MAKING CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE WHEN YOU MOVE ABROAD.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

When I turned 18, I left Gibraltar to go study in the UK (Bournemouth to be exact), then spent a year working in London, a semester abroad in Florida and now here I am on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Australia. So it's fair to say I've had my fair share of moving around and having to find my feet in a new city/country. The great thing about uni is that you're all in the same boat and everyone is there to make new friends. When I lived in London, it was slightly harder to make a group of friends and such because I only knew a handful of people, and London is big so meeting up for a cup of coffee could cost you £8 in transport and an hour journey. Luckily now there are a lot of useful ways to meet people online (not necessarily Tinder) and companies like GreyZone Club that can make settling in to your new life in London a tiny bit easier.

making connections when you move abroad


Before I arrived in London and started my new job, I spent ages looking through flat shares on SpareRoom and in the end moved into a 6 bedroom house in Wimbledon with 5 new housemates who had all moved in at the same time. I'm quite an outgoing person, and go out out almost every weekend (even more then since I was 21) and since some of my housemates were a bit older I couldn't do that just yet (they were a lovely bunch though!).

I then started working for an events company and thought, everyone here must enjoy going out and doing stuff right? They plan parties for a living! The company ended up being made up of only a handful of people, but luckily two of the people working there were my age and from the same university as me so we got along well. Soon after we were going out a lot of weekends, exploring the London museums and just making the most of everything the capital has to offer.

In terms of dating, I imagined I was going to be swept off my feet by a 27 year old business man who had an amazing apartment in Shoreditch and we'd be spending our evenings in posh restaurants and then watching Netflix in bed. As one does when they move to a new country, I downloaded Tinder and started swiping away. London definitely isn't short of variety, but I just couldn't find anyone who I was that interested in or the conversations on there were just too mundane. Secondly, I do prefer to meet people the old fashioned way but nowadays that's pretty hard to do unless you're out in the smoking area every time you go out and wait for guys to approach you asking for a lighter. In an ideal world, I'd be sat outside a cafe in Camden, reading John Steinbeck and an attractive man would approach me and ask 'What are you reading?'. Sadly this never happened (shock) and so, how on earth does a single girl meet like minded people in London?

Step in Greyzone Club, the only dating agency in London that has a 'friends first' approach to dating. Whether you're into sporting events, art galleries, brunch dates or nights out, they have monthly events to cater for a range of interests. The best part about this is that these events aren't just there for you to meet a partner, but rather to build friendships and then maybe in the process you meet someone you like on a romantic level too - reducing the awkwardness in attending! They appeal to professionals in their 20s - 30s who are looking to meet other ambitious, career driven people.

If you're going to be in London in October, then I'd recommend attending their Masquerade Ball on the 5th October. Whether it's by yourself or with a friend, it will be a great way to mingle and meet people whilst you're also looking fab. The best part about these parties is that everyone is there for the same reason, to have fun and make connections - so you know if you approach someone to chat they won't be taken by surprise.


Have you ever lived/worked in a different city? How did you go about meeting people? 

G



*This post contains affiliate links but all words and opinions are my own. 


















MANIFESTING THE LIFE YOU WANT WITH RE-ALIGNMENT.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Over the last couple of years there's been a lot of talk, videos, books and discussions on manifestation and the law of attraction. I have friends who swear by it and others who just don't believe in it and think it's pointless and a waste of time. I probably lie somewhere in the middle where, I have focused on the positive outcome of things or my energy on something happening, and it has. Then there was the time I tried 'scripting' (writing a sort of diary entry as if you already have the thing/life you want, which in this case was to pass my driving test) and when I failed my test because my nerves got the better of me I got home and ripped the page out and said 'well this was a load of crap'. Then recently I got an email from Jennifer Willemsen asking if I would like to review her Intentional Life Creation through Alignment course, and with a cup of tea in bed and the PDF open, I gave it a go. 

tea with gi manifestation

What is the course about? 


The course sets out to 'redesign your life, master the art of living in flow and turning your dreams into reality'. It makes you look at your life with a magnifying glass - past, present and future. It encourages you delve into different areas - health, lifestyle, career, wealth, friendship, love and family and see where the problems are and how to realign where you are and where you want to be. The first 2 modules looks at introspection where you discuss what you want out of the transformation, what your future life looks like and what your personal goals and desires are. Next you look at liberation, what it is that is holding you back from getting what you want, stopping negative thoughts and removing limiting beliefs. The last module looks at creation, turning your dream life into your reality. 

Who is this course for?


To be honest I think this is a course that is suitable to anyone really (over the age of 16). There's not many times in life where I've analysed my life this deeply and although revisiting some memories can be painful, it does lead to more clarity after. If you're someone who's becoming 'burdened by negative thoughts' about yourself or your life, or you feel like you're just 'getting by' with life but not living it then this course will be enlightening. 

What do you get out of it?


The aim of this course is to get you to reconnect with your inner self and discover what has been setting you back from achieving what you want, and how to overcome that. You'll be able to get rid of limiting beliefs and 'how to master your life by understanding the universal laws' and finally, how to manifest your desires into reality. In a nutshell a more positive, stress free and happy life if all goes well. 

My personal experience with the course.

So I started this course back in May when my life in Australia was quite uncertain. I was finding it hard to find a job on a working holiday visa and was scared that my money was going to run out and I was going to have to fly back home. Now in July, as I write this post I was rereading what I wrote in my workbook about my 'limiting beliefs' and how I was going to overcome them. In terms of wealth I wrote something along the lines of 

'Going from having a secure income to being unemployed and having to watch everything you spend is stressful and sad, but I know it is temporary and I believe that if I try harder to find work and explore other revenue streams, I will be ok. The worst thing that can happen is I have to go home, and home is pretty great too.'

