Why i love having so many brothers and sisters!

Now when ever i get the age old question tell us something interested about yourself i freeze. IM BORING AF, what makes me special. Then *POP* i remember i’m the oldest sibling of 6. Yep 6. I have three younger brothers and two younger sisters.

I share my mum and dad with my two eldest brothers.
Just my mum with my youngest brother
Just my dad with my sisters.

Confused yet?
Well that’s just the tip of the iceberg from that there are, parents, grandparents, my aunt & uncle and their two boys all the way over in the USA, there’s the mountain of fake family aunties i have, godparents, distant cousins and friends who are basically family too. It’s a big circle of family and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some of my most treasured memories. No wait i scratch that, most of my treasured memories are with my dumb brothers. Who will hate me for writing about them like they are angels. They aren’t don’t be fooled. I mean they are pretty good guys now, but growing up, im sure they must have had a dislike for how much i made them watch my dance performances in the living room, or hop the laptop we all shared. I GOTTA CHANGE MY MSN NAME SO LET ME ON . OMG MY FRIEND JUST GOT A WEBCAM I NEED TO GO ON.

My sisters, i remember when they were born. I was so excited…FINALLY sisters. Do you even know how long i have waited for this?! The fact they have always been so much younger than me too is my favourite thing. I’ve always been a mature kid, growing up, well i grew up pretty fast. However, i didn’t realise this until my oldest sister was born. I remember thinking she was a little angel. I have to make sure this human is always happy. I mean i was only 12 at the time. Not the thoughts of a genius but i still think the same now. So important none the less.

Growing up i cant remember arguing with my brothers or sisters. Mainly because mum wouldn’t let us, but also because we were genuinely happy. We all had hobbies, we all filled our time playing together. It’s so easy to spend 2 hours in the garden when there’s 4 of you. It is however annoying when your brother jumps off the top of the swing set and mum takes the whole thing down thinking we’ll hurt ourself. Or when you’re practising your violin outside because the family cant stand (how bad) you play in the house.

We used to live by a field so we would often go to the field to play football together. At one point we all played for a team, so this was fun. I’m not gonna say who but some members of the family were obviously better than others *cough* Jonny and Ash *cough* but thats fine, Ben and I could always just stand in the goal and let them take pride in constantly scoring.

Growing up the oldest really makes you aware of how to treat people i think. I became very protective of them all. I still am. I like to know what they are all doing, i like to know how school is, how their jobs are. I like to know where they are going at the weekend, heck we even share drunk stories and dating advice when needed. Well i mean not with my under18 year old sisters. That would be bad news.

Perhaps, this would be one of my favourite things about all my siblings, were not very secretive. Or at least, they aren’t to me. We pretty much always share our lives with each other. I know if the going gets tough for me i can call Jonny and he’ll tell me to shake it off, he’ll tell me to man up and get over it, Ashley will let me talk and talk and talk as he plays on the xbox and agree with how shit it is, and Ben, ben will offer solutions and try to make everything better. They are the perfect array of Good cop/Bad cop.

I know I don’t usually post like this but I’m just so excited to go home soon and see my family that I thought NOw was the perfect time to publish this.

Thanks for reading

Danielle x

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How moving to a foreign country helped my anxiety.

When I first realised I was moving to another country where I didn’t speak the language, know anyone, have a job, have a place to live or any general idea about the country. Yes I think it’s fair to say… I was perhaps the most anxious I’d ever been.

Anxiety : noun

1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Worried? Nervous? Uneasy?

CHECK CHECK CHECK.

Oh boy, I thought. Am I about to make a huge mistake?

Well…now here’s a little spoiler alert.

I didn’t.

See, here’s the section where I could ramble on about how I overcame challenges. How I put myself forward, I jumped into a new lifestyle and without realising, all of these little accomplishments shifted my thought pattern. But to summarise that I’ll just say; Day by day, I became a little more comfortable with handling tasks that others find simple.

Living in Vietnam for Over 1 Year I have become familiar to not understanding everything and eventually my shoulders began to relax when I walked amongst new surroundings, faces and smells.

I began to accept that I won’t understand everything and give myself the acceptance and patience to slowly stop being afraid.

My Social Anxiety.

I have had to socialise more than ever. Yes that’s right I say I have HAD to. Not that I don’t want to…because I do, but not ALL the time. However it’s fact here, if you don’t go out, you wont meet many other humans who are over the age of 15 Vietnamese and not students in your day to day life. Having to actively go out and throw myself into new situations has now become easier, and from doing this I have come to find that, I usually give off a first impression that doesn’t reflect my personality at all. *HIGH 5 to all my other resting bitch face owners out there* which is something I obviously want to change.I try harder to let people in and not be so closed off. I’m working on it.

My academic anxiety

I started taking Vietnamese classes, throwing myself into learning a new skill has helped me dramatically. Something about reshaping and adding another language to my brain, refocusing my energy when amongst a group of people who speak a different native language has helped social occasions to feel less intimidating and more like a challenge or test, where I can see how much I do understand or recognise.

My career anxiety.

I gave myself the ability to show how I can handle leadership. Having to be in charge and take responsibility for a team in my current head teaching role, again, has helped my self journey evolve. I can’t shy away from problems or take a back seat. I’m expected to lead the way, and to show others how to perform. This for me has changed my entire outlook on my career anxiety. I am capable. I am powerful. I am allowed to speak up and voice my opinion.

So there we have it.

I hope you can understand how moving to Vietnam has helped my anxiety, Socially, Academically and Career-wise.

I wrote this in hopes that someone out there who is scared about moving may take comfort from my personal experience, and though I cannot guarantee the same, I hope you get the same results and feel comfortable enough to say ‘I’m going to try’

Thanks for reading.

Danielle Jade x

Top 5 sights of 2017. Photo edition.

Whilst 2017 was here i had the chance to see some of the most amazing sights i know i will remember forever, here are 5 of my 2017 Highlights.

 

  1. This breath taking view of Halong Bay – Vietnam17800479_10210898603675953_2569654345430785814_n
  2. This amazing view from the top of a mountain over looking Chang Mai – Thailand. 16487030_10210345653172536_6245185521777679810_o
    Looking for the perfect day trip out of Chang Mai including this view point watch my Youtube Video: Day Trip – Thailand
  3. This mesmerising 5am sunrise in Hoi An – Vietnam21272153_10212344435780852_7404308570545343617_n
    Thinking of visiting Hoi An check this out: What to do in Hoi An : Vietnam. 
  4. This wonderful screenshot of the best day of my life, Spending the day with Elephants in Pai – Thailand16473164_10210313210161481_234798686360280960_n
    To see more on my day with elephants follow this link: Spend the day with Elephants in Thailand.
  5. This picturesque view of an old temple in Ninh Binh – Vietnam
    18192535_10211156643686792_8589226281607023874_o
    Find out what to do in Ninh Binh here: Ninh Binh – Vietnam. What to do and where to go! 

    I feel so privileged and honoured to see some of the amazing sights i’ve seen in this world and i cannot wait to see more in 2018!

    What was your favourite photo i took?,Please comment below.
    Thanks for reading,

    Danielle Jade
    x

    PEACEEEEE.

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

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

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