10 Inspirational Travel Quotes To Live By In 2021

10 Inspirational Travel Quotes To Live By In 2021

We have combined the ultimate list of travel quotes to inspire you to get out and explore the world in 2021. Whether you feel stuck in a rut, demotivated or you’re simply bored and have a thirst for change and adventure then look no further!

It’s amazing how reading inspirational quotes can change your whole mood and push you to get started on your travel goals. They help you to feel inspired and encourage you to take action.

So take a scroll through our epic list of travel quotes that will surely encourage your thirst for wanderlust.

#1 ‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.’ Saint Augustine

#2 “If you think adventure is dangeroustry routine; it is lethal.’ Paulo Coelho

#3 ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ Mark Twain

#4 ‘Don’t count the days. Make the days count.’ Muhammed Ali

#5 ‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.’ Susan Sontag

#6 ‘It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.’ Ernest Hemingway

#7 ‘Because in the end, you won’t remember the time spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.’ Jack Kerouac

#8 ‘What you have to decide… is how you want your life to be. If your ending was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. So don’t be afraid, be alive.’ Sarah Desson

#9 ‘A mind that is stretched by a new experience, can never go back to its old dimensions.’ Oliver Wendell Holmes

#10 ‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart.’ Confucius

Shelley&Michelle xx

Travel Savings: Beginner’s Guide to Boost Your Travel Fund

Travel Savings: Beginner’s Guide to Boost Your Travel Fund

Travel has always been one of our favourite ways to not only explore the world but as a way to detox from our busy lifestyles. While travel is considered a privilege it doesn’t mean you have to be rich to enjoy the benefits a holiday destination can afford you.

We have been fortunate to explore various parts of the world while working full-time. But this wasn’t without forward planning to dip into our travel savings which helped to fund our trips.

Saving doesn’t always come naturally for many of us and it can be struggle to get the cash together for a big trip if you’re not used to being careful with your money. While we don’t suggest you have to be overly frugal we have listed our best tips and tricks to get closer to your travel savings goal!

So get out your pen and pad and jot down our savings hacks which will get you closer to your holiday destination and on the next flight out.

Set up a separate bank account

First thing first! Set yourself up a savings account that is separate from all of your other accounts. It is easy to set up an account online with pretty much any and every bank provider. This way your travel fund is totally separate from your regular money and you’ll be less inclined to dip into your travel pot. Many banks will give you rewards for opening a new account, which can include a monthly bonus or you could receive a gadget for showing loyalty. In addition, we would recommend an account which limits the number of withdrawals you can make throughout the year so you’re not tempted to touch your savings.

Set up automatic transfers

To build up your travel savings faster it would be a good idea to set up a standard order into your new account. Put a set amount from your monthly pay cheque into your new savings account. The easiest way to do this is to have cash automatically transferred from your ‘regular’ checking account each payday. For example, you could set up a £50 standard order (depending on your budget) to set aside for your travel goals. It is also a good idea to boost your savings fund with any extra cash you have leftover – whether daily, weekly or monthly – rather than buy that latte put that extra £5 into your travel account.

Get a money jar

Why not go old school and put your loose change into a money jar. We love doing this. It’s always a surprise to see how much you have accumulated over a few months. We both used to put £5 aside and saved over £150 between us in just a couple of months. Setting up a savings jar is an easy way to put money aside.

Use budgeting apps

A great way to keep your expenses low and see how much extra money you have available to boost your savings is to download a budget app. They allow you to keep track of your spending habits which can you give a clue of where to cut back on your spending. Apps like Mint are perfect to use for this. Mint allows you to keep track of and categorise your expenses, as well as set maximum spending limits for yourself.

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Cancel your Direct Debits

Remember that gym membership you started in January but have yet to step inside – cancel it. Or that magazine subscription you probably don’t need, cancel that too.

Now, take a closer a look at areas that you can negotiate a better deal and pay a lower rate. For instance, do you pay a monthly fee for your bank account? Think about switching to another provider and earning a cash bonus of up to £100. Or you can check what upgrades your current provider offers and decide whether you actually need it. For example, if they offer mobile and travel insurance this can be a great asset for when you’re ready to travel. If you’re paying too much shop around and compare prices on comparison websites.

