Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Almost Christmas!

Christmas is getting close now! This year will be extra special because it's Everett's first Christmas and we're so excited. He loves to sit in front of our tree and shake the branches and play with the ribbons on the presents. We have family coming in to town to celebrate with us and we couldn't be happier.


2016 has been such an exciting year for us, full of lots of changes and adjustments and lots of laughs and more love than we thought possible. Hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Years and thanks so much for reading this past year. xo

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Lake District

A few weeks ago, Ryan had two days off, so we headed down to England to the Lake District.


It was beautiful and one of my favorite trips that we've taken since we've been in Scotland. Here are a few pictures, if you'd like to see....

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

So now we're coming up on our seventh Thanksgiving away from home! We had one in Canada, four in Italy and almost two now, in Scotland. Being away from home on Thanksgiving is the worst but it also creates hysterical stories that we'll always remember from our years abroad. My favorite was from our first year in Italy....


As a disclaimer, I will say that I was not in charge of the turkey! There are no frozen turkeys in Italy and actually, they're quite hard to find in general, at least in Cortina, where we lived. That year, the turkey ended up having to be special ordered from a local butcher. When that was going on, the pounds to kilo ratio got mixed up and a few days later, a 40 pound turkey was delivered to the door. It then had to be taken back to the butcher to be sawed in half so that it could fit in two different ovens for cooking, which took several days.

Lesson learned and in subsequent years, I would end up driving to Austria to buy frozen, normal sized turkeys. Thanksgiving is a little bit easier now that we're in Scotland, but of course, every year there are always fun stories that we'll remember for many years to come. Although, I should mention that I'm in charge of the turkey this year so hopefully no fun stories come of it.... Happy almost Thanksgiving! xo

PS - How to have Thanksgiving in Italy and Ryan's famous green bean casserole.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Expat Refrigerator

I was writing an article the other day and I mentioned that we had been living abroad for six years now. SIX! I can't believe it. There are a lot of great things about life abroad, but for me, food has always been one of the best. I love cooking (and eating) and I love trying local dishes and poking around the grocery store to see what you can find and what you can't. For fun, the other day I made a list of things that are always in our fridge or pantry now that we live in Scotland, compared to what we always had on hand in Italy, and what we usually keep at home in the US.

What We Have:
Tea. Lots of it.
Cheddar cheese. Again, lots of it. This is something we were missing in Italy and we're still overcompensating.
Curry packs. Curry is huge in the UK and you can buy all sorts of different kinds.
Tunnock's Wafers. You guys. These things are amazing. They're the perfect sweet and they've been around forever. I always see old ladies buying them in the grocery store.
The best salted butter.

What We're Missing:
Really good dill pickles. Can't find them anywhere.

What We Had:
Dried pasta (obviously) in about ten different shapes on any given day.
Stravecchio cheese. My favorite cheese, from the deli counter.
Espresso.
Half empty jars of pesto.
Fennel.

What We Missed:
Cheddar cheese, cumin and canned pumpkin.

What We Have:
Green chilies! We live in Colorado...
A variety of hot sauces. Favorites include Cholula, Sriracha and our local favorite from the Yampa Valley Sauce Company, Habacado.

What We Miss:
That Stravecchio cheese and Tunnock's wafers!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Jacobite Steam Train

My parents have been visiting for the past ten days and while they were here, we planned a little side trip...


Monday, October 10, 2016

Funny Scotland Observations

Have you seen this list of one visitor's observations on Scotland after a trip here? It made me laugh, especially numbers 10 and 14....


Also...8 Things to do in Scotland and we're currently working on a list of our favorite things to do in Fife!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Easy Salmon

This summer, my cousin gave me Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook and all the recipes are so good! We discovered her salmon recipe in the book, which is served with a sauce made from herbs and yogurt. We try not to eat a lot of salmon in the summer because when we come back to Scotland, we know we're getting the best of the best. So lately, now that we're back, we've been eating salmon about once a week and this is one of our favorite, easy recipes.


For two servings, you need two boneless salmon fillets (I buy them with the skin on because I like when the skin gets really crispy during cooking, but if you don't like salmon skin, it's not necessary). Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper and heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Depending on the thickness of the fish, cook for about 5 minutes per side. If it still looks pink in the middle after the 10 minutes, flip it again and cook a little more. I like to cut up some lemon slices and throw them in the pan as well.

