Hey There!

My photo
London, United Kingdom
A site about my crafty, adventurous, london life. Things that I make, things that I like, things that I do. And my attempts to find my own London. All the while trying not to be too homesick for California and the Bay Area.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Craft Update! Trendy Christmasy Winter Whatsits

Thought I'd try something different with what I had. I picked up some yarn at a jumble sale and I tried my hand at making one of my bows.

A little winter fun accessory.

I was on a roll! So I also turned some of my spare buttons into a ring.

It's all nautical and shtuff. That's still hip right?
I tested it out one evening and the metal ring totally fell off of the base . I need a soldering iron. yes please! muahahaha metallurgy.

ok that's it for a bit I think. Going home for christmas! Sigh. So happy.

Love and Crafts,

~Valiant V

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Turkey Day! 2010 London Version

My first thanksgiving without any close family or friends nearby. I actually almost forgot about it on Thursday when a great coworker of mine invited me to an impromptu dinner that night. There were the classic family staples that I knew and loved and some new traditions from other peoples families that were there. Fun to learn about other American's traditions.

When I took my first bite of stuffing/cranberry jelly/chicken (cause they were not going to attempt a full turkey) I felt at home. I closed my eyes and slowed down for a bit. It's funny what little things help you feel good and safe and normal. So good.

They were very sweet and added marshmallows to the yams for me. And surprisingly other people enjoyed it despite the exorbitant amount of mallow.

And lets not forgot the most traditional thing of all.

On Sunday I was invited to my coworkers annual thanksgiving at her friends house. We had homemade eggnog, a ton of veggie side dishes for some odd reason,
and a full blown turkey.

And on a more prouder note, i was able to corral all their kids into one room to make thanksgiving decorations for at least 25 minutes. I have the powah!

This is for sure late but wanted to update you.

Love and too much food but it was so good,

~Valiant V

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Movie Review

Went out last night with some new friends, had a great time. I think it was the combination of late night and big cider glasses that made it a very sleepy sunday. But on the plus side there was a great movie on the tele that I had never seen before, and thats rare for tv caliber movies shown over here.

The Sheepman starring Glen Ford and Shirley MacLane.

A beautiful classic including Naked Gun genius Leslie Nielsen as the arch rival.
Ah he's so handsome, hair all shiny and coiffed. mmhmm.
And Shirley is in it so you know I'm going to end up loving it. She's actually fairly annoying in this one and not the best character but still great to see her. Glen Ford is a mysterious stranger who comes into town and stirs things up. Pretty fun.

I give it two thumbs up. Go rent/netflix it guys.

I usually don't watch too many westerns. Any recommendations?

UPDATE: freaky! not but a few days after watching this does Leslie pass away! Rest in Peace you amazingly funny and handsome man. You brought joy and humor to a lot of people.

Love and a Good Movie,

~Valiant V

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun Find! Extended Nursery Rhymes.

As I was stumbling around the interwebs I discovered a blog that shared the lost second versus of those well known nursery rhymes of our childhood. Well, my childhood anyway. Some of them are sad and kind of inappropriate for children while others are a refreshing addition to those classics that even children of today would love.

Here are two of my favorites of the bunch that I want to memorize and share with my kiddies I teach.

Baa Baa Black Sheep: The rest of the farm...
“Cluck, cluck, red hen, have you any eggs?
Yes sir, yes sir, as many as your legs.
One for your breakfast and one for your lunch;
Come back tomorrow and I’ll have another bunch.
Moo, moo brown cow, have you milk for me?
Yes sir, yes sir, as tasty as can be.
Churn it into butter, make it into cheese,
Freeze it into ice cream or drink it if you please.
Buzz, buzz busy bee, is your honey sweet?
Yes sir, yes sir, sweet enough to eat.
Honey on your muffin, honey on your cake,
Honey by the spoonful, as much as I can make"

Do Your Ears Hang Low?: See picture below for what semaphore-ing is...I lol'd when i discovered what it was.
"Do your ears hang high?
Do they reach up to the sky?
Do t
hey droop when they are wet?
Do they stiffen when they’re dry?
Can you semaphore your neighbour with a minimum of labour?
Do your ears hang high?"

