Happy Thanksgiving!


We hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving week (or just a wonderful week in general if you live outside of the USA — belated happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian readers)!

This photo (above) is from Thanksgiving two years ago. Cath had flown over to Scotland to hang out in a drafty mansion with me for a week and it was heavenly. This year we will be apart again (boo hiss), but we will both be reading from The Thanksgiving Reader at our respective Thanksgiving celebrations. Have you guys heard of it? I found out about it through Seth Godin’s blog and I think it’s such a beautiful way to share a day of giving thanks with people you love. Let us know if you guys are doing the reader too!

Most years I avoid the shopping deluge that is Black Friday, and this year is no different as I’m completely skint. But if you are partaking in the discounted smorgasbord this coming weekend, definitely check out Small Business Saturday to support your local, independent businesses (Cath will be overseeing the going-ons in Decatur) and if you are more digitally inclined, check out our Shopbop‘s discount bonanza happenings (below):


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We Interrupt this rainy November …

To bring you pictures of sunny, warm places!

I don’t know about you, but my eyeballs are so tired of the gray and the rain and the bare-branched trees of November. Any Southern hemisphere readers are probably frolicking in more amiable climes as we speak, so this post might not be as necessary as it is for fellow Northern hemispherians desperate for vitamin D.

So, without further ado, please enjoy some of these pics of our road trip through Croatia a few months ago: the beautiful Roman ruins of Split, the delightful poppyseed pastries of Dubrovnik, the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, and the mystical sunset of Zadar. Winter is coming, but it’s good to remember it’s not always here.

split-veg split-poppyseads Hvar split-roman-ruins dubrovnik-walls sibenik-garden zadar-sunset

How’s that feel on your eyeballs? I love how cozy the holidays feel, but Scotland (and now Seattle) has turned me into the sun’s most grateful acolyte.

Stay tuned post-Thanksgiving for a sneak peek at what’s coming to AsianCajuns.com! I know we keep teasing it, but the new AsianCajuns is coming to a screen near you soon. Thanks for your patience, lovely readers! xoxo


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The New AsianCajuns is …


… coming to an internets near you soon! Thank you guys for your patience while we work through a new design (and new concept — exciting stuffs!). We’re aiming to have this relaunched just after Thanksgiving, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, Cath and I are faithful instagrammers, so if you are missing unnecessary pics of on-tap Kombucha (me) or oh-so-beautiful shots of delicious Atlanta life (Cath), please click below:
Cath’s instagram
Lar’s instagram

And until we see you on the flip side, have a wonderful November! xoxo

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I can’t stop looking at trees




Seattle is the first place I’ve lived in more than a decade that has a real autumn: where the skies are a sparkly blue and the leaves blush crimson and glow golden. So every time I leave the house, I’m the crazy lady standing in the middle of a busy urban sidewalk holding my phone over my head taking photos, and then more photos, of leaves. And. I can’t. Stop.

Because it’s beautiful!

And because I kind of relate to them. (Warning: I anthropomorphize everything — I’ve been known to project feelings onto a pair of old slippers). They (the trees) just seem so joyous — and vibrantly so. I feel exactly that way too when I look at them.

Instead of worrying about my job search or feeling like an unrooted nomad, staring at the trees I feel not just calmer but surer of things. Maybe change or hardship in your life isn’t something that needs to be endured with gritted teeth and white knuckles, but should be joyous even if your gut reaction is to think “when will this end — this is so uncomfortable!”

It reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s interview in the Atlantic where she talks about Jack Gilbert’s poetry. Here’s the snippet from his poem “A Brief for the Defense” that I think rings so true for Ms. Gilbert, for me, for trees, for you, for this season:

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world.

I feel like the trees get that, and I’m going to follow suit. Or at least keep taking photos until I do.

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Slipper weather*

fall apple-cider robe slippers-sorel slipper-weather

Seattle is known for being rainy and grey, but last week we had beautiful weather. Crisp blue skies and just enough of a chill for a jacket and a warm mug of apple cider. But all the fall loveliness made me realise I was lacking two fall/winter essentials: a cozy robe and fluffy slippers.

