Edinburgh Eats



Why don’t I go to more cafes in Atlanta?

This is the thought I had as I was eating my way around Edinburgh a few weeks ago. Now that Lar has lived in Edinburgh for four years, she knows all the best places to grab a quick, scrumptious bite. Vegetarian lunch? Hendersons! Daytime meet up with the girls? Love Crumbs! Hipster coffee shop without the hipster pretension? Machina Espresso! The best breakfast burrito (seasoned with rosemary, no less)? Milk! Craving a green juice and a coffee? Filament! The list goes on and on. Edinburgh is packed with wonderful cafes/eateries.

Which brings me back to Atlanta. I know Atlanta has wonderful cafes. I’ve just gotten into the habit of going to my same eateries over and over again. So my late-summer resolution is to explore a little more in my own backyard. First on my list: Tipple and Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary. Anyone been yet? They just opened.

Hopefully I’ll have a post up soon featuring my new found Atlanta cafe favorites. Until then, here are some photos from the Edinburgh cafe scene.

This cheddar cheese, basil, tomato, chutney, slice apple sandwich I ordered at Machina Espresso is like my idea of heaven. I would eat this over chocolate any day!



See that black storefront in the photo below? That’s Filament on Clerk St (the same street I lived on as a student 11 years ago!). See those people sitting out front? That’s Lar and Troy.



Troy and I ordered way too much food when we went to Milk the first morning we were in Edinburgh, but it was all so delicious. My favorite was this courgette (that’s zucchini for us Americans) cake with cream cheese icing – perfectly moist and sweet, plus I could pretend it was healthy because it had a vegetable in it. Even three weeks later I’m still dreaming about it:



I don’t want to bore you to death with food pictures so just trust me when I write that I could have included A LOT more in this post. If I wasn’t eating or drinking in Edinburgh, I was sleeping – or walking to some place where I could eat and drink ;)

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Lar Hearts Scottish City Life


By now Lar only has a few more weeks left in Scotland. As much as she hates the lack of sunlight in the winter, she’s going to miss her adopted home of four years so much. When I asked her what she was going to miss the most about living in Edinburgh, she said her friends and coworkers. She and Matt have created a lovely life in Edinburgh and surrounded themselves with amazing people. They’ve also totally become completely at home with the way of life there. Lar walks and takes the bus/train everywhere while Matt bikes to work every day. They live in the center of the city where they’re within a one minute walk of an amazing beer bar (Hanging Bat), corner shops, a coffee shop, pubs, an Indian restaurant, and a chip shop. And they’re totally smitten with how unpretentious and open folks are in general in Scotland.

I have no doubt Lar will create an equally fulfilled life in Seattle, but I imagine this last month won’t be easy. I know she and Matt will make a number of return trips to Scotland and hope they let me tag along when they do ;)

I took the photos in this post while I was visiting two weeks ago. I love how at-home she looks in these photos – but not as much as I love the fact that she’ll be moving back closer to me! (insert maniacal laughter here)





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Hi Lovely Readers!

So Cath was here and then what felt like a blink of the eye she was gone again! Six days is just not enough time. We galavanted around Edinburgh and Glasgow eating lots of nice food and drinking lots of nice drinks. I can’t believe it’s been just a few days since she left because it feels like weeks.

But I shouldn’t whinge. I’ll see her in seven weeks time in Atlanta! I’m both so excited to be back stateside and extremely sad to be leaving Edinburgh, our home for the last four years.

The next few weeks sound like a traveler’s heaven: one week in Edinburgh, then one week in Cornwall, back to Edinburgh for two weeks, and then a road trip around Croatia for 13 days before we fly into Atlanta. We’ll have a few weeks in Atlanta before we move to Seattle. It sounds exciting and dreamy … and terrifying.

The traveling sounds just perfect, but around the days of travel and exploration are packing and long good byes to friends in Edinburgh. I hate to think about leaving even if change can be exciting and refreshing. Ending the chapter in one city and country and starting afresh in a new one is thrilling, but also very hard. Learning to make new friends, finding a job, working through the culture shock of moving to a different country again (even if it’s home), feeling homesick for Edinburgh and Atlanta and Washington D.C.

I’m a homebody that’s ended up as a sort of nomad and my mind and heart become bamboozled when major change happens. My instinct is to wish the messy time of transition over so I can just soothe my ruffled feathers and settle on a secure perch at the end of the journey. But I know within that “mess” you miss so much if you choose to not sit with that discomfort and fluttering feeling in your chest. So this time I’m going to try to let it happen — and enjoy the change even while being terrified. And I hope you guys don’t mind coming along for the ride!

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Packing for a Not-So-Summery Vacation

travel shoes

In less than two days (TWO!!!) I’ll be on a plane heading towards Lar/Scotland – woohoo! I’m so excited, it’s going to be impossible for me to concentrate at work for the next few days. Lar and I haven’t seen each other in person in almost 10 months. I never thought there would be a time in my life when I wouldn’t see my twin sister for more than 10 weeks let alone 10 months. Ridiculous.

