Tag Archives: Shopping

An Easter Bonanza.

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Boy am I tired. It is just past 830PM, Sunday and I am already tucked up into bed with Eleanor asleep next to me. I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a busy weekend in all my years. Trying to squeeze in visiting, birthdays, lunch dates and a whole host of other activities, all with a teething baby is not easy going.

I hope this post isn’t as dark as my previous. I am generally in better spirits this past week than  I have been, with holidays approaching and a general need to keep busy, I’m happy to say that I feel a little more like my old self. Long may it continue, it’s really time to enjoy the days and the moments that I have and share with family, there is no time to allow sadness to consume my thoughts.

Easter weekend started on a high, Friday night Euan had finished up work for the weekend and we had a wee Easter egg hunt around the home after dinner. Just a little bit of fun that killed a half hour and followed by a glass of red with some chocolate of course.

It wasn’t a late one as we had an early start on Saturday morning. I recall managing around three sips of my wine before retiring for the night. Days have changed, that is a given.

Saturday morning,  we rised bright and early (thank you, Eleanor) , got ourselves breakfast before heading out on a very, busy day. A bank appointment in the morning to open our first joint account.. Hello adult world. Followed by a drive through coffee stop while heading out to Stonehaven to visit our nephew on his birthday.

We said our hellos, passed Eleanor around and best of all, unleashed our inner child and played with all of Toby’s toys, train set included! Saturday afternoon at it’s finest. I really do enjoy visiting family, I find that you always leave feeling happy and refreshed. With so little time for visiting and seeing everyone that we would like to, it is nice to preserve that time and just enjoy being in the company of our family and loved ones.

Our nephew had a wonderful day and was in great spirits, full of excitement on his birthday which was lovely to see. We stayed for around two hours and headed home for a spot of lunch. A brief pit stop before doing the holiday shop which felt like a bit of a supermarket sweep. There were tantrums,  tears a plenty and there were moments where I was close to pulling my hair out. Have you ever had a domestic with your partner in a supermarket? My stress levels through the roof and patience thin.

Saturday afternoon as mentioned, called for a trip to the Boots store to gather holiday supply’s for ourselves and Eleanor. We needed to gather some bits and bobs to add to the suitcase, general health supplies really with some baby food pouches just in case. I can now happily say that I’ve finally packed my suitcase and I am ready to engage holiday mode and relax knowing that I have got all I need from my list. I am as organised as can be, on paper. That doesn’t mean come the trip this will be the case, I am sure there will be some bumps In the road. For now, time to zip everything up and forget about the enjoy the next week of chilling before we head off on an adventure.

In the evening, with it being such a crazy day we decided to grab some chips from the chip shop and have a glass of wine, the desire to wind down and have an early night was insane. What a busy Saturday, I don’t think we caught five minutes of chill time between us! At dinner, we had a bit of a shenanigans – the cherry on top, I believe. Eleanor projectile vomited her dinner all over and we require a full strip off and good hose down of the kitchen and ourselves. Yuck. With the stress of cleaning up a kitchen full of sick, to the teething woes and the days hustle and bustle, we gave up all hope on a sophisticated dinner.  Chipper chips drowned in vinegar and wine would have to suffice. Boy did that do the trick and there were no complaints.

Come Sunday we woke feeling far more relaxed and chilled after a good sleep. It was early doors again as Eleanor wakes around 630AM but this was okay as we had a fresh start and a second day of running around. In the morning we got ourselves sorted to head out for the day, with a trip to the Carmelite to pay off some of our wedding function  to kick start the day nicely. It is always a good day when we take a trip to pay some more wedding off, I suppose it gets the excitement flowing. With less than six months to go, we had better get making plenty of trips with payment or nobody will be getting their dinner.

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ZaraAfter this, we headed up to the local shops and had a nosey around the Disney store and of course my all time favourite, Topshop. We had a wee haul and then decided to grab some lunch, it was a nice day and the sun was shining. This called for Mackies ice cream parlour, it was Euan’s call and lunch was on me, an early birthday treat.

