My October Wishlist

Guess what October means? It’s my birthday!!! Yes I’m still in the mid-twenty range of being excited every time my birthday comes around. I do wonder though that as my twenties begin to fade around me whether I will have the same enthusiasm- but for now, I’m still cool with celebrating another year older and hopefully wiser in just 7 days time.
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It won’t be a big celebration this year, mainly down to the fact that all the money we have will be going towards the wedding in November, but I’d like to think that my birthday this year will be spent surrounded by the ones I care about the most. This includes the French dip gluten free burger from TGIs- if you haven’t tried it, you are missing out! I thought that I would do an October wishlist to mark the occasion. Here are just a few things that I’m crushing over right now, I’d love to know if you are lusting over any of these too!

1. Dyson hairdryer

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This is something that I’ve been wanting to try out for ages. The advert even came on as I was sat in the cinema waiting for the new Bridget Jones movie to start. Everywhere I turn I keep getting glimpses of this marvellous device and I am just itching to give this a whirl through my hair!

2. L’Occitane shampoo

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L’Occitane is a brand I keep coming back to. This time I’m daydreaming about their fabulous shampoo L´Occitane. I’d love to lather up with their body and strength or the citrus verbena shampoo as they both look divine.

3. Magic Mike Live tickets

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 So I can’t get this out of my head ever since I found out that Magic Mike was being turned into a live show in Vegas. I signed up to the alerts newsletter (obviously) and recently Cosmo’s snapchat has been giving us some amazing backstage peeks of the pecks! So naturally tickets to this show (starting March time next year) is on my October wishlist.

4. Some new lingerie

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Ever since getting Now TV, I have been re-watching some of my favourite shows in my spare time (not that there is much of that!) I’ve been watching Sex and the City, and this really has awakened a newfound desire to get some good lingerie. The 4 New York fashionistas really do get to wear the most stunning undergarments and as each episode passes I hear La Perla calling out to me, though I am trying to ignore it as best I can!

5. Celicioso cupcakes

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This last one is something a little bit more personal. For those of you who aren’t gluten free and haven’t lived/ been to Madrid you probably won’t know about the most fantastic gluten free bakery called Celicioso. I discovered Celicioso while on my year abroad there and it’s a bakery 100% devoted to gluten free delicacies. I went there practically every week and now 3 years on I miss their cupcakes so much!

 

So there you have it- my October wishlist. Obviously some more attainable than others, but hey, it’s just a wishlist right? Why not dream big? I know that whatever happens my October will be the best yet regardless of what I get, as October officially marks the month of my hen party, and what’s more exciting than that?!

 

Saharasplash X

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Liked my October wishlist? Then check out this post too!

Confessions of a Shopper-HOLIC!

It’s certainly about time I did a post all about my confessions as a fashion blogger. Being in the industry of blogging has really helped my bad spending habits as I am now focusing more on quality over quantity. But I still have a few confessions I’d like to share with you and I’d love to know if you can relate. So here we go- this is my Confessions of a Shopper-HOLIC!

Confession 1: I’m in love with big bags

Yes, the bigger the better when it comes to my bags! I have a big bag for every occasion, and this one comes from the ever fabulous Colette Green. This dogtooth shopper bag is just perfect for all my needs when it comes to a bag. It’s stylish, affordable and it’s big enough for all my things. If I were Goldilocks, this bag would be just right, though I imagine the story would involve three bags instead of three bears! The typical thing you will find in my bag is another bag full of essential makeup products (you never know when you might need a touch up) an umbrella (as you can never count on the weather) my purse, snacks (cereal bars and chocolate) and probably a lot of other random useful things like pens, plasters and business cards. lauren-6

Confession 2: I’m in love with pattern clashes

I always have a lot of fun when it comes to pattern clashes. My favourite of all being monochrome clashing, which is what you will see in the images below. This is another shoot I did with Nicole (@NE_Moments) in Holland Park. I just love the way that the print from the bag and jumpsuit work perfectly together even though they are two completely different patterns. This pattern clash is so simple to do and really effective, so I would really recommend getting a dogtooth bag like this. Dogtooth also works really well with tartan if you want to add a bit of colour to the mix!

