Friday, 30 September 2011

alphabets bags

There are some brands which make you happy.

Alphabet Bags and their sister site the Keep Calm Gallery are certainly one of those brands.

They have great customer service. That is Hayley and Lucas the owners and their team certainly care about their customers. They make me happy and in a week where certain brands have highlighted their lack of respect for the people who buy their garments it is great to see a UK brand caring about their customers.

A UK brand featuring UK talent. Love.

However above all they have amazing stuff. I actually can't believe I haven't talked about them more on here. I think I wanted to keep them a secret so I could have all the wonderfulness to myself.

Seriously every time I pop onto their site I see something new and my magpie eyes get all excited.

Now this is very much going to sound like my Christmas list (or may be a younger me's sticker album) but want, want, want, have, want, have!

Book Worm
Perfect for my new wanting to be a proper reader.

Coin Purse - &
I know a certain lady who would love this!

A - Gold
Perfect for an anna bridesmaid?
I would have so bought these for my ladies but I had another idea I wanted to try out - and need to show you too! 


Even the big cat approves. Yay. I'm a geek!

Huzzah.

And then there are the prints. The delicious witty, occasionally heart breaking, but always wondrous prints.

When I have actual walls upon which to hang such beauties I will have these beauties. (If they aren't all snapped up between now and hopefully soon.)

Oh so sweet as a guest book picture and then framed.

I want to be this person.

A very nice thought. And lovely can be your person inside too.

The perfect wedding present.
J'adore.

So you must pop over to both Alphabet Bags and the Keep Calm Gallery now and then come back and tell me which is your favourite. Go already!

Not a sponsored post - I just love.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

hello my first stocking filler



Hello my new favourite thing.
(Yes I like stuff)

A bookmark with an in built dictionary.
A wannabe bookworm's dream (well save the new books!)

Oh yes, as part of me wanting to book club (I do believe it is a verb) I fear there will be clever books with clever words I do not know.

Do we think 38000 words are enough for me to begin with? I'm up for giving it a challenge!

So the only problem I have now is pink or grey? Grey or pink?

Do you like?

so i told

I told my parents that I have a blog.

I felt so very sick before the moment. Sadly living in your parent's home (and it very much being their home not yours) makes revert to cloud teenager.

I was expecting shouting. I was expecting to be treated like a child. I was expecting them to say no.

(Not a great photo (of anyone!) but nearly the only one I have - please note the whoop flag in my father's pocket)

They were more - "meh" and "I'll have to start clicking to increase your site hits"

I forgot they were actual rational beings. Yes it is not the course they wanted me to take but at least they wanted to help me try and define an office space at home.

Huzzah for beating my catastrophising anxiety. Onwards. I am getting better.

(Also did anyone else have issues with commenting on the blog. About 5 or 6 people have already told me they did. Another yay for moving away from blogger. Soon my pretties, soon.)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

the art of thanks

Well looky here.

The lovely Annabel has deigned to ask me back to write for her fabulous incredibly popular blog Love My Dress.

Here is our thank you card being lovingly displayed by my parents.


I haven't quite decided whether using your own picture on a thank you card is incredibly vain and look at me but at the time it seemed right. (I really hate my hideous double chin and it makes me quite sad I did nothing about said chin but Bean looks so happy - I'm sure I must have been too at the time? Perhaps)

Would love to hear your take on the thank you card. Apparently I'm a little opinionated!

blue shoes - i saw you standing alone.

The lovely Emma of Another Ring Coming had a wedding shoe quandary. 

I got this brief.

My ideal shoe is:

Indigo or electric blue (will stretch to any old blue)

Summer sandal

Heel no higher than 10cm (4 inches)

Not chunky, platformy, a wedge, or heavily strappy

Delicate

Ideally ankle strap, not slingback.

Yikes. We have one demanding Australian right here! (Kidding!)

As always I thought it would be easy. I was a little wrong. I apologise for the smattering of Ivanka Trump shoes. I needed to go worldwide and Zappos seemed like a good place to start! 


1. Ivanka Trump - Zappos - $160 - I do love a good T-Bar sandal.
2. Ivanka Trump - Zappos - $117 - A little understated?
3. Glamorous - Dune - £90 - Comfy prettiness.
4. Delaine - Dune - £85 - Bowdacious.
5. Isabella - Kurt Geiger - £39 - Bow overload? A little crazy?
6. Nina - Zappos - $99.95 - Delicate with a pretty gold edge/
7. FlashBulb8 - Nine West - £75 - I love these!
8. Halston- Miss KG - £65 - Pretty with a simple twist.
9. Edie - Kurt Geiger - £160 - My secret favourites.
10. Nina - Zappos - $89.95 - I can't decide whether I like these - I think they are too low and a little ugly?!
11. Dianne - Kurt Geiger - £90 - Love the high ankle.
12. Donald J Pliner - Zappos - $235 - Love the colour.

Prices in Sterling and US Dollars.

So what do you think? Have I found "the ones".

(Edit - Emma found the No. 3 pair and thinks they might be "the ones")


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mmmm cocktails.

Whilst I am out pretending I can schmooze (thank you for the invite Vicky) I thought I would offer you another cocktail opportunity.

This is so not a sponsored post!

I have no idea if this is going to be fun but I am certainly going to be partaking in London Cocktail Week.

Oh cocktails, me likey. London, me likey. How could this possibly go wrong?

So what are you doing from the 7th to 16th October?

All it seems one needs to do is sign up for a wristband (hmmm I am not a festival going lady) and be over 21,  pick up the aforementioned binding from the pop up shop at Selfridges and then go forth and sample.

The cocktails appear to be from £4 which in London terms is free!

There are also a myriad of talks and masterclasses and then if you really cannot be bothered to walk to a bar there even the a cocktail tour bus.

I'm excited.

Will you be joining me?



oh my the washi love



I'm not sure there are any words.

Well, save I need to buy a Mac so I can do something like this.




Monday, 26 September 2011

Book Clubs

I am a wannabe. A book club wannabe. However I am not a good reader. I am sure I never pay enough attention to be a good reader. I grew up in a school where the science peeps did not read books. So my repertoire of literature is small. In fact I am sure I can read a book and have none of it penetrate. I know I am a perfect book club attendee!

Yet, since starting to blog I want to widen my vocabulary and voice and I know/think the best way to do this is to immerse myself in intelligent words. (Anna this does not mean another murder book).

Do you have any tips on how to help the creative writing process?

I think I need to join a book club. However I fear that I am more of a drinker than a thinker and thus I am in love with this. Although I fear it may be to do with her rad red jeans more than anything else!



and again i am learning.

This weekend was perhaps not the weekend I wished for.

Don't get me wrong there were great bits!

So this is my low down! Both good and bad in near chronological order with my awful unedited iPhone pictures!

1. I am not good at dealing with embarrassment. I despise being made to look like a fool when I am in the right. Grrrr. Also I should not hop and skip. I have a tendency to fall flat on my back. Also London people. I am from London too, I get it, but if you see someone fall over right next to you and the aforementioned person hits their head it is okay to ask if they are okay. Okay?! (P.S. Ow!)

Thank you Miss London Bride and your Instax!

2. The VIP lounge at London Fashion Weekend was fun but not worth £125! We certainly tried to get a couple of extra champagne refills. The catwalk was at least quite interesting. I tried to grab a few pictures. There are some epic clothes that would be perfect for the fashion forward bride. 

Love the black and white together. The tassles may be a little OTT but I am still liking what I saw!

Fabulous, textured Osman

Love the Bryce Aime. I would love for a bride to wear this.

Hmm. It's interesting I've chosen pictures all of the same model. Should I go for the platinum blond crop?!

3. I'm sure I'm not meant to think this but I do find some models fascinating. Their walks are incredible. Their limbs are mesmerising.

4. It is very not good for me that I seem to adore all of Kate Spade's prettiness. It is even more fabulous in the flesh. 2 new stores in London with the exact vibe I would wish to decorate my own home in - this is going to be difficult!

5. I am incredibly unphotogenic. We knew this already but dang Bean took the most hideous photo of me with London Bride's camera! Also how cute (nay gorgeous) is Charley in stripes?! She was even complemented by Grace Woodward. Oh yes this young lady is hot!

6. I need to learn to break shoes in. Seriously. I cannot cope with any more blisters. Do you have any tips?

7. To compound the scathing review of my skin last week. The Elizabeth Arden lady came at me with her "skin diagnostics tool." Oh my poor skin is severely dehydrated and I admitted my terrible skin secret. I don't use a moisturiser on a regular basis and worse still, I may sort of never remove my make-up before bed. Yikes! I'm a bad person. This will begin to catch up with my poor pores very soon. However since the look on her and Charley's faces I removed my make-up properly. I am still trying to find the right moisturiser. Any tips for slightly oily skin?

8. I forgot to mention how much fun Goodwood Revival was despite me not getting my hair done! I would love to return with a big group of friends with a hampers and champers. Oh and perhaps a few million to purchase a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing at the Bonham's auction. Yes please. What do you think of Bean and Hunter - Bean playing in his wedding suit. He was rather happy!

Aww - it's almost as if they've never seen a Routemaster!

Pretty Rolls.

General Fiat 500 wonderfulness.

I assume this is the deliciously phallic Type E Jag. But I'm a bad girl and just loved the colour!

What have you been up to?

P.S. Are you up for some controversy later on in the week?

Friday, 23 September 2011

ring a ding ding?

Wedding rings.

Hmm.

I've spoken about my journey to my wedding ring in the past.

I wear my Mamgu's (my Welsh grandmother) wedding ring as my own. I adore that I see a connection to my past every day. If anything I cherish that more than the actual significance of it being a wedding band. I most certainly do not need a ring to tell me I am married.


There is oft talk about men who choose not to wear a wedding ring. Indeed there were certain mumbles when Prince William chose not to wear a ring. I never expected Bean to wear a ring. If anything it would have saved us some money if he had chosen not to. I thought it would be nice but as my father has never worn a wedding ring I never assumed Bean would. Yet Bean was the opposite, his father chose to wear a wedding band, as his father did before him. Bean comes from a farming family, men who worked with their hands. The perfect/usual excuse for not wearing a wedding ring.

However, a certain single friend finds it relatively strange that our friend's husband does not wear a ring. She uses the line that she likes to know a man is attached when she speaks to him at the bar. Whilst I agree that married men should not appear available I am sure that Bean has chatted to girls at bars. I know he's chatted to girls before he was married and it is possible for a man to explain he is attached. Is a wedding ring a magical chastity belt? Of course it isn't. People don't automatically not cheat if they are married. 

The more I look into a man wearing a wedding ring the more it appears to be only a cynical marketing ploy. The more people who wear wedding rings the more money we can earn. 100% increase in turnover. Boom! I'm not saying that men don't want to wear rings or that men that do not want to to wear them are bad cheaters. We are all different. I do rather love seeing Bean idly toy with his wedding ring but would I think he cared about me less if he did not wear one? Of course not, marriage cannot be summed up by a "bestowal of earnest money." So should you be worried if your intended refuses to wear a ring? I guess it depends in the person you are about to marry. Trust is not found in a band of gold. If you do not trust them now. You will never trust them.

Yet how about those woman who do not wish to wear a wedding ring?  Is this a feminist issue? My grandmamma always refused to change her name (when married) to the feminine Polish ending and has most of her mail sent to Mr BigLongPolishName. So I very much want to be a feminist because of the very strong female influences in my life. However I find the subject of feminism difficult because of the man hatred. (Another post for another time!)

I love to wear my wedding ring but as I've said before I like it more for the family history than proving I have a relationship with my husband. However should I have always assumed I was going to wear a wedding ring? Should woman who choose not to, be cast out as lepers? Is it a sign that I wish to bear? Is it anyone else's business that I am a married woman? I am perfectly capable of talking to men and woman without jumping their bones. 