I opted for crepes with banana ice cream, smarties and peanut butter sauce, Euan went with a waffle, lemon ice cream and chocolate sauce. All very delicious and filling. If this wasn’t an Easter treat, I don’t know what is.

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I suppose you could say that we were rolling all the way home. Thank goodness that I had the pram to push and use as a support aid. On our travels, we stopped by the Waterstones store to get some holiday reading material then carried on our walk home in the sun. We definitely got the best of the good weather for a change.

Again, a non stop type of day, when we reached home, we did relax and wind down for a while before nipping out on a lidl run to grab nappies come evening. I wasn’t feeling too great,  call it a sugar crash or fatigue, I do not know but one thing is certain, I was done in. After some cheese toasties (with a side of pasta) for dinner, I called it a night and went to bed.

Although a poor sleep and a general feeling of unwell, today marks the beginning of a new week. This week my goal is to relax as much as I can to prepare for the pending holiday which I am sure will be pretty full on. We have a day up at my Mum’s tomorrow with little else on the cards. If I am lucky, it will be a week of napping, gallons of coffee and trash TV. Hello pawn stars repeats!

I Hope that everyone has had a lovely Easter and made time for family and room for some indulgence. Treating yourself once in every while really can make all the difference to your mood, besides who doesn’t love a sugar fix? I am off with Eleanor to nap, enjoy your week whatever you may be up to.

 

Keren x

Babies first… Mother’s Day weekend.

Can you believe the time of year already? I am shocked at how rapidly time is passing with this new year, as we enter those Spring months. I haven’t seen much of Spring yet, though.

Snow, rain, sleet, wind..yep..the Beast from the East got that lot covered but no hints of Spring which is a little disappointing. Here is hoping that the flowers begin to bloom and everything starts to become a little brighter. I’m so ready to be over with the Winter, to pack away the heavy duty clothing and to see the World come to life once more. I’m ready to regain the spring in my step and to watch the lambs bound around the fields nearby.

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March marks the month of Mother’s Day, an occasion that is celebrated all around the World and for good reason. March brings with it my little Sisters birthday, Females all around celebrate International Women’s day. but most importantly, March also brings to us Mothers, Mothers day. May we celebrate the women in our lives, praise our Mother’s and feel a sense of pride as we Mother our own young. March is the month of girl power, for sure. An incredible month for celebrating strong women all around.

This year round, I had the privilege to celebrate my first Mothering Sunday which I will share the details of with you. My little bebe is now six months old and in her short time with us, I’ve never felt happier. Eleanor was meant to be mine and brings with her a daring amount of responsibility. She is a privelige to Mother no matter how tough some days can be.

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My journey into Motherhood has not been easy, I’ll never deny just how tough I’ve found this time. I had a difficult labour, the cluster feeding left me feeling drained, we’ve had the crushing effects of colic and reflux, a needy baby who wants to be held and will not sleep alone or even be left in the care of anyone other than myself without a drama. I battle with a feisty, breast fed baby every day who refuses a bottle point blank and screams each time I put her down or into her stroller. I can’t get a out alone often as it’s not worth the battle or the cries that do not end, it beings too much stress.

I have to go to bed at 10pm each night wether I like it or not. I cannot watch any movies or cuddle up with Euan, I have to lay in bed awake and nurse Eleanor to sleep. I could stay up, but she will scream, it doesn’t stop. Don’t even mention control crying, we have tried and I can assure you, there is nothing controlled about it.

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My little Eleanor, my Snugs, is full of personality, full of strength, full of temper, charisma and might. Each day with her, I learn more about myself than I could ever imagine. My baby girl has taught me true love, she’s taught me patience, she’s taught me a sense of compassion and flexibility. She’s taught me how strong I can be and how amazing the human body is. Not only do I teach her, but she teaches me.

I couldn’t be more honoured or grateful to be Mother to such a strong willed little girl. It is an exceptional privilege to hold her, to nurse her, to love her and to see the love and the pureness in her eyes as she looks at me. I only wish I could see the world through her eyes.

To watch her grow will be a whole new level of amazement and I’m sure there will be many challenges to come. After six months of playing Mum, I am now confident within my Patenting abilities (to an extent) and I know that as a family we can over come any challenge together and move forward through each stage.

