29 March 2010

Updates from a Bad Ass

* Today I finished Week 5 of Couch to 5k (I'm starting my weeks on Wednesdays). The workout today was to run 20 minutes straight, which I thought would be really tough for me. But I MADE IT! And I wasn't dying at the end! That's right - I'm a bad ass.
* I haven't been getting much done in the way of schoolwork lately. I freaked out a bit this morning, but I got it together. I feel like tomorrow will be a very productive day!
* I haven't heard from my Sissa much recently... I'm sure she's busy, but I miss her.
* I spoke to my grandma today and felt a bit bad for not calling her more often. But it's nice to talk to her. She got the Internet recently, which is bizarre in my mind (considering I just gave her her first computer - my old one - when I was there for Christmas) but very cool.
* I'm excited to see how Jonty's family celebrates Easter. I'll miss my family a lot though. Yet again, I may say thank goodness for Skype.
* I leave for Kenya in just over a week!!! We'll be staying with the family of a friend of mine in Nairobi (the capital city). His dad is an MP, & I'm excited about chatting with him about politics in Kenya. I'm also just excited to see how their household is run & how the neighborhood & city are set up. Jonty & I were looking some things up today, & we're possibly planning a weekend trip over to Mombasa (the beach)! We're going to play it by ear & be last minute little travelers, which hopefully will turn out amazing rather than stressful, haha.
* At the moment, Jonty & I are about to watch some Firefly & maybe a bit of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I hope you all have a nice evening too!


27 March 2010

Music of the Day: Sara Bareilles

I've been obsessing over Sara Bareilles' music for the past day or so. These two songs ("Undertow" & "Bottle It Up") especially have been on repeat.

Sara Bareilles - Bottle It Up (Official Music Video)

Today I cleaned out a junk drawer & it felt really good! But it also helped me procrastinate a bit. So I am now (as you can see...) trying to make up for it in the next couple of hours before I head to my friend Katie's house for dinner and then to a party made up of all the best philosophy postgrads. I hope you all have a great Saturday night!


25 March 2010

Quite a Quote: Look on the Bright Side

This evening I made Cauliflower & Cabbage Soup for my friends Syano & Daniel. It was so delicious!!! Then, Syano & I headed down to the city centre to meet Katie for Alice in Wonderland in 3-D. Despite hearing so many criticisms of the film, I actually quite enjoyed it. While I wasn't too impressed with the story, the characters (especially the Red Queen) were fabulous, & the design & ideas that went into it were very interesting. Now, I'm going to hunker down and watch last night's episode of LOST, which I heard was a great one. Then: sleep, that thing which I am so unaccustomed to lately.

Here's a good quote for you before I go:

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."
-Abraham Lincoln

I hope everyone has a positive outlook this week/weekend. Try to find the beauty, or at least the humor, in all you see.


24 March 2010


I'm happy because of:
* drinks at a [secret] classy bar with two of my housemates. (You have to ring the doorbell to get in, and they have to approve. The inside is super classy, and the drinks are delicious and strong.)
* my new job. (Yes, I have a job!!! As an intern with the University of Bristol! I'll be helping to set up the Blackboard online teaching site for next year's units. It's temporary and part-time and should be cool. And it would be sweet if it gave me an in for a permanent job in the future...)
* KENYA in less than two weeks!
* Rogue Wave's new CD (especially the song "I'll Never Leave You")
* planning a european adventure for this summer. (I'll be going with Jonty, and some or all of my housemates, and possibly a friend or two roaming in Europe. We'll definitely be going to Berlin, maybe staying with one housemate's parents in the south of France, possibly popping over to Prague, and who knows what else!)
* seeing Alice in Wonderland in 3-D tomorrow with some friends.
* yummy made-up stir-fry for dinner. (Stir fry is my new favorite food to make. More versatile than pasta.)
* being in love.


23 March 2010

Pondering the Night's Sky

After Barry over at Life in Quotations posted a poem he had written some years ago, I got to thinking about some of the poetry I wrote for a Creative Writing class I took in high school. I've been looking over the poems and thought I'd share one.

Pondering the Night's Sky
I lie back-down in itchy emerald green
And look up into a sky I've never seen.
For each night’s sky’s distinct in its own way,
Having lots to hear and much to say.
Tonight the sky is barren of all light
Full of clouds with no bright stars in sight.
I hope with all my might until I spy
A glowing piece of fire shining high.
I know it must have traveled very far
To get to me, the brave resplendent star.
I wonder if it still exists up there
Or if it’s turned into a void of air.
It’s quite amazing how just sparkles know
When we’re in need of hope that they do grow.


