Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update

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TexansAbroad | Weekend Getaway to York, England

December was filled to the brim with lovely get-togethers, plenty of good cheer, and one big weekend trip to York, England. From Canterbury West train station, heading into London Kings Cross Station, we hopped aboard the third Virgin train we could find. Having been scheduled for a much earlier train, we had our tickets changed twice as we realized the extent of the crowds waiting to begin this cramped four hour journey. Waiting an extra hour and half put us on an empty and comfortable train where our journey could finally commence.map

Long train journeys are best planned out: a good book, some downloaded episodes of a fun TV show, and a packed lunch are our recommendations. Lunch is the most important part. After being crammed into the morning train to London–discovering there is only standing room left, with your backpack constantly hitting the arm of the guy wedged beside you and praying for a breath of fresh air–there is nothing more satisfying than knowing once you are finally out of London, tucked away into a seat, the simplest of pleasures-the sandwich-is waiting for you.


Yorkshire Museum in the distance

Once we were settled into our hotel and enjoyed a short rest, flicking through channels on the television in hopes of finding a fun British show (we don’t have TV and rely on Netflix and Amazon. We don’t miss it, but the familiar comfort of channel surfing is always fun), we began our walk into the city centre

The first evening, other than a quick enjoyable trip to the Yorkshire Museum, was spent among the hoardes of Christmas market goers. We knew exploring a busy new city in the dark wouldn’t be the most fun, so we instead sauntered our way through the Christmas stalls, stopping for dinner and mulled wine at nearby food stands. Christmas markets are a new experience for us, though the concept is clear: to shop. York was our first big Christmas market: dozens of stalls filled with handmade scarves and wooden statues, soap and ornaments. We aren’t too interested in shopping while on trips, so we mostly made our way around a couple times, listened to some Christmas buskers and found our way back to the hotel.



St. Mary’s Abbey ruins

The next day and a half we were able to experience more of York, taking photos along the way. The best part was stumbling upon the historic cat trail. Business owners would erect statues of cats onto their buildings to scare away birds and mice. There are two trails to follow, put on by two cat stores (one sold glass figurines, including cats and the other store sold cat accessories). We chose to follow the trail map made by the glass figurine store, which turned out to be riddles and clues that led us all across the city in search of cats. We photographed about 23 cats and saw parts of the city we wouldn’t have otherwise explored!


St. Mary’s Abbey ruins, York, England


Taylor taking a photo of the first views of the city



Little Shambles, York. Medieval houses dating back from the 14th century



Taylor standing under a lopsided building in the Little Shambles



Walking along the York Roman wall. More narrow than Canterbury wall, but over two miles long!


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Christmas in Canterbury

cc1Yet another holiday has come and gone in Canterbury, England.

We absolutely enjoyed ourselves by learning old English Christmas traditions and mixing them with our own. We missed our families but enjoyed many new things we’ll remember for years to come.


We wanted to start by incorporating our traditions into our celebrations. My mom sent over a gingerbread house, which is a super fun Baker Cousin tradition. Usually it involves several small children and a table covered in icing. We also commemorated a Langford tradition with hot chocolate. At my dad and step mom’s house hot chocolate is handed out to all my brothers and sister filled with marshmallows. This year we added mulling spices and wine to our hot chocolate! Christmas eve was spent carrying out these traditions, watching Christmas movies and eating English mince pies and chocolate covered oranges.


Christmas day wasn’t as exciting as spending it with family, but we made it enjoyable with more hot chocolate and opening some packages we received from family. Taylor and I also popped Christmas crackers, which is a very popular tradition in England. We then prepared for our Christmas lunch, which we reserved at La Trappiste. The food was delicious, although the meal lasted a very long time! We popped more crackers, ate several courses, played charades at our table and enjoyed live piano music.

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The day after Christmas, or in England, ‘boxing day’, was spent shopping at the massive Christmas sales, and going to the Marlowe Theatre to watch the pantomime, ‘Aladdin.’ It was a cute show!

