Cambridge

Upon arriving back in the UK after my trip to Istanbul and Berlin in late June, I went to Cambridge for a couple of days. I have always been impressed by the thought of the place, so finally going there and looking around was definitely a treat. I especially enjoyed a short history lesson while punting along the canal. The tales of Prince Charles’ time at Cambridge are rather hilarious. I think we have all heard that the Queen gave a rather large sum of money in exchange for his acceptance into the school. Can’t argue with that I guess. Also, his body guard is said to have also taken all of the exams that Prince Charles did. He also got a higher score than Prince Charles. Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to get the degree.

Cambridge is truly charming. I also enjoy a good scholarly setting, I just thrive within it. In fact, after just a few hours of seeing students with book bags and bicycles, I felt a sudden longing to return to school. I really am a nerd at heart. No matter how happy I was to have graduated, there is something I love about school. I’m constantly wanting to learn new things, but also, the thought of going to Cambridge is rather romantic.

Perhaps I will be inspired enough one day to do a master’s degree somewhere (likely in Canada). Until then, I’m pretty keen on exploring!

DSC_0894

I also had the pleasure of seeing some friends who live just outside of Cambridge, Erin and Caleb! It’s always comforting to see a familiar face in a different country. We had a lovely time drinking wine in the park one sunny afternoon. Our punting trip was almost cancelled until one fine fellow decided to stay past his planned shift and take us on a special tour.

DSC_0927

DSC_0940

DSC_0951

DSC_0948

For some reason, summer in England has been better than usual. Or so I have heard. We’ve been lacking rain and instead having an abundance of sunshine! I like to think Erin and I brought the weather from Canada. You’re welcome, England. I’ve been having quite a time, especially since I live right on the Brighton seafront now.

Until next time.

-M

Advertisements

Saturday exploration

Despite the fact that I work almost every day, I try to make time to do a little exploring! Yesterday we got out of Brighton for a day trip to Bramber Village, a cute little place in West Sussex that happens to also hold remnants of a castle! I really do love castles, and even though there isn’t much left of this one, it was still really cool to see.

While some people might find this mundane, I am amazed. Mainly because we don’t have anything this old in Canada. Bramber Castle was built around 1070 by William De Braose. That’s a long time ago. It truly astounds me that some structures were built so long ago, and are still standing. Buildings built just a few decades ago can be found rusting and deteriorating, where have we gone wrong in the 21st Century?! It was a similar feeling as when I visited the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. With such limited resources and technology, I can’t even imagine how these places were built.

There is something so wonderful about exploring these historic landmarks, I always try to imagine what has happened there in the past, what people were like, what they were doing, and how they lived. Sometimes history makes me feel so small and insignificant, my existence is really just a blink, a quick flash in the universe.

So even though it was a dreary day we had fun! In fact, a bit of rain might even add a bit of charm in my books. We’ve had plenty of sunshine in Brighton, so I didn’t mind. I have learned to never leave the house without an umbrella in my bag. After all, this is England.

Image

Image

Image

After our castle exploration and mini history lesson, we obviously went to the pub. I’ve become a big fan of a local brewery, Harvey’s, located in Lewes. There is also a really cool castle in Lewes, FYI.

I was doubtful of ales, but once I had Harvey’s, I was impressed. A big thanks to my friend Dan for encouraging me to try it. I should never have hesitated!

So what goes best with a pint? My very first Bangers n’ Mash! I have fallen off the pescetarian wagon my friends, but for good reason. I decided that while I’m traveling I should probably give new foods a chance. Meat happens to be fairly popular here and in Europe (Sunday roasts, for example). I couldn’t bare to miss out on all of the wonderful dishes, so after well over a year without chicken, beef, or pork…I have indulged. It feels good to be back in the game, although I do still cook veggie dishes on the regular.

That was my rainy but lovely day in Bramber Village!

Image

-M

When I left Canada

My posts have been lacking but if you follow my tumblr, you will know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have merely been exploring it. Now I am finally settling in the UK, where I got a job in an awesome beach town called Brighton. It reminds me of home in quite a few ways, however, the lack of familiar faces has taken some getting used to.

