Turning our Flat into a Home

Much needed caffeine break
Most people are completely shocked to find out I haven't done any shopping since I've been in London, but there are a few very logical reasons for this. For one, the storage in our flat is pretty limited (apparently the Brits aren't big on closets...ew) and two, I've been spending more time looking for ways to make our flat more "homey". Shopping for housewares? Me? Yes. Me. My studio in Chicago was decorated with Nordstrom bags thrown all over the floor, and the only furniture I had was a container store Elfa system to organize my clothes and a bed. It was like this for months before I finally bought a couch and a TV because it got too cold for me to be out shopping every weekend. Now I move to London and become obsessed with making our flat a home. Who knew?

Anyway, it was a little chilly in London, so I pulled out boots for the day. I kept it casual with a cashmere sweater over some leggings with my leather jacket and infinity scarf. I wanted to be hands free for my eventful day, so I rocked one of my favorite underused cross body bags.

Vince Leggings, DKYNY sweater, Michael Kors leather jacket, Dolce Vita boots, Badgley Mischka bag

Take it to Church

Dress: Line & Lotte, Tights: Hue, Pumps: Dolce Vita
I've had a really awesome year thus far, so I had to make my way to a house of worship to give thanks. I wore my favorite little black dress with a statement necklace, opaque tights, and pumps. Perhaps a little color would have been in order since I wasn't attending a funeral, but I was running late and had to grab something quick. Sue me.
Had to add shades to shield my sleepy eyes.


Fancy a Nibble?

H&M top , Joe's Jeans, Manolo Blahnik leopard flats, Stella and Dot Necklace, LV Speedy
How lovely that the sun decided to come out for a visit my first real weekend in London. The weather was gorgeous, so me and my hunny decided to walk around our neighborhood and check out some gyms. I was just happy to throw on my Chanel sunnies for a few hours. I kept it casual and wore skinny jeans with flats and a purple top. I threw on my go to necklace of the moment and headed out to explore.

Stella and Dot Sierra Necklace

We stopped into a pub for a late lunch early dinner where I had fish and chips for the first time. I'm not a huge fan of fried fish, but it was surprisingly light. The tartar sauce was a little sweet which was unexpected, but it was pretty good. Fish and chips is typically served mushy peas, but there was no way in hell I was eating peas let alone mushy ones..yuck! I had a Strongbow to complete my British food experience. I'm not a huge beer drinker, but because Strongbow tastes like apple cider, I drink it like there's no alcohol in it. Oh well.

Strongbow. My apple juice.

Chicken Paté

Fish and Chips

Madrid: Tapas and a Dinner Date

If I felt guilty about the hot chocolate and churros I threw down on Monday, I certainly worked it off on Tuesday. I walked around literally all day long. I used to think my favorite leopard print Manolo flats were comfortable...no longer. I walked to the Calle Via which was filled with shops and restaurants.

I decided to try some tapas for lunch since I was in Spain after all. I ventured into a tapas restaurant and ordered 3 single plates for myself assuming this would be more than enough. My first plate was grilled shrimp which I did not realize would be looking at me when it arrived. I'm used to my shrimp being beheaded and deveined, but I guess that's not the Spanish way. Despite my initial shock, I took apart the shrimp and took a few bites. I was pleasantly surprised by the light but flavorful shrimp.
I feel like they were asking me not to eat them.

My second plate was fried baby squid. Thankfully, it didn't come walking out on its own. It was a little too greasy for taste, however, so I ended up peeling a lot of the breading off.

My last plate was veal and brie on a slice of roasted bread that was too die for. The meat was really tender and full of flavor and the brie complemented it perfectly.

After browsing a few more shops, I headed back to the hotel to rest and watch more news. My hunny got done a little early so we went to a cute little restaurant recommended by the concierge. I wore black skinny jeans and a black kimono top (yeah I know again...) with some statement jewelry. The restaurant was a French-Spanish fusion and the food did not disappoint. Lucky for me, my hunny is fluent in Spanish and translated the menu and ordered my food for me.
Me and my hunny.

 Overall, Madrid was beautiful, but I was more than ready to get back to London and get settled into my new home!

Madrid: Day 1

Someone obviously didn't approve of the nudity displayed in the artwork.
Literally a few days before I was set to fly to London, my hunny calls to tell me has to go to Madrid the same day. Little did I know I too would have a ticket just a few hours later. As much as I wanted to complain about having to fly from Washington D.C. to London to Madrid in such a short time frame, I realized that I should just embrace my new jet setter lifestyle and suck it up. Besides, who complains about seeing a city they've never seen before!?!

I arrived in London completely jet lagged with just enough time to see my new home, shower, unpack, repack and head back to Heathrow. Being the little fashion whore I am, I had already planned out what I would wear for the two and half days in Madrid. I figured I would be walking the city most of the day so I brought two or my favorite pairs of flats and called it a day. It wasn't exactly as warm as I thought it was going to be when I landed, so my awesome fits were covered up by my leather jacket both days. (womp womp)

Anyway, I spent most of Monday morning sipping the most amazing coffee I've ever had in my life and watching the only channel on TV that wasn't dubbed in Spanish. (Al Jazeera of all channels!) I finally grew tired of hearing all the awful things going on in the world, so I got dressed and asked the concierge for directions to the bus tour I was interested in taking. His directions were awful and I had no idea where I was going so I ended up walking past two stops before finally getting a ticket and hopping on the bus. I should also mention that I speak exactly 5 phrases of Spanish. I can also count to 100. I didn't want to be the ignorant American being pissed off that no one spoke English, but trying to buy that ticket was comical. It was mainly me yelling "billet" at the cashier only to remember that that's the french word for ticket, not Spanish. I ended up just pointing at the bus tour brochure and shouting "una dia" instead. I wanted to see old Madrid, but because I speak no Spanish and the man spoke no English, I got on the line for new Madrid. What an adventure this was already! I got to see some really awesome "new" architecture, the financial district, upscale shopping areas, and diplomat homes. I also saw a bunch of TGI Fridays, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds and Starbucks...
Fridays? Seriously?
After riding around and hopping on and off the bus a few times I decided it was time to see old Madrid and learn about the history of the city. This was the real Madrid that people want to see. I spent a few hours on a tour at the Palace Real which was lovely for the most part. Some of those rooms were just downright tacky though. Nothing like Versailles, but I digress. I ventured into a cafe and got hot chocolate and churros that were to die for. I don't think I can ever drink Swiss Miss again at this point. I wanted to walk around the gardens, but the flowers hadn't yet began to bloom so it was mostly just greenery. (boring) As cultured as I wanted to be, my eyes finally started glazing over, so I decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel. (More news! yay!)
My favorite part of the trip was the bathroom lighting and towel warmer. (kidding?)

Is this a Spanish thing? I mean really? Are we Ricky and Lucy Ricardo? 

The jet lag definitely made me a little loopy.
The balcony from out hotel room at the Intercontinental.
Breakfast of Champions.

All black as usual. Had to add a little neon for a POC!

Finally made it to the bus. Seriously how awesome is that Tarte lip stain though? I need every color.

Palace Real 
Fit for a queen

Some cathedral - I was getting tired and kind of stopped listening.
Overall, Day 1 in Madrid was exciting and beautiful. I made it the entire day without getting lost, and that was really my only goal outside of seeing some really cool sights.