Category Archives: Experiences

Snow, Snow, Snowwww

Just a few snowy pics from my Christmas in Montana. We didn’t exchange very many gifts this year, but getting to take a sleeper train through the snowy Rockies made me feel very Poirot-meets-the Polar Express. So pretty much a dream come true.

Experience over things. Wins every time, doesn’t it?

Cath’s in Seattle (again!)

Cath has had a hard summer and it so sucks that I can’t be right next to her when she needs me. So for her birthday, we bought her a roundtrip ticket to Seattle for a week. It has been heavenly! The only problem? I don’t want her to leave.

Hear that, Cath? You. Can’t. Leave!cathseattle-4 cathseattle-3

In which I (inadvertently) wear two pairs of underwear

queenieOne of the wonderful results of living with less is that you know exactly what you own. For instance, I used to have a mess of a sock drawer, but I now know exactly what’s in there: orderly wool socks, posh socks, sporty socks — the whole Spice Girls gamut of sockdom.

I also know exactly where to find the stuff I need because I don’t have to keep track of so many things. Generally speaking, things don’t go missing because there’s a space for everything. Since my KonMari weekend a few years back, nothing gets relegated to a miscellaneous closet that never sees the light of day.

Well, that might not be exactly true. I don’t actually know everything I have. But I really thought I did — until last week.

You know what they say, pride goeth before the fall, etc.

I bought this new hoody back in early spring. It’s light-weight and super soft – perfect for a bit of light layering. I ended up wearing it all day last week because Seattle hadn’t quite warmed up to a proper summer just yet.

I went to meetings, I went out to lunch, I had multiple water-cooler chats with coworkers. It was an unusually long day, but my super-soft hoody made me feel comforted even after blinking at a screen for 9 hours.

And then I came home.

I dropped my bags on the floor and shook off my hoodie and on to the floor falls a pair of undies. Mine, thankfully. And clean ones! With no holes (thankyoubabyjesus)! But still!

I have a sneaking suspicion that they were sticking out of my hood all day after comingling with my hoodie in the laundry. I’m praying everyone just thought I had a purple-lined sweatshirt.

So here’s a fair warning to you all: check your hoods before leaving the house, kids! You thought the pant-leg undie-rider was bad, just think what would happen if you casually popped on your hood and a pair of frilly knickers slides over your forehead. (I bet Queenie, pictured at the top of the post there, checked her hood and scarf before venturing out for a bit of fox hunting or what have you — one can never be too careful).

So this really isn’t a helpful post on owning less, but this incident has really made me seriously reconsider the true genius of days-of-the-week underwear.

Oh and guess what, guys?! I actually have two outfit posts lined up for this week and next. So hold on to your hats, kiddos, AsianCajuns is back in business!

Cath’s in Seattle!

Hi Lovely Readers!

Cath and Troy are here all weekend! We’ve been painting the town red (eating and eating and eating). So please forgive us if things go quiet here this coming week. We’re planning lots of fun posts after we eat ourselves silly.

In the meantime, we’ll instagramming (click here for Cath and here for Lar) and Snapchatting (AsianCajunsCath and AsianCajunsLar) frequently.

Hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend too!

xoxo,

Lar

Instead of shopping, ogle some art

Kicking off our new series “Instead of shopping” (aka what to do instead of impulse buying), is art! Now before you think “daubs of paint — yawn,” let me explain (with a bit of a preamble):

I am an art history major (also known as the most-employeable degree ever known to humankind! Errr not). I had no intention of becoming an art history major until I sat in on a introductory class my freshman year and just swooned. Not over the beauty (or the fact that it was easier than a International Relations/Spanish Literature major), but because it made life feel bigger, deeper and more wonderful than anything I had studied before.

And even if you aren’t an art major, or even an art fan, what can change your approach to art is learning just a wee bit about what you’re looking at. And you can do this even if you don’t have a museum in your town or can’t find any satisfying art history books in your local library. Here are two great starting points:

Watching Sister Wendy on the youtubes

This beautiful and free art history site called Art History Project

And now what does this have to do with not shopping? Immersing yourself in a new learning experience (specifically one so enticingly visual) will completely trick your brain out of thinking that getting a pair of booties to go with that dress is of the utmost importance (I mean, you can’t beat this guy at the boot game anyways — Karl Lagerfield wishes he came up with those!).

Let me know — did it work? Did you curb your shopping impulses for the moment?

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

 

A new home

seattle-sunset

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:

seattle-tea

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!):

oddfellows

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:

japanese-garden

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:

autumn-leaves

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!

Caphill

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.

Also.

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!).

xoxox

Lar

Four years of travel

travel0

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:

travel1

travel2b

travel3

travel4

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.

How to eat a scone

scone2

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:

scone3

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:

tea

——

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?

Agatha Christie’s house

Agatha-Christie

It all started with an obsession for watching (rather than reading — oi!) Poirot. I find it soothing – a dapper man with slight OCD solving crimes with his little grey cells. I’ve only actually read one or two Agatha Christie novels, but I really do think that sometimes that books find you. And that’s what happened at Leakey’s (aka the most amazing bookstore in the world!). Agatha Christie’s autobiography fell into my lap.

I just finished reading it when we were down in Cornwall and Devon and guess who spent most of her life in Devon? My new friend, Agatha! Her childhood home in Torquay no longer exists, but one of her favourite houses still stands and is open as a museum. So welcome to beautiful Greenway!

Greenway

The most amazing thing about this house museum, is that all the furniture and knick-knacks in it are the Christie’s. Agatha and her second husband Max would holiday here and her daughter Rosalind and her husband Anthony lived here until 2004 and 2005 respectively. And all was how they left it:

bust

Here’s the cozy sitting room:

living

My favourite bit was getting to sit at Agatha’s Steinway! She loved, loved, loved music and really wanted to be a be a concert pianist and singer. She even composed a few waltzes before becoming one of the most prolific and widely read authors in the world:

piano

Oh and her kitchen is dreamy:

Agatha's-kitchen

Here’s a sneaky peak into her bedroom:

Agatha's-bedroom

She loved her fur coats:

closet

Though she didn’t actually write at Greenway, she did base one of her novels here. The murder in Dead Man’s Folly happens in the boathouse just by the river. Doesn’t look very sinister does it?

riverboat

I love books and I love house museums, so this is pretty much the perfect place in the world to me. And I highly recommend Agatha’s autobiography even if you aren’t a Poirot fan. She’s a fantastic lady and invites you into her fascinating world is such a friendly way. Ms. Marple would totally approve.