Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Alternative Wedding Dresses ♥

This week I thought I'd bring you some ideas for alternative wedding dresses in terms of style, colour and length. My dress is ivory but I did toy with the idea of a blush pink dress as they're so romantic and pretty. I love seeing brides throwing tradition out the window and wearing something a little different. It's certainly more memorable and enables the bride to really express and be 'herself' rather than feeling as though she is 'dressing up' in a traditional wedding dress. Here are some lovely dresses that I found on pinterest - enjoy!

- Something Blue -

Have your dress as your 'something blue' - this dress is so beautiful and intricately beaded and embellished. The crystal headdress makes the outfit more bridal. Stunning!

- Blushing Bride -

I adore this dress! The soft blush pink colour is so romantic and the cut of the dress is really striking, especially with the zig zag pattern on the skirt.

- Polka Dot -

How cute is this photo? And how cute is this dress! I absolutely love the colour combo and the coordinating t-bar shoes. Goes to show that pattern can work for bridal dresses! Especially when worn with simple hair and make up.

- Mrs Mini -

A dress in the traditional ivory, but with a very modern mini skirt length! I love the full, layered leaf shape parts of the skirt. It's very chic and avoids showing too much skin with the high neckline and long sleeves. Love. it.

- Lady in Red - 

If you're a colour lover then go all out in bright ruby red! Red looks especially nice on 1950s style dresses with full skirts and tutus underneath! Vivid and vampy!

- Gold Rush - 

This shimmering gold and silver sequinned dress has total wow factor and is a lovely alternative bridal dress. This look is great for a 1920s themed wedding, perhaps with flapper style bridesmaids!

-Prom Queen -

Be a Prom Queen for the day and wear a frou frou frock in candy pink for a sweet, playful look. This dress is so much fun and would be great for a pastel theme wedding with lots of ice cream colours!

Which is your favourite? Would you wear a non-traditional wedding dress?


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Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween Treats ♥

I love Halloween and even though I don't get dressed up as a witch or ghost and go trick or treating anymore, I still like to get in the spooky spirit as this time of year! I love watching all the scary movies, eating sweets and carving pumpkins and all the halloweeny bits you can pick up in the shops. I've compiled a little wishlist of halloween treats that are perfect for the run up to all hallow's eve!

What are you doing for halloween?


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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Barcelona Gems Blogger Challenge ♥

Holiday Gems are putting bloggers to the challenge to come up with a fun and exciting 4 day itinerary for a holiday in Barcelona, and the prize is a trip to the very Catalonian capital itself! I was really excited to hear about the competition as I love Spain and Barcelona! I have been to Barcelona once before when I was about 14 with school. I had an amazing time but I'd love to go back as an adult and drink sangria, eat tapas and get involved with Barcelona nightlife!

I am getting married in May next year, and I'd love to take my fiance on a 4 day trip to Barcelona a couple of months before our wedding to recharge our batteries and get away from wedding stresses for a few days! It is also both our birthdays in March (and my fiance's 30th!) so it'd be a lovely, special and totally memorable holiday for both of us!

Here is my 4 day itinerary full of romance, luxury, relaxation, indulgence and fun, fun, fun!

After several weeks of a strict diet and exercise regime to get 'wedding ready' we will definitely need to spoil ourselves, and what better way to do that than with a chocolate themed day! We'd start off at the very chic Cocoa Sampaka cafe for a cup of coffee and a yummy chocolate brownie.

We'd then join the Modernist Barcelona Chocolate Tour meeting at the modernist hotel Casa Fuster where we'd be taught by a maitre chocolatier to write, draw and design with chocolate, taste chocolate truffles and mar de cava, try cacao from all different countries and learn to distinguish between different flavours and percentages, and finish off with a cool glass of champagne. Heaven!

After our fill of chocolatey delights, we would ease our airplane and travelling aches by having a luxurious chocolate massage at Lifestyle Barcelona. A decadent mix of chocolate and almond oil combined with Ayurveda massage will soothe all our wedding tensions away and prepare us for our 4 days of relaxation, whilst helping our skin glow.

On the second day, we would take in some Spanish scenery, shops and cuisine! Starting off at the 'gastronomic temple' Boqueria Market we'd get some yummy fresh fruit for breakfast and wander through the maze of stalls and admire all the goods on offer.

After breakfast we'd swing by the iconic Sagrada Familia, and take in its awe-inspiring architecture, and take lots of snaps too. We'd then head to the Laberint D'Horta, an amazing neo-classical romantic (and Barcelona's oldest) garden and walk hand in hand through the maze and get lost and found!

By the end of the day we'd be famished so we'd head to Casa Jacinta, a tapas bar favoured by Barcelona locals, and nibble on scrumptious tapas and drink some sangria before heading to the Bohemian Placa del Pi and gaze upon the gothic Santa Maria del Pi church and peruse the antique shops, finishing off the evening with a little brandy at one of the bars.

The third day would be all about partying and dancing and celebrating my fiance's 30th birthday. We'd have a flamenco themed day starting off by getting kitted out in the finest flamenco outfit from Moda Flamenco and learn the dancing ropes at a private flamenco class after supping the welcome glass of bubbly! Here we'd learn all the fancy footwork, arms, posture, turns and choreography and the important castanet click clicks!

We'd then head to dramatic flamenco show - Palacio del Flamenco to watch the amazingly talented dancers whilst eating a 4 course 'Palacio Menu', all washed down by copious amounts of champagne of course!

Next up would be a night of partying and dancing at the trendy Mojito Club, where we'd try out our new found dance moves and maybe even practice an impressive first wedding dance routine! Here we'd stay until the early hours sipping many a celebratory cocktail.

The final day of our amazing break would be a chilled out shopping day to pick up some souvenirs of our stay. After some churros and chocolate for breakfast we'd head to Las Ramblas and watch all the street performers whilst browsing the quirky shops. After this we'd head to La Roca Village for some chic outlet buying - maybe even purchasing some thank you presents for our bridesmaids and ushers whilst we're there!

A trip to El Corte Ingles would be next, and I could buy some last minute wedding skincare and hair products. We'd then head to the yummy Formatgeria La Seu for delicious cheese tasting and purchasing, all washed down with some sangria at a pit stop at a local bar.

The final leg of our shopping trip would end at the 'Create your own Cava' lesson, where we'd make the ultimate souvenir to take home with us. During this lesson we'd select our own grape blend and take part in the production process to make our very own tipple, as well as tasting plenty of bubbly along the way! This would be the loveliest memento to take home with us and maybe even share on our wedding night.

What would you do on a Barcelona break? If you'd like to enter the competition, all the details can be found here.


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Friday, 25 October 2013

Easy Vintage Pin-Up Hair DIY ♥

More often than not I just wear my hair down and loose, and when I have my hair in a long bob it's hard to do much else with it. When I have longer hair I get bored of wearing it down all the time as it lacks the body and bounce of a bob, and I like to keep it off my face more.

Here is a simple DIY on how to do a pin-up inspired up-do for mid to long hair (the longer the better though). I was just messing around one day when I did this and I thought it looked quite sweet and more put together than a quick ponytail or bun. It takes hardly any time to do so it's a good style to wear day-to-day!

1. Brush hair and back comb at roots

2. Pull into high ponytail and affix with hair bobble

3. Back comb pony 'tail' slightly with a comb

4. Split ponytail into two equal pieces

5. Take top section and curl back on itself using your finger to keep the roll tight, and secure above ponytail hair bobble using hair grips

6. Repeat on bottom section but in opposite direction and use hair grips to secure the loop of hair underneath the hair bobble

7. Use a spritz of hair spray if you like, but it should stay pretty secure as it is!

Have you ever worn your hair in a pin-up inspired style? If you try the above I'd love to see it!


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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wedding Wednesday - 4 Bridesmaid Looks ♥

I have recently bought my bridesmaids all gorgeous rose gold bridesmaid dresses, and I've now decided to make gold a theme throughout the day in decorations, invites and even my bridal jewellery. I thought I'd put together some different bridesmaid 'outfits' as inspiration for any brides-to-be out there. The bridesmaids outfit is a good place to start from for colour schemes etc.

You can be pretty adventurous with bridesmaid dresses these days - no longer do they have to wear generic shiny monstrosities with puff ball sleeves from a bridal store - any dress can be made into a maid's outfit which means lots more choice and also the opportunity to save some money! These dresses are all available for £64 and under from high street stores.

 A more traditional bridesmaid look/style - this cute pale pink strapless prom dress from BHS is perfectly ladylike (and only £24 in the sale!). The pretty ivory peep toes and pastel coloured bouquet sets off the romantic look. Pastel colours are very popular at the moment for weddings so you'll be spoilt for choice. This look is perfect for a pretty pink day with a vintage lace wedding dress, bunting and an ice cream van!

