Thursday 30 August 2018

Being an events management graduate, means there's no such thing as a 'simple' birthday celebration. Not because I particularly enjoy my birthday because there's always a high expectation to have a great day and then it usually ends up being disappointing in one way or another. That being said, I love that its a time I can get all of my favourite people together to party, go to water parks, sleepover and eat pizza or other birthday ideas that are totally acceptable for when you're in your 20s. I kicked off my fun week of festivities by going to my favourite place, the cinema. Then went for a lovely dinner at Truth since my best friend from uni came to visit, and then warmed up for the weekend at The Garden Party and then came home and ate 1/4 of the white chocolate aero cheesecake my mum had made for me. Come Saturday I was surprisingly fine, so we did a quick pit stop at Morrisons to buy doritos and dip and then set off for the Full Moon Party in Barbate.

full moon party barbate

This has been the second year that my birthday has fallen on a bank holiday, so it means that there are quite a few events happening here and there that weekend. I did think about flying to London for SW4, but when the flights are £250 I think I'd rather play some techno in my room. Luckily, I saw The Full Moon Party Europe pop up on my Facebook and Instagram feed and thought, perfect! I was curious, I hadn't heard of it before and with any event it's a case of - it is going to be any good? is the line-up exciting? are people actually going to go? and in hindsight the answer to those questions is yes. Thanks to Facebook, I could see that over 6000 people had clicked attending and about 50 of those people were Facebook friends. To be honest, all that mattered to me was that I was going to be having fun surrounded by my closest friends and dancing and drinking tinto. That being said, it's always more exciting when the atmosphere is good and you're looking forward to the DJs. 

We stayed in Pension Riad Mediterraneo which was in the centre of Barbate and about a 15 minute walk to the festival (Playa De Hierbabuena). It's also important to note the festival didn't take place on the actual beach, which was a relief because I spent a month thinking what shoes can I wear to a festival on the beach that are suitable but I can also throw shapes in?. The hotel was basic but had everything we needed - air con, private bathrooms, a patio and space to pre drink and all dance to In My Feelings in. 

We arrived at the festival at around 7:30pm once the sun had gone down a bit, and was probably a good choice as the queue hadn't picked up yet, but there was still a good few hundred people in there.  We were graced with flower lei necklaces after passing through security and then there was a short queue to get neon paint on you but we were kind of just ready to go and dance so skipped on that. Andy Galea was playing and the crowd was already dancing and I had already spotted a few familiar faces from back home. The music was a mix of deep house, techno and electronic - so if you're heading to a festival looking for lots of lyrics and sing alongs then this probably wouldn't be the place for you .My friend Gabby isn't one for a lot of untz and every time I looked over at her she glared at me with a 'how do you dance to this for so long?!' So she soon disappeared to the food trucks to eat half a 'Tex Mex' baguette, only to go and eat another full one an hour later. I can also vouch and say this was a top notch baguette - chicken, guacamole, tomato, sour cream and a bunch of other stuff that tasted aaamaaazing.

full moon party spain

At about 12:30am things went slightly downhill, as I had put my backpack back on my bag (after keeping it in front of me by the stage the whole time - see pic) when I was waiting for my turn at the portaloos. I got my Iphone stolen that wasn't even a year old ON MY BIRTHDAY - what was the lord punishing me for? After a cry, a tantrum and a kick to the portaloo to release my anger, I decided to put it behind me and go have a bit more of a boogie.

The highlight acts for me were Paco Osuna/Nicole Moudaber and Technasia. The event had a giant 'full moon' near the stage and two giant inflatable Buddhas on either side of the main stage (my friend did point out that one of them looked quite sad). I didn't know what to expect from the event as it was in its first year so I couldn't look at previous photos/videos. I thought there would be more colour and aesthetics and from the advertisement it seemed like there'd have been more entertainment. I have to say the portaloos were probably the dirtiest ones I'd ever come across, they looked like you'd trapped a bunch of pigs in them for 24 hours and they had let their business loose everywhere, so if you've got a weak bladder, try not to drink a lot. The tickets were priced at 25 euros on first release (which is quite decent) and then sold at 40 euros on third release, which is more or less what the events here in Gibraltar can cost you. It's not the kind of festival you'd fly over from UK for, but if you're just looking for somewhere close to go with good music, good food and good vibes then I'd deffo recommend going next year.

full moon party europe

Had you guys heard of the Full Moon Party Europe? What festivals have you guys been to recently? 



