Driving from San Diego to Las Vegas…

So if you’ve been following my West Coast diary series, you will know that we were staying in San Diego for a few days. The next stop on our agenda was Las Vegas and we had decided to make the drive there. 

Sunglasses: Forever 21 two years ago

Dress: Asos

Luckily for me, Phil does all of the driving when we are away, so I just get to sit back, relax and sing along to Taylor Swift. 

The drive took around 4 hours not including the breaks we took at Panda Express and for petrol. 

It was riddled with sumptuous scenery that dreams are made of and whilst at the petrol garage, I read about the snakes, tarantulas and scorpions of the Mojave desert. I was really worried about our little rental car overheating though as the temperature was well into the 40’s!

Once we arrived in Vegas, we checked in to our hotel, New York, New York. The lady at registration was a bit unpleasant but the rooms were clean and comfortable.

We then took Steve out for a walk along the strip and some dinner before watching the beautiful fountains at the Bellagio.


Have you driven from San Diego to Vegas?

L x

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Our day at Aquatica…

Dress: it was my Mum’s in the 90’s!

Sunglasses: classic Ray Bans

Phil and I love water parks, so I was quite excited when I found one in San Diego.

Owned by SeaWorld, Aquatica has a few rides, a wave pool and a lazy river.

The lazy river is my absolute favourite thing to hang out on at a water park because I just find it so relaxing.

Phil and I visited the water parks at Disneyworld last year, so my expectations were quite high. Unfortunately, I didn’t rate Aquatica too highly. Sure it was fun and all, but it’s actually quite small and two of the rides were closed which was a shame as it was peak season and they only have about 7 to start with!

I was also disappointed by their changing rooms. You couldn’t have a proper shower and the lockers were located far away from the changing facilities, which was super annoying. At the Disney parks, everything is really convenient and you can actually get ready properly afterwards, which is great if you aren’t going straight back to the hotel.

Anyway, I think that Aquatica is fun, but could definitely be better.

Which water parks do you rate?

L x

USS Midway, falling in love with La Jolla and dinner in Seaport…

During our time in San Diego, a must see for Steve was the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier. So off we went on a morning out exploring the Midway. We had already visited the Iowa in San Pedro, so I was kinda expecting the same sort of thing.

It was much larger than the Iowa, with so much information. It was super interactive too. I think it’s very well presented. There’s also gorgeous views!

Playsuit: Urban Outfitters

Overall, I think I preferred the Iowa because the Midway was so overwhelming. It’s just gigantic and an information overload. Worth a visit though!

After, we headed over to In N Out for lunch. It’s a must have when on the West Coast because the burgers are cheap and dreamy. I love their branding too, retro and with palm trees! 

It was after lunch that we headed over to what was soon to become one of my favourite places on the planet, La Jolla. 

Swimsuit: Seafolly Ocean Rose shorts: Target

We parked in town for $7 (bargain!), and headed towards the cliff top. 

We were soon greeted with sea lions chatting to one another and sunbathing. I will never tire of seeing animals in the wild and it felt lovely to watch them hang out.

We then left Phil’s Dad at the top, whilst we climbed down the side of the cliff (we literally used a rope), towards the water.

It was incredible. Oozing with natural beauty, charm and wildlife.

Sunglasses: Kate Spade

We saw crabs, fish and of course those wonderful sea lions. There’s lots of water activities going on too – swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. 

The beautiful coves reminded me of the Greek islands, especially as the water was so clear and warm.

I loved watching the waves crash in around us. It was truly magical.

They say that people never forget how you make them feel, and La Jolla made me feel love. That warm, fuzzy feeling of excitement and happiness. Contentment and joy. That feeling that nothing else matters. There in my time at La Jolla, I felt true love.

We then climbed back up the cliff and found Steve on a bench at the top near a nice coastal path, which we walked all the way along, soaking up the beautiful views.

Poor Steve is terrified of heights, so insisted that we walk back via the road.

La Jolla has been such a highlight of our adventure and I hope I get to go back one day.

In the evening we went to Seaport Village, which is another gorgeous place, and are at the Cheesecake Factory. I love the food there and very much enjoyed my Hershey’s cheesecake!

Dress: Topshop


Have you visited La Jolla?

L x

Disneyland Day Two…

Our second day at Disney was just as exciting as our first although for the most part we based ourselves in the main park. There are so many iconic attractions in the main park and we wasted no time in showing them off to Phil’s Dad.

We took him on all the classics from Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Small World. He loved it!

For lunch we had turkey legs and watermelon. I really love the turkey legs at Disney, they are just so flavourful!

Playsuit: Topshop two years ago (!). I always feel like I wear this playsuit on holiday. Its just so comfy with a really pretty rose print. Sunglasses: Vans  Sandals: Tesco

We also made sure that we squeezed in a parade and two evening shows, World of Colour and the Fireworks.

The parades are so magical, you can’t help but be enveloped in a warm hug of happiness watching them. When I visited Disneyworld as a child, I used to think that the characters I was seeing were the real McCoy. I’d go around collecting autographs and spending my days in awe of their celebrity status. As an adult, I’m quite aware that they are cast members and I certainly don’t go around collecting autographs, but I still appreciate the effort that goes in to portraying the character as well as the level of detail that creates the Disney parks and just makes them so, so special. We were sat next to a guy who works at Disney but was on his day off. He told us lots of interesting facts about the parks and some changes coming up. Disneyland is only going to get better!

We did a spot of shopping before leaving Disney and I picked up a hand drawn sketch of Hay Hay from Moana. It’s so cool that a Disney artist drew it. I’m not sure where in the house it will live exactly, but it’s definitely finding a wall somewhere.

Because our hotel was so close (and Phil had manflu) we went back to our rooms for an hour or so before heading back over for the night shows.

World of colour is such a gorgeous display on the lake over in California Adventure. It’s such a treat featuring so many iconic characters.

We then finished our time at Disney by watching the fireworks over the castle in the main park. The fireworks at Disney are the best I’ve ever seen. They just know what they are doing! We loved it.

Have you seen the Disney parades/shows?

L x

Disneyland Day One…

It’s no secret that Phil and I love a trip to Disneyland and so when we found ourselves back on the West Coast of America, naturally we found ourselves back at Disneyland.

We first visited this Disney two years ago whilst on honeymoon and loved it. I just love it because not only is it the original, but it’s also really manageable. I adore Disneyworld in Orlando, but a visit there is more of an event as you need to spend at least a week there to see all of the parks properly. In Anaheim, two days is good enough.

I love how unique the California Adventure park is and I always like to start off there. The Cars ride is my absolute favourite, so I like to get a fastpass for that beauty first. The queue for Cars is always astronomical, so it’s best to make use of the fast passes.

Top: Topshop , Shorts: Superdry Sandals: Roxy Sunglasses: Vans

I always choose a hotel within walking distance to Disney because it saves money on parking and you are not tied to a shuttle bus. 


It was Steve’s first visit to Disney so we branded him with a badge and took him on all of our favourite rides. He loved it! 

I think he’s now a Disney convert, which is great!

Have you visited Disneyland in California?

L x

Redondo Beach and travelling to Anaheim…

Dress: Hush Sunglasses: Vans (I’ve repurchased these 3 times in the past seven years, love them!)

After four gorgeous days based in Redondo Beach we packed our bags and moved into Anaheim, but not before a morning spent on the beach.

Redondo Beach is a really lovely place to chill out and embrace that LA Lifestyle. I love the outdoors way of life that comes hand in hand with the gorgeous climate Southern California delivers. From surfing, volleyball, bike riding, skating and running, it’s so easy to be active. 

We had a wonderful stroll where the sea meets the sand, allowing the waves to crash against our bare legs. I’m always at my happiest on the beach.

Sadly a Dead Sea lion washed up whilst we were there and the excellent coast guards came straight away and took it off of the shore. The lifeguards are phenomenal in California, I would say that they are arguably the best in the world. Always so alert and well equipped. They don’t just look out for folks drowning, but keep the entire Beach clean and safe.

Anyway, after our morning on the beach, we headed over to Anaheim in preparation for our Disney days. It was a super hot day, so we headed straight to the pool and hot tub (which felt extra hot!).

Later on we headed to the mall for a spot of shopping where I picked up some Bath & Body Works treats (I’m obsessed with that place) and a little black Kate Spade bag.

I then chilled out at the hotel whilst the boys went to the shooting range. I find the shooting range absolutely terrifying, so I prefer to stay at the hotel and relax. They had a ball though!

