Now I will warn you now that the last six weeks have been pretty packed socially so this is going to be quite a long and picture heavy post!
Firstly back in the middle of September I had the first of my best friends Hen Do's! We had already held a pre-hen for her at Download Festival back in June as she had done for me back in 2011, but this hen was held around her parent's house and was organized by her mum! We all had a fab time, the drinks flowed, there were lots of games and dancing into the early hours, and in traditional UK hen night fashion her mum in her wisdom had organized a surprise stripper for her, which may I add she hated! But apart from that she loved it, and if nothing else it amused us seeing her cringe so much!
The weekend after this was the wedding of my manager which was held at a local hotel. My colleagues and I attended the evening reception as we were working during the day, and again we had a lot of fun! We all get on really well at work and are like a little family so we love going out socially together, and ended up making the most of the downtime by mucking around in the photo-booth that they had provided. Again there was also a lot of dancing to cheesy party songs and good times had by everyone.
Below you can see a pic of the first dance and the centre piece on one of their tables.
Following the wedding came yet another weekend of partying and this time it was for the much anticipated main hen night of my best friend, and being that I am the joint the Maid Of Honour with another of our friends it was our job to organize it!
It did initially start out as being a surprise, but by the time we left she pretty much knew everything that we were doing. We were given a brief by the Bride that she wanted club entry and overnight stay somewhere, with perhaps a beach or activity. Based upon this we initially looked as places like Newquay, but decided that it was a bit far to travel for one night plus as the weather can be a bit unpredictable at this time of year we were unsure about the idea of an activity such as surfing. We then looked at Wales and up north but again decided it was a little far so we started looking a little closer to home. We thought about London as it's only about an hour away, but being that the bride works and goes there quite frequently we decided that we wanted something a little different. In the end my fellow Maid Of Honour suggested Bournemouth as it had the nightlife, as only a couple hours away, could be done within budget and has a beach! Plus none of us had been there before!
So once we had our location we set about finding a suitable hotel which is when we stumbled across the "Chocolate Boutique Hotel," which we instantly fell in love with! I mean what girl wouldn't want to stay in a chocolate hotel! Luckily it was available and we also found a decent and pretty impressive looking club nearby too despite not being able to find a decent rock club, which we also managed to get VIP access for. So then we were all set for our first ever girly night away altogether!
The Sister-In-Law to be of the bride also kindly offered to drive us all there and back in her parents Jeep which was much appreciated, as otherwise we would no doubt have ended up having a pretty horrendous train journey! Mainly due to all of the issues and strikes that there have been with Southern rail recently!
When the day came the bride's Sister-In-Law to be also decorated the Jeep inside and out with hen night flags, streamers and pictures which was a really nice touch! She also had some really cool hen night wristbands made in homage to our festivaling antics, and I dished out the personalised t-shirts that I had got for us all as a surprise for the bride! Which being that she is a lover of Jack Daniels had the Jack Daniels logo on them, and were personalised with her nickname from school "Davey" and "Hen Weekend Bournemouth 2016!"
Below you can see both the t-shirts and sashes that I got for the hen night, as well as us wearing our epic wristbands!
Below you can see us enjoying our bubbles, the flag that we had on the car, and the gorgeous weather that we had for our journey down!
On arrival we were a little early for check-in so we headed for lunch at a beach side restaurant that we had pre-booked as it looked pretty good! As it turns out it was fab and had just the right vibe for a causal hen meal, plus it had gorgeous view over the beach and pier. Whilst there we also had the final member of our group of six arrive who was a girl that I hadn't seen since school, due to the fact that she had moved to Bristol not long after so it was lovely for us all to have a catch-up, especially since she had just got married too!
Below you can see the yummy food and drinks that we had, plus the gorgeous views from the balcony.
Below you can see pictures of the foyer of the hotel and the suite that I shared with the bride and her Sister-In Law to-be, as well as the chocolate fountain that we had on arrival as a surprise for the bride and the room decorations that we set up once we got there.
Once settled in we spent the rest of the afternoon making garters to wear on out night out, with garter making kits that the bride's Sister-In-Law to be bought. It was a lovely activity for us to do together and for us then to be able to wear them, but they did take forever to make!
Below you can see my garter making kit and the finished result!
After the garter making we proceeded to get ready for our night our night out on the town and played a few hen night games before we headed down to the hotel bar for a few choctails to start us off!
Below you can see the gorgeous bar and our choctails and cocktails!
Once at the club we were greeted by a fire dancer at the entrance before being taken up to our VIP table which was on a balcony overlooking the dance floor, before we then had our drinks package bought over. The building was beautiful and very impressive, plus there were lots of pyrotechnics throughout the night, so it was a bit of an upgrade from the only small little night club that we normally have to contend with in our hometown to say the least! We laughed, drank and danced the night away and all had a fab time!
Below you can see the fire dancer that greeted us on our arrival as well as views of the dance floor and our table and drinks.
The morning after the night before was an even brighter and sunnier than the day before but quite windy, so we made the most of our morning there before heading home by going down to the beach and paddling in the sea. The beaches are also a lot sandier that the stony beaches that we are used to at home, so it was nice to walk along the beach with our toes out.
Below you can see the sun over the lovely gardens outside of the hotel when we left for the beach in the morning, a sign that I think that we can all relate to that was in the hotel foyer, as well as some of the lovely views and beach antics that we had!
We were all knackered by the time that we got back, but we all had a fab time together! The bride also got a little emotional about how much effort we had gone to and how spoilt she had been, so I think that it's safe to say that we managed to pull it off!
The weekend after the hen night fell before my hubby's birthday which was on the following Monday, so after I had work on sat we made our way up to Croydon to see my hubby's mum and step-dad. It was lovely to see them as it has been a fair while since we have all been free to meet up, so we went out for a yummy curry together. The following morning we were also joined for breakfast by my hubby's brother, fiancee and our gorgeous little niece, who again we haven't seen for some time. Then in the afternoon we were then joined by my hubby's sister and her boyfriend for a roast dinner cooked which was cooked by my Mother-In-Law, before heading home in the evening. It was lovely to see them all but we were so stuffed by time that we left having had a curry, friend breakfast and a roast in the space of 24 hours!!
Monday then bought my hubby's birthday and more food as I cooked him an M&S meal after work. I think that he will also love me for life due to the fact that I found some massive bottles of his favourite cider that he didn't know that you could get! The way to this man's heart is def through his stomach!
Below you can see my meal efforts which consisted of pork belly with pork scratching crumbs, shredded veg, rosemary potatoes, and gravy. Then for dessert we had Cornish clotted cream ice-cream with adult pomegranate and berry jelly, as requested by my hubby as he is big kid and still needs jelly and ice-cream for his birthday!
The Monday of my hubby's birthday also marked the first day in my much anticipated week off! I def felt that I needed it after having gone through our busy summer period at work and having had quite a few busy weekends I needed to chill, which is what I spent most of the week doing as this was the first week off this year where I didn't have to decorate anything! It also meant that I finally had the opportunity to get stuck into some drawing for the first time in over two years! It has been soo good to get back into it, and I finally have a new Bobby Bunny design that I will be able to share with you very soon!
So all in all I had a really lovely chilled week off, which I finished off with a visit and a shopping trip to my Nan's with my mum and her boss, before having a quite night in before I was back at work on the Sunday.
So that nearly brings you up to date with another packed six weeks with one big exception, which is that on the weekend before last the day of my best friends wedding finally arrived after what seemed like forever! Especially since her and her fiance have been together for 11 years, and engaged for four!
The day prior to the wedding one of our mutual friends that is a nail technician painted all of our finger and toe nails ready for the wedding, which was lovely as I rarely bother painting my nails as they always chip too easily at work.
Below you can see the finished design, which was also replicated on my toes.
On the day of the wedding itself I could barely believe that after all of the time and planning that the day was finally here for her! I know that she had been stressing a lot as she like me is very creative and did a lot of the decorations, invites, order of services etc herself, and was just ready for the day to arrive so that she could finally chill after all of her efforts!
We woke up to a lovely Autumnal day on the morning of the wedding, and I set about getting my hair and make-up done before making my way over to the bride's parents house. We were all going to get ready together but I knew that I would get way too stressed with my hair and make-up if I did, and had already been having dreams about being late as I am not the best at time keeping generally!
Typically despite me trialling my hair a few days before it obviously didn't go up as well as it had done before which I knew would happen, but it looked good enough!
On arrival at the bride's parents it turned out that the bride and one of the other bridesmaids had just finished having their hair done, so we all got a chance to chill a bit and take in the day before the bride did her make-up and the photographer arrived. Surprisingly everything was pretty chilled, we got the bride into her stunning dress and we all left the house for the church on time.
It was weird going to the church that she was getting married in, as it was the same church that I had also got married in nearly five years previously and it was also the first time that I had been back since. It was very weird to be walking back down the same isle again too, which I have to say that I and my fellow Maid Of Honour were pretty nervous about! This was mainly due to that fact that we were walking first in front of the Bride, plus the track that we were walking down the aisle to was quite a hard track to time slow walking to and we didn't do a very good job of it in the rehearsal! We needn't have worried though as we nailed it on the day and everything else went smoothly too! It was a lovely ceremony and I have to say that I did shed a couple of tears as her dad gave her away!
After the ceremony we headed off to the reception which was held locally in a 15th century manor hotel, which is exclusively open for functions only. Unfortunately by the time that we got there it had started to rain, so we only got a few quick pictures outside with the wedding umbrellas before some very heavy rain set in throughout the evening, but luckily most of the main photos had already been taken outside of the church so it didn't matter too much!
The room that the reception was held in was beautiful with wood cladding, a lovely double staircase, a bar, and it was also relatively small which made it lovely and intimate. We enjoyed a three course meal, heartfelt speeches, and watched the couple cut their cake before the evening guests arrived for a night of partying! The groom, brother of the bride, and the father of the bride all play in a rock band together so they played a couple of sets together which were interspersed by a rocky DJ set. We all danced until we dropped that night and my feet ended up blistered and hurting for days after, but it was worth it and a fab time was had by all! My hubby and I also stayed at the hotel that night were we had in a four poster bed to stay in for the first time, which was just gorgeous and so comfortable! We then enjoyed a lovely full English breakfast the morning after with the bridal party before we made our way home.
Below you can see just some of the pictures that I took of their beautiful day!
We all felt pretty weary the day after the wedding but the fun didn't stop there as we then had my friends twin boys sixth birthday to contend with, which consisted of a Star Wars themed party that was held at our local church hall. It was the first proper birthday party that they had had, and they along with their friends loved training to be Jedi's!
Below you can see some of the pictures that I took of the fun that they had, and their awesome Star Wars cake!
After the fun of the party we went back to the twin's house where we watched them open some of their many presents, before I helped then with their homework and reading which was just adorable, before helping putting them to bed and reading to them.
Needless to say after all of the social events of the last month or so the hubby and I are definitely ready for a few quiet weekends!
Thank you for visiting and reading my posts as always. I hope that I find you all well and that the start of you week is going well! x