Making Travel A Lifestyle


Exotic destination get away
Over the past few years, unfortunately like most budding travel pioneers, I have not been able to be involved as much as I would have liked to due to the obvious obstacles.

In 2015 after years of saving I finally purchased my apartment then the following year my mother was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away two years later the most of 2018 and 2019 was dedicated towards my family grieving and attempting to bounce back from a such a huge loss.

We were able to go on a family holiday last year to scatter my mother's ashes in Jamaica and spend time together reminiscing about her.

Throughout 2019 I have had several life changes, one of which was a new job and while I was in a trip to Denmark for work reasons, I thought (note to self), why am I not doing this more often, travelling for pleasure and not work?

Travelling is such a fantastic enriching experience, and it has always been my intention for it to be a more regular part of my routine. Of course things like life gets in the way, but it's never too late right?
eiffel tower paris

So while I would love to go to those far away once in a lifetime destinations there are many places on my doorstep that I have yet to venture to such as Paris and Amsterdam and with the amount of money I have spent on shoes, bags and nights out in the past I can't keep pleading poverty, when I don't get to the countries I feel I deserve to be at.

Here's how I'm transforming my life to incorporate elements from my most recent vacation.

In my "perfect world", I'd like to take 5-6 mini getaways a year but time and work constraints 3-4 getaways around the UK or Europe would be manageable and one big holiday possibly two if I spend wisely and properly utilize bank holidays I think I can cram some amazing experiences into 2020.

If you are also considering how to have more travel experiences into your life, I would suggest that you think about all of your what destinations you would like to go to and why.
Holiday planning

Of course, take into consideration if you can afford it and if you can fit it around your work and life commitments, but do not overthink it otherwise you will not end up going anywhere.

Remember you work hard and deserve some adventure, culture and perhaps a bit of pampering.

Of course we 'shouldn't wait until we go on holiday to create memorable moments. The trick is to establish a life that you don't have to take a break from.
Flying plane
I'm a true believer in the fact that travelling broadens the mind, so the more you travel is the more you can appreciate home and what it has / hasn't done for you. Its an education as well as invaluable experiences and amazing memories to look back on one day.

Where are your dream travel destinations and why?

Please comment with your answers below.








Lee-Anne x 

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Travel Essentials You Probably Haven't Considered



 

Double Wall Plastic Tumblers with Lid and Straw
 I learnt this tip when I first went to Cancun many moons ago, the cups on all-inclusive tend to be super tiny whereas these babies will cut down your trips to and from the bar, double insulation means that your drinks will stay cooler for longer, and you don’t have to worry about insects getting into your cocktail.


6 Socket Extension Wire
 People I travel with look at me like I am crazy when I pull this baby out guaranteed they will ask me if they can use it to charge one of their many devices. Its one of those things that nobody thinks of but to me it was a no brainer, since I only have to pack one travel adaptor, plus some hotel rooms have their power outlets in the strangest places the cord on the extension wire saves me from constantly having to move furniture or crawl under dressing tables every time I want to charge a different device. Plus of course, I have the option to charge a number of devices at once. 
This 6 Socket extension is ideal because you can individually switch each of the sockets on and off




Blanket with sleeves 
As much as I love this hack I only carry if space in my carry on allows as some airlines only let you carry on piece of onboard luggage, I  get very cold on flights and the little dingy blankets they give you aren't much help. This baby, however, keeps me warm from head to toe and keeps my hands free. It also comes in handy in the hotel room when I want to have a cheeky afternoon nap but doesn’t want to mess up the bed. Which just leaves me to fend off my travel companions who always want to share it with me




Beach Towel 
 yes they give you towels at the resort but I the idea of whipping my face with the towel after it has been on the sun lounger gives me the heebie-jeebies – which is why I bring a beach towel from home which is solely for laying on my beach chair, having bright colours can help to locate your sun lounger quickly. I have recently invested in some towel clips which I imagine will make their way into this list once I test them out.

I do quite like the look of the    

Beach Towel Sun Lounger Cover With Pockets
and the
in Hot pink (My fave colour) may have to invest for my upcoming holiday



I am notorious of overpacking my suitcase so this baby is a no brainer

Hotels never provide enough hangers so I make sure I travel with extra hangers to keep my cloths hanging neatly and crease free

What travel essentials can you not live with out?
please comment below
  





Lee-Anne x 

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5 Ways to Have a More Productive Weekend


t hardly seems fair we spend all week looking forward to our weekends and with a blink of an eye it time to go back to work. 
Making the most of these precious days can take effort, but by structuring the weekend more efficiently, you can get so much more out your free time 

