Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Sunday Catch Up #4

Good Morning! And how are we all on this wonderful Sunday? Pictured above is my Mum's Border Terrier puppy, Tilly, She's so adorable but extremely cheeky - But look at that face! This week's been a good un. I've been paid upfront, I've spent time with my friends and family and the weather hasn't been too wet and miserable.
We've bought ourselves a lovely little car but we can't drive it until Tuesday (Tax reasons) so today I'm borrowing my Mum's car for a jaunt out to Monks Cross shopping centre near York. It feels good knowing we finally have our own transport and next on the list is somewhere to live, just the two of us.
Anyways, this week... 

Watching: Aww mate, we recorded Catherine Tate's Nan-ger Management on Friday night and it is hilarious. Try catch it on BBC Iplayer if you are into that kinda vulgar humour. I'm going to see Deadpool today so expect to see some kind of review on here at some point.

Buying: Tickets for The View! If you don't know, The View are a Scottish indie/rock band and are one of my all time favourites. When their new album Rope Walk came out we were in Australia so we thought we had missed the tour but low and behold they are doing another!

Listening to: After Lorde's awesome David Bowie tribute to The Brits I've been listening to her back catalogue. She's great isn't she and so young!

Netflixing: I've finally finished Making a Murderer, and whilst I didn't get really stuck into it like a lot of people did, I still enjoyed it. I'm not sure how I feel about Steven Avery but I don't think Brendan Dassey had a lot (if anything) to do with the poor woman's murder. Plus the Manitiwoc police department are sketchy as.

Reading: Nothing, I'm rubbish. I used to get really stuck into books but I'm struggling at the moment. I subscribed to the Lonely Planet magazine though so when I get a spare 5 minutes I'll be giving that a read.

Doing: Working, obviously. Last Sunday we went for a meal for my Auntie's 40th and the food was so, so good. I had pate to start followed by a chicken dinner and it was pretty yummy. My favourite activities are one's that involve food.

And 3 little things?: Adele's accent, new cloud like pillows and smooth orange juice.

This week's posts:
Punky Pins appreciation
How to shake off the post travel blues

Thursday, 25 February 2016

How to shake off the post travel blues.

Walk among the trees in Denmark, WA

I had a whinge in this post about how I was struggling a little bit with being home but this week I'm feeling better. I've got two gigs and a festival pencilled in aswell as a trip to London and the promise of a weekend in Europe so 2016 is shaping up to be pretty sweet. I know some people get the post travel blues pretty bad so I had a think about things I've done in the past to make myself feel better about being home - Lo and behold, this little list was born.
Get your photos printed out and make a scrapbook.
Relive your time away by getting crafty. Get some photos printed (I tend to use photobox as you can get normal sized photos and Instagram/Polaroid style one) and find a way to make them look pretty in a scrapbook. This one from Paperchase is ideal. Use anything you have left from your travels to make the page come alive - Tickets, flyers, bric a brac - and let your creative juices run wild. If you want something a bit more visual then take inspiration from Kayley Mills who made some awesome shadow boxes filled with bits from her travels, scrabble tiles and bulky frames from Ikea.
Explore your own backyard.
I live in North Yorkshire and just incase you are a new reader and hacen't heard me bleating on about it, I think it's amazing. It's so green and the air is so crisp and there is so much to do outdoors. The UK in general is an amazing place to explore and it's a shame the bulk of tourists only head to London when there's a plethora of things to do in the North. From North Yorkshire it's 4 hours to Edinburgh, there's national parks in every direction and if you do fancy a trip to the South, Brighton's 5 hours away. There's plenty to do and explore and the bulk can be done in an easy day trip saving you money on B&Bs.

Read travel books, blogs and magazines and research your next trip.
Okay so this one *might* make your case of wanderlust a bit more serious but hey, if you have something to look forward to it will definitely ease your transition back into normality. Get some inspiration from magaines like Lonely Planet Traveller and Wanderlust: maybe even create a moodboard of things you want to do and see. Read blogs to get a real in depth feel for a place and read books to transport you away until you get chance to go yourself.
See your friends and family.
The main reason I didn't do my farm work (apart from being physically and mentally unable too) was because I missed my family. Seeing your family and friends remind you why you came home and what makes where you are from so great.
Throw yourself into a hobby.
Learn a language, play an instrument, do something creative, it's up to you. Personally I'm an avid film watcher, enjoy doodling and going out and exploring (This isn't a Tinder profile I swear) and these hobbies keep me busy. Sure sometimes I watch a film set somewhere incredible and it sends me in a whirl about going to that particular place right at that very minute but hey, it's a nice distraction.
And if all else fails, book a cheap weekend away!
Yep if you can't quite beat the post travel blues, book yourself a weekend away. EasyJet and RyanAir offer cheap flights to Europe and you can find fairly cheap accomodation on Air B&B. Do you really need a fancy airline for a two hour flight? Nope. A quick weekend away is bound to beat the blues and add another fun filled trip to your memory bank.

Do any of you guys have other ways to beat the blues? If so please let me know!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Punky Pins Appreciation

When I was 15 and in the middle of my still slightly on going emo phase I discovered Punky Pins in a tiny little shop called Fabric Junkie in the Leeds Corn Exchange. I went home and had a look on their website and fell in love. I ordered everything to do with jewellery making they had and dreamed of selling my own bits and pieces...Then I forgot all about my dream and Punky Pins and spent the next few years dicking around.
Fast forward 9 (!!!!) years and I've rediscovered Punky Pins who are still quirky and cute but with a more grown up vibe. As an avid collector or lapel pins and badges - Seriously I have loads from travelling and holidays - Punky Pins is right up my street for alternative, fun pins that look amazing on my denim jacket.

The two pins I picked are a *little* bit naughty but are small enough that you can only really tell what they are if you have a serious squint.

Sweet Cheeks pin - £6
How cute is this pin? It's a little bit risqué I guess but it's so unique. How many people do you know with bum pins on their lapel? This pin is super small but the detail the designers have managed to squeeze onto it is amazing.

Majestic As F*** Unicorn pin - £5
Yep it's a unicorn and yep it says Majestic as F***. This pin is just totally badass with heaps of colour and a pretty empowering slogan. Again it's so detailed and so pretty! They've just restocked so if you want one get in there quick!
Second class shipping cost me £2.50 and the pins arrived at my house within a week.


Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Sunday Catch Up #3

yru pumps with a tiger on
Yo yo yo how are we all? After yesterday's slightly miserable post I've woken up feeling much better. We have our eyes on a car and if all goes well we will most likely be adventuring all over the UK on a weekend.
I started at work on Thursday and it felt so great knowing that I already new everyone I was working with, I knew the computer system and I knew most of the position - There's nothing worse than the new job nerves is there?
It's been a pretty good week overall but Thailand and Australia are slowly starting to feel like a dream, it's as if I've never been away.
Anyway, this week...
Watching: If you can't tell from this post I'm watching Parks and Recreation again! Everything about it is amazing. I've been catching up with 50 ways to kill your Mammy on Sky On Demand aswell which is probably a bad idea considering how itchy my feet are at the moment.
Buying: These little YRU tiger pumps. I got them for £14.99 on Amazon but they should have been £45. I'm a sucker for some quirky footwear and these fit the criteria perfectly.
Listening to: The Weekend's album, 'Beauty behind the Madness'. He was massive in Australia and I liked the odd song that I heard but since getting home I've been listening to his album on Spotify and it's wicked. His performance at the Grammys was fab.

Yorkshire sunset
Netflixing: I haven't watched much Netflix this week, shock horror I know.
Reading: I've started reading Drew Barrymore's Wildflower. Rather than being a straightforward autobiography, it's a Lena Dunham style collection of essays. The reviews described her writing as a bit erratic but I really like her style.
Doing: I started work again (Yay money!) and I've spent my weekend lying around after an exhausting two days at work (LOL). Jody's spent his weekend looking at cars so hopefully next weekend we will be able to squeeze in a mini trip somewhere.
Using: My tangle teezer and invisibobbles. My hair's damaged from bleaching it when I got home and my tangle teezer makes brushing my hair a helluva lot easier. If you haven't got invisibobbles GET THEM...Seriously they will change yo life.
And 3 little things? Topshop blusher, the smell of fish and chips and having the good side of the bed.
This weeks posts:


Saturday, 20 February 2016

One month on: The Post Travel Blues

Busselton Sunrise

Sunrise at Busselton Jetty, WA

Tomorrow I will have been home from my whirlwind year away for a month. Time flies huh?

This week I've found myself googling flights and browsing the travel hashtag on Instagram almost religiously. Yorkshire is my home, always will be, and I love being near to my family again but knowing I have no set plans to go anywhere for a while is weird.

I've spent a year going wherever I want, doing whatever I want and now I'm back in the exact same position I was in before I left - Same job, same house, no car. The independence I found whilst I was travelling has been stripped away and I'm already dying to get back out into the big wide world (Although not long term, don't worry Mum).

But for now I'm going to get into my comfiest PJ's, stick Harry Potter on and snuggle up under my duvet. I know this funk will pass and that there will be more trips but at the moment I'm all meh. Maybe it's the rain?

How do you guys deal with the post travel blues?


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

4 reasons to get off your arse and book a trip to Thailand

koh rok thailand

I don't know if it's because I start work again tomorrow or what but I've woken up with a serious case of wanderlust. I'm not itching to go away for a year again (Never again Mum I promise) but I've been thinking a lot about my time in Thailand. It was one of the best places I've ever been too and here are four reasons why YOU should book a holiday to magical, wonderful, beautiful Thailand.

It's pretty hard to get bored in Thailand.
Wether it's bathing an elephant, eating scorpions, jungle trekking, temple exploring, snorkelling with the cast of Finding Nemo or spending a few weeks doing some mad partying, Thailand has it all and more. We spent two awesome weeks in the North of Thailand before spending the other two weeks chilling out on the beaches of Southern Thailand.

You can live the champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget. Seriously.
We spent 5 days on Koh Tao in a fan bungalow that had it's own bathroom and was 5 minutes from the beach for a grand total of £15 a night. That's not bad is it? Wether you live like a local or stick to what you know, you really don't have to break the bank to enjoy Thailand.

Thai people are some of the most wonderful people on the planet.
Sure there's a few people that are out to scam you but the majority of Thai's we came across were wonderful human beings. If you are lost, people will try and help you. If they don't speak English, they will find someone who does and get them to help you. Thailand isn't anymore dangerous than anywhere else in the world, just keep your wits about you and you'll be okay.

It's easy to find your own slice of paradise.
In both the North and South of Thailand, I never really got that feeling that Thailand was overcrowded - Apart from Maya Bay where they filmed The Beach. Klong Khong beach (Koh Lanta) was beautiful and there was hardly anyone else there. If you do some research it's pretty easy to find some peace and quiet away from all the crowds.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Remembering to turn on the light

make up collection
Since coming home I've been making a bit more of an effort to appreciate the little things in life especially after seeing how happy people can be with so little*.
1. MUA £1 lipstick (especially Bare)
2. When food is so good you do a happy dance whilst eating.
3. Crisp and clear days.
4. Booking plane tickets.
5. The Naked Smokey Palette
6. Getting your hair did and feeling like you're in a L'Oreal advert.
7. When you turn on the tv and an awesome film is just about to start.
8. Happy dogs. Dogs sticking their heads out of cars. Dogs.
9. Getting Post - Even if you knew it was coming.
10. Making other people laugh.
11. Hot bacon butties with toasted bread and loads of tomato sauce.
12. Hearing your fave songs when you're drunk and singing along.
13. Going through old photos.
14. That new book smell.
15. Waking up and thinking it's Tuesday when really it's actually Saturday.
* Okay sorry, some of these are pretty materialistic and cost money but meh.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Sunday Catch Up #2

jolly awesome greetings card

Happy Sunday and Happy Valentines Day you beautiful humans! Jody and I don't celebrate Valentines Day as my birthday is in January, our anniversary is in March and his birthday is in April...Sandwiching in another celebration is a bit much (Plus it's all commercial and American etcetera etcetera).

This week's been a good 'un. We have both found ourselves jobs so we can both breathe some sighs of relief because we have a source of income now, yay! I don't start 'til Thursday so I have a few more lie ins and episodes of Jeremy Kyle to go before I'm back to it for the first time in two months.

Watching: The Affair. Four episodes in and I'm really invested in this but the whole two story narrative, whose telling the truth thing is really driving me mad. Argh!

Buying: Erm, so I kinda broke the no spending rule...Oops. But I have my job back now so that's okay. I bought tickets for The Sterophonics in July as well as Kendal Calling tickets (via a monthly deposit scheme). We didn't go too many gigs in Oz so I'm looking forward to it.
Listening to: Kloe's EP 'Teenage Craze', Foxes 'All I Need' and Bring Me The Horizon's 'That's the Spirit'. I also love The 1975's new(ish) song 'The Sound' - Can't wait for the album.
book pile: jenny colgan, aziz anzari, drew barrymore,

Netflixing: Him and Her starring Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani. This was on BBC3 a couple of years back and I'm reliving it all over again. Him and Her is about an unemployed couple living in a bed sit and just being a normal, farting couple. It's great.
Reading:  The above picture is my to be read pile currently. I know I said I was gunna read Wildflower but I just didn't feel like it. I'm currently reading Jenny Colgan's sugary sweet new offering which is a nice, easy read which I know will have a happy ending.
Doing: So when I say I've got a job, I actually mean I've got my old job back. For a bit more money, I'll be part of a new team with a bit more responsibility than when I worked there previously. My boss there is one of the best bosses I've ever had, it's close to home and my best friend works there so I can't wait to go back.

