Sunday, 7 April 2019

Wedding Chat: Choosing Bands & Meeting Our Officiant

Wedding Chat: Choosing Rings & Meeting Our Officiant - ItsHollieAnn
I know it's only been a few short weeks since I posted a wedding update but I couldn't help but share another because.. We've chosen our wedding bands! We'd originally decided on getting them in either late April or early May but the more we thought and the more our calendars filled up, we decided it would be best to get them early so that we've got longer to make any changes. 

As always our appointment with Rob was a dream. We caught up on the past few months over a coffee and champagne before the big reveal. I fell in love with my band as soon as I saw it - It's ever so delicate and compliments my engagement ring perfectly. My fiancee's is the perfect classic band however she's undecided whether to go for one that's an extra mm in width - You wouldn't believe the difference it makes.

We've decided we'll have them engraved after the wedding and I'm toying with the idea of getting my engagement ring done too. It's currently off to be resized which is giving me all kinds of separation anxiety but hopefully this time around it will be the perfect size, plus it'll get a little polish too so it'll be even more sparkling. We also chose to emboss our boxes. My fiancee's was ready yesterday but mine should be with my when my engagement ring comes back - It's exactly the same but the initials are reversed. 

This week we were also introduced to our officiant, Judy, over in Las Vegas. She's an award winning officiant with years of experience with all different kinds of ceremonies. She's down to earth, very fun and right up our street so we're very excited to be working with her.  

Also, we finally got round to having invitations printed so we're in the process of sending those out as we speak - I'm a bit nervous that people are going to tell us they're coming but not actually RSVP so I can see myself chasing people closer to the time. I'll apologise to them in advance.

We're still putting together a playlist to send to our DJ but I'm hoping he'll get the vibe and play some songs we've probably forgot to add. I almost forgot to mention that we also found vases for the tables at our Celebration/Reception party yesterday - They were a bargain from Ikea and they look 5x the price. Very happy indeed!
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As of today, it's 75 days until we get married. I say this all the time but it's coming round so quickly! We're both incredibly excited but we'll be so sad that the planning and prep is over because we're truly having the best time!

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Monday, 1 April 2019

Current Base Staples

Current Base Staples - ItsHollieAnn
It's about that time of year where I start switching up my beauty products. Now that the cooler months are almost over and done with, I'm craving that natural looking dewy skin that will see me right the way through summer. My skincare has remained the same with the exception of switching to a lighter moisturiser so today I wanted to round up the beauty base products I'm currently reaching for on a daily basis, to give me that natural glow.

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream

This CC cream has actually been a staple of mine for I don't know how long. I love the way I can customise the coverage depending on whether I use a sponge or a brush and I also love that it doesn't feel heavy or cakey on my skin. I've not come across a product yet that doesn't layer well with this CC cream and despite it becoming a little tough to get hold of, it's remaining firmly on my dressing table for as long as physically possible.

L'Oreal Infallible Magic Essence Drops

Blue drops to brighten my complexion? Yes, I too was skeptical. Whilst I don't feel like these alter the luminance of my skin, they do an excellent job of hydrating. Upon first impressions I compared them to The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid  but after using them a little more, I think I prefer these because the consistency isn't thick making them very easy to blend out. Also worth nothing that, considering they're blue, you actually don't look like a smurf after application. 

L'Oreal Glow Mon Amour Highlighting Drops

I first discovered these about a year ago when searching for the perfect 'no makeup makeup'. I instantly fell in love with their versatility and their ability to not appear as though I'd poured a pot of glitter onto my face. At first I found them quite oily and though this is no longer the case, I do use them sparingly on my nose and forehead just in case. At the moment, I like applying them after the essence drops but before my CC cream - Sometimes I'll top them up afterwards too. Definitely a must have, especially since they're a fraction of the price of some others on the market.

Glossier Stretch Concealer

I have a love hate relationship with Glossier whereby I love their products but my skin hates them. This concealer is no different but I think I've found a way to finally make it work since I want to love it so much. As this concealer isn't as sheer as I first thought, without any other makeup, it's incredibly noticeable and often dries out over spots and under my eyes. Underneath my CC cream however, it works like a dream - I've been using it under and around my eyes, around my nose and even to cover blemishes and it no longer dries out or ends up sliding around my face. Since discovering this new-to-me way of using it, I've honestly been having the best time. I'm even considering replacing it - It's finally love. 
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There you have it, my four current base staples, why I love them and a little bit about how I use them. Thanks so much to everyone that voted for this post in my Instagram poll, it's one I've been meaning to share for weeks! What are your current base staples or beauty bits you can't live without?

