Friday, 23 March 2012

A Bit of Bling

Based on the title of this post, you may be expecting a bit of something about jewellery, hair pieces or wedding rings, but it's actually about a blingy t-shirt/jumper that I fell a little bit in love with today. A girl at work walked by my desk wearing this today and I couldn't help myself from rather loudly blurting out, 'I need that shirt'....slightly awkward considering I've never actually talked to the girl that was wearing it and had no idea who she actually was. Needless to say, rather than thinking I was a bit crazy (or maybe in spite of) she told me it was current Next. Happy times.

As soon as I got home I searched the Next site and found it. £25 in all it's blingy engagement ring glory, it's a good bet that I'll be happily swinging a Next carrier bag tomorrow morning. Quite possibly the most perfect t-shirt for my hen do, honeymoon and in that pre-wedding week, it's a bridal must have that I felt I had to share in the world of weddings.

Happy shopping!
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, 22 March 2012

First Dance: My Top Ten

When it comes to music, I like a bit of everything. From One Direction and JLS to Kasabian and The Streets, and everything from country to rock, I'll go through moods of listening to it all. So when it came to trying to narrow down and select a first dance song, it was not an easy task. I'd hear one song one day, absolutely love it and happily nod to myself thinking, 'yup, this is the one' and then change my mind the next day when I heard something different that happened to suit my mood more. In the end, my husband to be chose our song and it's so completely perfect and suited to the two of us, that it could've been made for us and our wedding. Happy times.  

However, I'm not gonna lie, the search for the perfect first dance song was both entertaining and enlightening. When I googled 'first dance songs', I was treated by such delights as 'All my Life' by Kci and Jojo (brilliant song when I was 15 and at a school dance, but not so much at 28 and having my first dance as a married woman), and 'Endless Love' by Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not adverse to a bit of cheese, and in fact, I kind of love it, but I have to say, I think I could do better than 'Amazed' by Lone Star...

Sooooo, here are my top ten favourite first dance songs. Feel free to disagree, poke fun at my taste, agree or add some of your own.

1) Cheese and Buble go together like a horse and carriage. I have a major soft spot in my heart for this song and love how it's a bit cheerful and upbeat while still being slow enough to dance to. Yes, you can make fun of me all you'd like, but to me, Buble is brilliant (I may or may not own his Christmas album and made my husband to be sit through his entire Christmas special last year).

2)From one of my favourite rom coms (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), my number 2 choice is 'Feels Like Home' by Chantal Kreviazuk. Such a lovely but super cheesy song. My favourite combination.

3)Take That's 'Rule the World'. Friends of mine had this as their first dance and it's such a lovely song. Gary Barlow? Yes please!

4)The very lovely Anton and Vicky had 'Drops of Jupiter' by Train as their first dance and it was absolutely perfect (like out of a movie some might say)...

5)I'll apologise now, yes, Shania Twain is making it in at number 5. However, it's not 'From this Moment', or 'You're Still the One', it's 'When You Kiss Me'. I love it. Like allot.

6)A bit of Jack Johnson always makes me that little bit happier. There's something about 'Banana Pancakes' that makes we wish my wedding was on a beach in Hawaii. If it was, I'd without a doubt have this as my first dance.

7)Who doesn't love a bit of Al Green? Ever since I heard 'Love is a Beautiful Thing' in Legally Blond, it's been one of my favourite pick me up songs. Love the lyrics, love the soulfull Al Green and love how you can't help but smile listening to this song.

8)'This Will Be (an Everlasting Love)' by Natalie Cole makes it in at number 8. It's a bit up tempo for a first dance song, but I think that's why I like it. See what I mean about liking cheese?

9)Another country favourite, number nine is 'Somebody to Love' by Keith Urban. You can't fail with country songs when it comes to a bit of lovely cheese. 

10)Last but not least, if you googled first dance songs, this would probably come up in numerous lists, but I still love it. Edwin McCain's 'I'll Be'.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, 19 March 2012

My Attempt at a Bit of DIY

There's no denying it - weddings are expensive. Creating a budget is a metaphoric minefield. It's every couples first test of what married life entails. Trying to decide on what to splurge on (photographer), what to save on (umm...errr...Men's suits?!), what's necessary (sweets table!) and what's not (sadly the photobooth), is a good and true test of how you'll make decisions as a couple going forward.

