Australia · Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

Lifestyle Post – Goodies & sale items I love or am trying…

So… Christmas is next month. Which of course means I have once again done the complete opposite throughout the year and gained weight, not saved money and not meant the goals I had hoped to throughout the year. Ah well. Nothing like a last-minute dash towards goals, am I right?

SKIN SPECIALS

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Sand & Sky – Natural Australian botanical goodness – my sister got me on to the Australian pink Clay Porefining Face Mask and honestly, it is gorgeous. So is their Exfoliating Treatment. With summer here basically already – it is time to get summer ready! From 15/11 – 21/11 you can get 25% off their Exfoliator kit, 35% off their Mask Holiday Kit, 35% off the Combo Holiday Kit, save up to 40% on general products! What have you got to lose? No nasties and beautiful, soft and noticeable results.

Lady Bits & Pieces

190840ae-81fa-4687-a64c-34436755e33a[1]Boody Eco Wear –  I am going through a real eco-friendly change and I have been a long-time lover of bamboo and hypoallergenic gear. Boody Bamboo wear is eco-friendly, ethical, antibacterial, anti-fungal and fits well. They also have more than just underwear, they have underwear, active-wear, baby clothing etc. With a sign up for Boody news and receive 10% off your first order and in Australia, you will get FREE express shipping on all orders over $100 and free standard shipping on all orders over $60.

2d8440be-3115-4f35-b6e9-dc8760f0f89dModibodi – Again, here is another brand I love, particularly when it comes to sustainable and absorbent, sweat-proof, curve-friendly and super absorbent underwear. Say goodbye to ugly period-panties and guess what, they are Aussie designed and owned! They are currently having 15% off storewide all day on 13-November with the code QUICKLICK and 15% off store-wide on 11/11 – Single’s Day with the code SINGLESLOVE. You can also get 10% off orders over $100.

Health & Fitness

180 Nutrition – I don’t know about you but when I f7fed75a-5e31-4251-b484-364b0b4863c5want protein or other blends, I do not want it to be full of nasties, no point getting results if you are poisoning yourself. 180 Nutrition originally began working with a small charity for people with chronic diseases, and so was born an incredible group of products without chemicals, artificial flavourings and sweeteners. My favourites? The Organic Greens Plus and the Low-Carb Vegan Protein bars (seriously, delicious!). You can save $92 with a box of super-food at the moment (8 x 1.2kg bags of superfood + free shipping!).

5.45.4 – I first came across 5.4 when I was attending my Hypoxi sessions and for macro-nutrient controlled meals they are delicious. Their meals are designed to improve wellness, increase energy and burn fat. They are protein packed, low carb (or good carb), low sugar and low saturated fat. The meals are snap frozen and have a 12-month shelf life. My favourites are the Shredded Mexican Chicken and the breakfast egg bites! Also you can use ZipPay! From 12/11 – 14/11 you can purchase a meal plan (as a new customer) and get $25 off any meal plan with the code CLICK25. You can also order a meal plan and receive 7 Free breakfast meals with the code EGGS.

VoomeVoome is brought to you by the amazing team who also ran the 12WBT (Michelle Bridges) program, which I have had success with before. The have a Kickstarter program which is $39.95 and provides you with Lifetime access, you can Start Anytime and it includes Exercise and Nutrition. Or another option (and one which I have myself) costs $6.99 per week and is your fast and effective workout videos and workout descriptions; or your nutrition plan. You can combine both and save 25% from the whole package. You can start your 7 day FREE trial here.

