Category Archives: England Love

Creative Energy

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 12.38.45 AM Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 10.10.26 PMJust a few quickie screen shots of a new project I’m working on. I’ve been seriously considering changing my eating habits and while researching different lifestyle diets (clean eating, low carb, Vegans, etc.) on the Interwebs, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to make this type of drastic change without some sort of help. It inspired me to design a meal planning journal. I also need to start budgeting my money more effectively. I spent an entire night combing though my bank statements adding up the amount I’ve been spending on food. I thought adding a budgeting/pricing piece would help me as well. Above are a couple rough ideas for pages. Input is welcome, though I am pretty in love with the font (a free Font on Abduzeedo called Benchnine).

What would you like to see in a journal like this?

This is going to be a collaborative project with my friend across the Pond Luke Taylor. We are brainstorming ideas currently; these are just mine. I can’t wait to see what he has cooking! Bubbling on the back burner are ideas for an icon set and a companion app!

Look for updates eventually!



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Mama I’m Coming Home

That’s right folks, I’m headed back to the States in a little more than a month. I still have a bunch of work to do on my dissertation but after that is all handed in – I will be leaving on a jet plane. I’m packing up myself and leaving London on 22 September for Helsinki, Finland (yep cheaper to fly to Finland than direct to the States) where I will spend the night and then at about 2pm Finland time, I’ll be on my way to Chicago, where I will arrive at about 3pm Chicago time on 23 September (That’s a Sunday).

To my friends/family in the States:

Mama, I’m Coming Home

Going to be in Mason for at least a week and then I’ll be packing my stuff and my kitty (unbelievably excited to see her!!) and heading back to South Florida. Feel free to message me on Facebook or leave me a comment to let me know who will be around and when so I can try to see as many people as possible while I’m in Michigan. I know it seems like a very short amount of time to spend with you all after being gone for so long, but I’ve got to get back to making money so I can pay my bills. I will, however, do everything in my power to come back to MI for Christmas.

To my friends in the UK:

Leaving on a Jet Plane

This has been the best year of my life thus far and I will miss you all dearly. If you are ever in South Florida please let me know so we can catch up! I’m going to come back someday, if only to visit. That’s a promise. I hope I can see most of you before I take off, though my hanging out time is limited, I will be here a whole week after dissertation hand in and leaving so that would be prime time to say goodbye. So please message me on Facebook or leave me a comment to let me know if you will be in Notts or want to meet up in London for tea/coffee/lunch (I’ll probably be there for a few hours before my 6pm flight on the 22nd).

Leaving is bitter sweet and I might cry a lot when it happens (she says while tearing up already) so be prepared for that when saying your goodbyes!

So before I completely ruin any chance of getting work done tonight due to puffy eyes…


New Life Goals

Apparently, the fates have aligned and given me a new life goal that I didn’t ask for. My new mission in life has become to break everything made of glass or ceramic I come into contact with. I’ve broken 2 wine glasses (not while drinking) and 1 ceramic bowl in the last week and a half. I am now concerned for my tea mugs, Delft tile sitting on my desk, and anything someone else owns made of glass/ceramic.

In better news the most recent event of breaking a stemless wine glass in the middle of my bedroom floor gave me a shove to actually hoover (vacuuming for my American friends) my room and then I went all cleaning crazy and deep cleaned the bathroom as well. At this point I think I would do ANYTHING (like this blog post) to avoid working on my dissertation since it is this long and arduous thing looming over me.

For kicks here is what I looked like while cleaning with this really insane ‘natural’ cleaning agent – not sure natural cleaning products are suppose to be so hazardous for your breathing health, but the first time I used this one I almost died of asphyxiation. Enjoy!


UK Adventures Chapter 2: Notts and Manchester

It’s Friday night and to prove how coolIam, I decided to write another blog post.


Well after the harrowing journey back to Notts from London, Kate and I crashed out until 3pm. After waking, we decided to go on a quick walking tour of the city centre and grab some dinner. We arrived into town just in time for all the shops to shut, but I showed Kate the “sites” as it were, we ate some pub grub, and took her to the (somewhat disputed) oldest pub in the country, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem for a pint. Being still knackered from our long journey the day before and a train to catch to Manchester the next morning, we had an early night.

