Saturday, 18 February 2012

Hen Party Love

Sophi Snowflakes Luxury Hen Party! April 2011

As 2012 is already flying by it is making me reminisce about the wedding preparation Ed and I were frantically going through this time last year in the lead up to our big day in May. The very excitement of our looming big day included our amazing stag and hen parties!

I opted for a weekend away with 14 of my close girlfriends to a luxury beach house in Cornwall!

The Porth Beach House (Porth, Cornwall):

Lovely upstairs lounge - much larger than this picture displays, perfect for  drinks overlooking the beach !

Directly off the lounge, this upstairs sun room is a perfect place to relax, drink a glass of sparkly and watch the sunset!

Master bedroom with en-suite bathroom!

Downstairs kitchen with plenty of seating area for dinner or as we used it for cocktail making hour!

The Porth Beach house sleeps 10 with the allowance of an extra person on a camp bed. We also hired next door, The Wrens Nest, which was equally as lovely for the remaining 3 ladies.

Who says luxury needs to cost the earth!

For this wonderful cottage and for also hiring next door (The Wrens Nest), including food and drink for 3 days (hen party stylee!) - my whole hen weekend came to a grand total of £156 per person, including a 3 course lunch at Fifteen,Watergate Bay -

With amazing accommodation as a solid base for this wonderful occasion, my fellow hens, mother and maid of honour made this a weekend I shall remember with love forever! Don't tell my husband but I almost enjoyed it more than our wedding!!! hee hee!

To book the Porth Beach House visit: Please mention my blog upon booking.

Much love,

Sophi Snowflake xx

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Christmas Present Love - Book: Chic on a Shoestring by Mary Jane Baxter

Continuing this week on the theme of Love I've decided to switch my focus to some Christmas present love! 

In previous years gone by I am sure my husband won't mind me saying that we've had a couple of hit and miss occasions when it comes to giving each other gifts! But as we grew to know and love each other I can hand on heart say that my husband is the most thoughtful gift buyer I've ever known!

For years I have been into all things 'shabby chic'! Whilst I am quickly falling out of love with that expression, along with the term 'vintage' as they are both widely over used and often in the wrong context - I am nowadays all about doing things the 'eco-chic' way! In days gone by I used to work for two luxury fashion houses (both based in London) - Mulberry and Tanner Krolle. Working in fashion meant I felt obliged to always look my best! Well if you could see me sitting here now (in Devon) writing my blog, you would see that my fashion days are far behind me!! But, I am very happy! My love of designer shoes has been replaced by wellies!!

I do however still like to keep my hand in wearing nice things and having nice items around our seaside home. Instead of spending all my salary on clothes, whilst mixing my wardrobe with sneaky pieces from big chain stores like Primark (who I later found out did at one point support child labour in India), I've decided to shift my focus towards being kinder to our planet. I've learnt over the years that looking nice and having a nice home doesn't need to cost the earth!

So in going back to the original purpose of my blog - my lovely husband bought be a fab book for Christmas that helps support my love fashion but also being able to support our planet.

Chic on a Shoestring by Mary Jane Baxter is one of the best and most creative books I have come across at presenting inspirational ideas of 'glamorising' either your existing wardrobe or key pieces that you might find in charity shops or your Nan's wardrobe!

The author Mary Jane Baxter presents great projects across recycled clothes, shoes, scraps of fabric, broken necklaces, buttons, old bits of wool and uses them to make things look great, individual and unique!

This was easily one of my best Christmas gifts (although there were many other good ones too) and has already caused me to hit the charity shops by storm in our local area to see what goodies I can get, to create my own and genuine vintage, eco-chic piece!

 Below are a selection of features from the book:

I am not sure where my husband bought my copy of the book from, although I have found a link on Amazon:

I am sure it is available from other good book retailers too like Waterstones.

Fully worth getting hold of a copy and if you do please enjoy exploring the world of using old materials and making something new!

If more people recycled and 'up-cycled' their clothing then over time we could lessen the demand on big fashion chains that support child labour.

Nice things definitely don't have to come at the cost of our planet and they don't have to cost you a fortune either!! I would say that's Happy Days!!

With Love From,

Sophi Snowflake xx

Images source: Amazon - visit the below link to purchase Chic on a Shoestring:

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

It must be Love...'Our Wedding'....May 21st 2011

Kick starting this year off I am commencing with the topic of love!

