Merry Christmas Dear Friends

In all of my travels this year the song couldn't be more true,

'There's no place like home for the holidays."
From family dinners, to ice skating and coffee dates with friends, to friends getting engaged, and the annual Messiah Sing-Along, the past week and a half in Virginia has flown by. I'll be in New York for two days and then fly back to London on the 29th to enjoy New Year's Eve in my new home.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happily Ever After.

Luke 2:11
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

{Photo via: Mamauk}


tres chic...no?

If I could only dress in one color it would be black - easy. As a matter of fact, most of my wardrobe is black. I tried to venture out and bought a hot pink jumper but I just feel like a highlighter whenever I wear it. 

Loving this chic inspiration board. Especially that lacy bra, absolutely lovely. This look could be worn on a date,  to lunch with friends, out shopping - the possibilities are endless. 
That watch is pretty great too. xx

{Photo via:paris2london}


London, Paris, New York

It just occurred to me, whilst looking at this image, that I have visited, photographed, experienced and breathed in all of these places. And now I am so fortunate to even live in one of these amazing cities. This makes me joyful beyond measure. My life is a massive blessing.

{photo via:idadonner}


I'm wearing this tomorrow.... 

Classic. Simple. Perfect.

{photo via:fromParistoLondon}

A London Adventure...{part two}

How so very rude of me to keep you all waiting....
Now, where was I?

Right, I had just ditched my friend and was now riding the train solo into London with £1.45 to my name. I was sitting across from a family of four who were besides themselves, giggling over the silly American who had just 'lost her friend.' I looked up at them, shrugged my shoulders and tossed them a smile. What else was there to do?!

I got off the train at Vauxhall and waited on a bench at the train station for my friend. As soon as the next train approached, I flagged her down and, after seven minutes of apologizing I then broke the news to her that I had left my wallet and only had a couple of pounds to my name. We hoped on another train and brainstormed things to do.

Fifteen minutes later we found ourselves in front of the Natural History Museum and I found myself in heaven. There was so much to see, experience, touch, and watch and all for FREE. After a few hours of wandering around I finally laid eyes on my favorite animal....

I loved her. She was a full scale replica of an adult Blue Whale. I was quiet as I walked around her and took in every detail. It was by far one of the best things that I had ever seen in a museum.

After whalie (that's what I named her...how original) we were starving and walked into a small Italian cafe and my friend treated me to a diet coke and a pizza. We slowly ate are meal and chatted about the amazing museum and the beauty of it being free.

It was  lovely day and proved that much can be done on a tiny budget.


A London Adventure...{part one}

Yesterday a friend and I made the decision to journey into central London. Tired of exploring Kingston and being disappointed that we couldn't make it to Germany for the Frankfurt International Book Fair, which is the biggest book fair in the WORLD, we set out for Central London.

We had just started climbing the steps to the train station when our train pulled in.  "Fantastic," I thought. "Let's make a run for it." And so I did.

I managed to swipe my card and jump on the train only to hear my name called out in the saddest and sweetest way I've ever heard it said in my life. Almost as if a puppy was calling my name.

I turned around just as the doors were closing with my friend and I standing on different sides of the door.  I tried to reach my hand out to her but the red doors were closing so quickly I yanked it back. They closed with a thud as I heard the conductor blow his whistle and the train lurched into motion.


I dragged myself to seat as a few people were tossing me quizzical glances no doubt wondering why this loud American girl was shouting on their train. I reached into my bag for my mobile when I realized that my purse was feeling a bit 'light.' After looking around in it for five minutes, it's a big bag, it hit me.

I forgot my wallet.

I laughed in spite of myself, found £1.45 and realized I was about to find out just how much I could do in London. With nothing....



It's half past 11 and the fact that I am:

1. Up
2. Showered
3. Dressed
4. Eating Breakfast
5. And blogging

is a bit of an accomplishment. For the past weeks I've gotten into a horrible routine of sleeping till noon, only to struggle up and watch episodes of Outnumbered on BBC iplayer for another hour, before dragging my lazy butt out of bed to make breakfast, at 1300 mind you, and finally deciding to 'get serious' about my day at 1600. (That was 1pm and 3pm for you Americans. Believe me, adjusting to "Military Time" was difficult.)

The last time I had this much free time was when I was in the womb.

So, I made a deal with myself. I'm allowed one day a week to lounge but the rest of the week, I should be up, showered, dressed and ready for the day by 10:30 a.m. There is way too much to do, see and experience for me to be lounging around in my PJ's all day. I live in London folks. L-O-N-D-O-N.

So this morning, as my alarm clock went off at 10a.m. and I awoke to the sounds of the children across the street in Catholic school playing, I showered, made my bed opened my windows and enjoyed it. This is my life now and I plan to fit in as much as possible.


The sweetness of this life...

I'm currently lying in my bed  at 2 in the afternoon, with a scarf wrapped around my neck and 'loo roll' next to me snuggled up in my down comforter listening to Miles Davis. I'm feeling a bit under the weather. Obviously.

It's almost been a month since I've moved to London and I still can't believe that  I Live here.  I have the pleasure of calling this lovely city home.

I've tried to journal, to get my feelings down on paper, to remember the little moments that make me  smile, and capture my thoughts, but I'm almost always writing the same sentences:
"I can't believe I am here."
"I am so blessed."
"I live in London!!"
...and since none of that is particularly profound, I try my best to Live in each moment, to savour conversations, laugh easily, and see everything.

I've made some friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I indulge a little more in wine. I ride on red double decker buses everyday.  I'm constantly surrounded by people from all over the world who can speak at least three languages. And, my vocabulary is slightly changing as well. I mean I just called toilet paper, 'loo roll.' I walk everywhere now, and even though the cold is starting to come, I don't care.

I've had moments of homesickness and boredom but I can't imagine living any other way right now. I have this overall sense of freedom, something that I don't think I've ever felt before.  Each day I stretch and smile to realize that this is not a dream. This is my life. And I'm more blessed than I know.


Visa's and such...

{Photo via:pinterest}

Last week was filled with travels, new adventures, a bit of anxiety and a renewing of my love for New York. But the most important thing that happened was...
I got my Visa.
And I am moving to London in 33 days (not that I'm counting or anything.)
And despite the fact that there is rioting going on right, I am still excited and full of hope for my future.
Isn't that passport cover lovely?


Shutters + new friends

In my old neighborhood I would take early morning runs around the lake. It was quiet and occasionally a car would pass and we would gently smile at one other or raise a hand in an early morning greeting.

The neighborhood housed grand historic homes with well kept lawns, beautiful front doors and tree swings in the front lawns.  Nestled in between these lovely homes was a house with bright yellow shutters and a royal blue and yellow awning that reminded me more of dr's office than a historic home.

I hated that house.

Last night while I was dropping a new friend off at her home I encountered the home again. Barbara is seventy-seven and happens to be in the same fiction workshop as myself. Her stories are gems, with most of them being set in the 50's and her characters hold classic names like Celia and Burt.

Last week she emailed me to say that she loved the comments I gave on her latest story and told me that I sounded like a professional editor.
"We must get together for drinks,"she said in her email.

And so last night we talked and laughed and shared stories over cocktails.
"I'll have another Vodka martini," she said to the bartender. I looked down at the beer in front of me. I was   barely halfway through.
"This is my first time out in four months. I'm going to enjoy myself!"

She wanted to know everything about me and I wanted to hear all of the details of her life.

"I spent a lot of time in bars. I even lived with an alcohol for six years," she said, her eyes flashing with memories.
"But I couldn't marry him. And he wasn't a bad person, he just drank too much."
She did end up marrying at the ripe age of forty-two to a man she met in a bar who had hours earlier finalized his divorce.

After two hours of swapping stories, she announced that she was ready to go.  I handed her her cane, helped her off the bar stool and to my car to give her a ride home.
"New Yorkers don't drive. I'm so glad you're driving, I could never do this," she said as I made a three point turn.

We chit chatted as she gave me directions to her home and I navigated my Volvo into my old neighborhood. 
"The corner of Massachusetts and Gosnold "she said. "It's the house on the right with the bright yellow shutters and awning."

I laughed to myself and helped Barbara out of my car and into her home.



This internet can be a lovely place filled with  unexpected treasures by creative and curious people. Inspiration is hidden like Easter Eggs in tall grass, but when you find something good you know it's golden. 

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.


is good....
{Photo via:here}


Chic + Warm

{photo via:perricatherine}

I want to look this chic and warm when it's cold and snowy in London.
That is all.


It felt good...

I realize that if this blog turns into a space where I talk about how nervous and anxious I am all the time, then no one, including myself, will find it helpful.

