Saturday, October 30, 2010

Glam Jam Thank You MAN!!!!!!!!

What a weekend!!!  
What a GREAT bday weekend last weekend!!!!!  And if I would have been able to spend some time with my family, friends and boyfriend on my would have ROCKED THIS WORLD even more!!!!!!!
Last Friday was the kick-off to birthday weekend.  I got into work early, but was kicked out by my co-worker who decorated my desk, and set up some gifts she had gotten me.  A big banner was steaming across my desk which read ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ and some champagne filled chocolates and pink mini roses were on my desktop with cards that were signed by all of my was soo lovely!!!  Oh course we had to crack the box of chocolates open right away...YUMMY breakfast for me!!!!
The whole day people were coming up to me, giving me kisses on the cheeks, wishing me happy was soo sweet!!!  
Later on that afternoon, the same co-worker who decorated my desk, and one of the girls I will be moving in with, brought me the most amazing cupcakes ever...they were super sparkly and cool!!!  Obviously, the first one I picked up and ate was the red velvet one  =)  Hehehehe
After work we went to a pub across from our work, and soooo many of my coworkers come to give me birthday wishes, it was the best!!  I couldn’t believe how generous everyone is in giving their love...even after such a short time of knowing them.  Their hearts are so pure and open, it is soo wonderful!!!!!!
Saturday could not come fast enough.  Not only was it my birthday, but I was going to see Kandee Johnson!!!!!  I hardly slept in anticipation of her Glaminar!!!!  
To my surprise I had a HUGE package that my family sent me, and it arrived on my bday!!!!!!  What a super way to start my day!!!  Touching things that they lovingly packed up to make my day just that much more closer feeling to home!!  I was laughing and crying through opening the whole package...they are sooooo cute!!!!  They got me mints from Roots that have a Canada flag on tin, my mom made me a calendar that had pictures and stickers scattered throughout of our family, my boyfriend and my cute kitty that she strategically placed with party hats on whoever’s birthday fell on that month (she also trimmed the pictures with a picture cutter that was originally my nonno and nonna’s), a little ‘pocket posh soduku’ that has a really cute blue velvety design on the cover, my favourite gold sparkly eyeshadow from MAC in Retrospec, my favourite foundation from Almay (they don’t sell that product here), a notepad that my mom got from her trip to Stratford that has a pic of Shakespeare that says ‘to do, or not to do’, a mini book called mothers and daughters with a beautiful note that my mom wrote inside, a discount for my favourite store Anthropology, a pack of Halloween stickers and a Guardian Angel that has ‘Always with you’ inscribed on it.  They also made me the cutest cards and my sister made a ‘Happy birthday’ cutout that actually popped out of my card - like 3 dimensionally....sooo cute!!!  In her card she also made a mini picture of me hugging my 2 sisters for my wallet!!  I LOVED IT!!!!!!!  I cannot believe how blessed I am to have such an amazing are sooooo great and I love you all sooooooo much!!!

Then the family I am staying with gave me a gift as well, which was sooo sweet of them AND they baked me a birthday cake with the cutest candle on top and sprinkles in the shape of my age.  They gave me a bundle of gossip magazines (so that I could learn English celebrities), a set of purple vases which when filled with water sprout beautiful flowers, and the most thoughtful, a pair of beautiful gloves, because I am always saying how I am sad I didn’t bring any gloves from home!!!

After having a piece of cake for breakfast, I got ready to go see Kandee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The BIGGEST birthday surprise came when I got a text from my estate agent saying that the landlords of this home we put an offer on accepted it!!!!  I was sooooo happy but didn’t want to get too excited because of the great disappointment I faced when my last offer didn’t go through.  This place is even better than the last though - 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, BRAND new everything it seems, 3 patios, and the BEST part, a black chandelier in the kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!  When we walked through it the first time I just stopped in my tracks and stood open mouthed at how amazing everything was!!!  
I got into rainy London, and strolled into a cafe to get a quick lunch before Kandee.  They took FOREVER for me to get a take-out quiche, it was ridiculous!!!
I then went into Le Meridien hotel (where the Glaminar was located) and was getting soo excoted because I kept seeing signs that displayed the event all throughout the entrance and on the way to the room where the Glaminar was being held.  I found a seat beside a really sweet girl from Poland, and I settled in for what was a fun and informative afternoon.
Kandee’s mother went on the stage (she is sooooo cute - like an older version of Kandee) and announced Kandee before she walked through the doors at the back of the room.  Everyone was clapping and smiling from ear-to-ear.  From the many times I had watched her videos on YouTube, she was even cuter in person!!!  She took her place on the stage set up at the front of the room, wearing a cute black and white polka dot shirt and mismatched earrings (a long feather hanging from one).  She is about 5 months pregnant and looks sooo cute!!  