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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Wedding Chat: Where Are We Up To With Planning?

Wedding Chat Where Are We Up To With Planning ItsHollieAnn.com
I knew our wedding would come around fast but as of today, it's 94 days until we get married. Where has the time gone? Since it's coming around so quickly I wanted to let you in on where we're up to with the planning and what we've still got left to arrange. 

I've mentioned previously that we're planning to elope and marry in Las Vegas whilst we're there in the summer - We booked the trip months before getting engaged but it seemed perfect to tie the knot whilst we're there since it's one of our favourite destinations. 

In terms of planning for the actual day in Vegas, our lovely planner Angelica is taking care of the bookings and logistics which takes a huge weight off our shoulders. I found our photographer through Instagram and she's now been confirmed along with the venue and officiant. Angelica has sent our flower requests over to the florist and is also taking care of our dinner reservations for the evening - She's a dream. We've yet to arrange transport from our hotel to the photo locations then on to the venue but Angelica has assured me that it's all in hand and  so I'm expecting an email about it any day now. We both know what we'll be wearing and so we just need to have some alterations taken care of and we're good to go. Of course, we'll need to sort a licence when we get there which should be easy enough after filling in a pre-application online. 

I've been pleasantly surprised by how stress-free organising a destination wedding has been. Angelica has been on hand whenever we've had questions and our photographer - who I'm keeping a secret because I can't wait for you to see the photos - has been equally wonderful in helping us with everything we've needed. 

In terms of the party or Wedding Celebration when we come home, again, I'm surprised at how stress-free the planning has been. Since we were planning this wedding in less than six months, the date and venue were chosen almost straight away with us securing the only available Saturday until the end of the year. This meant the Save The Dates were sent out less than three weeks after us getting engaged and I've got the invitation template ready to follow as soon as we've confirmed the guest list. 

Our food and drinks are being taken care of by the venue as is the lighting, we just need to select some additional decorations to make the venue come together. We picked a DJ after his bio read 'Not your usual cheesy DJ' which was perfect and he's also an aspiring photographer so he'll be taking some very candid shots when he's not playing the best of our mostly 80s playlist. We're undecided as to whether to do favours as it's not a sit-down meal or an actual wedding so to me, it doesn't seem necessary. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we've also chosen our cake after going tasting a few weeks ago - I'm so excited for it, you wouldn't even believe. In terms of what to wear, my other half is sorted. I'm undecided as to whether to wear the same outfit I get married in or something completely different - Truthfully it depends on whether I ruin it in Vegas which is highly likely unfortunately. 

Rings! How did I almost forget? We're still deciding when is best to get our rings because we don't want to get them too early and our finger sizes change for whatever reason. I also need to have my engagement ring resized, yes again, so we're trying to work out when is best. We have Rob at Tiffany on hand so he's ready to go when we are - We'll probably leave it until late April or May I imagine. 

Hen parties, a very apt question for two ladies getting married - We've decided to have one together. We weren't going to have one at all but one of our good friends insisted it'd be a good laugh and something us girls can all do together. We have the same friends so it didn't make sense to have separate parties. I'm forever hoping they're keeping it casual and so far I've heard Liverpool and pub-golf being thrown around which works perfect for me. Fuss free and so chill - Like our entire wedding. 

I didn't think I'd have a lot to update you on but boy, here you go. To be honest, we're very nearly done as we have been since the end of January. There's just a few little things to confirm/organise and then we'll be done. I thought this process would be a lot more stressful since people throw the term Bridezilla around like it's this mythical creature every bride-to-be becomes but truthfully we've enjoyed it so much and haven't been stressed once. It's been good. 
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I'd still love to hear your best wedding planning tips since we still have a few things to do. Oh, one more thing, I'm double-barreling my name. How very 2019.

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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Our Easy Chili Con Carne Recipe

Our Easy Chili Con Carne Recipe - ItsHollieAnn
We make a chili every other week in the colder months and last week was no different. When I was tucking into leftovers, I asked over on my Instagram if anyone would like me to share the recipe and since everyone said yes, here it comes.  

