18/05/2016

A LITTLE WEDDING UPDATE...I'VE BOUGHT MY DRESS!!!


Finding a wedding dress has always felt like one of the most daunting parts of a wedding to me. Not to sound like a right old tight arse, but they really are ridiculously priced considering you're only going to wear them for one day of your life and I've just always felt like I wouldn't be able to justify that amount of money as I'd end up thinking 'but we could spend that money on the honeymoon.' I always knew I'd get my dress from the high-street as my budget was really quite low (I'll never forget a conversation I had with a customer at work where we were discussing how expensive weddings are and she commented on how they'd had to find "a real budget option" for her daughters wedding dress and it turned out to have cost £5000!!! I nearly fainted when she said it) Me and James have been engaged for nearly 2 years now, so even though we only booked our wedding a few months ago I've had quite a lot of time to browse around and get an idea of the kind of dress I'd like. I really can't recommend Pinterest and wedding magazines (as you can probably tell from the above picture my favourite is Perfect Wedding) enough; although most of the dresses featured were totally out of my price range, it really helped me to decide what length/style/colour/detail etc I wanted.

To begin with I was quite set on having a knee length, prom style dress and I completely fell in love with one from Phase Eight. I sent a photo of it to my sister and we were both pretty sure it was the one, but after a couple of weeks I kept getting a niggling feeling that it wasn't *quite* right. I'm really pale and the thought of having my legs on show was starting to make me feel a bit nervous as I'd have to decide whether to attempt fake tan and all that jazz, and then I started looking around for some shoes to go with it and I just knew it wasn't going to work for me at all. Being a chronically ill gal, I really don't get on well with high heels and James is only a smidge taller than me so I hated the thought of being taller than him in heels. A prom-style dress means there would be a lot of focus on the shoes, so I just completely went off this idea and I felt a little bit disheartened and lost with what I was going to go for.

I was then browsing at dresses online one day I promise this isn't what I've been doing with 99% of my time since getting engaged #oops and I ended up on a website I hadn't even considered before (I'm going to be a right old tease and not share where I bought it from until after the big day) and the minute I spotted it I just knew. I sent the link to my sister straight away and she really loved it too; I just couldn't stop thinking about it and *may* have ended up revisiting the website every day to swoon at it. We'd planned to go to Westfield in London so that I could try it on in real life along with a few others as I was determined not to pin all my hopes on this one just incase I didn't love it as much in real life or it didn't suit me or whatever. But then I was making my daily visit to the website one evening and I noticed that it had gone out of stock in every size apart from an 8 and I swear my heart literally dropped out of butt; I was devastated. I'd always thought I'd need a size 10 as I tend to be somewhere between the two, but with a little convincing from my sister and one of my friends at work I decided to scurry off to the local store on my lunch break to order the size 8 *just* to try it so I could at least rule it out if it didn't fit, rather than always wondering (it was certainly the most exciting Monday lunch break I've ever had!! *insert monkey covering his mouth emoji*)

After a *slight* drama with finding a tiny mark on it (cue heart falling out of my butt again and me having to seriously control myself not to cry and be a right old drama queen) and me having to hastily reorder it and pay next day delivery to have it arrive today, I have finally got my dream wedding dress, and oh my goodness me, it is perfect and it fits me like a glove; I honestly can't believe my luck :) I swear it's going to kill me not being able to talk about it and I almost give something away about 1794378742980 million times a day because I'm just so in love with it and want to talk about it all the time pinky promise I'm not turning into a bridezilla I've already got an idea of the kind of shoes I'm going to wear with it and I've seen a couple of options that I really love and it was luckily a really amazing price too, so I basically haven't stopped grinning since I tried it on :) :) :) :)

It feels super surreal to think I actually have my wedding dress hanging in my wardrobe now (in a protective garment bag of course so James can't have a snoop hehe!) after many many months of searching and dreaming about what it would be like. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a tiny panic about whether it's definitely the right one, especially considering it's the only wedding dress I've ever actually tried on. But finding the mark on it made me realise even more how much I absolutely love it and that it is 100% the dress for me; I swear to god I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time waiting for the new one to be delivered today!! So my biggest piece of advice to anyone looking for their wedding dress is just go with your gut instinct; you know when it's the one and it doesn't matter where you get it from, whether you try it on in a shop or in the comfort of your own home or how much it is (obviously as long as you're happy with the price and it's within your budget) - when you know, you know.

