Monday, July 31, 2006

Update

I've only been here 3 full days and I've already crossed several items off my list:

Rudino's Rooftop
Target
Bojangles
Chick-Fil-A
Raleigh Grand (to see The Devil Wears Prada)

I think I need to revise and add more stuff.

Friday, July 28, 2006

A letter

To all my friends back in the UK,

Ahhhhhhh, air conditioning.

Love,
Heather

Monday, July 24, 2006

Holler Raleigh!

I think I have told everyone in the free world already but if anyone reads this and I haven't told you, consider yourself informed now. I'm coming to Raleigh this week! And I'll be there for like 20 days! Whoop whoop! Here's a list of all the places I must visit:

Rudino's Rooftop
Char Grill
Nordstrom
Target
Bojangles
Chick-Fil-A
Raleigh Grand (to see The Devil Wears Prada)
Sephora
Harris Teeter (for contraband to bring back to the UK)
Carolina Ale House
Tommy my hair guy

Any takers?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Bliss me once... Bliss me twice...

Bliss me three times baby. Today, I had my second visit to Bliss Spa and fell in even deeper love with that place. This is a bad addiction to have. I don't know how I'll ever live in a Bliss-less city again. Not much else going on this week other than trying not to melt from the heat. It's a bit dangerous to my health I think. On Wednesday afternoon, Meghan invited me to join her at the Marriott's bar to try to soak up some air-con. It all started out innocently enough with ice waters but I somehow ended up terribly hungover yesterday. Jason said he figures it was likely the 3 or 4 glasses of wine on an empty stomach. I'm inclined to agree. Tonight, we're headed to the theatre with Monique and Murray to see Fool for Love, which Juliette Lewis is in. I just adore the theatre dahling.

Oh! And, finally the movie The Break-Up came out here and Jason and I went to the sneak preview last night. I loved it! I laughed! I cried! I laughed some more! I cried some more!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hot child in the city

Lucky us. The longest, coldest, and wettest winter many residents we've spoken to can remember. The hottest summer on official record in the UK. Welcome Heather and Jason! Freeze your arses off for 7 months! Then, burn in the inferno that is the city in the summer! Today, I experienced the joy that is "the midday switch". After a volunteer training session in Westminster this morning, I commuted back to the flat on the tube. By the time I rode the tube and walked to the flat, I had to actually change my bra and knickers. (Sorry if that's TMI for some of you. Get over it. You're not the one sweating through your knickers.) That just ain't right.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Well, sod it!


This picture? That's me drinking away my dumbness.

Do you ever do something so totally dumb that you dont know whether to keep it to yourself or tell others so you can have a good laugh about it? Lucky you, I'm of the latter camp. I'm a big Jane Green fan. For those of you who don't know, she's a UK-based chick-lit author. I'd read most all of her books and then I saw on a list somewhere a book titled "Spellbound". I searched high and low and could not find this book anywhere in the US. Fast forward to a few months ago and I saw it in a used bookstore. So of course I snatched it up immediately! I began reading it today and immediately thought to myself, "Self, this story sounds awfully familiar..." But, I rationalized that I'd probably read an excerpt from it in one of her other books (as this is pretty common practice to put a chapter or so at the end to juice you up...). However, the more I read, the more I was convinced that I had actually read this book in it's entirety. Keep in mind that this was after I had read nearly 7 chapters and roughly 100 pages. I get home, go to Jane Green's US website and lo and behold, what do you think to my wondering eyes did appear? The book was under a different title in the US and yes, I had read it already. Sometimes, I'm amazed at my stupid-dom.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

30 hours with the love of my life

As many of you know, Jason has unfortunately had quite a bit of travel as of late. He arrived home Saturday morning from NC and left at 3:00 today to go to Poland for a couple of days. In the 30 hours we had together, we managed to cram in quite a lot of "together time". Mostly involving cramming our faces now that I think about it. When he arrived yesterday morning, I had prepared a pancake breakfast to welcome him home. After lying about for a while watching the Red Sox game and digesting the carb-fest, we headed to Starbucks for some icy cold delicious coffee bevvies, then sauntered down the King's Road in Chelsea to have some beers and snacks at this great pub garden Meghan and I discovered last week, then much later, sauntered back up the King's Road, stopping at Jim Thompson's for some prawn crackers and more beers. By then, of course it was time for dinner so we grilled out at home making beef filet and grilled eggplant. After dinner, we piled down on the couch and watched Harvey. Old movies make me feel so cozy. After a good lie-in this morning, we walked across the street to Zinc for some al-fresco brunch and then to Starbucks for more icy cold deliciousness.

