Thursday, 12 November 2015

Wedding Planning - Our Initial Ideas

Rikki and I will have been engaged for over two years now and never planned on having such a long engagement, but with the arrival of our little Archie bear, all wedding plans went on hold. Now we're parents to a 14 month old and both agree that nows the time to get the ball rolling and tie the knot.

I've been happily pinning away on my Pinterest board for a while now, and am quite enjoying disappearing into a world of lace, peonies and starlit dance floors before i'm snapped back to reality to change a bum or wipe sick off the floor. It's nice while it lasts though! So, before any plans are set in stone, and whilst i'm still deciding what kind of colours/dresses/flowers/food (the list goes on) is right for our special day, I thought it would be a nice time to create a post on my dream wedding.

I know I'm not going to be able to have everything on my wish list, in fact a friend of mine who's also getting married next year, sent me a quote of Facebook that said 'I discovered i'm actually planning two weddings - the one inspired by Pinterest and the one I can actually afford'. Which really made me laugh because it's so true!

I'm going to keep you updated as all of our plans start to fall into place (she hopes), and i'll be doing another one of these once certain things have been decided on, but I thought it would be lovely to have this to look back on to remember what my original wedding ideas looked like and how they change along the way.

So if you're reading this along with watching the video right now, I hope you enjoy it and agree that it's much better to see my inspiration install of me just trying to describe what I mean! And if you haven;t seen the video yet then i'll link it here and below for you.

I will just say now that none of the photos in this post are of the actual locations as it's something we want to keep private for obvious reasons. But of course once the wedding has happened I'll be sharing with you all the photos, venues and suppliers we used for the day! Also, lots of people have been asking the date of the wedding. Again, it's not something I want to make public on the internet, but the wedding will take place next Summer.

The Venue
We booked our venue a couple of months ago. After going back and forth between a marquee wedding and a barn wedding, we finally settled on the barn. It's absolutely beautiful and I think we've made the right choice. It's not a brick barn like the one pictured, but I just love the decor and the cosy, rustic vibe it gives. At the moment, I'm still a bit worried that it's going to be quite dark, but hopefully different types of lighting will help with this. It also has beautiful gardens so if it is a nice day (touch wood) then people will be able to enjoy being outside.

This is the beautiful Almonry Barn if you're lucky enough to live in Somerset. It's just stunning.

Even though the barn lends itself perfectly to a rustic, vintage style country wedding, It really is a blank canvas, so it's going to take a lot of work to create the look we're going for. My vision is a mix of English country garden vintage, but we a few elegant, sophisticated touches and I plan to achieve this with a beautiful fairy light chandelier, and strings of lights covering the barn. White chiavari chairs finished of with tulle bows, linen table cloths and elegant floral centre pieces on each table, and  lace lanterns hanging from the beams above, although it's only just crossed my mind that lanterns and a fairy light chandelier won't work together! We also want candlelight, so with strict instructions that we cannot light any candles in the barn, we'll be opting for LED tea lights and pillar candles to achieve the same look and feel. All of the small details have yet to be decided on but hopefully these pictures give you an idea.

Colour Scheme & Bridesmaids dresses
I feel like the colour scheme of the wedding is crucial. If you have a beautiful colour that ties in with the bridesmaid's dresses, and decor then everything looks very put together and stylish. The colour that I'm currently edging towards is a dusty, vintage pink. I also like the muted greyish blue as well and think there's something really beautiful about it, but I don't want to look back and wish I'd gone with my favourite colour. I'm even looking into vintage, floral bridesmaid's dresses at the moment, so I could go for something completely different to my original plans! I think Whatever I choose, my bridesmaid's will hate my by the end of it, as I'll definitely find it harder to decide on them than I did my actual wedding dress.

This is one part of the wedding I really want to Rikki to be in charge of! We've discussed it and I think we're still deciding between navy/grey suits which will compliment the pale pink bridesmaids dresses perfectly. Or, sticking more with our 'theme' and going for the slightly more casual look with waistcoats and either ties, or bow ties and maybe braces for the little boys. I actually love the groomsmen attire in the first photo, but Rikki drew the line at wearing skinny jeans to our wedding! and wants to opt for something a little smarter!

The Dress
I couldn't wait to share my dress with you, and then I realised, I couldn't because Rikki can't see it before the big day! What I can say it that It's already purchased! So that's one thing definitely ticked off. I'm so pleased with it and it has everything I wanted. It's a Pronovias dress and I'm just so excited that I'm getting to wear it, even if it is only for one day. Until you finally get to see it, I thought I'd show you some of the dresses I liked when I still wasn't set on a certain style. Which one do you think I went for?

