Rheign Clothing Review

I first stumbled upon Rheign on Instagram a few months ago when I saw a picture of someone wearing that incredible aqua blue half-zip top (which just happens to be my favourite colour). After checking out their website I realised Rheign is in fact a really small independent company run by designer, owner and model Hazel Whatley – and all of the products are designed in Scotland. Fast forward to now… and I’m dressed head to toe in Rheign with another 7 items in my online basket!

Technical Half Zip - Pale Aqua

Since this top arrived last week I’ve worn it on three separate occasions. I wore it alone on a hill walk, I wore it as a base layer (for extra warmth) out on rescue boat duties last Sunday and I’ve worn it out for coffee – because as well as being technically brilliant for outdoor activities, it just looks really good.

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Best features

  • Flexible fabric – the top has a four-way stretch system for maximum movement
  • The technical fabric is breathable and took moisture away from my skin which kept me cool while walking, and warm on the boat.
  • Quick dry formula – always handy
  • Sewn with flat-seams for anti-rub
  • Thumb holes to retain sleeve position during wear – I think this would be so handy for skiing
  • Long body and sleeves – which is such a saviour for 5ft10 me!

I ordered a size small (which would fit anyone who is a size 8-10 on top).

Also available in many other colours – Technical Half-Zips

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Leggings - Grey/Aqua

I generally find leggings are not that flattering on me – I keep them for the gym and usually wear shorts or walking trousers when I’m outdoors. My other issue with leggings for the outdoors is that they stick to you when your sweaty/damp and because they’re usually made with non breathable fabric they just rub away at your skin. My point is, these leggings are made in the same fabric as the half zip so they take away that moisture from your skin – keeping you cool, dry and comfortable. And not to blow my own trumpet, but I think these are actually flattering on me.

I also got these in a size small – and they fit perfectly around the waist. They’re maybe a tiny bit short on the leg for me, but I don’t mind that at all.

Also available in lots of other lovely colours Leggings

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Supersoft Crewneck - Aqua

And finally, the snuggest jumper to cosy up in post adventure. This crewneck is as it says on the tin, it really is SO soft. Fleecey inside, chunky and warm. It’s the perfect thing to put on after you’ve been out in the cold all day – you get back to the car, strip off all your damp kit and snuggle up in this. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Again I got mine in a size small – it fits perfectly and I’m thinking about ordering one in a larger size too for slouching around in. Does anyone else do this? Shop Crewnecks.

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The price point for Rheign is incredibly reasonable – for a quality product from a small company I generally expect to pay a bit more, and I wouldn’t say any of these products are overpriced. I am a strong believer in ‘getting what you pay for’ as well as ‘buy less for more’ and it will last longer. Overall I am really pleased with the design and quality of my Rheign items and after wearing them this week I feel they are robust enough to last me years.

Thanks for reading - 


Rona x

Keep up with my latest adventures at @ronamcmillan

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Dear sports marketing, please ditch the f**king models

The women who become role models to us, and the women who SHOULD become role models to us are two very different people. Most of the time we don’t even notice – but how does this fair up for generations to come… the kids who are going to be thrown into the whirlwind of social media slapping them in the face with airbrushed images of celebrity models, photographed in clothing & equipment that should be promoting strong, healthy athletic women.  How come it’s a sexualised Roxy ad that sells me a bikini, or Kendall Jenner wearing Adidas that makes me buy new trainers? We talk about it all the time, using REAL women, doing REAL sports is good – it gets millions of views, it gets us inspired and excited – it wins awards. So WHY are we not seeing female athletes in advertising campaigns? Were they all too busy being awesome that day? Hmm.

What makes a good campaign great is the ability to tap into the minds of the viewer, something that makes me think – I am that girl, I could be that girl, I want to be that girl. I will stop being negative nancy for a second, because good advertising does exist. Ever heard of “This Girl Can”?

‘Are you up for breaking a sweat? Lottery-funded This Girl Can is designed to inspire you to sweat like a pig – and feel like a fox while you’re doing it.’

Not hot enough for sponsorship - Silvana Lima

S*** hot on a surf board, but not pretty enough for sponsorship? Are you kidding me? Silvana Lima is one of the best professional surfers in Brazil and she is being denied sponsorship for the way she looks.

“I’m not a babe. I’m a surfer, a professional one.”

And that, is what SHOULD inspire us. But athletes depend on sponsorship to an extent, it’s marketing, a pay cheque, a team and an opportunity to inspire worldwide. It’s seriously screwed that it’s only the ‘pretty’ girls that get this chance.

Silvana-Lima

Silvana Lima – WSL

Women to follow

The Kardashians and the Hadid sisters are long gone from my instagram feed – for a short while I got sucked into their parallel universe of ‘perfection’ – I kept up with Bella and Gigi for fashion and style inspo, and lets face it – the Kardashians can be entertaining. But why do these girls become the face of brands promoting sports that they have probably never done before. It kind of shakes me up the wrong way – so here are some girls with real talent, doing great things, living interesting lifestyles. Hopefully one day these women will be the ones we see all the time, on social media, in interviews, wearing our favourite brands and being themselves.

Tyler Wright

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Tyler Wright is the reigning two-time World Champion, she’s talent and strength. She’s intelligent and knows exactly who she is and what she’s doing.

“I’m comfortable, very confident, and it reflects in a powerful manner. Just the way I hold myself in certain situations – it comes from knowing myself, and that’s what’s reflected. It translates into a confident, powerful, strong style of surfing.”

Her journey from day one is pretty impressive. The Wright family is also a team of people who I really admire. Check it out…

Kimi Werner

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“Never take more than you need”

Kimi featured in Fishpeople, a film about people’s lives transformed by the sea. This is where I first came across her, and I was immediately hooked. Excuse the pun. She won the US National Spearfishing Championship, she was the best! But this sport was not in keeping with her beliefs; she left it behind to concentrate on sustainable hunting and marine conservation. Spending incredible amounts of time underwater on one breath, Kimi’s skills as a free diver and spearfisher is further proof that humans are completely capable of living in a way that is unharmful to our ecosystem.

Angie Payne

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Climber, photographer, explorer. I was introduced to Angie Payne in the film ‘Poumaka.’ She was climbing one of the world’s gnarliest towers: a 1,500-foot volcanic spire called Poumaka alongside Mike Libecki (who is one of my favourite people in the whole entire world). Angie seeks adventure, she’s out there doing amazing things and not really shouting about it. She talks about her expeditions truthfully, it’s not all sunsets and summits – and we really get to see the blood, sweat, anger and tears that push her boundaries each and every time she climbs.

 

Thanks for reading

R x

Ad(van)tures Pending

RIP Rusty - The search for a new van begins

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Summer is approaching… slowly! And the search has begun for a new family van, because our loved and ‘trusted’ red T4 kicked the bucket last year… due to summer exhaustion. I say family van; its my mums – she is the poor soul who has to pick up the pieces whenever it breaks down! So why a van? Why not pack your kit and sleep in a tent somewhere further away from a road? I asked exactly that when we first got the van a few year ago, but van life is so much fun and only enhances accessibility to the outdoors. A van becomes your own portable base of warmth and safety, as well as your mode of transport. It provides storage, cooking facilities, shelter, a place to charge your tech… and you can always tuck your tent away somewhere for more adventurous nights.

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The positives of van life

Freedom – the ability to go where you want when you want for as long as you want.

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Cost effective holidays – you can eliminate the cost of hotels, restaurant bills, flights, public transport, tickets, organised entertainment! Some cash for fuel and food is all you need.

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Simple living – Living in such a small space allows you to cut out nonessential items that clog up your average day – having a level of simplicity discards distractions that tend to melt away time day after day (Netflix, instagram, doing your hair and make up)!

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Forces organisation – not essential, however a messy van is pretty awful. Once things have a place, it makes finding them again much easier!

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Inspiration – new people, places and thoughts. I think it’s always nice to notice how your thoughts change depending on where you are and what you’re doing; at home I’m guilty of  toxic rational thinking – but when I remove myself from certain environments I think I become more logical, creative and adventurous!

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Waking up to awesome views and fresh air – waking up and being outside immediately is the most refreshing thing (unless its raining and howling)!