Have you visited Redondo Beach?

L x

USS Iowa and a tour of LA…

We kicked off our Sunday in Redondo Beach before heading south to San Pedro to visit the USS Iowa. Phil’s Dad (Steve), had always wanted to see a warship in the flesh and that’s pretty much why he chose the West Coast for our holiday.

The USS Iowa is a huge ship oozing with history and character. It’s really fascinating to walk around and Steve loved it.

Once we had finished having a nose around, we headed over to Hollywood to visit the Griffith Observatory and that iconic sign.

It was mega busy over at Griffith Park, but we managed to get parked right outside the Observatory- result! 

I think that the observatory is fantastic for views of the city and the sign. The observatory itself is also great. Both times that we have been we watched a show in the planetarium. It’s so interesting and relaxing. I love how visiting the observatory reminds me of just how small I am – we are. It’s so easy to get swept up in modern day life and forget that in the grand scheme of things Earth is rather insignificant. 

My view on life is to enjoy what we have now. Think about the future, but don’t stress it. Don’t take anything for granted. Anyway, visiting the planetarium helps to keep me grounded!

Cap: Borrowed from Phil, made by Billabong Sunglasses: Kate Spade about 8 months ago, T Shirt: I picked up from Ocean Park when we were in Hong Kong, Shorts: I picked up in Target last year.

After our trip to the planetarium, we took a trip to Rodeo Drive. We wanted to make sure that Steve sees all of the iconic places whilst we were in Los Angeles, so Rodeo Drive was a must see.

We also took Steve to the Chinese Theatre which is honestly one of the most disappointing places I’ve ever been to. It’s not glamorous at all and it’s always rammed. It’s such a seedy area and a complete contrast to the glamorous, exciting image I had conjured up before my first visit. 

Anyway, although Phil and I despise that area, we felt that Steve needed to see it and took him along. We parked right nearby ($2.50 per 12 minutes!!!) and had a nose at the handprints, footprints and stars.

Another place that Steve had mentioned he would like to visit was the La Brea tar pits. Which are basically naturally occurring tar pits where asphalt has seeped through the ground. 

It was completely new to Phil and I and fascinating to see. They have been excavating fossils there for years and have found so many animals including a mammoth.

The animals would come close to the pits for drinking water without realising that they were filled with asphalt and get stuck in the tar. It’s really sad, but awesome that we can gather fossils. I would really recommend a visit. 

Have you visited any of these tourist hot spots?

L x

Long Beach loving and a Taking Back Sunday Saturday…

I’ve decided to create a little diary series of our trip to the West Coast of America because I think it will be super lovely to look back on one day and I can share our experience with you all. It’s going to be quite raw in terms of photography because as I’ve said before, I like my blog/Instagram/life to be unedited, so don’t expect any mad photography skills! 

What you can expect though, is an insight into our trip, some tips and inspiration if you are planning your own trip to the West Coast.

We started our trip in Redondo Beach, but headed over to Long Beach on our second day. Phil and I spent a week in Long Beach whilst on our honeymoon exactly two years ago and we loved it. There’s so much character in Long Beach with its beautiful Marina and pastel coloured boardwalk. 

Top: last year from Hush, Shorts: last year from Sainsbury’s, Sandals: years ago from Roxy, Sunglasses: Michael Kors (again from last year!).
The three of us had a mooch around the Marina until Phil left us to go to the LCS studios to watch League of Legends. He gets terribly seasick, so his Dad and I seized the opportunity to head off on a whale watching cruise.

Harbor Breeze Cruises are great for whale watching tours. I went on one in February with my friend Kate and we were lucky enough to see Gray Whales and sea lions!

The migration path along the west coast is great for spotting all sorts of sea life and on this trip we were lucky enough to spot two humpback whales! Unfortunately, one had become entangled in fishing paraphernalia and so a rescue team was on its way. The second whale was loving life wild and free.

My recommendation is to make sure you take a jumper and wear lots of sunscreen. It gets a bit chilly out in the open and quite windy when you are travelling 30 odd knots. I did cover up but I still got wind burn on my face (I’ll wear a balaclava next time 😂), but thankfully I didn’t fry. 

I then took Phil’s Dad for his first ever trip to Hooters. I really like Hooters because I love their chicken wings although on this occasion I accidentally ordered them a tad too spicy!

