Monday, 31 August 2009

Rain, rain, go away...

please DON'T COME ANOTHER DAY!!
You may not be able to tell from this photo, but the rain is coming down in buckets and is being accompanied by thunder and lightning (and not of the ice-cream variety)

Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of rain. It has soothed me to sleep by falling softly on my roof, made me feel cozy when I was tucked up warm with a blanket and a cup of tea and even cooled me down on hot day. However I grew up in place where it rained all the time, I went to university in a place where it rained all the time and now I live in a place where it feels like it rains even more than the last two combined. At least I got nice summers in Portland and Vancouver. In Kendal you can count the sunny summer days we've had on one hand! I can quickly feel what little summer we have had coming to a close as there is a definite chill in the air. So while I have ranted about the rubbish summer, I am also looking forward to the fall and what it brings with it including the leaves changing colour, Halloween, sweaters, hearty stews and Thanksgiving, which I will most definitely be celebrating!

We spent this last bank holiday of the summer with a nice drive to Hawes and a visit to the Wensleydale Creamery, home of Wallace and Gromit's favorite cheese :)
Image borrowed from Wensleydale Dairy.
We picked up some smoked blue wensleydale for Neil and some cheddar and caramelised onion for me! I would have taken some pictures myself, but stupidly forgot to bring the camera, doh!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

New Hair!

So yesterday morning, my hair looked more or less like this...

but by yesterday evening, my hair looked like this...

What do you think? I had it coloured a rich chocolate brown and cut about six inches off. She layered the front and gave me light layering around the back. Best all? It cost only £30/$48 for the cut and colour combined!

In the evening we had quite a bit of excitement though! A baby bat flew in through the window in our spare room and came shooting through our front room around 11:30. Boy are those little guys fast! It circled the room over and over and warp speed, occasionally dive bombing us as I screamed in shock. I love animals, bats included, but if one came straight for you faster than you can imagine, you'd scream too! haha
Anyway, it took about an hour to get it out of the house because the poor little thing tired itself out and rested behind our curtains for a while and we couldn't find it. After doing a little research I learned that it was most likely a confused baby bat still learning to fly and had exhausted itself tearing around our front room. Anyway, Neil got it out eventually and we finally got to bed. Let hope for a little less excitement tonight! We're headed to Bootleggers to see a Beatles tribute band!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Care Package Day!!!

Check out that bad boy!

I am a very lucky girl and I know it! I have wonderful parents who I asked to send me a few goodies I missed from America and look what arrived this morning! I had been craving ranch dressing and got a bunch of packets of the dry mix (since bottles would have been too heavy) as well as butter flavor popcorn (none of that sweet/kettlecorn biznass for this girly). The rest of the package includes dried mangos and berries, dried cherries, osembei (rice crackers), furikake (egg/nori bits you sprinkle on rice), nori strips, packets of instant miso soup, Pirate's Booty (cheesey puffs from Trader Joes), tortilla chips, jalapeno and regular cheese dips, ChocoPie, beef jerky, wasabei roasted peas and my favourite chili seasoning (Carroll Shelby's, seriously this stuff makes the BEST chili).
I've already had some dried cherries and osembei for breakfast haha. Can't wait to make Neil some chili so he can experience the deliciousness. I'm going to do my best to pace myself with the rest of the goodies, but it will be hard!
In a bit of other good news, I also got an email from my parents saying that a check had come from the US government for me so I'm also getting a bit of moolah, cha-ching! Today is a wonderful day :)

Friday, 21 August 2009

Beauty Product Cravings

Lately I have been having some serious beauty product cravings. My main enemies are NARS and MAC with their free shipping over £50 offer and gorgeous shimmery eyeshadows, candy coloured lipglosses and creamy lipsticks. You are evil temptresses! Luckily the nearest place to buy either NARS or MAC is Manchester, although I have been wanting to head down there to check out Chinatown and wouldn't mind popping into the Trafford Centre for a wee nosy round :) Partly because they also have a LUSH and I have been wanting this massage bar...

HeavanilliMassageBar

Imaged borrowed from Lush
It is vanilla, jasmine and tonka scented and sounds amaaaaazing! I would buy it online but because LUSH products are all about their scent, I always hesitate to buy without having smelled first.
Let me also say that LUSH massage bars are the bees knees! They last forever and (most) smell fantastic. Hubby loves having his head rubbed and we got hooked on these when they used to sell one called Sleepy Head which was scented with lavender and other soothing fragrances to ease one into dreamland. Sadly they discontinued it, but we've kept trying massage bars to find our new favourite and we've found quite a few!

