An Asian princess…

So today me and my best friends (one being the bride) headed to Hampstead in Birmingham to hunt out our wedding guest outfits.I love Asian attired, the bling, the vibrant colours and flowing materials are a fashion grads dream and today I was in total heaven!

There were so many shops full of outfits to choose from, Sari’s, lengha’s…. They had it all.


At first I was set on having a lengha (a large skirt and a crop top) but when I tried one on although it felt amazing it seemed a bit like a ball gown!

I wanted to go for something more fitted so I opted for a sari; now I just need to learn how to put it on! Any advice?!

As soon as I walked into the store I saw the one, you know that feeling every girl gets when her heart has decided she’s in love and that’s it purchase made….mind however was thinking of the bank balance and having slight palpitations.


The detail was incredible and I loved how the crop top dipped in the middle (also a fantastic distraction from my current stomachs cuddle cushion). The colour is a rich lilac and the beading is gold with diamonds….everywhere!

I feel so nice in it! Like a little Asian princess, it’s a shame I can’t dress up like this every day….because I would.

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Wedding guest crazy…

Now I don’t know about you but I’ve just hit that age when everyone and anyone is getting married, I’ve got hen do’s and weddings coming out of my ears and as shallow as it is I simply don’t know what to wear! 

I’ve only been to one wedding in my life time therefore I’m not entirely sure on ‘wedding guest dress etiquette’ but what I do know is exactly what’s on the high street, what fits and what doesn’t as I’m pretty sure I’ve tried everything on! As much as I’d love to rock up in a designer gown my budget simply won’t stretch, therefore I’m going to advise you what’s out there on a shoe string.

I’ve had a hen do in Iceland, Marbella, Bristol, and more to come so I’m pretty broke….but worth every penny. On top of this I need to get myself booked into a hotel get a present and find a dress.

I swear I’ve had more trouble finding an dress than the brides themselves. I’m 5’8 size 8-10 with rather large boobs, most of you would say this is an ideal average size but being a tall busty blonde doesn’t always work out when locating the perfect fitted dress.

My first wedding I think is going to be the most traditional, she’s one of my closest friends and they are going all out therefore I feel a sophisticated midi would be the one…….

Asos have a wedding guest section which is a great help, but don’t narrow your search to this area, there are plenty of other dresses on the site suitable for the occasion. The best thing I find about Asos is there is a wide variety of branded and own branded items so if you don’t fit the standard Asos size try yourself in branded dresses. 


If I had a little bit more money to spend (ok a lot) I would opt for the Self-portrait dresses in the pale blue or pink. I tried one on in Selfridges just for funsies and unfortunately it fitted like a glove and I feel in love. I say unfortunately because every dress I now try on I compare to that beautiful piece that is half the price of my monthly rent (ouch).


I’ve ordered this dress from Chi Chi London, mainly because I believe ill look and feel like a Disney princess but its also quite modest with a cheeky bare shoulder on show. Fortunately this wedding is not in a church so I can brave the bear arms.


I’ve also have a good look on Missguided, I swear by this company when it comes to looking for an outfit for a night out but was wary they maybe a little to risky for a wedding, below I have selected my top pics for the full wedding day or the evening if your only attending the later part.

I’m really struggling with Topshop at the moment, I hate to say it but I feel im slightly too old for it now?! (I’m 27) but everything seems a bit too out there or a bit too short! The below dresses are my selection for all shapes and sizes.


 My next wedding is in Ireland, it’s a 3 day wedding and each day is themed, we have boho, flower power and for the ceremony formal. As soon as the themes were announced I felt a little bit of dread! She’s that friend (everyone has one) who’s ridiculously cool and so are her circle of friends, so there’s a little bit of pressure to go all out.
I trawled online for weeks and I now have boho and flower power covered.

For flower power I ordered a dress from an Australian brand 


Ive teamed it up with a large necklace (found in the zara sale for £9.99) and a flower garland.

 

My boho outfit is this fab maxi from Miss Pap which was a bargain price of £18 I’ve teamed it with an Asos belt and strappy heels.


Now I just need to find something formal and I’m good to go! (any suggestions would be very much appreciated).

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 Xoxoxo

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Gili Meno and me…

What can I say apart from I LOVE IT HERE!

 Only a kilometre from Gili Trawangan and set in the middle of the three islands lies the real Robinson Crusoe experience of the Gilis with some of the best beaches to be found.

Only two kilometres long and one wide, Gili Meno is the smallest of the three islands and by far the most peaceful and under developed. It’s possible to walk around the island along the beach or paths of Gili Meno in under two hours.

 Most visitors are attracted to Gili Meno for the lure of total escapism and it is therefore very popular with honeymooning couples and adventurous castaway types.


The dining scene is predominantly local cafes with grilled fish on the beach as dusk approaches. There is a variety of little places to eat but the food is pretty similar wherever you go. 

Gili Meno is the definition of paradise, and the part of the trip where I started to really feel myself relax. We rocked up on a speed boat (much to my sea sick stomachs disgust) and checked into sunset house. A beautiful hotel that was only a month old and very reasonable in price. 


  If you’re looking for an island get away you must visit the Gili islands especially if you’re a snorkelling fan. 

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Xoxo 

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Who needs to pay for a massage…

In the afternoon when the sun was at its highest we headed to Tegwnungan Waterfall in Ubud Bali.You walk down what seems like hundreds of steps in the glorious heat and basking sunshine to find this hidden gem.

 What we thought would be a little waterfall where we could chill and float we were mistaken.


The plummeting water is incredibly strong and the cascading pressure was almost too harsh to get under it! However great if youre into harsh massages! This was something my boyfriend found incredibly amusing as I’m clearly not as strong as him and my little spindly legs couldn’t creep along the rocks and maintain my position without toppling over.

 

At the side of the waterfall there is a natural shower which is apparently ‘holy water’ I took the opportunity to make sure I had a good rise!

The walk back up was quite hard, I think in the UK heat it wouldn’t be a problem but this seemed like the steps went on for days, I rewarded myself with a watermelon Bali beer!

 

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Rice grows where?…

Now I know I’m blonde and not the sharpest knife in the draw but I really wasn’t sure how rice grew! Id seen loads of photos of the rice paddies in Bali and new it was split levels but I wasn’t entirely sure what the process was (bows head in shame) so we decided to explore and find out!

If you’re heading to the paddy fields in Bali please wear sensible shoes, not flip flops or anything that’s going to cause you discomfort because its hot, some areas of the floor are slippy and there’s more steps than you think!

Another thing to note is the workers, as you walk around they ask you to contribute in each section so make sure you have small notes on you.

Walking down into the paddies was incredible the view was epic! it was like walking into a magical structure maze.

The down fall was the unbearable heat and there isn’t any shelter so I advise going well prepared. Every where you looked there was a different picturesque view and I couldn’t stop snapping! this was by far the highlight of the holiday so far.

….and in case you’re wondering….

Rice is a staple food for all classes in contemporary Indonesia,  and it holds the central place in Indonesian culture and Indonesian cuisine. it shapes the landscape; is sold at markets; and is served in most meals both as a savoury and a sweet food.

Rice production starts in the sawah (rice field). Rice seeds are planted in protected beds, while the seedlings mature, the farmers then ploughs the fields using a water buffalo.

The sawah is prepared by flooding, ploughing and levelling the field, a process that is incredibly hard in the heat!

When rice seedlings start to mature, they are pulled and transplanted to the sawah, where they are planted in rows about a foot apart. In the various stages of maturing, the sawah is flooded and dried to maximise the rice plants.

Harvesting then happens when the rice plants are a metre high and turning yellow.

whereas the first stages of rice growing are done by men it is the women who harvest using a small palm held knife being careful not to scare off the goddess of rice production…..interesting right?!

Don’t think I’d make the cut! 
xoxo

 

 

 

 

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Climb every mountain….

Well not every mountain but I did get up at 3am to climb an active volcano, in the dark, in Ubud to watch the sunrise!
The girl who’s been to the gym a total on 8 times in her entire life opted in to climb this fella…..


Ideally I’d advise to get a good carby meal and an early night, I however I stayed up until 12am skipped dinner and only told the travel agent I wanted to do it 10pm that night!

The mini bus arrived to pick us up at 3am, like two sleepy bears we climbed into the back of the van with our little boxed up breakfast the hotel had kindly prepared for us.

The journey itself took just over an hour and within 10 minutes I was wide awake and in fear of dying due to the dangerous windy roads and a Lewis Hamilton wannabe.

Now I have to admit I thought the bus would drop us off half way up the volcano and it would be a nice romantic morning stroll to the top, how naive of me.  

At the very bottom of the volcano our tour guide handed each of us a touch and off we went. By the time we started walking it was 4am, the sun was due to rise at 5.45. Straight away it started off quite steep and the feeling of dread synced in and reminded me how tired I was after the South Africa climb (in previous post).

It wasn’t the safest thing I’ve ever done, you couldn’t see a thing but the torch light you were shining on your feet, however every now and again I would glace up at the volcano and see twinkles of torch lights all the way up the volcano. I was also told by the tour guide that the volcanos nick name is ‘ankle breaker’….reassuring.

The further up we were getting the more the ground was changing to rubble and I was quickly started to understand the nickname, you could easily slip and it wouldn’t be the best place to get down! After wheezing for a good hour and about 10 stop rests we finally made it to the top and I was starting to see my feet!

Everyone started to get their spot to watch the sun rise to which to tour guide informs us this isn’t the top and pointed up into the distance.


Most people decided to stay put but my heart wanted to carry on while my head and feet were hesitant.

The rest of the walk was a steep vertical climb up what I can only describe as a mountain of volcanic ash. It was difficult to climb as you just kept slipping but when we reached the top it was completely worth it, the panoramic view was magnificent and the overall sense of achievement was overwhelming.

While looking into the centre of the volcano I ask the tour guide when was the last time it erupted, thinking he would say over 100 years, he looked at me and said 11 and took me to a small hole in the ground. I held my hand over the hole and could feel the hot steam rising from it. It was amazing but also ever so slightly intimidating!

I would recommend this walk to anyone visiting Ubud, especially if you like a challenge, I’m incredibly unfit and I survived! The thrill you get when its complete is amazing and it’s a memory I will never forget.

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Take me to the land of Ubud…

After exploring Seminyak for three days we decided to venture to Ubud. This was the place I was most excited about visiting, it’s the upland of Bali and is know for its traditional crafts, terraced rice paddies and Hindu temples. 

Ubud popularity continues to grow, adding on the hoopla created by Eat, pray, love. You can experience a variety of markets if it’s shopping you’re looking for or find tranquility in a yoga retreat.

We stayed in a little hotel just outside of Ubud centre, and it was its own little haven. 


The staff were incredibly welcoming and extremely friendly, you simply couldn’t ask for more. They advised us the best places to go, arranged everything for us and couldn’t do enough for you.

Bali’s average wage is incredibly low and they rely on Tip’s to get by, so if you’re heading over there please consider a decent tip! 

Bali is full of remarkable architecture and other beautiful scenic sites to be found with a genuine feeling of wellbeing to be enjoyed, all thanks to the spirit, surroundings and climate of the place. 

‘Offerings’ were one of the first things I fell in love with when I arrived in Ubud. They are leaf baskets filled with rice, flowers and other little things. They are dotted everywhere, I found peace and tranquility whenever I saw one.

Offerings are gifts, they are a means of giving something back. They are to give pleasure to the gods (and demons), they provide good karma to those involved in their preperation. Nearly every village has its own unique form of offerings. 

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