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Thanks for visiting Joy42. Follow along on my adventures as an American Expat. I hope to encourage you to seek out the little joys in your life.

Friday Five 7.28

Friday Five 7.28

o n e | Home, Sweet Home | We found a home! We decided to rent for my first year in the UK so that I could have some input as to where we'll ultimately buy our first home. We started looking early in July when I viewed a house around the corner from our summer sublet while Luke was at work. I really liked it, but it was slightly out of our price range and bigger than we wanted. We viewed a few more places--mostly 2 bedroom flats that weren't that much cheaper than the house. When Luke spotted that the house had been reduced the next week, he decided to go into the letting agency's office for more information. He was able to negotiate a bit moe off their latest price reduction, making it the same as those smaller flats and perfect for our budget. Apparently they were desperate to get tenants and we were quite literally able to cash in on their desperation. A lot of places here come furnished, but ours is unfurnished, so we've been keeping an eye on Freecycle to claim some good pieces for our new home and have been blessed to have multiple people offer us some of their unused furniture. Stay tuned for some DIY before & after (just don't hold your breath for tutorials) and more in our journey to decorate and furnish our new place! Who are your favorite home DIY/home decor bloggers or Instagram accounts? I'll be needing some inspiration!

Throwback to my season 4 party

Throwback to my season 4 party

t w o | Game of Thrones | It's baaaaaack! Honestly, it felt like season 7 would never come. Surely I'm not the only one who felt like that, right? In England, it's available to watch at 2AM on Mondays, which is when it airs in the US, but it's broadcast on Monday evenings. I've had to be careful on social media on Monday mornings since--you know--the internet is dark and full of spoilers. I'm excited to see where things go this season in preparation for the final season next year. And I'm excited to throw my best GOT watch party yet for the finale! (Check out my favorite party--from season 5--on my old blog, here.) What do you think of the season so far?

t h r e e | Birmingham Bear Hunting | If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed a lot of bears in my stories recently. They've popped up all over the city in conjunction with Birmingham's Children Hospital Charity. You download an app for £1.99 that gives you a map where all 200+ bears are located across the greater Birmingham area. You type in a code at each bear and it keeps track of how many you've collected. Some of the bears even have rewards like discounts at various activities, attractions, and restaurants in the city. Four of the bears even give you a free roundtrip ticket to London or Liverpool! Collecting bears has been a great way for me to get out of the house and explore my new city. It's taken me to some really cool parts of town and helped me rack up those steps for my FitBit.

f o u r | Fantasy Football | It's almost that time again! My auction draft/keeper league started discussions mid-July and I reactivated the league of which I'm the commissioner. Luke also asked me to join his fantasy football (soccer) league, so I'll have an added challenge this year. And more games to watch! I love the beginning of fantasy football season because it feels like your team can do anything! Then you start having horrible match ups and give up all hope because the person winning your league doesn't know the first thing about football. But hey, maybe that means I'll win the soccer league!

f i v e | Tea | I've unsurprisingly gotten really into tea since my move. It's one aspect of British life that I'm whole-heartedly embracing! Last month, Luke and I went to TK Maxx (yeah, TK, not TJ) to get a few home goods and I saw this beautiful mug near the tills. I really loved it, but I figured it's just a mug, whatever! Well a few days later, I went to a different TK Maxx with a friend to help her look for gifts for friends for her return to the US. There that mug was. Same print. Same feeling of "I've gotta have it!" So that time I bought it (and a tea tin). I think with how much I use it, I'm probably down to about 1 pence per use! This month we bought a teapot and we got Luke a mug specifically for tea. All we needed was a little container for milk, which we couldn't find a n y w h e r e. Once again, it was fate and we stumbled on the most perfect little milk jug to complete our tray of tea--morning, afternoon, and evening. For the record, we drink Yorkshire tea with a splash of milk and decaf in the evening. Tea truly is a big part of British life. At least from what I'm experiencing.

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August 2017 Goals

August 2017 Goals

Summer Remix: All 10 Outfits

Summer Remix: All 10 Outfits