10 THINGS TO EXPERIENCE ON YOUR TRIP TO GIBRALTAR (LIKE A LOCAL).

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Gibraltar is a European peninsula nested at the Southern tip of Europe, bordering Spain and if the weather permits, you'll also get a glance of Morocco on a clear day. Despite it’s interesting location and culture, it is a place that is quite unknown to most of the world - when I lived in Florida and would tell people I was from Gibraltar they thought it was a country as real as Genovia or Asgard. It can often be seen as a ‘mini Britain in the sun’ and there’s no surprise why. It is indeed an overseas British territory with over 300 days of sunshine and only covers 6.8km². However, there is a lot more to do on your trip to Gibraltar than laying on the beach and eating fish and chips. Here are 10 things to experience on your trip to Gibraltar.

gibraltar

1. Take a walk up the Rock of Gibraltar.


No matter how you arrive in Gib this is pretty hard to miss. As it's a rather large rock in the middle of the country, known simply as the Rock of Gibraltar. Yes you can climb up it and no you won't need to pack your whole trekking kit as it's quite a pleasant walk up and you might bump into a few barbary macaques along the way, just don't feed them or they might bite more than you bargained for. If you want to find out more about our hairy friends then there are 'Monkey Talks' that take place up the rock where you can learn more about them and chill with them. If it's too warm and you'd rather walk down and get transport up, then the cable car is an interesting way to see Gibraltar and save your legs, just be prepared to queue for a while in peak season. There are a number of other sites of interest you'll find up the rock, including the new Gibraltar Skywalk that was opened by Star Wars' Mark Hamill. Along with the Suspension bridge, St Michael's Cave, the Great Siege Tunnels. If you're feeling even more adventurous, Lower St Michael's Cave offer tours that include 'scrambling and minor climbing' through the cave and inner lakes.


2. Take a hike up the Mediterranean Steps. 



For the more adventurous, the Mediterranean steps begin at Jew's Gate and is a walking (well step) trail all the way to the top of the rock, and with this you will be sweating and probably want to starfish face down on one of the rocks at the top. You don't have to be a marathon runner to accomplish this but you will probably be short of breath a couple of times. Make sure you bring water and sun screen and it's best to do it early in the morning before the sun is hitting hard. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half at a normal pace to complete and if you do it often enough you'll have a butt like Kim K in no time.

mediterranean steps


3. Go and see the Dolphins.


I don't even have to explain to you where to find this, just walk into Ocean Village and look out for someone in a blue or yellow t-shirt holding a clipboard who will take you to the meeting spot. Personally I'd recommend Dolphin Adventure (yellow boat). You'll be taken out into sea and you are very likely to see dolphins and possibly turtles and migrating whales. Tickets cost £25 for adults and £12.50 for children.

4. Stroll down Main Street.


I pass through here most days so for me I've become accustomed to my surroundings, but now and again it's nice to picture seeing it from a tourists point of view. It's interesting to see the mix of old architecture, local and Spanish shops and then see Topshop, Marks & Spencers and Accessorize been thrown into the mix. There are lot of cute little streets around so it's great to just wonder around and see what you stumble upon. You'll be able to buy all your cheap alcohol and cigarettes here too if you don't want to wait for the airport.

main street

5. Try local foods.


What I love about my lunch breaks in Gib is that I can pop over to Yummy Tummies in Ocean Village and get a whole bunch of stuff for £5. Spinach pie (torta de acerga), croquettes (I could eat 100 of the puchero/spinach variety), breaded chicken/meat, Spanish omelette (torta de patata) and calentita are things to look out for. If you're in Main Street then Tasty Bite is another good spot to find these. If you're still looking for a taste of Britain, then Roy's Fish and Chips in Casemates Square can give you exactly that. Whilst you're at it, pop into any corner shop and buy yourself a Sun Cola or Sun Top Orange - Gibraltar's unofficial national drink.

