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.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Being a Grown Up

We owned a house in the UK up until a couple weeks ago. We finally sold it and will soon, all being well, be in a position to buy somewhere here in South Carolina. Of course, with selling a property, you have to deal with the tax implications. Being an expat we have to deal with the tax implications in the UK and here in the US. I discovered by chance that we have to inform HMRC within 30 days of selling the house or we can be fined. Luckily there is an online form we can submit ahead of doing our actual self assessment tax return later in the year. We have to inform them separately because we owned it jointly and sold it jointly. We have to work out what, if any, Capital Gains Tax we have to pay here and there. Luckily we can defer payment of the UK CGT until the end of January 2017, which as luck would have it coincides with our tax return for the US in which we have to declare the sale. I have looked for information regarding the US aspect of CGT and I have to say, I have done more fun things. If we have already paid CGT in the UK do we need to pay it again in the US? Is there a tax treaty between the countries where you don't pay tax twice on the same thing? We are seeing a tax expert in the next few days. Hopefully they will be able to shed some light on it for us. Then after sorting out the tax stuff, we get to delve into the world of mortgages and being first time buyers in the US. (We are first time buyers in the US but not globally. When we buy a house here it will be our 3rd home purchase) Taxes. Mortgages. I never agreed to any of this when I became a grown up.

Of course, one benefit of selling our UK house is that after this tax return, I will never have to do another one in the UK, ever again. Unless of course I return to live there, and that is not happening, unless I am dragged kicking and screaming.

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's A New Year. First Post of 2016.

The trifle I made at Christmas.
It is 2016.

Holy crap! How did that happen? (I know how it happened, I'm just amazed it is 2016 already)

So, this is going to be a good year. It will.

This year I turn 40. Honestly that is a good thing. Doctors told my parents I'd be dead by Christmas 1976. I plan on having a blow-out in Vegas and getting absolutely blotto with a group of girlfriends.

Before I turn 40 I have 4 things I want to learn.

1: Learn to knit. I am getting on with it, slowly. I have been following these YouTube videos.

2: Learn to dance. The husband has offered to learn with me, I just have to choose what dance I want to learn. I have found a dance school in town and I am going to check them out.

Eddie Izzard after his show in Charleston last month.

3: Learn sign language. I found a course at a local community college, but there is a pre-requisite that I'd need to meet before joining the ASL class. There are loads of online courses though that I think I will have a go at first.

4: Learn to surf. I have found a place that does lessons, and guarantees to get you standing up on a surf board, and I plan on learning after Memorial Day.

My eldest child, Z, turns 13 this year too. His little sister K, starts middle school after the summer break. I may be a wreck by mid October.

In less than 2 weeks it will be the 1 year anniversary of us getting our greencards. I wrote about it here. (I was slightly excited)

We bought some holiday chocolates.
They're all gone now.
In October 2019 I can start the process to get US citizenship and I 100% plan on doing that. I will not give up my British citizenship but simply gain American citizenship.

This year it looks like I will also become self-employed. The husband has declared that he thinks I would be a good social media consultant. He has said he will build me a website. All I need to do is: think of a name for the company (one that is also available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and url, write copy for said website, and do a plethora of online courses in Twitter for Business, Facebook for Business, Social Media Marketing with Twitter and Facebook, Advertising on Twitter, Facebook Advertising Fundamentals, Advanced Facebook Advertising, Online Marketing Fundamentals, and Building an Integrated Online Marketing Plan.

This is where I do most of my 10k steps.
I am also, again, hoping to lose weight. I rejoined weightwatchers. I lost over 50 lbs when I did it in the UK, so theoretically I should be able to do it again. I got a Fitbit for Christmas so I'm making a real effort to make sure I hit 10, 000 steps a day. I've managed it for pretty much every day since Christmas.

We should, in the next week or so, finally close on the sale of our house in the UK.  It has been dragging on and I am seriously starting to get irritated by the whole thing. I have come close to saying "screw it, put it back on the market" several times to the real estate agent. Once it does sell we will hopefully be able to buy a house in town and settle properly.

This is one of those boring posts that I have no photos for. Maybe I will just add a couple random ones. Yeah, there you go. There's some photos.

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. ...