Monthly Round Up | July 2017

We're now into the second half of the year, and I'm super proud of myself for posting one of these round up posts at the end of every month so far. I was determined to keep the momentum going, and it's actually really nice looking back at previous posts to remind myself of how much I've achieved in the last 6 months. I'm not usually one for constantly looking back, I prefer to spend my time planning for the future, but sometimes a little reflection is just what's needed to allow myself to continue to grow and flourish (particularly with my business). Here's a little of what I've been up to in July:

Business

I had a super busy final few weeks in June with two big weddings, so for the beginning of July, I made sure I dedicated plenty of time to my couples for the rest of the summer. I ensure I'm as organised as possible with the plans for every wedding before the busy season starts in April, and I always stay in touch with my couples throughout the summer months. However, it's such a busy period for all industry vendors, so each task can take a little longer around this time! 

If you haven't yet come across the fabulous venue that is The Lakes by Yoo, then please do take a moment to check out their website. They have recently made the decision to offer The Barnhouse as a luxury venue for weddings, so I spent an afternoon there earlier this month absorbing all that the exclusive development has to offer. The interiors at The Barnhouse have been exceptionally designed by Kate Moss, and it is now available for intimate weddings. If you'd like to find out more about The Lakes by Yoo as a venue for your wedding, please do get in touch and I'd love to share more about it with you!

Last weekend saw a gorgeous wedding in the Great Hall and Long Library at Blenheim Palace, with floral gorgeousness created by the fabulous Joanna Carter Flowers. It's always a pleasure working with Joanna and her team, and they created some spectacular arrangements which were perfect for the grandeur of the Palace. The cake in particular was certainly a showstopper, and many of you sent me lots of messages on Instagram about this one....!

Asian Wedding Cakes | Wedding Planner at Blenheim Palace

Home

I have tried to embark on a huge decluttering mission this month, as we seem to accumulate so much which we really don't need. I have succeeded in clearing Bella's wardrobe and drawers, which took me a couple of hours one rainy afternoon (with her help!), and ended up with two bin bags of good quality clothing which we donated to our chosen charity. It was much easier than I thought, and I'm not sure why I've been putting it off so long - so in August I'm planning to tackle my own wardrobe (and this gives me an excuse to buy a couple of new pieces - just don't tell my husband!!). 

I'm planning a new gallery wall and Library space at the moment, with some new family photographs by the lovely Sarah Hannam Photography from our mini getaway to Ibiza last month, so this is next on my horizon (along with the Utility Room plans which are now underway!).

Sarah Hannam Fine Art Family Photography
Sarah Hannam Fine Art Film Family Photography

Family

We were in Tuscany for a wedding at the beginning of this month, and then spent a couple of days child-free at a beautiful Italian spa resort before heading home. It was really lovely to spend some quality time together, as it seems such a rarity these days; so a pool overlooking the beautiful golf course with a couple of spa treatments thrown in was just what the doctor ordered! 

I met some girlfriends for lunch one Saturday afternoon at the new Ivy Garden in Marlow, which was a lovely treat to ourselves. The food was absolutely delicious and the setting was lovely, but we came to the conclusion that the Chelsea Garden outlet is still our absolute fave for an all round experience! The following day we welcomed some friends for a pizza afternoon at home in our garden. The pizza oven hasn't had many uses this summer yet, so it was great to fire it up and enjoy some delicious stone baked pizzas, alongside a few healthy salads to balance them out! 

It's been my birthday and also our wedding anniversary this month, so I have been rather spoilt to say the least! We spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon at Cotswold Lavender, near Broadway wandering through rows and rows of purple gorgeousness (somewhere I've been meaning to go to every July for the last 3 or 4 years!) followed by a lovely Sunday lunch at Willow Crossley's new venture - The Swan at Ascott, for our anniversary weekend.

Cotswold Lavender Farm
Cotswold Lavender Farm

For my birthday, we spent a lovely day in London catching up with friends over wine and cocktails at my favourite Ham Yard Hotel, before spending my actual birthday a couple of days later having brunch with my parents, and a family day with Bella at Bristol Zoo, followed by an amazing evening at The Pig near Bath. If you haven't been to The Pig before, you absolutely should! The ambience, service and food were all just incredible, and we couldn't have enjoyed it more. The setting of the hotel is just lovely, with an array of home grown produce finding its way to the majority of their delicious menu. It was so difficult to choose what to have. As a vegetarian, I often find when eating out that restaurants only offer one choice, which of course isn't actually a "choice" at all. You either have it, or you don't! At The Pig, there were around 5 or 6 vegetarian options, and all of them sounded equally amazing! After much deliberation, I opted for a few of the small nibbles as a tapas style starter, followed by a preserved tomatoes and burrata salad with fresh basil and edible flowers, teamed with a side of chilli quinoa. For dessert, we shared a bread and butter pudding (divine!) and the Piggy Fours - a fun take on Petit Fours, which were delicious! We're always looking for new pubs and restaurants to discover in and around Oxfordshire, so if you have any recommendations which you think we'd love, do get in touch! 

