hey, it's frances.

Excuse the ramblings...

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

city walking in dc: the zoo, friends and food

I didn't realise how much I'd missed being in the city until I took a walk around DC a few days ago. Weirdly enough, the biggest thing I missed was being surrounded by buildings. Living in rural Ohio means the closest thing we have to a real bar is 'The Cove', rightly named for it's dark dingy interior. Don't get me wrong, I love my school - however the lack urban infrastructure and abundance of well, cornfields, really makes you appreciate being in the city/any civilisation. There's just something incredibly satisfying about using Google Maps to navigate your way through the busy city streets, to the nearest restaurant or museum, to meet up with a friend. 

This spring break I was in the DC-Maryland area. After craving the sound of traffic and using public transport (boy, do I miss the Tube) my friend Natasha and I decided to venture into the city for the day. Apart from meeting with our friend Peter on his lunch break, we had no real intentions, which kind of made the day more interesting.
Of all places, we ended up at the zoo.

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to do a full tour, but we did see some pandas and bison, among other things - including some wolves with an abnormally long set legs. Sadly, we'd missed the elephants and the red pandas were no longer in exhibit. The best part was that it was free (hashtag three cheers for the Smithsonian). It's definitely somewhere I'd consider visiting again this summer.

After the zoo, we made our way to Dupont Circle to meet up with Peter in Starbucks (hence the obligatory group selfie). Annoyingly enough, we ended up in the wrong Starbucks; when people joke about there being a Starbucks on every corner, they're not kidding. Google Maps issues aside, we had a good catch up over Frappuccinos, and various baked goods. Since I'm not all that into hot drinks, I ordered a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino with a cookie on the side.

Apaprently, Starbucks wasn't necessarily the most nutritious option for lunch, so we went on the hunt for real food. Low and behold we were right next to Nandos. It was so strange walking into Nandos without having a line out of the door like in the UK. I guess Americans aren't as into Peri-Peri chicken as us Brits.

In order to help the meal digest, we jumped on the Metro again to head into central DC to do a spot of sightseeing. In conclusion, the White House was White and the Monument is huge. I'd seen them both before, so it was not so much actually seeing the attractions that excited me, it was the act of being a tourist and sharing in the excitement of being somewhere important.

So yes, I'm a city girl at heart. As much as I love the endless fields and isolation of Ohio, there's something special about concrete and skyscrapers that really gets me going.

- Frances

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

2014: the year lots of things happened.

Turns out we're in February and I still haven't gotten around to doing my 2014 highlights post (I know, I know shameful). Lately, most of my energy has been spent on settling into/surviving the new semester.

Looking back at my 2013 post, I can definitely say that the amount of college application- stress I was going through at the time was worth it. I guess the biggest thing to happen to me during 2014 was that I got into college! Other notable things that happened were:
  • I finished my A-levels (finally)
  • I turned 18
  • I got highlights in my hair (easily one of the best decisions I've made, and I'm definitely planning on getting more this summer)
  • I met the US ambassador to the UK (pretty exciting)
  • Wireless Festival & James Arthur gig
  • I was part of a world record (kind of a big deal)
  • Huge family college road trip in an RV (because that's just how we do things)
  • I visited LA & New York for the first time

Created with flickr slideshow - see full-screen for captions. .

Oh, and another cool thing that happened was my best friends back home surprising me with a surprise photoshoot for my birthday/leaving present - they're kind of amazing.

All in all, it was a pretty amazing year in terms of trying new things, visiting new places and making new friends. The summer alone is easily the best summer I've had. 2015 certainly has a lot to live up to, although I have faith that it won't disappoint!

- Frances

Friday, 23 January 2015

inspired by pinterest: dainty jewelry

I don't why it is, but lately I've slowly fallen in love with the current minimalist jewelry trend that seems to be popping up everywhere. There is something so aesthetically pleasing about seeing gemstones and chains effortlessly layered over one another in an oh-so-chic manner that makes me want to throw out all my statement jewelry pieces. For me, the minimalist jewelry trend is the perfect way to achieve that 'off-duty model' look without trying too hard. You could say 'I woke up like this'...

