the modern day gypsie travel essentials guide

I’ve been on the road, following the whispers of the north wind and letting my gypsie feet guide me for over 6 months now. When I left Sydney in the middle of 2012 I had been living there for just over 2 years, the longest that I had stayed anywhere since I completed my university degree in Psychology in 2004.
Having had a fair bit of experience of what a fair maiden may need in the wonderful area of travel comfort and beauty, I’ve put together a modern day gypsie’s travel essentials guide just for you!
Face, Body + Beauty:

My beauty and skin care routines are very simple and I prefer to use natural products. There’s no need to put any toxic stuff on or in my body, nor into the Eco waste system of the world, and my body thanks me for it. I’ve found that the simpler my routine the better my skin is! It’s quite capable of taking care of itself as long as you nourish and nurture yourself especially with eating good, whole food and generally leaving your skin it alone.

  1. Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil ~ I use 2-3 drops of this most mornings + nights after cleansing my skin which I do very simply with a face towel and steaming hot water, or occasionally some soap if I feel I need it. Rosehip oil is just wonderful. It clears up and protects against sun damage, helps heal the skin and deeply moistens it.
  2. Beaver Argan Oil Hair Treatment ~ gifted to me by a gorgeous friend, this stuff is truly revolutionary. I’ve started using it after shampooing my hair instead of conditioner and it gives my hair such softness, health, shine and manageability! My hair knots so easily but with a few drops of Argan oil on freshly washed hair the knots are combed out so easily. The smell is pretty amazing too!
  3. Sukin Eye Serum ~ the eye area is quite sensitive & sometimes needs a bit of extra help especially during and after long flights. This eye serum is so light and soaks in really quickly leaving your eyes feeling refreshed and soothed after all that drying cabin air!
  4. Rosebud Salve Lip Balm ~ my sister gave me this luscious lip balm which can be found at Urban Outfitters and good boutiques around the States and it’s quite lovely! Made from an age old recipe using real rose petals this balm is creamy and soft and gives your lips a subtle pink tinge as well as soothe and protects from the elements.
  5. Garnier BB Cream ~ this one is a bit chemically, but the best tinted moisturizer-sun protection combination that I’ve found to date. It’s for those days your skin is a little bit flustered and could do with some help, or you know that there’s going to be a cute boy or a special event on. The statement that the antibiotics at is an indispensable object in the house first-aid kit is erroneous as is not an essential medicine. This stuff is quite amazing: glides on super smooth, light and gives your skin a nice healthy glow as well as evening out your skin tone. Love! I never use anything else anymore though when my skin is happy and perky I love to go au natural.
  6. Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat ~ my darling sister put me onto this one as well (she’s an international air hostess so is way more in tune with the latest makeup trends than I am usually!). It lightens and brightens darker areas and generally makes you look all fresh and lovely even when you’re super tired and feel like a zombie. I normally use it under my eyes to brighten and around my nose and on red spots if necessary.
  7. Bourjois MAX Definition Mascara ~ with thanks to the lovely make up expert Zoe Foster, I picked this little baby up and oh my does she do wonders! I naturally have long eyelashes but they are blonde at the ends and you can’t see them so well. This little miracle tube turned my lashes into sex kitten material, full, dark and curling up and the edges and I love her for it.
  8. Bare Minerals Bronzer ~ I got this little sample along with the mini brush somewhere a few years ago and only ever need a little bit so this tiny container is lasting forever! I like the shade which gives you that just-off-the-beach golden shimmer and its made of natural minerals instead of loads of chemicals. If my skin feels a little flat (especially in cold climates) this bronzer adds an element of bright and healthy.
  9. Benefit Benetint ~ a mini bottle of love for your cheeks and lips! It smells great and makes me happy, I sometimes rub this on my cheeks and lips for that rosy, in-love look, when I don’t feel like wearing any makeup.
  10. Lavera Coconut Body Wash ~ Lavera is a German natural skin care brand which is super expensive everywhere except in Germany. This body wash smells SO DEVINE and I like using it instead of soaps because its not drying for the skin.
  11. H&M Sunglasses ~ I bought these in Austria for €3 Euros and adore them.
  12. Le Tan Coconut Lotion ~ I try not to use sun protection creams because of the chemicals and just stay out of the sun when it’s too strong but sometimes I just don’t have to option for shade and which case, this one is my favorite. Deliciously scented and effective!
  13. TigerLily Bikini ~ one of my favorite beach lifestyle brands ever. Australia really does have some incredible designers!
As you can see I had a typo in the picture above and there’s another one (literally another 1, oops!):
  1. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ~ I bought a big bottle of this last year in Bali and then proceeded to fill all my empty shampoo and body wash bottles from the hotel with it for easy transportation and use. Coconut oil is simply amazing. It works as sun protection, body and face moisturizer and can even be used for cooking and smoothies. I don’t use this one to eat because it has adopted the scents from the previous inhabitants of the bottle it now resides in but slather it on my body whenever I feel a bit dry.