I'm definitely not off to spend the evening staring at the photo my sister took of me wearing it #sorrynotsorry

Love Holly xo
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28/04/2016

5 REASONS WHY THE OC IS THE BEST TV SERIES EVER...

I will happily put my hands up and admit that I'm well and truly obsessed with The OC. I've probably been watching it at least once a year since I was about thirteen and I still love it just as much as I did the first time. The beautiful California setting, the amazing music, the storylines which still never fail to give me goose bumps, complete fan-girling over the gorgeous Marissa Cooper and Summer Roberts, and not to mention the seriously cool diner which always gives me the biggest pancake/milkshake/burger cravings...it just never gets old. It feels like I've grown up with it and whilst I could happily talk about it all day (this post has taken a lot of editing as there's just so much I wanted to rave about hehe!) I wanted to write a post about my top 5 reasons why it's the absolute best programme ever. If you've seen it before I'm sure you'll understand my obsession, and if you haven't, well then I'm afraid we can't be chums anymore (LOL only joking <3) 
1. The Music - Before watching The OC I was very much a mainstream, 'whatever's popular in the charts' kind of gal, but the indie-type music in The OC introduced me to a whole new genre of music which has actually ended up shaping my music taste, to the point where me and my fiance have been considering using one of our favourite songs from The OC as part of our wedding music :) They just get the music so completely spot on to reflect the vibe of the show and I honestly don't think some of the scenes would have the same impact without the songs playing in the background. One of my favourites is when 'Hallelujah' (Jeff Buckley) is playing in the final episode of season one; it gives me the biggest goosebumps ever and always brings tears to my eyes before the really emotional bits have even started!! I also love how 'Into Dust' (Mazzy Star) is used as the background song throughout the series' whenever Ryan rescues Marissa - it's one of those songs which is sad but pretty all at the same time and has become a firm favourite on my ipod thanks to The OC. Some of my other favourites include 'Forever Young' (The Youth Group), Paint The Silence (South) and Dice (Finley Quaye) - whenever I listen to these songs I'm instantly taken back to the summer holidays of when I was a teenager as that's when I'd usually end up having a OC marathon :)
2. Seth and Ryan's 'Bromance' - Seth is without a doubt one of the best things about The OC; Adam Brody is just absolutely hilarious and not to mention a right old cutie too. I absolutely love how Ryan enables Seth to be who he wants to be (including helping him and Summer to get together!) and from the moment Ryan rescues Seth from getting beaten up by Luke and the water-polo team in the first episode, you just know they're going to have a proper bromance ("Welcome to The OC bitch!") They both kind of rescue each other in different ways ("I don't know what to say except you totally had my back out there. I really think if you were to teach me some moves we could totally take them next time, with a little bit of that, a little bit of that and that") and as Seth describes at the end of season one "before Ryan showed up this place was hell for me. I just can't imagine it without him." I also love how Seth manages to bring Ryan's humorous side out ("maybe you have the 'summer' flu and you should take some 'anna'-biotics") and he enables Ryan to experience life as a 'normal' teenager where they get to play the playstation and spend time with their girlfriends - it makes my heart swell a little bit :)
3. Sandy Cohen - I've been thinking all day about how to describe why I love Sandy so much, and the word I keep coming back to is 'humble'. Everything about his character is just inspiring and every time I watch The OC I say to myself 'when I grow up I want to be a female version of Sandy Cohen' let's just excuse the fact that I'm actually an adult already ok?! From the very first episode when Sandy decides to help Ryan and tells him "you gotta have a plan, some kind of dream" you just fall in love with him and then watching him help Ryan do his tie basically just makes your ovaries explode! A couple of my favourite Sandy quotes are when he tells Kirsten "I thought I could help him, make a difference. I was this kid...if someone hadn't helped me I wouldn't be here" and then when he tells Seth "We love you, and the door is always open" SWOON! He's also pretty hilarious and one of my favourite scenes ever is when Kirsten is saying she's worried they're stuck in a rut so Sandy decides to defy the satnav lady: "we do need to take more chances. GPS lady says turn left, I'm going right. We're living on the edge hunny!" Also those eyebrows - nuff said right?! They always make me think of the Mean Girls quote "That's why her hair is so big, it's full of secrets" *insert monkey covering his mouth emoji here*
4. Marissa Dying - Oh god, I can feel myself welling up just thinking about this and I swear it never gets any easier to watch despite the amount of times I've already seen it! (I actually went through a phase of skipping this episode out all together because I just couldn't cope with it LOL) It honestly breaks my heart every single time I watch it; the way the episode unfolds and the fact the producers went there with the storyline is, for me, the cherry on top of the cake of what sets this apart from any other programme. Being able to see how everyone deals with their grief in season four and the effect that one character dying has on a whole group of people is just insane and I can't think of a single other programme that's ever had that kind of impact. I kind of love how they suggest in season four that Ryan actually gave Marissa three more years of her life as she would have died from the overdose in TJ if it wasn't for him; I know people have mixed opinions about season four because Marissa was such a central character, but I actually think it's awesome how they do it.
5. The Season Finales - They honestly get each season finale so spot on and as I mentioned above, even though I've seen them all loads of times before they still affect me just as much now as the first time I ever saw them! I can remember being hysterical at the end of season one the first time I watched it and my mum came in my room wondering what the hell had happened to me hahahaha! The bit that gets me every time in the season one finale is when Ryan and Marissa are dancing at the wedding and then the very end scene with Seth on his boat in the middle of the ocean (thank god I watched them all on DVD as I don't think I would have coped having to wait for season two to come out!!) Marissa shooting Trey in the season two finale and the look on his face before he falls to the floor is probably one of the best, but most shocking moments in the whole programme (I'm covered in goosebumps just thinking about it now and I know I'm a complete a saddo because it isn't actually real, but, oh god!) In the season three finale it's the way that you think everything's working out for them and then bam! I sometimes get irrationally angry with the producers that they could have just let Marissa go off and work on the ship and written her out that way, but then I reason with myself that it wouldn't be the most amazing programme ever if that had happened would it!! I think the end of the final season rounds everything off really well as I love that Seth and Summer get married (even though she had to go off and 'find herself') and we get to see Ryan's success which is obviously all thanks to the kindness of Sandy Cohen, which then inspires Ryan to end the series with the famous words "Hey kid, need some help?" #BESTPROGRAMMEEVER!!!!

