1. What is your favorite food store in your city and why?
I like both Sainsburys and Morrisons. We get our groceries delivered to the house from Sainsburys. Food shopping has never been easier now that my husband can order from his phone and it gets delivered straight to our door.
2. For your answer to number 1 is it ok to buy the store brand items or do you pay extra for a name brand?
We do not have a car and so we get around most by walking. When needed we take the bus, unless its the four of us and then we will take a taxi since it is cheaper. My husband will ride his bicycle occasionally to and from work. I think all forms of transportation work well in Bath, England however there is limited parking if you are driving by car.
4. Which store do you turn to for basics like toilet paper or cleaning supplies?
Again this would be Sainsburys since we get all our food and basic supplies delivered from their store in town. When we run out of something that we need urgently I will pop down to the convenience store on our high street.
5. Where do you think is the best place in your city to get a cup of coffee (or beverage you prefer) and catch up with friends?
6. What was your “eureka, I’m practically a native” moment?
I was born in Oxford and I lived in Norfolk later on for a few years as a young girl. When we moved back to England as expats in 2011 it had been about seventeen years since I had last stepped foot in the UK. So despite the fact that I am a dual citizen I moved here not knowing all what to expect our life to be like living here. I could not explain fully how wonderful it was for me to go eat out and see beans on toast on the menu. This has been one of my comfort foods all my life, and I used to be questioned strangely or made fun of by americans when I was living in the US. Then I realized everywhere that sold jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) also offered them with beans on top. I thought that was a ‘bonnie-ism’ and realized that it was just part of my culture from growing up in England. That was the moment I realized I was finally ‘at home’. For a highly nomadic person as myself, a third culture kid, who often wonders where ‘home’ would be that was a huge Eureka moment.
7. Does your real accent get in the way?
Yes it can sometimes. I think about it a lot when I am out of the house. I am aware of how the American accent stands out and I will not speak out about bad service because of my accent. Now a days I use a lot of the english Vocabulary or pronounce things they way they are spoken here without having to think about it first. Which really helps out though I still have a strong american accent. It just takes time to assimilate to the language and accent. The store I mentioned above, Sainsbury’s, you pronounce it without ‘u’ so that it sounds like Sainsbrys. I realized upon talking with a fellow expat friend that people here will not correct you if you say it wrong. I had been saying that store name wrong for a year and a half. So perhaps my accent does not get in the way that much. However when meeting new people, they will get fixated on my accent and want to know an exact place my accent is from which has on easy answer if an answer at all. So I do wish that one day I will have such a soften accent that I can talk to people without it being an issue.
*photographs original to A Compass Rose blog
|They began with James Bond music, dancers and men in black tie.|
|Fashions from Dorothy Perkins with menswear from River Island
Tap dancers outfits from River Island
Selected accessories from Accessorize
Footwear from Soletrader
Designer sunglasses from Vision Express
|Fashions from John Lewis|
|Fashions from Marks and Spencer|
|Fashions from Fat Face
Children’s fashion from Next Children
|Fashions from CC Viyella with menswear from Austin Reed
Children’s fashion from Next Children
Footwear from Jones Bootmaker
|Fashions from Timberland|
|Fashions and Technology items from John Lewis
Hair styled by Tomlinson Hairdressing
|Fashions from Wallis and menswear from Next
Selected accessories from Accessorize
Footwear from Dune
|Fashions from Marks & Spencer
Designer sunglasses from Sunglass Hut
|Lingerie from Ann Summers
Flamenco dancers’ fashions from Phase Eight and Next
Footwear from Dune
|Fashions from River Island
Children’s fashions from Gap Kids
|Fashions from various retailers at the Mall at Cribbs Causeway|
|(…is this kid not the cutest? I may be biased as a mum, but I thought his dance moves stole the show)|
With much thanks to Pinterest these images are not mine, and you can find out more about them by clicking: 1) Valentines Day Picnic with themed Stationary 2) Bacon Hearts 3) Lamb Rose Bouquet which is something I would love to give to my Valentine.
