Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Five - My favorite "English" foods

I have taken a few trips to England to visit my charming English man and I have come to find some foods over there that I can't do without during my visits. They may not necessarily be "English" but I found them in England so to me, they are.

1. Curly Wurlys

I bring home several 5 packs every time I go. I found a bar hidden in my sock drawer today which prompted this theme and I can't wait to enjoy it this weekend!

2. Galaxy Ripple

OMG! I mean OMG! I wanted to try Flake Chocolate and Vernon said that I needed to try a Galaxy Ripple to get the "full experience" of having flake chocolate for the first time. OMG! I brought a bunch of these home too.

3. Black Pepper and Sea Salt Chips-Crisps 

I have to say that the chip selection is not what I'm used to. One year I picked up what I thought was a family size bag and when I got back to the apartment and opened it up IT WAS FULL OF A BUNCH OF LITTLE BAGS! HUH?!?! No wonder we're the fattest country in the world. Anyway... the selection has improved over the years, I can now find American pretzels! Woo Hoo! Anyway, while I was there one year I thought the black pepper and sea salt chips sounded good. I don't know if they were available here in the US, my city in Upper Michigan or simply in my store. Maybe they always have been and I never noticed. Well, I noticed them in England so they are "English" to me. When I am there, those are my snack of choice.

4. Jacobs Jam and Cream Biscuits (Cookies) 

I normally don't buy cookies at home, but these are amazing and I also bring several packages home with me. I've looked for something like this here at home and I have had no luck. I'm sure we have something like them but maybe it's best I don't find anything. That's all I need is cookies in my kitchen.

5. Potatoes

OK, I know what you are thinking... "Potatoes? Um don't you live in the United States? Home of the Idaho Potato?" Yes, and they are yummy! But, what is missing from this picture? Think. Look at it closely... DIRT! Yes! The potatoes in the grocery store where Vernon shops sells potatoes in these plastic bags and they are clean. I love this!! I really dislike scrubbing vegetables, especially potatoes. I buy a bag of potatoes and there is dirt everywhere because there are holes in the bag. If my grocery store sold clean potatoes I would buy them.

OK, so 4 out of 5 is junk food, but believe it or not I always lose weight when I go to England and I think I eat more. I don't get it but it happens. I have my theories but that is for another day and another post.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guest Blogger: Sarah

I asked Sarah to write a guest post because I think she's awesome!  She too is in love with a very lucky, very charming British man. I think Chris and Vernon have to be the two luckiest blokes in England.  Sarah and Chris have been in a long distance relationship for over 3 years and they are getting married in a few months. I love keeping up on the wedding plans as she has kept her readers up to date during the entire process. I find Sarah to be very funny, intelligent and such a sweetheart. And no, we have never met, but it feels as if we have and I always look forward to reading her blog posts. Please show your appreciation for Sarah and leave some comments. She is very gracious and I consider her a friend and I know she would enjoy to read your feedback.

I also want to add that Chris proposed via YouTube video.  I lost count of how many times I have seen it, but  it always makes me cry. It won them a honeymoon to Thailand... such a deserving couple.
An American Girl’s Guide to British Men

Although Kimberly may be even more of a master on the subject, I fancy myself quite the expert when it comes to British men. I’ve lived in the UK for a total of about a year and a half and have been dating one for almost four years.

In my experience, I’ve found the American woman/Brit bloke combo works very well, and is actually more common than you may think. So for all you ladies out there thinking that you fancy yourself your very own Mr.Darcy, (that’s what I sometimes call my FiancĂ©) I’ve made a lovely list (list? whoops my American is showing) for you, of dos, don’ts, and things to expect before entering a relationship with one of those dashing and debonair heartthrobs. Just think Hugh Grant or Colin Firth circa Bridget Jones.

