Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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Our First Thanksgiving in the UK

Taylor and I just spent our first major U.S. holiday away from home. Thanksgiving is a holiday we usually spend over-indulging in delicious food, and enjoying time with all our families. This was the first Thanksgiving  we weren’t able to do that and we had no clue how to celebrate!

Early on we decided to just make a simple ‘Thanksgiving’ pizza then see how the rest of the day unfolded. No fuss or stress about it.

I spent a good part of the day being thankful for our last Thanksgiving, which our family put together for us in September right before we left the U.S. My dad and stepmom’s house was decked out in Thanksgiving (and Halloween) decor, and they didn’t hold back on making it seem like a real Thanksgiving with ham, tons of dressing, sweet potatoes, broccoli salad (who knows what I’m missing!), and tons of pie. Taylor and I made lemon and pumpkin pie and I tried my hand at a U.K. ‘banoffee’ pie, made with bananas, caramel and marscarpone cheese. (It was a shot in the dark, and too sweet for my liking, but turns out nearly every restaurant here serves banoffee pie, so my pre-UK research hit the nail on the head!) We were so grateful for the efforts put into giving us an early Thanksgiving!

On the actual day of, we decided to go into the city centre and fulfill some ‘Thanksgiving wishes’, or rather– we had a determination to do some things we’d been putting off. I wanted to mail off some letters, so we stopped by the post office for the first time, and Taylor wanted to grab a latte from Pret a’ Mangier. The latte is called the Love Bar Latte, named after their Love Bar granola bar and is one of the most delicious smelling and tasting lattes you can get. This wouldn’t be a big deal if the only Pret coffee shop in our town didn’t close at 5:30, since we rarely visit the city centre during the day. While we were there we saw all their Christmas-themed sandwiches, and one fit our Thanksgiving-filled day perfectly, with turkey, cranberry and dressing.

Once we succeeded in our mission, we walked to Sainsbury’s grocery store to begin shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner. While we were shopping it was interesting to note how ‘irresponsible’ it was of us to shop for our Thanksgiving meal on the day of Thanksgiving. I have no doubt in America if we weren’t fighting the empty shelves of Thanksgiving ingredients long gone, then we’d be fighting the desperate crowd of people. And of course, here, the only thing we were fighting is actually finding the ingredients at all.

It took us a while, but we managed to find most of what we needed, even though they had no pumpkin pie filling or canned cranberries.

It was really fun cooking. In order to speed up the process we took several shortcuts, since all of this effort was just going to go on top of a pizza crust. However, it was really fun boiling our cranberries and creating cranberry sauce to our flavor preference. In lieu of pumpkin, I decided to chop up some apples and make homemade mini apple and orange zest pies. The pizza turned out delicious and we even had enough to make a second pizza for the day after (leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving!)

Taylor was in charge of the entertainment, and tuned us in to the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Thanksgiving marathon, which we watched late into the night since it was on U.S. time.

We really enjoyed our Thanksgiving. We missed our families, missed the great food, but I’m happy to see we made the most of it and had a great time!


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Canterbury Festival

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Last Saturday marked the start of the annual Canterbury Festival and we decided to visit the city centre to discover how it would unfold.

Basically the festival seems to be a wonderful way to highlight and feature all the fun art events, plays and performances that will be going on from now until November 1st—and beyond. From plays, comedy, choirs, concerts, art galleries—it’s all featured all around the city and brings quite the crowd.

The festival began with the Espression Arts Parade, which was an adorable crafty ‘parade’ of children and families followed by a school band and people dressed in renaissance clothing. Before we moved, Taylor and I passed by the Espression Arts cafe everyday on our way to the city centre where we gathered it was a coffee shop and art studio for families. We could see mothers and children painting or reading through the windows.

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We spent the rest of the day exploring the area more and finding a few more shops we knew we would frequent. We plan on heading to some of the many events featured by the festival, starting with a comedy act on Thursday.

However one reason we’ll be skipping out on some of the events is to make a day trip to London to visit a close high school friend and her husband!! They are enjoying the London sights as we speak and I’m so excited to take a short trip to visit some familiar faces!

A quick update: Our new flat is great! We’re slowly acquiring a few necessities, since the flat was essentially empty except for furniture. Taylor had to take a quick trip to a shop last night in the middle of cooking just to buy us a skillet! We’re still using paper plates and cups–early on I jumped at the opportunity to buy some cheap coffee cups and silverware, but haven’t found any plates, bowls and cups I like within our price range. Other than the bareness of our cupboards, we’re settling in quite comfortably. I (finally!) found an art store and bought some paints and large paper. My practical mind knows we can’t afford to outright buy every single thing we need (or want) for this flat immediately, so decoration comes last–(oh how our livingroom needs a rug and plant! That’s all I ask for!) But that won’t stop me from doing my best to make art on my own with which to decorate!

