Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

For those who know me very very well (hmm perhaps just Bean then) this will seem like a very Anna post. However to the rest of you it may seem a little odd, a touch strange or perhaps actually spot on?

This year. Well I don't have a lovely countdown of the months like others. This year has been not great, not good, not even really fine. I was hoping to give you a rundown of my epic holidays but then realised it might be a tad dull. Shall I have a go anyway?

Big Scary Meeting - happened and was good. Hope abounds.
Bean is silly and sits in room with no phone signal - I have to wait outside for 90 mins.
"We" (ie Bean) drive to Durham - we get drunk with 2 brother watching Star Wars on video.
More drinking with poker - Bean wins all the money after 10 hands. He does weird poker voodoo.
We watch Die Hard and turn every happening into something Christmassy - thus we drink.
The nephews arrive with their illnesses - we avoid illness.
People go to midnight mass - I am a little tipsy and write long emails to people I care about - reading them back a few days later reminds me that I should not drink and type. Oh I agree with the sentiment but oh gosh some of the emails were cripplingly embarrassing!  
It's Christmas - I cry a little because everyone is happy and I am mourning the loss of my happiness. Bean buys me lovely presents and I cry more because he is too nice.
Boxing Day brings illness to the Bean household.
Because of all the illness the lovely Bean has to drive his big brother, Grumpole, to the RAF base almost 5 hours away so he can go to Afghanistan tomorrow. 
Grumpole is now in Afghanistan - do we listen more to news from there or not?
We go to the outside - it is windy. This should serve as a reminder not to wear a cape when it is windy because said cape will fly over one's head and impede vision when trying to get into a car and thus you will bang your head and think you have given yourself a extradural haematoma. 
I get back to the Bean home and start shivering - this is a bad sign.
I get into bed and do not leave for 2 days.
On day 9, we travel home and get back into another bed.
On day 10, today, I should have been going to an exciting place with Bean and lovely people but I can barely hold my head up without support so I will miss the fun times. (Will you have fun times for me?)

Yet there is hope. Life hurts right now but there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. I have my new mantra.


Whilst watching the video doesn't make me giggle insanely like it used to - thinking about the video really does. Indeed even whilst in my confused stupor on my travels yesterday the rain and cars made me think of said bus and giggle muchly.

What I think I'm trying to say (albeit in a confused and verbose way) is that I need to be more forceful next year. I need to strive for more. I will be happier and more fulfilled. There will be a new website which you will love and tell everyone you know about and there will be joy.

In other words, I, anna and the ring, resolve to,

"Be The Bus"

So until next year - and there may a little wait until there are new posts (but there are many awesome posts in the past) - take care of yourselves and each other. I miss you rather too much but I will be back soon with many words and hope.

Next year will be better.

All my love, because you make me want to love,
Anna x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Now we may be quite secular here on anna and the ring and I may be almost an atheist (assuming one can be almost an atheist) but I do like to wish delightful people like yourselves a Merry Christmas. I hope you get to spend a few days with the people you truly love. I certainly am!

I am looking forward to sporting this face when I open something as magical from Bean. (Although looking at the present shaped parcels it doesn't look like I'm getting another globe).


also as we have now traveled to the North Lands - I have scarves and mittens and many thick socks. There may be some amount of drinking, Star Wars and poker with my lovely brothers. I love my family.

and perhaps a little snow?

What are you doing over the next couple of weeks?

I cannot wait for my little moving house trauma to be over so I can unveil the joy that is coming so very very soon!! Eeekables!

So one and all,

Happy Primary Gift-Giving Period - enjoy your Bank Holidays!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

It's me on Rock My Wedding (sort of)

When the lovely Andri asked me to help her on a photoshoot I didn't really know what to expect.  I've been part of them before but not really as crew.

So here are the lovely images. Refreshing to be part of a modern take of a wedding. I wouldn't say it was a new take but I know the style is something people are crying out for because there is such a dearth of modern inspiration out there right now. You can't all be shabby chic fans - I've been to your homes (not in the scary way) and have seen you don't all have typewriters or mismatching china (not a criticism if you want to have mismatched china and typewriters but do think about this post too!)


Well you know how much I love carnations. Oh the joy that I got to take a couple of those carnation monsters home. Thank you fabulous Wild-About Flowers. They lasted for weeks!

Monday, 12 December 2011

30 rocks? Are you free to have some fun?

Oh the perils of a birthday near Valentines Day and now important wedding weekends.

Years of no fun on my birthday because Bean was far away and everyone else was all loved up and snuggled with their significant other. Yikes - I am good at the woe is me!

