Tag Archives: gala darling

Self Esteem, Body Confidence and Learning to Love Yourself

RSL_BOOK_2

If you’ve been reading my blog (or following me on Instagram!) for a while you’ll probably have already heard of Gala Darling. Not only is she one of my best friends, but I’ve been raving about her, and her message of Radical Self Love, for quite some time!

I first discovered her blog in early 2009 (check out my adorable fangirling) but it wasn’t until happenstance enabled us to meet IRL a few years later that I knew we were kindred spirits. There are just some people you meet who instantly light up your life and make the world seem like a more positive, happier place. Gala does this for me every single day and I’m so honoured to call her my friend.

If you too want to live a more magical, happy life then Gala’s brand new book will show you exactly how to do it. In Radical Self Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dream you’ll begin to discover exactly what makes you so magnificent, and you’ll uncover a litany of tools and techniques to help you manifest a life that bursts with magic, bliss and adventure. I only wish this book was around when I was a depressed young adult consumed by my eating disorder. I really do feel like it should be mandatory reading for every single woman on the planet.

I could not be prouder of my girl for following her dream to becoming a best selling author. So to celebrate the release (and the fact that it hit the #1 spot in the self help category on Amazon!) I asked her if she’d like to share some tips for brides that might be struggling with their self esteem or body confidence. Of course she enthusiastically obliged.

1. Learn to love your body

Obsessing about the way we look can be one of the worst parts of getting married. Instead of freaking out, going on a crash diet that makes you feel like shit, and going on punishing runs, choose to be kind to your body instead. One of the best ways to do this is to take a burlesque class! (In New York City, Jo Weldon’s School of Burlesque is an awesome place to start, but there are classes all around the world.) In addition to learning a simple striptease — sure to delight your partner on your wedding night — you’ll discover the beauty, power, and agency of your own body. Few things are more liberating. Hell YES!

2. Remember that what other people think of you – or your wedding – is not your business!

When you’re looking at blogs like Rock n Roll Bride, which showcase the coolest weddings on the planet, it’s totally normal to feel intimidated and worry about whether your wedding will “measure up”. Will it be cool enough? Will it be Instagrammable? Will your wedding’s hashtag look as good as you hope?

Don’t get caught up in appearances. As much as we’d all love to have beautiful photos to look back on, ask yourself, what’s more important? Marrying someone you truly adore and having a magical day, or fussing with place-settings and obsessing about how many likes the photos get on Instagram?

Radical Self Love A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dream (14)

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The Blogcademy New York: A Quick Recap

I’m currently lying in bed in my East Village apartment (well, I wish it was mine!) with Nubby the day after the first ever Blogcademy. It’s 7am and we’re both bolt upright excitedly gabbing about the events of the past 48 hours. It was a weekend of magical, unexpected, positivity and excitable exhilaration. Loving, learning and inspiring each other – all in our own imitable fashion. I feel mentally exhausted and my feet hurt like hell but it’s oh such a good feeling. Our 30 attendees were just what we hoped & prayed for and more, and I honestly feel we’ve all made some new BFFs for life.

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A Sunday Kind of Love: Upgrades, Glitter Shoes & Blogger Dance Parties in the Park

Gala, Naomi & me with Eleanor the photo bomber!

It’s been five months since I was here last but as soon as we landed in JFK I felt like it was only yesterday. Everything was so familiar, so comfortable but also so exciting! I’ve fallen head over heels pretty quickly again and I’m so thrilled to be back here.

So happy to be reunited with Gala… as are our ridiculous blogger phone cases!

After a flight that dreams are made of with Virgin Atlantic -including an upgrade (I thought this only happened in the movies!) and an almost out-of body experience in the Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 3 (“Manicure? Spa treatment? Hair cut? A dip in the pool or a trip to the sauna?!”) we hopped in a yellow cab and were whisked towards the bright lights of Manhattan.

