TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek: wisconsin and minnesota

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesotaToday is a big driving day (seven hours to be exact) to our next campsite in Jackson, Minnesota, and that means only one thing – roadside attractions!

One thing that I have to say is that the past couple of days in Chicago definitely surpassed my expectations! The city wasn’t on my bucket list, but I’m so happy that I got to visit it! It’s so beautiful and has amazing architecture, as well as being clean with lots of green areas. It also seemed so much more ‘relaxed’ and friendlier than New York. I definitely want to go back!

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesota cheese mousehousewisconsin cheese and mouse house
linebreakOur little roadside attraction day included stops at the Jolly Green Giant Statue, indulging in a chocolate extreme blizzard at a Dairy Queen and sampling some cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mouse House. We were also meant to pay a visit to the Spam Museum (because why wouldn’t you?), but unfortunately it was closed due to refurbishment (oh no, we were all clearly gutted…)

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesota jolly green giant statuejolly green giant statue
linebreakAfter roadside hopping, we arrived at camp and all pitched our tents before heading into the pool and playing a few games. Me, Bobbi and Polly decided to challenge the boys to a game of mini golf with the losing team having to do a forfeit (their idea not ours). It was a close call, but we won, and the boys had to streak around the campfire! It was so funny! Looking back, I’m so happy that we didn’t lose!

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesota campsite jacksonchilling by the pool in our campsite in Jackson, Minnesota
linebreakThat night we also had our first and successful campfire and tried smores! They were so delicious and really sweet! We then all played drinking games and chatted until the early hours.

As everyone was heading to bed, me and Polly decided on a whim coming back from the bathroom to take the tarp off the boys’ tent. It was rather funny as we were making quite a bit of noise and laughing, but they were fast asleep! Little did we know that this small act would start a two week ‘prank war.’

Despite it being such a long day in the van, it was so good to chill at camp and relax. But this was not going to last as in only a few hours’ time we would be waking up in a thunderstorm with signs of a tornado heading our way…

sigyhl

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TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek instagram snaps week seven

travel - grand trek insta snaps week 7It’s the last week of the trip! After six weeks of travelling around America, it’s finally coming to an end!

washinton - flags at washington monument and the white houseWashington: Washington Monument / The White House

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philidelphia - liberty bell and rocky stepsPhiladelphia: Liberty Bell / on top of the famous Rocky steps

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new york - statue of liberty and flight homeNew York: Statue of Liberty / View from the plane ride home

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The last three places on my trekamerica trip were the wonderful Washington, Philadelphia and New York. We had two days in Washington, where we had a day time bike tour, ate breakfast at the famous IHOP and explored museums. It was then time for our farewell dinner in Georgetown. It was safe to say that we were all ready to head home after such a long trip! But it was lovely to have a chilled last family night. Philadelphia was next, and was a quick pit-stop where we visited the Liberty Bell, posed on the Rocky steps and tried the famous Philli cheese steaks (one word: delicious!). Afterwards it was a short drive to our gateway hotel in Newark, where we all said goodbye! Me, Matty and Polly then checked in and headed straight to New York where we saw the sun set on top of the Empire State Building. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! The next day, me and Matty literally trekked around the city to try and see as much as we could – we visited the Statue of Liberty, walked the High Line, chilled in Central Park and saw the 9/11 memorial. It was then time to say goodbye and head home!

These past two months have literally been the best two months of my life – it’s such a cliche thing to say, but, when you do travel you learn a lot about yourself, and on this trip I surprised myself and did things I never thought I would do. Despite the few downs (Cedar Point I’m looking at you), I would definitely do it again, and it’s definitely fuelled my passion for travel!

Stay tuned for in-depth photo diaries of my American adventure!

sigyhl

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TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek instagram snaps week one

travel - grand trek insta snaps week one

Week one has completely flown by! It doesn’t seem like two minutes since I was boarding the plane for New York! Here are some insta snaps of my journey so far.