It’s been a busy weekend celebrating and I can finally catch a break to have a coffee and write a post. On Saturday, I headed out with the females of the family for an afternoon tea to ring in my sister’s birthday. Saturday was pouring of rain and cold, I was dropped off by Euan and I met with my Mum, Sister, Aunt and Cousin at the City centre and we then headed off to the chosen venue for our tea and a catch up. Euan went to the cinema as he waited for us to finish and got us back home after. Eleanor was with me also, though sleeping in her stroller.. this didn’t last ten minutes once we got to our seats.

We went to the Carmelite.. our Wedding reception venue, only I didn’t make the call to go here, it was my Sister’s choice. The hotel was busy with parties of Women and families, I assume celebrating Mother’s Day. The table we were placed at was rounded and made for easy communication. The tea/coffee was served promptly and we all dined on a variety of sandwiches, cakes and scones. Lush.

I had a veggie option and had tomato sandwiches, a small mug of soup and snacked on the sweet treats. The variety on display was great and we all had plenty to choose from. My Sister had a great time and that was the main thing, it was her day after all. Eleanor was a grouch, mot untypical of her right now with an ear infection and teething. Nothing would settle her when she became feisty and tired, not even a feed. I had to call it quits and leave a little early.

Though most of my time was spent trying to entertain Eleanor and stressing over her cries, I still had a lovely time and it was good to catch up in a setting away from home.Besides, I am a sucker for an afternoon tea.If you haven’t already guessed, coffee and cake is my kryptonite.

Come Sunday, I woke in a great mood next to my two best friends in the World. Happy Mothers day to me! We had morning cuddles and took it easy before heading out for a latte to kick start the day. The sun was shining so we grabbed our dog Fern too who happily obliged to come along for the walk. I do love a slow paced morning where there is no rush and no plans to commit too. Just me and my family against the World.

We got back from the trip and spent the afternoon doing chores while working through a Wedding song playlist which we have created for the day. We will have no DJ or live band but can play music from our own device freely. With the wedding just months away, we decided to get going and create the playlist to have ready and adapt if necessary.

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Late afternoon, we headed  to Tesco to grab flowers before going up to my Mum’s house for a second birthday tea. Only, I left empty handed as the shelves were stripped of any flowers. There was nothing left, it’s a good job that I had already gifted my Mum with a print or she may have been saddened by this outcome. At Mums we had a full table of snacks and goodies, Mum always goes all out on a Birthday, no matter what age,

This time there was a huge cake for the taking. Homemade carrot cake? Don’t mind if I do!! We all tucked in to juice, snacks, pizza, egg rolls.. you name it. I’ve definitely gained the lbs this weekend. Thank god for breastfeeding and the magic calories it burns, otherwise I’d not be able to maintain a slim frame. Eleanor played in her bouncer that was set up and was happy to be passed around for cuddles..until she became grizzly and wanted nothing more than milk..typical. My Grandad had a hold of her and she burst into tears! Drama Queen.

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Heading home we left with a full tummy, a full heart and an even fuller bag of goodies that was packed up for us, courtesy of Mum (a serial feeder). I always love to spend time at Mum’s with my Brothers and Sister, it brings a sense of nostalgia and I always feel at home, it is as though I had never left. It is comforting for me to be back in my comfort zone and childhood hang out, only in very different circumstances. I love to see my Family with Eleanor and interacting with her as she grows, the more that I age and grow, the more precious I believe family to be.

Back home, we created the last of our playlist and had a brief listen before I went off to bed with my baby for a big sleep. A weekend well spent brings a week of content. I have had a superb, family packed weekend where I was certainly not shy of love. A truly great first Mothers Day and I look forward to many more years just like this, if not better.

 

Keren x

 

Learning to be thankful and lead a minimal lifestyle.

I will be the first to admit that I’m very used to getting my own way and getting the things I want. A lifestyle that tough to maintain and keep track of online orders. Lately, with a whole new family life, a rather large wage cut and a whole lot to pay out for, (ahem, adult life) it has made me start to change my ways, my habits and begin to live as quite the minimalist. A change of tune you could say.