To help save a few of our hard earned pounds, I thought I'd have a go at a bit of DIY'ing on some of the little touches that are otherwise rather expensive.

First up was favour tags. I love the look of vintage looking gift tags and the idea of attaching them with pretty gold ribbon to each of my favours, but when I checked out prices online, I was a bit taken aback at how much they actually cost. The average personalised tag was over £1.00 per tag, and sorry, but £60 on some gift tags was not going to make the cut in my strict budget. I had a look on Amazon and found some absolutely lovely plain ivory cut out styles from paper baker. The ones I chose were only £2.25 for 10, so already a massive savings. I then wandered down to Hobbycraft on a Saturday and found a lovely stamp and some gorgeous gold ink to customise them with and Voila! Pretty little favour tags for less than 30p a piece. A bit of gold ribbon to finish them off and they'll be perfectly perfect.

Next up is some DIY pottery. No, I didn't make the pottery myself (in no way shape or form am I that talented!), but I did spend a good couple of hours in a charming little pottery painting studio on Saturday afternoon. After many cups of tea, accidentally putting my paint brush into the milk pot, and a very focused hour trying to do three coats on the 'Mr and Mrs' letters, I ended up with a lovely little cupcake plate for my sweets table and a 'Mr and Mrs' personalised ceramic heart for my head table (and my lovely friend Izzy made a cuter than cute chicken for the kitchen). I don't have the final product quite yet as I'm waiting for it to be fired and glazed, but here are the results so far (I'll post a pic of the end result next weekend!):

I have one last DIY project I'm working on, but it might have to wait until after the wedding day so I don't spoil the surprise for my six lovely bridesmaids...

Do you have any great wedding DIY idea's? I'm always happy to hear!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Dukan Diaries - Part 3

Today marks the end of my first week on the 'cruise' phase. I have to say, It's been quite easy. I've very much enjoyed having some veg back in my diet, and have definitely learnt to appreciate salad and veggie stir fry's in a whole new way. My favourite meal this week has been stir fried coley steaks with mushrooms, onions, garlic, peppers and celery. Yummy!

I also learnt a very valuable lesson on Friday: apparently, having a 'treat' meal is a really bad idea on a diet like Dukan. As I'd been so good all week, and Friday was the three month's to go mark, I thought I'd treat myself to a bit of a takeaway, a film, and a snuggle on the couch with my husband to be. Unfortunately, it didn't quite pan out that way. I'd assumed that I was being good by just eating the meat from the takeaway and not any of the carbs, but apparently the slightly greasy sauce's and the fattier than what I've been eating meat, did not agree with me. At all. I spent the whole night being sick. I won't go into any of the gory details, but I will say that it was not pleasant. Lesson learnt. No more takeaway's for me, and I understand now the concept and reasoning behind slowly introducing fattier foods and carbs back into your diet after cutting them out completely for almost two weeks.

Anyway, onto the good news. At the end of two weeks of Dukan'ing, I have officially lost 10lbs. Hoorah!

It feels absolutely amazing. My clothes are getting looser, I feel healthier and happier, and my grocery bill is half the size without any of the usual junk. Fingers crossed next week will be just as easy and I'll be celebrating a full stone lost in just three weeks. I know I've said it before, but so far, Dukan is by far the easiest diet I've ever done and it's definitely the most successful in terms of weight loss. I really hope it continues. Wish me luck!

If you want to catch up on my previous Dukan posts, please see below:

Thanks for reading,

27 Dresses (well, almost..)

At the moment, my wedding dress lives in my spare bedroom (in an un-penetrable dress bag so my husband to be can't sneak a peek). I was lucky enough to find 'the one' at the NEC wedding show last October and as it was a sample, I bought it and took it home right then and there. It was a match made in heaven - the perfect size, the perfect length, and it took all my will power to actually stop twirling around the dressing room, staring at it in the mirror, and take it off so it could be packaged up. *Sigh*. I heart it. 