INGREDIENTS 

500g 5% Fat Mince
400g Chopped Tomatoes
415g/1 Can of Baked Beans
405g/1 Can of Kidney Beans
300ml Beef Stock
1 Onion
1tbsp Tomato Puree 
2tsp Cumin
1tsp Ground Coriander
1tsp Lazy Chili/1 Chopped Chili 
2 Garlic Cloves

METHOD

Fry the mince and onions together until the mince browns, breaking down the mince with a spoon if necessary. Add the garlic and chili and stir in until distributed then add the cumin and ground coriander. Once the mince is coated, add in the tomato puree and beef stock and let everything reduce.

When reduced almost entirely add the chopped tomatoes and stir in before adding the kidney beans and baked beans. Bring to the boil and then let simmer to the consistency of your choice - We like plenty of sauce if we're eating it with rice but not as much when eating with tortilla chips.

This recipe makes 4-6 servings depending on size. We'll often store leftovers in the fridge and eat it a day or two later. 
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This is honestly one of our favourite meals, I'd love to know if you make it too. 

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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Turning 24 & Reflecting On The Past Year

Turning 24
I turned twenty-four on Wednesday and after just getting over a two day hangover (my friends are the worst influence) I'm finally ready to have a little chat and reflect on the past year and what's coming up. 

Twenty-three was very fun and, dare I say, it was the first year I really felt like I had my life together. I started the year making more effort with friends, finally parted ways with others and  throughout the year reconnected with people I'd lost touch with years before which felt great. 

We took another trip to Las Vegas and this was probably our favourite trip yet. We hung out, just the two of us, ate lots of amazing food and just spent the week being us. 

In the summer, I talked about selling your skills and the tips I shared helped me land a two month secondment in my company's US office, something I never even thought was in reach. I left my girlfriend behind to spend eight weeks in Charleston, a city I'd always wanted to visit, and became friends with people I couldn't imagine my life without. 

It was great experience and whilst I'd already decided I didn't need a five-year plan,  it really put things into perspective in terms of what I wanted out of my relationship, my job and life in general - It also made me realise things I didn't need. What I got out of that trip was more than I'd ever expected and I'm so glad I took the plunge and did it - Even if I did have a minor breakdown in Philadelphia airport en route.

I got home just before Christmas and to my surprise on New Years Eve, my girlfriend asked me to marry her. Of course, I said yes and so we've spent the last two months planning our wedding and that's just one reason why this year is going to be so exciting. 

Not only are we taking a trip to San Francisco and Las Vegas in June but we're also getting married whilst we're there.  We're then planning a party with our nearest and dearest when we come home before honeymooning in Rome, Paris and Kos later in the year which we're both over the moon about.

There's something about twenty-four that just feels right. I feel like I'm exactly where I'm meant to be. This last year was absolutely incredible and though the hangovers are already worse, I feel like twenty-four is going to be my favourite year yet.

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Sunday, 3 March 2019

This Years Travel Plans & Our Honeymoon Destinations

This Years Travel Plans & Our Honeymoon Destinations
It's taken us about a month to finalise our plans but we've now marked our calendars with the trips we're taking in 2019. We're packing a lot more than usual into this year but it's going to be ridiculously exciting. So where are we heading?

SAN FRANCISCO & LAS VEGAS

The first trip in our diaries this year takes us back to the US. We'll be heading to San Fran for the weekend before heading to Vegas for a week. I'm super excited for San Francisco having not visited before but we're only in the city for a few days so we're trying to be selective about what we do. We'll then take a short flight over to Vegas for a week where we'll get married and relax.

ROME & PARIS

The first of our honeymoons, Rome and Paris. Two cities I can't believe we haven't visited. We actually planned on taking these trips separately so we could spread them out over the rest of the year but the price of flying to Rome, Paris and then home was far less than one trip to Rome and one trip to Paris so we're doing it all in one. Plus, since we weren't able to make it to Paris last year, there's no way we're missing this year. We're going to spend three days in each which will hopefully be enough time to see the sights, drink lots of wine and eat great food. 

KOS 

I've talked about how much we loved Kos previously and our first trip is one we still reminisce about now which made it the perfect place for us to honeymoon. We loved everything from the scenery and the people to the town and the food and so I'm really excited to be heading back later in the year. We decided to treat ourselves to 10 nights so we're really able to unwind and conclude the year we got married. 
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I'm so happy that we've finalised our plans and that I can now share them with you. I honestly feel like this is going to be one of the most exciting years not and not just for travel. I'm excited to see what else it will bring. What are you travelling to this year?

