Monday, 26 August 2013

{City Guide} Lupe Pintos Deli

I am so excited to show you Lupe Pintos! We've been shopping here for a little over three years. We just kind of stumbled upon it. I love that it looks like a hole in the wall. To look at it from the outside you'd never know that they have some of our favourite things.

If you read this blog at all then you'll know I love Mexican food. Latino food in general. My mother is Puerto Rican and my husband grew up in Venezuela. LD learned to cook from his Portuguese mother and Scotland just doesn't have what we need to make a good Hispanic meal.

Lupe Pintos is a little gold mine for us because they sell some American, Mexican, and Spanish cooking ingredients. Exactly what we had been craving! They have the most amazing salsa's and spices. They even have authentic tortillas! LD tried some really hot salsa this weekend and his face turned red. He was even sweating!

The first couple of years I lived here I hated that I couldn't get Crisco, Ranch dressing, Butterscotch chips, Stove Top Stuffing, Pumpkin, American pancake mix and syrup, etc. Lupe Pintos has them! Every couple of months I stock up on the essentials that I need/want. The owner is really nice too. If you are looking for a certain product he will do his best to get it for you and keep it in stock.

There is a store in Glasgow and also one in Edinburgh. When we learned we would be moving one of my first thoughts was, "Does Aberdeen have a Lupe Pintos?" No. They don't. I almost did a little freak out until I learned I could order online! BOOM! There it is. Customer for life. No matter how expensive it is, it won't be as expensive as having my family mail it to me. I love that I'm not going to have to search forever to find the things that I need. Lupe's has them!

They have recipes online and a plethora of ingredients from all over the world. What ever your fancy! They do authentic. "Mexican food does not come in yellow boxes at Lupes."

If you're in need of some American or Mexican goodies then check out Lupe Pinto's Deli. My favourite grocer in all of Scotland. Literally.
Glasgow: 313 Great Western Road
Edinburgh: 24 Leven Street

*this is NOT a sponsored post.
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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Things You Should Know About Me

01. I am the worlds worst photographer. I just can't for the life of me take a good picture of myself. It is either blurry or I just don't look like me. So, I think ;) I don't really want to get good at taking my own photograph except that I have so few of myself with Sebastian. This needs to change. Immediately. So, I'm trying. Isn't that photo crap?!

02. I'm an early bird. I seriously have trouble staying awake late. Girls nights? They wipe me out. It takes me 2-3 days to recover. And I don't drink! I'm just exhausted. In college I would rather go to bed at a decent hour and then wake up at 4 am to finish a paper. No all night studying for me. I just can't handle it. I'm also a fan of naps. They are one of life's little gifts.

03. I have an addictive personality. When I read a good book, I will actually re-read it 2-3 times before I move onto something else. I went through a phase where I had to watch North and South every night before bed. That same phase happened with Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, When Harry Met Sally, etc. You get the picture. I run in cycles. If I like something, I gorge myself on it and then move on to the next thing I'm obsessed with. I know it's weird. You don't have to tell me.

04. I can't sew, I'm not crafty, and I don't know anything about fashion or interior design. I can't do photography and my digital camera is about 10 yrs old! And... I'm just an average cook. Holla out to all you average girls!

05. My most favourite place I've ever been is Spain. Part of my soul resides there. I'd love to live there someday. Sometime's I look up properties for sale and just daydream about a life there.

06. I'm Mormon. Did you know? I served a mission in northern California for 18 months and it was the hardest most wonderful thing I've ever done {aside from being a Mom}. If you want to know more go here.

07. I have four sisters. Three older and one younger. From olderst to youngest is exactly six years. We're all super close in age. I loved this growing up! I have ten nieces and nephews and I call my Mom every single day. Several times.

08. I don't have a favourite food. Other than Mexican food right now.... But, seriously, I don't think there is any food that I like more than any other. I'm an equal opportunity eater.

09. I've been blogging for over five years and I really love it. I know I'm all over the place most of the time. But, I blog for me and my family. To keep a record of our life. With that being said, I know my audience is mostly made up of people moving to Scotland in the future. I'm trying to integrate the two.

10. House Hunter's International called last week. Seriously. I did a little freak out I was so excited. But, they would need to start filming immediately. Like last week. We just couldn't make it work. I cried. I think my heart died just a little bit.

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Moving to Scotland? What to Bring and Not to Bring

The majority of emails I receive center on this very question, "What should I bring when I move to Scotland?"

This is such a loaded question because everyone is moving for different reasons. Some have companies to ship all of their belongings, others are funding the move them selves. While some are just bringing what they can carry on their backs. So, I'll keep it to the simple stuff.

