Thursday, 24 July 2014

A wedding with a refreshing difference



The weekend before last we attended our friend's wedding. The first inkling that this would be a wedding with a difference, is that the ceremony was held in Victoria Park, East London. Despite the forecast not being very good all week, the weather report made a dramatic turnaround that morning and the sun showed it's much welcomed face all day. We waited by the pagoda for the bride and groom to finish their official ceremony with a handful of their closest friends and family. And we were surprised to see the bride arrive in a very simple, but extremely beautiful cream jumpsuit, flat pumps, and no make up (or very little). I think that makes a huge statement on your wedding day, and I absolutely loved that she stayed true to who she was, and didn't change that just for her big day. I love dressing up glam, but it's not for everyone and it was a refreshing change to see a naturally beautiful and clearly very happy bride walk towards us, with her husband who was/is a little more flamboyant, in his checked suit and yellow tie.



Despite being a successful couple, they defied expectations and didn't go for an extravagant wedding. It was more about good food, good friends, good vibes and lots of laughs. 

There were a lot of thank yous' in the grooms speech, it was clear that many wedding guests had a personal part to play in the organisation of the day - be it the flowers, the cake, the music, and the styling. 

Children were invited to the day, however we opted to not bring our kids as there were a lot of good friends who we haven't seen in a long time, and we wanted to really enjoy ourselves with them for a change. Although seeing the all cuteness around did make me regret my decision for a few minutes. Then I had another glass of wine and that feeling quickly dissipated.





The main colour theme was yellow, but there was also orange and blue, which complimented the yellow perfectly. 










An eclectic mix of guests and sets from various dj mates after a fabulous brass band which played old house classics made sure the party got going from dusk until they kicked us all out.  


Guest's mouths were watering even before we sat down with this delicious hog roast and crispy crackling in the pub garden just by Victoria Park - The Royal Inn On the Park. 


The husband and me.



Simple and stunning table decorations. 


Here's my outfit in full before I left (and before I had too much wine!). 

Skirt: Mango
Bodice: M&S
Gold top: Borrowed from a friend (thanks Kim)
Hat: Old
Belt: Charity shop

To conclude the wedding was so fun, because they concentrated on the important things in life, and did it exactly how they wanted to. Everyone afterwards was broken (from too much partying) but very happy. 

Thanks guys we had an amazing time, we wish you a very happy life together.

Have you attended a wedding with a difference recently? 

What you are your thoughts on the outfits? 

Nat x


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Hand-making my camera strap with Elizabeth Dunn

As my regular readers will know I love to support British businesses, especially when they are small, unique and exquisite. That's the camp that Elizabeth Dunn falls into. She makes beautiful bags, wallets, journals, shoes and camera straps from leather.

Elizabeth invited a couple of my blogging friends and me to make our own camera straps. Which  was perfect timing for me, as I got a camera recently for my birthday, and the standard Canon strap it came with is frankly a bit boring - so I jumped at the chance. 

We arrived in a little back street a short distance from Holborn in London, having made are various journeys from home leaving the kids well cared for by dads or grandparents. We were faced with a big building of lots of little studios. I love buildings like this and luckily for me London has a plethora of characterful buildings for me delight over. 


We went up to the studio in an ancient looking lift, feeling a little apprehensive.


We needn't have felt anxious at all, the lift took us safely to our destination and Elizabeth has a great knack of making you feel welcome and comfortable. She is a brilliant teacher, and nothing is too much trouble even if like me you keep making mistakes. 


There was a great array of leathers in all different colours and thicknesses to choose from. And that was the toughest bit choosing which leather and then accessories to make my handmade uniquely bespoke camera strap from.


Hard at work with the very lovely Carissa from Little likely Lads and Katy from Modern Mummy.

In the end I went for a multicoloured number of purple, turquoise and mock croc grey with gold and silver accessories, clearly Elizabeth's warning of less is more fell on deaf ears with me. The others made really lovely, elegant looking camera straps, but I liked mine, it represented my scatty personality well. 


Hard at work.


Here's my masterpiece. I'd made a couple of mistake when stamping the letters, but I decided to leave it as I kind of liked it looking not perfect. 


All of us feeling very pleased with our creations. 



The extremely talented Elizabeth Dunn and me.



