Sunday, 28 February 2010


exciting news for yesterday....
I got new rain boots (aka wellies).
I also went to borough market earlier in the day and ate the best food ever...a little fish and chips, a little curry, and some carrot cake. I bought some yummy fruit there also.
Most of the tube station hasn't been running this weekend, so I had to conquer the bus last night. I was by myself, so it was quite an adventure. After walking around in the rain and taking multiple buses, I finally made it home!

Today just consisted of church, kitchen crew, ysa fireside, and yummy cheescake.
The end.

Here are a few more random shots

Saturday, 27 February 2010

welcome to wales

It only took a few moments for me to fall in love with Wales. I loved the green hills and the cute village lifestyle. I loved the unique language and the friendly people. I love that the early church members from Wales greatly strengthened the newly formed church. I love the people from Wales. I love Wales!

Wales has never been a place that I was dying to see, but I am so happy that I was able to visit. What if I had never discovered that wonderful place?! That would have been a terrible lose because wales contains much to love.
It was also neat to visit where some of my ancestors are from.

First, we visited Tinturn Abbey. Wordsworth wrote famous poetry there, and Susan had us "become one with nature" at the abbey for an assignment.

Next stop....

Coal mine and Wales Life Museum. The coal mine was sweet because we got to wear the hard hats and head lights. Our welsh tour guide was very lively, and he even made fun of my cool boots! He called them "passion killers". Who knows what that's supposed to mean??? How can these boots possibly be passion killers? He also made fun of me because I was wearing a rose headband. Here's a fun fact...apparently the Welsh don't like roses because it's the english sign- the Welsh sign is a dragon or a leek. He wanted me to put one of those on a headband instead.

At the museum, there were a bunch of cute old houses and stores that we walked through. We had yummy fudge and then we found the beautiful gardens and a little pond. Those have been some of my favorite places here in England. Just the simple gardens, ponds, and beautifully green scenery.

That night was amazing because of two reasons
1) we ate yummy spanish food called tapas.
and even better...
2) we got our own beds at the hotel, and there was even a tv! It has been months since I have flipped through the channels.
It didn't last for long though- I stayed up chatting with my lovely roommate, Karalyn. She is so sweet, and we both share a love for gilmore girls and grey's anatomy.

The next day was completely wonderful. It couldn't have been any better.
I was in a fairy tale at this amazing castle and then I saw great church history sites.
We went to Caerphilly Castle, and it has been probably my favorite site so far. It was this amazing medieval-like castle with a moat surrounding it. (don't mind my greasy hair and thrown together look- mine and karalyn's wake up call forgot to wake us up!)

I never wanted to leave because I loved it so much! I even sat on top of one of the towers overlooking the village and wrote in my journal.

After saying goodbye to the beautiful castle, we jumped back on the bus and an LDS tour guide jumped on too. He took us to Benbow Farm, Herefordshire Beacon, Gadfield Elm Chapel, and a few other church history sites.
Benbow Farm-Wilfred Woodruff baptized lots of people in a small lake
Herefordshire Beacon- Willard Richards, Wilfred Woodruff, Brigham Young all prayed on the hill together and received revelation. Wilfred would ponder and meditate there
Gadfield Elm Chapel- first LDS meeting house.

windiest hill ever

We ended at Gadfield Elm Chapel where the tour guide finished up his tour. We then sang "The Spirit of God" and Prof Macfarlane gave an awesome prayer, followed by me crying my eyes out. I love my church, and I know it's true. My ancestors sacrificed so much, and they were very courageous, loyal, and true.

Then we drove home while I listened to coldplay and talked to Karalyn.
What a wonderful little trip-all in two days also! whew. It was crazy. talk about a crazy two days!

Now I'm home in the wonderful london town, and I'm so happy to be back. Nothing says home quite like palace court 27 just off nottinghill gate.
I will blog about today's adventures tomorrow because I have stayed up too late (as usual). This time it was for a good reason though... I had a wonderful heart to heart with laura, and we enjoyed chocolate while talking about enjoying life. love you laura!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

London is the best city

Today I went to the Tate Modern and saw some cool Picasso and Andy Warhol art. I appreciate modern art, but I still can't get on the same page that it's on. I liked it more than I thought I would though!

We also saw 12th Night tonight with everyone. It was my first Shakespeare play that I can remember seeing, and it was a fun night. Except for the part when half of my drink leaked out into my purse!

Today I also realized that I love living in a big city. Being a Utah native, I never thought I would truly fall in love with big cities. They have always seemed thrilling yet terrifying, but not anymore (well, at least to the terrifying part). There is ALWAYS stuff to do in this sweet city! This city would be the best place to be an avid dater. There are so many free museums that you would never run out of fun things to do. Provo may have some great food, but it has nothing on London (shocking, I know) I would love to have a job where I would work in the city. Anybody have any suggestions??? I guess it's good that I'm back to an open major!

London is the best city.
Would you like to know why??
I will tell you!
There is such a rich history and heritage, yet fun modern additions and activities. Their history gives people so much to learn from, and the entertainment and museums are amazing! The tube is also a wonderful addition.

It would be even better if my family and some friends could experience all of it with me. My friend who studied abroad last semester told me that I wouldn't get homesick but that I would simply wish my family could tag along.

Anyways, tomorrow morning we're leaving for Wales at 6. I have to be up in 4 hours....

so that is all for tonight!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

part 2

In honor of aunt tina, I went to V V Rouleaux this afternoon.

It's this beautiful ribbon store with rows and rows of unique, fancy ribbon. I bought some different ribbon to put in my London scrapbook (I am determined to make one even if I don't like scrapbooking!) and to make headbands with. My friends were very happy that they came along, and we unanimously decided that we will return there soon!

Macy, me, Britain and Katy in front of store with our ribbon.
We were very happy girls.
I just wish I had the tools here to make my headbands!

a few more things from the day....
today I also went to the V&A with my civ class and Professor Macfarlane. I don't think I like museums as much as art galleries!
I tried a cookie monster from ben's cookies (double chocolate cookie with vanilla ice cream) for the first time.
everyone got an email from our professor tonight addressing a current problem in the centre...the boys are upset about how much the girls complain about "food babies" and "love handles". I guess that's what happens when 35 girls live under one roof!


thanks tina for the recommendation!

I know, I just blogged twice in one day. don't judge! haha

I hope whoever reads this enjoyed:)

part 1 for the day

last night I fell asleep on accident at 10 pm. I should have known it would happen because I couldn't fall asleep until late the night before.
so here I am blogging during my religion class. Don't worry, we just took our first test so we aren't doing anything too productive in class today. we just started talking about the church history in Wales, because we are going there....
in TWO days!

yesterday I went to the Imperial War Museum. I went to the Holocaust section and stayed there for almost two hours with christina. It was very sobering.
I'm very happy to live during this time with democracy, my religion, and freedom. I take it for granted too often, but I am so grateful for everything I am allowed to do.

That night, I decided to skip out on half price movie night in hope of making a dent in my homework.

Somehow I ended up paining nails and dancing in undies with laura, britain, and laura.
yes, I know. we are a little crazy. but we had fun!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

gnothi seauton

this means "know thyself" in greek.

1) do you know God?
2) do you know Christ?
3) do you know yourself?

President Phillips from the Hyde Park stake presidency gave a fireside here this evening. He is this young british guy who married an american woman, and they now live in London where he works. He made everyone feel like his friend tonight during the fireside, and it made everything feel very personal. He talked about the three previous questions and how Christ came to know who He was. President Phillips was so sweet and in tune with the spirit, and everyone here just loved it. It was really meaningful to me because I'm learning more so every day who I am! It's a lifelong process, and I'm so glad to be me. He said that we will come to know ourselves more as we become closer to our Savior. I loved the fireside. I love my Savior.

Church today was great as always. It was definitely another Sunday that I won't forget.
It started off kind of like this...

It was raining on our way to church, so sarah and I put these extra plastic bags on our heads (sarah forgot her umbrella and mine is still broken). Kellen made us run to the train station from the bus stop because he had no umbrella or bag. Just imagine this while you read, and you will laugh. It must have been quite a sight!

Today I sang "be still my soul" in church and then taught primary. I'm not sure how I made it through both of those because I sounded like a frog when I woke up this morning. The primary kids did a good job at making my voice almost leave completely! They were all combined today, and someone must have fed them all 10 lbs of sugar before they came to class. I had to end my lesson super early because they wouldn't be quiet and my voice wouldn't work! I was grateful when Sarah took over and saved the day with "follow the prophet". After church, we interviewed the missionaries in our ward for religion class. Why are all missionaries so dang cute? I don't get it. they can be any average joe but then become a missionary and every girl wants them. It is a mystery that I am determined to find an answer to.

