Winter Wonderland Wedding Inspiration at The George in Rye

Back when I was planning my wedding (which seems like an actual lifetime ago), I never even entertained the thought of getting married in the winter. It was probably a mixture of things that dictated my need for a summer wedding – the weather, the style of dress, the venue – but the more I think about it now, the more I realise that there was just a lack of proper inspiration for winter weddings. Most blogs or magazines I read whilst engaged featured shoots or images heavily focused on spring/summer weddings and as beautiful as they are, I sometimes wonder whether a winter wedding would have become part of the equation had we had the right inspiration.

So when I heard that Jenny from Bellaboo and Beau would be teaming up with some of the best local wedding suppliers around to pull together a winter inspiration shoot at The George in Rye, I was all ears. I couldn’t actually be there on the day, so I sent the next best thing – my ruby slippers, which fit in with Jenny’s rustic/woodland/vintage country brief for the shoot perfectly.

There’s glitter. There are feathers. There’s a bride with pink hair. There’s the best dressed dog I’ve ever seen. And there are stags, naturally.  I have a feeling winter weddings are about to be huge

Flowers by Florist in the Forest


rye high street




Bellabooandbeau stationary


Sylvia's Kitchen cake




And the team that made all of this stunning stuff happen were:
Photography: Rebecca Douglas
Coordination, props & styling: Jenny Sinclair at Bellaboo and Beau
Makeup: Lucy Oldham, Blush MakeUp
Hair: Katie and Joanne at The Rye Retreat
Jewellery: Pruden and Smith
Mens attire: WJ Bennett of Rye
Cake Design: Sylvias Kitchen
Stationery: Lynda Loves
Bell name card holders on table set: Fig Tree Road
Bride: Britainy Ruby Rae
Groom: Matthew ‘Ted’  Wilson
Dog: Lola Harris



You Beauty Advent Calendar 2013: Days 11-19

You Beauty Advent Calendar 2013, Days 11-19


Another 9 days have flown by. Which means that this time next week, I’ll officially be sitting somewhere eating my way through a mountain of cold turkey and Christmas cake (not together, obvs. Although I wouldn’t rule anything out at this stage).

Anyway, until then the treats keep coming. And days 11-19 have officially been my favourites so far:

Day 11: Steam Cream moisturiser: Ahh, Steam Cream, an old friend of mine. I’ve had a couple of these over the years, so it was nice to receive another. For anyone that hasn’t ever used or even heard of this little gem of a product, Steam Cream is a great all-rounder – it’s a moisturiser, cleanser, hand cream; you name it, Steam Cream can probably do it. Great if you’re lazy and want one product for all your beauty needs – or if you’re going on holiday and don’t want to take a full sized moisturiser or cleanser.

Day 12: Stila Lip Glaze in Kaleidoscope: THIS is what I’ve been waiting for. In fact, this is probably the product that sold the whole box to me. And I’m not even a lip gloss person. But Stila is one of those much-coveted products that I’ve wanted to try for like, ever, but could never justify buying. A generously sized sample, this lipgloss is the perfect shade; peachy, shimmery and it smells delicious. It’s uber sticky though, which I wasn’t a massive fan of, but it did stay put for a good 4 hours.

Day 13: Dermalogica Ultra Calming Skin Set: Another great brand that I have wanted to get my hands on for ages. Although you get a cleanser, face mist, serum and some face masques (plus a £10 off voucher for purchases over £50), they are all teeny tiny so I’m saving them up for a time when my skin REALLY needs them (which will happen, trust me) to truly put them to the test.

Day 14: Green People Anti Age Eyeliner: I’m not really sure how an eyeliner can be anti ageing, but considering both of mine are currently tiny stubs (that I can’t even be bothered to sharpen anymore) this product was nicely timed. A soft charcoal/brown in colour, this will definitely get lots of use over the next week or two.

Day 15: Bio Effect EGF Serum: My first thought when I opened this was ‘why even bother?’ This sample is so tiny that there’s hardly much point in including it – a couple of uses and it’ll be gone, without much time to see if it has the desired effect of erasing all my wrinkles and fine lines, as it promises to do. We’ll see.

Day 16: Dead Sea Mineral Eye Rollerball: I’m not usually a fan of these sorts of things – perhaps because I’ve yet to encounter any that actually work – but I gave this a go the morning I got it (after a particularly early start) and was actually quite impressed. The rollerball is super cold, and the liquid sinks in really quickly without leaving a residue. Plus my skin didn’t feel tight or dry like it has done with some other, similar products in the past. Definitely something I’ll be keeping in my make up bag from now on!

