Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Five – Items on my Christmas Wishlist

Seeing as how I'm in a massive downsizing campaign recently I find it very very hard to buy anything at all. I just find "stuff" a bit worthless. My husband knows this very well as he saw me deliberate over a £6 scarf for ten minutes before I walked away!

However, there are a few things I really do want (not need) and I hope to get for Christmas!

Pocket Watch

Finkgifts on etsy has my favourite ones. I'd prefer a silver pocket watch that has both a necklace chain and a proper watch chain. I've wanted one for years but have never had the spare cash to buy one.

Luma Loop

The Luma Loop would help in that I hate (absolutely hate!) the Nikon neck strap that came with my DSLR. I really want a strap that goes across the body and from my research the Luma Loop is the best.

Nikon 55-200MM F4.5-5.6 AF-S VR DX Lens

I really want a telescopic for a variety of reasons and this lens seems like the best buy. If I haven't bought it by Christmas this will be my present from the parental figures (thanks Mom and Dad!).


I would kill (okay, not literally) for a good set of knives! I hate the ones I have but every time I walk into somewhere that sells knives I get confused and frustrated and just walk out. So I'd love someone to just give me a good set without me having to do the decision making.

B12 Jabs

Okay, so this one is a bit far-fetched. I have a b12 deficiency and I get jabs in my arm every 3 months. I really think (as does much of the family) I'd do better with monthly jabs. However, convincing my GP of this is difficult. So, if somehow for Christmas he was convinced that yes I do need them monthly.. well.. it'd be the best Christmas present I ever had. Ever. In my whole life. Just sayin'

Well, that's my list of five Christmas wishes!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Minimalism isn't something I talk about or write about often. In fact I can can on the number of times on one hand when I've mentioned it to anyone other than the husband.

My path towards being minimalistic has been slow and trying. It started when I was sixteen or seventeen - I realised my parents were hoarders and, to be frank, not that cleanly. I knew that I wanted a change and since I couldn't change them (which took me years to realise) I decided to change myself.

My friends always refer to me as the "clean" one the "organised" one the "put-together" one. But this is an entirely new thing in the past six years. It started slowly - getting rid of childhood things, unwanted gifts, etc. In the beginning I bought entirely too many boxes to organize my "stuff" before I realised that I needed to get rid of stuff before I could have any hope of organising.

Now, at twenty-two, I finally feel like I can breathe. I've gotten rid of hundreds of things in the past year and I still have more to go. My goal is to eventually own less than 100 things (not counting books) but I still have ages to go. The first thing I did was write down everything I own (not owned between the husband and I, but mine alone to do with what I please). The list is over 300 lines long in my text editor and that's grouping loads of stuff together!

Minimalism is about simplicity. Simplicity in what you own and how you spend your time. I no longer feel the need to be Superwoman. In fact, I quite enjoy being lazy on occasion. My time is finally, after twenty-two years, my own.

And it's so freeing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How a cat wormed his way into my heart..

It all started innocently enough. We were going to take our cat Marissa to the vet to be fixed as we'd attempted a handful of times before. And, again, she got out and got pregnant again. My mother told me in no uncertain terms I was not to get attached to the kittens as she'd find homes for them.

Then he was born. He was a small grey rat of a cat and I loved him. He would cuddle me and lick my finger from the time he was barely a couple of months old. He grew up and got cuter as the days went on. Eventually he became "mine" even though my mother kept telling me he was not going to stay.

Before I went away to uni I got him fixed and left my mom with the stern warning that if he disappeared I'd never forgive her. A few days after his first birthday I left.

My mom called me soon after and told me that he slept outside my door in my laundry basket every day and clawed at the door waiting for me to come out. This continued for the next two years that I was gone.

When I started dating my now-husband I told him in no uncertain terms that the cat and I were a pair and that if he didn't like cats he should let me know now. Fortunately he was so enamoured with me he failed to mention the extent of his cat allergy (oops!)

When the time came that my move to the UK was looking more certain I began the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). This would allow me to bring my kitty to the UK without quarantine. (I would not have put him through that.)

Over $1700 later and my kitty arrived with me the same day I arrived. And his little face when I got him back from quarantine after they checked his paperwork made all the heartache and pain and money worth it.

My husband says that when he goes away for a few days with my sister-in-law I'm more grumpy. And I can understand that. I never once thought I'd be one of "those" people who honestly and truly loves their cat. But I do. He is my kitty and I love him. He eats dinner with me every night. He taps my hand with his paw when he wants some of my food. He scratches at the door when he wants to be with me. He sleeps under the blanket - like a human! - when it's too bright out. He meows constantly.

And I'm okay with the fact I sound like a right proud mother when I talk about him. Because, through the past four years, he's been my baby.

Happy fourth birthday, Tegan. I know this post is a bit early but I plan on spending that day with you cuddling and letting you know how glad I am that you've been with me these past four years. And hopefully many, many more.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Things I Didn't Expect When I Got Married #2

Case File #2

I didn't expect to become a car snob.

Yes, a car snob. There I said it. I'm a car snob. Don't get me wrong. I don't think I'm too good to drive any car. For goodness' sake I drove a '95 GeoTracker that was held together with rust, duct tape, and hope for many years. But I only find expensive cars classy or worthwhile since I married a 'car guy'. BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Jaguar.. those are the cars of class. Not to say all of the previous companies always make classy cars - I mean look at the 1-series BMW. That hatchback thing is a monstrosity. But, in general, I like nearly every car those 4 companies make. I really want an E-class Merc. It'd be absolutely amazing to drive around.