Soon after that, I got a job as an au pair with a great family (and then a week in got offered another  full-time job which I had to decline), work some weekends at a bar and as soon as I put more effort into finding paid blog work, more collaboration opportunities came rolling in. As much as that period sucked, it made me grateful for the security I have now and how a lot of things I thought I needed (getting my nails done, eating out every week, new gym clothes) didn't really make a different to my happiness. 

In terms of the aspects I enjoyed most about the course, I enjoyed looking at what I remembered about what I imagined my future looking like when I was as a child. I found it useful to write out what was holding me back in certain elements in my life in the 'Reasons Why Not' section and how in fact the only thing standing in my way was me and my fear of failure/judgement. I found Jennifer's personal stories inspiring on how high vibrations, manifesting and affirmations worked for her. 

"Be active because you are inspired, and re-act on things that show up in your life (signs, people, etc.) instead of being pro-active out of motivation."

"The more positive experiences you “collect” after trusting/acting upon your inner guidance, the more likely you are to get at ease with trusting the outcome."

I found her talk about 'positive outcome capital' section particularly interesting and relatable. How so many opportunities present ourselves daily but how we're often scared to reach out and grab them. Whether it's saying 'yes' to something or talking to a stranger, you never know where these conversations will go.  

What are my beliefs now? 


I'm a big believer in trusting the process or 'universe' that things will work themselves out when I hit a hurdle or something unexpected happens. I also think that breaking down different aspects of your life (money, relationships, career) and seeing where you are now and where you want to be is pretty useful. As long as we're focusing on the why we want to get there first instead of the how. It makes sense that if we envision good things happening and give out positive vibes then naturally those vibes will come right back at us. 

The course also comes with a lovely list of positive affirmations and I've started picking one daily to say each morning/evening. Even if it's something as simple as 'today is going to be a good day'.

Thank you to Jennifer for gifting me this course, it's definitely been an eye opener and I'm excited to take what I've learnt on board with my life! If you'd like to check out the course for yourself click here



G



*This post contains affiliate links but all words and opinions are my own. 




HOW EASY IS IT TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE?

Monday, 1 July 2019

Easy as. I'm kidding, I did GCSE French and up until recently still had intermediate level french written on my CV, until I had a phone interview with an events company in Monaco and after I hang up the phone I quickly removed that from there. That being said, after that incident I thought to myself - what a waste of everything I learnt in school. So I started implementing a number of ways to improve my French again and actually be able to hold a conversation in the language. If you're looking to learn a second language, here is my advice. 

plaza de espana


1. Take a course online. 


I remember years ago my dad got me a Rosetta Stone package and after just taking a look at their website, they've definitely come a long way. They have a speech-recognition feature to help you fine tine your accent and pronunciation! If you're looking for face to face tutoring or through Skype then Listen + Learn online provides just that. Whether you're looking to move abroad or further your language skills for a job, they provide specific types of lessons. 

2. Change your phone language. 


I suggest doing this once you have the basics down. The last thing you want to do is reset your iPhone because you didn't know what the heck 重启 meant. The great thing about this is that we're so used to using our phones and what prompts/messages come up, that when reading it in a different language we should automatically know what it means through memory. 

3. Spend some time living in the country. 


If you really want to immerse yourself (and make a trip out of it) then spend a couple of weeks, or even months in the country. I find it amazing how so many non-English speaking people move to England, or Australia and just pick up the language as it goes. A great way to do this is consider becoming an Au Pair, as you won't necessarily need to speak much of the language apart from the basics as you will be living with a family. 

4. Communicate with people who speak the language. 


I've done this with people and vice versa. I've had english friends who have wanted to practise their Spanish with me (I'm bilingual) and just from listening to me repeat certain words, especially at uni halls, they caught on to a lot of words. I've met some French people in Australia and try to speak to them in french and tell them to correct me when I say something completely wrong. 

5. Dedicate 10 minutes a day with an app. 


I do this for a couple of days and then I fall out of habit, but we've all heard of Duolingo  and how easy and helpful it is for learning a language. The app is free, and you basically pick your language level and it gives you a couple of exercises to do every day. 

6. Watch subtitled films.

Some of the best films are in foreign languages after all. 

7. Buy an easy foreign book.


Don't try buying Shakespeare or Ernest Hemingway because you'll probably close it after the first two pages and give up. Even if it's something as simple as Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland, reading something you're already familiar with will make it easier to make sense of what you're reading and picking up words. 

8. Make a note on your phone for new words. 


I used to carry a little notebook with me and every time I forgot what a word was or learnt a new one, I'd write it down and reread through the list. Luckily now iPhone notes makes this process a lot quicker and easier. 



Do you speak any second languages? What's one language you would love to learn?

G


* This is a collaborative post but all words are my own and only relevant collaborations are published on this blog. 


THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GETTING FIT AT HOME.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Now the summer holidays are approaching, there seems to be a sense of panic in the air, as everyone attempts to get summer ready. You may feel like you have left it too late to get a gym membership or a personal trainer, which makes most people lose hope, however, there are actually plenty of ways you can get fit without having to leave the comfort of your own home.




Many people are under the impression that the only way to get fit fast is by sweating it out in the gym, although exercising at home can be much more beneficial. It not only saves money but can also help you reduce the amount of time wasted travelling to the gym, where there may not even be enough machines to go around. 

Take a look at this home fitness guide, which will help you on your way to achieving your dream body. 


Set yourself a goal 


The very first thing you need to do before exercising is set yourself an achievable goal. On your journey to becoming fit, it is essential to focus on realistic results which are unique to your own body and fitness levels. For example, if you're not an avid gym goer, you should start small and work your way up, because if you dive straight into activities of high intensity, you will struggle and may even cause injury, setting you back significantly. You should also make sure to establish your height to weight ratio and whether you are at a healthy size. This will allow you to determine your goals, although try not to focus too much on your weight because how you feel is much more important than numbers on a scale. To monitor your achievements, you should download an app like MyFitnessPal, which will allow you to record your daily eating and exercise habits, helping you to establish your progression. 

Find the time 


Many people use the excuse of having no time to exercise, as they may work long hours or they have kids to look after, but despite having a busy schedule, there is always time to fit in a quick workout. According to the NHS, adults between the age of 19 and 64 should try to exercise at an average of 30 minutes each day. This could involve anything from a quick yoga or body weights sessions, which you can follow on YouTube, or one of the many fitness apps, where you can follow an expert's every move. You could even split this up by doing 15 minutes in the morning (before your children wake up), and a different 15-minute exercise at night (when they go to bed), focusing on different parts of the body.

Invest in gym equipment 


If you want to get fit fast, you need to start introducing some equipment such as barbells and kettlebells, which are perfect for working the arms, legs and glutes. You could even take it up a notch and invest in a treadmill which will help you work on your cardio. Property companies like RW Invest have recognised the benefits of working from home, which is why the majority of their properties feature an in-house gym, containing all the equipment you need to reach your fitness goals without having to step out your front door.

Don’t forget to meal prep


Last but certainly not least is meal prepping, which is actually one of the most important things you need to do to see a change in your body. As the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen, so if you want to get close to achieving those sought-after lines, prep is the way to do it. Fitness experts like the Body Coach Joe Wicks push the importance of “prepping like a boss” to help you avoid junk avoid throughout the day, which will help you burn fat more quickly when exercising.


G


* This is a guest post but all content published on Tea With Gi is relevant to the blog niche and audience!

6 DAILY HABITS I'VE INCORPORATED INTO MY ROUTINE.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Hello! Lately my motivation has been all over the place. I was doing so well with sticking to a healthy routine and then yesterday I ate everything in the snack cupboard, and then some. After taking a stern look in the mirror this morning, I told myself I was going to get back on track and actually stick to the these habits that were working well for me in the past. So here are 6 healthy habits to add to your daily routine! 

healthy habits


1. Start with a 2 minute stretch in bed. 


I don't mean like they do in all the cartoons when someone wakes up, yawns loudly and stretches their arms over their head (but that might work for you). I tried to dedicate 10 minutes in the morning to do yoga but honestly, I wasn't sticking to it. Instead I just sit up, touch my toes for 10 seconds, twist my body one way and the other, and rotate my neck in both ways. If you pick a few stretches you think are the most beneficial for you, you'll be more likely to stick to them. 

2. Take the vitamins (you need). 


Even though there are some vitamins that are good to take generally such as a multivitamin and probiotic, there may be others that you may need depending on your lifestyle, diet and hormones. The best thing to do is take a quiz to see what vitamins you actually need to be taking. The lovely people over at MyVitaminPacks kindly sent me a months supply of the vitamins that were recommended for me. Including iron, digest-zyme, primrose oil and fish oil.

They come in a handy dispenser and packaged daily so you can just rip a packet and take it with you to work or wherever you need to go. I've definitely noticed my energy levels have been more consistent and my skin has been more glowy. I also like that two of my vitamins are pink hehe.

vitamins


3. Have your first drink with apple cider vinegar.


I've been doing this on and off for two years, and you can find a list with heaps of benefits here. At first I used to mix one teaspoon with water, lemon and honey but I've got so used to the taste that I simply add two tablespoons to a glass of water. I'm currently using one that also has manuka honey added so it tastes even better. (Remember to grab one that has 'the mother' included!) If you still find you can't drink it, then it's a good dressing for salads too. 

4. Intermittent fasting. 


I did a blog post last year on my experience with intermittent fasting where you basically fast for a period of the day and eat for another (typically eat between 12pm - 8pm). What I like about it is it stops me from mindlessly eating late at night and I actually look forward to being hungry come 12pm, instead of just eating breakfast when I wake up because I 'should'. Since you're eating in a smaller timeframe you're also less likely to overeat, so it does help with weight loss or maintaining your weight. It also works by regulating your insulin levels, and causes your body to burn fat since there is no food available in your stomach. I thought I would pass out if I tried fasted cardio, but turns out I did a lot better. Just make sure you're drinking plenty of water! 


5. Watch a motivating video or podcast. 


I've been trying to make it to the gym before midday, and when it comes to my 'cool down' at the end of my workout I simply choose a Ted Talk or other motivational video on Youtube and watch that. If I feel like I need some motivation to write a blog post, then I'll watch something centred around that.  Other times I just power walk and watch all of Bieber's old music videos. 

6. Learning something new everyday. 


As an adult this can be pretty difficult since most of us are working in jobs we're used to doing. Luckily I wrote a blog post all about learning something new everyday to give you some ways to do this. What I've got into the habit of doing is picking an article on the Curiosity app (or website) and reading that before bed. There's stuff on psychology, science, health, personal growth and some weird and wonderful things. Today I came across an article on the homepage titled 'why coffee makes you poop', so yeah, go learn something new and impress your friends at your next coffee date.


