So hi, hi, American pie

Apple pie

I did something very American last weekend. I baked some apple pie.

I’m not a pie maker, but the whole autumn-ness of this season struck me and I decided I needed to eschew crumble for something doughy, flaky and piping hot. My husband picked up some really good pie crust from the Co-op – so much better than Pillsbury (hey, don’t judge me, I don’t judge you) and it proved to make all the difference.

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About these ads

A cornershop

I spotted this on sho & tell blog and had to share! Lucy Sparrow’s Cornershop resembles your average Spar shop or British news agent, but all the items are hand knitted! Take a look!

Lucy Sparrow's Cornershop

Lucy's cornershop

Lucy's cornershop

Lucy's cornershop

Whew! That’s a lot of knitting! Incredible! More on Lucy Sparrow at her website.

Choc Noodle?

Choc Noodle

So, when I first moved to the U.K., I discovered Pot Noodle.

To the untrained American eye, you’d think this creation was a Cup Noodles lookalike. But noooo… Cup Noodles is a completely different, dare I say, beast of a noodle in a cup.
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Have you tried Stitch Fix?

Have you heard of Stitch Fix?

A co-worker told me about it so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I just got my first package a couple of weeks ago. You fill out a profile with your clothing sizes, your budget and your personal style and their personal shoppers will send you five items that they think will work for you. For someone like me, who loves clothes but never has time to shop (and is kind of picky), I thought it would be an experiment worth trying.

So here’s what I got! It felt like Christmas came early!

Stitch Fix box

Wrapped in tissue paper
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Sacramento: A football town

Sacramento Republic FC wins USL PRO championship

Photo credit: Sacramento Republic FC

This weekend was pretty monumental for our town of Sacramento — our team Sacramento Republic FC (yep, FC stands for Football Club) won the United Soccer League (USL) professional championship in its first season. We went to the game and witnessed the big win in person.

In one year, I’ve seen our town evolve into a truly spirited soccer (or I should say football) town and it’s exciting! The team has managed to energize our town and bring pride back to our city. I never was a big football fan when I lived in the U.K., but now that I’ve started watching the games, I finally get why it’s the world’s game.

I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but if a sportsphobe like me can change, well, anything is possible! And I have no doubt that the best is yet to come for Sacramento.

Best states to drink beer

I like a good beer. My top 10?

1. Boddingtons*
2. Caffrey’s Irish Ale
3. Stella Artois
4. Corona with lime
5. Lagunitas’ A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale
6. Heineken
7. Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter
8. Ruhstaller’s Gilt Edge
9. Blue Moon
10. Pyramid Apricot Ale
*My #1 really varies, depending on the day and my mood.

EVERY STATE IN THE USA, RANKED BY ITS BEER

At any rate, I’m glad to live in a state that appreciates beer – where I can procure some wonderful locally brewed beers, and get my favorites from the U.K. easily.

Thrillist.com agrees – and has put together its ranking of every state based on the quality and quantity of the beer they produce. California was #2, only surpassed by Oregon (which I have to say does have some wonderful brews).

How did your state do? And what’s your favorite beer?

Why “The World’s End” is my favorite British movie of the past year

The World's End
I finally watched “The World’s End” this week (currently airing on HBO Go) and love love loved it. Have you seen it?

It really was a great ending to the “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” trilogy, starring Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote it with Edgar Wright, who directed all three).

If you missed this gem, it’s premise is simple: Six friends reunite 20 later to attempt one massive pub crawl – The Glorious Golden Mile – that they didn’t complete in their youth. In the course of hitting 12 pubs in their childhood hometown, they stumble upon the unsettling truth that they are surrounded by residents that are decidedly not human – and must fight for their survival.

It’s so British and so brilliantly written, so smart and funny and nostalgic. It made me ache for the 1990s in Britain again, when I first spent time there at uni (American translation: college). It will make you want to hunker down in a grandpa pub named something like the King’s Head or the Royal Arms on a winter’s day and order a pint (or two or more!) of real ale like Old Peculiar (or maybe that’s just me.)

The soundtrack is especially evocative – tunes like The Housemartins’ “Happy Hour,” The Stone Roses’ “Fool’s Gold” and Primal Scream’s “Loaded” are just golden. As a side note, if you do decide to buy the soundtrack, get the British version of it, which includes an additional 10 songs including The Sundays’ “Here’s Where the Story Ends,” Happy Mondays’ “Step On,” and Kylie Minogue’s “Step Back In Time.” Sigh.

Second baby news for Will and Kate

Kate, Will and Baby George

Ah, congrats to the lovely Will and Kate on news of baby #2!

Now might be a good time to place some bets. What do you think? Girl or boy?

I think the last go-round, I was pretty psychically sure that it would be a girl (and then was clearly so wrong). This time, well, I’m going to do the reverse and say it will be a boy. A boy named Hugh, in fact. Or Lucien. Or perhaps Joffrey. (Maybe I’ve been watching too much “Game of Thrones.”)

What do you think? And what’s the latest royal name going to be this time?

“Sherlock” Emmy wins

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch

Congrats to Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, who won the Emmy for best lead actor and best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie for their roles as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in BBC’s “Sherlock.” The show’s creator Steven Moffat also took the Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for “Sherlock: His Last Vow.”

If you haven’t seen “Sherlock” yet, what are you waiting for? You can stream it on Netflix and it is such a great watch!

See the full list of Emmy winners from last night’s broadcast.

20 signs you were born and raised in Scotland

Scottish piper

I spent a couple of years living in Scotland – the first year in Stirling, the second in Edinburgh – but I feel almost Scottish born.

Well, apart from the fact I look not-at-all Scottish and can’t speak with a Scottish accent or play the bagpipes. But … but … in spirit, I’m SO Scottish. Love the people, love the music, love the pubs, love the weather most of the time!

How about you? Read these 20 signs you were born and raised in Scotland and see where you land.

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