Sunday, 30 August 2009

Twinkle Twinkle

[via Style me Pretty]

I just love little twinkling lights and pretty lanterns - if I had my way we'd have them all over the flat. N points out that they have a tendency to look a bit student bed-sit so - fortunately - he has curbed my over-enthusiasm (for now...)

[via snippet and ink]

However, since I've started saving pictures for wedding inspiration, the ones we both sigh over and give two thumbs up to are the ones featuring strings of lights and lanterns. There is something so happy, festive, magical about them. So we're in agreement that these will feature heavily at our wedding party - strings of fairy lights over the dinner tables and around the dance floor, lanterns hung in the trees and on the ground to light steps and paths.

[via snippet and ink]

N has started making prototype lanterns - so far they appear to be incredibly complicated feats of engineering. I have faith though ...

[wish I could remember where I got these - sorry!]

Now I can hear the drums and whistles echoing over west London - it's time for reggae beats, jerk chicken and probably a stinking hangover and sore limbs tomorrow - it's Carnival time - woo woo!

[a friend took this - can't remember who but it was definitely Nottinghill Carnival 2006]

Thursday, 27 August 2009

T minus ten months

According to Brides Magazine, these are all the things I should have done by now ....

1) Meet priest and book church date and time
ok - done that. Good start

2) Book the reception venue
Nope. They still haven't sent their quote - grrr

3) Book caterer

4) Book DJ and/or band
Umm - sort of. We've mentioned it to our musical friends ....

5) Decide guest list

6) Decide on budget
err, mumble mumble

7) Book your photographer and videographer
Not even started

8) Make sure the church or wedding venue allows photography
What!?! Might they not? Ekkk!

9) Choose your attendants, best man and ushers
Yes! phew. Oh, has N asked his ushers yet???

10) Decide on your dress
You have to be kidding

11) Choose and order your attendants' outfits

12) Order your wedding cake
well, we're making it - does ordering from myself count?

13) Start looking at honeymoon options
just looking? yes looking we're doing a lot of ....

Should I be panicking? Sometimes I am. I call Mama and tell her I'm feeling a bit fussed and she says "ach, Bellchin, don't be fussed. It'll all be fine." So I believe her. Silly wedding mags - what do they know?!

Monday, 24 August 2009

A little elopement fantasy ....

Another beautiful sunny weekend - oh, if only they could last forever!
Our very good and very musical friends (see last post) have a little cabin in a little meadow on a little island in the Thames. To celebrate musical friend's wife's birthday they invited a group of us to camp in this little meadow and join them in barbecuing, guitar playing, bonfire singing, marshmallow toasting, occasional rowing and brave swimming and general countryside fun and laughter. It was a bit of a Brazil reunion since most of us had been at musical friends' wedding. I made this cake, with cardamon instead of rosemary and lots and lots of compote. It was good! It really really was. It took a little effort to work out the American measuring system (how can it be that we do it so differently?!) but it was worth it. I wish I had taken pictures of my handiwork but it was eaten too quickly so here is one from Sunday Suppers - oh how I love that blog!

While we were lazing about on blankets in the sun one of the girls complimented my dress, a loose tunic-y thing with coloured smocking around the collar. I'd pinned up my hair with some little white flower clips (£2.99 from H&M - bargain!) and we were making daisy chains. She suddenly said "you could get married right here, looking like that and in this beautiful place". I pictured it for a moment; a little elopement, barefoot and in a pretty summer dress with just a few good friends. It sounds so romantic, so special and serene.

And it is.

But a moment later I realised - it isn't us.

People often ask if we're having a big wedding and I usually say "oh no!" partly because I don't yet know who or how many people we'll invite and partly because I think 'big wedding' implies vast expense, showing off, relatives taking over and hundreds of guests you don't know let alone love.
In other words; big wedding implies wack.
Well, obviously I don't want any of that but really celebrating and making the most of the occasion is important us. One of the things I fell in love with is N's ability to make everyone feel special and at ease - he's a people person through and through. He loves to party, loves seeing people he loves have a good time. His friends and family mean the world to him, he's outgoing, he's fun to be around and totally genuine. I'm maybe not as affable as my man but I'm outgoing and love a shindig and, I'll admit, I do love hosting. Family and occasion mean something very important to me and luckily they mean the same to him.
So a big hoopla of a wedding, with traditions and food and music and aunties and uncles and lots of friends, ceremonial in parts and raucous in others, I think that is more our style. Still special and romantic in it's own way.

[photo by a friend. Yup, that's us - bang goes the anonymity!]

(and unfortunately I don't think I'll ever be described as serene ...!)

Monday, 17 August 2009

Lazy Summer Weekend

What exactly happens on a weekend doing nothing much? Here's what I did...

Stayed in on the Friday night we had planned to go out dancing because N got home from work late, I wanted to cook risotto and read blogs and N wanted to play with his records in his geek room. And I was so happy!

Completed a certain artistic project I have been involved with for the last few weeks - I'm going to stay stum on this one for now; suffice to say it's a gift for my folks and the artistic skills are not my own.

Baked a really pretty yummy spiced apple cake with apples from folk's garden (I might post the recipe shortly because it turned out so well)

Had supper with our very good and very musical friends on their roof - it was at their wedding where N asked me to marry him* - We ate much of afor mentioned cake and danced in the warm sunny evening.

Nursed a hangover (left over cake helps a lot with hangovers!)

Tidied the garden; tending to the sweet peas and harvesting tomatoes and throwing away rather dead herbs. I'm ridiculously proud of the produce coming from the pots in my little patch of urban space.

Read lots and lots of weekend papers as well as the September issue of Vogue - almost as yummy as the cake.

Also read a lot of blogs - I mean I really really read them. I clicked on every link and comment. Now I'm feeling I'm a little over whelmed but I found some absolute stars. For example, couple of fellow Brit Brides Seven Weddings
and Our Day by Design and a couple just gorgeous reads Naturally Nina and Create.

*just realised I haven't yet told our engagement story properly. Hmmm ....

Friday, 14 August 2009

Alan, Alan, Alan, Al, Al, Alan

I've watched this about 20 times and it is still making me laugh

Clearly, I'm a girl of simple tastes when it comes to laughter.

Oh, look Will Farrell is on Sky Movies .....

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Tres élégant...

My current obsession with stripes continues unchecked by having just seen beautiful Audrey Tautou in Coco Avant Chanel with little sis. We came out both quite determined to pout more from now on.

But back to the beautiful dresses that seem to be all I can think about at the moment (mild exaggeration, but just mild). I have totally fallen in love again! The superlative Style me Pretty offered up this beauty today and my knees really did go weak for a moment:

This isn't an actual real wedding but a photo shoot and the dress is supplied by a shop in Atlanta Georgia. Booo! Too far away and since video conferencing has been invented I have no excuse to go there. (more pouting!)

I did a little bit of detective work an
d I think it's this dress, Antibes from Cymbeline...

Although I think it looks nicer in the photo shoot. (I almost said 'in real life' there - tsk, dreaming again!)
But what have we here - another, if possible, more stunning dress from the same designer!! Too much heart fluttering for one day - I blame Coco for this fit of sartorial gluttony.

all pictures from Cymbeline website except the last one which is from Brides

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Monday, 10 August 2009

A good week's round up

I can't believe it has been over a week since my last post - and I meant to be so much better. I get too distracted at reading everyone's lovely blogs though and never quite get round to writing anything myself.

So what has happened in the last week - first we went to this festival

Space theme so sparkles and stars all over everything. And to give you an idea of quite how lovely this boutique festival is; I lost my camera - lots of tears from me at all the pictures lost as well as curses at the alleged thief - only to have it handed into lost property the next day, without even any rude photos added!
My very very pregnant best friend came too - she should have come as the moon she is so perfectly spherical. Can't wait to meet whoever is inside that belly of hers!
Then during the week, we feasted with friends under the stars in our wee back garden and I went on my first proper wedding-dress trying on session.
Oooh, that was fun! We went to Pronovias on Bond street - my littlest sister and maid of honour and I. It was so interesting; what I turned out liking and what suited me. Lots of the dress pictures I have saved so far are of rather sweet and pretty dresses but that style actually looked totally wrong on me; as though I was dressing up as a little girl. (I am 30 after all!) And the more fitted fishtail designs, which I always thought too grown-up and dressy for our countryside wedding, looked, well really lovely. (!!) We only went to get ideas though; I'm hoping to get something cheaper and more sustainable than designer and although my head was turned by a lovely lacy vintage style number I'm still determined to keep the price tag realistic.
We ended the week westwards, sunning ourselves with Sunday papers in Somerset with my Mother and Sister-in-law-to-be, so blissful!
So here are a few of the lovely dresses I won't be wearing due to my being about eight years too old - goodbye pretty dresses ... one last oogle!

Top row l > r: Luisa Baccaria; via Brides; via Bridesmagazine; Stephanie Allin; Lisa Warninger; Luisa Baccaria
Bottom row l>r: Bridesmagazine; David Fielden; Kitty Chen; Seraphine via Brides; Jasper Conran; Jasper Conran