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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Hanoi (Vietnam) First Impressions. Get to know all about it!

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Hello everyone!
Im back today with another Travel/Lifestyle post, this one’s all about my first impressions of Hanoi Vietnam.

Travel:

Think of the busiest place you know, Westfield shopping centre, being at the front of your favourite festival, leaving the stadium after the match finishes. There, Hanoi. Put all those people on bikes and take away most of the rules when it comes to driving and you can fully understand how it feels to be on a scooter in the middle of the Old Quarter. It is mayhem to a new driver. Everyone needs to get somewhere and an inch of space is the perfect opportunity for someone to sneak by you and disappear up the road. I think the only way i can describe how it feels to be on a bike in the middle of Hanoi is, it’s like being in a real life Crash Bandicoot game, anyone could swerve around and in front of you at any minute, there may be someones cardigan dropped ahead that you need to swerve from and U-turns are a given here, so watch out for those bikes coming towards you down that ‘one way’ street.
That being said, after you get used to the mindset, being a driver in Hanoi is actually quite enjoyable. It’s always fascinating to see new places, as you drive around. There’s a sense of accomplishment too, like YEAH, i CAN do it. I CAN drive here!

Food:

Oh my, now the food here. Hanoi is overwhelmed with smells. Both good and bad but find a good place and the food is just incredible!
We have eaten at so many different places here in Hanoi both traditional and Western. Moving to Hanoi i was originally very nervous about what i would find to eat. This is because i am somewhat  picky with food to start with. I don’t eat red meat, i barely like any spices, i don’t really like dressings or sauces. I’m a foodies worst nightmare. So you can imagine when i see ‘mixed meat’ on the menu i am less than excited to know what they class as mixed meat, however I’m currently trying to live with a ‘well you only live once’ outlook on life, so you know what i ordered? That mixed meat rice. It was delicious. I did only notice tofu and chicken in it (which was lucky) but it was truly yummy. Naomi has taken to eating Pho at any opportunity and for only 30,000vnd a bowl (that’s £1.09) it’s more than incredible value.
One day after work we went to a Vietnamese place with work friends and i suddenly realised i am actually no where neat as adventurous as i first thought. As they brought out Goat, baby birds, stingray and other impressive and petrifying foods. I felt myself coward back to the comfort of my tiger beer and rice paper rolls. I tried some of the sting ray and i must say it was tasty!

Sights:

Hanoi is rich in culture. It’s such a beautiful place to explore. I love our journey to work because we travel about half an hour away from our little Tay Ho bubble and in that journey i notice new sights every trip. If you have a bike take some time to go explore. There’s so many wonderful places to seek out. Including but not limited to the museums. Within our first week in Hanoi we had done three museums, in particular i enjoyed the Women’s Museum. Learning about the history of the Vietnamese housewife, the mother, the dress makers and the women who served in the Army. I felt incredibly emotional come the end of the museum. I really recommend going to this museum when you are in Hanoi.
I must also point out one of my favourite ‘sites’ to enjoy en route to work are other people’s bikes! It’s amazing how much people load onto two wheels.

I wanted to share with you some of my other favourite sights below;

The Districts:

Within Hanoi the city is broken down into smaller chunks, these chunks are known as districts. The most popular two you may know about before arriving at The Old Quarter and Tay Ho. The old quarter is what you want to explore if you’re travelling here. The old quarter is home to Lake Hoan Kiem aka ‘lake of the returned sword’.

Here is where you can sit and watch the traffic zoom around whilst having a beer up on the rooftops. You can wander for hours down the different themed streets that are adjacent to Hoan Kiem. You can watch the  water puppet theatre shows, get your hands on the best kinds of souvenirs and find some incredible places to eat. Perhaps what I love the most about the Old Quarter is the people, Vietnamese run businesses are the only kind here. Very traditional.

Tay ho on the other hand is quite the opposite. It’s known as the bubble here because of the ability to live in Hanoi without leaving Tay Ho. Here is home to most of the expats. It’s full of teachers, i say this as i too a new teacher now live amongst all my colleagues here in the Tay Ho bubble. Around here you are likely to hear more American, English, and South African accents than anything else. Unless you meet our door man, he speaks no english and our conversations are beautiful engagements of us nodding and pretending to understand each other. Tay ho has some amazing bakeries, inspired by the french, there’s a few places i have come to love along To Ngoc Van.

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I could honestly go on forever about how i feel living in Hanoi but i will leave you here for now. If you would like to hear more about my life here, do leave a comment and don’t forget to follow me on Youtube! because that’s a thing I’m doing now.

Thanks for reading

Danielle Jade.

Christmas round-up!

So it’s December the 31st. The Christmas season is well and TRUELY over and tonight we will all be drinking champagne and pretending to know the worlds to auld lang syne.

I for one, have loved this December. I mean, yes granted it wasn’t a white Christmas but who cares, Christmas is the time to be jolly and I embraced that.

 
Throughout December I find that more people want to socialise, tis the season to be merry after all….and merry I was! After work drinks and meals with friends were in full bloom this season and I ate more than I can even begin to explain to you all! Just check out this feast we had at the Bloggers Christmas Burger event

I believe the next day my waistline did challenge old Santa Clause’s himself.

 
Another highlight of the season was works secret Santa! Spoiler alert…I LOVE GIVING GIFTS! I’m the kind of person that guaranteed will make it crafty and as personal based as possible. I just love it!

 
There’s nothing better than a bucket full of sangria to really get you into the holiday spirit!

As Christmas Day started to get closer and closer I was so excited to be going home for the holidays! I have quite a big, separated family so getting to spend time with them all, really is time that I treasure and over the holiday season I like nothing more than being back up home in Yorkshire.

This year I received some wonderful gifts from both Family and friends so here is a little peek at some of the beautiful items I received this year (don’t worry I won’t show you every single thing I was gifted 🙈 )

 First up…..
Click-Snap-oh my gahd look at how pretty it is 😍

 

From books, to beauty, to chocolate, to clothes…I really did get some beautiful gifts this year! If you want to see more of my presents let me know and I may put together a Xmas present post 🙈

Finally, here are some of my beautiful family members I spent Xmas with. I miss you guys already but I’ll be back soon for more singing around the house 😊

 
I cannot wait to see what 2016 is going to bring! Right I better go make some resolutions for me to not stick to!

Happy new year everyone!

X

Where have I gone?! 🏠🚂

Hello beautiful people.

I’m so excited to be home for a few days.

(Here I am leaving with my case)

I had to use the last of my holiday days at work and so I booked off from the 17-29th of March.

Very last minute I decided to book a train home and spend a couple of days with my family back up in Yorkshire. I was extremely surprised with the price of my trains only coming to £42.00 for a return having booked the day before the trip. Usually last minute tickets can be extortionate and I wouldn’t either bother to look for fear of being left disappointed however I was pleasantly surprised to land this return. 

(Perfect train set up, iced latte, water and Pretty little liars)

Arriving at Kings Cross I grabbed an iced caramel latte a bottle of water from Starbucks and waited ten minutes for my train to arrive. I was actually surprised I made my train as I was convinced I was going to miss it after firstly not getting up early enough to pack, and then the tubes kept stopping due to a delay at Mile End. Nether the less I made it on board and was quickly heading to the green green hills of Yorkshire.

(Here I am outside Kings Cross)

Arriving in Yorkshire I immediately felt de-stressed. Something about being home just makes me feel calm. The first family members I went to visit were my little sisters who are growing up so fast! I always try to see them as soon as I come home, they are so adorable and it’s amazing to hear their thoughts on the world, I find it fascinating to see how they are growing up and give them older sister advice 😊

( Here I am with my beautiful little sisters)

After playing games with my three brothers, making a trip to watch deal or no deal with my gran, go shopping for a few home bits with mum and have a general catch up with family and other friends it’s nearly time for me to head back on the train back to the smoke!

(Here I am with the adorable Little ones)

It’s been the perfect little break from London, I feel like my head has been cleared, I feel relaxed and I’m feeling pro-active for the rest of my days off!

Well, I guess I better be off my train back is in a couple of hours.

•Danielle Jade•