Having recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary I have been thinking about posting a ‘love’ themed post for a while. But love is something which is extremely personal and difficult to put into words, so until now I couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to write about. A few weeks ago we had a magical and romantic ‘couple shoot’ in Hyde Park, shot by the amazingly talented Rebecca Carpenter, and the stunning photography that came out of it inspired me to create this post. The images she captured seem to encapsulate how happy we are and how, a year on, we are feeling stronger and more in love than ever. Being in love is the most wonderful thing, here is some of my best advice for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship.

Say I love you everyday. I know it sounds cliché, but even after four years we still make sure we say those three little words every single day. It becomes habit after a while, but a little text after you’ve left in the morning just to tell your partner how much you love them will really make them smile. Of course, it’s easy to say ‘I love you’. But the fact that you make a point of saying it every day means that you really feel it too, and they’ll know that.

Decide that you don’t argue, and then don’t. Let’s face it, most of us hate arguments right?! Especially with the one we love the most. It’s so upsetting and hurtful things can be said that are not easily forgotten. Paul and I don’t argue, and some of our friends can’t fathom this. When they ask me, ‘How can you possibly live together, be married and not have fights?’ I always answer the same. Because we have made a commitment not to. The very action of declaring that we don’t argue prevents us from doing so. Sure, there are occasions when we could easily have a flaming row; one of us is snappy or tired, disagreements over chores, all the usual, but whenever we find ourselves on the brink of an argument one of us says, ‘Hang on a minute, we don’t argue – let’s sort this out.’ The situation is diffused and the prospect of argument has disappeared. If you agree to commit to a no argument policy then you will sort issues quickly and have much more time in each others company for happiness and laughter!

Make real time for each other. Sometimes, with our busy lives and trying to squeeze social lives around work I think we can forget to pencil some time into the diary for our other halves. Occasionally I feel like I haven’t seen Paul for ages, sure – I see him every day, but I don’t really feel like a work night evening spent in front on Eastenders is really quality time together. By making sure we make time for proper date nights and time for each other in our weekends/days off we can keep our relationships strong and happy.

Be grateful. We can all get on each others nerves sometimes but, at the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to have found your soulmate then you should be super grateful for every moment! It’s the little things that matter, and I cherish every day. Life always gets in the way sometimes, but just taking a step back and thinking ‘wow, I am so GRATEFUL to have this special person in my life’ can really help put things into perspective, and ultimately will increase happiness levels and sense of contentment.

 

Compromise. I know, this one is so annoying because sometimes we just don’t wanna compromise godammit! We want our own way! But learning to compromise is so key to a happy relationship. It’s easier to do when you imagine that your compromise is genuinely going to make the love in your life happy. If ordering a Chinese instead of the curry you want is going to fill them with joy then it’s worth it – right?!!

So there you go. I’m not by any means saying that my marriage is perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

Wishing you love and happiness in your current and future relationships.

 

Hey my lovelies!

I hope you are having a lovely start to autumn. At this cosy time of year I like nothing better than curling up with a great film on the tele-box (popcorn and hot chocolate of course compulsory!) I wanted to write about some of my favourite iconic female movie characters and what their roles mean to me. Why not snuggle down infront of a stunning Panasonic 4K TV this Autumn and enjoy some favourite classic movies?

Hermione Granger – Harry Potter

Of course, as a British gal who grew up surrounded by Harry Potter madness how could Hermione not be number 1 on my list? She is such an inspirational character for young girls (and young at heart girls!!) who love the Harry Potter world and everything about it. Although Harry is the main hero, Hermione is responsible for so many of their triumphs and her intelligence, bravery and strength really makes the stories what they are. I think it’s so important for young girls to have a character like her to look up to. Fictional or not, Hermione will always be someone who I look up to and aspire to be more like.

Moana

I must admit I was as pleased as the next person when this new Disney-Pixar delight graced our screens last year. Moana, as a movie, is just a joy and the animation, songs and characters make it a family classic already. However, the reason I love Moana as a character has nothing to do with her singing. I actually found myself quite moved by this movie, mainly because of her true grit and determination to follow her dreams and save those who she loves. She literally never gives up. Even when she does give up it’s for about 5 minutes and then she finds the strength within to carry on! She doesn’t need a prince, or even a love interest at all, to save her; she’s a strong, independent girl who shows everyone what she can do. Love it!

