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47 Cantata Drive
Mission Viejo, CA, 92692
United States

Collegiate Kids Store

Becoming a California Gal

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(Mis) adventures in Parenthood, Little League & moving your family 5,500 miles from London to California.

Becoming a California Gal

Laura Bonnell

California vintage postcard

Well, we're now 10 months into our big Californian adventure. The adrenalin has started to wear off, the reality of flogging our London flat and squashing our worldly possessions into a 20ft container has pretty much sunken in. Wine, has defiantly eased that enormity of relocating our family of 2 young boys, and 1 man child husband. At least Napa Valley is just up the road (ish) so, there's no shortage of grape juice (although I'm more a French Sancerre gal myself, just don't tell the locals).

I can't lie, it's been a little epic, but actually not that bad. There's been A LOT of paperwork involved. And, setting Muklet back up over here as a small business has been as simple as assembling an Ikea STUVA loft bed without the instructions...but we've done it!

Californian life is starting to take shape. Me and the American boy now have Freelance work. Me, designing for a Womenswear brand, and the old man is animating a Virtual Reality game. As it's turned out we're both working for start ups, so my experience sidepreneur-ing Muklet the last couple of years has come in very handy. More of that in a later post.

Our eldest has completed his first year of American school, and started to make buddies and develop an American accent ALREADY! Of course I'm putting my foot down that he must continue to annunciate his 't's' - it's Water (War-ter), not War-der! And our youngest has settled into Daycare (Nursery) a couple of days a week so Momma can work. Me and the wee one get to hang out on Thursdays and Fridays and head to the beach or the pool to cool off #hardlife.

As for me, I'm slowly integrating into Californian life, and there's a few things I've noticed:

1) In & Out burger is now part of my weekly diet

2) I now say things like 'The 5', 'The 405', and have learned to turn right on a red, and not get into my car with bare legs (90 degree heat + leather seats = burnt bum)

3) I have observed the wearing of gym kit for the school run, but have yet to succumb to the look, and instead opt for my Topshop/ Cos/ Whistles ensemble

4) Socks...yup, don't need those anymore

5) Suncream is my new daily moisturizer

6) Robinsons Orange Squash is $10 a bottle, and besides water and milk is the only thing the boys will drink

7) People in LA can't understand why you would live in Orange County, and people in Orange County can't understand why you would live in LA. It the USA equivalent to Hackney vs Wandsworth

8) People will be confused by the x or xx or xxx at the end of a message. Would advise instead using xo or xoxo. Using the former maybe imply you are referring to a pornographic rating!

9) The Cath Kidston picnic rug and M&S lunch deal for a trip to Wimbledon park has been replaced with towels, beach chairs, and a collapsable wagon with cup holders for weekly trips to the beach. There's no real equivalent to good old Marks and Sparks in SoCal, but supermarket sushi is amazing (honestly!), and Fish Tacos are a worthy substitute for Fish & Chips.

10) You will regularly; 'high five', say "cute" or "awesome" or "good job", embrace it, it'll feel good, honest!

All in all, not too bad so far. Still a way to go till it really feels like home. But with the lads enjoying their $10 bottles of Robinsons, and Costco doing a good deal on Mummy's French juice, we are starting to settle in nicely.