Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Island in the Sun

Lovin' these Summer Days!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mid Year Resolution

I have decided I need to blog more!  Even if it is nothing more than the simple moments in my life, I want to practice recording them in a way indestructible to natural disasters.  This is going to be my place of honesty and daily solace.  When I was in my creative writing class in high school I enjoyed having ten minutes at the beginning of class everyday simply to write.  I miss those days.  Therefore this will be my new composition notebook.  My blog will be my place to free write, and since people don't read my blog anyways I'm not to bothered by it.  If you are reading this right now I dare you to leave a comment, even if it's nothing more than "I listen".
I am going to start search for prompts and other piece to receive writing inspiration from.  Furthermore, this will be a place of research where I can compose observations, things I learn, and thoughts I think in this interesting journey called life.

This is a list I'm generating, pulling from different websites to respond to for future reference.

What is your greatest fear?

Think about a thing you feel should not have been invented.

Write from the point of view of a spoon from inside the dishwasher.

Write from the point of view you are the only tree left standing in the forest.

"The world will end in one week.  What will you do until then?"

"The accomplishment that I am proudest of is..."

"How's the air back there?  Open your refrigerator (for real or in your mind) and look for an item you've never written about in there.  Write a poem or paragraph or play (or whatever) about something in your fridge."

I'm going to stop there for right now.  The two websites I pulled these from include

For right now I'm going to respond to the last two I quoted.

The accomplishment that I am proudest of it studying abroad in London for a year.  The whole process was challenging but incredible.  The paperwork was extensive and foreign to me, but I took it in more and more as time went on.  Then actually being in England presented some definitely challenges in the beginning, but once I got those worked out, by myself mind you, it was one of the most extraordinary things/experiences that has drastically shaped my life.  I love the Emily that emerged at the other side.  I miss London tremendously and I'd go back in a heart beat to see my friends and explore the city...but I did the very best with the time I was given.

"How's the air back there?  Open your refrigerator (for real or in your mind) and look for an item you've never written about in there.  Write a poem or paragraph or play (or whatever) about something in your fridge."

How's the air down there??
Scrumptious and divine sit cookies in pairs
divided in bags for consumption to share
lower drawer in the freezer to hide
this chocolate addiction inside us subsides
Typically when I find the stash they're gone in a day
but on the particular day they happened to pass my way
I am proud to say I turned my head
"We are better than those cookies" I said
Because these days I practice will power
for my new motivations tower
over meager impulse of food and sweets
no longer am I controlled by treats
I am in control and I call the shots
hello healthy life style lets give this all I got.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I have boxes of Good Intentions stuffed under my bed

I decided today instead of adding to that box I will simply tell about today!
Today is May 1, 2011 and it was been a splendid way to start May :)

The Breakdown!
Last night I was skyping with my good friend Bronson who lives back in Az and I enjoyed our conversation! I'm including it in this post because the conversation carried on past 12a.m.
Also, I wanted to mention a new artists that I love thanks to his knowledge!

Jonsi is the artist and I love his music so far. B T DUBS he's Icelandic!

When I woke up this morning I was excited to get ready for church. I put on my new dress, tried out some new makeup, all of which compliment my new hair!
(I got my hair done yesterday! Platinum blond with bits of Red and I love it!)

My lovely friend Ashley Wright is in town touring Europe with her BYU Idaho group and they are currently in London! In fact, they came to my ward today and it was such an awesome experience to visit with my dear Ashley in London! Ashley is definitely one of my best friends!
Throughout life we have never been at the same school and there's always been a lot going on, where as most people would grow distant, but every time Ashley and I have an opportunity to come together we can not stop laughing!

I forgot it was fast Sunday, but I bore my testimony today :)

After church I talked to my delightful friend, Katie Lomax, and we calendared all of the fun weekend stuff we have coming up in May! Here in the UK they call their planners their diary. I found this to be ironic because in the states you don't want others to read your diary, where as here, in this context, they willingly share its content with you.
Kate and I rode the tube back together as we got caught back up on each others lives! It was lovely to converse with her. Later when we were leaving the station two guys complimented my hair! It totally made my day =)
This is a picture of Katie and I, at St. James Park, that always makes me smile.

Looking Ahead!
The rest of May consists of:
Week 1
temple trip with friends and ward talent show
Week 2
Getting all my school assignments turned in and going to Alton Towers to ride roller coasters!
Week 3
Day Trip to Belgium! Bring on the Chocolate =D
Week 4
Boots Birthday! & Any last hoorahs.
It's going to get quite busy. It'll be interesting to try to find the balance between school, friends, church, etc.  I know it just started but I can already feel the rush.
May is the big month because it is my last full month here. I fly home Saturday June 4th.

