Friday, May 9, 2014

London Recap & A Giveaway

 



Well, hello there friends! Are you still there? I sure hope so!

{DISCLAIMER: This post is FULL of pics and words but you'll want to read all the way to the end for a really "LOVEly" giveaway!}
 
As you know, some girlfriends and I traveled to London last week for the Hillsong Colour Conference 2014. We tacked on a few extra days to tour London and to have a bit of fun while in England.
 
God performed such a great work on my heart during the conference and our time there and confirmed some things that had been hanging in prayer. I will be sharing a lot of that in the next few months on the blog but wanted to take a minute to give you guys a peek into my time there and all the adventures we managed to squeeze into just a few short days.
 
We arrived in London on the afternoon of April 30 which gave us a day to roam and gather ourselves before the conference began on May 1st.
 
We managed to make it to our flat via the Heathrow Express and navigating the Tube (the local underground transportation system) in the midst of a strike.
 
We opted to stay in a flat just off of Oxford Street in Central London as opposed to a hotel near Wembley Arena which is where the conference was held.
 
By doing so, it would give us all an opportunity to venture out and explore the city even more.
 
If you've never heard of Hillsong or the Colour Conference, you can find out more here.
 
Words do not even begin to express how much of a life-changing experience this event is and I won't even begin to try to explain. Let's just say it's on my calendar for the next 10 years.
 
An arena full of women (8K to be exact) together for one purpose...to encounter Jesus.
 
To know Him more  and experience His love more than ever before.
 
We are talking women from around the globe. There were so many countries represented at this conference and it was just a breath of fresh air to see so many women, from so many different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life gather to be filled. It was truly an amazing sight to behold.
 
 
 
To be honest, I was completely overwhelmed by the vision cast by Bobbie Houston (co-founder of Hillsong Church) and her team. On this weekend, the heart of God had to be full just to see all of His girls there to spend time with Him.
 
I really don't want to miss any details here but our trip was so action packed and full, I am bound to miss something. I will attempt to highlight some of my favorite moments but I seriously recommend putting this conference on your calendar. The dates are already set for next year's gathering.
 
The first day truly set the tone for the next few days. I realized, once again, why I'd traveled so far for this.
 
I needed it. I needed to separate myself from the hum drum of everyday life and responsibilities to meet with Him.
 
I needed to know that He still loves me.
 
I needed to know that He still had a plan for me.
 
I needed to know that plan for me extended beyond the four walls of our home and beyond taking care of others' needs from day to day.
 
I needed to know that He still blows His breath into my dreams.
 
And that I am still alive.
 
I received all of that and more during this conference. It was seriously just what I needed when I needed it.
 
Along the way, we were able to make a lot of new friends and met up with some old ones who have moved for ministry as well.
 
Just a few of us world changers, Amy B. , Amy S. and I.
 
 
 
Me and my best bud, Amy.


Andrea and I.
She and her hubs moved their family from Seattle to Zoe Church in Bulgaria over a year ago for ministry.

 
 

Worship was always amazing.

This trip was so packed, I will do my best to share all of the highlights with you guys. We had SO much fun and I cannot wait for next year!

We had two extra days to loaf around and explore the city. Since our flat was located in Central London, we had a lot to check out. I would liken Oxford to Michigan Ave. in Chicago. Tons of shops and restaurants, big and small and really never a dull moment.
Central London is kind of the heartline of the city in my opinion.

We were total tourists the first day. We saw a ton in just a matter of a couple of hours.
We went from Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Buckingham and walked about like locals. It was amazing to be there with friends and have nothing but time on our hands.

 
Can you see the puffiness under our eyes?
We were so determined to suck every minute out of this trip though.
 


 
 
I feel like all we did was shop and eat the entire time. Well, I guess we kinda did that.
 
We decided on our last full day that we would take to walking the city as opposed to taking the Underground Tube. We were so happy that we did.
 
Our flat was located in the City of Westminster. London is segmented into burroughs similar to the way NYC and other larger cities in the US are laid out.
 
Our first stop on that day was a little place we spotted the night before after hours.
 
Isn't this place just amazing? And this is just the entrance.
I THOUGHT I was in LOVE then...
 
