Thursday, January 27, 2011

My way of saying Thank You

I wanted to create a Thank You card for the Esser Family. I hadn't had time to do any crafting over the break, which made me very sad. The semester is starting to pile on, but I really wanted to get it out before the next decade. So on a "me-feeling-depressed" kind of evening, I decided to create the card. I had already pre-written a little note to write in it. I received news today that they had received it, so now it will be safe to reveal on my blog.

White Blossom Glitter Sticker Letters
Sticko Turn Style Embellishment
Making Memories Mat Stack Pastels

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In A Year...

I never think of the future - it comes soon enough. ~Albert Einstein

I am starting my second semester of graduate school. Time flies so quickly; I wish I can ask it to slow down a bit. In a year, I hope that I have already found a job ready for me to start after I graduate in December. I cannot believe that this picture and layout was for two years ago. At that time in my life, all I knew was that I was going to graduate with a bachelors degree. I was already looking for a full time job and applying to Rutgers Newark vigorously. 

Ariel and Maria graduated in 2009, where as Karan, Sindhu and I graduated in 2010. I think I really needed the extra time in school to ride out the bad economy. A lot can happen in a year from now; hopefully more good than bad. I would like to save this post and come back a year from now to see what I was thinking: I am worried that I will not find a job and will be sitting at home an unlimited amount of time waiting for something to turn up. But that is all the worrying I will allow myself to go through. There is so much to enjoy about life right now, and I do not want to be constantly thinking about what will come. Like the quote above, I should 'never think of the future- it comes soon enough'.

I like this layout only for the tassel. I made it myself. The black lines are shaped to form a graduation cap. The Red and Black is to represent Rutgers of course! I journaled on the edges, but I think my hand writing is hideous. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Goodbye Europe, Until Next Time.

I wanted to start wrapping things up now that I am heading home. Except waiting patiently at the Heathrow Airport for my flight,  I have nothing better to do. I should have booked an earlier ticket. It did not occur to me that I would be wasting time sitting here just waiting. These last twelve days have been quite a journey. A journey I never intended to take on my own. But I have discovered and realized the most amazing things in this world and in my life.

I really want to mention the people that help make this lonely winter vacation of  mine into one of the best I have been on. First off, the Esser Family. They welcomed me into their home for the New Year and allowed me to spend it with them. They are truly a wonderful family. From the delicious meals made by Martin's Mom to the great laughs we had at the dinner table, hopefully we will meet again soon.

The Esser Family and Me
As for my stay in London, Wendy was such an amazing host. Even though she just got back from a Barcelona vacation, had to go to work and wasn't feeling good, she still spent time with me when she could and made me dinner. I appreciate her taking me in and dealing with all my indecisiveness on where to go in London.

Wendy and Me
Well, thats the end of my lovely Germany and United Kingdom trip. Until we meet again, Europe, I will see you at my next stop: Italy. (or maybe not, Tokyo, Japan is also calling me)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saying 'cheerio' to London

Today was another day by myself. Of all the days that have been in London, today was the best in terms of weather. So walking around today was not as bad as Friday. I made my way to Tower Hill Station even with all the crazy closing of tube lines. London is getting ready for the Olympics so they are starting the improvements now. 
Prior to looking it up, I did not know that London Tower Bridge is different from London Tower and London Bridge. Try that for confusing tourist; they surely got me. I was very proud of myself being brave to wander about by myself. Thank goodness I sort of speak the language. Though half the people I ask to help me take a picture did not speak English. 

The first thing I saw exiting the station: a sundial

Another Egg-shaped Building
London Tower
Kind of like Rockefeller Center minus the Tree
Me and London Tower Bridge
London Tower Bridge
Not so good fish and chips

Next stop was Notting Hill to go to the Portobello Road. They are known for the antique markets and posh boutiques. It took me a good hour or so to walk through most of it. Though when I first arrived at the Notting Hill Gate Station, they had a few signs signalling where the markets were. When I exited, I lost track. I did what any smart tourist would do: follow the crowd. The little houses were cute and the stores were so addicting that I was drawn to every single one. Luckily I had no GBP so I could not buy anything. But I did find myself a cute cupcake shop called 'the hummingbird bakery'. I got Wendy and I each a cupcake: cupcake of the day was a strawberry cheesecake cupcake; yummy!

My favorite; it is blue!
Cute shops
Busy Street
'the hummingbird bakery's display window

<3 cupcakes!

Throughout the day, I was listening to my ipod. There are so many songs that I missed listening to; so many songs that I almost ran myself out of battery before getting back to Wendy's apartment. Do you ever get that reminiscing feeling listening to a certain song? I was feeling that all day, sometimes I would forget that I am on the street with other people that can hear me sing along with my ipod.

