Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Sunday 31 July 2016

Sophie's Christening Party in Gold & White

The first Sunday in July saw the christening of our little girl. Originally we thought we would have got around to having her baptism when she was much younger, but last summer went too fast and we decided that we wanted a garden party after the service - so we waited. 

 I love having an event to plan, so started looking at Pinterest early to get some inspiration, opting for white styling with gold accents. The first item I hunted for was an outfit for Sophie - always the most fun job first! Now she is walking about, Monsoon have the most gorgeous dresses for special occasions and when I discovered the Baby Estella Dress (£40) in antique gold, (it is sold out online  in this colour, but I've since seen it in loads of their shops and it is also available online at House of Fraser) I was sold. I was a bit stumped about what shoes to team the dress with, as obviously didn’t want to put her in her trainers - but these were professionally fitted and know these are the best for her feet. However, as she was going to be held for the service and have a big nap during the party I thought that going for a cute pair of soft soled gold sandals that I found in the Gap sale (now £6.99) wasn’t going to life-long damage. 

Although I was keen for my dress to ‘fit’ with my theme I didn’t want to look at all ‘bridal’ but thankfully I found a creamy-gold lightly sequinned dress that I loved that didn’t look like I wanted a veil…. This is Dress Four (£170 reduced from £250) from the Phase Eight Limited collection - where the times have extra details to make them even more special. I’d popped along to my fave local beauty rooms (The Little Palour) for a spray tan as the christening was pre-holiday and I was worried about blending into the dress! 

 I had visions of oodles of white bunting hanging round our garden and luckily one of my favourite mum pals was happy to lend me what she'd purchased for her wedding a few years ago which was just perfect (£7/3m white fabric bunting Talking Tables) and I also added some card Heart cut-out-bunting (£8.25/3m Talking Tables). So at the crack of I was hoping round the garden (with the help of my bro-in-law) pinning bunting ribbon to anything that stood still. To add some gold highlights we tied gold diamond glitter garlands (£7 Talking Tables) round the food gazebo and hung gold and white stars (£12 pack of 3 Talking Tables) to give a chandelier effect - which I replicated under our garden umbrella too. White and gold balloons (5 printed confetti balloons €5.90 My Little Day) and pom-poms (£6.50 White and £9 Gold) filled the corners of the garden and added to the general sense of occasion.

 As we had over 50 guests (it always gets out of hand doesn’t it?!), I was super keen to make the catering as easy as possible using disposable plates, napkins, straws and cutlery. My sister and Mum and father-in-law were even sent, all making oodles of sandwiches which we added to with some other party food. 

The real showstopper was saved for a sweet treat in Sophie’s Christening Cake. I started conversations with Love Rosie Cakes and Cupcakes MONTHS ago planning the perfect cake, and boy, did they deliver! The 8" Madagascan Vanilla cake (£55) looked just perfect, especially with the speckles of gold leaf on the buttercream icing king it sparkle in the sunshine. Whilst cutting the cake my husband told me I MUST have on of the chocolate dipped cherries thank goodness I did - they were life-changingly-incredible! These teamed with the edible rose petals and buttercream kisses made it look stunning. We had so many guests we added mini cupcakes (£1.10 each) which made the ‘cake table’ look even more special. To set the cakes off I popped the big cake on a beautifully simple Bosley Cake Stand (£25) from Neptune Weybridge and the cupcakes on a matching Bosley Platter (£14). I loved that they didn’t detract at all from the beautiful cakes but looked elegant and in keeping with the party. 

My mum and dad generously bought all of the bubbles for the occasion from our local wine store: 1853 Wine Club, opting for Hardys Crest Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot (£9.99) which was perfect to sip on this beautiful summer occasion and we hired the glasses (for free - such an amazing service!) from Waitrose. Like all these big occasions, the day goes too quickly, I didn’t get to talk to anybody long enough take enough photographs and all too soon we were talking down the decorations. Oh to the next party to plan!


Tuesday 26 July 2016

Summer Makeup: Clarins Sunkissed Collection

You may have guessed that I am a bit of a Clarins fan. It is a brand that I really trust when it comes to skincare and their makeup never disappoints either.  So every season I readily await their new cosmetics collection and here are the offering from this years Sunkissed Collection for summer. Unlike some other brands, Clarins doesn't radically change the makeup they bring out for each season, so you can count on their Limited Edition Bronzing and Blush Compact (£30) bing in the collection with only a slight tweak from last summer. This is a perfect everyday bronzer, not too dark, not too light, not too shimmery.... just right! Palm sized - it is a lovely large size, so will actually keep you going all year round (I like a bit of warmth in the winter months too). The different sections (copper, terracotta, golden and apricot pearlescent) means you can personalise the shade you combine, but I like to sweep my bronzing brush over all of the sections before applying liberally for a 'I've spent the weekend in the garden' look.

I've also been loving from the Limited Edition Waterproof Eyeshadow Shimmering Cream Colour £18 each (especially in Golden Peach) which is a lovely soft creamy texture to apply (reminding me of Laura Mercia Eye Caviar) but then stays put rather than ending up in the creases in your eyelid. Ideal for holiday or when it gets super warm.

The final piece from the collection which I love is the Double Fix Mascara (£20) which is perfect for holidays as a layer over your regular mascara transforms it into a waterproof version - so no hunting for the perfect pool friendly mascara - hurrah! 


Sunday 24 July 2016

A Long Weekend in Devon

Being a teacher, the endless summer means that as well as our big holiday, I have to persuade the husband to take us on a few long weekends away too. One of those trips back in May half term was a trip to Devon. I am super lucky to have my in-laws living in a gorgeous UK holiday destination, so it means we get to mini break here numbers times a year. It is a long drive, especially for littles ones, so we decided to set off after the bedtime routine hoping that Sophie would fall asleep for the journey.

As little S has become not so little it was also the time for a new car seat, and this long journey was to be its debut. We opted for the Maxi Cosi AxissFix which you can set as either forward or rear facing. The safety specs are all super high - but what I love most is that it swivels so getting the little lady in and out whist carrying a million and one other items in a dream. Sophie must have senses the enormity of the occasion and decided that looking out of the window was far most exciting than going to the land of nod…. but as we hit the A303 she gave in to her heavy eyes for the rest of the journey.. 

As we were heading down for nearly a week I had a long list of activities I was keen to do with Sophie new she is toddling about and loving exploring the world around her. Paignton Zoo was on the hit list so we packed up the car and headed on our adventure. Giraffes, big cats, elephants and gorillas were all out to be pointed at by my girl as the sun shore down on us. Although the ‘big animals’ are the ones you go wanting to see - my favourite were the giant tortoise and a cheeky peacock who followed us for a while. 

As Sophie has an afternoon snooze in the shade we enjoyed yummy ice creams and lay in the sunshine - bliss. 

 The other main time on my holiday to-dos was a trip to the beach. Sadly, we did not pick the best day weather-wise, but in true British fashion we headed out with our bucket and spade none the less. 

This was Sophie’s first proper trip the the beach and she loved building and knocking down sandcastles with Grandad before being popped on daddy’s back in the Baby Bjorn for a walk along the shore spotting windsurfers and dog walkers. Ideal.

We've got another little trip to Devon planned next month  which I'm really looking forward too as our week away in Rhodes (which we only returned from last weekend!) seems forever ago! I hope you all have some love Summer trips planned too.

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