Hi Everyone, hope your week is off to a good start and you’ve stayed safe during storm Ciara.  With Valentines Day this week, I thought I would share some idea’s for your loved one.  Falling on a Friday I’ve include some weekend plans. Some prefer to go on a date rather than a flowers and chocolates so I’ve mixed it up a bit.

Romantic Dinner with overnight stay

Our favourite place to go just now is the Oak Tree in Balmaha.  I wrote a post about it last week here. I love the drive out to Balmaha and its location right on Loch Lomond.  The food is fantastic, it’s pub food with a bit extra, they don’t take bookings but the wait isn’t usually that long. Request a seat next to the fire if you can.  We always do. You can include an overnight stay in the Inn or in one the the beautiful cottages.  Rates start at £110. A romantic stroll a long the bonny banks before dinner, definite browny points!

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The Blair Tavern our local favourite, famous for it’s delicious steaks, cosy romantic setting with a country feel.  The food here is locally sourced. Choose from the light-bite menu or go the full hog, the sticky toffee pudding is something else…..

 

Coffee and a good walk

Put your phones away, grab the dogs (if you have them) this a great option to get outdoors and have a good catch up.  I think you talk a lot more when your out walking & the fresh air makes always feel good. Theres so much to see on our doorstep, Ayrshire is a great place to live and we have some great walks.  I love a wonder round Culzean Castle or Dundonald Castle stopping in at GRO on the way home for a coffee and usually one of their fabulous cakes.  Lochwinnoch has some great walks, short walk pathways or you can be away for the day.  Grab a coffee and a cake at the Wee Coffee Caravan or enjoy a meal at the Loch House on your way home.

Beige Forest Fashion Photo Collage

Cinema Date and Dinner

I’m a bit late to the party here but a customer in the shop was telling me about the 4DX viewings, I’d never heard of it. If you haven’t either it enhances the special effects, you feel the wind, water, smells and your seat moves!! This is available in Cineworld in Glasgow.  I think this would be good for a first date to break the ice.  Closer to home is Oscars, a cosy cinema with the restaurant in the same location.  They serve good food and great cocktails.

Gifts

I thought I would include a few gift idea’s, usually we make a point of spending the weekend together but seeing as Im getting ditched for the fishing, Alex take your pick of the ladies gift ideas!!

For Him

 

See you Thursday

Marlene x

17 years since our first date………. I believe in celebrating the small stuff and any excuse to be taken out for dinner!!

We’re incredibly lucky to live where we do, just over an hours drive and wer’e on the shores of Loch Lomond.  It was a rare day without the dogs, Alex took them a good walk in the morning so they were quiet happy snoozing the rest of the afternoon until we were home and it was their dinner time.

Being dog free we headed for Loch Lomond Shores for a browse in Jenners, its a while since I’ve been there. A browse it was for me anyway, I’m trying not to buy just for the sake of it.  I did see a fabulous faux furleopard print full length coat, I daren’t try it on because I new what would happen.  It was the dream but I have one, although its not faux fur also my mum bought me an Alice Temperley leopard print coat for my birthday in August when we were in London in January.  Ages away I know but it was a steal and I will have a new coat for Autumn this year.

Alex did treat me to 4 new mugs for the house, stags in the highlands, they are beautiful.  I find stags majestic, the house is becoming a bit of a shrine to them.  I need to stop buying anything with a stag on it!!  Alex got a few jumpers in the sale too.  By this time we were hungry so back to the car and we drove round the other side of the loch to Balmaha.

Now this wee place is something else, a tiny village  sitting at the bottom of the Conic Hill with a few cottages, B & B’s and the Oak Tree Inn & The Village Shop next to St Mocha’s coffee shop and ice cream parlour but there’s something about it. It’s a place I would love a wee holiday cottage.

The Oak Tree Inn sits just off the lochside, built with slate from the local quarry, modern and stylish but sits perfectly within the village.

At Christmas they wrap the building and the big oak tree in a big red bow, a huge Christmas tree stands proud at the front door and the garlands round the entrance were beautiful.  Theses photos were from our New Year’s Day walk.

You can choose to eat in the conservatory or the fire side bar, we opted for the bar with roaring fire, there was a wait but only about 10 minutes and Ken our waiter got us a great seat near the fire. It’s fascinating room with plenty to see, old grandfather clocks, tools and swords from years back hanging on the walls along with stuffed animals.

The menu always has plenty to choose from. We both choose creamy garlic mushroom on ciabatta bread to start, it was delicious the sauce was perfection.  My plate was empty before Alex!!  For our mains we both choose Creamy Chicken and Leek Pie, potatoes and veg.  The veg was a mixture of cabbage and big chunks of turnip, it was Burns weekend along with carrots and broccoli and pea’s.  Again absolutely delicious.  By this time I was stuffed and left some potatoes, by what I mean stuffed, I needed to leave room for pudding!.  A scrumptious trio of cheseecakes, banoffee, chocolate and raspberry with 2 scoops of ice-cream coffee and raspberry.  It hit the spot!  Alex had sticky toffee pudding.

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Not the best photo 🙂 but I thought Id show you what I was wearing  Coat – Old Boohoo, Faux fur Scarf –Joules  Boots – Dubarry Bag was my Christmas present from Alex. I love it Strathberry

Time to head home driving back through the picturesque villages of Balmaha and Drymen, dreaming of owning a wee place around here, totally stuffed, the button undone on my jeans because I though I was going to burst but it was worth it!! It was home, make up off ,skin care done, pyjamas on ready for Call The Midwife.  A great Sunday.

