Travel Essentials

Hey Everyone!

The summer holidays are so so close, and I am super excited to be heading out on all my summer adventures. I’m traveling a lot this summer, and I’m going to be taking a lot of plane rides. So I thought it might be useful to share what I usually take on the plane with me, and a few of my travel hacks for anyone else who is also traveling this summer.

When I was younger, I used to hate plane rides. I would get terrible plane sickness, and I would just find the plane journeys so boring. Luckily, since then I’ve grown out of my plane sickness, but there are still things I ensure to do on the plane to keep myself entertained.

To be completely honest I kind of enjoy the calmness of a flight, because it’s a block of time where you’re not connected to the internet (unless you use OnAir) and you can take some time to disconnect. I never used to fall asleep on flights, but now I’m so tired all the time (life of a high school student) that I usually just sleep for a lot of the flight. However, there are other things I like to get done on a flight, which I’ll share in this post.

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So, onto my travel essentials; I like to be prepared for any occasion, but from all my experience with flights I kind of know what I am going to need. Number one is a sturdy bag that closes properly, I don’t like traveling with a tote bag or something similar because you can’t zip them shut. And I prefer a backpack to a carry on case,  because you can just keep a backpack under the seat in front of you and it’s easier to get things out. The backpack I usually travel with is from Herschel, and it’s sturdy and easy to carry around.

In terms of essentials for the plane, the two things that I always make sure I have are a spare pair of socks and another huge sweater. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I always get really cold on plane rides, so I like to be prepared. I usually travel in a hoodie or a sweater in the first place, but I bring a second one for when I get really cold. Also, while you’re not wearing the second sweater you can ball it up and use it as a pillow. My feet also get really cold, so I am sure to have a spare pair of socks packed in my bag.

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For entertainment, I pretty much know what I enjoy doing on flights, but it may be different for you. If I’m on a plane where they have some movies or TV shows I’m interested in, I’ll just watch them for a bit, and if they don’t I’ll probably just download something on my phone, and use my headphones. But I don’t really watch TV for the whole plane ride, in fact, if it’s a short ride I actually just read a book, and for longer flights, I’ll watch some TV, but I like to also read, sleep, and get some homework done. I know it doesn’t sound very appealing, but if you’re on a long flight, you have a whole chunk of time where you can be productive, and I like it because it cuts down the amount of work I have to do when I get to my destination. I usually save the homework such as reading and taking notes for flights, things that don’t require too much energy. (also be sure to pack chargers for your laptop and phone + an adapter)

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Now for food and snacks, my favourite part! If you have read my blog at all, you will know that I am ALWAYS hungry. So on a flight, where I’m just sitting there for hours, I tend to get especially hungry. I’ll usually eat some of the meal they give you on the plane, but I also like to bring my own snacks. Things like popcorn are good to have, and protein balls fill me up for a really long time so they’re great to have with me. (the protein balls I have are the Sarahs_Day x The Health Lab ones) I’m also the kind of person that usually drinks A LOT of water throughout the day, and normally I stay really hydrated. So on a plane where you naturally get dehydrated, and I don’t have constant access to a water tap, I struggle a bit. It’s a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle that you can just ask the flight attendant to refill it. Also before I get on the plane I also like to get 2 huge bottles of water that will keep me going for the flight. One more thing that I keep in my plane bag is mint flavoured chewing gum. If you’re just feeling a bit groggy after a flight, or your ears are blocked from the altitude mint chewing gum will really help you.

Also if you get airsick, mint chewing gum will help take away that nauseous feeling. Another thing that will really help is finding a scent that will relax your body. What I mean by that is, using a roll on perfume or oil that will calm your body down and make you feel less nauseous. When I was younger and I felt really sick on flights, my dad used to cover a small towel with perfume and give it to me, and that would distract my body from feeling nauseous and sick.

I’ve created a downloadable list that has all of the items that I’ve been talking about so that you can easily tick off what you have for your flight. Little Miss Expat In Flight Packing List. I hope reading what I take on flights has been useful, and please be sure to let me know in the comments anything else that you take on flights, I would love to know! I hope everyone has an amazing summer and enjoys their travels!

Little Miss Expat

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It’s that time of the year again… ‘Moving Season’

Hi guys,

As the school year draws to a close, and the summer holidays are getting nearer, I for one am super excited! But for any expatriates, it ushers in this dreaded time of year, the moving season. For anyone who lives abroad, or goes to an international school, the end of the school year means saying goodbye to some people but also meeting a lot of new people in September.

I for one really dislike this ‘season’, it will always be really hard to see friends leave, and any expatriate will know the struggle. Especially in a place like Dubai where a lot of people only stay for around 2 years before they move onto their next home. And for someone who’s used to being the one leaving, it’s hard to be the one staying behind and saying goodbye.

Last year one of my really good friends moved to Paris, I still miss seeing her every day, but I’ve been lucky enough to visit her. I thought it might be interesting to get her input on this topic and ask her a few questions about what it felt like when she moved. Here they are!

What did you find the hardest thing about moving?

Honestly, the hardest thing about moving was adapting to a new city. Since I moved to Paris, at first, it was really difficult for me to speak French when ordering coffee, or shopping around. My mom or friends would have to order food for me! Eventually, I had to start speaking French and doing things myself. I just needed the confidence! Another thing was socializing with new people. I found it really awkward to start conversations with new people (despite being very talkative) because I was scared that they would judge me. But don’t hesitate to start a conversation with someone! They might end up being one of your really close friends.

How did you feel in your first few days in your new home?

I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed actually! When our boxes arrived, we had 168 of them! Everything was all over the place! I felt the most stressed with my own stuff because I had to find my school supplies, arrange my room (which was a complete disaster), and figure out where to place everything. A few days later, all the boxes were gone and we could finally enjoy our new home! I really love our apartment now and feel completely relaxed when I come into my room.

Looking back now, are you happy where you are now and that you moved?

I am really happy that I moved. However, it did take me a few months to actually realize that I wasn’t going to move back to Dubai. I was really sad and down at the beginning of our move (despite being in Paris!), but I knew that I was going to visit Dubai and keep in touch with my friends 24/7. I’ve learned so many things about this city, and have had so many new and fun experiences! Paris is a really amazing place to live in, and I am beyond lucky to call it my home.

What’s one thing you will always miss about Dubai?

This sounds super cheesy but my friends! I’ve known some of my friends there since I was in 4th grade, so it was really hard to leave them. I had the best memories ever there and I am so so lucky and grateful that I get to keep all of those souvenirs with them.

Is there one piece of advice you would give to someone moving?

Get out and about! When I first moved, everyone kept inviting me to go places with them, but I was so nervous because I didn’t know the city. Looking back, now I regret not going out with those friends because I’m sure we would have been much closer now. Some tips: download some apps for your city! Apps such as CityMapper: tells you when the next train, bus, or metro arrives. Dojo: a great app to show you all the new restaurants, and activities to go to in multiple cities! Bandsintown: tells you all the artists playing in your choice of city! These apps are essential especially when you don’t know what to do or where to go!

A huge thank you to my friend for answering all of these questions! And I hope her advice is useful to anyone moving abroad this summer! As the friend who was not the one moving, I also wanted to give you guys a bit of advice, as I know it can be really hard.

One thing that’s really important to remember is that you’re not just going to completely fall out of touch with your friend. Sure, you won’t see them in person as much as you used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk with them any less. You can still call, facetime, message, snapchat each other weird photos, or send each other funny memes on Instagram. Just because a friend is moving away it doesn’t mean the friendship is over. It just means the friendship will take a new form. I still talk to my friend all the time, and we were even lucky enough to visit each other. (some of you might remember my Paris blog post, that’s when I visited her)

Overall, I think it’s just super important to remember that life is what you make of it, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control the way that you deal with it and what you make of the situation. People moving away is one of those situations which is sad, but also exciting as it’s the start of a new adventure for the person moving. And as the friend staying behind, you also have to support your friend with this new chapter in their life. Don’t view moving as something bad, shift your focus, and see it as the start of something exciting and different.

I hope this advice helped some of you! And let me know if you liked this format of this post with the interview. Another massive thank you to my friend and all her advice in this post, I really hope you guys enjoyed it!

Little Miss Expat

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The Most Important Life Lesson I’ve Learned

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to sit down and write a really important post for you guys this week. I feel like I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to really share my thoughts with you in a while, but I finally have a little bit of time to talk about this. Today I want to share a lesson I’ve learned through experience and a lesson that I think everyone needs to know. And that is the lesson of staying true to yourself and your values.

This week I’ve experienced the power of this lesson once again, and I feel like it’s something that affects your life no matter how old you are.

In this world which is constantly changing, where your popularity seems to be based on your follower count, where people no longer have the connection to talk to each other anymore, and where everyone seems to be ‘following the crowd’, and doing what’s ‘trendy’ instead of what they believe in. It’s hard to stay true to yourself. It’s hard to say ‘no’. It’s hard to catch hold of what you really believe in without being influenced in a negative way. But I’m here today to tell you, you aren’t alone, I for one will always do my best to stay true to myself and my values.

