• Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Google+
Posted by Mama Max - - 0 comments

I am very excited to announce my latest project ... an e-book that I have been writing over the year and that is due to be published on Amazon in the next month or so (see the email signup sheet at the bottom of this page if you want to be notified when it's published)! The title is a bit of a giveaway, but I'll give you the lowdown anyway!

Him Indoors, the kids and I left our quiet, leafy village in Berkshire in April 2010 and made the very daunting step of moving to a new country. As first-timers to the expat lifestyle, we really didn't know what to expect and it was a nerve-wracking experience in many aspects. Understandably, my husband's immediate concerns were starting his new job; after all, his acceptance of the new role was the reason why we had uprooted our family and moved 6,000 miles to Texas, and I think he felt a huge responsibility to us to make it a success. Consequently, that left the management of the 'domestic' stuff up to me and it was a little overwhelming.

I have always been a born organiser and I love project managing things; our D.I.Y. wedding was a great example of this and I endured a lot of good-natured jesting from Him Indoors about the elaborate spreadsheet tracker I set up to keep tabs on all the details (this was back-in-the-day before Pinterest)!!! I attempted to manage the relocation process in the same way, and was somewhat successful.

The difficulty with moving abroad is that even the smallest differences can throw you out of your comfort zone, and even though the USA shares a lot of cultural & lifestyle similarities with Britain, especially compared to locations in Africa or Asia, the small differences can add up to a confusing and stressful situation.

When we moved, the twins were 17 months old, and the Big One had just turned 5. My biggest concern was maintaining a sense of normality wherever possible... kids are very adaptable but I just wanted to make it as easy as possible for their sake. One of the issues I faced (and still do) is that my boys are quite fussy eaters. They know what they like, and are happiest when we stick to the familiar. When we had been on holiday before, the boys had virtually stopped eating for the whole week. So, I was understandably worried about what food choices there would be and how they would adapt.

I turned to the Internet for some research, assuming that the supermarkets in Texas would have online shopping sites in the same way that Tesco's and Waitrose did in the UK. No such luck. I tried a few expat forums, but invariably, the discussions centered around how to find British food favourites in America!

So, we arrived in the States with no idea about what we would be able to buy in the grocery stores. It may seem a little dramatic to have worried about such a thing in the light of everything else going on, but as a mother, the ability to feed your children well becomes a bit of an obsession!

My first grocery shopping trip occurred the evening that we landed in the States. I had been awake for over 24 hours, was hot & sweaty (having left a chilly England wrapped up warm and arriving in the blazing heat of Texas) and really just needed to crash. However, I braved the supermarket to get some basics so that I could at least give the boys breakfast when they awoke in the early hours with jetlag! The supermarket felt very alien and what would have taken me 15 minutes in the UK (all I wanted was the basics) took almost an hour! Even the checkout process was different and confusing. It's almost laughable now how stressful I found the situation, because if I had been travelling on my own without the kids or if it had just been a holiday I wouldn't have cared at all. But it was strange knowing that this was going to be my new reality... and at that particular time, it didn't feel very real!

A few days later, I braved the supermarket again to do a 'big shop'. Thankfully, I had my Mum with me (who had traveled with us to help with the kids), but it still took 4-hours of dithering and stressing!

Almost three years on, grocery shopping is a routine chore, much in the same way it was in the UK. However, there are still times when I can't find something I need in the supermarket and have to try to explain to a confused American what I mean by 'marzipan'. Furthermore, in those years I feel I have gained enough insight to be able to share with others some of the key things you might want to know as a British expat shopping in America.

The e-book is designed to be a detailed source of information to ease the worries of an expat prior to their move to the USA. However, it is also designed to be used as a reference book for those occasions when you need to find something (like marzipan!) and haven't got a clue where to start!

The e-book includes the following:

  • a section on where & how to shop, coupons, trolleys, bags, weights & measures and more...
  • a load of information about food additives used in America and how to avoid them
  • detailed chapters on the main food groups; vegetables & fruit, dairy, meat, fish, canned goods, grains, condiments, drinks, candy etc... with translations, recommendations and alternatives to your favourite UK brands
  • a chapter specifically addressing baby & toddler food with comparisons to UK brands and recommendations for similar US alternatives
  • information on shopping for people with allergies and food intolerances
  • some details about household & cleaning supplies, including laundry products
  • a chapter about food shopping for Christmas and other holidays
  • a list of sources of British foodstuffs you can't live without and some suggested substitutions when you can't get the things you need
  • a clickable index so that you can use the book as a ready reference guide

Finally, I have also included some printable shopping lists to ease the transition from the UK to the US.  One is to take with you on your first shop to get the basics... a list of suggested basics so you can survive your first few days!  The other is a more detailed list that will help you recreate your UK store cupboard once you are settled here in the states.

If you are keen to be notified when the book is released, simply enter your email address in the form below. I will send you a confirmation email and then when the book is released I will send you a notification.

* Required Free Contact Form

Leave a Reply

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog! I am always very touched when people take the time to comment too... it gives me a real boost!

Do check back soon as I make an effort to reply to all comments here!

Thanks again!
Mama Max

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...