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Category: General Chitchat

  1. 8 Valentines ideas for those who want more than roses, chocolates and dinner

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    best valentines ideas

    Roses and chocolate and a romantic date out or home made candle lit dinners in are nice, why not? But if you really want to make Valentine's day special, read on for some Valentine inspiration, and make it a day to remember!

    1) Get Away 
    Quite predictably, getting away should be one of the best ways to celebrate love. Why? Because the hustle and bustle of life often makes it difficult for us all to unwind at home, when there is a pile of laundry waiting and when the clutter of our lives removes any romance. Take a day or two off work and book into a hotel where you don't have to do anything except talk to each other, love each other and enjoy each other. 
    2) Enjoy a Spa Day 
    A bit of the same concept as getting away, take the day off and book yourselves for some treatments and a bit of pond-side chilling out with fluffy gowns. With many spa places offering treatments for couples, this is perfect if you both need to de-stress and unwind, and disconnect from work before you can feel human and loving again.
    3) Look Back at Memories 
    Create a little happy book or slide show of photos of your favourite moments together and cosy up to go through your happy memories with your choice of nibbles and tipple, and lots of cuddles too. Looking back at good times strengthens the bonds you have already established, and makes you feel all gooey and lovey, perfect for Valentine's day. If you have time to prep it up, go for it! 
    4) Breakfast in Style
    I am a little biased here because breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but what better way to start the day on a positive note. The great thing is that potentially, if your fridge is already well stocked, this involves minimum planning. Make yourselves your favourite morning treat and enjoy it in bed, have lots of cuddles, and be late for work if you can manage it. Gifts in bed optional of course! 
    5) Have a Good Old Natter 
    About what, might you say? Certainly not about the chores that need to be done, or the issues with the kids. But it all comes back to carving out time for each other, and remembering the reasons why you fell in love with each other. So, pack the kids and the chores off, and open up, have a laugh, talk about the past, make happy dream plans. And cuddle a lot. 
    6) Get Active 
    Nothing better than releasing good endorphins together on Valentine's day, so for the adventure seeking ones of us, book yourself an activity session, something unusual, something you've never tried before and always wanted to have a go, or just something you love doing together. Brave the cold and go free climb that mountain or book that kayaking or outdoor climbing session you always dreamt of, and reward yourself with a warming treat at the end! Or if high adrenaline boosts are not your thing, wrap yourself warm and go on a long walk hand in hand and put your feet up afterwards in front of a warm fire. 
    7) Make Something Together 
    Creating something together is one of the best ways to strengthen a relationship, so if you don't do a lot of that, give it a go. Whether it is a simple meal, a fiddly dessert, a complex art work, a piece of furniture, Lego sets, build something together in a bit of team work, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labour together at the end. 
    8) Learn Something New Together 
    If you've always wanted to Tango like Anton and Erin, skate like Torvill and Dean, cook like Nigella, make your own pasta, chocolate, beer, wine, or whatever you fancy, book yourself on a course together. Learning something new while having fun at the same time is a fab way of keeping your relationship fresh, and giving you more things to talk about in the future or for 5) above. It doesn't have to be physically or technically challenging either. Wine tasting is an example of learning something new with minimal effort required!! 
    However you want to approach it, the best thing to remember is that making time for each other and for you two as a couple is probably better than just spending money without real thoughts behind. Of course everyone loves gifts and treats, but sometimes, something immaterial can have bigger value in the eyes of the receiver. With that in mind, no matter how you choose to celebrate or not to celebrate Valentine's day, hope you enjoyed this short read! 
    Blue Lily Magnolia designs and makes bridal accessories, including gifts for brides to be and grooms to be. Based in Nantwich, Cheshire, UK, every item is handmade and either in very limited edition or one of a kind. A bespoke service also gives you the opportunity to have something totally individual and unique for your big day - and for other big social events in your life. 
    Photo Credit: Mr G. C. Perfect Moments, via Photopin (License)


  2. Garters: A little bit of Trivia

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    garter1The next Blue Lily Magnolia handmade collection is a range of wedding garters. Made with stretch and non-stretch laces, a bit of blue fabric (for Something Blue of course), beads, crystals and ribbon, the bridal collection will be available by the end of January / beginning on February 2017. So, in light of the current work in progress, I thought I'd check out what the Internet has to say about them for a little bit of fun trivia:

    A long long time ago... 

    ... before the advent of elastic materials, garters were worn just under the knee. 

    ... both men and women used to wear garters commonly. 

    ... they were sometimes used by ladies to carry small valuables, in place of a purse. 

    ... they used to be removed from the bride by the groomsmen as a prize at wedding ceremonies. 

    Some time ago... 

    ... in 1888 precisely, during the first long distance automotive journey, Mrs Benz's garter was used to insulate a broken wire of the vehicle, invented of course by Mr Benz. 

