The Alhambra

Perched on the hillside, overlooking the town of Granada in Spain, lies the famous Alhambra. A humble fortress when first constructed in 889AD it has been converted by rulers and royalty over the centuries into a now sprawling complex of buildings creating the palace standing tall today. The wild mix of traditional Islamic architecture, such as the archways and internal courtyards, and the more modern European influences like the alfresco paintings and gardens is something best shared through our photo diary – they do say an image is worth a thousand words don’t they? Enjoy!

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HIIT that

We have recently been re-introduced to a training method called HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is a workout that alternates between vigorous high intense training and low-intense activity or even rest periods. For example, you may sprint hard for 1 minute, then walk for 2 mins and repeat this 5 times round. It may also sound easy and too simple to be doing anything but let us tell you – it is a killer and it has it’s benefits. Check out what HIIT can do for you:
It’s a fat blasting workout – You burn more calories doing HIIT training
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Healthier heart - You are pushing your body into the anaerobic zone (where it feels like your heart is about to jump out of your chest), which in the long run is good for your heart
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You don’t need the gym – This workout is free – all you need to do is hit the ground running (literally)
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Keep the muscles – Combine HIIT with weight training and you have yourself a win/win – loose weight, not muscle and get toned.
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Increase metabolism – HIIT stimulates human growth hormone (HGH) which is responsible for burning calories, and slowing down the ageing process.
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Good luck!

24 hours in Seville

After traveling for 32 hours from Australia, our first stop in Spain was the gorgeous little town of Seville. Here you will find history, culture, archictecture, great food and a perfect starting point for making your way along the coast of Spain.
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Make sure you arrange a pick up from the airport with the hotel you are staying with to make it easy for you when you arrive. Once you check in to your hotel (we stayed at in a gorgeous AirBnb apartment in the old quarter), freshen up and get ready to explore the town. If you’ve only got 24 hours what are you waiting for?
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If you’re there in summer you can’t go past a nice cold beer. Find a little cafe on the one of the many winding ancient streets and sit back and relax (it seemed to be what the locals did all day long!) Locals don’t eat lunch until about 2/2.30 so when it’s time head to this tiny little local lunch spot we found: Bodeguita Casablanca (Adolfo Rodriguez de Jurado, 12). This place is famous for their lamb shoulder paella and also has a delicious vegetable quiche.
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When you’ve had a bit of food head straight off to the Cathedral of Seville where you will find an incredible mix of Muslim and Christian architecture. The scale is hard to comprehend and the intricate details that cover the structure are all carved from marble. There is also a beautiful courtyard full of orange trees. Construction of the main mosque started in 1184 and it was converted into a cathedral in 1218 where pieces then continued to be added from 1434 to 1928. The total surface area is 23,500 square meters, making it the most extensive gothic cathedral anywhere in the world.
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By now, we were certainly feeling exhausted from the flights but managed to sneak in a gelato and espresso to give us that much needed energy to keep going. Make sure you take a moment to pop into Hotel Alfonso XIII – it was built during the 1920s and the grandeur and opulence of the design is amazing, even Madonna thought so!
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The final stop for the day is the Alcazar, also known as the Palace of Seville. It was built during the 1500s and is the oldest palace in Europe still in use. Make sure you give yourself the entire afternoon to meander around all the incredible buildings and gardens, there is no need to rush experiencing it in all its glory.
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We had an early night trying to beat the jet lag, but there are plenty of restaurants to select from if you want to go out. We highly recommend waking up really early and going for a walk through the town and the botanical gardens. You’ll barely see another soul and it’s the perfect opportunity to soak up all of Seville’s beauty before you’re off to the next town.
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Homemade Pancakes

There is nothing better than waking up on the weekend and eating some freshly cooked pancakes smothered in your favourite toppings. Here is a simple made-from-scratch recipe when you don’t have a stash of shake’n’bake hidden away in the cupboard.
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Ingredients
1x cup Self Raising Flour
1x cup skim milk
1x egg
pinch salt
1 teaspoon sugar
butter
toppings of your choice
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Method
1. Put flour, milk, egg, salt and sugar into a bowl and whisk well.
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2. Heat up a medium size pan and melt a knob of butter
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3. Place a big soup spoon of batter into the pan and cook both sides. Repeat until all mixture is finished.
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4. Serve with toppings of your choice: butter, syrup, lemon and sugar or chopped up fruit.
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Enjoy!

new shoes

Recently, we have revamped and upgraded our wardrobe. We mentioned previously we did a lot of shopping in Spain, and that shopping included buying a whole new set of shoes. Here is our new shoe collection. Don’t get jealous, just get even!
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Michael Kors – Michaelkors.com
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Ese O Ese – Eseoese.com
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& Other Stories – Stories.com
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A small, local boutique
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Massimo Dutti – Massimodutti.com
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Ese O Ese – Eseoese.com
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Zara – Zara.com
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Michael Kors – Michaelkors.com

The Shipping Container Home

It may sound weird but the first time we slept in a shipping container was on a Surf Odyssey from Byron to Sydney. The shipping container, also known as a “donger”, was set up at the camp with air conditioning, power plugs, three bunk beds and a light. It was just the basics, nothing too special, but it has always stuck in our minds.
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These days, designer shipping containers are the real deal. Many people are being ecofriendly and converting old shipping containers into houses, offices, guesthouses, studio apartments, emergency shelters and anything else that comes to mind.
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The containers are durable, cheap and allow for a faster construction. The designs created are smart, slick and sexy. The containers can be stacked on top of each other, placed next to each other or used on their own, depending on the sort of structure you are going for.
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Shipping containers have been transformed from a dirty, old box into gorgeous, interesting structures. Keep them in mind when you’re going to build your next place.
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Teatox

There are plenty of diets, and packaged potions promising rapid weight loss by detoxing. There is no doubt a little detoxing is called for after a weekend of overindulging but we think a more natural, sensible and regular approach is probably better for you! Natural teas are cheap, and can be kept on hand in the pantry to have when you feel your body needs a reboot. A daily detox tea is a nice way to keep your body well-maintained. The list of what is good for you is endless but here are our basic stables to get you by.
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Turmeric Tea- turmeric spice is good in cooking, but great to kickstart your liver and gallbladder by breaking down toxins and flushing them out of the body.
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Green Tea- Everyone knows green tea is good for you, with at least a cup a day being optimal. It has high antioxidant levels in it that help the body fight most baddies – making this one our favourite all rounder and one we like to have anytime during the day.
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Ginger Tea- Ginger is a cleansing root, with a nice sharp taste, while it is gentle on the body.This is a good daily detox tea that you can have each morning to start the day, or to keep you going as a pick-me-up, to keep the hunger pangs at bay before lunch or dinner.
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Dandelion Tea – Dandelion tea increases enzyme levels in your body and is famous for its detoxifying functions such as helping the body get rid of cancer-causing toxins in the body, which is definitely worth making this one of your daily rituals.
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Herbal teas are full of antioxidants and also hydrate you. There is still caffeine in herbal tea but it is much gentler on your body than coffee so you get the energy boost without the caffeine rush.
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