27 November 2016

A Day To Remember...

Every once in a while, you get one of those days that you know is going to stay in your memory forever, this was one of them...

On Friday 16th September 2016, my Mum married her partner of 8 years in a breathtakingly beautiful ceremony at The Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales. I was honored to be asked to be my Mum's one and only bridesmaid, and have such a prevalent role within the celebrations. 
The Celtic Manor Resort is a 5 star hotel situated just outside of Cardiff and sits on the border of Newport and the Wye Valley. It has 6 restaurants, 3 golf courses and a Spa to die for! The resort sits on 2,000 acres of panoramic parkland and I was over the moon when I found out that my parents had decided to tie the knot at such a fantastic location.

Nana and Grandad on their wedding day (Nana was here in spirit)

My Mum and I stayed over the night before the wedding and spent the morning pampering ourselves and drinking champagne... If only all mornings started this way!

We had our hair done by the fabulous Nathan and Damian in Rhys Giles Salon that's situated within the hotel adjacent to the spa. I had never had my hair professionally 'put up' before but the guys made us feel so at ease and the appointment just flew by!

We decided that between the two of us we were more than capable of doing our own makeup on the day. We practised countless times before the wedding and when the day finally rolled around we were on it! We did each step in sync, sharing palettes and helping each other when needed. It was so much fun, I think getting ready was one of the best parts of the day!

My Grandad (my Mum's Dad) stayed in the room next door to us the night before too. At 90 he was undoubtedly the life and soul of the party and stayed up partying long after I'd hit the sack! I honestly love him more than life and it was fab that he could walk my Mum down the aisle.

Team work makes the dream work...

Andy has been a part of our family for the best years of my life so I was over the moon when they finally decided to make it official and tie the knot. The ceremony took place at 4pm on The Rooftop Terrace with a small number of friends and family in attendance.

The Rooftop Terrace gave a magical, whimsical feel to the ceremony with fairy lights and candles lighting up the indoor / outdoor space. We also had exclusive use of the lawn adjacent to the venue too which was set up with croquet, giant Jenga and other garden games. We were so lucky in the fact the weather was beautiful for the entire day, albeit very chilly in the shade.

Probably the best group shot evveerr...

My Mum's stunning wedding dress was designed by Lillian West and was from Laura May Bridal in Cardiff. She added the bolero on top to make the dress really unique and individual to her. I fell in love with this dress as soon as my Mum tried it on and I knew instantly that it was the perfect dress for her. I would definitely give her gown a second outing and wear it myself if I was to get married. 


After the ceremony we enjoyed Pimm's on the lawn whilst the room was changed around for the evening meal and party. By this point we were all very thankful of the little fire pit that was towards the back of the room because the temperature had dropped significantly!

The wedding breakfast was absolutely amazing and was a mixture of fresh paella, mixed salads, mini burgers, pastas and everything in between. As a massive foodie (literally atmo) my eyes honestly popped out of head when I first saw it. This was followed by the cutting of a very decadent chocolate cake, emotional speeches and dancing the night away... Not forgetting the midnight bacon rolls and coffee!

It's rare that you have a day where all your favourite people are literally under the same roof. Mum and Andy's wedding was a day that I'll never forget. As cheesy as it sounds it was literally filled with tears, laughter, too much wine, too much food and lots of memories.
I'm not soppy as a person but I do believe in love, and I know that I've never a met a couple that have been together as long as my Mum and Andy have and are still this truly in love. They have a relationship I can only aspire to have... xoxo
A massive thank you to all the staff at The Celtic Manor Resort who made this day so special. All images courtesy of Sasha Miller.

20 November 2016

6 Top Tips To Get You Through Monday #MondayMotivation

Monday may not be your favourite day of the week, I doubt it's many peoples to be honest. So to make it that little bit more bearable I thought I'd share a few simple tips that will help you glide into the new week on a winning streak...

1. Spend half an hour on a Sunday evening organising your outfits and make up bag for the week ahead. I love to stay organised, and by planning my office wardrobe before the week has even started makes me feel a little more on top of my game.

2. Start your Monday by getting up half an hour earlier than usual. I know getting up on a Monday can be really tough, but if you're anything like me and like to take your time getting ready in the morning, that extra half an hour is a life saver. Use it to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, do a few yoga stretches and mentally prepare yourself for the day and week ahead.

3. Catch up on your social media before you get to the office, that way you'll be less likely to get distracted once you've actually sat down at your desk.

4. Make lists. Whether that be before you get to work, on your commute, or first thing with a hot drink when you arrive at the office. I always find it helpful to write out my plans for the week ahead before I get stuck in. I write out a daily to-do list, any meetings that I might have and goals that I need to achieve. I find that getting it all out of my head and on to paper helps me to stay motivated and focused.

5. Stay hydrated. Mondays will always be manic but it's super important to stay hydrated whilst your dashing in and out of meetings. Keeping a refillable water bottle on your desk will become invaluable. I'm hankering after one of these fab Hydratem8 ones!

6. Take time to relax when you finally get home. Mondays can be hard, and really shitty sometimes so it's vitally important that you take some time out for you once you're home. A face mask, boiling hot bath and a glass of wine usually do the trick for me.

What's your #MondayMotivation?? xoxo

Images courtesy of Pinterest

09 November 2016

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Peach Face Compact: First Impressions

I haven't purchased any MAC makeup all year... I know, I'm just as shocked as you are. I've curbed my spending habits in 2016 like no other to enable me to save for bigger, and greater life changing purchases in the not too distant future (more on this soon). However, as soon as I saw MAC's Christmas Nutcracker Sweet collection, I knew I had to make an exception...

Blush palettes always pull me in, add in a breathtakingly beautiful highlighter to boot and I'm sold. Blusher is one of those make up items that I wear every single day. I don't wear eye shadow too often, but blusher just brings me to life. MAC Nutcracker Sweet Peach Face Compact has honestly stolen my heart this Christmas. For £29 you get a stunning neutral peach toned extra dimension blusher, and a champagne extra dimension skin finish highlighter.

I love the kitsch Nutcracker inspired pink and purple pvc bound compact, plus the gold embroidery on the front is simply stunning. To correlate with the packaging the collection has a very 'pink' theme, which I don't think will be to everyone's taste. The face compact though is available in two different variations, the Sweet Peach version which I have, and a Sweet Copper one which I think would be better suited to skin tones generally darker than mine.

I'm so impressed with the initial swatches of this face compact as multi-pan palettes are notorious for being sub-standard quality compared to their individual counter parts. The blusher has a soft satin finish that gives a gorgeous warm, lit from within glow.

The highlighter is extremely pigmented and swatches almost like a molten metal. It's a pale gold, champagne tone that almost looks rose gold in certain lights, I'll definitely be applying this with a light hand to give a subtle effect this holiday season. I can see myself wearing this palette most days as the blusher and highlighter are neutral enough to work with almost any make up look.

I can't wait to start using this face compact and I'm sure you'll be seeing it featured in a monthly favourites very soon. Have you got you're eye on anything from MAC's Nutcracker Sweet collection?? xoxo

03 November 2016

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: Part 2

I loved writing the introductory blog post to my ‘Healthy Mind, Healthy Body’ series. To be honest I was so nervous about publishing it as I’d never shared so much personally on my blog before. I had such a positive response though that I thought I’d update you with a part 2.

Over the past few weeks my gym schedule has gone amiss due to work demands. Now that I’m back out the other side I thought I’d let you know what I do, when I eventually make it to the gym. I prefer to go to the gym after work at about 6pm as I sort bits and pieces out around the house in the morning. I typically spend around 50 minutes in the gym and I like to go 3 times throughout the week. I also really enjoy going for a swim, jacuzzi and steam room when I have a bit more time on the weekends. I’m really lucky that my gym is on the way home from work, or 15 minutes from my house if I’m making a separate journey. If it was any further, I honestly don’t think I’d make the effort to go.

My typical gym routine consists of…
- 10 minutes cardio warm up (I admit, the cross-trainer is my favourite)
- Pullover - 15kg, 3x 10 reps
- Pec Dec - 5kg, 3x 10 reps
- Chest press - 12.5kg, 3x 10 reps
- Ab Crunch - 25kg, 3x 15 reps
- Triceps extension free weight 5kg, 3x 10 reps
- Inner thigh- 25kg, 3 x 10 reps
- Rotary calf - 30kg 3 x 10 reps

As I said in my first post I am a complete gym novice and I would class myself as ‘unfit’. I really enjoy this routine as it gives me a whole body workout and I feel like it’s helping me make steps in the right direction. We all have to start somewhere right? I would love to develop my gym routine further, my ultimate goal is become stronger and healthier, not necessarily skinnier.

My mental health has been on the up lately which has left me feeling really positive. I love being busy and keeping myself challenged so I think I’ve subconsciously been thriving on my current faster pace of life. I have also been giving myself some well deserved 'me time' when I've had the chance too. Taking 10 minutes out of your day to really focus on 'you' can do wonders for your mental outlook and attitude.

My diet has stayed the same over the last few weeks with my calorie intake being around 1,600 per day. I log everything on ‘My Fitness Pal’ which I love. I find it a great way to keep track of your calories and nutrients as well as what your actually eating. I have started prepping my meals for the week on a Sunday which has saved me a ton of time in the mornings. I am planning on doing a dedicated post on my meal prepping discoveries over the next few weeks so keep a look out for that one coming soon... xoxo

Image courtesy of Pinterest
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