After I started working with food and dietary requirements I have become a bit more conscious of what I eat that contains dairy and gluten. Mostly because I am a tiny bit intolerant, although not loads. So, sometimes I choose the free from options. I have to say that I am a fan of the mini moo chocolates, they don't really taste like they are made without dairy, and they are a good size for a mini snack. If you give me a big bar of chocolate I will probably eat it all, so it's better if we just limit what is available for me to eat, hence tiny chocolates are good. Also they are cute. Right?
Ahhhh, it's November and just last week someone said it was only 6 Fridays until Christmas and I was like whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. Yes, really. Although I have been thinking of this Christmas stocking I wanted to make for a family member this year, and the Christmas chocolate has been in the shops for weeks, so I guess we all know it was coming.
But before Christmas starts (December 1st for me) I am planning to enjoy autumn, I think it is my favorite time of year, and I am going to make the most of it. The best way to make the most of anything is to write a really long list and then ignore all things on the list, but you know, I'm going to give it a go:
1. Scented candles! Yes, we have these all year, but who really lights candles when it's the middle of summer and 12pm and you are still sweating because London hates you and is crazy humid and hot and you live in a small apartment and life sucks a bit? Not me, that's for sure. Autumn is the time for scented candles and "atmosphere".
2. Scarf and jacket season! This is a sure winner, I'm never as comfortable as when I am tightly wrapped up in a scarf. Scarves are the way forward, at least in windy London. Also bring an umbrella if you live in london because, yes, it rains.
3. Clothes to hide the bulk! You know, that extra slice of cake you ate because why not and #lifeisshort. I'm banning anything that doesn't resemble a tent from my wardrobe and hoping the husband will still love me.
4. All the hot drinks. Supposedly all Americans love pumpkin spice anything, and maybe this is the season I try something like that, who knows? But I will definitely be having hot chocolate with marshmallows, endless mugs of tea and fancy coffees. By that I mean a latte. Is that fancy?
5. Leaves and all those colours. I love the autumn air and the fresh feeling and crisp outdoors. I also love the leaves all over the place (great in pictures!), before they become rainy muck.
6. Ankle boots at all times. Yes. Just yes. Also, sneakers, when those ankle boots become a bit uncomfortable.
So there we have it, just a couple of lovely bits of Autumn to look forward to and embrace right now before Christmas starts in about 5 minutes. Time goes by too fast!
Sometimes, life is just about ok. Nothing more, nothing less. I haven't really blogged much about what's going on in life lately, rather I haven't blogged much at all, and the reason is that we have moved house in our effort to actually buy somewhere to live that we can call our own. Now, the process of purchasing any type of housing in the UK is a long one. Nothing is guaranteed until you have signed on the dotted line and have those keys in your hand, and well, we are waiting for that. While waiting we are staying in a temporary apartment as we had to move out of our rented flat at the end of our contract, which means I am exploring a new area and learning to get to grips with a daily commute. So far so good. I can't say I don't miss good old Willesden Green and the north west part of London (we are "slumming" it in the East by the river for now), but not as much as I thought I would. I guess I am overcompensating with loads of work to keep me busy so I don't have time to miss our old life, and expensive coffees to soften the blow of a 30 minute tube ride. For now I am just really looking forward to getting to the stage where we can buy a sofa and a bed and move into our own place. I am not looking forward to painting walls as much, but there is a certain fun element to that too!
Ps. I had to buy new bedding and a fun light just to cheer me up from the moving slump. And you know the sad thing? Yep, it cheered me up immensely!
Happy Wednesday! London is autumnal right now with leaves on the ground, strong wind and rain. Nothing new then...! Last weekend we celebrated Halloween at work, I dressed up with spiders in my hair and cobweb on my face. And I have been eating a lot of eggs Benedict at different cafes and had lattes from our new local cafe. Yes, we have moved. More on that later! x
In the summer of 2010 I spent a little time in NYC on an internship (5 months!), slaving away in the hospitality industry. I would get up at dawn to go to work and make sure the hotel guests had breakfast. My days off were always Tuesday and Wednesday and I would spend an average of 12 hours at work every day. It was horrible. But when I did make it back to my dark apartment (in midtown so location wasn't bad, I could walk to work in 15 minutes!) I usually sat down with a bowl of tomato soup (heated up in the micro wave) to watch a couple of episodes of law and order. Some nights I would speak to the boyfriend on Skype and be sad we were so far apart (it has a happy ending, we are now married!) and then cheer myself up with some classic Law & Order.
If there is one thing that reminds me of my time in the US it's a good old episode of law and order, preferably SVU with Mariska Hargitay in the lead. I still watch it when it's on TV and if it was on Netflix I would be all over that stuff. I love having something in the background when I do things (like work from home, I know, it's soooo bad) so the apartment doesn't get so quiet when I'm on my own. My time in NYC was pretty hard, and I like to think that Law & Order made it a bit better. Crazy, maybe, but that's how life is sometimes.
