Monday, 15 December 2014

10 Gifts Ideas for Fitness Lovers

It's only 10 sleeps til Christmas guys! If you're struggling to think of a gift for the gym bunny in your life, I've got your back. From £1.99 - £120, here are a few ideas that would be right at home in any fit friend's (Nike) stocking...

MyProtein Almond Butter 1kg - £10.99 Boxing day breakfast...?

Nike Pro Flow women's training gloves - £22 I don't care how tough you are, nobody likes rough hands.

Kettlebell - £14.99-£37.99 If they already have one, get them a heavier one! It might be the push that they need ;)
Vie Rockell full length elite compression tights in black leopard - £85 Stylish gym wear is always a good idea.

Multipower Whey & More Protein (double chocolate 2kg) - £42.99 It's gluten free too!

Women's Health magazine subscription (or Men's Health) - £20 Including a free bundle of beauty and nutrition gifts, worth £100! 
Dumbbell Alarm Clock - £12.72 perfect for a Secret Santa gift - the alarm doesn't go off until you do 30 reps with the "weight"!

GymTote Ltd Reese tote - £120 "Looks like a handbag, performs like a gym bag" - I'm looking forward to the release of the Sophia Tote for yogis!

MyProtein Max Elle mini blender bottle - £1.99 One of the best protein shakers I own!

Nike Free 5.0 Tr Fit 4 magenta black cheeta - £84.99 Good for running. HIIT fans should try out a pair of Nike Bionics instead, but really any pair of Nikes will get you into their good books!

If you have any other ideas please share them in the comments below. :)

Christy xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Dublin: The Morgan

The Morgan was just a few doors up from our hotel in Dublin. We'd passed it every day and finally decided to visit on our last evening. It had rained all day, we were cold and tired and didn't want to travel far for something to eat.

The Morgan is a hotel with a stylish bar/restaurant on the ground floor. It's filled with quirky decor and some of the most random seating I've seen - we sat in hanging egg shaped chairs and at one point we were sipping cocktails on a white leather bed! As you do. 

Speaking of cocktails in bed, you have to try the Pillow Talk - Absolut vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur and strawberry topped with toasted marshmallows. Amazing!

Gordon had his first steak of the holiday and enjoyed it. I was in a carby mood so went for chicken and feta rigatoni pasta. Nothing fancy but it did the job! Dessert was Bailey's cheesecake and a fresh fruit tart. I wasn't sure if I'd manage pudding after all the pasta but the tart was light enough to not overdo it.

We ended the evening with a few more cocktails (the smoke infused Woodlawn and watermelon martinis!) and an early night. I know, we're so rock n roll.

If you're not an OAP like us, the Morgan has live DJ's every weekend to keep you entertained all night. Prices go up 20% after 11pm though, you have been warned! You'll find them in the heart of Temple Bar at 10-12 Fleet Street, Dublin 2. 

Christy xx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Dublin: The Fumbally

It was around 2pm when we left the Guinness Storehouse. Somehow we ended up having a late lunch every day we were in Dublin! This time we decided to have something a little lighter and more nutritious, so jumped in a taxi to The Fumbally. If you've ever been in Aberdeen's Foodstory Cafe, this is Dublin's much larger, slightly hippy-er version. Everything is very laidback, no fuss, no frills... just a blank space filled with mismatched furniture, an old piano and lots of amazing looking food laid out like some sort of casual picnic with your friends. 

Gordon was a bit less excited about The Fumbally than I was. They focus on fresh, local, organic produce with lots of vegetarian options. Gordon's 100% a meat eater and there wasn't much meat on offer. Now that I think about it, he isn't as keen on Foodstory as I am either...

Anyway, he ended up with a pulled porchetta ciabatta off their lunch menu and enjoyed it! That quote about bread on their blackboard? That has to be from someone who ate The Fumally's bread. Honestly, I've never tasted bread like it. So damn good!

I clocked somebody else's food arriving and decided to go for the salad plate. For £8.50 you get a selection of three salads, a huge dollop of hummus and a chunk of that amazing bread drizzled with oil. The sweet potato and lentil salads were great but I wasn't too keen on the noodle one. We also shared a bowl of their soup of the day - I can't remember for the life of me what kind it was but it was good! After a couple days of chips, chips and more chips I was just chuffed to fill my body with some colourful, nutritious food.

As well as lunch, they do breakfast (self-service porridge? Yes please!) and daily specials and also have a space nearby where they host yoga classes. The place was packed when we got there but another couple were happy for us to perch on the end of their table. The Fumbally is a proper local haunt filled with friendly Irish faces and not a tourist in sight. (Except for us, obviously... our taxi driver was impressed when we asked to be taken to his Mum's favourite cafe, rather than some Temple Bar tourist trap!) 

You can find the Fumbally on Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8 - only a 5min taxi ride from the Guinness Storehouse!

Christy xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Dublin: The Guinness Storehouse

You can't go to Dublin and not go to the Guinness Storehouse. Locals will tell you it's a complete rip off, but don't be swayed by them. We had pre-booked our tickets online and as they didn't specify a date or time we just waited until the most miserable day when we needed to hide indoors! It absolutely poured on our 3rd day in the city so that was where we headed. All we had to do was enter the booking number into a computer and out popped our passes. Make sure you don't forget this as you need your ticket to claim your pint at the end!

There are 7 floors in total where you can learn all about Arthur Guinness and the beginnings of the brand, the brewing process, how the final product was transported around the world and how they advertised through the years. Some parts were more interesting than others. My favourite was the tasting section! We learned how to really enjoy the different flavours of the drink. I'm still not exactly a big fan but hey I tasted chocolate!

The Guinness Academy was good too. You can either swap your ticket for a pint in the Gravity bar or learn how to pour your own at the Academy before you take it upstairs. I'd recommend the Academy! It's just a bit more fun and interactive. I've poured Guinness before so it wasn't exactly new to me but I still enjoyed the wee lesson! You get an official photograph and a certificate at the end to mark your achievement... I  might get my Mum to frame it...

If nothing else, the tour is worth the money just for the Gravity Bar at the top. You can enjoy your pint while spotting landmarks and admiring panoramic views of the city from up high. Don't forget to have a look in the gift store before you leave - we picked up a bauble for our Christmas tree and some personalised glasses as a wee keepsake! We spent about 2-3 hours in the Storehouse so it kept us amused and dry on our rainy afternoon in Dublin. Tickets are £18 but you get a 10% discount when booking online.


Christy xx
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