Autumn Is Here...or Fall!

Recently we went out with some of our Brit friends (also based in Austin) to a place downtown called Esthers Follies, its an entertainment show marketed as 'Texas' premier magic and comedy troupe'. A very funny and clever show with satire, magic and some great Trump/Hillary comparisons.

So we have bought our Halloween outfits and I attended a 'committee meeting' at a neighbours house about organising our Halloween street party so I think we are ready.  I'm also pleased to report the decorations around this area have been tamer so far and I am yet to see a clown so all good!

If you are looking for some fantastic and unique Halloween nail wraps, click on this link and be inspired. Jamberry ship to the UK and USA: Click Here To Buy Halloween Nail Wraps 

Last week we moved house again. Unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances we ended up moving a week earlier than planned but after the initial panic, things slowly slipped into place and with some help and luck we were able to orchestrate the whole move quicker than we thought.

We are on the same street, but have moved to the other side of the road so we now have lake access. A real treat for anyone living in Austin!

Last month our children auditioned for the Nutcracker and both of them got parts so every Saturday we have been taking them to the rehearsals ready for the show in December. We are very proud parents of course and cannot wait for the show.

There are some larger shops in Austin that sell some English foods and recently we were excited to find some Quality Street tins...check out the 'bargain' price!!


Back to School, Birthdays & a Trip to Dallas

Last night I was excited to see on the US Netflix Very British Problems was now available, I had watched the odd episode on my UKTVEverywhere box but was always left wishing I could watch more and now we can. Husband and I were literally laughing out loud all night!

Since the Dominican Republic trip, both children are back at school, we've had two birthdays in the family and husband and I have been on a 24 hour visit to Dallas. After the busy summer with plenty of lazy mornings, days out, camps, flights and late nights I think everyone concerned was ready for the familiarity of a regular routine again.

So it was my birthday recently and our youngest 7th birthday, for my birthday as it was midweek I spent the majority of the day at the Woodhouse Spa and in the evening the four of us went out for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants Siena. Our seven year old wanted a quieter party this year with just a handful of friends and a morning at the Moviehouse & Eatery a cinema in which you can eat lunch whilst watching a film.

Recently some great friends of ours from England were doing their annual kid free, first class trip to New York and this year they decided to fly to Dallas so the husband could fulfill a lifelong dream and go on a private JFK tour. We of course decided to meet up with them, it took us just three hours to drive to Dallas but that had to be the longest straight road I've ever been on, we actually saw a sign which said 'Dallas 120miles'.

We met our friends at this rather dubious hotel (it was near the airport for their early flight back the next morning) and after a quick drink in the bar where the barman wasn't even sure if they served wine and a lone man with a teardrop tattoo kept staring at us, we decided to swiftly drink up and get a taxi further into the city!

We proceeded to have a fun filled evening with plenty of wine, an amazing steak dinner and lots of laughs along the way. It felt rather strange to meet our UK friends over here as I'm so used to seeing everyone in England, that it made the eventual goodbye extra difficult for me...

The next day we didn't have time to do the JFK tour ourselves but we did drive to the Dealey Plaza park where JFK was assassinated and just spent a few minutes taking in the history of it all, there is even an X on the road where JFK was actually shot...

Texas School Book Depository now known as Dallas County Administration Building

The Grassy Knoll 
Elm Street
Even though daily temperatures are still about 88-93f (about 30c), leaves have started to fall from the trees and the shops are full of Halloween paraphernalia. I'm planning not to make the same mistake in previous years of leaving the girls Halloween costumes to the last minute, when theres barely anything left but a witches hat! 

Oh no, you know what this means...its only a matter of days now before everyone starts putting up their hideous, too realistic Halloween decorations I'll get my camera ready!


Summer Whirlwind

In an attempt to keep up to date with my blog and to try something different I decided to compile this post with mainly photos to tell the story of our summer...so after another relatively peaceful BA flight, with only one glass of wine spilt from a wonky plane tray we arrived at Heathrow airport, London, tired but very happy!

We spent some time in London with family and took in the sights...

Oxford Street, Central London
Golden Hinde, London

Aboard the London Eye
There was also a family trip to Maidstone in Kent below is the church where my parents married 52 years ago. We spent the weekend walking, drinking, eating and laughing together!

This tree is over 1000 years old

Stopping for a nice bit of lunch!

Days out at Legoland, Windsor. Wicked at the Apollo Theatre, Victoria. Windsor Castle and so much more!!


