Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Christmas Presents

I have been soo lucky this year! I have had everything I wanted and more!

My dad surprised me and Has with a new digital SLR camera, it's amazing!  It's a Nikon D5000 and I'm still learning the different setting but even switching everything to automatic, the camera takes great photos.

Say Cheese!

Suzie bought me the best mug ever!  It reads "I ♥ Spreadsheets" after all I am the spreadsheet queen!  She also bought me a pack of "Hen Night Howlers" the first game I read involved a banana, a condom and the players mouth... lets just say we won't be playing most of those on the hen night! Thank you Suzie

Hayley somehow managed to track down my perfume!!  I couldn't believe it!  I will now be able to wear Love by Nina Ricci on my wedding day!  Thank you Hayley!

Paul bought me my gorgeous earrings I wanted for the wedding from Yarwood White

I wore them on Christmas day but now they've been put away, not to be worn until November!

I had loads of other bits and bobs, Has bought me, amongst other things, Stephen Fry in America which I can't wait to watch, a New Moon fleece blanket (because I am secretly 13!) and an amazing book of the top 100 cities in the world!
I had new pajamas, 2 new pairs of slippers and 2 new dressing gowns... I guess when people think of me they think snuggly, cosy and sleepy.  They're not wrong either!

I had a wonderful Christmas, not just because of the great gifts I received but I've loved spending extra time with my friends and family.  This is why I love Christmas so much.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas Table Inspiration The Finale!

After the weeks of preparing, it took about 40 minutes to put the Christmas table together.  It was quite hectic trying to arrange everything before the family arrived but we managed.  Despite my best efforts to be prepared I still forgot a few things, but it all turned out well in the end and we improvised with a few new vases.

Christmas Table Inspiration Part 4

Christmas Eve was super busy, as I'm sure it was for hundreds of other people, but as late as 10.30 I was up decorating the bags for the peppermint sandwich cookies.

Earlier on in the day Hayley helped me "Christmasfy" some boring candle holders and vases ready for the Christmas table.

Just a few mini touches made even the most plain looking candle sparkle with Christmas.
I was up early and managed to get in to Hobbycraft for opening, they had already started to reduce their Christmas range so I picked up a few packs of stickers, ribbon and sparkley baubles.

These were old holders that came with fragrance candles all ready in them, I'd already burnt down most of the candle, so I took those out and put tea lights in them.  They are slightly frosted so they look really pretty with tea lights in them.

Christmas Table Inspiration Part 3

I'd seen a recipe for peppermint cookie sandwiches on Joy the Baker.  The looked amazing and sounded delicious.  I wanted to give my family a little Christmas favour so decided to make these.

Hayley helped me make them on Christmas Eve. You can find the recipe here.

Making cookies is messy business!

After cutting out large circles for the cookies we soon found we didn't have enough cookies to go around, which meant we re-rolled the dough and used a smaller cutter.

Hayley models the peppermint sandwich cookies beautifully!

After mixing, cooking, sandwiching and cooling all that was left was to put them in the bags I had prepared earlier, a la Blue Peter and set them out on the table.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone has a fab Christmas!

Eat, drink, sing, party and be very merry!

Much Love xxx

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Follow Father Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve and we're in the kitchen preparing the turkey, getting ready to make peppermint sandwich cookies and following Father Christmas' progress as he delivers his presents to all the boys and girls!

At the moment he's in the Solomon Islands.

Have a fab Christmas everyone, I hope Father Christmas brings you everything you wished for! x

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Plastic willies and L Plates... No Thanks!

Picture this:
A woman so drunk she can barely stand, dressed head to toe in condoms, pink sashes, L plates, badges and flashing head gear...  sounds classy doesn't she!?  All this would understandably conjure up the image of a bride to be on her hen night, but I can promise you 100% that will not be me!

I refuse to have a hen party like that, I want a short relaxing break away where I won't be horrified and mortally ashamed of myself come Monday morning!  Yes you could say I am boring but I honestly believe I do not need to be covered in plastic willies to have a good hen party.

