Saturday, December 29, 2012

Road Trip back to the Homeland

After driving for 7 days we finally reached Canada!

It was such an amazing trip, leaving Arizona we covered New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virgina, West Virgina, popped into Maryland and then finally New York, where we crossed the border into Canada.

road stop

I feel so lucky to have experienced so many different aspects of America that I had not yet visited. My favorite state that we encountered was definitely Tennessee, where we spent Christmas in Nashville. 

the famous Beale St in Memphis
There was however one place I regret "visiting". At the end of a long day's drive, without much choice of where to stay for the night we stumbled upon a Days Inn, located in Bristol, Tennessee. We drove down a dirt road past the burnt out hotel sign to arrive at our accommodations. My first instinct was "run", however it wasn't up to me and we weren't left with much else choice of where to go. Our rooms looked like they hadn't been clean, nor updated since the 70s. I wasn't sure if we were going to survive the night, as the whole situation reminded me of a horror film. We did make it through the night though, despite the power going out at 6am and me calling for my father in fear!

Although, as mentioned, my favourite part of our road trip was our Christmas in Nashville. We arrived about 6pm and took a "wrong" turn off the highway but ended up just where we wanted to be, right beside the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville's famous country music venue. 

We decided to check out the venue and the adjoining hotel the Gaylord Opryland before checking into our hotel for our Christmas Eve slumber. Growing up on country music it was very exciting to finally see the Grand Ole Opry which I had often heard about. 

After seeing that we went next door to the Gaylord Opryland which was decorated unbelievably for Christmas. It was so beautiful! We really couldn't have asked for a better place to spend Christmas Eve on our drive. 

We ended our adventure around the Grand Ole Opry by having our Christmas Eve meal at the Jack Daniel's restaurant/bar. It was a big change from our usual Candlelight service at Church, but it was sure fun. Near the end of our meal we had a country music performance. Later on they were asking for requests, so of course, I shouted a few out, both of which they played. Much to my father's dismay we were then referred to as the "loudmouth" table. Of course I only took that with pride!
my parents Aunt and Uncle and I at dinner
Christmas morning turned out better than I thought it could. After eating the hotel's breakfast including pancakes, sausage, egg, cereal, yogurt, toast and grits (gag), we decided to commander the lobby's Christmas tree and put our presents and stockings underneath and took turn opening gifts as usual.

Hotel/Burbridge Christmas tree

My parents and I Christmas morning
Most of the drive home we had good weather, until our last day when upon leaving West Virginia and entering Maryland a massive piece of ice flew off a truck going the opposite direction on the highway and smashed into the front of our SUV totalling the left side. But hey, no one was hurt so we were lucky!

As much as I enjoyed traveling across America I'm glad to be home at my parent's in Brockville for a short bit before I head back to work.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's About Time!

It seems like now I'm starting every post with excuses why I haven't updated this blog in ages... but this time...won't be any different! It has been so busy getting ready for the holidays, and flying to Phoenix to meet my parents as well as all the holiday events/parties that were going on before my departure.

I will try to keep this brief...but here is what I've been up to!

A few weeks ago I was invited by a few friends to the launch of Mahiki Coconut Rum, it's been around for a while but this launch at Mahiki was to celebrate that Sainsburys and Tesco would now be carrying it. The party was fun, and it felt like summer inside with hard bodies dressed in surf attire and tiki-esque music playing, compared to the cold harsh winter wind outside! Upon leaving I was given a massive bottle of the Mahiki Coconut Rum, which I will be saving for those winter eves when I feel like I need a tiny summer escape!

I was like a little kid again, or as always really, when Morwenna and I were finally able to make it to the Harry Potter Studio Tour near Watford Junction just outside of London. We had been trying to go for several months but with both our busy schedules, but we did it!

We had so much fun seeing the different sets and finding out how the special effects were all done. We lucked out going when we did as well as some of the sets were decorated for Christmas, like in some of the films. I HIGHLY recommend anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter franchise to make it out there, it's money well spent! We were looking at things for around 3 hours, so it's a great day out of the city. 

The Great Hall decorated for Christmas
The Christmas fun continued when I met up with one of my best friends Francesca for lunch before we went our separate ways for the holidays. We went to this place called Prix Fixe, which was a french spot on Dean St in Soho. The food and service was excellent, and the price being very reasonable.

 Afterwards we explored the shops and looked at all the lovely Christmas displays, was a great way to spend an afternoon!

My final week in London was coming to a close as this past Wednesday I spent packing, doing some last minute baking, cleaning up my room and dropping off some Christmas goodies at Morwenna's flat and having a cuppa there.

I left with a bang as that night I attended the joint party of Religion clothing and Premier to celebrate the announcement of a few model search winners, followed by Religion's Christmas Party.

I had such a great time as my partner in crime, fellow model Vanessa was there, and Morwenna was djing!
Vanessa and I 

Morwenna and I behind the DJ booth
Thursday it was time to say farewell to my home in London until the New Year as I flew via Canada to Phoenix to meet my parents, Aunt and Uncle for the holidays. Unfortunately the first two days here it was raining, but now the weather has improved. It's not bare leg weather but it's a fine improvement above a British or Canadian winter.

Since we will be on the road for Christmas we also had our big Christmas feast, which was nothing short of delicious!

My highlight of being in Phoenix though hasn't been the weather, but was going to an NBA game last night!

I have always loved basketball, playing throughout school, but had never attended a professional game, since Canada only has one NBA team. Alas, I was a happy happy girl when my dad purchased tickets for him, my uncle, my mom and I to go to the Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings!

My mom and I were sat quite close to the court whilst my Uncle and Dad were in the "nosebleed" section. It was so great watching the game and my mom and I were really getting into it. Of course we were cheering for the home team, the Suns and we had chosen right when they won 101-90 over the Kings. Attending the game was definitely something I will remember for a loooong time!

And as always, I will try to stay a tad more up to date with things and I will have lots of stories and pictures to share as we start our Americana road trip up to Canada starting Friday! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Well Spent!

I must say that this weekend was a massive improvement to the past one!

Friday night I took part in a hip hop class at Danceworks studio near Bond St tube station with Morwenna and Olivia. They had been going to a Wednesday eve one but decided to try this Friday one and asked me to join as well.

I was not disappointed! It was an hour and a half class, the first twenty minutes or so spent warming up and the rest of the class learning a routine. It was a great way to spend a Friday evening getting some exercise and having some fun with the girls, I think it's going to become a weekly thing for me!

Saturday was wonderful as well, it was pouring outside and after some transportation difficulties I finally arrived at Broadway Market to have a reunion lunch with my dear friend Stacy. She's been out of town filming and then joining up with her boyfriend's music tour. So it was great to catch up and enjoy a lovely lunch. It's a shame the weather was so rainy and windy though as we couldn't take advantage of the market.

That night I headed out to Sketch to see Morwenna dj again. We had a really great time as Olivia came later on to. We danced the night away to some disco and electro tunes. It wasn't as busy as several other Saturdays I had been there, so it was a nice change to have some room to dance and more freedom for Morwenna to play tunes she preferred.

The badboy capes Olivia and I were given to wear when we went out for fresh air

The weekend continued to improve when Sunday Morwenna rang me to invite me out to the estate that has been in her family since 1490, Knebworth House. I was very excited as the weather was finally sunny and it was a chance to see the place Morwenna is always talking about, and to get out of the city.

I quickly got ready and packed an overnight bag and headed to Morwenna's so me, her and her boyfriend Phil could catch the train from King's Cross.

Upon arrival I couldn't get over the beauty of the place. The land was so vast and the architecture was incredible. 

