Thursday, 13 July 2017

Size isn't everything, it's what you do with it that counts


Slovenia. Quite possibly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. ♥

It's happened. We are here. We made the BIG move. We packed up everything we owned (and some stuff we didn't) and drove 16 hours across Europe to our new home.

Size isn't everything. It's what you do with it that counts. 

The Slovenian coastline measures less than 50 kilometers. That's 30(ish) miles. They may be lacking in quantity, but Slovenes certainly make up for this in quality. This stretch of land is exquisite. From Portoroz to Piran, Izola to Koper. Each town is individual with their own distinct character and feel. I've travelled to many places near and far, it would be a crime not to, as the world is glittered with so many treasures for us to explore

But when I saw Piran, my heart did a little skip.


Piran, Slovenia


It's scary, exciting, nerve-wracking, emotional, dizzying and super challenging, this roller coaster adventure we are on. Moving to Slovenia, I left behind friends, family and my comfort zone. 

We moved for love. We moved for a better lifestyle, one that suited our dreams and aspirations. We could really live here, not just exist to work and pay the rent, we could be free of the chains that bind so many of us. We could explore each other, and this enchanting, undiscovered (though surely not for long) jewel of Europe. 


Enjoying the View in Piran, Slovenia

Slovenia sits nestled between Italy to the east, Austria in the north and Croatia to the south. Often mistaken for being in 'Eastern Europe' or Slovakia, this relatively small country (at 2 million) doesn't mind not being known and I'm pretty sure the locals want to keep it that way. 

You can look across the bay on a clear sunny day (did I mention that the weather here is purrrfect?) and see Slovenia's neighbour Croatia in the distance.When Yugoslavia broke up in the nineties, the land was divided, with Croatia taking the bumper share of coastline. Since then there's been some contention as to who should have got what and its still going on (it's kinda like a really messy divorce).

Having lived in big cities most of my life, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, moving to Slovenia is quite literally a breath of fresh air, you can so easily get lost in its beauty. From the 'picture perfect' Piran (influenced by Venice) with its winding narrow streets and captivating charm, to the lush valleys of Logarska Dolina, and the majestic Alpine peaks that sit so proudly above this green paradise. I'm so excited to explore this land with the one I love.


I have fallen hard for this small slice of heaven on earth, and even though I underestimated how much I would struggle with the language (Slovenian isn't the easiest to learn but most people speak English thankfully) or how much I would miss my spoken tongue, it's totally worth it.  

Now I understand when they say the best things come in small packages. ❤


Me and my Boyfriend in Portoroz, Slovenia

For more great travel content have a look at this:

Love, an Italian Adventure 

Feeling the Love in Slovenia

All photography is by Matic Zupanc @radzup

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Love, an Italian Adventure


When my best friend told me he was getting married in Rome, I squealed with delight. Yay my best friend was getting married, in quite possibly the most romantic city in Europe, I could combine my love of travel, fashion, pizza and get to see him wed!

I am so very proud of this guy. It's been a LONG time coming. We met 10 years ago on a Screen Acting course in London. I was fulfilling a creative urge of mine, I'd just moved back to the UK after living in Los Angeles and wanted to give acting a go. He was a Writer/Director who was curious about acting and wanted to see if learning the skill would add another dimension and perspective to his craft. We hit it off straight away and have been best friends ever since.
 

I match the flower arrangements!







I love any excuse to get glamourous. For this special occasion I wore a dress by Jolie Moi, shoes and bag by New Look in London, nails by Vionette Beauty Atelier, thumb ring my own, hair and make-up by me.

Me and my BF



Watching him stand waiting for his Italian bride to walk down the petal strewn aisle to join him, feels me with such joy and brings tears to my eyes. This man, who stands so confident and strong, wasn't always this way. Nope. Ten years ago he was a shy, bumbling mess with not much success when it came to women. To be trueful, I wasn't much different. We both had a lot to learn about life and love. 

He was guilty of hiding behind the page, as was I, we wrote about love but didn't live it, not fully. His work was full of fantastical creatures, from different worlds, but he couldn't grasp an ending, to bring the pieces together in a way that was organic and fulfilling.