You may be aware that I absolutely adore flowers. I've always loved wearing floral dresses, designing floral crowns and always try to have fresh flowers in the house. So it isn't much of a surprise that we'll be having lots of flowers at our wedding. I'd like them to be everywhere! Beautiful floral centrepieces on the tables, around some of the beams in between foliage and my dream is to have a stunning floral bouquet above the church entrance. Maybe even a half arch of flowers, although I hate to think what that would cost! I think they looks incredible. For mine and my bridesmaids bouquets, I'd like them to have a natural, feels as a posed to a neat posy. With wild flowers, peonies and lots of leafy foliage, maybe in pale pinks and greens, or go for something with more of a pop with bright pinks, whites and oranges.

We've found our caterers and they're fantastic. We're 90% set on an afternoon tea for our wedding breakfast. But are still to decide on the canapĂ©s and the food for the evening. I think an afternoon tea will go really well with our wedding's style and then our guests can enjoy a hot meal in the evening so it's the best of both worlds. It's quite hard to show you any inspiration for the catering and we're still not completely sure ourselves.  But I've had some lovely afternoon tea's over the years to draw inspiration from!

Photographer & Videographer

We've booked our videographer, and i'm already bursting to see what our wedding video turns out like. They are absolutely amazing. We've also nearly booked our photographer, so here are a few wedding photos in the style we like

We've decided on a vintage VW Beetle as the wedding car and a vintage VW Campervan for the Bridesmaid's. I've just seen so many beautiful photos of the them covered in flowers and I love the way they look in photos. I know it isn;t the most classic option, but I think it'll be really fun and a little bit different.

There are so many other little bits I want to share with you as we get further into planning the wedding. The invitations, place setting, table decorations, the list is endless! I'm really excited to see how our ideas change over the next few months, and if the wedding turns out like this or we end up going with something completely different! I'd love to know what you think of our ideas so far, and any tips or advice you have when it comes to planning a wedding would be SO appreciated!

Lots of love
Kate x

Click here to find all of the pictures in this post and their original links

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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

New Baby & Mummy Essentials

As a Mum to a now very active 14 month old, it seems crazy to me that just last year, I had a tiny little new born baby to take care of and keep alive! Those precious first months were very special, and ones that I will cherish forever, but of course, they wern't without their stressful moments. Were we doing everything right? Was the room too hot? Did he have enough clothes on? Was he getting the right amount of milk? Whilst we were preparing for our little bundle of joy to come into the world, we made constant lists, endlessly Googled and trawled through countless You Tube videos and reviews to try and select the best of everything we would need to make him as happy, contented and well cared for as possible and to make our lives a little easier when things were about to change forever.

I recently made a video about my new born baby and new Mummy essentials which i'll leave below if you would rather watch than read! It contains some of my top recommendations to make both Mummy and baby's life that little bit easier from day one.

Tomme Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
This is probably my top recommendation. It made our lives so much easier as parents that, for our own personal reasons had to formula feed our baby. I completely understand that breast is best, but this post isn't really intended to go into that debate. The Perfect Prep Machine makes fresh, ready to feed bottles in 2 minutes. You simply select how many ounces you want from the dial above, put your bottle under the machine, press the button and it shoots a 'hot shot' of boiling water into the bottle. This kills the bacteria in the formula you are about to add in. Once you've added the correct amount of scoops of formula, you shake it up and put the bottle back under and press the button again. This then fills the bottle up with filtered, room temperature water so that it's perfect to give your baby straight away. When we looked into how to prepare bottles, there were so many do and dont's that seemed either scary if we did something wrong of way too time consuming at 3:00am in the morning when your little one is screaming the house down. For us this was the safest, quickly, most efficient option and I'm so glad we made this purchase. If you want to see it in action, check out my video below.

lights by TENA
Now one for the Mummy's. I know that bladder weakness isn't something we all like to openly talk about, but as so many women are affected by it either during or after pregnancy, it should be something we discuss more. You're body's just been through something incredible to bring your baby into the world, so it's no surprise that there will be some after effects!  Once you've been through the stage of having to wear what are, lets face it, pretty much nappies for 6 weeks after having a baby, lights by TENA liners are almost unnoticeable. And even if you aren't affected by bladder weakness, I know a lot of us Mum's would feel better with the added security that if a cough/sneeze/laughing fit results in an unpleasant 'leak' it's not such a big deal. I know for me personally that they were really helpful in the first 6 months after having Archie and would really recommend new Mum's to have some in their cupboard just in case. They come in a few different varieties and have Feel Fresh Technology too. And if you'd like to try a free sample pack, simply click here.