6. Attend one of our cultural/music events.


From June to September, Gibraltar's cultural and live music scene is buzzing. Kicking off with the Calentita Food Festival in June and ending with MTV's Gibraltar Calling in September. If it's music and dancing you're after, then we have the Festival of Colours in July and The Electronic Music Festival in August which are always a blast and can get a little bit messy. The biggest celebration of the year takes place on the 10th September - Gibraltar's National Day. Where the whole country dresses in red and white and celebrates (parties) from 10am to the early hours of the morning the next day. If music events aren't your cup of tea, then the Literary Festival has also become a popular event in Europe and takes place later in the year in November. The festival brings together authors and audiences alike, and allows people to purchase the books on sale and then have them signed personally by the authors at the event. 

7. Take a day trip to Morocco.


Whilst you're here, you might as well take advantage of our proximity to Morocco. There are tours operated in Gibraltar that take you to Morocco on a day excursion for less than 100 pounds/euros and the ferry takes around 45 minutes. For more information make sure to check out my blog post on a weekend in Tangiers, Morocco.

camel tangiers


8. Spend an afternoon on one of our many beaches.


Assuming you've come here from England or somewhere where there is more rain than sunshine, then a day at the beach is probably what you're after. If you like your space, then Eastern Beach is your best shot as it's the largest. If you want to lay somewhere picturesque, Catalan Bay has lovely colourful houses as a backdrop and good seafood restaurants. If you hate sand, then Quarry has two pools and you can also jump into the ocean. My favourite beach however has to be Sandy Bay, despite it's smaller size.


9. Have a picnic in Alameda Gardens.

You probably won't want to spend your whole day here, but if you're heading towards the cable car this would be a nice spot to have lunch after. There are tons of species of plants and fauna and you will also find a small Wildlife park, ponds and a children's playground. 

10. Have a night out. 


No summer holiday can be complete without a night of cocktails, listening to reggaeton and having a takeaway (or Pizzeria Plaza) at the end of the night right? There aren't a plethora of clubs to choose from, in fact if it's a dance you're after you will either end up in Bruno's or Dusk. I'd suggest to start the night in the Chatnam Countergard area where you'll find a row of restaurants and bars. Then move on to Bruno's at midnight and head to Dusk at 2am until whenever your feet start hurting.


Have you ever been to Gibraltar? Have you heard much about the place before? 

G


gibraltar pinterest
gibraltar pinterest

THE MALTESE ISLANDS | 4 DAY ITINERARY FOR MALTA, GOZO AND COMINO.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Hello gang! This is going to be my last travel guide for a while as I don't currently have any trips planned for a while. Malta was a treat, so I've been looking forward to writing this guide whilst I try not to lean back on my chair because my back is rather red. For those of you who haven't come across this little gem, Malta is a Southern European country/archipelago that is nested under the south of Sicily and is made up of several islands, including Gozo and Comino. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and this is one place you're definitely going to want to purchase a souvenir fan and suncream in the store as temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees celsius in the summer. If you regularly read my travel guides, I tend to split them up into where to eat, what to do and where to stay in the area, but I thought I'd try something different here because there are several areas worthwhile exploring as the country is small and you can see a lot in a couple of days. 

3 cities malta

Day 1: 3 Cities, Mdina

So we were meant to arrive in Malta at 10am, and instead our flight got changed to the afternoon so we ended up arriving at 7pm, pretty much losing a whole day. I still had my handy guide on what we were meant to do that day before changing our itinerary, so for the sake of this blog post we'll stick to the former. 

BREAKFAST: For breakfast we stopped off at the Busy Bee cafe in Msida which had cute interiors, cheap and tasty coffee and nice little cakes and pastries. It's totally acceptable to have a mini pastry that's topped with chocolate pudding at 9am. 

After breakfast, we embarked on a Vintage Car Tour that took us around the 3 cities of Vittoriosa, Cospicua & Senglea. I had to google what the names where again because the locations went in one ear and out the other, but I remember they were a lot of Marinas (we learnt that there are over 600 boats in the marina from other European places and that there is no more room so they're building another one).

vintage car tour


LUNCH: For lunch we stopped at the Chalk Cafe & Bar in Mdina, which served traditional Maltese pastries, and other bites to eat. It was definitely a lovely little gem. Definitely try the cheese or pea pastizzis! 