So I am turning 30* in the very near future. Hello February and I have to admit (although I guess it is probably quite obvious) that I am not really one to celebrate my birthday.

However - woe is more is no more!

So I've decided to relish in the community I have here on anna and the ring and allow myself some fun on my birthday - do you think you might come and join me?

Me in a slightly sparkly dress at the Ring Bash.
(Oh look who be there in the background!!)


So are you free on 11th February for a little fun in London too celebrate my 30th (eek) birthday?

There will hopefully be a little (umm huge!) announcement from me on the night!

How I miss writing and being here. Things are changing and I cannot wait to show you!

I know for some of you London is far away but come on it's for me, and you know, well you do say far too often, I'm lovely!

*Yikes - time has marched on and my little list seems longer than ever. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

apw for the win.


Because the UK wedding community is not always the most supportive, in my humble opinion, (although you better watch this space because I totally want and need to change that - Oh roll on February!) I want to support THE worldwide wedding community by supporting Meg from A Practical Wedding and the release of her new book A Practical Wedding.

Today is the amazon (US link) launch of the book and whilst amazon (UK link) may not be the most independent of independent of bookshops we can try and make this book a best seller.

So who's with me?

Meg and now her amazing team have done so much for the wedding community. We need to celebrate that.

Make me smile, and Meg dance by buying her book today.

I've just bought mine and am deciding whether to buy a few more copies for engaged friends far and wide.

Seriously, she is one inspirational lady and to be honest I wouldn't be here talking to you without her.

So go buy, so I can convince her she needs to do a UK book tour!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Whilst I'm away - just a Dashing visit!

I may be away for a bit but that doesn't mean you have to go without!

The lovely ladies at Dashing - a fabulous new lifestyle magazine (how refreshing to read a publication with perfect taste and style) - have kindly asked me to write a little piece for them about, drumroll please, weddings! Shocking! Hopefully if you all say you love it they will invite me back for a monthly column so remember to leave me good feedback!



This may be a little more upbeat that you are used to reading from me but I guess the last page of a cool new magazine should be thoughtful and upbeat!

Here's the link to Dashing - would love to hear what you think!

How exciting!

Ax

Monday, 28 November 2011

Well what a week!

Well I think I shall have to declare the Ring Bash a success.

Did you have fun? So many fabulous ladies and gentlemen! I had a blast!

So many giggles. hugs, tiny mini cupcakes by the wonderful Lula of the Golden Afternoon Tea Company (who was sadly also missing as she had to fly off to Boston at super late notice!), many cocktails - how I love an Aviation.

Despite, me not turning up until 9pm - oh crises you are so mean. I think fun was had by all. Do we love the London Cocktail Club. Yes we do!

I'm so sorry I didn't get to see so many of you. Oh wretched life! Thank you so much for taking the time to come. It means so very much.

(P.S. If you have any photos - I'd love to see them - I'm (as always) annaandtheringlondon {at} gmail.com)

But do not fret there will be more fun soon and I promise I shall be in attendance for all of the evening. So who's free?

I was hoping to reveal something a little special on Friday but time marched on. You shall have to wait a little longer.

And now a little trepidation....

.....I shall have to leave you for a few more days at the very least. 

I will continue to respond to emails and try and get onto twitter but life is conspiring against me.

I'm meant to be having a operation in January but it may be the week we will be moving. I am also due in hospital a few times in December (oh it's almost December!) and we are perhaps going to the in-laws for a wonderful Christmas. 

Where has the time gone? House hunting is a bloody nightmare. Seriously. Bean had a week off and all we did was traipse between estate agents. I promise we are not the fussy ones!

On that note - if you happen to have a nice 2 bed flat to sell (chain free for a nice amount) or a 1 bed flat to rent (for tiny money) in West (ish) London - do drop me an email. 

So my mind is slightly full of square footage and floor plans. I am completely uninspired right now and well that is rather dull for you!

Can I suggest you delve into the archives for your anna fix?

Also if you have any house hunting tips they will be more than gratefully received!!!

Oh and the odd cheerful email or tweet would certainly not go amiss!!

Ax

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ring Bash

Huzzah tis the Ring Bash today!

So excited to see and play with some of the most lovely people in this business we call wedding.

Seriously, I feel so loved by this industry, I want to make it an even more wonderful place.

Perhaps more excitingly it is.....


....the full debut of the Bean!

(He not getting naked or anything though - do not fret!)

He is a little grumpy his new shiny Bean business cards haven't quite materialised yet though!
Luckily his witty repartee will see him through.

