Surroundings

Things I Miss About England

It’s been 2 years since I’ve been to jolly old England and I miss it dearly. I miss my friends, I miss the cozy rainy days (kinda), and I even kind of miss being in school and writing stupid essays the night before they were due. That country gave me 3 great years and I was totally ready to spend the rest of my life back in North America…and now I miss it again :(

Kebabs/Indian food. 

O my G. I miss these foods so much. I mean, yeah we have some good Indian places in the States and in Canada, but you could get the cheapest, spiciest, butteriest Indian food in England. So yum. I have so many memories of getting kebabs at midnight with my friends. Waiting for our meat to be sliced and put in a pita, telling the men who worked there that we needed extra garlic sauce. They would smile, we would drool. Life was good.

Pounds, Pence, and Candy.

Don’t you love the chunkiness of a pound coin? They are awesome. Just when I would think I ran out of money, I would open up my change compartment in my wallet and find about 7 pound coins. It would feel like Christmas. I would spend most of that change on candy. England has the most candy ever. They have candy stores everywhere and pic ‘n mix stations in every grocery store and movie theater. I basically only ate candy for 3 months and my skin broke out and my nails grew really long and thick. It was the scariest thing ever.

Cobblestone Roads and Quaint Cottages.

Not sure about the pose. In the Cotswolds.

Not sure about the pose. In The Cotswolds.

I’m glad I didn’t spend my time living in London because I got to experience more of real life that way. Canterbury was a gem among the boring Kent towns. There was a small town vibe, a bustling High Street, and history everywhere you looked. I loved walking past the dilapidated buildings, the old wooden beams that held up the modern Subway sandwich place. The cobblestone roads set the scene while making the town an obstacle course for freshman going out in their 6 inch heels. So many broken ankles. So much fun.

Pub Life.

Literally living in pubs before, during, and after school.

London.

Der.

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Beauty

Memories in Perfumes

You know how the scent of something can bring back a flood of memories? I feel like there’s a term for it but I don’t remember what it is and I don’t want to Google search for hours. It can be any kind of smell. For instance, certain types of cigarettes remind me of my grandpa’s lake house and going to concerts. Smelling funnel cake takes me back to my brother’s elementary school carnival. I remember that time clearly because I got in a fight with a carney. She rudely said during the fight, “It looks like you got that sweater at the Salvation Army” to which I replied, “It looks like your life is from the Salvation Army.”

For me, perfume holds the tickets back in time. I’ve worn so many and been around so many different perfumes in my lifetime that my brain can’t help but to link the fragrances with memories.

Burberry Brit was a staple for me in high school. I wore it a lot when I dated my first boyfriend, Kyle. Burberry smelled the best in the winter because it had notes of vanilla and spice. Did I really just say notes? Who am I? But seriously, I remember wearing this so much that when we broke up, Kyle asked me what perfume I wore so he could get some for his new girlfriend. How precious.burberry-brit-perfume-description_18

Anais Anais is a perfume that my family likes to refer to as Anus Anus. This is an uber floral perfume and I didn’t really like it the first couple times I smelled it. It’s almost got a baby powder smell like Love’s Baby Soft. This perfume reminds me of college and new places. I moved to Utah for my first year of college and it was a big change for me. The other day I was standing behind a woman in line to get tickets for a movie and I could smell it on her. I asked her if she was wearing Anais Anais and she was so scared and replied “I didn’t realize I was wearing that much!” I blamed it on my amazing sense of smell, but really she was wearing a lot.

Ralph Lauren Romance reminds me of Canterbury. There was a lot of romance going on during that time for me so there was really no better choice. Romance smells clean to me. The bottle is also very clean and sleek looking. I would always go into the department store Debenham’s and spray loads on me so I could walk around smelling like a ball of class.

Lola by Marc Jacobs is a fairly new, fun scent. It reminds me of summertime. It’s light and bubbly. The bottle is very in-your-face with magenta hues and a big, plastic flower as the top. I wore it a lot when I was planning my wedding with my mom. Well, she planned it. I just sat there and watched, really. Maybe I can plan my own daughter’s wedding and then she can plan her daughter’s and we’ll have a never-ending line of girls not planning their own weddings. And they can wear Lola to remember it.MJ+lola

Chloe Eau de Parfum  is perhaps one of the best and strongest scents that I’ve smelled. It’s beautiful. I wore it a lot when I first moved to Canada. It reminds me of trying to find my way and learning new things. It also makes me feel rich when I wear it. Chloe is one perfume that’s very recognizable. Whenever I would go into a store people would ask if I was wearing Chloe.