Here are some images sourced from Pinterest for further inspiration/ make you want to do a re-haul of your jewelry collection:

- Frances

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


*Yes I know this is a bit overdue!*

This NYE I was out in LA (look out for more LA posts!) with family. My cousins and I went to a gold-themed party in the hills and had a great time!

What's the verdict on my first LA party experience? Pretty great! Everything was to be expected: beautiful venue, beautiful people and great music. One of my favourite parts of the night was definitely the gold-themed photobooth, which e-mailed you the pictures in a snazzy GIF format, as well as printing them out in traditional form. How to please a bunch of millenials? Let them take photos of themselves - easy.

'But you're not wearing gold?!' I hear you scream. Never fear! There was plenty of gold accessories (e.g. my crown) for guests who also opted for the classic LBD that night. Although it's safe to say that there were guests there wearing enough gold for the rest of us, so it hardly mattered!

Dress: Express Outlet.

That rounds off my first post for 2015! I hope to blog a lot more this year and get a steady flow of posts going to document my time here in the US!


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

this week in spotify: dec. 15th - 21st

Anyone who knows me will know that I'm kind of obsessed with Spotify. It's an amazing way to discover new music - either through the 'Radio' function (think Pandora) or through the hundreds of pre-made playlists they have to suit every (I'm not lying) mood imaginable. I thought it would be a fun thing to incorporate what I'm listening to every now and again into my blog. Beware, my music taste is a bit eclectic, but then who's isn't?

Right now - here are 5 of the songs which never get 'skipped over' - you know what I'm talking about.

If you have any recommendations of songs that I should listen to - don't hesitate to leave them in the comment box and I'll get round to listening to them!


Sunday, 14 December 2014

running in rural ohio.

Have you ever had the urge to just go on a really long run and just escape somewhere? Well that was me this Saturday morning when my body clock woke me up  bright and early at 8:30 (great)

Right now it's 'Finals Week' and everywhere I go, it's like the universe can't help but remind me of it. Everyone's stressing out, and if I'm honest, it's starting to stress me out even though I wasn't stressed out in the first place! So I threw on my running shoes and decided to escape the 'stress bubble' that was building up around me. 
The good thing about going to school in the middle-of-nowhere-Ohio is that you are in the middle-of-nowhere-Ohio. There are tons of trails around my school to explore if you need a break from well... people. It's just you, the occasional herd of cows and some cornfields (a.k.a no one to witness any crazy dancing).  I ended up running for roughly an hour and a half in total, and it was quite honestly one of the best decisions I've made in a while. Beautiful scenery and a playlist that included everything from Hakuna Matata to P.Y.T; what more could I want?

There is something to be said about spending time by yourself doing something you enjoy. Some people play an instrument, and others might dance or draw. I just like running. You can forget about that paper you have due, or that test you have to study for, or anything else that's been niggling away at you, and just do you. All I can say is that I defnitely see more of these runs in the future. At least... before it gets bitterly cold aha.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Recipe: Rocky Road

Lately I seem to have developed a constant craving for rocky road. I don't know what it is about the delightful mix of chewy marsmllows, crunchy biscuits and chocolate that gets me so much. Turns out it's pretty easy to make at home:

500g of your favourite chocolate bar (i.e milk, plain, orange etc. - I used plain)
Bag of mini marshmallows (normally found in the baking section) 
Crush your favourite biscuits (I used bourbons - digestives are traditionally used) 
Golden Syrup
Vanilla essence
Anything else- raisins, cashews, peanut butter, malteasers etc.

1. Slowly melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
2. When melted add a dash of vanilla essence and a tablespoon of golden syrup and stir.
3. Slowly stir in your biscuits ('season to taste') and anything else.
4. Then your marshmallows (try not melt them too much)
5. Line a cake tin with baking paper then pack in your mixture and place it in the fridge until hard
6. When you take it out of the fridge leave to thaw for a while before you cut it up.
7. Enjoy! 

These seemed to go down pretty well with my Spanish class, so let me know if you have a go at making them yourself;  especially if you put your own spin on on it!


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