'Glow'bal Gathering: Wedding Post.

Part of what I am enjoying so much in the run up to the wedding is getting into new routines: juicing, gyming, weights, nail maintenance (yes, I need that -  having been a shellac addict for years these bad boys need some strength behind them.) But one I am enjoying a little more than the others is my new skin regime.

Don't get me wrong, I've never had *problem* skin. I've been blessed with my mother's skin and rarely have any blemishes but one thing I crave is that healthy skin glow. I know there are makeups that can mimic this - I've in fact invested in a few myself.  A couple of weeks ago my colleague's skin was looking so iridescent that I asked what her trick was. She sent me to MAC cosmetics where I purchased a new bronzer called 'Global Glow.' And it's brilliant. But it is a bronzer and didn't achieve the all over dewy look I was hoping for. It goes without saying I have now resigned myself to the fact that colleague has simply been gifted with an amazing complexion.

I'm not one for wearing a heavy face of makeup daily and in fact stopped using foundation a couple of years ago. I now use Estee Lauder's BB Cream which has a built in SPF of 30 and gives light coverage all day. It does need reapplying if I go out in the evening but it's perfect for my everyday needs. It recently ran out and I had to hot foot it to Selfridges for my next fix. Whilst there the lovely sales woman and I got chatting and I mentioned my quest for the perfect 'I woke up like this' skin. And that's when she changed my life.

They have just launched a new product, to sit along side the BB cream I already use, which is to be used to make sure it is completely and utterly removed. After a small demonstration I was sold.
Perfectly Clean not only has a place in my makeup kit, it now has a place in my heart. I've always thought I'd been quite good at the whole 'cleanse, tone, moisturise' thing but this has blown all that out of the water.

Also during our chat the very lovely woman at the Estee Lauder counter asked me about my nighttime moisturising regime. I am extremely proud to say I always, always, remove all make up and apply eye and face cream every evening but what she showed me next has revolutionised a routine I didn't think needed 'upping.' Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum. Because I am not a millionaire I was unable to buy everything she was showing me at once but she was extremely kind and gave me over a weeks worth of sample sachets of it. Well, it's been a week and I am converted. Come payday she'll be seeing me again. Finally my skin has that glow I've been craving and it was all down to some tweaks. I feel confident I will have the radiance in my face that I want on my wedding day and will be getting a bottle of the serum next week. You just wash your face as normal, cover your face in a light layer of the serum then moisturise on top of that as normal.

I apologise in advance for the following closer than close pictures but they are both with my normal makeup on, and free of filters. One was taken at Christmas, the other last week. I had to take a picture last week as I startled myself at the change these two new products have made.

I am definitely sold. Roll on payday so I can get that serum, and roll on Wedding Day so I can show off this glow!


Shoe Even Knows? : Wedding Post

I am the first to admit that I am OTT when it comes to my shoes. I like to keep them pristine; I don't see the point in spending money on something and then systematically trashing it. Just this morning I had Cif and a light scouring sponge on the white rubber soles of my leopard skater pumps before work! (Tip: Cif will re-whiten soles of trainers, skater shoes etc. like nothing else - it's magic.)

So it'll come as no great surprise to anyone that I am on the hunt for The Shoes for my wedding day. 

The issue, however, is that I don't like wedding shoes.

I know - not a very 'bridey' thing to say. But I don't. Sue me.

I am going on my first dedicated shoe shop tomorrow with my mum and my sister (maid of honour) but I decided to do a bit of online research to see what the offerings out there are. I knew immediately that a brand orientated only towards bridal offerings wouldn't be for me so I haven't even looked on that sort of site. Instead I have been browsing the virtual aisles of Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, L.K. Bennet, Net-a-Porter and the like.

But I have found myself in a conundrum. I won't be the first to have discovered this, nor will I be the last. Classic vs. Cool.

When I think of my wedding shoes I've never really imagined I'll be the bride wearing something with a sensible heel in white satin. In fact, my dream shoes have always been these incredible creations from Gucci.

Too bad they sold out in 2013...

But as a result of today's search I'm feeling just ever so slightly concerned. Because it would appear that the bridal-esque (and I use that term loosely) spectrum of shoes is quite severe. To my eye there appear to be two main camps - classic or cool. 

So far the more classic options have left me cold. There are some amazing Loubitons, Marc Jacobs' and Alaias but so far they've not been shoes I'll want to put on again. And I need that in a shoe. If I am going to commit a chunk of my bank account to a pair of shoes they need to work on a number of levels. The pair I am hunting for now need to be wedding-day-shoes, meal-out-with-OH-shoes, meeting-friends-for-a-drink-in-cool-jeans-and-a-nice-top-shoes-and-everything-in-between-shoes. Not just wedding-shoes.

On the other hand the less classic camp has left me nervous. Do I take the plunge and opt for a pair I adore that may leave others cold? Or do I play it safe and go for a pair that, in years to come, I'll not even notice on wedding photos but they'll be just fine for under The Dress. I think the fact I used the phrase, "just fine," in that last sentence speaks volumes.

While I can appreciate that more classic pairs suit some brides and are perfect for their day I'm just not sure they're for me.

Classic contenders are along the lines of the following...

Cool contenders are...

I think I *know* what I'm going to do. I think I need to stay true to my shoe beliefs and make sure that on one of the biggest days of my life I actually look like 'me' - if that makes sense? I know some girls like the idea of being transformed into a shinier more 'princessy' version of themselves for their wedding but I don't want that, I don't think. Don't get me wrong, I want to look like the photoshopped version of me, but I don't want unrecognisable hair and makeup and to be an idea of a bride rather than the reality of the bride I will be. OH knows what he proposed to - he doesn't expect anything other than *me* to be present on our wedding day.

So off I go in search of the perfect shoes.  Wish me luck - have you got any tips for me?


The Man Cave Has Landed.

It was really only a matter of time. I knew he would eventually do it. I can't say it thrills me but at least he's keeping it hidden from me, for the most part, so I will have to simply keep calm and carry on.

The Man Cave has commenced.

When we first bought our house it had been declared, within minutes, that the third, tiny bedroom would become my walk-in-wardrobe/dressing room. The master bedroom in our rental was larger than its equivalent in our new house so we knew we'd have to get creative when working out where to keep our clothes, shoes, accessories etc. So I (very generously) offered to evacuate our bedroom of my things and rehome them in what is now the dressing room. I know - practically saintly of me.

When OH began talking about building a shed in the back garden I felt relief. Finally he would have somewhere to house his millions of tools, the cement mixer (yes, we have one of those), our bikes and all the other things I do not want to look at on a daily basis. There are a mound of bricks ready and waiting in the garden but I have recently been told this project can't begin until spring has sprung, "It's simply too cold and wet." Hmf. A few more weeks of looking at his drill bits it is.

But last weekend I came into the front room to find him sawing up large boards of MDF.
"What are those for," I asked.
"The utility room," he answered.


When we first began remodelling the downstairs of our house we had initially intended to keep the utility at the far end of the kitchen but when one of our lovely neighbours popped his head in and heard our plan he pointed out the amount of light we'd lose. I am a natural light lover so this was not music to my ears. Immediately I began to panic. The whole point of the utility area was so we could shut away the noisy machines and bits-and-bobs as our entire downstairs area is now open plan so everything needs to flow and, most importantly, not cause a racket.

"However," he pointed out, "there's a great space you're not even considering and it's a life saver." Then he pointed to the area under our stairs. It took a bit of imagining but with a new plywood wall up and plastered we are in business. I now have a utility room that will be closed off and it's using a space that would have been more or less useless otherwise. Win-win.
Or so I thought.
This is the current view - of course it needs painting and a door on it but this is the wall under the stairs so we're now playing with the idea of a 'feature' wallpaper. I loathe that word but unfortunatley I can't think of an alternative.
You can see The Wall from the living room area too so we're thinking about a possible William Morris print or something else classic with a contemporary twist. We shall see...
I am also intending to sort out the inside of the cupboard/utility area. Maybe a nice bright paint and some hooks for hanging coats on. I love the idea of being of of 'those' tidy utlity room people but I am not sure I will be. Thank goodness for doors!
Some lovely inspo images I've been happily perusing are below. Ah, I do love house porn.
       bathroom storage ideas pinterest | By Shannon Rook
          imgur: the simple image sharer
I *will* acheive this one day. Creating organised spaces is what I love to do and I can't wait to be able to get my hands on this new space in our home.


This is the view from the hallway at the moment (the kitchen is just further along.) As you can see the washing machine is already in there along with the microwave (I prefer clear kitchen surfaces) and some handy shelves above that for, in my mind's eye, laundry baskets, household knick-knacks and the like.

However, after an alarmingly short amount of time I popped my head in to be confronted by this sight...


He's gone and done it. I could cry. My dream 'organisation zone' has been hijacked with tools and man-junk. I am not a happy bunny.
Stay tuned for the fight back.