Category archives: London

a weekend at citizenM London Bankside for Blogtacular

Earlier this month I spent a long weekend in London for Blogtacular, along with my friend Anne, who was speaking at the conference.  We stayed at citizenM London Bankside, which was the perfect home base for our time in the city, close to Borough Market and a short tube ride from the Royal Institution of Great Britain in Mayfair where Blogtacular was held.  We had the best time exploring the city together, did some shopping, and walked a ton (which is not the best when walking in new shoes, ouch). We treated ourselves to a “Smooth Wavy” blowdry at Hershesons Blow Dry Bar – which looked great until the wind and rain attacked my poor hair (darn you London weather!!!). It was lots of fun having two stylists work their magic on my hair at the same time, I only wish I could have someone come to my house and blow dry my hair every week, someday hopefully I can afford to make that happen.

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I loved the giant atrium in the middle of the hotel and the bright colors in the design.

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The rooms are all modular, so every room is the same.  Even though they are on the smaller side, they are super well designed so even with a ton of bags, the room didn’t feel small or cramped at all.  The beds are massive and super comfy and the lights, TV and Music were all controlled by a samsung tablet, which was awesome but it took me a bit to get used to as it is so different than my ipad. They have a huge selection of free movies to watch, which we tried to take advantage of, but both nights fell asleep in the middle of the movie :-|  After doing a fair amount of travelling these last few months, I have had a lot of hotels to compare to one another and my most common complaint has been hotel rooms without enough outlets to charge my computer and phone. citizenM not only had a lot of outlets, they had outlets for the US, Europe, UK and a USB port all lined up, which made me oh so very happy. :) It also made it so Anne and I didn’t have to fight over adaptors or outlets.  If only other hotels would get the memo.

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Yes we are the weirdos who take selfies in reflective surfaces, example 1 & example 2

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The hotel caters to both hotel guests as well as locals with free wifi and lots of desk space in the restaurant.  It looked like a great space to spend the day working and I love staying places that give me a feel of the neighborhood and city.  They also had really beautifully designed conference rooms for guests or Londoners to conduct meetings.

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Anne spoke about valuing and respecting yourself and your work.  She has been such a supportive friend these last few years and she always pushes me to know my worth as a professional.  She definitely brought some fresh conversation and motivation to the conference.   They just posted a fun highlight video from the weekend and you can buy the virtual conference to watch from the comfort of home in case you are interested.

London Bankside Travel Photo

Thanks so much, citizenM for a great stay in London.  Andreas and I are already planning our return later this year and I will definitely stay at the hotel again.

citizenM London Bankside Hotel

20 Lavington Street
London, UK, SE1 0NZ

a few random photos from that time i drove to London...

…in a giant van.  Let’s just say that driving a van the size of my apartment on the wrong side of the road was quite the adventure.  Fortunately neither us, nor the van were injured during the journey across Germany, through the Netherlands, across the North Sea on a ferry, from Harwich to East London and back again. I was quite happy to turn that giant van back in at the rental car company and I decided I would take a nice long break from driving (which lasted about a week).  Even though my time in London was brief, and a lot of time was spent catching up on sleep, I really had the best time.  I photographed the sweetest couple with poodles! (check out the photos here), spent far too much time and money in the baby department at Liberty shopping for my dear friend’s new baby girl, and went wild shopping at Marks & Spencer stocking up on British and American-esque food (obviously had to take advantage of a trip without luggage requirements!).  The last time I was in London was over three years ago (and it was one of my very first blog posts!) and I am already planning our next trip back.  That city is all sorts of special.

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Hook of Holland Travel Photo
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Hook of Holland Travel Photo

royal wedding souvenirs

My jaw dropped when I saw these Royal Wedding souvenirs the darling and oh so talented Brittany created in honor of the upcoming nuptials of Will and Kate, I never thought memorabilia could be so fun.  More so, I never imagined myself swooning over royal wedding souvenirs!  She will be selling these goods in London at the Portobello Road Market the weekend of the Royal Wedding, and the full collection is also available online at The House That Lars Built Shop.  Amazing, right?

Brittany is also the bride from this AMAZING wedding.  see, I told you she was talented.

chasing inspiration at the saatchi gallery

We spent a short weekend in london a few weeks back… the tickets were dirt cheap during an easy jet sale back in January and the flight is only an hour so I impulsively booked us tickets. The place I found to for us sleep near South Kensington, was fine except that we had twin beds which gave the feeling of a childhood sleepover which needless to say is not exactly romantic…. but definitely a good laugh.

We really had no other plans than cruising around the city by foot and exploring, which is one of my all time favorite activities. The only “must-see” in London for me was a visit to the saatchi gallery and left with the spark of inspiration I was desperately searching for.
Two of my favorite sculptures, a taxidermy camel in a giant suitcase and a huge beautiful heart:

This exhibit from Emily Prince was incredibly sad and beautifully showcased. Her project “American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (But Not Including the Wounded, Nor the Iraqis nor the Afghanis)” documents the American men and women who have lost their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through 5,213 sketches. Read more about it here