My Week #18 – Hen Parties and Country Living

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*My uni friend Nich’s hen party. *The cottage we stayed in for it.

*Into the woods! *Topher and I posing for a rare selfie.

*Exeter Cathedral *Topher and his half sister – yes she is tugging his beard. Emma and I told her to!

*Emma and I at a museum in Exeter *Back home with Pickles

So I’m back from the West Country. It’s been a busy couple of weeks but I’ve had fun and had lots of food. The scales were not happy to see me at all when I returned!

First off the hen party. Now I haven’t been to many hen parties in my time but I have to say that hands down this was the best one I’ve ever been to. The usual image of hen parties in this country always used to strike up the same image of women completely off their faces stumbling around the city waving various forms of penis related paraphernalia. Not my idea of a good night out.

But from the beginning you could see this one was different. With just over 20 of us staying in 2 semi detached cottages somewhere near Buxton, there were plenty of laughs, games and food & drink. The chief bridesmaid (the bride’s sister) had organised everything with help from the other bridesmaids and the mother of the bride from the accommodation and food, right down to all the fun games we played. The highlight was a scavenger hunt in the nearby village where we all wore 1920s outfits.

After that weekend, it was time to pack my bags again and head down to Devon with Topher and Emma to visit their grandparents and for me to meet their dad and half sister. I’ll do a full post on the holiday next week but I’ll just throw in that I’m so proud I only put on 1 and a half pounds that week. Especially with all the tasty food I ate!

As much as I enjoy holidays, I always look forward to coming home. Especially since we got the cats. I really missed Pickles and Luna and it was so great to get them back in the house with us. Anyway, it’s back to work and back to life. Have a great weekend!

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Linkorama #6

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these but I’m reviving them. For those unaware, it’s pretty much just a post full of pretty pictures and links I’ve come across while perusing the internet. I enjoy reading other people’s versions of these so hopefully you will too!

I love this Piñata Pin. The colours are so bright and happy. Very tempted to jump on the pin collecting bandwagon!

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Source

Kaylah’s cat, Professor is just too adorable and funny for his own good! His faces are hilarious. Check out his hashtag #fessermakesfaces on Instagram.

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Source

I love this quote. It’s totally true that success isn’t always down to starting early and looking like everyone else. And I have to ask, who ever is certain about everything? We all get unsure of ourselves sometimes. The key is just to start. I’m not sure where the source for this photo is as there was a dead end from Pinterest but if it’s your image please let me know and I can credit you!

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Source unknown

I’m in love with these tights! No idea where on earth I would be able to get them but I think they have reignited my funky tights passion.

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Source

And in other news:

A Day In The Life Of An Inspirational Stock Photo Woman – Buzzfeed

This really made me laugh. Why are stock photos with people in them always so weird?

Artist Leaves Dress In The Dead Sea For 2 Years And It Turns Into Glittering Salt Crystal Masterpiece – BoredPanda

Having been to the Dead Sea often since I was a child, I know all about how much salt is in there (don’t shave your legs before going in!) but this is truly amazing.

How I Use My Bullet Journal To Set [And Achieve] 90 Day Goals – Sublime Reflection

This seems like a great way to get goals accomplished. Any excuse to use my bullet journal and make a list.

The 22 Most Over-The-Top Desserts in America

These desserts are insane! Though I really regret looking at these while hungry. Never look at food articles while hungry! There’s definitely a couple of these that I plan on sampling while we’re over in the USA on our honeymoon. I can just taste the diabetes already!

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Wedding Dress Shopping Tips for Introverts

Wedding Dress Shopping Tips for Introverts

I’ll be honest and admit that at first I found the concept of wedding dress shopping to be a bit daunting. Being faced with hundreds of dresses to choose from, then stripping down to your underwear in front of a complete stranger and showing each dress to your mum and bridesmaids. On top of all that, what if you didn’t find the one? What if you never did and just had to make do with something that was just ok.

Well, all my fears were for nothing. I took a day to visit three bridal shops and have afternoon tea in between and it was nothing short of amazing. I had a great time shopping for a wedding dress.

A few years ago I would have been far too self conscious to be in front of a stranger in just my underwear but I was completely fine. You just have to think that this is their job and they’ve seen it all before. And after strict instruction to my bridesmaids not to cry again (they did when I tried one on at a fair), I felt a lot more at ease during the catwalk portion of the day. It was really fun actually and I think I’m pretty close to finding the one already so that’s a big weight off my mind.

Though I am a newbie at this, here are my 5 tips for wedding dress shopping – especially if you’re a bit of an introvert like me.

1. Try one on beforehand

I did at a wedding fair with just my two bridesmaids and got the whole “bridesmaids crying” sequence out of the way early. It definitely helped that even though I knew the dress wasn’t the one for me before I tried it on, that I did anyway just for the experience. It made doing it all again in front of both them and my mum a lot easier.

2. Make a day of it

Sometimes it’s better to just get a load of shops out of the way instead of dragging out the whole process. I booked 2 boutiques and we also visited a warehouse type so I could get some variation in. And we had an afternoon tea in between to break up the day. Girl’s gotta eat! Not only did it get a lot of the activity out of the way, but it turned into a lovely day that I got to spend with Emma, Claire and my mum.

