Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sarah Travels | Paris

Bonjour mes amis!

Just before Christmas I went on a weekend away to Paris with my Cousin/Bestie. I had previously been to Paris way way wayyyy back in 2006 with an ex boyfriend but to say it was a nightmare trip is an understatement. We went for our first year anniversary, and considering it's meant to be the capital of Love, we spent our whole 4 days arguing and the only touristy thing we saw was the Eiffel Tower. How that relationship lasted for 4 years I will never know! 
Despite all the arguments though I did fall completely in love with the city of lights. My bedroom is proof with Eiffel Tower and Paris stuff everywhere, and ever since 2006 I have been so desperate to go back, see all the sights I missed out on and make better memories there. It's such a good feeling to finally be able to sit here and say I have done that and think about Paris with the biggest smile rather than the memories being plagued with arguments. :)

We only went for 2 days but we crammed so much into it that it definitely feels like we went for longer. Our flight was at 7:00am and we just literally dropped our bags off at the hotel and then off we went to explore the French Capital. Our hotel was so cute with the prettiest view over the rooftops of the city from the balcony which looked extra special in the morning when the sun was coming up.

Before we went we had pre-booked our tour bus tickets which meant we could travel freely around the city just  jumping on and off the buses at each tourist spot. The first thing we did was visit the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc is situated right at the very top of the Champs Elysées and we bought tickets to go up to the top. The Arc itself is incredible and such a gorgeous memorial for the veterans who lost their lives in war. The views of Paris from the top was just amazing. There is A LOT of stairs to climb to get to the top but the views just make it so worthwhile. I definitely recommend doing it.

Next stop was the Eiffel Tower which I had seen on my previous visit to Paris but only managed to get onto the first floor. This time we ventured right up to the top! This was the highlight of my whole trip I think. Standing at the very top of the Eiffel Tower with one of my favourite people, drinking champagne was just the best feeling. You can literally see for miles around and I was strangely not scared which shocked me because I normally get the worst jelly legs with anything to do with heights! It just feels so safe up there though which surprised me a lot. The amount of time you have to queue to get into each lift was pretty ridiculous though, it was just never ending! But definitely worth it. Not only that, I got to see the most beautiful sunset from the second level when I was making my way down. No words for that!

 After the Eiffel Tower we decided to do our river cruise which we got included in the price of the sightseeing bus tickets. Now bearing in mind we went at the very end of November, the cruise was absolutely FREEZING but we got to see the Eiffel Tower light up the sky with its twinkling light display from the River and I have never see anything so pretty in all my life.
The next day we started at the Louvre and I finally got to see the one and only miss Mona Lisa! Plus we got to take the tourist photos outside which I was dying to do haha. I was really shocked at how small the Mona Lisa actually was but I was so excited when I saw it. You can't get too close as there are barriers around it and it's in a glass box but just being close to something so famous was definitely a wow moment. I couldn't get over how grand and extravagant the Louvre was, I thought it would be quite small but it was huge and the interior is probably one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen! Every ceiling you looked at, every new room you went in was just so beautiful. We didn't have enough time to look around the whole thing so we just went and saw the Mona Lisa and a few other things my cousin wanted to see but I definitely want to go back and have a proper stroll around without worrying about the time.

Next for us little tourists was the absolutely gorgeous Notre Dame. Unfortunately, like with the Louvre, we were on a time limit and the queues to get in were about 2 hours long so we just didn't have the time to go inside but the outside was stunning and I was dying to go hunting for Quasimodo haha. if you are going to visit here and want to go inside I definitely recommend leaving plenty of time for queueing. Next time I'm in Paris this is definitely on my list to re-visit!

After there we headed over to the love lock bridge. I know it's meant for people in relationships but me and my cousin had a best friends lock made and we wanted to put it on. We locked it onto the bridge, and we had 3 keys, we threw one into the river, and we both kept one each and have them on our house keys :) it was such a special moment which I'll never forget and I'm glad I got to share it with my girl! I feel very lucky to have a best friend who is also family and this was a perfect way to put a little extra special stamp on our trip!
The rest of the day we just went shopping down the Champs Elysées. The Christmas markets had just started and they stretched down the whole length of it! It was so gorgeous and Christmassy  and we treated ourselves to a nice mulled cider and some pancakes!
Over the two days we also decided to try some tradition French delicacies so we tried both frogs legs and snails! I was absolutely terrified and my inner wimp definitely made an appearance both times haha! But when in France! The snails were not what I was expecting at all, you have to pick them out of the shell with a little metal fork and they are very very chewy. The frogs legs were also quite chewy and were so much bigger than I was expecting! I nearly had a heart attack when they came out and they were nearly the size of my plate haha! I don't think I will be in a rush to eat either again but at least I can say I have tried a snail and frog! We also had some French Crepes, Creme Brulee, Macaroons and waffles! We definitely ate very well on this trip! You have to try the local food when you travel to a new place, it would be rude not to! Bon appetite!