What about your Netflix account? Check out how much you’re paying each month and if you’re paying for premium consider going back to the basic plan which costs about £5.99 per month.

Don’t Give Up

While it may seem like a challenge it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Travel is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer and we should all get a chance to get a discover the world. Whether you’re craving new experiences or challenges by following these easy steps you’ll be on your next flight in no time!

Shelley & Michelle xx

WINE TASTING WEEKEND

WINE TASTING WEEKEND

If you are looking for something a bit different to do in London, we would definitely recommend a wine tasting experience. We had an entertaining and tipsy Saturday afternoon spent wine tasting at London’s Wine Cottage. The day was held at The Oval cricket ground which has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845.

We kicked our day off with tequila.. yes tequila! If you really want to let your hair down definitely go for it. You have the option to choose if you would like to have a session tequila tasting before the actual wine tasting and we chose to do just that lol.

Now, for the wines. We enjoyed luxury Wine, Champagne & Port, paired with Cheese and Truffles. Each wine complimented the cheeses so well and not forgetting the port and truffles. We drank Port from a chocolate cup which went down very well. The wines and port were finely selected by our wine connoisseurs. The wines are exclusively selected and imported directly from some of the best châteaux and award winning vineyards from around the world.

Our wine tasting experience was not only fun and entertaining. The day was also educational and informative. You will not only be leaving the venue tipsy, but with your new found wine knowledge you will become a wine connoisseur in your own right.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

5 useful tips to save money for travel in 2020

5 useful tips to save money for travel in 2020

While much of the globe is currently on hold with travel restrictions being imposed following the coronavirus pandemic there has been no better time for us to make some personal finance changes so we can get back to globetrotting!

Are you planning a dream getaway, package holiday, a solo trip or a budget trip and are stuck on ways to save for your epic journey?

In this guide, you’ll find our simple and most effective tips to save for money and embark on your latest travel adventure.

By making small changes today, before you know it you’ll be on your next flight out on a dream holiday.

Before we get started there are a few things you must consider before you begin saving money for travel.

How much are you looking to save and what is your travel budget?

Do you have any outstanding debts?

Are you currently sticking to a budget?

Do you have any ways to make some extra money?

Paying off debt

Paying off any loans or credit cards are one of the first steps you can take to make your travel goals. By freeing yourself of debts gives you more control over your money. While it can be a long journey to be completely debt-free, once you reach that goal it will give you peace of mind.

One option for borrowers is to transfer your credit card debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card where you will not be charged any interest. For example, if you owe £2,000 on your card you’ll only have to pay off the balance only. It’s important to note that some providers charge a fee on balance transfers.

If you have debt on more than one credit card it is worth paying off the most expensive card first. If, for example, you owe £1,000 on a card charging 15% interest and another £1,000 on one charging 30% concentrate on the card charging 30% and pay as much as you can. But make sure you continue to pay the minimum amounts on both credit cards because any missed payments can negatively impact your credit score.

We would also recommend that you set up a direct debit payment for all your credit cards so that you never miss a payment.

READ MORE: New York City Travel Guide

Set a travel savings goal

Before you begin stashing away cash for your dream destination, it is important to set yourself a savings goal. Think about your budget and how much you will need for the trip and how much money you need to save.

Have a look at your finances by creating a spreadsheet where you can clearly see how much you earn each month and the amount you spend. Or you can download a free monthly budget app onto your phone which can track your spending habits. There are also various online calculators that can help you plan a budget.

Are there any areas where you can cut back spending or subscriptions you can cancel like your current gym membership?

Once you have decided how much you need to save set up a limited access savings account and automate payments into your holiday fund each month. This way you can commit to saving for your dream trip and by using a limited savings account you’ll be less tempted to dip into your travel fund.

Let’s imagine that your budget for your trip is £1,000 and you want to save up for your dream getaway in the next four, six or 12 months. Over the next four months you’ll need to save £250, over six months roughly around £167 and in 12 months £83.

By setting realistic money saving goals you will get closer to reaching your target.

Sell your stuff

It’s amazing the amount of things we accumulate over the years that we no longer use but hold on to for whatever reason. Unless it holds sentimental value to you just get rid of it!

There are numerous websites online where you can sell unwanted clothes, furniture or sports equipment online – pretty much anything! With sites like Ebay to Amazon and Depop there are easy ways to sell your old items and make some extra cash along the way.

If you have creative talents you could even turn your handcrafted unique pieces into cash by selling on Etsy. It’s a great way to turn your hobby into something profitable and have some extra funds to add to your travel account.

Start a side hustle

Being in lockdown has given many of us a lot of time on our hands to start being a bit more creative. Maybe you wanted to start a blog or write a book but there are many different opportunities to earn extra money if you have a full-time job.

Find a side hustle that could be working from home or a second job as an Uber or Amazon driver or you could set up an online business. It doesn’t have to be something that makes you loads of money. Just something to help boost your income.

Do some research and find something which matches your talents or skill set. By doing this it will be easier for you to reach your goals and make some extra money.

Watch your savings grow

It is not an easy task but with determination and discipline you can reach your travel savings goal in no time. Check your account every couple of months to see how you’re doing.

Set yourself small targets and treat yourself as you hit each milestone.

When you reach your goal for this year’s holiday, set a new higher target for next year – maybe you could increase the number of destinations that you visit and more holidays.

Do you have any other tips to help others save for travel. Let us know in the comments!

Shelley & Michelle xx

ULTIMATE GETAWAY GUIDE FOR YOUR STAY IN AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam, The Netherlands capital and one of the world’s most multicultural cities. Home to painter Van Gogh and Anne Frank. Known for its historic canals, museums, coffee shops, narrow houses, cyclists, bike paths and not forgetting the red-light district. We have to say one of our favourite long weekends away was spent in this city. There is so much history in Amsterdam with the most stunning buildings.

Where to stay

We stayed at the Corendon Vitality Hotel which has easy transport links and is very handy when exploring Amsterdam. The rooms are small, cosy and chic, the hotel restaurant is based on the ground floor and serves a breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner with the chefs cooking in your eye view. Our favourite part of the Corendon is the spa. We enjoyed a 60-minute hot stone massage side by side which was so relaxing! We then took advantage of the sauna and steam room after our massage. The spa also has a chill out area that comes with cushioned lounge beds where you can enjoy a quick nap. To add the extra zen there’s mood lighting that creates a soothing tranquility effect. We honestly didn’t want to leave!

Things to do

Canal Cruise: We boarded the boat in the heart of the city and chose the cruise as it’s a nice way to see Amsterdam from the water. You are given disposable earphones when seated where you then sit back and listen to a recorded tour guide. Amsterdam is so picturesque the canals and bridges are so beautiful. We chose a great day for the cruise, the sun was shining which made the cruise that extra special. The cruise is a great way to learn about Amsterdam’s history. Some of the houses built alongside the canal were built during the Dutch Golden Age and there are different stop off points. We exited the boat outside Anne Frank’s house.

Anne Frank House: Located on the Prinsengracht canal in central Amsterdam stands the house of Anne Frank along with her family and four people who hid from the Nazi persecution during World War II. We booked tickets to visit Anne Frank’s House before we left London and highly recommend booking this way to prevent queuing for ages and to avoid disappointment. Anne Frank’s House should definitely be on your to do list. The museum is full of pictures of Anne, her family and the people who lived with them. You see quotations from Anne’s diary, family photographs and film images. It’s as if you’re stepping into her mind, everything she wrote, her thought’s and how she felt at that time was quoted in the museum. You will also see original objects belonging to those in hiding. It truly was a memorable part of our trip.

Ice Bar: We wanted to experience something a little different and one evening while walking along the streets of Amsterdam we came across Amsterdam’s Ice Bar. On arrival you are given three tokens where you can treat yourself to free drinks. There are two bars, the first bar called ‘the lounge’ where you sit and enjoy some music (in the warmth) whilst sipping on a cocktail. The Ice bar is located at the back of the lounge. Before entering the -10 degree bar you are given a thermal coat and gloves. It was all fun and games before we entered lol! The Ice bar is colourfully lit with an amazing ice sculptured bar made up of 60 tons of natural ice. Even the walls were made out of ice. When ordering your drink at the bar the glasses you drink out of are also made up of ice. Even down to the seats!

Dining Experience

Supperclub: If you want a night out combined with good cuisine then look no further than Supperclub. When you arrive at the low-key venue be prepared to enter a night filled with magical festivities. It’s more than a restaurant but a place that will blow your mind from beginning until the end. On arrival guests have the option to dine at a table or can lounge on a crisp white bed and we opted for the latter. Kicking off your shoes you can lay back and await your seven-course meal before the entertainment begins. Another twist to the evening was all the dishes were a surprise, so you didn’t actually know what was on the menu. You have no idea what you are about to eat until you are served your meal. Be sure to wear your favourite socks when sat on the beds as you will be asked to remove your shoes. When booking the experience they do ask for your dietary requirements and allergies beforehand and will make a note on your reservation. The entertainment was stellar – from acrobats, to ballerinas and people in drag singing and dancing. To wrap up the evening there is an in-house DJ who keeps the night going well into the early hours.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

HAKKASAN MAYFAIR, LONDON

We celebrated Shelley’s birthday in style at London’s Hakkasan restaurant in Mayfair. We were seated in a dimly lit room, with a soft glow coming from a candle situated on the table.

We have been fans of this restaurant since we first visited Hakkasan in Las Vegas (review coming soon!) so we couldn’t turn down going in our hometown of London.

If you’re a fan of fine dining and have an appetite for Dim Sum then look no further.

So we began our dining experience with a Dim Sum dish, creating a banquet of different tastes and flavours in our mouth. We devoured a classic steamed dumpling variety which consisted of swordfish, king crab and caviar. This was accompanied by soy sauce, chilli sauce and rice vinegar. Of course, our meal wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail or three. We couldn’t get enough of The Hakka!

For our second course, we enjoyed two meat dishes that certainly had our taste buds wanting more. Firstly, was prawns dipped in nut sauce with jasmine rice and aubergines. Second, was the mouth tingling stir-fry black pepper rib-eye with Merlot. Delicious!

We are such fans of Dim Sum that we couldn’t resist another round of the exquisite delicacy. It’s just so good!

They brought us Hakkasan’s signature desert for our final dish which blew our minds literally…

A rice crispy ice cream ball with warm chocolate sauce slathered all over. A deliciously gooey treat that makes you crave for more.

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Shelley & Michelle xx

OUR QUICK AND EASY CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE RECIPE

OUR QUICK AND EASY CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE RECIPE

As the weather begins to brightening up, and as cake lovers we thought what better way to enjoy the new season than baking and eating cake! Packed with gooey chocolate chips throughout, we chose to make our go to chocolate chip cake which is so easy to make and is perfect for any occasion. You could serve with a dash of cream or ice cream, as a sweet dessert, or simply lovely to enjoy with a cup of tea. This chocolate chip cake can also be made into chocolate chip muffins (see one of our previous posts).

Ingredients:

250g self-raising flour

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup of Milk

1 tsp vanila extract

200g Unsalted butter

200g Granulated sugar

3 eggs

100g chocolate chips

100g white chocolate chips

Method:

1: Pre-heat the oven to 200°F, then combine all of your dry ingredients which includes the salt and baking powder to the flour. Whisk through thoroughly so it has a smooth effect with no clumps.

2: Pour the vanilla extract into the milk. In another separate bowl add your butter and sugar, then whisk until your batter is light and fluffy. Next crack in your three eggs one at a time. The egg helps combine the mixture and also adds moisture.

3: Add a third of your dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture. Then add half of your milk and vanilla extract mixture and mix it in. You want to alternate the dry ingredients and the milk and vanilla mixture until it’s all eventually in, and mix with your hand mixer. Your batter should look smooth and creamy.

4: Now it’s time for the chocolate chips. Put a fare amount of both chocolate and white chocolate chips into your bowl. But leave a little bit of your chocolate chips to the side to add at the end. Begin to mix so your chocolate chips are thoroughly distributed into the mix. Next pour your batter into your greased baking tin. Always make sure you have greased your baking paper before adding your batter, as it prevents your cake to stick. After placing your mix evenly into the tin, sprinkle the last of your chocolate chips on to the top.

5. Lastly, place your mix into your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the cake comes out clean and not sticky.

Shelley & Michelle xx

5 WAYS TO KICKSTART A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE IN 2022

5 WAYS TO KICKSTART A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE IN 2022

Invest in yourself: Always make time for you, it may sound a bit cliche but not taking care of yourself won’t give you the ability to be your best self in everyday life. This is easier said then done, as the days can disappear before our eyes so quickly… I mean we are at the end of January already! Try and find ways to show yourself some love and keep your stress levels down, whether it’s getting your hair done, buying that new outfit or a piece of jewelry you’ve had your eye on. Retail therapy can be a good remedy to feel good. Lastly investing in your wellness, for example vitamins is a good way to get through those long winter days. We have a lot of vitamins and minerals in our foods, but if you are suffering with those January blues and needing that extra boost, invest in the vitamins you need to help give you energy.

Make time for sleep: Getting enough sleep is one of the most important health benefits ever! It reduces stress and improves your mood, leaving you refreshed and alert for the day ahead. Without enough sleep the brain cannot function properly. A healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy. It’s not easy for us all to drift off to sleepy land straight away and to get in the recommended six to nine hours a night, but if you try getting into bed at a decent hour most nights, and making it a point to shut out all the distractions such as phones, you may see a difference. Enjoying a hot bath with your favorite bath salts is a great way to help sooth the muscles, unwind and clear the mind. We love spraying lavender mist on our pillows before sleep which helps get us to sleep quicker. If that’s not for you, you can never go wrong with a good book before bed.

(Photo credit: Susan Wilkinson)

Choosing healthier food options: We’re not fans of diets and tend to eat what we want and also enjoy, all in moderation of course! If you are watching what you eat then the best way to monitor this is by evaluating the time of day you have your meals. We find that when we make time for breakfast, lunch and dinner we snack less during the day. A substantial breakfast is not on the cards for us every day due to busy mornings. When on the go grab that banana or fruit pot so you don’t miss out. Try eating at fixed meal times daily, this will help control your hunger. Just have fun with your meals, we are foodies and like a variety of different cuisines. Experiment more in the kitchen and bring fresh tastes to your dining room table.

(Photo credit: Claudia Soares)

Exercise: Being able to fit the time in to even get to the gym a few times a week is a miracle. So when life gets hectic, being physically active throughout the day helps. You don’t need to hit the gym every day to burn calories, deciding to take the stairs over the lift, taking a half an hour brisk walk at lunchtime. And even try a ten minute quick Yoga and Pilates session first thing in the morning or just before bed at the end of the day. Sticking with this routine will keep your fitness levels on track.

Mind and soul: We all have our own way to de-stress, clearing the mind is also important for overall health. Learning to switch off from your day fully is a mindset, to achieve this, you can meditate, pursue a hobby, listen to music and watch a great tv series. Why not treat yourself to the cinema or theatre. Put yourself first, when you try to do that you will feel happier and be able to tackle whatever life throws at you.

Shelley & Michelle xx

DINNER AT LONDON’S MINT LEAF LOUNGE

DINNER AT LONDON’S MINT LEAF LOUNGE

If you fancy a chilled evening dining out, and to experience exquisite dishes filled with great herbs and spices. Then Mint Leaf Lounge is the place for you. The cosy restaurant provides a great atmosphere with soft lighting and relaxed music.

