Thursday 21 November 2019

[Disclaimer: This post contains gifted items for review but all words and opinions are still mine and honest]

Last year I wrote a blog post on 10 gifts for frequent travellers and I'm back again this year with some more travel accessories and gadgets that I think are great to bring along when you're travelling (but also make great gifts too). Next month I set off on my 3 month journey and even though I've got a total of 27kg to bring with me, there are some items which I consider necessary to bring for comfort, practicability and just making things that little bit easier.

best travel accessories

1. A modern travel pillow. 

I say modern, because long gone are the days where you could get by with your regular U shaped neck pillow. I never carried one of those with me because to be honest, I didn't find them comfortable and sleeping against the airplane window worked just as well. That being said, there are now so many innovative products to help with comfort when travelling, and Face Cradle* are one of them. Their sleeping pillow can be adjusted into 5+ different modes (see how here) depending on your sleeping preference, snoozing mode has worked the best for me! It's honestly changed the game of travelling as it's so easy to get comfortable and naturally, as we sleep we often toss and turn. The great thing about this is that you can play with the product until you find what works for you and adjust it depending on how you want to position yourself when travelling.

face cradle travel pillow review

2. Noise cancelling headphones (and earplugs). 

I used to think I would never wear those over the head headphones outside of the gym because I would look ridiculous, until I tried to watch a movie using my earphones on a plane. Between the noise of the engine and the man snoring beside me I had to result to using subtitles. If you're planning on staying in hostels or just find it hard to sleep when you're travelling if there's noise around then picking up some cheap earplugs will do wonders.  

3. Sleeping mask. 

Just make sure you buy one that doesn't squash your nose. I'm in love with my unicorn eye mask from Nomad Life Hacks. I'm going to be staying in a lot of hostels on my trip so this is probably what I'm going to put in my backpack first, as there will be people coming in and out of the room at all hours. 

4. Universal adapter. 

The last thing you want on your trip is to get somewhere and realise your plug isn't compatible. If you're travelling to several destinations the best thing to do is get a universal adapter online. Another good idea (if you've got the space) is to bring an extension cable if you have a lot of things to charge as we all know sometimes hotel/hostel rooms can be stingy with their sockets. 

5. Packing cubes. 

These have changes the packing game for me! These are especially handy if you need quick access to things, as you won't have to be searching around your suitcase to find something. They're pretty inexpensive and you can find a lot on amazon

6. Microfibre towels. 

Whenever I go to the beach I bring my little black backpack and my friends always hit me with the same question - did you bring a towel? Microfibre towels are so compact and weigh a lot less than your regular beach towel. I carry one for the beach and a smaller fast drying towel* for my face.

nomad life hacks travel accessories

7. An aluminium water bottle. 

Cheaper than buying a bottle of water every day and you're helping the environment (unless the tap water isn't safe in your destination). It's also a great idea to bring an empty one with you to the airport and once you're through security fill it up there. 

8. Waterproof bag. 

If you're bringing a couple of cosmetics then it's good to store them in a waterproof bag* so on the off chance that the bottle opens you won't have your liquids running everywhere. They're also handy to keep wet swimsuits in! 

9. A tripod/selfie stick. 

We all laughed at these, but I'm going to be doing a bit of solo travelling and there will be times where there will be no one around to take my photos for me! Using a tripod that's compatible with your phone also means you can get great photos with landmarks without having an awkward arm on the side. 

10. Portable charger. 

We all know this is one of the most important things to bring along on a trip, yet most of us forget it! Pack it first and make sure it's charged!

Do you usually pack all of these things? What are some of your favourite travel accessories to bring along? 

travel accessories to bring


Wednesday 20 November 2019

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

I've heard a lot about CBD (cannabidiol) products over the past year and it seems to be making its way into every industry. It's no surprise why as it's been linked to a plethora of health benefits that affect most of us to some extent. Lately I've been more selective with what brands I work with, and when mistatera asked if I would like to review their 5% CBD oil I was actually really excited to try it as I had never used any products with the cannabidiol yet.

mistatera cbd oil

What are the benefits of CBD? 

