Thursday, 28 October 2010

an ode to St Andrews

I've had my nose stuck in a book this week, which has made me very absent! To make up for it, here's an ode to the things that make me happy about my life here in St Andrews...

Golf bag flower pots...

...stumbling upon weddings, complete with bagpipe players...

...walking down the pier by East Sands (even if you do risk being splashed by a wave)...

...sunrises over the cathedral... and cheese parties with friends...

...outfit planning for a French Society event...

...and I can't forget my books! :)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Photo du Jour

After a few very dreary days, the weather has been gorgeous! Yesterday, we took a walk out on the pier and although the wind was blowing and the waves were huge, you couldn't help but love the fact that the sun was in the sky!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Photo du Jour

Recently, I seem to have fallen into the role of "model" in my spare time. Need to hear that again? Yes. Model. You know, those girls who pose for pictures in magazines or walk down the catwalk. Models. Well, I may not be 6' tall or have the jawbones of a model, however, I have become the subject of a potential photography exposition that my friend Matthew is putting together. At my urging, Matthew, a PhD student in International Relations, is submitting photos for a local art festival being held in St Andrews. Since I am volunteering at this festival, which is meant to spotlight student artists, I told him that he should submit some photos. I have seen his work before (which is fabulous, by the way) and I knew he would be perfect for this. I didn't know that that would turn me into one of the subjects of these photos, but I am delighted and flattered to be a part of the process. This little photo session was incredible impromptu, as leggings, rain boots and frizzy hair are hardly things you seek out to be the center of a picture. This picture is not going to be used because it isn't just Matthew's words it's not perfect...but I enjoyed it anyway and felt the need to share it with you.  If you like what you see, I'll put the link to Matthew's flickr page! He's quite the talented photographer (though he'll gladly argue otherwise)! 

I walk through this arch every day on my way into town, which makes this picture even more special. 

Thursday, 21 October 2010

fall is in the air...or is it?

Fall seemed to only last for a week or two here. The leaves haven't changed much and they have all mostly fallen off the trees already. As halloween approaches, I am trying desperately to get in the fall mood! Winter weather is upon us as the days are getting shorter and shorter and the temperature is already in the 40's. I have officially been here for a month and I am settling in nicely! I'll be making my first trip outside "the bubble" this weekend to Dundee, our closest city, just for a little diversion. I now know this town like the back of my hand and I have my favorite places to shop, study and just browse. Despite all of this, I'm still finding new things every day that take me by surprise! For example, even with all of the times I have made the 20 minute walk into town each week, I have never noticed my street sign before!

I really love that streets have such cute names! My favorite is Argyle Street :)

Also, last night because I had been studying like crazy and needed a mental break, I attempted to make homemade caramel and chocolate dipped apples. They are my favorite fall treat from a small candy store at home called Hilliards. Since I won't be able to get one this fall, I tried to make them myself. I was inspired to do it because of Christine's attempt...see her blog. I, luckily, didn't burn my caramel. However, it wasn't thick enough and kind of dripped off of the apples. I must say, a little bit of a let down. Maybe I should leave caramel apples to the professionals. Regardless, the apples were finished and are now sitting in my kitchen. I generally don't eat the sweets that I make, so my roomies will have a field day! Trust me, they probably look a lot better than they taste!

my finished product!
happy fall! 

all I need now is a pumpkin spice latte from starbucks! anyone want to send me one?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

broccoli deliciousness

As the weather starts to cool down (significantly!) and the layers are being piled on, we need to warm ourselves up. At the request of my friends, I've actually typed out the recipe for the broccoli potato and cheddar soup that I made last week. It still needs work, but give it a try! I took my inspiration from this recipe but I decided to change it up a little to make it mine.
It's a delicious fall soup!

photo compliments of {here}

Broccoli Potato Cheddar Soup Recipe

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 tsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Cups Semi-Skimmed Milk
4 Cups Broccoli Florets
1 Cup Potato, Cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz. Mild Yellow or White Cheddar, shredded
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

In a small skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Sauté the onion for 5 minutes and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour, stirring continuously for 4 minutes, then add in the chicken stock and milk.  Turn down the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

While doing this, soak the potatoes in cold water for a few minutes and drain. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and drop the potatoes in. Cook for approximately 10 minutes just to soften them. 

Add the broccoli, onions, potatoes, cayenne, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder and let simmer for another 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

If you like a chunkier soup, transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and puree, and then return it to the pot.  Otherwise, use a handheld emulsion blender to blend the whole pot of soup until it is smooth and creamy. (the way I prefer it). Stir in the cheeses and nutmeg, until the cheeses are melted. 

Serve with a crusty piece of baguette and enjoy!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Photo du Jour

This weekend has been full of nights with friends and quality time with my books. Naturally, all of this studying has caused me to neglect my laundry. This morning, I literally had to drag almost all of my clothes, every towel I own, my sheets and my duvet cover down to the washing machines because they were too heavy to lift. Needless to say, I did multiple loads of laundry and emptied my wallet of its contents. Much to my chagrin, when I took my clothes out of the dryer, I found that the dryers were in fact broken and all of my clothes were still wet. Sooo....