Also perhaps even more super excitingly there may be another debut tonight.
(No I'm not pregnant but it certainly is my new baby!)

Intrigued?!

Yay for the Ring Bash!

There may also be an appearance of a certain pair of shoes.


Yikes!

Oh life.

You are sneaky.

Everything, and I mean everything at once, well that is just naughty.

Sorry for my absence over here.

Life is mean.

Have you missed me?

I can't quite put into words how much I have missed you!

However in other news tomorrow is the Ring Bash - Huzzah!

Cannot wait!

Friday, 11 November 2011

11.11.11



They died,
that we might live.



oh yes weddings

Bean kindly prompted me yesterday that despite being a wedding blogger I hardly ever blog about weddings.

Yikes wedding blogger fail.

They are coming. I promise. Indeed I am trying to write about our wedding too. It is hard. What do you want to hear? Hmm perhaps I should just keep writing? It was suggested that I should be a wedding blogger who doesn't blog weddings and use it as my USP. However I'm not sure that would work! 

Wedding photographers I would love to hear from you. The new blog wants your beautiful images and stories. Brides and grooms I want to hear from you too. The stories. I yearn for the stories. Oh the stories I am soon to tell you!

But just in case you can't wait here is another teaser from the wedding from our friend Voltaire.


Can you see it was actually snowing whilst we were outside (not very much at this point - but oh my we had blizzards!)

Aww Bean and his Hunter.

Much love to the boys. Seriously much love. You boys know why. 

And that's it for me today as I'm off to celebrate 11th November 2011 with a glass of champagne and seventy two short hours of Skyrim.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Ring Bash


Yikes.

The Ring Bash is soon!

Thank you so much for all your enthusiasm. I am so thrilled so many of you want to come. 

I am hopefully organising a few sweet treats for you and I am getting rather excited. Oh there will be fun times!

2 weeks today I imagine I will be somewhat over excited and throwing my wardrobe around with abandon.

(Now here comes the slightly embarrassing bit. Too many of you lovely peeps want to come and the venue is already full! So I'm afraid I have been operating a waiting list for the bash for about a week now. So yes please email me if you would still like to come but I can't guarantee I will be able to put you on the guest list. I am not an arse really - I just didn't anticipate so many lovelies wanting to come! I will tell you now - if you are not on the guest list you ain't coming in - ack next time I will find a bigger venue I promise.)

So what are you wearing?

I'm dying to see if you are going to dress up Fitzrovia style!

Eeeekables. 

Bean has just bought some particularly epic shoes - Men of style you will appreciate them muchly. They are brogue gold dust. As for me do what shall I wear?! I need to at least try and outshine the Bean.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Does spam beget spam?



Man I have mad skills in paint.

I'm not talking infect your computer spam. I'm talking infect your brain spam.

I'm still only learning about how to promote myself.

Twitter is an amazing tool. I love it but does anyone else, on occasion, feel completely overwhelmed?*

I get that many twitterfolk have an international audience and yes that there are early and late crowds but does the same post need to be repimped 10 times in one day?

That's not a rhetorical question - it's a question I genuinely want to ask. 

How much is too much?

Is there a "too much"?

I have to admit I do often muscle in on interesting conversations but should there be an etiquette? I try not to over tweet because well I know that you can take over someone's twitter stream and that's just not cricket. Yet my twitter feed does get overloaded by the same tweets every day. I'm not saying they don't deserve to be retweets of retweets but is every tweet golden?

Indeed of late I notice more and more that people muscle in just to promote themselves. Just to get their name out there. They don't seem, to me, to be adding anything to the conversation.

Am I just using twitter incorrectly?

I find it hard to talk myself up especially when I think I know I have good content and can be quite interesting. Deep down I wouldn't have been writing for so long if I didn't think I had something valid to say. So I keep on talking and whether it be about weddings or mental health, I think you want to hear?

(I want to continue to talk about weddings. I haven't quite finished saying what I need to say and I can't wait to show you the new site to talk about weddings more! I have so much to say but I feel a little constricted by this here, anna and the ring, space. (Seriously. Very excited!) I know that sounds crazy but her seems so very personal and I want to try to be a little more detached. I fear I scare people off talking about serious personal feelings. Whilst I will continue to do so perhaps I need to aim for a different angle. Not me, but we?)

Does it matter who you are? Should we grant the wedding "celebrities" a little more leeway because the power and discussion they create with social media is one of the reasons they are so important? How about the newbies should we believe they are naive or do we realise that in most cases they are not - why would they be on twitter otherwise - and are just using their faux genteelness to garner interest? Or is that too harsh a position? I don't know. I am on twitter a lot! First, third and five hundred and seventy third impressions count. (If they are the same tweet I'm pretty sure I know what my impression will be!)

I still like to maintain a little anonymity. I don't even follow anna and the ring on facebook. Why should I expect you to? No matter how many times I say it, I mean it every time. I want a community. I'd love you to follow me facebook it makes me smile. I'd loved to see more of my lurkers comment for they are the lifeblood of every blogger. (I know you are out there - I'm pretty sure you are interested too?) But I am grateful for each and every comment and tweet I recieve. I cannot wait to move to wordpress so I have better control in my comments. I can't wait to respond to your insightfulness properly!

Am I asking too much? Am I in the wrong? Twitter is a free stage for people to talk how ever much they want. I have no desire to curtail freedom of speech. Yet being overwhelmed is becoming exhausting. I really need to stop checking in for a look at 3am! 

I honestly don't know what I think.

Tell me about you and your relationship with twitter and other social media outlets. I am confused!

How do we foster a more supportive and less self-promoting community? Can we? Or am I already in it? Or does ignoring the issues mean that we are just creating a bigger hydra like beast in the future?

As always your views are like gold dust to me. I would very much appreciate your thoughts.


*I understand you can unfollow or mute but I don't think the people who flood my twitter stream are bad but I just wish they would take a breath every so often!

wallpaper wednesday - beware the moon

Oh do I have some beauties for you today.

A darling friend (I hope I can call you that?) is after a fabulous wallpaper for her cloakroom.

Cue Anna getting rather over excited and dashing stright towards her favourite wallpaper maker. (Oh wretched third person). 

Oh yes ladies, Beware The MoonYou simply have to check out my final choice. Oh yes one day that will feature somewhere in my home. It is strangely hypnotic. Each of their wallpapers are available in a myriad of colourways and styles. These just happen to be my most favouritest!

Indeed their tag line seems to be,

"...taking over the world one downstairs loo at a time..."
Thus, I present Ostrich - the bold red and the deep gold. Perfect for a warming impact in a tiny room. I feel the ostrich is perfect for a loo! A majestic monster!


Quantum Foam - Imagine the possibilities with lighting! A 3D tactile fascination. Of course I would require a mirror ball too (where else does one put ones mirror ball?)


Or how about flocked Skulls upon their signature paper - a deliciously dark oil slick. The colours move and entice. I very much want to see this paper in person.



and my favourite the most fabulous delicately flocked slightly exotic images upon a nude base. "She."  Yes I like "She." The matte base to the paper combined with the tactile lady. Yes please. An exquisite addition to your life.



All pictures courtesy of Beware The Moon and fabulous British craftsmanship.

Yes they are exceptionally expensive but for one roll and a lifetime of joy?

Yes please!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Christmas

Yes.

I know. It's only the start of November but I want it to be Christmas already! Also I was watching a choir programme on BBC2 last night and remembered how much I used to love to sing in a choir.

I know I don't technically believe in any god but that does not stop me from believing in the beauty of classical choral music and obviously wonderful Christmas Carols.

I haven't been to a Carol service in far too long and who doesn't love to sing a little at Christmas?

So does anyone fancy joining me on 3rd December at St Martin in the Fields for an opportunity to learn how to sing the caroling greats like the pros? 


Here is the link. Do you fancy some choral fun before popping off to do some Christmas shopping?

St Martin's is such a wonderful place to sing. As a young lady I got the chance to sing there and what a delicious sound.

Come all ye faithful?

(My attempt at Christmassy colours!)

Tuesday Shoesday

I've talked about the talent that is Nicholas Kirkwood before.

These are some seriously high heels.
Hello epic heels. A little confused but I am sure that they be epic!

These could be my most favourite heels of all time. I love the faux tortoiseshell toblerone shaped heel.

The flash of metallic pink on the purple suede. Swoon. Imagine seeing these walk down the aisle. Slightly like the hind legs of a rabbit when escaping from a predator.


How about the ones on the right as your something blue? Although I do slightly adore the nude with the rose gold accents. Yes please.
Although these pretty almost filigree pretties are slightly lower. I would adore to have these peeking out from under my dress.

So what do you think?

Kirkwood or Kirkwouldn't?

Monday, 7 November 2011

mental health monday - perhaps some positivity

My last session with the Brain Man was interesting.

I think I've finally realised that I cannot control the external influences which are affecting my recovery. The external messages may be right (they aren't for the most part - why are people so cruel?) but I don't actually have to listen. I understand you have to be pretty insecure yourself to treat another human being so monstrously but that is no excuse.*

The internal voices are still strong. However my anxiety is not internal. (Depression yes it probably is but that's another story). I am learning to isolate my strong anxiety and remind myself it is a separate entity. For me it is not even my own voice. How very telling! 