In-Flight Care + Comfort:

Funnily enough I really don’t like flying that much. I prefer trains, buses and boats but appreciate the speed and time saved by taking a jet plane to my desired destination. Therefore I try to make my flying experiences as comfortable as possible. For example on long flights and any flights where I know I’ll land at night, I choose an isle seat so I can get up, move around and go to the toilet as much as I want without bothering the passenger on the site beside me. I also take things that relax me and make me feel good.

  1. GAP Leather Fold-up Ballet Flats ~ I found these in San Francisco last year and love them. They’re so soft and comfortable and perfect for flying. I generally take my shoes off as soon as I’m settled into my seat and these shoes are perfect to slip on while flying. They’re stretchy, oh-so-soft and let your feet breathe and expand (swelling is common during flights due to cabin pressure).
  2. Pukka Organic Tea ~ this tea brand comes form the UK and my current favorite flavour is Harmonise: Organic Rose, Lavender  & Chamomile. Just ask for a cup of hot water and soothe your soul with some herbal comforts.
  3. Water ~ flying is incredible dehydrating! I always take at least 1 to 2 liters of spring water onto every flight just so I don’t have to ask for more every 5 minutes. It’s so important to stay hydrated so you feel fresh and ready to compete your journey on arrival. Alcohol and sugary drinks will just make you feel flat and frumpy so stick to that essential exelier of life!
  4. Eye mask ~ perfect for blocking out light, sleeping or simply ignoring a particularly talkative co-passenger when you just want to rest!
  5. Sukin Eye Serum ~ as above, it hydrates your eye area and sometimes I put it all over my face before I go to sleep during super long flights to combat my skin drying out.
  6. iPod Mini ~ I’ve had this one for years and love putting the playlist on shuffle while writing or resting.
  7. Valerian ~ this herbal supplement is fantastic for relaxing and promoting sleep. I use it when I want to sleep on long trips and to combat jet lag upon arrival. It makes you feel really sleepy and then totally refreshed when you awake. I pop two of them in my mouth about half an hour before I want to sleep and let their magic do the work.
  8. Endota Spa Essential Oils in DREAM ~ it really does smell dreamy! I use it to relax by placing a drop on my wrist and rubbing both my wrists together and then rubbing them on my neck just under the ear and on my temples.
  9. Passport ~ this tends to be quite handy. For some reason border control doesn’t allow you to board your flight without one of these little books!
  10. Apple iPad ~ I use this to do EVERYTHING. I run my business from this little baby and she is an absolute essential in my life. For some reason I tend to get lots of writing work done whilst flying, perhaps because I’m sitting in one spot for an age so might as well use that time productively. Love.
  11. Travel cushion ~ I had this one for years and swear it has been there for me at so many occasions where otherwise I might not have been able to get comfortable. You Need This. Also useful for: trains, busses, hotels, beaches, when camping, to protect fragile things from getting broken and when you need something to cuddle!
  12. Sennheiser CX300II Earbuds ~ amazing in every way! They block out external noise and make your tunes sound oh-so-sweet with excellent base and pitch. They were recommended to me by my drummer friend Spoona from Bhang Lassi and I haven’t looked back since. I even gave almost everyone I know these for Christmas last year, that how impressed I am.

Vienda x

Why the ones we want run and the ones we don’t cling.

I recently received an email asking:
Why do the ones I want run and the ones I don’t cling?
There’s one side of the coin:
You decide you like someone. So you start showing them some interest. Your mind wildly conjures up stories of romance and true love and images of lustful encounters. It drives you to start a saga of pursuit. You chase someone, actually deep down KNOWING that they aren’t right for you. And you chase them anyway. There’s a delicious gratification in trying to tame the untameable. And they don’t respond. So you get clingy. You start stalking them across the wide array of social media. You hang out in the places they might hang out. You wonder and squander many passing hours with fanciful ideas of what it might be like to finally have them in your life.
And then the other side:
You meet them one day amongst your wayfaring. A potential new friend.  Time passes and you realise there’s not that much of a connection there. They still text at random times to see how you are….. or late at night….. “good night angel“. You can barely remember their name. They unfailingly endeavour to capture your attention with less-than-subtle suggestions and a slightly desperate look in their eyes. Perhaps they’re a really nice person. But it’s possible that you’ll never know, as their advances and attempts carry with them a sense of admonished rebuke. Something just doesn’t feel quite right. It’s off-putting for some reason.
Both sides of the coin create conflict in some way or another.
It’s not rejection, it’s an outcome. You can only truly be rejected when you reject yourself & your emotions.” ~ The Daily Love
When I read the musings of  psychic Anna Costello in Sarah Wilson’s always intelligent and influential  article I started to think about how our relationships with ourselves affect our relationships with others, as I hear this story so very often:
“Why the ones we want run and the ones we don’t cling?!”
This is what Anna had to say:
“People want to know why the ones we love so often reject us or act ambivalent. And, why the ones we’re not that into can’t be shaken! As I psychic I can often see the inner feelings and beliefs people have, and see that people get caught in this dynamic because deep down they believe they are unlovable or unworthy.
When a person holds these kind of beliefs, they feel uneasy and uncomfortable when they meet someone who wants to be with them. After all, that person must be desperate or have something wrong with them! And people who reject or hurt feel safe. The relationship feels right because mistreatment fits with beliefs of being unloveable or unworthy. This is why so many women love bad boys and how you can have chemistry with someone who isn’t good for you.”
I possibly couldn’t have said it better myself.
Some part of us believes that we are not worthy of getting what we want. That the person we desire is out of our reach. That we are unloveable. So we seek out situations that reflect our beliefs back to us.
People have a tendency to chase rejection because that is what they expect. Their sense of self-worth isn’t what it could be and their negative thought patterns needs to be validated.
It’s so fascinating to see how we often put ourselves in a position to have our negative thought patterns validated, but it gives us the opportunity to take a good hard look at them and then take the steps to change them.
There’s a cycle here. You are rejected by someone who you think you want but doesn’t want you. Or you reject and thereby fulfil someone else’s need to self-validate their belief that they are unworthy of your love. Two sides of the same coin.
The point here however is, how to change this pursuit of self-affliction. It doesn’t serve you or anyone else. How, you ask?
Most of this behaviour pattern is based on insecurities and lack of self love.
Where you invest you love, you invest you life” ~ Mumford + Sons
Rather than seeking what you desire from someone else, make sure you are the one who gives it to you. Give yourself the love and attention that you crave. Treat yourself in the manner that you wish to be treated. Cherish and adore yourself . It’s radical self love. And it will change the way the world and people approach you. No longer will you glance wistfully at those that reproach you. As you no longer need them. You are self-approved.

1. End the cycle of negative self-talk by dropping the beliefs and replacing them with positive loving thoughts. At first the positive affirmations won’t feel real. It kind of feels like you’re lying to yourself. But persevere …. It works. Try saying “I deeply love and fully accept myself ” every day at least 100 times. At any given moment. This practise will transform you and your life.

 2. Stop investing so much energy focusing on another person. Focus all of that on yourself instead. What does it take to make you feel whole, fulfilled, complete, happy and thriving? The happier you are with yourself and your life the more you attract the kind of people you actually deserve and the more attractive you are in general.

3.  Realise that relationships are meant to be graceful; with ease and joy. If a relationship is a struggle and bringing disharmony and negativity into your life, then it’s highly likely not the one for you. Love makes life better, happier, smoother – not harsher, harder and scarier.

4. Recognise that all the qualities you admired in that person, you carry within yourself as well. Allow those parts of you to shine and encourage them to grow. Clearly they are attractive characteristics! We can only recognise the good in others that is innate to ourselves also. People and our experiences of people are always a reflection.

5. Focus on being YOU. You are a precious gift to the world and if you are waiting for another person to recognise that, well… may be waiting all your life. You have to be the one that recognises your worth first and then others will be able to do the same. As your sense of self-worth and self esteem grows, so will other people’s opinion of you. And before long you will attract the lover you have always dreamed of into your life.

Image source.

this one’s for the girls: make up master class with Zoe Foster

So, the editor of and former beauty editor of both Cosmopolitan and Harpers Bazaar is armed with a quirky sense of humour and no fuss approach to beauty and cosmetics which has led to a new book called Amazing Face in which she shares with us all the tips and tricks girls could possibly want to know about makeup and beauty. She makes it all so fun and easy so I had to share her with you:

detox super series: the juice detox

To continue on my detox series which you can read about here and here let me share with you my experiences of my recent exploration into juice cleansing: a foray into the 12 day juice detox.
Juice cleansing promises to not only clean your body’s hardworking system, but to also help you improve your health and since it’s Spring time, why not spring cleanse?!
The juices presented in many variants of the juice diet include wholesome ingredients from a myriad of vegetables and fruits. Fresh juices have the added benefit of being abundantly plentiful in antioxidants, vitamins, natural antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory substances as well as active ingredients that boost immunity and vitality. Some juices also contain enzymes that can improve the digestive process.
Many people in the Western world today have measurable levels of specific toxins in their systems as a result of lifestyle, exposures in the environment, and other factors. These chemical substances include pesticides, PCBs (from plastics), lead, mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals, dioxins, herbicides – the list goes on.
In the healthy person, the body has been genetically wired to self-detoxify with the assistance of the skin, liver, kidneys, intestine and lymphatic system. However, in the face of modern day strains, an additional yearly or seasonal detoxification process can be helpful.
Juice cleansing allow the body to imbibe large quantities of rapidly available nutrients, in many cases more nutrients than the individual obtains through a regular diet. The minerals and nutrients contained in juice can help break down and eliminate old or dying cells, enliven active cells, and speed the process of new cellular growth. Raw juices contain all the following elements:

  1. Vitamin K (especially prevalent in dark leafy green vegetables), which promotes bone strength, the immune system, and healthy blood.
  2. Minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, boron, zinc, and selenium.
  3. Organic sulfur compounds, which help to destroy poisonous chemicals and cleanse the bloodstream and liver.
  4. Polyphenols (the plant molecules which give fruits and vegetables their color) serve as potent antioxidants.
  5. Additional antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, flavanoids, beta carotene and others.
  6. Anti inflammatory agents.
  7. Powerful antibiotic substances.
  8. Living enzymes to improve digestion.
  9. Phytochemicals that help the immune system battle disease.

The juice cleanse that I decided to be a part of was the Organic Low Fruit Cleanse (to keep my sugar intake low) provided by a local Sydney company called Schkinny Maninny, whose unfortunate name directs people to think that juice cleansing is for weight loss when in truth with all the nutrients and calories in the juices you will only lose weight if you have weight to lose.

