Happy Thursday! It feels like it was just Thursday, doesn’t it? That’s great, right? Life just flying past you like the Starship Enterprise. Ugh, I’m old.
It’s been a weird week, but I feel like all my weeks are pretty weird since I am basically like a martian where I live.
So since my week has been pretty random, and it’s Thursday, let’s Think Out Loud with Amanda at Running with Spoons!
10 Things You Couldn’t Care Less About Me Doing
1. My husband had wrist surgery last week, so, this past weekend was all about taking it easy. Saturday, we went for a walk in a park I didn’t even know existed, and I like it so much better than a couple of the busier parks closer to our apartment. Glasgow has so many parks, it’s really fun discovering all the new ones!
I took this photo, for once. Maxwell Park
2. So, because we were taking it easy for the weekend, we found no shame in watching the entire Covenseries of American Horror Story . I loved this show! I will be so depressed when they stop cranking AHS out! Luke and I only have season 4 “Freak Show” left to watch! (Also, season 5 “Hotel” is currently in production, which makes me very happy!)
3. We’ve since moved on to watching Under the Dome now. I’m glad I married a man who loves staying in bed and watching TV as much as I do — there’s really nothing better. Well, almost nothing 😉 LOL
4. Credit card companies make me sick. If I have to get into it, it’ll be a whole different kind of rant. All I’m saying is, if you want to feel like shit about your life, call your credit card company. They are slimeballs. End of story.
“but we like you this way, bitch”
5. If you want to rebound from feeling like shit about yourself after you’re off the phone with your credit card company, look at this picture of my dream dog, Norbert. I want a this dog.
“i don’t care that you’re poor as long as you have biscuits.”
6. You’re welcome for that.
7. M&Ms and Budweiser taste better in the UK. The most American of American stuff tastes a ton better over the Atlantic. In fact, I would go so far as to say the Budweiser over here must be brewed at Hogwarts or something. I know it was just Memorial Day and all, but seriously, the Brits do our chocolate and our beer better than we do. Unless it’s not real Budweiser…
see, it’s royal.
8. I have no nails left. I bit them all off, because all I do lately is stress out about the rest of my life from sunrise to sunset (which, incidentally, is 11 pm in Scotland). I’ve had one job interview so far from the 50+ places I’ve applied to, and it didn’t work out. #SelfEsteemBooster
9. In addition to biting my nails, I also bite everything in sight. I have not stopped eating for days. It started Saturday afternoon with my first bowl of spaghetti in 120 days, and hasn’t stopped since.
10. That moment when you find a piece of ginger shaped like a bunny. RIP, Gingerbunny, you were too delicious.
so magical. so delicious.
Tag! You’re it!! What are you thinking out loud about this week?
Even though I’ll be in the UK for Memorial Day, it’s still a holiday that’s special as an American! Although, I can’t say the weather in Scotland is conducive to open toe shoes, pedicures, and daisy dukes –however, there’s always a way to celebrate when there’s food around, right? Here’s five foods, from my archives, that make nice (and healthy) sides for your BBQs and get-togethers. Also, you can see how much (or how little) my photos have improved. Or, you can just see how much they still need to improve.
So, as I mentioned on Monday, I made FRIENDS. I met a lovely set of American ladies this past weekend, and they were super cool AND eased my mind about life over here. My new pal, Jolyne, is not only really adorable and rad, but she also owns the cutest kids clothing shop I’ve ever seen. It’s called Rowdy Roddy Vintage (named after her adorable little boy, Roddy) and she totally sells stuff online, so take a look. SO cute! Jolyne is also married to the drummer from Belle and Sebastian — could she be any more awesome?!
i totally snuck a shot while I was inside #cuteville
I also met the adorable Mary from the blog, Girl, Here and There. Mary is also an American married to a Scotsman. Mary was so nice by taking pity on a “S.O.S.” comment on her blog about “feeling alone in a new place”. We got a Starbucks (you know, like the Natives) and vented to one another about what we’re loving and loathing about life in a foreign place! She was such a sweetheart and I cannot wait to get together with her again!
I also met Jen from Chase The Red Grape, several weeks agofor juice at Juice Garden in City Centre and she is just the loveliest. Her blog is awesome and she’s a Cross Fit enthusiast (for those of you who are too)! So see, my friends, blogging really does make us all so connected! #Blogosphere
Have you ever noticed in British films how you never hear, “she was in THE hospital”? It’s always “she was in hospital”. Well, the other day, Luke and I were in hospital.
