KEEPING EVERYONE HAPPY AT YOUR WEDDING 

Ok, so as I mentioned I’ve given myself until the end of October to find a venue. So far it’s not going so badly..got a viewing in a couple of weeks which I’m feeling really positively about, will let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed. 

I guess planning a wedding is meant to be fun, I’m expecting it to be. But until I find the venue, it’s stressing me out. I know that once the venue is sorted, I can have fun doing all the little bits. But let’s be honest. Planning a wedding is stressful. Because no matter how much we say we won’t let people ruin it or get involved…we end up doing things to please others…so let’s see if we can find ways to please everyone and us too! 

No matter how wonderful or expensive your wedding, if there are lots gaps where people are left around to do nothing they can get bored quickly. This is going to negatively affect their view of the day, so make sure that you have plenty of activities on hand to keep all your guest out of mischief.

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One good way of doing this is to provide fair ground and lawn games for the guests to do while you have your photos taken. Or do a DIY photo booth for your guests, or have a sweet cart or a decorate a cupcake. Something that’s fun that can entertain them for a while. 

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 Providing something for the kids like a  colouring book is also a good way of keeping the little ones entertained during the speeches and the meal.

Ok so next let’s talk about the food. You aren’t going to please everyone because let’s face it that’s an impossible target to meet. So go for something you and your other half would want. Have fun with it. 

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Regarding your food, most venues like you tinier their chefs. But if you tell them what you want. More the often they will do what you want. I love the idea of mini food. Like burgers or mini jacket potatoes. 

Most people expect to see the ceremony, have some food and drink and then have a bit of a dance at a wedding. Click here for some fab DJS or use the internet to find a suitable band

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If you really want everyone to have the best time possible supply at least some alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks during the day. Many venues make most of their money off selling drinks to guests. Which can be pricey. So why not offer a drink to go with the canapés, a drink to toast and some wine for the table. A subsidised bar is a nice idea if you can afford it.

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Add a sweetie cart, DIY of course, and your guest should be happy. 



WHAT FURNITURE SHOULD YOU INVEST IN?

Moving out of your parents house, and going off into the big wide world to live independently is an exciting milestone for any young adult. But the chances are (unless you’re very lucky or have spent a long time-saving up) your first home will be in the form of a small rented apartment, or a house share with others.  Which often comes furnished, or your sharing furniture.  Problem is, before you know it you’ve moved several times over the years and have ended up with a mismatch of things that no longer make sense.

When you eventually buy a house (or move into a home where you know you’ll be staying long-term) you can finally start thinking about the kind of furniture you actually want and like. You can upgrade, create your rooms to look exactly how you want them and a design a space that genuinely makes you happy. However furnishing a home can be expensive, and so it’s worth knowing where you should hunt for bargains and where you should splash the cash.

So what are the pieces worth investing in?
Since we spend almost a third of our lives tucked up in bed, a bed is a good place to invest a little money in. A good sleep each night will make you a happier and more productive person. If you don’t fancy spending a fortune on a bed, at least go to a mattress store and try out lots of different levels of firmness. We brought a new mattress when we found out we were expecting. Best idea ever, it meant that even though I was stupidly uncomfortable most of the time due to being massive, I was still able to sleep without getting backache. Ok so I have found 3 bedframes in different price ranges, that are super cute but functional!

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Ok so fitting with a metallic theme that seems to still be a super popular trend. I mean I’m still loving the metallic. Anyway. This bed is from Made and costs £399 which isn’t too bad, especially as its so cute. rubens_bed_with_storage_toffee_brown_lb01

 

So I’m kind of in love with this bed, it just looks super comfy…plus I kind of feel like I belong in an episode of Mad Men.. This is from Made too and cost £1099..yeah a lot more pricey…but look how stunning it is. jonah_double_bed_med_blue_high_footboard_lb_1

Keeping with a pastel theme, this gorgeous bed from Made is our calm medium regarding price coming in at £599. Beds don’t have to cost a bomb, but maybe spend a little more time trying out mattresses.