My room is now one giant clothes rack! 

But...when I sit back at my computer and look up above me, I have my wall of travel photos to keep me sane! :)

and I could NEVER forget my Holy Cross banner!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Photo du Jour

I absolutely cannot stop thinking about fall in New England as the leaves are falling from the trees around me. It is certainly not the same here! The leaves barely even change colors before they fall off the trees! Take me back to my homeland! Regardless, it was a lovely morning yesterday as I was walking into town. The wind was blowing, the sun was rising and the leaves were falling from the trees :)

These days, it's things like this magazine that are keeping me sane! :) Thanks for yummy fall food! I made a delicious broccoli soup last night that hit the spot!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

here and there

a BIG thanks to my good friend Christine from Holy Cross who redesigned my blog!! She is amazing! Keep an eye out for all kinds of great tips on her blog {bun&borough}. It really is fun and creative!

As per usual, I have been bopping around town when I'm not holed up in the library, wandering around and enjoying the splendor of this charming town, even if I haven't seen the sun in a few days.

Luckily, one huge perk about living in St Andrews is all of the golf tournaments that we are lucky enough to witness. Unfortunately, I wasn't here for the British Open this summer. However, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was just played here the other day, meaning that many celebrities were frequenting our local pubs and hangouts. We were desperately walking around hoping to catch a glimpse of Hugh Grant or Samuel L. Jackson, both of whom were paired up with professionals in the tournament. Although the day of the final was freezing and the wind was whipping against my face, there was nothing better than sitting in the stands above the 18th hole green. Friends beside me and famous golfers in front of me. Life is good.

A few pics to make up for the lack of my photo du jour in the past few days...

The 18th hole. 


this poor chap's ball landed right on the pavement. oops!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

a little bit of nostalgia...

I've been thinking a lot about home in the past few days and I started thinking about The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. It really is one of my favorite books and the last two lines are what I love the most. The more I tell everyone here about my life elsewhere, the more I miss everyone and everything in it.  Just some food for thought...

"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

picture compliments of {here}

Photo du Jour

The days go by so quickly here that it's difficult to even put my everyday motions into words. Recently, I have mostly been reading, cooking and strolling. I'm still amazed at how beautiful it is here. Also, we had some incredibly gorgeous weather last week that added to the beauty. There were even days where I didn't need to wear a jacket! Shocking, I know!

On one of those beautiful days, I came across these brothers playing on the sidewalk...

They are know as "The Foley Boys" :) It made me smile!

I also gave in and bought a few things at Ness, Scotland's most girly store for tartan. Let's hope I don't need that hat for a while!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Photo du Jour

The past few days have been full of classes, studying and plenty of exploring.  Of course, there are always the old favorites that come back again and again....

Northpoint! :)
 ...and beauty to be found all around

Welcome to my new home!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Photo du Jour

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Although it rains here almost every day...

There are always rainbows to look forward to!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lazy, rainy Sunday reading

600 years has never looked so good

Last week, my roommates and I went to a welcoming assembly for the postgraduates here at St Andrews. As you can imagine, putting nearly 600 masters and phd students into a room together created a lot of nerdy conversations! Everyone was inquiring as to what each person was studying, pulling out random biology facts from high school in response to a conversation with a science student, or retorting with "I've been to [insert random old place here]" when speaking to a classics student. As we were all trying to find our niche among this class of students, the doors to the auditorium of Younger Hall swished open and the sound of bagpipes came echoing into the bustling auditorium. Everyone fell silent and stood up. A dashing young man, fully complete with kilt and bagpipes, led the procession of important administrators and student leaders to the stage. It was at that moment that I knew I was in the right place. All of my fears subsided and I knew that it would all be ok.

The principal of students, Louise Richardson, stood up to address us. As she walked to the podium, the name ran through my head over and over. Louise Richardson...I've heard that name somewhere before. Then, I turned to my roommate Kayla, who was beaming from ear to ear, and I realized that it was THE Louise Richardson. The woman. The myth. The legend. For those of you who don't know, she is one of the leading scholars on terrorism and counter-terrorism in the world. For lack of a better word, she's kind of a big deal. A really big deal, in fact. She spoke eloquently and poignantly, reminding us that we are the future and that it's our job to start shaping it. She also began by pointing out that we are a special group of people because we are the 600th class of students to enter this institution. 600 years ago this fall, students gathered to begin studying at this amazing institution and we are following in their footsteps. 600 years ago, when painters like Brunelleschi and and Da Vinci were refining their skills and many of the great cathedrals of Europe were being built, students arrived from various parts of Europe to open their minds to the joy of learning. After hearing her speech, everything was put into perspective. It truly is incredible to be part of such a historic institution of high academic achievement. I didn't realize I would become attached to this place so quickly, especially as homecoming weekend at Holy Cross is drawing to an end and I am 3000 miles away from Fitton Field. However, as the bagpiper led the procession of highly accomplished administrators and academics out of Younger Hall and we got up to leave, I looked around to my friends sitting beside me, stepped out into the rain and smiled.