Taking on London

5:36:00 AM

When I first knew I wanted to go to England, I knew I had to visit London. It looked like such an amazing city, since we didn't actually see any of the city other than when we flew over it, I was excited to finally be there. My screensaver on my camera has been a photo of Big Ben ever since I got this laptop (which is like 5 years ago).

Canada Gate

The first day we got there, we visited Oxford Street while it snowed and rained a bit. Then attempted to ride the tube. We were a group of six and didn't jump on in time before the doors shut three of us in and three of us on the platform. Luckily, we knew where we were going to get off and we met them a short distance away. The whole experience still makes me laugh. 

We made it to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. Seeing Big Ben in person for the first time ever is such a surreal feeling. I actually couldn't (and still don't) believe this is my life right now.
If you don't follow me on instagram make sure that you do! I'm posting a lot of photos over there. I hope you don't mind! The weather in London was chilly, we all felt a bit lied to as they told us we didn't need really warm jackets but they would have helped a lot. Luckily some warm drinks and macarons helped us through. 

We also sat at the church next to Westminster Abbey and it was so relaxing and calm, especially after our hearts were racing from aggressive pigeons and separation on the tube! We split up into groups and I visited Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery, which were both amazing. 

A man was making rings right on the square, and it melted our hearts because he didn't want money from anyone, his sign said: Free Rings, so everyone will be happy. SO CUTE. 
Ring Man
I melt everytime I look at this photo

Trafalgar Square
The rings were gorgeous! 

As I looked around the city I had this overwhelming feeling that I was so lucky to be here. I'm so mushy but I'm really glad I've made all of the friends I have so far, they make everything fun. 


I've had a few moments while being away where I felt overwhelmed and clustered, but hopefully by the end of next week that will lessen and I'll actually put my life together. But this weekend trip was my favorite so far and it's only the beginning. After Trafalgar square my friends and I bought tickets to see Wicked and it was amazing.

London is a dream come true, and it is so breathtaking. Despite the aggressive pigeons, the rain, and snow, England has been a dream and as I sat in the hotel room with my friends laughing about a bidet, I still couldn't believe that I'm running around England right now. 


Settling In

8:07:00 AM

Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a great day! In my last post, you read that I was setting up to travel to England. Since you're reading this, I have officially made it. It was an 8 hour plane ride, and I stayed awake the entire flight, which is the same as staying up until 3am! There was a special student line at the passport area and the group of students on my flight all got through! 

We met up with our group after grabbing our luggage, and waited for the last people to arrive. The six of us that were on the same flight all went to grab some caffeine. I still took a nap on the bus for about a half hour, maybe an hour as it was a two and a half hour journey to the manor anyway. I slept that night for a solid 9 hours and 19 minutes (thanks Fitbit) 

Dog Gif

After wandering around a bit, and finding my room, I unpacked and decided to do some more exploring. I'm probably going to get lost a few times here, but everything is magical. My room overlooks some of the garden. which is pretty cool. The second day, was full of wandering and making sure everything was set to go for Monday. We gathered for a great meal and went for drinks afterwards.

The next day, we ventured into the nearby city (Finally), which will make it into a later blog post! 
I hope you all enjoyed this type of post! There will be some really exciting ones coming up and I cannot wait to share them with you! 

Pre-Thoughts: Study Abroad

8:30:00 AM

First things first, how does everyone like Tuesday's as a posting date? I hope you all can check in once in awhile, especially since there will be a new study abroad/travel post every week on this day! 
I was lucky enough to be one of the people who had finals due online instead of in person and stole a bit more time at home than I thought I would have. 


Because at 7:39 US central time, I'll be boarding my flight at the Minneapolis Airport headed for London. A place that I have dreamed of being in since I was sat at a desk aged 12. 

I'll probably cry. 
I'll probably order wine on the plane, settle into a movie and find as much sleep as I possibly can. 


I loved being at home. I hate goodbyes. But knowing that my family is coming in April at the end of my trip to Prague is reassuring that I can do this.

                 you got this gif


I am so nervous. I get homesick so easily and I am terrified but excited to run around the streets of London and go to all of the places I've read in blogposts (farmgirl cafe. yes please). Maybe even meet a few fellow bloggers (email me if you'd like to meet up!) 

