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helloabella

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About helloabella

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  1. Hong Kong Guava Pass Review: Self-Paid

    Hey guys! How have you been? A lot of people have been wondering where the eff do I get the money to pay for all the fancy gyms and workouts I go to. Well, here’s what I will tell you – I’m usually not sponsored, and when I am I’ll fully disclose it. I believe in paying for things I deem worthy, and only when I try stuff for myself will I feel the pinch of pros and cons for reals. With that said, here’s the reveal – I am self-paid on Guava Pass. (Been on the $1,588/month 3-months unlimited* classes package – you’re tied in for 3 months but you pay per month). Read on if you want the real truth. #livingmytruth me @ Warrior Academy What is Guava Pass? It is an aggregator of gyms around town that lets you pay one price and visit all sorts of fancy gyms. Literally the best ones in town, for less than HK$2000/month – meaning less than HK$200/class. Well what’s the catch? You only get to visit each gym 2 or 3 times a month. I think it started out being a way for people to try out gyms, get a taste of what they offer, or for travellers who just need a couple of classes when they’re in town. But for me, it turned into a hack to save some coins. Full disclosure of course there are other competitors a la KFIT but I find the selection of gyms on GP is better, and so the price is higher too. The Pros Money saved – Instead of paying $2-3000 per month for a membership at a kickboxing, or rebounding, or pilates gym, you pay almost half the price but get the same quality classes. Some of my haunts include Flex Studios, Pherform, Optimum Performance Studio, and Lemondrop Studio. I DIE for some of the kitted out vanity rooms of some places – and honestly isn’t that half the reason one would keep going back to the same gym? (minus the hot trainers) Variety – Don’t know about you, but I believe in a balanced workout as much as a balanced diet. That’s why most gyms offer yoga to counter the weight training or cardio. But with GP, I get to go the best classes, studios and instructors of my choosing. Kind of like a gym hit list if you will, that you can create and schedule your week around. Convenience – As a freelancer, I move around a lot. One week I’m mostly around Kennedy Town, the next week I may be stuck near Mongkok. GP lets me choose gyms that are convenient for me to get to instead of lugging my kit on a journey to the gym. It might not make sense for regular worker bees, but it does for me. The Cons Money wasted – If you don’t use your classes, you’re wasting money. If you cancel a class late, you get hit with $80 penalty. If you don’t go on at least 10 classes per month on an unlimited plan, each class you do go will decrease in value. All in all, you gotta be disciplined, or be prepared to spend some cash.P.S. you can pause your account when you go on holidays or want to take a short break. Inconsistency – Classes are harder to book than if you were an actual member of the gym. Makes sense for the gym, but probably not so much for you if you’re looking for some routine in your workout life. I probably only get to the same class once a month. Also probably won’t be able to book the same class as your friends – like I said, spots are quite limited. Discounted experience* – Gyms you visit aren’t designed for people who come and go. In all honesty, it will be harder to get to know the trainers and be a part of the communities. They might not take you seriously because they assume they won’t see you a second time. But if you’re only in for the workouts, then it probably won’t be something you see as a con.*But on the flip side I have made friends from all the different GP gyms just from one visit! Inconveniences? – There are times, maybe once or twice a month for me, where classes get cancelled because the class didn’t reach the headcount. But there are also times, where I rock up and unbeknowingly joined a personal training session because I was the only student. I’ve honestly had many a valuable lessons in pilates, weight training, functional training and more because of these accidental 1-on-1 sessions. So to me, NBD when a class gets cancelled once in a while. #yolo Me @ Feel Fit Factory TL;DR In conclusion… I love GP. If you’re a last minute kinda guy, or moves around town a lot, or want to try out the gyms and workouts before signing up, GP is great for you. If you’re short on cash and want the full experience of boujis gyms around town, GP is probably the only way to go as well. Like of course there are cons, but you take it knowing you are also paying less for the difference. IF you found this article helpful and want to try out Guava Pass, please do sign up via my link here and get some discounts. Everyone who has an account gets one, I’m not special or sponsored OR affiliated. Just another girl who’s trying to earn a few free classes from referrals. If you do end up signing up through my link, I sincerely thank you in advance Till next time, xx Source
  2. Hey guys! ICYMI, Kammie from the amazing The Lesser Evil blog and I got together one Sunday morning and started chatting about the books we adore, humanity’s future and more. Here is the first cut where we dive into Homo Deus – a book about how far humans have come and where we are heading. If you’re interested in free will, the concept of death, robot overlords and all these nihilistic, fun and light topics, JOIN US! I have another director’s cut on my IGTV channel (just head to my profile and hit on IGTV – but desktop doesn’t work sorry!), so check it out there for a fuller cut. x x Source
  3. Best Workouts in 2018 So Far…