We left church more like this...

As we put these on our head to leave the building, most of the ward saw and laughed, including the missionaries and bishop. It was awesome.

Tonight I feel very optimistic about my future. I have no major, no set plan (anymore), no commitments. Why should i feel so great about having so many decisions to make?! I'm not sure why, but I'm really happy and excited about all of it. I have so many options....
nursing, family life, journalism, culinary school, art history/art, mission, nannying, others summer jobs, being a professional craft woman/blogger/traveler
who knows?!
NOT me!
I love it.
I normally love having my whole life planned out, but I'm realizing no one can do that. It always turns out different than expected without fail. Being here has already opened my eyes to things I've never considered before.

I seriously need to stop this. I always take a nap right after church, so I don't get tired in the evening. Then somehow it's 2 am and I'm still awake, blogging about nonsense. This nonsense is almost done for the day, don't worry. just a few more of my silly little thoughts...

I like to blog, skype, and do homework in this little closet at the bottom of the stairs. I promise I'm not some hermit weirdo.
There are normally people everywhere around the centre, so I like to come here where it's nice and quiet. I don't like to bother people when I skype either. I feel kind of like I'm in Harry Potter, so it's actually kind of fun. I'm sure people think I'm crazy when I enter the closet and stay for 2+ hours. haha I love it.

My parents are so amazing for supporting me in all of my dreams. They are my best friends and my biggest support. They are always so understanding and loving. I want to be like them.

thanks parents, laura, raquel, and lauren for the skype dates tonight! i love love love you guys.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

cupcakes and antiques

highlights of the day

1. ate breakfast at the Wallace Gallery

2. learned a Jane Austen style dance (check off bucket list) at the Wallace Gallery-they were celebrating King Louis' birthday so they had interactive activities!

3. danced the dance with emma, audrey, and people in 18th century costumes

4. saw beautiful artwork

5. went to portobello road for the first time

6. saw lots of antiques that I want for my future home!

7. ate famous hummingbird cupcake for the first time. wanted to eat five more but restrained

8. learned that red velvet is a type of chocolate with vinegar

9. bought a mini cath kidston wallet/card holder for my tube pass that I always lose

10. went to zizzi's for sarah's birthday dinner-happy birthday dear friend!! thanks for going to church with me and being patient when I lose my tube pass multiple times. I love teaching primary with you and talking about the cute missionaries in our ward.

11. got dark chocolate digestives that will probably be gone by tomorrow night

12. went to bed early to ward off this sickness!

Friday, 19 February 2010

dicken's house, middle temple, mosque

first off, I am sorry for not blogging yesterday.
I don't like it when I miss a day of blogging because now I can't remember many details from yesterday.

This is basically what happened (well at least what I can remember)...

We went to Middle Temple and then Charles Dickens house.

The Middle Temple was built by the Knights Templar about 500 years ago. We were given a tour of the great hall, and we learned about the Inns of Court, members of the bench, the Master Treasurer, and Honorary Masters of the Inn. Prince William of Wales is the current Honorary Royal Member of the Inn (if this sounds familiar to any of you, it's probably because I copy and pasted from other blogs. My tour guide also talked really quietly, so it was hard to hear everything!) It was really cool to be there, but I didn't retain much information from the excursion if you couldn't tell. I'm just going to blame my lack of attention on being sick!

I do remember the part where we ate though...of course! We had this fancy luncheon in the huge hall there. It was included in the program fees, but I do know it was worth a pretty penny. They even put our napkins on our lap for us! The meal consisted of tomato and mushroom tarts with holladay sauce, pork medallions with mashed potatoes, and apple cinnamon crumble. The meal also ended with coffee, but they brought us some lovely herbal tea instead. I'm feeling very spoiled because I got to eat two wonderful meals in two beautiful places within 24 hours.

first off, I am sorry for not blogging yesterday.

the best part of middle temple were these flowers. b-e-a-utiful!