We then took an Uber back to Redondo Beach. Uber is really cheap in the States, presumably because the cost of driving is much cheaper. We filled up our car for under £20! It costs me over £50 back home.

It was in this Uber that I realised Phil’s Dad had not put suncream on one of his hands and was now sporting one really tanned hand. I laughed a lot in the back of that car.

I had booked Phil and I tickets to see Taking Back Sunday in the evening at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Although we were jet lagged, it was an incredible gig with a great, well balanced set. I loved it!

Have you been to Long Beach?

L x

A little trip to Amsterdam…

Amsterdam had been on my ‘list’ for a couple of years before we finally took a trip there last month.  I had heard so much about Amsterdam – bicycles, partying, fancy ladies and Anne Frank, so I had devised a vision of how I expected this liberal city to feel. I thought that its pulse would be loud and fast with party goers spilling out all over the streets and bicycles gently passing. I was wrong. Very wrong. For a start, sure there are places to party but I didn’t feel like high and drunk people were everywhere and in fact I rarely saw anybody who was either during our stay. The people that I did encounter were lovely, warm and welcoming to the city they call home. I felt like we really experienced the culture and were  lucky to stay at a cute B&B (Helmers) with super nice hosts. They even left a basket of bread and pastries on our doorstop at 8:15am every morning. Anybody who leaves me Pain aux Chocolates is a winner in my book. Especially if they are fresh from the bakery. I’ll literally love you forever.

Anyway, my other preconception regarding the bicycles was terribly wrong. They don’t simply glide along on vintage bicycles carrying a fresh bouquet of flowers with their hair gently flailing behind them. Oh no. They whizz past in packs, like tigers looking for their next meal. Crossing the road was treacherous and I was honestly so traumatised from the intensity of the cyclists that I didn’t dare join them on a jolly bike ride (I was actually really looking forward to cycling through the city before I arrived). 

The other thing that I was half expecting was to see scantily clad ladies hanging out in every other window but in fact we only saw a couple and most of the shop windows were home to many high street favourites such as Abercrombie and Urban Outfitters. Anyway we had a really lovely trip and I think that we both fell a little bit in love with this pretty little city.

Here’s what we got up to and my tips…

Visit Vondelpark.

We were staying a short walk from Vondelpark, which really is rather lovely. It reminded me a little of Regent’s Park with fitness enthusiasts running, dog walkers and those bicycles. Although I found that they travelled at a more leisurely pace through the park. I would really recommend a walk through the park if you get the chance. It’s just nice to have some greenery and escape the city. Plus it’s free, so great if you are on a budget.

Visit Van Gogh.

I would also recommend the Van Gogh Museum. The collection of his paintings displayed there is insane and it was great to see his work in the flesh as well as more personal items such as letters to his brother. My favourite piece was a couple of tubes of paint that he had used. I think that it made me appreciate how he created such incredible masterpieces from little tubes of paint. If you do visit the Van Gogh Museum, book your tickets in advance to save queuing. It’s super easy to do via their website.

Walk around the Anne Frank House.

We also visited the Anne Frank House which I was really excited about and had been the driving force for our trip. I’ve read Anne’s diary a couple of times and have always felt so moved by her story. I think that it’s so easy to become complacent and just take our lovely lives for granted and visiting the museum was a reminder that we are so, so lucky to live in the world that we live in. Sure it could be a lot better, but we’ve come a long way and we need to appreciate that. Anyway without getting political, I would really recommend the Anne Frank house. Tickets go on sale two months’ in advance and sell out quickly. Unfortunately we planned our trip short notice and had to queue for over three and a half hours to get in. It’s prebooked tickets only between 9:30 and 3:30 and then those who are queuing can enter after 3:30pm. We started queuing at 2:30pm and were let in around 6pm. It was freezing and I felt like it took me a week to warm up again!

Embrace the Heineken Experience.

This was an attraction that pleasantly surprised me. I’m not a massive beer drinker so I was thinking that this excursion probably wasn’t going to be my highlight. However, I actually really enjoyed this. It was great to learn about the history of Heineken as well as how it it made. It’s a very modern experience with lots of things to see and do. You can even have your own special bottle printed and you get free drinks – hurrah! We booked our tickets in advance so we pretty much just strolled right in. I think that people of all ages would enjoy this – even children!

