Treat Yo’ Self

In a past post of mine I described my great obsession with Parks and Recreation (click here for that post!). That mixed with my recent moving back into school, and therefore dorm life, an inner state of mind has been reawaken from a summer off. Often while at school it can be so easy to get caught up in the classes, grades, social life, clubs, and for some athletics. It can easy to forget about the important, bigger things such as your physical and mental health. Besides the issue of so much pressure ebbing placed on education and grades, it can often be near back breaking to try to be so many things at once that we can forget to take care of ourselves. So I have made a promise to myself (and perhaps you would like to join me) to think f myself a little more. Not in a selfish way, but rather in a good job to me. It can be so easy to say good job to others, but often we save the worst criticisms for ourselves (something I am very guilty of) Here are a few ideas on how to, in the words of Tom Haverford, Treat Yo’ Self!Treat-Yoself

  1. Perhaps take a day off from your rigorous exercise schedule to let your body rest. Often we can get so caught up in being tin the perfect shape that we tune out the voice of our body, and end up hurting ourselves in the long run. A day off for soreness can be good and bring you back even stronger!
  2. If you find yourself with your face in a book all the time, your brain lightbulbmay deserve a break. Go for walk outside or catch up with a friend outside of the library. Set time aside for you to gather your thoughts and a little peace of mind, The books will still be there! And who knows you might stumble upon some of your most creative ideas once you take that step outside the box.
  3. Look out for yourself. Sometimes we can get so caught up in everything we are doing we forget about the basics. Even when it comes to our health!No matter what end of the spectrum you are on it is important to make sure we are taking care of ourselves for the now and the future. Here is an outline of what should get checked when (I am the first o admit that sometimes I am not even sure what I should be expecting at the doctors)! It can be easy to push things out of our minds either out of convenience or fear, but it is important to get regular check ups so your body can keep up with you doing an amazing job at being you! But don’t think that something like health is something you can’t pair with your friends. Girlfriends got to stick together!( Click here for a few ways you can be there for your friend!) You can help each other look out of one another, in ways big and small!
  4. Oscar Women's CheckupsTreating yourself goes along best while doing it with a best friend! Here are some of my favorites:
  • Getting your nails done!
  • Finding the best ice cream place in town
  • Going on a hike to apace you have never been
  • Going to a new type of exercise class together…why not try zumba!
  • Trying a brand new restaurant or even a new style of food!
  • Plan a spa day
  • Buy a new book (random or one anticipated) and set aside time even during your busy days to read it
  • Treat yourself to a new something whether it be a clothing item you love and makes you love yourself more or a new pair of shoes that you’ve been in love with for a while.

IT can be so easy to forget to put ourselves first, in nearly all aspects of our lives fro health and fitness to reminding ourselves that we are doing a great job! What are some of your favorite ways to treat yourself?

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#MurphyMonday First day of school

As I move back to school this week I have one goodbye that I am missing. Here is a bit of a throwback from my first day of college when I had to say goodbye to my best friend. 2 years later I don’t have to say goodbye but I suppose it’s kind of blessing since he is always with me now 🙂 For anyone starting school whether college or any other good luck! Work hard for your future self will thank you!  

