Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Cluck, Cluck, the Hens are coming!!

So, during a rather uninspiring half an hour at work I found my mind drifting to anything other than the work I should have been getting on with and it suddenly dawned on me that in precisely 12 months I will either be about to go or will have already been on MY hen do! How scary is that!!! 

I must admit that this is the one element of the wedding that I am totally bricking it about! I am not one for L plates, veils, strippers or any other willy related products!! We've all seen them and yes while funny for the first 5 mins, those willy straws are just gross - ergh I feel quesy just writing about them...So anyway back to my point...This is one of the only elements (that and the stag do) that I do not have full control over and that in itself totally freaks me out. I am a MASSIVE control freak and as much as my lovely bridemaids are saying they will keep me informed on the big stuff, I know they are going to pull some little surprise out the bag (please don't girlies!!!).

So the reason for this short by sweet post is Girls, Lads, let me know your hen/stag do tales. I want the good, the bad, the drunk and all the in between. C'mon, its June and the weather is miserable...I need something to laugh at!

Oh...and now that we have sent out our Save the Date Cards - I can now show them to the entire blogosphere! That to come next time...

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings, and as usual feel free to share, comment etc


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Friends past and present, but oh so important

So, I know I have been a bit quiet lately- well very quiet! But I have good reason, two in fact! Currently I am sat in the car making the very long journey home from one of my closest friends wedding and while nursing my hangover and preparing myself to take over the driving from Daniel, I have found myself thinking about friendship.

This year, I have been lucky enough to be invited to two of my friends weddings. The first W-Day we were invited to was for one of my oldest friends. We went to primary and secondary school together, played netball together, but sadly lost touch during sixth form and uni. Luckily though when we both moved back to our home town, we found ourselves playing for our old netball club and our friendship continued as if we had never lost touch. The second wedding of the year was for one of my friends I met at uni. We ended up being incredibly close and this closeness remained despite the pesky 500 odd miles that separate us!

I feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of both my friends special days and the fact that I have been a part of these days has truly touched me. It may well be the alcohol that is still in my system, but I feel a tad emotional at the fact that no matter the period of time or distance that can separate friends, on big life occasions it is the people that have had a positive impact on your life that you turn to to support you and celebrate with you.

I suppose what I am trying to say to both my friends is thank you! Thank you for involving me in your bigs days and congratulations! I wish you all the happiness in the world with your new husbands and I will always be here for you no matter what!

My advice to anyone reading this, appreciate your friends old and new, make that phone call to the person you may have lost touch with that you miss and most of all make sure you make time to just chat and laugh with your friends. Life and work can sometimes be all consuming and I in particular can be very guilty of this, but always remember it was your friends that picked you up after a bad break up, your friends that held your hair back when you had too much to drink and its your friends that are honest and supportive of you no matter what. And that will continue no matter what happens in life!

Ange xx

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hi my names Angela and I'm addicted to skincare!

It started with my hands.
After getting engaged and with so much attention being given to my newly blinged hand I really started to notice my hands and nails! "Dan, have you ever noticed how small my hands are?" "No, not really Ange" "They are actually the size of a small child's" "Well you can't stretch them" "I need to moisturise them more!" "Ange, no matter how much you moisturise them they are not going to grow!!" "I'm not stupid Daniel, I know that, but at least they will stop looking so ...you know - dry!"

So I invested in some (a lot) of handcreams and religiously started applying them on the hour and every hour. Needless to say Dan noticed "Ange, if you keep buying all these handcreams theres going to be no money left to pay for the wedding" (I was feeling particularly irritable on this particular occasion) "Daniel, do you really want to marry someone with old haggard witch hands?" ...he backed off and left me to my handcream search!

After many trials and many bottles later I have narrowed my selection down to two creams! I am totally in love with all Soap and Glory products (available in all Boots) the packaging is gorgeous so it looks great in my bathroom and the smells are good enough to eat! Their hand food is my booster cream, it feels amazing on my hands and instantly hydrates them, but I have found it takes a little while to soak in and a greasy mouse/keyboard at work is one of my pet hates, so I just use it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. My during the day cream is a little find from waitrose on a handcream emergency! It's by Umi and it's acacia and pomegranate and it smells amazing, it's much lighter then the Soap and Glory hand food, so it is perfect for during the day.

My obsession has now moved to my face!! Even though we still have over a year and half to go I am determined to achieve that blushing bride look now! After a lot of research and spurned on by the appearance of the biggest spot I have ever had move onto my face (so big was said spot he deserved a name -Fred) I made the trip to Boots.

Now as I have said I love soap and glory, so when I read about their hot cloth wash I had to try it. At £10 a tube it's really well priced, and no where near the price of the Liz Earle vs Eve Lom products. I am still to jump on the Earle vs Lom debate bandwagon, so do let me know if any of you lovelies have tried either.

Anyway, I have been using my new face wash with associated moisturiser and eye cream for a week now and so far so good! My skin is looking better and Fred moved out after a couple of days once I started using Dr Spot- actual product name guys!! I found it hilarious so had to buy it!

Hands, face and eye beauty routine sorted- my obsession moves on to my hair!!

Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to comment, share etc.

Ange xx

PS. Soz I missed last weeks post guys, it was a very busy weekend of playing and then coaching netball and them a very busy week of making my save the date cards- still can't show you them yet as I forgot to order envelopes and Dan still has to write his 'must have guest list'.


Sunday, 26 February 2012

The wonderful world of wedding stationary!

So since booking the venue and deciding in a theme(ish) for the Big Day the vast majority of my spare time has been taken up with wedding stationary! I know the thought of invites, order of the days and seating plans is a little premature but I wanted to let our family and closest friends know the date of the wedding and that we would like them to be part of our special day. Hence why we are sending out Save the Date cards. I work in a design office so I am a little particular when it comes to things like fonts, colour shades, illustrations and paper! I also wanted all our stationary to match right from our save the dates through to our thank you cards. You would think this would be easy and relatively pain/stress free...it's not, especially if you are as fussy as I am!

Type wedding stationary into google and your presented with 1000's of websites!!! The vast majority of which stock very traditional invites, you know the ones with some form of satin ribbon and embellished with diamant√© and lots of sparkle! Lovely as these are, they are not my taste I wanted something much less formal and more personal. So after much thought I decided I would design the wedding stationary myself. I set about researching DIY save the date cards and invites and was again presented with hundreds of different websites! The Martha Stewart website (www.marthastewartweddings.com) was great for inspiration as was Rock my Wedding (www.rockmywedding.co.uk). In fact they had a great invite that used a rubber stamp with the couples name and date of their wedding on the front of brown recycled card. I love the idea of using brown recycled card - it has a great texture and really fits the whole eco/home made feel. I decided to take inspiration from this and use the same stamp and card for our invites. The stamps are available from Stamps Direct (www.stampsdirect.co.uk) and the card and paper stock we are using is from Eco-craft (https://secure.eco-craft.co.uk). 

Next I had to decide on the fonts! I spent hours going through all the free fonts available on DaFont (www.dafont.com) and eventually set on the two fonts to be used. I love the idea of mixing two different fonts. Dan of course couldn't tell the difference between the four options I narrowed it down to 'Ange, they all look the same to me, is anyone even going to notice?' 'Yes Daniel- I will'! Anyway, I ended up choosing two without the help of my other half!

I printed off draft one of the invites, thinking that by keeping it simple with two font types and the textured card the invites would speak for themselves. But something was missing! It needed some form of illustration/frame. I found a great website called Istock photo (www.istockphoto.com) where you can buy credits and download professional illustrations for personal use. This website is actually amazing and there are thousands of great images available. I found one that really suited our invites and they have finished of our stationary set perfectly. 