Angel Care Movement & Sound Monitor
Again, this was a product that I did a lot of research into and knew it would be a necessity for us. Hearing about cases of Sudden Instant Death Syndrome filled me with more fear that I could imagine so to have a monitor that not only allowed us to hear if Archie was crying or distressed, but to monitor his movement and breathing as well was a huge weight off my mind. Of course, I would never rely on a machine 100% and like everything else you have to be sensible. This particular monitor comes with a hard plastic square pad which goes under your babies mattress, and connects to the machine. You then have another machine with you that you can hear then on, but that also makes a ticking sound to show you that it's on. This can be switched off but to me that was little pointless so we always have it on. You'd think it would be annoying but you honestly don't constantly notice it until you listen out for it again. If it doesn't detect any movement for 30 seconds, (it detects the movement of breathing as well as bigger movements) It will alert you with an alarm. Yes, this is the most hideously frightening thing to hear going off in the middle of the night, and we've both shot out of bed on the very odd occasion it's gone off, but this has always been because Archie's decided to wedge himself into the smallest corner at the top of the cot and he's gone out of range for it to pick up his movements, but in all honestly this has only happened a handful of times. I think it does work best with younger babies though as they generally stay in one place instead of moving around the cot. Even when we moved him into his big cot, he looked so tiny and it seemed as though he was no where near the machine, it always sensed his movements. This is hands down one of the things that has helped me sleep at night and only check on him once or twice as a posed to 5 billion times!

Sanctuary Mum To Be Firming Cream
As expectant Mum's, the way our bodies will change and the possibility of stretch marks is something that crosses all of our minds. Back when I was pregnant with Archie, I was very kindly sent some Mum To Be products from Sanctuary Spa. After I had Archie, one of my favourites to use was the Firming Cream. It has extracts of cotton thistle, organic rose hip oil and shea butter, to help your skin regain it's elasticity and keep it soft and smooth. I was very lucky not to get any stretch marks this time but it also helps to improve the appearance of stretch marks. I also think that whichever range you try, or even if you stick to your favourite creams and skincare saviours, the most important thing is to set aside some time to pamper yourself. I know it can sometimes seem impossible but let your partner, your Mum, someone you trust have the baby, even if it's just for half and hour and remember that even though you're a Mum, you're still you.

These herbal powders, and granules dissolve in your baby's mouth when their little teeth are causing them problems. Teething is a really hard part of being a parent, and it's not fun for you or the baby. Archie got his first tooth at around 5 months, but they can start to cause problems even earlier than this. We tried lots of things, from teething toys, to Bongela and all of them I would recommend, but the granules/powders seemed to work really well. I'm not sure of the exact science behind it as they are all natural. Whether putting the powder in his mouth took his mind off of the pain or he just really liked the taste is still a bit of a mystery to me. But we're using them a lot at the moment, as lots of pesky teeth (including molars) are popping through so they again are a great thing to have in the back of the cupboard ready to go.

This is great for making sure the temperature in the room is right for your baby. And even at 4:00am, though blurry, sleep deprived eyes you can easily check if it's too hot or too cold because of the colour display. If it's too cold it'll show you the temperature in blue, just right is in orange and too hot is in red, pretty self explanatory! It was great through the hot couple of months we had after Archie was born, as I was so worried he'd get too hot. But this helps you to know if you need to cool the room down a little, or if your baby needs an extra blanket.

Oh I just fell in love with these as soon as I saw them! I knew that Prince George had come out of hospital wrapped in a sweet, little bird print blanket, but hadn't taken too much notice until I became pregnant myself and discovered that it was in fact a swaddle blanket by Aden & Anais. After that I knew I needed them for my own little Prince! The bird print blanket comes in a set of  4, you also get elephant's, monkey's and giraffes and they are just so beautifully soft. We've used them for so many things from a pram blankets, to play mats and currently we're enjoying using them to make under the table dens so they're very versatile! They aren't the cheapest muslin blankets you can get and there fore not really a necessity, but they're very good quality and will last for a long time, so worth every penny in my opinion.

Finally I have a few app recommendations I found really helpful either during pregnancy or once Archie was born.

White Noise
The first being white noise. I'm pretty sure you can download white noise apps, but we found this one on You Tube and it worked fantastically well. It works to block out any background noise, and helps babies to sleep more soundly and fall asleep easily. There were times when Archie would be crying with 'over tiredness' we would put this on and he'd be asleep within 30 seconds. I also think this is one of the things that helped him sleep through the night from 9 weeks. Like every single thing i've mentioned, not everything works for every Mum or baby but as this worked for us, I would 100% recommend giving it a try.

