Monthly Archives: September 2018

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End of Summer Party: 7 Cosy Summer Al-Fresco Evenings Essentials

There’s still some summer evenings left, and I’m not ready to be defeated and put away my flip flops just yet. I’ve gone to chase the sun in the Alps where the days are scorching and the nights drop below 0ºC. It’s beautiful, and because we’re traveling in a van, al-fresco dining is becoming the norm. As soon as the sun goes down though, you can feel the temperature drop so we’re currently mastering the art of cosy al-fresco dining so we can still enjoy the mountains views on the lake before retreating to our comfy van.

You don’t have to be abroad to enjoy a bit of al-fresco dining though. There is still some summer left to squeeze out of the British weather, and although it might be a little chilly, it’s still there for the taking (Com’on, we can see snow from where we’re sitting, and even we’re out on our bums!). Here are some tips to enjoy the last of the lighter evenings before it’s officially one of my FAVOURITE times of the year, pumpkin season. 🎃

End of Summer Party: 7 Cosy Summer Al-Fresco Evenings Essentials | UK Lifestyle Blog


What better way to brighten up your BBQ than with a bunch of fresh seasonal blooms? Some of my favourites – including peonies and freesias – are in season at the moment, and I can’t host an outdoor soiree without them!

I like to cut mine to various different lengths and place them in mismatched vintage bottles or vases for a haphazard effect that keeps things feeling really relaxed and casual. Trusty Ikea has some great vintage-style glasses and bowls, perfect for all those fresh peonies.

Cosy Blankets and Throws

We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be, so it makes sense to always have a collection of cosy blankets and throws at hand for when night falls or if those cold breezes suddenly come to call. I love soft woollen styles in summery sorbet colours for my al-fresco evenings, but I also think it looks beautifully chaotic to have a basket of mismatched blankets to give to guests whenever it gets chilly – the less organised the better!

Fairy Lights

Nothing adds warmth and homeliness like a string (or five) of fairy lights. Whether you hang them over your balcony rail or place them in large glass jars as a quirky centrepiece, these simple coloured lights really do add instant charm to al-fresco gatherings.

Enamel Dishes

With a few guests vying for room on one outdoor table set, it makes sense to introduce tableware that can’t be smashed should a plate or two happen to fall on the floor (especially after a few jugs of sangria!) My favourite is Falcon enamelware – it has a contemporary feel but appeals to my vintage-loving side with its classic white and blue-rimmed design. Often used for camping, it won’t smash if it’s dropped or tipped and only seems to get better with age.

A Fire Pit

Due to the aforementioned chilly summer nights here in the UK, it makes sense to invest in a fire pit or chimnea to light as the sun goes down. Not only can they be used to toast marshmallows on for a cosy camp-side feel, but there’s something undeniably hypnotic about just sitting and watching the flames sizzle and pop on a warm summer’s evening.

A Super-sized Ice Box

If your summer soirees are anything like mine, then the drinks will be flowing! Investing in a supersized ice box to keep those beers and wines cool is a savvy idea – not only will it keep your guests happy but it makes a great investment for summers to come. I like this stylish design from Argos.

Solar Lamps

These cool creations store the sun’s energy during the day, then light up at night to create an atmospheric glow that’s perfect for any summer soiree. I like cute coloured versions as they add a rainbow effect to outdoor entertaining. And don’t worry if you don’t have a big garden – these can be sunk into plant pots dotted around your outdoor space to bring a gorgeous glow to your evening.

2018-09-26T21:18:59+00:00 September 27, 2018|Food|

4 Tips on How to Look Your Best on Your Wedding Day

Whether you are the bride or the groom you need to make sure you look great on your wedding day. This means you need to make sure you think hard about what to do with your outfits and how you can be sure you get the perfect wedding outfit. But that’s easy, right? Wrong! Getting your wedding attire can actually be more complicated than you might think. Both my fiancée and I have had first time experience of this, it’s a lot harder than it looks.

There is a lot to keep in mind, and this is something that you have to get right if you want the day to be a memorable one. Getting your glad rags on and looking the part is half the battle with a wedding, so you need to make sure you think carefully about what you’re going to be wearing. Here are a few ideas to help get you off on the right track.

4 Tips on How to Look Your Best on Your Wedding Day | UK Lifestyle Blog

Think About Your Style

The first thing you need to do is to consider your style, both of you. This is something that is going to play a major part in the process of choosing the right kind of outfit. It is also something that will help you pick something you’re definitely going to love. Think about the choice that is out there, and how companies like John Henric UK can help you get something in the style you want. Choose what suits you and what you feel good in, and don’t worry about anything else.

Match the Colour Scheme

The colour scheme is also an important consideration when choosing wedding outfits. You need to make sure you match with one another, but it is also vital to ensure that you match the colour scheme of the day as well. What sort of dress will the bride be going with? What is the main colour besides white? This will need to make an appearance on whatever the groom is going to be wearing.

Shoes are Essential

Shoes play a big part in completing the wedding outfit in the best possible way. You might think that a bride’s shoes are incidental because they are not going to be seen, but it is something that plays a big part. Shoes help you feel great, they define your posture, and they are an essential finishing touch to your wedding outfit. Make sure you get the shoes right as much as you can.

Consider Tradition

Tradition is something you might want to incorporate into the wedding as much as you possibly can. This is something that will play a role in the process of the day and can feed into your outfits as well. Perhaps the groom would like to wear a buttonhole, or it might be the case that the bride will want her something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

When you are planning the perfect wedding, you have to make sure you think about the way you are going to dress. There is no right or wrong approach to take with this, and it is something that can have a major impact on the course of the day. Keep these suggestions in mind before you make any major decisions.

2018-09-26T20:31:20+00:00 September 26, 2018|Weddings|

4 Steps on How to Plan the Perfect Wedding

Planning a wedding is like walking on a tightrope. You want your wedding to be uniquely memorable and pleasant for all the guests, but you don’t want to fall into the trap of spending more than it is needed.

There are some baseline tips you should consider if you want to achieve the optimal balance between cost and a smooth, visually elegant and memorable wedding experience.

4 Steps on How to Plan the Perfect Wedding | UK Lifestyle Blog

Select a location and select it early

As the saying goes – location, location, location.

View it as a container of what is possible – how many guests you can fill in, how flexible is it in implementing various themes, how accessible is it for the guests, and how weather-dependent you want it to be.

Obviously, this is the most important part of your wedding planning. Everything else will come easy. Whatever you decide, make sure that it can be reserved at your preferred wedding date. You would be surprised at how many months in advance the locations get booked.

Also, try to choose one that is not entirely indoors or outdoors, as you will never know what the weather will be like at the time of the wedding.

Set a budget limit

Selecting the proper location is important enough to have as it is the biggest chunk of your wedding budget, so keep that in mind for the overall budget. The trick for getting an accurate overview of a potential budget is to account for all the details, so be sure to write down/type a long list. There are many wedding apps to choose from which can help you nail it down, so you don’t get any financial surprises down the line.

4 Steps on How to Plan the Perfect Wedding | UK Lifestyle Blog

Go overboard with winnowing the guest list

Research shows that a person can remember up to 150 people in their lifetime without detailed prompting. Consequently, the most generous number of guests to be considered is 300 if you consider both sides of the family.

Reduce that number drastically, as the number of guests will determine the suitability of location, the food cost, the available parking space, the wedding ornamentations and accessories, and most importantly – how pleasant will the wedding be for all parties involved.

Preferably, select only those guests you want to be present. It sounds simple, but it’s harder to accomplish if you are easily swayed by social pressure. Be conscious of this fact and always remember that a wedding is about you and your partner, not other people. They should be there to make your day, not the other way around. Once you come to terms with this reality, you will be surprised at the small number of guests you will arrive to. Then, you will be relieved at how everything else will be so much more manageable and affordable.

Small touches have a huge impact

Inexpensive but elegant ornamentation for the furniture will set the tone for your wedding. For example, wedding chair covers, sashes and bands, along with flower arrangements, will not take a significant bite out of your wedding budget, but it will be the foundation for the visual appeal of the whole experience. Visit Chair Cover Depot for more available options that suit your price range.

4 Steps on How to Plan the Perfect Wedding | UK Lifestyle Blog

2018-09-21T10:20:27+00:00 September 21, 2018|Weddings|
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