OFF THE RECORD: WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS….??

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Whether you are avglass half full kind of girl or glass half empty, there is no denying the power of positive thinking. This week really didn’t start out all that great for myself and Jess. We had Monday scheduled in for a day of DIY but little did we know the universe had other plans? Deliveries didn’t arrive on time and we had a complete DIY epic fail! So instead of moping around feeling sorry for ourselves, we decided to give up and turn our attention to something more positive. We got comfortable on the sofa, sat and made a list of all our plans for the next months and what we would need to do to complete them. Within hours our day had been turned on its head. We had created a mastermind DIY plan for the next month and we both left that day, feeling like we had accomplished something rather than failed. I suppose what I am trying to say is when life gives you lemons….make lemonade!

Here is what else we have been loving this week….

EMILY LOVES…

Gardening at grannies in the glorious sunshine!

Having a bad day made good! Watching back to back episodes of Pretty Little Liars in my PJ’s and having a scrummy roast dinner cooked for me by my other half. He knows how to cheer me up alright 🙂

Spending a day on the sofa planning more DIY projects than you shake a glue gun at! Funnily this is not what we had planned to do on Monday at all but gosh I am so looking forward to what we have in store for you!

Receiving pretty epic emails. Sorry to be so cryptic but lets just say our summer just got a schooled!

Eating lunch in the sun!

Seeing my Daffodils starting to bloom in the garden – they make me so happy!

JESS LOVES…

Watching Clean Bandit! I went to a gig of theirs on Monday in Birmingham and they were epic! I loved hearing them play live and getting into the party mood! 

Finishing 50 Shades Of Grey Darker, I only bought it last week and spent pretty much all day Sunday reading it, I was hooked! And it ended on such a bloody cliff hanger so now I need to go and get the third book to read! What a shame..

♥ Trying out my new shampoo, lol, I know that doesn’t sound at all exciting but hear me out…this was no ordinary shampoo! It was Lush’s seaweed shampoo bar, I have never used one of these before but can honestly say I’m never going back to shampoo in a bottle! The bar will not only last me AGES but it’s full of natural goodness which is amazing for your scalp and my hair felt so smooth afterwards! 

Spending mornings at Hannah’s, she’s one of my oldest friends and having breakfast with her is always a joy! It feels like no time has passed and we’re 13 years old again chuckling away! 

Having dinner at Moko’s in Monmouth, it’s a lovely little Mexican restaurant with one of the best Mojitos I’ve ever tasted!  

Masterchef being back on BBC One! I love that shit! 

WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOVING AROUND THE WEB…

DIYS

Photography by Tell Love and Chocolate

St. Patricks Day Cookies

DIY Kate Spade Saturday Painted Straw Placemats

Easy Rainbow Candy Pops

DIY Painted Shoes for St Patricks Day

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Off the Record: The Christmas Special!

Hey Guys! The count down is well and truly on for Christmas so this will be our last Off the Record for a couple of weeks, as we will both be off spending Christmas with our families, eating too many mince pies and drinking one too many festive tipples. This week has been pretty manic finishing off DIY projects and posts ready for the weeks that we are away as there was no way we could leave you without a daily dose of BB!

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All that is left is to wish all our wonderful readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Now go grab a cuppa and enjoy our Christmas special, there are winter weddings galore and more festive DIYs than you can shake a candy cane at… 

EMILY LOVES…

♥ Baking Gingerbread! It made me feel super festive and the house just smelt of Christmas!

♥ Batman Marathons! Mr T treated me to the box set of Batman last weekend, we sat and watched each one back to back! True Marvel and DC comic nerd over here!

♥ Finally getting round to doing some Christmas shopping. I always leave it to the last minute and it sends me into a blind panic but I thought a week beforehand was quite good going for me, so I am treating myself to a small pat on the back!

♥ Christmas catch ups with my oldest friends. We always say we shouldn’t leave it so long to see each other but somehow life always gets in the way and before we know it months have passed since we last saw each other. On the other hand that does make the times that we do see each other even more special.

♥ Milkshakes and gossiping with my old housemate Char, because sometimes a girl just needs a milkshake to make everything feel better!

♥ Receiving Christmas cards in the post! Every year I look forward to receiving a christmas card from my friends who live in Chicago. They always write me a letter telling me what everyone had been up to that year (even the dogs!)  and it always makes me so happy! I hope they know just how much it means to me that they keep in touch like that. Christmas really is the most precious time for friends & family!

JESS LOVES…

Spending a weekend in Brecon to celebrate a friends 30th Birthday, it was SO NICE to have a little pre Christmas break away in a beautiful cottage surrounded by friends! We had a hot tub too so that was a massive bonus!! 

Taking Mushu with us and letting him spend his weekend with Leah & Leeroy’s puppy Luther. They absolute loved each other!! I wish we had another puppy for Mushu all the time, he was so content! 

Playing old board games. Does anybody else do this at Christmas time? There’s something so nostalgic about sitting around a board and getting your game face on! It always gives me lots of laughs! 

Having lunch with Meg, she’s one of my closest friends but we only ever manage to see each other once every few months! It’s so ridiculous but it means that when we get together we really do have so much to catch up on over delicious food! 

Watching almost all of my favourite Christmas films! I’ve still got The Grinch to go and there’s a couple more I’ve gotta watch just one more time before the big day is upon us! 

Finally watching The Hobbit! I remember coming out of the cinema last year thinking ‘Oh my god we’ve gotta wait another year for the next one!’ then POW. Next year was here in the blink of an eye! The conclusion to the films really was epic. Legolas is an absolute babe. 

WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOVING AROUND THE WEB…

DIYS

Photography by Local Milk

Soft Brown Butter & Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls + Whiskey Eggnog Frosting

♥ Pom Pom Mini Trees

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Off the Record: Greeting New Additions, Getting Cosy, & Good Food!!!

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Eeeeek!! Can you believe it is actually December and that we are already nearly a week in! Tomorrow is my birthday and I will be turning the grand old age of 28, so this weekend will mainly be about celebrating then after that I will be on full festive mode, getting the tree up and christmas shopping! You see I refuse to get festive until after my birthday which usually results in the next week or so being a mad dash to the shops for presents and impulse buys whilst trying to get up to date with all our blog posts over the holiday period. I wish I could be a little more organised but to be completely honest  I quite enjoy the rush, it makes me feel more christmassy! Am I mad? Yes, probably! Any who here is what we have been loving this week!

EMILY LOVES…

♥ Being able to finally open my advent calendar! Yes I am 27 and yes my mum still buys me an advent calendar every year and I never want it to change! 

♥ Hot chocolate with extra Marshmallows!

♥ Cosy nights in on the sofa under a blanket reading all my BBC wildlife magazines. I seriously have a backlog of about 20 to get through before the end of the year and my subscription is renewed. I sooooo need to make more time to read!!!

♥ Having dinner cooked for me! Mr T made a veggie Sausage Casserole this week and it was seriously yum!!!

 Spending a lazy sunday walking down the harbour in Bristol and taking in the sites and smells of the christmas markets stalls. 

Meeting the new addition to our family!! My cousins little boy, baby Arlo was born last week and he is just totally adorable!!! I have completely fallen in love with him and I cant wait to have even more cuddles with him soon!

JESS LOVES…

Going to the BBC food show! Me and James went and spent the day trying all of the delicious food and drink on offer! We also got to watch John Torode and we caught a show with Gennaro Contaldo which I loved, he showed us how to cook some delicious gnocchi! 

Infused water! I’m really trying to get into it because I seriously do not drink enough water so getting creative with it is definitely helping! So far I’ve tried mint with cucumber and blackberries with sage! Tomorrow I’m going for orange, lemon and ginger! YUM! 

Starbucks hot chocolate with almonds & honey. HOLY SHIT. Try it and i’ll see you in heaven!

Napping in front of the fire with Mushu, on Wednesday afternoon my wifi went down thanks to BT and I couldn’t do anything. So I sat down in front of the fire intending to do a bit Christmas shopping from my phone then some how woke up an hour later! I must have been tired!

Spending an afternoon down Nans, we always get spoilt when we go down there, completely overfed haha! Biscuits? chocolate? cup of tea? sandwich? Oh go on then! 

This competition by Hannah Elizabeth Photography! Everybody go enter, it’s for a great cause!! 

WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOVING AROUND THE WEB…

Photography by Brittni Mehlhoff via Paper n Stitch

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10 Mistakes and Lessons Learned As A New Blogger

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Sicilian Dreams by Tom Craig for Vogue Russia, May 2013

You might have noticed that we haven’t posted our normal Wednesday Wedding inspiration today and you may be wondering why? Well due to a few errors on our part, the way in which we credit our inspiration boards is being re-evaluated, so we thought today would be perfect timing to lay a few of our cards on the table in order to help others get started on their own blogging journeys.

Life is about making mistakes. I would like to meet someone that hadn’t made a mistake in their time! Today however, we are not interested in the mistakes more the lessons learned from those mistakes and how you went about handling them. So to honour that we have outlined 10 of  the biggest mistakes that we have made or seen done in our first couple of years of blogging so that you can learn from them as well as us.

It goes without saying these mistakes will never be made again however I can’t promise that we won’t make more…

Don’t Just Blog About Your Own Brand!

When we first started Bespoke Bride I suppose we were a little unsure of how we would be received as there were already so many other wedding blogs out there. We felt like we had to get our brand out there and recognised as soon as possible, Right? Wrong! Just blogging about Bespoke Bride and weddings got very monotonous very quickly and readers were BORED! Thats right we were BORING! You need to blog about more than your brand, be more personal, explore other avenues, blog about others and if you do want to blog about your brand do it in a helpful way so that you aren’t just ‘selling’ a product.

Stay True to your Niche!

It is extremely easy to get caught up in what others in your sector are doing. We often got caught up comparing ourselves to others but this only meant that we were steering towards becoming more like them instead of finding ourselves. Becoming the same as someone else in my opinion is a recipe for disaster!

When Jess returned home from Blogcademy, we discussed exactly what we wanted for Bespoke Bride. We quickly realised that although we both wanted our blog to inspire others to have personal, original and unique weddings, our blog wasn’t conveying that in the best way, purely because we were too worried about keeping up with everyone else and fitting in. That led us to a complete rebrand with a new website and features. Now I’m not saying go and overhaul your whole blog, i’m just saying stay true to you and what you stand for.  I finally believe that now we have found our niche, we no longer compare ourselves to anyone else and it has definitely made a difference to our readers and our blogs success.

Never Send Mass Emails!

No matter how genuine they may be, if the exact same email is sent to more than one it instantly comes across as insincere. It might be a great time saver but unfortunately its not great for relationships and reputation, which as a new blogger is something you seriously need to build on.

If however, you do decide to mass email, at least make sure to change the name. I recently received an email entitled to someone else about how they really wanted their wedding to be featured on another blog – AWKWARD!

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