It's called LIBERTY LONDON.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
I'm still thinking of those galvanized tubs and how I can get them back home. I'm a sucker for just about anything galvanized or metal ESPECIALLY when they're from England.
 
 
 
Multiple levels of shopping here, folks. I didn't even get to it all because I got stuck in here...
 

 
This was the cutest little shop full of cards, paper, and novelties. I did purchase a few things here but they will be projects for our boys' room in our next home so I will have to share those later!
 
 
 We began our adventure in Westminster and landed in Knightsbridge. Along the way we walked through so many great neighborhoods and Hyde Park (similar to Central Park).
 
 
 

 
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day or more gorgeous weather. It was glorious!
 
Our final destination was Harrod's.
 
 
 
Can I just say that this place is amazing? Talk about a shopper's paradise. Wow.
I ventured here during last year's visit with family but didn't really get the full effect. This year, our time here was totally different and felt I was able to explore a bit more.
 
We decided to have lunch here in the market located inside.
 
Unfortunately, this is the day that I left my phone behind so not a ton of pics but this market puts most others in the WORLD to shame! Selections of all types of foods from all of the world here. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and a sweet little floral stand offers a few varieties of flowers not found in the States.
 
 
 
This is where I spotted the breathtaking vintage grey roses that I...yes...brought to take a chance on surviving our trip back home.
 
They, of course, didn't even survive our trek to the airport so I decided to dry them and give them to my mother-in-law who absolutely adores flowers and gardening.
 
As for places to eat, this place may have been my most fave. We dined at Central & Co. on our last night in the city.
 
 
Aside from the simplicity of this wonderful black and white logo sign, there was something else that caught my attention at this place.
 
 
Yep, more rusty goodness. The vintage outdoor seating alone called to me and intrigued my interest to see what this cute little place offered inside.
 
The food was absolutely amazing and the atmosphere was quite pleasing as well. Really wonderful restaurant located near Carnaby Street.
 
On the last day we had lunch before hopping the Tube to Heathrow.
 
Our flat was located just above a restaurant called Riding House located just off of Great Titchfield Street. The food there wasn't too shabby{it was actually ridiculously amazing} and once again the styling and design was top notch. Seemed to be a theme with vintage d├ęcor wherever we went.
 
 
 
If you're headed to London in the near future I hope you'll visit some of the places I've mentioned. They truly made our experience in London Town extraordinary.
 
And no good trip would be complete without souvenirs, right?
 
The COLOUR CONFERENCE theme for this year was LOVE.
 
In light of that and in the spirit of giving...I'd like to bless one of you beauties out there with a lovely souvenir from our trip and the conference.
 
There were so many goodies to choose from and I picked up a few great items for myself, friends, family and of course...you!
 
Just leave a comment below and for an extra entry, follow me on INSTAGRAM and tag a friend as well!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Love to you all and Happy Mother's Day!
I'll be announcing the winner of this giveaway over here on the blog next week!
   
     XO,



9 comments:

  1. We've never met in person but I'd love to sometime! I am a part of city church and moved to Seattle a year ago from Sydney. Hillsong was my home church and sisterhood was/is my passion! I've been to Color in Sydney every year until we left. So passionate about the 500 projects and dreaming about how we can weave it into the women at city church. Would LOVE to chat more. Heidi

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  2. Kennesha, I'm with you next year! Give me the date and I'll be on the train! Can't believe I missed you! :)

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  3. Looks like such an amazing time

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  4. Ah that is so sweet of you to bring back some LOVE! Looks like such a great trip!! I'd love to win :)

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  5. I would love to see those sights....would love to win

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  6. I love all the pictures you shared and the fact you got fed love inside and felt it on the outside! Thanks or sharing your encouraging experience!

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  7. You are simply wonderful. Thanks for sharing your journey and for being an admirable example in how you represent the love of God and his kingdom. This post was right on time and I was able to enjoy it in the midst of some very needed quiet time today. I am thankful for people like you who inspire my journey and provide an encouraging word when I need it! Thank you. xo!

    Kenya Horton
    IG: @bribellacompany

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  8. Wow, those places looked amazing! And you are a fabulous photographer! Thanks for sharing your experiences and a bit of love. :)

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