It feels like I've been watching the build up for christmas from an aliens perspective. I have been very ignorant of American holidays until now as its never crossed my mind that I would ever be in this situation. Its just odd living in the build up with no feeling of anticipation and excitement like I normally have with Christmas  or my birthday yet everyonre is mega excited and going slightly crazy. The shelves are emptying at our local supermarket, miniature puritans and pumpkin pies everywhere, and everyone wishes us happy thanksgiving, that is except for one lady at the mess hall who thought I might be offended for some reason so checked with me first.

Well I've decided I must embrace it as I have loads to thank God for and making a day for it is probably not a bad idea. I also been invited out by a lovely family from church (thank you soooo much!!) to celebrate thanksgiving with them so am really excited about that! I'll see how nuts they really are.

I will report back soon on how the day went. So until then hope you also have a...




So this may have surprised you but last night I went out to watch football. Well it was american football and I just wanted to give it a chance as it was monday night game night. It had nothing to do with the food at all!

We went to Harry T's in Destin which had more TVs than you can shake a stick at. I mean they were everywhere, I felt like I had just walked into currys TV section! But hey, if you wana see the game, you don't want anyone in you way so i guess it means they can guarantee a good view so I'll let it let that slide.

Ok I lied, the big persuader was one lil word; WINGS! To be honest that was the real reason, you can't say no to 10 wings for $2.49, thats £1.54!  (Unless your vegetarian etc.) and the guy in the kitchen was either generous or couldn't count, coz he was passing out baskets of 11 and more. I could only manage 30 wings in the end as they weren't small. I'm happy with that score....for now.

So what I got from american football is that its a really simple game made hard by loads of statistics, and quite short but made really long by all the breaks for adverts. Other than that quite fun to watch. I almost got out of my seat for one moment but the blue cheese dip that came with the wings told me to stay down. Oh and I was watching the Redskins vs San Francisco who went on to win.

Here are a few snaps of the night!


Advert break number 34. This is only the first quarter too!


It's that time of the week again where you all get to be bored stiff with random snippets of information about our crazy dog! Well tonight's post will be brief.

Over the weekend some of you on Instagram might have noticed that Mac made a new friend. His name is Mr Hedgehog!

He was found sitting the other side of our gate on Saturday evening, causing Mac to sniff rather aggressively as he tried to work out what on earth it was. Mac has had only one brief encounter with a hedgehog before and still wasn't certain what it was. Mr Hedgehog was clearly not impressed with Mac's constant sniffing and was firmly in a ball. He only opened up for the picture once I put Mac away in the house and sat very still near him for a while.

Then on Sunday afternoon we were leaving our garden for a stroll and who did we meet but Mr Hedgehog again! This time he was braver and stayed uncurled. He only curled up once Mac stuck his nose in his face. Thankfully the prickles didn't spike him but did make Mac retreat hastily! 

So there we are. Macintosh and Mr Hedgehog. A cross-species friendship!



Here are a couple of photos taken over the week, mostly of the beach down on Okaloosa Island by the broadwalk. The 'discount tyres' typography was on the side of a small garage, in a town called Niceville, on route (pronounced r-out) to Forest Lake Church, classic American.



Had a great morning with the men at Forest Lake Bible Church for Men's Breakfast & Bible study yesterday. Will have to get used to not having a full english fry up. What do they have against beans?! The food was delicious though and we looked at the goodness of God in the study which raised some good questions. I cycled too which was very relaxing though there are a few crazy people shouting at you on the roads but I suppose you get them everywhere. lol.

The rest of the day was for exploring and shopping though the christmas music blaring out got too much so we went for a donut at the the Donut Hole.

Whilst at Barnes & Noble I saw a whole stand given over to the lego architect series which looked awesome. I have a few designs that I could share with Lego to make as a series. Call it the 'Ideas that never came about but are cool' series; very catchy!



Here is a cool site I found showing Pharrell Williams new song 'Happy' with a 24 hour music video! The dancing is classic, I need to learn some of these moves!!


Yesterday my brother, Ben, and I went to see 30 seconds to mars at Nottingham the Capital FM arena. It was incredible! The support act was You Me At Six and they were a great warm up act. Really got the crowd going and had loads of energy. But 30 seconds really nailed it! 

They had amazing lighting, huge balloons with tinsel in to burst, paper streamers and much more. The screens behind the band played some amazing video clips in sync with the music and the had 3 small screens that rotated with lights on to get some cool positions. The extra entertainment came from some members of the Cirque du Soleil who performed in a giant hoop and with a seesaw. It was epic!

Jared Leto was absolutely incredible. His voice is amazing and he really went all out. He did some acoustic stuff by himself as well as the big numbers. There was lots from previous albums, including The Kill! :) He can be a bit foul mouthed at times but he went up in my estimation during his acoustic set when he wanted to bring a fan onstage and then he saw this 4 year old girl called Ivy. She was wearing her dads old 30 seconds t-shirt and had ear defenders on sitting on her dads shoulders. How cool are those parents to take her to see them?! But anyway, Jared pulled her on stage, asked her some questions and then sat her down and sang Albi to her. It was amazing. She clearly was a bit bemused by all the fuss but what an epic story to tell when she's older! 

Check out some of the pictures and the video of Jared singing. It was an amazing night. I'm so glad I didn't sell the tickets when Andrew went away and took Ben instead. It was worth it. Sorry Andrew but you missed a good thing! 

Blurry England flag photo that he waved around for quite a while. 

I didn't intentionally capture this but its part of his lyrics which had cool typography and when I took the photo this is what it captured. :)

This is Ivy. Its blurry but you get the idea! I think a few girls may have fallen that bit more in love with him because of this stunt. 


