Saturday, 30 April 2011

{inspiration} the graceful bride

I'm still swooning over the romance of yesterday's wedding and completely smitten with Kate Middleton's bridal look - dreamy, romantic and utterly graceful.

The lace sleeves are beautifully demure: Habitually Chic

Kate's Alexander McQueen dress evoked images of Grace Kelly's timeless bridal gown: Pinterest

Her sister Pippa looked stunning in a complementary Alexander McQueen gown: Habitually Chic

I'm in love with this simple evening dress, particularly the diamante belt: a little obsessed

A very cool get-away for the new husband and wife: Mirror

Friday, 29 April 2011

{Nourish} Eat breakfast like a king

I noticed I was eating breakfast like a king .... in colour anyway. Maybe I've become more carried away with the Royal Wedding than I intended as, tucking into my regular granola and yoghurt topped with blueberries and raspberries, all I saw was the hues of the Union Jack's red, white and blue. 

tinywhitedaisies @ tumblr


Bright Bold and Beautiful

Thursday, 28 April 2011

{Celebrate} A very British tea party

I can't profess to be a royalist but I do love a good wedding and so, much to the distaste of J, I'll be hosting a very British tea party tomorrow morning to celebrate Kate and Wills' nuptials. Treats include:

... elderflower presse as inspired by this is glamorous
... breakfast tea served in china cups and saucers
... pitchers of traditional Pimms
... Earl Grey cupcakes
... jam and cream scones

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

{Mid-week breather} Take in the moment

The sun is shining and I have a free day stretching out in front of me.  I'm grabbing my faithful camera and heading outdoors to get snap-happy .... and breathe in the moments.

Photo: loveisucks @ Pinterest

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

{Take action} Trust

Goal-oriented. Ambitious. Type A. Call it what you will, I'm a driven thirty-something who likes to have a plan and I'm not ashamed to say it.  Without painting too stern a picture, I can (and do!) let my hair down but I'm a girl who, at the very least, likes to have a rough direction. 

Lately though, it seems that I've unintentionally thrown caution to the wind - for as many exciting certainties there are in my life at the moment, there are equally as many unknowns that are impossible to plan for.  I actually don't know what step I should take next.  So, over the long, lazy Easter weekend, I've uncharacteristically opted to go with it and let things unfold in their own sweet time. I trust that the path will become clear ...

Photo: Pinterest

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

{Role model} for today ... Elle Macpherson

I've got a big day ahead so, as I do when it's time to up the ante, I'm visualising myself with the qualities of my chosen role model - today it's Elle Macpherson.  Sadly this doesn't mean I'm going to morph into "the body" but, instead, take some tips from a woman who has brains as well as her infamous beauty.

Famously ditching Ford Models at the height of her modelling career to establish Elle Macpherson Inc, and since diversifying her business into lingerie and skincare, Elle has had the courage to do the unorthodox, to take a few risks and, above all, reflect her own values.

She says: "I stopped accepting regular fashion jobs and geared my business around loyalties and equity.  I realised early on that no other models had created the kind of career that interested me, so I had to walk to my own beat."

And so today I'm putting my best foot forward, to my own beat...

Photo: EverythingFab @ Pinterest
Quote: Unknown

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

{Take action} Time for some R&R...

I think my body maybe winding down as we approach the long weekend.  Or may be it's in protest that I've been burning the candle at both ends of late.  I've decided to listen to the voice telling me loud and clear that I am more than ready for some rest and relaxation, so an early night for me peeps.  Sweet dreams x

Photo: neimanmarcus

Monday, 18 April 2011

{Inspiration} Walt Disney

“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Before the last slice of cake has been eaten, my annual birthday hangover kicks in.  I don't mean the kind that comes from too much wine - this hangover is an 'edgy' feeling I get in the pit of my stomach which forces me to ask myself what I've achieved since the last rendition of 'Happy Birthday'. Does that sound gloomy?  It probably is, though it does kick-start me into action. Forget new year's resolutions - I'm more of a 'I'm a year older, get cracking' kind of girl!

So I'm forcing myself to look back on last year's goals, give them a bit of a dusting down, and refresh the lot for the year to come. And this year I'm dreaming big! Often I start thinking 'I can't' before the ink's dry but I'm taking some tips from Walt Disney who famously said "if you can dream it, you can do it". And after all, the Walt Disney empire was started from "a dream and a mouse".

So here goes..... Do you believe in fairytales?

Photo: Pinterest

Sunday, 17 April 2011

{Romance} Wedding stationery-fest

With less than five months to go, I've started to feel the pressure of the many things that I need to organise for our September wedding - invitations and stationery being the most pressing.  It's nearly time to get those invites out!!!  Here's my research....

My moodboard: our 'midnight romance' colour-scheme, the in-keeping chandeliers at our reception venue, glamorous sapphire and diamond ring, and the icon of art deco romance - New York's Chrysler Building.
I LOVE this art deco stationery suite from Gala Design found at Ruffled Blog

These Charles Reckie Mackintosh-inspired invitations by Laura K Design, also found at Ruffled Blog, ooze glamour

So simple. Stationery by Sugar Paper

I adore the individuality and quirkiness of this 'Ashley' set by Low Country Press

Other photos courtesy of: Pinterest and Layla Grace

Friday, 15 April 2011

{Celebrate} It's my birthday

Today is my birthday and I'm going to celebrate by:
... starting the day with a little 'me time'
... indulging in a delicious cupcake at Sunshine Bakery
... enjoying a little celebratory drink or two with my family
... blowing out too many candles
... making a birthday wish of thanks for the year gone and with hope for the exciting year to come x

Photos: at Pinterest

Thursday, 14 April 2011

{Positive} Let's be happy

Sipping my morning coffee bleary-eyed yesterday, a news item on happiness woke me from my doziness.  Why?  Well this is a subject I find fascinating - the older I've got the more I've realised that happiness doesn't come from things, it comes from people. Trust me, I still lust over Christian Louboutin shoes, over-priced skincare and want to get my mitts on the new ipad, but I can hand-on-heart promise that the times I feel those bubbles of happiness most are when I'm enjoying the company of the special people in my life.

