Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Abundance* of Coats

Before I left for my trip I searched store after store after store looking for a warm coat to wear since I knew it would be consistently colder in the UK than in Texas (not to mention I would be outside walking a whole lot more as well). It was mid-January and already most stores were stocked full of springtime clothes. I finally found a coat on clearance at a store I don't normally shop at, but it was warm and it looked nice and the price was right.
Cut to shopping in the UK.
Stores were full of cute coats all begging to be bought.
I resisted enough to where I only came home with two new coats.
It was 80 degrees yesterday. Oops.
But today was chilly enough to where I wasn't completely foolish for wearing a coat.
I met up with my sister, and we went to the Arboretum which has several cow sculptures that we used to play on when we were little. When we arrived there was a little boy with a toy gun who pointed it at me so I pretended like he shot me, which made him smile but also hide behind his mother. It was cute.
The shoes are also new from my trip, and I think my mother-in-law is proud of me for branching out into wearing more heels.
My sister couldn't resist us taking a stereotypical 'look at your shoes' picture.
And because I can never be serious:
I hope it stays cool a little while longer.

Coat: Primark  Shoes: New Look  Dress: Forever 21

*so maybe owning 4 coats might not be an abundance. but it is more than i have ever had need for at one time living in Texas. and especially since summer weather is coming, it seems a bit over the top to me to have several barely worn

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A quick visit to the UK

I'm back!
I returned to Austin from my trip last Wednesday night, and it was straight back to work Thursday and Friday. I spent most of Saturday catching up on my sleep and finally feel recuperated.

After more than a year and a half away, Husband and I were able to take a trip back to the UK to visit friends from Uni and his family. Unfortunately I didn't take as many photos as I thought I would, so sorry if this is word heavy.
We flew into London and met up with my friend Harry who we were going to be staying with. Just down the street from his house I was greatly amused by this sign, which featured my maiden name which, although not incredibly unheard of, isn't exactly common:
After dropping our stuff off we headed back into the center of London to shop. We checked out Hamleys, the "finest toy store in the world" and 7 floors of magic.
We walked around Regents St and Oxford St. I wanted to shop the massive Topshop on Oxford St, but I was so tired and it is so big I was just too overwhelmed to concentrate, so after a quick stop at Marks & Spencers for some food we headed back to Harry's to rest.
In the evening we headed to the Notting Hill area of London, which neither of us had been to before, and met Cat and Tom for dinner at Otto Pizza, which had delicious cornmeal crust pizzas. Cat and I shared the vegetarian sampler while the guys tried to regular sampler. After dinner we went for root beer and cream soda at an American style diner. You can check out pictures over at Cat's blog here and don't forget to check out their awesome craft website, Cut Out + Keep for loads of awesome craft ideas.

Then it was back to Harry's and a couple of hours sleep before catching a 4am bus then trains to head north to Lee's parent's house. After a quick shower we headed to Burnley city center where we met up with Husband's grandparents and picked up some dvds of shows we can't get in the US, including the newest seasons of The Inbetweeners and Peep Show. Next we went for lunch at a carvery since Husband really misses roast dinners. We chilled out in the afternoon and got some delicious Chinese food for dinner. Although Austin has really good Thai food, we haven't found any Chinese restaurants that we like.
I was soooo good to have salt & chili tofu again.
The next day we headed to Bury to check out their new shopping center, The Rock, which was pretty impressive for the city. There were shops at street level and modern apartments above. The town also has a pretty large market, but I had visited it on a previous visit, so we mostly focused just on the new shops. I picked up a couple of new shows and a dress, while Husband picked up a new messenger bag. After Bury we headed to Lancaster to pick up my brother-in-law and his girlfriend so I would get a chance to see them. We brought them back to Hapton, and we all had dinner at Agra. Although there are good Indian restaurants in Austin, it still isn't the same.
The next morning I left early on my own on a train to Chester where all my ladies and I were meeting up for our friend Natalie's birthday. Since we had last seen each other Natalie had started her own business where she sews dresses, corsets, and tutus, along with making jewelry (and cufflinks for men!). I was excited that I could check out the Fairypants stall at the market
I picked up a penny farthing necklace
We hung out around the city while waiting for everyone else to arrive from their various places around England.
We visited a sweet shop where I bought some licorice and tried some blueberry bonbons
At Natalie's we all caught up, dressed up, and went out for the night
We went to Telford's Warehouse which dates back to the 1790s and is right on the canal.
After a night of drinks and dancing we got heaping servings of the perfect after-a-night-out-food: cheesy chips
Cheesy chips were my go-to takeaway food during university.
The next day I rode the 5 hour journey to Kent with my good friend Gemma. The next morning I spent the first part of Valentine's day at the vet for Gemma and Ian's cat Cleo who was poorly. But everything got taken care of (and we got to see the cutest kitten while we were in the waiting room).
Husband arrived by train in the early afternoon and our friends Drew and Victoria came shortly after. Victoria just happened to be wearing one of my favorite shirts.
We are doing the creep

I had brought bags of peanut butter and pretzel M&Ms that we all shared before getting pizza and beer for dinner.
We watched the first two episodes of a new show called Bedlam which had a lot of scenes filmed at the university we all attended. The building was supposed to be an old insane asylum that has been converted into luxury apartments, but ~supernatural~ things occur. It was pretty cheesy (and stars popstar Will Young! haha).  Here's the first part of episode one. You can skip ahead about 3 minutes because the first couple minutes don't have much to do with the rest of the episode

The best part is when a student accidentally walks into a shot, gets an "oops" look on his face and immediately turns around and walks off screen. I guess they had a tight shooting schedule and not much of a budget to decide that they didn't need to do another shot without that goofy moment.
The next day it was back to London and more walking and shopping.
We visited Liberty for the first time and were in complete awe. I think Husband wants to win the lottery so he can commission a replica of the building to be made for him to live in.
We also saw a store with awesome window displays featuring huge themed butterflies. I really liked the steampunk one

In the evening we had a quick dinner at Wagamamas and met up with our friend George for a quick visit before heading back to our room to sleep. We were up at 5am the next morning to being our 23 hour journey home (with a ~*superfun*~ 8.5 hour stopover at the Atlanta airport).

Whew. Well that was long.