Friday, 29 August 2014

Bonjour Parieeeee! Day one...

Hello lovelies!

How have you all been?

This post is going to be the start of a series all about my visit to Paris.  I've been so excited to get all of my photographs together and organised so I could share my trip with you!  I did initially plan on doing just a couple of posts, but as I took sooooo many photos I'm going to upload a little day by day Paris journal so that I can share it all!  My Mister and I took our trip to Paris as a holiday rather than a short city break, so we crammed a whole load of stuff into six days.  We shied away from public transport, and worked out we walked around one hundred miles in total over the course of the week!!  So without further ado, here is part one of our Parisian adventure!

Our flight from Newcastle to Paris was an early one, so we were on Paris time at around 9.25 am.  For those of you that have visited Paris and flown to Charles De Gaulle before you'll know two things, that CDG is enormous (I mean it should have it's own currency its so big!!) and second, that it's quite a trek away from the centre of Paris.  So, we booked a ticket onto an Air France bus to the Champs Elysee...and my first encounter of Paris when we finally got dropped off was this...

The Arc de Triomphe...breathtaking!

And that was the beginning of my Paris love affair.  Our hotel, 'The Quality Hotel Malasherbes' was about a half hour's walk from the Arc and along the route I was completely in awe of everything!!  The buildings in Paris are so beautiful; it has the most amazing architecture and the patisseries and little cafes just add to that authentic French feel.  We were too early to check in, so after leaving our cases we wandered back up to the Arc for a McDonalds (I know classy right, but you can't beat an McD's abroad!) and to explore.



This was a 5 star hotel along the way...how pretty does the window look?


At check-in time, we were totally exhausted so headed back to the hotel for a power nap! 

The bed was un-believable!
Our hotel room was on the 6th floor and the view opposite of the St Augustin church was stunning.  Paris is one of those places where there's something amazing to look at on every corner, no matter where you go.


Waking up to this every morning against a backdrop of blue sky made it even more difficult to come home!

Our day two in Paris was set to be a busy one, with a boat trip along the Seine booked for the morning and a trip up the Eiffel Tower on the night.  With this is mind, we decided to take the end of our first day to explore some more so we'd know exactly where to go on the second.  The weather was absolutely glorious and so much better then we'd expected, so it was lovely to walk along the Seine with the sun beaming down and the warm summer breeze blowing past us!  When we got to the Eiffel Tower it was sheer madness, there were people absolutely everywhere!!  But the first time you see it, the feeling you get is absolutely amazing.  I have to confess, I don't think it's anywhere near the most beautiful building in Paris but I love that wherever you are you can see it and that it always seems to pop up out of nowhere!  I couldn't resist getting my photo taken in front of it, it was such an exciting way to start our holiday!

We look so tired here...but the Eiffel selfie just has to be done!
Because we were so tired, we decided to have a picnic in our hotel room that evening rather than go for a meal.  We found an M&S Food just along the road from our hotel (typically British!) and really stocked up!!

Then with full tummies we decided to call it a night, ready for our holiday to really start the following day!  And boy was it an adventure!

See you soon for day two mon amies!
A bientot!

xxx
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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Afternoon tea, cake and a little bit of beauty...

Hello you lovely people!

In this post I'm totally going to let the photographs do the talking!  On Sunday, I visited the 'The Vintage Powder Room' in Whitley Bay with some of my bestest friends in the world of blog.  It was my lovely friend Chloe who organised the mini-blog event and I had a really fun afternoon!  Chloe got her hair done vintage stylee and I got a manicure so that my nails would be all lovely and shiny ready for my trip away to Paris.  We spent the first part of our day in the gorgeous little beauty room crammed with vintage dresses, a couple of mini beauty stations and the most gorgeous Marilyn Monroe wallpaper you ever did see (I have the Audrey Hepburn version at home in my office as Audrey is my girl crush)!  We were well looked after and even had an unlimited flow of pink lemonade which was absolutely delicious!  Then when our pampering was finished, we headed through to the tea room to tuck in to a gorgeous spread of afternoon tea in the cutest of settings!  It was so lovely to catch up with my blogging family Chloe, Lisa, Emma and my lovely little niece Rachel, and even lovelier to welcome a new addition to our little group, Shivani.