There was also this longer version of Oh My Darling Clementine that was sad and then funny. I want to learn this one for when it's last call at my favorite pub with my best mates.
In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner forty niner,
And his daughter Clementine
Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Wearing boxes, without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.
Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev’ry morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.
Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.
How I missed her! How I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine,
But I kissed her little sister,
I forgot my Clementine.

Cool Huh! You're welcome. 8)

Love and Rhymes

~Valiant V

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Life Update and Fashion Copycat

Hello All,
So besides my career training, a lot of other things have been going on in my life. So I am back in London but still not entirely settled into regular adventures for posting. Today I tried to explore my neighborhood a bit. I now live down the street from my work and have yet to really see what's out there. And unfortunately so far there is nothing special I see within walking distance. But that doesn't mean I can't jump on a bus and go somewhere else exciting around London. I started bookmarking things I want to check out on Yelp.

The weather has recently chilled here. Feels like what mid-December would be back home and that's scaring me because it's only late September here. I have never experienced a proper season apparently. Damn you mild weathered upbringing! I am in no way prepared for this.

On a more girly fashion note:

I've been exploring and experimenting with my style a bit as well. I watched a tutorial some time ago on another site, Calivintage, on how to tie a sash into a turban.
So great when you have no desire to style your hair that day.
Ok it's not much different from the usual t-shirt, jeans, sweater ensemble but it's a start people!
You should try it. It's actually a cooler alternative to a hat, covered up my ears all warm and toasty as well.
And actually watching the video again today it turns out I tied it differently. But the video inspired me to try out a new hair style if you will so thanks Erin. She calls it a turban but mine was more just a scarf awkwardly wrapped around my head. Like a modern day Rosie the riveter who in no way supports her country actually, sorry amuurika, I'm teaching British children instead.

That's it for now peeps. Going to try and get some more interviews going on this thing again soon. So sorry for the delay.

Love and "Turbans"

~Valiant V

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Photoswap 2010

OOPS! I thought I had posted this. It's about time I started really updating this again.
So this is from September actually. From a photoswap that I was apart of.

I ended up swapping unprocessed film with a stranger (a nice one mind you!) who was on a list created by an awesome blogger. We mailed each other our unprocessed rolls and waited in anticipation for the results to be shared. These were a few of my favorites from the roll I made.

Love and Fisheye Lomo Cameras,

~Valiant V

Regents Canal... IM ON A BOAT

Had a girls day out last sunday with my new friend Ce Cille. We walked all over the place.
Had some lovely tea and cake at the Cake Hole (will change to a link when they get their site up),
visited a flower market, a lot of little local stores

Neon Carrot Decoration!
Didn't even try to eat it. Damn fine carrot cake though.

Tea shop was in the back of a vintage shop.
All these embroidered pictures on the wall were for sale too.

I remember seeing these guys in the mary poppins movie but still have no clue as to what the hell they are.
And I have no intention to find out on the internet either. Gonna just wait til I work up the nerve to talk to one of em.

And we ended the awesomeness with something I've wanted to do since I got here
ride a boat along Regents canal
Her friend owns a canal boat and offered a ride to a canal fair going on down the way.
We got to sit on top of the front of the boat. Was amazing. Mostly because I felt like a prom queen on a boat. Waving at all the people (yes it was mostly kids but I swear there were some adults that waved and smiled as they walked along as well! )

A big thanks to Ce Cille for taking me on this wonderful adventure and documenting it to boot!

Love and Canal Boats

~Valiant V

Monday, August 23, 2010

Booze and Bumper Cars

I am still in the midst of training for work. It is sucking my will to liiiiivvveeee!!!.
Actually, its very informative and I've met some great people there.
But it is very time consuming. So in about two weeks I will be finished for now with the classes and its back to work and a regular, more leisurely schedule.

As a well needed distraction for one night, Jesse took me to hangout with friends at a place in Central London called Trocadero.

