19 things to expect when you move to California 

1. Everyone back home (a.k.a England) thinks your life is now all beaches, sunbathing and eating kale.

2. You will loose the ability to walk anywhere. Driving is life.

3. Prepare to spend too many hours of your life stuck in traffic.

4. Get used to answering the question “where about’s are you from in England?” with something that has to be related to your home town’s distance from London or Manchester. Any other attempts to explain your origins will be met with blank stares.  Continue reading

How did we get here?

What feels like a lifetime ago, almost 4 years to the day, to be precise, me and D were about to share one of our best summers. Looking back, it was one of our hardest, and most challenging, but it still has to go down as one of our best. And there is a reason to me telling you about it: it’s the story behind how we got to where we are now. Those three short months of Summer 2013 play a huge part in how our lives have turned out. So, kick back, grab your favourite snack and enjoy this short segment of our life so far. Continue reading

Vegas baby!

Vegas had always been on our list to visit while living on this side of the world and we are so lucky that we made it happen in our first year. We had been talking about it, looking at hotels and flight prices for a few weeks when one evening, D suddenly snapped his laptop closed, exclaiming “I’ve done it! We’re going”. He had booked us three nights at The Venetian. I couldn’t wait! Three nights exploring the glitz and glamour of the lights of Vegas. Bring it on!

We arrived at The Venetian hotel on a Friday evening and quickly made our way to the check-in desk. I had read several things online about offering tips to the clerk and asking if there were any complimentary upgrades Continue reading

Living without home comforts

Living so far away from home, there are always going to be things that you miss about your home country. It’s just human nature to crave something that you’ve been used to for so long. So what do me and D miss? Apart from Cadbury’s chocolate and Kingsmill bread? There are so many things other than food that we reminisce about on the sofa on a Sunday night!

Of course, the list starts with family. We miss our family. Growing up and being so close to both of our own, it was difficult to leave everyone. But we made the decision to move here to better ourselves with the blessing of our parents and wider family. We get through missing these important people by staying in contact with them, phoning them whenever we want to (thank heavens for FaceTime!) and truthfully, having a good cry when it all gets too much. There’s nothing wrong with phoning your mum, sobbing incoherently until you’re finished and then moving onto talking about the weather and what colour they’ve just painted the spare room. It helps! And it’s needed. It makes everything better.
Sennowe Park Norfolk Wedding Photographer - Amy and Dominic

A huge part of our life leading up to our move to CA was London. We lived Continue reading

You can’t wear a woolly hat in the gym 

I know I am going to sound pretty shallow with my next statement but here goes: I don’t want to go out in public because my hair doesn’t look right. There, I said it. My hair is hot mess and it’s making me feel rubbish. I spent time yesterday washing, drying and straightening my hair to end up in a crumpled heap, sobbing into my pillow. An hour that started with a “it’s a new day” and a positive attitude Continue reading

Travel bucket list

We all have places we want to see. I have lost count of the times I have said to D “I would like to go to *insert random place name*”. The most recent one was Texas. I saw a TV advert for TravelTexas and it just looked like so much fun. But that’s the main reason why we say we would like to go to a place, right? We see something in the media, we read a book set in that place, or we know someone who has been there and they’ve told you all the interesting tales of adventures and exploits in a foreign land. And you want to do the same. So here’s my list of places I would like to visit. I won’t give it a “before I die” scenario; they’re just places that I think would be nice to see, with my own eyes and create some of my own tales to tell those who will listen.

#1 Australia

As much as the stories of snakes in toilets, and spiders falling from car sun visors scare the living daylights out of me, I would still give it a go. I would love to see Uluru (Ayers Rock), dive in the Great Barrier Reef with creatures who have too many teeth and explore the streets of Sydney to find those quirky cafes and bars that every city has to have. It’s a dream to see the southern hemisphere and experience the “backwards seasons” that just make my mind spin (I mean, 30ºC+ heat on Christmas Day?! *mind blown*). Sydney.jpg Continue reading

Coffee addiction

In 12 months America has hit me hard with it’s obsession: coffee. The stuff is everywhere and I am hooked. Yes, being a lady-of-leisure, kept-woman, Californian housewife, whatever you want to call me, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops with friends and my laptop or a good book. So I had to play the part accurately, and become addicted to the stuff as well, right? But we can’t always be bothered to get showered, dressed and look vaguely presentable to enjoy a coffee at Starbucks. Sometimes you want to just sit and enjoy the stuff in your PJ’s on the sofa, and in the comfort of your own home. This is where my shiny new french press comes in, shining brightly, waving a perfectly manicured hand in the direction of the kitchen!

But making a cup of coffee using a french press is a work of art, it’s not as simple as it sounds. So here is my coffee-making routine, with tips and tricks that I have learnt along the way.

Tools of the trade

To be able to brew a cup of coffee that has the taste that you love, you need to be able to create it easily. Yes, a teaspoon of Nescafé instant and hot water works well, but it can be better than this, trust me! Here are the tools that I use everyday: coffee-5

KitchenAid 4oz coffee grinder

Let’s start at the beginning: preparing the coffee beans. No, I don’t mean roasting Continue reading

Palo Alto in a day

The first time that I visited the West Coast I found a small haven that I instantly fell in love with. It was a town that just took my heart and it made me realise that I could picture myself living here one day. Fast forward 4 years to 2017 and I want to introduce you to Palo Alto.

Calling Palo Alto a “small town” isn’t really correct. It’s larger than a town, but not quite on the city-scale. It’s 30 minutes south of San Francisco and is the birth place of many tech companies, such as Hewlett Packard, SurveyMonkey, and Groupon. I guess I shouldn’t leave out that Palo Alto is also the home of Stanford University, the world’s 2nd best place to study. It’s a place that gets it’s name from the 1,077 year old sequoia tree that still grows there, and is the Spanish translation of the term “tall tree”.

But it’s not the tall trees or tech companies that has me loving Palo Alto. It’s the small-town feel and the ability to find something to eat from a different corner of the world every 20 feet, because let’s face it, a day out isn’t complete without the smells and feels of tons of different foods that you can’t eat because of your commitment to your current no-carbs, no-sugar, no-fun, healthy eating.

Despite that, I took some time out last week and ventured towards Palo Alto. It was rainy, cold and dreary which meant my first stop had to be coffee at my much loved Blue Bottle Coffee. It’s housed in an old cinema with so much character, a beautiful fountain and plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard, more suited to a summers day than the one I arrived on, but hey-ho, I wasn’t going to let a little rain put me off! I ordered my coffee* and took my seat outside, ready to enjoy some people-watching and Instagram-stalking.

*The cookie accidentally landed on my plate and it would have been rude to turn it away..

Continue reading