Lifestyle: Quotes for Keeping You Motivated

Today is the day I sit my first proper professional exam. Well, the first half of it anyway. Two three hour papers over two days – so the torture isn’t over until tomorrow evening! Then it’s a break for a few weeks before a practical one in May, then straight back into studying ready for September’s exam – all before the results of this one are released! They weren’t joking when they said the first few years of my career would be intense…

 photo Motivational Quotes 4_zpsucybvoxz.jpgWhen I finish my first exam later, I know I’ll have to come back home and hit my notes again ready for tomorrow. I know that it won’t be very long before I need to start prepping for my practical exam. I know that studying will start all over again very quickly. And for that I’m going to need some serious motivation. It’s not easy studying on top of full-time work (I’ve got a post coming soon – once exams are over and I’ve had time to write it!) so I keep a list of quotes on hand for when I need a good kick up the arse.

I’ve got these typed up on my phone, handwritten in my diary and there’s a few on post-it notes doted around my flat, work desk and study notes. They’re surprisingly uplifting when you randomly happen across one!

The first few quotes have been taken from Becca Rose (there’s loads of great motivational quotes on her post here).

“Inhale confidence. Exhale doubt.”

“Set some goals. Stay quiet about them. Smash the shit out of them. Clap for your own damn self.”

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.”

“Small progress is still progress.”

“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.”

“Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.”

“If you get tired; learn to rest, not to quit.”

“We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges.”

 photo Motivational Quotes 7_zpsjzsxpxbr.jpgThe rest of the quotes I’ve picked up from Pinterest and Instagram over the last few months. Where I found them with a source, I’ve added it in – as well as adding in any I could easily find. If you know where the rest of them are from, feel free to share!

“The Way Get Started Is To Quit Talking And Begin Doing.” -Walt Disney

“Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much Of Today.” -Will Rogers

“You Learn More From Failure Than From Success. Don’t Let It Stop You. Failure Builds Character.”

“Whether You Think You Can Or Think You Can’t, You’re Right.”- Henry Ford

“You Are Never Too Old To Set Another Goal Or To Dream A New Dream.”- C.S. Lewis

“Don’t stop when you’re tired. STOP when you are DONE.”

“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

“Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.”

“If life was not meant to be a puzzle it would have come with an instruction manual.”

 photo Motivational Quotes 1_zpsbfoa71h9.jpgI also picked up a Motivational Desk calendar for W last year, just as a little stocking filler from Santa, but I’ve kind-of adopted it. It’s been so nice to have something motivating displayed in the flat – it’s one of the first things I see when I come home and I find it spurs me on to do just that little bit more after a long day.

How do you keep yourself motivated? Do you have any quotes to share?

Fashion: My Favourite Coat (well, one of them)

Coats are one of my favourite things to online shop, and I’m always so jealous looking over OOTD posts at this time of the year.

 photo Autumn Walks 13_zpspq48v8px.jpg photo Autumn Walks 16_zpszjngiyvm.jpgYou see, being on the shorter side and having curves (despite being a size 8) makes finding a flatting coat quite difficult. Boyfriend coats? A total no-go, they make me look straight all the way down, and a lot bigger than I actually am. Add in pale skin tone and auburn hair and you’ve got a bigger problem. Cream/camel are difficult colours for me to wear despite them looking SO lovely on other people.

One of the coat styles that does suit me, however, is the cape. All hail the cape!

 photo Autumn Walks 9_zpsofwxcjzu.jpgFlattering whilst skimming my body (seriously, a godsend when I slightly indulge – the morning after my latest trip to Mac & Wild I nearly got offered a seat on the Tube…). Ideal for layering. Perfect over jeans and over suits. I’m sure you get the message, I love me a cape.

I have a couple of styles, actually. A heavier one from Debenhams in a more military grey design that I really do love. I actually had a Large many years ago, and hunted down a Small on Ebay last year – yet the bigger size is in storage for future years when I may need the extra room (and nope, that’s definitely not a sign of an impending announcement, so breathe mum!). I also have more of a blanket-wrap style cape, in a plum/berry coloured tartan. It’s something I need to wear more often!

