Sunday, 28 February 2010

Chalkboard Heart Placecards Part 3

I pretty much live in Hobby Craft at the moment, I went on Saturday and picked up a few bits and bobs.  One thing I did buy was chalk paint pens.  They're the pens that restaurants use to write on their chalkboards.  I was worried about using chalk for the place cards in case the names rubbed off.

Unfortunately the only picture I have was taken on a phone so the quality is a little naff, but you get the idea.

I want to give the hearts another coat of the chalkboard paint, so this was just a trial.  I can't wait to see the finished piece!  It's been so fun to do and it's great to know that such a quick, easy and cheap project will add so much to our tables!

You can read about this project here, here and here

Friday, 26 February 2010

Friday's Photo

A series of pictures from an engagement shoot by Daniel Kiyoi featuring water balloons!

The photos are amazing!  I'd love to be able to do something as fun as this for our shoot.

Such a fun idea!

The water in this photo is amazing!  Daniel did an great job capturing this


Before I knew...

I love asking Has question about how he planned to propose, maybe it's because I'm a details person or just because I'm nosey but I seriously can not get enough of these stories.

From very early on in our relationship we had spoken about marriage and I'd always said I wanted Has to ask my parents for their permission.  It wasn't because we needed their approval, but it's one of the old fashioned traditions I really loved.  I also think my Dad would have been disappointed if he hadn't have been asked.  My parents knew that I wanted Has to ask them, and would often joke with Has how they would only agree if Has was wearing an Aston Villa Football shirt.  Has is an avid Birmingham City supporter.  (If you don't know about football, these teams are serious rivals!)  It's a good job Has and my parents get on so well else there may not have been a proposal!

Me and Has with my parents

He told me he remembers the exact moment he knew he wanted to propose.  Early July 2008 he went to see Morrissey with his brother, he told his brother, Taz, there that he was planning on doing it.  Later that month
my cousin got married. Whilst I was preoccupied helping Alison get ready, Has took my parents aside and said something along the lines of "I'm not wearing a Villa shirt, but....!"  Obviously my parents were shocked and over joyed!  I seriously do not know how they kept it a secret for 2 months!

My Mom and Has had figured out that my ring finger was the same size as my Mom's little finger.  Without my knowledge she had to go to a jewellers to get it measured and relay that information to Has!  Sneaky!  Has knew the type of styles I liked for an engagement ring but I have to say he did such an amazing job picking out my ring.  I couldn't be happier with it.

My "Oh I'm just posing, what's that you ask?  Just my ROCK!" pose

The day before we were due to fly to Las Vegas, we had to drive down to Heathrow as our flight left very early morning.  Before setting out on the journey we decided it would be a good idea to grab something to eat so I popped out to MacDonald's to pick us up some fast food.  Little did I know Has was showing my Mom the ring and making sure it fit her little finger!

I could listen to these tales again and again, I love knowing the details and how (practically) everyone knew and was in on the surprise before I was!
The day we got to Las Vegas I rang my parents to say we had arrived safely and rambled on about how gorgeous and hot it was... meanwhile 5235 miles away my parents and brother were huddled around the phone expecting me to shout "We're engaged!"   I saved that for 5am the next morning!

It was such an important few months in the run up to one of the most significant moments of my life and I almost resent not being part of it (My control freak side coming out!)  Saying that I'm glad it came as a surprise, and I wouldn't change a single part of it for anything.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Bride and Groom Cupcakes

As we're not having a traditional wedding cake we don't really think the traditional bride and groom statue on top of the cake will look right.  Saying that I still want the cupcake tower to look like a wedding cake, I want our guests to instantly recognise that as our cake and not just dessert!  We're having white icing and keeping the purple sprinkles subtle, so hopefully this will help, but I've been thinking of having bride and groom cupcakes.

I've seen quite a few of these around and think they look really cute.  I'm not 100% sure on what to have yet but I love these ideas.

Top Left: Super cute pirate and ballerina toppers the bride found at a local knick knack store.  This is such a sweet idea but I'm not really sure of what I would have on my cupcake?

