Tuesday 29 October 2019

            [Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post but all words and opinions are still mine and honest]

Do you know what keeps me up at night? trying to remember everything I have to do tomorrow.  The sudden motivation to write a blog post at 1:30am. Remembering that I forgot to reply to an email. Putting my phone to charge and then reaching over to look at it to see if that boy who hasn't replied to me for 6 hours has finally sent a message. 

Apart from the latter, these are all things that I can control when it comes to getting a better night's sleep. It's definitely something I've been working on and I never thought I'd become a morning person (my mum and housemates at uni can confirm that), but recently I've found myself naturally waking up at 6am. These are a couple of things we can tweak to ensure we're getting a good night's sleep. 

1. Write it all down before you go to bed. 

This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy a diary and lock and write about your feelings everyday (but that's totally ok too), but just making a list of everything that's currently on your mind will clear the clutter in your brain. A survey by found that '73% of Brits are being kept awake by stress' and it's no surprise why! My generation especially loves this idea of being 'busy' all the time but there's only so much your brain and body can handle. If at the end of the day you haven't done everything you wanted to do, chances are you'll lie in bed thinking about it all. So the best thing to do is get a pen and paper, or make a note on your phone of everything you need to get done in the week or to worry about tomorrow. 

2. Stop drinking at least two hours before you go to sleep. 

Getting 3 litres of water in a day is great, what's not so great is getting up to pee at 4 in the morning after you told yourself at 10pm you didn't need to go that bad because you were too comfy in bed. Try and get most of your water intake earlier in the day, and then maybe switch to a cup of tea at night because you won't be able to drink that as quickly. 

3. Put your phone on silent/do not disturb when you're winding down. 

I know every article out there on sleep tells you to get off your phone an hour before you're going to sleep, but I enjoy having a scroll and laugh through twitter before bed and hey, sometimes it can be educational. Instead I make sure that once I'm going to sleep I put my phone on silent and put it facing down so even if I'm facing it the light of a notification doesn't tempt me to look. 

4. Buy an eye mask

I think part of the reason why I'm naturally waking up at 6am is because even with the blinds down I still get sunlight coming into my room, and I've lost my eye mask. If you're someone who's easily woken up by light or needs to sleep in complete darkness then get your hands on one!

5. Don't snooze. 

For the longest time, I'd always set two alarms in the morning. One for the time I actually had to get up, and one 30 minutes earlier to give me a heads up that I only had 30 minutes left to sleep. I thought this was a good idea at the time but found that if I fell back into a deep sleep again it only made it harder to get up. Now I only set one alarm and as soon as it goes off I don't even think about anything, I just get up and get ready. 

What tends to keep you up at night?



Wednesday 23 October 2019

 [Disclaimer: this blog post is written in collaboration with but all words and thoughts are my own. This post also contains items that had been gifted for a previous review.]

Ever since I moved to Australia back in March, I've had more of an interest in skincare products and have enjoyed trying different brands. Probably because firstly, when my skin breaks out from using new products I don't have to see tons of people I know on a daily basis like back home, and secondly because I'm wearing less make-up here so I don't have foundation clogging up my pores. That being said I still don't have a very complicated skincare routine. These are some of my favourite skincare products that I like to use before bed.

Cleanser - Sukin Purifying Balancing Cleanser 

This has probably been my favourite and most used brand in Australia. All their products are natural, Australian made and don't come with the hefty price tag. My skin is a mix of combintation and oily and this helps remove excess oils and leaves my skin feeling really fresh. I also find it aesthetically pleasing that the gel is black because it contains bamboo charcoal. 

Toner - Sukin Oil Balancing Clarifying Facial Tonic 

Admittedly, I had gone a couple of months without using a toner. Now that the temperature has heated up here there's nothing better than wiping your face with this at the end of the day after I've been at the gym, walking around in the sun and sweating. This product contains Willowherb with has anti-inflammatory properties and helps eliminate impurities. 

Moisturiser - Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturiser 

Ok I'm obsessed with this - the cream smells like japonesas (custard donuts). The cream is fast absorbing and contains rosehip, seseme and joboba oils. It does what it's meant to do, moisturise the skin! 

