What I learned from not having a phone for two weeks

How-I-coped-without-a-phoneA couple of weeks ago I went to France for my friend’s wedding. It was in a beautiful little village, in the middle of nowhere…. which meant I had no phone signal at all. We flew out on the Thursday and flew home on Monday. It was just so lovely that my phone decided to stay there! I was using it as an alarm clock and in the mad rush to get packed and out on Monday morning, I left it in bed, snuggled up next to my pillow.

The cottage owners were great. As soon as I realised I had left it there (in the airport about to board my plane), I called them. They found it and said they’d post it straight out to me. I’m not sure what service they used to post it, but it took fooooooorrrever! In total I was without my phone for 16 days!

So how was it not having my trusted iPhone with me for so long?

Well surprisingly, not as bad as I thought it would be. The worst bit was driving – I was a bit worried in case I would break down in the middle of nowhere and wouldn’t be able to call for help. But other than that, it was surprisingly fine.

Instead of text messaging and What’s App’ing, I used Facebook messages and email. And I still had a landline to call people from at home. Although I’m not really one of those girls who sits and chats on the phone to their friends and family for hours anyway.

I actually think it was quite good to have a bit of a break. Instead of watching TV and playing on my phone at the same time, I actually sat and concentrated on what I was watching. I manged to sleep better at night because I wasn’t in bed playing on my phone, and I sat and people watched whenever I was on my own rather than using my phone as a distraction.

However I did miss whipping out my phone to take photos. I don’t think I realised how much I actually use my phone as a camera. But other than that, it really wasn’t that bad. I think we live in such a connected world nowadays, that even if you main tool to communicate is taken away, there are so many other options available.

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Motivational Monday: Don’t Quit on Your Dreams!

Earl-Nightingale-quoteToday’s Motivatonal Monday is all about not quitting just because your dream is going to take a while to achieve.

If your dream takes months or years to achieve, then why not just keep at it. God willing, you’ll still be around after those months and years have passed, so wouldn’t you rather be in the position where you worked hard and achieved your dream, rather than quitting and not realising it?

Depending on what your goals and dreams are, there’s no guarantee you’ll achieve them. But you should at least try! So do your best today and everyday, the time will pass and before you know it you’ll be looking for a new challenge/goal/dream because you will already be living your previous one!

Victoria, x

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Photography School Series, Lesson 5: RAW vs JPG

RAW-or-JPG

I’ve started shooting in RAW mode a while ago, until I came back from my friend’s wedding in France and realised I had about a hundred RAW files to convert into JPG. Doing this one by one was a total ball-ache, so I soon switched back to shooting in JPG mode. I know that RAW is better – it gives you more control and ultimately can give you a better result. But it’s a more complicated, long-winded way of getting good photos.

So here’s some information on RAW vs JPG, taken from Richard and Rebecca from Finn Productions, via the Digital Photography School site.

A Raw file is…

  • not an image file per se (it will require special software to view, though this software is easy to get)
  • typically a proprietary format (with the exception of Adobe’s DNG format that isn’t widely used yet).
  • at least 8 bits per color – red, green, and blue (12-bits per X,Y location), though most DSLRs record 12-bit color (36-bits per location).
  • uncompressed (an 8 megapixel camera will produce a 8 MB Raw file).
  • the complete (lossless) data from the camera’s sensor.
  • higher in dynamic range (ability to display highlights and shadows).
  • lower in contrast (flatter, washed out looking).
  • not as sharp.
  • not suitable for printing directly from the camera or without post processing.
  • read only (all changes are saved in an XMP “sidecar” file or to a JPEG or other image format).
  • sometimes admissable in a court as evidence (as opposed to a changeable image format).
  • waiting to be processed by your computer.

