Wednesday, 26 August 2015

#WeddingWednesday - #Hen Hen Hen Hen Hen Hen

What an awesome Hen Do day - afternoon tea, spa and a tasty meal. Having been teetotal for nearly 5 years it was a low key, chilled affair minus veils, willies, that Mr & Mrs quiz, and the dreaded L plates; I drank elderflower presse whilst my hens sipped Prosecco. My trademark red lips were the order of the day and most of my hens turned up to greet me with a slash of red lippie in my honour - go team Hen!

Most of my hen clan were school friends - The Halifax Girls - who I have known since the grand old age of 11 years old. We went to different universities, have lived in different cities and countries but have always stayed in touch. It's one of those friendships that's like slipping on an old jumper - it always works. Then there were 2 really good mates from my mid 20's in Manchester. I share memories of many nights out with them and a particularly awesome holiday to Ibiza, plus both their Hen Do's. My uni friend, Jen, who was my chief organiser and British Cheerleader during our year abroad. We spent a year at The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (yes, it's a real place) surviving a tornado, 9/11 and the lure of coming home with an American accent. My sister, Penny and my sister-in-law also made the trek up from London to enjoy all Manchester had to offer. And last but not least, my dear friend Dawn who was my 1st Wardrobe Angel client and my mate Joban (real name Emily) who I share a love of hysterical films with. Her nickname came about after watching I Love You Man. My nickname is Carlos from The Hangover - the 1st film we saw together.

A gleeful Joban after finding her "perfect" moustache.

Greeting my friends I was filled with mixed feelings; joy and anxiety. I was the only person in the room who knew everyone. All the threads of my life were right in front of me, so many shared histories, stories and experiences. Would everyone get on? But, in true northern style, the ice was well and truly broken when one of the first topics of conversation was waxing of the lady garden area. My favourite part of the day was when I was presented with a bag of gifts - one from each hen - but with no labels attached so I had to guess which gift was from which hen. The gift was something that reminded the hen of me. I was bowled over by the hilarity of some of the gifts (a picture of David Crystal springs to mind) and by the thought that had gone into some. The frame which two of the Halifax hens had collaborated on made me well up - it was an A-Z of Stephanie Ann Roper:

How utterly blessed I felt to be surrounded by this gang of immense, shiny, sparkly women who I am lucky enough to call friends. Friends who know me inside out, have stood by me, supported me, laughed with me (and at me), and for whom the door is always open . 

So with my Hen Do a funny and long lasting memory, Rich and I are on the "6 weeks to go" wedding home straight. We've finalised the seating plan, the Order of Service and dished out the usher's jobs. I have my wedding shoes and a clutch of appointments to get my dress altered and my head piece finalised. 

It's going to be here before I know it, isn't it?

Monday, 24 August 2015

My favourite bits off of the internet this week

I'm in a weird limbo between coming back from holiday, my busiest business month (hello September!) and the home stretch before my wedding (6 weeks to go!). I've been trotting around the world wide web looking for super cool stuff and found some super cool stuff to share:

1. I made a new friend recently. Her name is Lisa Clifford and her business as a transformational coach is extraordinary. Beg, borrow and steal, or just pay her, to come and do a workshop for you and your business.

2. I spent many-a-summer raving in Ibiza in my 20's. I love a good dance choon and if any one out there can tell me of a super cool place where a 34 year old woman can groove the night away listening to Cafe Del Mar tracks, I am all ears. In lieu of that information I urge you to listen to the Radio 1 Ibiza Proms - just stunning to here well worn dance tracks re-spun with classical instruments.

3. I first came across Amy Schumer on Comedians in Cars getting coffee; she was hilarious. Now she has written and starred in her own film, Trainwreck, and the trailer is AWESOME.

4. In July I filmed my TV Pilot. I know. HUGE DEAL. The date for the first pilot fell through, I had under a week to re-organise my guests, as well as packing for holiday and organising my wedding. Katie Portman from the wonderful blog Pouting in Heels agreed to come and get involved.

Please note - we had never met

I messaged her on Instagram, emailed her the show details and she shared her time and experience in spades for her interview. She went all-in and showed up in the pouring rain, gave some awesome chat and was beyond patient when the filming ran behind. THANK YOU Katie - you awesome woman, you. Check out her fantastic blog Pouting in Heels

5. I had my 4th business anniversary at the start of August. The Marketing Doctor sums up the effort which self-employment takes and the amazing rewards in this heart felt blog post.

6. My sister made me an auntie for a 3rd time earlier this year to a beautiful baby niece. Recently I have become more and more aware of the blue/pink clothing stereotyping in shops and it has really been getting me down. I found salvation on Instagram when I stumbled up No Pink Please - a unisex clothing brand for children which is beyond cool. Check out their It's a Baby vest - amazing!

7. For over 6 years I've been delving into the world of spirituality. Gabrielle Bernstein's vlogs are a dose of enlightenment which could make all the difference to your day.

8. My wedding is in 6 weeks. After getting engaged last November we have had less than a year to plan our nuptials but one of the 1st decisions we made was to hire Anna Hardy as our wedding photographer. I am so excited she'll be sharing our day with us.

9. And finally 2 Buzz Feed crackers. Love Harry Potter? See how this cartoonist reckons Dumbledore was less than responsible in this Headmaster role at Hogwarts.

10. How Posh was Your School? I scored 22. How did you do?

Have an immense rest of week!

Til next time...x