Mdina is where you will find most of the Game of Thrones filming locations. You'll come across a sort of fortress which is perfect for your Instagram photos and for strolling around pretending you're back in the Medieval times. Here you'll find St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Catacombs, 'Littlefinger's Brothel' and it's just genuinely a lovely little place to get lost around. This place was so peaceful and you'll find a number of signs telling people to keep the noise down and respect the locals.

DINNER: I was travelling with my celiac friend which means she can't have any gluten, so away we went to find a place nearby that had GF food. We came across New York Best | University Heights which serves up pizzas and burgers, and they were good, juicy pizzas and burgers.


mdina gate

Day 2: St Julians & Gharida Bay


BREAKFAST: 

Popeye Village was home to the set of the 1980's musical 'Popeye' and since then has been a popular tourist attraction for people of all ages. The buildings are a chameleon of colours and have toy stores, museums, bakeries and other small attractions but it's just a great place to wander around in the morning and get some photos in.

LUNCH: Zozi's Bar and restaurant

If you fancy a chilled night and a bit of a tan before heading out. Then Ghadira Bay is a great beach to do it on and you'll have a lot more space to relax and than at the Blue Lagoon, and the water is almost as nice. Malta is one of those places where you can have a mix of culture, relaxation and a wild night out if you wanted to.


DINNER: We started our evening in Sardinella's Italian restaurant in St Julian's. I had a plate of spinach and ricotta stuffed raviola in a rich tomato sauce - which is why it probably took me so many shots to get drunk. Their prices are good, an extensive cocktail menu, GF options and an outdoor seating area (and an ATM machine right beside incase you need to take out cash guys!). We then went off to The Tipsy Barber for some drinks before getting our dancing shoes on in the Havana club in Paceville. This place had 2 rooms - one rnb and one reggaeton. There are also pubs, bars and other clubs along the area if you fancy a different kind of atmosphere - and drinks are cheap!


st julians


Day 3: Gozo & Comino 



BREAKFAST: On our walk to Sliema we stumbled upon a cafe called Eeetwell, and after our night out I could have really done with fresh things. I ordered a tropical smoothie and a bunch of protein balls. They also do fresh sandwiches and healthy wraps if you fancy taking a packed lunch for the day tour. 

On our third day we were up nice and early to go catch a ferry to the Blue Lagoon. We went with a company called Luzzu Cruises which cost us 35 euros each and included the trip to Gozo and Comino and a complimentary 2 hour walking tour we could have taken the next day (which we didn't have time for). The ferry boarded from the town of Sliema which is where you'll find a lot of the tours leave from. If you're staying in Valletta you can have a nice morning half hour walk or be there in 20 minutes by taxi. 

It took around 1 hour to reach the first Island, and I'd recommend getting there earlier as people start reserving their seats early - and unless your desperate for a red back I'd suggest getting a seat downstairs in the shade. When we arrived in Gozo we were split into several vehicles and our guide Edward took us to see several locations - including the Gozo Cathedral (which chimed on for what felt like 10 minutes), Gozo Main Square, and of course we got to have a 15 minute outing on a boat to see where the Azure window used to lie. 

LUNCH: We stopped for lunch at Cafe Jubilee which served a variation of sandwiches as well as Maltese favourites such as cheese/pea pastizzis, qassatats or a more filling plate of Bragioli (concoction of bacon, egg, and garlic dipped in breadcrumbs and wrapped in tender slices of beef).

We then got back on the ferry to make our way to the Blue Lagoon, which was a further half hour away. So me and my friends thought it would be a cool photo to all wear red bikinis like we were some Maltese version of Baywatch, what we didn't expect that the 'beach' would be tiny and packed like sardines so it made our mini photo shoot slightly more embarrassing. Nevertheless it was an experience, the water was crystal clear, we were sipping on some Pina Colada pinapples and laying on our deckchairs we paid 4 euros for instead of 10 (not bad for our first shot at haggling). We had around an hour and a half here before we set back to Sliema. 

