Wednesday, 25 June 2014

CORFU IN PICTURES . . .

Earlier last month I was on the Greek island of Corfu, in the beautiful peaceful little resort of Kalami. It was absolutely beautiful and I would thoroughly recommend a visit if you ever get the chance.

Here's a couple of fun facts about Corfu:

  • Despite its beauty, it tends to be one of the cheapest options when it comes to booking a holiday, at least from the UK. (Greek islands often are)
  • As it's closer to Albania than Greece, it's actually a ridiculously short flight from the UK, if you aren't a big fan of long flights like myself. It ended up being just over 3 hours which compared to nearer to five hours to the other Greek Islands I've been to, or to the Canary Islands, is pretty damn short.
  • The flight times are relatively normal compared to the other Greek islands I've been to. We had an early morning flight out and a lunchtime flight back. The last Greek island I visited was Zante back in 2010 and our late flighttimes drove me nuts . . . having to leave at six am on a Monday morning after having to check out of our room at midday the previous day was exhausting!
Anyway, whether you like it or not, here are some pictures from my trip. :-)



 
















Don't worry, if you're experiencing holiday envy with my pictures from Paris and now Corfu, there's no need to panic... this weekend I am visiting the far more exotic climes of BLACKPOOL, so the pictures may not be quite so pretty. You never know though... my phone camera IS pretty good. ;-)

Have you ever been to Corfu?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

GYM BUNNY BOX . . .

"Motivational confetti", for packing


I like a little project. Especially present-related ones. Especially when they let me do some colouring-in (Yes, I'm a big kid at heart.) So when I get a crafty present idea in my head I like to embrace it. I've made several friends scrapbooks in the past, and then of course who could forget the time I made a mix-tape CD for my boyfriend as a Valentine's gift?!? (I don't know how I'm ever going to better that gift, I really don't.)

So when my sister's birthday rolled around earlier this month, I decided to make her gift into a bit of a project too. She's really into the gym so I decided to make her a themed box of gym-related presents!

It took me a while to decide what presents to actually buy to put in the box, but I had a couple of ideas. The box ended up holding the following:

Cafepress top
  • Red padlock (I know, it sounds boring. I wanted to get her a really cool padlock for using at the gym lockers but apparently, there's no such thing! It's definitely an untapped market as far as I'm concerned. A plain bright red one had to suffice.) (Ebay is your best bet for these.)
  • A zebra print popband. (I'm a big fan of these hair accessories, and my sister is a big fan of animal print. Their customer service is also pretty spot-on - I didn't receive my delivery first time around and they sent me out a new package as soon as I let them know, no questions asked.)
  • A selection of protein bars. (These aren't cheap so I figured she'd appreciate this.)
  • Jillian Michael - Yoga Meltdown [DVD] yoga dvd. (She'd mentioned wanting to get a yoga dvd to help stretch her after her intense workouts. That being said, given that I know what Jillian's workouts can be like, it might just be more like torture.)
  • Red top for the gym. (Cafepress has some AWESOME inspirational tops for the gym bunny. I even used some of the slogans from the other tops to make the "motivational confetti" in the top pic for inside the box - I was bored during the football, okay???)
Obviously there are plenty of other things you could get for a gym bunny if you wanted to try something similar. Other ideas I had? Cute trainer socks, funky earphones, fitness magazines, a resistance band, yoga mat . . . the possibilities are pretty much endless. Once I had assembled all of my presents together, they went in a decorated shoe-box.



I also included a bottle of M&S Elderflower Liqueur, which is unrelated to the gym but I know she loves elderflower flavour and you can't ALWAYS be good, right?

I think she liked it.

Have you ever made a themed gift like this for someone? Would YOU be happy to receive a gym-themed present yourself? (I probably wouldn't be, personally, but I thought she would appreciate it.) Please feel free to share in the comments. :-)



Monday, 9 June 2014

WEEKEND SHENANIGANS . . .

Victoria Park
This weekend was definitely a good 'un. It started off with a Friday evening spent sitting in my local park Victoria park, watching the birds in the pond and admiring all the dogs going past, followed by some vino back at my flat.

Saturday I headed over to the lovely Dawn's for a catch-up with her and the equally lovely Smidge, where Dawn plied us with gin cocktails (featuring delicious
home-made lemonade), expresso martinis and bellinis, while we gorged on several varieties of cheese (there were other food options but I'm all about the cheese really) and gossiped away all night.

Then on Sunday me and the boyfriend met up with my sis and headed for the parade on Byres Road which was part of the Mela Festival. I usually miss out on this as I 1) hate people and 2)I'm more often than not headed down to London for work on that particular weekend. But 2) wasn't happening this year and I decided to try and put 1) aside. I'm glad I did.









The parade was great: colourful, noisy, fun . . . Glasgow was trying to do its whole "four seasons in one day" performance though and flipping through its weather options with the unpredictability of John McEnroe on a tennis court. One minute our skin was burning, the next freezing cold rain was plopping down on us. We persevered regardless.

After the parade ended we headed over to Kelvingrove Park (what should have been a five minute journey took about five times that due to the many people holding us up as they headed, zombie like, in the same direction) and the boyfriend immediately sniffed out an outside bar bit near the bandstand. So we worked our way through a couple of glasses of wine while the weather continued to change its mind around us, then ended up going to Lebowskis for a burger and several more glasses of booze.

I bloody love Glasgow... especially in the summer. Even WITH the unpredictable summer weather. And we have the Commonwealth Games starting here in July as well, which makes living here even more exciting. I even have tickets to a couple of the athletic events so it's going to be awesome!!!

Anyway... on the Glasgow subject . . .I'm representing GlesgaGobs on twitter this week. so you should come check me out! I'll try my best to be entertaining and not neglect my pollypoptart account too much. But come join me!!!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

RUNNING AS FAR AS MY LEGS CAN'T CARRY ME . . .

While I was in Corfu last month, I decided on impulse that I would give running another try when I got back to Scotland. It seemed to make sense - I hate the gym, I need to lose weight and get a bit fitter, and so many people I know seem to get so much enjoyment out of running that it seemed like a no-brainer.

Let's put to one side the fact that I have "taken up running" at least five times in the past only to fail after approximately three goes at it (maximum), usually because "it's suddenly icy and I might fall" (doesn't really wash in July, not even in Scotland) or "I can't find a decent route", or there was the time that those little ned girls shouted unflattering things about my velour jogging suit as I ran past them near Maryhill one night. That last one was, I admit, my own fault for wearing a velour jogging suit in the first place and I probably didn't help matters by throwing both my middle fingers up in the air after I ran past, but I had a head start so it made sense at the time. And it was ten years ago so I could probably run a bit faster then, having youth on my side. Anyway.

Let's also ignore the fact that most of the time I feel I run with about as much grace as Phoebe from "Friends" and the unflattering colour my face goes when I am working out too hard. This whole running thing made sense, right?

Two and a half weeks, 10 runs and 21 miles into this "running thing" and I've already realised my main problem. And it's a pretty big one.

I cannot fucking run.

And I DON'T actually mean in the Phoebe-from-Friends sense. I mean my legs will physically not allow me to run more than a short distance without forcing me to slow to a virtual stop. I actually have a hell of a lot more stamina than I give myself credit for, and while my legs are screaming "STOP PUNISHING ME, YOU CRAZY PERSON!" I'm actually not particularly out of breath or red in the face. I know people say it's mind over matter or "if it doesn't hurt, it's not worth it" (I hope that's only in reference to exercise, and I may be paraphrasing slightly) but I DON'T WANT TO BE IN PAIN!!!

I've never been a good runner. I managed a couple of short cross-country runs as a child, and then there was the memorable time I came 4th in a school gala day in my hometown. 4th out of 4 people. In a heat. Yep. THAT'S how not good I am.

Maybe some people are destined to be runners and maybe some people are not?

If that is the case, I definitely fall into the latter camp. But, for now, I'll keep trying. Just to make sure.

Anyone else out there not a natural "runner" who has managed to become one? If so, please share - I would like to know how the hell you managed it. And how do I stop my legs from being so sore???