World Book Day

Somehow with all of the excitement of the snow here I missed world book day – but never the less, I love reading so I don’t think posting this the day after will hurt too much.

I’ve loved reading since forever – I remember I used to keep a flashlight under my bed so after Mom & Dad tucked me in I could read under the covers as a kid. Of course I thought I was so secretive, but now as an adult I realize that flashlight never ran out of batteries – haha I wonder how that happened. When I lived in the US I would go to goodwill all the time picking up new books for $1 – to the point I had boxes and boxes of them. I never wanted to give them up because I always dreamed of having a library full of books.

Now that I’m living overseas I am seeing the benefit of not having boxes and boxes of books. It makes moving easier and cheaper – plus my back hurts a lot less! Unfortunately having fewer books in the house hasn’t quenched my thirst for reading – enter Audible.

I figured I would give it a try – the first book is free, so why not. I am now happy to say I am hooked! I pay about £8 a month/$10 a month for 1 credit which I can use to buy any priced book. You also have the option of buying books without credits – like I did today because they we’re having an awesome sale.

Check out the sale here

On top of these awesome books I picked up today for £11/$15 I have also discovered my new favorite author and one of his books is on super sale! His name is Nick Spalding and he writes some of the funniest books I’ve ever read. The ones that are available on audible are enhances as they’re being read by amazing actors so its a bit like a movie or show rather then a book – but you can do it anywhere. The first book of his I read was Fat Chance (on sale!) and since then I’ve read 3 other of his books with one more on my “to buy next” list. Even better he’s got a new book due out soon!

If you want to celebrate world book day by trying an audio book, and you like the look of any of them that I’ve mentioned let me know! I can send you your first book for free with Audible!


Today Is My Day

Today is my last day at my current job. I started as a temp in January 2017 & now I am moving on to bigger and better things. Today I dedicate this poem by my favorite Dr Seuss to all of us making changes for the better today!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on y our way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Thermal Bath Must Haves

Since we’re going to Germany to bring back a car load of beer my suitcase space is very limited – and thus my spa bag is also pretty small. But every women knows she can’t go a full day without some essentials, and I’m the same.

These are my Thermal Bath must haves

  1. Gopro – it’s the safest way to take photos for my blog & instagram
  2. External Battery – there aren’t many plugs inside so always good to have extra juice
  3. Birkenstock Pool Sandals – Mine are bright orange and they’re so comfortable!
  4. Lightweight Robe – If I’m feeling shy or its super cold outside
  5. Waterproof Phone Bag – better safe than sorry
  6. Yeti Tumbler – its important to stay hydrated and this keeps my water cold all day
  7. My Little Box Bag – this bag is so cool, it can blow up to be a pillow
  8. Dock & Bay Towel- lightweight, drys fast, folds up really small and is easy to recognize

ae6b7bb3-a8a9-4bd5-b99a-ea455a991dfe-original-e1504859338523Just a little brag on myself here – I saw Dock & Bay on the Dragon’s Den a year or more after I bought our towles from them. Great company & product – I can’t recommend them enough!

In addition to what I’ve listed above I’ll have boring things like my inhaler, chapstick, gum etc in my bag for the day – but who wants to read about that?

So this is my “day pack” for when we go to Thermal Spas – have you ever been? What special items do you bring?

And We’re Off

Steve and I have had a pretty stressful few weeks since we got back from the US. Leaving your normal life behind for 3 weeks means it can take a while to get back into the swing of things. Even though we only got back about a month ago – our trip feels more like a beautiful dream.

Since I’m leaving my current job and I need a little R&R from life – we’re taking a long weekend to pop over to Germany for one of our favorite pastimes – Thermal Baths!

They are sort of like amusement parks mixed with massive swimming pools mixed with korean spas – and even that isn’t a great definition. Let’s just say they’re awesome. Whenever we go to Germany to refill on beer and other european goodies, we always take a day to go spaing. This trip we’re having 2 so we can explore 2 new spas.

On Saturday we are going to Ahr-Thermen in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. Its a smaller spa then we normally go to, and its about 45 min from where we are staying, but its in a traditional old spa town so we are excited to spend some time exploring.

On Sunday we are heading to Thermen & Badewelt Euskirchen which is in the town where we are staying. This spa is huge – I couldn’t find any details about the building if it was built for this or its an older structure. But this spa has everything-  including a swim up bar!

I promise not to pose like this lady – silly face and clearly about to fall off the chair!

One of the best part of these spas, but can take some getting used to, is the sauna portion. (It’s an optional add on, so if what I’m about to tell you about isn’t your cup of tea dont worry. You can still enjoy these places!) The sauna portion of the spa has one major rule – no swimsuits. Towels, robes etc are fine and encouraged as a big part of them are outside and chilly, but the swimsuit rule is firm. The first time we went I was horrified – Steve essentially had to dare me to go in (and promise if I hated it we could leave). I went it, and I’m not sure I’ve ever held a towel so tight! Steve had to go rent a robe for me to feel comfortable, but the longer I was there the more used to it I got.