Kandee went over all the things that a girl could want to know about putting on makeup, tips and tricks, and held an open forum for questions throughout the show.  I asked her 2 questions - where I could get this eyelash curler that I have been dying to get for 2 years from Japonseque (it looks like tweezers, but they have mini pads on them to curls a few lashes at a time), and how to take off fake lashes without peeling off your whole eyeball.
The show lasted 3 hours, and she then invited all of us to line up to meet her!!  You can just imagine my excitement!!!  The show had been soo good, I even won a prize (a loose pigment pot in black from Urban Decay) and got a goody bag with fake lashes, 2 Urban Decay eye shadows, a gold shadow from NYX, and a bunch of antibacterial makeup cleaning cloths.  
Since I was sitting near the back of the room, I was one of the first in line to meet her!!!
I told her that it was soooo great to see her in real life, and that she made my birthday so much fun.  We chatted for a bit, and then I left.  It was soo amazing because she didn’t rush anyone through their one-on-one time with her.  She had been standing for 3 hours (plus an extra 3 in the morning session) and was standing for the entire time when people were coming up to meet her.  There were about 80-90 people who attended, I am guessing her poor little toesies were killing her!!!
I walked outside in the pouring rain and walked to Soho to meet my friend for a bday dinner.  Little to my knowledge, she had arranged that a group of my friends meet me there and surprise me!!!!  I was sooooo shocked!!!  They all are soo sweet, and got me really cute little gifts, very thoughtful and over-the-top!!!  Never in a million years did I think my birthday would be sooo great in a city that was (still is) soo new to me!!  I got a super cute red rose headband, my favourite hand lotion from L’Occitaine, a lip balm from L’Occitaine, a box of maccaroons from the best place to get them in London, and a yummy smelling candle.  How nice is that???

We went for a drink before dinner and I had a delicious mojito that rivals the mojito at Tao in NYC, before heading over to Stef’s for a great Italian meal.  We each got an appetizer and a main, and ordered a glass of wine....DELISH!!!  I had carpaccio and an amazing fresh pasta dish!!

After dinner, we stopped at a place for a bday shot before we parted ways.  The girl who organized the night took me to Clapham, located about 30 mins away, to go meet her friends, and meet her boyfriend for the first time.  We had a really great night, saw some really interestingly dressed people, and were laughing, running, walking, swinging (don’t ask) journey back to her flat.  Her super sweet boyfriend made us a snack by frying some peppers on the stove, and taking out some fresh buffalo mozzarella, which we demolished!!!

In the morning we made a yummy breakfast which included bacon, eggs, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and squash, pure goodness!!  PS- by ‘squash’ I don’t mean the vegetable, it is a fruit juice concentrate that, when diluted with water, creates a great tasty drink. We got ready and went to meet her friends on an outdoor patio.  It was such a beautifully amazing day - almost no jacket weather - that we stayed on the patio forever!!!!  I took a train back home that night, and crashed after the long weekend.  I felt really bad because the mom in the family I am staying with left for Italy in the morning I wasn’t able to back in Twyford to say buy =(  It was soo weird because the weather had been good all day, but it started getting yucky in the evening on my way back home....but there was the most beautiful double rainbow.....

