its been awhile my dahlings

It's crazy how without classes or, well, anything to keep you on a schedule, how the time flies by! I can't even believe that our 2 week spring break has come and gone already. This only means that the semester is half over ahhh!! I can't even think about that. This week has been full of amazing activities like fashion weekend, coffee martinis, a speakeasy, museum event and staying up way too late followed by sleeping in way too late. All worth every second though.

The past 2 days have been spent finishing up my final project for my magazine class, and I must say it may be one of my favorite things I have ever done. Portfolio material for sure :)

Simple, graphic and extraordinarily girly. The magazine would have 3 sections: fashion, beauty and lifestyle. I chose to do my double-page spread from the lifestyle section because that is what makes Dalliance stand out: it's not just another fashion mag, it takes every part of your life and makes it just a bit frothier and sparklier!

Oh PS side note: I totally made up the name Kimberly Walsh just off the top of my head... doesn't she sound like she'd be a party planner? Yeah definitely googled the name and apparently she is a member of Girls Aloud, a very popular pop group here in the UK. Oops?
On a totally different note, you have to check out my new favorite blog Fashionably Bombed! Two sisters who dress up and make cocktails. Uhhh can I have their life?

Update: After presenting my ideas in class today I have decided to nurse my baby into a real child. I don't know how and I don't know when, but this magazine will exist someday. Look forward to it!


back from paris!

Whew, what a long week it has been... we left for Paris at 6am last Wednesday and got back around midnightish Sunday... yesterday was spent recovering.

I'm making my way through the 700-some odd pictures I took in 5 days (yeah, I know...) and they'll be up asap.

A little taste of the trip...

touristy things, a million museums, waterlilies, way too much french food, waiting in line for 2 hours to get into dinner, versaille


little escape

I think I died when I just stumbled upon this little Victorian cottage in New York. It is literally the most precious thing I have ever seen.

It doesn't have a bathroom or a kitchen, but as a cute little hide-out I will say this wins, hands-down. I want to go curl up on that couch with a book on a summer day. It reminds me of Marie Antoinettes (not-so) little house her husband gave her.

From the NYT

happy "eat your body weight in chocolate" day

watching a stack of movies from jps with insane amounts of food and wine. best vday ever.
off to paris on wednesday, so excited!


what does it take to gt a pair of shos around here?

I have been in the best mood of my LIFE this week... that is, until I tried to buy a pair of shoes. Now why was this the most difficult task I have had since getting here? It can possibly be attributed to the fact I have this thing where I get my mind fixated on something and I won't let it go... uh sorry I'm stubborn?

Basically I fell in love with these black suede maryjane wedges, but the store didn't have them in my size. Not a big deal, there's about a million New Look stores around London (it's like a Forever-ish place). Little did I know that oh wait, yes it is a problem because NO stores have them. I went to 3 and called the rest. That's ok again... I'll just order them online. Oh wait, what's that you say? The forces of the universe are working against me? Guess what? My credit card won't go though! So basically there are the perfect, adorable, COMFY Erika baby-doll shoes floating out there in the universe but I cannot get my hands on them. I feel like this is like the glitter gym shoes saga of '09 all over again.
The way I obsess over things is probably unhealthy, but I can't help that I don't just like things, I loooooove them.


so what you think about that?

Michael took us to Saint Pancras Station today doing BCS. It was first built in the Gothic era as a grand hotel and train station. These were not just hotel rooms, they were suits of ten or more rooms, not including the servants quarters. Sadly, the Gothic style went out of mode very quickly once Art Deco and Modernism took hold, and this cavernous building turned into pretty much nothing.

This is where my teaqcher comes in... to make a long story short he and about 90 other people ended up clearing out the space was he was at university over 5 motnhs and then had a HUGE art exhibit there. After it became "cool" again, they have completely returned it back the the beauty and glory it was meant to have in the first place! I am in LOVE with the entire building. Sadly, the hotel was under construction so we couldn't go into it. This saddened me the most becasue... wait for it... WANNABE WAS FILMED HERE!!

yes that is correct. if it had not been under construction...

i would have walked through these arches...

 and come face-to-face with THIS
DAMN CONSTRUCTION!!! All I want in life is to take a picture on this staircase. Mark my word, I will come back and do it. I will, I tell ya!

 the contrasts between new and old are one of my favorite parts of london

 the station portion of saint pancras

 inside... ultra modern
 champagne bar in the middle! i swear, england has the chicest transportation i have ever seen

We also headed over to the British Library to see some exhibits (original Shakespear! Alice in Wonderland! The Beatles!) Well of course, I was in love. Did you know that the British Library, by law, has to house every single book ever written in English? There are miles and miles a MILES of books 7 stories under the floor that can only be accessed by special persons. Literally a book worms HEAVEN!

 this is about 6-8 stories of just the King's Library

oh hi! i love books!