Take a break…

9fc82e16-5a45-4d4e-bbd5-a92f683d9401P&O Cruises – honestly I love P&O, I love that you can go on a 3-day cruise up and down the coast of Queensland and barely need any time off of work to come back feeling refreshed! I love that we can get the all-inclusive package, I love the staff, love the ocean, love the trivia and bingo, love it all! For my Christmas present to Grant a couple of years ago, I bought us a three-night cruise, it was the best. They currently have a sale on a select group of their 3 Day cruises and for cruises of 7 nights or more, you can book and receive your free premium drinks package (this is so worth it, we have done it twice!).

contikiContiki – do not be intimidated by the age-demographic of this one, you can travel on Contiki up until 35. I have been on three separate Contiki trips, each a completely different trip to the other and I was thankful to have everything organised for me. I also met some of my very best friends in the world on my Contiki trips.  They have some amazing specials at the moment, with 30% savings & flight and trip deals.

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Self Improvement

Hypoxi – my honest review

Do you remember the first time you didn’t like your body? When you first started to pick apart all the parts and pieces which make you, you? I do. I was 14, I guess I need to be thankful that it was not before this, which I am positive our next generation are acutely aware of at a much earlier age.

At 32, I think I have given most methods a try. In terms of diets I have tried Atkins, Ketogenic, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean, BodyTrim, Lite & Easy, Clever Guts, calorie counting and weighing my food to the gram. With exercise I have had the gym memberships, gone to classes, been involved in boot-camp, bought the heart-rate monitor, running, swimming, HIIT, fat-burning cardio – the lot.

Not in an obsessive way of course, just little lifestyle changes from time to time. Sometimes I successfully kept the weight off for a while and then due to bad practice would put it all back on again (my fault).

I am finding the weight harder to shift, it is more stubborn, it is dense and with a risk for intracranial hypertension – I need to be both mindful and aware of my BMI. Around 4 months ago I was so sick of going to the gym, that I stopped going. My bike tyres kept blowing out, so I stopped riding to work and quite frankly the mornings were cool and dark, so early morning exercise was out of the question (again, this is all my own doing).

My girl friend in Sydney runs her own Hypoxi clinic and for a few years she has told me about the benefits. My best friend and MOH two years ago went through a Hypoxi program prior to my wedding and had great results. I am coming up to the completion of my eight week program and with many of my girl friends asking for a blog post and an update, here it is!

What is Hypoxi?

Hypoxi is a low-impact exercise that promotes quick and targeted results (fat + cellulite)sessions. With advanced vacuum and compression technology (and nutrition) Hypoxi activates your body’s natural system to burn specific areas of fat and cellulite.

Who is Hypoxi?

Hypoxi was developed by a sports scientist, Dr Norbert Egger and his interest in shifting the problem areas for women resulted in the development of Hypoxi, which made it’s way to Australia in 2005.

How do I Hypoxi?

Lucky for all of us, Hypoxi provides a free initial session for anyone and everyone, during this session your local Coach will assess your requirements and objectives and explain Hypoxi. There are many studios, find your closest one here.

When do I HYPOXI?

There are some independent studies to read, which you best believe I poured over before I decided to try it out – link is here.

Hypoxi is a low-impact exercise that promotes quick and targeted results in just 30 minute sessions. Science is backing this one and being the ever-cautious research nut that I am, it took me a few months before I decided to try it out.

Thankfully there is a free session available to all, which gives you the chance to speak with your local franchised, discuss your wants, needs and expectations and also try it out.

I approached the Bulimba clinic pretty nervously, I feel most vulnerable talking about and showing my body to others. I prefer to hide in the corner of the gym, or go for walks in the dark. It’s just how I am. So it took courage for me to claim my free session and head in.

I could not have been welcomed more warmly than I was by Bec, Although I was suspicious of being presented with unachievable projected goals or a price-list that would make me cry, it could not have ben any different.

Bec is personable, friendly and logical. Having Bec be a part of my journey was wonderful addition to what would turn out to be an incredibly effective and enjoyable experience.

I purchased the eight week program, rolled my ankle pretty severely after week three and then needed a month off. So sadly my results were altered I would imagine because of this. Despite this, I couldn’t be happier with the results! So, my measurements after the eight week program!

