Friday, December 31, 2010

Must be true love.

Dear BlogReaders,
I found a new quote to adore. . .


- Rose Franken, Writer
Image by Me
 
These two are as silly as they get.
Order your own beardhead here
(this was NOT a sponsored post)
Love,
I'veGotAPinkMoostaushAtStonehenge

PS - Happy New Years Eve, be safe and have a blast!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Assistance, please.

Based on the current activity (read: lack thereof) at Heathrow I would like to add a “CC” to my Santa Letter so that the following people also receive it and do what they can to HELP:

1. God
2. Mother Nature
3. Travel Authorities
4. That old-man-cloud-guy that you see on cartoons creating wind with his breath.
5. British Airways
6. The Abominable Snow Man

Thank you all in advance for getting Ryan here safely and ON TIME!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Deliver to: The North Pole

Dear Santa,
What up big guy? Don’t get nervous, I’m not going to get on my high horse spewing out tips like I did last year.  I just wanted to put in a simple request. . .

Can we please have a white Christmas in London? It seems feasible based on current weather predictions, but here’s the catch . . .this snow request is NOT to interrupt any incoming Heathrow flights on December 24th. We need to actually get Ryan here BEFORE we dazzle him with the winter weather. So just to be clear:

Snowy White Christmas = WIN!
Snowy White Christmas Eve Which Causes Flight Problems = The WORST day.

This should be no biggy, you’re friends with Mother Nature right?

Love,
EnjoysBundlingUp

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

High-Five

Dear GuyBehindRelevantWit,
Only 18 more days to go . . .

Found HERE (again)
Okay so, technically it's over 5,200 miles and there'd be some swimming involved, but I'd still give it a go (clearly after exhausting all other modern transportation options).

Love,
TheOneWhoGotCaughtReadingBlogsDuringSkype

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Word {Palab, if you will}

Dear BlogReaders,
Evidently I'm into sharing other people's amazing words I've found around the internet this week instead of writing any blogs myself. I can't help but think "OMG I TOTALLY AGREE" when I find something that I love (and yes, in my head (and in real life) I speak like a teeny bopper). I so often find that I relate to and get inspired by all the fantastic stuff that people post.  Honestly, isn’t that one of the best parts of the web and all the amazing blogs it is home to?


Found HERE
 I was reading A Cup of Jo who linked to Le Love and then stumbled upon this great quote a few posts in . . . and that my friends is how my blog reader is ALWAYS full of goodness.

Love,
IntoTakingChances

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Dear HillaryWithTwoL's,
I've been a fan of your blog for almost two year now, but today my web-friend you've written something so perfect that I can't help but re-print it here because it is EXACTLY what I've been feeling for the last 4 months and 15 days since leaving home:

"A little distance doesn't change our history. They're my people. They know my secrets and my crazy and love me anyway. They're always in my heart. I just wish they were in my kitchen, drinking wine and eating cheese, whenever I wanted." 

I absolutely love, love, love, LOVE those words.  You're BRILLIANT. . . and I'm not just saying that because I've picked up the London lingo.

Love,
MissingMyFriends

Monday, November 29, 2010

Automatic Smile

The fancy new camera I bought this summer (thanks to Taylor Swift) has an auto-smile feature.  As you may have guessed, when set, it will automatically take the photo once it detects the subject(s) of the image are smiling.  Some of us have the timing down a tad better than others. . . .Observe:

ONE:
046

TWO:
047

THREE:
048

FOUR:
050

We were pretty much the coolest kids floating down the Seine River that day.
In his own words . . . "I auto-smile like a pro."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Thoughts

Things that I’m Thankful For (in no particular order):

  1. Travel.
  2. Family.
  3. New Opportunities.
  4. Old Friends.
  5. Impending snow.
  6. The BF.
  7. New friends.
  8. An additional holiday next year due to the Royal Wedding.
 Things I’ll Miss this Turkey Weekend (again, in no particular order):
 
  1. Family, Friends, The BF. (Obvs)
  2. Mom’s pumpkin pie.
  3. Black Friday shopping.
  4. Mom’s pecan pie.
  5. Nana’s spaghetti.
  6. Mom’s banana cream pie.
  7. Grandma’s homemade bread/rolls.
  8. Mom’s chocolate pie.
  9. Playing ‘continental’ and yelling.
  10. ALL MY MOM’S HOMEMADE PIES. 
Happy Thanksgiving from across the pond! Everyone eat lots for me.

 
PS:  I love pie.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mind the Gap

Now that I’m a bona fide public transportation user, I thought it would be nice to pass on a few tips I’ve picked up along the way. . . Plus, who doesn’t love a good old fashion rhyming list?!

1. Don’t wait or you’ll be late: I should preface this by saying that I live off of the Northern Line and use it to get to work each day. As it turns out, the Northern Line happens to be infamous as the busiest and oldest line in London. Conveniently, no one told me that before I moved to the area (bummer). In the mornings is when it’s really an issue, trains are so jam packed that only 1-2 people can get on per set of doors whilst there are about 12 people per door waiting at any given time. This means that if you don’t push your way in and join the sardine can, train after train will pass you by. Before you know it you’ve been at the station for 30 minutes trying to leave, and you’re definitely going to be late for work! The mentality of waiting for ‘the next one’ so that you don’t have to jump on the full train just doesn’t quite work in London (at least not in the morning). You can always spot a tourist or newbie* because they’re the ones peering inside of a crowded train for an empty spot to stand whilst everyone else hops right on shoulder-to-shoulder passing them by.

2. Wide stance to avoid the dance: I know it sounds crazy, but I have seen people straight-up fall on the tube before, and I’m not just talking about that one time that it happened it DID NOT HAPPEN to me. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of jerking and swaying the train does whilst whizzing in and out of tunnels and stations. I’ve found the best way to keep your bearings is by standing with your feet about shoulder width or slightly further apart. It helps keep you balanced so you don’t end up having your feet jerked one way while your body ends up in someone’s lap. No matter how much you try to play it off like the footwork of a fancy new dance move, everyone will know you fell. Trust me, that is not fun.

3. White knuckle so you don’t buckle: Understandably, you may have sanitary concerns when reaching your hand out to grab onto the railing of a tube car. An attempt to just use your finger tips and not contaminate your entire palm seems like a good idea, but sadly, it doesn’t work so well. It takes a good solid grip on those railings in order to prevent you from toppling. If a carriage is super full and you don’t have enough room for a wide stance, then holding on very tightly may be your only option. Just keep hand sanitizer with you at all times and take advantage of any proximity to a sink and soap.

4. No lotion before the motion: That sounds like it has the potential to be inappropriate, aye? The lesson here is do NOT put on hand lotion before taking a tube. Even the slightest hint of slippery/greasy hands doesn’t mix with the need to grab on to the railings. The lotion and funk will undoubtedly combine to make a disgusting concoction that you don’t even want to begin thinking about. It is worth the wait to moisturize after you get wherever it is you’re going.

5. See a seat and move your feet: This is pretty much self explanatory. Trust that it’ll be worth sitting even if you only have a couple stops to go. You never know when you might get held at red signals which increase your journey time. As an added bonus, if you’re sitting down then you likely don’t need to worry about some of the tips above!

6. Eves drop and miss your stop: Also self explanatory. Yes it has happened to me, but I’m proud to say it’s only happened once. I’m not so proud to report that the convo I was listening to was barely interesting. It certainly wasn’t worth the back tracking I had to do because I missed the station I needed. Whoops!

See how helpful the rhyming is?! It makes the tips so much easier to remember, and now you’re well equipped to come for a visit. Grab your jackets and let’s do London Town up right!

*hmm, not sure I’ve lived here long enough to be able to say that.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Second Impression

Dear BlogReaders,
You’ll never guess who I saw on the tube this morning. . . It was none other than Shaving-Cream-In-His-Ear-Guy!

We made eye contact, although I tried to avoid it. When he looked at me I sensed a twinge of recollection in his facial expression and he didn’t seem too pleased.  Perhaps it was because last time we made eye contact I looked at him as though he had three eyes. Still, I don’t think his rude gaze is called for today because I can’t imagine what he’s so upset about now anyways. After all, he didn’t have shaving cream on his ear OR his nose, so it appears that he’s already having a better morning than a few weeks ago.  And dude, it's Friday cheer up and go see some fireworks tonight! 

Love,
AnieMakingFriendsInLondon

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Name is August Christopher.

Isn’t it super annoying when blog titles are obscure inside jokes? That one is for the ladies with big scissors. It’s also dedicated to my brother and a brazil nut, both of whom I’m pretty sure don’t read my blog.

Isn’t it even more annoying when you read the first few sentences of a post and have no idea what the heck we’re talking about?! PLEASE STICK WITH ME, READERS . . . I promise there’s a list coming . . . 2 in fact! I just miss the fam, so that was my shout out. “Hola Familia.”

Okay, moving on. . . I don’t know about you, but I name everything. Especially inanimate objects. In fact, it’s one of my favourite things to do, and I take it fairly seriously. Here are a few characteristics that I think make up a good name:

1. It’s folded
2. It’s witty
3. It’s long but can be shortened
4. It’s nickname friendly
5. It’s funny
6. It makes people think “dang, I wish I would have thought of that.”

Here are the few of the things I love to name:

1. Purses and Bags (but generally only the expensive / special ones)
2. Electronics
3. Cars
4. Shoes (again, usually only the really special pairs)

Now to bring this full circle, I grew up in a family where naming things was basically expected. My group of friends would likely agree, since they too partake in the ritual. But are we just a bunch of crazies?

Right, that’s a loaded question.

Anywhosie, what’s the name of your favourite bag or techy toy? Future blog posts to come with the lists of gems I’ve had in my day.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Differences v2

The 2nd edition of the top differences between living in London vs. Phoenix (read the 1st edition here):

1. Instead of the obligatory “how are you?” the English are prone to asking “you all right?” At first this threw me off, and I would think ‘yeah I’m fine!’ and then wonder why they asked . . . do I look sad? Is my appearance disheveled? Am I bleeding? Is there some other sign that indicates I’m not okay?! Luckily, the paranoia died down and I realized it’s just their way of saying “how are you?” just as Americans automatically do after saying ‘hi’ to someone. Phew!

2. The second difference works to my benefit: I don’t recognize celebrities here! This is a good thing, as I have the tendency to get extremely star struck and act like a complete idiot in the presence of anyone famous. Now however, I have less opportunities to embarrass myself and that’s always a bonus. Don’t get me wrong, if I see the lady* below or any of her gal pals I’m still going to freeze up and not be able to move or talk. I may not be hip to CURRENT London pop culture yet, but I don’t live under a rock.


3. I can’t convincingly try to fit in here without talking about the weather, so let’s get that out of the way. . . It goes without saying that the climate between Phoenix and London varies SUBSTANTIALLY. People I know are very concerned that I won’t be able to hack it in the winter, but I’ve gotta tell you . . . I LOVE THE COLD! I swear I’m not just saying that because it’s only October, I’ve claimed it for years. I have experienced the mid-west during ‘real’ winters, snow and all. Granted, I can appreciate that living in a cold climate is different than visiting, but I think I’ll be just fine. I’m not a fan of Arizona’s weather and I never really have been. Sorry Phoenix – I still love you, but as a wise friend told me “London is the prettiest shade of grey.”

4. Now this may be slightly obvious, but part of living in a large European city is all of the different cultures that you encounter daily. Just in the office alone we have over 30 different ethnicities. I’m having a hell of a time trying to keep all the accents straight! I’ve realized it’s best to not assume anyone is from anywhere and just ask so that you don’t sounds like a lame-o if you guess wrong.

*Oh snap! 4 down and 1 to go!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Train of Thought {Literally}

This is what was going on in my head during the tube ride this morning:

1. Do the people I see sleeping ever snooze through their stops?
2. I should have gone to bed earlier last night.
3. I wish I was snoozing right now.
4. I don’t think I could fall asleep on the tube.
5. Is it sad that I want to be in bed by 9pm during the week?
6. Does every girl in London besides me have a Longchamp Le Pliage bag?
7. Should I buy a Longchamp Le Pliage bag?!
8. I should make a list of things I want to buy.
9. No, that seems dangerous.
10. Eh, I’ll do it anyways . . .
11. Mulberry bag makes the list too!
12. Seems appropriate for London.
13. You know what else is appropriate?
14. Scarves!
15. I should really wear my scarves more.
16. That guy has a cool scarf on.
17. Hmm, that guy also has shaving cream on the back of his ear.
18. I wonder if anyone is going to tell him.
19. Maybe if he looks in this direction I’ll touch my ear as a clue.
20. Oh he’s looking!
21. Oooohhh. MAN.
22. That guy also has shaving cream on the side of his nose.
23. Ah crap, I didn’t touch my ear.
24. Ah crap, I instead made a not-so-nice facial expression.
25. He’s probable wondering why I just looked at him in such a rude manner.
26. Eh, I imagine when he sees himself in the mirror at some point today he’ll figure it out.

Anie: Helping my fellow commuter one thought at a time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hilarity!

Dear TiffanyFromOnTheVerge,
I wish I could give credit to whoever turned me on to your blog, but alas I read so many that I can't remeber how I found your corner of the internet.  Needless to say, you were quickly added to my reader and today's post has taken the cake!

EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BECAUSE IT IS HYSTERICAL!

Thanks for the laughs!

Love,
DamnIWishIWouldHaveThoughOfThat

Thursday, October 14, 2010

For the Love of Pumpkins


Dear PreciousPumpkins,
I’m concerned. Very. Concerned. Where are you!?

I haven’t seen you in the coffee joints or bakeries. I haven’t seen you in any cafe or gelato shop. You’re not available via soup or muffin. You’re nowhere to be found in the local grocery store, and I haven’t even spotted you for Halloween prep.

IT’s OCTOBER, PUMPKINS! You should most definitely be around. This is YOUR season and normally it’s a GLORIOUS time of year. It’s one of my favourite times of year in fact, when it’s acceptable to enjoy you in large quantities from now until after Christmas. Yet sadly, I haven’t had you at all . . . {tear}.

I’m left to assume that this is one of the cultural differences between the US and UK, and frankly it’s the worst I’ve encountered thus far. I miss you my precious pumpkins, please turn up soon.

Love,
GourdEnthusiast

PS – I pray that I’ve just had bad pumpkin luck . . . if anyone in London or surrounding areas has any tips for partaking in some pumpkin loving please help set me right.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I’m on Strike

Okay so I’m not actually on strike, but tube services in London were earlier this week . . . and in other relevant and non-relevant news:
1. Walking home from the grocery store the other night I suddenly encountered an overwhelming smell of grape BubbleYum gum. Why am I telling you this? Because I thought you should know. Obvs.



2. I just finished reading a VERY good book called Little Bee. . . I would tell you about it, but I can’t. Not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t spoil it. Even the book says so . . .see:

“We don’t want to tell you WHAT HAPPENS in this book. It is truly a SPECIAL STORY and we don’t want to spoil it. NEVERTHELESS, you need to know enough to buy it, so we’ll just say this: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to make. Two years later, they meet again – the story starts there . . . Once you have read it you’ll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.”

Because I don’t like being out of the loop it didn’t take much convincing for me to read it, and I’m VERY glad I did. If you’re looking for something new, definitely check it out.



3. In case I forgot to mention in my last post, I’ve purchase new boots! Three pairs in fact. Before you go questioning my spending habits, I’d like to point out that based on the climate of my current environment all 3 pairs are a good investment, one may even say necessity! Of course that one saying it is me, but I think its fine.



4. I know what you’re thinking, “she bought 3 pairs of boots?!” Not 2 pairs or 4 pairs, like a normal person with OCD about even numbers? Here’s one of the many amazing things about of shoes . . . THEY COME IN PAIRS! They’re automatically even numbered by nature, so 3 pairs are made up of 6 individual shoes! It’s a beautiful thing, people.


5. Recently I had the pleasure of skyping with this guy, and he's ADORABLE!


6. My good friend Amanda had a baby. Her name is Emersyn, and she's such a cutie! Can't wait to meet her when I'm home for a visit:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just Another Morning

Dear LadyOnTheTube,
You’ve successfully confused me. Are you actually a random nice Lady who likes to partake in random acts of kindness? OR are you in fact a rude, assumptive Lady who I want to punch?

On our commute into work this morning, you and I were both standing holding on to the less than sanitary rails on the train as to not fall or lose our balance. Hey lady, it happens – to the best of us! People fall! For no apparent reason! And then those people look around to see if someone pushed them. And those people should not be made fun of, or stared at! As though falling on the tube (into other people!) is not mortifying enough on its own, the glaring eyes really make those people who fell want to jump off at the next stop (even if it’s not their ultimate destination) just so they can get away from the scene of the fall! I digress, as that really has nothing to do with you Lady, but I thought I’d just put that out there. Not because I personally fell recently of course, but just because it’s a topic that effects those using public transportation in general. Yup, not me – just in general. Uh huh.

Anywho, back to you Lady . . . as we approached the next stop someone got off the train leaving a coveted empty seat. As I was only a couple stops away from where I was heading, I didn’t bother to try and scoop the seat up – plus I think my new boots are better served when I’m standing and you can get the full effect of my ensemble. Being a seemingly experienced commuter you slid into the empty seat with ease before any newly-joining travellers could take it from you. “Mind the closing doors” rang into our ears and our journey continued. No sooner was the train back in motion, that you were looking me up and down (I though noticing the boots, score!) but then much to my surprise (read: dismay) you then looked me straight in the eyes and offered me your seat.

WHOA! Hold it right there Lady – I’m definitely not older than you, nor am I disabled, travelling with luggage, children, purchases, or any other category that would suggest one should give up their seat to me. I’ve been in this lovely city just long enough to know that when a place to sit on the tube becomes available you scoop that bad boy up unless a senior citizen or prego lady is in close radius. . .

