Amsterdam City Break

My partner and I had a spontaneous night clicking away on Booking.Com and within half an hour, we were squealing with excitement for our four-day adventure in the Netherlands (which always reminds me of Never Never Land, oh Peter Pan …).

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3AM on Monday the 15th of May,  we were heading to Birmingham Airport (thanks for driving us, stepdad, you’re great!), and I was filled with both excitement and anxiety – it was our first time flying without parents but I trust George with my life, and knew if I kept within an invading hula hoop space from him, I’d be sound as a pound.

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On day one, we checked into our beautiful apartment and explored the neighbourhood we were staying in. The streets were filled with quirky, clean cut and exclusive businesses, from coffee shops (none herbal) to fashion design offices that I long to work in and incredible clothing stores that had UO vibe throughout. Each shop we went into, I was taken back by the interior, I wanted to set up camp in every corner of the room, they were incredible.

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Later, we landed in the centre of the city to try some crepes, walk along the canals, and obviously see what the Red Light District was about. Erm.. interesting. I haven’t nervously giggled so much in my life, however, I did get a touch defensive when a woman invited G into her pad, like can you not, thank you & goodbye *only joking* … or am i?

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Obviously, we have no photos from that experience, and rightly so, a woman was soaked with water and sworn at for snapping the exposed ladies, I ain’t risking that. That night we also brought tickets to the ‘Sex Museum’, which was more educating that I anticipated. I was surprised at the age ranges in the images too, boy that’s one large gap. My Grandad loves the photo of George and I sat on the massive .. structure, think’s it’s hilarious, “three dicks in one photo”.

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A recommendation for you, Bagels and Beans was the cutest stop off for breakfast, I wish I could stop thinking about those warm cinnamon bites of carbs, but I can’t. Oh and the fresh orange juice! Most supermarkets in Amsterdam offer a juicing machine, I expected the prices to be extortionate, but I was stand corrected.

The Heineken Brewery is a must! I thought I’d be bored out of my mind, as this was on George’s list of things to see (dur) … but I was pleasantly entertained, and George was full on his and my own tokens for halves. Anne Frank House is an obvious choice of sightseeing, we both came out feeling so grateful and appreciative, also a little spooked out but we did just spend the last hour in a locked away attic. (More interesting than that sounds haha).

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I was told by so many people that a canal tour from the water itself was the best way to see Amsterdam, I was also told by those same people to get myself into The Bull Dog but that’s for another story time. An audio was provided on the boat to teach you all there was to know about the city, now I understand why all the houses are leaning to the side!

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We took €350, and I spent all of mine, I would have been fine with less if I was clever enough to check the forecast before flying out (stupid move), having to buy shorts and dresses set me back but that’s my own bloody fault. We never got the chance to hire bikes out, but on our next visit, we absolutely will. Lastly, I recommend buying a three-day travel pass once you hit the Airport / Train Station over there, it’s about €26 and was a life saver when our legs couldn’t carry us anymore. I can’t stop thinking about this dreamy little break we shared together, and I’ll count down the days until we step back on a Dutch airline. We will see you soon Amsterdam!

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All my love,

Chlo x

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The Spark Grand Opening at Solent

Solent Southampton University opened their new project, ‘The Spark’, with Prosecco and canapés to their guests before showing us into the seating area and the sculpture itself. My plus one and I were at the event with @SouthamptonBloggers and are truly grateful to have been invited to such a perfect evening. We were seated to designated tables, unfortunately we were split from the other lovely bloggers, but the miniature picnic bench filled with starters and fresh bread definitely made up for this factor. (Also not forgetting the endless amounts of wine..)