I was never privelaged by no means. However, growing up, I was always provided for and gifted treats and shopping days. Nothing lavish, but enough to keep a gal satisfied. I had a whole lot more than some but always wanted more. When I turned 16 and began to work, I made my own money and got used to having little ties, a monthly income and weekly treats.

My shopping habits increased from odd treats here and there to weekly packages from Topshop. I didn’t care, I had no concept of adult life, bills, the cost of living etc. I took much for granted and lived reckless. Nights out, consuming too much alcohol, shopping sprees, cigarettes. You name it.

I dread to think of what i could have saved had I been more aware of the daily cost to survive in this climate and been less greedy. It was all too easy and made for temporary bouts of happiness. There is nothing that a new pair of shoes can’t fix, right?

Wrong. Since moving from home and beginning my own chapter in life, I have come to realise that the shoes in my closet don’t Infact bring any element of happiness. If anything, they are a danger hazard as they collapse from the wardrobe on a daily basis.

I suppose what I am getting at, is that I now realise how foolish I was to have such ludicrous spending sprees. No material will find you happiness, something I have soon discovered. Happiness comes from the heart, feeling good and a sense of well being. I’m trying to be more grateful of what I have, than cry over what i don’t have. I still have the ability to buy treats but I don’t necessarily have a need for treats any more. A blue sky and a dose of fresh air can provide so much more thought provoking feelings than any material item may bring.

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Treats are my family: My baby girl, my fiance. The life we build together surrounds me with hope and joy. Five years from now, I don’t know where we will be, I know we will have to work damned hard to get there and to live cautiously for some time in the process and I am OK with that…That is of course that I don’t fall victim to a shoe collapse and rot under a pile of black boots and Nike.

In all honesty, learning to be more frugal is a bit of a struggle. I am very used to having my own funds to spend freely. I have gone from daily shopping and trips to the store for some goodies to returning items to the shelf, making cuts where I can in weekly shops and letting online shopping baskets remain filled with items now “out of stock”

I miss the freedom of having no ties with money and having a lifestyle where I could get away with being a little lavish, treating others. Now, as a parent and a wife to be, there are more important parts of my life than shopping. Cutting past habits is tough and feeling the strain and the stress of money is tough.

Im working to find a better health and well being, a better balance and a stronger version of myself. So long as my baby is always provided for, my partner is happy, I shall be happy.

It is funny. Life really does change you when you become a parent. Everything is seem so differently. Worries grow, your mind works around the clock, you get by on a lack of sleep but most of all, your heart grows and you grow with it. My daughter has brought so much happiness and given so much purpose. I suddenly feel everything and every emotion.

I am most absolute in love, not just with Eleanor, but with Euan, with life. I am in love with our future plans,the idea of more babies, the thought of a new home, a new City. Life, there is so much on offer.

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As a child, I would always wonder why my Mother would always treat my siblings and I but never dare splash out on herself, now that I am a Mother, my perspectives have changed and my motives of happiness differ, I can understand why my Mother never put herself first. She was a Mother and a child’s happiness is what brings  happiness all around.

Today, I feel thankful.

Mum guilt; The real deal.

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It’s a funny old thing, you become a parent and all of a sudden you are no longer your own person, you are a Mother, a Father. You lose a sense of identity but gain a whole new realm of responsibility and love that you didn’t even know was capable.

The love for your baby, your child, is like no other. I have not experienced so much love nor emotions prior to the birth of my wee Eleanor. The best and the worst of myself has been put to light and I see the world from a whole new perspective.

I am not as easy going and care free as I once was and the world is now a scary place through the eyes of this over protective parent. I would like to focus this post on something that I have recently began to notice creep up on shopping trips or days out. A feeling that has rised from within and hits like a tonne of bricks ,a feeling that all you Mothers are well aware of.

Mum guilt. No matter what you do, it simply does not feel good enough. It is a losing battle where we are the sole contender.

Guilt, we all feel it, with the exclusion of active sociopaths, add a baby or child to the mix and guilt is suddenly intensified. What exactly is Mum guilt and where does it come from? It has seemed to appear out of the blue for myself and has prevented me from doing the things that I love and taking some time out for myself. Wether that be a half hour shut away to read, getting out for a lone walk or even (god forbid) having a day of pampering.

