Friday, August 25, 2017

14 year olds & Green Cards

Did you know that you need to get a new green card when you turn 14?
Do you know the reason why? No really, I'd like to know why.

My son, Z, turns 14 this weekend, and we have just submitted the online I-90 form to get him a new green card. If you file the paperwork within 30 days of your kid turning 14 you only need to pay the biometrics fee of $85. If you wait too long you will need to also pay $455 filing fee. Hence me making sure my son's application is filed 2 days before his 14th birthday.

We have not received a receipt in the mail yet, but I got email notification of receipt and I have seen a digital copy of it.

We should receive an appointment within 2 weeks to take him to get biometrics done, and then he should get his new card within a year. (There is apparently a delay on new cards being sent out)

Here is where you can get all the information you need about filing a I-90 and here is where you can start an online application. You will need create an online account to do that though. Tips for Filing I-90 Online

Usually when kids are signed out of school early I see stuff like "doctors appointment", "dentist appointment", "family emergency" type of thing written down on the sign out sheet at my kids school. I am slightly looking forward to writing down USCIS on it and seeing the look on the front desk persons face when they check it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Sweets From Back Home

Are you a fellow Brit abroad? 

Do you miss sweets like real Cadbury chocolate, not the Hersheys rubbish? I know personally I have regularly requested care packages from friends and family from the UK. Unfortunately, they are not always able to send me anything, and postal costs make it a bit pricey. 

Would you like to be sent British chocolate sent to you on a regular basis, for a low fee? (A subscription service)

I was recently contacted by a British company who do just that. Sweets From Back Home.

They have sent both of my kids a box of chocolates each for us to review. (I did not buy the boxes. They were sent to me to review. Well, to my kids to review)

Both my kids managed to demolish a few candy bars each

before I took them to their math tutor. My son actually managed to start eating one before he finished looking through his box! I have also been told that I am not to have any of them! The boxes were addressed to them so I am not allowed any! Shame really because some of the sweets that were in them reminded me of my childhood, and I wanted to scoff them!

Sweets From Back Home have a subscription service where they will send you a selection of British sweets. (They also send sweets to Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.)

If you are in the US you can get a one time box with 10 different sweets for $19.99.

Or you can get a box for 10 sweets for $19.99 once a month until you cancel.

They also offer the Addict box which has 20 sweets in it for $29.99 a month.

Sweets From Back Home have generously offered my readers 25% off their first box, you just need to use the code ABIA25 during checkout.

They also have a Facebook Page you can check out.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Easter is almost here.

Last time I posted anything it was September and my kids were not long back in school, I had been to Las Vegas for my birthday, and my tv show had been on television.

So it has been almost 7 months since I posted anything, and you may be wondering what has been going on in our lives. Something must have happened. Surely, our lives cannot be that boring. Something must have happened.


We celebrated our 7th Ameriversary. I have now been living in the US for 7 years. 7! In 2 and a half years I will be able to apply for US citizenship and I may or may not (I totally do) have a countdown on my phone telling me exactly how long I have to wait until I can file the N400 form with USCIS.

We went to the Florida Keys for Thanksgiving and our 15th wedding anniversary. We left one place with sunshine, beaches, and palm trees and headed to another place with sunshine, beaches, and palm trees.

The husband went back to the UK to surprise his mum for her birthday. She had no idea he was going to be there and she was speechless. I think it may be the first time I actually saw her speechless. (I watched a video of it. The kids and I did not go) He used all of the frequent flyer miles I had with Virgin Atlantic and got a really good deal on a ticket. He stayed for 3 weeks and had to work while he was there. You can imagine how much fun it is trying to co-ordinate meetings with people on east coast time when you are physically in the UK.

Then obviously there was Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day and St Patricks Day.

The husband did the polar plunge at Sullivans Island on New Years Day.

I am still looking for a job. The kids are still doing well at middle school. It is a bit unnerving that Z will only have 1 more year of middle school left once this school year is done. I am going to be all "la la la I can't hear you" to anyone who says he will be at high school soon.

And on that note, I shall leave you. Just wanted to let you know that I am still alive, still in South Carolina, and still the queen of procrastination.

Happy Easter everyone. (We all know the next post will be after Easter. That is April 16th in case you didn't know)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Is it Fall yet?

