Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Come gather in my lungs, Scottish wind

Exploring Scotland

I'm pretty sure by now that most of you are well aware of my love for Scotland and how easy it is to explore the great outdoors here, generally less than an hours drive outside of Glasgow. Well that's exactly what myself, Lynsay and Lori did a few weekends ago. We've all been super busy this year, with work, house renovations and general life goings on, so a little girly weekend away was just what we all needed. We hopped in the car to Gourock, got a ferry over to Dunoon, and after just an hour of leaving home we had arrived at our Argyll Holidays cabin in Hunters Quay.

Toronto

CN Tower

After our 4 nights in New York, me and Pete jumped on a flight to Canada to visit my best friend Leah, who moved out there to live and work last year. I was so bloody excited to see her, and looking forward to the buzz of a new city and new places to explore. We thought NY was cold... well damn, Toronto was even colder. But completely outweighed by the warm fuzzy feeling inside being reunited with my bestie and getting to see where she has set up a new home. Here's my quick(ish) guide to how we spent 3 days in Toronto in Winter.

New York City

Times Square

Oh heeeey you guys. Sorry, it's been a while! I had the most amazing time in New York and Toronto with Pete, but now it's back to normality with an almighty thud. We arrived into Glasgow at 9am two weeks ago on Saturday, and I started my current telly job (what felt like a quick blink/literally 5 minutes later) at 8am on the Monday. A bit of jet lag along with adjusting to a new routine and being back at work left me feeling pretty zombified last week. So that's me just starting to feel kinda normal again, albeit still kinda tired. And cold! Man, the snow has hit Glasgow this week and it is so damn cold. Not as cold as our North American adventure mind you. I could quite easily write an essay on our travels, but I thought I'd keep it short and sweet with a hit list of some of the favourite places we visited in each city. First stop, New York!

Good Morning, Vietnam

Hoi An Beach

Vietnam was the last place I expected to fall head over heels in love with on our south east asian adventure. We knew we wanted to add a bit of a beach escape to our busy Singapore sling, and we most definitely almost had a week in Bali on the cards. However after speaking to my Uncle and his wife, and hearing about the various places they had visited on long weekends and public holidays, we ended up settling on 5 days in Hoi An instead. It blew our expectations and hope for a tropical paradise right out of the water.

Singapore Sling

Breakfast date

If you follow me across social media, then you'll already know me and Pete got to spend a couple of weeks sunning it up in Singapore and Vietnam. I have so many pictures from the holiday (as you could guess with the instagram spam) So I've decided to split our travels into two posts. One for Singapore, and one for Hoi An. I'd been meaning to get these up sooner, but the post holiday blues and anxiety crept back in much stronger than I expected them to. Once we got home, I had a week off (which was mostly spent getting over the jet lag!) before I went straight back into a new film job. That's me signed over my assistant art direction services for the next 11 weeks, on a movie which is starring the most high profile actors I've ever worked with. I can't share many details about it at the moment (keep an eye out on twitter for some sneaky clues) but the script is fantastic and I'm counting my lucky stars that I'm working right up until Christmas. Now, time to share some travel tales while I'm cosied up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea and my fluffy pj's while Glasgow seems to be freezing over. Such a contrast in weather from our first destination - Singapore.

A Hen Weekend at the Old Nunnery

The Old Nunnery

I'm at the age now where it feels like everyone on my facebook is getting married, buying a house, or having babies! This doesn't freak me out or bother me in the slightest, I guess it just illustrates that 'grown up' life is in full swing for most of my peers. I squee in excitement when one of my friends tell me they are expecting, or that their other half has popped the question. I'm like shit, does this mean we are all becoming adults now?! I don't feel like an adult! When my Mum was my age (26) I was three years old. Right now I'm caring for a three year old cat rather than a three year old human, but that's cool with me! There are no rules or time limits as to when and how we should be moving through this life. It's hard not to compare yourself to others, and think 'by THIS age, I should have my dream job and be on the property ladder' and 'by THAT age, at the very latest, I really want a ring on it and lots of lil' babies crawling around at my feet'. You might want all of these things or you might want none of these things. And that is totally cool. Don't let anyone tell you any different, or feel like you have to explain yourself to anyone. I've went off on a bit of a tangent here but I just wanted to say I am just as excited watching my friends go through their journey as I am venturing on my own. On sure fire way of uniting lots of ladies from different friend groups and walks of life, is at a hen party!

