happy new year!

2013, December

i can’t believe this is my last post for 2013!

what are your plans? i’ve been sick for the last few days, since christmas day actually, so i’m not up for anything too social…looks like it might be a quiet one with the roommates! and maybe running out at midnight to kiss a random stranger.

have you made any new year resolutions? to be honest this year i resolve to have more faith. my life is so up in the air at the moment i have to have faith that everything will work out! and i believe it will.

in the mean time here are my favorite quotes for 2014…

“and don’t worry about losing. if it is right it happens – the main thing is not to hurry. nothing good gets away.” john steinbeck

“if life throws you a curve ball, you learn to swing.” a rascal flats song

“we are what we repeatedly do therefore excellence is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle

here’s to doing something in 2014 that scares the crap out of you.

NYE 2013

happy new year to each and everyone of you!



all fur coat and no knickers

2013, December

i have now lived stateside for 2 years {well 2 years in january} and i have daily conversations with people about england, london, british words, the royal family and the fact that as brits we don’t really count ourselves as europeans {unless that’s just me}…i could go on.


but during one slightly long afternoon at work {i’m not sure i should admit this on such a public space, but oh well}, i stumbled on a plethora of british slang that i just had to share. i laughed out loud at some of them since i hadn’t used them in a very long time. but mostly reminisced and thought about how weird i must sound when i’m in full flow conversation with friends from home {ash i’m specifically referring to you!}.

all fur coat and no knickers is actually a berkshierism {i.e. from berkshire}, my friend used this phrase to describe her job! e.g. her role has a fancy title but it doesn’t mean much!

*these are taken from the article the very best of british from effingpot.com*

here are just a few. enjoy.

  • ace – if something is ace it is awesome.
  • aggro – short for aggravation, it’s the sort of thing you might expect at a football match. in other words – trouble!
  • all right? – this is used a lot around london and the south to mean, “hello, how are you”? you would say it to a complete stranger or someone you knew. the normal response would be for them to say “all right”? back to you. it is said as a question. sometimes it might get expanded to “all right mate”? mostly used by blue collar workers but also common among younger people.
  • barmy – if someone tells you that you’re barmy they mean you have gone mad or crazy. for example you’d have to be barmy to visit england without trying black pudding!
  • bees knees – if you want to say that something was fabulous, this phrase might come in handy.
  • bloody – one of the most useful swear words in english. mostly used as an exclamation of surprise i.e. “bloody hell” or “bloody nora”. something may be “bloody marvellous” or “bloody awful”. it is also used to emphasize almost anything, “you’re bloody mad”, “not bloody likely” and can also be used in the middle of other words to emphasize them. e.g. “abso-bloody-lutely”! americans should avoid saying “bloody” as they sound silly.
  • blooming – another alternative to the word bloody. you might hear someone say “not blooming likely” so that they don’t have to swear.
  • bob’s your uncle – this is a well used phrase. it is added to the end of sentences a bit like and that’s it! for example if you are telling someone how to make that fabulous banoffee pie you just served them, you would tell them to boil the condensed milk for three hours, spread it onto a basic cheesecake base, slice bananas on top, add some whipped double cream, another layer of banana and bob’s your uncle!
  • cheeky – cheeky means you are flippant, have too much lip or are a bit of a smart arse! generally you are considered to be a bit cheeky if you have an answer for everything and always have the last word.
  • cheers – this word is obviously used when drinking with friends. however, it also has other colloquial meanings. for example when saying goodbye you could say “cheers”, or “cheers then”. it also means thank you.
  • chin wag – this is another word for a chat. ycan probably tell why!
  • do – a party. you would go to a do if you were going to a party in the uk i.e. a bacerlorette party would be called a hen do or bachelor party a stag do.
  • donkey’s years – someone said to me the other day that they hadn’t seen me for donkey’s years. it means they hadn’t seen me for ages.
  • full of beans – this means to have loads of energy. *i only learnt this one a few months ago!*
  • gutted – if someone is really upset by something they might say that they were gutted.
  • hiya – short for hi there, this is a friendly way of saying hello.
  • horses for courses – this is a common saying that means each to his own. what suits one person might be horrible for someone else.
  • left, right and centre – if you have been looking left, right and centre, it means you have been searching all over.
  • on your bike – a polite way of telling someone to f*** off.
  • pear shaped – if something has gone pear shaped it means it has become a disaster. It might be preparing a dinner party or arranging a meeting, any of these things can go completely pear shaped.
  • porkiescockney rhyming slang. short for “porky pies”, meaning “pork pies”. rhymes with lies.
  • pukka – this term has been revived recently by one of our popular young tv chefs. it means super or smashing, which of course is how he describes all his food.
  • quid – a pound in money is called a quid. It is the equivalent to the buck or clam in america. a five pound note is called a fiver and a ten pound note is called a tenner.
  • rubbish – the stuff we put in the bin. trash or garbage to americans. you might also accuse someone of talking rubbish.
  • skew-whiff – this is what you would call crooked. like when you put a shelf up and it isn’t straight we would say it is all skew-whiff.
  • sod all – If you are a waiter in america and you serve a family of brits, the tip is likely to be sod all or as you would call it – nothing. because we don’t know about tipping.
  • taking the biscuit – if something really takes the biscuit, it means it out-does everything else and cannot be bettered. some places in america they said takes the cake.
  • taking the mickey – means making fun of someone. variations include “taking the mick” and “taking the michael”.
  • throw a spanner in the works – this is an expression that means to wreck something.