My Mom, Bridesmaids and I have hummed and harred over different ideas.  I can't and won't expect people to spend a fortune my hen party but I also know a lot of my friends are expecting a weekend away.  My Mom's suggestion as a compromise was 2 nights in London.

Go on the Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday.  If people were struggling for time off work or money then they can always join the party on Saturday morning.
I've looked at few options for accommodation such as hotels and apartments but ideally I need to know how many people would be able to join us to start getting an idea on prices.

I've looked at a few things for us to do, like hiring a private pod on the London Eye, or having afternoon tea at Bea's of Bloomsbury at cute shop where we can have afternoon tea.  Very elegant!  I also know there is a Absolt Vodka Ice Bar, where the whole bar is made from ice and you have to wear huge thermal capes to keep you warm!

Obviously the Hen Weekend is going to cost some pennies so I need to warn people early enough so they can budget for it.  I am totally aware that some people will find it difficult to afford the weekend and will 100% understand if they can't come.  Hopefully I'll have a little shindig at home that won't cost anyone anything... Hayley believes this is going to be the L plate and willy party... we'll see!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

...Who is the fairest of them all!

I know I still have a little while to go but for a while now I've upped the ante on my skin care regime.  I don't think it's something that can change over night, although I have seen an improvement quite quickly, I think for wonderful gleaming skin it needs to be a long term commitment.

To start with I've been drinking a lot more water to hydrate my skin.  I find now that I can feel quite dry if I do not drink enough.

My night time skin care routine used to consist of quickly wiping my face with a make up remover wipe and exfoliating when I thought about it.  My skin was never bad, but it wasn't great either.

I've started by wearing a lot less make up.  I used to wear foundation every day, now I dot my face with powder and only wear foundation if I'm going out.

Also every night without fail, no matter how tired or drunk I always complete the following to take off my make up.

I lightly rub Nivea Visage eye make up remover across my eye lids and lashes to remove my mascara and eye make up, I'm completely paranoid by eye wrinkles so I never rub too hard!
I then cleanse my face with Simple Purifying Cleaner.
Then to finish I use Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Toner.

Once all my make up has been removed I then lightly dab Garnier Ultra Lift eye cream around my eyes.  I'm very conscious of eye wrinkles!  Since I was about 21 I have religiously applied eye cream every night.
I then moisturise with Olay Beauty Fluid.

Once a week I use Clinique Exfoliating Scrub, it leaves my skin feeling really smooth and clean.  I love it!

My morning routine is a little simpler.  I use Clinique All About Eyes Rich as it really moisturises the skin around my eyes and makes a great base for eye make up.  I then moisturise with Clinique Dramtically Different Moisturing Gel.  If my skin feels a little oily then I use a small amount of The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream as recommended by my friend and beautician Harriet!

Since ditching the face wipes and committing to this routine I've noticed a huge improvement in my skin, I rarely get break outs and my skin looks fresher.  Closer to the wedding I may invest in a few professional facials, not just as a way to make my skin glow but I feel I deserve a little pampering...

Christmas Films - Updated

I made my "Christmas Films to watch" list back in November. So far I've been able to see...

Home Alone, We watched this on Saturday night when our friends came round to play games. The scene were Kevin puts the spider on Marv's face has me in hysterics every time! It's making me laugh just thinking about it!

Scrooged, We watched this the day we put up our Christmas tree - a festive film to kick start the season!

Father Christmas, I actually watched this back in November, I asked Has to buy it for me and watched it as soon as it arrived in the post! I'd forgotten Father Christmas was an alcoholic!

Elf, this was on TV not so long ago so I snuggled up in bed to watch it!

Miracle On 34th Street, this was on TV too, I half watched it and half listened to the chart countdown last night to find out who was Christmas Number 1

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, I've seen this twice in the last few weeks! We watched it on DVD then it was on TV yesterday, it's such a fab film so so funny!

The Nightmare Before Christmas, again this was on TV yesterday, I literally stayed in bed all day yesterday, switching the channels to find another film once one had finish!