Woke up the next day and realised that I had a package waiting for me at the post office, which I didn’t want to leave there for 2 weeks lest it end up being sent back, so I ran down the road only to discover the small package that I thought was coming, was actually a large, extremely heavy box that I couldn’t have possibly carried all the way home. I hopped on the bus outside and rode it back, but this was slower than I thought.

We left to catch our train about 15mins later than we meant to because of it, which meant that the slow traffic in town made us miss yet another train… it was becoming a pattern that neither of us enjoyed, though this time the new tickets were only £20 each and we only had to wait an hour for the next one. (Kate decided while we were in London waiting for the train, – that everytime she got stuck somewhere, she would draw a rat… this one is Ratbin Hood.)


Finally, making it to Manchester, where our very first CouchSurfing Host met us at the station. She showed us the best way to get to her house from the station and vice versa then we talked with her for a bit and she gave us a map of Manchester, told us a good place for lunch, and other stuff to check out.

We had lunch at Richmond Tea Rooms, which was super cute with its Alice in Wonderland themed interior. The sandwiches were pretty freaking amazing and the tea was really good! I had the Fig & Goats Cheese with Honey Sandwich and it was just the right amount of sweet with the creamy goats cheese and toasted bread… yum!

After that Kate and I decided to get lost trying to find the little shopping area that our Host suggested. By the time we finally found everything, most places were shutting up for the night. So we waited in the park to meet my Uni friend Luke for dinner/drinks. After Burritos for dinner Luke (a Manchester native) took us to Sinclair’s Oyster Bar where we proceeded to get a bit drunk.

After Oyster Bar he took us on a small adventure of some other places that I don’t remember the names to were there were more drinks, ending with Kate and I returning to our host’s house at about 1am (don’t worry we had prearranged coming in late with her) and having very little sleep before we had to be at the train station the next morning for our 6am train to Edinburgh, which we were determined not to miss!

Stay tuned for UK Adventures Chapter 3: Edinburgh, Scottish Highlands, and Glasgow where you will find out if we actually made it to the train station in time for this very early departure!


UK Adventures Chapter 1: Arrival

Well – so I may have fibbed a little on the timing of my posts about my trip and that sorta thing… but mostly because I got addicted to internet television and busy with actual school work for my Masters Degree… anyway here is the rest of the story in minute detail, b/c I don’t know of any other way to write:

2 April I headed to London at the ass crack of dawn to go pick up my dear friend Kate (ratgirlstudios – link to the right) from the airport. The plan was to pick her up around 11am when her flight got in, have lunch in London, then hop on our train at around 4ish back to Notts. Like I said before – the best laid plans yada, yada… I got to London around 10:45 on the coach… it was late because traffic on a Monday morning in London around Buckingham Palace is worse than anything the States could possibly imagine… took us 45 mins to move 1/2 a block.

After finding a coffee shop to hop online, I discovered that I needn’t have rushed to find one. This is when the motto of our UK Adventure Times was born: “Blame Canada!” This point onward, anything that went wrong or not according to plan was blamed on Canada, which is slightly unfair, but that’s just how it goes. Kate’s flight from Michigan to Toronto was delayed by an hour and a half, which meant that she missed her connection to London, the next flight being the next morning at 9am Toronto time instead of 11pm… which means that she was getting to London at 9pm GMT. This obviously meant that we were going to miss our pre-booked train back to Notts.

So I hung out in London all day by my lonesome, wandered aimlessly through Hyde Park, took a quick nap, & basically just a vagrant for a day. When it was getting close to time I decided to buy us coach tickets for the last coach back to Notts, b/c train tickets the day of are astronomically expensive (I couldn’t phrase my frustrations at this better than David Mitchell) , but we will get back to that.

Tickets bought, Kate’s second flight was on time according to the boards at the airport, so I thought everything would be fine. I knew she didn’t have any checked luggage so it should have been easy to make it from Heathrow to Victoria Bus Station in 2.5 hrs after she touched down. Boy did I underestimate British Passport control. 45 mins after her flight hit the ground is when she strolled out of security. Not great but we still had an hour and 45 mins to make it to the Station – shouldn’t have been a problem. It was. After shenanigans and the achingly slow underground ride we arrived 10 mins too late for our coach.

