Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday Shoes.

As I have been so busy with uni, house, wedding etc I feel I have neglected the blog! Therefore, I am starting a regular feature called Sunday Shoes.

I'm a shoe girl. And a bag girl. And a coat, tops and jeans girl. However, it's mainly shoes. As I begin to pack my things to move to the new house I realise I have a ridciulous amount of shoes. And in my dream world of tunring the spare bedroom into a Carrie Bradshaw-esque walk in closet with all shoes on display (this will never actually happen!!) I have begun taking photos of the shoes to stick on the boxes! SAD!

But they are beautiful shoes and I feel so sad about keeping them hidden. I'm not sure there's enough air in the box! Will they be scared in the dark? Oh, my poor shoes!!!

So in the interests of showcasing my faves and leading up to the most beautiful of all, my wedding shoes, I will begin posting a pair every Sunday.

So here's pair one:

From Topshop several years ago, I wore them to the 70s party last night. They have a chunky black platform and a chunky heel. I wasn't sure of the ankle strap so tend to wear with trousers/jeans rather than a skirt but I love the vintage feel to them. And they're actually comfortable. I danced to disco the whole night in them!!

Seventies Party.

I'm not a big fan of fancy dress parties. They're fine once you get there but there is always the ordeal of walking to the venue/through the venue in a ridiculous outfit all alone.

The party I attended yesterday was particularly stressful as it was described as 'sort of' 70s fancy dress! Did this mean I would be the only one dressed up? Were people really going for it? I had no clue what to do. A quick search on the Internet revealed that in the 70s people only ever wore neon tie dye sequined jump suits and all had afros. I thought this was probably too much for a sort of fancy dress party.

I consulted my mum who said to go for some Farrah Fawcett flicks, flared jeans and heavy make up. I added my platforms and my mum's old coat and felt like I'd fit right in on That 70s Show!

I turned up at the party feeling pretty authentic in my outfit but with the safe knowledge that if all went wrong and no-one was dressed up I could claim I always dressed this way!

Obviously, when we arrived we were confronted by a sea of neon tie dye and sequins!!!

Great night though!

Sunday, 20 November 2011


I have been slacking a little on the wedding planning of late as the house buying has taken over. All things are go at the moment and we have our fingers tightly crossed that nothing falls through and we can be living in our own lovely house in the New Year!

In my excitement, and maybe foolishly, I have already begun buying up bits and bobs for the house. I have been relatively sensible in that I am only buying things that would be applicable to any house we bought. You know, the essentials like cutlery, glasses, a giant sign that says LOVE that you need to hang on the wall of your shabby chic themed bedroom. As I said, essentials.

However, I am planning on using the LOVE sign to hang from the top table at the wedding as well so it is truly multi purpose!

So, I've been have a great time going out visiting my new favourite shops (Wilkinsons, Dunelm and TK Maxx!!) with my sister. Despite being two years younger, she has her own house and is the expert on household utensils (in fact, it seems 'utensils' is her favourite word!) She was advising me of all of the things I simply must have, including a culinder!!

Sis: You really need to have a culinder.
Me: A what?!
Sis: Do you not even know what a culinder is?
Me: Ermm, I know what a colander is!!
Sis: It's deffo called a culinder!
Me: It's really not. Why would I listen to the person who thought it was BOOquet?!
Sis: It is booooquet.
Me: It's bouquet. And Colander. And Avatar for that matter.
Sis: Don't start with AvARtar...

Basically, me and my sister talk rubbish all day. But she talks slightly more rubbish than me. Anyway, here is the object of disagreement. Is it wrong that I was excited by this? Is it wrong that I favour Wilkinson over Topshop?! What's happening to me!?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Invitation procrastination.

Some good news - we have been approved for a mortgage and have put an offer in on our dream house! This is great news but also makes me panic just a little! We have 6 months to the wedding and 3 months until invites need to be ready!!

This means in the next 3 months I have to move house, complete 4 uni assignments and 1 exam and make 30 evening invites. Suddenly it seems a lot to do!