Romance & relaxation at Ardoe House

ardoe house

A couple of weekends ago me and Pete escaped into the countryside for a relaxing break together. We drove up to Aberdeen for a 2 night stay at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House. Relying on a satnav and their postcode which covered quite a big area we got a little bit lost on the way, but the hotel staff were able to direct us with no trouble at all when I phoned in a panic (getting lost and being late are my number one worst things, ever!) Turns out it's really only 10 minutes from Aberdeen city centre, cleverly nestled amongst the beautiful countryside.

A Portuguese Adventure

Untitled

I almost named this blog post after the daytime TV show 'a place in the sun', as I seem to be watching a lot of said programme during the day recently since coming back from Portugal (and having a good old case of the post holiday blues) I'm taking a bit of a time out from work at the moment due to some health issues, but I look forward to getting back to fighting fit soon. I shall try leave this post to more pictures and less writing - just a collection of my favourite photos from our 10 days in Portugal. I feel like my posts have been very picture heavy lately, I hope they're not taking a silly time to load on your computers and phones! Bring on the sunshine...

My Holiday Essentials

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The weather in Glasgow at the moment is horribly muggy - so warm but dull, with torrential downpours every second day. Sort it out, eh Scotland! For the last couple of years I have spent summer at home, sprinkled with city breaks throughout the year to make me feel like I've got off my backside and went on some sort of holiday/trip. However this year I've booked a couple of weeks in my Aunty's house in Portugal with Pete. We are jetting off to to a little town in the Algarve called Alvor, in August. I spent a couple of weeks there when I was 20, so it will be nice visiting a place that is sort of familiar.

Now, onto the holiday essentials. I am an absolute nightmare when it comes to shopping and packing for a holiday! I tend to be a binge shopper, doing it all at the very last minute and spending a silly amount of money on the cheapest of bikinis, clothes, shoes and toiletries that I would never in a million years wear or use when I get back home. Or the fact that they've been SO cheap, everything has snapped/broken/turned green by the time I return to the UK. This year I have been determined to put an end to the panic buying, and have started picking up little bits and bobs in preparation for going away. Hopefully come August I'll just need to pop out and buy a few final pieces! Here's what I have picked up for my holiday so far

Glasgow at Christmas

I love my city, I really do. Glasgow always has so much to offer, and even more so at this time of year. It has been absolutely brilliant finishing up work and getting to spend time with my nearest and dearest, catching up and getting ready for the festive celebrations. Oh, and not to mention the small detail of packing up my entire flat and moving out right between Christmas and Hogmanay (good one Ayden, I know) But hey, New Year equals a new start, right? Here's a run down of my favourite places I've been exploring on the run up to Christmas:

Glasgow On Ice


My old flatmate Claire and I had a little day in town at Glasgow On Ice thanks to simplyhealth, then for a semi healthy lunch at Wagamama afterwards. The Ice Skating is at George Square along with some fairground rides and stalls selling mulled wine and other delicious smelling Christmassy food and drink. Claire is a personal trainer who runs her own spin studio, and has always been very sporty so OF COURSE she took to the ice skating perfectly straight away. It took me on the other hand a few circles of the monument before I wasn't skidding about like Bambi. Ice Skating is a great way to stay active over the indulgent festive period, along with the likes of skiing and my favourite - snowboarding! Can't wait to get back on my board in the New Year, the mountains of Scotland are starting to look pretty snowy already.

Blitzedmas


Blitzed is a 1940's themed club night which happens every few months or so in Glasgow. The Christmas edition was at SWG3 so I took my friend Sally along who was up from London to visit. We went for the 'dolled up' ticket which included getting our hair done by the amazing Miss Dixiebelle's (who did my hair for Luisa's hen party last year) along with some mulled wine in a lovely VIP dressing room. Once we were ready, we headed downstairs to dance along to the swing band performing and get our photos taken in the Bygone Photobooth. Such a different and refreshing type of night out to go on, and it was great seeing everyone making a real effort with their outfits, makeup and hair.

Eden Beauty Garden


With so many parties and nights out to attend over Christmas and New Year, I decided to try out eyelash extensions for the very first time because I suck so much at putting fake eyelashes on! The picture above is with absolutely no mascara, just my own lashes plus the extensions. They are completely flawless and I want to keep them forever. Alas they only last around a month, depending on how well you take care of them. I've not been wearing any eyeliner or mascara, or rubbing my eyes like I usually do, and I have only noticed a few starting to fall out in the last couple of weeks. Being finished at work means I was able to get some super girly nails done too, and went for these red sparkly gel's. Extensions of course, my own nails are nowhere near as long or nicely shaped at this, but maybe one day! Both my lashes and nails were done at Eden Beauty Garden which has just opened inside Central Chambers. Slightly more pricey than most places in town, but I think the extra £10 or so is completely worth it. I've had so many beauty treatments done which are a slap dash job with no care taken at all. The girls at Eden take such pride in their work and it shows, because my nails and lashes are the nicest I've had and have lasted longer than I ever expected them to.