It’s a daily struggle of mine, and sometimes I feel like I’m the only one doing it. But as I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, the best decision I’ve ever made was to stay true to myself and let my own values guide me. What do I mean by this? I’m a High School student, and every day I see people being influenced and changing what they believe in to fit in with others or to fit in with the ‘right’ crowd. And it sucks. Because that is not what I believe in. And it’s hard, don’t get me wrong. It is hard to stand up for what you believe in, and sometimes it means saying goodbye to people, but being true to yourself is honouring yourself and your thoughts. In 20 years time, we will regret changing ourselves just to fit in with the popular crowd in High School, your own values will be so trampled upon that they will no longer be able to guide you.

Your values, your beliefs, and who you are, are the most important gifts you have, and you should treasure them. They are what makes us unique, allow us to move forward, and enjoy what we do. And that’s why it makes me sad when I see people tossing away their values every day. Because I believe in all of us. Every single one of you that reads my blog. I believe that you are all special in your own unique way, and I think that you should just keep being you, no matter what everyone else is doing. I believe that every single one of you should do what makes you happy, not what ‘looks’ best to the crowd. Let your own values guide you, and don’t do something you wouldn’t do if others weren’t there watching you. Because in the end, that’s the true way to finding happiness.

For me, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to change myself so many times, to do things I don’t believe in. And looking back I am so happy I never did them. Instead, I did what really makes me happy: I watched more sunsets, I ate good food, I went for long runs, I helped others, I spent time with my family, I made great friends, and I couldn’t be a happier person now. Sure I have those days as well where I feel left out or like I don’t fit in, but don’t we all get them? I’m just content with being who I really am, and it’s refreshing not to have to pretend to be someone I’m not.

So to all you High School students out there, this is my message to you. Do not change yourself for anyone. Do what makes you happy. And let your values guide you down the path you were meant to take. I believe in all of you, your own unique personalities, you’re all special.

What are your thoughts on this?

Lots of Love

Little Miss Expat

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5 Of My Favourite Places To Eat In Dubai

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a pretty busy week, with my finals coming up and finishing some exams, but summer is so close!!! It’s also the start of Ramadan, for those of you who don’t know, Ramadan is the month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day, which means I am fasting, and I’m currently really hungry & dreaming of food, so I thought I would share some of my favourite eating spots in Dubai with you.

As most of you know breakfast is my favourite meal of the day because I am a total morning person, so most of these restaurants and cafes are great for breakfast, but I’ll also share some lunch and dinner spots with you as well!

Tashas Cafe – I love going here for breakfast, but their lunch and dinner is still amazing. Everything at Tasha’s is so well done, the food is always fresh and delicious, and their cakes and muffins taste so good!

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3 Fils – A really cute restaurant in the Fishing Harbour, perfect for lunch or dinner. I love their sushi and sliders, and they also have a ‘mystery dish’ on the menu, which is really great!

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Freinds Avenue Cafe – I literally spend all my weekends here, their matcha lattes are soooo good, and the cafe is such a cute place to hang out with friends. Everything on their menu is so unique and bursting with flavour, I love it.

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Black Tap – Their shakes are AMAZING, my favourite is the oreo one!!! They also serve really great burgers, you can find them in Jumeirah or JBR.

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Salt – This food truck set up on Kite Beach serves (in my opinion) the best burgers in Dubai. They also have a lotus biscuit milkshake, which I absolutely love. The atmosphere of Salt is so chilled, as the ocean is right in front of you, and they have plenty of cozy seating.

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These are some of my favourite eating spots in Dubai, let me know if you’ve tried any of them! What are your favourite restaurants in Dubai or where you live? I would love to know!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat 

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Be Part of The Beauty Evolution – Evolve Beauty

Hi Everyone!

This weeks post is one I’ve been waiting to write for a really long time, and I am SO EXCITED to finally share it with you!

To backtrack a little, if you’re long-time followers you will know my philosophy about beauty, and how I believe in natural, non-toxic beauty (I wrote a whole post explaining it here). I think that what put on our faces, is just as important as what we put inside out bodies, and I’ve been on the search to find products made of real ingredients that do great things for my skin. Evolve Beauty is one of the brands whose products I love using, they smell amazing, they do wonders for my skin, and the company is just so lovely to work with!

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I reached out to them when I was writing my Clean Beauty post, and they were kind enough to send me a few of their products to review! One thing I love about Evolve Beauty is just how lovely they are, they were nice enough to get back to me and let me write about them. Evolve Beauty is a small artisan brand, founded and run by Laura Rudoe. You guys know, I’m all for small, local brands, which is one of the reasons I love Evolve Beauty so much. All of their products are handmade, and on each of them, there’s a little tag telling you the name of the person who made it. How cute is that? Evolve is based on Laura’s passion for natural skincare, nurtured by growing up with her grandmother in Romania. She’s researched natural beauty for years and ensures that only the best goes into her products – and it definitely shows when you use Evolve products.

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Evolve products are made by a small team in Hertfordshire, England, which is another reason this brand is so close to my heart. Hertfordshire also happens to be where I used to live when I was in England, and it’s such a coincidence that’s where they’re based. Their products are also packed in recyclable bottles, which is just amazing (you guys know I’m all about the environment)!

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Overall, I think that beauty just comes from who you are and nurturing what you already have. Not from covering up everything, and changing who you are. And that’s one of the reasons I love Evolve Beauty, their products allow you to care for what you already have, without damaging your skin or changing who you are. As they promise, Evolve Beauty products are natural and organic, artisan made, they follow ‘green science’ which means they’re free from synthetics, they’re vegan, cruelty-free, and their packaging is recyclable. But most importantly, they celebrate your beauty and the beauty of nature.

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You can head on over to Evolve Beauty and take a look at their range, and you can get 10% off any purchase using my code ‘LITTLEMISS10’. One of my absolute favourite products is their Radiant Glow Mask, made of cacao + coconut… It literally smells like brownie batter. I also love using their Tropical Blossom Body Polish in an evening shower, it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and smelling amazing, and it’s a nice de-stresser at the end of the day. And after I use their Tropical Blossom Body Butter, my skin feels like it’s just soaking in the oils and goodness, and it applies literally like ‘butter’ to my skin.

Also, just a disclaimer, I am not in any way endorsed or sponsored by Evolve Beauty to promote their products. I simply want to share my love for all things natural with you guys, and Evolve Beauty is one of the brands I love.

Scattered throughout this post are also some of the photos I took of their products, and I’m so happy with how they came out! Let me know if you want to see a post on how I do my photography. What’s your favourite beauty product? Let me know if you purchase any Evolve Beauty products & which ones you get, I would love to talk to you about it!

Lots of Love

Little Miss Expat 

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A summer smoothie bowl you have got to try

Hey Everyone!

This week I wanted to experiment a little, and create another recipe post for you guys. I did one a while back, on some snack bowls that I love, but I thought I would be a bit more adventurous and try to create my own smoothie bowl recipe!

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I always see so many beautiful smoothie bowls on Instagram and Pinterest, but when I look at the recipes, they look kind of complicated or use lots of ingredients that I don’t usually have at home. That’s why with this recipe I created, you can find the ingredients in pretty much any store if you don’t already have them at home. And if I do say so myself, it tastes AMAZING.

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I wanted to create something that reminded me of a hot summers day by the beach and had an interesting and exciting taste, not just your regular berry smoothie. And I gotta say, it worked out pretty well. This smoothie bowl is exploding with mango, coconut, lime, and ginger, and if summer were a food, this would be it. The flavours just jump out at you and complement each other so well. I’m so excited to share this recipe with you!

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Ingredients

  • 2 small mangos
  • 1 squeeze of lime juice
  • 1 tiny cut piece of ginger
  • 2 pots of coconut yogurt. (I used the small pots that usually serve one person, but if you’re using yogurt from a huge tub, just put the equivalent of that)
  • 1 spoon of shredded coconut
  • A mix of dried berries, nuts, seeds, granola, and fruits for the topping.

Method

  • Peel the mangos and cut a piece of ginger.
  • Put the mangos, ginger, lime juice, coconut yogurt, and shredded coconut into a blender, and mix till your smoothie reaches a creamy consistency. (add more yogurt if needed)
  • Pour your smoothie into a bowl, and top it with whatever fruits, seeds, or granola you want.
  • Snap a picture of your smoothie bowl, and tag @Little.Miss.Expat in it!

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I hope you enjoy making this recipe and let me know if you try it out, and what you think. Be sure to tag me in any of your photos for a repost!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat 

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April Habits + Monthly Review

Hi Everyone!

Welcome back to another monthly review post 🙂 It’s been a busy month and I have a lot to share with you. In this post, I’ll update you on all things running, show you some of my favourite snacks, as well as my new favourite superfood, and let you in on one of my top tips for staying organized!

Monthly Catch Up

In case you’ve missed any of this months blog posts, you can catch up here. Personally, I think this has been one of my top months for blogging ever, as I’m so happy with the posts I’ve published, and you guys seem to have loved them. We’re also super close to 100 followers on the blog which is CRAZY!!!

