Beach fun with Holly…

I’m always my happiest when at the beach. It can pretty much be any beach, but there’s something about where the land meets the sea that just resonates with me (I’m the English Moana). I just feel super chilled and I love everything from the sand beneath my feet to the sound of the waves crashing and that salty sea air smell. 

Our little furball Holly also loves a beach day, so we scheduled in a date at the end of the summer to take her for some beach fun. 

Many beaches have restrictions throughout the summer as to whether or not you can take dogs, so we needed to find one that Holly would be welcome at. We found a little one near Southampton, which was certainly not the nicest, but served its purpose none the less.

Holly is a frisbee addict, so we were sure to bring one along for beach fun. Holly absolutely loved it. She had a ball paddling in the sea and digging in the sand. It’s funny because Holly literally only digs at the beach and she isn’t fond of water unless it’s her paddling pool or the hose. She isn’t one to swim in lakes or anything of the sort, but simply adores the sea!

Once we had grown tired of the beach, we drove over to Portsmouth for some food and shopping. Holly was so well behaved throughout and I loved how dog friendly Gunwharf Quays is. 

Soon it was time to head off back to London with sandy fur and shopping bags. We will no doubt be returning next year!

Have you visited Portsmouth?

L x

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Back to LA, oh and Ed Sheeran…

Before we knew it (and definitely before we were ready), it was time to leave Vegas and drive back through the desert to Los Angeles. I quite enjoy a road trip and loved taking in the sights of the Mojave desert. It’s just gorgeous.

I was also rather excited because that evening we were seeing Ed Sheeran at the Staples Center. 

I quite enjoy Ed Sheeran’s music and was also really looking forward to watching him play at such an iconic venue. 

But before all of that, we arrived at our hotel to find ourselves literally in the middle of a building site. We were staying at The Mayfair Hotel, which I had chosen based on the fact it was a ten minute walk to the Staples Center and was a traditional 1930’s hotel much like the one featured in American Horror Story (I’m not sure why I thought that was a good idea). Anyway, after walking through the gigantic builders mess, we found ourselves back outside on the street and eventually in a part of the building which wasn’t under total renovation. I wouldn’t recommend staying there as we weren’t given a heads up about the building situation and also I just feel like it’s not quite up to the standard it should be. The location, however, was great as we could walk everywhere easily.

We headed over to a Greek restaurant for dinner before enjoying Ed Sheeran’s set. 

He put on a great show featuring all of his hits. I had never seen Ed play before (he sells out super fast!), and I loved how raw his performance was. It really is all about the music for him. I found it quite odd that I was sat in amongst thousands of people, thousands of miles from home watching a guy that knows a couple of people that I do and is also thousands of miles away. Anyway, it was a lovely evening.

We then did some late night shopping (yay for Target!) before heading back to our weird hotel.


Have you seen anyone play at the Staples Center?

L x

Seeing Britney and finding a hidden gem…

On our delightful Virgin flight over to Los Angeles, Phil and I landed up watching a little video that they had put together of things to do in Vegas. Of course the usual things were included, shows, hotels etc, but in between all of that up popped the Pinball Hall of Fame

The Pinball Hall of Fame is basically a museum filled with loads of Pinball machines and retro video games. Aka heaven to Phil. I grew up in the nineties and am certainly no stranger to a game of Pinball, so was quite excited to see what they had on offer. Trust me, it DIDN’T disappoint.

From Pacman, The Flintstones and Game of Thrones, this place has it all. You can stay as long as you like and play pretty much any machine. It was so fun, even P Diddy had a go on a couple of machines!

We spent an hour or two there pretty much playing solidly and only spent around 20$. The machines range from 25c upwards, so it’s a thrifty treat for the entire family. It’s located a few minutes’ drive from the strip and has a free car park too. Complete bargain!

After a morning at the museum, we headed over to Hooters for some lunch before having a nose around the shops on the strip. Before we knew it, it was time to see the queen of pop, Miss Britney Spears.

I’ve seen her Piece of Me show in Vegas before and was blown away by her performance. Britters really puts on a show complete with all of her hits and an elaborate set. I knew that we had to go again.

On our way over to Planet Hollywood, I asked Phil’s Dad which concerts he had been to. He replied that he hadn’t. Therefore Britney in Vegas was his first ever concert! This fact I found both highly amusing and completely amazing in equal capacities. I mean shouldn’t Britney be everyone’s first concert?!

We had a great time watching Britney and her dancers killing it although the evening wasn’t without drama as a guy from the audience cartwheeled onto the stage and took out a security guard before being wrestled to the floor and presumably arrested. Poor Britney was terrified and had to be evacuated from the stage, although being the pro that she is, she returned to finish off her set. Go Britney!


Have you seen any shows in Vegas?

L x

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

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

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