Now for tea and cake...and the beautiful little tea room...





















Thanks so much to Chloe for organising! Ladies, I can't wait until our next little blogging adventure!  And thanks to the lovely people at The Vintage Powder Room and Tea shop for letting us take over!

L-R-Me (at the back!), Rachel, Emma, Shivani, Lisa and Chloe

xxx

PS-thanks to Shivani for the group photograph! 
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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Au revoir! I'm off to Parieeeee!

Hello lovelies!

If you are reading this now, then guess what? I'm in Paris!  I've scheduled this post and one other for you to read whilst I'm away...so you don't miss me too much!

I know I've probably mentioned it 3647586967008098 times on my blog and on Twitter and Facebook, and most other methods of communication, but I'm just so excited!  I always worry about mentioning holidays over social media, because I'd hate for anyone to think I was bragging, but honestly I'm really not!  You see, Paris has been my dream holiday destination ever since I was a little girl!  I remember being about ten years old, when my lovely Mam visited Paris for a weekend with my Aunt.  I was too little then to be jealous, but all I kept thinking was that she was going to the place that had Disneyland and how gutted I was that I had to stay with my Dad (I must admit the Minnie Mouse t-shirt she brought back for me really softened the blow!)  She didn't even visit Disneyland as it goes, but I was ten, I thought that was why everyone went to Paris.  But Paris changed my Mam, she still talks about it now, and it was only a two day mini break.  It got under her skin in the best possible way, and I know before I even get there that it will get under mine and stay in my heart forever.

My house is full of scenes from the city of lights.  I have a piece of artwork from Next in my dining room which features the Eiffel tower, along with many other things.  All of this from a city I've never been to (except at the cinema or in front of a DVD).  And don't even get me started on Chanel...!

So I've wished I was Carrie Bradshaw looking from her balcony at the Eiffel Tower, I've strolled along the streets with Anne Hathaway in the Devil Wears Prada, and I've danced around with Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, and as you're reading this, all being well, I'll be there! Oui, c'est super!

Thursday lunch time I'm taking a River Cruise down the Seine, and on the evening I'm going up the Eiffel Tower.  I'm definitely going to the top of the Sacre Cour.  I'm going to eat macaroons and find the Grand Palais.  I'm going to put our names on a lock and hang it from Love Lock Bridge.  And I'm going to visit Louis Vuitton and the mothership...31 Rue Cambon, home of Gabrielle Chanel.

And I can't wait to share it all with you!



Au revoir my lovelies, I'll see you in a week!

xxx
(Image taken from lokafy.com)
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Monday, 18 August 2014

Happy Birthday Coco!

Hello you lovely people!

I can hardly believe it, but 'I dream of Coco' is 1 today! I started writing this blog as a means of sharing my love of writing, fashion and Chanel, but since then it has become so much more than that! I've documented fun happenings with my VBF, days out and about with my Mister, lots of cakey get-togethers and even the odd little bit of beauty (even though I am by no means an expert!) and I've loved every minute.  With my first couple of posts, I'd definitely say that my blog was geared towards being a place to offload my love of fashion, but as time has gone by I think it has found its place more in the lifestyle section of the blogosphere and I'm so happy with its transition.

When I started sharing my little world, I hoped to gain at least 100 followers in the first year.  Coco is by no means massive, but with about 145 followers on Bloglovin' and about 20 on GFC, I'm really pleased with how she's done, and it's so nice to think some people out there are interested in my ramblings!  So if you've stuck with me for this long, thank you so much for reading, commenting or just stopping by.  I am so grateful to each and every one of you!  And if you're new...hi! Thanks for checking out my little world!

Plans for the future...? For the coming year I hope to improve my photography and change my layout to make it more Coco appropriate.  I read fabulous blogs every day and they just make me strive to do better with my own, so I guess a big thank you goes out to all of the bloggers that drive me and inspire me to keep working on my own to make it a success.  Don't get me wrong, I never expect blogging to be my career because I really love my job, but I just want Coco to feel as if she's welcome when she's sat next to all the other wonderful blogs that are out there!