Knebworth House
After some yummy homemade vegetable soup from the garden, me, Phil, Morwenna, her father and their family dog Oscar headed out for a walk over some of the property. It was so beautiful to be out in nature, getting fresh air and forgetting about the bustle of London.

stags and deer we stumbled upon

The dinosaur park

Afterwards we watched a film by the fireplace and had some dinner cooked by Phil. This was followed by a tour given by Morwenna of the "museum" part of the house. The history was incredible and the decor, out of this world. The house is often used for filming, which it was this weekend, for an episode of Miss Marble.

Harry Potter shrine wall from scenes filmed at Knebworth

dining table
Overall I haven't had this wonderful of a weekend in quite some time and am very grateful to Morwenna and her family for having me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A different meaning

Well, the title of my last post ended up having a far different meaning than I thought it would. It my head, let the games begin, meant celebrating the submission of my thesis essay. Boy, was I wrong...

I had a great time celebrating Phil's birthday with Morwenna and other good friends at one of our favourite bars, Indo on Friday. But, that's where the fun of the weekend began and ended. I had had a toothache for several days, so I saw a dentist Saturday morning. She was lovely and I couldn't believe how much cheaper seeing a dentist is here than in Canada, shocking! Anyhow, she prescribed me with some antibiotics. So after doing some errands and picking them up from Boots, I took one.

This is where my weekend went downhill... I had a horrible reaction to these antibiotics and quickly acquired nausea and a migraine. That being said, I spent the whole of the weekend, and Monday after my morning castings in bed. I had to cancel seeing friends from out of town and attending a concert. Let the games begin more so meant, the games of sickness rather than fun. I'm still feeling rather dreadful, but slowly improving.

It may have been a dreadful weekend, but this week has been a much needed improved. Monday eve I found out that I would be working for Wella, a hair company the following day. I wasn't sure how it would go since at the casting it was all Italians, minus the photographer. But, arriving on set Tuesday morning took away all my apprehension. A fellow Premier model, Kerri-Lee was working with me that day, and boy oh boy did we have the best of times! I hadn't had that much fun on set in ages, the clients loved us both and we were all having laughing fits by the end of the day.

Molly, the photographer's dog

preview of Kerri and I

shot of me and the boys
 Wednesday turned out to be fantastic as well. Tuesday evening I got a text from Morwenna asking me to join her at a couple of launch parties she had been invited to, so of course I jumped at the chance!

We were lucky enough to have a car pick us up and bring us to the first event, a launch party with Spanish clothing company, Bimba and Lola. The music was great and soon as we walked in we ran into a lot of my bookers from Premier. It was a lovely surprise. Morwenna and I ate a couple of nibbles and had a glass of champagne while catching up with others, but then like Cinderellas, we had to go!
Morwenna posing with one of the looks
Our car brought us to the next party, a launch for SuperTrash, where our friend Olivia joined us. As the three of us were walking up we could tell it was a different vibe than the previous event. This one had about ten photographers waiting outside as well as blaring music. Morwenna had been given an outfit by SuperTrash to wear to the party (she looked stunning might I add) so everyone was fawning over the gal.

shot of the party
We had such a good time having a little dance and checking out all the gorgeous clothes. Pretty sure a good chunk of my income is going to go there next month...

Morwenna posing with her dress
the two of us in our Wednesday best
The week has been going fantastic so I'm looking forward to what the rest of it holds. However, I will definitely be much more careful when choosing a blog title such as, Let the Games Begin!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Let the Games Begin!!!!

And HELLLOOOO readers! Sorry that I've been rather rubbish and posting the past little bit. But ,as previously mentioned, I had a thesis paper to write for my university course, and thank my lucky stars, I JUST submitted it!

Alas, this will be a brief enough recap of what I've been up to, besides spending my evenings prepping and writing this paper.

Saturday after going to the gym I decided to venture into town to get some vitamins, however, the shop I wanted to go to was closed so I ended up walking further west, and what did I stumble upon? The Lord Mayor's parade. It was rather fantastic since I had wanted to go but just couldn't be asked to make the effort. There was lots of people watching and all showing full support for everyone that was apart of the parade.