I had a first hand experience (no pun intended) with the NHS (National Health Service) on Tuesday, when my lovely husband went in for wrist surgery.
After making sure he is, in fact, Luke, the surgeon came over and asked which wrist it was and he said “brilliant” and made a giant arrow on his forearm pointing to the wrist he would later be cutting open. Good system, really. Sharpie prevents malpractice. Seriously.
It gets the job done, right? Speaking of which, I also LOVE British warning signs. In the States we just read about the danger ahead and perhaps the animal or persons involved in said danger, but over here, they show you what will literally happen if you do something dangerous stupid.
Anyhoo, Luke is a trooper, he went right back to work the next day — I would have totallymilked it for at least 48 hours, but I guess somebody in our household needs to make a dolla holla!
Also, I finally figured out my train route without getting lost, ate a Cadbury bar containing Ritz crackers, AND ate chips (fries) out of a pint glass.
Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. I had a GREAT weekend. I made friends(more to come on that later)! Last night, Luke and I went to a gig at Studio Warehouse, and it made me feel really old. Not to mention, they have some of the rudest staff members on Earth working there. I think that’s a sign of my “old lady” coming out — I now base my experiences everywhere solely on the attitude of the staff. Lately, most of my customer service experiences feel like this.
not really, but I like this.
Monday can be really motivating or totally crappy. It really depends which side of the bed you get up on. Seeing as I’m old and grumpy this morning — AND it’s dreary and freezing out (OVER it) — I would like to share five items I think would totally make starting the week so much better.
1. This scale. I really don’t use scales often — as they are a life ruining (not to mention, basically useless) tool, for the most part. However, the Yay! Scaleis definitely an item I can get on board with. I don’t actually think you can buy it yet, but mark your Christmas lists, my friends.
3. Cute photos of otters doing anything, really. Or hedgehogs.Or Norbert – have you seen Norbert? I can’t even.
I can be having the worst day and photos of otters and hedgehogs (or Norbert the dog) will stop me in my tracks. #BetterThanTherapy
this dog is the 8th wonder of the world. convinced.
4. AlproHazelnut Drink. This is the best thing to happen to my coffee since caffeine. It’s SO good. I don’t really know what I was doing to my life for the last 34 years.
5. Phwoarr Paint Concealer by Seventeen. This covers everything. After our late night and actually having a social life this weekend, I need all the help I can get. Also, this stuff is super affordable. Hopefully, if it’s not already available in North America, it will be available near you soon. It’s ah-may-zeeng.
hide yo bags, hide yo spots.
I hope you all have a great Monday and a wonderful week ahead. Don’t forget to stop and google the otters — just, like, do it on your phone if your office has an IT person with a case of the Mondays.
Personally, I think every office should be mandated to allow 15 minutes of looking at adorable/funny stuff on the Internet.
Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (or any day) with this healthy version of the classic. This super chickpea chocolate chip cookie is packed with chickpeas and flax and is full of protein, fiber, and all the deliciousness you would expect from a chocolate chip cookie. Also, this cookie is the size of a pie. I’m not encouraging you to eat it whole or anything, but it technically is one cookie.
TGIF, party peeps! Is there anything better than just out of the oven chocolate chip cookies? The answer I’m looking for here is, no. Here’s another question, did you know that May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in America? Too bad I’m not in America any more. Oh wait, whatever, I’m still celebrating American holidays. After all, I’m still American (I think I have to wait 4 years to become officially British).
I have recently become obsessed with the blog Chocolate Covered Katie.I have stated (many a time) that I live under a rock (mostly) and it takes me forever to discover amazing things, like Miss Katie and her chocolate covered empire.
Do you ever step back and think beyond yourself about yourself? You know, like, away from your basic constitution as a human being to try and figure out why you do what you do?
Well, if you have (and even if you haven’t), join me in this edition of Thinking Out Loud with Amanda at Running with Spoons. (Lady, thank you for letting us all get it out — you’re truly awesome!)
Come this Friday, I have officially been in the UK for 60 days. That seems like forever, but considering I plan on staying here for a long time (possibly forever), it’s a drop in the (eternity) bucket.
I have had a very open dialogue about the stress and anxiety I have experienced since I moved here to live with my husband, Luke. Like, seriously, some of you are probably over hearing about it, but it’s still something I contend with daily.