Clean Beauty – the guide to what it is, what to buy, and how it works

3 Eateries in London You Have To Try This Spring

Being The New Kid – How to deal with moving

What are we doing to the Earth? – Earth Day 2018

Running Update

So as you guys will know, if you read my blog or Instagram regularly, I run competitively for a Cross Country team during the winter, and in the spring I run for a Track & Field team.(I wrote about my love for running a while back) I love running because even though it’s tough, it’s so rewarding! I train roughly six times a week during season time, and to say the least, it’s tiring. In April I went to one of my biggest competitions yet for Track, in Oman and it was a great experience. I’m happy with the way I performed, but more importantly than that, it was just so eye-opening to see all the competition and to meet with other people who also love running as much as I do. It makes me want to work even harder to be able to go back next year, and hopefully run even faster!

That was my last competition of the season, and I’m done with competitively training for the rest of the year. It was so lovely to have a week off after I came back from Oman where I didn’t run one day because I was exhausted. But now I’ve started to train by myself around 3 times a week, and just to do fun workouts that I enjoy. At the moment my routine is waking up around 5:30 on weekdays and doing a quick workout. I’ve done a swim workout, which was so fun! And some other workouts based around plyometrics, as I wanted to switch it up a bit. I love this routine at the moment, as it just puts me in such a good mood for the rest of the day, and I don’t have to stress about fitting in a workout after school. But I am allowing myself to take it easy, and while I’m still working hard, I’m definitely not reaching my maximum training scale.

 

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The competition in Oman was also my first time competing in spikes!

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A photo from one of our family runs during Spring Break

 

What I’ve been eating – some snack ideas

Recently I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen and been meddling around with different ingredients. As I’m no longer running every day I don’t have to worry about consuming the right amount of carbs and proteins every day, and I’m a bit freer. I’ve also been making my water a bit more interesting, as I don’t have to worry about drinking a certain amount throughout the day, and I’ve been adding mint to the water I take to school. It’s a really nice change! We actually grow mint in our garden at home, so every morning before school I pick a few leaves, wash them, and put them into my water. Let me know what you put in your water to make it more interesting!

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I’ve also found a new favourite after-school snack, which you might have already seen on my Instagram. I am a huge snacker, and I’m pretty much constantly hungry, so I do my best to find snacks that fill me up for a long time. Avocados have been my lifesaver, they’re a healthy fat and keep me full for ages, so I’ve tried my best to incorporate them into my afternoon snack. I’ve created a little avocado dip, I guess it’s like guacamole, and I made my own chips to eat with it. So in this avocado dip, I have half an avocado, lemon, salt, coriander, a mix of sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. I mix it all together in a bowl, and grab some pita bread, cut it into triangles, and toast it until it’s crispy. (I guess you could also use regular chips) Then I can enjoy this snack while I’m studying, and it keeps me quite full for a long time!

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I’ve also been loving a new superfood, and I’m obsessed with it at the moment. It’s bee pollen! I know, might sound a little weird right? But trust me it’s amazing. As you might know, another one of my go-to snacks is a bowl of yogurt, granola, and berries (you can read more about my snacks here), and I’ve recently been adding bee pollen to this mix. I got mine from Daylesford Farms, and bee pollen are these tiny yellow spheres that taste a bit like honey, but not as sweet. I really like topping my yogurt with them because it adds that extra sweetness, without me feeling too guilty, and they have a really nice undertone. Bee pollen is also super good for you, it reduces inflammation, it’s an antioxidant, protects your liver, boosts your immune system, can be used as a supplement (because it’s full of vitamins), helps relieve stress, and promotes healing. Let me know if you’ve tried it!

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How I’ve Been Staying Organized

My last tip to share with you in this post has honestly been a lifesaver. As the school year is getting busier, with meetings and exams, there has been a lot for me to remember. And maybe I’m totally behind everyone else, but to remind myself of everything I used to just write it in my planner and hope I remembered it throughout the day. But I’ve started using the reminders app, and I’m in love. Like I said, maybe I’m really behind everyone and I’m the only person who isn’t using it, but I just discovered it and it’s so useful! It’s the regular reminders app you can get on an iPhone, and you can write yourself reminders that pop up on your phone at different times of the day, or when you reach a specific location, and they don’t go away until you complete them. This app has helped take a lot of stress off me, as I don’t have to remember everything anymore. Do you use it?

So that wraps up my April in review post, it’s been a busy month, but those are some of the important things I wanted to share with you! As always, let me know what you think in the comments, and if you try any of my recipes or tips!

See you next week

Little Miss Expat 

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