The reason I have been sooooooooo delayed in writing, is because I went through HELL this week - but I FINALLY GOT A FLAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
I have had the hardest time arranging meeting with bank to set up a joint account for the girls that I will be doing a flatshare with, going to the letting agency a trillion times to over contract after contract because they kept having wrong into on it, and just other time consuming and exhausting stuff related to getting the flat......but now it’s OURS!!!!!  
I am soooo tired though because Friday I went out for a coworkers bday after work, didn’t stay out late, but I was soooo tired from my busy week.  Then today I packed all my stuff up, then made the trek back into London to buy some last minute stuff for my new home.  As I was eating breakfast though, the cutest little cat came to the back door and I HAD to feed her because she look really malnutritioned.  My 'mom' went to a neighbours house and got some cat food for her to eat...poor thing was soooo sweet and soo hungry  =(

I went to Waitrose first (a really nice grocery store) to buy some cleaning supplies, laundry stuff, etc.  Then hopped on the train and I got to go to my favourite store ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ANTHROPOLOGY!!!!!!!!!  Seriously don’t know how I could love a store soo much, and it is even more perfect then Topshop (described previously).  It doesn’t have all of the frills Topshop has, but it’s just - hands down - the greatest store on this earth!!!!!  

I could live in there for years, sleep in the rafters, just breath the air in the store forever!!!!!  Nothing makes me happier in life than to be in this store - I SWEAR!!!!!!!!  Hahahahaha  My goal was to buy a little something because my mom got me that 15% off voucher for my bday, but I didn’t find anything that was perfect.  I mean, I found stuff, but I just didn’t want to spend any money because I just paid more than most people pay for 3 months in mortgage payments on my deposit for my flat, and I bought a comforter for my bed, pillows, and a duvet cover today too.  I found this really cute soap dish I wanted to buy for my bathroom, but I already purchased a soap dispensing bottle earlier in the day.  Oh well....maybe it was a good thing!!!  My friend met me there and was sooooo worried that I would be upset since she was late.  I reassured her that she didn’t have to worry for one second because I was in the perfect place, and she could leave me there for another day if she wanted to!!
We went to a place across the street called the Trafelgar (which I had been to before) for a quick bite to eat.  I had a warm Halloumi cheese, tomato, avocado and cous cous salad and a glass of white wine...just the right amount.  We jumped onto a bus after we finished and met a friend at another stop so that we could so to Shadwell for another friends bday.  On our bus journey we passed right by Westminster Abbey and Big was great!!!!!!!  

I love traveling overground via’s such a great way to see the city!!!!  We finally got to the birthday boy’s house after a long trip, and we immediately surrounded by such sweet people, our travel stresses instantly slipping away.  There were these 3 people who were on a month-long journey around Europe fro Venezuela who were such great people!!!  I loved being involved in a gathering with truly genuine people, not to mention the birthday boy and his partner are the nicest people EVER!!!  His partner bought him a monkey shaped bday cake that was soooo cute and this candle that I would never be able to describe, but it was INSANE!!!!  We didn’t stay for very long as I had to catch a taxi, the underground, overground and another taxi back to Twyford.  
Needless to say, I’m tired kids, and I have a HUGE day ahead of me tomorrow!!!!!  
YAY....time to move to London, England!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not just =) ..... QUADRUPLY =)))))))))))))))))))))))

I know you all think I finally landed the flat of my DREAMS....but EVEN BETTER:

I AM GOING TO KANDEE JOHNSONS GLAMINAR IN LONDON ON MY BRITHDAY THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!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K I seriously LOVE Kandee Johnson....she is soooo amazing.  Such a great make-up artist, a very positive person who has inspired soo many people the world over, has amazingly funny and cute blogs that I am addicted to...and she is just a truly beautiful person.

Click here to check out her blogs:

She also does these great YouTube videos (that is how I originally started to follow her) how to depot your MAC eye shadows, how to use my new-found love - the Lise Watier colour wheel, expert tip on how layering is the key to making your make-up look dimensional NOT flat.....I just love her SKILLZZZZZZ!!!!!  I have viewed every video, most a few times over; and although not all of her videos are about make-up, they are sooo cute and fun you eat up every minute of it!!  I even bought the same Cod Liver Oil she takes every day to keep her skin looking good.  Actually, come to think of it, I have bought a lot of stuff that she has recommended...and they were ESSENTIALS that I CANNOT believe I lived without.  Like I now use Naked Lunch from MAC almost everyday, Cork from MAC acts as my secret weapon to add great natural-looking depth to my eyes, Carbon from MAC as a staple non-sparkly black shadow, Nylon to highlight the inner corners of my eyes which adds great brightness and colour, and my FAVE.....Shell from MAC as a highlighter and it can also be creatively used a a lip highlighter and cheek highlighter.