Day 17: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil: I’ve never used an oil cleanser before. And I never will again. I’ve read lots about how good others have found them over the years, so was looking forward to using this, but was actually really disappointed – not only did it fail to remove a lot of my make up, but it also left my face so greasy that I had to wash it immediately. A good inclusion, however, as I got to try something I might not have otherwise, but I’ll definitely be sticking to cream cleansers in the future!

Day 18: Dr. Lipp Lip Balm: Don’t be put off by the fact this claims to be an ‘original nipple balm’ – this stuff is actually gold dust. It can, according to the package, heal a multitude of things from burns, abrasions, dry skin, eczema and minor incisions and it’s now officially my new favourite thing ever. Although it feels sticky at first touch, once applied to my lips it sunk in straight away and left them really soft and moisturised for a good 5-6 hours – even after drinking and eating. I will definitely be re-purchasing this and keeping it in my handbag forever more. Amen.

Day 19: Model Co Mascara: A free, full-sized mascara? Dont mind if I do. I hate buying mascara – there’s so much choice that I get overwhelmed with all the pumping, plumping and anti-lumping jargon that I just end up buying whatever is cheapest. I do, however, have one golden rule – no fat wands. I personally like the thin variety, so was a little disappointed that this didn’t have one. But as I say, a free mascara is a good mascara and other than the wand issue, the consistency is good and two coats gave me nice, thick lashes.

Bar the oily stuff (you can’t please everyone), this selection has been my favourite so far, with several of the brands set to become firm future favourites. I’m sad that there’s only 5 more windows left to open – here’s hoping they’ve saved the best until last…

You Beauty Advent Calendar 2013: Days 6-10

I can’t believe how quickly December is going already. I’m not even half way through my Christmas shopping yet and have all but one day off before the big day to get it done – ONE DAY, people. This does not bode well for anyone who I’m yet to buy for (as long as you’re not my Mum, Dad or husband then you’re pretty safe).

Anyway, as the days keep rolling on, so too do the treats from this year’s advent calendar. The first five days wielded a pretty impressive haul, so what did I get on days 6-10?


Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation and Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oil

The Vintage Company Tweezers and Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream

Inika Mineral Eyeshadow in Gunmetal

Day 6: Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation: This teeny tiny product promises a lot of things – to correct skin tone, make skin look flawless, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and a whole lot more. So from that, I had high hopes. However, I put this on after moisturising (as instructed) and saw absolutely no difference at all. I STILL needed foundation. Which, to be honest, I kind of expected – I don’t exactly have the easiest of skin; with pigmentation, freckles and slight acne rosacea I was never going to look like Kate Moss (pre-drugs, just for the record), but I was hoping it might do something. Perhaps I was being stingy and not applying enough (the sample is tiny)? Or maybe I’m just so used to wearing foundation every day that nothing else will ever match it? Who knows. I will, however, give this one more go before completely disregarding it.

Day 7: Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil: When Mr.B and I moved in together, a bath was one of THE deal breakers for the house. I needed one. It wouldn’t be a ‘proper’ house without one. And how many times have I used said bath in the nearly 5 years since then? About 3. I just. don’t. have. the. goddam. time. However, I may have to make some time after opening door number 7 to this little gem. A bath and shower oil, I was instantly intrigued by this. So off to the bathroom I went and dutifully rubbed the required three capfuls into my skin before showering. I can’t say it made a massive impact on my shower time, but it did make my skin noticeably softer afterwards, and the scent (frankincense and rosemary) lingered in the bathroom for a good 12 or so hours. Bonus.

Day 8: The Vintage Cosmetic Company Tweezers: A GREAT inclusion, in my opinion. I’m always losing my tweezers, so these will go in my make up bag while the others can stay in the bathroom (you hear that Mr. B – STAY IN THE BATHROOM). There’s nothing I didn’t love about receiving a full-size, nicely packaged gift that will get used time and time again.

Day 9: Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream: Anyone who knows me knows I’m on the eternal quest for the ultimate face creams. Yep, I’m the one that nags everyone else to death about putting SPF on their faces and even manages a full make up removal, cleanse, tone and moisturise at 2 in the morning after 12 vodkas (that’s not every night, FYI). So naturally, receiving this made my day yesterday. It’s a very thick cream (which I love for a night cream) and a little goes a long way, so even though the pot is small I anticipate at least 3 weeks’ worth of use.

Day 10: Inika Mineral Eyeshadow in Gunmetal: Just as I was about to bemoan the apparent lack of make up up until this point, out comes this little gem on day 10. This is another full sized product, and another brand I’ve not yet heard of, so double points there. Mineral eyeshadows are incredibly concentrated and pigmented, so don’t do what I did this morning and cake your brush in it before applying. Big mistake. The idea is to gradually build the colour up to the shade you want. As you can see from the swatch, the clever people at You Beauty have played it safe with this inclusion in a lovely shimmery gunmetal colour, which should suit almost every skin tone/eye colour. This will last for absolutely ages, and is definitely something I’ll be getting lots of use out over the next few weeks.

You Beauty Advent Calendar 2013: days 1-5

Yes, yes – I STILL have an advent calendar every year. And every year, like the one before, is always the last. But it never really is; I can literally never resist – it’s like some form of Christmas OCD, where I worry that if I don’t have one…well, it might not actually be Christmas or something crazy. And I’m not even sorry – I like chocolate AND I like organisation, therefore organised chocolate eating is right up my street.

On top of this insane need to eat chocolate in numerical order (because that’s all it really is), I also have the urge to ‘outdo’ the previous years’ calendar each December. And when I found the Lindt beauty I’m currently chomping my way through I gave myself a mental pat on the back. This year was going to be hard to beat. Until, that is, 3 days before advent was due to start I went online and casually found something much, MUCH better. This year, I think I’ve found the advent calendar to top ALL advent calendars. It’s better than chocolate. It’s better than organised chocolate – in fact, it’s so good that if it were a man, I’d marry it (sorry Mr. B). I have no idea how I’ll even top this one next year…

You Beauty Advent Calendar 2013

The You Beauty Advent Calendar is literally the best thing I’ve ever seen. For £49.95 you get £240 worth of sample sized beauty treats – one to try each day in the run up to Christmas, as well as various discount codes which you can use when purchasing full sized versions of some of the samples if you like them enough (which you will, obviously).

The only snag? You have to sign up to become a You Beauty member – the privilege for which will cost you £6.95 RIGHT AWAY. And then again every single month, until you figure out how the hell to cancel it. Which I probably won’t, because for that price, each month I get to choose 2 sample sized beauty treats to be sent to my door. And the price is inclusive of P&P (the part that totally won me over. I’m such a sucker).

So here’s what I got from days 1-5:

Sisley Masque Creme a la Rose Noir, Caudalie Hand Cream, Espa Serum and Skin Polish, Leighton Denny Vamp, Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash


1. Sisley Masque Creme a la Rose Noir: A brand I’ve heard of but never tried, this Sisley face mask was the first treat out of the box. I’ve yet to use this, but as it promises magical things such as relieving the look of tiredness I will be smothering it on my face as much as humanly possible in the run up to Christmas.

2. Caudalie Limited Edition Hand & Nail Cream: I LOVE Caudalie. I was a bit late to the party with this brand, having only been introduced to it properly in the last couple of years, but I can honestly say it’s one of my all-time favourites. It is on the pricey side, but any money you spend on a Caudalie product is money well spent in my opinion, so obviously I was delighted when this limited edition hand cream (in grapevine honey) came out of window number 2. A generously sized sample, this, as you can see, has already had a fair bit of use, and I will continue to squeeze every drop out of it (and then cry when it’s gone).

3. Espa Optimum Skin Proserum & Refining Skin Polish: I’m not going to lie, this is probably my least favourite so far. I have a love/hate relationship with face oils – being naturally oily skinned, they can be a minefield and most that don’t cost an absolute fortune rarely ever work (for me, anyway). Suffice to say, I haven’t tried these yet so I may be proved wrong, but what with a few parties coming up in the next 2 weeks, and a wedding at the end of December, I’m slightly skeptical about upsetting the balance of my skin by messing with oils right now. These will be saved for January, when, if I like them enough, I might use the £15 gift voucher that came in the box with them to purchase some more.

4. Leighton Denny nail varnish in Vamp: My excitement for this was on par with the Caudalie – Leighton Denny is a brand I’ve always wanted to try, but one I’ve just never got around to buying. This is THE perfect shade of rouge noir, and if it holds up well on my nails over Christmas I’ll definitely be repurchasing in the new year.

5. Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash: A slightly strange inclusion, but it does promise to tone the skin with regular use so what the hell – we all need shower gel, right?! This smells lovely and is a really generously sized sample which I’ll definitely use. Just not as exciting as the rest!

So far, I’m really impressed with the selection of treats that have come out of the You Beauty Advent Calendar – all bar one are brands I’ve never tried (which was the deciding factor in my purchase) and several are above average sizes for what are supposed to be samples. Days 6-10 coming up next week!