Christmas movies to watch before this Christmas Day 🎄

So now it’s Christmas, well, it’s Christmas month! Though it sometimes doesn’t feel much like Christmas when you’re living in a country that may not necessarily celebrate Christmas and it isn’t drenched in obvious tokens honouring that holiday.

Sooooo what can you do in another country to make it feel like Christmas….

HELLO CHRISTMAS FILMS.

So here’s my favourite Christmas movies for you to watch (if you haven’t already)

1. Miracle on 34th Street : This film makes me feel like the most Christmassy person in the world, there’s something so beautiful about it that I just love.

2. Arthur Christmas : This animated movie is fun for the whole family! Now, I don’t even have children or any kids around me to pretend I’m watching this for, it’s just that good!

3. Home alone (First 3 ONLY) : A young boy left at home for Christmas,laying down traps to fight off burglars, I’m in…. The stunts in this movie make for good old slap-stick comedy and I for one WILL laugh every time. I will not however stand for any “home alones” after the 3rd one.

4. The grinch : Perhaps one of the funniest and most extravagant Christmas movies. The costumes, the rhyme, the sets…it’s such a great movie!

5. Meet me in st Louis : I don’t think I’ll ever get over how wonderful this movie is. I may be slightly biased because I’m such a Judy Garland fan but ‘boy next door’ is such a beautiful song.

Also honourable mentions go to: Edward Scossorhands, The Holiday & Love Actually though the list could go on and on and on…in fact, I’m going to go watch more now, and I’ll get back to you later in the month haha!

Leave a comment below with your favourite Christmas film🎄

Thanks for reading,

Danielle Jade

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A guide to tailor made clothes in Hoi An.

Hoi An is home to perhaps some of the best tailors we have on this planet. Bold statement, i know. BUT TRUE.

Where to find a tailor?
Just wander around the Ancient town and the lantern lit streets are lined with tailors. The whole experience can be some what overwhelming as they all look to be incredible good. In each and every shop, there are more fabrics than you could imagine, more designs than your eyes can focus on and more options than decisions will be made.
Thats why it’s important to go with a plan of what you would like made.
Trust me, leaving it to chance of ‘i’ll decide when i get there’ can only go one of two ways;
A) You leave empty handed, and a stressed (probably) sweaty mess.
b) You leave with more items than you can fit back in your backpack.
Having a plan of what you would like made, will help you stay on task.

Where do i recommend? 
I have now tried a couple of tailors in Hoi An and my favourite so far are Maya Design.
The turn over of their products is literally over-night and the staff are so friendly. They will let you design anything you have a vision of, whilst offering tips and tricks from their side of it and what works well for the fabric you have chosen.
The staff spoke good english, and were more than happy to help!

What is the process?
Within seconds of being in the shop i had already been asked if they could help and what i was looking for. I explained i would like trousers and a playsuit and i was shown fabric choices and styles, a few moments later i had found what i wanted and we began the sketching process.
This is where they will draw up a quick mock of your product and ask if you want any additions such as belt loops, pockets, sleeve lengths etc. Quick Tip: This usually can be helped if you go in with a picture of what you want making and they will essentially copy the image,
The next step was getting measured. One of the best parts of having tailor made clothes is the fact it is custom-made to your exact measurements. PERFECT.
Be aware you will be measured in front of the rest of the shop so do wear clothing that allows this process to be as easy as possible. (I’d give skirts a miss)

How long does it usually take?
The turn around from sketching to final product is a super speedy process, we arrived at 12(ish) and went back at 2:30 the next day for final fittings before getting our products later that night. Be sure to stay in Hoi-An for a couple of days incase of alterations or changes. Of course the bigger the order the more time they may need. You can always ask in the shop too and be sure to tell them when you are leaving so your items are made in time.

What is the price like?
Not only are the clothes made incredibly quick but the price is more than fair compared to other Tailors i have been to. Remember though, as with anything, you par for what you get. I suggest thinking about the occasion the fabric and the purpose of your garment. Also be prepared to pay more for things added like, pockets , belts, lining etc I designed one pair of trousers and one playsuit and payed just over 2million for them both (£66)

 

(Jumpsuits we had made in Hoi An ) 

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please do leave them in the comments and i’ll see you next time.

