hey, it's frances.

Excuse the ramblings...

Monday, 8 June 2015

mission burrito: not quite chipotle, but it will do.

You know when you're out shopping and you hit that wall where you begin frantically searching for something, anything to eat. Unfortunately for me, I had been suffering  from strong Burrito Bowl (specifically steak) withdrawal symptoms since I've been back. Strangely enough, I wasn't that crazy about Chipotle when I was in the US, but I guess it's one of those 'you don't know what you have until it's gone' sort of things. 

There are Chipotle's in the UK, however, they're all based in London, and once you do the conversion into dollars, it actually becomes quite a depressing experience. The next best alternative (at least to my knowledge!) is Mission Burrito. I visited the Reading branch which is located in the Riverside eating area and ordered myself a Chicken 'Rice Box' (it's just not the same is it?). 

First impression - no brown rice! So sad. Also, the chicken is shredded and not cubed, which apparently makes a huge difference taste wise. This being said, Mission Burrito still holds the same principles at Chipotle: fast, fresh food for a decent price. Do I prefer Chipotle? I'd have to say yes, but Mission Burrito will be more than enough to fulfill any sudden US - related nostalgic cravings I have this summer.

- Frances

P. S. I couldn't resist taking a picture of these!:

Friday, 5 June 2015

the i've-missed-british-fashion haul

I do love America, but I have to say that the one thing that Brits do better is high street fashion. Yes, clothes in the US are DEFINITELY cheaper, but when it comes down to it, I would rather take a walk down Oxford Street, than on 5th Avenue.

Why? American high street stores tend to be less trendy and cutting edge. I was genuinely excited walking into New Look for the first time since I've back; having to hold back the urge to buy everything. I would never have this experience walking into a 'Delia's' or a 'JC Penney'. Most things would either be either too boring, too frilly, too basic or bombarded with a weird pattern.  Hence why most of my shopping (although limited) tended to focus on Forever 21, H&M or American Eagle. Although fashion, of course, isn't the be all and end all, British people just tend to... care more. 

Here are a few bits and bobs I've bought since I've been back: 

Satchel: River Island - £25 // Floral Crop Top: Glamorous - £5 (Sale) // Geometric Crop Sweater: Topshop - £15 (Sale) // Necklaces: Primark - £1 & £3

Of course, I'm not generalising to the whole of the US population (there are definitely some trendier parts of the country) but in my personal opinion your average British Jane is more likely wearing a more killer outfit than your American Jane. Personal opinion.

- Frances

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

this week in spotify: june 1st - june 7th

You know those weeks when your personal sass level is higher than usual? This week is one of those weeks. Although, t is my birthday week (so at that awkward stage where I'm not sure how old to tell people I am) so naturally I'm:

I've been eating right, working out a lot and summer (and hopefully hot weather) is just round the corner. So yeah, feeling pretty good on a whole. If I could choose a soundtrack to my life right now, it would probably be these songs:


Friday, 29 May 2015

rising sophmore?? + final semester highlights.

Finals are over, a year has passed and I'm not a Freshman anymore. If I'm honest, I'm not really sure how I feel about it. On one hand, part of me enjoyed that feeling of having so many 'Firsts': First Finals Week, first Sendoff, first Spring Break... the list goes on. Right now I'm listening to Total Eclipse of the Heart ( surprisingly excellent nostalgia music for writing this post) and I think Bonnie Tyler sums it up best when she says: 'every now and then I get a little bit nervous, that the best of all the years have gone by'.  On the other hand, although it's still a bit odd that I no longer reply with 'Freshman' when people ask my class year, I'm incredibly excited for the next three years at Kenyon - I can't imagine being anywhere else.

There have been some highs, some lows (gladly mostly highs), but most importantly I would defnitely say that I've 'grown into myself'  a lot more over the past year - especially being so far from home. When people say you find yourself at college (uni for you British folks) they aren't lying.

Here are some highlights from towards the end of the semester; here's to you Kenyon College:
That time I watched one of by best friends clean out CVS when I spent 50 hours in NY so we could see Andy Grammer.

That time I 'shocked my mom' at Shock Your Mom dressed as an Amercian biker chick. 
That time I got all dolled up for the International Formal becuase it's easily my favourite party of the semester, and then rightly recorded the moment on Snapchat. 
When I ran a Motown Radio Show. 
When I experienced sunsets like this every day (God bless Kenyon). 
When Sendoff lived up to its name.

When the weather during Finals Week was unfortunately incredible #stuckinside #stillbeautiful. 
That time I took a selfie with Abe. 
I carried on being obsessed with sunsets.

& of course, going home.

- Frances

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

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