Vintage bridal crowns and sparkling shoe clips

Apparently, all the stunning antique wedding crowns and corsages in the Polly McGeary Etsy shop are sourced by Aline from flea markets, friends and neighbours of my grandmother. Aline lives in Berlin and I want to move there if this is the kind of thing you can find in the local flea market! I’ve been to a few flea markets in my time and never have I seen anything that I would absolutely love to wear on my wedding day. I love them!

Polly McGeary VIntage Bridal Crowns
Polly McGeary Vintage Corsages
Polly McGeary VIntage Bridal Crowns

Amongst the pretty bridal crowns and corsages, Aline also stocks her shop with handmade bows and sparkling shoe clips like these…

Polly McGeary Shoe Clips

Head on over there, it’s lovely :)

♥ Debs

My new business: of Alp & Ash

So you may have noticed it’s been a little quiet on these pages lately. I’ve been a little busy with planning our own wedding, and working on our new (really old) home, but mainly I’ve been spending time on a new creative venture… and today is launch day. Welcome to my new business: of Alp & Ash!

There’s a detailed blog post over on my personal blog Live Small Dream Big that you can see here. But, in brief, I’m excited to now have an Etsy shop selling lovely laser cut stuff! Here’s what you’ll find there…

Important Little Letters

I came up with this idea as I love cute things and sending/receiving mail. If it encourages anybody to send a handwritten note over posting a message on social media then I’ll be happy! I think it’s important to invest more time in connecting with loved ones, and this is just one (super cute) way to do it.

Important Little Letters by of Alp and Ash

Christmas Gifts

Personalised baubles, sets of baubles & snowflakes and adorable angels (my personal favourite) with a choice of hairstyles and dress designs are all on offer in the shop. There are also three Festive Little Letters to send as an alternative to the Christmas card too.

of Alp and Ash Christmas tree decorations

You can see loads more images in my Etsy shop and on my website.

Competition time

of Alp and Ash Competition to win a personalised bauble or angel Christmas tree decoration

I’m so excited I’m finally at the point where I can start selling my creations and so, to celebrate, I’ve decided to run a little competition!

To be in with a chance of winning either a personalised bauble or an angel of your choice enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, have a £5 voucher!

If you like the look of something and fancy making a purchase over £10 here’s a link to get £5 off for anybody that hasn’t purchased anything from Etsy before!

I do hope you like the new venture, and if you do I’d love for you to share it with anybody else you think will like it. Thank you! :)

♥ Debs

Review & Competition : The Inspired Wedding

When it comes to planning your wedding I do believe that you’ll find pretty much all the inspiration you need online BUT I don’t believe that’s always the nicest way to plan…

Wedding blogs and Pinterest offer millions of wedding-related images and ideas to help you achieve a beautiful big day but there’s actually so much inspiration it can become overwhelming!

On top of that is the fact that being online all the time can just become too much and it’s sometimes nice to step away from the computer, grab a book or magazine and enjoy it with a cuppa. It’s a much more relaxing way to plan what can be a rather stressful event when faced with too much choice.

The Inspired Wedding

And that’s where books like The Inspired Wedding come in. I was sent a copy to review and it allowed me the chance to take a break and flick through actual paper pages and see wedding photographs in print – wonderful!

The Inspired Wedding by Emma Arendoski

Seven handcrafted themes

It’s a lovely book, written by Emmaline Bride founder Emma Arendoski, that focuses on achieving your big day the handcrafted way. It’s separated into 7 different themes: romantically vintage, farmhouse rustic, beach bliss, urban chic, free spirit, traditional and boho style.

The Inspired Wedding is perfect for those planning their wedding that have a vision in their head of their perfect wedding day, but no real idea on where to start. This book not only breaks it down into themes but also into the different elements of the day such as ‘The Attire’, ‘The Flowers’ and ‘The Reception’.

Even if you don’t completely fall into one category you’ll probably find elements you love across several themes, and I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy adoring the gorgeous photographs this book is filled with!

Here are a few spreads to give you a taster…

The Inspired Wedding by Emma Arendoski

Win! Win! Win!

And here’s how to win your very own copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So to all you brides, friends of brides-to-be and even wedding planners – get your entries in now!


Where to buy The Inspired Wedding:
For UK customers click here
For US customers click here

My wedding stationery : Playmobil save the date postcards

If you’ve explored this blog before you may have seen that the About Me and Get in touch pages feature toy Playmobil characters. For a reason unknown to me, I really love Playmobil characters! Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing as we had a lot growing up… or maybe it’s just that they’re damn cute and there’s so many different themes and characters!

When it came to making a save the date, I knew I wanted to include them. I didn’t want to create anything that indicated what the look of our wedding will be like, largely as we hadn’t fully decided and didn’t want to rush the process just because I needed to get save the dates out! So the Playmobil people were perfect. But how to incorporate them?

