Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The last few days.....

I have had quite an eventful last few days...hence not blogging as much as normal!

It started on Friday, I had a 3rd interview for a position I applied to, the interview was with the CEO and HR Director so I was very nervous. I needn't have been, I found out Friday night that I got the job!!!

WOO HOO...I am no longer unemployed.

Saturday night, I went to see John Mayer, it was amazing. I would go as far as saying it was the best concert I have ever been to. It was at an outdoor arena, the sound was great and he sang my favourite song 'Free Fallin', which is a cover from Tom Petty.

Everyone seems to hate John Mayer over here (or at least my neighbours do), but I love his music and it was packed so I'm not the only one. His new album 'Born & Raised' is really good, it has a country feel to it.

Here are some pics from the event:

I started work on Monday!....yes Monday just gone so I had no time to take in the shock of no longer being unemployed. I made my business cards straightaway.
My desk at work....I get a nice window seat for now, opposite the boss who is such a lovely guy!

I will do my best to keep up with blogging, it will have to be an evening thing now when I'm not too tired from work so maybe not every day....I will aim for 3 times a week!

I'm off now to have a large glass of wine

Friday, 26 July 2013

Best of British - Day Ten

Our last day in the UK before travelling back to California so you may be glad to hear that this is more or less the last of my Best of British posts. I promise to be more creative in August!

Me and Rich had Day 10 to ourselves. After dropping Caitlin off at nursery we decided to go to a greasy spoon for a big fry up and plan our day.

My Fry-up, minus the mushrooms and tomatoes!
With us only being 30 minutes from Cambridge and it being a beautiful, hot sunny day, we decided to go off an do some exploring in one of the UK's most famous university cities.

We had a little wander around Cambridge, checking out all the beautiful architecture and cute streets. There were people on bikes and students everywhere!

Red telephone boxes!

I love this shop sign
We bought tickets to go punting from the Information Tourist Centre and made our way to the river Cam. We stopped for a quick drink by the river beforehand.

Check out all the bikes...

So off we went punting....the water wasn't very clear but the ducks seemed to like it. The trip lasts for about 1 hour which isn't bad for £14 each. It was very relaxing, lots of beautiful architecture to see and bridges....I have a thing about bridges.

Me and Rich under a bridge

After a relaxing time punting, we headed home so we would be back in time to pick Caitlin up from nursery. Then it was time for our last sleep before leaving the UK :(

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Best of British - Day Nine

I had to get up early for my spa day on Day Nine and Rich went off to play golf with my brother-in-law. My sister had booked me and my mum in for a spa day at Ragdale Hall which is in Leicestershire, right in the middle of the countryside. I've not been there for years so it was a proper treat and nice to spend time just me and my mum.


We both had a facial booked in and my mum treated me to having a manicure as well but I forgot to get changed first and then had to wait for my nails to dry before I could go home.

My drive home was amusing, I was following the sat nav (with Homer Simpsons voice) and it took me down a farm lane which led to the A1 (a very busy road!), where I then had to turn right over 4 lanes with lorries coming at me, I never thought I would make it but I did.

I hate Sat Nav's!! give me a map anyday.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Best of British - Day Eight


Sunday Morning, we were booked in to go bowling at a leisure centre in St Ives, it was my nieces first time. We put on our fetching shoes and grabbed some bowling balls. It was a hot and sunny day so we had the bowling alley to ourselves.

Caitlin beat me!

After bowling, we went to Brampton Mill, a lovely pub on the river for sunday lunch. I was starving!

Yummy....roast dinner my favourite
I miss roast dinners a lot. I have tried to make one in California but not quite perfected it yet. I bought some gravy back with me in the suitcase so I might try again this space.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Best of British - Day Seven

Day Seven was Party Day!

Me and Rich had to go into Huntingdon, Cambs early and pick up the sandwiches, birthday cake, cupcakes and balloons....we were on a mission.

Balloons and Hello Kitty wrapping paper

Caitlin had so many presents, she loved her piano from nana and gramps.

The main party was held at a local leisure centre with a bouncy castle and slides. It was meant to be just for the little kids but me and Rich couldn't resist!

Afterwards, there was a small party for the kids with jam sandwiches and party bags.

Overall, a pretty tiring day.....but I'm glad I was there.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Best of British - Day Six

Half way through my UK trip now (and almost at the end of July). I was so excited because this was the day that I got to see my niece for the first time in six months, it was her 3rd birthday.

Before heading to Cambridgeshire though, we stopped at our old 'fish n chip' shop on the way for lunch and ate our food in Woodthorpe Park. This is the best chip shop ever! on a Friday night, there are always queues around the corner.

After lunch, we headed towards my sisters and had a pit stop on the way at Rutland Water. The sun was shining so it was quite busy. It's a beautiful place, I would have liked to have longer here but I was keen to get to my sisters and see my niece.

Rutland Water

My niece got a trampoline for her birthday, but she had to wait for daddy and uncle Rich to build it first. She was very impatient (just like aunty Row!) but we got there in the end.

Caitlin on her trampoline
We had take away again that night, more fish n chips! and then I read Caitlin a story before she went to bed, her favourite is Go Dog Go which is an old book of mine that I passed on. We had a lot of  "Do you like my hat" before she would go off to sleep.....she is such a cutie.

Do you still have any of your old books?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Best of British - Day Five

We had a lovely day with my mum on Day 5 of our UK trip. We went to the Welbeck Estate and Creswell Crags which are two touristy attractions near to my mums house.

My artwork today is inspired by all the overgrown wildflowers I saw on my visit to Creswell Crags.

I last went to Creswell Crags on a school trip, but I can't remember it. It is basically a limestone gorge with caves so we had a little walk around in the afternoon. Very nice.

In the morning, we went to Welbeck House Estate and visited the art gallery, farm shop and garden centre.

Welbeck Farm Shop - pretty Jam Jars
Yummy scone and jam (why have butter when you can have clotted cream?)
Visit to Creswell Crags

Me at Cresswell Crags in my new spotty top
Pretty Daisies
In the evening, we went for a meal at Markham Moor Hotel. It was my last night with my mum before we went to stay with my sister so it was kind of a farewell meal. The food was amazing and quite reasonable (£45 per couple - 3 courses each) I had a lamb shoulder followed by cheesecake and it was delicious! If you are ever in the area, you should go here, it's just off the A1.

Evening meal at Markham Moor Hotel
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Best of British - Day 4

Day 4 saw us travelling into Nottingham, my home town. We went to see my old neighbours Sue & Dave who live opposite our house that we are renting out. It was hard to see the house and not be able to go in but everything looked ok. Sue had made us some lovely Victoria Sponge cake, my favourite! It was so was great catching up with them just a shame we didn't have longer.

After our visit to Sue & Dave's we made our way to the hairdressers, we both had an appointment. My hair was in desperate need of a cut and colour. I am finding it very expensive in California at the hairdressers ($150 plus tip as opposed to £50).

Then off we went to see some friends (I had the whole day planned out!)

Meeting baby Jack

Meal at Zizzi's with friends (Catherine, me and Leanne)

More catching up with Jermaine, Lisa and Andrew

I had Pizza!

After all that catching up, we didn't get back to my mums house until nearly midnight.

It was lovely seeing everyone and great catching up on gossip! but I don't feel like I had enough time, it was all so rushed. I'm not sure how to make sure next time I visit that it doesn't feel like this??

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Best of British - Day Three

I wanted a day shopping so that I could get all those little bits that I can't get (or find) in the USA. Also, I have trouble with clothes in California so I wanted to get some outfits to take home with me. My problem with shopping in California is that there are too many shops (I am not a good shopper) and I find the sizing a little awkward (I have a large chest!). In the UK, I know which shops have clothes that fit me and what size I am.

So off we went on Day 3 (after an obligatory bacon sandwich of course) to Meadowhall, a large UK shopping mall on the outskirts of Sheffield, about 30 minutes drive from my mums house.

We got a little lost on the way and I kept stalling the car (forgetting about gear changes!) but we made it. We had already planned to meet my step brother for lunch so we planned which shops to go to and set off. Rich had to get a coffee first before he would do anything...

Costa Coffee with a swirly heart

Spotty top from Next

Decleor from House of Fraser with lots of freebies!
Beautiful hummingbird dress from Fat Face

Another beautiful dress from Debenhams (Mantaray)

Lunch with my step brother Brendan and his stunning girlfriend Mel (how gorgeous is she!)

Funky menu at Carluccios - I'm always on the lookout for nice design

Cute Nails Inc set from Boots (bargain price of £22), all lovely colours too....well mostly, I'm not sure about orange?

We also bought a suitcase to replace one we'd bought with us that got damaged on the plane. All in all, a pretty successful shopping trip!

In the evening, we had a Chinese takeaway at my mums, which I'm not keen on except for crispy duck...yummy! (you don't get duck at Chinese restaurants in California for some reason?).

Do you like Chinese food?