Elizabeth offers handmade camera straps on her website from £85 www.elizabethdunn.co.uk  To discuss having a bespoke one made or to enquire about workshops please contact her directly: elizabethdunnfootwear@gmail.com


What do you think of my creation? 


Nat x


Disclaimer: Elizabeth kindly invited us to make these camera straps in return for press coverage. 








Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Country living

I'm back in the country for a three-week holiday. I've rented a cottage about 8 miles from my hometown, Great Malvern. This post is about country living. 

I grew up in a small town. Not a city. Cows, sheep, horses were all familiar sights throughout my childhood. Our home wasn't in the countryside but it wasn't exactly far from it either. One mile from the front door are farms. Five hundred feet away are the hills. 

I was soooo thrilled arriving back. The fields full of cows and sheep (unseen around DC and even in horse country nearby). I took my toddler to a fruit-picking farm on day 2. Pigs, chickens, chicks, Mr & Mrs Peacock, ducks and their ducklings - basically, lots of farm animals that the toddler doesn't see except in story books. Geese too. Big, angry, beady-eyed buggers that hiss and bark - and chase small boys who don't get the hint. "BAD SCARY DUCK!" Hilarious. How lovely, I thought. I could get used to this. *imagines baking fresh scones whilst wearing a Cath Kidston apron*

The cottage is surrounded by fields. It's quiet and lovely. The sun sets late, so it's still light until 10pm. We pick plums from the trees in the garden and hang the washing on a line strung between apple trees. *more Cath Kidston and even an Aga* You get the picture. 

We had tremendous thunder and lightning storms a few nights ago. Insanely loud cracks of thunder and lightning bolts that lit up the sky for miles. I have to admit, despite my efforts to be excited about the "beauty and power" of Mother Nature, I was in reality peeing my pants. Cue Sound of Music "These are a few of my Favourite Things". A sleepless night. 

The following morning, the skies were beautiful. A few branches had come down but that was all. 

Walking into the bathroom, I came upon a scene from a horror movie. SPIDERS. Not one. Not even ten. MORE. The buggers had sought refuge from the storm and come in through the open window (I'd forgotten to close it) and made themselves at home all over the bathroom. It was horrifying. The only thing that might've been worse would be millipedes. 

Just as I was about to attack them with a large towel and shower head, toddleboy walked in and exclaimed "Spiders! My FRIENDS!"    I've taught him not to be scared of insects by saying they're all friends of ours and we are to show them love. So now I had to be an example of this and could no longer proceed with my arachnoid annihilation. Is arachnoid a word? 

Spiders here run the gamut of shapes, sizes and ability to scare the shit out of a grown person. Some float about, others scuttle. Some JUMP. What in the name of all things decent is that about? 

I explained to the child that the spiders needed a shower, turned on the shower head and did a rather grand Tony Montana machine gun, but with shower head instead, assassination. I sprayed the bath, walls, window and well, even the floor. I got carried away, one might say. 

I turned around and realised I'd rebound sprayed onto the child. He was naked except for a toga number made entirely of drowned spiders. Instinctually I turned the shower head onto him. Oh, the poor boy. He ran, screeching into the bedroom and into the bed. The bed I SLEEP in. After I'd coaxed him out and dried him off, I spent the next hour cleaning up the bathroom and bed. Vile. It was vile. 

Everywhere I look since then, I see spiders. The green top off a tomato? Spider. A leaf? Spider. That mark on the tablecloth? A HUGE spider. 

I spotted a spider on the bedroom wall the other night. I came THIS close to waking up the toddler to remove it (ie, accidentally squash it in his chubby, clumsy fingers). Instead, I moved to another bedroom. Brave move. Hm. 

All I need to send me over the edge and back to city-living is the appearance of a snake. 

Elaine.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Street Style Sunday - The Dandy Kid

On Monday I went to Bubble London, which is a brilliant kids clothes trade show. Where I saw lots of brands I know and love and many brands new to the market showcasing their wares for the first time. I have neglected kids wear on the blog for a little while and going to Bubble has given me new inspiration to rectify that. More on that to come. 