Setting the scene

As we’re getting married on a campsite surrounded by hills and mountains I thought it would be nice to have them stand in front of mountains, and to make it more ‘real-life’ looking I figured they should be stood on grass.

So, I bought a sample of astro turf off eBay and rifled through my summer holiday photos of the Dolomites and found a photo that would be perfect: there was grass at the bottom of the shot which would create a more seamless join!

Wedding stationery - Playmobil save the date postcards

I blurred the photo slightly on Photoshop, to give the impression of the depth of field you’d get if it had actually been shot with a camera, and then printed it out. All that was left to do was laser-cut a piece of acrylic to show our wedding date and arrange all the parts like so…

Wedding stationery - Playmobil save the date postcards

I then took a load of photographs and picked my favourite, cropping out the background. This was what I got…

Wedding stationery - Playmobil save the date postcards

All that was left to do was design a postcard back featuring info for our guests and a space to write their addresses… and upload the files to Moo for printing.

And here they are!

Wedding stationery - Playmobil save the date postcards
Wedding stationery - Playmobil save the date postcards

What do you think?! :D


A review of The Ducket : a unique UK honeymoon idea

If you’re looking for a unique UK honeymoon idea, somewhere different to anywhere you’ve ever stayed before… then let me suggest The Ducket. Situated in Northumberland this five star, five storey tower has been cleverly transformed into a luxurious hideaway for two.

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea
The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea
The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea
The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

Me and my fiancé visited on a mild weekend in September and even the approach to the place was exciting enough. I definitely let out a ‘wow’ as the tower came into view. Practically in the middle of nowhere with flat fields all around, it’s an impressive structure. And the isolation of the place makes it all the more romantic as it really is just the two of you!

The owners of The Ducket have put a lot of thought into making this a wonderful home away from home, with practically everything you can thing of; there’s even a washing machine in the entrance hall and a retractable washing line over the bath!

The bathroom

Situated on the ground floor the bathroom’s kitted out with both a shower and bath. There are even bathrobes: an essential for the perfect honeymoon. You should probably just wear these for your entire stay!

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

The bedroom

On the second floor is a cosy bedroom. The underfloor heating is particularly welcome in this room and there’s even a wall mounted television to entertain you whilst eating breakfast in bed.

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

I also fell in love with that Ken Spencer painting, I have my eye on his work now ;)

The kitchen

The kitchen really impressed me. On the third floor they had even less space to work with than the two lower levels, and yet they’ve included everything I could wish for in a kitchen!

There’s a fridge, freezer, cupboards full of all the utensils and crockery you could need, an iron and ironing board, there’s even another telly. And, not shown in the photos, is a cute booth-like seating area and table for two. Anybody building a tiny house should come and stay here for inspiration on how to cram a lot into a little space!

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

The lounge

The fourth floor hosts the lounge; a sweet little space with a cleverly curved sofa, armchair, another television(!) with DVD player and a cosy electric fire. A full length window makes the most of the beautiful view…

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

The top of the tower

For nature lovers and readers, the top of the tower comes with binoculars and a lot of books. It’s a tiny space but it’s big enough to cosy up with a cuppa and a good read whilst watching the sun go down…

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

Things to do

There are plenty of things to do surrounding The Ducket. We counted 7 castles nearby!

We took a trip to Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island: an island you can only reach in low tide – make sure you check the tide times before visiting so you don’t get stuck out there!

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

The town of Alnwick is only a twenty minute drive with several shops and restaurants. I’ve also heard The Alnwick Garden and its Treehouse Restaurant are well worth a visit.

Personally, I really enjoyed the sanctuary of the tower. After a visit from the friendly caretaker just after we arrived, we didn’t see anybody for our entire stay and I didn’t even notice any traffic. After the busyness of planning a wedding The Ducket would make a wonderfully peaceful retreat for your honeymoon.

If you do a big grocery shop on your way to The Ducket with enough food for the duration of your stay (including plenty of treats such as wine and chocolate of course) you won’t even need to leave! I’d love to go back in winter as I imagine it’d be even cosier then. We enjoyed eating freshly baked pain au chocolats for breakfast and completing a jigsaw during our stay…

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea

Honeymoon or holiday

Of course, The Ducket isn’t just a honeymoon destination. Any occasion to celebrate will do. An anniversary, a birthday or just becasue you want a romantic weekend away. The important thing to note is that The Ducket is a place for celebrating the two of you, no children allowed (it really isn’t child friendly with all the exposed staircases!) So go before the kids come along, or find yourself a good babysitter if they’re already here.

If you would love to visit the area but the tower isn’t for you then make sure you check out the rest of the Outchester and Ross Cottages. I’ll warn you though The Ducket is situated only a short distance away and once you spy it, rising up into the sky, I’m betting you’ll want to stay there ;)

The Ducket - Unique UK Honeymoon Idea



This isn’t a sponsored post, however I did receive a complimentary stay. Regardless, everything I’ve written is true – I loved it!

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