Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello, everyone. Did you have a good week/weekend? I did- I had a lovely long weekend, with lots and lots of Christmas shopping; so much so that my present shopping is done! I’d love to say that I can now relax and enjoy the season, and that’s partly true but I’m busy, busy as ever 😉

Last Monday, I omitted details of my weekend, when we had another chapter in my ‘big birthday’ celebration! I had no idea, and so the whole weekend was a wonderful surprise. The girls had a fabulous spa day at The Carrick on Loch Lomond, where we made use of the facilities including the gorgeous infinity pool. I was even treated to a full body hot stones massage. Bliss. The fizz was flowing, of course 🙂

Afterwards, the guys all joined us for dinner at the Boat House at Cameron House, which was absolutely delish. We then headed back to Joe and Stacey’s new house for a party. Brilliant! I was a great day.

I’ve been very lucky, with so, so many birthday treats. I’m one very fortunate girl.

And so, here’s my current thoughts:

Enjoy your week!

 

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The Gin Thing

The Gin Thing

I’m sure you all know by now that included in the long list of things I love are running, eating, vino and gin.

For our first wedding anniversary, we were able to indulge in most!

On the day of our anniversary, we were celebrating with family, as it was also the Saturday closest to my brother in law, Andrew’s, 40th Birthday. His two eldest sons, Kieran and Aidan, were to be player escorts that day at the Partick Thistle v Motherwell game, and so we went along to see them – and to show support of course!

It was a gloriously sunny day, and we were able to sit in the sunshine, soaking up the fun and the atmosphere. When the boys came out onto the pitch, we couldn’t see Aidan, who is 4. He was escort for Scott Fox, the goalie, and Scott had scooped Aidan up and carried him onto the pitch! Too cute!

Here’s some pics, just to illustrate 😉

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After the game, the boys were able to head back to a meet and greet with the players, and one of my other nephews, Liam, was able to go with them. I think they had a ball!

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Afterwords, it was back to the Donnelly’s house for a bit of a party. As @TheWelshWookie and I were heading to Edinburgh the next day, we went to our hotel and celebrated with a bottle of fizz, overlooking George Square.

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And yes. That’s not an optical illusion. This 4 star hotel in the city centre really DID give us hugely different glass sizes to enjoy our fizz with. And @TheWookie had to open it himself 😮 . And no, we won’t be back.

Sunday arrived with heavy rain 😦 but we headed to Edinburgh, excited for our short trip. We made our way to 56 North, where my friends, Pauline and Gavin, had treated us to an afternoon tea with gin tasting 😀 Hurrah!

We were greeted with a really friendly welcome, and with the fab news that Pauline & Gavin had treated us to a bottle of fizz! Yay!

We settled down with around 20 or so others, eager to get started. This was the joyous sight in front of us….

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The two guys hosting the session took us through the first four gins which were all strikingly different. The pace was relaxed, and there was no rush at all. We had a selection of different mixers to try, and the whole session was interactive – we could ask questions, and add comments – good or bad!

We then had a short break, with afternoon tea of sandwiches and small cakes, before starting again with the final four gins. I won’t spoil it for anyone by telling you which gins we tried, what we found out about them, or which were my favourites. You can try for yourselves!

After the session, we bagged a great window table, with the sun – newly surfaced through the rain – beating in. The bar is stocked with around 300 different gins, so I chatted with the barman, telling him what I liked in a gin so that he could recommend a gin for me. I had a Daffy’s, which is a small batch gin made in Edinburgh, while @TheWelshWookie had a Hoxton grapefruit and coconut gin. Yummy! They serve their gins in gorgeous continental style goblets with ice, a suggested tonic, and a garnish designed to compliment the flavours.

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We had some lunch with our fizz- @TheWookie had a burger, I had a gorgeous chicken caesar salad with a poached egg. It was delish!

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We finished off with another gin each – @TheWookie had a Brecon Welsh gin, while I had a Rock Rose, which may well be my new favourite – it, too, is a small batch Scottish gin. We then headed to our hotel, to get ready for our evening in the city – with the ghosts!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Today I’ve taken a dose of my own Monday Motivation advice, and I’ve started the week as I mean to go on.

Yes, I’ve been reunited with my trainers, and I have run! 😀 Hurrah!

I ran an easy mile on the treadmill, and followed that with 5k on the exercise bike. Now I feel fabulous!

And – more importantly – pain free 😉

How was your Hallowe’en on Friday? We had a family party at my brother and sister-in-laws, and it was loads of fun! The theme was ’80s, and we had usic and snacks from the 1980s, and most costumes were 80s themed too. @TheWelshWookie and I went as Kylie and Jason (he was Kylie, I was Jason!), my brother was also dressed as Jason, so our very own Kylie had two to choose from! We also had a couple of Madonnas,Marge Simpson, a clown, Mrs Incredible, a zombie, and many more. Janice’s costume was fab: she was Freddie Mercury, from the video for I Want to Break Free, complete with vacuum! Andrew won best costume, as  he’d come as Mr Staypuft from Ghostbusters!

The boys all had fun dooking for apples, and reaching for doughnuts, which was great.

Next, it’s Bonfire Night on Wednesday: are you having fireworks?

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Here’s some to keep you going, until then 😉

Happy Hogmanay!

Happy Hogmanay!

Happy Hogmanay!

And a Happy New Year too!

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Portavadie Marina

Portavadie Marina

Portavadie Marina is a fantastic hidden gem nestled on the west coast of the Cowal peninsula in Argyll. Conveniently for us, it is also a very short ferry ride away from Tarbert!

