Things to Download Before You Hit the Great Firewall of China

In the run up to my trip, I made list after list, read “what to pack – the essentials” on travel blogs galore and was feeling pretty smug that I’d rammed my backpack full of everything I could possibly need…IMG_0187

To my peril, I forgot about one minor detail… the whole of the internet in censored in China, so the sites / apps we take for granted in the West, are all blocked.

Fab. There’s nothing like spending weeks packing, making sure you’re totes prepared, and then realising you’re completely UN-prepared. Yup, it sucks.

Fortunately for you, I’ve made a list of everything that was missing from my smartphone. ‘Cos I’m nice like that ;)…

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Ni Hao China! I’ve arrived!


First stop, Beijing. The capital of China. Home to emperors of dynasties gone by and centuries of oriental history, culture and Beijing Kaoya (duck).

I was greeted by… smog, smog, smog.

I must say, I’ve been to Beijing before, so I know a little of what to expect. But it’s always a culture shock like no other to come from springtime in England, flooded with greenery, little yellow daffodils and a handful of people strolling lazily in the sunshine… to a MEGA Chinese city, coming out hibernation of the winter season, with over 14 million people pushing and shoving on the subway (they even employ people to physically ram people into the carriages, with force).

Hello China. Bewildered, to say the least.

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An Unconventional Travel Product Review: Aesop Jet Set

2015-03-23 12.27.56I received this beautiful travel-sized toiletries set as a leaving gift from one of my work friends, so I thought I’d get my amateur ‘beauty blogger’ hat on and try my luck with a review.

The stuff was great, I smothered it all over my body and re-enacted Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball. The end.

(JOKES, that would be wildly inappropriate)

Here’s my product review of the Aesop ‘Jet Set’ travel kit.

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Top Tips: How to Pack Light for Long-Term Travel


A few months weeks ago, I would have laughed square in your face if you’d have told me I’d only be taking hand-luggage away with me for 6+ months.

PAH! What? Me? The girl who less-than-elegantly dragged a 20kg wheelie-case around the rugged streets of Bangkok?

…that I’d somehow manage to choose a small selection of clothes, cram my junk into a lowly rucksack and trek around with the remnants of my life strapped to my back.

HAHA! That’s hilarious! Geez Louise! Don’t make me chuckle.

Well check me and my snazzy GIF. I’ve actually mastered it, this wee beauty weighs in at just under 9kg and is within my hand baggage allowance! No cheats, tricks or undetectable extension charms required.


Here’s how.

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Recipe: Simple Step-by-Step Chinese Dumplings

Say hello to your new best friends, Chinese Jiaozi or dumplings!


I’ve been making these bad boys ever since I arrived back from Chengdu; suffering from post-China travel-blues, a gargley belly and craving healthy Oriental food i.e. the stuff you can’t find for love nor money in your local takeaway.

Trust me, these deceptively wrinkly-looking things are little parcels of heaven.

I’ve since convinced all of my friends and family to join me in the kitchen and taste-test my wares (not that they need much persuading) – and they all love them! So I thought I’d share my super simple recipe for guo tie dumplings (锅贴) with you, so you can give them a go too!

They might just change your mealtimes life.

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Why Chinese Mandarin is one of the Best Languages to Learn!


I love the split second of totally gob-smacked, mouth-wide-open and Crazy Eyes reaction I get when I tell people I’m learning Chinese Mandarin. It’s one of the most empowering feelings ever, and that’s not because I’m looking for a temporary ego trip.



Truth is, I know something you don’t. I’ll let you into a little secret…

Learning Mandarin is EASY!

Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons why I think you should give it a go.


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Holiday Dress Code: What I Wore in Thailand

We Brits love to make a statement with our clothes, we’re practically famous for it! Vivienne Westwood wasn’t just born into the designer elite darling, she was homegrown in Derby! Big-up the North massiv! Us British girls consider ourselves quirky, vibrant and fashion-forward. So naturally, going on holiday gives us the opportunity to flaunt our wares and update our wardrobes.

The only thing worse than severing your holiday spends in forfeit of those £100-a-pop must-have spangly gladiator sandals, is stepping off the plane and realising they are totally impractical for the country you’re visiting. So they spend 2 weeks locked away in your suitcase of shame, gathering dust and tipping over your baggage allowance.

Lesson learned, jazzy sandals are not your friend.


So for those of you who are serial-overpackers or always seem to cripple your pre-holiday credit card in aid of your wardrobe, I thought it might be helpful to put together a mini photo diary of what I wore whilst travelling in Thailand last year and I’ll be dropping some hints and tips for how you can prepare your travel outfits.

*Warning, Fashion Blogger, I am not. You’re in for a fun read…

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