* I was given a complimentary ticket for this event but all words and opinions are my own*


Monday 27 August 2018

When I was younger, being born in August sucked. It meant everyone went off on their summer holidays so my school celebrations usually consisted of family tea parties with ham sandwiches.  In my teens it always meant being the last one to be allowed to do things, but alas now I'm kind of grateful because once you turn 21 getting older isn't as exciting. I turned 24 on Sunday, and woke up crying because I remembered I got my phone stolen the night before and went off on a rant on WHY DO BAD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME. Luckily I had 4 of my best friends gathered around me on the bed telling me to 'snap out of it G it's your birthday'. Putting all that behind me, here are 24 realisations I've had since my 23rd birthday last year.

tea with gi turning 24

1. Buying expensive things means it hits you even harder when you lose or break them (so spend more money on experiences). 

2. You don't have to speak to someone everyday to prove your friendship, we're all busy and sleepy. 

3. Ketchup is actually alright. 

4. And so are olives. 

5. There is no point trying to understand men because they don't make sense. 

6. You're only as old as you feel, and I feel like I can't do two big nights out in a row anymore (cries). 

7. If you can spend a week on holiday with someone and not get sick of them, then they're probably alright and you should keep them around. 

8. You shouldn't have to fight to keep anyone in your life.

9. Mamma Mia 2 was a lot better than Mamma Mia 1. 

10. You're not going to be everyone's cup of tea but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you (or vice versa). 

11. When things go wrong just remember they usually make for the funniest stories when looking back (like missing our tour in Malta). 

12. If it's not going to impact your life in a year from now, then you shouldn't spend any more time worrying about it. 

13. There is no set timeline for when you should have accomplished things in life. 

14. There's nothing wrong with going out every weekend, or with staying in and eating pizza instead. 

15. You don't owe anyone an explanation about the decisions you make about your life. 

16. You should call out people who spend more time on their phones at dinner than speaking to you/at the table. 

17. I'd rather spend £450 on a flight to Japan than on a Gucci belt. 

18. You don't get to choose whether you hurt someone or not. 

19. People are going to gossip in their Whatsapp group chat whether you're volunteering in Africa, showing too much skin on Instagram or just posting selfies with your s/o - so you might as well have fun doing what you're doing anyway. 

20. It's always a great idea to save some money each month because you never know when your phone is going to get stolen whilst you're in the queue for the toilet and have to spend £700 on another one (i'm not bitter about it I promise). 

21. You might live in a boring town, but it's only as boring as the people you surround yourself with and what you do with your time. 

22. Nothing is permanent, if you're not happy you have options (90% of the time).

23. Nobody is going to think about how embarrassing your dancing was last night in Dusk, so dance away. 

24. Pineapple still definitely belongs on pizza. 

For more realisations head here for my 23rd birthday and here for my 22nd birthday



Monday 20 August 2018

I just want to start this post by saying I am not a morning person. The only reason I don't rise at 11am is because I have a job and alas we all know those don't start that late sadly. However, working 9-5 means you get in to a routine of going to bed at a certain time and waking up at the same time each day, so even on the weekends I find myself rising by 10am (unless I've had a wild one the night before and got home at 5am). You do feel like you get a lot more out of your day when you rise earlier because it means that you can get all your priorities out of the way and spend the rest of the afternoon binge watching Orange Is The New Black without any guilt.


Now you're not going to be waking up all happy and full of positivity if you had a bad night sleep or was up until 4am scrolling through Instagram. So obviously the first step is go to sleep at a reasonable time. On weekdays my bedtime falls between 12:30am - 1am depending how exciting my evening has been, and then 1am-2am on the weekends. I go to the gym in the evenings and have been taking Herbalife 24 Restore before going to bed. It helps maximise rest by helping maintain the normal function of the immune system during and after physical exercise. The key ingredients include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Lactium. The combination helps to protect the body from oxidative stress. Once you're up and ready to face the day, here are 12 things to get done before 12pm.

1. Make your bed. Literally takes 2 minutes and will set you up for the day and you're more likely to be more productive and feel more put together for the day.