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Confession 3: I’m in love with outdoors photography

This is the best kind of photography! It’s quite difficult as a blogger sometimes to get help with your shots, but these are the type of shots I would love to bring to my blog a bit more. I really love getting out there, exploring new places and having a great time with photographers for the morning or afternoon as we shoot in the city. You can find some amazing scenery in London- it doesn’t have to be all about those white houses in Kensington! Find somewhere where you can change it up a bit- especially if wearing all black and white, something like a mass of green trees will just look amazing and bring your outfit to life. So yes, outdoors photography is a big win, and thanks to Nicole for choosing such a fabulous location!

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Confession 4: I’m in love with just being me

Call it narcissistic if you will, but I really do love just being myself, and I hope that this shows in my photos and in the blogging I’ve been doing these last few years. I couldn’t be happier with the family, friends and sometimes sheer luck I have had so far. I feel like I’ve done so much for someone still finding her career path and I believe that I haven’t even scratched the surface of where this road will take me. As I carry on my journey, I will leave 2016 as a married woman with hopes of starting a family in 2017. This may come as a shock to many of you who don’t know me well, but I really am not going to be settling down. If anything I’ll be upping my game even more, and with a new addition to the family I hope that the things I’m in love with won’t change, but they will simply expand even more (this includes my bag collection!).

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Shopper: Colette Green

Jumpsuit: H&M

Shoes: Primark

Saharasplash x

 

If you liked my Confessions of a Shopper-HOLIC! post, why not read about my truth behind wedding planning!

 

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The truth about wedding planning

So I made sure that I cleared my blogging schedule this week as tomorrow is the official start of fashion week. I wanted to do something that I never have any time to do, so this is all very new and exciting. I wanted to post something a bit different to the usual reviews and events that I normally do. This post is based on the truth about wedding planning- my truth on the whole thing! I hope that my five truths offer some important insight for those brides and grooms to be and I want to say that I support all of you out there planning right this very second, I know what you’re going through…
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1- There will never be enough time

I have a very good friend who has just tied the knot who will help back me up on this one! This is such a key truth about wedding planning I think. My blogger friend Merrell-Ann was engaged well before I was, and she had been planning her wedding (which happened last weekend!) for well over a year. I got engaged this May and have had just under 7 months, yet we both agree that the time just seemed to disappear on us. The truth about wedding planning is that you can plan as much as you like in advance, yet when it comes down to those final few weeks before you will be saying to yourself, ‘why didn’t I do this sooner?!’. But that’s ok, we are only human, we all have lives and filled up schedules to juggle every single day and adding a wedding to this just creates a paradox of delightful chaos. My advice here is to just accept that you probably won’t have everything ready months in advance, there will be something to panic over two days before and that’s acceptable!
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2- Learn to listen to your family (to a certain extent)

Learning to accept comments and advice from friends and family members has been by far the hardest part of getting engaged for me. I am a naturally headstrong person and so as soon as I hear the words ‘have you thought about…’ I automatically tend to put on my game face and get ready to argue the hell out of my POV. Even though it is technically ‘you and your fiancées’ wedding, it also doesn’t hurt to listen to advice and suggestions from others. Your loved ones aren’t trying to take over, even though it may seem that way. I guess what I have learnt from starting to listen to my family is that they may come up with ideas that don’t totally suck! I may have even taken a few of them on board, though I’ll never admit what they were!
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3- There are always going to be some things that just aren’t possible

