Thursday, 30 June 2016

Clearwater Bay Beach | Hong Kong

     Hong Kong may be best known for its metropolitan centre, and the iconic skyline across Victoria Harbour, but there's also a wealth of nature to be found here. We went exploring again last weekend, on a beach day in the sun (it's been over 30 degrees here most of the week!). Having been to several beaches on the south side of Hong Kong island, and the Outlying islands already, we turned our attention to the New Territories, specifically the Sai Kung peninsula. This is meant to be one of the most beautiful parts of Hong Kong, but also takes the longest to get to. A forty minute MTR ride to Hang Hau, from which you can take the number 16 minibus, but it's faster to get a taxi, since the minibus is pretty irregular. We managed to catch it there, but taxied it back, the journey taking around 20 minutes each way.

Clearwater Bay Second Beach, New Territories, Hong Kong

Monday, 27 June 2016

Outfit - Inverted

     So, when I was editing the photos for this post, I suddenly remembered I posted a similar one last year, but with the colours the opposite way around (inverted!). I guess this shows that some of my clothing staples remain the same, just with slight changes, and black and red is always a great colour combination for something bright and bold. I've long been a fan of skater skirts now, and a black one like this is so versatile. Obviously, where last year's outfit had boots and a cardigan for winter, Hong Kong's humidity means bare legs, lights shoes and minimal layers. This t-shirt is actually one I consider pretty casual, as it's light and loose, verging on baggy. But when styled in the right way, such as pulling the wide neckline into an off-the-shoulder style top, and paired with classic black items and some jewellery, I'd probably wear this on a night out too, albeit a somewhat more casual one.

Inverted | outfit of loose off-the-shoulder burgundy red top, short black skater skirt, and flat black ballet pumps

Saturday, 25 June 2016

A-Z of Paris

     So a while ago I took you all on a tour around Edinburgh, with sights and stories from A-Z, so I thought I'd try it again with another city I'm familiar with; Paris. Now I've never actually lived in Paris, but did live nearby during my year abroad, and have managed to see quite a lot of the city during my various visits. I haven't been to every single place on this list, but I thought it would be fun for me to do a little research and learn some more about the city, since I'm certainly not an expert. It is one of my favourite cities though, and although I didn't love my year abroad overall, I always enjoy spending time in Paris.

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula

     Check out most lists of things to do in Hong Kong, and afternoon tea at The Peninsula will surely be on there somewhere. It's become one of the most iconic things to do here, and the hotel itself is the oldest in Hong Kong. It's unique tradition to find here too, experiencing a British staple such as afternoon tea on the other side of the world. It's not a cheap meal though, which is why I hadn't been to it yet, but decided to treat my mum and sister to it as early/late birthday presents to them while they were visiting Hong Kong. The afternoon tea is hosted in The Lobby, which is quite literally in the lobby of the hotel. The only annoyance is that the Space Museum across the road blocks any harbour view that it once had, though the upper floors with the hotel suites will have a fantastic view I'm sure, being higher than the buildings across the road. They don't take reservations for tea, which is served from 2-6pm, so you just have to queue up - I'd advise getting there early! We were there before 1.30pm, and weren't seated until after 3pm.

Afternoon tea with champagne served at The Peninsula, Hong Kong

Monday, 20 June 2016

Disneyland Hong Kong

     Is there anywhere that quite captures the innocence, childhood, and magic quite like Disneyland? At any age, it is a wonderful place to experience, whether you are a child who is completely enraptured by your favourite characters brought to life, or an adult seeking to revisit simpler, nostalgic times. Disney was such a huge part of my childhood, and they remain some of my favourite films, even now as a adult (well, sort of an adult). Disney is not without its flaws of course, but I'm willing to look past them some of the time, and simply enjoy the magic. 

     Hong Kong's Disneyland park is one of the smaller compared to others in the world, and certainly much smaller than the Orlando park I've previously visited. It still manages to be pretty amazing nonetheless, and since I visited it during my mum and sister's visit, being with family made it even easier to allow myself to be transported back to childhood. It's lovely to watch the young children in the park, who wholly believe everything they are seeing, but even my sister and I (at ages 17 and 22) were acting like children for the day too.

Sleeping Beauty Castle | Disneyland Hong Kong

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Day Trip to Macau

     Last week I was lucky enough to have my mum and sister come to visit me in Hong Kong. I did have to work some of the time, but I sent them off on excursions without me, and joined them on my days off. Naturally, I had seen many of the things on their list already - such as the Peak and the Big Buddha - but I also made sure to use the opportunity to visit a few places I had yet to go to. The first of these isn't even in Hong Kong; we spent a day visiting Macau (sometimes spelled Macao), another SAR in China, just a hop, skip and ferry ride away across the water. This does involve passing through immigration again, but it's pretty straightforward. While Hong Kong was owned by the British for a time, Macau was in the hands of the Portuguese, so there's a clear influence on the city. And although Macau is not as big as Hong Kong, it is home to several big casinos, some of which are the sisters to casinos in Las Vegas. Colonial Portuguese buildings and modern Vegas-style casinos - Macau is certainly interesting!

Ruins of St Paul, Macau

Monday, 13 June 2016

Outfit - Barefoot Beach

     The simplest of simple outfits. This dress is just so easy and comfortable to throw on, whether for an evening at home or a barefoot stroll down the beach. I'll add shoes if I have to, but I'll go barefoot whenever possible, and always on the beach. This dress is very versatile though - some may recognise it from this post a few weeks ago, where I dressed it up for a night out, yet when worn alone it's the height of casual. To keep in with the beach vibe, I've added a crystal necklace, bought during my trip to Boracay in the Philippines, and added a beaded bracelet to my arm with my wristband. I'm not one of those people with an armful of tied-on woven bracelets and the like, and tend to not wear bracelets much in general, but it matches the vibe I'm going for here, so this is the closest I ever come!

Barefoot Beach | outfit of a simple black floaty swing dress and crystal necklace

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Expat Tag

    Time for another tag post guys! I took the questions for this one from a couple of YouTube videos, so it's a bit of a mish-mash of other tags. But all of this pertains to my life as an expat, since I moved out of the UK to live here in Hong Kong (at least for now...). There's pros and cons to this lifestyle, as there is with any, so these questions should give you a rough idea of what being an expat is like, at least in Hong Kong - for more details, have a look at my Hong Kong Updates from throughout this year.

The Expat Tag text with airplane in the sky background

Monday, 6 June 2016

Outfit - Living On The Edge

     What better way to get a bit of wow factor on a night out with some (fake) leather shorts? I whip these out when I want a more dressed up look (other times a skirt or jeans is enough), but it's harder to match a top to them than you might think. I kept reusing the same one for a while, until I bought this one a few weeks ago. Blouses or shirts are not my normal style - they still remind me too much of school days! - but I decided to give it a try anyway, and I'm very pleased with how this whole outfit turned out. The blouse definitely dresses it up a bit, certainly more than any of my other tops, and creates a softer, feminine balance to the tougher look of the shorts. And of course a pair of heels finishes the whole thing off - ankle boot style being my choice, which adds to the edgier sort of style alongside the leather. I also like that the colours in the necklace match the top, as I too often revert to silver jewellery, since it matches everything.

Living on the Edge | outfit of a knotted striped blouse, fake black leather shorts and high heel ankle boots

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Travel Inspiration - Rome and the Vatican

     Europe as a whole is a continent rich in history and culture, full of beautiful sights and architecture, but Rome in particular is a standout when it comes to history (Italy has some other beautiful cities too - see my inspiration posts on Florence and Venice!). With buildings dating back hundreds and hundreds of years, as well as being the home of countless great artists and thinkers, how could anyone turn down a trip to the Eternal City? Well, they can't, given how difficult it was to take photos without dozens of tourist in the forefront of them all. Anyway, there's also a whole other country within the city, the Vatican City State, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and home of famous works of art, and masterpieces, such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. My time in Rome was all too brief, having only a day and a half there to see as much as possible. I did see a lot in that time, but I'll definitely be back for a longer stay one day.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Top Five TV Shows of 2015-16

     Last year I gave my opinion on the TV shows that I thought produced the best seasons in 2014/15, so I thought I would do it again this year. It's interesting how my opinions of shows can change - many of last year's picks aren't on here, not because I don't still like them, I do, but because there were other shows that had me more keen to watch them this year. Typically, once I start watching a show, I stick with it, even through seasons that aren't as good, because I like to know how things progress and eventually end, so a show has to get pretty bad before I'll give up on it entirely. And sometimes I can lose some interest in a show, though still keep watching, and be rewarded with a much better season again one year. This year, my list has some old favourites, and some new discoveries - my main criteria in choosing the shows featured here was how excited I was to see each week's new episode. Also, just a point to note - yes, I'm aware these are all American shows, and that is what I watch for the most part. There is British TV that I enjoy too, but as it doesn't fall into the same format of a 2015/16 season, I chose not to include them on the list, as I'd just confuse myself - that might be a top 5 for another post at some point!

TV screen image with white text "Top TV show of 2015-16"
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