No matter what my intention lately, I always have a terrible feeling of guilt hang over my head, ready to exploit my mind with shameful thoughts whenever I dare put myself first. I feel that I have lost a sense of freedom and self worth since becoming a Mum, something which is quite hard to adapt to and take control of.

I no longer deem it acceptable to treat myself, not without fear that I should have treated my baby over myself. Do I need this? I ask myself this often. A shopping trip is short lived, and rather than taking items I pick out to the till, I return them to the rack or shelf which I plucked them from. I feel guilty for wasting money on myself no matter the sum. I could have utilised any spenditure on Eleanor rather than myself.

I find myself anxious of time and feeling bad for dragging my baby out just so I can pick up a carton of milk for myself or browse the stores when I could be at home, holding her, giving my undivided attention. I tend to get out but feel panic and pushed for time, I can’t relax for fear that she will want a feed or begin to get uncomfortable and cry.

Crying is perfectly normal for a baby to get attention and I know I have the security that she is always changed and fed before I take her out, I can’t help but feel unsettled at the thought of her crying in public. I always feel that it’s my fault for dragging her out and that I have led her to be unhappy for my own pleasure. Mum guilt.

I no longer indulge in any alcohol or nights out as I feel that my baby could need me at any time when I am apart from her. I just can’t leave her behind knowing that she is my responsibility and could need me at any time. I have reluctantly left her for no more than four hours with my Mother so that Euan and I can catch a screening at the cinema. This has only ever been around four separate occasions, a month apart at least.

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I can’t bring myself to leave her no matter who with or how capable they are. Knowing that Eleanor is so tiny and may need me at any time. I know that my baby is loved and nurtured and with that understanding , I must implicate healthy changes for the benefit of my own health.

I am not just a Mother, I am my own person with interests and needs that I need to fulfill every once in a while. It is important to take time for myself and my own sanity, i owe it to myself to give myself a break without feeling the need to explain and justify my actions.

With that in mind, I am off to the hairdresser next Saturday on a solo outing for a bit of me time and pampering. I am after a fresh dye job and cut, both much needed and long overdue. Oops, blame Motherhood on that one. Free time does not come freely.  A trip to the salon may not seem a big deal to many of you, I’d previously not have thought anything of it either but these days a little time out to spoil myself is a rare occasion.

Following this, we are going to see Stereophonics at the end of the month for a parents night out. How dare we? I’m absolutely looking forward to this and an evening out with my love, I fully plan to make the most of being child free, let my hair down and have fun. I have plans to go all out with a glass of wine in a plastic cup and greasy gig chips.

The last time we went to a gig together was back in July and I was heavily pregnant and spent most of the gig nursing a sore back. This time, I can make a better go at it and not retire early. I got this.

I’m sure that my Mum guilt will be in full swing but im going to really try to get myself into a good mindset and forget Mum duties for the night. It will be time for my partner and I to enjoy. Eleanor will be in capable, loving hands, I just need to let go, chill and live a little. If I can push the Mum guilt aside for even just one night, it will be a milestone itself.

I feel that as Mothers and Fathers, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best parents we can be, we get ourselves down when something doesnt go to plan or work out as we had hoped and we hold ourselves responsible for any setbacks, the guilt can be too much to take some days.It’s time to start pushing that unnecessary guilt trips that we love to drive down aside and putting ourselves first once in a while.

Book a pamper day, take yourself out for a coffee, set a date for a night out (and follow plans through) and for God sakes, buy the dress. Life is too short to spend it consumed with guilt, we all deserve a break once in a while.

Parenthood is hard, it is testing, it is wonderful. Let’s not be so hard on ourselves, our babies will still love us after a few hours without our company.

Keren x

The hunt for the perfect dress. Diary of an unconventional Bride to be.

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I’m a self confessed shop addict with a love for the High Street. I favour the likes of Topshop, Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Mango and Free People to name a few.

My wardrobe and clothes drawers are bursting at the seams and refuse to close, this is no exaggeration and I boast a collection of probably around sixty dresses in a variety of shapes, styles, prints and colour. All hanging on top of one another in a big mess of clutter.

