Wednesday, April 6, 2016

This Season

Just like we say every year, this season has flown by! It seems like just the other day that we were out exploring our new territory, searching for the best fish and chips, hiking in the Highlands and strolling on the beach.


We loved living in a different country and having new adventures - a few of our favorites from this season: our trips to Oban, Glasgow, the Highlands, Fort Williams and Loch Ness. We loved exploring coastal Fife - it was so much fun to live by the sea after living in the mountains for the past four years in Cortina - it was a drastic change of scenery but a nice one too! And it was great to hang out in Edinburgh a bunch and become familiar with a new city.






We visited castles, tasted whiskey and tried haggis. We survived our first Scottish winter and we managed to learn some new words and phrases despite the fact that we're all speaking the same language!




Ryan's team made it to the final playoff weekend down in Nottingham, but of course the MOST exciting thing that happened this season was the birth of our son, Everett.


We can't believe he's already a month old! These past few weeks have flown by and have been the best, most fun, hardest, most rewarding weeks of our lives. We're so excited to take Ev home to Colorado to meet all of our family and friends.


Thanks to everyone who made this season in Fife so enjoyable - we had heard that the hockey fans here are incredible, and they absolutely are! We will definitely look back on this season with very fond memories.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Everett

We are so thrilled to announce that Everett Hayes Dingle was born on March 6 at 12:29 am.


We're so in love with this little guy! These past few weeks have flown by as we've gotten used to each other and adjusted to our new family. It's hard to believe that it's time to start packing up and heading back to Colorado for the spring and summer, but it is and we're heading back on April 7. In the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a look back on this season in Scotland, which has really been a great one. Thanks for all of the support this season and for the nice words on our baby boy! xo

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

In Preparation

It's baby month (hopefully!) and I'm going to be taking a few weeks off from blogging to a) prepare and b) spend every second with our newest family member once he or she arrives. We're so excited that we're talking in weeks now (or days!), rather than months, and we can't wait to meet our little one.


In the meantime, a few posts from this season in Scotland, in case you missed them:

Our favorite things to do in Edinburgh.

8 things to do in Scotland, if you're planning a trip this summer.

Our first week in Scotland! This seems like forever ago...

This was probably our favorite getaway this season.

And, this was pretty much my go-to recipe all winter.

See you back here in a few weeks, xo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Glasgow

Earlier this week we headed to Glasgow for a night which was a Christmas present from my aunt - a babymoon! Here are a few pictures, if you'd like to see...

{Image via}



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Edinburgh Favorites


We live only about 30 minutes from Edinburgh by train so we go into the city quite a bit and by now we've accumulated a list of favorites there. Here are a few if you're planning a trip:


There are a lot of castles in Scotland but Edinburgh's is by far the most extensive and best maintained. Perched above the city (you get a great view), you could easily spend a whole day sightseeing there, but our favorite stops are the prisons and the crown jewels.

Holyrood Palace, where the queen still stays when she visits Edinburgh, is a working palace that you can tour. The audio tour is about an hour long and is great - very informative without being too much information. It's located at the opposite end of the castle on Edinburgh's famous street, the Royal Mile.

And, speaking of the royal family, the Royal Yacht Britannia, is another fun tour. Permanently moored now in Edinburgh Harbour, this tour gives you a fun glimpse into royal life.


The best burger that I've had in Scotland was at 9A Holyrood - plus, located right near Arthur's Seat (see below), it makes a perfect lunch stop after a hike.

When my cousin was visiting, I met her for dinner one night at The Dogs which had the coolest ambiance and the best goat cheese and asparagus risotto.

One of my favorite areas in Edinburgh is Grassmarket which is lined with tons of traditional Scottish pubs, including The Last Drop which is super cozy and has good food in addition to good drinks.

High tea at The Dome was one of my favorite experiences this year. The tea was the best I've ever had and their sandwiches are to die for. The best time to go is at Christmas, when they're decorated to the nines.

While we're not going out for drinks these days quite like we used to, we did venture into The Devil's Advocate with friends the other week, and I have to say, I would definitely go back post-pregnancy. There's a very cool vibe there and the bartenders make all sorts of specialty cocktails in fun glasses.

And, when we crave Mexican food - which in Ryan's case is quite a lot - we head to Miros Cantina on Rose St. which is tiny and has the best Mexican food we've had, outside of Colorado.


Arthur's Seat is a great little hike in the middle of a city (rare) and if you make it to the top, you'll be awarded great views of the city, the sea and beyond.

Of course my favorite thing to do in cities is to wander and in Edinburgh, my favorite area is Grassmarket which has lots of little shops and cafes that are fun.

Although if you want a more Scottish experience, wander the Royal Mile instead. While it can be a little touristy, it's also the perfect street for finding any souvenir you're looking for - many Christmas presents this year came from the Royal Mile!

And, for the ultimate whiskey experience, visit The Scotch Whisky Experience which is on the Royal Mile, right next to the castle. You'll learn about the different regions that produce whiskey in Scotland, taste a few and visit the largest private whiskey collection in the world (!!). To be honest, we were a little skeptical at first because we had already been to several smaller distilleries and learned about whiskey making there, but this tour really summed everything up and turned out to be really interesting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shepard's Pie

Scotland is all about comfort food and one of my favorites is Shepard's Pie, which I've made approximately 50 times in the six months that we've lived here. I use a recipe that I've adapted from The Joy of Cooking and it's the perfect dinner for a dark, rainy night - with enough left over for lunch the next day.


Shepard's Pie
Serves 4-6

Traditional Shepard's Pie is made with ground lamb, however I usually use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork (technically, using ground beef turns it in to Cottage Pie). I make mine in a 9x13 inch pan (the recipe below is based on using a pan this size) but it's easily adapted to whatever size you prefer. 

Ingredients
6-8 mashing potatoes for the topping, along with a bit of butter and cream to mash with

And for the meaty part:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion 
4 stalks of celery
4 carrots
1.5 lbs ground beef, pork or lamb - or a combination
1/4 cup flour
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Make the mashed potatoes first: peel the potatoes, dice them, and boil until fork tender. Mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, clean and chop all the vegetables. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion, celery and carrot, and saute until softened, about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When it's no longer pink, add the flour to thicken the mixture. Stir in the broth and let simmer for a few minutes, also adding the spices as well as salt and pepper. Transfer this mixture to your pan and add a layer of mashed potatoes to the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

8 Things to do in Scotland

While I wouldn't recommend visiting Scotland in January, if anyone is planning a trip for the summer months, here are a few things that we would recommend seeing and doing while you're here: