12th, September, 2017

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Around eight or so months ago, I moved to Thailand. When I picture Thailand I basically imagine temples and brilliant weather, so it’s a bit ridiculous that I haven’t actually visited any temples since I’ve been here. Aside from when I went to Laos. But that’s not Thailand. So that’s a whole different story.

We rented a car a few weeks ago, with the mission being to explore some of the grand temples around Udon Thani, the province I live in. Grand doesn’t even begin to cover it.

First up, we visited Wa Pa Phu Kon – otherwise known as ‘Heaven on Earth’. And it’s pretty darn easy to see why!

This temple is relatively new, being built only a couple of years ago. The exterior is obviously beautiful – and it’s massively exciting when you get the first glimpse of it peeking out from the trees as you approach. The province I live in, Udon Thani is generally pretty flat, so it’s even more impressive that it’s located on one of the big hills around here. The views are seriously INSANE.

Even more grand than the views was what lies (literally!) inside the temple itself. An enormous reclining Buddha, made from Italian marble takes up the majority of the space. It’s so (so!) big we could barely even fit it in the photo – and we were using a wide angle lens.

I took a whole bunch of footage of this place too, so I’ll definitely be putting up a video sometime soon, when my laptop is sorted.

In the meantime, if you happen to be passing through Northern Thailand (Udon Thani specifically) the address of Wat Pa Phu Kon is here. So, so, SO ridiculously worth the visit!

Jumpsuit – Trashy Diva

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3rd, September, 2017

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Although I had visions of freezing during my stay in Amsterdam (I live in Thailand, let’s be realistic) it was bloomin’ HOT! My daily outfit pretty much consisted of shortly hemmed dresses, my beloved fedora, sunglasses and Chuck Taylors. It kind of made my initial packing of jumpers and leather jackets slightly redundant, but hey, I’d choose sunshine over wasted packing space any day!

For anyone visiting Amsterdam, my biggest tip would be to RENT A BIKE. It seems kind of obvious really, but we stuck to walking for the first few days after being intimidated by the fast pace of all of the locals on their bikes.

It turns out it’s way, way easier to bike than walk in Amsterdam (who knew!) and it’s a whole lot easier being in the swing of things on your bike, rather than struggling against it by walking.

Plus, we were clocking up over 30km on foot every day, and I was starting to limp.

So yeah, number one Amsterdam tip: ride a bicycle! And here’s some photos of me doing just that. And by ‘just that’ I mean posing next to one in one of the outfits I described earlier.

Hat – ASOS / Dress- H&M

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5th, August, 2017

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It still feels totally surreal – but this time last week I was on a bicycle making my way around Amsterdam! It’s been a dream for absolute years to visit Europe, but since it costs a whole lot of money to fly out of New Zealand – it being so far away and all – it just never happened. It’s actually one of the things I love about living in Thailand (aside from the constant heat and everything being ridiculously cheap) since I love to travel and cram in as many destinations as possible.

This was easily one of the best holidays I’ve ever been on. I’m a complete sucker for good architecture, and oh man, Amsterdam is jam-packed full of it. We spent the first three days on foot, our necks craning upwards at the gorgeous buildings, naturally, but after clocking up over 30km a day – on cobblestones too, ouch, we swiftly swapped to bicycles – which was my favourite thing about Amsterdam, full stop!

I’ve heard that Summer is one of the best times to visit, and it definitely lived up to it’s expectations. Going from my home in Northern Thailand, I was terrified of the temperature change, so the first things I packed were my leather jacket and the two woollen jerseys I own.. turns out I barely needed them! It was over 29 degrees daily and we spent so much time on the go that I was even warmer than expected. So mostly I just stuck to Summer dresses – like this gingham off-the-shoulder number I’m wearing here.

Aside from cycling, my other favourite thing was vintage shopping. I had plans to make a guide, but I ended up being so engrossed in it I didn’t take any photos of the shops whatsoever! I did pick up some really cute dresses though, so it was worth it.

I have a couple more Amsterdam posts up my sleeve, so stay tuned. There is a video in the works too, I just need to finish it off. I can’t wait to show you!

Gingham dress Glamorous / Shoes – Cocorose London

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22nd, May, 2017

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Let me whisk you all the way back to New Zealand for a second. And yep, I promise it will be worth it.

A wee while ago now (longer than I’d care to admit!) we spent a magical few days in the Kahutara PurePod. I’m pretty open about my obsession with tiny homes (I really, really want to live inside a customised shipping container one day) so for me, this really was living the dream.

Have you heard of Kaikoura? It’s known in New Zealand as the go-to place for visiting seal colonies. It’s also the main road when you’re driving up the South Island. It’s kind of obvious that it’s a beautiful place – just kind of quintessential NZ, you know, but I had no idea that views like this existed. I mean, come on.

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The building itself was a real stunner too. Everything, honestly everything was glass. I’m talking ceilings, floor, walls – even in the bathroom (though there were blinds too, mind you). It was a pretty insane feeling being woken up by the sunrise over the snowcapped mountains. And then it outdid itself by offering a rainbow in the mix too. Totally one of those “how is this even real life” moments.

If you’re headed to New Zealand, which I totally recommend by the way, you should definitely make time to stay in this luxury tiny home. If the drive is a little far (which it totally isn’t, I don’t want any excuses!) there are four locations in total – with two of them being a whole lot closer to Christchurch.

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I feel a little guilty over taking so, so long to post this video, but luckily it’s something I’m hugely proud of. Moving to Thailand meant that a lot of my projects got somewhat pushed to the back-burner (or locked away on one of many hard drives, in reality) and things have taken way longer than excepted. I have a whole bunch of travel videos in the pipeline; some are half done, others are just copious amounts of footage dumped on one of those hard drives I was talking about earlier, but I promise I’ll get around to sharing it all soon. In the meantime, please subscribe to my YouTube channel to be updated when stuff goes live.

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7th, May, 2017

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As promised; a video from our amazing trip to Koh Samui, Thailand! (And hopefully the start of MUCH more to come with my YouTube channel!) I don’t want to give away too much in this post – after all, you have to watch the video to see just how gloriously beautiful our hotel, the Outrigger Resort Koh Samui, truly was. We had our very own villa – complete with private pool (!) and the tastiest breakfasts I think I’ve ever consumed in my entire life.

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Relax

This trip, I remember so clearly turning to Barnaby and saying “I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relaxed!” And trust me, I am someone who really hates being patient and doing nothing. I like to be out there checking out everything. This time though, beach walks completely did it for me. It was the best feeling just lounging by the main pool (or our private pool at other times) just reading and sippin’ on drinks. I read three books while I was away. It was the BEST. The resort is so soothing and secluded; everything ‘real life’ feels so far away. Ah, take me back!

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Eat

Oh man, the food at the Outrigger really was something else! We ate so much pizza, drank our water weight in cocktails (if you’re heading that way I thoroughly recommend the Outrigger Collins) but my favourite was undoubtedly the breakfast buffet. Pretty much, every morning I struggled to walk away from the table. Not in willpower terms – more along the lines of I had consumed so much food it was genuinely hard to move! No regrets though, that stuff was GOOD! We had some breathtaking dates beside the ocean too. Cocktails, food and beaches just go so darn well together. Watch my video to see more mouthwatering meals.


26th, April, 2017

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Hi from Koh Samui, Thailand!

We spent a week chilling out on this beautiful island; exactly what you picture if you think of the quintessential Thailand holiday. We had visions of sunshine, laying on the beach reading; you know, the usual.

Guess what?

It rained. No, it monsooned for the first four days we were there, thunderstorms and all. Then it was glorious sunshine to top it off. And yes, I have the sunburn to prove it.

Being with my husband 24/7 is definitely the best thing about vacations (I always say that “holiday Barnaby is the best edition” to him, ha!), second best was the food, and thirdly was without a doubt was this incredible swing that was right on the beach. Hopefully these photos capture just how HUGE it was. Seriously, the photos of me climbing aboard were absolutely hilarious. It was all like ‘one foot up, pull the rest of my body up’ and to swing I pretty much had to go through the whole thing again. Totally worth it though. It was FUN. And it makes for cute Instagram and blog content too. Always a plus.

Dress – I bought it from a market in Udon Thani 

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14th, April, 2017

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Gah, I love Bangkok! Actually, it’s a bit ridiculous – Barnaby and I worked out that we’ve been living in Thailand for four months and have already visited BKK five times all up! Obsessed? Maybe a little bit ; ) Especially when rooftop pools like this one are on offer (we stayed at Aloft on Sukhumvit Soi 11. Definitely recommend it!)

It seems really weird posting these. Well, namely because I’m currently in Bangkok on a completely different trip altogether! The international school holidays in Thailand tie in with the British dates too, so for April we went to Koh Samui – which was a bit of a tropical paradise (well, when it wasn’t raining!) But more on that later. With a video too. I promise.

This bikini – in my favourite colour, what a surprise (!) has been my latest go-to any time I’m near a pool – which unsurprisingly happens a lot when you live in 30+ degree weather. The colour is described as ‘mango’ which just seems so fitting. And it’s pretty much my favourite fruit, so even better. I would’ve described it as mustard, but hey, I’ve been converted and now it’s mango all the way. Mango for my mangos ; ) I snapped it up from Shopbop – which is now having a massive sale! Remember to enter the code EVENT17 and get 20% off your order. The bikini is here, just if you’re interested!

Bikini – Tavik Swimwear / Sunglasses – Miu Miu

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1st, April, 2017

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Chances are, if you think of Thailand you immediately think of Bangkok (well, that or pretty beaches!) Luckily for us, Udon Thani isn’t too far from Bangkok by flight – or very expensive to do so either. It’s especially lucky as it’s a city I’ve loved since I was a kid – and possibly even more as an adult (the cocktails are really cheap, after all!)

Our last trip was ‘strictly business’ – but it’s genuinely impossible not to have even a wee bit of fun visiting Bangkok. I’m talkin’ burger eating, rooftop pools, H&M shopping sprees (such a novelty for this wee New Zealander!) and just general walking around exploring; possibly my favourite thing of all.

My husband, Barnaby thought I was completely ridiculous as we took these photos. I said I wanted to take “photos that look like I’m in Bangkok” (“but we are in Bangkok!”) and hopefully we pulled it off. It’s busy; cars (and tuk tuks!) are everywhere, it’s a little bit grungy, and powerlines – I’m talking twenty at a time – are hanging overhead everywhere you walk. And yet there’s something just so ridiculously charming about it. I’m there again in the next few weeks, and am really stinkin’ happy about it.

DressH&M / ‘Happy’ Bracelet – Kate Spade New York (via Shopbop) / ShoesCocorose London

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19th, February, 2017

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Welcome to Vientiane, Laos!

After being in Thailand around a month or so, we decided to pop over the border and give Laos a visit. I had been before as a kid, but couldn’t remember anything at all about it – because at the time I picked up a horrendously nasty case of food poisoning and was hospitalised. Actually, my only memory of Laos was a dehydration hallucination I had of Joey Tribiani giving me a giant cheque. Um, yeah, so I was MIGHTY excited to give it another go – preferably not as a sicko!

We only had a couple of days to explore, so we hired an electric bike (SO much fun!) and whizzed around the central city. The French influence on the architecture and signage is beautiful, and although I was excited to put my high school knowledge to good use, it turns out none of the locals speak en Francais.

In all honesty, besides visiting an array of incredible temples, most of my time was spent eating pizza. Seven, yes, seven pizzas were consumed over the span of three days! You might think that I wouldn’t be able to make eye contact with a pizza ever again.. but if Pomodoro Pizza was presented any time soon, I would absolutely be there (please guys, move to Thailand!)

All in all; I enjoyed this a LOT more than I did being a kid.. even if there was no Joey Tribiani or giant cheque this time! 😉

Dress – A gift / Hat – ASOS / Shoes – Kate Spade

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6th, February, 2017

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Um, so the past couple of months have been slightly hectic (to say the least!) In short; I got married (will post photos from this so super soon!), quit my job, and migrated all the way over to Thailand. Northern Thailand, to be specific. Welllll, Udon Thani, Northern Thailand to be really specific. I haven’t been exactly sure how to even write all of this down – namely as so much really as happened. So I suppose I’ll start with why I decided to move to Thailand..

In June 2016 my Nana passed away and I have been really, massively, enormously struggling with coming to terms with it. I didn’t have a lot of family support in New Zealand. My parents live in Brunei, in South-East Asia, and my brother and his wife live in the UK. My Aunt, who I am close with lives in the North Island of New Zealand. So basically, no immediate on-site family support – from my side, anyway. Barnaby’s Mum, Jane was massively kind; taking us into her house and buying me a gym membership to help ease the pain. But oh my gosh, there was (and still is) SO MUCH PAIN. I have never lost anyone before – let alone someone so close to me (Nana and I emailed multiple times a day and had set weekly coffee dates). Around the time of the funeral all of my family was there, but when they left… it was just me. And I could see my Nana everywhere. I drove past all our favourite coffee places, vintage shops we would visit together, and to get to work I had to drive alongside the church where her funeral service took place. It was the absolute pits. And I didn’t know how I was going to be able to stay there.

But I stayed. And the pain eased a little.

But then I hit the point where I knew it was going to keep hurting for a long time, and I just wasn’t happy in Christchurch anymore. After all, we moved there from Wellington so I could be closer to my Nana, who had just started to get sick.

Sorry if this has caused any tears (eep, it has for me!) so lets get onto some happier stuff!

First up – I got married in December – as I mentioned earlier ! To the love of my life – my man for well over ten years; Barnaby. I will share some photos soon! It was a little intense planning a wedding in just over a week – but so, so wonderful!

You might not know that I actually grew up in Asia! From the age of 4-16 I was raised in Brunei. Since arriving in New Zealand I had been desperate to get overseas again! And luckily my love, Barnaby, felt the same way. We had had so many ‘what if?’ conversations over the past few years, and this time it all seemed just right. Right down to the fact that my car in Christchurch literally exploded the day after I signed the contract! Talk about meant to be!

So here I am! Udon Thani! Visiting the giant ducks – my favourite landmark. I hope you enjoy following along my Northern Hemisphere adventures – it sure is lovely having you here!

Dress – Shopbop / Freda Jelly Sandals – Kate Spade

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