In comparison a JPEG is…

  • a standard format readable by any image program on the market or available open source.
  • exactly 8-bits per color (12-bits per location).
  • compressed (by looking for redundancy in the data like a ZIP file or stripping out what human can’t perceive like a MP3).
  • fairly small in file size (an 8 megapixel camera will produce JPEG between 1 and 3 MB’s in size).
  • lower in dynamic range.
  • higher in contrast.
  • sharper.
  • immediately suitable for printing, sharing, or posting on the Web.
  • not in need of correction most of the time (75% in my experience).
  • able to be manipulated, though not without losing data each time an edit is made – even if it’s just to rotate the image (the opposite of lossless).
  • processed by your camera.

Basically if storage isn’t an issue, they say that you should shoot in RAW+JPG, then you’ve got all your bases covered. I do have a 32gb storage card, so that’s fine for me.

To get a JPG you can either let your camera process the photo and output it into a JPG for you, or you can take the RAW file and convert this into a JPG on your computer… your computer is going to have more processing power than your camera, which is why the RAW shooting mode will ultimately give you more control and a higher quality end result. But it does take more time and effort.

However I have also learned that you can batch process RAW files in Photoshop for fast and easy processing. I’m not sure quite how yet, but that could be a good option. As doing them one by one is, as I said above, a total ball-ache!!

Do you shoot in RAW or JPG? What do you find is best for you? Let me know below….

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My Favourite Hand Creams

I have a bit of an obsession with hand cream. I get really dry skin on my hands all the time, so if I ever leave the house without hand cream I break out in a panic. I’ve got hand cream stashed everywhere. I literally think I’ve got some in every room of the house. Then the other day I was cleaning out my handbag and realised I had five different hand creams in there! A little excessive, but variety is the spice of life!

So here are my favourite hand creams (at the moment, I’m always trying new ones).

Handcream Favourites

Handcream Favourites

  • The Soap & Glory Hand Food (£5) is my ultimate favourite. I always have a few of these hanging around the house and in my handbag. It smells great, isn’t too greasy (I don’t mind a bit of grease!) and absorbs quickly. Don’t try and open any jam jars after using this, but other than that, it’s brilliant.
  • Nivea can always be counted on to create lovely skin products, and this soothing hand cream (£3.99) is definitely one you can count on. Smaller than the Soap & Glory, so a bit more handbag friendly (especially for nights out), this is a non scented one that tackles dry skin very effectively.

Handcream Favourites

  • This Derma Intensive+ Protecting Hand & Nail Cream was actually a gift from my Mum, and I love it. It’s such a good handcream. Really great for cuticles and nails too. If my nail beds are looking a bit dry I use this as a bit of a cuticle cream. Really great and you can buy it here for only 75p at the moment… which does sound a bit too good to be true. It’s the only place online I can see that sells it. So if they’re a legit company, then this is a real bargain. I might actually buy some more myself now!
  • Vaseline is a bit like Nivea – a skincare brand you can trust. And this handcream is lovely. Probably not one of my ultimate favourites – it’s a bit waterly and liquidy for me to completely love. But it does absorb very quickly and is really not greasy at all. You can buy this from Boots for £3.75.

Handcream Favourites

  • I got this Alison Claire Mango Body Butter from a Glossybox last year. I sort of ignored it for a few months until all my other body butters ran out. I wish I’d got to it sooner as it’s lovely! I love the smell and it applied so easily and absorbs so quickly. I use it both as a body butter and hand cream. During the summer when my arms were out a lot more, I’d give them a quick once going over with this and would walk around smelling all sweet and fresh for hours. So not technically a hand cream itself, but it certainly can work as one.

So those are my current favourite hand creams. But like I said, I’m always on the hunt for new ones to try. Let me know if you recommend any below….

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Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

When I got married I found it really difficult to find gifts for my bridesmaids. I loved them all so much and wanted to give them a gift that was special to both them and me. In the end I came up with a pretty good list, and actually found it hard to narrow it down (which is why they all got two of the below!!).