My main blogging highlight so far has got to be meeting some of the other wonderful bloggers that are out there, particularly in the North East.  I was so lucky when I attended my first ever blog event to be sat with a group of wonderful ladies who have truly become amazing friends!  I think that as you get older (not that I'm old by the way, I'd just like to point that out!!!) it can be difficult to make friends, but I know that some of my blogging ladies will be my friends for a lifetime.

So, for the next year of Coco you can definitely expect some wonderful adventures with my Mister, some crazy shenanigans (and probably lots of shopping!) with my very best friend in the world, and definitely lots of gossip with my new found friends.  Oh yes and cake, lots and lots of cake!




Photo courtesy of Shivani at 'Cloud in a teacup'

Happy Birthday Coco, thanks to everyone for the memories!
Here's to the next year!

xxx
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

I dream of photos...

Warning: This post is extremely photo heavy!!!

So this is a bit of random post today! As some of you may already know from my wafflings on Twitter, one of my favourite things about other people's blogs are their photos.  There is an argument that suggests that photography can make or break a blog; if it's poor quality people lose interest and if it's amazing it keeps people wanting more.  In some ways I tend to disagree.  After all, I've read posts which have amazing photography but no real content to back it up.  But on the other side, some of my favourite blogs have such beautiful photography, that I only wish mine could look even half as good!  So anyway, as I want to improve my blog, and for the most part I only really use my Iphone to photograph for it, I decided that now would be a good time to invest in a new camera, particularly as I go to Paris really soon and want to get some amazing pics!  The problem was...which camera...?

I know a lot of bloggers have their amazing DSLR cameras, but to be honest even though I did a lot of research into them I was put off by a couple of things.  First of all it was the hefty price-tag, I wish I could justify the money for an amazing camera, but even the refurbished ones by the time you factor in lenses etc were so far over my budget! Secondly, I read that even if you have the best camera in the world, if you don't use it properly your photos could still be poor and out of focus.  I am an amateur photographer really and the best photos I've ever taken have been at gigs (I've been to hundreds!) so I was a bit worried that buying a DSLR might result in me having  an expensive piece of kit with no idea how to use it!!

I already have a little point and shoot digital camera that my Mister bought me a couple of Christmas's ago.  It's HD and is 14 megapixels with a good little 7x Optical Zoom (just for all you tech heads!) so in an attempt to save pennies, on a recent trip to Richmond with my VBF, I decided to take some shots just to put it through its paces (there are also some shots of my garden too!).

I was really impressed with the quality my little camera brought to the table.  The flowers were taken on specific setting, but to be honest most of the others were just taken on automatic mode!!  So outdoors it really cuts the mustard, but I've always felt with this one that indoors I could never get the lighting right.  And I also wanted a mega zoom!!

In the end I bought myself a Bridge Camera, the Fujifilm S6800, as it was on special at Currys for £99.99 (here)!  Bridge camera's are dubbed as a bit of a step up from a standard point and shoot camera, but not quite as technical as the DSLR (sorry if this bit is a bit boring ha!).  As it was on special and it was slightly better spec than the one I had, I pushed the boat out and snapped it up!  So ever since then I've been experimenting with photography everywhere to see what it's like.  Here's what I've got so far:

Little Jay dog stealing the limelight!
 A dog walk to Seaham...
 Newcastle and the Great British Cupcakery...
So again most of these were taken on Automatic mode so admittedly some of the lighting isn't the best...but I'm still learning! I played around with the scene modes yesterday and had some beautiful little results, so hopefully I'll have it all nailed for Paris next Wednesday, but on the whole I'm pretty impressed with my new toy so far.  Plus it's been nice to find an excuse to photograph EVERYTHING!!! Here are my little snaps taken on the flower setting (love my flower photos!):

So what do you think? How important is photography to you when blogging or viewing other people's blogs? Do you like photo heavy posts, or is content just as important? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Happy snapping!

xxx
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