So that was that our wedding stationary was designed. I would love to show the save the date cards, but they haven't been sent out yet and there is a great little gimic that (hopefully) the recipients will love! I promise though, when these are out I will post a blog with photos and the 'how to' for them. However, I now have to go cut all our save the date cards to size so no doubt if you see me in the next week days I will be covered in card cuts and sick of the sight of recycled card!

Thanks for taking the time to read, please feel free to comment or share and also let me know of anything you would like to hear about.

Lots of love

Ange xx

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Everyone has the ability to surprise you!!

Ok, I know I said that the World of Wedding Stationary was up next, but I just couldn't wait to share this one with you. And you all have the loveliness of Dan to thank for this extra mid-week treat!!!

It doesn't matter how long or how well you have known someone, they will always have the ability to surprise you in ways you never thought they would!

As I am sure you have gathered from my previous posts, Dan is not especially interested in the finer details of our wedding and I don't think he is really that bothered about whether our colour scheme is blue or shades of blue of luminous green for that matter!

So imagine my surprise when I receive an email at work saying "I heard this piece of music and thought you might like it to walk down the aisle to it". Now before I go any further I have a confession to make...I am not cool when it comes to music. I like the chart stuff, love some of the popular bands around, but my musical tastes are heavily influenced by the Radio 1 playlists! I also have another confession...I am partial to a little bit of classical music, mainly solo pianists, but occasionally string quartets and solo cellists.

Now I have managed to keep this a secret from Dan up until the point we went to Portugal last year. Unbeknown to us our hotel was directly on one of the busiest streets in the resort and it contained a number of late night bars and clubs. We arrived at our hotel room at 2am to the sound of nightclubs in full flow, lots of drunken holiday makers and the sound of glasses being broken. Not what we had pictured! I couldn't sleep and as any of my family and friends know I am not a nice person to be around when I haven't had enough sleep. I decided to listen to my iPod to try and drown out the noise and get myself to sleep. I put my favourite classical album on. Dan heard. "What are you listening to Ange?" "Piano music" "Since when do you listen to piano music?" "Since ever, it helps me relax and I like it" "Oh". And nothing more was said.

Until, the email... Dan did say it was from the This is England 86 TV series, so I immediately had my reservations - I don't really fancy walking down the aisle to Duran Duran or Bannanarama! I clicked on the link...and it was a beautiful piece of music by solo pianist Ludovico Einaudi (I wont tell you the track name as it is a contender for my aisle music).

I was (to be honest) a little shocked and a bit emotional. Dan may not be the most romantic soul on this planet or care as much about the design elements of our wedding as I do. But he does care about the things that really matter to the both of us. In hearing this piece of music he has imagined himself standing at the end of the aisle and me walking towards him about to be his wife. In this one simple and unassuming gesture, he has surprised me and made me love him even more! I also cant believe he thought about my aisle music this early on!

Thanks for taking the time to read, feel free to comment or share.

Ange xx

Sunday, 19 February 2012

C'mon Interweb - Inspire me!

Ok so the date and venue are set and it suddenly starts to dawn on me that I have a wedding to plan - like actually have to start planning my own wedding! I guess in some respects I am like every girl out there that has dreamt about their wedding, but that is as far as my dreaming went. I have always wanted a 'Wedding Day', with all my friends and family there, but I have by no means seriously contemplated the finer details involved and my God is it daunting!

At this point I turn to the Internet for inspiration and looked at wedding website after wedding website and after a while I start to feel like a wedding spy I have seen that many "Real Weddings". I decide to stop there and try to clear my head of all the different themes and ribbons and cakes and dresses and stationary items that have filled every crevice of my brain. "I know, I need to a notebook". I like to write lists for myself, I'm not obsessive about them, but I often find they help me focus and prioritise. Unfortunately, when I go to buy my notebook I get distracted and buy a pile of glossy wedding magazines (along with my notebook) and then proceed to spend hours looking through them and not focusing my self like I should have been doing.

