Monday, 31 March 2014

Some Mumm with the Mums...



As yesterday was Mother's Day here in the UK, Paul and I invited both of our Mums to the flat for some champagne and chocolate fondue.  As gifts, we bought them each these lovely little personalisable (totally a word) cosmetic bags.  Once the gifts had been dished out, the champagne was flowing and everyone tucked into the sweet bits on offer.  We had a wonderful afternoon so I thought I'd share the photos with all of you lovely readers.


Some Mumm with the Mums...


As yesterday was Mother's Day here in the UK, Paul and I invited both of our Mums to the flat for some champagne and chocolate fondue.  As gifts, we bought them each these lovely little personalisable (totally a word) cosmetic bags.  Once the gifts had been dished out, the champagne was flowing and everyone tucked into the sweet bits on offer.  We had a wonderful afternoon so I thought I'd share the photos with all of you lovely readers.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Starbucks Sabbatical



 


 

Happy Sunday Morning to one and all! 


I thought I would use today’s post for some personal musings and tell you all about a little challenge I’m setting myself.  As you can probably tell from the title I am taking a sabbatical from Starbucks.  I am giving it up.


Now, before you get to flabbergasted I just want to say that I don’t have anything against Starbucks.  In fact, I love it…too much.  That’s the problem.


You see, I have an addiction to Starbucks and just take-away coffee in general…to the point where I have reached the level of Gold Member on the Starbucks Rewards Scheme.


You may be wondering why it is I am giving it up then?  I mean, take-away coffee is hardly the worst addiction in the world?


Starbucks Sabbatical



Happy Sunday Morning to one and all! 

I thought I would use today’s post for some personal musings and tell you all about a little challenge I’m setting myself.  As you can probably tell from the title I am taking a sabbatical from Starbucks.  I am giving it up.

Now, before you get to flabbergasted I just want to say that I don’t have anything against Starbucks.  In fact, I love it…too much.  That’s the problem.

You see, I have an addiction to Starbucks and just take-away coffee in general…to the point where I have reached the level of Gold Member on the Starbucks Rewards Scheme.

You may be wondering why it is I am giving it up then?  I mean, take-away coffee is hardly the worst addiction in the world?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Wedding Checklist - What to do and when - Part 4: 3 - 6 Months To Go


 

 

Hi everyone and welcome to the latest edition of the Wedding Checklist series.  We’re now on post number 4 with only 3 – 6 months to go until your wedding day.  Let’s get cracking!


1.    Send Out Invitations

It’s time to stock up on stamps and send out those beautiful invitations.  If you want your guests to return a part of the invite, either to RSVP or choose from a selection of menu options, be sure to include a return addressed envelope.


When RSVPs start coming in thick and fast it’s important to have a system in place to keep track.  Whether you use a spreadsheet or a hand-written list is totally down to personal preference.  Do whatever works for you.  My fiancé and I have set up an email address for the wedding and plan on asking guests to RSVP to this address.  That way they can all be saved in the one folder (and… I’ll save a few bob on stamping those return address envelopes).


2.    Compile and Send Out Your Gift List

A concept which is becoming more popular these days is registering for gifts.  For those of you who don’t know, this means you take a walk round a department store which offers this service (e.g. John Lewis) and choose things you would like your guests to buy for you and your husband to be.  These items get recorded on a list which can then be accessed via the store’s website.  You send your guests the details, they then access the list and choose something to buy. 


The advantage of this is that you receive gifts which you actually want/need.  Your guests may be grateful to have a list as it spares them the worry of perhaps choosing the wrong thing.


Despite its advantages, registering for gifts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  Make up your own mind and do what you feel is best.


Wedding Checklist - What to do and when - Part 4: 3 - 6 Months To Go



Hi everyone and welcome to the latest edition of the Wedding Checklist series.  We’re now on post number 4 with only 3 – 6 months to go until your wedding day.  Let’s get cracking!

1.    Send Out Invitations
It’s time to stock up on stamps and send out those beautiful invitations.  If you want your guests to return a part of the invite, either to RSVP or choose from a selection of menu options, be sure to include a return addressed envelope.

When RSVPs start coming in thick and fast it’s important to have a system in place to keep track.  Whether you use a spreadsheet or a hand-written list is totally down to personal preference.  Do whatever works for you.  My fiancé and I have set up an email address for the wedding and plan on asking guests to RSVP to this address.  That way they can all be saved in the one folder (and… I’ll save a few bob on stamping those return address envelopes).

2.    Compile and Send Out Your Gift List
A concept which is becoming more popular these days is registering for gifts.  For those of you who don’t know, this means you take a walk round a department store which offers this service (e.g. John Lewis) and choose things you would like your guests to buy for you and your husband to be.  These items get recorded on a list which can then be accessed via the store’s website.  You send your guests the details, they then access the list and choose something to buy. 

The advantage of this is that you receive gifts which you actually want/need.  Your guests may be grateful to have a list as it spares them the worry of perhaps choosing the wrong thing.

Despite its advantages, registering for gifts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  Make up your own mind and do what you feel is best.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

How To Get Soft Smooth Skin - FAST!




I love having soft smooth skin as much as the next girl.  However, I'm Lazy.  When I get out of the shower, even the thought of slathering on moisturiser and standing there all sticky for the next 20 minutes (minimum) makes me want to cry.  So, 99% of the time, I skipped it.  My top drawer was soon filled with bottles of body moisturiser purchased with the best intentions and left to die.  My skin became dry and rough, particularly over the winter months.  Now with a wedding on the cards, dry arms were not on the agenda.


Oh, what was I to do?


When the Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser first came out I just thought it was another gimmick really.  I didn't buy it.  A few months later I noticed it had begun to get some really good reviews on beauty blogs and on YouTube.  So I thought I would give it a bash.


How glad I was!

How To Get Soft Smooth Skin - FAST!


I love having soft smooth skin as much as the next girl.  However, I'm Lazy.  When I get out of the shower, even the thought of slathering on moisturiser and standing there all sticky for the next 20 minutes (minimum) makes me want to cry.  So, 99% of the time, I skipped it.  My top drawer was soon filled with bottles of body moisturiser purchased with the best intentions and left to die.  My skin became dry and rough, particularly over the winter months.  Now with a wedding on the cards, dry arms were not on the agenda.

Oh, what was I to do?

When the Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser first came out I just thought it was another gimmick really.  I didn't buy it.  A few months later I noticed it had begun to get some really good reviews on beauty blogs and on YouTube.  So I thought I would give it a bash.

How glad I was!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Ask These Questions BEFORE You Book Your Wedding Venue


 

The excitement of your engagement has begun to calm and you’re now on to the next stage of excitement – planning your wedding!  The first step most people take (after drooling over wedding dresses in bridal magazines…) is to book their wedding venue.  You could have separate venues for your ceremony and reception or you could have the entire day in one place.  And if you’re really lucky you could have it in the Plaza in New York City as shown above… * sigh *


Once you’ve found yourself a venue (or several) that you like the look of, there are a number of important questions you should ask before you pay a single penny of a deposit.  Some of these may vary depending on the venue you choose.  I have organised them below for you so feel free to print this out and take it along to your potential venue(s).


Ask These Questions BEFORE You Book Your Wedding Venue


The excitement of your engagement has begun to calm and you’re now on to the next stage of excitement – planning your wedding!  The first step most people take (after drooling over wedding dresses in bridal magazines…) is to book their wedding venue.  You could have separate venues for your ceremony and reception or you could have the entire day in one place.  And if you’re really lucky you could have it in the Plaza in New York City as shown above… * sigh *

Once you’ve found yourself a venue (or several) that you like the look of, there are a number of important questions you should ask before you pay a single penny of a deposit.  Some of these may vary depending on the venue you choose.  I have organised them below for you so feel free to print this out and take it along to your potential venue(s).

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Wedding Checklist – What to do and when – Part 3: 6 – 12 Months To Go


We’re now halfway there to planning your wonderful wedding.  Welcome to Part 3 of the Wedding Checklist Series.  It’s now 6 – 12 months before the big day so the time has come to book anything you haven’t already booked and get all the key parts sorted.  Keep on reading to find out what you need to get done within the next 6 months.


1.    Dress Shopping

If you haven’t already chosen a dress now is the time to get out there and try on as many dresses as you can and find The Dress.  6 months is typically the latest date you can order a wedding dress to allow time for it to be produced, delivered to store and any alterations to be made.  Happy Hunting!

 

2.    Find Your Florist

By this stage in the game you will have made your mind up about your theme and/or colour scheme.  Meet with a florist who’s work you’ve previously admired or meet with several it’s totally up to you.  Sit down and discuss your colours and what you want your day to look like.  A good florist shouldn’t need anymore than that.  It is their job to suggest flowers and arrangements which work with what you’re thinking.  Once you’re happy with what’s on offer pay your deposit.



Wedding Checklist – What to do and when – Part 3: 6 – 12 Months To Go

We’re now halfway there to planning your wonderful wedding.  Welcome to Part 3 of the Wedding Checklist Series.  It’s now 6 – 12 months before the big day so the time has come to book anything you haven’t already booked and get all the key parts sorted.  Keep on reading to find out what you need to get done within the next 6 months.

1.    Dress Shopping
If you haven’t already chosen a dress now is the time to get out there and try on as many dresses as you can and find The Dress.  6 months is typically the latest date you can order a wedding dress to allow time for it to be produced, delivered to store and any alterations to be made.  Happy Hunting!

2.    Find Your Florist
By this stage in the game you will have made your mind up about your theme and/or colour scheme.  Meet with a florist who’s work you’ve previously admired or meet with several it’s totally up to you.  Sit down and discuss your colours and what you want your day to look like.  A good florist shouldn’t need anymore than that.  It is their job to suggest flowers and arrangements which work with what you’re thinking.  Once you’re happy with what’s on offer pay your deposit.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Rosslea Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre 16th March 2014



On Sunday I travelled to Rhu to the Rosslea Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre.  It is a beautiful venue on the northern banks of the River Clyde.  When I walked into the hotel there was a flurry of activity with lots of people visiting the many stands on display.  The main function room, the attached conservatory shown above and the bar area were full of local suppliers showing off their various services.  Five of these suppliers in particular caught my eye.





Fairytales Photography by Simon Williams

What struck me about this photographer was that he is a ‘Shoot and Share’ photographer.  This means that after the wedding the bride and groom are provided with a link to their own personal online wedding album.  Within each photo there is an option to share it to popular social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Photos can also be emailed or downloaded directly to your device. Sheer brilliance.  It allows everyone to see the professional photos on the big day as opposed to just the happy couple receiving their wedding album. There is also the option to order prints from the site.  This is all included at no extra cost to your photography package.


Rosslea Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre 16th March 2014




On Sunday I travelled to Rhu to the Rosslea Hall Hotel Wedding Fayre.  It is a beautiful venue on the northern banks of the River Clyde.  When I walked into the hotel there was a flurry of activity with lots of people visiting the many stands on display.  The main function room, the attached conservatory shown above and the bar area were full of local suppliers showing off their various services.  Five of these suppliers in particular caught my eye.




Fairytales Photography by Simon Williams
What struck me about this photographer was that he is a ‘Shoot and Share’ photographer.  This means that after the wedding the bride and groom are provided with a link to their own personal online wedding album.  Within each photo there is an option to share it to popular social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Photos can also be emailed or downloaded directly to your device. Sheer brilliance.  It allows everyone to see the professional photos on the big day as opposed to just the happy couple receiving their wedding album. There is also the option to order prints from the site.  This is all included at no extra cost to your photography package.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Your Long Hair Saviour: Wella Oil Reflections




I am desperately trying to grow my hair long for my wedding.  Even though I have until 2016 my hair is simply not getting the message.  It has a habit of breaking and splitting at the ends, thus needing a fair amount chopped every time I go to the hairdressers to keep it looking healthy.  This has been found to be counter-productive to achieving the “Tangled”-esque locks I'm shooting for.



My lovely stylist Jasmine came to my rescue and recommended Wella Oil Reflections.  She instructed me to use only one pump on wet hair and simply run it through the ends with my fingers.  I must admit I was nervous about using an oil as my hair gets greasy very quickly (I’m really selling my hair type here).  However, I trust Jasmine so I went for it and purchased the oil for myself. 



Your Long Hair Saviour: Well Oil Reflections


I am desperately trying to grow my hair long for my wedding.  Even though I have until 2016 my hair is simply not getting the message.  It has a habit of breaking and splitting at the ends, thus needing a fair amount chopped every time I go to the hairdressers to keep it looking healthy.  This has been found to be counter-productive to achieving the “Tangled”-esque locks I'm shooting for.

My lovely stylist Jasmine came to my rescue and recommended Wella Oil Reflections.  She instructed me to use only one pump on wet hair and simply run it through the ends with my fingers.  I must admit I was nervous about using an oil as my hair gets greasy very quickly (I’m really selling my hair type here).  However, I trust Jasmine so I went for it and purchased the oil for myself. 

Wedding Checklist - What to do and when - Part 2: 12 - 18 Months To Go


 

 

Welcome to Part 2 of my Wedding Checklist series.  If you haven't read Part 1 you can view it here.  As you can gather from the title this post covers what to consider 12 - 18 months before your wedding day.  By now you will have your date and some of the big bits sorted so now we are going to go into a little bit more depth and think about how your big day will go.


1.     Choose Your Wedding Party

Now the time has come to decide who is up for the key roles on your wedding day.  Choose wisely.


Bridesmaids


When you begin to think about the ladies you will choose to be your maids it can be quite easy to get carried away when you start thinking about friends from all areas of your life, old and new, and before you know it you have over 20 potential candidates (think of the closing scene in the movie 27 Dresses).  Bear in mind that the more bridesmaids you have the more expensive it will be as traditionally the bride buys the gowns etc.  Obviously there can be room for manoeuvre on this and every bride will have a number that works for them.  Consider whether you want just friends or your sister, sister-in-law-to-be, cousins etc. 


Your maid of honour plays an important role as she will be your right hand man on the day ready to jump in when you need her.  Her two key character traits are that she’s organised and she knows you inside out.  This lady will be by your side through the thick and thin of wedding planning so choose someone who would be delighted to put in the work and will make the most of all the girly times ahead!


Wedding Checklist - What to do and when - Part 2: 12 - 18 Months To Go



Welcome to Part 2 of my Wedding Checklist series.  If you haven't read Part 1 you can view it here.  As you can gather from the title this post covers what to consider 12 - 18 months before your wedding day.  By now you will have your date and some of the big bits sorted so now we are going to go into a little bit more depth and think about how your big day will go.

1.     Choose Your Wedding Party
Now the time has come to decide who is up for the key roles on your wedding day.  Choose wisely.

Bridesmaids

When you begin to think about the ladies you will choose to be your maids it can be quite easy to get carried away when you start thinking about friends from all areas of your life, old and new, and before you know it you have over 20 potential candidates (think of the closing scene in the movie 27 Dresses).  Bear in mind that the more bridesmaids you have the more expensive it will be as traditionally the bride buys the gowns etc.  Obviously there can be room for manoeuvre on this and every bride will have a number that works for them.  Consider whether you want just friends or your sister, sister-in-law-to-be, cousins etc. 

Your maid of honour plays an important role as she will be your right hand man on the day ready to jump in when you need her.  Her two key character traits are that she’s organised and she knows you inside out.  This lady will be by your side through the thick and thin of wedding planning so choose someone who would be delighted to put in the work and will make the most of all the girly times ahead!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sweatin’ For The Weddin’ – Running


Like many brides to be I am keen to get in shape for the big day.  So I decided to start this little blog series known as ‘Sweatin’ For The Weddin’ (Great title, eh?  So chuffed with myself :D) to share my progress and new tips and tricks.  One of the ways I am currently Sweatin’ is running.  Now, I am definitely a runner of the novice variety.  Until September last year I had never really been out for a run before.  Even now I still don’t feel I can call myself an experienced runner.  None the less, I have picked up some tips along the way and thought I would share them with you.


Gear

Firs things first, choosing what to wear on a run.  The photo above shows my ‘winter’ running kit which, as a Scottish resident, I find myself wearing for a significant chunk of the year.



Sweatin’ For The Weddin’ – Running

Like many brides to be I am keen to get in shape for the big day.  So I decided to start this little blog series known as ‘Sweatin’ For The Weddin’ (Great title, eh?  So chuffed with myself :D) to share my progress and new tips and tricks.  One of the ways I am currently Sweatin’ is running.  Now, I am definitely a runner of the novice variety.  Until September last year I had never really been out for a run before.  Even now I still don’t feel I can call myself an experienced runner.  None the less, I have picked up some tips along the way and thought I would share them with you.

Gear
Firs things first, choosing what to wear on a run.  The photo above shows my ‘winter’ running kit which, as a Scottish resident, I find myself wearing for a significant chunk of the year.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Duck Bay Wedding Show – 2nd March 2014




Last Sunday Paul and I took a trip to Loch Lomond to visit the wedding show at the Duck Bay Hotel & Restaurant.  While we were only there for about 20 minutes or so it was definitely worth the commute.  There were dozens of stalls laid out representing the services of various local suppliers. Three suppliers in particular stuck out in my mind.


Cakes by Suzanne

We were immediately drawn to the display of beautiful cakes on offer at this particular table.  I liked every single one of them.  Each cake was unique in design but very modern.  Personally, I’m not a fan of the old fashioned flowery frilly cakes so Suzanne’s designs were definitely more my cup of tea.


Duck Bay Wedding Show – 2nd March 2014


Last Sunday Paul and I took a trip to Loch Lomond to visit the wedding show at the Duck Bay Hotel & Restaurant.  While we were only there for about 20 minutes or so it was definitely worth the commute.  There were dozens of stalls laid out representing the services of various local suppliers. Three suppliers in particular stuck out in my mind.

Cakes by Suzanne
We were immediately drawn to the display of beautiful cakes on offer at this particular table.  I liked every single one of them.  Each cake was unique in design but very modern.  Personally, I’m not a fan of the old fashioned flowery frilly cakes so Suzanne’s designs were definitely more my cup of tea.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Wedding Checklist – What to do and when – Part 1: ASAP




Congratulations on your engagement!  The Lady has Said Yes, so now what?  Fear not, my lovely ladies, for I have compiled a list of the steps to be taken between now and the big day.  This is the first post in a series entitled Wedding Checklist (original, I know but hey I wanted it to be concise.  The time for witty titles comes later…).  Below is a list of tasks to tick off your list within the first month or so of getting engaged.  Let the planning commence!



1.    Celebrate!

You’ve just got engaged so enjoy this magical time.  Share your wonderful experience with friends and family and make sure to savour every moment of it.  The day I announced my engagement to my whole family was one of the best of my life so far.  Nothing beats the screams of joy (some louder than others, yes I’m talking to you Kennedy ladies…) and all the smiles and happy tears and cuddles…

 

2.   Talk Numbers

The sooner you sit down and figure out your budget, the better.  That way you’ll have a more realistic idea of the wedding you can actually afford as opposed to the one you’ve been planning on Pinterest…  Sit down with both sets of parents and find out how much they want to contribute.  Work out how much you and your fiancé can put towards the wedding.  Add these numbers together and this is your budget.  Stick to it.  I would recommend setting up a spreadsheet with categories for all the main expenses and inputting approximate amounts into each one so you can see where your budget is going.


Wedding Checklist – What to do and when – Part 1: ASAP


Congratulations on your engagement!  The Lady has Said Yes, so now what?  Fear not, my lovely ladies, for I have compiled a list of the steps to be taken between now and the big day.  This is the first post in a series entitled Wedding Checklist (original, I know but hey I wanted it to be concise.  The time for witty titles comes later…).  Below is a list of tasks to tick off your list within the first month or so of getting engaged.  Let the planning commence!

1.    Celebrate!
You’ve just got engaged so enjoy this magical time.  Share your wonderful experience with friends and family and make sure to savour every moment of it.  The day I announced my engagement to my whole family was one of the best of my life so far.  Nothing beats the screams of joy (some louder than others, yes I’m talking to you Kennedy ladies…) and all the smiles and happy tears and cuddles…

2.   Talk Numbers
The sooner you sit down and figure out your budget, the better.  That way you’ll have a more realistic idea of the wedding you can actually afford as opposed to the one you’ve been planning on Pinterest…  Sit down with both sets of parents and find out how much they want to contribute.  Work out how much you and your fiancé can put towards the wedding.  Add these numbers together and this is your budget.  Stick to it.  I would recommend setting up a spreadsheet with categories for all the main expenses and inputting approximate amounts into each one so you can see where your budget is going.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Breakfast to Make You Smile


Over the past six months or so I’ve been making more of an effort to clean up my diet. The proposal has given me the kick in the butt I need to finally get real to allow me to look and feel my best.  So I decided to start with cleaning up my breakfast and I wanted to share with you my recent favourite.


You’re gonna need…


-       Raspberries

-       Blackberries

-       Blueberries

-       Granola

-       Yoghurt

-       Chia Seeds


Breakfast to Make You Smile

Over the past six months or so I’ve been making more of an effort to clean up my diet. The proposal has given me the kick in the butt I need to finally get real to allow me to look and feel my best.  So I decided to start with cleaning up my breakfast and I wanted to share with you my recent favourite.

You’re gonna need…

-       Raspberries
-       Blackberries
-       Blueberries
-       Granola
-       Yoghurt
-       Chia Seeds