Things I Did Not Know About St. Louis


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  • St. Louis’ mascot is the Billiken. The Billiken is actually NOT Robin Williams’ face on a fluffy cloud body, believe that or not. Instead, it’s a figure that represents “things as they ought to be.” I love that.
  • Nelly is not as easy to find as one might believe.
  • St. Louis is home to the second biggest Mardi Gras, only bested by New Orleans. Who knew? We were there the weekend just prior to the big celebration, so I blessedly got to experience some of the great music and decor without the crazy. Though who are we kidding, I would love to go back for the crazy.
  • Budweiser is the only beer to go through a beechwood aging process. Beechwood chips are added to the tanks the beer is brewed in to increase the surface area for yeast cells to rest on and ferment, which adds flavor compounds. Phew. Basically, there’s a reason it tastes different than Miller Lite or other domestic lite beers. This is not technically a St. Louis fact, but the Budweiser Tour is a blast and should not be missed.
  • Budweiser does not enforce the 2-drink maximum on their tour.
  • St. Louis is awesome, and I can’t wait to go back.

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Loving London

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As expected, I am totally in love with this city. It’s absolutely stunning – soaring modern architecture against castles and huge expanses of parks. It doesn’t hurt that the weather has been insanely perfect the whole time I’ve been here. There have been a few showers but on the whole, it’s been crisp, sunny fall weather; the perfect backdrop for exploring!

A few things:

  • I’ve found it less expensive than I anticipated. I am obviously very lucky to be travelling for work and I do imagine that renting a flat or hotel room would be extremely expensive here; similar to New York, space is at an absolute premium. However, I’ve found that there’s a huge range of both costs and choices when choosing food and shopping — yes, it would be easy to go crazy and spend a ton, but it’s definitely not impossible to keep it under control, either!
  • I’ve noticed a lot of Londoners reading while walking and even reading while running. To borrow a phrase from my new British friends, “wonderful and weird.”
  • England’s bad rap for their food and cooking is totally undeserved — I have eaten a ton of great food in my time here. Indian, tapas, pastries, yum. There is a HUGE food culture here too, beyond just the restaurant scene. I went to Borough Market, the city’s biggest and most notable on Saturday and was so glad I did (best “toasted cheese” aka “grilled cheese” OF MY LIFE!!) but that was honestly choosing one from a list of many, many Saturday food markets. I’ll be back for more, London!
  • On the toasted-cheese/pastries note… thank goodness London is an incredibly safe and therefore incredibly walkable city. I’ve walked to and from work every day and did a ton of exploring this weekend, walking literally everywhere. It’s not on any type of grid so I’ve relied fairly heavily on Google maps, but thanks to the River, I’ve started to be better able to orient myself when out and about and do feel that I am getting the hang of it!

Dumb American in London moments:

  • The River Thames is pronounced “Temms” – please, kill me. No one corrected me for like a week.
  • Though my head knows that I should look right first to check for cars coming when crossing the street, it has proven nearly impossible to reverse 28 years of left-right-left checking and I look like a total weirdo at every street corner, shaking my head back and forth at least 10 times. It’s habit fighting logic and I’m just a mess.
  • Speaking of things being on opposite sides of what I’m used to, the escalators are also reversed so I have tried to go up the down escalator twice.
  • I cannot work my microwave to save my life. I’m not sure if this is a cultural difference or because I’m staying in a high-efficiency green building. Either way, I definitely ate cold curry for dinner tonight.

Apologies for the short (and week late post!) but I’ve been trying to see and do as much as I can in the non-working hours and am therefore finding myself totally exhausted every night! In tonight’s case, I had a stressful (sarcasm) day of tapas, the Tower of London and cold curry… also, Downton Abbey’s on soon and that is serious business here. 🙂

Cheers from London!

I’ve been fighting with my wireless here but will be posting lots of pictures when I get home!

London Bound

 

Image via Jessica’s Little Shop of Illustrations on Etsy

I’m totally going to go back and read the Secret again, because I’m pretty sure the laws of attraction kicked in and my recent fascination with London (evidenced here) led me straight to a very unexpected but very exciting two-week stint there for work.

