Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why I Love the Gym

Hey everyone!

So, not a whole lot has happened since my last post, and don't worry, there will definitely be another post on Monday or so, after Halloween is over, and there will be a photo of me as a fairy :) I was going to be a fairy princess, but unfortunately, it turns out that tiaras are quite expensive here, and so I had to downgrade myself to fairy lol. Zab is going to be a vampire, mostly because I'm requiring him to be something, so while I was doing my costume shopping, I bought him some fangs and fake blood. We'll be going to an awesome club called Koko with Molly, Jenny (from Tulane, some of you may know her), and some of Jenny's friends from her dorm. It's going to be an amazing night! I am so excited!

However, the update that I have at the moment is that I have joined the gym here. I was really hesitant to join since you pay separately from tuition, which I find really strange. However, I think it's definitely going to be worth it.

As I've joined the fencing club, I am at the gym every Wednesday from 2-3:30. We had our first fencing practice this past Wednesday, and it was so much fun! I'm so glad I decided to join! The other people in the club seem great and the coach and the other teachers definitely make sure that everyone has a good time and play lots of games to help us learn the skills we need. We also got to try on the fencing gear, which is the craziest outfit ever. The best part is that girls have to wear a chest protector, which is essentially a large, plastic bra. It's the funniest thing (although I will say, it's pretty uncomfortable)!

The gym here also has a lot of free classes that I'll be looking into. I decided to try out yoga and it is a lot more intense than the yoga that I'm used to doing at home, but I think I'm going to try to keep it up. If I get any free time between all the papers that I'm suddenly writing, I may try to take another class, but I'm not sure at the moment how well that's going to work out.

So, to conclude this blog post on exercise (yes, I realize that's a strange topic for my blog), I love fencing, yoga, and the Bloomsbury fitness center.

Be excited for my Halloween post!

Love from the Princess

Monday, October 25, 2010

Up Next...Copenhagen!

Hey everyone!

So, I know that reading week isn't for another two weeks and I still have Halloween and one more paper to get through first (and trust me, there will be a post about Halloween), but I just wanted to update y'all on the fact that I am going to Copenhagen, Denmark from November 8-11! Yes, seriously.

I am so excited! Despite the fact that I've been in London for a little over a month, I haven't actually left the country yet, so it'll be amazing to finally see another part of Europe. My friend Molly and I decided this afternoon that our reading week trip will be to Denmark. Now, we just need to make sure that we have indeed found the cheapest possible flight and hostel, and then we can finalize everything. By the way, here's a picture of the adorable Molly <3

While in Copenhagen, we will be visiting the Little Mermaid statue and anything else associated with Hans Christian Anderson, Kronborg Castle, and anything having to do with Christmas, since apparently they've already started celebrating the Christmas season in Denmark. It's going to be amazing! Oh, and just to finish off the week, I'll be spending that Friday visiting Stonehenge.

Trust me, there will be many an update :)


Edit: I'm not sure that this is important to anyone, but the dates of our trip have changed. I will now be in Denmark from Wednesday until Saturday, and visiting Stonehenge on Tuesday. Also, if anyone has anyone specific souvenir requests, send me an e-mail or comment (or find me on facebook. whatever) and let me know. I'll do my best to get you what you want!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

M.A.C. Venomous Villains + My Shopping Trip at Harrods

Oh, one thing I totally forgot to mention in my last post, I went shopping at Harrods on Tuesday! And I actually bought something :) I am also now the proud owner of a Harrods rewards card (I know you're proud, Mom lol).

So, M.A.C. cosmetics recently released this new collection called Venomous Villains, which is based on four Disney villains: Cruella de Vil, the Evil Queen (from Snow White), Maleficent, and Dr. Facilier (from Princess and the Frog). The products looked amazing on the blogs that I was reading and I can now attest to the fact that the quality is incredible and the colors are to die for. Unfortunately, the entire collection is limited edition and it's been selling out like crazy. Thank God for a mother who will run out to Woodfield mall straight after work to make sure that you get the magical cooling powder, the most important product that was on my must-have list. Love you Mom!