So many things caught my eye during today's walk:
Oi! Sounds like something that I would say...
English's form of dollar store, but once converted it is really $1.50 store
Picture for Grams: see all the cameras? old school stuff
Picture for Grams no. 2
I like the store name
hadn't taken a picture of a station until now; Notting Hill Gate Station: prettiest one I have seen thus far
The pizza restaurant's display
Oh the women here in London are thick skinned in the legs. I hope that does not sound insulting. So many women just wear legging when it is windy and rainy outside. If it were me, I would be bundled up like an Eskimo. 

On the way home, I was so exhausted I fell asleep on the tube. Thank goodness I woke up before the train left my stop. Wendy was not home when I got back, which had me stuck sitting on the stairs. Good thing I was able to at least get into the building and not be outside freezing. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

London Simplified

Today was a very simply day; it was simple but interesting. I have covered most of the "must see" places here in London. When Wendy asked me where I wanted to go today, I did not have any idea. Good thing the day did not start until after 12 pm. We met up with Shaina for brunch at King's Cross. 
Pretty Ceiling at brunch
Camino's for brunch
My Churros
After lunch, we went to Wendy's office to print out our vouchers for our pedicure that I found on Groupon: London. For 8 GBP, we had a 15 minute session with little fishes that ate the dead skin off our feet. I am super ticklish; it was such an odd feeling having fishes eat at my feet. I had mentioned to Wendy I wanted to go to Laduree. All I knew was that it is by Harrods, so we went to Knightsbridge searching for Laduree. I went to the one in Paris. Love its yummy macarons; I had to buy some. Wendy bought some desserts for dinner. Then we went to Chinatown to buy groceries for dinner. According to Wendy it is cleaner than New York City's.
fishes eating my feet
Wendy and Me

pretty display
Yummy desserts
London's Chinatown
I love how on the street the English tells you which way to look for cars. Good thing they put the arrow too. because with my lack of ability to know directions I probably be hit by a car. Tomorrow, I am on my own in the morning to see the London Tower Bridge and anything else I can fit in. Then Wendy will take me to a street market, by Notting Hill. Last day tomorrow, hopefully it will be a good one.

No One Mentioned U.M.B.R.E.L.L.A.

January 6th
On the first full day of being in London, it poured. Of course, I also had a cold coming on. I really did not want to go out and view the city in the pouring rain. In the end, I only went out to go see "Love Never Dies" with Wendy at the Adelphi Theater. It is not well known in the States yet; it is the sequel to "Phantom of the Opera". The music and show was very nice, but it was another tragic story which made it sad. We grabbed McDonald's after the show. Crazy expensive of course.

January 7th
Wendy had to go to work on Friday , so I was to explore London by myself. My initial plan was to leave her flat at 10 am, but of course I woke up late and didn't leave half past. I took the tube to Green Park and walked to Buckingham Palace, took a few pictures and started my walk towards Westminster Abbey. It was POURING. Although it sounds like I am exaggerating and complaining, I thought I handled it quite well. I sucked it up and trudged on through the rain without an umbrella. I saw Westminster Abbey, Big Ben ( Exactly at 12pm) and the London Eye. I also walked over the Westminster Bridge. As lonely as I was, I enjoyed the time to myself. While walking I listened to my ipod and just appreciated being in London.

I was delighted to find out that Wendy's friend, Shaina, was in town and she wanted to know if I needed a sight-seeing buddy. I gladly accepted the company because walking all day by myself was a bit too lonely. I met up was with her for lunch around Oxford Circus. We went to a British Pub and had Fish and Chips. After lunch, we decided to go to Covent Garden and do some shopping. At this point, I started purchasing quite a bit of random stuff. I will not show any pictures to prevent anyone knowing how much crap I acquired.

We were to meet up with Wendy at 5:45 pm for drinks and dinner at Liverpool Street. Shaina and I decided to head there a bit early and just walk around that area. Of course I made some more purchases. Then Wendy showed up and we headed to a bar for drinks. We were there for sometime, because we did not go to Nando's for dinner until almost 9 pm. The company was great that evening; one could tell by our faces when we realized it was almost 11pm.
"Love Never Dies"
Buckingham Palace
Westminster Abbey
My Guide
Big Ben
London Eye

OMG how old school
For grams
Lunch pub
Must do tourist thing- said Shaina
Covent Garden
My sight seeing buddy
January 8th
Shaina is heading to Cambridge this afternoon; she asked if we want to grab some lunch with her before she left. We are going to meet up with her at Kings Cross at 12 pm. I am so glad that Wendy knew her. She is such a sweet person and such wonderful company yesterday. Honestly, I do not think I would have had such a great time without her.

New adventure today to where... I do not know. But Wendy said we are going to take the bus since I haven't taken it yet.