My First Year in the UK

I have officially been in the UK for one year. Actually, I’m very late writing this as my one year was in September. But, life has a way of keeping you busy.

I still find it funny that I live in another country. I never imagined that I would ever live outside of the United States. But being here has been amazing. There are so many things that I have learned about myself and about the world by simply putting myself in a different space.

In just this past year, I’ve done more than I have in years of my life. Sometimes I think to myself, this is what living really feels like. There really is no timeline on when you should have accomplished different milestones in life and no timeline will be the same for two people. This is something I used to struggle with. I always thought by this point in my life I would have a certain number of goals ticked off and that since I didn’t, I was somehow failing.

Restarting my life in the UK has given me a new perspective and I have to say, I’m pretty happy I didn’t get all the things I thought I wanted, at the exact moment I wanted them. I’m so happy to be able to create a new timeline with a life I’m truly in love with.

When I sit back and think about everything we’ve done over the past year, I’m actually surprised we’ve squeezed so much in. I got a pretty amazing job working for FQ Magazine. We’ve been to plays, festivals, and iconic London tourist attractions. We spent a week in Wales, we moved into a bigger space and even planned a wedding. Most impressively, I mastered the underground system in London.

The UK has taught me portion control (forcibly), and that I can walk farther than the parking lot to the store. I didn’t realize how much I was overeating until I moved here. I remember our first time to going to a restaurant and thinking the waitress had only brought my dish out and then realizing that was food for two people. I remember being equally shocked at all the medium sized coffees that are masquerading around as larges.

But with smaller portions and no options other than trains and walking, I’m in better shape and much healthier so I can’t really complain.

I still feel like the same person I was a year ago. Although, if you ask my husband he’ll tell you London has changed me. That I’m now one of the impatient and aggressive people on the trains, that don’t have time for tourists wandering around…. that might be true.

Another huge event is that, we’ve been married for two years now. Marriage has taught me a lot. I’ve definitely learned to compromise, how to share a space with another person. After living on my own for years, that was an adjustment. I think most importantly, I’ve learned that people give and receive love differently than I do, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that there are different ways of communicating and that a marriage takes effort and patience…. sometimes a lot of patience. But it’s so worth it.

This past year has flown by and I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store.

Making Roots

I have been living in the U.K. around three months now. It still feels weird and surprising sometimes. I catch myself thinking “Oh, this a different country.” But I’m getting settled here and am really starting to feel at home. Although there are definitely things I miss from the U.S., like liquid coffee creamer and cinnabons.

I’ve been working hard to start setting some roots here, in this new country of mine. I applied and received my provisional license so I can start learning how to navigate those death traps they call roundabouts. We’ve been busy getting settled into our apartment, buying all the things you need for a new home. I’ve slowly been checking off my bucket list of all the “touristy” London things to do. I’m also making my way to as many coffeeshops as I can find.

As it turns out, I’m not very good at being a stay at home person. Shocking, I’m sure to anyone who knows me. I spent many years working while going to school, working multiple jobs, and even working multiple jobs while going to school. So, staying home all day everyday was nice and relaxing for the first few weeks and then I started to feel like I was going a little bit more insane everyday.

This is why I’m so excited that I’ve started a position with FQ Magazine. A magazine geared towards parenting, especially fathers. It’s so exciting and satisfying to finally be working in a field where my passion lies. However, I am running into some difficulties, like learning the British way of spelling things as compared to the American and the different styles of writing. But, I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it. Here are a few of my first published pieces. Go ahead and check them out!

Here’s how to add more veggie’s into your family’s diet

Making healthy school packed lunches for your child

How to “eat” more water

Coffeehouse Roundup

The winter weather here is still taking me a bit to get used to. I’m used to freezing cold temps, car sliding in the street because of all the snow, falling to your doom on black ice, and winds so bitter cold that it feels like someone punched you in the chest when you step outside of your house.

However, here in the UK most of their cold weather comes in the form of rain. It’s been raining  for months I feel like and I’m starting to feel torn as to which weather I’d rather have. While I do not miss eating it on the icy sidewalks or walking through snow that’s up to my chins, I am starting to get tired of the rain. Since the cold weather has hit, I’ve been spending more time inside coffee shops. So, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of my favorite ones.

The Syon Café

The Syon Café was the first coffeehouse I visited in the UK. Just walking distance from our home, they offer coffee, teas, breakfast and lunch. It’s super cozy in there and I often spend my mornings reading in there over a mocha and order of French toast. I usually try something new from the menu when I go there, and I haven’t had anything that I didn’t like.

Coffee Republic

I’ve been to two different Coffee Republic locations and would say that my favorite location is the one in Bedford. You can get fun festive drinks with every edible favors on top. They also offer a full menu of sandwiches, soups and pastries.

Coffee with Art

If you’re looking to have a more solid flavor and decorative design on your latte, Coffee with Art is where you want to be. They create a snug and homely feeling that you won’t want to leave. They offer probably the largest food menu that I’ve seen from coffeeshops here so far and I’m always treated with some type of design in my latte.

Caffé Nero

In my opinion, is very similar to Coffee Republic. If you’re looking for fun and festive drinks, Caffee Nero is the place to go. The last time I was there, I had a Belgian truffle chocolate hot chocolate which I added espresso to. They topped the drink with whipped cream and chocolate drops which steadily melted into the already chocolatey drink, super tasty.

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Starbucks

It’s so odd to me that Starbucks is more of an emerging brand here. Towns are still popping up with new Starbucks. We’ve been to several around town and all have been delicious. Whenever I’m starting to miss home, Starbucks is definitely a way to cheer me up.

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Living in England.

I’ve been in the UK for a little under a month now and I think I’m finally getting adjusted to things here. I didn’t think going from the United States to the UK would be so different but they’re different worlds. This is what I’ve experienced so far.


  • People will greet you with “Are you alright?” ( I’m still not really sure how to answer that.)
  • London reminds me very much of New York. Busy streets filled with traffic going every which way, tons of stores and places to eat, and tons of people.
  • Drivers sit on the right side of the car and roundabouts are everywhere. People tell me it’s to help the traffic keep following. I’m not convinced, I feel like we’re just chancing our lives every turn we take on there.
  • The British are HUGE tea drinkers, but you can find coffee shops nearly everywhere. There are three different ones in walking distance from our apartment. (Apartments are also called flats here.)
  • If you ask for soy milk in your latte, they will often correct you and call it soya.
  • Walking is the easiest mode of transportation. Finding a parking spot is like hitting the lottery.
  • Portion sizes are much smaller here as compared to the US. This combined with the all the walking, I may be in the best shape of my life.
  • London is also very diverse, which I found very surprising. Just walking down, the street you will hear loads of different languages being spoken.
  • There are tiny switches on EVERY outlet. You turn the switch on when you want to plug something in there and turn it off when you’re done. Which makes me think we may be wasting a lot of energy in the US.
  • England is naturally beautiful. This little gem of island is filled with so much history and gorgeous scenery, you’ll want to take pictures everywhere you go.