Chelsea’s Adventures in Oxfordland

originally posted on notreallyoxfordwomen!

We packed a lot into our first week. I’m still waiting until it calms down so I can do wild things like sleep or buy a curling iron. Exciting stuff! Here’s just a tiny overview of a few faves from the last week. Loads more to come!

Oxford

Pubs & Food

Saturday was the quarter finals of the World Cup and (spoiler alert from several days ago) England trounced Sweden! It’s the first time England’s gone so far in the cup in ages, so the city was abuzz with excitement! We had an impossible time finding a pub at which to watch the match—everywhere was stuffed to the gills with people spilling outside and watching through the windows. They’re playing again Wednesday (against Croatia) and we’re camping out at St. Aldate’s nice and early to watch!

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The Covered Market is so, so cool. It’s like a tiny version of Farmer’s Market in L.A.

Pro tip about (at least this area of) England: every. bloody. place. has. vegetarian options. It’s absolutely incredible. Even the morning English Breakfast buffet could please a vegan. Just note that it’s soya milk, not soy! Also, figure out what the hell Pimm’s is before you come here.

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Other pubs/restaurants that we’re falling in love with every day: The King’s Arms, The Crown, The White Horse, Turf Tavern, The Old Tom, The Varsity Club, George Street Social, The Lamb & Flag

Still to try: The Wig & Pen, The Eagle & Child, O’Neills, The Bear Inn, The Oxford Retreat, The Trout

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Shops

You can’t go to England without making a pilgrimage to Boots. It’s like a Sephora-meets-CVS, and it’s the nearest chemist to school. We’ve been getting our groceries at Tesco & Sainsbury’s. I got a tattoo at Oxford Tattoo and it was the best experience I’ve ever had. 10/10 would recommend. And Blackwell’s! What can I possibly say about Blackwell’s that hasn’t already been said. You remember the song “Almost Paradise“? It started playing in my heart when I walked in. It’s 3 floors of wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor books, and I’m moving in there ASAP.

Sights

Holywell Cemetary was spooky af. Go at dusk! Here’s a list of graves. The Martyrs’ Memorial should make your list. The Bodleian Libraries are so gorgeous it’s unfair. The Radcliffe Camera is an extreme photo op. And well, everything here is perfect, so just walk around and ogle the buildings!

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Wales

Tintern Abbey, Chepstow Castle, Raglan Castle

Cymru for life. These ruined medieval relics are stunning beyond belief. Granted it was about 4,000 degrees Celsius, seeing these living legends was an unmissable experience. Get thee to the land of the dragon!

Abergavenny

The Hen & Chickens pub is clearly the local watering hole, and we were so lucky to have stopped in here. We met an Irish ex-pat named Collin and a mysterious vest-wearing Welshman who went by the name of Reality Jones. There is no way to really capture how magical our Wales experience was…suffice it to say that I’m definitely going back, and I’m probably getting a Reality Jones tattoo. P.S. Welsh cheddar and cole slaw sandwich. Iconic.

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In my next post, I’ll go off about coffee and food in Oxford (hint: it’s very good).

Only 16 more days! It’s going by way too quickly!

-chels

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

As you read this, I’m on a plane to London (via Shannon, Ireland)! Because I don’t know how I’ll be affected by jet lag, your Sunday Kind of Love is coming a few days early this week! Here’s wassup:

GLOW is the best show on “television.”

In honor of finally watching GLOW, I’m revisiting Kate Nash‘s first album and it’s so divine! Also, my husband has requested I sing him the GLOW rap as a nightly lullaby.

We’re finally getting around to watching the final season of New Girl.

Bought this denim bag and I am deeply obsessed with it.

Best suncreen ever? Best sunscreen ever.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the hero we need in these trying times.

This article about Lena Dunham’s decision to undergo a hysterectomy at 31.

In honor of Julie Klausner‘s 40th birthday this week, let’s all join in her crusade to get DJ Khaled fired as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers! ICYMI, DJ Khaled went on a misogynist rant which, frankly, no pun intended, sucked.

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, so in honor of that, please enjoy the most patriotic gif of all time:

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And finally, in honor of me leavin’ on a jet plane, here’s Sherri Bemis’s cover of “Leaving on a Jetplane!”

Ciao, le Felicias!

-chels

Sunday Kind of Love: UK Edition

We leave for England in 4 days! I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity. I’ve never taken a Transatlantic flight (I’ve only left the country five times, to Quebec and Cancun), so this is a major bucket-list item checked off! As I may have mentioned before, Annie and I will be living and studying at Wadham College at Oxford, but we have plenty of excursions planned (including day trips to Paris and Brussels!)

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The Headington Shark, image via flickr

This is a(partial) list of what we’ll be up to on the island:

Wales

Tintern Abbey

Chepstow Castle

Raglan Castle

Abergavenny

England

Travel tattoos at Oxford Tattoo

Hamlet at The Globe

Stratford-Upon-Avon

The Bodleian Library

The Roman Baths in Bath

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Tate Modern

Kensington Palace

Blenheim Palace

Afternoon tea at the Barbican

Cuban Night at the Windsor Racecourse

Join the Oxford Alcademics at Raoul’s

I’m sure we’ll check out at least some of these 15 Things to do in Oxford

See you stateside in August!

Sunday Kind of Love xvi

Barely got this one in under the wire, huh?

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Welcome to another edition of Sunday Kind of Love, where I blather on about all the cool stuff I’ve been into over the week. My trip to England is on the horizon, I’m job-hunting like a madwoman, and I have about a million fantasy novels to read before my Oxford class begins. I pretty much have no life right now, but here’s what little my brain has to offer:

Shop Luella is my absolute fave. I went sticker crazy recently, I have this keychain (of course), and the Mai Tai crop top and Not Your Babe sweatshirt. Y’all know I’m getting this hat next.

Just discovered Daily Disco via A Beautiful Mess and they have the cutest stuff!

I watched the whole series of Champions twice. It’s so perfect and lovely.

I just ordered my first ever box of contacts and I’m freaking out! I’ve never worn contacts before! It will be SO NICE not to have to wear sweaty glasses this summer. On that note, I bought myself a pair of Daisy Sunnies in Lavender because of course I did.

June’s almost over and I still haven’t gotten these Pride pins! I’ll buy them for next year, I guess?

I’m sure I’ve shouted out ITMFA before, but in light of how deeply horrendous everything is right now, and how the entire world is on fire, we need to support these organizations more than ever. Oh yeah, and we need to ITMFA.

See you next week!

-Chelsea

Sunday Kind of Love xv

Short one this week because life has been flying by in a blur! But I am DETERMINED to keep broadcasting my opinions into the void of the internet, so here they are!

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We have been blessed. Praise Yoncé. Watch the “APESHIT” video.

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do you think i can get my husband to agree to a couple’s costume this halloween?

Don’t come for me, but I listened to the new Kacey Musgraves album and loved it. My apologies for having a soul!

I am so into REBBL Elixirs right now. The Reishi Chocolate is my jam—it tastes like Yoo Hoo for grownups.

The NY Times Spelling Bee game is THE MOST ADDICTIVE THING ON THE PLANET! It’s a word jumble game—make as many words as you can out of 7 letters, with 1 letter common to all of them. I’ve gotten my entire office on board.

Michelle Wolf is the best and we should all start watching her new show, The Break, right now!

I’m trying Not Your Mother’s Blonde Moment products on my new blonde ‘do this week. They just launched a naturals line! And as far as I can tell, they are cruelty-free and do NOT test on animals!

I’m trash, and I JUST finally watched this video. Shame on me. Donald Glover’s borderline dad bod is threat level: midnight.

Bonus Content:

This video of my brother and Dad. You’re welcome.

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Quick P.S. I want to apologize for my lack of acknowledgment of the current political…kerfuffle. I’m personally staying away from the news for my mental health. I keep apprised of the highlights, and I act with my vote and my dollar. This blog, for the past three years, has been a spot of light and love in my life, and I intend to keep it that way.

The Best Non-Dairy Yogurts

Wow, Chels! How do you come up with these riveting blog post ideas? I know, I know. But this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Probiotics are hella important, but if you’re like me, you just can’t with dairy sometimes. Also, I hate eating breakfast, despite the fact that breakfast foods are arguably the best foods. It’s too early!

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It has been my personal mission to evaluate all of the non-dairy yogurts. I went through a Chobani phase in undergrad, and I found that yogurt is basically the only thing that keeps me full and gives me energy to last until lunch. I’m more of a bagel gal, but they’re not exactly brain food. So here it is, my definitive ranking of dairy free yogurts! You’ll thank me!

Love It

Forager Project Dairy-Free Cashewgurt

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This is hands-down my favorite dairy-free yogurt. It’s creamy, it tastes amazing, and the flavors are bomb. The lemon is to die for. This brand also comes in a drinkable kefir, which is so convenient—I really have a hard time eating breakfast, so I love the option to drink it. This is also, incidentally, the only non-d yogurt that my husband will eat. He loves it!

Kite Hill Almond Yogurt

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Best almond yogurt in the game. Peach is the best. Don’t @ me. Also, Kite Hill comes in TUBS at most grocery stores, so you can buy in bulk for cheaper. I, however, am lazy, and will not eat yogurt unless it is perfectly portioned for me.

So Delicious Coconut/Almond Yogurt

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This brand is ubiquitous, so no matter your grocery sitch, you’ll be able to find it. The coconut is more popular than the almond, but the almond is better than the coconut. I know we’re all in this together, and we’re trying to convince ourselves that coconut products are good, but, they’re not. They’ll do.

Almond Dream Almond Yogurt

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This one is also pretty common and accessible at most non-specialty grocery stores. This was actually the first almond yogurt I ever tried!

Silk Almond/Soy Yogurt

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Silk will always do. I’m trying not to eat much soy, but they have an almond variation!

Trader Joe’s Coconut Yogurt

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TJs, or at least mine, has stopped carrying soy yogurt? They have coconut and vanilla flavors in their coconut yogurt, and it’s passable. It’ll do for a breakfast but it leaves much to be desired. It’s a little watery, so be prepared!

Stonyfield O’Soy (Dairy Free)

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This was the first non-d yogurt I ever tried. Back in the day, when I was a youth, non-dairy products were not common, so #thatveganlife was tough. O’Soy, now renamed just Dairy Free, is the ol’ reliable of yogurts. Get on it.

Leave It

Lavva Dairy Free Yogurt

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I feel like this should have been really good, but if I’m remembering correctly, it was totally inedible. It’s apparently a blend of coconut, plantains, and pili nuts, which, again, sounds good, but *very Randy Jackson voice* this one gets a no from me, dawg.

Daiya Greek Yogurt

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I normally like Daiya products, but I straight up threw this one away. It was so, so gross.

Still to Try

Good Karma Foods Dairy Free Yogurt & Nancy’s Organic Soy Yogurt

I’ve heard good things—I’ll report back when I try them!

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P.S. If I do eat dairy yogurt, which is rare, I go Siggis or Noosa. Best flavors ever.