When my parents and I were in the booking process for England, I begged them to relinquish some time away from London. When they asked if I meant something like heading to Blackpool for a day, I giggled and told them, quite simply, no. In response to their muddled faces, I told them that I wanted to go somewhere world-renowned, somewhere magical and beautiful, somewhere fascinating and somewhere sophisticated with a great general sense of style and a groundbreaking arts & culture scene. Basically, somewhere we wouldn’t want to leave. After a very confusing and somewhat hilarious 10 minute conversation about where else I could want to go, I finally told them that I wanted to go to the one, the only, Paris. They laughed and I honestly don’t think they took me seriously, until my dad texted me from work telling me that I needed to cough up $57 CAD for the train ticket and that we’d leave at 7:06 AM on our first Wednesday there. Was I excited? No. I was ecstatic.
When I went to London & Paris last month, I had no idea what I was in for. I had no idea that I would love it as much as I did, that I would really, really miss all of the amazing people I met or reconnected with, or that I’d already be planning a return. Today I’m going to share one of favourite days from when I was in Europe, the day my cousin Ashley took me around London. Unfortunately, the day that we decided to go, it was TERRIBLE weather…so get ready for lots of fog in backgrounds and messy, messy hair. However, despite the weather, I had an absolute blast with him, and it was really nice getting to see most of London’s major attractions on foot…because you could go right up to them or stand under them. It’s a pretty magical feeling in that city, and I’m going to share the magic with you!
For those of you who didn’t know, my parents grew up and met in England. They were happy in England until they decided to come to Canada to have a better life and gain more career opportunities in 1990. Most of their friends and family members still live in England, save for my mom’s mom who lives in Grenada and a few people on my dad’s side who are sprinkled around the world. Every so often, we go to England to do a big tour of Greater London to see friends and family, but we hadn’t been since 2005. Thus, we decided to pick up and leave at the beginning of October, and we were there for just over two weeks. We didn’t get to see everyone, but we did a pretty good job of seeing most of the people we wanted to see and somehow balancing some touristy time in there, too. The tourist stuff was really more for me, as they grew up there, they already know the place! However, I barely remember the first two times I went, so I was really looking forward to taking loads of photos and actually being able to recall the people and places my parents talk about on an everyday basis.
I’ve been meaning to share some photos of our trip with you, but seeing as I took over 1700 photos in a 15 day span (WOW), it’s taken me a while to comprise a group of my favourites. However, we’re finally here! Again, due to the sheer number of them, I’m going to break this into two parts…just to save you and your computer from that frustration, haha! Anyways, without further ado, here are some of my favourite moments from my trip to London, in no particular order.
Having just come back from my UK & Paris trip, I figured now would be the perfect time to share my in-flight essentials with you! I, personally, love travelling, and one of the best parts of travelling anywhere far away is getting on a plane because I love heights, I love the food (yea, yea, I know, I’m part of the 3% of the entire human population who does. I also like hospital food, just to make sure that I’ve really horrified you ;P) and I love the feeling of being on top of the world (literally). However, with such a pleasure comes the major dilemma of what to do with your now-parched skin, as airplanes are the worst for drying out any exposed skin AND also worry about what you’re going to look like when you get off that very powerful metal transportation vehicle. When I was young & naive, I used to be completely fine with getting off planes looking like a hot mess, but now that I’m older and I realize the potential of meeting my Prince Charming at an airport in some foreign land (I have watched way too many movies in my lifetime!), that’s not going to happen. Enter the lovely little makeup bag that holds all of the “I woke up like this” magic in it. Score.
Well, well, well… look who finally decided to relaunch her blog? That’s right, it’s HERE, after months of waiting, waiting and WAITING…
Five months ago today, I decided to go on an adventure. I decided that after a very long time of not being happy with my blog; the way it looked, the general vibe, the content that I was creating, etc., that I was going to temporarily shut it down in order to completely revamp it. I was going to take some time to look at all of my options and come back a better, stronger, more professional blogger. I even decided to do something that most of my friends and family were positive and encouraging about when I asked them, and that is make the leap into self hosting. I knew that it would take a lot of hard work and determination to do it, and a fair bit of moola to go from the free to use and create blogging platform that I was with to doing it all on my own, but I was up for the challenge.
HA! If only I’d have known what I was in for the minute that I pressed the “Buy Hosting Services” button.
It has honestly been……a journey and a half. I had absolutely NO coding experience, no web knowledge other than the basics, and I had never used “<” to do anything other than to insert hearts into my text messages (<3). I was literally thrust into making every little decision myself, and I honestly had no clue how much goes into having a decent looking website. Hence, why getting this site relaunched has taken so much time! I’ve honestly missed blogging so much but this blog has looked horrible for ages. I worked with a dear friend of mine (hi Karthika, and thank you again) on the blog’s new logo (you like!? :D), but she had no coding experience, either, so after the logo was completed, I was on my own again. Learning HTML & CSS was by far the worst part of making this transition, because when you are learning, everything seems so complicated and confusing. I couldn’t even count the times that I thought I did something right and then I’d load a preview page and see that everything had gone wrong and panic. I have come a long way in these five months…and I am VERY, VERY pleased to present you, my lovely readers and friends, with this new site.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still by no means an expert, and there is SO MUCH that I am still not happy with (starting with that God-forsaken sidebar over there —–>GRR!), but I realize that I have to pacify my inner perfectionist. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s okay for things not to be perfect, it’s okay to make mistakes and fix them… because that is what life is about, the JOURNEY! It wouldn’t be much fun if I instantly knew everything about this stuff and could get my perfect site up and running in a heartbeat; it really wouldn’t. Because, yes, there was times that I screamed at my computer and threatened to throw my laptop out of the window (LOL), but there were also times that I made the smallest of changes and had a little happy dance in my room, and there’s been times when I’ve showed my parents or friends a sneak peek of the site and they look totally underwhelmed, because they don’t see the small LITTLE things that went on to make the larger changes that they see. And, do you know, what? That’s totally cool! So, yes, it’s been WAY too long since you’ve been able to peruse this site, and it’s been WAY too long since I’ve written a post, but I am pleased that I did it. It’s a scary decision to make when you literally have no idea what you’re getting into, but sometimes those are the most rewarding risks. All of the conversations that I’ve had with people about this undertaking have been roughly the same…
Me: “yea….so I’m revamping my blog. I went from Blogger to Wordpress a couple of months ago. It’s been hard.”
Them:”Are you doing that with a desginer??”
Me: “Nope, on my own.”
Them: :O :O
…and I used to find that so unbelievably discouraging. But, on my recent trip to England (which, GIRL, we’re going to catch up on life, don’t you worry!!!), I was telling a family member about it and she said “wow. You must be brave!!!” and I jokingly said “yea, brave or stupid, one of the two…” and then I realized, yes, this is a huge undertaking and YES, I am brave and that I have to give myself a pat on the back! Most of my blogging friends or the bloggers that I look up to have hired a designer when they make a switch like this, but no, I decided to do it myself because a) it’s good knowledge to have for when I take my blog to new heights like I plan to and b) I don’t have roughly $2000 to give to a designer. All I’m saying is, sometimes it’s good to take the bumpy road, because when you get there, it’s so much more exciting and you feel much more accomplished.
Or maybe that’s what I tell myself to fall asleep at night following my routine mini panic attack regarding my very long hiatus, I don’t know.
Haha, no, I’m just kidding. This has been an awesome journey and I am beyond thrilled to be back, with a site that works and is just going to keep getting better. You’re going to see a few more mini changes over the next couple of months, because, as I said, it’s still a work in progress, but I honestly couldn’t keep this site shut down any longer. The amount of emails that I’ve recieved asking if/when I’m coming back is TRAGIC. I am SO SO SO SOOOOOOOOOO sorry to have kept you all waiting but rest assured, I’m back and ready for business now!
So, here’s where you come in, friend! I want you to take a look around, see what’s changed, what you think could improve and all of that jazz, and either comment below or send me an email at siobhan[at]beautybylaws.com (be sure to replace the [at] with the at symbol; this is just an anti-spam procedure! :)). Though this is my blog that has become my little baby in the last little while, I write this blog primarily for your reading pleasure and to interact with you, so I want to make sure that you like it, too! And there’s no judgement here, I don’t mind constructive criticism as long as the result makes us both happy!
Also, please, please, please spread the news that I’m back. I’m going to be tweeting about my return, so if you want to retweet my tweet, that’d be much appreciated. Also, if you could please share the news to your friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, What’s App, and/or any social media that you use, or better yet, in person, I would be eternally grateful.
Furthermore, thank you SO much for bearing with me these last five months. You are the best audience, no, friends, ever. I love you so much.
I will be back very soon with another post! Ahh! That sure does feel AMAZING to say!