When I found out on her blog that she was coming to London, England, I was shocked to see that she was coming to do a Glaminar on my actual birthday...what are the chances of THAT?!?!?!?  I was never even expecting to go though, but my amazingly amazing amazing mom bought me a ticket to go though and I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't believe it, I just can't?!?!?!  I actually get to meet her, I'm dying!!!!!!

Do you know that as you are reading this blog, it wouldn't EXIST if it weren't for her.  Her blogs are soo great because she updates them really frequently and adds pictures, links her videos from YouTube and adds motivational words that are sure to brighten anyones day. heart is racing when it should be slowing in preparation for a sound sleep.....BUT NOT ME!!!!!!  It's going a MILLION MILES a SECOND and I will NEVER get a restful sleep tonight.....I get to see her in 4 DAYS!!!!!!!!!





Monday, October 18, 2010

Not just =( .... double =(

My perfect place is gone...I'm all alone...and really sad  =(

How could this happen???????????????????????? perfect flat that I described in my last post was almost mine, until it slipped right through our fingers today.

This morning at 9am our estate agent called me and told me that there were 3 offers on our flat.  I have to rewind and tell you that we had undercut the list price by almost 100 pound a week (as advised by our agent) and also because we were way above the amount we had budgeted for.  2 other offers had come in after ours - both slightly higher.  The one thing we had in our advantage was that we had met the landlord and she really liked us, and the fact that we worked for a reputable company and were all professional females.  They wanted us to renegotiate our offer.

After speaking with the girls, we all agreed that we would do this, for real.  All three of us wanted this place, knew we would all be happy with the space, and would only pay the amount we had originally offered, but not a penny more.  After taxes and bills it was way above our budgeted amount, but all flats in London have been so far!

We held our ground at our original offer price, thinking we may have had an advantage because we knew the landlord liked us.

I called our agent back who told us that that simple would not do.  We had to go back in with the highest offer to secure the deal....and we just couldn't do that.

The story ends there.

After an afternoon of feeling soo sad, crying into hands when I got home, and now going to bed with a tear in my eye.

Frustration is getting the best of me.  I really wanted a flat....for real life, but more specifically for my birthday.  It was a goal, a time that seemed sooo far away from when I first arrived in London, that I of course could accomplish the feat.  Now we're here...almost at my birthday...with no more prospects.

ALSO my boyfriend had originally planned on coming to visit me for my birthday, but since I don't have a flat it will not be possible for him to come because it will be too expensive for us to get a hotel room for the duration of his stay here.  I was really looking forward to seeing sucks SOOOO bad that things had to work out like this.

I have been looking for flats...yet again, ALL NIGHT.  Tomorrow - first thing - I'm going to call my estate agent and demand that he find us a place ASAP.  I am just sick of this now.

I'm off to bed, determined that tomorrow will be a better day.  Please send your birthday gifts via good thoughts and a key to a flat!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Flats flats.....and not so many more flats

Sooooo entered sort of a depressing flat search stage in my life.

There is not much on the market in terms of availability.

I am TIRED of searching.  That is all I do.  I have contacted - I think - every estate agent in London with no avail.

Since my last post I have looked at studios that weren't bigger than my closet, units that rockstars couldn't even afford, and places where you would feel bad if you knew rodents were living there!!!!  My frustration has mounted to the point were I am ready to just sign the papers on the next place I see!!!

On Thursday night I found the perfect place.  3 bedroom (as I will be sharing with 2 colleagues) 1 bathroom, beautiful kitchen, all new inside including floors appliances, etc., a private rooftop terrace that is HUGE, a communal garden, about 8 minutes away from Paddington station (which connects you to overground and underground trains, easy access to airports, pretty much the main tube station in London.  It's located on the cutest street ever, wouldn't be far from work, tons of cute shops, restaurants, grocery stores and everything.

The downside - one of the girls doesn't want to spend the list price.

