‘Tis the season! Between family, friends, work, and extra time to vacation, we’re here, there, and everywhere. I love working this time of year because it warms my heart seeing families reunited. Hearing stories about why people are traveling: whose grandparents we’re visiting to introduce baby to or what our unaccompanied minors are most looking forward to when visiting dad. It’s so special to be a small part of the journey. This time of year also brings new travelers and I just thought I’d share some tips to traveling smart this time of year (but also all the time).
Get to the airport early to fill your water bottle, get food, and use the restroom all before your flight. Plus, it’s nice to not be rushed!
Plan ahead if you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies. Pack what works for you and never assume the airport/airline will have a gluten free, vegan, kosher, nondairy, keto, whole 30, etc option.
Ask friends for music, podcast, movie, and book recommendations and come prepared with pre-downloaded material. Don’t forget your headphones!
Give yourself more than enough time for connecting flights to save yourself the stress later.
Essential oils work wonders for nausea, stomachaches, headaches. Just be mindful of others.
Have empathy and patience for airport employees, airline employees, your fellow travelers, and yourself. You don’t know what someone is going through and everyone will be much happier that way.
Stay hydrated and bring your favorite snacks!
Pack leftovers after visiting family and friends. You’re allowed to bring any food items with the exception of things like yogurt and soup.
Please and thank you goes a long way. Be courteous with your seat mate, cab drivers, hotel staff, flight attendants, gate agents, and TSA agents. So many people sacrifice family time to work during the holidays.
Don’t forget to pack your vitamins! Keeping your routines consistent is important especially to combat jet lag.
Extra supplements I like to take while flying are: Flight Fūd (inflight elixir, helps fight fatigue, jet lag, and other negative side effects of flying), greens tablets (I like the ones from Amazing Grass, Nuun (boost of hydration), and ginger tea to help aid digestion. These are not necessary but I’ve noticed a difference in how I feel when I land especially after long flights.
If you are an anxious flyer, check out my previous blog post written for anxious flyers here.
As always, I’m here for you! You can best reach me via DMs at @kaleintheclouds. Fly safe, fly happy, and fly smart. All the love.
Gift giving (especially this time of year) is so much fun and the older I get, the more I realize how much of a privilege it is. For me, it has never been about the dollar amount spent or collecting the most amount of wrapped boxes underneath the tree. I remember some of my favorite gifts were stocking stuffers my sister would regift from her room. Yup. We had a childhood tradition where we’d regift random knick knacks around our rooms for each other for stocking stuffers and those were what I cherished even more than the brand new sweater or toy (that was also so sweet to receive). So here are some gift ideas that I came up with that are sustainably friendly and will mean more to the person receiving than you know.
A letter. Tell them your first impression of them. The moment you realized they’d be a forever friend. Your favorite memory of them. Or just how much they mean to you.
Something from your closet. One of my favorite new things I’m doing with one of my best friends is trading clothing items out of our own closets. It’s like Rent the Runway, except more fun, thoughtful, and FREE.
Your favorite book. Let’s be real. You probably won’t read it again. And even if you will, it will still make a nice home in the hands of that person in your life with the same taste in books as you.
Baked goods stored in a Stasher bag. Who would say no to homemade banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, or peppermint bark?! And FYI- Stasher bags are currently on sale for 25%! You can also get them at Anthropologie for 30% off. Sales end when Black Friday sales end.
Acts of service. Offer to wash their car or maybe help clean out their closet to post stuff on Poshmark (what we say we’ll always do, am I right?). An extra set of hands for that ongoing to-do list goes a LONG way.
FOOD. Cook them dinner or maybe offer to grocery shop and/or meal prep for them.
Kale Me Maybe’s Meal Plan. This Meal Plan is perfect for that “too busy to meal prep” or “I have no idea what to make, like, ever” friend. Her recipes are simple, easy, nourishing, and delicious! It’s also on sale for $12 for a limited time.
Craft their favorite photo, quote, or song. Recreate a favorite photo of their dog, cross-stitch of their favorite quote, or sing their favorite song. One of my favorite gifts I have ever received was a video of my best friend singing “Turn to You” by Christina Aguilera, our ultimate best friend/karaoke song. I BAWLED MY EYES OUT. It was beautiful and I will cherish it forever.
