Travelling around the Orient

3 weeks ago I was lucky enough to embark on a holiday of a lifetime! I travelled to Singapore where I stayed for 3 days and then boarded the Diamond Princess bound for Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan & Japan.

I had an amazing time and particularly fell in love with Singapore & Vietnam. But all the places we visited were lovely, with friendly locals and lots of culture to explore.

We tried lots of local food and I am now a huge fan of oriental cuisine, I love to try new food in different countries but this topped the list! We visited small restaurants down little roads and had the most amazing ramen noodles and pork loin curry. The only difficulty being that all the places we visited offered chop sticks only – cue me awkwardly trying to use them as I never have had to before!

Vietnam was excruciatingly hot, at 40 degrees and 90% humidity you had to have several showers a day just to cool down. But it was nice to get some sunshine for a change!

I would most definitely go back and visit all of these places as I am now completely in love with the Orient, but until then I thought I would share some photos of my recent visit with you.

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Love Katrina x
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Pinspiration: Bedroom Furnishing

I am forever daydreaming about home furnishings. You may have seen some of my previous home inspiration posts (here & here), which were mostly inspired by Pinterest! Many an hour has quickly disappeared after I have loaded up that website.

Recently I have been looking in to furnishing my bedroom and making it that little bit more special. Although even in my mind this hasn’t been easy. I go between deciding on a shabby chic look with heavy wooden furniture and cutesy bedding, to minimalistic white furniture and a statement wall!

However, one of the key features that has been a must for the past for years for my bedroom is a dressing table. Since I acquired my first ever one I cannot be without it and always struggle with a comfortable position/place to do my make-up and hair when I am away for the weekend or on holiday. I am in love with this Shard Diamond Mirror Dressing Table, not only for the fact that the mirror design will ensure the room looks bigger but also because of the amount of storage space it has! Look at all those drawers – perfect for keeping all of your make-up organised.

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A big bed is of course a must too and this Sunningdale Leather Double Bed would be the perfect addition to my minimalistic room design. I love the leather look and think it makes the bed look a whole lot more expensive than its £349 price tag. A solid headboard is always a must too, nobody likes losing their pillows down the back halfway through the night!

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But the most fun part about a bedroom redesign? The accessories! Whatever your colour scheme there are plenty of places to pick up the perfect candles, photo frames, canvases and light fittings for your room. Some of my favourites are below, from a variety of stores across the internet and high street. The most difficult part is narrowing the choice down!

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Wren Living have some gorgeous pieces for every bedroom, you can view their whole collection here.

How would you decorate your dream bedroom?

Love Katrina x
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#Jet2Chicks

Easter is here again and I am sure you are all surrounded by lots of chocolate! But at this time of year there is something else to be looking forward to also – summer and the holidays that come with it.

Tie both Easter and holidays together and you have the latest campaign to be launched by Jet2.com. Their Cracking Deals campaign is truly unique and super cute too! Live on camera they have a dozen eggs hatching live and as each one does a new offer is made available to all customers, you can watch it live here.

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From discounts off holidays to completely free holidays it is certainly worth popping over to take a look! Plus the moment that the chicks completely hatch is super cute too.

But you have to act quick as each deal is only available for a limited time.

Keep updated with the latest news by following the #Jet2Chicks hashtag and have a lovely Easter!

Love Katrina x
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Guest Post: Jenna @ Healthy Globetrotting

Hi, I’m Jenna and I blog over at Healthy Globetrotting. I blog about travelling around South East Asia, teaching abroad and healthy eating.

Last year I decided to swap the heady heights of Birmingham for a job teaching in China. At the time, a lot of people (including myself for approximately 23 out of 24 hours in a day) thought I was crazy. I was married, had a good job, a nice flat, a beautiful new car and a lovely life filled with shopping, weekends away and fashion blogging! However, I still couldn’t quite shake the feeling of: Is this it?

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Ningbo, my new home.

It had always been my dream to live abroad but at 27 years old it was looking less and less likely. I was also getting increasingly despondent after pouring over magazine stories narrated by women my age working in exotic locations with headlines like: ‘I moved to LA to make jewellery for celebrities’or ‘I decided to give up my job to DJ in Ibiza. Unfortunately this was just not me. Not least because I’m totally crap at anything crafty, but also because the thought of packing in a well paid job and starting a fresh in another country was so far out of my comfort zone.

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Me and my puppy Bella sitting in a local Chinese coffee shop.

However, as a qualified teacher in the UK, I began thinking about continuing my career abroad (rather than abandoning everything I’d worked for over the past few years and simply starting afresh). On a particularly brave day, I searched online and was simply amazed at how much was out there. I sent my cv off without really acknowledging the possibility of getting a job. Yet, a few skype interviews and a few short months later, I was off to China with 2 very heavy suitcases and my husband in tow!

Finding teaching jobs abroad. Expat abroad.

 

A few highlights of my adventure teaching abroad

On reflection, I was a little naive to accept a job in China without even so much as stepping foot in the country. However, I was ready for a challenge and China offers ample opportunities for those to earn good money while teaching English. It was only when I met up with some fellow expats I realised how big the teaching English market here was. What’s more it is incredibly easy for anybody to get jobs: from qualified teachers like me to recent graduates who are looking for more casual work in between travelling around the continent.

As I write this almost 18 months later, I am so so grateful that I was feeling particularly reckless on the day I clicked the apply button! My time here has been full of up and downs (from chair skating across a frozen lake to battling with recently-diagnosed crohn’s disease in a Chinese hospital) however it has been an amazing opportunity and I can honestly say I no longer feel the is this it? question gnawing away inside of me. If you too are getting itchy feet and are looking to travel and work abroad I have included some suggestions to help you below.

My Top Tips for Working Abroad

Decide what your priorities are. Staying closer to home? Check out au pair opportunities in France. The pay is low but accommodation is usually provided. If you are looking for a job that provides the opportunity to building a saving fund, head to Asia. Cost of living plus high demand for teaching jobs means its possible to save over 50% of your salary. If you are looking to work as you travel to multiple destinations, check out WWOOF- an organisation that allows you to get free accomodation in return for labour.

Avoid internships. Often internships are incredibly low paid and some even charge you for participating. With a little bit of research, you can often find companies to apply to directly rather than paying fees to internship and volunteer agencies.

Qualifications are not the be all and end all! Some countries are very flexible when it comes to qualifications. If you arethinking of going down the teaching route, most countries simply require you to be a native speaker and hold a degree. Some will even wave the degree criteria if they think you’re a good candidate.

You don’t need to save huge amounts before taking the plunge. If you spend a little time job hunting, you’ll find many jobs (again, especially teaching) are willing to pay for your flight out there and accommodation. It’s a myth that you need a huge amount of money before you travel. We left with just enough money for a return flight and that was it!

I hope I’ve inspired you to at least thinking about the idea of working abroad. If you have any more questions, you can of course ask them below or contact me on twitter (@globetrotterjen)

Love Katrina x
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Guest Post: Felicity & Lauren @ Pretty, Posh, Oh My Gosh!

Hello! We are Felicity and Lauren from Pretty, Posh, Oh My Gosh! and we are delighted to be guest posting on Carousel Diary, one of our go to blogs with a cup of tea and a cupcake on a Sunday morning! For our guest post, we would love to give you a little flavour of what we are about and who we are, as well as the types of things we blog about.

Like shoes, we believe that the best things come in pairs… We are two best friends who met five years ago at Loughborough University, and we share a love of fun, fashion, beauty and blogging. Our ethos is creating the ‘Look for Less’, a theme which has remained strong in our blog since its creation in early 2012.

Living in the London-ish area definitely has its benefits, and being able to attend launches of our favourite beauty brands is definitely one of them! This month, GOSH Cosmetics invited us to preview their SS14 range at The Hospital Club In Covent Garden (one of our favourite spots!) and so we are going to give you a little showcase of their new range!

It has to be said that we adore the range of cosmetics available at Superdrug including MUA, B. and GOSH, each with their own identity, we certainly feel safe that we can head to a Superdrug and get what we need! At a previous Superdrug Bloggers event we picked up the GOSH Frosted Nail Lacquer in a goody bag and it was truly gorgeous!

The Gosh SS14 range introduces vibrant colours and staying power like never before. We wanted EVERY SINGLE ITEM in the range, and were lucky enough to receive a great deal of it at the end of the night.

The first, and perhaps most revolutionary, product in the range is the Prime’n’Set Powder.  The powder works as both a primer and a setting powder, transforming your skin to minimise fine lines, pores and imperfections to give you perfectly finished skin. The powder helps you to create a flawless porcelain finish- we love!

 

The Velvet touch lipsticks are quite a revelation- highly pigmented and the non-drying-your-lips-out formula makes for the perfect lippie. 8 new colours across the pinky, reddy and brown spectrum to choose from, with Yours Forever being our favourite colour pop for Spring. We tried Yours Forever (below) out the very next day and only needed 2 applications in 14 hours- staying power or what?!

Also for lips are the gorgeous Lip Lacquers which are enriched with Argan Oil and Vitamin E, making them super for healthy lips. These also come in 8 colours with super staying power- offering high shine and rich colour without being sticky. We adore the Crispy Lips shade (below) which will be great for popping into our beach bags this summer.

We adore the Chubby Sticks for eyes from Clinique and so we were very excited to see Forever Eyeshadow sticks being launched as part of the range. Easy to apply and VERY long lasting, these are amazing for work to play wear. They are even waterproof – making them perfect for holidays! They are smooth but not oily and come in a beautiful range of colours- we love Gold for those with green eyes, or Grey for a great all rounder!

Last but not least we come back to those stunning Frosted Nail Lacquers which have had a SS14 makeover. Available in the beautiful Rose, Soft Pink, Soft Coral, Soft Blue and Soft Green shades, you have all of the metallic and pastel shades to see you right through the Spring and Summer. Quick to apply (and dry) and surprisingly easy to remove for a glittery polish, we want every colour!

The Gosh SS14 range is available in Superdrug stores now and online very soon!

We hope that you enjoyed our guest post as much as we enjoyed writing it! You can catch us on Facebook, Instagram @prettyposhomg and Twitter @PrettyPoshOMG and please do drop us a follow/comment on our blog Pretty, Posh, Oh My Gosh!

 
Love Katrina x
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Guest Post: Megan @ Emmie Gee

Firstly, thank you so much to Katrina for letting me post on her blog, I have been a reader for a while and thoroughly enjoy her content. Secondly Hi, I’m Megan, I normally blog over at www.emmiegee.blogspot.co.uk. So, the post!;

Gold and silver; the classic and chic colours when it comes to accessories. Here is pretty much all of my ‘precious metal (looky-like!) jewellery, I recently had my 21st birthday which bulked it out considerably! There is something about a gold or silver accessory that will just instantly add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to whatever you are wearing. The majority of my pieces are silver as I think that is what works best with my colouring. If you want to see my collection of colourful pieces, then head over to my blog, where I will have a post on them.  So, without further ado, I will take you through the pieces above (don’t worry, not all of them!!).

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The Watch: This beauty was a very generous 21st +up-coming graduation present; it is a Raymond Weil, Geneve, rose gold and silver watch.  It has a mother of pearl watch face with intricate diamonds set around it, it is this detail that I think makes it so exquisite!  I wear this mostly if I am going for a meal or an evening event, but it also adorns my wrists for a lot of casual every-days. Never nights out though, far too terrified of something happening! It looks equally as lovely with an LBD as it does with my work uniform or standard uni get up of jeans and sweater.

The rings: These rings cover both the spend and splurge categories. The above knuckle ring came from Raspberrygrape a lovely online shop filled with unique little pieces. I think this ring gives a very ‘cool’ ‘boho-y’ vibe and love wearing it with my casual outfits. The leaf design ring has a gorgeous shape to it, and four little diamonds add a bit of sparkle. This is my ‘dressing up’ ring but I also tend to just where it on a daily basis as it is quite understated and elegant.

The earrings:  All these earrings came from Topshop, I find it has some really good quirky and statement pieces. I actually have my ears pierced 6 times, but quite rarely do I wear earrings, especially all of them at once!  When I do though, I love to wear odd pairs to add interest to a casual or grunge-y outfit. With dangly pieces I wear my hair up, usually in a messy bun or plaited up-do.

The bracelet: I’m sure you would have seen a Links of London or Pandora bracelet before, so I won’t bore you with them. Instead I will talk about the dainty leaf-like bracelet, studded with dainty diamonds, a perfect match for my ring. Yet funnily enough, the items were 2 different presents, from 2 different people at completely different times! This piece is gorgeous and intricate, the perfect accompaniment to a knock-out ‘posh event’ dress when paired with the ‘leaf’ ring and some simple diamond studs. The only issue with this kind of bracelet is that it’s a ‘mare to get it to sit right on your wrist!

So here you go! Let me know about your favourite jewellery pieces! Once again, a huge thank you to Katrina for letting me post on her fabulous blog. If you have any questions about any of the pieces I have mentioned, or any others in the photo, then do not hesitate to tweet me @emmiegeeblog. Thanks! xx

Love Katrina x
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Guest Post: Patricia @ Peexo

I’m so excited to be writing a guest post for Katrina here on the Carousel Diary! I love Katrina’s blog and as soon as she mentioned she was looking for bloggers to guest post I jumped at the opportunity!

I’m Patricia and I’m a fashion blogger over on peexo.

So, fittingly, today my guest post will be a fashion post. We’re finally in spring! It took a while but we’re finally here (if you’re from the UK keep your fingers crossed that the rain doesn’t surprise us too often haha).

Pastels are massive this spring and rightfully so! There are some gorgeous pastel pieces out there so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to buying new pieces for your spring/summer wardrobe collection. I have my fair share of pastel pieces and today I’ll be sharing an outfit with you!

This is what I wore on the first day of spring:

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Outfit: White fluffy cropped jumper – Missguided // Pink high waisted shorts – Missguided // Cream shoes – Dorothy Perkins // Pink clutch – Primark

Accessories: Purple floral statement necklace – River Island // Spiked bracelet – Topshop // Beaded bracelet – Michael Kors // Chunky gold watch – GUESS // Gold rings – H&M, Forever 21, River Island

I hope you liked this spring time look!

Katrina and I would love to read your comments so leave as many as you like below :) I’d love it if all of you Carousel Diary readers came over to say hello on my blog too! Let me know if you do stop by.

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Love Katrina x
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