where to sip: Leo’s @ Dovecot Gallery

coffee, lifestyle, travel


Enter: my love for delicious coffee and aesthetically pleasing spaces. This post is part of an on-going series about where to sip in Edinburgh.

We have been going to Leo’s for a long time now. Loyal to the Frederick Street location, we have branched out to their other location at Dovecot Gallery.


Dovecot is a hub for contemporary art, craft and design. They host workspaces, display exhibitions and sell beautiful made-in-Britain crafts, visual art and knits.

Five minutes in this space and my creative juices are flowing and I instantly want to get crafting something or find myself day-dreaming of a DIY project. Hand-woven wall hanging anyone? Here is a beauty.

The space is bright and eclectic.




I love all of the contemporary materials used to decorate the space. Bright spools of thick Scottish thread and wall hangings by local artists. The space feels collaborative- like it brings people together. Leo’s does it right with the space and by serving up the best artisan coffee, sandwiches, salads + cakes.

We LOVE this café because it is…

  • Bright + welcoming
  • Artsy + sleek
  • Friendly staff
  • Delicious coffee
  • Locals love it but not overly crowded
Photo May 06, 08 35 47

Popular menu picks:

  • Speciality coffee, [Hands On and other guest roasters]
  • Perfectly baked homemade pastries + cake, with an excellent gluten free range. Try the award winning GF brownie!
  • Selection of fine loose-leaf teas
  • Sandwich selection [Bagels from The Bearded Baker, Edinburgh] The avocado-pesto-cream cheese GF bagel is outta this world.

The space is airy and clean. I like to sit with a book and then par-ooze the Dovecot Gallery shop and exhibits. There is no wifi at this location, which I can appreciate. So take a book, take a person and take the opportunity to enjoy some non-screen time.

Location: City Centre, off of Nicholson Street near Old College. Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary St, Edinburgh

Hours: Mon-Fri [9-5pm] Saturday [10-5pm] Closed Sundays

Websites: dovecotstudios.com and leosbeanery.co.uk 

If you are staying in or visiting Edinburgh be sure to have a late morning or afternoon with Leo’s @ Dovecot. You will be glad that you did.

Have a great weekend!


where to sip: Leo’s Beanery

coffee, lifestyle, where to sip

I do not miss job hunting. It took me 3+ months to find work when we moved to Scotland.

It was a discouraging season. We had all the excitement and anticipation of moving but we were blowing through our savings at a rapid rate. My primary job was to look for a job. We decided to combat our discouragement with a little remedy. A nice latte on Friday mornings was our cure for the week.

This was our ritual. For three months. Leo’s Beanery on Friday mornings. Leo’s was our safe place. It was and still is the place that we leave our worries at the door and focus on the good things.

Perhaps you too, have a coffee shop that is more than a coffee shop.






We LOVE this shop because it is:

  • Cozy
  • Woody + warm
  • Friendly staff
  • Antiquey
  • “Hygge”

I now work on Friday mornings but Leo’s will always be at the top of our day-off list. We cannot get enough of their coffee, GF bagel sandwiches and home-baking. Being in Leo’s cozy basement shop is like the feeling you get while enjoying a relaxing chat and cuppa in someone’s home.

Popular menu picks:

  • Lattes (go vegan with the oat milk, so delicious!)
  • Wide range of loose leaf teas
  • Homemade granola (my mother-in-law was obsessed)
  • Award-winning GF brownies
  • Homemade fruit + savoury scones
  • GF Bagel sandwiches (from the Bearded Baker)
  • Local Scottish produce

Their location on Howe street is wonderfully warm. There are black and white family photos on the walls and glass jars adorning their pantry shelves.  It is hygee, a Danish way of life,  the perfect retreat from the winter blues and the hustle and bustle.






Locations: The first location is a charming, basement level shop in New Town located at23A Howe St, Edinburgh EH3 6TF.

They have two more locations (posts to follow). A quaint shop with a beautiful rustic/Restoration Hardwood feel at Leo + Teds in Tollcross and the airy and artsy location, Leo’s at Dovecot Studios in Old Town.

Hours: Monday – Friday [8am – 5pm] Saturday  [9-5] + Sunday [10 -6]

If you are staying in or visiting Edinburgh, visit this welcoming family-run cafe. You will not regret it.

Have a great weekend and happy sipping!


month in review

devotionals, lifestyle

Autumn is crisp evenings, a mantle with lit candles, dressing in layers and, best of all, comfort food.

After the trips and activities of summer, I crave the serenity and quiet of fall. We are going into this season incredibly grateful for the friends and family that visited us this summer. Our sweet parents all made the journey to Edinburgh and being able to share our second home with them was more than sweet. There was something so special about taking them to our favourite benches, walking in gardens, tucking into museums and drinking coffee at our kitchen table. A blog post on their trips is to come, but we go into the next months with super full + warm hearts from their visits.


As the days turn cooler and darker we tend to indulge in lots of reading, catching up with Netflix (on all seven of the shows we have going on…) and entertaining friends with homemade dinners. A simple after-dinner walk along the Water of Leith and smelling that campfirey smell of fall (you know the smell, right?) is delightful.

