The Blog

If you follow my blog, you will know by now that the first post of the month is always dedicated to travel, one of my favourite things to do. This month, I am going to tell you about my trips to South Africa, and in particular my last one which was just over a year ago with my fiancé Antonio.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

Having been to South Africa twice already with my family (once as a child, and another time as a teenager), I was tied to organise something different for this trip. With ten days ahead of us, we left Heathrow in London direct to Johannesburg. Fresh off the plane, we picked up our luggage (which was still quite light) and headed over to the terminal for the smaller aircrafts to catch the plane that would take us to the Safari reserve in the north of the country called Sabi Sabi. This private reserve is not far from Kruger Park, and only has a select few hotels in order to limit the human impact and also guarantee more animal sightings.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

Our three days at the Safari Lodge were magical and sprinkled with unforgettable moments from the swarm of baboons on our roof waking us up (thank god we had locked all the windows!), to our one on one interaction with Tambo, a five year old African elephant that was left an orphan, passing by our romantic dinner in the bush. Needless to say that we never wanted to leave! But, as our holiday ticked on, we took our flight back to Johannesburg and enjoyed a couple of days discovering the bohemian area of Maboneng, the local museums and of course the cuisine!

Travel Diaries: South Africa

As we left Johannesburg we headed to the south, to a city called Oudtshoorn, where we enjoyed some full on animal interaction. We spent some time with Ostrichs and Emus, where I even got to ride an Ostrich (yes that is a thing and very different from horse riding!); and then were fortunate to spend a whole morning with the amazing team at the Oudtshoorn animal conservation centre meeting and playing with their adult and baby cheetahs, lemurs and snakes. It was such an amazing experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone going out there. From Oudtshoorn, we flew to Cape Town, where we enjoyed the Victoria & Albert pier, Boulders beach and a drive around the coastline. We also were very lucky to fly in a helicopter around the Cape of Good Hope and see some whales from up above.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

A few hours after our helicopter flight we were in the airplane back towards London, our heads full of memories, our hearts full of love for this country, our cameras full of amazing photos and our luggage full of souvenirs, art and even two stools from a local tribe that now sit our lounge! South Africa is a country with an incredible and sometimes painful history but it a beautiful and strong country that is full of treasures to discover.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

Don’t forget to take a look at the rest of my blog posts here!

Fresh out of the Glamour Beauty Festival 2017, I was inspired by the red lips that were everywhere at the event. When researching images for this month’s mood board, I came across this striking pair of red and gold-tainted lips, I decided to add an element of gold to the mood board, making just that little bit more sophisticated and sexy.

Wedding Colour Scheme Inspiration: Red Lips Mood Board

Red is a classic way of using colours in events, but it can be done in many different ways. I believe that if you do want to go down the route of red for your event, a crucial and determining element is the actual shade of red that you go for. A darker tone of Bordeaux can very easily make your venue look very dark, whereas a light nearly orange red can very easily clash with other colour tones. In my opinion, the perfect red, is the lipstick red shade. With very slight variations amongst them, this can be a leading colour throughout your event.

Obviously you can’t just have everything in red, so make sure to mix it in with colours that compliment it without clashing. A lovely shade of pink can be a nice idea to accentuate your reds in certain places. This can especially be nice when it comes to sweets or desserts, where pink is also an expected colour so won’t drive your focus onto it. Other shades that compliment red are white, cream, grey and gold. Gold should only be used as touches here and there as it quickly catches your eye due to its metallic nature.

Gold is always a nice pairing with red, as they both play on sophistication and sexiness. Depending on the actual elements of décor that you use, you can sway it one way or the other. Be mindful of this and the sort of event that you are planning, so that it turns out as you planned.

All in all, red is one of the classics that everyone dares to play with, however be sure of how you want to use it and how you want it to be perceived before going further into your planning.

Photography Credits:

Red & gold lips – www.goodreads.com
Badge –www.bando.com-
Invitations – www.deerpearlflowers.com
Cherry lips – www.hepsylone.tumblr.com
Hands and lips – Guy Bourdin
Cookies –www.sugarblisscookies.blogspot.com
Macaroons –www.redvelvetlady.blogspot.com
Table setting –www.nicesoul101.tumblr.com
Strawberry lips – www.wallpaperpanda.com
Cake –www.catchmyparty.com-
Teacup –www.cakestandheaven.com

So, some of you may or may not know that for the past three months, I have been doing a consultancy at Glamour Magazine as Project Manager of the Glamour Beauty Festival 2017. It was held on the 11th & 12th March at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London and was an amazing array of all types of beauty brands. If you weren’t able to make it this year, you should definitely consider it for next year!

Glamour Beauty Festival 2017

I started the consultancy freshly back from my Christmas trip to Russia and Uzbekistan (which you know all about), and started working from the Glamour headquarters in Mayfair alongside the Editorial and Advertorial teams, and more importantly supporting the Events Manager. My role encompassed several aspects, of which liaising with the exhibitor brands to make sure that their social media promises would be completed, etc. Brands included Nars, OGX, Ghd, Redken, Elizabeth Arden, Pixi, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Laura Mercier, Elegant Touch, Eylure, Nails Inc, Fresh, Garnier, etc.

Glamour Beauty Festival 2017

After two months of preparation, the weekend was finally here! That Friday afternoon, I joined the team on-site at the Saatchi to help troubleshoot any issues, meet with the representatives of each brand (with whom I had been emailing for two months), and familiarise myself with the layout ahead of the hectic weekend.

Glamour Beauty Festival 2017

Saturday morning, I woke up at 7am and was on-site by 8am, nervous and excited I hadn’t been able to have breakfast (I generally can’t eat much on event days) and made my way to the venue. It was so exciting to think that in 90 minutes we were opening our doors to the Glamour readers and letting them enjoy what we had all worked so hard towards. OGX, who were hosting the braid bar, very kindly offered to do my hair on both days, so I was lucky enough to get my hair styled in boxer braids for the Saturday just before the doors opened. Armed with my ear piece and radio, I was ready to do my job. The day went by in a flash! From the moment that the doors opened, until they closed, we were all busy directing readers, recommending areas to visit, troubleshooting minor issues, and getting all promised social posts created. On my way home that night, I checked my phone and saw that I had walked a total of 12km and climbed 52 floors! Would you be surprised if I told you that I slept like a baby?

Glamour Beauty Festival 2017

Sunday morning, my alarm went off so much earlier than I would have wanted, but hey, it was Day 2, and the last day! So off I went to the venue, enjoyed having my hair braided by OGX again, this time in a Dutch crown style, plugged my radio in, and got to a start. With everyone having experienced Day 1, Sunday was a lot easier as everyone was aware of what they had to do and what was to be done. I also had the pleasure of hosting some of my friends and family on Sunday morning, taking them around the Festival to enjoy all the lush treatments. By the end of the day, we calculated that we had received 3’705 attendees through the doors, and everyone agreed that it was a massive success!

Glamour Beauty Festival 2017

With my consultancy coming to an end, I reflect on this experience very fondly. I have gained so much experience in larger scale events, have learnt how the Publishing world works, and have gained some amazing new friends. Thank you Glamour for this amazing opportunity!

For those of you that have read some of my previous blogs, you have probably started to get to know me a little more through my posts about Why I became a Planner, my lovely Frenchie Coco and my perspective on living in London. So, to continue learning about me, I thought that I would give you a bit of insight into a Day in my Life!

A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner

If any of you reading are Planners or work within the event industry, you will already know that no two days are alike and everything always changes at the last minute! But I will do my best to describe a typical day for me.

A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner

I live in central London with my Fiancé and our dog Coco (who you may already have read about in my previous blogs). A typical day, when I’m in London at home (I say this because I am often traveling for both pleasure and work) starts with my alarm setting off at 6:30am. I have to admit that I am a snoozer. I tend to snooze once, maximum twice, before having the strength to venture out of bed. I then tend to perch on the toilet for way longer than I would need, going through the news and my emails, which only works if I wake up earlier than Antonio (aka Fiancé). I then am quite a quick bathroom person: teeth, face, deodorant and then make-up and put my hair up into a pony tail. DONE! I then go downstairs to my dressing room (yes Ladies, I have a bag and shoe wall) and pick out my outfit and accessories for the day. Once I’m dressed, I run down to the Kitchen, grab my breakfast essentials (this varies between a bowl of Rice Krispies, scrambled eggs or Nutella toast!) and sit myself in the lounge to watch the morning news for 20minutes. Then, depending on what day it is, I either go to Barre class (I have three a week) or get straight to work (again this could be a meeting outside, working at a client’s place or going upstairs to my study).

A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner

Workwise, every single day is different, they are generally made up of coffee or lunch meetings with potential suppliers or clients, endless hours answering emails, and work on current events, weddings, styled shoots, etc. If I don’t have a planned lunch meeting, I will generally whip up a soup if I have time or order from my favourite places on Deliveroo and ALWAYS take an actual lunch break. I never used to when I was younger, but in recent years, I have noticed how much more productive I am later on in the day, if I actually take time for myself and eat properly. I will often sneakily fit in an episode of the series that I am watching at the time whilst I eat, in order to completely empty my mind from work.

A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner

Afternoons are generally spent the same as mornings, either out at meetings or at home working. However, I always try to attend museums and temporary exhibitions. These aren’t just enriching for me, but they can sometimes inspire me for an upcoming event, mood board or for future reference. It’s so important to always be kept aware of what is going on, just like trend-spotting. My evenings are very varied, some evenings I go to my boxing classes (which I can only but recommend as a great way to work out and get rid of any frustration that you may have building up), others I go for drinks and dinner with friends or family and others we enjoy spending quality time the three of us with a takeaway and a good film.

A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner

I always finish my days with a boiling hot bath with a bath bomb which puts me in the best mood to have a good nights rest. I am tend to always be in bed by 10pm at the latest, start to watch something on TV and then drift into sleep.

So there you have it, a Day in my Life. I think that the most important thing is to find what works for you, and that if you do work for yourself to be strict enough that you actually stick to your daily checklist.

You may have read last month, my Blog post about travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg over Christmas and the New Year with my family. Well the second leg of the trip, was in Uzbekistan, and it was magical!

Travel Diaries: Travel to Uzbekistan

To be honest with you, it was my Dad that had always dreamt of going to Uzbekistan, along the Silk Road to Bukhara and Samarkand. I had barely heard of these places until he mentioned that we were going there (I know, shame on me…). So, as a good little Globetrotter, I started reading up about this country that is lodged in the middle of Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East. By the time we arrived to Bukhara from St Petersburg, I was overly excited to discover this country that I had barely studied at school and that was such a melting pot of cultures.

Travel Diaries: Travel to Uzbekistan

Like many of you, I wasn’t sure what to expect in a –stan country, and I can assure you that I was so impressed by the open-mindedness, the kindness and generosity of the Uzbeks, that I now can’t wait to go back there and discover all the other countries in that area! Anyway, before I can visit all of those countries, let’s get back to Uzbekistan itself.

Travel Diaries: Travel to Uzbekistan

We arrived in Bukhara and started to explore this small city that was once the capital of one of the local tribes. A key stop for the Silk Road, the ancient architecture seemed to be frozen in time. Its massive turquoise domes towering over modern day life seemed to guard the locals and remind them constantly of the rich history of the city. Caravan courts (which are where the travelling caravans of camels charged with goods would stop to sell, exchange and rest) have been transformed into modern day mini shopping centres, still preserving their original look and feel. And the mosques are a testament to beauty, art and love of culture. Uzbeks are proud of their heritage and work daily to preserve it to share with future generations. This was also visible in the next city that we visited: Samarkand.

Travel Diaries: Travel to Uzbekistan

Samarkand was the capital of Timor the Great. He was, and to this day, still considered a unifying leader of the Uzbek people. Not only was he a skilled warrior but also a fair and just man. His capital, Samarkand was one of the most beautiful cities in the world in the 13th Century and he knew it! With some of the tallest buildings in the world for that time (mainly mosques), we were left flabbergasted by what we saw. The blue and turquoise domes were endless, the mosaic work was masterful and flawless. Oh, and the food! Kebabs, Samosas, Chiken Tikkah, all of these that you think are Indian or Turkish, well think again, they are all Uzbek originally! We were just as surprised as you to learn that a lot of cultural elements that we believed to stem from neighbouring countries are actually original to Uzbekistan. This is mainly because of the huge amount of travel that took place throughout Uzbekistan, making it and influencer for certain elements, just as much as an influencee.

Travel Diaries: Travel to Uzbekistan

Our time in Uzbekistan was short and sweet, 4 days spent wandering around some of the wonders of this world, but we all want to go back. It is an newly independent open-minded country where some socialist values still persist, mixed in with loving muslim ideas, and an incredible historical heritage. The country blends tradition and modernity in a way to protect what they have yet move forward not forgetting who they are. This is a country that took in orphans from eastern European countries in the thousands during WWII, and strives on diversity, and has done for centuries. I’m sure that we could learn a lesson or two from the Uzbeks.

You may have seen that one of my earlier posts was about my recent trip to Russia, where I was in St Petersburg and Moscow over the Christmas and New Year period. Inspired by the parties there, the love of drink and food, and the never-ending winter that we are going through in London, I thought that a Dasvidaniya Winter mood board would be perfect!

Dasvidaniya Winter literally means goodbye winter! Because, as much as we love Winter to cosy up in front of the fire, I’ve had enough of having a constant sniffle, not knowing what to wear and not being able to walk around outside.

Our ancestors used to celebrate the ending of a solstice, and welcome the new one during festivals that would sometimes last for days on end, so I thought that to celebrate the official end of winter (March 21st) would be nice nod to our traditions long gone.

If you want to throw a Russian themed end of winter party or dinner, make sure that you bring together two crucial elements of a Russian evening: cosy warm ambiance (because it’s freezing there!) mixed in with the bright colours of their culture and art! Offer a mix of canapes and food, hot and cold, drawing inspiration directly from Russian cuisine. But also put a European twist on it: have some lovely cakes and cookies, and decorate them inspired by a Russian Winter, for example this naked tiered cake with an Orthodox church above it, covered in iced sugar, is magical!

Do not forget the drink – specifically the Vodka! This can either be served in gorgeous ornate bottles, magnums, or, a personal favourite of mine, mini individual sized bottles. These mini bottles served with a straw will warrant a lot more attention than their bigger, more normal, counterparts.

Basically, have fun, enjoy and celebrate that the days are getting longer and warmer!

Photo credits for mood board:
Pinterest
bezphoto.net
www.loveandoliveoil.com
www.themarionhousebook.com
camillestyles.com
www.landedhouses.co.uk
pictures-for-maria.mozello.co.uk
keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.co.uk
moodiereport.com
lemagnifiqueblog.com
blog.hwtm.com