I think the first think to state is that taking CBD oil isn't going to leave you feeling like Snoop Dogg or with the munchies, so if that's what you're looking for you're not going to get it from taking this. However, some of the more useful benefits include relief from chronic pain and inflammation, help with anxiety and depression, reduction in stress and a lot of medical practices have also introduced cbd as a treatment for diseases and medical conditions. I am not a doctor so I don't want to go into the findings from the research, but there is a lot of studies out there how it has helped with alzheimer's, pain relief and the slowing down of cancerous cells. It definitely makes for an interesting read!

About Mistatera

Mistatera is a Slovenian based company specialising in CBD products. They focus on the prevention of medical conditions with the use of cbd oil as opposed to just how they can help or cure them. They believe that by having a healthy body and a sound mind we can improve our quality of life and simply 'live better'. Their products come in 5% and 11% doses and they ship to several countries. If your symptoms are more severe then you might want to consider using a higher dosage. 

mistatera cbd oil

Mistatera CBD Oil (5%) 

(£39.27 - currently £27.00)

The 5% oil comes in a 10ml bottle (strength of 500mg) and it is suggested to take 1-3 drops per day depending on how mild/severe your symptoms or problems are. It might take a bit of trial and error to see what works for you and what dosage is right. The product is designed to reduce stress and relax you, raise your metabolism, ease pain and increase 'happiness' as it affects how your brain's chemical receptors respond.  The product is 100% made of plant origin so it is vegan and gluten-free

My thoughts on Mistatera CBD Oil

First of all, I'm in love with the emerald green packaging, it's very aesthetically pleasing. On the the actual product, my main interest for taking CBD oil was to help with my sleep, as I usually find myself tossing and turning a lot before eventually falling asleep. I think it's down to my brain not being able to 'shut up' and I find it very hard to just chill out. I'm enjoying it so far and have found that adding this to my night time routine and having a drop of this and then reading before bed is helping a lot. I'm not going to lie to you, the first time I tried this I pulled a face, but then again I did the same with apple cider vinegar and now I drink it every morning like I'm downing a glass of cold water. The taste just takes some getting used to! Another benefit which I noticed and then read up on to see if they were linked, is that it has helped with my migraines. I felt one coming and since I read up about how it's linked to pain relief I had a drop and soon after, the pain was gone. I remember a friend recommending the cbd oil a while back for migraines too so this has been great for me, as sometimes painkillers don't do the job. 

mistatera cbd oil review

I think this is one of those products that everyone can benefit from, as it doesn't have any bad side effects nor is it addictive. It's affordable and accessible and I think this is definitely a product I'm going to keep using and implementing into my daily routine. I think the benefits of cbd have been widely discussed and there are lots of medicinal plants that are being discovered. 

Have you ever tried and CBD products for yourself?



Tuesday 19 November 2019

[this post was written in collaboration with Fox Back Drop but all words and opinions are my own.]

We all know Instagram is probably the most used social media platform out there, and if you’re a blogger, long gone are the days where having a good website was enough when it comes to working with brands. Instagram is definitely becoming a saturated market when it comes to ‘influencers’ and ‘content creators’ but there still are a couple of ways you can make your profile stand out and continue to grow your account. Here are a couple of things to make sure you’re currently doing.

1. Optimize your profile page. 

In the same way you optimise your blog for SEO and Google, it’s a good idea to do the same with your Instagram page. Instead of just entering your name in the first line, mine says G | travel and lifestyle blog. So that if people are searching for travel and lifestyle bloggers there is more chance of my account popping up. 

2. Follow similar accounts.

Sadly just posting nice pictures isn’t always going to gain you a huge amount of followers unless you hit the jackpot and make it to the discover page and get viral success. By following accounts that you’re genuinely interested in, they’re more likely to follow you back, and then maybe their followers will do the same. 

3. Change up your hashtags. 

Looking at Instagram’s insights feature has let me know that most of the people liking my photos usually come from the hashtags I use. The best thing to do is have a note on your phone of about 4-5 sets of 30 hashtags (the maximum you can post) and rotate the ones you use. There are lots of blog posts out there for the best hashtags to use for your niche. I also post my hashtags in the comments instead of in the caption so it’s less crowded. 