DINNER: This place was recommended to us by our lovely taxi driver and it's definately the place to be if you want dinner with a view (the sunset), lively music and an exciting Sunday evening. You're most likely going to have to get a taxi to get to Cafe De Mar but it's definitely worth it. It's essentially a beach club so you might get a mixed Ibiza/Marbella chilled vibe going on. I went for a beef burger with cheese and caramelised onions and had no complaints.

blue lagoon


Day 4: Valletta 

BREAKFAST: I feel like we didn't get to properly enjoy our breakfast because of our situation in the next paragraph, but this place had great iced coffees and a large selection of pastries and cakes. I opted for a orange and almond cake and my friend got a Nutella filled pastry (yum).

It's story time! So Colour My Travel kindly gave me a complimentary ticket to their Valletta Complete Walking Tour and my friends had purchased their own tickets, and we were really looking forward to this to discover a bit more history about the place. We were checking out that morning and were leaving the suitcases with my friends sister who was also in Malta and had hired a car. We were in a bit of a rush so had to start making our way to Valletta, with our hand luggage suitcases, up hill, in the heat, for 30 minutes. I was legit downing my iced latte whilst two of our friends went to drop off the cases, I go to open up the tickets and see the tour had in fact started at 10am, and it was 10:55am.

cafe royal malta


So that was a bit of a failure, but since we had the whole morning to kill we decided to make our own tour by heading to all the spots that were listed on the tour and then using Wikipedia to find out what was so interesting about the wall we were stood in front of. Some sites of interest included
  • The Church of Our Lady of Victory
  • Upper Barrakka Gardens (you can get some great Insta shots here)
  • The Auberges of Castille and Italy (not to be confused with Aubergines)
  • The Castellania, or Law Courts of the Knights
  • St. John’s Co-cathedral 
  • The Great Siege Monument
  • Lower Barrakka Gardens 
  • The Old University
  • Our Lady of Damascus Greek Catholic Church
  • St. George’s Square and the Grand Master’s Palace
  • The Bibliotheca Nazionale
  • The Banca Giuratale
  • The Monte di Pietà e Redenzione
  • Casa Rocca Piccola (entrance fee and you need to have a guided tour)
There were also loads of 'thought-provoking' statues around the city which I found to be of particular interest. I had a look into them and there are apparently 7 of these symbolising Maltese sayings.

LUNCH: If you're looking for something light, healthy and cheap then I highly recommend No 43. You pay 4 euros for a small bowl and 6 for a large and get to choose 3 things to put in it (chicken quinoa salad, pasta salad, mixed veg, chickpeas etc). They have gluten free and vegan options so it's a great place to go if you're in a group with mixed diets. If you'd rather walk and eat, then there's a 'create your own sandwich/baguette' store next door called Submarine.

Since by this point the sun is probably blinding and you've worked up a sweat from all the hills in the city centre, it might be a good time to get your culture fix from the museums in Valletta. As I mentioned above, Casa Rocca Piccola is meant to be one of the most beautiful spots in Malta (it's a 16th century palace). There is also the National Museum of Archeology (thought of you Abbey!) and the National Museum of Fine Arts. If like me, you have a major sweet tooth, then you might want to take a break at French Affaire for a coffee and cake - warning an iced coffee will cost you more than the actual cake. 

DINNER: Palazzo Preca had an extensive Maltese menu at decent prices and is a family run restaurant. The wine list is great if you fancy toasting your last night in Malta, and I'd recommend the seafood risotto - delicious.

valletta



PRACTICAL TIPS FOR MALTA 


Where to stay in Malta


Luxury

Malta is a place where you can stay in luxury and not have to pay the large price tag that comes with staying in a lot of European cities. If you're looking to stay in the capital (Valletta) then Casa Ellul is an excellent 4 star located right in the city centre and there rooms are very charming and have a unique room interior of gold and black. Meanwhile in St Julian's, if you want to stay in the heart of the action but don't want to hear people chanting at 4am in Paceville, then The Westin Dragonara Resort looks insane. The views and pool are beautiful and I can imagine this to be like heaven when the sun is setting and you're sat there with a mojito in one hand appreciating life. You'll also find your usual Hilton, InterContinental and Corinthia hotels around here. 


