Honeymooning: Kuala Lumpur


Two months ago we were in Malaysia on honeymoon. The time has flown by so I figured it was probably time I actually shared some of the pictures. The process of sorting through hundreds of photos has really made me wish we were back there, but, y'know, home's nice too *desperately tries to convince herself of this fact*

We spent the first four nights of our trip in Kuala Lumpur, so without further ado here's the pics:


Whenever anyone's asked me how the honeymoon was, my first response has been, 'The food was AMAZING'. Not sure what that says about me (or Pete for that matter) but it really, really was. Malaysia has big Chinese and South Indian populations, so there's a real mix of food. So obviously these posts will be littered with food pictures. Obviously. We kicked off with Chinese food from the Lot 10 food court.

Monday arrived and we kicked off the trip with a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. I'm not normally a massive fan of them but Pete is and apparently marriage is about this thing called compromise. Who knew? Anyway, it turned out to be a good way to see the city and figure out where stuff actually was. It also turned out to be a good way to get a hefty dose of KL traffic pollution straight to the throat, but you can't win 'em all.


First stop: Botanic Gardens and the Butterfly Park.



Second stop: Dataran Merdeka and the Sultan Samad Abdul Building. All the colonial stuff makes me feel pretty uncomfortable to be honest, but I did enjoy the contrast between the super-modern and Victorian-style buildings.



Third stop (I think): KL Tower. I really liked the tower - although it was a bit unnerving having to sign a legal disclaimer before visiting the level that was open to the air.


This was the scariest glass floor I've ever stood on. I think because it was part of a box that jutted out from the actual tower, rather than part of the floor itself. Seriously, it was awful. If it wasn't for my holiday tradition of feeling the fear and doing it anyway I would not have stood there.


Once I recovered from Tuesday morning's #TrumpPanic, we dragged ourselves into a taxi (don't judge, KL is not pedestrian friendly) and to the Islamic Arts Museum. 



The building was absolutely stunning, and I took approximately 675 photos of domes, jewellery, wall tiles, clothes, swords, fountains... Seriously, it was stunning, and so peaceful. I think I needed it to heal my shattered brain.



Next up was a walk (along non-existent pavements and in extreme heat) to Little India. 


Vegetable thali FTW.


After cowering from a pretty epic downpour. we headed to...


...the Petronas Towers! 



Our final day in Kuala Lumpur was probably my favourite. First up: Batu Caves (top tip: don't pay for a tour, the train is mega-easy).


(This holiday did not ease my fear of animals.)


Temple Cave



We did a tour of the Dark Cave which I would definitely recommend - this is the cave that is protected and the tour taught me loads about the snakes, bats and assorted creepy crawlies that live in there. Also our tour guide was hilarious and made the best use of similes ever.




Once evening came it was time for the thing I'd been looking forward to the most...

We booked this before we went and IMO it was so worth the money. There were three of us on the tour, and our guide took us to a hawker centre, a food market and an Indian cafe, all of which we would never have discovered or ventured to alone. Yes, that is deep-fried Oreo ice cream you can see...


Told you I am all about the food. 

Next up (once I've finished drooling over the photos): Penang,

The London List



Ah, London. The best and worst thing about London is that you can never do everything. I've been in (outer) London for nearly eight years now and there is still so much I need to get around to seeing. Now that we're seriously contemplating moving away, a sense of urgency is creeping up on me. So, here's the list of London-y things that I still really, really, really want to do:



Do a 'Hidden London' tour of an abandoned tube station. I love the London Underground and I really want to have this experience. Actually, putting this on the list is a little bit of a cheat, because in June last year I spent three hours in a virtual queue, and in March we'll be touring the Clapham South deep level shelter. Fingers crossed it'll be worth the wait!


Have a cream tea at the Fan Museum in Greenwich. I've heard it's a great cream tea, and who doesn't love perusing 'the first museum dedicated to fans'?! OK, maybe we'll just have the cream tea. It's no secret that I'm partial to a cream tea.



Have my photo taken on Platform 9 3/4. And visit the shop, obviously. 

While I'm there, I could (haha) get a Eurostar to Paris. This is the most far-fetched item on the list, but as I love trains, it has to at least go on the list.

Swim outdoors, either in the Serpentine or a lido. This is obviously weather-dependent; I'm not completely nuts (when it comes to outdoor swimming anyway).

Visit the Science Museum. I went once, before I even lived in London, and didn't make it any further than the ground floor. Museum fail.



Visit the British Library. This definitely comes under the category of, 'Seriously Liz, why have you not done this yet?' 

Do a tour of Highgate Cemetery.

Visit the National Gallery. Actually, I don't know if it's any good, but it feels like something I should actually do!


This list has basically just turned into an expose of weird stuff I like: trains, graveyards, cake and books. I'm at peace with that. Hit me up with your London must-dos, I'm sure there'll be stuff I haven't put on the list...

Overwhelmed by Ideas

You know the story: January 1st rolls around and suddenly your feed is full of everyone else's resolutions (except they're called goals now). Honestly, it all leaves me a bit overwhelmed and left behind. It's not that I don't have any ideas about what my own resolutions goals should be, it's more that I have about 54637 ideas and I'm not convinced any of them are any good.



I often feel this way. Creatively, I feel like I don't really push myself very much; I don't make much effort to develop my blog, I've never managed more than 3000 words of a novel, I have more unfinished sewing projects than...someone with a lot of unfinished sewing projects. I've written before about how I want to take action, to live by my politics, and sometimes I do, but often I find excuses not to. 

Too often, fear gets in the way. I'll have an idea, play around with it in my head, get excited, start thinking about how it could fail, convince myself it will fail, move onto another idea, play around with it in my head....rinse, lather, repeat. Round and round the vicious circle I go.

I want 2017 to be the year that I actually try. The year that I chose some of the better ideas, focus on them and (most importantly) actually DO them. Which, neatly, leads me onto my word for 2017:

action


This year I want to try and bring a couple of ideas to fruition. They might fail, I might fail, but failing is way better than being to scared to try in the first place (or so I'll be trying to tell myself this year). At least then I can move onto something different, until I find something that works. Screw you, fear.



Yep, I totally lured you into reading another '2017 goals' post, I'm an awful person.


2016: It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

2016 was awesome, and it was utter dog shit. It's been a year where I did incredible things, and had once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It's also been a year where two of my closest friends have experienced serious health problems and where I've become increasingly convinced that we're now sliding down the slippery slope towards nuclear armageddon.

My year in a nutshell: me, on my dream honeymoon, in Malaysia, waking up at 3am, getting excited about the day ahead, scrolling through my phone, coming across a HuffPo article about what Putin could do in Europe, spending the next four hours pinioned to the bed in panic attack/doom spiral mode. Pete talked me round and we had a lovely day. Holiday of a lifetime, with added #TrumpPanic. That was so 2016.

I figured that there's enough doom on the internet so here, selfishly, personally, are the good, no, amazing things that happened to me in 2016:





I got married. Thanks to the generosity of our guests we raised a shit ton for the Maytree Suicide Respite Centre in the process.



I had a super relaxing hotel stay (once we'd found the damn car keys). I WILL NEVER CALL IT A MINI-MOON.




I went to my first and (given the difficulties of procuring a ticket) possibly last Glastonbury.


I saw Elton John in Leicester (and met Janet the next day)!



I went to the Isles of Scilly with Pete and Tom.


I did a lot of work I'm really proud of.

I came off all my medication and finished therapy and I'm still here.


I ran a 10k, 7.5k, 26.2 miles in a month, walked the Circle Line and...



... jumped out of a plane!



I went to Malaysia and, once I'd managed to stop thinking about Trump for more than 5 minutes, I genuinely relaxed for the first time in months and months.



Finally, if you're craving some good news (who isn't?) that's not just me rabbiting on about my life, I wholeheartedly recommend this TED Talk (stick with it).

See you on the flip side (or 'next year').

Yes, It's a Blog Post About Blogging.

I’ve been thinking about blogging recently. Specifically about what I want to do with this blog. In my head I went through a brief phase of thinking I should find a niche (Mental health? Books? Travel? Food? London? TV?) and get serious, turn this into something that could start bringing opportunity, something that could bring me a bit of part-time freelance moo-lah in the future. I had the ideas, the start of the vision, but…. My heart wasn’t in it.

Basically, I’m someone who values downtime (as in, actual brain-dead downtime, not ‘hobby blogging’ for three hours every evening after work) and the thought of putting in that much time just doesn’t really appeal to me. I like being able to blog intermittently, about what I like, with poor quality photos and swear-y, ellipsis-filled chat.

I think these days it’s really tempting to fall into a trap of thinking that a blog needs to be a certain thing. Especially now that IRL people understand (sort of) what a blog is. It’s easy to fall into a trap, thinking that you haven’t got a real blog if you don’t get paid/receive free stuff/have perfect photos/know what your DA score is. I should know, I actually contemplated getting some wallpaper samples to use as photo backgrounds (it’s ok, I pulled myself back from the brink).

I guess the thing is to create something that you’re proud of. And really only you can be the judge of that. Me? I’m proud of ranting, talking about my mental health, documenting the little things and making lovely, like-minded Internet Friends. And you? If you’re proud of the same stuff, that’s awesome, let’s be Internet Friends. And if you’re proud of make up reviews and wishlists, then that is genuinely great. I might not read it, but that’s fine because we’re on The Internet and The Internet is bloody massive.


I appear to have written a whole post about how nothing’s going to change around here. C’est la vie. 

My Body Positive Instagram Heroes #MyBoPoChallenge



As promised last week, here are some of my BoPo Instagram heroes. I really do believe that seeing more images of diverse, beautiful bodies is such a great first step towards feeling more body positive. And it's super easy to do! Winning. This is definitely, definitely not an exhaustive list, but it might be a good starting point. So, my absolute favourites:


Megan's one of my absolute favourite people that I follow on Instagram. She's recovered from anorexia and her journey and self-love is hugely inspirational.


A photo posted by 👙EFF YOUR BEAUTY STANDARDS™ðŸ‘ŠðŸ¼ (@effyourbeautystandards) on


Eff Your Beauty Standards is a great re-post account that shares body positive images. It's really good for seeing diverse images and for finding new BoPo heroes!




Jes is one of the big deals of the BoPo movement, and that's a totally well-earned compliment. Her blog is awesome, and you should definitely check out her body positive resources page if you're in need of further information/inspiration.


A photo posted by Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga) on


Valerie aka Big Gal Yoga is so inspirational, I love seeing her posts and being reminded that exercise, moving your body and flexibility are not just reserved for thin people.


A photo posted by Mama Cāx (@caxmee) on

Mama Cax's pictures are absolutely stunning and I think disabled bodies are such an important part of the body positive movement that seem to often get overlooked, so her account is super-refreshing.

And some other mentions (basically, I got fed up of embedding Instagram images):
I've been a fan of Brittany for a long time and her TED Talk is all kinds of awesome.
Melissa looks totally awesome all the time, and I'm pretty sure it was her that started the brilliant #donthatetheshake hashtag.
Bethany is queen of the selfie, and her outfit posts are waaaaaay more kick ass than anything I could ever achieve (but I can dream, right?)
Britt shares real images and outfits that I want to steal. She also a fellow mental health warrior!

So, what do you think? Let me know if I've missed anyone awesome, am always up for finding more BoPo heroes. Right, I'm off to look up synonyms for 'awesome' and 'inspiration'. BRB.

P.S. If you're joining me in #MyBoPoChallenge, please use the hashtag so I can see the fun commence!