there was so much more. if you want to read a lot more than what i’ve shared find it here. i warn you, some of the words are a bit naughty! *insert winky face*



for the new year

2013, December

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.” 
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets


“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 
Neil Gaiman


“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
Hal Borland


“Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.

Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.

What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?

What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?

What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?

Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of  your time, and write it all down – as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.”

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”
Melody Beattie


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain


“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  
Edith Lovejoy Pierce



merry christmas!

2013, December

it’s 7:49am on Christmas eve and i’m just about to leave for work. having been up since 6am to prepare food for our Christmas breakfast/brunch at work i’m actually feeling quite lively!

i wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas. wherever you are, and whoever you are celebrating it with enjoy. make the most of it. be kind. love. be happy!

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Christmas traditions. don’t you just love them? they are unique to this time of year. i grew up in a Mormon/Muslim home but both of my parents made sure us kids understood the meaning of Christmas. my dad joined in on Christmas eve when we got to open up a small present from under the tree, then watched a Christmas movie.  he joined in on Christmas morning when we would read from Luke 2 {i remember at a young age just being all “i know, i know…i just want to open up the presents!”} and as i’ve gotten older i’ve appreciated this experience so much more. after presents are opened it’s breakfast time and we have a fantastic english brekkie which includes bacon, sausage, egg, baked beans {of the heinz kind}, toast, hot cocoa or herbal tea. we eat and eat till our hearts are content and till our stomachs beg for no more. bless my dad, he’s Muslim so doesn’t eat pork but will join us at the table and eat his porkless english breakfast anyhow {all the while giving us slightly gobsmacked looks that we would even eat such a thing…literally every year}.

after breakfast mum and i would go into the kitchen to finish off cooking Christmas dinner while my brother and dad clean up the wrapping paper and set the table. they may also fall asleep during this time as it always takes us forever to finish cooking. by 4/5pm it’s dinner time. Christmas crackers on the table {they are awesome things you pull apart and whoever gets the larger end gets the Christmas hat, gets to read the joke and keep whatever prize it contains}.

then we feast! we are originally  from sierra leone so we mix traditional sierra leonean dishes with english ones. i’m talking about turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roast pork and apple sauce {so yummy}, veggies {we stopped eating brussels sprouts a while back}, pigs in blankets, gravy, joloff rice and stew, roast beef, salone salad, fried crab in breadcrumbs, fried fish. there’s probably more that i’m forgetting.

this amount of food obviously induces a food coma so after we have eaten {no one clears the food off the table, we all know we’re coming back}, we head to the living room to watch endless hours of movies and Christmas specials.

i just love it.

i asked friends on facebook to share their Christmas traditions. i loved reading each and every one. the running theme? family.