3 Star

If you're looking to stay in the popular nightlife district then St George's Park Hotel is a good shout and is 2 minutes away from the beach, offers free Wi-Fi and has a pool so you can get a tan in the morning whilst you're sleeping off your hangover. Meanwhile, if you want to stay in the Harbour and be the first one on the boat for the Blue Lagoon, Sliema Harbour Hotel features a sun terrace with a hydrotherapy pool, and a rooftop breakfast room with views across the harbour. It's a stone throw away from the bus terminals and ferries. 


Budget 

In hindsight, we could have probably splurged a little more on our hotel but I booked it so far in advance I hadn't even done any research into the area. We stayed at Central Area Apartment which was located in Msida, around a half hour walk from Valletta and Sliema. It took us a while to find the apartment and it was a little on the stuffy side, but other than that we couldn't complain for what we paid for. We paid 50 euros each for 3 nights (there were 4 of us). The apartment was clean, the Wi-Fi was free, we had a flat screen TV with Youtube which made getting ready in the early mornings that bit easier (we must have watched the Girls Like You music video a hundred times). It was basic, but all we needed. 

If you're travelling on your own and looking to make a few pals to go have a few beers with, then there's the Inhawi Boutique Hostel in St Julian's that is close to public transport, has a pool, and offers continental breakfasts. If you've never stayed in a hostel before, you may want to read about my first experience staying in a hostel here.  

Getting around in Malta

I usually say the best way to see a city is by foot, but because you're essentially exploring the whole country, there's only so many miles the human leg can walk before you collapse and starfish on the ground. You can manage the walk between Sliema, St Julian's and Valletta but to get to some of the other areas the best method is either public transport of sharing a taxi. 

There's an app called Tallinja which lets you know the bus times, routes and directions for you to take. However some of them don't run very often so we found we were going to be waiting for 40 minutes for a bus that took us to Mdina. So instead, we rang up the taxi company HiCabs and from then on used them whenever the walk was going to be more than 40 minutes as a taxi ride of half an hour only set us back 17 euros in total. By places like Valletta City Gate and the St Julian's 'strip' you'll find 'book and go' taxi kiosks where you pay a set price depending on the area you're going to, show your ticket, and ride off in a taxi into the wind.

Few things to remember

  • Maltese is the official language, but a lot of people speak English. 
  • Malta uses euros and also have their own maltese euro coins. 
  • The best time to visit is May-June or September as the summer months can get unbearably hot. 
  • HiCabs is the best taxi company to use for getting around safely, quickly and economically. 
  • AirMalta gives you a free bread roll and water on board, hooray!


Malta definitely exceeded my expectations and I'll be sure to return and see the places I didn't get to see. Have you guys been to Malta, what were your highlights or what would you like to see if you haven't? 

G

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malta travel guide




INTRODUCING DAFNI GO: THE PERFECT HAIR TOOL FOR BUSY (AND LAZY) GALS.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

If you've had the unfortunate experience of having to straighten or curl my hair (Zoe, Grace, Angelica, Kirsty, Gabby) then you know that I have a lot of it - layer upon layer of thick red Hermoine Granger-esqueness. Right now my hair is in pretty good condition, but flashback to when I was 18 I had hair down to my waist and a knot on the back of my head that just kept coming back no matter how many times my friend/me/the scissors tried to get rid of it. Most of the time, I'm too lazy to style my hair because it takes time and I do kind of like the natural wave my hair has. Although, my Friday night routine has changed forever thanks to the Dafni Go hair straightening brush.

dafni go


BTW: The white patch in my hair is my dry shampoo which I hadn't rubbed in yet, and this photo was taken prior to straightening my whole head with the brush.