The trip was just such a lovely and fun weekend and it's made me fall in love with Paris all over again. It was my cousins first time there and she absolutely loved it as well. It's definitely one of those places I know for sure I will be returning to over and over again throughout my life and it will always hold such a special place in my heart. I could spend so many days getting lost in the beautiful streets, sitting on street corners drinking hot chocolate or wine and eating pastries, taking afternoon walks down the Seine and I don't think I would ever get tired of seeing Miss Eiffel in all her glory spreading light all over the city and twinkling like stars in front of my eyes. It's such a magical city and somewhere everyone should experience at least once in their life.

"There is but one Paris, the french air clears up the brain and does good....a world of good" 
- Vincent Van Gogh

Paris, je t'aime ❤️


Monday, 27 February 2017

Sarah Loves | Oscars 2017 Fashion

Award season is great isn't it. I'm not particularly fussed on who wins what, apart from when Leo finally won his Oscar because I think everyone in the world was rooting for that babe! (GO ON LEO!)
I just absolutely love seeing what dresses and shoes everyone is wearing, the gorgeous hair and makeup looks the millions of glam squads have created and seeing all the men looking extremely handsome in their suits! Ryan Gosling, I am looking at you!
Some of the outfit choices at awards ceremonies could definitely be described as weird and wonderful or fit right in at fancy dress parties, (think CeeLo Green in that gold body paint, and machine get-up, Bjork with that swan round her neck, or Gaga in that meat dress), but it's the glitz and the glamour that I love and the Oscar's never fails to disappoint in that department!
Everyone has their favourites and I thought I would share mine after looking at the dresses pretty much all day, which I'm pretty sure my boss wouldn't appreciate if she was reading this! Oops!

First up we have my favourite of the whole night, the absolutely gorgeous Miss Emma Stone.
Emma was wearing a beautiful dress by Givenchy and 
I just think she looked absolutely stunning. I like the fact she 
doesn't slap on the fake tan, doesn't wear hair extensions and is 
just herself, she's such a natural beauty and this dress just looks 
amazing on her! I love the modern twist on the 1920's style 
flapper dress and the colour is stunning. Top marks from me Miss Stone! 

Second, we have the ultimate screen queen, Nicole Kidman.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the detailing on this unbelievable
Armani Privé dress?!! The pattern on this dress is just stunning and I really hope 
I have a figure like her's when I'm nearly 50 because she looks amazing!
I love the simple hair too to keep the focus on the dress as well. 
So elegant!

Next up we have Taraji P. Henson.
How fierce does she look! I absolutely love this gorgeous custom
Alberta Ferretti velvet dress and the sweetheart neckline really
suits her shape. Normally legs and boobs are a no-go in the fashion world,
but I love that she's got the thigh high split and the boobs out and she
really pulls it off and doesn't look tacky at all. She is rocking that bob as well,
I need to know what volumising product she uses ASAP!

The fourth of my favourites goes to Olivia Culpo.
Similar to Emma Stone's Flapper Style dress, is this gorgeous 
Marchesa dress. It is very similar to Emma's but I love the colour and
the cute little black bow around the middle just gives it a 
younger more playful vibe. I love how her hair is thrown back
into a gorgeous sleek ponytail and her makeup is gorgeous. That lip colour
is so pretty! If I wore this dress I would 100% be shaking my tassles all night long! haha!

Last for the girls we have Chrissy Teigan, and to start off the men, her husband John Legend.
Power Couple Alert!
This is literally my favourite couple ever at the minute, Chrissy Teigan is
my favourite person ever right now, she is hysterical! 
Chrissy looks amazing in her Zuhair Murad Couture gown, 
(one of my favourite designers ever and someone I would personally love to
wear if I ever went to something like this!) and John looks so handsome
in his Gucci suit. I love the long train on the dress and the detailing on the top half is stunning!

For the rest of my picks for the men we have Ryan Gosling and Aldis Hodge.
 How could I not include Ryan Gosling. The man is incredible! How can you not
include someone who makes a ruffle front 80's style shirt look cool?! 
Gosling looks very good in his Gucci suit, the suit reminds me of a prom suit
and I really wouldn't say no to a date to Prom with him!