Now only 1 day of 3 classes until our ultimite, awesome amazing pack weekend of Egland adventures. This consists of:
Thursday: The Duke for quiz night
Friday: Shoreditch late afternoon for shopping, then dinner, then bars for some drinks
Saturday: MARLEES HERE! Camden pubs here we come
Sunday: Brick Lane, Proud at night for our reserved stable!
Monday: Day of chocolate, crap food, wine, beauty and movies. Roomie time!



Yesterday while we were wandering around with our Forecasting tutor, she brought us into a place called sketch. Now I have tried to put it into words, but the history from their website does it best:

"The triple dream of launching a centre, a “lieu” or destination place, for food, art and music has been realised by Mourad “Momo” Mazouz and his team of chefs and designers over two expansive floors of a converted 18th century building in Conduit Street, Mayfair, London. sketch is a complex and unique site. Conceived by French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mazouz, it has attracted unprecedented media reaction for its myriad food, drink and entertainment styles since it opened in December 2002. Gagnaire's culinary genius has inspired the menus throughout sketch. His eponymous Michelin three-starred Paris restaurant has a distinctive menu style, which Gagnaire had adapted for sketch. Executed by his acolytes, the food is imaginative, bold, ground-breaking and delicious. Theses two visionaries have come together to create sketch..."

It was a really cool amazing space to be in. Every part of it was completely different than teh room next door and there were interactive art installations everywhere. The were even bathrooms that looked like the pods from Gaga's Bad Romace video!

how crazy is that? each pod was an individual toilet!

The rest of the space was just as crazy...

the gallery dining room

 artists exhibit their work on these video screens all around the room. it changes every few weeks

chair fused to the wall, anyone?

I don't even have any pictures of the front bar or the other bathrooms... but we decided before the Fashion Weekend event were coming here to have a glass of wine! We'll be chic and sophisticated for one night.  I can't WAIT!


currently watching: my big fat gypsey wedding. oh british telly.

We went out and about in farecasting today. I think we were supposed to be "trend spotting" but all i think it really consisted of was our teacher tossing us into designer stores and telling us to have a "jolly good look around" of course I jumped at going into Donna Karen... love. The store was really luxurious looking and mmmm the clothes were all sequined and slinky. There were more sequins in the store than the runway pictures showed.

This only leads me to start looking through style.com, obviously taking up most of my evening as well as sucking up all my minutes... but how GORG was the Elie Saab SS Couture show? I am obsessed. Want it on my body.




Today in Adventures In Cooking... Erika attempts chili! It was pretty good. Didn't taste like any chili I have ever had, which leads to to believe I invented something that was not chili. What would you call beef, red beans, corn and onions?

I think I'm finally getting used to my schedule thank god, or maybe it's because we were pretty chill this weekend, but I have been very awake every day when I wake up. Like I have finally gotten a good nights sleep. Now if only I could get a hot shower, life would be good.

Class today was pretty average, in TSFS we talked about women in fashion, and Emmanuel got all heated up about that. The problem is she points out everything that's wrong but never offers an explanation as to how we can change it. Example: African-American models are typically used for very tribal and ethnic shots (true). Then, she points out that if they aren't dressed up like that, they are dressed in very (what she deemed) "Caucasian" clothing. Like what does she expect, to put everyone of African decent in Baby Phat or something? And then she gets all into the rights of women, and how we are all being objectified blahblahblah. I am of the mind frame that you should use all that woman you've got and work it to your fullest haha, so all of these "demeaning" images don't really bother me. But that could lead into a WHOLE other discussion about how "my generation" has been brought up to be numb to sex in the media... or something like that!

It was our second to last magazine class, sad! We talked about our projects and Paul's magazine launch a bit, then took a field trip to this really awesome magazine/book store in Shoreditch. I found the most AMAZING art mag, Ballad Of... check it out. I am obsessed, it is so pretty and is full of hand illustrations and writing. I also finally bought my copy of Lula that I have been lusting over. Excuse = these are for class. Problem = they weigh a lot. Packing for home is about to be quite difficult....

After class we had out PARIS MEETING!! eeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkk 8 days. I can't believe I am actually going. Looks like I'll have to brush up on my high school French?


Saturday Night

After having class from 10-4 on Saturday, we headed out to go meet Paddy and his football team. They had just won their match and wanted to go to the pubs and have a drink. (I think that was the most English sentence I have written!). On the weekends they have been closing a lot of the tube lines for "improvements".... I want to know why they can't IMPROVE the time of this maitenance? Closing it on a Saturday night is reeeally inconvenient. So we head over to take the route replacement bus to the pub we were going to. Thsi is where the fun began... apparently no one can understand us and "Goldhawk" sounds like "Royal Oaks" and we were on the bus for about on hour trying to get somewhere 20 minutes way. It was redicous. Thank god it was free.

The pub we went to was lovely, all these Christmas light and big tvs and stuff. It was very sports bar-ish. At around 11 they said they wanted to go to a club, so we all agreed and left the pub (it was called green-something? I don't know, I didn't pay much attention to what the places were called). They proceed to start hailing us cabs. Uhhh... cabs are pretty expensive. And we never take them. And the boy that my group was didn't pay for us either. Thennn the club they wanted to go to was full so we went to a restaurant/bar/dance club type of thing. It was really awesome downstairs, but farfarFAR too many people for the size of the place. And we got there right when everyone was getting sloppy, and none of us were that drunk so it was like ooookay then please don't spill another drink on me. 