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Negatives

Planning ahead – almost everything requires a bit of planning and preparation, going for a shower, to the toilet, cooking, washing up…

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Loneliness – it’s always a nice idea to run away and be by yourself, but being alone without much human contact even through social media can quickly become a little too isolating – find someone to share adventures with!

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Time goes slow – although this can be good, the weather always gets bad and you can be stuck in a small space with not a lot to do. Always remember to pack a few books, and even more wine!

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Breaking down is expensive! It’s bound to happen at some point, so be prepared with some tools and good breakdown cover. Just try to break down somewhere beautiful, with waves to surf while you wait!

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Things to pack and things to do

Surfboards, bodyboards, SUPboards – something that gets you in the water. They’re easy to strap on the roof, so don’t take up any precious inside space… and if anyone forgets their sleeping bag, a board bag is your next best bet!

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Snorkel on rainy days – because it doesn’t rain underwater!

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Open water swimming to rinse off that funky perfume that you develop from living in a van for too long!

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Catch yourself some dinner while you’re in the sea!

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Warm yourself up, get the blood pumping and head for the hills –

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Check out a west coast music festival – even when your siblings aren’t thrilled to be getting drunk with you for a 4th night in a row!

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Search for magical fresh water pools to wash the salt away –

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Meet the local wildlife –

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And finally – hang out with your fam, they’re the best friends you’ll ever have!

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If you fancy a peep at some of our adventure videos (that are extremely amateur) – follow these links!

48 hours on Tiree // April 2017
Tiree Ultra 2017
Thanks for reading 

Oidhhe Mhath

R x

The Arrochar Alps in December

The Arrochar alps – sitting quietly in the midst of surrounding giants. Blue sky and views that stretch forever, glistening icicles, frozen burns and that iconic rock formation iced with heavy coats of white. The Cobbler in December!IMG_2190IMG_2198The best thing about winter hill walking in Scotland is unpredictability. The worst thing about winter hill walking in Scotland is also unpredictability! It is so hard to plan ahead, weather flickers by the second and so you either have to go super scout prepared with kit or take a risk with the elements.IMG_2197IMG_2195Without an abundance of waking kit this year, the plan was to stick to the wee hills only. 6 hour max routes, so we didn’t end up walking down icy ridges in darkness. Ben Arthur (The Cobbler) is one of my favourite hills, sitting at 2884 ft and with breathtaking views down Loch Long. We completed the hill up and down in 4 hours, and given our lacking kit of no crampons or poles it felt pretty speedy. IMG_2196We reached the summit at 2pm – the sun was low in the sky and cast incredible pink hues across the landscape. IMG_2194-5 at the top, and at least -10 with windchill meant our decent was slightly more challenging with frozen fingers and toes – IMG_2193But we weren’t as chilly as the ice climbers! IMG_2192IMG_2191Triple layers on the way down – and a teeny bit frosty/grumpy!WARM AGAIN! Thanks for a fantastic day Callum!

-and thanks for reading

R x

Ice Buzz – Christmas Water Sports

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A cold Christmas? It defiantly was for me; I feel the cold… unlike my three older brothers who seem to have built up an impressive immunity. Our holidays began with Christmas and Boxing day on the Isle of Bute at our Dads. With lots of relations on the island, we are really lucky to have access to boats, outdoor toys and equipment whenever we go over to stay! Despite the drizzle and dampening grey clouds (which would often put me off), we got going and had a great afternoon in Port Bannatyne Bay. Kit choice was slightly questionable – borrowed bits and pieces and with a wake board too small for anyones feet to fit in we improvised with one of Ewan’s surf boards.

IMG_3383IMG_3381IMG_0037IMG_0018If anyone fancies wake boarding (properly – unlike us) give Loch Lomond Wakeboard a visit, or alternatively the Glasgow Wake Park.

IMG_3157We then headed North West to Kishorn, beautifully caked in snow. This is my mums front garden, with breathtaking views over the Bealach na Bà and escaping sea views across to the Isle of Skye. It blows my mind every time I visit! My mum is very into wild swimming, whether its long distance, short distance or a speedy dip – she swears its beneficial physically and mentally; and I would not disagree. More often than not, it does take quite a bit of convincing to get me in the water, especially if I’m feeling a little run down. But I always come out the sea feeling fresh, awake and full of adrenalin. The best natural pain-killer!