Aldis Hodge was my final pick for the men because I just thought he really 
looks cool in this Georgio Armani suit. I love his little pocket chain, I think it's nice to
see something a bit different to break up your average suit 
and that watch is some serious bling isn't it! Very suave Mr. Hodge!

Special mention has to go to Sunny Pawar!
Is this not the coolest kid you have ever laid eyes on??!!! Apart from the fact that
he is absolutely gorgeous, he looks so adorable in his suit and I love 
his little jazzy boots he's got on with it. This kid definitely outshone half
the other stars there! Loved him!

So they were my favourites! Is it too early to get excited for next year? Haha. Imagine going to the Oscars, I would definitely want to wear a Zuhair Murad dress I think, I have loved pretty much every red carpet gown I've ever seen anyone wear by him and his designs are always so detailed and beautiful. Zuhair if you are reading this.... haha!
See you next year Oscar's for more glitz and glamour!


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sarah Travels | Chamonix

In January I was lucky enough to book a last minute trip away with two friends to the Winter Wonderland Chamonix in the French Alps.
I had never heard of it before but one of my friends mentioned it to me because she wanted to go and when I looked into it I knew straight away that I had to get there ASAP. 

We went for 3 nights and didn't ski or snowboard so because we went purely for the sightseeing, this was plenty of time. I think if we had been skiing then we would have needed a few more days. We stayed in the cutest little apartment (we all actually started jumping up and down with happiness when we walked into it haha) and it had the most amazing view from the balcony over the town.

I felt like the luckiest girl in the world waking up every morning and looking out the window to that view. You know one of those "I can't believe this is real?!" moments? That was definitely one of those!
The time we were there for was just magical. The place itself is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. We were lucky because when we went, thick snow was covering every inch of it which just made it even more beautiful. I think it would be beautiful all year round, but the snow definitely made it all that more special. 
We spent all our time there taking in the amazing scenery, laughing our wooly hats off, drinking the most delicious hot chocolate and eating crepes, waffles and all the gorgeous french food during the day and of a night we danced our legs off in the local clubs. My favourites were Le Bar du Moulin and Le Priviledge, and of course, we drank A LOT of wine! I definitly liked the fact I could go out in the nighttime in my jeans, a jumper, coat and hat, flat boots, hardly any makeup and no hair extensions and no one would bat an eyelid because everyone was the same. Imagine doing that in Liverpool?! 
Chamonix is quite an expensive place so we made the most of the local supermarket rather than eating out constantly because it was so last minute that none of us really had time to save any spending money. If you plan on doing some shopping there I definitely recommend taking a fair amount of Euro's with you.

On the second day we were there we decided to take a trip up the Aiguille Du Midi. We took a cable car up to the top, which is the longest and highest cable car in Europe. The cable car took us up Mont Blanc and it took us 3842m up to the highest accessible point you can reach on the mountain without climbing. The summit of Mont Blanc is 4810m so we were very close to the top. We paid $60 to go up and we were supposed to be going into the glass box up there called The Step into the Void, but unfortunatly this was closed due to the weather as it was so cold and frozen! To say I was gutted was an understatement as I was looking forward to doing that so much and had really been psyching myself up for it but at least now I have an excuse to go back haha. 
The views from the top were like nothing I had ever seen before. They just left me absolutely speechless and it just wouldn't sink in what I was actually seeing. The beauty of the mountains just took my breath away (the altitude probably never helped haha) and I actually got quite emotional up there. After taking in the views, we had a nice hot chocolate in the cafe looking over the mountains and Chamonix town below, and we treated ourselves to some souvenirs to remember our day by and then headed back down. I can honestly say that it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done and it is something I will never forget.

I mean, I still get blown away looking back at the photos. There's just no words to describe exactly how amazing it was. The photos honestly don't do it justice.
It was such a chilled and laid back holiday and I just felt the happiest and the most calm I've felt in the longest time when I was there. From the second I left on the plane to the second I boarded to come home, I just loved every second. It was definitely one of the best few days of my life and one of the best holidays I have ever had. I am definitely going to go back again and going to ski or snowboard this time. I will definitely need some lessons though because if I don't practice first I will end up looking like bambi rather than a graceful ski queen haha. I highly recommend everyone to visit Chamonix at some point and hopefully you will all fall in love with the magical winter wonderland just like I did!