Monday, November 30

Summer 2014 - Scotland Recap 1

I love seeing and sharing travel diaries, vacation photos and sightseeing tips and tricks! It's an awesome way for me to relive the trip after the trip! In the next few weeks, you'll be seeing a few posts from my trip last year to Scotland!

Tuesday, June 17/Wednesday, July 18  - Travel to UK 

The flight to London was relatively uneventful. However, it was my first time flying with Virgin Atlantic—what I’ve always seen as somewhat of a hip new airline, so I figure I would share my experience with that. It’s not like I have ample experience with British Airways, etc so don't use my experience as a comparison point there. Overall, I abhorred Virgin Atlantic’s website. I found it difficult to navigate and even do something as simple as check-in online. While Virgin offers a plethora of connection options with other airlines, these airlines do not seem to talk to each other. I was left in the dark about terminals, gates, seats and even boarding times. 

Now, in the actual flight, I found the flight staff young… however, absentminded? There were times when they tried waking up guests for meals, and other times when they let meal service pass by. I thought it was pretty normal to have a sticker on your seat that would say “Let me sleep.” Or “Wake me up for dinner.” Is that not actually common? What really annoyed me was that my row would be skipped in trash collection, only to have a flight attendant come back 15 minutes later and say that my tray table needs to be up. Perhaps if you took the food or do you expect me to have it in my lap?

The inflight entertainment really had no equal. I ended up watching “Her” on the flight over, but they had all the recent Oscar movies, blockbusters and even a few foreign films for their international audience. 

My main gripe is partially with Virgin, particularly with the StudentUniverse site where I got my tickets, and partially with myself. Here's the issue. For the return trip, I booked my ticket from Edinburgh to Heathrow, landing at 10:45am. My flight from Heathrow to the US was scheduled to leave at 11:15am. That's... not a lot of time. In LAX, the lady behind the ticket counter tried to change it, but said that the ticket was based out of London and the system would not allow her to. When I reached London, the Virgin representative said I had to wait until the following morning to change it and there would be a fee of $100. I'll keep you waiting to see how I resolved it. Let's just say it was significantly more than $100.

When we landed, I found myself on the journey to my friend’s house. I realized how much of a luxury it was to have family pick me up in foreign countries. Travelling from the airport to a specific address seemed very difficult all of a sudden. Despite being a spoiled traveler, with weary feet (more due to the uncomfortable cobblestone than anything else), I did find my friend. In this harrowing journey, I'd like to thank Evernote, Google Maps and the nice British policemen.

We went out to dinner at a close restaurant and ended up trying their Set Menu. I think that these menus are only reserved for very nice/very European restaurants in the US but are fairly common in the UK. Travelers/British folk, feel free to correct me! At 35 pounds a head, I found it very pricey and entirely too much food for one night. 

 A few iphone pictures for you:

Radishes Dipped in Butter and Goat Cheese – I’ve had all of these ingredients, just not in this particular combination. I’m a big fan of radishes, so I enjoyed this dish. The radish had a most satisfying crunch. 

Pork with Pickled Vegetables - Despite the weird "tuna" appearance of the pork, I really liked the dish. The slightly salty pork paired well with the fresh veggies. I have no idea if this counts as British home cooking or some fancy restaurant dish, but it was good!

Leek in Tomato Sauce with Cheese - Okay. This was NOT the official name of the dish. I have forgotten the official name of the dish. What looked like a really sad and not very promising dish was actually quite good. The leek (I think that's what it was) was not bitter or soggy. The tomato sauce was absolutely amazing. I can't decide if I love British food or not. 

Salmon with Lima Beans - Again, I'm sure that this had a much more sophisticated name, but this is all I got. I loved the lima beans in this dish but was indifferent about the salmon. 

Blackface Lamb – Oh my gosh. I’m generally not a fan of large meat dishes at all, but this dish included leg and shoulder. The meat was so incredibly tender and moist. It came along with some side dishes like potatoes, roasted vegetables and fried bananas. 

Earl Grey Cake, Strawberries and Vanilla Ice Cream – Not a particularly exotic dish, but I do love earl grey cake. A lot.

Monday, November 16

Link Up: The Young Working Woman Edition

I've probably expressed this thought countless times on this blog, but I'm concerned about my future as a woman. I'm not sure how to have it all... or if I want it all. 

I'm not ambitious, and that's OK - A comforting article expressing how we don't have to be CEOs who plan and craft for our children's birthday parties and cook every night. 

5 Ways to Eat Healthy When You're Busy - I love these tips and have tried all of them!

When You Should and Shouldn't Send an Email - The Daily Muse is my favorite work/career related website and I absolutely loved this article about email etiquette. 

The 10 Best Cities for Professional Women - Thinking about moving? Perhaps you should try one of these cities! 

Monday, November 9

How to Find Work Staples: The Pencil Skirt

I love staple pieces for work. There's a million patterns, cuts and colors you can get, but if you stick with the formula, you never really go wrong! Part Three of my Work Staples Series focuses on the Pencil Skirt. 

3. The Pencil Skirt 

I’ve found that you either love these or hate these. I think I’m the one girl in my office who loves pencil skirts to death. I find skirts more versatile than pants since I can wear either heels or flats with skirts. 
Pencil Skirts

The Plain Black Skirt - As cliché as it is, I love my plain black skirt. No matter how crazy I do it up top, I can always balance it out and maintain my professionalism with a plain black skirt. 

The Crazy Patterned Skirt - This skirt is for when you want to keep your top half toned down. 

The Colored Skirt - I find my plain black skirt most practical and easy to match, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want pencil skirts IN ALL THE COLORS. I’ve seen some gorgeous fall looks with mustard colored skirts, festive holiday looks with cranberry red skirts, and adorable sailor themed looks with navy blue skirts. 

The Textured Skirt - You can have any type of textured skirt you desire, but I actually love my lace skirts. I have a few black lace skirts that I adore. The texture keeps it funky and interesting… but subtle enough that it’s not immediately noticeable.

If you liked this post, please see Part 1: Cardigans and Part 2: The Drapey Top.

Monday, November 2

Maybelline Define-A-Lash Mascara Review

After spending a nice and lovely time in Orlando, I'm back to cold Seattle. I did recently get to go out and purchase some boots and sweaters though, so I'm in a good mood. I'm bringing you a post on mascara today -- I don't wear mascaras often anymore, so this was the last mascara I purchased. I have had it for much longer than 6 months though...  I should probably throw it out! 

This mascara defines my lashes. It thickens and lengthens very well, leaving natural looking lashes that are much improved from my nearly invisible ones. It does such a good job the first time, that I generally don't need to go back a second time. This greatly minimizes the clumping. However, if I am feeling overly ambitious and do decide to go back, this does not bode well for my lashes. If I'm not careful, it will clump.

I'm not 100% behind the wand. I think the short hairs on the wand make separating my lashes harder. The wand makes a much bigger impact than the formula on how my lashes look!

Overall, it's a mascara. I'll keep using it but I'm not likely to repurchase. 

When it comes to mascara, do you care more about the wand or the formula?