Monday, 29 May 2017

How Does The World See You

     We are unique human beings, each unalike in our personalities and behaviours. Our appearance, our opinions, our various character traits. These all combine to create the sum of who we are, how we perceive ourselves, and how others see us. Each of us projects an image of who we are into the world, radiating our dominant traits. But is that image who you really are?

"Be yourself" quote on colourful paint splatter background
(source)

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Musically Inspired - Being Brave

      Let's face it, life isn't easy. It's hard, messy, and complicated. Life knocks you over and kicks you when you're down sometimes. And all of it can make it hard to stay positive, and hold on to the hope that things will get better. Being brave doesn't mean going thrill-seeking or taking huge risks. Being brave can mean just getting up and living your life as fully as possible, despite whatever setbacks you have or may still face. Bravery is not fearlessness. Bravery is doing things despite your fears.

Bravery quote "You're not a mess, you're brave for trying"
(source)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Hong Kong Island on Instagram

     The most famous sights in Hong Kong include The Peak, the Big Buddha, and Central skyline viewed across Victoria Harbour. Sights which have been photographed millions of times, plastered across tourism adverts all over the world. But Hong Kong also has various hidden corners, locations less frequently included in the tourist guidebooks, but of which hundreds of photos still exist, if you know where to look; Instagram. There are so many unusual, interesting locations that are captured and shared online, but it can sometimes be hard to find them yourself, or they're in far-away locations, requiring a long trek for the sake of that one Instagram post. But, last weekend I decided to find some of the most popular of these spots, as well as a couple artsy sort of streets I'd read about online, all located along the Island MTR line. And since this is Instagram themed, and my camera is away for repair, these photos were all, rather fittingly, taken on my phone.

Instagram Pier, Hong Kong

Monday, 22 May 2017

5 Things Tag

     I know I've been doing quite a few tag posts lately, and I'll be honest, it's partly due to a lack of inspiration, beyond my travelling adventures - this post from a few weeks back explains where I'm at in this sense. And now I've got several months without travel, and I've already seen so much of Hong Kong, so I may continue to struggle for a while. But I do think tag posts can be a fun, light read, in between some of my lengthier travel pieces, or slightly more serious life-related ones. And they are a little more personal sometimes, so hopefully some readers can get to a know a little more about myself. The content of this blog varies a lot, depending on whatever had piqued my interest at any given time, but a lot of posts can be a bit impersonal at times. Anyways, this tag in particular seemed fun, and a little different than just answering questions. So, here are some different groups of 5 things related to me.

"5 Things Tag" text on background of 5 differently coloured socks on a washing line


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Life Update: 4 Months in Hong Kong

     It's been four months since I moved back to Hong Kong, with a new job and having found my own apartment, and I realised I haven't really given a proper update since then. I was only returning to Hong Kong for about 6 months, and I'm more than halfway through that now. In some ways, settling back in was pretty easy, since this is a city I'm already familiar with. But things are still very different to my first year here, so there have been some other changes to get used to.

"Life Update: Hong Kong" text on background of harbour view from Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Pink

     It's soft and delicate and airy. It's bright and vivid and vibrant. It's happy and brilliant and fun.

Pink milkshake and cupcakes
(source)

Monday, 15 May 2017

How to Move to a New Country

     A title like that makes it sound so simple, but I can assure you, it's anything but. Having moved country 3 times now, to France, Hong Kong, and Korea (4 times if you count returning to Hong Kong), I've dealt with everything it entails, and the accompanying stress, in spades. So, for anyone else considering a move, and unsure where to start, I'm going to try to write a rough guide. Every country is different of course, and so is every person's experience, so I can't provide specific information, and your experience may not look exactly like this one.

"How to Move to a New Country" text on background of stacked suitcases and airplane taking off
(source - with text editing)

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Review - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

     Me reviewing a Marvel film? Unheard of! Haha, anyone who's read this blog before likely knows that I'm a pretty big fan of the MCU films (though I'm not a comic book reader), and I always check out each new release. Obviously there are some I like much more than others, but none have majorly disappointed me thus far. The original 'Guardians of the Galaxy' struck me as quite unusual at first, as it was a departure from the films that preceded it, but it ended up being one of their best films, and one of my favourites (second only to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I think). So of course, I was eager to see how the sequel held up.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - Marvel Cinematic Universe movie - film poster
(source)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Shanghai Disneyland | China

     This is my last post about my trip to Shanghai (see parts one and two), and it only features one day, but what a day it was! I've already been to Disneyland parks in both Florida and Hong Kong, so I couldn't visit Shanghai without going to their's too (Tokyo will hopefully be the next!). It was a good choice too, as the rest of the trip was so laid-back, it was nice to have an exciting day in the middle. We were taking a gamble though, as we chose to go on a public holiday, and we were bracing ourselves for it to be rammed, but it was actually fine! We later thought that maybe the crowds were there the previous days, as it was now the last day of the holiday weekend, and many of the domestic tourists would be returning the home. It suited us fine, as we didn't have to wait more than about half an hour for any ride.

Enchanted Storybook Castle, Shanghai Disneyland, China

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Shanghai Highlights, Part 2 | China

     The latter half of my Shanghai trip involved a bit more sightseeing on my own, as China doesn't have all the same public holidays as Hong Kong, and Tasha had to go back to work. We organised those days for me to see things she'd already seen and didn't want to do again, or things close to her area. She finishes work much earlier than I do, so we'd still meet up later.

The Bund skyline from the Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Shanghai Highlights, Part 1 | China

     Hooray for public holidays! We got lucky this month, as we had two holidays close together, so my work gave us the day between off as well, making it a long enough break for a short trip. I used up the second part of my double entry visa to China for a trip to Shanghai, the major place I skipped on my last trip - read about Beijing, Zhangjiajie and Xian here - and where my best friend lives and works (she moved there at the same time I moved to Hong Kong). I found that Shanghai has less obvious tourist sights than the other locations, but that actually worked out fine, as I could spend more time just hanging out with her, and having a more relaxed trip, rather than rushing from sight to sight. There's still plenty to see though, so my trip will be broken into a couple of posts.

Pudong skyline, Shanghai, China

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Travel Inspiration - Philippines

     Around this time last year, I spent my Easter holidays visiting the Philippines, visiting the islands of Boracay and Palawan (El Nido specifically) for a few days each. I spent most of time island hopping and lounging on beaches, and it was simply idyllic. The Philippines is a beautiful country, and it's no surprise that both my destinations there were voted the most beautiful island in the world in different years. There are even more sights on the other islands too, like the waterfalls on Cebu and the chocolate hills of Bohol, which I'll perhaps see one day. The beaches and islands I did see though, were simply stunning, so I'm sharing even more of my photos from them in today's travel inspiration post.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Top Ten Badass Female Fictional Characters

     For too long, the roles of women in fiction were limited - they were wives or mothers, love interests or side characters, 'virgins or whores', and thus their roles were largely defined by men. As years gave passed and feminism has made progress, our books, films and TV shows now feature more and more feminist characters, who are certifiable badasses. Badass can have a few different meanings for me; it could be a strong, brave fighter, but it could also be someone who stands up for what they believe in, goes out and gets what they want, or just generally displays good characteristics. Originally, I was going to write a top five, but I couldn't choose, so I went with ten, in no particular order. And these women are taken from works of fiction I enjoy - there are plenty of others out there who I couldn't include, or who I don't yet know about. And I'm not saying that any of these characters are perfect, but they are all characters I've admired for various reasons (minor spoilers ahead).


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Musings from a Mountaintop

     Here, the world is different. Different to the world below, a world of buildings and traffic and technology. A world of noise and pollution, violence and chaos. Here, the world is quiet. The world is ancient and unchanged. Here, the mountains stand proud, older than humanity, and will remain long after humanity has had its time.

Avatar Mountains in Zhangjiajie National Park, China

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Xian Highlights | China

     One day, I had just one day to see as much of Xian as possible! Honestly, like most people, the Terracotta Army was my main reason for coming here, but since it wouldn't take up all my time, I figured I'd try to squeeze in some other sights. Technically I was here for two nights, so I did have half of the second day, before my early afternoon flight back to Hong Kong. However this was the last stop on my trip, and after how busy I was in Beijing and Zhangjiajie, and considered I was straight back into work the very next day, I just used my last morning to sleep in and have a little more rest. This just meant that my one full day in the city was pretty jam packed!

Terracotta Army, Xian, China

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Zhangjiajie Highlights | China

     After my whistle-stop highlights tour of China's capital, Beijing, it was time for me to head off to another part of the country, and this time, I was going rural, to Zhangjiajie. This was a little more nerve-racking, as Beijing had the subway and enough people who spoke English to make it fairly easy to navigate. This time, I'd be relying on buses, taxis, and a lot of pointing and gesturing to communicate, as well as liberal use of the Google Translate app, while hoping it was producing understandable sentences for them! I don't think I encountered anyone who spoke English, outside of the airport staff and other tourists, but I got by somehow!

Yuanjiajie area of Zhangjiajie National Park, China

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Beijing Highlights | China

     Three days. How do you possibly see all that Beijing has to offer in just three days? Well, it wasn't a leisurely holiday, that's for sure, but I gave it my best shot. I had just seven days for my Easter holiday this year, and since the Chinese tourist visa is a bit pricey, I didn't want to make multiple trips there, so I had to construct a busy itinerary. I ended up getting the double entry visa, as there was no way I could do it all in a week, so I'll be back in China some point within the next few months to visit Shanghai. For this trip, I chose Beijing, Zhangjiajie, and Xi'an, to see the highlights of the country.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Innocent or Guilty Tag

     Ok, if you follow me on any other social media, you'll know that I'm currently off having an adventure in China this week, trying to cram as much sightseeing as possible into just 7 days (and if you don't follow me on social media, my links are all in the sidebar!). This doesn't leave much time for blogging - though there'll be plenty travel posts about it next week! - so I've written a few posts in advance, and with the limited time I had, you're getting another tag post today! This one I found on Tumblr, and it's super simple - I just have to declare whether I'm innocent or guilty of doing these things! It's a quite a long list by the way, and some are a bit stranger or more controversial than others!

"Innocent or Guilty?" text on police mugshot board background

Monday, 10 April 2017

Kayaking in Sai Kung

     Oh I do love a public holiday! Last week it was Ching Ming festival, a traditional day of tomb cleaning for the Chinese, which meant a day off work for all of us! The good weather from the weekend had stuck around, so we decided to head back towards Sai Kung Peninsula (after having spent all of Sunday hiking there). We opted for a different activity though, instead of hiking, so we were off to rent kayaks for the day instead.

Kayaking at Hoi Ha, Sai Kung Peninsula, Hong Kong

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Hiking to Tai Long Wan

     I've been wanting to go to Tai Long Wan forever, but I ended up running out of time last year. It's often called "the most beautiful beach in Hong Kong" and from the photos I'd seen, I could see why. I'd been waiting for the right weather too, so when last weekend was a sunny day with blue skies, and it's not yet as painfully hot and humid as it will be in summer, I had to seize my chance!

Landscape ocean view on the hiking trail from Sai Wan Pavilion to Tai Long Wan, Hong Kong

Monday, 3 April 2017

Outfit - Night Skies

     Channelling my favourites of short skirts & chunky boots again today! I've had this skirt for ages, but there's so many ways of styling it, either as casual or dressier outfits, that I keep pulling it out the wardrobe time and time again. This outfit is a great day-to-night look, I think - casual enough to wear through the day, with the simple pieces that make it up, but still smart enough, especially with some accessories thrown in to wear for an evening out too - which is exactly what I did the day I took these photos! The top helps, as it's a little smarter than some of others (even other black tops) and made of a sturdier material. The boots are a little worn out (I actually switched to my heeled ankle boots when I wore this out), but I love the slouch style of them, especially paired with a short skirt like this - I did a similar combination with them last week too!

Night skies - outfit of simple black top, dark blue lace skirt, black tights & chunky slouch boots

Saturday, 1 April 2017

How Are You Feeling?

     Emotions and mental health aren't things I paid much attention to for a long time. I've had a fairly privileged life in most ways, always with a home, food, and a caring family, and was able to attend university and save money myself for travel. I always thought yes, mental illnesses are real and serious and can affect people's lives in large ways, but they're something that happens to me. I felt one step removed from that entire topic. But having all these things that I have, does not necessarily equate happiness, and we all need to remember that.

Mood tracking calendar chart


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Review - Beauty and the Beast

     Honestly, it surprised me. It surprised me more than I thought I was going to, but in a really good way. As we know, Disney has been making a lot of live-action remakes in recent years, and some have been great, giving us interesting new slants on familiar stories - I'm thinking likes of 'Maleficent' here - while others have been carbon copies of the animation, which is pretty and nostalgic, but some of these films really need updating for modern times - think 'Cinderella'. 'Beauty and the Beast' managed to find a pretty good middle ground, giving us everything we all loved about the original animation, while making sure it appealed to our modern sensibilities (as much as something set in the 18th century can).

Beauty and the Beast film poster - live action 2017 version
(source)

Monday, 27 March 2017

Outfit - Hooded

     I feel like it's been a while since I posted an outfit of this sort - a short skirt or dress, chunky boots, and some sort of big cardigan to keep it casual. These sorts of outfits are my staples and my favourites, but I feel like I haven't been wearing them lately - probably because I'm at work all week, then tend to throw on jeans a lot at the weekends. I loved walking about in this for the day though, as they'e all individual items I love, and I really liked this combination. The boots are firm favourites, but sadly the heel is starting to break so they won't be around much longer. And I love the contrast of the dress, which can be worn dressed up, with this super comfy, casual hoodie.

Hooded - outfit of large grey zip-up hoodie, green tartan print dress, slouch black suede boots and tights

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Seeking More Than Ordinary

     Today has been an ordinary day. I ate, I drank, I wrote, I read, I watched TV, I ran errands. A perfectly ordinary day, where nothing bad has happened to me. Which is a good thing, right? Ordinary is good, is safe, is secure. But what if ordinary isn't enough?

     Don't get me wrong, an ordinary life can be a wonderful life. A life with good health, a comfortable living, and loved ones around you sounds pretty fantastic, when you remember that there's plenty of people in the wold who aren't lucky enough to have all those things.

"We are going to do something extraordinary" quote in chalk text on blackboard background
(source)

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Hong Kong Flower Festival

     I love it when an event comes to town! As I've proven recently, there's still plenty more areas of Hong Kong I haven't explored in my time here so far, but when there's some sort of event or festival happening, and it may be my only chance to see it, it makes living and traveling abroad even more interesting. For the last week, Victoria Park (near Causeway Bay) has played host to the Hong Kong Flower Festival. I heard about it by chance, when a co-worker mentioned it, then I noticed a few adverts in the MTR and such. It perhaps isn't something I would instantly jump to - like last year, when the Udderbelly rolled into town and I HAD to go - but I figured it could be nice, so why not? Warning, this is a very photo-heavy post, because it was all so, so pretty!

Floral display at Hong Kong Flower Festival 2017

Monday, 20 March 2017

Outfit - Night On The Town

     So this was my outfit of choice for my birthday night out the other week. I'm obsessed with these leather shorts, but I don't wear them all that often, since they're quite dressed up, and definitely strictly party wear, and sometimes nights out are more casual than that. My birthday was definitely an occasion to get dressed up though, and I just think the shorts look great, and are super comfortable too. I only have a couple of tops I usually pair them with - see another outfit with them here - but this top is a more recent purchase, which, I was happy to discover, works really well with this combination. Sometimes I wear flats for going out, especially for dancing, but I've gotten more comfortable in heels than I used to be, so figured I'd go for it.

NB: Excuse the lighting etc, I only had one day free to take photos this week and it was raining, so I decided to experiment with shooting in my room, or else I'd have been skipping today entirely.

Night On The Town - outfit of zigzag striped purple and black top, black leather shorts and tights

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Travel Inspiration - Nicaragua

     Welcome to the land of volcanos! Yes, that's really what Nicaragua gets called, there's a ton of them, and plenty are active, though full-blown eruptions don't happen too often as far as I know. This was another country I visited during my Central America trip, almost two years ago now! We stayed in Granada, and Ometepe Island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, which is actually formed from two volcanos and a strip of land connecting them. There were certainly plenty of volcanos to see, as I visited an active crater just outside Granada, then hiked a portion of Maderas, the smaller of Ometepe's two peaks. There's more than just volcanos too, with markets of handicraft goods (featuring lots of wooden items), stunning architecture in the city, and plenty of opportunities to relax in the water, in lagoons and mineral springs.

Granada, Nicaragua

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

23rd Birthday - Ocean Park Round 4

     It was my birthday, hooray! Well, is it still a hooray? When you're a kid, getting older is really exciting somehow, since you get presents and cake and maybe a party, and as you get older you get to do more things. Now as an adult, I still get presents and sometimes cake, but I can already do pretty much most things I want to. Now my birthday just means I'm getting old, haha! Let's be real though, twenty-three is still very young in the grand scheme of things, but I do feel like it sounds a bit more grown-up than twenty-one or two did. The older I get, the more I feel like I should know what I'm doing and be less likely to fuck up - which is not true at all! Overall, I don't feel different at all to twenty-two, and I doubt much will change between this year and last, at least in terms of how I act and live my life at this age! Anyways, on to how I spent my actual birthday... at Ocean Park of course!

Grand Aquarium & Aqua City lagoon - Ocean Park, Hong Kong

Monday, 13 March 2017

Outfit - Balletic

     There's something about this skirt that makes me feel like a dancer when I wear it (fun fact: I did ballet for a year or two when I was a kid, until the teacher moved away)! I think it's because it has so much ease of movement, with the pleats and the elastic waist, and it moves and fans out beautifully. I think even the underskirt if quite short to keep the range of movements it offers, and when paired with ballet flats like these, it's easy to want to prance around in it. I pair it with a plain T-shirt, to not detract from how pretty the skirt is, but I chose grey to keep the outfit simple in tones, and I think the darker, muted colours offsets the delicateness of the skirt - as I'm not exactly one for girly, delicate clothing, generally speaking. I added a long pendant necklace, with a little splash of colour, and threw on another simple, dark coloured item, the cardigan, as it's not quite warm enough to go without one just yet.

Balletic - outfit of plain grey t-shirt, long, floaty, sheer black skirt, with black tights and ballet flats

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Review - Circa Waves: Different Creatures

     Circa Waves's first album, 'Young Chasers' was summery, indie rock fun that I still love now. Their follow-up, 'Different Creatures', is just that - a different creature to that first release. Their new music is still in the indie rock vein, but less bright and summery. They've gone down a darker, grittier route, both musically and lyrically. There was a sense of nostalgia on 'Young Chasers' for music from a few years earlier, whereas 'Different Creatures' feels more modern, and more like the music of other rock bands today.

Circa Waves Different Creatures album cover art

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Kowloon Walled City Park

     Last year I visited several of Hong Kong's major parks, including Hong Kong, Kowloon and Victoria Parks, but someone the Walled City Park skipped my radar, as I'd forgotten all about it until a friend mentioned it recently. And seeing as I'm trying to find other areas of Hong Kong to explore, it seemed like it would be worth a visit. I went last weekend, just for a couple of hours wandering around in the sunny weather we were experiencing. There's a walk involved to get there, whether you take a bus or the MTR - I opted for the latter, getting off at Lok Fu, then walking about 15 minutes to the park itself.

Entrance to Kowloon Walled City Park, Hong Kong

Monday, 6 March 2017

Outfit - Kicking Back

     I got this cardigan a couple of months ago, and mostly picked it up because it was on sale - I was a little skeptical about such a bold pattern. However, I'm now so glad I did, as it's quickly become one of my favourite pieces - this outfit, with it over a dress, is still one of my favourites. I have a lot of plain cardigans that are easy to throw on top of any outfit, so it's nice to have one that's quite different and is a statement sort of piece on its own. I chose to wear it with a plain top underneath though, to balance it out, and wore my ripped jeans since I feel like I haven't worn them much in a while - I could wear jeans to work in Korea, but not ones as casual and torn as these! I haven't been wearing my Converse out and about as much either, since I wear them most days to work, but then I liked matching them to a more interesting outfit than my work clothes for once! This is also a new pair I got at Christmas, as my old blue ones were coming apart at the seams, so I've gone back to a red pair again.

Kicking Back - outfit of black ad white print cardigan, loose red top, ripped blue skinny jeans, and red Converse sneakers

Sunday, 5 March 2017

A-Z Travel Wish List

      I've travelled to about 30 countries now, and I'm making plans to check a few more off the list this year - and hopefully write an A-Z of places I've already been. But it's a big world, and there's so many more places I want to go. Naturally, I have a vague order of preference and priority, but I thought it'd be fun to make my wish list into an A-Z post. There are some letters with several countries I want to go to, so I've had to cut plenty of places I want to see off of this list, but other letters threw up countries that I hadn't really considered much before. I've left off places I'm planning to visit soon, so this list won't be completed for quite sometime. However, I did a little more research on a lot of these countries while writing this too, so now my wanderlust has been fuelled even more!

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegovina - source

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Feeling Stuck

     Lately, I've been struggling a little when it comes to this blog, which is so frustrating when it's something I've enjoyed a lot for the past few years. In part, I'm pretty tired being back in a Hong Kong kindergarten, which takes a lot of my time and energy every day. However, I'm also struggling creatively, in terms of inspiration. I want to stick to my posting schedule, of three times a week, but it's proving harder to maintain lately, as I don't know what to write sometimes!

Writer's Block - blank paper with pencil and crumpled up paper scattered around
(source)

Monday, 27 February 2017

Hiking Sharp Island

     Time for another adventure! Sai Kung was a town, and an area, that I ran out of time to explore much last year, so I've been busy looking up hiking routes around the area. I've got a shortlist now, and Sharp Island was the first one that I managed to check off the other week. It takes a while to get to and from Sai Kung, and sometimes further depending on the starting point of most hikes, plus with the actual hike time, it can be full day out. Sharp Island takes a while to reach, but the hike itself isn't long or strenuous.

Hap Mun Bay, Sharp Island, Hong Kong

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Day in the Life: Kindergarten Class Teacher

     New job, new routine. And it is a little different this time around. Obviously, I've worked as an ESL teacher for a while now, this being my third job of that sort, after previously being an ESL teacher in a Hong Kong kindergarten and then a Korean hagwon (read here if you don't know the story of why Korea didn't last long). However, this time I'm not just the English teacher, I'm a class teacher. This means instead of going into several classes a day to teach their English lesson, sometimes repeating the same one to multiple classes, I stay with one class, K2 (4 year olds, starting to turn 5 now) for the entire time they're in school and I'm responsible for everything about them. It's more work in some ways, but I like getting to know just these few kids really well, and it's more fun being around them than in an office for large chunks of the day. I have a Chinese co-teacher too, who generally takes the lead and keeps me right, and they spend a lot of time doing Chinese, Putonghua, having their snack and doing extra activities with other teachers on some days (PE, Drama), so only a small portion is actually teaching them English. Anyway, this is now what my average day looks like...

(source)

Monday, 20 February 2017

Outfit - Classic Flannel

     It's been done a million times before, but there's something so easy and timeless about a checked shirt (as we call it in the UK, flannel is an American term, I just needed a title!) and a pair of jeans. It's also quite versatile really, as although it's a simple, casual style, a well-fitted pair of skinny jeans and some heels - ankle boots in this case - can dress it up a little more. I typically wear checked shirts open, over the top of something else, be it another top or a dress, so wearing it alone and buttoned up is a slight change for me. These are my current favourite jeans, as they're probably the comfiest, best-fitting skinnies I've ever managed to get my hands on. I've thrown on a long cardigan too, nothing that detracts from the shirt as the main item here, but it's not warm enough yet to go without another layer! And I've stuck to simple jewellery to match this casual look.
NB: Anyone wondering what the deal with the big white bandage on my wrist is, I spilled hot water and burned the hell out my hand and wrist the other week, and it's still healing...

Classic Flannel | outfit of blue and white checked shirt, blue skinny jeans and brown heeled ankle boots

Saturday, 18 February 2017

On Compassion & Tolerance

     One step forward, ten steps back? That's how the world has been looking to me lately. Over the years, we as a society have made plenty of advances in our treatment of each other - women have the vote, slavery was abolished, homosexual marriage is legalised in more and more countries. And yet somehow, I still feel deeply, deeply unsettled and disturbed by the state of our world, and by the way in which some humans insist on treating others. This rise of white nationalism and facist "alt-right" behaviours is nothing short of appalling to witness, and big events like the spike in hate crimes after Brexit, and Trump's Muslim ban show the scale that this has now reached.

Uchtdorf quote on compassion
(source)

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Lovers' Rock | Hong Kong

     So anyone who follows me on Instagram may have seen that I posted the below picture on Valentine's Day this week. This was my attempt at a little joke, since I'm single and don't have anything cute to post. There's no way around it - this is a photo of a dick-shaped rock. This isn't just some rock I happened upon though, this is a place in Hong Kong which many people go to visit. It's called Lovers' Rock, and people come here to pray for fertility, a lover, good relationships and the like. I stress, this is not why I visited; I just wanted a giggle at it and the photo to post! There is a bit of a walk involved in getting to it though, so it made for a nice afternoon out.

Lovers Rock, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Monday, 13 February 2017

Outfit - Night & Day

     So this week I had to venture into public spaces to take my photos - the quality is my room is horrible (though I did take the close-ups there) and it's super frustrating that I can't use the roof. I went for a wander to find somewhere though, and came across a quiet-ish side street, with trees and decent lighting. Whenever I go out somewhere now, I'm being conscious of what I wear, to potentially get the photos in new locations, but this street will likely be my go-to when that fails, for now. Anyway, I wanted to wear my white dress in a different combination to last time, a slightly dressier version with my heels and leather jacket. I think this also creates a contrast in style, with the light, girly dress, and the tough, edgy jacket - maybe in summer I'll do a simple, delicate version to match the dress? It's still not a dress I wear out much, for fear of staining it somehow, but I think it's so pretty nonetheless.

Night & Day | outfit of lacy white dress, black leather jacket, with black tights and heeled ankle boots

Saturday, 11 February 2017

First Time Tag

      No, not that first. This tag is about when I did various things for the first time, or do first on a regular basis. I'm so tired after a full week back at work (including a Saturday morning again, I did not miss those while in Korea!) that I couldn't bring myself to write the post I had in mind today - I really should get back into a habit of writing posts in advance again! But I'm a procrastinator. Anyway, I'll hopefully do that other post sometime soon but for today, you've got a tag post. The questions are edited together from a couple of different firsts tag posts I found, and I don't remember where I got them all from.

"First Time Tag' text on ocean sunset background

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Room Tour | Hong Kong Studio

     So moving back to Hong Kong of course means I'm living in a different apartment again. Last year I stayed in one provided by the company I worked for, and while I'm still working for the same company, I opted out of the accommodation offered this time, to find something cheaper on my own.  spent my first week back in HK viewing many apartments, before finally settling on this one, as it was the most reasonable price, with all my required furniture and appliances, and even internet included. It's in Sham Shui Po, just a couple of stops from Mongkok, and around 45-50 minutes to work each day. The building it's in is actually a hotel, so there's the reception if I have any problems, and it's a nicer building than may others, and feels pretty safe. The apartment is on the mezzanine level, so there's no windows, and I do hear a fair bit of noise from the hall, and even the street if people leave the stairwell door open. Aside from what's pictured here, I also have a storage locker in a room down the hall - ideal for my suitcase! - and access to a washing machine in the hall.

Wardrobe and table area of my studio apartment in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Celebrating Chinese New Year

     Last year I sort of missed out on Chinese New Year, as I was on holiday in Cambodia at the time. And while they still celebrate the Lunar New Year there, we didn't go to any sort of celebrations, so I only really got the run-up in Hong Kong, when there were decorations everywhere, and afterwards married people I knew handed out red packets (married people give them to single people). So I still got that part of it this year, but as I was staying in Hong Kong for the holidays, I decided to go to the city's major celebrations. For locals, it's a time to celebrate with family, usually with a big meal, but there are are larger events that take place, mainly the New Year Parade in Tsim Sha Tsui, and the fireworks display over Victoria Harbour.

