Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Things I've Been Loving

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So, exams are finally over, the semesters over, and I am finally home for the holiday season! Yay! Anyways to celebrate I thought it would be fun to share some things I have been loving recently!

I've joined the masses and have been listening the Adele and Justin Bieber, slightly ashamed... More specifically I have been listening to "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" and basically the whole Justin Bieber album...... yup...

So this interview was the only reason why I started listening to Justin Bieber's album in the first place.

I just watched The Holiday and it was really cheesy but kind of enjoyable... lol

I've been obsessing over mid-century modern furniture recently, aka dying over these and these pieces, just don't look at the price... O.o Not that I have a house to decorate...

Oh J.Crew, thank you for returning to your classic ways. *insert heart eye emojis*

I love Scandinavian Christmas decor!
(Or just European Christmas in general, or just Europe in general...)

The teaser trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! Ahh!! I mean Eddie Redmayne + Harry Potter... uhh, yes please.

I've been terrible about quiet times recently, but the days I've had one I've been loving the She Reads Truth advent study.

The cutest Christmas decorations!!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda


Monday, December 21, 2015

London // To See

So I am doing such a terrible job at doing these posts! Life just gets in the way! Well, I just finished my last exam of the semester so I am celebrating by making a blog post, and because I do not really have anything else to do today!

So here is the second installment in my London posts! I don't know if I have said this but I am actually going to end up doing 4 London posts, as I broke up the food posts into two posts. But, today's posts is going to be various sights to see in London, which there are a lot of them.

London is such a cool city and there is so much to do there, I feel like we barely scratched the surface of all of the things to do! London is a city full of history, I mean it's been around for ages! It seems like everything has a backstory and as a history nerd, I was basically in heaven.


1. Notting Hill
Notting Hill is actually a neighborhood in London, but it is a neighborhood I feel in love with. For most people it might not be that exciting but I loved wandering the streets just looking at all of the adorable homes. Plus, one of my favorite things to do when traveling is to see what real life in that city is actually like and not just touristy things.


2. Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market is a really cool street market where vendors come to sell antiques, knick-knacks, food, clothes and everything in between. It's super fun to browse through everything and be amidst all the masses of people. The best time to go is Saturday mornings (supposedly)!


3. St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul's Cathedral is simply stunning. Not only is the inside just as gorgeous, if not more, as the outside but you can also climb to the top of the dome to get stunning views of the city. This was everyone in my family's second trip to St. Paul's Cathedral. We all wanted to go back because it truly is stunning and my brother had never been to the top of the dome. Funny story: When I went in high school we came here the day we arrived, aka after an overnight flight, and climbed to the top of the dome. How I climbed up and down 528 steps each way after not sleeping on the plane is beyond me.



4. Westminster Abbey
I was so stoked to go to Westminster Abbey, I have been dying to go here ever since watching the Royal Wedding. It had just looked so stunning on TV. Now I was slightly disappointed as it wasn't as done up as it was for the Royal Wedding, there were no trees in the building, and there were so many people in there it was hard to take everything in. But, it was still gorgeous and this building holds so much history, I mean this church is 925 years old.



5. Victoria & Albert Museum
If you only go to one museum in London, it should be this one. I could literally spend all day here. The V&A is an art & design museum, so basically it was the best place. They have everything from paintings & sculpture to fashion & furniture and more. A few of my favorite exhibits was the fashion gallery which showed trends in fashion from 1750 to now, and there was also an interesting exhibition about shoes which is on until January. I also stumbled into the theater exhibit which was surprisingly really cool too. I think I also ended up in some 20th century design exhibit which I really liked too, there was literally just so much to look at.



6. See a Show
It's no secret that I love me a good musical. When my family was deciding on going to a show, we narrowed our options down to The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. While we had all really wanted to see Les Mis we ended up going with Phantom, as none of us had seen Phantom of the Opera on stage before. I was actually the only one in my family who knew the storyline. To anyone who doesn't know anything about Phantom of the Opera, the ending is not great & leaves you a bit confused, but the music is what makes everything worth it, literally goose bumps.



7. Sky Garden
Sky Garden is a really cool garden located on the top of the "Walkie Talkie" building. It is essentially a huge atrium on the top of a building. It is a really cool space that has a different feel to it. It's a great place to wander around and/or grab a bite to eat, or just take a break from the city. The only way I can think to describe it is a refreshingly urban setting...



