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  • La Bella Vita Tuscany

    It was a dream come true that i finally got to shoot a wedding in Siena Tuscany!

    Obviously i added a few extra days to really make the most of my time there and i stayed at Borgo Sicelle which is located in Castellina in Chianti. Franco who runs the place with his family was super nice and really helpful! Man has patience especially with all my emails and questions. Oh and i have to mention right outside our door step was a beautiful restaurant called Uscio E Bottega Sicelle. They dont have a menu as everything is fresh so they tell you what they have for the day and at night they switch on the fairy lights whichmakes it look so magical....I WILL be back! I still dream about that meat. Oh and for all you gluten free dairy free eaters. It was great to see how much they had to offer in the supermarket.

    Considering how nervous i was to drive i was pleasantly surprized by how the drive in tuscany was soo nice and relaxing. Again i shouldnt even need to say it but the FOOD!... OH THE FOOD .... was amazing and for all you meat eaters out there there is no beating that tuscan meat! Wild Boar Ragu??... Oh my lord!

    The landscapes in tuscany are unbeatable and is seriously criminal to not take a few minutes to just stop, reflect and take that view in! It was really hard to not imagine living out in the beautiful countryside with my two dogs running a quaint little B&B... no i have not thought about it ... that much lol

    My only regret was time, and that lack of it. I feel like i barely skimmed the surface and i will for sure go back with alot more time to spare. The next time i will go and visit the natural springs which was my number one thing to do but i didnt realise it was like a 4 hour drive away... and thats what google says, so i'd say add another two for me.

    Oh, 3 months later i got a little surprize through the post. A nice juicey speeding ticket.... apparently i have a heavy foot when i drive. LMAO.

                            

                                        

  • The Red City of Marrakesh

    For the last 4 years or so i have wanted to go to Marrakesh, The Red City so badly but for one reason or another it just never seemed to manifest into reality.

    When it worked out that mine and my friend Sonja's days off crossed over at the same time it just seemed too good of a chance to miss and not take this chance to go away together. So, off i went on Expedia and found a bargin of a deal, £250 for flights AND accomodation for 3 nights at a really beautiful Riad Palais Calipau. I was finally going to Marrakech so i had to make sure that we got to see absolutely everything so it was my goal to try and maximise our time while we were there.

    So the plan was as we arrived on Friday early morning we would spend 2 full days in Marrakesh and one outside of the city with a private driver and organised tour on the last day. We saw all the usual sites Jemaa El-Fnaa, Majorelle Garden, Koutoubia Mosque, El Badi Palce and Saadian Tombs. I think that about covers the sites and i must add that we WALKED everywhere! There were times when i thought that my feet might bleed. I even had blisters on the first night on the HEEL of my foot! Like what the hell i never had them there before!

    On arrival it was like being on a different planet in a different year. We were given advice to not carry our backpacks, not to talk to anyone unless we really had too. I have to say it made me all abit to paranoid. I found it hard to walk away from people when they would talk to me. It is not really in my nature to walk away from someone who is talking to me or not answer someone back. I really did feel abit rude.

    I found that most people were very helpful and only trying to be kind. When i look back there were people telling us to walk on the right side of the street as we were walking against the traffic and we might find it easier. People were very kind to stop and help point us in the right direction. I did however try to keep my head covered as it did make a difference. People (men) did not hassle us as much.

    My favourite topic as anyone who knows me is FOOD! Marrakesh has some pretty bad ass food and everything i ate was out of this world delicious. Looking for a restaurnt i would mostly definately recommend Al Fassia. I know me and Sonja will forever dream of their home made morrocan biscuits. Oh have mercy! So after all the walking in two days we decided that we would have a traditional Hammam which was a must do on my list.

    For our Hammam we went to Hammam de la Rose. I have never had a Hammam before and neither of us had any idea of what to expect. So to start with as soon as we open our lockers we are greated by the most ugliest disposable knickers. I was not entirely sure what exactly it was meant to cover.

    So as soon as we get undressed and put on our flattering knickers we both get taken up to the Hammam and at the entrance we are instructed to 'Now take of your robes'.

    I know i booked for two Hammams but i didnt expect us to do it together. So off we go practically naked sitting next to eachother while this lovely lady is scrubbing down my breasts and all and then moving over to Sonja. The awkward british people that we are we filled the room with nervous laughter and we made a pact to only keep our eyes UP to eye level ONLY! We totally bonded on a whole new level. lol

    My skin and hair felt soo soft it was the perfect way to end the day.