I love my rings but there one more than one occasion I have felt embarassed by such an obvious display of my marital status. It appears boastful, that I am happy and you without your ring cannot possibly be as happy. Obviously this is a ridiculous conclusion.

What does a wedding ring mean to you? Do you need one? Do you need your intended to wear one?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Bow-daucious


Oh Mr Valentino I nearly always love every piece in your Red collections.

However this coat has stolen my heart completely. 

I already have far too many sweet Macs but this one. Oh my.

Could we perhaps try to DIY? What do you think?

How Exciting!

The lovely Annabel of Love My Dress wonderfulness has been lovely enough to let my writings grace the pages of her delicious blog today.

Oh yes. I'm talking about wedding favours. It may be a little controversial?!


I'm sure you've already seen it but just in case, click here.

Would love to hear what you have to say.

(I've not been feeling that well over the past couple of days so I'm rather excited about this)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

hello nyc I need your help


I have been made of a lovely couple. A lovely couple who must remain nameless (just now) for secret delicious reasons.

Said couple are to be married in early November in NYC. 

Well I say they are to be married but they have hit upon some unforeseen "challenges."

Now upon the twitter I have already inquired as to whether there is a photographer who might be interested in a commission for maybe 4 hours work for a teeny amount. 

The new quandary is that they wish to be wed on a public holiday - a most auspicious date one might say. Said New Yorker somewhat forgot about the closures of the City Clerk's Office. Ack.

So beautiful US people, do you know of any wonderful officiants in the tri-state area? 

(Although I am sorely tempted to try and get myself ordained and Bean to hunt down a camera! - it would rather fulfill one of my 30 before 30 wants).

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

and the winner is....

Many thanks to my external adjudicator, the lovely Big Cat.

Well how does one beat around the bush?

Hmm, perhaps I shouldn't.

I fear there are a few of you on tenterhooks! 

I did rather enjoy choosing the hat. Oh the hat has a very good story. Apologies for the rather accountancy looking paper. 

So the winner is.............................

Oh Hipstamatic I am unsure of you.

............................Charley aka London Bride! Hope you still are free?

Thank you so much for entering. All of you. I'm so sorry I couldn't take you all. Bean was even in the mix and is not very happy he didn't win. Oops! He was really wanted to talk to the style advisors!

Anyways, let's do something soon. Perhaps a Ring Bash? Are you up for it?

Monday, 19 September 2011

how to open up?

I love this little wedding blog.

I love being open and honest. I love that it inspires you to email to talk about your problems. You know I may not have the answers but it sure does help to talk.

However I still have a little niggle. The fact that none of my pre-blog friends (save one lovely Hunter and his Lady - thank you alcohol) have any knowledge of these pages.

I feel as if I am lying to them. I cannot really talk about my evenings out or why I was out playing with a make-up artist on friday. (Thank you Ana and more on that very soon!)

I'm not saying they would want to read about my exploits. I am unsure they want to hear about the minutiae. I very much worry that you have no desire to hear about the minutiae. Yet it would not be nice to not fear mentioning Twitter or Pinterest. Today I am very close to admitting to one of my friends that I write a blog. I am sure I don't need to explain to those who are internet savvy that some friends are not so much in love with the intewebs. I'm pretty sure they will think I be weird and it may somewhat confirm their view of my antisocialness. Yes, I'm a geek but an increasingly social introvert.. Although I do fear that the lady in question already knows. Do you - my lovely Mouse?


So should I tell? I really do not know. I want to be open and honest. I loved the anonymity that this blog provided in the early days but I am kidding myself that I am still anonymous.

Indeed in a few short months I will be starting a new website and in need of all the help I can get for the promotion of said words.

Have you started anonymously and then "come out" to your friends? I would very much love to hear about your experiences. My email to said friend is open and half typed. Yet the fear, oh you know how I hate the fear of judgement!

London Fashion Weekend Prize

Oh lovely ladies (and gentlemen) you only have a few more hours until I pick the winner! (With my independent adjudicator, Bean.)