Chinese New Year fireworks over Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, 2017

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Review - Deaf Havana: All These Countless Nights

     Deaf Havana are back with their fourth studio album, and sounding better than ever. I continually sing the praises of James Veck-Gilodi's songwriting talents, and he's done it again, writing a soaring, mature rock album. And when the band were on the verge of calling it quits a few years back, after touring their last record, 'Old Souls', I'm sure I'm not the only one who is grateful that they chose to continue pursuing music.

Deaf Havana - All These Countless Nights album cover artwork
I'm in love with this cover art, by the way!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Outfit - Sparkle

     So when I choose my new apartment in Hong Kong (I'll do a tour post some time soon), I was aware that it was small. What I didn't think through was the small space and lack of natural light makes it pretty difficult to take outfit photos. I discovered the roof of my building, and managed to take these photos up there, but was then informed that it's a restricted area... So I've yet to figure out a solution for my next photos... I may have to explore publics spaces, yikes! Anyway, this outfit is for a slightly more dressed up occasion, like an evening out. The skirt was new at Christmas, and I love the colour and detailing, and the sparkles are pretty for brightening up this time of year, though it is pretty short so I think I'll be playing it safe with leggings most of the time. The top is simple, but it's got a zip detail on the back, and is a nice fabric, so it feels a little dressier than other tops. And it's not an evening out without heeled boots and my leather jacket!

Sparkle | outfit of black top, leather jacket, blue sparkly skirt, black leggings & heeled ankle boots

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Settling In Again | Hong Kong

     So, as most of you know, I'm back in Hong Kong these days. It's been a hectic couple of weeks, as moving country is no small task, and anyone who keeps an eye on this blog will have noticed that I haven't really addressed my move much since getting back. This is mostly because I've been so busy, and because there wasn't a whole lot to write at first. It's been two weeks now though (although it feels like much longer already!), and I'm a bit more settled again.

     Oh and side note, this is my 500th post! Happy blog-aversary to me!

Welcome to Hong Kong sign at airport arrivals

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Top Five Disney Films

     Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a big Disney fan. I grew up watching Disney channel and all the classic films, and I still have a Disney playlist on my iPod that I listen to regularly. I've also visited two Disneyland parks, in Florida and in Hong Kong - hoping to get to Shanghai and/or Tokyo's before I leave Asia too! So for today's top five post, I'm sharing my five favourite classic animated Disney films, in no particular order.

Disney Aladdin movie poster
(source)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Outfit - Triangular Touches

      Yay for new clothes! Outfit posts have been a bit trickier lately, due to moving and staying at my friend's and such; I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I move to my new apartment either, as it's so small! I managed to squeeze in some photos though, showcasing some more new clothes from over Christmas. Hong Kong has been fairly warm since I got back, so it's possible to go out with a top and jacket, and no jumper or cardigan. I like the half sleeves on this one too, making it slightly more seasonal, and the triangular pattern is really fun. The leather-effect hems are interesting too, and there's even a cut out and bow on the back of the neck (which proved to be hard to photograph alone). I'm also absolutely obsessed with these new jeans! I bought them from New Look, my go-to shop for jeans, especially since they always have my height/length available (impossible to find in Asia), and the high waist makes my legs look even longer. It's also the comfiest, slightly stretchy denim ever!

Triangular Touches - outfit of black top with white pattern and leather hems, high waist blue skinny jeans, and tall black suede boots

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Travel Inspiration - Cambodia

     Life is still pretty busy since moving back to Hong Kong - I've more or less spent all week either in work or apartment hunting, so I'm going to wait to write a post about settling in again once I'm a bit more sorted out. So, instead today I'm bringing you my first travel inspiration post in a little while. I've decided to feature Cambodia today, as it's been about a year since my trip there (we start the Lunar New Year holiday next week). I travelled the country pretty thoroughly, over nearly two weeks, visiting Phnom Penh, Battambang, Koh Rong, and of course, the Angkor Temples. My posts from last year have plenty of information about the whole trip, so this post is to give you a taste of the country.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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