    I was totally looking forward to our day trip outside of Marrakesh and i booked with Desert Majesty for a private tour to the High Atlas, Telouet and Ait Ben Haddou. I was pleasantly surprised by the landscape in Morroco and had we not of known where we were it easily could have been in Colorado, USA. It made a great change of not walking miles each day and i really enjoyed watching out the window as it was such a scenic drive and i got to take so many pictures it was heaven.

    Anyone looking to go to Marrakesh... GO .... DO IT!... Its an experience you will never forget. 

                                                                                                  

  • A little peek into Monte Carlo

    Monte Carlo was soo pretty but I must say it has to be the most expensive place I have been so far. The pebbled beach was not a highlight as my feet are way too soft for them. It literally feels like each pebble is spearing through the soles of my feet. I have to say that unless there is sand i never really consider it a real beach lol. But i must say the water was prestine with the smell of freshed printed money in the air. You can tell that this is the place where the rich come to play and to be honest I am glad it was only a weekend because the money literally flew out of my wallet.

    We came into Monte Carlo from Turin by train. It was a total eye opener to see how many people were trying to smuggle in over the border from Italy to France. Totally crazy and what a way to live.

    Lucky for us we was visiting our friend Federico and he was so nice for letting us stay with him for the weekend. He had such a lovely place with a stunning view of the sea. Life could not be better.

    As our little treat to end our awesome weekend we went jet sking which was the most exhilarating thing I have ever done. I felt so alive it was amazing. 

                                        

  • A little peak into Sicily 2015

    I sit here on a Saturday afternoon feeling slightly nostalgic.
    I sit here thinking about the amazing holidays I have had so far, the wonderful people I have met and friendships I have continued to nurture and love.
     
    People I love and wish were not so far away….
    Time… wishing there was more of it to do, see and create things that I feel my soul needs to full fill.
    Sleep…. Is it really that necessary? I feel I need to find a way to function to my full ability on only 1 hours’ worth of sleep. Or maybe sleep a full 24 hours and then that would last me a full 7 days of work, creating….. living.
     
    That time of the year has come where I think about what an amazing summer I have had and wish it could be like this 365 days of the year. That entire year I have waited for this one season and now it is almost over. I make a conscience note to put as much effort into autumn and winter as I do in the summer.
     
    All the life experiences, moments and memories we have created together. I want to remember it all. I don’t want to forget a single thing. I want to store it all in a special sack I keep in my wardrobe where only the absolutely best moments get kept, that way they will never ever be forgotten and I could rummage in my sake for memories I’d love to re live and see and hug certain special people whenever I wanted.
     
    From seeing old friends, making new friendships, overcoming my fears and arguing/ disagreeing with a dear friend yet all I want to do is relive it all over again!
     
    Summer starts with my dear friends Francesca and Cristian getting hitched at the end of July. The afternoon was an absolute sweat fest with it being over 30 degrees in the church. Just looking at all the guys in their suits made me seem to sweat 10 times more and fanning myself with warm air with a hand fan didn’t help, but seemed like warm air was better than none at all.
     
    Most of my friends know that I suffer from Vertigo and one scorching afternoon the group decided to go visit Scala dei turchi which is well known for its white cliff. Our new friends (Frank and Briana) were visiting from the states and Briana had never seen it. All I can say is Briana got the extreme cliff experience. Not only did she see it we all got to climb it.
     
    10 mins into the walk down I realise holly crap this doesn’t look good, is it too late to go back?
    Foot paths with only enough room for one, slippy, no grip, no support and absolutely nothing to hold on to. In between the moments when I wasn’t crying I really did consider for my sake and everyone else’s  that its better I just throw myself off the cliff as I was that scared! One guy who was going the opposite direction to us even said ‘Hey guys it gets worst that way’ … ‘WHAT!... what you mean worst?... seriously guys.. ‘It was great knowing you all!’.
    Luca and Cristian even walked with me holding my sweating hands because there were moments when I couldn’t go on and thought I am sitting here until you get me a helicopter to get me OFF THIS GOD DAM CLIFF!.
     