Anyway back to my inspiration...I start to think about what Dan and I are like as a couple - he is very outdoorsy and enjoys nature, I am not outdoorsy in fact my idea of camping is a self catering cottage in the middle of nowhere, but I like to think I am quite creative and I enjoy a good arts a craft project. So I decide I would like to 'make and do' as much as a I can for our wedding...I want our wedding to feel and look effortlessy elegant, yet simple and relaxed. Now that I knew how I wanted our wedding to feel and look I could look at different wedding websites and identify which ones suited me and our wedding. My absolute fav and the one I have started to check religiously is Rock my Wedding (http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/). The website is full of inspiration, amazing diy ideas and loads of hints and tips to make your day  well your day! A couple of others that I love are The Natural Wedding Company (http://www.thenaturalweddingcompany.co.uk/) and the Wedding of my Dreams (http://www.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/) 

My advice to anyone about to embark on planning their wedding - set the theme/feel/look of your wedding before turning to the internet! It will save you hours of time, confusion and ideas overload!

Next up..the world of wedding stationary!

Thanks for taking the time to read, please feel free to comment or share.

Ange xx

Monday, 13 February 2012

And so the journey begins...

After almost 8 years together Dan and I got engaged over Christmas – Christmas Day in fact. The proposal was perfect for us – no big romantic gestures, just the two of us (and Ross the dog) and of course the ring! It is perfect! Exactly the sort of ring I would have chosen for myself – dainty, elegant, slightly vintage looking and of course lots of diamonds! It is beautiful; I love it and cannot bear to be apart from it!

Any woman that has/is in my position will understand that trying to get your other half interested in the little details of your big day is harder then drawing blood from a stone. In fact I think I have had more useful conversations with Ross the dog, who is nearing the age of 13 (an OAP in dog years), is a little deaf and lets face it a dog (no matter how much I wish he could talk). I found my self getting a little impatient with the fact that Dan “doesn’t mind” if we have twine or ribbon on our invites or that he “cant really see the difference” between one type of font or the other. As he so eloquently put it “Ange, I only really care about the where, when, who’s there and what I am going to eat and drink”. It was at this point that I was very close to unleashing a side of me I never knew existed – Bridezilla Angela and that would not have gone down well this early in the engagement! It is for this reason that I decided to start this blog. I need to keep myself sane without spending a fortune on my phone bill explaining everything to my sister/best friends and without taking out my frustrations on Dan – who lets be honest has just given me the most amazing Christmas Present ever – diamonds and a wedding to plan!

So since Christmas and the inevitable engagement celebrations, we started looking at venues. Early on we both decided we didn’t want a church wedding, neither of us are religious and both of us wanted something less formal. For me ‘the where’ is really important. Where we would exchange our vows, the place where we have our first meal as a married couple, where we have our first dance and where we celebrate with all our loved ones had to be perfect, but neutral enough for us to put our stamp on it. I started researching venues and drew up a short list…Dan immediately ruled one out “Ange, its next to an old peoples home and there’s no parking” – well they didn’t say that on the website! I then rang the other two to arrange viewings, the first (and the one I had secretly set my heart on) didn’t quite do it for Dan and as much as I would love to make the day all about me, I can’t do that to Dan. It’s our day and he has to be as happy about everything as I am. That left our final one or it was back to hours of trawling the Internet to draw up another list. We went to the open day, spoke to a few of the preferred suppliers and had a good nose around the venue. We both walked back to the car in silence… “So, what do you think Dan?” “I really like it, you?” “I love it” “Lets think about it for a week and maybe go back in a couple of weeks time”

So we thought about it, still loved it, went back with my sister and Dan’s mum in tow and we loved it even more!! Another week or so goes by, we decide that is the venue for us. Another week or so goes by while we discuss dates…June? July? How about August? How do you pick one day out of all the days available to get married on? In the end we went for the date which gave us the most chance of having a nice sunny day – we are hoping to get married outside so the weather has a very important role to play at our wedding. And that was that Wedding Task ♯1 – set the date and book the venue complete…27 July 2013 – Winkworth Farm, Malmesbury.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

Feel free to comment, share or never read again.

Ange x