27 December 2015

Meet Joey the Miniature Dachshund Puppy

For as long as I could remember I've wanted a Dachshund dog. When I was 8 years old my mum and I went to see some Dachshund puppies but at the time we weren't able to commit to having a dog. Some years later, my husband and I decided we would like to have a dog in our home and so we chose to get a puppy. Normally we would choose a rescue dog from an animal shelter but because we have another rescue pet already we needed to get a puppy that could grow up and be used to other animals.

We found a lady in Cornwall whose pets were having a litter and went to see the Dachshund puppy's when they were 6 weeks old. We saw them in their home environment and met the mother and father dogs. We asked lots of questions and we too were asked lots of questions to ensure we were right for the dog and that the dog was right for us. 

Two weeks later when he turned 8 weeks we collected our Dachshund puppy who we have named Joey. He is Black and Tan with lovely markings and he is very gentle in nature. His brother who was slightly bigger seemed to want more attention but Joey was fine when the other pups were being smoothed and that showed us that he would more than likely have the right temperament to not be jealous of other animals.

We took Joey home with us and ensured he had a nice warm bed with a toy and blanket and the lady gave us some blanket from his bed with his mum and brothers so he didn't feel too strange and had comfort in his new home.

Joey is a happy little Daxi who likes lots of love and cuddles and now at 9 weeks is able to sleep in his own bed throughout the night for a full 7 hours!

We are lucky to have found our little dog to join our family and we will give him lots of care and attention - a dog is a lifelong commitment and a big adjustment and so not a decision to make on a whim. He is like a little ball of energy who runs around and then suddenly needs to sleep as puppies need around 20-22 hours of sleep per day.

He will have his second injection in one weeks time and after that a week later he will be able to go for his first walk.

We look forward to our adventures with little Joey the Miniature Dachshund.

10 December 2015

Gingerbread House Workshop with Nibble and Scoff

There's something special about gingerbread and the smell of spice and cinnamon at Christmastime. On the last Sunday in November a friend and I attended a workshop with specialist cake company Nibble and Scoff - owned and run by the super talented cake maker and icing extraordinaire, Joella Housego.

In a little village on the edge of Dartmoor, Georgina and I drove to Joella's home baking school and were greeted with tea and biscuits, a warm smile and bundles of festive cheer.

The class was set up for six and we each were given a gingerbread kit featuring pre-cooked gingerbread house biscuits, icing sugar in piping bags and lots of sugar craft tools, which enabled us to create a gingerbread house.

First of all we got to grips with rolling Royal Icing and iced our cake boards allowing us to have a perfectly smooth, iced surface on which to build our houses.

Working in pairs we constructed our house components and cemented them using icing as a glue whilst attempting to keep them standing waiting for the icing to dry and even fixing on a chimney.

We then worked on icing the houses in a traditionsl style with Joella showing different piping techniques. 

We then let our houses dry whilst we enjoyed tea, biscuits and minced pies before re-entering the baking school kitchen to be surrounded by sweets and more icing tools. The room was like Willy Wonkas kitchen with candy canes, marshmallows and jelly beans for personalising and decorating our houses.

I used pink and yellow sweets and kept to a minimalist, traditional style and decided my gingerbread house would be a gift as a Christmas centrepiece for a family friend.

The Nibble and Scoff workshop was priced at £35 per person and Joella provided stencils for creating replica house components at home. A fun and friendly workshop, welcoming and an excellent way to learn new baking and decorating skills.

Thank you Joella!

24 May 2015

Flytographer romantic photo shoot in Florence

For part of our Honeymoon we travelled to the beautiful city of Florence. As part of our Florentine experience we booked a romantic photo shoot with Flytographer. Flytographer is an amazing concept which offers photo shoot experiences in various cities and parts of the world.  I found Flytographer online when searching for honeymoon photo shoots.

