Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Fashion: All White For Amanda Wakeley LFW

Luxemme Amanda Wakeley SS16 London Fashion Week
Hi ladies, how are you? Do you know the following?: It's Saturday night, you've got nothing else planned bar snuggling up on your settee (maybe watch some Netflix) and suddenly, an email pops up in your inbox, which quite unexpectedly changes the entire course of your evening? Well, it has happened to me last weekend, when my friend Laura sent me a quick message asking me if I wanted to join her for the Amanda Wakeley Fashion Show. OMG course I did!
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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Lifestyle: Life Lately In London 3

Life and Style From London
I can't believe how fast another busy, yet super amazing week in London has gone by. I feel like I've experienced a lot more in the last two months of living here than I have in the past two years. It is incredible! So this week I made an appearance on the red carpet, attended my second London Fashion Week show, went for a job interview, tried and tested a very healthy breakfast cereal AND had a sneak peek at Karl Lagerfeld's AW15 collection (and the weekend isn't even over yet!). 
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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Fashion: Red Carpet OOTD For Cosmopolitan's FashFest

SammyDress Hollow Dress Flare and Fit
Hi ladies, how are you? Last week, Karen got invited by River Island to attend this year's Cosmopolitan FashFest. She was allowed a plus one and have a guess whom she asked to come along!?! #bigsmile. The four day FashFest event ended with an epic fashion show on Thursday night, so it was time for us to dress up for a glamourous night out.
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Monday, 21 September 2015

Lifestyle: Life Lately In London 2

London Fashion Week London Eye London Rough Runner

Hi everyone, how was your weekend? Did you have some time to relax and enjoy the magnificent weather? I did and I feel this has been one of my busiest weekends I had so far in London. But let’s start at the beginning.

Saturday


The morning was spent at the Rough Runner event held in Clapham Common. Our friends from Wolverhampton came down to join Alex for the 5k obstacle run in the park. Due to health reasons, I couldn’t run with them, but I still felt part of the experience as I volunteered to be their photographer. I would wait at every obstacle and then cheer and motivate them whilst taking some snaps on my Nikon. This way, I felt still involved in the action and excitement. It was also a lot of fun watching Alex struggling with the obstacles whereas our friend Pete, who is a personal fitness trainer, effortlessly managed every challenge. #cheekysmile

London Rough Runner 2015
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Friday, 18 September 2015

Serenata Flowers Giveaway

Serenata Flowers review

Hi everyone, what a week it has been. It started with a very disappointing disaster day at Dismaland but it has ended with some amazing news. The post reached more than 1,000 views within less than two days and I also broke my 2k Twitter goal. With such great developments and the weekend only a few hours away, could there be anything else to make this Friday even better? YES, there is. My first ever guest blog went live this morning over at Louise's The What Now Blog AND I teamed up with Serenata Flowers to run a giveaway as a Thank You to all of my readers. You'll have the chance to win a flower bouquet worth £40 and I hope I can surprise a lucky reader next Friday.

Serenata Flowers Review


Weekends start best with a surprise, don't you think? Last Saturday, I woke up to a parcel sent by Serenata Flowers, a UK-based online florist that delivers flowers and offers a wide range of gifts, including hampers and handcrafted chocolates. Their collection is made for birthdays, special occasions and anniversaries. They also run their own champagne and wine gift service with next day delivery.

Sent in a sturdy cardboard box to ensure the flowers were delivered safe and sound, my parcel contained a beautiful bouquet*. The bouquet made out of white roses and canna lilies arrived in excellent condition. The team from Serenata Flowers also enclosed a lovely box of chocolate truffles* for me.

Serenata Flowers white roses
Lifestyle Flowers Blog Post
White Roses

I used flower delivery services before, but I really appreciate that Serenata Flowers sent my bouquet in a safe box. When I opened the parcel, the lovely smell of roses greeted me. The bouquet consisted of six white roses and some pretty pink canna lilies, which added a little hint of colour. The delicate canna lilies and the classy white roses complimented each other so well. The arrangement looked fresh and sophisticated. Though some roses had blossomed and opened up quite a bit, the flowers stayed fresh for a good week.

The Raspberry French Dusted Truffles* were extremely popular with my entire family. I shared them with Alex's parents and all I could hear were 'Oooh how lovely' and 'These are so good'. The truffles had the perfect bite-size and were flavour intense. They were dusted with cocoa powder so at first, you would enjoy the slightly bitter taste of dark, pure chocolate and then notice a smooth hint of raspberry. We enjoyed these little treats as an after-dinner dessert and would only have them now and again, to fully appreciate their fine quality. I got some protest when I announced I would keep some for Alex. By the way, he ate his six truffles in one go. #littleeyeroll 

French Truffles Serenata Flowers
Flower Bouquet by Serenata Flowers
White roses and pink canna lillies
Flower Giveaway

Serenata Flowers have kindly offered me to run a giveaway for my lovely readers, so today, you'll have the chance to win one of their arrangements worth £40. To take part, please fill in the Rafflecopter form and agree to the T&C's.

T&C's

  • A flower bouquet worth £40 will be the main prize in this giveaway.  The winner can choose the flowers.
  • This is a UK only giveaway.
  • Accounts that I feel have been created just for the purpose of the giveaway will be disqualified. 
  • You can enter by leaving me a comment, telling me what flowers mean to you and which ones are your favourites. Please also fill out the Rafflecopter form. Both are mandatory
  • The competition will run from  18/09/2015 till 24/09/2015. There will be one winner. 
  • The winner will be informed via Twitter/email on Friday 25/09/2015 after the giveaway has closed. 
  • The winner has 48h to respond before a runner-up will be selected. 
  • The prize worth £40 is kindly provided by Serenata Flowers.
  • The prize will be sent as soon as the details have been provided by the winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck and till next time,
Carolin

*PR sample
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Fashion: Street Art Meets Black Chic

Street Art Bankside London Fashion
Karen and I attended last week's Blogger Fashion Week (BLFW) organised by Danielle from the Bloggers Hangout. The venue was a lovely loft at the OXO tower overlooking the Thames. We meet fellow bloggers and chatted to amazing brands. I really enjoyed the event as the venue was perfect and attendances were asked to dress to the code: Black Chic.
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Monday, 14 September 2015

The Dismaland Disaster

Dismaland

Hi everyone, ever since the news about Banksy’s Dismaland went viral on social media, I wanted to go. Not only am I a big fan of art, but visiting an anti-version of Disneyland, with an arty and society criticising twist excited me for weeks. After a long, draining and nerve-wracking chase for the tickets, my visit happened today and I can’t tell you how upset, angry and disappointed I am. I do mean it honestly and not in the literal sense of how the place likes to market itself as being the most depressing place on earth.

The Dismaland Ticket Sale: My Worst Nightmare


I am very lazy with regards to anything that requires booking effort. I can’t stress enough how much I despise getting up on a Sunday morning to click refresh every 8 seconds just to get tickets for a festival. The lengths, stress and efforts that people go through to get tickets for certain events and experiences is something I do not share and can hardly understand.

So if I sit down and apply for weeks to get tickets for a specific event, this event has to be quite something and worth my time. The Dismaland ticket sale was my worst nightmare. Worse than winning the Glastonbury lottery. It didn’t start on the actual day, causing a mass breakdown of their website. It then got closed for another few days and finally went online on a Tuesday, at a time when everyone was at work and had better things to do than to apply for Dismaland tickets. The ticket slots were only available for the following week, so next Tuesday, the game would start all over again.

I didn’t get tickets in the first round, so I applied in the second week for them. I had around 100 tabs open and refreshed them every 8 seconds to get my desired time slot for the weekend 12th- 13th September. To enhance my chances for a ticket I also applied for the slots available on Monday, 14th and Tuesday 15th. After a long and stressful 40 minutes, the first available time slot to pop up was for Monday, 2pm - booked.

With four tickets secured for a daytime slot for optimal picture lightening, I was over the moon. 

Dismaland: Life Is Not A Fairy Tale


With tickets secured I've been on about my trip to Dismaland for weeks (sorry if my excitement annoyed the one or another). If something really excites me, I can be totally happy and smiley about it and to be honest, the opportunity to go to Dismaland has excited me like nothing else has for a very long time.

Alex’s stepdad couldn’t come, so I was left with two spare tickets and luckily, my friend Izas and her partner Ashley jumped in. We met at the venue in Weston-Super-Mare. Have you ever been to Weston? Well, it’s not a place I would go there voluntarily. It is a typical British seaside resort. Grim, dull, little run down, sad. The perfect place for Dismaland.

Dismaland Entrance

The weather was equally grim. It rained heavily on the way and at some point, I had to slow down to 30mph because the rain was that nasty! Dismaland is not signposted but if you follow the signs to 'beach' and 'seafront south' the posts lead you directly to the place. Parking spaces are provided just outside and I found one in the front row. 

Although we had pre-booked tickets, we had to join a 40-minute queue in the rain and the cold. At 2:10pm we finally entered the park, 10 minutes after my booked time slot at 2pm.

My 20 Minute Stay At Dismaland: The First 10 Minutes


A stream of people carried me into the park straight to Cinderella's castle. After weeks of seeing Dismaland on the internet, it became now a reality for me. There was a lot going on and so much to see that it was hard for me to decide, where to go first. It felt surreal standing finally in front of the distorted Ariel. I then spotted the bench with the bird lady and grumpy park staff, so I had to take a picture with him, too.

Dismaland Panorama
Please click on the panorama to enlarge the picture.
Dismaland Ariel

The Last 10 Minutes


It went all downhill when strong winds knocked Ariel over. That was the breaking point of the park going mental. The rain went down, the air got colder and the staff announced the closure of the park for ‘safety reasons’.

At first, people thought this was part of the show and a joke. But it wasn't. At 2:40 staff pushed people out of the park. I felt very confused as this scenario has never been mentioned on the ticket or that the park would reserve the right to close it down if security due to the stormy weather became an issue. You would have thought that the organiser would have been prepared for such an emergency, given the fact that the park has been built directly by the sea, which can get rough.

During the evacuation, the staff stayed in their dismal character, which I found inappropriate given the situation. They would not offer a refund nor give information who to contact regarding this. Cinderella’s Castle was closed in seconds. People were disappointed and angry and in a slight panic when everyone realised this wasn't a joke. Staff pushed the crowd out and suddenly everyone stormed for the exit through the gift shop (sorry couldn't help this pun). Such a nightmare!

Dismaland Lady attacked by birds
Merry Go Around Dismaland

My entire stay at Dismaland included a 40-minute queue and 20-minute stay at the park, 10 of those squeezed up in a crowd of people on the way out. During that time, I could not experience the art nor appreciate the social criticism portrayed by the exhibits. I wasn’t able to see the centrepiece Cinderella’s carriage, nor the porcelain dancers nor the Mickey Mouse Snake hybrid and so on. My stay was completely rushed and I feel this day has been wasted. I didn't receive a refund nor any other compensation for my loss of time and experience at Dismaland.

I do get that Dismaland is a place to criticise amusement parks, in particular, Disneyland for being corrupt and money greedy, and also wants to confront visitors with our distorted images of society. The staff is meant to be unhelpful and grumpy, the park itself is meant to leave you dismal and upset. Well, it certainly has. I came back home crying because I was angry about how the place handled the situation. Security comes first but they didn't make any move towards a contact person or what's going to happen. People invested time and money to travel to see that once in a lifetime masterpiece of art and then they don't even have the respect to offer anything? They even had the audacity to still charge £5 for their tour guides. 

Dismaland installation
Dismaland Sea World Criticism

We made our way into town to find 'somewhere nice' for tea and coffee. However, this is Weston, and finding a place was hard. We ended up in Nero's and had some cake and a hot chocolate. Unfortunately, both couldn't restore my world. I may sound overdramatic here, but I get very sulky and moody if I feel frustrated, uncomfortable and upset, and that was definitely the case. This day was meant to be special and also a little treat for my friends and family. I'm not a person who can brush things like that off easily and be all smiley and happy when things go wrong. So I'd really like to apologise to my friends who had to see me so devastated and cope with my miserable self. 

Before we left, a few people tweeted me kindly, that Dismaland potentially-maybe re-opened in the evening. Well, staying until then wasn’t an option, because Alex's mum has two dogs at home which we didn’t want to leave for 8h+ on their own, plus it had a reason, why I wanted to see Dismaland during the daytime. When we left at 5pm the winds got even stronger, so I don't think anything would have changed later on.

Update: No Refunds For Dismaland Tickets


Dismaland no refunds for tickets

Only by accident did I come across this account on Twitter. I shared it on my feed and hope, other visitors that day have seen it. I've asked a few times if they can let me know any contact details for the Dismaland management or the organisers, as there is no information given on the official Dismaland website. They hide somewhere and completely ignore the fact, that this is a serious customer issue.