Me and mother with our Elixir drinks at Wicked, Apollo Theatre, London

Windsor Castle, England

Feeding swans along the River Thames
Windsor Bridge built in 1824
Along with family I also very much miss friends and food from England!

Sunday roast dinner with giant Yorkshire Pudding!
Indian curry - my FAVOURITE!!
We also squeezed in a holiday to the Dominican Republic before school began...


Embrace Change

Brexit. What I love about social media is the immediate connection I can have with my homeland on all the big and small events taking place. My opinion? I have always embraced change...

The temperatures in Austin have peaked in the last few weeks so every day feels like holiday weather, I'm still glad to be leaving for England this week though because soon Austin will be over 100f and thats way too hot for me and the children! 

The girls did their second and final camp of the summer last week at a local country club, so for 5 mornings they did a mix of swimming, golf, tennis, gymnastics, archery, volleyball, football, games and art and crafts, tired but happy children!

I have been concentrating on packing for our five week trip to England and organising a schedule of places to visit including: London, Edinburgh, Stonehenge, Devon, Isle of Wight, Kent and hopefully more. I love coming home to England and this trip will be no different, although slightly unnerving when family said I should pack coats and warm clothes...

Last week my husband and I had our last date night before I leave for England and we decided on one of my favourite restaurants Steiner Ranch Steakhouse we haven't been there for over a year so I was extra excited! (please excuse my rather weird bendy thumbs!)

Steiner Ranch Steakhouse

Saw this number plate last week, thought it was fun lol!

My next post will be from England, see you soon!


Schools Out And a Trip To Vegas

My children's school is now closed for summer, this will be our third summer in the US and still I can't quite get my head around the kids having no school for three months. I am more used to it now of course and have learned how to spread out the weeks with a mix of camps, play dates, bringing forward the UK visit and for everyones sanity doing the weekly food shop in the evenings on my own otherwise this is what happens...

We have been very much looking forward to our adults only trip to Vegas which finally arrived last week, we met some of our English friends there for a 40th birthday celebration. We stayed at the Wynn and after dropping off our luggage, had a quick lunch we then headed straight to a pool party at Wet Republic.

The Wynn

The Wynn's Restaurant

Plenty of drinks and hours of dancing and fun later we then headed back to the Wynn, it was at this point we realised we hadn't had dinner so after quickly chomping on some pizza we headed to the nightclub within Wynn called Intrigue. Considering we woke up at 5am that morning and got to bed at 4am, the time still seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye.

The next morning we spent a few hours relaxing by the pool, before getting ready to go and see a hilarious, crazy, show called Absinthe at Caesars Palace. Absolutely brilliantly, shockingly and offensively funny plus a crazy variety of obscure unbelievably crazy circus acts. Unfortunately I have no photos of the show because I daren't get my camera out for the risk of being the butt of the comedians jokes, a small price to pay for being in the second row!

Countdown to the UK trip has officially begun with less than a month to go, I have been researching plenty of places to take the girls and I'll be booking up some events and trips this week whilst they are at their gymnastics camp.


Summer Is Coming

Wow May is going slowly! Not too much to report really, I have been volunteering at the school quite a bit, there have been plenty of kids pool parties for various birthdays and my husband had a work trip to the UK so of course I gave him a list as long as his arm of goodies to bring back for me...I mean for us ;)

Whilst hubby was in the UK we had the US Mother's Day here, the girls were actually very good and didn't get up too early insisting I open the crafts and cards they had been making all week. We went for breakfast at a nearby cafe, with me thinking what a great idea there'll be no one there at 9am...well we just got the last available table and there was a queue out the door by the time we had finished!

Starting in June I have signed up to another photography course, this will be my third one in two years and I am determined for the information to sink in this time! I love photography and its so frustrating not to be able to take the pictures I want because I am still learning the technical side, anyway onwards and upwards!

Since starting my blog I receive emails from people all over the world, some leaving comments and questions on my posts, some asking for information about Austin and schools, expats in other countries comparing experiences on homesickness and culture shock (thank god I'm not the only one!) then last week I received an email which was more unique than the others and really made my day to be honest:

Hi Caroline
Just wanted to say that I have loved reading your blog for the last 2 years. So much so that my hubby and I have decided to move to Austin too. We are making the same one way trip on the BA flight from Heathrow to Austin next week. If you see 2 British guys wandering around looking lost, say hi! And thank you for such a great blog!

Hope you guys got to Austin ok and are settling in well :)