Cherry Yogurt ice-cream at 7AM creates instant happiness @DuckandWaffle

One of my favourite things to do in London is have breakfast at Duck & Waffle.

Duck And Waffle

It’s a treat filled with excellent caffeine, interesting menu offers, and a view of the whole city. As the sun hits the Gherkin’s glass exterior, the waiter brings my flatmate’s poached eggs on ox cheek. It’s moments like these that  make me instantaneously happy and grateful for the life I’ve built as an expatriate in the United Kingdom. Sandwiched between an Italian-Swiss film buff and British northerner, I think back to the day my parents left me at LAX with two suitcases. And now I have a full time job, apartment, and network of life-long friends around the world. Ultimately, you live the life you create and I choose to create little happiness every day (always start with breakfast, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).

One of my favourite quotes:

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”

– Harun Yahya

I had the English Cherry Waffles (cherry & yoghurt ice cream, white chocolate crumble). Here’s the full breakfast menu. 

IMG_0184

Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Open 24 Hours

Make a reservation on OpenTable or by calling 020 3640 7310. Weekend reservations fill up far in advance for their brunch menu. So if you can manage to get up early in the mornings, I would recommend going at 7AM! I love going before work as a little treat thats woven into my ordinary regime.

Happy Sunday.

What Do I Love More Than Anything Else?

What Do I Love More Than Anything Else?

Search Engines. Happy Valentines Day.

“Hatred paralyses life; Love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; Love harmonises it.
Hatred darkens life; Love illuminates it.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred. Love them anyway.”
-Kent M. Keith

“Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.”
-David Byrne

Yes, I’m slightly mad.

Yes, I'm slightly mad.

Yes, I am applying to work in advertising/marketing. Yes, I am a female. Yes, I want to be the big boss in the agency (A Donna Draper?). Yes, I love television, the cinema, and (basically) all types of media. Yes, I’ve seen the glamourous version of Mad Men. Yes, Yes, Yes.

Job Search… hire me?

Here are ten fun facts about me.

One, I drink way too much green tea.

Two and three, I compete in Ballroom and Latin Dance.

Four, I’ve never been to the South of France.

Five, at least 100 people have asked for my autograph

And Buster Keaton can always make me laugh.

Seven, I ran a marathon when I was thirteen.

Senior year, I was crowned the prom queen.

Nine, I use to be extremely shy

Ten, last year I went tanning in Dubai.

One of these is not really true,

I’ll tell which at the interview. 

Please allow me to introduce myself…

 

I like the colour red – not excessively, but more than other colours – and it shows. It’s on my CV, cover letter, website (www.villyfriends.com), blog and iPhone cover. You will most likely spot me, sitting at a coffee shop, with my dark red blazer and my bright red handbag. My friends have nicknamed it “the power bag”: the source of my “awesome” organisational and communications skills. I simply open the zipper and pull out my laptop, confidence, and skillset because seemingly, I am as strong as the cherry tomato red. Plus, it appears that the colour has no boundary or language barrier. Whether I’m studying in London or Paris or working in California or Bulgaria, the colour comes to my rescue as I reach for my favourite burgundy lipstick. It speaks my confidence and personality even before I utter a word. Everyone has a personal brand that is on display – from the confidence in their shoulders to the colour of their shoes. But I always wonder, whether others are like me, always conscious of their personal statement. Whether they read Dale Carnegie’s book on how to influence people. Or whether they watch documentaries on Christian Louboutin’s use of red for design consistency and psychological persuasion. You see, it’s not a coincidence that others view me as ‘artistic’ and ‘professional’ – it’s the cherry-coloured power bag that took me forty-two days to find. Through visual consistency, my personal taste was able to harness the power of a colour to create an association with my name – Violeta Todorova. I am courageous, I am passionate, I am internationally recognized – I am the colour red. 

BEST NINE-YEAR OLD IDEA.

When I was nine years old, I had the best idea of how to efficiently find ones car after constantly getting lost in large parking lots with my parents. Growing up in Southern California meant that this happened on a weekly basis and the “searching-by-pressing-the-button” method just wasn’t working. So I thought that every car should have a personalised balloon that is inflated out of the antenna using your remote key. (Each balloon would be a special colour and have the license plate number). Since the balloon will float up, it allowed you to visually locate your car rather than listening for the beep. After you arrive to your car, you pop the balloon and simply reset the antenna for the next time. My younger else was convinced in this innovative approach; so nine-year-old me wrote to Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Dodge.  It was an informative letter with my idea, some hand drawn diagrams and a personal signature. My parents helped me find the company’s addresses and mail off the letters. To my delight, three companies wrote back saying that they loved my concept, but were not allowed to take ideas from outside sources. However, I did receive a handwritten message, a Honda Keychain, a Nissan mug, and a little bit of inspiration. Nowadays, I understand the impracticality of the idea, but I still believe that the curiosity, initiative, and modernisation behind the balloon-from-antenna made it the best idea ever.

Bring the story of your life to LIFE.

Bring the story of your life to LIFE.

I approached the Parisian coffee shop to find Violeta sitting at a small circular table, already waiting for me. She had a burgundy blazer (that matched her lipstick shade) and a bright red handbag. The cherry tomato colour of the bag exuded a confidence that was confirmed by the big smile that recognized me. She quickly put down her black leather book and gave me a firm handshake. After placing our orders in French, I inquired about Violeta’s life. She giggled for a second, only to respond, “It’s kind of a long story. I can’t even answer the question, ‘Where are you from?’” She proceeded to tell me about her childhood in Bulgaria, her high school in California, and her time in London. “I like to travel… a lot!” She continued, “But more than merely tourist visits. I like to assimilate into the culture. For example, finding a local coffee shop…a hidden gem just around the corner from a big boulevard.” With that, she made a slightly head gesture to Rue Mouffetard as our barista arrived with two black coffees. Immediately, she shook her head no to the offer of sugar and crème; she insisted, “I like my coffee bold.” Violeta paused, readjusted her thin black glasses and continued, “Where were we?” And with that question, a slight British inclination crept in to an otherwise strong American accent. We then went on to discuss random themes from her sister’s turtle to Tina Fey’s autobiography to society’s latest obsession with Pinterest. Jumping from knowledge in one subject to another, I couldn’t figure out Violeta’s degree. “Film Studies” she responded, “the academic study of cinema and the ability to talk to anybody! After all, who doesn’t have a favourite actor?” Before paying the bill, I asked about the black leather book on the table. She lifted her hand off the cover as if let me peek inside. Then, Violeta leaned in slightly, lowered her voice, and whispered, “It’s my sketchbook… filled with drawing, typography designs, business ideas, and storyboards for short films. I would show you, but I only just met you.”