OFF THE RECORD: SNORKELLING, SELF LOVE & SEEING STARS!

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Wow! Can you believe that it is already the end of July? Seriously where has the time gone. It feels like forever since I was sat on that beach in Mexico having the time of my life. Not saying that i’m not having the time of my life at home too, because I really am. Just everything always feels better in the sun! I have to admit I am just a little bit excited about August though, we have 1 or 2 pretty big secrets to let you in on but for now I have to stay schtum. So for the time being grab yourself a cuppa and settle down with this months Off the Record and I must warn you, you might get a little bit of holiday envy as it includes a fair few Insta pics of Jess living it up in the Dominican. Enjoy!

EMILY LOVES…

Mexico! I know, I know, I pretty much haven’t stopped talking about it since I have been back but it was so amazing, I can’t stop thinking about it and even now I still have more photos to post on Instagram. Its just the happiest place I have ever been, the people, the colours,everything just makes your feel so alive! I made some unforgettable memories there this time and it will forever be in my heart! Make sure you read my Travel Guide if you are thinking about going and check out my Video Diary too!

♥ New opportunities! As many of you will know we have been working on creating a new sister site for Bespoke Bride for a couple of years now. Unfortunately the project has encountered a few delays along the way but you will be pleased to know it hasn’t stopped us and these last couple of months we have been really working our butts off to get the new site ready for a soft launch within the next month or so. it hasn’t been an easy journey but I really think all the hard work will have been worth it when you see what we have created. 

Oliver Bonas! A couple of days after I got back from Mexico I was on my way to London with Emily (Mermaid Gossip) to the launch of the Oliver Bonas, Christmas in July event! We both had so much fun, drinking cocktails & checking out the new range. Believe me when I say I could have bought everything in that store. I am such a huge fan! You can see the video Emily created here.

Booking more holidays! Ok so I have just got back from Mexico, how could I possibly be booking another holiday. Well  the truth is, I needed a holiday to get over my last one. Anyone else feeling that? 

Having Dinner with friends! I love our monthly catch ups, it so surprising what can happen in a few weeks. 

The new series of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. Seriously Wednesday’s cannot come quick enough!

JESS LOVES…

♥ The Dominican Republic! I’ve never been to this part of the Caribbean before and it sure is beautiful! We’re currently staying in La Romana which is in the east of the island and it’s all Palm trees on the beach and white sands! I can’t wait to share it properly with you but for now you can see a few cheeky snaps on our instagram!

Reading! So far I’ve devoured 2 books on this holiday; Grey & Paper Towns and I’m currently reading Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love which is amazing! It’s so lovely having time to read, I definitely want to make sure I continue this habit once I’m home! 

Snorkelling! We got our snorkelling gear on after being here for a few days when we visited an island called Saona! We also got to see some starfish which is pretty cool!

Drinking straight from a coconut on a beach. Best feeling ever!

♥ Visiting the capital, Santo domingo. It’s such a beautiful city with so many gorgeous colorful buildings! Naturally I was in my element trying to photograph them all!

Adding the final touches to the boutique that you’ll see here soon! We’re almost ready for the beta stage guys and you are going to LOVE IT!! It’s very fun, easy to use and is going to be filled with lots of awesome products and suppliers for you to shop! I’m so excited!! 

WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOVING AROUND THE WEB…

DIYS

Photography by Jeff Mindell via Studio DIY

♥ Fun & Funky Hood Ornaments

DIY Flamingo Wall Hooks

A Pink & Orange Ombre Hair DIY

Wooden Pineapple Bowls Makeover

Printed Party Favor Bags Using Natural Sunlight 

A Vibrant Colour Coded Party Packed with DIY Ideas & Printables

Giant Diamond Wedding Card Box

♥ 60 Creative DIY Planters

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OFF THE RECORD: BIRTHDAYS, BLOGGING EVENTS & BEING IN MEXICO!

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WOW, Seriously, where did June go?! I feel like this month has been kind of a whirlwind / roller coaster! We have been very busy little bees attending the Blogcademy, Blogtacular, The Hub & on top of that Emily has jetted off to gorgeous Mexico and I’m off to the Dominic in a couple of weeks so we’ve been working extra hard to ensure there’s lots of delicious content for you to devour when we’re away! It truly has been one AWESOME month! Here’s what we’ve been loving about June…

JESS LOVES…

Styling and attending the Blogcademy! We’re going to be sharing more on this soon but it was such an awesome experience to attend the class again and get a refresher! Me and Em came away so inspired again and can’t wait to get cracking on some new ideas we have!

