[The Update] Tea and Birthdays #9


It's that time of the week again. As temperature drops, uni works starts caging me at home. Still, in the midst of essay preparation and procrastination, I still managed to sneak some time outside and take quite a few photos to share with you guys. 

This week has been fairly exciting. If you ignore the amount of time I spent panicking over my first essay and how I kept procrastinating the actual work, that is. I think I've mentioned this before but I share a flat with 5 other people, and yesterday it was my Belgium flatmate's birthday while my Swiss flatmate's is next Saturday so the rest of us decided to celebrate their birthday together over the weekend. My Korean flatmate (the only other girl in the flat), Annie (my friend from back home who lives next door but is practically part of our flat), and I decided that instead of buying the guys individual gifts, we'd pool our resources together and get them something good. I had arrived to Oxford Street earlier than the others and spent quite some time marveling at the displays at John Lewis. How do you even? The turkeys, the penguins, the polar bear. I admire the people who came up with such creativity. 
It was a long shopping day, mostly for the guys. But I might have bought myself a couple new things and added another couple of things to the Christmas wish list. Oops. 
(whoops, didn't realize the photos were so blurry)
I don't know about you, but I'm a terrible gift-gifter(?) in general. So as you can imagine, I'm embarrassingly bad when it comes to picking gifts for the guys. I'm so glad that we decided to pool resources because my Korean flatmate is brilliant at picking gifts for the guys. Initially, I was convinced that I was going to get the guys Christmas novelty jumpers, but after a massive shopping trip, we ended up getting the guys each a jumper from Next and a massive cozy scarf from Zara. We even wrapped everything up in pink ribbons, just because we could and they were so darn cute. 
The guys were out on Saturday afternoon, so Annie helped me bake up a cake for the guys. I'd say I made it from scratch, but then I'd be lying. While I bake, cakes are something that I haven't done in quite a long time, so to play it safe, I opted for the help from Betty Crocker and made the festive Red Velvet cake. (Which I forgot to take a photo of!) The guys were surprised to say the least when we did the whole presentation of the cake and gift. It was a good Saturday evening. 
This week we also tried to take a break from all the studying and started the festive season. My Belgium flatmate who's obsessed with Christmas bought this tree back in October, but we officially started setting it this week. We also hung some fairy lights in the window, but we have decided that it's not enough and we need even more fairy lights and even more Christmas decorations to holiday the flat. 
Bringing the scene back to my room. My tea stash is getting slightly out of hand. And this isn't even the whole collection, I still have some in the kitchen for the whole flat to share. A couple of these are caffeine-free as I'm annoyingly very sensitive to caffeine and sugar. If I have too much too late in the day (meaning after 2 for caffeine and 8 for sugar) chances are, I'm not sleeping for the night. Also with the introduction of all the Christmas teas, how do I say no? 

Midweek, I made one of those extreme purchases at 3 am whilst on a sugar-high. As some of you might know, I grew up in America before moving back to Taiwan so American snacks hold a very special place in my heart. I accidentally stumbled upon American Sweets, a company that imports foods from America for a reasonable price. I don't know if it was the sugar-high-delusion, but I was ecstatic when I saw all the options and made a not so small snack purchase that'll probably be able to get me through the term. Or at least the next couple of essay weeks. And as my blog title suggests, I definitely couldn't not buy the delicious Peanut Butter and Chocolate combo!

Moving from food to more food, I don't think I express how much I'm grateful for the people in my life. They really strive for brilliancy when it comes to cooking, what's better is that they take it as their personal mission to feed me. Annie made the most brilliant Rosemary Chicken Thigh the other day along with homemade garlic butter. I...this....let's just say I'm not able to settle for Rosemary Chicken anymore. 
My Russian friend said that she wanted to do something for us, and she made us Russian pancakes. They kind of remind me of crepes, except more bouncy. (Can you use bouncy to describe food?) Also, a huge spoon of nutella is always warranted. 
Let's take a second to talk about this dish. It's so strangely brilliant. Basically it's salad with a cream-based spaghetti sauce that has bacon bits in it. I don't know if it's a common European dish, but at least for me, I kept expecting noodles to be intertwined with this sauce. But strangely enough, after getting over the initial "what the hell" thought, it's so delicious! I can't express this enough, but I freaking love my flatmates. 
Lastly, one of the highlights of the week. I love reading blogs, but admittedly, I don't always read every post on every blog. And then there's Anya's blog. When I first found Crazylins several months back, I literally went back and read her every post. This Saturday whilst taking a mini study break, I went onto bloglovin to find that she listed my humble blog as one of her favorites. I totally did a happy jig in my room. 
How was your week? 

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