Quick Update…

busy

Hi guys,

I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. I hope you are all well. I have to apologise in advance because this is going to be a rather short and quick one. I just thought I’d give you an update on my life, which I hope, would explain my silence for the past months.

As some of you already know, I got married two weeks ago. It was a very beautiful and happy day. But the weeks, months prior to the big day were so stressful and awfully busy. Planning a wedding is a full time job in itself. So it really felt like I was doing two full time jobs for a while. It was hectic. Beyond words. While I still find myself day dreaming about my wedding day, I have to say, I’m glad it’s over.

My whole family flew to Sydney (from Mauritius) for the wedding and they’ve been here for three weeks now, on holiday. Having all of them here with me is priceless and I’m trying to make the most of every single minute with them. I’ve been on annual leave since my wedding, spending lots of quality time with my hubby and my family. So as you can imagine, life is really, REALLY good right now J

I promise I’ll write a longer blog soon. Let me know what you’d like me to blog about. I could use some inspiration. A few of you have sent me private messages re blogging about my wedding. I’m happy to share the deets of my planning, where I got stuff from, tips on how to stay organised etc. Please let me know if it’s something you’d like to read about.

Much love,

~C

Reflecting on 2013

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Now that Christmas is over and the all the hype about the Christmas lunches, dinners and gifts have dissipated, it’s that time of the year again. You know, that time where you reflect on the past year and start thinking about your resolutions and aspirations for next year.

2013 was a challenging year for many people I know. And it was no different for me. It was a difficult year in many ways but I learned so much about myself in the past 12 months. You’d think that by my age, I’d already know myself inside out, but I think you never stop learning about yourself. What you knew about yourself five years ago doesn’t necessarily hold true today, because we evolve. People change. We are faced with new situations and we discover new things about ourselves.

As much as I’m happy this year is almost over, I’m also grateful for the key learnings:

- Friendship: Quality over quantity

I value friendship very highly. I love my friends and I’m the loyale type of friend, i.e once I’ve decided you’re my friend, I’ll stick by you no matter what. And 2013 had taught me that it’s not always the right approach to friendship. Any friendship is a give-and-take relationship. While it’s great to give without expecting anything in return, you also need to realise when the ‘friendship’ is a one-way street – where you’re only giving and not getting anything back. Is it worth it? Are those kind of friendships enriching your life in any way, shape or form? I made the decision to cut out those one-way friendships from my life because it just sucks up a lot of my energy and not necessarily giving me any. It was hard, I was hurt but it’s probably one of the best decisions I made in 2013.

By doing that, I was able to focus more on real friends and I’m so happy to see some friendships blossom and further developed. I’m so grateful for it and I understand that for this to happen, I had to re-assess my friendships and re-direct my energy towards people who do bring a plus to my life, and enrich my life everyday (special shout out to my lovely friend Melissa <3. Thank you <3)

- Being genuine and true to yourself, all.the.time isn’t very smart

Those who know me well, know how genuine of a person I am. While it is something I used to be very proud of, I now understand that being genuine all the time, in all situations, is just dumb. And all those years, I have been that dumb, genuine person. Some people are more powerful than you and truth and fairness don’t always (almost never) win if you enter a battle with them. So, pick your battles very carefully and just play the game.

- Family first. Always.

While this isn’t anything new for me, I realised even more this year how family is the best thing in the world. Nobody outside of your family will ever care as much for you or genuinely want what’s best for you other than your own family. And no matter what challenges life throws at you, if you are blessed to have family support, you can overcome almost anything.

- Swallow your pride and be the bigger person

Pride is another flaw of mine. I’m stubborn and I will stand up for what I believe in. 2013 has taught to swallow my pride if I want to be the bigger/better person. The satisfaction you get from being the bigger person outweighs the satisfaction you get from keeping your pride.

- Being healthy significantly improves your quality of life

Hi, I’m Miss Obvious! Duh. I know, but I had to include this as one of my key learnings because until you experience what healthy feels like, you don’t really know how much better your life can be. I’m not a healthy freak, but just getting healthier has already improved so many aspects of my life – metabolism, skin, my menstrual cycle, my fitness level, body shape etc. I cannot recommend it enough- get healthy, it’s worth it!

With all those key learnings, there’s no way 2014 is going to be a bad year. I’m excited for the new year, there are so many things to look forward to!

Happy new year to all of you, wish you all the best!

Xx

~C

Dear Santa

Christmas is in exactly four weeks!! I love Christmas. It’s by far my favourite time of the year. I have so many vivid memories of Christmas at home. When I was a kid, Christmas meant presents, presents, presents! And this hasn’t changed much today haha.

What’s on your wish list for Christmas this year? Here’s mine (hoping the fiancé reads this blog ;P )


• Miu Miu Metal Mix Cateye Red Glitter Sunglasses

In. Love. The red, the glitter, the shape…*sigh*

miu 2 miu3

• Michael Kors Parker MK5491 watch in Rose Gold or Silver

I’ve been drooling over this watch for a few months now. Come on Santa, be nice!

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• My own name necklace
Speaking of jewellery, this is a rather recent obsession of mine. I never had a name necklace. And I’d love one. In white gold. With diamonds. Please. If it’s too much to ask for, silver with cubic zirconia will make me just as happy :)

julia
• Glasshouse candle – Tahaa (Vanilla and Caramel)
Scented candles are always a good gift option for me because I love to burn them in my house. Glasshouse is one of my favourite brands for scented candle and adding Tahaa to my collection is on my wish list this Christmas. I suck at describing scents/odours but do you know this beautiful smell every time you walk into a Peter Alexander store? That’s Tahaa!! It’s a yummy smell.

GH

• Prada Saffiano Lux tote
Of course my wish list wouldn’t be complete without a handbag. I very badly need a new handbag for work. I want want want the Prada Saffiano Lux tote double zip. It’s perfect for work because
1. It’s big enough
2. It’s a structured bag with compartments
3. It’s classic: simple, classy and chic

Prada1 Prada2

• Ted Baker Titiana Checkbook Wallet
It’s pink and has a bow, what’s there not to like?

TB1 TB2 TB3

We all have our crosses to bear

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I believe no matter how blessed we are in life, we all have our own crosses to bear. Life comes as a package deal with burdens. It’s just the nature of life and there’s no getting out of it. As much as I prefer to focus only on the positives, there are times when the bad things are so in your face, they’re hard to ignore.

I’ve been facing a few challenges in my life lately that really got me thinking about life and its burdens. While everyone has problems, we don’t all deal with them in the same way. I find it funny (not Ha-ha funny) how we almost never talk about our problems. It’s almost like we don’t allow ourselves to ‘complain’. Or sometimes, we think the less we talk about our problems, the less real they’ll be, until they eventually miraculously disappear. Or is that just me?

At the end of the day, we are the only ones to know the weight of our crosses (some carry more than just one). There are crosses of all sizes and made of different materials – financial burdens, a career that’s not taking off, drug addictions, death of a close family member, depression, terminal illnesses, infertility, toxic in-laws, troubled marriage, divorce etc. We all face hardships at some point.

I’m catholic and I believe in God. But I’m not a saint. I sin every single day, I don’t always go to church, I don’t know the bible back-to-front and I don’t always live my life by the 12 commandments. But I believe in God. And I believe that God gives you only what you can handle.

I stumbled across a short story lately about a man who couldn’t carry his cross anymore because it was way too heavy for him. God asked him if he wanted to trade for another cross. The man was thrilled and accepted the offer. So he entered a room filled with crosses of different sizes, colours, materials and weight. There were thousands of them in that room alone. The man took his time, looking at all of them, touching and carrying them on his back to test the weight. He finally saw a small cross made of feathers in the corner of the room, hidden under much bigger crosses. He pulled it out and exclaimed “That’s the one I want! It’s perfect for me!” And God said “But my son, that’s exactly the cross you came in with…”

We can get so bogged down with our crosses sometimes, because let’s face it, at times they are quite heavy and we don’t have the energy to pay attention to the fact that everyone has things they are carrying with them through life. It’s Life, it’s a journey,  but it is also miraculous and wonderful when we take a step back and realise how fortunate we actually are. There is always someone with a heavier cross to carry. But the secret to getting the strength you need to carry your cross, is in fact to look around you instead of focusing so much on your little person and your misery. Listen to others, be compassionate and feel for them, give them a helping hand whenever you can…only then you’ll be able to say “Thank you God for giving me THIS cross. I’ll carry it with pride and dignity”. I’m not saying to draw the strength from other people’s misery, but just to realise that maybe, just maybe, your cross is a blessing, and that if you were given the opportunity to trade for another cross, you’d probably choose to get yours back.

10 things to completely cut out from your diet

diet

I recently discovered something new about myself – I have a quite addictive personality. What does that mean? Whenever I find myself a new interest/hobby, I become obsessed with it to the point of wanting to know everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) about it.

My most recent obsession is however a much more constructive one – clean diet! I’ve been reading sooooo much about the importance of eating clean and I want to share some of my findings with you because I honestly don’t think people realise what they’re doing to their bodies by eating so much crap. You might think you’re healthy today, but you can’t see what’s brewing inside your body.

Just as a side note, by no means am I being judgmental in this post. I was the unhealthiest of you all just a few months ago. Although I have made some drastic changes, I’m still not eating as healthy as I probably should. And I’m not trying to position myself as an expert in the field, although I might come across as such. My sister and fiance find me very irritating whenever I’m trying to ‘share my wisdom and knowledge’ about what they should and shouldn’t eat. But I’m ok with that. I just say it anyway :)

A bad diet plays a MASSIVE role in many really bad diseases/illnesses like cancer, heart problems/failures, strokes, diabetes and the list is endless. If you’re serious about improving your diet, below is a list of some of the things you should completely – I repeat, COMPLETELY- wipe out from your diet. As in, never, ever eat the foods below because they are super bad for you. I’m not talking about losing weight here, I just talking about eating healthy. I could add many more to that list but if you can start by wiping out the below, you’re already in a really good place.

1. Fast food
That’s a no-brainer I think. Any type of fast food (Mc Donalds, KFC, Subway, Pizza, etc) are all full of preservatives, sugar, saturated fat and sodium. Avoid fast food like plague. Even the seemingly ‘healthy’ fast foods like Subway, Red Rooster are packed with sugar and sodium. Stay away.

2. Processed meat
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Bottom line: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. We should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of our lives. Ham, salami, hot dogs, bacon, frozen beef patties, prosciutto, chorizo, pepperoni, etc? BAAAAAAD!!! Processed meat is cured with the use of preservatives like salt, nitrates and smoking and is believed to cause cancerous changes in cells. They are usually manufactured with a cancer-causing ingredient known as sodium nitrite. This is used as a colour fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing elements in the body, leading to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them. So, do yourself and your family a favour, bin all processed meat you can find in your fridge at home.

3. Any food containing a high level of preservatives
It means, anything that comes out of a jar, can or packet – canned tomato, frozen pizza or pies, pre-made dips sold in supermarkets, sliced white bread, canned soup, frozen lasagna etc etc. In a nutshell, most food we consider to be “convenient’ when we don’t have time to cook, usually contains a lot of preservatives. We all have those days where we could use an extra hour or two in the day and in this instance, personally, (on a good day) I’d rather eat boiled eggs on a piece of rye bread.

4. Stock cubes or the likes of Campbell’s ‘real’ stock
Try to make your own stock/broth. It’s not that hard and you can find some really good recipes online. The ones that you buy in supermarkets are usually full of salt and preservatives. You can even make your own stock cubes – stored in an ice cube tray in your freezer!

5. Soy sauce
The most common soy sauces sold in supermarkets and served at the majority of restaurants are made in two days or less. Here’s how they do it. If you really love your Chinese takeaway, you might want to sit down for this. Soybean meal and other corn starches are rapidly reduced to their component amino acids using a high-tech process known as “rapid hydrolysis” or “acid hydrolysis,” which involves heating defatted soy proteins with 18 percent hydrochloric acid for 8 to 12 hours, then neutralising the brew with sodium carbonate. To cut short, commercial soy sauce contain dangerous levels of chemicals. And just to state the obvious, soy sauce contains very high amounts of salt. So adieu Chinese food snif snif. You’ll be greatly missed.

6. Sauces
Ketchup, mayo, dressing, mustard, BBQ sauce, etc. They’re packed with sugar (HFCS – High fructose corn syrup), preservatives, sodium/salt. Everything we’ve already covered.

7. Chips
Chips contain ZERO nutritional value. Plus you’re just eating salt, saturated fats and a lot of (toxic) food colouring! Butylhydroxytoluene, commonly known as BHT, is frequently used by the food industry to prevent rancidity in packaged baked goods and snacks, including chips. This fat-soluble chemical is also used in petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Need I say more?
Chips are my weakness. I love them and I can easily finish a whole big family-size packet by myself.

8. Soft drinks

Another obvious – full of sugar and caffeine. Diet soda is not an acceptable replacement. I’m not too sure what the reason is behind this. So if you do, please share. I just think artificial sweeteners but be just as bad as the sugar in a regular soft drink. They might be less caloric but bad still in my totally un-informed opinion. I might be wrong. Nevertheless, I’d still choose to steer clear of any type of soft drink.

9. Shredded cheese
I have news for you. I was shocked particularly by that one. Shredded cheese contains cellulose (wood pulp)! Yes wood pulp!! Now that can’t be good for your body right? Do we all agree on this? So apparently it’s used to keep the cheese shreds from clumping together, and can also be found in other foods as a thickener. The extra time it takes to grate a block of cheese is definitely worth it to avoid eating wood pulp.

10. Boxed cereals
Many people think cereals are healthy breakfast! They’re not! Boxed cereals are packed with sugar, synthetic vitamins that are actually treated as toxins and get eliminated by the body as quickly as possible. Moreover, cereals are highly “fake” processed foods. If you think cereals are a good breakfast options for your kids, think again.

New ME in the works…

new me

It’s been two months since I’ve changed my lifestyle and eating habits in the hope of a better looking and healthier me. I’ve been very hesitant in blogging about my journey so far because I was (and still am) scared I wouldn’t see it through. Let’s be honest, how many times have we made the decision to eat healthy and/or get fitter but it didn’t last very long? Story of my life!

See, I’m the most unfit person you’ll ever come across and working out is just too much of an effort and too painful for me. That wasn’t always the case, believe it or not. In my teen years, I used to be a swimmer, training with the National Team (Mauritian team) twice per day, Monday to Friday. And even at school, I was very much into sports. But after that, I’m not too sure what happened…let’s just leave it at that.

For those who don’t know me, I’m not fat. I mean, I don’t like to think of myself as fat. But I have extra fat in some places. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. Until about two months ago, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked, but nothing too alarming. I was okay, living my life, eating yummy food, feeling loved and accepted by my loved ones, nothing felt too wrong to prompt me to make a drastic change. Until Thailand.

As some of you might know, I went to Thailand for a short holiday a couple of months ago. Had the time of my life, it was an amazing trip! But while I was in Thailand one day, I was in my hotel room, flicking through the pictures my fiancé took on my digital camera. Before I go any further, it’s probably worth mentioning that I look at myself everyday, several times a day, in the mirror, with and without clothes. So I’m very conscious of what I look like. Anyway. As I was looking through the pictures, of me, in a bikini, I was horrified. HORRIFIED!!! I had a big meltdown. I’ve never felt that way before. I never knew what it was like to ‘hate’ my body so much. My fiancé was a sweetheart and dealt with my meltdown brilliantly saying “As soon as we get back to Sydney, you’ll turn that around and do something about it. But for now, we still have a few days left in Thailand, we’ll just make the most of it, and have fun! I love you and I promise we’ll work on it as soon as we get back to Sydney”. So, I wiped the tears off my cheeks, took a deep breath, and stuffed my face with naughty-yummy food!

Since I got back from Thailand, getting myself a new body has been my priority. I am lucky to have my sister (fitness freak and clean-eater) who is massively helping me out, and my fiance’s support is also priceless. I’m proud to say that I’ve lost almost 8kg in two months, a result I’m very happy with.

I changed my diet completely. I am now 90% clean-eater. One point I’d like to stress is that clean eating is NOT a diet. It’s a lifestyle choice. Put simply, eating clean is the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods only. So I’ve eliminated all processed foods (processed meat, anything that comes out of a jar or packet, sauces) from my diet as well as bad carbs (pasta, rice, bread) and dramatically reduced my intake of salt (sodium) and sugar. So it means, no crisps, no chocolate, no ice cream, no biscuits, no sauces, no dressing, no seasoning etc.

What do I eat? Lots and lots of steamed veggies, leaves (salads) good carbs like cauliflower or sweet potato and protein (beef, chicken, turkey, white fish, prawn. As my snacks, I’ll have a piece of fruit, a slice of rye bread, or greek yoghurt. If I need a sugar fix, I’ll go for organic dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. I also try to add some powerfoods like Quinoa, Chia seeds and LSA (Linseed, Sunflower & Almond meal) to my diet. In a nutshell, I try to limit my sodium and sugar intake to a minimum, cut out carbs and refined sugar and completely cut out any processed food! I also aim to drink 3 litres of water a day. Trust me that’s 756 trips to the loo per day.

Re upping my fitness level, all I’ve been doing are my FBW (Fat Burning Walks). It’s basically power walking for a minimum of 45 minutes on an empty stomach. What’s interesting is that your body doesn’t start to burn fat until 20 minutes into the FBW. So you can see why 30 minutes is not long enough. I’m not sure if it’s my FBW alone, or if combined with my clean diet, but I feel less lethargic and I feel more productive, as in, I get more stuff done. I realise that I need to take my fitness level up a notch but, baby steps…

I can go on and on about my lifestyle change but I don’t want to bore you any further. If you’d like to know more, by all means, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to go into more details.

One amazing thing I want to point out, is healthy weight loss is possible without hardcore exercises. But of course, the result is a lot better if you combine the two. I’m just not that ambitious I guess :)

~C
xxx

Things you need to know when travelling to Thailand

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I know!!! This post is now long overdue!! I’m sorry…life got in the way  Let’s get right into it, no ramblings!

The first thing that’s handy to know is the currency exchange. If you’re from Australia or Mauritius and you’re considering a trip to Thailand but you’re a bit undecided because you’re on a budget? Good news, Thailand is cheap! Everything from food, accommodation, clothes,transport is cheap even for Mauritians! I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but we all know Mauritian rupee is very weak. So relatively speaking, of course Thailand is even cheaper for the Australian than it will be for the Mauritian, but both will still find Thailand cheap. Thai money is called Baht and below is a rough conversion rate:

Currency:

currency

$1 = 30 Baht (In Aug 2013, it was around $27.40)
1 Baht = 1 Mauritian Rupee

Airfares:

airfares

If you’re on a budget and planning an overseas trip, please read on before crossing Thailand off your list! The only steep expense you might have will come from the airfares. I’m not sure how much it is from Mauritius, but from Sydney, in low season (July – September), you’ll be looking at around $1200 for airfares only. In saying that, in Australia you can get so many deals for destinations like Thailand and Bali, you just need to know where to look. I’m always hawking websites like TravelZoo, Groupon, Scoopon for travel deals. When I went to Thailand last month, I bought a deal via Scoopon which was $999 for international return airfares, 10 nights accommodation inc. daily breakfast, return airport transfers! As you can tell, that’s an awesome deal, way too good to pass! However please note that I bought the deal almost 1 year before my actual trip. So if you’re planning today for next month, it might be harder for you to get the best deals.

Accommodation:

accomodation

Whenever I’m travelling, I always think of accommodation as a place where I can sleep at night. I think it’s pointless to look for the most luxurious resort and pay a leg and an arm for a room when you’re not even going to spend that much time at the resort itself. In saying that, hygiene, a minimum of comfort and location are important factors, I take into consideration when booking my accommodation.

If you’re like me, then you can get accommodation in a 3-star resort for as low as $40- $60 per room, per night. So if you’re going with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, that’s $30 per person per night and most resorts in Thailand include daily breakfast. For people from Mauritius, that’ll be around Rs900 per person per night. I know it can add up very quickly but compared to the resorts in Mauritius, Rs900 is still pretty cheap. If you’re not too fussy about hygiene, comfort and location, you can get even cheaper in hostels or backpacker accommodations.

I book my accommodation on one the following websites, wherever I get the cheaper rates: agoda.com, booking.com, wotif.com, lastminute.com and on the hotel’s website. Make sure you compare the rates because all five websites came up with different rates when I checked.

Everyday expenses:

everyday expenses

Depending on what type of traveller you are, you can easily live off $40-60 a day. Below is a guide of prices for different things:

F&B:
Bottle of water (1L) = 15 Baht/ 50 cents/ Rs.15
A small drinkf rom the shops = 10-15 Baht/ 50 cents/ Rs 10-15
Small coke in restaurant = 50 Baht / $1.67 / Rs 50
Basic traditional thai meal (street food) = 120 Baht/ $4 / Rs.120
Restaurant meal inc. drink = 380-420 Baht/ $14 / Rs 380-420
Beer: 70 Baht / $2 / Rs 70

Transport:
Transport/Taxi = 500 Baht for a 45mins drive / $16 / Rs500

Other:
1 hr full body massage = 300 – 500 Baht / $10-16/ Rs300-500
Facial = 300 Baht / $10 / Rs300
Mani + Pedi = 300 Baht / S10 / Rs300
T-shirt = As low as 100Baht / $3 / Rs100
Full day tour including lunch = 900 – 1200 Baht/ $30-$40/ Rs 900-1200

Things you absolutely need to take with you:

survival kit

You can easily find chemists, convenience stores, grocery shops everywhere in Thailand. But there are things you’ll need from the very minute you put one foot onto the Thai land (get that, get that?!! Lol) that cannot wait until you get to a shop to get what you need. So if you already have these things at home, take them along with you.

- Insect repellent – A MUST!
- GastroStop – Gastro doesn’t wait for you to get to the chemist!
- Sunscreen – Trust me you’ll feel your skin burning
- Aftersun – Because you will be in pain from the sunburn even if you wear sunscreen
- Bobby pins – Holiday hair needs bobby pins at all times
- Some cash (Baht) – I usually exchange some money at my destination’s airport, that’s where I find to get the lowest rates

Shopping:

shopping

If you intend to shop in Thailand, I’d recommend going to the markets because they’re not only cheaper than in the shopping malls, but you can also haggle and get what you want for even cheaper. Don’t ever pay the advertised full price. You can always bargain with the sellers and it’s totally acceptable and not considered rude in the Thai culture. Just keep perspective that if you’re bargaining over 100Baht, that’s only $3/ Rs100 and probably not worth the hassle. And the sellers will be so thankful that you’re willing to pay the 100Baht extra, you’ll feel like you’re Mother Teresa. So if we can make simple things like that to make locals happy, why not?  There were many instances where the seller will hand me a calculator and ask me how much I’m willing to pay for the item I’m interested in. Just keep in mind that they will never settle for the price you’re requesting, so always give a price lower than what you’re willing to pay, but be realistic.

Some of the things I found to be extremely cheap in Thailand were Thai silk (table clothes, cushion covers, scarves, silk clothes etc.), real freshwater pearls of any size, leather items (handbags, belts, wallets etc.) and DVDs.

Drop me a line if you have questions :) <3

~C

Steptember – Stepping up for Cerebral Palsy

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Hey Guys,

As from tomorrow, Wednesday 4th of September, I will be taking on the challenge of completing 10,000 steps a day, for the entire month of September to raise funds for Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

The Challenge
On a normal day, I’m taking around 3,000 steps a day, so 10,000 steps is going to be quite challenging – almost like squeezing three days worth of walking into one day, every day throughout September! For those who know me, you’ll know that’s a huge commitment for my lazy butt! So I need your support more than anything to get me through this!

What’s Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood. One in two people with cerebral palsy are in chronic pain due to the tightening of their muscles. Many will never be able to take a single step without assistance.

Cerebral Palsy doesn’t only affect the patient, but it affects the entire family, as you can imagine.

Every 15 hours, a child is born with Cerebral Palsy.

How you can help
You don’t have to take 10,000 steps a day if you don’t want to, but you can make a difference by donating and helping me raise as much funds as possible for such a worthy cause.

You can donate to my fundraising page on the link below. Make sure your donations go to Caroline La Rose and not ‘general donation’, so I can feel the love and support that will keep me motivated to do my 10,000 steps a day.

https://event.steptember.org.au/donateto?id=82255895-6779-4c01-ae09-917b9f2562d6

You’ll notice that in the options the mininum amount is $55, which I know, can be a little steep for some. However, please be aware that there is an ‘Other Amount’ option at the bottom. Any cent counts.

How you can make sure I’m not cheating
You’ll be able to monitor my steps everyday if you have time to kill :)Just click on the link below and click on the ‘Step count’ tab. Search for my name – Caroline La Rose

http://www.steptember.org.au/leaderboard/

I’ll have a pedometer on me everyday for the entire of month that automatically counts my steps. At the end of every day, I’ll be uploading my step count onto my page.

Why I’m doing it

I’ll be completely honest, I signed up to Steptember mostly for very selfish reasons – I want to get fitter and healthier. I’m hoping Steptember will help me kickstart what will be my new lifestyle as from tomorrow. In saying that, I see Steptember as an opportunity to get fitter and healthier for a noble cause, and not just for myself, which is a big bonus that will keep me motivated.

You can find more information about Steptember here: http://www.steptember.org.au/

Please please please support me!

Thanks guys!
~C

My trip to Thailand

thai

Hi everyone,

I’d like to start off by saying how sorry I am that it’s been so long since my last blog post. As some of you might know, I went on holidays to Thailand for 10 days and the return to reality has been very tough, as you can imagine.

I had an amazing time in Thailand! I spent most of my time in Krabi, a few days in Phuket and a few days on Koh Yao Noi island. It was my second time in Thailand, yes I love it that much! I think Thailand is one of the countries that everyone has to visit at least once. It has something for everyone and the scenery is just amazingly beautiful!

map

The flight
I flew by Air Asia. DON’T EVER USE THAT AIRLINE! The tickets are relatively cheap but the service is shit. It was 9 hours from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur (KL) , a 2.5hours stop over in KL in the shitty airport (They have two airports and we were not in the massive, fabulous one where you can do loads of things inc. shopping) and from KL to Phuket it was another 2hours. We were completely knackered by the time we got to Phuket.
Next time, direct flight to Phuket via Jetstar is the way to go!

Koh Yao Noi island
We spent three days at The PARADISE KOH YAO Boutique Beach Resort & Spa. It was the best way to start our trip. Koh Yoa Noi is a little island, away from everything, where you get a full panoramic view of Phang Nga Bay. There’s not much going on on the island itself, that’s why it’s a great location to just wind down and relax for a few days. We got there in the afternoon, so really we spent only two days on the island. We spent most of our time lying on the beach, admiring Phang Nga Bay all day long. I wouldn’t recommend spending more than two days on Koh Yao Noi island only because there’s seriously not much to do: no markets, no restaurants, no cafes, nothing. It has a tiny convenience store, that’s about it. So we had no choice but to eat from the hotel’s restaurant all the time.

The hotel itself was really charming and very foresty (as in, it’s in the forest). You can see some pictures below.
(P.S We weren’t on honeymoon, it was clearly a funnily awkward mistake from the hotel )

Phang Nga Bay

lemorne

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Ao Nang, Krabi
From Koh Yoa Noi to Ao Nang in Krabi, it was quite a trek. It took us 3 hours to get to Aonang but we enjoyed the local experience. We had to catch a long tail boat from the island to the main pier, where we had to change boat and get into a boat taxi with many locals to Krabi. Once at the pier at Krabi, we took a tuk tuk (a form of public transport in Thailand) from the pier to Krabi Town. And from Krabi Town, we had to catch a private taxi to Ao Nang.

3 hours is a long time but I thought it was worth it. We met some lovely locals in the taxi boats and the Tuk Tuk, we got to see the inner villages of Krabi, the more traditional houses etc. I wouldn’t have done it any differently if I had to do it over again. It’s all part of the experience and that’s how I like to travel.

We spent 5 days at Aonang Villa Resort. The location of our hotel was great as we were walking distance from everything – the beach, the markets, the restaurants, the convenience stores, ATMs, tour operators, the bars, the shops etc. AoNang is to Krabi what Patong is to Phuket, i.e it’s the touristy part of the town, buzzing with entertainment. In saying that, Aonang is a lot more toned down than crazy Patong.

While in Krabi, we joined two full-day tours – The James Bond Island tour and the Phi Phi Island day tour, which are both considered to be the ‘must-see tours’ when in Thailand. The James Bond island tour includes the kayaking in the Mangrove caves which was one of my highlights! It’s amazing and you feel like you’re in the Amazone forests in South America! You kayak through dark caves and you get out of the caves surrounded by majestic cliffs and the sun shining through the cliffs is just spectacular. The Phi Phi island tour includes Maya Bay, where the movie The Beach was filmed! It was by far the peak of my trip! Swimming in Maya Bay is an experience I can’t even describe! It’s magic! The water is so blue, clear and warm, and the contrasts with the green of the cliffs is out.of.this.world!!

The other days we were just hanging out around Ao Nang, went to Krabi Town for a day, spent some time at the beach which was nice as well.

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Patong, Phuket
We went to Patong for our last two days and stayed at Deevana Patong Resort. Again the location of the hotel was just perfect for us because it was walking distance from restaurants, shops, markets, shopping centre, bars, clubs, Bangla Road etc! Patong is a lot more touristy and commercial than Krabi which has both it’s pros and cons.

Pros: More shops, restaurants etc. The reason why I mention this as one of the pros is because when we were in Krabi, we were so over Thai food after a while. You can get european food in Krabi but they’re not very good. So we were happy to be in Patong and go to a proper cafe for example. And Patong has better shopping as well. There’s a big shopping mall in Patong called Jungceylon.

Cons: More pricey than Krabi, hawkers are more pushy, sometimes aggressive, the sex tourism of Patong can be quite disturbing at the beginning because it’s so in-your-face. And I think the fact that you so quickly get used to it, is also disturbing. After the first 30-45mins of being exposed to it, you’re like “Yeah it’s normal now!”. Disturbing right?

Patong is a crazy town. The nightlife there is insane. We spent only one night there and the things I’ve seen in just one night, were more than enough. I don’t necessarily mean it in a bad way, because I love experiencing new cultures and seeing things that I’m not used to seeing. Sex workers, lady boys, stripteasers, under-aged prostitutes, complete nudity in public etc are all considered “normal” in Patong. I’ve been told that Amsterdam is Patong on a much larger scale. I’ve never been to Amsterdam but I can’t even imagine.

Just out of curiosity, we went to a club on Bangla Road – the main road where all the clubs and pubs are. It gets so busy at night that they have to close the road! The bar we went to is called Ms. Suzy Wong. The girls don’t just dance on the bar completely naked but they also give you a very big and explicit show. Honestly it basically felt like watching a porn scene live. I’m not kidding. And the girls would also sometimes invite customers to participate!! Shocking! It was good for the experience, but would I go to Suzy Wong’s again? Thanks but no thanks. Nuff said.

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In my next blog, I’ll share some tips on what to look for when travelling in Thailand, what’s the cost of living like for travellers, places to see, things to do etc. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to go there one day if you’ve never been :)

~C

Challenge: Packing light for my upcoming beach vacay!

packing light

Nothing excites me more than going on a holiday, not even handbags! I love travelling, discovering new places, meeting new people, fully (well, as fully as possible) immersing myself into a foreign culture and trying new flavours. However the ONE thing I really dread when travelling, is the packing. It’s such a chore!

I’m flying to Phuket soon (in 6 days exactly!), for a 10-day beach vacay. I can’t wait! I’ve been to Phuket last year and I loved it so much that I’ve decided to go back. This time I’ll spend majority of my holiday in Krabi. Sorry to digress but just thought I’d give you some background.

When the boy told me (more like ordered me actually!) to only take the small suitcase this time, I seriously thought he was joking. Not happening. Having options is a basic.human.right.! But after giving it some thought, I decided it’s probably the best thing to do since we’ll be travelling around Phuket a fair bit. I’ll give it a go and pack as light as ‘womanly’ possible. Deep breathes. It’s about time I put my Tetris skills to the test afterall!

Clothing

clothing

Let’s start with the hardest and get it out of the way! I’ll start by selecting the exact number of clothes I’ll need – i.e no options – and if ever I can fit more into my suitcase, I’ll include some extra pieces.

- 3 x shorts (white, light denim, dark denim)
- 6 x tops/t-shirts (loose ones, because with sunscreen and sweat, I’ll be sticky all over)
- 2 x beach cover-ups
- 1 x sarong (that can be re-purposed as scarf, beach towel, dress, skirt, rain cover, etc)
- 1 x maxi dress
- 2 x summer dresses
- 1 x mini skirt
- 1 x sheer white button-up shirt
- 3 x swimwear (only because I can’t stand wearing wet bikinis)
- Tonnes of undies (you can’t restrict the number of undies in case of emergencies. You NEED to pack extra undies. That’s a non-negotiable. Period. Pun intended.)

Footwear

embellished sandals havaianas slim 2

- 1 pair of thongs
- 1 pair of slightly embellished flat sandals for night time
- Trainers (maybe. Depends if we’ll go hiking etc)

Make up and toiletries

makeup toiletries

- Basic make up ( Bronzer, blush, mascara and lipstick)
- Sunscreen – Face + body
- Aftersun lotion (to be used as body moisturiser during the entire trip)
- Lip balm
- Shampoo + conditioner (I’m fussy with hair products, so I can’t use the ones provided by resorts. Sorry.)
- Night face cream
- Eye cream
- Body mist (to be used as perfume)

Accessories

kerr alba miley

- 1 x crossbody handbag
- 1 pair of cheap sunglasses
- Hat

Other
- Hair dryer
- Bobby pins + hair elastics (many)
- Hand sanitizer
- Mosquito repellent
- Paracetamol
- Hair brush

So what do you think? Will I be able to pack all the above in one small suitcase?

~C

  • About me

  • Hi Lovelies,

    My name is Caroline and I’m a Mauritian girl living in Sydney since 2007. I’m a lover of all things loyal, honest, positive and happy. Don't forget to subscribe ;) xx
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