I hope this blog finds you all well and that you had a fabulous Easter and/or long weekend. The sun shone! That’s not something that always happens on a British Bank Holiday so that was an extra bonus too. I imagine a few of you decided on an Easter Barbecue instead of a roast. Lawrence cooked up a storm and we had a delicious roast lamb dinner with both sets of parents which was lovely.
Now, I promised in the last blog that I would tell you all about the wedding and honeymoon when I got back and I very much plan to deliver on that promise in this blog. I am now a MRS! A bit odd really… it is going to take some getting used to. We just got the photos from the photographer on Monday, so I can share a few with you too. There were so many and she put them into a beautiful slide show video with music for us, which is so good because it is a really great way to show our family and friends without clicking through them all individually.
The day itself was wonderful – the fastest, most surreal day of my life and it all feels a bit like a dream now! I woke up at 5.30am – not because I needed to but because once I had woken up I was too excited to go back to sleep! So I got up whilst everyone else was asleep and took my Monty dog on a walk. It was actually a really great way to start that day, just me and the dog and some fresh air. Then it was all systems go with Cat and Sonya, the make-up and hair team arriving just before 9 a.m. My three bridesmaids and I all had our hair and make-up done and my Mum had some make-up too and my Aunty and Dad were with us too. I was so excited to wear the beautiful tiara my clever Dad had made for me, which matched the lace on the dress beautifully. My brother eventually left to pick up the boys in a swish car after running around sorting things out for me all morning.
Then, all of a sudden, I was in my dress and we were taking photos in front on my parents’ beautiful cherry tree, which came into blossom just at the right time! This was so special because we always have photos in Mum and Dad’s garden when we are dressed up for any event, so it felt right that we should do it on such a big day.
The sun was shining, which was amazing because the days either side of the wedding were grey and rainy but I was glad of the cool breeze! The weather meant I could walk to the church with my Dad and the bridesmaids which is what I had really wanted to do – the neighbours even came outside with their children to wave!
I cried walking all the way down the aisle (this was not the first weepy moment of the day and would not be the last – I’m a cryer!) and just about pulled myself together by the time the service really started. It was over in a flash and luckily no embarrassing moments. Lawrence and I have been together for over 11 years and most of that time I have been pestering him to get married, so walking back out of the church with him, the organ playing and the bells ringing, actually married was all a bit surreal! It actually happened!
We had a marquee just around the corner from the church, so it was a very short walk to canapes and drinks for everyone and then all of the usual wedding fayre – photos, dinner, speeches… and it was all just perfect… from the great speeches to the yummy food and the incredible company of all our family and friends.
I loved every single second. Apart from maybe the first dance! Lawrence and I had been dreading that and we called people out onto the dance floor with us very quickly – neither of us are particularly graceful dancers and there is over a foot in height difference between us which does’t exactly help! We chose L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole, which was a good choice in the end I think – not too fast or too slow. And then we danced the night away fueled by my home-made sloe gin, cheese, our seriously tasty wedding cake and, of course, the HUGE amount of sweeties I had set up on a table for the night… not sure the children’s parents thanked me for that but I sure enjoyed them!
I really did do a lot of dancing too, which was great fun and Lawrence and I left after the last song at 1am and went to stay in a posh hotel… you should see the size of the breakfast we had the next day!! We were both so overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of family and friends who came to share the day with us and honestly, I wish I could just do it all over again – I loved it!
It was worth all the planning and a very long day the day before, decorating the marquee with flowers and ribbons, because we had so much fun and I am finally Lawrence’s wife which, after all, was the whole point and we are very happy to be married now.
So, we were married on the Saturday and we flew off to Italy on the following Monday. We have visited Italy before and loved it but we hadn’t been to the lakes, which is where we were headed. We couldn’t decide where to go as all of the lakes looked so beautiful, so in the end we settled on five days staying on Lake Como and then five days at Lake Garda. Well, WOW! The scenery is just stunning and there were so many places to visit, things to do and walks to go on. I think Como was my favourite as the scenery was so dramatic – the lake is surrounded by tall mountains pretty much all the way around. We stayed in a small village in an area that isn’t as tourist-y and we were so glad for it as it was a beautiful place with plenty of peace and quiet.
There were a few rather scary trips up very small, windy mountain roads in our rental car but all credit to Lawrence, he coped with the driving very well. I fear I was not the best passenger, squealing every time he got close to a wall or a sheer drop! The food was, of course, incredible and we have eaten our body weight in pasta and pizza. We were actually lucky enough to visit a Michelin star restaurant called La Tortuga thanks to my brother’s generous wedding gift and it was a real experience. We ended up having FIVE courses, each as delicious as the last in a beautiful small red dining room. The wine list was the biggest I have ever seen – think War and Peace thickness – but we took a glass of the suggested wine each as we are not wine buffs at all! Everything down to the menus and glasses was beautiful, but I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere by taking loads of photos. We were there for hours and very much enjoyed ourselves – what a treat!