So here’s my bridesmaid gift ideas list:

Personalised Emma Bridgewater Mugs

As well as being a bit obsessed with TG Green Cornishware, I’m also madly in love with all things Emma Bridgewater. My husband has told me I’m not allowed to buy anymore stuff as we have so much already! But that didn’t stop me getting a personalised mug for the girls. So they all got a pink heart one with “Bridesmaid” written on it, and the date on the bottom. It’s quite limiting in terms of letters, so I couldn’t really have anything more than that on them, but I loved them and so did they.

Emma Bridgewater personalised mugs for bridesmaids

Swarovski Necklaces

Tom bought me a lovely Swarovski necklace for Christmas a few years ago and I love it. It’s so pretty and can be worn casually or in the evening to glam up an outfit. So I thought it would be lovely to get something similar for the girls, since it’s something they can keep forever. We also got one for my Mother-in-law and got my Mum a Swarovski brooch – something a bit different to the standard flowers that mother’s usually get at weddings.

So these are the one’s I had in my shortlist. The bridesmaids got number 3 and my Mother-in-law number 2.
Swarovski Necklaces for Bridesmaids1. Alana Clear Crystal Pendant, £99
2. Angelic Pendant, £69
3. Circle Pendant, £69
4. Heart Pendant, £69
5. Mozart Pendant, £59

Personalised Tote Handbags

These tote bags are so cute and make a wonderful gift. At £13 each, they’re also pretty cheap too, so if you’ve found you’ve smashed through your wedding budget already, then these are just the thing! You can get them from notonthehighstreet.com.

Personalised tote bag for bridesmaids

Photo Book

A cute way of creating a really personal gift is to put together a photo book of all the fun times you’ve shared with each bridesmaid. This again is another cheapie gift, but one that’ll cost you in terms of time instead! It’ll be worth it though as photo’s are so precious and so many people don’t get round to printing them nowadays. A custom-made photo book will surely bring a tear to even the most hardened bridesmaid!

Vera Wang Compact Mirror

What says ‘wedding’ more than Vera Wang? If only we could all afford to walk down the aisle wearing a gown Vera made huh?! However, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, then a Vera Wang compact handbag mirror would make a lovely, lovely gift. These come in a beautiful leather case and the whole thing is really weighty, yet pretty. Something any woman would be happy to get out whilst touching up her lippy. I might be a bit biased here, because this was the gift I was given when I was a bridesmaid last week at my best friend’s wedding. But she hit the nail on the head with this one!

Vera Wang Mirror

Have you been a bridesmaid and been given any super ideas? Let me know below!

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Keep Dreaming on Motivational Monday

I was going to say that this was a bit of a cheesy Motivational Monday, but quite frankly, the whole ‘Motivational Monday’ thing is completely cheesy, So I’ll just forego that!

dreams don't work unless you do

Anyway, this little bit of motivational wisdom is all about working hard. I’m a firm believer in hard work – like someone famous once (apparently) said “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. Which is dead true.

You will not get what you want without hard work. No one will just phone you up and offer that dream job to you just because they suddenly think ‘oh yes, that old friend, that bum who is sitting on their arse, not working hard right now, will be perfect for this role’. No. People who work hard get the best opportunities. People who work hard get the best breaks. They meet the best people, who in turn introduce them to the best jobs, the best houses, the best life. Work hard and you’ll get what you want. Life will not dish you a perfect hand just because you want it. Work hard and you’ll get what you want. Don’t work hard and you won’t. It’s simple. Contribute to society and live a good and decent life.

Rant over,

Victoria, x

p.s I made this image from a picture I took of the sea in Positano, Italy, on our honeymoon. It was just idillic. The colour of the sea was just amazing. No filters or extra saturation was added to the gradient of the blue/turquoise. This is what it looked like. Amazing.

Photography School Series, Lesson 4: Wedding Photography Results

I may have mentioned (a few million times!), that I was bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding last weekend. We had such an amazing weekend, and I used it as an excuse to get my camera out.

So here are some of my favourite ones:

French wedding

French wedding

French wedding

French wedding

French wedding

French weddingFrench wedding

So none of the actual wedding day other than a few of us getting ready in the morning – but I only had two hand – one for my bouquet and one for my wine!!

A lot of them came out a bit blurry. I’ll blame that on still being a total learner, and the vast amounts of wine that was consumed over the four days we were in France!

I also shot all these in RAW, which I almost wished I hadn’t. I still don’t really understand how to make the most of RAW images, and I didn’t have time to learn this week. So I was left with hundreds of photos that needed individually converting to JPGs before I could use them. Which was a bit laborious. So I’ve switched off that setting until I know more about what it is and why I should use it.

And don’t ask about the cow outfit!!

How To Make Your Home Feel Cosy & Warm

With the nights drawing in ever closer, it’s a lovely time of year to be able to enjoy the odd sunny, warmish day, but still get all the good feelings that surround the cooler months. One of my favourite things to do around this time of year is just to chill out in my living room. I love our living room, it’s such a cosy little room.

So here are my top tips on how to make your home feel cosy and warm:

1. Texture

Texture is so important – think specifically about fluffy rugs, smooth shiny wood, pillows and throws. Also consider your walls. Wallpaper with a bit of texture feels much cosier than a cold hard slap of paint!

2. Colours

Think about the colour palette in your home. Whilst blues and greens can look sophisticated and make you feel calm and serene, they’re not particularly cosy come the winter months. If you’re not up for panting or wallpapering in warmer tones (reds, oranges, yellows etc), consider how you can incorporate these colours into your accessories. A warm coloured lampshade will also help by giving out a warm glow.

3. Lighting

Talking of lampshades, think about the different sources of light in your rooms. Using the main room light as the main and only source won’t give you the control you need to create a cosy room. Up-lighters, table lamps and of course candles all contribute to a cosy feeling.  If you can’t really add additional lighting sources, think about adding a dimmer switch to the main light so you have a bit more control over lighting levels.

4. Little Touches

Sometimes it’s the little touches that really finish a room off. A room with just the basic furniture and nice lighting still won’t fee very cosy and relaxing. So fill your home with the touches that you love – fresh flowers, scented candles or diffusers, nik-naks, photos of loved ones and memorable trips away. These are the things that make a house a home.

5. Keep it Seasonal

Make the most of the drastically different seasons we get in the UK. We’re quite lucky that we get to experience such a vibrant seasonality in this country. So in the Autumn decorate with acorns, conkers and beautifully coloured leaves, in the Summer make the most of the beautiful flowers you can get, in Spring add daffodils and painted eggs… and in Winter? Well if you’re anything like me you can just go nuts with the xmas decorations!

So that’s it. Do you have any additional cosy home tips? Let me know below!

Victoria. xx

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What I’m Looking Forward to in October

October is going to be a great month. I’ve got fun things booked in for every weekend, so it’s going to be a busy one. Which is good, because October is usually a bit depressing – it’s cold, summer seems like a lifetime ago, but Christmas is still so long away. So it’s good to have some things booked in to look forward to.

Craft & Cocktail Club

Myself and four of my best friends (including Steph from Bells, Bows and Bella – check out her blog), regularly meet up for drinks and crafty fun. In the past we’ve made a quilted blanket, painted cocktail glasses, baked macaroons, made candles and lots of other crafty bits. I’m not sure what’s on the table for this Craft Club session, but I can guarantee it’ll involve rather a lot of wine!

A Holiday

My husband Tom and I haven’t actually had a holiday together yet this year. So we’ve booked a week off in October and are going to get away and spend some quality time together. I’m not sure where we’re going to go yet. I’ve told Tom that he can pick where we go…. so no doubt come Saturday morning we’ll still have no plans. But this has happened to us before – that’s how we ended up in Paris in 2012. There’s nothing more fun than lying in bed, picking a location, booking a flight and hotel, then heading off a couple of hours later! I actually think we’ll stick to Europe, maybe a city break somewhere. Although it would be nice to head off for a last bit of sunshine. Who knows?!

