Takeaway with Deliveroo

29 August 2016

The Chilli Pickle Takeaway with Deliveroo by Laura Lewis
You don't really need an excuse to grab a takeaway, but if you do here's one: For the rest of this month (I know, it's only a couple of days!) Deliveroo is offering free delivery on selected restaurants 

That's a £2.50 saving!

One balmy evening last week, I decided to take up this offer and finally order from one of the best restaurants in Brighton, The Chilli Pickle. Having NEVER ordered from them before, or even visited their restaurant it was a total no brainer. 
The Chilli Pickle Takeaway with Deliveroo by Laura Lewis
The Chilli Pickle Takeaway with Deliveroo by Laura Lewis
The food was delicious, and the delivery was right on time!

There are a few restaurants offering free delivery until the end of this month, so don't miss a moment - hurry and get ordering. Remember, they don't just do dinner - you can order lunch as well!

Pssst, I have a code where you can get £10 worth of free food if you sign up with Deliveroo. Just enter this code when you order: 
Happy eating!

The Makeup Bag Edit

28 August 2016

The Makeup Bag Edit by Laura Lewis
Black // Spotty // Leopard // Neon // Bridal // Lips // Sparkly 

Aside from my beauty drawers, I like to keep my day-to-day make up in my Kate Spade cosmetic bag. There are so many gorgeous makeup bags to choose from on the high street, and the ones above are perfect for travelling, as well as just keeping on your desk at home. 

My First Yoga session with Do Your OM Thing

26 August 2016

Hands up who's signed up to a gym, gone a handful of times and then not gone again? I am totally guilty of that (and really need to cancel my membership!). When it comes to exercise, I really like to think I'm motivated enough - heck, I'll even get into my gym gear with the intention of heading out for a run and then find myself watching cat videos on YouTube. I am the best procrastinator out there when it comes to exercise.

I was recently asked by the lovely Rosie at Do Your OM Thing if I'd like to go along to one of her Vinyasa yoga classes. I was a little hesitant to start with, but so many people have recommended yoga to me as it can help with anxiety and stress - things I do suffer from, so I decided to give it a go. 

Strong Vinyasa Yoga sessions are dynamic and challenging. You flow through postures linking movement and breath, which improve strength and active flexibility. The session lasted 75 minutes with cardio, core strength, balance sequences and a guided relaxation. At times I did find it a little tricky but, Rosie was very reassuring and I didn't feel any pressure to push myself. As Rosie said after the session, if you push yourself into the poses, you're putting pressure on your body and that isn't really the way of Yoga. 
I came away feeling so relaxed - something I haven't felt in a long time due to wedding planning, and various other stresses going on. I slept so so well which, is a rarity and I didn't ache the next day - bonus! I'll be going back for sure as this is the sort of exercise I can get on with

For more information on Rosie and Do Your OM Thing, check out her website here

I'll see you there! 

Bridesmaid Dresses for under £100

24 August 2016

Teal // Wrap // Lace // Floral // Navy // Spotty // Bow // Off-Shoulder

The hunt for bridesmaids dresses can be a stressful thing. Finding ONE style and colour of dress to suit all your girls definitely had me in a cold sweat at 3am when I first started thinking about what they should wear, until I made the decision to let my bridesmaids wear what they want. 

When you're spending a lot on the venue hire, caterers, decorations, etc buying Bridesmaids dresses can really push the cost up. There's so much choice on the High Street nowadays - The ones above are all under £100. Perfect for the couple that are on a tight budget and, you never know, the girls may even wear them again after the wedding.

Get them whilst you can!

The H&M Edit

21 August 2016

The H&M Edit by Laura Lewis
Blouse // Coat // Mules // Loafers // Necklace // Shirt // Jeans // Knit // Cap

This is my favourite time of year for clothes shopping as all the new Autumn pieces are coming in, and I think I'll be heading to my local H&M store come payday for all of the above - especially those silver mules *swoons*

H&M is a one-stop shop filled with so many amazing pieces. Their Trend section is where I always make a bee-line to, and the pieces above are perfect for the new transitional wardrobe I'm currently lusting over. 

Flowers at Home

19 August 2016

Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers at Home by Laura Lewis
Flowers are an instant way to inject some colour into your home. I’m always buying flowers to take home and arrange myself, so I thought I’d share these photos I took the other week when I spent the afternoon playing with a huge bunch of blooms from my local florist. I like to try and get a little creative, so don’t normally reach for the generic vase – these two ‘props’ are from Oliver Bonas and a charity shop – the perfect place to source some great items to arrange your flowers in. 

Wedding Decoration Shopping on a Budget

17 August 2016

I’m holding my hands up VERY high right now, and admitting that I’m not the craftiest person. I can come up with creative ideas, but making things has never been one of my fortes.

Like most weddings, ours is being done on a budget. Nowadays with the help of talented friends or family members and some amazing places online and on the High Street, you can easily stick to your budget and still have a wedding full of gorgeous decorations, etc. 

