Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's been a while...

I know, I know. I haven't blogged in over a month and people are looking for updates. Well I'm about to throw a whole lot of information at you so hold on tight everyone!

I guess I'll start with events that have been going on in Nottingham. Earlier in October we went to something called the 'Goose Fair', which is apparently it's the largest fair in Europe. I have to say it was the first fair that I have enjoyed in the rain haha...that's England for ya. Anyway, we went with a large group of all the hockey guys and their significant others. I of course had to find the most bad-ass ride and take my chances on it being safe and not find myself in a 'Final Destination' situation. Luckily my friends Christy is also a thrill seeker and decided to go on with me. (Yes, I said Christy...not Jordan...he's a big baby haha.) I'm pretty sure it was the scariest ride I have ever been on and that is saying something because I've done many of fairs and been on plenty of rollercoasters in my day. Just try and imagine plumeting down facing the ground going 50 mph while spinning and having tons on steal behind you that would crush you in seconds. I didn't get a very good picture of the ride or pictures of the fair in general because it was raining...and I may or may not have figured out how to use my new camera at that point haha. are some pics from the night:

Fast forward a couple of weeks and we're at Halloween. I'm sooo happy they celebrate it here because I know a lot of other european countries don't do anything for Halloween. I was hoping to finally get to do a couples costume (given that I hadn't spent halloween with Jordan in 5 years), but he put the kabosh on that. "Hill, I just want to get the cheapest costume possible", Jordy said...crushing my dreams haha. He ended up going as a Ninja and I went as a Victorian woman.
The team decided to go to the same bar they went last year which is called the Pit and Pendulum. The Pit and Pendulum is the ideal place for a halloween party because it is super "creeptastic". (Does that word exist yet? If not, it should). Anyway the bar is decorated really spooky and they have the coolest little touches that really takes the place up a notch...i.e. the hidden bookcase bathroom! I'm pretty sure there were "regulars" there laughing at the stupid American pushing on the bookcase walls trying to find the entrance to the bathroom....unsuccessfully. It certainly doesn't get any easier after a couple of drinks. Luckily I had an escort most of the time so I only got laughed at once or twice. It was all in good fun though :o)

Jump a head 3 weeks and we find ourselves at the Rihanna concert. This was a last minute thing but well worth telling you about. One of the guys who works for the team ended up getting 14 free tickets and was nice enough to give us 2 of them. So here we are sitting at the bar in the arena waiting for the other guys and girls to get there when Adam, (the guy who got us tickets), comes strolling in and hands us wrist bands. Wait a second...wrist bands....not tickets? He promptly says, "wait till you see where we are sitting". I'm starting to get friend Nyree is starting to get blotchy because shes so excited, all the girls are about to pee themselves waiting in anticipation, and then we head into the arena. Ok cool, we are on the ground near the bar instead of seats. Cool I thought. Nope. We start heading toward the front of the stadium passing rows and rows of people until a security card stops us and tells us to wait for a minute. "Hmmm whats going on" I thought. And then they told us. "You guys are going to be on the stage and and we need to finish setting up so hold on a moment". Umm WHAT!? ON THE STAGE?! Yes we were pretty much standing on the stage but that's not even the best part. Halfway through her show, (which was amazing by the way), she begins to do the part where she gives someone from the audience a lap dance. I had seen this part of the concert online so I knew what to expect but what I wasn't expecting was for her to pick one of our friends!!! I was in SHOCK that our friend Mathew was on the stage with Rihanna getting grinded on haha. All I could do was look at his girlfriend Nyree and say "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD" haha. They were both great sports about it and couldn't have happened to a better guy/couple. Nyree just kept saying she was jealous it wasn't her, and when Mathew came back he just said "It was great, but I couldn't really concentrate on what was going on after a huge bead of sweat dripped from her chin onto my face" haha. Honestly if it was any other guy we were with, (including my husband because Rihanna is his dream girl) ,they would have been like "yeah, she was so hot, she wanted me"..blah blah blah. So I'm happy she picked probably the nicest guy in our group. We also ended up making friends with the guitarist on stage so he hooked us up with coronas and shots of Jack Daniels. I also got one of his guitar picks which I think I'm going to use as my new lucky charm. Needless to say we had an amazing night! I really took some awesome pictures BUT I looked at my camera the next morning and realized that my memory card was missing. I AM GUTTED <-- (yeah I'm using English slang for this one :o) Anyway, hopefully my friends don't mind but I stoke a couple of pictures from the night:

Finally we are here today at Thanksgiving. I'm having the other American couple (the Kowalski's), Brock and his roommate Franny over for dinner. This will be my first time hosting Thanksgiving so I'm a little nervous. I have to work today so timing will be a little tight but I'm going to push on through and start cooking when I get home. Christy, (the other American girl), is helping me out and is bringing over some delicious sides. I think she's planning on bringing Jalapeno corn, green bean casserole, and roasted sweet potatoes. If her thanksgiving dishes are anything like her buffalo chicken dip then we are in for a big treat! I will be taking care of the meat, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, and gravy. Unfortunately I don't think we'll be having turkey tonight because I didn't have enough time to cook one but I think we're going to shoot for ham. And if not ham a rotisserie chicken...that's close enough to Turkey right? Anyway, I've left all of the grocery shopping for Jordan to take care of after practice...fingers crossed that he gets everything right. I went over a couple of the things last night that he was going to need and I can't say I'm too confident with his shopping skills after he asked "what the hell is beef bouillon?" haha.
Obviously I wish we could spend the holidays with our friends and family back home but I'm really happy that we get to spend it with new friends here. I can honestly say I am so thankful that Jordy is playing for such a great team with awesome guys and girlfriends and in such a wonderful location. We have had a great time here so far and I look forward to telling you more about it. Hoping everyone has a great thanksgiving, and happy holidays!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why we're in Nottingham and life as of late

Wow it feels like it's been a VERY long time since I posted.  I know I keep saying I'll try to be better about writing more often but it's hard to sit down and write when your having so much fun!
Anyway, I was reading through some of my previous posts when I realized that I haven't really given any details about the reason why we are

This year we decided the best opportunity for our family was in Nottingham England.  Here, Jordan can play on a great team and get his degree at the same time.  Not to mention English is the main language (thank god!).  Sure I wouldn't have minded going to other places in Europe to play this season but I think it is best that we start our life as newlyweds in a place that is easy on both of us.  Jordan will be able to understand the coach and his teammates, and I will be able to get a job MUCH easier.

Speaking of coaches and teammates, the Nottingham Panthers are doing great this season.  They are 6 and 1 so far and Jordy has 12 team points.  From what I have heard from a lot of the players, there seems to be great team chemistry and everyone gets along with each other.  I think in Jordan's case he is playing so well because he has his wife family here.  Yes that's right, we are not the only two from the Wilson-Fox clan over in England this year.  Jordan's cousin Brock also signed with the team and has been playing extremely well too! 
Brock, Me and Jordy

As for the two of them playing hockey together, they seem to be flip flopping. One game Jordy gets stitched up, then next Brock gets a tooth knocked out. The next weekend Brock gets thrown out of a Saturday game and Jordy gets thrown out on Sunday. Not sure if there is a sibling rivalry going on here, (because they are like brothers), or what, but they are definitely keeping things interesting.

Jordy stitched up

Brock with his tooth knocked out

It has been so nice having another family member here because we know we always have back up and support if we ever need anything and vice versa.  For instance in the beginning of the season when we were having Internet problems we could just go over his place and hang out at his all day and conference call our family back home.  It was great and made things so much easier.

We all hang out a lot which is fun because we don't need to go through the "do I need to act proper in front of this person" stage because we have known each other for years and we can just relax and be ourselves to the fullest.  Not to mention we all went to college together so we have seen each other at our worst during our not so shining moments haha.

