Friday, 3 November 2017

An Autumnal Affair

As September came to a close, anyone that may have been planning to tie the knot in the great outdoors probably quite rightfully got a bit concerned about what the weather was going to do. I can testify that no matter what time of year one might book their wedding day to occur, they simply will not be able to control what happens in this regard. However, one thing I can also testify to is that generally, it doesn't make one bit of difference, as it is essentially the happiest day of your life with or without the sunshine.

However, the day before this particular September wedding I spoke to Sarah, one of the brides on the phone to confirm our arrangements for the following afternoon and being the easy going, laid back and genuinely down-right likable person she is, the last thing she was particularly worried about was the weather. In fact, this turned out to be a very good thing, as despite having received a fair bit of rain the day before, the day itself brought a beautiful sunshine you can only expect to get in late September; one that brightens and refreshes where rain has fallen without casting too many harsh shadows, then sets low and slow over the sky from the mid afternoon before finally melting into the horizon just before seven in the evening.

Sarah & Sabine held their marriage ceremony in the picturesque garden of the Old Rectory in Hastings Old Town, and this particular sunshine on the late September afternoon paid complement to everything it touched growing, living and celebrating in that garden. Being the type of woman to take a more practical and less fussy approach to things, Sarah instructed me that the shots I took should be candid, unstaged, informal and generally just capture their guests "having a good time and enjoying themselves". This was an easy task, given how clear it was to see how much the thirty five-or-so guests actually were enjoying themselves. The afternoon was intimate and relaxed, people laughed and embraced each other after long periods of absence, but it was also emotional and raw, with very real tears of love as vows were exchanged and life long commitments were made. 

The ladies have requested that photos of their guests remain private, but to see a selection of shots from the location and ceremony please visit my full photography site here. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this truly special occasion.

Monday, 17 April 2017


I completely appreciate how late to the party I am when it comes to Birchbox. However, I can thank my darling friend Ciara for getting me on board with it after I visited her up North for the first time last week and she explained the concept and shared some of her products with me. I then arrived home a few days later to discover Ciara had gifted me with my very first Birchbox and a three month subscription :)

Here is my April box, for anyone else who doesn't subscribe or has less of a clue about what is going on than I do:

To start off, one of the major plus points about ordering from Birchbox is that the products come in an attractive box, and there is a different design each month. Apparently some similar companies send products without this little add-on, so it's a nice touch. Ciara has so many Birchbox boxes that she has glued them together to make a little set of storage drawers for her bathroom. I love that.

Birchbox offers five products (some sample sized and some full sized) for £10 a month plus £2.95 p&p per month. Each month has a theme and a note from the editor, followed by a full list of product descriptions and how to use them along side the RRP for the full sized item.

First up, a sample size of Baija Paris Creme Moana nourishing lotion. Use just a little and it provides immediate relief from dry skin on the body. Aside from the tube design, the other benefits of this product include the non oily finish on skin and the soft floral smell. It also contains coconut oil, and I for one am a huge fan of anything that contains coconut oil.

Next two; a sample size of Polaar Ice Pure scrub. Although neither the instructions nor the bottle actually specify if this is a body or a face scrub the instructions do mention to avoid the eye contour area, so I'm guessing it can be used on the face. This product smells amazing. It contains tiny exfoliating particles and an ingredient called Arctic Cotton which is apparently known for it's moisturizing properties; always nice when you are exfoliating to avoid feeling like you've scrubbed your skin raw.

The sample size Elemis Hydra-Boost Day Cream I am mega excited about. Being that I have recently aged beyond my twenties and I am obsessed with aging beyond my twenties, I have actually purchased my weight in anything containing Hyaluronic Acid, a proven anti-aging ingredient. This product contains Hyaluronic acid, and as a sucker for well known brands I'm big into this product. Smells amazing, feels amazing. I should invest in a thesaurus but you get the idea.

Two full sized products! First a bronzer/highlighter duo, by Manna Kadar Cosmetics which can be used as such or as an eye shadow combo. I fully intend to do both, just as soon as I've brushed up on my "How to do bronzer/highlighter" you tube tutorials and can be sure I know what the hell I am doing. 

The ModelCo Eye Define Crayon Liner is pretty much everything I could ask for in an eyeliner. The pencil is one that you wind up so no sharpening required and it glides onto skin rather than pulling or dragging against the skin. It is also water resistant - perfect.

So that's the April Birchbox summed up, if you like what you see you can sign up here. Now I already can't wait for the next one to arrive. I have the best friends xoxo

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Christmas Tree Pot Pourri

Christmas is well and truly over now! And with the start of the New Year I am sure everybody has plans for things they would like to do in the next twelve months.

This normally starts I guess, prior to January 6th, with taking down all the Christmas decorations and saying goodbye to the tree for another year. 2016 was the first time I have ever bought a real Christmas tree, from an actual Christmas tree farm. At the start of last year, I decided to throw away my old and weathered artificial tree and pledged to only buy real ones in future. And that I did - she was a 7ft Fraser Fir and she smelled amazing!

I loved the rich citrus smell so much that yesterday when taking down all the decorations and having a clear out, I decided to "jar" the smell and keep it for the remaining winter months to remind me of how beautiful the tree looked in our 10ft bay window.

To start, I snipped off some of the upper branches of the tree that are still dark green and had all their needles firmly in tact.
Using my fingers I removed the needles - this was a sticky messy job but they way I saw it a lot of the scent comes from the branch itself so if bits flaked off with the needles that was a good thing.

Using the pile of needles I had collected, bits of branch included, I put them all in a large mixing bowl and added in the following items;
Whole Star Anise
Ground Nutmeg
Ground Cinnamon (only a little)
Whole Cloves (I used a lot)

I gave the needles a stir to mix everything thoroughly together and then portioned them out into glass jars. The jars I have used were just old used candles after they had burnt out. To remove remaining wax from these types of jars you just need to heat the wax with a lighter until soft then scrape it out and wash in hot soapy water.

I saved some whole sections of branch back and some whole star anise to decorate the top of these jars. 

I also reused a candle given to me for my birthday from The White Company called 'Winter' which I liked as I thought this smell is certainly winter to me. As I use matching candle lids as well, I could put the lid on this one to maintain the scent for longer.

My goal for 2017 is to try and be more frugal. I want to recycle/up-cycle or create more things in this way. What about using these as part of your wedding decor or center pieces if you are on a budget, having a winter wedding, or just love making things yourself?

Happy New Year!
© Sophie De-Roe
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