Wednesday, 29 April 2015

LONDON LOVE: CUTTER & SQUIDGE BAKERY

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a major sweet tooth. Cakes, pastries, cookies, macaroons... I'll eat it all.  I call myself an equal opportunity sweets- lover. I'm always on the search for cute and delicious desserts and London is the perfect place for that. There seems to be a new bakery or delicatessen opening every week!

If you've seen my instagram lately, you might've seen these babies:

 They're from an adorable place called Cutter & Squidge, located in Soho. I found this place after brunch this weekend and immediately knew I'd be back a lot!



Everything is homemade and quality; they even cater to vegan and gluten-free customers! If you're in London or visiting, you must stop by this place! I love sharing places I've found with you all :)

Xoxo,
Karen
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Monday, 27 April 2015

WEEKENDING: VOGUE FESTIVAL 2015

This weekend, I had the chance to attend the 2015 Vogue Festival! It's an annual event put on by British Vogue and sponsored by Harrods that includes talks from iconic designers and tips on style, fashion, and beauty! Free manicures, facials, and blow-outs were also available ( basically a girl's heaven).


When I was buying tickets, I was torn between seeing John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, or Christian Louboutin. Since I've always been a fan of Louboutins, I ended up at Christian Louboutin's talk and was blown away by his story! He's such a humble person in light of his success and it was amazing to hear about how he built his empire. 

Top: ModCloth (old)/ Blazer: H&M/ Necklace: Dorothy Perkins/ Shoes & Riding Pants: River Island


I guess Mr. Louboutin's talk was just too inspiring because... I picked me up a pair of these beauties:
I chose a classic black pair that'll last for years!

Xoxo,
Karen 
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

TO THE OFFICE: WORK OUTFIT

bought this gorgeous blouse from Loft 4 years ago and it's been consistently one of my favorites for work. In the winter, I pair it with a black, wool pencil skirt and since it's Spring, I've paired it with this classic white skirt from Forever 21. I love how colorful this outfit is, while being professional.




Xoxo,
Karen 
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Monday, 20 April 2015

WEEKENDING

Happy Monday, lovely readers! Hope you all had a restful, fun weekend! Mine was relaxing and full of friends, food, and sunshine. Here's a little recap:

Friday Night: Got off work around 7:30 and met Lee at our favorite Thai restaurant near home. We had some beers with our food and then split a dessert:
Sweet Brioche with coconut sticky rice and vanilla ice cream! 
We also booked a vacation to San Sebastian, Spain Friday night!! I am SO excited to be visiting this amazing city; from what I've read, San Sebastian has the best food in Spain and the prettiest beaches. We're headed out there for 4 days in June!

Saturday: I went for a run and stopped by Whole Foods for a green smoothie. Loving their " Green Monster" smoothie with kale, spinach, apple, and lemon! For lunch, I met up with Sarah and Elena in Richmond for a girls' afternoon:
Lee and I stayed home Saturday night and did taco night while vacation planning for June!


Sunday: We had a lazy day in, but I did get my ring cleaned! I love getting it back when it's all clean and shiny :)

Lee and I went out for dinner and drinks Sunday night and that was the weekend done!

Xoxo,
Karen
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Friday, 17 April 2015

A LITTLE REMINDER TO MYSELF

Phew, it's finally Friday!! Have you ever had one of those weeks that just passes like a big blur? Well, this week was that week for me. It's so easy to get lost in the craziness of life sometimes. I was feeling really run down the past couple of days and I had to stop and remind myself of this important truth: It's perfectly okay to take time for yourself.

It's okay. It's okay if I need "me time." It's okay if I want to pamper myself with a pedicure. It's okay if I just need some quiet.

We all get caught up in the 5,000 things on our to-do lists, work, family, and friends. Sometimes you just got to take a breather and pause. Get your thoughts together, rejuvenate yourself, and then go seize the day!


Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great, relaxing weekend!

xoxo,
Karen
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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

WEDDING WEDNESDAY: LONDON LOCATIONS

Happy Wednesday, lovely readers! We've made it halfway through the week ;) I'm so excited to be sharing some of my favorite London wedding locations with you all today. Lee and I haven't begun to seriously plan our wedding yet, but are looking around and getting ideas of what we might want!

It's definitely a challenge to plan a wedding when there are two countries, families and, cultures involved. First question, where do we even have it? In America? In London? Somewhere totally random? The options are endless!
Here are some amazing venues London offers:
Kew Palace & Gardens: Built in 1631, this amazing venue offers a historical feel and classic surroundings.

Victoria and Albert Museum: I love the idea of weddings in a Museum! Guests can experience a unique venue that'll be interesting and fun!

Le Gothique: This pretty building has been an orphanage, a hospital, and a school throughout the years! It's a restaurant and bar today, with some apartments as well! It reminds me of a Disney castle!

The Shard: With amazing views overlooking all of London, this venue is a dazzler for sure! The view is incredible from inside and the restaurant is delicious as well!

As you can see, London sure has some strong competitors in my search for a venue.
Ladies, how did you find your venue? Was the process stressful?