*Disclaimer: The use of stereotypes in this article are merely for humorous purposes and are based on the results of my own experiences. (i.e. FACT!)
·         DON’T get on the tube after a long walk through rainy London town and proclaim in your American voice volume standards that your pants are all wet. Pants, ladies, means underwear... as in panties. And on that note, DON’T engage him in an argument about whether or not Gerard Butler was wearing pants in 300. (That was seriously our first ever argument).
·         DON’T offer to make biscuits and gravy for breakfast. He thinks biscuits are cookies and will be thoroughly confused.
·         DON’T expect him to have a car, a degree, or a savings account. Although in America we may think these are essentials before dating anyone, they are simply not priorities in the same way in British culture.
·         DO expect to swoon after he says the simplest of sentences. For some reason I love the way he says “toilet” and “chuffed” and even “no” ... although I don’t like hearing that word too much.
·         DON’T be surprised when he drops a bucket in front of you when you tell him you are “sick”. That means barfing. You should say “ill”. And yes, no matter how used to it you get, saying the word “ill” will always make you feel pretentious, or like you are in a low budget period drama.
·         DO let him do all the navigating. He grew up riding trains and buses (both of which are still new and exciting to me) and is most likely never completely lost. Just make sure you do the actual scheduling, Americans have a better knack of time management if I do say so myself.
·         DO not feel bad for relying on him to pull you out of a sticky situation. After all, he knows how to “keep calm and carry on.”
·         DON’T expect him to help you write this post.
·         DON’T expect him to have perfect teeth. Their dentists don’t force them into braces at the slightest of over-bites.
·         DO expect to have to do math just to talk about the weather. (F/C)
·         DO expect to have different ideas of what constitutes clean carpets *cough, cough*
·         DO try not to judge when he wants to put corn on his sandwiches or pizza
·         DON’T try and drink him under the table. Even if he swears he “doesn’t drink anymore”.
·         DO expect that he will laugh when you have problems navigating the smallest of roundabouts. They are simply part of Britain’s natural landscape.
·         DO expect him to complain about any car trip that is longer than an hour (“5 hours?! We could’ve been in Scotland by then!”). Yet he can sit through an all day movie marathon.
·         DO expect that he will be whole-heartedly on board for celebrating Thanksgiving. To him, it’s basically like an early Christmas dinner that you’ll cook.
·         DO expect him to ask to use the “toilet”. He means he wants to use the sink also.
·         DO expect him to be able to write the mushiest of love letters and emails. (When he wants to).
·         DO expect that he will be willing to literally run to the store at “stupid o’clock in the morning” to buy you medicine when you have cramps. Or leave work to get a taxi and take you to the doctor when you are sick (ill).
·         DO expect that he will be willing to spend hundreds of pounds and cross the ocean to be with you, even if only for a few weeks.
·         ALWAYS expect that he’ll be able to vanquish your ever present doubts and insecurities to make you feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, (even if you are American).
·         DON’T take him for granted, he will be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How does one strim?

Strim: v. (UK) To use a strimmer. Um... ok? What is a strimmer? Vernon and I had this conversation. It is one of many conversations that we have had regarding a word that one of us uses and the other's reaction is "I beg your pardon?" or in my case, "huh?" Vernon has been working on his front yard, ("front garden" for those of you who don't speak American). He mentioned how he wanted to get a push mower of some kind. I felt his front yard / front garden was a bit small for a push mower so I suggested a weed whacker. I then heard, "I beg your pardon?". I giggled because I knew I'd get that reaction. I didn't know what they called a weed trimmer in the UK but I like to keep him on his toes. He informed me that they are called strimmers. I didn't really understand how that word came to be. I actually thought I mis-heard him. I Googled it and it's simply a merging of the words string + trimmer = strimmer. Pretty logical.

One of my favorite blogs, ameringlish has a word of the week. I don't believe this was one of them but I always look forward to her weekly word because sometimes it is completely new to me, and other times I laugh and can remember the conversation that Vernon and I had regarding that word as we learn each other's language through the years.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monthly Milestones - July


Another Monthly Milestone post means summer is coming to an end. I'm dreading the snow already. It's been a crappy summer with my knee being all banged up but all I can do is keep on working on it and be very careful.

I had a few things I wanted to accomplish in July. It never happened. No cleaning out the garage or anything like that took place. I'm having enough trouble keeping up with my laundry. I also didn't sign up for a class. I have no money. I'm going to lose my spot in the program if I don't register for school this semester.  I really don't want to lose the progress I've made on my degree but I'm still trying to pay off the heat bill left over from the winter. I really need a class to keep me occupied in the evenings, especially right after Heidi leaves for school which will be the beginning of September. It was an emotional, difficult miserable month. I know I'm supposed to be looking at the positives but I don't see them right now.

What are my goals for August? I don't know? I'm sitting here thinking of the things I want to accomplish and I just want to stay in bed and do nothing. I have my business trip at the end of the month which I'm nervous about because my knee still hurts when I work out. My daughter leaves for college while I'm gone and then I wont see her until either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I don't want to cry as much as I have been lately. It has kind of been a daily thing for me so I guess that's my goal for August, to stop crying so much over nothing.

Maybe I should make a daily list. Nothing major, even if it's just one item I want to accomplish. (Is that still considered a list?) Then when I complete that task or tasks on that list or non-list I will feel a sense of accomplishment and not the miserable loser that I feel like today. I am also going to make sure I work out every day... I'm calling that "Operation Metallica" because I want to be able to stand for the entire Metallica concert at my conference unlike the Stevie Wonder concert at last years conference.

In a sense, I guess I did end up with some goals for August, which will include a trip to the doctor to help me get a handle on whatever is going on with me. My outlet for all things miserable is this blog so don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.