2.  Have breakfast. An obvious one, but 8 out of 10 times I'd rather stay in bed an extra 15 minutes than get up and make myself a bowl of porridge. So I guess this also means waking up earlier. Depending on the day I sometimes don't have the stomach for anything too heavy so prefer a liquid breakfast. Whether it's a smoothie or the Herbalife Formula 1 that will probably give me more nutrients than whatever I whip up in the blender. Each serving provides 221 calories, 18g of protein and essential minerals and nutrients. I don't use this for weight loss but rather as a way to start the day with something tasty (who doesn't like milkshakes?) and a way to get a good amount of protein in with my breakfast. It also means that if I want to have something on the side there's also room for an omelette du fromage too! 

3. Drink two glasses of water. Once I've eaten this is usually doable, but drinking water first thing in the morning makes me feel like there's a pool forming in my stomach. Drinking constantly will also keep you full until lunch time.

4. Make a to-do list for the day. One way that I am very much a virgo is that I love my lists and tables. I keep everything in a diary and a calendar, and then when I get to work write out everything I need to get done at work and in my personal life today. Checking things off makes you feel more productive, although I don't take it as far as listing 'take a shower' because hopefully that should be happening anyway. For those of you who are studying, I wrote a post all about keeping organised at university too. 

5. Read a chapter. Whether it's a book, a reading assigment or a test you're studying for. I always say I'm gonna have time later in the day to do it but then sometimes spontaneous plans happen and there's not enough time in the day. So it's best to just get it out of the way early, and anything you manage later is extra!

6. Reply to/send emails. I wake up to about 20 spam emails, 10 online shopping deals and 2 blogging emails. So this should be a quick one and makes me feel all professional and like I have my shit together when I have no unread emails. 

7. Do the tasks you've been putting off first. Like making an appointment, or writing an awkward email. It's best to tackle things head on than putting it to the back of your mind because then it will always be lurking on you. 

8. Spend 10-20 minutes doing yoga. I spoke to Yoga teacher Zoe recently all about the benefits of Yoga and even doing a sequence of sun salutations in the morning won't take you more than 10 minutes, so you could even do this before going to work.  

9. Schedule tweets for the day. This is something I kept up for a week, but it just felt a little bit spammy if I didn't tweet much that day on my teawithgi account. 

10. Plan meals for the day. I can't do this on a weekly basis because I go with what I fancy on the day, guess who still has 2 jars of pesto and 3 cans of tuna because I still haven't fancied eating them? 

11. Head to the gym. Assuming this is on a weekend, because I do not have the motivation to and lift weights at 6am when I can't even keep my eyes open. Once I've had my breakfast and done half the things on this list then I feel like I can go clear my mind at the gym and have the energy to have a good workout. 

12. Get any errands done. If you've left the house to go to the gym you might as well go do things that require being outside. Buy your groceries, go buy birthday presents you need to buy, go pay the insurance and just get everything out of the way. All that's left to do now is eat, chill and see your pals! 

What do you like to get done first thing in the day? Do you see yourself as a morning person or do you work better in the afternoon?



Wednesday 8 August 2018

When I first started blogging in 2015 I never thought I'd have the opportunity to experience half of the things I have because of my blog when it comes to travelling. Last year I got to go on a trip of a lifetime to India and stayed across an array of luxury hotels and beautiful accommodations in Kerala, I got to treat my mum to a lovely stay in Copenhagen and gave my friends a nice surprise with the lovely apartment we were hosted in whilst in Oslo. I remember a while back there was some backlash over a Youtuber who had reached out to a hotel asking for a complimentary stay in exchange for exposure to her 500,000 followers or so, and to be honest I didn't really see the problem with what she did. At the end of the day it was a business proposal in the same way magazines, web mags and such do it to. I often get asked how do you get 'free' hotels? and how do they benefit from it? so I'm here to break it down a bit more.

kong arthur

I want to start by saying nothing is ever really free is it? Whenever I receive something complimentary when travelling it usually means writing up a review, creating content for Instagram, tweeting about it and starting a conversation on Facebook. Another point is that the collaboration should be mutually beneficial - so if you only have 100 followers on social media you may want to wait until you build a bit more of a following/community before pitching to brands. This doesn't mean that you need to be in the 10K-20K bracket as often good engagement is worth more than tons of fake followers that don't interact with you. 


