Category Archives: Blogging

The Next Chapter

Umm, I don’t think we’re in London anymore…

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Our first day in California, we woke up to bright blue skies and the SUN… and it was 70 degrees the entire time!

Such a contrast to the dark, dank, and dreary winter we left behind, huh?

The overdose on Vitamin D clearly made me gitty as I kept asking Mike, “Do we really get to live here? Really? Really?”

We’ve breathed in the sweet, plastic-y aroma of Target and gorged ourselves on Tex-Mex, but there’s a part of me that still wishes we could have continued our adventures in London.

I still  have so many stories to tell. The sightseeing we did, the people we encountered,  the nuances of  daily life that we still haven’t made any sense of….

(Will we ever?)

From California, we flew to Texas to visit family and friends before Mike starts his new job. It was parties and play dates the whole time, each another opportunity to laugh about our experiences and poke fun at our life in England.

That is to say poke fun of ourselves living in England…

Things may not have turned out the way that we had planned, but not for one minute do I regret throwing ourselves whole-heartly into our new life. As much as I complained about things like our leaky roof and  NHS, there is no denying that living in London was a fantastic experience, both culturally and personally.

We are still tying up loose ends in the UK,  but it’s fair to say that this chapter in our life has officially come to a close. I no longer have any claim to being the “American Mom In London”, but as with most titles in the UK, I plan to keep it forever and ever. Ha-ha!

(Who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll come back to reclaim it.)

This is only one of many, many sad farewells and promises to “keep in touch” for me lately. I’m usually pretty terrible about the “promising to keep in touch” part, but this time I plan to follow through..

I’ve made the leap to my own URL and  a new blog called FormerlyGracie.com, so please readjust your readers.

It’s still in the development stage.  I’m working on the “Blogroll”  and tweaking the design. The “About Me” page needs a lot of help, but there are a few posts up and more to come.

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By the way, my first purchase upon arriving  in the USA…

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… an electric kettle just like the one I had in London. I sort of developed a tea  and scone addiction while living in the UK. (Surprise. Surprise.)

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Filed under Blogging, Life In The States, Packing Up and Moving

Prego’s Giving Away Booze!

Okay, so you get two posts today because…

A. I really don’t want to pack the rest of my closet and…

B. An extra special present arrived for me today that I just had to share with you.

A few months ago, I attended my very first London Bloggers Meet-up and made a total ass of myself some very lovely new friends.

If you may recall, it was hosted by Smirnoff and Splendid Communications, and held at the private company bar at Diageo Headquarters (maker of  some fine favorites such as Guinness, Tanqueray, and Captain Morgan… just to name a few).

Well, Splendid contacted me again and offered to send me an Authentic Cuervo Margarita kit. I was intrigued, so I provided  them with an address and a few hours later,  a courier arrived at my door to hand me this…

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Could it be?

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Why yes! It’s a portable party.

(By the way, on the bottom of the glass there’s a recipe for a drink called a “cherry bomb”, which has nothing to do with margaritas or even tequila. Strange.)

Since my baby bump and I clearly cannot give it a shot (ha ha ha!), this kit can be yours on one condition… you talk about it on your blog. Deal?

All you have to do is comment here by Jan 17 and it can be all yours  through some random number magic.

Cheers!

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UPDATE!

The winner is….

winner-isAlex from The Roaming Southerner. Congrats, hon!!

Now where did I pack the booze? Thinking, thinking, thinking

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Filed under Blogging

So, Two Bloggers Walk Into a Bar…

untitled-1-copyAt last night’s London Bloggers Meetup, Melanie Seasons of Fake Plastic Noodles fame (and fellow American expat) gave a fabulous chat about US vs. UK blogging, how she got started in blogging, and other useful topics.

(You can read her takeaway points here.)

I met Melanie about five minutes before her talk… where else? At the bar. She said she was nervous, so I offered to heckle her to ease some of the tension. (Aren’t I considerate?)

I don’t even remember how it began– some mention of “mommy bloggers” to which I feigned offense, I think.

