The Life of a Rugby Wife/Girlfriend

Being a rugby Wife, Girlfriend or even Sister brings with it lots of positives and negatives.

Let’s start with the negatives;

You lose said Husband, Boyfriend, Brother for 10 months of the year, yes really 10 whole months! They start pre season training in July and the last game is usually towards the end of April.

They eat, sleep and breathe rugby, if they aren’t playing it, they are watching it.

You have to deal with the high highs and the low lows. If they win a game, they are on cloud nine and you probably won’t see them until lunchtime Sunday. However if they lose a game you might want to stay away, they get annoyed with each other, will mope around the house and you won’t get much conversation out of them for a while!

Lastly the dreaded injuries. This game is brutal and you never want to see a loved one hurt. But if they do unfortunately sustain an injury, whether it’s something small that they are only out for a week with or something huge where they are out for the whole season. Be prepared, this is the end of the World and you will have to nurse them better.

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Matt’s injury at the end of last year!

That all said, there are plenty of positives too…

You get 2 nights a week when they are at training all to yourself. For me that means catching up on trashy TV, like TOWIE and The Kardashians (which Matt would never watch), or having the girls over for dinner or going out for dinner, catching up with friends and family over Skype or just having a bit of ‘me’ time – bubble bath, face pack and an early night with a book – bliss!

Home Games mean catching up with the girls, all day drinking, if the weather is good – sunbathing and watching hot men run around in short shorts πŸ˜‰

Away Games mean catching up with the girls, all day drinking, if the weather is good – sunbathing and watching hot men run around in short shorts but with the added bonus of a road trip!

The Socials – We need to talk about the socials. The Christmas Party is the best one of the year and what everyone eagerly awaits, the food is delicious, the speeches are funny and then we dance the night away to the amazing live band and have just the 1 or 10 drinks to toast the year ahead πŸ˜‰ There are also plenty of other socials and fundraisers during the year too; Themed nights, Fancy dress parties, Birthday parties and live music just to name a few.

But lastly and most importantly are the friends you make along the way, the ones who are on this rugby journey with you. Soppy but so true.

When I first moved up here from Bournemouth I knew no one, especially at the rugby club. I felt like I was totally out of place and thought everyone had known each other for years. But thatΒ really wasn’t the case and the more I went to watch games, the more I got chatting and the more friendly faces I got to know. Before I knew it, I had a really great group of girl (and guy) friends who I started to see more and more regularly, not just at the rugby club. And now 2.5 years later (even though it feels way longer) I don’t know what I would do without this crazy bunch of people and they have become some of my closest, most treasured friends. Thanks guys and here’s to the next 60 plus years! πŸ™‚ ❀

So yes, you may have days where you hate being the wife, girlfriend or sister of a rugby player (muddy/rainy days, injury days, defeats) but the positives greatly outweigh the negatives and as long as you have other wives, girlfriends and sisters around you, rugby days will actually turn out to be some of your best days!

Love, Chloe xxx

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Hello 2016!

I can’t believe how long I have been away from the blog for, I feel bad about it and I miss it and I don’t really have any excuse, apart from I was just too busy enjoying the World around me πŸ™‚

The only positive of me being away for so long, is that I have loootttss to write about, the second half of 2015 was filled with House Renovations, Weddings, Hen Weekends, Birthdays, Trips Away, Parties and to top it all off, I got Engaged! Wahh, so lots of Wedding planning has been happening too. ❀

I am going to go back to 2015 and pick up where I left off so apologies for the time travel, but I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it!

Oh one last thing, who is still sticking to their New Years Resolutions? For once, I am! My resolution was to read 1 book a month for the year, and so far so good, any recommendations on what I should read next, let me know.

Love, Chloe xx

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Heidi’s Graduation!

So my little sister Heidi, has graduated university with a First Class Honours Degree and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

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I cannot believe how quickly those 4 years have gone. I remember her first day like it was yesterday, car filled full of all her stuff and Heidi, myself, mum and dad squeezed in between it all, ready to send her off into her new adventure.

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^^ Look at the difference 4 years makes!

Heidi had always wanted to go to university and couldn’t wait to get there and experience it all. I never went so unfortunately couldn’t give her any advice or crazy stories, but I knew she wouldn’t need all that anyway. She quickly settled in, made loads of friends and joined every society going! πŸ˜‰ …

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Over the 4 years, from the stories I’ve heard and pictures I’ve seen, it seems like she had the best time ever and was everything she hoped it would be and more…

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Who knew one girl could have so many dresses?! Does she ever wear the same thing twice?! ;-P

So when graduation day finally came around, I knew it was going toΒ be filled with mixed emotions for her.

Matt and I drove from ours and met my parents at Heidi’s Uni. My mum was so excited and they both couldn’t wait to see her graduate. Heidi worked so hard for this and the last few months had been super stressful and crazy for her, so we were so glad it had all paid off when she was awarded a first class degree, she most definitely deserved it!

The morning flew by with Heidi collecting her cap & gown, professional photos being taken and having one last walk around the grounds before she officially left as a graduate. It was a beautiful day and made the perfect backdrop for all the photos!

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There’s always time for a selfie…

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We had lunch in the sunshine and a quick walk by the lake, before making our way to the Cathedral for the ceremony.

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The ceremony wasn’t actually too long, although my hands did start to ache from all the clapping! And then it was finally Heidi’s turn…

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After all the formal parts had taken place, we all made our way outside for the fun bit..

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We then spent quite a while following Heidi around being her private photographer at every moment πŸ˜‰

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Finally, we got to enjoy the treats inside the huge marquee. Jazz music, canapΓ©s, soo many chocolate fountains and unlimited prosecco and pimms. We all ‘cheersed’ Heidi and enjoyed the hazy summer evening together.

I still can’t believe my little sister is all grown up, graduated from uni and now living in Bristol, starting the next chapter of her life. But I am so ridiculously proud and happy for her. I know that whatever she wants to achieve, she will easily do so πŸ™‚

And to everyone else who graduated this year..Congratulations! and Here’s to your next step!

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Love, Chloe x

Bringing Chicago to Surrey!

I’ve been having Chicago blues, lately.

I miss my friend Christina and I also miss Buffalo sauce. Sad but true.

Unfortunately I can’t fly Christina over 😦 BUT I did find Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce in the supermarket recently and that did manage to put a smile on my face.

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It sat in our cupboard for a couple of days and then one night after dancing, Matt kindly made me dinner. But this was no ordinary dinner. He had recreated my favourite Chicago Bar Dish… A Crispy buffalo chicken burger with sweet potato chips. I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too excited and hungry and so it got gobbled up pretty quickly! It was delicious and gave me a buffalo fix that I had been craving for weeks!

A few days later we were looking online for house bits and pieces..7 months in and still haven’t changed a thing!

When Matt came across a proper beer pong table on Amazon. Now, not very practical you may think or not exactly what we were looking for. But hey, we both looked at each other with silly grins and knew we had to buy it! After all, we are known to love a drinking game..or 5 πŸ˜‰

It arrived at my work on a Friday afternoon.. I liked this tables thinking.

But then I had the fun task of actually getting it into our car, after a few attempts, I finally drove home like this..

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As soon as Matt got home we excitedly opened it up and set it up in our lounge.

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We sent the above picture to a few of our local friends and said we would have to arrange a beer pong tournament soon, and began to pack it away. But when we looked back at our phones a couple of friends had asked why we weren’t hosting that night.

Good question!

We looked at each other and said It’s Friday, we’ve got beer.. Let’s play beer pong! and believe me you don’t need to ask rugby boys twice!

We quickly replied to our friends to say it was on! Not that Matt and I are competitive in any way!

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And before we knew it Megs, Fraser, Emily and Sam had come over to join us πŸ™‚

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^^ These are the before pictures!

Now I must admit I hate beer, so what to do when you hate beer? Turn it into Prosecco pong! Because of this we decided to do teams of Boys Vs. Girls so the Boys could still have their beer and then it got serious, the game began…

The boys played fast and would bounce their balls (ha) quickly one after the other. Us girls tried to have a strategy and were a lot slower. But that tactic clearly paid off as the girls won the first game! πŸ™‚

We also found our Polaroid Camera so as you can imagine many snaps got taken throughout the night!

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^^ Winners!

Randomly at this point I got a text from Christina, in Chicago, to say she was at a baseball match and to see what I was up to. I first played Beer Pong with her and I know she loves it so I quickly sent her a picture to show her what we were up to. Then Matt found the baseball match she was at on the TV so we tried to spot her in the crowd, no such luck though.

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^^ In our Chicago Bulls tops with the baseball on

And then we got back to game Two..

The TV had been changed back to a music channel and us girls were too busy dancing and singing along to Spice Girls to notice that the boys had gotten a ball in with a bounce shot! Sneaky boys!

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^^ Look how smug and happy they are

This meant they automatically won and we had to down all the drinks…all that prosecco..all the bubbles. Ouch.

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Feeling slightly tipsy by this point the next two games flew by in a blur of bottles. But after four games we were Two All. So we had to play a fifth game as the decider.

It got serious and we were all trying so hard to concentrate. But it happened. The boys managed, yet again to bounce the ball into one of our cups, and so they won the game! and the decider! 😦

After all the excitement, we had a bit of a rest, us girls needed a breather from all the fizz! And decided what to play next. After all the night was still young.

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And this is where things got a little messy. We then decided to play what I think is another American game..Flip or Flippy cup. Again in 2 teams either side of the table (this time long ways) You start with the first player of each team drinking their drink against each other. As soon as they finish they place their cup on the table the right side up and try to flip it to land upside down. As soon as your team member has done that the next person then drinks and flips and so on until you have a winning team. The losing team then has to do a dare, drink, shot whatever the other team decides.

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^^ You can see where the night was going with the blurred pictures!

As us girls were feeling quite tipsy anyway the boys decided that only the last member of our team had to do a shot from our ‘spinner’ basically a 4 bottle optic. Ours contains a bottle each of Vodka, Whisky, Rum and Peach Schnapps. We spin and whatever one it lands on you must drink. It’s a favourite in our house!

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To make it fair the last person of each team would then move up to become the first player for the next round of flip cup. After a few rounds of this we were all pretty tipsy and so decided to stop the drinking games and just chill, dance, sing and gossip instead.

Fraser and I even made a little routine to Sean Paul! If I could add the video I would but I don’t know how! If someone tells me I promise to add it. It makes me laugh.

The next morning there were a lot of sore heads and I’m not surprised given how much 6 of us went through.

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I’m happy we managed to bring a little bit of Chicago to Surrey, spontaneous nights are always the best!

Love, Chloe xx

Donkeys, Dresses, Dinner and Dancing!

OK, so I admit it..I have been a very bad friend to my old school friend, Lauren.

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^^ A photo of us at a party in 2006/2007. Well it is #TBT

She got engaged in December AND asked me to be her bridesmaid, something I was mega excited and happy about. I congratulated them straight away and I couldn’t have been happier for them.

BUT I hadn’t actually seen her since November! See what I mean about being a bad friend! Don’t worry I’m tutting at myself!

We both have lots of excuses as to why we haven’t seen each other in so long though. Lauren is a nurse so works all weird hours, we live a couple of hours apart, I had just moved house, Lauren was looking to move house, it was Christmas, we had holidays. You know what it’s like and the list goes on. However we always make time to message and check in on each other and she is definitely that friend that you can go months without seeing, yet when you meet up it’s like you saw each other yesterday. Those are the best kind of friends and I’m glad to say I have quite a few of those.

I must admit though we haven’t always been the best of friends. When we first met at 13 years old we HATED each other. I don’t even know why. But we were horrible to one another! I mean really horrible! But luckily by the time we got to 6th form (16/17 years old) and were in a few classes together, we seemed to get over our issues, and actually found out we were quite similar and had a lot in common. And the rest as they say is history. At least we have lots to look back on and laugh about now! πŸ™‚

So when we realised it had been 6 months since we had met up and we STILL hadn’t celebrated her engagement properly, we finally got a date in the diary. And so last weekend, Matt and I drove to the New Forest, to visit Lauren and Rich’s new place and to finally share some bubbles!

The drive was long, much longer than it should have been. The satnav decided to take us on a bit of a detour in an attempt for us to miss the motorway traffic, but we always seemed to end up in more traffic. But with the sun shining brightly, music on and a packet of wispa bites to keep us entertained, things could have been worse πŸ˜‰

We finally arrived at their new place 3 hours later! But I only managed a quick hug and hello to Rich before I was getting back in a car to head out bridesmaid dress shopping with Lauren and her other bridesmaid Lucie.

We left the boys behind, having only met once before..in a pub…about 2 years ago. They would be fine, right?

The car journey was a very picturesque one, making our way through the centre of the New Forest. But stupidly I didn’t take a camera and my phone had ran out of battery. So I can only describe it to you. Sunshine, fields and forests that go as far as the eye can see, flowers, cute tiny foals, donkeys, so many horses and lots of children, laughing and having fun. If you haven’t been to the New Forest, you really should. It’s beautiful!

We made it to the dress shop and were let loose πŸ™‚ Lauren is a very chilled Bride to Be and basically let Lucie and I have free reign. We tried on soo many styles and colours. Some we liked, some not so much. But we finally came to a decision on one that we both loved. It fitted us both perfectly and was the colour Lauren had wanted all along. How did we know πŸ˜‰ Unfortunately I can’t say any more. You will just have to wait until December for the wedding! But they are gorgeous.

After all that hard work (we actually managed to do it in about an hour which I think is a miracle!) and to thank Lauren for buying them for us. We thought it was time for some tea…and cake. We crossed the road and actually stumbled across a cafe called Chocol8. Just take a look at this place, how could you resist going in??

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It’s pink, girlie, glam and gorgeous. I was a bit in love. Plus they sold handmade chocolates, fudges and sweets. As well as serving afternoon tea, cakes, sandwiches and smoothies. Perfect.

We ended up staying, gossiping and eating for quite a while. The chairs were too comfy, the cake was too good and we just didn’t want to leave. But we had dinner plans and boys to get back to! So we made our way back through the forest again.

Lucie ended up dropping both Lauren and I off at a local pub, where Matt and Rich had spent most of the afternoon. See we had nothing to worry about. Wimbledon, rugby and beer, we knew they would get on! We chatted about each other’s afternoons and what we had been up to and then looked at the time! Oops.

We rushed back to theirs and then Lauren and I had approximately 10 minutes to get ready before a taxi arrived. I think I’m getting quite good at this rushed getting ready thing, who needs hours? ha πŸ˜‰

Glammed up and ready to go, the 4 of us headed into Southampton for dinner at Grand Cafe.

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The venue, as the same suggests, was pretty grand and I fell in love with the dΓ©cor, a bit like the cafe earlier. Just bigger and better! We were taken to our table by the window and ordered some drinks. Mojitos for Lauren and Matt. A bottle of wine for Rich and I. I guess opposites really do attract ha.

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We were talking so much, that I started to feel a bit sorry for our waiter, who had tried to take our food order about 3 times. But each time we would tell him we hadn’t looked or weren’t ready!

The menu had a good mixture of everything steaks, seafood, vegetarian options etc and we finally decided on 2 sharing boards to start.

The Spicy BBQ, which included ribs, chicken wings, garlic bread, corn on the cob and wedges. Plus the Italian Job, which included Italian meats, mozzarella, olives, plus plenty of breads and dips. There was a lot of food, but we had worked up an appetite and so it all disappeared pretty quickly!

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After the feast, we managed to contain ourselves when the mains arrived and so I managed to get a snap of these!

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^^ The Veggie Burger for Lauren. She’s not a veggie, but sometimes the veggie option is too good to resist!

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^^ A beefburger for Matt

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^^ Ribs for me, because I hadnt had enough with the starter! πŸ˜‰

and finally….

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^^ Rich went caveman and got the ‘Meat on a Stone’ Basically cook your own steak.

The food was good and filling and for once, I couldn’t fit in dessert!! We stayed for a little while longer finishing our drinks and chatting. We had lots to catch up on and I needed to hear about all the wedding plans and of course hear the proposal story again πŸ˜‰

We didn’t even realise the time, it was nearly midnight, so we decided to head to a bar for a couple more drinks. We found a small bar who would let us in, as weirdly most of the places refused us, due to them closing soon. We had no clue where we had ended up and looking around we seemed to be the youngest there! But the music was great, Spice Girls, Gina G, Wigfield! Haha all our old cheesy favourites so we were soon dancing the night away!

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A great day with great friends πŸ™‚ and hopefully we won’t leave it so long next time!

❀

Love, Chloe xxx

Friday Night Fun!

Matt hasΒ had 6 weeks off rugby training for the Summer, and as much as I have enjoyed having him all to myself, I must admit I have been missing our big group meet up’s and night’s out! (Shh don’t tell him that!)

We knew our friend Dan (who we met up with in New York) would be playing the Piano at Urban Nine, a local wine bar. So we thought this would be the perfect excuse to get everyone together for a fun night out, before the craziness of rugby begins again in a few weeks time!

The evening started as a bit of a manic one. It took me ages to get home from work due to bad traffic, the weather was hot and stuffy so my hair was a bit of a frizz ball and I was a sticky mess (nice!), we then had some people over to look at some work we want doing to our house, but they ended up looking and chatting forever (more on house progress another time!) and so by the time I actually got a chance to start getting ready it was already gone 7pm and Emily & Sam we’re coming over at 7.30pm so we could head to the bar together.

Due to Matt only taking roughly 5 minutes to get ready, he kindly cooked a couple of pizzas for us and poured me a chilled glass of white. While I frantically showered, attempted to straighten my hair in the heat, applied minimal make up and finally threw clothes around the room trying to find something to wear. This was the end result:

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Skinny white jeans, my new fluffy black strappy sandals and a very summery printed vest top, not exactly matching but hey I liked it!

Em and Sam had obviously already arrived by this point, so I quickly joined everyone in the lounge, took a large sip of my drink and then attempted to paint my nails while eating pizza! Bit of a fail oops!

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^^ Em & Sam ❀

Finally ready to go πŸ˜‰ we grabbed a cab and Em and I realised how matchy matchy we were! πŸ™‚ Great minds and all that!

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Urban Nine is a small piano bar, situated above it’s sister Urban Kitchen. Kitchen being open in the day as a cafe and Nine being open at night as a bar.

Luckily we had reserved an area as there were quite a few of us and with the venue being quite small tables fill up fast! Our tables were in perfect view of Dan on the piano, whereas the other tables are around the corner in the bar area.

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As it was still pretty hot and I was in a holiday kind of mood, I decided to go for a frozen strawberry daiquiri as my first drink and it didn’t disappoint, full of flavour and just what I needed to cool off. Matt then kindly brought bottles of prosecco to share, before we had another look at those cocktails! They have a large choice and they are all delicious.

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^^ Girls group shot! I can’t remember what those lethal green looking cocktails were but they were very sour and soo good!

As the night went on Dan had the whole place singing and dancing and the atmosphere was buzzing. It could have been those cocktails though! πŸ˜‰

Dan is an amazing Pianist but also a great all round entertainer, he isn’t just going to sit in the corner and play quietly, he likes to put on a show and he is so much fun! He even encouraged people to join him sing and he happily took requests.

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^^ Dan in action

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^^ White jeans were clearly the way to go

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^^ Andrew joining Dan for a song

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^^ Dan’s lovely wife, Sarah & I

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^^ Just a couple of the rugby boys, posing for a picture πŸ˜‰

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^^ and Andy taking his posing to the next level!

Unfortunately, after a good few hours of listening to Dan play and sing, catching up with friends, dancing, singing and attempting to try all the cocktails, a DJ takes over and plays the usual chart music for the rest of the night.

Which is when Em, Megs and I decided it would be a good idea to do a few shots of tequila Rose;

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From then on the night is a little bit of a blur, but a good blur! πŸ˜‰

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Cheers Guys and Girls and here’s to the next one, and if any of you are ever in Reigate I would def pop into Urban Nine for Β a cocktail or 2 or 3…

Love, Chloe xx

Stag Weekends Vs Hen Weekends!

Apologies if I write a lot about this subject, but Stag and Hen weekends seem to have taken over my life lately.

Matt and I have spent the last 3 weekends apart due to these occasions and as I write he is currently away in Greece on another stag weekend.

But I’m not sad, fed up or annoyed about the fact that we aren’t spending time together. After all, we both know each other’s plans for the year and knew that our Summer was packed with hens, stags, weddings, birthdays, BBQ’s..the list goes on. And it’s not like we need to be joined at the hip all the time πŸ˜‰ it’s good and healthy to have lives outside each other.

No, what I’m sad, fed up and annoyed about, is the difference in weekend’s we seem to have and in all honesty I’m jealous!

As far as I’m aware Stag and Hen Night’s/Weekends have been around for generations. However what was once a simple night at the pub, with friends, the night before the wedding, now seems to be an elaborate weekend of travelling and entertainment, seeing who can have the best/most outrageous/most decadent weekend there is.

Oh no wait…that would be the men! Stag do’s seem to be getting bigger and bigger as we speak, whereas personally I feel like the hen weekend is getting smaller.

As I say this is just my personal opinion and you may totally disagree with me, but in my experience I am yet to go abroad or do anything elaborate for a hen party. Yet our men, happily spend a lot of money and leave us behind for a long weekend minimum, to go abroad, for their friends. After discussing this with different groups of girlfriends, all us ladies seem to feel the same way.

I have been with Matt nearly 5 years and in that time he has been on MANY Stag do’s. Weirdly, we actually met while he was on a stag weekend in Bournemouth! But that’s another story. And apart from that weekend in Bournemouth, I can’t remember the last time he stayed in the UK for a Stag. He has travelled to most European cities for them and this year he has already been to Iceland, Marbella (Spain) and is now currently in Greece.

He’s not the only one I have to base my (can I call it research) on πŸ˜‰ I work with a group of guys (I’m the only girl) and again over the past couple of years all of them have been on stag do’s and all in Europe. Whenever I mention a hen do, as soon as I say it’s in the UK, they switch off, they think it’s boring.

While they have all been sunning it up in Marbs, clubbing in Ibiza, gambling in Vegas or drinking steins in Germany. I have been battling the British Elements, while doing Go Ape in Nottingham, gone on a ‘normal’ night out in Bournemouth (where I grew up) or sat and ate chips on Brighton Beach.

Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed my weekends with my favourite ladies, I wouldn’t have gone on them otherwise. But I just don’t think they are on the same par as the boys weekends. Am I being too miserable about this or ungrateful? I appreciate I do a lot of fun things that other people will never get the chance to do. But, I guess we live in this society where we always want more or are always competing with the next person. And personally, I just want something that little bit better.

I guess I only have myself or my friends haha to blame πŸ˜‰ But personally I just feel that girls are more considerate about their friends/family and think about all possibilities to ensure that everyone can make their special weekend. I’m sure secretly behind closed doors they would have loved to have gone to a sunny beach in the med and been served cocktails by the pool. But instead, because so and so is pregnant or just had a baby or just brought a house and so is being careful with money. We will just stick to somewhere local instead. This happened to me with the Bournemouth hen do I went on recently. Originally the Bride to Be wanted it to be in Brighton, over the bank holiday weekend, for 3 nights. But once we started to get costs together, some of the ladies started to say it was too expensive for them and would drop out. Because of this the Bride to Be decided to keep it local and more low key so everyone could make it, it was also half the price of Brighton!

But I just don’t think boys work or think like this. As soon as they get engaged, all their friends want to know about is the stag do! Weird and wonderful countries get mentioned, fancy dress gets brought and before they know it they’ve spent Β£700 each before they’ve even gotten anywhere. You only need to watch Don’t Tell the BrideΒ (One of my favourite programmes) to see what really goes on in their minds! Matt actually got invited on a stag do to Las Vegas later this year, but he has politely declined. Costs just seemed to spiral out of control quickly and the Stag was making crazy requests such as VIP tables at night, pool parties by day and even debating upgrading flights. Many of his friends have dropped out but he doesn’t seem to care as HE is still getting the stag do HE wants. I just don’t think a girl would do or act like this, well none that I know.

Having said all that, sometimes I wish us girls would be a little more like the boys!

