Wednesday, October 28, 2015
So after my previous two posts I got some requests to do a couple of videos from South African food to hair tutorials, book reviews, travel posts, makeup tutorials and more!
This is my first hair tutorial.. so I started with an easy one... a sock bun!
Let me know what you think of my amateur video and youtube skills and I'd really appreciate it if you subscribe to my channel, like the vids etc etc etc! :D
Have a groovy evening x
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Aloha my good friends.
I'm really starting to get into my youtube videos lately.
I'm finding youtube to be an absolutely amazing way of learning new hairstyles, recipes, yoga poses, songs of guitar etc etc etc.
The possibilities are endless.
I'm still a complete newbie with making videos but I gave my usual every day makeup look tutorial a bash.
Here you can check out the products and brands I use, laugh at my clumsiness and occasional curse word and completely non-intentional Arab remark.
I'd love your thoughts.
Also, because I'm new at this - I'd really love your ideas of other videos I could do to entertain you guys further. It's something I really want to get into properly.
I have no hopes or dreams of becoming the next international youtube superstar (I think it's pretty obvious from my videos that aint gonna happen.....) but it's really fun and I enjoy it.
I look forward to hearing from ya'll soon.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
About a month ago I was diagnosed with quite a rare condition and in this post I've opened up about it.. shared my story, given tips and advice on how to treat it for others going through something similar.
The point behind this is to help others, to be there for people who have been effected by this condition and who need someone to talk to or listen to.
When I googled and looked up the condition when I was diagnosed, I could find a lot of information on it but nothing that really made me feel any better whatsoever... and I was really surprised that on instagram there were only about 170 posts on the condition. What helped was seeing other peoples images and comparing them to my own, reading their story and just knowing that there are others out there going through the same thing as me.
So here it is...
A vlog about a condition as few as 2% of people suffer with...
If you have any advice, tips, questions or just want to talk please feel free to either inbox me directly (my email address can be found on the Contact section of this blog) or leave a comment below.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Whenever I am going through a tough time, I find my outlet in music.
Everything about it helps.
The melody, whether it be happy, sad or angry. The lyrics, the way you can relate to them and how perfectly they describe exactly what you're feeling when you can't put it into words yourself.
Music through a breakup is a very important thing and over the last while I've been bopping my head along to a couple of tunes that have really perked up my mood.
Yes, at first I listened to some pretty dismal, emo tracks and felt completely and utterly sorry for myself - but I've since chucked my bloody James Blunt CD with songs such as 'Goodbye My Lover,' into the boot of my car. If you're still in that stage of your emotions with your breakup where you just want to drown in a tub of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and cry yourself to sleep then this mix I've compiled is not for you.
This mix is for those of us who have realized that he isn't coming back. That it's over and that you're taking your life back and being strong, moving on and forward! That the people that leave your life by choice are LESS than the kind of people you need in your life. These songs are for when you're ready for a fun time and to smile again.
(It's also a bit of a bitter stab at the guy that crushed you when you realize just how he's twisted things to make you somehow seem like the bad person when you'd put your entire heart and soul into loving him).
Lily Allen - Fuck You
Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever getting Back Together
Hailee Steinfeld - Love Myself
Pink - Try
Rachel Platten - Fight Song
Kelly Clarkson - Since You Been Gone
Katy Petty - Part of Me
Avril Lavigne - He Wasn't
If someone made me this CD I would actually love you forever!
Friday, October 9, 2015
With my Indonesian Travel Post now finally out of the way, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The tears have been shed, the healing process is in full swing and the hard part is over. Now I can start this blog fresh once again - with no old stories from my past still left to share, only the future stories await and that, my friends, is an extremely exciting feeling.
So, with ridiculously bright pink hair in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month (and quite stupidly a white dress now stained pink on the shoulders) I tap out this post to you.
I don't really have one specific thing to share with you today, no insanely incredible culinary creation or raving book review, sadly no new travel post either which leaves me feeling rather forlorn what with my never ending itchy set of feet that just can't stay planted in one place... but I wanted to post something anyway to start letting the Indonesian post slowly fade away into the ruins of Bohemian Muses.
Everyone handles breakups in their own way and granted for some time I let it really effect my usually optimistic and bubbly personality. I couldn't (and still can't) believe the lies spread and the harsh extent people will go to in order to get attention and bring you down. I turned to copious amounts of booze and bars and boys to get me through the heartache. It was my first time truly being single in a very long time and so I made a pact with myself to not get involved in something serious (ever) again. That was just my bitter dramatic state coming out... of course I knew one day I would put my heart back out there but for the beginning stages of the breakup I was just reveling in the freedom that comes with being single. I've never learnt so much about myself as I have through the past 4 months and I wouldn't take it back for the world - but I can now safely say that I no longer feel the need to glug a bottle of vino back each night and destroy my organs. In actual fact, the last two weeks or so I have hardly touched alcohol and have been thoroughly enjoying chai teas and healthy vibes. This morning I even woke up at the crack of dawn, rolled out my yoga mat and did an absolutely gorgeous hatha yoga session in my little flat.
I've been really figuring out who my real friends are, especially with the majority of my best friends being scattered around the world. It's been a challenge to cope without them here through this but at the same time I feel that it was actually a blessing in disguise because certain people that are reasonably new in my life really stepped up to the plate and have proven to be genuine friends to me. So for that I am forever grateful.
Another fabulous thing about my new start in life is that it has reopened a thousand doors for me. Alexander Graham Bell once said, 'When one door closes, another opens.'
At first, I was so caught up with the shock and pain of the door I was planning my entire life around being slammed in my face that I didn't see the sparkling opportunities that had just surfaced all around me.
I am a traveler. Everyone by now knows this to be true... and now that I don't need to save every penny I earn on a wedding and a house and all those things that seem to pop up afterwards like children and pets - I can focus solely on my one true love in life. My 'thing.' My reason for breathing.
Some people don't understand why others love to travel so much. Some people are so content to just stay in one place, settle down, get married, have children and grandchildren and grow old in the comforts of a home they've built up over the years... and there is nothing wrong with choosing that way of life... but that way of life will never be for me. Ever.
I cannot put into words of my own why I love travel as much as I do when someone else far more inspiring has already summed it up perfectly... Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish travel writer among other things, said:
"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
I really don't know if anyone else is as taken by those words as me, but I find them earth-shatteringly beautiful. The great affair IS to move! To see! To be! To wonder! To get lost and find yourself in the strangest and most unexpected of places!
Life is just bloody beautiful and I plan on making the absolute most out of it! So with my new pink hair and stitched up heart, I go out into the world and seek new adventure and live out my dreams, making them become reality.... and I share that with all my old friends that have stuck by me and new friends that have been so kind... and I say farewell to those people who turned out to be less than the kind of people I need or want in my life. Never be sad by losing someone who lets you go by choice. They were never worth your time in the beginning anyway. Move on and find 'your' people... the ones that matter and don't mind, like Dr. Seuss would say.
That said, once again, I find myself back in the little coastal town of Knysna and daydreaming out the window each and every day of that next flight.
I just came back from Southeast Asia which satisfied my travel bug to a certain extent but it definitely wasn't enough. So, here I am, planning away for my next trip all over again... and this one is going to change my life completely.
I have been researching flat out for days how to travel around the world cheaply and have found so many incredible ideas from Wwoofing to Couch Surfing, the joys of Ryanair in Europe and staying in Ashrams in India for as little as R 50.00 (£2.50) a day including meals. Traveling really is not that expensive if you know how to do it. There are literally countless ways to enjoy everything that this world has to offer and so, very soon, once I have gathered just enough together to afford my main flights and a bit of extra spending cash - I am taking a journey down a scary new path in life... a path filled with one way tickets and getting my hands dirty, sleeping on rickety old beds and experiencing new cultures and flavors and landscapes that are so stunning they leave you riddled with goosebumps and make tears form in your eyes because of the beauty.
"The world is a book and those that don't travel read only one page."
- St. Augustine
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Much of this blog is based on travel and my hope for it is that one day it will become a full blown travel blog. With that said, a significant amount of time has passed since my return from Indonesia and I know a number of you have been asking where my travel post is about my time there.
Considering Indonesia was the last place I really saw my ex fiance, my heart just hasn't been in it to write about the trip. It was possibly the coldest and most confusing breakup I've ever had... but as the phrase in show business goes, 'The Show Must Go On.'
So here I am, at 2am on a Wednesday morning back home in South Africa and finally braving this post.
I was lying in bed now before deciding to flip open my Macbook and hammer with piece of writing out of me and thinking about the trip for the first time since I returned and I realised something. Much like with my experience in Rome when I backpacked and camped my way through Europe, Bali was the place out of my Southeast Asian travels that I was most excited for. It was the reason for the trip, the other stops along the way were just places to pass some time and to soak up another part of the world that never really stood out to me but that I felt compelled to see anyway.
Sadly, much like Rome, Bali disappointed me and it saddens me to have that fall out onto the keyboard from my fingertips.