At this time last year I was on a wonderful but frantic countdown to my upcoming wedding in May. Having worked a touch too hard in the months leading up to Christmas 2010 my now husband and I were really quite far behind in even getting the basics of our special day in place. Come January 2011 and with only 4.5 months left, we were starting to give both sides of our families a nervous breakdown.

To say that we were unorganised (for reasons that were outside of our control) was an understatement. For people organising their wedding now, you'll know from reading magazines and wedding literature that one of the first things you do is book your church or registrar. Well we hadn't done that!

All I can say is that with a bit of faith (of which I thankfully have a lot!), some very hard work and a great deal of imagination - anything is possible!

We booked our place of marriage at St.Brannock's Church Braunton, Devon - with a bit of going backwards and forwards we settled on the time of 3pm.

I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions we made as the church was fantastic and our Reverend John was unforgettable (in a good way!).

Inside St. Brannock's Church Braunton

I know I am biased but guests at our wedding said that they had never been to such a relaxed and happy service!

I think it helped that our Vicar dropped the wedding rings, although thankfully they were both found and the organist I am pretty sure played a different tune to the hymns that we were singing but that aside it added to the joy and happiness of the whole experience!

I can absolutely advise that anyone thinking of getting married in a Church should embark on the wedding preparation course they give you as part of your package before marriage. It was a great way to ensure that we really understood what we were getting into before we made a very big life decision. It is informal and no pressure is placed upon you in anyway. For me I do believe in God and it was a great way for the Church we got married at to get to know us and really understand why we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

Our wedding photographer Dave Keightly was brilliant at capturing priceless and innocent moments of love and laughter. My advice to anyone organising their wedding is to get a photographer who puts you at ease, who is willing to be flexible (as timings always shift) and who really understands the style of shots you want on your special day.

Informal shots were also captured by photographer Paul Salmon - although as Step-Father to the bride he had other jobs to do that day!!

We also opted to having a videographer. - this was one of the best financial decisions we made for our wedding. I know that lots of people who opted out of being filmed later regretted it. I would say that if you can afford it and are able to get over the nerves of being filmed it is a brilliant gift to be able to re-live the most magical day of your life again. Once you're back from your honeymoon and it all feels like a distant memory, receiving the final cut of your film just made us both cry initially but so happy to see and remember how we felt all over again!!! Pete's filming style combined with the music tracks we selected makes our film a real tear jerker!!

Reception Venue: The Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe, Devon -

We were extremely lucky to be able to book a beautiful seaside venue for our reception! Being the 3rd couple to have our reception at this newly built 3 story, glass fronted bit of paradise was such a blessing.

Mini Photo shoot outside the old bath house...we didn't photoshop in the birds (promise!!)

Outside of The Tunnels

Entrance to The Tunnels

View from the rooftop of the venue

View from the sea looking back at the venue
Like many we themed our wedding as 'A little something vintage'. I was very lucky that between my mother and mother-in-law the most amazing things were created and made for our wedding: including beautiful bunting on every fascia and fence in the venue. A beautiful wedding cake with enormous roses (designed by me and made by Ella my mother-in-law), amazing flower decorations throughout the whole wedding, church and venue which were hand done by a team of Ella (mother-in-law), Eleanor (sister-in-law), Di (Eleanor's MIL!) and Geoff (my father-in-law)! Having such beautiful but understated decorations helped to make the day so special.

Wedding cake & my wedding flowers

Our wedding post box - give to us by my sister-in-law on my hen do in Porth, Newquay

Vintage Bunting by Ella Pickard (captured at dusk)
Finally our day was concluded by a beach-side BBQ and then some good old fashioned dancing!

We selected a reggae carnival band called Zamba - Thankfully they were recommended to us by my sister-in-law and as she had them at her wedding in the October before, we got to sample just how great they were upfront!

After a long but wonderful day - our magical experience came to a conclusion with a surprise live performance from my Step-Dad Paul Salmon, who joined forces with the Zamba band (completely unbeknown to me) and played a song he wrote a few years ago after a road trip with my Mum Yvonne in California down Highway 1. The song was called 'John Cougar on the radio' and it was the best end to a day that a girl could ever hope for!! Thank you Daddy Fish! (My little nickname for him as his surname is Salmon!!).