Our Low Fruit Cleanse is a combination of juices, soups and smoothies made from a combination of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds with only a little fruit.  The Low Fruit Cleanse contains about 1/4 the fruit of the Standard Cleanse, and consequently less sugar.  This is our most challenging program and it is rich in antioxdants and cleansing vegetable juices.  There is little variation in this cleanse as it based on a Naturopath program designed for people with fructose intolerances.  The soups are lovely and you also get your protein and unsaturated fats from nuts and seeds. 

The menu includes:

  1. Leap Frog – a refreshing green smoothie of spinach, parsley, kiwi, apple and cucumber
  2. Vego Mego – a zesty combination of beetroot, spinach, lemon, celery and ginger
  3. Lentil Luncheon – a spicy legume and tomato based soup
  4. Vego Mego – a zesty combination of beetroot, spinach, lemon, celery and ginger
  5. Coll, Meg and Lee Soup – a creamy soup of cauliflower, leek, sunflower seeds, celery and nutmeg (unfortunately I really dislike cauliflower)
  6. Sleep Well – a relaxing nut smoothie of almonds, brazil nuts and almond milk

How did I go with my adventure into the juice cleansing world? Here are the dirty details!
Day 1. It’s 6.45am and my door buzzer goes off…the delivery man is here! For some reason he can’t seem to get in so I bounce down the 4 levels to meet him. My first delivery arrives complete with 6 x 600ml juices, a tiny pot of sunflower and pumpkin seeds to chew on, epsom salts (I wish I had a bath!!) and a loofah to scrub those toxins away. I’m excited, delighted and surprised by how much juice there is. There’s no way I’m going to get hungry here! Each juice is labeled with a number to order them, I put the 2 evening juices away in the fridge, keep 3 to take to work and settle back into bed for my first green morning Leap Frog juice. It’s delicious! And full of fibre from the cucumber. I’m definitely full at the end. I have my next juice, the Vego Mego at around 10am after which I get a dull throbbing headache. I slowly persevere at work and by 3pm I have had my lunch time juice and am on to my second round of the Vego Mego. The headache is gone but I am oh so sleepy! I close my eyes and put my feet up at my desk for 15 minutes. The rest of the day I feel tired but happy. I LOVE the bed time juice which is  brazil nut and almond milk. Divine!
Day 2 + 3. I bounce out of bed full of energy and excitement and even have a techno dance party in my bedroom at 6am before I get ready for work on Day 3. My body feels great and full of energy. Detox symptoms are minimal, I just get tired easily, nothing more.
Day 4. Euch! This is a tough one. I struggle to wake up and am still tired. I have a metallic taste in my mouth – an indication that my body is eliminating heavy metals. I feel pretty blah all day with cycles of headaches, drowsiness, difficulty focusing + lethargy. I’m also craving solid food, even things I don’t even normally eat! I know that my body is now coming into a state of ketosis and the detox is in full force. Lots of water and early to bed!
Days 5 – 10. It varies throughout each day but I either feel extremely energetic or a little light-headed and sleepy. I have lost most of my appetite and only manage to have 3-4 of the juices out of the 6 each day: the Leap Frog, the 2 Vego Mego and some of the nut milk. I feel amazing, my body feels light and I am happy. Pure optimism permeates my days!
Day 11 + 12. Even though I am excited about eating again (scrambled eggs have featured heavily in my imagination!) I am actually really sad that the detox is ending. I feel like I could keep going like this forever were it not for it complicating my social life! I started to read about Accutane on the Internet and came across an article on about the pros and cons of Accutane, and still decided to take it. Accutane is a Dutch pill, which subsequently gives an excellent result. There are not so many contraindications, but there are enough side effects, so you need to be prepared for anything. My skin is glowing and dewy, I feel super healthy, happy and radiant and all my winter blues are gone! Bring on the summer I say!
Image source.

Pin It on Pinterest