Where to Stay in Scotland

I stayed in a total of four different places while visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh on my trip to Scotland in 2018 and truly enjoyed my stay at each one. Here are my recommendations:

The grounds at Mar Hall and the view of the River Clyde
  • Mar Hall in Glasgow- Mar Hall was the venue that my friend’s wedding reception was held. Her parents graciously rented out a lodge on the property and invited all the bridesmaids to stay with bride the night before the wedding. We had so much fun! I loved staying in such a nice place. It is about a 5 minute drive from the Glasgow airport and about a 10 minute drive into the city centre. I would definitely recommend staying at Mar Hall if you can swing it.
  • Angelo’s place Airbnb in Glasgow- This Airbnb was no Mar Hall but it was a great place to stay. It was highly rated and reviewed on Airbnb. We booked it for three nights. It had everything we needed and was just what we were looking for to spend a few nights in the city. The location was great, as it was only about a five minute taxi or bus ride into the city centre. The host was extremely helpful and even offered to give us recommendations regarding restaurants around Glasgow.
  • Northbridge Lofts in Edinburgh- This apartment was absolutely beautiful! It was more on the expensive side but again, gorgeous. After we arrived at the Edinburgh train station, we walked around for quite some time before finding it (though it’s only down the street from the station, we were trying to enter from the wrong side) but once we found it we never wanted to leave. The interior design is incredible. And the bathroom was amazing. The apartment is right in the heart of Edinburgh in the Old Town area. We found it to be within walking distance of everything we wanted to do. We didn’t have to use any kind of transportation for getting around Edinburgh, as this apartment was in such a great location.
  • Courtyard by Mariott in Glasgow- We stayed at this hotel on our last night because we had to be at the airport bright and early (read: dark and rainy) the next morning. It was a really nice hotel for a decent price. There is also a cool bar/restaurant downstairs!

I can’t wait to visit this beautiful country again and find new amazing places to stay.

If you’re looking for recommendations on where to eat or what to do in Scotland, I’ve got you covered! See my Where to Eat in Glasgow, Scotland post or Where to Eat in Edinburgh, Scotland post for restaurant recommendations. Or see my What to do in Glasgow, Scotland post and What to do in Edinburgh, Scotland post for ideas on how to spend your time. 🙂

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Brownie Cookie Recipe

I have been all about the baking lately. I made peanut butter cookies recently but was craving something with a little more chocolate. Enter: brownie cookies. These just might be the best thing I’ve ever baked (!!!). I started out wanting to make brownies, but didn’t have the best pan to bake them in. I decided to use the batter to make cookies instead, and man, they turned out to be good. If you are a fan of chocolate and peanut butter, I would definitely recommend trying this recipe out!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Oat flour (I’m sure you could substitute any other flour if you don’t have oats on hand)
  • Cocoa powder
  • Baking powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Peanut butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Water

Here is how to make them:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a baking sheet (I just used an olive oil spray).
  2. In a bowl* combine the dry ingredients. Use 1 ½ cups of oat flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 cup brown sugar, and a little bit of salt (I didn’t measure out the salt instead just doing a couple shakes!).
  3. Next, combine the wet ingredients, Use 1 cup peanut butter, ¼ cup coconut oil, and ½ cup water.
  4. Drop dough into cookie-sized amounts on a sheet (I used a large spoon for this step). This recipe will make about 18 cookies (depending upon the size of your cookies).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

*I actually used a blender instead of a bowl to mix all of the ingredients throughout the duration of the recipe. I was thinking it would be easier since I needed to blend my oats for the oat flour first but after doing so I realized just mixing everything in a bowl would have been just fine! Either method will do, just trying to save y’all a step if you already have your flour ready! 🙂

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Amazon Tech Recommendations

I have found that Amazon tends to be the best place to find tech/electronic accessories. While there are many great options in stores, Amazon seems to offer cheaper (but still high quality!) products.

Here are my top picks when it comes to online tech accessory shopping on Amazon:

  • Laptop Case

I ordered this marble laptop case for my 13 inch Macbook Pro. I’m sure this would be available in a bigger size as well. I love white and gray marble, so when I came across this case I fell in love. The case is also available in a few other design options (pink, gold, and floral) if marble isn’t your thing. I ordered it in 2016 and it has held up fairly well.  The only evidence that it isn’t brand new is a small crack and some wear and tear on the bottom.

  • Keyboard Cover

I first ordered this clear laptop keyboard cover back in 2012. It was extremely affordable and lasted about 6 years before beginning to rip. I ordered this similar cover in 2018 as a replacement and it has lasted well so far. While I have a 13 inch Macbook Pro, the description says that this would work for 15 inch or 17 inch as well. I would highly recommend some kind of keyboard cover to protect your keyboard, especially for those of us who like to snack while on the computer. 🙂

  • Laptop Sleeve

Another top pick is this gray laptop sleeve that I ordered in a few years ago. It has held up well and has been my favorite laptop sleeve I’ve ever used. I have a 13 inch Macbook Pro (circa 2012), but the description says that it is also compatible with a 13 inch Macbook Air, as well as a few other laptops that are not Apple products. I liked this so much that I ended up buying this version of the sleeve for my boyfriend this past Christmas. He can fit his (much newer) 13 inch Macbook Pro and charger in the case with no problem.

These are not affiliate links (a girl can dream though, right?); I’m simply recommending my favorite tech items from Amazon. 🙂

What tech/electronic products from Amazon would you recommend?

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Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

While I don’t hate cooking, I don’t love it. (For me, it doesn’t get much fancier than making kale chips or roasting brussels sprouts). There’s something about baking though. I’m not the best, but I really do like it.

Below is a new recipe I recently tried out for Peanut Butter cookies.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk (I’m sure any other milk/milk substitute would work!)
  • Brown sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sea salt
  • Oat flour (I’m sure this could be replaced with a whole wheat flour, gluten-free flour, or just plain ol’ regular flour- I just used oats because that’s what I had on hand!)
  1. Place 2 tbsp coconut oil and ¼ cup coconut milk in a saucepan. Warm but be sure not to bring to a boil.
  2. Pour coconut oil and milk mixture into a bowl.
  3. Add ¾ cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, and 2 tsp vanilla. Combine.
  4. Add ¼ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp sea salt, and 1 ¼ cup flour. Combine.
  5. Place bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  6. While waiting on your dough in the fridge, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Drop dough into cookie-size amounts on a sheet. (I used an ice cream scooper!). Push a fork into the top of each cookie for to create the lines (totally optional though)!
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
  9. Enjoy! 🙂

Have you ever made peanut butter cookies? What is your favorite cookie recipe?

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Travel Packing List

There is nothing I love more than planning and organization. Creating a packing list to have on hand to go back to time and time again was a no-brainer. I have two major trips planned later this year and I know I will 100% be putting this list to good use.

Now of course what you bring on a trip will differ depending upon the length of the trip, as well as if you are flying or driving. I like to use this list as a basic outline to follow that I can adjust as needed. I first think about what kind of luggage I will need. Will a duffle bag cut it? Can I get by with a carry-on size case or will I need to break out the big one? I then think about what items I will be bringing inside. I like to break it down into several main categories: clothing, shoes, toiletries, accessories, and miscellaneous. 

  • Clothing- When it comes to the clothes I pack I make sure to think about what I’ll actually be doing while I’m away. Do I need more formal dinner outfits? Will I need to be active for most of the trip? Will most of my time be in a bikini on the beach? Here is a general list I follow.
    • Daytime clothing
    • Nighttime clothing
    • Pajamas/lounge wear
    • Underwear/bras
    • Socks
    • Active wear
    • Swimwear
    • Rain jacket/coat
  • Shoes- Again, I like to think about what I’ll be doing as well as what the weather will look like. Will there be a lot of walking involved? Or mostly lounging? While I wouldn’t bring every kind of shoe listed below, I like to consult this list to ensure I’m thinking of the right footwear needed for the kind of trip I’m taking.
    • Sandals/flip flops
    • Tennis shoes
    • Sneakers (to walk in, can be dressed up or down)
    • Wedges/block heels
    • Boots
  • Tolietries
    • Comb/brush
    • Hairspray/heat protectant spray
    • Makeup/makeup brushes
    • Skincare
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Sunscreen
    • Chap stick
    • Curling iron/straightener
    • Razor/shaving cream
    • Perfume
    • Body lotion
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Body wash/soap
  • Accessories
    • Sunglasses
    • Beach bag
    • Jewelry
    • Fit bit/Apple watch
    • Umbrella/poncho
  • Miscellaneous
    • Chargers
    • Medications
    • Books (or a device to use for audio books if you are choosing to be more eco-friendly or travel lighter)
    • Hangers (a game changer if you have something you want to keep wrinkle free when you arrive to your destination!) 
    • Towel
    • Neck pillow
    • Re-usable water bottle

My biggest packing tip is to invest in some packing cubes. I picked mine up at Target but you can find tons of great options on Amazon as well. It makes it so much easier to stay organized while on your trip as well as when you are packing to head back home. They truly are the game changer that everyone says they are!

Do you follow a packing list? What is your biggest packing tip?

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