I am also so excited.  My next post that will be up on this space will be about my first weekend in England. Settling in and all that. 
Monsters Inc Boo

As I board the airplane I have to remind myself that this is the dream and I didn't work so hard to chicken out now. 

Are there any spots in London or Europe that I should put on my list? Let me know please! 
Check out my snapchat (kenziedear)  and my instagram for photos of the fun. I also started a youtube channel (CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE) The next time you hear from me, I'll be in England! 


End of 2016

8:00:00 AM

New Year Post

2016. Just as quickly as it began, it ends. A year for gratitude for myself personally. January was the end of a job I held for two years, and I spent the rest of the months until May, searching for a new one. Roommate struggles were had, and soon it was a relief to have them end. I spent most of June in the south, exploring North and South Carolina and briefly Georgia. 

Exciting things happened in 2016. 

I tried out new recipes, like this Cauliflower pizza recipe, and a Cashew Chicken recipe as well. 
Eating healthy was something I really focused on for the most part, 
I went on a family vacation and really realized how much I love family road trips.
Climbing to the top of Chimney Rock in North Carolina to see the Blue Ridge Mountains might have been my favorite part, and eating at Jestine's in Charleston in South Carolina was a special treat after we had been there in 2011, forgot the name and by chance found it again. 
 North Carolina

Oh. I also checked off a major bucket-list item, I went skydiving. And it is still, by far the coolest thing I have ever done. I started my third-to last semester at uni, and then I was also accepted into my study abroad program. 

2016, really left me feeling really really blessed. I just feel like it was a great year. I had a great roommate this past Fall, and that made life at university so much better than it has ever been before. 
Realizing Stuff

As for 2017, I'm going to have 3 and a half days at home until I take a leap across the ocean and start my study abroad program in England. I'll be studying about an hour and a half north of London, and have trips to Ireland, Bath & Stonehenge, Prague and Barcelona planned. I'm excited, and thrilled, and I cannot wait to bring this blog with me! 

Because i'll be abroad until April, I won't be posting every Wednesday and Saturday until maybe May or June, instead, it will be once a week Tuesday's. So make sure to check in on where I'm going! 

As for goals for 2017?
-Have 500 twitter followers
-See as much of Europe as possible
-Live in the moment

If you have any suggestions for weekend trips around Europe please let me know! I cannot wait to share my journey with you! What are some things that made you proud in 2016? Let me know in the comments! 
I hope you all have a great new year! :) 

Along with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, you will be able to see my European adventures via Snapchat too! Just add kenziedear! And if you haven't noticed, there is a YouTube button in the top right corner where I will be putting videos of my trip! 


Dark Hot Chocolate Cookies

8:30:00 AM

December is a cold month here in Wisconsin, there is a ton of snow and all you really want to do is curl up in front of the fire with a cup of tea or cocoa, or lounge around in the bath. Christmas is also about baking, and while there has been a ton of cookies that have already been whipped up already, I decided to try out a new recipe. 

Because you really cannot have enough cookies. Right? 

Homemade Christmas Cookies

There is an entire can of dark hot chocolate mix in my cupboard and I decided to use some of it up in my favorite form of dessert. Cookies. The first batch I made was awful, and the second was just alright but better and tastier! (They just didn't rise and that's because I didn't chill the dough)

Here's What You'll Need: 
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup hot chocolate mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar 
large bowl
medium shallow bowl

Here's What You do: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat butter until smooth
Add sugars and then beat again until light
Add in egg and vanilla

In separate bowl:
Stir flour, hot chocolate mix, baking soda and salt together
Then combine wet and dry ingredients

*Chill up to 3 hours 
(which I didn't and then I redid the recipe and it worked better) 
If you don't then your cookies will be flatter and that's okay! 

Put powdered sugar in shallow bowl
Scoop cookie dough into ball shape and roll in sugar
Place on baking sheets

Bake about 8 minutes
Hot Chocolate Cookies

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you had a great holiday and I'll see you soon with more posts! What did you bake for the holiday?  Let me know in the comments!