Friday 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

So it's the last day of 2010 and there's no better time to reflect on the last 12 months than the present.

1. Last January I was taking my first lot of exams for my MSc and whilst I didn't get the best results ever and was constantly stressing that I would fail the course I managed to come out with a Merit overall in September and a Distinction in my dissertation which I couldn't have been more happy about.

2. I started my blog in May due to a massive revision avoiding exercise and have been addicted to blogging ever since. I've met some lovely people in real life and through the likes of twitter because of it and I'm looking forward to many more years of improving my style, meeting more people and generally having fun as I write about my life and loves.

3. The big thing that happened for me this year was going travelling across SE Asia in the autumn time after I finished my MSc. The 2.5months I was away were some of the most exciting times I've ever had and I saw and learnt so much about the world. I feel really blessed to have gone on such an adventure and I know I definitely want to do more travelling as soon as I save up the money again.

4. Over the last year The Boy and I have really struggled living so far apart (London - Leeds) but since I got back from Asia we're making more of an effort to visit each other on a regular basis which is really making us both happy. Having a long distance relationship is really difficult especially since we lived 5minutes from each other during the first year and a half of out relationship. But like all the good things in life, you have to work to get them good and because I'm not studying 24/7 any more it'll be much easier to visit each other thus keeping up the goodness.

5. Since I am now living at home properly for the first time in over 5 years all my stuff is in one place and it's ridiculous. Since going to uni I have accumulated so many clothes and other randomness. I've slowly been going through my 3 wardrobes, chest of drawers and numerous boxes getting rid of clothes I know longer wear and donating them to the local charity shops. I've never been fond of selling things on eBay because I believe donating old stuff to the less fortuante is a much better cause.

6. Finally, since moving back to London I've started to really appreciate the city I was raised in and am taking more interest in discovering all the delights it has to offer. This includes the many galleries, museums, music venues and alike that are scattered all over the place. London has so much to offer and I am here, with arms spread, ready to discover everything about it!

As well as reflections there is the little case of resolutions too and I have 3 important ones to share.

1. As usual I want become more active and loose some weight. I say this every year and usually fail but since I am no longer a student drinking cider down the pub every lunch time there should be no better time to start than now. I also want to take up some exercise to increase my fitness. When I was living in Derby I started running and swimming on a regular basis but somehow I fell out of routine. I'd really like to run the Race for Life this year so come January I'm going to make a 100% effort to get off my lazy bum and go for a jog.

2. I really want to improve my blog. This means trying to blog 5 times a week, commenting more and making the content as interesting and relevant to my life as possible. In the process I want to learn more about HTML, editing photos and general photography. I am very foruante that my parent's business is in the photography sector and since working in their shop over Christmas I have already learnt a few bits and bobs about photoshop. One day I'd like a SLR camera and know how to use it properly.

3. Finally, I need to find a job / PhD since I am currently unemployed. Most importantly I want a job that I enjoy doing, that challenges me and that will take me places. Before I started my MSc I was working in a chemistry lab that wasn't very inspiring or challenging. This time around I want something that I'll be happy to stay in for years to come. Ideally I want to stay in London for a few more years but if not I'm willing to look for job nearly ANYWHERE! Maybe I'll even find one closer to The Boy up in Leeds.

Excuse the wordy nature of this post, I've been feeling really poorly these last few days due to a massive tooth infection that is sending me round the bend. I've been bed ridden in agony so have had no exciting outfit posts to do. I was meant to go to Leeds today to spend the weekend with The Boy but I am still at home suffering so I'll be spending my evening watching DVDs with G, eating soft food and having a single cider at midnight so as not to interfere with my antibiotics. Not the best of ways to start a new decade but what can I do? I do have a new dress I might put on for the occasion but my Green Day pjs are looking way more appealing right now so who knows.

So without further ado, have a great New Years Eve everyone and all the best for 2011!

