Foodies Festival

On Sunday, a couple of my flatmates and I had a day that was 100% dedicated to food. The “Foodies Festival” was on at Clapham Common (our neighborhood Central Park) which was essentially a festival of food vendors, street food stands, and other promotional stands, some not even related to food. 

  [Hungry Hippos]
I tried to have my Instagram cap on throughout the day and snap a ton of cool pictures, but I did not entirely succeed. However, I did try to get some photos of the random food I ate and cute little promotional signs – sorry, I’m attracted to the most random things. 

I ended the afternoon at the pub with macarons, and ended the day in bed at 7pm so in my book it was an extremely successful day and I couldn’t be happier! Currently dreaming of more food festivals in the near future, but will at least be paying a visit to Borough Market soon enough!

   
    
[I was so excited about this lemonade cocktail stand…and my pink lemonade gin fizz!]     [This is one of our neighborhood pubs – I’m absolutely obsessed with the beer garden which has these little seating areas that make me want to snuggle with a drink in front of the fire]

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The Next Move: Flat Hunting in London

So…we’re buying a flat! And it’s stressful. The real world is upon us.

Anyway, Sean and I were debating moving in with each other and stumbled upon the opportunity – his landlord decided to sell his flat, meaning he was getting evicted, and I conveniently had a friend interested in living in mine! We took this opportunity as a sign and decided to start looking. When we first started, we had plenty of time and it was fun. We got to be picky, only view the best places, and had no pressure to settle for anything less than what we wanted.

Fast forward and month and we still haven’t found anything. It’s getting down to the wire and it seems like there are literally NO flats on the market. We’ve also switched from renting to buying which means the options are even fewer. So we accepted that we won’t get everything we want and decided to make a list of priorities. These are the essentials, in order (at least in my head!):

1. Location

This is where we should probably be more flexible, but where we have no desire to be whatsoever. The SW4/SW12 bubble of Clapham is perfect for us – young, full of restaurants and bars (and important stuff like grocery stores, too!), and close to transport links. It is also off of the tube line that takes me direct into work which is a major plus. We both know that we could get something cheaper and larger with a bigger garden and so on if we move further out, but this is the area where we have both chosen to be inflexible. It’s definitely the #1 priority.

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[This is my area map, made with Zoopla – my new favorite site until we find a place!]

2. Budget

This should be number one, but I’ve never been good with money. Just kidding – well not, but that’s not why it’s number one. We both have parents that we can fall back on if need be. Obviously it’s not ideal, but it allows us to be flexible in the area that is normally the most restrictive. To start, we are looking at places much cheaper than either of us can actually afford. I would feel much better if I save money by moving in with Sean, and I know he feels the same way – however if we have to spend a little more to have a place we can truly call home, I’m willing to put off a shopping spree for a couple of months!

3. Storage

This one is mainly for me. I have a lot of…stuff. And not just clothes and makeup and that silly stuff, but things such as suitcases.  I mean, I moved over here from America, so did not have many options for bringing my stuff (shipping is so expensive) so now my suitcases just sit in a corner and it drives me insane. In this new house, we are looking for some built in storage so everything can have a place and the flat can remain tidy (hopefully).

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[This was one of the first flats we viewed – it ended up being a bit too small for us, but I loved how they made such great use of the space with built in storage!]

4. Large common area

We both love having friends over and I’ve always dreamed of having a place where I can entertain – everything from a chilled movie night to a full on dinner party. If we can find a flat with a large living room/common area, I know that this is possible. I prefer open kitchen/living room combos because it makes the space feel larger and also space is not wasted with walls. However, I am also happy with contained rooms if we can find something that is not cramped. I hate spending time in my bedroom during the day, so it is important to find a flat with space large enough to hang out away from the bedroom.

5. Garden

This is the dream – and the thing that is starting to seem more and more unlikely. A garden flat in central London. The flat I lived in last summer had a garden and it was just so nice to sit out there for an evening drink or a meal on the weekends. Even just to escape outside to read a bit seemed like a huge break from the city. Plus, this adds to the possibility of entertaining – hello garden parties! Once again, a dream, but you never know what we might find!

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[Dream – this was unfortunately taken before we had a chance to view it. But so much grass, I love it!]

On My To-Do List: Make a To-Do List

I haven’t breathed since Monday. Yes, I know that would make me dead, but you understand the idea.

At work, people think I’m superwoman and can do absolutely everything. I’m spread across three departments, training people while still learning myself, and trying to get caught up on the work I fell behind on while working remotely. I love the challenge but the stress of wanting to crush it is exhausting. I’ve had so many tasks thrown at me that I didn’t even have time to write them down.
So I actually wrote down “make a to-do list” on my to-do list. It had to happen.

At home, I haven’t completely settled in so I never actually feel like I am resting. My towels still haven’t arrived. Two large suitcases remain unpacked, making my search for clothes in the morning a nightmare. Groceries here expire faster than any reasonable person can use them, so I find myself with less food options everyday.

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{My new home is almost home – that post will follow!}

Then, there’s this blog. I love writing, but it takes time. Time I don’t have. But I feel the pressure to keep it up because I never have in the past. So I’m trying to make time. But then – there’s my life.

Yes. There exists an area outside of work/learning to live on my own/other priorities. There’s this thing where I try to save some time for fun. To cuddle with my boyfriend who I haven’t spent time with in months. To explore new neighborhoods and try new restaurants. To bond with the girls I’m going to be living with for the next year. This is the area to always get sacrificed first, but I don’t want to do that. I’m all too quick to choose lonely nights in bed over a quick drink down the street, or watching TV over someone’s birthday dinner. It’s so easy to get caught up in exhaustion and stress and frustration, but it’s an endless cycle – sure, fun may make you more exhausted, but you’ll never get out of an exhaustion and stress funk without making time for fun.

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{Yes, I sometimes have time for friends….it’s called Saturday}

So I’m three days into my full time job/life routine and I’m already stretched thin. So I’m going to go for a drink tomorrow. And probably fall a bit behind on work at some point. And maybe I’ll only post here once a week. But I’m going to stop trying to juggle and I’m going to have fun.

Introduction

I find my life to be a bit of an oxymoron. I try to stay up with the latest fashions when it comes to my purchases but end up throwing on leggings and a top every single day. I truly enjoy fine literature but tend to opt for trashy young adult novels when I get a few minutes of free time. I constantly dream of fancy soirees that require nice dresses, but dread the thought of wearing heels. I’m well beyond my years in terms of professionalism but care more about traveling the world and would give up a career to do so in a moment’s notice.

Most importantly, I love blogging, but  I’m so terrible at keeping up with blogs. This is my sixth I believe. The good news is that I can hold onto a blog longer than I can hold onto a relationship, but that’s not saying much anyway.

So this is the introduction message that I’ve written too many times to count, introducing my new blog–a fresh start. But this is the one that is the most me–a place to write about traveling and wandering around cities but also to write about my professional discoveries, my entrance into the real world, the struggles of a twenty-something. I guess I shouldn’t use the word “corporate” yet since I am still technically a business student, but that’s the other thing to note about me: I think about three years in advance.

So here I go!