    Thank god for sunglasses because I was crying like a baby! Moments I thought ‘HELL NO’ you want me to leap over that gap in the path with only the sea below?. Traumatised? That was one way of putting it.
    It’s funny and I can giggle about it now to myself. But had you laughed back then, I swear I would have punched you square in the face or one better… pushed you over the cliff. Lol…. While I was dealing with all of this I didn’t realise my friend Francesca ALSO suffered from Vertigo. The point that I realised this was when I was already on a safe path on the cliff and looking back all I see is Francesca sitting down clearly not able to make the leap of death!
     
    Ferragosto we FINALLY after years of trying to organise this 11 of us rented 2 boats to sail away along the coast of Castlemare del Golfo!
    Not only do I suffer from Vertigo I had a fear of swimming in deep water. The thing is that I actually know how to swim…. And float…. So your thinking what’s the problem right? I don’t know just knowing I cant touch the floor when I get tired freaks me out!
     
    So here it goes.. I threw out the floating doughnut and ta da… I couldn’t believe how easy it was to float and swim in deep water. It was amazing…. You couldn’t get me out of the water.. I felt like Nemo for the first time in the big ocean. Come and find me people because there is a whole other world down here.
     
    I have promised myself once a year we got to rent a boat and I need to be more prepared. The things I need for next time are:
     

    • Fins
    • Underwater camera
    • Mask to see underwater


    Thank god a few of the guys were better prepared and I had the opportunity to look under water. All I can say was that it was amazing… seeing all the fish was beautiful!!!
    Nothing this good could go without one form of drama happening. Apart from the first stop our anchor getting stuck under a rock but on our final stop we all jumped off to explore, but when we went to swim back to our boat had somehow managed to move 1000 miles away. Thinking about it now it was so funny how your giving it your all but it’s absolutely useless as the current keeps you in the exact same spot!
    Was anyone on the boat? Yes, Luca… but he was fast asleep and none the wiser that we was sailing away into the sunset. LOL

    Luckily Frank was on the second boat and drove closer to us and picked us up and saved the day…. Oh summer I do miss you.

                                                                

  • Sicilian Adventures 2014

    As those who know me Sicily is my must go to destination. Every year without fail i go to Sicily to spend time with my family and my friends. I visited a few new places but what took my breath away was the little town of Erice. 

    Perched on a hill at 750m above sea level overlooking the town of Trapani is where the historic town of Erice can be found!

    Parking is a massive pain and let me tell you make sure you bring SOMETHING WARM! Obviously with it being so high up shorts and a t shirt just wont cut it! Learn from my mistake :D

    I also visited for the first time the beach at Selinunte where me and my friend found some raw clay.. Of course we smothered ourselves with it and i can tell you i never felt my skin feel so soft! 

    Enjoy.

                     

  • My October sun escape to Mykonos.

    I have always admired the greek islands and it is still a dream of mine to island hop and visit them all. I had decided as a little treat as a belated birthday present to myself to take a few days off and visit the island of Mykonos, Greece.

    The first week of October sounded perfect. A week after my 30th birthday celebrations, off peak and hopfully still have some warm sunny days.

    Once i was reading a feature on Mykonos in the Conde Nast and i have to say after i saw The Belvedere Hotel i decided that if and when i go that will be where i have to stay. So while i was streaming through Expedia i realised October was an absolute bargin. You really got alot more for your money thats for sure.

    Walking through the small town centre of Mykonos, with its freshly painted white walls and floors i realised i had forgotten somthing very important. ..... my sunglasses!

    Light just seemed to bounce off every surface i felt blinded litrally by the light. We spent our days walking through the town, going to the gym and eating lots of food. I can only hope my pictures give the place justice to showcase how beautiful it really is. Oh how i miss those white walls, blue window frames and the blue/ turquoise waters. Oh how could i also forget the thousands of stray cats! 

                                                                                                              

  • Towards the calm at Camber Sands

    I know this is a long time coming. But back in July me and Luca went for a quick get away for the weekend to Camber. We stayed at a really nice boutique hotel call The Gallivant Hotel which is located right by the beach. So we took the train straight to Rye which is the cutest little town. Cobbled streets, cottage like houses and unique and one of a kind shops and coffee shops.

    I got to say the weather was far from desirable but at least the next day the sun came out and made all the difference. We walked all the way from Rye to the hotel which i think is like 3 miles. We walked through open fields, saw sheep and baby lambs and even collected some sheels along the beach.

