Lion&Sloth Zeitgeist 2014

It has been a brilliant year! Looking back, I just can’t believe how many fantastic things I got to take part in, see and do.

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Adventures!

I have gone on MANY adventures – including but not limited to: exploring Iceland, returning to California (twice!, including a trip to Catalina Island), staying at Loch Fyne with pals, Pitlochry with family, and loads of little day trips throughout the year with my handsome wingman.

We also did/saw a lot of cool stuff, including:

We had a bumper year of birthdays, weddings, and babies. Including: my 30th, S’s dad’s 60th; weddings for the Chao’s, the Taylor-Lee’s, the Wallace’s, the Cunningham’s and the Brown’s! It was a great pleasure to meet the newest wee Nisbet and the newest baby Moffat (who JUST made it in the last days of 2014)!

Make / Eat

We feasted like kings! Both homemade:

And on the town:

Top meal: has to be our dine on coins dinner at Chop & Ale house. But tied second, new Edinburgh branch of Burger meats Bun, and the lovely Old Chain Pier in Newhaven. #omnomnom

Sadness food news of 2014: our beloved Illegal Jack’s closing down. =( What will we do??! I’m heartbroken.

Animals!

It’s been a bumper animal year, with our new pet chickens arriving in July, a christmas pet visitor (Boo, the cat!), Icelandic ponies, seals at Inchcolm, wild stag sightings in Perth, and multiple trips to our ultra-local Edinburgh Zoo:

Top: We especially liked Edinburgh Zoo Nights, which we went to with S’s family. The pitchers of Pimm’s and the penguin sightings were plentiful.

Honorable mention: So many brilliant animal sightings on our CA trip – dolphins, whales, garibaldi (orange fish), herons, rattlesnakes, and a hairy caterpillar breeding ground!

Entertainment

Boardgames – Dominion again probably. Agricola a close second!
Videogames – Professor Layton (completed Azran Legacy); S big into Hearthstone amongst many, many others.
FestivalSonar in Iceland was amazing!
Book – Sinéad Morrissey’s Parallax (and everything else she’s written!!), or David Orr’s Beautiful & pointless (crit) or perhaps listening to Tina Fey’s Bossypants audiobook which was stellar.
Music review – Will post asap on my (now completed!) 30hours of karaoke, and include a ‘true’ round-up of my top songs of 2014 and life. But in the meantime, I especially enjoyed these 2014 mashups and top-tunes lists:

PBs & Level ups

#nobooze2014 at the Whisky Experience!

Definitely completing my 30-by-30 challenges has to be on there.

Sticking to my only resolution from last year – #nobooze2014 – and going the entire year without drinking at ALL! It’s probably the way forward for me. Definitely feel better physically, have more time, make better choices, and can eat my calories in cakes instead of beer!

My adult women’s basketball team won Lothian league and the local cup!

And, we bought a HOUSE! #grownups

Resolutions for 2015

I’m not really big into resolutions, but really enjoyed my 30-by-30 last year as a means of giving me some focus and fun things to look forward to. Here’s hoping this will do the same! Roll on 2015!

  1. Go to Jupiter Artland – on my doorstep but never been!
  2. Go to Steptoe’s yard
  3. Go trampolining
  4. See a murmuration (of starlings)
  5. Invest more time in writing
  6. Buy a bike & try to cycle to work
  7. Finish more (craft) projects
  8. Do more animal-related activities
  9. Eat fruit/veg from our garden (aka successfully grow something in our garden!)
  10. ‘Become Aiko Greig’ aka ‘Go full Greig’ aka ‘Go Greig or Go Home’ (ie. change my name finally on all my official documents/passports/residence card! Life admin!)

Feeling nostalgic? Zeitgeist 2013

Plus! Watch this space for epic Aiko-news forthcoming (embargoed until today!).

Dine on coins: DONE!

bank

We have this cupcake piggy bank which was given to me as a gift. We put £2 coins in it – ONLY £2 coins. It’s not a big bank. Normal cupcake size.

My goal was to wait until this piggy bank had filled up and then open it up and go out for a fancy dinner! Thus, ‘Dine on Coins’ was born!

It’s been a pretty mega year, with lots of huge expenses (read: mortgage, two trips to America), and we’ve been watching our pennies vigilantly. So I’ve really been looking forward to this tiny treat.

As August (and the end of my 30 by 30 challenge) is nearing, we thought it time to crack open the bank and check the damage.

GUESS HOW MUCH WE HAD SAVED?!

Guess!

 

You ready?

ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE POUNDS!

I was shocked.

How did all that ££ fit into the wee cupcake??!

