Friday, August 31, 2012

Thank Crunchie It's Friday

I usually go to World Market to get British chocolates but the last couple times I have gone there have not been much in the way of Cadbury's. I think it is something to do with Kraft buying Cadbury's and not wanting people having the option of the superior British stuff to the crappy Hershey's stuff.

Well today I found out about a recipe for making something very similar to Cadbury's Crunchie bars and I gave it a go. I was actually quite successful at it. I may have problems buying a Crunchie but now I can make my own and I can make them as big or small as I want them to be!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Say What Now?

I self censor myself sometimes. I don't always say exactly what I am thinking because sometimes it is just better to not sound daft. I also have the ability to whisper and lower my voice. My kids don't seem to be able to do that. They say exactly what they want to say and when they want to say it. They don't, usually, worry about sounding daft or if anyone is in fact interested in what they have to say. They think something and they say it. Also when they start talking to me I must listen. K can say her piece and be done in a matter of minutes. Since Z has been on his medication for ADD, he has a lot to say. He spent about 10 or 15 minutes talking at me a few days ago. People tell me they could listen to Z & K talk all day, I think mainly due to their accents. K is really cultivating an American accent whilst Z is keeping his English accent.


When we were in Washington DC recently for Z's 9th birthday, K said something that I think only a 7 year old would say. This was after wandering around the day before looking at the White House, Washington Monument etc, "If that is the Capitol Building then where is the Lower Case Building?"

Z came home from school on the first day of the new school year last week and said that a girl, I shall call her H, likes him. He said she had been giving him 'the eye'. Yesterday he came home and said that she'd been giving him 'the eye' again. Not the 'stink eye' but 'I like you' eye. He said she did it for 12 minutes. I'm hoping he didn't actually time her but is just guessing at 12 minutes. He said all through yesterday she was either behind him in line or he was behind her in line. They were in a group at one point and he had to take something from her hands and she smiled when he touched her hand. After going into a lot of description about what happened when and who did what and when, it would seem I was out of place when I asked "What would you do/say if she kissed/asked to kiss you?". His response was a very loud "Mummy!!" (K is the only one of the two of them who calls me 'mommy' now.) Of course he is now 9 so no doubt he will soon be bringing dates home and I will suddenly feel really old.

Charleston, South Carolina

OK, we live in Mount Pleasant but that is just up the road from Charleston. Literally just over the Ravenel Bridge.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wet Cookies

No not wet cookies. It has been wet & I've gotten some cookies in the mail recently. As you do. (My kids are back in school and I have free time so I'm amusing myself by putting random blog titles.)

Anyhoo, as I don't work, I have free time and I spend far too much of said free time on FB, Twitter, Klout and t'internet in general. I am not generally a very lucky person. I don't win competitions. I don't win sweepstakes and prize draws. However, recently, I have 'won' a few things. I won a poster from a competition on FB and it is now framed and in my hallway.

I have gotten several 'perks' from Klout but I will admit I have absolutely no idea what their coring system is all about and how they work out what topics I am 'influential' in. I've gotten stuff varying from books to tea to  energy drinks to t-shirts to gift cards.

Recently I won a box of cookies & brownies from The Protein Bakery through a competition on Bella Vivere: Life a Beautiful Life blog. I was nice though and kept 2 cookies for myself and let Ben take the rest to his work. Although I am not entirely sure he is sharing them and I think he has kept them all for himself.

Following this minor success I am going to enter more competitions to see if I can win anything else. My big plan is to win a car or a house or $1million. Actually I'm just happy winning cookies and stuff like that. Would make for a fun tax return if I won anything bigger!

Winning a car would be good as our car really is rubbish, but it does get us from A to B. It's not a nice new car but it is not likely to get stolen by anyone! We only have the one car and Ben has had it for the last couple days so I've been home and not out on the roads terrorizing the South Carolina drivers. Just as well really as it rained a little bit yesterday. No where near as bad as the rain the Gulf of Mexico that has just hit New Orleans but it was enough for me. The back of our house now resembles a swimming pool. If I had a pair of wellies it wouldn't be so bad but I don't and I'm not standing in it wearing flip flops!

The kids have been back in school for a week now and I am slowly getting back into a routine. (I went out with friends on the Friday after school started and had a drink to celebrate the end of summer break! 11 week is a long time!)

 I had planned to start writing again the very day they went back to school but circumstances prevented that. Tomorrow will be the day. It will. It will I tell you!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Confession, I'm a Nerd and Proud.