I'm really sad about having to say goodbye to London. However, I knew I'd have to say good bye eventually and I am pleased with what I have made of this experience. I am satisfied closing this chapter on the incredible high it has obtained.  This month will be celebratory to all that I've seen, done, and became.  Living in London for 9 months was the greatest life experience I could ever ask for.
When I return home to the USA I'll work in the dental office in the summer and return to Flagstaff in the fall where I will complete the Fall semester.  I am definitely looking forward to the experiences that await me there as I share an apartment with one of my best friends, Olivia <3 Not to mention have the opportunity to spend a ton of my time with my twins Kila and Kiniki! (I forgot the exact Hawaiian spelling...but they'll get the idea) I love them both soooo very much! I have been blessed with extraordinary friends in my life. All of which are strong, beautiful, daughters of God who have so much potential!
This October (the 29th to be exact) I turn 21! I am indeed looking forward to my birthday, but what's more is I'm looking forward to serving a mission!!! I'm going to turn in my papers and hope to go in the start of the new year :) I have such a strong desire and passion to serve the Lord with all my heart, mind, and strength as I dedicate my time to his work. It will definitely be a character building opportunities! Plus, I just love talking to people.  I look forward to the growth and understanding I'll achieve about the gospel through my efforts and desire to teach it to others.  I've already grown so much in my testimony here, and I know that will be the case of my mission. Furthermore, I will gladly go where ever the Lord calls me...but if I can put in a disclaimer... I think it would be a tremendous opportunity to serve in Sweden! My Dad's heritage is Swedish and I made a trip to Stolkholm with some friends over Valentine's Day Weekend and it was such a beautiful place.  But if this indicates any possibilities-I visited the Sweden temple at night and besides being absolutely gorgeous with the snow radiating the purity of the building, but I felt the spirit so strong there on the grounds.  It was that experience that got me thinking about how cool it would be to serve a mission in Sweden.

I've realized it is really difficult to live in another country for close to a year as far as clothes, art materials, and various possessions are involved. Needless to say, I just sent two big suitcases home with my parents full of my crap! (Important Crap). Now it's up to me to figure how to get the rest home =P I think I should be able to accomplish such a task between 2-3 suit cases hahah.

Making up for lost times!
Saturday April 9th I went to Portobello Rd. Market with Boots, Kate, and Cec! (Lesley met up with us) and it was
awesome because of the company I was with :) But in addition to that I achieved everything I set out to
do that day! Such things consisted of
-Chinese Fan
hahah that was everything I was looking for. It was a very successful day if you ask me.
Not only that, we heard a really cool band playing live in the streets when we were walking through Notting Hill to get to the Market.  They're called the The Ryan O'Reilly Band.  They were selling a four song cd for five
GBP. Katie and I split the price and got a cd =) I love it! I like all of the songs but The Morning and November are my favorites.
Not only do I love all of these purchases, they have been very practical since London has been quite sunny! My last pair of sun glasses broke in my suitcase when I was moving back to London in January.   It wasn't until now I needed to be bothered to get a new pair. Usually it's overcast and I don't have to worry about it.
   The fan has got some good use out of it because of how "hot" I think it's been. When my mom and dad were visiting it became especially usefully on our overwhelmingly crowded trip to Tower of London.  Later that day I also used it to keep my Dad sane on the humid, congested underground.

Speaking of my parents being in town! That brings my to the most recent thing, my Easter Holiday!
Most of the pictures are on my Mom's computer and I'm waiting for her to send them to me.

This is at Westminster Abbey before we left to go to the London Temple! 

This was one of the happiest days of my life. I wish I could spend every day with my parents at the temple doing temple work <3 Plus they are incredible people!

Look I actually go to school!
This was me about two weeks ago when I was casting my head mold with cement fondue. 
Safety first!
Each half of the head

Friday, February 4, 2011

This week in a nut shell! A very BIG nut shell =P

Last Saturday I went on the LDS young single adults temple trip to see the London temple. It was gorgeous! I absolutely feel in love with it and once my camera cord comes in the mail I'm going to upload photos that I took by the lake. Instead of the traditional reflection pool there was this small pond/lake that some ducks were swimming on! =)

here is the same temple at nighhht (mk voice!) =P

It was on this trip that I made some really great friends. There are three english girls who I became good friends with. Katie, Sarah, and Ruth. It was delightful getting to know them better. Throughout the day we were talking to this girl Anne who is Norwegian and I was talking about coming to visit her there when she mentioned the YSA dance in Sweden over Valentine's Day weekend.