Oh no, the Americans are heckling one another. What are all the polite British to do?

Why join in, of course!

It was all in good fun, but it wasn’t as if Melanie needed any “help” from us. In fact, she did great!

The evening was tons of fun and… yes, there were far more than just two bloggers there, as the title may misleads you to belief. We weren’t even the only American expats.

I made some new friends, put faces to blogs that I’ve adored from afar, and even ran into a few familiar faces, which is always reassuring when you’re the “new mom in town”. My blogroll (and Google Reader) should be expanding quite soon.

I learned the secret to Cockney Rhyming Slang. I still can’t DO it, but I can at least recognize it now.

I was asked by Sarah, founder of one of my favorite London resources Mini-et-Moi, to help organize a get together for London Mommy Bloggers.

Oh and I finally got a Twitter account. (I know… Blimey! ‘ello, where ‘ave yew been, Love. Nuff said, yeah?)

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Filed under Blogging

Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again

Have you missed me?

I’m sorry to be MIA, but my laptop… the bright pink and brand spankin’ new one I brought shortly before moving to the UK… has crashed for the SECOND time in a little over a week. Grrr….

The first crash was due to some “mandatory” Windows Vista update. (Don’t even get Mike started…)

The restore disks arrived from my parents on Monday, and Mike was in the process of re-loading all of my programs and files when…

Screeeeeech!

It crashed yet again.

Mike is working on a fix while I totally bogart his computer. I hope to be up and running again soon…

… even if it means converting to the Cult of Linux.

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Blogging Under The Influence

Last night, I ran a brush through my hair, put on eyeliner and a shirt WITHOUT peanut butter stains, and headed into the city to attend my very first London Bloggers Meetup…

I was nervous about going, especially as I looked over the profiles of the other attendees…

Strategic Online… Director of Internet… PR Guru… Techie Wonder… Boring American Housewife Complaining about Londoners… Huh?!

Although my background is in online advertising and I have an MBA in Marketing, let’s face it… that all feels like a lifetime ago (even though it really wasn’t) and I totally didn’t bring my “A game” to London.

When I worked as an agency, I used to attend “networking events” all the time. I’d toss back a few cocktails, make some small talk, exchange contact info… Not a bad way to earn a paycheck and win the client.

I’m friendly, talkative, and fun. You’d think I’d be good that that sort of stuff, but really… I’m not. I would sometimes drink a little too much, maybe forget to bring my business cards, and inevitably say the wrong thing… only to sober up the next morning afternoon day and kick myself.

So walking into this event…for the first time… alone… as a foreigner in a new country… Yeah, nervous can’t begin to describe. Turns out, I had no reason to fret.

IT WAS FABULOUS… and there were so many interesting new people to meet.

I should first mention that the event was sponsored by Smirnoff and Splendid Communications, and held at the private company bar at Diageo Headquarters (maker of  some fine favorites such as Guinness, Tanqueray, and Captain Morgan… just to name a few).

…and as if that wasn’t FUN enough, they had mixologists (bartenders) create a signature cocktail for each guest based on their blog.

Curious what concoction they came up with for the “American Mom in London”?

Why, red, white, and blue with a touch of sweetness, of course. It was a mix of apples with a bit of tea (from my URL), vodka, blueberries, and maple syrup.

And why maple syrup, you ask?

Because… and I quote, “It’s what you Americans put on your pancakes, right Love?”

(It always goes back to the pancakes, man…)

Also, it turns out I brought my “A game” to London after all. As I was heading out, I said good-bye to a guy with whom I had chatted when I first arrived. He was, at that point in the evening, holding TWO drinks.

I made a comment about him having a drink in each hand, using an old college expression from the States.

He gave me such a (mock) scandalized look and told me to “never, ever say that again” as the other people who had overheard me fought to suppress giggles. He explained that what I just said was “umm… a bit of a dodgy term here”.

We had a laugh about it though, but on the bright side, I guess some things never change. Only now, it makes for great blog fodder.

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Filed under Blogging, Foodie, Life In The States, Misconceptions and Mishaps, Undiplomatic Behavior