Anyway, there were a few other products I wanted to look at, so on Tuesday, I ran out to Harrods. In the four years since I was last in London, I had forgotten just how enormous Harrods is. It's also the most stunningly beautiful mall I've ever been in. No detail has been overlooked. I wish I had taken a picture of the Egyptian staircase, but I'm sure I'll be back there eventually, so I'll just have to remember my camera then. After looping around the entire cosmetics section and not finding M.A.C., I started to freak out that maybe I had misread the website and they weren't actually there. So, I finally asked an employee and she pointed me towards the lifestyle section, which by the way is the strangest department I've ever heard of. It was a combination of skincare, sunglasses, makeup, and handbags, despite the fact that each of those items has its own separate section. Whatever. The point is, I finally got a chance to look at the Venomous Villains collection in person. And here is what I got!

Honestly, it's a total coincidence that all three pieces are from the Evil Queen's collection. Her items just seemed to work best on my skin tone. So, to explain what you're actually looking at, I got the eyeshadow in Vainglorious, which is this beautiful reddish-purplish-brownish color. I'm not really sure how to explain it, sorry. It's very shimmery and looks amazing on, without overpowering me. Then I got the blush in Bite of an Apple. I really wanted a new blush and this one is so bright and cheerful! And then I got the lipgloss (or lipglass as M.A.C. calls them) in Hot House. It looks really intense in the bottle, but once you've had it on for a minute, it lightens up and just makes your makeup pop. I love it! Oh, and total side note, those are my fabulous sheets that the makeup's sitting on. Aren't they gorgeous?

Well, that was my shopping trip in Harrods! Hopefully, I'll be back there soon so that I can take pictures of the mall itself.

Have a great day everyone!

Sorry this took so long

Hey everyone!

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to post again. I just have been really busy and kept thinking that I didn't really have anything to post about, but then I realized that it's been over a week and I just need to tell y'all a bit of what I've been doing.

We held elections for Women for Women International and I got the position as secretary! I am so excited! I was planning on taking this year off from being really involved in organizations, but when I saw that a group I'm really passionate about was reaching out to college students, there was no way that I could say no. I'm thrilled to be a founding member of this group and I can't wait to see what we do with it :)

I also had my first paper due to my tutor, on Chaucer. I'll be honest, I kind of hate Chaucer, and I'm definitely relieved that I'm totally done with that paper now. Now I can write the papers on the subjects I'm actually interested in. So, my tutor said that the paper was good and that I picked up on some important topics. The only problem she had was that she could tell that Chaucer really isn't my favorite thing and that I was a bit confused by the work. Oh well. I just have to do more background reading next time. My next paper for her is one that I'm really excited about. It's for my Moderns 1 class, and the subject is the use of dialogue in novels by Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I also have another paper due in two weeks for my Modern English Language class, which is basically just on grammar. It'll be interesting to write on, since I've never done that before, but I don't know how interesting it would be to explain lol.

As far as what I've been doing in my spare time, this past weekend, I hung out with Zab on Friday night (I actually got him to watch 10 Things I Hate About You!), and then on Saturday, I went to the National Portrait Gallery with a girl from my floor. It was a little strange at points, what with the head made out of real blood and a collection of stuffed birds that cast the shadow of a face on the wall, but eventually we made our way to the historical portraits and I got to see all of the Tudors! It was incredible to see, in person, all of these portraits that I've heard about and seen in books. On Sunday, Zab and I went to the Science Museum, which was also really awesome. It's very interactive (although technically, I think a lot of the interactive things are meant for kids lol) and it's huge, so I'm pretty sure we did not see everything.

Saturday night, I also went out to a bar with a few girlfriends. It was quite possibly the most crowded bar I've been to yet, which is a good thing, but it also gets a little frustrating when you can't really dance and people separate you from your friends every few minutes. Overall, though, it was a fun night, although I have discovered that British people do not know what amaretto sours are, which is a pity since that's my second favorite drink. Oh well. Last night, my friend Molly and I went to a club that's a bit closer to my dorm called The Roxy. We noticed that all the UCL students go there on Wednesday nights, so we decided to give it a try. It took us about an hour and a half to even get inside, which was ridiculous, but once we were in, the music was fabulous (lots of American dance music), the drinks were good, and people were really awesome for the most part. We stayed until they closed at 3am.