I keep feeling like I should be more settled, should have a job (like, not even a great one), a sense of identity, and a general feeling of purpose. I mean, it’s sort of difficult to thrive when you don’t feel like a real person 90% of the time. I actually equate this feeling to the one I had after I graduated from college, moved to New York, and broke up with my long-term boyfriend — the only difference is, I had a (youthful) sense of optimism running through my veins back then.
It’s not like I knew what I wanted to do with my life back then, or anything. At least now I have a clear picture and focus of what I really want. I mean, does anybody other than like 3% of people really know what they want to do before the age of 30, 40 or ever really? Really?
That inability to know what I wanted from my life continued for YEARS and caused me to fill the void with all kinds of (not so good) habits and people.
As I am quickly approaching 35, I feel myself reflecting on everything (WAY more than when I turned 30, I mean, I had 4 years of wiggle room to still f*** up). I had no idea I would spend the past eleven years, since leaving college, doing the following things, over and over again:
Getting jobs and losing jobs.
Finding love and losing love.
Making friends and losing friends.
Gaining pounds and losing pounds.
Leaving America and returning to America.
Losing a parent.
Gaining a spouse.
Leaving America again.
Starting over completely.
When I look back on it, I can’t believe it all has happened. I mean, I’m a zygote in the grand scheme of things, and I feel like I’ve lived several lives already. That said, it was 11 years filled with laughter, love, tears, anger, happiness, loss, gains, and everything else.
As I face this (nearly) blank slate that is my life right now, I can’t help but laugh a bit that I think I feel scared. Scared of what? Rejection? I’ve been rejected more times than I can count, and it’s never failed to open bigger and better doors for me.
Um, hello, Erin, how many frogs did you have to kiss to find your prince?
I plead the fifth on that one, but yes, I have a wonderful husband and life partner for sure.
I have come to realize – I am not living in fear right now, no. I have been living too comfortably. I guess it’s my “intentional subconscious” (is that such a thing)? In the past –whenever I got uncomfortable — I lost something (people, ideas, goals), so, my brain feels like as long as I never get uncomfortable, I won’t have anything to lose.
However, I know that by not allowing myself to get uncomfortable (and potentially lose opportunities) I also will never raise the bar for myself.
After all, rejection is just a way for life to raise the bar for us all. Sure, when rejection happens, it sucks. It hurts. It makes you feel worthless, empty, and alone, BUT it also will push you onward (and hopefully upward).
Just think of all the people, places, and things we would never have experienced if rejection hadn’t raised their bar.
1. Albert Einstein. Apparently the parents and teachers of this guy thought he was “mentally handicapped” –which ended up now being seen as a learning disability, but he kind of turned out to be a big deal.
2. Elizabeth Gilbert. Liz was rejected as a writer for five years straight, until one of her articles was revived from a “slush pile” at Esquire and soon established her as the first unpublished short-story writer to debut in the magazine since Norman Mailer. Also, before she wrote Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of experience working as bartender at the famous Coyote Ugly bar was later turned into the film, Coyote Ugly.
3. Theodore Suess Geisel. The places this guy went — other than the bank — were far above and beyond the places the first 27 publishers he submitted transcripts of his first book thought he ever would.
4. Steve Jobs. He started Apple, and then got fired from it, but then left to start Pixar and was brought back on as the CEO of Apple. Here’s a beautiful (but humblingly sad) video of his commencement address at Stanford University in 2005. In this comencement he shares how an unconventional path and the drive to never lose sight of his passions made him the legacy he will forever be. (Special thanks to Jill Conyersfor sharing this.)
5. Mold. Yeah, that creepy stuff that grows hair on things that shouldn’t ever have it, helps like save people’s lives now. I mean, it had a serious makeover, but seriously, if this gross inconvenience that lived in most of our college refrigerators never existed, people could die from things they catch on public transportation. True story.
Sorry about that last one, but I think it makes my point. As I am writing this post, I’m thinking of all the ways in which I will be uncomfortable in the weeks and months to come — and the inevitable rejection that follows such discomfort. However, I have to believe each discomfort will be accompanied by an opportunity to propagate my success rather than accelerate my failure.
In the end, that simple shift in mindset is proof of why I am where I am right now; stronger, wiser, and just uncomfortable enough to see what happens next.
As always, thanks for hanging in there whilst I think out loud.
I could understand people in Aberdeen better than Glaswegians (yes, really).