Make the Most of Your Mornings
It is always lovely to have a lazy morning in which you can enjoy a lazy cup of tea in bed, while watching YouTube videos (guilty as charged), but don’t let your entire weekend morning slip away from you! Waking up the same time every day has been proven to be better for your sleep, so if your internal alarm clock naturally wakes you the best thing to do is get up and make use of the time. Get out of bed use and the time to prepare a lovely breakfast for yourself, and then make a list of the chores and errands you would like to achieve for the day, it will be satisfying as you tick them off 

Don’t Put Everything Off Until the Weekend
If you are a person that saves all of their chores for the weekend, those two days will quickly get swallowed up! However, if you tried breaking up some of your weekly duties throughout the week into bite-sized tasks. Then you will find that you have more time for more enriching activities  

You could also apply the principle to the fun commitments like t catching up with friends and loved ones which can easily take up the majority of your Saturday or Sunday, causing your weekend to feel frenetic. Why not try meeting friends for Thursday night cocktails when many restraints offer discounts such a 2-4-1 drinks restaurants are less crowded. 

Use Timers for Key Tasks
Stop putting off projects or hobbies because you think you need to devote the whole weekend to it? Try scheduling set times to start and complete tasks; you will be surprised at how productive you can be when you have a deadline. try setting two alarms — one to remind you to start your task and one 30 minutes to one hour later. That time will fly by, and once you build up momentum, you may not want to stop! For less desirable tasks such as cleaning the oven or ironing set a timer 30- 45 minutes and promise yourself and promise yourself that if you hard until the alarm you will reward yourself with a rest break for something fun and then come back to it the next day if need be.

Meal prep is another way to ensure you have a productive weekend, don’t be scared! It doesn’t have to mean hours of working away in the kitchen. Assign yourself one hour to chop, prep, grocery plan, and make snacks for the week. Again you are likely to be more productive with a clear deadline.

Don’t Check Out On Fridays 
Fridays are the best! However, it can be easy to check out after 3 pm, making it unlikely that you will adequately wrap up your week, allowing outstanding tasks trickle into the weekend.

Think of Friday afternoons as your weekend power hours! Before you duck out o the office, take some time to prep for Monday morning. Clean up your desk, leave yourself a to-do list for Monday morning. Productively concluding your Friday sets you up for a more productive weekend!

Weekend Work-Life Balance 
Nowadays, it is almost expected that we check in with work over the weekend. Whether it is responding to a cheeky email or making headway on that significant project with the looming deadline, unfortunately, some things can’t get done during 9-5. 
If this sounds familiar, try give your weekend work some structure. 
Set yourself a target of how much work you would like to get completed, set your timer and power through.

If your emails are coming in in floods, turn on your out of office informing colleagues that you intend to review emails at a set time, for example, 1-3 on Sunday afternoon and you will only check and respond to emails during that time.


Lee-Anne x 

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2019 Decor To-Do List


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Christmas Sweatshirts to Slay At Your Office Party


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Have a spook-tacular time at SFG Club this Halloween

spook-tacular time at SFG Club this Halloween
What's a nice girl like you doing in place like this?

Me being the traditionalist that I am, I look at Halloween as a day for the kids, paint their faces and chuck some sweets at them happy days, another job done, every bodies happy.

Other than attending Halloween parties my mum used to enjoy hosting (I think she may have enjoyed it more than the children actually did) and the few times I was roped into taking my brothers or my nephew trick or treating as an adult I have never celebrated the utterly Instagram able day.

Just remembering as I'm writing this, that last statement isn't actually true. The first year I moved into my apartment, feeling all grown up and homeowner, i.e. I decided to put up a few decorations, purchase some sweets and wait for some adorable trick or treaters to come a knocking.

Well… my door didn't knock once.

I guess that what's what happens when you live in an apartment block 2 floors up and you have to go through two security doors lol

The ultimate playground SFG Club in Stratford will be hosting atmospherically frightfully spooky Halloween experience evening complete spine chilling Zombie cocktails

Zombie horde
Lets party!


There will also be zombies hordes and face painters on deck to really get attendees into the fantastically ghastly swing of things.
Zombie selfie
Everybody say ZOMBIE SELFIE!


SFG Club's classic rooftop games will still be on offer so you could even try challenging the zombies to a set of crazy golf in exchange for not eating your brains or event take a cheeky selfie, that sounds like a night out to me I wont forget in a hurry.


For more information, visit www.sfgclub.com.

Opening Times

Roof East is open until Saturday 21st December.

Open Wednesday-Saturday (closed Sunday to Tuesday).

Timings

Weds - Fri: 5pm – 11pm

Sat: 12pm – 11pm

Please note all children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information or to purchase tickets 

Will you be partaking in the Halloween fun this year?

