After a week in London and a weekend with the besties in Margate I am off to Aruba with Jon’s family.


Just got back from a run.  Need to shower, do laundry and pack!

Frate #1

Friend + Date = Frate.

Thanks Jamie for coming up with that phrase!

I finally met Betsy frombetsy transatlantically!

We have been emailing and gchatting since May so it was nice to finally meet her in person.  We got lunch at Yo! Sushi. It’s conveyor belt sushi which is so much fun.  Betsy and I had a blast at lunch and I’m sure I will be seeing her again when I get back to London.

Yup that’s right.  I’m already back in the States.  It was a quick trip to see the flat, bring stuff over and get acquainted in London.  Jon came back with me and we have a lot going on while we are here. I’ll blog sporadically so keep checking back.

I’ll leave you with a snack from the plane.

Adventure Up The Jubilee Line And More

Round 1 of IKEA trip was SUCCESSFUL.  I followed the directions from the website and asked a couple of people which direction the IKEA was when I got off the tube and lo and behold I made a left turn and saw the big blue building with yellow iconic letters.

I had so much fun walking through the store myself.  I know it’s not good quality and my family how vowed NEVER to purchase IKEA furniture again but it just makes sense in our situation.  Don’t worry Dad, this time Jon will be putting together the furniture while cursing and saying he will never do this again. Haha memories (that Shanna and Stef witnessed).

I bought 25 items for £56 which I think is a steal.  I bought things for the flat such as kitchen utensils, garbage bin, fruit bowl, etc.  While I toured the showroom I took photos of the furniture pieces I think would be perfect for our flat.  Next time Jon will come and say yes or no and then we can start making the rental into our home. I won’t bore you with the furniture photos but will show you the 2 bags full of stuff I carried back on the bus.  I decided to take the bus back home so I could see other parts of London.

I’ve been fending for myself this week since Jon has been working and I found myself at Whole Foods for dinner every night.  I think it just gives me that little bit of home that every expat wants. Plus their hot food bar is DELICIOUS!

Plus I love “mush” with balsamic vinegar so this place is ideal for me. Just in case you wanted to see what I mean by “mush” here you go.

One more thing before I go.  All flats come with a tea kettle.  Makes sense considering we are in London but it doesn’t work for me.  Today I put the tea kettle on top of the fridge for a “rainy day” and replaced it with a nice coffee pot.  It’s very necessary people!  I also stuffed a TON of splenda packets into my checked luggage so I have a about a years supply of them. Thanks Alyssa for buying the Costco boxes for me!!  While I was purchasing the coffee pot at Sainsbury’s I had to buy coffee but was absolutely confused by the different types.  I want Dunkin Donuts coffee but I’ve got to be realistic.  So I settled on the brand with New York in the title.  I’ll let you know how it is.

Look at that beautiful coffee pot and cute jar to hold my splenda supply!

Musings Of A New Londoner

I’ve been taking in all the sites, sounds and smells as I walk and explore London.  It’s been great but I will admit I’m ready for a schedule so when school starts I’ll feel more at home I think.

There is this really cool cycle hire program going on this summer called Barclays Cycle Hire.  The concept is great.  You rent a bike and can ride it around town and then return it to any of the docking stations.  It’s free for 30 minutes, £1 for an hour and so on and so on.  I really want to try it but I can’t even cross the street without getting honked at so imagine me on a bike riding with the traffic.  I think I’d rather walk or take the tube right now.  Maybe in a year…..or never.

Something else I’ve notice and I think is genius are public subways.  They make it so much easier to cross the street.  You don’t have to worry about lights turning, people honking, looking the wrong way or anything.  New York….mull it over.

I took this photo about an hour ago and as you can see it’s sunny out so I’m going to take advantage of it and explore some more.  I’m a lady of leisure these days and loving every second of it.

I made it!!

I packed all day Saturday with the help of my friend, Cristina, and then headed off to the airport with my Dad.

As you can tell my dad is not an artistic person.  It took a couple of tries to finally not get my head chopped off in the photo.  It’s ok Dad the final one turned out “postable”. =)  This is me in the airport parking lot.  I had to document it.  2 checked bags, a carry-on and the green bag which I told them was my purse.  I also had to represent and wear my PSU sweatshirt since it didn’t fit in my luggage.  I also wore a jacket over that (bear in mind that it was 80 degrees in NY that night) because it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase but i knew it would be necessary once I arrived in London.

My flight was smooth and I just slept the entire way.  I woke up when we were about an hour away from landing. I couldn’t wait!!  I passed through customs, grabbed my luggage and raced out to the meeting area to see Jon with beautiful flowers in hand.

Next up…seeing the flat that Jon picked out ALONE.  We pulled up to the front door and I knew it was going to be perfect.  Such a cute, quintessential London flat.  He opened the door and it was love at first sight!  The flat is amazing. Jon did VERY well.  It’s a mess right now because we are unpacking and getting settled in but I will include photos soon.  It’s a 1 bedroom with a lot of space but no closets (eek!).  An IKEA trip will happen very soon so we can figure this all out.

Jon showed me around hte area and the first thing I saw was FRAE so I had my first meal there.  Delicious and so happy it’s close to the flat.

While I was unpacking I marked my territory again with a PSU magnet.  We are……PENN STATE!  Sorry Jon….we share everything now…feel free to put up something Cornell is you want. =)

One more funny thing I want to share before I go.  To me Palmolive is used to clean your dishes but here it’s for your body as well.  I am going to adapt to everything I can but this is one thing I can’t do.  I smell like dishes right now.

With that….I’m off to buy body wash.

Blue Doors

Our new flat with a blue door.

Blue door from Hugh Grant’s flat in Notting Hill.

Just saying.

4 Days Left…I Never Thought This Day Would Come

So 4 days left of work.  I’ve been there for 3.5 years so as much as it’s a exciting reason to leave it’s sad at the same time.  I’ve become so close with a lot of people in the office.  If you think about it you spend more time at work in a week than actually interacting with the people you live with.  This is my desk…3 years worth of stuff (we sat on a different floor for a little while).

Look at everything on the walls.  All memories.  I think I’m going to miss the huge desk calendar the most.  I love how colorful and organized it made me.  Is that crazy?!

Well as they say, “When one door closes another one opens” so I’m ready for that and REALLY EXCITED!!

What does your desk look like?

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