Groupon self care. Send them a massage, cup of coffee, or fun date night activity. The possibilities are endless!
Concert tickets. Harry Styles is going on tour next summer, haven’t you heard?
ClassPass. Seriously swear by this app and service. I have discovered some of my favorite workouts using ClassPass! Use this link to save some monies!
Thrive Market. It’s like Costco but for healthier and environmentally friendly stuff, but you don’t have to commit to buying in bulk. AKA the best thing ever, and now you can gift a Thrive Market membership.
Hope this helps if you’re stumped or currently aren’t in a place to be spending a ton of money. The Holidays can put on a lot of pressure and I’m here to take it off, or help anyway! All the love.
I love taking care of my body by getting lots of sleep and eating tons of veggies – but when I fly? Let’s just say my body needs a little extra TLC. Between working redeye flights and living half of my life at 30,000 ft., I find myself feeling sleep deprived, bloated, fatigue, lethargic, and stressed. All of these symptoms can put me in a little funk, and that’s not okay! I am a happy person and I want to keep it that way.
I started experimenting with supplements about a year ago. I tried everything from charcoal pills, digestive enzymes, and probiotics in all shapes and sizes (pill form, plant based yogurts, kombucha, etc.). I couldn’t find a routine that would stick and it was hard to determine what fixed what. I also feel like I was constantly being my own guinea pig based on random bits of information that I would receive from other flight attendants, blogs, and influencers.
I was really intrigued to try some of Body Bio‘s supplements for one main reason: it’s backed by science. I LOVE SCIENCE. There’s nothing better than seeing scientific evidence backing why something works versus hearing someone rave about a product “just because.” Body Bio proudly announces on their website’s homepage that they have 45 years of research behind their product development, and rightfully so! Because they are a science and research-based company, many physicians back their products.
So, I decided to be my own guinea pig again. This time, with more confidence and hope! A couple of weeks ago, I received my Foundational Kit in the mail and have been using them ever since. The products I’ve been implementing into my daily routine are:
Sodium Butyrate: detoxifier of ammonia and neurotoxins to promote digestion and a healthy liver
Balance Oil: healthy Omega fats to aid heart and brain health
PC (Phosphatidylcholine): produces liposomes in the body which supports brain function and memory
All of these three key supplements combined are able to support me during times of stress while working 2 jobs and constantly being on the go, and most importantly, aiding my “permanent bloat.” Here are the main differences that I’ve noticed:
LESS BLOAT!!!! This is HUGE for me. As a flight attendant, I’ve joked about accepting the fact that I will be permanently bloated, but all the while being somewhat serious about it too. Since using Sodium Butyrate on a regular basis and ESPECIALLY while flying, I’ve noticed a drastic difference in how I feel. My stomach doesn’t hurt as much and I’m not as uncomfortable and inflamed when I fly. That said, I still have been avoiding processed foods (especially foods high in sodium), been drinking lots of water, and avoiding carbonated beverages. It also helps to chew slower when you eat to aid your digestion.
More clarity. Balancing two jobs is not easy, but I’m handling it like a pro thanks to PC and balance oil. I’m usually a bit disorganized and scatterbrained, but I feel like I’ve been able to handle keeping a booked schedule pretty well. Instead of spacing out and stressing about what I have to do, I’ve turned to meditation and creating an abundance of to do lists.
Less stress. With more clarity and feeling better physically, I’ve been less stressed. Stress is linked to so many diseases and illnesses. Personally, I feel like staying calm and stress-free is the key to living a positive and healthy life.
More energy. I’ve been able to get up earlier to get my day started and getting so much done before going to work, which makes me feel super productive and happy!
Better communication. Sometimes, I might need some help with words or I’m unsure of how to approach a situation, but lately, I’ve been able to communicate pretty well. I’ve been able to crank out business e-mails, as well as strengthening my problem solving skills at work with both jobs.
Detoxify. This is not a benefit I can see or feel, but based on research and knowing what these properties are meant to do, I know that these supplements are helping detoxify my body from toxins from flying. As a flight attendant, I am exposed to a crazy amount of toxins IE: radiation, so I’m glad to know that these supplements are naturally detoxifying my body!