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A New York State of Mind: A Hop Skip & Jump Across The Brooklyn Bridge

So here we have it, the final installment of Gala & my frolic around NYC! When Christina & I first starting thinking about shooting in New York there was one place top of both of our lists – The Brooklyn Bridge! Iconic the world over, nothing screams New York more than this structure… or the amazing views from it!

After a slightly hair-raising cab ride through China Town and over the Manhattan Bridge, we arrived in Brooklyn and proceeded to walk the 1.1 miles over the East River towards Manhattan.

The bridge was packed full of tourists, maniacs on bicycles (boy, they don’t slow down!) and commuters when we arrived, but with Christina, Marielle & Alie‘s magic camerawork you’d never have known it was so packed! At one point Gala & I were doing our ‘thing’ while about 25 tourists snapped away ferociously behind the girls! I wonder who they thought we were?

I Wore

♥ Vintage dress altered by Fur Coat No Knickers
♥ Jimmy Choo Tokyo hi tops
♥ Vintage fur coat from Frock n Roll
♥ Flower headband & vintage cuff from Lisa Harris Jewellery
♥ Vivienne Westwood handbag

Can we just please stop and share some love for the amazing dress I’m wearing? I found it in a vintage store on Venice Beach back in August and although I loved the lace detailing and the amazing blush pink colour it wasn’t at all flattering (you can see a before and after picture here!) However at just $40 I knew I had to have it! When I got back to the UK I went to see my girls at Fur Coat No Knickers to see if they were up to the challenge of making it into something beautiful for this shoot…and jeez louise did they!

The final dress was actually a combination of two dresses, the original bodice on my dress was unstructured and unflattering, but Emma & Laura found a satin gown that matched the colour of mine perfectly…and even better, it fit me! So they took this bodice and created a brand new skirt from the original tulle from my dress. They even added the vintage lace and applique details from my dress to the new one. Doesn’t it work wonderfully!?

Gala Wore

♥ Vintage dress
♥ Vintage marabou coat
♥ Flower crown by Whichgoose on etsy
♥ Frye boots
Kate Spade handbag 

Shooting with Made You Look and Gala in NYC was like a dream come true. It was so much fun exploring the city with my girls!

But wait…there’s more! Gareth & I did a shoot as well (as you probably already know, I’m never one to turn down posing in front of the camera). We’re still waiting on the final photos from our couple’s shoot, plus the video that Marielle made, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled as I’ll be blogging them really soon!

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A New York State of Mind: West Village Wanderers

After the exertion of jumping around the rooftop, Gala & I decided a much more leisurely pace was required for the second part of our day. So we hopped in a cab with the Made You Look girls and headed towards the uber trendy West Village.

Oh and yes that is me… and no I didn’t have a quick dye job in between! I bought this sky blue wig on a whim from Stargazer when I was purchasing my regular round of baby pink dye. The hair is fake but considering it only cost me a tenner I think it actually looked pretty good! I have plans to buy it in other colours too… I’ll wear them when I feel like going incognito!

What could be more NYC than a West Village stoop? We did find Carrie’s (yes, the actual one they used when filming the outside scenes in Sex and the City) but there was a chain across it with a polite warning to stay off (!) However the road itself was pretty deserted traffic-wise so we had another little dance/pose-off in the middle of the street. I’d like to think SJP probably did the same thing in between takes…

A few of you were asking after I published part one of the shoot, which camera’s the girls use…well I asked Christina and she said, “For the shoot we shot on Contax 645, Contax G1, Hasselblad 500 cm, Polaroid Land Camera 330, Canon AE-1, Pentax 35mm, Canon 5D Mark II DSLR (2 of them – one for filming & one for shooting), Instax wide….& 3 iphones haha!”

I Wore

Topshop Cutout Back Self Stripe Flippy dress
♥ Kimchi Blue black & glitter shoes boots / Jimmy Choo Tokyo hi tops
Stargazer ‘Japan’ wig in ‘Sky’
♥ Sparkle & Fade Skull Cardigan
♥ ‘We are all mad here’ necklace by UntamedMenagerie on etsy

Gala Wore

Topshop sequin dress
♥ Custom decoden glasses by Luxyloli on etsy
♥ Star headband by Janine Basil on etsy
♥ Michael Kors watch
♥ Forever 21 bangles
♥ Frye boots

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A New York State of Mind: Rooftop Dance Party

I’ve been obsessed with Made You Look Studios for as long as I’ve been blogging. Even in the early days they were wonderful to me and allowed me to feature their beautiful weddings as much as possible. Christina, Marielle & Alie are amazing girls, and when Christina and I started whimsically chatting about one day doing a shoot together I knew we’d make it happen somehow!

Fast forward a few years and the opportunity for me to travel to New York for a shoot with a make up company arose. I was over the moon and even more so when they said the Made You Look girls were shooting it! I think it took me approximately 20 seconds to reply and say I was 100% on board. Unfortunately these things don’t always pan out and the shoot was cancelled a few weeks before I was due to fly out. I was disappointed but I thought, hell, I’m going to New York now anyway and I wanna shoot with these girls damnit! So I emailed them to ask if they still wanted to come to New York (they are based in Bakersfield, CA) and shoot with me & Gareth and then me & Gala! I was overjoyed when they agreed. I’m a firm believer that things always happen for a reason and now we had completely free reign to create the shoot(s) of our dreams!

The day began with make up by the fabulous Regan. He works for MAC and is awesome at what he does. Plus, when he asked if I wanted to try pink eyebrows I knew we were onto a winner! Gala went for a more 60s inspired look while I opted for my trademark bright pink lips to match my brows!

For our first look we decided to head up to the windswept rooftop of our East Village apartment (Gareth & I decided to rent an apartment during our stay instead of booking a hotel. I loved it and the fact that we were in a non-tourist area, it almost felt like we were living there for 2 weeks!)

So, what do Gala & I do when we’re excited to be hanging out again? We pull silly faces and have impromptu dance parties of course! The elevators of Vegas were our practice run, but now the rooftop was our place to shine! Oh boy it was windy up there but I think you’ll agree it was worth it for these shots.

The Made You Look girls are masters of the camera…no, strike that…masters of a gazillion cameras! Each of them carried about 4 cameras each, and as we shot they were constantly changing up and shooting with a different one. Each camera had a different kind of film in it so all the shots are totally different. If you love vintage-looking photographs then these are the girls for you. No fake vintage photoshop edits here people, these are the real deal!

I Wore

♥ Nanette Lepore Jacy Pleated Floral-Print Skirt (seriously the brightest thing I’ve ever owned!)
Zara t-shirt
♥ Upper Street Ballet Flats (designed by me!)
♥ Sparklebeast on etsy (Gala’s)
H&M ring
♥ Forever 21 bangles

Gala Wore

♥ Vintage dress
♥ Bunny ears from a toy shop in New Zealand
♥ Michael Kors watch
♥ Forever 21 bangles
♥ Betsey Johnson ‘Starburst Polly’ shoes

PS: I told you things got a little bit silly…

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A Sunday Kind of Love: Rooftop Dance Parties, Brooklyn Bridge Paparazzi & Extreme Cinemaing

After the aceness of last week I wasn’t sure my New York adventure could get any better…oh how wrong I was! On Monday we waved goodbye to The Lasertron’s (boohoo) and Gala & I then basically spent the whole week distracting each other. I’d love to move here one day, but if I did I fear neither of us would ever get any work done! We had too much fun doing things like this…

On Wednesday Christina, Alie and Marielle of Made U Look Photography flew all the way from California to shoot Gareth & me.  We shot in our apartment, on our roof and around the East Village where we are staying. It was seriously fun. These guys are the best!

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A Sunday Kind of Love: Hanging Out with The Darlings & The Lasertrons in NYC!