Oh my goodness it puts our Californian Dave & Busters to shame. It's FIVE stories of arcade games, bumper cards, lazer tag, bowling, mini golf, and booze and junk food and MORE!!!
It's kind of a hedonistic Pinocchio funland.

And I have discovered that the lone guy playing dance dance revolution is universal.

Love and Whack-o-Gator,

~Valiant V

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Look What I Made!

So there was this place in Oakland I mentioned before, Farley's, that has amazing things called egg baskets. It's basically bread and egg (and prosciutto if you're feeling randy). But so yummy. And they bake them inside a muffin tin in the oven. So I thought hey, I could do that too. And I did, kind of.

So I basically sprayed a muffin tin with oil and put in a piece of toast, kind of smashed and crusts cut off, into one of the holes.
Then I added some prosciutto and the egg.
Things I learned or am still working on:
*make sure your muffin tin is deep enough to hold all of it, mine can't really hold all the whites from one egg
* the temperature was at about 350〫F and I didn't actually pay attention to the time. I was looking to see that the egg was at least white. I actually over cooked them a bit.

But hey it was easy and looks super fancy and next time I'll add the potatoes underneath them.


Love and a lil bit o home,

~Valiant V

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Boring Life Update: Do NOT Read.

If something is not stated to me in a serious manner then I do not take that task so seriously.

For instance, I am about to start my Montessori training soon but apparently have not officially been accepted yet!? Turns out they are very strict with deadlines there and if I do not turn in my physical portion of the application (which i should have tried to turn in ages ago) they will not even consider interviewing me for the spot in the class. But people in my own company have expressed in the past and up to now that even they haven't turned in all of their application parts, so I was in no way stressed about it. And only until I was actually able to speak with someone at the institute about the situation did I understand their seriousness on that policy. yikes! BUT I got a lot done today to relieve that stress. I registered with a UK doctor and my physical is scheduled for tomorrow, and I have an interview scheduled for the next day with the training institute who will hopefully accept me before the course starts on Monday. Phew! Check and checkity check. I am very excited to start the new chapter of my career life. A new job and training to become a certified Montessori teacher! It will be hard work, or at least strenuous for the next month, so my posting might be a little slow.
Or I might use this blog as a way of decompressing after a day full of lecturing and shtuff.

On a more girly note I also touched up my hair today, and trimmed my bangs.

This home beauty stuff is super easy and so much cheaper.
At least, it will be cheaper once I learn to use a mirror for doing the back of my head so I don't miss a huge spot of roots and have to buy more products to do it all again...come on Ashley!

Love and Life Lessons (dumbass),

~Valiant V

ps.- to all my pen pals I say take heart, I will start writing of my adventures via snail mail soon!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Roll Update and New Kitchen Tool

So yeah I tried to make the summer rolls with my friends. Brian and I had gathered everything from the store. Everything except the actual rice paper you need to roll the innards up with. But luckily Jason was at the OTHER local store getting random house hold things and could grab it there. BUT they didn't have any at that store either.... guh, after all that running around the store finding everything, I felt defeated. We were trying to think of other plans for dinner and I was so frustrated I didn't want to make anything else or even go out somewhere to eat.

Then Brian suggested pizza,
oh god that is the best/worst thing for situations like this.

So we tried again the two nights later. This time with all the ingredients needed. And it actually was really easy!

I especially loved using my new kitchen tool. A julienne peeler.
It basically looks like a potato peeler but it has these teeth to shredded things into little strips! Like a dumb ass I peeled the carrot and cucumber in my hand instead of holding one end on a cutting board, so there was a lot of left over vegetable because i didn't want to slice my hand.

I even tried to make the peanut sauce the recipe called for.
But the peanut butter I had was salted instead of plain, so adding the fish sauce to it made it super salty and brought out the sweetness of the peanut butter too much. We tweaked it a bit, adding rice wine vinegar or more cock sauce to individual tastes (thanks for the suggestion Gina!). But next time I will try the recipe to the letter with plain pb and we'll see how it goes.

They were so tasty that there was no time to take pictures of the end results. Yummy!

I must now think of other things I can make with my new shredder. hmmmm.

Love and Summer Rolls

~Valiant V