 Nowadays it's OK to wear black to a wedding, and it's also OK to dress your maids in black too! I really love the look of black dresses on bridesmaids as it's so elegant and smart. I love this Killian Kerner One Shoulder Dress  which is modern and form fitting, paired with some sky high monochrome & orange platforms, and an edgy cut out square bangle. Pairing bright colours with black is often frowned upon, but for a wedding you need some colour! I love these bright orange flowers which look striking against the black dress.

I love this vibrant and colourful Jennifer Dress from Coast which would be perfect for a hot summer wedding with colourful cocktails and sunshine. The brilliantly bright bouquet adds another splash of colour, whilst shoes and accessories are toned down in shining silver so to not overwhelm the look. These silver scalloped court shoes, and sparkly crystal ball stud earrings complement all the vivid colours.

I love the idea of a Hollywood old glamour themed wedding, and who says the bridesmaids can't look glamorous too! This stunning gold gown is only £39 and would look amazing next to a blinged up bride in lots of diamonds. The red pointed court shoes with the gold heel add extra luxe factor, especially when teamed with matching red lips! No starlet outfit is complete without glittering chandelier earrings, and the ivory fresh flowers are a classic touch.

Which is your favourite bridesmaid look?


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Monday, 21 October 2013

REN Skincare Set Review ♥

I went on holiday recently and picked up an Instyle magazine at the airport as it included a REN Skincare set worth £12, which was a great freebie as the magazine only costs £2! I used all the products whilst on holiday and since I've been back, and thought I'd do a little review now I've been using the products for a while.

REN products are all made from skin-friendly plant and mineral extracts, and have no synthetic active ingredients so are very kind to skin. I like the simplistic packaging and the zip lock transparent pouch the set comes in, as it gives it a clean hygienic look! Inside the pouch are the below products:

Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream
This hero moisturiser is formulated to hydrate, sooth and calm even sensitive skin types, leaving your dry winter complexion glowing and protected

Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk
Make this multi-action cleanser a key player in your winter beauty bag. Gentle and soothing on sensitive skin, the soft milky formula works to calm breakouts, increase skin resistance and minimise the signs of chronic irritation that can lead to premature ageing.

Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel
Keep this light and cooling gel close by this season, apply simply under or over make-up for bright-eyed results.

I really liked the Day Cream which is slightly scented and has a nice creamy texture. I used this in the evenings of my holiday as I wanted an SPF in the hot sun by day. The cream isn't greasy which is great for my oily skin, and it really helped reduce any redness I had in my skin tone from the heat I'd been sat in all day. I'd definitely repurchase this day cream although it would be much better if it incorporated an SPF!

The cleansing milk was my least favourite product in the set. It didn't really lather up, and I need to use quite a lot to feel like my face was getting a good clean! So I ended up finishing the tube really quickly. It did leave my skin feeling very soft though which was nice.

The Vita Mineral Eye Gel was my absolute favourite. It was lovely to apply just before bed and it felt very refreshing and cooling. You have to pat in quite a lot for it to absorb into the skin, but when it's fully absorbed you feel much more bright-eyed and perky! I've used some eye creams before that feel heavy on the under eye area but the gel is nice and light.

Have you ever used any REN skincare products?


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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Autumn Sale / Xmas Present Ideas under £10 ♥

I know it's only October and we haven't even had Halloween yet, but I love Christmas! One of my favourite things is buying Christmas pressies for my friends and family. This time of year is great for sales and I like to buy a few things here and there to get ahead. Not only does this mean no last min rush buying in December, it also means I have lots of money to spare during December for all those festive drinks, parties and outfits for said events!

Here are few bargains I've spotted in the sales recently all £10 and under. If you are thinking about getting a head start on all your Christmas gifts, hopefully this will give you some ideas!

NB: these gifts are all very girly...boys are too hard to buy for, and buying for girls is much more fun anyway! :-)

Have you done any early Xmas shopping?


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Friday, 18 October 2013

Another Wardrobe Purge - Ebay Sale! ♥

I have finally got around to uploading my second lot of ebay sale items that I've sourced from my overflowing wardrobe! A lot of these items I've held on to for a while as I love them so much, but don't wear them very often. So I've bit the bullet and put them up for sale, so someone can wear them more often than I do!

If you fancy grabbing a bargain, all my items start at 99p and are due to end on Saturday. There are a few Topshop items that are practically brand new that may tickle your fancy! Here are a few taster pics.

Do you ever have ebay sales/clear outs?


