Tuesday, 1 December 2015

ONE YEAR REFLECTIONS


Today marks one year since I got on that one-way flight to London, leaving my safety net of home in North Carolina. Oh, what a year it's been! When I think of this past year, one word pops to mind: adventure. From travelling to multiple countries, to starting new jobs, to navigating London life, and everything in between, it's all been an undeniable adventure.

In so many ways, this year has been the best and the most difficult year of my life. Moving abroad comes with its challenges and looking back, I didn't realize how difficult it would be. How homesick I would be some days and how desperately I would miss everything about life in North Carolina. I can honestly say it took me a good 8 months to actually feel like me again.

However, I have no regrets because any challenges along the way ultimately brought me to where I am today: content, happy, and grateful. There are no words to describe how grateful I am for everything London has given me. Here, I found my dream job, a wonderful mix of friends from all over the world, so much culture and worldliness that fulfills me daily, and a place that accurately reflects my love for life.

One year down, and many more to go! London, thank you, thank you, thank you for everything; for teaching me to be strong, for making me go outside my comfort zone, for giving me friends that mean the world to me.....

but most of all, thank you for this amazing adventure.
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Monday, 13 July 2015

FAMILY TIME PART I- LONDON

Hey Everyone!! Hope you all have been doing well and can you believe it's mid July already?! I've been keeping super busy recently with work and my family came to visit! They just left this morning so I'm a bit sad, but we had an amazing 8 days together laughing, exploring new places, and just being with each other. I'll always cherish these memories. The first 3 days we stayed in London and saw a lot of the tourist sites before heading to PARIS for 3 days ( separate post to come on Paris!). Here's what we got up to in London:
Went on a tour of Westminster Abbey with Mom!

Buckingham Palace as regal as ever
Gorgeous flowers at the Victoria & Albert Museum!

My not so little brother :)
And of course, we had to do Afternoon Tea! I brought my family to this amazing place I found a couple months ago, original post on it here
How amazing is this tearoom? Love Sketch London

Hope you all enjoyed seeing what I've been up to!

Xoxo,
Karen
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Monday, 29 June 2015

LOOKING FORWARD- JULY

Happy Monday, everyone! I can hardly believe July is nearly upon us. It blows my mind how time flies by so quickly. I'm especially excited about the month of July because it'll bring so many good memories and fun events. Here's what I can't wait for:

1) Family:  My Mom, Dad, and little brother are all coming across the pond the first two weeks of July. I can't wait to show them my life here and we're all going to PARIS! My mom and brother have never been to Europe so this will be a trip of a lifetime. It's been 8 months since I've seen them and gosh, have I missed them!!

2) Birthdays: My dear friend, Gemma just celebrated her 30th and I'm taking her out this Tuesday to celebrate her. We're going to Hakkasan, an amazing Cantonese restaurant that is Michelin starred. Plus, my Mom's birthday is in July as well so I'll get to celebrate with her while they are all here!

3) Wedding: Lee's friend will be getting married in mid-May and this will be the second wedding we've attended together. I'm looking forward to celebrating this couple and dancing the night away with my love. Not sure what I'll be wearing, outfit posts coming soon!

As you all can see, July is going to be a good month! What are you looking forward to in July?

Xoxo,
Karen
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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

WANDERLUST: SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN

Hey again, lovely readers! I'm so sorry I've been MIA recently, it's been absolutely insane at work and outside of work! I never want blogging to feel like a chore, it's supposed to be a hobby not a job! If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen that I was in Spain recently. Lee and I headed to San Sebastian, Spain for 4 days of eating, beaching, and fun! I can't recommend this place more: it's hands down the most beautiful place I've ever been. San Seb is especially known for it's amazing food; they weren't kidding when they said the best tapas are there!






Hope you all enjoyed these snapshots and if you ever get the chance, please check out this amazing place!!

Xoxo
Karen

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Monday, 15 June 2015

WEEKENDING: BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S

Happy Monday, everyone! I'm usually not a huge fan of the start of the week, but this week I am because... I go on vacation at the end of this week!! So ready for some relaxation and good food. This weekend was particularly fun and made me appreciate living in London so much. Here's what I got up to:

Friday night: I did some shopping after work and snagged a new vacation hat:
I headed home for a low-key evening after shopping and watched some Scandal episodes before hitting the hay.

Saturday: Slept in and had breakfast in bed. I got up around noon to head towards Buckingham Palace. It's the Queen's birthday soon so there were lots of celebrations happening. The streets were decorated and.... I FINALLY SAW THE QUEEN!! It was an amazing experience:
Saturday night my friend Elena and I headed to Royal Albert Hall to see "Breakfast at Tiffany's" live. The movie was shown on a big screen while the London Symphony played the movie score live! Neither of us had been to the hall before so we were blown away when we stepped in:




Sunday: Met up with Gemma for brunch in Soho at Jackson + Rye for girl time and good food. It was so good to see her and catch up!

Lee and I went to The Shard for dinner and drinks Sunday night. There was a live jazz band and spectacular views:
All in all, an amazing weekend that made me excited for the rest of the Summer!

Xoxo,
Karen

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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

VACATION READING

don't know about you, but I LOVE counting down to a vacation. Whether it's a day trip or a week-long vacation, I get excited about it. Part of the excitement for me is knowing that I'll get the chance to do whatever. If I want to lounge around, that's fine. If I want to drink martinis, that's fine! I'm headed to Spain in 2 two weeks on vacation and I can't wait to catch up on some reading. Here are some picks I can't wait to read:

I  originally saw "Villa America" on an ad inside the tube station and decided to look it up. Perfect for vacay!