4. Have an aesthetically pleasing feed. 

Instagram is all about taking nice pictures after all isn’t it? Even if you’re not a great photographer, if your account follows a particular theme then that’s usually enough. Apps like VSCO are great for providing unique filters to your photos. People will also more likely follow you if they know what kind of stuff you usually post. So if you’re a fitness blogger then your account should probably be filled with workouts, nutritional meals, motivation etc. Of course there are weeks that might not be very exciting and you feel like you have nothing to post, that’s where buying a backdrop such as the ones provided by Fox Back Drop to take some themed photos might look good! 

5. Use a call to action in your caption. 

I’m a curious person anyway, so I love leaving a question at the end of my post for my followers to answer. (Whether they do or not that’s up to them hahaha). People will be more likely to comment on your content if you include them in it or ask something easy to create a discussion. 

6. Use Instagram insights to understand your audience. 

The great thing about this tool is that it tells you what time of day and which days your followers are most active on Instagram. This means you can publish your content around that time to ensure you’re getting the largest audience seeing your posts! For me it’s 8pm, and it probably takes into account that my two biggest audience areas have an 8 hour time difference! 

7. Engage with your audience! 

Lastly, after all Instagram is a social app. Don’t stress yourself out with having to comment, follow and like however many accounts a day as that will just take the fun out of it. Just spend some time per day on it and engage with the content you genuinely find interesting, and don’t forget to reply to people who show an interest in you.

Do you have any other tips for growing your Instagram presence? Do you use Instagram a lot for your blog? 



Monday 18 November 2019

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

I am very low maintenance when it comes to my hair. The only time I brush it is when I'm doing something social and have to get rid of the kinks in my hair from having my hair in a bun all the time. The same goes for styling it, whenever I'm going on a night out I say I want to make an extra effort to look nice and change up my hair, but when it comes down to actually straightening it I then decide 'eh actually it looks fine like this'. If you've been seeing my posts on Instagram, you might have seen I recently had a lot of blonde put into my hair after having a variation of 'red' dyed hair for around 10 years. As any blonde can tell you, having light hair requires a lot more maintenance and you'll usually have to invest in more products than your simple shampoo and conditioner. The O'WOW Kit was great because you only need to use the treatment once and the results will last up to 3 months. They kindly gifted me the set for me to try and share my thoughts with you guys. 

owow hair kit


Sunday 17 November 2019

[Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with Schofields but all words and opinions are still mine and honest]

A question I get asked a lot is, 'how can you afford to travel so much?' and to be honest I don't just have one answer, nor do I have a lot of money lying around! It comes down to a couple of things, saving before the trip, cutting costs whilst travelling and then boosting your income whilst you're off galavanting the world. If you're looking to leave home for more than a month or want to live the dream of continuously travelling that most of us want to achieve, here are a couple of ways you can do that. 

how to keep earning money whilst travelling

1. Find casual work.

If you're planning on staying in one city for at least a month, then there are a couple of jobs that will hire you casually for the short-term. For example in Australia, Pinnacle People are a hospitality agency that are always looking for people for event staff - stewarding, kitchen hands, food and beverage assistants. AirTasker and SideKicker also operate around Australia but extend to loads of other casual jobs too - helping move furniture, gardening, ticketing, ushering etc! A quick Google search of 'temp/casual work in ___' will help you out. 

2. Consider putting up your house on AirBnB.

If you're leaving an apartment or house behind then why not make some extra money instead? Unless you're living in a house share, I don't think your housemates would appreciate random people walking in and out of your house on the regular. A study by Schofields noted that Instagram is now a really effective way to promote your holiday home or airbnb apartment, so adding some little 'instagramable' touches will help when it comes to getting your place booked. I'm all about the indoor plants, bookshelf's and vinyl records on the wall - so that would get me booking!