Heenatastic


You've probably seen traces of Heenatastic starting to appear across quite a few Scottish Blogs at the moment, and for very good reason! Sadia's work is amazing and when my friend Heather text a few weeks ago to say she was booking us in as a pre-christmas treat I was so excited! The first pictures are mine and Heather's henna the night it was done, and the third picture was taken by my gal Ashley today (patiently awaiting good news at the Apple Store as my iphone battery is dying a death) It took around 3 hours for both our hands to be finished, and I'm hoping it will last for the next few weeks. Definitely a wee something different that I would like to treat myself to every couple of months. I'm already looking up inspiration pictures for my next visit.

Bath St Tattoo Collective


It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't treat myself to a new tattoo! But I guess I don't even need that excuse haha. Rizza Boo from Jolie Rouge in London was up at the newly opened Bath Street Tattoo Collective doing a few days as a guest tattooist, so I booked in with her as I have been following her work from ages. So so happy with how this one on my side turned out. I'm booked back in with Billy Hay in January to get my shins done which should be... fun? The shop is looking amazing and they have so many great artists working there! Would definitely recommend them all if you're in Glasgow and looking to get tattooed.

Loch Tay Highland Lodges


Getting away from the city for these final few pictures, me and the girls headed up to Killin for a couple of nights in one of the glamping domes at Loch Tay Highland Lodges. Our dome had a lovely wood burning stove, oil lamps, bean bags and a massive bed to keep us cosy while sleeping under a clear sky full of stars. This is Scotland in Winter though, so it was still pretty nippy! We spent our time eating, drinking, playing Disney monopoly, exploring, plus a day trip to Callendar for a look around the quaint little shops and an awesome pub lunch. I took some footage of the trip so hope to get a video up soon. It was the perfect chance to blow away the cobwebs and get my head together before the busy weeks ahead.

I'll be fitting in one more post before the year is out, and in the meantime I hope December is treating you all well ♥

London & a quarter of a century

Hello lovelies! It's been busy in the Millar household as I'm on a job with Channel 4 at the moment, painting some sets for a comedy series (which reminds me, the second series of Kirstie Allsopps Fill Your House For Free starts on tuesday at 8pm - another wee gem that I art directed earlier this year) I was able to have a couple of weeks off before I started this current job, leading right up to my birthday. Here's a run down of the places I went and the people I got to have ALL THE FUN with!

Hello Landan! I arrived at Euston about 2pm, checked into my hotel at Waterloo and headed over to Camden to meet my friend Mark for a few beers and a catch up. We went to Worlds End, The Lock Tavern and Brewdog.


Later on in the evening Sally came to meet me and we went to The Diner for dinner. IT WAS SO GOOD. Absolute filth. Under those two fried eggs lived a burger patty, cheese and dirty rice. I couldn't finish it all and got it put in a doggy bag to take back to the hotel with me.



The next morning I got up bright and early to meet Chloe for breakfast on the South Bank. We took a wander along the river where I met my future husband, Jack, as you can see above.


We took the tube to Oxford Street for some retail therapy, and walked along to Carnaby Street which is my favourite area to shop in. I got a jumper from Cheap Monday, skirt from Monki, and some Simpsons goodies from Johnny Cupcake. After a few hours we got the bus to Westfield shopping centre where we met Chloe's fella for dinner and visited a few more shops. Was pretty surprised to see these Paul Frank jammies in Primark of all places!


On the Sunday my friend Louise popped down from Glasgow for the night to take me to see The Drowned Man. She is a HUGE fan of the show, and now I can see why. It is the most intense piece of immersive theatre I have ever been to. It is like being stuck inside a video game for 3 hours, where you wander amongst the 4 floors of set wearing a mask the whole time, and can follow any of the 30 actors in the show on their journey. I highly recommend it if you're looking for something a bit different to see in London.