 Times Square, New York / Sunrise at Finger Lakes

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Niagara Falls, New York / Cedar Point, Ohio

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Chicago’s skyline, Lake Michigan / ‘The Bean’, Chicago

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It’s currently day 5 of my trekamerica tour and I have to say that it has been an amazing experience so far! We’ve been to an Amish museum in Indiana, rode the world’s best rollercoasters at Cedar Point, Ohio, and got an up close and personal view of Niagara Falls. There’s been a few ups (night time bike tour of Chicago) and downs (thunderstorms in Ohio), but it has been worth it so far!  Today is our free day in Chicago – my plan is to go up Willis Tower and see a baseball game – before we get back on the road to Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

Stay up to date with all the latest goings-on with my USA trip on instagram – @sazwatson.

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TRAVEL – all about america

travel - all about americaIn two weeks time I shall be jetting off to New York to start my seven week trekamerica adventure!

Is it normal to be excited yet nervous at the same time?! After what seemed like weeks of planning and decision making, (travelling around Australia was on the cards with another option being a Thai adventure) in the end I chose trekamerica’s Grand Trek.

A 43 day camping tour starting and ending in New York, the Grand Trek visits some amazing cities including Chicago, LA, Vegas, San Francisco and New Orleans, plus some spectacular sights such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park and Monument Valley. Covering 26 states, I just couldn’t pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I am hoping to do some packing and what places I’m looking forward to visiting posts before I go, with some diary posts of what I’ve been up to when I come back.

To keep up-to-date on my latest adventures, check out my instagram – @sazwatson.

If anyone can recommend me any places to go or eat at in New York (where I shall be on my lonesome) it will be very much appreciated!

sigyhl

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nyfw

New York, London, Paris and Milan. Four amazing cities. Four amazing fashion weeks.

These past couple of months have been hectic – to say the least – as models, editors and designers jetted around the world to take the first peek at what’s in store for this Autumn/Winter 2012. Now that this big event in the editorial calendar has passed, I thought that I should show my favourite fashion week collections, starting with the Big Apple; New York.

jls
These three designers were my favourites from New York Fashion Week because their eclectic designs, amazing colour palette and use of textures fascinated me. Alice and Olivia’s Autumn/Winter collection was full of texture, from long dramatic gowns to cargo pants, the designer mixed elegance with a touch of ‘Bowieness’. My favourite piece has got to be the lace dress with the low back (as seen on image 4). I’m not really a big fan of lace but this gown oozes elegance and sophistication – if only I had my prom just a few years later! Nicholas K’s collection is more my style. The inspiration behind his collection was the Taos artists from the 1920s & 30s. His colour palette of desert colours with strong blue and black hues played well in his pieces of fringing and draped knits and jerseys. My favourite outfit has to be image 4; with the long dress, pendant and cowboy-esque hat. Nicholas K’s collection is a ready-to-wear collection which shows that you don’t need couture or fancy dresses to look designer. Finally, Jeremy Scott’s collection is fun – doesn’t the Bart Simpson face print jumper and Unicorn body make you smile?! This collection also includes computer printed dresses, stripy jumpsuits, and not forgetting a rainbow wig coat made from 100% human hair!  My favourite look has got to be the unicorn body – if only I had the figure and the money!

What were your favourite New York Fashion week collections? Look out for my next instalment where I will be showing you my faves from London Fashion Week!

(All images sourced from Style.com)

This Wednesday’s Wishlist is dedicated to the lovey-dovey soppy day of the year. Yep, that’s right… it’s a Valentine’s Day special!

wwvalentinesFrom L-R: 1. Temporary-Secretary Queen of Hearts Necklace, 2. River Island Pink ¾ Blazer, 3. Desire Black Spot Mesh Bodycon Dress, 4. Accessorize Love Friendship Bracelet, 5. Urban Outfitters Rose Garland & 6. River Island Heart Sweets.

1. Queen of Hearts Necklace £6 Temporary-Secretary – Regular readers will know that I LOVE gold necklaces! So this Queen of Hearts necklace is no exception! It’s so cute and is the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!

2. Pink ¾ Blazer £40 River Island – This pastel pink blazer will jazz up the polka-dot dress nicely! The inspiration to include this bright colour into my wishlist comes from Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Prada, whose ‘pretty and girly’ designs dominated the catwalks of London, Paris, Milan and New York.

