Thursday, 1 November 2012

A Birthday Bite (Mosquito or Otherwise)

I'm currently sitting in our local Starbucks (a beautiful 3 mile ride from the house) treating myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte in a red cup which can only mean one thing: Fall (or Autumn to those of you back at home) is now upon us! For Americans this means Thanksgiving and Christmas, almost rolled into one, and the shops have already replaced the Halloween stock with Christmas stock. Crikey.

This week has been as hectic as the others as we move towards a busier time of year. Meg returned home safely from England on Monday bearing gifts from my parents (awful gossip magazines and chocolate, of course) and stories of her time in the UK which she thoroughly enjoyed. It's odd, if you'd  have spoken to me before I came, I would not have been one for patriotism at all but now that I'm here and I received such compliments about being from England, I'm becoming almost proud of my country. I know, it took me by surprise too.

We also worked on the youngest's poster for school which was so much fun - going through family photos and putting our craft skills to work.

Meg was all systems go as soon as she returned home as Tuesday was the youngest's 6th birthday party! Now, this party was brilliant, really really brilliant. A 'Games 2 U' van was rented - a van that you hire, featuring 5 flat screen television sets with different game consoles both inside and out. It was a sight to behold, and the kids lapped it up whilst playing tag Football in the garden and eating their weight in Cookie Cake. Okay, so maybe no-one enjoyed the cake quite as much as I did, but after being sent on an emergency errand to find another cake, the least Suzanne and I could do was treat ourselves to it. Even if the icing turned our mouths black. I'd like to take this chance to apologise to the parents of the kids who returned home with black mouths...we had nothing to do with it.

Cookie cake!

Drooling over Kroger cakes whilst on a Cookie Cake errand.

The party went down a storm and I got the chance to mingle with other parents from our neighbourhood, allowing me to perfect my small talk and polite smiles. Everyone here is so welcoming and fascinated at me being from England. Whether it's explaining about where I live, my Gap Year, why I'm in Houston...I love it. I was soon introduced to a woman who had lived in England for 8 years. I nodded and thought, 'oh this isn't uncommon..' but when I asked where she had lived she replied, 'oh a small town you may not have heard of - Bishops Stortford?' I couldn't stop smiling! I moved 4860 miles away from home tiny town, and yet I have managed, in the 4th biggest city in the USA, to find someone who knows what it's like to miss England. Her children were born in the same English Hospital I was, the eldest of her children still uses Britishisms ('Mummy', 'Lawn') like I do!

It was a perfect end to the party, and I returned home with a bigger smile on my face and more mosquito bites on my legs - perfect. When we returned home, I decided to put my hand to baking again, making Pumpkin Spice cupcakes for the first time which went down a treat!

Finished product - tasted better than they look, I promise!

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