Tuesday, 29 March 2016

London Calling

With a new line direct to Maryleborne from Kidlington in under an hour it was a lot easier to convince TidyBoy to accompany me on a London 'Honeymoon' shopping spree. It was a little dangerous with my paycheque just hitting the bank account! So early on Saturday morning we were London bound with a brunch booked in Soho with my cousin and then an afternoon of shopping hopping!

I love London. I love London when I am actually shopping which has only happened twice in my lifetime! Once for Christmas and this... this being the best! I was shopping for ONLY myself and TidyBoy! London rocks my world. All my favourite shops in close proximity punctuated with coffee shops. It is Heaven (this side of the ocean).  Vancouver is of course the best location to shop in whether it be Mall or street! 

So how does one, especially one on a budget get what they need and not get distracted?
First of all... let me put it out there I got everything on my list and nothing more... although it was slightly more expensive then I had planned for. 
My secret is lists... after clearing my closet. Pulling out my summer clothes and stripping back on those too I went to London knowing all that was at home was a maxi dress, shirt dress and mini, two t-shirts and a cardigan. Knowing exactly what is in ones closet is essential. 
Since January I have also been pairing. Making sure every item I have matches with a sweater, pants of skirt so that an outfit is always available when you pull out what you want to wear that day. 
With all that being said the lists come in. With what I had I knew there was something very obvious missing... a pair of shorts. To complete the t-shirts look this was essential. I headed to my staple for everything waist and below Banana Republic!

With that noted I moved onto where we were going and what for! For the answer to this I headed to the blogs: Honeymoon Packing.  

It begins and ends with Victoria Secret! With a week in Italy and a hotel by the beach with a pool the number one thing missing from my closet was a bikini. I have never felt good in a bikini so I had to try on like a million but I found the perfect one (and a spare)! Then there was the Honeymoon lingerie... enough said on that. 

Then there was the accessories! I have the sandals and the gorgeous new shoes I blasted onto instagram because I am so in love with them! So what was left? 
For me it was the hat! I love the hat and have one for every occassion. The quest took me to J.Crew, Liberty, Banana Republic but the winner was discovered on the third floor of Anthropologie (budget gone). I was in love after trying on about a zillion, abandoning TidyBoy's 'I dunnos' opinion for a shop assistants one, and I walked out with a giant floppy one perfect for the Italian coast!

After grabbing my rehearsal dinner outfit - a cute little number I had been eying up online (Banana Republic) which looked just as good on me as it did on screen. I have to say... slushy moment coming up... there is nothing like shopping with TidyBoy. He gets this doe-eyed look and cheeky grin whenever I come out a dressing room and he thinks I look good. It was that look that made me... and I mean made me buy the 'morning after' Kate Spade dress and 'rehearsal dinner' Banana dress! - I ended up at the Mother Ship aka LIBERTY'S! 

This was a pure WEDDING STOP! 
I love makeup which is why I have decided to do my own makeup on the big day - that is with a little help. Over Christmas I visited an artist in Nordstroms and got made-up! With a list of exactly what I needed we headed to Liberty's Make-Up Room and the Laura Mercier and Nars counter. My lips and eyes were done so it was simply a matter of collecting. However, a little assistance on my face was needed. With some playing around I headed out completely broke and completely satisfied. 

I had done it. I stuck to the list and everything was ticked off. 
A successful London trip... plus TidyBoy got some tidy pants and shorts! 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Book Review ~ Work Suspended and Other Stories

Rating: - 3/5

I have really enjoyed my month with the Waugh family especially reading the last two books of Evelyn. I really love this book but was really disappointed with the longer stories towards the back of the book. The short stories however, were brilliant!

Mr Loveday's Little Outing was amazing. Reading it was really engrossing and you felt as a reader really invested in Mr. Loveday and then the ending BAM! So unexpected and really sickening!

On Guard was hilarious. The wit of Evelyn really shone here. The narration from the dog is just phenomenal. I wanted a whole novel of this! Pure talent! The wit continued into 'An Englishman's Home' and 'Winner Takes All' really poke fun at the Englishman and their narrow mindedness and values. Again could have read more and more of this! 

"Work Suspended" was where I got disappointed. It was nothing I enjoyed about the character who was narrating he was boring and arrogant and uninteresting. There was nothing to grasp and hold onto as a reader. I think perhaps, the wit of Evelyn went to far here. He went to the opposite side of funny and made it too real. 