3. Au Pair.

This is what I'm currently doing in Australia (I'll be doing another post about that soon) and I've loved it. Although if you 'hate kids' then move on to number 4. An au pair is someone who lives with a host family to provide childcare, and in return you get food, accommodation and weekly pocket money depending on your hours. There are tons of Facebook groups connecting families and au-pairs or the website has opportunities all over the globe

4. Use affiliate marketing.

This is something that requires 1% effort (to sign up) and can still give you some form of income. I can guarantee you that most websites you or your friends/family shop or book on have some sort of affiliate partnership programme. I use, skyscanner, klook, GetYourGuide to name a few. How it works is that every time you or someone else uses your link to purchase something through their website, you get a little bit of commission for it. 

5. Find a digital side hustle. 

Now I'm not going to tell you to take 2 hours out of your day to fill out surveys online that pay you 5p per questionnaire (can't believe 15 year old me fell for that.) I could tell you to start a blog on anything that you enjoy which you could eventually monetize, but not everyone enjoys writing. There are websites out there that you can get paid to do a variety of jobs including translating, graphic design, videography etc that pay. So it's just a case of finding what works for you!

Have you tried any of these on your travels? If not are there other ways you try to earn money whilst you are travelling? 



Sunday 10 November 2019

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

I was first introduced to Klairs last year when WishTrend reached out and asked if I wanted to try some of their products. I tried their Soft Airy UV Suncream and I ended up buying one myself after I finished the bottle. I usually find with most big brand suncreams they leave my face oily and the cream is too thick and I feel like my pores are yelling ahhh get this off me!! With summer now coming along in Australia (it's Spring and already in the 30s), I knew two products that would definitely come in handy were the rich moist soothing serum and the midnight blue calming cream and both products came in a 2 step sun-burn care set. As me and my friends know to well, even if I put factor 50 cream on my face I end up looking like Mr Krabs at the end of my trip. I've been using both products for a couple of weeks and as always, here are my thoughts on them.


About Klairs 

Klairs is a eco friendly and vegan korean skincare brand that has been around since 2010. They create products that are tailored to different skin types and for different seasons. Their products are especially great for people who are more on the sensitive side as they use natural ingredients that do not irritate the skin. 

Morning Blue Calming Cream ($25)

klairs Morning Blue Calming Cream

The morning blue calming cream instantly calms and soothes sensitive skin. It includes guaiazulene, a natural component extracted from chamomile oil which has strong calming effects, whilst centella asiatica hydrates the skin and relieves redness.

What's in it?

Water, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Centella Asiatica Extract, Sorbitan Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Ceramide NP, Polysorbate 60, Bees Wax, Chlorphenesin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Morus Alba Root Extract, Tromethamine, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Guaiazulene, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Lecithin, Acetyl Glutamine, SH-Olgopeptide-1, SH-Olgopeptide-2, SH-Polypeptide-1, SH-Polypeptide-9, SH-Polypeptide-11, Bacillus/Soybean/Folic Acid Ferment Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol

My Thoughts 

First of all this cream is blue so that makes it even more fun to use. It's designed to be an after-sun moisturiser so I don't use this every night. I keep it in the fridge and if I've been out in the sun all day or been sunbathing then I use it. It definitely calms the skin and it feels nice and refreshing. The product comes in 30ml and 60ml sizes so it's a great skincare product to bring with you in your hand luggage! 

Rich Moist Soothing Serum ($23)

This hydrating serum helps reduce the surface temperature of your skin which helps cool down sunburnt skin and replenish it's moisture. It's a light serum and it doesn't leave a sticky residue or a thick layer of product on your skin. 

What's in it?

Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Dimethyl Sulfone, Betaine, Natto Gum, Propanediol, Polyquaternium-51, Disodium EDTA, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Carbomer, Arginine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lysine HCL, Proline, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acetyl Methionine, Theanine, Chlorphenesin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Illicium Verum(Anise) Fruit Extract, Citrus Paradisi(Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Panthenol, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract, Beta-Glucan, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Apium Graveolens (Celery) Extract, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Brassica Rapa (Turnip) Leaf Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract.

My Thoughts

This product absorbs easily into the skin and like I mentioned, I like that it doesn't leave a sticky or thick residue on the skin. It's a clear solution and odourless and leaves the skin feeling pretty matte and clear. It says what it says it does, it hydrates the skin well and it hasn't caused me any irritation or breakouts. 