There are still a few more I HAVE to watch before Christmas, although I'm not sure when I'm going to get round to it! We are suppose to be seeing the new Christmas Carol film by Disney at the IMAX tomorrow which I'm looking forward to, but I'd love to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol and It's A Wonderful Life over the next few days.

It's a Wonderful Life

"Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."

Snowflake Gift Tags

I'm not entirely sure where the idea came from but I decided I would make wooden snowflake decorations for people this year.

I bought 9 wooden snowflakes from eBay and made a hole big enough so I'd be able to push ribbon through later.

I then painted both sides with white acrylic paint. I did add blue glitter to the paint but it didn't work out so well. The paint just coated the glitter so I didn't really get the effect I was going for.

I left them for a few days to dry. If I did this project again I would definitely hang the snowflakes up to dry instead of lying them flat. When I came to paint the other side bits had dried on the opposite side in lumps, so it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked.

Once they were dry I wrote the names on and poked the ribbon (also from eBay) through the hole.

I'm really pleased with the way they have come out. I shall be giving them out on presents but hopefully they will get put up on Christmas trees too!

Bambification Complete!

I have never worn fake eyelashes before, but after a recommendation from my hairdresser I went and bought a pair.  It's not that my eyelashes are short they just never stayed curled and are quite fair towards the tip so it makes them look shorter.  Since I am engaged to a man with eyelashes that rival Bambi I have a little eyelash envy!

I actually bought the false eyelashes a few months ago but could never get the hang of putting them on, but as they say practise makes perfect!

Eye before Bambification

After, flutter-tastic!

What do you think?

I'm going to give them a whirl New Year's Eve to see how I get on with them!

P.S I told you I was an amateur eyelash attacher - It's just been pointed out I have the wrong eyelash on the wrong eye!  Oops!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Purple Pot

I picked this up from Homebase the other week when I was in search of silver decorations for our Christmas table

I'm thinking of filling it with sweets and putting it on the candy table.  It will be nice because I can use it in our house after the wedding too.

I wont do what you tell me

For the first time since 1998 I listened to the Christmas chart countdown, why you ask?  Because for the first time the XFactor winner (Joe Mcelderry) was challenged to the number 1 spot by Rage Against the Machine!

For the last few years the Christmas Number 1 spot has automatically gone to the XFactor winner however this year the "people" decided enough was enough and Facebook and Twitter campaigns were started to get Rage's "Killing in the Name" to Christmas Number 1.  This has been huge, everyone has been talking about it.
I didn't jump on the bandwagon straight away, I was just glad Joe wasn't singing Journey's hit!  That was until I read this.  It annoys me how some people assume that because Joe won the XFactor that he is entitled to the Christmas number 1 spot.  Well Joe and Simon Cowell are now well and truely eating their words because by the power of social media Rage Against the Macine took the number 1 spot selling 500,000 downloads of "Killing in the Name"

During the run up to the countdown Rage Against the Machine promised to do a free gig in the UK if they reached number 1 and they have also donated the earnings to a homeless charity Shelter

Even though I'm not Radio 1's biggest fan it was well worth listening to the chart just to hear Zac from Rage say "We would like to congratulate Joe and Simon for having the number two single in the charts"  ouch!

This has made my weekend!

Thursday Night was Ace!

Thursday night I went to London with Has and Tom to see this man...

any idea who it is?  I'll give you a clue.  He used to look like this

Yup it's Ace Frehley.  He used to play guitar for Kiss before going solo.

He was amazing and we had a fabulous evening

Unfortunately, heavy snow was forcast for Thursday and when we left home it had already started to come down. 

Usually I love snow and get squealy when it starts to fall, but when we had to drive the 2 hours to London it was actually a little worrying! 
We got to London ok but the drive back was quite bad.  When we left around 11.30pm it had already been snowing for a while.  The roads on the way out of London were treacherous, all cars were finding it difficult to drive and we barely got above 30 mph.  It took us about 3 hours to get home, I seriously had visions of us having to sleep on the side of the road!  It seems quite a few people had to do this so we were quite lucky we actually made it home!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Friday's Photo

In honour of yesterday's snow, Suzie presents this Fridays gorgeous photo!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Wedding Weight Loss

I'm bad, very bad!

