Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

One of my favorite breakfast muffins has to be Blueberry muffins! The recipe of our Chocolate Blueberry Muffins http://stayfitandtravel.blogspot.hk/2014/11/chocolate-blueberry-almond-breakfast.html seems to be quite popular ;p so this time we are making the traditional Blueberry Muffins! Hope you would also like them xx
Ingredients
All purpose Flour x 2 cups
Whole Egg x 1
Vanilla Extract x 1 tsp
Coconut Oil x 1/3 cup
Plain Yogurt x 1 cup
Brown Sugar x 1/3 cup
Baking Powder x 1 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda x 1/2 tsp
Pink Salt x 1/4 tsp
Fresh Blueberries x 1-2 cups (depending on how many you want inside your muffins)
Serving: 12 muffins

Directions
Preheat oven to 375F. In a mixing bowl,whisk together the wet ingredients: egg, yogurt, oil, vanilla extract. In another mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt for a dry mix. Fold in the fresh blueberries into the dry mix. Then pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir until well combined, resulting in a thick batter. Grease muffin tins with olive oil and scoop the batter into the muffin tins. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes - let cool for 10 minutes and TA-DAH, these yummy muffins are now ready!!!
Hope you like them and subscribe to my blog for more yummy recipes!
Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel

Friday, January 30, 2015

Updated Workout Routine


This post is an updated version of my workout routine - I wrote one here (http://stayfitandtravel.blogspot.hk/2014/11/my-workout-routine.html) a few months back and that was when I was still in the earlier stage of BBG2.0 - my workout routine has changed quite a bit since a month ago when I started pole dancing, and together with the fact that I will be finishing BBG2.0 by the end of this week (YES I AM NOW ON WEEK24 :D!!! ALMOST DONE!!!) -I thought you might want to know how my new routine is like! (:
 As you can see, I add an optional 10-15 minutes Abs workout almost everyday - you can find my favorite 10 minutes Abs workout here http://stayfitandtravel.blogspot.hk/2014/12/my-favorite-10-mins-ab-workout.html and you can mix and match them for a different Abs workout everyday!
Monday
Kayla's Legs Workout
Optional: 10 minutes Abs workout

Tuesday
Pole Dancing Class (1 hour)
Flexibility Class (1 Hour)
Optional: 10 minutes Abs workout

Wednesday
Kayla's Arms Workout
Optional: 10 minutes Abs workout

Thursday
Heavy Lifting:
- Squats with Barbell 3 x 5 reps (Currently on 35kg)
- Bench Press 3 x 5 reps (Currently on 25kg)
- Pull Ups 3 x 10 reps (Currently on 19kg)
HIIT (15 minutes of 30s:30s interval sprinting @13-15.5kmph)
Optional: 15 minutes Abs workout
Friday
Kayla's Abs Workout
Optional: Pole Practice (3 hours)


Saturday
Heavy Lifting: 
- Squats with Barbell 3 x 5 reps (Currently on 35kg)
- Overhead Press 3 x 5 reps (Currently on 15kg)
- Chin Ups 3 x 10 reps (Currently on 19kg)
Kayla's Full Body Workout/ LISS (Power walk at 6 kmph for  45 minutes/ Swim for )
Optional: 10 minutes Abs workout

Sunday
Pole Practice (3 hours)
Optional: 15 minutes Abs workout

Hope you will find this post also useful to your fitness journey! Subscribe to my blog for more fitness tips and healthy recipes (:

Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Marshmallow Sweet Potato Mash Pie

Mum baked me this amazing Marshmallow Sweet Potato Mash Pie for my birthday :DDDDD I HAVE THE BEST MUM EVER!! We went home from birthday dinner and I was just walking past the oven when I saw this lovely pie sitting there as my birthday surprise (: even though I was already very full from a whole day of birthday meals, I could not help but to have a small slice of the pie and it tasted HEAVENLY. The marshmallow on top is crispy on the outside and the mashed sweet potato is so soft. I am in love with it! 

Ingredients
Sweet Potato x 2 lbs
Reduced Fat Sour Cream x 1/2 cup
Egg Yolk x 1
Nutmeg x 1/4 tsp
Pink Salt x 1/2 tsp
Marshmallows (Big Size) x 1 bag

Directions
Preheat over to 350F. Add 1/2 tsp of Pink Salt into a pot of water and boil the sweet potatoes in it until soft. Skin the sweet potatoes and then mash it in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add in egg yolk, sour cream and nutmeg into the mashed sweet potato, whisk until well combined. Pour the mix into a pie tray. Cut each piece of marshmallow into half, line them on top of the sweet potato mix. Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes until the marshmallow turn golden brown and crispy on the outside. TA-DAH this superrrr yummy and cute looking Marshmallow Sweet Potato Mash Pie is now ready! Let me know if you love it or not! :D (but to be very honest, it is impossible not to love haha)


Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel

Monday, January 26, 2015

Double Cheese & Herb Muffins

Cheese muffins have always been my favorite :D anyone remember our Fluffy Parmesan Cheese Muffins? (Rercipe at earlier post: http://stayfitandtravel.blogspot.hk/2014/11/fluffy-parmesan-cheese-muffins.html) They were so yum that I kept asking my mum to make them again ;p this time she is making some new cheese muffins with Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese instead! Perfect snacks for me to bring along with me to eat before my pole dancing class - all the energy and fuel that I need!


Ingredients
All-purpose flour x 2 cups
Homemade Almond Milk x 1.25 cup (recipe at earlier post)
Cheddar Cheese (grated) x 2 tbsp
Mozzarella Cheese (grated) x 1 tbsp
Unsalted Butter (grated) x 2 tbsp
Baking Powder x 1 tbsp
Herbs to sprinkle



Directions
Preheat over to 400F. In a mixing bowl, stir flour and baking powder together. Fold in the grated butter until they are crumbly, coated with flour mix. Add in the cheeses and stir until they are also crumbly, coated with flour mix. Add in almond milk to the mix and fold it into the flour mix slowly until they are just combined to become a sticky batter. *Do not overstir*. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil, scoop the mix into the muffin tin. Bake them in the oven for 8-10 minutes until they turn golden brown. Sprinkle herbs on top of the muffins and TA-DAH, these yummy muffins are now ready!!!!
Hope you like these muffins as much as I do:D we all deserve a cheat here and there heh.


Emi xx

@stayfitandtravel

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Healthy Chocolate Spelt Pancakes

Cannot believe it has almost been a month since I last made pancakes...I used to make them at least once a week! (you can find more of my other pancakes recipes on my previous blogposts). Have been so busy and did not have much time to enter the kitchen but I do miss the delishhhhh pancakes! Life is not the same without them yummies :D So today, I decided to make some Healthy Chocolate Spelt Pancakes and they turned out to be so yummy! My parents love them too heh so I hope you do too!


Ingredients

Spelt Flour x 2 cups
Raw Cacao Powder x 1/2 cup
Baking Soda x 1 tsp
Baking Powder x 1.5 tsp
Brown Sugar x 1.5 tbsp
Pink Salt x 1/2 tsp
Homemade Almond Milk x 1.5 cup (Recipe at earlier post: http://stayfitandtravel.blogspot.hk/2014/11/homemade-almond-milk.html)
Whole Eggs x 2
Coconut Oil (Melted) x 1 tbsp
Vanilla Extract x 1 tsp
Pure Honey x 2 tbsp
Optional Toppings: Pure Honey/ Fresh Fruits/ Greek Yogurt
Servings: 12 palm size pancakes


Directions

In a mixing bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients - spelt flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar and pink salt.. Then in another mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients - almond milk, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, honey and whisk it well. Add the dry mix into the wet mix and stir until well combined. Grease a non-sticking pan with coconut oil, scoop out the pancake batter (one tablespoon for each pancake) and cook the pancakes on each side (flip once you see the surface bubbling). You can serve them with pure honey, fresh fruits and also greek yogurt. TA-DAH these yummy chocolate pancakes are now ready! Hope you enjoy them as much as me and my family do ;D Subscribe to my blog for more healthy and yummy recipes!

Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel

Monday, January 19, 2015

Healthy Banana Bread


BANANANANA BREAD. My favorite!! You might know that I have already made one before (http://stayfitandtravel.blogspot.hk/2014/12/healthy-oatmeal-banana-bread.html) and I am very happy with the positive feedback from you all! So we are making it again, this time a little bit different (with no oats) hope you will also like it!



Ingredients
Mashed Banana x 1 cup (2-3 medium bananas)
Greek Yogurt x 1/2 cup
Egg White x 2
Pure Vanilla Extract x 1 tsp
Whole Wheat Flour x 1/2 cup
All-purpose Flour x 1 cup
Ground Cinnamon x 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar x 1/2 cup (or less, depending on your personal preference)
Coconut Oil x 1/4 cup
Pink Salt x 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda x 1 tsp
Baking Powder x 1 tsp
Directions
Preheat oven to 180C. In a mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, baking soda and yogurt together and set aside. In another mixing bowl, stir egg white, vanilla extract, coconut oil and brown sugar together. Then in another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and also salt together. Pour the banana mix and the oil mix into the flour mix. Stir well until combined. Grease a loaf pan with coconut/ olive oil. Pour the mix into the pan and bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes. Ta-dah your healthy Banana bread is now ready!

Hope you enjoy this recipe - subscribe to my blog and stay tuned for more healthy and yummy recipes!

Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel

Photo-shoot with LawAmyPhotography and BowielaMAKEUP

The recent photo-shoot I had with LawAmyPhotography (http://www.lawamyphotography.com/) and BowieLaMakeup (http://bowielamakeup.wix.com/bowielamakeup) was probably the most exciting collaboration I have done so far. It was such a pleasure to meet these two AMAZINGLY TALENTED ladies and I am perfectly happy with the photos that came out - so I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Amy Law and Bowie Lam for making this happen. And of course, also big thanks to one of my best friends - the super gorgeous Michelle Ho (http://instagram.com/twentysummerstories) for connecting me to them and have been extremely supportive and helpful throughout my fitness journey - so much love for these girls!x
Me and Michelle (:
My Gorgeous Friend - Michelle Ho
My Gorgeous Friend - Michelle Ho
I am going to be honest - I don't know much about photography and I am not able to review much on the technical aspects - instead, I would write this review based on my personal experience with Amy during the whole photo-shoot process.
I have only worked with a few of photographers before but I have always felt uncomfortable in professional shoots - whether it is the problem of my confidence level or just me being a very awkward person - I always dread to have my photos being taken by people that I do not know very well in person. Most photos you saw on my instagram were normally taken by my boyfriend and I therefore felt a lot more relaxed. I was actually also freaking out before this shoot because I have never met with Amy before and I was scared the whole shoot would turn out to be a failure. However, this amazing girl here had done such an amazing job to make me feel at ease and not worried not only throughout the whole shoot but also BEFORE the shoot. She started brain-storming with me on ideas weeks before the shoot and trying to get everything organized - from booking studio, arranging make up artist, sorting out the flow of the shoot, giving me ideas on the feel and look of the setting, preparing the set up and etc. I am very impressed by the amount of work she put into the shoot and I am genuinely so grateful for it. She had a very detailed and comprehensive moodboard prepared the night before the shoot to outline everything I need to know about the shoot i.e. the lighting for each theme and also some ideas on the poses. On the day of the shoot, Amy arrived earlier to the studio to have all the setting and lighting prepared so we could start right on time upon arrival. She was extremely professional throughout the whole shoot, giving me a lot of ideas and inspirations and most importantly, the CONFIDENCE that I need in front of the camera. She has such great knowledge on lighting and angles that the photos come up amazing! I also love how efficient she is, always reminding us of the time and allowing me to choose as well as getting all the photos on the same day. Her work attitude is extremely inspiring and after the shoot, we had a little chat whilst choosing the photos - I got to know more about Amy personally and the fact that she's worked so hard towards her goals and dreams to become a renowned photographer in the industry inspire me so much and I have so much respect for this girl. You can take a look at her page for the amazing work she has done - from high fashion to weddings, and your everyday special occsasions such as graduation.
BOWIELAMAKEUP
Make up is another thing that has always been my biggest headaches - something you need to know about me is that I am extremely lazy when it comes to putting on make up. I never spent the time to learn much about it and I always spent no longer than 10 minutes on putting on make up as I normally do it in the changing room of my gym (I go to the gym every morning before work) and I would be in such a hurry that I just put a bit of foundation and eyeliner and I will be done and good to go. I HAVE tried putting on more stuffs on my face before such as mascara and eyeshadow LOL but 1. I was bad at it 2. I have weird puffy Asian eyes that I look TERRIBLE when I put anything more than eyeliner onto my eyes - so I gave up on these two products a long time ago already. I also had the experience of letting professional make up artists to put make up for me on special occasions before but I also ended up looking even worse than the make up I put for myself because they didn't know my face as much as I did. So I really was not that sure about having Bowie, a professional and experienced make up artist to put make up for me before the shoot. The night before the photo shoot when I was told to send Bowie some make up references, I actually told her that I would like to do my own eye make up aka drawing a simple eye liner and the only thing she would need to do is to put the foundation and maybe some bronzer on my face. Bowie, however, tried to ensure me that I should trust her and let her do it. In the end, I decided to trust her professional skills and let her handle the whole make up. Thanks god, I have absolutely no regrets that I made that decision because the make up she put on for me was flawless and absolutely beautiful. She understood that the most basic and natural make up would suit me the most and put together a great style for my shoot and I am so happy about it. The fact that she understood customers needs and at the same time incorporate her skills and styles into it is what I appreciate about Boweilamakeup the most. With a degree in fashion and a strong passion in make up, this girl is really a professional that you can have trust and confidence in. All the make up products she used were also of the best quality i.e. Bobbi Brown, MAC and etc. If you are looking for a professional make up artist for some special occasions coming soon i.e. Wedding, New Years Eve or a photo shoot - Bowie is the girl that you are looking for! Oh and she is offering the discount below right now - what are you waiting for? (;
These photos are taken at M4 Production Limited (www.m4-pro.com) - a Hong Kong based studio.

Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel

Monday, January 12, 2015

Turkey - Istanbul

We were having very mixed feelings and expectations as we flew to Istanbul, Turkey from Santorini, Greece - but mostly excitement I would say. As the weather in Santorini has not been ideal during our stay there - it was mostly windy and rainy on the last few days and we were not really doing much, we were quite excited for some exotic hustle and bustle in the Turkish Bazaars (yes that's the image of Istanbul I had in my head). However, I said mixed feelings and expectations because our driver from the hotel to the airport in Santorini was telling us he did not understand why anyone would want to go to a place like Turkey after beautiful Greece. I guess it was also due to the complicated political and cultural conflicts between Greece and Turkey throughout history that as a Greek, our driver is not really a fan of the neighboring country. Honestly, we did not know too much about the background about the two countries and hence did not want to expect too much.

Touching down at the Istanbul airport, the first problem we had was that for some reasons we could not take out any money with both of our ATM cards - even though we were able to find the ATM machines of our banks. As we were already running out of money and we really wanted to shop at the bazaars ASAP (LOL), we were freaking out a bit. The second problem was that even though we had a car booked in advance, it took us quite some time to be able to find our driver. Finally, we were sitting happily in the car with our luggage, bombarding the driver with as many questions as we could think of about the city i.e. what to do, what to eat, where to eat and etc. The car was soon turning into some narrow streets that led to the apartment that we would be staying at for the next couple of days. 
We were greeted by our Airbnb host, Marco, who has been extremely friendly and helpful since we booked the accommodation a few months back. His apartment was absolutely beautiful. We loved the style and the decor of the place - every single little detail was well taken care of. And the best thing about it? Reasonable price! So glad we chose this over a hotel.
After unpacking and freshening up, we spent the night walking around Taksim Square (a busy cosmopolitan centre with shopping malls, restaurants, stores, street stalls, markets and etc) which is only around 10 minutes walk from the flat. We had dinner at a local turkish restaurant and it was YUMMY - espeically the grilled lamb chops - oh emm geee. After dinner, we went to a local bar for some shisha and tea (no alcohol for me) - doesn't this place look magical?
We bought some fruits on our way back home (fresh fruits are so cheap here in Istanbul!) as "after-dinner dessert", and we went to bed feeling healthy :D

We spent the next few days just exploring the city, visiting historical sites such as the Basilica Cistern, Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and etc Below are some of the photos at these beautiful places:


All these places were extremely fascinating but one of my personal favorites would be the grand bazaar - it has so much to see and buy, and so as a girl who loves shopping it is just perfect for me haha. So much fun to do all the bargaining with the stores owners!





Another one of my favorite would be the Bosphorus river tour - the views were breath-taking and it was extremely cheap as well! Perfect way to know the city.
The food in Istanbul was very interesting and it was a lot of fun to try different kind of foods such as kebab/ mussels stuffed with rice - but one of the craziest food that we tried would be this fried lamb brain. My boyfriend LOVED it, but for me, let's just say I would never take another bite of this again.






After three days with my boyfriend, he flew back to Hong Kong because he had to get back to work, and I stayed at Istanbul for 5 more days before I continued my Europe trip to Germany. I stayed with a couple of Turkish girls who were friends of a Spanish friend of mine that I met in Spain before Turkey. Even though it was my first time meeting these girls, they were extremely friendly and I was so grateful for their hospitality. I had my own room and also everything that I needed. They welcomed me with a homemade Turkish Breakfast on the first day I arrived to their place.
They also brought me around the city - even though I had already went to some of the places with my boyfriend before, it was a totally different experience to re-visit them with locals - I got to experience Istanbul from an entirely different perspective with a much deeper knowledge on their politics, history and culture.

On one of the last days, as the girls were all busy, I travelled by myself to Prince Island which is a few hours of boat ride away from Istanbul - and it was absolutely beautiful. I met a girl on the boat who was from Kuwait and it was a lot of fun just listening (singing) to songs on our iphones, sharing our travel stories and etc. It was one of my favorite things about travelling alone - to meet with interesting people from all around the world and to share stories with each other. For me this is how you experience the world.
Hope you enjoyed reading my travelling story in Istanbul! Subscribe to my blog and stay tuned for more travelling posts x

Emi xx
@stayfitandtravel