Lastly, my all time favorite is Laila by Geir Ness. This is the hardest perfume to find in the normal world. In the world of EPCOT however, I know just where to get it. The Norway pavilion is drenched in the smell of Laila and it’s just glorious. My mom and I have purchased many a bottle. One time I went there and I actually met Geir Ness, a personal hero of mine, and he rubbed lotion into my hands. True love.

Do you have any favorite perfumes or scents? Stella McCartney just came out with a perfume called Lily so I guess that’s on my Christmas list now?

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Feelings

Lily in England Part Deux

This will be the obvious second installment of Lily in England. Too many observations, too much judging. One post simply cannot handle it all!

Entertainment:

The thing that really bothered me the most about living in England was that I felt like I was cut off from the rest of the world. Movies would come out months later than in the states. I would find myself having to wait for films that I was desperate to see, meanwhile they were old news back home. Canterbury one had one theater and it only had 2 screens! What kind of 3rd world BS is that? Just not acceptable!

Futbol, “footy”, soccer, whatever you want to call it–it’s taking over England. I don’t get it. It’s just people kicking a ball around. But every night the pubs would be full of men watching, cheering, and passing out. Am I missing something? Speaking of drinking, it’s disturbing how much people drink there. At first I thought it was all fun and games, but seriously England, take a look at yourself. I don’t think anyone knows what alcoholism is there. It just doesn’t exist. People actually looked at me funny when I told them that someone I knew was an alcoholic. Every morning I would see puke and broken bottles on the cobblestone.

Pub culture is an important part of life. Once a week there would be a “pub quiz” which is just a string of trivia questions for groups of people that come to the pub. It’s costs money to play, and whichever team wins, wins all the money. It’s pretty fun, but I never won :(

Dancing at the clubs was always an adventure. A lot of people didn’t make it as far as the clubs though–most ended up collapsed on the sidewalk. Baa Bars (one of Canterbury’s finest) was 3 levels. The bottom level would play alt-rock, the middle floor was rap and the third floor was what they would call “cheese”. I’ve come to understand that cheese is pop music, but I guess, only the cheesy songs? I mean, they played S Club 7 sooo my assumption is probably not far off.

I took this picture myself, actually. Just a normal night.

Style (Or lack thereof):

England had possibly some of the worst dressed people I have ever seen. I’m not a fashion goddess by any means, but come on people! Whoever said that London is 10 years ahead of the US in terms of fashion must have been taking crazy pills. I mostly hung around the cool, savvy chicks that went to my college, but there were a lot of people in Canters and London that seemed to not have the slightest clue how to dress. One scary trend that I noticed for guys was gelled up hair, and combed down bangs (or fringe). In what way is that cute?

I can't even.

Stores would close at 5pm every night. Except Thursday, when stores would stay open EXTRA LATE until 7pm. Like, is this some kind of sick joke? Night shopping is one of my favorite activities. Stores should always be open until at least 9pm!

Chavs:

Chavs chavs omg chavs. Chavs are the U.K.’s equivalent to what we would call wanksters. They’re usually wearing Adidas tracksuits, missing some teeth, smoking and drinking simultaneously, and pushing a stroller, or walking a Rottweiler.  They wear a lot of knockoffs, which unfortunately stopped me from sporting Burberry. It’s tragic, really. These people scare me a lot and would always come up and talk to me for some reason. They are definitely a colorful type of people.

Lady Sovereign is a perfect chav. Sporty Spice also is a good one. She should have been Chavvy Spice.

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Feelings, Holidays

The Story of Us

Yes, that’s a Taylor Swift song. I’m too lazy to think of another title. I’m also too lazy to think of a creative Valentine’s Day themed blog post, so I’m going to copy everyone else and tell the story of how Paul and I met.

I went to Utah State University for a year and a half. My first year was really great. I loved my friends, my school, where I lived–everything! The next year, everyone split up and it wasn’t the same. I mean, it was good, but it wasn’t the best! One of our new roommates stole money from me (I ended up getting it back). After that, my parents asked me if I wanted to come home. I said yes.

I went to a community college close to my house for a semester so I could figure things out. I was thinking about transferring to DePaul in Lincoln Park downtown. I wasn’t sure about the whole thing (I have trouble making decisions). My parents told me that the community college had a study abroad program in Canterbury and that I should go for a semester and figure things out. I thought about it, but I wasn’t really feeling it. A couple days before the plane left for the study abroad, my parents were like, “Just go! You’ll have the best time!” So I decided to go. And I’m really glad I did.

I met all sorts of great friends on my trip. I laughed my way through Europe. It was seriously my favorite semester of all time. In my study abroad group were 3 Canadian students. They invited me over to their dorm all the time. They introduced me to their roommate, Paul. He was Canadian too and a full-time student. Not a study abroad joker like us.

My friends and I arrived in Canterbury on September 13th so my birthday (Oct. 5th) rolled around pretty soon after we got there. I was turning 21, which doesn’t really matter in England, but in the States it’s a pretty big one! I gave all of my friends invitations to come down to my favorite pub, The Jolly Sailor. On my Canadian friend’s invitation, I wrote at the bottom “Tell Paul to come too!”

All of my friends were there, but there wasn’t any sight of Paul. I was having a lot of fun because everyone was celebrating my existence, so it wasn’t a super big deal. Later that night Paul showed up! He was at tennis practice (seriously, tennis instead of my birthday?!). I walked up to him and gave him a hug. I was slightly intoxicated, but not by choice! Everyone was buying me birthday drinks, so I couldn’t turn them down! I told him that I was really glad that he came to my party. He told me that he thought I was beautiful.

So happy!

Even though we had only met a couple times before my birthday, Paul telling me I was beautiful made me so happy. It was sincere and sweet and I instantly fell in love. The next day I told everyone I knew that I was in love with Paul. Well, I actually said, “I think I like Paul” or something eloquent like that. I decided that if my study abroad ended on December 13th, I was going to use all of my time to ensure that Paul would feel the same way about me by hanging out with him as much as possible.

As the days grew closer to my flight home, I grew more and more depressed. Would I ever see Paul again? What will I do when I go home? Why can’t I just stay here and be with someone I love in a place that I love? Why do fools fall in love?!

When I came home I literally wilted. I stayed at home, ate a lot, watched a lot of tv, and went online all the time so I could talk to Paul.

My parents were like, “Umm why don’t you just go back to England and finish out your degree there?” And I was like, “WAIT. I can do that?”

So I packed up my bags and finished my degree in Canterbury. Paul ended up feeling the same way that I did except that my my emotions were 10x what his were because I’m a girl.

In our 3rd and final year of school together Paul asked me to marry him. Now we would never be apart! We got married on August 20th, 2011. This is our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple.

I know you’re reading this at work, Paul. I love you so much and I’m so lucky to have you in my life!

Lilypad and Paulywog

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Exercise, Hockey

Sledge Hockey

He's doing a good job of pretending he likes being attached to a sled.

If you live in Canada, you have no excuse not to play hockey. Even if you don’t have legs, this country will find a way for you to play hockey. I present to you, sledge hockey.

I saw a commercial ( Have you noticed that the only way I find out info is from TV? I’M SO EMBARRASSED! Not.) with people playing sledge hockey. At first I laughed, because that’s what I do when I see something weird or different. I immediately make fun of it. But then I realized that these people are handicapped and just trying to have some fun. They’re probably having more fun than I am sitting in front of the TV.

I think sledge hockey has different rules than regular hockey. I would look them up and tell you the differences, but that means I would have to look up the generic rules to hockey just to understand the sledge hockey rules. And I refuse to do that.  So just trust me when I say they’re different.

Interesting fact: in the United States, we refer to it as sled hockey. This makes more sense because the players are on little sleds. It snowed while I was in Canterbury, England (England shuts down when it snows. People literally do not know how to function. It’s bordering on retarded behavior.) and I remember that everyone wanted to go “sledging.” My response was always, “Whaaa?” “Come again?” or the ever-popular “Ew.”

So now I’m totally buggin. If cappers (handicapped people) can play hockey, then I seriously need to get into some sort of sport. I feel like I don’t have many options besides running in circles. Team sports terrify me. I hate the idea that others are depending on me. Any ideas would be appreciated. Any bad ideas earn you a virtual kick to the groin.

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