It’s safe to say, I’m really happy with my results so far and I plan on taking these supplements to aid my mental and physical health for a long time. I’m so glad that there are products out there (BACKED BY RESEARCH!) made to make my life as a flight attendant just that much more enjoyable! I hope you find this useful and that you can try it out for yourself to see the difference it can make. If you want to learn more, click here! All the love!
I feel super lucky because I get the honor of taking families to Disneyland and newlyweds to their dream honeymoon in Hawaii, but I can’t help but wonder how much they spent on the entire trip: transportation, snacks at the airport, snacks on the plane, activities, souvenirs, and everything in between. That said, here are some tips on how to fly on a budget (bonus: very eco friendly!).
BRING YOUR OWN FOOD
Seriously! Bring leftovers from dinner, meal prep, whatever you have left in the fridge, snacks, whatever! I know that the main concern is that food isn’t TSA-friendly but that’s just a crazy rumor. Most food is TSA approved. The only foods I would avoid is anything of a creamy consistency, IE: yogurt, nut butter, oatmeal, chia seed pudding. Everything else goes! Bring food you’ll look forward to eating so you’re not tempted to spend $7 on a bag of pretzel chips. I promise your wallet will love you for this one.
PACK REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES, MUGS, JARS, STRAWS, UTENSILS & BAGS
Not only is packing your own cutlery, straws, food containers, and water bottles great for the environment, but you’ll also save some bucks! If you bring your own water bottle, you can have a coffeeshop at the airport fill it up for free! Avoid paying outrageous prices for water at the airport especially since most airports offer water fountains with an option to refill water bottles. Lots of places offer a little discount for bringing your own cups/bags too!
BRING A BOOK & CARD GAMES
I will admit that even I have PAID for WiFi on a long flight before. If you think about it, being disconnected is often times a GOOD THING. Try looking at it as some “me time.” Borrow your ultimate “back burner- don’t have time to read” book (we all have one). Bring some cards! They’re easy to travel with and affordable. My favorite “game” lately has been finding the most random questions and would you rathers and asking my friends. It’s so much fun and you will find that there’s lots to learn even about your best friend.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DEALS AS THEY COME
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed up a good deal on something I needed because my trip was still a few weeks away. I am a sucker for a good deal, but I try to be mindful about what I need versus what I want. If I’m desperately needing to replace my packing cubes and I just so happen to come across a good quality ones on sale, it would be smart for me to get them. However, if I found some that were decently priced but the quality was questionable, then I would probably wait a little. It’s all about weighing out your options and figuring out what works for you! However, I find that sometimes it’s better not to wait for something better to pop up. (One of my best examples of this, not travel related, was snagging a Vitamix for 40% off on prime day. Best investment ever!!).
FIND SOMEONE WHO JUST WENT ON A SIMILAR TRIP
One of my best tips is to find a friend who just went on a similar trip you’re planning. I’ve had friends ask if they could borrow my electric converters, backpack, and even hiking boots. These things that you may only use once a year can end up costing you a lot of money. The best way to ask (so it’s not so awkward and random) is to make casual conversation about traveling/your upcoming trip or post something about it on your social media account(s). You’ll be surprised who you might hear from who will have great advice for you too!
As always, I can only hope that this is helpful to you guys! Let me know if you have any additional tips I can add! All the love from 33,000 ft.
Traveling is probably my most favorite thing to do in the world, but flying is EXHAUSTING. As a flight attendant, I fly more than the average person and after years of doing this, I’ve finally figured out what works for me. I am also going to be sharing ideas via my Instagram friends too!
Going outside for some fresh air. I always feel so much better going outside after a long flight! Think about that recycled air – yikes!
Grounding. This is a new concept for me, but I am loving it! Grounding means to walk around outside BARE FOOT. Sounds weird, but it’s seriously the coolest and most relaxing feeling.
Hydrate. I like to stay hydrated while I fly, and luckily enough, being stuck in the middle or window seat is not an issue. Just remember to continue drinking water post flight because flying is super wearing on your body! The best way to “detox” is to hydrate. You don’t need fancy wellness shots, I swear.
Stay active while still listening to my body. After flying, most days I crave a walk or a good sweaty workout in the gym. Other days, I just want to crawl into bed. I try my best to honor my body.