It’s been nice enough to walk places, and by default, I discovered some really cute shops.
So, my husband, Luke, is a lifelong supporter of Aberdeen Football Club, despite the fact that he’s from Inverness, lived in Dublin, and currently lives in Glasgow. I don’t get the football (soccer) loyalty stuff. I probably never will either.
The purpose of our weekend getaway was to see the Aberdeen v. Celtic match.
Aberdeen lost — they always lose when I attend a match. I’ve filed this in my dossier of ways I am ruining the World.
I don’t actually think I’m that powerful. If I were that powerful, I’d have a job.
Or be a lucrative street performer at the very least.
It’s the third largest city in Scotland and is about a 3 hour drive from Glasgow. It’s called the “Granite City” — which I found interesting since I’m from New Hampshire, the “Granite State“. I’m a weirdo who finds all the “interesting” ways that I’m connected to Luke and how it’s fate that we’re together.
He also thinks I’m weird, but sweet.
Also, not to keep on the weird thing, but Caledonia is the Latin name the Romans gave for Scotland, and I was born in Caledonia County in Vermont. Coinkidink? Maybe. Scotland’s national animal is the Unicorn, so, for a Scottish person to find my fate speculation weird, is sort of saying something, right?
what ye talkin’ aboot, erin?
But I digress, Aberdeen is on the water and has beautiful architecture. Not that Glasgow doesn’t, because Glasgow has really kick-ass architecture as well. Glasgow and Aberdeen are entirely different, much like US cities. I really loved Aberdeen. I probably said, “let’s move to Aberdeen” at least 12 times to Luke over the 48 hours we were there.
And watch a football (soccer) match without hearing songs about sheep shagging. (Not kidding about this one, by the way.)
Aberdeen also has really lovely beaches and delicious (but fattening) food and alcohol.
I didn’t even get car sick on the way home after everything I had consumed over the prior 24 hours. That’s an accomplishment in itself! I think I’ve hung up my football spectator’s cap for the time being. I know there’s, like, only two games left, but I think I’m out. I’m out of my depth, really.
I’ve been wanting to incorporate a fainting goat gif, like, my entire blogging life.
Love handles. Muffin tops. Such endearing terms for something so many of us despise and dont find appetizing!
It can be one of the last places the inches drop off for many of us! Yours truly included. I have to be honest, most of my pants these days don’t have buttons, but it’s nice to know that the ones that do usually fit. Usually.
Anyhoo, there’s one move that gives proven results when it comes to shrinking the muffin top/love handle area (das obliques) and it’s probably not the move you’re thinking it is!
The Bent Over Dumbbell Row
I don’t know about you, but I’m all about doing abdominal work OFF the floor.
If you want to tone up and trim down your love handles do Bent–OverDumbbell rows using a slightly heavier weight than you are used to.
For example, if you normally lift 20 reps using a 10 pound weight, choose a 12 or 15 pound weight and do 15 reps instead.
How does this work?
While you’re performing the DB rows, and your back and biceps are working hard, it forces your love handles to take over and stabilize your body. Be sure to watch your form, if you do these correctly, they are very effective!
The reason this move is so effective is because it is a compound movement meaning this movement trains a large area of muscle in a short amount of time, which increases multiple muscle group isolation, decreases muscle adaption, and reduces overuse injury.
Pretty sweet, huh?
Add 3 sets of 15 reps using a slightly heavier weight than you could lift 20 reps with (as indicated in the explanation above) for 3-4 days per week and see the difference, fast!
It’s been, like, three months since I participated in WIAW. However, I thought it might be fun to participate again, since I am starting to get much more creative with my food these days.
Moving to Glasgow hasn’t changed my eating habits too much. I still love my spiralizer, which by the way, I think I love too much, since I’ve already broken the one Luke bought me six weeks ago. The handle legit cracked and fell off. It was a bleak 48 hours between spiralizers, let me tell you.
We decided, since I use a spiralizer SO much — and they aren’t particularly the most sturdy or industrial of kitchen tools — we would just go for a less expensive model, the Cuisinique. So far, it’s okay, but I have to say my spaghetti sized noodles are not as good as the Hemsley + Hemsley brand I was using previously.
Maybe I need to switch it up? Some might say I’ve “spiralled out of control”? No? Okay, yeah, that was a horrid attempt at joking.