So if you want to join me in the Platinum Lounge at London Fashion Weekend you need to be clicking on this here link!

Come, come - such fun! You only need to enter once to win. Each separate entry is an extra chance!

Cannot wait to meet one of you!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Saturday Smiles

I am a very lucky girl and off to Goodwood Revival today.

So I thought I would leave a delicious picture for you in honour of the vintage feel of the day. Well not quite the look I am going for.


Thank you Awkward Family Photos - you do make me rather happy.

P.S. Don't forget you only have 48 hours to enter to London Fashion Weekend competition - here. You need only choose one of these ways to enter. The more you do, the more chance you have! Good Luck!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Evian Brumisateur

So this another of my sponsored posts.

I was rather looking forward to playing with the Evian Facial Spray. It has always been one of those things I've always fancied buying but never got round to actually, you know, buying.

I've read the "science" Evian.
"With its light mist, evian® facial spray hydrates (the epidermis), refreshes and tones your skin throughout the day. It helps the skin regain its water balance and also helps combat dryness caused by air conditioning or pollution. 
Evian® facial spray is the ideal beauty partner for perfect make-up. Used by professional make-up artists, it helps fix and refresh make-up during the day. 
For perfect make-up, after applying your foundation, spritz for 3 seconds 30 cm away from the face and allow to dry. Its fine mist helps eliminate any surplus and evens out the complexion to ensure a completely natural result."


However I am a cynic and do realise that water + nitrogen makes not for anything more than expensive water.

Yet, since I have been playing with my little can of joy. My skin does feel and look happier and slightly more hydrated. Maybe it is a placebo effect, maybe it actually pays to pay some attention to one's skin.

Do enjoy my demonstration. Oh yes the bad photos are back. There is no point in trying to make me look good. Te hee! (Obviously forgive my hair and general make-up less face!)



Thank you Bean. Such a hot salesgirl he is!

It is most definitely a luxury but it has been a life saver for me over the past few muggy hot weeks. 

Have you tried it? Go on, enjoy yourself!

Red Lips

Today, I am on a hunt for red lips.

Red lips that will be taken to Goodwood Revival tomorrow. 

Yes I am a lucky girl - Bean's main man somehow scored 4 free tickets for the Saturday. I cannot wait. I've never been before. Shall be a busy weekend. Goodwood, then back to London for my bridesmaid's (am I still allowed to call her my bridesmaid?) birthday - it may get a little messy - and then onto Birmingham for Sunday lunch with the inlaws visiting one of the brothers. 

So whilst I will not be rocking gold leaf eyebrows or lips I will need the perfect red lipstick.

For someone with a slightly yellow complexion and slightly imperfect teeth what would you recommend?


Tell me about your favourite reds!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

a mother's love


This is my mother.

She swears blind that this isn't her but I am convinced.


How incredibly cute!

via Pinterest via Piccsy (and the inevitable miasma)

Apparently close friends have sent her this picture in card form before saying that it must be her too!

She explicitly denies that her mother would have dressed her in shorts.

My Mamgu was an exquisitely talented seamstress and she always had pretty dresses. I miss my Mamgu so very much.

Obviously my Mamgu was a clever lady who knew her daughter was astoundingly cute on roller skates!

(Just a shame about the message!)

So I'm going to always think this is her - it makes me beyond happy.

Jenny Packham 2012

I have spoken about my love for Jenny Packham muchly in the past.

She has a way of choosing the perfect fabric and draping it oh so exquisitely. There is glamour but also deep intense romance. As a bride what more could you possibly want? She was my muse for my wedding.

She is not afraid to takes risks. She is not afraid of using an unexpected colour (oh her use of grey is breathtaking) and fabrics (heavily beaded delectable creations). She makes women look beautiful. She understands the body and she knows how to dress it. 

Here are a few of my favourites from her new collection.

How delicious is this dress. One shoulder, the beading, the puddle train. Exquisite.

Iris

Jenny Packham usually goes for dramatic with length but her short dresses hit the right spot too. Not just a simple dress. A dress with tiny extra details which just make it extra special.

