Friday, November 16, 2018

{Travel} Day/Night 2 Edinburgh Castle & Greyfriar's Kirkyard

Our first full day in Edinburgh and we were excited to see the city.   College Girl was arriving the next day so we took a quick look around and tried our best to stay awake and get used to the new time zone.  If you missed Day 1, you can find it here.
 We strolled up to Edinburgh Castle from our flat. It's so impressive up close!
 The view is no less stunning from the castle.
We explored Princes Street Park and a bit of Princes Street (shopping area) in New Town as well.
 We went to Palm Paradise for a late lunch/early dinner.
 The food was by Lucky Pig and we tried three of their vegan options.
We stopped by the most famous statue in Edinburgh-Greyfriar's Bobby.  It's said to be good luck to rub his nose.  
He's a Skye Terrier that stood guard over his owner's grave for 14 years.
It was Halloween so where else should we visit but a creepy ancient cemetery?

Greyfriar's Kirkyard is the graveyard that surrounds Greyfriar's Kirk and it's been around since the 16th century.

 The sun went down pretty early and we got out of there before it got too dark.
 A warm cappuccino was a welcome treat on a chilly night.
 Here are a few more pictures from our first day in Edinburgh.

We went out to a wine bar to keep ourselves awake as long as possible but we only made it until about 10pm!
Tired Americans at the wine bar!
to be continued...

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

{Travel} Day 1/2 - Flight to Edinburgh & Our Airbnb

It may take me awhile to post the entire trip(I have so many photos) but I wanted to get started and share it while it's still fresh in my mind.   We took a 10 day trip to Edinburgh, Scotland and Dublin, Ireland. College Girl is studying in Dublin and we came over for part of her break to meet her in Edinburgh.
I was so proud of myself that I actually fit everything in this small carry on suitcase plus backpack as my personal item.
 We tie bright ribbon on our bags so we can spot them easily in case they had to be checked.

 I stayed pretty close to what I said I'd be packing for the trip in this post.
We had an evening flight and watched the beautiful sunset from the airport.
Finally on the plane!  It was an overnight flight but we didn't get much rest. It was a full one and not that comfortable.  I managed to watch a few movies though (The Book Club and Love, Simon).
We landed in Dublin to make our connection to Edinburgh.  We had about an hour to make the connection. It was pretty strange, we ran to our gate that ended up being downstairs and at the end of the airport with a waiting area more like a hospital than an airport.  When they called us to start boarding the plane, we were sent outside and onto this bus!
The bus took us to the plane and then we boarded from there.  By this point we were deliriously exhausted but excited to get to our destination. The flight was short and before we knew it we were landing in Edinburgh.  We stopped at Costa for some toast and coffee and it was the best toast ever!!  We also bought new SIM cards for our phones then grabbed a taxi to take us to the airbnb.
Our host Alison met us there and she was so welcoming and sweet!  She took us up to the flat and had it all ready for us. How charming is this living room?
It had this very modern kitchen (with a washer and dishwasher!).
The comfy master bedroom.
Second bedroom for the college kid.
Lovely bathroom!

The view from our bedroom window!!!  We were excited to get out and explore but took a short power nap first.
I changed my shirt and shoes and we headed out.
This is the door to the apartment building we stayed in.  I couldn't pass up the photo op!
When we walked out of the door and looked to the left, this was our view! The stunning and impressive Edinburgh Castle.  In our neighborhood!
We were off to explore our new town!
to be continued...

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Monday, November 12, 2018

{Random Lately} October-November

Just like that we're back from an incredible trip to Scotland and Ireland  (we got to see our baby!) and while I'm still processing it all, I'll share a few random things from the past month or so.

We didn't expect the mall to be all decorated for Christmas before Halloween but it was.
This mall (King of Prussia) always pulls out all of the stops in their decor.
 I found a few new (to me) things at Dollar Tree. One was this screen guard for a few different Iphone models.  For a buck, it's worth a try? I didn't love it but I also got one for my daughter and she's used to using a screen guard so I'm waiting to hear her review.
 I also found some Yes to brand facial masks. I picked up this ultra hydrating one and it did leave my face super soft plus I loved the smell of the coconut oil in it.
 I've been working part time at the front desk of my yoga studio and getting to take a lot more classes there as a result.  Love it! What I didn't love was this pose of the month but I took a pic of it for my friend.  I'm glad it's November with a new pose..wonder what it will be?
This TJ's frozen meal was in my last haul and I had it for dinner one night. 
 It was a really generous serving and soooo good! Very creamy and not overly spicy.  I also tried the Vegan Tiki Masala which was also very good (just didn't take a photo of it).
 We ordered a "few" bottles of wine from Cameron Hughes. Have you ever heard of that company?
 Got my toes (and fingers) done for our trip. It was a nice treat before we left!
What have you been up to?

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Friday, November 9, 2018

{Recipe} Best Vegan Meatloaf & Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes

I've tried a few different vegan "meat" loaves but I think I've found the best one ever.  It reminds me of more traditional meatloaves I've had and it holds its shape nicely when slicing it up (great for sandwiches!)  *Tip: It needs a cup of cooked split peas so make them ahead of time (or add to your prep time).
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups portobello mushrooms
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup cooked split peas
2 TBS ground flax seed
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
Wet Ingredients:
6 TBS tomato paste
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS soy sauce (or similar)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
To make:
  • Line loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Set large bowl aside your food processor.
  • Add chickpeas to food processor and pulse a few times, breaking up but not pureeing.  Put into bowl.
  • Add 1/3 of the mushrooms to food processor, pulse a few times and add to bowl. Repeat two more times with remaining mushrooms. 
  • Place rolled oats into food processor and grind into a flour, measure out 1 cup and add to bowl (save or discard remaining oat flour).
  • Add cooked green split peas, onion, ground flax seed,sage, salt and pepper to bowl (not vital wheat gluten).
  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Mix wet ingredients together in small bowl, set aside.
  • Mix all of the ingredients in the large bowl. Add vital wheat gluten and mix then add the wet ingredients immediately to the bowl and mix.
  • Pack into prepared pan and press down firmly but not packed down too hard.
  • Bake at 400F for 40 minutes and let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan with parchment paper and serve.  It's really good with some gravy and faux-tatoes.

Easy Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes--I discovered a quick new way to make mashed cauliflower when I only had vanilla almond milk in the house.  

Microwave a bag of frozen cauliflower and drain off any additional liquid.  Put cauliflower in a high speed blender or food processor. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper and 1-2 TBS of Vegan Cannellini Bean Sour Cream into blender.  Mix until smooth and serve.  So creamy and good!
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