Top Right: Sugar icing circles with the bride and groom's initials.  I really like this idea and may go with something in between this and the bottom right photo.  I'd love the idea of having a purple sugar heart with our initials either iced or embossed on to it.

The bride and groom toppers in the bottom left photo are traditional with a twist.  I love these but have no idea where to get hold of them?!

Not only will this help people identify the tower as the wedding cake, I think it will ensure Has and I actually get a cupcake!  I have visions of them all being gobbled up before we get chance to enjoy one.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Engagement Shoot

As part of our photography package with Deborah Stott we have an engagement shoot.  It's so Deborah can get to know us better and us her.  It's also to allow Has and I to feel more comfortable posing for the camera so we don't end up with awkward wedding day photos.

Quite a lot of photographers are now including this in the wedding day package and it was something that we really wanted to do.  Neither of us feel 100% comfortable in front of the camera, so it will be a nice way for us to relax into being the centre of attention before the big day.

When we first spoke to Deborah she told us it was completely our decision.  Some couples choose to have their shoot at their venue and others pick a place that means a lot to them.
It would be nice to have it at Nailcote Hall, we could have a good wander around the grounds, they have quite a famous golf course, although I'm not sure how many photos we'd get away with before an angry golfer told us off!  It would be ideal as Deborah could become familiar with our venue and the grounds before the wedding.  On the other hand, we'll have plenty of photos of us at Nailcote from the wedding day, so I've been trying to think of an alternate place.  Other than flying us all out to New York for the weekend I can't really think of another place that is special to us both.

I'm not entirely sure when or where our shoot will take place.   I would like our shoot to be towards the end of the summer, early autumn.  Our wedding day will be cold, so it would be nice if the engagement photographs looked a little warmer, plus I don't really want to be wearing a coat, hopefully I'll be wearing a cute summer dress and cardigan!  (Although these photos in the snow are so cute!)

Should we take props?
Some of the engagement shoots I've seen floating around blog land have the couples posing with a few props, such as balloons, picnics, old record players and food, like cupcakes!  I think this will probably depend on where we end up having the shoot, but I think it would be nice for us to take a few things along, I think props can help relax you into the photo shoot.  That was definitely true for me when I had photos taken for Suzie's hen party.  It was much easier to fool around with a sword or telescope than have to think about what to do.

More and more engagement shoots are cropping up in my Google Reader and I keep saving them so I'll have plenty of inspiration for when it's our turn.

In fact I'm going to admit to being really cheesy... Has and I have a large mirror above our dresser.  It's where I spend most of the evening, crafting or blogging, so whenever Has comes over to give me a cuddle or a kiss I look up in the mirror at our reflection and say "That would make a cute engagement shoot pose!"

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Magnolia Bakery

Made famous by Sex and the City, Magnolia Bakery has opened up a new stand in Grand Central Station.  When ever we've been to New York we always say we'll go to one of the stores but as of yet we still have not tried one of these famous little cupcakes!

from here, here and here

Seeing as we're usually based around Grand Central Station and tend to hop on and hop off the subway stop there we shall have no excuse not to drop in for a few cupcakes on our honeymoon!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Saturday 20th February

Breakfast before hair and make up (!) and helping Suzie into her dress

Don't we look nervous!


The happy, happy couple!

One of my favourite photos of the day

Cutting the cake

A beautiful day and look we survived... just!

Tough Job

My bridesmaids bouquet

I can't believe how drained I feel after this weekend.  I suppose it's the first time I've been able to relax for a few days and now it's hit me.  I still feel really emotional.  Has had filmed parts of the wedding day for Suzie and Rob and watching that back made me cry.  I was concentrating so hard on not crying and being strong and supportive to Suzie that I think it's all coming out now.

When the evening guests arrived on Saturday, my parents asked me if I had been on the Red Bull because I was so hyper!  The truth is the last couple of hours I had been so intense that I hadn't been able to relax.  I didn't even realise this until yesterday when all my emotions tumbled out.