Tea Time Tuesday

Cup-of-teaPerhaps one of the most infamous pieces of English culture that comes to mind when people think of this lovely place is tea. Although it is become more and more popular in the states, it has been a long standing tradition in England. While going to school here I have been fortunate enough to be fully immersed in the British culture, which includes tea twice a day. In our case it takes place in the dining hall at 10:30 and 3:00. It has become a time that I look forward to, and not only for the cookies.
In our case it takes place in the dining hall at 10:30 and 3:00. It has become a time that I look forward to, and not only for the cookies.cookiesIt is a great time of the day to sit and unwind, and have pleasant conversation with your friends and often professors. (That is another huge difference here, the relationship between professors (or tutors as they are called) and students is much more relaxed in that you often share meals with them and can address them more casually. Furthermore in the classroom setting, I find to be more inviting compared to the usual American standard as if you are somewhat less than an equal to the professor.) In our case at school they provide the brand of Twinning’s, which is apparently Queen of England approved!
QueenThumbsUp
All of the long tables are also adorned with plates of various cookie’s, so this sweet toothed girl is really in heaven, somehow I always convince myself that one … or seven won’t hurt me.
However, there is also a higher class/proper version of tea that is called afternoon tea. When walking the streets of Oxford local cafes often display their promotions for an afternoon tea which can range in 15 to 25 pounds, usually for two. Now as an attempt to get the full effect of British life, a few of my friends and I went to  a proper one, and boy was it worth it.
IMG_0023A proper afternoon tea usually comes with the following:
  • A pot of tea (usually of your choosing, the most common are Earl Grey, English Breakfast, but my personal favorite is green tea) Feel free to check out my post on why green tea is so great!
  • An assortment of finger sandwiches: ours included egg mayo (their version of egg salad), chicken mayo, cucumber, salmon and cream cheese, and roasted peppers and dressing. As you can see they usually come in sets of two as afternoon tea is meant to be shared.
  • As pictured above the next tier consists of scones: plain and blueberry, that is accompanied with jam and clotted cream; clotted cream is essentially a thinner version of butter…and quite delicious I might add.
  • The last tier (my personal favorite) is typically deserts that consist of tea cakes, usually in the form of small slices such as chocolate cake, vanilla cake, two eclairs, and some strawberry mousse.
While on my travels abroad I have learned many things not only about myself, but about people in general, perhaps you have come across this ideas at one time or another. The time for tea says a lot about the culture of England, as well as Europe. It isn’t just a time to eat or grab some morning refreshment, but it helps to keep the day a little more simple and pull you away from the madness that we usually all find ourselves in, often through work or school. A huge difference that I have noticed in the culture of America compared to that of Europe, life is taken a little more slowly. If such a practice became more prevalent in America I don’t think the majority of corporate businesses could take it, nor everyday households. I don’t mean that as an insult, but rather a mere observation of the vast differences between these two cultures separated merely by an ocean. I find myself victim to such behavior as the most I interact with tea is usually on my morning walk to class, rather than something that I sit and truly enjoy. Of the many things I hope to bring home with me amongst the memories and souvenirs I hope I also take with me the importance of taking time to enjoy life, even if it’s only as long as a cup of tea.

So Obsessed Saturday: Macarons

Wow! It has been a while since I have done one of these, but worry not I have a ton of ammo for some new ones! After my recent travels around Europe, i have fallen in love with a new desert: MACARONS. Now these where the treat that I always saw in upper scale life-style television (GOSSIP GIRL) GGOMacaron

They always looked so cute and dainty, and I had always wanted to try them but had no idea what to expect. So while walking through London when my family came to visit me we passed a darling bakery with tons of them in the window. I asked my IMG_2601family what they were, as I thought that they were macarons and my mother said no those are always coconut, I’m not sure what they are. Quite spontaneously we decided to give them try. (Of course while in inside my mother found out the entire process and history of these dainty little treats, she’s such a social butterfly) Regardless, I had my first macaron experience and now I am SO OBSESSED (I’m so funny and ironic…haha)

They are the perfect mix of cookie and cream. It is basically a glorified Oreo, they are also pretty expensive which is the major downside…however you can’t take your money to heaven so you might as well spend it on macarons 🙂 When we went to Paris I got to try some world wide acclaimed macarons, needless to say I stopped at nearly every place that sold them just because. I felt quite Parisian in strolling around Paris eating macarons and sitting by cultural landmarks.

*and in my own mind I looked something like this…and regardless of the inaccuracy I will keep telling myself that :)*

gossip-girl-paris-couture

However, in typical Emily fashion I bought some to bring back to London after our 4 day weekend…only to leave them on the plane. I even went to customs to see if they could retrieve them( but I am not going to lie, I was almost happy that they weren’t found because I was a tad embarrassed that I had gone through all that trouble of finding the aircraft and researching it, only to find that I had left some macarons, but are there ever lengths too far for an amazing desert?!)

Now back to the specifics. I never really knew what they were before I had tried them or even what I should expect them to taste like. Essentially it is a soft cookie as the top and bottom, and the outer-shell is very light and airy, but once you bite into it the filling is creamy and added with the crunch of the top it is the perfect little treasure.

*writer takes a snack break because she made herself hungry*

**there were no macarons so she ate Oreo’s which is the closest thing this broke college girl could find to class Parisian deserts**

Now the most infamous place to get macrons in Paris is Laduree…so essentially on my visit I also got to experience a Gossip IMG_2543Girl landmark, which was equally exciting as the macarons. And the inside was just as darling as the pastries they made. My friends and I purchased 20 of them for $34 which isn’t that bad and honestly was completely worth it.