I think Bali used to be great but over time it has become extremely commercialised and overrun with tourists which made my experience there completely different from what I'd imagined it to be. In Bali's defence, I had just flown in from the most gorgeous (seemingly undiscovered) gem of a tropical island in the Philippines - Siargao, which you can read about in various earlier posts of mine. The shock of being back somewhere so jam-packed with tourists and souvenir stores and people hassling you to buy things from them was overwhelming for me after such a tranquil visit to Siargao. The locals are not nearly as friendly as the Filipino's are and will often really try to rip you off. The waves were littered with surfers all paddling for the same ride and dropping in on each other, getting aggravated with one another.
There's heaps of neglected starving dogs with heartbreaking mange trolling the streets and piles of rubbish just built up on the sides of the streets. I don't want this post to be a full on moaning marathon but as always, I'll be completely honest about my time there and I feel that if you're planning on visiting a place like Bali it's good to be prepared for both the inevitable great things you'll find there but to also keep in mind the not so great factors that come with anywhere you travel to really.
I arrived in Indonesia at about 3am and had a prearranged taxi pick me up at the airport to drop me off at my accommodation called the Bingin Inn.
Please if you can do this before the time, ensure that your phone works when you arrive because Google Maps couldn't come in handier especially with a non-English speaking taxi driver at 3am in the morning. We got hopelessly lost. What should have been no more than a 20 minute drive took us nearly 2 hours of driving into the darkest, dodgiest little parts of Bali I have ever seen and I was completely alone and feeling very unsafe! Luckily he turned out to be a stand-out guy that was just not used to the area he was taking me to but our lack of communication and GPS was really pretty nerve-wrecking especially during the early hours of the morning!
I finally arrived at the hotel safely and was welcomed by Sam who let me get a few hours shut eye before our first full day together in Bali. We rented a scooter for our time there which is pretty essential in order to get around. You don't need to show your license when hiring - but I'd say don't take long trips far from where you're staying because you can get pretty crazy fines from Police if they catch you driving a) without a license or documentation and b) without a helmet.
Here's something about Bali that you may not know - no matter where you choose to stay, something will keep you up at night! Night one entailed dragons from hell (AKA ginormous Gecko like creatures) seeking shelter in our air vents and squawking their little lungs off all night long. As mean as it sounds, throw some vodka or your other preferred alcoholic beverage around the air vent and they will soon bugger off. Believe me, it gets on your last nerve at some stage or another!
If it isn't dragons it's the free range chickens and roosters making a racket or wild dogs howling at the moon - every night there is bound to be something. The most hilarious thing that kept me up at night however definitely had to be the ocean. Anyone that knows me knows just how much I love the ocean and often I listen to youtube recordings of it to fall asleep at night! Well... boy was there a stage in Bali where I'd have been really happy to never hear the ocean again in my life! After a couple of nights in Bingin, Sam and I found this close to untouched area of Bali completely devoid of tourists called Balangan. Quaint, stunning wooden shacks situated right on the beach alongside a handful of cafe's, with a beautiful Russian hippie called Flower (I kid you not) teaching yoga and meditation on the beach at sunrise and sunset, crisp fresh waves ready for the taking, rock pools and NO souvenir shops with locals trying to force you to buy things - this was our little blessing. We booked a shack right on the water and paid in advance for a number of days and the first night was absolutely incredible. It was so out of the way from everything and we felt like this was the real Bali we'd been hoping to experience.
I woke up after the first night in Balangan feeling so refreshed after the first good nights sleep I'd had since arriving and the owner of the shack even brought us coffee in bed! After doing a session of meditation and yoga on a hilltop with the sun rising in the sky above I was literally glowing.
But day two brought with it a change in tides so the next evening, little did we know, the waves would sound like an actual Tsunami outside of our shack. It was impossible to sleep. Imagine the loudest ocean you can and then quadruple that... that doesn't even begin to explain how loud the ocean was.
Alright - now enough of the nitty gritty, every country you'll travel to has some of that... now I'll get to the fun bits. Of course the trip was worth it! Every trip is! You take something away with you from absolutely every country / town / place you go to, even if you didn't exactly have the best of times there, it was still an experience and not something that should be taken for granted!
A lot of Sam's friends were in Bali at the same time as us which is a pretty new thing for me to be in such a different part of the world and to have people I know around! They are all really amazing, fun loving people so it was wonderful to spend time with some familiar faces and some new ones. I think it is safe to say that no matter what, you will make friends in Bali. Everyone is so happy and soaking up the positivity and good vibes - so just embrace your days and get to know other travellers and the locals!
As I'm not used to traveling with other people though, I needed to get away from familiar faces quite often to be able to really experience Bali. The people we knew there had all been there many times before so they weren't looking to do any of the more touristy things which obviously as a first timer in Bali, I was. Going to things like the fire shows and temples were things that people that have been there before probably won't recommend to you because they've been there and done that - it's not a big deal to them anymore! But you just have to go and watch the fire shows for the culture and the story and the extravagant outfits! It may be ridiculously touristy and without a doubt another rip off for sure, but you've traveled all this way, you might as well go! So try not to get too caught up with drinking on the beach and lounging in the sun all day long - get out there and do some of the touristy attraction things too otherwise what the hell was the point in flying over?
