Rainbow School

July 31, 2012

To brighten up a dreary Tuesday afternoon I had to share this Rainbow School from France with you…

How amazing would it be if this was your school?

Spotted on Handmade Charlotte… where you can see more photographs.
Swoon!

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I was very excited to visit Beverly Hills and see the spots from movies I have watched a hundred times… Clueless, Pretty Woman anyone?


We drove right into the suburban parts of Beverly Hills to see all the mansions, it really is insane. I swear I saw Dion’s house too.
 

Once you get off the main strip it’s very pretty around here, and probably one of the few neighbourhoods where you could walk for a coffee. Although I doubt anyone does. 

 

Rodeo Drive! 

While here we realised our amazing mustang was so not a big deal… 

 

Not with actual ‘super’ cars around…

So many stores, I really wanted to have a Cher Horowitz moment with a credit card…

This is Prada, no sign but I’d know those bags anywhere… and those outfits.

Amazing. 

Crumbs was amazing, we managed to resist the massive cupcakes but only because we had gone for a huge diner breakfast. The iced coffee though, standard in LA right? 


 The Beverly Wilshire hotel… or the Pretty Woman hotel to you and I…

 Then from Beverly Hills we went over to Venice Beach…

Venice Beach was crazy and were we saw just how many problems there are in the US for the first time. Something I will talk about at the end of the California blogs… 

My Jock watching the skater boys. 

Then we walked along the main street… it’s a crazy place, full of complete nutters which makes it a great visit but I was very glad we didn’t stay here (it was here or the hotel we picked) as it was quite hectic! 

Did I mention I got addicted to Frozen Yoghurt while we were in California? chocolate fat-free dessert? For real.

We watched basket ball… White Men Can’t Jump! 

And had a peek at the HUGE muscle men pumping iron at Muscle Beach (which is tiny!)…

 And saw a lot of graffiti, good and bad!

I did kinda like this Van Gogh copy…

We didn’t go into the freak show, I was too scared. There were enough on the street anyway! 

The overriding memory is that there were a lot of homeless people here, but most of them had a ‘thing’. There was this guy with his piano, and a lots of people selling various bits of ‘art’ or pavement art you could donate to, musicians, performers and like I have mentioned just plain weirdo’s doing their thing. One I can remember was a really old man in fluro speedos, who was like the colour of mahogany walking along with a ghetto blaster on his shoulder. 

And there are these ‘doctors’ surgery’s everywhere here, because you can get weed prescribed as medication in California. Crazy that this is in the US and not here  I think. 

I loved LA, and was sad to leave. I felt like we had just found our feet and it was time to go. Driving was scary at first, 5 lane freeways anyone? But once I got used to their way of driving everything made sense, in fact more sense than our roads do sometimes, and people are much more patient, we had no road rage or beeping of horns at all.

I absolutely loved driving around at night listening to the Drive soundtrack, I loved the amazing malls and sushi and fro yo! I loved the feel of the city, it is so laid back but so glam at the same time. I would love to visit for longer.

We recommend animal for a special dinner and Ozumo for pretty sushi.

The one thing I did not like about California are the national problems and differences between the US and the UK and I will talk about this when I have finished blogging California.

We stayed at Hotel Angeleno in Brentwood and we loved it, it was swish and the bed was huge and the staff brilliant. It’s valet parking so you never have to park your own car, there is a cool pool outside but it was January so we didn’t get to use it. We had drinks in the penthouse bar one night which was great and some really nice salads and breakfasts.

Its right by the freeway so the views aren’t really pretty but it’s so convenient for getting around the city.

I would also recommend any of the Joie de Vivre Hotels, there are two in LA, one at Venice Beach!

The Past Week…

July 29, 2012

 Last week was the best, after weeks of feeling like I am playing catch up on everything and having one of those weeks where everything goes wrong and you are the clumsiest person alive (please say it’s not just me?) I needed it…

The sun came out which definitely helped, there was lots of iced Matcha tea happening, lots of ice cream eating (you must go buy a cone of home-made ice cream from Spyglass discovered by Elly, they really are the best in Bristol), lots and lots of hanging out on ‘the wall’ by the Arnofini at lunchtime and after work.

  

  

And I have to give a little mention to the Neaustift cheese stand at the farmers market every Wednesday they have their own herd of goats and the cheese is just beautiful, sold in little wooden boxes they do a few flavours, the black pepper is great.

We took ours on our date night picnic in the park with some strawberries, bubbles and macaroons for dessert it was a great date.

