Body shop skin care

I recently popped into the body shop to have a look some new skincare products as I completely ran out when away travelling.

I asked the shop assistant to help me find a cleanser and a moisturiser which was not too harsh on my skin. She recommended the aloe range which has no scent and is meant to be very gentle.

I will start with the cleanser. I chose the milk cleanser because I find it less drying for my skin as sometimes my skin does get dry patches. I love it, it is so moisturising and really works to remove all the make up and dirt. It makes your face look clean.

I got both the day and night moisturisers because it turned out to be three for two. The day moisturiser is not too greasy but gives a good level of moisture. It’s really nice to apply and soaks in quickly. The night cream is much heavier but I like the bit of extra moisture at night. It does feel greasier on the face and makes you more shiny but again I don’t mind because I’m just going to bed after I put it on.

I also purchased the Black Orchid shower gel and perfume as these were also on offer. I fell in love with the smell at an airport on my travels and I knew I just had to get something from the range when I came back. The shower gel lathers so easily and smells just amazing and the thing I love about it is that once you get out the shower you can still smell the fragrance lingering on your skin. The perfume lasts all day, it’s probably one of the best perfumes I’ve ever had. And the smell is incredible.

This is my first proper trip to buy a range of products from the body shop and I was so pleasantly surprised. I’ve become a lot more conscious about where my products are coming from and I know the body shop doesn’t agree with testing on animals which is a huge bonus in my eyes. I think it’s definitely going to be my new shop of choice for my skincare. I’m interested in trying out their make up range aswell. If anyone has tried any other body shop products let me know.

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Tips for travellers

I’ve been on the road for almost three and a half months now so I thought it would be a good time to share some of my top travelling tips.

1. Make sure you have music or podcasts downloaded on your phone to make those long journeys more manageable.

2. When packing have separate plastic bags for each genre of clothing I.e. tops in one small bag, underwear in another etc. It means that you know where everything is.

3. Nick the blanket off the plane on your way to your first destination because it is a lifesaver on buses and even in some hostels which don’t provide blankets.

4. Budget more than what you are going to spend because inevitably plans change and sometimes this involves cost.

5. Always barter. You can always get the prices of pretty much anything down whether it’s taxis, tours or street markets. Never settle for the price you are told.

6. Sometimes you just need time to chill. Travelling can get really tiring because you move from place to place a lot. Make sure you give yourself time to relax and do nothing.

7. Bring a home comfort with you whether that’s a face mask, crossword puzzle or anything which makes you feel more like you. I lived for those little home comforts if I was having a down day.

8. It won’t always be sunny and hot. Bring a waterproof and a jumper. You’ll need it.

9. Unless you can sleep through anything, an eye mask and ear plugs are essential. Dorms can get really noisy at any time of the day or night.

10. Eat street food. Some people worry that street food is unhygienic but it is tastes amazing and is super cheap. I never got ill once after eating street food.

All in all I never had any real issues whilst travelling, there was a few slight mishaps but that was to be expected. I hope if any of you are thinking of going travelling my advice will be useful to you!

Best of Bali food

If you ever come to Bali be prepared for an overwhelming choice of food in the most aesthetically pleasing venues. You will eat like a queen.

Canggu

Eco Garden

This was literally the first place we came across after arriving because we were just so hungry. It looked nice and the menu was dirt cheap.

I got a big bowl of veg with a sort of cheese sauce and it was just perfect. I have been feeling a bit fatigued recently, probably because of the lack of vegetables and this sorted me out.

We liked this place so much that we decided to come back for dinner on another night. There was a range of Italian and Mexican food and so I opted for Tacos. It didn’t disappoint.

Good for: if you are wanting something substantial on a cheaper budget.

Two trees

The design in this place was so minimalist but so pleasing to the eye – white painted brickwork with yellow pops of colour in the decor.

The food was so good. I got the vegan pancakes which looked quite small but were particularly filling. The pancakes were topped with sweet potato ice cream, which was surprisingly delicious. It is on the pricey side though.

Good for: a really chilled out Sunday morning breakfast whilst watching the world go by.

Ruko

It was here that I had my first smoothie bowl of Bali. It was HUGE and I was struggling to finish it. The granola especially was delicious.

I felt so healthy after eating this although it didn’t keep me full for that long. That could have been due to having done an exhausting surfing lesson the day before and needing those calories.

Good for: a health kick.

Ubud

Black Beach Italian Restaurant

After all the healthy food all I wanted was a pizza. So the day I arrived in Ubud I went searching and found a very reasonably priced Italian restaurant. Ordering pizza always gives me the fear in case it is tiny but this one was massive.

I actually forgot to take a photo because I was that hungry but mark my words it was delicious. I got the mozzarella and chilli oil one and it was so yummy. Wish I could eat it all over again.

Both me and Caroline ended up getting really sick for a couple of days in Ubud so unfortunately we didn’t experience any other restaurants.

Good for: cheap, delicious food.

Seminyak

Rumours

Post illness we came here for something comforting that wasn’t too much food and wasn’t too out there with flavours. They don’t have much veggie food but they did have nachos which is what I needed at that exact moment in time.

They had really good drinks offers on but that was taking it a step too far so I stuck to the nachos. They were really good and just the perfect thing for my stomach.

Good for: meat and fish eaters.

KYND community

We went here for my birthday breakfast and it was so good. It was the first proper meal I’d been able to eat since being ill. I ordered the beetroot latte and the waffles. I would recommend going early as it fills up very early and the wait for a table can be long.

It’s not too expensive but definitely on the pricer side but it is worth it. They even wrote happy birthday on my plate.

Good for: something special.

La plancha

This is beach bar/restaurant and it’s so good. We went here four times. Inside the restaurant is really cute and has treehouse vibes whereas at 4pm they open the outdoor seating which is basically loads of beanbags on the sand with umbrellas. The outside area is so good to watch the sunset, listen to the good music and eat and drink the night away.

The drinks were so delicious and not badly priced at all, same with the food. They have the most delicious veggie burger I’ve had since coming away and I’ve had it three days in a row.

Good for: watching the sunset and listening to good tunes.

Gelato factory

For the best ice cream in Seminyak look no further. I went everyday I was in Seminyak. The ice cream is so nice and the flavours change daily.

Good for: a delicious treat.

Motel Mexicola

If you choose one place to splash out in Bali it has to be here. The food is unreal, like hands down best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. It turns into a bar in the evening and it’s such a good night. The music is amazing, people dance on the tables, tequila gets free poured and it’s all round brilliant. The cocktails are so delicious aswell.

Good for: a fantastic all round eating and drinking experience.

Uma Kopi

I went for a small snack here but ended up finding such a bargain deal. A coffee and either a bagel or pancakes for 50,000 which is insanely cheap. The bagel was so good, so nice to eat fresh veg. Pretty sure I almost had an entire avocado in that bagel.

Good for: a cheap snack.

Cafe Bali

This is such a good breakfast place. I went numerous times for the ‘Super Bowl’ which was granola with chia seeds and açai berries, milk, yogurt, fruit and honey.

The decor in the place is really cute with loads of fresh flowers around the restaurant. It’s really cheap and the breakfast kept me going all night.

Good for: a healthy, filling breakfast.


There are hundreds of eating places which look amazing in Bali. You spend all day every day eating on instagram worthy places. However this will cost you an arm and a leg. But it is nice to treat yourself, particularly when you’ve been living on rice and veg for the last couple of months.

48 hours in Singapore

I was in Singapore for such a short period of time but managed to cover so much! I stayed at The Inncrowd Backpackers which was good and in a perfect location right next to the tube.

The hostel ran 5 hour long scooter tours of the city. They only run them on certain days and they are really popular so make sure and sign up early if you want to join. It is literally like a microscooter and you get taken around all the main attractions and stop to see both the Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay light shows in the evening. It’s really good if you have limited time.

Another thing of note is the botanical gardens. These are free to get in and you could wander around all day. We came specifically for the Orchid Garden which was $5 to get it but so worth it. Such beautiful, beautiful plant arrangements. I love orchids so it was heaven for me.

And of course no visit to Singapore would be complete without visiting the Friends cafe! This was so cool. Because we had walked so much that day we needed to sit down so when we saw that the cafe played friends episodes back to back on repeat we were sold.

Apart from those main things we basically spent the rest of the time eating (classic) and wandering. Our two fav things to do.

The noticeable things about Singapore are firstly how efficient everything is from immigration at the airport to the tube system it all works well. Secondly how clean everything is! A welcome change from most other cities that we have visited this trip!

Singapore is such a cool place. Everyone warned me about the humidity before I went but I didn’t find it humid at all. Maybe it’s cause we had it so bad in Hong Kong. Definitely one to visit in the future.

Cameron Highlands

Malaysia just never disappoints. Cameron highlands was the last place in Malaysia we visited which I was incredibly sad about because I just wanted to stay travelling around Malaysia forever.

Cameron Highlands is more of a nature, hilly, hiking area than the other places we have visited. The temperature was much colder (by colder I mean 22 degrees Celsius) but it was so refreshing. I loved being able to wander around without being sweaty and downing litres of water. I loved being able to wear a fleece and not wake up in the middle of the night so hot that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I loved watching TV in the evenings under my blanket.

The hostel we stayed at called CH travellers inn was brilliant. The owner was the nicest man who would go out of his way to cater to your every need. His little boy Sam was so cute aswell.

We only really had two full days but we made the most of it. The main two things we did was strawberry picking and visiting a tea plantation. Oh and plenty of walking.

The Big Red Strawberry farm

We chose this particular farm because the reviews online looked decent and we had rented a scooter so were free to go where we pleased.

On arrival it looked super busy but actually although the garden centre and cafe were busy the strawberry picking was dead. Lucky for us that meant we had our pick of the bunch.

The garden centre area was dead cute. It was huge and had so many cacti, I was in heaven. If I didn’t have to leave I would have picked up at least half a dozen cacti for my room.

The strawberry picking itself was fairly expensive although it was on par or cheaper than the other farms in the area. We both really wanted to do it though and it was well worth the money as for half a kg you got a lot of strawberries. There is something so nice about wandering around hunting for the shiniest, reddish, biggest strawberries and the satisfaction once you find it.

After we finished the picking we went to the cafe where we ordered two rather large waffles. And actually the cafe was really cheap which was a nice surprise.

Bharat tea plantation

It was really hard to choose which tea plantation to go to because like with the strawberry farms there are so many. We decided on Bharat and I’m so glad we did because the tea and the views were outstanding.

There was a path you could wander down into the first section of the tea plants but for us the view was substantially better at the window seats of the cafe. We got a pot of tea to share which was expensive but it was a one off.

The tea plantation went for miles, as far as the eye could see. You could see the workers picking the leaves all over the plantation.

The tea was so good that I had to go to the gift shop afterwards to pick up two boxes of the loose leaf tea to take home with me.


The Cameron Highlands was brill. We ate great food at a really cheap price, ate our much deserved strawberries and I even found scones at a cafe round the corner from our hostel.

One word to describe that place: fantastic!

25 lessons in 25 years

I’m 25 which is the exact middle of your 20s, halfway to 50 and let’s be serious over a quarter of your life has gone. BUT I try not to think about the above facts, age is just a number after all. Here are the life lessons which I have learnt so far:

1. You are never too old to learn. Not learning = severe boredom.

2. Tea is the best beverage of all time.

3. Time heals everything.

4. Don’t care what people think of you. You are you.

5. Unfortunately parents tend to be right most of the time.

6. Exercising, sleeping, socialising and eating are essential.

7. High street stores are overpriced.

8. Experiencing and immersing yourself in other cultures is important for self-growth and awareness.

9. When you look as young as I do people still think you are a teenager. And it’s great.

10. Nobody has any idea what they are doing with their lives so it’s fine if you don’t either.

11. Making time for yourself and your hobbies/interests is the key to being content.

12. Block out negative people from your life. They aren’t worth it.

13. Writing a diary keeps memories alive.

14. Sometimes friendships aren’t worth saving.

15. Always be silly.

16. Make time for your friends.

17. If you have a problem, talk about it.

18. Animals are equal to humans.

19. Always say yes to trying new things. You never know what might happen.

20. Let your imagination run wild. Find a creative outlet for it.

21. Choosing what to eat when you don’t know what you want never gets easier.

22. Converse with strangers. You never know what interesting things you may find out.

23. Learn from your mistakes. And try not to repeat them.

24. Realise that you are capable of achieving anything your heart wants (with determination and hard work). Follow your dreams.

25. Bridget Jones is the best movie of all time.

Penang

The minute I stepped off the boat into Penang I knew it would be incredible. I stayed in Georgetown the entire time rather than exploring the rest of the island due to time restraints.

The streets are so brightly coloured, it looks like a movie set. But the thing which puts this place in a league of its own is the celebration of creativity and freedom of expression seen everywhere. There were open spaces for artists to come and paint or draw whenever and whatever they wanted which I thought was a cracking idea.

There was so much incredible street art. I grabbed a map and hunted down a lot of the art which took forever but was such a good way of seeing all around the city.

I also really loved all of the cute independent shops and eating places. Little India was incredible for food, I ate veggie meals until I was full to bursting every single day.

One of the things I did was to write a postcard to myself which will be sent on whatever day you choose within the next five years. I wrote down all the goals and wishes I had for the coming year. Mine should arrive on my 26th birthday which is a scary thought.

The buildings in Penang all were painted gorgeous colours and had the most beautiful tiles on the floors and walls. Some of the building had paint flaking off them which added to the atmosphere of the place, instead of looking tired it seemed to look deliberate.

I can’t finish this blog post without mentioning China House cafe. No visit to Penang would be complete without paying this cafe a visit. It is pricy but oh my god the cakes are just insane. I’ve never seen so many cakes before. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures because clearly I was too involved in the cake situation but trust me on this one. You won’t regret it.

Penang will always hold a special place in my heart because it was so memorable. I definitely want to return with the intention of touring around the whole island and discovering whether it is all as amazing as Georgetown.