Holiday

Kacey Musgraves in Concert

Ever since Nashville (the TV show), I have really been into country music. I dunno why, I just am. I like how the songs quite often tell a story, I like the Southern twang a lot of the artists have, and I like the blues/folksy/guitar sounds.

One of the artists that I am totally addicted to now is Kacey Musgraves. I heard her on the Simon Mayo R2 show a while back, and thought her songs sounded nice, but it was only the other week that I added her album, Same Trailer Different Park, to my Spotify playlists. And now I just can’t listen to anything else! I pretty much have her album on all day every day! I love her lyrics, she really just tells it how it is. She’s got a wonderful way with words. The way she takes common metaphors and the usual things that happen to people in life, and mixes it with whimsical and insightful lyrics is brilliant.

So when I found out that she’s playing at the O2 Sheppards Bush in London in October I just had to get tickets! It’s on a Sunday night, which is a bit of a pain, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. So I am really, really looking forward to that. And since she’s only had one album out, and hasn’t really cracked the UK yet, tickets were less than £20 each – bargain!

Here’s her album for your enjoyment!

A Posh Dinner at Lime Wood

Lime Wood is a gorgeous hotel/restaurant in Lyndhurst in the New Forest. My sister and I went there in August for a cream tea and loved it. It’s located in the most beautiful setting – out in the middle of the forest, surrounded by healthland and hills. The actual building itself is also beautiful, they’ve done such an amazing job with the decor. We went for a wander through the hotel and restaurant after our cream tea and straight away I knew I wanted to come back for dinner. It gets booked up months in advance so I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now!

Lime-Wood-Hotel-Entrance

Private Jewellery Lesson

A couple of years ago I took night course in silversmithing. I wasn’t sure if I would like it at first, or if I would be any good at it, but I really loved it. I got quite into it and ended up buying loads of expensive kit and making lots of lovely earrings, rings and necklaces. However when we moved into our new house, there wasn’t really anywhere where I could do it. We splashed out on a gorgeous solid oak dining room table, and there was no way I was going to use that as a jewellery desk! So for my birthday Tom bought me a specialised jewellery workbench, then got me a private day jewellery lesson with my old tutor. I am extremely excited about this, and will no doubt do a blog about what I’ve made. Checkout my Silver Jewellery Pinterest Board for some of the things that I’d like to make.

What are you up to in October? Let me know what fun plans you’ve got in the diary.

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Motivational (morbid) Monday

So yes, this little bit of Monday Motivation is a bit morbid, but lets face it, we’re all going to die one day. It’s a fact, a given. We’re not going to live forever. There will be one day that will be our last here on Earth. Hopefully not for a while, and hopefully (if you’re anything like me), you’ll want to pass peacefully in your sleep. But really, no-one really knows when or how their time on this little planet will finish.

Live everyday as if its your last, because one day you'll be right

And this is why we really need to take this Monday’s Motivational quote to heart. One day really will be your last full day here. What do you want to do with it? If you knew when your last day was going to be, what would you do? It is a bit tricky, because 99% of the time, most days are not going to be your last day. And so in order for the following day(s) to be comfortable, you’ll need to carry on with the day to day hundrum that makes up your life – going to work, filling the car with petrol, emptying the dishwasher, yelling at the kids etc. But it’s the little thing inbetween these hundrum chores that makes life what it is.

Was the man at the petrol station nice? Did all the dishes actually come out of the dishwasher spankingly clean?! And although your kids graffitied all over your living room walls, did they at least spell it all right?! Look for the joy in the hundrum of life, and you’ll be happier overall. Go to bed with a smile on your face.

Victoria, x

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Photography School Series: Lesson 4, How to Take Great Wedding Photos as a Guest

I know last week I said I was going to learn about editing RAW photos, but I changed my mind when I remembered that I had my best friends wedding this weekend. So I thought my efforts would be better focused on learning about how to take great wedding photos (not that they’re relying on me by any means! But you never know, accidents/food poisoning happens to the best of people and I may be drafted in at the last minute to stand in for their official photographer!!).