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Monday, 18 February 2019

Using Retinol Toner & Glycolic Acid Together

Using Retinol Toner and Glycolic Acid Together ItsHollieAnn
Almost a year ago, I wrote a post talking about how I had finally got around to trying Pixi glycolic acid and why it was working wonders for my skin. Since then, aside from a few trial and error products, my skincare routine hasn't changed. That is until recently when I introduced a retinol toner. 

I'd heard lots about retinoil in cream, serum and toner form but after doing some reading, I started to wonder if they would be safe to use alongside my glycolic acid preferably without having my face melt away. After a lengthy internet search I finally found some useful information and so I thought I'd share in case you were wondering the same thing.

WHAT IS RETINOL?

Retinol is an over-the-counter form of Vitamin A. It's said to be a multi-tasker that can increase firmness and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing cell production. Bonus, it can also help tackle uneven skin-tone - Hallelujah. It should be applied at night and you should always consider using a suncream to protect your skin. Like most products, it shouldn't be used on broken or sensitive skin as it can cause eczema, dryness and flaking. Think of retinol as helping what's underneath the skins surface.

WHAT IS GLYCOLIC ACID?

Glycolic acid is a fruit acid exfoliator. It's said to unclog pores and remove the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal fresh and glowing skin. Bonus, it can also help with discolouration, scarring and, like retinol, it can also assist with fine lines and wrinkles. I experienced some minor irritation when I first started using the product but after a week of incorporating it into my nightly skincare routine, it soon went away. Unlike retinol, glycolic acid helps the skins surface as oppose to what's underneath. 

CAN THEY BE USED TOGETHER?

Honestly, it depends who you ask. Every skincare expert has a different opinion on whether they should or shouldn't be combined. In my opinion, do your research and take note of the facts. Depending on your skin type is going to depend on whether it will cause excessive dryness so it's all about listening to your skin and stepping up your moisturiser if it's a problem. 

HOW DO I LIKE TO USE THEM?

Because of factors like increased dryness, I rotate them within my routine. I use my glycolic acid each night and now that my skin is used to it, I've started to introduce the retinol one night, in place of it. I do notice increased dryness the night of and day after I use retinol but I just ensure I keep on top of moisturiser and sometimes add a hyaluronic acid for extra hydration if  necessary. I absolutely love incorporating both of these products into my skincare routine because they benefit my skin in different ways - I wouldn't be without either of them. It's all about listening to what your skin is telling you and adjusting your products accordingly.
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Do you use either of these products? If so, what are your thoughts? If not, what products in your skincare routine could you absolutely not live without?

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Wedding Chat: Questions To Ask When Marrying Abroad

6 Questions To Ask When Deciding To Get Married Abroad
When the time came to start planning our wedding, we already knew that we wanted to get married abroad. Despite being engaged for a little under two months, we've always talked about planning a destination wedding and knew exactly where we we'd have it. As much as planning a destination wedding has been fun, I wanted to run you through 6 questions it's good to ask yourself when planning our own wedding abroad.

HOW WILL YOU SELECT THE RIGHT DESTINATION?

First and foremost, as a couple, you need to ask yourself where you want to get married. Do you want a destination that you both know and love, or somewhere new and unknown? If you're inviting guests, it is a destination that can cater for their needs ie. Older relatives or those with children? And, most importantly, what is the cost and are you able to plan from where you live?

We've had our hearts set on getting married in our chosen destination for quite some time so when it came a time to start planning, all that was left to do was choose the right venue. I searched Instagram and Pinterest looking for the perfect place and it was only after I came across our photographer that we found the perfect spot.

CAN YOU VISIT THE VENUE BEFOREHAND?

It isn't always best practice to book a wedding venue without seeing it but when planning a wedding abroad, visiting the place you want to get married isn't always an option. For us, it isn't really necessary to visit our venue beforehand but with regards to hotels, certainly if you've never visited before, it would be an absolute bonus to see it first, to check everything is as you'd like it.

CAN YOUR GUESTS MAKE IT TO THE CEREMONY?

It goes without saying that when choosing to get married abroad, you have to be prepared for people that can't make it. The majority of the time it may be down to financial or work commitments and so there may be a few people that can't attend. If you're intending to invite lots of friends and family, I'd suggest setting a date far enough in advance so that your nearest and dearest can plan ahead. 