30 hours by the numbers:
Trips to Starbucks - 2
Restaurants visited - 3
Meals eaten at home - 2
Meals eaten outside - 3
Beers consumed - 5
Bottles of wine consumed - 1
Bloody Marys consumed - 2
Newspapers purchased - 2
Hours spent sleeping - 12
Movies watched - 1
Red Sox games watched - 1

All in all, not a bad 30 hours.

Ha HA! We still got it...

Friday night, Meghan and I had an "Abandoned WAGs Night Out". Our Jasons were both otherwise occupied with worky type things. We decided it was our own little date night. Apparently, she was playing the role of the boy and I was the girl. She made the reservation and kept the locale secret from me, got us there (still without me knowing the destination), ordered the first round and chose the wine. All the while, French Sade-ish music was pulsing through the room and the entire place was lit by candle light. Tres romantique! In all seriousness, we had a great evening and she picked a FABULOUS restaurant - Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill. It's made up in a very shabby chic slash gothic meets Gaudi revival decor and is super-dee-duper kewl. (That was for you Cat.) Apparently, it's a favorite haunt of Jude Law and Sienna Miller and other British celebs. Anyway, after our fantabulous meal, we decided to have one more drink at the bar before heading home. As we were hanging out, enjoying our bevvies, this guy walks up to us and starts chattting us up. Within mere seconds, his friend appears and, seemingly with our best interest at heart, asks us if guy number one is bothering us. We, being the straight-shooting gals that we are, both hold up our diamond-encrusted left hands and say "Well, to be fair, you're both wasting your time because we're taken. And there are loads of gorgeous single women here that you could have far better luck with." This, however, did not seem to deter them. They continued to chat us up and eventually, a third friend popped up and asked us if the first two dudes were bothering us. (This must be the new pick-up routine.) We're standing there, all smiles and nods and trying to be polite, waiting for the moment they'll realize that we are actually serious about having significant others but that moment just doesn't come... not for a while anyway. Then comes the best compliment a twirty can receive. These dudes were 25 years of age and were completely shocked that we were 29/30 years of age. Boo ya. Still got it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Who are you?

So, as I have been stricken with insomnia for the second time this week (I thought the 3 pints would HELP, no?), I got online to play around. I then decided to log into Yahoo IM because I had two people yell at me this evening that they sent me invitations to be on their buddy list, to which I had not yet replied. As soon as I log on, I had several pop ups that said "So And So wants permission to add you to their buddy list". I click through them, saying yes to all the people I know, and then one pops up with this screen name: "mdjohnmd" or something like that. This name does not ring a bell. Perhaps it is the 3 pints. Perhaps it is that I do not, in fact, know an mdjohnmd. If I know you and I have ignored you, please accept my apologies but I'm just not familiar with that screen name. If you are out there mdjohnmd, please email me and put an end to my inquiring mind. I think I would like you because your name reminds me of the TV show "Trapper John MD" and that, in turn, reminds me of Trapper Keepers. And who the hell doesn't love Trapper Keepers? Am I right? (Except the boring solid colored ones. I only liked the ones with glittery unicorns and stuff on them.)

Holy Jesus I'm old.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm gonna wash that day right outta my hair

Today was a generally annoying day. Not a bad day, just an annoying one and there IS a difference. Perhaps it was karma getting me back for laying into everyone in the post below? But karma knew I was also a little bit right so thus, the annoying day as opposed to a full on bad day - which is worse. However, instead of letting it get the best of me and collapsing into a McDonald's-induced coma, I decided to draw myself a bath (doesn't DRAWING yourself a bath sound way more glamorous than RUNNING yourself a bath?) using my brand new Bliss Lemon and Sage Bath Soak (on 50% off sale at Harrods), put on some relaxing music (Gavin DeGraw's Chariot: Stripped, which is an accoustic version of the original release), and read my book in the tub for a while. All that's left now is to plow through a couple of episodes of Felicity Season 3 on DVD and I'll be utterly and totally refreshed. If only all of life's problems could be washed away with a bath-full of Bliss product, some good music, a little chick-lit and the Scotts (Foley and Speedman).

Hmmm, very interesting...

