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Showing posts from November, 2011

10th Anniversary Visit to Canada

Our wedding anniversary was on Thanksgiving Day this year. As it was  our 10th anniversary we decided to go with the kids to Canada. Niagara Falls to be more specific. I was last there about 17 years ago so I was looking forward to going again.

We left right after the kids got out of school on the Wednesday and stayed in a hotel in Cleveland, Ohio for the night before continuing on to Canada on Thursday morning.

We were hoping to go on the Maid of the Mist but it was closed for the winter season. We did consider doing a Journey Behind the Falls tour but decided against it.

We did wander around the area and took lots of photos. Ben also got to rollerblade near the Falls and he was very pleased to check that off this wish list of things to do.

We stayed in a very nice hotel. The kids loved the fact that the bathroom had a window with a retractable blind and a whirpool tub!

We were on the 22nd floor so got a great view of the Falls from our window. One downside of being on the 22nd floor i…

Holiday on the Square, Carmel 2011

We went to the lighting of the Christmas tree in Carmel tonight at the Holiday on the Square.

This is the 3rd time we have been and this is the first time the kids actually got to see Santa. The line has always been super long but we got there a bit early this year so we decided to wait to see Santa. The got their picture taken, told him what they wanted for Christmas and got a goodie bag full of stuff.

We stayed until the lights were switched on. The Mayor called all the kids to the tree and asked them to help him count down from 10 to turn the lights on. There were no reindeers this year but we saw an eagle and the K got to meet the mascot of Chick-fil-A(!) They were one of the sponsors of the event.

We had cookies, chips & dip, little pastry type things and hot chocolate and the kids each got a candy cane that they decorated to look like a reindeer! All free!

We then went to Red Robin as a reward for Z having a really great week at school. He was told he could choose a reward an…

My "Freebie List"

People magazine have revealed their "Sexiest Man Alive 2011" and this year it is Bradley Cooper. He is attractive but he wouldn't be on my List. Is the People Sexiest Man Alive list any different to the Maxim Hot 100?

As I have been sick this week, and not really feeling up to doing a whole lot of stuff, I started thinking about who would be on my list and so I started compiling one.

I think I may have gotten carried away as I seem to have more that 5. At least I didn't laminate it like Ross did in that episode of Friends!

So in no particular order:    

Zachary Levi



Dylan McDermott



Harry Connick Jr

Michael Vartan
Matthew Perry
John Cusack
Christian Slater
George Eads
Patrick Dempsey
James Marsden
Ben Affleck

Do you think I have a "type"?
Normal Expat service will resume soon. We are going to the Christmas Market and Christmas Lights switch on in Carmel at the weekend so I will have pictures and a post about that soon.

Coca Cola Christmas Commercials

I have been developing a cold and have been feeling a bit sorry for myself. Hopefully I will be able to shift it before Thanksgiving as I really don't want to be ill on our trip to Canada!

To make myself feel better I have been looking at the Coca Cola Christmas Commericals on YouTube.

There are some of the Coke Christmas commercials along with the newest one.














"British" Pub Food? I Don't Think So

I use the term British Pub Food very loosely!

After hearing good things about the Red Lion Grog House in Indianapolis, and quickly reading some reviews online, we decided to go there for lunch.

We will not be going again! The menu sounds decent enough and the pictures are ok but my meal did not look like the picture on the menu!

Under no circumstances could the fish and chips I had, be confused with fish and chips you would get at a pub in the UK.


The "Fish and Chips" were very fatty and I could taste the oil in the fish batter. If they want to do proper 'English' fish and chips then they need to do steak fries.  The fries were very dark and looked like they could have been the end of a batch or been in the fryer for a while as they were not golden by any stretch of the imagination.

Ben thought the fries were made with old potatoes due to their consistency.

The Scotch Egg I got as a started was alright but I have had better. Ben got the chips with curry sauce. The cur…

New Phone App I'm Currently Enjoying

I got the new iPhone 4S when it came out a few weeks ago. Just recently I discovered a camera app where I can play around with the photos a little bit. I hadn't been aware of Instagr.am or Hipstamatic at that point. The one I have on my phone is camera+.

I have been enjoying taking pictures of my kids, me, around Indianapolis and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and playing with the features of this app to enhance the photos.

I may be slightly obsessed now! I found myself taking pictures today of  things I would not ordinarily take photos of!

I will keep taking regular pictures but it is too much fun playing with the color and giving the pictures borders. I just have to do it!

I will have to find out if there is a computer program or something I can download that will let me play with photos I already have on my computer.

Too much fun!

I think I may have an addictive personality!

Children's Museum of Indianapolis Visit #28,745,629

It certainly feels like we have been there millions of times! Luckily we have membership and it has been well worth over cent!

Kids still enjoy every visit and always want to look at everything!

We saw the Dinosaurs again. We saw the Barbie Exhibit again. We saw the Egypt Exhibit again. We saw the new Frog Exhibit. Bumblebee is still there. Jolly Days opens the day after Thanksgiving.

We thought if we got there early it would not been too busy. We were very wrong! There was so many people there today! I think it is because of the Bands of America Grand National Championships at Lucas Oil this weekend. There were lots of groups wandering around the museum and they all had stickers on saying they were in groups.

Girl Scout Pajama Party

Last night I went to a Girl Scout pajama party with my Girl Scout troop and met with other Girl Scouts associated with Carmel Elementary School. This was the first time there has been a pajama party at CE and they hope it will be a regular thing. All the girls donated a pair of new pajamas to go to The Pajama Program.

K wore a pair of bright pink 'Hello Kitty' pajamas and I wore some Indianapolis Colts lounge pants and a Colts t-shirt that I got when I went to try to give blood a week or so ago.

We took snacks and all the troops performed a dance and taught it to the other girls. As my troop were not in unanimous decision as to what dance we should do, I decided that we were doing the Chicken Dance.

The girls all got a special fun patch and seemed to have a good time running around and dancing. They also got in a few rounds of doing the limbo.

11/11/11 - Armistice Day - Thank You Veterans

On this Armistice Day I want to thank active military serving now, those military veterans who served in the past and those who gave their lives so we could be safe whilst putting themselves in harms way. Thank you.

Christmas Comes Early....Again

I mentioned Christmas earlier today and I mentioned waiting for a copy of my friends book "Home For Christmas" in the mail from Amazon.co.uk. It is an early Christmas gift for myself. I have also had another early Christmas gift as I got my new "Stella & Dot" jewelry in the mail on Wednesday.

Today I took delivery of my purchases from World Market that I ordered from the Christmas section on their website. There is a treat for me, a treat for the kids and a treat for Ben along with some things to share.

Sometimes lovely stuff comes in the mail, you know, stuff that is not bills!

All I Want For Christmas

This year will be my 3rd Christmas in the US. It's not even Thanksgiving yet here but already people are decorating their houses, the Christmas ads are on TV and Christmas movies are coming out. The stores have had Christmas goodies in for weeks already!

I've been told that I am difficult to buy for. I have to give very specific clues to what I want or just simply write out a very precise list which includes the name of the store to get the item from! My favorite things about Christmas are the twinkling lights that decorate peoples homes and line the streets and I love buying gifts for people. The first year here I actually went Christmas gift shopping for Ben, Z & K on Christmas Eve at Castleton Square Mall. Yes, you read that right, I bought ALL of the Christmas gifts for my husband and 2 children the day before Christmas!

I love the fact that my kids are so different when it comes to opening presents. K tears into things and can be done in a matter of minutes while her …

Word Map of the British Isles

At the end of last week I took possession of my newest purchase. Thanks to some Expat friends I found out about Snowhome and their word map of the British Isles designed by Alison Hardcastle. I ordered the large 70 x 100cm version and after a friend returned from a trip to the UK he brought some back. (Saved on shipping as there was a lot of us wanting some!) Now I just have to buy a frame for it.

Married with Children

It is approaching my 10th wedding anniversary. I do find it hard to believe that I have been married for 10 years. I don’t feel old enough. Don’t mention the fact that I have 2 children, a mortgage and have moved to another country whilst keeping the mortgage. Anyway, I am approaching the 10th year of being married to the man I have known for almost 16 years.
I never really thought about being married. I never pretended to walk down the aisle with one of my mothers’ net curtains draped over my head pretending it was a veil. I didn’t buy wedding magazines and create a scrapbook of my dream wedding. I just met a guy, got engaged, planned a wedding and got married in a church. (Bit of a shocker there with that last part as I am not religious)
However, I had no problems getting married. It was all very simple and no one had any objections to us marrying. Not even the fact that I am not religious and was planning to get married in a church and being a big hypocrite.
After being married for…

Joint Swimming Lesson

Z and K have started swimming lessons again and for the first time ever they are in the same class. As they are almost 2 years apart in age we have gotten used to them always being in separate classes but as K has been slightly more confident in swimming that her older brother, she has caught up with him and is now in the same level class as he is.

Ben and I were worried that they would just chat with each other and not concentrate on what their teacher was telling them to do. If they have had to do anything together before they almost always mess around and don't do what is asked of them.

We didn't need to be worried. They each seemed to forget that the other one was there! They both chatted with the person next to them but made no attempt to speak to each other.

Also by a bizarre coincidence their swim instructor this week was English!

Reading Recommendations for Z

Z loves to read books and I am always looking for recommendations. A friend suggested the Hank Zipzer books written by Henry Winkler (aka 'The Fonz'). I am on Twitter so I tweeted something about them asking if anyone would recommend them. I knew Henry Winkler had a Twitter account so I mentioned him in the tweet. I did not imagine for 1 second that he would reply, but he did, twice! Z was very impressed although he doesn't know who he is actually is!


As we go to the library every week without fail, we checked out one of the Hank Zipzer books. The 1st in the series wasn't there so we got the 2nd one.

Z has to read for at least 15 minutes every day as part of his 2nd grade homework and on Thursday evening he has to write something about one of the books he has read during the week. Today he started with the Hank Zipzer book. It'll be interesting to see how he gets on with it.