I hopped onto Shopbop‘s site and immediately fell for this fleece robe (it has pom-poms!) and these warm faux shearling slippers. I spent all Saturday morning (and — ahem — afternoon) curled up on the couch wrapped in fuzziness. My hibernation skills are going to be on form this winter.

If the cooler weather has you dreaming of a new item or two for your closet, check out Shopbop’s Friends and Family sale. You get to take 25% off your order if you use the code INTHEFAM25. The sale runs from Midnight on Tuesday until Thursday at 11:59pm. Happy cozy-Fall shopping, everyone!


*Disclaimer: this post promotes our sponsor Shopbop. By clicking on the ad on the right to make any purchases, Cath and I get a small fee — which will help us continue to grow AsianCajuns. Be ready for cha-cha-cha-changes in the near future!

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A new home


And hellooo, readers!

I’ve been in Seattle for almost two weeks and am still trying to get the lay of the land: trying to find a job, learning how to save quarters for coin-operated laundry again (oi!) and living in a partial furnished (mostly by boxes) apartment.

But what a beautiful city! I love coffee but can’t drink it which seems a shame in the home of American coffee culture, but never fear! I’ve already been to three delicious tea shops! Below I’m sampling a citrus rooibos beneath an obliging cherry tree:


We are living in a neighborhood where just outside our door there are delicious tacos, pho and banh mi, and Oddfellows (my new favourite place because kombucha is on tap!):


Seattle has also introduced me to my new favourite tree. Readers, meet the Full Moon Maple. How stunningly crimson, eh? I stood in awe of it’s leaves for at least a solid five minute, gaping up at all it’s glowing beauty:


I haven’t lived in a place where the leaves change colours in autumn in more than a decade. So really all the trees are worth repeated neck straining for optimal ogling:


Here’s a little sneaky peak of my favourite room in our flat. I have expertly cropped out my cluttered night stand to make our bedroom look presentable and serene. The night stand isn’t actually so much a stand as a pile-o-things with a lamp precariously perched atop an empty amazon box. Ahhh deceptive internet sharing!


Matt and I (again) hate being away from all our family and friends, but if there were a city to do it in, it has to be Seattle. It feels very us. Though that might just be because of the rain (and it reminds us of Edinburgh). Ha! No, I kid, I kid! I love how diverse it is. I love the rainbow crosswalks in our neighborhood and how gosh darn friendly everyone has been.


Just to give you guys a heads up. Cath and I are going to revamp AsianCajuns and are very excited about it!

We no longer live an ocean apart and want to focus on a new chapter of our AsianCajunness. So stay tuned (and thank you for your loyalty and patience, you wonderful readers you!).



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No Longer an Ocean Apart


Hi Lovely Readers

I’m home! Our blog header is now obsolete. Cath and I are no longer an ocean apart, we’re just five minutes away by car while I’m here in Atlanta. And that feels so right!

I miss Edinburgh to bits, but having such a warm homecoming makes it much more bearable. I do think that’s the hardest part about getting to be lucky enough to live in different places — you always leave a bit of your heart somewhere, don’t you?

At the moment, Cath and I are soaking up as much time together as possible before I head out to my new home (Seattle!) in a few weeks. So please excuse the blogging patchiness over the next few days. We’ll update soon with pics from Croatia, Atlanta and Amelia Island.

In the meantime I leave you with one photo from Croatia’s Plitvice National Park and one photo from lovely Atlanta — Ponce City Market and the Beltline are dreamy. Two lovely places my eyeballs would never get tired of looking at.


Lar (and Cath)



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Four years of travel


By the time you guys read this, Matt and I will be heading back to the States (via a pit stop in Croatia). We are so, so, sad to be leaving Edinburgh but also very excited to be moving closer to our family and stateside friends.

One reason we moved to Edinburgh four years ago was to be able to travel more. So I hope you guys don’t mind this self-indulgent post! Matt and I were trying to remember where all we’ve been since moving overseas. Here’s a quick round-up:





We’ll be adding Croatia, Atlanta and Seattle (our new home) to the list in the next month. We’ve been really lucky to get to do so much and can’t wait to do more once we are in the Pacific Northwest.

