A Place Called Home

*Found in my travel diary 

09/22/2013

Last night I referred to London as my home. This is the first time that this has happened since I’ve been here, and to you, it may not seem like a big deal, but to me this is monumental. I went to Brighton with a friend yesterday, which is about two hours outside of London by the £5 MegaBus we took there.

Brighton and Hove is a gorgeous town with a nice beach front and wonderful, wonderful hot chocolate that I spilled all down my front. It was a cool day, close to 60’s but not quite reaching. We got off our coach and walked straight to the pier to watch the waves crash on the pebbled beach. It’s been so long since I’ve seen “never ending” water. The horizon dipped and swayed along with the waves. The English Channel looked like it was freezing and I wouldn’t dare step my feet into its depths.

IMG_0536

Caitlin and I watched as people went for a run and dove into the icy water and stared dumbfounded as they actually seemed to enjoy their swim. Here we were, wrapped up in jackets, beanies, and scarves while these humans are in swimming trunks and bikinis jumping into the Channel. I feared they were crazy.

Cat and I left the pier and the beach to walk along other areas of Brighton. We walked to the Royal Pavilion, but instead of being welcomed inside for free, we had to pay 8 pounds, which unfortunately, we weren’t prepared for, and instead walked around the estate. Across the stretch of grass, stood the art museum of Brighton. In the cute little space was ancient Egyptian artifacts, kitchenware from the royal families, and art projects from local residents that were absolutely stunning.

Brighton had a lot to offer on a Sunday. They had farmer’s markets, a Japanese festival, vintage festival, and lots of little bookshops for us to venture to. I stumbled across an old book that I had been meaning to read and bought for only 2 pounds. High Fidelity was finally mine.

Being outside of busy London was refreshing. It was not as overpriced and touristy as London is. There were moments where we could walk the street and not see a soul which was strange but relaxing.

As we walked along Trafalgar Street, we turned the corner and saw a stretch of wall with graffiti covering every inch of available wall space. At the edge of the wall though, there was a Banksy piece. The first one I’ve ever seen and here I was actually seeing a real Banksy with my own eyes. It was beautiful, yet framed so no one else could spray paint over it. Why they would try to paint over it is beyond me.

IMG_0558

By the end of the night, Cat and I were ready to go. We went back to the beach and bought another hot chocolate to warm us up and waited for our bus to come back. Brighton is a beautiful city, probably for a whole weekend I would love it, but I was ready to go back to London.

I turned and looked at her when the bus pulled up and said, “let’s go home”. Not “let’s go back to the school,” but home. As we weaved in and out of the city on our journey back, I felt a pull because I honestly feel like I belong here and I don’t ever want to leave.

IMG_0569

Advertisements

Summer Fun [Art Hill]

What’s better than watching one of your all time favorite films with a bunch of friends? Watching that same film in the middle of one of the largest parks in the United States with food trucks from all over St. Louis. My favorite event in St. Louis, Art Hill Film Series, is back this summer with one of my all time favorite films, Clueless! It was like they knew I just finished Emma by Jane Austen.

art park

Saint Louis Art Museum hosts one of the most popular summer events that is free and available to the public. Yes, you read that correctly: free.

The annual event starts on Friday, July 10 running until Friday, July 31. Whether you are in love with classic thrillers, science fiction, or “as-if!” types of movies, there will be something for everyone to watch this summer.

The event starts at 6pm with food trucks, a DJ on deck, and (of course) art-making activities. Picnic baskets and coolers are allowed on the hill, so if you don’t want to and/or don’t have the funds to shell out on food trucks and drinks, you’re more than welcome to bring your own!

The films typically start at 9pm, so make sure you get there early enough to get a nice spot on the soft grass. 

For more information and a full list of films, visit slam.org/filmseries

“What the hell is that?”

“A dress!”

“Says who?!”

“Calvin Klein.”

Top Rated Essie Colors

*Disclaimer: I apologize about the weird lighting in the photos, my camera is on its last legs.