The last 3 days have been a whirlwind of excitement and adventure as Gareth & I have meandered around New York City with our friends The Darlings and The Lasertrons…wow our surname is so boring! We’ve been a right motley crue of chaos with late night pizza dates, neon pedicures, being papped in Tompkins square, flower crowns, florescent skirt purchases, passing out on sofas (yeah…that was me) and shopping til we dropped (sorry Gareth!)

Triple dates have never been so fun. Here are some of my fave instax and instagrams from the past few days…

Excuse the jet-lag eyes!

Poor Gareth is so bored of our antics (check him out skulking in the background!)

Neither Gala or I really cook but we were both in agreement that this swarovski encrusted kitchen aid in Georgetown cupcakes was the most incredible thing we’d ever laid eyes on

We had polaroids taken on the street by a man with a trilby hat with the biggest feather I’ve ever seen poking out of it!

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Las Vegas Lovers: Sequins & Smoke Bombs

For the third and final setting of the Las Vegas Lovers shoot, GalaNubby & I wanted to get a little mean & moody…and that meant monochrome, silver and something a bit more dramatic! We moved from our beloved Ghost Town (Nubby & I have since decided we might take up residence there…just as long and someone can sort out some interwebz for us please…) and ambled towards a good-looking piece of desert.

With the light fading fast it was time to crack open our pièce de résistance… coloured smoke bombs!

There’s quite a story behind these beauties. Turns out Nevada state law is slightly cray cray about fireworks. In fact Lisa and Amy had to add an hour to their drive up from LA to visit a town called Pahrump – apparently one of the only towns in Southwest America where you can legally buy them! However I hope you’ll agree the trek was worth it.

After much coughing, spluttering and giggling we’d nailed the shots but we weren’t done just yet. As the day drew to a close, we simply had to get one final shot of us in front of that incredible view in the middle of the deserted highway. Looking at these photos I can’t believe I was actually there! It just looks like a dream.

I wore

Charlotte Balbier ‘Tutti Frutti’ gown custom made in black (I felt like an actual million dollars in this dress…it may well be my favourite dress ever ever ever!)
♥ Vivienne Westwood/Melissa Lady Dragon shoes in yellow & black
Butler & Wilson pink crystal skull ring

Gala wore

♥ Betsey Johnson tee-shirt
♥ Betsey Johnson feather dress
♥ Bedazzled glasses by Tequila Star
♥ Star headband by Janine Basil
♥ Chinese Laundry shoes

Nubby wore

♥ Silver dress from Camilla & Marc 
♥ Black sequin mouse ears from Disneyland
♥ Tights from H&M
♥ Boots from Ai for Matiko

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Las Vegas Lovers: Ghost Town Glamour Girls

After the fun we had frolicking around the RV Park, GalaNubby & I were super excited to see the second location that David had found – an abandoned ghost town! Located in Nelson, just under an hours drive from The Strip, we were keen to get there late afternoon to make the most of the incredible early evening light…and boy did we!

As we drove into the town we could hardly contain ourselves, letting out giddy squeals. I kid you not, this place was so incredibly cool. It almost looked like a movie set. There are abandoned or burnt out cars everywhere and even the old fire engine still sitting proudly by the the unused fueling station. The gold mines surrounding the town haven’t been ventured into since 1845!

The original buildings all still stand. It’s actually quite a spooky feeling walking around, especially when you see all the ‘things’ that have just been left behind.

With mountains all around the light was fading fast and so a quick change with no time for modesty was in order (I’ll never forget trying to help Nubby wriggle into her sequins whilst a half undressed Gala looked on in fits of giggles…)

I wore

♥ 1940s mint green vintage dress from Frock and Roll Vintage
♥ Aurora Borealis necklace from Topshop
♥ Custom pink Swarovski Crystal Benjamin Adams ‘Rhiana’ shoes
♥ ‘Vivien’ headpiece by DC Bouquets

Gala wore

♥ 1950s purple vintage prom dress
♥ Sparkly bunny ears by by Janine Basil on etsy
♥ Star Earrings by Im Your Present on etsy
♥ Betsey Johnson starburst ‘Polly’ shoes

Nubby wore

♥ Dress from ASOS
♥ Tights from H&M
♥ ‘Romeo & Juliet’ clutch bag from Kate Spade
♥ Heels from Dries van Noten

I love how the colours of each of our outfits compliment each other so well – what a cool gaggle of bridesmaids we would be! If you’re getting married in Vegas I would 100% recommend going to Nelson for some portraits. The place just blew. me. away.