    Ahh makes me want to go back. The simpleness of it all was just beautiful and brought a certain calmness to my soul. Enjoy <3 

                                              

  • My Bellissima trip to Bologna and Milan

    So back in April I visited 2 places in Italy I have always wanted to visit. I had been told by one of my dearest friends that he and his girlfriend were expecting their first child in April. As soon as i heard the news i spoke to my other close friend who lived in Bologna where he had the idea of arranging a surprize visit. Basically i have known these two guys since i was 8 years old. We would write letters to eachother back in the day and send pictures and postcards. We were a little trio and i met them in Sicily on my yearly trips as a child where i would ride my bicycle under the scorching Sicilian sun all day long. We would go out, cause trouble, drink a little too much and just had thee best time that i would cry everytime it was time to leave.

    I have always said i would visit both but never managed to get around to it so we plotted and planed to make our way to Milan as a surprize. Plus my friend in Milan would never expect me to just show up!

    Well, i thought why go straight to Milan when i could visit my friend in Bologna first since i hadnt been their either :) 

    For anyone who knows me i LOVE using Airbnb! I found this amazing flat in the centre of Bologna and absolutlely adored the city. Full of history, very easy to walk around and of course the food... was to die for. 

    Milan was very similar to London in the sense that there were lots of people around and very busy. I loved the architecture and of course the Duomo was spectacular.

    So, when we get to Milan i thought how is this going to work? We cant just rock up at his house... what if they wernt in?! ...and guess what... it worked out that he wasnt in!!!.. I finally sent him a picture of the Duomo and he figured i was in town! LOL

    Anyone looking for a weekend away i would very much recommend BOLOGNA. Oh Italy how i LOVE thee.

                             (so annoyed the guy photo bombed our picture!)

                            

  • Chilling in .... Santa Monica

    The second part of the trip was Santa Monica!! I was so excited to get to our apartment which was just awesome on its own!  The location, perfect i wouldnt have stayed anywhere else... o yeah we got 2 beach cruisers with the apartment also. We spent alot of time on the bikes riding to Venice along the beach and observing the many unique characters and many talented artists, performers and singers around. Check out my apartment here.

    We did not hire a car so we did spend a day on a Hop on Hop Off bus which was really handy for the day. We got to see the Major sights in LA. Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills....

    Eating out in LA was great with lots of choice and healther options, Wheat free options and places like Real Food Daily which is a vegan restaurant and conviently located at the end of my street. Not forgetting Fresh Brothers who offer gluten free pizza base with vegan cheese!!! Incredible  :D

    The sun shined EVERYDAY and the vibe was just super relaxed. Everyone walking around with a Jamba Juice in hand and a yoga mat. I could really imagine myself fitting in really well! :D

                                            

  • I left my heart in San Francisco....

    After an 11 hour flight having watched 4 films back to back we arrive at San Francisco airport tired yet super excited to have finally arrived. Going through my pictures brings my heart back to this amazing place! It was so overwhelming on how friendly, chilled out and polite everyone is. Again i used Airbnb to find my perfect apartment and we stayed in a real gem. Slap bang in the centre of everything, 5 min to downtown, 2 blocks to Polk street we could not have asked for more. Yassine's studio apartment was awesome and when we return (coz we definately will) i would definately stay there again!

    Over the 4 days we spent here we took the liberty of walking absolutly everywhere which by the end of the 3rd day i have to say those hills felt like we were climbing the pyraminds of Egypt!! For those who know i now cant eat wheat or dairy it makes me worry about eating out but San Fran had so many amazing places to eat and offered alternatives in many places! To name a few we went to Sanraku,  which was a lovely Japanese restaurant located conveniently on the same road as our apartment, Scoma in Fishermans Wharf for awesome fresh fish and Roam which offered the most amazing Veggie burger on a gluten free bun with sweet potato fries! It was so good we went twice! YUM (Sweet potato fries arnt half as nice here!)

    I have to say as awesome as San Francisco is the amount of homeless people wondering the streets was worrying and upsetting. For anyone who is thinking about going, even though there were some right characters at times i never felt scared or in danger at any point.

    I hope you enjoy my pictures i absolutely loved taking them..... i can truly say i left my heart in San Francisco!

    Lets get going............