         

Then towards the end of the week I had a day off from the day job for a couple of weddings at riverstation and some work towards our Eco Wedding Fair!

Coffee in bed on a weekday is such a treat (even better when you don’t make it!) 

First some errand running, the kind I like; I had to go shop for ribbon in St Nicks market, serious if you like to craft or sew or wrap presents go visit Sew Sew it rocks.

   

 Then it was a power juice before work…

   

 Then set up for a mini wedding… with hydrangeas and soft white roses…

   

Then, in my opinion, a perfect Friday night of bubbles and sunsets in Bristol’s harbourside. 

  

Saturday I worked on another wedding at riverstation, this time a full day of ceremony and the wedding breakfast, it was a very classic wedding with vintage crystal and roses, I ahd the loveliest job of arranging the flowers… I saw the sweetest moment between the Bride and her Dad, and the rooms looks beautiful when all her hard work paid off… she had hand-made all the little favours and the name tags.

   

  

   

  

 Saturday night with my Husband away on a boys camping trip I had my old house mate Sofi over, we don’t catch up nearly enough and it was so nice, drinking yet more pink bubbles and raspberry gin and tonics and having pasta-comas while watching weird tv shows on you tube. I love nights in with Sof!

  

In the morning I made my best french toast to date… like this recipe here but made with chocolate chips, and added banana and vanilla sugar. Insane. Don’t try to do anything for at least an hour after eating.

  

Then a lazy lunch was yet more sweetness with a scone given to me by Holly at Lahloo Pantry ages ago (which I was advised to freeze and they’re still good I have two more stored) with blackcurrant and cassis jam from my Mama, coffee, papers and Biggie the cat.

 

Sunday afternoon was pub time with some lovely friends and their new baby, much cooing and swooning over baby feet was had. 

    

After my crappy week I did say I was going to make this one a good one. I loved it, and it makes starting a new week today exciting, no Monday blues here!

How was your week? The UK was filled with sunshine so it can’t have been bad!

Inside Outside

July 27, 2012

I am working from home this morning, I have lots of blogs to write for my riverstation wedding work and a wedding this afternoon…

We are currently renovating various areas of the house right now, you might have seen my moaning on twitter 😉 and despite it being a pain I cannot wait until our French doors are in and I can work on the dining room table almost in the garden…

Then we are moving onto working on the garden, a girl can dream right?

Our garden is tiny but how cute would it be to have a room like the above to chill out in on those rare hot days, drinking home made lemonade and reading glossies, or on those not so rare rainy days with a hot chocolate and a good book.

Loving these inside-outside spaces spotted on Poppytalk

Swoon!

So we hit LA!

I was so excited to visit this city, shopping, sunshine, good food, shopping what more could a girl want?

Oh yes and we were visiting in winter so we were pimping all the way, after some lovely youth hostels I was ready to get back to luxury. LA is all that, valet everywhere you go and amazing service literally everywhere. I was in love.

We arrived at 6 am, to a raining LA, picked out a red mustang from the car hire lot, and had a very nervous drive to our hotel down a couple of freeways.

We slept in the biggest bed I have ever seen, then ate a massive room service (mexican) breakfast, oh my, then woke up to this day at about 2pm… 

Not the prettiest views but our hotel was so central we didn’t mind and this is what LA looks like, and being next to a freeway was gold considering you have to drive everywhere. Seriously, you really do.

We were about 15 minutes away from Santa Monica so spent the first day here, mooching, shopping and eating. It’s a great part of town, we always ending up coming back here to eat or hang out when we got confused driving around! 

I loved eating in California, we ate so much good food we had to bring it down to two meals a day… it is true what they say about portions, although you don’t have to eat that way but breakfasts were typically huge. It is really easy to be healthy here, but it even easier to be naughty.

We had great coffee and bagels at a Greek place one morning in the sunshine…

And the farmers market here is legendary, it’s really amazing the produce is insane. I guess it’s all the sunshine. I really wish I could have brought flowers there were so many beautiful displays.

 

We had dahlias just like these at our wedding…

Home made produce everywhere, peach jam? My gosh.



I really wanted to buy some fruit, such a shame we were moving on we could have gorged ourselves on the biggest strawberries ever seen… 

 
And oranges to try at most stands… 

 

My favourite heirloom tomatoes are the norm here, and so much produce was oversized and still organic.

 

Still we snubbed all that good stuff to go to a sports bar, I loved it here. Huge screens everywhere showing all the sports. Yes all of them. And booths, you must know I love a booth. 

