Fabulous Healthy Dinners

I don’t have to cook much so I can’t take credit for these amazing dishes.  Follow my instagram @Dawn_Melissa for more healthy dishes.


Salmon, Pak choy, Kale, avocado

grilled chicken

Grilled chicken & roasted veggies

stir fry

Steak stir fry


Mackerel, Sweet potatoes, Kale

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.  I recently had a delicious homemade brunch of toast, beans, avocado, scrambled egg whites and – get this- meatfree sausage.  I didn’t get to take any pics but trust me it was delicious.  So yum.  Sooooo yum!!!

I think I’m starting to love food again.

All New Things

I anticipated taking on a lot of new things when I moved to London. LondonPaying almost double for a grande Americano at Starbucks was one I was prepared for.  Cleaning Day was not.  But when you live in a shared space compromise plays an important part of establishing a healthy, happy living environment.  So it looks like my cleaning day falls on Saturdays.

Still doing the healthy eating thing.  It actually hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be.  The past week I’ve eaten the most delicious healthy homemade meals all for about £4 each.  I had to get creative because London is expensive and I have to pinch pennies (pences?) if I’m going to survive.  So far I think I’m doing OK.  The biggest challenge is finding healthy snacks to eat and resisting the cookies and cakes that I’m always craving.  But at least as far as the meals are concerned, I don’t have to worry too much about doing the actual cooking.  Yay!  I will do a post about a week of fabulous healthy dinners soon.

I had my first official week of classes and I think I’m really going to enjoy this first semester.  I’m still job and internship hunting.  My social life seems to be picking up as well.  Bowling was a lot of fun.  Also went to the cinema for the first time.  Did you know they don’t serve butter for your popcorn in movie theaters??  I was appalled.  But at least I know for next time that I have my choice between sweet or salty popcorn.

Because of workload and job/internship hunt I may have to scale back to weekly blogs for now because things are getting busy.

But I think it’s a good problem to have.

Outfit of the Day (#OOTD)

Shirt – Forever 21

Faux Leather Skirt – Forever 21

Tights – Primark

Blazer – Primark

Sunglasses – Michael Kors

Traverse Events

Instead of going to any Halloween parties I attended a very fun networking event with Traverse Events.

It was a bit of a scramble getting there- I got lost – but eventually I found my way to the Doubletree Hotel and was handed a glass of champagne when I arrived.  I felt right at home.

It took me a couple of minutes to work up the nerve to actually join the party.  I’m still trying to get the hang of networking and meeting new people.  I’m a bit shy when it comes to make the first move.  This is probably why I haven’t met a ton of new people at my school.  So at first I was kind of lurking around the cookie tables sipping on my champagne and not really interacting with anyone.  It took another blogger’s encouraging smile to get me to finally get in the game.

Traverse Events Traverse Events

Once Sian arrived though everything got easier.  I met a bunch of people, followed several new bloggers and even managed to try out the photobooth.  I didn’t win any raffle prizes but I did get to try my first Pim’s drink.  It was yummy!

Looking forward to more Traverse Events!

Officially a London Student

After the chaos of my whirlwind orientation day settled down I had a chance to collect my thoughts and the realization that I’m actually back in school finally hit.


I’m experiencing at least 50 different shades of anxiety, nervousness and fear but overall I’m excited to have yet another opportunity to go back to school and also explore another new city.  hashtag blessed =)

London is amazing.

I try very hard not to look around in wonder like a tourist but sometimes it simply can’t be helped.  I’m still adjusting.  Haven’t figured everything out yet and I’m not quite ready to give up my trademark shorts and sheer shirts but I’m sure I’ll find a way to keep part of the old me and somehow blend it with the new me to come.


Classes start this week.

Already I have a sneaking suspicion that life is about to get truly hectic for the next few months.  I’m OK with that and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to handle it.  But this won’t be like undergrad or musical theatre school.  This time around I’ll actually have to show up for class (sober) and do the work.

Also, I have to maintain a B average.  Not that I ever had bad grades in school but it’s one of the first things they stressed during orientation so I’m assuming they take that sort of thing pretty seriously around here.  It’s a good thing though because I definitely slacked off way too much at NYU.  I plan to make up for it this time around.

I do hope I won’t get too busy to keep up with my blogs and Youtube videos.  I truly hope there will be time to fully enjoy London.  Speaking of which, it looks like bowling and salsa dancing lessons may be in my immediate future.  Additionally, I may have found a free outdoor bootcamp to attend on weekends.  And I managed to find a Black hair supply store as well as a Black hair salon right near where I live.  Yay!

