MONTHLY LOVE | FEBRUARY

28 February 2015

Remember back in September when I said I was going to start doing monthly catch ups?
Yeah, somehow that idea seemed to fizzle away.
Well the idea is back and let's see how long I can stick to this!

THINGS I'M LOVING
Candles | Now that I'm back in the states, general burning of candles is permitted. One of the worst things about living in the UK was not being able to burn my candles! I totally get it though, not exactly smart to burn a candle in a 300 year old apartment.

Baths | Having a bath again is literally the best thing ever. I've only been home for about three weeks but the employees at Lush First Colony already know me.

Skype | Any expat/traveler knows how amazing Skype is when keeping up with friends and family back home. Now that I'm back stateside however, Skype is playing a major role in my relationship. Without Skype, I would literally die. Well not literally but life would suck. 

Rodeo Season | Yep. You read that correctly. Rodeo season is upon us which means the entire city of Houston has turned into a giant cook off, festival, barnyard. I've always been a city girl, after all Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, but something about the rodeo brings out the country in all Houstonians. 

LOVELY LINKS
+ If you missed my move back to the states.
+ I'm offering Sponsorship! If you're interested in advertising on Of Golden Rose, check out all the info here
+ I graduated! I officially have my Masters degree!
+ Bristol In My Pocket is now Of Golden Roses
Follow my goal to read 50 books in 2015. 

BLOGS I LOVE: BRISTOL
What the Elle | My favorite Texan living in Bristol. Check out her post on, well, me here.
Today I'm Bobbi | Another American living in Bristol, Bobbi is an amazing photographer and designer. Plus she's my sorority sister!
She and Hem | A blogging duo, these girls know all things fashion.
Nik James | A native Bristolian, Nik brings male fashion to the streets of Bristol. Plus his photography is absolutely amazing!

xoxo

Bristol's Fairytale Cottages | Blaise Hamlet

24 February 2015

If you missed it, Bristol in my Pocket is now Of Golden Roses! I'm super excited about the new name/site. You can read all about what to expect here. I'm still working out a few issues, so just bear with me while I make the site run 100% smoothly!

But enough about all that. To mark the first official post on the new site I'd like to share with you one of Bristol's hidden treasures (slightly comical that my first post on my new site has to do with Bristol, but whatever let's roll with it)!

Just north of Bristol, tucked away behind the trees, is something special.
Blaise Hamlet is a real life fairytale setting.

Nine perfect picturesque styled cottages, Blaise Hamlet was built in 1811 to house retired Blaise Castle employees. Today all of the cottages are owned by the National Trust. Eight cottages are privately rented, and one is rented out as holiday accommodation. While the public is allowed to walk around the green, you have to remember that people actually live in these houses! Still, I'm sure they are used to having tourist peek into their storybook gardens. 

Being slightly out of the way, the hamlet was quiet and peaceful. Elle and I did our best to respect the privacy of the people who live in the cottages while simultaneously snapping as many pictures as we could. It is the first example of a planned community, and boy do I wish all planned communities looked like this one! 

- TRAVEL TIPS -
First Bus Service 1 from City Centre to Henbury:
1.50 pounds (each way)
aprox. 25 minutes


xoxo

Bristol In My Pocket is now Of Golden Roses!

22 February 2015

Welcome to Of Golden Roses, formerly known as Bristol in my Pocket! This has been a long time coming, so I just wanted to explain a few things about the new site.
WHY CHANGE | After my unexpected move back to the United States, the 'Bristol' aspect of my blog became less relevant. I loved Bristol In My Pocket. It was a fantastic name. But I needed a name that wasn't so fixed. Something that wouldn't restrict my content and audience. 

WHAT'S IN A NAME | So why Of Golden Roses? I wanted a name to represent my interests, yet be able withstand any life changes that may come my way in the future. I wrote pages and pages of possible names, yet I found myself drifting towards a very early idea: Of Golden Roses. So where did the name come from? During the research process of my masters dissertation, I came across a series of 17th century ballads and songs detailing the merging of the red Tudor rose and white Yorkist rose. It was a beautiful piece of history, complied together and named A Crowne-Garland of Golden Roses. I know it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you are interested in historical poetry you can check out the entire piece here

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT | Of Golden Roses will essentially consist of lifestyle and travel posts. Sometimes it may be more lifestyle, sometimes it may be more travel. This little blog of mine is just a little bit of everything.

THE NEW DESIGN | If you haven't noticed, my blog name isn't the only thing that has changed around here. I wanted a simple, clean design to go with the new blog. Picking a name was the easy part compared to picking the design!

Lots of things have changed around here, so bear with me while I work out all the kinks (I know there are quite a few)!

www.ofgoldenroses.blogspot.com

Graduation 2015 | University of Bristol

20 February 2015

First off, I want to thank all y'all for the massive amount of support on my last post. Seriously, you guys are amazing. One of the best things about blogging is the community of like-minded people, and it was great to see most of you have gone through similar situations and could relate. I'm feeling much more positive about the whole situation and am excited to see what the future holds!

But enough about all that.
It's time to explain my disappearance this week after leaving y'all with such a big announcement. Last week I went back to England to get the rest of my things, but more importantly, to graduate! I was so happy I was able to attend the ceremony. All international student visas had expired three weeks before  the graduation ceremony, meaning most international students could not attend their own graduation. I'm not going to lie, I think the university did a horrible job of accommodating the international student needs this year. But this post isn't about bashing my universities administration. It's about my accomplishment!

If you are new here, the whole purpose of my move to England was to get my Masters degree. After a year of intensive study and research, I finally completed my program! I now officially have a Masters in History with a specialty in Medieval England.

My parents and I were determined to attend the ceremony. I'm incredibly thankful they made a trip to England possible for all three of us. The morning of the ceremony was freezing and the sun barely came out, but it was a wonderful day nevertheless! I am so proud I  have a degree from the same university that Winston Churchill was chancellor of after WWII. It was an extremely difficult year, but I did it! *throws nonexistent cap in air*


Happy Friday!
xoxo

A Big Announcement

10 February 2015

Hello from Houston, Texas!

I have officially moved back to the states!
Sorry to keep everything so hush hush.
I've been careful to not mention the move on any social media platforms until I was ready.
Well, it's been three weeks since the big move and it's probably time to fill y'all in.

The move wasn't exactly planned. 
Or done willingly. 
After an intense four months of applying for every job under the sun,
it was pretty obvious I wasn't going to find work in the UK. 
So two days before my visa expired I took a one way flight back to America.
That was three weeks ago.

To sum up my visa troubles, as a non-EU citizen I was restricted in the type of work I could apply for and salary I could accept. I had a wonderful job at a museum, but it wasn't considered enough for a Tier 2 Visa. So while I worked I continued to apply for jobs that did fit the Tier 2 guidelines. A few interviews later, still nothing. 
I tried.
God knows I tried everything.
But because I wasn't an EU citizen, I really didn't stand a chance. 

I've been back in the states for a few of weeks now.
I was too afraid to say anything because I wasn't willing to accept my situation. 
I was forced to leave the home I built abroad.
Most of my friends don't even know I'm back. 

But now I'm over being sad. 
It's time to move on and begin my life here in America and build a career.

The plan?
Apply. Apply. Apply. 
I feel like I'm starting the whole job application process over again,
which is really frustrating. 
After spending 4 months doing nothing but applying for UK jobs, I hate the fact I have to start all over again in the states.
But I guess that's life.
So right now I'm an unemployed historian living at my parents house until I find work.
Glamorous, right?

As you are reading this, I'm actually on my way to the airport.
I'll be spending the next week back in Bristol for my graduation. 
After that I have no immediate plans to return to the United Kingdom.
A trip or two is in the works for later this year. But moving back isn't an option for me right now.
Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to move back.
But for now I'm putting all my attention into a career that will provide me with the possibilities I so long for. 

What does all this mean for Bristol In My Pocket?
Well, obviously my blog will change.
A new name and design are coming soon, so stay tuned for that!
As for the content, 
except more lifestyle posts and less travel. 
Travel has become an essential part of me and I don't plan on stopping,
but due to my current location and unemployed status, travel will be less frequent.
However, do expect a cheeky little travel post every now an then,
I have so many stocked up from the past year, plus a few trips planned stateside!

Moving back to America has been a huge shock.
But for now I am trying to make this transition work.
I'm happy to come back to family and friends who love me despite my depressed state.
I'm happy to be able to cuddle with my puppy, eat real Mexican food, and watch hours of pointless TV.
But I do miss England.
I miss everything about it.
And I've accepted the fact that IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY RIGHT NOW.
I have that right.
But life will go on eventually and I'll make sure to keep you updated!

xoxo

Searching for a Prince | Worcester Catehdral

06 February 2015

My masters dissertation was a detailed study of the nine most important state occasions of Henry VII. A comprehensive study of these nine particular events had not been done. Yet these event are important aspects to understanding how Henry Tudor asserted his claim and control, which is why I took on the topic.

These nine events were the coronation of Henry VII, the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, the coronation of Elizabeth of York, the celebration of Prince Henry Duke of York, the marriage of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon, the betrothal of Princess Margaret and James of Scotland, the funeral of Prince Arthur, the funeral of Elizabeth of York, and the betrothal of Princess Mary and Charles of Castile. 

So why am I telling you this?
Ever since I handed in my dissertation back in September I have been itching to visit some of the locations of these nine great state occasions. That is where Worcester Cathedral comes in.

When Prince Arthur died in 1502 at Ludlow Castle it was a massive blow to the Tudor Dynasty. The dynasty was still establishing itself. Bringing the body back to London would provide unwanted attention to the vulnerability of the crown. So, an alternative was quickly brainstormed. Arthur would be buried in a cathedral near his Welsh home. Worcester Cathedral was the only logical choice. 

Visiting the tomb of Prince Arthur was a huge moment for me. As a historian who had studied his birth, marriage, and death, I was deeply moved. His tomb is a perfect example of Tudor symbolism, decorated with the red and white roses of the houses of Lancaster and York, arrows of Spain, pomegranates of Granada, and of course the Tudor rose.  Prince Arthur is not the only royal buried in Worcester Cathedral. King John is buried close by.

Happy Friday!
xoxo

Ps, this is my 200th post! How did that happen???

Castle Combe

03 February 2015

Castle Combe is a quite village just outside of Bath. With a population of about 300, the village itself is only accessible by car. It was our first stop on the Mad Max Tour which also took us to Avebury, Lacock, and Stonehenge. However, I saved this post by last for one simple reason… Castle Combe has become my favorite village in all of England.


Pretty bold statement, I know. But the minute you set foot in Castle Combe you are completely taken back in time. Although the village itself doesn't offer much (a pub or two, no shops) it is the perfect place for a country walk and a few hundred photos. The timelessness of this tiny village has made it the perfect location for movies such as War Horse and the 1967 Dr. Doolittle. Any sign of modern technology is hidden away to keep the village itself in a picturesque state. 


The morning of our visit happened to be the coldest day of 2014. Their was frost on the ground and every chimney was being used for a warm fire. We only spent an hour or so in Castle Combe, but that's all you need unless you're actually staying in the village. Tourists come by the bus load, so plan on making the trip early in the morning to have the village to yourself!


Sorry, not sorry about the overload of photos!

Happy Tuesday!
xoxo