SO what better way to dine on coins than by splurging on a restaurant we’d been dreaming about for ages:

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Champany Inn in Linlithgow!

This place regularly comes up on the ‘Best Steak Restaurants in Scotland’ lists (that I am constantly drooling over), and we’d been recommended it by family and friends. It takes weeks to get a booking for the proper restaurant though so as time was tight, we opted to go along to their equally amazing Chop and Ale House also on site (lower prices, but the same great steaks! No reservations allowed – only walk-ins). From their website:

The Chop and Ale House is an entirely separate operation from the restaurant. Housed away from the main building in what was once the Inn’s public bar, it has all the unpretentious homely atmosphere of a Lowland Bothy. With its own brigade at the grill and a friendly team of waiters and waitresses, it caters for people in need of a more simple and speedier meal.

It was AMAZING!

Processed with Moldiv

We had a short wait for a table (about 40mins wait, but they’d warned it might be an hour and a half – usual for this place! So we were pleasantly surprised to get to our table ‘early’).

I had the smoked salmon roulade for starter. Handsome S had the Champany pate and oatcakes.

We both ordered massive T-bone steaks, which were so, so tasty. A sort of smoky sweet we couldn’t quite put our finger on (which means we’ll have to come back again!). The meat fell off the bone, juicy and perfectly cooked.

I was SO stuffed after cleaning my plate, but ordered a coffee and managed to squeeze in a delicious lemon posset for pudding. (Greedy guts..)

The service was fantastic. Our waitress was so nice, and any time we needed anything else, there were a variety of other servers and staff on hand to help as well. I can’t wait to go back!

And actually, try as we might (a proper three courser for me, and even with drinks for Stuart), we didn’t manage to break £100 let alone spend our full £112 winnings, so we’ll DEFINITELY be back again soon. #Omnomnom!

Try all 30 flavors at Wings: DONE!

Done and dusted! Delicious!

Quite proud of us as it was certainly an uphill battle – what with Wings producing evermore flavors!

Retro WINGS menu!

Objective

Try 30 flavors of buffalo wings at Wings.

Easy to do, we’d thought, since we have regular Thursday Date Night, and Wings was already a date night classic.

Rules

The menu includes over 50 flavors (was just ‘over 30’ when we started – but more flavors added over the year!), PLUS the hot wing ‘challenge’, so we had plenty to choose from.

Wings are CHEAP and so tasty. You can get a bowl of 6 (sometimes more!) wings for something like £2.50.

To include the flavor in my ‘tried’ list, I need only eat ONE wing from the bowl. Thank goodness! Can you imagine the size of me if I ate 30 x 6 wings?!

 

WINGS LIST

  • Taps aff
  • French bee
  • Mardi gras (special)
  • Oh Canada

wings-sept

  • Schticky wings (special)
  • Mustafar (special)
  • Whisky pepper
  • Ya jerk!

wings-oct

  • Margarita
  • Disco-wingferno
  • Julius the hot
  • Salted butterscotch
  • Smoked emperor

wings-nov

  • New worlder *
  • Nam phrickin amazing
  • Brown sugar (special)
  • Zeebuffalo

wings-jan

  • Facon burger
  • Dave
  • Nae nonsense
  • Nacho wings
  • Oriental

wings-mar

  • Mk 211
  • Dill-icious
  • Genghis khan (special)
  • Charlic
  • Horse

wings-may

  • Chitari
  • Uft!
  • Rarebit
  • Push it real good
  • Glaze it up
  • Skywalker
  • Smoke show

wings-june

We went out with a bang on our ‘final’ trip to Wings for S’s birthday. With SO MANY of our amazing pals there, I had my pick of new flavors for that last hurdle.

My favorite flavor so far is ‘New Worlder’ (which I think has bacon bits on it! Double meat!) and now that the challenge is over, this will likely be my go-to for future Wings visits.

Special Extra

Because we’re nerds, we came up with a clutch of further wings/chicken/bird puns which we read to the Wings staff to mixed effect. For your viewing pleasure! (And likely now to be used for our future pet chickens!):

  • Wingspector cluseau
  • Dark wing duck
  • Wings world excellent
  • Winger takes all
  • Wing and a prayer
  • Tower-wing inferno
  • Once beak’en twice shy
  • Beak’ing bad
  • Highlander: the chickening
  • Wing commander
  • X-wing
  • Wing-wing situation
  • Wingston Churchill

Hundreds more…

Hope you’ll go to Wings yourself and try it out! I’m certainly looking forward to my tast’wing! (OHHHhhh… lame.)


Website: http://wingsedinburgh.com/

[Note: Totally unsponsored post! We just actually love Wings so very much…]