But, today I cried in my bosses' off.

It felt good.

See you tomorrow.


Plane Ticket Tuesday

 {photo via:instagram}

Guess, what I'm doing today friends? I'm buying the plane ticket. Yes, THE ticket to London. I don't know why I'm so nervous but I'm kinda sweating. {Yes, actual sweat is forming on my brow.} It could be the amount of cash that I'll be putting down but it seems bigger than money at this point.

Buying this ticket is the next step of so many steps I've already taken, but somehow seems more  monumental. There's  no turning back now. And really when it boils down to it, I don't want to turn back anyway....


French Press Fail

 {photo via:pinterest}

Do you want to know the sad truth? I have a french press and I don't know how to use it. {I told you, sad but true.}

I've read instructional articles, watched youtube videos and still, every time I make a cup of coffee, it turns out a murky brown color and tastes like dirty water. I don't need this coffee drama in the morning when I'm already scrambling between curling my hair, packing my lunch and putting together an outfit that is both professional yet 'hip'. {These are the 'woes' of my life.}
Once I even tried using bottled water and bought a fresh bag of coffee from Starbucks. My results? Dirty. Brown. Water.

What could I possibly be doing wrong? Someone please help me out. My waning caffeine fix thanks you.



Hello dear friends!

Have you heard of Kinfolk Magazine? It hasn't officially launched yet, but come July 15th, this Friday, it will be up and running. It's a "A guide for small gatherings." Please check it out. It's such a lovely project. So much so, that I am brainstorming ways to do a piece for them. Considering I have a book club meeting coming this Sunday I'm thinking it would be a prime opportunity. Thankfully my roommate and good friend has the menu set. She's going for a Mexican theme and serving dishes like:

shrimp and avocado salad

and, sangria of course.

(Images via 1, 2}

So my job will be to make the house look beautiful. {Fresh flowers and white serving dishes always do the trick for me.} And then I'll be buzzing around her  and the apartment trying to get some good photographs. Wish me luck friends.

We're reviewing Quitter by Jon Acuff. Have you heard of him? Let me tell you...

1. He is hilarious and 2. This book is worth picking up.

If you, like me, have ever felt a little lost on what you were really passionate about, what you really wanted to do, and how you wanted to get there, then read Quitter. Seriously. Half, ok the entire reason I am up right now at 6:36 a.m. righting this post is because I am putting, 'Death to the Discussion.' You know how it goes if you're trying to pursue something and you have the back and forth conversation with yourself to see if you're actually going to work on it TODAY.

But, it's no longer a discussion. I am writing. Why? Because in order to be a writer, I must actually write. You wouldn't believe how long that took me to understand. {Sad. Very, very sad. But true.}

Until tomorrow, xo.


London Style

I've heard many things about the weather in London - mostly that it's crap. And as much as I love London, that makes me a bit nervous.
I grew up with the beach being ten minutes away and on occasion it's been 90 degrees in...May. So, you know, wet and cold will be quite an adjustment.

The rain will suck, and I'm sure I will have to find a hair dresser the moment I get there. {When the natural state of your hair is an afro and you chemically straighten it, finding someone you trust to do your hair is imperative.} Besides the hair issue, I just hate being cold. Right now, I'm sitting at my desk, freezing and the thermostat is on...75. {le sigh}

I've been scoring my Pinterest account for inspiration on looking stylish is freezing temperatures. 

{Photo via:pinterest} 

Looks lovely, no? And, perhaps more importantly, she looks warm. With my budget being tight, I have to first shop my closet.
That big chunky scarf? Have it in navy. 
White shirt? Check.
Black pants? Of course.
The jacket and sweater? Hmm, may need to add something similiar to my list.

{Just a note. You would think I would consumed with other important details of moving such as packing, my visa, financial aid, culture shock et al, but no. Not today at least. Strictly style business this Thursday and, I'm ok with that.}


Fear is a real thing

 {photo via:pinterest}

I was recently e-introduced to some of my future flat mates. We're all studying similar programs and instantly  I started judging: myself, not them. They seemed more intellectual, talented, worldly and sophisticated. And who am I? Well, some American who fakes a British accent from time to time, loves sweets and enjoys a fair amount of 'chick-lit.' I don't know why I do this to myself. I must find some type of pleasure in taking a mental beat down. And to be honest, it's embarrassing to admit that sometimes I feel insecure, unsure and even uncertain as to why I'm sharing this with you.