Indeed the Brain Man has given me the rather thrilling idea of engaging with my anxiety and self doubt. Telling it that I will talk to it but to my timetable. No more will I lie awake at 3am and listen to all those hideous things I have previously told myself. I will tell it to fuck off and that I will listen and respond at 10am. A civilised hour where we both have a level play field. Tonight is my first attempt. I'll let you know how I get on.

So say hello to positive Anna. Oh she's coming and she will be triumphant!

I think this be the last time I was truly happy. (What sad admission but true nonetheless)


Turning 30 does not scare me (save financially) but I would be lying if I said I don't oft think about what could have been. I was bright, inquisitive and happy. I could have been a great member of society yet I feel I have contributed nothing. This stops now. I want to leave a legacy. 

I am not going to allow certain people drive me away from my happiness. Whether they be online or not. I shall not be used and abused anymore.

Haters can hate. I'm done.

I am not weak for listening to them but I am never going to be strong if I continue to do so.

I am going to be me but what I always imagined I could be on a very good day.** I have the capacity to be exceptional. (I think!) 

Today is Marie Curie's birthday. She was my inspiration as a child. I thought she was one of the strongest most fabulous woman I had ever read about. She was who I wanted to be. She is a role model. She is who I still want to be. I want to be a role model. Crippling self doubt has no place here anymore. I want to show people things can get better after the darkest of days. Oh, the sun is starting to shine.

Huzzah!

I will still talk about mental health issues because I do think that talking about them can be a very positive step. Stigma is a bitch. I refuse to accept that just because I do not have a media friendly disease I should be shunned. I am not proud to say I have depression or anxiety. Gosh, of course not. The media does paint certain mental illness as the new black. Yet there is a difference between being allowed to talk about being ill (and getting better and trying to help people who are in a similar situation) and saying "woe is me." Woe is not me. 

Who are you role models? (You can say me - of course!) What do you take from them? Where do you find your strength?

As always I love to hear from you. I know I write a lot and I'm not exactly Sartre but I really do benefit from your kind and intelligent words. I have to be honest with you. One of my worst traits is to assume I can mind read. When I don't hear from you I assume I'm an idiot and that I am worthless. Yes I know having an external locus for my self esteem is not wise but it's all I've got right now so help a sister out! Pressure much?! Sorry the honesty is good for me right now.

*Also playing the naive girl because you know I will be generous and kind is an extremely cynical and almost evil game to play. I hope you are proud of yourself. 
**I may even start taking Berocca!

Friday, 4 November 2011

are you ready to be gloved?


Some weekend fun for the ladies me thinks. As the weather turns colder thoughts turn to my fingers and how they need to be kept toasty. I had a serious scare the other day when I was doing my usual wild gesticulating and the engagement ring decided to fling off my finger and onto the evil that is the platform at Victoria. So as I wait for them to be emsmallened (such a cromulent word!) I have been looking for pretty gloves! 

So enjoy my little spend vs spree delve into the world of gloveage. 
(I have a secret - asos are having a sale right now on most gloves!)

A rather sweet offering from asos for £9.50. Sure they are a Kate Spade knock off. But still cute.

 
How about a pom pom or two? Asos for £5.50 and French Connection for £20.

How about a direct spend vs spree?

The first are asos for £28 (actual leather!) and the second pair are MCQ for £125. I am rather in love with the asos ones although i do prefer the cut of McQueen ones.



Leopard spend vs spree? 

The first are asos for £14 and are real leather too. Or perhaps some seriously sexy red leopard driving gloves from Agent Provocateur for only £250.


And because I can't stop thinking about these and how fabulous they would be at a fabulous winter wedding. Say hello to the epic Lanvins. The black pair are £870 and the nude only £1,110. I want thee.


Lanvin Lanvin 


Finally because I couldn't possibly be chic every day. How about these? I managed to snap them up for £6 but I believe they are £9.50 right now! Yes I adore them. (They have such a sweet almost fleece lining. Super toasty and make little children smile.)


Yes I should be a hand model!

Which is your favourite?

Will I see you at Book Club tomorrow?

What are you up to this weekend? I'm off to one my oldest friend, Giggler's birthday party too. A good weekend.

(Hello Giggler - I just told her about the blog!)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

How to be a Woman - an APW Book Club

****Warning Warning****
There is a very strong word used in the last main paragraph of the main text - I use it to illustrate my point.


