Cambodian Night Markets in Siem Reap

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Last summer I spent 4 weeks in Thailand doing a TEFL course. We were based in an area called Krasang which is North East Thailand, near the Cambodian border. We spent a weekend in Siem Reap and visited Angkor Wat which was absolutely incredible and on one of the evenings whilst we were there, we visited the night markets in Siem Reap. These markets are situated just off Pub Street and they are really busy, full of vendors selling all sorts of items, from spices, to souvenirs, to scorpions!

We wandered around the night markets for a while and browsed lots of the stalls. We ate a Khmer (Cambodian) traditional curry called Amok which was amazing and got thoroughly confused by the money which is both in Cambodian currency (Riel) and US dollars. The Cambodian currency is worth so little though that you get the change in it from dollars so we ended up thoroughly confused!

We purchased quite a few things in the night markets. I bought some beautiful paintings, one of Angkor Wat and one of some elephants as I absolutely fell in love with the idea of getting a painting when I saw the gorgeous paintings all around the night markets. I also got a hand painted shot glass of Cambodia which originally I was going to give to my brother but it was so pretty that I kept it! I bought some Cambodian liquor called Sombai which we tried lots of and it tasted so good so I got three flavours, Pineapple and Coconut, Banana and Cinnamon and Green Tea!

I would definitely recommend the night markets in Siem Reap if you are going to the area to visit Angkor Wat. It really is an incredible place and so much fun to browse, even if you aren't purchasing anything (although you definitely will). One warning is that amongst the fun of the night markets, there is a lot of poverty in Siem Reap and people do try and take advantage of the tourists that are in the area. However it is also like most other places that, if you are careful and stay in a group, you will be absolutely fine. I was with a group of 5 girls and we felt pretty safe walking around the area.

The Old English Company Competition

Friday, 4 May 2018

Today is a slightly different post from normal! A company called The Old English Company got in contact with me about a competition that they are currently running on their website to win a set of their gorgeous enamel pins and asked whether I would be interested in doing a post about it! As a strange coincidence, one of my friends, Meg, absolutely loves enamel pins and so I thought I would take a look at their website and see what kind of pins they have.

When I looked at their website, I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed. Their pins and gifts are all absolutely gorgeous and have the cutest slogans on! These are a couple of my favourites from the pins they have for sale on their site!

So The Old English Company competition is running until the 30th May 2018 and you have the chance to win a set of their gorgeous pins! Find out how to enter on their site here!

The Lowdown on San Diego, California

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Last summer I was lucky enough to go and spend two weeks staying with a friend from university at his home in San Diego. I had never been to the USA before and I had absolutely the best time! This blog post is going to give you the lowdown on where to stay, what and where to eat and where to go/what to do! I was lucky enough to be spending the time with a San Diego native so hopefully there are a few things on this list that you might not have done without it!!

Where to Stay

So my advice on this is not first hand as I stayed in my friend's house which was in Poway, about half an hour north of San Diego city centre. But he said that there are three main areas which he would recommend to someone coming to stay in San Diego. There is the downtown area which is right in the centre of the city, near to the convention centre and Little Italy but it can be quite expensive. There is the Mission Bay area which is very pretty and close to the water or there is La Jolla which is slightly north of the main city centre but has some beautiful beaches nearby. As I say, I didn't stay in any of these areas but La Jolla is really beautiful and you can access Torrey Pines Nature Park from there which has some amazing hikes.

What to Eat

Okay so when in San Diego, you should eat more Mexican food than you have ever eaten unless you have been/are in Mexico. The Mexican food I had there is unlike any Mexican food I have had anywhere else and there is just so much! Probably 10/14 days we ate Mexican food at at least one meal, whether that was out or at home!! Their Mexican food is second only to Mexico! Some of the places I would recommend are any places in Old Town, Rubio's which has several stores (their fish tacos are so good) and Chipotle which I know is a chain but their guacamole is incredible!

If you can, you should definitely try to find a Baked Bear who do the most incredible ice cream and cookie sandwiches. I had never had a ice cream and cookie sandwich before and I was quite amazed. Especially as one of my cookies was a snickerdoodle which I had never had before either!

If you get the chance, you should also go and get a milkshake from Ghiradelli's store in the Gaslamp district. Their chocolate is amazing and lots of free samples in the store too!!

I also did a whole post about food in San Diego which you can check out here

What to Do/Where to Go

I'm going to list some of the best things that I did/think there are to do in San Diego and then I will probably do more detailed posts about each one as I don't have room for all the detail on here!

- San Diego Zoo
- Balboa Park
- Old Town / Seaport Village / USS Midway and Submarine (all in similar area)
- La Jolla Children's Pool and the Seals!
- Torrey Pines Hike
- Birch Aquarium

I hope you have found this post useful and let me know if you have any questions about San Diego!!

What have I won recently? | Competition Wins

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

I thought I would do a round up of the couple of things I have won recently! I haven't done one of these posts for a while so I thought it might be interesting for you to see! There are actually only two prizes but one of them was a gift voucher so I thought I could show you what I bought with that prize!

So the first prize was that my KitKat mug arrived! I won this in January and it arrived but unfortunately it was broken so they sent me a new one. However I received an email the other day that said that these mugs could have a defect that makes them crack when they get too hot so I think that are sending out another one! In the meantime for the inconvenience they also sent us a £3 coupon for Nestle products so I can go and get myself some chocolate to help with revision!

This prize was the gift voucher and I really loved this one. It was an effort competition to share a memento and the story behind it and I shared my Nan's jewellery box which she passed down to me. The prize was a £100 Not On The High Street voucher which was amazing. I managed to get all of the gifts for the family birthdays coming up (all of my family have birthdays in April/May time) and also a couple of things for me too!

I know this is a terrible picture but I didn't want to unwrap it to take a better one so this is an apron for my mum which says 'The more I see of man, the more I love my dog' which is very appropriate for her as she is absolutely crazy about our dog! The Spicentice set is a set of different chilli and barbecue spice mixes as he is really into cooking and loves spicy food so I thought he might like that!

I gave this mug to my mum for mothers day. On the other side it says 'All you need is love and a labradoodle', she absolutely loved it!

These are for my dad's birthday which is coming up in May! He absolutely loves marmalades and so I got him this set of 3 artisan marmalades!

And these are the two presents I got myself! The mirror at the top is really beautiful and says 'You are not what happened to you' at the bottom although you can't really tell that from the picture . The second thing is just a new keyring that I thought was pretty and would help me to find my keys rather than rooting round in my bag for them!

So these were the prizes I won recently! I hope you enjoyed this post and when I win more things I will be sure to share them with you!

Parc Guell | Barcelona, Spain

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Everywhere you walk around Barcelona, you see beautiful artwork and amazing buildings. But one of the most famous attractions in Barcelona is architect Antoni Gaudi's park, Parc Guell. It is a very large public park that consists of sculptures, mosaics and buildings designed by the architect himself.

The park was originally commissioned by Count Guell to be made as a 'bohemian village' where rich aristocrats who also loved art could live. Unfortunately only two houses were finished, (they are the two houses at the entrance to the park) as they couldn't find the money to build the rest of the village. Guell and Gaudi moved into those two houses and they still stand there to this day.

This is the large mosaic lizard fountain who guards the entrance and steps leading to the Doric Temple which was originally intended to be a marketplace in the park. The Gaudi Museum is also housed there in the houses that looks like they are made of gingerbread and that is where he lived during the latter stages of his life. 

We found that the best way to see Parc Guell was to wander through the small walkways and paths that lead around the buildings and sculptures, through the flower beds. It is usually very busy but we went early in the morning to avoid the huge tourist rush later in the day.

Our apartment was very close to the park so we walked there but you can also get there on the Link 3 Metro to Lessops or Vallcarca. I would recommend buying tickets in advance online as there are often big queues as they only let a certain number of people into the park per half hour.

We really loved walking around Parc Guell and I think it is an essential experience when you are in Barcelona!

Reselling Haul | Making Money

Monday, 12 March 2018

I'm back with another reselling haul! This is the stock that I bought in February so I'm going to go through it and talk about what I bought to resell! I now have so much stock at the moment so I am limiting myself on what I buy during March as I need to sell what I have at the moment! I think this is most of what I bought in February but I think a few clothing hauls might be missing as I may have listed them before taking photos for the blog!

These were bought at a car boot sale (as were most of the first few things). I bought these all from 1 lady and I am hoping to make some Disney/Dreamworks DVD bundles, these were all £1 each.

This is a official Disney Winnie the Pooh money box. It's not in the best condition but it was only £1 so I was willing to punt on it!

I was really excited about this! This is a Sylvanian Families Bluebell Cottage. I really love selling Sylvanian Families but a lot of people who collect sylvanians or whose kids play with them know of the value so, like Lego it is hard to get a really good deal on them. I usually buy them in big job lots and work with them as I really like selling Sylvanians as I used to play with them when I was little. This however was at a car boot sale and was only £1!

These were all the clothing bits I bought at the car boot sales! Car boot sales in Edinburgh often have really good clothing brands so here we have Monsoon, French Connection, Karen Millen and Zara! All of these ranged between £1-£2!