We enjoyed our Christmas very much. Old and new traditions were made, making our first Christmas away from home lovely!


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It Won’t Be the “Favorite” Present

Having been inspired by old fashioned journaling–the beauty of a memory in a tangible, paper form–by: A Beautiful Mess journals and Every Single Etsy Journal, I knew this would be on my to-do list, to-buy list, to-make-sure-and-journal-more list.

Also, on an unrelated note, it’s Chistmas time. I have siblings and cousins galore. Since I’m a tiny bit “anti-toy” (I know, I’m horrible) I was thinking along the lines of ‘art’ and ‘science’ for the kids of the families.

Now, to relate the two statements:

I know gifting kids art and science that I’m automatically knocking myself out of the running for their “favorite” gift. I’m used to it. But my desire for them is to, eventually, in a week…month…find a spark of inspiration by running across my gift and finding a use for it. In a culture consumed with media and consumerism, I hope they can find a moment where they create their own beautiful, imaginative work of art.

SUPPLIES// Cardstock. Computer Paper. Stapler. Duct Tape. ScissorsImage
Fold pages. Staple on the inside.
Use tape or washi tape to bind middle inside pages and hide staples.Image
I personalized the inside cover.
I added a “strap” Using: Strip of cardstock, tape to back…and a slit in the front strip to slide a piece of duct tape through to “close” it.Image
I bound the outside edge with camo duct-tape to suit my littlest brother’s taste. (You can see camo duct-tape strip to close the “strap”ImageImage
Couldn’t help making a Magnet To-Do list out of an old Christmas card using the same method….

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Weekend Sparkle



I don’t know why I decided to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

I’m hiding this fact from the outside world. (No Christmas decor in the windows…yet.) 

This weekend I….

1. Put up the Christmas tree
2. Rode around on a motorcycle
3. Determined the Thanksgiving dessert I’ll be making
4. Bought two shirts
5. Ate chocolate chip pancakes
6. Learned about gratefulness.

I am grateful for the life I’m living. It’s not too fancy, thrilling, or important. But it’s a life I like living. I won’t be taking it for granted. 

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Although I’ve had plenty of time to blog, I’ve spent that time looking at wedding ideas online.

However, I was looking through all the fun Christmas photos and, although most are blurry, they were too fun to not use.

Our fun little gingerbread house decorated by Jane and Julia!

Our first Christmas engaged. Is that something people acknowledge when they’re engaged? oh well!

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I have so much I want to blog about, but it’s all about Christmas presents and I’m not going to just tell everyone what their present is. (If, of course, they read my blog. who knows, maybe they don’t)

I officially “moved out” of the campus apartment last Friday. I had to move out for Christmas break so I’m living out of my car right now.

I am, however, at work. I rode with my mom and opened up the career center. And I know. I KNOW. that no one will stop by. Because school is OUT. But… time is money, eh?

I love Christmas time. I love giving presents. Well, let me put it this way: I love giving presents until minutes before I give someone their present and then I get a tiny anxiety attack that goes like this: “Man, they’re not expecting this present. I hope they don’t think I’m hoping for anything in return. Because I wasn’t even thinking about that when I got them this, I was just thinking, “Hey, let’s get them a little something.” What if they show up tomorrow with a present for me? That is the last thing I want–to put them in a position where they think they’re required to get me something.”

And then I suck it up and give it to them.

The people I’m referring to are the people who definitely aren’t supposed to get me anything…like my roommates or boss. (With family I don’t worry so much about because I know I’m on their Christmas list.) Anyways…I gave those people a little bag of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

My favorite small gifts last Christmas were all the hot chocolate I recieved. Because, like coffee, I’m an addict to the stuff. I look forward to waking up at my dad’s house in the morning because there will always be a mug of hot chocolate full of marshamallows waiting. I think I could easily say hot chocolate is my favorite part of Christmas. 😉

Anyways, I need a hair cut. I haven’t cut my hair since I was a senior in high school—-I’m about to graduate college now!

Here is my inspiration: