Autumn 2014

So it's definitely kids birthday party season and our girls are literally inundated with party invites, this is wonderful to feel like our children are welcomed and accepted by the local community. A new venue for us was a party at the Playland Skate Center a roller skating rink which truly felt like a blast from the past but great fun nevertheless.

I have decided after a month of the children being at school I am happy for them to go into school on the bus, thankfully the bus route, timings and driver are all the same as before the summer and the bus driver is a lovely lady who is very friendly to me but also tells me to 'hurry up' when I'm taking too much time giving the girls kisses goodbye!

After a recent discussion with a new American friend of mine I did some research and without a doubt I am now completely switching to organic foods here (except take-aways of course no ones perfect after all!). 
Shockingly America is still using a high quantity of ingredients in some foods which are BANNED in Europe and legally does NOT have to label whether their food products contain GM ingredients or not, an interesting read below...

Tonight we have our fourth set of visitors arriving from England this is always an exciting time for all concerned, they are looking to relax and enjoy themselves :)


New Term...New Season...

Our third set of visitors have flown home now, there will always be a pull on the heart strings as we watch them walk out of sight through customs however we hope they have an armful of stories and memories to take away with them and that they enjoy telling their tales to friends, colleagues and family over and over.

We are now three weeks into the new school term and all was going well until I realised I was the only parent left hanging around after assembly to give 'one last cuddle' unfortunately this then interrupts the walk to the classroom and so on so I decide to say goodbye at the door and leave of course this was never going to go down well and a scene is created with my kindergartener crying, me upset and all in front of the whole school not ideal really...

So Daddy comes to save the day, his swift firm approach of walk, cuddle and go proved completely effective and so far it is working for me too I'll keep you posted!

All in all we are now in a good routine of school, play dates, parties and after school activities and the outside temperature has dropped slightly from around 96-102f to the mid 80's around 28c, still very appealing weather we all absolutely love it 😎

With our very lovely and fun realtor we have started looking at other houses within the school boundary and 
we always enjoy viewing the different styles of houses and neighbourhoods. The rental lease is up soon and we have decided the house we are currently in is way too big for a family of four and the maintenance and upkeep is quite frankly a pain.

We have some more visitors arriving very soon, I begin my volunteering at the school next week and hubby and I are looking forward to going to our first ever music festival next month ACL Festival.


Almost Six Months In....

After returning to the UK for two weeks many people asked me how did I feel to be back in America? Well I am pleased to report I feel glad to be back in Austin for numerous reasons, we missed my husband, the weather, the lifestyle and we feel we have built some great foundations for us to live here very happily.

Our third set of visitors have arrived and its always such a buzz to see family after months of Skype calls. Even though we have our favourite haunts now we did some research and off we went one night to the Broken Spoke its self proclaimed the "last of the true Texas dance halls". We probably wouldn't return for the food alone however it opened in 1964 and claims to not have changed its interior ever since so well worth a visit to see the interior alone plus all the photos on the wall of its famous visitors through the years...

My first birthday in America is here and I enjoyed a day being spoilt, by evening the babysitter arrives and we head off downtown to our first stop La Condesa a modern Mexican restaurant which provided a fantastic menu mix of meats, rice, veg, salads, salsa and lots more, we finished off the night dancing to a mix of old and new tunes at the Hanger Bar.

After an interesting, fun and crazy 12 week summer holiday the girls are finally due to start back at school what a lovely shock to the system those 6am starts are for all concerned 😳😴 I'm driving the girls in for now I just can't quite build up the courage to let my new 5 year old kindergartener get on the school buses just yet...

We have also enjoyed our youngest daughters 5th birthday during the first week of school, it was an interesting morning opening presents, cards, breakfast, getting dressed, sun cream, packed lunches and all out the door for 7.30am. We did it though just, and there I was in assembly with my camera to capture my daughter stand up in front of over 700 pupils when her name was read out by the Principle to say Happy Birthday to her.

As her birthday was midweek I booked her party for the weekend and I was able to invite a mix of pre-school buddies and new school  class mates along to the Build A Bear Workshop at our local mall along with an extremely large cookie cake from the Great American Cookie Company

Our visitors had taken a week off from us and did a road trip to New Orleans and Orange Beach, they are now back and as this Monday was Labor day in America (basically a bank holiday to us Brits) we went for a drive to Krause Springs this is a camping and swimming site founded in 1955 in a place called Spicewood. It had slightly treacherous terrain as several natural springs feed the pools making the rocks mossy but deliciously cool water to swim in even though it was a very murky colour!

Austin is known as the 'Music Capital of the World' so on one midweek evening we found the Cedar Street Courtyard in downtown Austin for 15 years it has been pairing two of Austin's favourite indulgences nightly live music and sumptuous cocktails. We loved the humorous band's eclectic dress sense and outstanding, addictive live music mix...definitely a place to visit again.