Awesome in October

Awesome in Octber

Awesome in October

Have you ever procrastinated to the point of paralysis, afraid to look at your abandoned work for the fear of the destruction your neglect has wrought? That’s where we are right now. My relationship to blogging has been complicated of late, but I can’t bring myself to quietly fade away just yet.

I’m easing back in with a recap of the past month in the spirit of better late than never. We’ve been balance adventure and utter laziness, as well as some pretty good eating. We took a day trip to the National Museum of Rural Life earlier in the month. Luckily, it was pretty quiet, so Geoff didn’t have to push any little kids out of the way to get his turn to pet all the farm animals. It was an interesting museum if you like history. We’re National Trust for Scotland member, so we got in for free, but I’m not sure if I would have paid to get in. Still, we were able to bring the dog to the outdoor parts, and we got some really nice, if overpriced, sandwiches from the cafe.

We also finally tried Topolabamba, which has been on my radar for years. The beef barbacoa tostadas were great, but the chorizo taquitos were not as good as they sounded. There’s still plenty on the menu that I want to try, so we’ll definitely be going back for more.

We wrapped up the month with a short trip to London, and it was glorious. We saw Dita Von Teese’s show, The Art of the Teese. We were way up in the cheap seats of the beautiful London Palladium, but we had a total blast. Everything about the show was completely beautiful. 

We had a beautiful dinner at Polpo Smithfield on the first night, and we spent the second day exploring the Borough Market, popped into a few museums, and strolled around the largest bookstore in Europe, the Waterstones in Picadilly. I was basically in heaven. While searching for a completely different burger place, we also stumbled upon Shake Shack, and we had to stop everything and get a burger, shake, and crinkle cut fries. I finally get it guys. That burger bun was like a pillow, and the burger had an amazing crust of crispy bits to amp up the flavor. I was completely on board with this.

Before heading back to Glasgow, we explored the legendary Harrod’s. Treating it like a museum because we can’t afford a single thing in that place, we strolled from floor to floor, resisting the urge to touch the expensive and usually awful merchandise and staring in amazement at the over the top design. When we got to the food hall, I basically died and went to heaven. 

I absolutely love visiting London, and I can’t wait to get back there again.

Then I woke up the next morning with a cold, and I’ve been living with that ever since. Life is full of contrast.

This is my favorite time of year for internet food. People bring out the most outrageous autumn recipes, and I can’t get enough. 

Spiced Pumpkin CIinnamon Roll Pancakes bring together so many of my favorites, I don’t know where to start.

I would like a bucket of this Chicken Tortellini Soup, please. 

These Pumpkin Ganache Cupcakes are just so sexy and delicious. 

Your favorite recipes in October were Chicken Parmesan, Passion Fruit Green Tea, and Parmesan Fried Gnocchi. Man, I haven’t made fried gnocchi in ages. You guys know where it’s at. So good!

We’re ramping up for the holidays this month, and I’m ready to shake this cold and get into it. Are you with me? It’s gonna be awesome.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Explore: Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been preaching the picnic gospel a lot lately, and we’re carrying on today. I’m a total girl when it comes to flowers. I find them absolutely beautiful, so if a city’s got a garden, I’m there.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

One of the first places we explored when we moved to Glasgow nearly three years ago now was the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and I assure you, it’s a gem.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

In addition to vast grounds with a variety of flowers, trees, and other plants that ramble through the West End, there are two main glass houses full of interesting plants and sculptures. It feels quintessentially Victorian to my American brain.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love that in one building, you can go from dessert to jungle just by opening a door.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

They also have a tearoom, which I haven’t visited, as well as a cute little coffee stall if you want an ice cream or a hot drink, depending on the weather.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It wasn’t this time, but the Glasgow Botanic Gardens also regularly hosts a book fair, about every other weekend. I’ve gotten some great bargains on used books here.

There are lots of shops and restaurants nearby, so it’s easy enough to get something to go, spread out a blanket under the shade of a large old tree, and enjoy the blooms and sunshine. You can lie back and look through the leaves and imagine ladies strolling through in big hats, long skirts, and high-heeled boots. It’s absolutely lovely.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And did I mention it’s free? There’s really no excuse not to visit. If you find yourself in my city, make sure you check it out.