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The Spark itself will be used as lecture rooms and the space around it provides more class rooms and working areas for students to sit independently, with sockets for laptops and USB ports for that low iPhone battery life, because you keep testing out the new Snapchat filters rather than listening to your tutor talking *guilty*. For this evening only, the classrooms were packed with activities and tasty treats! Imagine having a glass of wine in one hand and a pick & mix in the other, I was living the life I tell you! (May also confess that I’m currently chomping on that same bag of Pick & Mix as I type this, but that’s between us). I managed to try Bubble Tea for the first time and am still to make up my mind whether I actually liked it or not, it’s just a bit weird and pointless, I don’t see why you even need squishy balls to pop in your mouth? Dirty minded!

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My rosé was soaked up with a gorgeous main course of citrus chicken with an avocado and beetroot salad, followed by a raspberry; vanilla and white chocolate mouse. The food was inspired by their own Summer and Gala Dinner Menu, meaning these delicious meals are available beyond this night. I would like to brag that ‘Gordon Ramsey’ was also enjoying the cuisine and a few seats away from me may I add. He could have gone and helped the chefs!

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(Isn’t he just the spitting image?! Wonderful impersonator)

Jarrod, Charlotte and I giggled the entire night away whilst exploring the cocktail bars and chatting about all things Solent related, as we are so thrilled to be involved in such an impressive and outstanding University.

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My dress is from a charity shop back in The Midlands called New Life, my gorgeous brown heels are an Asos gem and the mini black bag is Matalan.

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Thank you so much for reading.

All my love, Chlo x

 

 

In The Frow Charity Event

I took my two lovely ladies to a cat walk show in the middle of April to try and distract us from our endless studies, for one night. We had heard that a handful of our course friends were modelling in the show and would be rocking some seriously stunning clothes, and had further heard that the beautiful Sarah Ashcroft had travelled to Southampton to present the entire evening! I didn’t get my hopes up as I thought that the possibility of actually meeting her was ridiculous, however, we did.. and she was truly the most lovely and genuine person. We chatted as if we were old friends catching up and to see one of your motivations in the flesh is breath taking. I can assure you I was absolutely not fan girling all night .. *rolls eyes in denial*.

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The show consisted of collections that were both jewellery and clothing, which was refreshing to see as I’d never witnessed a jewellery show before this. The 2 for 1 cocktails were highly appreciated too, even though I definitely picked the wrong drink (some sort of sour strawberry concoction..). My good friend Safia had the most insane cream liquor, that I happily sipped away at in between the free Prosecco and nibbles of popcorn from the goody bag.

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My favourite collection was from a talented young designer named Mimi Schofield, with her clothing brand titled appropriately (and very cutely) as Mimi & Bow. On their website you can see the beautiful coats that she sells, with Sarah Ashcroft shining on their home page (and sporting one in the photo below too). I was lusting after these coats throughout the entire show, especially after seeing a friend (HEY BENIE YOU ANGEL) slaying the garment with a body con dress and heels. I never even imagined I would actually win one for my very own that evening. I’m ridiculously grateful to have won the give away, and to have met the designers. The entire event was truly beautiful and honoured to the loveliest family to raise money for both Momentum Charity and CF Trust.

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(She actually had to bend down and make herself seem far shorter than she is, because I’m embarrassing small..). I also definitely need to step up my makeup game.. How does she manage that glow?! *heads over to her YouTube channel to watch her tutorials back to back*

Thank you so so much for reading, I know I have been completely MIA for a handful of months but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Keep yourselves safe.

Speak soon,

Chloé x

Daylight Photography

For my Photography unit during University, we have been given an assignment based around Bowie – giving a tribute to his memory.

I partnered up with my wonderful friend Molly, and headed to the studios to shoot a daylight styled portrait that was suitable for my chosen publication. Molly also captured some images that I modeled for with i-D in mind for the final production. The feedback we were given from our tutor was taken on board and noted down, ready for our final images to be captured. He went through the angles that we had chosen, admittedly, we didn’t plan this aspect too well as the photos would only be suitable to cover the magazine, and not for a feature inside. Our tutor, Gino, also spoke about the use of colour within the setting and the emphasized structure of my models face through glitter pens. I thought this may have disappointed Gino but he was actually really thrilled with what I had created. (AH Phew..)

