holidays


Going Home: Surviving and Enjoying the Trip

We’re counting down now. Less than a week until we make the epic journey back to the UK, going home to visit my husband’s family for Christmas. I should be overjoyed to be going back. I lived there for 10 years, and it will be wonderful to see family, old friends, new babies, and visit some favorite places, I am, however, filled with dread rather than joy…


Why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday

Thanksgiving, which is held the fourth Thursday of each November, is my favorite holiday; the one I missed most while I was living abroad in the United Kingdom. I describe Thanksgiving (to my non-American friends) as Christmas, without the presents.  Growing up, my mom always hosted Thanksgiving. She would spend all morning cooking and several days before doing all the prep work. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins arrived around noon, and the chaos began. There were usually 15 of us crowded around a couple of tables, stuffing our faces until we were too full to move. As everyone in my […]


Catch the Spirit: Halloween 2016

We arrived in the US in August, so the first major American holiday we experienced, and one of the most exciting for the kids, was Halloween. We’d all seen enough American TV shows to know that Halloween was a big deal here, not at all like at home in the UK, and when piles of pumpkins and giant inflatable decorations started appearing in the stores in September (not to mention pumpkin-flavored everything in Trader Joe’s) the kids were overjoyed. From low-key to all out In the UK, Halloween is pretty low-key. Not many people decorate their house and kids only […]


Save Money (and Still Enjoy Your Life) in the Bay Area

When lawyer Kate Dowing announced that she would move out of Silicon Valley due to the exorbitant housing prices, the story went viral. It emphasized what many Bay Area residents know all too well: If you come to this affluent area for other reasons than working for a major tech company, life will be very expensive. Here are some ideas to save money and make it work nevertheless.

Save money - a small car is cheaper to run

Road Trip to LA: Where to Stop on the Way

There was no way out of a road trip to LA/Anaheim once the word ‘Disneyland’ had left my husband’s mouth and reached the ears of our 4 and 2 year old. We had a week to make the most of our trip and driving 7 hours in one day seemed like the worst idea I could imagine. It’s not just the kids, it’s impossible for me to sit for that long without getting cranky and thus starting the trip off on the wrong foot. Plus, there was no way I was spending an entire week at Disney!