Whilst there I met the three lovely ladies behind the wonderful a website for all kid's stuff called The Dandy Kid. They source clothes that you won't see on your average high street from some of the coolest brands around the world. Such as the Finnish brands Papu Stories and Metsola they are the only UK stockists thus far. 


My eldest daughter models her stripey Papu Stories tank top from The Dandy Kid.

Papu Stories

Metsola



They still stock many favourites like Individual, Fub, Corby Tindersticks and Hello Apparel, but you'll see many lesser known brands too, which I love to discover. 

Pico Nido

Belle and Boo

They have a brilliant range of toys and accessories for kids too. 

Helen Dardik Nesting Dolls


Ketchup on Everything Coaster


The Dandy Kid have collaborated with me to be able offer you a fantastic giveaway of a £50 voucher which you can spend on anything you like from their online store. 

To enter the giveaway make sure: 
  • You are a UK and republic of Ireland resident. 
  • You must be 16 or over. 
  • You MUST enter the 3 mandatory fields - each worth 1 point. 
  • After completing the mandatory fields you can enter as many times as you like. Every time you get 3 points you get another entry. 
  • The giveaway closes on 17/8/14.
  • Rafflecopter picks a winner at random.
  • I will notify you via email within 3 days from the end date.
  • You have 28 days to acknowledge my notification, after which another winner will be picked.
  • You will get your prize within 14 days of acknowledging your win.
  • Your email address will be shared with The Dandy Kid and no other parties.





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Thursday, 17 July 2014

My 1st ever Morrison's online shopping experience

Morrisons approached me to try out their online service, as they have started delivering in my area - East London. And to be honest I have never ever shopped at Morrison's so I have no preconceptions, but I was a little apprehensive to try them, not sure why, I guess us Brits don't like change so much. The supermarkets on my local high street (5 mins walk away) are Tesco and Co-op, so that's where I shop most often. Sometimes I make a special effort to shop at Waitrose's because they sell the best meat produce out of all my local supermarkets. If I shop online, I use Tesco, but it always takes so bloody long that I just usually end up buying from the shops on my high street most days. Not ideal. So I'll detail my Morrison experience.

To celebrate coming the service coming to London, they sent a giant yellow pepper around


Online shopping:

I'm surprised by how quick and easy the site is to navigate.
The searching and displaying of items is easy, and visually it works well.
Similar items are easily comparable and they work out the price differences for you.
I'm not really that techy so I don't really know why the website works so much quicker/better that my previous online experience - but it does. (Whoever did their website is a genius!).
The only downside is I wanted more organic items to be available, but it's not a biggy.

Delivery:

I opted to have my food delivered the next day. I could edit the shopping list up until 11pm the previous evening as you'd expect.
The delivery charge was £3, you can opt for a time when they are already delivering in your area for a lower charge.
I had a text (and email) to say my delivery will come between 4-5pm as requested and my delivery guy was called Marc. And a list of my substitutions - which I was happy to accept. I have had some very odd substitution suggestions in the past but these were very similar.
Marc was on time and really friendly, he explained everything well and asked if I wanted him to check the fresh produce with me to see if I was happy.
The bags are delivered in colour coded plastic bags to make packing away much easier - and it really did.

Colour coded bags.

Food:

I wasn't about to compare the whole shop but I did compare the 1st three items with my usual online supermarket. I tend to buy big brand items so these are easily comparable;

Green Giant 4 x tinned sweetcorn Morrsions: £2.44 Tesco £2.45
Princes tinned tuna in spring water x 4 Morrisons £3.50 (on offer) Tesco £6.00
Heinz Baked beans x4 Morrsion £2.00 Tesco £2.50

On my receipt it said my total savings were £16.88 I noticed they also suggest cheaper alternatives when online.

The fruit and veg have a rosette rating and that tells you whether it's at it's very best or not. So far all the fruit I've tried has tasted was very good, as it should be. I haven't tried any of the meat yet, so I will cook something soon and let you know how that goes. 


Overall:

I'm struggling to find fault with it. I've been very pleased with how easy to shop online was, and the delivery was spot on, loved the colour coded bags to assist with packing away, the food has all tasted delicious so far. They have definitely gained at least one Morrisons shopper here. 



Have you shopped at Morrisons before? What did you think? Or if they deliver to your area, try shopping online and let me know what you thought. 

Nat x