Life does imitate art. If we cannot imagine or envision a happy ending, then of course there won't be one. What we think about, we bring about. But every once in a while a miracle happens. Someone sees through the mirage and sees you. They love you, even though you're flawed and full of insecurities. 

The happy couple!


He met her by chance. By fate. By accident. All are true. He says he knew straight away. Such a romantic and pure of heart. He is Pakistani. She is Italian. They are both beautiful, shining with their love. Watching their two families come together and akwardly initiate conversation, makes me smile, neither side speaks the others language, yet they all have one thing in common, they are here for this couple. To celebrate their love. 

I'm currently editing and co-writing one of his latest fiction works,  of course it's a love story, I'm a sucker for emotional warfare. I can't wait to share this work with the world, it's just what we need right now.  

Life is difficult enough. Without love its impossible. As I write this I'm aware that there has been another terrorist attack in London, my home city, and as the division between people grows, it feels me with acute sadness to witness these confusing and scary times. We need love and acceptance of our differences more than ever.

As the sun goes down and the candles are lit, the band plays and we all dance together hand in hand, and yes the evening dish is pizza.....heaven.



For more great travel posts check out: 

Sunshine & Pastries, and find out why Portugal is a foodie lover's paradise. Discover a hidden gem in Southern Europe when you read Feeling the Love in Slovenia.




Thursday, 4 May 2017

Styling Women Across the Globe



NEW GOLF FASHION BRAND SET TO STYLE WOMEN ACROSS THE GLOBE


Flattering, feminine and fashion forward designs by women for women


 
Spring/Summer 2017 – Hales Golf introduces the latest addition to their Women’s Golf label – the Fab-Fit Trousers. In a ground breaking departure from the usual on course attire available to women, Hales Golf has utilised luxury, leading edge fabrics and optimised laser sharp design features to deliver a vibrant and performance ready collection with substance and style.





Modern styling, fashionable tailoring, and on-trend colour palettes offer a youthful and athletic appeal that’s fun, fashionable and feel-good. Tanya Hales, Founder and Creative Designer of Hales Golfwear says “The idea to produce my own range of golf wear was born from listening to friends bemoaning the fact that there’s a shortage of feminine, sexy and sophisticated clothing available for women golfers. My collection is fresh, fashionable and easy to wear, and also delivers on performance.”

HALES GOLF is available to buy exclusively online in sizes 8-18 at www.halesgolfwear.com and details of additional stockists across the UK and globally will be released soon.






For more information on Hales Golfwear please visit the website or email halesgolfwear@gmail.com  
Hales Golf are also on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @halesgolfwear




Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Rise of The Super Shake


Look out smoothie lovers there's a new shake in town.

And it involves raw eggs!

We are becoming more adventurous when it comes to smoothies - anything goes - nuts, seeds, kale, avocado, pasta, seaweed, even raw meat - yep I know of a 97 year old body-builder who swears by his beef-bulking shake, which is definitely not for the faint hearted. 


Image of Cracked Egg by Craig Cutler



I make a smoothie most mornings, alternating with bananas, avocados, coconut milk, spinach and berries. I like to use them post-workout too, when I add protein powders and almond milk, to aid muscle recovery after exercise. I also like to take a shake with me when I play 18 holes with the girls at the weekend. But raw egg?? What about Salmonella? (**see below if you're concerned)

If you train hard for more than 45 minutes your body needs to refuel, preferably within 20 minutes of finishing, so that your muscles are better able to repair and rebuild - and making a protein-packed shake is the easiest and fastest way to do that.

I'm sure it's not just me but when I think of raw eggs I picture Rocky downing them straight so he could build strength and ultimately kick ass. But that was the seventies. Things have changed a bit since then. 