Anyone else notice that yesterday when I posted about nearly having 10,000 hits on here, so many nice readers came out of the woodwork to announce their Nutshell Love (seriously guys, thank you so much for the nice things you all said), but not one single person (friend or family) commented from home. So apparently, complete and total strangers read my blog, but my real-life friends and family back in NC just can't be bothered. Awesome. Way to make a girl feel loved and missed. It's pissed me off for a while now that the frequent commenters are people I've befriended here (Monique, Andrea) and people who stumbled upon my site and I now feel like I know in some crazy way (Novelist, Beth) but rarely, if ever, does anyone from home take time to do so. Although most did at first now that I think about it... I guess the longer you're gone, the less people care. I'm not trying to throw some pity party for myself here. If anything, it's more a pissy party. I just needed to get that off my chest.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Holy crap, y'all!

I'm going to have 10,000 hits on this thang soon! That's crazy! And it will nearly fall on the exact 1 year anniversary of my first post. (It says my first post was July 14, but it was actually the 13th. When I changed it to London time, it changed the time of all my previous posts as well...) When I started my blog, it never occurred to me that people would actually read it. I know that sounds stupid but I figured it would be one of those situations where if we went on a trip, I'd put the photos up and email all my family and say "Hey, check out our pictures from XYZ!" and they'd all look at it and that would be it until the next trip we took. I soon realized that I had a lot to say and who would have thunk it but people actually want to read what I have to say. I know. I, too, am baffled by this turn of events. Now if I can just get you people to start commenting...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bleh.

Jason left this morning to go to NC for work so I'm feeling very blah and sorry for myself. However, we did send him off with a bang last evening and went to a great Thai place in our 'hood called the Blue Elephant. And who do you think we ran into? None other than Meghan and her fiance Jason. This town is huge but so very small sometimes. I often think that I end up running into people I know more often here in London than I ever did in Raleigh. Strange, no?

Well, today's the big day for sports here so I'll be hunkering down to watch the Wimbledon men's finals in a bit and then, it's the World Cup final this evening. Then I'll have to counteract all the sports with a viewing of Legally Blonde or something...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Wimble-DON? Oh no... Wimble-FUN!

Ok, at first, our Wimbledon experience wasn't off to the best of starts. First of all, it took longer than we expected to even get through the entry process and then it had also begun to rain. Not a downpour by any means but one of those lovely light drizzling rains that seems to say, "Hey, you and I? Let's make friends and get comfy because I'm going to be hanging around for a good while." Awesome. Thankfully, things started to look up (if only the tiniest bit) when we realized that our seats were under the covered area. So at least we were able to wait out the rain delay in relative comfort and dryness.

Here is a shot of our lovely view of the hidden court.


However, things really started to look up when the sun started to peek out and we caught sight of the grounds crew coming out to take the tarp off the court! Wheeeee! Everyone took to their feet and cheered for we were finally about to see some tennis!


This is the Royal Box. We were curious if anyone famous was in it so I took a photo and decided I could zoom in on it once I got it on the computer.


So here's a closer look...


Closer you say? Well, I'll be! Isn't that Charles and Camilla in the front row? And isn't that Prince William sitting behind them?


Let's make sure... Yup! It sure is!


Okay, maybe that's just the back of William's head, but I (and any blue-blooded Brit) will tell you that there's no mistaking that head of luscious wavy blond-y brown-ish locks.


Here's what I loved so much about the event. All the pomp and circumstance. Everything about it was so "done". Even the line judges uniforms. They were by Ralph Lauren and just so very proper. Notice even the matching navy blazers, trimmed in cream to match the trousers, hanging on the chairs behind them... Loved it.


Finally, Federer (the 2005 Wimbledon champ) and Bjorkman take to the green.


Even though Federer dominated, it was still fun to watch. He was amazing.


Shake hands and make nice.


Ok, time for a break. And what kind of break is the favored break of my little clique? A champagne break of course. And they even give you this nifty little box filled with ice to keep it chilled. How clever! And classy!


But there was one minor problem with the champagne. We weren't allowed to bring the glass bottle back to our seats. Does anyone smell a funny story coming on yet? Yes, you say? I can tell you've been a devoted reader for some time now then.

Well, we didn't want to miss too much of the Nadal/Baghdatis match so I came up with this genius plan to pour out the contents of my water bottle (water? meh.. who needs it anyway?) and fill it with the remaining contents of the champagne bottle so we could take it back to our seats and refill our plastic flutes at our leisure.

