Archive for the ‘Lovely Things’ Category

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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 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 Trumpette

April 4, 2012

One of the best things about babies is there squishy little legs. FACT. So imagine my excitement and levels of gushiness when I came across the cutest accessories for the footsies of little ones…Trumpette.

Now Mrlovelybyhanna and I don’t know what flavour our little one is yet and we’re not planning on finding out until the day he/she decides to make an appearance but the one reason I would pray for a girl is so I can dress her in these little socks and tights…with bows! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind what we have but if we do get a pink variety, I am straight on the Trumpette website to order plenty of these. I’ll also get some if we have a boy so Trumpette will benefit either way and so will our lovely offspring when their feet are the talk of the town.

It’s hard to pick a favourite but if you were to force me, I would have to say the Lucia’s and the Toddler Lucy’s for the girls and the Classic Johnny’s and Cowboy socks for the boys. Adorable. They appear to come beautifully packaged too, which if you know me, you’ll know I’m a sucker for a nice gift box. Come on mini lovelybyhanna, as soon as you come, we’ll buy you some of these!

Check out the website now (or check out Amazon if buying in the UK)!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Joolz

March 27, 2012

Ahhhh buggies. Or pushchairs. Or is it prams? To be honest, I’m not really sure what the correct term is but Mr lovelybyhanna and I were recently at that difficult stage of choosing one of these baby transporters and to be perfectly frank, it was all a bit stressful. I mean – where do you begin?

There are your Bugaboos, your Quinnys, your Mamas and Papas and Maclarens to name but a few and deciding between them based on appearance alone can be pretty tough. Unfortunately for us, we discounted Bugaboo pretty early on – we had to – the price for the basic model was akin to the cost of a small family car and as much as I tried to convince my Husband we could all fit in one, he wasn’t having any of it. He also said that for the cost, they felt a bit flimsy although I think he was just trying to make me feel better on that one. So there we were in buggy hell – traipsing from shop to shop testing out the various wheels on offer when one weekend, we were visiting friends in Kingston and just happened to find ourselves in the baby department at Bentalls (it’s funny – this keeps on happening!). Suddenly, our attention was grabbed by a pretty cute looking offering from Dutch company, Joolz. We were intrigued and so went over for a closer look where the sales assistant pushed all sorts of buttons and bent the pram into all sorts of shapes before our very eyes. We were impressed but rather than inflict any more baby related paraphernalia on our friends that day, we took a brochure and promised to geek up when we got home to our house the following day (that didn’t happen – we were both on our phones pretending to check text messages as soon as we got back to our friends house).

A couple of weeks later, we decided to take a trip to Baby 2000 in Portsmouth to have a more thorough look at the Joolz Day and see if anything else caught our eye. They had a brilliant amount on offer but we were still mostly impressed by the Joolz pram – we loved the simple design of the cot attachment (and this came included in the price rather than having to add it on at an additional cost) and the fact that the pram is designed not only for the baby but also for the parents. There’s quite a bit of emphasis on the taller parent (although it is suitable for normal height people too!) and as Mr lovelybyhanna and myself are taller than average, this really appealed. The handle is fully adjustable and the seat also has an adjustable footrest for the baby so if you have tall offspring, they too are accommodated.

We loved it and so decided this was the one for us but now what colour? To be honest, this wasn’t a huge decision – I had my heart set on the Sand colour and although my husband preferred the Silver, we reached a compromise with him getting his black chassis and wheels and me getting the Sand. Success! So the order was placed and the lovely people at Baby 2000 (Hannah and Karen specifically) even threw in the cup holder as they’d overheard me banging on about how much I needed it (I will be living off coffee from what people have told me). Now just to wait for it to arrive – we cannot wait and would recommend you all check out the Joolz website if you’re expecting (or are just planning for the future)!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx

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Lovely Mums

March 12, 2012

It’s coming up to that day most Mothers love where they are besieged with love, attention and usually presents galore – yes, this Sunday is Mothering Sunday.

I always struggle with what to get despite every shop cramming in as much Mum related paraphernalia as possible so it’s always quite a stressful time of the year (along with Birthday’s and Christmas – so the whole year then!). I love getting all the lovely catalogues through my door from companies such as Cox and Cox or Notonthehighstreet.com and flicking through, mentally picking out what I could buy for my Mum but typically, I leave it until the last minute and end up rushing to buy some Chanel No. 5 product and a bunch of flowers, which I know she still loves. Flowers are a popular gift for occasions such as these – who doesn’t love having a beautifully colourful and fragrant masterpiece on proud display? But recently, I came across a fabulous place in Romsey, Hampshire which sells the most beautiful garden roses which make the most wonderful of gifts.

There are some cracking roses for Mother’s Day too with names, such as “Mum’s blessing“, “Mama Mia” and “Lovely Lady“. If you’re really lucky, you may find a rose with the same name as your Mum – just type in a name and see what comes up! They make fabulous gifts (I know as we presented the Mum’s with a “Mum’s blessing” rose at our wedding last year rather than a bunch of flowers that would sadly end up in the bin after a week or so) and will last for as long as your Mum looks after it, which with most roses, is quite an easy task providing they’re planted up properly.

Mum's Blessing Rose

If you’re looking for gifts for other occasions, such as birthday’s, new babies and even retirements, Pockocks Roses of Hampshire is the place for you. They’re a bargain too at around £10.

If you’re struggling – I really recommend buying your mum or that special person a rose this Mothering Sunday – she’ll love you for it and so will your Bank Manager!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx