Journeying Through Scotland & Beyond at Taisteal, Edinburgh

Surprisingly for Scotland's capital, exceptional Scottish restaurants are increasingly hard to come by. But maybe that's because the purveyors of Scottish fare are thinking too inside the box; haggis, meat pies, and black pudding do not wholly represent Scottish cuisine, after all. In fact, you'll find more Indian and Asian food influences around Edinburgh than you will provincial British.

There's a new restaurant in town, however, that truly hits the nail on the head when it comes to embodying the Scottish spirit, and representing the melting-pot that Scotland's metropolitan areas really are. Taisteal, located in the uber-hip and unmistakably upscale neighborhood of Stockbridge, is the brainchild of Michelin-trained chef Gordon Craig, and seeks to meld together Scottish cuisine with flavors from around the world. The Gaelic word for "journey" or "travel", Taisteal delivers on its promise with a refined menu of unexpected culinary mastery.


Tales from Tremblant: A Winter Wonderland

Ski season is upon us, and there are far too many snow-covered destinations to choose from to satisfy your cravings for fresh powder. From the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the Rockies, and all the way to the Swiss Alps, choosing the right place to hit the slopes is no easy feat.

If you're like me, and not exactly a seasoned ski-bunny, you'll want to find somewhere that has as many greens and blues as it does blacks, and has enough to do when the sun goes down and the ski lifts screech to a halt (or when your legs give out from all the activity!)

The perfect place to fulfill both of these requirements? Welcome to Mont Tremblant.


This Week's Top Five

Today’s post is a bit of a roundup of the new and noteworthy things I’ve been up to this past week.  From a trip to the movies, to soaking up one of winter’s finest sports on the coldest day of the year (and at an outdoor venue no less), it’s been a whirlwind week to say the least!

I will say that since I’ve had Ben hanging around at home, I’ve been doing a lot more than I would normally do during any holiday period. So don’t think for a second that my life is normally this exciting!

Also, I think I should note that I have a big travel post coming up for next week, so I’m trying to save every last morsel of my creative energy for that!

Seeing La La Land //

I know that this movie has been hyped to no end over the past month or so, but it is absolutely deserving of all the buzz. From the energetic tunes and euphoric choreography, to the rainbow of colors in every scene, this film was perfection from start to finish. Not to mention, the talent of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone was unfathomable. You don’t get many actors nowadays who can also sing, dance, and play piano.

We saw La La Land at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, adding to my list of favorite independent cinemas. Oh, and before we sunk into our seats, we filled up on carbs and sugar at Paris Creperie- another Brookline favorite!

Modern Art at the MFA //

The Museum of Fine Arts has been a favorite museum of mine since I was little. I loved traipsing around the museum with my mom, where we would haunt the paintings in the American wing. While I’ve always found myself drawn to the old-world American and European art at the museum, this time I took the time to explore the modern art exhibits in more detail- and I was absolutely floored by how incredible it was! I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.  

Downton Day (minus Downton) //

The four-year old tradition has been retained despite our beloved show being over, and the tea party is just as fun! Last Thursday, we spent the entire afternoon whipping up delicious treats to pair with tea and champagne. Everyone dressed up and reminisced about our favorite Downton characters. Okay, maybe we just stuffed our faces and drank a good few glasses of champagne and didn't talk much about the show but hey, a tradition's a tradition! 

Old-School Sledding //

We had our first big snow storm of the year on Saturday, and while we were meant to go to an outdoor hockey match (see below), those plans were quickly thwarted by the mini-blizzard. Having not seen heavy snow since last year (if at all), I was excited to get outside and make the most of it! Ben, my neighbor and I trekked out through what felt like arctic conditions to head to a park around the corner to indulge in a bit of nostalgic fun. We even brought out my mom's 45-year-old wooden toboggan from Sears!    

Frozen Fenway // 

Whenever Ben comes to visit, a sports game is always on the cards. Whether it was a basketball game last winter or a baseball game this past summer, he can never get enough of Boston's sports scene. And it certainly helps that we are a city of champions. This time, though, we opted out of the expensive professional sports games, and instead tried our luck with a winter classic- Frozen Fenway

Essentially an ice rink plopped into the centre of Fenway Park (a baseball venue) where college teams duke it out, this game is definitely not for anyone from out of town who can't stand the cold. It was truly a "frozen" Fenway experience in all senses of the phrase. While I'll admit that the venue was truly unique, the cold made watching more than two periods absolutely unbearable. And if I'm being honest, I've never really liked hockey. Ben soon found out that he didn't really like hockey either. Well, at least we tried!

I'm hoping to get back to a regular schedule (ie. Mondays) with my blogging in two weeks time (I would promise this coming week but seeing as I'm going to be more traveling than I initially thought that might not be the case). So look out for a big, meaty travel post next week!         


2017 New Year's Resolutions

I hate to say it, but at the start of this new year, I'm left feeling a bit out of sorts. Not in the "can't manage to get anything done" way, but more so in the sense that I feel more disorganized than I usually do come the new year.

For most people, the new year is a time for creating lists, setting goals, and being more active. It's a good excuse to kick yourself into gear, but at the same time it's not super sustainable to set unattainable goals that you know you'll only keep up for the next week. I, for one, am one to try to seek motivation year-round. So maybe I'm being a bit too hard on myself for not having everything together these past few days.  

That being said, I'm using this blog post to get myself in the right frame of mind for the new year. So, I suppose you could say this post is more for me than for any of you reading out there. But still, I always find it fun to read what other people's goals and resolutions are for the new year. So here are mine! 

Brainstorm blog posts once per week // The past month or so has been really hard for me in terms of blogging. Maybe it had to do with all of the essays I had to write, or all of the internship applications I've been filling out, but my usual passion for blogging has slightly waned over the past few weeks. I end up coming into each week not knowing what I want to write about at all and it's the worst feeling. To get my blogging creativity going, I'm going to try brainstorming blog post ideas once a week so that I have a full arsenal of ideas on hand. 

Talk to my brothers more // I'm that girl who talks to her mom every. single. day. at university. I'm not ashamed to say it all because I know it's important for both of us, and it has nothing to do with being homesick. But, while I am constantly on the phone to my mom, I barely ever talk to my three brothers. This year, I'd like to make a better effort to call them to catch up. 

Adopt a cool-headed mindset // This probably makes me sound like some sort of emotional weirdo, but I find that I'm usually quite reactive to situations. I'm not the type to truly panic or become anxious at the drop of a hat, but, like most people, I often react before I fully think through the circumstances at hand. I know that I'd be much better off reminding myself that things will work out alright in the end. This year, I'd like to make "be calm" my personal mantra. 

Participate in more twitter chats // I always notice other incredible bloggers that I follow participating in these and they always seem so fun! They're such a great way to meet and interact with other bloggers, gaining new insights and ideas. But twitter chats also seem to require a lot of effort and forward thinking. This year, I'd like to aim to participate in a blogger twitter chat at least once a month! 

Be more accepting of making time-sacrifices // I'm the first to admit that I'm the kind of person who has a lot on her plate most of the time. Because of that, I find it hard to let go of certain activities and responsibilities if the time just isn't there. I know that making sacrifices is a part of life, and that my priorities can suffer if I don't make these tough choices. So this year I plan on embracing these moments, and reminding myself that I'm better for it!
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