It features a wide range of accommodation: bed and lockers: bunk rooms for cyclists and walkers, lodge rooms (which are like good hotel rooms) , secluded cottage for honeymooners and couples and luxury apartments for friends and families who want a little more space and luxe while away.

The marina has excellent facilities, and there is a top notch restaurant, while the lodge has a more relaxed restaurant and family area. There’s a spa, and a shop which sells everything from milk and newspapers to high end clothing and chandlery supplies.

I love it!

We’ve visited many times, often for lunch and a few drinks; sometimes ourselves, other times with friends and family. We celebrated @TheWelshWookie’s 40th Birthday here, too.

And now we’re back; gatecrashing the honeymoon, and welcoming in the New Year at the Hogmanay Gala Dinner.

Lucky us! 🙂

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WiFi and mobile signal is patchy, so I’ll check in when I can!

A Winter Wedding

A Winter Wedding

Well, we have had a FAB-U-LOUS weekend at Joe and Stacey’s wedding. The bride was stunning, the groom was dapper; the best man impressed with his organisation and speech, and the bridesmaids were gorgeous.

I didn’t run, but I danced the night away!

Would you like to see a couple of pics?

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This morning, @TheWelshWookie and I were up early, and spent a couple of hours in the pool, which was great! 🙂

Next, we’re off to gatecrash the honeymoon at Portavadie this week. We are going for the Hogmanay dinner dance, and for a few days to celebrate the new year: trainers are packed for this trip!

Do you have any Hogmanay and New Year festivities planned?

Home from the Hen

Home from the Hen

I’m home!

We’ve had a brilliant weekend: as predicted, we had lots of fun, food, drinks and laughs. We had a blast!

Saturday night was party night, and it was fantastic! I’m only sharing one pic, though…

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What happens on the hen, says on the hen 😉

Yesterday was a day for recovering relaxing, including a visit to the spa, with its range of various saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzi, outdoor pool and other pampering areas. Bliss.

Of course, that was quickly followed by more food, drink, music and laughs!

Today, we’ve traveled home, and I think I could sleep for a week; running will have to keep for tomorrow.

Six days until the Great Scottish Run, now, roll on another busy weekend!

Dreich!

Dreich!

Today has been one of those days….. and so I arrived home thinking…..

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So I did! But it was grey, and wet and windy out, so @TheWelshWookie and I got thoroughly soaked. It felt great!

There’s only really one word that can be used to describe today’s weather: dreich.

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I took a couple of pictures, just so you could see the village in the rain:

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I probably had too much fun, stomping through these on my way around the harbour:

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Today’s Stats:

Run: 4 miles

Time: 43:26 slow

Weather: Dreich!

Trainers: Nike LunarFly GTX

@TheWelshWookie’s first Running Track: he listens to the same playlist every day, so it is always

Today’s Life Lesson: sometimes, no matter how hard you try to convince someone that they need to listen to what you are actually saying, they just cannot hear it- they subconsciously choose not to.

What’s your favourite weather to run in?

A Different View

A Different View

We’ve made it to Thursday, and another weekend is almost upon us! Tonight, I arrived home later than planned, and not really in the mood for a run. But, I manned up, and @TheWelshWookie suggested that we try a new route. Instead of doing the usual out-and-back, he suggested we do the Big Glen, which is 4.5 miles, followed by a final half mile at the harbour.

I knew that it would be a little more hilly than usual, but I thought- why not?

We headed out, through the village, north along the A83 towards Lochgilphead. Although I drive this way most days, and I’ve walked it a few times, I’ve never run it!

We ran along the main road for just over 2 miles. The first mile or so is uphill, with some undulation over the second mile. I stopped to take some pics:

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At the bottom of the hill, just at Stonefield Castle, we turned off, looping back towards the West Loch. The first half mile or so was uphill, but after that, the next mile is all downhill. I loved it!

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And along the head of the West Loch.

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As we ran back towards Tarbert, there’s one nasty, wee steep hill: but we ran up it!

As we reached the A83 heading back into Tarbert from the south, I stopped to take some pictures of the deer:

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And a wee video clip too:

Here’s a map of the run:

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It’s lovely to have a shake-up once in a while!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 5 miles

Time: 56:20 – I kept stopping to take pics!

Weather: Cloudy and cool

Trainers: Nike LunarFly GTX

Favourite Running Track Today:

Today’s Life Lesson: what people tell you sometimes needs to be checked, to see if it meets with reality…

When did you last vary your route?

Family Fun, and Back on Track

Family Fun, and Back on Track

Hello, Happy Monday!

I’ve had a fantastic weekend!

Saturday was a girl’s day out with my sisters and my mum: we hit the town, with a trip to Glasgow’s West End, and had tapas at Cafe Andaluz. It was amazing!

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Sunday was KAD’s 5th Birthday party. Since the weather was brilliant, we spent the whole day outside, and had a ball. I thought you might like to meet the Magnificent Seven, since I’ve been talking about them all week:

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There were presents….

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And cake:

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And good fun:

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As well as some more quiet moments:

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I also won a comp this weekend, over on RunEatRepeat and I’m so pleased! It’s an identity bracelet for runners, and I’m planning to order it tonight. It’s from CrossTrainID so I’m heading over there now to take a look. 😀

Today, it’s back to training. Six weeks to go until the Great Scottish Run 10k, and so the Nike Training Plan has begun, with a 3 miler. Bring it on!

Today’s Stats:

Run: 3 miles, and it felt good to be focused again!

Time: 32:22, nice and slow

Weather: Cloudy with some sunshine; warm

Trainers: Nike Lunar Glides

Favourite Running Track Today: one of my PowerSongs

Today’s Life Lesson: sleep is a precious commodity….

Did you have a busy weekend?