Baby Centre
The Baby centre app is brilliant for tips and advice from the day you find out you're pregnant, all the way to the new born stage and beyond. Plus, any time I type a baby related question into Google, one of the first websites that come up is The Baby Centre. The advise I've found on the app and website have been an indispensable fountain of knowledge for me as a first time Mum.

My Baby Beat
Even though this app recommendation really falls under Mum to be essentials, I thought I'd include it anyway in case you're currently reading this whilst pregnant. My Baby Beat is an app that works like a dopler to find your baby's heart beat, and when you do find it, it's a pretty incredible experience. However, I do say in the video and can never stress enough how important it is to remember that it is just an app. If you feel like something is wrong, always contact your midwife or hospital. The same also goes for not being able to find the heart beat though. It took me until about week 35 in my pregnancy to find it properly, and it's very hard if you don't have any training to find their heart beat at all. I think this app is more of a fun one to try out, but shouldn't be taken too seriously. I wanted to recommend it though as I loved listening to his heart beat and it made me so happy.

I really hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you would like to see more of these, maybe a pregnancy essentials and a toddler one too?

Love Kate x

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Friday, 30 October 2015

Interiors - Dining Room

Interior design has always been one of my passions. When I was a child, I was always drawing house plans and sketching pictures of my dream home. So when I moved out with Rikki 3 years ago, I couldn't wait to have a space to decorate and add my own personal touches too.

Back then, I was still very into pink, girly, flowery things but luckily I have a very laid back Fiancé who's more than happy to let me take control of the creative reins when it comes to home decor! Now 3 years on, and 2 house moves later, I'm quite happy with the way the style of our home and furniture has evolved. It still has plenty of feminine touches, (It wouldn't feel right without vases of flowers and an abundance of candles about the place, but it's also taken on a more grown up vibe and one which I feel really suits the stage of our lives now.

 We've had a little change around in this room lately and I love it! So I thought, as i'm always getting questions about our house, I would start by doing a little tour of one of my favourite rooms. The Dinging Room.
First of all, my favourite thing in the room right now has to be our white pumpkins. We got them from Hoo Farm as they have pick your own pumpkin fields (seen in our vlog here). I think there's just something so whimsical and fairytale like about them. I'll be sad to see them go! I had planed to add a lot of Autumn Decor into this room, but time just seems to have flown by and now i'm already thinking of Christmas decorations. Our candlesticks were from ASDA quite a while ago now and I think I also picked the vase up from there too. The flowers were actually from the arrangement my Nan made for us after we had Archie, but i've since taken the blue flowers out.

I love our table, we got it from eBay last year (i'll try and link to the seller here) and the chairs were from IKEA, although these are one of the only things I want to change in this room. I made the artwork myself with some samples of book wallpaper from B&Q, and a washed, rustic, wooden frame from The Range I was so pleased with how it turned out, and I think it really makes the room.

I haven't posted many photos of our little Miley bear for a while, but she's still very much the boss of this house, well, maybe slightly below one certain little boy these days! She loves to spend her days relaxing, usually under the table or whatever chair i'm sitting at to work if she can't get on my lap.
We got this picture from The Range last year when we first started to decorate this room. I loved the idea of having these house rules up as I think that's a pretty good list for a family to live by, (even if we sometimes forget it's there.) I got the tall boy/drawer unit from TK Maxx. It was lime green so that was swiftly painted white. The lamp is from The Range and the calendar blocks are from Homebase. The candle is Madagascan Vanilla and is from Sainsburys.
One of my favourite things about the room now it's been changed round a bit is that our chair is on full display. My Dad's a carpenter and he makes such beautiful things. Whilst I was browsing Pinterest last year, I saw so many gorgeous dining rooms with sofa style chairs or benches at them and they looked so cosy! So he made this for us and I couldn't have been happier with it. but It was always so hidden being behind the table. Now it's taking pride of place and is much more accessible for people to sit at. And if we ever have lots of people over for dinner, it can be moved back over to the table, so win win!

The cushion is from Debenhams and the throw is from Primark. The mirror above is quite old and I believe we got it from Homesense. They always have mirrors like this in store, this one was cream so I painted it white.

I really hope you enjoyed seeing this little area of our home. Let me know if you'd like more posts like this one. I'm in the process of planning a bedroom makeover, so I'll definitely be showing that once it's done.