With regards to our wedding, having guests at our ceremony isn’t something we ever considered. We always knew that we wanted to get married alone and celebrate with friends and family when we return home.

WILL YOU NEED A WEDDING PLANNER?

It's worth asking yourself if it's worth your time and money to hire a wedding planner to assist you. It's not for everyone but in our experience, with being in a different time zone, it's been an absolute godsend to have a wedding planner as part of our team. She's coordinating everything from officiants to transport, flowers and logistics - Things that would likely have me tearing my hair out, trying to organise from thousands of miles away. 

HOW WILL YOU FIND THE RIGHT VENDORS?

This can be tricky but trust me, it's worth doing your research. I was lucky enough to find our photographer on Instagram who then put us in touch with a wedding planner but it's worth considering if you'll need to source vendors yourself, or whether this is something your chosen venue or wedding planner can help with. Think flowers, caterers, photographers, officiants, DJs. Everything. 

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS?

Last but by absolutely no means least, it's important to gather information on the legal requirements of getting married in your chosen country. A quick search on Gov.uk will bring up everything you need to marry  in different countries around the world and it's always worth checking local government websites too just in case there's anything else they suggest. The majority of countries will look for a passport with six months remaining, a birth certificate or other form of ID, local licences and sometimes, complete days spent in the country or resort before marrying. 
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Are you thinking or marrying abroad or have you done it in the past? I'd love to hear your thpughts and any tips you can recommend.

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Monday, 4 February 2019

Things I Consider When Booking Flights & Accommodation

Things I Consider When Booking Flights & Accommodation | ItsHollieAnn
Booking a trip generally goes one of two ways; Everything is plain sailing and quick or it's a long and stressful process with what seems like no solution. The majority of the time, I sit right in the middle. 

In my house, I do all of the planning and booking. My fiance and I will of course choose a destination together but then I step in to select hotels, flights, dates and visas, insurance and transport - You name it, I do it. In all honestly, it's something I've come to love. I tend to know what to research, where to find it and how to plan. Sometimes, I manage to lean to the 'plain sailing' end of the scale. 

Since we have our wedding trip coming up and because I've just finished planning our honeymoons, I wanted to touch upon the things I consider when booking flights and accommodation, no matter where the destination. 

FLIGHTS

Weather A big factor that comes into play, before even booking flights and accommodation, is the weather. I don't tend to hope for any weather in particular but I like to be prepared. I like to know whether it will be hot or cold, in season or out because that will also depend on whether the destination will busy or not - Think Santorini in high season vs out. 

Time of Day When booking flights, I generally try to arrive at my destination earlier and leave later. If I'm travelling short haul, I start by searching for flights that will get me to my destination before midday local time - This way, I can still have the afternoon and evening to explore. Similarly, I'll look for flights home taking off in the early evening so I can make the most of the morning and afternoon. If I'm travelling long haul, I like to arrive at my destination in mid-afternoon local time so that I can shower, grab a bite to eat and then head to bed - This helps me to adjust to the timezone a little easier. When selecting flights home, I opt for a flight that will get me back to the UK early in the morning so I can treat my flight home like my night sleep, waking up fresh on GMT. 

Connections Something I consider, especially when travelling long haul, is whether making a connection is beneficial. Sometimes, it can bring the cost of a plane ticket down dramatically but on the other hand, it can also increase travel time and add extra stress to your journey. If I do choose to make a connection, I always check how long that connection takes. The average time from terminal 3 to 5 in Heathrow is an hour and a half - Something to consider when booking an onward flight. On top of this, I consider whether I have to wait at passport control before making a connection, something I spent almost two hours doing in Philadelphia last year. 

Airline Think of this what you will but I always research a new airline before flying with them. It goes without saying that the likes of British Airways and Virgin are well known but I recently looked into a Spanish airline that had over 10 incidents in 2018. It's not about 'accident factor' and you might be surprised to learn that I don't have a fear of flying. Aviation is just something that interests me greatly so its something I tend to take a look at, just out of my own interest. 

ACCOMMODATION 

Location First and foremost I consider where I want to stay. Depending on the destination, I like to pick accommodation relatively close to things I want to see and do but also somewhere that's well connected so we have the flexibility to explore further afield with ease. I consider things like public transport links, whether Uber/Lyft is available and also the cost of using these options to go where we want to without incurring significantly extra costs if we're not able to travel on foot.

Reviews To be honest, I rarely read reviews. I look at the overall star rating but I tend to skip the individual reviews because people don't tend to leave good ones - It's a bad review or nothing at all. 

Amenities I don't base my choice on the amenities available but it's always handy to know whether there is a pool, tea and coffee in your room and whether there is an additional resort charge for these. I also like to find out when I can check in depending on the flights I've chosen  and if I can't check in when I arrive, I always check whether you can store luggage which, for the most part, is standard. 
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Booking trips isn't for everyone and of course, going to a Travel Agent can make the whole process a hell of a lot easier. These days, I prefer to do most of the work myself so I hope this helped if you're looking to do the same. I'd love to know what things you consider when booking flights, accommodation, trips, transport - Anything. Let me know!

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Monday, 28 January 2019

Wedding Chat: Why We're Planning To Elope

Why We're Planning To Elope - ItsHollieAnn
Marriage is between two people. Whether you're planning your big day, if it's not on the cards yet or if you just wanted a little insight, I wanted to share our experience with planning to elope. 
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I feel like you only need to utter the word 'elope' and everyone around you gasps in horror - That was my experience anyway. Everytime the word left my mouth, I was met with an expression of shock, disbelief and sometimes, pity. 

I'd never dreamed of the big white wedding and truthfully I'd never even dreamed of an engagement. This is why, when the subject of marriage came up between my partner and I, we both knew exactly what we wanted. To elope. 

Rather than dreaming of floral arrangements, songs we'd walk down the aisle to and the font we'd choose for place settings, we dreamed of heading somewhere far away, not telling a soul and spending the day as we intend to spend the rest of our lives, together.

Though we didn't originally plan on sharing our plans to elope, when the subject came up with my girlfriends following our engagement, I couldn't believe the responses I was met with. "But what about bridesmaids?", "What about a cake?" and "What will your parents say?" were among the first questions that sprung from them - Not one of which actually effected us but instead, our guests to-be.

In that very moment, they'd cemented what we'd been thinking all along. My partner and I want to be married but what we don't want is a wedding. Following our engagement on New Years Eve, despite my girlfriends concerns, we set out planning just that - To tie the knot during a trip we're taking in June. Of course, we want to celebrate with our friends and family when we're home but in a much more 'us' kind of way which is essentially more prosecco, less obligatory invites and thank heavens, no white dress. 

I completely appreciate that eloping is not for everyone and you might be reading these words not agreeing with a single word and that's okay, because you don't have to. Marriages are about two people and weddings can be too. Whether you want a traditional wedding, festival wedding, small wedding, big wedding, whatever your heart desires, as long as you and your partner are happy that's all that matters. 

And in case you're wondering, our friends came around after two glasses of wine and our parents were overjoyed that despite us wanting to get married alone, we want to celebrate  the second when we get home. 
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I'd love to hear yours and your partners wedding stories.

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Friday, 25 January 2019

5 Apps For Organisation & A Phone Case From Maison de Sabré

5 Apps For Planning & A Phone Case From Maison de Sabré
2019 is already a hectic year. First and foremost, with the help of the lovely Angelica, I'm organising an overseas wedding. Next, I'm putting together a wedding reception for when we're home, a dreamy honeymoon and of course, the original trip that sparked it all. Since my partner isn't quite as Type A as me, it means I am tasked with planning it all. Who am I kidding? I love it.

As much as I wish I was an on-paper planner, it's just not for me. I end up with endless lists spread across several notebooks to a point where I'm tearing my house apart trying to find flight details that I know I wrote on a post-it three weeks prior. Or did I?

My iPhone has always been the center of almost all of my plans and is my most worn accessory after my beloved Rockie. Everything from boarding passes, concert tickets, itineraries and to-do lists are all stored on my phone. 

Though the worlds population is trying limit their screen time, after Maison de Sabré sent me this gorgeous monogrammed phone case* in all it's real-leather glory, it reminded me that utilising my phone is nothing to be ashamed of. In light of that, here's a run-through of apps I use most to plan out my life and why they're so useful to me. 


Buffer & UMUN First up and two of my most used apps are Buffer and UMUN. Buffer is my go to for scheduling tweets about my latest blog posts - I'd say I fill this on a weekly basis, usually on a Sunday afternoon. UMUN is my go-to for planning Instagram posts. I don't tend to use this ahead of time like Buffer, it's more so for when I'm about to post and want to check a photo works well with my feed.


Calendar Self explanatory but I literally put every life event into my calendar. Appointments, social outings, hotel reservations, itineraries if I'm travelling - The lot. It helps me to see my day in a view I can process and see where there are gaps to schedule other events or when days are completely blocked out.


Instagram Recently, I've seen Instagram in a whole new light. I'm using it to find everything from wedding suppliers to breakfast spots in my local town right through to new bands, places I want to visit and home inspiration. I'm loving my new found use for it, especially after developing a love/hate relationship with it. Their save feature is my new jam and is catagorised into things like 'To-Try/To-Buy', 'Photo Inspiration' and 'Destinations'.

Google Drive Okay so I'm slightly cheating with this one. I use Google Drive practically everyday but within it I utilise four main things for planning and organising. Sheets for my monthly budget as well as trip and wedding planning - I've never loved a spreadsheet as much as my wedding planning sheet. When I'm travelling, I always use Maps to pin eateries, drinking spots and things to do which I also use for blog posts when I arrive home. I use Photos to organise my pictures into albums and have it auto-syncing with my iPhone whenever I'm connected to wi-fi and finally I use Docs for when I need to write out blog posts or make lists on the go. It's easily my most used app and I'd be 100% lost without it. 


Wallet A bonus sixth app but easily another go-to. I have my bank linked to Wallet for when I'm out and about in case I don't have, or don't want to reach for, my purse. I organise mobile tickets whether it's for concerts or boarding passes and along with that, hotel reservations. That way, everything is in one place. 
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I'd love to know whether your phone is your most used accessory or whether you're trying to limit screen time and any apps you might use to help you plan or organise your life more easily!

Products marked with an * are PR samples.

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Sunday, 13 January 2019 / Folly Beach, SC, USA

Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina

Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Falling In Love With Folly Beach, South Carolina - ItsHollieAnn
Folly Beach. A charming beach town less than 3o minutes drive from downtown Charleston. It's known mostly for it's pier stretching out into the Atlantic but also for it's genuine seaside charm. 

We ventured to Folly Beach one Sunday and started our day strolling along the sand, in awe of the pastel beach-front houses. As we approached the pier, surfers were taking their boards into the ocean and families ran around with their dogs whilst children skimmed stones into the sea. We stood for a while taking in our surroundings, talking to fishermen on the pier and dreaming of what it'd be like to live in such a gorgeous place. 

After soaking up the sun and breathing in the sea air, we headed into town to explore. Immediately I was in love. There were streets lined with palmetto trees, shops with stalls on the pavements and the smell of delicious seafood coming out of every eatery we walked past. Though we were spoilt for choice, we headed into Snapper Jacks for calamari and mimosas - A meal I can't stop thinking about even today. A little further up Center Street, we were met with enough bars and restaurants to keep us excited for days if time would allow and the streets just off were quiet and laden with palms. Beautiful. 

Folly Beach was like something straight out of a movie and to this day, I genuinely can't believe somewhere like it exists - So cosmopolitan yet so untouched. I would return in an absolute heartbeat. If you're ever in Charleston or on the South Carolina coast it's worth a visit, even just for the afternoon. It's undeniably one of my favourite places I've ever visited and I hope I get to experience it again one day. 
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I have fallen in love with Folly Beach, where have you fallen in love with?
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Sunday, 6 January 2019

We're Engaged

Never did I think this would be my first post of 2019 but yes, the news is out. My partner and I are engaged and we couldn't be more thrilled. 

When people mentioned the 'engagement bubble' I always thought it was a myth but I can confirm it's absolutely not. We haven't exactly shouted from the rooftops - or written the obligatory Facebook post - because honestly, it's not really our style. Instead, we told those nearest and dearest and popped a teaser on our personal Instagram accounts - Much more us. 

What now? We've not been engaged a week but we're already wedding planning. I've made the spreadsheet and we're totally on the same page with what we do and don't want so it seems to be coming together nicely. I don't know how much I'll be sharing about the process but eventually I'll make my Wedding Pinterest board public so be sure you're following if you want to see our inspiration. 

In case you're wondering, there isn't a 'ring on finger' photo as my ring needed to be re-sized. So, whilst it's away and I'm counting down until it's return I thought I'd share a photo of it in it's box, regardless of whether it's not the norm.
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Be sure to throw any wedding planning tips my way and thank you to everyone that wished us well over on Instagram - It meant the world.

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