8. Tower Bridge
I had kept seeing ads for a glass walkway at Tower Bridge. I jokingly brought it up to my parents not thinking anyone would be interested in it, but it turns out they were. Fun fact #2: I like heights. Heights do make me nervous for like the first 5 minutes, but I think they're fun. I have been wanting to go on a glass walkway for the longest time too. If you do this I recommend taking the stairs too, as the line is way shorter (aka no line) and you get to see cool parts of the inside of Tower Bridge.



9. Hyde Park/Kensington Palace
Hyde Park is a massive park in the middle of London. It is also the location of Kensington Palace, aka where Prince William and Kate Middleton live. Hyde Park is a great place to go if you want to get out of the city (but not actually leave), or have a picnic or something. Kensington Palace is also a cool place to go and they offer tours year round. The tour is just through unused parts of the building, but the best part was the part focusing on the life of Queen Victoria. Literally who knew the British monarchy was so interesting. Also, the gardens at Kensington Palace are definitely worth checking out too as they are gorgeous.



10. National Portrait Gallery - Audrey Hepburn Exhibit
It's no secret that I am a big Audrey Hepburn fan. When we were in London the National Portrait Gallery had an exhibit of Audrey Hepburn, so I made my family go to see that. The exhibit contained some of the most well known pictures of her, to some that I had never seen before. It was really fun, to see all of those pictures and learn a little bit more about her.

So this is not everything we did in London, but it was some of my favorite things that we did. A few honorable recommendations would be Churchill's War Rooms, walking across Millennium Bridge (aka the bridge from Harry Potter), and the Buckingham Palace tour, which you can only go on during certain times of the year.

London is one of my favorite cities I've ever been to, well it probably is my favorite city. I don't know why I love it so much, but it's just like the best place. I would honestly love to live there for bit at some point in my life just to see what it's really like, but we'll see!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, November 20, 2015

// Links //



PRAISE!! This week is over! This was the longest week ever (the melodrama is real). From the horrible beginning of hearing about the tragedy in Paris, to busyness with school, I am so glad the week is finally over! I am so thankful to be home, with the fam, and best of all to have a break from school!! Anyways, I like it when bloggers sum up their weeks with interesting links that they stumbled across over the past week, so here I am doing my own!

This stunning video will give you an idea of the amount of work that goes into haute couture, there is a reason why some of this stuff costs the amount that it does.


A throwback to this SNL video that accurately describes going home for Thanksgiving.

Reclaiming Delight - this article is v old but still v relevant. 

This set of haunting photos that show where Syrian refugee children are forced to sleep puts everything into perspective.

Coffee lovers rejoice, here's why you should be drinking coffee.

This article about the mood in Paris after last week's attacks.

I've been listening to Kings Kaleidoscope a ton this week and this song has particularly hit home with me. It so perfectly outlines the contrast between how broken we are and the sweetness of God and how much we need Him.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Thursday, November 19, 2015

London // Places to Eat // Part One

So this post is very overdue, I planned to post this 3 months ago... Better late than never, I guess.

So both of my parents are foodies, so it only makes sense that they raised foodie children. One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying new foods and new restaurants. I think that you can really learn a lot about a culture through the food that they eat.

England usually gets a bad rap when it comes to food. I mean a lot of traditional English foods include things like mushy peas and blood sausage or beans with breakfast, which doesn't sound that appealing. But things have changed and London is quite the foodie town. London is also a very international city. So even though there are pubs on almost every corner and any breakfast place you walk in will serve an English breakfast, you will be able to find a huge variety of cuisines.

So I am going to share some of my favorite places/meals that I ate while I was in London, from classic British meals, to different cuisines, to some *inner cringe* chain restaurants. **Note: I also had fun trying different types of wine while I was there, as I was old enough to drink there. I didn't actually like anything I tried because I am a novice wine drinker. I was too afraid to order anything of my own so I just tried whatever my mom and brother had. They both like dryer wines and my taste is not sophisticated enough for that.



This restaurant is a family favorite. I'm not even kidding, whenever my family is in a city that has one we go. It's a bit confusing because this restaurant has two restaurants with different names, but they all serve the same thing and are owned by the same people. So if you ever see a Le Relais de Venise or a le Ralais de l'Entrec├┤te go! Anyways my parents discovered this place before my brother and I were even born! It's a small French chain that specializes in steak frites, which is literally the only thing they serve. Your meal starts off with a delicious salad, some baguette, and then they bring you your steak frites. Which the meat is always cooked to perfection, the sauce they put on the steak is heavenly, and the fries are delicious matchstick fries. My mom is also in love with their house wine, but my unrefined palette was not a fan. They also have a delicious dessert menu, I highly advise you in ordering the profiteroles. I seriously cannot recommend this restaurant enough.