Eating a nourishing meal and anti-inflammatory foods. Flying can mean snacking on things you don’t usually eat, and THAT’S OKAY. But after flying, I like to try and make sure that I am taking care of my body by consuming foods that make me FEEL GOOD. For me, that’s hydrating foods (cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon) and anti-inflammatory foods (greens, veggies cooked with turmeric and black pepper, nuts). I also love having smoothies after flights because it’s easier to digest.
Gua sha! I love to gua sha every morning but lately I’ve been using my gua sha after flights as well. It gives me a good reason to wash my face, apply nourishing skin serums and oils, then giving my face a little TLC. Gua sha is known to relieve pain, tension, and puffiness!
Other suggestions via IG friends:
“I drink a lot of coconut water to replenish electrolytes lost from working! And take a hot shower and relax with essential oils”
“Go to the gym and sweat it all out!”
“Throw on a face and hair mask, dance it out, journal, and hot shower”
“Epsom salt bath and legs up on the wall. Non negotiable”
“Shower and then read a good book”
“HYDRATE. And shower”
“Put on fresh sheets if I’m going home!!”
“Go for a long walk outdoors”
“I drink sooo much water when I get home after my trips and try to do yoga or exercise!”
“Wine. Lots of it.” (same)
“Shower!! I always feel so greasy after flights especially long ones”
“Thinking about what’s good to eat there!!” (also same)
“Drink loads of water and use rose toner spray. Eeeeks dry skin”
“Cryotherapy- esp helps with jet lag”
“Shower and skin care routine!”
“Sleep. I also like journaling and meditating, and skincare”
“Immediately unpack, do laundry, and get things put back where they belong”
“Take a nap! Because I probs needed 2 Xanax and a wine to get on the plane in the first place” (lol you go brave little toaster!)
“Def get fresh air, try to put my toes in the sand/ocean”
Hope this helps, my little gypsies! Safe travels and all the love.
We all know how exhausting flying can be. Imagine doing it for a living!! Yep, I chose this life and I have no regrets. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get tired, fatigue, or jet lagged. There is no magic pill when it comes to traveling and every trip is different. Here are some things I like to keep on hand to make life a little easier, smoother, and more stress-free.
coffee – 3am wake ups are no joke. I love Bulletproof’s cold brew because it’s convenient, hassle free, SUGAR FREE but still tasty, and their packaging is recyclable which is super important to me.
greens – preferably in tabs because they pack well. I love the ones from Amazing Grass!
collagen sticks – I take collage daily because it helps with my joints (I like to run and do HIIT workouts) and because I open so many soda cans, I need my nails to be hella strong.
ginger and peppermint tea – both aid digestion. Flying always throws my digestion off.
healthy snacks – this goes without saying. Fruits, veggies, nuts, the less processed the better! But sometimes I will opt for a high fiber, high protein bar with low sugar.
charcoal pills – helps with bloating on the plane.
propolis throat spray – to help prevent sickness! I use it the second I feel off.
apple cider vinegar – so many benefits to taking ACV daily! I always have some in a little reusable jar.
adaptogens – I love carrying ashwagandha on me. It really helps me cope with stress!
*pro tip: stay hydrated, chew slowly, avoid carbonated beverages, and only eat when you’re hungry to avoid bloat! Our bodies bloat naturally when we fly but doing these things will prevent from maximum bloatage.
Hope you found this useful! All of the love and safest of travels!
As a disclaimer, this is me sharing MY personal experience (word vomit style). I am not saying that you will feel this way if/when you try the Whole 30. Everybody is different and reacts to things differently!
THE GOOD GOOD
I loved eating WHOLESOME, REAL foods. It was nice to cut the processed foods and snacks and focus on eating foods that we grow.
The creativity I gained from this experience was incredible. I felt uninspired with my food prep, Instagram posts, and meals in general, so using ingredients like coconut aminos, watermelon radish, and edible flowers made cooking exciting again.
I noticed that after the Whole 30, my taste was enhanced. Everything tasted so flavorful and so sweet!
I saved SO much money not eating out and not drinking alcohol!
I realized I don’t need alcohol to have fun, even when hanging out with my flight crew on layovers! Also felt REALLY GOOD not having alcohol for 30 days!
I noticed that getting out of bed was easier! I woke up with a good amount of energy in the morning which made me feel really good!
It made me realize how sugar is snuck into so many things – condiments, protein bars, juices, etc. I’ve always checked labels even before doing the Whole 30, but I became more knowledgeable and investigative when it came to unfamiliar ingredients.
THE NOT SO GOOD
I became obsessive. Just as a little back story, I have a little bit of an obsessive personality. Whether it be a hobby or food trends, I get sucked in easily and become.. well.. obsessed. I was obsessed with the food restrictions and became fixated on what I could and couldn’t have. That was awful for my mental state. I never seemed satisfied with what I was having if I was actually craving pizza or a cookie.
I ate SO MUCH SUGAR. I don’t normally have a ton of sugar on an every day basis. My smoothies mostly contain steamed then frozen veggies and starting my day with a high protein/fiber/fat/greens smoothie really keeps me on track with a low sugar diet. Since I didn’t get to start my days this way, I ended up consuming a lot of fruit. I also snacked on dried fruit in between meals and having them for dessert too. I noticed the sugar was breaking me out and made me want more sugar too.
I ate more than I should have. I feel like I was ALWAYS snacking. I don’t know if it’s because I was constantly thinking about food or what, but I noticed that I ate more than I normally do.
Social gatherings were sometimes hard. It got easier and easier to hangout with friends and crews without eating the chips and salsa everyone else was having, but sometimes you just to be included. Hard to admit, but food IS so social.
Eating out was really annoying. Making a million food modifications and asking what was in the salad dressing made me feel really annoying and a hassle to work with. I always ended up tipping extra!
Having to explain what the Whole 30 was to people could sometimes be difficult. “Are you doing it to lose weight?” was one of the most annoying questions I got. It was also hard to explain why I was doing it since I ate Whole 30-esque to begin with.
As a recipe developer, I missed baking and creating recipes with “non Whole 30 compliant” ingredients.
THE IN BETWEEN
My crew cooler staples: Chomp bars, Lara bars (dangerous- tried to have them in moderation/half a bar at a time), Epic bars, baby carrots, an assortment of nuts, GT’s kombucha (the only kombucha I could find without any added sugars), Suja green juice, tea (so much tea), nut butter, apples, collagen peptides packs, cucumber slices, avocado.
I started drinking coffee again in place of my natural pre-workout in the morning (it has stevia in it). I noticed that my body responded well to it! I usually had it with a splash of homemade almond milk or coconut milk, and sometimes a scoop of collagen.
The words “it’s only 30 days” really kept me going!
I’d HIGHLY recommend doing the Whole 30 with someone you are close with/live with! The support is what kept me going but it definitely would have been a lot more fun and easier if I was cooking all of my meals with someone else and had someone to relate with on a daily basis.
I hope this gave you a little insight of what being on the Whole 30 could be like! I would encourage it if you are rely heavily on processed foods AND have a relatively healthy relationship with food. I realized that for me, intuitive eating is so important and more my style. All the love!
We found an Airbnb in the business district, which was super convenient for getting around. We walked a lot and took the public transport (get an Opal card) when needed.
The Harrison* (central) – decent happy hour
Playfield Cafe* (central) – located in the Rocks, great stop for an epic sandwich if you’re there for the market
Grill’d* (Surry Hills) – it’s a healthy fast food chain with amazing zucchini fries, paleo buns, vegetarian/vegan options. highly recommend enjoying with a glass of rosé!
Fishbowl* (Bondi) – poké chain. so fresh and their fish are sustainably sourced!
Berri Patch* (Bondi) – great smoothies and smoothie bowls!
Lil Darlin’* (Darlinghurst) – the best meal I had in Sydney! their salmon is AMAZING. fun drinks, fun vibes! you get $10 off your drink for posting on your IG about them
Gelato Messina* (Darlinghurst) – there was a constant line out the door for obvious reasons. it was soooo good! they have vegan options too
Verd* (Manly) – think plant based Sweetgreen, they have vegan bulletproof coffee too!
Manly Wine* (Manly) – such a cute spot for brunch!
Fish Market – highly recommended by multiple people
Mug Life – colorful burgers
Flower Child Cafe
Orchard Street Cafe – shop and cafe with adaptogens, wish I had gone!
The Grounds – whimsical vibes
Son of a Baker
Little Turtle – Thai food
The Mews Mosman
Bondi Health Market (Surry Hills)
Al Taglio (Surry Hills) – pizza owned by two young men, highly recommended by a friend
Green Dream (Bondi)
Icebergs Club (Bondi) – such a great spot for a view and a drink. there’s a dress code!