Having BBQs! I went to two this past weekend and I just really bloody love being able to sit outside, eating yummy food and drinking fruity cider while being surrounded by friends! We all had so much fun and I can’t wait for many more in the summer!

Going to Blogtacular with Cricut, we got to show off the awesome machine to lots of craft bloggers and they were just as amazed as we were once we first discovered it! It was also super interesting to sit in on talks with Pinterest and Grace Bonney from Design Sponge! 

Talking at The Hub, this event was really inspiring to be a part of and we were so honoured when asked to speak there! The wedding industry really needed an event like this and I’m so glad it’s now been created! Not only was it filled with fantastic women talking about all aspects of business, blogging and the industry but the decor was also epic and the food was super yum! I mean who doesn’t love an event that has a scheduled tea and cake time?! 

Celebrating my birthday! Me and the girls headed to the rum bar in Chepstow and totally indulged in the cocktails! It was ace to spend the evening laughing and dancing! James also took me out to my favourite Italian restaurant (San Carlo in Bristol) and I had THE BEST pasta ever! It was called the trio of pasta and the chef randomly selects 3 different dishes for you try, needless to say they were all amaze!

Seeing my sister having the time of her life! She’s in America for around 6 months teaching kids rock climbing and zip lining at a summer camp and it looks so fun! I am so desperate to go out there and see her!

EMILY LOVES…

♥ Well it’s obvious that top of my love list this month has to be that I am currently on my hols in Mexico! We are having the most amazing time, the weather is just beautiful and I am feeling thoroughly relaxed! 

♥ Our hotel here is pretty damn awesome, it is set in the middle of a jungle and is surrounded by wildlife, which is pretty much my dream. We wake every day to an iguana at our patio window and then walk through a forest to breakfast where we have seen howler monkeys, deer and possum type things that I am yet to fully identify?

♥ Visiting my favourite theme/wildlife park in the whole world ‘Xcaret’! We have been here before but we couldn’t resist visiting a second time. It is such an amazing place, surrounded by all types of wildlife, jungle and underground rivers it was so much fun! My favourite part has to be watching the voladores de papantla or flying men. Five men start at the top of a 60ft pole playing music with sticks and whistles and then they perform all sorts of crazy moves like jumping on top of the poll on one foot and leaning of the edge whilst playing the whistles, all completely unaided, until eventually four of the men fall over the edge tied to ribbon and the spin and spin until the reach the ground. If you have no idea what I am talking about YouTube them, you will be amazed!

♥ Watching the end of night Mexican show! I loved learning all about he Mayan history and cultures in different parts of Mexico.

♥ Exploring Xelha, snorkelling in a massive lagoon, swimming in cenotes and the highlight was riding a zip bike over the jungle canopy!

♥ Swimming with Whale Sharks!! I have sooooo wanted to do this again after swimming with them in Maldives last year! This time we saw 2 and we were able to swim with them 3 times as they stuck to the same area feeding! It was epic!! if you have ever have the chance do it, they are the most amazing creatures and the sheer size of them is astounding!

WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOVING AROUND THE WEB…

DIYS

♥ When Life Gives You Lemons: DIY Lemon Photo Booth (Above photos by Jeff Mindel via Studio DIY)

Tulle Circle Skirt

Teacup Garland 

Mixed Metallic Succulent Table Runner

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OFF THE RECORD: FLOWERS, FILMS & FUN!

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Happy Friday you lovely lot! Me and Emily are currently in Cardigan after spending yesterday at the Snap Photography Festival! I love our little road trips we have, they always result in lots of laughs, good music, junk food and an awful lot of singing! (Speaking of which, you can see our road trip to Brighton here if you like!) We’ll be sharing more about the festival next week so keep your eyes peeled! For now though, here’s what else we’ve up to this week and loving in the blogosphere…

JESS LOVES…

Having a family board games night! I spent Saturday night playing Cluedo and Jenga with my sister and my parents! It was alot of fun, I forgot how much I bloody love a good old fashion board game!

Spending the day in Clevedon with Lyd! We explored, walked along the seaside and ate pub lunch outside in the sunshine! 

Watching the new Fast & Furious Film, I’ve been watching these films since I was about 13 so they always have some sort of nostalgia involved with me! Naturally I was all emotional at the end of this film though.

Reading outside with a cup of tea, it’s been sooooooo nice to be able to relax and get lost in a good book with the sun beaming down on my back! 

Using my Easter bath bomb, it was the golden egg and boy oh boy it did not disappoint!! My skin felt so smooth and buttery afterwards and the water was shimmering gold for the entire bath! 

