I’ll be home for christmas…

Hi everybody!! I’m back in the good ol’ home country now after 3.5 months away! It’s super to be back minus my severe jet lag. My time in London, Paris (LOVE) and Italy was super. I’m so happy to be done au pairing; it was probably the worst & the best thing I have ever done to/for myself. I learned a lot, grew a lot and gained quite a bit of confidence throughout my entire time in Europe.

I ended on a bit of a sour not with the family in England but that’s in the past now. London was pretty super but I wasn’t overly wowed by the city (sorry all you London lovers). I made it to almost all the touristy places and bought loads of Union Jack items and a Harrods pen (only thing I could afford in that mega store).

Trafalgar Square and the studdly lion

Big Ben

I took the eurostar to Paris and pretty much fell in love the city instantly. I was only there for 2.5 days but I managed to get to le sacrรฉ coeur, le moulin rouge, the louvre,ย  jardin des tuileries, notre dame, les champs d’elysรฉes, Les galeries lafayette, the opera, l’arc de triomphe and of course the Eiffel tower. I found the best bread ever… pain aux noix, so good! I am so proud of myself for visiting Paris all by myself and finding my way around the city – such a huge boost of confidence. I’m already planning a trip back there for hmm January… kidding but hopefully within the next two years I will be back in the city of love.

Sacre Coeur... Montmartre was probably one of my favourite parts of paris

Sacre Coeur... Montmartre was probably one of my favourite parts of paris

View from on top of the Arc de Triomphe

Me and Eiffel ;) The light show is amazeballs

Me and Eiffel ๐Ÿ˜‰ The light show is amazingly gorgeous

After my short time in Paris I went back to italy to stay with my cousin. I went back to visit the au pairs I met before we all parted ways. We made it to Florence for one afternoon. We drove up to Piazza Michelangelo and saw the city of Firenze from afar and it was breathe taking. It snowed while I was in Italy so I made a pretty sad snowmen while I was there to.

view from piazza michelangelo

Finally the day came for me to fly home. I had a good flight home except for a drunken Ukrainian who had to be de-boarded from the plane. I arrived at the Vancouver airport all excited to finally see my family and low and behold they weren’t there!! Yay my brilliant parents thought I was coming in the next day so I had to find 50 cents in my luggage to call them to see where they were. My mom was so upset with herself she started crying… poor mom. But all is well now that I am home. I’ve already got myself used to being home (bought a new blackberry yeaa!) although it was so odd sleeping my bed for the first time in over a hundred days. Now its almost Christmas, my gifts are wrapped and I am waiting for the fun holiday times. Happy holidays to you all and your families!

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Almost done

Two days m’dears, till I am done au pairing. I think its totally appropriate for me to jump with joy and do a little dance. Three months of seriously tough mental & physical labour dunzo! But I will be a tad sad to leave this little kiddo… meet oliver and his worn out and scrubbed up nanny.

nanny bri & ollie

Since being in England I have

1. Eaten my weight in chocolate and added on a few pounds of cushion… hopefully it will help keep me warm when i am freezing off my biscuits in a Parisian hostel.

2. Tried Pink Lady Apples for the first time..

new obsession

My new favourite apple – super delish!

3. Been accused of being a criminal by the au pair mom (yeah what a fun conversation that was)
Note: I have no criminal record and only went to the principals office ONCE throughout all of years of school… clearly this women is delusional.

4. Registered for courses at midnight – time change is no bueno! I’m taking a psychology, intro to sociology and an english course (with reading list that makes me want to cry already).

5. Fell in love with Primark and Marks & Spencer

6. Saw the city’s Christmas lights turn on!

christmas lights showcasing my poor photog skills

… the list could go on and on! I’m off to London on the 10th, then paris then italy where my cousin is taking me to Florence! Sadly, i wont be hitting up Rome (gasp!) but thats just another reason to return to Italy.

I probably won’t be posting again until after the 21st which is when I get to my super fab country ๐Ÿ™‚ How I miss you Canada. So long for now & Happy holidays!

