Lauren’s Parisian Hen Weekend – Part 2

We began the day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, where the croissants were fresh from the patisserie next door! Yum!

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Then made our way to the banks of the River Seine, as we had booked an hour-long sightseeing cruise. It may have been freezing, but we kept ourselves warm with hot drinks and it was a great way of seeing all the sights when short on time.

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After the tour we made our way to The Eiffel Tower ready for our trip to the top. We had pre-booked our tickets with an allocated time slot, which I would highly recommend doing, otherwise you are stuck waiting in a very long queue!

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We went up by lift but you can walk it if you are feeling fit and brave! As you can see it was a bit breezy, but such a good way of taking in the whole city and the views were amazing. At the top they also have a few souvenir shops and a macaron shop, my favourite!

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We grabbed a late snack/lunch on our walk back to the hotel. Where we then had some time to leisurely get ready for the evening.

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We started the night with drinks at the hotel and then jumped into taxis to Le Sanglier Bleu restaurant where we had dinner reservations.

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We gave Lauren some presents and a memory book with photos and notes from all the hen’s and played a few games whilst enjoying a delicious dinner of sea bass and traditional tart tatin and Crème brûlée’s. Yum!

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Finally finishing off with some traditional drinks!

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We then had a short walk to the infamous Moulin Rouge, where we had tickets for the evening show, which we were all so excited for. The queue to get in was a bit crazy even though we had tickets but once inside it was pretty iconic and magical.

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We had a private table and were given so many bottles of champagne. Apparently it came included with the tickets!

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The show was a mixture of burlesque, circus acts, singing and dancing. Some acts were really good but unfortunately some were quite dated and not as slick as we all imagined it would be. I’m glad I can say I visited though as it had been on the bucket list for a long time but I wouldn’t rush to go back. Fun night out with the girls though!

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The next morning we couldn’t believe how quickly the trip had flown by and that it was our last day in the beautiful city. So we had yet another leisurely breakfast at the hotel, had a little look around the local shops and eventually got the train back to the airport.

Such a lovely girls weekend away and hopefully a trip Lauren will never forget!

Love, Chloe xx

Kaiser Chiefs@ Sandown Park Racecourse

As it’s that time of year again for Sandown’s Live Music Nights. I thought I would reminisce  on last years trip to see the Kaiser Chiefs…

I raced home after work one Thursday night in August, quickly changed and jumped on a train to meet Matt at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, for a night of horse racing and live music.

We’ve visited Sandown quite a few times now, for both race days and live music nights. It’s a great venue and a fun, local day out for us and our friends.

I found Matt and we made our way across the field, into the venue, in the search of food..and drinks! 😉

Sandown have quite a few food stalls dotted around, as well as a brasserie, or if you like something a little more fancy, they do have Equus, a fine dining restaurant.

As it was still warm, we thought we would make the most of the summer night and decided to have a bit of a picnic on the grass outside. We went for burgers and chips from the food van along with a couple of glasses of fizz from the Prosecco stall. (Prosecco on tap..if only I could have this in our kitchen!)

After our food and lazing in the sunshine, we met up with our friends Spenno and Charlotte and checked out the horses before the first race.

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Spenno, Charlotte, Me and Matt

Spenno plays rugby with Matt and Charlotte, Spenno’s girlfriend is the rugby team’s physiotherapist. They are great friends and we always have such a laugh with the two of them 🙂

We placed bets on every race, but unfortunately no big wins, still a lot of fun though!

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It was then time to make it over to the main stage, ready for Kaiser Chiefs to start.

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As you can see, we were stood somewhere in the middle of the crowd. I was a bit shocked by the vast age range of people who had come out to see them, there were young children all the way through to people in their sixties, maybe even older. I love that though. I started seeing concerts at a young age and I absolutely love music, live music especially.

The last time I saw Kaiser Chiefs was at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2011. The crowd was obviously much bigger, lots of ‘pogoing’ (jumping up and down on the spot) was going on and there were even a few mosh pits. This was also a time before Ricky ‘got hot’ and became a household name from being a coach on the Voice. Their slot was crazy, full of all the songs people could sing/shout along to, the atmosphere was electric and the band were full of so much energy, I was hoping Sandown would be the same, if not very similar.

