Monday, December 8, 2014

Home for Thanksgiving!

We took a trip home to Utah for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago.  It was the best of trips, and it was the worst of trips.  Haha, I tease, we just had a lot of issues on the trip with sickness and car problems, but overall it was really nice to head home and see everyone.

Porter, the poor chap, was sick for the long flight overseas with an awful sinus thing.  But other than that the flight was easy.  We did a layover in Minneapolis, and then onward to Salt Lake.  We were so cold when we arrived!  I guess we've gotten used to island weather.  We stayed in Hooper with my dad.  We have my old bedroom completely kitted out to be our crash pad.  We set up our bed, dressers, couches.  We even have our big TV with DVD player and Netflix and Hulu.  Which is a huge deal since the TV in England just wised up to the fact that we were bypassing the software and watching US TV and now it won't let us do that anymore (insert major frowny face!) so I had to get caught up on all my shows. 

We also had to hit up some of our favorite restaurants in our old hood.
Bonnie (my cute mother in law) went out to eat with us at Flat Bread in Sugar House.  I had been craving a BBQ Chicken pizza from there since we left.

I got my hair done!!!!  My fabulous stylist (Kip Higgins), had me color my regrowth, which means Porter has been coloring my regrowth.  I think he gets a few more gray hairs every time he does it, as it's a life and death matter for him.  However, Kip said Porter was doing a fantastic job!  So I got new highlights and a little bit of pampering.  Nothing feels better than having your hair freshly done.
We then got to head down and have a little Cafe Rio with these fab people.  I missed Cafe Rio's dressing so much!
 I just bought a selfie stick.  I know, it's totally a cheesy touristy thing to do.  But I did it and I love it!  Now when Porter and I travel we can take pictures with both of us in them.  Jon and Ben were helping me figure it all out.

And we can't get together with these two and not have a game night.  This game was a long time coming.  And again....more selfie stick pics!  We were playing 7 Wonders if you were Wonder-in. ;)

This little babe is so sweet.  I definitely monopolized him.  He fell asleep in my arms and even though my arm was falling asleep I was not putting him down.  I only get to snuggle him every few months, so I was making the most of my time.  My friends make the cutest babies!

We stayed over at Ali and Jon's place.  They have the cutest little guest room.  And Ali always gets me my favorite coconut water while I'm there.  But I felt so bad, I got an awful bout of food poisoning that night.  We are pretty sure it was from the Cafe Rio salad from earlier.  I was so angry, the day before Thanksgiving and I am completely incapacitated.  I just wanted to sleep on their bathroom floor.  What is it about bathroom floors that is so magical when you are sick?  Because they make you feel so much better, it's amazing.  Porter and Ali came and played Phase 10 with me on the floor to help me feel better.  It was very sweet.  

Porter got me home and I slept for the whole day.  Happily I woke up on Thanksgiving feeling much better!  Good enough to have some yummy mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
 We had dinner at Porter's Grandmother's house.  It was so much fun hanging out with all the family, especially seeing all the cousins!
The Pierce Clan plus our Dads :)

We played some Creationary with Kit and Rachel.

 I miss legos.  This is Kit's attempt at Seaweed.

We also played a new game, Pandemic.  It's this cooperative game where you are all racing against the clock to save the world from major disease outbreaks and epidemics.  It gets pretty scary.  
We spent some time in Bountiful with Porter's sister and her puppies.  Maggie and Shelby are adorable!

 So, we have my car in the states.  We were using it, but a sensor went bad.  So we started using my Dad's car.  However, when we were in Salt Lake the transmission went out on the 53rd freeway exit!  It was awful.  Kyle had to come save us. (The picture is Porter and Kyle assessing the situation)  He poured transmission fluid in and we drove for a bit.  Then it broke down again, so we poured more fluid in until we could limp it along to Kyle's house.  My Dad came down and was able to fix it (leaky hose).  But geez, car troubles are no fun.  I seriously was like, "Where's the tube?!"
 We went to our little coffee shop/cafe Sugar House Coffee.  I miss that place!
 For our final dinner home, my Dad cooked up wild salmon my Grandpa Fair had caught and given him.  I LOVE that stuff.  It was a second Thanksgiving.
 My Dad got out his banjo.

And finally, the day we left our flight was severely delayed, so much that we had to catch  completely different flights.  It was crazy stressful, but Porter has just gained Gold Medallion Status with Delta so that made it a whole lot easier.  I love the perks I get when I fly with him.  Delta loves their Medallion people.  They were able to reroute us through JFK and our flight got in only 10 minutes later to London than the first flight.  And the cherry on top was our seats had charging ports.  Porter was in Heaven.  He hates it when his electronics die on long flights.

