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Farewell 2016

2016 has been a bizarre year and I can’t quite believe that it’s coming to an end already.
I thought I’d write a short blog post filling you all in and just making sure you’re all updated before 2017 begins. I feel like I’ve been slacking lately with my blog posts (and my YouTube channel, and updating my social media accounts etc.) but I’ve honestly just been so busy it is unreal. For those of you who watched my ‘Snapmas’ daily for the month of December: You will know just how hectic life has been for me lately and I’ve genuinely not had a minute to myself.
In 2016 I got stung by a jellyfish and lived to tell the tale, fell off a jet ski way out past the restricted area I was meant to stay in, I discovered I had a love for red onion, I started college and I got a Bengal cat and named him Milo. Apart from that, nothing much has happened this year; everything that did happen that was exciting or memorable I will have wrote about it previously on my blog. 
I used to have a schedule for my blog and I would post 3 times a week, on dedicated days, every single week. I done away with that and decided just to post whenever I had the chance or whenever an idea popped in to my head. Perhaps in 2017 I may go back to having a schedule and posting on certain days again as I believe this helped to keep me motivated and kept me on track. What do you think guys?
I plan on writing a post about things I’d like to achieve in 2017 or maybe a ‘bucket list’ style post but we will see what happens. I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still alive and kicking and that you should expect to see lots more of me in 2017.
Just before I love you and leave you: Today I went to the gym and if you’re a regular reader of my blog then you will know how much of a fitness fanatic I was for the majority of the year. I took some time off and fell away from the gym and exercising and all that jazz completely. Today, I decided I wanted to go back, it couldn’t be so hard right? Wrong. I walked in to the gym expecting to feel some sort of comfort at being back but I just felt so out of place. I kept looking around at other people doing their thing and feeling like a spare part. I felt like such a fool. I was too anxious to go on all of the equipment that I used to use 3/4 times a week, I couldn’t even go in to parts of the room that I used to workout in, it was just such an odd feeling. I felt so bad about myself and gave myself such a hard time that I didn’t stay long and went home. I tried. I went along and I did try. In 2017 one of my biggest goals is to get myself back to the gym and go as regularly as possible. The gym was one of my greatest therapies and it’s vital to me that I go back.
Anyway, lovelies, I said I was going to keep this one short & sweet. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas & have an excellent New Year!
LOVE
Charlene McElhinney

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Revolucion de Cuba launch in Glasgow.

 I was fortunate enough to be invited along to the launch of a fabulous new Latin inspired rum bar and cantina in Glasgow: Revolucion de  Cuba. Not only was I sent an E-invite (is that even a thing? I was sent an invitation by email…) but I also received the loveliest edible invitation EVER: A cookie invite. It was decorated immaculately and represented the first drink I was given on the night – totally impressed! I haven’t yet tried the cookie as I thought I’d wait until the event was over before I devoured it but perhaps I’ll have it with a cuppa later!

I have to say: I was absolutely overwhelmed by how spoiled I was last night. From the minute I walked in to the place I was treated like royalty – my friend included. I was allowed to take a plus one on the evening so I took along my lovely friend Megan McPhail (who I also took along with me to the GBK event –  which I wrote about previously). We were both looked after so well the whole evening. We were spoiled with nibbles and drinks when we first arrived and were allowed to sit and chat amongst ourselves for a bit; it was a little difficult to hear one another as there was a live band playing and it was rather loud but great to listen to all the same (they even sang happy birthday to someone later on in the evening, when I was feeling a little merry from the alcohol, so I may have joined in a little from the side lines).

After chatting for a bit and getting to know one another, a member of staff approached us and moved us over to another table, closer to the live band. We were given some food to taste and trial and we were to feedback what sort of tastes we were getting etc. I was mortified as I don’t really eat food like this but I did give it a little try so I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. It must have been delicious as I was the only one who didn’t empty my plate! Next, we took a turn each to get up and make our own little Christmas gift, with different seasoning’s and spices to pop in to a jar to take home with us as a gift.

Next up was the rum tasting session. I had never really had rum before until last night; I’m more of a fruit cider or cocktail kind-of girl. Nevertheless, I gave it a bash, and was absolutely fascinated by all the facts about all of the different rums. We tried so many! My throat was burning and I felt rather tipsy afterwards… I think we all did.

To finish off our evening, they showed us to these little corner booths, which were absolutely adorable! It was ‘tapas’ time –  (I’d never had tapas before last night either). We were spoiled with more drinks and even more food. It just kept coming and coming. There were 4 of us at our table and there was just so much food – everyone tucked right in and I just nibbled away at these spicy potato things because I am a terribly fussy eater. I made up for it with drink! Ha!

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For desert, we were given ‘Churros’ which was another first for me. I was in my element with these and I’m not going to lie: I ate 3. There was a salted caramel dipping sauce and a chocolate sauce and they were both heavenly. I definitely would have these again.

The venue in itself was stunning. There were big massive disco balls on the ceiling, all different kinds of tables and seating areas, a stage area for the live band, vintage looking books and cameras at the side of the booths (which I loved, loved, loved). It was all just so lovely. The toilets were absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I am not exaggerating. There was a huge lounge chair for you to lie on, tons and tons of mirrors, a big desk vanity with an abundance of magazines for you to choose from, flowers and everything. It was stunning. If only I had took my phone to the toilet I would have took some pics for you! Ha! It was truly magnificent: The whole place.

Do I recommend Revolucion de Cuba?  I sure do. Definitely pop it on your to-do-list if you’re venturing out to Glasgow any time soon. If it’s drinks you’re after, food, or just a chilled out evening with some live music – you will thoroughly enjoy your visit here.