I don't think I really appreciated the work of a bridesmaid before Saturday.  Of course I knew my role was to help and support the bride as much as possible in the run up and on the day itself (Suzie was a kind bride and took her dress off to go to the bathroom so we avoided the dress above the head to pee situation!) but emotionally being a bridesmaid is tough!

If I feel like this, I wonder how Suzie must be feeling?  I'm sure she is still in her blissful newly-wed bubble getting ready to go on honeymoon with her new husband.  One of our married friends told us that when she relaxed on her honeymoon she cried for 3 days purely because all of the stress and emotions were finally being allowed out!  I don't think I realised how much emotional pressure a wedding can put on people!

Being a bridesmaid before my own wedding has definitely made me look at my own bridesmaids in a different light.  Of course I know they will do their very bests to be there for me, and help me organise the wedding but now I know how emotionally involved they will be.

I've had so much fun being Suzie's bridesmaid, planning, organising and scheming! I just hope she will enjoying being my bridesmaid as much as I have enjoyed being hers.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Suzie and Rob's Wedding.

I can't believe it's over!  After 18 months of helping Suzie plan her wedding, the day has been and gone and now my best friend is a wife!

I had the most amazing time with Suzie being by her side as she's organised her wedding day.  It's been so much fun sharing ideas and suggestions for each others weddings.  The last few days have been nothing like I expected them to be like.  I've never been a "grown up" bridesmaid (3 times before all under the age of 7) so I really didn't know what to expect.  We were all completely calm right up until the end, we could all barely believe that the day had actually arrived!

On Friday Suzie, Beth and I set up all we could in the main ceremony room at he hotel and practised walking down the aisle about 20 (!) times before going back to our room to sup on bucks fizz and nibble on some room service.

We were all so calm.  We kept commenting on the fact that it didn't feel real and we expected a lot more freaking out from Suzie but she was as cool as a cucumber!  I'm so proud of her.  She was the most beautiful bride I've ever seen.  Even on the morning of the wedding Suzie was a star.  So calm.  She was glowing, her big beaming smile never once left her face.

There was a moment in our room minutes before we were called to say they were ready, when it all got a little too much.  All of us were shaking, trying to take deep breaths and doing our best not to cry.  To lighten the situation we danced around the room to David Bowie, played eye spy and joked how Suzie's underwear had a mind of it's own...  I'll never forget those last few precious moments with Suzie as a Miss.  I can not tell you how incredibly honoured I feel to have been with Suzie in those last few special minutes.

Once they were ready for us, we walked downstairs.  Well, Beth and I walked! Suzie practically ran! We met her Father at the top of the stairs and as he took her arm he looked at her with so much love and pride I found it difficult to hold it together.  When it was time to walk down the aisle all of the planning and timing we had worked on the day before was forgotten.  We ended up walking quite fast down the aisle but it really didn't matter.
All morning we had been holding back our emotions to be supportive and strong for Suzie, but when I saw her walk down the aisle with her father I couldn't hold it any longer.  She looked so gorgeous and happy, I don't think there was anyone who didn't shed a tear.

The ceremony was so beautiful, smiles never left their faces.  Suzie had asked me to witness their wedding, I was so caught up in the moment that when the registrar asked for the witnesses to step forward I wasn't prepared.  I had to quickly pass mine and Suzie's bouquets to Beth so I could stand to witness their vows.

I am ecstatically happy for the new Mr and Mrs.  I want to thank them both so much for allowing me to be a part of their special day.  Love you both millions! xxx

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Happy Wedding Day Suzie and Rob

Right about now we should be walking down the aisle and Suzie is about to become a wife!

Happy Wedding Day Suzie and Rob, I hope it's everything you've ever dreamed of.

All my love always


Friday, 19 February 2010

Friday's Photo

Friday's Photo with a twist!

As it's Suzie's wedding tomorrow here's a sneak peak at the professional photographs taken on her hen night.  So much fun!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Scrubbed and Ready!

So tonight I've put myself through a rigorous pampering evening in preparation for Suzie's wedding on Saturday, Oh it's a hard life!

I've scrubbed, polished, moisturised and plucked and I'm the smoothest I've ever been!  I've also been practising walking in my bridesmaid shoes.  All is well apart from a little sore patch where my toes peak through peep toe. I've stuffed socks in the shoes to see if they stretch a little and I've also packed blister plasters.  It pays to be organised!

Sneak peak of my shoes!

It's snowing here at the moment which has caused Birmingham International Airport to cancel it's flights.  Some of Suzie's family have had their flights delayed which is a major pain but there's still time for them to get here as long as it stops snowing!

Tomorrow morning I shall be picking Suzie up bright and early, running a few last minute errands then checking in the hotel hopefully for a relaxing and calm afternoon... famous last words?

Cupcake class is in session!

The very lovely and very talented Sarah at Blue Door Bakery is opening her kitchen doors for cupcake decorating classes!

I love baking cupcakes but even more than that I love decorating them! As soon as Suzie is back from her honeymoon I intend to grab a date in Sarah’s diary and meet up to learn all about sprinkles and swirls. Too exciting!

Who knows maybe one day I'll be able to create amazing cupcakes like this?!

Wedding Dreams

Last night I had a wedding nightmare!  I haven't dreamt about the wedding in a long time but last night I dreamt I visited a new hairdressers and told her I wanted a trim.

I ended up with hair to my chin and completely shaved at the back.  It wasn't styled nicely and it was all different lengths.

I was actually panicking in my sleep.  I had to wake myself up and tell myself it was only a dream,  it took me a long time before I calmed down.

I'm sure this is a sign of things to come and I'm also sure this won't be the worst thing I dream about but boy did it shake me up!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Honolulu here we come!

The weak dollar has put a stop to our honeymoon flight shopping spree* but it hasn’t stopped me thinking about what we’ll be doing once we get there!

As well as Dallas our other 100% booked destination is Honolulu. It was touch and go as to whether we’d make it to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu for various reasons but we finally booked our flights from San Francisco a few weeks ago. By far the highlight of the honeymoon planning, I danced around the room singing “Oh we’re going to Oahu” in the style of the annoying Venga Boys “Ibiza” tune.

Hawaii and Alaska have always been two states I have always wanted to visit. When we first started planning our honeymoon New York, Alaska and Hawaii were the first ones mentioned.

I’d love to go back to Hawaii at some point in the future and visit the less touristy islands of Hawaii like Maui, Kauai and Lanai but for now I’m more than happy with Oahu. I think it will be a lovely introduction to Hawaii.

On of the first things I decided we should do was snorkel in Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. A protected marine cove formed within a volcanic crater. We will be able to snorkel with the Green Sea Turtle! The area is protected and guests are not allowed by law to touch or interfere with the marine animals or the coral. Funnily enough Has’ parents visited Hanauma Bay on their trip to Oahu some years ago! I think it will be such an amazing experience.

from here

Another thing to do which was high on my list was hiking Diamond Head. Part of the complex cones and peaks of the Honolulu Volcanic Series which makes up most of Oahu’s well known landmarks including Hanauma Bay. I’ve read quite a lot about the hike and most people suggest starting out quite early in the day to avoid the climb in midday heat. It has been said the hike is hard work but achievable and well worth it for the panoramic views of Honolulu.

I’ve always been interested in geology, especially volcanoes so to actually climb one has always been a goal of mine.

from here

One of the things Has wants to do is a movie tour. I’ve mentioned it before but Has is a huge film buff! Scenes from his favourite film, Jurassic Park, were filmed on Oahu as were parts of Lost, Mighty Joe Young and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

We also want to visit Pearl Harbour, the site of the attack that brought the USA into World War II. The battleship USS Arizona sits on the ocean floor and is visible due to the clear shallow waters. Part of the tour of Pearl Harbour allows you to take a boat to a floating platform directly over the USS Arizona. I shall imagine it will be a very interesting tour.