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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Free Wedding Printables ♥

My last wedding post touched on saving money and I thought I'd carry on with this theme this week! During my wedding research and internet surfing I've come across loads of amazing free wedding printables. If you're on a budget these can really help save money as you simply print off yourself and all the pretty design work has been done for you! These are a great way to add extra special details to your day without breaking the bank, or if you lack the creative touch to make them yourself. Here are some of my faves. Please note - I have taken these from various wedding websites to share with fellow brides (and grooms!) to be - they are for personal use only.

Have you found any other pretty wedding printables? If so, do let me know, I'm always on the hunt for more!


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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Vintage Handbags - Etsy ♥

I love a good bag and there's nothing I love more than a vintage handbag! I'm forever perusing my local charity shops and vintage stores for them. They are a little bit more special than buying a brand new bag as you start to imagine the history of the bag and what sights and scenarios it must have been in! I also find that vintage bags tend to be better made than bags today and last for a long time. There are also some really quirky one of a kind designs out there, and you're unlikely to see anyone else with the same one. Etsy is a great place to pick up anything vintage, and for bags it is a treasure trove! Here are my current favourites on etsy.

I adore this bag and the fabric is amazing! This is very 1970s and I love the little cute wooden handle.

This is a a quirky one! A 1960's bamboo handbag that's collapsible! Whilst not very practical I think this bag is so much fun and it reminds me of a pretty birdcage.

This wicker handbag is also from the 60s and has a rad sealife scene on it! The reverse is a woven basket wicker style material. 

I love this 1950s box handbag - it's so mad men! This is a real classic and lined in leather for extra vintage luxe factor!

This 1950s handbag is more subtle than some of the others I've shared and less in your face kitsch vintage! I love the black flower pattern, the curved handle and gold details.

The colours of this 1960s tote bag are amazing and very of it's era! This would be a great bag to take shopping and would instantly brighten up any outfit!

Do you own any vintage handbags?


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Friday, 11 October 2013

Phase Eight 'Style a Winter Coat' Competition ♥

I decided to take part in Phase Eight's 'Style a Winter Coat' competition to win a £150 store giftcard! I had lots of fun styling up a winter coat, and it's got me in a wintery, almost christmassy mood! I'm looking forward to buying smart winter boots and cosy coats, hats and gloves! If you want to take part too, all of the details can be found here.

Here is my winter coat style selection! I chose a gorgeous camel pocket coat as my starting piece. There were loads of lovely black and grey coats but I own a ton of dark coloured winter coats, so I decided to think out of my comfort zone for this selection. I think the camel colour is very chic and sophisticated and would also go with any other colour and type of outfit. To keep to the neutral and natural colour scheme, I also chose these beautiful charcoal leather boots, chocolate fur trim gloves and chocolate fluffy beret! To finish off the outfit I selected some pretty white flower earrings.

This is a lovely, elegant winter ensemble and I can just imagine going for a wintery walk wearing this, or to meet friends for coffee at the weekend! I love the natural colour palette which makes a nice change from dark wintery colours or loud garish colours that can look a bit OTT in the colder months!

What do you think of my winter coat style? If you take part too let me know and leave a link to your entry - I'd love to see it!


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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Baby's Breath/Gypsophila

Wedding flowers and decorations can cost a pretty penny, and when you've sorted all the bouquets, button holes, ceremony venue flowers and table centrepiece flowers you're left with a huge bill and the flowers will only last a day or two after the big day. I've been looking into what kinds of flowers are the cheapest to use and one commonly known cheap flower is Baby's Breath, or Gypsophila. These flowers are voluminous sprays of tiny delicate white flowers, and they are very pretty and very, very cheap! For a long time this flower was only used to bulk out flower bouquets but there are loads of inventive ways to use this flower on its own to get amazing and dramatic results; and for a fraction of the price other flowers would cost! Here are some ideas I found on pinterest that I love.

Large bunches place in glass vases and jam jars makes for pretty centrepieces

Wrap around a wreath for a snowdrop studded christmas themed decoration!

Fashion into a pretty floral crown to wear on your big day. These also look cute on little flower girls.

A baby's breath wedding arch creates a soft and romantic setting.

Bunch together in big globes and hang from the ceiling like fluffy clouds!

Save money on your bridesmaid bouquets and have them all hold a large bunch simply tied with ribbon or twine

Get the men in on the action too with baby's breath boutonnieres!

Do you like baby's breath/gypsophila?


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