The process of booking Flytographer is simple. You browse the locations that Flytographer covers and select the place you wish to have your shoot, choose the photographer available whose style appeals most and pay for the booking online through the Flytographer website. After a confirmation email you then liaise with Flytographer who liaise with your photographer arranging details of where to meet and when.

After looking through the portfolio of photographers I decided I would book Alice Coppola because of her beautiful photography and the romance she captures within her images. Alice also has lots of experience with wedding photography and so she was a perfect match.

For our photo shoot Nathan and I met Alice outside the Ferragamo Museum. We then walked to the Ponte Vecchio whilst Alice snapped away from a distance. This allowed us both to feel a little more relaxed and to act naturally in order to achieve romantic and reportage style shots. Nathan was a little nervous and wanted to keep on his glasses and Alice worked with us and knew exactly what would work and where the best backgrounds would be - including the amazing door shot near the Duomo!

Flytographer was $250 and we listed the experience on our honeymoon gift list and we were very fortunate to have guests pay towards the photo shoot experience and also the prints we purchased afterwards (a big thank you to Nathan's colleagues and to the Howe's).

I would definitely recommend Flytographer as the experience is such a wonderful honeymoon keep sake to mix professional yet candid shots with your own selfies and honeymoon scenery. The perfect way to capture your honeymoon in a special and unique way.

Flytographer is also a wonderful way to capture engagements, holidays, birthdays or any other special event you want to cherish.

22 May 2015

A Little Glimpse of a Devon Fairytale Wedding

Whilst we await our professional photographs and video here is a glimpse of our wonderful wedding day at St Werburgh's Church in Wembury, South Devon, and in the gardens of Langdon Court - a 16th Century Manor in Devon. Our wedding took place on the last weekend in March and the day was filled with a romantic atmosphere with a slight fog which emphasised the fairytale feel of the coastal church, the historic venue and the magic of the day.

9 May 2015

Fresh Flower Table Plan

Flowers were always going to be an important part of our wedding day. We often have some gypsophila on the dining room table at home as Nathan likes to buy it for weekends and also flowers hold lots of sentiment for me. With this in mind we decided to have a garden flower theme for our reception table names and displayed the seating plan in a fresh flower frame, which I commissioned our local florist to create in order to fit a canvas I had painted with antique gold acrylic paint.

The fresh flower frame featured flowers used throughout our wedding and reception flowers and included Akito  Roses, Gypsophila and Paperwhite Narcissus.

To complete the seating chart I printed the guests names on gold paper and pinned the names to the board with rose shaped ivory ceramic board pins.

To me this frame is a unique element of our wedding day and all the guests loved how beautiful the seating plan looked.

6 April 2015

Wedding Morning Prep

Our wedding was on Saturday 28th March in the wonderful Devon countryside and it was the most magical day. We don't yet have the official photos so until then I thought I would post some pictures from the wedding morning which I spent at our wedding reception venue - the beautiful Langdon Court near Wembury, Plymouth - with my mum and bridesmaids. Although I was too excited to sleep and had lots on my mind I felt surprisingly awake on the wedding morning and got up at 7am (despite waking up at 6 and also still being awake until 3). We all had matching dressing gowns and slippers and enjoyed a delicious breakfast before getting ready with a team of wedding make up and hair professionals to make everyone feel their best.

Bridal essentials - Black Label bridal lingerie from
ultimo, Charbonnel et Walker truffles, Chloe wedding shoes from Pronovias, a second pair of shoes from Jenny Packham at Debenhams and my wedding tiara from Ivory & Co.

Getting ready hair before the big day ahead!

By the Bride

2 March 2015

Marvellous Maids and a Magical Hen Weekend

At the end of February Half Term it was time for my bridal hen weekend. Having been organised for quite sometime, I knew we would be staying in a farmhouse near bath as I wanted to have a hen weekend whereby friends and family coming from Devon upwards and those travelling from London could all meet in the middle and so it was decided that Bath would be accessible for most people.

