Monday 20 August 2018

5 Travel tips for Gran Canaria

If you’re lucky enough to go abroad this year, you may already be looking at ways to get the most out of it. Unfortunately for us, we’ve had to miss out on our aeroplane holiday for the last 2 years (as Millie calls them) because of me being pregnant, having Mylo and of course, this year we decided to come to Cornwall instead but when we do go away, we always head to Gran Canaria as it has everything we could want and more. 

Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands and is perfect at any time of year, it’s a popular place for some winter sun but also very popular in the summer months with temperatures on average around 30 degrees. We’ve never had a bad spell of weather when we’ve been so it’s always perfect but we do always try and make the most of our holiday and save money where we can but still have a great time! So here are some of my travel tips if you’re planning on any holidays to Gran Canaria this year or it’s on your to-do list! 

1: Research the area you’re staying in as Gran Canaria is VERY hilly. We’ve stayed in both Amadores and Puerto Rico and they’re both quite high up if you don’t pick the right hotel. We stayed at Marina Suites before we had Millie - a beautiful nautical themed hotel set on the edge of the harbour, the second time we stayed at Gloria Palace Royal which is built into the rocks overlooking the gorgeous beach of Amardores but a quick trip in the lift and you’re down to level ground. Some hotels are up windy roads and are so high so make sure you know the position of your hotel! 

2: Get a taxi transfer from the airport to your hotel - the transfer times vary from 1.5-3 hours due to the hills and layout of the resorts and after a 4 hour flight, you don’t want to be stuck on a bus for another 3 hours like we were so put aside a little cash to get a taxi straight to your hotel and you’ll thank me later! 

3: Go half board - most of the hotels offer the option to dine half board instead of just B&B or All Inclusive. Some hotels also give you the option to use your meals on either Breakfast and Lunch or Breakfast and Dinner so if you want to eat out a few nights then you haven’t wasted money as you’ve still had lunch included in your allowance. 

4: Book a boat trip but be cautious of sea sickness! Both times we’ve done a catamaran trip we’ve seen dolphins and it’s amazing but some of the boats aren’t as big as you’d hope and you may get struck by sea sickness! It’s completely worth it but just be aware - the last one we went on over half of the boat was sick and we had to turn back early! 

5: Following from the last point, book excursions direct with the companies or people advertising them on the harbour. You’ll find that your rep will add money onto the cost of the trips if you book through them and we’ve never had a bad experience booking direct. There are tonnes of boat trips and sea activities you can do so have a look at what’s around and book there and then! 

Friday 10 August 2018

5 Tips for Calorie Counting Diets

If you’re anything like me and struggle to ‘diet’ because of your love of food, you may have taken to the calorie counting way of eating and are beginning to just start taking more notice of the foods you’re eating, rather than starving yourself daily and binge eating at the weekends! Calorie counting works for me because I know that I’m in control of the food I eat and it means that if I still want a doughnut, then I’ll plan it into that days’ calories and take a hit on everything else I plan on having and make better choices for the rest of my meals (usually filling up on vegetables at dinner instead of potatoes or pasta). 

Of course, calorie counting isn’t for everyone and sometimes, calorie counting alone isn’t going to help you lose weight or achieve fat loss, everyone should be doing some form of exercise to increase their weight-loss and overall general health and of course, if you are, you’ll see the difference a lot quicker than you would without the exercise. So, if you’re looking into a calorie controlled diet or you’re doing it already and just want some tips, then carry on reading! 

1 - Get a calorie tracker if you haven’t already! App’s like MyFitnessPal and Lose it! make it really easy to keep track of your calories and macros (if you’re tracking those too) and means that you can input regular meals so that it’s easier in the long run to see what you’re consuming.  

2 - Make everything from scratch instead of buying pre-made meals. Even though buying pre-made meals may seem like the easiest way to track your calories, you won’t be getting the goodness from the pre-made stuff that you would if you were to make things from scratch. Vegetables and Fruit don’t have that many calories in and so you know you can eat pretty much as much of these as you like without going too far over your calories but using sauces or jars that are pre-made will up your calories significantly! Be savvy when you can and cook things at home! 

3 - Be cautious of eating out; Most places should have a nutritional guide to hand for anyone who requires the dietry information of the meals, places like Wetherspoons have their calorie information actually on the menu so if you’re heading out, either look on the net first to see if their nutritional info is on there or ask as soon as you arrive to know what is open to you. You don’t have to go without, just be mindful of what you’re eating. 

4 - Try not to ‘drink’ your calories; A lot of people won’t realise when it comes to calorie counting that they may well be going over their allowance just by drinking their calories. Drinks such as pre-made smoothies, juices, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and Coffees will be packed full of calories without you realising. If you’re looking to drink smoothies then make them yourself at home using water and low-fat milk to save on the calories and use a juicer or smoothie maker to make your own. You can get some fab deals on MyJuicer so if you browse online and take a look, doing this won’t only save your calories but will save your pennies too! 

