How to nail the 24 hour flight

What with my family relocating to the other side of the globe, I've made the trip to and from Australia twice a year for the past four years. There's no question that the journey is hard, especially if like me you find yourself doing it alone. I'm off again this weekend - although this time I'm taking the boyfriend home to meet the parents - so, I've teamed up with iconic American leisure brand Russell Athletic, which is now available from Tu at Sainsbury's, to talk you through the steps of nailing the long haul flight because where there's a will, there's a way. Tried and tested.

Comfort is key obviously & two changes of clothes are better than one.

These Russell Athletic pieces are without a doubt some of the most comfortable things I own. I've got a couple of jumpers too and they're so soft. Plus we all know how much I like a bit of obvious branding. 

For the flight that I stay awake, I always wear something that's comfortable but that I'd wear elsewhere too; cue the navy jumper dress. That way, my frame of mind changes to anything other than sleep. I get my laptop out and do some work, listen to a podcast, watch four films - always including something that makes me cry, which is bloody embarrassing, and walk around for a bit.

For the flight that I'm going to sleep in I'll wear the Russell Athletic trackies and jumper. Like pyjamas but a bit more *acceptable* in public. And here's where I pretend I don't regularly wear my pyjamas to the corner shop.

Finally, bear in mind the climate when you get off the plane. When I travel to Australia in December, it's bloody freezing here and boiling when I arrive. I only made that mistake once. Two changes of clothes is key.

You don't need that fifth meal.

The total time you're spending on the plane to Australia is usually around 20 hours. The rest of it is a very inconvenient layover ( - I once had a 7 hour layover in China that took my journey time to almost 30 hours, cry). During a long haul journey you get given two meals and a snack, which is usually a sandwich. 

This weekend my flight is at 5pm UK time from London and I land in Brisbane at what would be 3pm UK time. Does anyone really need 4+ meals in this time frame? Nuhuh. 

Keep your watch on UK time and pick your meals wisely. It'll save you feeling even more gross that necessary at the other end. 

Alcohol's not a great idea. Sorry.

Until last December, I got drunk on every first flight because I knew it'd help me sleep. I always find the journey quite emotional anyway - I've mentioned the sad films and tears already. It's proven that the altitude etc does actually make you more emotional. That, plus the manufactured air and dehydration from not wanting to have to get up countless times, annoying everyone around, makes alcohol a really dumb decision on a long haul flight. Soz to be a bore.

Sleep at the right time.

Keep your watch on meals but change your phone to the time of your destination and as soon as you get on that plane, try and change your sleeping habits to that time. Easier said than done but it makes jet lag almost inexistent. 

Pack mini's of your fave products

Your beauty routine needn't go out of the window and it'll make you feel tens times better if you have those home comforts board with you. Products I use and recommend can be shopped below - most of them are under the 100ml limit anyway. Also, sound-cancelling headphones are your mate. Invest in some because when that baby starts screaming at 2am, you'll be glad you did.

This post was written in partnership with Russell Athletic, which can now be found at Tu at Sainsbury's.

A Month Without Chocolate

I once gave up chocolate for a year as a child. My parents bet me a hundred quid I couldn't not eat chocolate for a year. No penguin bars; no chocolate cake on other kids birthdays; no chocolate fingers for break. Nada, nothing. 

It was my first foray into testing my willpower and, being just as stubborn then as I am now, I did it. I was eleven, and gave up something I loved because someone dared me I couldn't. Take from that what you will.

As an adult, chocolate plays a part in, dare I say it, every day of my life. We aren't talking 85% cocoa that's 'actually healthy because it's full of antioxidants' sort of chocolate either. I love those soft, melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate cookies from M&S. I am a sucker for a bag of malteasers and some Netflix and chill. 

I categorically do not diet - it sends me into a downward spiral of anxiety and self-loathing - and generally, I have a really balanced attitude towards food because of this. I work out four or five times a week and eat whatever the hell I want with no question or guilt. 

However, I hit a bit of a wall last month where I decided my chocolate consumption had got out of hand - we're talking a share-bag a day. There's moderation and then there's just downright gluttony and I was slowly heading towards the latter.

Day 1

Full steam ahead. I'd totally got this - mind over matter etc. 

10am: Hit M&S to stock up on everything natural sugar. We're talking a solid twenty quid on blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, pink lady apples, the lot. I threw in a pack of those nice jammy dodger type biscuits for good measure. I'd invested in a better me and now there was no excuse.

3pm: Can. Not. Stop. Thinking. About. Chocolate.


11pm: Went to bed early so at least that way I would stop thinking about it.


Honestly, it didn't really get any better. Instead of eating a bag of chocolate, I was eating half a pack of biscuits. It became quite clear that chocolate isn't the problem but I am a sugar addict. Fruit curbed the desires but in quite the same way that a nice slice of carrot cake did.

By week two, it got a little better but thinking about chocolate was quite constant. I HATE not being allowed things. I am a complete child in that respect; if I can't have it, I want it 20 times more.

The times I found the hardest were the ones when I was in doors alone, twiddling my thumbs. Easiest were, of course, when I was out with a nice sugary cocktail or wine in hand. 

I did make it to the end of a whole month without chocolate but only because it wouldn't have been worth the grief I would have given myself had I of failed. 

I'm back eating it like nothing has changed, although the amount is less. 

Do you know what, I exercise and I don't bloody eat cheese - because I think it's gross - so, I'm cutting myself some slack on this one. 

We all have that one thing that's got us slippin'. (Sorry.)

The perks of not letting go

When it comes to clothes and products, I struggle to let anything go. I envy people who are able to adhere to the three month rule; there are dresses hanging in my wardrobe that have been there for years, mainly untouched.

I don't head down to Primark or H&M on a monthly basis to throw a hundred quid at the latest trend, only to disregard purchases a couple of months on. I make careful decisions about the clothes I buy, which makes them all that much harder to part with.

To date, my longest relationship has been with my favourite black jeans - we are forever faithful to each other; I continue to buy the same pair and they continue to hoist me up in all the right areas.

And it doesn't stop there. Call me crazy but I've developed an emotional bond with a lot of the clothes I own.

The contents of a wardrobe can hold cherished memories; for me, there are outfits from the days when I loved Nirvana, swiftly followed with what I wore whilst I had Kate Nash on repeat. There's the American Apparel dress I wore on my first night out and my first vintage designer handbag that I treasured like nothing else and still do/always will. Every time I wear the bodysuit I wore when I first met my boyfriend, I'm reminded of that evening. #Cringe but true.

In other words, I am a first-class hoarder.

Aside from a serious lack of space, holding on to pieces has it's perks. Trends in fashion have a habit of coming back around.

This dress is a good example of that. I bought it while I was at university; it wasn't insanely expensive but it is 100% silk and as a university student, there's no doubt that I saw it as more of an investment piece. Five years on and gingham is everywhere again and I'm having the last laugh.


Shop my gingham favourites:


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