Anyway, later that night I started reviewing some of the video journals I made about a month ago. There was one in particular that surprised me. It was the shortest video but in it I said, with sincerity that I could feel, "I just want to thank the Lord for making me this way. With a creative mind. It's just who I am."
And for a moment I felt comforted in who I was.


Perks + Cake

Working in special events has its perks.
The one perk I can't help but indulge in?

Wedding Cake.

From carrot cake, to almond cake, dark chocolate with raspberry filling, red velvet and my personal favorite, pineapple coconut, I simply must have a slice of the deliciousness. I'm even willing to admit that I've had two slices on more than one occasion. {Can you blame me? No, I didn't think so.}

While I have no immediate plans of marriage, I suppose a dashing gentleman is needed for that, I do often get caught up in the vivid details of what my wedding will entail. I love the unique look of this hydrangea and rose cake from I Am Baker.  

To me, it has an elegant vintage flair. I can see myself cutting this gorgeous cake with a vintage wedding dress and birdcage veil, drinking champagne from proper champagne coupes and dancing the night away with my dapper new husband.

Until that lovely day arrives, I will continue to enjoy my fair share of delicious and beautiful wedding cakes with all of my beautiful brides and grooms. Cheers! 


There weren't balloons, but...

{photo via: weheartit}

So it happened today. I gave my official letter of resignation to my office. {Deep Breath}

Not quite sure what I was expecting would happen. Balloons? Flowers?  Someone would crack open a bottle of bubbly and then everyone would crowd around me and lift me on their shoulders singing, "For he's a jolly good fellow!" {But you know, the feminine version}

Didn't happen. My boss actually has known for a while that I was accepted into graduate school and really she was waiting for the official 'Go' from me to announce it. I was hesitant in letting everyone know. What if plans fell through, my financial aid never came in or my Visa was rejected? But after much contemplating, and mini panic attacks, I said, "Go for it," and an email was sent out to the office.

Some people sent messages right away congratuatling me. One in particular said,
"You didn't have to go all the way to London to find a man!"
and another,
"Congratulations to a future filled with hot guys with accents!" 
Are you noticing a theme? Forget my academic endeavors, this is apparently all about the men.

Overall the office was quiet and I sat at my desk sipping my coffee, conjuring up details of my life in London.


Applying for a Visa: Part 1

So, where was I?
Right. London.
I have about 2 months left and then I'll be off.  From traveling around Europe over Thanksgiving holiday, to getting my acceptance letter a few days after Christmas, to applying for my flat and financial aid, time has accelerated quite a bit. I'm actually convinced I've been in some kind of time travel machine that makes a week seem like six months.

The biggest 'obstacle' left is applying for my actual Visa. I've heard enough horror stories about people missing flights due to not getting their Visa on time, or getting their Visa THE DAY their flight leaves, that I'm proficiently nervous about the whole bit.

So, I will be traveling to New York in August to get it all taken care of, in person. I will literally have to bring every important document that has ever belonged to me in a secure fireproof box, lock and key included, to prove to United States that I am a natural born citizen and in-turn  prove to UK that I will return to my home country. 

And if I'm missing one piece of information? Well, then rejection will be starring me in the face and I'll be forced to trek the eight hours back home, find my report card from the second grade that they just have to have, travel the eight hours back to New York and re-apply. {Well six hours if I decide to take the Chinatown bus, but their driving skills are scary.}

{Deep Breath} 'It's part of the process,' I keep telling myself. It's a bit uncomfortable for me, makes me nervous and a little sweaty. But believe me, when I walk out of that office with my Visa in hand this, all of this will be real.



I haven't disappeared. Will chat with you lovely people tomorrow.  xo!


Writing + Healing

Hello dear friends.
I find myself still feeling a bit under the weather. But no worries, I am much better than I was over the weekend. I've missed quite a bit of work but my boss has been completely understanding even urging me to take today off as well. I'm pretty sure that by tomorrow I will be back to usual tricks.

In the meantime I've found myself reading, writing and watching classic movies. The writing and reading in particular has really drawn me in as I've been working on a specific project off and on for a year or so.

{How rad is this vintage typewriter? Image found here}

This morning, I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat outside to write. I found myself laughing as I spent time getting to know my characters and the unique way in which they interact with one another. After about two hours I gave myself a break but the story continues to develop and unfold in mind and I'm eager to put my thoughts on paper.