THAT’S WHEN IT HIT ME! Holy crap Lady, you must think I’m pregnant! OMG, is it because my dress has horizontal stripes on it? Is it because I’m holding my sweater in front of my stomach and you thinks I’m trying to warm some type of bun-in-the-oven? Holy hell, do these boots make me look fat?!

Clearly it can’t be the latter as these boots are amazing, so I quickly realized that maybe my ensemble wasn’t as flattering as I thought. You know when you leave the house thinking you look like hot shit and then with one glance, one comment, one offer-of-a-seat later you second guess your fashion sense? I hate that. As soon as I got to work I headed to the bathroom’s full length mirror to reassess my situation. I totally did NOT look prego – AT ALL! I assure you I wasn’t just deducting that to make myself feel better, in no way did my clothing or it’s fit suggest that I was with child. Could I just be losing my mind and you are actually a Lady who likes to be nice for no apparent reason? Isn’t it sad that I automatically assumed you were a jerk who was making assumptions about me? Sheesh Lady, with one little act you made me think perhaps I was jaded, and worse that my new boots were anything short of awesome!

In any case, I promise you this Lady . . . if for any reason whatsoever I somehow magically discover that my first instinct was right and you offered me your seat because you thought I was knocked-up then so help me I’m going to hunt you down and provide you with a smorgasbord of sandwiches! And these aren’t going to be enjoyable tea sandwiches . . . they’re going to be a good old fashion helping of BREAD-KNUCKLE-BREAD! You got that, Lady!?

Love,
AssOutOfUMe

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pinktober: Think Pink

Save the: 
  1. Breasts
  2. Tatas
  3. Boobies
  4. Second Base
  5. Chests
  6. Cleavage
  7. Melons
  8. . . . and any other nouns of choice.
For Our:
  1. Mothers
  2. Sisters
  3. Friends
  4. Wives
  5. Grandmothers
  6. Aunts
  7. Colleagues
  8. . . . and other amazing women (and MEN!) in our lives.
 Through:
  1. Volunteering
  2. Sharing
  3. Running/Walking
  4. Donating
  5. Listening
  6. Educating
  7. Praying
  8. . . . and getting involved.
 Because We: 
  1. Care
  2. Sympathize
  3. Miss
  4. Want
  5. Need
  6. Worry
  7. Support
  8. . . . and most importantly LOVE.
Do something this October . . . be part of the CURE.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Peoplesick

Dear Lovlies,

I’ve had several people ask me lately how I’m doing, what I miss from home, and if I’m homesick yet. I sense YET is the operative word in that sentence, YET I don’t miss ‘home’ . . . at least not in the physical sense, or at least not YET I don’t.

I haven’t missed the Arizona heat, I haven’t missed the driving. I don’t miss the desert scenery and I don’t miss going places I’d been to lots of times before. I’m revealing the in new, or at minimum doing my best to try. Don’t get me wrong, it’s in no way peaches and flowers all the time. It’s definitely hard being here, but there’s only one reason why . . . I miss my favourite people. I’m not homesick – I’m peoplesick.

I miss my family, my friends, and my boy - it’s very hard not having them here. Even if I didn’t necessarily see everyone regularly, it was knowing they were only a short distance away that gave me comfort. I don’t mind being by myself and I definitely have an independent streak (obviously, otherwise I’d be in a world of hurt!) but there’s a big difference between being by yourself because you decided to, and being by yourself because you don’t know anyone else around. That sounds a bit more dramatic than intended. . . I am certainly making new friends, have hung out with fun co-workers, and have a flatmate I’m getting to know – but somehow it’s just not the same.

It’s not the same as having inside jokes, “one-mind” moments, and years of history together. It just can’t compare to grabbing breakfast or a drink with a close friend and having nothing to talk about but catching up for hours. I don’t want any sympathy and I’m not asking for anyone to feel bad for me. No head-tilting “aww, poor thing” moments are required! In fact, I discourage them.

It’s just important to me personally, to not sugar coat anything or make it seem like I have this wonderfully perfect life that loads should be jealous of. It’s a pet peeve of mine to read blogs, see profiles, or hear about those people who paint a picture of their perfect lives, perfect partners, perfect kids, perfect jobs or perfect house who are clearly exuding so much happiness with where they’re at in their world that you just can’t bear it. Those people are liars living in la-la-land because in truth we all know that’s not quite how it rolls.

Life throws you ups and downs and sometimes those ups are really, REALLY high up and you can’t even believe how lucky you are! You want to shout and yell because you’re just so excited you can’t keep it in, and everyone needs to know how fantastically amazing it all is. DO IT – please shout! Let your excitement or good news be contagious, someone somewhere who had a day that can only be compared to dog shit will appreciate the reminder that life can kick ass! And if you happen to be the one who had that dog-shit-day then by all means complain about it – sometimes wallowing is needed and warranted. It will give you the opportunity to remember that you’re not the first or last person that’s having a tough go at it. Here’s the VERY important trick to it all – don’t live on either end of the extreme. Roll with the good and the bad, and let yourself be at terms with both. Don’t be a Bragging-Brenda or a Bitter-Betty . . . just BE REAL.

Hmm . . I’m not certain this letter stayed on the original path I intended. Nor am I certain that I’m not writing it more for myself than anyone else who may read it. But my point is (I think) that being here is a mixed bag. It’s amazing, hard, wonderful, and daunting all in the same breath. I miss my people so very much, because they are what made Arizona my home. But for now my home is London, and I’m going to keep shouting about that for a while.

Love,
RantingAnie

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

He Said, She Said

 . . . I know there were more converstational gems, I really need to start writing stuff down!

1)
Her: What do you think about these shoes with my ensemble?
Him: Uh, they’re mismatched.
Her: Thank you Captain State the Obvious, I was asking you to pick one of the two, not suggesting I wear them together.
Him: Pick whichever ones aren’t going to make you want to come back to the hotel room, complaining that your feet hurt.
Her: Touché.

