Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Big, Bad, & Fabulous Retail News for Edinburgh

Anthropologie is coming to Edinburgh!!!
(Image courtesy of Anthropologie)
 I, for one, will welcome Anthro to Edinburgh with wide open arms! For those of you more acquainted with retail on the eastern side of the Atlantic, Anthropologie is a fabulous woman's clothing and home goods store. Aesthetically pleasing and an oasis of calm, Anthropologie's new home will be on George Street by next summer. Other than their variety of quality products, I always love that they have the best smelling candles lit throughout the store. Problem is: George Street is only two minutes from my house -- that could be entirely too enticing .........

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Edinburgh in the Morning

This morning on my run, I clumsily fiddled with my phone trying to capture the beauty of the sun hitting the sky line over Edinburgh. Here's just a bit of the beauty I was soaking in:
The beauty of the city and all the dogs are great distractions. You can see the peak of Arthur's Seat back there.

Have I told you my theory about dogs in Britain?
Dogs here are extremely well behaved. 

(That should be all of that theory that I share on the public blogosphere)

Do you see the castle off in the distance?

I get to see a castle every single day of my life here! Somebody pinch me! Three years on, I still can't get over it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Review

Hello blog friends ~

How was your weekend? Mine was filled with friends, fun, and a good dose of work. Friday night we dined in honor of a good friend's birthday at L'Artichaut, a delicious vegetarian restaurant. Not only did they create tasty dishes, but they were beautiful, too! 

Saturday was dedicated to grading papers -- that would be the second Saturday in a row of grading papers. I wish I could report on something more fun and interesting, but we are living in a season of work these days! 

Saturday evening was dedicated to leisure, as MBA and I went to the theater to see the Lark Rise to Candleford. The theatrical production was okay -- overall it's quite disjointed, but I've heard the production on BBC is actually really fantastic. However,  we have some pretty awesome, old theaters here in Edinburgh. They're full of old world charm, and King's Theater definitely checks those boxes! Here's the picture I captured on my phone: 

Aren't the old box seats so great?

If you really want to hear about some good theater, you should go check out my sister Hilary's blog. She's working in NYC doing marketing for a Broadway producer and as a show promoter and saw no less than three shows this past week. Lucky girl!

Yesterday was filled with the usual: church, cooking, errands, a stop by Real Foods, exercising, reading, and a random viewing of Ayn Rand's Fountainhead.  MBA had read Fountainhead -- a book about objective philosophy and architecture -- but the story was a new one for me. The film itself was made in the 40's, so you can imagine its simplicity. Despite having been a philosophy student in university, I may or may not have fallen asleep during the movie. Oops!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Battling the Winter Cold

This may look like an ordinary long sleeve t-shirt, but do not be deceived! Last Christmas I pulled one of these shirts out of my stocking and thought it a bit random.  That is, until I read the tag describing the unique benefits of a Uniqlo Heattech shirt.  These technologically advanced garments offer heat generation and heat retention, while also being antibacterial. Major score! After quickly noticing that a Uniqlo Heatteach shirt seriously kept me much warmer than a cotton long sleeve  t-shirt, I quickly purchased a handful of these Japanese shirts. They also wash great and don't lose their shape. They're miracle garments. Uniqlo is a Japanese company with stores located in both London and New York, but you can also order online. My recipe for a cold Scottish day? Uniqlo Heatteach + cashmere sweater = perfection.  Addendum: They're sized small & available for both men & women

Friday, October 22, 2010

Scruton on Facebook

While I'm on a kick of disliking The Social Network, I thought I'd also share with you one of my favorite philosopher and author's thoughts on Facebook. You can read his article "Hiding Behind the Screen" in The New Atlantis here.
(Image courtesy of The Guardian)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Not to Wear in Europe

With terror alerts on high and those threats allegedly aimed at Americans, I bring you: What Not to Wear in Europe.

