seats in each- the definition of intimate. I was uncomfortably but awesomely close to the actors. One of them startled my friend ha! If you like American History and weird comedy this is for you! I thought there would be more dance numbers :(

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On Friday night I went and saw Drowning Girls at Studio 101  and man oh man was it good! It was a three woman show, without an intermission, and they knocked it out of the park! I highly recommend!

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We asked a nice lady to get our photo and her husband added some much needed flair to it :)

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I’m love this girl so much! We had just gone to see Motown at the Hobby Center the other week (the little Michael Jackson, oh my lanta!) and she was down to do something on the opposite side of the spectrum! All the shows I went to recently have been sold out which makes me happy that everyone in Houston is out there getting to experience what this city of mine has to offer :)

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And she was ok with me dragging her to Local Foods and making her also get the crunchy chicken sandwich (she totally loved it!).  I even got the butterscotch brownie to celebrate. I know what you’re thinking -ew- because I thought the same but it is so good yall! excuse me while I find someone else who’s free for dinner this week.. I know a place..

 

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Wassup Peeps!

Still figuring out what all this blogging stuff is about! It’s been crazy/fun and hopefully will turn into something great :)

Tonight I’m off to see this play  and trying to convince my friend to eat at my new favorite place in Houston (two words: pretzel bun).  Have a great weekend!

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