I'm going to let you in on some advice. This is from my personal perspective. I've lived here for five and a half years. I wouldn't consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But I want to make your international move easier than mine.

What NOT to bring::

01. {FOOD} Seriously. I can't even believe I need to talk about this one. Just leave it. Don't waste the suitcase space. We do have food here. All the meats, fruit and veg are represented. Just not all the pre-packaged choices. Which are crap anyway. Once you get here you will be able to fully immerse yourself in the culture and learn about the kinds of foods they eat here. You'll force yourself to try new things. You'll be fine. Trust me. Over time you will learn those items that you really miss. Those are the things you can look for online or at specialty stores. Or maybe bring back with you next time you visit your home country. 

02. {Electrical items} I'm going to get flack for this one. But, I'm being honest. I know there are a lot of opinions on this matter and most don't match my own. But you know what? Those posts are written from people who have recently moved abroad and are using a transformer is what they are doing because they don't know any better. But let me tell you what happens to those items when they are running on a transformer full time--the quit working. I've seen it happen a lot in the last 5 yrs. They aren't designed to run on a different voltage. Running your whole home on a converter or transformer is a fire hazard anyway.

If you choose to disregard this advice then at least know you aren't supposed to run your transformer more than 1-2 hrs at a time {maximum!}. It needs unplugged until you are going to use it. Don't bring superfluous items like your hair dryer, hand mixer and CD player. Those are cheap and can be bought here. Only bring items that can not be replaced immediately.

03. {Most of your furniture} Have I mentioned how small the living space is here in Scotland? No? Well, it is. Your favourite couch won't fit in your living room. It probably won't even fit in the door! Take stock of your stuff and store it or sell it.

04. {Too much stuff!} We're back to the space issue. The lack of closets and storage space is extreme. I know you want to bring your life with you but the truth of the matter is-- it won't fit. Period. It is time to get cleaning and dump the stuff. If it can be bought here then leave it. Just get rid of it!!! You'll thank me. Seriously. It is refreshing.


01. {Documents} Bring the originals for as much as you can. From birth certificates to medical records. You'll need more than you think. Leave copies {or another set of originals} with a family member in your home country.

02. {Measuring spoons/cups} They use the metric system here. I've never been good at it. I should probably learn. When you get the urge to bake your great grandmother's chocolate chip cookies you will quickly find yourself wondering where the teaspoons and cups are. Some stores are starting to carry them but they can be hard to find. Save yourself the hassle and just bring them with you. They don't take up much space. You'll only have to worry about finding ingredients! ;) I use for any baking conversions that I might need.

03. {Photos} There probably won't be space for you to physically bring them but, scan away! Not to mention most everything is digital these days. Put your favourites on a zip drive or cd and bring them with you. It is the one thing I miss and wish I had here.

04. {Medicine} If you are on any medication then you best be getting a couple months worth. You'll need a note from your doctor to bring it on board the plane too. When you get here you'll need to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as you can to discuss your medical needs. I'm not going to lie, it can take some time. SO it is better to have a small stash while you are getting settled. Throw in a huge bottle of Tylenol and Excedrin while you're at it. Oh, and sleeping aids. Bring it. We don't have a lot in the 'over the counter' department.

It is important to remember that when you are moving abroad, less is more. You won't be able to bring your whole life with you. That is a good thing. Think of it as having a big life clear out. Just take the essentials. We have anything you could need here so you'll be fine. Don't try and recreate your American life. Have a Scottish experience! That's probably a reason you are moving abroad anyway.

ps. There is a part 2 to this post!

Monday, 5 August 2013

{City Guide} Whittard Tea & Coffee

I have a favourite shop in Glasgow. It is quaint and cute. It sells tea and coffee {neither of which I drink}. But, they have flavoured hot chocolate! Orange, Strawberry, Rocky Road, Crème Brule, Mint {my fav!} and many more. My taste buds are in heaven! They have the most beautiful china and yummy confectionary gifts. The shop just feels welcoming. Like everything British elegance should be. Every single time I'm in Glasgow I have to stop in.
I was in town the other day and just knew I needed to take some pictures and show you this little shop {finally, since I'm moving}. But, when I asked if I could take some photo's they said, "No." I let it upset me for a few minutes. Then I saw what LD did. Like any good husband, LD snapped these pictures with his iPhone. He's so sneaky.
I hope that if you are ever in Glasgow you will stop by Whittard's and get yourself a little souvenir of Scotland. They are located on Buchannan Street right smack in the middle.



*This is NOT a sponsored post. Duh! They wouldn't even let me take these smuggled photos! But, if they would like to sponsor me I'd love to come take some proper photos and give everything a good taste test. ;)