Madeline Kate Photography
I’m not a bookworm by any stretch of the imagination. You’re much more likely to find me with my head in a laptop that the latest bestseller. So when it comes to recommending business books, believe me when I say these really are the best of the best. Most books (business or otherwise) lose my attention after the first few chapters, but these five paperbacks are all amazing. You should definitely check them out!
WordPress For Beginners by Reeta Krishna
If the technical jargon of setting up your WordPress blog or website makes you break out in a cold sweat, then you need this book! In fact I love it so much, we gave a copy to every student that came to The Blogcademy workshop this year! This paperback is a complete guide to WordPress that lays out in detail the exact steps needed to build a full-fledged website.
The book is divided into three sections – the essentials (from picking a domain name to web hosting and getting started), optimisation (SEO, back-end necessities and security) and design (adding graphics, changing the look of your site and fonts) – which break everything down into easy bite-sized steps.
Be Awesome at Online Business by Paul Jarvis
I am a huge fan of Paul Jarvis’ no bullshit writing style, hence why I’m recommending not one, but TWO of his awesome self-published books in this line up.
If you have any online business (which basically means any business these days) then you simply have to read this one. It teaches you how to create and foster an engaged audience, and drive sales for your products or services. There are no get-rich-quick schemes or shady conversion tactics here, just proven advice about what it takes to build a sustainable and honest business.
Rosie and Colin live in London but wanted to get married in Scotland, where Colin is from. They took inspiration from lots of places for the theme, but the three key elements were skulls, Scotland and vintage 1920s touches.
“We took inspiration from all over the place for our wedding!” said Rosie. “I have a skull tattoo on my arm and have always loved anything including skulls! I also love the juxtaposition of skulls with other really beautiful things like flowers, I think it has such a striking impact. A lot of people don’t get the skull thing. When I spoke about some of my wedding décor ideas, some people said ‘right, so you’re having a Halloween themed wedding?’. Far from it! When everyone saw it come together they all loved it.”
Hands up if you love a little bit of sparkle and a lot of rainbow? Then prepare to fall in love. Zoe and David’s wedding has both coming out the wazoo! They were married in a church but had the reception in David’s great aunt’s garden.
“It’s difficult to have a truly unique wedding – you think you’ve thought of something independently and then the next blog you see its already been done!” Zoe wrote. “I think there’s a real upside to this, in seeing how people have already done things. No competition, all collaboration! David and I were so lucky in all the support we had from our amazing friends and family. It was such an epic day. So full of love and fun.”
So I KNOW you’re all desperate to hear about Zoe’s dress! Well, it was from one of my favourite Etsy sellers, Ouma. She has it customised from this dress and only cost her £120. What a bargain! Her shoes were Irregular Choice.
There was also plenty of DIY in this wedding including the bridesmaid dresses, the cake, the stationery and the food. “The wedding meal was a big family effort”, she said. “My brother made vegetable kebabs, my sister made nibbles. Two South African friends cooked the BBQ – they refused to cook anything that wasn’t meat so another friend, Pete, did the vegetables! We also had an ice cream stall from The Icicle Tricycle Cambridge which was a real hit.”
I don’t mean to freak you out, but it’s less than three week’s until Christmas! Don’t worry, I haven’t started my shopping either..!
To help you on your way, I thought it might be fun to spend the day browsing Etsy (my favourite!) and share with you some of the coolest, non-cheesy personalised gifts for your best babes. Let’s hear it for the girls!
Initialed fold over clutch
Source: Mimic Design
Source: Atelier of Love
Custom piece of art
Source: Letters on Love
Customised pencils (extra props for Mean Girls quotes!)
Source: The Carbon Crusader
Luana & Aruanã met at work and were engaged within three months! They were married at Recanto do Barão, in Brazil. “We were going for an alternative shabby chic wedding”, said the bride. “We wanted to have a wedding that looked personal and had a lot of our lives and personality in it. We also wanted it to have a backyard feel.”
“We both got involved in the DIY”, she continued. “All the decorations and the art elements were very important to us. Many personal objects were added into the decorations and Aruanã made the brownies that we served on the reception! We painted 150 gold bottles for the flowers, did ceremony bells, pom poms, finished the invitations with sealing wax and tags, and painted golden frames to hang on the tree. My mom sewed many felt hearts and she also did crochet towels for the tables.”
Debbie and Angelo picked an unusual venue for their September wedding – a cow shed! In fact when they visited the farm before they booked it, there was actually cows living in it!
“We were determined not to have a traditional reception venue or anything that resembled a package wedding”, said the bride. “We just wanted to fill our wedding with things we love. That includes Angelo’s batman socks and Star Wars cuff links, the James Bond themed Martini reception drinks, the Mariachi band, the homemade tea leaf bar, the tuk tuk to take us to our reception, the travel themed tables and the jam jar cups for every guest. All these are things that we love and remind us of some of the best times in our lives.”
“The reception venue was probably one of the most unique things about our wedding, certainly in terms of what our guests were used to. Before the wedding most of them didn’t know what to expect, and to be honest I think they all thought we were mad. But on the day they were all amazed at what we were able to do with a barn which, when we first visited it, had cows living in it!”