Perhaps having this time off, was just what I needed in order to re-engage with myself, my likes, dislikes, my habits, my hobbies and my writing. I feel pumped about going back to work and re-eneregized about graduate school in London. (Which by the way is only about THREE MONTHS away!)  Much to do dear friends. Much to do.

Wish me luck as tomorrow is my first full day back to work.


Get well + Weekend

Oh dear friends. I find myself quite sick today. After going to the doctor yesterday I was diagnosed with a bad case of bronchitis. I was quite disappointed that I wouldn't be able to travel to a Maryland cabin for a much needed girls weekend, but I refuse to sit around the house and sulk all weekend.

Planned for this weekend, are copious amounts of tea and books,

A trip to Paris via Funny Face,

Fresh flowers to brighten my bedside table, 

Precious time with my mom and lots of rest. I hope you all have a splendid weekend.
{images via: pinterest}


Wednesday's Treat

{Photo via:FoodBuzz}

A little something to help you over Hump Day. Perfect for those duo cravings of sweet and salty. Added bonus? Comes with a perfect crunch.


Wanted: Lo & Sons + O.G. Bag

This bag will change my life. On a busy day, I normally leave my house with my purse, a laptop bag, my lunch bag and my Starbucks travel mug. Any outfit that I have on suddenly doesn't look so cute when it's weighed down by three large bags and me wobbling on my heels trying to get out of the door as quickly as possible. But, this bag will change everything.  It's the O.G. Bag from San Francisco family based company Lo & Sons.

Durable yet light weight, this bag has a separate pocket for a laptop, and under carry section for a pair of shoes, perfect for commuters, and two easy access zippered front pockets to carry all your essentials.
I am totally coveting this bag.

Oh. Yes. I can see myself in London jetting off to class, stopping by the library to get some work done and then hitting up the gym all with this beautiful bag in hand. Talk about the perfect carry-all. To see a super cute video of the bags functionality, click here.
{All images via: Lo & Sons}


Q&A: Laurie Viera Rigler

I am so excited to be sharing this interview with you today. Laurie Viera Rigler is the noted author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.  Laurie is warm and friendly and generously took time to be a part of London Lisa. Her books belong on every Jane Austen Addict's book shelf. Without further ado, here's Laurie.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Lisa.

I have been writing in one form or another since childhood. Writing has been an amazing journey of discovery, of the world within and the world without. Writing is, by turns, exciting, painful, effortless, difficult, revelatory, therapeutic, joyful, confusing, illuminating, and always changing. It would take a book to tell you every place it has taken me.

  • How does the writing process work for you? Do you find yourself writing at a certain time of day, in a certain space - what does your environment feel like?

I am reluctant to describe my process, because every writer has his or her own very personal process that should not be compared to another writer's process. We all tend to compare ourselves to others and then find what we do wanting. Some of us like to write in a quiet office with the blinds closed and facing the wall rather than the window. Others prefer to sit with a laptop in a crowded café. Some write longhand first, while others draft on the keyboard. Some of us outline and others don't. Some write every day at a certain time of day, and others follow no set schedule. I can only say to my fellow storytellers out there that whatever works for you is the right process. Stick to what works, and when it doesn't, when you need a change or think you're blocked, unchain yourself from your desk or café table or wherever you are, and try something different. Take a drive, or a walk, or a shower, or do some gardening. Something that's a brain vacation. Be playful. And the blocks will loosen up. 

     What authors inspire you?

Jane Austen is my biggest inspiration. I love her keen observation of human nature as well as her masterful plotting, her humor, and her  deeply satisfying stories. I am also a huge fan of Nick Hornby and Zadie Smith. I see Nick Hornby as a modern Jane Austen. I love all of his books, but I particularly appreciate A LONG WAY DOWN, ABOUT A BOY, and JULIET, NAKED. Zadie Smith's ON BEAUTY is one of my favorite contemporary novels. It's very Austen-like in its take-no-prisoners approach to human behavior,  and its exploration of academia in a "three or four families in a country village" sort of way.

     About how long did it take you to write, "Confessions..."

I spent about six years writing CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT. Lots of research, rewriting, and confidence building during that time. I wrote RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT in less than two years, though I must also count a good part of the six years I spent on CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, since the two books are linked.

     What did the publishing process look like for you? How did you go about finding a publisher, etc.

I queried agents very methodically, researching the ones who appeared to have similar sensibilities and interests. I landed with a wonderful agent who quickly found a publisher.

What are your future plans? Are you working on anything new?

I am working on a third novel. I also contributed a short story to the anthology JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT, which is coming out in October. 

     Best piece of advice you could give to writer?

Be very discerning about the people with whom you discuss your work in progress and with whom you share your work, your hopes, your dreams as a writer. Trust your instincts, and stay away from anyone who has a whiff of competition or envy. 

     And last but not least, what is your favorite dessert?

Now that's a question I haven't been asked before.  Sour cherry pie. And now I'm craving some. 

Thank you Laurie for taking the time to be interviewed! Please take a moment to check out JaneAustenAddict.com as well as her hilarious web series Sex and the Austen Girl

Music + lazy days

{image via:let'sgetlost}

Good Monday morning dear friends. How was your weekend?

I had a rather interesting weekend. Saturday morning I was extremely productive, went for a nice long run, went to the library and once I was home I crashed. I literally spent most of the day lounging around, until finally around 8:00p.m. my friends dragged me out of the house to see a band play down at the Oceanfront. The band was fantastic and covered everything from Elton John to Jay Z. {They played Benny and the Jets. How could I not enjoy them?}

We rode down to the concert on our beach cruisers and I don't think I will ever tire of riding bikes down on the boardwalk. Feeling the warm breeze, riding in the trolley lane and people watching as you zoom by on your bike gives me such a child like good time.

I hope your weekend was lovely dear friends. Stay tuned for a post later today from noted author Laurie Viera Rigler author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict. I read Confessions loved it and then immeidately purchased the sequel Rude Awakenings. Believe me friends, you'll want to pick up these books.

I hope to post more author interviews, as I am a fellow writer, and I hope that you enjoy them and find them creative and inspiring. Check back later for the first of many...


St. Thomas is home

Oh, happy Friday dear friends.

So glad the weekend is upon us yet again. With all of the warm weather we've been having these past few weeks, I have been wanting to reconnect with my island heritage. On this Friday in particular, St. Thomas is calling my name.
 {photo via:here}

My dad's wonderful family is from this beautiful place. With sea blue calm waves that lap against the shore,  terra cotta colored roofs that dot the hills, centuries of family history, fish frys, mangoes, and steel drums I'm wanting to click my heels and find myself lying on the beach.

 {photo via: here}

What I wouldn't do to be back home. Enjoy your weekend lovelies.


70% + 30%

So it just hit me the other day that I have about three months before I move to London. Am I freaking out? Um, yeah!

There are so many things that I want/need to do before I leave. One of my top priorities is getting in shape. To be perfectly honest, I want to look like my most fabulous self while I'm there. {Can you blame me?} I want to be healthy, toned and strong. So, I'm getting in the habit now of making healthy choices. I won't reveal just how much I want to lose, a lady has to have some secrets, but I will tell you that I am dedicated to making this happen. And, because you all are my friends, I'm sure some days I will rant and rave about it here. So, thanks in advance for listening!

I post recipes and great food finds that I come across. I'm not a healthy lifestyle expert by any means, so I am relying on my Weight Watchers community for the basics. And here is the number one rule...

Let the journey begin!
p.s. I made a delicious spinach, mushroom and cheese omelet this morning. But, I ate it too fast to take a picture. oops!


Well rested

{photovia:Molly Brynn}
Hello dear friends.

Can I just tell you, how much I needed to unplug, last week and over the long weekend that we just had here in the States? I was totally overwhelmed. I wanted so badly to sit down and write great posts for you all, but every time I did, instead of feeling excited and happy, I had this overwhelming since of dread.  I was working so much and trying to maintain a social life and I was successfully burning the candle at both ends.

But this weekend? Oh, this weekend was perfection. I was off for three full days and was at the beach every single one of them. The sun felt so good against my tired skin and the water, though cold, was completely refreshing. I felt weightless as I dove under waves and felt the tide gently toss me.  I was a fish.

I was a tourist in my own hometown too. My friend and I rode bikes up and down the boardwalk all day and at night we would get dressed up and ride again, stopping to have a drink, hear a band, have a dance, and enjoy each and every moment.

And, now I'm back. Refocused, rested and re-energized. Oh, how sweet it is.


