Archives for 2019

Food Glorious Food

Today marks 2 years since I landed in the US so I thought I’d share some details on a topic I’m asked about a lot – how do I cope with missing food from back home.

It’s pretty normal to have certain attachments to food – whether that’s because of fond memories to just really liking certain food. Most of the time, it’s not that much of an issue – mashed potatoes are the same wherever you go when you make them yourself.

(One of the biggest problems I have actually is cooking from my favourite cookbooks. I often find myself in the middle of a supermarket googling things to see if they’re known as something else here, and going to a few different supermarkets to get all of the ingredients needed. It’s frustrating but I think I know where to buy most things now!)

But then there are those things that you just can’t make yourself – snacks and certain ingredients and silly things like that. So here’s a list of the places that we use to buy the food we like and like to share with our friends here.


Well duh. Amazon sells everything. Before we landed here, we were making a few (hahahhahaha) orders from Amazon to Alex’s office to make sure we didn’t land here with just the clothes on our back.

Alex ordered useful things like kitchen stuff and a mattress and things like that. I ordered a kettle and a box of Yorkshire Gold.

Amazon of course sells everything, but sometimes that’s not great because with food items, it’s usually much more expensive, and in bulk. This is good when you want a case of Irn Bru and more excitingly, Eccles Cakes, but less so when you want one small bag of crisps and would end up buying a box. (Because I *would* eat them all)

British Pantry

The British Pantry was the first British food selling shop I went to after resisting for so long. It’s in Redmond town centre, and it’s fine, it’s just not my first choice to get food from. There’s a little shop in between the tea room and the pub, and it sells a strange collection of items which feels like what an American thinks a Brit would want. That’s not a bad thing – they do have a lot of sweets and biscuits which is always welcome – but there’s about a third of the shop devoted to little souvenir type stuff which you probably wouldn’t buy halfway around the world. They do have a fresh cake counter though, and you can pick up a few frozen things. I was pretty excited to see Roberts Bread in their cooler one day (which is obviously the greatest sliced white bread, fight me)

I honestly almost started crying when I saw that familiar logo in the freezer!

8125 161st AVE NE, Redmond, WA 98052

British Bites

British Bites is a little further out from us, all the way down in Puyallup (which I find incredibly difficult to say, so I apologise if you ever hear me attempting it) but I like their selection of stuff better, mostly because they sell a much bigger variety of crisps in single bags. (LOOK I AM VERY EASILY PLEASED) . They are also really good at updating their Facebook page when a shipment comes in, which not only helps to tempt me to go down there but also means I can get an idea of what sort of things I want to go and get.

I mean, just look at all those lovely treats. I end up zooming in on these pictures to see exactly what is there – my shopping list contains Sensations Chili, Pickled Onion Monster Munch and of course Cheese and Onion crisps.

They also have a little cafe attached to the shop, and sell homemade cakes including some delicious Eccles Cakes and Bakewell Tarts

We were driving home from Tacoma mall where we had picked up a new suitcase for Alex and realised we were fairly nearby so popped in for a snack. Wispa Gold’s were my favourite for so long – I even bought a whole box once from the cash and carry and still loved them after I had worked my way through the box!

720 East Main Ave, Puyallup, WA 98372

World Market

World Market is the oddest shop – it’s a chain that sells furniture, gift type stuff, and then food from all around the world. This is a good one to pop to when I am running out of Bisto or fancy some Tunnocks treats – you can see what else they stock that’s classed as British on this page. Whenever I have a craving of something, World Market’s website is the first place I look to see whether it’s nearby. Annoyingly they don’t have any crisps – you may notice a theme with this blog post and it’s that I BLOODY LOVE CRISPS THEY ARE THE BEST SNACK.

Stores around the area, my preferred store is 15600 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98008

Kroger Supermarkets

A bit of a random one, and not really one I would hit up that much, but the Kroger stores around here (QFC and Fred Meyer) all have random little items that are useful in passing, but I wouldn’t recommend going to them specifically.

This is what I mean by random. This is the “International” section at our local Fred Meyer. You get random things like HP Sauce next to Polish things next to $12 bottles of Ribena which confuses me why anyone is paying that much for beena.

