13 May 2015

Lifestyle: 10 'kick you up the arse' motivational quotes

There are times in all our lives where we need a little extra boost to get us through whatever it is we are struggling with.  Whether that is a mental block during a big project, getting over a messy break up or just coping with whatever life throws at you, sometimes just a few words of wisdom will help you through.

So I have compiled 10 of my favourite quotes that have helped me and hopefully will help you too, should you need it.

1. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up and never give up - Regina Brett

2. Don't look back, you're not going that way - unknown

3. Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not the end - unknown

4. What if I fail? Oh but my darling, what if you fly? - Erin Hanson

5. The expert at anything, was once a beginner - Helen Hayes

6. Sometimes you got to just pull up your big girl pants and do it, whether you want to or not - unknown

7. Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear - George Addair

8. Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid - Albert Einstein

9. Always go with your passions, never ask yourself if it's realistic or not - Deepak Chopra

10.  Great things never came from comfort zones - unknown.

09 May 2015

Fashion: 20 must have spring/summer dresses

One of my favourite things about the changing seasons is the chance to completely re-organise my wardrobe.  It is around this time of year that I haul everything out and have a complete clear up. I make piles of things to give away, things to store for next season and things I want to keep. I love having a refreshed wardrobe ready for a new season and I can't wait to fish out my strappy tops, mini shorts and of course, summer dresses!

Must have Spring/Summer ASOS dresses

So this week I have been searching high and low for a dress to wear for a wedding and after looking through old clothes and finding nothing I wanted to wear I took to trusty ASOS to see if I could grab something online.

I started to 'save' one dress after another and I soon lost track of what I was looking for! I checked back to my saved dresses and realised there were so many that I wanted I compiled them into this post.

My 20 must have dresses for Spring/Summer. Not all of these would be suitable for a wedding but perfect for chilled out sunny Sunday afternoons at the pub or by the BBQ.


Nicola Bhamra

05 May 2015

Our Wedding: Part Three, Dinner and Party

wedding day blog,

Continued from 'Our Wedding: Part Two'...

Once the formalities of the ceremony and official photos were over it was time to really relax and enjoy the company of all our closest friends and family.  We wanted a small wedding and had just 40 guests.  To be honest, if we could have we would have tied the knot abroad with just immediate family!

I remember at dinner I couldn't eat a thing. Not because I wasn't hungry, I was starving! But because my dress was so god damn tight, sucking in all my lumps and bumps. I think I managed to eat part of my starter and a glass of champagne, what a waste of time it was spending a whole day trying to pick out our wedding menu!  But it looked like everyone else enjoyed the food so I guess it was worth it..

We decided to give our guests options for their dinner... big mistake! We had a choice of three starters, three mains and three desserts.  It was such a nightmare getting back everyone's menu options in advance and it just added to the stress of organizing such a big event. I suppose it was nice that everyone got to eat what they wanted but honestly, just stick to soup, chicken and a lemon tart.

bride and groom, wedding flowers, wedding dress, groom wedding suit

Reception wedding breakfast decorations, flowers, table, candelabra

We had the most amazing flowers on our wedding day.  I wanted the venue to be completely filled with them, on every table, mantle piece and window ledge. I went with a vintage rose theme and Ryan at Love Flowers picked out the best ones he could get his hands on.  He was so fantastic, I literally told him the kind of look I wanted and left him to it. He worked his creative magic and put together a gorgeous mix of roses, orchids, peonies and even rosemary. Plus he is a close friend of the family so was able to ensure they looked great throughout the whole day. Thank you Ryan!

wedding reception breakfast dinner groom bride speech wedding flowers

groom wedding speech best man

wedding hair bridesmaids wedding makeup bridesmaid dress

wedding reception dinner breakfast bride and groom

best man gift present gift bag wedding

bridesmaid gift present gift bag wedding

wedding favours, coasters, bath stone, ribbon

I wanted to make a lot of the wedding decor myself and we bought some of those DIY sets for the invites and table seating plan.  After spending soooo many hours (days), and completely ruining my hands with glue putting all the components together I made the swift decision to just buy the rest of the wedding stuff. 

