Friday, 19 February 2010

It was only a matter of time

I sometime read the Strib and watch Minneostan weather reports online. The other night I was catching up on the weather and I called Matthew over to watch a clip that was explaining that residents of the Twin Cities were not going to be able to park on the even side of street until April 1st. Matthew seemed a bit confused and wanted to why? Well, because of all the snow! I tell you, I can't wait for Matthew to live in Minnesota for a bit, he's going to love it!

We then looked up some Minnesotan things, he wanted some more information about Minnesota Nice, what exactly is a hotdish. I then thought of the book How to Talk Minnesotan. I've never read it, but I've seen it plenty in my lifetime. You can usually find a copy of it in any cabin that you rent up North. It will be on the little bookcase next to  notebook where they owners of the cabin want you to share a special memory. 

We ordered  one on Amazon and it was very affordable. You can get a second hand copy for 53 pence, that's a heckuva deal!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Morton's Salt Girl

I was having a look at a friend's FB photos today and ran across the top picture. As you can see it's just a photo of a kitchen and the spice rack above the stove. I immediately spotted the Morton's salt and it just made me feel a bit homesick, in a good way. I've always appreciated the Morton's salt packaging. 

I asked my coworkers if they had ever heard of it, which they hadn't. At any rate I decided to look up the Morton's salt girl. During that important research is when I found this super cute ensemble collage. I am going to be on the look out for some cute yellow shoes for the Spring, bring a little salt girl style to the UK.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Originally uploaded by melanie_in_texas

I went to a wedding this past weekend and wanting to look my best I decided to wear a pair of Spanx. I've had this pair for about a year. I can't remember the original occasion that they were purchased for, but they've been living in my drawer and thought I'd bring them out.

The thing about Spanx is that they're great in theory. They look like a pair of industrial strength biker shorts. According to the information on the website my Power Panties will help me to command attention in these confidence-inducing panties that combine the comfort of regular underwear, the feel of hosiery and the power of a shaper!

I would agree that they have power, especially since I bought them in the smallest size I could manage wiggle into. They are great, until you have to go the bathroom. Now they are crotchless, so you could go for a wee whilst wearing them. I've never been that brave.

Back to the wedding.

Things were going well until they started serving the champagne. After six modest glasses of bubbly I had a hard time holding it in and needed to visit the powder room.

This is where things get tricky. It's really a struggle to get the Spanx off when you're a bit tipsy. It wasn't easy, let me tell you and I thought if I was having this much trouble only an hour into the reception what was I going to when they served the wine with dinner? Not to mention the post dinner gin and tonics! I decided that the Spanx needed to go.
We'd have to part ways and so we did. They were removed and discretely hidden behind the plant in the ladies room and they were there the next day! I don't know if they were discovered or not, but for now they're back home in my drawer. Where they belong.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Social Media Week London

So, this past week was London Social Media week and I went to some events because I am an interested party. The one bit that stood out for me was the presentation given by Caroyln Watt. 

"Carolyn Watt, Founder and Managing Director of Yabber. She had a very interesting presentation on how brands should approach social media marketing. She also gave a nice picture of a potential future of media addiction (well written)." blurb courtesy of Dylan Fuller 
You can find his recap of the event here.  
(I feel a little tiny bit bad about not recapping myself, but it's been a busy week already. I am trying to get everything sorted in my current job for someone to take over while looking for a new job. I feel confident about linking you Dylan's blog, there's a lot of good stuff over there.)

What I liked about it was that this woman, who had considerable experience, came across as down to earth and real. She incorporated a story that she had written which I thought was a nice touch. Caroyln was informative and at the same time was fresh and human. 

Anyway she spoke about how Social Media was about doing "something new".  Now that really resonates with me because that's what I happen to love about it. How it's a bit undefined and you can have fun experimenting with it. I like trying new things and connecting with people, so I find social media a lot of fun.

The phrase "something new" has been a catch phrase of mine for a while now. If someone asks me what I want to do at the weekend or where do I want to go for dinner my response will be "something new". I just like trying new things and seeing what happens. I like experiencing a something new in the real world and online. 

That's my little bit. I found a lot of the talks inspiring and I came away with some good homework assignments.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Get 'em out

Tonight I was out shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding on Saturday and I didn't have much luck. It's a weird in between season time, so all the bright bright spring frocks are out. Or there are few left over ones from winter, but they're all so heavy wooly. Time is running out and I am starting to feel a bit panicked.