Last, but not least: an age old favorite of mine. I can read " Eat, Pray, Love" a million times and still love it!
What books have you all been reading? I'd love to hear any suggestions!!

Xoxo,
Karen
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Monday, 8 June 2015

BRIGHTON DAY TRIP

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! I spent the weekend in Brighton, a small beach town just an hour away from London. It was perfect: sunshine, waves, good food, and friends. It's so nice having the beach so close by, I know I'll be heading back soon!
Some pictures from the weekend:



Too adorable, right? 

Fish and Chips by the sea :)
Had to get a ring pic!
Brighton is so cute for a day trip! The girls and I felt rejuvenated after our mini getaway and I'd recommend it to everyone!

Xoxo,
Karen
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Friday, 5 June 2015

THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE

Life can be incredibly busy sometimes, can't it? With work, friends, family, and social events all vying for our time, it's often difficult to balance all of it. Recently, I've realized that my constant go, go, go mentality can bring more stress than it does enjoyment. Instead of actually enjoying the moment that I'm in, I'm distracted and always thinking about the next thing on my "to-do" list. Life has become hectic, hurried, and more like a checklist of things I must tick off. Not a good place to be in! 

Today's post is definitely a reminder to myself, but maybe it will be beneficial for you as well. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and even though we all know balance is good, it's so hard to actually find. Living in London has been the best experience of my life and I love every moment, but I don't want to ever take for granted all of the sweet moments that happen each day. So here's to being more "present" in my own life and to sometimes stopping to smell the roses (in Hyde Park!) 

Happy Friday, everyone!
Xoxo,
Karen 

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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A LITTLE TWEED LOVE

love all things tweed so when my Mom sent me this lovely blazer, I was in love. I love how it has a Chanel-esque feel to it. It's been such a great piece to have as we transition into Spring. Perfect for both work and casual days, I've been getting my use out of it for sure. This past Friday, I wore this outfit to work and then went straight to drinks in the city!



Shoes: Oasis/ Bag: Michael Kors/ Jeans: 7 For All Mankind/ Blazer: Gifted
Lovely readers: what are your thoughts about tweed?

Xoxo,
Karen

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Monday, 1 June 2015

WEEKENDING: TRIATHLON EDITION

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope your weekend was full of friends and good times! Can you believe it's June already?? Seriously, what happened to time? Here's what I got up to this weekend :

Friday Night: My coworkers and I left work around 8 pm to go to a good bye party for one of our traders. Canary Wharf is so busy on Friday nights, everyone was out and about enjoying the nice night!


Saturday: Lee and I hung out for the morning until 2 pm when we went to a friend's house for a barbeque. There was a huge soccer match on TV so all the guys watched that while the girls drank wine in the garden :)


I love a good Summer barbeque; friends, food, and drinks.. what could be more perfect?

Sunday: I woke up early to head to Hyde Park to watch the Vitality World Triathlon taking place. Lee's friend, John was participating so I hung out with his girlfriend and we cheered him on! I am always so in awe of people who accomplish feats like triathlons because ain't no way I'm ever going to be that motivated!


Lee and I went for brunch after the triathlon:

It was rainy and grey all Sunday so we ended up staying in and watching back to back episodes of Friends! Perfect weekend after a busy week.

Xoxo,
Karen
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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

REFLECTING ON THREE YEARS

Clockwise, Left to Right- 1) September 2014 in NC 2) Ringing in 2015 in London 3) Lee's company Christmas party 2014  4) Dinner with friends in 2013
This past weekend was Lee and I's third anniversary! Oh, what an adventure it has been. Looking back on the past three years, I can hardly believe all that has happened. From dozens of trips back and forth across the pond to getting engaged to finally living in the same city, I wouldn't change a thing. Who knew that the guy I met on a rooftop in Seville, Spain would end up being the one for me? I sure didn't. Three years later, I'm still head over heels in love with this guy and can't wait to spend many more years together. Happy Anniversary, baby. I love you!
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Monday, 25 May 2015

WEEKENDING: AFTERNOON TEA EDITION

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend and yay for 3 day weekends! Sadly, I have to work today, but I did make the most of the weekend! My friend, Ellen was in town from Madrid and it was so nice to see a familiar face :) Here's what we got up to:

Friday- Ellen, Lee, and I met up with my friend Sarah and her boyfriend Luke for Street Feast. If you didn't catch my post last week, it's basically an open-air food festival. All of us ate to our hearts' desire and caught up over beers and good food.
I also found the prettiest purple flowers and of course, had to get a pic with them. Loving Spring!

Saturday- We slept in and left around 1 pm to meet friends for afternoon tea. Oh my word, I almost died of happiness when I walked into the restaurant. It was my girly, pink heaven! Tea, pastries, friends, and a gorgeous room, do you need much more? 



Afternoon tea lasted for about 3 hours and then we rolled ourselves home to nap before heading to drinks in Soho at 10 p.m!

Sunday- It was absolutely gorgeous out so we spent most of the morning reading in a park. I could've stayed put all day:
Ellen wanted to go to Harrods so we spent a couple of hours wandering inside. If you're visiting London, you've got to make a stop at Harrods! 
Sunday night called for yummy chicken pot pie, comfie clothes, and back-to-back episodes of the Gladiators:

Xoxo,
Karen 
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