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How to eat a scone


This is serious business. It might sound trivial, but David Cameron would agree with me (on this at least). Eating a scone is not just a matter of picking up a crumbly bun and cavalierly slathering on jam and cream. Oh, no, no, no! There is a method! A method based on … geography. Whaaa?

Don’t worry, in 99.999% of the world’s countries, nobody will care how you eat your scone. Phew! But, and this is crucial, pay close attention if you find yourself in Devon and/or Cornwall. This is what you do:


When in Cornwall, put the jam on first and then the cream (see above left). In Devon, the cream goes first and then the jam (see above right).

It might sound silly, but a Devonian and Cornish person will know just by looking at you (okay maybe not quite) which way you “butter your bread” (aka cream and jam your scone). There is a never-ending scone war about which way is better. Yes, I said scone war.

What a wonderful thing to argue about! I wish all wars in the world were only fought in jam and cream. What a peaceful, delicious place it would be.

Here’s one last parting shot of our delicious cream tea in Devon:



I’m currently writing about this whilst sitting in an Airbnb flat in Split, Croatia. Very far from scone wars country. Matt and I have officially left the UK as UK residents (sob!) and are on our way back to the states (yea!) in a little over a week. We just had to make sure to get some Croatian sun first before we moved from one rainy place to another.

Cath and I will no longer be ‘twins blogging an ocean apart’ but ‘twins blogging a country apart’ — that’s a bit closer, right?

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The KonMari Method: My Closet


After visiting Lar in Scotland last month, I was so impressed with how organized and spacious her 550 square foot flat felt. It’s all because of her devotion to Marie Kondo’s “life changing tidying-up” techniques. Read Lar’s original KonMari post if you’re unfamiliar with the concept. So I decided it was high time for me to jump on the tidying-up bandwagon and get started with the hardest category (for me, at least): clothes.

I’m totally embarrassed to show these before photos, but without them, you wouldn’t get the full “life changing” feel. So, here you go. My “closet” before:



My house was built in 1947 and has teeny, tiny closets by 2015 standards. Troy uses the small closet in the master bedroom and I use the second bedroom as my closet. I always imagined getting built-ins one day, but not anytime soon. So my closet consisted of two Ikea clothing racks, a Target cube storage unit and piles of shoes. Yes. I was ashamed of my closet.


So I spent one Sunday sorting through all of my clothes category by category and deciding which pieces “sparked joy” and were worth keeping. Marie Kondo believes that you have to sort through similar items all at once. So that means going through every item of clothing in your house – winter/summer clothes, coats, pjs – everything. It was pretty overwhelming to see exactly how many tops, pants, bags, scarves, jewelry, shoes etc. I had.



It took at least five hours: sorting everything, deciding what to keep, bagging up everything to give away, deciding what to fold and hang, folding almost everything (another Marie Kondo technique), reorganizing, and putting everything away. I gave away over nine trash bags full of clothes, shoes and jewelry to Second Life, my local thrift store. And after all of that, this is what I have left:


The photo above includes all of my clothes (minus jackets and coats), shoes, and scarves that I currently own and it feels amazing! Everything except some blouses and four dresses are folded KonMari style:


Including my socks and underwear. Yep. Underwear gets folded.


The fascinator is the only hat I kept and out of 20+ scarves, I only kept three:


Apart from five rings and three bangles, this board contains all of my jewelry:


And these are the bags that I kept:


Part of me can’t believe I gave away so much and the other part of me can’t believe I kept so much stuff for so long. It’s been a week since I’ve done my big clean-out and I still feel great about it. The only items I’m missing are a good black cardigan (the one I owned got a lot of use but it didn’t spark joy because it was shapeless and worn-looking), another pair of jeans (I only kept one pair!), and a winter coat.

The best part was that I didn’t buy any new organizational items. I used all the furniture I already have. Yes, someday I would like to own a proper dresser, but I’m fine spending my time saving up for something I really like. Until then, the Target cube unit will do just fine.

If you want more KonMari inspiration, read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, peruse Lar’s KonMari purse post and follow my friend’s KonMari-devoted Instagram account. Also Goop has a pretty great KonMari folding guide complete with videos.

Sorting through my clothes is only the beginning. I’d like to spend one to two weekends a month tackling different categories. I think books are up next followed by all of my papers. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

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