Katie who was right there said that she wanted to go. It was then decided that a group of us would go to Sweden over Valentine's day weekend.
Sunday night I went over to their apartment for dinner, which was lovely, and we bought our tickets to Sweden! We couldn't find the details of the YSA (Young Single Adult) dance and there are two airports in Sweden. Therefore, we decided to just book one. Later we found out it was the wrong one, but it's going to be a great trip anyways because of the group of girls that I'll be with. Plus, we're staying in a boat hostel! Altogether it will be Katie, Sarah, Ruth, Grace, and me (this is the order in the picture, with the exception that I'm taking the picture).
After the temple trip we went back to the chapel and danced it up at the 1970s themed dance taking place in the cultural hall. Katie and Sarah are hilarious girls. I enjoyed dancing with them. I also have a friend named Katherine that is from England who was at the dance and we rocked it out!

Monday was a busy day! Starting with an appointment to get my computer fixed at the Apple store in Covent Garden. Afterwards I returned to Nido and met my new roommate Amber who had just moved in :) She's an english major from New York and she's very nice. We started talking and I was telling her about the local places around our area (Kings Cross and Angel station). What started as us taking a trip over to Angel station turned into me becoming a tour guide from 5-6 new students who also moved in Monday as we made our way down stairs. lol
But I didn't mind because I found it entertaining. Besides, I am more than happy to help people with the transition into London because I know mine was rough. I basically told them everything I wish someone would have told me. I showed them around the area, took them to the grocery stores, showed them where/how to get their phones set up, what kind of Oyster card & pass they should get.
After I helped them get better aquatinted with London I left them at a pub in Victoria so I could meet Grace at Angel station. She just started a new job there and I was meeting her to get money for her ticket and hostel to Sweden which we booked on Sunday evening. When I met up with Grace she introduced me to her coworker George. He is a very interesting fellow! I was on my way to have dinner with Chris. A young man I met on the temple trip. George and I talked for a long time in the tube station when I was trying to persuade him to come to South Kensington, my stop where I was meeting Chris, so we could talk on the way and I wouldn't be late. The thing about George is he's very entertaining/funny as well as persuasive. So the next fifteen-twenty minutes became a game of us talking and me needing to leave. For clarification for any who read this blog, there isn't anything going on between Chris and I. We are just friends. However, my relationship with George is developing...but I will get to that.
We finally compromised and he rode half way there with me, exiting at Green Park, after we had agreed to a date on Saturday. I arrived at the chapel where Chris had made me dinner. After that we joined in on FHE (family home evening) taking place. They were on the activity and it was a blast! The first game we played was a circle of chairs and the person in the middle had to call out a category or description. If you matched it you had to get up and switch chairs with the other people that it also applied to. There was quite a bit of commotion as we scrambled around. The next game was a variation of the game Big Booty. I got my Norwegian friend Anders, pronounced Onders, out and then we picked a personal revenge with me during the game. It was pretty entertaining ;) I went home that night and very tired, but happy person!

Tuesday I went to pick up my computer from the Apple store! They were able to fix it really quickly, and I am definitely grateful for that. I am also thankful for apple care because the three things they fixed didn't cost me anything. After that I explored Apple market were I found a really cool stand called Ahura collectables U.K. LTD. They had some really cool things! I'd love to buy one of their telescopes and old fashioned telephones!!
I also went to H&M to get a few things to keep me warm!
Tuesday nothing incredibly exciting happened, but I did hang out with Anders =) He came by Nido and we played pool and made dinner. It was just microwaved pita, chicken, and cheese. However, that night I talked to George on the phone for 3 and a half hours! We arranged the details for Saturday and joked around about a variety of things. He's very entertaining to talk to.

Wednesday I had a really good scripture study in the kitchen with my journals, books, and scriptures sprawled out across the table! haha. But I enjoyed it. Then I got a great work out in, showered, caught up with Amber and then went to meet Chris at the chapel. We were going to have some scripture study. Upon arriving at the church I got talking to the missionaries who had also just got there. They are the ones in the Hyde Park ward. The first Elder was from Idaho and he's a film major. The other is from Utah and he was really fun! He reminded me of Ethan!! Speaking of Ethan I just sent him two letters. He's in France doing well! This is the latest on him
After talking to the missionaries for about an hour about various topics we parted ways. I studied the scriptures with Chris for about an forty five minutes and then headed home. From there I talked to George on the phone for an hour or two.