So these are some healthy habits I've been doing to make me feel like I've got my sh*t together. What are some of yours?

G


10 THINGS TO EXPECT IN BALI.

Friday, 14 June 2019

From being savvy about moneys to navigating hefty crowds, there are a few tricks you can learn to really get the best out of your next visit to Bali. Here’s our top list!

1. Be prepared for crowds.

Golden Hour
Image Source: Pexels
Bali is one of the most touristed islands on our planet! While it is difficult to escape the heaving crowds, if you’re determined to find solitude, you will succeed. There are still plenty of secluded corners beyond big tourist areas like Ubud. Our top tip is to head to the central mountains, or even the west or north coasts.

2. Carefully consider your base.

Put some thought into where you plan on basing yourself. You’re in for hot weather and bustling traffic, so you might want to stick close to your accommodation so you can wander around on foot easily enough. Consider Bali villas by Cantik as the perfect base from which to explore the islands.

3. Expect a bout of Bali belly.


It used to be that things like meat, ice cubes and salads would bring on bouts of Bali belly. Expect it, but here’s some good news. Hygiene standards have improved significantly across the island and you can now get good quality organic produce. Just remember to stay hydrated, possibly stay away from street food and, at all costs, avoid the local liquor called arak.

4. Get dressed up.


Beachwear isn’t the norm in every spot in Bali. Some of the high-end restaurants, clubs and bars actually do enforce a dress code. If you’re not sure, you can always phone the place you plan to visit and find out ahead of time.

5. Respect the customs.


Religion is a very big deal in Bali. Don’t get worked up when you come across a blocked-off street where a ceremony’s being held, or your taxi driver pulls over to make a quick blessing. It’s all part of Bali life. Look up the main events before deciding when to visit. Nyepi, for example, sees everything in Bali, even the airport, completely closing down for the day. Remember to dress modestly, too, especially when visiting holy sites and temples.



Image Source: Unsplash


6. Prepare for varied prices.


You definitely can visit Bali on a tight budget, but you can just as easily spend big on spa treatments and delicious meals. The best tip is to look out for online discounts, coupons and happy hour specials.

7. Watch out for the wildlife.


Give way to wild and stray animals. Sure, they’re cute, but they could have rabies and other diseases, and those Bali monkeys are notorious thieves!


8. Stay away from plastic bottles.


Bali is hot and humid, which means you need to stay hydrated. Just consider the environment before you buy another plastic bottle. Instead, help reduce litter on Bali beaches and in towns and get yourself a stainless-steel, refillable bottle that’ll keep your water cold, too.

9. Learn a few words.


A few basic words of Indonesian will go a long way during your travels.

10. You’re expected to bargain.


There are plenty of services and items you’re expected to Bargain for in Bali. Just be respectful about it. Figure out when a vendor has reached their limit with bargaining and stop right there. If you’re in any doubt, rather walk away. If the vendor doesn’t run after you, just know they’re not going to drop their price more.



Image Source: Pixabay


With these 10 tips, you’re sure to get more out of your Bali visits.

5 ITEMS THAT HAVE MADE MY LIFE EASIER WHEN TRAVELLING.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Back in February when I left Gibraltar to go travelling, and packed up half of my life to move to Australia, the biggest decision I probably had to make was - what do I actually need to bring with me? I'm quite the hoarder and get sentimentally attached to things so choosing what to bring and what to leave behind wasn't easy (sadly my 'Marie' from the Aristocats plush toy didn't make the cut). Reflecting on my trip to Asia, these are some of the items that I feel were necessities and made life a whole lot easier. 

tep wireless

1. Tep Wireless Internet device


If you're travelling out of your country (or somewhere that your mobile data doesn't cover) then I 100% recommend using Tep Wireless*. When planning Japan my main issue was transport, as I heard that English signage at the stations was lacking. Luckily with Tep, whenever we decided we had to get somewhere I could quickly jump on Google Maps or Rome2Rio and it would sort out all the hard work for me. Having unlimited Wi-Fi everywhere we went also meant I become 'Uber girl' 'Check if there are any gluten free restaurants in the area girl' and 'The first one to upload our photos on Instagram girl'. 

The process is simple. You choose whether you want to buy or rent a Tep device, tell them what destinations you are going to be visiting and how long for. The most popular data package works out $12.95 a day for unlimited internet. If you're someone who is on the go a lot and you are constantly moving countries, then I'd recommend buying the device - it would save you buying mobile numbers in each country! 

2. Packing cubes


These have been a life saver not only to keep things organised and easy to find in my backpack, but also because when 'unpacking' at our Airbnbs I pretty much just stacked them in the wardrobe and got what I needed from each one. Making it that much easier and quicker to pack up again when it was time to move. These are inexpensive and come in a range of colours that you can find on Amazon

3. A J Shaped Neck Pillow 


When I flew on short haul trips I never really bothered with a neck pillow, as I didn't really feel like they made much of a difference anyway and I have a pretty giraffe-esque neck so I could never get comfortable. Then when J Pillow reached out about collaboration I thought, well this might come in handy for the 8+ hour flights. The difference with this is that it supports your neck, chin and head. So you can get pretty comfy whether you're on the window, middle or aisle seat. 

4. A comfortable backpack


There is a lot of research, blogs and variety out there when it comes to choosing a good backpack to go travelling with. Of course all the pretty and good ones will cost you over £100, but then I stumbled upon this simple Cabin Max beauty on Amazon that only set me back £30 (well, my mum as it was one of my Christmas gifts). After carrying it around 8 airports, using my upper body strength to chuck it in the overhead locker 10 times, and using it for my little trips here and there in Australia - I can confirm that I will be keeping it for my 3 month trip to Asia too as it has served me well.  

