We have just enjoyed a week in Sunny Southern California with family and friends, one of our favorite parts was a visit to the lovely seaside town of La Jolla. I highly recommend it strolling along the coast, seeing the seals and soaking up the sunrises and sunsets. I had the joy of meeting EA again, a talented blogger and dietitian from The Spicy RD. Its the best meeting locals when traveling, EA recommended that we visit Torrey Pines State park. Its a wonderful park, full of trails at various seasons you can enjoy wild flowers along the way. It has a great trail leading to the beach, even our 5 year old managed it well.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I have always been fond of Mexican Wedding Cookies, and I buy something similar at the Greek festival when I saw the recipe on the lovely Mely's blog - Mexico in My Kitchen it looked pretty straight forward so I thought why not. I simply halved the recipe as didn't want to make many. To my delight they turned out wonderfully hats of to Mely. It really is fun baking festive treats with our wee ones this time of year, and I love seeing blogs filled with delicious goodies and festive cheer.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
My Journey as an Expat
I have now lived in the US for 10 years, I moved here shortly after marriage. My husband came here to do residency. I followed a few years later starting our life in Cleveland. The first year was exciting to learn a new country but very hard, small things like learning to drive on the other side of the road and being alone while he worked. It was also very hard to get work initially as a registered dietitian I had to take the RD exam here and then try and convince a potential employer to hire me while needing them to help me get a work visa. So for over a year I was out of work, it was a valuable learning curve and insight into life as an immigrant. I did network with other dietitians at meetings and shadow a few and attended some interviews.
|a picture I took next to my NC dietitian license in the office :-)|
We then moved to North Carolina a small town called Elkin and my husbands employer kindly offered to hire me too, I worked in a small hospital with a colleague and also did clinics for the doctors offices. Working again was wonderful and overall not that different from the UK. I slowly smiled and called vitamins in an American way and learnt about Southern food and culture. I still say tomatoes like a Brit though and eat very internationally. In 2008 we moved to a bigger city Winston Salem, a lovely place with more to do, a great arts scene, lovely parks and rich in history with the living museum of Old Salem.
We now have two small children here who hold both an American and US passport. It’s not been an easy journey I have been very homesick over the years especially after the kids came along longing for more support. As an expat I think we all feel quite a bit of guilt about not having our kids growing up near family and living away. But little by little our adopted countries become home as we settle and make friends. Slowly the culture soaks into us I have spent most of my twenties and early thirties here developing more as a person and professionally. I have networked with my profession at the State level, done professional speaking and have great opportunities. I have also given talks at British universities about social media when I visit home for vacations.
Last month we took a huge step and became citizens I will admit it may not have been so easy to do if I had needed to give up my British nationality. But becoming an American citizen felt right to become part of the country and commit. When we took the oath with 85 other people from 45 countries it was actually quite emotional it’s amazing that after so many years folks come and join this country. I loved the sense of unity and that we are all in it together to help one another and share our talents.
|my amazing Grandma, she once told me the job of a parent is to help our kids get wings so they can fly away.|
|My parents at The Highland games in Winston Salem, this one made me smile as my Dad is holding Scotland's flag. Me living here has been hard for them particularly my Mum.|
|the view from my in law's terrace, Chennai India|
|our wee guy at the pumpkin patch|
No one knows what the future holds or where we will live but for now I have made the choice to make this home, not to keep looking back and pining for days gone by. Both countries have moved on and changed from when we left.
|a beach in Fife Scotland|
The UK is always my homeland and my first love but I feel as expats committing and making where we are now home brings happiness and a sense of contentment. Reassure loved ones that you love them and where you grew up but someone once said to me “it isn’t that you have decided to leave but that they have decided to stay” we all live where we have opportunity and a good life for our families.
So the journey and adventures continue its not always easy but full of wonderful experiences and amazing connections with folks along the way, thanks for being part of it :-)
If you would like to hear of others experiences as expats and fun cultural tips check out this blog, I shared this post on there.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Saffron is one of those wonderful spices that is very expensive and something I often wonder how to use. I have seen this drink on a few Indian blogs over the years and since I had recently bought some saffron I decided to give it a try. Its an easy and elegant drink, the slightly bitter and delicate saffron flavor is well balanced with the sweet milk, cardamon and sugar.
- one cup of Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup of warm milk
- 5-6 saffron strands
- a pinch of ground cardamon
- a few almonds or any nut to garnish
- a handful of ice cubes
- a little milk to obtain desired consistency
- one tablespoon sugar
- heat a little milk in the microwave to warm and add the saffron to it, it will diffuse and color the milk
- add the yogurt, saffron infused milk, cardamon powder and sugar to a blender and blend until frothy
- then add a little milk if too thick
- garnish with nuts and a little more saffron.
- for fun garnish with an edible flower
I made some bedding and wee pillows for our daughters dolls house today :-) also be sure to connect with me on Vine for fun 6 second cooking clips, crafts and daily life love this app.
Have a wonderful start to the week, look forward to visiting all your blogs and seeing all the festive recipes
Monday, December 2, 2013
Pumpkins are the perfect vegetable super healthy, and they blend so well for a wonderful thick and flavorful soup, this soup is made from a butternut squash and blue hubbard squash and has a fun kick with the addition of curry powder.
- one small blue hubbard squash
- one small butternut squash
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- one small onion chopped
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of masala, curry powder amount depends on desired heat
- pistachios to garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- a pinch of cumin powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- cut the squash in half and place in an oven proof dish with a little water roast for about 20 min at 400 until soft, when cooked allow to cool and dice.
- heat a little olive oil and saute the onions, ginger and garlic for 3-4 minutes
- then add the squash pieces with the stock, cumin and curry powder turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes
- then blend the soup, season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with pistachio nuts
tis the season for lovely warming soups :0)
I am interviewing Matt Long from Land Lopers on Blog talk radio this Thursday 10.30am EST he is one of my favorite travel bloggers and through hard work and talent now living his dream as a travel writer, he has been to 7 continents and 60 countries. Feel free to call in or drop me a line with questions.
Have a wonderful week everyone