Creating Wedding Memories That Will Last

wedding memoriesCreating wedding memories that will last

“All of that effort, and the day goes by in a flash” – words of wisdom from about anyone and everyone I’ve met who has been married. It’s a horrible thought though, isn’t it? Spending months (read: over a year) planning your wedding, for only a few hours of actual memories. And as much as I would love for it to to be an exaggeration, deep down I know that I’ll be so caught up in the moment that the day will fly by.

It’s not easy coming up with innovative ways to create lasting memories. Of course there are the tried and tested favourites, such as photographs and videos. But I want something more.  All of this got thinking, how do I create wedding memories that will last?

Wedding Memories That Will Last

One particular item I had on my to-buy list was a wedding guest book. It didn’t take long before I found the perfect one on Not on the High Street. All I had to do was come up with something unique. A light bulb went off in my head – I had the idea that instead of dedicating it to just people’s messages, it could become a wedding scrapbook, of sorts. So over the last year, amongst all the planning, I’ve been saving keepsakes. Things such as our save the dates, customised bits from our favours, menus, ‘advice for the bride’ cards from my hen party etc. And once the big day is finally over, we plan to combine everything. It’s only something small, but it means we’ll have something physical we can look at whenever we want a hit of nostalgia. Something that will eventually combine all of our hard work, the emotions of the day, and the beauty of our wedding.

In this post:
Wedding Sign by Mee & Es Designs*
Wedding Guestbook by Tillyanna*

How did/would you create your own wedding memories?
Read more of my Wedding advice and tips.wedding memories

Planning a Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Wedding is Bad for Your HealthPlanning a Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Yes I said it, and I refuse to take it back. Planning a wedding is seriously bad for your physical and mental health. I have personally been planning my own wedding for just over a year – and there’s still 3 months to go! It might sound like I’m overreacting but it definitely ranks in the top 3 most stressful tasks I have ever willingly taken on.

You spend your spare time stressing over gigantic issues and teeny tiny ones alike. And I haven’t even mentioned the cold sweats you get as you watch your bank account depreciate, invoice by invoice. It makes sense that you’d feel a bit sick, right?

Planning a Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Not only does wedding planning affect your mental health, but it also affects your physical health – with the latter most often being linked to the former. Whereas I usually catch a couple of colds a year, I’ve found myself coming down with a ton of them; not to mention the various other illnesses…and stress! And I know I’m not alone. Unfortunately I have quite a few friends who have been/are going through the same thing.

But I don’t want to leave a nasty taste in your mouth with this post. I want to try and offer up a few solutions for those who may be in a similar situation, or know someone who is going through it. Here are a few tips for making sure you stay healthy both mentally and physically, whilst planning your wedding.

5 Tips for staying healthy whilst wedding planning

  • Ask for help
    • Where possible, ask your friends and family for help. They will love knowing they’ve contributed towards your big day, and it will ease off the pressure on you.
  • Get your vitamins
    • Stress can really mess with your eating habits, which can leave your body feeling a bit off. Something as simple as making sure you eat well can help keep nasty illnesses at bay.
  • Take some ‘me time’
    • Taking some time for yourself is so important, whether you’re planning a wedding or not. For me it’s the little moments such as sitting in a cafe with a good book, or popping on a sheet mask whilst watching Netflix.
  • Followed by some ‘us time’
    • Your wedding is a celebration of the love between you and your partner, which is easy to forget when you’re arguing about seating plans and chair covers. So make sure you take some time just for the two of you in the lead up to it.
  • Follow my 5 key wedding planning tips

So what do you think, is planning a wedding bad for your health?
Read more of my Wedding tips (and rants).

Source: 1, 2

Wedding is Bad for Your Health

Inko Nito London | Where to Eat in London

Inko Nito LondonInko Nito London | Soho | Japanese Robata | Map

I cook a lot of Japanese food at home, and I’m pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. So when a new Japanese restaurant opens up in London, it takes a lot to get me out of the house and believe in the hype. Well hello Inko Nito, a Japanese fusion robatayaki (fireside cooking) restaurant based in the heart of Soho. I was recently invited to their press event, and after reading the contemporary menu I was intrigued. In fact I was more than intrigued. I was drawn in by the promise of flavour explosions – and an umeshu negroni – all in a minimalist scandi setting. Basically, my dream kinda restaurant – I was there with bells on!

What did we eat?

