Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Quest For A Traditional Christmas



A very Merry Christmas to my blog readers where ever in the world you may be this Christmas xxx


The photo above is my attempt at a 'FaceTime grotto'. It's for when I call my family, so I feel like I'm part of the festivities. Classy right? 
 Ok, Basically its one hot mess of decorations attached to my computer chair - but I like it.

So it's Christmas Eve and I find myself drawn to here after a slight struggle to carry out my typical Christmas traditions in the US.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for embracing the American way of Christmas - granted, I haven't started saying 'Happy Holidays' with an American twang just yet but I am loving the festive general public who are donning sunglasses with a santa hat and the over the top displays of christmas lights hung on palm trees.

The sun is shinning as bright as ever and although I didn't think I would feel quite so christmassy being in the blazing sun and miles away from my family I was actually pleasantly surprised. 

The week leading up to Christmas began the search for the Yorkshire pudding!



There are several British shops close by that I was banking on for my Christmas Dinner must haves. Sadly, either the Americans found out about this amazing invention or there are a lot of British people living out here who I am yet to meet but you guessed it - 
SOLD OUT. 

The silver lining to this was I managed to get the last of the 'Yorkshire pudding boxed mix' so all is not lost.

Whilst shopping I heard a Local lady ask 'What are these?', pointing to a box of christmas crackers. Before I could even offer my true British explanation the shop assistant jumped in -

" They are Christmas crackers" she said. "It's British tradition to pull one with a friend/family member before dinner. They wear the funny paper crowns inside and if you are lucky you might get an eye patch"

She pretty much summed a christmas cracker and with that said I purchased some naff looking ones for $1 each.

Moving on, I have downloaded the  'Now That's What I call Christmas' album which of course consists of all the same overplayed Christmas tunes - and then I realised.  That is probably the biggest money maker right there. Maybe I should be focusing all my time and energy into writing a killer Christmas song?

 That thought left my mind as quickly as it entered so no need to panic lol.

And with the god awful image of me releasing my debut Christmas single I will leave it there and pour myself a glass of wine. It is Christmas after all.

Have a good one.

Jo
x


























Monday, 3 November 2014

La La Land

So lets not dwell on the fact that I completely neglected my blog over the past 2 and half months .. but celebrate the fact that i'm back - on a more regular basis too, and yes I can almost feel your excitement ... 

My new home in LA is treating me rather kindly .. so kindly in fact that just days ago a lovely lady held my hand and escorted me safely across the road. Of course she did think I was a 9 year old little girl but that's besides the point. 

I am slowly starting to become accustomed to the LA lifestyle and as much as you might be thinking that includes attending consultations for breast enhancements and botox I have decided to steer clear of that and embrace the fact that being British in America is (as the Americans would say)  'Awesome'.  Sometimes I feel like I could say the most rude and insulting thing to a person and they would still gaze and smile at me proceeding to tell me that they love my accent. i'm not sure that will ever get old.

Although I have met some fabulous people so far I have been warned on several occasions that true friends are hard to come across in LA. Purely for that reason that most people living in LA are not from LA and are here for their careers. 

With that said, I count myself extremely lucky to be able to share the news of my new best friend. 
Facetime.


The best friend a girl can have. Yep. I never liked FaceTime but now it brightens up my day knowing that although I maybe on the other side of the world I can invite any of my friends and family into my living room regardless of where they are. 

And speaking of which I only have to wait 3 weeks until my brother, Edd graces LA with his presence. Although he did inform me today that he's slightly concerned since receiving his flight confirmation code, which is a sequence of numbers followed by the letters 
' R I P ' ...

Yea, so not that we are superstitious but not the best of confirmation codes really is it? 



He will be here for thanksgiving which I suppose we will be celebrating? I mean who doesn't want another Christmas minus the expense of buying presents :)

Talking of which I recently visited the Topshop at the Grove in LA and I couldn't help but buy myself some presents, (I limited myself to a  jumper and two tops) due to the fact that because the clothing items are shipped from London they charge even more in dollars when they sell them. 

Last week was a week of firsts including attending my first yoga class, visiting an american dentist and tasting my first swedish fish (An american type of sweet/candy - which by the way isn't the reason why I went to the dentist, although I won't be eating them again).

And although I still and will continue to have many unanswered questions about this place, such as why can I not buy spray on deodorants and why is there peanut butter in every type of chocolate bar? I am continuing to embrace the beautiful valley views, the gorgeous sunshine and the piercing sound of angry drivers with their hands furiously against their horns swearing and gesturing displaying their road rage for to see ... Welcome to LA :)

I'll be back soon.

Jo
x

P.S - Did I mention the breath taking sunsets? :)















Thursday, 21 August 2014

Back behind the wheel

Those who know me personally are well aware that I openly admit I am not the best driver  ...

Actually it is saying something that my brother constantly tells me I'm a better driver in America than I am in the UK. 

However, it has been over two years since I last attempted to drive on the wrong side of the road. So last night we dug out my dusty pedal extensions and the 3 chunky cushions I need to even see over the steering wheel and nobody got hurt :)


I even booked in for my theory test for a couple weeks time.