A couple of weeks ago Brock, Jordan and I went to our first English football (soccer) game together and we had a great time.  It wasn't exactly the greatest caliber of play I have seen but it was nice to check out the atmosphere and see the English soccer style.  We also got the tickets for free which doesn't hurt either ;o)

It was pretty cool walking into the stadium and seeing so many die hard football fans.  Unfortunately back in the states soccer doesn't get the type of notoriety it deserves so it's awesome to live in a country where it dominates.  Notts County is in the 2nd or 3rd league so the stadium wasn't packed but I was still amazed to see as many people as I did at the game.The chants we're awesome and there was such a good vibe coming from the crowd. Notts County is also the Worlds Oldest football club so that added to the excitement of the atmosphere.  The only thing I didn't like about the game was that you weren't allowed to bring beer to your seats in the stadium. Real Busch League. To all of you English Football fans out there...does that rule apply in all stadiums?  You just have to chug your beer before you go back to your seat?  I don't mind a little chugging here and there especially when the beers are only like 3 pounds but can't a girl just enjoy a cold one and watch the match at the same time?

Ok enough of the beer rant...but it is a nice seg-way into my next topic...Monday Fundays.  The boys have had away games on Sunday the past few weeks so they have been getting back to Nottingham at like 4:00 in the morning.  Obviously they are tired the next day but they have it off and can do whatever they want.  Which is where Monday Funday comes in.  I had the pleasure of reliving the glory days with Brock, Jordan, and Brocks roomie Matt this past Monday and partook in a little day drinking.  It was awesome and it was just what I needed because I was starting to miss home and my friends and seeing all the fun they were having without me was just about killing me.
So we started our little adventure at this place called Cape where we got a table outside and sipped on Blue Moons.  I'm pretty sure Cape is the only place I have seen so far that sells Blue Moon tall guys for only 4 pounds so I'm sure I will be back.  Next we headed to the casino and won some money on the slots which we obviously used for our drinks the rest of the night.  We headed to a couple other bars later on and finished the night of with some McDonalds.  What more could a girls ask for?  Just like home haha.  I'm not sure my body can handle many more Monday Fundays but we shall see.

How could you not love Monday Funday...I know these guys do!

All in all we are having a great time over here and we're happy with our decision.  Jordan starts school next week and I will be applying for jobs.  I'll keep you posted on our non-hockey lives too but that's it for now. 


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting to know Nottingham

Where to begin?  Well I suppose I should tell you how my girls night out went while the boys were away in Belfast.  We started the night at this really cool bar called the Pitcher and Piano.  It’s actually and old cathedral church in the center of town that was transformed into a bar/club.  The place is incredible with a bar, dance floor, and lounge area downstairs, and upstairs is the VIP area that wraps around the church.  The Pitcher and Piano had an all around good vibe to it and the views alone make it worth while.

(google image search)

Next we went over to the Living Room where the atmosphere and general feeling of the place was completely different.  The living room is a lot smaller but also has some cool features to it.  At the back of the bar there is a white grand piano where the DJ stands and plays his “CD’s”.  Yes that’s right…he was going old school people.  It was actually refreshing to see him getting hyped on playing CD’s rather than the same old DJ act playing from the computer.  The living room was a little packed for my liking but luckily one of the girls got us into the VIP area where you could stand without being on top of one another. 

The last place we went is called Tantra.  Again, it was a completely different bar from the previous two we went to.  When walking down the stairs to get into the place your eyes are immediately drawn to the stripper pole and canopy beds that surround the dance floor and lounge area.  Luckily that night it was pretty busy so we were entertained by the drunk girls trying to ‘work it’ and the guys who had no shame trying to break it down on the dance floor haha. 

Didn't get any pics of people on the stripper pole...I'll save that for another time haha. (google image search)
All three places were fun but I must admit that my favorite part of the night was the late night eats.  Street meat ain’t got NOTHING on kabobs!  To be honest I can’t really remember what I had in my kabob wrap..lots of onions…meat…peppers?  All I know is that it was HUGE and delicious.  And I’m pretty sure the only reason I wasn’t hung over the next day was because the curry sauce on the kabob made me sweat out all of the alcohol I drank in my sleep….lovely mental image I know…
It looked just like this only BIGGER and with wayyyy more curry sauce. (google image search)
All in all it was a great first night out on the town.  I met some of the other girls I hadn't met yet, got familiar with the local bars, and figured out my favorite late night food.  I also realized that I may need to invest in some more clothes while I am here.  The girls seriously dress up when they go into town so my usual jeans and fancy top isn't going to cut it.  Luckily they have a couple of my FAVORITE stores here that I shop at back home.....T.K. Maxx anyone?  Yes I said T.K. Maxx not T.J. Maxx...they must be brothers....alright alright corny joke haha.

