The Style Mermaid by Kisty Mea

Bits & Pieces: Manchester, England

Manchester is the second largest urban area of the UK, and the world’s first industrialised city.  This is clearly evident from their city’s architecture and huge Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI).

Unfortunately, Lucy and I didn’t have enough time to roam around the city (we were supposed to tour the Old Trafford, huhu) because we had a little car trouble. But given that UK’s night time starts at 9PM during the summer, we walked around the city even if most establishments are already close (We arrived in Manchester around 6PM). The look and feel of this city reminds me so much of Quiapo, but 100x cleaner and safer. 

The Style Mermaid | Kisty Mea • Budget Holidays to the UK
I’ve been doing this since January but I just want to make it “official” by writing it down. Given that I’m a lifestyle blogger and have no specific niche to focus on, I’ve come up with a way to still organize my entries. I will focus on one central theme per month. For example, November (2012) was focused on design, February (2013) for my Happiness Project, and August (2013) for beauty. This September, will focus on travel and my Big Blog Exchange experience.
This is my introduction. This entry will give you an idea how to travel UK without hurting your budget. Enjoy. :)[[MORE]]
Looking to travel to the United Kingdom? This amazing country has plenty to offer, from the thrills of London to the beautiful mountains of Scotland and the stunning beaches of Devon and Cornwall. But with the cost of flights, accommodation and eating out, it’s not a cheap trip to make. However, by following these simple tips on saving money, you can enjoy a visit to the UK without breaking the bank.

While hotels in the UK can be expensive, hostels are not only cheap but often more fun too. You will meet people from lots of different nationalities, and many hostels in main cities like London and Edinburgh offer organised walks and tours to help you get to know the city. In contrast to the grimy, noisy cells that many people associate with the word ‘hostel’, most of the UK’s hostels are comfortable and modern. Away from the cities, bunkbarns and rural hostels offer great value accommodation for those looking to explore the beautiful walking and hiking routes of the UK. 

The UK has a great public transport system, and you can easily travel the length and breadth of the country by bus or train. The cheapest way to travel is by using the Megabus, a company that offers great bargains on journeys booked in advance. They always have plenty of special offers on, sometimes letting you travel as far as London to Edinburgh for the equivalent of around $10! Trains can be expensive if booked on the day, but if you plan your journey in advance you can get great deals. You can also hire a car, but be aware that gas is much more expensive in the UK.

When you’re out and about, budget travellers will be pleased to discover that many of the UK’s museums, such as London’s Natural History Museum and the V&A, are free to explore. If you want to visit some of the country’s hundreds of stately homes, castles and gardens, a National Trust membership is a great idea. For just over £40 (about $60) you can enjoy free entry and parking at over 300 historic properties throughout the UK including famous houses like Greenway, home to Agatha Christie, and Charlecote Park, where William Shakespeare once poached deer. The UK’s beautiful countryside, moors, mountains and beaches are also mostly free to roam – check out websites like walkingbritain.co.uk and nationaltrail.co.uk for more details on walks and hikes across the country.

Like any country, eating out in the UK can be expensive but there are also some great bargains to be found. Even in capital cities like London and Edinburgh you can get great deals by visiting local markets and ethnic areas which serve delicious street food, while countryside areas are very proud of their home grown produce. Try visiting a local farmers’ market and packing a picnic for the day, or buying fish fresh from the fishermen as they land their catches in coastal areas.

Finally, it’s important to stay connected whilst you’re travelling. For keeping in contact with fellow travellers while in the UK, pick up a free pay as you go SIM card from a company like Lebara that offers free calls to other users on the same network. And for those all important calls back home you can get low cost calls to the USA with a speciality international network. These are networks dedicating to helping those in the UK make calls to other countries, and offer calls to the US from as little as 6p a minute.
A trip to the UK is one that everyone should make at least once in a lifetime – make sure it’s within your reach by following our easy tips for a bargain break. 

Budget Holidays to the UK

I’ve been doing this since January but I just want to make it “official” by writing it down. Given that I’m a lifestyle blogger and have no specific niche to focus on, I’ve come up with a way to still organize my entries. I will focus on one central theme per month. For example, November (2012) was focused on design, February (2013) for my Happiness Project, and August (2013) for beauty. This September, will focus on travel and my Big Blog Exchange experience.

This is my introduction. This entry will give you an idea how to travel UK without hurting your budget. Enjoy. :)

Read more

The Style Mermaid | Kisty Mea • Photo Diary: Fall Out Boy Live!
A few weeks before I went to the concert, I asked people on Twitter how to bring my camera without getting caught. This is my first time to bring a DSLR inside a concert. I was worried because if the staff confiscated my camera, they will not be liable for any loss or damage. Just imagine my surprise when I saw a lot of kids were showing off their DSLR hours before the show even started.
Anyway! Let’s talk about Fall Out Boy and their recent concert. To set the record straight, I was never that big of fan before their hiatus. But when a music group goes on a break, chances are they’ll stay on a break for a decade or so. And their absence makes the heart grow fonder. ;)
CAUTION: This is a photo heavy post.
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Their new album, Save Rock and Roll, doesn’t have that old Fall Out Boy feel but it’s so, so, so good. <3 One thing I noticed was the vocals of Patrick Stump, he improved so much. His voice doesn’t crack anymore, which I think made the concert extra worth it.

I’ve been to concerts before. I’ve seen Chris Brown and Rihanna, Ne-Yo, and Maroon 5 perform live; but Fall Out Boy was the only group that really interacted to the audience. Every now and then, Pete would talk to us, and share his love for Chicken Abobo (yep!). At one point, they even requested us to do the ~wave~. 

Pre-hiatus Patrick Stump was adorable. He’s like a shy but smart bear. After-hiatus Patrick Stump was hot but still adorable. <3 I never had the hots for Patrick before, cause I used to like bad boys (aka Pete Wentz). But I’m over that now, I’m all about good guys. ;) Yes, good guys do exist (I found mine and we’ve been together for almost 5 years!).

Pete was the band’s frontman. He’s appears to be the most playful in the group, always smiling and jumping around. He also appears to be the most approachable. 

Andy Hurley. I like his new look. I had a hard time taking a photo of his face though, cause it’s always covered.

Joe Trohman. During the concert, I was frustrated taking his solo photo. His hair is ALWAYS in the way, but lo and behold! His solo shots were actually the one I liked the most. 

The energy was flawless. It’s was hit song after another. This is why indoor concerts are always the best — You really get your money’s worth! 




And that glorious moment Andy Hurley stood up and sang Save Rock and Roll. A bit blurry but I got a photo of his face. 

Two hours was short for a band that made countless of hits. I didn’t even realized the concert was over until Andy Hurley threw his drumsticks. Their exit was not exactly as flawless. Got to work on that, guys. 


Let’s pretend Patrick Stump is looking at me here. Hihihi. <3




It was a great concert but I was heartbroken that they did not play at three songs that I’ve been dying to hear: The Take Over, The Breaks Over (I personally believe this song is a perfect opening after a four-year hiatus, boys), Where Did The Party Go (My favorite upbeat song from SRNR album) and Miss Missing You (It’s not as upbeat like the rest of their songs, but it’s good. This song is going to be a hit!).   
 

BEST CONCERT EVER SO FAR! :) 
P.S. I took 620+++ RAW photos, including shots from their opening act, and was left with 77 (after removing blurry and unwanted shots). Since this is my first time to do concert photography, I would love to know what you think about it. :) 

Photo Diary: Fall Out Boy Live!

A few weeks before I went to the concert, I asked people on Twitter how to bring my camera without getting caught. This is my first time to bring a DSLR inside a concert. I was worried because if the staff confiscated my camera, they will not be liable for any loss or damage. Just imagine my surprise when I saw a lot of kids were showing off their DSLR hours before the show even started.

Anyway! Let’s talk about Fall Out Boy and their recent concert. To set the record straight, I was never that big of fan before their hiatus. But when a music group goes on a break, chances are they’ll stay on a break for a decade or so. And their absence makes the heart grow fonder. ;)

CAUTION: This is a photo heavy post.

Fall Out Boy Live in Manila 2013 • Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley, Joe Trohman • Photography by Kisty Mea

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