September 21, 2012

Hello from Nottingham!

After being in Nottingham for a little over four days now, I can finally say I'm settled enough to sit down and write a new blog post--sorry for the delay!

It has been a whirlwind past few days, but it gets easier and more exciting each day! I have to admit-- when Kaitlin, Caroline and I stepped off of the plane into the insanity of London Heathrow airport with our whole lives packed into one checked bag, a carry on and a backpack, realizing we had uprooted our lives and moved to another country for three months--was a daunting experience to say the least.

Upon arriving we were met by Nottingham volunteers who took us our shuttles that would take us to Nottingham. After a three hour bus ride and some much needed snoozing, we were finally on campus! 

We have been living in temporary halls for the duration of the International Student Welcome Program in which we have information sessions, and various other activities. Being in a new place is utterly exhausting! Even a simple walk around campus, trying to find our way in this very new place, requires a nap afterwards. 

We have already met some incredible people and some new friends! The international presence here is quite a change from College of Charleston!! At University of Nottingham, one third of the students are international!

Yesterday we ventured into the Nottingham city centre and navigated the public transit system (something very foreign to us Charlestonians!) A quick bus ride to the city center was followed by some shopping and setting up our international pay-as-you-go phones and a nice lunch at hip little spot called Revolution. We are still figuring out the buses--our bus ride back took at least an hour! (one of our many trial and errors!)

Here's a few pics to give you an idea of where we are--

And here are a few pictures of campus (so lush and green!)

Don't let the pictures fool you--We have had our fair share of overcast weather 
and drizzly rain (live how the English live, right?)

On Wednesday night we had our first legal drink at the on campus bar, Mooch. School-sponsored consumption of alcohol is definitely still a novelty for the American students!

Thursday night we attended a welcome party for the international students put on by NUSEX (sounds naughtier than it is) which stands for Nottingham University Student Exchange Society at a club called Coco Tang. Night life in England is SO different from back in the States. I think we all have a new found love for a bit of techno music :)

Tonight we are taking it easy, because tomorrow we are moving into our halls for the semester. Kaitlin and I will be moving into Cripps Hall and Caroline will be in a neighboring hall called Lenton and Wortley. We plan on exuding hall pride and enjoying the upcoming "Freshers Week" (Fresher = Freshman). 

In the afternoon tomorrow we hope to visit the Nottingham Castle and grab a drink at Ye Olde Jerusalem, which is the oldest pub in England! 

Can't wait to keep you all updated on the rest of my adventures!

Until next time-- I will be sipping my tea and embracing my inner Englishness!


September 10, 2012

Welcome Back!

Hello lovely readers!

I'm back! After a year long hiatus (embarrasing, I know.)

I felt it was time to start up the old blog due to the fact that I now have something exciting to blog about...


Two of my best friends (and roommates) and I are venturing over the pond to study abroad in Nottingham, England at the University of Nottingham for three months of culture, travel and many cups of tea (hot English tea, not sweet Southern tea).

Speaking of tea...

The two friends--Kaitlin and Caroline, also started blogs to document our travels you can kind Kaitlin's cute blog, Sweet Tea Time (catchy, huh?) here:

and Caroline's new blog, Caroline Uprooted, right here:

Anyways, with a week left until departure I have a lot to get done, like packing my whole life into one suitcase, a carry on, and a personal item.

I also have to:

  • Buy Skype Premium (Can't neglect my love, Mr. Chandler, now can I? :)
  • Plan some weekend trips (Munich, Paris, Amsterdam, Scotland, and Ireland anyone?)
  • Compile a list of my family members and friends in Europe and mark where they live on a big map of the UK (I'm a dual citizen with almost all of my family in England, remember?)
  • Contact credit card companies
  • Find a new book to read (Any suggestions? I've been lost ever since I finished the Fifty Shades trilogy)
  • Narrow down what shoes and outerwear I'm going to pack (Hardest thing on my to-do list)
  • Say some final goodbyes to my darling kitties, parents and Hunter (Three months will go in a flash!)
That's just a taste of my expansive to do list that haunts me at night--Better get on it!

Until next post...