    ... at weddings, taking the bride's garter has some origins in the thought that taking an article of clothing of the bride would bring good luck.

    ... some believed that removing the garter was symbolic of deflowering of the bride.  

    ... garters used to be worn at proms (mostly in the US, in the 60s and 70s), and if given to the date as a souvenir, it would be hung from the rear-view mirror. 

    And today... 

    ... thankfully, groomsmen no longer rush to get it off a bride. Instead, it is taken off by the groom and tossed at the groomsmen. A bit more acceptable I say. 

    ... the groomsmen who catches the garter is traditionally supposed to put it on the leg of the lady who catches the bridal bouquet. 

    ... according to superstition, catching the garter signifies that that person will be next to be married. 

    ... with a few exceptions, most women's garters are considered non-functional, and worn only as a tradition, fashion or for dressing up, but...  

    ... men's garters are still available to hold up socks. Although they're not a very common occurrence. 

    ... prom garters are still going strong in some areas in the US; the garters are worn in a colour and style that matches the prom dress. 

    ... a 'garter and tie' dance at a prom is followed by the girl exchanging her garter with her date's tie, in a public designation of them as a couple. 

    So, whether you believe in tradition, superstition, or simply like the idea of wearing a garter, having a garter or tossing a garter for the fun of it, I hope that this little read has been interesting! Come back in a couple of weeks to check out what we have in store!! 


    Blue Lily Magnolia designs and makes bridal accessories, including bespoke items in colours and designs of your choice. My next collection is out end of January/ February 2017, a range of ivory and blue bridal garters, perfect as a gift to the bride-to-be for hen dos and hen nights, or even to build up your wedding lingerie stash. The collection will be available on my Etsy shop

    Source of trivia info: Shamelessly, Wikipedia :) 

  3. Bride, The Wedding Show, Tatton Park, 6-7 Feb 2016

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    This weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the wedding show at Tatton Park. A beautiful venue, with some great suppliers, and here are my thoughts of the event, and my favourite stands. 

    Show Overview

    The show was great, lots to see - many dress and groomswear suppliers, music suppliers, venues, food, classic cars, flowers, make-up, accessories, venue dressing, planners, and of course plenty of photographers. There are always a lot of photographers in most wedding shows, so it's great to have a look at diffent styles. Likewise, there are always plenty of dress suppliers at a show, and this was no exception. Great to browse dress styles if you are still undecided. The show was also great to find a bespoke dress designer that reflects your style - there were quite a few of them.

    However, for those who went there to try dresses on, only a handful of wedding dress suppliers had changing facilities, so for most of them, it was a display and network opportunity. I found that there was enough for me to look around (around 135 exhibitor stands), as personally I don't like to have to browse for hours, but my husband, who accompanied me with his critical eye, thought it was rather small. But that's because he's comparing with the large shows in Birmingham and London.  

    Wedding Dresses and Accessories Trends

    Wedding Dresses At Tatton ParkPerhaps because I am currently very inspired by vintage, I found quite a few vintage style dresses - 1920's styles, 1950's short full skirts, and lots of vintage inspired jewellery and accessories. This wasn't a vintage show, but the 'new' stuff was quite influenced by old styles. And there was even a fabulous vintage jewellery supplier exhibiting with gorgeous 1920's statement pieces.  

    The two piece dress was also quite popular. This is a fairly new thing, but I'm definitely seeing more and more of mock-two-pieces (a one piece dress that looks like a top and skirt), actual two pieces, crop top with a full skirt, or dress with a short top layered on top.

    White has disappeared completely from the scenes now, and even ivory is now being replaced with its darker cousins - shades of cafe latte, very light coffee, light old gold, gold, and dark vintage ivory. Beading is rife! There was lots and lots of it, in many different shades of coffee, gold and silver. Just a couple of examples are shown in the stand on the left. Matching the vintage and darker tones, there were also lots of golden hair accessories, with a vintage look.  

    Food and Venue

    In terms of cakes, another gone thing seems to be the classic fruit cake. Now it is lush salted caramel instead. Or a cheese three tiered cake. Both totally yum, depending on whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savoury. 

    And the venue decorations! Phew, I didn't see a lot of minimalists there.  Full on, decadent, bursting with quirky decorations, table and venues were definitely 'dressed' for a party. Small decorations were only accompanied by large displays (have a look at the snowy scene of orchids and hydrangeas by Red Floral Architecture below to show what I mean). And large displays were accompanied by even larger, fuller displays!  Definitely lots to take in, and get ideas from. 

     Flower display Venue dressing

    My favourite find of the day though, was menswear bespoke designer Richard Smith. How fabulous is this jacket and waistcoat set?!! That was worth the muddy walk through the fields over the rainy weekend, and the risk of our car being stuck in the mud and having to be pulled out. 

    bespoke suit Richard Smith