As some of you will know, I spent time in Los Angeles in March, probably the most health-concious and cleanse-obsessed place on the planet. Its no secret that I’m a ‘grab what’s available’ kinda eater, that I have a penchant for wine (and gin!) and that I’m totally allergic to exercise. However while I was in the land of buffed bodies, I did surprise myself by becoming quite the green juice junkie (something I have kept up since returning home!) and I even started to think a little more about how I treat, and what I put into, my body.
I’m no model. I’m a comfortable(ish) UK size 12 with enormous boobs and wobbly bits but, overall, I’m pretty happy with how I look. Now it might be something to do with getting scarily close to 30 or spending more time with my much more health-conscious American BFFs, but over the past few months I have started to think more about what I eat and the effect it all has on the way I look and my mood. I’ve always figured that I ate pretty well. I don’t have a sweet tooth at all and I rarely snack, but my Achilles heel is without a doubt the regular love affair that I have with wine. Just thinking about how many calories and toxins are in the glasses I sink on a nightly basis is actually pretty terrifying.
Gala has been a committed convert to The Clean Program for a while, and although for a long time, I balked at her healthy lifestyle (“yeah, yeah, you look great but I could never do that…”) over the past few months I started to think about it a bit more seriously. I have been feeling a little more self-conscious about my appearance as well as feeling sluggish, tired and totally overworked of late, so I decided to hell with it and to finally give it a go.
Being a detox virgin I was really pleased to find out about their new Clean Refresh program, a seven day detox designed to boost energy and give those that might have fallen off the heath wagon a much needed jolt in the right direction. They advise that this isn’t a full-on cleanse (they have a 21-day program if that’s more of what you’re after) but for someone who’s never so much as tried to cut out chips, I decided that a gentle week long introduction would be the best way to start. Baby steps and all that.
Emilie & Antony spent just £3000 on their wedding. They were married on a Friday and were really lucky to have a friend who worked at Lains Barn in Oxfordshire, who was able to get them a really cheap deal on the rental and food costs. “Lains Barn is perfectly charming and was perfect for our shabby chic wedding!” wrote Emilie. “We chose to have a hog roast. It was served with buns and apple sauce. My grandmother didn’t seem a big fan of the way it was served, but not everyone agreed – one of my friends said ‘Burgers at a wedding – genius!’ with a big smile on his face and a couple of burgers on his plate!”
This wasn’t where the money saving stopped though. Emilie found her dress for just £30 on eBay and Antony’s suit was from TK Maxx. They also didn’t have any bridesmaids or groomsmen, the bride’s mother did the flowers and they kept the reception décor minimal. “The venue already came partly decorated”, she continued. “The main barn had long flowing fabric hangings which I thought looked perfect as they were, so I just added the flower arrangements to decorate the tables. The second barn, where the bar is, already had fairy lights and greenery decorating the animal troughs. I hung lots of silver stars along the wood beams to add some shabby chic whimsy to the room. I made them myself using the inside cardboard from toilet rolls, cutting each roll into 5 roundels. I flattened each roundel to make it a little pointed, and then hot-glued them in the middle to make stars! All that was left to do after that was spray-painting them silver.”
Well that’s something you don’t read often is it?! And what a travesty because Luke & Wout’s wedding is one of the coolest I’ve seen in a long time. Talk about doing things their own way, stuffing tradition and bucking all the wedding expectations. These seriously awesome dudes were adamant that their wedding would reflect them… and it does – in spades!
The wedding took place at their own home in Melbourne, Australia. “We first met through the internet when Luke was still living in Australia and Wout in Holland”, they began. “We then met in person by chance at the Christmas Market in Brussels in 2003.”
“Given our attractions to bears, bikes (and bikers), gothic and dark electronic music and celtic/viking mythology, we brought a lot of those elements to the day. We didn’t really have a theme, it was just an evolution of ideas based on things we like. To us it was all very normal, but it’s a matter of perspective. Most of our friends, particularly the straight ones, found it unlike any wedding they had been to before. But all of them loved it so it cannot have been too out-there!”
It’s no secret that I have a ‘thing’ for ridiculous headwear, and my obsession with ears in particular is completely unfaltering! So I was thrilled when I saw this cute ‘bunny love’ photo shoot by South London based wedding photographer Ellie Gillard. This world needs more brides wearing ears that’s what I say. Why not be brave and do something quirky like this for your wedding day portraits… go on, I dare ya!
“I’ve wanted to pull together some form of styled shoot for a while”, wrote Ellie, ” something to showcase my work and something that had a different angle to the weddings I shoot. I wanted to shoot something where I could create my own story. I was also keen that, rather than just being a showcase for lots of lovely things, that there should be some kind of tangible emotion in the photos, so that real couples planning their wedding could see something in it.”
On a soggy Spring evening Lisa and I headed to London. It was Tuesday, and the night of the Cosmopolitan Magazine Superbloggers Masterclass. I was thrilled, honoured and damn right nervous as hell to have been asked to join an illustrious panel of experts at this prestigious event. The masterclass was a complete sell-out, with two hundred enthusiastic wannabe bloggers braving wind and rain to make it to The British Museum for the two-hour panel discussion and Q&A.
This is my nervous and ‘omg that’s a big auditorium’ face
I was cacking it. There was nothing cool about me as we took a peek into the empty auditorium and I squeaked to Lisa “Oh my god, that’s a lot of goodie bags…” We were the first to arrive and were ushered into a side room where we were soon met by the Cosmopolitan team and the rest of the panel.
A wacky, fun and rainbow themed wedding is always going to be a winner with me, and seeing Melanie & Michael’s day, at Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, was no different. I mean what’s not to love?! “When we first began planning our wedding, we started with a list of things we didn’t want to do”, began Melanie. “We had been to enough impersonal ceremonies and stereotypical receptions in the past few years to have acquired a pretty substantial list! We wanted the event to be as engaging for the guests as for us, we wanted it to be silly but meaningful, and we wanted it to be the most fun wedding anyone had ever attended.”
“I’m a production manager for a theater company, and he’s a writer and director, so we began to think of the wedding as ‘the show we’re doing this summer’. We wrote a script which included a variety of movie music cues, kids in Halloween costumes throwing confetti instead of flower petals, and ‘readings’ by members of the wedding party. These ‘readings’ included the ‘Mawage’ speech from The Princess Bride, the Donny Eulogy from The Big Lebowski, ponderings on the nature of the Force by a fully-costumed Yoda, and a commissioned poem on the importance of love comprised completely from popular song lyrics.”