Elle Woods – Legally Blonde

An old favourite; I love Elle’s character in both the Legally Blonde movie and the West End musical! Yes, okay she starts off pretty shallow and flaky and she chases boy all the way to law school just to make him ‘love her again’ but come on that in itself takes a huge amount of resilience and determination! Then – once there she finds she can hold her own with the lawyer big boys and she ends up realising how clever and capable she is, and forgets about the boy all together! Go Elle!

Elastagirl – The Incredibles

I knew I had to have a super-hero in this list but perhaps not the most obvious choice. The reason I’ve picked Elastagirl over your standard Wonder Woman/ Cat Woman etc is because she is downright awesome! In the movie, she’s given up saving the world to raise her kids and faces the same family problems that we all go. Then, when her husband is in trouble, she re-discovers her super powers, kicks ass and goes to save him and, in the process, the world! With the help of her epic kids as well. Awesome.

Katherine Johnson – Hidden Figures

When I saw this movie I could not believe how long the secret that several black women had such a key role in the American space race had been kept. The character of Katherine Johnson, who of course is a real person, is super inspiring. Not only is incredibly smart and runs rings around the so called ‘experts’ at NASA but she also conducts herself with amazing integrity in the face of ill-treatment, disrespect and racism at work.  In the face of adversity she showed true courage and strength and deserves recognition as the legend that she is and what she contributed to history.

 

Let me know who your favourite TV and film characters are? I love a good chit-chat about favourite movies. Whatever you are watching I hope you have a cosy and wonderful start to Autumn.

 

**This post is a brand collaboration however the content and opinions are my own**

Hey lovelies! I don't know about you but my home is my sanctuary, particularly my bedroom! For me, it has to be a place where I can relax and forget about the day. Bedrooms are supposed to be relaxing sanctuaries where one goes to rest and revitalize oneself, and there are few things more relaxing than nature, so why not combine the two to create a bedroom that is truly a sanctuary for you?

Here are some natural bedroom ideas that will help you relax and regain balance:

Image source

 

Natural Colours

If you do nothing else, taking out the overwhelming colours from your bedroom and replacing them with the colours, you’ll find in nature, like browns, greens, tans, rich reds and warm greys will have an instant calming effect that will help you wind down at the end of a busy day.

 

Natural Fabrics

Natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo not only look closer to nature than their man-made fabrics, but they also feel a lot more natural too. This is especially important when you’re choosing bed sheets because they will be in contact with your skin for at least 8 hours every night. However, you should also look at purchasing a mattress which has been made from natural materials. Vi-spring beds, for example, are stuffed with horsehair and wool, and that makes them a lot more comfortable. Combined with a natural wood or bamboo bed frame, they will give you a naturally comfy place to rest your head.

 

Plants and Flowers

What could be more natural than plants and flowers? Bringing some greenery into the bedroom will not only calm you down and put you at ease but if you choose the right plants, they will also filter the air, so that you aren’t breathing in so many pollutants. Having plants in my bedroom is one of my favourite ways to feel truly surrounded by nature – even in London!

As well as bringing live plants and flowers into the bedroom, choosing fabrics, bedding and wallpapers which feature botanical motifs is a  great way to get the natural look indoors.

 

Wool Rugs

Everyone hates that moment when they step onto a stone cold floor in the morning. It’s a real shock to the system, but it’s one that’s easily avoided by investing in a couple of natural rugs and placing them on either side of the bed.

 

Face the Window

If privacy isn’t an issue and you have a nice view, moving your bed so that it faces the window is the best way to bring nature into your bedroom. Waking up seeing the sun rising or the birds in the trees will give you a real boost, as will gazing at the stars as you drift off into slumber.

 

Natural Accessories

No bedroom is complete without a few choice accessories to add interest, but instead of heading to Ikea and picking up a few manmade pieces, why not head to the beach and collect rocks and shells instead? Arrange them on your dressing table for a taste of the beach in your bedroom.