With all that said.. please don't make fun of me if my first car in the UK is a Fiat, okay? I have ambition. And my ambition is to own a Merc. Even if I have to live in a 1 bedroom studio apartment with neighbours who have yelling matches.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things I Didn't Expect When I Got Married

Case file #1:

Cheese. I never expected to like cheese. In the US I'd eat cheese if it was melted. Pizza? Okay. Nachos? Okay. But just eating a slice of cheese? Disgusting.

But the husband loves cheese. We often have a couple of types of cheese in the fridge. Whenever I'm shredding or slicing cheese he nabs some. He even shreds it for me if I ask nicely. Over time I've started taking a slice or piece here or there never really thinking about it. When my mother-in-law offers me random cheese she's bought I eat some but again didn't think about it.

Until last Friday.. when I put some cheese in our cart at Morrisons. "You like that?" "Yeah, why not?"

That's when I realized. I like cheese. Of all the things I expected to learn to like when I moved cheese is not one of them.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Becoming a Girly Girl

At some point, since moving to the UK, I have become a girl. And not just any girl, no. A girly girl. I go into shops, I buy clothes, I care about fashion. What happened to me? My whole time through high school I wore jeans, tennis shoes, and oversized tshirts. I had exactly one ring and one watch and that was perfectly okay. I was fine with that.

Now I wear skirts and blouses and cardigans. Even at work, where the uniform is all black, I am still slightly (only slightly) stylish. At home I wear skirts and dresses and leggings and other such things. I haven't worn a tshirt in months and I never wear jeans anymore despite the effort I went to to make sure I had six pairs of jeans I loved before I moved!

I spend hours on etsy trying to find things I love to buy. Currently I really want this necklace, this bag, and one of these watches. The problem, though, is I've become an impulse buyer. I buy things I like that are right infront of me and not things that I have to go through a process and enter my debit card number, etc. This is the exact opposite of how I was a few years ago!

This fashion thing has gotten so bad I have had to limit my purchases of any clothes or accessories to ten items this month. Ten! That's such a huge amount when I used to go months and months without buying a single thing.

I need to get control of this problem. Because it is a problem. I'm just not sure how to start.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How life really is in the UK..

When I moved to the UK last September (nearly 8 months ago!) I expected that the transition would be easy. I'm not easily homesick and I'd finally be rid of the 8 hour flights and 24 hours of travelling that happened each time I visited.

Funny enough I was proved completely wrong. Life in the UK is absolutely nothing like I expected. From the small things (baking soda vs. bicarbonate of soda) to the large things (taking the piss, sarcasm, etc) life has not been what I expected. One would think I'd realize that - despite sharing a language the US and the UK are fundamentally different on so many levels.

Also, since moving, I also have this weird Scottish pride thing going on. When people state things that are true about England and try to pass it off as true about the whole UK I come to Scotland's defense. When there are Scotland vs. England matches I always root for Scotland even though I could care less about sports. Heck, when I went to Stirling this weekend I bought a postcard with part of the Declaration of Arbroath on it (For, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.) I have no idea where this Scottish pride is coming from. The husband isn't very Scottish in the way he acts, speaks, or thinks.

No matter what I think I will always look back on this first year happily. Despite Scotland (and Fife) being completely different than what I expected I do love it here. I love the people, the weather, the North Sea, the food (okay, the Turkish takeaways), and the atmosphere. I never realized you could fall in love with a place but you most certainly can.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: Anstruther Fish Bar

Anstruther Fish Bar has been voted best in Scotland and best in the UK several times over. Prince William, his step-mother the Duchess of Rothesay, and father Prince Charles have all eaten at Anstruther Fish Bar over the years.

My first impression was that the line was out the door! It took us nearly thirty minutes to get our food (and that was for takeaway!) but it was well worth the wait. Across the street there were benches to eat on and an incredible view of the harbour. The fish and chips were divine and I'm not a fan of fish. And, if you want quicker service, you can always sit in the restaurant part of the fish bar.

Anstruther itself was a quaint small town that just melts your heart. From the winding narrow streets to the incredible view of the North Sea it is well worth a visit. And if you go be sure to check out Anstruther Fish Bar because there is a reason it was voted best in Scotland so many times.

Dear You #1

Dear Lady who drives a white Fiat Panda and left her poor dog in the car at Morrisons for over an hour -

I hope your dog bites you and runs away once you get home. The fact s/he barked at you when you returned amuses me. I'm really glad that other lady yelled at you for five minutes because you deserve it. How dare you lock a dog in a car with no window down? Would you like that? No? Exactly.

No love -

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Life in Fife

I've been meaning to write a blog for years and years. I've had dozens of blogs over the years but I never do anything with them. That is going to stop, today.

My name is B and I recently (in September of 2009) moved from Illinois to Scotland to be with my Scottish husband. We've been together for over 3 years and got married last August after I graduated Uni with a degree in Social Work. I currently work in an ice cream shop as I wait for enough time to pass so that I can pay home fees to do a Masters in Social Work.

I love Scotland. I really do. Although I still struggle with people taking the piss. I think I'll always struggle with that though.

I've also started making some friends, finally! I have a Thursday night knitting group and a few other friends I see (although most of my friends are immigrants, too, funny huh?). I also am becoming very close to the husband's family. On his Mum's side he has 3 great uncles, 3 great aunts (by marriage), a great-grandmother, a grandmother, a grandfather, and dozens of cousins. I really enjoy learning how to cook Iranian food and listening to stories about driving from the UK to Iran with a Persian rug in the back seat! It's hilarious.

Okay, I think that's an okay intro post for now. We'll see how long I keep this up!