My obsession with Essie started only two years ago. I had a friend introduce the brand to me after I told her that every time I bought an OPI nail polish, it would start to flake right away. Now, I had always been an OPI girl and never once strayed from them until Essie’s “Bahama Mama” was thrust into my hand and it was love at first sight. Or polish, should I say?

Today, I have quite an extensive collection of Essie. And by that, I mean I have over 30 different colors. However, each of them get used a lot. I change up my nail color at least once or twice a week because I get bored and like having my nails done, and I detest when they are chipped.

Below are my top favorite colors of the collection that I have. A few colors that aren’t listed that I am in love with are: After School Boy Blazer, Wicked, Stylenomics, and Bahama Mama.

Fashion Playground : mint green (or as the website says “pistachio green”)

Lilacism : lilac (duh)

Topless & Barefoot : perfect nude (for my very pale skin)

Petal Pushers : from the new Essie Spring Collection; a slate blue color that somehow, for me, brightens up those rainy days — like today.

Chinchilly : I call this color “stone gray,” Essie calls it “sleek granite gray.” Whatever the color is, I adore it.

  

Chills & Thrills : I quite surprise myself by enjoying this color on my fingers, but I love it. It’s a vibrant, almost, neon cobalt blue. If you’re feeling fierce, I highly recommend.

Garden Variety : from the new Essie Spring Collection, teal blue and again I surprise myself by being so obsessed with this color, but I think it’s gorgeous.

Geranium : my all time favorite Essie color. I wear this color all year round, but feel it is more spring/summer color. It is an orangey-red that works perfectly with girls who have red undertones in their skin.

Forever Yummy : blood red or “Creamy Tango Red” like Essie claims; whenever I want to feel like I could kill a man with a look, I wear this color. 

Secret Story : a gorgeous spring color, is “orchid pink” a color because I’m making it one.

  

Should we get the “ew! feet!” comment out of the way? And, yes, I know my big toe is horribly painted. I love nail polish and love having painted fingers and toes, but I’m awful at painting them. Boo.

Fall in Line : a nice forest green; I believe this is from the Dress to Kilt Collection which produced a number of my favorite Essie colors.

Flowerista : from the new Essie Spring Collection, a gorgeous plum that is so easy to apply and extremely vibrant.

  

Et, voila! My top-rated collection. What are some of your favorite colors and which ones do you think are “must haves?” Let me know in the comments!

Loving the Forgetfuls

 


When they forget your birthday, smile graciously and let them know you don’t care. It’s just another day. You’re only another year older. It doesn’t matter too much. Yet. They will say all the right things to you. Things that will make you forget that you were kinda sad about the fact that they forgot you were born on this day. They will say how nice you look before placing their hand on the small of your back and bringing you closer. You will smile because you feel special and not used. Okay, maybe slightly used. But, who cares about birthdays. You’re not 21 anymore. 

When they forget to text you back, reply with an emoji. The one with a straight line for a mouth. Make it seem like you’re only slightly annoyed. Hurt. Unfeeling. Whatever. You will be forever understanding that they were busy and had to play video games or watch some new movie that came out. Their phone wasn’t anywhere near them. Sorry. Sorry. 

When they forget to meet you for drinks, don’t answer their calls. Hit “ignore” and drink another whiskey and coke, extra lime on the side. Smile with muster at the bartender, call him a “bar keep” because that feels funny to you. When they call your phone again, turn it off and push it to the bottom of your purse. When they show up at your house, wear the skirt that shows too much thigh. Bite your lips too much and only give them ten minutes of your time. Look at your nails too much. Point your toes inward and bounce on your heels. Walk back into the house and wipe at your eyes. Go back to bed. Turn off your phone. Envelope yourself into darkness.

When they forget to tell you that they love you too, realize it isn’t because they forgot, it’s because they don’t feel the same way. They’ll look at you and say “thanks” and that will be the end of it. Just nod and take a sip of your drink and walk upstairs without saying another word. Don’t tell them good-bye because who cares. They obviously don’t. They keep forgetting about you.