While training from London to Paris a few months back, my sister and I sat catty-cornered from the above couple. He was looking a bit "noticeable" in his white trainers --- but she was wearing white knee high socks with capri pants and sandals. Recently I've had people directed to my blog because they googled "what to wear in Europe so as not to be a target." I don't have much advice in that arena, but I can tell you that the lady's above ensemble resembles nothing I've seen the natives wear in these parts. I'm just sayin ......

When you're packing for Europe, it's probably best to leave your tube sock/capri/sandal trilogy at home. 

These are best left to the softball fields back home!
I have a thing about doors in Europe. I love the vibrant colors, the various sizes, their design .... they're simply interesting and add to the landscape of so many aesthetically pleasing cities on this continent. The door above has probably been around for quite sometime and has definitely been painted over and over again. It's likely not to have been sanded prior to the fresh coat of paint. Nor has it been replaced -- even if it doesn't fit quite so snuggly as it once did.

In addition to my obsession with photographing doors over here (that's hyperbole folks!), I have been enjoying Reading Lolita in Tehran. From the title, you can gain much about the book: there's a group reading western classics in Tehran, and it's probably not a celebrated group. It's immediately intriguing -- isn't there something fascinating about how a completely different culture receives Western thought and ideas?
 The book is divided into four sections. Thus far, I suggest reading the second section of the book and then going back and reading the first. While the second section has a cohesive narrative of the author's life, the first part is a bit disjointed -- albeit interesting. It's just that the first part of the book details the underground reading group taking place in the author's home, and that would have had a lot more meaning had I known more about the author herself. Anyway, it still seems worth a read!

MBA and I also saw Social Network last week. Do I even have to tell anyone this is the Facebook movie?

By the time it was released here, the film had received a lot of hype from all my American counterparts.  The movie itself is definitely a hyped up film -- it's intense,  and it tells a story a lot of people want to hear. The story I saw was one about people having an endless capacity for evil and for destroying themselves. You might see a story about how Facebook came in to existence. Someone else might see a story about Sean Parker's come back. While the directing was really well done, the actors impeccable, and the soundtrack by Trent Rezner superb -- I'm just not as "in" to this movie as most others. Allegedly, only 40% of it's true; but most people watching the film won't consider that. That bothers me -- there's a lot of re-creation going on there, and it affects real people's lives. Additionally, I think the movie could have used a light moment here and there. Overall, I just wasn't as impressed as I thought I was going to be. Goodness -- I am so going against the trend by saying all this!!!  I feel like such a rebel!

I know I'm going against the grain saying all this, so feel free to throw your own two cents in there!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good Friday!

Happy Friday! 

As we approach the weekend, how about a little eye candy from Edinburgh???

Here are a few scenes I captured around our neighborhood:

Such happy graffiti!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Out with the New. In with the Old.

Have you seen these?
Old fashioned typewriters reformatted in some way to connect with your PC or your Mac. Wow! 

While this wouldn't work for me and my nomad life, I do really like the sea green Corsair Deluxe.

 Check out the USB Typewriters here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thanks GO Overseas!

My little ole' blog has just been selected as a top travel blog in Scotland and has been added to a list of blogs in Scotland. Thanks for the award GO Overseas! I'm looking forward to checking out the other blogs, which you can explore right here!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Harvest Sunday.

This weekend I ventured over to the farmers' market for some fresh produce, sausage, and was then treated to a doughnut from Valvona & Crolla. You haven't lived until you've tried their doughnust. Just don't try 'em too often! Here are a few items we purchased from our bountiful market:
I'm super excited about trying the yellow courgette. It'll be new to my repertoire!

One lovely thing I've enjoyed while living in Britain is being in touch with the harvest season. The churches in Britain celebrate Harvest Sunday the week that most of the harvesting takes place. Two weeks ago, the church we attend thanked God for the provisions of the harvest and requested grace for the farmers that were still harvesting due to the heavy rains. There's a more intimate connection here with the land, soil, and food. I'm grateful to have participated in it!