In fact raw eggs are used far more in our kitchens then you would think. I recently visited Zedel's American Bar in Piccadilly Circus, London for cocktails. The vast majority of their menu featured egg whites. I ordered a Honeysuckle Rose. Gin, Elderflower, Cucumber, Lemon, Rose Petals & Egg White. It was delicious, frothy, sweet and energizing. (though that might have been the gin ;)

Raw eggs are also used to make ice cream - it's the egg that lends it that light creamy texture. So in the pursuit of adventure and healthy living, I decided to give the raw egg smoothie a go.

I rounded up the family, one ex-pro basketball player who takes his training super seriously, one trophy-winning and highly competitive golfer who is bored of fruit smoothies, and a few strays from my local gym whom I'd persuaded to try my milkshake.....

I threw a banana, a handful of berries, half an avocado, one organic free-range egg, half a tsp of turmeric and one tsp of cocoa powder in my blender, splashed a whole lot of unsweetened almond milk into the mix (300ml) and gave it a whizz. (see recipes below)




It looked like chocolate milkshake. It smelt like chocolate milkshake. Hmm it tasted really good. Like amazing really....

I served it up to the family and much to their surprise, they loved it too. It was creamy, with a light froth on top, chocolatey and smooth. (and no you couldn't taste the egg)

It's not just the body-builders gaining the benefits of using these super shakes - natural sources of protein, potassium, B-vitamins and Vitamin D - Athletes, healthy lifestyle gurus and fitness bloggers have all been fueling up on them too. 

Whether you're a super athlete or not, you too can have the benefits of adding raw egg to your diet. If you're looking for a energy boost after working out, or you want a natural protein to aid recovery, or simply want an alternative to your regular breakfast smoothie then this super shake is for you. 


Get one step ahead in the smoothie stakes with these delicious and super nutritious shakes!


Chocolate-Berry Shake
1 banana
handful of blueberries
Half an avocado
1 organic free-range egg
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cocoa powder
300ml Unsweetened Almond Milk


Nutty Shake
2 banana
Handful of berries
Handful of cashew nuts
1 organic free-range egg white (if you are squeamish about the whole egg)
1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
250ml Almond Milk



**Salmonella - raw eggs can be harmful to your health. I chose organic free-range eggs. I chose eggs that looked healthy in colour, and I discarded any eggs that looked or smelt funny once cracked open. Salmonella is a serious concern and I don't want to get food poisoning - that said, being careful is key and only choosing the freshest produce makes me feel safer.


LoveSportFashionLifestyle is written by Tanya Hales 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Sunshine and Pastries


Having recently got back from a house-hunting trip in Portugal, I just had to share with you the incredible eye-opening, mouth-watering food journey I went on!!!

Portugal is known for its sunny climes, hundreds of Brits descend on the Algarve each year to escape the chilly UK winters, and now I see why. When you think of Portugal, it brings to mind, sandy beaches, rocky coves, golf, and of course wine. But did you know just how fantastic Portuguese food is? 


We started with the CATAPLANA during a day trip in Tavira. (Tavira is situated in the east of the Algarve, 28km from Faro, and near the Spanish border. It's a quaint, charming and unique town home to over 30 churches, well worth a visit.)

 

Cataplana de Piexe


Cataplana is the name for the copper pot that the meal is cooked in, there are several varieties, all of which are delicious, Cataplana with Clams and Pork, Fish Cataplana, Seafood Cataplana.....

 
Clams, Mussels, King Prawns, arrive steaming hot and fresh at your table, with arousing aromas, so that the guests at adjacent tables turn and twist to see what your having! (see simple recipe below)

video



Seafood Cataplana Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce sausage or fresh chorizo, removed from the casing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sliced shallot, optional
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 pound fresh clams
  • 1 1/2 ounces medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup crushed vine ripe tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

In a cataplana pan or shallow-sided pot with cover, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add the shallots, if using, and garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the clams, shrimp, tomatoes, wine and some paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and steam gently over medium to medium-low heat just until the clams open and the shrimp are pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with the remaining oil, chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Serve directly out of the pan. Enjoy!


Everyone kept telling me how fresh and yummy the local fish was so I had no choice but to give it a try. We scouted out the local fish markets, all in our bid to find the freshest fish available....


Fresh Sardines from Quarteria Fish Market

 
We took our sardines home and grilled them on the barbecue on our balcony. Added a little salt and pepper to taste and lots of lemon. Delicious.

I had been told (warned) about the Pastel de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tart Pastry) before I arrived in Portugal, namely that they were dangerous and should come with a 'eat-me-and-you-will-want-more' sign. 


I visited a local bakery and bought half-a-dozen just baked tarts that were still warm - well half of those were eaten before we reached the car. I kid you not, the beautiful balance of light fluffy pastry and smooth, slightly sweet creamy filling does tantalizing things to your mouth.


Pastel De Nata


A trip to Portugal would be amiss if we didn't try the Peri-Peri Chicken - washed down with a hearty, full bodied and quite frankly generous glass of red wine - the wine here is delicious and also very cost effective!

Crisp, spicy, succulent chicken that we ate quickly, maybe too quickly, but it was so damn tasty. Paired with a tomato, oregano and sweet onion salad that was both refreshing and juicy.



Tomato Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

3 Beef Tomatoes
1 Sweet Onion
2 Tsp Olive Oil
Salt
Oregano

Slice the tomatoes and onion thinly. Mix olive oil, oregano and salt to taste, and pour over the tomatoes and onions, mix thoroughly and then serve.


Alas my visit to Portugal came to an end, I admit I was a little sad to leave, I'd had such a fantastic time during my short stay, my stomach growled a little in protest on the way to the airport, so I stopped for a cafe and pastry before climbing aboard my plane, ah, perfecto!





Monday, 6 March 2017

31 Days of March



March is here! Finally we can look forward to Spring being just around the corner.  

31 Days of March is about being fitter, healthier and happier! I'll be sharing 31 days of FOOD, FITNESS and EXERCISE tips, on Twitter and Instagram @halesgolfwear so come join the #31DaysofMarch movement! Let's get MOTIVATED and step into Spring with new energy and focus.


Day One. Hydrate.


Probably the simplest and the most effective activity you can do for your body and mind. Drink plenty of water. Add your favourite fruit or vegetable to a glass of water for maximum hydration benefits. For some seriously yummy fruit-infused water inspiration look here www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/fruit-infused-waters


Day Two.  Start Your Day Right.




Kick off your day with Slow Release Carbs and Protein. This will keep you feeling full for longer and ensure that you don't indulge in sugary snacks! Try adding banana, almond milk and peanut butter to cooked oats or quinoa with pumpkin seeds, strawberries and coconut milk.


Day Three. Don’t be too Shy to Sweat.

Sweaty is the new Sexy. Try high intensity workouts to get your heart pumping and release endorphins - superhero hormones that make you feel amazing!!!




Day Four. Plan Ahead.



You know that calendar thingy in your phone? Use it! Schedule your workouts and classes for optimum results. Send yourself fun reminders to help motivate. Try adding your fave music as a alarm to get you going!


Day Five. Know Yourself.

You know YOU better than anyone else in the world. What is your fave type of exercise? 
Do more of what makes you happy, then it won’t feel like a chore.


Day Six. Try Quinoa

Add PUMPKIN seeds and coconut milk to freshly made (and still warm) quinoa for a healthy, hearty and delicious start to your day!

Quinoa with Strawberries, Pumpkin Seeds & Coconut Milk


Day Seven. Team Work.

Let's get fitter, healthier and happier together! Go to a dance class with your friends, shake your booty at Zumba with your work colleagues or go for a weekend hike with your kids!



Retro Group Workout - Courtesy of Vogue UK


Day Eight. Don't Beat Yourself Up.

Don't stress if you skip a workout or make unhealthy choices. Start fresh tomorrow.

Day Nine. Move Your Body.

The best workout is one that burns calories fast! Find out which ones are the best for you here - FastBurn


Day Ten. Strong is Beautiful.

I was afraid of 'Bulking Up' by doing too many weights but now I love how weights tone and strengthen my body. Also its impossible to 'bulk up' without the proper nutrition and supplements! 

Me at the Gym

Day Eleven. Spinach.