We are now home in London.  I have jet lag and a cold I brought home as a souvenir.  It's nice to be home but we loved getting to spend some time in Utah with our people.  And a HUGE shoutout to our friends Nicki and Eric for taking such great care of our fuzzies.  If you need a pet sitter in London check out City Pet Sitters, they rock.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Unwanted House Guest

Porter and I went out to eat the other night at a fantastic burger joint.  Actually we had really been missing Five Guys and Smash Burger from home, but we found Gourmet Burger on our high street.  Porter got the Blitzen Burger (looks like Santa is down one reindeer this year, RIP Blitzen), I got a chicken sandwich, then we shared rosemary fries and a nutella shake.  It was delicious!  In fact, just writing about it has me seeing fries.  Anyhow, we had this fantastic evening.  We came home, and I walked into the dining room, flipped the light on and looked up on the wall.  To my horror this guy(or gal) was hanging out up on the wall.  This picture makes it look tiny when it was the biggest spider I have ever seen in the house.  It was about 4 inches long I think.  

In a panicked voice I started yelling for Porter.  I didn't want to leave the room in case it ran away.  In my head I started chanting my war cry "Me or the Spider!"  But I was really hoping it wouldn't come to that.  I didn't know if I could seriously smash this guy with my bare hands if it came to that.  And seriously why do you think I got married?  To have a handsome spider killer on hand at all times, duh.
Porter was in the bathroom (he'll probably hate me for writing that, but it's true) and he yells down, "I'm in the bathroom."  I yell back, "Porter you need to come down here right now, like RIGHT NOW!"  So he begrudgingly come down the stares.  I tell him there is a spider on the wall and he gives me this look of "you drug me out of the bathroom for a spider...."  (He hates it when I call him for spider duty, but it is a husbandly duty, know)  I motion him into the dining room and his jaw drops.  "&%$#! That's a big spider," he says.   Yep, that's why I brought you down, geez.  I told him to kill it, but he didn't want to leave a spot on the wall, so I grabbed a plastic cup.  I also wanted to identify it, just to make sure I knew what we were dealing with.

Luckily, it wasn't poisonous.  It seems to be a house spider.  Apparently, they come out in October and November to find mates.  The rest of the year they live in the walls, attic, or out in the garden.  This guy was on his way to a hot date and I totally ruined his night.  Porter took him outside.  I told Porter not to come back in until that spider was no more.  So Porter took him out and gave him the boot, quite literally.  It's safe to say that I am now quite paranoid of creepy crawlies in our house and have cleaned every nook and cranny to make sure there are no more unwanted house guests. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why it's okay that my husband forgot our anniversary.

WARNING: Ridiculously Sappy Post Ahead

Today is mine and Porter's 8th anniversary!  It is also 10 years that we've been together, a whole decade.    We've definitely had our ups and downs, like every couple, however I would like to think that our ups definitely out number the downs.  We were really young when we got married.  I was 21 and Porter was 23.  We felt like such grown ups, but we really were babies.  We joke that we were smart babies though, because we knew a good thing when we saw it.  We are different people now then we were back then.  We've each grown a lot and luckily we've worked together and thus grown in similar directions.

When ever we attend weddings it seems like there is a book or frame or something in which the happy couple wants relationship advice.  During my time being married the most important words I've learned to say are "I'm sorry."  It's hard to admit that you may have hurt your partners feelings or that you may have been in the wrong.  During our first year of marriage we had some disagreements and I would refuse to admit blame.  It was obviously his fault, duh.  But then one night during an argument Porter said "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, I didn't mean too."  And I just sat there in silence, because I did have hurt feelings and I was mad (although I can't remember what the fight was about now).  He then asked if I was sorry that I had hurt his feelings, to which I just looked at the wall.  He then asked me why I never said I was sorry.  Now I would say sorry, but I never really meant it in a way that I took any ownership of the problem.  But that hit me, and I felt really bad that, even if maybe it was his fault, I still had hurt his feelings along the way.  I saw this meme on the inter webs that read something like this:  Saying your sorry doesn't necessarily mean you are wrong or did something bad, it simply is an expression of sorrow at the situation at hand.  After that night I started saying sorry a lot.  And you know what, so did he.  It helped our relationship a ton.  And in the end, it doesn't matter who is right and who isn't, really what matters is that you sit down together as a couple and talk about things and work through them as a team, meaning two people who have each other's best interests at heart.  So that is my advice to newlyweds or any relationship really: Don't be afraid to say your are sorry, but also work as a couple to move forward and don't dwell on the past.