Cheers x

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Cambodia and Laos

Today I'm going to share with you some photos from Cambodia and Laos. We were in both countries for a week each and boy were they different. I didn't like Cambodia too much because I felt it was very corrupt and the people were unfriendly. On the contrary, Laos was extremely laid back and the people couldn't be more friendly PLUS they didn't hassle you at markets which is always a bonus. However, both were equally as beautiful and shared an overwhelming sense of spirituality.

One thing I did like about Cambodia was the contrast between images of darkness due to the horrific crimes inflicted by the Khmer Rouge and vast regions of temples showcasing the dramatic spiritual past of the country.

I don't really have any decent pictures of me in Phnom Phen, the capital but I do have plenty from Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor so here goes.

This stupa was built to remember the hundreds of people murdered by the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pott's regime in the Killing Fields. The building contains an enormous glass cabinet filled with the bones collected from the victims and whilst this image is depressing it is an important reminder of the tragedies that occurred here in hope that this mass genocide will not happen again.

At Ta Prohm Temple, Siem Reap (Tomb Raider was filmed here)

Another tree at Ta Prohm (this temple is famous for all the trees growing through it)

The pink temple

One of the things I loved the most about the temples were the demonic looking trees growing between the bricks. The tress were obviously not there when the temples were first built so their vast presence really does give a fantastic indication of how old the temples actually are. When these temples were built (around the 12th century) there were 1000s of people leaving in the Angkor complex which was unheard of for that time, especially considering massive cities today like London would have had a much smaller population at the same time.

Angkor Wat at sunrise

The many faces of Bayon

Me with a face of Bayon

The going out street in Siem Reap funnily enough

I took so many pictures of the temples, which makes it really hard to decide what to include especially since they are all so incredible and different looking. I've put up a few so as not to bore you but if you want to see more just ask, they are a pretty spectacular piece of architecture.

Anyhow, on to Laos! I don't have many pictures at all from this wonderful country but the few I have are very contrasting. We went Tubing in Vang Vieng which was chaotic, colourful and mad whilst Luang Prabang was peaceful and serene.

Getting our tube on

Green Foot Spicy Crew

Sitting in my tube with a bucket of booze

The beautiful Luang Prabang

Beautiful lights at the Night Bazar


At the waterfall

Luang Prabang is a highly spirtual place due the abundant numbers of Buddhist monks who worship across the cities many temples. Due to this Luang Prabang has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site and an 11pm curfew has been put in place. This made the whole place one of the most relaxing locations we visited on the entire trip as there were very few 'pissed tourists' about. You could spend weeks here just soaking in the atmosphere, taking meditation courses and immersing yourself into the countries relaxing attitude. I loved every bit of Laos we saw and would definitely go back again to discover more of the country.

Next time I'll share with you the amazing country that is Thailand and how contrasting the North is compared with the beautiful islands of the South.

Check out my non existent tan 1.5months into the trip x

Monday 27 December 2010

Pac Attack!

Still in that festive mood, hope you are all too? For me, the festiveness doesn't really diminish until New Year's and we all have to go back to work/school/uni etc. Seeing as I am partially unemployed (working in Dad's Snappy Snaps doesn't really count) I'll stop being festive once I find a job/PhD.

So, yesterday and today was dedicated to a little sale shopping and birthday present buying for my Mum. Yesterday it was a casual affair spent in Putney whilst today we ventured into London for a little more extravagance. High Street Ken was the spot and to my joy and complete and utter amazement I managed to pick up the H&M Lanvin (sell out in 10minutes) dress I wanted so badly when I was in Thailand. There was one floating about the store and it was in my size! I threw down £150 (most my Christmas money) and walked away with a massive smile on my face (pictures to follow soon). After a few other little bits and bobs including some new American Apparel two-tone tights we headed home for another enormous feed.

Dress from ASOS
Leopard cardigan from Topshop
Pacman brooch - Sunday Up Markey, Brick Lane
Tights - Christmas present

This is actually what I wore yesterday. The cardigan was a Christmas present and the Pacman brooch was a purchase from last week. It's made of those funny iron together bead things you probably played with as a child. I love Pacman!!

We watched 'Shutter Island' last night which was completely amazing and now I'm kinda in a Leo mood and want to watch Inception etc. I think we might watch 'The Beach' later, I read the book in Thailand (so much better than the film) and now I want to watch the film again.

The Boy leaves tomorrow =( and the job/PhD hunt will begin so wish me luck. My sister AND mum celebrate their birthday tomorrow as well so the house is going to be pretty chaotic.

Stay festive x

Sunday 26 December 2010


Hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and got plenty of stuff from the fat man! Christmas isn't all about the presents you know... there's the decorations and the food too =)

I got some great gifts, which I plan to share with you over the next few days but first I thought I'd upload some pictures of the festiveness in our house plus some stuff I bought in Thailand to decorate my room with.

So this is my bedroom complete with a brand new bed my parents bought when I was away. I bought the throw and matching pillow cases in Chaing Mai, Thailand from the Night Bazar. I had seen them in Cambodia but the throws were $60 dollars which was far too much to spend, however I managed to haggle this throw and pillow cases down to less than $40 in Northern Thailand which was a pretty good bargain. They literally took up half my rucksack for the remainder of the trip but I'm so glad I purchased them because they make me room feel so warm and cosy plus they are handmade so I'm supporting the local trades people.

The fan is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I'd seen similar in Hong Kong but didn't want to carry it around for 2.5months so I was lucky to find this on the day I travelled home! I still need to put a pin in the wall so I can hang it up properly. Above it you can see my advent calender consisting of felt pouches plus some Christmas cards I've hung. I wrapped fairy lights around my bed too to add even more festiveness to my room plus they're the sort of thing you can leave up all year round.

Hanging on the left is what I like to call my 'Christmas jumper/dress'! It has a massive sequin cat on the front and is really festive hence the name. I wore it to work on boxing this year and definitely put the customers in a festive mood (I think)!

Check out the mega cool poster of the skeletal system hanging up behind the fan too! I am suck a geek!

Dress from H&M
Velvet hair band bow from ASOS

So here's me on Christmas day wearing a new dress and hairband with our lovely tree (and presents) in the background. I actually decorated the tree for the first time ever since I'm not usually at home when it normally get's decorated. However my little sister insisted on re-doing the Christmas decorations since I had apparently made such a shoddy job of it all!

I got a fair amount of clothes plus some money and other terrific bits and bobs from everyone. The boy got me some great cook books including the new Jamie Olive and plenty of DVDs and the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack.

Stocking by the fireplace full of presents like chocolate, socks and oranges. The boy is staying for Christmas so his stocking is in there too, plus the parents. Mine is one of the white ones covered in holly.

We went for a Christmas walk down by the Thames and on the way back home we stumbled across this massive mound of snow in Putney common so the boy took some photos of the family =) I'm wearing my new H&M faux fur leopard coat and bunny hat from River Island. I had a really cold bum from sitting on the snow!!!

After watching Harry Potter 7.1 and a disappointing Christmas episode of Doctor Who we finally sat down for a delicious dinner. We enjoyed turnkey, ham and plenty of vegetables plus the all important terrible crackers!! This was definitely was one of my more enjoyable Christmas' and I'll be sad to see all the decorations come down in January.

I took this photo today after we got back from a little sale shopping. I'm wearing an old tee and my new leopard cardigan, coat and hat. I also have my leopard leggings and Ugg boots on! I assure you I didn't actually go out dress liked this, it was just to make everyone laugh, which certainly worked. Off to watch Shutter Island now (present from me to Dad) and then cook some dinner. I'm doing a Thai green curry that I learnt how to make on a cooking course in Chaing Mai.