2)
Her: OH, get a picture with me and the Eiffel Tower!
Him: Ok.
Her: But how are my bangs?
Him: Good.
Her: Do they look okay?
Him: Yup.
RESULT:

Her: WTF?!
Him:  What?  It's you and the Eiffle Tower, isn't it?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Be Back Soon


Only in this case “fishing refers to”. . .


1. FINALLY getting to see Ryan.

2. Heading over to Paris for a few days.

3. Consuming copious amounts of wine and cheese.

4. Going to meet Elizabeth Gilbert thanks to my new favorite blogger.

5. Checking out some of Billy Shake’s work.

6. Moving into my new flat!

I’m officially on holiday . . . see ya on the flip side.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You. Are. On. My. Mind.

“Every little thing you do you’re on my mind (on my mind) YOU. Every little thing you do you’re on my miiiinnndddd.” 10 brownie points to the first person to name that old-school jam, knowing my friends it won’t take long so here is a preemptive WELL DONE!

And HERE is what’s on my mind! What a perfect transition, why thank you, now on to the random list:

1. To further prove my new found love, and to appease a comment from LL, here’s photographic evidence that I’m rocking the leggings:


2. Speaking of which, in the spirit of pointing out the obvious – the title of my leggings post was a play on the word hypocrisy. I’m not sure why I feel the need to tell you that, as I’m sure you’re more than capable of figuring it out, but I’ve been second guessing my level of cleverness ever since I posted. So really this is just for my own piece of mind.

3. Don’t be confused by that bedazzled black hat hanging on the door knob in the photo above – it’s just my sparkly beret that I’m going to wear in Paris. I’m pretty sure it will be a hit.

4. I got my hair cut today, including bangs. For any of you ladies (or gents, I don’t judge) with bangs, you know going to a new person to get your bangs cut is a nerve racking thing. If they get them wrong there’s really no good way to cover them up, if they go too short or mess up the angle you’re totally screwed. So I was nervous. I think I’ve been spoiled by Claudia, my lovely little hair dresser at home, because she always gets them just right. Good news though, whilst they’re not exactly Claudia status, I do like the way they turned out and would go back to the lady again, so I’ll consider that a success.

5. When I said, “I don’t judge” just now, that was a lie. If you’re a dude with bangs I’m going to judge you.

6. There was a tube strike in London this week. Luckily, I’m still in my temporary flat a 2 minute walk from work so I wasn’t affected. Unluckily, the radio said there would be 3 more strikes before Christmas. I sense a tube strike combined with cold/rainy weather is going to make me miss Phoenix and my car fairly quickly.

7. Speaking of weather (as Londoners so often do!), I love that it’s getting chilly out in the AM and PM here. Not cold mind you, but definitely brisk, and this morning was foggy. When it's rainy out, I enjoy sitting in the leather chair by the window whilst watching TV and hanging out with Herbert:


8. Oh, did I not mention? Herbert is the name of my lap top. I imagine if he took swine form he’d look like this:


9. BTW, I think it’s perfectly normal to give names to inanimate possessions & to think of your computer as a cute little piglet wearing wellies.

10. The BF gets here on Saturday . . . can anyone put in a good word with Father Time and make it get here sooner? That would be swell.

Happy hump day, folks!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Hippo Named Chrissy

Dear Leggings,
I know what you’re thinking . . . I have some nerve writing you a letter when typically I’m known to curse your name. Tis true, we’ve had a love-hate relationship . . . this mainly consisted of everyone loving you whilst I hated you.

In 2008, I purchased you in basic black and wore you a couple times, but then I was over it. Come 2009, I couldn’t say enough bad things about you. I’m not entirely sure why, but I was convinced that you were OUT as far as fashion is concerned. Time and time again, friends would provide me with proof that you were all the rage, but I just couldn’t manage to jump on board.

“I don’t like them AT ALL” I said.
“You won’t catch me in leggings again” I proclaimed.

Welp, now I’m eating my words! I LOVE YOU LEGGINGS. I don’t know what I was thinking last year! Maybe it was kindergarten-mentality and I was picking on you because (secretly) I really loved you and just didn’t know how to deal with it. Or maybe I’m just a more in tune with what’s “in” because of new surroundings. Either way, I write you this letter my dear leggings to ask for your forgiveness. I need you to a part of my life, and hope you can find it in your heart to pardon my previous lack of judgment.

I love you and I’m sorry,
ALeggingCladHypocrite

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Notting Hill Carnival 2010

Dear BlogReaders,
What do you do when you’re new to London and have a 3-day weekend thanks to a UK Bank Holiday? Let me show you!
Click & zoom to make bigger.
For the details, check out the official webpage.

Love,
IDrankOutOfAGreenCoconut

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blogging Along

“. . . blogging along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea!”

Let’s make some assumptions, shall we?
  1. I read blogs a lot
  2. I read a lot of blogs
  3. Sometimes within reading 1-2 posts of a new blog I automatically add it to my reader knowing that I want it to be part of my day-to-day internet life
  4. There are definitely some blogs that I love so much, that I have delusions that I’m actually friends with the blog-owners
  5. I can get so enamored with the blogs I love that even Ryan knows which is which because I talk about them so much. Yes, from over 5,000 miles away. . .
  6. That’s right I’ve used our Skype time to talk about my faux-friends whose blogs I read. Obvs, I’m a pretty romantic girlfriend.
  7. On more than one occasion, I’ve decided that I liked a blog so much that I’ve read through all the archives so I felt like there was nothing I was missing out on.
  8. I swear I’m not a creepy stalker and I do actually spend time away from my computer interacting with real life people. Really I do!
Okay now that we have an understanding of my blog habits, I thought it was appropriate to dedicate a list to some of the favorite blogs I’ve recently become smitten with. In particular, my new found blog-favs are thanks to this lady:


Don’t worry I’ve actually met Taylor in real life, and even asked her permission to blog about her blog and favorite blogs so that I wasn’t totally creepy / Scary Spice:*



In no particular order, these are stamped with the definitely-check-them-out seal of approval!