When in England eat fish and chips, right? Fish and chips are an English classic and this hole in the wall is a great place to get some. So I am not the biggest fan of seafood but I liked this. The fish was so moist and tender it was hard to pick up with a fork.



I never ate at Pret the first time I was in London, but a bunch of people from my school did and they all complained so much about. So, Pret is similar to something like Panera, but maybe better.... We decided to stop there one morning for breakfast and we were all surprised by how good it was! We ended up eating the majority of our breakfasts here because it was quick, easy, good, and decently priced. My go to every morning was a croissant, berries, and a latte or cappuccino and it was delicious. The croissants at Pret were surprisingly really good. I am the biggest croissant snob, Paris croissants have forever ruined me. Also my brother and I are obsessed with the British berries! This is going to sound ridiculous but they were some of the best berries I have ever tasted and they were consistently good every single morning! I have a newfound obsession with Pret and now wish we had more of them in the US.



So my family is a big fan of Lebanese food and this was the best Lebanese food I have ever eaten in my life. I highly recommend to falafel, sojok, kellaj, and of course the hummus. But, literally everything we tried was delicious. My family will typically order the mezze plates and split it. I am pretty sure that is the traditional way to get Lebanese food, but it is also a great way to try a bunch of different dishes. I'm pretty sure we got 7-8 plates and we ate all of it, whoops! They also served us baklava on the house, and literally the baklava, words cannot even describe how good it was.



So way before my family had even made vacation plans to go to London I had heard about Granger & Co. The second I knew we were going to London I knew we had to eat here. I kept hearing about their breakfast and their ricotta hotcakes, and I was sold. These pancakes were so light and fluffy, served with maple syrup, honeycomb butter, and banana, they were 100% worth it. Their scrambled eggs are also worth trying. This was a cute little joint to get breakfast, but they do tend to get busy so make sure to go early.



Borough Market is foodie haven. It is a giant food market full of vendors with hundreds of different types of food. We went here for lunch one day and trying to decided what to eat was the struggle. After seeing people walking around with these bratwursts everyone in my family decided we needed to find those. The bratwursts were grilled and served on a roll with mustard, ketchup, and sauerkraut and it was heavenly.



So we ate at another Lebanese restaurant. This one was a little bit more contemporary than the last, but it was still really good. Our final verdict was order the moussakhan, while everyone enjoyed the dish they ordered, this was the standout dish. It was this perfectly roasted chicken that was marinated in this pomegranate molasses that was so good.

Wow, sorry that took so long. Hopefully I will be able to get the rest of the London posts out soon too! I hope you enjoyed and that this made you want to eat good food/go to London!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

// Life //

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My oh my long time no talk. Life has been crazy and has taken over this semester and I have much to update on. 

First of all this blogging thing hasn't been going as planned (obvi). The few times that I have posted my posts have been mediocre and my posting is severely inconsistent. I actually went back and read a couple of my older posts and cringed at my lack of proofreading, like I'm not sure where my brain was when I decided to post that.

Anyways this semester had been crazy in more ways than one. First school, more specifically my major, has taken over. I am getting project after project with super fast turn around times. For example there are only 2 weeks left of school and I still have 3 projects left to do. On top of that I have to get an internship next summer in order to graduate, so I am currently in a pre-internship class that stresses me out to the max.

On top of all that God has been teaching me and challenging me in so many different ways this semester, I don't even know where to begin.

One of the major lessons God has been showing me is that I need relationships in my life. Which is really scary to me. The thought of always needing people is terrifying because I want to be self sufficient. The idea of having to depend on people is actually terrifying to me. I think I have always valued independence but I've recently realized that there is a thing called too much independence, which can lead to isolation. Needing relationship and being scared of it are both two things that are really hard for me to admit, and things that I am still trying process.

Another big thing God has shown me this semester is that my failures and my brokenness are a result of the broken world that we live in. Which is big because I feel like I am constantly battling lies that I tell myself everyday & it sucks. I don't know, I just find comfort in the fact that these aches and pains are just side effects of life on Earth and the fact that God grieves with us.