 

A sofa is such a feature piece in your living space. It needs to be comfortable, look good and be practical and hard wearing. It also needs to be a colour and design that will still work with various decor changes over the years, so it’s a big decision to make and worthwhile spending the extra. While a sofa is never going to last you forever, you’ll get quality that lasts much better with a more expensive model. So the variety of sofa’s is never-ending. Material, pattern, shape size…so best idea is to measure your room, take a picture and try out different sofas in your room. EIther in a software like Photoshop, or just print and cut out. Get an idea of what sofas will look like with your decor etc. Ok so a round of 3 sofa’s of different prices and styles.

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This is cute and compact and would look great in a studio or small apartment. This is from Ikea and costs £149. Not too shabby hey.

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I’m sort of in love with this sofa, the colour the style, love it! Anyway this is from Made and costs £999.tidafors-corner-sofa-with-arm-left-grey__0240024_PE379607_S4

For those looking for corner sofa’s, Ikea do a great range like this one which costs £850.

The dining table is a place for family meals each morning and evening, and a place to entertain family and friends. Somewhere for your children to sit and do their homework, and a place for you to chill out and sip your coffee or glass of wine with a magazine. Your dining table is a well used piece of furniture and is at the very heart of family life. Invest in a good one, a solid piece with good quality chairs the will stand the test of time. But these don’t have to cost a bomb. A solid wood table can be picked up for free from places like freecycle or gumtree. Or buy one from your local charity shops and do it up. Mix match some chairs and you have a quality piece of furniture and a conversation piece. But if you’re not up to doing a big DIY piece, take a look at these 3 sets.

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Perfect contemporary piece for your family dinning room. Who doesn’t love a good bench? This is from Made and costs £499. Bargain right?

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I love the white and wood contrast of this table, it’s so fresh and contemporary. This is from Made and costs £349.docksta-table-white__0449402_PE598843_S4

Something a little smaller for studio or small apartments. Or even for a little breakfast area in your kitchen. This is from Ikea and costs £130. Chairs not included.

 

So hope this helps if any of you are in the market for big pieces like the ones above for your home!



PINSPIRATION

Since moving into our very first home (owned) I’ve found my Pinterest addiction has only escalated. I have so many ideas for our house that’s there’s a high chance we might end up with a home resembling a drunk multicoloured unicorn trapped in a geometric maze. 

This is where a small budget, and a active 1 year old is strangely a blessing. I can only do decorating and DIY-ING when arch is either in bed, or the grandparents are over helping. So it’s giving me that time to really think how I want our home to look and feel, and how to make or create items that really we want, but don’t want to spend a fortune on. Anyway I thought I’d give you a sneak peak into my ever growing mood board. And I’m hoping to start showing you room updates soon! 

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Ok so these are just a few images from my mood board, the idea being each image has an element or feature I’d like to try and portray in our home. It’s going to be a long process because of how the last owners left the house. But exciting none the least! 



OUR GARDEN IDEAS 

So our garden needs a lot of work, and I’ve come to piece with the fact that I’m not really going to have many flowers and plants this year, as by the time we have sorted it, it will probably be the end of the year…and not the best time for sowing seeds. So let me give you a rough idea of our garden. 

When we moved in we had no grass anywhere, just paving slabs decking and stones. So many stones…it’s so annoying. But we decided to put some turf down over some of the paving, which was probably the best idea we have had as arch crawls in and out of the patio door, and generally loves being outside. So the turf is much softer on his little knees. 

Anyway. To our main plan. We will end up painting the decking, and my idea is to do a vertical garden on the garage to cover up the ugly pebbledash effect! So here are some awesome ideas of vertical gardens.
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I love love love this one. It just looks amazing, I’m wondering how much care it would need though? 


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Although effective, I can imagine this costing a bomb, and being hard to maintain.. Awesome though no? 

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And we have the simpler route like these three above. Having vertical planter boxes, is a great way to do this idea on a budget. Filling the boxes with different flowers, herbs or plants and spotting them around where you like! 

Now regarding our decking, you might be thinking why paint it? Well apart from the fact I spilt a ton of white paint on it already, it’s needs freshening up. But I want our garden to be awesome..somewhere to chill on those fees day we get good weather! 

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I love the idea of having a really cosy outdoor area. This is where living somewhere warm like LA would be more appropriate, then our little old rainy England. 

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Another way to enjoy your garden in the summer is to have a barbecue in it. They are ideal for social gatherings and family get-togethers. Plus, it means you’ll enjoy your food more if it gets cooked over an outdoor fire!

We brought a BBQ in the end, but Richards has always wanted to build one. If you do build one make sure you get the right logs for a strong continuous flame. 


Infographic Credit To Certainly Wood



THE JOY OF GIFT GIVING

Gift-giving is symbolic and meaningful. It can be both personal and indulgent. Gifts can be home-made or pulled from someone’s ultimate wish list and they show that we care and that someone is in our thoughts. So I thought I’d look at gift ideas for specific occasion. I’ve become the most organised version of myself, from buying  bunch of 1st birthday presents for all of Archer’s friends, to already starting my Christmas shopping. Oh yeah you heard me right..i’ve started already!

 

Your wedding, where should we start regarding gifts. Gifts for the wedding party, Mothers, possibly a gift to your other half…and the favors. Take a peek at ourstart.com or below for some cute wedding favors that will go down a treat.

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cupcakefavor-532x800Natalie Bradley

First home; Even if your friend rents or has bought their first home, a new home gift is a great idea, it could be anything from a plant or candle, to a food parcel to get them through the dreadful unpacking living in boxes for the first week ( or 5 months like us) stage.

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DIYHW2-500x750Magnolia Market

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Big birthdays, like 21st,30th or 60th you could do a journal filled with photos and prose about your time together, something rather cute, and meaningful.

Last but not least teacher presents. At the end of every school year, instead og getting the standard wine, chocolate of flowers, why not try some of these ideas.

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LIVING ROOM IDEAS

So the house is getting there. I mean there’s a lot of stuff left to do..but I’m seeing the light and it’s starting to look quite homely. My livingroom has the basic structure, I just need to sort the details out. So I’ve done a mood board of how I’d like/love my living room to look. It’s a basic one but hopefully you will get the jist.

Living-room-mood-board

  1. Pillow, Urban Outfitters. 
  2. Clock, Trouva
  3. Pendant Light, Trouva
  4. Wall Light, Trouva
  5.  Plant Box, Trouva
  6. Sofa, Arhaus
  7. Rug, Urban Outfitters
  8. Plant Stands, Trouva

So sadly due to stupid spotlights, my pendant light will probably be a wish that will never come true. I might be able to get in some wall lights though! 

I picked the sofa, which is way more fancy than mine, but similar colour and shape to give you an idea. It also looks much more comfy too, so be sure to check them out. Because sectional sofas like this one, act as a great centerpiece to inspire a whole living room! Moving on. I like the idea of having a blank canvas with white on the walls, then adding colour with the accessories and furnishings. It’s not on the mood board, but I’m pretty sure some neon pink would go amazingly well with this layout too…just a little here and there.

I also love plants, and strongly believe you can never have too many plants, or different ways of displaying them..add a massive bookshelf, which I do in fact have in our living room (but which isn’t on the mood board) and you have all the staples for an awesome living room. All that’s left are soft furnishings in a variety of patterns and colour. I mean why not go bold? and an awesome clock to be a centre piece on your wall..amongst all your artwork, and you have a homely yet eye poppingly stylish living room..not sure that sentence works but let’s go with it.

On a last note, check out Trouva too, I recently came across this site, and the handpicked beauties they sell…well I could spend a fortune.

I’m hoping to have Archer’s room tour up this week which will be exciting. As soon as it’s on the blog, in my mind that’s it finished. 1 room down, just the rest of the house to go.

Hope you all had a god weekend…yay it’s Monday…



TIPS FOR MOTHERS OF THE BRIDE

The hunt for our venue still continues..but now im up my game. I’ve given myself a deadline. End of October we need to have at least a choice of venue, even better a deposit down on one. But as my mother looks forward to our big day, she loves a good wedding, this will be the first time for her being the mother of the bride. Unless my sister gets hitched within the next year..which is possible as we all know how god I am at planning. Anyway here are some tips I’ve learnt from experienced mothers of the bride when it comes to the dress.