5. A Kindle 


I think this has been a great travel item, but not so great for my bank account because since I don't have to worry about carrying them around, I can just keep buying them. Before I had a kindle everything used to be filled to the brim of my little backpack because I always needed to carry a book in there too, now I can open and close my bag without risking my headphones or sweets falling out. 

What are some of your favourite travel items and gadgets to pack?

G




*Items marked where gifted to me but all opinions are my own. 

A LOW CARB AUBERGINE (OR EGGPLANT) LASAGNA RECIPE.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

I stopped doing recipes on my blog once I finished university and moved back home, I think the last one may have been a white fish soup one. Truthfully, when I moved back to Gibraltar I probably only cooked omelettes, chicken and made buddha bowls, because with my mum and grandmother around there wasn't really a need for me to cook much. Now that I'm living on my own in Brisbane and have a very nice kitchen to make a mess in, I've enjoyed experimenting with more things and meal prepping and all that grown up stuff. 

If like me, you love Italian food but also know it wouldn't be great for our hips to eat pasta at every meal, then this is a great alternative recipe to traditional lasagna. Luckily, I love cheese equally as much as carbs so even though this is a vegetable substitute it's still delicious and filling. I've also taken the liberty of calculating the macros and calories per serving for you guys (thanks to MyFitnessPal) so if you're tracking/a gym buff don't worry, I've got you. 

low carb aubergine lasagna

INGREDIENTS 

  • 4 Aubergines/Eggplants 
  • 500g of turkey mince (or beef) 
  • Chicken or beef stock
  • Mushrooms 
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • Can of chopped Italian tomatoes 
  • Passata sauce (I got Italian herb but you can use any)
  • Bechamel (jar or homemade) 
  • Mozzarella



METHOD  


1. Preheat the oven to 180'C

2. Slice the aubergines lengthwise in 1/3 inch slices. Depending on your dish size you should aim for 15 slices to make the layers. 

3. Wash the aubergine slices, and place them on a sheet of kitchen paper. Drizzle some pink himalayan salt (or your regular salt) and place another sheet of kitchen paper on top. Press down and leave for 10 minutes to drain out the liquid from them. 

4. Heat up a pan with olive oil. Chop up the onion, garlic and mushrooms and toss into the pan. Keep on a low-medium heat and after a few minutes throw the mince into the pan. 

5. Once the meat has turned brown, pour in the can of tinned tomatoes, crumble the stock in and add salt and pepper and any other seasonings you wish to use. Leave to simmer on low heat. 

6. Grab a baking tray and spread the aubergine slices on it. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on each (I use spray) and bake them for 7-8 minutes on each side. 

7. Now for the fun part! Layer your lasagna however you wish. Mine went something like aubergines - tomato - drizzle of bechamel - lots of mozzarella - mince mixture - and repeat.

8. Place dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until top layer is a beautiful crispy brown. 

low carb aubergine lasagna


CALORIES PER SERVING | 527
CARBS | 39g
PROTEIN | 51.3g
FAT | 17.8g


 Have you ever tried to make this before? I'd love to hear your alternative recipes! 

G


low carb eggplant lasagna

5 RESTAURANTS AND CAFES TO VISIT IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

When I think of food in Australia - I think healthy, colourful and creative. When you're travelling with a Vegan and Celiac, your restaurant choices tend to be a bit more niche and the menus usually tend to be a bit more creative. Whether you're looking for something instagrammable, or want to eat out without consuming all of your daily calorie intake in one meal, here are some options for every craving. 


Queen Victoria Market 


Ok so this isn't technically a restaurant, but if you're not really sure what you fancy eating then head here where you can choose from more than 10 different cuisines from across the globe. I shared halloumi fries, pavlova and paella with my friend, and I may have had a bubble tea too. There's usually live music too and a bunch of stalls and fresh produce for you to look at. 

queen victoria market


Pablo Escoburgers


My friend came across this place on Instagram after someone posted about their 'controversial' burgers in ode to Pablo Escobar. One of which comes with a dollar bill and a 'line of cocaine'. This was a pretty funky place, and the bartender creates a signature cocktail for you based on your preferences. We ended up spending around $45 each at this place, so it's not the cheapest of restaurants, but at least your burger will look good on the gram. 

pablo escoburgers


Ground Yourself Cafe


We stumbled accross this place on our way to get our nails done, and it was a delight. They have a large breakfast selection, smoothie and acai bowls and a selection of buddha bowls. I got the Superfood Salad lunch special for $10 which came with quinoa, cauliflower, goji, beetroot, kale, pickled grapes, toasted seeds and almond hummus. It was delicious. 

ground yourself cafe


Banff 


If it's Italian you're after, then head to Banff in St Kinda for an inexpensive plate of pizza or pasta. They usually have offers on, such as $7 pizzas on Monday and Tuesday. They have an interesting concept called 'paper bag pasta' where your pasta is served...in a bag. I didn't get to experience it first hand, as I went for the Chicken & Pesto Risotto and it was molto delizioso.

banff st kilda

Sister of Soul 


This was probably my favourite and most delicious out of all of them. Even though we had initially planned to go for lunch, the breakfast menu looked so good that all 5 of us picked something from there. I had the French Toast which was no ordinary french toast, it came with vegan 'honeycomb', gelato, fruit and of course maple syrup (and some flowers that I assumed were edible). The Snickers Smoothie Bowl that my friend chose looked heavenly too. 

sister of soul


Have you been to any of these? What are some of your favourite spots in Melbourne?