Nymph

The new take on her "infamous" Papillion. This was the dress every boho bride wanted and now it is with sleeves. Huzzah!

Parma

I adore the delicate high sheer neckline of this beauty. The detail at the shoulder. The exquisite silk. I would love to see this move.

Violet

Just look at those sweet sleeves contrasting with the deliciously low neckline. I would say this is perfect for a lady with sublime assets! The train is just that little longer for you to feel as if you are gliding. Swoon.

Aspen

Without a doubt, this is my most favourite from the new collection. The asymmetry, the drapery. The delicious beadwork. The fluted skirt full of fabric in which one could dance and twirl. One of the major considerations I find! Yes, I would very much like to be wearing this dress.

Elm

All pictures via Jenny Packham

Are you a Jenny Packham fan? Which is your favourite?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

love or hate

I can't quite decide whether these are awesome or awful.

What do you think?*





































































via the Frogman and then endless awful Tumblr.


*Sorry it goes outside the lines - I wanted it as big as possible.

time for some sparkle

Do you like fireworks?

I have been known to ooo and ahh over pretty Weeping Willows.

We weren't allowed fireworks - although I'm not sure Bean or I really were that desperate for them - but I know that if you have wedding outside the traditional fireworks period many venues are not allowed due to noise restrictions.

So how about this bad boy?

Hammacher Schlemmer provider of the weird and wonderful proudly present - The Handheld Fireworks Light Show Projector!



Huzzah - complete with realistic sounds - perfect for that indoor fireworks display you have always wanted!

What do you think? 

Not bad for $39.99?



Tuesday, 13 September 2011

So this bit isn't about weddings but if you have a moment.

by the wonderful Kim Smith (I think I love her)


As I carefully dip my toe into into the depths* of my psyche I am realising things any "well" person would have known all their life.

My brain man started to challenge me from our first session. I can never fail at something I don't try but I can never prove to myself I could be better without trying. Yes this is obvious. I know. I need to be kind to myself. I need to say the things I would say to my friend if she

The thought of sitting in front of a wheel still petrifies me. However, I now have my provisional licence (oh my the photo!) and I guess the only way to prove to myself I am stronger than my anxieties is to try.

Another part of his work has been to make me think about my anxieties. I know in person I may* seem like a rational human being but in the run up to leaving the house I have to fight my demons.

The brain man felt it would be great idea to write about my demons. In black and white and then reevaluate my thoughts after the fact.

So before 
- fear of rejection
- fear of being perceived as boring 
- fear of being perceived as stupid
- the rather physical effects of anxiety. (I wish I didn't want to have scalp Botox.)
It's such a pathetic list. I see that I sound like a surly teenager. Yet in the moment I am gripped. Gripped by the fear of being judged and obviously I know I will fare poorly. It is so much more than my general introvertedness.

After 
- yes fun. I enjoyed myself. (Did you read my little write-up yesterday?***)
- relief I am home and not being judged.
- but I still fear that people were just being nice for the sake of it or induced by booze.

Hmm. I fear I am no further forward. The demon is still inside me. I must realise it is not part of me. I shall report back later to see if I managed to get any further. 

Do you have similar issues? I would love to hear from you whether it be in public or private. It is good to talk.

*I am assuming there are depths.
**I have no idea really.
***Are you one of the ladies I really want to talk to - please email me! (annaandtheringlondon {at} gmail.com)

tuesday shoesday - something blue

I'm always on the lookout for cute non bridally wedding shoes.

The brief for me usually is:

- not white

Hmm. I guess that's it. Anything to be a little different, right?!

So when I saw these I knew I would have to blog them. I know they not be to everyone's taste. Perhaps a little too casual. But for the right bride, these could totally be your something blue. (If you are into all of that and otherwise you could go for them in the black!).

I am not one who can dance in heels all night long. So pretty yet cool flats are like my crack. Thank you asos and Peter Jensen.




They are not cheap at £160 but you will wear them forever. Well I certainly would.

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