The thing about shopping in London after work is that if you don't find something were you've decide to shop then it's tough luck. It's not like you just go somewhere else. There's not enough time and the shops close so early. It's not like going from The Mall of America to Southdale.

First off I am bit unsure what to wear to this wedding. I don't think I've gone to one in ages. Also I am not sure how formal it will be, then there's the question of should I wear a hat? I had to phone a few friends to get their English opinions.

I did manage to find a two dresses that I liked, but to my dismay they were so low cut I don't think it would have been appropriate to wear them to a wedding. A piano bar yes, wedding at 1p.m. in the afternoon, no. I would have needed to put a camisole under to cover the girls up, but then it would make the dress less dressy.

I guess I just have to face facts. The girls in London love to get their boobs out. I know Miss Jordan is a bit on the extreme side, but you see mainstream girls wanting to look like this. I certainly saw a few outfits like this on Saturday night in the West End. I've also seen people rocking the fake braid as a headband, or as a sweatband.

What's a sweet simple girl from the Midwest to do? I've got one more shopping day left so I've got to find something or I'll have to give in and go English with my frock.

That's right, I am looking for a new job!

I put in my notice at work and it's my last month so I am back to looking for a job in London. I started this blog to chronicle my experiences of being an American graduate trying to find her first gig in a foreign land and now it's time to start the hunt again. 
I am pretty interested to see what it will be like this time around and I have to admit that I am pretty darn excited. So I will be back to blogging about what it's like looking for a job in London and with some UK experience under my belt the sky's the limit!

American food in London

The Diner Soho, originally uploaded by Big Marvin.
I went out to dinner the other night with Matthew and a few of our friends. They all wanted to eat at the Diner, which is a chain over here that tries to be like a 1950's style American diner.

I'd have to say that I think it does a pretty good job. It's got the vibe of diner mixed with retro cocktail bar and the food is good. They also play some great tunes, so I can't complain.

They also have corn dogs on the menu. Now, I've lived here long enough to know not to get my hopes up when I see something American on a menu. It might be ok, but it's not going to be the same. So to avoid disappointment I generally tend to stick to English fare.

One of our friends, Bru (born in Italy, but has lived in the UK for the majority of her life) was curious about the corn dog and asked me what they were like. I explained to her that a corn dog was a hot dog or frankfurter that's been lovingly coated in a corn bread like batter and then fried. I didn't get into the differences between pronto pups and corn dogs; English people think American food is weird enough.

I didn't have high hopes for the corn dogs that would be served at the Diner and warned her not to order it, but it was too late. Bru was intrigued and there was no turning back.

The corn dog turned up and the look on Bru's face was priceless. She looked both confused and horrified. There were two corn dogs on the plate, both on sticks. More like skewers than proper sticks. They were of course small and they looked like battered sausages.

Instead of eating them off the stick, Bru struggled to get the corn dogs off the skewer and proceeded to cut them up with a knife. It was revealed that the hot dogs were savaloy sausages and not "hot dogs" and after tasting them it was confirmed that they were just dipped in regular old batter.

They weren't very nice, which I fully expected. The thing that gets me about when I am out with a British person and they want to eat something American, even after I promise them it will be nothing like what it would be like in America, they insist that American food is rubbish.

I would agree that what they just had was rubbish, but that's because it's an English interpretation! I don't argue anymore. I just sit there and politely smile, knowing my heart that if she had a corn dog in Minnesota (preferable at the State Fair) she would love it!

Monday, 1 February 2010

A cultural day out with Mary


A few weeks ago my friend Mary asked me if I wanted to get together on a Sunday and do something cultural. I thought this sounded like a smashing idea so I confirmed and the date went into the diary.

I thought we might spend a day wandering around a museum or taking a historic walk so I was a bit surprised when I got a text off Mary suggesting that we meet in Camden for a wander round there. 

Well..... I say surprised. I should point out that my nick name for Mary is Mary Irish, Pint Princess! I guess a pub crawl in Camden could be considered cultural by some people's standards.

We had a walk through the market buying trinkets and stopping for snackettes here and there.  We of course found ourselves in a few of the pubs, only the most cultural of pubs of course, and ended the evening by taking in a movie at the Odeon. I could make it more cultural sounding... we went to see a Film at the Oden. I also saw Simon Amstell in the lobby, bonus!

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