Another Sunday! I am struggling with the beginnings of a cold today and so I am just so tired. And that is after sleeping 10.5 hours last night. Not great. But we are battling on, tomorrow I start work at 8.45am so that will be a joy (sarcasm right there, if you didn't guess...).
This week we have been packing, and packing. But also taking a bit of time off to do some "London" things that we haven't done for a while/ever. We started with lunch at The Shard on Tuesday with a family friend, and went on a really great tour of a cemetery (picture below, more to come on this) on Wednesday. On Thursday we spent the day chilling and packing a bit more (how did we get soooooo many things into this very small apartment??) and Friday evening, after work we went to the pub with friends and took way too many pictures of the London eye on our way home. All in all a good week, so looking forward to starting a new one tomorrow!
It's not often that Sunday is a day off for me, but when your father in law turns 60 even I get a day off. The whole family made the trip out to Coworth Park for lunch, even our nephews, and we ate so much delicious food that I didn't even have dinner. Its been a while since we have all been together, and two weeks ago was the first time I met my newest nephew. He is pretty adorable! Sunday's should always be spent in 5star hotels with people you care about, right?
Sometimes the days just fly by and it's Wednesday before you get your Sunday pictures up. Do you have any of those days too? Yes, I thought so. Why does time just fly by so fast? And will it ever start feeling like it is going slow? Anyways, such a busy day/week/month. We are in the midst of planning a move and it is just a pain. Life is definitely not easy, bu I guess we learn from it all! Last week I spent a bit of time envisioning our new home, how exciting right? Let's all cross our fingers it happens sooner rather than later. The rest of this week will be spent working really hard. As usual. x
Oh TV, how you get me every time. I could spend endless evenings watching CSI and NCIS (much to the husbands irritation) and endless daytime hours watching cooking shows on the Food Network. But the real killer is whole seasons of TV shows available to watch instantly on Netflix. Now that's dangerous.
I find it almost impossible to just watch one episode of something I like, if another one is available. And Netflix just automatically starts the next episode for you, no work involved. Amazing, and horrible, at the same time. I can't tell you how many unproductive hours have followed the start of a new series. But yeah, it's many.
Currently these are the shows I know I can't watch unless I have nothing else's to do for at least 12 hours (and let's face it, when does that ever happen?!?):
Pretty little liars
Probably made for teenagers, but that doesn't mean that I, as a 29 year old, can't watch it. Right? It's full of drama, scandal, intrigue and is highly unlikely that any of the scenarios would happen in real life, but that doesn't mean it's not highly addictive. You will find yourself thinking "how is that even happening? And why do these teenagers not have families that pay attention?!?", and then you will go online and stalk the main characters, and read page after page of theories about the show. No, really.
My obsession with this show is mainly down to the cheekbones of the main character. I am a serious fan of Matt Bomer, and that is just the way it is. What I really like about this show is the main characters struggle to stay honest and within the law when he is really a con man at heart, makes him very likeable. And his smile is pretty epic too. And so are his abs (ps. Matt Bomer is in Magic Mike XXL with his abs too, probably worth watching just for that).
Grace and Frankie
This is a true gem, an amazing story (no really, you have to watch it) and starring some serious hard hitters: Jane Fonda, Martin sheen and a host of well established actors. I love the story, love the characters and really love seeing a show with grown up characters, not that I am anywhere near their age or get the struggles they deal with, but it is just great watching something a bit more "real". The thought of growing old suddenly isn't that bad when you see these strong women fight on.
This is just the weirdest show, but it really sucks you in (although give it a couple of episodes before you stop watching, it's not great in the beginning). I watched this way way too fast, cancelling plans and ignoring important tasks to be able to watch just one more episode. But why wouldn't I? Once you get into it you just need to know what Abed and Trey will do next, and if Jeff and Annie will ever get together. So you watch another episode until it's all over. I'm definitely supporting the "6 seasons and a movie" chant from fans all over. But you have to watch season 2 to get that reference, so yeah, do it.
Another week, another Sunday! I am wrapped up in my PJ's, eating leftover cake from work (healthy eating is for other people, thanks) and struggling to keep my eyes open while I type this. Why is it that some days work just really get the best of you and in the evening it's like someone turned off the light and you are done for? Today is one of those days, for sure. Bedtime soon, but I just have to watch a bit more of First Dates. If you haven't seen it, I think it is about time you give it a try because it is heartwarming, funny and sometimes a bit cringy. Perfect Sunday night entertainment.
I'm Christine and I currently live in London with my husband where I do my best to go to as many restaurants as possible, bake, DIY and occasionally let my hair down and go to a museum. x