I have lost 1.5cm from my waist (which is the smallest part of me, so pretty impressive!)

I have lost 9.5cm from my stomach.

From my hips I have dropped 6.5cm and from my bottom I have lost 5cm!

Safe to say I adore Hypoxi, I love my early morning sessions with Bec at the Bulimba clinic and I have one more week to go in my pre-purchased pack. Unfortunately I rolled my ankle half way through and needed three weeks off, however I still saw results I am beyond happy with.

nd I felt as though I was supported and encouraged in a totally judgement-free zone. Having my measurements taken was pretty daunting and distressing to a point. Have you ever just thought “How did I get here?”. Anyways, the trick is to not get too hung up on that and keep on moving forward.

Things to remember and to abide to, honestly I trialled following and not following these and the differences week-to-week were really noticeable!

  • do NOT consume food for two hours after your session and avoid carbs for a further 4-6 hours. Failing to follow this will result in burning your food, rather than your stubborn food.
  • no alcohol after your session and overall try to limit your alcohol consumption
  • no caffeine for two hours after your session
  • keep your water up – 2L per day if you can
  • avoid fruit immediately after your session also
  • in general try to stick to foods with less then 10mg per 100mg of carbs

The machines I used included the L250 trainer and the HypoxDermology (HD) suit, otherwise known as my sleep-time. This contraption rejuvenates the skin, improving its tone and texture and is modeled on the ancient Chinese practice of cupping. There are some complexities when getting into the suit. First of all, I am 5″9, so everything is long and I am tall, I also pack a bun on-top of my head that nearly requires its own separate hat – I am now at a stage where I can manoeuvre that bad-boy into the suit expertly (although I still forget to bring my arms down to a height which is appropriate for Bec to help me, sorry Bec). I go in this for half an hour before my thirty minute L250 session.So, if you are thinking of it giving it a go, you won’t be disappointed. Here are my before and after pictures. Which I’m not super comfortable sharing but for anyone like me who was searching high and low for independent reviews, then I hope this helps!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

The best 8 things I have learned at 30…

The best 8 things I have learned at 30…

IMG_0651• High school was 13 years ago. Do NOT freak out. High school is not a period of your life which you should ever let define you. Whether you were the most popular kid there or if you were mostly invisible. It’s been over for nearly half your life. Leave it in the past.

• There is absolutely no obligation to stay friends or in contact with people who make you feel like rubbish. Seriously. Take a good hard look at who you spend your time with. If they aren’t propping you up, supporting you or bringing smiles to your face – then these are not the people for you. Life’s too short. Cut your losses and move on. Just don’t be cruel or a dickhead about it.

• You can say NO! It’s amazing. Seriously. I spent my 20’s saying yes, feeling obligated to do so and basically silently suffering through a host of activities I had zero interest in being at. You do not owe anyone anything. You are obligated to be kind and gracious if you’re invited to something you don’t wish to take part in – BUT you are able to say “No thank you”, without an excuse.

• Work – Life balance. Say it with me. B A L A N C E. I spent my twenties absolutely going hell for leather to get my qualifications, get those promotions and work my arse off to get to where I wanted to be. And then, well. I realised I was exhausted. I realised that it isn’t about money, or titles. It’s about leaving the office and not feeling overwhelmed with dread for your return the next day. I remember completing a safety investigation over the phone at 12:30am on New Years Day. I was meant to be on annual leave. That was my New Years, after having worked through Christmas. Considering I was paid appallingly to live in the middle of nowhere and be on-call at all times, it just was not worth it. Just remember to have “you” time. Switch-off where you can and make sure you have some kind of self-love. Whether it’s music, Netflix, phone-free time, saying “no” or sleeping. You do you, babe.