Face Scrub - Alya Skin Pomegranate Exfoliating Scrub (Gifted)

I use this product twice a week - Wednesdays and Sundays usually. I might like it that extra bit more because the packaging and the cream is pink too. It smells delicious, pomegranate is my favourite fruit so if I could use this everyday I would. It's not too harsh on the skin and it leaves your face with a nice fresh glow after use. 

Eye Cream - Nakin Eye Cream Complex (Gifted)

This eye cream is weightless and spreads on very finely. At my age (25) I have to start looking out for those signs of ageing so I have implemented using an eye cream at night time!

Lip Balm - Nakin Lip Treatment Balm (Gifted)

My lips are always dry AF at night because 99% of the time I'm wearing lipstick during the day, so this adds the moisture right back in and doesn't leave a sticky finish

Light Therapy - Dermatec Personal LED (Gifted)

I won't go into too much detail here as I have written a separate blogpost all about the Dermatec Personal LED and the benefits of light therapy. The great thing about this product is that you don't need to stand in front of the bathroom mirror whilst using it, you can just move it around your face whilst you're lying in bed watching Netflix or reading a book. 

What are your favourite skincare products to use before bed?



Friday 18 October 2019

[Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post but all words and thoughts are my own]

I remember the first time I dyed my hair I was 15 - Cheryl Cole had just debuted her red hair on X-Factor and suddenly every hair dye brand in Morrisons was stocking red hairdye. Obviously, I begged my mum to please let me dye it and that it was ok because it wasn't 'permanent'. She gave me the usual talk that 'my natural hair was lovely' and 'you'll get grey hairs sooner and you will have to keep dying it now'. In the end, we walked out of Morrisons with two boxes of L'Oreal Casting Creme in Mahogany and like always, mum was right. After 10 years of dying my hair 50 shades of red (and black, and pink ombre, and a failed attempt of going blonde) I finally booked into a hair salon, stripped my hair dye and finally jumped onto the balayage trend. If you're someone who colours your hair often, this is my advice for making sure it stays looking bright, healthy and glossy! 

tea with gi hair

1. Use products for coloured hair. 

I'm going to start this list with a *duh*. I've been using XXXX for ages and it does the job and its inexpensive. Now that my hair is lighter I've obviously had to switch to the holy grail for blonde hair, Pro-Voke Touch of Silver. It's also pretty good to stick to the same brand for both your shampoo and conditioner, as it will have a similar formulation and will target specific hair concerns. 

2. Limit the use of hot appliances.

I think the last time I straightened my hair was two years ago, I wish I had the energy and patience to curl my hair everyday but alas, I don't. Your hair probably looks a lot nicer natural than you think it does, it just might take some getting used to! 

3. Try and wash your hair only once or twice a week. 

I know people who wash their hair everyday and I just think, how do you have the energy? I know some people get greasier hair than others, especially if your hair is finer. Washing your hair too often will remove healthy oils and can leave your hair looking more dry and damaged, and it's just so much effort

4. Use a detangling hairbrush.

Just the thought of brushing my hair with a tooth comb sounds painful, my hair used to get so knotty but having short hair has definitely helped a lot (admittedly I don't brush my hair very often). A detangling brush isn't as harsh on your hair and will help prevent split ends. 

5. Choose satin pillow covers. 

Not only will you feel like Princess Jasmine, and make your bed look even more aesthetically pleasing. But you'll also help smooth frizzy hair and minimise static. You can get some inexpensive ones on amazon

6. Book into a hair salon. 

I think I've had a fringe (or a variation of one) pretty much all my life. I've become so attached to it that it's rare that I let anyone cut it for me. That being said, I try to visit a salon at least once a year to cut my split ends. I know letting someone else touch your hair can be a scary thing, so just make sure you do your research on the best salons in the area and read the reviews! I've collaborated with a top hairdresser in Manchester on this post so if you're in the North of England make sure you check them out!