God is also teaching me to not shove my feelings under the rug. Sometime in my life I decided that I didn't want to deal with emotion because not only was it was just too exhausting, but I also hate crying in front of people. I've been learning that dealing with emotions up front is better than ignoring the fact that I have feelings. In fact I have several semi-embarrassing, semi-ridiculous stories where the tears have just come out at random times due to me ignoring my feelings. Also, I swear God has turned my emotional switch on this semester, because I feel like I just want to cry all the time. Which I have never before wanted to cry just to cry.

God is just moving so much in my life right now that I don't even know how to sum it all up. All I know is currently I am so lost, I feel like I am just blindly walking through life. I feel like I have been waiting for change this whole semester and while I occasionally see change, I still don't feel change. I don't know, I've just been so confused and frustrated recently. But the good news is I feel like I've been leaning into God more than I ever have before, and somehow am finding hope and joy, which is insane. All I can say folks Is that God is so good.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. -James 1:2-3

And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:7

On a side note I am so ready for Thanksgiving Break. I seriously am so done, I need a break. I can't wait to go home and see my family and my dog and sleep in my own bed. This week can't be over fast enough, and I'm even planning on leaving on Thursday (*PTL*).

Sorry if this post is all over the place! I've just had a lot on my mind and I just got out maybe 15% of it.... Hah.


Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Musicals

So I had some spare time to browse through Netflix over the weekend, and boy was I surprised by what I found. Netflix recently got a whole new crop of old musicals, and you guys I am so hype!

For any of you who are not aware I love old movies and I love musicals, therefore I also love old musicals--so this is actually super exciting.

Anyways I wanted to discuss the musicals I am super excited about, because I have actually seen a good number of them and why not.


Carousel

This movie is first on my list to watch. I actually first saw it over the summer, and unlike most old musicals it is not a happily ever after type of movie, it is a heart-breaking story about redemption. It stars Gordon MacCrae and Shirley Jones, who were both in Oklahoma! Which Gordon MacCrae's voice.... I can't, it's so good. I really liked this movie, but it is different from your typical musical.


On the Town

A fun musical about sailors who get to spend their day of leave in New York City. I mean it stars Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, need I say more?


On the Town

Another fun musical about sailors starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Though, this story takes place in Los Angeles.


High Society

I am so excited about this movie because I haven't seen it yet, and I have been dying to see it! I honestly don't know that much about this movie other than it was Grace Kelly's last movie and it is a musical, which is honestly enough to convince me. It also stars Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Louis Armstrong.


Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I mean, it's just another classic starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly.... I haven't seen this one yet either.

So yeah, I am just so excited about this I had to share....

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Nutella.


Yes, I am dedicating an entire blog post to Nutella and there is zero shame.

 A few months ago I had stumbled across a couple articles on Italian Nutella vs American Nutella. Which is about to be so confusing because Nutella is originally from Italy, but I’m talking about Nutella that was made in Italy. Anyways I had read that Italian Nutella is better than American Nutella. There is all of this hullabaloo over this because both Nutella's have the same ingredients, but they supposedly tasted different.

Which I have had this theory for years that European Nutella in general is better than American Nutella (I mean, my theory in life is European food in general is better). When I went to France I bought a jar of Nutella and thought it was better than the Nutella here. Except when I told people everyone told me I probably thought it tasted better because I was in Paris…. Curses of being the youngest, no one ever believes what you say. 

Anyways since reading up about Italian Nutella I have been dying to try it, which I happened to mention to my parents months ago. Well, I came home for the weekend and my parents recently went to an Italian store in Arlington and my dad surprised me with a jar of Italian Nutella!!

The verdict:

Italian Nutella is totally better than American Nutella. The Italian Nutella is richer, smoother, slightly nuttier, and I think the chocolate tastes better, it's not as sugary or processed tasting as the American one. The differences between the two are slight but they are definitely present. My theory on the taste difference is just that the Italian one is probably made with higher quality ingredients.

So basically you will 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm Home!! (kinda)

Hi guys! Long longtime no post yet again, whoops! But life has just gotten crazy!
For those who were not aware, which I am sure is many of you. The other week I went on family vacation to London for ten days, August 12-23. Which I didn't bring my computer with me when I was there, as I didn't want to haul it around the airport and I knew I wouldn't really have time to use it once I was there.