Daddy Fish singing 'John Cougar on the radio'

Sophi & Ed's first dance to 'Your love keeps lifting' by Jackie Wilson 1967

The Zamba Band
To finish my story of our lovely wedding day I would like to say that the whole day was the most special and beautiful day of my life but several things really please me when I look back on the day which I would like to pass on as advise to others looking forward to getting married:
  • Remember why you are getting married in the first place: whether you leave yourself enough time or like us you find yourself rushing, there are no two ways about it weddings can be stressful. We managed to avoid major bust ups but in trying to please everyone you can sometimes lose track of what you actually want and why you're getting married in the first place. For me I believe in God and he kept me sane throughout the slightly rushed process. Standing in front of God and saying my vows to Ed will always be the best thing I've ever done in my life. All the nerves went and I just knew that what I was saying was the right thing. Enjoy this part of your marriage and don't be nervous. Hopefully you only get one shot at getting it right so take it easy and just relax. We did and it was easily for me the best part of the day!
  • Don't get yourself into debt. Although I love my then boyfriend and now husband, I was always mindful that it was all for just 1 day!!! I wanted it to be special but not so special that we spent the next 10 years paying for it. If like us, you are paying for your own wedding, then make sure you budget. If you can't afford your wedding right now then put a saving plan into place and wait. We waited over 14 months before getting married so that we could comfortably pay for things without the financial worry afterwards. There is no need to cut too many corners but just be sensible and factor in what fits easily within you're allocated budget. Thankfully we did get a lot of help by way of peoples time and in parts money too. Don't be afraid to let people help you when they offer. You can't control everything (as I learnt the hard way!) and you can find it taking the joy out of your organisation.
    • My dress was not a typical wedding dress. It was under £300 and was off the peg from a designer called Anouska G The price of my dress didn't matter to me as I just knew it was for me!
    • My shoes were a treat by Vivienne Westwood but again not a silly overly expensive one as they were a sub-line making them more affordable.
    • My accessories to fulfil the vintage element were from an antique store and cost me under £50.
    • Ed and Sophi Leaving St. Brannock's Church - dress by Anoushka G and shoes by Viviene Westwood.
      Eds suit was from TM Lewin
  • Lastly - ensure you spend time with your partner on the day. As you would expect on your wedding day everyone wants a piece of you! Thankfully one of my lovely best friends Lydia loaned us her fathers Mercedes and agreed to be our driver for the day ( a great wedding gift!). A further surprise to us was a bottle of champagne in the car from the church to our venue. Lydia barely spoke on the way to the reception (although we didn't ask her not to!!) but this left Ed and I 15 minutes to scream with excitement as to what we had just done! I fully recommend catching a moment together because the next time that happened was when we were in bed and I was so shattered the only thing that could happen was sleeping! Whoops!
Thank you for reading about our wedding. I hope it has filled you with some ideas or inspiration. It is a magical time and for many it only happens once, so enjoy the organisation process, live every minute of the actual day and definitely don't sweat the small stuff because it can really suck the joy out of what is one of the best days of your life!

With Love From,

Sophi Snowflake xx

Monday, 9 January 2012

Happy 2012!!

Welcome to my blog Little Snowflakes Love, Life, Babies & Me and welcome to 2012!

If like me 2011 presented you a mixed bag of emotions, like: extreme happiness (May 21st when I married my husband), sadness (June 8th when a very close friend of mine passed away), change (November when I decided that after 10 years of being employed I no longer wanted to work for someone else), joy (the moments I've shared with loved ones and family over the year and the birth of my best friends baby girl Rose Eleanor) and other feelings such as an increased awareness of the recession and the sudden wanting to grow up and start a family! eek! I am already wondering, as may you be, how 2012 can top the whirlwind that was last year!

Within my blog I aim to write about the above subjects: Love, Life, Babies & Me. I decided on those categories as they are pretty much where my life is at right now at the age of 30! I know I am not alone on the many things that I think and love, so I decided to share a few bits and bobs that capture my eye.

Where ever your life is at and whatever your 2011 was like, I hope that you'll enjoy following me on my journey of 2012 and if not I hope that you enjoy dipping in and out of the articles that I post.

Take care & I wish you a new year filled with joy, love, happiness, hope and babies (if that is what you want!).

Sophi Snowflake xx