What Are You Thankful For?

thankful quote

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I hope that life, despite its ups and downs, has provided times where you have all experienced things you are thankful for and that there are many more moments like these to come.

I am thankful for so many things, including having the opportunity to follow my dreams and be with my husband here in America.

I am thankful that I get to write and blog that connects with people from around the world.

I am grateful that those I love are in general good health and comfort and that despite some of the crazy and awful things that happen in this world, I am grateful that there are wonderful people who make a difference through kindness, respect and love, not just for Thanksgiving, but all year round.

What are you thankful for? I would love to read your responses so feel free to leave a comment and keep the grateful vibe going!

A Slice of Americana: White Fudge Oreo

Welcome to my food review blog series A Slice of Americana, where I get to try different iconic American foods, based on suggestions from Hubby, and you, my lovely readers!

a slice of americana

I will be tasting most things for the first time, and will give an honest opinion of all that I consume – it is important to note that I am not receiving any payment or endorsements of any kind.

With that said, on with my review of . . . White Fudge Oreo

white fudge oreo 1

The Information
The Oreo cookie has been around since 1912, and it has been the best selling cookie in the US ever since! It has many variations and seasonal themed flavours, but is most commonly known for the chocolate cookie with cream filling. It was made available in the UK in 2008 and is also produced there for the British market (I have tried the original one before I came to America but not any of the different types as they are not so readily available back in Britain).

white fudge oreo 2

The Taste Test
This cookie is the basic Oreo (chocolate wafers with a cream filling) that has been covered in a white fudge coating and is only available for a short time during the winter/holiday season.

The Oreo cookies are crunchy and super tasty (I have always liked them) and I was not sure if the covering would detract from the lovely chocolate/cream taste they have. My worries were unfounded as the fudge covering is delicious. It tastes well with the cream filling (even very similar to it) so it does not detract from the traditional Oreo flavour. It is great to have with a hot chocolate, on a cold winter evening, curled up on the sofa (can you tell this is how I eat mine).

white fudge oreo 3

The Verdict
If you like Oreo (and I have yet to meet someone who is not partial to them), you will like these – they are sweet, creamy and are a good addition/change to the normal Oreo flavour.

Have you tried these before – what did you think? What other Oreo flavours have you tried? What would you like to see me try next?

5 Easy Thanksgiving Pinterest Ideas to Create a Wonderful Holiday

pinterest thanksgiving ideasThis will be my second Thanksgiving as an expat, and I find myself really looking forward to this time of year/season and all the offerings this holiday has.

I am still trying to find my feet with our own little family traditions for Thanksgiving, and so it is with great enthusiasm I turn to Pinterest to find ideas – and it was during a recent trawl of all the wonderful things on there that I found some creative, but easy, things to try.

Here are my top 5 Thanksgiving themed pins that can be found on my Holiday Crafts & Food Ideas board:

What do you think of these pins? Have you got anything you do at Thanksgiving that should be shared?

Holiday Fun: Name Your Thanksgiving Turkey!

Thanksgiving is fast approaching (is November 27th really only 10 days away), so in honour of this holiday, I created a light-hearted way of naming your Thanksgiving turkey (mine would be called Wonda Sprinkleputz) which you can download and share or just have a little chuckle at what your turkey could be named – I really hope there is a Samson van Gravyboat out there somewhere – I would love to hear what yours would be, so feel free to share it in a comment!

I created this, and first shared it on my personal Facebook page last Friday, and had some great names amongst my friends. My favourite one so far on there was Geronimo Goobergobble!

You can download and share the image if you wish …

thanksgiving turkey names

A Slice of Americana: Meatloaf

Welcome to my food review blog series A Slice of Americana, where I get to try different iconic American foods, based on suggestions from Hubby, and you, my lovely readers!

a slice of americana

I will be tasting most things for the first time, and will give an honest opinion of all that I consume – it is important to note that I am not receiving any payment or endorsements of any kind.

With that said, on with my review of . . . Meatloaf

meatloaf graphic

The Information
Meatloaf originated in Europe (there is mention of it in a Roman cookery collection) and traditionally came from Germany (possibly German settlers brought it over).
The first mention of it in an American cookbook was in the late 1800’s – it is typically made today with ground beef but can be made with, or a mixture of, pork, veal and lamb.

meatloaf 1

The Taste Test
The meatloaf I had was made by Hubby and consisted of ground beef, ground pork, tomato/balsamic based sauce, Italian seasoning, egg whites, onion, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

It had a fresh meaty taste that was set off well with the seasoning. The consistency of the loaf was not as dense as I had thought it would be and was very moist. I could not really detect a tomato-like taste, but do not think it is meant to be a huge feature in the overall taste.

meatloaf 1b

The Verdict
Moist, meaty, well seasoned – a surprise from the dense, dry, overpowering meat fest I was expecting. I will be adding that to my meals in the future!

Have you tried meatloaf – what did you think? Do you have a must-add family ingredient? What would you like to see me try next?

Throwback Thursday: 1939

This is a photograph taken in July of 1939, in Berlin Germany and it shows my grandfather (the one with the dashing smile and rakish hat) who would have been 18 years of age. He is with some friends, and appears to be having some fun – a strange juxtaposition, as just two months later, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began.

I had no idea my grandfather had visited Germany at this time, in fact, I had no idea this photograph even existed until a couple of years ago, as I had grown-up thinking there were very few – if any – pictures of him as he died just ten years later and remained somewhat of a mystery.

throwback thurs 1939

In the News
The major news story of 1939, as mentioned above, was the beginning of World War II. Here is the declaration of war, by Neville Chamberlain, the then Prime Minister of Britain that was heard by those huddled around the radio.

In Popular Culture
One of the top musical hits of 1939 was ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ sung by Judy Garland from the film The Wizard of Oz.

Do you have memories or family tales from 1939? I would love to hear about them.

Review: Please Don’t Circumcise Your Baby Boy

please don't circumcise your baby boy cover

Please Don’t Circumcise Your Baby Boy: The Case Against Male Infant Circumcision is written by Roland Hulme and, not surprisingly, is a book (available on Amazon here) that explores different reasons not to have your baby boy circumcised – a procedure that is very prevalent here in America and not in the UK (Roland is a Brit living in America since 2007).

For some reason, circumcision is so engrained in the American healthcare industry that it’s kept the practice going instead of fading into obscurity, as it did in Britain, Europe and the rest of the developed world.” Roland Hulme ‘Please Don’t Circumcise Your Baby Boy’

The book opens up and discusses a difficult, and sometimes controversial topic with a direct, and if I am honest, sometimes hard to read detailed account of what circumcision actually entails. Despite the no-holds-barred descriptions, I found it highly informative. He uses his conversational style and evidence from various scientific/medical papers to back up why he chose not to have his sons circumcised (and urges the reader to follow suit). He looks at various reasons that are given in America to have the procedure, including that it is cleaner, prevents disease, looks better or that doctor’s recommend it – all of which Roland examines and provides strong reasoning against them – and I will admit, what he discussed really got me thinking and able to brave the topic with my husband. We do not have children yet, but my husband was adamant that any son we had would be circumcised. It was when I read the information cited in the book, he was open to looking at it more carefully – I am not set on any decision yet as children are not really on the cards for a while, but I am all for making a choice based on facts, from both sides before I do anything.

When it comes to circumcision, you cannot always rely on the advice of doctors or healthcare providers. Especially not when they have a vested financial interest in offering you a medical procedure your child most certainly doesn’t need and definitely doesn’t want.” Roland Hulme ‘Please Don’t Circumcise Your Baby Boy’

The book is not overly long, so gets to the point of the debate quickly and is a good first step into exploring the reasons and evidence surrounding the circumcision issue. It is worth reading, indeed I recommend it if you are facing this decision yourself.

To connect with Roland Hulme … Buy the Book  ||  Visit his Blog  ||  Follow on Twitter

This was a paid post. If you would like me to review, promote or feature your blog, product or online store, please visit my Sponsorship page for blog ad options or contact me for paid post information.

The Sunday Review | Winter Warming

It has been a fairly quiet week because, as the weather is starting to turn colder, I have been wanting to stay cosy indoors with the heating on – memories of last winter, the Polar Vortex and -30° temperatures still chill my British bones – so I have been a bit of a hermit. So, for my Sunday Review, I have included a photographic round-up of some of the things I have done/seen/eaten (pretty much what I put on Instagram)! Enjoy!

What have you been up to this week?

 

OneDad3Girls

Trailing Spouse Stories – The First Voyage

Today I am linking up with Tala Ocampo and Didi from D is for Delicious for their #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl.

There is a monthly prompt (which can be found here) so if you are a trailing spouse, be sure to join in and spread the word about this great idea!

trailing spouse nov graphic
All of the belongings I was going to take with me to my new life in America had previously been shipped over and were awaiting my arrival. I really did not send much as in the end it was just 4 large-ish boxes full of clothes and keepsakes (photographs, knick-knacks, and important paperwork).

My actual bags for my vogage to be with my husband were also fairly simple. I had a mini suitcase for hand luggage that contained my laptop, tablet and immigration paperwork. My handbag had a book (which, despite my love of ancient Egyptian history – it was a book about Ramses II – I could not read due to being too excited), a packet of wine gums, paperwork (there seemed to be endless amounts of that), some make-up and my phone.

Photos from my mobile phone during the flight to becoming a trailing spouse

Photos from my mobile phone during the flight to becoming a trailing spouse

I wanted to take as little as possible so the journey was as stress and hassle free as it could be – and I think that came from the fact that the build-up to actually getting to join my husband was so fraught and long drawn out. Part of me wanted to close the door on all that went before and just embrace a new beginning.

The things I took with me reflect the people in my life whom I love deeply, my family and friends, and being able to let go of all the other stuff I had accumulated in my life up until that point was liberating. I simplified. I sought out and kept the things that meant the most to me and had the greatest impact on my life – and during the process of organising and downsizing for my move abroad, it was a great way to be reminded of the wonderful moments in my life and the people in it that helped create those memories.

Some of the keepsakes that came with me

Some of the keepsakes that came with me

I will be honest and say that I think I downsized too much, as there have been a few times I have wanted/needed something I used to have, but it has not been anything hugely important or significant.

For me, my move to America was about starting a new life but keeping my family and friends in the UK close by – so really, as long as I have Hubby, a laptop to communicate with people and some clothes on my back – I am set for everything Ohio has to offer!

Are you a ‘trailing spouse’ – what are your experiences? If you were going to move abroad, what would be the things you had to take with you?

Visit these blogs for more on the Trailing Spouse Stories:

Creative Collective: Artist Impersonation

Today I am joining Melyssa from The Nectar Collective as she has come up with a really great link-up that runs twice a month throughout 2014 called the Creative Collective. If you want more information about her link-up, click here.

The Creative Collective

The prompt for today is . . .

Do you have a favorite artist? Either way, find one whose works you really love and try to replicate one of their pieces or make something in their style. It doesn’t have to be an exact copy, of course. Just try to think like them and channel their inspiration. You are not limited to canvas art, either. Sculptors, ceramicists, installation artist — whatever!

An artist that resonates with me (and has done since I was a child) is Frederic Leighton. Growing up with red hair, I often felt like the odd one out or the ugly one – until I first saw Flaming June by Frederic Leighton. Her long flowing red hair and pale skin looked so beautiful, I suddenly saw myself in a different way. I had that hair colour, I had that pale skin, and I saw for the first time how my colouring may look through different eyes. It was a revelation.

So, in the style of Leighton, I photographed myself, using a couple of his works as inspiration. What do you think?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All paintings in the above slideshow can be found here.

leighton inspiration collage