The next morning Uncle Greig Arrived to join me for the last few days of my trip. We went for lunch at Ping Pong, followed by a visit to the cigar shop in Mayfair, then a wander around Harrods. All finished off with macarons and tea at Laduree (my favourite)


The next day I dragged Greig to Hoxton to visit Rockalily Cuts for a vintage up-do! I am a major fan girl of the owner ReeRee Rockette, so it was a total honour to be invited along to the salon :) I'd wear my hair like this every day for the rest of my life if I could.  The night before I went to London I used Crazy Colour in Violette over the top of my blue, and this is how it turned out. I've been using the SKR Hair Argan Oil to keep my hair in top condition amongst all this dying, and it seems to be working a treat! It isn't as heavy as a lot of argan oils I've used in the past.

After the salon we went a wander around nearby Shoreditch and Spitalfields, and that evening I took Greig with me to see The Drowned Man for a second time! The next day we went to Covent Garden for lunch and a wander, and caught the matinee of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A lovely little family friend of mine was playing the lead role of Charlie Bucket. Rhys is only 9 and did a spectacular job, I was close to tears throughout the whole performance.


And then Thursday was home time. I feel like I managed to cram quite a lot into my 6 day trip, and have probably missed out a few details here and there. It was brilliant fun and a little getaway was just what I needed. I missed out on seeing a few familiar faces when I was down there, you all know who you are! Hopefully next time I'm down I can catch a blog event or even have a night out with some of you lovely girls who have became friends through the good ol' blog. Power of the internet huh!


The week after I got home, I celebrated my 25th birthday. I had a lovely day off visiting my family, which was ended with a ride on the back of my Dad's new motorbike through the countryside. Absolute bliss! That weekend I had a night out with friends at Glasgow's Grand Ole Opry. A western themed night with live bands, bingo and a shoot out. Last year I only lasted until 9.30pm before becoming so drunk that I had to go home... but thankfully this time I paced myself and was still dancing at last orders.


A few days before I started back at work, me and the chums took a road trip to Alton Towers. Doing the whole thing in a day is quite tiring considering the 4.5 hour drive from Glasgow, but the rides kept our adrenaline going all day. The first picture is Kyle going a bit yoga-tastic after our first ride, which was on the smiler. It's a fairly new rollercoaster there and was absolutely insane. After a few hours we sat just down from the Towers to have lunch, and initially Kyle was a bit worried about finding a Quorn option since he is veggie (in reality we should have brought packed lunches, but getting up at 3am to hit the road was hard enough) and after a wee wander he managed to get a bean burger while me, Dom and Leah stuffed our faces with quarter pounders and chips. I didn't feel too guilty as Dom's UP band told us we walked 6 miles that day! The last picture is us waiting in line to go on our final ride of the day, Oblivion. Not for the faint hearted at all! I can't thank them enough for a great day, I haven't smiled that much in a long time.

Well, congratulations if you made it to the end of this post. That's about my life in a nutshell recently :) Now it's head down and back to work, with a few more adventures on the horizon to keep me on my toes...

Wanderlust


There's still a tiny bit of time left to get nostalgic for 2013 before it becomes socially unacceptable! Moving forward into 2014 I am glad to look back on the places I visited last year. Belfast, London, Cyprus and Iceland. I think Reykjavik in Iceland has to be one of the best places I have ever traveled to.


A mini gif of my trip made up by the Lloyds Bank 'Moments That Matter' team in the style of their tv advert. Now all we need is an emotional voice over artist narrating over it haha (I really am a sucker for those sorts of adverts, pass the hankies please) Featuring Reykjavik Harbour, The Blue Lagoon, The Golden Circle, Thingvellir National Park, Geyser, Gulfoss Waterfall, New Years Eve outside Hallgrímskirkja Church, and the best meal on our last night at Grillmarkadurinn.

I've had quite a few people email me asking for advice on visiting Reykjavik, and I'm more than happy to help so if you're thinking of going then drop me a wee email. Looking back on pictures like this has given me the travel bug again, and thinking about where I'd like to visit this year. I went inter-railing around Europe a few years ago now, so have been lucky enough to tick most of the big European cities off my list. If money was no object then this year I would love to fly out to Thailand to meet Katrina who has been living in South Korea for the past year. John is also really keen to do a big American Holiday this summer, taking in Disneyland and the other theme parks, and for years I've wanted to have a proper girly holiday to Ibiza with my best friend Jenn. There's no way on earth I be able to do all 3, but definitely want to tick off one of them. So if you have any advice on Thailand, Florida, or Ibiza then I'd greatly appreciate it :)




I'm awfully impatient, I just want to see all of the world. But all we can do is chip away at the list piece by piece. What about you, any plans to travel this year? ♥