P.S. In case you are new here, I would read this blog post which gives you a little more info about me!

Note: Of course, the post above is a tad old...I'm now a junior at CofC, living with 2 girls and have been dating Hunter for almost three years! :)

August 27, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

Hello from Charleston!

My good friend/mentor/high school swim coach, Ms. Byrne told me to blog more. When she tells me to do something, I listen! :) I do need to be reminded sometimes to keep up with this blog, because life tends to get in the way. It truly is therapeutic when I sit down and churn out a post.

Well here's the update on my life as of late. I moved back to Charleston 10 days ago in to my cute new house! I'm in love with my old, creaky historic house. I live in my portion of the house with my 5 lovely roommates. I already feel so at home...and of course I have some pictures for you!

Here was my roommate Caroline and my first dinner in our new home!
...and here's my room!
 my favorite part of my room is the exposed brickwork.
 this one didn't turn out great...but you get the picture!

The house still needs some work of course, but it has really come together! It is so home-y and comfortable. My roommates and I love to just lay around all day in each other's beds! ha. Lazy, I know, but the first week of classes was very busy. We were all exhausted!

It's going to be a busy, but such an exciting year. I have some amazing people surrounding me, a heavy course load and a booked calendar--which means this year is going to fly by.

Can't wait to have you along for the ride...

August 14, 2011

Hallelujah! The England Recap Post

Hello blog world!

Finally, I am making time to do this. I'm ashamed that I haven't for the past couple weeks. I had an amazing trip to England, so it was difficult to say the least to choose just a hand full of pictures. I put it off while I jumped full force back into my internship while traveling back and forth to Charleston to get my apartment ready with my lovely roommates. Friday was my last day working for the Open Land Trust after working there for three summers! I'm going to miss everyone so much! My boss, Ann is literally the best mentor and role model ever. I only hope that I can find such an amazing internship in Charleston next summer--but I'm very optimistic :)

Anyways, back to my trip to England!

Of course we were there to relax and visit family. But one of the biggest reasons we were there was to meet my gorgeous baby niece (my third!), Kitty Alexandra.


Meeting this sweet, little girl made my whole trip.

The second big reason for our trip was for my oldest sister, Lisa's wedding to her fiancé, Andrew! It was a small civil ceremony of 80 guests in the historic library of Dulwich College, a very prestigious British boys prep school.

very Harry Potter-esque, right?

My sissy planned the whole wedding herself, which I thought was very impressive. It was a very intimate and elegant affair.

This is my favorite picture of the beautiful bride

 My two older nieces (Meghan and Jessica) along with Andrew's niece were Lisa's flower girls. I was absolutely obsessed with Lisa's choice of color palette, which included glistening champagne and ivory with a pop of royal blue. 

the bouquets were rustic, yet sophisticated.

Lisa looked absolutely stunning in her ivory, handmade tea-length gown. She and Andrew were beaming. It was a truly beautiful ceremony. I was honored when Lisa asked me to read a passage during the ceremony. Being the Communications major that I am, I was more than confident with my public speaking abilities. After making it half way through the passage I looked over at Lisa and Andrew and saw how happy they were, and got completely choked up! I was so embarrassed, but the emotion was very sincere, so I couldn't be too mortified. After I took my seat my nieces were honestly very confused to see me crying. They kept patting my back and saying it was cute!

Here's a quick shot of what the sisters of the bride wore!

And a shot of all three girls with the father of the bride

...and let's not forget this precious baby!

 After the bride and groom made their exit, we made our way to the reception which was down the street in a very British pub called The Crown and Greyhound. We used the reception hall upstairs, where we wined and dined on the ultimate British fare. Guests were served Pims cocktails garnished with lots of fresh fruit with hors d'oeuvres, including this extraordinary creation...

 a pork pie inscribed with the bride and groom's names! (the pub did this without telling them, ha!)

Then tea was served! It was a traditional "cream tea", which consists of English, hot tea served with golden scones, clotted cream and jam. Tea time is one of my absolute favorite things about England.  A forth meal during the day dedicated to sweets? I'll take it. 

This is actually a picture I took of another tea time during our trip, but it was too perfect for this post.