Let me ask you now: What would be your best Valentines day gift idea and why?
|Looking for date night outfits, I was inspired by the dress I wore at a wedding five years ago.
Keeping with the blush and pinks with the fascinator for the English in me.
|My husband and I in Paris last summer for our 9th Anniversary in the city of Love.|
|Though not taken on the day, we had been married 5 years at this wedding we attended.
This was my ‘Sex and the City’ Carrie inspired ensemble.
The fascinator was a DIY that I made myself out of a broach and feathers.
|‘He wore black and I wore white’ – Nancy Sinatra ‘Bang Bang’|
I have set a new years resolution for myself and though it be February, I do not see it too late to start one. I aim to take so many more photographs where Ryan and I are both in the frame together. Looking back through old photographs to post for this blog I realized that we have so many of just one of us, while the other person took the photograph. My goal is to better document our love for us to cherish and look back on when we are truly ‘old and gray’.
The lack of couple photographs aside there have been many anniversaries and huge chunks of time where we have not been together due to the military and other circumstances out of our control. I do not like missing important dates or being apart for long time, let alone an evening. I really do cherish every moment we have together for life is uncertain and far too short.
One thing that I have definitely learned in the last ten years is you cannot let the words and actions of others come into your marriage and break you apart. You have to be team. If you let other people, be they acquaintances or family, speak ill of your partner or do things that could cause friction and stress you have to block them out. What I love so much about Ryan in this moment in time where we are today is that he blocks out the toxicity of others and holds me close with so much love.
I would like to take you back a few years to when I was living in Hawaii, USA courtesy of the United States Air Force. When it came to eating and food Ryan and I found ourselves in the melting pot of asian cruisine from the Phillipines, Vietnam, Thailand, and China (to name a few). Our eldest was 2 and our youngest was born in Hawaii and they grew up there asking to eat sushi, pho, fish, and shrimp for meals. It was not the typical food from mainland USA but it became the norm for my family. If we were not eating out we were buying our groceries from the commissary on base. Usually twice a month we would go and fill up our shopping cart till it could hold no more just like the other military families. If you were not careful shopping at the commissary could be like a mother on her own shopping at Target. You leave with a cart full of items and many of which were not on your original shopping list.
Let us fast forward to my husband and I moving to England.
After we had graduated from living in a hostel and eating homemade sandwiches, we found a room to rent and could start buying groceries to cook real meals. However we walk or take public transport everywhere. The ‘american style’ of shopping is not going to work here. The nearest grocery store was far off and we would have to be smart about which items we chose because they would have to be carried all the way back home.
When we moved out of Brighton to the town of Haywards Heath we were now a short five minute walk from our town’s grocery store. It now became normal to go to the store every day or every other day for one or two items. It was on the way home from work and accessible. We do not have a car to take home bags and bags of groceries. We get what we really need and we carry it home.
I look back on shopping in the USA now and I cannot imagine doing that here in England. Our fridge contains what we need for the week and we possibly fill up one small cabinet space with items such as teas, oils, spices, baking items, rice and porridge oats. The pantry we have has items like sweet potatoes and onions, extra toilet paper roll and unused kitchen appliances like a microwave we now never use. Its about simplicity. There must be a need and an immediate use.
So we do not have a pantry full of unused boxed and canned items full of sugar, salt, and preservatives We may have to get creative if a zombie apocalypse happens. 😉
Luckily for us there are no zombies. However we did get creative and resourceful. This week was our second time of having groceries delivered to the door. Ryan spends a few minutes on his phone ticking off items we need while seeing what specials are on offer. Then the items come at a scheduled time in colour coordinated bags to tell me where they need to be put away.
I feel spoiled.
To think of walking with the kids to the bus station, to wait for a bus, to get to the store where I have to find what I need while being swarmed by many other shoppers, only to have to wait in line and then carry everything home is just exhausting having to type in this blog. Plus have I mentioned we got our organic veg box? I am in heaven.