Yes I'm a nerd and took a picture haha
Since our girls night out..which was almost 2..3 weeks ago now (I can't keep the days straight!), Jordan and I have been settling into our new apartment and trying to familiarize ourselves with the town.  Here are some pics of our new place and the town we live in:

That’s all I have for today…I’ll be posting soon about my first football experience in Nottingham and I guess I should probably update you on Jordan's's not like we're living here because of it or anything ;o)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quick Question....

WHY can't I post comments on other people's blogs?  It keeps telling me that the page is unavailable to my email account and that I need to sign in using another email address. It's seriously frusterating.  I'm pretty sure this started happening when I moved over to England so maybe it has something to do with my IP address?? Any ideas people??? HELP!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Heart Nottingham

I know it's been a while since I have posted something so I think it would be best to bring you all up to speed.

I DID receive my working Visa with no difficulties, (amazingly), and the team was able to book my flight to Nottingham on the same day as Jordan.  Everyone affiliated with the team has been lovely to work with through this process so far.  We honestly feel like we're receiving the red carpet treatment here in terms of getting everything settled.

Nottingham is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and has exceeded expectations.  When we were driving to Nottingham from the airport I honestly felt like I was in an English (UK) movie.  It was actually just as I had imagined it.  Driving into the city there was acres upon acres of farm land.  Everything was so clean and beautiful.

When we drove into the city center we saw gorgeous brick buildings, beautiful churches, and my favorite, HUGE soccer stadiums.  There are two major soccer teams here that compete in the Major second league and they each have their own massive stadium.

We also drove past the rink Jordan will be playing in and from the outside it looks incredible.  I've heard through the grapevine that Nottingham has the best Ice Arena in this league so I think we got pretty lucky with that.  I'm really excited for the first game to see what it looks like on the inside and to check out the general atmosphere.

The apartment, (flat), they have set us up in is SICK.  We are only staying here a week or so though because another couple will be moving into this one.  Apparently the lease on ours doesn't start till this weekend so we will be moving into our permanent place Saturday or Sunday.  All I have to say is if it is ANYTHING like the apartment we are in now, we will be super happy.  Our apartment is actually in the same complex so I'm assuming it will be similar.  One of the wives told me that it is an open plan with two bedrooms.  Sounds good to me!  Here are our digs for the week:

That was just the kitchen area and living room, but pretty great right?!  I'm really excited to move into our place for the season but I'm kind of bummed because I know Internet won't be set up yet.  One one the wives on the team offered to let us piggy back on their Internet since they will be living in the complex accross from us but I have a feeling the connection won't be strong enough.  I'm apologizing in advance friends and family if you don't hear from me for a few days once we move!  Here is a picture of our apartment complex:

Speaking of wives, I have met a few of them so far along with their significant others and they have all been wonderful.  The guys on the team that live in the same development have come over and introduced themselves and have been really welcoming.  We actually went over to one of their places the first night we got here and had some drinks and met some other members of the team.  I was trying not to be a booze bag the first night that I met people but it seems like they can throw down with the best of 'em! Needless so say I think it's going to be a fun season ;o) 

The guys have a trip to Belfast this weekend so some of the girls are getting together Saturday night to hit the town.  It should be really fun.  Not sure what to expect yet but I'll let you know all about it.  And yes, I was a nerd and asked one of the wives what the dress code would be haha.

Which leads me to my next topic...SHOPPING.  Nottingham has a couple of shopping areas so me and Jordan decided to go check one of them out the other day.  We went to Victoria Shopping center and it is UNREAL.  They have everything you could ever want/need.  The have high fashion stores all the way down to a Dollar-tree type store.  Not going to lie...we've been hitting up the dollar-tree stores WAY more then any other stores.  With one income for now we are seriously budgeting and I'm ok with that.

