Monday, November 28

Breakfast in Bristol

Happy late Thanksgiving!

This is the third consecutive year I've been outside America for Thanksgiving. In 2009, I cooked a big summery meal for thirteen Australians. In 2010, I ate pineapple and chocolate cake on a Guatemalan beach with other volunteers. And this year, I had dinner with two South Africans and two Brits at a yummy Turkish restaurant. Oh, what will two thousand and twelve bring?

This weekend Dave and I were in Bristol visiting some of his university friends. I arrived at two in the afternoon and everyone went out for brunch at Deco Lounge.  I was starving. And when my food came, Dave captured the unflattering but heartfelt love I have for good breakfast. You can see a few more photos on his tumblr.

Late breakfast (Taken with Instagram at The Deco Lounge)

Friday, November 18

Notes from India

A message from my friend travelling in India:

So we hear about this rat temple, where rats are the deity and are celebrated and fed and let to just run around. Awesome, right?! It was the worst thing i've ever done. there were just rats everywhere, crawling across the floor, eating food, crapping everywhere, dying and rotting in corners... it was terrible. why would something like this exist?

Made me laugh and think about joys of travel.

Sunday, November 13

Smart phones

First of all, let me say, getting a cell phone when I first moved to London was a hassle. I ended up choosing a Blackberry because I wanted to use internet and GPS apps as much as I wanted and the Blackberry was cheaper than an iPhone.

I wish someone would have told me that Blackberries suck and that an iPhone is worth the extra money. Or that I didn't need a smart phone at all, that some regular phones have good internet and GPS functions. (Full disclosure: Dave told me this.)

So now I'm stuck with a phone that I pretty much hate (I'm learning to tolerate and work with it... it feels kind of like an arranged marriage). To make matters worse, Dave's company has just GIVEN all their employees brand new iPhones.

I know.

Ridiculous (-ly jealous).

He's starting to use Instagram and all the other super trendy cool photo apps. And since we hang out alot, his life photos are often my life photos. Go to to check them out.

You can click on the individual photos to see where in London they were taken... On our way to my roommate Zara's birthday lunch, we noticed this funky interior design shop with a fun name... I love how that photo turned out...

Hope everyone's having a nice weekend!

Thursday, November 10

Thoughts & Ireland photos

So many evenings I'm power walking through London's business district, headed home, bundled up in my trenchcoat and scarf, zig zagging through business suits and shoppers and bicyclists, and my mind is overflowing with thoughts. Questions, goals, guilts, revelations, confessions. And I consider blogging some of them. But I've become self-conscious about saying too much online. Honestly, I've become self-conscious about asserting an opinion in any forum, be it over dinner with friends or at work meetings.

You'd think I would become more confident and articulate as I got older, not less.

Maybe doing it in reverse isn't bad.

To break the blog silence... here are some things on my mind.

(a) Just DO something is one of my current mottos. I get easily overwhelmed and I'm learning that committing to small concrete actions is the only way forward. Taking a job at an investment bank - just do it. Running for 15 minutes - just do it. Reading with kids once a week - just do it. Praying for a couple of minutes - just do it. Calling a family member - just do it.

(b) For the past year, I've been concerned that I'm becoming more frustrated, cynical, demanding, and whiny than I've ever been. A few weeks ago, I had a revelation that maybe this is because historically, things have always come easy for me. And I've continued expecting everything to be easy... work, relationships, happiness, money management, public transportation, writing... No longer! Now, my expectations have changed. Now, I expect most things to be difficult. This way, I always have my game face on. I'm always ready to work hard.

That's the theory, anyway. I sure it's flawed.

(c) Reason #34 working for the investment bank was a good choice: I've volunteered more hours since September than I did in three entire years at college in Auburn.

(d) Most days, I feel like such a sell-out working in a bank... but it helps my sanity to spend time reading with middle schoolers and working on charity projects where everyone looks like a dirty hippie. It reminds me of life outside the corporate world.  Often fellow bankers are working alongside the dirty hippies, and that reminds me that (some) bankers want to save the world, too.

(e) Reason #209 I hate being a grown-up: knowing that you're ordinary and despite your third grade goal, you're not going to become the first female president of the United States of America.

(f) I love reading fiction these days. The last two novels I read were amazing. Read them: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and The Glass Space by Simon Mawer.

Dave and I went to Ireland last weekend. It was pretty sweet. Beautiful blue skies, chilly autumn air, delicious comfort food, good books, seaside rocks and green hills to climb...

A great place to stay in Northern Ireland: Heathfield Farm

It's a great location for exploring major sights; the rooms are lovely and comfortable; the host, Heather, is friendly and has good travel trips; *and* she cooks such tasty breakfasts, which include several kinds of homemade bread (like the hobo that I am, I kept pieces of fruit bread in my pocket for snacking throughout the day).

I love Ireland. You should go there.

On a final note, a big happy birthday to both my parents. And... congratulations on the upcoming move to Italy!  I look forward to "going home" on the weekends...