Yesterday we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with a few of our Canadian friends. We had a wonderful time! The Canadian Thanksgiving seems to fall about two weeks after Harvest Sunday here in Britain, and it also seems quite connected -- at least historically -- to the harvest and bounty the people received.

Here's Nathalie -- our beautiful hostess!

And here's Megan with Schnittlauch, which is German for chives. Oh the things you learn and enjoy while living abroad!

MBA & the Chernoffs

Per usual, we basically had to roll ourselves home after all the yummy turkey, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. It was delish! We provided the dessert, and I happily used one of my cans of pumpkin to make a delicious pumpkin cake. It was a hit! I imagine the decadent cream cheese icing helped out a bit!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I find this advert quite amusing:
Spend $300, and you can get a free tote that says "be frugal!" What!?!?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Six Years Ago.

Around six years ago, I went on a date with someone I met a few weeks back.

He took me to the lovely Charlottesville (which had no snow in October!)

And then about two and a half years later .........
Now I'm living my "happily ever after!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Latest Obsession.

Let me introduce you to my latest obsession: Bengal Spice Tea. This delicious tea will only set you back a few quid or dollars, and it's perfect for fall. Supposedly Celestial's caffeine-free version of chai, it's brimming with yummy flavors: cinnamon, ginger, chicory, vanilla, cardamon, and nutmeg. Perfect for these chilly, fall nights!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Endless Possibilities. Limited Means.

I am one of the lucky few in Edinburgh who snagged two cans of pumpkin this last weekend. After stopping by three specialty grocers inquiring for canned pumpkin, I found a winner! This is big news over here, y'all! With only two cans of pumpkin and a good eight weeks to go before a fresh delivery of canned pumpkin from the States, I must carefully deliberate about what recipe is worth my canned pumpkin. Such decisions!

Here are a few of the recipes I'm considering:

  • Pumpkin Crisp
  • Heather's Recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Should I even consider throwing a pumpkin soup recipe in the running? It seems a bit blah after all those alluring desserts!!!

Do you have  a delicious recommendation or an opinion as to how I should narrow this tough choice down? Do share!

Update: I've found another yummy recipe: Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies. How to decide!?!?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Sister Holiday [The Final Installment!]

Hilary and I trained in from Paris to London early on a Saturday morning. After a quick bite to eat we caught the underground out to Heathrow, checked into our hotel, and caught a cab out to Windsor.
Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, and it was really incredible to visit this castle.

These pictures are of the exterior of the castle, as pictures were not allowed inside.
In addition to seeing the grounds and the exterior of the palace, we were able to see the following: the State Apartments, Queen Mary's Doll Houses, and the Drawing Galleries.
The Queens' Gardens

Hilary just taking it all in!

A real, live guard --- and he was really marching around. Splendid!

Pretty magnificent!

I'm sure no one else ever does this.  *Wink!*

How could we resist!?!?

The above building is St. George's Chapel, which unfortunately was closed when we were there due to someone getting married. Can you even imagine getting married there??? I did do some inquiring as to who was getting married at the Queens' residence. What we learned was: 1) it could be royalty of some kind, or 2) it could be an employee. If you work at the Queen's palace, you have the privilege of being able to get married there. Pretty incredible! Any future brides out there should plan ahead and get a job at Windsor Castle!

Hilary and I were also convinced that those hanging out in the background of the above photograph were the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. They looked like a dead ringer from 100 yards away.

After visiting the castle, we toured the small city of Windsor. The town had tons of cute shops and restaurants, and you could even have your photo made dressed up as someone from the wild, wild west. (Weird!)
Surely you can tell from the pictures that the town has charm! It was darling. I'd be happy to live there!

A tip on visiting Windsor: Windsor is only about 10 kilometers from Heathrow Airport (depending on what terminal you're at). Instead of catching a London cab out to Windsor, call a Windsor taxi ahead and they'll give you a much better rate! Hilary and I were transferred from the Sofitel at Heathrow to Windsor in high style for a much better rate than we would have been given from a London cabbie!

In other news: I totally miss my sister! I want her to live in Edinburgh with me!!!
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