The task of finding the absolute perfect pieces to create your special day can seem daunting – especially if you have a very specific theme or colour scheme. So today I thought I’d share a list of my favourite stores where I have bought DIY wedding supplies. Now, one tip I will give you is that some stores may sell the same or similar items but, part of being on a budget and a DIY bride is finding the best deal or the easiest way to get those items. 

Hopefully the list below will come in handy – these stores aren’t just for wedding decorations either – they stock some great bits and pieces for all types of parties!

Party Pieces
This website is the place for all things party! From balloons to straws, to paper plates and napkins these guys have thought of everything and every special occasion. Check them out here

Did you know that Etsy is the largest marketplace devoted to handmade sellers of all kinds? The items sold on here actually have to be handmade, vintage or supplies for handmade. I love to help out independent companies all the time, and Etsy is the best place for that online. They have a whole load of items that are perfect for your special day and if you’re looking for something that’s super personalised, I’m sure you will find it on here. 

Although I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Ebay, I have managed to save A LOT of money on our main wedding decorations by buying them from here.

This store is still very new to the British High Street – we’re lucky to have two of them in Brighton! Their stock changes almost daily, so if you see something you like, chances are it won’t be there when you next pop in. I’ve bought a lot of wedding stuff from here, including a bag of goodies to keep the kids amused during the day! Their stores are all across the world now as well, so International readers, click here to see if they have one near you. 

Meri Meri
The prettiest party decorations ever! Meri Meri is perfect if you’re looking for the odd special decoration as it can get expensive. They also do some amazing pieces of stationary. Watch your bank balance guys, you won’t leave empty handed!

Talking Tables
Home to some of the most instagrammable party decorations, Talking Tables have some super stylish pieces to make your wedding / party extra special. They have a huge range of items from copper paper plates to party games. 

Little Cherry
Party friendly, planet friendly and even pocket friendly, Little Cherry offers a range of stylish eco-friendly party supplies. From Biodegradable balloons, to Fairtrade cotton bunting they have so much on offer and, you’re helping the environment! 

Gone are the days when Amazon was the place to buy cheap DVD’s, books and music. Now they sell pretty much everything! We’ve got a fair few items from here. 

Pssst, tune in AFTER our wedding, where I will show you a glimpse of how all my DIY bride items came together. 

H&M Wide Sleeved Shirt

15 August 2016

H&M Wide Sleeved Shirt by Laura Lewis
H&M Wide Sleeved Shirt by Laura Lewis
You can't go wrong with a white shirt - they're classic, chic and never date. I have a fair few in my wardrobe as they're the perfect transitional piece. I tend to buy ones with a little different detail, which is why this H&M white shirt is perfect - just look at the wide cuffs!

I haven't stopped wearing it since I purchased it, and even went back and bought it in blue.

The only downside? Trying not to get the sleeves in whatever I'm eating or drinking - it's a challenge!
H&M Wide Sleeved Shirt by Laura Lewis
H&M Wide Sleeved Shirt by Laura Lewis
H&M Wide Sleeved Shirt by Laura Lewis
Photos by the ever so lovely Carrie. Crazy faces my own.

Brighton Pride

11 August 2016

Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Brighton Pride by Laura Lewis
Every August, thousands of people descend on Brighton for Pride.

The city comes alive to celebrate this occasion - rainbow flags adorn pretty much every street, and there seems to be a very large amount of glitter decorating the pavements. Love and equality is huge in this city, and is one of the main reasons why I love living here so much - no one judges who you love and why. 

For a few hours, you  forget what a negative world we are living in. Love wins and that's exactly how it should be. 

Wedding Planning & advice 101

10 August 2016

Wedding 101 by Laura Lewis
As some of you may know, I am getting married in what is now only a matter of weeks and, I have to say that the process so far has not seen me become flustered, panic stricken, stressed or feeling too overwhelmed.

I know I have already shared a few planning tips on here, but I thought I’d do a roundup of what I’ve learnt over the last 18 months since I started planning. Hopefully they may be of some help to make planning your day as plain sailing and stress free as possible! 

When planning a wedding, there are always things that are good to know, and there are things you need to know. I've been given a some little words of advice from a few lovely friends that have planned their weddings and, I've adopted some from my 9-5 job as well. 

#1: Money, Money Money
I would say, this is the most important aspect of the planning process. Mainly as you need to know how much you have in the pot before you start booking a venue and suppliers. Setting a budget from the start will eliminate venues and suppliers you simply can’t afford. Once you've done that, you can spend the next few months keeping track of your saving and where the money needs to be allocated to. To keep an eye on what we’ve spent, we have a spreadsheet set up that update on a regular basis.

#2: Inspiration
At the beginning, I set up several Pinterest boards thinking they would be my number 1 go to for all things Wedding inspired. Hands up, I have to say it’s actually been Instagram that I’ve got most of my ideas from – I honestly found Pinterest a little too overwhelming. I also subscribed to Rock n Roll Bride magazine which is by far the best Wedding magazine / website out there for ideas, tips and awesome advice.