Chat soon

Marlene

 

Hi hope your well.  Thursday again and I’m back with a fashion post this week Im chatting about the chunky platform trainer.  Praise the lord, shoes that are not only stylish, comfortable but make your legs look longer.

The Chunky trainer, is going nowhere.  Hanging around for another season.  After the Balenciaga launch last year the trend filtered onto the high street towards the end of last season. I wasn’t to keen on them but I had pre-ordered them for the boutique. Slowly they began to grow on me.  I did treat myself to this pair, now in the half price sale.

Another design arrived this week and came straight home with me too, how can you resist leopard print & glitter !!

IMG-4120 Different ways to style them.  The gorgeous Emma Hill styling them up with a midi skirt and chunky jumper.  Also with jeans and a trench coat – more on them later, trench or macs are going to huge this Spring Summer, watch them filter into your favourite  stores soon.

 

Dressing down trousers and a blazer or sports luxe!

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Are you a fan of the chunky trainer? Let me know in the comments below.

Chat soon

Marlene x

Happy Thursday, the weekend is near and my Sunday day off is calling me.

I’ve found myself reaching for all black outfits, rain coats and boots.  I’m blaming the weather.   Storm Brendan hasn’t helped much this week, the weather has been awful and yes I know its Winter but the high winds and down pours Yuk! I visualising beautiful frosty morning with crisp winter sun.

So this week when I was planning my outfits and looking on the online stores for some inspiration & found myself being draw to white.  I love a Winter white / cream outfit.

Here are some of my finds:

H and M have nailed it.  I have these jumpers, they was great and were under £25.00

I’m tempted to buy this black and white cardigan, I have it in my basket then I take it out.  I think I would need to go into a River Island store to try it on. It reminds me of the Balmain Cardigan.

 

If your looking to get spendy, I spent a while on Net a Porter, the dream….

 

Hope you spotted something you like, have a great weekend.

Chat soon

Marlene x

Happy Monday everyone, hope you had a good weekend, yesterday we had our first festive ladies day with My Serenity Boutique, it certainly kick started the festivities and we meet some lovely new customers.

This morning I’m heading through to Glasgow for my monthly meeting at our Business growth programme, October went a bit off track and I didn’t do what I had planned for the month, this new website is going to be the death of me I kid you not!  It’s been 1 step forward 2 back and it’s easy to fall down that rabbit hole if your not careful.  Hence the reason to write this post.

This time of year can be a bit bleh so I thought I would share my tips on how I stay motivated.

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Top New Look Skirt My Serenity Boutique Bag & Boots Kurt Geiger (last season but I’ve linked similar)

The Fear of Regret

I don’t want to look back with much regret knowing I could have done better.  I do my best to remind myself of this. Starting my business is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself especially my confidence and It’s just the start, I’ve got so many plans and goals set I want to know I tried my best.  I would rather look back and laugh at my crazy mistakes and believe me that list is growing by the year.  Life is to short, I remind myself of that (again). I’m nearly half way through mine!  I’m going to live glamorously into my nineties at least, I’m sure of that!! I’ve already done the norm, bought the house, car, happily married, 2 precious fur babies. It’s time for the fun stuff, time to enjoy what you work hard for. Take chances.  One of my favourite quotes is the 3 c’s.  Choice, Chance, Change.  “You must make the Choice to take the Chance or your life will never Change. True story! Write you goals, bucket list and start working towards them. You’ll be amazed at what you achieve. It doesn’t have to be huge, for starters just make a list of what you want done in a week. Keep it with you & I bet you get it done. Trust me it works!!

Your circle.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you.  Be fussy with who you spend your time with “you are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with” they shape who you  are, so if your circle is negative, change it, join a group, a club, take up night school.   My business coach Kirsty  is a ray of sunshine, she’s the most positive person I know.  I always leave our group sessions with fire in my belly also an outlook that I can achieve whatever I set out to do. We need more Kirsty’s in the world! If your Ayrshire / Glasgow based I highly recommend the Glasglow Girls Club.  I’ve been to some fab events and met lots of women that I now call friends.  They have  good networking events, events where if your feeling a bit stuck, need advice, a group of us get together and help where possible.  Days out, joining the club also gives you fantastic discounts on food, entertainment and other Scottish businesses to.  There is a waiting list and I’m sure their is only 2 openings a year to join but it’s definitely worth joining.

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Remind yourself how far you’ve came.

I wasn’t always confident, it’s still something I’m working on but when I think I can’t do something I remind myself on small achievements.  For example, I was terrified of driving, I wouldn’t drive anywhere that I new had a hill start, the detours I took, I’ll tell you!  I would probably be an extra £20 on fuel a week haha. And believe me this went on for years. I also wouldn’t go anywhere I hadn’t been before, I’m still a bit iffy on that but with Google maps nowadays what could possibly go wrong…….  How did I fix it, I’d had enough, I went out early on a Sunday morning and practiced hill starts till I was blue in the face.  I still pat myself on the back when I’m on a hill and use clutch control and no handbrake, such a bad ass lol.  But seriously push yourself, you can achieve anything and I mean anything you set your mind to. x

As always, thanks for reading and I hope this gives you a bit on inspiration for this Monday morning.

Chat soon

Marlene x