Based in the City of London, the restaurant offers a variety of different menus to suit everyone, from a romantic meal for two, to a group dinner, and even business lunches.

Diners have the choice from a selection of set menus as well as an à la carte menu to choose from. And as always great cocktails, wines and spirits are on offer. We chose to sip on chardonnay wine for the evening which went down nicely with our meal.

To kick start the evening we chose the Chilli Calamari which was perfectly crisp fried and tossed with roast cumin and green chilli. Alongside a plate of Tiger Prawns with black onion seeds and spiced yoghurt. Both dishes were so tasty, we wanted more!

It took a little longer than usual to choose what we wanted to eat, as everything on the menu looked too good. So we decided on a dish each, and to share the love lol.

We enjoyed the Murgh Tikka Makhani which is a free range chicken, chargrilled in fresh tomato and fenugreek sauce. With Lamb Rogan Josh that included a braised leg of lamb with brown onion, tomato and Kashmiri chilli and Saffron Pulao Rice. Both dishes tasted really well together.

Mint Leaf Lounge is located near to the Bank of England in the heart of the City. If you are based in London the restaurant is easy to travel to, and a great choice to enjoy chic and sophisticated dining.

Shelley & Michelle xx

Soul Review: Disney Pixar’s Newest Animated Film Starring An All-Star Voice Cast

Pixar is the brains behind many film classics such as Toy Story, The Incredibles and they have now gained yet another classic to add to their franchise. Pixar’s latest release Soul was a great but emotional watch. The award-winning animation skipped the cinemas and was released by Disney+ on Christmas Day last year, becoming the first Pixar movie to debut exclusively on the streaming service.

Soul is Pixar’s first animated film to feature an African American lead character. The film hosts the voices of a stellar cast including Jamie Foxx, Graham Norton, Angela Bassett and many more. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard Norton’s voice, appearing as Moonwind, a spiritual sign twirler. I’m so used to watching him on the Graham Norton show, it was good to see Graham make his first ‘voiced’ movie debut.

Soul tells the story of 46-year-old Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a music teacher who isn’t totally happy with his career and is still waiting on his life to begin. He has a lifelong love of jazz music and fortunately gets the chance to play the piano at one of the best jazz clubs in New York City, for the legendary jazz musician and band-leader Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). Joe cannot believe his luck as he begins his walk through the streets of Queens, New York with an extra spring to his step. But he is on his phone, distracted and not paying any attention to what’s going on around him. Joe’s walking into roads without looking, nearly getting knocked over by several cars on his travels. This scene left me feeling quite nervous and on the edge of my seat as Joe narrowly misses death several times, until he falls into a deep open manhole.

My first thought was “Is Joe dead or alive?” then “Really… he’s actually died so early on in the film?” It turned out though, that he isn’t quite dead. Joe has crossed over to The Great Before – this is a place in the clouds where unborn souls are living – and are assigned different personalities before they go to earth.

The ‘souls’ reminded me of characters in the 90s classic ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost.’ Their mentors are allocated to souls that need a little help to give them the push and encouragement they need to truly live.

Joe, who wants to return to life, is paired with Soul 22 (Tina Fey), who has the total opposite view to him and is adamant that she wants to stay put. But Joe learns that she is a lost soul and tries his best to explain and show her the joys of living. Soul 22 accompanies Joe as they evaluate his life and embark on a wonderful journey. Throughout the film they end up being mentors to one another as Joe reminds Soul 22 of her time on Earth. She eventually goes back to Earth and Joe accompanies her until he heads back in line for the Great Beyond. As he awaits his turn, Joe is stopped by “counsellor” Jerry who works at the Great Beyond and tells him that he gets a second chance at life.

I had to stop myself from blubbering as Soul is most definitely a film that pulls at the heartstrings. It really gets you thinking about life and portrays the Great Before, as many of us have only ever heard of the afterlife and not life before your own human existence. It was a great watch, which can be enjoyed with the whole family. There is one thing that Joe says in the film that will stick with me forever “Life is full of possibilities, you just need to know where to look.”

Shelley & Michelle xx