Sunday 13 October 2019

[Disclaimer: This post contains a gifted product but all words and opinions are still mine and honest]

I was only introduced to the world of LED light therapy two months ago, when I went for a treatment at The Loft Beauty. I'd also been exposed to the red light therapy when I went to a thermal spa in Bucharest where there was an area to lay on hammocks that had the red light shining on you from above. I had no idea the benefits of it back then and just remember lying there thinking 'I don't know what this is doing, but it's making me feel very calm and sleepy.'

When I came across Dermatec's Personal LED product on Instagram I was very intrigued. I thought this is perfect, I don't even have to get out of bed to use this! I'm always a bit skeptical of 'at home' devices. After doing a bit of research on the product and the reviews it had received, I saw it was working for a lot of people. So when Dermatec kindly sent me an LED personal device for me to try and see the benefits for myself, I very quickly made this product part of my night time routine! I've detailed a bit more about the product below, what LED light therapy is, and of course what I made of the product. 

How does a LED Light Therapy device work?

A personal LED is a photodynamic therapy device that harnesses light energy to improve the skin. The blue (417nm) and red (633nm) lights target specific skin concerns such as reducing the appearance of wrinkles, collagen renewal, acne clearance, rosacea and even mild psoriasis. 

The light energy stimulates your skin cells to repair and rejuvenate themselves. Whilst using the device you only feel a light sense of heat hitting your skin but it's not uncomfortable or painful at all, but rather quite relaxing. 

How I use the Personal LED

I find the best time for me to use this is before bed, after I've cleansed my skin, showered and changed into my PJs. You simply click a button to switch it on, and then select the duration you want the light on for (1min, 3 mins or 5 mins). You also get a pair of black eye goggles as the blue light can be damaging if you look directly into it for an excessive amount of time. I usually use it around my chin and neck area whilst reading a book (it doubles as a great reading light haha!). Then when I move onto the areas closer to my eyes I put the goggles on and put on a podcast or listen to Lana Del Rey or something to get me ready to sleep. 

My thoughts on the Personal LED 

Admittedly at first, I thought 'how is a light hitting my face going to actually change anything on my skin?'. I think when you're having a treatment done that doesn't involve product to skin contact it's always easy to be a bit skeptical. It took a while for me to get into the routine of using it daily as I kept using the excuse of 'not having time' or forgetting to charge it. But with everything, it's all about creating a new habit and sticking to it. So now I charge the device every night after I use it the same way as I put my phone to charge, and make time for using it the same way as I cleanse my face every night. 

I've been using the device for a month now and I think the biggest improvement I've seen is a reduction in redness on my face. I feel like I have more of a bright and clear complexion. Your 20s are all about prevention - so I'm hoping this device will delay those wrinkles and lines we all have to deal with as we age! In terms of spots, I have a few in my chin area that I get due to hormones and I haven't really seen a change in that. 

The verdict

The product retails at $349 (AUD) and comes with a 1 year warranty and 60 day money back guarantee. Considering a session of LED at a salon can cost you upwards of $70 (AUD), it really is a good investment. I'd say if you had really bad acne or don't get any beauty treatments done then this probably isn't the product for you. Otherwise, I think it's a great product for daily use and it's so portable that you can do it pretty much anywhere - so it also makes for a great travel accessory (and you don't have to use up your liquid allowance for it!). I'm going to continue using it and at the end of the year I will probably post an update on my Instagram stories - so make sure you're following me at Tea With Gi

Have you ever tried LED light therapy?



Thursday 10 October 2019

[Disclaimer: this post is written in collaboration with Urban Social Dating but all words and thoughts are my own]

Before Tinder, it wasn't really acceptable to say you had met your significant other online was it? I remember being 16 and having more of a thing for English boys (have to thank One Direction for that) so I signed up for this website called snog marry avoid, which was just as brutal as it sounds. You would snog, marry or avoid other teenagers based on their photos and profile (I'd even go as far as to say Tinder probably isn't as harsh). As superficial as it sounds, I actually met up with two boys from that website after speaking for ages, and 9 years later I'm still in contact with them! I remember telling my friends I had met them on holiday as I was too embarrassed to say I'd met them online.

tea with gi

Fast forward to now, and I think around 40% of relationships start online and nobody bats an eyelid when you mention to people that you met your S/O on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Twitter or on a video game chat room. 