Please comment below




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Lee-Anne x 


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11 Tips For Traveling With An Invisible Illness


For me going on holidays provide me with a much-needed break from everyday life and my chance switch off and recharge my batteries. 
Unfortunately, before I can enjoy the sun, seafood delicious exotic foods, there is that part which I often describe as ""Going through hell to get to heaven.""
It may seem mellow dramatic, but for me navigating around busy airports with luggage, dealing with flight delays, waiting for luggage, transfers to and from the hotel/resort can be super stressful and overwhelming then add an invisible illness to the pile
Now can you understand why to some it might seem like hell?
Busy airport

Not to say that people with disability or conditions cannot travel comfortably it just takes a bit of organisation to ensure that the trip to heaven 'doesn't end up ruining your holiday or putting you off from going altogether. 

Over the years, I have combed through the internet, spoken to various people and noticed things that I have made my life easier while and have found that a little bit of organisation goes a long way. 
It 'wasn't until I recently went to Denmark with a colleague that I realised how much my coping mechanisms had helped me during my previous travels. 
I had gone on several long haul trips, at times by myself and come back relatively unscathed while a mingy 1.5-hour flight nearly took me out of circulation simply because I was too embarrassed to use my tried and tested methods in front of a colleague that I did not know very well.

Anyone that knows about Lupus knows that the symptoms can widely vary as can other invisible illnesses, If me like me and you suffer from joint pain, pain or weakness in your muscles, fatigue or anything else that affects your mobility I have a few tips that you can use in order to help make your travels less stressful or taxing on your body.
Airport assstance

Don't be afraid to ask for what you need
This starts from the booking process, when I am selecting hotels I make sure to check if they have lifts and if so how many, and try to gauge how far I would need to walk to get to the common areas such as the pool, restaurants etc. 
I also check if the airline offers support for travellers with mobility issues, such as extra legroom or bulkhead seats, or help getting around the airport of late I have found that osme airlines now prefer to charge for extras, and generally I 'don't mind paying as it can make the difference between me having a good time or me being stuck in the bedroom for the beginning of my holiday.
I have found that a quick call or email to the resort and airline company before booking gives me the peace of mind I need to part with my well-earned pounds. Once I have completed my booking I then make contact again with my booking references and to confirm that my requirements have indeed been recorded in the system – it is important to log the date and the name of the person you spoke to.
Provide Yourself With A Peaceful Place 
Airports can be busy, hectic pieces and with hundreds or maybe thousands of people coming and going you 'can't guarantee to sit down and rest while waiting for your flight, 
Airport lounges like the No1 lounge or the Clubhouse can provide a much-needed oasis of calm from the craziness of the terminals, plus they tend to offer free Wi-Fi, food and drinks into the price, and you can stay in them for up to three hours before your flight.
 Prices tend to start from around £20 (But if you search the internet you are sure to find cheap deals.
Between you and me I have also been know use the plastic bags from security to take pastries and fruit out of the lounges and bring them on to the plane in case I get hungry during the flight. 
Check out my review of the no1 lounge HERE

Give yourself Time
I always try to get to the airport at the time check-in opens and to allow myself the maximum amount of time to go through security possibly look around the shops and then chill out in the lounge until it is Time to board the plane, again leaving plenty of Time so I 'don't get stressed or overwhelmed. 

socialising

Communication Is Key
If I am travelling with someone I make sure to have a talk with them before we go during which I explain how my condition affects me and what I need to be comfortable, it is super important that your travel companion is understanding and is willing to potentially do extra work to support you or be flexible with their plans, i.e. may have to go alone to that excursion or maybe not go at it could also mean paying aside extra funds to buy direct flights or upgrade seats on the plane, meet and greet parking etc. If I can, I will try to surprise them by paying for such upgrades. A lot of the tie when I have assistance through the airport we get to jump the lines which my travel companions seem to enjoy.

Keep It Clean 
A few weeks ago a video of Naomi Campbell when viral; in the video, Naomi showed her flying routine which included which she documented what she does when she travels, part of which included wiping down all of the surfaces with antibacterial wipes. While some felt that Naomi was slightly over the top or OCD while I was disappointed at myself for not going to her extremes. Think about it the people that clean the planes only have a short amount of time to clean before you board which basically gives them enough time to pick up rubbish and surfaces food then they are on to the next, so of course, surfaced are not adequately disinfected. 
While I yet to wipe down everything that I may possibly touch, I always pack a bottle of hand sanitiser and wet wipes in my carry on ( TSA standard sizes of course).
Also considering the air on planes are recycled one 'person's germs could potentially make or breaks my holiday and with hundreds of people breathing in the same recycled air the face mask probably 'doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Packing list

Pack It In
· Carry any medications you require in your hand luggage along with your prescription never in your checked baggage, in case your checked luggage is lost or delayed in transit. Also, make sure you have any mobility aids that you may require. Even if you 'don't need it at that moment as the high altitudes during flying can also take their toll on your body. 

