Living in America 2013

(381 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

Just browsing through, and saw chat about sausages. Trader Joes have 'Irish Bangers' in for St Patricks day, which are pretty much a standard British sausage. I've filled our (spacious) freezer with them.

NatashaBee Wed 20-Mar-13 01:29:03

Mamasr, you can't sort your own visas. The employer has to file the paperwork and pay for it. If its for a new company that your partner hasn't worked for before, he would go on an H1b visa. Assuming you're married, you would be on an H4 visa and wouldn't be allowed to work (unless you find an employer to sponsor you for your own H1 visa).

wentshopping Wed 20-Mar-13 02:25:04

goodbye - hello! I'm also in Houston. (Almost 11 years now). Hairdryers - try Ulta or Target.
Househunting - I am currently selling my house, and renting another while my new house is being built. House sale - my house officially listed for sale on Feb 21, sold that day, goes to closing next week. For the rental, I viewed it and did the paperwork the next day - get the keys next month. So, I think the process is a bit quicker than the UK. This is also the peak time for people moving because they seem to finish the school year (end of May), then move in time to be where they want to be (school catchment area) for the next school year (so, before August).
Sorry if this info is a bit out of date for you - I haven't lurked on here for a couple of weeks as was busy with house!!
Hope you are settling in well - feel free to pm me if you need anything.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Wed 20-Mar-13 17:49:54

Thanks wentshopping! We found a home to lease yesterday so our application is being processed today. Think we'll be very happy there. It's in the Montrose area and would love to meet up with any other Houstonians in that neighbourhood - PM me.

I'm trying to get my head round the difference in bra sizes here as I need a couple of new nursing bras and a sports one. Does anyone know of a good online conversion table? The ones I've found so far all give conflicting info. Thanks!

I'd just go to a shop that does measurements and get yourself measured. Thought did this and turns out I'm exactly the same size UK and US?!

wentshopping Wed 20-Mar-13 21:25:31

I have been measured in Nordstrom in the Galleria mall; ok, but choice of bras is the pretty pricey ones. I have bought online from M&S, and its free shipping to the US just now. (I guess that doesn't help if you are about to move though - takes just over 1 week to get here).

I know this will sound a bit chav and naff, but I got measured and now buy all my bras at Victoria's Secret...feel like they're the equivalent of La Senza (cheap and they fit me perfectly!)

SquinkieBunnies Wed 20-Mar-13 23:19:44

I made a bras and undies order with M&S last week and it was fast, very fast. It shipped on Friday (they sent me an email) and it arrived on Monday, I was shocked, that's faster than the US based make up order I made same day that is supposed to arrive tomorrow.
I'm going to make a second order this week blush More bras (mine are getting holey) and undies for Dd and socks, they work out cheaper from M&S with free shipping, are more cottony and super soft compared to the usual rubbish in WalMart and Target. I was having a hard time finding her socks that aren't the ones so low they slide down into her shoes, she hates those, short ankle pretty colours and cottony seem rare this year in the US.

Wentshopping congrats of the fast house sale, that was really fast. Our house is supposed to go up for sale any time now, I'm waiting on a call from the carpet man, he ordered new carpets and has to install them and I'm getting antsy, Dh has done all the painting, weeding, other boring clean up jobs needed. If ours sells right away I'll probably faint! Nice here how once you accept the offer they close in 30 days, no waiting months like in UK.
Our last house took 5 months to sell bad choice in realtor, she did nothing till the contract was about to be up then suddenly up pops a buyer.
This time it'll be a month to month rolling contract, so I can get rid if they don't answer calls or go away on holiday for a month. No sitting back waiting for someone else to sell and just collect the commission this time.

NatashaBee Wed 20-Mar-13 23:39:41

Free shipping from m and s? Wow! I can order myself some new bras!

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Thu 21-Mar-13 01:43:15

Thanks for the tips. Happy to splash the cash but fear that Nordstrom won't accomodate my rather ample bosom - currently at 36K. Think I'll check out Bravissimo's international orders - I know where I am with them.

I will be looking at M&S in a mo though as DS needs some clothes especially some warmer things as we're heading back to the UK in a couple of weeks for a wedding. The little mite has dared to have a growth spurt so everything I bought before our move doesn't really fit anymore! Plus I can always use more M&S knickers.

Squinkie hope you have better luck with the house sale this time.

wentshopping Thu 21-Mar-13 04:39:50

Good luck with your sale squinkie - mine was one of those word of mouth things - youngest dd told her friends we were moving, friend's mum called and came to view before it went on the market... luckily she liked it. I still have a realtor involved though, because we bought it 8 years ago directly from the owner and I worried so much that the conveyancing had not been done properly.
Now I just have to watch and wait as my new house gets built. I've picked out all the cabinets, countertops, bathroom tile etc - that was fun!
Think I'll have a peek on M&S now... I agree the socks work out very good value - youngest dd has to have knee high socks, and I can't find good cotton ones here, so more "school socks" for her.

Want2bSupermum Fri 22-Mar-13 15:31:34

Hi everyone! Great to hear about M&S. I got some pj's for DD that are plain white so can be bleached and passed down to DS. Target/Walmart/kMart etc are all poor when it comes to clothing IMO.

For nursing bras Nordstrom here in NJ ordered Anita bras for me in huge sizes. I ordered 5 different sizes and returned what didn't fit to the store. They then ordered another 2 or 3 in that size. I was a 32I, or something crazy like that, and they didn't have any of that size. Their HQ ordered the sizes I wanted to try directly from the manufacturer. Nordstrom did expidited shipping for me to cut the wait from 2 weeks+ to less than a week. I liked the anita bras because they were underwired and had huge shoulder straps that didn't cut into me. Just a shame that my milk didn't come in with DD and with DS I gave up due to returning to work so quickly.

SquinkieBunnies Fri 22-Mar-13 16:46:42

I hope you looked at the sale while on the M&S site, I had put a lot of things in my basket and left it till Dd went to bed, when I went to check out the kickers had been reduced to 50p and twin pack cottony bras (that run small so I size up) had been reduced to £3 so I spent another £20 and have 4 bras and 6 pairs of knickers winging their way here, it was the low rise shorts kind.

NatashaBee Fri 22-Mar-13 17:43:59

Thanks SquinkieBunnies... off to check out the site again now!

DH and I are thinking of buying a foreclosure near where my in-laws live. Anyone have any experience of foreclosures? Structurally the house seems to be sound, but there's no electric so can't test the AC or heating, we will factor that into the offer. We will obviously get it appraised properly, and since it will only be a second home we don't really need to complete by any specific time... just wondered if anyone had done it.

NatashaBee Fri 22-Mar-13 17:52:19

Also, for anyone ordering from M&S - there are lots of coupons on the retailmenot site. I used LINGERIE for 5 pounds off of 30 when i just ordered, which worked. Thanks again SquinkieBunnies! Bras here just aren't the same as UK ones. Now if only Primark would ship to the US...

SquinkieBunnies Fri 22-Mar-13 18:14:24

So Primark has good bras?
I know I told my sister to check out the M&S sale she said no, she buys Primark. I've never been in one as there isn't one anywhere near my mother when we visit, Sis lived in Manchester before moving overseas, there is so much shopping choice threre it makes me queasy.

NatashaBee Fri 22-Mar-13 18:56:38

I really like Primark bras - for 4 pounds each you just can't beat them, they seem to be the only ones to fit me well. In general for their prices, the quality is pretty good and the stuff is hard wearing - fitted t-shirts and vest tops are great too. It is a bit of a muddle in there though as they tend to be pretty busy, so people dump stuff on shelves if they get tired of queuing.

anyone booked internal flights?have a friend flying to us from NYC and she's wondering whether to book now or wait a bit (do the fares go up the closer it gets a la european short haul easyjet etc?)

No, tend to get better prices 21 days out and mid week and with changes.

I've found this software finds me good prices with a little juggling, but you can't book with it, you have to ring the airline with the codes it spits out
matrix.itasoftware.com

SquinkieBunnies Mon 25-Mar-13 22:49:48

I found Jet blue have good prices, you can only book direct with them, and they still give you one checked bag for free.

Thanks both!

FringeEvent Thu 28-Mar-13 23:04:49

We've just received an email from the immigration lawyers to say that they've now got everything they need from us, and they'll be filing the visa application with USCIS tomorrow to ensure it reaches them for 1 April. So in approx 3 weeks from now we should know for sure whether we're moving to CA this year!! shock

Yay Fringe that's very exciting! Sorry, totally owe you an email!

Want2bSupermum Sat 30-Mar-13 01:30:09

That is very exciting Fringe!

natasha Have no direct experience but would love to hear from others who have.

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