Then we made our way to Dickens' home. We got a little lost and we were about to be late, so we decided to take a taxi. It was my first time in a taxi since being here, and we definitely arrived in style. I can't believe it has taken me so long to get in one of those classic taxis. But honestly, who needs taxis when the tube is just so great? Utah needs something like the tube. I can only dream! Anyways, we watched this movie once we got to the house. It was fun to see where Dickens wrote famous novels, such as Oliver Twist. They had these old books at the gift shop there, so I bought a book to add to my little (very little) collection. When I get home this summer, I want to read a ton of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen books after learning so much about them.

I came home and wrote my Shakespeare paper in the evening (hence the no blogging last night). I wrote my paper in my favorite little closet at the bottom of the stairs. My family teased me when I skyped them from there. They said I was turning into Harry Potter. Merry Wives of Windsor took over my life last night, but I am happy to say now that my paper is finally finished! hooray.

and that leads us to today!

This morning I was feeling sick still so I didn't go to class. I finally emerged from my bed to go on a field trip for my religion class. We went to the Mosque, and we had another guided tour through the building. We didn't get the memo to bring scarves, so this Islam guy came running towards us to direct us back outside until we found more scarves. I only was wearing a hat and no scarf, so I got to wear an authentic black head scarf. I was also wearing no socks with my shoes (don't judge, I was wearing snuggly boots that don't need them), so I was hoping we wouldn't have to take our shoes off! But of course, we did. It was interesting to see the differences between the Hindu temples we saw a few weeks back and the Mosque. This Islamic guy did a q&a session with us, but sadly I fell asleep on Rachel's shoulder and once again did not retain much information. I did learn a few cool facts though. They believe that if an act is done with sincerity, it is a form of worship. They also believe that Mosques should not be quiet, but rather they should encompass every aspect of life, including the social aspect. I thought that was pretty neat. They also take off their shoes to emulate Moses!

Then we hit up this cool restaurant called Giraffe. yum

And then Macy and I stalked up at Boots on cough medicine. I tried watching King Leare with everyone in the classroom for my shakespeare class, but I got distracted by blog stalking. I have found this new love for cooking blogs and wedding blogs. I secretly just want to make crafts, cook, bake, take pictures of it all, and about it! (I guess it's not so much of a secret anymore since I just blogged about it) I can't wait to have a normal kitchen again so I can pretend like I know what I'm doing while I cook.

For now I'm enjoying eating anything and everything and not having to cook any of it!
I love London.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hello Harry Potter

Today I experienced something that any Harry Potter fan would die to do.
(you will have to keep reading to find out what! how's that for an intro?)

Our day started off with Blenheim Palace. It's this huge palace in Oxfordshire, and Winston Churchill was born there. Many famous Dukes have also lived there. Just outside of the palace, there were beautiful fountains and extended grounds with a river. We took a nice little stroll around the grounds after our tour of the palace.

they made us wear our backpacks like this so we wouldn't turn and knock things over. We were very good mamas for a few short hours. I also learned how to "skinny" pose today, but I will spare you the pictures.

I forget how amazing these sights truly are because I see fabulous things every day! It was a gorgeous palace though.

Then we headed off to Oxford! Oxford is actually a small town, and the University of Oxford is within it. It was really different than I imagined it. Oxford is broken up into dozens of little colleges scattered along the town. Oxford has been in use by scholars since the 11th century, so many of the colleges are really old. It is an exciting town though, and I've never been anywhere like it before. It was cool to see college students there and to realize the similarities and differences between us and them.
Right when we got there, we walked around until we found an Oxford store. I bought an authentic Oxford crew neck sweater, and I feel very smart in it. We walked around some more, and we found this little college where some of Harry Potter was filmed (that's not the exciting part, just wait). We saw the hall where Gringotts was filmed.

my intelligent sweater

Then we went to the Covered Gardens, and we got milkshakes from Moo Moo's, the best milkshake place in England. They had every imaginable kind of milkshake, including all types of British chocolate. I got a kinder Bueno milkshake. Best milkshake ever! We also found where love began...the original Ben's cookies.

After a few hours, we met up with the whole group at Christ's Church College of Oxford. The manager of the place was this really nice mormon guy, and he gave us a tour of the whole place. He informed us there was much to learn about the college besides Harry Potter facts.

But lets get real, what's cooler than Harry Potter facts?! Does anybody recognize this place from the Harry Potter films? Various scenes from Harry Potter were filmed at this college in Oxford.

But do you want to know what's even cooler than Harry Potter facts?