So what is Dafni Go? 


In essence, it is a hairbrush and straightener merged in to one. You simply plug it in, press the on button and wait for it to heat up, and then brush and watch your hair straighten. There is no heat setting and the brush remains heated at 18'C which is safer and also less damaging to your hair, whilst giving optimal results from root to tip. The product itself costs £99.99 and can be purchased direct from the Dafni website. It includes the travel case and detachable cord. 

My thoughts on Daphne Go 


As I mentioned, my hair is pretty thick so I was intrigued to see if this was going to work on me or not. I straightened my hair in two layers, and it did leave my hair smoother but because I was also brushing out all the tangles my hair looked quite 'puffy' and thick at first. I left it to settle whilst I carried on getting ready for our party and then I was good to go. It actually worked a lot quicker than when I use a GHD as I usually do it in thinner layers and have to use an additional hairbrush to comb through the hair as I go along. 

My only worry was that because it's a 'stiff' brush, I wouldn't be able to curl in the bottom of my hair in so my layers wouldn't flick out. I did notice it looked a bit Farrah Fawcett along the tips, but I just held on to my hair as I curved the brush in and the problem was fixed. I love the practicality of it, especially for travelling. It comes in a compact case with space for the brush and cable (and you could add your clips and bobby bins too if you wanted), and it also means you don't have to pack a hairbrush either.

I tried the product on my sister who's hair is longer and thinner than mine and it worked excellently for her. I think it's a product that wouldn't work great on people who don't have really thick curls, but does the job for other hair types.  Whether you're looking for a tool you can take travelling with you or something that you can work into your morning routine before work, the Dafni Go does the job.


What is your hair routine like? Do you like to go natural or do you often straighten or curl it? 

G







THE BALANCE BETWEEN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE & PEANUT M&MS.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Summer is round the corner, meaning you have probably been bombarded with articles and sponsored media about getting in shape for summer and what your body should look like for you to be 'allowed' to be in a bikini. It's a problem when magazines and the media tell us what we should be doing with our bodies, BUT it is perfectly fine for you to want to look your best and be confident when it comes to getting semi-naked (depending on the beach) in the hotter months. Now with that little disclaimer out of the way, I want to talk to you guys about body confidence, living a balanced lifestyle, and having a healthy diet without compromising on all the good stuff.  

boudavida


So to backtrack a bit, this time last year I was coming to the end of my university degree and even looking back at my 4 years at university my eating habits changed a lot from first to final year. My flatmates can tell you that during freshers fortnight my diet consisted of crackers with jam, cereal and ready meals. I did attempt to make some home comforts such as Rosto and Paella, but for me I think it was I didn't like cooking in a crowded kitchen and well, couldn't be bothered. Luckily by final year it was just me and my friend Meg, so I enjoyed cooking dinner whilst drinking a glass of wine in my  silk robe with my records playing pretending I was a 50s housewife. Even though my eating habits got better, I still took various trips to Lidl every week to stock up on prawn crackers, ready meal mac n cheese and kinder buenos. When my sister came to visit in the beginning of June we decided we were going to embark on our healthy diet so we'd look less flabby in time for our return back to Gibraltar. We quickly found out eating healthier was more expensive, at least if you want to have avocados and salmon often - but we'll leave that debate for another blog post. 

Fast forward a year I've actually stuck to that and lost between 10kg-12kg and managed to keep it off, bar the odd fluctuation whenever I go travelling and can't say no to anything. For me, once I'd reached my goal weight it was the case of how do I stay like this but lose fat/build muscle? I became a bit worried with the fact that if I increased my calories back to 1800 or so I'd balloon back within a week. Obviously, that hasn't been the case, and I can say I still manage to sneak in chocolate in to my diet pretty much every day and remain in shape. Do I eat salads everyday? no. Do I drink coke and a packet of crisps every afternoon? no. The key is to find a happy medium that's actually sustainable beyond your 'diet' period. Here are just some of tips for the way achieving a balanced healthy lifestyle.


boudavida

Be realistic with your goals.