Wanted: T+shirts

Wanted: T+shirts

I realized when I went camping with my Girl Scout Troop a few weeks back was that I don't own t-shirts. I had to raid my close just to find two shirts that would be suitable for my trip.

Now, I'm always one to be overdressed rather than under-dressed but I think I need to add some graphic tee's like this to my wardrobe. Just a few basic tees that can worn to casual weekend brunches, trips to get frozen yogurt, or by the campfire.

Casual never looked so good.
Wanted: T+shirts by Lisa Vanterpool featuring a black tank


Can + Will

Good day dear friends.

I'm much better than yesterday and to be quite honest, after my rant I felt much better. Sometimes you just have to let it out.
{photo via:honeyandlace}

Either way, today I'm focused, sipping on my English Breakfast tea and ready to wrap up a few of the things that had me stressing yesterday and sending out positive vibes all day. Thanks for being a part of my journey.


Crappy Faith

 {photo via:Pedlars}
Dear friends,

I am not going to lie to you right now. I am stressed. Super s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d. 
I blame London.

I know, I know. I'm the one who wanted to move there, but my emotions are just as messed up as my stomach is after swinging on swings. {I get motion sickness very easily} I have zero appetite and feel that I may need to excuse myself from a meeting at any moment to go vomit in the bathroom. Disgusting but true.

And this, I suppose, is where trusting God comes into play. Yesterday I was on cloud nine with God. We were BFF's I was singing and praising and thankful for all that He had done.

But today, I have no faith. A mustard seed seems like meteor and I would be ashamed but, I'm too stressed to care. I have crappy faith. Financial aid, apartments flat reservations, and tension filled conversations with my mom have me feeling, moody and pre-maturely sadden at the thought that I would have to look my friends and family in the eye and tell them that, 'No, I am not moving to London anymore.'

And sure, that would be the biggest blow to my ego that I would ever have to sustain, to date, but more than that my heart would break. I would be ripped apart in a lengthy divorce between where I thought I was going and where I am. The full direction of my life would come to a screeching halt as I would be left standing here knowing nothing.  I would get over it eventually, but I don't think I would ever be the same.

I want so desperately to be calm, to have unwavering faith, to praise God no matter what happens. I just don't know if I'm there yet.

Published 05/17/2011 By: Lisa M. Vanterpool


Simple Joys + Letter Writing

{photo via:That Kind of Woman}

When I was in England last Thanksgiving, I ventured to Bath, by train specifically to visit the Jane Austen Center. I was captivated by the history as soon as I walked up the creaky stairs and into the room which housed the exhibition of all things Austen. Although the Center was quite small, I could have spent hours upon hours reading every snippet of life in Bath for Jane and her family.

On my way out, I stopped by the gift shop to browse around and find at least one small treasure. I came across an initial seal and wax set and imagined myself writing lengthy letters and sipping tea on leisurely Saturday afternoons.

That didn't exactly happen, but I did use my sealer from time to time. Every time I used it to seal a hand written note, my friends would notice and rave over how special and classic it was. It was that added touch that really made something as a simple letter seem like a true gift. 

I have plans of sending letters to my mother from England and quite honestly I want to start practicing the, 'Art of Letter Writing' now. Want to join? Send me an email at londonlisablog {at} gmail.com with your address {P.O. Boxes are fine} and first name with a topic you would like to discuss, no later than Monday, May 23rd. I will put you on my list and respond to you via post.

I can't wait to stock up on my stationary and elegant pens and writing letters to each of you.

"I have now attained the true art of letter-writing, which we are always told, is to express on paper exactly what one would say to the same person by word of mouth." - Jane Austen, from a letter to her sister Cassandra
Published 05/12/2011 By Lisa M. Vanterpool


Oh sweet Jane

{Photo via: Oh, Hello Friend}

London Lisa
Published 05/10/2011 By Lisa M. Vanterpool 


I'm a QWERTY lover. I think all writers are.
So, imagine my delight when I was announced as the winner of a giveaway from lark + linen.

This lovely came from Pilo a fantastic etsy shop which calls Vancouver home. I'm just now noticing some of the little details from this vintage typewriter. My favorite thus far is the British Pound Sterling symbol above the 5.
Notice anything else?

Published 05/9/2011 By Lisa M. Vanterpool 
London Lisa


Have a rockin Mon+day

I'm ready for a good day! Who's with me?!