1:  Team Boo
2:  Nicole, Etc.
3:  Rockstar Diaries
 4:  Arizona Lewis


Click away and enjoy!

*That’s right, now it’s 3 down and only 2 more to go!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Uno

Raise your hand if you live alone.

Oh hey there fellow party-of-one! Welcome to the house of Letters & Lists . . . feel free to put your cardigan on and stay a while. What do you mean you’re not wearing a cardi? Pssfffft. Don’t be silly I have plenty of extra, what’s your color preference? Okay good, now that we’ve got warm arms let’s discuss residing solo shall we?

1. I find that I don’t talk very often. I mean sure I work full time and talk to the fun people there, but as it turns out . . . they don’t come home with me. This means no one to discuss random things on TV with, or no one to ask what they feel like for dinner (secretly hoping they come up with a great suggestion so I don’t resort to a cereal and crumpet night). I also find that the lack of talking means that when I do say something out loud when I’m by myself, the sound of my own voice (and its inherent decibel level) sometimes gives me a fright. Not like eyes-watery-hiding-under-the-covers fright, more like oh-snap-I’m-loud-and-forgot sort of caught off-guardness. Yup, “off-guardness” totally a word, bringing me to my next point. . .

2. One of the pluses of living alone or doing stuff alone is that no one is there to laugh and point when you do something dumb. Which as you may have guessed, happens to me often. The other day I tripped over my own feet whilst walking down the street, and I didn’t even attempt to play it off! I just kept walking like yup-I-almost-biffed-it-and-I-don’t-care. I mean sure people around me saw, but I didn’t know them and will likely never see them again so it was a non-issue. I have to say that’s a pretty liberating feeling. If next time you see me if I’m acting a fool you’ll know it’s because I’ve gone far too long without someone making fun of me.

3. Do you think it’s a good idea to shove all my dirty laundry into this very tiny washing machine? Should I get sucked into this Hills marathon even though I’ve seen them all? Do you think these shoes go with this ensemble? Twix comprise a sensible dinner, right? I HAVE NO ONE HERE TO TELL ME NO! Sometimes just the simple fact that no one else is around means that I don’t even give a second thought to some of the decisions I make. This has its benefits of course since I get to do what I want without objection, but as evident from some of the examples above, sometimes you need another person just to question you or tell you no. I like having someone around that I know and trust just for a second opinion or to bounce things off of. It’s not necessary, but it’s definitely a luxury that I’m missing . . . even if ultimately I’ll stick with the same decision that I would have regardless. I’m an adult, if I want to eat a candy bar for dinner, then I will!

4. I’m no wiz in the kitchen – I have things I’m good at making and I enjoy cooking, but I don’t stray far from what I know. Cooking for one also takes a bit of getting used to without being stuck with too many left overs. I need to spend some quality time with google’s “recipes for one” search results, but until then I’ve also ventured out to eat on my own. I don’t mind the alone time, but it’s the reactions I get from others that are annoying. The servers seem confused at how often they should stop by my table since I’m not in the middle of a conversation with anyone else. Sometimes if I’m just staring off they mistake this for trying to get their attention and tend to be overly attentive. I appreciate the effort, but it makes for awkward interactions since I can only say the meal tastes good so many times. I’ve also been surprised at the looks of pity I get . . . specifically from middle aged-men. I don’t know what they’re so concerned about but I get lots of “aww, poor thing is all alone” stares from them. Obvs, the only proper reaction to this is responding with my “aww, not aging so gracefully” stare right back at them!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I {heart} NYC

Dear NewYorkCity,
I love you.   It's no secret that many others share the same sentiment, especially the Brits!

CHECK IT!

A must watch, and make sure your sound is on.

Love,
InAnAmazingCityThatHasGreatTaste

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Desert Meets Dickens

A lovely co-worker who I miss terribly wrote a blip for our company’s internal newsletter and now guess who’s featured in September’s issue? Yours truly! Without even having to request it, the article is in the form of an even numbered list of questions . . . PERFECT! Here’s your own personal copy to peruse:

Phoenix Marketing Coordinator Stephanie [last name] has traded scorching temperatures for scones, as she has moved to our London office to cover [name]’s maternity leave. Stephanie, who reports a warm welcome from Londoners, is enjoying her off-hours getting to know her beautiful new city. She is already planning jaunts to neighboring countries during her year abroad, starting with a September birthday weekend in Paris! We posed a few questions to Stephanie regarding her temporary relocation:

1. What was the key motivation behind your move to London?
I’d never been to Europe prior to stepping off the plane a few weeks ago. When the opportunity presented itself, I was fortunate enough to be in a place in my life that it was fairly easy to pack up a move for a year. I saw it as a great chance to work in a new office, in an amazing city much different from what I was used to. The timing and support I received coincided in one of those rare moments in life that I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by.

2. Biggest difference between the London and Phoenix office?
One of the biggest differences is definitely the size of the office – London has over 150 people while Phoenix has closer to 25. It is also a big change working as part of a marketing team all located in the same office versus being the only marketer in Phoenix with the rest of the Southwest team in other offices.

3. What do you miss most about the US?
Without a doubt, I miss the people from home the most. On the flipside, hopefully this will give family and friends a great excuse to take holiday in London. One thing I don’t miss yet is the Arizona heat – it wasn’t hard jumping on a plane flying away from Phoenix in the middle of July. I’m guessing I’ll take that sentiment back come December!

4. What will be the hardest thing to give up when you return to the US?
Since I’ve only been here a short while, it’s hard to answer this question just yet. If I had to guess, I imagine the hardest thing to give up after heading back home will be all of the travel I hope to do. It’s exciting to be able to take advantage of all of the other amazing places in such proximity to London, even if just for a weekend.

5. Biggest surprise about living in London?
I’ve tried to come into this next year with no expectations so that I can truly make the most of the experience. So almost everything has been a surprise – from how easy the tube is to use to how long it took me to figure out the washing machine. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how easy the transition has been from working in marketing in the US compared to Europe.

