Life: 10 Things I Miss about University


I can't believe it's been 12 years since I started at Leeds University in 2005. I look back at my University days with such nostalgia and happiness - it was one of the best times of my life and I made lifelong friends (and found a husband!). Hope you enjoy some of my Uni snaps - cringe! Here are 10 things I miss about my University days.

1. The impromptu nights out. So many nights being sat on the sofa and saying to the girls "shall we go out tonight?" and all just being able to get up and go. These days it takes a few months of planning and a Doodle poll to get a night in the diary!

2. Having 6 hours of lectures a week. Yep, that's right. Communication Studies did not have many hours! I used to have a 10am lecture and getting up for it was a mission and a half. What I'd do to go back to a 6 hour 'working' week.

3. Living with 7 other girls (and their wardrobes) - one of my favourite things about Uni was getting ready in our house with music playing and sharing clothes and make-up. 

4. Sunday's. These were usually spent hungover and watching T4 all morning - Shipwrecked, the Hollyoaks Omnibus and loads of tea and snacks.

5. Trekking into town to visit Primark - and only Primark. Obviously we were poor students so our budget wouldn't stretch to River Island or Toyshop, so head to toe Primark it was! We were walking adverts at one point.

6. Taking approximately 400 photos on a night out - remember when you used to take a digital camera out with you? We'd take hundreds of photos and the next day would be spent uploading them (all) to Facebook and going through each one together. We'd all sit laughing for hours at the photos.

7. The long holidays - how good are University holidays?! I feel like that is how life should be - a month for Christmas, a month for Easter, 3 months (or more) for Summer. Yes please!

8. Eating at 5pm. And then having a second dinner at 9pm. 

9. Pre-drinking. I loved making pre-drinking plans; deciding who's house we would all descend on with our cheap bottles of vodka and mixers. And we'd always end up playing Ring of Fire before realising how late it was and piling into taxis into town.

10. Naps. Ahhh, so many naps. To be fair, I still enjoy a lot of naps but I feel like at University, they really came into their own.

Daisy x



My Month: October

Photos from my Instagram: daisyelizabeth87

October has been one busy month! I've been away every weekend and if I'm honest, I am very excited for the first weekend in November as I have no plans and can sit and watch Netflix all day long.

Saying that, I've done some really fun things this month and have been enjoying the official start of Autumn. We spent the start of the month in the Cotswolds for our penultimate wedding this year, and this was followed by a weekend in Leeds with my friend Flora. We looked at Bridesmaid dresses, shopped, went for lunch at Le Pain Quotidien and had a lovely chilled night with Strictly and a M&S dine in for £10 (such a bargain). I love being back in Leeds - it makes me so nostalgic for when I lived there during Uni and the year afterwards. The shopping is also amazing - need to go back when I've won the lottery. We also went for brunch at the Ox Club which was incredible - I had the Smoked Confit Tomatoes and can't stop thinking about it.

Another weekend was spent at our friend Matt's house to celebrate their birthday. 30 of us descended on his local restaurant and enjoyed 12 hours of food and drink. It was a little bit messy but lots of fun. We also booked our flights to Cape Town next March for our friend's wedding- am ridiculously excited!

Last weekend my besties and I finally enjoyed our 30th birthday celebration of a weekend in Bath. We may all be closer to 31 but we were determined to make it happen and it was lovely. We had a delicious afternoon tea at No.15 Great Pulteney and brunch on the Sunday at Cosy Club.

This is being posted as we spend a long weekend in Centre Parcs with the family. One of my favourite happy bubbles. We are going to the new Aqua Sana spa, playing lots of table tennis and badminton, and just having a chilled out weekend together.

Phew - I told you it's been a busy month! Bring on November because November equals honeymoon!

Daisy x





Wedding: Photographer and Videographer


Wedding photography by Jo Hastings

It's the last post in my wedding series - how sad! I've absolutely loved writing each post and reliving the details of the day. I'm sure there will be more posts coming up with wedding-related content as I just can't get enough.

The final post is about how we captured our day on film. I am obsessed with photos- I'll often sit at my laptop looking through old Facebook pictures and reminiscing, so knew that getting the perfect photographer was going to be important. Our amazing photographer was Jo Hastings and we have been absolutely blown away by our photos - I think they speak for themselves! I knew that I wanted a photographer who would document the day in a natural way, with minimal posing and a really soft and light style. Chris was also really adamant that he didn't want unnatural shots. Jo is all about capturing the moments of the day as they unfold, and also at taking the most beautiful couple photos (the golden hour ones are especially dreamy). We have so many that we want to frame! 

Looking through the photos (and I look through them all of the time) makes me so unbelievably happy and I notice something different in each photo every time I look. There are some moments that have been captured that I will treasure forever - having a dance with my beautiful Grandma; hugging my Dad when he saw me in my dress and all of our friends and family looking so happy. We've also had lots of compliments from friends and family. Jo was also a pleasure to work with - easy communication and super organised. We received our USB in the most lovely way and it was such a nice touch.

My top tip with the photos is to make sure you get one with your Mum. This is often forgotten about and was a piece of advice from a work friend. Towards the end of the night, I grabbed Jo and we went outside with my Mum for a few lovely photos together. 

Now, onto our wedding video which was organised fairly last minute. A couple of months before the wedding I realised that I 'needed' a video of the day. I just knew I would really regret not having one and spent ages looking at other people's and wanting one so badly. Chris really didn't want one, but I talked him round and told him it wouldn't be posed, or forced, and there wouldn't be a camera in his face (even though by the end of the night he was loving the camera!). The only issue was the expense as videographers are so pricy, but very luckily for us, my sister's girlfriend Isabelle mentioned that her sister would be happy to do it for the experience as she loves creating videos. So the wonderful Sophie joined us for the day (and also helped with Bridesmaids hair and many other things!) and created the most incredible video for us. It was cool, fun and captured the feel and tone of the day so perfectly. She's also sending us all of the footage and the speeches in full.

My top tip would be to get your wedding on video! If you can't afford a videographer, see if a friend can help out, or just ask your friends to film clips on your phone and send them to you. It's so nice to see the day as you forget so much of it in the wedding haze. And definitely record the speeches if you can. 

I hope you enjoyed these wedding posts - you can read all of them here.

Daisy x


Wedding: Music, Entertainment and Food



Wedding photography by Jo Hastings

I hope you are enjoying my wedding series- I am loving spending time writing each post and reliving our day! Today we are talking about the music, entertainment and food.

Music

I feel like music really sets the tone and ambience at a wedding. For me, one of the easiest decisions was deciding which song to walk down the aisle too - I've always loved the classic Canon in D by Pachabel and have always pictured myself walking with my Dad to it! When I heard the music start up it made me so emotional and getting married suddenly felt very real. 

I absolutely adore the strings and was so happy to find the Simply Strings Trio who had a great repertoire and had played at our venue before. They played throughout the ceremony and into the drinks reception. During the signing of the register they played Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros and Your Song by Elton John, and we walked out to Fly me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra (we had to have a bit of Frank!) and during the drinks reception they played all of the songs we'd requested. Simply Strings were brilliant and so easy to deal with (as were all of our suppliers -  we were really lucky). 

Our first dance was Andy Williams 'Can't take my eyes off of you' which was so perfect for the fun and happiness of our day. Everyone loved clapping and singing along, and we got everyone onto the dancefloor at the first opportunity!

During the wedding breakfast we had songs playing from Doddington's wedding playlist and for the evening we had the most fantastic band called The Indie Killers. I find that a band can make or break the dance floor at a wedding so did lots of research and was totally convinced after seeing so many rave reviews for The Indie Killers. They were everything we wanted and more - the dancefloor was full all night and they were amazing at getting everyone involved, there was so much energy! They also let my sister, and one of our friend's play with drums with them which was so special. It really was our own personal gig. Here's a video of my sister playing with the band. 

I also can't talk about the music and entertainment without mentioning this special surprise from our MC, Tommy. He'd been talking to the band secretly to arrange a rap performance of 'Ice Ice Chris and Daisy' - it was amazing and so thoughtful! You can watch it here

Entertainment

Obviously the band were a huge part of the entertainment for the day, and have been raved about ever since! We also had a close-up magician, Tyler Harrison who I'd actually seen perform at one of the Gleam Futures Summer parties (I wasn't there but saw on one of the many YouTube videos after the party!). Chris absolutely loves magic so we had to have one, and we thought it was a great way of filling the time between the ceremony and wedding breakfast. Tyler was fantastic and so down to earth and friendly. We loved hearing the gasps and laughs around the garden as he performed. 

We also put out some garden games for guests to enjoy and luckily it was such a beautiful day so people really could make the most of them! We hired Giant Jenga from Pretty Little Extras and this went down a storm - every 10 minutes we could hear it topple over!

Another part of the day which I had to make happen, was the Photo Booth. If there is a Photo Booth at a wedding I am all over it. We hired the selfie booth from Snapz who were absolutely brilliant and genuinely lovely guys. I loved the selfie booth as it's open so everyone can watch the fun, and you can fit lots of people in a photo. It also doubled as our guest book - everyone got their own print out and then one was put in the guest book with a space for them to write their message. 

Food and drink

We knew the food was going to be delicious as our venue, Doddington Hall uses seasonal produce from their own estate and local suppliers. We weren't disappointed! To accompany our Pimms and Prosecco reception we had a small number of canap├ęs - mini toasted pittas with hummus and salmon blinis. For the wedding breakfast we were able to give our guests two options for each course. For starter it was either a seasonal vegetable soup or oak smoked duck; for main it was a choice between a blade of Doddington herd Lincoln red beef or shoulder of Lincolnshire lamb and for dessert it was either strawberries and cream or gooey chocolate pecan pie.

Later that evening we had a big cheese table with in house delicatessen counter cheeses, olives and artisan breads. It came with fresh fruit and homemade chutneys, and we also added charcuterie and Doddington pies. It was very well received after a good few hours of dancing!

Last but definitely not least was our incredible wedding cake. Isn't it the most amazing cake you've ever seen? We are so very lucky as my Auntie Jenny works for Choccywoccydoodah (you can sometimes spot her in the TV show!) and so made us our beautiful cake. She even managed to add in a bike for Chris! It's a work of art and we really didn't want to cut it, but luckily we did as it was so delicious and we carried on eating it the next morning. We went for a dark chocolate layer with chocolate ganache, a chocolate orange layer with chocolate ganache and a lemon layer with white chocolate ganache. 

Another long post but we are nearing the end of my wedding series - only one more post to go! You can read the other posts in the series here.


Daisy x



Wedding: Flowers and Details




Wedding photography by Jo Hastings

It's time for the fourth instalment of my wedding series (read all of the posts here) and today it's all about our beautiful flowers and the little special details that I loved planning! I have to admit, Pinterest, and real wedding blogs were my best friend when deciding on the look I wanted to go for.

When it came to our flowers, I was so lucky and my amazing Mum (with help from her lovely friend Deb and my sister's girlfriend Isabelle) did them all - from the pedestals, to the bouquets, to the jam jar centrepieces. It was so special. She's loved it so much that she has decided to start a floristry business - so if you are in the Lincolnshire/East Midlands and want flowers, visit her website here

I knew that I wanted lots of foliage, cream/white flowers and touches of pink and Mum delivered exactly what I envisaged. She used lots of flowers including roses, gypsophila, lisianthus, hydrangeas, honeysuckle and cosmos, and then lots of foliage - eucalyptus, pittosporum and ivy. The buttonholes were a simple white rose with a piece of eucalyptus and rosemary. 

The centrepieces were inspired by a photo I'd seen on Pinterest. We borrowed the wood slices from my cousin, and before the wedding day had spent a few hours making the jam jars we'd collected look pretty. We (I saw we - I mean Mum and Deb!) filled the jam jars with pretty flowers and we scattered dried rose petals on and around the wood slice. My Mum also found these lovely 'wedding day' candles (for only 50p in home bargains!) which we added to the display. We brought lots of these home with us and it's so nice to have them around the flat, always reminding us of the day!

For the table numbers, we decided to go with each year we'd been together. I got a polaroid printed (using Photobox who were great) with a photo from that year, and then propped it up on a miniature easel (bought from eBay here). For table settings, I bought these gift tags and spent quite a lot of time painstakingly stamping everyone's name onto them! We tied them to a piece of rosemary which I love the look of. We actually ran out of rosemary as we were doing it but luckily our venue let us cut some from their rosemary bush!

We also added advice cards to each place setting and we loved reading these after the wedding. Was a lovely thing for guests to do once they'd taken their seat. I ordered lots of mini pencils from eBay and  put them in a mini jam jar on each table. For the children at the wedding, we ordered these personalised activity packs from Etsy which were so cute and kept them occupied during the speeches! They even had bikes on the front which tied in with Chris' love of bikes (which also featured on our invitations and the cake - which you'll see soon).

Speaking of bikes, we were so excited when we found this bicycle prop from Pretty Little Extras and knew we had to have it. We put it outside the reception coach house and it was featured in many photos! My Mum filled the crate it came with, with lots of flowers and it looked amazing. We also hired our order of the day blackboard chitting tray from Pretty Little Extras (amongst other items!) and were so impressed with their service. Claire is so friendly and it was lovely to support a local business. Highly recommend them.

For the evening we had a couple of additional details which I loved. At a family party last year, we'd all been given glowsticks and these had gone down an absolute treat - we knew we had to get them for our wedding. I ordered lots of them from eBay (eBay got a lot of business from me this year!) and we put them in jam jars around the dance floor. Everyone was loving them and it was amazing to look round and see everyone wearing them! They are a cheap way to really add some fun.

We also ordered a crate of flip flops from Pretty Little Extras. We went for blush pink and white coloured flip flops (so they looked great and matched our colours) and they had all gone by 8pm! I loved seeing all of the women in their glamorous dresses and pink flip flops, enjoying the dance floor.  It's a little touch but it went down so well. It also worked out well for my cousin's husband who didn't bring any spare shoes with him, so ended up wearing them to our breakfast celebration the next day!

I've just realised how long this post is, and how I can't believe how many little bits and bobs I'd included in the day. Thinking of the details was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning and I'm sad I won't be able to do it again!

Daisy x

Wedding: Accessories, Hair & Make-up




Wedding photography by Jo Hastings

When you get married there is so much to think about with your outfit- there's obviously your dress which is the big thing to get sorted but then it's all about the little pieces which will make you wedding-ready!

The accessories

At first I wasn't sure about having a veil but I tried one on and loved how 'bridal' it made me look. I initially bought a cheap one online but the quality wasn't great, so ended up going back to my bridal boutique (Belle & Bouquet) and buying a fingertip length veil with a very subtle diamante trim. I wore the veil for the ceremony and photos, and then took it off after the meal.

I also wore a beautiful hair vine from Liza Designs, which I also bought from my bridal boutique (if you're buying a few pieces from your boutique, make sure to ask for a discount as I got my hair vine for free!). I love how it went all the way around my head and worked so well with the veil too.

For jewellery, I wore a simple necklace of my Mum's (my something borrowed!) and my bracelet was this gorgeous sparkling strand bracelet from Pandora which was a gift for my 30th from my brother and sister. I also had a lovely little handbag for the day, which was embroidered in pearls and was my Nana's (who sadly isn't with us anymore).

Hair and make-up

I initially booked a hair and make-up artist for my wedding day, however my trial didn't go the way I wanted and it made me realise that I am very particular about my make-up (and much prefer doing my own!) and even though I shared photos of the hair I wanted, it just came out looking so formal and structured. Luckily my sister's girlfriend stepped in and had a quick play with my hair, creating exactly the loose waved style that I wanted. Luckily for me, she was happy to do my hair on the day and it was so nice having someone I knew who was able to do it for me. 

I might do a separate post about my makeup for the day - I bought a few new pieces of makeup (doing your own is such a great excuse!) and there are some products which are absolute winners and would highly recommend - top three being the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette in natural (I used the whole palette on the day and it works out as such good value at £49 as you get so much product), the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness concealer and the Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.

Beauty-wise, I also had a Fake Bake spray tan a couple of days before (I had a trial run before to make sure it would look good, and natural) and had eyelash extensions - both of which made me feel amazing and are treatments I wish I could have all of the time!

The shoes

I didn't buy designer, or extravagant shoes for the wedding and they didn't really match my dress, or accessories! They were fun, a decent sized heeled and were a gold sparkly pair from Debenhams. I wore them all day and they were so comfy.

The extra touches

In the run up to the wedding, my Bridesmaid Flora and I went to Jo Malone and did one of their bridal consultations. It was brilliant and such a lovely experience - there was no pressure to buy anything and we had such a lovely arm and hand massage. My wedding 'scent' was the English Pear & Freesia body lotion, layered with the Peony and Blush Suede fragrance. It's so special to have a fragrance which reminds me so much of our wedding day. I also bought my Bridesmaids a travel sized perfume each, and a soap from Jo Malone.

For my nails, I wore two coats of the Essie nail polish in Ballet Slippers (fun fact - this is apparently what the Queen wears!).

Finally, I wanted to mention the Invisibra which is a backless, stick on bra. It was recommended to me by my bridal boutique and it worked a treat. It felt secure all day and looked pretty too. I went for a lace, push up one to give me a little more boost up top!

Read the first two posts in my wedding series here.

Daisy x