>Wedding love

>{photo credited to Jill Thomas and Snippet and Ink}

Well, I have been soooooo-over-the-moon this week because one my best friends got engaged on Saturday…congratulations Liska and Gerald! I am bubbling over with happiness for these two because they are two gems who have decided to dedicate themselves to one another in the beautiful thing called marriage. Woop! So I decided to give some of my favourite sites about wedding style and inspiration here for you Lisk…enjoy!

Already featured, my absolute favourite Snippet and Ink…{dare to go to the blogs they list as more inspiration…you could slip away for hours in beauty!}.

Also been seen on this blog, but awesome so it is understandable, Rock My Wedding.

Lots of beautiful ideas and images and all things wedding at Style Me Pretty.

Another one I like is written by Annabel, who often features designers who we work with at Luella’s, at Love My Dress.

Charley, who works alongside us at Luella’s, has a fun and pretty wedding style blog called London Bride…how adorable are these?

For photography, have a look at Julia Boggio.

And just because it is all about love, and I never once mentioned Valentine’s two weeks ago, enjoy this love letter from The Anthropologist!

Working in a wedding shop means that I am inundated with beautiful wedding ideas, fabrics, planning and so on…so much so that if I got engaged tomorrow, I would be able to plan a wedding in two weeks {hmmmm…or so!} but seeing people flustered or pinickity about their big day, makes me so upset. Once you have enjoyed the buzz of wearing a ring on your finger and having everyone congratulate you…sit down with a bottle of wine, a note book and your address book, and start making lists of everything you would like and have ever wanted, draw up a budget and then browse lots of blogs and magazines for ideas, and then have fun making the day your own!

Lisk and Gerald, have fun! xx

>Eat Pray Love

>The past week I finished Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I had enjoyed her interview on Ted Baker but was very slow on the uptake to read the book that was being held up on many a beach two years ago by a bronzing lady, nodding her head in agreement with the words of the author. By far, Italy or “Eat” was my favourite part…and now I must travel Italy, especially Rome. I learnt a lot…about gelato to cafones to cream puffs. My two favourite Italian sayings explained in the book are bel far niente, which means “the beauty of doing nothing”….”a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated.” I mean…can you IMAGINE?! The second is l’arte d’arrangiarsi, “the art of making something out of nothing. The art of turning a few simple ingredients into a feast, or a few gathered friends into a festival. Anyone with a talent for happiness can do this, not only the rich.”

I want to write these massively with wax crayon on my living room walls…two beautiful ideals {I am not encouraging idleness, but just that peace, rest and space that come with doing nothing for a while…something I am not sure how to do really. Are you?}. I would love to know thoughts about the book. I personally dragged through India and the mantras and the Ashram, but loved Italy and Indonesia. I also found the author self-indulgent yet hilarious. You?

This week we have bumped into or made plans to meet up with people who we went to school with…and I was thinking how lovely it is that two of my closest friends are ones whom I made at high school {plus my gorgeous “high school musical” husband, of course}. I am concerned about the state of school going age peeps here in London. We have a high school for girls up the road from us and they strut and scream in their purple uniforms…swearing and eating fries and looking like liquorice all sorts by the time you have taken in hair baubles, tights, handbags and all the accessories that go with the uniform. Now, don’t get me wrong…I am all for young energy and diversity and colour…but yesterday I thought a young girl was being murdered on the street outside of my house, only to discover that it was a fifteen{ish} year girl literally screaming at her friends down the road. Not angry, not panic, just…screaming to say “look at me”…well, it worked. There I stood, peering out of the window with a quizzical look on my face, thinking “what is that, exactly?” In England, these girls go to a government school, and the “private” schools are called “public” which is the opposite to South Africa. I went to public schools and emerged well-rounded, happy and educated. So yes, public school is cool {in South Africa, and if my children were to grow up in England, then I have to say that I would think public school were indeed more cool based on my experience of the government ones! Bler}.

You may have noticed a blog I like to read at the moment, called Ek Wens”. Well, I like to read it because it makes me feel encouraged and not alone because Gina and I are doing the same challenge {she has had a glorious head start…go Gins!}. I think I told you that I started the 100 Days to Health program initiated byMary-Ann Shearer. Well I started last week Tuesday and turned up a notch yesterday. I am now on Day 8 and am feeling remarkable changes in my body by food combining, drinking more water, eating more fruit and veggies, taking Omega oils and a herbal fibre blend. I have ploughed through her book, Perfect Health: The Natural Way and now that I am reminded of how my body works, am finding it so much easier to want to put the more vitamin-filled food in my mouth! But let me tell you, it is DIFFICULT to be healthy. You almost have to be rebellious and stand up for yourself {a bit like your faith, really}…I have been met with raised eyebrows and have had all sorts of comments about it. Well, watch me go people. When I am glowing and have a healthy tummy and skin and hair and nails and a low risk of cancer…then we will see whose eyebrow will be raised. Watch me.