    Hey everyone! I thought I’d find my way back to love blogging by writing a round-up no other publisher would probably take off my hands. June approaches, which means we are well on our way towards the second half of the year. (gasp!) If maybe like me you like to gym-hop or just haven’t found a gym you love yet, here’s a list of places I really enjoyed. Full disclaimer: I’m self-paid on guava, #notspon unless specified, and obvs everyone have different preferences so don’t @ me! If you’d like to drink the Guava juice, please do join via this link so I can save an itsy-bitsy amount of dollars for referring you. Thank you in advance! Murder in the gym HIT45 Literally just pain for 45 minutes straight, but you get it over with and you’d be really proud of yourself. Workouts alternate between special powered-by-your-run treadmills and floor exercises, and depending on the day of the week focuses on different parts of your body e.g. arms or abs & booty. 1/F, Abdoolally House, 20 Stanley Street, Central TORQ If you’re a long-time friend/follower, you’ll know I’ve been a day one of TORQ. Being the first spin studio in Hong Kong, TORQ is still killing it with competitive and energetic classes. Your stats will be displayed on the big screen, but don’t worry – you can choose to not do that to yourself. I’m especially a big fan of their spin-off (lol!) HIIT classes off the bike called SWITCH. It’s again just mostly non-stop high intensity floor exercises, but boy is it fun. For half and half action, go for TORQ-SWITCH. Class names do get confusing so make sure you’re booking yourself into the right one. 3/F, Abdoolally House, 20 Stanley Street, Central Crossfit Cavaliers This is for people who are serious about their workouts. Who aren’t afraid to lift weights, or *gasp* run outdoors. I go to their Funfit classes which are women-only, and almost always start with a run around the block. Then it’s crossfit-style WOD (or workout of the day for the uninitiated) with a variation of barbell, kettlebell and other exercises involving some sort of weights. Finally, it ends with another run around the block. YEP. Needless to say, it’s INTENSE but I just love how it pushes me beyond my comfort zone. 533 Queen’s Rd W, Kennedy Town (near HKU station) Me @ Yoga Dimensions Finding zen Lemon Drop Studio Perched right at the end of Kennedy Town, LDS is something of a favourite of mine. I absolutely love the journey there passing the serene harbourfront, and I ADORE the homey feel that the studio has. Fave classes include the relaxing restorative yoga at the end of the day, or the intense Ab Focus class that, you guessed it, works your abs to the core. Shop 2, 37B Cadogan Street, Kennedy Town Yoga Dimensions I stumbled onto this when I was on KFIT for a bit, and I found their yoga classes to be really awesome. The instructor is strict and pays attention to every detail of your posture, but she doesn’t push you too hard or goes too fast of a pace. If you want to get your foundations right or safely hit the next level, I would recommend checking this studio out. Wing Lok Mansion, 162 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan believe.yoga.wellness Similar to Yoga Dimensions, this is another local studio that really doesn’t cut you a lot of slack when it comes to technique. I went to what I thought was a restorative detox class, but ended up getting literally twisted and bent into all sorts of shapes. The result? Genuinely relaxed muscles achievable only through pushing yourself that little bit more. #prettyhurts Flat C, 7/F, Kwun Ngan House, No.751 A-C Nathan Road, Mong Kok Me being extra at Flex’s gorg changing room Low key killers Anhao Wellness Any pilates lovers here? After an accidental 1-on-1 pilates mat class at Anhao (I was the only student who registered), I became a convert. Though it’s no weight lifting or cardio, when done right Pilates easily works you harder than most fitness classes. It practices immense amount of control over tiny and unused muscles, causing you to truly be mindful and get to know yourself. Highly recommend a try. 5 Ladder Street, Sheung Wan Flex Studio Xtend Barre is the bomb! It really tests your strength with repeated and small movements inspired by ballet. I took the class first in Flex’s aberdeen studio, then I was hooked and kept going back. Actually I finish Flex’s credit on Guava the fastest every month. Other classes I love include TRX and HIT. It’s just such a calm place… And which other studio brews you coffee in the morning?! 3&4/F Man Cheung Building, 15-17 Wyndham Street, Central Shops 308- 310, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang Barre 2 Barre Another favourite of mine in Central. I love Barre bootcamp there when I’m not feeling like I’m up for a workout, though it really works me out without stressing me out with heavy weights and treadmills. Trust me, those weights you’re working in their classes may seem tiny, but you will definitely feel the burn. 4/F, Cheung Hing Commercial Bldg, 37 Cochrane St, Central A scorpio doing a scorpion Kowloon dwellers Bungee Workout You’ve probably seen this on Facebook trending somewhere, but the bungee workout is now in Hong Kong! Though located all the way in San Po Kong, this photogenic and liberating workout is definitely worth a trip. After you learn to fly and fall (it’s a little painful and a lot scary), make sure you finish strong with a Thai dinner in Kowloon City. Unit 903, Port 33, 33 Tseuk Luk Street, San Po Kong P.S. There is another workout system involving a bungee called 4D Pro Bungee Fitness, now teaching at the more conveniently located and Guava-enabled XP Fitness Hub in Central. I personally haven’t tried it yet, but am stoked to! Gymbeginner This is definitely my go-to on Kowloon side. Focusing more on perfecting technique than getting the most reps, Gymbeginner is aptly named and made for fitness newbies who want a comfortable environment to get started in. My visits have always been lovely, and if I was feeling extra, I can add more reps or make drills more difficult too. Flat 4A, Capri Building, Austin Road, Jordan Optimum Performance Studio TST I randomly went into a core training class there once, but the experience definitely stuck with me. The space itself is actually half rehabilitation centre and half gym, and my instructor a super experience krav maga fighter. Needless to say, the hour-plus long workout was intense, and involved ONE HUNDRED BURPEES. LOL, to this day I don’t know how I did it. But hey, I did. The training also starts with foam-rolling and ended with a circuit training, so all in all, just a really good and fun workout. 16/F, 9-11 Hillwood Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui Pheew, that’s it! Does this at least make up for my infrequent presence?! I sure hope so. P.S. I do a weekly shout-out to my favourite workout of the week, so if you want more updated info, please do follow me on Instagram! Till next time, leave me a comment la! xoxo The post Best Workouts in 2018 So Far… appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  4. Hey guys! (Sorry I’m backdating this) If you’ve not seen this yet, I not-so-recently FINALLY uploaded my video answering all your questions about my fitness journey. QUESTIONS ANSWERED: 0:09 Best and worst moments 2:15 Most beneficial workout 3:57 Does it ever get competitive? 5:02 Are group classes better? 6:35 Is it hard to try new things? 8:02 What keeps me motivated? 9:31 Diet & cravings 11:07 Exercising routine 12:40 How do I afford it all? Thanks for watching in advance la x The post Fitness FAQ: Routines, Motivations and Cravings appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  5. One year along my fitness journey

    Hey guys! How has it been?! Happy 2018! Happy Chinese New Year! Happy Valentines Day! Sorry I’ve been missing out on blogging… I really have no excuse, I just hope y’all will forgive me. So what’s been new in 2018?! I’ve actually been producing content for Instagram consistently, and I’ve recently released a Youtube video reflecting on my year-long love affair with Bounce Limit. If you’d like to learn more about this, please watch the video below: It’s truly been an extremely transformative year. Many people will argue (including myself) that I’m quite literally a different person. I eat better, I have better stamina, posture, motivation, self-discipline… Basically everything they say is true about exercising has happened to me – all without “dieting”. Again – I’m not going to annotate the entire video in text form, but please feel free to watch the entire video above. I go through basically the whole history, PLUS my story with personal training. I know I promised a FAQ video and I’ll be releasing that soon, hopefully next week! Though late, I’m still sending you a whole lot of love and well wishes for the new year. If you’ve not been working on your goals yet, it’s still not too late to re-start. Get on it, and most importantly live well. K x The post One year along my fitness journey appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  6. Hey guys! I know, I know. I’ve been recently reminded of my absence, and I can’t believe it’s been over three months either. So, I thought I’d write up the motherload (sort of) for you to enjoy. As the festive season approaches, I think it’s only appropriate to write up little amateur guide on where to buy eco-friendly things and/or what to buy to help reduce waste – I realise how ironic that sounds but nonetheless I reckon a good start. These are obviously great for personal use, but wonderful for gifts too! H/T to Kammie from The Lesser Evil for the X’mas gift ideas, make sure to check out her blog and subscribe to her newsletter, it makes my week! CLICK HERE TO HEAD TO THE STORES SECTION RIGHT NOW 1) Keep Cup Why: There was a moment in my life, when I realised how quickly I can consume a beverage in a disposable container (minutes!). This meant also meant I produced trash, I TURNED SOMETHING BRAND NEW INTO GARBAGE in a matter of minutes. It was sobering. Plastic wraps, straws, takeout containers, all had a total lifespan of minutes and will spend eternity in a landfill – or worse, in the ocean choking fishes or something. SO, that’s why I got a Keep Cup. I chose the plastic one because it’s lighter to carry around, but of course, the glass one with a cork band is exquisite too. Most importantly, you don’t have to feel guilty anymore AND you can save a few bucks. Granted there will still be days when you don’t have the cup with you, but then you can still go lid-less on those rare days. Where: I got mine from Barista Jam, but you can also order from their website, or psst, Taobao. Image via Chazi 2) Re-usable straws Why: Okay I’ll be up front. I don’t actually bring these out often, and I mostly use them at home. I actually lost one the first time I brought it out to use in a restaurant. That said, because I’m an obsessive straw user, even just having this at home saves me packs of plastic straws. And I don’t need to go into the evilness of plastic straws right? PS they make real good gifts! Where: My girlfriend bought them for me as a gift from Chazi, but you can easily find them at a lot of other green stores (read till the end for full list) Nike leggings made from 10 recycled plastic bottles 3) Leggings made from recycled plastic bottles Why: BOY do I love leggings. I mean, why wouldn’t you? They’re comfy, they keep your muffin tops and spare tires under control, they’re also rather flattering. And my god, aren’t recycled plastic leggings a godsent?! If you’re gonna spend $$$ on KuKuKemons, then why not also look into feel-good brands eh. The only downside to this material is that it’s usually thicker of a fabric, but it’s fantastic for cooler days ahead. Where: I don’t know if they are still available but I found some from Nike a while back. As an early adopter of Girlfriend Collective, I am very keen to finally be able to give them a shoutout, especially now that they have more than one length and colour. I’ve not personally tried but there’s also many brands in the US and AUS, just do a quick search for recycled plastic leggings Charity Bottle from Lionrock Press 4) BYOB (Water Bottle) Why: Same shit – avoid bottled water la. Especially imported fancy “still” water. You’re just paying for unnecessary use of fuel to fly all these whatever spring mineral water, on top of the waste you’ll produce. Remember that next time you’re buying bottled WATER! (Ok la I’ll let soft drinks/teas/juice slide a bit kkkkk). We all want a lightweight bag, but worry not, there are single layered stainless steel bottles that are super light too! Where: The Lionrock Press has a really cute collection with proceeds going to Plastic Ocean Foundation. 24Bottles has some really handsome looking ones too! Ofc, there’s always Cotton On hurhurhur. 5) Extras There are some things I have not personally tried and tested, but I still think they make some pretty sick gifts… Bath to Basics Toiletries (shampoo, body wash etc) – organic, local brand, you can even BYOB to refill. They also have some really awesome essential oils and good smelling stuff! Bamboo home stuffs – toothbrushes, soap trays, dish clothes, chopsticks, even toilet paper (from Salvation Army if you’ll believe it!) Wax food wrap – reusable clingfilm basically Foldable lunch boxes – for all ya meal preps and leftovers and takeaways via Live Zero HK LOCAL SHOPS Here are some shops you can physically/virtually browse for goodies! I’m not gonna start listing brands and this list is in no way exhaustive. Just a little list, ’tis all. There is no order in this list. Now-nowaste Plastic-Free HK Live Zero Delightfully Green Tree Children’s Lodge (note: kids store but has eco-friendly items too) Ztore (note: online grocery store that also stocks eco-friendly products) Thorn & Burrow (note: home decor store that also sells some reusable ware like S’Well and straws) GaoMadYeah (note: Local waste reduction community with mail order available and occasional pop-ups. Chinese site only) Let me know as usual if you have any thoughts, comments or what-nots! Peace, xoxo The post Eco-Friendly Things: What and Where to buy in Hong Kong appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  7. HEY you! I KNOW you love the feeling of eating guilt-free and delicious food, so here I am presenting you with some options so you can live better without batting an eyelash. Awesome thought, right? You can now forget about stale salads and feeling hungry after a 100 bucks sandwich. Here we go, make sure you bookmark these! Supafood My absolute fave around the Sheung Wan area. Go-to item is the Sichuan Beef Wrap with avo, pomegranate, cheese, brown rice, and of course beef that’s a little spicy and plenty saucy. Perfect for a post-workout pick me up and even better with Netflix. 1 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan Youni’s Lunch Box Youni An extension from the new Goji Studios gyms popping all over town, this place is the one if you’ve got a carefully planned diet and/or want to know exactly what you’re eating. From what I’ve tried at an office bulk order tasting that one time, their stuff is pretty solid. You’ll find a good variety and bonus points for sheer number of locations. PS, they double as a meal plan supplier, so look into it if you’re keen. Multiple locations in town Knead This one is for the people who aren’t fussed about food labeled for fitness. This is just a good ol’ sandwich and salad shop, and a damn good one at that. Think subway, but with way better ingredients in a very cute setting and a form so you can customize your order. Personal fave: roasted chicken breast, caramelized onions, roasted pumpkin on white ciabatta with allllll them greens. G/F, 28 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan Fete Up’s Lunch Box Fete Up Oh my god – we need to talk about this place. No one talks about it, but unhealthy local/Asian food is really starting to become a pain in my tush. SERIOUSLY, what’s a girl got to do to get a warm meal in her belly without paying $108 for a salad and a soup? Fete up is a new fave, again in the Sheung Wan area (sorry!), and is about the only thing that can numb the post-HOME withdrawal pain. Their concept is simple, pay (electronically, no cash), and pick your rice, protein (UM BEEF GOULASH), many kinds of warm and cold veggies, and FO to eat your delish, warm and Asian lunch without having to feel hungry 1.5 hours later. Lower GF, 182 Wellington Street, Sheung Wan (next to Noodle LAH) Fook Luk Sau (福祿壽健康素食) No, not the rooftop bar, though that place is pretty rad too. This local takeout and lunchtime crowd focused restaurant was my fuel for the longest time when I still worked around Central. Hidden in an alleyway near The Center, Fu Lu Shou serves up 13 kinds of Chinese vegetarian dishes that changes every day, as well as soup and red/white mixed rice. WAIT FOR IT YALL, if you take away, it’s 3 toppings + rice + soup for $28HKD. $28HKD!!! If you eat-in, it’s all you can eat soup/rice. My secret’s out y’all, treasure it. 8 Tit Hong Lane, Central Peace, xo The post Sheung Wan/Central: Top 5 Affordable & Healthy Lunch Spots appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  8. Hey yo peeps! What’s up! In case you’ve not heard, apparently I’m really not that straight, even when it comes to my hair. It might come as a surprise because nobody, and I mean nobody, has really seen my hair curly, save for some travel companions and past loves. However, in light of recent personal efforts to “self-love” and live balanced and with less baggage, I’ve decided to finally learn how to “deal” with my true hair – rather late imo, 20 years late really. So yeah, watch for giggles and leave me a comment if you TOO, are the only person/Chinese kid in the neighbourhood with curls. Peace, xo The post Why My Hair is Curly / How to Deal with Asian Natural Curly Hair appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  9. Hey guys! Alright alright alright. How have you been? Today it’s going to be a info-loading post, but I hope it can answer some of the many questions I’ve been asked about Bouncelimit/rebounding/bouncing/trampolining. 1) Why bounce/rebounding? I don’t know about you, but this basic b*tch that’s trying to live well is not the person you’ll find prioritizing gym/health over everything in my life. Yes, I may sacrifice sleep for a 7am class, or spend Friday nights at the gym… But you know what I DETEST? Bring a pair of dirty, smelly sneakers everywhere with me. With Bounce, all I need is a pair of cute23 grippy socks (those with dots on the bottom so you don’t fall on your face). Also – it’s really gentle on your joints, not to mention heaps of fun bouncing to a different playlist and WOD, or workout of the day for you non-gym-rats tsk, every time. 2) What is rebounding? Bouncelimit works with rebounders or mini trampolines that are fitted into the floor boards. This means that you wouldn’t risk moving the trampoline with your bounce. You can also do more floor exercises incorporating the trampoline – for example, burpees or TRX. Rebounding is more than just jumping around on the trampolines. See below. 3) What do you do? Is it just a trampoline park? It most definitely is NOT just a trampoline park. A lot of people get the confusion that it’s an easy workout. It does not have to be. There are a handful of classes available, from familiar ones like Pilates, Yin Yoga or TRX, to more trampoline-oriented ones like Beginner/AirBounce (cardio-centric classes) and Tabata (the hottest workout trend to go round in HK rn, it is a kind of HIIT circuit with 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off). The way you bounce is also wildly different. Instead of bouncing up, you’re bouncing DOWN. It’s hard to explain unless you try one of the classes, but it essentially means you are lifting your legs when you bounce, and you’re trying to achieve quick bounces without letting your body and muscles go out of control and flap about. 4) How do I choose which class I go to? I think all first-timers should go to the beginners at least twice. Or once if you’re extremely well coordinated. This is not to say you’re not “fit” or anything like that. It’s just saying rebounding is a workout that takes some getting used to. You gotta learn you way around the rebounder, you have to get used to the terms used and commonly used moves – clowns, basic bounce, etc. It’s best to get the postures and techniques down pat before you move on to other things. After you’re happy with the basic stuff, you can move on to whatever you want really! Burn calories with cardio, get toned with TRX and go hardcore with TRX circuit or Tabata. I’ve not done combat before but I also heard that gets pretty intense! Look out for Megan’s classes, she’s the one who’ll teach you all about the right postures down to the tiniest details so you can use the skills in other classes. Chelsea’s classes are wonderfully energetic, Gedville’s Tabata or Airbounce is always a challenge, and Natasha’s classes always make you feel so good and happy. We all have instructors/classes that we prefer, so don’t be afraid to try the same class with different people. 5) How much is it? You can check out the price table here, with trial classes starting at $400HKD for two classes. They always have different monthly offers as well, so definitely keep your eyes peeled. I really hope this helped answer some of your questions! Hmu any time or comment below with your thoughts though. xxx The post Frequently Asked Questions about Bouncing (Rebounding) appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  10. Shop Well: We’re All 100% Human

    Hey guys! What’s cracking. As promised, the “style” posts are back – but in a different way. Today I want to share with you guys a brand that has a cause we can all get behind, thus Shop Well – occasional blatant but sincere brand recommendations. You know what I mean, the kind that checks the boxes with ethical production, transparent pricing, and a beautiful cause that no human being can hate. (tick box and continue reading if you are indeed human) If you’re a cool hipster, you may have already heard about and/or know and love Everlane. They are sort of like Grana (which I wrote about previously), except Everlane has a shoe and bag collection that is absolutely to die for. Oh, and they’re also from the US of A. Why 100% Human Because we’re all the same deep down, we fear the same things, we feel the same sadness and loss and love and joy and excitement. Despite people who can be and are mean (probably out of insecurity), we all want love and happiness and to feel like we are part of something bigger. Here’s a story about buying t-shirts and shopping. In my teens, I used to exclusively buy tees that I resonate with: think hilarious and sassy one-liners the likes of “I’m just like you, except better.” “Oh my god,” I heard you think out loud as you read this, “she was so uncool.” I get it now too, but only in hindsight. This also applied to that pink Lotso tee that says “I’ve got a keeper”, or that way-too-small souvenir shirt from a beer festival that says “real women drink beer”. Have I seen the wrongness of my ways now, you ask? I guess so – but in a different way. I still shop in accordance to my alliance, but the choices are more subtle now. I look for brands that have a purpose or cause (like leggings made from recycled plastic bottles a la Girlfriend Collective), I strive to support smaller brands or at least big ones that donate to a charity with every purchase, I BACK creators with cash dollars by buying their merch (a la Rhett and Link, and Philly D). And thus explains why I’m telling you about this shirt now. Every tee purchased gives $5 to the American Civil Liberties Union and goes towards helping defend human rights in the US, including LGBTQ and immigrants. So you telling me to buy stuff? You don’t HAVE to buy THIS shirt, or support THIS charity. You can donate to Woman’s Right with this shirt. You can support creators you love via Patreon. You can learn to look into what you’re buying, learn to avoid ingredients or animal testing or non-eco packaging. I guess what I’m saying is that we should all learn to be ourselves, be great in self-expression but also in that process learn about what you’re buying/backing and how you can send a self-expressing message as a consumer. We’re all human who wants things, and with the internet, there are a million options for us to make better purchases. I hope you start making the right decisions one beautiful pair of shoes at a time. P.S. real honesty right here – hand wash this shirt or be gentle with the thin cotton material because the collar will stretch out after one wash in the machine. P.P.S. This shirt was gracefully sent to me from Everlane to review – thank you so much. Till next time, let me know your thoughts below. x The post Shop Well: We’re All 100% Human appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  11. Hey guys! Thought I’d do something different this time. The weather has been so sh*tty lately, and everything feels wet, hot and gross. That’s why for food I usually want something light, fresh but still fills me up. Check out this recipe I shared with the Profood crew! I love making this on a Saturday afternoon when I’m trying to eat light to balance out a heavy Friday night, plus it only takes about ten minutes to put together but still looks beautiful and packs in some great flavours. Sweet and juicy figs (the taste of summer) elevate the lightness and crunch of the fresh salad greens, plus you get a luxurious hit of umami from the prosciutto and caviar, whilst the creamy cheese makes the dish feel even more filling; this salad makes for a perfect summer treat as either a shared aperitif or a main. Mozzarella, Figs and Prosciutto Salad with Caviar Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main Ingredients 5g Adamas Black Caviar 1 mozzarella or burrata ball 2 ripe figs 4 slices/60g prosciutto (or another ham of your preference) 1 medium-sized head yellow endive ½ medium-sized head radicchio ½ medium-sized head frisée A handful of rocket leaves Olive oil and black pepper to taste Instructions Wash, drain and tear all the salad greens into smaller pieces. Cut the figs into quarters. Drain the cheese and dab it dry with kitchen towel. Plate the dish starting with the salad greens, followed by the quartered figs. Place the cheese in the centre, then add the slices of rolled-up prosciutto around the plate. Place a generous spoonful of caviar on top of the cheese. Add a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grinded black pepper to taste. Enjoy! P.S. Bon apetit! Head over to Profood for more ingredients shopping and delish recipes. x The post Easy Eats: Mozzarella, Figs & Prosciutto Salad appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  12. Hey guys, welcome back! Post number two under the rebrand continues to be a very personal one, so I thank you for spending the time to read in this day and age where almost no one wants to digest anything. I have spent four+ months with Bouncelimit as their ambassador now, and there are a lot of things I have learnt and gained from the journey thus far. If you’ve not heard about this, I talked about how I was embarking on a journey to get fitter in my previous update. The results thus far… I have transitioned from a newbie who exercised about 4 times a year, to someone who goes to the gym at least 3 times a week. Instead of struggling to get through a beginners class, now I struggle to get through a TRX circuit class, I find it difficult to get up at 6am for that Tabata class, I love-hate the intense cardio in the advanced Airbounce class. Much like those Buzzfeed “transformation” or “celebrity diet” videos, the end message has always been that it’s a lot more about positive habit building than losing a shit ton of weight in 2 weeks. And that’s what it’s been for me. From my numbers alone, I can see that I didn’t lose that much weight or a huge number of inches. It is true that I have been the smallest I’ve been in a while, but that’s not saying much. What is meaningful though, is how my mindset has changed. The thing about thinking… (and how it has changed with exercising) … Is that a lot is just about how you think. The way you think changes how you interpret your reality and how you choose to react. There have been many significant changes that altered my life just from starting with Bounce, starting to change and getting to that gym on a Friday night. How I react to results: From the get go I wanted long lasting results, I wanted to build habits. This meant that I needed to find a routine that fit with my life and my lack of self-discipline self. It also meant that I had to accept that I may not see significant changes in my body in the short run. And I’m okay with that. I’m not going to beat myself with a bat that’s my weight or my huge waistline. There is a constant self-reminder about how it’s about the marathon, not the race. That mindset has extended into a larger part of my life – helping me re-focus on the goals I choose instead of getting distracted with fleeting highs and banging lows. How I find balance: I am very ADD and gets distracted very easily. When I was introduced to yoga, and especially Yin yoga at Bounce (aka holding poses for 1-3 minutes long), it made me aware of my own thoughts and it’s been a constant battle learning to control them. It was this that sparked my interest in learning about yoga, wellness and finding balance. I have since taken up casual meditation (highly recommend the Simple Habit app), tried out different kinds of yoga classes (Odinson has fabulous ones, but you should go out there and try everything) and have become more aware of my own emotions and thoughts. How I’m treating my body: Though I’m not on the strictest of diets, I’ve given myself a new reason to eat right, sleep more, exercise better. I’m no longer just in a fad diet for the sake of it, cutting carbs then eating it all back the next day, exercising like a maniac for about two weeks then stop for two years… It’s all about finding the right routine – and that in itself is so much more exciting than using number as a goal, because that goal will pass, but wellness is a constant journey and a permanent state of mind. The zinger: finding self-acceptance If you know me personally, you will know I think quite little of myself and my appearance. The whole reason I started helloabella.com was almost like a way for me to learn to be okay with sharing myself with people – hopefully stemming from that gaining some acceptance to validate myself and cast away some self-doubt. But in the past months, I’ve had to learn to accept myself, by myself. This involved the process of checking in with my mind (through yoga), with my body (through monthly check-ins and measurements), with my self-image (through being in a non-competitive environment of group classes). Through constant self-observation, a moment finally happened and a thought floated into my mind: “It’s not really about getting skinnier, it’s about learning to love myself.” This thought of finally accepting my body, being at peace with it, exercising because it is good for my body, not because I’m trying to change my appearance but because I’m trying to feel better in my head and in my body… This is a fucking game changer y’all. I feel like I’m entitled to self-love because I’ve earned it by treating my body with respect and love. This is so fucking important, and so far away from who I used to be, and so new… And so RIGHT. I no longer feel like I need to look a certain way (on good days), I can just let my body be, I can be both proud and work hard towards something at the same time. This used to make no sense to me. I have also since learned to embrace other parts of me too… But that’s for another story time. I’m so happy with where I am and so excited about where I’m going with this. Thanks for sharing this moment with me + I hope this little moment will shine a little light on your journey too. Thanks so much for reading. x The post Getting Fit, Chasing Numbers and Self Acceptance appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  13. What Blogging Did to Me (part II)

    Hey guys, how’s it going? You may have noticed my sneaky name changes over on Instagram, and soon (if not already) it will happen over here too. Why? What does it mean for helloabella? I know you will have lots of questions, because you’re obsessed with me duh, and I will answer them one by one. Why Live Well Basics? It’s because I’m no longer the person who started helloabella. No evil clone of course, or hard feelings. It is just because my priorities in life has changed, and I’m no longer (or ever really have been) a person that’s obsessed with appearances, style, fashion and beauty. That said, I still love shopping, beauty and finding my style – just not especially hardcore about it anymore. It’s been brewing for quite long inside of me, but a little by little lately I’ve been discovering myself and the spiritual side of me. I don’t mean becoming all hippie and start waving around aura talks (though I’m actually really interested in crystal healing…), it just means taking better care of myself. It means being myself, but being better, continuously finding ways to better myself towards not monetary or career driven goals but feeling better and content and fulfilled. Are you still with me? So what Live Well Basics, to me at least, means the basic things we all need, simple tricks we ALL can do, to live better, to live well. It also implies that I’m basic as234 and always will be. But why not? So you’re going to be a fitness blogger now? This is not going to be some blog telling you how to go on strict diets, how to chisel your abs or how to spend your salary’s worth on groceries and protein powder. This is, I am, not that kind. What it will be though, is a record of my journey towards wellness in this crazy city with a crazy schedule and crazy amount of things to do. So if you’re lazy AF, broke AF, and basic AF, join me! Be a friend and (insert plug): sign up for my mailing list to be the first to receive tips, wannabe funny stories and fuckups, and pointers to be healthy however we can. We’re all just coping here, let’s all help each other do that What about all the beauty and fashion stuff? They will still be there hun! Healthy girls still gotta look pretty. But as my concerns go, I will try to explore more fitness apparel (234 yeah leggings), sustainable + AFFORDABLE brands, as well as how to shop less but more efficiently. Same with makeup – I know we all can’t be 100% cruelty free and eco-friendly, but let’s try working towards that and feel pretty in the process. A major disclaimer: I’m saying it here now, and I will continue to say it. I am, and won’t be, an expert on anything. But I do want to share my journey, and learn about yours too. So why don’t we just become friends? This is a good vibes only zone. What’s going to happen with everything #helloabella then? I will continue to have that domain point towards this site. I have also switched my personal (and private) instagram account to that username. In conclusion… Please, please continue to support me as I go on this slightly different path. I swear this isn’t just some trick to gain likes or join the trends, and I hope you will be my company as I learn to take better care of myself, and you yourself. #hippiedippytrippy #motivationalwedsnesday #idekanymore #anyways LEAVE ME A COMMENT TO SAY HI! As always, till next time. xx The post What Blogging Did to Me (part II) appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
  14. Easy Habits for an Eco-ish Lifestyle

    Hey guys! Today I wanted to share something different, but something that matters to me. I’ll start off by saying that I’m no domestic goddess or green warrior, but I do and have always cared about recycling and not being wasteful. But in recent months, after getting educated about various issues from dairy, to fashion and plastic, I’ve been opening up my life to more changes that reduces waste and stress on the environment in general. The second thing that I was to disclaim right now is that I’m not perfect. I’m not “good” enough to not do paper, or never use a single piece of plastic, or eat vegan or 100% organic/sustainable etc. But I think, to me at least, the important thing is to try. Every action we do matters, and every little action leads to a little bit of goodness. I used to just “give away” unwanted clothing or item, and by that I mean putting everything in the donation bin and forgetting about it. Then I go on to buy more. But now, I make my purchases more mindfully. But hey – I still taobao or buy from H&M. It’s all about balance after all. So here, I wanted to share with you a few simple ways to start reducing waste and living more mindfully without going full cold turkey. Bring your own cup I bought a Keep Cup! Like I said in my Instagram post, it was one of my best, if not the best, purchase I’ve made this year or ever. It is so light weight, easy to clean, has a valve seal so you can hoist it around, AND it really helps reduce waste one paper or plastic cup at a time. This is because I watched this video about recycling paper cups – FYI a lot of places don’t have the right process to recycle these coated paper cups so they end up going to the landfill. By bringing your own plastic cup on the other hand, you can even save a few bucks (depending on where you go – Winston’s, Barista Jam and many more cafes have discounts when you BYOC.) Side note: My girlfriend also bought me stainless steel straws, I use them at home now because I always forget to bring them out, but they’re absolutely a dream to use. Minimize takeout waste I know, sometimes you can’t plan every meal of your day, and more often than not you have to opt for meals al desko. What I find useful is, if I end up going to some place near the office/home for takeout, I opt out of taking the plastic bag and utensils. Maybe I’m too shy (for now) to bring my own container, but at least I’m saving one plastic bag and one pair of utensils (in another plastic bag). Don’t be lazy and wash the office/home forks instead! Should’ve recycled this… :S Think before you throw Lol I’m starting to sound preachy right? But I’m not going to teach you the basics of recycling, I’m sure (I hope) you already know that. But what I realised was, sometimes I’m quick to throw away something instead of recycling because I wasn’t thinking. For example, some really sturdy takeaway boxes can be cleaned and re-used or then recycled, I do this all the time in the office so everything from my takeout caused no waste. I also recycle groceries packaging and yogurt pots etc. Just make sure you clean everything before recycling. Refuse packaging It’s a very small gesture, but when you see shop keepers wrapping up your goodies in rice paper or extra plastic bags or ribbons and frilly things, just politely say you don’t need it. I know sometimes pretty packaging is great for the ‘gram, but if you’re not going to re-use or gift it, it’s pretty much seconds from going into the trash. Again – it’s better to not be wasteful than to recycle. These are just a few of the ways you can reduce waste without making huge changes, but slowly you can amp it up if you feel like it. Rock the bamboo toothbrushes, go sans packaging and shop from wet markets… Everything is a choice and the choice is yours. The key is to be educated, and when you are, you will automatically be aware of the waste you can save. I’m gonna run off before sounding too preachy… But leave me a comment and share your feelings! x The post Easy Habits for an Eco-ish Lifestyle appeared first on Helloabella.com. Source
  15. Easy Habits for an Eco-ish Lifestyle

    Hey guys! Today I wanted to share something different, but something that matters to me. I’ll start off by saying that I’m no domestic goddess or green warrior, but I do and have always cared about recycling and not being wasteful. But in recent months, after getting educated about various issues from dairy, to fashion and plastic, I’ve been opening up my life to more changes that reduces waste and stress on the environment in general. The second thing that I was to disclaim right now is that I’m not perfect. I’m not “good” enough to not do paper, or never use a single piece of plastic, or eat vegan or 100% organic/sustainable etc. But I think, to me at least, the important thing is to try. Every action we do matters, and every little action leads to a little bit of goodness. I used to just “give away” unwanted clothing or item, and by that I mean putting everything in the donation bin and forgetting about it. Then I go on to buy more. But now, I make my purchases more mindfully. But hey – I still taobao or buy from H&M. It’s all about balance after all. So here, I wanted to share with you a few simple ways to start reducing waste and living more mindfully without going full cold turkey. Bring your own cup I bought a Keep Cup! Like I said in my Instagram post, it was one of my best, if not the best, purchase I’ve made this year or ever. It is so light weight, easy to clean, has a valve seal so you can hoist it around, AND it really helps reduce waste one paper or plastic cup at a time. This is because I watched this video about recycling paper cups – FYI a lot of places don’t have the right process to recycle these coated paper cups so they end up going to the landfill. By bringing your own plastic cup on the other hand, you can even save a few bucks (depending on where you go – Winston’s, Barista Jam and many more cafes have discounts when you BYOC.) Side note: My girlfriend also bought me stainless steel straws, I use them at home now because I always forget to bring them out, but they’re absolutely a dream to use. Minimize takeout waste I know, sometimes you can’t plan every meal of your day, and more often than not you have to opt for meals al desko. What I find useful is, if I end up going to some place near the office/home for takeout, I opt out of taking the plastic bag and utensils. Maybe I’m too shy (for now) to bring my own container, but at least I’m saving one plastic bag and one pair of utensils (in another plastic bag). Don’t be lazy and wash the office/home forks instead! Should’ve recycled this… :S Think before you throw Lol I’m starting to sound preachy right? But I’m not going to teach you the basics of recycling, I’m sure (I hope) you already know that. But what I realised was, sometimes I’m quick to throw away something instead of recycling because I wasn’t thinking. For example, some really sturdy takeaway boxes can be cleaned and re-used or then recycled, I do this all the time in the office so everything from my takeout caused no waste. I also recycle groceries packaging and yogurt pots etc. Just make sure you clean everything before recycling. Refuse packaging It’s a very small gesture, but when you see shop keepers wrapping up your goodies in rice paper or extra plastic bags or ribbons and frilly things, just politely say you don’t need it. I know sometimes pretty packaging is great for the ‘gram, but if you’re not going to re-use or gift it, it’s pretty much seconds from going into the trash. Again – it’s better to not be wasteful than to recycle. These are just a few of the ways you can reduce waste without making huge changes, but slowly you can amp it up if you feel like it. Rock the bamboo toothbrushes, go sans packaging and shop from wet markets… Everything is a choice and the choice is yours. The key is to be educated, and when you are, you will automatically be aware of the waste you can save. I’m gonna run off before sounding too preachy… But leave me a comment and share your feelings! x The post Easy Habits for an Eco-ish Lifestyle appeared first on Live Well Basics. Source
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