                                                                                   ............................ To be continued! ...Santa Monica coming soon :D

  • The Beauty of Sicily

    I have been going to Sicily since i was 8 years old have unforgettable memories and great friendships that every year it feels like going home.

    My Dad is from the provence of Agrigento which is a very small village of Santa Margherita. From the moment you step your foot off the plane you feel the warm sun beaming down on our skin, the clear rustic air and the beautiful mountainous landscape surrounding you.

    About a week before all i can think about is the beach, clear waters, pizza, cannoli and the ice cream! The food in Sicily is soo good and not to mention such great value for money.

    Over the years iv travelled all over Sicily and every year it pulls me back. The Sicilian people are warm, friendly and extreamly generous. Driving skills not to great however :D

    From my previous visits i can see some work has taken place which i think is great. I have to say it has taken which seems forever to get the smallest of work to happen, but with the increase of tourists that now visit Sicily it is essential. Visiting Sicily is like going back into time, time stands still which i supppose is a possitive and negative thing but has a feeling of authenticity to it.

    One week is never enough but made sure i took my camera to Scala Dei Turchi (The Turkish Steps) where we spent the day!! Its a beaming white cliff in the form of steps!! You couldnt believe how easy it is to burn!! As i suffer from vertigo i couldnt make it all the way to the other side but quite impressed with how far i did get!! LOL .. If you go to Sicily its a must on the list as the views are SPECTACULAR!!

                      

    hope you enjoyed the images as much as i enjoyed taking them!



  • Viva Barcelona

    Another short but sweet weekend away with 2 of my girls. Third time to Barcelona yet it still excites me to know hopfully it will be sunny and the climate will definately be in double figures. The art of Gaudi, tapas, amazing architecture, cool shops, super friendly people and bad ass Mojito's is what i love!

    Again i tend to walk as much as i eat (which was alot) with my little toe just about able to take the last few steps without the fiction of my new Nike trainers rubbing on it just about bareable. Walking in Barcelona is amazing with every other building just as unique and beautiful as the next! 

    Our apartment was an absolute dream! All white, super bright cottage style with a roof top terrace somthing id imagine by the beach! Only thing its 5 floors up with no elevator! Great to burn off all the great food i ate, not so great after 1 too many Passion fruit Martini's! 

    My happy moments:

    •   If you love brunch with a twist you have to go to 'Brunch & Cake'  i guarantee you will not regret it!!
    • Dusk for some seriously strong bad ass drinks. I recommend the Mojito and also the Passion fruit Martini - taste like juice which can only mean 1 thing- drink responsibly :)
    • Blanc @ Mandarin Oriental- The Octopus salad was orgasmic!... so was the Cheesecake & Caremilised Apple Lasagne for desert!!! 
    • Park Guell- This place is seriously amazing and definately worth a visit but make sure you bring some comfy shoes coz the hill is on a seriously steep incline!

     

    Warm Octopus salad at Blanc at The Mandarin Oriental

     

    Cheese Cake, Apple Lasagne. YUM

     

     

     

    Puffo and coconut ice cream. Double YUM

     

     

    The most amazing brunch!!

     

    Park Guell

     

     

  • A Parisian Weekend Away

    A baltic weekend it was, i promise you if my friend wasnt so kind to offer me her gloves i would not have my fingers right now to type with!

    A birthday celebration weekend it was yet not so much celebrating went down as we were all too tired at sun down that i personally was KO'ed and in bed my 10pm. (hard core, i know)

    I did not however let my appetite down and ensured i stuffed my face to my hearts content! Tea and cake at the Laduree i have to say was a happy moment. Vanillla tea and the Strawberry, Rose Saint Honore went down a treat. Lets not forget the 2 hot chocolates i had the day before that i could no longer have dinner and the Lamb at the Les Bouquines was pretty awesome! YUM.

    Heres a few pictures from my trip! Enjoy and Au Revoir!

       

    A quick stop for some well deserved hot chocolate

    The beauty of Notre Dame

     

        

    Some serious decisions had to be made! :)

    A stop for lunch! .... :)

    I am watching you.....

    You havent been to Paris if you dont see the Eiffel Tower!&nbsp;

     

     

    The Metro- How i miss the tube... but not the prices!

     

    Ate some serious sweet stuff!&nbsp;

    The mother of all Tea and cakes!