Sunday, 28 January 2018

How to customise your jeans: distressed denim

Having a mix of dresses, skirts and tops is perfect if you’re someone who likes variety and a fresh look every day. But what else can you do to keep your wardrobe looking current and on-trend? Distressed denim is huge right now — and even better, it’s so easy to create yourself at home! Check out this simple style guide and make the perfect pair of on-point distressed jeans or even a denim jacket like I've done.

Get your best pair of jeans prepared

Firstly, get together: 
Piece of cardboard or a thick magazine. 
Safety pin. 
Patches/material (optional). 

Once you have these, check that your chosen jeans are clean and dry. Then, pull them on and use a full-length mirror to decide where you want to tear and cut. Pockets, knees and the bum are popular parts to modify, as they are the areas of the jeans that naturally wear and tear. Use chalk to mark out where you want to distress.

Start tearing and ripping

How you customise your jeans is up to you, but we advise that you don’t cut through the front and back — instead, only cut one side of your jeans. To do this, stuff the area you intend on cutting with a chunky magazine or thick piece of cardboard and aim to make a diamond-shape cuts of varying lengths. This will help ensure your tears are natural-looking. Next, it’s time for fraying to get that true distressed quality. Along the edge of each cut, gently tease the horizontal white threads using a safety pin — be careful not to break them. Then, using tweezers, pluck out the vertical threads to leave just the white horizontal threads. Repeat this for each cut.

Time to distress

At this point, your jeans should look pretty distressed, but you’re not finished yet. Now, it’s time for sandpaper. Rub a medium-sized piece of sandpaper across the denim to create a natural-looking colour fade and stop when you’ve reached the worn shade you like.

Add patches for the perfect finishing touch 

Now, you can either step back and admire your distressing handiwork, or take it a step further by adding patches to your customised jeans. Bright floral motifs are in vogue and practically leap off distressed denim to give you an eye-catching contrast of grunge and chic. If you want a subtle embellishment, why not go with lace? This is a classic feminine fabric that will dress up your modern distressed denim with retro charm for the ideal smart-casual look.

 I've added a touch of personality to my denim jacket with a selection of my favourite pins. I change these on a regular basis because I've got a huge collection of fun pins and badges that need their 15 minutes if fame. I get most of mine from Punky Pins, La La Land and etsy sellers like my Gilmore Girls one from Copper Boom Studio Shop.

And that’s it — DIY distressed denim. Rock these with an oversized sweatshirt or graphic tee, or create a casual-chic look with an off-the-shoulder boho blouse and pumps.

*Post created in collaboration with Quiz

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Sunday, 14 January 2018

North Coast 500 honeymoon roadtrip - Sango Bay, Durness, Smoo Cave

I hope you're not bored of reading about my Scottish honeymoon because there are two posts left in the series and a lot of photos of blue skies and white sand beaches to share with you. 

Drumbeg loop

After setting off from Ullapool early in the morning we headed to Durness via Clachtoll and Drumbeg. This was another spectacular section of the North coast 500 route with amazing views but we actually found this section a bit hair raising. The 24-mile-long single track loop that follows the coast was narrow, twisting and steep but don't be put off because it is incredibly scenic. There's lots to see on the way to Durness including Stoer lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer which is an impressive 60ft high sea stack. 

The drive was difficult with a lot of steep climbs and poor visibility all on narrow, single track roads. I did feel for Martyn who did all the driving on the trip as this section was gruelling, I held onto the seat and our dog Coco for the duration of the journey, lots of pit stops and beach walks broke up the journey and allowed us to enjoy this section.

Clachtoll Beach is a popular beach close to a campsite (and a free car park and toilets) with some rugged terrain. The water was turquoise and the sand so white and clean. We were the only people on the beach in the middle of the day and enjoyed stunning mountain views for miles around before it started to rain so we headed back to the camper van for a cup of tea and lunch before hitting the road again. 

We stopped off at a few beautiful beaches on the way to let Coco stretch his legs and get some exercise. He loved digging up sand and running away from the cold water as the waves came in. We met a lovely lady on the beach who told us all about the local Viking history, the Gaelic school system in the area and the affects that the NC500 fame is having on the area. Whilst many people in the area encourage tourism and enjoy the benefits I get the feeling things are getting a little tense Some tourists are not being respectful of the landscape, don't allow locals to pass at passing points on the single track roads and are becoming a nuisance. The infrastructure hasn't quite caught up with the demand and people are not deviating from the North Coast 500 route and exploring other areas meaning that not all businesses are benefiting from the current surge in popularity that this route is experiencing. 

*Preaching time* If you're thinking of visiting the north of Scotland please make sure you support local businesses and don't just stock up in the the major towns and big supermarkets, read this driving guide and leave the land as you found it so others can experience unspoilt landscapes. 

This is a picture of Handa Island taken from the drum beg viewpoint
The village of Drumbeg lies on the north coast of Assynt, looking out across Eddrachillis Bay to Handa Island and the mountains of Sutherland. There is a viewpoint with a car park where you can admire the magnificent seascapes.

Sango Bay & Smoo Cave

After a stressful drive we arrived in the perfectly located Sango Sands Oasis campsite. Sango Sands is a peaceful, ten-acre site overlooking the beautiful Blue Flag Sango Bay beach. The site has basic facilities much like most in the north of Scotland but has everything you need including an on site bar/restaurant, electric hook ups and laundry facilities. It was around £9 per person plus £4 for hook up. Very reasonable in comparison to sites in Loch Lomond which were £35+ a night plus extra for dogs. 