G


melbourne food spots



A WEEKEND GUIDE TO SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

I've been in Australia for about two months now, and most of that has been spent in Brisbane - because of its warm weather, its great nightlife and its proximity to lots of other great places around Queensland. Surfers Paradise is situated in Queensland's Gold Coast and is an hour drive from the CBD. I'd say Australians head to Surfers on the weekend just like we Gibraltarians head to Tarifa. They're both known for their beaches, nightlife, and the perfect windy weather to practice your surfing skills. Here's what we got up to in two days in Surfers Paradise. 

surfers paradise


Where to Stay 


If you stay anywhere along the beach you'll be able to get to everything by foot (obvious I guess). We stayed at K Resort Apartments which was a 5 minute walk from Cavill Avenue where you can find a plethora of shops and restaurants and a 10 minute walk from Surfers Paradise beach.  

We shared a 2 bedroom apartment between 4 of us and paid £35 each for a 2 night stay. The living room was slightly dated but then again all we were really there for was to sleep, make toast for breakfast and pre drink before heading out. The Wi-Fi wasn't free, so we stuck with our 4G. The apartments had air-con and we also had a bathroom each.

k resort surfers paradise


Where to Eat


Since we were on a bit of a budget, we ate in the apartment twice and had breakfast in the room too (and a helping of snacks from 7/11).

Grill'd 

If you're after a burger but want to knock of a couple hundred calories then head to Grill'd. They have gluten-free buns, vegan options and even a low carb bun that makes your burger less carby than a sushi roll. I went for the summer sunset burger - complete with bacon, avocado and pineapple. I also recommend trying the chips share plate which comes with their famous Grill'd chips, sweet potato chips & zucchini chips.

grill'd

SandBar

Located next to the beach, this place is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We came at an in between time of 12pm so all chose an Acai bowl and damn was it good. All bowls were topped with banana, apple, strawberries, coconut, chia seeds, granola (and because I'm a gluttonous individual I also added peanut butter and raw cacao).  If we would have come again, I would have definately gone for a Hawaiian poke bowl.

sandbar


What to do 


Party 

A trip to the Gold Coast isn't complete without a night out (well that's my opinion with most trips). When we were choosing where to 'settle' in Queensland we originally thought of Surfers but heard it was like the 'Magaluf of Australia' so went for Brisbane instead. I must say, I think I had one of my best nights out in Australia there. We went to Sin City and Bedroom and I think I was running out of breath by the end of the evening because I was singing so many damn songs.

If you like your aesthetics then Bedroom is a good choice - there's actual beds in the VIP area and bathroom, and the club gives out free popcorn and candy floss. 

Infinity

If you want to experience the biggest trip of your life in 20 minutes, head to Infinity. Tickets are $26 and the attraction basically takes you through a series of rooms and effects that engage all your senses. Think house of mirrors but even more confusing and weird.  

Ripley's - Believe it or Not!

I lived in London for a year and never made it to this place but I was always curious, so when we found ourselves with some time on our hands we popped in to see what it was all about. There's about 15 themed rooms and interactive areas (and a lot of bizarre stuff to check out).

Surf 

I mean whilst you're here you might as well try it right? We probably didn't pick the best time to do this (a.k.a the day after our night out) but luckily we picked 1pm for our lesson so we had the morning to recover. We went with Get Wet Surf School and paid $60 for 2 hours. We were surprised to find we actually didn't suck as much as we thought we would, and I managed to stand up on my board for an impressive 10 seconds.

get wet surf school


Rent a scooter 

We saw people on these everywhere and there are a dozen shops scattered around the area where you can rent a bike/scooter from. The coast is actually very long, so you could either go on a nice 50 minute scenic walk to Mermaid beach or electric scooter it. 

Crazy Cat Cafe

If you're travelling in a group then one of you is bound to be a crazy cat person (there were two in ours). The Crazy Cat Cafe have either 50 minute or 25 minute sessions and unlike the one we went to in Japan, you're actually allowed to play with the cats and hold them. They have quite a big menu ranging from shakes to lasagna to cheesecakes. 

Q1 Climb 

If you're after the best scenic view of the Gold Coast, you can either climb to it or simply sit at the top of the Q1 building and enjoy a nice meal and glass of wine. The SkyPoint Climb lasts 90 minutes and you climb a total of 300 stairs, so make sure you've had your kale-spinach-superseed breakfast.

iFly 

Still haven't quite mustered the courage to sky dive? Then floating in the air in a vertical wind tunnel is a good alternative with iFly. The price is $55 for 'two indoor sky flights' and is suitable for people of all ages. 

Tan

If you've done all that and wondering what to do with yourself next, then go take a nap on the beach.



Have you ever been to Surfers Paradise? What's your favourite seaside location in Australia?

