Awesome in April

Awesome in April

Awesome in April

April was a bit bi-polar. I spent most of the month wandering around in an ovenless daze. The weather was completely crazy. Two weeks ago it was sunny, and I was spritzing on the sunscreen as I hiked through the Scottish hills. Then two days ago, it was snowing. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole, and I’m completely lost in Wonderland. Nothing is what it is because everything is what it isn’t. 

We had a visit from one of our favorite munchkins. I spent an aimless week at work without any wonderful but smelly teenagers, I danced my heart out on a boat with a series of large glasses of rosé in my hand, and I got in touch with nature. It was a gorgeous month of shenanigans.

Bread Meats Bread

We tried a new to us burger place, Bread Meats Bread. They make a very solid, respectable burger. I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely go back. It’s just not quite as good as Handmade Burger Company which is on the other corner of that block and usually has more open tables. Too many good burger joints is a great problem to have. 

We also explored Pollock Country Park, Loch Lomond Shores, and the Riverside Museum. Me and Scotland are getting to be best friends. There’s so much to explore here. Imagine me with a car. I’d go crazy. Also, don’t ask about my current obsession with opening a cat cafe and becoming a fox foster mom. 

In the realm of delicious internet things, it appears that the lovely ladies of A Beautiful Mess share my chips and dip obsession. They made a pretty bad ass Cheesy Baked Bean Dip I desperately need to try out.

Foodie with Family is making my sweet and salty heart sing with a gorgeous Chocolate Pretzel Sheet Cake with a ridiculous peanut butter drizzle.

And I’m considering becoming a bourbon person. It seems like all the cool kids are doing it. Who’s cooler the Jessica? What’s more lovely than this Amaretto Bourbon Punch? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything, either.

Peanut Butter Fudge from Awesome on 20

This month, you loved Peanut Butter Fudge because you’re smart and you know it’s the most addicting food ever created.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You threw caution to the wind and decided to make Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf. High fives for you!

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And your true love this April was Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies. Look at ’em. Aren’t they just lovely?

April in Scotland is pure insanity. It already stays light until about 8:30. I’m in a whole new world, and it couldn’t be awesomer. Come on, May. Bring it!

Awesome in November

Awesome in November

Awesome in November

November hit like a cold brick wall here in Glasgow, and I wasn’t prepared. When  you only allow yourself to spend $20 a day (or now I guess it’s £13), it’s tough to amass an entirely new, seasonally appropriate wardrobe. I’m working on it, but we have a long way to go in the warm department. At least I now have a few pairs of shoes that aren’t flip flops.

I also started a brand new, real life, full-time job at the beginning of the month, and it was simultaneously awesome and exhausting. Learning the culture and vocabulary of a new organization really takes it out of me. I just hope the people who pay me realize that when I’m staring off into space, I’m actually working deep inside my brain.

Howlin Wolf3

Between the non-stop rain and the fact that it goes dark at 4 pm, we haven’t been getting out much, but we did make a special trip to Howlin’ Wolf. We also managed to grab a burger at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. I’ve been testing out all the seasonal hot chocolate flavors all the coffee shops are offering, and so far, my favorite is the Black Forest Hot Chocolate at Costa Coffee. 

Sadly, my constant brain fry means I also haven’t spent much time reading about food on the internet, but I did manage to find some tasty stuff for you.

These Red Velvet Nutella-Stuffed Cookies from Cookie Named Desire look pretty dang rad.

I’m desperately wishing I was cool enough to hang out with Joy the Baker, eat Chili Cheese Dogs, and talk about winter coats and global warming.  

And Brown Eyed Baker solved my “no Pilsbury dough in a tube” problem by teaching us how to make our own Homemade Crescent Rolls. Thanks internet!

Finally, here’s what you thought was awesome this month. 

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding from Awesome on 20

You were feeling sweet and frugal this month and making lots of Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. You’re so smart.

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

Everybody’s finally gotten on board the meatloaf for Thanksgiving bandwagon I’ve been driving for the past four years. You loved Cranberry-Glazed Turkey Meatloaf. You’re so right.

Peanut Butter Fudge from Awesome on 20

Everybody’s favorite is always Peanut Butter Fudge. I’m planning on making myself a batch next week for my new work friends. I think they’ll like it.

Don’t forget to share your photos on Instagram and tag them #awesome365. It’s a beautiful world out there, especially in December. Bring on my birthday. Bring on Christmas. Bring on my baby coming home to Scotland. I’m so ready.

Awesome in September

Awesome in September

Awesome in September

September was a paradox of struggle and excitement. On the first of the month, we left our old home behind and landed two days later on the other side of the world. We went from a land of perpetual summer to a place that rarely sees the sun. We’re still homeless for a couple of more days (a million thank yous to my sister-in-law and her future husband for putting us up for so long), and though I am no longer unemployed, the temp work I started last week is, well, less than thrilling. 

And yet there’s so much to be thankful for. We found an apartment in what turned out to be a very competitive rental market. I’m no longer making $0 an hour, and we have an absolutely beautiful city to explore. There’s already so much I can’t wait to show you.