• Travel, clothes, house stuff, açai bowls, avocado on toast, makeup, bottle-service and the latest iPhone are all great in your 20’s. Do you know what isn’t? Paying that same debt off in your 30’s. Don’t take that automatic pre-approved credit-limit. Don’t put everything on finance and live within your means. Have your fun – spend your money, but try not to spend the next three years of money before you’ve earned it. Also, pay your bills. Whatever you do – do not go into one of those debt agreements, you’re as good as declaring bankruptcy. Don’t ignore those calls if you owe money. Let them know that you need more time. They are legally obligated to assist you.

• Pyramid schemes are a joke. There’s nothing wrong with supporting your friends where you can, it’s amazing trying something new. Just avoid giving up a weeks wage for some start-up pack, selling things not only will your friends think you’re a jerk for contacting them for the first time in three years to sell your tea/face cream/juice/oils, but there’s a massive chance you’re going to lose that money.

• You are entitled to like / love whatever music, tv shows, food, form of travel, clothing, or socialising you freaking like. In your twenties you’re so busy being turned inside-out by what is and what is not ‘cool’ or ‘in’ that’s it is a complete waste of time. You finally become completely at-one with being who you are.

• Kmart. Is. The. Best. It’s actually considered a date amongst friend. You have pleasure unlike any other when you get to roam free in Kmart.

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle

Sweat now, or anytime – in your own home!

Across Australia, Aussies are spending an average of $65 per month on gym memberships, or over $780 a year. That’s two return trips from Brisbane to Auckland. As a passionate travel & lifestyle blogger, that cannot be ignored!

Now I love working out in a group environment, but I have recently made some changes and have swapped my gym membership for a membership to Pilates and I could NOT be any happier with my choice. The gym leaves me feeling lonely, sore, exposed and incredibly isolated. It just is not enjoyable for me anymore.

So it begs the question, can you set-up a home-gym without breaking the bank? Guess what? You absolutely can. It all depends on where you are willing to make changes financially. You don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest gym equipment and for the most part, you can get away with some basic items.

Recently, Voome released a great article succinctly summarising what we have all wanted to read! Written by Danielle Flynn, she summarises:

  • Use what you’ve got – if you cannot afford new dumbbells or steps, that is completely fine, see if you can substitute chairs and bottles etc., I have personally done bicep curls with water bottles and it works pretty well. You have stairs you can run/jump-squat/walk. Use YOU. You can lift 6kg in weights, or you could hold yourself off of the ground. Find a YouTube or free app of Pilates etc., and off you go!
  • Become a bargain hunter – it’s 2018, I know that we are all flogging Facebook Marketplace/eBay/Gumtree like it is our job. You can get some amazing deals. Do not be afraid to bargain. Also – KMART, guys. KMART.
  • Big-Ticket items – a Danielle writes, if you are set on a large piece of equipment, rather than forking out $$$, check to see if there are any machines being sold at a lower cost by gyms themselves.
  • Creating space – if you do not have a dedicated room, or like me you live in an apartment with zero outside space, move your furniture around – set up a space for your dedicated workout time and then put your items away.
  • Be in the zone – be prepared. Get that playlist ready, make sure you have your towel and your water and treat your workout time like an appointment, with your health.
  • How much should you buy? Well, this depends how advanced you are. Truth be told, I am managing with a mat, a couple of dumbbells, a band for my legs and a small ball. Easy does it when it comes to  building up your home-gym. Remember, walking is one of the best fat targeting (and cardio friendly) activities you can do.

Trial Voome for FREE now.
To read more of Danielle’s blog – follow this link: Set Your Home Gym up on the Cheap.

Voome are currently offering a free 7 day trial to all, and with over 1000 delicious and healthy recipes, meal plans designed by experts, and daily inspiration to be your best – what have you got to lose? You can also purchase a four week program which becomes yours to keep for $39.95. Let me know if you do try Voome Nutrition or Voome Workouts. 

Have you set up a home-gym, what are your tips?!

Voome.com.au

Feature pic credit: HoneyBeePrintsShop

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I may however 

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

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Trial Voome for FREE now.

Australia · Lifestyle · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between) · Wives, Husbands and Marriages

Why I love being a Bonus (Step) Mum

The expectation when you are growing up is to meet the guy/girl of your dreams, and build your life together. For some people (not all), that dream extends to having children. To building a family, and loving that family, hard.

While I was growing up, I never had those marriage fantasies. I dreamt of far away places, of travel, of writing or creating movies. There was a small period of time where I actually tried to change my name to something horribly embarrassing. Most people laughed at me, my best friend Meagan backed me and immediately started rolling with it. Because she is amazing.

The thing is, I didn’t dream of my wedding. I didn’t dream of the family. The white-picket fence. Being pregnant. They all seemed like great things but they just weren’t on my ‘list’.

I had boyfriends. I had love stories. I had break ups. I did the thing. I have a lot of wonderful memories. The love of my life was always travel. I would work myself into the ground, saving every $ I had. Creating travel plans. Dreaming of my escape and throttling those holidays by the neck when I was on leave.

When I started to head towards thirty, something changed. I wanted that special someone. I wanted the text messages and the calls. The cuddles and the kisses. Holding hands. Being nauseatingly in-love in public, pissing-off all who saw.

I made a list. My now-Husband doesn’t know about the list. Because let’s face it, the list is something all of us girls keep hidden. Whether it’s in your diary, on your blog, in your notes, on your phone or just in your head. We ALL have the list. If you say you don’t, then you’re lying.

For me, my list looked something like this.

Taller than me. Has a job. Brown hair. Kind eyes. Great sense of humour. Likes to travel. Is honest. Is respectful. Hasn’t been married. Doesn’t have kids.

Your list might look like mine, or it may not. No judgement, #womensupportingwomen.

On my 27th birthday, I was out with my girlfriends, far from home. I met a man. He was the perfect man for me. We hit it off straight away. To say it was love at first sight, is an understatement. I KNEW this was the man I was going to marry.

The list wasn’t so much as a role-call as it was a guide. Find a man who doesn’t treat you like shit and wants to hang out with you and only you. The rest, was completely negotiable.

Fast-forward five years and I’m a Step-Mum. My dream man has two kids. Two gorgeous, intelligent, funny and loving kids. It was an adjustment. It wasn’t easy. For any of us. There are many extenuating factors when it comes to being a step-parent.

As much as you love them, you haven’t been a part of their firsts. You haven’t watched them grow. They aren’t yours. Now before you read that as a negative, I need for you to know that it isn’t. It’s anything but. Being a step parent is hard. It’s challenging, heart breaking and rewarding. All at the same time.

Do you know why this love feels insanely pure? It feels pure because there is no biological link. Your steppies are not a part of you. You are not biologically wired to love one another. The maternal instinct cannot be compared to that of a mother. That would not be fair. Unfortunately we have Cinderella to thank for the awful banshee portrayal of a step-mum. Step-dads are painted as self-serving, violent or cruel. Step-mums are painted as jealous, baron, nasty bitches.

We aren’t. When you choose to love children that aren’t yours- it shows dedication, commitment and intentional love. They are an extension of the person you love. When you look closely, you see the physical similarities, you also see the biological traits which do not match your partner. A reminder of where and from whom they were created.

You know what though? Children are innocent. Children do not choose where they come from. They don’t choose their future and they certainly cannot be expected to navigate the complexities that blended families bring.

So, in a painfully long-winded post, let me tell you this. Never shy away from a challenge. Never think that someone with children has “baggage”. You are only doing yourself a disservice. It means you have someone who can love others more than they love themselves. They are raising, loving and protecting kids and that is noble and attractive as HELL.

So….

To my two bonus-kids. I love you. I am proud of you and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life. Consider me part of your cheerleading team. We all want the best for you both. I love your Dad and I love you. I could not be prouder to call you my bonus-kids xxxx

Are you a step-parent, are you a step-kid? I want to know!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest