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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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

Kat’s Nottingham Hen Weekend!

Another weekend..Another Hen Party! See I told you they were taking over ๐Ÿ˜‰

For this hen weekend, a trip to Nottingham was in order. Somewhere I had never been before, so I was a bit excited to visit somewhere new.

I left work early on the Friday and began my journey from South London to North London dragging my jam packed suitcase with me. For those who don’t know London very well getting from one place to another can be a bit of a nightmare, especially on a Friday afternoon and a very hot afternoon at that!

Two train changes, One Tube journey, a quick pit stop to grab bottles of bubbles and asking a stranger for directions (I don’t know North London at all) and I had finally made it to Emma’s house.

Emma is one of Kat’s bridesmaid’s and other than communicating over email about the hen party I hadn’t actually met her in person before. But she was lovely, she must have taken pity on me and my bedraggled look and offered me a large glass of water before we spent the rest of the afternoon decorating the car with pink ribbon, getting all the hen bits together and chatting about how we knew Kat and what was in store for the hen weekend.

I actually met Kat, through Matt. Her then boyfriend now fiancรฉ Ant, works with Matt and so ever since I have been with Matt I have known Kat. Wow that all sounds a bit of a tongue twister ha I apologise but hopefully it makes sense! We bonded over bubbles at the boys work do and have been great friends ever since. Kat and Ant got engaged in April 2014 and I must admit she has been one chilled bride to be! The hen weekend was organised by her 4 bridesmaids and was a total surprise forย Kat.

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^^ Kat & Ant

With the car packed up and ready to go, Emma and I drove to the station to pick up Kat, ready for the weekend to begin! Kat was super excited but also a bit nervous considering she had no idea where she was going or what we had in-store for her.

We knew it was going to be a bit of a drive, especially with Friday traffic. So Emma had stocked the car with goodies including chocolate and can’s of Pimms, something Kat and I might have gotten stuck into a little bit quickly! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Unfortunately the weather decided to take a turn for the worst when we hit The Midlands and so we didn’t see the sunshine again until Sunday! But it didn’t matter the good tunes, Summery drinks and company were more than making up for it.

We were staying in a quaint area in theย Derwent Valley, in the Derbyshire countryside for the weekend and Emma had found a lovely house to fit all of us in for the weekend.

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We were actually the last to arrive at the house! But that was nice for Kat, as all her friends and family were there ready to surprise her. Plus they had done a great job of decorating the house, the walls were filled with photos of Kat, balloons had been blown, banners and streamers were everywhere and a goody bag had been left for everyone at their place setting. It was cosy, friendly and everyone was super excited for the weekend ahead.

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^^ My lovely goody bag, made by Miranda, one of the Bridesmaids

We had a quick explore and were shown our bedrooms and then headed back down to help with dinner. Well that was my intention, what really happened.. I was given a large glass of bubbles which was constantly topped up and mingled with some of the other girls in the lounge area. Oops! The bridesmaids all did a great job of looking after everyone and making sure everyone was fed and watered though, they couldn’t have done a better job.

For dinner we all sat around the large table and ate a feast of pizzas, salads, dips, doritos etc. Drinking lots of bubbles and hearing how everyone had met Kat and our favourite memories with her. Lots of gossip and girlie giggles just what hen weekends should be about!

Even more giggles erupted when Miranda, presented Kat with this…

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I think it’s pretty amazing and Miranda did such a good job. As you can see she is the creative one of the group! ha.ย We even lit candles and made Kat blow them out and make a wish of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ The cake was actually a delicious chocolate creation.

After a quick tidy up and top up of bubbles, we all made our way to the lounge area and spent the rest of the evening playing games. A fun tipsy start to the weekend.

Saturday we had to wake up pretty early for the first of the days activities. After a quick breakfast, we all piled into cars and headed to Sherwood Forest for Go Ape! This activity had mixed reactions from the group. Some had done it before, some were super excited and ready for the challenge and the rest were just pretty scared about what was ahead! I was a mixture of the last two!

It was still chucking it down with rain and a little chilly but Go Ape! Still goes ahead, they claim that the weather makes it even more fun. So after our full safety briefing we were left to our own devices. Eek!

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You start off by climbing a rope ladder to the first base and then from there you face a few challenges through the trees until you reach the zip wire at the end. There are 6 areas to cover and the time it takes purely depends on your group size, weather conditions and how fit/brave you are!

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11227529_774664756188_8315093548359799877_n^^ The Bride to Be not looking very happy!

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11401519_774665045608_7990244743648435077_n^^ Yes this is me..the mud will make it fun they said ;-p

It took us about 2.5 hours to complete, but there were a lot of us, plus we had a few freak outs in the beginning but you get quicker/more confident as you move along. Plus the weather made it super slippery so we were being extra cautious and a bit slower!

At the time I said I would never do it again. But I think I probably would, as long as the weather was sunny! By the end we were all wet through, shivering cold and covered in mud. But we completed it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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After a very quick change and dry under the hand dryer in the toilets!! We headed to a pub for lunch. I’m sorry I didn’t get the name, but we had our own private room and the food was generous and delicious. I had fish and chips and it was just what I needed to warm up!!

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We then headed back to the house, where the bridesmaid’s set up creative tables for everyone to enjoy and chill out a bit after the excitement of the morning!

First up were DIY Face Masks – We had instructions and all the ingredients we needed and proceeded to chop, whisk and mash until they were ready to use. Who needs a spa?

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^^ Helen (Bridesmaid) enjoying her creation

Next up was the Cupcake station – Pre made cupcakes ready to be decorated with all the icing and glittery bit’s you could ever need. Cute and yummy!!

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And lastly further in the background you may just see that we had photo booth props and masks to use for funny group photos. Unfortunately I had popped upstairs for a shower when these came out to play, so no photos from me I’m afraid.

We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling, chatting, eating, decorating and getting ready for the evenings events.

We were asked to be glam and ready in the lounge for 7.30pm and of course were greeted with more bubbles, vodka jelly and home made buckets of cocktails! We then played a couple more games, ate a few nibbles and then all jumped into the mini bus to take us to Nottingham Town Centre for the evening.

We started off with a table in Pitcher and Piano being civilised with cocktails and bubbles, before heading to Revolution for trays of shots and dirty dancing and then finally ending up in Coco Tang, drinking more cocktails, doing shots of Jรคger and dancing until our feet hurt.

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It was such a fun night. When we got back we all sat around the table and ate the nibbles and cakes left over from earlier, laughed about the nights events and finally went to bed around 4am.

The next morning some people *no names mentioned* were suffering ever so slightly, but we all managed to have breakfast and tidied up the house before saying our goodbyes and sharing excitement over the next time we would all be together…The Wedding!

I finally got home about 5pm, crashed out on the sofa and ordered dominos, oops! But what a fun weekend, thanks for inviting me Kat and I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle in 3.5 weeks time!!

Lots of Love, Chloe xxx

Sophie’s Bournemouth Hen Weekend!

I first met Sophie four and a half years ago, at my old job. We both joined on the same day, so being the newbies and working in such a small office, with only 3 other people, meant we spent a lot of time talking! She was also the person who would drive me to the train station after work on a Friday, nearly every other week, so I could travel up to London to see Matt for the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Wow that seems like a long time ago now!!

I only worked at the company for a year and a half, before moving up to London for good. So even though I hadn’t known Sophie very long, working together everyday in such a close environment, meant that we got to know each other pretty well. The day I left was a bit of a sad one as I knew I was leaving Sophie alone and they didn’t end up replacing me. However at the same time I couldn’t wait to start my new life in London!

Sophie and I kept in contact weekly, along with attending each other’s birthday parties, concerts, night’s out, new home’s etc and in Summer 2013 celebratingย the news that Sophie had gotten engaged to John, her childhood sweetheart. Matt and I attended their engagement party back in Bournemouth, and she asked me to be her bridesmaid that night. I was pleasantly surprised that she had asked me and happily agreed.

Ever since that moment though it has been all systems go on the wedding planning! And last Summer she asked if I would plan her hen party. I love organising parties (my old job was event planning) and I love a good spreadsheet. So I agreed to take on the task, after all I did have a year to plan it! She gave me a list of ideas that she liked and didn’t like and suggested that it would be easier to keep it in Bournemouth, the rest was up to me.