This diner looked tiny outside but once you walked downstairs opened out into a huge cavern. It had been here forever and had movies star photos glued onto the tables and lots of souvenirs everywhere including lots of motorbikes hung from the ceiling and number plates too…

We ate burgers and quesadillas and watched basket ball and hockey and football and wrestling and who knows what else.

The one place my Husband was keen to visit in LA? Disneyland. (and compton but we didn’t go there)

I had only ever been to the one in Paris, this is another world! 

I wore those sparkly ears all day.  

We stayed all day, seeing everything we could, we did all the big rides, met Mickey Mouse, ate hot dogs and churros and drank raspberry lemonade, we saw Darth Vader and Jessica Rabbit and I met Mary Poppins, we even saw a whole parade with all the princesses on our way out.

We were knackered. 

The next day… we woke up to this. 

So we went shopping, stocking up on Victoria Secret, Gap, Nike and J Crew essentials and Levi’s, all much cheaper in the US. 

We went to Santa Monica pier that night which is great fun… it was late though I wished we had more time for the fair! Definitely worth a visit…

If only for a great photo opportunity… 

One place I had to visit before we left was Hollywood, I wanted to see the big sign and the walk of fame. And the weirdos, hollywood is full of strange ones. 

By this point I was loving driving in LA, after the first day or two of getting used to the different ways it all suddenly made sense, they drive to their roads and traffic. It’s a great place to drive and we had an amazing car for it too. 

The walk of fame is so fun, I took so many photographs here… 

 



I loved eating in diners while were here, we found some great ones… this was super cool and just like the diner in Grease, every booth had a juke box and it had a really retro feel, probably because it hasn’t changed in decades! 

So much more to see in this town… so we took our hood down and went off again… more tomorrow! 

I love this varsity jacket, check out my jock husband.

You can see we loved our soft-top, don’t get anything else if you do a driving holiday in the US, it’s so worth it.

Dreamy Wedding Shots

July 25, 2012

On this beautiful summers day (how amazing is it out there now that the sun has arrived!) I had to share these beautiful dreamy wedding photographs from 100 Layer Cake

 And how cute is this?

This parasol shot is amazing.

I love photographs that play with light… Swoon!

Check the full post here

Wellington, New Zealand

July 24, 2012

So back to Wellington, our first and last stop in New Zealand. We flew in from Sydney, stayed one night then got the ferry over to the South Island, drove around it and came back again for two more nights here.

This was my first sight of New Zealand when we were picking up our car.
 

And this is where we spent the majority of our time, mooching around the bay. 

Yacht spotting… 


And walking… as far as we could. 

 
Swooning over more beautiful houses…

 

This one right on the water was my favourite, I would have the circular tower as a reading room with comfy window seats and shelves filled with my favourites.

Wellington has lots of huge government buildings and a library and a great museum about the history and culture of the country.

 
I loved this public space that was down by the water, lots of walkways and places to sit with points of interest to look at. So cool.

I like this quote.

Once again the colour of the water blew me away. That jade green is beautiful.

 We even spotted some Manta Rays.

 

Drank beautiful coffee in squares.

Drank yet more ginger beer and ate some really delicious food. 

Steak anyone? 
 

The railway station was opposite our hostel and is beautiful. It makes me think of railway travel as glamorous, like a steam train with little compartments would show up. 


I don’t know what this crazy building was but it looked so strange against the backdrop of the station. 

*edit* I have just been informed by the lovely Lady Loves Cake who hails from this side of the world but this is the New Zealand parliament, and not an alien spaceship. Good to know!

We visited Foxglove both times we were here, I loved it here, partly because the sign is so cool… (I really would like a mini version of this at home saying Bristol!)

…partly because I love a day bed. I love to lounge in the sunshine with a drink and the balcony deck area at Foxglove is so cute.

Spending our last afternoon here was bliss, trying not to get sad about leaving New Zealand by talking about our next stop.

Check out the food on Full as an Egg… 

 

And had a last meal at a brewery pub, which we loved. The place is like a big warehouse with super cool decor and always packed (the both times we visited). 

 

 
When we arrived in Wellington it was raining hard, and was cold and wet, I had to buy a rain coat! I didn’t fall in love with it straight away, but hanging out in some cool cafes and bars really changed my mind, it’s a small city but has a really nice vibe and again comparing it to home had the harbourside area and a Gloucester Road/Stoke Croft type area. It’s a really great place to visit and the museum gives you a really good overview of the country, its people and its history so I highly recommend a visit there.

Te Papa – Museum of New Zealand

That’s it, no more spectacular scenery… not from New Zealand anyway… we’re off to LA next!