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 //

//via//

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