Of Packages and Paper Straws (Oh there’s an alpaca and some chicks too!)

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I got my paper straws in the mail today! I love packages, but I think I love paper straws more!! I really didn’t have anything to shoot with them, but I knew I had to try. I’m so excited to use my paper straws. I have to fight the urge to use an exclamation point after every sentence.

I got them over at Small, Absolute Things (Which I can’t seem to link here, but here: https://www.facebook.com/smallabsolutethings ) and it was very affordable for a pack of 25. So exciiited to buy more colors!

Greek Salad! (What a creative title!!!)

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It’s funny what you could learn from a person you had just met. One of my newest friends was awesome enough to teach me about landrovers, minis and other cars. He also taught us how to make an excellent Greek Salad! Quite authentic too considering he learned it from his Greek roommate. I eat this with everything now, but I cheat a little and add a little more feta cheese than needed. hihi.

Sunny Day, Sweeping the Clouds Away

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It’s almost like I’m on summer vacation, with the heat, the swimming, and late breakfasts, and though I miss London everyday, I can’t help but be happy that I’m home. The heat can be sometimes unbearable, but the way the sunlight just pours itself in my bedroom makes it worth it. I have always loved the sun,  the way it passes through my white curtains and rests on my bed, and I love it more now that I take photos from my own room.

Of course, trying to chase after England, I still drink tea often. Sometimes with milk, sometimes with lemon, but as I said the sun can be cruel, and hot tea wasn’t built for the humid weather here, so I make a tasty compromise.

Making the iced Apple Cinnamon Lemon tea makes working easier (sometimes I put the glass to my forehead when it gets too hot, weird but it feels cool haha), but it also reminds me of cold mornings in the tiny kitchen of our flat in London, and I feel great being in the middle, loving home and the home away from home.

 
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In which I Get Knocked Down (But Get Up Again)

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Now, two weeks into my supposed last semester of college, I am internship-less, and still waiting around the phone for an interview. It’s weird to have so much free time, so unnatural that at some point it feels depressing, so I fill my days with baking, jogging and mundane housework. Things to keep my mind off my deflated ego, and to make most of the free time I rarely get.

I have this horrible habit of giving up on things, when I’ve failed once. I know how the sayings go about getting up back on that horse, trying til your guts give out, and blah blah don’t stop believing (just kidding), but I hate the awful feeling of defeat, especially at baking. Despite my aversion to failure, and short attention span, I really decided to work on something until I’ve gotten it right, and my lucky victim was choux pastry. I embarrassingly failed to make proper cream puffs in the past, which is apparently really easy for new bakers, and I never attempted again. After a brief conversation about cream puffs with a friend, I went to the grocery and shopped for what I needed.

I would visit the grocery at least twice more, because I failed at least two more times, before I could finally fill the puffs with pastry cream. When I failed, I dissected my puffs, and when I failed again, I did more research. I apparently have around five recipes of choux pastry in our library alone. All the cooking, VIGOROUS whisking, and washing finally amounted to something. As cliche as it sounds, sometimes we really do need to get past the failures, to get things right. So much effort over something some people get right on the first try, but there’s no shame in that. I was pretty proud of myself actually.

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Of course then there was the tasting part. Ugh, if only I could vividly explain the agony of watching someone eat something you made and uncertain of; it’s worse than having a pit in your stomach, but probably not as bad (but close) as to getting your arm chopped off–regardless, it’s torture in slow motion. Safe to say, I did it, at least someone found it tasty (I think me eating two in the past two days is also a good sign, since I rarely eat what I bake) so that makes me happy. WE DID IT LOS HICIMOS WE DID IT HOORAY.

I finally felt for a moment, out of my rut. Especially since I finally got to work on a photography set in my bedroom with these golden brown babies, which I sorely missed doing. I also finally got out of my sleeping funk, and wake up early again, and I’m also getting better at not dying as much when running around school.

Things aren’t perfect, but I’m having fun, and accomplishing something, anything. I won’t be in any pastry kitchen of some swanky hotel in the near future, but at least I have my kitchen (and its a nice kitchen thank you), and my pastries, and that’s good enough for me.

