puppy love

I am not a dog person. I do not like when they lick me and jump all over me. No offence dog lovers, but I hate when people call their dogs their children and let them sleep in their bed. I never thought that I would ever want to own a slobbery stinky dog. But for the past year I have been obsessed with West Highland Terriers. Is this the cutest thing that you've ever seen or what? I want one for my birthday with a big red bow on his head. But not for my 26th birthday. Our apartment is way too tiny and we don't have a yard for this little cutie to run around in. But one day for my birthday, this is what I want. Maybe like my 30th birthday ... which omg is only 4 years away! Is it too soon to start wishing and thinking of cute little doggy names?


My friend and fellow blogger Megan has left the comforts of North Carolina to take on a year long adventure as a nanny in Holland. This week she's scored the keys to her nanny-family's Central London flat and will be paying me a little visit. I'm ├╝ber excited for a number of reasons .....


* It's been wayyyy too long. I think the last time that we saw each other was when we were 19 or 20!


* She shares my love of travel, food and booze. 


* I can't wait to swap nanny stories.


* She's American! A rare treat for me to spend time with someone from the good Ol US of A.


* It's her first time in London, I can't wait to hear what she thinks of this amazing city.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!
pics and stories to follow :)

On this day in history ...



26 years ago today the world was blessed with the presence of Ashley Curtis. Exactly a week before I came on the scene and over 3,000 miles away. It's funny how the world brings people together. Wishing my wonderful boyfriend a year full of happiness and lots more memories together. I love you with all my heart and feel so lucky to have you in my life. Happy birthday baby. 


this time last year . . . 






rockin some sweet brizaids today ...



a reallllllly happy friday


Pop the bubbly! I got some good, great, wonderful, fabulous news! I got the magic email last night saying that I passed my January exam / class (Conceptual and Strategic Perspectives of Human Resource Management - whatever that means).This is a ''provisional'' pass meaning that yet another exam board meets to finalize the result (in freaking November!) but it is unlikely to be changed. Long story short I am well on my way to getting that Masters in Human Resource Management and Organizational Analysis. One more exam in May and then I am donezo! I could have never gotten through this without the love and support of Ash and my family and all of you, so a big big thanks for keeping me motivated. Maybe one day when I'm CEO of an HR company I'll take y'all out for a drink.

Quote of the Day

Plant seeds of kindness and harvest happy hearts.
       .... thanks Mom :)
Ash knows that I'm not a big fan of roses ;)

Valentine's goodies from America! Thank you Mom! 

Seriously almost cried when I ate one I was that happy. 
Mom's homemade sugar cookies.




 An evening with my love bugs! Ash & I babysat Jack & Georige. 

Happy Valentine's Day!



I hope your day is filled with love and cuddles and warm fuzzies and all those other good things. mmmm and candy hearts, I want some candy hearts!!! 


pic of the day

Spotted this on my lunch break.
I was actually about to call my ''mum''.
Didn't notice the naked ladies inside until after I took the pic!

SAD

Whoever tells you that London weather is not crap is lying. It is crap. 2 years here and I'm still not used to it. Yes there are sunny days and even weeks and it makes you appreciate those days that much more, but when you're a Buffalo gal who has been spoiled by North Carolina weather, going back to cold and dreary is hard.


No, it is not always raining in London like they show on the movies (actually when I first moved here I was surprised to find that it rains a lot less than I thought it would, and when it rains it's usually light rain, not a big downpour). But yes it is usually pretty gray and gloomy. It just makes me want to curl up in bed all day long. I can handle the cold, I don't like it but I can deal with it when dressed appropriately, but the dark gloominess is a major bummer and has caused me to come down with a serious case of SAD.


Don't get me for plagiarism, but I totally stole this from my friend Megan's blog ( http://gingeradventuresabroad.blogspot.com/ ) but only because I knew she wouldn't mind, and because I totally feel ya girl. The Mayo Clinic defines SAD as the following -




Seasonal affective disorder is a cyclic, seasonal condition. This means that signs and symptoms come back and go away at the same time every year. Usually, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Some people have the opposite pattern and become depressed with the onset of spring or summer. In either case, problems may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.


Fall and winter seasonal affective disorder (winter depression) Winter-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include: Depression, Hopelessness, Anxiety, Loss of energy, Social withdrawal, Oversleeping, Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, Weight gain, Difficulty concentrating and processing information.
Spring and summer seasonal affective disorder (summer depression) Summer-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include: Anxiety, Trouble sleeping (insomnia), Irritability, Agitation, Weight loss, Poor appetite, Increased sex drive.
Today is day 2 of bright sunshine in London and it's totally lifted my mood. I can't wait for some of the symptoms of Spring / Summer depression to kick in! Let's hope this sunshine is here to stay! (Especially when you're here to visit Megan!)

the weekend in review

When I arrived at the pub on Friday evening I announced that I would take so many good pictures for my blog this weekend. I sort of failed at that. Too much wine, forgetting to charge the camera, and general laziness resulted in less pictures than I planned but here's a glimpse at what we got up to this weekend.... 

