2016 – what. a. year.

2016, how do I go about describing you? Never mind the celebrity deaths, the political upheaval, and the general disarray you seem to have caused; you were one of the biggest, toughest, most exhausting, but happiest years of my life.

After 2 years of searching, January would see us finally finding and having an offer accepted on the first home we would own together. I knew that the system for buying here in the UK was essentially a long poker game where you throw a lot of money at solicitors whilst hoping no one pulls out, but I hadn’t realised that even though we were in rented property, deposit at the ready, ready to go, and no one in the chain would try any funny business, we wouldn’t be picking up the keys until MAY. Yup, May. (And it feels like every day between those two dates was spent on the phone trying to move things along!)

But that day, when it was finally ours and we drank champagne out of plastic cups and ate a picnic on the empty floor made it so very worth it.

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-11-28-02 [Read more…]

Reader, I married him

I know, I know, ridiculously cheesy title, but when else am I going to get the chance to use it?

Want to see some wedding photos…?

The weather forecast had been terrible all week – and I tried not to be one of those brides who constantly checked the weather forecast. After all, we’d hired umbrellas, arranged an indoor ceremony and based all our decorations around this rather than gambling on an outdoor one. But nope, I must have been checking that Met Office app on the hour every hour from as soon as we got into the week before.

As we drove down to Cornwall the sea mist seemed to swoop around the car. I smiled at Dan through gritted teeth – both saying how dramatic and awesome the photos would be.

We checked into our lovely little B&B, opened a bottle of champagne and munched on some bread and cheese we’d picked up on the way. And promptly fell asleep. After all, this felt like the first night in at least 18 months that we hadn’t been wedding planning. Also, for the first time in quite a few months, the stress started to fade (and booooooy had there been a lot of stress!) and the excitement really started to come rolling back in.

The day before the wedding passed in a blur of moving boxes and picking things up, and finally a prosecco-and-bbq-foods-fuelled venue decorating session with our nearest and dearest – huge thanks to those who spent a merry couple of hours distributing glittery and rainbow painted jam jars around the fort and its outskirts.

Suddenly, it was time for my matron of honour and I to head back to my grandparents’ flat, where I’ve been staying since I was a baby, where Dan proposed, and to try and get a little sleep. (I think I got about 5 hours – not too bad!)

I needn’t have worried about the weather. Despite the forecast, I woke up to the sun rising in clear skies over the sea. (It was suuuuuper early – this is what happens when there are 7 women needing to get ready!). My mom and my hair and makeup lady arrived, followed by my bridesmaids.

And then this happened…

emily-jayne-and-dan-wedding00000001 [Read more…]

Hoar Cross Hall Spa Escape

Whenever anyone asks me for a spa recommendation I without hesitation say ‘Hoar Cross Hall‘. There’s something about the place that induces immediate relaxation.

It’s just far enough out of the city to feel like I’m escaping into the countryside, without being so far that it feels like a slog to get there. The Jacobean building gives the historian in me serious happies, the food is brilliant (and plentiful), and that’s before you even get on to the actual spa facilities.

Back in April I was just entering what I’ll now refer to as ‘stressed-out-reclusedom’ – we were in the final days of working out whether we were EVER going to exchange on our new flat (and being hit with surprise bills left right and centre. Awesome.), the new web project I was working on was seriously kicking off, suddenly we only had 4 months to the wedding, and it felt like the flat purchase was taking up all of our planning time. I was, in short, a wreck.

Fortunately my wonderful mother had spied my on-the-edge-ness and treated me to a trip to Hoar Cross for my birthday. We have a bit of a tradition of visiting together every year, but due to various factors had missed 2015 out. The solution? Go for twice as long in 2016! (Gotta love my mother’s logic – it’s the same logic that led to visiting Disneyland being the only possible solution to our flight being moved by 24 hours on the way back from Hawaii.) Thank goodness she was so generous – looking back I think this little ‘relaxation re-set’ was one of the few things that got me through!

2015 being a ‘fallow spa year’ also meant that this was the first time that we’d encountered the newly refurbished facilities. I got a glimpse of some of these back when I visited the opening of the Matthew Curtis salon at Hoar Cross in July last year, but it was brilliant to see how they’ve really taken the place to another level of luxury.

Check out my vlog from our spa escape to see just what I’m talking about. There are scones!

A whole lotta life stuff…

Dan & Em cake topper

thanks to our friend Chris for the awesome pic.

Oh hello there, remember me?

All been a bit quiet here recently, eh?

If you follow me on instagram (about the only form of social media I’ve managed to keep up with recently!) then you’ll probably have gathered that I’ve been a bit busy over the last few months.

In short, allllll the life stuff happened. Just since the last blog post we bought our FIRST HOME  (yay! still can’t quite believe it!) together (yes, after 2 years of looking, of course we managed to find somewhere and complete on it 3 months before our wedding!), I went through a WHOLE lot of tests for just over a couple of weeks at the hospital for my dermatitis issues that I’ve been blogging about for the last 2 years or so (again, 2 years build up, all comes to fruition 2 months before the wedding! But, I now have a diagnosis, which is excellent news!), I took on a LARGE new web content contract, and then, 4 weeks ago, after all the build up, WE GOT MARRIED! (Woohoo!) [Read more…]

See you in 2016!

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 18.28.39Hello lovely colourful types, just a quick post today to let you know that I’m now going on my Christmas break! Woohoo! I’ll be back blogging and the styling studio will be open again from the 4th January.

In the meantime I wish you all a very colourful Christmas, and a super sparkly New Year!

(And if you find yourself missing me too much, I will no doubt still be tweeting, instagramming and snapchatting (emilyjayneimage) my way through this festive period!)