I will continue to stand by the fact that I will never quite understand why you can turn right on a red light ... ITS A RED LIGHT ? but I am happy to say goodbye to roundabouts and hello to bigger car parking spaces.

In other news I also got my 'American Cell phone' this week which was an experience. 

Apparently I have not been watching enough Sex and the City as I was unaware that an area code somewhat 'defines' you? Well thats what the shop assistant told me. She proceeded to offer me a choice of several 'high end' area codes and kept asking me if I was excited. 

I don't think my British sarcasm was appreciated when I responded with the word 'Thrilled' lol.

The sun continues to shine here while I hear from home that there is torrential rain in Wales - Shocker. 



Some things never change. I'm trying slowly though . . . Starting with driving on the wrong side of the road.

Cheers :)


Jo 
x











Thursday, 14 August 2014

One way ticket to Aukland???

NEWS JUST IN - LAX has officially accepted the residence of a short blonde British girl.

The above statement was not without its complications. 


After bidding my final farewells to my friends and family, I arrived at London Heathrow yesterday afternoon having shared a three hour car ride from Cardiff with my very own personal chauffeur (Thanks @eddosmond).



This was my first time flying to LA on not only a one way ticket but also with Air New Zealand -having managed to purchase a very cheap direct ticket in the peek of Summer.  
After printing my boarding card I headed straight for the baggage check in desks. I was slightly concerned my luggage would be overweight, due to all my important documentation, (clearly if you believe that you don't know me *cough* shoes *cough* clothes). 

I had absolutely nothing to worry about as the lady in front of me slammed her gigantic case on the scales which read - 49kg!!!!!!!!! 23kg per case is the limit and this lady appeared to have no idea or recognition of there ever being a weight requirement for luggage. Very entertaining to say the least. 

Continuing through the endless security checks, everyone was very helpful and exceptionally kind and friendly, wishing me a safe onward journey to Aukland.

AUKLAND???

What the hell ?? After much panicking and rushing through the airport I spoke to an assistant who then explained that my ticket was correct and my flight was to New Zealand VIA Los Angeles - Phew . . .

The flight itself was fantastic, A brilliant airline with loads of space and I would most definitely recommend and fly with them again.


Anyways, to skip the boring and long interigation I received from the immigration officers, I finally made it off the plane, through the airport and to my American Boy who greeted me with a bunch of flowers and an expensive airport parking ticket. 

I already miss my family, although I know the best is yet to come when they come visit and we head to Vegas.

As for now I made it. I am here.

My LA life begins and I would love for you to continue the adventure with me :) . . . 


Jo
x









Sunday, 10 August 2014

Bon Voyage

Today was my final get together with my close family in Wales before I leave for LA on Wednesday.

We braved the remains of the so called hurricane 'Big Bertha' (60 mph winds and torrential sheets of rain) and took the water bus over to Cardiff Bay - apparently the wind swept look is still appealing these days.

Putting my eBay earnings to good use (although I really should thank the random strangers who brought the crap that I was shocked to even sell), I booked lunch reservations at a Spanish tapas restaurant called 'La Cha Cha'. - No relevance to LA or Wales, I just love their sangria.


It was a fabulous afternoon and being surrounded by Welsh accents made me realise how much I'm going to miss people explaining situations to me with starting with the sentence - 
I'll tell you what it is, What it is is that'

Not to mention the generous and random cwtches (Welsh word for cuddles) I receive from my hyperactive unbelievably strong 23 year old cousin. I don't think they will be quite the same State side.   


A highlight of my afternoon was when the waiter refused my brother alcohol due to the fact he thought he looked about 14. I beg to differ on this occasion, however the waiter was slightly elderly and did appear to have a wonky eye so perhaps it was a feasible mistake. 


3 days to go and I couldn't have asked for a better family send off :)


Jo
x









Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Channeling my inner photographer ...

So I brought a new camera in the hope of assisting the documenting of my forthcoming travels. 

In doing so I discovered not only is buying a camera a complete mine field but I will never ever be a technical minded photography nerd like my brother (sorry Edd) and all I really want to do is take a pretty photo that makes me smile.  So there you have it - Hello Samsung Galaxy 2 :) 


I do believe the sales assistant took pity on me when he described it to me as the 'fun camera' and then guided my brother over to the cameras bigger than my face with interchangeable lenses .... but I love it. It is one of the first smart cameras that also acts as a tablet, so you can go online, download apps and edit and upload your photos/video from the camera itself.

Seeing as I only purchased it yesterday I think it is most definitely going to take me a while to figure out how to use the thing properly, but in the mean time I can attempt to take photos in the hope that my best friend 'Instagram' can do them justice :)

 
Whilst I am slightly too embarrassed to post several of my photos (although I can credit the one above to myself at least) Below is a shot Edd managed to take of me capturing the moment .... well when I say moment - it took me about 5 minutes just to focus the damn thing. 


But onward and upwards, Its never too late to learn a new skill .... 

Or so I have been told .... ?

Jo
x












Friday, 1 August 2014

My name is Jo Osmond and I am a Hoarder ...

So it's officially 12 days until I hand over my one way ticket, board the plane and emigrate to America, therefore the packing process has began. To say I'm used to living out of a suitcase is an understatement seeing as I spent four years working on cruise ships however, it feels slightly different this time knowing that this isn't just a six month contract - I actually have to completely pack up my life and transport it to the other side of the world.

I am under no illusions that I will need to pay for extra baggage so I have already prepaid for an extra suitcase (so organised), but it wasn't until I started sorting through my bedroom that I discovered what a big fat hoarder I am. Roller skates, Mickey Mouse ears, currency from every country I have visited, name badges from every job I have ever had, I even found myself coming across hotel key cards from years ago when I had stayed in posh hotels for work .. I know, Whats wrong with me?? lol. 

Eight Bin bags of CRAP later and It is safe to say I'm on a roll and do believe it may be possible to sum up my life belongings in the space of two suitcases (one being all shoes) and some hand luggage - YES!! :)


In other happy news, now that I am moving country I get to use up all the rewards points on my loyalty cards (priorities). Although I am sad that I will no longer be able to shop at Boots (CVS from now on - eurgh), the £70 I have racked up on my advantage card will definitely not go to waste. Hello new FREE Gucci perfume :) 


And with a leaving party planned for next weekend and my current 12 day count down in mind I have already had to endure some heart breaking goodbyes ...

After an eight year relationship of ups and downs - Goodbye Vodafone

Its been an emotional twenty seven years  - Charlotte Lloyd (My family dentist)

And not forgetting, the one constant in my life who has been there for every occasion - The petite clothing range at Miss Selfridge.

I will try not to dwell on what I will miss in Britain but look forward to what I will gain in America (As long as it is not weight) lol.

12 days to go and I'm feeling positive.

I look forward to blogging closer to my departure but this is it for now, I have packing to do.


Jo
x













Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Small shoes stress

So recently I have been looking at shoes online. Being a UK size 1 shoe , It's always a constant struggle to find appropriate, well fitting, some what fashionable footwear - Unless I wish to opt for the Disney princess trainers complete with velcro straps and the flashing lights function when i walk. - No thanks.
Over the years my mum (who is also size 1 shoe) and I,
have exhausted the internet frantically searching for fashionable footwear in small sizes for all occasions. I know we are not the only women with small size feet and having experienced how frustrating it can actually be, I have decided to share all our teeny, tiny, shoe supplier secrets! 

FORBIDDEN HEELS

UK SIZE 12 - UK 2.5

Well made small shoes at really affordable prices. Fantastic service, quick delivery and various styles including wedges, sandals and boots.

PRETTY SMALL SHOES

UK SIZE 13 - 3

Very high fashion shoes - at kind of high prices (They usually have some kind of sale on). They even stock a small range of designer shoes.  They now have a shop in London as well as a website. Good service, shoes can take a while to be delivered if they are not in stock and need to be ordered but lots of choice. 

THE LITTLE SHOE SHOP

UK SIZE 13-2



LOVE MY RED SHOES!! I purchased these for just £20 in the little shoe shop sale. They have a shop in London and also a website. A really nice couple run the shop and they order most of their shoes from Italy and Spain so they are really well made. Some of the shoes do look a bit dated as they cater for a 'more mature' audience shall we say, however they still stock a lot of fashionable heels and boots and also have a section for wide feet and driving shoes.

CHARLES AND KEITH

UK SIZE 2+


A European size 34 is a UK size 2 on this website. I found out about Charles and Keith while I was in Singapore. They cater for a lot of Asian women who tend to have small feet. The shoes are well made and reasonably priced for a designer.

ASOS

UK SIZE 2+



One of my fave websites online for petite clothes and shoes. The shoes start at a size 2 but i usually just add an insert to them. They are really reasonably priced, the same price as average shoes on the high street. Lots of choice including gladiator sandals, strappy heels and wedges. 

PICCOLO SHOES

UK SIZE 13.5 - 3

A good range of summer shoes and sandals as well as flats and boots. 

EGO SHOES


UK SIZE 13-3

Ego shoes gives you an option to select your size in UK/US or European. Speedy delivery and good communication with the seller. 

Other websites that stock small shoes that I have no had experience with are as follows -







I hope you find this helpful in your search for small shoes and please if you know of any other shops/websites I have missed out then include them in the comments below and help out all the other  little women who I'm sure are equally frustrated! 

Jo

x

Monday, 7 July 2014

Welcome

I wanted my first ever blog to be original, entertaining and some what interesting - and then the realisation hit me. . .


I am a 4 foot 4 inches tall, twenty seven year old Welsh girl, who has carved a career by playing various creatures (not to mention portraying a 71 year old man - beard and all, see below),


 And I'm preparing to embark on the journey of becoming an American citizen - in the place that apparently makes you or breaks you. Yeah . . . .

So with that in mind I hope you enjoy my honest perspectives and opinions of the new and exciting experiences  I am no doubt about to embrace, when a short British girl attempts to make the transition into living the so called 'American Dream'.

It's about to get a lot more interesting!

Jo x