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

 

Two thousand and something else… 

So that’s it 2016 came and went in a flash.Well that’s how it felt most of the time.

Am i happy with how the universe played out this year? Well no not completely, i am not however i would like to say it has definitely been one year that i will not forget.

Now, i am not going to join in by saying GOOD RIDDANCE 2016 or THANK GOD 2016 IS GONE  because i cannot see the future i don’t know if i’m leaving behind the terrible things 2016 threw at me or if i am now walking head first into the mess that started in 2016 only for it to continue into 2017, but i sure as hell am not going to waste my time dwelling on negativity and what ifs. I highly recommend you try not to either.

2016 gave me both ups and downs, i felt every emotion on the spectrum, i visited new places around the world, i had my first christmas away from home, i realised how horrible it feels when your vote doesn’t win (cough Brexit cough) and i learned to say ‘ahhh FUCK IT’

Within the year of 2016 i found my sunshine and rainbows in the form of;

New Friends- I met so many beautiful people in 2016. Mainly from my old workplace, i have met some of the most wonderful souls and cannot begin to thank 2016 enough for that. Also my beautiful best friend asked her girlfriend to marry her in 2016, not only am i happy that they will be getting married now but even the fact that LGBT couples CAN get married still makes me happy.

Travels – In 2016 alone, i went to Ibiza, Bangkok, Koh Phangan, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Guernsey and Cornwall. I saw more beautiful places around this silly little world. I realised i’m a teeny-tiny little part of beautiful big world and it’s actually incredibly fascinating.

Music – I managed to attend my first festival this year Lovebox , I saw Queen Beyonce and as always Ellie Goulding was incredible. I listened to so much more music this year and expanded my outlook on what i like and don’t like. I listened to everything and anything spotify gave me.

Days Out – Perhaps some of my favourite days in 2016 were day trips, Kew Gardens in London is so beautiful and walking amongst the tree tops was so beautiful. Harry Potter world at the Warner brothers studios was so much fun! The Eden project is something i recommend everyone goes to and try the zip line. PRIDE in London, a day full of glitter and cans of alcohol, people line the streets even in the rain to celebrate who they are and support others. Even though it was a crowded mess of rainbows i wouldn’t change it for the world!

Nights Out – London has some incredible places for drinks and i feel that in 2016 i really managed to take advantage of that. Great nights out with good friends and loud music can really be just the perfect way to let go and have some fun! Same as, getting together with the girls for cocktails and leaving drinks can be the perfect farewell, especially when there is gin involved.

As always 2017 had its negatives, i lost someone very important to my family, i moved over 5000 miles away from home and i changed my career goals but you know what?

I grew up.

Im not sure theres much more to say on that matter, i opened my mind, i said yes to more things i would usually say no to. I stopped being as afraid of everything i found too hard to comprehend. I trusted my heart more than my head. I fell hard and i got back up. I spiralled down and bounced back up like a firework. I exploded with anger and i sunk with sadness, i found happiness in the small things, and i laughed harder than i ever imagined but above all of this, i gave myself the time, respect and courage to carry on and accept all these feelings are justified , they are important and they are to be encouraged. They are me and i am ok with that.

Ok, so i know this was a short post for me but with the new year having been and gone,  i thought it was something that i should share with you all.

Thanks for reading

Danielle Jade

x

 

Top 5 dishes you must eat in Hanoi (Vietnam) and where to find them! 

First of all, Hello welcome to Vietnam, or xin chao as we say over here.

Now, I must tell you Vietnam has some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted and that’s probably the biggest understatement. With its complete freshness and wonderful diversity the food is not only incredibly cheap but incredibly yummy!
First up;

BUN CHA.

Now for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Bun Cha let me explain what this dish consists of. Bun Cha is essentially Grilled Pork and noodles, but it’s the extra components that really makes this dish so delicious. The fatty pork also known as (Cha) is served with white noodles (Bun) a basket of fresh mixed greens and herbs usually but not limited to coriander, lettuce, mint and a dipping sauce of fish sauce, carrot and papaya.

Now don’t be confused there is only ONE real way to eat bun Cha, you take a small amount of each mix it together in the dipping sauce like a soup and tuck in.


COST?: Bun Cha typically costs around 30,000-45,000VND £1.61
WHERE?: This one is from Quan an Ngon

Next;

BUN BO NAM BO

Bun BO nam BO not only looks but tastes delicious. (Or so I’m told) Now I must say I don’t even eat beef but it’s hard not to feel good envy just looking at this dish. White noodles (Bun) make the base of this dish, mixed with green leaves, beef (BO) crispy shallots and crushed peanuts. This is more than the ordinary beef salad just look at it.


COST? 40,000-50,000VND £1.70
WHERE? 67 Hang Dieu

NEXT;

BAHN MI

Banh Mi is where you really get to see how the French have influenced food here in Hanoi. This baguette though, is more than just another sandwich. Usually given the choice of pork, pate, chicken or egg, you add cucumber coriander carrot and ‘spicy’ sauce to make the ultimate lunch snack. It’s the perfect fusion of Vietnamese and French food in one carbohydrate canoe. My personal favourite is honey chicken!


COST? 20,000VND -25,000VND £0.91

WHERE? 25 Hang Ca Street
Next;

FRESH SPRING ROLLS.

Now, i’d had the usual fried spring rolls way before i arrived in Vietnam, however i’d never had fresh spring rolls. I must admit that i now prefer the un fried version. I first learnt how to make these at my Hidden Hanoi cooking class . It’s a process where you take Rice paper rolls, and fill them with Vermicelli noodles, fresh green leaves, herbs, pineapple, carrot, chilli and crushed peanuts. You can also add in whatever meat/seafood base you prefer. I love this dish as it tastes super fresh and you can make it as adventurous or safe as you feel that day.


COST? 35,000-50,000VND £1.81
WHERE? 147 Nghi Tam Road (Hidden Hanoi)
PHO

Now I don’t think it would be possible to write a post on what to eat in Hanoi and not eat pho, its a must try. The amount of time that goes into this dish is what makes it so perfect. The broth is always left for the right amount of time to make the perfect base. Throw in the noodles, the chilli, the herbs and a squeeze of lime, wait hold that thought i gotta go, time for Pho.


COST? Around 35,000VND £2.00
WHERE? LITERALLY EVERY CORNER IN HANOI

Ok, now there are my top 5 dishes to eat in Vietnam! (Hanoi)

There are so many more I want to share with you so please comment below if that’s something you’d be interested in!

Thanks for reading,  Danielle Jade x

10 life lessons everyone deserves to know 🎉 

Hi everyone! In case you didn’t know already know, ITS MY BIRTHDAY and naturally me being me, thought well, then there’s no better time than now to reflect on what I’ve learnt so far in life. So here I am, sharing it all with you! Enjoy. 

Let’s kick it off; 

1. Celebrate yourself. It’s good to feel proud of the amazing things that you do. Self love is something I didn’t learn until far too late in my life. You need to notice when you have done something incredible and give yourself a pat on the back. 

2. Travel as much as possible. Things are nice but memories are so much more! You need to see that famous landmark more than you need that new iPhone. Embrace new experiences. 

3. It’s ok to feel sad, it is ok to feel down, it’s ok to feel lost. Believe it or not, everyone has these days. Sometimes it can be feel impossible to move on, how you deal with this is up to you. If you want to talk then do, if you don’t want to talk then you don’t have to. Take some time, put yourself in a safe and nurturing environment. Keep yourself loved.

4. Friends may not be around forever, so make as many memories as you can with all of them when you’re there. It’s normal to make new friends and drift apart from others, everyone is growing up and changing, embrace this and don’t be afraid to let them go. New friendships are on the horizon. 

5. Help others, be kind, be considerate and generous. It will only create good karma, it’s something that builds character and will make you a much better person.

6. You are going to lose very important people in your life so hold onto them as tightly as possible whilst they are around. Be sure to tell the people you love, that you love them constantly. Shower them in appreciation. Take no one for granted.

7. Don’t shoot other people’s ideas and opinions down instantly. Debate them, trial them. You may just discover another way of looking at the same old. 

8. Nothing is lame or uncool. Don’t quit or change because of others words. NOTHING makes you a loser. All those clubs you are joining, your music choice, your fashion sense, your sexuality. It’s not lame it’s who you are and you shouldn’t feel like you have to be put down because of it. 

9. Break ups and make ups. It’s just the way of the world. Don’t base your relationships on the ideals of others. Find someone who loves you for being you and live each day one step at a time. Don’t plan ahead too much, the person who expects the most from you should only be you. Side note: if a friends going through a break up…YOU TOO ARE GOING THROUGH A BREAK UP. Friends stick together. 

10. Don’t let your dreams die. As children we can create dreams, hopes and ambitions bigger than space. As adults we can lose sight of this and shrink ourselves with notions of ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I don’t have time for this’. It’s important to keep your mind open. Keep those dreams at the front and centre of your mind. It’s gonna take more work than you imagined as a child but now it’s up to you, a grown up…go make it happen!! 

Have a happy my birthday everyone ✌🏻️😘

How to survive working a job you hate. 

Lets throw it back to three months ago. I’m here Danielle, complaining to my housemates about how much i dislike working as a waitress in central London. I’ve lost sight of why i even wanted live in London anymore, I’d become one of those people who works purely to pay the rent. Then one day. I woke up. Not physically, i mean, i obviously did wake up that morning but i kind of emotionally woke up, if you get me? Let me explain, when i woke up, I said no more. No longer can i stay in this repetitive job, no longer can i stand being on the tube to work and already counting down how long it will be until I’m back home with my cat. I’d lost all of my creativity, all of my confidence and all of my want to give myself the future i deserve. Sounds very big-headed right? The future i deserve. Well, id now argue that no. No, that does not sound big headed. It sounds motivating and my goodness did i need motivation right now.

I think that sometimes it is very easy to get caught up in what is easy. I’d found a job quickly when i moved to London, i was in a new surrounding, living with my two best friends and i was making enough money to live happily. I was happy. I didn’t know however that i was in the honeymoon phase of living in London. See, skip forward about 6 months and i was becoming bored of my job already. I was stressed with working in such a huge shopping centre. I was missing out on social events because of my work hours. Ask anyone that’s ever worked as a waitress or bar tender the hours are definitely not why you choose to work there. I started looking for other work, more theatre based. Going back to what i had just trained in. I had interviews at theatres, casting agencies, local performing arts groups but nothing ever worked out. I did often hear that i wasn’t experienced enough for the job and to come back in a few years and try again with more material/experience. Ok i thought, i guess I’m a waitress then.
Feeling low whilst working in a job you don’t enjoy going to is hard. If you haven’t experienced that then, i would say you’re very lucky indeed. It’s not fun. It’s not fun at all. It’s hard enough going to work when you feel like you could be doing more. It’s even harder when you just got turned down from an interview you really wanted and you’re back to serving stubborn teenagers. Rejection really does suck. This took me a while to get over. Luckily i had started to make some pretty incredible friends whilst working as a waitress. I had met people who were in the same position as i was, others who were local students trying to pay for their degrees, many who had come to England to learn English and head back home with more languages in their vocabulary and others who too were just a little bit lost right now. I noticed, very few people here want to actually be in the catering industry. Yet we all leant on each other for support and above all FUN.
Work was made bearable by my colleagues. As time went on and people came and went at work i stayed for nearly two (long) years. I lasted that long because of the people. I had made a solid friendship group and above all that i had met some of my best friends even to this day.For example, Scott and I went over to visit our friend we made at work Flor in Ibiza. You know what, In all honestly without my bestie Scott by my side I don’t think I’d have stayed half as long, or at least stayed sane this long.

I think as a person i like to learn about people. I’ve always had a constant curiosity bubbling inside me. Always full of questions, buts and what if’s. I like to listen to people, i like to learn about people and i like to help people. I admired like-minded people and i adored people with different opinions to mine. I lived to hear stories of people’s upbringing, their relationships, their culture and their passions. For example; I adored how Grace spoke so passionately about things she stood for. I loved watching Maria and Yoli chat to each other in Spanish. I loved knowing that Flor was probably thinking the exact same thing I was at any given moment.I found nothing funnier than when Scott would roll his eyes at some dumb question a customer asked, Joni would know all the gossip and Laura would have a hilarious story ready to lighten the mood at work!.  I think when you’re working in an environment you’re not completely happy with, keeping the mind simulated and intrigued works wonders. This helped within our work environment, especially when english isn’t everyone’s first language. I’d often find myself playing google translate to everyone in the workplace. Though my outcome of spanish is pretty poor to say how many spanish people i worked with ‘estoy borracha’ was the best phrase i learnt so thanks for that Yoli. I’m drunk did actually come in very handy when i went to Ibiza. Without the love of some wonderful people, i wouldn’t have lasted that long.


Now this isn’t an all sunshine and rainbows post. Don’t get me wrong. This job was the first place i had someone tell me to my face that they hated me. It felt horrible. Why did they hate me? My opinion, because they are an asshole. Their opinion, i think im better than them. Truth be told, he was right. I mean i never said it out loud, but i absolutely thought it. He was horrible so i at least hoped i was better than that. In most workplaces there’s probably someone who doesn’t like you, or you don’t like them. Learning how to overcome that (even if you’re like me and the only way you can do this is by completely avoiding the fact you see them as a human) you have got to just suck it up and get on with them whilst you’re there.
I battled with how people in higher authority than myself organised shifts, spoke to staff, reacted to customers and the all round lack of respect from one or two that popped up often. Now, how did i survive this? I used my voice. Sometimes i should have kept it shut, but i can’t. I feel like I’m always the voice of reason in a group. I always take every opportunity to voice the people. This time, a bunch of overworked and underpaid sleepy waiters who just want some praise. Alongside this i often found myself taking the blame for more errors than were my own. Why you ask? My heart wasn’t in this job, i don’t think saying sorry is a way of losing rank or being made to feel small. In fact i always think it’s the opposite, i couldn’t stand to see my peers feel so nervous about errors so I’d simply say it was me first. This soon began to spread around the workplace and everyone became more constant on having the other persons back. Survival of the fittest was no longer a thing and the team was closer than ever.Always keep in mind however, that this person is still your manager they can literally fire you at any point. So don’t push it too far. It’s not worth it.

I had my fair few moments at work where I cried and this really was the final straw. I don’t think anyone should be put in a position where they feel so low in their workplace and that is when I said enough is enough and we made the choice to pack up and leave.

Now, another way to survive working a job you hate?
Go out with the people you do like! Some of my most fond memories of living in london are going on nights out with my work friends. Taking us all out of the work environment and having fun was the best! It also made work more bearable when you’re all hungover together. Or if you’re Hannah and I, there’s nothing a good brunch can’t sort out!


You have to remember that this job is just temporary, keep hitting refresh on those google searches, keep reaching out to employers who you truly want to work for, keep the faith and know that an opportunity is out there for you!

Anyway, here’s how I survived a job I wasn’t completely happy in. I hope you find this useful.

Thanks for reading Danielle Jade x