Day invites are all done (54 invites over the last 10 months - I'm slow, they're hard to make - bad combo!) I am delighted with them:

However, I am having a dilemma! Do I make the evening ones the same or should I try a simpler design? Ideally, they would be the same as I like things to be in order and the OCD side of me would prefer this! But to save time, I could make a simple one. But then I would have to think of a simple design I liked which is hard work?!

Maybe I should stop blogging, do my assignment and then have time to make proper invites! I am the queen of procrastination lately!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The gingerbread house.

So we viewed the dream house yesterday and it did not disappoint. We really loved it and feel very excited about our first home together! We have a scary meeting with the bank tomorrow but if all goes well we could be putting in an offer very soon!

I have already spent a day looking at cushions and pictures and other non-vital things! I hope I'm not getting too carried away?!

In the spirit of new houses (and Christmas) me and my sister also purchased a house together...

It was a lot cheaper than the one below and I'd say it's probably a lot prettier. Unfortunately, due to the collapsing roof and missing now eaten chimney, we won't be moving in!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The dream house.

Today we are going to view a house we have been in Internet love with for over a year. I look it up online at least twice a week. It's only round the corner from where I am now so I regularly walk past and imagine living there.

Despite all the stalking, we've never been in a position to buy it... until now! It feels like it's been waiting for us! It's been up for over a year so we're hoping for a bargain. I just hope the reality lives up to the pictures online!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Wedding Venue.

I really love the wedding we have chosen to hold our reception at (obviously, that's why we chose it!)

It's a Grade II manor house in a village just outside of the town we live in. I have driven past it many times and even attended an evening reception there a few years ago. It's a popular venue so when we got engaged we put it on our list of places to view. It was the second of 4 places we looked at.

Whilst I'd been inside and driven past, I had never fully explored. When the wedding planner was showing us around, I was surprised when she said 'I'll take you round to the lake'. Lake? I never knew there was a lake! As we walked on to the terrace I think I actually gasped out loud as I admired the view of the rolling hills (this is a rare view where I live!)

It was a really sunny day when we went to view and I was picturing Pimms on the terrace whilst guests admired the lake and hills. The deal was done. So we booked our venue in May 2010, 2 years before our wedding. It was a great sign that the end of May was so sunny!

Roll on to May 2011 - terrential rain! My theory is the sun just skips a year!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Impulse buys.

I have a really bad habit of buying things for the wedding that I'm not even sure I need. I'll walk into a shop (as I did today) and see a heart shaped Christmas decoration that I NEED! I justify it by saying I'll use it in my house after the wedding.

Since I'm buying a house in the next couple of months, I really can't be buying every heart shaped, wicker, cream, rustic decoration I see. I decided I needed to take stock of what I had, figure out what I was doing with it all and then decide what I really did still need.

I bought an ivory table cloth (one last impulse buy) and decided to do a mock up of my table. I also did a little mock up of the other tables at the wedding (cake table, card/guest book table). I was really pleased with the results (even though my Mum's table is rectangle and the others are round and completely different sizes, I got the general idea.)

Here's a sneak peak of the guest book table...

The birdcage is for cards and I'll make a little sign so it's clear (or just get my bridesmaids to put some in first!)

The photoframe will have a picture of me and Kieran in from when we were little.

Hopefully the guest book is self explanatory!

The actual table will be smaller and round and the runner will be hemmed (and ironed!!!) but you get the idea!

Gym + Cheesecake = Pointless.

Like most brides to be, I've joined the gym before the wedding in an attempt to tone up a bit for the big day. Nothing drastic, just feel a bit fitter and feel confident in my bikini on honeymoon! Will be the first time I've been in a bikini since I was 20 and a lots changed since then!

I have a bad track record with the gym. I have joined about 7 times and so far cancelled 6. This time, with the help of my bridesmaid, I've gone 4 weeks straight. This is a record! I've not lost weight which is fine but I am feeling fitter and happier. To paraphrase Elle Woods "exercise makes you happy and happy people don't kill their husbands" so good news all round!

However, my big weakness (and the reason for no weight loss) is my love of food, puddings especially. I eat the most terrible things and thoroughly enjoy it. Over the last two weeks I have eaten the following puddings (amongst other things):

  • Belgian waffles with fudge sauce and ice cream
  • Chocolate and raspberry tart
  • Chocolate brownie cheesecake (Asda - amazing!!)
  • Black cherry cheesecake
  • Chocolate crispy cakes
  • Blueberry cake (homemade - not by me)
  • Chocolate fondue
  • Whole bag of chocolate donuts (5) (impulse buy at a service station - this is when you know you have a problem!!!)
  • Sticky toffee muffin
  • Chocolate mousse
It seems worse written down! I need to kick this pudding addiction as it's cancelling out my hard work on the cross trainer! They really shouldn't put pictures on the menu - it's just too tempting!

How can I resist this..?

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Make Up.

I am doing my make up for my wedding myself. I have a very particular style (dark eyes, pink cheeks and subtle lips) and didn't want to stray too far from this on the day - I want to look like me! I'm also a bit of a control freak so couldn't bear anyone else doing it!

After watching a LOT of pixiwoo tutorials (they are amazing!) I realised that I need some good products for my big day. So off I went to the shops with two of my bridesmaids (who luckily know a lot more about make up than me so could give good advice.


For my face I decided I needed a good primer, foundation and concealer. I ended up with the following:

I love Benefit make up. I have always used this primer and got this one back in September. I didn't see the need in buying a new one (although I was tempted by the classically packaged Chanel base but couldn't justify an extra thirty odd pounds). This primer has worked well for the last two months, so I will be sticking with it for the wedding.  I don't use it every day (just for 'special' make up) so hopefully it will last til May!

Next, I needed a good foundation. I have only ever used a £6 Rimmel one which does for me on a day to day basis but probably isn't good enough coverage for a wedding and doesn't last all day. I decided it was really important to have a good complexion and needed something that would photograph well. So, on the advice of pixiwoo - it had to be Chanel!

I got the Pro Lumiere in 30 (slightly darker as I will be having a spray tan). The assistant was really helpful and tried out a couple on my skin but I liked this best. It was so even and gave me a glow without being shiny. I have normal to dry skin. Unfortunately, I hear it it to be discontinued but will be replaced with something else so I'm not too worried. I am saving it until the wedding (maybe a practice run around Christmas!)

Next, concealer! Heaven forbid I should have a break out on my wedding day!!! However, my trusty new concealer should help me out if the worst happens!!

I loved the MAC shop in Birmingham. The staff were so helpful and knowledgable (and had flawless make up!) I wanted a concealer for under my eyes and for any blemishes. I didn't want anything sticky but I wanted it to me thick enough to cover any spots! The assistant tried this out on me and I loved the flawless finish! I left the shop looking much more awake than when I went in.


So, with my face sorted, I moved on to eyes. I've always had a problem with eyeliner. I wear a lot of it but it never lasts the day (on top of the eyelid or inside my lower eyelid). I had been recommend Bobbi Brown gel eye liner so went off to the concession in Selfridges.

The staff here were a lot less helpful unfortunately. If it hadn't been for such good recommendations from trusted friends I wouldn't have bought this. I had to ask to try some (everywhere else offered) and then was given the brush with it on rather than getting a feel for it myself. However, it came out black black and based on what friends had said, I got it. I didn't buy their concealer as the assistant insisted you needed one for under eye and a different one for blemishes! No more commission for her!

Next, eyeshadow. I'm a big fan of the smokey eye so when I caught a glimpse of this limited edition set in MAC I had to have it - partly for the case alone which had a glitter filled snowglobe on the top!

Rather than buying the 3 individual colours I would have used to create the smokey effect, this set of 6 had them all in one! Grey for all over, black for the outer part and a white for the brow bone. It also has a glittery silver that I think I'll add on in the evening! Bargain!

For the bottom of my eye, I will use my tried and test Benefit bad gal waterproof eyeliner. This is the first eyeliner that stays on my bottom lid all day. I buy it all the time and love it so if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Another old fave I will be using is Diorshow Blackout WATERPROOF mascara. I have the stumpiest lashes but this mascara gives length and volume. Plus, I'm a big blubber and bound to cry on my wedding day so waterproof is a must!


For cheeks, it will be a bit of Benefit High Beam for a glow and good old £3.99 Rimmel blusher in pink rose. I've used it for about 8 years and love the pinky glow it gives.


