Last Week

Well, my program is almost over. I finished my last tutorial today and celebrated by going to the Ashmolean with Sonia. That museum is crazy-I saw two Stradivarius violins! One of them was hand decorated and the display said only 10 like it exist in the world. We also saw Van Gogh’s work, Roman sculptures, and Egpytian shrines to mention a few. After that we had tea at SCIO. It was the last tea of the term. I left with Eliza and Megan to go get souvenirs and we stumbled onto the set of a BBC show, Lewis. We actually made it as extras in the back of one scene which was pretty exciting, not gonna lie. Then we went to some souvenir shops and a tea shop. Boston, if you’re reading this, you are so hard to shop for. !!!!

I’m excited to show my family all the things I bought them, especially my mom. Yay! It’s crazy to think part two of my trip begins Saturday. I’m flying out to Rome and spending Sunday with Mary. I’ll be there for a week but she will have classes. Kate and Sonia are meeting me Tuesday night! It’s going to be great. And I’m thankful I’ll have friends around. By the way, in an earlier post I mentioned having 25 roommates. It’s actually more like 40. I’ll go from knowing 40 people in Oxford to knowing one in Rome. I think Rome is going to be a bit of culture shock with how different it is.

I’ve been pretty on top of all my trip information. I have all my reservations for hostels, flights, and train trips. I know where I’m staying and have a budget. Now I just need to stick to it and remember to enjoy myself. When I’m in a new place I just like to  soak in the atmosphere. I don’t like fitting in 100 things in one day. Sometimes I’d just rather support a local bakery, sit in the sun, and soak up the culture. And of course maybe go to a museum or two. I know there will be lots of busy days in Paris and London because of all I want to see. And that’s okay! But I look forward to relaxing in Rome because I’ll have time to. Mary’s going to show me around and I’ll have time to myself. I’ll also have time with my wonderful friends I mentioned earlier!

I’m sad to leave Oxford. I don’t want to stay here forever, but I’ll miss it. I really want to come back with my mom and dad. They would just love it! I think I will be back with them some day. Biking here has been super efficient and it has inspired me to bring my bike back to school with me if I end up driving back to Portland instead of flying. Portland, like Oxford, is super bike-able. Since coming to England I have fallen in love with the spires and the country side. It’s truly like no place I’ve ever been. I can say now though that my heart is in the west coast. Of course, that’s home. But I’ve always had this glorified, romanticized view of England and Europe in general. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredible here. But I still hold a special love for California and Portland, Oregon. Those are my resting spots.

I haven’t posted in so long! I will keep posting further on from my phone if I get bored enough. I’m not taking my laptop on the next part of the trip. I forgot to mention the 4th of July celebration!! We went to Simon’s where we had dinner and played games. The night ended with a very exciting fireworks show. Let’s just say it was honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I can’t explain why, you’ll just have to see the video. I was jumping up and down in hysteria. Ask for the video. Please.

I made cookies last night. My first time baking in a long, long time! I’ve been updating my baking instagram with other things. Sunday night my roommate Miranda and I went to London and saw Sir Simon Rattle conduct the LSO. It was outstanding. Thank you James, J. Cam, and Ballard for teaching me to appreciate the baton more than I did. Oh yes! We biked to Tolkien’s house/grave yesterday! Major high point of the trip for me. The house he lived in while in Oxford was the house he wrote most of LOTR and The Hobbit in. Super exciting stuff. It’s very close to where my seminars were held at Wycliffe Hall. We also took a field trip to Jane Austen’s house and C.S. Lewis’ house. I went in both their bedrooms. That was reeeeeally cool. It was a beautiful day for both.


I haven’t written much because I have been busy working on my tutorial essays but now that they are over I am free to roam, write, and play! Hence my finally going to the Ashmolean today. Now I have to start preparing for my departure from Oxford and my PART TWO: ROME!!!

Later, friends.




Let me start out by saying I am not a very good writer. Truly. I haven’t done a terrible amount in college believe it or not. . .most of my assignments consist of music related things which aren’t always essays. However, for the sake of my time in England and beyond, I shall begin a blog. I have been here since Wednesday and so much has happened already. Everyone in my program is so kind. I haven’t even known these people for a week but it feels like much longer. I guess that’s what happened when you put 25+ college students together in one house.

Arriving into Oxford I was very sick and tired. I had motion sickness from the bus ride/hunger. I was also very tired. I couldn’t really sleep the 11 1/2 hours I was on the plane. That was a little stressful. The next two days I woke up at 4:30 am but was able to go back to sleep. Now I am adjusted (I believe). It’s weird knowing my family is all asleep when I wake up and in the middle of their day when I end mine.

I went to London last week. We took the tube from Oxford to the Marble Arch and then the Subway to the Globe Theater. We were able to get 5 pound groundling tickets for the show, As You Like It. We got in line right away and were so close to the stage that we were able to kiss it. Sonia and I actually did kiss it. When the ladies spun their big skirts around they were close to brushing us in the face. It was said to be sold out online but the box office said some people cancelled their ticket reservations. The actor who played Von Trapp in The Sound of Music recieved an award after but wasn’t there to accept it. Sad!!

After the show we took the tube to 221b Baker Street and reveled in the awesomeness. Then we went to where they shoot the actual BBC Sherlock which was close by. After that we went to Picadilly Circus where we had italian food on Shaftsbury Avenue. It was an all around great day. It involved us tiredly getting off the coach way too soon outside of Oxford which then led to us needing to scrounge up change for another bus at 10:45 pm. When the bus dropped us off where we parked our bikes, Kate made contact with a double decker bus. It grazed her and caused her to slow fall forward on her bike. We were laughing because it was so anti climactic-and because we knew she was okay obviously. The bus driver slowed down then but then drove off. The drivers are a little crazy here. I’ve seen or heard of 4 OSP students almost getting hit by cars. I’m not one of them or anything.

Today I saw the Escher Quartet. They are a chamber group based out of New York. They played a beautiful Mendelssohn quartet which really struck me with it’s power. It was the last quartet he ever wrote. We also got to talk to the violist Pierre after who was super engaging and even let Rebecca hold his viola. Sunday we went to evensong at Christ Church. It was so wonderful to hear the male choir. After evensong a group of us went to The Eagle and Child. Elena and I shared a spinach potato pie and a hamburger. Our time there ended with someone’s gravy and vegetables on the floor. LOL.

Everything here is beautiful. America is young. The west coast is especially young. I am so glad to finally have seen the River Thames. Saturday I also had black snot from riding the tube so much. Kind of gross. But it’s lovely here. I miss my family and wish they could be experiencing this with me. I will probably jump for joy when Mary and I meet up in July.



Berry Muffinz

So the last month or so all I’ve really been making are chocolate chip cookies and banana muffins. The last thing I need to write is a another banana muffin recipe so I haven’t posted any of that. Also, I’m not ready to disclose my chocolate chip cookie recipe. That’s a special post. Plus if you guys knew how to make them then maybe you’d attract hungry people and then I wouldn’t be special anymore. JK. I’m only. . .JKing.

Anyway, I have been baking but if the recipe isn’t great I’m not going to share it.

This however, is pretty great. I believe this is my first ever try at berry muffins.


Bake them for the people you went to high school with and the people you didn’t go to high school with. And save one for your little sister because even if she has the stomach flu she will find the strength to stomach one down.

Adapted from the lovely Joy the Baker

Yields 10 muffins

6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup berries of choice (I used blueberries and blackberries)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare muffin tin by spraying with PAM or by setting muffin liners.

Melt butter in a sauce pan and stir continuously. Wait until to it begins to foam and bubble and keep stirring. Eventually the foaming will stop and at that point the butter begins to brown. Keep a VERY close watch on it because at this point as you will need to see when you can transfer the butter. Once the butter has a brown layer underneath and is a golden brown on top, you will transfer it to another bowl to cool. It’s important to pay attention to this process because the butter can easily burn.

While the butter is cooling combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine milk, egg, yolk, vanilla extract, and cooled butter. Add this mixture to the flour mixture until just combined. Next you will fold in the berries.

Divide among the muffin tin and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait 15 minutes for them to cool then serve to your band friends.


I was almost tempted to call this “cornbread” because mine tasted like cornbread muffins. That’s not really super correct, so I didn’t name them that. Just a note.

Be careful not to overmix because then we have gummy muffins. We want nice, soft muffins.

Ovens are so dang temperamental and everyone’s oven is different. Keep a close eye if you know your oven runs hot. Better to check early and see them under baked than find them hard from being baked too long.


All I got for ya.

PS, I love when the animals model. So presh.

Have a berry good day!



Lots of people spew their crap on Facebook. I have a lot I’m thinking and I don’t want to be that person.

Riding the bus bothers me so much now. I used to do it all the time without blinking an eye and now I dread it.

I should have started my summer reading earlier. I have less than a month to read a lot of pages. Thankfully it’s doable.

Student debt sucks. Really does.

Why do movies do things like contour breasts to make them look larger or make people wear fake eyelashes? It just further adds to pressure on appearance as well as an unrealistic expectation.

I wish that on the weekend I could go to Carmel with my mom and drink tea. I miss that.

Community used to be my favorite show and then it got popular and Troy left and now I don’t watch it.

Can there be a person that would let me gush about my boyfriend for like hours?  Because I am definitely capable of that.

On that same note, I wish I had more summer to do nothing but hang out with him. These last few days have been so good.

I called the plot-twists to the last 2 movies I watched and feel pretty good about that.

There’s probably 10+ people I don’t talk to enough and I feel really guilty.

I’m secretly a little snobby about the fact that I come from California. Not actually, but kind of.

It’d be cool if I actually had a recipe for this thing.

I would love to dye my hair pink or purple or something for like a day. After a day I’d be done.

Why am I on my phone all the time? Ugh.

Glad I got an A in Instrumental Conducting because I screwed up transposition (AGAIN) and had a B at midterms.

Going to go to bed before I have to pee because I watched Psycho and am slightly too scared to leave the room.



Let it be. . .some day of the week

Hey, friends. In classic Joy-the-Baker style I’m penning a ‘Let it be Sunday’ post. I really have no new recipes to post. Well, not today anyway 🙂 I am deep in the transition of packing up and moving all my things to storage so it has been a teeny (very) stressful these last few days. Thankfully I have a fantastic boyfriend who is willing to help me all day long. When I was trying to think of what day of the week it is I thought it was Tuesday. It’s not Tuesday.

The internet’s reaction to the dadbod.

How J.K. Rowling shut down a troll.

I promise this article will improve your baking!

LSO isn’t the only one with big changes coming.

Ay, caramba!

Wellllllllll  I should get to bed. More packing to do. Later, people.


In Reflection.

What a year this has been. This third year of school has gone by in the blink of an eye. There have been many wonderful moments (as well as some very low points, but I won’t go into those). Tomorrow I have my last final-instrumental conducting. I have a flute lesson later in the afternoon to pick out repertoire for my senior recital and then I get to pack up my things over the course of a few days. Saturday I’ll watch four out of my five roommates graduate and end their time at Warner. Some are leaving to very far places while others are staying local (Yay, Luwam!). Either way, it’s still a loss for me. It’s been such a magnificent time in this house with these ladies. I’m trying really hard not to just be like SOISNSNGSROHI ALL THE FEELS because I don’t want to get overly emotional but. . .you get the point.

Luwam’s birthday at Base Camp Brewery in August.

Crepes and awkward pictures. It was nice and nerve-wracking to be reunited after a long summer.

Leadership retreat where I did lots of uncomfortable, cool things like hanging out in 40 foot trees and rock climbing in Washington.

Oregon Symphony in the park and watching this beauty graduate!

So much fun all year in this incredible department.

These dudes and the continuation of our theory family. We’ve come a long way in the last few years. DAVY’S GETTING MARRIED!!!!!

We did the Friendsgiving thing and it was so wonderful.

Thanksgiving ice cream with Will!

Went to Disney and it was YAY.


A recital or two was put on.

Quick trip to California was made where we stayed with a complete stranger (but sister in the Lord!).

A year of CAB which included my classmates competing in pie bakeoffs, spending the night in Egtvedt to keep safe from zombies, and the Moonlight Serenade banquet.

I hung out in caves, craters, and bird watched in the middle of nowhere and actually had fun.

Throw in a couple trips to Seattle, an amazing Valentines Day, and many wonderful concerts (Berlin Philharmonia!!!) and see that this is just a taste of my school year. So fun. It will be very sad to pack up and move out of Jefferson house in a few days. What must happen will happen.


It’s Dead Week and I’m Going Bananas.


My roommates are leaving me. Most of them, anyway. (Mel is staying, YAY!) I feel sad about that. I’m also stressed out because I have no stinking clue about how to do tables and figures for my biology class. In one short week, I will be DONE. But there is so much to do before that week.


To DESTRESS and BLESS I made my music histoy peeps this cake. I thought the rhyme was clever. I’ll be real, it’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll just cut to the chase.

Banana Upside Down Cake

adapted from Averie Cooks

Yields 1 9-inch round cake


1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 small bananas

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup yogurt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a springform pan with non-stick spray. Melt the butter in the microwave and then coat on the pan. Make sure to run the butter around the side of the pan to ensure it’s greased. Next, evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter. Slice the bananas horizontally and place them over the brown sugar such as in the picture.

In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, and granulated sugar. In a small bowl combine egg, buttermilk, yogurt, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and make sure there are no flour pockets but do not overmix.  Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for 38-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown. Make sure to let cake rest for 1 hour before trying to invert.


The boys were like, “Why is there cake?” and I was thinking “Do we need an excuse?!” Then we watched Friday Arts, went to sushi, and played a long concert. Now I have a mountain of homework to conquer before Monday so peace, y’all.

Happy baking!