Monthly Archives: July 2012

OLYMPIC INSPIRATION… Comes in many forms (herehere and here). The games have started. We will be following on the BBC. We caught the Opening Ceremony on BBC iplayer- Ben had his tissues ready and he is full of national pride!

Umbrella from Heals.

Chair from Freckles and Ivory

Bike the Surly Pacer in British Racing Green. My bike! They have a new colour, Sparkleboogie Blue!

Taken with Instagram

REMEMBER JACK… My cousin who came to visit us for over one week? We received his timely thank you note and I was almost brought to tears by his heart-felt sentiment for all the fun we shared. Both Ben and I were bowled over by the recollection of the impact we had on his young life and the memories we made together in Edinburgh.

Jack, you are most welcome- we would allow you to stay with us when ever you would like!

GATSBY… Although I prefer Redford to Dicaprio- I am rather excited for the Christmas Day release (I hope that applies to the U.K., or this is another reason to holiday in the U.S).

Fingers-crossed it will stay true to F.Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, a classic which Ben and I recently finished. He had never read it and I had not revisited it since junior year in high school- it is still worth a (re)read.

ALL THE BELLS… Ready to ring. Five minutes to go!  

After the ring started, Ben’s bell broke- the clapper fell off. Sad bell.


Tomorrow marks the start of the 30th Olympic and Paralympic Games and to celebrate artist Martin Creed was commissioned to create a piece of art and everyone can participate. We are encouraged to get out and ring a bell from 08.12 a.m. (2012) to 8.15 a.m. to take part in:

Work No 1197

All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes

Ben and I will be ringing from the Scotsman Steps- one of Creed’s other works. We have reserved our steps.

Stay tuned for an update tomorrow and possibly a LOUD video.

NICE… Thank you flowers from a happy student!


Our Edinburgh summer weather has been pretty miserable (this video sums it up). When we moved here last year, we heard, “this is is the worst summer in years”. As soon as this June hit with record levels of rain and now moving through July with flooding, the Edinburghers are saying,  ”no seriously, this is the worst summer we have had- ever”. It does not look encouraging for future summers. 

On the plus side, Ben and I are never hot, we can sleep under a duvet every night, wear jackets and even wool sweaters. While my American friends and family are looking for ways to cool down we are trying to stay toasty and dry. 

This quest means we have been craving some non-summery foods. I found myself wanting tuna noodle casserole this week. When I told Ben the Minnesotan in me was trying to get out, he had a really sweet response, “I love it when the Minnesotan in you comes out, it reminds me you are foreign and exotic and I love you. Peas tuna noodle hotdish sounds great.” I tried this recipe. Ben loved it.

We invited some friends over for Bastille Day brunch and I made the above cake. The original recipe called a triple-berry summer buttermilk bundt cake with lemon glaze (from Smitten Kitchen), mine was a double berry summer buttermilk (make my own bundt tin) cake. We do not have a bundt pan. I also opted against glaze. It was really tasty and the lemon zest was a great addition. 

My Mom turned me onto Food and Wine, she has a subscription to the magazine and highly recommended the Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese, which lucky for those of us without a subscription can this and loads of others. For additional smokey flavour she suggests cooking it on the grill, another way to stay cool during those hot mid-west summers.

Both Ben and my cousin Jack have June birthdays, so when Jack was here, I made Food and Wine’s Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Walnut Crust. It was my first cheesecake and it was really nice.

YUMMERS PLUS… When I was at my brother’s, he prepared some really nice meals. He is an excellent cook and has an Architectural Digest-worthy kitchen. Two of the dishes which stood out were a Chicken-Peanut Stew from Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit fame. I want to get his new book, Yes, Chefthere was an excerpt in June’s Vogue (Chef Samuelsson and model wife-they are quite the good looking pair-were featured). For afters Johnners whipped up Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp with Pistachio Crust and threw in some strawberries for extra zing. 



The Business School had its Alumni Reunion this past weekend

Events started on Thursday with the key-note address from Justin Packshaw or as we referred to him in the weeks leading up to his talk, The Handsome Explorer, I think this was mostly me.

He has a fascinating profile, here are some of the most interesting:

- Fought in Gulf War I with the British Army

- Driven a motorbike through East Africa 

- Represented Britain in the Whitbread Round-the-World Yacht race.

- Took part and won a 450 mile un-supported man-hauling international race to the Magnetic North Pole

and now the most impressive:

- He summited Mount Everest

And I got to shake his hand.

Justin talked about how corporations could/should be led like extreme sport challenges and many of the attributes people need in these high-altitude, close-quarter situations are identical to those required to have a successful workplace team and company (team work, communication, drive, leadership and inspiration).

In addition to his exploring, he and his wife have a luxury cashmere goods business with a shop in London, called DeRoemer

My two take aways: EFFORT + DISCIPLINE= I FEEL GREAT and we all need to get up an hour earlier to pack-life-in!

#edinburgh under the sun. Love this city. Rainy or sunny. (Taken with Instagram)

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