Back to Porter forgetting our anniversary:

This morning I wrote a note to my sweetheart in a funny card I had found.  I picked up some beard wash from LUSH, a nice tie and some great smelling men's lotion.  I made chocolate covered strawberries and bought some bubbly for tonight.  When Porter came through the door after work I jumped up, grabbed the card and gifts and said ,"Happy Anniversary!  I love you."  To which I was met with a look of horror, confusion and oh crap all rolled into one.  He had forgotten today was our anniversary.  He didn't say anything about it this morning. So, I thought that might be the case, but I held out hope that he might surprise me with something.  Nope.  He just became one of "those guys."  It's okay, I think it happens to every guys at one point or another.  It's somewhat of a right of passage.

I wasn't mad though.  I had him open his card.  He laughed and then cried (just a little).  Then opened up his packages, which he loved.  All the while he was telling me how sorry he was and how much he loved me.  I told him about the strawberries and bubbly, which he is very excited for.  Then he asked where we should go for dinner so we planned that together.  So, was I disappointed? Yes.  Mad? No.  Why?  No, I'm not not a crazy lady.  My husband usually remembers big events.  He's been really busy with work lately and a little stressed out.  But he always treats me (this sounds super cliche) like a princess.  Every morning he makes me breakfast before I even wake up (which is awesome!), today he made eggs and crumpets.  Every day he tells me I'm beautiful and that he loves me.  He is always incredibly supportive, spends lots of time with me, talks to me about pretty much everything under the sun.  Why have one day to make your person feel extra special, when really everyday should be a celebration of your relationship.  Yep, it sounds super cheesy, like cheese whiz cheesy, but it's how we both feel.  So, it's okay that he forgot today, as long as it never happens again........ ;)

P.S.  After Porter read this post, he informed me that it is not okay that he forgot our anniversary, and he feels really bad about it.  But he did take us out to a lovely restaurant up in Wimbledon Village.

Monday, November 17, 2014

101 for Non-Emergencies

Tonight, I learned a new number.  Dial 101 for Non-Emergency Emergencies in England.  

We took the dogs for a great run tonight, 3 miles through Wimbledon.  When we got home the dogs were good and tired.  I jumped in the shower then made dinner.  After, we all tucked into big fluffy blankets on the sofa to watch our American shows from last week on hulu.  It was a wonderful night.

Cue: the crazy hulk like screams outside our window.

Porter and I stopped the TV and listened to the weirdest noises.  There was a man outside our front window making incredibly strange noises, coughing screaming, talking.  He was obvious very drunk.  It went on for about 5 minutes then stopped. So we turned on the the TV again (New Girl) and kept watching, assuming the person had moved on. 

I then heard a rummaging noise outside our front door.  I made Porter stop the TV.  We sat in silence as we listened to what we both knew was this person on our doorstep.  Porter got up.  He said we was going to go shoo the person away.  I was nervous.  Porter opens the door and begins to tell the guy to leave, then Porter comes back in and tells me the guy doesn't have any pants on so he gave him 2 minutes to get the &%*$ out of here.  

2 minutes go by........Porter goes back outside and the man is still there.  Porter tells him to leave and he starts arguing with Porter saying that Porter is being rude.  This goes on for a few minutes.  Meanwhile I'm googling madly the police number for the U.K.  I found it: Non-Emergency Emergency number 101.  I yelled out the door "You better go or I'm calling the police!" To which he just kept arguing with Porter.  So I called the police.  They said they would be there with in 30 minutes.  

Porter finally got the guy to walk to the side walk.  So we came in an waited.  Then we heard more noises.  Porter went back outside and the man was still there!  I was afraid that the guy might attack Porter.  But then I remembered that my husband can do this:
and I knew it would be alright.  Porter grabbed a flash light and his camera phone and took a photo for evidence.  The guys also shat his pants in our walk way and was spitting up all sorts of vile bodily fluids.  He smelt awful.  But he wasn't a homeless person.  We think was from a pub up the way.  Finally Porter got him to go up the street.

Literally 2 minutes later our door handle started to move on the front door!  We grabbed the dogs and swung the door open expecting to see the guy trying to get into our house, but it was the police.  So we gave a full report.  The police looked around and found soiled pair of pants and a spoon.  The police were great.  They were very thorough and searched the area.  The guy had gone into our neighbors front area where he had stashed a bottle of wine.  The police told him he had to go but he wouldn't.  He started getting belligerent with them and after a bit ended up getting himself arrested.  