Do you know what else is ridiculous? The whole week that I’m in Edinburgh, the high temperature will hover around 60 degrees (48 is the low) – and of course it’s suppose to rain the whole time. After experiencing weeks on end of 90 degree weather in Atlanta this summer, my brain can’t really remember what chilly weather feels like.

I studied abroad in Edinburgh and have visited Lar a couple of times since she moved across the pond so  you’d think I’d be more prepared for the difference in climate. But it wasn’t until I looked up the weather in Edinburgh for the next week and a half that I realized the cute, summery shoes I was planning to pack for my trip were not going to cut it. Add that to the fact that most of my suitcase is going to be filled with goodies for Lar, I don’t have tons of room for bulky boots (read: Hunters).

I’ve finally narrowed down my shoe selection to the four pairs pictured above.

1. Sneakers – I don’t even know what kind of Nikes these are. My friend gave them to me because they didn’t fit her and now they’re my favorite shoes to work out in. I plan on wearing these on the plane, so that’ll free up some room in the suitcase, and I’ll wear them on days we’re going to be doing a lot of walking as long as I can style them with an outfit that makes me look more like this than this. Also, Lar and I plan to go to her gym at least once while I’m visiting, so I can’t not bring sneakers.

2. J.Crew Factory Flats – I mentioned these in my 2015 Q1 Favorites post and I still love them. These are the most impractical shoes I’m bringing. They’re not great to wear when it’s raining and after walking around in them for hours my feet begin to hurt on the bottom, but I needed something that kind of looks fancy.

3. Mossimo canvas sneakers – I mentioned these in my 2015 Q2 Favorites. They’re not as on-trend as some of the other Van-like sneakers, but I think they’re perfectly generic. I know that doesn’t really sound like a selling point, but I like wearing non-statement shoes.

4. Mossimo boots – I know, I have a thing for Target shoes apparently. I just bought these, but I can’t find them online to include a link. I might be too old to pull off these suckers, but they’re really comfortable and have a little bit of a heel. Plus, they’re shorter and more compact that my winter boots. If I do end up pulling them off, I’ll include an outfit pic in a future post.

Holy moly. I can’t believe I just spent so space writing about four pairs of basic shoes. I haven’t even figured out what else I’m going to pack for the trip. I’m the type of packer that makes lists for everything – so much so that I don’t think I could physically pack without a list.

Here’s hoping I won’t get so caught up in list-making that I end up throwing everything in my suitcase at the last minute!

P.S.: I’m hoping Lar and I will find time to blog together this week, so there shouldn’t be a break in blogging. I’ll also try to Snapchat/Instagram the trip as much as possible so make sure to follow me at AsianCajunsCath.

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A Road Trip Around the Highlands


While the rest of the Northern Hemisphere swelters under unbearably humid climes, those of us in Scotland dream of heat-soaked skin and a cloudless sky. To those of you sweating it out some place horrendously sticky, you just have to believe me when I say this road trip was magical because of how hot and sunny it was! The Highlands are beautiful every time of the year, even in the pouring rain or a dark, eery mist, but when the sun comes out, it’s full on Brigadoon and the land of Oz rolled into one.

And it wasn’t just gloriously sunny. It was hot! Like hotter than 69 degrees, hot! For those of you who aren’t totally tired of hearing me drone on about how cool Scottish summers are, let me just remind you that my first July here it rained nearly every day and didn’t get above a depressingly chilly 56 degrees. When you forget what heat feels like, you know your vitamin D levels are in trouble.

So to spend four days in the Highlands with not only the sun shining at full tilt, but to also get a sun burn! Why that’s down right unheard of in these parts! The sky was blue, blue, blue and the clouds fluffy. The sheep plentiful and the grass a brilliant green. And even during the height of tourist season, you can hike for miles and not run into another soul (save those sheep and a ‘coo’ or too).

We spent a few days traipsing around Loch Ness, hitting up Fort Augustus, Inverness and Aberfeldy on the way. Apart from some hiking (in the sun and heat! Have I mentioned that already?), we also gorged ourselves on fresh, sweet Scottish strawberries, sun bathed in a castle’s garden and had a neep of whisky to celebrate my birthday on The Hottest Day of the Year (in Scotland)!!! Oh it was heavenly. If  the Scottish Highlands aren’t on your bucket list already, erase your number one and put it there.

P.S. This post might be sponsored by my the feeble quantities of vitamin D that are left in my body after living in Scotland for four years. The Highlands are gobsmackingly beautiful, but my cells have definitely been dazzled by my recent forays into the sun (and heat!). Looking back on these photos, I’m noticing a lot of clouds when in my head every single day was cloudless and really sunny. I think most of the world would describe this kind of weather as ‘mostly cloudy’. Is there such thing as sun-coloured glasses? I definitely had those on.

scottish-broom Fort-Augustus-hike Fort-Augustus sunbathinghill-victory

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A Summer Wedding Outfit

Summer Wedding


I totally love how Lar has simplified her wardrobe. I’m trying to do the same, but I’m going at a much slower pace than her. I did pretty well with my last trip to the mall, but I did break down two weekends ago and buy this dress for a friend’s wedding.