2 whole months have passed since I last posted anything. I'm terribly sorry to the 4 people that still read this!

Has anything happened since then? Um, a couple things.

1. I turned 40. (I know right?! I'm so young!)

I went to Las Vegas and gambled, ate too much, and drank too much. I came home with money so that has to be good. Vegas is an interesting place. I was honestly surprised at how many kids there were there. It was odd seeing places that I had only seen in movies. I did hum the tune to Ocean's 11 when I was standing watching the fountains at the Bellagio. I even managed to get my nerd on and go to Avengers STATION and pass my assessment with a perfect score. I even managed to get a 1st class upgrade on the way home after United screwed up my return flight from Dulles to Charleston.

2. My eldest child became a teenager. (Again, I know! I am so

We took him to Georgia and he managed to leave his cell phone in Georgia Aquarium. We discovered this when we had walked back to our hotel and he asked to use his phone. Have you ever tried to find a cell phone is a busy, and loud, aquarium? Somehow we found it. Of course that is the royal we, and I do of course mean his dad found it. Plus you can't go to Atlanta and NOT go to IKEA. It would be rude not to.

3. My tv show started. Yes, MY television show, aka Vice Principals. I've been in a couple episodes, and as of today (Sept 6) there are 2 more episodes of season 1 to go, and they are doozies!

Season 2 is going to be EPIC. I wish I could tell you about it, but I can't. You'll just have to watch it for yourself. It is really funny though. You can play a drinking game and have a shot every time you think you see me.

Oh yeah, and of course I have been to the beach a few times. The beach is right there, it just needs to be visited. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Middle School!

It's been a while. Sorry. Life can get away with you sometimes. My life is definitely getting away from me! I now have 2 middle schoolers in my house!

We managed to end the school year without incident. Z passed all his classes and is officially in 7th grade. We did think he may be kept back, or passed into 7th grade but with restrictions, because he was failing math class. However, we signed him up with Mathnasium just before Christmas and as a result he did well in the following months and passed math class. He is going to continue to go to Mathnasium on a regular basis because it works and he needs the additional help. It's been a while since I was in a math class! His sister on the other hand, finished off her elementary school years with Honor Roll and singing in her school talent show. We recently got the school class list for both K & Z, and K is in ALL Honors classes once she starts 6th grade. I guess we will see how she goes, and if she really struggles, we may ask for her to switch to a 'regular' class or 2. She should do well in her classes, and they are supposed to challenge her, but it may be a bit of a shock to her system. It wasn't something that was done when I went to school in Scotland, and it is only recently been put in place here in the CCSD system.

We went on vacation to Mexico, and spent 2 weeks at the beach surrounded by palm trees. Oh, wait a second, we can do that here too! Nevertheless, we had a great time, and I can highly recommend Iberostar Paraiso Beach Resort. We saw lots of wildlife, went snorkelling, took a trip to Cozumel, and had a day at Xplor.

When we got back from Mexico, K decided she fancied a change and dyed her hair pink and purple. As you do. We found a vegan temporary hair dye called Manic Panic and she chose Hot Hot Pink and Ultra Violet. (An initial test with Cotton Candy was not successful) It is almost all gone now, and she is trying to decide what color to choose next.

What else, what else? Oh yeah, that HBO show that I worked on, Vice Principals has its premier REALLY soon. Season 1 episode 1 will be on HBO on July 17th at 10:30pm. I will be in Las Vegas myself celebrating my 40th birthday, but I HIGHLY recommend you watching it. It was so much fun to film, and the reviews have been brilliant. It is on all the summer must-watch lists.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

29th Annual Blessing of the Fleet

After being in Mount Pleasant, SC for over 4 years, we have finally gone to the 29th Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival. It was really cool to see all of the shrimp boats, and other people out on the Cooper River in their boats, of varying size and speed. Here are some of the photos I took. (They are all in my Flickr album which can be found here)

29th Annual Blessing of the Fleet

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vice Principals

A perk of being in the US is that I get opportunities like this.

Last year I spent several months working as an extra/background actor on a tv show for HBO that was being filmed in Charleston, SC.

The show is called Vice Principals, was written by Danny McBride, and it will be on HBO in July.
This is a teaser trailer for it.

14 year olds & Green Cards

Did you know that you need to get a new green card when you turn 14? Do you know the reason why? No really, I'd like to know why. ...