Did a few other bits that weekend, but nothing out of the ordinary. Tuesday I had a submission shoot which went wonderfully quick, considering I had to work on my paper. We completed 8 looks in 4 hours, including hair and makeup which was brilliant! The team was really cool and the mood was rather chilled, which I always adore.

The following day I was doing another editorial shoot. But, to my fear, we were going to be doing half the shots outside! That is not something that ANYONE likes to hear after september. It turned out to be a sunny day, but regardless, it's no longer summer! After putting my foot down about my conditions for shooting outside, we moved to the location. Lea Valley, its north London near Endfield and such a gorgeous location! Especially when the sun comes out! 

Unfortunately, the cold wasn't my only fear that day. To get to the park we had to go over a train crossing, and of course me following the photographer and him not paying attention, we were rather close to getting hit by the train. My heart definitely beat out of my chest, especially when the conductor blew his horn full force. I for one was extremely cautious with further crossing!

My day wasn't going great when I was almost attacked by a swan too.

Add caption
However, the shoot was fantastic, all shot in film, rather than digital, which is always a welcome change. I'm really looking forward to seeing the end product, which I'll be sure to post up here.

Now that it's friday afternoon, and everything I needed to do this week is complete...LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Girl About Town

I was pleasantly surprised Tuesday evening when I got a text from my friend, Elsa (check out her food blog inviting me to two events the following evening. I jumped at the chance as I had been in all week working on research for my university paper.

So yesterday evening her and I met at Shaka Zulu, at the Stables Market, Camden to attend the first event. Shaka Zulu was such an incredible location, it's African themed and there's carved wooden walls. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures, it was far too dark. 

This event was for a new store opening called Deki, unfortunately, you wouldn't have known why you were there, almost no promotion going on. We had a couple of glasses of champagne and decided to move on.

The next stop was for the press launch of Barrio East, a Mexican eatery/cocktail bar that currently has two locations, Barrio Central and Barrio North. The atmosphere was incredible! So many people, fantastic decor, yummy cocktails and fantastic canapes. 

Elsa and I's choice bartender
There was even some Brazilian dance and capoeira (dance fighting) performances. We were thoroughly entertained! I must say if you get the chance to check out any of the, soon to be three locations, head to Barrio, you're sure to have a good time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Beat Goes On

The past few days have been rather low key on my part of things. With the time going back an hour, the sun going down early, and winter quickly setting in, I've became even more domestic than usual. It really does feel like one should be eating dinner at 5pm and going to bed at 6pm when it's dark outside! I swear winter wouldn't be so bad if it were light out a tad longer. That being said, I really find daylight savings to no longer be relevant. It was created to benefit farmers, so they could make better use of having work periods in daylight. However, most societies that are most affected with daylight hours during winter are no longer predominantly farming communities. I feel that winter and daylight savings in our day and age now just brings on issues such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and people leaving home and returning in the dark.

Anyway... I had the pleasure this past Thursday of having a catchup and session with my homeopath, Carolyne Hallett ( She is an incredibly brilliant woman and so easy to talk to, she's become my "English Mother". It's nice having a mother figure when mine is across the pond. Thru homeopathy, Carolyne has helped me reduce my anxiety, sleep better, I no longer get jetlag when I travel (thanks to her jetlag remedy) and she just generally advises me on any ailments and helping me to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you're interested in alternative therapies, I strongly suggest checking out her website, she's a miracle worker!

In other news, my parents decided to give me an early Christmas present, which I was more than keen to receive...a slow cooker! I have wanted one for several years, so it was the perfect gift! Now I can just pop the ingredients in in the morning and when I get home, voila! A fantastic meal!

So Sunday eve, I popped in all the ingredients, and made Chicken Cacciatore. DELCIOUS! It cooked the chicken so nicely that it just fell apart in your mouth. This is for sure my new favorite toy!

I also have a paper due in a week and a half so I have been doing tons of reading for that, along with research. It's going better than I thought it would, having freaked out at my professor about not having access to the books needed for said paper. However, with a little hard ball on my end, all is well!

It's cold out there, so keep warm everyone!