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Daily Life, Reviews, Travel & Wanderlust, Travel Tips, Travel: Beach Series

Meow review: AirAsia Business

May 11, 2015
This is a sponsored post for AirAsia

AirAsia is our go to airline when visiting South East Asia. We are fans. They are always on time. I find their aircraft clean and the customer service great. (Let’s face it the price is awesome.) We have never had a bad experience and have been flying with them for about six years. (Unlike another nameless low-cost carrier who left me stranded on the tarmac in Phuket for four hours.)

I am usually pretty happy with the exit row but this time the lovely humans at AirAsia upgraded me to Business!

So, here is the low down if you are considering AirAsia for your next trip.

The flight: Sydney to Kuala Lumper

The plane: A330 300 Airbus

Check in: There was no line on arrival at the business check in and went straight through. (First fist pump.) We had a seamless experience at Sydney airport, whizzing through immigration line and the security check. I usually find this part of the trip quite stressful and anxiety provoking, so it was wonderful to get this over with and get into holiday mode. Con: AirAsia does not have a lounge at Sydney Airport. This would have been nice as we arrived quite early.

The seat: With just twelve seats in the business section, I was so excited to step on the plane and chill out from the start. The seat is a super comfortable reclining chair (with a foot rest) that flattens into a bed. YES THAT IS RIGHT: A TOTALLY FLAT BED.

Image courtesy of AirAsia

Image courtesy of AirAsia

(Second fist pump.) I tried and tried and tried for research’s sake and I could not touch the chair in front of me, even pointing my toes. It was like spending the day in an armchair in front of the TV at home. Although the flight was during the day, we both found ourselves so relaxed that we went into the land of nod for a few hours, until the kid next to us started to lose his mind. (There was nothing AirAsia could do about this, nor could the kids parents, it seemed.)

Isn't he cute?

Isn’t he cute?

My Ginger Hunk is not a man who sleeps on flights, so check him out above.

They also give you a snuggly doona and a comfortable cushion. (Third fist pump.)

In the land of nod. So happy.

In the land of nod. So happy.

Entertainment: You can rent a little ipad dooby wacker from AirAsia if you like, and you get the best deal if you book this with your ticket. Because I married a gadget man, we prefer to deck out our ipad with our own movies and tv shows. Personally, I like to spend our long haul flights trapping the Ginger Hunk to talk about the future, and he tries to ignore me. The kid next to us had said ipad, and while he was not screaming, it seemed to work pretty well from where I was watching.

Food: This part of the journey was a bit of a let down. We were given guava juice on arrival on the aircraft, which was a nice touch, and unlimited water throughout the flight. The rest you had to purchase unless you pre booked a meal. We had booked one main meal each. My vegetable birayani was a bit on the small side, with three pieces of cauliflower and a small serving of rice. We ordered some more food later on which was the standard fare.

Verdict: We arrived at Kuala Lumper feeling happy, rested and a lot less frazzled than we would from our usual economy class journey. It’s also nice to get off the plane first. (Fourth first pump.) And we also got our bags first. (Fifth fist pump.) While the AirAsia business class can’t be compared to an airline offering a full service with all the food and trimmings, I would recommend it for the amazing space and comfort that the flat bed brings.

Booking tip: AirAsia also offers a service called Option Town when you book a flight with them. They will email this to you a couple of weeks before you leave. You pay an amount on your credit card, and if there are spare seats on the flight, they will upgrade you to a flatbed or book out the seat in the middle of you.  If the flight is full, they refund your money!

We always fly AirAsia to get to tropical destinations.  

Check out how in our Travel Beach Series 

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The Boracay Blog 

The Koh Tao Blog

Four Reasons to go east in Bali 

Happy travels!

Ashleigh XXXX 

Health & Wellbeing, Reviews

Meow review: My F45 Journey

May 2, 2015

At the beginning of the year, I was in a bit of an exercise funk. I am one to keep training, no matter what it is that I have chosen to do, but I wasn’t doing the right kind of thing to change my shape.

I had replaced my barrage of endurance events with swimming and yoga which was pretty relaxing (and just what I needed at the time). But by the end of the year, I caught a photo of myself in my swimmers mid December, and I was not happy with what I saw. It was time to get started with something new.

F45 training is what I chose. More on that later. (Read to the bottom of this post to check the program I am doing now!)

So what were my goals? At the age of almost (gulp) 34 I have finally realised that I am not going to be ‘that’ weight that I was when I was 26 and living in London. I was in a stressful relationship, unhappy in my job and partying all weekend. I would take the healthier and happier person I am today over that anytime.

Now I have a few simple goals when it comes to my body that for the first time in my life, are not directed by a number on the scales.

1. I want to feel good in a bikini.

2. I want to look hot naked. (For me and The Ginger Hunk by the way, not for the general public.)

3. I don’t want to feel jiggly bits or a muffin top when I wear jeans.

4. I don’t want to have chicken wing old lady arms.

Simple huh? And I want to look like me. My best me.

So I signed up for a two-week trial of F45 Dee Why and I was hooked.

So, what is it? It is what it sounds like. It is a circuit which runs for 45 minutes. The movements are functional (you won’t do any Olympic weightlifting here) and it is high intensity interval (HIIT) training. Sometimes we work for 20 sections rest for 10, sometimes we work for 35 seconds and rest for 15. You get my drift. Unlike crossfit, you work out based on time rather than smashing out a number of reps. This means you can go at your own pace.

It is all set up for you, so all you have to do is get out of bed and turn up.  Your membership will get you access to as many classes a week as you want and yoga is coming soon as well. As with any excercise regime, there is the potential to get injured so you may need to modify some exercises. If my lower back hurts I put my legs down. If my knee is having a bad day, I don’t jump. The trainers will always give you an alternate exercise and correct you if you are doing it wrong. (They also have a knack for figuring out when you are slacking off.)

I have been training 3-4 times a week with a yoga or pilates and a run or a walk mixed in for 4 months. At the end of each class I am shattered.

My results so far? I have lost 9cm off my hips 6 off my tummy and 3 off my thighs! This was combined with a clean eating plan from Emily Skye  which fed my taste buds and built my muscles. I have only lost around 3 kilos and would like to drop a few more over the coming months. I have never been one of those people to lose weight quickly and seeing it took me a year to put weight on, I am happy if it takes me until spring to get back into shape.download_20150502_080923I have met lovely humans in the process, am motivated to get out of bed in the morning and train consistently again.

The next step post holidays?

Another 10 weeks of clean eating and combining F45 with my half marathon training plan.

*****UPDATE JANUARY 2017*****

I’ve lost almost 7kg just walking and eating real food. I used to think I had to stress my body and work really hard to lose weight.

I was wrong.

Find out about my current journey by clicking on the posts below.

Vlog 2 – Week 1 

Vlog 3 – Week 2 

Vlog 4 – Day 28

Vlog 5 – Day 39 

Update 6 – Day 47

While F45 did make me toned, on reflection there was not enough stretching or core. Since stopping F45 I put on quite a bit of weight in 2016 and am now on the Keto diet and JUST walking. (Which is FREE). I am getting amazing results and have a coach and a support crew. So if toning is your thing, then F45 is the bomb, fun, great atmosphere and team environment if you have the money, BUT if weight loss is your thing then all you need to do is walk.

Find out about the program I am on Weight Loss Coaching Works Here

(I’m not paid by them by the way.  Just a public service announcement as this program works!)

 

Daily Life, Health & Wellbeing, Reviews

Meow review: The Thermomix Epidemic & why you should give in. (A post for non believers)

August 17, 2014

I was sure I would not be joining the Thermomix cult ANY TIME in my life. I was skeptical.

It’s a BLENDER. HOW CAN IT COST SO MUCH? What was all the fuss about?

This is surely something that sits in your cupboard gathering dust and you pull out to make those ‘special things’ a few times a year.

It’s not worth the money. It looks too hard to clean.

I can totally relate to Hugzillas post.

I was there two years ago. Defiant I would not become ‘one of them’.

Before this goes any further I have two things to say.

Disclaimer one. We LOVE cooking. We LOVE food. We HATE paying for shit food. We LOVE to entertain. I LOVE to bake.  The Husband LOVES to make home made pizza and bread and many illegal carbohydrate type things that I feel guilty for eating.

Another disclaimer. This post is NOT sponsored by Thermomix. This is purely out of  the LOVE I now have for this machine.

I think getting a Thermomix is kind of like having a baby. I don’t have one (a baby that is). But people tell me once you have one you couldn’t imagine life without one. It is the same sorta thing with my Thermomix. You don’t know what you miss until you have it.

Anyway, back onto the story of how I was turned into a believer. I spent the weekend at my friends house. She had been telling me how good her  new purchase was. I did not believe her. I said I was going to be strong. Over the weekend,  the Thermomix was happily humming away on the bench.

She did EVERYTHING with it. It was her ‘go to’ appliance.

We made soup, bread, butter, yogurt and stewed fruit. Very quickly and with no mess.

This thing IS fricking amazing. I thought. I MUST HAVE ONE.

I was officially turned. I came back to Sydney, singing its praises. The Husband tried to remained strong and was not convinced.

He then went onto whirlpool, checked out the feedback on male gadget type forums and eventually caved.

For the skeptical people out there I will now show you how the Thermomix works.

THIS IS HOW I WILL TURN KIDNEY BEANS INTO MAGIC CHOCOLATE  CAKE. Recipe here. 

1. This is the Thermomix if you haven’t seen one before.

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2. This is what all the buttons do.

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 2. This is the inside. The blade is sharpy sharpy.

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 3. These are the beans which I will magically turn into chocolate.

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 4. A few seconds later.

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 5. The best thing about it is the inbuilt scales. No measuring required. See the magic butter being weighed.

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 6. And then the sugar – straight from the packet.

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 7. You don’t even have to sift or chop things up because the blades are so sharpy sharpy.

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 8. Add the cocoa powder and baking soda. Set the automatic timer and go do your other stuff. (Feed cat. Yell at Husband. Go to toilet.)

It will stop automatically so you can’t burn or over blend things.

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 9. Pour the magic chocolate bean mix into the cake tin and bake in the oven.


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10. Put Thermomix in the dishwasher and enjoy the rest of  your Sunday.

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 11. Eat magic bean chocolate cake.

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But what else?  I can hear you non believers ask. I don’t want to eat a cake made out of beans.

Well, it can also knead, steam, chop and make ice cream out of frozen fruit in 5 seconds.

And what has it done for me?

It has made me into a better cook. It has lasted the test time with my heavy hands, I have not broken it yet (and I break most things).

Still not convinced?

We use it least two to three times a day.

It has saved money off our groceries. We make our own bread.

BUT THEY ARE SO EXPENSIVE! 

I HEAR YOU!

Want me to share my hot tip on how you can get one cheaper?

Use a payment plan or try and get it from overseas. These are VERY expensive in Australia, due to no other reason other than that we simply get ripped off. We smuggled ours from overseas. We are lucky that our in laws live in France and can speak fluent French. They went to a Thermomix party over there and bought one for us, in turn we saved about $700 off the Australian price with the exchange rate. (We still bought it officially through a Thermomix consultant though, be aware of online scams as I have heard these can be hideous!)

Having said that though now that I am FULLY converted believer, if you are a food lover you WILL definitely get your moneys worth anyway even if you pay $2000.

If you are thinking about it…  just do it, you will never look back.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

 

 

Reviews, Thailand, Travel & Wanderlust

Meow review: The Thai food post (mmmm)

April 24, 2014

I am a firm believer in the eat what you like and deal with it later holiday practice, although I have been more active than my usual beer buckets, fitting in some yoga, pilates and some ocean swims. But this is still not enough to touch the sides of the food consumed.  I have to say that the food on this trip has been AMAZING and worth its own blog post! Koh Tao now caters for all types of cuisine and traveler and Samui has everything you can eat, albeit a bit pricey.  Here are some of our favorite places and meals so far.

 A post work out breakfast at The Fitness Cafe, Koh Tao

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 Lunch at Ao Leuk Bungalows, Koh Tao, the dish on the bottom is no name pork.

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 Dinner at Barracuda, Koh Tao – The best seafood in the land.  Continue Reading…