I admit it. I'm a nerd. Also I freely admit that yes, I am a grown woman and I have a crush on actor Zachary Levi. Yes he is on my 'list'. I actually wrote to him recently, second time ever I have written to a celebrity, to say thanks and that I used him and his company The Nerd Machine, as an example for my kids to show them that being a nerd is not a bad thing. Z is a nerd and he is very conscious of what people think of him. He wants to be a marine biologist or a paleontologist when he grows up. He likes drawing comics and has a unique view of the world. The fact he also wears glasses and is not at all sporty has lead to some people thinking he is a nerd. But, I have now told him that that is not a bad thing. In fact they were paying him a compliment. It just means that he is passionate about something. In fact in his case it means several things. I have things I am passionate about to that could lead people to say I am a nerd. I freely admit it though. I know it's not a bad thing but I am a grown up so can work it out for myself. But it is easier for kids to think it is not good and that they should be ashamed of it.

I myself am such a big nerd that I am hoping to go to Comic Con in San Diego next year. I have registered for a Comic Con member ID and now have to wait to see if I can get ticket. If I go I will also want to go to Zachary Levi's NerdHQ that he has been running for the last 2 years. He raises thousands of dollars for Operation Smile as one of their ambassadors through various activities and does "Conversation for a Cause" at NerdHQ.

Anyway, today me and both Z & K got signed pictures of him in the mail. Z was impressed because he knows who he is, is astounded that a famous person has the same name as him and he remembers our talk about being a nerd. K was impressed as I told her that he voiced the character Flynn Rider in Tangled. He is currently in the UK getting ready to film Thor: The Dark World which I will most likely want to go to the cinema to see it, even though I didn't see the first one until it came out on dvd.

Hopefully soon definition 2 will be the more widely accepted definition of nerd and not the first one.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The South


How Long?

We have been in the US now for almost 3 years. Hopefully the green card process will start for us at the end of the year. Ben's boss seems keen and has told us to tell him what he needs to do and when, so I am hopeful that it will be relatively smooth sailing when it comes to actually getting it all off the ground.

Anyway, as we don't really know exactly how long we are going to be in the US for, we need to make the most of it. Since we arrived in Indiana and subsequently moved to South Carolina, we have been trying to see as much of this country as we can afford to. Being on 1 salary sucks. So far we have been to various places around Indiana as that was fairly easy to do for day trips. We have also gone to Chicago, Illinois and ventured along a bit of Route 66. We also went to Lincoln Park Zoo not long after we arrived in the US. Winter was not a great time to go through. We have been across to Kentucky, literally just over the bridge from Indiana and also across to Ohio. Well Ohio has IKEA and Jungle Jims to we had to go there, but we have also been to Cincinnati Zoo. We have also been to Nashville, Tennessee and St Louis, Missouri. We drove from Indiana to Atlanta, Georgia and on to Charlotte, North Carolina one year as we were going to Great Wolf Lodge after visiting friends near Atlanta. The following year we drove from Indiana to Orlando, Florida as we took the kids to Walt Disney World and came home via New Orleans, Louisiana with a quick stop in a ditch in Mississippi. We went to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in Michigan for Memorial Day weekend. Last year we ventured further north and drove to Niagara Falls, Canada via New York State. (This is where I won $221 in a casino). This summer we have travelled around the coastal areas of South Carolina as we had family visiting from the UK.We will shortly be going to Washington, DC as a surprise for Zs 9th birthday. Both Z and K love museums and Z has said he would like to go to the Smithsonian Museums after watching various documentaries on Netflix.

Next year there is the possibility, albeit slight possibility, that I will go to San Diego, California for Comic-Con if I get a ticket, New York City, New York for Ben taking part in a roller-blade thing and somewhere in Florida when the in-laws come to visit.

The way I see it, if the worst happens and we have to leave and go back to the UK, I would hate to have spent several years here and not seen any of the country. I lived in different places in the UK and went on trips etc so I could see parts of that country, makes sense to do the same thing here. You only live once, so they say, and why would you just stay in the same place and go to the same place on holiday every year? We may not have a lot of money and we can't afford to fly to places or stay in fancy hotels and we have to hire a car to go to these places because ours is a heap of junk, but we are going out and seeing stuff. What would you do if you did not know for certain how long you would be living somewhere? Would you stay in the city/state where you're living and not go out and see other places or would you get in your car and go for a drive?


Sweets From Back Home

Are you a fellow Brit abroad?  Do you miss sweets like real Cadbury chocolate, not the Hersheys rubbish? I know personally I have regu...