Have you seen The OC? Please let me know if you share my love for it and what your favourite moments are :)

Love Holly xo

24/04/2016

OUR WEDDING PLANNING SO FAR...

If you follow me on Twitter you may have already seen that me and James have finally booked our wedding!! :) We've been engaged for nearly two years now, but to be honest trying to find somewhere that we liked and which wasn't going to cost more than our house deposit has ended up being a lot more difficult than we anticipated. The venue we've gone for is actually one of the first I found online and it's the only one we ended up visiting; we just knew it was the one from the moment we stepped inside and honestly, we just can't get over how perfect it is *swoons*
We're going to be getting married at 3.30pm on Thursday 13th April 2017 in a beautiful, small hotel in the old-town of where we live. It has vintage inspired decoration throughout and the most beautiful garden which we are keeping all of our fingers and toes crossed we will be able to have our ceremony in if the sun decides to put his hat on! The people who run it are absolutely lovely and I have complete confidence that they're going to do everything exactly how we want it, and seriously just look how pretty that fireplace is *insert all of the heart eyed emojis*
Once we got everything officially booked with our venue and registrar it was time for me to pop a very important question to my sister and thankfully she said yes!! I wanted to do something special for her and we'd already planned to have a meal out together to our favourite Simply Italian restaurant which has kind of become 'our' place over the years, so it gave me the perfect opportunity to give her this little Maid of Honour goodie bag which I'd put together :) I've also been spending quite a lot of time on Pinterest looking for wedding inspiration (it would basically be illegal not to be doing this as a bride to be, right?!) and I've come to the realisation that I'm going to need a little more hair to work with for my wedding 'do' than my graduated bob, so operation 'grow my hair down to my shoulders' has begun! I've heard so many good things about the Lee Stafford 'For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length' Treatment, and I managed to get it on offer 3 for £15 in Boots. I've only been using it for a week but I've noticed a bit of a difference already :)