Have you ever tried any korean skincare products or heard of Klairs?



Sunday 3 November 2019

[Disclaimer: this post contains gifted items but all words and thoughts are my own]

I've been an avid gym goer for around 3 years now, and I think by now it's got to a point where I go because I enjoy it and like seeing progress, and not out of guilt because I've eaten a whole bag of Maltesers in one sitting. That being said, it is important to switch things up now and again because we as humans get bored of doing monotonous things. Over the last month I've made a conscious effort to work on my strength at the gym and have been eating and lifting more. My goal for the next 8 weeks is to maintain my muscle mass whilst also slowly decreasing my body fat %. So I'd like to share some of the ways to stick to your regime and reach your fitness and health goals.

T-Shirt (Muscle and Donuts) | Leggings (Cotton On) | Shoes (Tiosebon)

1. Find a plan that works for you. 

Nowadays there are literally 100s of lifestyle diets and exercise programs and what may work for one person not necessarily work for you, especially if you're going to be miserable all the time. For example the keto diet is something I've never really tried because I know my body functions better with higher carbs (although the fact it would let me have mayo with everything does sound appealing). I used to do intermittent fasting when I was working 9-5pm because I found it easy to fast until 12pm, but now that I go to the gym in the morning I feel like I need a pre-workout meal to fuel my body. So instead I try to stick to an 8am-7pm eating window. 

Gym wise, I now do 2 upper body days, 2 lower body days, and 1 light full body day with cardio. For me I prefer coming up with my own training plan, but you might personally benefit more from group classes or a personal trainer.

2. Don't drastically decrease your calories. 

It's hard to give a specific number because the calories our body's need will depend on our height, weight and daily activity levels, but really anything under 1000 is not ideal. Whilst I was increasing my weight training last month I gradually increased my calories up to 1900 (gained 1kg) so now my diet amount could be 1500 and I'd still be losing fat, as opposed to 1000 if I would have stuck to my 1400 calorie diet (what I ate before). Ideally the best thing to do is move more instead of eating less.  Using a calorie counter like MyFitnessPal is a great tool if you're new to counting calories or macros as it does the hard work for you. 

3. Allow for treats. 

Whether that's a glass of wine at night, a square of chocolate before bed or a McFlurry at the end of your night out (I might be guilty of all 3). If you tell yourself you're not going to eat anything bad for two months your brain is going to want to fight it, and eventually you'll give in and probably end up binging. Instead if you work occasional treats into your plan you won't feel guilty after. 

4. Take progress photos. 

I'm kind of glad the house I'm living in now doesn't have a scale, and I only use the gym one once or twice a month. We all know the number on the scale can be misleading (time of day, water retention, what you ate the night before, clothing, etc) so the best thing to do is take progress photos every month - that's where you'll really notice the changes! 

5. Wear clothes you feel comfortable in at the gym. 

I believe how good your workout is is directly correlated with how confident you feel at the gym - anyone else? I know when I look like a potato I also feel like a potato. This doesn't mean you have to go out and buy Nike everything. Amazon has some great inexpensive workout leggings and Sports Direct also have great deals for fitness gear. Tiosenbon kindly sent me a pair of their walking shoes which are perfect for me because my cardio involves a lot of incline walking and they fit so snug and they've been really comfortable to wear throughout the day. Not to mention I don't have to go through 5 pairs of socks in one week. The only rookie error I made was getting the white ones, because we all know they never stay white long!

I love wearing crop tops at the gym even if my fat hangs out the side when I'm doing crunches, because it gets damn hot! I do also like to throw on a cropped t-shirt like the pizza one I'm wearing from Muscle and Donuts (*gifted)  when I want to cover up slightly more.

6. Come up with a killer playlist. 

For me I always find listening to Eminem whilst I'm doing HIIT on the treadmill gets me the most pumped. RnB when I'm weight training also gets me in the right frame of mind too. If you don't have the time to come up with your own playlist, I've linked my gym playlist below - enjoy!

What are your tips for sticking to your diet? Do you follow any specific calorie plans or do you just eat what you want? 


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