I went straight to Etsy (my absolute favourite) and began searching through their endless wedding category. I bought quite a lot from Etsy in the end. The thank you bags, cards, gift tags, the bridesmaids' ivory silk sashes, my earrings, the table numbers and guestbook sign!

Our wedding favours were personalised engraved Bath stone coasters which were made by Dan's cousin (you can find his online shop here). We wanted something a little different to the usual sugared almonds, and something each guest could take away as a memento from the day so these were perfect. We still use ours two years on!

After a lovely (well it did look lovely) dinner and some pretty funny speeches it was time to cut the cake. We did the usual typical photos here; pretending to stab Dan with the huge cake knife and feeding each other pieces of cake etc.  

Since we had such a small wedding we made up for it in evening guests and we wanted them to experience some of the little traditions that most weddings have (since they missed out on the biggies like the ceremony and speeches). We invited them all a little earlier so they could see the cutting of the cake and the throwing of the bridal bouquet. Oh, and the first dance..

wedding cake, wedding topper, wedding flowers

Wedding cake, roses, vintage wedding

cutting the cake, wedding, bride and groom, wedding dress, hairband, bridal

wedding cake, cutting the cake, bride and groom, wedding dress, wedding flowers

Dan chose our first dance song and it was one that I hadn't heard before.  I remember months before the big day we were going through so many typical songs that we just didn't feel any connection to.

When he played me Brad Paisley 'She's everything' it all just clicked, I think I even shed a little tear!  I loved that it was a song that most people hadn't heard before and probably only a few people had chosen as their first dance song.

wedding, first dance, bride and groom, wedding dress

bride and groom, first dance, wedding, wedding dress

bride and groom, wedding dress, first dance

wedding, guests, party, dancing

wedding, bridesmaid, bride, bridesmaid, dancing, party, wedding dress

wedding, dancing, dance, party, wedding dress

wedding, bride and groom, dancing

We had such a great evening, not worrying about what we looked like for the photos, just really relaxed. Of course we had to mingle a bit and we spent a long time greeting guests, making sure we got round everybody and introducing countless people to one another.

However, I spent the majority of the night on the dance floor, busting moves to all the songs we love. I remember going hours without seeing Dan (he's not much of a dancer) but I managed to pull him onto the dance floor a few times.

The photographer and videographers stayed really late and just before they left we managed to get a couple of last minute shots in - thank god I had my sister (the make up artist) there to touch up my face for the evening!

wedding, bride and groom, photo, fountain

wedding, bride and groom, photo, fountain

I have absolutely loved writing this mini series on our wedding day, reminiscing over the day's events and remembering all of my thoughts and feelings. This really and truly was the best day of my life, I married my best friend and soul mate and I am so thankful I have such lovely photos and videos from the day to remember each tiny little detail.

Thank you to Dan, for being the best fiance helping me to plan such a lovely day, and supporting me through the hardest time in my life in the week leading up to it. And for being an even more amazing husband, doing so much for me, picking me up when I am down and sticking by me through thick and thin. 

Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have him in my life.

Happy Anniversary Hubster, I love you more than life itself.

And on that note, here is the highlights video I promised you.. 


Nicola Bhamra

04 May 2015

Our Wedding: Part Two, The Ceremony

bride and groom, wedding, photo

Continued from 'Our Wedding: Part One'...

Since my Dad wasn't there to walk me down the aisle we decided to do things a little differently. I could have had someone else walk me but I knew seeing Dan for the first time that day was going to be emotional and with my emotions running a little all over the place as it was, the last thing I wanted was a full blown breakdown in the middle of the ceremony room with all eyes directly on me.

