July Fly By

Spent the weekend around Shropshire. Here are some snaps, and I promise for once, not one has been photoshopped.

Proper beer garden, what happens when you take your beer into a garden.

Britain LOVES their athletes and to have a US swimmer appear on the cover of a weekend paper floored me. Go Lochte. Team USA!

Don’t cut your hair or do anything drastic. I did both, woops. Fuzzy pic courtesy of the hus who can’t be bothered to take a pic of moi. Meanwhile I schlep around like a personal photographer, bah.

Evening sunset on Sunday. End to a lovely day.


One Year Bananaversary Across the Pond

Yep, on Sunday we celebrated our one year anniversary of living in the United Kingdom. Too much excitement this weekend.

The year has flown by and we’ve been able to truly experience some amazing things. I won’t bore you with the details, but you can check out the rewind here if you want.

We haven’t stopped adventuring since we landed on this crazy island and looks like our adventures are only going to pick up. It’s been a learning experience that certainly came with some pebbles in the road. We’ve only grown closer, and now I’ve fallen in love with the munchkin and it’s better this time than ever before.

In truth, just a few months ago when I found out we were pregnant I was the most homesick I have been since moving. Maybe it was because we were held up like animals in Noah’s ark, or the raging hormones, but I craved the simplicity of going back to the states and having everyone 100% normal the way I was accustomed to. Give me the big aisles of Costco, the smell of Target and large assortment of Betty Crocker baked goods. Then a funny thing happens where you decide you have to fully let go of what you are used to, realise that this isn’t some third world country and suck it up.

Thank you for following this stupid, crazy, random, often boring, journey of ours.

August will be a rush.

And y’all are way too sweet about the baby boy news. I can’t believe how many of you suckers cried! Crying is for girls, mwhaha.

The Olympic Torch Comes to Shrewsbury

This is big news kidos. The Olympic torch has been marching across the UK over the past few weeks, and yesterday the torch popped into Shrewsbury to say hello. People worked from home, schools kids lined up for miles, all to get a 5 sec glimpse at the Olympic flame as it ran by.

Of course we lined up to see the torch parade, why not. It was a good time, nothing too fancy, but there were some amazing tour buses following and leading the procession.

All for a rather awkward photo of the torch bearer. What kind of wave is that?

Easter – Yep, We Get That Holiday Too

How do you make your Good Friday great? You get a four-day weekend from the government.

If you’re Andrew, you are eating a pulled pork sandwich still oinking before 10AM. Oh, it’s fresh. We learned the pig’s name; the butcher said the kids named it.

We headed for the market this morning and it was amazeballs. I love free examples samples.

As far as Easter traditions here in the U of K, it’s definitely similar to our holiday back home. Jesus, bunnies, plastic eggs, etc. But there is a tasty difference, they love big chocolate eggs here in the UK.

The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th Century with France and Germany taking the lead in this new artistic confectionery. A type of eating chocolate had been invented a few years earlier but it could not be successfully moulded. Some early eggs were solid while the production of the first hollow chocolate eggs must have been rather painstaking as the moulds were lined with paste chocolate one at a time!

John Cadbury made his first ‘French eating Chocolate’ in 1842 but it was not until 1875 that the first Cadbury Easter Eggs were made.

I think I might name my first son Cadbury John.

To honour this tradition I simply had to buy a chocolate egg. We’ll bust into this on Sunday – it’s filled with champagne, limoncello, and cherry chocolates.

Happy Easter, sweets!

And That’s How You Do A Weekend

How does one spend a four-year wedding anniversary? We booked a reservation at a lovely restaurant and ended up staying in and ordering the best pizza. And that kids, is marriage. Staying in sometimes overrules going out, maybe it’s the perks of dressing down. We’ll get our official celebration on in Cinque Terre here in a few weeks.

This weekend was the most relaxing low-key weekend an old married couple could ask for. Good food and great friends.