Anyways, right after I got home I had to pack up and go off to school! Which I have been so busy with all of that. Between trying to move in, then I'm a small group leader for CRU this year so that has kept me super busy these past few days, and starting school, I feel like I've barely had time to breath. So I have a lot of life to update you on and many of posts planned!

But first...

Guys let me tell you, I am in love with London. Which isn't exactly new news... This wasn't my first trip to London, I had been previously on a school trip and feel in love with the city then. But, when I went in high school I didn't exactly get a really good feel for the real culture of the city since we mainly did touristy things and couldn't explore the city and shops and restaurants and things. I was honestly a bit worried on this trip that I wouldn't love the city as much as I did, as I wasn't going to be there with all of my closest friends and I was actually going to see more of the city than just the Tower of London and the London Eye. But I can say that I am absolutely in love with London, I still love just as much, if not even more.


I have several London posts planned that I'm super excited to post! The only problem is I just have to write them first... hah! But I decided I would break it down and do roughly 3 posts each dedicated to sights, food, and shopping!

Check back for those posts and I definitely want to try to post more than I have been!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Monday, August 10, 2015

Agendas

There seems to be a surplus of agendas on the market this year. All of a sudden every company/brand has released their own agenda for the upcoming school year, which has made it difficult for me to choose an agenda. I have been going back and forth on all different types of planners. I went into Paper Source the other day and had a look at all of the planners there, and that honestly really helped me decide more of what I want. I wanted to share with you guys some of my favorites and what I think of the layout of some of them, as well as share which one I have decided on!

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// 5 // 6 //

So for the past two years I have used a Lilly Pulitzer agenda, and this year I have been playing with the idea of trying out a different agenda. Day Designer has actually recently partnered with Target and released a more affordable line of their planners. I picked up the gold striped one the other day for only $12! They are all really cute and I really like the layout on the inside. The days are actually laid out in list. I really liked that aspect as I tend to think and work in lists. I went ahead and bought it because I figured I could return it if I changed my mind but I didn't want it to be sold out if I decided I wanted this agenda.

I went into Paper Source and had a look at the agendas there, which honestly really helped me make my decision. So, I died earlier this year when I saw that Rifle Paper Co was releasing agendas because I absolutely love Rifle Paper Co's designs. But when I looked at it today the one thing I wasn't a huge fan of was it didn't have a monthly calendar at the beginning of each month, it was only at the beginning of the whole planner. The Kate Spade ones are cute, but the one thing that I wasn't a huge fan of is that the majority of these planners are super plain on the inside. I had a peek at the Band.do one too and that one was just a tad too kitschy for my taste. Last, I peeked at the inside of this years Lilly agendas and I don't think I can resist. I mean they're just fun and bright and they worked well for me these past two years, so I am pretty sure I have made my decision.

I just went into way too much detail about planners and things... I never thought I would be one of those type, but I'm such a sucker for stationary... eh... whatever... lol

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, August 7, 2015

//Links//

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This past week has definitely been on the busier side, between running around trying to get ready to go back to school in about two weeks and trying to get ready for vacation in London next week! On top of that I also had to get a root canal on Monday which I swear we found just in the nick of time! My tooth had been hurting a tiny bit on and off for about a month but I was hoping it would go away. Much to my chagrin, it got so bad near the end of last week that I had trouble sleeping. So, I went to the dentist Saturday morning (yes my dentist is randomly open every other Saturday) and surprise I needed a root canal. So I had the root canal procedure on Tuesday and I have the follow up on Monday, then I leave for London on Wednesday and I'm going to school right after I get home,  literally discovered that just in time. FYI even though there are thousands of rumors around that root canals are the most painful procedure, they don't hurt anymore than getting a cavity filled. I've had a bunch of other random things going on too, but say the least this week as been exhausting. But hey! This time next week I'll be in London! 

Anyways, I always like it when bloggers share interesting links from the past week, so that's what I am going to do today! Enjoy!

Design Darling is celebrating their 3rd birthday with 20% off the whole website! A few things I love are this, this, this, and this.


The Magic of Audrey Hepburn. Also here is an older article where her son shared some more personal details of her life. There's currently an exhibit on her at the National Portrait Gallery in London and I am 110% going.

This might be TMI but I have discovered a new favorite bra this week! It is pricey but I ordered mine during the final days of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and it is so comfortable. I blame my mom for introducing me to nice bras because I can no longer do Aerie and Victoria's Secret anymore.