So facebook is making me sad and not allowing me to comment as anna and the ring. I like my online persona, it's warm and safe.

I'm not saying that people are out to get me - but you just don't know who's out there.

So I can't comment on the lovely A Practical Wedding facebook pages anymore. Sad face.

Anyhoo, this lovely weekend there is to be a lovely book club with "How to be a Woman*" as it's main attraction.

We should all be meeting at Noon in the Defector's Weld in Shepherd's Bush. 

When - 5th November
Where - Defector's Weld - which is right on the corner on the North West side of Shepherd's Bush Green.
Time - Noon
What - How to be a Woman - Caitlin Moran

Shepherd's Bush is quite easy to get to. Shepherd's Bush itself on the Central line (oh and the train if you're coming from Clapham Junction or from the north) and closer to the pub (almost!) there is Shepherd's Bush Market which is on the Hammersmith and City line. 

It's nice and easy to get to as the central line is working as normal and the western arm of the Hammersmith and City line is apparently going to be working well (although you know the tube!). There are also a myriad of buses which stop in and around Shepherd's Bush Green.

So will I see you on Saturday? 


Here comes the "bad" word. (Although if you have read the book I'm pretty sure you're going to be okay with me saying it?)

I guess I should knuckle down and read the book properly. I'm not going to lie I'm not expecting to enjoy it. So that's partly why I want to discuss it. I guess I have old lady views and just because you say the word "cunt" you aren't cool or a feminist. I'm not automatically going to love the book - but that's not a bad thing - there are already plenty of fan girls for Caitlin Moran. I better get reading, right? (And stop sounding like Mary Whitehouse!)

*Should I capitalise?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

oh the lustre

Hold on to your cornflakes and get ready to want to spray each of them individually.

Thanks to the ever wonderful Poppytalk (via Craft via Trendland) I am now obsessed with wanting to buy the edible lustre*, Esslack from The Deli Garage, for my food!



I just can't get over how wonderful this golden apple looks! (I hope a certain other Golden Apple sees this!)

There are other colours including the silver but I cannot divert my mind away from the possibilities with the gold.

Gold embodies decadence and it is something I want to bring to the party at Christmas.

I want to spray it onto everything (nearly). I've got to admit the idea of a golden steak slightly freaks me out.

Yet, golden asparagus tips, golden quails eggs, golden popcorn, golden jelly, golden cocktails (I wonder how it might work upon a liquid?), golden lemon meringue cupcakes (my speciality - so delciously tart!) and perhaps the most decadent of all golden seafood - perhaps the claws of a lobster?

It strikes me that it is more that just the scary spray painted pine cones of yore - the fact that it is edible just brought the whole dining experience to another sensory level. 

Oh yes - I am a little excited! 

What do you think? Yay or Nay?

*If it's made by Germans I really do assume it is not really a hideous carcinogen in disguise!

tuesday shoes - prepare to hate me for bring these to your attention

Christian Louboutin 
Christian Louboutin via Net-A-Porter

I know, I know.

1. They cost more than most people's mortgage.
2. The heels sort of look like cigarettes (to me)
3. They are 5.5 inches high.

I get it. They are bad for me and I was never one to go for the bad boy.*

I still want. 

I won't ever have - but that's ok. I've got Bean to reach the high things.

*It never interested me. I was always looking for someone who would care.


Monday, 31 October 2011

Fetcham Park



This siren that will charm Rome's Saturnine.*
Titus Andronicus 

Oh Fetcham Park, first may I apologise for my terrible iPhotographic skills. There are far prettier pictures elsewhere.

Secondly, gosh thank you for such a lovely afternoon. I must admit a Sunday afternoon is not the easiest of times to try and glam oneself up. Yet fabulousness prevailed.

Well where does one begin. I was rather surprised when the wonderful Parallel Venues invited me to the launch of their new venues. Me?! Little me! Then I heard more about the event it really was going to be and wild horses couldn't have dragged me away. Indeed from the moment I received my Cutture invite in the post I was hooked.

Fetcham Park is a gorgeous venue. Our hostess Laura (more on her in a second!) was impeccable. I hope she enjoyed a long deserved lie-in this morning.

From the moment you arrive, perhaps by the pretty Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company** you realise you are somewhere special. Can you see the sneaky amazing Aston Martin in the background. Swoon. I digress.


To enter a candlelit world of beautifully restored frescos and murals is spellbinding. 