These aren’t my final images, but will be going into my research and work book for development analysis and now I can’t wait to put my latest tips and tricks into good use.

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With permission, I have inserted the images that Molly took, as she deserves tonnes of praise. Its very rare to make my face look somewhat acceptable but I’m definitely not afraid to say that she hit the nail right on the head.

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Thank you for reading,

Love Chlo x

5 Things I’ve learned recently

Living away from home is super tough, and definitely a roller-coaster of emotions but sometimes I like to sit back and reflect on all of the things I’ve learnt since being at University so far. It’s refreshing to do this once in a while because you often don’t give yourself enough credit as a person and the achievements that you are capable of, I know I’m certainly guilty of this!

So here are my five things.

  1. If you’re not happy – change it. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised as how many people complain about their way of living, yet continue to carry on anyway. This statement can be applied to so many things during Uni life. You don’t like your course? Speak up about it. Bored of waking up to the same setting day in day out? Switch it up! That doesn’t necessarily mean pack up your belongings and move – changing my furniture around and reorganizing my storage always helps me to feel cleansed and ready for a fresh start.
  2. Money can’t buy you happiness. It’s clear that it definitely helps with all the ‘I’d rather do my crying in a Porsche’ kind of thing (which personally I would rather be in my bed wrapped up but each to their own). However, when I get down I typically binge splurge with retail therapy and it kills the sadness for an hour or so, wasn’t really worth wasting my student finance on though.
  3.  The outdoors world is beautiful. I spend far too long lounging around my poking little bedroom that I’ve hardly explored Southampton and what it has to offer. I will typically sit by my window and take gorgeous photo’s of the sun streaming into my room or when it sets later that evening. However, I don’t need to be seeing it through a screen when I have a good pair of eyes that work in excellent condition.
  4. Deadlines come sooner than you think. I have always believed that I work better under pressure, and throughout college have left my work until 2 AM, ready to hand in just a few hours later that day.. University hasn’t been much different for me and my awful habits. The most annoying this is, that I constantly plan over and over throughout the day. I map out schedules of what I want to complete on that night and the minute I enter my accommodation I get crazily distracted and side tracked. Slowly but surely changing this tactic as I learnt from my first semester that sleep is a powerful thing. It got to the point where I was napping for two hours before dinner and staying up from the rest of the day, and working through the night too. Not on.
  5. Finally, I’ve learnt to take time out for myself. A book I’m loving right now is the ‘712 Things To Write About’ from UO (Sale £4), and the title gives everything away. I thought about picking up an adult colouring book, but realised I hate colouring, but love writing.. So this was ideal. I do wish we could light candles in halls, but fairy lights and a hot chocolate still set the mood for a chilled night in. I just cut off from the digital world and focus on what my body needs. I write and write until the words start to look blurry – then it’s time to sleep!

I acted on number three not long after putting this post together, and I managed to take a few pretty photos when I was out walking with my better half.

So that’s everything, I hope to do more of these in the future as it’s always good to look back in a few months – either to be mindful or to pick myself up out of the gutter. If anyone wants more information of Uni life, living away from home or something completely random and off topic, then I have a feedback page that is free to use.

Thank you so much for reading,

All my love. Chlo x

Modelling ..

If you didn’t already guess, the title is an absolute joke. I would never consider modelling let alone give up all the carb loaded foods to eventually become a model! Funny.

This post is just a light-hearted, photo filled insight to what I’ve been getting up to at University after my Christmas holidays. I arrived back into my Halls of Residence on the 17th of January, and have been back to back with plans; talks and events for bloggers. (I’m going to an Alexander McQueen function this evening and couldn’t be more excited).

