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Lovely Pinterest

October 5, 2012

I must apologise for my lack of blog commitment of late. Who knew a little baby could take up quite so much time. However, here I am, ready to write another entry. So, here it goes…

Mr lovelybyhanna and I recently purchased an iPad as a reward to ourselves over the sleepless nights and the huge task of being first time parents. Well done us. During said sleepless nights (spent feeding mini lovelybyhanna), I would spend what seemed like hours searching the internet on my trusted little iPhone for things to keep me awake and part of what drove our decision to upgrade to the iPad was my frustration with the little screen and inability to drool over gorgeous things on noths!

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Searching through the app store one day, I came across Pinterest. Now I’d heard about this before but had never got round to signing up. But now I have and Oh my, do I love it?! It’s basically a way of bookmarking different things that take your fancy from the world wide web. I’ve found some fabulous things already: a baby bib which reads “these fools put my cape on backwards”, an amazing recipe for hand scrub (excellent Christmas gift idea!) and a delicious recipe for the easiest peanut butter cookies known to man. I insist you sign up and get pinning. I’m actually addicted.

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely George

August 14, 2012

Well I haven’t written for a while and to be frank, I probably will find it very difficult to write anything of any sense over the coming weeks as finally, mini lovelybyhanna has arrived!

George (or Georgeous as he’s affectionately known in our household) arrived on 15th July and we’re completely in love. Sleepless nights, a house that looks like the apocalypse has hit and dirty nappies aside, we’re loving getting to know our little man so here’s a little sneak preview of the G-star himself.

I promise to write soon once I’ve managed to get dressed before 5pm – that’s the current target!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Pancakes

July 13, 2012

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote but cleaning and nesting seem to have got in the way. Still no baby (3 days overdue now – I’m starting to think it’s a bit of an attention seeker). So to pass the time, I’ve been cooking and eating some naughty things and thought I’d share with you my latest obsession – the good old American pancake!

Ingredients

135g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1/2tsp salt

2tbsp caster sugar

130ml milk (I used skimmed as in my head this made it much more healthy)

1 large egg

30g butter (melted and left to cool for a few minutes)

Toppings

Whatever you fancy but I opted for melted nutella and ice cream – this baby is going to be huge when it decides to make an appearance!

The Recipe

1. Put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk and when the butter is cool, add this in

3. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps

4. Heat a pan with a knob of butter and add a spoonful of the batter (or more if your pan is big enough). Turn the pancake once it starts to bubble. If you’re serving as a big stack, you can pop the cooked pancakes in a low oven to keep them warm.

5. Eat!!!!

These really are so easy to make – you could shake things up by adding raisins or blueberries into the batter or just keep them simple. Enjoy!

Love, Lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Photographs

June 20, 2012

I love photos. I also love having them around the house but find it increasingly difficult to find the motivation to print them now the responsibility lies with the photographer and not Boots the Chemist! Maybe that’s just me. However, when we got married last year (groan – here I go again about my wedding…), Mr lovelybyhanna and I were so excited to get our professional photos back and the printer was at the ready.

We were extremely lucky with our wedding photographer – we didn’t have to search at all because my brother and sister-in-law had found this amazing guy to do their wedding 2 years earlier and we were so impressed with both the quality of his work and how he “worked the crowd” on the day, it was a bit of a no brainer. Simon has since gone on to do the weddings of a few of our friends and we all consider him a bit of a legend – we love going to weddings where we know he’s the photographer as it’s a great chance to catch up with him and have a giggle.

They say a picture says a thousand words so rather than gush about how amazing he is and tell you if you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Hampshire (specifically) or further afield you’d be foolish not to pick this man, I’ll leave you with some of his work. Make sure you check out his website too – simply gorgeous!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Wedding Dresses

May 19, 2012

The wedding dress. Quite possibly, one of the things you’ve dreamed about since you were little but not always consciously. After Mrlovelybyhanna’s proposal had sunk in (Christmas time in New York – just perfect for me!), I started to think long and hard about the wedding dress. What would I wear? What colour would I go for? How much would it cost? Like a lot of women, I had always envisaged myself getting married in a certain style of dress. For me, that was strapless and very simple – a classic A-Line dress with little detail and a long veil. However, after spending probably hundreds of pounds on wedding magazines (which all have the same stuff in them so with hindsight might have been a slight waste of money), I found myself even more confused over the type of dress I wanted to wear. There was only one thing for it – to make a million appointments at wedding dress shops to try and find “the one”.

I decided to make the most of this and made an appointment at a rather posh designer’s shop in London and was told I didn’t need to make an appointment as they were having a sale and they would fit me in at some point on the day, providing i was happy to wait. OK I said and I trundled off with my Mum and my bridesmaids to see if they were going to come up trumps with the dress of my dreams. To cut a long story short, they didn’t. It was horrifying. As it was a sale, they didn’t believe in using changing rooms so there I was, sandwiched in between 2 disgustingly perfect petite brides-to-be, resplendent in tiny g-strings and with golden tans. I had very foolishly worn mismatching underwear and was as pale as a ghost (it was January) and had my entire entourage surrounding me, as well as the aforementioned skinny brides complete with their friends and family too. Needless to say I came out feeling very sad and had a little weep whilst berating myself for eating so much over the Christmas period. This particular shop was not going to get my custom. I was pretty humiliated.

So, the search went on and on each bridal shop excursion, I wore matching undies and remembered to preen before stripping off.

As a special treat, my gorgeous bridesmaids took me on another London trip complete with lunch at the Oxo Tower and then surprised me with an appointment at Brown’s Bride. Now let me start by saying the dresses here were very expensive and completely out of price range (I was looking at the equivalent of 6 months of mortgage payments to get one of their less expensive selections) but what an amazing experience. I tried on all sorts and when I picked up a lace backless number, I never, for one minute, thought I would like it on. I LOVED it. So much so that when I came out, we all cried. It was just so beautiful and so simple. But, it came with a £4500 price tag and if I wanted a veil, another £1200 on top of that. Ouchy.

Luckily, my sister-in-law and bridesmaid had got married the year before and had got her dress made by a lovely lady in Southampton – Shay Harris. If I could replicate the one I saw and tweak it to be perfect for my body (and also at a fraction of the price of the one at Brown’s), it was worth a try so I made an appointment and headed off to see if Shay could work her magic. As well as stocking some beautiful ready made dresses by the likes of Jenny Packham and Cymbeline, Shay is also a dab hand at making beautiful creations herself and saw no problem in trying to replicate the dress I had seen on that wonderful day in London. The time from then up until my wedding was so exciting. I loved going to see Shay and looking at all the beautiful fabric samples she had got in. Every appointment meant a more beautiful dress as new things were added or tweaked and she genuinely was the nicest lady to go through this process with.

On the day of our wedding, like most Brides I’m sure, I felt a million dollars and her attention to detail was exquisite – from the beautiful fabric to sewing in a little blue bow, I was in dress heaven. I still love my wedding dress – it’s something I will keep forever in the hope that one day, a granddaughter or great-granddaughter will want to wear it for her own wedding and feel as beautiful as I felt on that May day in 2011.

If you want your own wedding dress made – please visit Shay. She is a very lovely and talented lady!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Anniversaries

May 4, 2012

This weekend, my husband and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary and it’s made me go all mushy! That means that one year ago, I experienced the best day of my life to date – surrounded by all the people I love most in this world and making the ultimate commitment to Mr lovelybyhanna.


This first year of married life has been, and I’m sorry to come over all sickeningly smug, absolutely wonderful. Not only did we have a magical day at The Walled Gardens at Cowdray, get to experience a month travelling around Australia, become an Aunt and Uncle to the best little nephew in town, but we’re now also expecting our first child together and this has made us deliriously happy.

People say being married doesn’t make a difference but I honestly think it does – we’ve never been closer and when I find myself aimlessly looking through our wedding photos over and over (and over!) again, I count myself very lucky. If anyone’s looking for an amazing wedding photographer by the way, you have to check Simon J Coulson out – utterly brilliant!

So this blog post is dedicated to my hubby – the most wonderful man I have ever met – and all those people about to embark on married life. It really is an exciting and incredibly romantic journey.

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

PS Beware – my next few posts will all be wedding related! Lovely!

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Lovely Park House

April 22, 2012

Nearly a year ago, Mr lovelybyhanna and I got married. It was undoubtedly the best day of our lives so far and so many things made it extra special. One of those things was Park House Hotel in Bepton, Midhurst.

After much searching, we decided on staying here as our wedding venue was just down the road. Naturally, we wanted to suss out the place beforehand so we booked ourselves in for the Park House afternoon tea – you can tell a lot from this I assured my other half and he was happy to oblige. We were not disappointed. We were seated in the relaxed and informal lounge area and were treated to a whole host of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and tea and as we waddled back to the car, we knew Park House Hotel would be a great place to spend the night before and night of the wedding.

So, on Thursday 5th May, we made our way, along with 20 or so of our family and friends to Midhurst to start the wedding celebrations. As soon as we arrived, we made full use of all the facilities and played Croquet, used the Spa, had manicures and helped ourselves to the honesty bar in the main house. We had hired out all three of the on site cottages and so after a delicious meal in the barn at the hotel (which they let us use at no extra cost due to the sheer number of us) we all retreated back to our respective abodes. I loved getting ready here the morning of the wedding and loved it in the evening too where my husband and I ordered room service which we consumed, along with a glass of bubbly, in the massive en-suite bath.

We loved it so much we’ve booked to go back for our first wedding anniversary. So if you’re looking for a nice, relaxed country hotel – you should look no further. Park House Hotel is a brilliant find!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx