Monday, 27 March 2017

Our Spring Wedding | Somerset Suppliers


Whilst I'm not usually one to post photos of us online, there's just something I have to share with you. On Saturday I acquired a Husband. We've been planning our wedding for 18 months. Although having said that it was only in around September that we really started to plan the finer details. I wanted to share our Wedding Suppliers with you, because they are the people who really made the Wedding the day it was. I would recommend each and everyone of our suppliers they have all been wonderful to work with. 

Our Venue
The Bishop's Palace, Wells. We chose our venue as it is in the City I was born in - Wells in Somerset. The Bishop's Palace offered us the wonderful backdrops for our photos and the gardens were perfect for our guests to explore.

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Photographer 
We booked our photographer - Brad Wakefield back in 2015, as we knew we were set on having him after seeing his wonderful wedding photography. We both felt very comfortable with him around which is amazing considering neither of us particularly like having our photo taken or being the centre of attention. 



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Florist 
Our lovely Florist Clare of Larkspur & Lilac - Clare is a local supplier and from the initial meeting we knew she knew her stuff. The venue looked absolutely stunning and a lot of that was down to the decoration of the tables and flowers.



These mini milk bottle holders are from Tanya at The Cosy Corner House as soon as I spotted them on her instagram page I knew they would be perfect for our wedding. Just look how cute the flowers look in them. They were the perfect size to transfer from the registry office to the reception venue.
 


Wedding Dress
My dress came from Orange Blossom Bridal Boutique in Street. Christina and Michael the owners are just wonderful. I had good feelings about Orange Blossom, but it was Christina who brought me my dress as the final one I tried on that day. It had every aspect of the other dresses I'd loved all rolled into one dress. I absolutely loved it and didn't want to take it off... ever! Dancing and swirling around in it was great fun. 

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Makeup Artist
My make up artist for the morning was Charlie who owns Flutter by Beauty in Wells was just amazing. She took such care in making our makeup look absolutely beautiful. She made me cups of tea and was just so lovely.

Hairdressers
Our wedding hair stylists were from Frontline Hair Salon in Wells. The girls, Amber and Gemma did a great job of mine, my bridesmaids and mums hair as well as my little flowergirl. If only I could have somebody do my hair and makeup everyday...

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Wedding Stationery
I spotted the beautiful stationery that Heather, Feather & Flourish, creates via our photographers instagram account and then got into contact with Heather directly. She created a lot of the finishing touches to our wedding as well as the invitations.



Confetti 
Our confetti came from Shropshire Petals, who produce natural biodegradable confetti. Perfect for any wedding.. Find out more here.

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Cake 
My multi- talented Sister in Law made us this wonderful cake. It looked amazing and tasted divine too. 


Table plan 
Our lovely table plan was made by my clever husband - we bought most of the components of the table plan from The Wedding of my Dreams (here). And The Boy made the frame himself. Our tables were named after the places we've travelled together - we also had photos of us on each table, along with scrabble holders and scrabbled pieces for the names of the tables and peoples names + as favours. 



DJ
Our DJ was from the Wedding Players who were brilliant. We had a lot of fun dancing with our friends.

Now it's time to say Goodbye to social media for a little while as we enjoy our Honeymoon. 

Toodle pip!

*All images that are asterixed were taken by our Wedding Photographer Brad Wakefield. 
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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Why running?

I gave a little update on my running in one of my previous blog post - life lately. Mentioning my running plans and having booked into my very first 10K run. (Yes I really have got the bug..)! I had every intention to write a full post about my running and then I  read a post of Kat Louise's about the gym.. ('how I busted my fear of the gym', here). And it made me think about what I do, and inspiring others.

But let's take a step back and look at why it's running I've chosen... 

When I was younger I was never sporty - I wasn't on any teams. Despite giving it a go it was probably way too easy for us to duck out of P.E. or slack at the back. Perhaps we weren't pushed enough. I don't know. I wish I'd known (or believed) back then how much I could, potentially enjoy fitness and exercise. As I really have turned my life around. I used to spend evenings on the sofa - with no exercise regime in place at all. Now you'll find me training (bootcamp) in the park 2 evenings a week, and on a Saturday morning, if it's a really good week!

