Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Our Birth Story



I never thought I'd actually be sitting here writing my birth story!

41+5 days and I was beyond impatient, pacing (waddling) around our town, my phone on silent as the constant calls and messages were driving me crazy, 2 sweeps, a few false alarms, I had thoroughly had enough of being pregnant now!

Throughout my pregnancy I was absolutely convinced I would give birth early, so to have gotten to the overdue stage was a shock to me, I remember my Midwife, Naomi wondering the same thing.
 I had spent the last month googling every possible way to bring on labour, I bounced on that damn ball every day and night willing for pains to come and then slowly freaking out if things did ramp up a little! 
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I was due to be induced at 41+6 days - Tuesday morning,  this was something Naomi had set in place for me, however I had planned to ask for further monitoring over a few more days because I was absolutely petrified of the idea of being induced.
 I had been reading online that a few people had been on the swings at there local park and so when Sam came home from work on the Monday around 4.30pm, I quickly forced him out of the door, we slowly walked around the park, which luckily isn't too far from our house, it took every last piece of my effort to make it around, its quite hilly & we ended lastly in the children's area at the swings!  
I think he genuinely didn't believe this very heavily pregnant women was actually going to swing her way into labour, but, yes I sure did! 
After a few minutes, I remember feeling like I needed to get off as I just didn't quite feel right and said to Sam we needed to go,  I was quite exhausted by now and just felt the need to be at home!

Once we were home we made dinner as usual, I bounced on my ball for a little bit and then decided I was going to go to bed, I’d got to the point where I was admitting defeat to being induced and figured I might as well prepare myself for the morning, I started watching my Positive Birth Company hypnobirthing videos on induction, something I’d decided throughout my pregnancy I didn’t want to watch as I didn’t want to believe that this would be the road I’d have to go down but alas, there I was the night before preparing myself! 
I actually felt quite positive after those and locked my phone, faced it down on the bedside table and felt almost ready and accepting of what was going to be, Wolfe clearly had other plans though! 


About 10 minutes after I locked my phone I started to feel these little niggles down in the bottom of my tummy, almost like very mild period pains and an urge to go to the toilet, during the niggly pains I decided to message Sam’s mum as we’d been speaking just before bed and I knew she would still be awake, I explained what I was feeling and she told me to go to the bathroom, once there I realised I was covered in blood (soz) down there and there was a big lump of blood in the bottom of the toilet (again soz) I actually got really scared as I’d heard of ‘the bloody show’ but I didn’t expect it to look quite like that! 
By that point I realised something clearly was happening but still didn’t think I was in full labour as I wasn’t having the excruciating pains I was expecting.
I woke Sam up and said I thought I was having contractions and we started to time them on the Freya app (PBC) they were coming really fast, some 1.5 minutes some 45 seconds in between, I was confused as I’d read and watched that contractions come on slowly and with large gaps in between them to begin with. 
We called the birthing centre and double checked whether or not we should be coming in at this point as they were very fast, we were told to wait a little while longer, as I was so calm they didn’t think I could be in established labour just yet, however after about 45 minutes we decided to call them back and say they were still coming fast and we would like to come and be checked! 
Sam made us a coffee each to take with us, so chilled and I sat on the bench of our dining table, calm and actually joking that it wasn’t painful at all, I clearly can’t be in labour yet? 


The drive over to the birth centre I can barely recollect, I remember us leaving the house with all our bags in the dark of night, waddling down to the car, it was cold and I remember feeling so calm still, the chill of the air was fresh and I was excited that we were potentially going to be meeting our baby, I was giddy! 
We pulled up and I remember struggling to get through the hallway to the midwife led unit, I stopped half way to get through a contraction, once there we waited a little while as there was another lady being checked before us, I could hear her really moaning in pain, I wasn’t anywhere at that level so definitely thought we were going to be sent straight home again! 
We were then taken into a room to be checked, again I don’t remember much it all seems very hazy a year on, I remember having a few contractions whilst the midwife was filling out our paper work and then I was asked to undress my bottom half and pop onto the table where she checked to see if I was dilated, she was shocked “you’re 4.5cm dilated, We can start filling up the pool” as I’m writing those words my eyes are welling up, the elation of knowing I was meeting our baby and I wasn’t being induced was bloody insane, Sam was excited and we hurried into the birthing room as fast as we could! 