I know you’re wondering if its hard not to stare and the answer is yes. It’s odd, as many guests are VERY comfortable in their bodies and only carry a towel to sit on. I’ve caught Steve gawking a few times, but it is what it is. Guests just go about their business as since it’s not a very sexual environment, it all just seems normal after a bit. If you try it but aren’t super comfortable lots of people wear robes/towels the whole time – no shame!

I’ll post later this week about the sort of things I pack for this kind of trip and my must haves to bring to the spa.


Wish List

I think we all have a list of things we will buy for ourselves when we win the lottery or just have a paycheck that doesn’t need to go towards boring adult stuff. I know I do – most of them are trip or experiences but some times are physical items. So I figured I’d share them with you – with links of course in case you’ve got that extra money!


I found this company – Loly in The Sky because I bought my wedding shoes from them, and of course they have so many cute shoes I’m gushing over! But these are my top pick at the moment!

I have my eye on some new luggage as I want to start traveling with carryon luggage only – and a part of that means getting my personal item game tight. This is my current dream bag for that personal item – very retro but so perfect!


I have a major love of shoes but recently I’ve come to the realization that I need to pick comfort over style – why I wear Birkenstocks daily. But I’ve found a new shoe company Vionic who make very supportive and cute shoes – so of course I want a pair of these!


I am currently obsessed with this bag from Ked – the shoe brand! I think it would be a great tote when you have a lot of stuff or even a good overnight bag.


What Do You Like To Read

Dear readers – I’d like to think of you as an exclusive group of VIPs, but in truth I know there just aren’t very many of you. So as I continue to grow my online presence I’m turning to you for some advice, some feedback, some input.

What do you like to read? I don’t mean book wise, though I’m always up for a recommendation, but blog post wise?

Do you like coming to my blog and seeing loads of recipes and delicious meals you can make at home yourself?

Do you like advice posts – where I drop my $.02 in the ocean of opinions? If that’s what you like what do you want to know my opinion on?

Are you into the travel posts – not just photos when we get back from a trip but about traveling in general – what to pack, where to go?

Do you want to read more about wedding planning or my thoughts on trends and crazy wedding stuff?

Or are you a fan of expat life stories? Comparing the UK to the US in different ways?

Please let me know, dear readers, because my writers block is back with a vengeance!

Favorite Crock Pot Meals

So if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me talk about my love of cooking. And if you follow me anywhere or know me IRL you know that I am a big fan of easy, cause let’s be real – adulting is hard enough as it is without making everything more difficult than it needs to be. So I don’t. I have come to realise that there is no point in making things more difficult than they need to be. And this philosophy applies to cooking, at least in my kitchen. Yes, occasionally I will get fancy and make some 3 course dinner with soup and salad – but you can ask Steve, this is about as rare as me shaving my legs in the winter (it doesn’t happen).

So since I’m, lets call it lazy, how do I still manage to eat delicious, healthy, simple meals? I own a crockpot. Actually now I own 2 thanks to the lovely people at Vonshef who replaced my beloved slow cooker which died two weeks ago.

And since I am always on the hunt for good, tried and tested slow cooker dinners, I figured it would be a great opportunity for me to share my favorites. I realise this might not be the most exciting reading post (except for this intro) but I hope it helps all of you who want to make your lives easier and yet still eat delicious food.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Meatballs – Steve isn’t the biggest meatball fan (he prefers meat sauce) but he loved these

Crock Pot Gumbo – my coworkers had never had gumbo before so I brought this in – huge hit! Easy to add extra veggies to too

Coconut Lime Chicken – such an easy summer meal!

Thai Chicken Soup – big hit in our house, a hardy soup to warm your bones

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches – another great summer meal

Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili – meatless monday dish

Cabbage Roll Soup – low carb & delicious

Bourbon Street Chicken – much better than anything they serve at the foodcourt!

Corn Chowder – another great summer recipie

Salsa Chicken and Spinach – 5 min prep time? Winner!

Adobo Chicken – choose your spice level!

Ratatouille – so colorful and delicious

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches – great for big groups in the summer

Salsa Chicken – 2 ingredients, so easy!