BB Dakota blue dress


BB Dakota dress | Michael Kors purse | Luxury Rebel heels | Jennifer Zeuner bracelet | Topshop ring

summer wedding accessories


summer wedding shoes


Just like Lar, I’m struggling with finding a balance between simplifying my wardrobe while also being creative stylistically. If I was more disciplined about simplifying my closet, I wouldn’t have purchased this dress and would have worn the same summer wedding dress I wore last year. The only problem was that I was bored and uninspired with last year’s dress, so I bought this BB Dakota one. Yep, #firstworldproblems. I know. But I do find it hard to stay inspired with a limited wardrobe. Although, at the same time, I’m also tempted by the idea of an everyday uniform – like this woman who wore the same outfit everyday for 3 years. Hmmmm….something to ponder over the holiday weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!

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An Outfit Post!



Shirt H&M (old) | Leggings Marks & Spencer | Shoes Ferragamo

I don’t usually do outift posts anymore. Cath still inspires me with her style posts, but I honestly seem to wear about the same five basic outfits … mainly centred around stretchy trousers.

There are a few reasons for my sartorial shrinkage. Around the time I moved to Scotland four years ago, I really cut back on my shopping. Part of that was just down to having very limited funds after an overseas move (costly things, they are!). I had also started researching how horrendous working conditions are for many of the people who make our mass-produced clothes. I wanted to be more aware of all the stuff I had and think about where my clothes were coming from.

So with all of that, my outfits have become really boring the last few years. And I’m not saying that needs to happen if you start caring about the ethics and environmental effects of your shopping habits, but it did to me. I just really had a lot less interest in having lots of different looks and more interest in buying fewer, higher quality pieces (hence the spendy shoes above — the most expensive items in my closet by far).

I’d love to strike a better balance again where I could be a bit more creative with my style, but still keep my consumer habits humbled. I think these more frugal years in Scotland were an important stage in finding that style and learning about what I could do without very much. My secret hope too is that when we move to Seattle in September, I’ll be able to wear fewer layers year-round than I do here (my next post is all about how I’m still wearing a coat … in the summer — egads, someone pass the vitamin D bottle!).

How do you guys approach the complexities of personal style and consumption?

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Lovely Edinburgh

The Shore Leith

THe shore

Robert Louis Stevenson memorial

Castle farmers Market

St Cuthberts

Edinburgh castle

Matt and I have two months left before we move back to the States after four years in Edinburgh. Because I’m a mushy sentimentalists, I’m already starting to get very nostalgic. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. These pics above are all places I pass every day on the way to work. Yup, I walk by a Castle (or what essentially looks like Hogwarts), every single day and it’s about a five minute walk from my front door.

But I have to thank Edinburgh for trying to keep my nostalgia slightly in check by giving us a wet and cool start to summer (I still wear my winter coats some days!). I seriously wouldn’t have it any other way though. A place this beautiful has to be tempered by something or it would be too unbearably perfect.

See what I mean about the sentimental nostalgia? Someone pass me a hanky!

Another way to stop the sentimental sniffles? Thinking about being on the same continent with Cath again!

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“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality … I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’ve been feeling so sad since Wednesday night’s shootings. Maybe using a Dr. King quote seems like a cliche, but it made me feel hopeful even though the horrendous act committed in Charleston seems like such a destruction of that very progress MLK believed in. For a man that had seen so much evil and hate to still trust in a reality of love and brotherhood, is so immensely inspiring. As inspiring as the survivors forgiving a man that has caused so much pain to so many people.

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Springtime in London!


London is one of my most favourite places in the world. It’s one of those places I always feel at home — even though I’ve never lived there! I love the hustle and bustle of an international city mingling with gobs of history. I love walking down Brick Lane sniffing food stalls full of bubbling curries and freshly baked bread as much as I like people watching in Soho whilst slurping lemon, basil sorbet (because that’s a thing!) and oggling Matisses at the Tate Modern. Shops are always open, the people are always varied (and somehow seem more comfortable being awesomely eccentric than in other international cities I’ve been to) and museums are packed.

This past weekend, I saw a different side of London. Not only was it hot and sunny (can it still be considered part of the UK when it does that?!), but it also seemed so calm and beautiful. I spent a lot of time traipsing around Hyde Park and looking at trees sniffing roses. And on my last morning in the city, I finally found Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch where I had the most simple, but beautiful breakfast in the world (fried eggs with butter and sage and a side of crusty bread and out-of-this-world butter). I think of Leila like the Alice Waters of East London. The pics above of the peaches and sweet william are from her shop. I bought a peach — it smelled so peachy and tasted like sweet, syrupy heaven.

Nature and slow, simple living isn’t what I usually expect from one of the largest (and most expensive) cities in the world, but I love it just as much as the louder, busier sides of the city too.

My dream is to one day live in London (and magically move all my family and friends there too). Do you guys have a place that feels like home to you that isn’t actually where you’ve ever lived?

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