1. Bloggers are trusted by their followers. 

How many times have you seen a review in a magazine and thought eh, they've just been paid to say that. The great thing about blogging is you get to see the person behind the article and what they're like and what their interests are. Chances are they're going to keep it real with their audience and let you know when a bed is harder than Fred Flintstones bed or if they slept like they were laying on a soft, white marshmallow. When I write my travel guides I write like I'm giving recommendations to my friends and family, I don't mention places I wouldn't go to or stay at again. 

2. It allows you to tap into a different type of demographic/market. 

Let's say you're a new hippie up and coming hostel in Amsterdam but don't have much exposure yet. Sure you could rely on word of mouth and putting up ads in your local newspaper but how are you going to get young travellers from the rest of Europe or America to find out about your lovely place? Bloggers! By putting out a search for writers from specific areas in the world you're increasing the likelihood that their readers from their area and other countries will check out your website and consider staying there if the person has recommended it and genuinely enjoyed their stay there. 

3. Brand visibility. 

Then comes the business side of things. Exposure means there is a higher chance of people clicking on your website and the more people you have linking to your website/hotel page the better you will rank on search engines like Google, otherwise known as your domain authority. Another great way to help this is by having a blog section on your website to include relevant articles about your hotel or travel in general. 

4. We'll probably save you more money in your marketing budget. 

I can't speak for everyone but a lot of the time bloggers may ask for a complimentary or discounted two night stay and then will give you an agreed amount of content in return. I know other outlets probably get paid on top of that for their time away from work. At the end of the day blogging is seen as a job for a lot of people and will work just as hard on a campaign or collaboration. 

5. They will create content and photography that is specific for you. 

You can help tell the narrative. With other types of media they're going to write things in a very editorial manner and probably include two stock photos from your website and call it a day. Bloggers, Youtubers and Influencers are constantly going the extra mile when it comes to creativity. I have some friends who have created amazing videography when collaboration with travel agencies and photos that are out of this world, and most of the time they'll be happy to let you use them for the brands website too (with credit of course!).



Now that I've gone through the why hotels should be working with bloggers, let's move on to how to approach hotels as a blogger. Gosh I feel like I'm writing a university essay. 

You want to start by making a list of a couple of hotels you want to work with that fit your blog niche - if you're a broke student staying at hostels then you're not really going to want to work the The Ritz because your followers will be like eh. Find out the email address of the person in the marketing department. When writing your email I would set it out as follows. 

1. Start by introducing yourself, who you are, what your blog is about and why you're getting in contact. 

2. Tell them about your idea for a collaboration and what you can offer them - are you writing a guide on the city? talking about the quirkiest hotels in the area and thought they would be a good fit? 

3. Talk about your USP (unique selling point). Do you have a large following? Are you one of the only bloggers in your area? Do you have a loyal devoted following that even have a shrine built for you in the room? This is your chance to sell yourself (not literally). 

4. If you've worked with hotels or other travel companies before, show them examples of your work. 

5. Finish off with something lovely and maybe attach your media kit if you have one! 

That's all folks, 9/10 times you may not even get a response but it will be a great feeling when you get that one that says yes.

pitching to hotels

Do you have any tips for working with hotels or brands? Or if you work in a hotel yourself, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic! 





Tuesday 7 August 2018

Hola gang! I've been taking a bit of a blogging break this summer to make the most of the sunshine and nights with cocktails and my friends. So have decided to open up space for a couple of guest posts. I've actually been growing an interest in interior design and looking to explore that on my blog. So to kick off the area here is a guest post from Flooring Superstore


If you own a holiday home then you likely understand the need for amazing versatile, looking and durable flooring. Actually, one of the most vital design elements of a holiday home is the flooring. Not only does it need to withstand the crowded foot traffic of your guests but it also needs to withstand sand, mud and definitely, temperature.

Temperature can play a big role in the well-being of a holiday home flooring. When not in use and the heat is turned off, the temperature within the cabin can change significantly, thus impacting the health and look of the flooring. So, when you open up your holiday home again this summer or spring, take a best look at your flooring and ask yourself if it is time to change it with something that looks beautiful and works better for you.