G


SURFERS PARADISE guide



25 GOT FANS SHARE THEIR EVENING PLANS BEFORE FIGHTING THE WHITE WALKERS.

Monday, 29 April 2019

It's been a hot minute since I've done a blog post asking the readers something, and since I've gone through a slight blog hiatus and have just been spending my spare time in Australia laying on beaches and fan girling that Game of Thrones is back, I thought this would be a fitting question to ask my friends and pester my readers to answer. For those of you who aren't aware of who the white walkers are, just imagine you will be spending your next morning fighting these things and half the cast of the Walking Dead.

white walkers


1. "I'd do Tormund. Then probably call my family to say goodbye. They maybe try heroine." - Nicola

2. "I'd go to all my favourite restaurants and eat all my favourite meals (Bodeguiya, My Wines), then I will make love with my love, then make him give me a foot massage, well a full body massage. Then to help me fall asleep before the big night I'd probably smoke a krippy." - Gabriella

3. "I'd go to Burger King and eat a long chicken, then go to McDonalds for a McFlurry, then Pizza Hut for a slice of Hawaiian. Then go to the petrol station to buy a bottle of Echo Falls Summer Berries and maybe have the company of a nice, suitable, attractive man to keep me company until the sun comes up. Then once the night king has slaughtered me, I'd get him to bring me and Robb Stark back from the dead so we can live happily ever after." - G x

4.  "First I'd fly to Leeds to go sleep with the best lover I've had, and then I'd go and refuel by eating all the gluten infested products that I can't eat but who cares cause I'm going to die anyway." - Mariah

5. "Eat all of the Candy Kittens." - Pavan

6. "I would probably eat my body weight in chocolate and cheese whilst getting drunk and searching the black market for dragon glass. Then make my last meal at La Pampa." - Gabby

7. "Send everyone I know a paragraph of what I actually think of them." - Anna

8. "I'd tell every girl I've slept with that I have chlamydia." - Ben

9. "Probably watch all the Game of Thrones episodes for inspiration on how to survive against the White Walkers. Maybe order a chicken korma as well." - Pete

10. "Tell those I love that I love them/ Make peace with the fact I might definitely die tomorrow . Make sure I have everything prepared. Then sleep with someone. Oh and definitely get drunk, but not too drunk that I'm really hungover." - Jack

11. "Go and spend £1000 on a good bottle of wine." - Brian

12. "I'd stay with the people I love, make love and drink with the people who I will die with the next day. What a night, but what a glorious day to die next morning." - Alex

13. "I'd go to the countryside with my partner and lay looking at the stars, it's what we do when things get tough or tricky. It puts things into perspective, so if it's our last night I'd want to spend it like that." - Lizzie

14. "Have s.e.x., and drink something strong. Let's face it, may as well have fun before it all ends." - Emma

15. "Eat everything I've been craving because who cares I'm going to turn into a white walker anyway" - Christina

16. "Khaleesi." - Arun

17. "I'd do Khaleesi." - Jake

18. "I'd do exactly what Gendry did with Arya, but with Dany." - Umesh

19. "I'd get super drunk to have the confidence to tell my parents everything I did behind their back, and I'd consume an obscene amount of chocolate and carbs. I would build a badass snowman so the white walkers know I mean business. Get to bed early so I could start drinking again before the army of the dead arrives." - Mike

20. "I'd have a fucking long nap. I'm not a Game of Thrones fan but I know enough to know what this means and I'd have a fucking long nap." - Amy

21. "I think I would train hard at the gym, and then eat all my favourite foods incase I die. I don't want to regret the fact that my last meal was terrible." - Amita

22. "Probably ask Dany if I could ride one of her dragons, or at least let me take a ride with her, because it would be a great way to go." - Luke

23. "Spend the rest of my savings on UberEats." - Sam

24. "Probably spend it at home playing Manopoly with my family, that would probably get us through the night." - Alex

25. "Probably go out to my favourite club and get so wasted that I'll be KO for the actual fight and not even be aware of my death." - Chloe

If you haven't seen todays episode yet, I hope your favourite character lives! 

G


SPENDING 3 DAYS IN SINGAPORE (ON A SLIGHT BUDGET).

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

When planning our route before arriving in Australia, everyone thought it was weird we picked Singapore because it's on the more expensive side than other places in Asia. That being said, Singapore is a common place for airlines to stop over before getting a connecting flight to OZ so it made sense. That, and it's a country you can pretty much explore in a weekend if you were very organised and efficient. After watching Crazy Rich Asians, I more or less had an idea of what the place was going to be like, and I was excited to see all the spots we had seen in the movie in real life. If you're looking to explore Singapore in a few days, here are my tips on where to stay, what to do and where to eat. 

tea with gi singapore guide

WHERE TO STAY

If you have an unlimited budget for this trip then the best place you can probably stay is Marina Bay Sands. From the pool to the rooftop bar to the views of the Gardens, it really is luxury at its finest. If you're just hopping around Asia or have the budget of a student, then I'd look at staying in Little India or China Town. 

We stayed at Marrison @ Desker and we were a 10 minute walk from the Little India MRT station which had good connections to the rest of Singapore. We had a triple room which was basically one giant bed, a bathroom and a desk. The property had no lifts so we put our gym regime to the test by having to carry our 20kg suitcases to the second floor ourselves. The reservation included 'free breakfast' which was a token for a Indian naan omelette type thing at the restaurant beside, so not the buffet breakfast I had imagined. 

marrison @ desker

We paid £100 each for 4 nights so we got what we paid for really - a place to sleep that had Wi-Fi, hot water and no bed bugs. 

DAY 1 IN SINGAPORE


AM | Gardens By The Bay 

We started out trip by heading to the most photographed place in Singapore - Gardens By The Bay. Here you will find dozens of very tall futuristic trees, gardens and a number of beautiful conservatories. The actual gardens are free to enter, but there is a fee to enter the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. If you'd like, for 12 SGD (singapore dollars) you can also walk from supertree to supertree with the OCBC Skyway

gardens by the bay

Lunch | Satay by the Bay 

We had to walk like 15 minutes to get here from the Cloud Forest (that's how big GBTB is) and in 30 degree heat there's no better feeling than finally sitting down and eating. Despite the name, you can choose from over 30 food stalls here but as suggested, I ate satay by the bay. Here you can get meals from 10 SGD and I got 12 sticks of chicken satay for that. This was also one of the locations where Nick Young and his pals had dinner in the movie Crazy Rich Asians.

PM | Art Science Museum 

You've probably seen lots of futuristically artsy pictures from this place on Facebook and Instagram - and trying to achieve the same photos in real life wasn't very easy. I do always enjoy museums more when they're interactive (am I 4 or 24?) and it doesn't get more interactive than the Art Science Museum. You can colour in animals and watch them appear on a screen, you can move objects on walls and create music by drawing on a screen and so on. For all of you Instagram lovers, there are a number of very aesthetically pleasing rooms. The one pictured below is more of a walk through, and you're allowed like, 10 seconds before you need to keep walking because there'll be a queue forming behind you. 

art science museum

Dinner | 'The Shoppes' at Marina Bay Sands 

If you are on a budget, then the restaurants in this mall are slightly on the expensive side (we're talking £30+ for a plate of pasta) but the food court at the end has a lot of variety and for 1/3 of the price. I had a katsu curry (not exactly the same as the one we get at Wagamama) for 10 SGD which came with miso soup and white rice. If you're frozen yoghurt and bubble tea obsessed like I am, you can find pretty good ones here. 

marina bay sands food court

Evening | Marina Bay Sands Spectra / Rooftop Bar

As you can see from todays itinerary, you're basically spending the whole day in one area as GBTB and Marina Bay are both within walking distance of each other. However if you plan on dancing into the early hours of the morning then you might wanna nip back to the hotel and shower and maybe change from your converse. The Spectra is a light and water show and you can see this from the balcony of the first floor of the mall. The shows are only 15 minutes long but they really are beautiful. After, I definitely recommend having an overpriced Singapore Sling at the hotels rooftop bar. You have to pay $28 to get up there, and you can use this as a token to buy a drink (the cocktail was $31 so we had to add a few extra bucks on top). There is also a more club type area up here if you fancy a dance too. 

Spectra Showtimes

Sun – Thu: 8pm & 9pm
Fri & Sat: 8pm, 9pm & 10pm
Earth Hour on Sat, Mar 30:
8pm, 9:30pm & 10:30pm


DAY 2 IN SINGAPORE

AM | Little India 

If you're looking for some colourful shots for your IG feed then Little India is the place to do so. We did a free walking tour with Monster Tours which gave us more of an insight to what we were actually looking at and the history of Little India in Singapore. Sights included the Former House of Tan Teng Niah (picture below), Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and Little India Arcade. These tours run on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and they also run tours for China Town, Kampong Glam, Bugis & Bras Basah and the Civic District. 

little india

Lunch | Khansama 

No trip to Little India would be complete without a curry, and we were told Khansama was the best one in town. They have an extensive menu and their portions are big. We made the mistake of ordering a curry each and a rice to share, and to be honest we could have probably had enough with 3 dishes between the 5 of us. Each curry came with a basket of mixed naan breads, so you definitely won't leave this place still hungry.

Khansama

PM | China Town & Haji Lane 

After lunch we took another metro to Bugis MRT and then walked 10 minutes to find Haji Lane - a very hipster spot in Singapore. Here you'll find an explosion of colour, quirky cafes, vintage shops and a lot of drunk travellers. We were exhausted so we also took this opportunity to sit down and have a cocktail in a Spanish bar playing reggaeton and people watch. After this we took the metro to China Town and just had a walk through the area really. Here you'll be able to see Pagoda Street, Sri Mariamman Temple, the former Opera House, a Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum and the 'Street of the Dead'. 

haji lane


Dinner | Maxwell Centre

In China Town you will find a Hawker Centre (indoor/outdoor food court) which is known for being one of the best ones to try genuine Singaporean dishes that are cheap and tasty. The most popular food stall in Maxwell Hawker Centre is the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice and it did not disappoint.


Evening | Gardens By The Bay Light Show

After seeing this place in the day I 100% recommend going back in the evening and seeing the light show. The shows take place at 7:45pm and 8:45pm and is free to watch, just find a spot by the Supertree Grove and enjoy. The show theme changes so jump on the website to have a look what's on during your visit. 

gardens by the bay night


DAY 3 IN SINGAPORE 


Full Day | Sentosa Island

The main attraction here is Universal Studios, but you can also find Adventure Cove Waterpark, iFly Singapore and a variety of other attractions. The park is probably half the size of the one in Florida, but there are handful of good thrill rides including two rollercoasters, The Mummy one and a super cool Transformers simulation one. 

singapore universal

Lunch | anywhere, it's all going to be overpriced and will taste the same 


Dinner | Chili's 

I hadn't eaten here since I lived in Florida in 2015, and honestly we just went into the first restaurant we saw after leaving the park, and I thoroughly enjoyed my buffalo chicken burger. 


TOP TIPS FOR SINGAPORE

  • Singapore accepts US dollars but for a better rate get your currency in Singapore dollars.
  • The metro system is very easy to use and each trip will cost you $1-3. 
  • From the airport, you can order a taxi from the machine depending on your party size. 
  • It's very easy to eat well and cheap in Singapore, just go from Hawker Centre to Hawker Centre!
  • I know you want a tan, but Singapore is very hot and humid - so wear sunscreen and a hat!

Have you ever been to Singapore? What were your highlights?

G


singapore pinterest





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