A Fortnight In

My back garden. No, seriously. There are hummingbirds that visit!

So we’ve been here a fortnight and I think we’re starting to feel a bit more settled. It really helped having the puppers here so soon to make it feel like home. Last week wasn’t great, because Alex had to go to California and Colorado for the week, but thankfully he came home on Thursday so we have been able to get some stuff done. We have signed up to go climbing together, took the intro course on Monday and went climbing today – my arms are aching now! 

Over the past fortnight, there have been some things that I have thought a lot, and I thought I’d share those thoughts with you…because this is my blog and that’s the sort of thing I used to do here. 

What time is it? One of the most difficult things, especially when I was on my own last week, was figuring out the time differences. I never had much of a problem in the past when Alex was working away, and when I worked for an US company 5 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for me to have three clocks on my desktop – UK time, Alex time and the time zone my boss was in. However, working out that the UK is 8 hours ahead is an ongoing one – as I’m going to bed, some of you are just getting up, and by 4pm my time, Twitter pretty much goes silent. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty lonely then. 

YAY SHOPPING. Boo shopping. I was so excited when I saw there was a Target a mile from the house. Finally I could get the Nate Berkus office things I wanted (still considering the gold stapler tbh) without an insane postage and customs cost! The joy was short lived however when I read a blog post showing off a pretty dress from Primark, and I realised that my nearest Primark is 3784km away in Pennsylvania. (C’mon Primark, get to the West Coast already)

Food shopping is a mission. Some of you may have seen my Instagram Stories series when I went to the supermarket for the first time (I’m not counting the sleep deprived trip we made when we landed because I couldn’t even figure out what shampoo to buy and nearly cried in the middle of Safeway) Going to the supermarket is a total delight and a total mission at the moment, because there are so many new things to us (why are there so many flavours of Goldfish crackers? Why is cheese so bloody expensive? Why is there a thunderstorm over the veg with misting sprays?) and also we’re trying to figure out what we know. Did you know there doesn’t appear to be such a thing as double cream here? For some reason, that really annoys Alex. 

Pedestrians are unwelcome. OK, maybe not unwelcome – I mean, there are at least pavements between here and the shops. But there are only pavements on one side of the road, and the pedestrian crossings basically change colour as soon as you step out into the road and LOOK ITS JUST VERY SCARY WHEN PEOPLE ARE APPARENTLY NOT THAT GREAT AT DRIVING OK.

Everyone is just too friendly. I know, that’s a thing. People here are more willing to talk to you in the shops, giving compliments, asking information, checking if you’re OK. It’s very nice, but I’m British and I can’t help wondering if they’re all taking the piss. That one might take a while to get used to.

It’s too warm, but that’s OK. Since we landed, every day has been at least 20C, and most days have been averaging 27C+. In the UK, I would be more whiny than usual about this, but over here, it’s actually not too bad, because everyone loves air conditioning. We have even bought a window unit for the bedroom, and it is beautiful. 

I know I sound like I’m whining, but it’s actually really fun learning new things but also totally exhausting. I’m also missing the #blogclub girls a lot, not just because they had their first event without me last week, but because I’m feeling a bit uninspired lately, and miss having other bloggers around to inspire me! 

4,716 miles

I broke in the cooler cabinet aisle at Costco Issaquah on Sunday. It was trying to work out what something was, something stupid like how Coco Pops are Choco Krispies over here (Coco the monkey is much less judgey about a 30 something eating Coco Pops for breakfast than those three knobheads Snap, Crackle and Pop) and I just wanted to sit on the trolley and have a bit of a cry. (I didn’t, because the trolley was already too full and I didn’t want to be that girl)

If you haven’t been following me on Twitter or Instagram, then you might not know that we have just moved. 4,716 miles, to be exact, from our house in Bristol to the house here in Bellevue, WA. We landed on Thursday afternoon, and have spent most of the time since then shopping and unpacking things…Alex’s desk in Seattle was covered in Amazon boxes, and we’ve had just as many here! A trip to a few shops has helped as well, including a trip to Ikea which obviously needed to involve ballz – if you’re wondering, they were satisfyingly exactly the same as the UK, but they had more sauces available here which is an outrage.

I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new people, and exploring new places, and will be keeping you all up to date here and on social media. I’m not working at the moment, so it will be fun to document it all!

(Oh, and yes, of course the dogs came with us. They flew on Friday and were delivered to the house Friday afternoon where I got a bit teary, Fern ran in circles, Jess jumped all over everyone and Jill just looked resigned to these idiots. All back to normal!)

The Best Gym Bag

As you probably know by now, I go to the gym a lot. I go every morning before work, because it’s an easy routine for me, and I feel less sluggish when I get to work. But the problem with going to the gym before work is that you have to lug around your stuff all day, you carry two bags (a handbag and a gym bag) and gym bags are butt ugly. So after writing that post, I looked online for a gym bag and found GymTote. They’re bags designed so you only need to carry one bag, and they can keep everything in specific sections.

I bought the Reese tote as a birthday present to myself and have been using it on a pretty much daily basis. It’s a great bag, but there are a few things I would change.

First – the size. The Reese is the largest women’s bag that GymTote sell, but I still feel like I could do with a bit of extra space in there! For example, there’s a pocket that they advertise to put your water bottle in – the bottle I use on a daily basis is a 700ml Lifefactory glass bottle* and there’s no way that’s fitting in there! I have reduced down my toiletries bag to this tiny hanging bag* and these travel bottles* which all work nicely, but isn’t as easy as just shoving a normal shampoo bottle in your bag.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about headphones – Alex bought me a pair of AirPods for Christmas, which I wasn’t very excited about at first, but I totally appreciate how small they are with this bag! I also picked up a Nanette Lepore tassel keychain (similar from Belkin on Amazon here) from TK Maxx before Christmas – it’s hiding a lightning cable inside it for last minute charges which is super useful.

Secondly – the material. I am happy with how this has held up over six months abuse, but one of the handles and the strap has started to show a little wear, which is expected I guess! I would have preferred to have a leather bag, but I wonder if that would hold the sweat smell more?

With the bag I chose, there is a top section where I can keep my purse and all the other rubbish I feel like I need to carry around on a daily basis – it’s obviously smaller than having a separate bag, but it does mean that I don’t feel like I need as much stuff with me as I used to. The top section isn’t exactly small though – when I used the bag to take stuff to the Forge to take these photos, I was able to fit in both my SLR and my compact camera in, as well as my purse, spare battery, etc. I’d totally buy this bag again, and I like the Charli backpack as well as the Sophia tote but I need more space in the bag!