· I also tend to get anxious during flights so I like to bring a few home comforts such as a blanket, some lavender oil or spray some slippers or slipper socks so I can talk my shoes off but still walk around the plane
· Decent headphones and downloads of shows or movies that I excided to watch or relaxing to help pass the time or even sleep
· These items will also come in handy throughout your holiday also 

· miniature-sized versions of my favourite skincare products so that I can take off my makeup and feel abet more comfortable throughout the flight or even give myself a put on a cheeky face mask to offset the drying effect of the air conditioning. I have found that eve I have also found that a spritz of Dermalogica spray toner is fantastic for refreshing my skin throughout the flight

· And of course as I mentioned earlier wet wipes and hand sanitiser. 
· While I have never really had to show it to anyone I bring my blue badge (Or a photocopy) with me as I do worry that someone will not believe I have an invisible illness because I, of course, do not look like 'anything's wrong with me 

· Last but not least, pack some of your favourited snacks for the hotel in case you 'don't feel up to going out. Not all hotels offer room service and the meals in the hotel shops can be super expensive, or you may not be able to find you got to snacks from home. I like to have my favourite cookies, some crackers and perhaps a multi back of crisp space allowing 
Snacks

I 'can't count the number of times I have up in the night or even early in the morning before the canteens open starving and unable to go out and pick up food. 
'It's worth picking up a few extra zip lock bags when you go through security to ensure your room stays crumb-free.

Park It 
Although a lot of people preferred to book cabs or have someone drop then to the airport, I have been burned using both of these methods, so I prefer to drive my own car and park at the airport.
However long gone are the days of leaving my car in an offsite carpark and getting on a shuttle, once I learnt about the Meet and Greet parking service that has been my service of choice 


Parking meet and greet

You simply rock up to your terminal where a uniformed driver will greet you and take your car simples, and once you are back from your holiday you will also be greeted by a driver who will give you your car back 
This is not the cheapest of the services however I have been able to find some fantastic deals when I look early enough 

Hotel room
When I am flying at unsocial hours (especially with large groups), I have been known to opt for a Hotel & Parking Package which again 'aren't always the cheapest but cannot only elevate a lot of last-minute stress but be an excellent way to kick off your holiday 

Debit/credit card

If you can afford it - 'Don't be afraid to pay 
A few of the things mentioned my list, unfortunately, come at an extra cost, and you could find that abled-bodied travel companions do not want to contribute to the charges, this can seem quite hurtful, but please remember if it were personal, they 'wouldn't have chosen to go on holiday with you. Discuss your requirements before you book and maybe offer to cover the costs if you can afford it, yes they will also benefit from the convenience however it is an expense they would not even have to consider if they were travelling alone or with another companion. 

big map

Know where to go 
These websites have been an absolute godsend:
Seat guru – simply type in your flight number and not only does it show you the seat map for your flight, but it will also tell you important facts like which seats do not go back and which places give you extra legroom 

TripAdvisor – full of tips from fellow travellers that have been there for I have gotten handy information such as which hotels do not have lifts, which rooms are closest to the action and even maps of the resort. On the rare occasion when I have not found an answer to a query, there is always the option of asking the question in one of the forums 
Do You Boo 
The whole point of going on holiday is to yourself to relax and rest however there can often be pressured to go on excursions, 'dinner's walks or even sticking to the hotel's schedules of activities and meals.
'It's especially frustrating when I hear statements like:
""You come all this way just to take a nap/ lay by the pool/go to bed early? What a waste of money!""
""If you aren't leaving the resort you should have just stayed home!""
""You can sleep when 'you're dead!""
""You will feel better when you get some fresh air.""
""I have to go to breakfast/lunch/dinner by myself?""

'Don't let anyone dictate to you what you can handle) only you know your body best. 
I used to let other people pressure me into doing more and more activities when my body was telling me that it needed rest leaving me tired, cranky and miserable but could also push me to have a flare. I now prioritise the things that I would like to accomplish through out my holiday and i don't beat myself up if I 'don't get to do or see all of the items listed on my bucket list, I also offer to meet up with my travel companions or even people who I meet in my own time when I am well rested .

Relaxing room

Pamper yourself
Go treat yourself to a spa treatment, you deserve it!
Plus lot of countries have such surprisingly affordable spa treatments available, so why not try them out?
Remember that Travel can be stressful and overtaxing even for healthy people, but if you have an invisible illness that can go double for you. 

I genuinely believe that travelling is a beautiful and enriching experience and I wish I did more of it before I was diagnosed with Lupus, however I refuse to let it stop me (even though it might slow me down lol); and it 'shouldn't stop you either now go see some of the places on your bucket list and good time 

also if you would like to visit one of the airport lounges or try Meet and greet parking 
check out for great deals



Do you have any travel hacks?
Comment below 


Love Life |Love Health | Love Beauty| Love Creativity 


Lee-Anne x 


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