After tea had been served, as we nibbled on our scones, it was time for the toasts. Flutes of champagne were passed around while my dear dad paid tribute to his oldest. Anyone who knows him also knows how loud and outgoing he is! But when it comes to his daughters, I think he gets a little nervous :) Despite his nerves, he graciously led the reception in toasting to the newly weds.

And finally, cake was served! The cake was made by one of Andrew's closest friends and it was handcrafted with such exquisite detail! It was light, delicious and perfect for this summer wedding.

Keeping with British tradition, Andrew and Lisa cut the cake with her grandfather's sword. I love this tradition--taking notes for my future wedding :)

 The wedding was such a beautiful event--full of so much love. It was also a great reason for our family to all come together, which isn't easy when you live on different continents!

So cheers to Andrew and Lisa!

Until next post...

July 25, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I know I know, it's been forever

After 16 days in England, 24 hours of traveling, reuniting with Hunter and my friends while being completely jet-lagged, and not to mention starting back work during Waterfestival (a huge summer festival in my town), AND having to prepare for moving back to Charleston-- I am going a little bit crazy to say the least. 

Crazy good though. It's a very exciting time of the year.

I'm sorry I have been so terribly neglectful. I promise I have so many wonderful pictures and experiences to share from my trip to the UK but they will have to wait a few more me it'll be good :)

July 1, 2011

Over the Pond

Hello hello!

This will have to be a quick post letting you all know that I am officially on my way to the United Kingdom! I'm so overwhelmed with excitement.

We are going to attend my oldest sister's wedding and to meet my baby niece! On top of that, I get to see all my family members from my mother's side as well as my middle sister and her children. It shall be quite the family reunion!

I'll try to post a few updates while I'm "over the pond", but you can definitely look forward to a elaborate British wedding post when I return.

Hope you all have a chance to take a little getaway of your own...

June 25, 2011

...and The Wedding!

I'm on a roll tonight! While I'm at this whole blog thing, I decided to tell you all about Ben and Jill's beautiful wedding!

Despite my car (R.I.P. Ford Escort) breaking down on i-16 and eventually meeting its death, and two-hour hiatus in McDonalds with all my luggage, I finally met up with Hunter and his parents who took me the rest of the way to Hunter's hometown right outside of Atlanta.

The wedding was on a gorgeous, lush farm in the country side. I hope Jill got a picture by one of the rustic fences in her cascading, white dress! What a perfect background for a classic, Southern wedding.

Sadly, it rained during the ceremony, which was supposed to be outside under a ivy-covered arbor, but they had a rain plan! The wedding was quickly moved inside to the finished barn where the reception also took place.

 I know Jill and Ben were sad to see it rain, but I can say that the joining together of these two love birds (of 10 years, I might add!) was truly a sight to see. 

They had an evening ceremony followed by a dessert reception (my get-fit plan was put on hold this weekend!) The color palette was black, white with an accent color of light pink, and was found in even the smallest details of the wedding decor! Jill and her family hand-made everything from the invitations to the delectable, bite-size desserts.

note: the wedding favors included a personalized CD of Ben and Jill's favorite love songs and a book of matches that held the sparklers that we lit for their departure!


One of my favorite parts of the wedding design, was the cake. Jill's oldest sister, Ana made and decorated the cake and it was incredible. The cake was delicious, and every rose was frosted to perfection.

 (missing the top tier in this picture!)

The couple had their first dance to Frank Sinatra before the dance floor was opened to guests!

And I just couldn't resist snapping a quick picture of the adorable flower girl! 

Hunter and I after a little dancing (my heels were killing me.)

As the night began to wind down, the groom threw the garter and the bride threw the ceremonial bouquet (you all know what catching the bouquet is supposed to mean...)

 drum roll please...
...I caught the bouquet!

 I walked over to Hunter with a smirk on my face and he said "Don't even think about it!" The funny thing was, the reason was happy was because I knew it would be perfect for the blog!

The wedding was a night to remember, and I know the bride and groom were beaming as they rode away into the night in their getaway Rolls Royce. 

Congratulations Ben and Jill!