I didn't go again.  I have not been listening to my own advice and haven't been having a hot honey and lemon every morning which has resulted with me catching another horrid cold!

So last night I went straight home and went to bed with a hot water bottle!

*cough, sneeze, sniff*

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wedding Philosophy

I found an interesting post today at Elizabeth Anne Designs asking what is your wedding philosophy.

This lady talks some sense!  Everything she says I agree with wholeheartedly!

1) Your wedding is about you and your partner.

I think sometimes it's easy to lose sight of this.  The guest list is hard and I know a few people are a little upset because we can't invite them to the whole day, especially distant family members. Has and I have substituted family members we rarely see for friends we see most weeks.  It keeps us happy and we'd much rather have people who are close to us over people we don't really know too well just because they are blood related.  Obviously we don't want to cause upset to anyone but it is our day.

2) Your wedding is about your guests. They should be comfortable. They should have fun. Presumably, those who attend are also those you love the most in the world - show them how much you love them and appreciate the fact that they are joining you on your special day.

On my side I'm the first one to get married and on Has' side he's the last of 3 sons to tie the knot.  This wedding is so much more than just Has and I.  Our families and friends are so excited and are all dying to help out where they can.  As I have set myself huge DIY challenges most of my family and friends have offered to help.  I know it's not an empty promise they want to be involved.  One of the most important things for Has and I is for our guests to have fun and enjoy our wedding as much as we will.

3) Sometimes less is more. We’ve all seen the wedding where everything down to the dance floor and drink koozies was monogrammed. Incorporate your “theme” or your motif in ways that engage, but don’t overwhelm.

This is something I have been worrying about a lot lately.  I want to go with the NY, purple and pearl themes but I don't want it to look "over done".  I think at some point in the New Year I'm going to have to sit down and think about the theme and whether it's getting to be too much.

An Empire State Building wedding cake would be too much right? ...!

4) Sometimes more is more. I love boxed invitations, donut machines, chandeliers, low and lush centerpieces, lounge areas, gospel choirs, and salsa instructors (just not all in the same wedding, see principle #3!). There is nothing wrong with a bit of a decadent splash.

I think paying attention to those little details is important.  Even small things can make a huge difference.  There are a number of things I've been thinking about and should the budget allow we may splash out on a few extras.  In the mean time I'll be putting all my efforts into making chalkboard menus, favour boxes and invitations!

from here

5) I believe that the best weddings are the ones that will stand the test of time.

Of course there will be a few elements to our wedding that we will look back on and laugh "Look at that hair style!" or "What is she wearing!"  but over all I'd love to create a clean image that I will still be in love with 20 years on.

I'm now rethinking my dress...!

To read the rest of the post at Elizabeth Anne Designs visit her blog

Custom Made Kisses!

Someone sent me a Hershey's Kiss!

Milk chocolate New York cheesecake flavour in purple foil... couldn't get any more perfect!

Thanks Hayley!

My Kind of Wedding!

I found this wedding whilst mooching and two things immediately caught my eye.  Purple and snow!

Look at those shoes! Amazing!

For photos like these I'd actually wish for snow!

It's funny how similar this wedding is to some of the ideas I have!  Love it!

Photos from here and here

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas Table Inspiration Part 2

What do you think?
Had a quick play around tonight with the things I had.  On the day I'll have white table cloths and silver crackers.  Also I'm not sure whether the plates will be set ready on the table.

My little Christmas tree candles are from Laura Ashley

I intend to write and attach name tags on to the baubles in the wine glasses and also place either a white or silver table runner down the middle.

I'm also giving peppermint sandwich cookies in little white bags as Christmas favours.  As soon as all the bits and pieces arrive from eBay I'll be starting that project.

Because the table will have to accommodate 15 people I don't want there to be an obvious centre decoration.  I don't want things to look too symetrical.  I'll be getting more candles over the next couple of days but so far I'm really pleased with the way it looks.

What do you think?

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