The elegant staircase awrapped with the whitest phalaenopsis orchids which became the catwalk for beautiful models in even more beautiful dresses including Stepahnie Allin, Jenny Packham and Suzanne Neville from Miss Bush Bridal choreographed by the lady oozing with style - Penny of Tigerlily. You could not ask for a more talented lady to be in charge of your wedding. J'adore. Her music choices were just spot on. Sia, yes. Nick Cave and Kylie, very yes. (yes I am a little fan girl - shush!) The models really worked the #fetchamsiren angle and walked like panthers emitting decadence from every pore. I apologise for no runway photographs but my attempts were truly abysmal. 

The make up and hair for the models was created by Carolanne Armstrong (who made me feel exceptionally pretty last weekend), Wonderful Wedding Hair (a secret Nolan sister), Mariam Jensen, and many more. This is a talented gaggle. Hmm what is the collective noun for make-up artists - a palette? and for hair stylists? - a salon? You wouldn't go wrong asking any of them to be part of your day. I cannot emphasise it enough. If you are not confident with make-up or your make your hair looks wonderful you must think about hiring someone.


Wild About Flowers created the most fabulous floral catwalk. The orchids were just perfect.

From the prettiest toes of a certain Laura Caudery our hostess with the mostest. I don't know how she does it? She certainly has the ability to make you feel like you are the only person in the room and despite you knowing she only has a moment to speak with you it feels like she offers you her world. This is one very special lady. To choose to have her as part of you wedding day will be one of the best decisions you could ever make, save perhaps your intended. (I promise no-one is paying me to say this - she is one in 7 billion).


Shocking I see nothing else save these precious Miu Mius - don't forget Laura - they fit my feet too!

To the tastiest food created by at home. I could have eaten the morsels of mushrooms all day. Bean tells me I missed out not trying the amazing minted pea soup. Oh the treats were abundant.

I am completely in love with this chandelier. It is even more stunning in real life. I just want to steal it and make it into a bath which I could suspend from the ceiling and one could climb bejewelled steps to immerse oneself. The perfect decadent bathroom. Umm Laura, if you happen to think it doesn't work with your deliciously decadent ballroom perhaps you could send it my way?


That's not to say the Fetcham cloakrooms aren't fabulous. Villeroy and Boch porcelain ware- oh gosh yes. (Please don't think I'm too weird - I just notice certain things!)

On to one of the lovely ladies I bumped into the wonderful Aisling of Any Other Wedding modelling the amazing, no seriously, amazing be-petaled  (of course it's a word) skull created by the cleverness that is Bloomin'gayles. The skull and all her flowers were epic.


Finally I mustn't, well I just can't, forget the wonderfully verbose Emma, everyone's favourite Wedding Reporter. The gorgeous, talented, modest Emma. She be wonderful and was in charge of writing some very pretty words for the speeches. I wish she could be my personal wordsmith. However she most certainly can be yours as she is now Fetcham Park's writer in residence. Adore.

Oh and I did I forget to say a certain Bean joined me on his first wedding blogger engagement. What did he wear I hear you ask? His delicious wedding suit with velvet braces. He did look rather dapper. Ladies, if your men are willing to listen, the Bean will be writing a sage few posts in the near future. Huzzah! 



I very much love this headpiece that the wonderfully generous Victoria Mary Vintage lent me to wear for the afternoon. Would it be so very bad if I fled the country with it now? Please do look on her website for far prettier photographs.


He he he - it's me with very green eyelashes and one of my favourite maps. Two Anna pictures? Blimey - I must have thought I looked pretty.



In conclusion, how would I describe Fetcham Park? 

The perfect intimate venue. The pinnacle of understated British elegance. You could not ask for a more devoted team. Some venues just see their clients as cash. The Fetcham Park team is certainly a carefully curated group of talented people and certainly cares and wants to go that extra mile. If I were a bride I would most definitely be going to take a much closer look.

At first glance it may seem an eternity from central London but if Bean's driving is anything to go by it is far closer than I imagined. Yes let's embrace the gorgeousness on our doorstep. Hmm a certain young lady quite fancies the most decadent of 30th birthday parties at this most remarkable venue.

Thank you for such a wonderful afternoon.

Thank you for being to inviting and generous.

Were you there? Did you have fun?

*I'm not so self absorbed to think I am truly Saturnine.
**I will be mostly talking about the fabulous suppliers who I met yesterday.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

willing wallpaper


And so my one day series continues.

Wallpaper features quite heavily in my wants. Having only ever lived in rented accommodation I have never enjoyed the thrill of virgin wallpaper. Don't get me wrong I love a splash of a deep matte or gloss paint but there always seems to be something so deliciously decadent about wallpaper.