Every year with the extended family we do a white elephant gift exchange and every year is a different theme. Two years ago it was home decor with a limit of $5…. You can only imagine what we had. And this year is as seen on tv. It’s so fun and it’s always interesting to see what people come up with.
Katie, Utah

My family watching the lakers game.
Rudy, Utah/Georgia/Detroit

Christmas eve my girls have an early bath then open a Christmas present that will be christmasy pyjamas,  we then watch poler express, after we read twas the night before Christmas, then the girls will set out the mince pies and milk, and one of them will put the Santa key by the door.
Kerry, UK

We stay up Christmas Eve and celebrate – food, music. opening  gifts at midnight – the next day we go to grandmas we eat Guatemalan tamales breakfast and lunch !
Randy, Utah/California

We always have breakfast pizza and cream cheese muffins. Like most family’s, we ALWAYS record the descent down the stairs.
Evan, North Carolina

Reading the book  A Christmas Carol or watching the film Scrooge every December. Also, set a challenge re gifts; one year it was to give a gift that money can’t buy so I gave blood at a transfusion centre (for which we are not paid) and did some temple sealing work. Another year I’ve done an anonymous 12 days of Christmas.  This year I did 12 deeds of Christmas.
Sarah, UK

Family party with extended family. We sing – ending in Silent Night in English and German. We all recite Twas the Night Before Christmas and then Grandpa reads from Luke 2. After that, we all get to open one gift – it’s always pajamas. Everyone – aunts, uncles, mom’s dad’s, kids and guests – throw on their new pj’s, half the time on over or regular clothes. It’s wonderfully chaotic and an altogether glorious mess of children, wrapping paper and cousins wearing boxer shorts Superman-style.
Casey, Utah

Christmas eve = carols & a curry.
Kimberley, Australia/UK

We open one present,  (kids usually the fluffy pj’s), then sit in our duvets and watch a dvd surrounded with yummies.
Jill, UK

Candlelight dinner on Christmas Eve, raspberries saved from the summer for use in dessert, a surprise box of breakfast foods left on someone’s doorstep, and always – homemade gifts for each other.
Kristen, Utah

Christmas eve get the kids to bed, put the prezzies round the tree, get the stockings for santa to fill get up. Then Christmas day open prezzies, watch a bit of Christmas telly till 4 then off to mum’s for Christmas dinner with the family.
Ruth, UK

Watch the 1984 (or 83?) version of A Christmas Carol. Best one ever!
Derek, Califronia

what are yours?

i hope you enjoyed that as much as i did. wishing you all a very merry Christmas!


life lately.

2013, December

i can’t quite believe it’s almost Christmas…where did december go? life has been a little crazy to say the least. good and bad.

remember that post where i said i would tell you what’s been going on in my life? or at least why i was awol for a few weeks? {not that my blogging has improved much since then…}

well i guess the biggest news is… this girl is moving back to england in march! {i don’t know why i’m referring to myself in third person but just go with it}. **say whaaat** i know, i know. i was planning on staying stateside for a little longer but things work out a certain way and you have to roll with it. not that i’m too devastated. i mean i get to go home. do you know what that sounds like when it’s two nights from christmas and i am nowhere near the shores of the great british isles? pretty. bloomin. fantastic.

what does that have to do with blogging i hear you ask? yes i can hear you. well, i read the paragraph back and asked myself what that had to do with blogging so i assume you’re asking the same question.

 i digress.

i don’t know about you, or anyone else for that matter, but when i’m making a big decision or a pretty big life changing event is about to take place, i turn into a recluse. or at least i don’t really want to socialize. this also happens when i’ve had a few boy issues {which has also happened recently but alas i choose not to share my dating life on here}. so i needed a breather. to step away from social media and just be quiet. because i feel with the constant twiterring, blogging, texting, facebooking, snapchatting … you get the jist, it all becomes quite noisy.  i have yet to take a proper social media break…when you have friends who live on different continents it’s hard not to. which also leads me to ask, is it too much to ask to have all my favorite people and places on one continent? i don’t think so!