Thursday was a great day! The sky was so clear! I took ahold of such an opportunity to go to Primrose Hill. It's just up from Regent's park and during the summer it supposedly has some celebrity sightings. Although, mainly I just saw people with their dogs or children, if not both, which was fabulous to me! I hiked up to the top of the hill with a view that spanned across the city! I carefully selected my spot and sat down amongst the blades or emerald reflecting glimpses of sunshine. The only unfortunate thing was how windy it was! I started listening to my ipod and just looked up at the sky while laying flat in the grass. The song I started with was Liz on top of the world from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack. In the midst of it all I felt like I was floating, flying above the city and sweeping through the clouds. That's when I realized London is the perfect place for my personality. One moment I can be in the middle of the Urban Art scene, with the chaotic bustle, and the next be laying in a boundless field feeling as if I'm in another world entirely. It's a magical and captivating feeling that I can coexist in my two joys. I've also decided that once a week I need to go to a park to lay in the grass and listen to instrumental music, to meditate. Once the wind chilled me to the bone I decided I was not dressed adequately to stay at the top of that hill much longer. Instead of taking the tube home immediately I decided to walk towards Camden Market, which I love!!! It reminds me of my old roommate Lauren because she loved it so much. But also because I truly love it to! It is a very Hipster place with the coolest shops. I bought some leggings to keep me warm and an adorable vintage dress for 5 GBP. There were two places that I absolutely adored! I love this designer! I'm going to go back to buy a couple of shirts when I have cash The other store I like had such cute things for decorating. But I just looked at the website and it does not do justice to how adorable the store was simply because the website is only focused on the bottle holders that they sell. Camden is the type of place you could spend hours and days exploring!
From there I went to Institute at the church and caught up with my Australian friend Erika, Anders, and Taylor (who's from Gilbert). The lessons are taught by this british man, so it's like listening to a cool documentary about the church =P Then when I got home I talked to George on the phone, surprise surprise ;)

I went with my roommate Amber to check out Cass, my favorite art store, and then explored Sloane Square. There are some cute shops down there. We got some dinner at EAT and then headed back to our part of town. Then I had a lovely nap, which was much needed!
Then I met up with Sarah and Katie at a dance at the church building. It was a lot of fun :)
I danced my heart out! This week has gone by really fast for me! And I start classes up again on Monday. Because I'm going to busy, I'll just write what I have planned for the rest of this weekend in case I don't get around to blogging about it. lol

I'm going to wake up and go running in the park. I'm trying to dedicate Saturdays to a long distance run at one of the several gorgeous parks. I am training for a half marathon with my dad for August in Flagstaff. AT 3:30p.m. I'm meeting up with Katie, Sarah, and a this guy Dave I just met tonight at the dance. We're meeting at Chalkfarm to go to an art exhibit. Then at 8pm I'm meeting George at Kings Cross for our date. We're making dinner, after we go grocery shopping, and then probably seeing a movie.

I have church at 9am! the time just changed. I might possibly be going to St. Paul's Cathedral with a friend in the afternoon to see some choral performance. Then I have to find time to skype or call my parents before I have dinner/break the fast at Ruth's apartment.

Monday I start school again!

One week from today I'll be sleeping over at Katie and Sarah's so the lot of us can wake up Saturday morning to fly to Sweden! That's so legit =P
Then I'll be back in London Sunday night.

I'm probably going to start writing closer together because it was exhausting to recall everything from this week. Also, I'd really like to get better about writing about my experiences here so I wont forget :)

That's all for now!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Regents Park!

Today was a wonderful day. I decided I wanted to get out of my student housing to get back in the habit of exploring London!

I took the Victoria Line to Oxford Circus and switched to the Bakerloo line. That was going directly to Regents Park, but for whatever reason it wasn't stopping there today. Instead it took me just past it to Baker Street. When I got out to the street I followed some signs and realized Regents park is right at the end of Maryebone Rd. just past the Beatles Store and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Mica and I walked to the Sherlock Holmes Museum when trying to find the S.H. Hotel because we were meeting a group tour just outside the entrance. That was when we went on a celebrity tour around London!

Anyways, back to Regents park. When I first got there I was captivated by the lake with hundreds of Swan and ducks. So what is Emily to do? Start taking pictures :)
I want to do a sketch of a swan later and I always refer back to pictures when I'm sketching.
I sat on the ground and get fairly close to the water's end. The three swan I was photographing did not seem phased by this at all.
Then I decided to start video taping on my lovely Canon Rebel T2 in HD of these magnificent creatures when the one to my right side gets out of the water. I start laughing and then the one on my left gets out of the water. I'm naturally amused by this because I'm catching the footage on tape. The one on my left keeps waddling closer and closer until PECK, he dived for my knee!!! hahahah I was freaking out. I immediately stood up and backed away, but I kept taping. Then he wandered over to my backpack and started pecking at my jacket that I had attached to the straps. I was still laughing at this point but after taking a few pictures of him doing so I grabbed my bag and slowly took it away from him.

So that pretty much made my day!!! And I've decided Regents Park is one of my new favorite places! There so much to see there, including the zoo. I plan to return for future visits.

For the rest of my time in the park I crossed a rickety, yet solid bridge and found a bench I liked along the water's edge. The sky was gray and the wind was grew fierce but I was warm and content. I was grateful for the layered winter clothing I bought from American Eagle over break. I spent the next half hour-hour writing in my notebook about the Swan experience and listing routines I want to create this semester. It was really nice to reflect as the birds squawked and the seagulls hollered. It was as if I was no longer in the city, rather some distant island where you could spend a weekend before returning to the chaos of life.

So the bad news is I think I left my camera USB cord at home over Christmas break so I'm not able to upload the video of the swan at this point. I looked into buying one here but it was going to be 19 pounds! I don't have that kind of money to spend on a camera cord that my mom could mail me.

After returning to the central area of where I live by Kings Cross and Angel station I went to one of my favorite art stores CASS. I love that place! I bought a new notebook and some more oil pastels! I've been working a lot with oil pastels lately because they have such a rich colour and smooth consistency. In addition, I see a huge difference using these ones and not just buying the cheap Walmart set. Go figure. hah

Ok good news! I just used my roommates computer, with permission, to upload some of my photos.

Here's my friend before I started filming

Here he is eating my backpack! Sorry it's blurry =/

My view from the bench

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinner with Jamie...I mean Taylor

Tonight I went out to dinner with my new friend Taylor. We have mutuel friends back in Gilbert and he's out in London this semester for school too. I showed him the beauty of Jamie's Italian in between Covent Garden and Leciester Square!

When we got there it was an hour wait, as usual, but TOTALLY worth it =)
We had some delicious brochette to start and I order my favorite dish
The old school classic ragu of beef, pork, herbs,
chianti and parmesan with crunchy herby breadcrumbs."
I order the half size and I am completely content. Jamie's Italian was one of mine and Mica's favorite restaurants hands down!
This is the first night Mica and I ate there =)

Monday, January 10, 2011

lovely London

Living in the UK

All right so as you probably noticed I have really slacked when it comes to my blog!! I’m not very good about taking the time to blog. Last semester I had the intention of keeping you up to date on my London experience, allowing you to track my semester and so some of my friends could live vicariously through me =P

The last blog I posted was two weeks before I left for London. Since then: I have lived in London for 3 months, traveled to France, Scotland, & Italy, got snowed out of my flight home for Christmas, been home for three weeks, and just returned to London for the second time.

I’m sorry for being lame. London last semester was absolutely fantastic! I have some amazing memories and saw extraordinary things. But like everyone else, I am human. I definitely made some mistakes, including not keeping up on my blog, the majority of which were bigger than not keeping up in the blogging world lol, but the nice part about being in London a second time is that I have been given the opportunity to living abroad and finish things right. I will keep/continue what I loved from last semester, but I am learning from my mistakes and becoming a better person from my shortcomings.

I plan to fill in pieces of the last few months as I chart the map of the following 6 months.
Today I moved into the same dorm I was in last semester. It’s called Nido Student Living.
If you want to write me a letter, which I’d love! My address is

Emily Johnson
Rm. # 7.29
200 Pentonville Rd.
N1 9JP

I live between Kings Cross and Angel station. I love spending time at the cute shops on Upper Street. Islington is a fun area and I'm happy to live in this part of town.
And besides taking a six-hour nap during the day, time changes are rough ;) I started unpacking and am making a lot of progress. I always love unpacking more than packing. There’s something about organizing, sorting, and decorating that I love! I’m transitioning into life back in London so much BETTER than I did the first time! But I didn’t know anything the last time lol. Either way I’m excited to be back.

If you want to know more about my experiences from last semester before I get around to writing them you can look over Mica’s blog at She did a great job!

<3 Em