So, there we are... Enjoying the match and there was a break in play. During this break, I decided to refill our glasses and the second I even loosened the bottle cap the tiniest bit of a fraction of a millimeter.... POP! ZIP! PING! WHAM! Yes, that's right. The cap exploded off the bottle, flew into the air, zinged the metal rafters above us, and dropped with a thud somewhere in the stands. Every. Single. Head. In. The. Vaguely. Immediate. Area. Turned. To. Look. And. Or. Laugh. At. Us.

I can only thank god that I had the sense to wait until it was a break in play. The only way it could have been worse would be if it had happened in the quieted hush of the volley. Afterwards, we could not stop laughing to save our souls.

Here's a photo of the genius plan being put into action. I blame Meghan. She should have known better than to listen to me.


I guess when you're as smokin' hot as Nadal, you can't help but sweat a lot.


And the grunting? Oh my god the grunting. I can comment no further as I am a married woman. But oh my god the grunting...


Ok! That's it! Shirts off! Both of you! "Ok Nadal, I'm going to have to ask you to play the remainder of the match shirtless. Yes, it's ummm Rule Number ahhh, 529er7 or something like that. If the circumference of your bicep is greater to or equal than the circumference of my head, then shirts off it is, I'm afraid."


Nadal wins! It was such a great match with some really close calls and amazing volleys. I'm a tennis addict now I think!



Here's a shot of us. Wow. I look so pretty there. My nostrils are of such a lovely shape and my bangs look as though they may have been flattened against the side of my forehead with a shovel.


Jason thought I looked so cute in my preppy little get up that he had to take my picture when I got home.


Ok, I obviously didn't take these photos but can I just say that we're about to have the hottest men's finals on record. Look at these two - Smokin' McHottypants and Sexy VonDreamboat.







That's all I've got. Peace out. I'm Wimble-DONE.

The Mod Squad

Yesterday, Meghan, Andrea, and I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum to check out the 60's Fashion exhibit. It was pretty cool but my photos didn't turn out great because it's really dark if you don't use a flash and if you use a flash, you get a big white dot where it reflects in the glass. Anyway, here they are.


This is the amazing glass sculpture at the entrance to the museum.




Yes, I know it's a charachter in a James Bond movie, but the 4th grader in me can't help but crack up.



And that's exactly what you'll be putting on display by wearing a dress this short.



This is exactly what I think of when I think 60's Fashion



Meghan and Andrea



I fell in love with this confection


Later, we turned up at the Harrods terrace cafe and somehow managed to plow through a good amount of champagne (and strawberries and a monstrous bowl of french fries) over the next few hours. Well, Meghan and I did anyway. Andrea is on a health kick and made us drink alone but don't worry - we'll get her back in the game soon! The funniest part was the at the next table, there was a cute little girl with three older ladies and she must have been bored to tears because she spent the entire time pretending she was hanging out with us. Whenever we were chatting, she'd sit there, turned around in her chair to face us, and mouth words and do all these over-the-top hand gestures while alternately rolling her eyes, grinning wildly, or nodding her head knowlingly. We were cracking up so much we could barely concentrate on what each other was saying!

Today, Meghan and I are off to Wimbledon - excited to go but sad to be one gal down in our entourage...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

They call it "bliss spa" for a reason

Oh. My. God. I have never in my life had a better massage than I did yesterday. It was unreal. My muscles felt like wet noodles afterwards. I mean that in the best possible way. However, there were papparazzi outside when I left. Real-life papparazzi! I've never had to dodge papparazzi before! Ok, granted, they were there because one of the chav-tastic WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends of the footballers) was shopping at Betsey Johnson a few doors down. Although it was kind of fun watching my cab driver keep sneaking looks in the rearview mirror trying to figure out if maybe I was papparazzi-worthy. I mean, I was coming out of a famous spa, wearing my large Armani sunglasses and all. And my skin was extra glowy from the treatment... It made me want to tell him my destination was The Ritz or The Savoy or something. But alas, it was "Fulham Broadway please."

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm over it.

Screw this. I was trying to be a good stay-at-home-wife and clean the flat top to bottom today but I'm about to sweat to death or pass out. I can't tell which anymore. I can't handle this. I'm going to Starbucks and sit in the air conditioning. Icy cold lattes and F. Scott Fitzgerald are calling my name. Whoever decided this country didn't need A/C in homes was a complete moron.