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 IMG_3373With new toys to be tested, and old toys to be used – we paddled round Kishorn Bay. Three kayaks, two paddle boards and a rowing boat (not pictured).

IMG_3370IMG_3210My birthday present shamefully getting used for the first time. I cannot recommend an inflatable SUP board more; Callum got this blue SUP (in my favourite colour) from Two Bare Feet for my birthday in October. I have always been keen to try SUP boarding, and I was also convinced I wanted a solid board that I could strap to the roof of my car. But I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision to get an inflatable – it performs as well as a solid board once inflated and is a million times easier for transportation.

IMG_3321New year, new wetsuit, same me?
New years day, we took the SUPboards (Ewan bought one as well, so thankfully there will be no soloSUPing) to Loch Lomond for a hangover cure paddle. I also got to try out my new super luminous Hurley wetty, which did a great job after I fell in attempting some SUPyoga. IMG_3384IMG_3357Hurley wetsuit from Surfdome

Thanks for reading, and if anyone fancies some SUP adventures let me know!

R x

Hello Pumpkin

It’s Friday the 13th of October, the air is frosty and fresh, the trees are rustling in golden and the sun is low in the sky – blinding me as a drive home after a B E A UTIFUL day at Arnprior Farm’s Pumpkin Patch.

I have always wanted to visit a pumpkin patch! There is something idealistic and charming about hand selecting your own pumpkin straight from the ground. The same nostalgic warmth you get choosing a Christmas tree. Well, now we have a fantastic Pumpkin Farm located less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow. You won’t want to settle for a supermarket pumpkin after this!

IMG_8996Arriving at Arnprior Farm, I was absolutely besotted by what I saw. Groups of tiny kiddos running around in the mud, climbing over giant pumpkins and pulling turnips from the soil. The Farm has such a heart-warming atmosphere; designed with care and in such a loving way everybody is welcomed and encouraged to roam freely. The farm is really family friendly, but Coral and I had just as much fun as the 5 year olds – and I actually think Pumpkin Picking would be a really cute date idea! There are loads of great photo ops, and quirky extras to add to the day. After exhausting ourselves running around the kale maze, digging tatties, pulling turnips and carrying pumpkins – we were fed and watered by some fab local food trucks. We had hot dogs from Skinner of Kippen (a local butchers) and hot chocolates from the Fallen Tree Coffee Truck. Exactly what we needed to thaw our frosty fingers! During ‘moments’ of downpour, the marquee became a crafty jungle of fun with creative workshops, pop up shops and alpaca trekking!

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A little bit about Arnprior

Duncan, Rebecca and their three beautiful children run their pumpkin farm alongside their keep of 1000 sheep that they lamb in the spring and 100 acres of Gluten Free Oats. Arnprior was primarily a beef, sheep and arable farm until 2015 when the McEwan family took a new direction and started to diversify into pumpkin farming – and thank goodness they did! More than 5000 pumpkins have been grown across two acres of land at the farm and they come in all varieties of lovable shapes and sizes. I think it’s the McEwan family themselves that makes their farm so inviting. Time is no issue; there is no pressure to buy and no restriction to explore. Their laid-back approach is so refreshing and totally puts visitors at ease.

Rebecca’s top tips on how to choose your perfect pumpkin:
  1. Look for one with a long interesting handle.
  2. The more bumps and irregularities, the more the personality to your pumpkin.
  3. Pumpkins come in all shapes; my favorites are the short squashed fat ones.
  4. The best colour is not always pure orange, look for the autumnal colours shining through.
  5. Remember you’ve got to carry it home.

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What to do you with your Pumpkin…

FullSizeRenderWhether you grew up chiselling away at a hardy turnip until your spoon bent in three directions (in true Scottish/Irish tradition) or whether you have adopted the American approach of pumpkin carving – lanterns for Halloween have become extravagant works of art in recent years. More so than the simplistic zigzag mouth and triangle eyes we did as children! With a little help and inspo from YouTube tutorials and Pinterest boards the elaborate designs are becoming more impressive each year! Also, carving tools! Since when? They make such a difference for intricate deconstruction – it makes me question why we were ever trusted with kitchen knifes!

