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Sunday Psalms {3.12.17}

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  • March 12, 2017

There’s something so special to me about the book of Psalms. It portrays all the real struggles of human life: guilt, shame, fear, doubt, anxiety. And it also encourages us to praise and worship through all those circumstances. I feel like no matter what I’m experiencing, I can always find the encouragement I need by going to Psalms. 

So for the foreseeable future, I’ll plan to post the scripture from Psalms that is speaking to my heart each week. I hope you’ll find them as comforting as I do!

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Uncategorized

Radio Silence

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  • March 10, 2017

That awkward moment when you haven’t posted to your blog in over a year….

Yeah, that’s what this is.

I could give you some long drawn out explanation of why I’ve been gone for so long, but basically the summary is this: kids, life, and hackers.

But I feel like I’m finally coming back to a place (read: no longer procrastinating) where I want to write and share again. So hopefully you guys will forgive me for just skipping out on you like Randall’s dad did on that fire station doorstep. (Anyone else totally This Is Us obsessed?! I mourned the loss of Parenthood for several months and it’s totally filling that space in my heart.)

This blogs’ main focus has always been DIY and the projects we’re doing around the house, and occasionally I sprinkled in other bits of our life. But I’ll warn you now, you can expect those sprinkles to become a bit more frequent (yay for more sprinkles!!). I’ll still post DIY & home stuff because I still love it, but my interests are a lot more varied now so you can expect to get a bit of a mixed bag around here! I’m not going to promise that I’ll stick to any kind of a posting schedule, because I’m no glutton for punishment, but I CAN promise you that it won’t be another year before you hear from me again. Maybe 5 or 6 months, but DEFINITELY not a whole year 😉

And because it would be wrong to have a post without a picture…

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Home Decor/ Interior Design Shopping/Thrifting/Fab Finds Uncategorized

Etsy Crush: United Thread

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  • April 24, 2015

Whoops. I accidentally went almost an entire month without a blog post. My bad. It’s kind of crazy how easily that can happen when life really gets going. Since Roarke’s 2nd birthday (I probably won’t blog about it, but I over-shared a ton of photos on IG so go follow me there: @lemondroplife), we’ve had Easter, my brother’s wedding (which I will share photos of on the blog because it was gorgeous!), and both kiddos getting the stomach flu. Yippee!

I’m going to start doing a new thing on Fridays. Maybe not every Friday, but at least every other Friday. I’m going to share some of my favorite Etsy shops with you!

Today’s shop is one of my favorites – United Thread. I have to wipe the drool off my keyboard while browsing these prints. How fun is this honeybee one? I love this for a kitchen.

bees_unitedthread

This alligator print is one of my favorites. As soon as I can figure out the perfect spot for it in my house, this bad boy will be mine.

alligatorandclematis_unitedthreadScoring one of her original pieces (like the one below) would be pricey, but a total dream.

tigersandthistle_unitedthread

This fiddle lead fig print is a great option for those hopping on board with the botanical prints trend. And this might be the only fiddle leaf fig I could hope to keep alive.

fiddleleaffig_unitedthread

Happy weekend, all!

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Baby/Kids DIY Parties/Events Uncategorized

DIY Mickey Mouse Party Invites

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  • March 20, 2015
Hello, lovelies! I hope you’re all enjoying some spring-like weather today! It’s gloomy here today, but I’m crossing my fingers that we’ve seen the last of the snow for this winter!

My baby boy is turning 2 on Sunday (how did that happen?!?), so I’ve been deep in the midst of party planning. If you follow me on Instagram (@lemondroplife) you know that we’re doing a Mickey Mouse party, as my guy is obsessed with that little mouse. He can sing the Hot Dog song with scarily accurate pitch. I’ll be sure to share all the party details with you guys next week, but for now I thought I’d show you the adorable invites I made.

DIY Mickey Mouse Party Invites | Lemon Drop Life

Forgive the iPhone photo, but I realized after I started this post that I forgot to take any pictures with my good camera before I mailed all the invites out. Whoops.

These were pretty straightforward – cut the Mickey Mouse head shape out on black card stock, cut a half circle from red card stock, glue together and add a couple buttons! But remember: don’t glue the top of your half-circle down, so that you can slip your invite inside!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and get to enjoy some sunshine!

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Home Decor/ Interior Design Travel Uncategorized

Adding The YOU To A Room

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  • March 12, 2015
Confession: sometimes I struggle with completing a room. I can hit all the major points: color scheme, furniture placement, rug, curtains, pillows…I can do that all day long. But then there are those items that really make the room feel ‘done.’ And more often than not, those items are the things that add YOU to the room. They tell your story and give a little insight to who you are.

One way I’ve found to add those touches to our home is through items picked up from our travels. And I’m not talking about shot glasses or key chains. I’m talking about meaningful souvenirs that you can display proudly and that bring to mind happy memories. I’ll show you a few examples from around our home.

On the shelves in our living room, live the little nesting egg dolls we picked up while in Russia. They complement the color scheme well and they add a whimsical touch to the vignette.

Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Recently I switched out a print in our stairway gallery wall for the one I picked up while we were in Scotland. I love walking by and seeing a reminder of our fun trip.

Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Also on our gallery wall is a fun little art piece I made using some leftover currencies from a few of our different trips (Costa Rica, Russia, Poland).
Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life

Hubby’s most recent trip was to Peru and he brought back an AMAZING tapestry (I’m not exactly sure what to call it) made completely of alpaca fur for Everly. He wasn’t exactly sure of its’ intended purpose – he said “maybe it can be a nice blanket for her to lay on”, but I turned it into a wall hanging and now it lives in Everly’s nursery. It filled a blank space I’d been struggling with perfectly, and I hope it’s something she’ll cherish forever.

Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life
Adding The YOU To A Room | Lemon Drop Life

And, just keep in mind, you don’t have to travel to exotic locations to pick up meaningful travel mementos. Collect cool looking rocks on your next walk with the kids or buy a fun print from a local artist. Important moments happen all the time and I guarantee you’ll love having the reminders in your home!

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DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock

Happy Friday, Lemon-droppers! I’m sharing a DIY tutorial with you today that you guys are going to LOVE. Seriously. It’s gorgeous. 

My lovely friend, Cassie, shared this photo on Facebook the other day and I immediately texted her and told her I was featuring it on my blog – that’s right, I didn’t even give her a choice. The project is THAT good. {Cassie is blogless, in case you’re wondering – I wouldn’t normally insist that another blogger give me her tutorial to share :)} So she kindly sent me all of her in-process pictures and a rundown on how she did things for me to share with you all today. How lucky are you that I have such crazy talented friends?! Very lucky, indeed. So, take it away Cassie!

I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV’s Fixer Upper (I’m so in love with that show and the country, rustic décor), and I happened to see on multiple episodes the use of a large antique-looking wall clocks with roman numeral numbers. I fell in love. I tried to find them online and you’re talking $$$$. WOW – super expensive. So, since I had a bunch of pallets from our salt supplies {Sidenote: her husband runs a landscaping business and they do snow removal in the winter. Hence, salt supplies.}, I went to town on Pinterest and happened to find a tutorial. I ended up just using the picture for inspiration and making it my own way, though.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

I found a video on Youtube that showed me how to take a pallet apart. I grabbed our jigsaw and got to work.

1Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop LifeThe blade in the picture is not the blade we used.

We didn’t have as large of a blade as the man in the video (ours was only 5” I think), which made it a little more difficult, especially for getting the middle nails out. For some pieces, I used a crow bar to pry the boards off, but when my small muscles still weren’t getting the job done, I resorted to chopping up the vertical piece in the middle into small sections and then I was able to get the angle I needed to saw through the nails. I went to town and now have a nice little stock pile for future projects 🙂

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

I measured out a 40”x40” square with the wood, however, since pallet wood isn’t perfect it was something like 38”x41” – either way, it was 11 boards. Then, I sanded them all down. Since pallet wood isn’t the best you can’t be too picky, but I ran my fingers over the boards and when I didn’t get a splinter or get pricked, I deemed them satisfactory.

I put my boards in a line in the arrangement I wanted and then took two pallet boards and attached them horizontally across the back of my 11 boards and glued them in place. The plan was to use liquid nails and wood glue AND nails, but the glue held so strongly, I decided not to add more nails.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop LifeThis is after it was cut, obviously.

As you can see, my skills at getting things straight is 0%, but this clock is staying in my home so I didn’t care. Be sure to leave enough room between the two boards to put your clock kit in.

To trace the circle, I used a yardstick and measure 19” from the center to the outside edge. I did that all around the circumference and the connected the dots. Initially, I tried tying a pen to a piece of string that was nailed to the center, but the pen kept getting stuck on the boards and it wasn’t making an even circle. It took a while doing it my way, but it gave me a totally uniform circle!

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

He used a different jigsaw than the one we used to take apart the pallet.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

While he was busy doing that, I went to Amazon and looked for the clock hands. Originally I wanted 14” hands, but I couldn’t find any that came with the battery kit. So, I searched for 12” and found some! They were $26, which isn’t cheap but everything else I used for this project was free to me.

Once the clock was cut, I drew my inner circle using the same method described above. My inner circle was a radius of 9.5”. This left plenty of room for the roman numerals around the edge. Then I stained the whole clock using Minwax Special Walnut stain. I didn’t stain the back because, well, who’s going to see it?!

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

My cheap ways and laziness led me to use primer I had on hand to paint the outside circle. After I started using it, I realized it was a gray primer and not the white I was looking for, but I went with it.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

The next step was to figure out the numbering. I tried countless fonts and sizes and printed them out and laid them out on the clock. Everything failed. The numbers were too fat, so numbers 8-12 all ran together. Then I had the bright idea to stretch the numbers out. I knew I wanted size 500 font because it was the right height and I liked Big Caslon font. So, in Microsoft Word I typed out ‘I’, ‘V’, and ‘X’, at 500 in Big Caslon. I saved it as a PDF then opened the PDF and exported it to a JPEG. Then I copied it back onto Microsoft Word next to the I, V, and X I already had in the height I wanted and then made the letters in the JPEG skinnier, if that makes sense. I printed out 17 I’s, 5 V’s, and 4 X’s so  I could position them all on the clock at once to make sure they  fit. Yes, it was a lot of paper and no, I didn’t tell my husband how much 😉

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

After laying them all out, I realized I needed to outline the area the numbers would be in so that I could position them all within the same area. So I drew another circle, slightly larger than the inner circle (with a 10.5” radius). And then did two more circle with a 16” and 17” radius. Hopefully the picture below helps you understand all that.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Then I colored the back of the all the printouts with chalk, taped the numbers in place, and traced over each roman numeral. This left me with a chalk outline that I then traced with pencil.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Originally, I had planned to use black chalk paint I already had to paint the numbers, but I wasn’t loving the idea of that against the gray. I went to Jo-Ann fabrics and perused the acrylic paints – I wanted a deep blue, but not quite a navy. More blue-green. I ended up going with a Folkart matte acrylic called Thunder Blue. But when I put it on the clock, I hated it. It was too bright – so I mixed in some black and that made it perfect. It looks black from afar, but when you’re close up it’s a really pretty blue that compliments the gray so well.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

 

I outlined the numbers with a very tiny paintbrush, then I used a little bit bigger of an angled brush to fill in the rest. I did two coats to make it dark and even. This part took forever, by the way, but I was extra careful to stay in the lines.

When I finished the numbers, I painted the outlining circles.

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Then, we drilled a hole in the middle and assembled the clock kit using the instructions and it was finally finished! This project took me a total of 2 months, but I had to take a big break in the middle because I threw my back out. Once we had the large circle cut, I finished it in 4 days. And I LOVE it!

Fixer Upper Inspired Pallet Clock | Lemon Drop Life

Thank you , Cassie! Oh my gosh – doesn’t it look SO amazing?!? The first thing I thought of when I saw it was “That looks just like the clocks JoJo (we’re on a nickname basis) uses  on Fixer Upper!” I’m going to be attempting one of these in the future for sure! 

If you have any specific questions about any part of this tutorial, just post it in the comments and I will be sure to get you an answer!

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Baby/Kids Cleaning/Organization Uncategorized

Diaper Bag Organization: Two Under Two

This post is not sponsored by Skip Hop or Periea, but it does contain affiliate links.

As I alluded to in this post, two babies is a totally different ballgame. And in the spirit of my word for the year (‘discipline’) I’ve been trying to make our lives as organized and streamlined as possible.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

One area that needed some improvement was our diaper bag. When Roarke was born, my mom got me this Coach diaper bag and it worked great – spacious enough for everything I needed, and lots of awesome pocket space (pockets = really happy momma). But when #2 came along, I found that it was bursting at the seams with all the stuff I had to carry.

So, I briefly transitioned to a tote I got from thirty-one (this one, in case you’re wondering), and while it has five pockets on the outside of the bag, it only has one small zippered compartment on the inside, so it was like a black hole of all the baby things. Plus, I was still having to carry a purse for all of my stuff. Two bags + a toddler + a baby in a carseat = momma can basically NEVER go anywhere without an entourage of helpers.

My mission became to find a bag big enough for everything, but that looked less like a traditional diaper bag and more like a large tote, because, well I’m vain and don’t want to carry an ugly bag. Oh, and did I mention I also didn’t want to pay an arm and leg for it? I started searching Amazon and quickly discovered finding all those things in the same bag was not an easy task. Until I came across this one:

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

It’s the Skip Hop GRAND CENTRAL bag. I was immediately drawn to the look of it, and when I clicked through and saw more details about the bag itself, I was sold. So let me give you the rundown on the bag (plus the little secret weapon) that has been a game changer for me.

Let’s start with the outside. The bag is made of a nylon-polyester blend that’s easily wipeable in the event of any spillage. There are two large bottle pockets on either side. I use one for Roarke’s sippy cup and the other for Everly’s bottle. The pockets are quite roomy so I’m able to also slip a bottle of water alongside Everly’s bottle.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

The bag also has two clips that you can use to attach the bag to a stroller – no more trying to stuff the bag down into my stroller’s storage compartment!

Inside, there are 3 main compartments, which is my happy number, because 1) Roarke, 2) Everly, 3) ME! I can keep all of our stuff separated and organized so there’s no more digging around for Everly’s diaper cream and pulling out Roarke’s granola bar.

I think I’m a peeping Tom at heart, because I TOTALLY love seeing inside people’s purses, closets, pantries, etc. I just really enjoy seeing the products people use and how they organize their stuff. So, I’ll give you a closer look at the must-haves I carry with me.

Let’s start with my littlest bebe: Everly. I corral all her stuff in the compartment closest to the outside pocket that houses the changing pad (which was included with the bag), since she’s the one I would use the changing pad for. That probably seems like a ‘duh’ thing, but that’s how my brain works. I store her diapers in the pocket with the changing pad so that I can grab both quickly when needed. Inside her section, I keep the following

  • Diaper cream and some plastic bags for dirty diapers/clothes (both stored in the clear zipper pocket for easy access)
  • A formula dispenser
  • A burp cloth
  • A toy
  • Baby powder
  • Extra change of clothes

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

One other feature worth mentioning is the snaps on the two outer compartments. I don’t know if this was intentional, but I’m able to slip my finger behind the snap, so that I can easily close it up with one hand, which makes me happier than it probably should. #momsdoeverythingwithonehand

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

The compartment on the opposite side of the bag is Roarke’s. I carry a few snack things for him in the built-in zipper pocket, and inside the main pocket I pack the following:

  • A diaper clutch containing his diapers and some wipes. Again, I can quickly identify it (it’s the green chevron pouch) in my bag and grab it for those on-the-go diaper changes.
  • A small zippered pouch that contains a notebook, stickers, and crayons for those times when I need a distraction, like, NOW.
  • Spare change of clothes

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

Last but not least, the middle compartment is for moi.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

In it, I carry all of my essentials (more on that in a minute), plus a zipper pouch with some general first-aid items.

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop LifeKleenex, band-aids, Neopsporin, thermometer, sunscreen, Tylenol (adult and children), ibuprofen, and teething tablets.

And now for that little secret weapon I mentioned earlier:

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

Diaper Bag Organization for Two Under Two | Lemon Drop Life

My Periea Handbag Organizer. This baby has been total gold for me. One major pain of trying to simplify and carry everything in one bag, is that when I go to work or somewhere else without the babies, I switch to carrying a smaller purse for just my stuff. But, inevitably, my chapstick, for example, would be buried somewhere in the diaper bag and wouldn’t get switched over. {If you know me, you know that I will turn around and go home, no matter where I am, for exactly 2 items: my phone and my chapstick. It’s that important.} But now, that problem is totally solved. I keep all of my essentials in this adorable organizer and I can easily lift it out of the diaper bag and drop it down inside my purse! It saves me so much time and changing bags is no longer a hassle at all!

I’ve been using this bag regularly for about a month now and even took it on a small roadtrip – I still have no complaints! I’m sure some of you might be thinking this bag weighs as much as a small horse , and it’s definitely heavy. But, everything that’s in it is stuff that I would’ve carried with me one way or another, so I’d just prefer to have it all in one bag!

So because I’m nosy, please tell me – what’s in your bag?

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Travel Uncategorized

Travel Guide: Scotland

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  • February 25, 2015

Happy Hump Day! This marks my first week back to work (boooooo!), so I’m pretty pumped that it’s halfway over! Last week, I shared my travel guide for London, and today I’m going to be sharing my travel guide for Scotland.

We spent 3 days in Scotland and actually got to see quite a fair bit. We flew into Edinburgh and spent a day there, then the next 2 days were spent driving around the Highlands and visiting various locations. When visiting Scotland, I would definitely recommend renting a car. The larger cities (ie., Edinburgh, Glasgow) have public transport, but it’s definitely not as convenient as it is in London. And definitely spring for the upgrade and get a GPS – it’s a lifesaver. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the weather considering how far north we went. I would periodically check on the weather back home and Indiana had far more snow, plus wickedly low wind chills.  For the most part it was mid 30’s – low 40’s while we were there and I was pretty comfortable walking around in a coat, scarf, and hat.

Hotels:

As I mentioned, we spent our first day/night in Edinburgh. We stayed at the Apex City Hotel (if you read my London recap, you’ll recognize this as the same chain of hotels we stayed at in London) in the Grassmarket area and it ended up being a great location. It was very near to a good selection of restaurants and shops, and it’s not a far walk to the Edinburgh Castle. If you visit this area, be sure to stop by The Red Door Gallery. It’s an adorable art boutique, and the perfect place to grab a souvenir! I grabbed this lovely print that showcases some of the business in the Grassmarket area:

Travel Guide: Scotland | Lemon Drop Life

 

After we left Edinburgh, we drove up to the Inverness area and we stayed at a B&B that was actually a recommendation from our pediatrician. And it did not disappoint! It’s called Antfield House and it was absolutely adorable! The owners were so friendly – we were the only ones staying there at the time (they actually opened up early for us; they’re normally closed from January until March!), and they were so accommodating. They upgraded us to a nicer room, cooked us an awesome breakfast spread, and gave us recommendations of places to eat and things to do. It’s a ways off the beaten path, but it’s in the most quaint setting. I SO wish we would have been there in the spring because I can’t imagine how gorgeous it would be with everything blooming!

Travel Guide: Scotland | Lemon Drop Life

Restaurants:

You’ll find just as many pubs (if not more) in Scotland as in London. Our favorite was actually a recommendation from the owner of the B&B we stayed at. It was called The Dores Inn and it sits right on Loch Ness. Of course Jordan had to try haggis, a traditional Scottish dish, while we were there – if you don’t know what it is, well, I’m not going to be the one to tell you. I tried a little bite; it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting. When we were in Edinburgh, we actually found a super tasty Mexican restaurant (like I said before, you can only eat fish n’ chips so many times) called Mariachi. It was a nice change of pace, for sure.

Attractions:

Edinburgh Castle – A must-see in Edinburgh. Also, this was the coldest I was during our entire trip. The castle is set up on a hill and it was windy as all get out, so if you’re going anytime but summer, dress warm! It was 16 pounds/person to get in (~$24), and that gets you access to the castle, which also has the National War Museum and Regimental Museums inside.

Travel Guide: Scotland | Lemon Drop Life

Travel Guide: Scotland | Lemon Drop LifeThis was the governor’s house – nice digs, no?

Scott Monument – If you’re a lover of gothic architecture, this is the monument for you. There are also platforms you can climb up to that give you great views of the city.

Royal Mile – This is basically the Main Street of Edinburgh and it’s a mile full of a restaurants and shops. If you’re looking to pick up some souvenirs, there are plenty of opportunities. Cashmere and wool are big exports in Scotland, so there’s lots of shops with scarves, hats, and suits. And, of course, there are plenty of places to pick yourself up a kilt. And they sell baby kilts! I was 5 seconds away from buying one for Roarke, but I couldn’t justify spending the money for something he would wear basically just to make me laugh and swoon. He makes me do that anyway.

Loch Ness – Obviously, you can’t go to Scotland without visiting Nessie. We stopped by the Loch Ness museum and they tried to explain it all away with science, but I’m not fooled. I know she’s out there. #ibelieve

Travel Guide: Scotland | Lemon Drop Life

There’s actually a guy that lives on the beach and has dedicated his whole life to hunting Nessie. I’m sure he’s not crazy at all.

Travel Guide: Scotland | Lemon Drop Life

 

Urquhart Castle – This castle is situated right on Loch Ness and has some pretty breathtaking views. I think tickets were about 10 pounds/person (~$15)

Highlands – Obviously, this is pretty vague because it encompasses a huge chunk of northern Scotland, but in general the area is breathtakingly beautiful. On our way back down to Edinurgh, we drove the A82 which essentially goes from Inverness down to Glasgow. The mountains, the lakes, the snow…it was all just gorgeous.

Travel Guide: Scotland | Lemon Drop Life

I didn’t edit that picture at all. I imagine it would be just as amazing in the summer, too. I would definitely recommend driving up north and taking in all the beauty!

That recaps all the things we saw in Scotland, overall it had a much more relaxed vibe than London so it was a nice breath of fresh air in the middle of our trip. One thing to note, though, if you’re visiting both countries in the same trip. While both countries use the pound, the Brits  and Scots each print their own (with their own respective political/royal figures and such), so there is a difference. We made an ATM withdrawal in Scotland and got a bunch of Scottish pounds and then when we went back to London, we discovered there was a difference. Luckily, most places took them (the only problem we encountered was the automated ticket machines in The Underground), but usually the business owners would give us a strange look like we had just handed them Monopoly money. So just be aware of that.

I loved our visit to the UK – there really was so much to see and do, and I feel like not having a language barrier really brought our stress levels down compared to other international travel we’ve done. Got specific questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments or shoot me an e-mail!

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