Old, destroyed flooring can not only be an ugly thing, but can also effect on owners capability to rent it out or even sell it when the times comes. Durable, charming vinyl flooring choices will not just update the look of your cabin, but also are capable to withstand heavier foot traffic and colder temperatures.

Vinyl flooring can provide the look of wood flooring without the maintenance drawbacks of natural hardwood. After all, you want flooring for your holiday home that is amazingly durable and looks remarkable, too. There are actually a big range of brands that provide stone, wood and other stylish or rustic looks that are best for your cabin or holiday home. And, there are even versatile, charming flooring brands that can withstand up to 20 degrees below Fahrenheit!

More heavy-duty styles like luxury vinyl can provide you the wonderful design aesthetic you are looking for while also providing amazing durability and temperature resistance. Best for any room in your house, low-repair vinyl floors are made to withstand to everything your active holiday home can throw at them adding stains, scuffs, scratches, and even water. So, when you find it is time to update your old outdated flooring, ensure you make a choice in flooring that looks charming and meets the special needs of your house away from home.


* This is a sponsored post guys!! *


Monday 6 August 2018

Ever since I turned 21 I've branched out from my family holidays and gone on a lot more trips with my friends. Not because I don't enjoy family holidays, but because I'm sure my mum wouldn't have the same enthusiasm as me for pub crawling in Prague or going to underground clubs in Berlin. That being said, I still enjoy going on the occassional family holiday as it's a chance you actually get to bond and spend quality time together - and not just at the dinner table. I recently spent a week in Albufeira, Portugal with my family and something me and my sister were discussing was 'I don't want to have many kids because then our holidays are going to cost a bomb'. Turns out there are a couple of ways in which you could keep costs lower and still have a whale of a time. Seeing as I'm always the designated travel planner when going away in groups, I took on this role for our family holiday too and these are some of the ways in which I budgeted for this holiday.

family holiday 1

1. Ditch the travel agent.

9/10 times the holiday you're planning doesn't need a middle man. Unless you're planning a very unique itinerary and going to need lots of transfers and offers, everything you need to plan your trip is one Google search away. Pinterest is a great way to find advice and itineraries from people who have been there and GetYourGuide is great for finding tours and activities in your destination.

2. Book in advance (for mostly everything!)

I'm a fan of spontaneous holidays, but if you're planning on going to Malta and try and book one month before for the summer then you're going to be paying big dollah for an average hotel. Skyscanner also lets you set up price alerts for when flight prices change so this is always handy to keep an eye on in advance too. A lot of water parks, theme parks and attractions also offer discounted tickets when you purchase them online. 

3. Consider staying in an AirBnB.

If you've got a large family then renting an apartment or somebody's house can be a lot more economic than booking a couple of double rooms. It means you get a kitchen to cook in if you want to, and a lot of the time you can find really quirky and cool places for half of the price of a hotel. 

4. Have 1 meal out each day. 

This was something my family did when we were in Portugal and it meant three things - there was more pool time, I didn't feel disgustingly full when it got to dinner and of course, you save a lot of money this way. If you're staying in a sunny place and you're mainly there to relax, chances are most of your lunches will be quick and easy anyway. A simple Google search of 'cheap eats in _____' will find you some good recommendations too. 

5. Travel off-peak.

This might be obvious, but mid-term and half-term are where the prices sky-rocket for family holidays. If you can afford to go a bit earlier or have your summer hol in June, then you'll get a better deal on your trip. With Malta, it was actually a good thing because it was still hot and from the looks of it July-August would have had us melted on the ground.


6. Consider other locations. 

When you think of family holiday what are the first places that come to mind? Mediterranean cruise? Disney World? Benidorm? Sure those places are great but there are so many other beautiful places to consider when it comes to the road less travelled. Krakow is probably one of the best places I visited this year and it had everything - history, beauty and good cheap food. 

7. Look out for deals and family packages. 

The beauty of the internet is that there are always good offers and discounts and sales landing in your inbox or advertised to you on social media (just not the kind that offer you £1,000,000 and a all expenses paid trip to Bahamas if you share this post). When we want a little staycation my family always goes to a town in Spain for a weekend and if you're coming from abroad then visiting Spain with Holiday Gems might be a good choice as they have some great offers and specialise in sunny destinations.

family holiday 2

What's been your favourite family holiday? Or are you guys going anywhere fun soon? 