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I Love You Most Ardently

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I guess when I found out that I was going to London, I hadn’t expected that much. I was more excited by the thought of visiting my two sisters than the actual idea of being in London. It’s not that I didn’t love the idea of going to London, I did, but I guess I never really dreamt about going to there. It was always France, Italy, Greece or Spain, but never London. I guess I never found it as exotic.

I wish I could give past Lisane a punch in the face, because I was such a fool to have underestimated Great Britain.

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London, is beautiful. The kind of beautiful that just leaves you with no words actually.After four weeks in London, I was still amazed by the sight of the clock of Big Ben. Especially at night when the face of the clock glows, and it always feels like peter pan’s going to fly by at any moment. I always find myself following the clock tower’s face as our bus home passed by it. The parks are breath taking, and they make pine over the lifestyle of walking dogs at the park and lying down on the grass with a book in my hands. Amusingly enough, they like to have picnics in London, where they have the basket, blanket and everything!

I felt especially jealous, on the day we walked around Regent’s park, and it was the sunniest day of trip there, and the park was vast and beautiful. I sat and watched people for a little while,  and I saw kids playing along  the rows and rows of bushes what will be roses ( different kinds too, with silly names like “Razzle Dazzle” and “Valentine Heart”), and kids my age reading with their paper cups of coffee. That was also the only day ever, that I had not brought my camera out with me. I’ll probably regret it forever.

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Things just got better when we’d take trains out to farther places like Hampton Court Palace, and Bath City, and I hate myself for a little while for not even realizing that most of my favorite books and films are British and are set in British places. My sister and I kept repeating “I love you most ardently” over and over again as we watched the English countryside pass us by on the train to Bath. There were fields of yellow flowers, sheep, cows and horses. In a distance is fog, old houses of brick or stone, and it would feel like a scene from Pride and Prejudice.

I was convinced that the Hampton Court Palace had been my favorite place, but then Bath happened. And you should know, Bath is beautiful. Bath is old, romantic and heartbreaking to leave. The countryside, the palaces, the walks around the city: all of it so romantic and easy to fall in love with. Then of course there’s Warwick, and that was all together lovely and different. It was also where I found fields and fields of sheep and ducklings making their way down the river. Then there’s Oxford and Stratford. How could I even choose a favorite? I am so smitten with Britain.

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It does get cold, dreary, and gloomy. It rains, then it stops, then it rains again. Everything is expensive, and my feet ache after 8 hours of standing and walking, but I can hardly get enough.

Walking into the British museum was overwhelming. Watching wicked was overwhelming. Walking through stony paths in bath and thinking that I had walked the same paths as Jane Austen was overwhelming.

England has been breathtakingly beautiful, that I can’t even comprehend that I could love a city. A city! A city with buildings and trains and cars, things that I never really thought I could consider as beautiful! There are just so many things to see, so many people to watch. Interesting things, that I never even could imagine was possible in one place.

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Dramatic, I apologize, but I feel like I’ve just woken up from years of ignorance.

Out of all the countries I’ve been to, not just for this summer, but for my entire life, England is my favorite. I’ve never felt the heartbreaking sadness of leaving a place like I did London. It was inevitable since I was going to be separated from my sister again, but it was so much more. I feel like I had become more than just a tourist, but for a moment, someone who lived there, even if it had just been for a little while.

I’ll miss everything about it, and I anxiously wait for the next time I’ll see that beautiful clock tower again. England has ripped out my heart, and left the pieces all over its countryside, high streets and rivers, and I should really just come back and collect them.

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Breakfast of Champions Part III

Breakfast of Champions Part III

Breakfast of Champions Part III

With all the pretentiously named (good) food I’ve tried in Europe, it’s nice to come home to something I can pronounce. Cereals, strawberries and chocolate. Also, it’s nice having breakfast on an actual dining table. That’s really nice too.

I’d really like to write and post about my adventures in Europe, but a turtle is faster than my laptop. I’ll post soon.

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