Tis The Season


Remember me?

No me neither, it’s been a while. So tell me how are you, hope life’s been treating you well.

Where do I start?

I’ve been working like my life depends on it (which it kind of does), battling with homesickness every other day and sleeping just enough to remain sane. The days and weeks have come and gone and all of sudden I’m staring 2017 in the face, I feel like a deer frozen in the head lights of an 18 wheeler, waiting for impact in 3, 2……. hmm

Evidently my mid-month post didn’t happen this month, this really has been a solid month work wise, with Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New year’s, members have decided this month is family reunion month so it’s been hectic. On the bright side however the influx of children at work has been quiet refreshing and has livened up our work days. In direct correlation to the increase in Ballenisles babies is the amount of sweeping, scrubbing and reorganising of the whole place after each sitting.

I mean, who knew rainbow sprinkles could travel so far on their own?

Anyhow, I’m actually struggling slightly on how I’m going to cover this post. This has by far been the most active month I’ve had and fitting everything into one post in great detail, without drying your eyes out is virtual impossible.

So, my solution is to keep it short and sweet! Headings, increase of visual aids, key details only, leave everything else up to your imagination.

Sound good? Good.


Well as a British national, Thanksgiving has only recently become interesting to me and the rest of Great Britain and let’s face it, it’s for Black Friday sales. Well this year I was able to appreciate thanksgiving for what it really is, since one of our colleagues couldn’t travel to see her family she opened the doors for us and hosted a Friendsgiving.

To only be in America for 4 months and be invited to share such a special day with a beautiful family, I learnt that Thanksgiving is about a multitude of thinks but mainly appreciation. Appreciation for old and new relationships, for generosity, new experiences and DAMN GOOD FOOD!


Miami Heat Game

As part of being J1 interns with Butler Search Group, Rasheeda and Frank Butler (our stateside parents) arrange activities for us all to take part in. They’re usually very touristic and ‘that’s so American’ influenced, but that’s the whole point, for us to do ‘generic American’ things because that’s where the cultural exchange element comes in. First up was a basketball game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, to see Miami heat against The Boston Celtics.

I was so excited for this and boy did it live up to and beyond my expectations! The atmosphere insane and the game was amazing to watch. Now unfortunately Miami Heat lost, but I can’t exactly claim to be a Heat fan so maybe I was supporting Boston Celtics all along.

Who Knows, anyway here are a few shots from the game (no pun intended).

Sunday Roast Memories

Since moving to America, it’s been Chicken Wings, Pizza, Burgers and arguments over French fries or Chips. After 4 months we craved one thing, a classical Great British Sunday Roast! Since the restaurant is closed on Monday evenings and I had the day off, we did a big collection pot and made it happen. 2 Roast Chickens, Roast Potatoes, Mash Potatoes, Stuffing, Pigs in Blankets, Cauliflower and Broccoli cheese and Steamed Veggies.

What a treat!

As the resident chef, I threw it down in the kitchen just like Mama taught and without beating my own drum, I killed it.

Great food and Great company, not much more you can ask for.

Christmas Party

The minute we found out about the Christmas party, all the girls panicked. The search for a dress, shoes to match the dress, clutch to match the shoes, jewellery to match everything and hair and make-up that brings out the Beyoncé in you.

We were stressed.

While the boys dusted off their suits, us girls were on the hunt for the perfect fit. With little time to spare I managed to get a dress in the sales from Macy’s, shoes I had from home, Jewellery and clutch from TJ Maxx, make up from Sephora and Nyx, hair freshly braided I was ready to Slay.

I got out of work at 3:30 and ran home. The girls were out getting their makeup done, so I took the opportunity to get showered and start my makeup before the battle for the mirror commenced. By time we were ready to go we were already an hour late, but to be honest who aims to be on time for a party ?!

It was amazing, so much fun and great to see managers and colleagues dressed up and shaking a leg. The main attraction for the evening is the incredible raffle that they put together for us, with prizes including trips to Universal studios and Sea world in Orlando to gift vouchers in major stores, we all distributed our raffle tickets across the prizes, crossed out fingers and toes and hoped for the best.

Not only did half of the Bistro Staff win all the prizes but I won too! A voucher for $150 to use on AirBnB, perfect for when my family fly out in February.

Couldn’t have planned it better.

We stayed for pictures, food and drink before heading to the unofficially official after party.

As for the rest, well that will remain untold!

Here’s all the PG stuff….


Work has been booming, serving 600+ people every day for lunch alone, 1 day off and double shifts galore, we were exhausted irritable and couldn’t be any less festive if we were the Grinch himself. But despite the negatives we were determined to have a good time and make our first Christmas away from home one to remember.

Gratefully the restaurant was only open for lunch on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so there was no reason we couldn’t have a decent gathering and enjoy the time that we had.

After finalising the guest list and collecting fees, I put my chef hat back on and cooked up my first ever Christmas dinner.

Turkey, Chicken, Roast Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetable, Mac and Cheese, Stuffing, Brussels and Bacon, Yorkshire Puddings, Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese, Apple Crumble, Ambrosia Custard and Ice cream. Mama would have been proud!

With alcohol to match and games planned we soon forgot we were so far from home. In spite of a crappy week, we dug deep and found our Christmas joy and made Christmas 2016 a success.

And that’s it, you’re up to date. Now if you don’t mind it’s time for me to get ready and see in the New Year with my new family.

Happy New Year to all my LeInternAbroad followers. I pray for you all a New Year full of pure love, true friends and wealth in happiness, let go of what’s past, live for right now and look forward to what to come.

Thank you for following me thus far.

Signed Yours Truly

Chantelle Olaiya




We Out!


2 thoughts on “Tis The Season

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s