Friday evening - dinner and lotsss of wine at a French restaurant in Mayfair with our friends Ant and Sian. Sian is such a sweetheart and so funny, and her Welsh accent makes everything even funnier. I love hanging out with her, and Ant is an all around great guy. We always have so much fun when we go out with them. And the food was amazing! (buffalo mozzarella and portobello mushroom, followed by mahi mahi on a bed of butternut squash-spring onion-mushroom risotto, followed by mango cheesecake) but by the time the food came, I was on my third glass of wine and I completely forgot to take pictures of it. Oopsies.


aren't they handsome? 



Saturday evening - postponed Christmas party with Ash's family. Ash and Aaron rocked some really cool turkey hats while I sported a super cute sparkly halo. More good food (tomato soup starter, followed by brie stuffed chicken breast and mashed potatoes with peppercorn sauce) and more good wine of course. The camera died mid evening so pictures from the night are few, but laughs and good times were plenty! 

bus stop photo shoots are my favorite



Christmas in February!

On Sunday we went shopping for Super Bowl supplies and then had a huge nap. Because of the time difference, kickoff wasn't until 11:30 PM. Our friends came over around 8 and we played games, ate sausage dip and guacamole, and drank Coors Light in red cups while we waited for kickoff. I only really care about football one day a year so I'm glad it was an exciting game. The past two years I had to sneak in a little nap in the 3rd quarter but this year I made it through the whole game. And I was pretty excited that Ash had a random Old Navy Packers tee that I got to wear. Team spirit! Billy, Aaron, and Michelle had never watched an American football game before so Ash got really into explaining the rules to them which I thought was pretty cute. I love how he's made an effort to understand all things American. Bedtime wasn't until 3:30 AM so luckily me and Ash have a day off today. We're about to watch the new episode of Glee! 










cheers y'all :) hope you had an awesome weekend as well. 

weekend jams

Some really good tunes were popping up on my ipod this morning so I thought I would share 2 of them with you. Completely random but really good jams :) Happy weekend!




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsX-zHqET10&feature=youtube_gdata_player
How amazing is Glee?! I'm seriously considering paying the £60 to go see them perform live in London in June. This mash-up of Beyonce's Halo and Walkin' on Sunshine is one of my favs that they have done. It just makes me wanna dance! Yay for new episodes starting on Sunday, I've missed it too much!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JNypsVQpcQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Did you know that Afroman has other songs besides
Colt 45 and Cause I Got High? Me neither, until I was enlightened at 3 in the morning in Amsterdam ;) His lyrics are crazy good, he's so under-rated and seriously clever. If this song doesn't make you smile then you're whack! And Mom - shut up about the language, you blast Eminem (who uses the C word!) down Cary Parkway.

Where I've Been Wednesdays

A few weeks ago I blogged about my adventure climbing a glacier in New Zealand. Being the girly girl that I am, I thought this was a pretty big accomplishment. I'm sure you could gather from that post that I do not consider myself the ''outdoorsy type''.  If ''The Great Outdoors'' means laying on the beach, then yes I am outdoorsy. I love sunshine and fresh air. But dirt, hiking, bugs, and woods? I think I would much rather book a nice hotel thank you very much. I would like to go camping more often, but that is because I like smores and campfires. I can suck it up and not be prissy if smores are at stake.


Traveling is all about being out of your element. On a trek in Thailand I was certainly out of my element. We spent the days hiking and the nights in a little shed-sort-of-thing with mosquito nets hanging over our sleeping bags. Ash loved this part of his time in Thailand, but I look back on it as one of those things that are amazing to say that I've done, but not too high on my list to do again. I know most of you think I was just laying in the sun the whole time I was away but here is proof of the contrary! And amazingly Alyson and I survived this trek without too much whining and complaining. I could hear my Uncle Scott's motto ''suck it up'' in my head over and over ... I did suck it up and ended up walking away with amazing memories (and a million bug bites)!


 the terrain

Alyson setting up camp

a friendly visitor



our guide ''Jackie Chan''

the facilities - shower & toilet


5 star accommodation right here folks


dinner


ah can't believe I put that thing in my mouth

actual dinner, Thai camping style


 gorgeous Thailand


peace love & hiking! - I can't remember if this was before or after we had our teeth whitened in Thailand but dang they look pearly!



On a side note, when applying for college I thought I wanted to go to Appalachian State University! That thought lasted about 5 minutes, so glad I ended up at the beach :)