Wednesday, February 29, 2012

121. I'm forgetful

I'm a very bad blogger. Being in Europe has swept me away and made me forget about things like wearing stylish outfits and taking too many pictures of myself and my clothes. All I think about is traveling and where I'm going to go next. It's almost as if I have a life. So what could this forgetfulness lead to?

Oh yes, of course, I've been blogging for a full year! My Day 23 update on Harlow, done on January 29/12, should have been bigger and better and well, more of everything really, because it marked exactly one year since I started my blog! Big deal for me people, I tend to give up on things. It's only about 2 months since I told anyone and I still haven't broadcast it to the world. Not the blogging world, but real life and the people I know and interact with. I tried writing this post earlier in the month, to have it closer to the 1 year date, but since this is a leap-year after all why not Feb 29?

In honour of the anniversary, I've picked out a few of my favourite posts and some of my favourite outfits I've worn in the past year. It's not completely comprehensive, but these are a few that stand out. 

My First post was a recipe, since I didn't want to take pictures of myself yet and I knew that was a good way to start :) Though they're messy and take far too long, these cookies were and still are one of my favourites. I wish I could bake over here!

I would have posted my first outfit post here, but the image is mysteriously not there and I don't think I have it saved anywhere. Odd, how Blogger does that. Here's the first post where I actually really liked my outfit.

Here's a link to my first non-cropped post! This was my first attempt at outfit self photography. I hadn't mastered the outfit photo thing yet so it's not the best. But my hair, it's so long and pretty. Severe missing-my-long-hair syndrome happening, did I mention that part?

That's all the meaningful ones I found, I think. Here's a few more of my favourites, hope you all agree with them! And on this momentous occasion, I really just want to say thank you to the people who have read my ramblings for the past year! It really means alot knowing that even though I've changed what I do and how I do it for now, I still have followers who drop by and say hi. I'll be back to regularly scheduled outfit programming when I return in the summer, but for now European travel blog it is.


Kind of surprised I have this many I like to be honest. I even cut a few out! Oh what blogging will do for your wardrobe...

Thanks for a wonderful year everyone! 

Til next time! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

120. Sometimes I get a good feeling

You know what beats cheap pretty clothes? Free pretty clothes! My dear wonderful cousin in Madrid, R, was kind enough to let me rifle through some pieces she no longer wears when I was there a few weeks ago. I haven't worn much of it yet, mostly because it's still too chilly here for cute things. I did manage to break out this piece over the weekend though, on Friday while I did nothing but study and be lazy.

shirt - Cortefiel / tee underneath - AA / jeans - Guess

I really really love this shirt but I'm torn about it. I love the print and how light it is, definitely going to be added to my work wardrobe this summer. However, I don't love the sleeves. I feel like they're too loose to look right, and the sheer fabric from the elbow down doesn't work with the rest of the shirt. So I'm thinking of chopping them, about an inch or two below where the darker material starts. It would end up looking like the first picture, where I have them rolled up. I wore it like this most of the day and I quite like the look.

Comments on this? I have a couple other adorable pieces from Anthropologie to document soon. I went to my first Anthro store in London over the weekend and was overwhelmed by the pretty, and the prices. Finding the sale section was the highlight of my weekend, by far!

Til next time!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 39: Stonehenge and Bath

I realized today that I haven't been documenting my weeks very well. I do at least two posts on my trips, which may need to turn into three sometimes due to the amount of pictures. I'm waiting for my nails to dry so I figured I may as well type carefully and update you all on last week!

Valentine's Day was not the norm for me. We had a 6AM rise and I had no Valentine. A little sad, and being a little sooky did not help the sadness from the lack of V-Day cheese in my life. The bus ride to Stonehenge was about 3 hours.I don't remember seeing the sunrise so I must have slept when I wasn't staring out the window. I realized on this bus trip that my iPod is useless. Fun time to notice it, however my Blackberry was a fine substitute.