After becoming an expert on property prices around London, I can say that this place is a STEAL.  We filled in our paperwork to see if our offer would even be accepted, and if we are, I don't know how I will be able to walk away from it.

I am off right now to see a unit that is just slightly lower in price (about 280 quid so not much) a month that the girl that is money conscious wants to look at....but it's far away.

I need patience right now, I need faith and most of all...I need support.

Please wish me luck and send your good thoughts my way....I need it.

I will be posting something else tomorrow I think because I have a lot more to share with you!!

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What I've been up to

Hey ya'll...I've been busy this week uploading pics to all my posts - check em out from the beginning!!!

I will be posting another blog (hopefully tomorrow) about everything that's gone on since the monstrosity I wrote last week.

Hope you all had a lovely turkey day....sooooo sad I missed it  =*(

AND A BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY BABY SISTER - she's not a teenager anymore!!!!!!  Welcome to adulthood  =)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Tube strike success

After the unnecessary worry that I was experiencing from the thought of being severely delayed for my commute to work from the tube strike, I actually made it to work in the fastest time ever!  I took the fast train to Paddington and a bus to a stop right out front of my 1 hour flat!!!!  How great is that?!?!?  I am sooo happy this strike took place actually because now I know how to shorten my commute by a ton!!!  Mind you, I am not sure what the true bus schedule is like because they beefed up the number of buses that were running around the city today to prevent mass hysteria during rush hour.

Will keep you updated with how that's going!!

Good news - tomorrow I will be going to view 2 flats!!!  I will need to leave the office, but the people at work are being soo understanding and will allow me to make appointments with estate agents during my working hours if need be.

Exciting!!!!!!!!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Get ready for's a BIG ONE!!!!!! From high tea and tagliatelli to mobiles and migraines

A lot has happened since I last wrote - as it usually does.  The daughter of the family I am living with moved to Disneyland Paris last Friday  =(  I will really miss hanging out with her and seeing her all the time. The son has some MAJOR interest in his band, and had a lot going on this weekend.  So a ton of good things going on here!!  
I’ll walk you through my week:

Packed up a suitcase and headed into London to meet my aunt who had just arrived in town for a business trip.  While at the train station, I heard someone shout out my name from a distance, “MARla....” As the voice trailed off, I was certain it was just my imagination...but in fact someone knew me in ENGLAND!!!!!  It was soo cool and I felt ‘posh’ as they say here.  I was like ‘yes’ turned around slowly (with my hair swinging perfectly in the wind) and sure enough, I truly did know this person.  She was a girl who is friends with the girl I am living with!!!  There were like 5 people with her (all of whom who I had previously met) so I was talking to them like I knew them well, like we had been friends forever, like I had actually lived here for a long time and we had had a million encounters ENGLAND!!!!!  Maybe I am totally blowing this out of proportion, but in a city where I know like 20 out of like 6 kaGILLION was pretty sweet!!!  One of the guys was going ‘bridge jumping’ a more literal way of saying ‘bungee jumping’, and a bunch of them went to show their support.  
My aunt and I met at her hotel, chatted for a minute and then got on to the most important task at hand....EATING!!!  We ate at a place called SKETCH....and let me tell you my friends, it was out of this world!!!  The deliciousness that I put into my was delish!!!!!!  The menus were sooo cool too and came tucked inside random old books...soo clever!!  We had tea that was served in the cutest tea pots with ‘proper‘ (they say that a lot), ‘proper‘ tea cups.  THEN, on a 2 tier platter, out came our lunch.  On the bottom tier there were mini sandwiches and on the second tier there were mini desserts.  On the side, there were raisin scone, served with crushed raspberries and clotted cream (which is to DIE for and I will probably have heart failure soon because I ate ALL of my share).  

