Awesome in October | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Awesome in October

Awesome in October | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve only been back for two days, and I’m already doing a catch up post. It’s cool because October is the best, even when you do practically nothing.

We finally found a good Mexican restaurant in Glasgow. If you haven’t been to Bibi’s Cantina yet, book a table right now. It’s small and intimate, and if you show up and there’s not a table available, you’ll be really sad. They give you a sample of their margarita as soon as you walk in, and there’s complimentary chips and salsa, as there should be. Everything was awesome, and I want to go back.

We’re also in the planning stages of remodeling our bathroom. We currently have the dumbest bathroom on the face of the earth, so I can’t wait to gut the whole thing and start again. Do you want to see the progress?

I’m currently reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I’m possibly the last person on Earth to read this book, but just in case you haven’t, it’s so funny and engaging. I love a book that keeps me laughing. Once I’m finished, we’re going to watch the Amazon Prime series, so I’d love to hear your feedback if you’ve seen that, as well.

I’ve mostly been reveling in the change of the leaves. Autumn is my favorite time of year, even though it doesn’t actually get hot here in the summer. There’s something magical about the blazing trees and the crisp air that I never get tired of. The colors can make even the most depressing places suddenly beautiful. It’s all a matter of perspective.

This might also be my favorite time for internet food. Here’s what I loved.

Are we still allowed to eat things for breakfast that aren’t covered in avocado? I hope so, because I’m dying for these Chocolate Cardamom Morning Rolls from A Cozy Kitchen.

Whenever I go to a new to me Italian restaurant, I always order the Bolognese because if that’s good, everything else will be. Can’t wait to try The Best Bolognese recipe from Broma Bakery to see if it stacks up.

Michelle of Hummingbird High is out with a new book, Weeknight Baking. It looks amazing, and I hope I can get a copy soon. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake has got me swooning.

Chicken & Goat Cheese Pasta | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes during this very quiet month on Awesome on 20 were Chicken & Goat Cheese Pasta, Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, and Parmesan Fried Gnocchi. We’re feeling savoury this month, I guess. I like it.

I’m diving into big changes right now, and I hope you’re with me. Let’s make it awesome.

New Home Tour

You’re probably sick of hearing me talk about moving by now. We’re 99% unpacked and mostly living normal every day lives at this point, even if we don’t quite have a space for everything yet. Although there a lot of things we want to change over the next few years, I think I really love this flat.

New Home Tour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My favorite thing about this flat is the high ceilings. I love the sense of open airiness it lends to the space. The entry way is moderately functional. I have a plan to make this space bright and eccentric. There are some unsightly meters that need to be covered up, and the front door is absolutely hideous, but we’ll get there in the end.

New Home Tour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Emily’s room still needs some furniture, but we’re waiting for her input before we make any major decisions. I think we might try to find some funky pieces for her at a charity shop. She’s sixteen, so I’m not about to presume what she would like.

New Home Tour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Our bedroom has a ton of space, so we really need to look at some art for this space. I’m hoping to add a dressing table. We’re thinking navy with accents of orange and yellow for a color palette. My heart’s desire is to have a big fox print hanging above the bed.

New Home Tour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The bathroom is definitely the most lacking, mainly due to the fact that there is absolutely no storage in this room. It’s also the room I care about the least. We’ll get to it eventually.

New Home Tour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The living room is massive and structurally in good shape. This space really just needs decorating more than renovation. We are, however, thinking of building a bar in the alcove and a window seat in the bay window. We’ve had an idea to build a shelving unit around the tv for additional storage. I also have a project in mind to update the fireplace. Those brown tiles are not awesome.

New Home Tour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The whole reason I was sold on this place is the spacious kitchen/dining area. For a tenement flat in our price range, this kitchen is downright massive. Eventually, the whole thing is going to get overhauled. The whole house is getting wood flooring, and additionally, we want to install white streamline cabinets, butcherblock countertops, and one of those oversize white farmhouse style sinks. If all my dreams come true, we’ll have an additional row of lower cupboards with additional counter space and a light blue vintage style fridge to match my KitchenAid mixer.

I can’t wait to test this place out by throwing our first party. This is going to be a wonderful home. Eventually. Let’s do it.

Awesome in October

Awesome in October

Awesome in October

The end of October marks our first month in our new apartment. It’s so close to being completely put together. Just a couple more pieces, and I won’t have to figure out how to get furniture home without a car for a good long while. We won’t discuss decorating. Blergh!

We set our clocks back last week, so it’ getting dark around 5:00 pm now. That’s definitely a huge change from the past six years. It’s all dark and gloomy in my apartment today. Does this mean I’m allowed to curl up in bed with some hot chocolate and a Harry Potter book all day? Okay, thanks!

We had delicious doughnuts at Nic’s NYC Deli, an outrageous spicy chicken burger at NYC Glasgow, and some serious poutine at Bloc+ this month. The restaurant scene in Glasgow is solid, and I can’t wait to share some of my new favorites with you. 

Exploring: Clitheroe, England

We also took a weekend trip down to Rishton and Clitheroe to visit family. England is so beautiful, it nearly breaks my heart. We won’t be dressing up for Halloween this year because we’re spending the night in London. Don’t tell my husband how excited I am. He’s from Winterfell, so he’s honor-bound to be anti-King’s Landing.

The internet has been exploding with awesome Fall dishes this month. Jessica made Cider Cheese Soup Shooters in adorable pretzel bread rolls. Ridiculous! 

This Pumpkin Butterbeer Hot Chocolate over on Half Baked Harvest ticks so many of my boxes. It’s like she’s in my head. 