If you can’t get to the beach, start collecting sticks, acorns and moss, which when delicately arranged and wrapped with fairy lights can make a unique centrepiece for the dressing table that will immediately trigger your relaxation response.


Image source

Once you’ve brought nature to the bedroom, I think you’ll notice that you feel a whole lot calmer at home. I hope you find these tips useful!

How do you make your bedroom a relaxing sanctuary?

***This post is a brand collaboration***

Hello my lovelies!

It feels like it’s been a long time since I sat down and wrote a post what with being away for three weeks and trying to get back into the swing of things. I’ve really missed writing and I’ve got sooo much to write about/ fill you in on!

So, to start with I wanted to write about a fabulous event I had the privilege of being invited to yesterday; a ring design workshop at the GLITZBOX pop-up shop, hosted by the lovely ladies from The Workbench London. Some of you may remember GLITZBOX which is a company I have collaborated with in the past, I was lucky enough to sample one of their luxury jewellery subscription boxes which I reviewed both here and on my YouTube channel. I absolutely loved working with GLITZBOX and it’s lovely founder Tamsin, I loved the jewellery and was really impressed by the concept! So, when Tamsin invited me to this event at the GLITZBOX ‘pop-up shop’ in Shoreditch I was super excited to attend.

 

The brand itself is set up in a temporary shop in Old Street station, Tamsin is there every day this week until the 13th August (so get down there quick!!) with all their stunning jewellery on display, photobooths, fun and loads of instagrammable stuff. There are opportunities to buy or rent the jewellery so I highly recommend you get down there for a nosy if you can, but they are also hosting some fun events and I attended a ring making workshop which was hosted by Katie and Kirstie from The Workbench London. This brand and the lovely ladies who founded it was new to me but wow – I love the idea! Perfect for parties, events, hell anything with a group of girls involved, The Workbench London take groups and help you to design your very own ring! I wish I’d known about it when I was planning my hen! I won’t go into all the technical details (mainly because I had no clue what I was doing!) but essentially you carve a piece of jewellers wax into any ring shape you fancy, they go away and make it for you and two weeks later it turns up in the post! I’m in love with the idea of having my own ring which I designed from stratch and I literally cannot wait for it to arrive eek!

So, the event itself was fantastic and really well oragnised. I arrived at the pop-up in Old  Street which was beautifully decorated and complete with the obligatory blogger balloons and even branded meringues (not even kidding and yes they were delicious!). Tamsin was there to greet us and Katie and Kirstie had all the equipment for the workshop set up and ready to go.

 

It was lovely to meet and chat to some other bloggers and influencers while we were busy carving away our little pieces of blue wax over a glass of cava (!) and as it was a small group it was a really friendly atmosphere. The workshop itself took about two hours but it went so fast! I was pretty slow at carving but the girls from The Workbench were so patient and really good at talking me through it. They were also always there to help or answer any questions.

 

After the workshop we had an opportunity to browse the beautiful jewellery in the shop and chat some more before receiving the best goody bags I have ever had before (keep your eyes peeled on my youtube for an unboxing vid!). It was a fantastic afternoon and I really enjoyed myself, made extra soecial by the lovely and friendly ladies who run both GLITZBOX and The Workbench London. Thanks so much for having me and I can’t wait to see my ring!

 

If you would like to find out more about The Workbench you can check out their website here .

 

You can read more about GLITZBOX here and try to get down to Old Street before the pop up closes on Sunday!

FOLLOW ME:

INSTAGRAM
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

I’m back!

I know I’ve been a bit absent lately; I’ve had A LOT of work stuff going on recently which is not something that I really talk about in my blog, which I think leads a lot of people to think this is my full time career! I wish it was, but sadly, I also have a full time job. One that has been extremely stressful lately and has taken over most aspects of my life! I’ve really missed blogging.

Anyway, I’m out of the woods and back on my A game! Luckily, I have lots of things to write about and fill you in on! Last weekend was mine and Paul’s first wedding anniversary weekend and we had the most INCREDIBLE time I’ve been so excited to share it! I can’t believe it’s been a year it’s gone so fast!

First up, year one is paper and Paul took it upon himself (cutie that he is) to organise a surprise weekend for me seeing as I was so bogged down with work. Paper being the theme – he prepared 5 paper envelopes for me to open at different times over the weekend, each containing a different surprise activity! Such a cute idea I loved it.

On Saturday (the day before our actual anniversary) when at 9am I was instructed to get up, dressed (smart/casual and comfy!) and pack an overnight bag! Eeeeeek! The first envelope contained lunch reservations at The Urban Meadow Café & Bar, Bayswater; a gorgeous West London restaurant overlooking Hyde Park. I was so impressed with the food there and we pigged out on a three course meal. The puddings in particular were spectacular – check out the fruit crumble I had!

The second envelope contained our booking at La Suite West Hyde Park, our hotel for the evening! It was at this point I realised we were staying in central London for the night so I was super excited trying to guess what we would be doing that evening! We went to check in to the boutique hotel which was absolutely beautiful, all marble bathroom, pure white sheets and a HUGE bed! What is it about nice hotels always having the comfiest beds in the world?! Seriously, it was like lying on a marshmallow.

We had a couple of hours to ‘kill’ before the next envelope, but in that part of London it’s never really killing time as there is so much to do! We wandered around Hype Park for a bit, and despite the dismal forecast the rain held off for us and it was quite warm (more on that later!!). We walked up to Portobello Road market, one of my favourite parts of the city, and enjoyed listening to live music and people watching, perfectly poised in the window of the Electric Diner Notting Hill sipping delicious gin cocktails. We had so much fun and what with me being so busy and stressed out lately it was so so nice to spend some quality time together without distractions.

At 5pm it was back to the hotel and the third envelope contained dinner reservations at the hotel restaurant; a raw and vegan only restaurant! Paul had pre booked the set menu and it was really interesting to try some vegan food as it’s not something I’ve had much experience with in the past! I know he won’t mind me saying (as he agreed!!) that it wasn’t my favourite food in the world – I think it’s safe to say we are both hard-core carnivores! But it was great to do something different. Before I knew it we were in a taxi and it was time for the fourth envelope as we made our way across town.

I was so excited to find out that the evening surprise was tickets to On The Town at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park! I had a sneaky suspicion it might be the theatre (Paul was adamant the taxi picked us up at 7pm on the dot!) but I never thought he would have remembered that I’d said ages ago that I’d like to see it! I love open air theatre, something about being outside makes it magical, plus the fact that On The Town stars Danny Mac; my Strictly Come Dancing fave!! The theatre itself was amazing, all done up with twinkly fairy lights and an outdoor bar. We made our way to our excellent seats with a bottle of red wine ready for the show to start, and promptly it began to pour with torrential rain! Luckily, Paul had been prepared and asked me to bring a raincoat, even more luckily the theatre were clearly used to this – they waited for the rain to pass and about 10 minutes later they towelled down the stage and the show began! We were lucky – if the rain had been persistent I expect it would have been cancelled as there is so much leaping about in the choreography I don’t think it would be safe! But after one short spell of downpour we were in for a warm and pleasant evening.

The production was fantastic! Dancing, singing and acting all brilliant, wonderful costumes, the play was funny and moving with enough of a nod to the traditional ‘cheesy’ aspect of it but also with new contemporary styling thrown in. And with the natural light going from light, to dusk, to dark and being surrounded by nature made it extra magical for me. I would thoroughly recommend it.

After we stayed the night in the stunning La Suite West Paul said we were going home in the morning (our actual anniversary) so we went home and chilled out for a bit before opening the final envelope which was the best of them all!! Tickets to see Little Mix at their Summer Shout Out tour that evening! I literally jumped around the room when he told me I was SO EXCITED! I’ve been wanting to see them for so long.

And they did not disappoint! WOW those girls have sass and such incredible bods! I could really use some of their confidence!  They really put on a show and sang and danced literally non stop every single hit they sang it – finishing with Shout Out To My Ex and everyone was jumping and singing along it was incred! The weather played nice as well we had beautiful late evening sunshine, I felt like I was loving life at a festival! Seriously girls, you killed it.

 

SO after an amazing and exhausting weekend I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband who knows me inside out. Not just with presents but with the everyday things that really matter, I can’t believe how lucky I am to be married to someone like Paul who makes my life complete. Love you x