Royal Wedding 2018

Wow what a beautiful Royal Wedding πŸ’–

Some of you have probably seen already but yesterday I was interviewed by KVUE news to talk about being a Brit in America and my thoughts on the Royal wedding.

At 1pm I received an email, the crew arrived at my house at 2pm and we were wrapped up and I was at school for pick-up by 3pm, it was a whirlwind and I had no time to even think about being nervous...

Saturday morning arrives and we chose not to wake whilst it was still dark...so my Swedish friend and I kept away from the internet/social media as best we could and set up a table at hers ready to watch the wedding at her house with the children...

We bought strawberries and clotted cream, lemon slices, cups of tea and some cheeky glasses of Prosecco and enjoyed watching the build up and the ceremony from the comfort of her very lovely new house.

Hope you all enjoyed watching the wedding too!


Its Been A While!

Some regular readers may have noticed I haven't posted for a while, all will be revealed soon but in the meantime here is a splash of what we have been up to recently...

Back in February this year we enjoyed a few nights child-free in New York for my brothers 50th birthday, the day we arrived we went out for his birthday dinner where the service and food was outstanding.

The next day we boarded a ferry and headed to the Statue of Liberty and the Immigration Museum, my husband and I very much enjoyed the immigration museum as we were able to relate to the ambience due to our own experiences.

Also observing how contrasting it was for families and individuals decades ago to have accomplished the same thing as us was a real eye opener and a humbling experience.

At the top of the Rockefeller Observation Deck with my bro and sis
On our return I was fall steam ahead as part of a committee organising the schools very first outdoor movie night on the school grounds. The children voted on their school iPads between Wonder and The Emoji Movie, we were all secretly glad Wonder got the majority vote!

The weather played ball that day and with an amazing turnout with families, siblings and friends everyone had a fantastic Friday night...

Another new event I attended recently was The Victory Cup Derby Day which is a national polo tournament. I'd never been to a polo match so I was intrigued and decided to join in on this fun girls outing.

We all agreed dresses where appropriate and arrived about midday, the weather is hotting up here now but luckily we were able to watch the polo from under the gazebos.

One of our neighbours is in a band called The Plain White T's and they were playing in Austin for one night only before they started their tour so all us neighbours bought tickets and headed downtown for the Tuesday evening show. The band played some new music and older classics such as Hey There Delilah 🎢

This weekend we went back to the camp site we visited last year but this time we took the children and some friends. We had a blast and enjoyed another day of tubing down the Guadeloupe river, BBQ's and chilling...


Happy New Year 2018

Would you believe it...we actually had snow in Austin, twice! Firstly it fell early December then again on NYE which really was special to see. It still amazes me that an area which has such hot weather for months on end can also have ice and snow just months apart.

Also in early December we did our usual trip to get a real Christmas tree and after discussions with the knowledgable staff we decided on a tree from Europe of course!

The arrival of my parents in Austin was exciting, I was determined to really make the most of Christmas in Austin this year especially as we had been away for the past two years.

One of the first places we ventured to was Winter Wonderland at COTA, to be honest I'm not sure I would go just adults but the children loved it plus my parents were enthralled at the camel rides, the tunnel of lights and the sheer size of the Circuit of the Americas!

Next on our list was the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar an indoor event centre full of stalls selling mainly fine art and stocking fillers. To be fair it was not very Christmas inspired nevertheless the bazaar had live music and we were able to try some Korean BBQ with a wine plus pizza for the kids, done!

A real treat for us all was watching A Christmas Carol at the Zach Theatre downtown, all of us myself, husband, grandparents and children laughed, cried, sang and danced all the way through the show, picture the Dickens' classic infused with Motown and modern music.

A few days before Christmas we had another fun surprise on the doorstep that I'd not yet seen in England...again the children loved it!

Christmas day arrived and after a 5am wake up call from the children we were all up opening the stocking presents, it was a pleasant change to be in our own house this year so no packing, flights or hotel rooms for us this Christmas.

My husband always cooks Christmas dinner in our house and he did his usual fantastically tasteful fare which was devoured in its usual Christmas day way, although I think he was still a bit bitter that I won Monopoly by a landslide just a few days before! πŸ™ŒπŸ˜‚

After a fun and friendly NYE party at a dear friends house, we are now full steam ahead into January and with the kids off school until 9th January its still been a bit crazy around these parts nevertheless I have persuaded some more people to join me with Dry January so cheers to that!


Autumn in Austin

After missing a few years, this Autumn we bought tickets for the ACL Festival at Zilker Park in downtown Austin, we only went Friday night because Jay Z was headlining but to be honest that was more than enough.

This year it was so hot you literally had to find shade every few minutes and we were desperate for the sun to go down...sometimes I think I'm used to the Texas sun and other times like that day its like we've just arrived from England completely unacclimated. πŸ˜‚

Also we got to ACL later in the day than expected so we didn't get a chance to browse the food and fashion stands this time, but nevertheless the atmosphere was buzzing, we went with some fun friends and even the wine tasted ok!

Thank you Angela for the photo!
Next up was Halloween and this year we had a surprise on our doorstep something we hadn't experienced for a few years...we got boo'd! I'm not a huge fan of Halloween but this idea is so cute plus the children LOVE it! To quote one of my followers on Instagram when I posted this photo she wrote "I just thought this happened on TV" πŸ˜‚

Regular readers may remember the street we currently live on always hosts a Halloween party, its a child friendly mix of food, movies, music, competitions and this year a petting zoo. The one downfall on my part is I didn't anticipate how cold it would be this night, it doesn't look it in this picture but we were freezing! ⛄😁

This is NOT my house! πŸ˜³πŸ‘»
Due to a busy 2018 we are staying in Austin for Christmas this year and I have been engrossed in stocking up on some much missed and sought after English treats ready for the Christmas period via British Corner Shop. I ordered items such as Cadburys and Galaxy advent calendars, brandy christmas pudding, proper cranberry sauce (not cranberry jelly in a tin😷)...I can't list everything I bought as my children read my blog too πŸ˜‰

We have my parents flying over in the next few weeks and they will be with us for Christmas day, so I have also been researching local Christmas markets, shows, fairs and other fun stuff for us to engage in whilst in the spirit of Christmas.

Where will you be for Christmas Day this year?


End of Summer

After a long, hot, busy summer break visiting Disney World in Florida and a month in England we have been back in Austin about six weeks now.

The children returned to school at the end of August, we have celebrated two birthdays in the family mine and our youngest and we are generally just getting in the swing of Austin life again.

Out with friends on my birthday!
Along with the usual family and friend get togethers on our trips back home, this summer I decided to travel further afield and visit some lovely places I remember from my own childhood such as Ilfracombe and Clovelly in North Devon, England. 

For the first time I used Airbnb to book a self catering apartment in Ilfracombe and my mum, the children and myself headed down there in my little hire car. After forgetting how snug and tight the Devonshire roads are, with my blood pressure rising on numerous occasions we eventually got to Ilfracombe, the weather was amazing and I had my first fish and chips meal in years!

We then spent a fun three days taking in the sights, sounds and experiences of North Devon at its finest 😎

Recently I was introduced to a fun British girl in Austin, we have been out a few times together now and it always feels so homely just to hear her voice even though until recently we were strangers. Last week we all went out to a new bar in Austin called Holy Roller probably not my usual choice but it did serve some great drinks, Austin is slowly but surely coming round to some good rose wine! πŸ·πŸ˜€

My eldest daughter went to a friends birthday party last week at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to watch the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie on the big screen.

The special surprise at the end were the appearance of two actors from the original movie, Mike TeeVee (Paris Themmen) and Veruca Salt (Julie Dawn Cole) for a Q&A session with the audience about the movie plus the children all had a photo taken with the actors and given a signed poster. I was very jealous as this was my all time favourite movie when I was a kid!

Last night some friends and I went to the 'Girls and Giving, Gin and Jazz' night hosted by Partnerships for Children at the very lovely Hotel Van Zandt downtown, the night was to help raise money for a collection of programs that offer resources, support and comfort for foster children and families in the local community.

As you can imagine with a large hotel full of mums out on a school night and free alcohol we had a ton of fun and laughs!

Girls & Giving, Gin & Jazz Night Out!


Helping Houston

We have all seen the devastating scenes coming out of Houston this week, in Austin we are about a three hour drive from the flooding yet I have witnessed such an outpouring of local support it is totally heartwarming to watch and to be a part of.

Local people have been renting trucks off their own backs, whilst others have gone from store to store tracking down much needed supplies and driving the trucks back and forth directly to shelters in Houston.

Queues of people on the highways taking their boats to help evacuate people still trapped in their homes.

The animal shelters transporting to Austin the influx of pets rescued from the impacted areas.

And much much more, if you are not located in Texas and wish to help please do click on the links below. There are many ways to donate financially however I know these organisations would be donating directly to Houston.

American Red Cross
Salvation Army
Austin Pets Alive

If you are in Texas and with so many people spending more time outside to help with Hurricane Harvey, I have just received from a local Austin doctor an informative infographic that covers sunscreen usage as well as how to protect your skin from harmful rays. Stay Safe in the Heat

Thank you,
Expat Austin Mum πŸ’Ÿ


Summer Time!

With the in-laws safely back in Austin and looking after our pets, and after much excitement and planning we finally arrive for our highly anticipated holiday in Florida. 

We met our friends from England at the airport and after lots of hugs & kisses we were on the short drive to our first villa. Unpacked, fed & settled we opened our first of many bottles of wine, alas it was not a boozy late night as our itinerary meant we were off to our first park the next day...The Magic Kingdom.

Even though we had mapped our route and booked our fast passes ahead of time we were still overwhelmed at the size of the park and it took a few hours to get our heads around where to go, how the memory maker worked and the heat.

After years of never even attempting to ride a rollercoaster my husband decided he would break the habit of a lifetime and go on Space Mountain, then not only did he go on it and enjoy it he proceeded to go on every rollercoaster going throughout all four Disney parks!

After a well deserved day by the pool we were ready to visit Epcot I don't think any of us realised we wouldn't get back to the villa until 10pm that day, we just kept going on more and more rides.

Plus we saw Denise Van Outen filming a TV show and our friend got a selfie with her a "life long dream come true" he said! Next on the list was Disney's Hollywood Studios and finally Disney's Animal Kingdom, another couple of long hot but fun days.

Our friend with Denise Van Outen

We were all looking forward to our second week in Florida with a view for a more relaxed week on the beach so we drove west to Siesta Key. A beautiful place, with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes unfortunately after a few days it rained A LOT...nevertheless we kept going to the beach until the day it rained so hard it felt like hail. 😁☔

We are well into the swing of the school summer holidays, last week we went to a new place called Volente Beach its a small waterpark just off Lake Travis...perfect for my children!

Its countdown to our UK visit now, an American recently asked me if I was nervous about my trip home this year after the latest attacks our beautiful country has suffered and do you know what my answer was...absolutely not!