Latley, I am noticing the vivid changes that occur this time of year. The leaves change color, the sky is darker, the wind a bit chillier. Autumn is a good time to reflect on what was and what will be. This time of year encourages us to sit back and remind ourselves of the simple pleasures in life and to prepare for what is ahead.




There is beauty in passing from the green and fruitful days of summer into the shadowy hues fall. All things change, somehow. There are lessons to be learned from our times of activity but I have found that I can only find what God is attempting to show us by taking a step back and being still.


Our lives can be a reflection of the season both secular and sacred. We experience many autumns, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I slide my feet through crunching leaves, small piles of them on my walk to work and take a break from my headphones to listen to the sound. The trees shed their leaves, but only for a time. They rest and wait with hope for what is ahead, preparing for a deeper time of hibernation – winter.  Our lives are like this too and we can take advantage of the season of hibernation as one of contemplation.


God allows the spiritual seasons of our lives to coincide with the physical seasons. And in that I find great comfort. Autumn brings wisdom, reflection and time to repair and plan. The hope of new chances and life renewed. A time of rest. To plan (or not plan) and letting go of what was. I am encouraged by the words in Ecclesiastes 3:1, ‘To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.’



What is your life yielding this autumn? Can you recognise what you have planted and what you have reaped? We need this period of fall – of gathering + remembering – to see where we are and where we are going and to be reminded that God is in all seasons.


We pray that you are enjoying your start to the season and find time to enjoy the simple things.

With love,


P.S. Canned pumpkin is very hard to find here + I am eager to use it in every recipe from now until Christmas. If you feel inclined, book a trip to come see us and bring some with you, #jokingnotjoking.






where to sip: Cairngorm Coffee Co

coffee, food & drink, lifestyle, travel


I still remember the first time I walked into a coffee shop as a complete newbie. I remember feeling totally dumbfounded as to what to order.

I was a senior in high-school, coffee seemed intimidating, so I ordered hot chocolate and tucked myself into a leathery corner with my latest copy of Seventeen magazine. I continued to order hot-chocolate until my college roommate introduced me to coffeeeeeeeee.

Enter: my love for delicious coffee and aesthetically pleasing spaces: a new series about where to sip in Edinburgh.



Cairngorm is the least pretentious coffee shop around and you will not feel like 17-year old me. The concept at Cairngorm is simple.

We LOVE this shop because it is:

  • Bright + Airy
  • Scandi-decor
  • Friendly
  • Fun menu
  • Bold in flavour
  • You can count on a fab playlist
  • Seriously delicious

We cannot get enough of their coffee, treats, perfect work spaces and natural light. This shop has everything to love, including avocado toast and their famous grilled cheese sandwiches.


Popular menu picks:

  • Guest filter coffee
  • Craft espresso
  • V60
  • Iced brew
  • Homemade granola
  • Grilled Cheese – [I.J. Mellis cheese + chilli jam]
  • Avocado Toast

The space is versatile. It can be a place for boss-lady business or a coffee date with someone dear. The set up makes for a productive environment to spread out that morning paper or linger with a novel. It is our special weekend retreat and really any moment we are not at work.








Locations: The first location is a cosy, basement level shop in New Town located at 41A Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 1EP. The second shop is in Edinburgh’s West End at 1 Melville Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7PR.

Hours: Monday – Friday [8am – 6pm] Saturday + Sunday [9am -6pm]

If you are staying in or visiting Edinburgh, visit this gem. You won’t regret it.

Have a great weekend!



Month in Review

devotionals, lifestyle, travel

January – the first month of the year but the second month of winter.

Three words that come to mind; cold, windy and damp. Maybe you are thinking that it’s Scotland and I shouldn’t be surprised, however, locals say that this is one of the worst winters in recent memory. So alas, I’m not too pathetic.

Keeping the new year mentality and momentum leading into February is hard when the entire month of January can feel like a perpetual Monday.

Like most of us, I start the year feeling new– a clean slate, my to-do list in order and the momentum is in full throttle. Then, by the end of the month, the January blues are trying to set up camp and I start googling symptoms of seasonal affective disorder on my lunch breaks. The long winter days are marked by harsh winds, dark walks to and from work and an umbrella that has taken a beating.

However, I am trying my very best to hold onto the momentum and reminding myself of why January can be a great month. After the bouts of excess and hustle in December we are finally feeling settled and rooted back into the grooves of Edinburgh. I have more time at the flat, reading books (an even better experience with my new glasses! yay for being able to see!), catching-up on projects I haven’t yet done, focusing on eating healthily and my at-home yoga practice.

This year, 2016, we have so much to look forward to. Friends and family are always keeping us updated on their trip planning and we are beyond excited to finally be able to share this dear city with visitors we love.

We will start next month with a quick trip to Bruges, Belgium to celebrate Ryan’s recent publications, and we are nearly finished planning an epic road trip to the Highlands + Isle of Skye with our best friends from Colorado in March. We are daydreaming of German food in Tübingen and European travels with my grandma this summer. Summer will ask us to be tour guides as our beloved parents come round this July + September, and we’ll be sure to catch a Fringe Festival show sometime in August. Still trying to decide on where to celebrate my birthday (30th!) hopefully somewhere warm and lovely at the end of the year, but we have time and all I know is that I am grateful for what is happening now and for exciting things ahead!