Wednesday 1 August 2018

When I first thought of E-Fit, I thought it meant I was either going to be strapped up like 50 Cent in his In Da Club video or that I was going to be receiving little electric shocks all over my body through a machine - luckily my experience was neither of those things and a lot more pleasant. If you're a frequent reader of my blog then you know that I'm a fan of trying new fitness and nutrition things and when I was invited along to try the new E-Fit Studio here in Gibraltar introduced by JMB Transformations, I was very intrigued and curious. I got to try first hand their cardio machine, their full body machine and also had an exclusive try of their back pain heated treatment, which came in very handy as I'd hurt my lower back doing single leg deadlifts the day before, oops. Here's the low down on what exactly E-Fit is, as well as my experience with it.

e-fit gibraltar

What is E-Fit? 

E-Fit uses a machine with electrodes to make you feel like you've done a week worth of workouts in one. You're given a set of leggings and a long sleeved shirt to wear and then depending on what machine you're using, get given a suit with pads on it that will transfer the electrodes into your muscles. If you've ever wanted to feel like Black Widow then now is your chance because you look like you're there to kick ass in this suit. Before we get any further, it doesn't hurt.  The machine allows you to adjust the impulse depth, frequency and intensity depending on your personal needs and your body type, age, gender and level of fitness. Unlike your regular workouts, this machine gives you over 36,000 muscle contractions during your workout so you know you're going to feel the after effects and that you're going to maximise your results. 

The good thing about this is that each workout is tailored to you specifically, it's not a one size fits all kind of thing. Your trainer will ask you what your goals are and then will modify the workout depending on what they are. Whether you're looking to burn fat, build muscle, tone up, get abs or even target cellulite these electro-fitness machines can do that.

e-fit gibraltar

My experience at the E-Fit studio. 

I go to the gym 4-5 times a week so I'd say I am relatively fit, I mean I probably can't run a marathon yet but we're getting there. Even though the E-Fit sessions are a lot shorter than my usual workouts, I was sweating just as much or if not more than I would be at the gym. On my first session I went for the full body workout (Whole Body EMS Medical Device), which comprises of a 5 minute warm up, 15 minute workout (this part can be tailored to your needs depending on what areas you want to work on - for me it's always about growing the booty so she incorporated more squats and glute exercises), followed by an ab circuit and then finally you get to lay down on the mat for a nice relaxing massage using the machine. Once you're connected, your E-Fit trainer will go turning up the impulse until you're comfortable and then go raising the impulse on individual areas - it definitely wasn't easy throwing punches whilst my arms were 'vibrating' so I knew double the amount of work was going in. 

The cardio session was somewhat easier in that you control the machine yourself, and you obviously decide how fast you want to go on the cross-trainer/bicycle. The machine will do the work for you, but obviously if you put in the effort to you're going to see even better results. Out of both I think I preferred the full body device as it's more versatile and you really feel it where you want to feel it. I woke up two days later feeling like I'd been hit by a bus (in a good way). 

The great thing about the E-Fit studio here is that you don't need to fuss about with a gym bag or anything and can have your session done in your lunch hour. It's conveniently placed in the middle of Main Street, they have a shower and provide you with towels and even a protein shake if you don't have time to grab your lunch before heading back to work.

e-fit gibraltar

Try it for yourself. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have spotted some of my photos/videos from my session on my story. I had a couple of people slide into my DMs asking what E-Fit was and I told them, watch this space for my post! The studio currently has an August offer where you can buy a bundle of 8 cardio sessions for £109. If you'd rather test it out first, then there are no contracts so you could go per session and pay £25. Or if you'd just like to pop in for a trial they are offering this for £9.99. More information on their prices and offers can be found on their Facebook page. 

Of course, since this is a collaboration and I don't write about anything that I wouldn't use myself, we've got a deal on for you guys were you can get 10% off their membership saver package which usually retails at £50. This includes membership, training kit and a loyalty card, simply quote 'EFITWITHGI' or just say you're here because of Giana's blog if you'd rather not quote a random word to them!  

Have you ever tried or heard of E-Fit before? Do you prefer going to a gym or have you tried other unconventional styles of training? 




© TEA WITH GI. Design by FCD.