There are a lot of palaces and botanical gardens both on Como and Garda and we visited quite a few. The amount of different tulips we saw was staggering and I thoroughly enjoyed strolling about the differently designed gardens. Most of them still had lake views too – what an amazing place to live and work it must be! Another plant that was in abundant flower there was Wisteria. I love wisteria – the look, the smell, everything, and was so happy to see so much of it – it clearly thrives there. We even found a whole tunnel of it on one of the gardens… just stunning!
I should mention… remember the purple Sketchers I had bought it my last blog? I wore them nearly the entire honeymoon and they were so, so comfortable. Didn’t wear them in at all and did so much walking in them from cobbles streets to mountains – they were a dream! I have so much more to say about the honeymoon, but this blog is already set to be a long one so maybe I’ll talk some more about it in another one soon.
We were very sad to pack our bags (I had to get Lawrence to sit on mine to get it done up!) and fly home back to reality, but the Easter weekend felt like a little honeymoon extension and we were both desperate to see our Monty dog! He was really excited to see us too, which was nice – we had missed him very much whilst we were away. We also got to see and cuddle the puppies at my parents’ house – they have grown so much and are like proper little tiny dogs now… I can’t get enough of them!
I want to say thank you to you all as well, as I have had so many well wishes before and after the wedding – I feel very lucky to have had so many of you say such lovely things – it is a privilege.
As much as getting back to reality is sad, I am truly happy to be back at QVC, as I love it here. I did a quick day on Saturday and will be back this week on Thursday and Friday. We have some exciting things coming up, including Beauty Day on the 28th April. One of the brands that will be a big part of this day is Gatineau – much loved by many of you who have been with us a while and a seriously high-brow brand who have been providing cutting-edge skincare for many, many years. Two things to look out for will be the new 200ml Supersize Gentle Silk Transforming Cream Cleanser, which is a clever way to cleanse your face, as the lovely creamy formula turns to a milky oil as you massage it in. It contains some lovely natural products and it the high calibre skincare we have come to expect from Gatineau.
The Today’s Special Value for Beauty Day will be perfect if you are looking to amp up your tanning for the summer months and it may, or may not, include a supersize Golden Glow Gradual Tan, wink wink, nudge nudge. The formula is full of lovely things like rosehip and raspberry seed and it is designed as a lightweight milk formula that absorbs quickly, so you don’t have to stand like a starfish for ages before touching anything! I tend to accept my pastiness but I like to use a gradual tan on my legs, as they are reflectively pale and I like to take the edge off but not for it to look unnatural. This is fab just for that and so easy to apply daily, plus it smells DIVINE. No biscuit smell here, just a lovely floral fragrance… I really like it.
Another thing I want to let you know about is one of next week’s Big Deals – it’s the Ecozone Ecoball. If you are one of the many of us really starting to think about how you can change your habits to live a more eco-friendly life, then this one might interest you. Hands up if you’d never really thought about the washing and how you could be a little kinder to the environment when doing that? My hand is up. I’d just not really thought about it so much. Luckily, Ecozone have and this clever ball is going to save me money too, as it will do 1,000 washes… that’s 1,000 washes worth of detergent I’m no longer buying! You fill the ball with two different colours of pellets (all provided with the ball) and pop it in! The pellets are full of minerals and plant-based cleaning agents, so all much better for the environment that chemical cleaners, and you use less water in your wash as you don’t need the rinse cycle… which also makes the wash quicker, hooray! They are available unscented or in 2 different fragrances. Look out for them next week, as they’ll be at a special price from midnight on Sunday.
This week there is a Big Deal from Ultrasun, including their sport sun protection, which I personally love even though I rarely do sports in the sun! It’s a gel formula that sinks in quickly and it’s not all greasy like a lot of others are. I think you can all tell from looking at me that I am a big user of sun protection – I have to be – my skin does not tan and is very sensitive. I found Ultrasun before coming to QVC and have not used another brand of SPF since. For me, there’s no competition and I wouldn’t use anything else on my skin, not only because of the high level of protection but also the way it feels on my skin. I took mine on honeymoon and I’ve used it over the weekend too. The face formula – of which there is one included in this set, is the only sun protection I have used on my face that doesn’t make me break out – bingo! I’d stock up with this great offer if you can.
Also our Style Big Deal is a good one for the coming months too – it’s a gorgeous maxi dress from a new brand Alton Grey. This is an easy-wear, throw-it-on-in-the-morning dress and perfect if you have a holiday booked. Mind you, if this summer is like the last, you’ll need it here, let alone abroad! The choice of colours and patterns is lovely too – I think there is one for everyone!
Right, that’s been a fairly lengthy blog, so I think I’ll sign off here. Thanks for reading and thank you again for all the well-wishes I have received – I am so, so grateful to you all! See you on-air on Thursday and Friday – got some fab fashion as always, as well as plenty more. I’m off to do some gardening now – mine needs a LOT of work!
Enjoy the rest of your week,