Wednesday, 1 June 2016

I SPENT THE NIGHT IN THE 'FRISCO



(okay, actually four nights)


San Francisco is even prettier in real life, the cute houses, the scenery (didn't enjoy the hills so much though) and all the quirky little places in between. We spent our second morning walking down towards the bay area in the sunshine, people watching San Fran's citizens walking their dogs and playing "soccer", and the only thing we kept saying to one another was, "They don't even know how lucky they are". And they don't. I'm sure they absolutely adore their city, but they probably have no idea how the other half live. I have a friend at work who's originally from California, and she is so gutted she now lives in the West Midlands, with no beach and definitely no sunshine, because she didn't really know what she was letting go of at the time. 

That's what I find absolutely amazing when I go away any where, that all these people actually live here? and this just their regular lives.. not a part of two week trip they spent months looking forward too.. although I'm sure they have their own vacations planned (the grass is always greener and such) I fell in love with San Francisco right away, I just wish I could love my home town half as much.

Chanel x


Thursday, 19 May 2016

CALIFORNIA DAZE



Do you know how incredibly satisfying it is to be able to achieve one of your life long dreams? no? well let me tell you now, pal, it's quite lovely. 
After ten months of planning, saving, then planning some more (and even more saving) I finally embarked on my dreamy adventure to California. 

Let me rewind, it's a mundane evening in the beginning of June 2015. I'm just winding down from a hellish shift, flicking through social media apps. Suddenly, Coachella announce their pre-sale tickets for their festival in April 2016 are on sale, out of pure curiosity, I click the link, after years of trying for Glastonbury tickets, I wanted to know how hard it was to get a golden ticket for the ever celeb-ridden, Coachella. Within ten minutes I find myself entering my bank details as I've just secured tickets for weekend two. Just like that. Once again, my impulsive nature got the better of me. 
  With tickets purchased, we were forced to pay up for everything else, flights, hotels, more flights. People ask me all the time how much this trip has cost, and I honestly couldn't tell you. We never kept track of money, just simply booking things when we could. 
  We planned it like this, 

LONDON HEATHROW > LAX > LAS VEGAS (2 NIGHT)
LAS VEGAS > SAN FRANCISCO (4 NIGHTS)
SAN FRANCISCO > LOS ANGELES (2 NIGHTS)
LOS ANGELES > PALM SPRINGS/COACHELLA (4 NIGHTS)
PALM SPRINGS > LOS ANGELES (2 NIGHTS)
HOME

If you had told me 18 months ago that I would be going on this trip, I would not have believed you. I had just quit uni, working a twelve-a-week contract and barely being able to keep my head above water. I feel incredibly proud of myself, despite nothing really monumental happening in my life, apart from actually landing a full time job. But, I have been able to fund myself to go on this amazing adventure, something thirteen year old me day-dreamed about during year 8 Geography. I've not only ticked it off my ever-lasting bucket list, I have done it all myself. There was so many nights out I had to miss out on with friends, because sometimes sacrifices have to be made, but it was all so worth (obviously) because travel is always worth it. 

  I miss the place like crazy. I miss the bright lights of Vegas. I miss the lovely little houses in San Francisco. I miss madness of Hollywood. I miss all my lyft drivers in LA. I miss the Palm Trees. I miss the sunshine in Palm Springs. I miss the shuttle bus to Coachella everyday. I even miss having to repeat my name multiple times to the barista in Starbucks, only for her to get it wrong anyway. 

I cried sitting in LAX departures, waiting for our flight home. Genuinely, and I'm not a crier. But I'm so pleased to say I did it, and I've seen Alcatraz, and I've sauntered down the walk of fame. Birmingham ain't quite the same since I returned. 


Chanel x




Saturday, 23 January 2016

WINTER WHITE



Let's be be real for moment, it ain't legs out weather right now in the UK. You won't even catch me up in the clurrrb without a pair of 60 deniers on. Brave against the cold, i am not, but I am also not a complete psychopath that would put a pair of black tights with a white two-piece that was made for the summer. Time to fess up, a fashion blogger i am not, I'm just a mere gal with a love of clothes who occasionally likes to blog about it, who also may get side-tracked with things like real life.
When i agreed to pop this sweet little set upon my blog it was way back when the sun actually came out. A little out of time this may be, also because I don't think this is even in stock anymore, HOWEVER, it's from an up and coming company called luxemme, over here, who have many, many other lovely things that combine manchester cool with paris chic.

The two-piece itself has little eyelet detailing on the top half, along with tie up sides and scallop cutting around the edge. The material is just right, and I mean this as you have to be careful with white, too thick and well, not ideal for summer. Too thin and everyone knows what colour you knickers are wearing. I paired it with ankle boots and fuex suede jacket, I felt too exposed without it. But also because it felt a little too girlie on it's own. 




Monday, 23 November 2015

THE UNHAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH




On cold, wet evenings when the nights are dark and the wind is mighty, sometimes there's no comfort quite like having the curtains closed early, with a hot beverage to hand whilst you look back at all the sunny things you did in sunny summer (those few months when it's still light after you've watched corrie and don't have to wear a thousand layers, remember?!)  Well, that's exactly what I'm doing tonight.  

Back in early september, I bagged myself a pair of golden tickets to see Banksy (and friends)latest art installation in weston super mare, a sad little town that did not live up to my childhood memories of donkey rides and sand castles, but I suppose that's the whole point of him putting Dismaland there. I don't want to ramble on much here, mostly because it was so long ago I don't really have much to say, but also because everything that's to be said has already been done so by countless articles and blogs, so, to hopefully get you out of this winter funk, enjoy some sunny pictures of a pretty miserable place…


#boycottsweaworld

Chanel x

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

I'M GONNA BE FREE AND I'M GONNA BE FINE



Tonight I have been reborn, and the fire in my soul has been reignited.

I didn't know how much I needed this night until the moment my flame haired queen bounces on stage and softly sings the first lines of What the water gave me. My eye's welled up and my throat does that thing where it tightens up and you can feel the lump right at the back, and you just know, that at any given moment you could burst. Sometimes you don't even know you need saving until it's happened.

I start to wonder if I'm at all being over dramatic, is this my because I got my period this morning, or something to do with the two pints of cider I just necked in the space of 25 minutes. Then I turn to my left, and see another girl, whom you might not have guessed was a Flo fan at first glances,  subtly wiping teardrops from her face. It's not just me or my hormones, Florence Welch is a magical princess and a force of nature.

..and it's hard to dance with the devil on your back. We're three songs in, and she's already hit me with 'Shake it Out', arguably the greatest FATM song, imo. Because isn't that just what we all need to do on a saturday night after a really long and hard week working for the man, we all just need to shake it out, let go of our worries, regrets and forget all the negativity that surrounds our day to day lives. That's why I love live music so much, for two hours or so, you're completely taken away from all that and nothing else matters but the music.
And just like that, the tears are back in my eyes, and I can't even howl along anymore because I will break.

As we are introduced to Rabbit Heart, Florence actively encourages us all to embrace one another, and demands that we all get as high as we can by climbing on one anthers shoulders, an activity I am very familiar with as a 5'1 woman who's attended many a Glastonbury. However, I am slightly disheartened by the lack of support my boyfriend and two mates offer me to achieve Florence's requests, and I stay at 5'1 eye level through out the song. Although, I am nothing but pleased for the ladies and gents who have persuaded their friends, dates and potential strangers into balancing their bodies above their necks.

Inbetween belting out other worldly notes, Florence softly speaks to us, her audience. How does someone with such a sweet and gentle voice, sing with such a power. We're almost half way through at this point, "I wrote this song when I was falling in love with everyone and everything, and tonight I want to give it to all of you". Don't say things like that Florence, because I will cry. I'm not emotionally stable to handle all this love right now, I'm like a teenage girl at a One Direction concert.

As Flo and her equally lovely machine pelt through an array of songs new and old (cosmic love, mother, and spectrum) I down yet another pint of cider and black, as I become more and more intoxicated, my fellow audience members become more intoxicated by her songs. There's not a person around who isn't screaming along to SAY MY NAAAAAME, AS EVERY COLOUR ILLUMINATES, and then it hits me, we've been stood here well over an hour, there aren't many songs we haven't heard, this is it. This is end. Just like that, those instantly recognisable first chords of Dog Days begins, and I know exactly what's coming, Florence will take off an item of clothing, probably her top, and insist we do the same, a ritual that is symbolic of us letting go of our cares and worries. A topic that Florence has touched on plenty of times tonight, and I really, truly do feel free. I keep my clothes on throughout but it doesn't stop me and others around me jumping, dancing and shouting along to the final song. The dog days really feel like they're over at this point.



For weeks I have just been existing. The inevitable cycle of eat, sleep, work, repeat. It's not a bad thing, If we want to live well in this society, we all have to endure it some way. But it wasn't until now, that I realised how little I had felt alive recently. Truly alive. It sounds ridiculous when people claim that music saved their life, but when it grasps you so unexpectedly like this, how could it's power ever be denied.
I feel reborn tonight, and Florence gave me everything. I came out of the arena feeling alive again, and full of spirit I haven't felt in a very long time. Sometimes we all just need that something that gives us life again, and that's exactly what I got from Florence and the Machine tonight.


Chanel x


Thursday, 23 July 2015

PEACHY KWEEN

 

The magic that new hair possesses is truly undeniable. The ultimate pick me up when you're a little miserable is, just sometimes, a little change to your appearance. 

After a week of seeing instagrams full of festivals and holidays away, catching up with old friends who have new, fabulous lives abroad and even getting a little envious of the kids with six weeks off school, I couldn't help but feel a little bit fed up and bored with my current situation. I am in no way, shape or form trying to say that hair dye fixes everything, and that our outer shells are all that matter, but you know, sometimes, a lil TLC goes a long way.

So Thursday, my day off, I reached for a bottle of Bleach London hair dye, that had been gathering dust on my bathroom shelf for a few weeks and thought "fuck it", lets go a bit peachy. 
The bottle tells you that should apply it to your hair for 15 minutes before washing it off, I left it for 45. My hair isn't the brightest it's ever been, its currently an outgrown, dirty blonde kinda shade.. so I wasn't expecting the best results.
It's actually more pink than it is peach, which was somewhat disappointing. It also already looks washed out. I've used plenty of different "wild" dyes before, and this is the least vibrant I've seen. But, that could be down to the state of my hair anyway.. I don't expect it to last much longer than a wash or two either way. 


Chanel x

Monday, 8 June 2015

WHEN IN FLORENCE



Ciao, I recently visited the city of Florence during a trip to Italy, and I completely fell in love with the place, so much so, I thought I 'd put together a little 'to-do' post. These are all the things I loved the most about the visit, and I want to make sure everyone else that visits the glorious city doesn't miss out on.

BOBOLI GARDENS




Peharps it's me getting older, but sometimes theres nothing I love more than a stroll around some historical gardens, not that I'm into history or anything, I just find the atmosphere so relaxing. Even if the sound of some old gardens and statues doesn't sound appealing to you, the walk up to the very top is worth the view alone. The gardens look over the entire city, you'll be thanking yourself for the trek up the hills afterwards, I promise. 

TRY SOME LOCAL FOOD


Lampredotto sounds as appealing as it looks, it's pretty much tripe on a crusty cob. However, this is Florence's most popular street food, and has been around since the 15th Century. I didn't overly enjoy this, but it was no where near as awful as I thought. I would say this is perfect hangover food, so if you've gone a little too hard on the ol' vino one night, grab yourself one of these and try a taste of Florentine history. 

GIATTO'S CAMPANILE


In total this bell tower has 414 steps, and I genuinely wasn't sure if I was going to make it up those without passing out, go the gym Chanel. My unfit state was no match for my stupidity, as I didn't take a bottle of water with me. But, once I had finished gasping and assured myself that I was actually going to come out alive, I forgot all about the narrow staircases, and gawped at the glorious views. I find it hard to believe that there are many landscapes as glorious as this.


WATCH THE SUNSET


One hundred percent my highlight of my trip. I could do this every night for the rest of my life. 
Walk all the way up to Piazzale Michelangelo (or get a cab if you're a cheat) where you will find a full panoramic view over Florence. Just before the sunset you should find plenty of other sunset viewers, some buskers and a stall selling a variety of beverages (I opted for a small prosecco, obvs) 
There are few amazing things in life for free these days, this is one of them. 

TAKE IN ALL THE ART

Okay, so admiteddly, the only museum we visited over in Florence, was the Gucci museum, and I think in hindsight, it is a big regret that we didn't see as much history as we should have. Florence is home to some of the most famous pieces of art in the world (hello, statue of David) so if you have the time, go check it out.


Chanel x