I’m not even engaged, but I have already told all my girlfriends that, when the time comes, my hen do will be abroad. But they have already mentioned their concerns, ‘I’m saving for a house’, ‘what if I have a baby?’, ‘I doubt I can afford it’. I’M NOT EVEN ENGAGED. Boy’s would never think of these things, they would never even consider them.

Of course I’m not saying act like a diva, ditch all your friends and run off to Vegas to max out your credit cards, for your next hen do. Or am I πŸ˜‰ No, all I’m saying is do what you want to do, if that is just a night in Brighton, then of course that’s fine. Do whatever makes you happy. But if it is secretly that weekend to Marbs or a fancy spa hotel in the countryside, then tell your friends, give them lots of time to plan and save and work out the logistics and then just go for it. After all you only live once! and hopefully will only get married once! So this is your time to have fun and let lose with your best girlfriends.

So here’s to the next Hen weekend, whatever it may be, I just hope it’s fun! πŸ™‚

Love, Chloe xxx

P.s Matt just sent me this picture of his view in Greece

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and this is me on a hen do last weekend

20150613_133946(0)See what I’m talking about πŸ˜‰

Once a Dancer…Always a Dancer!

After arriving back home from New York on the Tuesday, you would probably have thought that we would have given ourselves a few days off to recover and get back to normal. But nope, unfortunately not, we had to jump straight back into the ‘Real World’.

Wednesday and Thursday flew by in a jet lagged blur and then we were at Friday. The day I had been soo looking forward to and dreading all at the same time. Why?…. Because I was performing in my first dance show of the weekend……. My first dance show in nearly 10 years. Eek!

To give you a brief history into my dance life, ha. It goes as follows… At the age of 2 or 3 year’s old my parents decided to take me to a weekly ballet & tap class. The reason being, I apparently loved music and would dance/move/bop to anything they put on the radio, plus I didn’t sleep ha. So they thought this would help with both things. I loved it and over the years I took part in numerous dance shows, carnivals, fates, medal tests etc, along with passing tap and ballet exams and meeting my life long friends along the way.

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^^ I’m the 4th from the left, I clearly didn’t want to smile that day! πŸ˜‰

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^^ I’m in the pink outfit, back row, 2nd from left

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^^ I’m in the white outfit, first on the left, kneeling with my arm out (I’m still best friends with 3 of the girls in this picture!)

I dabbled in Disco Dancing and Modern but quickly realised they weren’t for me. As a teenager I also started taking weekly jazz and stretch classes along with the ballet, pointe work and tap classes I continued to take.

At the age of 14 I danced in a Variety Show at The London Palladium. This was an incredible experience and I loved every minute of it. Coming from a small town on the South Coast, I loved visiting the bright lights of London πŸ™‚

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^^ I’m 2nd from left

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^^ I’m on the left. My sister, Heidi is also in black on the right. At the front is my cousin Tara who has just turned 18! Crazy.

And at 15 I auditioned to take part in The English Youth Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty. I got a role and was soo excited. The training and rehearsals were tough, during the school half terms we would be in pointe shoes for hour’s a day. But I loved it. I love the discipline of ballet and dancing with professional Ballerina’s was inspiring.

Throughout my dance years, I also used to take part in master classes by Wayne Sleep. He is a phenomenal dancer but also has a funny and caring personality. I love him.

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^^ This was my last master class aged 17, I’m on the left, Wayne Sleep in the middle and Heidi is on the right

Things changed a bit though from 16-18. You’re at that age where most people have stopped dancing OR they are taking it very seriously going to actual dance colleges etc. And I was in the middle. I was the only one of my friends to still have a ‘hobby’ but would take it seriously dancing 2 or 3 nights a week. However my family couldn’t afford for me to go to dance college in London. And I never thought I was good enough to audition for the scholarships (In hindsight I should have just gone for it). So I stayed at school, completed my A Levels and then at 18 just before school actually finished, I decided to go to a few auditions, just to see what people said about me and to see what was out there.

Needless to say I got told No, a lot. I had thick skin, I’ve been used to criticism since 3 years old it’s part of being a dancer, but it still hurts. The thing that annoyed me most though was most of the time I barely even got a chance to dance. Appearance was a major factor too and if you didn’t have ‘a look’ or weren’t the right size or height, it would be a no before you had even started. One time I had been queuing since 5 am for a dance TV show and by the time I was seen at around 11 am I was straight away told I didn’t have the right look, I was still allowed to dance for 30 seconds but then it was a No. I knew it was going to be a No regardless of what I did. Seriously couldn’t they have told me that at 5 am? The majority of the time it was my height, I’m 5 ft 2 and most of the auditions I would see, would be minimum 5ft 5, so I didn’t even bother going.

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^^ A couple of pics from ‘modelling’ mostly for friends Uni projects haha

During this process a few girls had talked about catalogue modelling and that it was quick, easy money. So I looked into that too. I went for a casting in London for a dance wear and swimwear line. I got through a couple of rounds but didn’t make it to the end. When I got home that night I got a phone call from a scout who had seen me at the casting and was offering me a job. I was so excited, this was it… my big break. But what job did he offer me?….

A Pole Dancing gig at a major strip club in London, he said I had the potential to make lots of money. I am being totally serious. As tempting as that sounded πŸ˜‰ I politely declined. Who knows, maybe I would have been a millionaire now if I had taken the job haha. But that was the end for me, I had had enough and if people only saw me as being a stripper what was the point? School was over and I needed to earn money and get a ‘proper’ job as I had no intention of going to Uni. So that is what I did. Admittedly now, looking back I gave up way too easily and probably should have tried a lot harder but I clearly didn’t have the drive, otherwise I would have done.

I carried on dancing at my local dance school, but it wasn’t the same. My friends had all left, I was the oldest in the class – which the younger ones would bitch about and I was jealous of them getting the good jobs or going off to dance college. So at 21 I stopped dancing altogether.

21 was a big year of change for me. I stopped dancing, I broke up with my boyfriend of nearly 4 years and I left my job that I had had since I was 18. It was a bit of a weird and long year. But at the end of it I met Matt πŸ™‚ so you know, when one door closes, another one opens and all that! πŸ˜‰

Anyway I digress, back to dancing!….

I tried out a couple of adult Ballet classes while I still lived with my parents, but they were all rubbish. I don’t blame the teachers at all, but all the classes seemed to be aimed at beginner’s. For adults who really hadn’t done ANY Ballet training before and that was just too slow and boring for me. I still wanted to learn and I still needed to be pushed.

I moved up to South London to live with Matt and phoned around a few local dance schools, but no one wanted me 😦 I either got told that they didn’t do adult classes, they didn’t go up to the grade I wanted to take or they only took up to 18 year old’s. It was all annoying and frustrating. So I tried other activities thinking I could replace dancing, zumba, kettlebells and even running. But I hated them all. I didn’t have any friends to go with and everyone at these places seemed to already be quite cliquey. So in the end I gave up all of them. Matt will tell you I was pretty miserable. Not just about the dancing, but lots of other things built up too including moving away from my friends and family who I missed.

But last Summer I finally got out of my funk and got a kick up the bum I needed (putting on 2 stone will do that to you!!). I had to start dancing again and so phoned around lots of different dance schools and FINALLY found someone who would take me, it was roughly a 40 minute drive away from our flat but I didn’t care.

I started last September and I haven’t looked back. I now do Advanced 1 Tap on a Monday night. Yes I’m with girls roughly 10 years younger than me but do you know what? I don’t care and neither do they. We get on great, no bitching or back stabbing, just normal, sweet girls. I’m actually going to be sad when a few of them leave to go off to college and uni this summer! Then on a Tuesday night I do adult Ballet. And this is the BEST adult Ballet class I have ever been to. Our teacher is lovely, we’re able to have a gossip and a laugh. Yet she still pushes us when we need it or want it.

Now we have moved to Surrey, I’m only 10 minutes away from dancing which is a bonus. Plus I’ve made lots of new friends through ballet, who I now see outside of class too. We keep saying we need to arrange more dinners and drinks!

Then in January our teacher dropped the bomb. The school would be putting a dance show on in May and would we like to be part of it? It was a real 50/50 split with half the class saying no and the rest saying yes. But there was no pressure and she promised not to make the routine too hard! I did a tap routine too.

I loved learning routines again, practising around the house, at work, at my desk, in the toilets! I couldn’t stop. And the costumes were beautiful. It was exciting. Plus I have lost just over half a stone which is great, just another half to go!

So then finally at the end of May, we took our places on stage and went for it. I was so nervous! I had totally forgotten the butterfly stomach feeling you get, the excitement of dancing in front of an audience, the craziness of quick changes. I love it all!

I actually performed in 4 shows over the weekend, 2 on Friday and 2 on Sunday. (I had to miss the Saturday show as we had a wedding, adult commitments!) It all went by so fast though, I’m now quite gutted it’s over.

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^^^ Me in my tap outfit

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^^ Adult Ballet ladies. I’m the short one! 4th from the front

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^^ Ballet selfie, I’m in the front row, 3rd from left.

After all the shows were over on the Sunday night, all us ballet ladies went out for dinner together to celebrate, lots of good food and bubbles were had. I think we deserved them! πŸ˜‰ (pic below)

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So now it’s back to normal classes until we break up for Summer, just a shame I don’t have the summer holidays off any more!!

The next thing I’m working towards is taking my advanced 1 tap exam. It would be nice to actually complete them all!

My advice to anyone is to never give up and if you love something just go for it and do it, regardless of your age or size! After all they are just numbers! Just have fun πŸ™‚ I love dancing and won’t be stopping again any time soon!

Love, Chloe xx

And…I’m back!

How quick did those 11 days go?!

We got back Tuesday afternoon, but after a flight delay and the unexpected delivery of our new dining table as soon as we got to our front door, I then spent the rest of the day sleeping! So much for staying awake to lessen the jet lag! Oops! πŸ˜‰

Yesterday was a bit of a tough day too, I went back to work, wishing I had taken the rest of the week off and basically sat at my desk like a zombie, not really taking anything in and forgetting how much staring at a computer screen all day, looking at numbers and spreadsheets, sucks.

After work I drove to the supermarket to do a food shop (you know us women’s favourite thing to do *yawn*) however they did have a good deal on wine, hooray! I felt like I was on super market sweep, dashing around the isles, wanting to get home as quick as possible, to pass out on the sofa. But then someone got in my way…the cashier…she started off pleasant enough with the usual how was your day, you’ve got a lot of shopping, etc. But then she stopped me in my frantic food packing state, to ask for my ID…Noooo. The one thing I didn’t have on me. I could tell her exactly where it was.. in my dressing gown pocket – where else? ha πŸ˜‰ as Matt had only given it back to me that morning from where he had kept it in his wallet our whole holiday. Also I know most women see this as a nice compliment – well it usually is when you have your ID and laugh that your nearly 10 years older than 18! But when you don’t have it, it’s like you just want to scream and protest just how old you are. But she wasn’t having any of it and she made me look like a silly little teenager when she took all my bottles off the conveyor belt! So then I sulked. I was tired, grumpy, jet lagged and just wanted to buy the wine. I paid and left in a very foul mood! (no wonder she didn’t serve me!!) When I got home, the first thing I did was place my ID straight back into my purse, so hopefully I won’t have to go through that embarrassment again any time soon! lol.

Anyway as you can probably tell, yesterday I was a little over emotional, but today is a better day, I’m feeling back to normal and ready for yet another bank holiday weekend woohoo! This one is set to be a super busy one. We have a wedding on Saturday, I am performing in 4 dance shows over the weekend, oh and my parents are coming to stay! So no stress at all! πŸ˜‰

I did have a great time away though, both Chicago and New York are amazing, so much to see and do. It was so much fun and great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Plus I just love America! πŸ™‚ ❀

I shall tell you all about it in my next post!

Have a great long weekend!!

Love, Chloe xxx

Hooray for Holiday!

So it’s 10.48 on an overcast Friday morning and I can say that in 5 hours and 10 mins I will officially be on holiday! πŸ™‚

It’s been a while since I’ve been abroad and with all the stress of moving house (2 weeks before Xmas!) and how busy we have been since, this day has been a long time coming. Technically I have 1 more sleep ( we all still count in sleeps right? πŸ˜‰ ) until we are ACTUALLY on holiday but hey once I’ve put the out of office email on, I’m already there..well in my mind anyway.

I guess I should tell you where we’re going..well we’re off to the great U.S Of A and I am beyond excited. We have been to America a few times, New York, Vegas, LA & Florida. (Vegas being my ultimate favourite!) However this time we start our trip in Chicago, home of Barack Obama, The World’s FIRST Skyscraper and one of my best friend’s, Christina!! ❀

I have known Christina for 4.5 years but it feels like I’ve known her a lifetime. When I first moved to London she totally took me under her wing and we soon realised we had a lot of the same interests; Cheese, Wine, Jo Malone and Musicals being top of the list and I really don’t know what I would have done without her. She is actually married to one of Matt’s best friend’s, Jason, which is how we got introduced, but it also meant we got to see each other pretty much all the time πŸ™‚

Christina was born and bred in Chicago, however in her final year of uni she decided to study abroad and London was top of the list. She randomly met Jason in a queue for a nightclub almost 8 years ago and the rest as they say is history. They stayed in London until July 2014, when they decided to move back to Chicago for good. Cue lots of goodbyes and tears 😦 All I can say is, I’m very grateful for WhatsApp, Viber, Emails and Facebook, so we can still contact each other almost daily! BUT it’s not the same as seeing someone in person and so Saturday afternoon cannot come soon enough, food, bubbles and lots of hugs are already high on the list of our priorities. I’ve already pre warned Matt of the girlie squeals, hugs and non-stop talking that is bound to happen, I don’t think the same thing will happen between him and Jason.. but hey we will see! πŸ˜‰

We have 6 days to explore Chicago until we jet off to New York for a long weekend. Matt has been to New York quite a few times now, however I have only been once before. We are actually going to New York for another of Matt’s good friend’s, Bruce wedding. Well it’s actually a celebration, he and his wife Erin eloped to the Caribbean on Valentines Day (how romantic!! ❀ ) so this is more of the after party..and I’m excited! Because of this reason though I don’t think we will have much time for exploring or sight seeing. Matt has a few friends he wants to catch up with and I think dinners, lunches or even brunches have already been booked for us..not that I’m complaining! So I think most of our time will be spent having fun with friends πŸ™‚

Anywho I best be off, as 1. I’ve got work to do tut tut and 2. I have a list to write of the million things I need to remember and pack!! I’ve been a bit too relaxed about it for some reason!

I will take lots of snaps and share them with you when I’m back, promise!!

Love, Chloe xx

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