Right now, I’m taking the time to hibernate, refocus, plan exciting adventures and, keep the momentum going. I’m not pretending this virtuousness will last the whole year, but I am praying that it will last for what has turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable start. Lord, may I be reflective and intentional this year and pray for the patience and compassion to do so. Friends, I hope this finds you well, that you be compassionate toward yourself and reminded of what has made your January great, keeping those blues behind you.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

-Fanny Crosby, 1873




I can see! I highly recommend Glasses Direct for your next pair. They send you as many frames as you want to try on at home so you can test drive the frames with all those hats, hair, outfits, make-up. Yep, awesome!



This month we had the thrill of waking up to small dustings of snow, blue sky and a beautiful, wintery crispness outside.


Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh


Scott Monument, Princes Street Gardens


Artisan Roast, where the hippest of hipsters sip on some joe. This stop is definitely high on the ‘where to sip’ list in Edinburgh and if you go on a Sunday you can stroll the Stockbridge Market beforehand. IMG_3010

This year, I am reading through the Psalms + Proverbs in the One Year Bible as part of my efforts to be in scripture daily. I am really enjoying this and the thoughtful devotionals over at SheReadsTruth.


I started Kilts+Kale one year ago! I am really enjoying it as a creative outlet and place to keep my thoughts and recipes. For those of you that have cheered me on along the way, I really appreciate your kind words and encouragement.


Grassmarket, City Centre


After a hike up Arthur’s Seat, I finally visited the oldest ‘skittle alley’ and pub in Edinburgh, The Sheep Heid Inn 


Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile


where to wander: portobello beach

travel, where to wander

Summer is over but the beach is always open. The beauty of Portobello Beach is that it is just a few miles from Edinburgh city centre and makes a good weekend wander year round. This charming seaside suburb, has two miles of beach making it perfect for a picnic lunch or Sunday stroll. We like to access it through the amazing cycle network as there is a path directly to Portobello Beach from the Water of Leith, but it is also walkable and you can catch a bus from city centre.

Good weather draws large crowds and the promenade hosts a number of popular events-  including volleyball competitions, triathlon events and the community-run rowing club.  I recommend bringing some coins and hitting up the huge arcade along the promenade – you know, like adults do.


If you are looking for a place to sip or snack, there are several bars and cafés on the promenade, with further options on Portobello’s bustling high street, including quality independent restaurants and charity shops. There is a market in Brighton Park on the first Saturday of every month, selling fresh local produce. You can also find this adorable green truck offering a delicious organic and local range of goodies.



For lunch, The Beach House is a winner for it’s great views of the boardwalk and Firth of Forth. This spot is welcoming and has loads of coastal charm. Chunky wooden furniture,  pale blue walls, driftwood accessories and bright wildflowers deck the tabletops.  They also have an excellent selection of gluten-free and vegetarian sandwiches, wraps and cakes. This ultimate 4-layer falafel, spinach + avocado toastie hit. the. spot.


Planning a weekend wander? You’ve earned it. Portobello is a unique, quaint and quick city escape and we all know that Edinburgh’s seaside should be an essential part of your visit or life in Scotland’s capital city!

Happy weekending!

Where To Eat: Tupiniquim Brazilian Crepes

food & drink, travel


We crave Tupiniquim, always. If it were closer to our flat, we might act on our cravings Every. Single. Day. As a matter of fact, I am craving it right this moment. Hence, an entire blog post dedicated to it.

Tupiniquim is a gluten-free ‘Brazil-in-a-box’ and gloriously delicious. They offer a sweet and savoury range of crepes, fresh pressed juices and a Brazilian stew, Feijoada, that I have yet try, but people go crazy for it!


The texture of their gluten-free crepes are perfect-  they are light, a bit crispy on the outside and warm with a little fluff on the inside. The savoury peri-peri is a crowd favourite- chicken, spinach, goat cheese, butternut squash, avocado with a homemade peri-peri curry sauce and without the chicken it makes a great vegetarian option. Or, if you are craving something sweet, try the banana, agave and pecan crepe dusted with cinnamon.


It is one of the best foodie deals in town. Only £5 for an easily sharable (or not sharable…) meal. Here are some tips for the first timer:

1) Expect to wait at least 10 minutes (or even up to 25 minutes if it gets really busy during the lunch rush) for your order. It will be well worth the wait!

2) For spicy food lovers there is an option to make your crepe mild or super spicy – just mention it when you are ordering.

3) Everything here ranges from £4-6 and opening times are from 10am – 6pm, Monday – Saturday.

4) Dine al fresco in their seating area, or take a stroll through the Meadows Park if you can make your crepe last longer than 5 minutes.

This is the first post in a series that highlights some of our favourite places to eat, sip and visit in Edinburgh and abroad. I would love to hear some of your top stops. Happy eating, y’all!