22 March 2010

Simple Happiness Tip #4

Add things to your to-do list just to cross them off. Doing the dishes may not have made it on your to-do list for today, but if you did the dishes, shouldn't you get the satisfaction of checking it off your list.

Thanks to Jonty for this idea. He knows me too well.


20 March 2010

Passing on the Happiness

Hello blog readers! Sorry for being MIA these past couple of stressful weeks. I'm now on Spring Break for a whole month, so in between my researching & essay preparing, I'll have more time to post (& hopefully to finally redecorate my Blogger space)!

Today I want to thank Barry from Life in Quotations for bestowing upon me the Happy 101 Award! Barry's posts are at times funny, deep, inspirational, or even a bit crude, but always worth a read!

Here are the rules for the award:
1. Copy & paste the award on your blog.
2. Name the person who gave the award to you and link to their blog (or hyperlink).
3. List 10 things that make you happy.
4. Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know.

Things that make me happy:
1. Copying quotes down onto Post-it notes and sticking them everywhere.
2. Polaroid pictures.
3. Preparing for an upcoming travel adventure (you know, like, for my trip to KENYA!).
4. Jasmine green tea. Seriously, it's happiness in a cup.
5. Talking to my family & friends across the world face-to-face thanks to Skype.
6. Getting a sweet little message from Jonty.
7. Inventing a new recipe - that turns out edible.
8. Moving the furniture in my bedroom.
9. Surprises in the mail.
10. Inside jokes.
[I'm adding a #11: Changing seasons!!! Happy first day of spring!]

I pass this on to:
Stephanie (aka Sissa) of Observations & Musings of a Bystander
Bored@Work of Cubicle Confusion

Blog on, friends!


11 March 2010


I finished reading

I am currently reading

I am going to read

I got this idea from DeeDee over at Whatever DeeDee wants... What are you reading?


10 March 2010

Quite a Quote

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got." -Dale Watson

This quote works on so many levels. I'll keep my commentary brief so you can apply it to your own life. I've already begun applying it to mine.


09 March 2010

Girls' Day Out in London

This past weekend, my friend Denise (who I know from home but lives in Oxford) & I took a day trip into London. After a ridiculous morning of forgotten wallets & jumping into taxis, I dropped off my visa app at the Kenyan Embassy just ten minutes before they closed their doors at noon. Then we started our day right with some pub grub & a pint.

We then wandered for a bit, through a park,

into Australia shop (which had lots of lovely foods from home that are hard, if not impossible, to find here),

around Covent Garden (below is a paella stand that smells sooo amazing),

& more Covent Garden (I loved this store's window displays).

Then we went for dinner at Wahaca, a Mexican restaurant near Covent Garden.

We ate tacos, quesadillas, rice, & salad, which was all delicious. A good Mexican restaurant is almost impossible to find in the UK, so we really appreciated the food! The most exciting part, though, was the margaritas!!! 

We thoroughly enjoyed them.

Once I got home, I realized something really cool about the matchbooks we were given at the restaurant. They're actually "Grow your own Serrano chillies" kits. (You prepare a pot of compost and then stick these little stakes in.) How awesome is that???

After dinner, we headed over to the Adelphi Theatre to see Love Never Dies.

We loved the show!

Overall, it was a really fun day out in the city with my good friend.


Simple Happiness Tips #2 & #3

I'm a bit late in posting my Monday Simple Happiness Tip, but Google Chrome has been acting up on my computer lately, & I had to get away from the browser for a while. Which leads to this tip:

Step away. Despite time constraints, stress, etc., stepping away from whatever you're doing will allow you to come back refreshed and (more) relaxed.

And another:

Don't deal with broken things. This might seem silly, but if it's broken, fix it. Or get a new one. Dealing with that cell phone that only charges when you jiggle the power connection just right or that lamp shade that keeps slipping off the lamp (both cases are from personal experience) will contribute just a little bit more tension to your life, and you don't need that! Fix it or trash it - don't deal with it.

I'll be back later with some London talk/photos.


07 March 2010

Isn't Life Ironic?