My Aunt's memorial was this pass weekend. Oh friends it was tough. I was able to participate in the service by reading four pieces that had been written for her. It was tough, but I was praying the entire time asking God to strengthen me and not lose it while up there. It was such a joy to hear people laughing during some of the lighthearted parts where we described her vibrant personality. And it hit me, and I was filled with joy at  how alike we really are. And I was also moved to tears to read the poem that her students had written in her honor. The time I was able to spend with my family was lovely and so many pictures were taken to reserve the sweet moments.

And today friends, after the emotional weekend, I am just ready to freakin' rock this day's face off! Perhaps cocktails with friends after work, a little mani-pedi, and definitely some Starbucks in the very near future. Oh yes, I'm ready for an awesome day! 

{photo via:monk3y.tumblr.com}
London Lisa



"What do I want to be when I grow up?"
"When will it be my turn?"

I've been tossing both of these questions back and forth in my mind for the past few days, hence the silence here. To be honest, I don't think I have absolute answers to either of these questions and I'm not sure if there ever are absolute answers to menacing questions like these. 

And, it's so easy to get caught up in other people's lives through blogs. When peeking into anyone's life everything is bound to look like perfection. {Such lovely lives they must be living!} And no doubt, I am sure that many of them do, but I often find myself trapped in all of their loveliness and becoming stagnant in my own projects, continuously comparing myself and wondering why it is that I am not yet 'accomplished.' And so quickly I forget all of my life's loveliness. The impending move to London, the faithful friends, the freelance work, my adventures with my girl scout troop, the laughs with my roommate and the simple yet complex joy of awaking each morning.

My life will look like my life. It will not be the twin of any.

I must remain certain that I am on my way.

{Photo via: flickr}

London Lisa


How the Royal Wedding Improved my Posture

Somehow today, I find myself sitting up a little straighter, walking a little more gracefully and easing into the general elusive and intriguing manner that comes with being a lady. And, the reasoning is rather simple.

The pomp and circumstance of this morning’s Royal Wedding is to be honored, whether British or not. Highlighting the sacred tradition of the bringing together of a male and female, the two most unique creatures on Earth, and witnessing revered vows is a benevolent ritual that renews hope, encourages optimism and causes self-reflection.  It is to be cherished and honored whether a couple is royal or otherwise.

And as a single woman of twenty-six, I can most certainly maintain my hopes of a joyful marriage to the One who orchestrates each sunset, sunrise and moment of time in the Universe. 

Why yes, dear friends I am standing taller today in honor of weddings and more importantly marriages all around the world. 

 {photo via: here}
London Lisa


Simple + Sophisticated

I am in love with everything about this photo and perfection of an outfit. Clean simplistic lines, impeccable tailoring and a vibrant shoe.

Lovely. Simple. Sophisticated.

Trousers, like these, would last a lifetime.

{photo and collection via: Katie Ermilio}
London Lisa


Currently working on...

- A novel
- Two freelance pieces
- Writer interviews
- Magazine interviews
- Research on publication start up
- Blog
- Scholarship applications
- Regular 9-5

Feeling slightly overwhelmed this week and it's Tuesday. {yikes} Anyone else ever have a week where they felt sooo behind? {Please someone tell me it's not just me!}

Hoping to get a organized schedule this week so that I can properly plan out all of my to-do's. And I don't want to just manage to get it all done. In the words of Maya Angelou, "Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant."
Wish me Bonne Chance dear friends!

{photo via: flickr}
London Lisa


Friday + Goodness

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5
He loved me. He loved you. He loves us all.

This is the best Friday of my life. 

{Photo via: here
London Lisa


Starbucks + Gold

Yesterday was a big day for me.
I officially reached Gold level at Starbucks.
My official personalized card comes in the mail in a few weeks.
Sure, some may think it's totally silly and a waste.
But for me, it's just awesome.

{photo via: hyku}
London Lisa

P.S. In honor of Earth Day, bring your own reusable mug to any participating Starbucks and receive a free cup of coffee.

*This post was not sponsored by Starbucks. I'm just really a junkie.


Shopping + Mum's

The weekend was spent insanely walking through torrential downpours at an outdoor outlet mall with my mum. It was bananas and I loved it. We were soaked yet still laughing while our cheap red umbrella turned inside out three times while trying to cross. And each time the wind carried our tepid covering we let out a louder squeal than the time before. People were amused I'm sure, but no one was having more fun than the two of us.
London Lisa
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