Take a canal cruise.

We went on a little cruise around the canals and it was really nice to see the city from a different perspective. It was also very relaxing and I again something that I think people of all ages would enjoy.

Visit the A’Dam tower.

We took a trip over to the A’Dam Tower which is kinda opposite Centrale Station. It’s basically a really tall building that offers great views of the city. There is also a swing on the roof top that is the highest swing in Europe and actually goes over the edge. It’s €5 a turn and I would have loved to have had a go but unfortunately I didn’t as Phil is terribly scared of heights and it was pretty cold. So I decided that it probably wouldn’t be much fun in the cold on my own. Next time though! There’s also a totally instagrammable bar to hang out in and a really fun lift.

Go Shopping.

Let’s be honest, a trip to the shops is always on our list when we are away. I like picking up bits from my favourite brands as well as discovering new ones. On this trip I spotted a really cute striped shirt by Christian Berg. I don’t know much about this brand but I’ve never seen it in the U.K. and the quality seems good so I’m quite pleased. Anyway, Amsterdam is a great place to meander around the shops.

See a show.

We didn’t see a show during our stay, but I’ve heard there are some interesting ones around as well as familiar shows that you can find on the West End.

Have you been to Amsterdam? What would you recommend?

L x 

A Day at the Races…

I’ve only ever been to the races twice, once with my Mum and once with my friend Sarah to cheer on her uncle’s horse and watch Calvin Harris in the evening. Both times it was in the heart of summer. Unfortunately the day that Mum and I went, we were subjected to a horrific rainstorm and I was transformed from horse race glam to drowned mess. On the day that I went with Sarah, it was a gorgeous day shimmering in sumptuous sunshine and it was simply lush.

I’ve always viewed the races as a nice girly day out where you can switch off from life, get dressed up and have fun. There aren’t many events that people make a real effort for these days and I love that you can be quite bold with your choice of fashion at the races. I love looking at all of the hats and bright dresses. 

In a couple of weeks I am heading off to the races again for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse. I’m really excited to go because I love the atmosphere and I just know that we will have a great time. I love the glamour of a day at  the races, a chance to dress up and have fun. Having never been in Autumn/Winter, I’m a little unsure on what to wear because I know that I’m going to have to layer up. Luckily I’m a bit of a coat hoarder, so I’ve got some gorgeous coats to consider as well as some lovely accessories. I’m thinking that I can still wear a pretty dress and fascinator because I’m sure that I won’t be outside the whole time and hopefully the weather will be gorgeous anyway.

This year marks the 60th Hennessy Gold Cup, so I’m certain that it will be a special day. It’s a massive event for any horse racing fan and it always has such a high turnout. It’s also a hotspot for celebrities too, so I will be certain to do a little celeb spotting!

The main focus of race day will be on predicting the winner. I’m not much of a betting person, but I’ll probably place a cheeky bet or two. I normally pick the horse with the best name, but I might do a little research beforehand to heighten my chances of success, although a ‘favourite’ has only won sixteen times in sixty years at the Hennessy Gold Cup, so my random method might actually be successful!

There’s also lots of nice food and drink available, so I’m quite looking forward to getting stuck in to that too. 

Both times that I have been, there has been some great entertainment in the evening so the day doesn’t stop as soon as the last race finishes. I can’t wait to see what the entertainment will be like at a big event like the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Something that I am also super excited about is meeting lots of other London based bloggers who will also be attending. I love meeting other bloggers, so it will be wonderful to mingle.

Now here’s the super exciting news, I’m co-hosting a giveaway so that you and a friend could be joining me at the races too! 

The prize is Two Premier tickets to the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse, a Hennessy picnic and a night for two B&B in the Lodge Hotel for the 26th of November. It’s such an amazing prize to win because it’s pretty much a free weekend away and who doesn’t want one of those?! With Newbury Racecourse being so easily accessible from London and surrounding areas, it’s a great giveaway to enter. 

So how can I enter? I hear you ask, well all you have to do is hop on over to Mode of Style and fill in the rafflecopter by the 18th of November 2016. Make sure that you read the T’s and C’s first though!

If you want a glimpse of what’s to come, there’s a great video about the Gold Cup here.

Hope to see you there!

L x