Making plans for the summer! Glastonbury tickets go back on sale this Sunday and I’m praying I can get my hands on some! I’ll also hopefully be spending some time in France and the Dominican Republic later in the year so I’m getting super excited!! 

EMILY LOVES…

♥ Catching up with my cousin and her beautiful little boy Arlo! He is such a cutie, I could have played and snuggled with him all day!

Long walks in the sun with Mr T, then coming home to a delicious cooked dinner – simple things!

Spending the day with Jess making lots of beautiful DIY  floral pieces. I am so pleased with how they all turned out and everytime I look at them they make me smile. Is it just me or do flowers have that effect?

Having the first BBQ of the year! Ok so it was still slightly cold and the wind starting blowing a gale halfway through cooking but it was sunny and that was all that mattered!

Receiving cute invitations in the post for our friends baby shower! 

Watching Horrible Bosses 2! I loved the first one and just hadn’t gotten round to watching the second one yet, but it was definitely worth a watch, very funny and Jennifer Aniston had me in stitches!

WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOVING AROUND THE WEB…

DIYS:

DIY Beach Ball Backdrop (Above photos by Jared Smith via Sugar and Cloth)

Painted Popsicles

Fresh Flower Sticks

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OFF THE RECORD: HENS, HOUSES & HAPPY EGGS!

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I really do hate starting these posts by talking about the weather and I realise it is totally unoriginal, but my gosh, for those of you living in the UK, hasn’t it been glorious? It is amazing what a difference a little bit of sunshine can make. suddenly everyone seems so much more happier, friendlier even? Everything comes to life and there are gorgeous colours everywhere! I really think Spring is the most beautiful time of  year! If you are a blogger you will also appreciate the fact that you get so many more hours of natural daylight which just makes your life so much easier, not forgetting to mention you can actually work outside too, which is great for creativity as you finally get to see what is beyond your front door for a change! Fingers crossed the sun is here for the long haul, because I am rather enjoying being this chipper! Here is what else we have been loving this week…

EMILY LOVES…

Saturday Night was the first of two hen nights planned for one of my oldest friends. We had so much fun, drinking cocktails and dancing the night away. I feel so fortunate to still have her in my life after 24 years of knowing each other 🙂

I am not going to lie Sunday was mostly spent recovering and eating lots of mini eggs, but I still managed to pull myself together that evening for an awesome dinner cooked by our wonderful friends. They went through lots of effort to make sure they cooked not one, but two separate veggie dishes for me – I was very spoilt and even took home a doggie bag!

Heading to Elan Valley for a Bank Holiday date with Mr T. We visited 4 of the 6 dams, which were all absolutely amazing. Surrounded by the most beautiful valleys, green hills and lots of wildlife. I was seriously in my element and I cant wait to go back in the summer!

Finding random colourful houses! If you follow us on Instagram, you know we basically have an obsession with anything colourful and painted houses is definitely high up on the list of things we love the most. So you can imagine my excitement when I spotted a purple & yellow house in the middle of small village in Wales, that looked like a Cadburys Creme Egg, on Easter Weekend of all the times. Fate!

Did I mention eating Easter Eggs, Mini eggs and Cream eggs? Basically any chocolate egg in general?

Painting our garden furniture the brightest shade of Pink! First up on my list was an old rocking chair I was given by my nan which I have threatened to restore and paint for over a year now! I finally got round to painting it this week and next weekend I will making it into an outdoor planter. I can’t wait to share the results with you!

JESS LOVES…

Going out for the evening with my sister! We got all dressed up and may have had one too many mojitos! 

 Receiving Easter goodies from LUSH! I was well and truly spoilt not only with chocolate eggs but with egg themed bath bombs too! I can’t wait to run myself a bath and try out the golden egg covered in glitter! 

♥ Going for picnics in the sunshine! Me and James headed down to Symonds Yat for the afternoon, took a couple of baguettes with us and enjoyed our lunch sitting my the river, it was bliss! 

Watching Paddington, I absolutely LOVED this film! (I’m just a big kid at heart! and was laughing all of the way through!) That bear really loves marmalade! 

Spending an evening having a Walking Dead Marathon (Quite the comparison to Paddington I know!!), I’ve finished all of them now but my sister has just started so I keep crashing in on her watching Series 2, it’s just so goddam good I could easily watch them all again! 

Creating our DIYS outside! Yay!! I absolutely love it when we get to work outside photographing our DIYs in natural light with the sunshine on our back, it’s such an awesome feeling! I wish we would work outside all year long with the weather like that all the time! 

WHAT WE’VE BEEN LOVING AROUND THE WEB…

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