Kat’s Nottingham Hen Weekend!

Another weekend..Another Hen Party! See I told you they were taking over 😉

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 fiancé 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 for Kat.

1888605_10100239944349148_8418165459689733827_n

^^ 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! 😉 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 the 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.

woodside-house-15102014-1 woodsidehouse-der3961-1282014-2 woodsidehouse-der3961-1282014-10

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.

20150614_114719

^^ 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…

11401549_774665265168_4765625530000058980_n

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. We even lit candles and made Kat blow them out and make a wish of course 😉 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!

11429670_774664796108_3928797954423908338_n

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!

11401186_774665240218_7419604563924204136_n

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

11537686_774664945808_3974384847441740819_n

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! 🙂

20150613_13394020150613_133946(0)

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!!

10689708_774664910878_2430055434548026342_n

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?

20150613_160230

11403486_774664885928_6556492800679241116_n

11219605_774664826048_5612930168145333945_n

^^ 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!!

20150613_160154

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 Jäger and dancing until our feet hurt.

11232118_774664576548_3188588196673103390_n

20150613_221921

11403199_774664631438_3595007852349947194_n

11430156_774664546608_9185802710903522121_n

11301538_1638016069748289_563081738_n

20150614_001439

20150614_000153

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

A Sunny Saturday in New York!

After a very disturbed sleep, I blame the fireballs entirely! 😉 We woke up on Saturday to sunshine and the excitement of Times Square below.

We had separate Boys and Girl’s Day’s planned. So while Matt rushed to get ready for his early start, I leisurely lazed in bed and watched my favourite guilty pleasure.. Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Matt left and I finally managed to get myself out of bed, oh how I wish I could have stayed there all day! I had a cereal bar (all I could stomach), a large glass of water, jumped in the shower and then got dressed ready for Soul Cycle.

I have never been to a Soul Cycle class before, however with all the hype surrounding it and all the celebrity followers I was very excited to try it out. Even if I did have a massive headache and slight hangover. So I grabbed the first taxi I could and headed to Union Square to meet the rest of the ladies.

b5cf6a79358810d8d121d4ffbe66b81b

^^ Soul Cycle, Union Square, NYC

I must admit I am not a gym bunny. I have tried a couple of classes before including spin, so I knew what to expect but I was a bit worried that I would look out of place and wouldn’t be good enough. However I needn’t have worried, the people who worked there were very helpful and after filling out a form and being given proper shoes to wear (the type that clip into the bike, we don’t have those at spin!) I met up with my group of friends and we found our bikes ready for 45 minutes of intense workout!soulcycle021

Oh all while the boys were playing baseball and eating and drinking all day……

11102954_10155576996020092_2595798929237075672_n

Wow Soul Cycle is hardcore! I don’t think I have ever sweated so much in my life. But I felt so good afterwards and I think it even helped shift my hangover. The class was full, but everyone was super friendly and it almost felt like you were part of some sort of team. The room is quite dark but I liked that, no one could see my bright red face, muffin top squishing out of my leggings or the beads of sweat constantly dripping off me ha, how lovely. But I just kept thinking how good this was for me and I really enjoyed it and the time flew by. Our instructor was amazing and so motivating, if a little OTT at times and I loved all the club music and how you rode to the beat. Half way through the class you use hand weights while cycling which mixed things up a bit. I found the stretches at the end a bit difficult as she uses the bike to help you but I think I was too small/short as my legs couldn’t even reach the floor haha. But all in all I had a great time and would so recommend it and would love to try it out again over here.

After the class Erin had to leave to do some last minute party prep. So the rest of us went back to our hotel’s and had a much needed shower!! I decided to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon just leisurely looking around the shops including Macy’s, as we needed to buy Bruce and Erin a wedding gift. We got them some Kate Spade His and Her’s tumblers in the end. They didn’t ask for anything, already live together and have been on their honeymoon so I thought this was just a cute gift.

download

I also popped into a gorgeous cupcake shop on my walk back, called Crumbs Bake Shop. I really couldn’t resist or decide what to have once I was in there, way too many good cakes and biscuits to chose from!

In the end I went for The Blackout for Matt as he loves anything chocolate and a raspberry flavoured one for myself, although I was so nearly tempted by The Grasshopper as I love mint choc chip!

file_26_1_1024x1024

^^ Blackout – Chocolate cake filled with fudge mixed with vanilla custard, topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting and chocolate crumbs drizzled with chocolate. Yummy!

I slowly walked back to the hotel, soaking up the sunshine and taking in the atmosphere of Times Square. I just love standing in the middle of Times Square, it makes me feel like I’m in a movie or something. Just me? OK 😉

Once back at our room I completely crashed on our bed. My legs, bum and feet were really aching by now, what had that spin class done to me?! The next thing I knew I was being woken up by Matt coming back to the room and we both got ready for the evening.

As I have mentioned before Bruce and Erin had already eloped and got married in February, so this was basically the after party and a chance for us to all celebrate with them!

We got a taxi to STK Downtown in the Meatpacking District and I was excited for the night ahead. We arrived at the venue and were told to head all the way upstairs to the Rooftop (yay just what my legs needed more steps 😉 ) but once we got to the top it was so beautiful, lots of sleek grey and white sofas and umbrellas, good music and a small bar area exclusive to the wedding party.

download

Matt got us a couple of drinks and we mingled with all the other guests and friends. Erin looked stunning in her white, floaty wedding dress, totally her 🙂 Below is a pic of the happy couple on their actual wedding day, doesn’t it look gorgeous?!

image2

After mingling and drinking for a while, we all headed inside to a private room which was pretty large, with 2 sections, one with a bar and dance floor, the other set up with tables for dinner. I loved the décor very goth glamour my favourite! We all sat for dinner, picked our food choices and then listened to all the speeches.

11208660_10155576993570092_7858608535612765662_n

^^ Matt and I enjoying our evening at STK. My dress is from ASOS.com

The food was really tasty. To start I had the kale salad, Matt had the Tuna Tartare. For mains I had the grilled half chicken and Matt had the steak and to finish I had the cheesecake and Matt had the brownie.

11209426_10155576996015092_1257654918353259195_n

^^ Our table, apologies it’s so dark but it was so dark in there!!

After dinner we spent the rest of the evening dancing the night away and chatting with friends new and old.

It was such a lovely evening and we were so happy to be a part of it for Bruce and Erin. Here’s to the newlyweds! ❤

Love, Chloe xx