Using: Despite not really leaving the house this week I've been using my Harajuku Lovers perfume in G. It's nice and coconutty but not so strong that it's offensive/makes me sneeze.
And Three little things?: An ice cold can of Pepsi, the magic of Sky On Demand and Jolly Awesome greetings cards.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

13 reasons to stop everything and go watch Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

In honour of Galentines Day (only the greatest day of the year!) I've put together a post on reasons why you need to drop everything and spend the day bingeing on Parks and Recreation - Possibly the greatest TV show of all time.

1. Leslie Knope. Feminist Icon. Waffle Connoisseur.

2. Seriously though, if you appreciate breakfast foods, this is the show for you.

3. DJ Rumba.

4. Ron Swanson's run.

5. The episode where Ben Wyatt goes mad and tries to make calzones happen.

6. Mouse Rat's musical fusion.

7. Treat Yo Self day.

8. Leslie Knope's compliments.

9. Andy Dwyer's dog like enthusiasm about everything.

10. April's hatred for everything.

11. 'Ann Perkins'

12. Ron Swanson and Tammy One and Tammy Two.

13. Barry, Terry, Larry, Jerry, Garry Gergich.

These are just a few of the 100 or so reasons I can think of for watching Parks and Recreation. It's a show about friendship, love and work and everyone can relate to at least one of the characters in some way.


Friday, 12 February 2016

I stayed in a 4 star hotel and it was awesome

Today I'm carrying on with my 'What I did in Thailand' posts. This week I'm sharing some images from the swankiest hotel I have ever stayed in and reliving it just makes me go wow.
Way back in November I was trawling through Groupon looking for something to do in Sydney and stumbled across a deal to stay in the Honeymoon suite at the Kalima Resort and Spa in Phuket. For £195 we were able to stay for two nights (including breakfast and a set Thai dinner) as opposed to the usual £488 price tag.
Walking into the hotel we felt really out of place but the staff were so welcoming and friendly. After check in we were DRIVEN up to our room where we were treated to some amazing views of Phuket and the ocean, a MASSIVE bath (a luxury when you're living in hostels and guest houses) and a soft, fluffy king size bed (another luxury - bed's in Thailand are hard!)
The hotel had an infinity pool with a swim up bar, a normal pool, a mini golf course, an artificial beach, a spa and 3 restaurants so there was plenty to do without having to even set foot off the hotel property. It was a stones throw away from the beach and a 5 minute drive from Patong Beach (the hotel even has a free shuttle to get you there).
The Kalima resort was beautiful but if I'm going to be truly honest, I didn't feel the same way about Phuket. It was busy, jam packed with tattoo studios and market type shops and had a vibe that made me uneasy. If we hadn't of had 2 nights at the Kalima booked I don't think we would have stayed for five days like we did.
How do you guys feel about Phuket? Yay or Nay?
Kalima Resort and Spa, 228/1 Prabaramee Road, Patong Beach, Kathu, Phuket, 83150


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Nine Thoughts

western australia

1. I hope I get my old job back today.

2. Thursday nights are McDonalds nights, yesss.

3. Fingers crossed we can afford to go somewhere awesome for Jody's birthday.

4. Is it bad I'm already planning my next trip?

5. Money, money, money.

6. Did Steven Avery do it?

7. I need a can of Pepsi.

8. I should stop drinking Pepsi.

9. Why the hell does The Affair have two versions of events, so annoying.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Sunday Catch Up #1

asos mayor glitter point shoes

Happy Sunday! I used to do a series called 'Lately I Love' but that kind of fizzled out 'cos I'm lazy. I've decided to bring back a Sunday post with some titbits from the week that was and hope that you enjoy it!
Today marks two weeks since arriving back in the UK and yes, I'm still happy that I'm home. At the moment I'm trying to pull my life back together and on the hunt for a job. Once I've got a job I can start saving for a house and *maybe* a trip to Europe in April - Just because I'm home after a 13 month trip doesn't mean I have to stop travelling altogether does it?
Watching: I've been trying to catch up with Girls series 4 as series 5 starts at the end of the month. When I first started watching it I wasn't a fan but it's really grown on me. I also watched The Secret Life of the Zoo on Channel 4 - Chester Zoo is one of my happy places so I loved seeing behind the scenes!

Buying: Luckily I got a superannuation refund from Oz as well as some Christmas money so I don't have to worry too much about a job at the moment. As it was my xmas money, I bought myself these rather jazzy shoes from ASOS, this Sweet Cheeks pin and this Majestic Unicorn pin...But that's it now, no more spending.
Listening to: Our local pub has a new jukebox and you can get any song you like on it - Like The View and The Courteeners! As I don't have a commute at the moment I haven't really been listening to much music but I'm really enjoying listening to the radio again and knowing who the artists are.
lee stafford coco loco

Netflixing: Yeah, yeah I've done a 'watching' section but I think Netflix deserves it's own doesn't it? I've finally resubscribed and I'm getting well stuck into Making A Murderer - It's making me so mad, the case is just so dodgy! I'm also loving Grace and Frankie starring Jane Fonda - It's about two women whose husbands are leaving them...For each other!

Reading: I just finished reading 'After You' by JoJo Moyes. I didn't think Me Before You really needed a sequel but I actually really enjoyed seeing how all the characters were getting on. I'm just about to start 'Wildflower' by Drew Barrymore.
Doing: Applying for jobs! I've signed up to a few agencies, had a few interviews and I'm also waiting to see if I can have my old job back. I've also finally had my roots done and my hair's no longer a multi coloured mess AND I've had my eyebrows plucked for the first time in over a year.

Using: I had a voucher left over (from Christmas 2014!) so I popped into Boots to get something to help make brushing my bird nest like hair easier. I came out with Lee Stafford's CoCo Loco coconut spritz and it's really making a difference.
And Three little things?: Singing along to Oasis in the pub, listening to the wind and rain whilst I'm snuggled up in bed and my Skinnydip Angel Pug phone case.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Getting tattooed in Thailand

cross tattoo studio pai
Jody's been hoping to get a new tattoo for ages but he hasn't been able to find an artist who he thinks would do his idea justice. When we were in Chiang Mai we were looking into it and found a tattoo artist named Mink, who was three hours away in Pai. After looking through his work on facebook we decided to make the perilous journey* to Cross Tattoo Studio.
When you decide to get a tattoo abroad you are always taking a risk. The health and safety of the studio might be questionable, needles might be re-used and the artist might not be that good but when we walked into Mink's studio we knew we had found a good spot.
Mink was really excited about doing something a bit different that wasn't related to Thailand (Buddha, tigers, elephants, etc). In fact he was that looking forward to doing it Jody was booked in for the next day. As you can see the tattoo turned out fantastic and it cost half the price it would have cost in the UK.
Some things to consider when getting a tattoo in Thailand:
- Do your research. Does the tattoo artist have a facebook page or website with good reviews on? Do they have a good portfolio of work?
- Check out the studio first. Is their other people in there? What are the conditions like? Does it look clean?
- Don't rush into it. Just because it's cheaper doesn't mean you should get a tattoo without any consideration of what to get. Really think about it.
- When you decide what you want, take some images with you. The tattoo artist may not speak good English and you want to make sure you are on the same page.
- Consider aftercare. Are you doing things where your new tattoo might get dirty or wet i.e snorkelling or trekking? Have this in mind when you get your tattoo and allow time for it too heal. Follow the artist's aftercare advice to keep it clean and always allow at least a week before submerging your tattoo in water ( even then you can apply a tonne of Vaseline to it to help preserve the work).
Find Mink and Cross Tattoo studio on Facebook.
DISCLAIMER: Tattoos are something that Jody and I are both interested in. I have three relatively small ones and Jody has two quite large ones. My Dad is covered in them and I've grown up watching him getting tattoo after tattoo. HOWEVER I am not a professional so always consult a credible tattoo artist for advice.
* Seriously, the road to Pai is through the mountains and has 762 bends.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

How it feels to be home

rain in yorkshire
This time two weeks ago I was on Koh Tao with a uniform of shorts and bikini top and a daily schedule of eat, beach, sleep.  Now I'm back in Yorkshire, wearing pajamas for most of the day and making sure I'm up in time for Jeremy Kyle - And I'm kinda loving it.
Everyone keeps asking me if I'm glad to be back to the cold, wet and windy weather and when I answer yes, they look at me like I'm completely mental. But you know what? I genuinely am over the moon to be home.
I've really missed my family, friends and my dogs (pictured below) and I didn't realise just how much I'd missed normality. After backpacking and living in hostels, I've come to fully appreciate having my my own room, only having to share a bathroom with Jody's parents and being able to put all my belongings into a wardrobe rather than carting it around in a rucksack.
I was really worried that I would come home and instantly regret it, but for now I'm enjoying being back in Yorkshire, catching up with everyone and eating as much stodgy food as I can handle. Sure I don't have a job, car or my own home but those things will come in time.
Have you guys got any coming home stories? Did you love it or hate it? Comment below!
border terriers
lakeland terrier, boo

alfie the border terrier