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Absolutely knackered…

Hello blogettes! As you can tell I’m pretty absent from the blog world at the mo since this au pair gig is pretty time consuming and to be frank freaking exhausting! I do however like this family more than my cray cray italian one but I am working quite a bit (more than I am supposed to be working…). 19 days till freedom! I booked all my travels last sunday to. Heres my plan: London for three nights then taking the Euro star down to Paris for three nights as well then jetting back to italy to go to Rome and Florence with my cousin then finally flying home to Vcity on december 21st!

This post is going to be a bit jumbled and possibly hard to read but I’m just trying to fit my past few weeks in ๐Ÿ™‚ I LOVE england the people here are very nice and pretty similar to Canadians (probably why I like them). I love british chocolate… i’ve eaten SO much the past few weeks that my jeans are getting a bit tighter… I have to be careful with this because I don’t want to further trigger my binge eating habits again. As of tomorrow I am fixing my eating habits so I don’t continue eating in unhealthy patterns. Now onto exercise… I finally can map my runs again! Hallejuah no more uncharted country roads! I have a pretty decent 3.41 mile run that I do as often as possible. I’m only running like 3 days a week now which blows but I’m running faster. I did 2.9 miles in just under 24 minutes today which is pretty speedy for me (plus it was rainy and night time).

I cooked some cabbage soup last week with the directions of the au pair mom (who is pretty cool might I add) and this week I cooked Ratatouille all by myself ๐Ÿ™‚ It turned out pretty fab but I did have any fresh basil which would’ve made it a bit better.

My Rataouille... half eaten with a piece of baguette nom nom!

So far I have been to Nottingham and various places around Leceister… I won’t be getting down to London until I am done au pairing but I’m hoping to get a free day (yeah right) to go to Manchester to visit my cousin.

Here are some pictures I have snapped while here….

Guy Fawkes Night

Bragate Park - Some queenie lived here before getting beheaded.

Nottingham... the canals reminded me of Venice

 

Hope you enjoyed the update. Have a happy thanksgiving to my all my american girls and happy weekend to the rest!

 

 

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I’m ALIVE!

Hey blog world, I am alive and well! I quite like the family I am with now but the kid is a handful (that’s what you get when you are caring for a two year old). I’m loving england and have eaten my weight in Cadbury chocolates and hit up Primark & Marks and Spencers. I went four days without running which nearly killed me but Wednesday i went out for a 3.41 mile run and did that in 29 minutes. Then I did the same route today in 28.5 mins (woo!). I will try to shoot out a proper post soon but I maybe be on a bit of hiatus for a while but I am still reading your blogs ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I’m off to ASDA to buy myself some medecine because I feel a nice sinus cold coming on, hurray (bleh!).

Leicester city centre

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the countdown begins again

Hey mates! I’m working on my British slang now… yes I am very lame, I know. Alright I will resume back at my halloween weekend. I got a few pictures sent to me from one of my au pair girls. halloween
The costume… a pair of mouse ears with nose… 4.50 euros well spent for some hotel photo ops.
banaliThe picture at the club, Banali. Skip this club if you ever find yourself in Padova unless you want to get creeped on by many creepy italian men and hear bad music.

The morning after.. I look very tired since I was working on less than 4 hours of sleep.
morning afterDO go to Prato della Vallee if you are in Padova. It’s completely gorgeous and usually there are tons of vendor stalls where you can buy anything from roasted nuts, olives to scarves and gloves.

I have been eating absolutely horribly lately… example one almost a box of cereal in one day, bleh. I need to start eating more veggies again. Today I am trying to get back on my clean eating but I snacked a little to much on the kids sugary treats this morning but I came home from my run and made myself a baked apple yogurt cereal mess.

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baked apple w/cinnamon, fitness cereal, straw yogurt and some chocolate chips

Twas’ย  very good! Except I am not a fan of these apples. I like my apples crisp and these ones are a little soft. This breakfast dish was accompanied by a huge jass cup of tea (I’m pretty sure this cup is supposed to be a bowl).

big ol' bowl of tea!

big ol' bowl of tea!"

I have two days left with this cray cray Italian family and I am so excited to be jetting off to England on Saturday. Some people may think I am skipping out or failing but I think I am making a good reasonable decision. I paid a lot of money to come out here and I don’t want to go home with three months worth of bitter memories, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that my last month of au pairing will be fabulous (well as fab as being an au pair can get!). The next time I will posting will probably be from England soo, cheerio!