So finally after a long year of planning, organising and getting people together, Sophie’s Hen Weekend had arrived…..

I travelled back to my parent’s house late Thursday night and then spent Friday frantically putting last minute bits together for the hen party. Blowing up balloons, writing name place cards for the table, cutting out pictures to stick on the walls ..just to name a few! As well as managing to squeeze in a catch up with both of my nan’s and an old school friend of mine in the afternoon. Mum treated me to an amazing roast dinner that night, oh how I miss those! and then we spent the rest of the evening gossiping over wine..bliss!

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^^ Everyone’s bottle of fizz (I used these as place cards for the table)

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^^ Just some of the decorations, booze and added extra’s I brought – As you can see Sophie LOVES pink!

Saturday morning seemed to pass by in a second and then myself, mum and dad headed to the hotel in Bournemouth to set up. I am soo grateful that they helped me set up, along with my old boss, Jo. I really underestimated how long it would all take!

I had booked a private room for the whole day, and decided to decorate the whole thing myself. We laid pink table cloths, sprinkled with lots of hen themed confetti. Each Hen got their own bottle of fizz, along with chocolates, sweets, a bottle of bubbles, pink champagne flute, pink shot glass and a test tube shot.

My dad kindly blew up all the balloons and tied one to each chair. The walls we covered with hen party banners, balloons and photos of Sophie with her friends and family. Finally done, we hid all the extra booze and snacks in the cupboard, got rid of all the rubbish and I hugged and thanked my parents goodbye. I finally felt I was ready to relax and enjoy the day!

Jo and I got to Aruba just in time to meet everyone else for lunch.

If you haven’t been to Aruba you should really try it out. It’s right on Bournemouth Pier with views of the sea and beach and they do amazing cocktails. BOGOF on Friday nights ๐Ÿ˜‰ By day it’s a place to chill with a drink, watch the World go by and eat some yummy food. In the evening it’s a place to come with friends and dance the night away, cocktail in hand. I used to love it when I lived in Bournemouth and it was always my go to place!

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On arrival I greeted everyone with their own personalised sash, which of course were pink and Sophie had a tiara/veil too!

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We then ordered a large round of cocktails and pizza!

After lunch we headed outside, into the gorgeous British sunshine. Bournemouth beach was packed!

Jumped in cabs and headed back to the hotel ready for the afternoon.

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^^ You can’t beat a selfie in the sunshine!

Back at the hotel, we were greeted with a glass of champagne before the Etiquette Class began. Yes we really did an Etiquette Class! and in all honesty I really enjoyed it and learnt a bit from it ๐Ÿ˜‰

We learnt what you would expect from this sort of thing; how to walk with a book on our heads, how to speak properly, how you should treat your husband ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well this was advice from the 1950’s! At the end we were split into teams and had to devise a short play, including all the advice we had learnt from the class. For example someone played the mum, dad, children etc. It was actually really fun and everyone got involved.

To end the class we learnt the history of afternoon tea and indulged in all the goodies and more bubbles of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus I had put together a quiz of my own which everyone took part in while enjoying the cakes and scones!

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^^ Bride to Be Sophie in housewife training, 50’s style.

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^^ Sophie and Lauren, balancing those books!

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^^ Yummy afternoon tea and Sophie with some of her hens

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^^ Sophie with her 2 Bridesmaids, Sarah on the left and myself on the right.

After we had eaten as many delicious cakes and scones as we possibly could. Some of the older member’s of the group called it a day and headed home.

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^^ Sophie with (From L-R) Nan of the Groom, Gran of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Mother of the Bride & Aunt of the Groom

We were very lucky with the weather and so for the remainder of the afternoon the mum’s decided to pop out for a bit of a sunbathe, while the rest of us checked out what the hotel spa had to offer.

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Feeling very relaxed after a quick swim and laze in the jacuzzi, we headed to our hotel rooms to get ready for the night ahead.

Glammed up and ready to get the party started, we headed back downstairs to our main room, where buffet food had been laid out for us and Sophie was waiting for her surprise….

A Butler in the Buff! She had banned me from getting a stripper, so this was the next best thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

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He was a lot of fun and soon got us playing a mixture of games and continuously poured us drinks. His rule was 1 shot for the loser and 2 shots for the winner. That seems fair right? Needless to say we were very tipsy after his 2 hour visit!

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^^ We started off with pin the junk on the hunk, then moved on to Willy Bingo. After the shots kicked in, it turned into Never have I ever and finally we ended up with Body Shots! Sorry Mr Butler ๐Ÿ˜‰

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After saying goodbye to our Butler and feeling a little tipsy,we all made our way to Bar So, for the rest of the evening.

We had a private table, with bottle service and danced and sang the night away..

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13 Ladies started on the Saturday and only 6 made it to breakfast the next morning, I think that’s a sign of a good night! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope Sophie enjoyed herself and now the countdown is on for the wedding.. 4 weeks to go!

Love, Chloe xx

Up in Upper Class..

I don’t know about you but I never fly in the Upper or Business Class section of the plane. I wish I could afford to, but sometimes I think even if I had the money, is it really worth it?

I have flown Upper Class once before, with Virgin Atlantic. Matt and I went to Australia in Summer 2013 and he surprised me the night before with the upgraded tickets. I was hysterical, like a mad woman who had just won the lottery, I was jumping on the bed, constantly asking if it was real. I even phoned my mum to share the news. As I was so excited and could barely get the words out, she assumed we had gotten engaged and was then getting excited herself. Oops sorry mum, we’re both still waiting for that day! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Matt had upgraded us by using A LOT of saved air miles and then explained we could only afford to do this one way. But I didn’t care, I was going FIRST CLASS, I was going to turn left when I got onto the plane, I could make my chair into a bed, I could sit and drink at the bar and pretend I wasn’t on a plane and I was excited!

If you’re anything like me I hate the whole airport experience, I know a lot of people who love it but I would rather get there and get straight on a plane. I don’t want to go on a shopping trip, I don’t want to join a queue for dinner at yet another Italian themed chain and I really don’t want to be in a half an hour queue at WH Smith self service tills, just to buy the bumper pack of magazines and a bottle of water for the journey ahead.

So when our taxi pulled up to the Upper Class Wing at Heathrow Airport, I was in heaven! Our suitcases were taken straight from the car for us, no struggling or worrying if you’re over the weight limit. Our boarding passes were basically given straight to us and then we had our own private security check, no queues.. bliss! It was then a short walk to the Upper Class lounge. All the free food and drink you could ask for and treats such as cookies, chocolate and sweets are in bowls dotted around the comfy sofa areas. We ate an amazing dinner, had a couple of glasses of fizz to toast our trip and then played a few games of pool before boarding the plane. I felt super relaxed and definitely the way I wanted to start a holiday! There is even a spa offering free treatments if you get there early enough to enjoy them before your flight! (one to remember for next time!)

We had a night flight to Oz and on entering the plane we were offered a glass of champagne and PJ’s to change into should we wish, I was already wearing my most comfiest trackie bottoms and hoodie so declined the offer. I don’t dress up for a flight, it’s all about comfort no matter what class you are in! Especially with a 30 odd hour journey ahead of us!

The flight went by surprisingly quickly and the beds are actually really big, I’m only 5 ft 2 so felt I could really spread out or get cosy when I wanted to. See below!

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Then take a look at this breakfast are we even on a plane?!

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I couldn’t fault the service and we had the best ‘plane’ food I had ever tasted. I really don’t understand how they manage to serve a full 3 course meal, on china, with proper cutlery, oh and don’t forget the afternoon tea served on actual cake stands and tea served in teacups and saucers?! No silver foil tray food here.

BUT I still can’t figure out if it’s worth the ยฃ3k+ price tag?

I will tell you one thing though no matter how long you are away for, flying home in a lower class is a major come down. Not only are you sad that you are heading home after an amazing trip, you are yearning to be comfortably lying flat in your bed getting a good sleep, not curled up in a ball, with your neck half crooked into a random persons shoulder!

Sooo when Matt surprised me with Upper Class tickets for our trip to Chicago a couple of weeks ago, I was beyond excited and more than ready to experience the luxury again! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cheers and Happy Holidays!!

Love, Chloe xx