Sango Bay offers panoramic views of the North Minch the channel between the mainland and the Hebrides. With golden sands and dramatic rock formations Sango Sands is breathtaking. The spot we parked up in at the campsite had views over the bay and I would never get bored of waking up to this. 
this is a picture of santo bay in scotland

this is a picture of sango bay beach in durness

A short distance to the east of the Sango Bay is the famous Smoo Cave. The largest cave in Scotland, it was formed by both the sea and a river. The cave can be explored on foot or by boat in peak season. 
The cave boasts a 50ft high opening and is floodlit inside to reveal its depths. The cave name is thought to originate from the Norse 'smjugg' or 'smuga' meaning a hole or hiding-place. 

The caves are said to be haunted and legends and myths say that the devil once hid in these caves. You can read more about the interesting and dark history of the caves here.

this is a picture of the outer chamber of smoo cave

This is a picture of an inner cavern in smoo cave

This is a picture of the north coast of Scotland

That's it for the North coast of Scotland. We headed to Thurso the next day and drove along the beautiful east coast to Inverness and then across to the West coast because we are a bit mad and thought a full day of driving would be a good idea. The scenery changed completely, much less dramatic, rural and remote and it became flatter, more populated but still full of interest in the form of castles and distilleries. 

My final post about our honeymoon road trip will feature a stunning castle and an marvel of industrial engineering. Pop back next week to read more!


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Monday, 1 January 2018

Our Cardiff Wedding - The Ceremony

This is a picture of the exterior of the National Museum Cardiff

This is a picture of me having my hair styled for my wedding

This is a picture of my flat bridal shoes from asos

this is a picture of my sequin wedding dress from asos

This is a picture of a National Museum Cardiff Wedding  - gallery 4

this is a picture of a wedding bouquet with white roses

This is a picture of a traditional white wedding car

Photography – Cross- Jones Photography | Wedding Dress – ASOS | Headband – Jenny Packham Debenhams | Groom’s Suit - French Connection | Venue – National Museum Cardiff | Makeup & hair  – Julie Davies | Car -iDoo | Flowers - Secret Garden 

17th September 2017

On the morning of the wedding I woke up early at my mam's house after a very restless night. I spent the day before the wedding dashing around, getting decorations to the venue and making my favours at the very last minute with my brother and friends. I forgot to get a stud for my nose piercing, left some decorations at home and didn't pack my phone charger - I had a million things running through my mind and all of the lists I made in the build up to the wedding didn't help me get a good night sleep. 

With the ceremony not until 5pm the morning seemed to drag. I missed Coco who was at home with Martyn and couldn't wait to get to the hotel, get my hair and make up done and get to the venue. I chose not to have any bridesmaids which I think helped the getting ready process stay calm and quiet. My mum and I had our hair and make up done together and friends came over to see me just before I was ready to leave and brought me bubbly and a Gregg's corned beef slice (as requested) for lunch. Keeping it classy on my wedding day! 

I visited a few bridal shops and the plus size sections were pretty un-inspiring and featured a lot of strapless dresses and lace which wasn’t the look I wanted. Shopping online was so much easier, and I was able to find a vintage/deco dress I liked for a bargain price from ASOS. I didn't feel entirely confident on my wedding day. I didn't look the best I had ever looked, I couldn't have the dress of my dreams because they only make them for waif people with a lot of money to burn but I did feel comfortable in my dress and I looked like me. There was no drastic makeover or dodgy spray tan. Ultimately the day wasn't about a dress - I was making a commitment to the one I love in front of my family and friends. 

The next part was huge blur. The dog sitter was late because of awful traffic into our hometown and the car going to get Martyn was stuck in the same traffic. I had a bit of a panic when I found out about the delay, downed some prosecco in the bathroom and took some time to just breathe. I barely remember getting in the car to go to the ceremony venue or speaking to the registrar. Martyn ended up taking Coco in the car to the venue with him which we didn't plan but Coco put Martyn at ease and meant we had more time to have photos taken with him. 

The ceremony seemed to take 60 seconds and the only part I have a clear memory of is walking down the aisle to Ceremony by New Order and seeing Martyn waiting for me at the other end. He looked so pleased to see me (or maybe the look was terror?) Martyn thought the 20 minute wait between speaking to the registrar and waiting for me to arrive felt like an eternity and he was shaking when I reached him at the end of the aisle and held my hand throughout the ceremony. 

We both have very different tastes when it comes to music so it was tricky to try and blend the two together. We had Super Furry Animals – Hello Sunshine and The Maccabees - Toothpaste Kisses whilst signing the register and Descendents  - We was our song to exit to as this is one of Martyn’s favourite bands. Despite spending hours agonising over these choices we didn't even notice them playing amidst all the adrenaline, excitement and photos being taken. 

The National Museum made a beautiful setting for our wedding and the museum agreed to keep the lights on in the dinosaur section (they only typically keep the art galleries open). This meant we were able to get some great 'Night at the Museum' style photos. I loved the venue, the vows we chose and pretty much everything about the ceremony, I wouldn't change a thing. 

I've shared a couple of other posts about my wedding which cover some planning tips, what to expect and my feelings after the big day. I'll also share some photos of the reception at some point but seeing as this post has taken my 3 months to write it might not be ready until the summer... 


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