Expat Update: September 2016

Another month gone already!  Here I’ll be looking back on what I’ve been up to this month, the places I’ve been, the highs and lows, life as a Brit in the States and other random things I’m finding interesting this month!

Expat Update

Days living in the States: 49

Visa Update

29/09/16 – My Green Card arrived in the mail!  Less than 2 months after arriving in the States!

*Tip* This book was an AMAZING help during the visa process: Guide Book for Completing the USA Marriage & Fiancé Visa

Where I’ve Been


  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dyersville, Peosta, Dubuque, Bernard
  • Illinois: East Dubuque, East St Louis
  • Missouri: St Louis

September Highs

Me and the Other Half actually got to spend our 1st wedding anniversary together!  It was touch and go as to whether or not the visa would cooperate but it did!  We spent the afternoon playing Footgolf, a new experience for the both of us!

A group of us took a road trip to St Louis, Missouri for my first Major League Baseball game!  The Cardinals won at their home stadium so the atmosphere was pretty good! *Funny Incident Alert*: I love swimming, at every opportunity I’ll jump in a lake/river/pool/the sea, on route I was told the hotel had a pool I didn’t know about.  I was gutted, I always carry swim stuff but I didn’t think I’d need it.  School boy error.  We stopped at Walmart, but despite it still being 30c outside, all the summer clothes, including swim stuff, was in the sales.  I managed to find a top but there were NO bottoms in sight.  Next best thing:  I picked up some shorts for $5 and the following morning went for a swim in my underwear and I have no shame, I really enjoyed it and I had the whole pool to myself anyway!

Gateway Arch St Louis

I received a box of yummy English sweets/candy and chocolate from my Mum.  You can find out what she sent me HERE.  So I spent a few weeks treating myself to a chocolate bar everyday after work!

September Lows

I picked up an AWFUL cold/sinus infection.  It felt like I had been hit by the train that goes by my bedroom window blowing its horn at 3am in the morning.  I went down to the little ‘village shop’ and no word of a lie, I must have spent 20 minutes looking at around 30 bottles of different types of cold medicine.  I didn’t realise quite so many existed (America does love their medicines)!  Because I was feeling sorry for myself, this then brought on a round of homesickness and the realisation that my travel fund wasn’t even going to be big enough for a flight home and 1 week somewhere else.  As someone that literally LIVES for my travels, this was the hardest thing.  I blamed the ridiculous health insurance bills that I never had at home.

Blog Progress

I’m pretty shocked to find out that my most viewed post this month has been:

Lokrum Island Tips

Tips for Visiting Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik

It’s one that I wrote ages ago but it’s been doing quite well on Pinterest!  When researching for my trip to Dubrovnik back in May, I could find LOADS of information on Dubrovnik but nothing really for what Lokrum Island was like.  Although it’s far from going viral, I guess there was a gap in the blogging market for it!

British Item of the Month

Marmite 250g Jar

MARMITE!  When I was feeling ill, something as simple as a Marmite sandwich managed to cheer me up slightly.  I couldn’t find it anywhere in the supermarkets but my Mum sent me a jar and it’s available on the American Amazon site!  For those that didn’t see my ‘box’ post.  Marmite is a type of spread, I love it 🙂

American Item of the Month

High Sierra Loop Backpack, Electric Geo/Charcoal/Tropic Teal

So I’m now picking up ‘fashion tips’ from my 4th Grade class at the school where I work!  One of the students had this backpack and I fell in love with the colour and the pockets and everything!  I went home and ordered myself one!  It’s by High Sierra and they come in so many different pretty colours.  I plan to use it as my new hand luggage bag.  It has mesh pockets on the sides for bottles and you can even clip hoodies and coats to the bottom so you don’t have to carry them!  Very excited for its arrival next week!

Book of the Month

So far I’m on target for my 2 books a month challenge!  You can check out my 2016 category challenge here!  I’ve been trying to make it my aim to make more time for reading, it’s still not as much as what I used to read but I’m getting better!

Books read = TWO

Dunster’s Calling – Tracey Gemmell

Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly True Account of a Cross Country Car & Bicycle Adventure – Al Macy

Book of the Month:

(By default) Dunster’s Calling – Tracey Gemmell!

My rating: 5/5!  This book was written by a lady in a Brits in America expat group that I’m part of on Facebook!  I really enjoyed reading it and will be reviewing it in more detail in a blog post coming up shortly!  It’s all about an expat drawn between wanting to go home and her life in the States.  Even though I’ve only been an expat for a short time, I found I could relate to so many thoughts and feelings mentioned in the book!  Stay tuned for the review!

Other Things That Have No Category!

My goodness, the storms here are INTENSE.  The other night there was a thunderstorm all night long, it was so loud I had to drown it out with my MP3 player just so I could attempt to get some sleep!  Other parts of Iowa even had ‘Tornado Watch’, literally every channel was displaying the news and all TV programmes were ‘cancelled’ for it!  It’s kinda scary to see even though it was an hour or so away.  My work place is next to a tornado siren that they test every day at 12 noon and it’s terrifying!  Sounds like an air raid siren from the war!

What’s Coming up in October

It’s the Husband’s birthday at the beginning of October, the first one that we’ve actually been able to spend together.  We are contemplating a weekend down in Davenport, Iowa…maybe do a little bit of sightseeing and hang out in his old college town.  I’ll also be experiencing how Halloween is celebrated in America.  It’s not a time of year I particularly enjoy but it’s strange to see how much stuff is already in the shops and some of the houses in my town have already started putting skeletons up on their porches!  I’m just tempted to buy a big bag of candy, turn the lights off and then eat it all myself 😀

Don’t forget to follow me on my Social Media Channels!


Phew! Have a great October everyone!

*Please note* Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking.  It comes at no extra cost to you but it helps me with the running of this site!  As always, opinions are my own.


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