When it comes to mother of the bride dresses, choosing the perfect one and picking the right style, there are a few things to consider. Let’s discuss colour. The bride will already have her colour theme in place and have chosen the bridesmaid’s dresses. Why not pick a complimenting colour to the theme? Here’s a great colour wheel to work out complimentary shades, if you don’t know where to start. A good rule is that pastels match pastels, jewel colours go with other jewel colours and rustic shades match other rustic shades. If you pick a shade on the opposite side of the colour wheel, it will complement the bridesmaids. For example, if the dresses are a vibrant pink, you can wear a vibrant blue/green. If they are a pale yellow, you could choose a complimentary muted violet.

Perhaps you would like to add a little something to your outfit, that is the same as the colour as the bridesmaid’s dresses. A corsage is an elegant way of doing this. And with your complimentary coloured dress it will work perfectly. Choose something frivolous and fun. It’s also a good idea to let the mother of the groom know you are going to do this so that she can join in too. After you choose your flowers, consider adding eucalyptus too for a glorious scent.

Consider floral prints for a summer wedding, and rich colours for a winter wedding. You could choose frills or stripes for added drama. Or add texture with organza, silk or taffeta. And if you are asked to entertain any of the children at the wedding here are some top tips to keep them happy too.

The most important thing to remember? Smile, cry, have a tissue handy and enjoy your daughter’s special day.

 

 



ARCHER’S 1ST BIRTHDAY

My baby turned 1 on Sunday (31.07.16), and we celebrated with good friends and family. The sun shined, it didn’t rain, we ate lots of good food, and my handmade birthday cake wasn’t too bad either. We decided on a dinosaur theme, and had lots of fun bringing the theme to life.

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Ok so I decided to do a cake tester, as my baking hasn’t exactly been great recently, and it turned out quite well. So we did a little cake smash a few days before his birthday. I did a rainbow cake and used whipping cream and food colouring for icing. I decided this was better than using buttercream, as it was less likely to interfere with me trying to get him to bed later. All in all he didn’t quite get as messy as I thought he would, and after I slightly dunked his head in the cake, he cried and that was the end of that.

Now to the party. For the decor I went for some cheap dinosaurs from Ebay, which I just spray painted white. Now annoyingly I tied helium balloons to these and they looked awesome…but of course do I have any pictures? nope! Anyway moving on. We got a helium canister which lucky for us was on sale, and we blew up balloons and tied them outside, and let some just float on the ceiling inside, choosing blue greens and whites. We also had a few confetti balloons which just looked awesome.

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I also got 2 cake toppers. 1 from Etsy (the dinosaur), which I actually got a few days after Archer was born. And the other from Not on The Highstreet. These looked super cute with my bodged cake!

dino-in-the-flowers pinata

Keeping with the dinosaur theme, I brought a dinosaur pinata, but I didn’t fill it with sweets. Instead it was a centre piece on the table, and had more balloons tied to it.  I also hid some of the dinosaurs in plants around the house and garden.

tableball-pool-funThen we just had lots of loose balloons all over the floor.

Outside we kept it casual with blankets and pillows, we even had an inflatable pretzel thanks to Alex and Jon. It was nice and chilled, having one area for the babies to play..

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Notice the awesome bucket and bin decor…just moved guys… remember.

 

And then we had a chilled area for the adults (without babies).

everyone-having-fun the-london-crewAll look like they are having fun…

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All in all it was a lovely day spent with awesome friends and family. Finished off with party bags and cake.

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birthday-cakeMy rainbow cake..I’m not responsible for any kids who went hyper, or who had green poop!

 

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Ended with Archer finally going to sleep at 10..clearly a mini party animal in the making.



OUR NEW HOUSE, THE BEFORE PICTURES

Ok so we finally have internet (yay), and i’m back on the blogging wagon. The house is coming along slowly, and now we have had Archer’s 1 st birthday, we can slow down the renovations a little. I’ll do a post on Archer’s birthday sometime this week.