But they started off a bit mellow, I don’t know if it was the band or the crowd, but there wasn’t the same atmosphere as I had experienced before. Also I hate to say it but Ricky seemed just a little bit full of himself, he wasn’t the same person who I had seen only 4 years previous, at one point he had a bit of a moan that we (the crowd) weren’t getting into it enough, however I don’t know if that was a sarcastic comment or if he really meant it. But once the sun went down, people had had a few drinks and they started playing their hits which everyone was jumping around and singing along to, things got a lot better.

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Us 4 were loving it though and we continued to bounce around and belt out the choruses to ‘I Predict a Riot’, ‘Ruby’ and ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’ as if our lives depended on it. Nothing to do with the Prosecco I’m sure ;-p

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All good things must come to an end though and before we knew it they were playing their last song, streamers were going off and I had to enjoy my last pogo jumps of the night. ha.

I would definitely recommend a race night with live music, it’s a bit different to a full race day but still such a fun night out with friends and we are already looking into this years options! I think it’s Jess Glynne, Busted and Bryan Adams. So we/you better get your tickets quick before they sell out!

Love, Chloe x

 

 

 

Kathryn and Anthony’s Wedding!

Matt and I woke up early, so we had enough time to get ready, before beginning our drive to Froyle Park in Hampshire for Kat and Ant’s wedding day!

It was another bright day, filled with sunshine, the perfect day for a wedding.

We stopped at a pub along the way, to meet up with some of the other guests for a drink and a bite to eat, before carrying on our journey to the venue.

Driving along the long, gravel path, we saw Froyle Park for the first time and it looked beautiful.

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We gathered in the front room, which was light and airy with huge windows, overlooking the grounds and chatted with other friends and guests, before making our way into the ceremony room.

The ceremony room was at the back of the house and had been decorated with white roses and candles, it was very romantic. We watched an excited/nervous/emotional/happy Anthony, wait for his bride to walk down the stairs and down the aisle to meet him.

Kat looked stunning in her dress.

While waiting for the ceremony to begin, us girls had tried to guess what type of dress she would be wearing, as she had kept it a secret, and this was more beautiful then any of us could ever have imagined. (Please tell me we are not the only ones who try to guess the dress?!)

Both of them were filled with love and happy tears as they exchanged vows.

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Just look at that dress!!

After the ceremony we made our way outside into the lush gardens, for drinks and canapés, while the new Mr & Mrs had their photos taken.

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The stunning bride, Kat

 

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The Wedding Party

Our glasses were constantly being topped up with champagne and the canapés were delicious. Some people decided to join in with the lawn games, while others chatted in the sunshine.

We were then informed that a cocktail bar had been opened. Free flowing Mojito’s and Porn Star Martini’s on a sunny day…amazing!

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Annie, Me, Gemma and Emma enjoying a few of the cocktails!

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One of my favourite photos – Emma, Annie, Gemma, Jess and Me

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Matt, Conor and Rich

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Group Shot! Gemma, Conor, Emma, Will, Me, Matt, Annie, Rich, Jess & James

After quite a few cocktails, fun on the swings and posing for photos, we were called in for dinner.

A delicious 3 course meal, with even more alcohol, this time white wine. Finished with the speeches and a champagne toast, I must admit I was feeling a little bit tipsy by this point!

A quick turn around of the room, meant the evening celebrations were about to begin.

First up cutting of the cake…

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Taking the floor for their first dance as Husband and Wife…

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And then we were let loose! With a free bar, a dress up box, glow sticks and a live band. We danced, sang and toasted the night away.

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Jess, Kat and Gemma

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Me & Matt ❤ (I have no idea what’s going on in the background? haha)

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Gem and Matt

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Annie and I

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Emma, Annie, Conor and Me

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Me & Gem

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Me, Matt and Jess

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Will, Matt, Annie and Emma

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Jess and I

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Me & matt

An amazing day, spent with wonderful friends, filled with love, laughter and smiles  ❤

Sophie and John’s Wedding!

The excitement started on Friday night. I finally arrived at Sophie’s around 8pm, having spent the day at Heidi’s Graduation. Sophie and her other bridesmaid and soon to be Sister in Law, Sarah, had spent the day running around, preparing last minute bits for the big day and then finally enjoying a couple hours of pampering.

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Sarah and Sophie getting pampered

After helping with some last minute bits we finally crashed out, full of excitement for the day ahead!

Saturday started at a super early time of 5.45am!! I really don’t do mornings so this was torture for me, however once I saw how excited and full of beans Sophie was I quickly jumped out of bed to join in the festivities.

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Sophie and I in our personalised dressing gowns

Tea, toast, showers and a couple glasses of champagne later and we were all sharing in the excitement of the Wedding Day.

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Sophie’s Mum Thelma, looking glam and ready for her Daughter’s Big Day!

The glam squad of hairdresser and make up artist had arrived, along with the photographer and videographer, capturing every part of the special day.

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Hairdresser Jeni with Bride Sophie

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Make Up Artist Tash with Bridesmaid Sarah

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Myself and Sarah

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Thelma, Sophie, Myself and Sarah

The morning seemed to fly by and before we knew it, Sarah and I were helping each other get into our dresses and adding the finishing touches of jewellery and lip gloss.

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Sophie was getting ready with her mum, in another room. We hadn’t seen her wedding dress as she had wanted it to be a surprise. So Sarah and I were anxiously waiting in our room, dying to see the dress! We also didn’t know what our transport was going to be, another surprise from Sophie.

Finally the moment came and we got to see Sophie in her dress for the first time…

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Sophie looking stunning in her beautiful detailed, fish tail dress

We admired Sophie for quite a while, commenting on how gorgeous the dress was and watching Thelma well up, full of love and emotion, until we were told the transport had arrived and we needed to make our way to the venue.

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Sarah, Thelma and I

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Our transport, straight out of a Fairytale

Myself, Sophie, Thelma and Sarah, very gracefully climbed into the carriage ready for our leisurely ride to the venue about 20 minutes away.

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The sun was shining, people were waving at us and it felt like we were royalty.

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The Beautiful Bride

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Myself and Sarah

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Bride, Sophie

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Mother of the Bride, Thelma

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Me

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Sarah and her Son, Bobby who was a Page Boy for the Day

The time had finally arrived for Sophie and John to get married!

Sarah and Bobby walked down the aisle first, followed by myself and finally Sophie.

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How Cute!

The Ceremony itself was full of love, relatives read poems and Sophie and John had even written their own vows, which I think is a lovely touch. And then they were announced Husband and Wife, for the first time. They left the room through a blur of rose petal confetti and bubbles, blown by all the guests.

The drinks reception took place outside in the gardens and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, perfect weather for photos.

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Best Man, Harrison with Groom John

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Myself and Matt

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Sarah, Sophie and Me

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Sophie, John, Sarah and Bobby

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The Wedding Party

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Sophie and John

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All the Guests ❤

After a few drinks, lots of photos and soaking up the sun, it was time to come inside for dinner.

The room had been decorated with bunting and rose petals all in the pink and white colour scheme, it was so pretty and instead of numbers each table was named with a place the couple had visited on holiday, with the top table being named Sri Lanka & The Maldives, where they would be honeymooning!

The food was delicious. We had the choice of either a prawn cocktail or vegetable spring rolls to start, followed by either duck, chicken or vegetable strudel for our main course and finally for dessert we could either go for lemon or treacle tart, all washed down with cool white wine.

And then the speeches began…

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Groom, John

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Best Man, Harrison

Sophie’s Dad and myself both did speeches too, but I don’t seem to have any photos of those! We toasted to the new Mr and Mrs with shots of peach schnapps, which is one of Sophie’s favourite drinks, rather than the traditional champagne.

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After the speeches the newly weds snuck off to the beach to have further photos taken, while the rest of us made the most of the late afternoon sunshine and the Caricaturist who had arrived, while we waited for the room to be ready for the evening celebrations.

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Sophie and John at the beach

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Matt and Me as drawn by the caricaturist

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Heidi (my sister) and me as drawn by the caricaturist

The happy couple arrived back, just in time to meet the evening guests who were arriving and then proceeded to cut their cake.

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Afterwards they made their way to the dance floor, ready for their first dance.

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The dance floor was now officially open and the party could begin. We spent the rest of the evening dancing to club classics, taking silly photos in the photo booth set up in another room, eating lots of sweets from the pic ‘n’ mix bar and celebrating with the happy couple.

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Matt and I stayed the night at the venue along with the rest of the wedding party and the next morning we all met for breakfast, before saying our goodbyes and sending the happy couple off onto their amazing honeymoon!

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The morning after the night before!

Ed Sheeran at Wembley!

A month ago now, eek, how has it been that long?! Matt and I made our way to Wembley to see the amazing performer that is Ed Sheeran.

Matt had given me the tickets as one of my Christmas presents and I had been waiting a long, nearly 7 months for this day to arrive.

I was so excited as I had never seen Ed perform live before and as we went on the Saturday we had the added bonus of seeing Example and Rudimental too.

Now we live in Surrey, travelling to Wembley in North London, is a bit of a mission. But luckily the weather was on our side, as were the trains and so our journey was actually a fairly quick and pleasant one.

Now I’m not one of these really eager fans who has to stand at the front of the stage and so queues from a ridiculous time in the morning. There is nothing wrong with these people at all and when I was younger I was always keen to get to the front. But nowadays I’m happy to take it at a more chilled pace and not be crushed by the over eager crowds. Oh no, it’s happened, I’m getting old and turning into my mum!

We arrived just before Example started his set. We grabbed a couple of drinks and made our way down onto the pitch standing area.

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I’d seen Example perform a few years back and he always knows how to get a crowd going, plus I always forget how many great songs he has. It was like being at a festival, good music, good weather, good company. Everyone was loving it.

After all that singing or shouting which ever way you want to look at it 😉 and jumping around like a crazy teenager. We had worked up an appetite and so we went on a search for food. There are always soo many options as these types of places and after the tough decision of pulled pork hot dog or pizza. I finally went for the greasier option of pizza and I am so glad I did. A large, cheesy, gooey slice of delicious pizza with the added surprise of a cheese filled crust. Yum!

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Pizza gone and a couple more drinks brought we went back to our spot ready for Rudimental. I was quite excited to see them live, they have such a great buzz around them, and everyone I know who has seen them has said they are amazing. A couple of my friends were going to see Ed on the Sunday and were gutted Rudimental weren’t support for them to. Of course we both know the songs they have released and been in the charts, but we’re not avid fans that we know all the album tracks too and I must admit after a few songs we both got a bit bored and felt like it was just the same song over and over ( see I told you we’re getting old!) All the people at the front were loving it though and I must admit the stadium had a real party atmosphere about it.

They played their final song and then you really felt the excitement build for Ed. The arena got busier, the fans got noisier and a Mexican Wave was constantly going around the higher seats. And then the countdown finally began, with numerous photos and videos of Ed being shown on the screens from baby to now, a bit like the ‘Photograph’ Video. You could barely hear anything from the amount of woops and screams.

And then he appeared, just one man and a guitar.

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I won’t bore you with every single detail and apologies for the poor quality photos, zoomed in on an I phone!

But Ed was absolutely incredible. He is super talented, performing only with his guitar and a machine which I think is called a looper (please correct me if I’m wrong) which basically meant he could produce all his own music & sing all his own songs, live, without the help of a backing track or band. He also constantly talked and interacted with the crowd too. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

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The crowd was a vast mixture of people from young families, to older couples, to hen parties and everything in between. It seems that everyone loves Ed.

He performed all of his songs from old favourites such as ‘Lego House’ and ‘A-Team’ to new favourites such as ‘Photograph’ and the very romantic ‘Thinking Out Loud’, which of course everyone swayed to and got their phone lights out for, it did make a pretty amazing view and photo op!

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He finished with a huge finale of ‘Sing!’ which everyone went crazy for, including us 😉

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What an amazing evening with my favourite person! ❤ Thank you for the tickets!

I must admit I have been to a lot of concerts and I do think that we are getting far too used to seeing choreographed routines, flashy pyrotechnics, auto tune and miming that it was nice to actually see someone stripped back, who doesn’t need all that other stuff and to appreciate just how talented one person can be.

If you ever get the chance to go see Ed, take it! It will be one of the best concerts you ever go to, promise! 🙂

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! 🙂

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 😉

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 🙂 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 😉 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 😉

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 décor, 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! 😉

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 😉

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 🙂 and hopefully we won’t leave it so long next time!

Love, Chloe xxx

Friday Night Fun!

Matt has 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 😉 we grabbed a cab and Em and I realised how matchy matchy we were! 🙂 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! 😉

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 😉

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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! 😉

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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  a cocktail or 2 or 3…

Love, Chloe xx

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.

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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! 😉 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.

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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. 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!

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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! 🙂

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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 Jäger 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 🙂 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 celebrating 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 😉 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 😉

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 😉 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! 😉 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 😉

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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 😉

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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! 😉

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

Love, Chloe xx

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! 😉

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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 🙂

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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 😉 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 🙂 so you know, when one door closes, another one opens and all that! 😉

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! 😉 (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 🙂 I love dancing and won’t be stopping again any time soon!

Love, Chloe xx