It stated back in may 2015 I decided that I'd take up running. I've blogged previously about my running so don't want to repeat myself but... I started out with the couch to 5k programme. I would TOTALLY recommend it if you want to get into running. You can read that post here.

I've been running 5km for about 18 months now, generally around once a week as I got to bootcamp as well. There just aren't enough days for rest days.. if I run too often. I really am the fittest I've ever been. But I was stuck at 5K. I've done slightly more - once running 7.5km just to test myself. Once. But I hadn't seriously thought I would continue to run longer distances. I'd run a couple of Parkruns, a RunThrough 5K and also the colour run last September.  All of which I really enjoyed. You can read a little about my running journey here.

This is why I needed the next challenge, so early on in January I booked myself onto a 10K. And with that I needed to up my training. I downloaded an app called 5K to 10K - a 9 week training programme to get you to the 10K distance. A few weeks past and I hadn't yet started. So that plan was out the window. I then found a 6 week training programme online which I then followed. You can find it here. I think it's slightly better for me than the app I originally found as that included walking and I just don't think I could go back to walking now. 

At the beginning of March I ran that 10K. I really enjoyed it.. It was at Bushy Park, it was a good route to run - twice around a decent section of the park. However I did find my Map My Run told me I'd hit 10K before I got to the finish line. So I have to say I'm sticking with that time of 52 minutes and 57 seconds. I can't quite believe it. I ran the first kilometre the fastest I've ever run, which I didn't want to do. Luckily I managed to settle myself into a good pace after that. But it also meant that I'd set a new PB for my 5K too. Hooray.


The great thing about running is that it's free.. although I'll warn you - you may become addicted to buying snazzy running gear... It's also a great opportunity to put some great tunes on and indulge in some 'me time'. As Spring is arriving I think it's the best time to start running or train for something. 

And would you believe it I booked myself onto my next 10K that very day!

Until next time.

Xx

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Life | A little update..

Well I think it's safe to say wedding planning takes up rather a lot of time. Throw in a 52.5 hr working week, training for a 10K and 2 evenings at bootcamp plus writing for another blog as well. It's certainly been a busy few weeks. I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm not very good at relaxing to be honest. 

This has taught us to be super organised. My life has consisted of lists for rather a while now; our lounge is rather full of wedding paraphernalia and candles and I've got a collection of dresses and ties hanging around. All of which will take it's rightful position very soon. The big day will take place next weekend when we'll gather our nearest and dearest to help celebrate our wedding. 


It's all coming together well, we've worked with some lovely suppliers and I want to share them with you. I've taken pictures along the way, of our menu cards, the table plan and the other bits & pieces we've collected. However I won't publish anything just yet.. As some of our friends and family are on Twitter or read my blog. I want there to be an element of surprise. And so I will post about this at a later date..

We'll then be packing up and heading to Sri Lanka for our honeymoon. We're both looking forward to the sun and spending time together. We've both been seriously busy lately, so it will be lovely to relax. Of course Sri Lanka is something else I'd like to get to post about.. 

But you'll have to bare with me... xx


I'll leave you with some pretty flowers to look at these were from Bloom & Wild. A gift from the My Baba Pushchair Party we were invited to during the week. (Aren't they lovely? But I think it's a good job I'm not arranging our wedding flowers)!

{In the meantime if you have any top tips for Sri Lanka please get in touch. We'd love to hear them}
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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Life Lately

Time is slipping away from me at the moment as 'Life Lately' has been busy. (Isn't it always)?! But I thought it was about time for a little update as March is creeping up on us really rather quickly and then I just know that I may not be able to blog quite so much. 

So here's what I've been doing.. in Life Lately.

Planning and Organising..
It's now less than 5 weeks until our wedding - the countdown really is on. We've been busy with wedding prep and wedmin as I've heard it referred to. Menu tastings, shopping for confetti etc. By the way if you are searching for beautiful natural confetti for your wedding look no further than Shropshire Petals


I've also been dress shopping with a very special little girl. Had my hair and makeup trials and we've met with our photographer - believe me it's all been going on. It's taken some careful planning to fit everything into our busy schedules. But we've done it and I can feel the hard work paying off already.


Drinking... Gin
Now as a general rule of thumb I would say I'm not a huge fan of gin. But after a wonderful evening sipping hot gin cocktails on the roof terrace of the Ham Yard Hotel I have most certainly changed my mind. I've decided it's the tonic I don't like, as I'll happily drink a cocktail containing gin. Anyway I just wanted to draw your attention to the Ham Yard Hotel, and how it's a great place to meet friends for drinks. They also have a bowling room, and I can really recommend their Afternoon Tea. Having said that just yesterday in fact I went to the Soho Hotel (also the Firmdale chain) for Afternoon Tea and I can really recommend that too. At £24 for Standard Afternoon Tea I think it's a great price for a central London Hotel to charge and the food is great.



Training.. 
As my wedding dress fittings are looming I'm definitely making a (huge) conscious effort to be good and keep training. In fact i did it I signed up to my first ever 10K which will take place at the beginning of March. The weeks were slipping away from me and although I'd booked the 10K at the start of the year I was yet to start my training. It's now less than 2 weeks away and I'm so glad I kick started that training programme. The trouble is with committing to 2 if not 3 bootcamp sessions a week - there's not enough days in the week for rest days and run days as well. How do you manage it? (I really don't want to over do it and injure myself). Also.. life.

Life just gets in the way of strict schedules, doesn't it? Or am I not disciplined enough? My hen do a prime example of life jumping in on my training schedule, but I'm a firm believer of what will be will be. I can't put life on hold to run 10K. So I will run when I can. 

Hen do-ing..
After much anticipation, only because it was ALL a complete surprise I had a lovely weekend away with my nearest and dearest. I can't believe how quickly the time went - I really am learning to treasure these moments as they won't last forever. But the lovely memories will. I felt truly spoilt - I've never quite had a weekend that's all about me and although it felt strange it was so nice. We went for a pottery class.. ate ginormous scones and had cocktails, and a lovely dinner. I really couldn't have asked for a lovelier time.


Reading..
In January I read Mara Wilson's Where am I now ? It's written by the lovely girl who played Matilda. I saw the lovely Jenny (from Notes to the Moon) had read it and chatted about it on her youtube channel and I was very intrigued. For those of you who don't know Mara Wilson played Matilda. As in THE Matilda in the film! I found it a very interesting read. I enjoyed the fact it's an autobiography - it's very personal and talks about her struggles with anxiety and life as a famous actress. To be honest I whizzed through it (by my reading standards anyway). I would definitely recommend it. I've now moved on to The Elephant Complex, Travels in Sri Lanka by John Gimlette which is in preparation for our honeymoon.

Eating.. Granola 
I made this wonderful Ella's Kitchen Granola and I have to say having tasted homemade Granola and knowing the ingredients in it, I'm not sure I'll ever enough standard supermarket granola again. 


Having.. a bit of a detox
Whilst I'm being fairly good health wise (eating and training). I'm also trying to do a mental detox for want of a better phrase: I've been trying to read more, so things for myself and generally be organised with blog posts etc. I've also deleted the Facebook app from my phone. Which is saving my sanity immensely, I found myself getting cross at people's constant bragging or complaining. Or scrolling through annoying videos and memes. It's refreshing not to waste my time pointlessly scrolling through it. Although I'm still pretty good at getting distracted by Instagram and /or Twitter. 

Dreaming of travel.. 
The time of our honeymoon is drawing near and nearer. And I really can't wait. The feeling of the Sun on by shoulders and some more freckles appearing on my nose. I can't wait to be spending quality time with The Boy - relaxing and soaking up the culture that Sri Lanka has to offer us.


Leading me on to Spring. 
I really am dreaming of warmer times. 
I can't wait for spring. I've bought 2 bunches of daffodils already this year, and it's only January. I also spotted this lovely blossom. The fact it's light when I leave the house in the morning and it's still light at 5.00 now. I really can't wait for spring. Packing my winter boots and coat away will be a lovely feeling. 


In fact today I saw these lovely Snowdrops. I can just feel Spring is in the air!


How has life been for you lately ? 