In the kitchen? This list goes on, and on. I overheard some recipe conversations at Arnprior – everything from pumpkin humus to pumpkin lasagne was mentioned. Mind: blown! I’d never considered anything further than roasting the seeds or making soup. I’m going to be trying a few of these recipes this week https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/pumpkin – all failed attempts and hopefully a few success bakes will be all over my Instagram story I’m sure!

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If you’re interested in visiting this wonderful pumpkin land:

Arnprior Farm is free to enter with ample free parking on site; it will be open on the following dates:

Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 October 2017, 10am – 4pm

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October 2017, 10am – 4pm

WELLIES ARE A MUST!

Thanks for reading

Rona X @ronamcmillan

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Blue Mind, Vitamin Sea and Salty Hair

Blue Mind

In my last post I mentioned the idea of ‘Blue Mind’ – I got so many lovely responses and questions about it so I’m going to explain it a little more. Just to recap – ‘blue mind’ is a mildly meditative state, it is a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in one moment.

For me, I experience it most often under two circumstances:

The first is being in the water; when I manage to tune out how cold I feel; the sound of the wind and the waves become muted and there is complete silence. In that moment everything is slow. I do not have any thoughts towards what will happen next. I am completely present in that moment. And of course, that is when I experience that cringe to the stomach feeling of a smile creeping from the corners of my mouth; an uncontrollable feeling of satisfaction.

The second is usually when I’m walking in the city and my phone has run out of battery; ironic because I spend a lot of time moaning about living in a city. I don’t experience this when I’m ‘home’ i.e, anywhere north-west – because I don’t rely on or expect my phone to have signal. But when your phone dies in the city, suddenly you’re cut off while still surrounded by people. I really enjoy looking, and seeing, noticing things that totally go unnoticed normally. I start to smile at people, and even say hi to those who smile back. It’s just one of those ‘happy to be alive’ moments. *Note* this does not work when I just turn my phone off… it has to be dead to the world to totally release me from its ties.

Vitamin Sea and Salty Hair (the benefits of)
  • I’m sure we’ve all experienced that feeling of being totally knackered after a day at the beach, there’s our first health kick of vitamin sea. Insomnia; cured!
  • Appreciation – never have I ever felt so content with a cup of tea and somewhere warm to sleep after one too many hours spent outdoors, whether up a hill or in the water. Suddenly a hot shower and some soup is truly the best thing in the world!
  • Refreshed body – there is no greater healer than salt water, it’ll clean your cuts and scratches, exfoliate your skin and boost your circulation – also all your worries will be forgotten (because you’ll be far too cold to think of anything else)!
  • Blowing away cobwebs – this may not apply to those who live in beautiful calm beachy locations – but Scottish wind will blow you sideways. Being by the sea isn’t just for sunny happy days – it’s a good place to be angry. Let off some steam and scream at the top of your lungs; whats the worst that can happen? You’ll maybe scare off a few seagulls.
  • Danger zone to comfort zone – stepping out with your comfort is a daunting thought. Even for me, plunging my warm body into cold water is fairly unnatural – but taking that leap *quite literally* can only be good for our brains. It’s an opportunity to practice risk taking, and a chance to listen to the voice that says ‘just do it.’ We can then apply that confidence to our everyday – I’m basically encouraging life to be a bit more… dare I say it… ‘YOLO!’
  • Witnessing the rare – in a society that demands instant result, immediate reaction and attention, it is easy to get caught in a trap of wanting to capture everything on snapchat and insta story. I question how much we really experience; to witness something happening with our own eyes and using our own brains to retain memories. I’m guilty of not doing this myself, even when I’m out of signal… I’ll experience moments through my phone with the reassuring thought that I can post it later when I get wi-fi. Maybe this is why being in the water creates such a release of pressure; phone-less and left with nothing but thoughts and ideas – no pinging notifications and nagging need to fill people in on what’s happening.

I’m going to share this video with you; it’s an artwork by Tacita Dean – she talks about the green ray (also known as the green flash); something so beautiful and rare that she tried to capture over and over again. What she eventually realises is the act of looking itself is far more powerful than the success of capturing the moment on film.  Tacita Dean – Green Ray (Witnessing The Rare)

Rona X @ronamcmillan