6. A London discovery that you hope everyone can experience?
To be fair to the city I think I need more time here before having a great answer, although I’d love to hear how others would respond to this question!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Differences v1

The top differences between living in London vs. Phoenix to date:

1. In Phoenix the sun sets around 7:30PM . . . In London, Mr. Sun likes to hang out until about 9:00PM. Evidently Father Time’s summer curfew is more lenient in the UK.

2. On my keyboard in the London office the quotations symbol is where the @ key is located and the at symbol is where the “ key is located. I don’t think I realized how much I used both keys until they got switched up on me.

3. Luckily, it didn’t take me very long to realize that when people said something was “in my diary” (Note, if I was typing at work it would look like this: @in my diary@) they didn’t actually mean it was written in a book under lock and key. They actually meant it was in their Outlook calendar / appointment schedule. I’m glad I figured that one out before asking why everyone’s diary content was talked about all willy-nilly.

4. The last difference on this list might be viewed as more of an opinion than cold hard fact, but people in London are WAY more fashionable than Phoenix. Of course that’s talking about everyone on a whole, because I know some very trendy folks in AZ, but London definitely takes the cake on style. Maybe it’s because it’s a bigger city, or maybe it’s because their department stores are SEVEN floors high. I also bet she has something to do with it*:


*Either that or I have a goal of getting all the Spice Girls individually worked into blog posts . . . 2 down, 3 to go.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cool to Creepy in 4 Easy Steps

1. Ohh a medieval city wall is outside my widow! I love that London has so much history.

2. Let’s go down for a better look during the day . . .

3. Hey this wall is so enjoyable that they bring tour groups here:

4. Son of a B, this is NOT the tour I had in mind!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The last 2 hours: A Summary

1. Left work to go view a couple studio flats available for rent

2. Took the tube and managed to switch lines without getting lost

3. Arrived at designated meeting place 10 minutes late due to tube delays

4. Called the rental company upon arrival and got yelled at for being “30 minutes” late

5. Questioned this rental company’s ability to tell time

6. Waited for Gareth from said rental company to arrive

7. Kept waiting for Gareth from said rental company to arrive

8. Became convinced Gareth was going to purposely show up “30 minutes” after our appointment time to prove some sort of point

9. Received affirmation of #8 when Gareth showed up exactly “30 minutes” late

10. Met Gareth, who looked like he was a surfer dude who frequents Ed Hardy stores

11. In case it’s not clear, this doesn’t make for a high level of confidence in a landlord type figure

12. Went with Gareth to a building up the road while he checked his records to see what was available to show

13. By records I mean a hand written calendar book that was literally falling apart

14. Watched a page out of the record book (which clearly had tenant information written on it) fall onto the street and Gareth proclaim “oh well” while continuing towards the door of the building

15. The first studio we saw was occupied - despite this fact Gareth used his key to open the door and walk right in sans knocking.

16. Luckily the current tenant wasn’t home

17. Unluckily NO ONE should call this place “home”

18. It’s hard to find the right words to describe both studios I was shown, so I took a picture (and then had it animated):

19. YUP, that’s right it’s POO!

20. The places were stinky, tiny, dirty, and nowhere anyone should EVER live

21. The showers were the smaller than a refrigerator

22. The refrigerators were smaller than sinks

23. And the sinks were covered in some sort of black substance

24. Neither place had a TV or any electrical outlets to be seen

25. It wasn’t long before telling Gareth I had A LOT more places to see and bidding him farewell

26. I fully understand the cost of living in London is VERY high

27. I heartily acknowledge that I will be living in a shoebox sized space compared to previous homes I’ve had

28. I am at terms with possibly having a flat mate in order to afford a nicer place

29. I know I will have to look at many places before finding a winner

30. I STRONGLY DECLARE GARETH WILL NEVER HEAR FROM ME AGAIN

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Guest Blog: Those who can't do, teach.

Today’s Guest list is brought to you by a chap I’m quite fond of . . . Mr. Ryan Glass. Thanks for the contribution, babe!

Things that Anie has Taught Me:
  1. The best way to get your point across is to increase your decibel and flail your hands.
  2. Decibel may also magically make your point more true.
  3. The same person can be great at making chicken dinner, and not-good at making toast.
  4. "Life’s short, talk fast". That's probably quoted, but I thought it was funny, because apparently life is so short, we are required to use contractions, too. And also because the advice is "talk fast" not "get the point".
  5. Sometimes girlie music is actually pretty catchy, in a good way. But when it's not, it's REALLY bad.
  6. Super Mario is great for 1-player. Introduce a second person into the mix and you might have a tussle.
  7. Apparently, sleep....is....GOOD. (I still think Coffee is better)
  8. Pasta Salad is some good stuff! Who knew?!
  9. It is true, a man's stomach is the way to his heart.
  10. It's easy to incorporate more random songs & jigs into your day.
  11. Competitive Slug Bug can raise your anxiety and blood pressure like none other.
  12. Timing is essential. If you're not careful, you might say the wrong thing at the wrong time and you end up with people thinking you're in love with Optimus Prime.
  13. A good Moustache can be a work of art.
  14. There ARE girls who don't think nerdy-ness is a deal-breaker.
  15. DIY Flow-Charts = Fun
  16. When it's right, it just works.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lights Please!

Dear BlogReaders,
I think we’d all agree that when you move into a new place (no matter how far it is from home) that it takes a while to find your bearings and feel settled. I’m far from achieving either of those things, in part because this specific move is very far from home, but more in part to having the tendency to be a dummy.

Case in point: My last residence was a condo that I lived in for a year and weekly in this condo I would mistake the switch that turned on the kitchen lights for the switch that turned on the garbage disposal. Let me paint you a picture . . . when you get home at night and are standing in a dark room alone and expect the flick of a switch will grant you the ability to SEE but it instead it turns on a VERY LOUD GRUMBLING kitchen appliance this is a recipe for cursing and scaring the bejesus out of yourself! Despite the comedy that you are producing for any peeping-Toms this is NOT FUN.