 

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baked apple w/cinnamon, fitness cereal, straw yogurt and some chocolate chips

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A quickie

Ciao amicas! Well I thought I would do a quick little update pour vous! I’m going to England this saturday – yeah! I’m going to be staying with family #2 (see previous post) because family #1’s au pair decided to stay longer but I am still so excited to be going to live with this family for a month.

On to my hallowen adventures…. I booked a hotel for myself in Padova for the night so I could go out and finally experience Italian night life. My night was somewhat subpar because the club we went to was pretty lame and so was the dj. Emily (another au pair) & I went halfsies on a bottle of white wine (2 euros – steal!) and a box of nestle fitness chocolate. I’m pretty sure I ate 85% of the box of cereal. I made it into bed at 5am then got up at 9am (fail) to walk around Padova for the day. My weekend out was not documented due to a major fail on my part – yep I forgot to charge my camera. I will do another post this week once I get a few more pictures from this weekend. Have a good week ladies!

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Round three

How has your week been dears? I hope all is going along just fine in your lives. Mine well you know the sob story but I had a killer Sunday in Venice again. I met up with two of the other au pairs then a friend from back home and her gapper friends, who are also from Canada. They are working in the UK right now, totally jealous of them! Which brings me to my BIG news… since I am pretty much miserable and not fitting in very well with my current au pair family, I am more than likely going to be au pairing in the england until mid-december. I have to give my notice to this family within the next few days so I can get outta here. I just need to pick between two families… which is proving to be a tough decision! One family lives near London and has two teenage boys (15&18) then the other family lives in central england and has one two year old and my schedule is more cray-cray.. I’m thinking of going with family #1.

Alright here is your third viewing of Venezia!

canal

Possibly your third viewing of the canal =)

This Sunday was the Venice marathon to! We saw them running up one of the 12 (!!) bridges of the course. Props to them!

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Venice Marathon - hands down to the runners!

Since there were seven of us there that day we decided to be total tourist and take a gondola ride! We paid 10 euros each for what was supposed to be a 30 minute but it was more like 15 minute (scammer!). But it was fun at we got some photo ops.

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Gondola Ride - Yeah we stole his hat for some photo ops.

We stopped at a Pizzeria and ate some pretty good pizza. Then we stopped from some gelato! YUMM! I tried mint chocolate and was not disapointed in the least. I could’ve eaten the whole bin of gelato (maybe not) it was that good.

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Mint & Chocolate Gelato - I die!

It was so nice to see someone from back home and get out of the house! I bought a bunch of presents for family at home and I can’t wait to give them to them at christmas!ย  Plus I bought myself a Universita’ Venezia sweater – tack tourist point! Do you like giving presents?

TEA REVIEW

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New favourite tea (overseas)

I’m pretty sure this is a italian tea company so I’m not sure if I will be able to find it at but its is ah-mazing! Its my version of Selestial Seasonings. It has a nice cinnamon/fall-ish flavour and its perfect with a splash of soy milk. Here is a view of the ingredients…

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ingredients for your viewing pleasure...

Another Italian favourite…
I usually don’t like licorice at all but one of the (finnish) au pairs I met introduced me to these in Verona…

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I need to learn to rotate my pictures - black licorice & straws/raspberry.

Its half black licorice and raspberry or strawberry. Its two calories per treat. They have the gummy-ness of a wine gum candy. I’m going to buy some of these for my dad since he lurvs licorice plus maybe another 5 packages for myself ๐Ÿ™‚

My running has gotten better within the past few days. I stick to the same route because I just want to maintain my endurace while abroad but my time is now 31.5 minutes instead of 36 it was when I first started running this route back in September, yay me!

Ugh I got my registration time for my spring semester.. its at 4pm pst which is about 1am here gah it blows. Plus my registration date is WAY late like 21 days after registration starts so I’m guessing my schedule won’ t be so great.

But now I have to go a iron heaps of clothes and go out for my run second run of the day. I’m trying splitting them up so I can more distance in, we’ll see how that goes. Bye girls!

 

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