I can’t wait to go back to Howlin’ Wolf and try their chorizo mac and cheese. The pizza at Paesano was excellent. It’s the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, though, that really has me swooning. I promise a picnic real soon.

Seriously, everywhere I look, there’s something amazing. People who have grown up here probably don’t have the slightest clue how cool it is, but to this girl who grew up in the wild wild West, it’s breathtaking. Lucky for us, wandering about gaping at buildings can be done completely for free.

You know what else is free? The internet. It’s also completely delicious. This pumpkin cake with ginger chocolate and meringue from A Cookie Named Desire is absolutely killing me. Joy the Baker set doughnut holes on fire and made me fall in love with her. And then Foodie with Family made pumpkin cheesecake ice cream, and all was right with the world.

Being homeless kinda made my blog fall off the edge of the world for a minute, but you guys still found things to love. Here’s what you thought was awesome.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels are going strong. I think spicy chicken and cheese wrapped in buttery, flaky bread might possibly be the perfect food.

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake from Awesome on 20

You’re totally making me want to eat Caramel Toffee Cheesecake. I mean, it’s literally dripping with salted caramel. Come on!

Chicken Parmesan from Awesome on 20

And proving my theory that chicken and cheese is perfection, your favorite recipe this month was Chicken Parmesan. Just love it and be happy.

September was everything. Exciting and exhausting and challenging and fun. I can’t wait to show you our new apartment and share how we make it into a home. I haven’t felt properly at home in ages. Look out, October, you’re about to get awesome!

Share the awesome. Tag your photos #awesome365 so I can snoop into your awesome life. If you want to peek around at what we’re up to, let’s hang out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or SnapChat (awesomeon20). See you there!

Awesome in August

Awesome in August

Awesome in August

As I sit here typing, nearly everything we own has been packed into four suitcases. The rest of the straggling items have to be wrangled into my cute new carry on, but honestly, I don’t even think it will be that much of a challenge. I’m ready to go and yearning to have my own kitchen to cook in again.

We’ve been spending the whole month saying goodbye to all our favorite people and places. And since our kitchen is devoid of cooking equipment, we’ve been eating out a lot. I insisted on one last breakfast at Sweet E’s, and Geoff had to get in one more trip to the breakfast buffet at Duke’s. It was too dark to take photos in Real, A Gastropub, but you should definitely check it out! 

We also celebrated Geoff becoming a US Citizen just in time to leave the country. At least we’ll never have to apply for another visa for him to return to the country ever again. Seriously, immigration is the worst!

The interwebs made me hungry, as always. I want to dive right in to this Whipped Mexican Grilled Corn Dip from How Sweet It Is. It just looks like a bowlful of summer.

I resolve to get over my fear of frying and make these Crispy Spiced Sweet Potato Fritters from The Sugar Hit while living in Scotland. Can’t stop.

Joy the Baker is setting stuff on fire! I have to try that Meyer Lemon Bar Brulee. I better put a new brulee torch on my Glasgow shopping list.

And somehow you haven’t abandoned me during the summer of chaos. Here’s what you thought was awesome.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding from Awesome on 20

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding is so very satisfying. Creamy and squishy and chocolaty and just a touch boozy. It’s got it all.

Peanut Butter Fudge from Awesome on 20

You can never get enough of Peanut Butter Fudge, and you’re not wrong. It’s the actual best.

White Chocolate Chip Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I still remember how much I loved eating these White Chocolate Chip Brownies. You need to have some right now.

We have two more days in sweaty, beautiful Honolulu, then we plunge into the unknown. I’m holding my breath and preparing for awesomeness. See you there!

Awesome in April

Awesome in April

Awesome in April

It’s been a super stressful week/month/year. I’m staring at this screen and thinking I need to focus on the awesome stuff. There’s been lots to love this month. Let’s go.


I opened the month with the worst cold I’ve had in I don’t know how long, but let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about the cider I drank at Lulu’s while watching the the sunset over the ocean. I was still pretty sick, but I got to sit next to my awesome husband and have a drink with a flower in it, so how bad could life really be?


We also went camping on the beach for the night. I admit, camping is not my favorite. But it was definitely an adventure. We met some amazing people, spent the evening in a completely beautiful setting, set a bunch of stuff on fire, and then got a Sausage McMuffin the next morning and took a super long nap. It was awesome.


My husband might be the best husband ever. He knew I was feeling super stressed, so he brought me some flowers. I didn’t bother to style them. I just took their picture. That’s why I’m not a real blogger.

Red Velvet Pancakes

And I would just be mean if I didn’t talk about the red velvet pancakes I ate last Saturday. It’s like a totally legit way to eat cake for breakfast. Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai is a ridiculously awesome place to brunch. 

Let’s talk about what you’re digging.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels are so so tasty. Please eat a dozen.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are just ridiculously awesome. And they’re virtually effortless. It’s all you’ve ever wanted.

Transformer Chicken | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You dudes love to make life easy. That’s gotta be why you’re so into Transformer Chicken. Get on board.

We’re taking deep breaths and living in the moment when we can find time to come up for air. Life’s not getting any easier, kids. It’s not gonna make itself awesome. Get out there and live it the best you can!

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