For my first week living in London I stayed at the Grange City Hotel [“just a gemstone’s throw away from the Tower of London”] and upon arrival it was about 3pm and still very light out. As it turns out, in London summers don’t actually start to get dark until after 9:00pm which made for quite the jetlag / time zone confusion. BTW, a kind German friend also informed me that in the winter this means it will start getting dark about 4pm – right on Europe! But I digress . . .

When it did finally get dark I tried turning on the light switch and nothing happened. So I tried another and nothing, and another and nothing. No bathroom light, no lights near the desk, no lights on the bed stands, absolutely no switches were working. Clearly there must be some sort of master switch that I was missing . . . so I searched and searched and after about 30 minutes was still standing in my hotel room with only the moonlight to help me walk around without stubbing a toe. I wanted to avoid calling the front desk as all costs as I was certain there had to be something very simple I was missing and I really did NOT want to be the dumb American who couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights. Finally I noticed a small plastic thingy near the door . . . I’m not entirely certain what the thingy is called so I took a picture of it to help you:


I pressed and prodded, and finally the only thing I was able to do was accidently pull the whole front off which was now sitting on the floor. . .oops:


BUT alas! There is a silver button type part behind the front of that plastic thingy and by God I think I’ll press it!


YESSSSSSSSSSS, lights were on all over the place, and the TV, and the air, and I found the magic silver button on the plastic thingy and now I don’t have the be the dumb ass ringing the front desk in the dark. I’m not going to lie I did a jig and patted myself on the back and no sooner was a mid-pat. . . and BAM! All the lights and appliances went off again. WHAAAAA? I pressed this silver button of the plastic thingy – what more can I do!?

I’ll spare you the details of the next 25 minutes I spent trying to find tape or some other way to rig that silver button to stay down until realizing that there was that front piece that had pulled off that was still sitting on the floor. After reattaching it, the “KEY” to keeping the lights on was clear:


How long does it take a dummy to turn and KEEP the lights on in the hotel room of a foreign country? Over an hour. Please be kind and don’t point out how that green arrow should have been my first sign to insert my key card, I swear it wasn’t as obvious in person as it seemingly appears to be in these photos.


Love,
NETheDummy

Monday, July 26, 2010

Whatcha Watching?

I suppose moving over 5,000 miles (over 8,000 kilometers for my new locals) is pretty big deal, and if I knew someone who was in this situation I’d have a lot of important questions for them. First and foremost being . . . what are you watching on TV?!

After just over a week, here are my favorites so far (in no particular order):

1. Dragon’s Den


Admittedly, the BF and I started watching this from home a few months ago, so I was very excited when I discovered new episodes are currently airing in London. The premise has hopeful entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to the “Dragons” while requesting a monetary investment in exchange for an ownership percentage in the company. It’s amazing what ideas people will come up with!

2. Miranda



This one might be an acquired taste, because for the first minute or so my reaction was “what the hell is this weird shit” but I quickly got sucked in and was laughing my ass off . . . and it’s not just because this particular clip talks about poo, since this isn’t actually the episode I watched. This also further proves that I’m pretty sure I could have my own show if all it takes is the willingness to be a dufus on camera.

3. Don’t Stop Believing


You’ll be hard pressed to turn on the TV in London without seeing a reality show, there are so many it’s hard to keep track, but this one has my attention – It’s singing, it’s dancing, it’s judging, and there’s a Spice Girl!

4. Mock the Week


Making fun of news headlines and pop culture – clearly this is right up my alley! Plus one of the funniest panelists, Russell Howard who is in the blue shirt above, is pretty easy on the eyes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One week down, 51 weeks to go.

Dear BlogReaders*

Where do I even begin? Is a heartfelt apology in order because I’ve abandoned you for so long? Is a detailed account of all the letters and lists that I should have written since December required? WOW, December . . . that was over 7 months ago, where the hell does time go? Is this it? Once you’re an adult time just flies by and before you know it you’re staring down the barrel of 29 with 30 looming around the corner sans-husband and sans-kids and sans-house and WOW the 14-year old version of me would be so disappointed! But she was a total pain in the ass who really knew nothing about anything, so let’s not worry about that brat.

I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, and wrote and deleted the first few sentences of this letter, and I’m still not sure how it morphed into a rant about not being a spring chicken, but I’m not going to delete and write it all over again so we’re just going to roll with it. Obvs, I’m struggling a bit with the best plan of attack to jump back into the ‘ol blog with grace and wit whilst avoiding it all just spewing out in the form of a confusing brain dump that looks a little like this. . .

HOLYSHITILIVEINLONDONNOWBYMYSELFANDMADEITTHROUGHMYFIRSTWEEKBYMYSELFANDICANTBELIVIEVEIHAVETHISONCEINALIFETIMEOPPORTUNITYTHATWILLUNDOUBTABLYCHANGEMYENTIRELIFEEXPERIENCEANDDIDIMENTIONIMDOINGITALLBYMYSELFANDITSHARDANDIMISSRYANANDITSONLYBEENAWEEKBUTHOLYSHITIMINLONDONANDITSAMAZINGANDTHERESSOMUCHTOSEEANDDOANDTHETRAVELANDIMISSMYFRIENDSANDFAMILYANDWILLPEOPLEREALLYCOMEVISITANDAMIFASHIONABLENOUGHTOLIVEHEREITOOKTHETUBEWITHOUTGETTINGLOSTWHICHIFYOUKNOWMEISVERYIMPRESSEIVEANDEVERYONEINTHEOFFICEISASNICEASCANBEANDAMITHEONETHATHASANACCENTNOWANDOHMYGODILIVEINLONDON!

Okay good, that pretty much sums up the train of thought that’s been going full speed in my head for the last 7 days. In case you didn’t catch that, it turns out I live in London now. . . I have the amazing opportunity to work in my company’s London office for the next year and I clearly don’t know how to appropriately find the words to communicate everything that means . . . so I’m not going to try to get it all down in one go. I am however going to try and revive the blog in efforts to try and get down all of the things I am about to encounter over the next 12 months so that one day I can look back and think whoa, I did that?! Holy shit it was fun.

Love,
NEInAYearAbroad

*assuming I still can scrounge some up after being gone for so long.