My adventures were great, and there are more to come in the future, but for now, work experience is what I am after! That and some fun here and there, exploring Brighton and other parts of England, including Cambridge, Seaford, and London.

In the meantime, here are some snaps from my adventures the last couple of months! These are some of the last photos I took before my beloved nikon was stolen on Canada Day in London. At least we have the memories!

Iceland Fun with sister

Iceland Fun with sister

The first day exploring Brighton in May

Padlocks of Love, Paris.

Padlocks of Love, Paris.

Paris

Paris

Brussels

Brussels

Leiden

Leiden

Hamburg

Hamburg

Berlin

Berlin

Essex

Essex

Istanbul

Istanbul

Hagia Sofia in Istanbul

Hagia Sofia in Istanbul

More to come!

-M

Read the pain away?

Well if you haven’t looked out the window yet, don’t bother. Winter continues to remind us that she’s still here, despite what that rodent told us months ago, and spring is certainly not invited to the party.

So you probably won’t be spending any quality time outside, but it’s okay! It happens to be National D.E.A.R day (Drop Everything and Read), so you should probably just stay inside and read anyway. I will settle for my couch even though I was reading in the park with a latte just a few short days ago.

I just began reading Nemesis, by Philip Roth.

9780307745415

What will you be reading today?

M

Leather forever

Ok, so I have long been a fan of leather jackets. They are classic. I own several, all in different shades and styles depending on my mood. A military style jacket, a biker chic jacket that reminds me of Joan Jett; these are just essentials. The list goes on.

Of course, as much as I love leather, I have yet to dabble in other pieces besides the classic jacket. I’m not sure why, perhaps I am intimidated although I truly do hate admitting this.

Maybe it’s the fear of being uncomfortable. After all, I have heard some rather interesting stories concerning leather pants (and I’m sure we have all seen that one Friends episode…). 

But lately, I have been yearning for something new. And as I find myself scrolling through the internet, online shopping being my ultimate weakness, I have finally figured out what it is I have been wanting.

Leather shorts.

They come in many different styles, and range in price. Alexander Wang has left me drooling, but what’s new?

I am particularly smitten with these light tailored leather shorts, which go for about $500.

twang4032312867_q1_1-0_336x596

My obsession aside, I have found some alternatives to Wang. After all, my priorities are currently to save my money, as I’m sure I would rather be spending it when I finally arrive in England in several weeks. So, here are some options that are more budget friendly. Of course, don’t expect to find any supple leather shorts for under several hundred dollars.

These faux leather shorts are from Topshop, you can find them online here.

_7277274

I am also digging these brown “leather look” shorts from River Island.

624594_main

While I do enjoy the tailored look the most, the loose fitting style are also pretty cute. These faux leather croc shorts from Glassworks Studios are also more affordable, ringing in at just over $100.

Untitled

What are your thoughts on leather shorts?

M

Healthier twist on tacos

Okay, so when I was a teenager I would often go to taco bell with friends. It was open until 4 a.m so it was a prime destination for bored, under-aged people like ourselves. I still remember when they had a big sign saying “Ten tacos for $5!” Who can resist?!

So, now that I am a little bit older, I don’t really eat taco bell anymore. It probably has something to do with my own semi-strict diet of pesco-vegetarianism. I honestly don’t even miss taco bell, especially when there are so many other variations you can make yourself. Bonus: they are not only better for you, but they also taste better.

I have made these kale and brussel sprout tacos several times now, and they are exquisite. They are also vegan friendly! The white bean creama adds an awesome punch, I like to use a lot of it on each taco.

Check out the recipe link! What’s Cooking Good Looking is probably one of my favourite sites to gather cooking inspiration from. So far, I’ve enjoyed all of the results!

BGulq-LCQAAdtm7

An evening with Purity Ring

When I first heard “Crawlersout” last year, I became addicted to Purity Ring. The addiction lives on, and now I can say I have had the chance to enjoy them live.