Having a salad for dinner every night might work for you for a few days, but if that was me I'd be satisfied for an hour and then be raiding the Oreos. If your goal is to lose weight, then just because you've lost 2lbs the first week doesn't mean it's going to happen every week (for a number of factors). MyFitnessPal loves to tell me that if 'everyday were like today I'd weigh X in 5 weeks', but in reality there are going to be things that get in the way and probably a bit of backtracking. Don't let this be disheartening and instead give yourself adequate time to reach your goals. 

Follow a diet that you can stick to long-term. 


The military diet, Atkins etc are all plans that can work for you if you're trying to lose a couple of pounds for an occasion, but most of the time the plans won't stick after. Something like 'intermittent fasting' is a great lifestyle to adopt because you're essentially just changing when you eat and not so much what you eat. It works because your body isn't constantly working to process your food so when you're not eating for a period of time it actually goes off to target your fat. 

Prepare for your 'cheat' meals.


I'm a bit of a spreadsheet freak, so yes I do have a chart to plan what I'm going to eat most of the week. Firstly, because it makes grocery shopping a lot easier and secondly I can plan for meals out and the 6 Gin & Tonics I consume on Friday nights. In doing so I can try and eat relatively well before/after the occasion to not make a massive dent in my fitness/food regime. In a perfect world, I would also exercise on my cheat day but this usually falls on a Saturday and the last thing I want to do when I'm hangover is head to the gym. 

Enjoy the exercise you do.


Going to the gym 5 times a week isn't for everyone, I've got to the point where I enjoy going because I can have uninterrupted youtube time on the treadmill or unleash my built up anger (kidding, kinda). I tried going to gym classes and found I didn't really like following people and I am rather uncoordinated and prefer to do my own thing. 

Don't deprive yourself of anything. 


Living a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you have to say no to everything that has refined sugars forever. You're more likely to fail if you think that you're never going to be able to enjoy pizza again or a bar of Galaxy. As I said, I eat quite well during the week and then on Friday's and Saturdays allow myself to be a bit more lenient with myself, and that keeps me motivated. The same with eating out, I'm the kind of person that won't say no to chocolate cake if it's offered even if I'm meant to be on a diet (oops) but it's not like I get offered double chocolate Nutella filled cake everyday!

Have a routine. 


It's easier to stick to something if you incorporate it into your daily routine (and you're less likely to avoid it). When I first started going to the gym i'd use any excuse to not go, whereas now I jot down in my day planner when I'm going and what I'm doing, so I'm not wasting my time there either. It's important not to try and be superwoman either, I once tried to fit in 5 sessions into a very busy week and found myself arriving at the gym tipsy after meeting a friend for 'one' drink, bad idea that is not to be encouraged.

Be comfortable in your own skin (and clothing). 


Last but not least, is whatever you are doing in your life, in general and body wise, make sure you are comfortable in what you're doing and that you are aiming towards your own goals, not what Bella Hadid's are or the ones Glamour sets for you. On the topic of comfort, I'd like to talk to you guys about a brand called BoudaVida who I have collaborated with on this post.

BoudaVida are a fitness clothing brand that supply everything you need to run, kick, stretch and lounge in. What's best is that every time you buy something from Boudavida they donate 5% to female athletes, charities, clubs and projects. So your purchase 'not only makes you feel great, it means you are helping more women and girls get active and improve their health and wellbeing'.

This spirit crop (now £25) and zoom leggings (now £40) are the perfect duo for pretty much any sort of activity. The best thing for me is that it has an elastic waistband which means I can run on the treadmill without pulling them up every 2 minutes! I also checked to see it was squat proof, and ladies it passed the test. I'm small chested so I don't requite a lot of support, but it definitely keeps everything in place either way.

boudavida




Would you say you live a balanced lifestyle? What is your guilty pleasure? Despite the title, it would have to be Oreos or cheesy garlic bread for me!