Basically there was like no point in re-capping this night, seeing as nothing exciting happened. I wouldn't blame you if you had stopped reading already.


Today I went on a shopping spree, and no it is not the kind you would expect. I have decided, I think I may like cooking almost more than I like clothes. Seriously. I love going to the store, getting things and making them into something delicious and amazing and happy. Today we started off at the farmers market for fruits and some veggies, the foofie grocery store for more veggies that the market didn't have, and then I ended up going to both other grocery stores to get meat and other little things like that. (Omi, If your in flo-reeee-da reading this, I think I have picked up on your shopping habits. I need to go 10 places to get everything I want!). It's the little things that excited me, and though I know no one else particularly cares, I got ground beef for the first time here! Oh boy do I have some ideas of what I'll do with that. Also, fresh green beans and spinach. You know how your parents always attempt to teach you how to love your veggies? Yeah, send you child to a foreign country where they will realize how much junk food actually costs and THEY WILL LOVE VEGGIES!

I am basically writing a love letter to cooking right now, by the way. As soon as I got home I began to make a stewy-soup kind of concoction with ground beef, potatoes, carrots, corn, beans and some Mexican spices just thrown in for the hell of it. Yum leftovers for tomorrow. But that's nothing exciting because I've made it a million times here.

Nope, the best part of today was dinner. Green beans sauteed in butter and RISOTTO. Now, it was my first attempt and I can't say it was up to par with Nonna... because seriously, will anything ever be on par with Nonna? But let me tell you, it was delicious and wonderful and the best meal I've made so far (although I've said that about a few things so far). The texture was a little too sticky and sadly I only have chicken cubes, not real broth but might I say, Nonna would be proud.

Yes, I took a picture of my food. It's my new favorite thing.

In my Journalism class our last piece is a "reflection" on how something in London has affected us... after today I've got some ideas brewing...


chocolate world

I don't think there has been any food group that differs so much from London to the US than candy. At the convenience store (or Lebanese 24 hour mart... you know, wherever you prefer to stop in at 1am....) I honestly recognize 3 candy bars. And even those are packages differently!! KitKats are basically the same, as are Milkyways/Snickers but 3 Musketeers are different, and Hersey doesn't even exist here!

I would be upset about this except I have come to terms with the fact that English chocolate is exponentially superior to American chocolate. Besides the fact that its cooler (it's foreign, duh!) It truly is better... America put a third more suger in our bars just to cut costs (sugar is cheaper than cocoa or cocoa butter). A small packet of chocolate may be 500 calories here, but god DAMN does it taste GOOD!!!

Question: What other country could bring you OWL BUTTONS??

Or BUENO BARS?! Essentially white nutella in a wafter casing. YUM!!

Don't even get me started on Tea Cakes, M&S's marshmallow and chocolate biscuit...

Or even my new favorite candy bar, the Double Decker (literally, I need to cut it into pieces to fit it into my mouth)

All I'm sayin is look forward to your gifts when I get home consisting of a whole lotta sweets!

OH PS: Yeah, they sell bon bons here. French club flashbacks anyone?

Just some insanely lovley marie-inspired eye candy. Had 6 hours of class today... quite a bit for a Saturday! The fabulous lunch we went to made it ok though... genuine Italian pizza, yum. Now it's off the the pubs with some footballers for what promises to be a good night.



I love school, I love London, I love everything... but JESUS this is exhausting! I feel like we never stop going going going. And then if we do stop to rest for a day I feel guilty that I'm in London and not doing something productive! Classes are what really getting me right now. Soon (aka after Paris) some of them will start ending so my schedule will lighten quite a bit. Until then though, it's been some loooong days. On Thursdays we have 3 classes from 10am-830pm. Ahh!

The terribleness that was Thursday was not at all helped by the fact that we decided to go out on Wednesday night. We went back to moonlighting because uhh who can resist 80p drinks? Well from now on we are going to have to resist, because waking up at 845 was NOT pleasant. And it wasn't like even that good of a night either. I don't think we'll be going back to the cheap 80s club where they treat you like member of a concentration camp. Seriously, where else makes you open your mouth so they can check if you have gum??? And yell at you if you walk on the wrong side of the stairs?? So weird. And unpleasant.

Other than Thursday being a bit of a strugg, the whole week has been pretty average. Just a LOOT of school. Schoolschoolschool. For HCFS we need to go see some exhibits on  our own time so we are going to the High Society (all about drugs) one today. And then tomorrow we have a Saturday class for VM from 10-430. Uggg. I feel like I HAVE to enjoy everything about these classes and not complain about it because uhh I'm in LONDON and it's not fair to complain about it... but jeeze 6 1/2 hours? That's just really long.

Well we are off to go learn about drugs!