The room was so calm, the water filling the tub, I had a plan of using all these lovely essential oils in the water and having our music playing in the background, we didn’t use any of it, of course! 
I remember popping my green T-shirt dress on over my bra and just willing the pool to hurry up. 
Once it was ready I got in and felt almost instant relief from the amazing warm water, honestly the best bath you could imagine, the sense of relief from the pain was almost immediate and I felt this huge smile on my face, I looked at Sam and was just so so happy! 
The contractions started to ramp up a little, they were hard but bearable, through every one I needed to hold Sam’s hand or the side of the pool, and just grit through them.
Daphne the midwife was saying how well I was doing through them and I said “please stop telling me how well I’m doing as when I get into proper labour I won’t be doing so well” 
She laughed and said “I’m afraid you can’t get in more established labour than this”! 
I think I genuinely still didn’t believe this was it, it just wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, I started to get a little urge to push and felt like I needed to go to the toilet, I got out of the pool and headed to the toilet for a wee, this was actually quite hard and I remember regretting this choice once I was there, everything is far easier when you’re in the water and you feel weightless! 

I was there for quite a while as, quite honestly, it was a struggle to give myself the energy to get back to the pool, which bearing in mind was pretty much 2 metres at most away from me. 
Daphne had registered I was really struggling at this point for strength and decided to give me a drink  of lucozade  sport out of our labour bag and try and get me to eat something, I couldn’t even stomach the thought of food, I had some of the drink and managed to make it back to the pool. 

During the stints in the pool they were checking on the baby with what I presume is a Doppler? And I remember hating every single check, each one was worse than the other as they took me completely out of my calm pain free zone and just aggravated me, another thing that’s just popped into my head that annoyed me was that lovely Daphne didn’t stop talking, she was happily chatting away to Sam, who at this point was sat in an armchair chilling with his third cup of coffee she’d made him, talking about how her son was going to be decorating her living room, at one point I think I told them both to shut up talking as they were driving me mad 🙈 

I needed to get out of the pool, I wanted to be on all fours, I was leant over the couch in the room and just groaning through contractions at this point, I was getting really exhausted and almost felt like I couldn’t go on any further, I kept saying he isn’t coming out, he isn't coming out, he’s stuck, please stop telling me to push as he isn’t coming, please listen to me, he isn’t coming! 
I absolutely knew he was stuck, I’d known for ages, I just had this intuition and they weren’t listening to me, of course they thought I was just being a typical woman in labour getting to the point of pushing. 

The second midwife on duty, Michelle had come in at this point and they decided to check up there to see what was going on, they noticed my waters still hadn’t gone, they could see the babies head was so close she said it was bulging and explained they were going to manually break them; out come a hook and up they went to break them, hardly any water came out and this worried them, considering I was now 2 weeks overdue it was to be expected but I think at this point they knew they were going have to phone an ambulance to be on standby. 
They kept saying PUSH with everything you’ve got and I was, I couldn’t push more if my life depended on it, he wasn’t coming! 
The call was made and an ambulance was on its way, I remember hearing their conversation; the ambulance must’ve said they’ll be around an hour and they were saying “NO GET HERE NOW”.
They knew he was stuck, finally we were getting somewhere. 

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The wait for the ambulance felt like it took a lifetime and by this point they’d told me I couldn’t push anymore, I had to hold in my strong uncontrollable urges to push, something that is totally unnatural to a birthing woman, but for the safety of my son I had to. 
The ambulance ride to the hospital was absolutely horrific and something I would never want to redo ever again, the driver didn’t know the area and went the back routes to the hospital, over every bump you could imagine, it was excruciating holding the pain and urges in whilst being hurdled over the road, never again! 
Sam followed in the car, we arrived at the hospital and went straight up to a pre theatre room, Michelle had come with me from the birth centre and I’m so thankful she had as it took Sam ages to get there and to then find us and I’d have been left alone with the hospital staff which I was petrified of, I told her I was scared. 

One thing I didn’t want to end up with is a ceaserean and I feared this was my fate. 
I had to sign paperwork from the doctor on duty explaining they were going to try a few interventions to deliver the baby safely and if all failed I would be operated on. 
To do so I had to be given a spinal block, my second biggest fear and I refused at first, I absolutely did not want any form of pain relief, I’d had none up until this point and I really wanted to go without it! 
The doctor explained that what I was about to go through would be 100 times more painful than I’m experiencing without a spinal block, I agreed and signed the papers! 
Finally Sam got up to the room, was handed scrubs as soon as he stepped in the room and eventually I was wheeled into theatre. 

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I was given the spinal block, and the pain diminished almost instantly, maybe these weren’t so bad! 
I was so calm still, something I whole heartedly put down to the hypnobirthing. 
The surgeons (I presume?) explained what they were going to be doing and started with forceps, I don’t really remember feeling much of them doing this as I was obviously very numb, some have said they refer to it as a tugging sensation but I honestly don’t remember! 
They could see his head and further explained they were going to have to make a little cut to allow room for him to come out.
I was happy for them to do so, by this point I just wanted him here safely, they were monitoring his heart rate which kept dipping and they knew he needed to get out quickly and safely too! 

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Everything went by in such a fast blur, I heard this huge cry and our son was lifted out and placed straight on my chest all I could do was cry and say “he’s here, he’s here, he’s finally here” to Sam, who looked just totally overwhelmed and as shocked and happy as me! 
They took him off fairly quickly as they needed to do some checks on him, I think Sam cut the cord and off they took him! He came back to Sam for some cuddles and I just kept staring at them in awe and disbelief that our son was really here. 

I was losing a lot of blood, they were concerned and were doing everything they could to control the bleeding, even throughout this I was still so calm and just watched them in amazement of how incredible they were working away, I could see a huge table of trays absolutely filled with bloody gauze, I was probably totally unaware of actually how critical that moment was and actually I’m quite happy to keep that recollection too! 
About an hour of them sewing me up later, I was allowed to hold our baby again, he was absolutely perfect and I couldn’t believe how beautiful he was, I kissed him and just knew my life was totally different now! 
We were wheeled into the post theatre room where my mum was waiting for us and she just cried, it was pretty amazing to just be holding our baby with my husband and my mum there, I was so content and just bloody tired to say the least! 

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My birth was totally not what I had planned for, I don’t think you ever can plan these things, every birth is as individual to you as the next person, but that’s not to say it’s ever going to go to plan or fall into place quite how you expect it to. 
However I wouldn’t change anything about it, it was the most amazing, life changing experience I’ve ever gone through and memories I will treasure for my lifetime, I thank the world every day that I managed to experience one of life's greatest pleasures.

Wolfe Jax Shoebridge 
April 16th 2019
12:06pm
7lbs 8oz 

x

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

our wedding - finding the perfect bridesmaid dresses & hightsreet dress picks



I actually think finding the girls dresses was so much harder than finding my own!


From the minute I started looking at different styles, I made sure to involve them in the process!
I set up a group chat and we went back and fourth sending photos of what we all liked, colour ways, lengths, sleeves, no sleeves, the list went on.
I personally knew that I wanted a blush, full length look but it needed to suit them all, and for them to ultimately feel like they loved what they were going to wear on the day! 

I absolutely fell in love with the classic wrap dresses from Two Birds, the most beautiful designs and you could switch the ways you wrapped them to tailor each bridesmaid individually, but they don't come cheap, at around £250+ per dress (before alterations) I knew this was far too out of reach for our budget and the search went on for an attainable dress on a budget. 



After a long few months of scouring every high street store & online too, eventually I came across the TFNC range on ASOS and I fell in love with the sateen bow back maxi dresses.
Amazingly they cater for petite, plus-size & tall which meant finding different sizes for the girls wouldn't be an issue as there is something for everyone in the range.
They had a few different colour ways in this style usually in the current 'popular' wedding colour trends which means you can generally find a shade that matches your wedding theme, if thats the sort of thing you are going for!
We decided on dusty rose, a beautiful blush with an almost grey hue to it.








Once all the dresses had arrived we had a girly evening and tried them all on to see if we needed to change anything about them, and too see if everyone actually liked them in the flesh, we had to exchange a few for the length and different sizes as they run slightly on the larger size and the trains are super long so bare that in mind if you do order from TFNC.
Once we had all the correct sizes we ventured off to the seamstress to have them perfected to the girls figures, this is something I totally recommend as it makes the dresses look completely finished and really meant that the styles flattered each of there individual shapes, we also had to alter the trains quite abit because of the original length of them, so we couldn't have really gotten away with wearing them straight out of the packet as such. 

I personally found the material super flattering on all of the girls, it skimmed over any areas you would generally worry about with ease and even after a three course wedding breakfast they weren't clingy in anyway, our wedding day was one of the hottest days of summer and the girls said how comfortable and lightweight the dresses were, I think having such open backs helped too! 

I left the accessories down to the girls to choose, I wasn't fussed about what shoes they wanted to wear as they dresses totally covered this but they all went for similar styled sandals as they were going to be wearing them for a long time, since our day I have seen a few other brides who have chosen the same dresses and added little necklaces that dangle at the back so it gives a subtle sparkle without being over the top, I  wish I'd seen them sooner as I really love how they look, its definitely something I would've picked up for the girls to wear, however the dresses are so lovely by themselves that it isn't essential to add if you're on a budget.

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My top high-street bridesmaid dress picks SS19


                                      Asos Design Pinny Maxi Dress                  TFNC Bandeau Maxi Dress                TFNC Pleated Maxi        NEXT Maya Short Sleeved Sequin Maxi           Monsoon Garland Multiway Maxi


I hope this weeks post has helped any of you bride-to-be's in finding your bridesmaid dresses or just headed you in the right direction in your search!

Do let me know what Wedding Wednesday post you would like to see next, Frankie x






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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Our Wedding - finding the perfect dress

I pretty much always knew what style of dress I wanted for our wedding, even before I started looking I knew that I would want something slightly fitted but also a style that showed off a little skin, as I figured it was the one time I could get away with showing off the figure that I had worked so hard on and before I would gain those all important baby weight lb's! 

When we had first gotten engaged, I worked part time on the weekends at a beautiful bridal boutique in my hometown of Tunbridge Wells, housing designers like Stewart Parvin, Sarah Seven & Charlie Brear, however nothing quite caught my eye, I actually never tried on any dresses whilst working there, as I really wanted my 'bridal experience", so I made it my mission to start scouring other places in the hunt for 'my perfect dress'


"The One"

Wading my way through white, this time at Isabella Grace, another, absolutely stunning bridal boutique where I live, I found myself drawn to vintage lace sheath styles, with the help of the stylist we landed upon an Essense of Australia gown, along with a few others we headed off to the dressing room and I instantly knew I had to try this one first.

From the first minute I popped it on I genuinely felt like it took my breath away, I never thought I would get that feeling as I'm generally not the sort of person over bowled by clothes, but this dress made me feel things I'd never experienced from a piece of clothing before!



Essense of Australia - Style No' D1767




I had fallen in love, however my purse had not, initially I had a budget of around £1000 (preferably under if I could try) and at the time of trying the dress on it was priced around £1650, I knew this wasn't a price I could justify and sadly left it on the rails for another bride to enjoy instead. 

If you know me personally, then you'll know once I set my heart on something I have to have it, this was no exception, I perused other boutiques in the meantime, whilst comparing it to 'the dress' and nothing lived up to it.
I decided to give up the search for a while and just focus my attention elsewhere on our wedding, a year or so passed and I went back to the search.
After working in bridal industry,  I knew after a year designers usually bought out new collections, therefor meaning any previous works would go into sample sales, I decided to contact the boutique I tried the original dress and yes, it had gone into sample sale, but sadly somebody had already purchased it that week at an amazing price of £975, slightly discouraged, but still in the hopes of finding it I decided to have a look on the internet for any other boutiques selling one, eventually I found a lady selling the dress in a size 10, brand new with the tags, in America! 
With shipping costs included it would have cost me £650, I literally couldn't believe my luck, I emailed her instantly and snapped her hand off for it, I felt like the wait had truly been worth it.
Fast forward a week or two later and it arrived, boxed and wrapped in tissue was the dress bag containing 'the one', I couldn't wait to get home from work to try her on.
The minute I stepped through the door I ran straight to our bedroom and popped my feet through, the lace was so soft and delicate, I remember my heart racing and just wanted to look in the mirror to see what I saw the first time I tried it on.
This time I studied every detail of the dress, the vintage cap sleeves, subtle beading, low scoop back and the train.. the train, I didn't realise quite how much I loved it, but I knew it was definitely something special and I was finally wearing it!

I still to this day look at my dress and love it so much,  I'd worked hard on ensuring it fitted me well and after a few hard months of diet and exercise, along with an incredibly talented seamstress, wearing it on our wedding day, I honestly never felt so amazing. 


Now its time for you to find your perfect dress..

I learnt a few things along the way & I feel like after sharing my journey, that it is my duty to share these with you!

  • Keep an open mind

Even though I personally pretty much knew the style I wanted to go for, this isn't always going to mean thats what is going to suit you, I was fortunate enough to have seen many brides go in and out of the fitting room with an idea in there minds and 9 times out of 10 they would walk away with the one style they had said they would never try on.
Bridal gowns are totally different to regular dresses and what you may expect in your head to look good on your particular frame may be the total opposite!
Pick around 5-8 dresses, throw in a wild card or two and you never know what you may fall in love with!

  • Budget
To me this is SO important, its very easy to get carried away when it comes to weddings and you can easily stumble into a trap of spending far much more than you ever intended to.
The best way you ensure you stick to your price bracket is to only try dresses within this, don't be tempted to try a dress you love the look of if its £3000 as you'll probably fall in love with it, they always say you want what you can't have! 
Be totally honest with the stylist and let them know your maximum and that you don't wish to exceed it, in my experience, most boutiques are usually pretty good with this.
You also need to factor alterations into your budget, you may have a separate allowance for this, however a lot of bride-to-be's forget about the need to have the dress fitted to you once you have purchased it.
This can cost anywhere between £100-£400+.
 Of course it depends on the seamstresses individual pricing & the level of detail that is required to alter your dress, generally most dresses will need to be taken in/out up/down for them to fit you well & in some cases you may want to add additional details, i.e buttons, extra material for coverage of an area you may want to hide away, extra support around the boobs, the list goes on, and if you don't add this into the budget of your dress you may be shocked at the final bill, so it is always good to factor this in right from the beginning.
Speak with your stylist about alteration costs once you have chosen your dress but not before you make a final decision and hand over your hard earned money!