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Change Time

Things have not slowed down.

And I’m starting to think that’s okay.

My husband has officially been accepted to his first doctoral program. Edinburgh’s school of Divinity in Scotland sent him an acceptance letter last week and we’ve been celebrating ever since! He will continue to apply to other schools, but we are so excited to think that in 10 or so months, we’ll be traveling a very long distance to a new school and home.

Tonight we looked up one-way plane tickets to Edinburgh, just for fun. Yikes. There’s nothing like looking at price tags to really make you realize the big picture.

We’ve set up a decent budget for ourselves to help us save more money. We have a comfortable amount of money in the bank, but it sure would be nice to leave for (insert UK school here) with our normal amount of  money PLUS plane ticket money.

I’m beginning to wonder if I should brain-storm ways to make extra money, but I’m not sure what I can do. I’d love to try adding free-lance design, but as a full time designer at work I fear that will be too much stress on me. I also considered investing in those boxes of chocolate that children use to fund-raise for band concerts and field trips, but I doubt taking children’s customers is the best option. We’ll see. 😉

This will be a great time for us. So much planning, saving and preparation will be made this year, but I think we’re going to enjoy this learning experience. We’ll see!


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Friday, November 20: Mexican Revolution

November 20: Mexican Revolution Day,This official Mexican holiday commemorates the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Celebrated Monday, November 16, 2009.(oops).

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The Mexican Revolution (Spanish: Revolución mexicana) was a major armed struggle that started in 1910 with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements.

Over time the Revolution changed from a revolt against the established order to a multi-sided civil war. After prolonged struggles, its representatives produced the Mexican Constitution of 1917. The Revolution is generally considered to have lasted until 1920, although the country continued to have sporadic, but comparatively minor, outbreaks of warfare well into the 1920s. The Cristero War was the most significant relapse of bloodshed. The Revolution triggered the creation of the National Revolutionary Party in 1929 (renamed the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in 1946). Under a variety of leaders, the PRI held power until the general election of 2000.

This music is pretty epic in this vid:

(wikipedia.com | mexonline.com | youtube.com)


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Thursday, November 19: A Day of Misc. Fun

November 19 is such a great day that I decided to celebrate several random events all in one!

And (hopefully without being disrespectful) I quickly photo-shopped all of the events into one silly picture–see if you can guess which events we’re celebrating:

Alright, yes…that was a terrible attempt buuut, it sort of gets the point across. Today we are celebrating: Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863, the pencil was invented in 1895, pop-tarts were invented in 1963, and “Rocky and His Friends” or more commonly, “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” aired in 1959.

Thus, Abe is eating a poptart and watching “Rocky and Bullwinkle” while taking a break from writing the Gettysburg Address–which he is writing in pencil. Whew. A stretch of the imagination. =)

Because we are having a crazy stretch of fun, I’m going to be giving you some fun facts about these events!

The Gettysburg Address Paparazzi (November 19, 1863)

This is the only known picture of Abraham Lincoln on the day he delivered the address. Paparazzi shot!

Before Pencils…(November 19, 1895)

Graphite was discovered in the 1500’s and was used for marking sheep!Pop Tart Art (November 19, 1961)

Post originally had the idea for the pastry and announced early they were going to be called “Country Squares.” However, they announced the news too early because Kellogg snatched a version of the idea within six months, calling them “Pop Tarts”–named after one of the hottest things at the time—Pop Art, which Andy Warhol made  popular.

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show! (November 19, 1959)

The show was originally named “Rocky and His Friends” but was aired with several different names: “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”, “The Bullwinkle Show”, “The Rocky Show”, & “Rocky and Bullwinkle.” Nevertheless, here is a short clip of an opening to their show. Obviously I only saw reruns of this show, but as a child it was one of my favorites!


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Wednesday, November 18: Mickey Mouse’s Birthday

Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse!

Mickey Mouse is an American comic animal cartoon character who has become an icon for The Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse was created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks[1] and voiced by Walt Disney. The Walt Disney Company celebrates his birth as November 18, 1928 upon the release of Steamboat Willie.[2] Although Mickey had already appeared six months earlier in Plane Crazy (Steamboat Willie being the first Mickey Mouse Cartoon with sound). The anthropomorphic mouse has evolved from being simply a character in animated cartoons and comic strips to become one of the most recognizable symbols in the world.

Said Disney when creating Mickey Mouse:

“We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea. We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin — a little fellow trying to do the best he could. When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it’s because he’s so human; and that is the secret of his popularity. I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.”



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Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holiday Cards

Today I got a possible family pictures freelance job so I spent the night designing a few holiday card ideas (using 08 Christmas photos, including cute pics of Julia: Nalley News) to show the family.

Sometimes, I think “Wow, designers are so expensive.” But then I spend hours and hours designing something and remember why.

Thoughts?