It was just perfect and yummy and PROPER!!!!!!  And not only was the name of the restaurant SKETCH, but it was kind of sketchy too.  When we first arrived we had to wait and we were told to go look around the building, both up and down.  So of course we looked.  We went upstairs first and we saw these amazing bathrooms with all of these crystal finishes, then we went down - and this is where it got interesting.  First, we came upon this huge room.  This room was the size of most restaurants, definitely a large amount of space.  The room had no lights, only panoramic screens than spanned along and across the whole room.  When our eyes finished adjusting to the darkness, I noticed there were lots of low, white, modern couches in the middle, where many people were seated.  I still am not too sure of what the heck that was all about...but the oddest thing was how bizarre the projected videos were.  My aunt told me she heard one of the actors say ‘I like you as much and I like the bottom of my ice cold feet’....and the images looked like a scene out of The Ring.  Second super weird thing was that the washrooms in this part of the building were supposed to be the coolest in London....but what did that mean????  Each stall was a stand alone unit in the shape of capsules/pods/eggs...not really sure what to call them.  It was soooo strange, only the pictures I post will give you an idea of what I am talking about.  The music playing in each pod was sooo weird too - it sounded like you were smack dab in the middle of a farm - cows mooing, lambs baaing, birds chirping...YA!!!!!!!!!!  You will have to go there if you ever come to London!!!

The rest of the day was equally as cool.  We went to Topshop after lunch (see previous blog posts) where I ran into a girl I went to high school with!!!!!  She lives here now and we will be trying to arrange a time to meet up soon.  It was soooooo random!!!!  It was a day of my feeling like I really do live here!!!  LOL
I bought a straightener too that day (only 11 quid - a.k.a. about 20 bucks), best part it works!!!!!!!
Dinner was also an adventure.  
We went to a place in Notting Hill that had been recommended to us, but we waited - outside in the freezing cold - for an hour because we didn’t have reservations.  But it was TOTALLY worth it!!!  The bread.,,,,O.M.G. the BREAD!!!!!  SOOOOO goooooooood!!!!! They had amazing olive oil too for dipping which was amazing!!!!  YUM!!  A nice bottle of wine, and tagliatelli pasta with truffle oil...was practically in heaven!!!  The funniest part was sitting by, who my aunt thought were Italians, but were really Greeks.  Since my boyfriend is Greek, I was pulling out some of the really great vocabulary that I have picked up to demonstrate my Greek knowledge.  I started with PANDOFELE (sandal) then CARPUZI (watermelon) then GALLA (milk).  I may have also thrown in there OREO VISIA...I know, traveling to the Dominican with my boyfriends brother was very informative!!!  I had the Greeks in hysterics...they couldn’t figure out how I knew such random words!!!
So Saturday was JAMMED.  When we got back to my aunts hotel, we crashed.
Met up with my mom’s cousin (who was in London from Italy to visit her daughter who also joined us).  It was sooo amazing turning the corner when we were exiting the tube, and seeing my mom’s cousins face!!!!  She is such an amazing woman, cute, gentle, had the cutest her!!  And I didn’t think I would see her for a long time.  I had only met her once when I went for a trip to Italy 3 years ago, it was great to see that time melt away the minute we saw each other again!  We went for a walk along the River Thames.  BUT IT WAS SOOOOOOO COLD!!!!!  We popped into a restaurant for lunch to warm up.  

These are some really random pics I took along the way!!

After parting ways, I had time to get a cell...FINALLY!!!! It’s soo sweet, it’s a Blackberry Bold - but in white.  We did some shopping (I did window shopping) then we went for an incredible meal at the Wollsley.  We both had a great chicken dish then tea following dinner.  Jet lag was hitting my aunt pretty hard at that point, so again, we went back to the hotel and crashed.