Anyway I thought I’d show you a few before pictures of the house. We have only been here a month, so decorating is taking it’s time. Plus I want to have the rooms finished and dressed before showing you them. Archer’s room is pretty much there, so hopefully that will be up on the blog sometime next week.

Spare-bedroom-before-

Ok, so the house is a 3 bed, attached. It also has a garage and an outbuilding which came with a hot tub. Yes a hot tub..which we are getting rid of… I know I know why would we get rid of it. But to behonest, with looking after a 1 year old, and with Richard working shifts, I just don’t have the time. Plus it’s really high maintenance and I want an office. Anyway so above is our spare room. It’s a large single which could fit a double. but probably not much else. The people before us had a thing for overed patterned wallpaper. To the point it was on one wall in every room, and all up the stairs..great stuff.

 

Living-room-before

Our living room. This is what really sold me to the house, its big with big windows either end, and it had tons of potential..at least it now does now we have gotten rid of the old carpet. Turns out the owner had like 4 dogs…who werent let out much. After trying to rud doctor it and getting a bin bag full of dog hair, we decided it was a gross lost cause and so got some new carpet. We have quite big plans for the flooring in the living rom, but the carpet was needed as a temporary flooring.There’s one thing that I hate about this house, which sadly is an expensive fix. Spot lights…I love a good light fitting or lamp shade and all the rooms downstairs are spot lights…ode to a gorgoeous pendant light..

Kitchen-before

Our kitchen. Sorry about the mess..well not really I mean come on we just moved in. Anyway this is our kitchen, it’s a really good size especially as all our kitchens in the past have been tiny, like 2 people can just fit tiny.

hallway-before

Our hallway, which has 2 cupboards and a downstairs toilet..the toilet pretty much needs all new plumbing because the guy who lived here before us thought he could do DIY… He can’t.

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Ok so this is our bedroom, once again quite bold wall paper, also that love sign came with the house..no offence to people who like this stuff but I kind of hate it and Richard keeps re hanging it up to annoy me.  We are lucky because I think the house is an ex council house so the room sizes are a really good size, with big windows.

 

Archers-bedrrom-before

 

Archer’s room, not really the best picture, but here’s another example of the rather bold wallpaper. His room has lots of light, and it’s a really good size..which this photo doesn’t really show. Sorry Archer’s room was the first one we got painted, so he could move in without any fumes. It’s so nearly done though!

 

I’ll do a post on the rest of the house, like the bathrooms and out building another time. I’ve had a really hectic month trying to get the downstairs livable for Archer’s birthday. Read about it tomorrow!

 



A LITTLE UPDATE

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So I know I have been MIA the last couple of months, but I promise I have a good reason. Firstly being, we brought a house!! A house which we have been in for a month now, which still doesn’t have wifi or tv…honestly it’s like living in the dark ages. Its very exciting, though maybe we were naive, but the house that we thought just needed a lick of paint and our own touch to it, has surprised us around every corner. Enter holes in walls, burst water pipes, foul smelling doggy haired infested carpets and a broken wastage pipe in the downstairs toilet. Safe to say sadly the pre owners didn’t take care of the house like they should of..
1 month down and we have rid of the awful carpet, scrubbed, polished and painted a bunch of walls doors and cupboards.. And created a dream room for Archer.

I’ll go more into all our mini distasters another time, with before and after pictures of the house..those posts will be easier with Internet..

Another reason for being quiet was due to us being on holiday, though with a nearly 1 year old it’s not quite as relaxing as I remember. Also we grabbed the keys to our new place the day we got back..one week in and Archer was struck down with a nasty virus, 5 days later and 1 trip to the A&E he recovered. Only to have me and Richard be poorly after that too.

Is the house cursed?? Jeez I hope not! Anyway on to better more exciting news Archer turns 1 on Sunday, as in tomorrow! What??!!. I know I can’t believe it. Where did my little baby go? Anyway like the over the top diy crafter I am…I’ve got big plans for Sunday…I mean he’s my first born your meant to make an effort for at least your first baby right?

But will do a blog post on the day and pre prep too..

Will speak soon!