  • Timing
One thing I would see a lot of is brides with no concept of time, if you are going to be purchasing your dress via a bridal boutique, these are usually (unless you go down the sample sale route) made to order and designers generally have a lead time around 6-9 months per dress, which means ideally you'll be trying on your dress around a year before your wedding date.
I know this may sound like a crazy length of time but you need to factor a few things into this..
1 - Finding your dress, this could be the first appointment or ten stores later.
2. Designers lead time.
3. Fittings and alterations once the dress has arrived into the boutique from the designer.
This can take around 1-3 visits to get right, you are usually working to the seamstresses/boutiques schedules so if there are other people in line it can take up to 3 months until your dress is completely ready for you to wear on the big day! 
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time so you aren't fretting over something that is one of the most enjoyable parts of planning your wedding. 

  • 'Entourage'

I find this word so funny, it makes you sound like such a diva, but if theres one diva in the room you want it to be you and not your over opinionated third cousin. 
Really think about who's advice means the most to you, the last thing you want is a room full of divided opinions on whether or not you look better in a full ball gown or if baroque lace makes you look like a granny. 
I would suggest taking your Mum/Mother In Law, if this is someone you feel comfortable listening to (we all know what some parents can be like eek!) and 2 of your closest friends or family members.
The advice they give you needs to be valuable and honest but equally these people need to know that ultimately the final decision is yours and you need to feel your best and fully supported by them!
Also, its ok to go it alone, personally my favourite dress experiences were the appointments I went by myself, I totally knew that my decision would be made by me and only me and I didn't want anything else to sway that, and if thats you then go for it, don't feel pressured by friends and family into inviting them if you don't want to! 

  • Your Husband to be
My final tip is to imagine what you want your husband to feel when you walk down the aisle towards him, this is something I really wanted to portray in my dress.
I wanted him to say "wow" and see me in something that took his breath away, that doesn't mean you have to go for something totally out of your comfort zone, if anything I'd say stay true to the person you are, thats who he fell in love with in the first place, but just amp it up a little.
Think of what your favourite part of you, your fiancé loves the most, and maybe play on these areas a little more, if you know he loves your butt maybe go for something with a low back so his eyes are drawn to this area, ultimately this day is about the two of you and the person you want to impress the most is him, so as much as its making the right decision for you its about making him feel included in the little details too!



I really hope you've enjoyed this weeks post, I feel like I've tried to cover as many of the important aspects of finding your dress as possible, however if you have any other questions feel free to leave me a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram: @frankieameliaxo and I'll be more than happy to answer them for you! 

See you on the 20th for the next Wedding Wednesday instalment, 
lots of love Frankie xo




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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Our Wedding - The Venue - Decor

This post has been a few months in the making, and something I've been wanting to share with you all for a while now but figured I would wait until the new wedding season was upon us, so that any bride-to-be's getting married this year could use our wedding for inspiration (if they so wished).

Over the next few Wednesdays I'm planning on sharing with you the finer details behind our big day, how we saved those all important pennies (and where I suggest spending them) and all the beautiful photos from our perfect day! 



So lets start at the beginning.. Our venue was somewhere we pretty much knew we were going to get married before we even started thinking about getting engaged.
Sam's Uncle had gotten married there a few years prior and we just absolutely loved the feel of their day, the relaxed vibe of the barn with soft fairy lights and lots of natural rustic decor was so up our street and that meant we visited them again ourselves in the winter time of 2016.
We popped along to a wedding open day they were holding and quickly remembered just how much we loved it in the first place, we quickly placed our deposit and booked our date for 28th June 2018 at The Plough Barn in Leigh, Kent.


We chose our wedding day to be on a Thursday, this was mainly down to our budget and one way we saved a large chunk of our money, from switching from a weekend to a weekday we saved a significant amount, which meant we could use this money elsewhere, this is definitely something I would recommend if you are wanting to save those £'s.
Initially we had worried this would put people off of attending our day but every single person we invited attended, and we figured along the way, anyone who wanted to be there would try to make it, however one tip would be to give your guests plenty of notice so they can book any holiday off work in time!

We also gave ourselves one full year and 6 months to save for our day and to ensure we could manageably save enough each month to have things the way we wanted them.
Personally for us this time frame worked best as we lead very normal lives with average salaries and having a slightly longer time frame just gave us peace of mind, so if you're in no rush then theres no harm in booking your date slightly further in the future.




The next 18 months I lived vicariously through other wedding blogs, watched every YouTube video on others wedding planning processes and, of course, had a Pinterest board for every wedding item you could imagine.

In my head I had envisioned very early on, a very simple decor theme of white with subtle hints of greenery and gold.
The barn itself did a lot of the talking so I wanted to keep it very understated, we opted for a round head table so we could face everyone we loved the most and then longer rectangular tables for the guests so they could converse easily.
I knew I wanted the Chiavari chairs the moment I saw them on a Pinterest photo and luckily the venue worked with a supplier that stocked the exact colour I had envisioned, we had to pay a little extra for them, but I totally think they were worth the spend and finished off the look beautifully.

The table decor was something I had fussed about in my head for months and months and on the day before the wedding we had to totally re-arrange our original plans due to my lovely friend and florist being stuck in another country, meaning we had to last minute pick up a few floral table runners from Ginger Ray rather than the eucalyptus garlands I had originally planned! 
They weren't totally what I had in my mind but on the day they looked lovely and I was so pleased with how it had turned out considering we had such a short turn around on them, we finished them off by weaving a selection of Fenomen pillar Ikea candles & mercury glass votives from The Range in between the garlands which gave such a lovely finish and soft lighting. 





The place names we purchased from a website called VM Bespoke, whichI originally found via Instagram, they do amazing laser cut wooden pieces in lots of different font styles, we opted for the 'script' font, in natural wood as this made them slightly cheaper when ordering and then we sprayed them with a gold spray paint which I picked up at our local DIY store for around £10.
The rosemary was a little touch I'd seen on Pinterest, which was kindly picked from my sister-in-laws rosemary bush at her home and I thought it finished off the look just perfectly, it also meant we didn't waste any money on something that essentially would've been thrown away at the end of the day! 

We added a few paper lanterns in amongst the fairy lights above the tables, we bought them in different sizes to scatter around, which added a softness to the wooden barn beams, these were again really in-exspensive, & we purchased most of them in bulk on Amazon.





Our table plan was made very last minute, this was one of the DIY jobs that I couldn't quite get my head around exactly how I wanted it to be, initially the plan was to purchase a giant mirror or frame and have the names hand calligraphy written onto the glass, however sourcing a large mirror on a budget wasn't as easy as I thought & in the end I ended up picking up some garden trellis and painting it white, adding one of the Ginger Ray garlands to the top and making the table plan cards out of a template on PicMonkey.
I used the Botanical Wedding on their template section and then added the names of the guests for the tables, this I then printed onto some lovely watercolour card which made it look as if the greenery had been hand painted & attached these onto the trellis using little gold clips.
 I was so happy with how it turned out and we've kept all the individual table cards in our wedding memory box at home! 




All the little crafty DIY aspects of the wedding were so much fun to make, and it gave me such enjoyment each evening to sit and craft, seeing all the projects I'd worked on over the months before the wedding on the day was amazing and knowing I could keep them all once it was over with made it even better. 

When we visited the open wedding day at The Plough they had an incredible photo booth vendor and it made us totally fall in love with the idea of having somewhere guests could take group photos, silly photos or just photos they could simply pop on Instagram, however when it came down to budget we had simply spent too much elsewhere and thats where the DIY came into play again, the little props we picked up from Ginger Ray and also The Range, I made the little wooden 'Oh Snap' sign from an MDF board which we stained with a wood varnish and then using a white paint pen, I simply hand wrote what I wanted it to say.
 The frame was one I found in a charity shop for £5, painted with the same white paint as I used for the table plan and then we found the gold clip fairy lights in our local Home Sense, we glued them onto the back of the frame and weaved them so that our guests could hang the polaroids we provided. 
This was one of my favourite ideas as we have all the little polaroids in a box in our living room and I love going through them occasionally, I think I will find a frame large enough to have them all on display one day in our house so our guests can see them when they come over too! 

The eucalyptus garland made a lovely backdrop for the outdoor area of the barn, the rings were simple wreath rings that I cut down to individual circles and the faux eucalyptus I picked up again, from Home Sense, I attached it with some green florist wire and then used fishing line to attach them all together, it took a few hours and was really simple to make. 

So thats everything for my first Wedding post, I have LOVED reliving our day and cannot wait to share the rest of it with you all, do let me know if there is anything specific you would like to see over here too! 

Mrs S x 









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Monday, 12 November 2018

A Whole New Chapter..


Friday 25th January 2008
Where it all began, the day that changed my life.

The moment I met you a wave of something new completely overcame me, a zest for something I had never known before, a whole new world was about to become me.
17 years of age, so young and naive, yet so sure of what I was heading into, from those very early days I knew this was the right person for me, my person. 

Friday 3rd August 2018
The day that changed our lives forever.

A whirlwind of years have now passed and we are about to embark on a whole new journey, the journey to a new person, our new person. 

I sit here with a lump in my throat writing those words, and I'm sure when I read this back in years to come that lump will be replaced with tears thinking of these early days, currently you are, most likely, sleeping soundly tucked away safely in my tummy, you are around 6.5 inches long, roughly the size of a banana and weigh around 10 ounces.
You are 'baby' right now but in 5 days time we will know if you are a boy or girl, so many people have asked me "what are you hoping for" and I never thought I'd be one of those women who says they don't care, but when you become a Mum (eek), you really don't care, you know you will love those ten little toes and that tiny button nose regardless of what gender you become to be! 

We are at the half way point on our track to you and let me tell you, its been a tiring road so far.
You've tested my pateince more times then once with the typical first trimester symptoms, which have continued well past the point of the norm, all I can say is you are definitely my child when it comes to pushing the boundaries and take after your Daddy when it comes to the constant need for filling your belly.

Little wriggles started about 3 weeks ago, initially what felt like being stroked with a feather developed into more substantial movements and now I can feel you moving around much stronger than before.
I cannot wait for your Daddy to finally feel those hands and toes like I have done for a while now and knowing you can hear our voices is so exciting, even though we are pretty crazy behind closed doors, you are the one who gets to know our wild side when we're cooking dinner in the evenings or snuggling on the sofa, just us 3! 

We have started collecting some things for you and for your nursery too, the place you will call your own when you are here in our world, however you have some competition on your hands to fight off your little fur baby sister who has claimed your room as her own.

You have so much to learn and see, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, who are all so excited to meet you, and we have so much to learn in the run up to meeting you too.
It still doesn't quite feel like this is really happening to us, we have wanted you for so long, soon we will have you here and this post will feel like a distant memory, but for now know how much we love you and how much we will continue to love you so - Mum & Dad x





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Monday, 23 July 2018

Current Home Decor Lust List


 L I V I N G  R O O M
If you couldn't tell from these overly pastel heavy images that I'm currently digging blush pink and eucalyptus green then I'm telling you right now.. I'm obsessed, throw in a few gold elements and you've pretty much got my dream home decor in a nutshell! 

The blush velvet cushion from Tom Dixon is just so beautiful to pair with our grey chaise in our living room & with the Oliver Bonas lamp they're just the match to go with some lovely little copper side tables too, that I've had my eye on, this whole little set up just goes so perfectly together in my head, I could just imagine myself chilling here in the evenings with the cats, Samuel & a cup of tea.. 
Also just how beautiful is this Perch and Parrow mirror, I spotted it on Suzie's blog and have been obsessed ever since.
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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Ivy - Chelsea Garden, London









 Famously known for filling the bellies of some very well known names, it has been on my list to visit for many years, so I finally booked a visit to The Ivy, Chelsea Garden!
Upon arrival we were greeted by a lovely lady who showed us to our table, I personally love the idea of being greeted at the door and shown to your designated table, its touches like this that make you feel as if they go the extra mile for your visit. 

Myself and Sarah both perused the menus, some beautiful treats were laid out before our eyes and I truly found it hard to choose what to go for, ever the cake connoisseur, I of course settled on the 'Ivy, Afternoon Tea".
Priced at £19.75, I thought this was absolutely incredible, especially for the area in which the restaurant is situated, and in comparison to other places I have eaten at, however it is only served between 3-5pm so do bear that in mind if you are planning a trip there and have a time frame! 

Served upon perfectly quaint silverware, the afternoon tea offers some delectable little savouries, namely the truffled chicken brioche, which was absolutely incredible and I could have devoured many of these, the smoked salmon, cream and chive on rye bread was also heavenly, however a very strong flavour so 100% pack some breath mints in your handbag that day ;) 
Onto the sweet treats, the warm fruited scones were literally pure heaven, they came with fresh strawberries, cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, you could tell they were freshly baked with each person ordering, as they were still warm when I finally got around to eating them.
Among the scones we were served a fresh raspberry cheesecake, a chocolate and salted caramel mousse, also heavenly and incredibly lightweight (these would be dangerous if placed in my fridge as you almost feel as if you are eating delicate chocolate air.. calorific, delicate chocolate air mind).
Lastly, a creme brûlée doughnut, again very lightweight and easy on the lips! 