For the sauce, which is loosely based on the one we found in the cookbook, combine 1/2 cup of cilantro, 1/2 cup of parsley, 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, one garlic clove and a pinch of cumin in a blender and blend until smooth.

The whole recipe only takes about 15 minutes to make, so it's perfect for a quick meal. And oddly enough, Everett loves salmon so I always make sure to save him some for lunch the next day.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How to Fly With a Newborn

Everett was four and a half weeks old when we took him on the airplane for the first time - and it was a long trip - from Scotland back to Colorado for the summer. Prior to flying, I read a lot of blog posts with advice on flying with babies: what to do with them, what to pack for them, how to pop their ears....for the most part, it was helpful but the thing about babies is that they're always changing! I'm putting together my own set of tips for flying with babies, but at different stages. First up: newborns.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stonehaven

Mondays are our days for adventuring so yesterday we headed up the coast to Stonehaven. Day trips are slightly different now that Everett is around. We try to leave right around his morning nap time (9 am) and hope that he sleeps the whole way to wherever we're going. He used to be a really good stroller sleeper and would fall asleep anywhere, but now he's way too interested in whatever is going on around him to sleep! We also try to plan our departure from wherever we are around his afternoon nap time....which means that we don't get tons of time anywhere, but it's better than a cranky baby. Here are a few pictures if you'd like to see....



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Blogging

So, after my first post in sixth months, which I posted yesterday, I want to take some time to explain my intentions behind this blog and the direction that it will go in moving forward.


After Everett was born, I wanted to take some time off blogging to spend time with my baby, soak all that in, and adjust to our new life. That time ended up being almost seven months. During those months I did a lot of thinking about blogging - as a career, as a hobby, the direction I wanted my blog to go in...

I ended up deciding to stop blogging all together. I wanted to spend more time focusing on my freelance writing and finding new opportunities. There are a lot of things that I don't like about blogging. To name a few: social media - I don't like feeling like I need to be on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat constantly, to gain new readers. It's exhausting and I honestly don't like sharing every detail of my day or life. I don't really like promoting myself (or my "brand", as they say, because - ha! - I don't have a brand). I was worried about sharing too many pictures or details about my baby on the internet, to people who I don't know, because that seems weird. And I feel like the blogging market is very saturated. It seems like everyone has a blog and it's hard not to compare your blog to others - just as it's hard to find ways to stand out in the midst of it all.

I saw two options: grow my blog - which for me meant more collaborations, better pictures with a nicer camera and snazzy photo editing, getting sponsors and advertisers, daily content, etc. - or quit blogging all together. And I wasn't sure that, as a stay at home mom with a small baby, that I would have time to grow the blog properly or in a way that was beneficial to me. Building a blog into a business takes a lot of work, whether it's finding advertisers, creating content, managing an editorial schedule, exploring collaborations....and the dreaded social media aspect too. It was exhausting for me just to think about. So after a lot of back and forth all summer, I decided to stop blogging.

But then! I was putting together some clips for a potential freelance writing project, as examples of my work. And I started looking back on the blog and all the adventures we've had and everything we've done. And I thought, "I can't stop now!" So, while we're living abroad and have this lifestyle that I love to write about and share, I decided to keep it up.

The best realization came a few days later when I remembered that I don't have to do what other bloggers are doing. I can do my own thing and make my blog what I want it to be.

Do you know the history behind Here We Go Again? It started in 2011 under the name Italian Treats (we were living in Italy then, obviously). I started it so that I didn't have to write 10 long emails a day to our families and friends back home, telling them about our new Italian lifestyle and everything we were doing. It wasn't even a public blog - it didn't come up on search engines and you had to subscribe to read it. The next year, I decided to expand a little bit and I changed the name to Here We Go Again, made it more public and steered the content away from things that only our parents would be interested in. Since then, it's gone through a few makeovers and it's grown way more than I ever meant it to. I have actual readers who I don't know and people email me a lot asking for travel tips, which I love.

So it's not going to stop. Pre-Everett, I had a relatively strict editorial calendar that I stuck to, which will not be the case anymore because....life with a baby! The content will be mostly the same: recipes, travel pictures and stories, our everyday adventures. My goal is to take it one day at a time. And to make this blog into a very long story that we can look back on in ten or twenty years and remember all the incredible things we did and experiences we had. Because for me, that's really always been the point of it.