My lovely sister then surprised me the following weekend with this beautiful wedding planning diary and I absolutely love how she chose a vintage inspired one to match our wedding venue; isn't it just beautiful?! I was finding myself having wedding notes literally here, there and everywhere, so it's been a bit of a life saviour having this to keep everything in one place and I'm very OCD about filling it all in perfectly so that we can keep it as a keepsake as it's so special to me :) The sections are really helpful at giving you a kind of guide of everything you need to organise too and I've been trying very hard not to panic at how much I still have to sort out! #oops

I've been thinking of doing a 'things we've learnt from wedding planning so far' type blog post so let me know if you'd like to see that :) The countdown is officially on, eeee!!!

Love Holly xo
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03/04/2016

A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE QUOTES...


"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Comparison is the thief of joy."

"Happiness can be found in even the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

"What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?"

"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, always."

"Be an encourager. the world has enough critics already."

"Admire someone else's beauty without questioning your own."

"It's okay to be a glowstick; sometimes we need to break before we can shine."

"Start a revolution. Stop hating your body."

"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun beams and you will always look lovely."

"One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can't change."

"No matter how you feel get up, dress up, show up and never give up."

"Remember you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine."

"Let your smile change the world; don't let the world change your smile."

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

"Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all of the fears you have already overcome."

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."

"Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is."

Love Holly xo
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08/01/2016

A COUPLE OF RECENT PURCHASES...

Soap & Glory 'Once Upon A Lime' Gift Set £5 (half price) - I was so excited to get my hands on this on the Boots website as I'm a little bit obsessed with the Sugar Crush scent and had been meaning to try the hand cream for ages. I was very tempted by this set when it was full price so I'm super chuffed to have got it for a fiver and I'm planning to save these beauties for when we're a little closer to spring as I think they're the perfect spring/summer fragrance :)
iphone 6
Iphone 6 & Skinnydip London 'Chubby Unicorn' Phone Case (£12) - If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed me sending a few frustrated tweets about the nightmare that I had with Carphone Warehouse trying to upgrade my phone. It ended up being one of the most stressful customer service situations I've ever encountered, but after a lot of hassle my new iPhone 6 finally arrived last Sunday and I couldn't be more in love with it :) The camera and battery life are incredible and it's such a snazzy feeling phone to use #Applefangirlandproud Of course I had to treat myself to a pretty phone case to go with it and after lusting after lots of Skinnydip ones on Instagram I settled on this adorable 'Chubby Unicorn' design; it makes me smile every time I look at it!
Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb, Dashing Santa Bath Bomb, Candy Mountain Bubble Bar and Father Christmas Bath Bomb - The Lush Boxing Day sale is always a little crazy and after seeing a lot of people on Twitter having a nightmare with the website not working on boxing day I just kind of accepted I wasn't going to be able to get anything this year. I couldn't believe it when I went into the Canterbury Lush Store and they had heaps of half price goodies still available - I felt a little delirious and had to seriously control myself!! I was really happy to get these four little beauties for half price as Father Christmas and Candy Mountain are two of my favourite ever Lush products and Dashing Santa and Luxury Lush Pud were the two Christmas collection products that I'd been really wanting to try after seeing so many people rave about them on Instagram :)
Newlook Pink Purse £9.99 - I brought this with some money my grandparents gave me for Christmas and I'm so in love with it; it's such a pretty, pale pink and I love the simple gold detail which I think makes it look quite classy and expensive. It's quite thin and light which I love as my old purse always made my bag really heavy, but this one still has plenty of different sections for cards, notes and coins without weighing a tonne :)
Soap & Glory 'Soaprise!' Shower Gel Gift Set £8 (half price) - I'm a little bit addicted to Soap & Glory shower gels; I just love how creamy and moisturising they are and I've been so excited to try all of the new scents they've released over the years. I was really happy to get my hands on this set so I could have all of the scents to work through and it's quite possibly the prettiest gift set I've ever owned; I don't want to get rid of any of the packaging!!

Love Holly xo