Monday, January 31, 2011

Radiators Are Great!

Today, I did laundry.
Look at my little socks all perfectly lined up on the radiator to dry!

Radiators are great - what other household device will dry socks in under an hour? (Not counting a typical clothes dryer, that would be cheating).

And yes, I flipped every single sock so they would dry on both sides.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crisps, Not Chips

Paul and I tried some British crisps the other night.
We went to the vending machine in hopes of getting some Salt & Vinegar or Barbecue chips, but instead what we found were scary flavours like Cream Cheese & Onion, Roast Beef & Mustard, and Prawn Cracker.
AH! What are these?!

As we looked at the array of flavours I thought to myself...
"Which of these looks the safest?"
"Which flavour looks like something I'll actually like?"
"What is with British people and taking real food and turning it into chip flavours!?"

After about 10 minutes of staring at the vending machine, Paul chose T-Bone Steak, thinking that it would be the closest to Barbecue. And I chose Dill Pickle Mini Cheddars, thinking that given the fact that I like Dill Pickle chips and cheese flavoured crackers separately, put together they would be alright.

We were wrong.

We ended up trading snacks, but that didn't really makes things better.

The T-Bone Steak crisps did not taste like Barbecue chips, or a T-Bone Steak for that matter.
They were like normal, plain chips, but with a weird Barbecue-like aftertaste.
Plus, they were "bubble crisps", so they weren't even the same texture as normal chips.

The Dill Pickle Mini Cheddars just had too much going on.
Dill pickle AND cheese?
No, no. Too many things.

In all fairness, I tried the Mini Cheddars again the next day and they weren't as bad. Maybe I was just hungrier the second time I ate them.

Even though the crisps weren't that great and I'm still baffled by the crazy flavours here, part of me wants to try all those other flavours we saw.
There may just have to be a serious crisp tasting extravaganza before I leave Leeds.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jacket Potatoes

Today I had my first Jacket Potato.
What is a Jacket Potato you ask?
It's basically just baked potato.
But, with fancy fillings.

I had mine at the Refectory (in Canadian English that would be "the Cafeteria") so I'm sure it wasn't the most gourmet Jacket Potato out there, but it was pretty good.

There were all these different toppings to choose from...
  • Butter
  • Hummus
  • Baked Beans
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Savoury Cheese
  • Cheesy Coleslaw
  • Tuna Mayonnaise (aka: Tuna Salad)
  • Coronation Chicken (I had no idea what this was and was scared by its bright yellow colour)
  • Chilli Con Carne
  • Leave (aka: Lettuce)

I had "Savoury Cheese" just because I thought I would try something new.
It was like spinach and artichoke dip, but without the spinach or artichokes...
So really, it was just different cheeses with green onion and spices.
It was good, in a really cheesy way.

Oh, and did I mention that the potato was possibly THE biggest potato I have ever seen? It was about as big as a softball. A softball!
I couldn't even finish it, I was so stuffed (like the potato - haha!).

Also, while out in the City Centre I didn't see a single Hot Dog Stand.
What I did see were Jacket Potato Stands though!
I thought that was kind of cool.
But also sort of weird...a baked potato isn't really my definition of a portable, eat-on-the-run snack.

I think the next time I get one I'll try it with beans or chilli...mmm...Jacket Potatoes...

PS: I didn't take a photo of my Jacket Potato because I didn't have my camera with me at dinner. And even if I had, I wouldn't have wanted my hallmates to think I was weird.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cath Kidston

I'm obsessed.
There's no denying it.
Cath Kidston may be the best store ever created.

Paul and I went into the City Centre today and made a detour from our errands to go to Cath Kidston.
It was amazing.
The storefront. The window display. The layout. The products. The prints.
Everything was amazing. Everything!

I picked up a free copy of their monthly magazine and promptly started reading it when I got back to my room. I also started a running Wish List of Cath Kidston products I would like - there's no such thing as too many floral printed items, right?

I've even been inspired to have a Cath Kidston-themed room in my future home.
There will be Cath Kidston wallpaper. Cath Kidston curtains. Cath Kidston floor tiles. Cath Kidston tablecloths. Cath Kidston dishes. Cath Kidston cutlery. Cath Kidston napkins. Cath Kidston tea towels. Cath Kidston tea cozies. Cath Kidston tupperware. Cath Kidston cupcake liners. Cath Kidston radio. And I will be in a Cath Kidston dress with a Cath Kidston apron and oven mitt set serving something from the Cath Kidston Cookbook. (That last part is a lie. I don't know if she has a cookbook).

I love Cath Kidston!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hello from Leeds!

I survived my journey of 4.5 hours to Toronto, 7 hours to London, and 5.5 hours by bus to Leeds! 

There were just a few minor incidents...
  • Speed walking from the domestic terminal to the international terminal of Pearson Airport because my flight was a bit delayed
  • Reclaiming my original seat for the Toronto to London flight - no way was I spending 7 hours next to a stranger!
  • Wheeling two 40 pound bags through Heathrow Airport to get to the coach station
  • Taking my excessively large bags up and down stairs and through various doors to get to my residence room in the basement

The University of Leeds campus is really nice.
It's got a mix of new and old buildings, which gives it a lot of character and is a nice change from the 1970s concrete boxes at UW.


I'm living in an old Victorian apartment that has been converted into a residence, it's really cool and I like it a lot. I'm in the basement of the building and it's a bit of maze to get to my room, but I don't mind.  I really like my residence and my hallmates and everything is just grand!

This is my room... 
(It used to be a double room, so it's HUGE!)

Oh! And when I arrived there was a welcome kit waiting for me on my desk:

You can't really see it, but look at the baaaby bottle of Tabasco sauce (close to the left, in front of the Go Fast! energy drink). When I saw it, I thought of my Dad - he would use up that baby bottle in one bite!

This week has been crazy busy - unpacking, moving in, attending International Student meetings and events, meeting new people, etc. - but it's been great!
I've met some other International Students - there are a lot from Canada (including the 15 of us from UW), America (not very exciting), and Australia (much more exciting).

Classes start next week, but I'll try to post again soon :)

Monday, January 17, 2011


I leave for Leeds tomorrow!

My voyage across the World looks something like this:

     Vancouver - Toronto - London - Leeds

My adventure begins at 9:00am tomorrow - yippee!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

London Calling!

My sister gave me the Big Ben and Double Decker Bus stamps for Christmas - aren't they cute?
I whipped out my stamps last night and got crafty.
It was an excellent form of procrastination.
Who wants to pack or figure out courses or do anything remotely productive...
It's not like I'm leaving in 4 days or anything...!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Week

I leave for Leeds in one week.

This is how I feel:




But I'm also excited!
This time next week I will be halfway across the world!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Feast

Christmas is my favourite time of year.
Because of the vast amounts of food I can justifiably consume.

This year's Holiday eating schedule went something like this: 
  • December 23rd 
    • Office Christmas party and Christmas karaoke with lots and lots of cocktails and a $5 turkey club to finish the night off
  • December 24th
    • My family Christmas Eve party, which is basically one giant potluck
  • December 25th
    • Turkey dinner with all the trimmings
  • December 26th
    • My sister's birthday dinner at Phnom Penh with THE best chicken wings
  • December 27th
    • Breakfast at White Spot, lunch with my grandma, and my sister's birthday party (too many meals to comment on)
  • December 28th
    • Farewell dinner for my sister
  • December 29th
    • Cookie extravaganza (self explanatory)
  • December 30th
    • Sushi at Hime where I had a Volcano Roll complete with a burning flame
  • December 31st
    • New Year's Eve dinner (and late night Chinese food when we got home)
  • January 1st
    • New Year's Day brunch
Whew! Just look at all that eating!

I only have photos from Turkey Dinner and the New Year's Day Brunch, but take a look!

For Turkey Dinner we had...
Turkey, ham, roasted yams & sweet potatoes, stuffing, sourdough bread, roasted carrots, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and steamed brussels sprouts, broccoli & cauliflower.



For New Year's Day brunch we had...
Belgian & Mickey Mouse waffles (with fruit and whipped cream, of course), hashbrowns, peameal bacon, mini frittatas, fruit, biscotti, and cookies (from the Cookie Extravaganza).