Hope you've all had a fab month! :-)

Jeni x

Monthly Round Up | March 2016

At the start of this year, I made a promise to myself to blog more often and felt inspired to blog weekly. However, I've been a whole lot busier with work and family than I anticipated and so it's fallen by the wayside slightly over the last couple of months. BUT, March has been the kickstart of my blogging journey for 2016, so I felt it appropriate to start a monthly round up post of what I have been up to each month! So here's what I have been up to in March:

 

Business

It was a cold and wet start to the month, so a lot of time has been spent in my office catching up on emails, planning admin, and creating design plans for my 2017 clients. I have some truly beautiful weddings coming up this summer too, which have been months (and some years!) in the planning, so it's really exciting to see those coming to life as we have been finalising more detailed plans over the last few months. I love discussing floral design with my clients and their florists, and designing the look and feel of their wedding day. 

A teeny tiny snapshot of a Design Plan I have been working on for a May 2017 wedding in Norfolk.

A teeny tiny snapshot of a Design Plan I have been working on for a May 2017 wedding in Norfolk.

I was lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive pamper day in the most beautiful home in Holland Park by Julie Michaelsen a couple of weeks ago. I had such a wonderful day with a handful of other Planners, and we were treated to a photography session with Julie after we had been madeover by the lovely Zara and Anni at Portraits Bridal, and Beth from Elizabeth Carter Design created a stunning bouquet and floral crown especially for me, which paired perfectly with my style and business branding. That's all I can say for the moment, but I can't wait to share some of the images with you soon! 

Being pampered by the lovely ladies from Portraits Bridal

Being pampered by the lovely ladies from Portraits Bridal

Earlier this week I met with one of my 2016 Brides to have a walk through of her Oxfordshire wedding venue and finalise details with her marquee and security companies, as well as meeting the new Wedding Co-ordinator at the venue, whom I hadn't yet met. I'm super excited about this wedding; a festival style celebration, set in a 15 acre field; where there will be a girls vanity tent and a chill out tent in addition to the main tent, with a vintage caravan, especially for the Bride to take a few moments to compose herself in throughout the day! There are a few surprises too, so I won't share too much with you now - but it's promising to be amazing! 

I've also been planning exciting stationery details for a Spring 2017 wedding, with Julie at Hollyhock Lane, and I literally cannot wait to see what she creates for my lovely couple! 

Amidst the plans, I have had a number of Skype and telephone catch-ups with my international couples to talk through their plans to date, and set an action plan for the coming month as their wedding date is nearing! 

 

Family

Over Mothers Day weekend, we met up with some friends at Legoland which my two year old daughter Bella absolutely adored! As it wasn't open to the public yet (it was a friends and family pre-opening day), it was wonderfully quiet with no queues for the rides or restaurants! On the Sunday we had brunch with my parents at their home, followed by an afternoon wander around one of my favourite Cotswolds villages; Broadway. We had a spot of Afternoon Tea at the Market Pantry and stopped off at Batsford Arboretum on the way back home.

One weekend we visited The Pig nr Bath for a cocktail or two, and a wander around the gardens. I haven't had the opportunity to visit The Pig before, and it's been on my list for a long time and it was definitely worth waiting for. It is a beautiful venue for a country luxe wedding!

The Pig nr Bath in the sunshine

The Pig nr Bath in the sunshine

We have been spending a few months visiting possible schools for Bella, and have finally found the perfect school for her in nearby Abingdon. Registration form submitted, we have our fingers and toes crossed that she will be offered a place for September 2017!

Some friends of ours were staying at Soho Farmhouse for a special birthday, so we visited them one Sunday afternoon for a wander round and a coffee, as I haven't been to the Farmhouse since it was finished. Last time I went, it was super muddy and lots of the buildings weren't yet finished, so it was a real treat to see everything finished. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and is just what Oxfordshire has needed for a long time! The cinema and kitchen gardens were my favourite spots, and it's easy to sink into one of the deliciously cosy armchairs in the restaurant and dream away the afternoon! 

The Kitchen Garden at Soho Farmhouse, ready for planting!

The Kitchen Garden at Soho Farmhouse, ready for planting!

We spent the Easter weekend with my parents in Dorset, and celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary with a delicious lunch at Limewood in the New Forest. It's such a beautiful setting, with some gorgeous buildings and architecture, and the spa is to die for - with my favourite Bamford products! It was the perfect end to a busy March, and lovely to spend some quality time in Dorset where I grew up, as I don't get to go back anywhere near often enough. 

The beautiful Limewood in the New Forest

The beautiful Limewood in the New Forest

Weymouth Beach, Dorset

Weymouth Beach, Dorset

Home

At home, we have renovated our en-suite bathroom, which has been possibly about 8 months of planning. Who knew changing a bathroom would be such a challenge?! We had the builders, plumbers and electricians in for just over three weeks, which was a challenge in itself, but I'm delighted with the contemporary spa-like results and having a shower in our new bathroom is a luxurious experience every morning now! 

I'll be celebrating my 30th birthday this year with a bohemian garden party, so we've been busy making plans for our garden improvements in time for July. Nothing like a little bit of pressure to kickstart the motivation to get cracking.... We bought a summerhouse for us and a playhouse for Bella last year, which have both been painted but have remained unfurnished since then, so I've been searching for some suitable furniture to fill them this month too. 

 

I hope everyone has had a wonderful and productive March, and I'll catch up with you again in April! Hopefully April will bring a little more sunshine, and now that the clocks have been put forwards, I for one am most definitely enjoying the lighter evenings! 

Jeni xx