Sitting at Starbucks – New Books, Designs, Visa, & More!

Sitting at Starbucks: New Feature!

I’ve decided to stop doing Stacking the Shelves and instead rebrand this feature into Sitting at Starbucks. I will still be showcasing new books I receive, but I didn’t want the feature to be limited (at least in the title) to just new books. I want it to be more of an all around update kind of feature, where I talk about a bunch of new stuff. Just imagine going to Starbucks with a friend to catch up on your lives. (Plus I’m just addicted to Starbucks, so there’s that.)

New books

Here are the new books I got this week:

For Review

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley
Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley

The Far Dawn by Kevin Emerson
The Far Dawn by Kevin Emerson

As I’m sure some of you know, HarperCollins has once again EXPLODED on Edelweiss. They probably have 10+ new books there. Unfortunately I only actually found myself interested in two of them. πŸ™


A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

I read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century this week! I’d had that book for AGES but never read it. But then Rachel Harris hired me to do her website (SQUEE! It’s still in progress) and that finally nudged me to read the book.. and I LOVED it! So I immediately bought and started reading A Tale of Two Centuries. It has swoon!!

After 8 weeks of waiting, my new chair has arrived!

Herman Miller Mirra 2 Chair (Back)

Herman Miller Mirra 2 Chair (Front)

I ordered this chair about eight weeks ago, and it finally arrived! It’s a Herman Miller Mirra 2 chair. I have the Mirra 1 back home in the US, and since there was no way to realistically bring the chair over to the UK, I had to buy a new one. But, the Mirra 2 had just come out, so I decided to wait a little while longer to get the newer model. I’m SO happy with it! And now I finally have a chair to sit in when Coding God isn’t at work.

New blog design

The main new design I have to show this week is SMW Book Blog!

SMW Book Blog Design

You probably remember this design when it was a Nose Graze potential. Well Annaiss saw it on Twitter and completely fell in love with it, so she decided to buy it!

I also added in a few customizations like a tabbed widget and the ability for commenters to submit their ratings for books she reviews (similar to what you’ve seen on Nose Graze).

I have like two other designs that are in progress that I hope to show you soon!

I got my UK spouse visa!

Okay well I haven’t gotten it yet, but I have been approved for it! Now I just need to wait for the little bit of special visa paper to come in the mail. Basically this means I can now live and work in the UK on a slightly more permanent basis. This visa lasts like 2½ years, then I can renew it for another 2½ after that. Then, after that, I can apply for indefinite leave to remain (basically like citizenship, but without a few perks). Theeen after that I can apply for citizenship. Yeeks!

I will be writing a full post about my experience later. I’m not sure how many regular Nose Graze readers would actually be interested in that, but I think other people who are applying for the visa might find it useful. When I was applying, I kept trying to find posts about the process and peoples’ experiences, but didn’t find a whole lot of recent ones. So I just hope my post will be useful to other people who are looking to apply.

What’s going on with you this week?

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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    1. Yeah, at first we thought it was going to take 8 years, but now we think it’s only about 5. Because it sounds like as soon as I have indefinite leave to remain, I can apply for citizenship. It’s all super confusing though X_X

      Also I’m scared as hell about taking that citizenship test! LOL. I bet most British citizens would fail it. πŸ˜› Citizenship tests are such BS. I certainly wouldn’t be able to pass the US one.

  1. I would definitely be interested in hearing that! πŸ™‚ And I love the design! I’m not kidding, if I had the money, I’d buy one of your unique themes right now. But I don’t have it, so I’ll have to do with the one I have now. πŸ˜›

    1. Yeah it’s Spanish. It’s funny because since I did the design I had to code some actual Spanish words into it (like the comment form). That was new for me!

  2. love the idea of calling this “sitting at starbucks” – new books you’re reading, plus other new stuff happening in your life is a great idea. I hope this doesn’t sound “stalker-y” but one of the things that I love about your blog is you don’t just talk about books. There’s the blog tips which is the most awesomest awesome thing around, but I like reading about what’s going on in your life too – it gives you a “face”, makes you more real than “just” a book reviewer. And i LOVE the new look – it surprised me…I didn’t think I would cos I did love the old look…but wow, it looks fantastic!