And I'm not the only one.  Action for Happiness was on BBC Breakfast to launch a new mass movement - encouraging happy vigilantes, I guess, to create more happiness by taking positive action to promote that feel-good factor at home, at work and in their community.  The group's website had so many people trying to pledge their support that it collapsed under the weight - and what does that tell you?  That there's a lot of contentment-seekers out there.  Watch out for a hug near you...

Like this?  You may also like: The Happiness Project

Photo: Pinterest

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

{Romance} Take one dress

Searching for inspiration for my own big day, I was browsing Merci New York's blog and was distracted by the post on the Monique Lhuillier Spring 2012 collection.  I fell in love with the 'Aphrodite' dress - no giveaways, there's no hint of the dress I've really chosen - and took a flight of fancy imagining the day that the Aphrodite bride would have.  And here's my round-up:

... art deco inspiration of the finer details of stationery, cake and styling
... a classic 'up do'
... a stylish getaway car
... elegant mini bottles of fizz for guests
... simple flowers and candles

Monique Lhuillier 'Aphrodite' dress at Merci New York

Candles @ Pinterest

Pop @ Pinterest

Wedding car @ Pinterest

Hair styling @ Pinterest

The finer details @ Pinterest

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

{Take action} Go glutes!

I've been given some tough love! Feeling a little demotivated at seeing very little result after months of exercise (and, frankly, whinging about each workout!) I've been told by my lovely fiance Jack to step it up a gear. Can I hand on heart say I've pushed myself?? One of my target areas is my glutes so for the next couple of weeks I'm going to give it some serious welly, and here's my inspiration....

... love the Nike ad. It's not just about slimming down, it's keeping my body fit/strong/vigorous
... weighted lunges
... and squats
... I need some music to keep me going. My current favourite is 'I need a dollar' by Aloe Blacc
... Rachel Bilson is my exercise motivation.  She looks slim without falling into the scrawny/she-doesn't-eat camp

Photos: Pinterest

Monday, 11 April 2011

{Inspiration} Karen Millen

"I believe that you get out of life what you put into it. I was never scared of hard work; nothing falls into your lap."

Now I understand the definition of 'a labour of love'.  I've been fruitlessly searching for the perfect (and budget-friendly) dresses to flatter my gorgeous bridesmaids, Lol, Jane and Rach, since the turn of the year. As I write this I still haven't found 'the one' though my weekend search brought me to Karen Millen and, as I browsed the new collection for inspiration, my curiosity turned to the woman behind the name.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Karen Millen was founded on a loan of £100 which Karen and partner Kevin Stanford used to buy one thousand metres of white cotton.  Though Millen sold the label in 2004, her brand now proudly boasts 84 standalone stores and 46 concessions in the UK alone, and trades in 23 countries across the globe.

Asked about the secret of her success some years ago, she said: "you have such hunger when you're young.  All we lived for was to build the brand and I think we were so convinced in ourselves, and in what we were doing, that we wouldn't let anyone tell us 'no'... We got rejection all the time.  You've got to be pretty tough to deal with that ... and I guess we must have been."

Since quitting the fashion industry, Karen has turned her talents to a "more rewarding" enterprise - working with Hope HIV, which gives fashion skills to young people affected by the disease, and Teens Unite, which aims to improve the lives of young adults who have life-limiting diseases. "I have had time to assess what I've done with my life", she says. "I can think that it's been incredible, but it's nice now to give back."

Source: Northside; Karen Millen 
Photos: UCA

Saturday, 9 April 2011

{My weekend is} ...

... walking the streets of the city in the sun
... buying bright bunches of flowers from the market
... drinks with friends
... sunday morning lie-ins
... breathing in the happy sunshine feeling

Photos: via pinterest

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

{VIP} Birthday wishes

I love birthdays.  And one of my favourite things about birthday celebrations is choosing the card that's just right for that special someone and then forming the perfect message to scribe on the inside - a message brimming full of the proverbial best wishes.  

This week celebrates the birthdays of two of my most cherished people - my beautiful friend Janey today and my little brother, a complete one-off, tomorrow.  Wishing them both the year that they truly deserve - magical. Love you both x x

Photos: Donna Hay

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

{Take action} Remember to say thank you

Did your mum teach you to say thank you? Well, as usual, mum knows best.  I'm currently reading "Creating Your Best Life" by Caroline Adams Miller and the chapter on gratitude captured my attention. The thinking is that the act of saying 'thank you' on a daily basis, for things both great and small, is a major contributor to personal happiness. It's not just an indulgence for people with, seemingly, more time than me, its been scientifically proven - particularly if you write it down. And so, I'm going to give it a try. Watch this space...

To make the exercise even more appealing, I'm going to treat myself to one of these spring fresh journals.

Which is your favourite?

Monday, 4 April 2011

{Inspiration} Minnie Driver

"You either shrink and hide or you throw your shoulders back and charge right in.  I learned that charging felt more comfortable for me."
Photos courtesy of: JFX Online

Sunday, 3 April 2011

{VIP} Happy Mothers Day

There's not enough words to express how much mum has done for 'her babies' and how grateful we all are to her for her love and support.  Happy Mother's Day mum, we love you!! x


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