Funnily enough nowadays I rely less on dating apps and prefer making connections in person. But apart from a guy who ran up to me in the cinema a couple of weeks ago to ask for my number, it seems meeting people the old fashioned way isn't as easy anymore. I think a lot of it (online and offline) has to do with location. 

For example, back home in Gibraltar there's no way I'd use swipe right on someone I knew and then have that possibility of bumping into them in town later that day, awkward. Whereas in bigger cities like London and Sydney, I think the chances of meeting someone you have a connection with both in person and online is higher as there is more, variety per say and things to do.

 There's also definitely a difference in the types of men across different dating websites. Tinder is usually where you'll get bombarded with messages asking 'what you doing now?' at 1am whereas Bumble only lets ladies make the first move, so there'll be no unsolicited messages there. Whereas a dating website like UrbanSocial is aimed more at people in their late 20s and older, who are actually looking for a serious relationship and not just there to mess about. 

At 25 and having been single for several years, what I don't want to do now is waste my time. Which is why I deleted Tinder, as I hate small talk and most conversations always end up being dead ends. Even if I did meet someone online, I'd much rather speak for a day then arrange to meet for a coffee the next. I think the longer you wait to meet someone in person the more awkward the situation can get. 

What has your experience been with online dating?



Monday 7 October 2019

As an avid gym goer, protein shakes are one of the 'supplements' I take daily to help with my recovery and to get those lean gainz. There are people who simply enjoy downing protein powder mixed with water straight after the gym and that's that. I am not that organised and I like to spice mine up a bit. Here are five smoothie recipes that contain more than 20g of protein that I have on a regular basis. 

1. Chocolate & Strawberry Smoothie 

I'm a big chocaholic, and back home I always find myself ordering the Cupid Kiss smoothie from Joost. For this smoothie I used Inca Organics' Raw Cacao Protein Powderthat only use 3 ingredients in their product. Organic whey protein, fair trade cacao powder and stevia. You can taste the good quality and you don't get any of that 'powdery protein' taste that you find with some cheaper protein powders. The fact that it includes cacao powder means I don't have to reach for the drinking chocolate powder which of course, is slightly heavier in calories. 

chocolate and strawberry protein smoothie

2. Blueberry Oats Smoothie 

This one is rather filling, so if like me you prefer a more refreshing breakfast in the hotter months this one is perfect. Here I used Ultimately Natural's Cinnamon Banana* protein blend. I can easily drink this with just half a banana thrown into it for thickness, because it actually tastes like you're drinking a smoothie and not just a protein shake. Again it just has a handful of ingredients - whey protein, banana, agave, manuka honey, cinnamon and stevia - so all the good stuff! If you prefer a hot breakfast, you could also mix a scoop of this into your porridge. 

blueberry oats protein smoothie

3. Green Smoothie

I don't actually make green smoothies very often, but I eat a **** load of spinach anyway so I'm excused! I tried this one out and was pleasantly surprised by the taste, and the fact that it didn't taste like green veg at all. 

spinach and pineapple green smoothie

4. Mocha Protein Shake 

I've been having this a lot lately because coffee doesn't appeal to me much on hot days (unless we're talking about iced coffee). But I still need that little boost of energy so this is the perfect way to get it whilst also getting a good amount of protein in. Think of it as a healthier frappuccino! 

mocha protein shake

5. Chocolate Avocado Protein Pudding 

I know what you're thinking, avocado in a smoothie? I actually find it makes the texture a lot nicer and creamier than bananas do, so it's a great alternative if you're following a keto diet or just don't like bananas all that much. I used to ask for this custom smoothie all the time (more milk/water so it wasn't a pudding) and for some reason it tasted like a chocolate doughnut, so I wasn't complaining. 

chocolate chia pudding

What are some of your favourite smoothie recipes? Which one of these do you think you'd enjoy most? 


* This post contains gifted items but all words and opinions are my own.

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