Love Kate x

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

eBay Wishlist - Autumn

I've been a bit of an eBay addict for as long as I can remember. I've bought just about everything on there, from vintage dresses to a 50's china cat ornament (yes really) 90's nostalgic toys to the occasional designer item. There's just something about the vast selection of treasures that people from all over the world are selling that really excites me! I do love to bid on the odd gem every now and again, but you'll usually find me browsing through the 'Buy it Now' items as I know I can't loose them to someone else!

It's also one of my favourite places to find fast fashion. If there's a certain trend or celebrity style that I want to re-create, I always head on over to eBay, as so many of the sellers have designer inspired pieces for a fraction of the price, and often sooner than the high street catches on.

As we're quickly creeping into Autumn/Winter, I thought it would be fun to create a wish list of pieces that I'll definitely be putting in my basket! I think my favourite item has to be this tartan scarf. it looks so cosy and warm, perfect for styling up a simple outfit to make it look more interesting. It would also look stunning with this denim pinafore dress which is originally from Topshop. I'm loving denim dresses at the moment, especially teamed with a big, chunky, cream knit jumper underneath or over the top.

I wore my chelsea boots out last year so I really need to get a few more pairs. I'll definitely be repurchasing a black pair but this tan pair are calling my name! I can see me wearing them with this tan sleeveless jacket, I really love these and want one in each colour!

And of course, my wish list just wouldn't be complete with out some berry toned accessories. I'm loving hats at the moment, but I don't have one in this colour so this wide brimmed, floppy hat would be the perfect addition to my collection! As well as this beautiful designer inspired bag which would be big enough to fit all of the endless amounts of 'stuff' I have to lug around with me. And finally a pop of Barry M's Burgundy Crush Nail Polish to finish off the look.

I love the fact that all of these pieces can be worn together, or mixed with other items in your wardrobe to create lots of different looks. Let me know which are your favourite pieces and what the best thing you've ever bought from eBay is?

Kate x

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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

My Night time Skincare Routine

Growing up with acne from the age of 11 has definitely made me more conscious of having a good skincare routine. Unfortunately, having cystic acne meant that no amount of topical cream, lotions and potions would make those pesky spots disappear. My video on how I got rid of my acne is here if you're interested . As i've gotten older and my acne has dramatically improved, I feel it's really important to keep on top of my skincare to insure that the regular spots many of us get caused by hormones, diet and pollution are kept at bay.

I've tried and tested many skin care products over the years, but I feel i've finally got the right balance of products to keep my skin clear, clean and hydrated so I thought it would share them with you in my latest video! I'd love it if you went and gave the video a little like if you found it helpful and be sure to leave me a comment  too!

Lots of love Kate x

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Saturday, 19 September 2015

London's Calling

Top - Primark | Jeans - Miss Selfridge | Jacket - Primark | Bag - Mulberry | Hat - H&M | Shoes - Primark

Last week, Rikki and I headed into London to go and see where he's going to be working. He recently started a new job in the city and we thought it would be a good idea to have a practise of his new route to work! As you may know London is where I feel most at home (apart from actually at home of course!) It's my favourite city and as soon a I step out of the train station I instantly feel happy, calm and alive all at the same time. I can't say Rikki has always shared my admiration for the city, but the longer we've been together, the more he's grown to love it too, and now i'm slightly jealous that he's going to be there everyday.

We had a little wonder around St Paul's Cathedral, and I thought i'd take the opportunity to snap some outfit photos as it feels like I haven't done this in so long and you know what? I really loved it and forgot how much i'd missed it! I think being pregnant for the majority of last year, and having a new baby this year really knocked my confidence and made me feel like I couldn't do look book and outfit posts anymore. But now Archie's turned one, I'm starting to feel more like myself and loving fashion and styling up outfits again. The comments on my latest look book - Autumn Wonders also gave me a huge boost which I'm massively grateful for.

I've tucked this simple ribbed vest top (mentioned in my Latest Primark Haul here) into a pair on Miss Selfridge, high waisted Steffi jeans which I really love as they're very figure hugging but also very comfortable as well. It's a pretty simple outfit but I feel that with the addition of the beige tasseled jacket (a bargain from Primark too) and the H&M hat, it takes on more of a 70's vibe which I hated at first but now I can't get enough of! I also teamed it with some of my wardrobe staples. These gorgeous tan open toed shoes from Primark which are rarely off my feet these days, and my beloved Mulberry Del Ray Bag which goes everywhere with me.

Let me know if you'd like to see more outfit posts on my blog and what your currently favourite pieces are!

Kate x

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