La Laith Bakery

Finally, there’s a lady who goes to various markets around Seattle selling British and Irish baked goods called Lá Liath Bakery. I’ve tried the millionaires shortbread and Bakewell Tarts and they were excellent. Looking forward to finding her this summer to try the treacle tart and Battenberg cake.

With so many places to buy the food I like, I don’t feel like I miss out too much but I do miss being able to buy a bag of Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps or a bar of Cadbury Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy chocolate (it’s the one with popping candy, Smarties and jelly beans in it which doesn’t sound like it should work but it does)

The only thing I really miss now is being able to get a decent takeaway curry! I miss the sort of chicken korma you get from a takeaway that all taste the same. I also miss proper chippy chips but I have at least found somewhere that does fish and chips, over on Bainbridge Island called Proper Fish

I feel like I am always spamming up my Instagram feed and Stories (especially) with pupper pictures – but I can’t help it that we have three dogs who are hilarious to look at.

View this post on Instagram

Jill: Good morning! I’m Jill, and I’m an English Springer Spaniel who was born in 2012. The hoomans bought me from a gun dog training place just outside Bristol, and they must have thought it was a good idea because they got Jess from the same place a year or so later! My KC name is Chinachgook Workforce which amuses the hoomans because I am a WORKFORCE. The hoomans call me Bill and variations on that (Billonaut!) and it’s very confusing for me. My party trick is being able to give hugs on command.????????? .????????? . ????????? #springergundog #englishspringer #springerspaniel #weeklyfluff #lovemydog #ukdogs #thegreatoutdogs #petblogger #snowday #snowdog #snowspaniel #dogsinsnow

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(as you can see, the pups loved the snow we had recently!)

If you like our three menaces, please follow their account on Instagram –

The Bearaby Weighted Blanket – How Bearable Is It?

Sometimes there are trends that just seem to be everywhere you look. At the moment, it feels like that’s the case with weighted blankets. I feel like my Instagram feed ads are full of them, and I hadn’t really looked into them much until an email dropped into our shared address saying that Alex had bought one. (This is how I find out about a lot of our purchases).

A weighted blanket is a blanket that weighs more than a normal one. I know, you’re sitting there now and thinking I’m an idiot. But it’s hard to explain otherwise! Some weighted blankets are heavier because of the type of material used (such as a knitted blanket) and some are weighted because they are filled with little bits of material.

Alex chose the Bearaby Sleeper for us in the King sized version, and went for the 20-20 version. The logic behind weighted blankets says to go for a blanket that weighs about 10% of your body weight for the best results, and one of the things I like about the King sized version is not just that you can have different weights on each side, but it comes with a zip down the middle, so if only one of you wants to have the weighted blanket, you can just remove the other side rather than doubling up and having the full weight on top of you.

The research into weighted blankets says that it can help with stress and anxiety – I haven’t noticed any change in these, but what it does help us do is sleep better. The weight helps stop you moving around a lot (which is something I am terrible for, and then waking myself up)

The Sleeper is like another duvet, but it’s not too warm on top of our normal duvet which is good! We have it inside a normal duvet cover, but I’m looking at the sheets that Bearaby sell, as they have a zipper that goes all the way around the blanket – a major thing I feel like I need!

(side note: Why don’t bed sets in the UK have a top sheet to go between you and the duvet, because that is the best thing about bed sheets here)

It took a few nights with the blanket to get used to the weight, but since then, I have slept through the night much more often (when I would normally wake up at least two or three times)

The downside (and this is pretty much the only slightly negative point I can think of) is that it’s heavy – obviously – and this means moving it around is a bit of a pain. I took these photos in our spare room and felt like I was weight lifting as I carried the blanket between the rooms! The weight also makes it difficult to get the duvet cover on – if you hate changing a normal duvet, you’re really going to hate this. The weight also makes it difficult to move around in bed – which is obviously the point and still something I would say is a plus point – but it makes it difficult to get into a comfortable position (especially difficult with my knee still not at 100%)

Would I have chosen to buy one of these myself? Honestly, probably not from just the articles and adverts that you see around.  Would I want to go back to just a normal duvet + sheet combo for sleeping? Nope.

If you’re on the fence, check the place that you buy your blanket from will accept returns but you probably wont want to return it after a few nights!

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