What to do in Hoi An : Vietnam. 

Hello everyone, today i’m going to tell you about one of my favourite places i have come across whilst being in Vietnam and that is Hoi An.

Hoi An is on Vietnam’s Central Coast and is one of the most charming places i have ever experienced. With the Ancient town, lantern lit streets, canals and beaches it is truly beautiful.

Here are my top tips for visiting Hoi An.

Stroll though the Ancient town.

Here lies the quiet beauty of this little town. The small streets are covered in flowers and lanterns. There are restaurants all along the canal side where you can find delicious sea-food and other local specials. There is such a charm to this area that makes you want to move there indefinitely.

Quick Tip : If you can, be sure to try and go to Hoi An on a lantern festival date to see the canal full of floating lanterns. It is so beautiful.

            Hire a bike and drive around.

Whilst in Hoi An it is a good idea to hire a bike (scooter or push bike) to get around and see some of the outskirts of Hoi An. Try biking to the beach from the old town and spot the rice fields as you go. Compared to the hustle and bustle of other places in Vietnam i quickly came to realise that Hoi An is a lot calmer and more forgiving to drivers who aren’t 100% confident on the roads. 

Go to the beach.

Hoi An has incredible beaches and the further south you go the less populated they get (from my experience) The East Vietnam Sea is incredible and well worth getting up early to go in and watch the sunrise as it’s just beautiful to see the sun come up from behind the mountains. There are loungers on the beach that you can hire for no more than $2 a day and food/drinks are optional too. I’d suggest taking food/drink down with you to avoid having to bring too much cash etc out with you. An bang beach is perhaps my favourite, the sand is beautiful and depending on the time of year the waves can be super fun to play in!

Get clothes tailor made.

I think it is absolutely a must do when you go to Hoi An. There is something so exciting about having clothes made exactly to fit you or to correspond with that idea you have in you mind. It’s such a fun experience and perfect for finally finding items to fit you whilst in Asia.

Eat & Drink.

If there’s one thing Hoi An knows, its how to eat and drink. The super chilled vibe of this place only helps with making you want to eat and drink everything possible. There are plenty of wonderfulstreet good places, Mr Sons has the best wantons ive ever had. There are also a few more places i have come to love here especially The Deckhouse and Soul Kitchen as they sit right on the edge of the beach, they have excellent drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, they stay open late and the Soul Kitchen in particular has a great music scene there. Live acts were playing every night we went. It was the perfect evening sipping Espresso Martini’s under the stars listening to a guy playing the piano.

So there’s a quick 5 things to do in Hoi An

Thanks for reading, Let me know in the comments if you have been to Hoi An and what your favourite activity was.

Danielle Jade

 

365 days in Vietnam

Hello everyone, today marks our one year anniversary in Vietnam or as we are choosing to call it our Vietnamaversary And what a ride it has been. So i’m going to share with you some of our highlights of this past year.


We’ve travelled to Hoi An , Ninh Binh, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Koh Phangan, Ho Chi Minh and other wonderful places.


We’ve made some wonderful friends here.



(Spoiler two of these humans don’t live in Hanoi but hey, enjoy a group shot that makes me look like I have friends all the same)

We have both been promoted to headteachers at our English Centres and now have centres of our own.

We’ve started to speak the language. We take Vietnamese classes and actually understand how to have conversations now with the locals.

We have learnt how to drive scooters and brave the traffic of Hanoi.


(Naomi is way better than me and has a cooler helmet)

We’ve tried more new food dishes than i can even explain. The food here is so good.


I’ve learnt to love the ocean this past trip to Hoi An. I even woke up super early to go in and play with the waves.


My fear of thunder is slowly disappearing. The constant storms in Hanoi have somehow given me no choice but to learn to love the lightning and thunder.


At least once a week Naomi and I will find ourselves saying ‘We Live Here’ in awe of Hanoi. My happiness is higher than ever before and i wake up every day more excited.

 

Thanks for reading,

Danielle x

Long Journeys? You NEED to check out these podcasts ✈️ 

Ok so, whilst travelling around, i’ve become quite obsessed with Podcasts.

From Long-haul flights to short uber trips to work or even walking down the street.
Here’s a list of my favourite podcasts, that you need to check out:

LIGHT HEARTED FUN ;

  • Not Too Deep With Grace Helbig. (Now if you don’t know who Grace Helbig is, then do you even internet? ) This podcast is full of fun and nonsense. With some incredible guests it’s now hit 100 episodes. So check it out! (Roughly 1hour long)
  • My Dad wrote a porno ; Pretty self explanatory this one. A guys dad wrote a porno and now himself and two of his friends are going to read it out for our entertainment. It’s incredibly funny. (Usually 40 mins an episode)
  • Anna Faris is Unqualified . Now i must start this off by saying im obsessed with Anna Faris’s voice so this is perfect. The guests on this show are so good! Check out the Rachel Bloom and Aubrey Plaza ones for joke after joke. A fun podcast of interviews, story sharing and experience exchanging. Getting to hear from celebrities and questions that are more than ‘who are you wearing’ and without having a promo agenda, to me is so interesting and Anna has the perfect balance of nonsense to getting new and interesting content whilst keeping real AF.  (Roughly 30 mins long)


  • SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE:

    Love and Radio ;
    Disclaimer: Im obsessed with this whole podcast series. They do a lot of interesting 30minute real-life stories and i cannot help but get attached to these peoples lives.

  • Episode – Deep Stealth Mode. The story of how a 3 year old boy asked to go back into his mommy’s tummy and come out a girl. Inspiring, brave and an honest outlook from the parent and 3 year old. This one ‘gave me all the feels. (30 Mins Long)
  • Episode – The living room. A story of how a woman’s neighbors who never closed their curtains make their way into her life. Well, kind of. It’s a very one sided yet very intimate relationship. As she observes this new young couple she becomes attached to their life without them even knowing. (25mins long)

A LITTLE INTENSE ;
Serial ; 

  • This podcast though guys… The whole series tells us about how a girl in high-school disappears, and her ex-boyfriend is convicted for her murder. He says he is innocent. Or he claims to remember that he is unsure of where he was during the incident of her death. We follow this case with the now podcast/investigator as they chat to him inside the prison and try to find new evidence on a case that seems anything but simple. (S1 30-45mins long an episode)

Ted Talks ; 

  • I’ll end with this one. I can’t pick my favourites and actually i don’t think TED TALKS are the kind of podcasts you need to choose a favourite. They alter based on my mood of the day and also, what i find exciting may not be the same. Yet, i encourage you to go onto the TED TALKS section of Podcasts. Find a topic you ARE interested in and educate yourself, open your mind and Listen. I promise you’ll not regret it. (Vary from 10 – 40 minutes long)Anyway, i hope you enjoy these podcasts!
    Please let me know your favourites in the comment so i can expand my current collection.

  • Thanks for reading, Danielle x

Why you never stop ‘coming out’ as a LGBTQ+ individual.

Ok hello everyone, so I’m here to set one thing straight 🌈. Now contrary to popular belief you don’t just come out once. It’s not like you get to come out to everyone you know in one go. Nor is it assumed you’re gay until proved otherwise, oh no, you’re assumed to be straight until you come out. And I can tell you it never stops.

There comes a point in every relationship I’ve established with someone that I’ve had a coming out experience with. What I mean by this is I am forever having to say ‘oh I have a girlfriend’ or ‘I’m gay’ or ‘I like girls’ . It never stops because of the assumed straight notion.


Honestly sometimes it gets aggravating. One of the scariest things some LGBTQ+ people have to do is come out, and that’s something you have to do constantly. Sometimes it’s easier than others. They are the times I love. Times when I don’t even realise. Times when it’s not a big deal. Like meeting someone new for example. You know nothing about eachother, you have no judgements or connections yet. You just lay out who you are then and there. Take it or leave it.
Or times when it’s like ;

‘Ok do you have a boyfriend, no I have a girlfriend’ oh cool. Easy done, you just came out to a new friend. Sorted. 

Now those moments, they are the highlights, they make every other time that someone has cat-called you on the street. Tried to grind up on you in a club, without your permission. Or referred to your girlfriend as your sister, seem ok. 

Those easy coming out moments make the rest disappear. The memories of awkward family events when you’re in the closet or job interviews where they immediately ask about your significant other,  they disappear when someone makes it easy and safe to come out.


I think I’m quite lucky. I’ve come to a comfortable point in my life, where coming out rarely scares me anymore. Note, I say rarely. Ever since same sex marriage has been legalised in the UK I’ve felt this kind of power to unapologetically be myself. 

I’ve built a foundation of people around me who support me and I’ve been lucky enough to have only had a few negative comments (from people I care(d) about)

Yet I still get tired of constantly coming out.
So I just have to say to anyone out there deciding to come out or not, be prepared…. 

This adrenaline and fear you feel right now. This is the peak of how you feel when preparing to come out however this could continue later than you have ever imagined. You may have to come out throughout your whole life and as scary as it may be, It’s also exhilarating and exciting, its passionate and ITS YOU.


I hope you find your comfort in coming out, I hope you feel pride in coming out.

I hope above all you take your time and feel no pressure! 

You are loved, 🌈
Let me know in the comments how you felt coming out!

Danielle Jade x

Ninh Binh – Vietnam. What to do and where to go! 

Hello everyone, todays post is about the wonderfully peaceful Ninh Binh in Vietnam.

I recently just got back form an extended weekend there and i think that two nights is the perfect amount of time to spend there in this area of Vietnam.


Ninh Binh is very different to Hanoi in the respect that there isn’t as much to do just ready available for you on the streets. The food options are limited and nothing stays open too late.

So what should you do in Ninh Binh?
First up, grab yourself accommodation in either Ninh Binh itself or Tam Coc, we stayed in Loc Xuan guesthouse Ninh Binh itself , that weirdly all the rooms had at least two or even three beds in. Strange. That being said it was £10 per room per night so no need to complain over price! Especially if you put three in each room.

Next , hire bikes from your hotel. Don’t do what we did which was go by the newest blog post we could find who told us they were 100,000vnd dong and decide we would go find our own cheaper when the lady at the hotel said 160,000 .It’s not fun when you have to hang your head in shame and go back after sweating in the heat to take her up on her first option.

So you’ve put your bags down and got a bike, What Next?


If you arrive with enough time before sunset i suggest you go to the MUA Caves Viewpoint and watch the sun begin to step. Here there are 500 steps up the side of limestone cliffs/mountains to show the most beautiful view of Ninh Binh. (Or so i’ve heard, if you haven’t already read my post to explain why i only made it to step 165)
The caves are very easy to get to on bike and takes around 10-15minutes from the Loc Xuan Guesthouse.


I also recommend you wake up early the next day and head to Trang An, this was perhaps the highlight of our trip. Here you will need to pay 200,000vnd for your ticket and join what looks like the most chaotic disneyland ride queue ever. However, it was only 45 minutes wait right from the back on a public holiday when even the locals were out to go around Trang An. Warning, tread carefully when getting onto the boat they are not sturdy and you may or may not fall over!


All that aside, this is where the true beauty of Ninh Binh becomes apparent. A two hour journey around Trang An, in a little paddle boat is mesmerising, ducking through caves and exploring the Kong- Skull island set. I was fascinated. It became apparent why they call Ninh Binh the Halong bay on land. It was wonderful. There are even pagoda’s you can stop at throughout the journey, and keep an eye out for birds amongst the trees.

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Next up, head to Tam Coc. Tam Coc has pretty much the same to offer you in terms of boat tours but with more places around for you to drive to on bike and eat at. Save yourself the time though, don’t eat at Lion King restaurant. The food is below poor. Just wait until you’re back in Ninh Bin and at Chookies.


Head to Bich Dong Pagoda and spend time there, its a short scooter ride to here and worth every second. There are more steps for you to climb, temples and a place for you to sit and have a drink at. After that i suggest you take time to simply ride around this area on your hired scooter which yes, in Tam Coc you can get them for 100,000vnd and just admire the beautiful landscapes you can go through.


Perhaps one of the best things about Ninh Binh is that this is a place you can go to to switch off, to be tranquil and still at. So embrace that.
Thanks for reading,

Danielle

x