This is another big truth about wedding planning. We are all guilty of dreaming about our weddings years (some even decades) before that vital question is popped. And of course we all like to dream big. Whether it’s a hundred white doves on a paradise beach island or a wedding in your local church, I’m sure that you have dreamed about very specific details from the big day. And when it comes to the realisation that you can actually start to purchase bridal magazines without feeling guilty about it, you might want to start discussing your ideas with your partner. Budget obviously plays a huge part in decision making, and I have certainly had to learn the hard way that I just can’t get Muse to play at our wedding like I’d always dreamed! Even though your big day may not involve rock stars, this most certinly does not mean that you have to forgo all the dreams. You can find your way around it, like finding a tribute band instead. I attended a wedding this summer where the Foo Fighters tribute band was so amazing, I really felt like I was rocking out to Dave Grohl as I closed my eyes and jumped up and down singing!
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4- Compromising with your fiance is easier than you think

I know this one sounds like an odd truth, but I’ve definitely found that since getting engaged Paul and I are master compromisers! If we have different opinions on colour schemes or vows we always seem to find a way to keep each other happy. We have naturally been more loving towards one another and I think a lot of newly engaged couples have this to look forward to. You know that you are about to make a big commitment, so all those petty things that got you angry before don’t seem to matter as much. It’s an exciting time, and the truth is that you both know it! You want to make each other happy, and so this just naturally happens- hooray!
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5- Someone will know that one person you need

It doesn’t hurt to do a little investigating with your friends and family on who they may have in their contact book. I know that several of my friends have come in really handy. Things like finding a local coach service and giving me names and numbers for caterers and chair hire. Whether your venue is all inclusive of these things or not, you may find yourself in need of a violinist and your cousin just happens to know of one! So don’t be afraid to ask around and talk a few wedding details among friends and family, chances are that someone will know that one person you need!
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I hope that this has helped/ inspired you some way, and that you now know the truth about wedding planning! Leave a comment below if you have any more truths to add!

 

Saharasplash X

 

Photos taken from The Wedding Fair at London Excel centre

 

Want to read more wedding-related posts? I’ve got one all about a couples spa day here!

Couples Retreat to Thai Square Spa

Once more I find myself back at the ever popular Thai Square Spa near Charing Cross. I am putting a new spin on things this time however and writing up a couples retreat to Thai Square Spa! It’s just 67 days to the big day (the wedding for my newer readers) and so I really wanted to do something with my husband to be to take us out of the busy schedule we are both dealing with at the moment.

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I think it’s really important that you never lose sight of your relationship. Just because you are engaged to be married does not mean that you can’t date anymore and do the things you used to do. I also think that it can be really easy to get caught up in all the planning, it’s a great idea to take a day out to forget about the planning and have a nice relaxing time, just the two of you.

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Thai Square Spa offers so much for all couples looking to destress from any situation, especially wedding- related ones!

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I had a signature hand massage which was just heavenly. It’s an hour treatment which involves a delightful pampering all the way from your fingertips and up your arm. The scrub created a great sensation as it was rubbed into my hands and arms. The masseuse then washed the breads off and painted on a cooling paste before wrapping my hands and forearms up and sealed them in those wonderful bags which helps to lock in the heat and minerals. My treatment also involved the most fantastic head massage at the end too!

The facilities are just so relaxing, I could sit with a magazine and the signature Thai Square tea for hours. It also gave Paul and I the chance to just enjoy each other’s company side by side, just a little chit chat, no complexities.

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Our couples retreat to Thai Square Spa was just what we needed and this is easily my favourite spa in London. I’d really advise you to take a trip there with your special someone and just let Thai square do its magic! Go explore, get pampered, have fun!

 

Bikini: To Dive For

 

Saharasplash x

SAHARASPLASH visits Bea’s Cakes London

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an English lady cannot resist a good old-fashioned afternoon tea. So here is where Bea’s London comes in! This month I had the pleasure to venture across to the London borough of Marylebone to one of the splendid little cafes in the Bea’s chain. SAHARASPLASH visits Bea’s Cakes London!Beas London Cafe-16Beas London Cafe

An afternoon tea is such a great idea at this time of the year. It’s something fun to do in the city if you are hungry but you find yourself not wanting to indulge in a hot meal. Bea’s London provides an amazing atmosphere for a lovely afternoon spent with your best friend or your partner as you natter and nom away. I started things off with an apple and cinnamon tea.