Trio (Bondi) – highly recommended to me, wish I had gone!
Bare Naked Bowls – açaí bowl chain
Market Street Cafe (Manly) – best coffee
Manly Skiff Club (Manly) – food with a great view of the water and boats
Four Points (Manly) – local brewery
Activities & Tips:
The Rocks Farmers Market on Fridays and Saturdays*
Ferry to Manly* – such a cute little beach town
Explore Darlinghurst and Surry Hills* – these were my favorite parts of the city
North head looking out Manly* – trails and caves
Hike Blue Mountains* – gorgeous park, plan to make it a day trip. pack lots of snacks and water!
Bus to Bondi Beach* – super busy and touristy but really fun!
Eco hopper ferry – like a free tour of Manly to the Quay
The Rocks Walking Tour – free
If you’re dying to hold koalas, know that you can’t in the city of Sydney. They have a law against it to protect the animals. Plan around this if that’s important to you!
If you’re not a huge city person, I wouldn’t recommend staying in central. It’s really busy! If I were to go back, I would stay in Manly (still lots to do, eat, and see) and stay close to the beaches, then ferry into the city.
Where I stayed:
I stayed at an Airbnb south of the city, around Southbank. I loved the area! I just took public transport (get a go card) to get around, north of the city, as well as to and from Lone Pine. I loved walking to West End too! Such a fun area and about 2 miles away from where I stayed. Message me if you want details on where I stayed! I had the best host – super kind and welcoming.
Miss Bliss Whole Foods* (West End) – so good, went here twice! the bliss bowl without grains and peas, add salmon was my go to order! they also have amazing raw vegan treats, as do many of these places!
Paw Paw Cafe* (South) – Asian fusion healthy food. the curry was amazing. vegan/gluten free options available!
NoDo Donuts* (Newstead) – awesome brunch spot with the best gluten free donuts. AMAZING. their gluten free and vegan sourdough hot cake was really tasty too
Brew Wine Cafe* (central) – speakeasy vibes, vegan/vegetarian options, great spot for a drink
The Pantry* (Southbank) – tiny little health food store with fresh produce/deli/juice
Whole Health* (West End) – HIGHLY RECOMMEND! I made a stop here a few times to pick up some fun health food items. they have an amazing bulk section with loving earth chocolate bars you can buy for baking too!
The Cruelty Free Shop* (West End) – such a cute little vegan/cruelty free shop. mostly food, some clothing, books, etc.
Marcia’s* (West End) – sustainably friendly shop with some food in the back. they have really amazing ice cream sandwiches that are vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free!
The Green Grocer* (West End) – little health food shop
Cardamom Pod* (Gold Coast) – HIGHLY RECOMMEND. plant based. the most beautiful smoothie bowls ever and they taste amazing
West End Markets on the weekends* – search for Davies Park on google maps
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary******* – HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! Funny story, I originally had just a 7 hour layover in Brisbane, just enough time to travel to Lone Pine to cuddle the koalas, right? Wrong. We got there and were told that they were no longer doing koala cuddles and photos and to come back in the morning. I decided to cancel my flight to Cairns and stay so I could hold the koalas. Worth it. These animals are really taken care of here and I felt really happy supporting an organization that’s so passionate about animals.
Train to Gold Coast* – go south if you want quieter beaches, but I wanted to see the madness since I was making a day trip out of it. I went to Surfer’s Paradise and it was beautiful. Be careful though! I got stung by a jellyfish here!
I regret not making time to make it to Byron Bay. Next time, I would definitely rent a car and drive there to see the beaches and amazing healthy foods!
Where I stayed:
I stayed in a beautiful apartment I found on Airbnb in the Docklands, where the marina is. 10/10 would recommend! It was so nice getting to walk over to the marina to read my book and watch the sunset. There’s also a free trolley that runs in that area into the city! It’s not a bad walk either! Uber pool is available for really cheap too.
Cocobei* (Docklands) – amazing cafe next door to my Airbnb. I literally pulled up a photo they had on their IG and said, “I’d like to order this!” it was something off their menu with modifications. super bright and calming atmosphere. they also offer barista and latte art classes!
Aunt Maggie’s* (Fitzroy) – like a little Whole Foods. the best part is all of their raw vegan treats and loco love chocolates at the checkout! AMAZING.
Matcha Mylkbar* (St Kilda) – highly recommend!!! plant based brunch spot. the most beautiful food and super tasty too!
Combi* (Elwood) – got a coffee here but their smoothies looked amazing
Leaf* (Elwood) – little health food store. amazing finds!
Manchester Press* (central) – amazing open face bagel toast
Laneway Greens* (central) – similar to Sweetgreen
Ronnie and the Fabulous Juice* (central) – located at the Queen Victoria market. I got the Charlie Brown smoothie without agave and it was delicious!
Little Green – vegan
Weirdoughs – plant based baked goods
Barry – coffee and food
Lune Croissanterie – best croissants in the world
This Is Life
Elwood Bathers (Elwood)
The Turtle (Elwood)
Who is Bunker Spreckles (Elwood) – cool surf vibes cafe
Foxes Den (Elwood) – healthy take out
Plain Sailing (Elwood) – highly recommended by a friend
Gin Palace (central) – a must if you enjoy gin
Heartbreaker (central) – cool spot for a drink
Madame Brussels (central) – rooftop bar
Toff in Town (central) – rooftop bar
Activities & Tips:
Queen Victoria Market* – such a fun market with lots to see! great place to get souvenirs
Sucker Love Tattoo* – Bobbie is amazing especially if you’re into fine line tattoos!
Hosier Lane* – famous spot for legal graffiti
Walk Fitzroy* – lots of quirky shops and restaurants
Explore Elwood* – tons of cute little shops and cafes
Free trolley in and around the city
City Gallery – free art museum
NGV Australia – free art museum, abstract art
Robert Gordon Ceramics – local to Melbourne and he has an outlet shop an hour away from the city
Flinders Lane – lots of shops
Brunswick Street – shops
Walk around Crown Casino
Crown Fire Show
Drive the Great Ocean Road – if I could go back, I’d make time for this!
* = places I’ve been. no * & no note = instagrammable spot I found via word of mouth or on @bestfood IG accounts
Quick tips for solo travel:
bring a good book, or two! I finally found and made time to read and it felt amazing
download offline mode maps. T-Mobile is my service provider and they offer unlimited international roaming but it’s SLOW
bring a little cash. most places accept card but some market vendors only take cash
don’t be afraid to ask locals for help! your Airbnb hosts are great resources too. locals love sharing info about their favorite spots and little tips with getting around the city
be comfortable with making friends everywhere you go. solo travel can get lonely! I made friends with my servers, random people out and about at pubs, shops, and restaurants, the cabin crews, etc. your confidence will build too!
make a list of your priorities and make them happen! make note of their location, how long it would get there from where you’re staying, and when they close. don’t leave without any regrets!
bring some American goodies for cabin crew, Airbnb hosts, random people you meet! I packed a ton of chocolate, protein bars, thank you cards, and Seattle pins from home to share!
be cautious, mindful, and smart! be aware of your surroundings and say “no” when your gut tells you to in any situation
I used tinder as a way to meet locals and have someone to grab coffee with. didn’t have the best experience but I don’t regret doing it either
made friends by having a power bank on me. just an idea!
I know this is heaps of information but it was seriously one of the best places I have ever visited. The people are so kind, warm, and welcoming! I never really felt alone even whilst traveling solo. Have fun, be safe, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
Homesick Candle / price varies. Send your loved one off with a little piece of home! There are a ton of different scents that will make them feel at home.
Amazon Fire Stick / $25. Nothing like Netflix and chill in the hotel room to make ’em feel right at home. I love how compact it is too!
Manduka Travel Yoga Mat / $32. A travel yoga mat is everything your traveler never knew they needed for that morning flow! No one wants to go down to the dodgy hotel gym at 6am to grab a mat.
Hot Logic Food Warmer / $45. This is especially convenient for those who like to pack their own food while on the go, IE: flight attendants and frequent flyers!
Saje Travel Cloud Oil Diffuser / $70. Give the gift of zen with this portable essential oil diffuser! Love that it comes with a convenient travel case too.
Blanquil Weighted Blanket / $169. Weighted blankets are all the rage right now and you can use code “NYC20” for a nice little discount!
Cozy Mock Neck Sweater / $40. Nothing is cozier than a chunky mock neck sweater! My favorite one is from Nordstrom Rack (they have so many in stock right now) by a brand called John & Jenn.