I had this fear that once I let one tiny little tear out all hell was going to break loose and I was scared I wouldn't be able to control it and all the pain I had been holding back all morning was going to pour out.

We decided to do the big reveal before the ceremony, in private away from our guests.  The doors to the interview room opened and I walked out into the foyer. I could see Dan (well the back of him) facing away from me and opposite him were my sisters.

The camera was rolling and the photographer was in place to capture the moment Dan turned around and saw me in my wedding dress for the first time.  I waited, desperate for him to turn around so I could give him a big hug and a kiss and it felt like forever.

When he finally did his face was priceless.  I wasn't expecting it but I think he even shed a little tear. Once I saw him I instantly felt better. This was the day that all the careful planning was leading up to, I was going to marry the man of my dreams and live happily ever after.

bride and groom, bride reveal, wedding dress, wedding flowers

bride and groom, bridal, wedding, reveal, wedding dress

Right, we've got to get married now!

Together, we made our way to the ceremony room.  The music started (Canon in D Major by Pachelbel), and my bridesmaids began their walks down the aisle. Of course all of my planning of the timing of the song with the walking was off but at that moment I really didn't care.  I just couldn't wait to get down that aisle with Dan by my side.

Bridesmaid, bridesmaid dress, aisle, wedding ceremony, wedding flowers

Bridesmaid, bridesmaid dress, aisle, wedding ceremony, wedding flowers

Bridesmaid, bridesmaid dress, aisle, wedding ceremony, wedding flowers

bride and groom, aisle, ceremony

Mother of the bride, wedding, ceremony

Wedding ceremony flowers, candles, decorations

Wedding ceremony wicker heart, chair decorations

Groom button hole, wedding flowers, roses

wedding ceremony, bride and groom, wedding dress, wedding flowers, viel

wedding ceremony, wedding rings

bride and groom, wedding flowers, wedding dress, roses

Once I was up there, all I could see was Dan and I completely forgot there was a room full of our guests with us. I was so happy to be marrying him, I had dreamed of this moment my whole life and all my nerves just disappeared.

The ceremony was a bit of a blur though, it all happened really fast. I told myself at the start of the day that I was going to carefully take in each and every tiny moment so that I didn't forget anything as so many people had told me that the day goes by so fast. Thank god we have it all on camera so that we can look back at all the moments that did pass us by.  If there is one bit of advice I would give to any soon to be bride is get a videographer, I am so pleased that we did.  We used 'One Take Media' and they were absolutely amazing.  I barely noticed them on the day and our video is fantastic.  We still get it out every year and they even made us a highlights video that we could share with all our guests on facebook (I have attached this at the bottom of tomorrow's final wedding post).  
After the ceremony, our photographer Ellie (Really Modern Rogue) took us to the gardens of the Manor House to have our sultry photos taken while our guests gorged on canapes and champagne.

bride and groom, champagne, wedding ceremony, wedding flowers

wedding reception drinks, champagne, pimms cocktails

wedding reception, canapes

wedding reception drinks, canapes, pimms cocktails

music sheets, wedding music, harp

bride and groom, photo, wedding dress, wedding suit, wedding flowers

bride and groom, photo, wedding dress, wedding suit, wedding flowers

bride and groom, photo, wedding dress, wedding suit, wedding flowers

bride and groom, photo, wedding dress, wedding suit, wedding makeup wedding flowers

bride and groom, photo, wedding dress, wedding suit, wedding flowers, confetti

bride and groom, photo, wedding dress, wedding suit, wedding flowers, confetti

bride and groom, photo, wedding dress, wedding suit, wedding flowers, confetti

Wedding confetti, dried flowers

This was one of my favourite parts of the whole day, the confetti! I wanted very specific coloured confetti that tied in with my 'vintage' theme and I found the most amazing range of real dried petals.

They were much more expensive than the paper kind but so worth it - I absolutely love the photos we got.

It was at this point that I felt I could finally relax, the scary part was over and now we could really enjoy ourselves...