Keep out the way of the professionals!

The first thing I’ve learnt is not to get in the way of the official photographers. They are the professionals and they’re there for one reason. They’re also probably being paid a lot of money. So keep out of the way and don’t hijack their shots.

how to take great wedding photos as a guest

Mix it up

A lot of wedding guest photos end up looking the same – the shot of the bride walking down the aisle, the happy couple signing the registry book, the confetti shot, the cake cutting, first dance etc. It’s fine to get these kind of shots, but think about how to make them look a bit more original.

Change your perspective:

  • Instead of taking a photo of the bride walking down the aisle, take a shot of the look on the groom’s face when he first sees her.
  • Try and take a shot from above when they’re cutting the cake, hold the camera up over your head and see how this looks
  • Go low for the first dance shot, or go wide and try and capture the guests mingling round the edge of the dance floor

Ignore the Bride and Groom

The bride and groom will have a lot of attention throughout the day – from both guests and the official photographers. So consider focusing your attention on the other guests and the location. Try and take natural shots of people interacting with each other. There’s nothing better than seeing a photo of people laughing, smiling and talking to each other –  in a natural way. These “paparazzi” style shots are much nice than posed photos.

how to take great wedding photos as a guest

Also think about your surroundings. No doubt the bride and groom will have taken a long time to pick a location and will have spent a lot of time and money getting it to look “just right”. If there are any nice details, like bunting, decorations, flowers, cake/sweet tables, pretty drink decorations etc, focus on those and make sure you capture them in an interesting way.

how to take great wedding photos as a guest

No one likes a flasher!

And finally, switch your flash off – it’s unlikely to make a difference (most shots in the right light and settings don’t need a flash) and it’ll disturb the happy couple and other guests – especially during the ceremony.

Having said that, I’m a bridesmaid and I don’t think I’ll be allowed to smuggle my camera in under my bouquet, so a lot of the shots will hopefully be taken by my doting husband. But no doubt he’ll just leave my camera on the side and forget about it!!

Have you got any tips on how to take great wedding photos as a guest? Let me know in the comments below.

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My Top 5 Tips for Being The Best Bridesmaid

I am currently in France at my best friend’s wedding. She’s getting married in a beautiful subterranean church in a little village called Aubeterre-Sur-Dronne, which is about an hour or so north of Bergerac. She’s marrying her boyfriend of about 11 (might be 12?) years and they’ve been planning this mini holiday/wedding for about 18 months now.

I was so excited when she asked me to be a bridesmaid. She was one of my three bridesmaids when I got married, so I now know that being a bridesmaid is much, much more than just walking down the aisle before her and helping her go to the loo when she’s drunk and can’t get out of her dress!

Here are my three gorgeous bridesmaid’s on my wedding day – my best friend Ann-Marie, my sister-in-law Louise and my sister Anna:

Top Tips for Bridesmaids

So here are my top 5 tips for being the best bridesmaid ever:

1. Ask her on a regular basis how the wedding planning is going: When I was planning my wedding, it soon became apparent that not everyone was as excited about it as me. Nor were they keen to talk about it all day every day. So it’s lovely to be able to talk to someone about the plans and any up’s and down’s you may be having, with someone who actually wants to know, and someone who can lend a hand if needed.

2. Organise the best hen (bachelorette) party ever: I think planning a hen party is almost as stressful as planning a wedding. As a bridesmaid you want your best friend to have the best time on her hen party, so there’s quite a lot of pressure to make sure you get it right. We worked really hard to find out what the bride did and didn’t want, and then incorporated loads of activities and little touches that really suited her and her personality. The end result was that she had a fantastic weekend away, as did everyone who attended. It’s certainly something we won’t forget in a while (and remember, what goes on on the hen, stays on the hen!).

