Living in America 2013

(382 Posts)
smartieknickers Wed 30-Jan-13 22:31:40

Howdy y'all! I was a long time lurker on the Living in America 2012 thread and in the spirit of my new year's resolution to 'get involved in more stuff' I thought I'd start a new thread, what with it being a month into 2013 and all that... So who's with me? grin

Link to previous thread

Brief introduction: I initially moved from Scotland to Houston, TX with my DH and DS (now 2) in 2011, but we moved to Dallas in September last year. We never really felt quite at home in Houston but for some reason we really like life in Dallas, even though it's pretty similar in a lot of ways. We have just today finally dispatched with the last of our Christmas visitors (we've had parents and in-laws here back-to-back for 5 solid weeks!!) so I'm feeling like I deserve a large wine and a medal

mumof4sons Thu 31-Jan-13 13:06:49

Hi Smartie. I am moving back to the US on Monday , 4th Feb. I have spent the last 23 years living on the Suffolk/Essex borders. I can't wait. I have so much to look forward to: buying a car, a house and getting a job. I can't wait to see all my old friends and really spend some time with my Mum.

Leaving England behind is going to be hard. My 4DSs are staying here, however 2DSs will be joining me later in the year. I am leaving behind lots of good friends too. Just hope that they come and visit often.

wine Here's to you surviving the relative and also to my future!

smartieknickers Thu 31-Jan-13 20:13:45

Wow that's going to be a big change after 23 years mumof4! Whereabouts are you moving back to? I hope all goes smoothly with the move and you settle back in to life in the US easily...

FlipFantasia Fri 01-Feb-13 01:28:50

Hello smile

Thanks for starting this smartie - I've been lurking on MN too much recently so you've inspired me to actually post grin

Glad to hear Dallas is suiting you more than Houston. Sounds like a busy time with visitors! How have you found it in terms of making friends. We moved to northern NJ in October and I'm starting to make friends...well one friend and some acquaintances but a good start I think!

Munof4boys - hope the move goes smoothly. Only days left now! I imagine it's both exciting and surreal...

Blackcurrants, sorry for not posting my congrats sooner but huge congrats on the birth of Alex. I bet he's scrumptious and I hope ds1 is enjoying the baby smile

Wantobe, wow 37 weeks. Not long now! Can't wait to hear how it all goes smile

All good here. Busy with life but not with anything in particular iykwim. Just arrived at in-laws in south jersey tonight as FIL is about to have heart surgery. Which is stressful and worrying but we're all hoping it goes well.

Hope everyone's well and happy smile

NatashaBee Fri 01-Feb-13 01:34:52

<waves from Michigan>... Hope you all have better weather than we do, an inch of snow has fallen in the last hour!

rosiesmartypants Fri 01-Feb-13 01:40:51

Hi y'all! Thanks smartie! I relocated from Scotland to Fort Worth with DH last March. He was supposedly on a year long secondment, only I am now 31 weeks pg with DC1...so we are staying a while longer!

Have been up and down to Houston a bit with DHs work, and think the DFW area is MUCH nicer. Have also met a lovely bunch of ex-pat ladies here, who have made me very welcome.

Want2bSupermum Sat 02-Feb-13 10:12:27

Hello everyone!

Flip I can't believe I am still working. Had a tough week and I am working a full day today. Baby is doing well and my CS date has been moved back to the 25th. Much happier with this. I officially finish work next Friday but this time of year we work Saturdays from the office so I will be working then too.

I am up because of the dog waking me to go outside. The smell of snow was in the air. The weather has been really off this week and I struggled with the flux in temperature of 25F to 70 and back to 30F. My poor ankles are swollen (of course nothing to do with being 38 weeks pregnant and working 60+ hours a week!).

Want2bSupermum Sat 02-Feb-13 10:19:14

oh and smartie - DH and I both love Texas. DH loves Dallas while I spent a lot of time in Houston with a couple of days in Dallas.

smartieknickers Sat 02-Feb-13 19:58:20

Flip, we've found a few friends/acquaintances but we haven't really got ourselves into a routine of seeing them regularly yet. We've just been so busy with our new house and then having visitors, and now that they've gone we've all come down with the lurgy so don't really have the energy... Hopefully we'll all be back to tip top form soon and ready to socialise a bit more!