  • SALADS
    • Edamame, soy, mirin, ginger, sea salt
    • Avocado, quinoa, edamame, green bean, apple wasabi dressing
    • Romaine lettuce, spicy cashew nut miso
  • NIGAKI
    • The cali; Portland crab, avocado, wasabi tobiko, yuzu mayo
    • The veggie; avocado, yuzu, garlic, crispy rice
    • The chirashi; salmon, yellowtail, wasabi shiso
  • HOT
    • Panko fried chicken, chili garlic yogurt
    • Fried shrimp, spicy Korean miso, sesame seeds, lime
    • Tofu kara-age, miso mayo, nori
  • MEAT
    • Chicken wings, ume-boshi, green chili, mint, sansho
    • Bone marrow, smoked soy, garlic toast, shallot
    • Prime beef short rib, peanut chilli oil, spring onions
  • FISH
    • Grilled prawn toast, sesame, wasabi mayo, katsuobushi
    • Cobia collar, brown butter ponzu, lemon
  • VEGETABLE
      • Cauliflower, garlic soy aioli, parmesan panko
      • Tenderstem broccolini, onion wafu
      • Baked potato, yuzu kosho sour cream, spring onions
  • THE SWEETEST THING
    • Charred coconut soft serve, soy, pocky, Japanese granola

Final thoughts on Inko Nito London

I wish I could go into detail on how much I enjoyed the individual dishes we ate, but no one has time to read a blog post that long. Instead I’ve highlighted my personal favourites (above) and will give you a short summary.

Alongside the spacious interior at Inko Nito, you’ll find a pretty vast menu, but don’t let that deter you. Honestly it’s the kind of restaurant where you’ll enjoy any dish that you order. A lot of well known Japanese flavours are featured on the menu, as is to be expected. However you’ll also find a whole bunch of innovative and moreish fusion delights to please your palate. Would I go back? Definitely! Price-wise it costs around £30pp, which isn’t too bad for a decent meal in London. In fact since I was invited to the press launch I’ve already been back with friends, and paid with my own money. If that doesn’t say how much I enjoyed eating at Inko Nito London, I don’t know what will.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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Inko Nito London

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24 Hours in Brighton | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in BrightonIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Brighton!

24 Hours in Brighton

  • Stay at: Ibis Brighton
    • Located a few doors down from the station, this Ibis features artwork by local artists, and stunning views of the town. They also offer breakfast and a 24 hour drinks and food menu, which you can take up to your room. Tip: book a room and ask for a sea view.
  • Go loco for ‘Cafe Coho’
    • Big, healthy and tasty – that’s Cafe Coho‘s offerings in a nutshell. My recommendation: the berry pancakes, and a healthy juice shot.
  • Take a walk down the lanes

24 Hours in Brighton

  • Picnic on the beach!
    • Grab something tasty from one of the various cafes in The Lanes and take it to the beach. Weather permitting, of course.
  • Walk down Brighton Pier
    • You can hardly visit Brighton without a trip to the pier. Filled with amusement arcades, seafood, doughnuts and rollercoasters, it’s a must when visiting the British seaside.
  • Pre-dinner cocktails…
    • At Twisted Lemon. This tiny quirky cocktail bar has a wide variety of cocktails and is located not far from the seafront.
  • A little slice of Italy in Brighton
    • Fatto A Mano offers up a menu inspired by Naples, and is the perfect place to share a pizza – or two – with friends and family.

24 Hours in Brighton

Hints and Tips for 24 Hours in Brighton:

  • Where should I go shopping?
    • I’ll be publishing a standalone guide on where to shop in Brighton soon, so keep an eye out.
  • Rent a bike, or simply walk
    • Brighton has a great bike rental system (BTN Bikeshare) in place, which starts at only 3p a minute! If you don’t fancy cycling, the town is also small enough to walk around.

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Brighton!
Feel free to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

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My stay at Ibis Brighton was complimentary, however all images, words and opinions are my own.

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Galvin at The Athenaeum | Where to Eat in London

AthenaeumGalvin at The Athenaeum | Mayfair | British cuisine | Map

On possibly one of the hottest days of the year, I decided to brave the tube. Why? Because at the other end of the line, Galvin at The Athenaeum was calling. Based in the Mayfair hotel, the restaurant comes from Michelin-starred London chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. Known for their French-inspired menus, the brothers have stepped away from their trademark for the first time. All in favour of championing Britain’s delicious homegrown produce, and supporting independent farmers across the UK.

We arrived feeling slightly overheated, so of course a drink was in order. We headed straight to the beautifully designed THE BAR at The Athenaeum. Plush interiors cooled us down, whilst the small nooks invited us to take a private seat. Our choice of drink, gin & tonic; from their substantial collection of premium gins. As we sipped away, and nibbled on bar snacks, we chatted about what we would order on the menu.

So what did we eat?