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Honestly as I am writing this I just keep getting hungry and also getting excited because macarons even look adorable. But I hope you have enjoyed my stroll (a slow one because I have been eating while hungry) down memory lane, I hope your weekend is blessed with delicious treats and even sweeter people to share them with 🙂 and just remember:

StayCalm

Food Frenzy Friday

One of the greatest parts of traveling anywhere, and really life in general, is food. And as I was scrolling through my camera roll, like any typical person, I have taken a ton of photos of my food and thought why not share the amazing experience that is food. It may sound a little strange but food really is an experience, especially when traveling! It is how one person can physically internalize a culture and a way of life. through this journey through even just a fraction of Europe, I have tried so many yummy new things, and none really restricted to jus the culture of England and France, but other ethnic foods that have crept their way into the places that I have traveled to. so join me on a walk down memory…of deliciousness
IMG_0010AND HOW ABOUT THAT AIRLINE FOOD….no really I have such low standards for food, as in I will eat nearly anything in front of me. Needless to say the flight over we were given dinner, and the highlight for me was the tomato and mozzarella as that stuff probably runs through my veins because it is my favorite. We also had chicken and rice, and desert as it is the greatest of nearly any meal was some chocolate cake. Now it all looked much better with the tops off, and I have to say that airline food has made strides in terms of taste, nutrition ehhh well you can’t control everything while your flying through the sky.
IMG_0022At the school I am staying at we are provided with breakfast and dinner. Breakfast usually consists of croissants and other pastries, yogurt, fruit, toast, roasted tomatoes, hash browns, eggs (poached, fried, and scrambled) sausage, and bacon (and their bacon is our ham). My usual consists of two poached eggs on wheat toast (which they call brown) with a yogurt, sometimes oatmeal (called porridge here), and a bowl of assorted fruit. My favorite is probably the fruit bowls I make for myself every morning, and of course I let the inner Pinterest-er inside me free a I always make it look pleasing to the eye.
One of the first days here, my new found friends and I explored around the town of Oxford to get the lay of the land.We
IMG_0014noticed a restaurant that had bathtubs for seats, and this became known as the ‘bath tub place’, and needless to say we had to give it a try. Upon arrival we discovered that it was a Thai restaurant (which is actually very popular in Oxford). My friend and I wanted to get a taste of a few different highs rather than just one big meal, which resulted in this fun sampler. It included chicken spring rolls, honey pork, salt and pepper squids, and fish cakes, with some awesome sauce (which I mean not only as a compliment but also for lack of the actual name of the sauce ;). Whenever I go somewhere new I always try to make a point o frying something new, and at this restaurant I definitely went outside my comfort zone and was rewarded!
IMG_0012Also in the little town of Oxford (and most likely in Europe in general) on the go themed foods usually come in terms of sandwiches, so needless to say I have had quite a few…and enjoyed every single one. One of the best however I have to say was one that is in a local market of Oxford, called the Covered Market, which is full of cute little shops that satisfy nearly anything you could be shopping for from flowers to food. At this coffee themed cafe I had a bacon (ham), avocado, and chicken mayo (chicken salad)  sandwich that was toasted to perfection. It also came with a side of rocket salad, which is simply lettuce, but for some reasons, an awesome one I’m sure, they call it rocket. (it just sounds cool and I love it)
Now that we are on the topic of the Covered Market, I must of course mention a near landmark of Oxford, which is MooMoo’s. I had the benefit that a friend of mine traveled to Oxford and gave me a list of the must go places, and this IMG_0013one was near the top, so I gave ti a try. Although it is small ti is mighty, mighty as in you can create your own milkshake with over 300 different add-in options. It is two window trailer looking place that makes possibly the best milkshakes I have ever had, which is a high standard considering I am the queen of sweets. I have so tried Snickers and banana, as well as Oreo. (Others on my list to try before I leave are marshmallow and apple pie…and I am also quite curious about skittles flavor, I will let you know how those go)
One of the last that I all cover in this post (worry not here is part two to come 🙂 is Hazzan’s. He is listed on Buzzfeed’s
IMG_0015must try, but of course I only knew this after I had tried it, so I did feel a bit trendy I suppose. Anywho it is a simple food truck that comes out in front of our campus from 6p.m. to 3a.m, which is prime for late night munchies. My personally favorite is the lamb kebab with garlic mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, and the occasional side of onion rings. Either way it is an amazing guilty pleasure, and especially after a 11 mile day spent in London it was the perfect end as it served as the food component to a late night picnic dinner on the lovely college lawn.
All this talk of food has made me quite hungry, and ironically enough I am going to have some Hazzan’s right now, but I will be sure to share the rest of my camera roll with you all next week. I hope your Friday is full of FANTASTIC food and feel free to share ti below because I love to read and hear about food just as much as I love to eat it! 🙂