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Las Vegas Lovers: Airstream Dreams

The next big girl band?

Finally it’s here, the shoot I’ve been mercilessly teasing you with!

When Gala & Nubby told me they were going to be in Las Vegas at the same time as David, Lisa & I, I just about jumped at the chance for us to all shoot together. Although this shoot wasn’t going to be at all wedding-related, I really couldn’t wait to get my pose on with these gorgeous girlies.

Organising photo shoots is hard work at best, but when you’re doing it with a team scattered all over the world it can be darn right stressful. But with emails flying back and forth between England, New York, Portland, Vegas and India (David was there for 2 months and only flew back to London the day before we left for Vegas!) I think we managed to pull something pretty awesome together.

We wanted three distinctive locations to show three different looks, and after having no luck securing the Neon Graveyard, Gala found this amazing RV park behind the Circus Circus hotel. The owners were so accommodating and sweet and really excited to have us there (Hi Bob!)

Who knew that posing on a golf cart could be so much fun!?

I wore

♥1950s pink vintage dress from Frock and Roll Vintage
♥ Vintage pink petticoat
♥ Irregular Choice ‘Patty’ shoes
♥ Chubby Bunny hair bow (Gala’s) and ‘Vivien’ headpiece by DC Bouquets

Gala wore

♥ Bedazzled Mickey Mouse ears by xoerikamarie on etsy
♥ $20 purple dress
♥ Betsey Johnson belt
♥ Chinese Laundry shoes
♥ Bedazzled glasses by Tequila Star on etsy

Nubby wore

♥ Dress from ASOS
♥ Tights from H&M
♥ Boots from Camilla Skovgaard

I also need to give an extra special shout out of love to Janine & LaVey of Your Beauty Call for our incredible hair & make up. Jeez Louise these girls know their stuff! With a client list boasting The Kardashians, Paris Hilton, The Pussycat Dolls, Kelly Osbourne…and now Rock n Roll Bride, Gala Darling & Nubby Twiglet of course ha…we were thrilled beyond belief when they agreed to work with us!

I don’t think any of us wanted to wash our make up off or take our hair down…like, ever.

Nubby, Kat & Gala – bringing the sparkle back to geek chic

If you’re getting married in Vegas I can not recommend Your Beauty Call enough. Seriously incredible. It was hot and we were shooting all day but our make up didn’t budge…even the lip stain (LaVey used this amazing product, Lip Sense, on us which blew my mind with it’s staying power!) We also slept in our hair and rocked the same styles the following day while out shopping! These girls are worth their weight in gold and I have so much love for them.

Oh yeah these girls too..!

Taking photo shoots seriously is totally over-rated

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Bright Lights, Late Nights, Shopping & Disco Trees…Why, It Must be a Las Vegas Round Up Post!

The view from Gala & Nubby’s suite at The Cosmpolitan. Not too shabby…

What time is it? What country am I in? How do I form sentences again…?

Greetings. This morning’s blog post comes from a head that still hasn’t quite got back on UK time. It may have been a week since I landed back at Heathrow, but I’m still finding it hard to get back on track! However waking up at 2pm and going to bed at 4am could work for me I reckon…

Those of you that follow me on Twitter or Facebook will have been lucky (or unlucky, whichever way you look at it!) to have been force-fed regular updates from my Las Vegas adventure over the past few weeks, but today I thought it necessary to put off getting back to work just a little while longer in order to share some of my favourite photos and fun times from Viva Las Vegas.