Like many other people who visited that day, I can't make another trip to the park. I don't live in the UK so a return to Weston within the opening period of Dismaland isn't doable for me. I know Dismaland is all 'lols dismal' but given the situation, they should take their customers seriously. After all, the artists accuse Disneyland to be a company full of corruption, manipulation and greed for money. I really get mixed messages here, for what Banksy's amusement park stands for and what it actually practices. This has nothing to do with art anymore and please decide for yourself if you feel a trip to Dismaland is worth your time and money.

16/09: I still haven't had any reactions from Dismaland's management or the organisers regarding a refund for my non-existent experience at the park. I've tweeted a few times to the North Somerset account to please let me know any contact details, but it comes as no surprise, that they've been ignoring my requests. Cleverly, there's no contact information given on Dismaland's official website.

30/09: The North Somerset Council kindly gave me a contact email address for Grey Fox Productions, the organisation that ran the Dismaland Event. As of today, I've had no reaction from their side, nor a refund. It is very obvious, that the organisation hides somewhere behind a big name and does not want to face any issues with the park. This makes me question what would have happened if on that day someone really got hurt in that storm. They would have completely ignored and brushed that off as well. I've never come across such a poorly organised event ever and after all this, Dismaland remains a total scam to me. It's a profit machine run by greedy people that call themselves 'artists'.  

I'm sorry it has had a slight upsetting undertone. I can't help it. I'm probably fine tomorrow but for now, I can't express how disappointed I am. I feel robbed of my time and the opportunity to experience the exhibition. I wanted to see Dismaland and experience it to the fullest, yet it has been a rather surreal and upsetting afternoon for me. I've missed out on an experience which I didn't want to miss out on. Life certainly isn't a fairytale but I didn't need Banksy to tell me this. I knew this already.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Lifestyle: Blogging Events - Are They Worth It?

Blogging events - are they worth it
Hi ladies, what a week it has been! I’ve been to 8 blogging events within less than six days. Yes - 8! You may ask yourself how I managed, and more importantly, why would I do that. Before I updated my blog’s profile to ‘London-based’, opportunities to attend events were rare. It has all changed now and the invitations came flying in. I wanted to make the most out of an experience which I usually don't have. That's why I went extreme and attended one networking event after another. What is it like to go to a press conference? Who will I meet at a blogger party? Is it worth meeting up with a PR agency? 

My week has been super crazy. It was busy, it was fun, it was tiring, it was simply fantastic and I don’t regret a single moment of my marathon. My little crash course in blogging and networking events has been an experience which I’d like to share with you. 
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Friday, 11 September 2015

Fashion: Boho Autumn Style

autumn boho fashion
Hi ladies, how are you? With the closure of the Magnum store this Sunday, summer officially comes to end. I can’t believe how dry and sunny the weather has been here in London with a warm, crystal clear air. Autumn is here and it’s going to be nicer than the non-existent British summer.

When I say autumn, I can’t deny how excited I am for days to come that require cosy knitwear and layers. Like last year, ponchos and blanket wraps will be my go-to fashion item in 2015 and I had the chance to wear it already. Though my woolly capes have to wait until chilly October, I used this very light version from George at ASDA* for today’s ootd.
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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Fashion: Summer In The City. Dresden OOTD

Hippie Chic leather watch

It's summertime! It may rain and be cold in the UK, but summer hasn't stopped at home in Germany. Since the end of May, the weather has been phenomenal. We had lots of sunshine and barely any temperatures falling down the 25-degree mark. Just the way I like it! I went home for an extended bank holiday weekend to spend the time with my parents. During my stay, I did some sightseeing in Berlin and Dresden.

Dresden is the capital of the county Saxony and also known as the 'Florence by the river Elbe'. This is because of its historic scenery which includes the Frauenkirche, Dresden castle and Opera House. The Zwinger, a baroque unit that hosts the antique treasures of Saxonian emperors and kings, has a beautiful garden. It was here where I sat down by the fountains and enjoyed a hot summer's day.
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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Film: What's Hot Or Not In August/September

Film review

Hi everyone, this month, you should see.....
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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Fashion: Sky Garden OOTD

Sky Garden OOTD Fashion Post
Hi ladies, how are you? I revisited Sky Garden in Fenchurch Street and this time the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Together with my friend Izas we enjoyed the warm and sunny afternoon on the viewing platform and also used the opportunity for a quick outfit shoot. Hope you’ll enjoy.
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