Wrapping up this stage of the story: we thought there might just be one more train back to Notts instead of a coach so we headed to Kings Cross and let’s just say we were totally Chamber of Secrets. No trains until 7am! It was midnight. Too bad we didn’t have a flying car (this reference isn’t going to get old b/c we eventually made it to Scotland where Hogwarts is suppose to be). So we bought tickets for what we thought was the next train after speaking with 2 employees and we to the 24 hr coffee shop to wait it out with the Nazi barrista that wouldn’t let me put my sprained ankle up on footstool.

Kate drew this while we were waiting

We got on the train exhausted (I got a little sleep in the coffee shop but Kate didn’t) only to discover that they wanted another £20 per person to ride the train (that put each ticket up to a total of £74). I almost cried.

Finally back in Notts we went back to my place and crashed.

End of UK Adventures Chapter 1, tune in next time for Chapter 2: Nottingham & Manchester


The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow (and today!!)

The sun is shining in England today and the temps are in the mid-20s (that’s upper 70s for US readers), so naturally I’m sat in front of my computer avoiding doing the work that I need to do. Figured I should post an update to ensure readers that I still exist after a three month hiatus from the blog.

Well, what has happened since I last posted in February? – That is a long story – I shall break it up into a few posts to keep you all on the edge of your seats. Today you get Feb/March happenings, tomorrow I’ll do a post about my UK Adventure Times, the day after will be the rest of April and May… at least that is the plan, but the best laid plans, yada, yada, yada.


The biggest events for me didn’t include V-Day, which is a stupid holiday in any country, but were rugby related. I actually played in a match against Anglia Ruskin, which was a joke. I thought I didn’t know how to play rugby very well – these girls wouldn’t even attempt to tackle us. We beat them 72-0 in 25 mins of play. After that, the ref refused to let it continue because he was too lazy to ref what he called “not rugby.” This match happened the day after I went to A&E (that’s what they call the ER in the UK) for a random asthma attack that would’ve probably killed my stubborn ass had my friends not insisted that I go in for it. I went, survived, and played rugby the next day. Win.

Not Win: Later that week (a Saturday) I was playing touch rugby and found myself on the ground shouting, “Not good!” over and over again. The image below should explain the rest of that story.

4 days after the initial injury…

So back to A&E I went to discover only that it was sprained (found out later from the physio that the ligament between my tibia and fibula was/is torn) and missed out playing in an important match the next day. This injury pretty much ended my rugby playing and has yet to heal properly.

That I think is about it from the Elsie Adventures for February – onward.


In March the rugby team won both the Cup and the League, which was awesome. They were also promoted to the Premiership League for next year! Yet, as my ankle was still bruised/swollen I couldn’t really participate. I did, however, spend St. Paddy’s Day in Dublin. Yes, friends, I returned to Dublin after my last disastrous attempt I figured I’d gotten all the traveling back luck out of my system. I actually had friend’s with me this time! This was an absolutely perfect place to be on St. Paddy’s Day. If you ever get the chance to spend it in Dublin, DO IT! We started drinking at noon and didn’t stop (though we paced ourselves) until midnight-ish. We explored Temple Bar, watched all three 6 Nations Rugby Matches throughout the day, and got a little lost. Stands as the best St. Paddy’s Day – I’ve had to date. It also broke my tradition of my plans falling through and ending up drinking alone while watching P.S. I Love You. Also, one of my friends may have gone slightly overboard on the green… slightly.

The next day we went back home and I went to volunteer for Nottingham Rugby, which was fun as well.

I can’t really remember much else of import happening in March, so now to avoid novel status I shall conclude this post.


50th Blog post!!

In celebration of my 50th blog post, you get to listen to so pretty awesome songs/artists that I’ve been introduced to recently.



Regina Spektor – Fidelity (couldn’t embed the video so you’ll have to visit her YouTube Channel – while you’re there listen to the rest of her songs – you won’t regret it!)

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