Having high tea in the Great Hall! Yes, the Great Hall from the movie. I drank hot chocolate and ate little sandwiches where Harry Potter drank and ate. And Ron and Ginny. I saw the Professor's table where Dumbledore, Hagrid, and McGonagall sat. It was life-changing. We felt like VIPS because we were the only ones there! Some other tourists came in and took some pictures, but they weren't allowed to have tea. I think my professor just had a sweet connection with our tour guide and was able to arrange that for us. I have never heard of ANYONE ever getting to do that. Other study abroads have gone to that same spot, but I don't think we were allowed to drink high tea there. All was missing was the pumpkin juice and treacle tarts. It was a memory that I will never forget!

We had lots of fun pretending like we were students who went to Hogwarts, especially with Anna's stick wand.

Then a master's student from Oxford came and answered questions for us. She graduated from BYU, and she told us about her experiences. Then we got on the bus and came home! What a wonderful day.

Now we're sitting in the classroom watching Harry Potter 1! I just saw this same staircase today that's on the movie (it's at the beginning right before the sorting hat gives them a house). The movie is also the legit version of Harry Potter. It's called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone instead of the Sorcerer's Stone (the name was changed later on).

I'm so happy to be living my dreams!! Life is so great. Thanks to everyone who makes my life feel like a dream.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live"
-Albus Dumbledore

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

rain rain go away

today was a very rainy day

every tourist is at the National Gallery when it rains

my rain boots have a hole in them!

new rain boots by Cath Kidston would be wonderful

my zebra umbrella is broken:(

everyone in my dorm is getting sick, including me

I just want to be at home when I'm sick

on a more positive note...

hot chocolate makes everything better...especially the kind from Pret A Manger

Monet has become my new favorite artist!

I bought this awesome art book about the top 50 artists

I'm enjoying reading the Aeneid for class

and I love missionaries!

Monday, 15 February 2010

what the world needs now

is love, sweet love.


ok fine, so I'm a day late...
but I hope everyone had a fabulous day of love!!

I love Valentine's day because it's all about love and happiness. It is not single's awareness day, no matter how much people say that. It is a wonderful day to be festive and express love for everyone.
Tonight we had a fun little v-day party here at the centre. It was not just any normal party, it was a mandatory v-day party. We dressed up in pink, red, and purple and had a lovely night of games and cookie decorating. They were gourmet, homemade sugar cookies with fancy sprinkles and yummy frosting.

Oh and we also had our cute valentine exchange! When I got back from church yesterday, my valentine surprise was waiting for me on my bunk. Emma had my name, and she got pretty tulips and ben's cookies. She is a sweetie, and she has found the way to my heart. I had Katie, and I got her yellow daisies and chocolates.

Yesterday/today has been the best valentine's. I have some funny stories from yesterday, just wait.
So, Sarah came into my room early yesterday morning to inform me that Kellen's flight had been cancelled (Kellen goes to my ward and teaches gospel doctrine). Since he wasn't going to be there for church, they needed someone to teach his class at the last minute. Guess who was next in line?
I agreed to do it, and I started getting ready. Once I was almost ready, I realized that I could not find my oyster card (tube pass)! Sarah came up to my room, and we looked for it for twenty minutes. Sarah finally found it, and we hurried to the bus. When we got to the bus, I realized that I had not bought my month's pass. We had to get off the bus and buy my stupid pass. We ran back to the bus stop, and I realized that I had lost my pass. again. again?! who does that kind of thing?? I couldn't believe it, and I felt bad that Sarah was stuck with me. I went looking for it and found it on the sidewalk. relief! By this time, we were running about forty minutes late. We rushed to the bus and then the train, and we somehow made it to church right on time. I prepared my lesson during sacrament meeting and then went off to teach my lesson.
After my lesson, the missionaries gave me a really nice note telling me thanks for teaching at the last minute. It gets even better because it was on a pass along card. They were so nice to me, and it made my day! Then we made valentine's in primary for the bishoprick and the missionaries.

We had a wonderful valentine's dinner with chocolates and cards from the Schulers (Brother Schuler is the resident director and Sister Schuler cooks for us every night). I also skyped my family, and they were having a huge vday party/birthday party for Brandon.

Happy Birthday Brandon! I miss you and love you.
I hope everyone shared lots of love on this wonderful day!