Kikki. K 365 Journal / $43. My absolute favorite journal. It puts me in a super snuggly mood, grabbing this journal with a cup of tea before bed.
Kirkland Slippers / $20. I got one word for ya: DEALZ. I got these slippers for a few of my favorite people (and for myself) this year!
Ceremonial Matcha Bowl Set / $35. My matcha enthusiasts know that making a morning matcha is a peaceful art. It’s more than just tea – it’s a calming and mindful ritual.
Rose Quartz Gua Sha + Lapis Oil Mini / $18 + $24. I started incorporating Gua Sha into my morning routine and I absolutely love it. I apply Herbivore’s Lapis oil prior to using the teardrop tool. My face is so much brighter and smoother afterwards!
Sun Potion Ashwagandha / $43. Ashwagandha is my secret weapon to dealing with life’s daily stressors. I swear by it.
Tru Wild Motion Pre-Workout / $38. This is my favorite all natural pre-workout. The ingredients are amazing and it gives me just the right amount of energy for a killer workout! Use code “KALEWILD15” for a discount!
Mantra Band Grateful Ring / $22. I’m not a bracelet person, so when I saw that Mantra Band started making rings, I was ALL ABOUT IT. This GRATEFUL ring is the perfect reminder to make anyone smile.
Vital Proteins Holiday Sampler Box / $16. Collagen is my favorite holiday gift especially for those who are curious about it but won’t bite the bullet to get it. It has enhanced my skincare, gut health, digestion, and bone and joint health immensely!
Thrive Market Membership / $60. Honestly, I never knew what I was missing out until I signed up for Thrive. Your fellow foodie will save SO much money versus dangerous trips to Whole Foods.
Avocado Necklace / $35. HOW FREAKING CUTE, RIGHT?! Or get them a necklace of their favorite food!
Marble Pastry Board / $22. These boards are gorgeous to photograph with and they also make really nice charcuterie boards!
Instant Pot / $70. My life was forever changed after using my Instant Pot for the first time. Go on and change someone’s life.
I genuinely love this time of year. I love gift giving and I LIVE to watch reactions of my loved ones whilst opening their “I-thought-of-you-and-had-to” gifts. But what’s more important than that is the time spent together. The slowness of the holidays, hot chocolate, cheesy Christmas movie marathons, the extra long and tight embraces, making new memories and laughing about old ones. Those are the true gifts. All the love, jingles, and cookies for Santa!
As a flight attendant, the word “routine” is not really in my vocabulary. Because of that, I’ve had to come up with my daily self love staples that are a complete must in order to feel my best self.
STRETCH AND WORKOUT
My favorite way to start the day is with a good stretch and workout! Lately, I’ve focused on long distance running to train for a half marathon, but I love to incorporate yoga and spinning in between run days for joint support.
MATCHA & BEET LATTE (JET LAG FIXER ELIXIR)
After a solid workout, usually I let my endorphins take me through the day! However, sometimes because of my weird work schedule, I need a little boost. On days like these, I like to have my matcha and beet latte. Matcha green tea gives me the perfect amount of energy and is packed with antioxidants. I started incorporating HumanN Super Beets beet powder into my morning latte for extra support with my training. Beets promote natural energy, stamina, endurance, and heart health, which also makes it perfect to BEET any jet lag!
– 1 teaspoon matcha powder
– 1 scoop HumanN Super Beets powder
– 1 tablespoon coconut butter
– 1 tablespoon brain octane oil, or MCT oil
– 1 teaspoon ashwagandha
Warm up some water until almost boiling. Whisk the matcha powder in the hot water until completely dissolved. Pour the matcha tea into a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend for 1-2 minutes.
Let’s be real- by this time, it’s pretty much brunch. I love starting the day with a nourishing meal. Whether it’s a smoothie, breakfast bowl, or sweet potato toast, my meals usually contain the following: healthy fats, fiber, greens, and protein. These meals keep me satiated and energized for my day!
As far as the rest of the day, it’s all up in the air! *ba dumch* I could be flying, recipe testing, or taking the day off to spend with my friends, family, or just myself. I find though, that if I stick to my morning routine and take it slow, I’m setting myself up for a good day no matter what I get up to. Hope this helps some of you! All the love.