I organised one full day for Sam and I to get completely out of where we were based and took a crazily priced taxi to Ubud where we'd made a list of everything we wanted to do. We thought we'd have enough time to do everything in one day - we also thought we'd have enough money - we didn't. My recommendation for you if you were to be planning a trip to Ubud would be to definitely do it over at least a period of two days. Stay over the night somewhere so that you don't have to try and jam-pack everything into one day there... and also really do a thorough budget check because a lot of Ubud is really quite expensive! For instance, Sam really wanted to see the Komodo dragons but the price to get into the place that has them is insane. We didn't end up going in even though I'd offered to wait outside so that Sam could go and see the dragons himself before we went home but it would have been amazing. They are such majestic creatures and it would have been jaw-dropping to see them up close so if that's something high on your list make sure you factor a visit into your budget.
The food in Ubud is DELICIOUS... It was the absolute best food I had throughout the entire trip although all of it was pretty damn amazing. In fact, if you find yourself in and around Bingin please go and find Warung Heboh which has the freshest vegetables and tastiest, healthiest dishes for the cheapest prices you'll find anywhere in Bali! We ate there almost every day to save cash and never once got tired of the food.
The massages (according to Sam) are not amazing though! He tried to get a massage while he waited for me to meet the spiritual healer, Wayan, for a few hours. Yes, the real Wayan, the one from Eat Pray Love that Elizabeth Gilbert went to.
* Sidenote: It is hilarious how many people are called Wayan in Bali.
The spiritual healer, Wayan, is well worth a visit! I'd originally really wanted to to to Ketut but had heard that he's gotten dementia in his old age and that he doesn't make sense anymore. I had no real idea as to what to expect from Wayan, but I know I had a lot of questions and really wanted her to help me gain some peace as I was going through a really tough time personally.
Something you may not know about me is that I have a lump in my left breast and I've been for all sorts of scans and cancer check-ups and the doctors say it's nothing to worry about, but it hurts all the time and they won't cut it out. I've hardly told anyone that and I sure as hell didn't tell Wayan... but the absolute first thing she did when she saw me was touch my shoulder, look into my eyes and say "You have pain in your left breast."
It left me completely riddled with goosebumps.
Absolutely EVERYTHING else she said to me during my fascinating time with her was bang on accurate and meeting her was definitely, definitely the highlight from the entire trip for me.
She made me eat all these crazy leaves and herbs, most of which tasted diabolical, but she just knows exactly what your body needs and she doses you with it, offering to sell you things to fix certain illnesses you may have as well but this can get very, very expensive.
As expensive as the drinks and touristy things can get though, there's so much in Bali which is free and so enjoyable - like just watching a gorgeous sunrise wrapped up in a blanket on the beach or surfing if you bring your own board along (though it's not too badly priced to rent a board for an hour either and you can always try to barter them down).
While in Ubud you must know how many stalls there are to go to! Ladies, you'll be blown away by all the jewellery. There's not many ATM's around as far as I can remember so bring a substantial amount of cash to blow on clothing and jewellery if that's in your budget for your trip!
I'm not really big on clothing and jewellery to be fair and spent most of my budget on getting into temples and show etc... one of which was the Ubud Monkey Temple which turned into a shopping expedition anyway because a monkey peed on Sam which had me in fits of laughter throughout the entire day.
There's also tons of watersports packages people will offer you - and when you decide to actually listen to someone please make sure to ask them how long each other these watersports lasts for! Sam and I booked a day out with a guy called Froggy from Balangan's cafe, Froggies. Haha. It was a lot of fun filled with parasailing, fly fishing and a trip to the turtle sanctuary (I would NOT recommend a trip to the sanctuary..... it was heartbreaking....) BUUUUT the parasailing lasted all of 5 minutes and and the flyfishing maybe 10 minutes tops... and it cost us something ridiculous like 40 US dollars each!! So we got MADLY ripped off here... so please just do your research before booking and being disappointed with what you've spent your money on!
Bali was actually pretty wonderful and to be honest now that I look back at my time there, I'd definitely like to go back there someday and give it another chance. I'd want to do the islands around it like Lombok and Nusa Lemongan. I think I went to Bali in the complete wrong frame of mind because my relationship was already falling apart. We tried our best to fix things here but it just wasn't enough. It's hurt me for a very long time and shattered my heart enough to keep me from writing but I'm finally really feeling like myself again...
Oh hey... another great thing about Bali???? There's a flipping Starbucks there!