For a few years now I've had a playlist on iTunes that has seen me through some tough times.

In my opinion, it's the perfect mix of 'songs to make you cry' and 'songs to inspire and motivate you to feel better'. I've compiled them all here on Spotify for the days when you're just not feeling it.

Cheer up playlist - Spotify

Snow Patrol - This Isn't Everything You Are

A&E - Goldfrapp

Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield

Here With Me - The Killers

Hurts Like Heaven - Coldplay

fun. - Carry On

Rihanna - Stay

Kiss You - One Direction

Embers - Just Jack

Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap

Cheer Up, Boys - Foo Fighters

It's a Beautiful Day - Michael Buble

Wings - Little Mix

White Blank Page - Mumford & Sons

Gold Rush - Ed Sheeran

Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry

Come on Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runner

If this and a bag of gigantic milk chocolate buttons from M&S doesn't cheer you up, I honestly don't know what will. Enjoy!




How to create a vintage-inspired gallery wall

Having moved in almost a year ago, we've threatened to start a gallery wall in the living room for a very long time. Last month, we finally got around to re-painting and there's now a wonderful collection of eclectic frames on our wall and I couldn't be happier about it.

Collect a few frames or pieces you like or fit with a 'theme' if that's your plan, whether it be from high street shops or vintage fairs. Ours consist of various gold or wooden frames from Homesense (the UK's absolute best homeware store in my opinion), Ebay, and charity shops.

Here are some tips on what to do with these once you've built up a small collection!

Various eclectic photo frames for a gallery wall

Plan, plan, plan

Prep these various bits and pieces before you even think about picking up a hammer...

1. Paint/clean/dust the area you're planning to use

2. Check that all photo frames have a hook (and whether it hangs portrait or landscape! We had to do some hook surgery...)

3. Decide on a shape or rough layout you want to aim for - Pinterest some inspiration for this, there's a whole host of ideas on this board here

Mirror and prep for gallery wall display

Get the right gear

Make sure you have all relevant tools - this should include at least:

Paper & blu-tack; fold paper into the size of each frame and stick it on the wall in a rough order. It allows you to move the placement of frames around before committing to a final layout.
I found this method so, so useful.

Nails and hooks, depending on the wall surface you're working with. You might want screws if you're installing items other than frames or mirrors.

Hammer, for obvious reasons

Spirit level and a tape measure, to ensure the frames all end up straight and a good distance apart, even if you're going for that 'mismatched, oh i just threw it up there' feel

Hammer in action for gallery wall installation

Check as you go

It's handy to have two people working on this, if there's quite a large number of frames to put up. Myself and David could step back and give individual opinions on where we liked each frame first then we'd just put it where I decided anyway.

My advice? Start in the middle.

As the mirror was our largest piece, we decided on the central point of the wall and where to hang this first before working around it. It meant we could work outwards and use more space to the left or right of this, if we needed to.

Don't just put all of them up once you're happy with an initial layout. Check you're happy after every frame and make sure you re-measure if you're not.

Close up of gallery wall photo frames

Fill your frames

We still have a couple of empty frames that I plan to print some holiday photographs for. The rest include a piece of art David bought me one birthday, a printed book page from Etsy and a couple of quirky postcards from my travels.

You could, like us, put up personal pictures or memories from places you've been. If you want to go for the 'pinterest-y inspirational quote' look though, there are loads of places to find great prints.

Some of my favourites are:

Nouvelle Daily, Paperchase and Ohh Deer if you want to check these out!

Completed gallery wall

I love the mismatched theme and it definitely matches the rest of our interior. Hopefully, this post was useful and you feel inspired to create your own gallery wall, be in vintage or super modern.




Twenty things I've learnt in my early twenties

I turned 24 this month.

Not only is it a year until I'm officially a 'mid-twenty' but this is the last year I have to check the '16-24' age bracket box when filling in forms and I don't think I'm ready for that.

On reflection of my recent 'adult' years - when I'm still very unsure of what being an adult actually consists of - I've put together some of the most important things I've learnt.

1. 24 year olds do NOT have their shit together

2. Young adults are broke. Always.

3. We've come full circle and still wear babygrows bodies

4. Travelling the world is not as feasible as it may seem

5. Sometimes, wearing a t-shirt, jeans and converse is acceptable night out attire.

6. A 9-5 office job is actually a welcome change from a weekend job in retail/hospitality

7. University isn't necessary but definitely fun

8. Living by yourself isn't all it's cracked up to be

9. At least one of your friends will get engaged/have a child/get a mortgage and you'll feel the pressure

10. You'll have an epitome at some point that your life needs to change

11. Tattoos hurt but are so worth it

12. One night stands are not as fun as Tinder will have you believe

13. A lot of the friends you make will move away and leave a friend-shaped hole in your heart until you whatsapp them for a few hours at a time

14. If you've been a string bean for your entire teenage life, you'll realise now you actually need to put effort into keeping your figure

15. You stop ordering pints (well, sometimes) and start ordering bottles of wine

16. You develop a love/hate relationship for people your age who have children

17. Having a nap > going out

18. It's still not okay to wear pedal pushers

19. Enjoying giving presents more than receiving them is actually a thing

20. I'm still not responsible enough to look after a pet

Do you relate? Let me know. If you're 25 or over, let me know what else I actually have to look forward to.




View across the Cameron Highland tea plantations


One of the highlights of my trip to Malaysia last year (read more about it here) was visiting the Cameron Highlands. So many people said it was a must visit and that they had a fantastic time, so we booked a coach from KL and stayed there for a couple of nights.

On arrival in Tanah Rata, there were lots of budget accommodation options in the area to choose from exactly where the coach dropped us off. I'd highly recommend staying somewhere in the area as it's close to shops and restaurants and all coach trips pick up from that exact spot too. If you're looking to enjoy some local cuisine, try out Ferm Nyonya for a traditional 'steamboat' meal.

Steamboat means they basically bring out a ton of different ingredients (from squid and noodles, to eggs and meat) and a pot of water on a stove, for you to add the food at your leisure. It's such a good way of socialising with people and really experiencing a meal out. Although it took us almost three hours (!) to eat ours, we loved the whole idea.

The owner was wonderful in talking us through the ingredients and the order in which we should cook them, as we must've looked at it all in amazement when we were presented with it!

Steamboat meal experience

Unlike most places in the world, Cameron Highlands is somewhere I would hugely recommend going on an organised tour as it's quite a difficult journey. For the price you pay in Malaysia and the amount of places you get to visit on the way, it's amazing value anyway. There's a tourist information point at the coach drop off in Tanah Rata, which is where we booked our full day trip.

We were taken to a butterfly farm, rose gardens, a strawberry farm and a buddhist temple. The main highlight of the day however was exploring the tea plantations and a visit to the Boh tea factory.

Decor at the tea plantation factory

Our wonderful tour guide actually stopped on the way to the the tea factory where we stepped out of the van (precariously, as the road is ridiculously narrow and the plantations are quite a drop...) and got the chance to take some amazing pictures.

We stopped for breakfast here as well as a cup of their finest home brews and got to sip it with the most beautiful backdrop of tea plantations. This is the kind of place you see on Pinterest and think 'WOW' and I can guarantee, it's somewhere you'll be so glad you've had the opportunity to see for yourself.

Standing with a tea plantation backdrop in the Cameron Highlands

Nasi Lemak breakfast in Cameron Highlands

Having tea across the plantations

Following this we ventured into the mossy forest, named so as it's so high above sea level the precipitation allows moss to cover the entire area. There occurred some questionable wandering through this forest as tourists aren't actually allowed here between October and April. But rules are for breaking, apparently...

Mossy forest in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

If you're looking for places to visit if you're in this beautiful part of the world, the Cameron Highlands are an absolute must. There is so much to see and do here over a couple of days so try to make it a stop on your route!

If you want to find out more about travelling in Malaysia, see my posts about my time in Kuala Lumpur and Penang and let me know what you think!



MAY GOALS // 2016

Eat more

So this is not the typical health related goal you'd expect in a monthly resolution but this month is Leeds Indie Food festival. It's only right that I pledge to enjoy this and eat my own body weight in brunch and burgers. Not only this, I'm attempting to actually eat what I should in relation to fitness classes and the gym. When this means carb loading? I'm totally in.

Be kind(er)

I don't say this as if being kind is a huge new venture for me, I like to think I'm quite considerate as it is! I just mean I want to spread a little more happiness around, whether it be for strangers or friends.

Dream bigger

These days, young people have so many opportunities they can take advantage of no matter their background. I read an article on Career Girl Daily that inspired me to maybe dream a little bit bigger in terms of career (read it here) and you know what? It's perfectly possible for us all to live the life the way we imagine it.

Okay so maybe we won't all pack up our things and emigrate to a sunny island somewhere but we definitely have a say in what we do with our lives. It's short, let's do what we love and what we're good at and take it somewhere.

Prepare for Summer

That means a new(ish) wardrobe, planning trips and festivals and generally looking forward to my favourite season. It also means hitting the gym and doing more yoga. It also covers saving a bit of money to actually spend in the sunshine. So, a lot, basically.

What are your plans for May?