Monday, October 28, 2013

The Dresses they wore to say 'I do!' - Audrey Hepburn - 'Funny Face'

I am working on a little series of short posts on wedding moments and wedding dresses that have been iconic for me. This is the first in this series.  I hope you enjoy it.

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of Edith Head.  She died in 1981 but would have been 116 today.  Edith was the creative mind behind the wardrobes for many leading ladies (and gents) including my favourite actress, Audrey Hepburn.  One of my favourite Audrey Hepburn films that Edith worked on is Funny Face and the outfit that stands out in my mind is the gorgeous wedding dress she wears.

I love the neckline of Audrey's dress, it's the perfect ballerina style skirt for Audrey's delicate frame and shows off her tiny waist. On my wedding dress hunt I tried lots of dresses with a similar neckline to this dress and nearly chose one which was almost identical, except floor length.

I'm sure this dress inspired many brides-to-be at that time, as it continues too.  I love the dress (below) by Belfast designer Lizzie Agnew.

'Jackie' Picture from

Monday, October 21, 2013

208 Days: Our 11th Anniversary - The Story of How We Met

It's 11 years since Jim and I first started going out and althought that seems like a stupidly long time ago, I still remember the night we first met.

In the summer of 2002 my best friend Nicky and I went to a WTSS gig in the Yacht Club, Portrush. I think this was one of the first gigs we'd been to there but that summer spent a lot of our time in Portrush.

That night a punk band called MellowDramatic we're playing. As far as I can remember they played some NoFX covers and some Nirvana, and had a guitarist who sat down and played off a music stand. But it was the drummer, who I very shortly learned was Jim, who caught my eye. I thought he was gorgeous, and seemed really 'cool' and funny.  There was just something about him (check out the blurry pic below heehee)

A very blurry teenage Jim

A few weeks after the gig, in an attempt to get his attention I added him on MSN Messenger. As a pretty shy almost 17 year old I was terrified he'd ask a) who are you? Or b) why have you added me? Thankfully he asked neither, and we started chatting semi regularly online where Jim would recommend CDs and bands and I'd 'borrow' Mum's Amazon account details to order them.


I saw Jim again at a couple of gigs over the summer but he was often "on route to the bar". He says he was 'playing it cool', I  just thought he didn't seem that interested.

It wasn't until October that we met up again properly and spent the evening hanging out at a mutual friend's birthday party. I'd recently bought 2 CDs he'd recommended The Unravelling - Rise Against and Detailed Instructions for the Self-Involved - Pinhead Circus so we chatted about that for a bit and ending up spending most of the night together.  

This was also the night we first kissed...

It wasn't terribly romantic. Jim had asked where the bathroom was in the house and I'd offered to show him. After he'd finished in the bathroom we had a random discussion, in the bathroom ,about how it was weird to have carpet in there.

Then he kissed me. (he will tell you I kissed him, but he was definitelly the instigator!!)

I can still remember the butterflies I got in my stomach when we first kissed :) It was all very exciting and fast...then our friend's mum walked in (awkward!!)

We both left the party and went home. I remember thinking Jim was so grown up as he got a taxi home, where as Nicky and I usually walked home or got collected by my parents. When we got home we both got straight on MSN Messenger. He asked for my mobile number then proceeded to call me to check I'd  given him my real number.

A couple of nights late I was chatting with my friend Katie on MSN Messenger (it's clear I spent a lot of time on MSN!) We were gossiping about boys and she asked if there was anyone I liked and I told her about Jim. She got very excited and said she would subtly ask him if he liked me. Little did I know she was about as subtle as a brick when she sent him a message.

'Amy likes you do you like her?'

He didn't respond to her but instead he sent me a message saying

'I like you too.'

'Will you go out with me?'

And the rest, as they say, is history!

In our 11 years together he has run across town to rescue me from a spider in my car (which crawled up my neck – clearly an emergency!!) and has driven an hour to collect me in the middle of the night after my handbag was stolen, he has spoiled me with trips to London, Edinburgh, and Barcelona.  He cooks for me, surprises me with chocolate and hugs me when I need cheered up.  He loves my family and my family love him.  Knowing he’s with me (or at the end of the phone) makes me feel brave.  I love him with every ounce of my being and feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to go on adventures and grow old with the best person I know.

Happy Anniversary Jim!

Monday, October 07, 2013

219 Days: Haughty Culture*

I have an app on my phone called 'WeddingHappy'.  I downloaded it after watching this PopSugar Video on Best Wedding Planning Apps. It's not an app I use religiously but it is useful.  It creates a personal timeline of tasks based on your wedding date.  It has a great 'countdown to the wedding' function (which is useful for titling blog posts) and would be handy for brides-to-be on the go to keep track of supplier details and appointments. You can even add a certain number of your own tasks and deadlines on the free version.  Once you've completed a task you mark it 'done' and it drops off the list.  

Top of its list of things I should have done by now is 'Book Florist' which is way past it's deadline and is now marked, in bright red letters as 'Complete as soon as possible'.

So...I guess it's about time that I share with you some ideas we've had on flowers and foliage for our wedding. 

When Jim and I lived in Belfast we didn't have a garden. We did have a 'beautiful' communal alley, full of bins, which overlooked a train line but this surprisingly didn't inspire us to be particularly horticultural.  We did grow a chilli plant indoors, but as we lived in an end terrace there was a ridiculous daily ritual of moving the pot from the front of the house to the back to maximise its time in the sun!!

Jim has always been more interested in gardening than I have and, ever practical, he grew lots of vegetables in a local community garden - mostly potatoes and red lettuce as the slugs seem to leave those alone.

Out the back of our new house in Leicester we have a little paved sun trap which means we have no excuse not to grow something!  This year, alongside some particularly vigorous mint (for mojitos obviously) I planted some freesia and some gladioli.  The freesias never appeared (Jim's mum informed me they are quite hard to grow) but at the end of August these beautiful pink galdioli appeared.

At the weekend I spent some time weeding some of our flower beds and I've planted some heather in what I hope will become a sort of wild flower bed. 

With most other aspects of our wedding I feel completely comfortable but I know next to nothing about flowers and floral arranging.  So although WeddingHappy (and I) felt a post on flowers was due, I have really struggled to write it.

I can definitely appreciate beautiful floral arrangements and have a few favourite flowers but because we would prefer to arrange the flowers ourselves I'm searching for the right place to start.

So far we think we'd like to avoid anything too formal or arranged, preferring the natural, more hand picked arrangements.  I love gypsophila (Jim also likes this as he read somewhere that it is pretty cheap!), lavender, white and green hydrangeas, and peonies. 

I'm really lucky to have Jim's mum to advise on what's in season and recognise all the random flowers I photograph and send to her. 

We like the idea of mixing potted plants in amount the arrangements and where possible sourcing in season flowers from the local area rather and than shipping in a million frozen tulips from Amsterdam.  

Our spare room currently houses our extensive recycled glassware collection and a few friends and family members have also started a similar collection on our behalf. We'd like to use as many recycled and upcycled pieces in our wedding decorations as possible.

Below are some pictures from our floral mood board.

So although we're not totally decided on what flowers we will, writing this post has definitely helped and has shown us that maybe, we have more of an idea of what we would like that we thought!
*Haughty Culture...Horticulture lol

** some pictures my own, others from magazines or online searches.

Leicester Bloggers Meet-up - 28-Sept-13

I've only been blogging for 4 1/2 months and was definitely still finding my feet when the Zatchels Factory store launched at the end of the July and all of a sudden my Twitter time line was filled with RTs of Midlands based fashion and beauty bloggers who'd attended the event! There were some brilliant blogs that up 'til that point I'd been missing out on, and I was in heaven as I chain-read their blogging back catalogue!

One of these was Hareem (Iheartmexo) who was organising a Leicester Bloggers Meet up.  Most of the girls attending were Fashion Beauty and Lifestyle Bloggers but I tweeted to say I'd definitely be interested in going along. It was a bit scary as I didn't know anyone and also I'm not a fashion or beauty blogger, just a massive fan of reading those kinds of blogs.  I was also excited and having up sticks and moved to Leicester I felt well rehearsed in going new places and meeting new people.

We all met at Highcross in the morning for the first show in their Autumn Fashion Fix.

This was followed by breakfast and some beauty browsing, then we all met back up at Bella Italia for lunch.  
It was really lovely to chat with other people who blog and I made sure to take advantage of their beauty knowledge when we went shopping after lunch! (Thanks to recommendations by the lovely Sophia of Tattooed Tea Lady - I went back to get the Bobbi Brown eye cream!)

I'm looking forward to meeting up with the girls again soon!