10 September 2015

back in london: six things i’m loving lately

beautyon one of my morning runs this week,  as i crossed over the thames on the golden jubilee bridge, i had one of those life-is-so-beautiful-i-can’t-even-stand-it moments. i could hardly catch my breath. i was so full of gratitude and joy. every electron in my body felt alive and invigorated by this city, and by my mortality, as it is right now.

the past six weeks have been full of transition that has been difficult in many different ways. but the mixture of that challenging stuff with so much good stuff has yielded something really, really beautiful. i have grown. i have realized (not for the first time!) that i can be a total baby, i have been humbled, i have summoned strength, and i have found beauty in life’s moments.

life is such a wild, awesome ride. i am grateful for this specific time in my life. and to celebrate it, i wanted to share a few random things that are making me happy here in london.


1. new “regular” foods.
after so much traveling from place to place the past few months, it has felt so good to get back into routines. one routine i’ve been specifically enjoying reinstating is having “regular” foods that i eat almost on the daily. i found the most amazing no-sugar-added granola that i mix up each morning with plain greek yogurt and blueberries and i just can’t get enough. most days for lunch i have a piece of toast slathered with some minced garlic and topped with sliced avocado and salt and pepper. my new guilty pleasure is lemon curd, which i became obsessed with after having it with clotted cream on a scone at afternoon tea. i add it to my yogurt or dip strawberries or grapes in it for a treat. mmmmmboy.
it has been fun to explore different uk grocery stores and different items in each. the produce here is super fresh and i love that it goes bad quicker than produce in the states (that means less preservatives!). i recently discovered ocado grocery delivery, which is about the best thing ever.

2. making lunches for the boy.
each evening, i pack up a lunch for ian to take to work the next day. i love it! i make sandwiches, bag up portions of fruits and vegetables, throw in some crunchy or sweet snacks, and write little notes to slip in between different foods in his lunch bag. it just makes me really happy.

3. spending time with my brother jonah and my semi-sister amy!
jonah and his wife aja and their five kids have been in england for the past month and it has been sooooo great to get to meet up with them a few times! last week they all slept over at our flat two nights, which was an awesome slumber party (so mad i didn’t take a picture!). they had been staying at our dear family friend amy’s house in chelmsford while she and her husband and kids were back visiting family in america. amy is basically my sister – she’s been a significant part of my life as long as i can remember. i am sooooo excited to live close to her, her really wonderful husband rob and their four adorable, golden-hearted daughters.
jonah’s family and amy’s families overlapped in the uk for just a couple of days, and we had a really fun afternoon hanging out all together at wellington arch and along the walk from hyde park corner to covent garden. i have so many good people in my life to love. what a blessing.

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^^ this blurry picture captures well our afternoon exploring with nine kids. a little chaotic, really happy. ^^
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^^ and the boy even made it to dinner! (he has been working such long hours, so it was a treat). and tower bridge with j&a and kids on a really beautiful weather day = bomb. ^^

4. my new job!
i have begun doing some contract work for a network of schools, and it’s a really great fit for me right now. it feels good to be needed, to use my skills towards an important mission, to dedicate myself to a project that i feel is worthwhile and that i am good at. the office is a seven minute walk from our flat, and the organization is doing really cool things. my work is part time and flexible, which is perfect for night now.

5. our neighborhood.
the other evening i was walking right through covent garden to meet someone and when i looked up into the atrium, i gasped. there were 100,000 white balloons, oscillating with light, hanging from the rafters! i was instantly mesmerized and obsessed. the installation is called heartbeat and is supposed to represent how covent garden is the heartbeat of london. we live in the heartbeat of london! i discover something new and delightful in our neighborhood basically every single day. i am so glad we chose to and are able to live here.

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6. exploring random corners of this magnificent city.
there’s endless magic to discover in london. here’s a couple of things i’ve snapped pictures of over the past few weeks. this city is really starting to feel like our home.

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^^ the most charming, world-geographically-organized bookstore on marylebone high street. and i had to stop running in st. james’s park to take this photo of the flowers!! and a picture doesn’t do it justice. ^^
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^^ i’m never going to get over the flower boxes on pubs. ^^
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^^ never, never. it’s just sooooo good! ^^
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^^ i took a little voyage to leadenhall market one afternoon – isn’t it just beautiful?! apparently it was used for some diagon alley filming…! ^^ more below because it is just so photogenic!
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^^ and then there’s burlington arcade on picadilly! i just stumbled across this one day and oh my!! that paper flower chandelier! ^^
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^^ at the end of the arcade there is a laduree bakery that is literally plaited in gold. all the walls and the ceiling are covered in that material you see behind the macarons above. it’s such a spectacle! and those macarons!! (i’m a little obsessed with them) ^^
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^^ can you spot the double? i’ve seen quite a few rainbows since we moved to this city. a little gift from heaven after the so-often showers :) ^^

look around – what’s making you happy lately?
{artwork from sevenly clothing}

3 comments :

  1. What makes me happy at the moment are the sights & smells etc that autumn is on it's way.:)

    Autumn is my favourite time of the year & I am so thankful for it all - the dark evenings, crisp air, dew on the grass in the mornings. putting a warmer duvet on, wearing jumpers & the beautiful colours of the trees.

    You & Ian will be able to go to a proper Guy Fawkes display this year, you'll love it.:)

    Did you go & see the boats etc yesterday for the queen's special day? A special day for a lovely lady.

    Not sure if your Mum & Dad are still here, but if they are I bet you're all having a brill time.

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  2. I love love reading your blog! I get really excited everytime i see another one of your posts pop up in my blog reader! I always save them for later with the intention to go back and comment when i have 2 free hands but it never seems to happen! Your travels have been incredible, the sights you have experienced are something else! I love seeing everything through your eyes! and I've loved reading this post about London. It brings back the memories of how exciting everything was when we arrived in Vanxouver and I rode around on the bus singing in my head thay song from Annie 'I think i'm gonna like it here'!!! So excited for all that lies ahead of you guys! Congrats on the job! Burlington Arcade is ibe of my fave spots too, you should also check out Kingly Court just off Carnaby St if you havent already. I think you will dig it, grab an amazing pizza from pizza pilgrims and a cupcake from crumbs and doilies! or if you want a taste of home grab a burger and shake from Stax, or even a root beer!! Xxx

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