Posts filed under 'fall'

Friday the 13th Faves

Did you notice I slid an informative expat blog post in there Wednesday? After being MIA for a week and a half? Whoops. It’s been a mix. A mix of being super busy and getting enraged at the UK.  Both things I’ll touch on next week…

But lets focus on the good and share some tidbits on what’s going on in my life in Scotland with my favorite bits of the last week.

SHEEP, SHEEP! They’ve moved the sheep into the field next to our house. It’s a big field so depending on where they are, I get to see sheep when I wake up. And sheep when I come home. And be super creeped out when I don’t realize they’ve moved to the bottom of the field and I take Stella out at night with a head torch on…and see 50 glowing eyes staring at me from 10 yards away.

View from the family room.

View from the family room.



American shopping!! Pre and soon to be post thanksgiving sales for me to enjoy! I still can’t order to my American hearts content (not in the 30 day window for returns yet) but Nordstrom’s always accepts returns and getting a sweater I already have in a new color is a sure bet. So stoked about a good sale on some new flats and my favorite sweater in black (pictured in red)._10979162 cn9971178

Scotland’s Weather! Still on my list of faves. I know Chicago had mid-70’s last week. But I’m loving mid-50’s and all the gorgeous leaves. When my mom was last ere I told her how fall isn’t anything remarkable here, but this year has proven me wrong. It’s not just me, a lot of ‘Donians are agreeing this is an epically beautiful fall. There are tons of leaves on the ground, but still a lot on the trees. And I guess without wind or heavy storms the leaves just had time to stay on tress and actually change colors for once. It’s gorgeous. So gorgeous, E & I ate outside in November.

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Finding my bumper! So I started taking a college course once a week that meet’s kind of far away- about a 50 minute drive, 30 miles away, into the Cairngorms National Park. My first class I wasn’t really sure where to go, I’m out in the middle of nowhere, trying to find the building…. I realized I took a wrong turn and hastily did a 3 point turn. But it was pitch black and as I pulled forward I didn’t have the clearance I thought I did and kind of hit…something? I thought maybe it was a low rock wall in a ditch…who knows. I got to my class and looked at the front of the car and thought everything looked cool. The next day at the gym my friend asks, “Lauren, what happened to your car?” Apparently, that big bang was half of the front of my car being ripped off. 4 days later we drove back to where executed the 3 point turn and there was my chunk of bumper! Took it home and popped it back on. Okay, the bottom of the car is still a little messed up, but I can live with that. As for what I hit? We can’t figure it out. There wasn’t even a mound of dirt or a rock. Chalk it up to Scottish driving.

Lastly, two songs I’m listening to on repeat. Of course Adele’s “Hello” (and kind of Lionel’s) and “All My Friends”. Not LCD Soundsystem but someone or something by the name of Snakehips with Chance the Rapper who’s from my ole’ and favorite city of Chicago.




Homemade Pumpkin Creamer

imagesHappy First Day of Fall!

I actually had to Google if the UK’s first day of fall is the same as the states, which might sound stupid but our daylight savings times AND mother’s day are different, so you never know. From what I can tell it’s the same…or the UK doesn’t really care about the exact date because we live in permanent fall minus the beautiful foliage. Or at least Scotland.

You know what I love about fall? PUMPKIN. There are few things I love as much as pumpkin…mainly, s’mores. I am the total cliché white girl when it comes to fall and pumpkin madness. Seriously, my mom brought me some Bath & Body works pumpkin soap on her trip (even though I already have a surplus of 5 of them and will be fully replenished when I get home for Christmas) and I have no short of 7 pumpkin candles in this house. And you don’t even want to see my stockpile of pumpkin puree (which can be found seasonally in the “American” section of some grocery stores here for insane prices, or on I buy anything pumpkin. Errrr…I did when I lived in American and there was everything you can buy pumpkin. I’m smuggled over pumpkin butter, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin m&ms, pumpkin pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin cliff bars (yes, they made them), pumpkin tea and coffee…like white girl wasted on pumpkin over here.

Yeah, I would totally buy this.

Yeah, I would totally buy this.

But my heart is still empty because I simply cannot bake the same quality of pumpkin goodness that will be all over America starting this month. It makes me so sad. And I have to use my pumpkin reserves carefully because they can’t be easily or cheaply refilled. I’m already out of pumpkin coffee and the stock on pumpkin oatmeal is dwindling….oh #expatproblems.

Anyway, what I didn’t previously mention is that I also brought over pumpkin coffee syrup…but unfortunately; I just don’t think they’re very good. I even brought over two different kinds but the fake sugar substitute crap they use leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, I can go to starbucks and get the pumpkin Spice latte…but I don’t really go to Starbucks very often and I like my pumpkin coffee at home where I sit and write blog posts with a pumpkin candle lit and go into my own restroom and wash my hands with pumpkin soap and so on and so on.

There’s also that little issue that there’s no creamer in Scotland what so ever (which was in fact one of my first, unsettling expat life blog posts – see here). And that is why I decided to go down the path of homemade coffee creamer. But not just any creamer my friends, PUMPKIN coffee creamer. I wish I could say that the fact that store bought coffee creamers are filled with fake crap helped lead me down this path, but lets be honest, if I could get my hands on a big ole’ jug of International Delight Pumpkin Spice Toxic Creamer…I’d be all over that. (Shedding a little tear for Target as I type.)

So if you’re an expat mourning a morning cup of pumpkin coffee or just want to stop buying the expensive toxic crap creamer…I wanted to share my recipe with you.image1 (8)

Homemade Pumpkin Coffee Creamer

  • 1-cup semi-skimmed milk (US- 1% milk)
  • ½ cup single cream (as oppose to double cream here in the UK)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Just blend all ingredients with an immersion blender, hand mixer, or regular blender and refrigerate. Shake well before pouring into your coffee.

This recipe actually isn’t too sweet so don’t be fearful of that…I actually add one packet of fake-sugar-toxic-crap Equal and it is just heaven for me. Go on and embrace your white girl and give it a try!