Xoxo,
Karen
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Monday, 13 April 2015

WEEKENDING

This weekend was the prettiest weekend London has had so far! There's just something about sunshine, blue skies, and pretty flowers everywhere that makes me so giddy. I just want to be out and about doing something. Here's a recap of my fun ( food- filled) weekend:

Friday- I met up with my friend Elena after work for drinks and dinner in Covent Garden. We ended up at Palm Court Brasserie, one of my favorite French restaurants.
Bubbly and Cous Cous with goat's cheese 
After dinner, we walked around Picadilly Circus and somehow ended up in M&M World. I can't believe I've lived in London 5 months and only just visited! It was a chocolate lover's heaven :)



Saturday- I slept in and did a lot of exploring all around the city. Lot's of blue skies and people out in the parks. I started re-reading " Eat, Pray, Love" again and am reminded of what an amazing book it is!


Sunday- I met up with Elena and Sarah for a girls' brunch & shopping in the Chelsea neighborhood. The brunch place we went to, Nell's, was amazing. Everything was fresh and healthy. I ordered a yummy quiche and got 2 side salads with it


Brunch Outfit :)
Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Xoxo,
Karen
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Friday, 10 April 2015

THOUGHTS ON LONG DISTANCE LOVE

3,872 miles. That's how many miles were between Lee and I for 2.5 years of our relationship. I look back and almost can't believe 2.5 years both flew by and dragged by. All you ladies in long distance relationships, I feel for you. Trust me when I say I know exactly what you're going through. It's definitely not easy, but it's doable and oh so worth it :)

I often get asked how Lee and I kept our relationship strong through the long distance years, and honestly, I don't know if there's a magic answer. Our relationship was, in many ways, similar to any other "normal" relationship. You still have good days and bad days, days where you miss them, and days where everything's perfect. Like any relationship, you  learn so much about yourself and the person you're with when you're in a LDR.

Don't ever let anyone tell you what's possible and impossible. You'll hear every excuse under the sun like "oh, it's expensive to fly back and forth" or "it'll fizzle out after a while" or "wouldn't it be easier if you just dated someone in the same place as you?" But friends, don't even waste your time on the doubters; it's your relationship and only you can decide what your LDR will or will not be. Don't get discouraged by what other people say. Trust in what you know is true.

If anything, you'll never have regrets for trying. Fingers crossed, all of you get your happily ever after!

Xoxo,
Karen
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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

LONDON LOVING- INSTA LATELY

With Spring arriving slowly here in London, everything just seems that much more beautiful. I might be biased a little, but I dare say Spring in London may be the prettiest place I've seen! A lot of wandering around and taking pictures has been happening via my instagram:
 Clockwise from Left to Right: 1) Easter Brunch at a cute cafe. 2) Delicious macaroons after a long workday 3) Trying a new Indian restaurant with Lee 4) A lovely spring day taken on my afternoon run
Clockwise from Left to Right: 1) A gorgeous sunset I was lucky enough to capture 2) Easter flowers on sale near work 3) Greenwich Park on a sunny day

I can't wait to take more snapshots through out the Spring. So many moments to capture, not enough time :)

xoxo,
Karen
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Monday, 6 April 2015

BEING PETITE: BEST PLACES TO SHOP

Finding petite-friendly clothing has always been difficult for me. I'm pretty petite which means that clothes almost never fit right off the rack. Usually, something's too big, too long, or just looks like a bag on me. Let me tell you, I've become great friends with the cute old lady at the tailoring shop!
There is hope though, for all of us petite gals! After much shopping research, I'm sharing some petite- friendly stores in London and the U.S:

1) Reiss: This is my favorite English brand so far when it comes to petite-wear. They make beautiful pieces that are perfect for work and require no tailoring! It is more on the expensive side, but the clothes are good quality and fit great!

2) Banana Republic: If you follow me on Insta, you might've seen this dress on me. I've always loved Banana and the classic styles they have. Their petite section is perfect for me and I always know I can find something when I'm there!

3) Dorothy Perkins: Another English brand that is my go-to for when I need a good dress. I've found a couple of my staple dresses here. It's pretty cheap so I never feel guilty getting a couple of things from DP. The sizing in here can be hit or miss though, a UK size 2 can vary from one piece to another.

4) Ann Taylor Loft: Ever since I got my first Loft sweater at age 15, I've been obsessed with this brand. It's a perfect place for casual wear like sweaters, jeans, and pencil skirts. One of my favorite sweaters is from Loft below. They also have a great petite selection online and in store!

Fellow petite ladies, where do you find clothes?

Xoxo,
Karen
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

DAY DATES IN LONDON

Who doesn't like a good day date, right? I might even like them more than dates at night. Don't get me wrong, I love date nights especially here in London, but there's something special about spending the day with Lee.
I think I prefer day dates because there are so many more options that could potentially be great date places. When it's not raining here, I love getting out and exploring London. It's awfully cute, I must say. Here are some of my favorite " day dates!"

- Picnic Lunch: Regents Park & Greenwich Park are two romantic spots for a picnic lunch. Last summer, this was one of our favorite things to do and I bet it will be again this summer! Pack some snacks and drinks, a comfie blanket, and spend some time with your love :)
Clearly, everyone had the same idea as us 
- Take a Boat Ride: Westminster Pier is a great place to start. A lot of companies offer pick up at this pier and you can see London from a new perspective as you make your way down the river. I really want to go on a restaurant cruise this summer. Lunch and pretty views, can't beat that!

- The London Zoo: Looking at cute animals with your sweetheart. Need I say more? The London Zoo is easy to get to, fun, and a great place to spend the day!

Hope you all enjoyed some of these London day date ideas!

Xoxo,
Karen
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