3. Wear nude/skin tone underwear

This is something that all boutiques tend to recommend anyway. It just makes things easier and you don’t have to worry about trying to ignore a bright bra sticking out at the back of your dress. They also recommend that you wear a strapless bra. Even though I didn’t want a strapless dress, I still wore one but I paired it with clear straps to get the same effect but get a bit more support. Since I’m a bit gifted in the boob department, there’s no way I could do a strapless bra all day so I got the best of both worlds.

4. Strike up a conversation with the person helping you try on the dress

Before getting in the changing room, start chatting with them and you can make the conversation last all the way through getting dressed. That made me feel a lot more at ease. We were chattering away so it kept me distracted. Obvious conversation starters include your proposal story, what kind of dress you’re after and what sort of things you have planned for the big day. It’s funny trying dresses on actually. I thought I would be stepping into all of the dresses but it was a mix of that and them being put over your head. You feel a little bit like Alice in Wonderland falling through the rabbit hole when it’s going over your head!

5. Try on different styles to what you’re used to

Though I had an idea of the basic style I wanted and tried on a lot of those similar styles, I threw in a couple of wildcards just to check. They were definitely not me but it was funny and gave us a laugh. I tried on a meringue which was huge and a strapless mermaid which though looked good, was definitely not me!

Overall, though I was nervous about it, I realised that (in theory) you only get to do this once so you should just enjoy it while you can. I had a great day and have another couple of shops on my list before I make my final decision. Wish me luck!

 

 

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Top Picks #33

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1. Dress, £165 – Warehouse*

This dress is beyond beautiful. I have nowhere to wear it, I don’t know if it would even suit me and I certainly can’t afford it but I want it!

2. Sleep Mask, £15.05 – Naomilingerie @ Etsy

I don’t really wear sleep masks but this one is too cute for words. It looks like something Audrey Hepburn would wear. Another one for the cat lady basket.

3. Dress, £24.99 – New Look*

I love the versatility of this pinafore dress. Plus I need a new denim dress as I sold my old one on ebay! Though I’ve already gone into two different branches of New Look and this dress has been nowhere to be found. Sigh.

4. Bag, £48 – Topshop*

I haven’t bought a shopper style bag for quite awhile but I really like the embossed detail of this one. It would go with everything and looks like it has loads of room to hold all my junk.

5. Journal, £8 – Paperchase

I’m totally in love with the ombre of this journal. So pretty! Plus it’s 100% recycled so technically I’m helping save the planet. They also have similar designs in pink and blue. I want them all.

6. Brooch, $12 – Kate Gabrielle

This brooch just cracks me up. I love Fred Astaire (particularly his partnership with Ginger Rogers) and this brooch is perfect.

7. Mug, £10 – Urban Outfitters*

This mug is too cute. Truly a cat lady through and through!

8. T-shirt, £26 – Oasis*

I really feel like I need more pretty t-shirts in my life. This one is just the ticket. I love the colour and the lace detail on the sleeves.

9. Earring set, $19.99 – Modcloth

These earrings seriously make me want to pierce my ears again! I’ve always loved a kitsch pair of stud earrings.

10. Cardigan, $54.99 – Modcloth

I’d pair this with a bright coloured cami and skinny jeans. Looks like it could easily dress up an outfit, taking it from day to night.

What’s on your wishlist?

Please be noted that any items marked with * are affiliate links.

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Manchester Street Art

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As long as I can remember I have been fascinated with street art. Not the crappy graffiti with someone’s tag that you can’t even read, I mean the actual art. There is such a big difference between the two, at least to me. Manchester is full of street art and a couple of weekends I decided to go and discover some pieces in the Northern Quarter that I haven’t noticed before.

Last year I went on a photo walk where I found some amazing pieces that you can see here. This time, I wanted to find some more hidden works that I hadn’t noticed or maybe just stopped and photographed before. The above and below photos, I have known about for about six months. Since they are on the side of Common bar, which is right next to Ziferblat, I have seen them every week when I go to Freelance Fridays.

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Considering the one below is directly opposite the doorway to Ziferblat, I’m surprised that I haven’t noticed it before. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s newer than the other ones or if it’s just me seeing through it.

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Not street art in the same way as the others but I like the mosaic face on the corner of Carpenters Lane. It’s completely slipped my mind on who he is. And speaking of faces on street corners, is that Kevin Spacey on the corner of Hilton Street?

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I walk past this road every Friday and yet I’ve never noticed this piece. I kind of wish I had time to walk up and see what the rest of it looks like but I guess that will have to be saved for another time. 

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I like that even this temporary scaffolding has been given a makeover. So much nicer to look at!

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And I know this is pretty much just an advert but I had to include it. 

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Not street art but it looks like this wall once had a whole picture up there. Anyone have any photos of what used to be up here?

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Walking down the top end of Tib street, I realised that I had never been this far up before. Thank Affleck’s Palace for being so distracting! I was really pleased because I found these bird sculptures which are awesomely random. I need to look them up and find out who put them there. 

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Also on Tib street were these beautiful frogs. I think these were my favourite of the day. I’m not usually a frog person but paint them on the side of a building and I’m there apparently!

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There are plenty of other works hanging around I’m sure. I pass about 3 or 4 in the car on the way home. Anyway, I had a great time being a tourist in my own city. Manchester, I love you!

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