Rosie, a friend of a friend of mine recently moved from Fort Worth to Houston with her family having lived there for some years. I know she had a really lovely group of ex-pat ladies there - maybe your paths even crossed before she left! It seems to be a very small world when you're an expat....

Want2b, we're still undecided about Texas. There are definitely worse places to live and the people we've met here are all lovely, but we're already a bit fed up with mediocre TexMex food and missing being able to go out for some 'lighter' meals!

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Tue 05-Feb-13 20:14:29

Hello!

Just found this thread and the timing is perfect as we're about to relocate to Houston, TX in a few weeks time. Currently trying to organise what to take, what to leave/get rid of and anything that we should buy (other than tea bags in bulk!) before we leave the UK. Any tips??

Looking forward to chatting to you all smile

Want2bSupermum Wed 06-Feb-13 04:54:22

Hi everyone and welcome goodbye. Wanted to post that I passed the last part of the CPA exam... just don't ask me on taxes. I swear that they made a mistake with my scores but I'm not telling them! So happy to be done with the studying. I am going to apply for my license next week and do the ethics exam before I go in for CS on the 25th. Apparently I can do the ethics exam online, it's open book and I get 3 attempts to pass it.

goodbye Don't bother bringing anything electrical. Tea bags are not a huge issue here in the North East - Trader Joes has decent enough tea bags and you can order yorkshire gold on amazon. The cost isn't much more than the UK. Furniture wise I would only bring really nice stuff unless your on a company move and they are paying to move everything. You can pick up lots of great furniture on craigslist.

I moved over here at the age of 25 with 2 weeks notice from the bank that I worked for. Shipping takes an awfully long time. Newark to Liverpool is something like 6 weeks. I was shocked when I found this out. I thought it would be a week or two max. For electrical stuff I would either get a costco membership when you move here, order it from amazon or buy 2nd hand off craigslist. It all depends on your budget.

Hi all, I disappeared from the last thread after a 3month dearth of visitors at the end of last year (I'm formerly GirlWithTheMouseyHair)

I'm in LA, coming up to our 1st year anniversary and having spent the last 6weeks in the UK was relieved to find myself looking forward to coming home.

Properly busy year ahead, funny how things become so much more planned out when you're an expat - we already have about 7lots of visitors booked to come out and see us

NatashaBee Wed 06-Feb-13 13:47:41

To be honest, if you're getting a lump sum for moving and can spend it however you want, I would only ship the minimum (clothes and books, favourite kids toys). We shipped the contents of a 3 bed house over, but we could have bought it all again for pretty much the same price (and made some money selling the old stuff), and it took 8 weeks to get to us so was pretty annoying waiting for everything to arrive. Gardner White, Ikea, Value City Furniture, Target, Sears, Walmart are all good places to look for furniture and kitchen goods.

smartieknickers Wed 06-Feb-13 18:03:18

Hello AmericasTorturedBrow. I can sympathise with you about the visitors, though we haven't got quite as many booked as you - I guess people are more keen to visit California than Texas!

Goodbye - Hello! Are you paying for the move yourselves or is it being paid for? When we came over my husband's company footed the bill for our move so we brought pretty much everything except our washing machine and tumble drier. Most modern tvs are dual voltage so will work here, computers are fine, lamps fine (but need to buy new bulbs). Whereabouts in Houston are you moving to? Feel free to PM me if you'd like some more specific local info...

smartieknickers Wed 06-Feb-13 18:05:32

Oh and Goodbye, there's loads of useful info about moving to the States, what to bring etc on the discussion forums on britishexpats.com so I would definitely suggest registering on that website.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Wed 06-Feb-13 19:34:23

We're fortunate that DH company is footing the cost of shipping our stuff and giving us a lump sum which makes things a lot more manageable. I was so relieved to hear that the shipping company come in and do all the packing for us - I was not looking forward to that with our 8 month old DS to keep entertained at the same time!

smartie - we haven't decided on what area of Houston we're going to settle in. We have an apartment for the 1st month in Downtown (near DH work) and will use that time to house hunt. Plan is to rent for the 1st year. We were over for a reccie a few weeks ago - quite liked Sugarland and the areas around Hermann Park. Will PM you at some point to pick your brains over local info.

NatashaBee - thanks for the shopping tips. Think we'll need to buy some more furniture to fill whatever house we go for as they all look so much bigger compared to our little terrace!

Want2b - congrats on passing your exam and thanks for the reassurance on the teabag front. Can't function without a proper brew in the morning!

NotMoreFootball Thu 07-Feb-13 00:37:46

Hi Everyone, I've been in the US for around a year but often feel left out on MN as everyone seems to live in Texas or New York and I'm in Tennessee!
We shipped very little furniture and electrical items over as we had company money to buy stuff here and now I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new super King sized American bed, I will definitely be taking that wherever I go next (even if I have to leave DH and DS behind to make room for it!)
I'm very happy with my DS's (8) school generally but am worn out from the constant testing and quizzes they seem to have. This week they have a Social Studies test, Maths test, Comprehension test, Grammer test and Spelling test and that is typical of most weeks. Every test counts towards Report Card Grades which are issued every 6 weeks so all tests must be taken seriously with appropriate amounts of revision and DS is only in 3rd Grade!!
I think back to his British School and the 10 spellings a week to learn and maybe the occasional Maths worksheet and can't believe the difference in the amount of homework.

Kungfutea Thu 07-Feb-13 02:59:40

Hi there. We're in NYC. I used to post with a different nn but new year, new name smile. We've been here since the summer and pretty good so far, although still miss London!

NMF, I sympathize with the homework. My 9 year old gets tons each night, although i think the lack of uniform might just outweighs the homework for her! Luckily they still go easy on the 6 year old.

smartieknickers Thu 07-Feb-13 03:06:06

NotMore You're not by any chance in Nashville are you? I'm heading there for a girls' weekend in a few weeks' time and so would be v grateful for any recommendations of places to stay/eat/have fun... (or if anyone else has any local knowledge I'd love to hear it!)

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 07-Feb-13 03:16:45

Goodbye, we brought our tv, DVD, stereo, etc and used a transformer. 6 years later, we still use the stereo but the tv and DVD got binned years ago.

And if you're going to bring your UK beds, be aware that kind of keeps you having to buy fresh bedding in the UK too. And UK beds sometimes look a bit silly in big American rooms.

Hello to everyone else. Big storm coming into NY. Maybe....

NotMoreFootball Thu 07-Feb-13 03:31:03

Kungfutea - We still have a uniform except on days when they have a Pep Rally and then the kids are allowed to wear jeans!

Smartieknickers - yes, I'm in Nashville, it's a great city, you'll have a fab weekend! Try and stay in a hotel near Broadway which is the heart of downtown Nashville and full of bars that all have live music on most nights. There's a Hilton and a Renaissance hotel both just off Broadway.
If you want the country music experience try and get tickets for the Grand Ole Opry, it's a live show on several times a week with a real mix of old and new stars, or The Bluebird Cafe in Green Hills is a fun place to see live music as well.

NotMoreFootball Thu 07-Feb-13 03:42:01

TheCatintheHairnet - my son sleeps in a UK double bed and it looks ridiculously tiny compared to our huge American bed, can't believe me and DH both used to fit in a bed that size!!
I've heard there are some home insurance issues if you regularly use a transformer with your electrical goods, some insurers consider them a fire hazard apparently so be careful if you still use one!

smartieknickers Thu 07-Feb-13 03:52:22

Ooh thank you NotMore!
I'd also heard about the fire concern with transformers. I think you're fine if it's just for a kitchen blender that you're using from time to time and you're not leaving it switched on while you're not around, but I'd never use one for anything that is on all the time like a hifi or anything. They're a bit of a clunky (and not cheap) solution though so you're probably just better off replacing anything that isn't dual voltage.

NotMoreFootball Thu 07-Feb-13 04:20:35

Smartiesknickers - just thought of somewhere else you need to go when you're in Nashville. Opry Mills Mall, it's a really nice mall but all the shops are outlet prices, I was there today and got 3 tops in J Crew for $35 total and Gucci sunglasses in Sunglasses Hut for $50!!!

Want2bSupermum Thu 07-Feb-13 04:21:00

Oh yes - bed linen is a problem. DH has his Danish duvet and we have to buy stuff in denmark where it is stupid prices. I have an American duvet (Ikea) and it doesn't fit.

Brow 7 lots of visitors - OMG. I would die.

I am still euphoric from passing these exams. I can't quite believe I have finally finsihed up.

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