So in a way my week has been an Eat Pray Love week. I am getting my eating right. I bought a gorgeous new leather bound study bible and am praying more. And well, the love that is my husband, God’s love, love for my friends and family, love for hummus, love love love. We really need 52 words for it as there are for the word “snow” in igloo-land.

Oh, and I learnt three interesting things tonight: the Queen’s surname is Windsor, in Paris people park with their handbrakes down so that you can “bumper car” your way into a parallel parking, and that whatever happens in the circle in front of the Arc de Triomph is exempt from insurance {no flaming wonder!}…there you go, random information ala blog extrodinaire.

>Scones and so on

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I haven’t posted in ages due to eating scones and clotted cream and working at London pace…whew. {Oh, and I must admit, watching the Winter Olympics way too late in to the night!}. News is that I have a new found love for the English countryside…otherwise known as the Cotswolds. Think Jane Austen and all things green and stone and strawberry jam and fireplace and ducks and space. Bliss. We stayed at this quaint farm and had such a relaxing time in the fresh air. I baked the carrot cake from Smitten Kitchen that I threatened about. Actually the Thursday night before we left, we had a mini cookathon…and produced a delicious dinner, carrot cake and thebest quiche to take with us.


Three work highlights of my week were:
1 Meeting Charlotte Casadejus and her studio manager, Emma. Look at her website and turn green. Oh my goodness…French lace, beautiful dress designs in the most gorgeous fabrics, vintage French linen and monograms turned into cushions and bolsters…just absolutely too much beauty. I want the dress called Helen. Oh love.
2. Meeting Lisa Redman, whose eye for textiles and embroidered patterns is just too incredible. Have a look at some of her designs on her website. Also, love love LOVE.
3. A meeting at One Marylebone, a breathtakingly beautiful deconsecrated church that is now a venue in North London. Not one photo does it full justice…it is spectacular. We are hosting an event with Cosmo Bride London there in April…VERY exciting!

Otherwise my week has involved missing the bus in the pouring rain after running my hardest to get there, grumpy Londoners on the tube, laughing a lot at the thoughts of The Turquoise Handbag, thinking about stopping blogging in April after two years, then taking up piano lessons or art readings or painting instead, following The Natural Way 100 Days to Health program. Day 4 today baby, woop, nutty brides, lots of Early Grey tea to cope with nutty brides.

>Shades of grey

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The past two weeks I feel like I have been in one of those snow globe ornaments…with the little scene being our little Victorian studio…and me inside tapping away at website design {you can have a look at my first website ever:AidFAN}, drinking tea, plodding up to work and then when God decided to give it all a shake the snow drifted and swirled around and down outside my window. In between this, my love and I had a beautiful walk through Wimbledon Common and on Sunday, a day out at Windsor Castle {a grey day with a train ride, a WONDERFUL trip through Windsor Castle, a pie and ale in the Horse and Groom pub, a walk through the town and around Eaton School, feeding the swans, and to the traditional sweet shop to buy vanilla fudge, heart throbs and chocolate beans for the train ride home}. It was a beautiful day out of London. It was so grey and cold outside…and then inside the castle it was a lavish array of extravagance and art and colour and chandeliers and all things grand! I especially loved Queen Mary’s Doll House. Or watch this video to get an idea…


So what do Kurt Nilsen and Shrek have in common you might ask? Some of the most moving music I have heard in a long time. Steve’s beautiful sister sung this song at the wedding in January…the Shrek song, “Hallelujah” {written by Leonard Cohen…I am still trying to figure out the meaning of the lyrics}. I particularly LOVE this version sung by four incredible voices including Kurt Nilson here…you absolutely have to watch it! I can’t embed it so please treat yourself and go there. Which is your favourite voice? I think mine is the third.

I think my all time favourite blog might just be Smitten Kitchen. I have been there too many times this week, and since we have been getting Abel and Cole organic deliveries, I have been getting inventive in the kitchen! Last night saw the introduction of bubble and squeak into our menu {mmm…a perfect winter meal}, a potato and leek soup which is D-elicious even if I say so myself, and lots and lots of carrots mean that I will be making yummy carrot cakes from Smitten Kitchen to take with us to the Cotswolds this weekend. Thank you Smitten Kitchen {I love the photography there too…it makes me want to cook, cook, cook!}…

As does this lovely movie. I watched it on the airplane to South Africa and I have to watch it again soon. I want to own my own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking so should get onto finding a copy. Butter, enthusiasm, beautiful dresses and French love ooze from this delightful film. I think I must own the a copy of it too.

Time for bed. Night night and wishing you a happy week further…