Chicken and Dumplings – One of Steve’s favorites

Potato and Corn Chowder – great for winter

Tomato Soup – not your normal canned soup

Beef Bourguignon – when you don’t have time to cook like Julia Childs

Goulash – when we returned from Budapest this is all I wanted

Tikka Masala – this one deserves it’s own blog post – maybe one day

Tomato, Kale & Quinoa – for those days you’re feeling super healthy

Chicken Cacciatore – a crock pot version of my Dad’s famous dinner

White Chicken Chili – when you’re over tomatoes

Split Pea Soup – great with a nice piece of gammon

Chicken, Potatoes and Green Beans – when your oven is full but you need a simple meal

Chicken Chili – more traditional chili with tomatoes and chicken

Curried Butternut Squash Soup – delicious soup that’s a little different

These are just a few of the slow cooker meals I’ve made over the last few years. Most of these are US recipes but are easily convertible to metric and visa versa. When I make them I tend to make my own little alterations – adding extra veggies or substituting something that’s not easily found in the UK. So if you do decide to try any of these please let me know below – and comment on the original bloggers post!

Happy eating!

DIY Vegetable Stock

I’ve mentioned on Instagram a few times that I’ve started to make my own vegetable stock. It’s so easy and I feel like I’m wasting less food. Since I tend to buy a lot of fresh veggies to cook with I always have a bowl of scraps when I’m done that just go in the trash, which just felt wasteful. So now instead of buying bullion cubes (liquid stock isn’t very common here and when you find it it’s very expensive) I make my own. It’s so much easier than you think!

As with most of my brilliant ideas – I got some inspiration from buzzfeed. They opened my eyes to how I could use vegetable scraps to make my food taste even better.

So I now bag and freeze all of my scraps and maybe every 2-3 weeks I empty them into a big pot, fill it with water and let it cook for at least an hour. Depending on what’s in my fridge I often add some extra fresh veggies – an onion or shallot, some herbs etc. You don’t have to but it can help make room in your fridge for the next week’s groceries.

If you’re going to do this I suggest stocking up on some silicone ice cube trays. I have a bunch of holiday ones I use for making gifts but for the rest of the year they hold my stock. I find the silicone ones are easier to empty when cooking – but I use normal plastic ones too.

Sunday is Soup Day

If you follow me on Instagram – which I highly recommend you do – you might have heard me mention that I was going to do a blog post on the meals I cooked this week. And since part of my 2018 goals is to adult, keeping my word seems to be an important part of adulting. So here is me, writing this post! Be proud!

So Sunday afternoon I did the food shop at Tesco and when we got home I started on a few meals. I like to make 2 or 3 things on Sunday so I dont have to cook as much during the week. It also ensures that there are leftovers for lunch that week.

This Sunday I made 2 soups – Leek & Potato and Tomato & Chorizo Soup along with my own vegetable stock. Unfortunately for me my crockpot died so I had to make the leek & potato soup on the stove – which turned out fine, it was just more work watching it etc.

I have scoured the internet for the chorizo and tomato soup recipie I use (cause you know I didn’t dream it up on my own) and I can’t find it. If you’re interested I’ll do a post with pictures etc of how I make mine. It’s super easy and it’s a nice change from standard tomato soup – it goes well with a fancy grilled cheese if you’re so inclined – this one is my favorite!

For the Leek & Potato soup – I followed the recipie & just doubled the carrots and celery to squeeze in more veggies. And I added an onion, because why not right? Otherwise it was as simple as taking it out of the crockpot when I realised it wasn’t getting hot and putting it in a big pot on the stove on low for about an hour. If I had known I was going to do it on the stove in the first place I would have browned the veggies first to add some extra flavor. Once it was cooked – a quick wiz with the hand blender. Easy, healthy and a crowd pleaser.


Writer’s Block

As you can see its been a while since I’ve “put pen to paper” and written on my blog. A part of it was I was getting bored. Writing just to write hasn’t ever been my thing-  I’m more of a chatty, 2 way street, discussion sort of person. So writing just one side of a conversation I’m having in my head is sort of odd.

Being lazy was another big part of it – coming up with ideas and content about things people might care about is harder then one thinks. I found myself “writing” posts in my head but I never bothered to record any of it.

Lastly, and probably the hardest to admit, and possibly for a reader to believe – I feel like my life isn’t exciting enough to warrant talking about it. Yes, I do live in another country – but its normal now. We live our normal life – work, cooking, sorting out the house. Plus the UK is pretty similar to the US so it’s not a massively drastic change. Honestly I find myself thinking a lot – who wants to read about my life – I work in an office 5 days a week, I cook at home most nights and we watch TV and Netflix. And not even interesting, controversial shows. I’m currently on season 3 of Bones watching it right through.

But since coming home from our holiday to the US, I’ve woken up to the fact that most people’s lives are a lot like mine and they blog about it. They have social media empires based on lives possibly more dreary then mine. And plus why not? If I can make my readers laugh on occasion or think, or just give them a break from their day to day to read about my day to day – then I will have done something.

Plus when I do get busy or get to do exciting things I can write about it here! So here’s to 2018 and blogging and instagramming and building my social media town (I’m a long way off from an empire).