Eating Out: Max's Bar & Grill

Eating Out: Max’s Bar & Grill

Eating Out: Max's Bar & Grill

One of my very favorite places to pop in for lunch after an afternoon of shopping in Glasgow’s City Centre is Max’s Bar & Grill. From the outside, it’s an unassuming little place. You might have walked past it a dozen times and never noticed. On the inside, it’s got a beautiful 20’s speakeasy vibe with lots of wood and a gorgeous mirror backed bar. Be sure to look up and notice the light fixtures, as well. But what keeps me coming back is the menu.

Max’s might have a historic theme to their decor, but the service is very millennial. They bring an iPad to your table, and you get to browse through their entire menu on it. Each item has a drool-worthy photo and description if you want to know more. For someone who loves reading menus, this is heaven. And it’s not easy to choose what I want because there’s no shortage of tempting dishes. I need to get back quick to try something new.

This is not just standard pub food friends. I promise, Max’s has the best chicken strips I’ve ever eaten. Normally, I just see chicken strips as a vehicle for a variety of sauces, but these do not need sauce. They’re tender, juicy, crispy, and so flavorful all on their own. I didn’t know chicken strips could be so good. The chips are also perfectly cooked, and I love any opportunity to eat corn on the cob. 

Eating Out: Max's Bar & Grill

Geoff opted for a spicy veggie burger the size of your face, and he loved it. He’s officially the worst at describing his food, but I can attest that there was not a crumb left. They have a lot of creative burgers and dogs on their menu, and I can’t wait to try one myself.

I’ve also had their mac and cheese with garlic toast before, and I can assure you that’s fantastic as well. 

Unfortunately, the restaurant is a bit dim, which is great for intimate conversation but not fantastic for food photography. My photos here certainly don’t do the food justice. You’ll be too excited about your delicious to take many photos, though. The next time you’re hungry in the city, be sure to pop into Max’s and fill up on something delicious.

Awesome in October

Awesome in October

Awesome in October

Did October even happen? Did I do anything? Let’s say we had a month of hard core coziness. And with the ever creeping darkness, it seems like exactly what we needed. 

We started the month with a day trip to Edinburgh where we walked the Royal Mile and tried to climb Arthur’s Seat. Unfortunately, the winds down in the park were already 20 miles an hour, so by the time we got to the top of the hill, it was terrifying. We got less than 50 yards from the top and had to turn back lest we literally got blown down the hill. We did visit the Museum of Edinburgh and The People’s Story. Both museums are free and a great way to wait out the rain.

We were back in Edinburgh a couple weeks later to see some family and take a ghost tour. We got to go underground into the old vaults. It was definitely creepy and lots of fun.

We did a bit too much shopping and had lunch at a new to us place in town, Max’s Bar & Grill. The vibe was very cool and the food was tasty. I’d go back for sure. 

The food on the internet is gorgeous this time of year, especially these mini chocolate chip cookie pumpkin cheesecakes. I finally got Joy’s first book, and I can’t wait to dig into it.

All foods in October should be orange. This sweet potato gnocchi with rosemary parmesan cream sauce sounds absolutely awesome. 

We get to put spices on everything this month, even our chocolate. This speculoos brownie cake look spectacular.

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

Your favorite recipes this month were Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf, White Cheddar Fondue, Chili with Gnocchi. You’re obviously feeling cozy, too.

November is going to be a big month, so I’m glad we got this chance to relax. Let’s make it awesome.

Awesome in September

Awesome in September

Awesome in September

September has been chilly and cloudy and all the things that Autumn should be. Of course, August was pretty much the same, so it doesn’t quite have the same effect here. But you can get a pumpkin spice chai, and isn’t that what September is really all about?

We started off the month with way more burgers than is probably decent, including a trip to NYC Glasgow and one final grill out before the rain set in. Then at the end of the month, we had a cozy, quiet long weekend that included Geoff’s birthday. I promptly proceeded to eat a ridiculous amount of desserts, including some amazing chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. In between all that, we managed to squeeze in an afternoon in Largs for a Viking Festival and an ocean view.

I also read a fantastic book called When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe. It takes place in the Philippines during World War II. It was a bit of history I had never really considered before. If you enjoy historical fiction, I definitely recommend this book.

Gorgeous Fall food is starting to show up all over the internet, including this One-Bowl Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

This Salted Caramel Yogurt Shake will ease you through to Fall if it’s still blazing hot where you live. If not, just eat it while under a blanket.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is actually tempting me to eat vegetables.

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorites this month were all on the cozy side, too. You’re totally into Double Chocolate Muffins, Frito Chilli Cheese Wraps, and Corn Bread-Topped Chilli Mac. Let’s eat it up. 

Before we know it, daylight will be a distant memory. I plan to have as many adventures as I can until then. 

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