"Charles Ryder's Schooldays" as a major fan of 'Brideshead Revisited' I was really excited about reading this shorty. It was fun to read the early Charles Ryder. However, the writing was best within the diary entries. I think the story would have been much better if it was just Charles Ryder's diary. 

All in all Evelyn Waugh is a master! Every word is worth reading... well almost every word!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Book Review ~ Labels

Rating: 4/5

This was the first travel book I have ever read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. True that was mostly down to Evelyn Waugh's unfailing wit, but still! 

The book is bursting with not only Waugh's intelligent and full knowledge of every landing spot regarding history, art, architecture and culture. However, it is also completely filled with Waugh's sidetracked mind which takes many tangents into his past as well as gossip stories about his fellow travellers! It is a marvel.

Reading the book makes you feel incredibly nostalgic and I hoped that I would wake up in the morning and have gone back in time and be able to book myself onto a cruise! Sure... I know I can do that now... take a cruise but this time period and the destinations that were pretty much untouched by modernity would be missing. It is the sheer elegance of the travelling experience for Waugh that makes the book so fascinating, and the lust to travel with Waugh so appealing. 

If you get a chance this book is completely worth the read. It is short at only 169 pages and just a page turner. It doesn't take a lot to get into and you do not have to fully indulge. I was able to skim some sections and still get the gist of it. It is worth the read simply for Waugh who really is a master of words. Everything is so luxuriously described you are there with him every step of the way. He writes like you are in his cabin and listening to his daily account feasting on all the gossip he has overheard. 


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Waxed into Fun!

Finally it is fun! After all the stress of wedding planning and all the arguements and financial planning things on the #HardyHoneybun16 is getting fun! Sure there are still stress issues (plus ones are one massive headache that is continually coming back to haunt us) and there is that ever present niggling feeling that something has been forgotten... HOWEVER on the whole things are on the up and I am finally, finally feeling like a BRIDE TO BE!

It is so easy to forget what you thought getting married would be like. The glamour and pampering gets lost in family politics and troublesome relatives. Now the invites are out, the RSVPs are slowly (very slowly) trickling in and everything is on hold until final numbers are in there is a space to realize HEY this is a once in a lifetime experience. It is the one time you can pamper yourself without feeling guilty because this is the one day that is all about you! 

Last week, after the recommendations of many of my regular customers I headed to my villages local beauty salon and had my first ever bikini wax! It was like the Sex and the City episode when Carrie has 'sex like a man' and strolls onto the streets of Manhattan empowered. I walked out of the salon with my head held high and an added skip in my step! Through the pain I had the realization this is it... I am getting married... I am going to, over the next three months pamper myself like crazy; pull every unwanted hair out by the root, dye every strand of my head red and get my nails manicured to the point of perfection... Why? 

This whole experience has been the complete opposite of what I ever wanted and envisioned. It's not in my hometown, it's not in my home church with my pastor conducting the ceremony, it's not a small wedding with a brunch reception overflowing with maple syrup! It's in England for starters! The bridal shower and the bachelorette has all been sacrificed as my friends and family are a 10 hour flight away. The fun of registry shopping has been forgone due to the shops we want/need to use are across the Atlantic. And, in the disappointment and distraction of preparing for a wedding far from my family and their support I lost the fun. 

Now I have found it again there will be no stopping me! A shopping trip to London has been planned for honeymoon clothing (we live in England at present so a warm climate needs to be prepared for)! Bicester village has been taken by storm as I found my gorgeous 'morning after' outfit. Beauty appointments have been made, dress fittings and hair trials have been booked and there is no looking back. 

I may not have got the dream wedding I always wanted but I am marrying the man of my dreams and I will have the best time preparing for it... starting from NOW! 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Book Review ~ The Foxglove Saga

Rating: 2/5

I was so excited to read Evelyn Waugh's sons novel and dove straight in the minute a friend lent me her copy. He definitely has his father's style of writing and keen eye for social studies. 

The novel revolves around three boarding school friends and the directions each of their lives take and criss-cross for good or for bad.  The stories are mirrored as we learn more about the fathers of the boys who also find their lives after school criss-crossing and effecting their final legacy's. 

The book is a great study of personality, social etiquette and generational expectations that is until the last chapter... The last chapter was the twist that you never saw coming... the arrival of a strange, ginger legged, murder inclined monster baby! Yes, Monster Baby! For some reason this thing comes in and causes a few problems with new characters that we only meet in the last chapter then it dies! Weird!

Basically the novel was fabulous until the last chapter when it went all Horace Walpole!