The one in these pictures was a birthday/Christmas present of 2015 and came from H&M – and it was an absolute bargain if I remember correctly. Once I’d hunted down a size 6 (!) because it was quite ridiculously oversized.

 photo Autumn Walks 15_zpsgxy9wnlv.jpg photo Autumn Walks 2_zps48ypyrr5.jpg photo Autumn Walks 11_zpsz8x4o9oo.jpg photo Autumn Walks 12_zpsb1ktpoig.jpgThe material is thick without feeling heavy, and the slight pattern on it makes the coat seem far more expensive that it actually is. It’s also worn extremely well, and apart from the fact I split a hot chocolate down it last week it looks pretty much brand new. Teamed with black skinnies, boots, a trusty satchel and cosy knitwear it’s become my weekend uniform.

What’s your most-worn coat? 

Personal: A Hello From Me

Long time, no blog!

It’s been far too long since I since down at my laptop and tapped out a blog post. I’ve hardly picked up my camera in weeks. I’ve even been logged out of Twitter on my phone due to ‘inactivity.’ All in all, not quite the productive start to the year I was hoping for.

 photo 2016-12-02 12.08.03_zps2chmqmpb.jpg photo 2016-12-02 11.50.30_zpsqtlnvbip.jpgI probably made it clear in my last post just how tired i was, how run down I felt. At the time I was balancing work, study, blogging, a rammed social calendar and wedding planning, on top of personal circumstances that were far from pleasant. I had an email inbox that was rapidly expanding, a to-do list that was getting to be taller than I was (no mean feat, even with me being vertically challenged!). My skin was betraying just how exhausted I was, and my immune system gave way to a nasty virus in the week before Christmas.

I spent Christmas trying to solider on through, alcohol making me want to throw up, falling asleep at every opportunity and not even feeling like enjoying my food. Typically the 27th dawned and I felt an awful lot better – and luckily made a good dent in the leftovers. Using pigs in blankets as dipping implements for a boiled egg was the best idea I’d had throughout all of 2016…

 photo 2016-12-27 11.59.52_zpsyinsztih.jpg photo 2016-11-12 13.59.15_zpsqwcb2t3i.jpgA few cold countryside walks, a couple of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges (because vitamins…?!) and things were looking up. I managed to get a decent chunk of studying done. Planned out the first few months of blog posts for 2017. And then the aforementioned personal circumstances came back and hit hard. Just a few short minutes into the year, my beloved Granddad peacefully passed away. It’s not something I’ve really mentioned on here, but he’d been suffering from severe Alzheimer’s for many, many years and whilst his passing is sad, I’m relieved he’s finally free – I’m sure he’s having a pint and chuckle at us all right now!

Feeling under the weather and dealing with grief – not to mention the fact that W then went to South America for the month – meant I just needed to continue to take a break. Despite myself promising I’d never put pressure on myself to blog, that’s exactly what I was doing for much of 2016. I hate not fulfilling my posting schedule, I hate being chased to reply to an email.

 photo 2016-12-27 17.01.57_zpsbhea1wxt.jpg photo 2016-12-27 16.59.28_zpsquqpo0fy.jpg photo 2016-12-27 16.21.14_zpsldgejd2c.jpg photo 2016-12-27 16.19.27_zpsyoegimcb.jpgThis year I’m going to try and take some of the pressure off. I’ve shifted around my posting schedule to reduce the number of posts each month. I’ve set an auto-reply to give PRs a warning that I may not reply immediately. I’m going to try and meet new bloggers, make coffee dates with those I’ve been meaning to catch up with for months. I’m going to head out for meals and not photograph them (well, maybe). I’ll bake for the enjoyment and not for the Instagram likes. I’ll make time for me, make plans for me and not ‘for the blog.’ I love blogging, I’m sticking around for a while. But I also like living, and my blog doesn’t entirely define my life. Here’s to 2017 being the year I live for me.

How has the start of the year been for you?

Blogging: Best Posts of 2016

One of the things I really love about blogging is the online community. I love being a part of it, and I’m hoping to see more of some of my favourite London bloggers over the next few months. Over 2016 there’s been a lot of ups and downs – there’s been drama, there’s been accusations. There’s been bitches about PRs, PRs bitching back. There’s been a huge move towards only “full-time” bloggers being seen as dedicated (something I’ve personally been a part of). But there’s also been some amazing positive moments. There’s been my favourite bloggers going viral, winning competitions, being invited to work with their all-time top brands, achieving personal goals.

favourite-blogsAnd I for one think the quality of the blogging world has gone up drastically. Not too long ago I would scroll through my BL feed a bit absent-mindedly. Now there’s SO many posts which grab me that I need to read. So much inspiration out there. Here’s just a few of my favourite blog posts of 2016…

Little Miss Katy

I’ve loved Katy’s blog since she started it. Her writing style is like one big, happy chat and her images are stunning. She’s had a bit of a re-brand this year and now her Instagram makes me despise mine. For longer than I remember she’s been writing a Happy Monday post and it’s something I always look forward to (I’m not a Monday person) – and in November she asked for people to contribute via social media. She got a massive response and the resulting post was ridiculously uplifting.

I also am forever grateful to her Instagram Editing Guide – I can finally get away with taking photos of buildings and fixing the dodgy angles!

Miss Pond

One of my favourite foodie bloggers, Miss Pond does easily achievable recipes you can actually see yourself making. One of my favourites of this year has been her Squash & Sausage Pasta – made with chorizo sausages it’s slightly spicy, super warming, quick and just yum. We usually skip the cheese (bar the compulsory grating or parmesan) but even then it’s becoming a regular. So many more recipes to try too…her Game Ragu looks delicious, and Fish Curry so comforting and fragrant.

I’m hoping to post my version of her pasta recipe linked above so keep an eye out!

Bumpkin Betty

I can’t remember when I first starting reading Bumpkin Betty, but I know I loved reading about her November wedding – her posts weren’t long after I got engaged and her style was just so unique. More recently she’s posted about re-wearing her wedding dress, something I am totally aiming at in some way or another. She’s also a pretty fab food blogger, running a monthly baking club (which I try to take part in as often as I can) and writing about cheese.

Oh, and she’s got a bun in the oven, quite literally! I’m SO excited to see her journey into motherhood.

Becky Bedbug

I have to say, I love Becky. Both her blog and style are completely unique, not to mention she has an interest in burial grounds/graveyards which I do admit I am quite fascinated by. She’s currently studying for a Masters in Death, Religion and Culture – and it sounds SO interesting. I love reading about other people’s university experiences as mine was so maths-stats-finance focussed.

Oh, and her nails are to die-for.

Hi! So I realise I’ve not updated on here for a while but I was very, very lucky to receive my shiny new lungs not too long after arriving at Harefield! Since then I’ve been recovering as being so unwell beforehand and afterwards left me feeling very weak. Recovery has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, physically and mentally, but after over a month in intensive care I’m now on the transplant ward. This was Thursday eating my dinner in the sunshine! I’ve a while to go yet as I’ve still got a trachy in and need to learn to walk properly again but I’ll get there eventually with the help of the incredible staff here at Harefield Hospital. There are not enough words to thank my beautiful donor and their amazing family for giving me this second chance at life, it’s not just me but the effect organ donation has had on my family and loved ones too is clear to see. Thank you so much for all the messages, I’ve been too tired to reply but I’ve read them all and they’ve been a real boost 💕 #organdonation #lungtransplant #doublelungtransplant #harefieldhospital #harefield #cf #cysticfibrosis #livelifegivelife

A photo posted by Josie (@sickchickchic) on

Sick Chick Chic

Now, this Instagram post made me cry. I’d been reading Josie’s blog for a while, loving her style and sense of humour. And it was clear she was suffering badly with her cystic fibrosis at the start of this year. She’s talked about it on her blog, but it was incredible that she was so, so poorly and managed to get her transplant. She looks amazing now, you’d never think she had as-major-as-it-gets surgery over the summer.