Served with a selection of teas, infusions and coffees you are spoilt for choice, however a downfall is that you only had one choice of hot drink with the food, a shame as I felt like I could've sampled many different flavours and admittedly I have never come across this within other restaurants serving afternoon tea, namely the Sanderson, here you can choose from an array of teas and are unlimited to your hearts tea drinking content.
That being said, The Ivy Afternoon Blend was absolutely delicious, I would've just preferred slightly a little more.

Upon writing this review I felt impelled to explain something, the food at The Ivy is absolutely beautiful, you cannot possibly fault it, and if I was writing a review solely on the food I would rate it highly.
However, my recollection of the visit was left with a sour taste, the restaurant service is incredibly slow and poor, I felt as if the tables were overbooked and the staff over worked. 
It seemingly has a very relaxed vibe as you walk through the doors and this is very quickly diminished by the wait time to finally be served from your tables, don't get me wrong the staff weren't in anyway rude, just inattentive.

For the food alone, this place is definitely worth a try, just bare in mind if you are there for a relaxed casual dining setting then this will be perfect for you as the ambience is very relaxed, however if you are there for a lunch meeting, or to simply dine and leave then you may be there for a little longer than you bargained for!
I would definitely reconsider visiting again, however this time I think I would order a meal from the dining selection of the menu as I did find myself eyeing up many of the other tables around me, the steaks looked absolutely divine so I may give it one more shot in the future, however for now I would be happy to try out somewhere slightly different in London for more afternoon tea style lunches, than The Ivy. 

Frankie xo



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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Let's Go Through My Wedding Pinterest Boards!


                                  
      

                              

Going through my Pinterest wedding boards has been something i've been wanting to do for a while now,  and seeing as it is under a year until our big day, I thought now would be the best time to start sharing some wedding content with you over on here on this little corner of the big www.

To say I'm obsessed with wedding decor would be a huge understatement, blush tones are for sure creeping their way into the mix of beautiful clean crisp whites and greenery of foliage!
Im also loving adding subtle gold tones, especially in dining accessories, I just feel like it adds a really expensive element to the decor without being over the top or too tacky (I hope)!



              

        

Pinning wedding dresses with literally the first thing I did as soon as we got engaged, it's funny, if you go through the board from the beginning of our engagement and scroll to the top you can see the transitions of dress styles that I thought I would've gone for and pretty much everything I pinned is completely different to the style of dress i've actually ended up with! 

I absolutely adore the top dress in this post, the most beautiful Sarah Seven 2 Piece, the embellished crop top with the soft A-line bridal skirt is just the absolute dream, but unfortunately my world consists of far too many slices of cake and Starbucks frappe's so crop was definitely not the way forward in this girls world, therefore I started to broaden my outlook on styles and absolutely obsessed over more floaty feminine styles, tulle and lace are just perfect wedding dreaminess and this is something I will forever miss trying on.. gone are the days of swishing around bridal boutiques swooning over dresses, however I am very excited for the day I get to wear my chosen dress, can you tell? 


      

      


Flowers are a hard one, theres just so many styles to choose from & you have to then co-ordinate that with your wedding decor, dress, bridesmaid dress etc etc the list is literally endless and getting it right is what I've been trying to perfect over the last few months & I'm feeling like I'm potentially failing on this one right now, I really love the idea of tying the blush tones into the boquets using soft roses, peonies, carnations & mixing them with white tones and keeping everything minimal and delicate!

Another idea I've toyed around with is all white flowers which I just think looks so crisp and fresh, with just a little greenery on show from the stems, however I think its about time I bit the bullet and made an appointment with a florist to discuss my options rather than swooning over pinterest photos all day. 

        
... And finally, Bridesmaid dresses, how beautiful are the sequin gold dresses, I would absolutely love to have gone with something like this, but I feel like they don't sit right with the look of our day, however,  I still love them & looking through Pinterest my eye literally constantly gravitates to blush tones.
I love the look of blush with the soft white bridal tones and feel like everything will tie so perfectly together with this shade, however it is a pretty popular colouring right now and I'm always someone who likes to stray from the norm so this whole palette could change drastically overnight ahh! 

I really hope you enjoyed having a little look through my Wedding Day Pinterest boards, it feels so nice to share with you all some of the details of what our day might look like & if anyone else is currently planning their big day, leave me a comment so we can chat everything weddings as I feel like Sam may get sick of me before the day arrives haha! 

There is also a video version of this blog post up on my YouTube channel if you would like to see some more content like this..


Frankie x 






       



       


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