#3: Channeling your inner Monica Geller
Ok, well I didn’t have ‘The Book’ but I did go out and buy a notepad. Everytime I thought of an idea, or came up with a plan I wrote them down. This helped me massively as I found I went back to my notepad on a regular basis. I have so many amazing suppliers that I found, I can see me never getting rid of the notebook! (FYI – I’ll be doing a post solely on the suppliers I used, and others I can recommend after the wedding)

Which leads me to…

#4: Excel is your new BFF
I use Excel on a daily basis in my job so when it came to planning my own wedding, I knew that I would have several. I’ve had one for the budget, one for guests / table plan and one for suppliers, etc. 

#5: Help, I need somebody! (or a lot of bodies)
One of the most popular pieces of advice married friends have given me is “Don't be afraid to ask for help”. Being a control freak, and I will put my hands as high as they will go to admit this, I have managed to stop and ask myself if a certain job can be given to someone else. 

We’re very lucky that we have a lot of friends and family that have offered to help - don’t be afraid to ask them as well! A bunch of my lovely friends came over a few weeks ago to help me make a huge amount of wedding decorations - I just plied them with Prosecco and snacks for the afternoon. Another one of our friends has designed our invitations, and all the other wedding stationary we need (table plan, menus, etc) and I’ve also assembled a team that will be at the venue the day before to help us decorate. I’ve even pulled in a few favours from past work colleagues that have loaned us some lighting and AV equipment, and will be knocking up a cocktail bar for our friends to use. 

#6: Do it Yourself
This goes back to budget. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to go down the route of doing a lot of things yourselves. Nowadays, this is a really common thing and, I will be chatting more about what we did after our wedding day has taken place. Expect some photo heavy posts on here in September / October!

However early you start the DIY there will always be a scramble at the last minute. From creating your own place names, to the table centre pieces or flowers, there are a lot of elements of a wedding that can be done without having to hire a company. But if you do decided to go down this route, I would say try and start as early as you possibly can - this, I can't stress enough.

#7: The night before
We're setting up the venue the afternoon before our wedding day. So, I'm hoping that I won't loose any sleep over bits and pieces that night. Once it's done, it's done and there is no way that I will be setting foot in the venue the morning of our wedding. I'm staying in a hotel the night before on my own which, I'm secretly looking forward to. My bridesmaids are joining me for pancakes on the morning of the wedding so, I will be turning my phone off and getting a very early night. 

That covers my last minute tips! 

If you are engaged, or soon to be, I hope my wedding planning tips / hacks have been helpful! If you have any additional questions, feel free to pop them in the comments below.

July in Pictures

7 August 2016

July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis
July in Pictures by Laura Lewis

Let's do brunch

4 August 2016

Let's do Brunch by Laura Lewis
Who doesn’t love a good brunch? For me, there’s no better way to spend the weekend with friends catching up over good food, drinks and chit chat.

I thought I’d share the best places I’ve been for Brunch. There’s a fair few, so grab yourself a cuppa and settle in.

Row #1
Eggbreak, London
One of Soho House's food ventures and located in Notting Hill, Eggbreak is a lovely little place to escape the hustle and bustle of nearby Portobello Road.
30 Uxbridge Road, London, W8 7TA

Jack's Wife Freda, New York
Let's go international. Possibly the most instagrammed restaurant, Jack's wife Freda is based in New York with a couple of branches dotted over the city. The perfect place for a spot of people watching and the food is delicious - order the Eggs Benedict w/Beet Hollandaise - it will change your life!
50 Carmine Street - Between Bleeker and Bedford Street, New York City

Granger & Co, London
One of my favourite places to have brunch when visiting friends in London, Granger & Co has 3 sites across the city and all are very popular, so expect a queue. It’s worth it though – their eggs are some of the best I’ve eaten in London.
Clerkenwell Green, 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1R 0HA

Row #2
Breakfast Club, Brighton
One of the many London chains to open by the sea, The Breakfast Club is the perfect place to get your pancake fix.
16 Market St, Brighton BN1 1HH

Chiltern Firehouse, London
Great for people watching. Grab a seat in their courtyard and order the Eggs Royale - they're a total game changer.
1 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PA

Counter Cafe, London
Literally on the canal in Hackney Wick, this place serves the best Shakshuka in London. Watch the world go by with views of the Olympic Park.
7 Roach Road, Hackney Wick, London E3 2PA

Row #3
Soho House, New York
This one is a little special but, I had to include it. The brunch I had there was insane - I highly recommend the Kale salad and also the pancakes. Plus, they do a great Mimosa if you're feeling a little fancy.
29-35 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10014

Duck & Waffle, London
Brunch at this restaurant is the perfect place to see London from way up high. Enjoy the crazy views whilst eating their namesake - Crispy leg confit, fried duck egg with waffles and maple syrup.
110 Bishopsgate, Heron Tower, London EC2N 4AYWebsite

Sugardough, Brighton
I'm always in my local Hove branch of Sugardough - their food is just too good and perfect for a beach picnic! If I find myself heading into town at the weekend, I tend to visit their newer branch for a bit of brunch, not forgetting to pick up one of their Portuguese tarts for the walk home.
18 Market Street, Brighton & Kingsway, Hove

There you have it! My favourite places for brunch. Do you think I've missed any off that are worth a mention? I'm always on the look out for new places to try, so please feel free to recommend places.