Saturday we pretended we were tourists in what ended up being a 2+ hour walk around town. We had not idea our little town had that much to offer.

Andrew ate his way around Shrewsbury. Oysters the size of his hand for lunch one day and a proper Sunday roast the next. We hosted a small BBQ with friends and I am thrilled to report that he officially mastered bringing the American hamburger to Shropshire.

Don’t worry — eat a lot, play a lot more. We had a mini running club going on Sunday with some mates, Indy in tow too.

*that pic of the beer shortage is a nice jab at the government over a recent petrol crisis that got pretty ugly.

Quiet weekends are the best. I realise how much I do adore being in England right now.

To kick the week off right, I leave with some words of wisdom that a good friend shared recently on his birthday —
:: After 30 years I have concluded on the three secrets of life: 1) Passion – its the purpose of life. Find yours and give it all you have. 2) Happiness can only be found within yourself. Until you are happy with you, you can never be happy with another. 3) Love is about giving, not receiving. Only hope you will receive a fraction of what you give….I pray to God daily to help me find my passion, allow me to be happy with myself, and love with a selfless heart….everything else is just a distraction…

Mary Had A Little Lamb-ing

It’s fleece was white as snow…and spray painted with a number.

Lamb(s): [lam]
1. A young sheep.
2. Like Indiana Jones.
4. Small cotton balls.
5. Feel like proper wool coats.

I know right? Go figure.

This weekend we hit up a proper farm to see what Mary’s lambs were doing. These munchkin sheep were noisy, adorable, dirty, and crazy. If you ever find yourself surrounded by lambs it’s best to stand still. Lambs run under and over each other. Tragic woolly bumper cars.

I was like a shepherd when they first saw me; they all ran straight to me, then as I inched closer – like a school of fish – they all hobbled away. Not necessarily the brightest animal in the barnyard.

The cutest: a sign of a healthy lamb is when it stretches after you wake it up from sleeping. Indy is a good lamb.

And as far as the numbers on the lambs, no they are not from Vegas or heading to Nascar. The farmer labels the ewe and lamb so that he can match up all the baby mamas. Big 57 matches little 57, large 30 matches tiny 30, and so on and so forth. I kept checking to see if there were any mismatched, but they seem to be able to tell each other apart.

Photo Of the Week

Sometimes it is the quiet mornings that speak volume. This was my morning Valentine’s stroll with one of my favourite mans, Dr Jones.

It’s weird, but every once and awhile I forget we live in England. On mornings in which I can get up, run, walk the dog, and walk to work, I realise how insanely lucky I am.

Market Fresh

Oh farmers, you spoil me. This weekend we walked into town to our local market. Not sure what took us so long because we have most definitely been missing out.

We had the best pork loin and sausage we have ever had. The butcher literally cut the loin to Andrew’s specifications on the spot. Still oinkin! The fruits and veggies were incredibly fresh and reminded me of my nanny’s garden. The other bonus was we walked out spending less than we would have at Whole Foods a nice grocery store.

This is what inspires you to cook well, fresh and healthy.

Super Bowl Snow Day

Popular question from last week: Do you get the Super Bowl? Answer: Yes, but minus the adverts.

So that kind of makes the whole experience of watching the Super Bowl completely unappealing. The Super Bowl also came on at 10:30 PM GMT, which is not exactly what you would call prime time tele. We did get Madge’s halftime performance, but I only cared for the end part with Cee-Lo. And did she get in trouble for lip-syncing?? No loss for not catching the game here, I have this thing called the Internet that fills me in on what I didn’t missed.

We spent Super Bowl weekend wishing for snow. The neighbouring towns around us were dusted with about 2 inches. Shrewsbury got slush. Boo. On Sunday we managed to make our way to our favourite hiking spot, Caer Caradoc, where there was no shortage of the white stuff. Indy did just fine in the climb, eating as much snow as he walked through.

And now, bring on spring. Time to thaw out.