With less than three months to go until my big day, it struck me yesterday that I need to take it in for a professional clean within the next week or so (being a sample I just want to make sure it's perfect and ready for my big day), which prompted me to have a sneaky peak at my dream dress and reminded me of dress shopping in general. I was really lucky, my dress was only the third one I tried on, but as soon as I had it on I knew. I literally could not take my eyes off it. In fact, my Mom kept trying to get a look at it from the front (which meant she had to stand in front of the mirror, blocking my view), and I kept lightly pushing her out of the way so I could continue to admire it. Sorry Mom! I think I also had it on for about half an hour before the sales lady finally convinced me to take it off. It really was love at first sight and not at all the style that I'd set out to find. I'm so incredibly happy with it and can't wait to wear it on the day.

Needless to say, today I'm in the mood for dresses and thought I would share my favourites of different styles, shapes and lengths.

Fairytale perfect: The Princess Dress - whether it's floaty tulle, flirty ruffles or lovely lace, this is an incredibly flattering, feminine and romantic shape. It's probably what every little girl associated with the words 'Wedding Dress' after watching one to many Disney films in those impressionable years. It's definitely one of my favourite shapes as it's just so flattering on most body types.

Angela (above) by Maggie Sottero is beautifully embellished and perfectly detailed. I love the sweetheart neckline and the ruffled skirt.

Ella (below) by Charlotte Balbier is absolutely lovely in all it's asymmetric glory. Definitely a modern take on a favourite classic, I love the floral detail on the shoulder and the simply beautiful tulle skirt.

Style 2237 (above) by Alfred Angelo is the essential princess dress. It's stunning it its simplicity and so very feminine and romantic. 

Isadora (below) by Maggie Sottero is fairytale perfect. With a flattering ruched bodice and a gorgeous lace embellished skirt it's detail is amazing and is my favourite of the four styles.

Beautifully classic: The A-Line Dress - It's the classic bridal silhouette that's flattering and simply cut. I love the gorgeous lace selection below. The combination of A-line and lace is beautifully vintage and utterly classic. 

Renata and Abella (above and below) are both by Nicola Anne. I love the pure simplicity and the feminine lace cap sleeves. They somehow manage to look both modern and vintage and would be absolutely perfect on any wedding day.

I love the romantic neckline and the stunningly scalloped hem on the above by Maggie Sottero. Simply cut but perfectly detailed.

The lovely sheer sleeves on the below by Charlotte Balbier are uber flattering and perfectly positioned. Not something I've seen on a wedding dress before, but I love the way they add a bit of charm to the profile of this beautiful dress.

The ultimate figure-hugger: The Fishtail Dress - Perfect if you want to create or emphasise beautiful curves. These stunning numbers from Nicola Anne are modern and prettily detailed. I love the layered lace on Camara and the oversized champagne bow on Beatrix. So lovely!

Flirty and Fun: The Tea-Length Dress - Perfect for showing off a killer pair of heels in a fabulously fun and retro style. Ideal for summer weddings and for those who just want to be a bit different...

 Isadora Anne (above) by Maggie Sottero is gorgeous. I love the softly jagged hem line, the slightly puffed skirt and the superb lace and floral detailing.  

The pretty bow detail on the below from Charlotte Balbier's 'Candy Kisses' collection is perfectly sweet and delightfully charming. This is definitely my favourite of the short selection.

 Alfred Angelo's style 2244 (above) and Nicola Anne's Peonie (below) are retro fun and feminine to boot. The sweetheart necklines are flattering and pretty. Bring on the summer season!

Last but not least, I couldn't help but show the celebrity inspired gowns below:

The Bella Swan dress from Alfred Angelo:

I think I've mentioned it before, but I'm a big twilight fan. This dress is the direct double to Bella's stunning gown and I love everything from the gorgeous back detail to the perfectly sized train. If I were her shape, I might just be tempted...

And last of all, the Kate Midi gown:

Charlotte Balbier may have called it 'Ava' but there's no question that this is a Kate inspired beauty. Perfect for any modern day princess and my all time favourite.

Thanks for reading,