I started off the day (well week for that matter) on a great foot, because I got a pain au raisin from a bakery and a London Fog from Starbucks before I headed into work.  It was really weird when I ordered at Starbucks, they don’t know what a London Fog is when their is a drink named after this city!!!!!!!!!!
I stayed with my aunt again, but went to dinner by myself because she had to work late.  I was CRAVING Indian, and by suggestion from one of my coworkers, I went to this place in was sooooo good!!!  The problem....I got TOTALLY lost on the way home.  I was soooo ‘gutted’ totally felt like crying, felt soooo frustrated because EVERY person I asked didn’t know where the heck we were or where the tube station was.  I talked to this one girl who was jogging by (how could SHE not know where we were) and for like 5 minutes she was trying to search the internet on her phone and couldn’t figure out where we were.  My stupid new phone wasn’t working - no signal - nothing.  I couldn’t even call 999 if I wanted to (the emergency number)....soooooo sucky.  So I tried to hail a cab....and nothing.  I was feeling defeated.  I was walking down dark cold streets.  There were hardly any people.  It was starting to feel scary.  I found some buses, but even after going on 3 and asking the bus drivers how to get to a certain station - they have no is that possible???  N e ways...I walked long enough and found a tube station.  Was sooooo stressed that night.  It was really nice making it back to the hotel and just chilling for a bit before bed.  
Met my aunt after work at a really great restaurant called Olivomare.  We had such a great meal!!!  I had spaghetti with crab and fresh parsley....sooo yummy!!!  It was such a great night but I was soooooo tired!!!!  I was really happy to get to bed after we got back to the hotel.  I did have to pack up my stuff though because my aunt had to leave super early in the morning for Lisbon 
My aunt had to wake up early to be out of the hotel at 4:15am AHHHHHHHHHH.  I was able to check out later, not to worry!!!!  LOL
At work, the owner of the hotel stopped by was soooo nerve wracking to get prepared for his visit.  But it didn’t even matter because he just had to meet by boss outside, no need for a freak out session at all!!!!!!  
Since it was a rather hectic day, I treated myself to an episode of Jersey Shore!!!
Not a good day.
It started off on the wrong foot.  The shirt I had prepared to wear for the day had a string that cinches at the waist with a bow.  WELLLL...I cinched too hard and the string that was once attached to the shirt was no longer.  The sweet sweet mom I am living with sewed it back up for me later that day, such an amazing nice person!!!
I was really excited because I was scheduled to meet up with a realtor from Foxtons (a big realty company here).  We were supposed to see around 4 places, but the stupid guy didn’t end up calling me.  Our meeting was at 5pm.  I got permission from my boss that I could leave early too.  It was sooo rude that this guy didn’t even have the courtesy to call or email me...and to this day I STILL haven’t hear from him HOW RUDE!!!!!  And that wasn’t even the bad part of the day....
I got a migraine.
And I didn’t have any meds on me.
It was HORRIBLE.  
All afternoon I was on the verge of barfing.  Life head between your knees vomishness.  It was horrrrrible.  I took 2 paracetamols (comparable to tylenol) and 2 pills of nurofen.  They didn’t work at ALL for my nausea. Just made it a bad afternoon for me.  I haven’t been that sick in a long time  =S  I could not wait to get home.  Maybe it was a good thing that my appointment was cancelled!!!
My aunt arrived back in town and I was ever so fortunate to stay with her at an amazing hotel in Canary Wharf.  If was really beautiful and it had many great amenities that made me feel like I was wrapped up in a hug!!!  I lugged my overnight  bag to work again (they must be thinking that I am moving around every night)!! 
After work I met my aunt again and we went to another AMAZING restaurant called Bob Bob was BRILLIANT!!!  Can you believe this, it had a button that said ‘Press for champagne’ (which of course my aunt had to press)!!!!  It was soooo fun!!!!  The food was scrumptious and the atmosphere was warm and very friendly.  The wait staff were great, soo on the ball, so seamless, like little dancers serving food!!!  There were 4 of us at dinner and we each got 3 things off the menu a starter, the main and a side and then we just shared everything!!!  As a starter I got wafer thin slices of beetroot with goat cheese salad and mint, for the side I had truffled mashed potatoes that were amazing!!!  They served us some ‘Bobcorn’ which was delish too!!!  I think we ate till our stomachs almost exploded, but we had to eat the main course too and I ordered an incredibly yummy grilled filet of seabass with olive oil and lemon...YUMMY!!!!  Between the champaign and the food I was exhausted!!!  We still had to take the tube to the hotel (and I was tugging my little luggage along).  What a great treat to arrive at such a beautiful hotel at the end of the night!!  The general manager was really kind and even gave me my own room which was super lovely.  The little personal touches made my stay amazing.  I went to bed really late (around 2:30am) though because I was trying to Skype with my fam but they didn’t end up going online  =(