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Layer One- The Savoury Sarnies

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Okay so thery were more of a roll, but these four flavours were delicious! Naturally I ordered the gluten free option, and I had avocado with dukkha spiced yoghurt and pistachio – parma ham, mascarpone cream with honey and fig relish – goats cheese curd with beetroot and toasted walnuts and then smoked salmon with cream fraiche. The beetroot and goats cheese was to die for! Such creativity and not a cucumber in sight!

Layer Two- Scrumptious Scones

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It was so wonderful to see a full-sized scone on my second layer. So many times I am left dissapointed by the size of gluten free cakes and pastries, but not at Bea’s! The gluten free scone came with the best serving of clotted cream and a choice of raspberry or strawberry jam. It was delightful.

Layer Three- Cakes, sweets, and more!

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I really was not prepared for the amount of goodness on the third layer. This included a gluten free cupcake, the best chocolate brownie ever, a macaron, a homemade marshmallow cube, a meringue and some loaf cake. Needless to say I tried everything but did not finish everything. It was so nice to have a wide selection to browse through and taste. It’s the perfect thing for those indecisive eaters when it comes to choosing your dessert!

I want to thank Bea’s London for the very sophisticated experience, it was such a great way to start September and I hope that you will all go find a Bea’s London close to you if you live in London, or plan an afternoon tea with them on your next visit!

Outfit details: I wore a metallic crop, pleated skirt and zebra print jacket all from Motel Rocks.

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Saharasplash x

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That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing

One of my favourite things to do on a sunny day in London is take a gorgeous dress out and take a million photos. So recently, that’s just what happened after I got in touch with Nicole, a London based photographer. This dress is a very special dress that I have been holding onto for quite a while now as I wanted to wait for the exact moment to show this stunner off to you all. The dress is a multi-way piece from In One Clothing, and I really do think that it is the perfect dress. Not only can you wear it multiple ways according to your mood and the occasion, it comes in the most vibrant colours too. Nicole and I had such a fabulous time shooting this sassy number in Holland park and so without further ado, here are the shots and three ways to wear that perfect dress from In One Clothing.

Look One- The Sexy Halter

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Nicole managed to capture the flowing material of the dress in this first look we went for. It has a plentiful supply to wrap around your waist and criss-cross over your back. I decided to tie it up twice at the front and leave the material to hang instead of opting for the bow tie effect.

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Look Two- The Belle of the Ball

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For this look, I simply untwisted the halter neck and let it fall around my shoulders. This look would be perfect to go dancing in as you sashay across the dance floor. I was amazed at how this one simple change completely altered the look of the dress.

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Look Three- The Fairy Nymph

Lauren-28We moved to a wonderful spot for these shots. Holland Park was so quiet on a Monday morning, we had no trouble finding many hidden corners and places to take these photos which turned out great! For this look I wrapped the lengths of purple around my torso from front to back and created a beautiful sweetheart effect. The material is so versatile there are countless ways to wear the dress, and it conveniently comes with a matching bandeau too so you can wear this underneath the dress or use it to help add another dimension to your outfit. Nicole came prepared and brought this stunning flower crown with her which made me feel like taking my shoes off and so I did these shots barefoot.

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Details

I took with me a contrasting blue satchel to match my blue nails, and I wore some white heels from Primark.

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How amazing is this dress? I am so happy with it that my bridesmaids will all be wearing In One Clothing for my wedding in a lovely burgundy. I cannot wait to see how they each choose to style their dress up! I cannot recommend this brand enough, the quality is simply out of this world and the idea is a must for anyone wanting to please their bridal party! I’m so glad I found That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing and I have a feeling I’m going to need a few more of these to add to my wardrobe too!

Saharasplash x

Up for some more? Then check out this post on a fabulous foodie box here

 

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