This was 99p in a Oxfam charity shop and it is a set of 9 trading cards from Disney World in California. I really like selling Disney things and they often sell really well so I thought for 99p it could be good!

A DVD and book from charity shops earlier this week - both are to go in bundles and both were £1.99.

This was hidden under the children's section and it is a Lego Duplo set! I have recently just sold the set of Lego I bought in my last post so I had a go on this set even though it was a little more than the other set as it was £4.99.

This was a Monsoon dress in a size 18 in a charity shop. I thought it looked really pretty and larger sizes often sell well on eBay so I took a punt on this dress for £4.50!

This was a gumtree pick up. It was a set of miscellaneous sylvanian families! It includes a family and some other figures, the nursery and two shops so it will definitely be worth the £10 I paid as the field mouse family alone is worth that!

This was an eBay job lot of Build a Bear workshop clothing. I paid £35 for this job lot and it includes 15 outfits and 12 pairs of shoes! The Build a Bear Workshop Bear I bought in a charity shop last haul went really quickly so I took a chance on this job lot and I think it could have some good money in it!

This was another eBay job lot of Polly Pockets. I bought a Polly Pocket job lot a couple of months ago and it sold really well so I thought I would get another one and see what happens!

So this is pretty much what I bought in February to resell! There's obviously quite a lot here and so I will not be buying anything else to resell until everything I currently have is listed!!

Cologne by Segway | Travel

Saturday, 3 March 2018

At the end of February we had a week off from university and so my flat mate Julia and I spent a few days in Cologne , Germany! Whilst we were there we were lucky enough to be invited on a Segway Tour of Cologne which was so much fun and I thought I would do a blog post to tell you guys about it!

Our tour started at 10am with us meeting our guide Paula at one of the squares in the centre of Cologne. We walked back to the offices with her where she taught us how to use the segway. Julia was a bit nervous at first as neither of us had ever used a segway before but we soon got the hang of it!

One of the things that we really loved about the Segway tour was how much more of the city you get to see. I always make sure to do some kind of tour when I go to a new city, usually it's one of the free walking tours as they are easy and usually pretty good! This time we decided to go with the segway tour and it was so much fun and we got to see so much more of the city than we would have on a walking tour. It was a three hour long tour so a similar length to the walking tours but of course, as you are on a segway, you cover much more ground. We went up and down the river into newer parts of the city, we crossed over to the trade centre (which we learnt was actually one of the first deportation camps in WW2) and of course we saw lots of the old town.

Paula was a great tour guide, she was so funny and really knowledgable about the city and it's history and throughout she asked us if we had any more questions and wanted to make the tour as special as possible for us. It really was an incredibly fun morning and definitely a great way to get to know the city! The only downside for us was that it was quite cold and because you are stood on the segway in the same position, it can make you a little bit frozen but of course that is nothing against the tour itself, just maybe go for taking a segway tour in the summer if you're thinking about it or dress very warmly!

I really would recommend the segway tour in Cologne, it was so much fun learning how to use the segway and doing a tour on it meant we covered so much of Cologne and learnt the history of lots of different areas of the city. Definitely check Segway Tours Cologne out if you head to Cologne or other cities in Germany as the same group also run Segway Tours in Berlin, Munich and many more cities in Germany!

Trakai Castle, Lithuania | Travel

Monday, 12 February 2018

This time last year, my friend and I visited Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania and whilst we were there we visited this beautiful castle, Trakai Castle which is just outside the city. Trakai was originally built in 1409 and is miraculously still in wonderful condition due to several phases of building and reconstruction so it now is a large tourist attraction for visitors to Lithuania. 

It was originally built to help protect the city of Vilnius from crusading knights of the Baltic regions and later, when it was no longer needed for military purposes it was remade into a Ducal palace which was its main use until the 17th century. 

Several different cultures played a role in the design of this beautiful castle as the reconstruction in the 20th century was started by Soviet Russia and continued by the Germans and the Polish up until the end of the Second World War. This has resulted in a beautiful castle that could easily have been taken out of a picture book. It has beautiful towers and so many nooks and crannies to explore.

There is the museum inside the castle which is really informative and tells you all about the castle's history and then the surrounding area is lovely just to walk around and take in the views. The castle is actually on an island in the middle of Lake Galve and when we visited, last February, it was very cold and snowing so the lake was actually frozen solid and people were playing games on it! 

Trakai is really easy to get to from Vilnius, we just took a bus straight from the city centre bus station! From the bus stop there is then a nice walk through the town to find the castle which, for us, was lovely at the beginning of the day but after we had been in the snow for about 4 hours, we were quite cold and wet on the walk back!

We would definitely recommend Trakai as a day trip if you visit Vilnius. We especially loved the it was snowing when we visited as it added to the fairytale feel!

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