3. Black Spot Mesh Bodycon Dress £18 Desire – Okay so this Stella McCartney-esque dress was so last season. But I think it mixes well with the Valentine’s vibe! This dress is perfect for a night out (may it be a romantic one or a girls night out), and it will show off them beautiful curves of yours!

4. Love Friendship Bracelet £12 Accessorize – I’m not really a big fan of bracelets (they always break on me), but this friendship bracelet is so cute and simple! It would bode well with my festival bands which are currently taking residence on my wrist!

5. Rose Garland £15 Urban Outfitters – This garland will not only look amazing in your hair – think festival chic! But you could also use it to decorate your home with! Either hang it over something or just pin it up on the wall! Now that’s £15 well spent!

6. Heart Sweets £5 River Island – Pretty much everyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE heart sweets! I always sneak them into work for a quick sugary ‘pick-me-up’! These heart sweets will go down a treat (see what I did there?) Now all I need is for Ali to take note! Hint hint!

So that’s my Valentine’s Wednesday Wishlist special! Tonight I am attending the Spring Fashion Show in Manchester so look out for catwalk reports and an event review!

This week’s Wednesday wishlist is all about weddings! Don’t worry, I’m not the bride, I’m merely a wedding-goer! However, seeing as I’m all excited, I thought that I should share my ‘wedding outfit wishlist’ with you!
From L-R: 1. Topshop Egyptian Drape Headband, 2. Miss Selfridge Petites Ombre Print Maxi, 3. River Island Brown Wooden Spike & Diamante Necklace, 4. MAC Lipstick in Neon Orange, 5. ASOS Bitten Suede Platform Heeled Sandals with T-Bar & 6. Topshop Cleopatra’s Box Ring.

1. Egyptian Drape Headband, £7.50, Topshop Today’s wishlist is based around the luscious ombre maxi dress from Miss Selfridge!  This Egyptian drape headband is perfect for achieving a laid-back but formal look – which is exactly what I want to do for the wedding! Headgear was massive this Spring/Summer season, from Roksanda Ilincic’s bright pink winter hat to Swan Lake-esque Giles’ headdress. So to add my own twist to this trend, I decided to opt for a simple hair accessory, and at £7.50 this piece is priceless!

2. Petites Ombre Print Maxi, £45, Miss Selfridge Ombre pieces were huge on the catwalks of Jonathan Saunders, Marc Jacobs and Peter Pilotto, so as soon as my eye caught this dress I KNEW I had to include it on my Wednesday Wishlist! I used to resent maxi dresses – purely because they drowned my 4’11” frame! However this ‘petite’ asymmetric shoulder maxi is perfect for me, and the ‘maxi-train’ can elongate and show off my pins perfectly!

3. Brown Wooden Spike & Diamante Necklace, £18, River Island I love, love, LOVE this necklace!  The tribal spikes add a ‘rocky edge’ to my outfit, as well as bringing a bit of my own ‘personal style’ to the look.  The inspiration to include this necklace was from Mulberry’s S/S 2012 set, which was very animalistic and well, ‘edgy’ to say the least!

4. MAC Lipstick in Neon Orange, £13.50, MAC Cosmetics I chose this lipstick because it’s so different to the pink and red shades that I already have. Orange hues have dominated the catwalks of Milan, Paris, London and New York with Haider Ackermann, Proenza Schouler, Michael Kors and Derek Lam showcasing this bright colour in their collections. So it is no wonder why I want to wear this shade for the wedding!

5. Bitten Suede Platform Heeled Sandals with T-Bar, £75, ASOS I decided to opt for a low-key heel in the form of these creamy-pink ASOS T-Bar Platforms. Not only do they provide extra height (let’s face it, I need all the height I can get), but they are simple and add a minimalistic touch to the look I am trying to achieve. At £75 they may be pricey, but they are a good investment shoe for all occasions.

6. Cleopatra’s Box Ring, £12.50, Topshop This Topshop ring is so adorable and different from the animal and jewel rings which are dominating the high street at the moment.  Again, this adds to the minimalistic accessoring I want to achieve, and is ‘different’ to the other rings which I possess.

That’s all for this Wednesday’s Wishlist! What are you currently craving? Don’t forget to check out last week’s wishlist too!