So - thank you, thank you for reading, and....Here We Go Again!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

BACK

You guys, we are back! I can't believe it's been six months since I wrote a blog post. The time has flown by. Time to catch up!


Since we were last on here, we went home to Steamboat Springs, Colorado where we live in the summers. We had such a fun first summer with Everett. We went on hikes, took him swimming for the first time - actually there were a lot of firsts for him! - and just generally enjoyed everything Steamboat has to offer in the summer.

Last May, Ryan signed back with his team in Scotland, the Fife Flyers, for a second season. So! Now we're back in Scotland. We've been here for about a month and we're all settled in for this upcoming season and ready to get back to the blog.

More on that tomorrow. But for now, here are a few fun pictures from the summer, if you'd like to see...


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

This Season

Just like we say every year, this season has flown by! It seems like just the other day that we were out exploring our new territory, searching for the best fish and chips, hiking in the Highlands and strolling on the beach.


We loved living in a different country and having new adventures - a few of our favorites from this season: our trips to Oban, Glasgow, the Highlands, Fort Williams and Loch Ness. We loved exploring coastal Fife - it was so much fun to live by the sea after living in the mountains for the past four years in Cortina - it was a drastic change of scenery but a nice one too! And it was great to hang out in Edinburgh a bunch and become familiar with a new city.






We visited castles, tasted whiskey and tried haggis. We survived our first Scottish winter and we managed to learn some new words and phrases despite the fact that we're all speaking the same language!




Ryan's team made it to the final playoff weekend down in Nottingham, but of course the MOST exciting thing that happened this season was the birth of our son, Everett.


We can't believe he's already a month old! These past few weeks have flown by and have been the best, most fun, hardest, most rewarding weeks of our lives. We're so excited to take Ev home to Colorado to meet all of our family and friends.


Thanks to everyone who made this season in Fife so enjoyable - we had heard that the hockey fans here are incredible, and they absolutely are! We will definitely look back on this season with very fond memories.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Everett

We are so thrilled to announce that Everett Hayes Dingle was born on March 6 at 12:29 am.


We're so in love with this little guy! These past few weeks have flown by as we've gotten used to each other and adjusted to our new family. It's hard to believe that it's time to start packing up and heading back to Colorado for the spring and summer, but it is and we're heading back on April 7. In the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a look back on this season in Scotland, which has really been a great one. Thanks for all of the support this season and for the nice words on our baby boy! xo

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

In Preparation

It's baby month (hopefully!) and I'm going to be taking a few weeks off from blogging to a) prepare and b) spend every second with our newest family member once he or she arrives. We're so excited that we're talking in weeks now (or days!), rather than months, and we can't wait to meet our little one.


In the meantime, a few posts from this season in Scotland, in case you missed them:

Our favorite things to do in Edinburgh.

8 things to do in Scotland, if you're planning a trip this summer.

Our first week in Scotland! This seems like forever ago...

This was probably our favorite getaway this season.

And, this was pretty much my go-to recipe all winter.

See you back here in a few weeks, xo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Glasgow

Earlier this week we headed to Glasgow for a night which was a Christmas present from my aunt - a babymoon! Here are a few pictures, if you'd like to see...

{Image via}



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Edinburgh Favorites


We live only about 30 minutes from Edinburgh by train so we go into the city quite a bit and by now we've accumulated a list of favorites there. Here are a few if you're planning a trip:


There are a lot of castles in Scotland but Edinburgh's is by far the most extensive and best maintained. Perched above the city (you get a great view), you could easily spend a whole day sightseeing there, but our favorite stops are the prisons and the crown jewels.

Holyrood Palace, where the queen still stays when she visits Edinburgh, is a working palace that you can tour. The audio tour is about an hour long and is great - very informative without being too much information. It's located at the opposite end of the castle on Edinburgh's famous street, the Royal Mile.

And, speaking of the royal family, the Royal Yacht Britannia, is another fun tour. Permanently moored now in Edinburgh Harbour, this tour gives you a fun glimpse into royal life.


The best burger that I've had in Scotland was at 9A Holyrood - plus, located right near Arthur's Seat (see below), it makes a perfect lunch stop after a hike.