it actually worked out cheaper for me to stop over in new york before heading back to london, rather than flying straight from salt lake city. so i thought ‘why not?’ i have friends i’m staying with and other friends who live in nyc and d.c.  i am so excited! i’ve been to d.c. before {for about 2 hours} but never to new york! if you have been what would you recommend? i am planning on taking a day just to walk around and take everything in.

in other news, i’m moving from my apartment to live with friends in taylorsville. i have just a little over a week to sell almost everything i own. i shall be spending a lot of time on ksl and craigslist i can tell you that much.

i emailed one of my married friends about me moving back and how excited i was to see them {one of those rare instances where i was friends with both of them separately before they even started dating!} and this is by far the best response yet. i just had to share:

that’s great news!! we’ve had just about enough of you living as the prodigal daughter, we’re glad you’ve come to your senses and you’re returning to claim your birthright in the land that flows with fresh, hormone-free milk and fsa approved, minimum 80% honey, where good old fashioned porridge oats and shreddies really do have no added sugar and you can gorge yourself on tesco’s finest at no real cost cos in return you get 1p for every £ you spend and every little helps, where you’re in good company hating on ‘the yanks’ and panicking over the inevitable EU takeover with the best of them and you can look forward to your state pension in ummm…not sure anymore cos they keep pushing it back so probably not till our 80s or funerals, whichever comes first. welcome back!

you might only get some of those references if you’re british or have lived in the uk or possibly obsessed with british culture. either way it made me laugh out loud and of course no offense is meant by it!

 i do love Christmas and my heart aches a lot just a little because i’m not home this year. first time ever {i don’t count my mission, that was different}. but at least i can skype/facetime/call them on the day. anyway this year i made my first ginger bread house {where have i been?} and was especially fun because i got to be with my old colleagues from the lds business college library.

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i do love Christmas!


food truck thursday

2013, December

every now and then i get to have lunch with my awesome friend whitney. lunch dates with girlfriends are my favorite (although even more fun when you have no time limit), and lunch with whitney is no exception.

last thursday we decided to venture out in the freezing finger-numbing cold weather and try out food truck thursday. if you work downtown salt lake and have never tried it, i highly recommend it! (and i don’t even get paid to say that).

behind the k2 news building off main street, every thursday, you’ll find 4 food trucks; bbq sandwiches, healthy stuff (couldn’t quite work out exactly what they were selling), korean and i think the other truck was chinese…i might be lying.


Food Truck

anyway as we got closer we were approached by a young woman who asked us if we would like to sample some new products. why not right? well we got to truck and were given a spiel about this “stuff” (it was actually called that). when we asked what it did/what it was for the guy gave us a vague “it’s good for you” response. we were given a business card and walked away thinking “what the?” only to be approached by a different young woman 30 seconds later to say it was a fake truck and an experiment into seeing how people buy into “stuff”. then we noticed the camera crews and were asked if we would sign a form to say “yes show our mugs on tv”.

it was actually pretty exciting.

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anyway after a few minutes (literally because standing out in the cold was way too painful), we decided to go for the korean bbq. and my oh my, i’ve been trying  not to say it but i’m going to anyway…my taste buds had a PARRTAYY. with strobe lights and everything.

Actually Whitney

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for $9.00? not too shabby at all.



2013, December

i have an explanation for going awol these last few weeks on this little space of mine. and i promise to share with you.

hot springs – quite possibly my favorite thing in the history of ever.

in the meantime {and actually due to the changes that have occurred in my life recently)…

“when we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. the challenge will not wait. life does not look back. a week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
paulo coelho, the devil and miss prym

and on that same notion i love this gem from apple. here’s to being a ‘rebel’:

“here’s to the crazy ones. the misfits. the rebels. the troublemakers. the round pegs in the square holes. the ones who see things differently. they’re not fond of rules. and they have no respect for the status quo. you can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. about the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. because they change things. they push the human race forward. and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

i don’t claim to be such a person, and surely being such a person is not an easy task. i believe it takes a colossal amount of courage to be the rebel. to not just think outside of the box but the be outside of the box. and perhaps it is rather lonely outside of that box.

but being outside of the box means change. it means making a difference. and it means putting your stamp on this experience we call life. in whatever sphere we see fit.

so there is accepting change and there is being one that orchestrates change. and we can do both.