And Molly’s Glazed Apple Cider Donuts are basically the epitome of Fall. Makes me wish I could go apple picking like you wouldn’t believe.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You’re feeling cozy this month, too. Your favorite recipes were Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf, Transformer Chicken, and Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf. We’re all ready to turn that oven back on and get dinner on the table.

November will bring all sorts of new adventures, including a new job. I’m so ready. Stay warm and stay awesome!

Glasgow Apartment Front Door

Glasgow Apartment Move-In


Glasgow Apartment Front Door

We got the keys to our new apartment in Glasgow on Friday, loaded all of our suitcases in a taxi, hauled it all up the stairs, and called it home. We spent all day Saturday shopping and rounding up the last of our stuff from the SIL’s place. We logged over 10 miles walking that day, and I am now officially exhausted. I can’t remember being this tired in a long time. I love this space, and I think it’s going to feel like home very quickly. Want to take a quick tour? I thought so.

Glasgow Apartment Living Room

The building we live in was built in 1901, and the ceilings are probably 12 feet high. The living room has a huge south facing bay window which I hope will provide some nice light. There’s fancy crown molding and a cool disk thing in the ceiling above the light fixture. Those things probably have a name, but I don’t know what they are. You probably guessed that my favorite bit is the built-in bookcase.

We won’t need to add much to this space furniture-wise. Just a few end tables and a bar cart for now. But those walls are massive. I’d love any tips on decorating for high ceilings. What are we gonna put up there?

Glasgow Apartment Master Bedroom

Our bedroom is spacious and inviting. The main issue is that the wardrobe is probably ideal for one person, but not so much for two people, especially when one of them has a thing for scarves. Luckily, there’s a hall closet where we can keep coats and shoes. I planned on getting a dressing table where I could do my hair and makeup since having electrical outlets in the bathroom is illegal in the UK. The new plan is to get another chest of drawers, use the top drawer for stashing hair appliances and make up, and then use the rest for clothes. I hate folding my clothes in a drawer because it makes it harder to see what you have, but what’s a girl to do? Leave a comment if you have any tips for dealing with limited clothing storage.

Glasgow Apartment Second Bedroom

Our second bedroom has a lovely view of the back garden which is wonderfully overgrown. My daughter Emily is in charge of decorating this one, so it will likely be the coolest room in the house. She’s already decided on a silver and blue theme. Very Ravenclaw.

Glasgow Apartment Bathroom

The bathroom seems huge compared to our last place, and there’s a deep bathtub. I can’t wait to have a lovely spa bath and relax away all this moving tension. This room does lack storage, though, so some drawers and a basket for towels will definitely be in order.

Glasgow Apartment Kitchen

I saved the kitchen for last because you know that’s my favorite space. It’s tiny, but I’m confident I can make it work. I’ll just have to be very organized when I’m cooking. I’ll likely rearrange the cupboards at least five times. That hall closet I mentioned earlier will also serve as a pantry, so we’ll have plenty of storage. It will only feel like my kitchen, though, once I’ve replaced my beloved Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I was heartbroken to learn that they cost about twice as much in the UK as they do in the US. Can I set up a Go Fund Me?

There’s a lot still to be done in order to make this place fit for comfortable living, but I’m confident we can eventually make it completely awesome. I’ll share each room once it’s complete(ish). So now all that’s left is for you to tell me when you’re coming over for dinner. 

Be Awesome: Love Your Space

When we moved into our small, ghetto duplex two and a half years ago, I didn’t have a job, and we weren’t sure how long the money we’d saved in Taiwan would last. We bought the bare minimum in terms of furniture and the cheapest of everything. We gave very little thought to decor beyond picking from the colors available for the cheapest drapes at Walmart. Our home looked like a couple of college guys lived in it.

Our sad living room right after we moved in.
Our sad living room right after we moved in.

We’ve acquired a couple of things over the past two and a half years, but our walls are still largely bare, and our furniture is still sad, plain, and cheap. But the thought of spending large amounts of money gives me a stomach ache. Plus, isn’t spending money on making your apartment look cool just a waste? Beyond the basic functions, it’s all just pure luxury, and besides, you probably won’t live there that long anyway. Is it right to spend money on the indulgence of having an awesome looking place to live?

After much internal debate and a few minor panic attacks, I’ve decided that it is. I’m a bit of a hermit. I like spending my time at home. Don’t I deserve to be in a place that is beautiful and makes me happy? Nothing extravagant, just some decent furniture, a few cool pieces of art on the walls, maybe paint those awful cheap bookshelves. I decided it’s okay to have a space that you’re excited to come home to.

Our bedroom hasn't changed much since the early days.
Our bedroom hasn’t changed much since the early days.

After fixing up Emily’s Hufflepuff bedroom, I’m itching to completely rethink the rest of the house. We’re still doing things on the cheap, but this time with a little bit of thought about how to make it awesome. We have limited space, and since we rent, no drastic renovations will be allowed. 

We’ve already made a few small changes. Last Sunday we went insane and bought a new sofa. I have a color scheme in mind for the bedroom and have already spent $20 at Ross on a throw blanket and some drapes. I have dreams. I’m making plans. Best of all, I feel excited.

Trying to entertain is tricky. Luckily, our friends don't love us for our furniture.
Trying to entertain is tricky. Luckily, our friends don’t love us for our furniture.

So often in my life, I’ve talked myself out of things because I thought I couldn’t afford them, and most of the time it was true. Sometimes I think that I’ve gotten so used to the idea that I don’t deserve nice things that I continue to punish myself even when we’re both working really hard and have a bit of money to invest in our happiness. And I really do think redecorating will make us happy. 

I can’t wait to show you guys all the changes we make and the projects we try out. I’m awful at DIY, so you know anything we share will be super simple. Change is exciting and scary. I’m so ready.

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