Stay merry x

Thursday 23 December 2010

Adventure through Vietnam

Happy Christmas Eve eve folks, I hope you've all finished your Christmas shopping so that the real Christmas Eve isn't full of last minute craziness. I have pretty much finished mine now (did loads today) but I still need to buy Mum an angel decoration. She collects angels you see and every Christmas I buy her a new decoration for the collection. We have 2 Christmas trees, a real one in the front room with all the 'normal' decorations and presents underneath and a second fake one in the hallway with all the angels on it. The mantel piece in the living room has all the angels that don't hang too. But who cares about my Christmas trees eh? The important thing is that Putney has no decent decorations left so I have to find something in Wimbledon tomorrow.

Besides from that everything is going all Christmasy and well. I started to read 'A Christmas Carol' last night and soon it'll be time to get out the 'Home Alone' and 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' DVDs. My little Sis is making mince pies (even though I don't like them) and Mum is planning the 'feast'! I still haven't taken any photos of what I've been wearing since I returned (despite my outfits being pretty darn festive) but I do have some more travelling snaps for you. This time I'll be showing you around the incredible country of Vietnam. Full of history, life and amazement! Definitely one of the best places we visited =)

Being foolish in Hanoi

D and I on our boat tour of Halong Bay

A view over Halong Bay from a cave we visited

Swimming with C in Halong Bay

1000 years of Hanoi celebrations

Restoration in the Citadel, Hue

Having a break on the city wall, Hue

Kung Fu in Hue

Incense sticks

A bit tipsy in Hoi An

My Son temple, Hoi An

Buckets in Nha Trang

Scuba diving in Nha Trang

Celebrating my 24th birthday in my new silk dress

On route to Saigon in a horrible night bus (the hat was a birthday present)

Chu Chi tunnels, Saigon

Snake girl (I had the dress made in Hoi An, it's a copy of this one)

On the Mekong Delta

So that's it for Vietnam, I obviosly took hundreds of more photos but I don't want to upload them all and I'm sure you guys don't really want to look through them all either. Vietnam was an incredible country with so much to learn due to the war. Whilst the history is quite depressing, Vietnam is full of beautiful temples and far eastern style buildings. It is more developed than most SE Asian countries and Saigon (Ho Chi Ming City) is really westernised. I really want to go back and see more f Hoi An which was completely beautiful (you get taylor made clothes there) and see other places like Sapa, Dalat and Muine.

Next time I'll share with you my adventure in Cambodia and Laos. As the trip went on I took less and less photos, that's not to say I still don't have loads but it does mean an easier job at selecting which ones to put here.

Sleep well tonight and good luck with the rest of you Christmas shopping. I've just wrapped my presents and put them under the tree so it's all getting very exciting.

2 more sleeps x

Wednesday 22 December 2010

A quick one while he's away

Laptop is fixed so blogging will resume ASAP! In the meantime here are some pictures of me in China.

Rooftops of the forbidden city from Jingshan Park, Beijing, China

At Temple of Heaven Park, Beijing, China

A small section from the Great Wall of China

Having just completed the 2 hour trek of the wall, it was exhausting!

Eating dim sum at City Hall in Hong Kong

Taking a trip to the main land on the Star Ferry, Hong Kong

C and I on route to see 'Big Buddha' on Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Looking glam in our hats

Hong Kong at night from The Peak

So these are just a few snippets from my week in China. I only went to Beijing and Hong Kong to visit my friend C from sixth form. I was able to stay in her lovely apartment which had fantastic views of Hong Kong plus she knew all the best places to take me. Beijing was incredible and not only was it a massive culture shock the architecture and colours of the city was so vibrant and beautiful!

I loved the authentic Chinese feel penetrated through almost every street and alley in Beijing but I equally loved the ultra modern cityscape of Hong Kong. I really want to see more of China so hopefully I'll get to go back and explore more of the astonishing country.

The next stop was Vietnam but I'll upload photos next time. Until then I'm uploading albums onto facebook and it's taking forever.

3 more sleeps x