5 - Don’t be too hard on yourself. Dieting is tough and we all fall off the wagon every now and again but it’s important to know that everything is fine in moderation. If you want a pizza on Friday, have a pizza but remember to be mindful of what you eat for the rest of the weekend and don’t overindulge too much - you aren't going to put half a stone on just from one meal. Dieting is a hard task for most of us and it’s all about mindset, once you get that balance between thinking and eating then you’ll start to see amazing results! 

The above image shows you just what 100 calories looks like an how deceiving it can be to think that you know what certain foods contain but if you’re looking for low-calorie snacks, I wrote a post including some of my favourites and you can read it here. 

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to any diet, but especially calorie counting, is that the thing that always works is following the calories in vs. calories out module. As long as you’re burning off more than what you’re consuming, you’ll be on track to lose weight, this is why exercise is important. The average person will burn around 1600 calories a day regardless of what they do but if you add an hours exercise on top of that, you’ll be looking at burning an additional 400-700 calories which means you’re burning off more than you’re eating. It’s a hard thing to understand so make sure you’re tracking your calories as well as you can and everything else will follow. 
(Sponsored post)

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Leesa Mattress Review + Discount code

*Sponsored post - I was kindly gifted this mattress by Leesa*

If you’re a sleep lover like me, you’ll know that the moment you get into bed is one of the best moments of the day! We’ve been desperate for a new mattress for about 3 years now, since moving out of the flat into a smaller house and then again a year later, it was evident that we really needed a new bed not just for comfort but because it had been a good 7 years since we got our old one! It’s had a lot of use, not to mention all the bouncing Millie has done over the last 4 years... There are tonnes of mattresses out there so why choose Leesa? 

Leesa approached the problem of sleep, or lack of for some people, and wondered how they could change this with the mattress being the main focus. The Leesa mattresses are a completely redesigned mattress, not your normal memory foam or spring, it is made with ‘Universal Adaptive Feel’ that helps the mattress to adapt to everyone - all body sizes and shapes and better still, it’s great for couples as it adapts to each partner and their needs! For Me and Adam this is perfect as I’m a side sleeper and he’s a back sleeper so it means I’m not rolling into him during the night! 

The connivence of buying the Leesa mattress is amazing and there is no hassle at all, as they are an online only company, their customer service is impeccable and they offer everyone a 100 night guarantee so you can really try out the mattress for your own needs and if you don’t feel like it’s right for you, simply send it back and get your money back! The mattress is delivered straight to your door too, quite literally! I came home one day and it was sat at our back door waiting for me, perfect! It comes vacuum packed and boxed ready to setup so simply take it to the bedroom and do your thing... 
Whilst Leesa insists on signature on delivery, in this instance the mattress was left at the back door, so the Leesa team will investigate why this has happened.

I managed to get the box upstairs on my own and had it setup in minutes so don’t worry about the weight of it if you live alone, if I can do it then anyone can! Just open it up, lay the mattress on the bed frame an open the plastic with scissors! You’ll soon notice that it starts to expand and it’ll fill your bed frame within a few hours. It’s encouraged that you don’t lie on it for at least an hour to let it expand fully but we left ours for a few hours before we tested it out! 

Leesa mattress coming out of box on the bed

With sizes that go right upto Super King, there’s definitely something for everyone and they even do duvet sets too which also come with a 75 night trial guarantee and better still, when you buy the Leesa sheet set a portion of each sale also goes to 42nd Street, a charity that supports young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing - Leesa gives back to those who need it most, not just those who need a decent night sleep! 

Stats recently have shown that approximately 3500 people sleep rough every day in England, so Leesa donate one custom-made mattress to organisations for every ten that are sold and they help and support the homeless and vulnerable men, women and children. With over 30,000 mattresses donated already, you can support their work and help to make up another bundle of 10 so that 1 can be donated. 

We’ve never really had problems with sleeping but I do have issues with my back and the Leesa mattress has definitely helped with my back pain an has made sleeping so much more comfy, with the help of a lighter duvet cover too, the way the mattress moulds rather than sinks like spring mattresses makes getting comfy at night quicker and easier! With bed invaders in the morning too, it means that once Mylo and Millie have claimed their space, we’re not all bouncing around trying to stay still and get comfy, the mattress supports us all and even means we can get another 5 minutes of shut eye! 

The Grey and White design of the mattress is flawless and chic, it’s modern without being too over the top and the quality is amazing! I’ve never had a mattress like this and I know that I won’t ever have one the same (until we get a new Leesa in 8 years time) but it really does pay for what you’re getting! Some people may worry about the cost of a mattress like this but with different payment options and plans, it means that it’s available to everyone and is easy on the bank balance too! You can also get £100 off your Leesa mattress using my unique code NOTYOURAVERAGE 

Theres no better feeling than knowing youre going to get a good night sleep but youre also helping someone else get one too!