Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie

Happy Easter! Spring is finally here and after the long weekend I’m feeling refreshed and relaxed. I’m ready get summer ready and refocus on my health and wellbeing (especially after indulging in a few too many Easter eggs).

Breakfasts can be one of the trickiest meals to keep healthy, especially if you’re a busy mum, working full time or studying and need to be out of the door quickly in the morning. Smoothies have changed my life when it comes to having a fast, nutrient packed breakfast with minimal clean up.

One of my favourite breakfast smoothies is this blueberry, spinach, banana and Acai superfood smoothie, which is packed with antioxidants, potassium and iron. It takes five minutes to make and is a delicious and healthy start to the day.

Get your free printable recipe here.

 

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

Here are some time saving tips for your smoothie preparation:

  • At the start of the week prepare individual bags with daily servings of your banana, blueberries and any other fruit and freeze. Not only will this prevent waste and save time, but the frozen fruit will make your smoothie chilled and creamy.
  • Your smoothie can be made the night before. Just fill an airtight jar or container right to the brim to prevent it from oxidising and keep it in the fridge overnight. Shake well in the morning before drinking.
  • Store your rolled oats, superfood supplements, nuts and any other dried goods in airtight jars in a dark place for freshness and easy access.
  • Don’t be scared to add more spinach, replace it with kale or use a mixture of both – just make sure you use a high speed blender, particularly with kale.
  • For added natural sweetness use pineapple, stevia, dates, honey or agave syrup.

Do you have any time saving tips or favourite smoothie recipes? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Enjoy!

PRIVATE PROPERTY-5

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

Travel Diary – Lake Como

 

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

Lake Como, or Lago di Como in the North of Italy, had always been somewhere I’d wanted to visit, so given a spare day in Milan I took the opportunity to jump on a train and explore the area.

Arriving in Como, I decided to take the 2 hour ferry trip to Bellagio passing the pretty towns lining Lake Como along the way. You can buy a whole day ‘hop on and off’ ticket allowing you to explore the various towns around the Lake.

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova BlogTravel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

With its flower lined promenade, stately hotels, and historic villas its easy to see why Bellagio has been a popular spot amongst artists and writers over the years.

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova BlogTravel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

The deep blue shores of Lake Como are truly stunning on a summer day and a walk in the afternoon breeze is a great way to cool off from the hot Italian sun.

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

Exploring the cobbled streets and alleyways of Bellagio is intriguing. Around every corner there is something new to find.

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

Private gardens and tree filled courtyards are hidden behind iron doors and gates, evoking the feeling of having stumbled across a secret garden.

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog000010

With galleries, antique stores, boutiques and delicatessens brimming with local produce, there is something for everyone.

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

Local artisans showcase their wares from silk scarves and ties, to leather goods and colourful ceramics.

000012Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

Stop and relax in one of the cute cafes lining the backstreets. Gelato anyone?

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova BlogTravel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

The views back out to the Lake are dreamy in the late afternoon sun.

Travel Diary - Lake Como | Gypsy Rova Blog

My day of exploring Lake Como came to an end, as all good things do, but if you’d like to visit the area, here’s what you need to know.

Getting there: Como is easy to reach from Milan by car or train. Trains depart regularly from Milan’s Stazione Centrale and Stazione Porta Garibaldi, and arrive at San Giovanni, Como’s main station. The journey is approximately 40 minutes.

Getting to Bellagio: There are frequent boat services from Como to Lenno, Mennagio, Bellagio and Varenna, including a car ferry. There is also a less frequent but faster boat which travels the full length of the Lake from Como.

Como City: This is definitely the liveliest of the towns around Lake Como. It would be a good base if you have longer to explore the area. There are a variety of restaurants,shops and boutiques, as well as a good choice of accommodation. In the day time you can visit the Cathedral, stroll around the town and explore its historical squares, or enjoy a walk or a boat trip along the Lake. There is also a Funicular which runs up the mountains to the small town of Brunate, offering breathtaking views over Lake Como and out to the Alps.