This may also seem like a strange confession but I already have a secret stash of a few pretty rolls which I can't wait to break out at the right opportunity. I've secretly squirreled away odd rolls which I've found on ebay, etsy and wallpaper sales. They won't ever cover more than an alcove but I cannot wait to use them. I had wanted to incorporate one roll into the wedding but that's another idea I shall share with you on another day. I still think it is a great idea!

So how about this for a fine hand printed wallpaper by the immensely talented Georgia Horton


Hello delicious pale grey feathers - you would live so nicely in my fabulous decadent overly pink dressing room.

Or how about a quadrille of lobster in your kitchen? A risk of lobsters if you will (you learn something new everyday - and how I love to learn new collective nouns - yes I'm a geek!)


Finally how about a Hyde Park panorama? One and a half metres of perfection. I can't even begin to explain how much I want this scene in my life. It makes me feel nostalgic and optimistic in one fell swoop. Who knew wallpaper could make you feel so wonderful? Although I shall admit this is no ordinary wallpaper!


Do not fret nesters - although I don't love that word as it very much implies you are only thinking about babies so perhaps "homers" is more appropriate - I shall be revealing my secret wallpaper lusts slowly over the next few months.

Are you a wallpaper fiend? Please say you are! Tell me about your favourite prints. Let me live vicariously through your walls!

Friday, 28 October 2011

for every groom

Wedding days are days of love and pomp. I love that about them. I love that they are to be taken seriously and thought of as special because they should. It is a day to be cherished.

However that did not stop Bean and I having fun. Humour is an integral part of our love and I just would have loved for him to have had a secret little button on his shirt or trousers. Just because you are a black tie groom does not mean you have to surrender your personality entirely. Black tie is wonderful (if it works) but a little nod to the funny never hurts. Solemnity can be somewhat overwhelming. I know a few grooms would like to know there is something a little silly to idly fondle to remind them it's just not that scary.

I'm not going to lie. I don't usually love buttons. I don't get the love of buttons some of you lovelies observe. But some buttons I do like!

So hello Mr Button!

Mr Button by John Casewell Designs
A mere £5 for 10 buttons!

Can I be greedy and wish there could be a little mother of pearl action too?


Do you like?

luxe loves

Hello my name is Anna and I adore luxury. 

I'm not sure I've been able to keep it a secret have I?

I'm not ashamed to say that one of the watchwords for the wedding was decadence. (Not sure it quite happened but it is still part of the dream.)

Although I would say I view quality over price and I understand worth is completely different from price. 

For me this is one of those pieces. A piece which caught my eye a few weeks back and I have been dying  to share with you and so here be a little decadence to start your weekend. Expensive yes but worth far much more. 

Welcome to the joy that is RabLabs.*

$420 of what I desperately want to use as the top of my future hideously decadent drinks table. A beautiful polished slab of rose quartz with a golden edge.


Rose Quartz

*I can't whether it is a genius or awful name.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Anna and the Ring Bash!

Well gosh. I'm rather excited because it is time to reveal the details of the Ring Bash!


Eeeeek!

An unstuffy night of giggles, deep conversation, cocktails and debauchery and Bean debut. (If we're lucky?)

Are you in?

Everyone is invited (although I may have to limit the numbers eventually!) whether you be a bride, groom, old married (like me), newlywed, blogger, supplier, random onlooker or general blurker. I want to build a community and without you, it's just me!

So here are the deets - in case you are just overwhelmed by the awesomeness of Love Illustrated*'s fabulous invitation!

Date ~ 25th November
Venue ~ The London Cocktail Club in Fitzrovia
It's one of my favourite underground London bars. Their cocktails are lethally delicious. Hello Soda Syphon - all for me!
Time ~ 6pm 'til late 
Dress ~ Whatever your heart desires 
(or perhaps just, you know, like you would for funsies - no pressure but feel free to glam it up)
RSVP to annaandtheringlondon{at}gmail.com please.

(If you've already dropped me an email saying yes, please, me please - then you're in!)

I hope to offer you a few surprises on the night but we'll get to that later! 

So what are you waiting for? Don't be shy - I'm crazy nice and want to say hello.

Come, come, come to the Ring Bash!

P.S. If you are lovely supplier and want to get in on the Ring Bash action just drop me a line too. I'd love to hear from you.

P.P.S. I can't offer much in the way of free drinks, accommodation and what not but I can offer hugs and say that London isn't as expensive as you think it is and well I could do with lovely hugs from some lovely people? I know I'm selfish, but it's my party and I'll ask for hugs if I want to!

*Check them out already - their hand-drawn work is superb. I'm not kidding. Here click here and check out the awesomeness.


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