The newest addition to my timetable would be photography, and as I’ve already included a post about my first taster session with Gino (tutor) I wasn’t convinced that I should include these, but our gorgeous snapper Safi (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARLING) did such an excellent job that there was no hesitation to upload these images.

There is some gorgeous shots of a friend, captured also by Safi, but I’m sure they will soon be uploaded over on her blog.

First off, this entire day was getting a feel of the camera one and one, to learn the basic settings and then dab deeper into the complicated techniques that we will use in various locations. Giving us access to studios, and obviously the outdoors, we needed to have knowledge on all the features that the camera could offer.

I’m a huge fan of photography and being behind the lens, but there’s no denying that modelling (prancing around and attempting to be some what serious) is something I thoroughly enjoy.

So without needing to blabber on for much longer, here are the images.

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Still awaiting the birthday girl’s first blog post, but when it arrives we all know to expect nothing but excellence. So here is Safia’s blog. Watch out for big things, from beauty tips and tricks to ethical debates and society issues.

Thank you a bunch for staying until the end! I know it seemed like an awfully vain blog post this week, but I can do my best to convince you that this was not the case. Enjoy your week!

Christmas Wishlist

After some serious digging over around a 6 month period, I have managed to narrow it down to 8 (potentially  OTT) gifts that I would like to either treat myself to/receive from family members. I just want to throw a disclaimer in here and clarify that this isn’t me ‘begging’ ‘bragging’ ‘hinting’ for presents, it’s just an online Wishlist for the viewers that requested it.

First off, if Santa would like to drop down a Sony A5000 Compact Camera down my chimney then that would be fantastic.. preferably white to match my laptop and printer. This is something I am personally saving up for, as I know the quality will do wonders for my blog and will encourage me to snap more photographs. The idea behind this is that you have all the features a DSLR can offer, but in a smaller and more portable version. You are able to change the lenses to create the effect you’re after and I know InTheFrow is a huge fan too.

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Secondly, I have been trying to find different ways to express my creativity and haven’t succeeded until now. I am not a brilliant hands free drawer and have always loved the extra help that digital illustration software’s gave me. So stumbling across the Intuos Draw Pen Tablet was everything that I needed to bring my ideas to life. For the product, the price tag is such a steal. I expected to pay at least £150, but for just £54.99 I was singing my praises.

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Every girl loves a set of underwear to be waiting under the Christmas tree. For me, a red or even sparkling glitter pair of CK’s would be beautiful.

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The trend I have been lusting over recently is the over the knee boot. Kourtney Kardashian set it straight for me, and from then I have been dreaming of the Stuart Weitzman Highland boots in grey suede for days (literal dreams I’m not kidding). However, some of us poor student folk can’t afford the £650, so I managed to find an exact dupe from Public Desire for £39.99. Thank me later.

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Spontaneous shopping trips with my Mum are always a favourite of mine. After walking in TK Max, I expected to find nothing but a few Nars lipsticks. Boy. I. Was. Wrong. The most perfect Lauren by Ralph Lauren bag was perched waiting for me. All cream and gold detail. Such a classic statement piece that would chic any outfit.

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I spent the recent weekend back home, and did nothing but slouch around in my mum’s clothes (of course I didn’t underpack..). I couldn’t help but fall in love with the fragrance she had drenched on every item she owned. Either i’ll purchase Gaultier 2 for myself or keep pinching hers, I’ve not yet decided.

As a keen blogger, I would love to purchase my own domain soon. But with Christmas, a house deposit and a whole pile of payments coming out of my bank account – a domain is not top of the list right now.

The final item on my Wishlist is a black patent crocodile skin laptop sleeve. Mouthful, and breath. Simply because I am sick of a bright blue case ruining every outfit whilst it dangles from my shoulder. A simple sleeve can be slotted into my bag and that’s the end of it.

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I promise I’ve been completing all of my Uni work and eating all of my fruit and veg, Santa.

Thank you for reading!

Tweet me at @Ch1oeleigh telling me what is on the top of your Christmas list this year.