Dear March

  
Dear March,
 
Happy Birthday, me. I’m 23 now and if you had asked 16 year old me, or even 18 year old me where I’d be right now, it wouldn’t be here. In the same old place. Yet, as stuck as I thought I’d might feel, I feel surprisingly secure. Perhaps it’s the graduation cap and gown that are now sitting on my desk, waiting for me to put on in two months time, but suddenly, I feel like anything can happen. Sorry for the cliché. Even though I haven’t gotten a call back from a single employer and have had countless “we regret to inform you” letters delivered to my inbox on the daily, that doesn’t stop me from trying. I hope to finally get somewhere. Be the person that I imagined myself to be one day. Add more pins to my world map. Be the adventurer I think I am. 
 
So far this year, I’ve done a handful of things that took me slightly out of my comfort zone which is needed. I went to an event where I knew hardly anyone and made myself talk to new people. I interacted. I was social. I shook hands and was handed business cards. I acted like a normal human being for once, and that’s always a step in the right direction. 
 
I went to New York, which isn’t out of my comfort zone because cities are very much my comfort zone, but I met new people and exchanged information with more new people. I’m meeting people! Who knew that after five years of having friends that live far away from me, I can actually interact with humans standing right in front of me? Strange.
 
I joined the Francophone Society of St. Louis so I can embarrass myself in front of strangers with my French. I must say, though, I have really improved. Ask the man at La Bonne Bouchée, he knows. Le homme est trés patient avec moi quand je choissis quelque chose manger avant la classe. 
 
I have stopped, well I’ve been getting better at not spending my money on stupid, unnecessary things. Which is really hard.
 
March, it’s been grand. I feel good about this year. More than I did at the start of it. I’ve decided to give up my biggest comfort of all which I’m going to be okay with at some point in the future. I know it will. But that’s a piece for another time. Until then, I’ll see you forever in my dreams.
 
Now, I’ll patiently wait for April.
 
Mackenzie 

Throwboy

Friday night was the Midwest Influencer Network or #MWINetwork VIP Blogger Lounge, and as I was not feeling too well I was going to skip it entirely. Continuous sniffing and a snotty nose is not how I wanted to present myself amongst other bloggers and networking opportunities. However, having major FOMO, I decided to down a couple Advil, cake the concealer over my red nose, and make it to the event.

Since I arrived over an hour after the doors opened, the party was in full swing and I grabbed my goody bag and made my way to the open bar. There were people from all over the Saint Louis area at the event. From paperdolls (gorgeous jewelry), to Meero Mani Nails, and finally to my must-talk-about-I-love-them-so-much brand Throwboy.

Throwboy make unique and internet friendly pillows and “throwbabies” (I use my throwbaby as a keychain.) As an avid fan of YouTube, I have heard of Throwboy before through YouTubers iJustine and PointlessBlog, yet somehow never knew they were made right in my hometown of St. Louis! Not only are the items they sell so very, very cool, the people behind Throwboy are insanely nice and passionate about their work.

I picked up my two emojis: the poop and the hearteyes because who doesn’t love a bit of both?

Check out all their products over on their website and maybe buy one or ten…you can’t have too many emojis in your life.

New York

Photo from wishwishwish

Thanks to Carrie from wishwishwish, my wonderful friends Natalie, Alex, and Caitlin, and my mother, I finally feel prepared for New York tomorrow. Carrie has some great tips on her website about things to do in New York and places to eat (which everyone knows I am all about). Nat, Alex, and Cait are letting me crash with them while I’m in the Big Apple. And my mom is being the nicest human and taking me to the airport at 4 in the morning. Thanks, mom!

While I’m there, I’ll be taking lots of photos and (possibly) video footage to make in my first YouTube video (gasp!). But, we shall see!

New York, I am so freaking ready for you.

What are some tips and things that are a “must see” in your opinion? Leave me a comment below!