EmTalks

“Friends come and go, some stay forever, some friendships happen and they’re completely unexpected.” This quote from Em’s post on friendship has really stuck in my mind since I read it. This year, having graduated and moved to another new city, friendship was a major worry. I was terrified I’d make a mess of moving in with W (we’re both still alive, so it’s clearly going well!), I was scared I’d lose the close friends I’d made at university. Her post is so honest and quite uplifting. And as for me? I’ve not only kept hold of my closest relationships, I’ve also made a whole new friendship group.

 photo stethoscope_zpsjewdznix.jpgGinevrella

I’ve loved reading about Jen’s journey through her medical degree, and finding out she got an actual, proper job as a real doctor was such a proud moment. I’ve never met her, but I get the feeling from reading her blog that she is amazing at it. Also, didn’t she look gorgeous at her graduation ball?! I’m so jealous of her dress…

 photo Workwear Outfits 5_zpsldfjftmh.jpgThere’s been so many other blog posts I’ve loved this year. I follow a huge amount of blogs on Bloglovin and spend a good chunk of my week flicking through my feed and seeing what my favourites have been up to. It’s simply impossible for me to even list my favourite bloggers, yet alone all of the posts I’ve loved in the last year – these are just some of them!

Who are your favourite bloggers? What kind of blog posts would you like to see more of from me?

Lifestyle: Feeling Festive

I’m not quite sure what it is about this Christmas, but I’m looking forward to it more than I have done in a while!

I’m normally a bit of a scrooge. I hate Christmas songs playing in the shops from mid-October, hate how busy things are, and I can’t stand the smell of mince pies. Yet this year I threw on Heart Christmas (my new fav radio station), my festive jumper and begged to put the tree up on the 1st December. I think it’s a combination of working full-time (and having two weeks off over Christmas, roll on 5pm on the 23rd!) and it being my first Christmas living with W – it just feels so magical and exciting!

 photo Christmas 2016 16_zpsj82vnq9t.jpg photo Christmas 2016 18_zpsn3lze10m.jpg photo Christmas 2016 19_zps9sx1dqvj.jpgWe picked up our tree a few weeks ago – getting a bit of a bargain in the process. It’s a 7fter – tall, but as it’s a “slim” tree it fits quite nicely in it’s designated corner and doesn’t overwhelm the room. It’s box is also pretty compact. A bit of a relief, really, considering I wasn’t thinking and ordered it to store. In the City. Trust me, getting a Christmas tree home on the Tube isn’t the easiest of tasks…

Our colour scheme is a *little* confused this year, as we didn’t want to fork out for a load of new baubles. Turns out a certain someone had forgotten about playing “indoor cricket” last January with wrapping paper and tree decorations, so quite a few hadn’t survived. It was a case of mum to the rescue, and she treated us to a gorgeous box of rose-gold baubles. I’m hoping to ditch all of the red decorations next year and go full-on copper-y colours.

I’ve also invested in decent wrapping paper (it’s not just wrapping paper, it’s Marks & Spencer wrapping paper…), I’ve gotten all my presents bought and wrapped wayyyy ahead of time. Last year we were frantically wrapping on Christmas Eve, so this isn’t like me at all!

 photo Christmas 2016 5_zpsv5qf5dbi.jpg photo Christmas 2016 4_zpsre41gogh.jpg photo Christmas 2016 1_zpsjuyzjexn.jpgOf course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without trying out some of Costa’s festive drinks. I found the Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate insanely sweet, to the point of having a headache about half an hour later – though the glittery marshmallows almost made up for it! The Orange Hot Choc, however, is by far my favourite. So yum. We also indulged in some of their Christmas foodie items. We were a little let down by the Pigs in Blankets Panini – it only being sausages and bacon rather than an actual pig in blanket. Better was the Christmas Dinner Toastie, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

(My work canteen does an actual Pigs in Blanket panini, for less than my lunch allowance. It’s so, so good. Very dangerous, I had three this week!)

 photo Christmas 2016 14_zpssh4m1xfr.jpg photo Christmas 2016 13_zpsgs0a2g1u.jpgNow all I need to do is find me an advent calendar and catch up on all the chocolate I haven’t eaten!

How are your celebrating the run up to Christmas?

Fashion: The Tartan Skirt

I dress pretty much the same most of the year. In summer I’ll pretty much always wear a dress (or shirt/top combo) and sandals. When it’s colder, I favour skirts, jumpers and ankle boots. Plain things aren’t really my bag. Think floral prints, patterns that would be more at home on a pair of curtains.

 photo Tartan Skirt 4_zpsuwos8smc.jpg photo Tartan Skirt 5_zpshal8ehwg.jpgWhilst a capsule wardrobe would never work for me, equally I rarely have that “I have nothing to wear” feeling. When I buy clothes I think these though. I buy basics, or I buy things that I know I really love. I leave things for a few days, and if I can’t stop thinking about it I go and buy it.

This tartan skirt is one such example. I came across it randomly through one of the (1000+) blogs I read, fell in love, and then realised the post was published in February. Searching on Ebay proved fruitless, so I tried to forget about it. Then I spotted it browsing through my local Topshop’s sale rack. In a size 16. Que searching through EVERY Topshop I passed for a few weeks (quite handy, it was during our flat-hunting week so there were a lot of stores). I eventually found a Size 10 on Oxford Street. Still a little too big, but perfect for tucking in a jumper and perhaps wearing to devour a huge Sunday Roast.

 photo Tartan Skirt 2_zpssbw0th0p.jpgIt pairs beautifully with so many of my jumpers; I’m currently loving the shape of this grey one (I have the same Primark jumper in about five colours now!). It looks great with flats or heeled ankle boots. It’s a flattering length – short, but not bum-flashingly so. And the material is so soft, it’s almost cosy to wear. Definitely an Autumn/Winter essential in my eyes.

Are you a fan of tartan? What’s your go-to look for Autumn/Winter?

Lifestyle: What’s It Really Like to be in an LDR?

Over four years of (term-time) long distance has meant we were well practiced in the Sunday-goodbyes, late-night phonecalls and Skype dates. It’s not the easiest situation to be in, though thankfully we managed to squeeze in plenty of visits and weren’t *too* far from each other. And, as regular readers will know, it came to a permanent end this summer, culminating in us moving into a flat in London right at the end of August. For now though, here’s a bit of an insight into what it’s really like going through university in a long distance relationship…

 photo LDR_zpsqftuo3pi.png

Fear Of Missing Out

This is a big one for me, I suffer from FOMO dreadfully! Whether it’s something going on up at Will’s (I was gutted I missed going to see the Bond film with him last year), or if there’s a night out planned at mine when I’m away on a visit, it’s always difficult to accept missing out on things. Realistically though, it’s inevitable with an LDR.

Hatred & Love for Train Stations

I used to get dreadful motion-sickness on trains, but definitely not anymore! It’s also definitely induced both a love and hatred of train stations. I love them on Friday nights; getting to wait until you see that face in the crowd, then Sundays are spent hiding my face in his chest pretending I don’t need to leave. I do now have a love for St Pancras/Kings Cross though, after his nearby proposal! Oh, and I also knew the Southeastern timetable off by heart…

Visit Spreadsheets

Both being a bit of a geek means that spreadsheets are the easiest way of keeping track of visits. We try to plan them at least four weeks in advance, so we can take advantage of cheaper train tickets and try and plan social bits and bobs (see FOMO!) around them.

 photo IMG_20160711_210217_zpsgkxyiiup.jpg

Delay Repay

Relying on trains means delays happen. Annoying but true! Very often a tiny delay on one line will lead to us missing connections, I feel like I spend a good chunk of my time applying for compensation. The best one is still in our first year, when I got to St Pancras on my way back to university only to find heavy snowfall had cancelled all trains…the thought of being stranded overnight was terrifying!

Phone Permanently in Hand

Being apart meant it quite often feels like I’m in a relationship with my phone. I tended to carry it from room to room, and in some ways it still felt like a new relationship – every text will make me smile. Even now my first thought when something exciting happens will be to text W. Yep, even when he is sat next to me…

 photo 2016-02-14 15.21.08_zpswfg3l2wt.jpgSo yeah, it wasn’t easy, but at the same time I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I know this is a bit of a cliche, but I truly believe that if it is meant to be, things will work out. Sure, you’ll have to work at it, there were so many times I cried and said I’d had enough, but we fought through it and four years later he gets to see all my bad hair days, my spotty days, my hormonal days…there’s definitely bonuses to LDRs too!

Have you ever been in an LDR? How did you find it?

Lifestyle: Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Whittlebury Hall

I love a good old fashioned Afternoon Tea, I’m a huge fan of chocolate – so it doesn’t get much better than a Chocolate Afternoon Tea. Add in a gorgeous spa hotel, comfy sofas, gossiping with my mummy and some Champagne and you’ve got a perfect way for me to while away a few hours.

 photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 7_zpsz7lz3oyv.jpgWith university and exams getting in the way, I shamefully realised in August that I hadn’t yet treated my mum to the lunch I promised her for Mother’s Day. Way back in March. Whoops! To rectify things I booked the Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Whittlebury Hall – this was the perfect treat to indulge our sweet teeth (tooths?) and spend some quality time together ahead of my move to London.

The afternoon tea setting was gorgeous. A large room full of sofas and comfy chairs, bookings are limited to avoid overcrowding and allowing tables to stay occupied for as long as possible. We were there for approaching three hours and never once felt rushed. We were also able to gossip away without feeling like we were disturbing nearby tables, perfect for a girly afternoon.

 photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 10_zps5dw8s04q.jpg photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 6_zpsvyazvkxa.jpg photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 5_zps0kim67zh.jpg photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 4_zpss5uo8z38.jpgThere was a bit of a mix-up with our afternoon tea – a not very chocolately one arrived, but we assumed it was fine so tucked in. It was only after we’d polished off the scones (me picking out the dried fruit, very classy) that we saw the actual chocolate tea being delivered to another table. We enquired to the most loveliest waiter who promptly refreshed our top layer of cakes and pastries to a chocolate one, offered us the chocolate chip scones (declined for fear of our waistlines) and poured us a complimentary glass of ‘apology’ champagne. Damn good service right there! The standard AT included a peach cream, mini Victoria sponge and many other dainty little bits.

Pots of tea were unlimited, myself having a malty Assam, and mum the good ol’English Breakfast. Both loose leaf, both with plenty of milk and sugar and extra pots of water provided. And very good tea it was too.

 photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 2_zpswxsq5vhj.jpg photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 3_zpsmt2rqjvr.jpgThe sandwiches were obviously made fresh, lovely soft bread and generous fillings. I was pleased to see the cucumber had been deseeded, which made the world of difference to what is usually quite a soggy sandwich. The salmon was fresh, though neither of us are the biggest fans of it. We also weren’t hugely taken with the ham and mustard; a combination I normally love, I found it a little sweet-tasting. And the best part of an Afternoon tea, for me, is the top plate so I didn’t want to fill up too quickly!

Scones were good, though being of the fruit variety I ended up picking at mine. Served warm, the cream melted into the soft inner, and I loved that they were served with a raspberry jam. I much prefer it to strawberry, and for me it compliments rather than clashes with the clotted cream.

 photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 8_zpsai7bxbve.jpg photo Chocolate Afternoon Tea Whittlebury Hall 9_zpslwys8rut.jpgAnd now for the top plate. Once ours was swapped for the chocolate version, we were delighted with our choice. I also found out that dark chocolate and champagne was an unexpectedly enjoyable combination. We had an ‘ice cream’ cone filled with a light chocolate mousse, a chocolate macaroon, a few different ganache covered cakes and a white chocolate and raspberry tart. Everything was gorgeous, though I was most impressed with the macaroon (intensely chocolately despite its pale colour) and the tart which added a burst of freshness. Everything was well prepared, tasted fresh and clearly used good quality chocolate. Not an afternoon tea for the faint-hearted, perhaps, as it was rather rich, but perfect for a girly afternoon.

I’ll just have to head back soon to sample the chocolate-chip scones!

Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea?