I seriously can't believe that just happened.  I hate calling the police.  I get all shaky and my adrenaline starts going.  I also hate when Porter has to get assertive.  Although he had every right, it just makes me nervous.  Our quiet Monday night just turned into a very eventful night.  Ugh!

So 101 for Non-Emergency Emergencies and 999 for Real Emergencies.  Good numbers to know.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Autumn in London

Why did Humpty Dumpty love Autumn?  He had a great Fall!  But really, how could one not love Autumn in London.  It's been absolutely gorgeous.  I took Porter up to the common for some pictures.  This one above was one of my favorites.  It been really warm, compared to Utah.  I keep over dressing.  It's been difficult for me to understand that just because it's rainy or overcast does not equal cold.  But I'm getting better.  Maybe by the end of winter I'll finally know how to dress for the weather.

I've got the house feeling better and a bit more settled.  This is most of the bits and pieces of the living room sorted.

I've bought a super fun book from a lady in Utah that helps you create your own Stitch People family portrait.  It's pretty fun.  If you like this kind of stuff check out her site here.

We love taking the dogs out in the parks and commons.  It's amazing how much green space there is here.  In the city it's pretty much an urban jungle but just a 15 minute train ride away is tons of green.  We usually take the dogs up the hill to Wimbledon Village and Wimbledon Common.  Daisy loves it up there.  She has discovered squirrels and can't chase them enough.

We hit up an Autumn festival that originated at The Globe Theatre and then moved down to the borough market.  This Green Man was fabulous.  

There was also a fun play going on.  It was a piece of Children's Theatre with lots of little vignettes taken from fairy tales and fables.  This picture is of The Musician's of Bremen. 

We took the dogs on the Tube into the city to Hyde Park.  They LOVED it!  We walked them by Kensington Palace.  Daisy wanted to go meet the Queen, and Puck just wanted to splash in the pond.  Actually, right before I took this photo, a black lab was playing in the pond and jumped out and shook all over the place.  We were unfortunately in the splash zone and got sprayed.

London is starting to feel like home.  Maybe I've said that before?  But it's weird and good all at the same time.  We are headed home to the states for a visit in a bit and both Porter and I feel like we are truly going for a visit instead of going home.  It's a new feeling for me since Utah has always been a home base for us.  However we are very excited to see friends and family back in the Salty City.

I've loved getting to know this lovely lady much better.  My friend Nicki and her husband Eric moved to London from SLC, and now they are our neighbors!  We will have our own little Utah ghetto here in Wimbledon yet, just you wait. ;)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Funny Food

First off, isn't this cross stitch the cutest thing EVER?!  My super talented friend Ali made this for a going away/house warming gift for us.  I just can't even get over it.  She even put in a tardis.  It's in our living room and I look at it every day so I thought I would share it with you.  If you are a cross stitcher, the base for this pattern comes from Satsuma Street.  Head over and check our her fab designs.

Now for the Food....honestly a lot is still the same.  Packaging is smaller, food is overall more expensive and it doesn't last very long.  England has this crazy idea that putting chemicals in food to make it have a shelf life of 10+ years is maybe bad for us.  Thus the food is super fresh and tastes delicious.  The only drawback is that I have to head to the grocery store every other day or so.  While at the store I have run into some funny items I thought I would share:

Banana Milk

Salad Cream (what is salad cream?  It's every where over here.  I haven't tried it yet though)

Pickled Walnuts?

Prawn and cocktail chips, everything over here has a prawn and cocktail flavor.

Bottled "American" hot dogs, from what I remember, we don't eat bottled hot dogs.

Foam Banans

Remember how I said everything has prawn and cocktail, well prawn (shrimp) candy.

But hey, at least the candy is veggie, that means it's healthy, right?

I had to add this one for my cousin, who thinks bagged milk is crazy.  They do it to save on plastic.  So you buy your bag of milk, then take it home and pour it into whatever container you desire.

So there are some odd food items, but let's get onto the food I love:
The chocolate over here is amazing.

And I think this might be Porter's favorite: Marshmallow creme and nutella together.

But the best thing about Great Britain is tea time!  Hight Tea is like an entire meal.  There is tea, sandwiches, scones, cakes, veggies, it's delicious.

 However, I haven't forgotten my beloved Ruby Snap.  These cookies are one of the foods I miss the most.  I also miss good watermelon, spaghetti squash, and pumpkin (although I finally found some at a Waitrose yesturday).