As soon as we decided to make a trip back home, the list started. Not the packing list, the shopping list… The list of favourite things that I can’t get in the US, that I just have to buy when I’m home!
When we moved, I stocked up on things I thought I would struggle to replace. I have sensitive skin and I worried about the change in environment, water, cleaning products etc. and didn’t want to add face creams and make up on to that list. I didn’t know what products I’d be able to buy in the US, or if the formulations would be the same.
The first time we went home, this time last year, my list was pretty long! I was just starting to run out of my stocks of my favourite products :) And, there were several things that I had discovered you just couldn’t buy, like minty toothpaste for under eights. I don’t know about you, but I can’t quite bring myself to give my children toothpaste that tastes of sweets…
Although, I was pleasantly surprised to find most of the Olay products that I use, along with Boots No.7 (yes, really!) for sale in Target, there are a couple of specific things I can’t get.
So, my list looked like this:
No.7 Lift and Luminate Foundation; Olay Regenerist flawless skin cream (SPF 30); Olay Total Effects day cream, with a touch of foundation; Charles Worthington leave in conditioner; Sainsbury’s decaf tea bags; Sainsbury’s veggie Omega 3; Bepanthen; Nappy sacks; kids minty toothpaste; Calpol sachets; Bisto gravy (it’s veggie!); Nivea Essential Care lipsalve; Garnier roll-on concealer (extra fair); M&S underwear…
A slightly random selection, but there you go :) I’m a creature of habit!
This year… Well, to be honest, the list looked much the same (minus the Olay tinted moisturiser, as I have found similar Olay product; and the CW leave in conditioner, as I still have loads left!). A friend in the US did add Blu Tack to it, apparently the US formula just isn’t as good, so I brought a few packs of that back too!
I am now home, with most of the above :) I added a box of oatcakes to the pile and I’m gutted that I forgot to buy my Bisto…
On top of my ‘essentials’ list I do of course buy clothes! I have found it difficult to find trousers that fit me the US, so a couple of pairs found their way into my bag. I also like to buy clothes for the kids, particularly the wee girl, as it’s nice for them all to have some tops that aren’t being worn by every second child :) Trips to Boots, Marks & Spencer and Next are a must.
Although, one of those bags does have some bits and pieces that my mum bought for the kids too… Because that makes it look so much less excessive!
For me, part of feeling at home is having familiar things around me, and that extends to cosmetics. It’s hard enough when everything around you is new, without adding the stress of finding a new favourite foundation…that doesn’t bring you out in blotches! It took me years to find products that I liked and wasn’t allergic to; so I will remain a creature of habit and go on a major shopping spree whenever I am home.
And, it’s difficult to beat M&S underwear :)
What do you buy when you go home (or take with you on holiday)? What are the products that you just can’t live without?!
[Update 13 November 2014: Having just returned from a quick trip home for my grandmother’s 100th Birthday Party I thought this was an appropriate post to link up with the lovely Chantelle from Seychelles Mama, for her Expat Family linky. I got back late last night, with a suitcase full of many of the above items…]