IMG_2345My Facebook page if you haven’t already – why haven’t you “liked” it yet?

My Instagram page I’m not much of a photographer and I don’t own a fancy camera – all photos posted are taken by my cellphone.  Lots of people can take breathtaking photos with fancy & expensive cameras – it takes real talent to takeistagram breathtaking photos with a cellphone.  My photos are not breathtaking – but they are images that sum up our cultural experience currently – or simply images that speak to me.

A good Horchata recipe listed on my fav recipe website:  AllRecipes.com – although try my version first [bottom of blog] before the AllRecipe one.

Spanish Translation Program  go ahead and play around with translating English to Spanish and vice versa – it’s all kinds of fun to waste spanishdicttime while at work and you’ll see very quickly that the two do not literally translate word-for-word – which, in my opinion as a native English speaking person, makes it really hard to learn Spanish!

Need to make a phone call to / from Mexico?  good luck  – it’s really hard.  For example, it’s one set of numbers to call a land-line – but you have to add digits to a cell phone, and vice versa – meaning the number you are calling depends upon which you are calling FROM – cell or land line.  Confused yet?  Don’t get me started on trying to connect to U.S. 800 or 888 numbers.  This handy little guide has been, well – really handy – for us and family back home.

Jessica Smith TV:  if you are like me and find yourself in an area that does not offer much in the way of gyms and you turn to YouTube for classes – this site is a great one.  All workouts are free – there’s a great selection here from cardio, toning, strength training – and my personal favorite – kickboxing.  Ms. Smith is peppy and encouraging without being too pushy (like Jillian Michaels, who, don’t get me wrong looks fab, but she seems really mean).  I’ve also enjoyed Billy Blanks Tae Bo Workouts on YouTube – he seems nice, too – so here’s a good selection of those.

us embassy

United States Embassy in Mexico

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for U.S. Citizens

Looking for other Expat blogs to read?  Go ahead and click on someone else’s blog, you traitor.  Here’s a good site for expat blogs all over the world – but I’m only providing the link to the Mexican blogs.  If you want other countries – find them yourself.

Speaking of other people’s blogs – so far this is my favorite blog on Mexican living: Eat Live Mexico – currently being written by an Australian couple in Mexico City.  Visiting their blog for the photos alone is totally worth it.

amazon logo2Good shopping website when shopping outside of the U.S.:  Amazon.  I love to shop – and found that online experience seriously restricted when shopping U.S. websites from Mexico.  Basically you double the amount of ANY item when you factor in shipping and customs charges.  Not only that, but your items aren’t guaranteed to be received – and I’m not really pointing any fingers here, but I’ve previously shared that we ordered a mini IPad from Amazon and received an empty mini IPad box.  Strangely, they left us the cord and plug attachments (?)  Anyway – long story here is that Amazon refunded us the total amount – no questions asked.  So besides the fact that their website offers lots of items that qualify for international shipping (most other sites do not) – you can track their packages; shipping and customs charges aren’t too outrageous and their customer service department is great.

unitedInterested in visiting us?  (hint, hint…) The best option to fly into Tampico is from Houston, via United Airlines.  Houston’s airport isn’t all that bad to hang out during layovers.  Another option is through Aeromexico, who we have flown with and whose airplane is easily the nicest I’ve ever been on – and will usually include a stopover in Mexico City – which is massive and amazing to see from above.

netflixOne obvious difference from moving from one country to another:  you lose access to your TV shows!  Good ole’ Netflix is actually the only online streaming site we’ve found so far that works in Mexico, although you can stream purchased items through Amazon (but they are a tad expensive).  Although Netflix is available here – the selection is different than in the U.S., but we are grateful to have access to some of our favorite shows (local cable here is limited, in Spanish and even though they offer some of the same stations, they don’t offer the same selections as the U.S.).  With Netflix I recently finished How I Met Your Mother – which was an intensely entertaining show, although the ending was terrible.  Other shows we’ve enjoyed via Netflix and would recommend:  Luther (BBC show), House of Card (warning: very dark) and Homeland (thanks Libby!)

On the subject of access to U.S. media, if you are in need of VPN options (and if you don’t know what VPN is then you don’t need it and I’m not explaining it here) – I DO NOT recommend FlashRouters or IPVanish.  In fact, do your research because for home-VPN needs you don’t need an actual router – just the service, and so far I like these guys:  Private Internet Access.

sgMiniAs an avid reader, here’s a shout-out to one of my favorite authors and series:  The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  These books have nothing whatsoever to do with Mexican – or American living – but I love these books and highly recommend them and this is my blog and I can link to whatever I want.  Here’s a few other of my favorite books and/or authors:  Skulduggery Pleasant, Fablehaven, Darkside, Scott Lynch and Chris Wooding.

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