So, what do you think guys? Is this somewhere you would like to go? Have you ever heard of Revolucion de Cuba before? Are tapas your kind of thing?  I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a wee comment below!

Until next time

Charlene McElhinney

 

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Reading Round Up Post

It feels like forever and a day since I wrote a blog post. If you follow me on social media you will have noticed how busy things have been for me lately: I am going to try my best to get back in to the swing of things again and keep my blog up to date. It’s a massive part of me and I begin to feel down when I fall behind.

In this post, I just want to share with you some of the books I have managed to read lately. I plan on giving you a brief synopsis and share with you my thoughts and feelings on each book. So here we go, lovelies…

 htbg

“How to be Good” by Nick Hornby

I was sent this book via a bookswap with the lovely @abbeylouisarose! Thanks you chick! This book is basically an insight into an unhappy married couple’s life. They have 2 children, a nice house and live comfortably and yet the protagonist never seems to be happy. The story is told from the wife’s perspective: She is a doctor and believes because of this she is a good person – even though she cheats on her husband and sleeps with another man. I feel as though the wife is an unreliable narrator; she doesn’t really know what she wants. Some random man called ‘Goodnews’ who is notorious for his healing powers moves in with them and starts to change the husbands outlook in life – it’s all very bizarre. You have to read it to understand what I mean. It’s a very quick and easy read. Hat off to Nick Horny for writing from a women’s perspective however I really didn’t like the wife in this book: Personally, I felt as though she just moaned throughout the whole book and was a bit of a miserable cow. I found the book quite disheartening and it does have the potential to put you off marriage, kids and settling down. I would probably give this book 2 or 3 stars out of 5.

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“Choke” by Chuck Palahniuk

Palahniuk is notorious for his famous novel “Fight Club”. I picked up this book as it was described as “fight club for sex addicts”. I thought it sounded intriguing and I wanted to give it a bash. In a nutshell, this book is about a man who is addicted to sex and seems to have slept with everyone and their mum.  He attends meetings (like an AA meeting) but for sex addicts. It is held in a church – the irony of this is that he sleeps with women from this addiction group in the church. He makes a living out of scamming people in restaurants by pretending to choke and allowing people to ‘save’ him: Apparently, these people feel indebted to him for the rest of his life after saving him. He has a best friend who has a strange notion for collecting rocks. I think this is a bit of a strange read and I have to reiterate my statement that I used for Hornby’s ‘How to be Good’ – it’s all very bizarre. 3/5 for this one I think! (I have now passed on this book to a girl called Abigail in my college class for her to read).

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“The Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare

Wow. I could literally write pages upon pages if I were to give my opinion on this magnificent book series. It was truly incredible. It takes you in to a whole other world and totally absorbs you. I became so attached to the characters that I would think about them in my daily life and it felt as though they were real. I ended up watching the film, and the Netflix series ‘Shadowhunters’ after reading these books because I was just taken in by the whole concept of this series! Cassandra Clare certainly knows what she is doing. I have already reviewed the first book in the series ‘City of Bones’ which you can read HERE. But I just wanted to mention this book series in this round up post as I have completed all 6 books now and I loved every single second of each and every one of them. I would highly recommend. 5/5 stars for every book.

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“Sisters on Bread Street” by Frances Brody

This book was an absolutely tremendous read. Frances Brody is a natural story teller and I look forward to reading more of her books in the near future. Sisters on Bread Street tells the story of two sisters living in poverty during times of war – with a German/Jewish father. The ‘Wood Sisters’ find themselves trying to make money to get by as their Father is unable to get work. The protagonist, Julia, has a good head on her shoulders and tries to earn money by making and sell pies in order to make some money to live on – and look after relatives and friends. Margaret (Julia’s sister) has other plans in mind: she seeks a wealthy husband to marry in order to live comfortably. Things get tough for Julia and Margaret as the war worsens; lives are lost and hearts are broken in this truly compelling story. I rate this book 5/5 stars and I think it is a book that I will re-read again in the future. Highly recommend.

I absolutely love getting lost in a book. I’ve been doing lots of reading at the moment. Expect more book round up posts soon!

Until next time

CHARLENE MCELHINNEY.

 

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I’m doing SNAPMAS

Happy 1st of December!

I just wanted to do a short blog post today letting you all know that I will not be participating in Blogmas or Vlogmas this year as I am absolutely swamped with college work, my new job & running my twitter chats twice a week and keeping up with my #beechat snail mail – and everything else that comes with blogging! I will, however, be doing Snapmas and vlogging on snapchat every single day for the full month of December – as frequently as possible. Today I have snapchatted like mad and kept you all in the loop throughout my whole day; I’ve received such a positive response from my followers and so I’m going to try and keep this up every day throughout December!

For those of you who are unaware about what ‘SNAPMAS’ actually is: It’s basically vlogging on snapchat every day in the month of December to celebrate the festive period. That is all there is to it. You can snap as much as you want; about whatever you want! It’s entirely up to you. I would love more and more of you to get involved as I truly believe it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of. I plan on giving a shout out every evening to whoever I have enjoyed watching on that specific day and trying to get more and more members of the community involved. Today I picked the wonderful: misschloehx who snaps regularly and always chats away on snapchat! Especially today! Get adding her lovelies! And if you add me (TheMcElhiester) I will be sure to give you more and more recommendations throughout the month of December.

Anyway, I promised myself I would keep this short and sweet as I’ve got a ton of things to do tonight, so I have to love you and leave you all just now. I plan on writing up a catch up post ASAP to let you all know how my new job and everything is going! (If you have me on snapchat – you will already know – my snapchat followers are always first to know everything).

Until next time

Charlene McElhinney

 

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SNAPCHAT: TheMcElhiester

EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com