Sarah x
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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Afternoon Tea | A little January Detox with Newby Tea

When I was contacted about the possibility of sharing Newby Tea - I was very keen to do so. Mainly because I love tea and I thought it was interesting to find out more about the certain qualities.
I'm currently doing my own sort of detox (Run by my bootcamp - it kick started today and is a 12 day programme of healthy eating and increased exercise).  I'm not usually the diet sort of person, but with a wedding dress fitting in just a few weeks I'm doing my very best to tone and trim over the next few weeks. 
You'll probably remember I'm also a huge fan of Afternoon Tea, which is also featured. I'm very fond of treating myself for my hard work - I do work hard fitness wise and I'm not about to stop enjoying food - the experience of indulging in Afternoon Tea or dining with friends.
I also feel that after the busy festive season, January is the perfect time to book a weekend away and just relax. Sopwell House could just be the perfect option. Let's find out more...
Detox January: Health Benefits of Newby Tea
Everyone is guilty of overindulging during the festive period so it is no wonder that many feel the need to detox.
Sopwell House is on hand to help with this as they have recently launched their large selection of Newby loose leaf teas. Newby’s garden to cup philosophy ensures that their tea is renowned for having a number of health benefits. What better way to start 2017 than with a cup of tea?

Below, the team at Sopwell House outline the different advantages of drinking each of the five tea types – white, green, oolong, black and puerh.
White Tea
Of all the tea types, white tea is the least processed as it is allowed to wither in natural sunlight. The tea possesses a number of antioxidants and anti-aging properties, which give protection against harmful UV light to help maintain healthy skin.
Green Tea
Green tea is said to hugely improve brain function and help concentration, which means it can be the perfect remedy to get back into the swing of school or work after the Christmas break. Varieties include Hunan Green and Jasmine Pearls, both of which are available at Sopwell House.
Oolong Tea
This tea is a fusion of the fruity flavour of green tea and the rich taste of black tea. It is believed to remove harmful free radicals from the body, which can contribute to cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. Sopwell House offers Fujian Oolong.
Black Tea
Black tea, one of the most popular tea types, is completely oxidised. It includes English Breakfast, Darjeeling and Earl Grey, which guests can sample at Sopwell House. It is low in caffeine meaning it is good for circulation. It also balances hormone levels, reducing stress in the process.
Puerh Tea
Puerh tea has been used for centuries by alternative medicine practitioners due to its health benefits. It is especially renowned for its digestive and cleansing properties.
So where can you drink Newby Tea?

Sopwell House is a stunning Georgian manor house located in the city of St. Albans deep within the Hertfordshire countryside. Located only 20 minutes from London St. Pancras, the hotel is the idyllic getaway just outside of the hustle and bustle of the capital. The hotel is the perfect place to dine boasting two restaurants, elegant cocktail lounge, and conservatory bar, all of which look out on 12-acres of beautiful gardens. 
It looks like the perfect weekend retreat to me, what do you think?


Can you imagine cosying up by the open fire? I may just have to book us a weekend away before the Wedding!
Sopwell House, Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2HQFor reservations, please call: 01727 864477www.sopwellhouse.co.uk  

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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Travel Link Up | Travel Wishlist & Plans for the Year Ahead.

It's time for the monthly Travel Link Up with the lovely hosts Angie, Emma and co-host Polly's. I've participated in the #TravelLinkUp quite a few times now and I find it's the perfect excuse to get me writing! Quite often my evenings blur into one and my poor blog gets forgotten about, so with a little deadline, but no pressure, it's great. The link up also offers the chance to read other people's posts on the same topic which is a brilliant chance for some Wanderlusting. Especially this month as we read about peoples travel wishes for the year ahead.

But firstly let's take a little look back at last year. 
2016 was quite a year of travel for me - the year of the mini break I'd like to say, with trips to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Iceland and here. I've popped in the links so you can have a little read. I've been very lucky. Sampling the Scandinavian/Nordic culture was a lot of fun.. With a little bit of sunshine in Abu Dhabi (I can't believe I only blogged about running there) & Greece, (I will get round to finishing my Greece post -blogger problems and all that)!

Over the past year I've found it's my travel photos (and more importantly the right hashtags)! that have given me my popular Instagram photos. So maybe I am becoming something of a Travel blogger! 
















So what will 2017 have in store for me in terms of travel? 

2017 is the year we get married so we have one very special trip planned - Our honeymoon - we are are going to Sri Lanka, which we are both very excited about. I've read rather a lot of blog posts and researched the best places to visit. Although this will be an on going research project right up until the day we fly - because I simply love reading about places we are going to visit. We have a pretty decent collection of travel books these days. This is the only trip we have booked and are concentrating on at the moment!

I really am dreaming here.. because there's no way we will be able to do all of this travelling in 2017. But this post is for wishes isn't it? My recent additions to my travel wish list include: 

  • France - I've only ever been to Paris - once. There's so much more to see. 
  • A staycation or two - I'd like to visit some more English cities such as Manchester and York, plus maybe another Canopy & Stars /Glamping trip like this one.
  • Portugal
  • Norway - to see the fjords and search for the northern lights. 
  • Some interesting places like Slovakia or Austria. 
  • Croatia
  • I'd really like to pull off a surprise trip for The Boy's 30th too. (Uh oh, Iain, are you reading this)?










Here I am back in 2009 - a little Throwback. I just rediscovered this photo and really rather like it.

What are your travel wishes for 2017? 

How to link up your post

Just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st - 7th January), add it to the link up widget - found on either Angie'sEmma's or on our lovely co-host Polly's blog - from the 1st of the month.

There are no rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love.
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Monday, 2 January 2017

Round Up | 2016 in numbers

2016 has been a good year. I spotted a little round up in numbers from Polly at Follow my Sunshine and thought it was a lovely way to look back at the last year. Polly is a new host of the #TravelLinkUp which I love taking part in.. more on that later..!

I'm slightly late in posting this I have to say. I meant to do more blogging of the festive season, but instead I relaxed, spent time with family and read. 

So without further a do - here's a little round up of 2016 for me. I have to say this post is rather travel heavy.


1 - number of wedding dresses ordered. 
2017 is the year I get to wear said dress!

1 - number of new piercings. 
Helix - that's the top of the ear. Something I didn't think I was brave enough to do.

1 - One new love of sparkly things. 
Some lovely pretty presents.




2 - number of blogs.
This one and pocketnannies.

3 - number of Afternoon Tea's.
Sketch & Ting at the Shard, oh and the Ham Yard Hotel, which I forgot to blog about but really really recommend. I feel like it used to all be about Afternoon Tea - and now it's more about brunching in London. I do however sincerely hope this hasn't affected the Afternoon Tea industry. I'll be back for more in 2017!

4 - number of Travel Link ups I've participated in. 
I have to say these are often my favourite type of posts. See March'sAugust's, November's,and December's. Thanks for having me guys. :)

4 - number of new countries visited. 
Abu Dhabi (UAE), Iceland, Greece & Stockholm. I do have this habit of returning to places more than once! Copenhagen is just one example.

6 - number of months I've been going to Bootcamp.
Surely this must mean I am at my fittest.

7.25 - largest amount of kms ran in one go. 
It usually sits at 5k. Something I'm looking to get up to 10 in 2017. 


9 - number of books I read. 

Pretty good for me, although my goal was 10.

11 - number of draft posts waiting to be worked on!

14 - number of planes boarded. 
We don't mind not flying direct to places although that did resort in 2 pieces of missing luggage! Pretty good going after all those flights we've taken over the years.

15 - number of tea or coffee photos on Instagram.

26 - Blogposts published. 
Damn - I would have liked that to be a lot more. Take a look back at 11 - that doesn't help does it. Oh and 2! I'm a busy girl..

28 - the age I turned in December.
I'm now busy writing my 30 before 30 list.

57 - number of selfies taken.
I'm just not that kind of girl. However I do love these. And do feel I've become more confident in my own skin over the past year. But please don't expect 2017 to be the year of the selfie for me! I didn't used to really post photos of me on the blog.. but why the hell not. 



72 - photos posted on Instagram. 
You can follow me here. Some of my favourites were captured in my 'best 9 of 2016'.

I've lost count of - the amount of times we've visited our favourite little coffee shop.
More here.

365+ countless cups of tea /coffee drank this year.

2,737 likes on Instagram 


Happy New Year!
Coming soon - My wishes for 2017.
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