Yesterday, Zab took me out to Alexandra Park, which is really far north in London. It's about as far north as the tube goes. It was so gorgeous and we got to enjoy one of the last days of sunlight we're going to have here in London. Witness this lovely picture of me basking in the sun. Yay!

I'm sorry it took so long for me to post this time, but I promise I'll do better at keeping up with the blog in the future! Well, I promise I'll try anyway.

Love y'all!
Princess Emily

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Women for Women International

Over the course of the past week and a half, I have been attending introductory meeting for clubs, such as the Film Society and the Volunteering Society. Well, there's one society that I am really passionate about and I'm so excited that it now exists on UCL's campus.

Women for Women International is an organization that assists women in post-conflict situations, providing them with funding, education, and job skills, so that they can improve their lives and the lives of their families (in post-conflict situations, many women are left as the sole provider and head of their, often extended, family). They have locations in 8 different countries: Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Nigeria. Each location is run by men and women from that country, making it far more sustainable than if it were run by foreign aid workers. The funding comes from men and women from, generally, the US and the UK, each person sponsoring one woman in one of the countries. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to visit the Women for Women International location in Rwanda while I was there taking a class on gender based violence. It's an amazing program, and the organization is now creating college societies to take part in fundraising and awareness campaigns. Needless to say, I am beyond excited about this! Oh, the website for Women for Women International, in case you're interested, is

Anyway, I went to the meeting, and stayed after to hear about the executive committee. I'm hoping to be secretary, so now I just need to work on my statement. There are a lot of people who are interested in exec positions, so there's a pretty good chance I won't get it, but I have to at least give it a shot :)  This would be an amazing opportunity for me to really be involved in an organization that I am passionate about. So, wish me luck!

Princess Emily

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Introducing Zab! Plus, my first week of classes.

First of all, I had date #3 with Zab last night and finally got a photo to show you all!  So here is the now famous Zab!

Yay! I hope y'all appreciate how difficult it was to get that photo. He thought it was funny to hold onto the camera and keep trying to take pictures of me so I couldn't take one of him (okay, so it was pretty funny. Still annoying, though!). So, onto other important subjects, such as the classes that I am taking here in London!

My first class, the only one I have on Mondays (or really any day other than Thursday) was London in Literature. It was a lecture, although it was the smallest of my three lecture classes. It took awhile to get used to the professor's accent, but after a few minutes, I could follow along fairly well, except for random words which are pronounced differently here. It wasn't the most exciting class, but it wasn't horrible.

Moving on, I had no more classes until Thursday. On Thursdays I have my other three weekly classes. At 10AM is Moderns 1. That was easily the most entertaining lecture I've had since getting here! The professor was American and was hysterical. He was enthusiastic and made tons of jokes, like the professors back at Tulane. It almost felt like going back home. After that, I met up with Molly and we went to get lunch at a pub. I got their classic cheeseburger, and it was actually delicious! The fries were soooooo good. They weren't as crunchy as I normally like, but they were really well seasoned and not too potato-y, for lack of a better word.

After lunch, we went to Chaucer. I'd rather not discuss that class. It was horribly boring, and felt like it went on for hours and hours and hours. After that, I went to the volunteering fair, where I found out that Women for Women International is starting a group on campus! They're an amazing organization, and I'll write another post about them later, probably on Monday after the introductory meeting. Then I had my Modern English Language seminar, which is my one non-literature class. It was so much fun. The teacher is really passionate about the subject and people were really involved in the discussion. I was shocked at how much we had to discuss, considering that the class is basically a grammar class. We got sidetracked onto a talk about differences between American and British syntax, included in which was the fact that Americans say "different than" rather than "different from" and that a British speaker would say "It is important that she should do that" whereas an American would probably say "It is important that she do that," or as I would actually say it "It is important she do that."

Since seminars last two hours, I wasn't done with class until 4. After that, I went back to my room, relaxed for a bit, and then met my friend Janna at the Hard Rock Cafe for drinks. So far, London is pretty awesome and overall, I'm happy with my classes. Now, I just need to figure out a way to get through Chaucer. Oh well!

Love y'all!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My First Day of Classes

Today was my first actual day as a UCL student. Of course, as students here only take four classes, that meant that I had one class, at 11 AM.

I showed up to the Anatomy building a little early, so that I could find my class (yes, I am aware that it's strange for my London in Literature class to take place in the Anatomy building). Thank god I did, because that is the strangest, most confusing building I've ever been in. You enter through what is essentially a back entrance, into the basement. It does not look like an academic building and I felt as though I had walked into a horror movie. Fortunately, there was a real UCL student down there getting on the elevator, and so she reassured me that indeed, I was in the right building, and that the building did get more normal once you went up a floor. Fortunately, she was right, and I eventually found my room, which was much smaller than I was expecting.

The lecture was alright. It took me a few minutes to get used to the lecturer's accent, so fortunately it was just an overview of the subject, and the class wasn't too intense. It went a little long, but then I was free for the day! Yay! I also found out one of my seminar sections, so I managed to buy a few more books for classes. Still waiting on one class.

Afterwards, I came back to my dorm, where I found out that Susey and Hannah were planning on going to St. Paul's Cathedral. Because of the strike on the tube, we ended up walking all the way there, and by the time we showed up, they had already admitted the last people for the day, and so we didn't actually get to go inside. But we got cute photos outside!

Standing in front of the Queen Anne statue outside of St. Paul's Cathedral

Once we realized that we weren't going to be able to go to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral, or even go inside, we changed our plan and decided to find the monument that was erected as a reminder of the Great Fire and the rebuilding of London. We managed to get there, after a little bit of confusing with street signs, and climbed the 311 steps to the top. It was a long, terrifying walk (made worse by the one time that I decided to look up to see how much further we had to go. Never do that, by the way), but eventually we made it to the top and got a great view of London.

So, on the to-do list for tomorrow, go to the introductory Fencing Club meeting (yes, I'm considering taking up fencing, don't even ask what I'm thinking), Volunteer Society meeting, and buy tickets for the UCL Garba. And get some work done on my first paper, due in exactly two weeks.

Love y'all!
Princess Emily

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Date #2

Last night, I went on date #2 with Zab. The plan was to meet at Liverpool Street Station and make our way over to Brick Lane for Indian food. It didn't quite end up working out that way, but it was definitely an awesome night.

So, first of all, I don't know if anyone's ever been to Liverpool Street Station, but it's not a tiny little tube stop like the rest of them. No, Liverpool Street Station is an enormous train station. There are people everywhere, 2 or 3 different courtyards, and at least 5 exits. So, I got there and realized that there was no way that Zab and I would just be able to find each other in there. So, I went across the street to stand under the obnoxious, glowing underground sign. Unfortunately, Zab didn't understand that I had gone upstairs, and so couldn't find the sign. Eventually we decided just to meet in the middle of the main courtyard on the lower level. I couldn't see him, so I called his phone and asked where he was. He told me to turn around, and he was standing right there. Yay! And so the saga of how to find each other in the giant station ended.

Oh, and side note, I really don't care for his glasses, and I've been talking to people, trying to figure out how many dates I'd need before I could tell him he would look way more attractive with different glasses. Well, apparently, he had figured out that I liked him so much more without them, because he showed up without the glasses. Again, yay!

Zab knew somewhere that he wanted to go for dinner, so we headed out in that direction, or so we thought. We ended up completely lost, but it was alright, because it gave us some time to talk, and it was actually really funny. Eventually, we found a restaurant (not Indian, but really delicious), and ate. Then we decided to go to a bar.

The first bar we ended up in turned out to be a karaoke bar, so we hung out and watched people for awhile. It was hysterical! I have decided that I love karaoke bars, even though I will never actually sing in front of people. Then we went to another bar, and stayed there until it closed and they kicked everyone out. At that point, it was 2:30 or so, and I was getting exhausted as I'd been up since 8:30 that morning, so we made our way back to Ramsay.

All in all, it was a great night, and eventually we'll be having movie night and a cheesy touristy outing, probably to Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London. I promise that eventually there will be photos of him on facebook, so keep your eyes out!