Thinking I’m a Model

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In the first few weeks of University, we were introduced to a Photography session by a lovely man named Gino! This was just a taster of what we will be taught in January, and I am way too excited for it to come around. I enjoyed myself far too much and knew I wanted to use the images for blog headers and social media if they turned out okay (I am not photogenic at all). After being pleasantly surprised by the outcome, excluding that dreadful blonde bobble.. ew, I threw them straight into a post to share with you guys.
Behind the scenes looked a little like this..
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I had to take the images myself using a Bluetooth controller, following Gino’s instructions – he knew what he wanted from each individual and my photo’s have a clear statement of ‘I think i’m sassy with my leather jacket and heavy watch, but i’m innocent really’ ACCURATE.
If I had the qualities to become a model, I wouldn’t hesitate. I was completely at ease and felt comfortable throughout the process. Roll on January.

Little Life Update

Having coped four weeks away from home, I think i’m content enough to write about my experience of University so far.
If, like me, you’re way too attached to your parents, then of course it’s going to be an absolute roller coaster of a journey but knuckling down on your assignments soon passes the time away.
I haven’t visited home as of yet, and my first trip back will be for my Mum’s birthday in just over a week (Couldn’t be more nervous and excited!). The thought of driving through a three and a half hour journey by myself is eating me alive, but the people waiting at the other end will make up for that con!
I’m also dreading the tears, and emotional talk that will be constant over the long weekend that i’ll be spending in the Midlands. I can imagine it will only make me want to avoid University altogether.
And, of course, those goodbyes! I’ll never be good at those, but you have to do what you have to do.
Think of that degree Chloe; think of that magazine spread that has your name underneath. Reminding myself every day that i’m doing this to better myself and to make my Old’ man proud.
I pushed aside any expectations that I had for Southampton, to prevent disappointment. Having done this, I am way too pleased with the outcome. Living in halls can be a pain up the backside sometimes for obvious reasons, too loud when you need sleep, people not washing up their plates until they run out of places to eat their food from and the friction that can be caused when two people disagree on one thing. But don’t let that fool you! I went to work for just 4.5 hours and already missed my flat mates. I head straight to the door across the corridor from me the minute I feel doubt, or loneliness. I wake up to notes under my door to make me smile, or encourage me to continue in what i’m doing. If it wasn’t for this annoying group of divs, I wouldn’t leave my bed. (Warning – Soppy content throughout).
Food. Garlic Bread. Pasta. Cheese.
Seem’s so typical of a student, but honestly you look forward to eating a bowl of creamy carbs at the end of a days work. Also, going home to your Mum’s home made pie and chips will be so much more appreciated. If you’re reading this Mum, just 8 days and i’ll be expecting to smell pastry! (Thank you & love you in advance).
Nagging my brother for our printer from home for three weeks got tedious in the end. So I took the plunge last night and invested in my own. I am the kind of person that would need to have a talk to myself after spending over £15 on one shopping trip! Budget is my middle name. So after calling up my parents, and grandparents, and even got my flat mates advice, I finally ended up splashing out at 1:20 AM (the printer was only £30 anyway.. Bargain if you were to ask a normal person, or a person not obsessed with saving their dough).
The work load in itself, I do genuinely enjoy. So far I’ve had tasks including magazine spreads; photo shoots (me being the model, AH!); moods boards and blog posts!
I am yet to publish my work onto my blog, and still awaiting on the finalized images from my Photography tutor.

This may seem a doddle, but that’s in-between the major pile of essay questions and research folders that need completing too. I’m sure i’ll end up sick of seeing my laptop screen, but as of now, i’m doing good.
I’ll leave it here, as I have nothing else that springs to mind to update you guys on. I can cover any topics about University in more detail if it is requested. Tweet me – @Ch1oeleigh.
(Whatever doubt I feel, I refuse to give up! One day I will be Alexa Chung..)  ♡