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


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

Visiting Coronado in San Diego…

After our stint in Anaheim, we hopped in our little rental car and drove south to San Diego. It was our first time in San Diego and I was so excited to explore pastures new. I love visiting new places and we had been recommended Coronado as a nice place to visit. 

We were actually staying in Chula Vista, but Coronado was only a fifteen minute drive across the longest bridge known to man. 

Dress: Hollister Sunglasses: Vans

It was a bit cloudy when we arrived, but beautifully warm. We parked in an expensive car park ($20 for two hours 😳) and took a short walk to the infamous Coronado Hotel and beach.

The sand was some of the softest sand I have ever stepped on and such a treat. Honestly that beach is terribly divine. The views are lush too.

There’s also a little beach bar near the hotel where you can grab a cheeky cocktail and it’s just a lovely place. 

We also had a look around the shops and I picked up a couple of things and fell in love with the cutest little shop called Seaside Papery. They do beautiful prints and little things.

Coronado is super lush and definitely worth a visit. We had such a nice afternoon there.

Have you visited Coronado?

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

The Book Club, Book 2…

So I’ve not had a great couple of months when it comes to reading. I finished reading Vogue from the last book club instalment and have since fallen out of the rhythm of reading. Life’s been beautifully busy and I’ve sadly just put reading on the back burner. Anyway, I’m going to try and get back into a routine of reading before bed because I’ve got so many books at home waiting to be read and I just need to get back on it. 

So I finished Vogue a couple of months back and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think that it’s probably not a book for everyone but as someone who enjoys reading the magazine, it was interesting to have a sneak peek behind the scenes and Alexandra Shulman has a lovely way of conveying things. I particularly enjoyed her humour. I would recommend this to someone who is interested in fashion, the media industry or who enjoys Vogue. 

This leads me on to the next book club title… An Abundance of Katherine’s by John Green. 

My copy is a little dog eared from being dragged around hoping to be read (it’s been all over London, Belgium and California!). I like John Green’s writing style, so I’m quite excited about finishing this one.

Have you read Vogue? What did you think?

L x

My Favourite things to do in La La Land…

It’s absolutely no secret that I adore Southern California. From the golden sunsets to sandy beaches I’m completely head over heels in love. It all started in 2015 when my husband and I spent a month on honeymoon along the West Coast of America. It was such a fun and dreamy time that I would relive over and over again in a heartbeat. We had just so much fun and it was from that moment on that Los Angeles became one of my favourite places in the world. That’s why when the opportunity arose to spend ten days in LA again I leapt at the chance and we were on a plane to soak up the sun by the time you could say USA. Well, almost. 
Anyway after returning from our trip I have been inspired to put together a few things that I love to do when I’m over in La La Land.

Being a Disney addict means that no trip is complete without a Mickey fix and the parks in California are fabulous. 

I must admit that the Adventure park and Disneyland itself are my favourite of all the Disney parks that I’ve visited (which includes Walt Disney World in Florida!). 

I think that the fact that this park was the original just gives it a little extra sparkle and there’s so many unique rides that I just love (the Cars ride is so cool!).  I also like that you can hop between the parks super easily (like in Paris) and it’s not overwhelming (like WDW can be). Plus it’s all in English so I feel like I experience it fully. Anyway, I always have so much fun here so I would definitely recommend a visit!

One of the other things that I love to do is shop. We love walking around the mall having a nosey and until recently you could pick up quite a bargain with the US/GBP exchange rate. A lot of my favourite brands are American so I’m in my element!

A new discovery from our recent trip was Knott’s Berry Farm, which is a theme park located in Anaheim. It’s so much fun and quite quirky. They have a couple of really odd rides there. It’s also not as busy as Disney and we literally never queued for anything. Hurrah!

We stayed in Santa Monica for a few days on this trip and it was really lovely. We loved cycling along the beach (which is also what I loved doing on our honeymoon in Long Beach), and the cycle paths that are literally on the beach make it super safe and easy. There’s loads of places to rent bicycles cheaply too. I think we paid around $16 for a couple of hours. 

There’s quite a lot to do in Santa Monica from the pier to Muscle Beach and the beach itself is layered with beautiful golden sands.

Long Beach is a gorgeous place to explore with lots of nice restaurants and a pretty marina to walk around. It’s also where they filmed a scene in Clueless which always excites me!

I went whale watching on this trip which is something I didn’t do last time as we had just been swimming with sharks in Hawaii and  poor Phil had felt terribly seasick so he didn’t fancy hopping on a boat. We also went whale watching in Iceland last year which was unsuccessful as I didn’t see any whales and poor Phil spent the four hour boat journey vomiting! 

This time I went with my friend Kate and was absolutely blown away. We were so incredibly lucky to see four grey whales as well as lots of sea lions. It was one of the most enchanting experiences seeing these wonderful giants living wild and free. We used our LA Go cards for this trip (as well as Universal and Knott’s Berry Farm!), so it wasn’t remotely expensive. I am planning on going again when we next visit for the summer migration.

Long Beach is also rather lovely with its marina and, er, beach. There are lots of nice restaurants in the hood (including the delicious Wokcano) and there are lots of cute places to enjoy the LA Lifestyle. As well as some totally instagrammable shops near the marina.

Have you visited LA? What would you recommend?

L x 

10 Essential tips for travelling to Hong Kong…

At the start of January we headed over to Hong Kong to celebrate my birthday. I was so, so excited to explore a part of the world that was new to me and couldn’t wait to take it all in. Luckily for us, I have a wonderful friend from my uni days who lives in Hong Kong and we also met a man on the plane who lives there too, so we quizzed both of them on their top tips and must see places. I now present to you my top ten tips for visiting Hong Kong…

1. Get yourself an Octopus card

I had heard about the Octopus card that is used all over Hong Kong. It’s a prepaid card that works like an Oyster card in London. It’s great because you can save so much money on public transport by having one. As a Londoner, I found the MTR to be super cheap and such a convenient way to get around town. You can also use your Octopus to pay for things in fast food restaurants and convenience stores.

Dress: AllSaints

2. Buy theme park tickets from 7 Eleven

This is a tip that we picked up from our chatty plane companion. Tickets for places such as Disneyland and Ocean Park can be picked up from the 7 Eleven stores that are all over the city. There are two major pluses for this; firstly, no queues on arrival and secondly they are a couple of quid cheaper – hurrah!

3. Use the Openrice app

This tip was given to us by our lovely friend Cindy. It’s basically an app that you can use to source restaurants, cafes and general eateries. People post reviews and photos of the food. I found this super handy because it’s always a good idea to go on recommendations from others and we could see what was around when we were hungry. Plus I’m super cautious over food hygiene when eating out and this gave us a bit of a heads up.

Taken at Yum Cha in Tsim Sha Tsui.

4. Haggle at the markets

The night markets in Hong Kong are great, especially for choosing souvenirs. Make sure you know what price you are prepared to pay and haggle down if you think it’s on the steep side. There are some bargains to be had, but some merchants will try to take advantage of you!

5. Take advantage of the MTR

I loved using the MTR whilst we were away. I’m always a fan of walking lots and using public transport whilst away because I feel like you really get to see the place. The MTR goes all over Hong Kong and has stops near all of the major attractions. It even has a Disney themed train!

6. But also don’t be afraid to use a taxi

I was so surprised at just how reasonable the taxis are. When we arrived at the airport we went over to the taxi rank and it was so well organised. We knew how much we would be paying, the taxis are colour coded (red for Tsim Sha Tsui) and they’re all registered too, so we felt safe.

7. Do Disney

Disneyland in Hong Kong is really special. It’s much smaller than the other Disney parks that I’ve visited, it’s bitesized and a perfect addition to a visit to Hong Kong. We visited on my birthday and had such a fun day. It was super quiet in the park and we didn’t need to queue for any rides except for the Iron Man ride which had a twenty minute queue and had opened that day. We had so much time to do everything because we weren’t queuing all day and watched two parades, one show and met a few of the characters. All in all a fantastic birthday. Also, take advantage of the free wifi and fast passes.

8. Accept that it’s busy

Hong Kong is a bustling hive twenty-four/seven. We dragged our jet lagged selves out in the early hours one night for a drink and snack only to be greeted with streets still alive with people. It’s incredible. And also ridiculously handy if you need a shop in the middle of the night (which we actually did one evening when I was unwell!). It’s a bit daunting that the city is so tall and busy, but I think that’s part of Hong Kong’s charm. It’s pulse barely reaches resting state. So just be prepared to embrace it’s intensity.

9. Happy Valley Race course 

Apparently, Happy Valley Race Course serves cheap drinks and it’s a great place to go for a night out. We didn’t find alcohol particularly expensive during our trip, but according to our plane pal, the race course is where it’s happening.

10. Check out the free places 

There are lots of places to visit in Hong Kong that are either free or require a small donation. There are some beautiful temples, parks and gardens to explore. Perfect for those on a budget. Check out the Avenue of Stars for something quirky.
Have you visited Hong Kong?

L x 

Hi there…

Things have been a bit quiet over here recently. There have been a couple of reasons for this and one of the reasons has simply been because I’ve felt a bit insular. The build up to Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, I love choosing treats for our friends and family, having people over as well as over indulging in food. It’s such a wonderful time filled with love and it’s just lovely. It’s also become riddled with emotions for me as Grandad passed away in December and last month marked the one year milestone for us. I don’t want to lay on the poor me card, but I found the lead up to his anniversary particularly hard (which took me by complete surprise) and I just felt a bit insular. I didn’t want to share much about my life for a bit because I wasn’t vibing it. I only like to post honestly and I didn’t want to be writing about what a wonderful time I was having (which I was for the most part) when I was actually just craving some time in my shell. The other reason for the lack of posts is simply because I have been ridiculously busy with renovating the house, holidaying in Hong Kong and the general madness that comes with Christmas and the New Year. Anyway, I’m here and I’m so excited for what this year has to offer. We’ve got some lovely things planned and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
Thanks for hanging around.

L x 

A Day at the Races…

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse. I had never been to the races in winter and was very much looking forward to seeing how it would differ from my experience in the summer. So my wonderful friend Kimberley and I donned on our glitzy outfits and coats before heading off for a girly day of racing fun.

It was one of those perfect winter days where the sun is shining so brightly and the air is still. It was pretty cold though!

I was super stuck on what to wear for a winter racing event because I like to dress up a bit, but I also like being warm. In the end I opted for a sparkly dress and a long coat with a faux fur trim. I was still pretty frozen though.

Soon after we arrived, we headed over to the Honesty Box for a winter picnic so that we could eat lunch without missing out on the races. The food came in really cute boxes all tied up with a ribbon and tasted divine. We had a beef roll, pastries and cake with some butternut squash soup.

Before we knew it the races had started, so we found a nice seat behind a glass wall. Neither Kimberley or I are big on betting, so we chose to just predict a winner. We actually got quite into it after a couple of races, although neither of us were successful in predicting a winner.

After the races had finished we headed over to the bar to have some cocktails and conclude our girly day before returning home and thawing out in front of the fire. I would definitely recommend a trip to the races for the Hennessy Gold Cup because it’s such a fun day, but make sure to wear really, really warm clothing!

Have you been to the races in winter?

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