    1. Thank you! πŸ˜€ I’m glad you like that about my blog. I think I always freak out a little and doubt that people would actually be interested in my life and all that jazz. So it’s very nice to hear that you enjoy it. πŸ™‚

  3. As an immigrant from France to Canada, I can only be interested in your experience.

    I was actually surprised at how easily UK gave you this “spouse visa”, which apparently include the right to stay AND to work. This is great! It was such hard work to get (and constantly renew) my beloved’s visa in France! In comparison, it was soooo easy for me in Canada! I got the permanent resident visa (similar to the one you can get in 5 years) “just because” we were together for more than a year (that was the only requirement really, only that you have to prove it) and we didn’t even need to be married. Culture shock! πŸ˜€

    So yes, definitely, I’ll be glad to read your posts about it if you feel like sharing your experience.

    1. Sorry to hear it was tough to get the visa in France! I wonder how the process differs.

      It’s pretty simple here as long as you’re married and can provide all the required documents.. like your marriage certificate and proof that you meet the financial requirements.

    1. Thank you so much! πŸ˜€

      And I certainly think it’s possible because I’m totally in love with the chair too! πŸ˜€

  4. I love this new feature because I’m kinda obsessed with Starbucks as well so I have ZERO problem with imagining I’m there. And your new chair looks really nice! I need a new chair soon so I might have to look into that… The design looks like it has great support for your back!

    1. *high five* πŸ˜€ Starbucks addicts unite! It’s gotten to the point where the Starbucks employees know my regular drink O_O Not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed.. haha!

      And yes, Herman Miller chairs have excellent back support!

  5. The new feature sounds fantastic. I’m always interested in the little things. Strangely, though, since I have a personal blog, when I try to add personal features to my review blog, it ends up being kinda pointless. Haha anyway, glad you get to stay where you’re happy. Hope married life’s goin’ good for you. The first year’s supposed to be the hardest, but if you’re lucky like me, it’ll be a breeze. :]

    1. I’m loving married life so far! We do have a few big/hard decisions to make in terms of where to live.. but otherwise it’s been a total breeze! ♥

    1. Thank you Jeann! πŸ˜€ I did the premium visa service, which is “same day”, but there were a few glitches, which resulted in it being more than a 1 day wait.. but still much better than the alternative (MONTHS!).

  6. There’s a Starbucks within rock-throwing distance of our apartment and I do NOT make enough use of it!

    I need to find a way to be a stay-at-home blogger, so I can spend sunny days on their patio, sipping their passion tea iced lemonade, while blogging. Sighs. A girl can dream, right?

    So excited that citizenship is one step closer for you! I know the process can be pretty daunting, and while I have no plans to move across seas any time soon, I’d be super interested in seeing you document how you went about everything.

    1. Blogging full time would be awesome! I guess I’m pretty close to that.. I stay home, blog, then throw in a dash of website/coding work, haha!

      But Starbucks it part of my routine and I love it… even if I am totally an addict. I should probably be embarrassed that half the employees know me by name and order now.

  7. Ahh the design is so pretty, and that chair is pretty ace πŸ˜‰ Also, I am ADDICTED to Starbucks so I approve of the new title! I could live off of their stuff (I don’t even like coffee, I just love the non-coffee frappucinos). Haha A Tale of Two Centuries looks so cute and I’m glad that you loved the first book πŸ˜€ Happy reading! <33

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted: Life of a Blogger (9): Favorite Animals
  8. Gosh I LOVE the new design you have on your blog! I can’t believe I haven’t stopped by in so long, I just got so busy with exams and other school stuff that I took a little step back from blogging, and when I came her for a little visit, the new design was just there! It looks awesome, I love it!

    As well as the new feature, its a great idea. Wait, how long does it take to actually earn citizenship? Because from what I gather it takes pretty damn long… Which I hadn’t really expected. I thought it would be something like 2 or 3 years or something.

    1. Thank you!!! πŸ˜€

      We think it takes a little over 5 years to apply for citizenship. It’s really ambiguous though.

      Basically, first I have to “complete” the spouse visa, which is 5 years (it’s a 2½ year visa that I renew once). Then after 5 years, I have to apply for indefinite leave to remain. But we THINK that as soon as I have indefinite leave I can apply for citizenship.

      Originally we thought that I had to hold indefinite leave to remain for 3 years before applying (which would make it a total of 8), but now we don’t think that’s the case. It’s confusing. πŸ˜›

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