Lips will be lined with MAC stone lip pencil (another tip from Pixiwoo) and then I'll go for a pinky gloss - probably Dior Addict as this lasts and is a lipstick but with a glossy finish.

To finish

Finally, to set it all, I will be using my new MAC prep and prime transparent finishing powder.

This should set everything in place for the day. It is bright white in the case but appears clear on the skin. The assistant who advised me in the MAC store had black skin but she demonstrated that it rubs in clear and gives a lovely finish (her skin looked flawless).

Using a KGB voucher I got some new brushes (were £120 but £18 with the voucher!!!) so when they arrive I will have a little trial! Just hope I have the skill to put these great products to best use!

The damage

Foundation - Chanel Pro Lumiere £33.00
Concealer - MAC Select Moisturecover £13.50
Primer - Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer £21.50
Eyeliner (top) - Bobbi Brown Long Lasting Gel Eyeliner £16.50
Eyeliner (bottom) - Benefit Badgal Waterproof Eyeliner £14.00
Eyeshadow - MAC Limited Edition Snowglobe Eyeshadows (cool collection) £31.00
Mascara - Diorshow Blackout Waterproof Mascara £21.00
Highlighter - Benefit High Beam £18.50
Blusher - Rimmel Blush £3.99
Lip Liner - MAC Lip Liner in Stone £10.50
Lip Stick - Dior Addict £20
Lip Gloss - Dior Kiss £15.00
Setting Powder - MAC Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder £17.50

Remember - some of these are old faves I already had so I didn't splash out too bad! I spent around £100 on new products but a professional make up artist for the day would have been £90 once I had the trial. At least this way I get to keep the products - plus I will share with my bridesmaids too!


I LOVE fireworks! I really wanted them at my wedding but at £1200 for 4 minutes I couldn't justify it at all (I did try!)

So I was left with making the most of yesterday's events. I wrapped up warm and headed out to my local fireworks display. £3 for 30 minutes seemed much more cost effective.

The fireworks were amazing - all set to music and timed so well. I felt an opportunity was missed when they failed to play a certain Katy Perry song but all in all, it was a good night.

There was something strange though. We were told we weren't allowed sparklers. However, there was a dog there. I have never been to a display that banned sparklers but allowed pets!! Strange! My two pups were safely indoors where pets should be on the 5th November!! And we still had sparkler fun in the garden so all was well in the end!!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Place names 2.

So, as you can see from below, I am using wooden hearts with everyone's name burnt on for place names. I intend to tie these to the back of my chairs but have also added little fabric hearts.

Thought I'd just share how I made the hearts in case anyone is wondering. I'm absolutely rubbish at sewing (don't even own a sewing machine) so if I have done them, anyone can!

First, I cut out 2 hearts...

Now, you could turn them inside out, sew round and then turn them back the right way to avoid seams. This was too technical for me so I chose to use pink thread and made the stitching a 'feature'.

I stitched all the way round but left a gap of about 1.5" so I could squeeze in the stuffing (which I got a huge bag of from Dunelm).

After stuffing it in (not too much and not too little), I simply stitched up the gap. I now have 120 stuffed hearts and it's probably taken 10 mins per heart!

The next step was to attach the hearts to the previously made wooden name hearts. I simply used some gingham ribbon, sewed it to the heart and then put a knot in the back where I wanted to wooden heart to sit.

I've used all different material (mainly because I had lots of different scraps) but it also adds to my shabby chic/Cath Kidston theme well.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Place names 1.

As I'm hiring lovely chairs for my wedding, I wanted to attach the names to the back of the chair. So often I go to a wedding that is lovely but I find I run out of table room!

I found some wooden hearts on ebay and soon realised that any kind of pen bled all over the place! So I decided to use a wood burner (also an ebay bargain) to write the names on.

It was a little tricky to begin with and a few hearts became 'practice' hearts. Once I got used to how much the pen would burn the wood and how heavy to press, it was just a case of keeping a steady hand.

I would say you need to be happy with your own handwriting (or know someone who has good writing). However, you could print off a script and use the backwards tracing paper trick and then follow the line if you weren't sure.

I am really pleased with the result and will be attaching them to fabric hearts (will post soon). However, I do hate all of my guests with names over 6 letters - selfish!