My eats are actually from Monday, which was a bank holiday over here in Scotland. Also, I should advise, I was hungover. This was me Sunday night…
Breakfastwas a little late, you know, due to the fact that I’m 34 and drank like well I won’t say how much wine (and Prosecco) at dinner the night before. #YOLO, right? Yeah. I had a juice with apples, celery, chard, carrots, ginger, and beets. It was really good and my body NEEDED those vitamins, big time!
Lunch included some beetroot & goats’ cheese vegetarian burgers from Waitrose (an amazing grocery store, btw). They were really delicious — they had jalepenos and spices blended in, just the flavor kick I needed!
When I finally got the energy to stop feeling sorry for myself, Luke and I decided to go for a walk. You know, since, it was actually sunny and nice out in Glasgow — and when this happens you get outdoors! We walked up to Silverburn shopping center for a bit, and stopped at Tesco on the way back (after a long debate of whether I wanted an ice cream or chocolate) so I could get a Cadbury bar. I went with the Chips Ahoy! bar! We split it on the 2.5 mile walk home. It was delicious!
Dinner was a cauliflower pizza casserole. I love making this. It’s so good and full of veggies and just what I needed. I’m not going to say this is better than pizza, because, it’s not actually pizza, right? Yeah. However, it’s a nice alternative when you want pizza, but don’t want to have all the carbs. Mmmm though, carbs…
It was a full day of good eats and refueling for the week ahead.
Note to self : Erin, you can’t keep up with twenty somethings when it comes to wine, capeesh?
Erin: Capeesh. Mega capeesh.
What’s the last thing you ate? Do you have a favorite “I drank too much” food item? It’s so not worth it, but it seems like a good idea at the time, right? Ugh.
If you read my blog, you are probably totally sick of hearing me say, “I just moved to Glasgow to live with my husband” – however, if you’re just stopping by or somehow don’t know this, yes, I have been in Glasgow for seven weeks now.
I have decided, since being an expat is so painfully obvious every single day of my life, that I am going to do post installments called, “Abroad City: An American Living in Glasgow”. I figure this will not only help me discuss some of the trials and tribulations of being a weirdo in a strange place, but it will also help me work through some of the MANY challenges people face when they up sticks and relocate to another planet country.
Every single day I wake up happy as hell that I’m living with my husband and in an entirely new place, and then, he goes to work, and I start to feel like I’m alone and in an entirely new place.
I started to look for a job last week, but it was so anxiety causing and emotional for me that I’ve decided I need a bit more time to adjust to life here before I can get my my head around working. I am still looking and applying, but I’m chilling the f out about it.
Also, my CV is worded in a way that isn’t the norm for the hiring powers that be over here. Like I said, everything is different. For instance, calling a resume a CV. Also, it’s not a “cell phone”, it’s a “mobile phone”.
So for now, I am preparing for my Nutrition Therapy exam and continuing to learn my way around life as I know it now.
My days are sometimes overwhelming, even when I’m just doing the simplest of things.
I still get off at the wrong train stops repeatedly. For instance, East Pollokshaws and East Pollokshields are on the same train route, but one is 100 feet from my apartment and the other is about 2 miles!
I still can’t figure out why or where certain food items are located in the grocery store. I literally started to cry and left a shopping basket on the ground, because I couldn’t find cinnamon sticks.
I still look the wrong way while crossing the road (and have narrowly escaped death daily)!
Blow drying your hair or using an umbrella are literally pointless most days of the week. 50-70% of the time, your hair is going to look like you’ve been electrocuted and your umbrella is going to flip inside out and make you look like an imbecile.
I still basically can’t understand anything 75% of the people I come into contact with daily are saying.
This is also why I get on and off the train incorrectly (Newton and Neilston apparently run the same line, but good luck trying to decipher the difference between those two words muffled through a train intercom)!
I know, the tiniest violins …I can hear them right now.
Life in a foreign place is just that, totally foreign, but also totally exciting!
Maybe the toughest part of this transition is REALLY having to get to know myself. Nothing forces you to face your true self — your strengths, capabilities, humility, and all the rest –front and center each day. This is both humbling and terrifying.
I have to remember; I’m the one who is the foreigner, so, I have to just get with the program if I want to adjust.
On the other hand, there’s pretty much all the same stuff here as in the states with the exception of items I probably shouldn’t be using anyway. Some things are even better than at home. Like, you can spend an entire afternoon selecting an affordable sunless tanner as there are entire store aisles dedicated to bronzing yourself.