The thing is though, I’m all for casual wear and dresses you can team with boots, or trainers taking you from day to night. I don’t actually have a clue about wedding dresses or dressing for a wedding. Heels are also a no go, I own countless pairs as I can’t refrain from buying them, aren’t they gorgeous? but,  I can’t walk in heels to save my life. It’s shameful really.

A wedding dress, It’s never something I had plans for or thought about. I’ve never had the illusion of my dream dress float above my head. I didn’t expect I’d ever marry so I didn’t have to worry about the planning aspect that comes with a wedding or decision of choosing a dress to wear. Formal wear let alone Bridal wear is an unknown territory to me and where I know what styles look good on me causally, I don’t know what to picture myself in as a Bride.

I thought that I had the perfect dress tucked away but one look from my Mother’s face and I was instantly uninspired with it. With that notion and a look I will never forget, the hunt for a dress began. A new dress that I will be keeping all to myself until the day comes to get up and put it on. If I were to go by different reactions to different dresses and styles, I’d never settle on one that I like. It’s too off putting having the input of others.

Now, this is something not to be taken lightly. Where I want a small and intimate wedding event with a mere few family and friends, I still wish to wear a dress that flatters me and my personality but without the expense of a bridal dress. I want to look pretty and wear a dress that I can feel good in, a timeless item that I can return to and wear again and again. Much alike Keira Knightley and her wedding gown, only I won’t be rocking Chanel couture (and I don’t look like Keira either, sigh).

A wedding dress is certainly a dress that you want to remember for the rest of your life, hold so many memories of the special day each time you look at it. Now, that leaves big shoes to fill for any dress you buy that follows. Wether full on gown or simple pencil dress, it has to be perfect for me and our special day. I don’t want to look back in dismay for the dress I wore.

I’m a fashionista, I love clothes and putting outfits together, it comes easily to me and I find it fun but with the whole aspect of wedding dress hunting, I am struggling. I can’t find a dress that suits my shape or style.

A long gown is too long for my petite frame not too mention a little too formal for an otherwise informal ceremony. I think long gowns or long tuelle skirts just make me look frumpy and awkward. A short gown on a bad leg day could be a disaster and leave me looking more like a sausage roll than a glowing Bride. Not ideal.

Tuelle can be difficult to style and if you buy cheap, it looks cheap. A dress too white could look well, too white yet a dress with colour poses an issue with what flowers or shoes to match with, patterns can be too busy and aging. I don’t mind mis match, in fact, I quite like putting fabrics and patterns together that clash but for this day in particular I just want something that is one all over style and is easy to dress.

Two pieces, I like but it’s finding the perfect two piece. A satin skirt with a sequin crop? Too glamorous. A paper waist midi ball gown skirt and a cropped cardigan? Too 1950. I have seen real nice two pieces online from searching but the price can be crazy high, I’m excited to find the right style for me but I am not easy to please on this one. I don’t want to pay more for a dress than my whole wedding day, that would be silly, I’ll take the expensive shoes instead!

A drop waist I do like but the wrong style of drop waist could leave me looking shapeless. You have to be careful with length with a drop waist. So here is my issue,you see? What does the modern day Bride wear to her informal wedding day?

I don’t hold a budget specifically, but I don’t want to be paying crazy money for a dress that I may never wear again. A dress can be just as special without the price tag. As soon as you search tag with the word ‘Bridal’ you see prices increase.

I want something different yet acceptable to wear as a Bride, I don’t want too much glam as I’d feel really silly, it’s just not me. I need to wear something that feels like ‘me’ only a slightly more formal vision. I’ve scrolled Debenhams, Ghost, Zealand, ASOS bridal, Etsy and more.

So the hunt continues to finding the perfect dress. So far, I’ve returned two that I have been unhappy with, and I have two on order, waiting to test out. With that said, onto the next one, and the next one…

and the next one. Wish me luck, let’s see what I can come up with in the coming months. Here’s hoping I can find my dream dress and don’t end up looking like a glammed up sausage roll. Here’s to hours of hunting.

Keren x