  • Terrine of ham, chicken and foie gras with red onion marmalade
    • Chunky meat and subtle flavours complimented well by a sweet marmalade.
  • Smoked duck, plum, poached egg & hollandaise
    • A step-up from your usual ‘benedict’ – I definitely had food envy after stealing a bite of the smoked duck.
  • Fish pie (daily special)
    • Fish pie is one of my go-to comfort foods, so I can be critical. That said, I was let pretty satisfied after trying this one. It was packed full of cod, prawns and salmon, with a thin layer of mashed potato. My only con was that it didn’t use eggs, and I would have liked to have seen some smoked fish in the mix.
  • Sunday Roast
    • The roast here comes with the option of chicken, pork or sirloin beef. Ben went for sirloin, which was cooked pink and seasoned well. It was superbly tender and melted in my mouth – I couldn’t resist trying some.
  • Dessert/Cheese buffet (unlimited)
    • A novel idea, the dessert buffet was full of well-known favourites and a few surprises. I was personally delighted to see ‘Apple, pear & almond tart’, which I piled onto my plate alongside sugary meringues and freshly whipped cream.

The Weekend Lunch Menu comes with unlimited bubbly.

Final thoughts on Galvin at The Athenaeum

Our visit to Galvin at The Athenaeum was the perfect way to spend a Summer afternoon. We were completely won over by the bar, and as you can tell from above we fully enjoyed our meal too. My only regret is that I filled up on my starters and mains, and I would have loved to sample more of the desserts and cheeses (I was too full to try any) on offer.

Would I go back? Oh yes! After experiencing the weekend lunch menu I’d love to see what else Galvin at The Athenaeum has to offer. Perhaps afternoon tea, or dinner? Almost definitely drinks and bar snacks!

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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This post is in collaboration with Galvin at The Athenaeum, however all images, words and opinions are my own.

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How to get the Instagram Lifestyle, and is it Worth it?

Instagram LifestyleHow to get the Instagram Lifestyle, and is it Worth it?

Instagram is hardly instant anymore, so it comes as no surprise that people’s feeds are heavily curated. I think it’s fair to say that most of the people dedicating their time to it have distanced themselves from the original ‘meaning’ behind the platform. And why not? It’s almost become a portfolio of sorts for budding photographers, influencers and socialites alike. My own Instagram is littered with photos from my travels, right down to my daily activities. My friends look at my Instagram and the reactions range from positives such as ‘wow your apartment is so stylish’ to the more negative ‘you only care about trendy, pretty things’. Neither could be further from the truth, but who better than a friend to keep you grounded, am I right?

Is the Instagram lifestyle worth it?

Curating an instagram feed isn’t easy. There are so many things to consider, from colour palettes to posting times, using the correct hashtags…the list goes on. For some it’s their job, which in some ways can make things a little bit easier. However when you’re working a full-time job and just do blogging on the side, well that’s when things begin to get a bit more stressful. I’m lucky enough that my career is in marketing, so I get to read articles on the latest algorithms (yay) for a living. That said, after a long day curating someone else’s Instagram feed, I don’t necessarily feel like coming home and working on my own. In fact most evenings I turn my phone off entirely, purely to avoid stress.

How to get the Instagram lifestyle

My advice for people who want to start an instagram, or take their own more seriously, is to relax and take it easy. Don’t look at it as a full-time job (unless it is your job), and take it step-by-step. You’ll enjoy the whole experience a lot more if you don’t associate it with numbers and anxiety. That doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious though. It’s about finding a happy medium where you can put some time aside to do your research, and work on it. In a world overflowing with social media content, genuine TLC is more noticeable than ever.

Read more of my blogging guides.
Follow me on Instagram. Instagram Lifestyle

Bonjour Gatineau, Welcome to my Skincare Regime

gatineauBonjour Gatineau,
Welcome to my Skincare Regime

My love affair with French skincare started around five years ago. At the time I was travelling to-and-from France on a regular basis, and I was enthralled by the products that lined pharmacy shelves. They promised quality over quantity,  unlike a lot of British & American beauty brands that churn out product after product. Not only that but most of the brands had reassuringly been around for years. One of these brands was Gatineau, founded back in 1932 by beauty therapist, Madame Jeanne Gatineau.

C’est Gatineau

Over the years Jeanne Gatineau’s pioneering research and development has resulted in cosmetic breakthroughs that have been stepping stones for the entire beauty industry. Par exemple, Gatineau were the first beauty house in the world to develop an exfoliator and alcohol-free cleansers and toners – I bet you didn’t know that.

Back to 2018, and Gatineau very kindly offered to send me a selection of their products to try, which I was happy to accept. After all I had been longingly staring at them for several years now, and I was dying to try out more than the travel size companions (body lotion, and hand cream) I had in my beauty cabinet.

I’m currently using the Perfection Ultime Beauty Cream, and I’m completely in love with the texture and scent of the product. I recently had a bad breakout and this has helped bring back some luminosity to my skin. Alongside this I tried the Collagene Experte Eye Pads in my bi-weekly routine., which have been freshening up my tired eyes. I’ve yet to try the other items I received, but if this experience is anything to go by then I can’t wait. Gatineau’s products look, feel and ooze quality – exactly what I’d expect from a luxury skincare brand.

Check out more of my beauty must-haves now!gatineau gatineau