We hired a farmhouse near Frome that sleeps 22 and it worked out to be the most cost effective option, rather than if we had tried to book a hotel. We also had the added benefit of having a beautiful private country house all to ourselves where we could all be under one roof.

On the day of the hen My Maid of Honour and some of the bridesmaids arrived at the farmhouse along with my mum and some friends to set up some surprises.

I travelled up from Plymouth with Charlotte Claire and Lucy and we stopped off at Clarkes Village on the way to bide some time - and for a sock stop as we all for some reason forgot to pack socks. We nipped into the Coast sale shop but managed to avoid any pre-wedding spending although they had beautiful dresses from £15 so great for brides and guests on a budget or last minute honeymoom shopping.

We arrived at the farmhouse and I was greeted with wedding balloons on the door. We entered the beautiful living room and were treated to gorgeous cupcakes on arrival and of course a fresh pot of tea for the start of #SJhen weekend. The girls had made hand made bunting to decorate the lounge and had placed beautiful hen weekend goody bags in every bedroom - put together by Charlotte and Maid of Honour Fay - and Fay had had the genius idea of putting a cut out 'hen' on each of the personalised bags.

After tea, cakes and a catch up, we then had an amazing spaghetti bolognaise courtesy of chef maid Lucy before playing a 'how I know the bride' memory game where I had to guess from everyone's notes who the memory was from. This was a real special touch and showed how much effort and thought had been put into the weekend.

A little bit later some more hens arrived from London (the Lushies from my Lush days arrived with Lush lip scrubs, face masks and amazing American Cream hair conditioner for bathroom treats) Devon and Southampton and then there were 19 of us in total.

The next morning was an early start and we were treated to THE best breakfast again cooked by Lucy - who makes the amazing scrambled eggs - before our convoy trip to Longleat Safari Park. Since I was little I've always wanted to go to the park, to see safari animals and to have a go at the maze. I can honestly say for me and for everyone it was definitely worth the trip. We saw lions, tigers and wolves up close in our cars (most of us avoided the monkey enclosure) and at one point the two lion prides were gearing up for a stand off and it was a little bit scary but with the Longleat Rangers on hand in Jeeps we were safe in our cars.

After the safari experience I had to lead all the Hens through the Longleat
maze to the tower in the middle where Charlotte was waiting with a surprise. After about 45 minutes trying to find the tower we finally did it (goodness knows how charlotte did it on her own when she snuck off without me realising) and there she was found with a big bag full of presents.

We then made our way out of the maze via a shortcut and enjoyed afternoon cream tea in a private dining room in the Longleat tea rooms where we enjoyed tea and scones with jam and cream and debated which was the best way and the Devon way to enjoy a team tea - cream first then jam on too I say. I also opened the presents and was very touched that the girls had put together a memory album and signed me a plate full of messages.

After tea we toured the Longleat House and took lots of pictures around the grounds. We had an amazing day and then we all went back to the farmhouse to get ready for a night out in bath.

Before our night of Dinner and cocktails we had some #SJHen fun with wedding selfie props courtesy of Maid Charlotte from Ginger Ray and we had black bridal, bridesmaid and hen sashes.

The girls had arranged for us all to be picked up by a great travel company who sent a hopper style bus to collect us all and myself and the Maids sat at the back with all the bus singing songs from our teenage years which included Wheatus, Barbie Girl, moves from the sound track to She's All That (Freddie Prince Junior days) and Disney songs.

We got to Bath and had a great dinner at a restaurant called Aqua where we again had a private dining room because there was so many of us and we played another wedding game 'Sarahjane went on Honeymoon and she packed...' and we had to remember everything in the suit case.

After a three course meal we went for cocktails at a bar called Sub 13 where we danced the remainder of the night away to Up Town Funk and many more.

It was amazing weekend with truly amazing people who took a lot of time and effort to make it very special - I can only hope my friends have hen parties that need planning very soon so that I can repay the favour and the memories.

By the Bride xx
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