I’m sure some of you are sick to death of hearing all about it already…sorry about that…but for the rest of you I hope you enjoy this extra epic extra huge post dedicated to one of my new favourite places, the city they call Sin…

Glitter balls at Gallery Nightclub, Planet Hollywood

I visited Vegas primarily for WPPI with David & Lisa, however I was also lucky enough that my girls Gala & Nubby came into town at the same time so we were able to hang out and do fun girly things all week! Soooo what started as just another work trip was transformed into a magical holiday packed with full on adventure, sequins and giggles (oh so many giggles!)

Warning this is a really long and very image heavy post! I suggest a cup of tea and a hobnob or two while you have a nosy through…

Day 1

Excited on the plane (please excuse crappy front-facing camera phone photo!)

David & I arrived early evening on Thursday. Feeling a little worse for wear jet-lag wise we kept our first night simple. We went for a wonder down The Strip from our hotel, The Stratosphere, and ended the night with a few drinks in the hotel bar. I’ll be straight up honest with you, I wasn’t too sure about our hotel before we got there. It pretty far up Las Vegas Boulevard, right at the north end and just before you hit the downtown area, and wasn’t anything like the fancy smancy themed ones that everyone else we knew seemed to be staying in! However it was way cheaper than a lot of the other hotels, since we hired a car it was easy to get into the hub of Vegas, just 5-10 minutes… plus parking in all the hotels is FREE. Amazing! Hiring a car was the best thing we did as although cabs are not too expensive (about $15 + tip from one end of The Strip to the other) they certainly do add up!

Day 2

Oh, Hello there Kitty!

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas right?! After a day of wondering around and getting our bearings (and posing with the locals see above…) David & I decided a proper night out was in order. We started off by meeting Erin of Knot Couture who I’ve chatted to a lot online, before heading to see…The Chippendale’s!

It wasn’t grown up, clever or classy but oh boy was it funny! The girls who were called up on stage to do ‘tasks’ with them were seriously brave (or just very drunk!) If you’re in Vegas with some like-minded silly friends I’d totally recommend letting your inhibitions go and seeing them. Perfect for an unclassy hen do!

We ended the night by dancing to the wee hours at a 24 hour nightclub (yes, only in Vegas could a ‘day club’ be as popular as a night club!) We felt roughidy rough rough rough the next day but it was worth it!

Day 3

Feeling slightly delicate, we took day 3 at a nice slow pace. We tried out the oxygen bar in our hotel which was surprisingly brilliant for our hangovers, followed by an IHOP breakfast.

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Thursday Treats – 1st March 2012: Sneaky the Sneakiest Sneak of all the Peeks

Photography Credit: Devlin Photos

Well you know me, I couldn’t resist just one more sneak peek from my Vegas shoot with Gala & Nubby, this time from our second photographer Lisa Devlin. Jeez I literally can’t wait to share the rest! We will be doing so from next Monday so be sure to pop by to all our blogs because we’ll all have different shots to share!

I ain’t gonna lie – coming back from a trip to a Google Reader with over 1000 unread blog posts (and it actually only says 1000 because that’s the highest number the counter goes to… Christ knows how many were actually in there!) was a daunting prospect and a bit of a moutain to climb. BUT I promised you a damn good selection of Treats upon my return from Vegas didn’t I, so I hope these were worth the wait!

How the devil have you been by the way? Did you miss me? What you been up to? I demand that you tell me all!

Confessions of a fan girl – so funny! come on, we’ve all been there!
♥ Super easy and super cute DIY skirt tutorial
♥ A Backyard Fiesta Wedding Celebration
Kite themed wedding ideas
Indiana Jones wedding inspo sounds strange but it totally works!
Make your own sweet stationery set
♥ Chic St. Augustine Wedding  – love the shots of them lying down on the gold sparkles!
♥ Victorian railroad museum wedding
Handmade violet wedding
Sweet Savannah wedding

Photography Credit: Our Labor Of Love

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