We arrived an hour before the Stonehenge visitor's centre was open, so we all sat on the bus and waited. I didn't overdress thinking it was supposed to be warm, which it was in Bath, however the wind in the open fields still had quite a chill to it. I should have taken more pictures but it was chilly and I was underwhelmed by the whole thing. If we'd gotten closer I may have thought differently, but they wouldn't let us past the grass. Here's the circle of stones in all their glory!

myself and Sarah
From there we headed into Bath. I think this may have been an hour and to get to Stonehenge was two, but I didn't really pay attention that early in the morning. I had no idea what Bath was, but it was absolutely beautiful. We went to the Roman Baths, which used natural hot springs back when Romans ruled in Britain. Pretty cool how they've preserved the stone work and the bath itself.

view from the top deck.

 Julius Caesar statue, L, and explanation of the Hot Springs, R

former facade of the temple
where the temple entrance actually stood
lower bath walkway

cooling pool?
Roman version of heated floors, missing the floor part.

me and the Roman bath
That was about it for the sights in Bath that we saw. Walked around a bit and decided to shop instead. I didn't find anything that I liked or wanted, probably on account of the slightly mope-y mood. We stayed in Bath until about 5 then headed home. Such a long day deserved sleep, which I did on the way home as well. I can see myself living somewhere like Bath, it's just a very pretty city but well developed. Seemed very safe too, which was nice when walking around. A good local economy never hurts either haha. 

Til next time! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 35-38: Paris: Part 2

Did I keep you all in suspense? A later update than I planned but here's Part 2 anyways!

Saturday morning was early as usual, though not as early as the previous morning. I had an alright sleep but it wasn't the best, Karla's coughing fits and the noise from the street added up to be a bit of a bother. We got free breakfast in the hostel and were out the door by 10, venturing out for more exploring of the city. It was a chilly morning, about -8 Celsius with some wind. Lots of layering again but I braved the cold without my hat on my freshly washed hair. Headed to the Metro stop just up the road from our Hostel, Barbe-Rochechouart, to go see the Notre Dame. By this point in the day, I had already learned who I like to travel with and who I don't, a topic I won't go into detail with. Actually getting to Notre-Dame was easy, as I was navigating, but one of the girls was insistent that she knew which way to go. We walked in the direction she suggested, then I enjoyed seeing the helpful signs pointing the opposite way. It's the little things that you sometimes get the most joy from. We toured in and around the Notre-Dame cathedral and the grounds taking pictures of everything. Honestly, all I could think about was the Disney movie, which I still have not remembered to watch. It's on my growing list of travel-associated movies, which is getting quite long. While walking the grounds we found a little park with some children's rides, and of course because we're all 6 year olds, had the most fun on a semi-merry-go-round.

lighting a candle at Notre-Dame
amazing stained glass windows
by the altar
group shot!
yeah, ND, nbd. :)
outside the church
You know the drill, click through!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 35-38: Paris: Part 1

Traveling to all these foreign countries is making me think that I really have a bad memory. I've found that unless I do a daily write-up on my Blackberry, or write things down somewhere to remember for a post about the trip, I forget everything. I forget where I was, what day it was, when it happened and usually how much I spent too. Although that last one might be more of a survival tactic to keep myself from freaking out about how much money I'm spending! (read: just kidding Mom, I promise I'm being good :)! )

Friday morning started early as many of my trips have been. My update on Day 35 was a pretty good indicator of how the morning, which was too early. I was actually so excited to be up and going to Paris that I was awake a full  hour early and was the first one ready to head to the train station. One of the girls was being terribly slow, so we would have missed our train had it not been a few minutes late. I was dressed for the cold in the best ways, multiple shirts and leggings under pants, and a new pair of gloves that I think were Boyfriend's. Unfortunately for me, these gloves were warm and we were warm on the train, meaning I forgot how cold my hands were going to be and left them on the first train when we got off. Having a backpack to carry made me forget about little items that have to be carried too. We made our way to St. Pancras to get the Eurostar train and meet up with the rest of our group.