3. No matter how funny you think it’ll be, don’t get her a stripper if she doesn’t want one: There’s nothing more hilarious than watching someone deal with the unwanted advances of a male stripper. Being forced to lick cream off places you’d really rather not look at, let alone touch with your tongue is not a fun experience – unless you’re the one watching this happen to a poor bride-to-be. Yes it is side-splittingly funny, but don’t be mean! We hired a Butler in the Buff which was a good compromise and it was fun for everyone.

4. Find out as much as you can about the day and the details in advance: Knowing exactly what’s happening and when will really help the bride. As a bride it’s nice not to be bothered by staff or other people asking questions about the day. You really want everything just to tick along perfectly. But when questions or issues do arise, it’s nice as a bridesmaid to be able to take time out to sort these out yourself, so the bride and groom can carry on with their day, oblivious of any problems. But you can only do this if you know precisely what’s supposed to be happening and when, and what the bride has specifically planned in her head. So get it from her head into yours and you’ll be fine!

5. Provide emotional support to those that need it: A wedding can be quite overwhelming for lots of people – the bride, groom, best man (arrrgh, that dreaded speech!), the parents of the bride and groom, and your fellow bridesmaids. So make sure that you’re ready to provide emotional support as and when needed. Try and keep the mood light and fun whilst everyone is getting ready in the morning, try to not get the bride or the bride’s mum too drunk before the ceremony starts (bucks fizz is a good thing to drink rather than champagne), and if people do start going crazy or tearful, try and calm them down and restore the smile to their face as soon as possible.

And finally, make sure you have fun too!

Have you been a bridesmaid or a bride recently? Do you have any pearls of wisdom you want to share? Did you have a particuarly fantastic bridesmaid? Let me know below!

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My TG Green Mugs

As you will know I am slightly in love with TG Green crockery. I managed to build up quite a collection before I bought my house and after I moved I continued to build on that collection.

One of my favourite sets of TG Green items are my mugs. These are two sets of four mugs. One is meant for girls and one is traditionally for boys (if you want to be a bit sexist about the kind of colours at each gender prefers!).

I actually won these on an online competition. I was so crazy excited to win, because I had my eye on them for quite some time but what with saving for a deposit I didn’t have a lot of disposable income left to spend on such luxuries as expensive mugs.

My new kitchen has a gorgeous glass fronted cabinets in the middle which means I can display my lovely mugs with pride. I really, really love these mugs and I use them all the time. I’m super paranoid that I might drop one and the set won’t match any more, which will be really annoying. But no point worrying about that until it actually happens!

TG Green Mugs TG Green MugsTG Green Mugs

I absolutely love them. They’re such super mugs. You can also have these personalised too, so they’d make great gifts.

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Keeping it real on a Monday

Sometimes it’s hard to keep a good perspective on life. It’s far too easy to see what other people have got and feel jealous. I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. There’s things in life that I really want, but I don’t have, or can’t have. Sometimes it’s hard when you really want something, and you can’t understand why you don’t have it. But life doesn’t always go the way you want it to. But your life is the only life you have. Like Kourtney Kardashian says (I don’t care what people think, I love her!), You Only Live Once (YOLO people!). You can’t waste time wanting what you can’t have, or wishing the time away for the time that you will have what you want.

Anyway, I think this is a good thing to remember. What you take for granted, other people are wishing for. Whilst you’re busy wishing you had this or that, there are people wishing that they had this or that too – but the this or that, that you already have (if that makes sense!).

So it’s important to take stock of what you do have. Be grateful for the love and relationships in your life. Be grateful for that job (no matter how dull or boring), that house you call a home, the mother that nags or the boyfriend that still can’t figure out how to put dishes in the dishwasher (be grateful for the dishwasher!). If you work hard, then most likely you’ll get what you want. And the things you want that are just based on luck, hopefully you’ll get those too.

The-things-you-take-for-granted

This is a bit of a soppy post, but sometime we need a bit of sopp. And I’m the soppiest of them all!

Victoria, xx