This evening I took the train back to Bristol from Oxford. Upon arriving in Bristol, I realized I had no change for bus fare. So I went to the W H Smiths in the station to buy a bottle of water and get change. The guy behind me was also buying a water, and the cashier recommended that we make our purchase together, since the water bottled were 2 for £2. I only had a £20 note and the man only had a £5 note, so the man said he would be happy to purchase my water for me. I was moved by the generosity of this stranger and thanked him. I then realized, however, that I needed to buy that water because I needed change. (So I went back and bought some nuts.) I found that situation incredibly ironic. The time that a stranger acts out of kindness is the one time that I actually need to be the one making the transaction. Funny, huh?

I hope everyone is enjoying the last of their weekend. I'm enjoying it by watching an episode of House, eating a delicious orzo salad from Marks & Spencer, and drinking a glass of red wine.


06 March 2010

Love Never Dies & A Google Surprise

This morning at 2am, I got home from a day out in London with my good friend Denise. I had to drop by the Kenyan Embassy to turn in a visa app, so we made a day of it. I'm at Jonty's house without a camera cord, but I'll tell you all about it when I go home tomorrow night. One thing I will say about our trip, though, is that we saw Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical (& sequel to The Phantom of the Opera), Love Never Dies. It's set ten years later on Coney Island, where the Phantom has lured Christine to come sing - he just wants to hear her one last time. The sets were absolutely amazing, the costumes were fantastic (1920s? Yes, please!), the lighting & effects were spectacular, the acting was impressive, & the singing was beautiful. I can't recommend this show enough. And now I have the craving to google Coney Island & freak shows.

On another note, thank you, Google, for adding a "Bookmark Manager" to Google Chrome. My bookmarks were getting crazy and there was nothing I could do about it. Now I can organize all of my favorite sites/sites-to-peruse. Phew!


02 March 2010

Day Trip to Bath

Since the weather is becoming increasingly more agreeable lately, my friend Katie & I went on a mini-adventure to the city of Bath, which is a short train ride from Bristol. It's a really lovely city - quite a lot bigger than a expected, &, I'd argue, a bit more upscale than Bristol. My camera battery died halfway through our trip, but here are a few of the shots I got before that happened.

I love a good door, & the color & design on these ones are incredible!

The view from near the bridge; we found better views later on, but of
course my camera was dead by then. It a really pretty area though,
& I plan to go back & read on the grass when it gets warmer!

Bristol Cathedral. We didn't go inside, but we admired the outside for quite a while.

The Roman Bath House.

The foyer of the Bath House. I love the columns & ceiling!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love ornate ceilings?

Or my adoration for chandeliers?

This is how some of the floor looks from the Roman times. It was
covered by other floors & then rediscovered last century or so.

We touched it, & it was nice & warm. I wanted to go swimming in it!

Overall, I really enjoyed Bath. It was a fun place to explore. We had a pub lunch (veggie burger & curly fries - mmm!), wandered the shops, got a bit lost (on purpose) around town, saw a really cool old cemetery & thought about breaking in to read the tombstones but didn't, went into a cool glass blowing shop, & looked out over the river. There are some really lovely grassy places near the river that I can't wait to go back to in warmer weather so I can lay around on it and read and "eat cheese," as Katie said.

Speaking of warmer weather, this week has been pretty nice: 45-50 degrees (F). The sun is out, & you can see spring coming. It's funny to see how eager we all are for spring; people were wearing shorts & sunglasses & sitting out on the grass. While I was one of these people, I do think it's funny. It's still sweater weather, but we're all so ready for summer that we push the limit a bit. Anyway, I'm appreciative of this lovely week, of the sun, & of my lovely friends.


01 March 2010

Simple Happiness Tip #1

Take a walk. Long days in the office, at school, etc can be strenuous. When you're feeling tired, stiff, or stressed, try taking a quick walk around the block. Your body will thank you for it, and the fresh air can free your mind and allow you to return to your work more refreshed.


Ted's Birthday & Color Me Katie

Oh. My. Goodness. The freshly posted Improv Everywhere mission is so amazing that I must share it!

And, speaking of Improv Everywhere, one of its active members, Katie Sokolor, has a blog that I absolutely adore. All of the images below are from her blog, Color Me Katie. Check her out!

I hope this inspired some creativity and spontaneity in you! Today was a gorgeous sunny (but still cold) day in Bristol. Maybe tomorrow I'll do something spontaneous around town.