French Connection Tartan jacket and check ankle boots

Where did the weekend go? I think I blinked and missed it. But then most weekends pass by in a flash when I’m not working. It was certainly busy, mostly due to taking Isobel to various activities. Plus she had her friend round for a sleepover…midnight feasts, making slime, you know how it goes! I remember how much fun it was having sleepovers at that age; now I have fun with fashion rather than staying up late and having pillow fights!

I certainly found a bargain with this French Connection tartan jacket…it cost all of £5, plus the postage was free too!

I’ve always loved a charity shop or eBay bargain, but I’m now trying harder than ever to make more environmentally friendly purchases. Of course, I’m still partial to a little Asos spree once in a while, but I’m thoroughly enjoying buying preloved clothes. Bagging a bargain and being eco-friendly is a winning combination. I certainly found a bargain with this French Connection tartan jacket…it cost all of £5, plus the postage was free too!

French Connection Tartan jacket and check ankle boots

My attention turned towards tartan while thinking about what to wear for the Match Made in Seven punk theme. A few months before, I’d had my eye on a tartan biker jacket on eBay, but I didn’t get round to buying it…and then it sold. So when Nancy announced punk as the group’s first theme I was kicking myself for not snapping it up. I looked for a tartan A line skirt instead but couldn’t find one in time. In the end I wore a Sex Pistols T-shirt, leather skirt and biker boots. But once I get an idea in my head I have to see it through, so I carried on searching.

I really like the unusual mix of orange, dark red, grey and black.

As luck would have it I found this French Connection tartan biker jacket with a starting bid of just a fiver. Nobody else bid on it so it was mine! I really like the unusual mix of orange, dark red, grey and black. It pairs well with my the check print ankle boots I bought in the January sales, and I had the perfect matching accessories with the orange bag, earrings and bracelet.  I think tartan/plaid might be my latest obsession!

Thanks so much for all of your kind comments about the theft of my foxy friends, I really appreciate every one of them. Still no news I’m afraid, but we’re trying to stay hopeful.

French Connection Tartan jacket and check ankle boots, Tibi black trousers

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River Island check boots

French Connection Tartan jacket, orange bag

French Connection Tartan jacket, Mango orange resin earrings

French Connection Tartan jacket, Mango orange resin earrings

Tartan jacket and check ankle boots

French Connection jacket (from eBay, similar) | Tibi trousers (old, similar) | River Island boots (similar) | Zara hat (old, similar) | Alexia bag (old, similar) | Mango earrings and bracelet

 

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Firstly, apologies if your all “wedding-ed” out after yesterday. I managed to miss it as I was at the town’s annual Rose Fete where Isobel was dancing. Today is our 8th wedding anniversary, but it shouldn’t be. In fact it should have been April 23rd…but Mother Nature had other ideas. Ever since that debacle we’ve both struggled to remember when our anniversary actually is…thank goodness for Facebook memories 😉 So the subject of today’s post is why I missed my own wedding thanks to a volcano with an unpronounceable name.

When we got engaged I was already pregnant with Isobel. We went to Barbados when I was just into my second trimester and Pete proposed at an amazing restaurant called The Cliff. It wasn’t spontaneous – we’d already chosen a ring – but we decided to actually get engaged on his late father’s birthday. As Barbados is our “special place” we wanted to get married there too. I didn’t want a big, fancy wedding (been there done that, didn’t work out) so it made sense to get hitched on our favourite island in a small, intimate ceremony.

We were all packed and ready to go, but there was no way we were going to make it to our wedding. We were gutted.

A few friends decided to fly out so they could share our special day and have a wonderful holiday at the same time. The only family members going were both our mums. Our friends flew out about a week before we were due to go. Our wedding was booked for St George’s Day (just because it would make it easier to remember!) a couple of days before our friends were due to fly home. And then a volcano called Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland erupted and spewed thousands of tonnes of ash into the air, grounding all flights. We were all packed and ready to go, but there was no way we were going to make it to our wedding. We were gutted.

So we then had the frustrating task of contacting the airline, wedding planner and accomodation owners to schedule another date. But a few days before the rearranged wedding, the ash cloud was still affecting flights and ours was cancelled again. I was at the end of my maternity leave and had no choice but to go back to work while we rearranged it all yet again. At one point Pete had maxed out his credit card booking flights for the five of us before any refunds had come through. Thankfully we were granted some additional leave from work to make a third attempt at getting hitched (third time lucky?) and it was booked for 20th May.

When we arrived at the hotel near Gatwick airport the night before the flight the sky was eerily quiet.

That pesky volcano hadn’t quite done tormenting us though, because just before we were due to leave there was another smaller eruption. When we arrived at the hotel near Gatwick airport the night before the flight the sky was eerily quiet. Pete hardly slept worrying that we might be thwarted yet again. At the airport terminal there were flight disruptions, but luckily not ours. When the plane finally left the tarmac I think we all let out an enormous sigh of relief. Pete actually threw up (sorry, too much information?).

There was no fuss; we drove ourselves there and didn’t have a photographer…I bought my wedding dress for £40 on eBay!

Instead of the usual eight hour flight, it took 13 hours to get there due to having to take a different route. Not that we cared. We made it to Barbados and that was all that mattered. The wedding planner was super helpful and made sure everything on the day went to plan. The only thing she couldn’t prevent was Isobel crying through the ceremony (not sure they were tears of joy!). We said our vows on the lookout point of Welchman Hall Gully, a little spot of stunning natural beauty on the island. There was no fuss; we drove ourselves there and didn’t have a photographer…I bought my wedding dress for £40 on eBay! Afterwards we had a simple meal at a restaurant overlooking the rugged East coast.

After lunch we headed back to the Royal Westmoreland estate (where we’d rented a house) and enjoyed a rum punch in the club house. Royal Westmoreland is a world-renowned golf course, and is popular with footballers and other sporting types. We ended up sharing the communal pool with ex-footballer Robbie Savage and his family. When we had dinner at a very nice restaurant called Tides on the last night of our holiday, he was also there and sent a bottle of champagne over to our table. I thought that was a lovely gesture 🙂

So we got there in the end, after a lot of stress and uncertainty, but it was all worth it. We’ve celebrated our anniversary today with lunch at a local gastro pub which has just introduced a vegan menu 🙂

Do you have any unusual wedding stories? If you do please share them in the comments!


 

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Highlights of 2017 and Plans for 2018 wildlife diary

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were seeing in 2017, but here we are on the last day of the year already. I’ve been thinking about my highlights of 2017 and plans for 2018 (I don’t do resolutions – too much pressure!). I’ve had some great times over the last year, and have been lucky enough to go abroad four times. We went to Abu Dhabi in February, and despite my reservations, I absolutely loved it. So much so that we’re going back in April!

Highlights of 2017 and Plans for 2018 Abu Dhabi, Brittany, Zurich, Marathon du Medoc

Then in September we travelled to Bordeaux where I took part in the Marathon du Medoc, runnning through vineyards and swigging wine along the way.

Over the summer holidays we made our annual visit to my dad’s in Brittany, followed by five days in Switzerland with friends. Then in September we travelled to Bordeaux where I took part in the Marathon du Medoc, runnning through vineyards and swigging wine along the way. The weather was wild, the wine was good and my aches and pains were many. But it was worth it.

Highlights of 2017 and Plans for 2018 foxes, young squirrel, hedgehog

As soon as I walked in I knew I wanted to work there. Six months later I’m still going once a week and love every minute of it.

The one thing that has made the biggest change in my life has been volunteering at a local wildlife hospital. Although it’s only a 20 minute drive away, I didn’t know it existed until a pigeon nest fell out of our willow tree. My husband searched on the internet for somewhere to take the squab (young pigeon) that had survived the crow attack. Unfortunately it’s sibling had died, but thanks to Google we found the perfect place to take our little feathered friend. As soon as I walked in I knew I wanted to work there. Six months later I’m still going once a week and love every minute of it.

Highlights of 2017 and Plans for 2018 eagle owl, swallow chick, peregrine

This time last year I never thought I would be handfeeding baby squirrels, caring for birds of prey and giving hedgehogs injections!

Through working at the wildlife hospital I’ve learned so much, and there’s so much more I want to learn. This time last year I never thought I would be handfeeding baby squirrels, caring for birds of prey and giving hedgehogs injections! Then again, I didn’t think I could stick to a vegan diet, but almost two months on (and after my first vegan Christmas) I’m sure I’ll never go back to eating animal products.

Then of course there are the beautiful foxes who I could spend all day watching. I’ve always been opposed to any type of hunting, but spending time with these beautiful, shy and intelligent creatures has stiffened my resolve to fight foxhunting. The current law has too many loopholes to secure convictions, and the evidence-gathering is left solely to hunt monitors and saboteurs. In 2018 I plan to get more involved with animal rights groups and help protect our precious wildlife.

After six and a half years of blogging, I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere.

This last year has been one of steady growth for the blog and my social media channels. After six and a half years of blogging, I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere. As I mentioned in my post about why I started blogging, the first three or so years were a bit of a non-starter. Since moving the blog to WordPress I’ve been much more motivated, and even plucked up the nerve to enter the UK Blog Awards. I don’t expect to be shortlisted, but I wanted to at least try.

But my main goal for the blog is to be more organised, spend less time on Instagram and more time visiting other blogs.

Almost a year ago I started my Tuesday Style With a Smile link up, and more recently, this Sunday Reflections link up. For 2018 I want to continue to write more thought-provoking content, in addition to the outfit posts. Hopefully there will also be opportunities for me to write travel posts, about places in the UK as well as overseas destinations. But my main goal for the blog is to be more organised, spend less time on Instagram and more time visiting other blogs. My recent post on why cheating on Instagram hurts brands and bloggers generated quite a lively discussion. It’s obvious I’m not the only blogger frustrated by the ever-moving goal posts of IG.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy and I haven’t had much time to respond to comments, visit other blogs and link ups, but I do read all of your comments and really appreciate every one of them. Over this coming year I plan to devote more time to making new connections and nurturing existing ones. If I’m really lucky I may even get to meet up with some of you! Blogger meet ups are the best 🙂

So those are my highlights of 2017 and plans for 2018. What are your top moments from the last year? What plans/goals/resolutions do you have for 2018? Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! 🙂


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