They also have Walmart-type store that is walking distance from our place which is also great.  It has food, electronics, good books, home furnishings, and clothing.  They also carry all of the American brands that I am used to. 

We haven't had a chance to go out to dinner yet and see what the food is like but I'm guessing it's pretty good.  We looked at some of the menus when we were walking around the shopping center and it looked to be pretty similar to American food.  Pub food looks the same, Italian food looks the same, and Chinese food looks the same, (although I haven't seen crab rangoons on the menu yet which I am sour about haha).  The only thing that seems to be unique is the amount of Indian cuisine.  There are Indian restaurants at every corner.  To be honest I have never tried Indian food but I have a feeling I may not be a fan of curry, which is heavily used in Indian cooking.  Who knows though, I love spicy food and some of the people we met so far say it's probably right up my alley.

The last thing I'll share for now about Nottingham is that the running paths are awesome!  I know this is probably boring to a lot of you but when you work really hard to loose weight for 'bridal bod' you definitely want to work at keeping it off.  I haven't gotten a gym membership yet and I'm not sure I will because they seem pretty expensive, (unfortunately I don't think the team offers one to the wives), so I have decided that running will be may way of exercising.  There are so many different paths to take and things to look at that I ran four miles easy today. It feels like everything is a big circle too, so I'm not worried about getting lost.  I probably need to figure out if there are 'unsafe' areas to run or walk around by myself but I'm not too worried about it.  Everything is so visible because public transportation is so popular and easy here.  There is usually always more then one person walking on the same road as you or waiting at the bus stop. Here is a picture of one of the roads I ran up to get an idea of the area we're in:

That's all I have for now.  I'll be sure to keep you updated on my big night on the town Saturday and how things turn out with our other apartment.

Cheers! <----- so British of me haha

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Journey Begins-Visa Process

Jordan just got his Visa approved and sent back to our house yesterday; I'm still waiting for mine to process.  The whole Visa application thing was a little more challenging then we expected, so for any of your moving to the UK you may want to pay attention.

First, if you are a spouse and you are piggy backing on your husbands Visa you DO need to fill out your own application. Which is a little tricky in itself the way they word the questions....but I digress.
 Jordan and I made that mistake when we traveled all the way into the city to get our biometrics, (finger prints), done and were promptly denied because I hadn't filled out my own form.  I had asked Jordan to get all of this information BEFORE we went to the visa office and he assured me we were all set....but I should have known better.  He didn't ask his coach or anyone on the team LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD till after we were denied. Thanks HUNNY.

Ok no big deal.  I'll just have to take more time out of work and head into the city in the next couple of days by myself.  Wrong. You have to wait 1-2 weeks before you can schedule your appointment again, thus pushing the application process back. 

Next, applying for your Visa is EXPENSIVE.  You will need to have around $1400 in your bank account to process 2 UK Visas.  Fortunately the team is going to reimburse us for this expense but we still needed to have the money readily available to process.

Next, don't forget to send your passport in with your application.  I'm not sure if Jordan didn't read the fine lines or if it was something we were just supposed to know, but Jordan didn't send his passport in with his application and it got sent back a week later.  This process seems a little weird to me because your passport is such a critical document and the UK seems very nonchalant about the possibility of it getting lost in the mail....but what do I know.

Finally, the whole process takes around 3-4 weeks....I think.  It's kind of hard to tell because we messed up a couple of times but I'm guestimating it takes around 3 if you do everything correctly.  Jordan got a confirmation email last week..or the week before...(who can really keep track of all these things)...letting him know that his application was received and it would take 9 days to process and get back to us.

Really, the timing doesn't seem to bad considering some of the horror stories I've heard where it has taken months on end to get approved.  But still,  the whole process makes me a little nervous mostly due to my lack of  luck with these type of things.  I can just picture it now...Jordan over in England and I'm stuck back in the states because I filled out my application wrong, was denied, and have to go through the whole process again.  No bueno.

Yes I am getting a little head of myself, but i've learned in the hockey world that it is best to prepare for the worst then to expect the best.  That way when things do go wrong  you don't have a complete  mental break down.