In my hotel room

View from my room in the AM

Woke up really early to get ready, packed my stuff up again before going to Borough Market with my aunt before she left for the airport.
We had to take the tube to get there and it was swarming with people!!!  The smells of food were making my nostrils very happy and my stomach sooooooooooooooooo jealous!!!  It wanted to eat it ALL, but I had to keep telling it to hold it’s horses, I was waiting until I looked at every single thing before settling on a perfect meal.  I HAD to have some ‘drinking chocolate’ (hot chocolate) from this chocolate store that we stumbled upon first.  It was chili chocolate...spicy and good!!!   Next, I bought a small bag of cherry tomatoes that were sooo red and perfect to eat.  I was desperately in search of the perfect sandwich vendor.  I wanted nothing more than a really crusty baguette with prosciutto and whatever other good things were included.  Then I found it....hidden amongst the crown of ravenous people.  Served by people called ‘Cheese Therapists’ could I resist??  To my mouths delight, it was amazing.  I was happy, I got some more cheese from another vendor...a perfect day.  It really could have ended right there and I would have been fine with it!!!

Chocolate shop

Poor turkeys  =(

Melting cheese....mmmm

There was a big drawback to the market though.  There were many vendors under a covered space a bit away from the main area that were situated on the location of what must have been a homeless gathering spot.  I cannot, in any sort of way, describe how utterly horrid it smelled in there.  Not of feces as you might expect, but of human dirtiness like I have never even come close to smelling before.  It was soo overwhelming that even using my sleeve to cover my nose wasn’t blocking all of the was bad.  Needless to say, we didn’t stay in that section very long!  Can you image what it must smell like in the summer when the warmth exacerbates any smell that exists. (Holding back barf as I write this....blahhhh)
Before leaving the market, I grabbed an amazing freshly made organic drink which had apple, ginger, a shot of wheatgrass with lime - what a ZING!!!!!!!!

We took the tube back to the hotel where I then saw my aunt off.  Over the past week I was able to reconnect with her, experience great food, great hotels, longer sleep periods, and just the pleasure of her company, it was sooo nice!!!  
I went back up to the room (my aunt left at noon and I had until 2pm before I had to leave).  I was able to take about an hour long nap that was sooo nice!!!  I was feeling soo tired from the packed day on Friday and the early morning and fun festivities at the market!!!
I traveled back to Twyford where I had a really great dinner with the family - spinach and orange soup, bacon - utter yumminess!!!  I was able to Skype with my family, friends and boyfriend which made it the perfect Saturday night!!!
Woke up after a much needed long sleep session.  Got ready and traveled into London - Chelsea specifically - to meet some friends for a bite to eat at a place called The Trafalgar.  I was soooooooooo late because the tube lines were severely delayed, and some out of service for maintenance so it took me about 2 1/2 hours to get there, just brutal.  It was bad since there were what felt like a zillion people crammed into the tube which became really hot and gross.  
We didn’t end up eating since they were waiting for me to eat and the wait for food was around 1 hour.  I was starved!!  It was after 3pm and I hardly ate all day.  It was super fun though.  Both girls that I met had each brought a friend so there were 5 of us and we had a great time!!  We all exchanged numbers by the end of our time together and all said we had to meet up again.  I walked back to the tube station with one of the girls and was noticing how cute it was there!!!  I loved it!!  The road we walked along was called King’s street, and it totally reminded me of Queen’s street in Toronto.  And you’ll never guess what 2 stores they had that I was DYING when I walked by - Anthropology (my favourite store) and Paul’s (a patisserie that my family and I frequented when we were in Paris)!!!!!!!!!!  I loved it there...I would really love to live in this area...super cute!!!!  
I was sooo faint by the time I got home I nearly cried tears of joy when I saw some food was out on the counter that were leftovers.  It was 8:30pm and I had some bangers and mash...yum!!!!!!!!!  
Now I’m sooooo tired from what has turned out to be a 7 page blog post.  I write my posts in a Word document first before putting them it into my blog.  
K going to bed now.  Tomorrow will be crazy because the transit commissions will be going on strike on the tube lines - union cutbacks or something - so my commute for the next 2 days will be brutal.  I will take the overground train line to Paddington station, then will have to take a bus to Green Park station.  People will be going crazy...blahhhhhhhh...not looking forward to that....ESPECIALLY on a Monday.
Well have a lovely evening my dears, I’m happy I finally got that all off my chest!!!!!!!
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Ciao for now  =)