There are loads of other things we'd love to do whilst we're in Oahu, but we also want to have time to relax and chill out on the World famous Waikiki Beach!  I don't think we'll plan to do too much in Honolulu we'll leave it quite open whilst still having a little plan so we make sure we do everything we want to do.  Perfect... hopefully!

* We usually buy our flights direct with the airline or with in dollars.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Happy Pancake Day!

Have you had pancakes today?

We did and it also sparked the question, what do you have on your pancakes?  Growing up I would always have sugar, jam or nutella.  Where as Has would have lemon and or sugar.  What do you have?

Central Park Wedding

Sometimes I'd love to be greedy and have more than one wedding day, obviously I'd always be marrying Has but if I could have another wedding day I would love it to be small and intimate and in Central Park after a snow storm!

Doesn't Central Park look stunning  covered in a blanket of snow?

I love how the little red details really stand out against the white snow and the neutral colours of the Park

Gorgeous, yes?  For more pictures and details about this stunning wedding visit 100 Layer Cake

Monday, 15 February 2010

Table Names

From very early on we knew we wanted to name our tables after places in New York.  We also thought it would be fun (and hopefully not too narcissistic!) to have a framed photo of the two of us taken at that landmark.

I have 6 x 4 silver photo frames for each table and have taken photographs we have from our trips to New York and have turned them into black and white prints using Photoshop.

What do you think?

Broadway, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Gardens, Rockefeller Center and Times Square.

Career's by colour?

I've just taken the “Color Career Counselor" quiz, which has to be said is pretty accurate!

These were my results

Best Occupational Category
You're a CREATOR
Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer.

Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature.

Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries.

2nd Best Occupational Category
Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

Sums me up pretty well!

Spreadsheet Heaven

For a spreadsheet geek like me the news that Style Me Pretty and Google have created new Google Docs Wedding Templates is rather exciting!

I'm a list girl, I like things organised and feel I can't really do a good job unless I have lists to help me, so the new templates are ideal for people like me.  I'm using one at the moment which allows people to update their address and contact details which I'm sure will make it easier for us to send out our invitations.

There are loads to choose from including templates for budgeting, guest list, table plans and timings on the day.  So if you're in need of some organisation help, check them out!

Chalkboard Heart Placecards Part 2

I finally got round to spraying the backs of the hearts this weekend.  I will definitely need to go over them again but I am happy to report they look fab!

I can't believe such an easy project has turned out so well!  I've also decided I might paint on each guest's name instead of using chalk.  I'm worried the chalk may be wiped off when the staff are setting up the tables!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Anyone for a Valentine's Biscuit?

I used my new fantastic shape cutters from Lakeland to make these sweet treats.

The recipe I followed was pretty easy.  It made around 20 large cookies

8oz Caster Sugar
8oz Butter
16oz Plain Flour
2 Eggs

Mix the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then beat in the 2 eggs.  Slowly sift in the plain flour and mix well.  Then wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough and cut out your shapes.  The cutters I had came with stencils, so I was able to mark a smaller heart in the dough.

Place on a greased baking tray and put in the oven for 10 minutes.

To decorate I used
4oz butter
6oz icing sugar
1/2 tea spoon of vanilla essence.  (I actually decided to add this when I found my icing tasted too buttery.  It was a happy find because so far everyone has commented on how delicious the icing is.)

I rolled out the icing making sure the board and rolling pin was dusted in icing sugar and cut out smaller hearts.

To make sure the icing hearts stuck to the cookie I used water and icing sugar to act as the glue

Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve to your sweet heart!


Be My Valentine?

This was my card to Has this Valentine's Day

(Yes that does say "lub" because I'm a big softy, you should read what's in the card!)

Really, really simple to make.

I used red translucent paper from Hobby Craft and turn over the edge by about an inch.  I drew half a heart shape three times using a stencil I had created with a thick piece of card.  This was so I knew my hearts would be the same size.

I then cut then out.

Using red thread I sewed the two hearts together down the middle.

I then stuck the bottom heart to the card and folded the top heart together so it stands out

And there you have it!  One cute Valentine's card!

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