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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Texans in London!

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Two major things happened over the weekend! The first one being we traveled by train to London, which turned out to be a breeze. The most important being we got to visit a sweet friend from high school and her husband on their vacation!

I was so happy to see some familiar faces! We spent all day traveling London with two friends in tow. We only did a few small things, but that left plenty of conversation time which allowed us to catch up on each other’s lives.

The morning started easily enough, though we were both trying to find each other through the very busy and crowded market on Portobello Road. Once we did we ate breakfast and started exploring! Portobello Road market is an interesting mix of antique and vintage collectibles set out in the streets for people to peruse…and it. is. crowded! We weaved our way in and out of the crowded, mainly focusing on vintage maps and prints. Ann and I found out we both really loved old prints so we were content to shuffle through stacks of them while talking about our lives.

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Once we walked the street, we decided to check out the Borough Food Market, another legendary London hot spot where we walked through the food stands and ended up finding a nearby italian restaurant to eat at.

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Ann and Micah had already spent a week in London so they easily whisked us around The Underground subway tunnels all throughout the day! It was such a blast, and funny enough, a relief getting a chance to see how easy riding the tube was for any future trip back we make.

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Our afternoon was spent visiting Baker Street to see the fictitious 221B Baker Street from Sherlock Holmes, and Abbey Road where I took a picture of Ann and Micah crossing the same sidewalk The Beatles crossed on their album cover.5

It was a great day and nice seeing people we knew for the first time since moving to the UK!

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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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First Day of Fall

What Feels Good Right Now: 

My Husband

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I am so proud of all his accomplishments. He’s working so hard at his master’s degree and accomplishing so much. I know he’s is going to be successful.

My Job

Urquhart, LLC. 

It feels good knowing that my skills are being put to use in an environment where I’m respected and appreciated. I never would have expected to be in charge of a talented team of graphic and web designers. I am learning so much about web design, retail, and sales from my boss. I plan to stay here a long time. 

My Home

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Taylor and I are slowly starting the search for a bigger apartment, but as we’re not quite ready to take that step, I had to make our life work for our small place. Each weekend I’ve been heading to Goodwill with boxes and bags worth of excess. I have a constant struggle between wanting to keep ALL the memories and wanting to get rid of ALL the junk. I have mild fears of hoarding so the more I look at my boxes of high school and college “memories” as just STUFF I can give away, the lighter I feel. The best part is I don’t have to keep every high school t-shirt or college homework assignment, but I still have the memories I cherish most. I won’t be getting rid of everything from my past—I’ll be doing quite a bit of scrapbooking!

…and by the way:

Cooler Weather

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80-90 degrees with a slight wind on these first few days of autumn! I’ve already broken out the leggings, boots and long sleeve shirts. Fashion Love on Pinterest

I am blessed. 


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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!