Today I went for a ride down to one of the beaches on the inland side of Chocotawhatchee Bay. Noy a long ride and the sky wasn't blue but it was peaceful, lazily cruising along under the trees draped with 'old mans beard' lichen. Here are a few snaps of the ride. If only I had a canoe on the back I could have gone further.



So we are working lates at the moment so I have just filled up with some midnight pancakes, bacon and syrup before heading off to bed but thought I needed to put up some latest news not realising that actually not much has gone o!. So here are some cool stuff I have bumped into and will add some more news when it happens. Oh we did have a water moccasin sighted near work earlier this week (which we all though was a wet slipper not a poisonous snake as it is apparently). Was quite exciting.


1. Here is a cool video I found on a blog called http://www.swiss-miss.com  I think I watched it a few times to take in the flow; its amazing!

2. Some people I know need this I think. lol.

3. No reason really. It just made me laugh. This is from A Well travelled Woman blog.

4. Final one and here's to you Mr Farmer. Think we will need a lot more practice till we are this good but he didn't have a bumpy wall to deal with (or a projector to get in the way of!)


So far this week, had a great sunday. Spent the morning worshipping with the folks at Forest Lake Bible church and was taken out to dinner by friends from the church to 'Woody's Hog Heaven' and yup it was delicious! We had spent most of the time laughing about cultural differences, for example: the insistence of Americans saying 'your welcome' after you say thank you.

Then spend the afternoon relaxing riding around a carpark trying to pull wheelies on my bike (very unsuccessfully) trying not to hit the cars, then the air became thick and warm as a forecast the thunderstorm was coming. Saw no lightening but the rain was just odd as it was so hot and was just drizzle. Then rounding off the day with the lads watching a movie and having dinner at our favourite chinese 'Red Ginger' (we discovered the place on saturday and it was so delicious, we went straight back on sunday, think that will be a regular. lol). Watched Enders Game, and loved it so will have to start reading the series.

Monday it rained all day so I became a recluse, made coffee and watched friends till work. Very unlike me except for the coffee.

Tuesday was haircut day!! Thought I'd come out with a lil patch left on the top of my head, high and tight! It actually looks ok! So celebrated with a hazelnut latte! Wahey!! 



Today is dog shaming day. Meet Macintosh...

"I destroy all the nice things my Mummy and Daddy own.Books are my favourite!" 

Macintosh is one deceptive dog. See he looks gorgeous. He's got a stunning coat, he's got deep brown eyes and when he tilts his head to one side its hard not to fall in love with him. But he's got this dark side too. 

When he was small and teething he used to destroy lots of things; the dining table, tea towels, his dog toys, bedding, shoes, anything he could get hold of essentially. But as he reached the grand old age of 1 he matured slightly and only did it occasionally and mostly to attract your attention. 

Back in July he grabbed my watch that he had taken off to do the washing up and he ran out into the garden with it. In a state of panic I ran after him which caused him to promptly destructively chew the watch until all the strap had been severed from the watch. That was the last episode of destructive chewing. Until Saturday... 

Many of you will have noticed this destruction on Instagram. The long and short of it was that I was in the shower and Mac was wandering round as he always does. I clearly took far too long to shower and so he decided to chomp on the first thing he could get his mouth round. In this case it was a book. Now I hate the destruction of books and was rather cross with him. The one small mercy in this was that it wasn't actually a book I really liked and was just something I picked up in a charity shop because I'm addicted to buying books. But the level of destruction in literally two minutes in insane!


Just to prove a point here are the outtakes of the dog shaming. I thought he was sleepy enough to have his photo taken without shredding the paper. Evidently not!





Last night I was invited to a friend's house with some other women for a meal and a baking session. We had a delicious meal and then began baking....mince pies!

It was the first time I had made mince pies since I was younger and helped my Mum make them. I thoroughly enjoyed making them and couldn't wait to bring them home to cook. The hostess had added almond essence to the pastry so I was excited to see how that turned out. 

Here they are ready to go into the oven. 


I didn't manage to cook them until this evening as I was out all day but I was looking forward to a nice supper treat. They didn't disappoint! 

Here they are still warm from the oven. 


And here is my supper treat complete with a coffee with pumpkin spice syrup in. Yum! 


I think it's time I gave it a go at home myself and made a big batch. After all, Christmas is coming! 


Here are five cool things that I saw this week that made me chuckle.


1. Facetime with Mac who was excited to hear me but very confused.

2. Everyone needs an A5 Clipboard, yup you read it right, they are just practically cool and the perfect size. They are the next fad, trust me on that, buy them while they are cheap!

3. A very cool kids toy set at the Pro Bass Shop, Destin. Planes on water equals cool everytime (unless theyaren't  designed for it, not cool).

4. The Ripleys Believe It or Not building.

5. Yup you know its nearly Christmas when you see ridiculously tall christmas trees everywhere!


So I have now completed my first full week here and have an that odd feeling of 'been here for ages' as well as 'I have only just arrived'. This mixed feeling has filtered down to my room which is now looking abit more lived in and inviting, though even I am suprised how tidy I have kept it. Well that is apart from the new guest that is curreny blocking my view of the TV (which shows almost nonstop adverts so rarely goes on).

Yup I have bought a 2nd hand bike; a single speed beach cruiser for that small slice of freedom. I found it on the local Craigslist (an online free ad). It seems solid and hopefully will last me through as I have no tools. Yes I know this is the land of drive thru everything from cash machines to pharmacies but around here seems very pro cycling and have pretty good on and off road bike lanes and trails around so I'll keep you posted on any forthcoming adventures! Where's  my map...

Here are a few photos of the machine. Any name suggestions?