PRIVATE PROPERTY-5

 

The hills sweep upward from the shore, With villas scattered one by one
Upon their wooded spurs, and lower
Bellagio blazing in the sun
I ask myself: Is this a dream
Will it all vanish into air
Is there a land of such supreme
And perfect beauty anywhere?
H.W.Longfellow

15 Things I Can’t Travel Without

So you’re finally ready to go on that overseas trip that you’ve worked so hard to save up for, and now it’s time to decide what to pack. After many years spent living out of a suitcase, I’ve come up with a list of essential travel items that make my life much easier and more pleasant on the road. Enjoy!

 

15 Things I Can't Travel Without | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

1. Pashmina or scarf – I always have a pashmina in my carry on bag as an extra layer for those long chilly flights. They’re also great as a cover up for your shoulders when visiting temples and other religious sites, and for those cooler evenings.

2. Portable charger – There is nothing worse than having your phone battery die on you when you’re out and about and need to use the camera, get directions or check your emails, so I always carry a portable charger for battery emergencies.

3. Tiger balm – This little jar of goodness has so many uses. Apart from treating any muscle aches and pains, its a great insect repellant and also helps stop itching if you do get bitten. I rub it on my temples to relieve headaches and it can be used as a chest rub if you’re coming down with the dreaded cold. I recommend the Tiger Balm White formula which won’t stain your clothes or sheets.

4. Argan oil – I don’t know about you, but when I travel anywhere humid, my hair instantly becomes an uncontrollable frizzy mess! Moroccan Argan Oil is definitely a lifesaver – it smells great and a tiny bit goes a long way. It can be used on wet or dry hair to tame those fly-away strands, and it also comes in a 25ml size which is great for travelling.

 

5. Face wipes – Make-up wipes are great for those long-haul flights when you feel worse for wear, and all you want to do is wash your face and freshen up.

6. Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Spritz – I also carry a refreshing face spray in my carry on, to spray in-flight. For those hot holiday destinations pop some in the fridge to cool you down by the pool – bliss! I love this inexpensive citrus scented Body Shop Vitamin C version.

15 Things I Can't Travel Without | Gypsy Rova Blog

7. Camera  – When I’m exploring somewhere new, you’ll rarely see me without a camera of some description in front of my face. I always carry my Canon EOS SLR, an extra battery pack, (I’ve been caught out too many times), an extra memory card and a wireless remote. I also pack my GoPro and GorillaPod for those ‘on the go’ situations.

15 Things I Can't Travel Without | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

 

8. Kindle – I must admit I’ve always been a book lover and when kindles first came out I was a bit snobbish about them. That was until I actually took one on holiday and realised how convenient it was to have so many great reads at my fingertips without the added weight to my luggage.

9. Electronics organiser – The last time I was on holiday with my husband, we were constantly digging around in our bags trying to find chargers for our various phones, cameras, etc. With so many electronic devices to pack, I was very excited when I discovered this Cordito Cord & Plug Rollup from This is Ground – definitely on my wish list!

15 Things I Can't Travel Without | Gypsy Rova Blog10. Lip balm – Dry chapped lips can definitely be a problem between dehydrating flights and days spent in the sun, so I always have some on hand when I’m travelling.

11. Sun hat – Apart from providing much needed shade, a sun hat is a must for those bad hair days. When packing, stuff the crown of your hat with small soft items like sarongs, bathing suits and socks. Lay the brim flat and pack small items around it to maintain its shape.

12. Coin purse – There’s nothing worse than a heavy purse full of unused, small change at the end of a holiday. Carry a small separate coin purse for easy access while you’re travelling. It’s great for buying small items like bottles of water, postcards and for tipping.

13. Noise cancelling headphones – Ear buds are fine for short-haul flights, but on longer trips they can become really uncomfortable. It’s definitely worth investing in some noise cancelling headsets, which are not only more comfortable, but are great for blocking out unwanted aircraft noise – particularly if you’re seated near the galley. They don’t have to break the bank either – these AERO 7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are reasonably priced and come with an aeroplane kit and a handy travel case.

14. Hand Sanitiser – I’m a bit of a germophobe at the best of times, and even more so when travelling. Between aircraft toilets, public transport and less than sanitary public bathrooms it can be hard to keep your hands clean on the go, and who wants to eat with germy hands. I love Bath and Body Works PocketBac hand sanitisers, which come in a range of amazing scents.

15. Journal or notebook – While apps like Evernote are great for making notes on the go, I still like to carry a notebook or journal for when inspiration strikes. It’s nice to record your travels, and have a memento to look back on. I love this gorgeous ‘Swept Away By Wanderlust’ travel journal from Axel & Ash.

What are some of your travel essentials? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

PRIVATE PROPERTY-5

15 Things I Can't Travel Without | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

 

 

Inspirational Reading For Bloggers and Creative Entrepreneurs

When I was planning and launching my blog, I didn’t know where to turn to for practical advice and guidance so I’ve put together a list of books that helped inspire and motivate me on my creative journey.

Whether you’re looking to start or grow a blog or creative business, these books will help you improve your writing and photography,  identify and develop your ideas, and create your brand.

Inspirational Reading For Bloggers & Creative Entrepreneurs | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

1. The Busy Girls Guide to Digital Photography by Lorna Yabsey – If you’re looking for a book that explains in clear and easy to understand ways, the fundamental principles of  photography this is a great read.

 

2. Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – If you’re struggling to harness your creativity or letting fear get in the way, this book makes some very good points.

 

3. A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book by  Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman – This book is from the creative sisters behind abeautifulmess.com  Full of photography tips and projects, it will definitely give you the inspiration to create beautiful images for your blog or small business.

 

4. My Bucket List (Insert Your Story) by Axel and Ash  – This gorgeous hardcover journal is filled with beautiful images, stories, quotes and tips, inspiring you to collect and fulfil all those dreams, desires and ideas of what you want to do with your one extraordinary life.

5. The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood This is a great read for anyone feeling they need to take stock and refocus.  Through several exercises it helps you to create a purposeful life by identifying your top 5 passions and aligning your life with them.

6. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way is a twelve week course which guides you through the process of recovering and unblocking your creativity.


7. How To Style Your Brand: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Distinctive Brand Identity by Fiona Humberstone – This book helps you to identify what you want your brand image to do for your business, plan your brand and turn those plans into a recognisable brand. 

8. Picture Perfect Social Media: A Handbook For Styling Perfect Photos for Posting, Blogging, and Sharing by Jennifer Young – If you are wanting to learn how to take better photos for your blog and social media, this book offers some very helpful advice. There is also a section on how to DIY some accessories like light reflectors and diffusers. 

9. Blogging For Creatives by Robin Houghton – If you are looking to start a blog or you’re new to blogging, this is a great guide which covers the absolute basics of blogging, and `what is a blog’, to how blogs work, blogging platforms, setting one up, creating content and promoting the blog. There are really useful case studies from other creative bloggers within each chapter.

10. 365 Blog Topic Ideas: For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About by Dana Fox – It can be tough to come up with fresh ideas sometimes, so this a a great book to inspire you and get you out of a blogging rut. While aimed at lifestyle bloggers, the ideas can be related to any type of blog. 

11. Your Best Year 2016: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner by Lisa Jacobs – This workbook is designed to help creative entrepreneurs set goals and prioritise in order to have a successful and organised businessIt includes an annual overview with objectives,  prompts and exercises, quarterly goal-setting, monthly overviews, monthly tasks and priorities, weekly overviews, weekly tasks and habit trackers.

12. The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle Laporte – This book is book is full of inspirational ideas, helping you to connect your intentions with your goals and approach them from a different perspective. 

13. Shape Up Your Business: The founders of notonthehighstreet.com share their story in a 30-day success plan by Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker – Written by the two female entrepreneurs behind the hugely successful notonthehighstreet.com this is a great read if you are looking to improve your business, or thinking of starting one. 

14. Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba – Full of lessons and interviews with female entrepreneurs this is an inspiring and motivating read for women in business or in general.

15. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso –  This candid and straight-talking guide to starting a business from scratch is a great read for ambitious women. Part memoir and part management guide, it is warm, funny and full of great advice. 

16. The Idea in You: How to Find It, Build It, and Change Your Life by Martin Amor – Full of great practical advice for the budding entrepreneur this book will help you form your idea and make it a reality. 

I’d love to hear any of your must read books for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs in the comments!

PRIVATE PROPERTY-5