G



MAKING TIME FOR THE THINGS YOU ACTUALLY GIVE A DAMN ABOUT.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Time is a funny thing - you think you have a lot of it and next thing you know you're in a rocking chair knitting in your front porch (I watch too many American movies). Which is why you get to an age where you don't want to be wasting your time on things and people that don't actually add anything of value to your life. Time is precious, therefore we should be making time to do things that we actually want to do and bring us joy. If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading Sarah Knight's book on 'the life-changing magic of not giving a F*ck* who tells you exactly how you can stop giving your time, or 'f*cks' to things you don't really care about and making time for the things you do. But for now, here is my list of things I want to make more time for.


michael kors watch

Myself


I'm usually the type of person who says yes to everything, even though some weekends I just want to lay on the sofa eating Doritos and watching Sky Cinema. I've done a couple of posts about spending time with yourself and enjoying your own company, and I definitely want to make more time to just chill. Maybe write or draw a little, or actually get round to designing my bullet journal which I keep saying I don't have time to do. 

Volunteering 


I'd like to make time to do something selfless in my community, so it's time to get researching. At some point in my life I would like to volunteer for a NGO abroad of some sort. I've found the website Workaway is great for finding projects you can get involved with around the world, and a lot of time in return you can get free accommodation and some meals. So this is a great place for people who are looking to save some money whilst travelling, and doing a good thing. 

Actually catching up with 'old' friends


How many times do you bump into people you haven't seen in a while and say 'we need to go for a drink!' and then just go about your business and it doesn't happen. I'm not talking about reconnecting with everyone you've crossed paths with in the last few years, but I'd definitely like to reach out more to some of my friends from University I haven't spoken to a while and adore, or friends here who's company I actually enjoy. Even though I don't speak to some of my university friends everyday I know I could plan a trip over and visit them and it be like I never left. 

Doing nothing


 I like routine, and often don't like having little pockets of time in the day where I have nothing to do. After work I usually work on my blog/meet a friend for a coffee, then go to the gym, then watch Love Island, and then read my book or go to bed. However, I rarely give myself time or 'allow' myself to do sweet nothing. Being busy all the time is overrated and we could all do with having some more down time.  

Socialising with my family 


I kind of want to introduce family game night, maybe once a month because we're all competitive and stubborn and we'd all end up arguing every weekend if not. Living back at home means I see my family everyday, but want to make time to actually engage in activities - whether its going for walks in Spain, playing Disney Trivia Pursuit with my little brother, taking my grandparents for lunch, or going with mum to the cinema. 

Reading


I've actually been pretty good with making time for reading. I think it's because I've been taking out books from the library so I actually find time to read so that I can return it in the two weeks and not get fined. There's also nothing I like more than sitting on the beach with some cherries and reading a good book. I've actually started a blog post reviewing all the books I'm reading this year incase you're looking for some poolside inspiration. 


Fun 

Being a 'proper adult' is hard work and people have a lot to say about what you should be doing in your 20s - but just because you're working a 9-5 job and have more responsibilities than when you were 18 doesn't mean you can't enjoy life and let your hair down on the weekend.Work hard, play harder right?

michael kors watch


I wrote this post in collaboration with WatchShop and they were nice enough to send me the Michael Kors watch photographed above. The colour is perfect for my summer wardrobe and I'm more into small dainty watches at the moment, and hopefully my tan will come along soon too to compliment it even more!


What stuff/interests do you want to make more time for in your life? 

G






20 PEOPLE ON WHAT THEY LOVE MOST ABOUT THEMSELVES.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

For this months 'ask the readers' question, I wanted to focus it on something positive and I thought this would be a great way to make us all feel a bit better about ourselves in a world where we're constantly being made to feel insecure if we don't look or act a certain way. We're often so caught up on our hang ups and insecurities and when we do broadcast that we're actually 'feeling ourselves' we get judged for being vein or self-obsessed, but the truth is we all could probably do with loving ourselves a little bit more. So here are 20 people sharing with me what they love about themselves. For optimum effect, play Hailee Steinfield's Love Myself in the background whilst reading this.

love yourself
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