However the only product we currently need is St Ives apricot scrub which shhh my hubby is now addicted to. He wanted something to exfoliate his face and so I brought this home and it worked so amazingly on his skin that he's hooked. This means I get to head to Boots later :) better leave my credit card at home!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Dent

Last weekend hubby and I went to the Christening of a friend's daughter on Sunday followed by an excruciating workout on Monday morning. Seriously, my legs still ache! We later negated any good we might have done by chowing down on a delicious and well worth it, fish and chips lunch.
On our way home, we decided to go on an adventure to Dent and like usual, happened to choose the most difficult route there including many gates I had to jump out to open and close. I found this one particularly amusing :)

Who are you calling a cow?! Hehe

A few more images of the beautiful drive...
No plans yet for this weekend since they are redoing the flagstones to our carpark entry and we're not supposed to use it until Sunday night. Argh.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Sushi

I have been having serious sushi cravings lately. Being a quarter Japanese I've been raised on the stuff and got thoroughly spoiled living in Vancouver which, outside of Japan, has to be the sushi capital of the world. Honestly, they sell it on every corner and aside from the odd bad place, it is delicious. Unfortunately for me, our small town doesn't really do sushi. The only place I've been able to find any is Marks & Spencers and their selection is rather minimal. For lunch today I had their vegetarian selection (£2.50)It was better than nothing and did somewhat satisfy my craving, but it just wasn't the same. I've had YO! Sushi suggested to me but the closest ones are Manchester and Liverpool and I can't really justify making hubby drive two hours for me to get my fix.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Settling In

In the interest of full disclosure, we did not make it to the gym yesterday. Don't think we've fallen off the wagon though, we have our assessment today so we'll definitely be there tonight. In all fairness there was an England match on last night and since hubby loves his sports, but doesn't get to watch them that often, we decided to take the night off knowing that we would definitely be going today because of our assessment appointments. Enough about that though!

Today while I was bringing Neil his lunch at work, I was stopped not once, but twice for directions and I was able to give them successfully which was quite the novelty since I've only been living in this town (and England in general) for a few months. I'm finally starting to feel like I really live here and that I'm not just on an extended visit, which I did a lot of while Neil and I were dating across the Atlantic.

I am missing a few things from my original home though. Although I can honestly say that I love most food here, among the things I miss are...
  • ranch dressing
  • barbecue sauce
  • buttery movie theatre popcorn/microwave popcorn
  • black beans
  • mexican food
  • sushi
  • frozen yogurt
other things I miss about the states...
  • stores being open late
  • craft stores
  • ice-cream parlors
  • lower prices
  • target
but most of all, my family and friends!

If you live abroad, what do you miss from home? If you don't, what do you miss when you go away?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Fitness fanatic in the making?!

As I sit here sipping my first cup of tea, I can hardly believe that I’m looking forward to…wait for it…going to the gym tonight!

We went for the second time to use the gym facilities and I actually enjoyed it! I usually hate exercise! I have always wanted to get in better shape and while I have had some success on the weight loss side, the fitness element has always alluded me unfortunately. Now I’m not saying I’m a gym bunny in training or anything like that, but I do feel like I might stick with it a bit longer this time. I think having hubby there really helps as both of us are trying to shape up and having someone urging you to keep going when you normally would have called it a day makes a big difference.
I’m looking forward to getting my workout plan tomorrow and working toward more specific goals.
Before I go…
As you have surely noticed by now, the blog has been redesigned. I felt like it was time to shake things up a bit, perhaps my fitness inspiration is spilling over into other areas of my life! Anyway, I would love to get your feedback about the new blog, good or bad!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Under 16?

Hubby and I used our first free swim at the leisure centre yesterday, although I almost did not need to use one of my six freebies! The woman scanning the cards initially said that I didn't need to use the freebie because under-16s swim for free anytime. Neil immediately jumped on this and announced that I was most definitely over 16. The reason for this being that hubby is several years older than me and to make it worse, I look very young for my age. As a result, he often gets teased by his friends for robbing the cradle :P He wanted to make sure nobody thought he was a dirty old man!

It's occasions like this that I don't mind looking so young though! If I could have gotten away with swimming free all summer I would have taken it! Times I don't find it so favourable include shopping and other times when you have to be served. I often get ignored by shop assistants or get less attention because they think I'm a teenager who's just wasting their time. It can be frustrating but luckily with hubby by my side, I usually have less trouble.

Lastly, as previously mentioned, hubby and I have joined the gym! We are kicking off our healthy eating and fitness blitz this week. Tonight we are going to the gym to burn off some of those newlywed pounds and I'll let you know how we go!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Sorry that I haven't finished my wedding blogs yet, I have been a busy little bee! I am keeping up with my housewife duties, preparing for my distance education exams and enjoying life with my new husband :)

This past weekend we had two wonderful days out. On Sunday we had a picnic at Sizergh Castle.
Followed by a drink at the sports bar so Neil could catch a bit of the cricket and a delish curry at Mumbai.

Yesterday we enjoyed a beautiful day in the sunshine browsing shops in Leeds! We had a lovely drive through the Yorkshire countryside and then spent the afternoon in Leeds. We nipped in for a look at the Superdry shop, pick up some passionfruit chocolate (YUM!) and a caramel choc for Neil at Hotel Chocolat. Neil showed me all the posh shops and then we stopped for a tasty noodle lunch at Wagamama. On our way home we played a couple of games of bowling :) and then relaxed at home in the evening.

For the rest of the week I am shut up in the house studying and writing, wish me luck on Friday!