Hopefully I will be getting a confirmation email soon saying they have received my passport...and that its not lost in the mail....and not being sold on the black market...oh god here we go haha.  In all honesty I am preparing for the worst but crossing my fingers for the best.  Here's to hoping it goes as smooth as possible!

Anyway, training camp begins August 22- or 23 so we should be getting flight information pretty soon.  I've come to terms with myself that we probably won't be flying over to England together due to the whole Visa application process, but I'm ok with that.  I have a feeling this would bother most people who are moving accross the country with their spouse but if that's the biggest issue we have in terms of Visas and flights I will be happy.  Plus it's probably better for him to get over there and really focus on training camp rather then worrying about getting the apartment all set up and exploring the town with me.  But we shall see.

I'll let you know how it turns to England we he goes!... (for now ;o)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bridal Do's and Dont's

So to wrap up my wedding posts I thought I would share a list of Bridal Do's and Don'ts.  Obviously this is just my opinion but any future bride following may want to look at some of the things listed here. 

Bridal Do's

Do keep spreadsheets of your DJ playlist, Guest list, Shower list, Seating chart.  Trust me, it will make your life easier in the long run.

Do keep an email trail of all things "Wedding" . Make sure to save each correspondence between you and your DJ, photographer, wedding coordinator, florist, etc.

Do (or Don't) send out your Save the Dates to EVERYONE.  Make it all or nothing.  I made the mistake of sending out half of mine because I wasn't sure what the final guest list would be.

Do send your invitations out EARLY.  Especially if: 1. It’s the summer. 2. On a holiday weekend

Do make your husband help with things.

Do trust the vendors you have hired.  Sometimes you just have to let go and trust they will do a good job.

Do work on bridal bod.  You’ll appreciate it when the pictures come back and you look good on your honeymoon.

Do pick a bridesmaid dress that is flattering on everyone.

Do let your bridesmaids have a say in their shoes/accessories and hair.

Do get transportation for your guests.

Do spend money on the extras....specifically late night snacks! Huge hit at the wedding.

Do give your MOH/bridesmaids an idea of what you would like for your shower and bachelorette party.

Do go over a time line with your florist, DJ, photographer, and wedding coordinator.

Do have a plan B in case it rains on your outdoor venue.

Do practice dancing to your wedding song to make sure it works.

Do a practice wedding hair-do

Do drink a ton of water 1-2 weeks prior to the big day....may face was super clear!

Do smile at your husband while walking down the aisle.

Do introduce yourself to guests you may not know at your wedding.

Do a bouquet toss, they’re always fun.

Do delegate someone (other than your parents) to count your wedding cards and gifts during the reception.  My Dad was delegated this job at our wedding and his missed us cutting our cake and tossing the bouquet.

Do tell your husband to relax and sit down while having dinner at your wedding…especially if he is a antsy pantsy, chatty cathy.

Do print out booking confirmation of your honeymoon flights/reservations and bring them with you.

Do tell the people in your bridal party, friends and family how much you appreciate their help with everything…multiple times

Bridal Don'ts

Don’t worry/spend a lot of money on your programs.  More then half won't even be read and then will be thrown out.

Don’t underestimate the amount of detail you need to give your DJ....wayyyy more then what I expected.

Don’t settle for a wedding dress.  You will know when you have found the “one”

Don’t stress TOO much about RSVP’s.  It’s inevitable that some people won’t respond.

Don’t hold a grudge against people who don’t come.  It’s their loss!

Don’t feel bad about updating your engagement ring to by a set that looks nice together ;o)

Don’t spend a ton of money to get your make-up done if you are already good at doing it.

Don’t get ready with a bunch of women in one tiny hotel room.

Don’t worry about creating your vows from scratch, that’s what google is for ;o).

Don’t feel bad if you have one or two bridezilla moments…weddings are stressful!

Well that's the brial advice advice from Me to you.  Take it from someone who's been through the up's and downs ladies and gents! I'll leave you now with my two favorite pictures from our honey moon in Cancun:

Haha Yes, this is us smoking celebratory cigars :oP