Let’s see what else is in store for me.


Outfit / #OOTD

Sweater – The Limited

Scarf – Primark

Cut Offs – Macys

Tights – Primark

The Last Harrah!

The diet starts this week.

IMG_20141025_203235865That means all these delicious foods that I love to eat will have to go away for awhile.  At least for the next six weeks.  Once we get into the Christmas Season it will be impossible not to be bad and eat everything in sight.  So from now until then I will be on my best behavior.  Since I won’t be in the States for Thanksgiving that’s one less Holiday full of yummy foods I’ll get to avoid-at least this year.

Anyway it was the last harrah this weekend.  I let myself go crazy with a mini chocolate and ice cream binge in addition to some of my favorite foods.  Friday night I had prawn fried rice at Busaba with some schoolmates.  The company was great.  The food tasted yummy at the time but I woke up in the wee early hours feeling sick to my stomach – so I guess I won’t be going back to Busaba for awhile.

Saturday night was Vietnamese with the Italians.  Once again good food and company.  The restaurant was a bit cramped and very loud.  And after we’d been seated for a good ten minutes the waiter came over and asked us to move so that he could break up the table we were at into two for a new party that had arrived.  That was only mildly annoying.  Also, he seemed distracted the whole time.  I get that it was busy but I kind of wanted him to figure out a way to tune out the noise and focus on one table at a time.  Anyway, the food was decent.  I had a lamb curry with egg fried rice.

Sunday morning I got up and made pancakes from scratch again.  This time I added bananas and blueberries and boy were those puppies yummy!  I must admit I burned the bacon a bit but to be fair I never said I was great at making bacon.  I will surely miss pancakes and sausage and bacon and syrup these next six weeks.


Sunday night there was a BBQ and I had more yummy sausages and hamburgers.  Surprisingly I didn’t drink as much as I thought I would.  Probably because I’d eaten so much food.  But I did allow myself two cups of soda.  It was Coke Life.  I have no idea what Coke Life was supposed to be but it tasted good.


Now the fun part begins.  Salads and protein shakes and bootcamps.

Let’s see how I do these next six weeks.

Wish me luck!

bareMinerals Foundation

I was not expecting my skin to react so quickly to the weather change.

I thought I’d have a couple of weeks before I had to do anything different with my skin care routine.  Umm, no.  My skin (and my scalp) were immediately like get it together.

So I bought a bunch of lotions and expanded my Origins skin care collection (I’ll do a haul or a separate post about those products). Then I wandered into a massive Boots store and found this BareMinerals foundation.


I’m in love.

As I told the lovely woman who helped me choose the right foundation, I don’t normally wear foundation.  Usually, I only wear a tinted moisturizer and save the foundation for special occasions.  The friendly Boots employee gently informed me that due to the fact that London doesn’t have that lovely Los Angeles sunshine I’d gotten so accustomed to I would have to step up my makeup game if I still wanted my skin to have the appearance of brightness.

She tried a couple of different products on my skin.  Some were too light.  Some too dark.  Finally we decided the bareMinerals Ready SPF 20 Foundation in R470 was the best match.


I’m definitely in love.

And it’s opened me up to a whole new area of makeup that Ive been avoiding for years.  I’m looking forward to putting my Bobbi Brown foundation stick to more use.  For now I’m getting cozy with this Bare Minerals.

BareMinerals Foundation

I think it will go nicely with my Bare Minerals concealer as well.


Pancakes from Scratch!

I guess being in London has brought out my adventurous side.

I got up this morning and made pancakes from scratch.  And they totally tasted amazing!


Back home I rarely made pancakes and when I did I used the pancake mix.  I never made anything from scratch.  Occasionally I would try a new recipe here and there.  Once or twice I made flourless banana pancakes which came out OK.  But this is the first time I actually felt like making something from scratch.  This was the first time I ever made pancakes without using the the pancake mix that you can buy at the grocery store.  I know there are some chefs or home cooks out there rolling their eyes like, “what? pancake mix? how barbaric!” but what can I say, I liked my instant pancakes as a kid.

IMG_20141022_104746163_HDR IMG_20141022_110339340

Anyway, I had a nice yummy breakfast of pancakes and sausage.  The Brits over here would be grossed out by the combination but I’m sure most of you Americans know what I’m talking about.


Pancakes and sausage, baby!  Yum!