It makes me really happy when I enjoy a band and then discover that they are Canadian. This has been happening a lot lately, and I have to say our home grown talent is always getting bigger and better.

Purity Ring hails from Edmonton, Alberta. An electronic duo with a radical on-stage set up, the beats will get you moving and Megan James’ voice will truly mesmerize you. I find a lot of the songs to be really dreamy and their unique stage presence makes the show unforgettable. It will probably haunt me for awhile, but only in the best of ways.

The last time I went to Ritual Nightclub, we faced a rather small crowd while waiting for Trust to play. I wasn’t sure what to expect last night, but the sold out show was packed way before the main act even hit the stage. This was the first night of the tour, and if last night signals anything, the rest of the tour is going to be amazing.

The night started out slow, at first there was plenty of room to twist and mingle with others. It was obviously a night of electronic duos, as both bands that hit the stage prior to Purity Ring were small in size but big in sound. The first band confused me, and they didn’t say much. However the singer did proclaim “We are Space, we are Time. We are Space and Time.” He then laughed and I realized this must be their band name. The music was cool, but upon returning home I was disappointed that I was unable to figure out exactly who these guys are, or where I can find their music. (Note: If anyone reading this does, let me know?!)

In any case, it was oddly tropical, hip swaying, and enjoyable.

Blue Hawaii came onstage with a full house staring back at them. This would probably seem intimidating to most, but they took it in stride, and were amazing. By the end of their set the audience was begging for more.  It’s also fun to note that these two are Canadian – from Montreal. They promised a dance party, but started it out slow. Easing us in. It was gentle and fun, and her voice echoed around us. The beat grew faster. We pushed forward. We danced. I’m sure it was overwhelming for them, because I heard her giggling at the end, telling us our favourite band would be coming on soon.

But I have to say, if I ever hear that this band is around again, wherever I may be, I will have to see them. Truly awesome, and I’m not even sure how to describe them – but their experimental nature is enthralling and certainly doesn’t fit any typical musical description.

When Purity Ring finally came onstage, everything became tight and hot. Everyone was eager to push their way forward to get a glimpse. Of course, the stage set up is incredible, with bee-hive like lights strung about us, flickering with the music. That was the most impressive part, how they make their music and their lights one, tapping little lamps to create a sound while simultaneously creating a glow.

They perform so nonchalantly, and the audience in return sways, but we were calm for the most part. Mostly caught up in the music, the crowd was pulsing together like one giant heart.

It’s shows like this that give me hope for the future, when people can safely cram themselves into a small space, holding one another up and letting the mood take over. Happiness radiating from all around, we are just here to listen to bands play awesome music, and maybe drink a few beers in the mean time.

Going green

As you may know, I am a smoothie lover. Berries, bananas, coconut and all that good stuff. But I have recently decided that green smoothies just might be the way to go. Especially after a long weekend indulging in chocolate and other goodies.

I decided to tread lightly at first, fearing the worst when it came to taste but craving that extra boost of energy. I’m always up for trying something new, but a liquid salad didn’t exactly seem all that appealing.

The first step towards getting to know your green smoothie is by adding spinach to your regular smoothie. I usually add about half a cup, and due to it’s light flavour, you can barely taste the difference. I was perfectly okay with this and have been doing it for a few months now.

DSC_0381

Then I decided it was time to take the plunge. I would go full green for my post work out snack.

Surprisingly enough, it didn’t taste too bad at all. I actually enjoyed it. There are a few tricks to making it a little less bitter and a little more sweet. Here’s what I did.

1. Started with about 1 cup of water in the blender and some fresh lemon juice.

2. Throw in some greens! I used cucumber, red leaf lettuce, spinach, celery, and bok choy. Then blended.

3. After blending this through, I added an apple, some blueberries, 2 cubes of ice, and some chia seeds.

The final step is to enjoy! Of course you can add in a lot more or switch things up.

Other things to try in your green smoothie are bananas, carrots, parsley, cilantro, and kale.

Enjoy!