This list of "signs" you were raised in Northern Virginia. I always think these lists are funny and weirdly accurate. I can't say the entire list is entirely true (like being used to traffic), but some of these are so spot on. My personal favorite is #12.


This post is love. Not only is Julia's outfit in this post perfect, but also the location and just the pictures in general. *heart eye emoji*

There's now a Warby Parker pop-in shop at Nordstrom!!

Have you stumbled across anything interesting this week?
Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Krass & Co.

So I have meant to post before now for like the past two weeks, but life has just gotten super busy within the last week and a half. From trips to Oklahoma to visit my mom's family, then a family reunions for my dad's family, aka visiting a ton family, last minute beach trips, unexpected root canals, and now I have to get ready to go to London in a week (eep!), life has just been crazy.

Nonetheless, I have exciting news! I am now a brand representative for Krass & Co shorts! I am subscribed to their emails and received an email about applying for a campus representative position. I decided eh, why not, not really expecting anything to come of it and I was accepted!

Krass & Co. is a really cool company that makes the cutest running shorts! The whole idea behind the brand is to make comfortable clothing, that's attractive, and doesn't hold you back from doing whatever you want to do! As someone who is tempted to throw on Nike shorts and a t-shirt just about everyday, these are a way cuter and just as comfortable alternative!

Here are just a few of my favorites:


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// 4 // 5 // 6 //

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

London Day Trips

As mentioned in a previous post my family is going to London for family vacation in a few weeks. We are going to be there for 10 days which gives us time to explore the city but also consider a few day trips outside of the city. We already have a day trip to Paris set, so if we do another one it would only be one other trip. The problem is, is that there are so many cool places to go and see in England that it is hard choosing where to else to go! I wanted to share the top three places in the running in hopes that will help to make a decision! My brother and I already threw Stonehenge out the window, I would like to see it eventually, we do not want to waste a day looking at a bunch of ancient rocks in a field when we could be exploring someplace cool.
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1. Bath

I feel like Bath is a fairly popular day trip to people visiting London. The thing to do in Bath is to go and see the Roman Baths, which I mean if you've seen pictures of them they are gorgeous. Some other fun things is there is also a Jane Austen Museum, which I am totally down for. I have a quick funny story: I watched the BBC Pride & Prejudice a few weeks ago, the one with Colin Firth. During the part where the house keeper is showing Elizabeth around Pemberly, well I couldn't help but wonder what the heck happened to those portraits of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Apparently there's one at the Jane Austen Museum. Also, another random movie fact about Bath if you've seen Les Mis this might look familiar.


2. Oxford

I've actually already been to Oxford but I feel in love with the place when I visited. The town of Oxford is adorable and the university is stunning, like seriously the prettiest school I have ever seen in my life. But, when I went I was there for only half a day and it seems like the majority of my time there was spent getting lunch at freaking Pizza Hut! So I would seriously love to go back and explore some. There's tons of cool things to do in Oxford too! We toured the university a little bit but we didn't take a tour of Christ Church or anything. For those who aren't aware on the Christ Church tour you get to see the dining hall that the Great Hall in Harry Potter was based off of! This is also the location of were Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland, two of my favorite things!! As far as a few other cool things in Oxford, there is The Eagle & Child pub. This pub was a favorite of CS Lewis and Tolkien! There is also the covered market, which is really fun to explore. It's just what it sounds--a covered market. I briefly walk through here when I was previously in Oxford, but would love to spend some more time here. You can also do "British-y" things like punting down the river. Oxford is just a cool place that I would love to revisit!

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3. Brighton

The first time I saw a picture of Brighton it was love at first sight. Just browse through these and I think you will understand. As far as things to do in Brighton, I think we would spend most of the time just exploring the town as it seems like there are tons of fun little shops and restaurants. I would also like to see the beach and the pier and such. Brighton just looks like such an adorable and fun place, but no one else in my family seems to be feeling it, so we'll see...

So those are kind of the top places we are thinking of going to if we decide to do another day trip! Now onto deciding where to go for tea, which is literally another ordeal as the list of places to get tea in London is endless....

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, July 17, 2015

Warby Parker


I recently got a new pair of glasses and it's safe to say I am super excited about them! I have been eyeing Warby Parker glasses for ages and am now a proud owner of my very own pair!