When my cousin was visiting, I met her for dinner one night at The Dogs which had the coolest ambiance and the best goat cheese and asparagus risotto.

One of my favorite areas in Edinburgh is Grassmarket which is lined with tons of traditional Scottish pubs, including The Last Drop which is super cozy and has good food in addition to good drinks.

High tea at The Dome was one of my favorite experiences this year. The tea was the best I've ever had and their sandwiches are to die for. The best time to go is at Christmas, when they're decorated to the nines.

While we're not going out for drinks these days quite like we used to, we did venture into The Devil's Advocate with friends the other week, and I have to say, I would definitely go back post-pregnancy. There's a very cool vibe there and the bartenders make all sorts of specialty cocktails in fun glasses.

And, when we crave Mexican food - which in Ryan's case is quite a lot - we head to Miros Cantina on Rose St. which is tiny and has the best Mexican food we've had, outside of Colorado.


Arthur's Seat is a great little hike in the middle of a city (rare) and if you make it to the top, you'll be awarded great views of the city, the sea and beyond.

Of course my favorite thing to do in cities is to wander and in Edinburgh, my favorite area is Grassmarket which has lots of little shops and cafes that are fun.

Although if you want a more Scottish experience, wander the Royal Mile instead. While it can be a little touristy, it's also the perfect street for finding any souvenir you're looking for - many Christmas presents this year came from the Royal Mile!

And, for the ultimate whiskey experience, visit The Scotch Whisky Experience which is on the Royal Mile, right next to the castle. You'll learn about the different regions that produce whiskey in Scotland, taste a few and visit the largest private whiskey collection in the world (!!). To be honest, we were a little skeptical at first because we had already been to several smaller distilleries and learned about whiskey making there, but this tour really summed everything up and turned out to be really interesting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shepard's Pie

Scotland is all about comfort food and one of my favorites is Shepard's Pie, which I've made approximately 50 times in the six months that we've lived here. I use a recipe that I've adapted from The Joy of Cooking and it's the perfect dinner for a dark, rainy night - with enough left over for lunch the next day.


Shepard's Pie
Serves 4-6

Traditional Shepard's Pie is made with ground lamb, however I usually use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork (technically, using ground beef turns it in to Cottage Pie). I make mine in a 9x13 inch pan (the recipe below is based on using a pan this size) but it's easily adapted to whatever size you prefer. 

Ingredients
6-8 mashing potatoes for the topping, along with a bit of butter and cream to mash with

And for the meaty part:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion 
4 stalks of celery
4 carrots
1.5 lbs ground beef, pork or lamb - or a combination
1/4 cup flour
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Make the mashed potatoes first: peel the potatoes, dice them, and boil until fork tender. Mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, clean and chop all the vegetables. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion, celery and carrot, and saute until softened, about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When it's no longer pink, add the flour to thicken the mixture. Stir in the broth and let simmer for a few minutes, also adding the spices as well as salt and pepper. Transfer this mixture to your pan and add a layer of mashed potatoes to the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

8 Things to do in Scotland

While I wouldn't recommend visiting Scotland in January, if anyone is planning a trip for the summer months, here are a few things that we would recommend seeing and doing while you're here:



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A New Year

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great one. We've been busy this holiday season and things are finally starting to fall back into a normal routine....here are a few pictures, if you'd like to see:


My parents were here for 10 days around Christmas, and we had lots of fun showing them around. We took them to the Edinburgh Christmas Market (above) and we also did a day trip to Anstruther for fish and chips and back to Edinburgh another day to see the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was really fun.


Since it was Christmas, we also spent a lot of time at the grocery store, prepping, cooking, last minute gift shopping and RELAXING! Ryan had a few games too - we gave my dad a jersey to wear and he gave Ryan a Scotland bowtie for Christmas, so the two of them were very festive looking:



Then my parents flew back to Boston a few days after Christmas and Ryan and I spent the rest of 2015 taking long afternoon naps! I'm feeling pretty good at 32 weeks now, but I'm definitely tired - a lot. We were lucky to have a beautiful New Years Day (!!) so I went for a long walk on the beach to ring in 2016 which is a year we're very excited for!


So! I'm cutting back a bit in 2016 as we prepare for the baby's arrival. I'm going to be posting once per week until the middle of February when I'm going to take some time off blogging completely to focus on our newest family member.

Happy 2016!