I’m off on Monday and ridiculously excited, both for the work project and to spend the rest of my time exploring the city. There is SO much to see and I was starting to get anxious about how on earth I’d ever choose until I stumbled on to Kate Spade’s London City Guide. It’s helpful because it doesn’t include every single thing in London, but is a quick list of just a few cafes, parks, museums and markets so at least I have a small list to start with!

Have you been to London? What is the one thing I MUST do there? Do you think I can pick up an accent in 12 days? Fingers crossed!

Cheerio!

NYC in Pictures

One week later, I’m finally ready to wear heels again, the extreme bloating from Cuban food/rose/halal cart/bagels/more rose/the BEST DINNER EVER at Bell Book & Candle/vodka sodas/late night pizza/mimosamimosamimosas has gone down, and I’m safely above water on the work front.

Totally. Worth. It.

I am so very sad it’s over.

I am finally posting my pictures from last weekend! Three things I’d like to call out:

1. I should have taken many, many more photos, and preferably with a real camera.

2. It was three thousand degrees and nine million percent humidity – so I have a whopping two pictures that I allowed myself in and only one with Shai, which is particularly sad.

3. If you’re looking for a real peak into NYFW, I’m going to point you over to DrunkOnShoes just as soooon as she gets her pictures up. She’ll do it much more justice.  She really experienced NYFW as you’d imagine it – the shows, the celebs, etc.

So enjoy, in no particular order. Click to enlarge!

To Fashion Week We Go…

 

Please God, let me see women on boxes!

In a bizarre twist of fate, I am headed to Fashion Week in New York. Or the kick-off of it, anyway. Yes, me, the dubious writer of the (cleverly titled, if I do say so myself) WTFashion. I know, I totally don’t deserve this.

But, I’ll take it!

Its actually not THAT bizarre since one of my oldest and dearest friends, Shai, has a fabulous  fashion blog called DrunkOnShoes and naturally, she is taking the blogosphere by storm. I had to say fabulous, forgive me  – I’m in full on SATC mode right now. She’s invited to a bunch of awesome events and I’m SO happy to be along for the ride!

We’re headed out tonight and I have a two hour flight to master the DSLR so I can do her justice for her blog – totally doable, right?

I’m so excited I can’t sit still! Cocktails with an old friend, checking out the set up of NYFW, celeb stalking, visiting some NYC buddies, exploring and eating, of course, a lot.

Wish me luck!

Leaving…

…on a jet plane.

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I’m off to a weekend wedding in Dallas! I picked a super early flight so I can spend the day with a girlfriend in Austin. While I slightly questioned the genius of my plan when my alarm went off at 4am, now that I’m caffeinated, I’m just excited for a weekend adventure.

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I love the United Terminal at O’Hare and every.single.time. I’m on that moving walkway I sing Diddy’s “I’ll Be Watching You” in my head and fancy myself Missy Elliot. Don’t act like you don’t.

Happy almost weekend!

-Laura

San Diego

One week after returning, the postcards of sunsets, palm trees and seals (SEALS!) are still burned into my memory just as vividly as the day I left. It was, in short, an amazing trip catching up with great friends, happy hours on cozy outdoor couches watching the sun go down and as always, great food and drinks.

Pacific Beach, a huge mistake, brunch in La Jolla and the fire pit at Tower 23.

Puppy love, seal obsession, incredible light fixtures at Searsucker and why aren't there palm trees in Chicago?

I’m already plotting my next trip back!

Vacation bound!

5 days and counting…

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  1. Kate Spade – Valma Sunnies ($128)
  2. Diane Von Furstenburg – Priam swim coverup ($185)
  3. Forever21 – Contrast woven hat ($10)
  4. Forever21 – Cutout hinge bracelet ($8)
  5. Kate Spade – Grand Street Bon Shopper Magazine tote ($178)
  6. Diane Von Furtsenburg – Camargue Collection wheeled duffel ($200)
  7. Coach – Sawyer sandals ($58+)

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