 

Fashion: Floral Maxi OOTD

As I mentioned last week, I’ve finally got up the courage to buy and (more importantly) wear a few maxi-length pieces. I’ve bought a few before, and they’ve remained unworn and neglected in my wardrobe, before eventually making their way onto Ebay or to a charity shop. Oops. Now I’m wondering why I have waited so long.

 photo New Look Floral Maxi Dress 2_zpswowk3zyv.jpg photo New Look Floral Maxi Dress 3_zpsi0lr670g.jpgIn my defence, I still struggle to find items I would actually wear. I have an inbuilt opinion that they make me look a lot bigger than I am, and that translates to what I see in the mirror. Then there’s the height issue. I’m too tall for the petite range, with them ending just above my ankle bone. The standard range drag on the floor. But once I fell in love with this dress, once I didn’t feel like a blue blob, I popped along to a seamstress and for £10 got 3 inches chopped off the bottom.

From New Look, the size 8 fits well (if slightly snug around the top department, if you get what I mean!). Once chopped it’s the right length, sitting just right with flat sandals. The slit up the side stops the floral print from becoming too mumsy, the belt stops me from appearing too short. Styled up with a hot pink cardigan (which I couldn’t bear to wear in the heatwave in Brighton!), this is becoming my favourite date night outfit. It also made the perfect thing to wear at my engagement party a few weeks ago – just right for a traditional English garden party. Lets hope the weather remains warm enough to wear it for a bit longer!

 photo New Look Floral Maxi Dress 1_zps3vwqc2w9.jpgNow all I need to do is remember to let my hair dry before taking outfit photos in the future…

Are you a fan of maxi dresses? Do you have types of clothing you avoid?

Wedding Planning: An Update

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything wedding-y. Unfortunately exams got in the way, I don’t think either of us had room in our brains for churches-and-white-dresses alongside toaster projects and engineering drawings (W) and mortality, mean variance portfolio theory and financial derivatives (me). Then university was over and the planning could start!

 photo Wedding Planning Update 1_zpsyh8qdn2g.jpgIt kicked off with me ordering my dress. Yep, the first thing we did was order the wedding dress, despite having not set a date (other than in our heads), despite not having a church, not having a venue, not having a clue what kind of day we were really having. Ooops. I’m obviously not saying too much about the dress, mainly to keep it from W, but also because I want it to be a surprise to virtually everyone. In fact, only my mum will be coming to fittings from now on, so my lips are sealed! I will be doing a few ‘Dress Shopping’ posts though, so there may well be a few sneaky details slip out there…

Then we had a serious week of wed-min (that’s wedding admin, according to the numerous bridal Facebook groups I’m part of). We picked a week where both sets of parents were away, not because we don’t want to include them, but because we wanted to make sure the big decisions were made just by us. And then we got on with it. We booked up a busy week; three venues and a meeting with the vicar.

It was all surprisingly easy!

 photo Wedding Planning Update 4_zpsyhna7gzm.jpgWe have a strong connection to the church we wanted to get married in through W, so it really was just a case of chatting with the vicar briefly, picking our date, popping it in the diary and filing in a quick form. The most difficult part was me signing it – as a left-hander a fountain pen is pretty alien to me! Apparently that’s something I have to practice before the big day…

I’ll be talking more about the venues we visited in a few weeks, as essentially we visited three very different venues, at very different price-points. I was originally worried that we wouldn’t be able to choose between the three, but there was one which was clearly our favourite. The venue we picked is stunning, but perhaps even more importantly the service we received was fabulous. From quick email replies to genuine interest in ourselves as a couple, we were completely sold.

So, now we have a dress, a church ceremony and a reception venue. And a date of course! The next step will be to look at caterers and photographers (any Midlands-based recommendations would be hugely appreciated!), but with over 25 months to go, we’re lucky we don’t have to rush into any decision making. I’m making the most of all the excitement! We celebrated with an engagement party at the beginning of the month where we announced our date – so the countdown is on until 6 October 2018 – eek!

 photo Wedding Planning Update 3_zpsogx41eb3.jpgOh, and our countdown sign? It makes me cry everytime I look at it – for some reason seeing it in “real life” makes it all the more real. We’re actually getting married!

Do you have anything exciting to look forward to? Any recommendations for wedding planning?