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Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

Sunday, 12 July 2015

A tiny camping microholiday

cute camping couple

It's been a while, hasn't it. A lot has happened since I last blogged over here. I've started a new writing project, Daily Playwright where I (you guessed it) write a play every single day. The plays are very short, don't worry. I've also handed in my notice at work - my last day is in five weeks. Everything is exciting and there's a lot of adventuring on the horizon for me. But for now, I'm just going to share a few pictures from a little tiny holiday that Dan and I went on a few weeks ago.

forest nature wilderness
into the woods trees

It was just an overnight camping trip but it was probably the most relaxing 24 hours I've had in a very long time. Work has been manic and I've been writing a play every single evening. Everything has been go go go all year, and frankly, I can't believe it's July already. I took a long break from blogging because I was disillusioned with the constant networking and commercialism. Those are huge aspects of the blogging world and I respect them wholeheartedly, but I don't know if I am able to participate on that level. As a result, I ran away and avoided blogging for a really long time. I haven't looked at my blog email in forever and I am so so sorry if you've emailed me and nor received a response. But I'm ready to dip a tentative toe back into the blogosphere and blog on my own terms again. And I'll get to your emails, I promise! ;)

cosy tent
wilderness home
hiking tea break
reading holiday book

Now that we have a tent, we're going to do a lot more camping. It's so lovely to listen to the birds in the morning and feel the grass between your toes. Plus, once you've got the kit, camping is pretty cheap. This next year is going to be an incredibly frugal one for us as I will be doing a masters and Dan will be finishing his PhD. So expect more little camping adventures on this 'ere bloggeroo.

cider break camping
enamelware mug chic

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Owl Guy: City breaks for couples

Romantic holiday New York

Hi, It’s Dan again! This time I am going to talk about holidays. You might have seen a few of Candy’s posts about holidays we have been on, and if so you might have noticed that we tend to go on a particular kind of holiday most of the time. Yup, city breaks! Now I do love to soak up the rays on the beach, but given our busy lives and thus limited time we want to pack as much “doing stuff” into our holidays which means that we inevitably end up going on city breaks.

Seoul Night Lights
Couple in Norway
Oslo Tram Guide tourism
Western Couple in Korea
Parasol or Umbrella Seoul
Shibuya Guide Starbucks

Going to a new city as a couple is great, you get to share all of the new exciting things with someone but there aren’t so many people on the holiday that you all want to do different things. (For group holidays I would totally recommend skiing!) Going to a new city is such a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture, there are always so much to explore! Our favourite way of exploring a city is walking, most cities, when you get down to it aren’t really that big, even London or New York! and walking lets you get a real feel for the atmosphere and take in some of the more obvious sights (how better to look at Korean palaces, downtown New York or the Tokyo tower?). If you do have a long way to go public transport is also great, not only is it usually pretty cheap but you get to feel like a local, just for a few moments! Obviously all that walking has to end somewhere, we usually try to fit in a few local museums and galleries, a good bit of shopping and of course, most importantly lots of restaurants! I mean I’m pretty sure it is a saying that “The best way to get to know somewhere is by its food!” Speaking of museums, everywhere has some totally unique ones and it is great fun to explore them. Oslo has the Fram museum (it has a giant boat in it!) which Candy blogged about, Tokyo has a museum for basically anything you can think of and Venice has a fascinating little museum about the local Jewish population!

Venice sunset scene
Budapest twilight

If you have a little bit of extra time it can be really fun to make a little day trip or two out into the countryside (or another city, whatever floats your boat). We did this during our honeymoon in Tokyo, we made 2 day trips, getting the shinkansen (bullet train) out first to the Tokogawa shrine and then to Aokigahara forest where we got caught in a thunderstorm in a the forest on a mountain and thought we would never make it home!
Finally, one of my favourite things about going on city breaks as a couple is that you get to experience all of these awesome things with someone that you love and spend some time together totally away from all the stresses and anxieties of life! So what kind of holidays do you guys like, and do you usually go with family, as a couple, with friends or as a solo adventurer?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Opera House - Oslo on the cheap!

Oslo budget holiday
This wedge-shaped wonder was so spectacular that I thought it deserved its own post. Recently the Guardian did an article about Oslo on a budget (I’m sitting here feeling just a tiny little bit smug that I was ahead of the curve, albeit by only a couple of weeks) and they mentioned the fact that you can visit the Opera house for free. I had actually put a visit to this amazing architectural landmark top of my ‘things to do in Oslo’ list before we went, and I’m so glad we got to see it. I was adamant that I wanted to visit at dusk, and thankfully dusk lasts a REALLY LONG TIME in Oslo at this time of year. It looks beautiful and glacial in the daytime, but at night, all lit up, it’s too brutal-ethereal for words.
Norway Opera
Oslo glass building
Climbing Oslo Opera House
Norwegian Titanic
Stormy Fjord Norway
Norway street dance
Oslo lit up at night
You can walk all the way to the top and look over the fjord in the distance, and you can peek into the glowing core of the building through the polished, shard-like windows. I took… a lot… of photos. And Dan and I did a little vlog of our experience too. Don’t have the volume on full when you watch it though – it was very windy up at the top, since there was an apocalyptic rainstorm brewing overhead.


If you’re ever in Oslo, you have to pay the Opera house a visit. It’s free, it’s breathtaking, and you’ll be able to take some epic photographs no matter what time of year you go. Maybe next time I go to Oslo I’ll be able to afford to actually go inside and see an opera or ballet. That’s the dream anyway!

Shadow Lord Scandinavia

See what else we got up to on our Oslo mini break.

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

What to pack for a short city break

in-flight essentials

I'm sure you haven't failed to notice that we've been on our anniversary minibreak in Oslo... It's not like I've been posting about anything else! Anyway, as I mentioned in my airport fashion post, as far as I'm concerned, the holiday begins when I'm packing my bags. There's something so exciting about the anticipation involved. What will we do? What will I need?
So I thought I'd share just a few of my favourite things to pack for a very short "city break" - this is by no means all that I brought with me - just a few bits and pieces that I thought would be worth sharing! I took these photos as the morning sun streamed through the window of our attic hotel room, and Dan was shaving his face in our tiny ensuite. At the very end of the post, I'll let you know where everything came from, so stay tuned! And don't forget to watch our Oslo vlogs, if you haven't already!

minibreak packing list
holiday pyjamas
minibreak beauty kit
holy grail holiday project
Headphone tidy - Yesstyle - Cute if not super useful...
Portable eyelash curler - MUJI - Use this very carefully as it is quite different from a normal eyelash curler!
Hairclip - Boots - Useful in-flight and for putting on makeup.
Tea dress - Dorothy Perkins - See previous post! This is a great casual date dress.
Plastic travel pouch - MUJI - All my liquids were in here because we only took carry-on luggage.
Analogue camera - Pentax - This used to be my mum's camera!
Light pyjamas - Primark - The top has one of those useless 'built in bra' things, but if you can get past that ridiculousness, it's great. And the trousers are super comfy. I'm wearing them right now.
Makeup wipes - Boots - makeup wipes are perfect for short breaks and carry-on luggage holidays.
Eyeshadow duo - Bare Minerals - Again, this is tiny and great for a 'basics only' approach to packing!
Dehydrated sheet masks - MUJI - OMG these are amazing. A splash of water or toner and they unfurl into sheet masks to refresh your face. Dan and I both used these in the evening before our little dinner date.

What are your packing essentials? What should I take with me next time I go away? Let me know in the comments, and I'll be sure to respond! :)

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Friday, 11 July 2014

Food and coffee in Oslo

tim wendelboe review

Every holiday is a culinary tour for us. We spent our whole honeymoon hopping from cafe to restaurant to ramen bar to street food cart, and our anniversary mini-break to Oslo was no different. Read of our wondrous foodie adventures, and if you stay tuned until the bottom of the post, you may or may not be treated to an accidental 'Marilyn moment'...
We arrived at our hotel very late at night, although there was still a glow in the sky, it being midsummer Norway and all, so after what felt like the shortest night's sleep ever, we ventured downstairs for the most incredible breakfast buffet of our lives. There were eggs and a hot plate to fry them on, a build-your-own muesli bar, countless different types of cheese, and mountains of cured salmon. After all that, we didn't feel like we would ever be able to eat again. (But don't worry - we could!)
We bought a couple of all-day bus tickets from a convenience store called Narvesen and hopped on a bus to Grünerløkka, which we had been informed was the "Shoreditch of Oslo". I actually thought it was much more laid back and family-orientated than Shoreditch, but it was still definitely very trendy. We walked up the river for a bit and then stopped for an iced coffee at Tim Wendelboe. Despite coming in a martini glass, my iced cappuccino was in no way a novelty drink. This was seriously smooth, creamy coffee and it was perfectly brewed. Dan got a different type of iced coffee that came with some kind of aniseed twist. It was just as incredible as mine. The decor at Tim Wendelboe is minimal, with very few spots to sit - the room was dominated by an enormous coffee bean roaster, all clean and industrial looking. The counter tops were functional and wooden - everything was designed to make sure that the coffee spoke for itself, which it really did.

Oslo Street Fashion
Pattern mixing Summer
City break in Oslo
Grunerlokka Hipster

After a lot of wandering and mooching, a trip to the Munch museum, and a visit to the amazing Fram museum (a museum dedicated to the first successful mission to the south pole - more on this at a later date), we changed for a little date night dinner at Elias mat & sånt. This was recommended online as a reasonably priced, modern take on traditional Norwegian food, and it did not disappoint. We amused ourselves between delicious courses, with children's books in Norwegian, and browsed the extensive collection of board games. I'd really recommend this place and enjoyed the fabulous smoked salmon and poached egg salad - Dan had reindeer stew, which was served with a mountain of delicious, buttery mashed potato.
We were only in Oslo for a day and a half, but we managed to squeeze in trips to visit two gorgeous sandwich shops, the Grünerløkka Bakeri, and Godt Brød. Both did fantastic sandwiches. Perhaps Scandinavian sandwiches should be called Scandwiches? Anyway, this sample of two has convinced me that Oslo is the sandwich capital of the world. Fresh ingredients, beautiful flavour combinations and real passion about food. (I sound like a knob).

Date night Oslo
Asparagus date
Norwegian disney

We visited another coffee shop the morning before we left, called Mocca. Again, the design inside the shop was clean and slightly industrial but perfectly executed. We both ordered iced mochas and enjoyed them surrounded by young families and hip students scribbling in Moleskines. I enjoyed every single food and drink experience I had in Oslo even though it is a very expensive city. I would love to go back when I am richer and experience more of the culture that Oslo has to offer!
Yeah, I know basically all of the photos in this post are of my outfits and not food!!! Whatchoo gonna do about it? Stay tuned for more Oslo adventure posts as well as my packing essentials.

Oslo coffee shop
iced mocha oslo
Scandinavian minimalist chic

Striped top - h&m
Skirt - Dorothy Perkins
-
Party dress - Dorothy Perkins
Cardigan - I have no idea... It used to belong to my mother. Ask her!

Oslo station tiger
Accidental upskirt
Windy day dress

Ooops.

P.S. Take a look at our vlog! There's bling! And licking!

Monday, 7 July 2014

What to wear... To the airport!

airport fashion ideas
When it comes to in-flight fashion, I like to keep it more functional than glamorous. You won't see me in high heels in Stansted airport, and I certainly don't own any celebrity sunglasses (although those can be very useful to hide bloodshot post-flight eyes if you're worried about them!)
That said, I like to be deliberate about all of my outfits and so I think very carefully about what I'm going to wear to the airport whenever I go abroad. For me, the holiday starts in the airport. Actually, I lie - for me, the holiday starts when I am packing my luggage! I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I LOVE flying...
Every detail about it, from making that initial list of what to pack and putting all my cosmetics in the tiny plastic bag, to waiting in that long queue to board the plane - you name it, I've probably got an unhealthy obsession with it...
In order to preserve my love of flying, I always make sure to wear something that is both ultra-comfortable and acceptable as an outdoor outfit. (Hey, if you're someone who wants to wear pyjamas on a plane, you go for it - I have nothing but respect for your commitment to comfort - I'm just not really a tracksuit bottoms kinda gal.)
carry-on fashion essentials
My utter holy grail item of clothing for flying is this pair of leggings with a built in skirt (or perhaps it is a skirt with built in leggings) from Yesstyle! I get all the comfort of a pair of leggings, with the assurance that I am not flashing my knickers. I paired the skeggings (please let that be what they are called!!) with a loose shirt to keep it casual and comfortable. Not pictured is my big slouchy cardigan, but trust me - layers are important when flying, especially with a budget airline.

So here are my pro tips for in-flight fashion: 
- Wear something stretchy and comfortable - no jeans and no corsets!
- Bring layers such as a snuggly cardigan or a light jacket. Nothing too heavy to carry around.
- Wear shoes that are easy to take off. Mine lace up but they are pretty low-fuss as shoes go. Often the security people want you to take your shoes off so they can scan them, and if you are wearing shoes that take ages to remove, that makes you and everyone else cross!
- Wear something that makes you feel human. Some people find flying (especially flying with budget airlines) very stressful, and even I admit that it can feel a bit like being herded like cattle from time to time. Wear a pretty hairband or a favourite top to remind yourself that you ARE on holiday!

cheesy travel pose
This is the first in a series of "what to wear" posts. If you have any burning desire for me to give you fashion advice or if you simply want to see what I'd wear in a scenario of your choice, let me know in the comments and maybe I'll dedicate a post to you!

P.S - I wrote this post ON THE PLANE. If that's not dedication to blogging, I don't know what is. And yes - I know that last photo is ridiculous. Who peruses their passport like a mail-order catalogue? Apparently I do.
P.P.S - Check out our Norway VLOG!!!!!OMGOMG
PPPS. This post about travelling with a disability, written by Hayley-Ezti is really really important.


Monday, 22 September 2008

The Summer.

Well, this erratic blogger is currently in Australia!

The summer has been... eventful, to say the least! I did my exams. Some were harder than others, and that showed in my results. But all in all, I got three As! Hurrah! I am going to Cambridge!

I went to Italy with my Orchestra for a week, and we also played in exotic Birmingham.



I also went to France to see my Dad and I spent two weeks there. It seemed to fly by to be honest. My sister was on her way to taking her first steps, and my brother was... cheeky as ever! I went on bicycle rides in rural France, and did all sorts of picturesque French things...

So, results day was emotional, and the day after, even more so.

I did manage to watch a film called 'Penelope' though, which I can't work out. Is it a new film? Has it been out for a while? Christina Ricci looked really young, but Reese Witherspoon looked the way she looks now... Anyway, it was a lovely whimsical film, and it had James McAvoy in it, which I would never complain about. I also made friends with a lovely woman, whose name I forget. I don't think I will ever forget her though. It wasn't as though she was particularly remarkable, but we had a bit in common, and she was very friendly. We both wept when we saw the Australian sunrise from the aeroplane window...

Since I have been here, I have swam with sea turtles on the Coral Ree
f in Queensland, walked over the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, seen the chimney in Port Kembla, touched various animals, got a new watch, got some sunburn, broken a lamp, and cut my foot, and eaten a LOT of Thai food!


So, I am home in a week, safely in the arms of my loved ones. But I am also, orphaned in my own country. My mother has just flown out to Australia for at least ten weeks, and my Dad has moved to France...

But I suppose I am going to Cambridge, so I shouldn't complain! I don't know what to expect! I am so excited but so... nervous. Stepping into the unknown! Gosh.

Well, here ends another post from possibly the most irregular blogger ever...