If you don't know what Warby Parker is it is primarily an online glasses company, which sounds a bit iffy at first right? Typically when buying a pair of glasses you want to try them on, so you know they look good on your face. Well, Warby Parker actually has a trial session where you pick out five of your favorite frames that they'll ship to you to try on for free. Yes, free.

So, Warby Parker does explain how their whole system works on their website. But ordering glasses online, for those who've never done before is a bit foreign and nerve wracking. I thought I would share about my experience with ordering my glasses and hopefully make anyone considering ordering a pair more comfortable.

As previously mentioned, Warby Parker does have an at-home try on program where you can pick five pairs of your favorite frames to try on with no cost. So obviously I took advantage of this.


Everything all came nicely packaged in this box. They also came with a return label, so after 5 days you can just stick that on the box and drop it off at the post office.


So these are all the frames that I picked out to try one. For those curious about what frame are shown in the picture, started at the top going clockwise:


Note: the trial glasses they send are fairly cheap quality but that's because you are just trying them on to see how the frames fit your face.

After you find your favorite pair you can go back on the website and order them! You just send in a picture of your prescription as well as give them your pupillary distance measurements. They have a tool on their website where you can measure you pupillary distance. But I was too nervous I'd mess it up, so just went to an optician and got my measurements there.

Real quick before I "reveal" my glasses, the other great thing about this brand is that a pair of prescription glasses are only $95. Which if you wear glasses you'll know that is a really good deal, that's like a couple hundred dollars less than a pair of designer sunglasses!

Also, when you check out they'll ask you if you want high index lenses for an extra $30. Which I guess allows people with higher prescriptions have thinner frames. I did not choose this option, they actually emailed me about it again because my prescription in my left eye is slightly stronger, but I still said no. So, I would say if you have no idea what that is you probably don't really need to worry about it.

So, the glasses I ended up going with:


Are the Ainsworth! These were actually my favorite when I was picking out my 5 frames to try-on, but I didn't really expect for them to be my favorites when trying them on! I have these in the walnut tortoise color, which I am in love with. The runners-up were the Finch was a close second and I also really like the shape of the Greenleaf, but the whiskey tortoise color was too dark against my skin tone, pale people problems.

I am really happy with my experience with the company. Overall I think Warby Parker is a really awesome company and I noticed that they are really willing to help you with your purchase. So, if you have any more specific questions I wouldn't hesitate to contact someone at Warby Parker about it! Hopefully this helped clarify how the process works!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bethany Beach


A couple weeks ago, for Father's Day, I went up to Bethany Beach, DE with my family. It was great to just chill out with the fam for a weekend.

Bethany Beach is a place I grew up at, I have been going my entire life. My Dad's family has owned a beach house there since the 60's--so I basically grew up going to Bethany Beach.

My Grandma recently passed away last fall, thus leaving the house to my Dad and his sister. Which is kind of exciting (not the fact my Grandma died... lol), because now we can do whatever we want to the house! The house is so dated and I just want to go all out and completely remodel everything, which obviously is going to take some time.

Anyways this post is not going to be about redecorating the beach house. Instead I wanted to talk about some of my favorite things to do there when we go! Since I have been going there for the past 20 years of my life, I figured I am a fairly qualified person to give some recommendations. So, if you ever find yourself in a tiny little beach town in Delaware called Bethany Beach you will know what to do!


Fisher's Popcorn
I am actually not the biggest popcorn fan, but there is an exception for everything. We have to stop by Fisher's overtime we are in town. If you go get their caramel corn and only their caramel corn. There is literally no caramel corn like Fisher's around. Even their motto is "Ours just tastes better!" It is so true.

Bethany Beach Bakery
When I was little I used to go here every morning with my Dad to pick up donuts for breakfast. While, we no longer go every morning we are in town--as I can no longer allow myself to eat donuts multiple days in a row. It still is a family favorite place to pick up donuts. Note: If you go, you must go early because they do run out of donuts.

Grotto Pizza
Grotto's is a local chain with good pizza. Enough said.

Bethany Beach Books
I am a sucker for independent bookstores and this one I have been going to all my life. It's an awesome little bookstore to browse around for a good beach read. I actually love this place and have looked forward to going here ever since I was little.

Japanesque
Japanesque is a cute little Japanese store in the middle of Bethany. They have tons of fun imported Asian things and my favorite when I was little, an entire corner decked out in Hello Kitty gear.

Fish Tales 
I used to love going here as a kid because, again, they had an entire Hello Kitty section as well as a really awesome toy section in the back. But more recently I have enjoyed going here because I have discovered they carry a lot of "preppy" brands. For example they have Vineyard Vines, Southern Proper, Southern Tide, Krass & Co, Sloane Ranger, & Lilly Pulitzer stationary type things.


Those are just a few of my favorite places to visit when I go to Bethany! Bethany Beach will always have a special place in my heart, as a grew up there. My family loves it because it's a quiet little family friendly beach town, it isn't "party city" at all like many East Coast beaches are known for.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Travel Cable Cozy

Whenever I go anywhere I always struggle with how to pack all my electronic cables and things. In this modern age, whenever we travel we have to bring all of our electronic things. With that comes all of the chargers and other various cables that go with them. Then if you are going abroad, then you also have to worry about how to pack all your converters and plug adapters too!

Well, I stumbled across this DIY on Pinterest for a cute little pouch to store and organize all of that extra electronic junk and I decided to give it a go!

So this particular DIY does involve quite a bit of sewing and my sewing knowledge is very limited, like I honestly have no clue what I am doing. My knowledge is limited to the few times my mom has helped me on a few random projects in the past. But this time, I did this 100% on my own and I somehow managed and ended up with this super cute cable organizer!


I did do a few things differently with my travel case. In the tutorial they used a belt hook as a clasp for their case. To be more cost effective, I decided to sew on a button and some ribbon that I had lying around the house.


This pouch is great because the elastic bits are great to organize all of your cords and things and then there is a pouch at the bottom that you can throw plugs, converters, and adapters into! The pouch is detachable too, so you can throw it into your purse and bring it with you if needed!


I am really happy with the way it turned out! It is nowhere near perfect, but considering I have no clue what I am doing when it comes to sewing, it looks pretty good!

I realize this post does not make it look like I have no clue how to sew, but I promise you I don't know what I am doing! I don't even know how to thread the sewing machine!

Now that I've actually made something on my own, I am all of a sudden inspired to make other things! Scallop skirt might be next on my list, but clothing might be a little too advanced for my skill level or lack thereof.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Georgetown

Near the beginning of summer I went to Georgetown with my friend, Bria. She came to visit and we had a grand ole time in Georgetown. I honestly love Georgetown and if you are ever in DC you must pay a visit to Georgetown, living in a townhouse there would honestly be a dream. It's a great place to just wander around, either through shops or just exploring the neighborhood.
Anyways, I thought I would share some of our adventures from the day!


We got there around noon and decided we better eat lunch! We stumbled across this cute little place called Kafe Leopold and decided to give it a go. We split an appetizer of crostini and then we both ordered a trio of tea sandwiches for our meal.

After eating we explored the city! We started off with walking down M Street and did some browsing in all of the shops, like Paper-Source, Urban Outfitters, Madewell, Jack Wills, and of course Anthropologie and J. Crew! Neither of us bought anything but it was just fun to browse! Then we wandered down by the canal and made our way up to the neighborhood!


We stumbled across the cutest mint green moped while we were looking for a lunch place!


I of course had to take her to Georgetown Cupcakes, as she has never been before! We both got a lavender earl grey teacake and a peanut butter fudge! I had been wanting to try the lavender earl grey teacake for ages, and was super excited that I finally went in May when they had it! It was delicious and I am actually obsessed. We then went to enjoy our cakes by the canal. We both considered eating them in the shop for the sole reason that we could've taken perfect Instagram pictures on the marble tables they had in there. But in the end we decided the canal would be a more enjoyable location.


We actually spent a good amount of time wandering up and down the canal because it is so pretty!!




Can I please live here?!


Both of us were in major need of a coffee fix so we stopped by Baked & Wired to satisfy that. That was my first time at Baked & Wired, I've been dying to go. I am super pumped to go back and sample one of their cupcakes, as I've heard multiple times that they are better than Georgetown Cupcakes!


We then wandered up into the neighborhood for a bit! Um, I must live here!

So I had one small "goal" for the day and that was to get a new profile picture for Facebook, as I've had the same one for over a year. Facebook profile pictures are always a struggle as I usually hate the majority of pictures taken of me and I am not the least bit comfortable in front of a camera. But here are my favorite pictures from the little shoot.




Outfit Details: J. Crew Factory Shorts // J. Crew Factory Tee (old similar here, & here) // Target Sandals (old similar here)


Thanks for reading!
xox,
Amanda