packed lunches, consisting of Tesco prepared meals.
Eurostar terminal
The train was actually not that eventful. We all sat together and I stayed awake specifically to see when we entered the Chunnel. It only took about 20 minutes so I actually ended up missing the beginning. I was unaware that the ear popping that kept happening was actually us going under the Channel. Yeah, I think I must have been sleepin with my eyes open. I love traveling by train anyways, so it was nice to see the French countryside from a different vantage point. Arrived early in Paris at the Gare du Nord and found our hostel quite quickly. Only about a 10 minute walk from the station, something which came in handy on the way home.

view from the UK
view from France
in the station, not me.
streets of Paris!
Our first stop in Paris, once I stopped saying "oh my God I'm in Paris" was the Sacre-Couer church. We planned on heading first to the Moulin Rouge, but saw the church way up on the hill after going in the wrong direction. It was a bit of a walk to reach the time but the view of the city was so worth it. I was kind of surprised to see so many stray cats in Paris, but apparently that's normal. Took many picturse of around the grounds of the church and went inside to see the architecture. Churches in Europe basically all look the same but that doesn't make them any less beautiful!

same view, one pointing towards, below, and out to the city, above

Dying with happiness.

inside the sacre-couer
so pretty.
 Jump on through to see more of Day 1 of Paris!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 35: Update

I had planned another post about how I'm forgetting things, but I forgot to write it and therefore have nothing to post right now. Ironic, eh? Just a little update at 5:30AM London time, before I jet off to Paris for the weekend!

Nothing major happened this week, except I seemed to lose a lot of sleep. Always fun when preparing for a trip. I plan to report back on Monday with lots of tales of French food and sights from the City of Love. It's just before Valentine's Day, which means it might be extra cheesy. I'm so excited haha.

I must be off to finish packing and ready myself for the ride to London! Slightly excited but creeped out about taking the Chunnel...we'll see how it goes haha.

Til next time!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Days 27-31: Madrid: Part 2

I lose track of days quickly when writing posts like this and especially while traveling. It's a good thing I have picture time stamps and notes on my Blackberry to keep me from running all the days into one.

After a full nights sleep on Friday, and I'm talking like 10 + hours type of full, I was well equipped for the day ahead of me. I think I actually stayed in bed til 11, but all was quiet in the house. It was a sleepy morning for R & Gil, who had to deal with both girls not wanting to sleep the night before. I heard none of the nighttime fuss and was able to help, which was a nice change for the parents I think. Gil had a few work things to do and R napped while I helped with Clara, keeping her amused. Sofia amuses herself and everyone else, so she's easy to keep occupied. After R woke up, we all had the typical late lunch and started the process of getting ourselves ready. She made an absolutely delicious veggie & chicken pesto pasta. Not something I'd normally cook for myself, or even choose, but it was so good! Definitely need to try more pesto when I make it to Italy. We finished up around 4 and headed into Madrid city centre to explore. 

I immediately noticed how much I liked the look of Madrid. There's a lot more hills than I had expected there to be, but the city was well organized where we walked. The parking is basically all underground, so it's a very efficient system leaving lots of room for big plazas and lots of space to walk around. We walked through the Plaza Mayor on our way to the shopping areas. It reminded me of St. Mark's Square in Venice, just because of the size and the way it is laid out. R had one store in mind to visit where I found a few Flamenco pieces. The brand is big in Spain, very traditional designs with lots of bright colors. And there was a sale, so obviously that couldn't be passed up! We looked around a few other stores, still looking for that Sfera jacket but no luck. Saw another Spanish department store, El Corte Ingles, similar to a Macy's type place. Continued looking for a winter jacket and something for Sofia, but no luck on either. We continued up the street, a very popular one with lots of stores that I don't remember the name of. Headed for a walk to the palace and saw the beautiful grounds. I didn't realize Spain had a monarchy, but apparently most countries in Europe do. News to me. Got a few pictures around the castle before heading back to the main shopping area.

left: opera house / right: walking down a Madrid street

the palace.

Click through for more!