A Casual Day in BRIXTON

We started off our day at breakfast  in a nearby area and after 5 breakfast in the UK I have to say America is wining in the breakfast game. Pretty sure I’m going straight to order pancakes and waffles as soon as I land back in the states. The Brits love peas which is my lest favorite vegetable so we are not on the same page there lol After breakfast we decided to head to Brixton for the afternoon.

When I spent time in the UK years ago, I actually worked in Brixton. Everyday I would make the commute from North London to South London astonished at how different the two were. Brixton definitely felt more “city” like and there were so many people of color I loved it!

I heard it had changed a lot and wanted to also visit Pop Brixton so Sunita and I took a trip there to check it out. I have to say, the neighborhood has changed ALOT since I last was here. Lets just say its very gentrified. But it definitely still has some flavor that you don’t see in other parts of London.

Pop Brixton is a cool little spot with different food and drink vendors, places to sit and hang and they have events throughout the week. I’ll have to go back for a specific event but it was nice to check it out.

We were freezing our buns off so after ordering a couple mulled wines, the cold and the wine hit us and we decided to head home. I felt like brick hit me, I was sooo tired. Oh yea, we did stop at the one pound store though, I was so excited they had that! I’m obsessed with the dollar store back home so naturally I went a little crazy and got some stuff for the apartment that I needed. I still didn’t have a sponge so I was able to find all those little things that make life easier and only for one pound each! Winning.

We also stopped in TK Maxx which is so weird because it has the same logo and set up as TJ MAXX but it’s called TK MAxx for some reason. Pretty sure it has to be the same company or maybe they just modeled everything off of TJ MAXX but I was able to get a hat and gloves that I loved. I can’t believe I didn’t think I was going to need winter accessories here. The weather keeps saying it’s high 40’s low 50’s but it feels WAY colder to me. I would say its LA spoiling my but Sunita was cold too and she lives in NY. Not sure why 40’s feels so much colder here then back home.

A quick stop to the falafel place close to my apartment and we were in for the night. I really have to get used to this cold or I am going to just stay in all the time. When did I become such a chicken when dealing with the cold????

Wearing: Missguided coat, Zara sweatshirt, Zara fanny pack, Zara boots, Forever 21 leggings 

Camden Market and A Search for Curry

Yesterday we ventured out to Camden Market and guess what I found?! A jeweler who hand designs his sterling silver jewelry. You know I love collecting rings so I was so excited. I bought a ring from him, and he said I can come back and design one! It’s kind of dangerous that I found him cause I think it just added fire to my ring obsession. I love Camden just for that, you can find independent vendors selling the coolest things.

Then we were on a hunt for curry, well Sunita wanted curry. I never was really a fan of Indian food but as I get older my palette has matured to be more open minded to different foods. We ended up on Brick Lane and went to Aladin and unfortunately I have to say it was not the greatest. I actually liked the food but the service was beyond terrible.

The waiter dropped a whole plate of food on Sunita, and then laughed. I literally could not believe my eyes. WHO DOES THAT?! He laughed guys! Laughed!!! Please do not go there if you ever come to London, they were beyond rude and they didn’t even apologize really or offer us anything for dropping the food.

Brick Lane was recommended to Sunita by multiple people of where to find good curry so maybe we just went to the wrong place?

The Indian restaurant was the worst but overall service in London hasn’t been the greatest, I think because they don’t work on tips they’re not constantly worried about if you need anything like the waiters in the States. Maybe it’s the places I’ve been to, but everyone is so relaxed when it comes to service and it’s just a culture shock at times. Like I can’t imagine and I pray I never have to send food back, I have no idea how that would go down out here and would rather not find out. I wouldn’t say the service is bad overall, just much different then what I’m accustomed to. This is my spoiled American side creeping out lol

Then we met up with one of Sunita’s followers who turned out to be the sweetest and we headed to a Boxpark in Shoreditch which is a really cool spot that looks like it’s made up of shipping containers and has multiple “rooms” with a bar and different places to get all types of food. Each room has a long table where you sit with the other patrons and enjoy the company and food. I really liked the ambiance. It’s a bit out there from my apartment so I doubt I’ll be a regular but I’m glad I got to check it out!

We ended the night on a high cause we didn’t want to repeat an ending like the night before. I really do love London but I have to say I know it’s early but LA has my heart in more then one way. I know I will end up back there but I’m happy that I’m giving myself time for this experience.

Wearing: Zara beret, Zero Uv sunnies, Missguided jacket, Missguided jeans, Zara red boots

Notting Hill and Things

Yesterday we took a trip to Notting Hill. It’s such a cute area I wanted to check it out again and we knew we would find a cute brunch spot there. Doing it for the gram! The spot we picked ended up being super packed, the line was out the door and they didn’t even have a wait list. And the way service is in the UK we would be waiting FOREVER. People are so relaxed (which I actually don’t mind) but they don’t rush you out your table to turn it. They let you enjoy your meal and company until you’re ready to leave. In America they would have kicked you out long time ago!

So we ended up at Ottolenghi which a cute little spot in Notting Hill that is mostly takeaway but has 1, yes 1, table in the back of the store that seats 10 and it’s first come first serve. The wait was much smaller so we decided to try our luck.

We had the Tuna, Broccoli and Basmati rice with was all delicious and they even served fresh mint tea made with fresh mint leaves. It was a very healthy brunch, we patted ourselves on the back.

After that we headed to Oxford Circus for more shopping. Sunita’s not really into the touristy spots so we’re like acting like locals eating good food shopping and hanging out. We ended up having McDonalds for dinner (don’t judge) its so different in the UK, I feel way less guilty, although I do remember it being a little tastier 10 years ago but maybe that’s because I stopped eating fast food for 10 years now so my palette is much different. Anyway…it served it’s purpose but I probably won’t be eating that again the rest of my time here. Also fun fact, I like to try Mcdonalds in different countries to see if it taste different even though I haven’t eaten it in the states for forever so not sure what I’m comparing it to anymore lol

We ended up back at my place and then hours lady dragged our old lady butts out to check out Queen of Hoxton, a bar one my followers recommended. After a delayed train, 45 minutes, drunken hot mess people and RAIN we ended up Ubering from the nearest train stop to the bar only to find a LOOONG line. By then it was 12:30am and the bar closed at 2am so we had no idea why people bothered waiting in line and we also would never wait in line for a bar. Been there don’t that, I’m not 24 anymore!

Thank God we didn’t get out the Uber yet cause I redirected him to my apartment and called it a night. LA had ruined me. If its rainy and cold I don’t like to go out anymore and now that I’m London I better suck it up. Also I was SHOCKED at the about of drunk adults in the streets, I’m talking full grown adults not “I just became legal to drink” 18 year olds (legal age is 18 here) I felt like I was on a college campus, these Brits go in apparently!

I’m not a big person for going out so this experience wasn’t the greatest thing to motivate me but maybe I’ll decide not to be an old lady again one day and try again. lol

Wearing: Shop Akira dress, Forever 21 hat, Thacker backpack

A Random Day In London

  Today Sunita came into town to visit and I wasn’t quite sure if it was too early for a visitor but it turned out to be perfect timing! I love that I have someone to explore around with my first few days getting settled into European living.

And guess where we end up? Right back at Oxford st. Literally where I just was yesterday. We both wanted to shop and I had passed so many stores the previous day that I couldn’t stop into so I thought it was the perfect opportunity. Sunita introduced me to the brand Bershka and I’m officially obsessed, like how on Earth did I not know about this place?! I have to be honest it’s been a while since I’ve been really shopping. I really hate shopping in the States and the amount of stuff that gets sent to me it almost seems a little glutinous to do so.

But we’re in London so I have to….it’s just too good. Plus I sold a bunch of my clothes and gave them to donation before moving. So I actually need them (things I tell myself to feel better.)

After shopping, we popped into a nearby restaurant The Mayfair Chippy and had some fish and chips and wine, then we stopped into The Spaghetti House and had more food and wine. So we pretty much ate and drank and shopped and had the most random unplanned day.

Tomorrow it will probably be more structured day of exploration and definitely looking to go out somewhere at night since its FRIDAY! We are both jet lagged and low functioning and currently eating chips and drinking wine on my bed at 12:41 am. With that, I’ll say goodnight.

I’m still getting settled but so far I’m loving London.

Wearing: Missguided jacket, Zero UV sunnies

My First Full Day In London

I made it to London! And I am slowly adjusting to this new lifestyle. But let me tell you, the start of this trip was a little bit rocky. I got  SUPER sick on the plane ride….like SIIIIICKKKKK. I don’t think I’ve ever felt sick like that before, it felt like I was dying and I’m not exaggerating. I posted it on my Instagram and I think everyone thought I was just having a panic attack but I actually fell ill.

After eating the plane food (instant regret), I fell asleep and then woke up completely nauseous and sweating profusely. I ran to the bathroom and could barely stand, all I could see was white and that’s when the panic set in. What the F do you do if you’re super sick on a plane heading to a foreign country? At this point it’s about 2 or 3 am and everyone including the flight attendants are sleeping on the plane. It was in this moment, while feeling like I could literally pass out at any moment I prayed. I PRAYED guys….so hard. I didn’t want my trip to end before it started, I knew I was called to be in London so why would I fall so ill right now??? I don’t think I ever prayed so hard in my life and after a little while I felt better enough to get up and head back to my seat. When I tell you I thought I would be out for the count for hours and it probably only lasted about 45 minutes before I could stand again.

It also was the time of the month so that didn’t help as shortly after I started to get excruciating cramps. I drugged myself with 800 mg of ibuprofen, sat with my foot up on the seat resting my head on my knee, and powered through the rest of the plane ride. When the drugs kicked in I feel asleep for about a half hour and then we landed. I couldn’t believe I made it through…thank you LORD!

I waited at the airport for a couple hours since I couldn’t meet the property manager of my apartment, or should I say “flat,” until noon. I took an Uber to my apartment and was overjoyed to lay down in a real bed! (I think I’m all set with red eyes flights for a while!)  I go to pay for my place and my card is declined. I put a travel notice on my account so I couldn’t understand why and with the time difference Bank of America was closed for another hour! (Why on Earth they don’t have 24 hour customer service for emergencies of fraud is beyond me!) So I waited to call the bank and was put on hold multiple times while they figured it out. 3 failed attempts later my payments finally went through and the property manger finally left me alone to be in my place.

My apartment is a tiny studio in North London  but it’s the cutest little neighborhood and a 3 minute walk to the train and a bunch of food places and grocery stores. I love that I can just walk outside my door and find mostly anything I would need in the moment.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve been to London so it’s like a whole new visit for me. I have to get used to a more European lifestyle. Upon arrival I needed things for the apartment like soap, and detergent, a heavy blanket, towels a mirror etc and it’s very hard to find a one stop shop nearby.

I’m definitely spoiled with my American convenience of having everything at your fingertips and plenty of one stop shops. I’m definitely not finding and super Walmarts out here or Target. So even finding something as minor as a sponge has been a task.

But I have to put it in my head that I’m not in America and it’s a whole new experience. That’s why I came here after all. Though I did find an Ikea nearby and am thinking about taking the plunge.

I headed to Oxford Street today which was very convenient to get to from my place and did a little shopping en route to Primark (which is the closet to a one stop shop I could find). I forgot how good the shopping is in London, I seriously wanted to cry guys. Even though some of the stores are stores we have in the states, the styles they have are different and WAYYY better. As I past all the store fronts I was giddy like a child. I haven’t felt like that about shopping in years. It’s already sparking my love for fashion again. Real tears guys.

Anyway, I’m feeling much better after sleeping for over 10 hours and exploring a little. Tomorrow Sunita comes to visit and I can’t wait to venture around the city with her!

Stay tuned as I plan to share my adventures throughout my stay. I’m so excited I chose to start this chapter. I can’t wait to see what London has in store!