Have it with salmon or eggs. Add it to salads or smoothies. I simply love this versatile veg so much! Full of B vitamins and iron – natural energy boosters. 


video


Day Twelve. Dive in.

Swimming is a FUN way to stay FIT! It burns calories and reduces stress.  

Me at the Pool

Day Thirteen. Shake It Up.

Keep your workout challenging! Try surfing, indoor climbing or kickboxing. If you don't challenge yourself and keep your fitness fresh and exciting you'll more likely to get bored quickly and give up!

Indoor Rock Climbing


Day Fourteen. Frutilicious.

Eat colourful. Aim to eat fruit and vegetables of every colour each day. Read more about my rainbow wheel of fruit and vegetables here. 

Rainbow Fruit Bowl

Day Fifteen. Drink Up.

Remember to replace fluids when you're active! I aim for 3 litres of water a day, more if I'm working out a lot! If you're a big coffee drinker remember to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee to keep hydrated. 

Fiji!!!!

Day Sixteen. Positive.

Think good thoughts. How you think about yourself affects how you feel. So only feed yourself with loving and positive thoughts. Healthy body and healthy mind go hand in hand.


Day Seventeen. Work Out With Friends.

Group fitness is way more fun than going alone! You'll help to motivate each other and naturally work harder together too!


Six30 Sportswear

Day Eighteen. Protein.

Start your day with high-protein for more energy throughout the day and mental efficiency. Good quality protein like salmon can boost your mood, and the enriching fish oils are great for skin, hair and nails!


Day Nineteen. Get Some Fresh Air.

Take your daily workout up a level by training outdoors! Run, walk, hike or cycle in the fresh air and get a natural dose of vitamin D. 

Hales Golf does the Camino!

Day Twenty. Go Green.

Try adding spinach to your smoothie for extra vitamins and energy. Blend blueberries, spinach, turmeric and coconut water for a delicious smoothie!

Spinach, Blueberry, Turmeric & Coconut Water Smoothie


Day Twenty-One. Cardio-oh-oh-oh.

Spin your way into spring with the ultimate calorie burning classes - choose from spinning, HIIT (high intensity interval training) and kettlebell to lose weight fast plus tone and strengthen your body.  




Day Twenty-Two. Watermelon.

Hydrating and refreshing. Mix it with mint in your morning juice for a quick energy boost! Watermelon is a natural diuretic, add to cucumber, and coconut water for a refreshing smoothie. 

Watermelon Slices

Day Twenty-Three. Gratitude.

Your body is amazing. It can do incredible things. Be thankful. Be kind to your body. Treat every body with love. 


Day Twenty-Four. Super Snacks.

We love @pipandnut blueberry and almond muffins! They're perfect for breakfast, or to pop in your bag for when you need a healthy snack on the go! 

PipandNut Almond & Blueberry Muffins!

Day Twenty-Five. Balance.

Cardio drops the pounds. Weights build strength and muscle. You need both to see best results! 


Day Twenty-Six. Switch it Up.

Challenge yourself and try something new. Keep fitness exciting and never boring! 

 
Day Twenty-Seven. Get Creative.

Pizza used to be my guilty treat but not any more. Now I make my own gluten free pizza, where I can control the amount of cheese and also choose my fave healthy ingredients. Tip: try artichokes, mozzarella and oregano!
 



Day Twenty-Eight. Don't Compare Yourself to Others.


Figure out what works for you and do more of that. Everyone is different, and there is only one you, so never compare and put yourself down. Celebrate your uniqueness.





Day Twenty-Nine. Avocado.

My fave food. Use it in salads, smoothies and on its own. Super nutritious and versatile, packed full of vitamin e and healthy fats.


 

Day Thirty. Get Your Skates On.

Bring the YAY to your workout today. Who said fitness couldn't be fun? 
 


 
Day Thirty-One. Big Up Yourself. 

You've worked so hard this month - Keep Going! 
Run, Swim, Climb, Dance - do what makes you feel good, gets your heart pumping and sweaty! 
 






Here's to living more active, healthier and happier lives!

Follow us on twitter @halesgolfwear