New year; new focus

New year motivation
New year motivation

P.S. IT’S OUR WEDDING YEAR!!!

Happy New Year you lovely lot. And sorry it’s been so long…

Soon after starting this blog, my father-in-law to-be became very poorly, and all of Mr Me & Thee’s nights were spent at the hospital, organising housing, and being a general superhero. After that, we decided to focus on having a wonderful Christmas and start afresh in the New Year.

So here we are. Ready and raring to go. And we’ve achieved quite a bit in terms of wedding planning too…which is rather fortuitous, as yesterday marked the TEN MONTH countdown to our nuptials!!! How did that happen so quickly???

In a nutshell: I FINALLY decided on my wedding dress (more about that to come); Mr Me & Thee’s fierce groom outfit is mostly complete; I’ve settled on the all-important hair stylist (this was always a major source of stress for me as I am super precious about my locks); we bagged an awesome deal on our videographer (thanks to our superb photographer’s handy contacts); I found the perfect dress for my Maid of Honour; my ma ordered her exquisite Mother of the Bride gown; we nabbed swanky suit jackets for our dads – and we’ve snapped up loads of cool things for venue dressing!

We will of course be blogging about all of those things in far more detail over the coming weeks. But for now, we’d love to know how your wedding planning is coming along!

Leave us a comment or drop us a mail – it’s always good to hear from you and share the joy (and stress).

Love Emma (Miss Me & Thee) xxx

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Spotlight On…Coco & Kate

Coco & Kate

Coco & Kate is one of the few bridal boutiques that really lives up to the hype. By ‘hype’, I mean the magical place you envisage upon getting engaged…where wedding dress dreams are made.

Nestled in the quaint village of Hatton in Warwickshire (we saw an actual peacock majestically roaming the cobbles on our approach), Coco & Kate is everything a bridal boutique should be: welcoming, intimate, and superbly stylish.

I’m a self-confessed girlie-girl, and everything — from the exquisitely-scented candles and cute-as-a-button cupcakes, to the delicate blush roses and deliciously pink Prosecco — spoke to my love of all things feminine. What’s more, Sophie (owner extraordinaire) is the epitome of warmth. She welcomed us with a hug and a smile, and I love people who hug and smile.

As soon as we walked through the door, we were made to feel effortlessly at home. Sophie guided us through the rows of exquisite dresses (but left us free to browse in the most leisurely of ways), brought us bubbles (and kept them topped up throughout our visit), and never once made me feel rushed (vital when you are prancing around playing princesses with a tiara on your head and a smile on your face).

Stockists of Watters, Anna Campbell, Martina Liana, Love Marley, and the inimitable Hayley Paige (I was lucky enough to be the first to try on the new ‘Dori’ gown — it’s a stunner), there really is something to delight every bride. And the accessories are to die for — think blinging jewellery, divine veils, breathtaking headpieces and stunning shoes.

So if you’re a bride-to-be looking for a wedding dress to wow, I can’t recommend this delightful bridal boutique highly enough. Thank you Coco and Kate; you rock!

Love Emma xxx

TiaraWedding dress shoppingCoco & Katelace

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Beautiful Brows: how one little kit upped my brow-game

Beautiful Brows

I’d love to be one of those girls who can proudly claim their eyebrows as their own; the ones smart enough not to have plucked the life out of them during their high school years. But I’m not. Not even close. I took tweezers to the poor things at age 11, and I didn’t stop until they were all but gone. And they never grew back.

Why doesn’t that happen with leg hair? Or your bikini line?

Seriously, the one thing I would quite like to make a reappearance is lost in the land of hair mascara, Charlie perfume, and Cover Girl makeup. (If you weren’t scrambling through adolescence in the 90s you may not have a clue what I’m talking about, but suffice to say that I bid adieu to thick and full eyebrows when the Brit pop game was strong).

Honestly, ladies who bemoan the use of eyebrow pencils don’t know how good they’ve got it; some of us don’t have a choice. We’re victims of our ill-advised youth – and not even Mac can save us.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a personal fan of the Scouse-brow, and where possible, I do like my eyebrows to err on the side of natural. But that’s kinda hard to achieve when your brows are one hair thick, and your hair is naturally pretty fair.

For a time, I found solace in the wonder that is semi-permanent makeup. I’ve met people who’ve enjoyed the ‘semi’ permanence for years; unfortunately, my body does some sort of weird, self-healing shit that would give the guy in unbreakable a run for his money. If I didn’t get ill so often I’d think I had some sort of superpower: I used to love piercings; I gave up when my nose stud relentlessly popped itself out, three belly buttons bars grew through my skin, and five earrings refused to form actual holes. And it was a similar story with my eyebrows: within a couple of short months, the colour had started to disappear; presumably discarded by my ninja cells — leaving me to the mercy of Mac once again. But I was never really happy with the ‘pencilled in’ look.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the Beautiful Brows bar at Birmingham’s National Wedding Show, trialling their best-selling kit. I refused to try it to start with; my brows were already pencilled in, and I have never trusted powder — convinced it would smudge and fail to achieve any sort of definite line. Oh how wrong I was.

Super brow lady popped the ‘sleek’ stencil over my eyebrow (there are three in the kit: bold, natural and sleek, allowing you to change the ‘wow’ of your brow with ease), dipped the brush into the dark brown shadow (there’s a choice of five shades), and brushed once against the hair, and once with the hair. In less than ten seconds, my brows were transformed. The solid pencil line had been softened, and the shape was quite simply bang on. And the best part? The powder is smudge proof, sweat proof, water resistant, and lasts for 24 hours (and it really does).

Bagging Beautiful Brows

The kit comes with complete with:

• Semi-permanent eyebrow powder
• Three eyebrow stencils
• Duo applicator brush
• Eyebrow highlighter
• Highlighter brush
• Soft grip tweezers
• Magnifying mirror

Beautiful Brows

All for the bargain price of £30.

You wouldn’t believe how much time this saves me in the morning! So thank you Beautiful Brows: you rock.

Love Emma xxx

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Spotlight on…Hotel Gotham

me

Decadence; luxury; glamour. Just three of the words that spring to mind when I look back on our stay at Manchester’s newest bespoke hotspot, Hotel Gotham. From the valet parking and welcome cocktails, to the superbly sumptuous bedding and in-room butler martini service, we were wowed from the get-go.

Our first anniversary was always going to be a special time for us; in a whirlwind romance that saw us exchange ‘I love yous’ after five weeks, postcodes after six, and a blinging engagement ring a few short months later, this milestone was a chance to reflect on the happiness of the past year. And like everything else in our lives, it had to be done in style.

Living in a cottage (in a relatively sleepy area), a buzzing city break was the order of the day. And after a recommendation from one of the most stylish couples I know, Gotham jumped straight to the top of our ‘must-stay’ list.

Residing regally in trendy Kings Street (housing Manchester’s business district and designer shops alike), Gotham perfectly encapsulates the glitz and glamour of 1920s Manhattan. And despite a nod of its cap to the caped crusader in name, Hotel Gotham keeps it classy — with subtle references to its namesake (the swag bag was a particular favourite), and its former use as a bank (with gold bars dotted playfully throughout).

The bed was quite simply the comfiest creation ever conceived: the only downside being that we no longer enjoy our own bed. Or pillows. Or duvet. The next time we stay (there will undoubtedly be a next time) we plan on spending much more of our visit between the sheets…to bask in high thread-count heaven.

And then there’s the shower. Oh, the shower. Plenty big enough for two, the monsoon waterfall is a cascade of pleasure that we could have luxuriated in all the livelong day (if we didn’t have to check out by 11).

Since leaving yesterday morning, we’ve lamented the loss of that shower many times…

Everything about Hotel Gotham enhanced our anniversary experience to the full — including the affable bar staff. Our martini man (who skilfully whipped up wet and dry martinis in the comfort of our room) was also manning Club Brass that night (the hotel’s rooftop, £500-a-year, private members bar); he made an espresso martini (my go-to drink of choice) that trumped all others — London cocktail-hotspots included.

I’m about as fussy as they come (to which Mr Me & Thee will undoubtedly testify), and I couldn’t fault it. We enjoyed Club Brass so much that we managed to convince the obliging bar staff to host a gin lock-in. Unfortunately this lasted about ten minutes until I fell asleep at the bar and had to be taken to bed. But the hangover was well worth it. And so was the price-tag.

Hotel Gotham really does think of everything (including hangover and intimacy kits, and truly stylish umbrellas for those inevitable Manchester downpours). So if you’re looking for somewhere special to spend those naughty nights away, we’d recommend grabbing the bat phone and making a reservation pronto. You won’t be disappointed.

Love Emma (Miss Me & Thee) xxx

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Me & Thee…On Being Engaged

SHE SAYS: Getting engaged is pretty damn cool; for a start, people buy you presents, "ooh" and "aah" over that new bit of bling on your finger, and show an eager interest in everything from how he asked to when you're getting wed. But even cooler than that is knowing you've just embarked on the most loved-up, fun-filled, mind-blowingly exciting journey, with the most important, influential, and downright awesome person in your life.

It's also more than a little bit touching to know that someone (your someone) has put *that* amount of effort into showing you how they feel.

So, how did he ask?

I walked through the door of our cottage one balmy night in July to a sea of rose petals; candles filled every conceivable space, pink champagne waited expectantly on ice, and our wedding music (the piece he knew I wanted to walk down the aisle to) played softly over the scene. There was an ethereally lit white tree (complete with Alice in Wonderland playing cards that he'd made) hanging from its willowy branches, and my man was waiting, suited and booted, down on one knee. It was perfect. And of course, I said yes.

I was a tad worried that when the time came, I'd be distinctly underwhelmed. Now don't get me wrong, I knew that whatever Paul planned would be special — that's just who he is — but we'd talked all about getting engaged, and I knew it was happening soon. Would I be excited? Would I feel any different? Would people be at all interested?

Happily, the answer was yes, yes, and hell yes!

It was pretty damn magical. I felt insanely different. And people were bloody lovely. As soon as we’d visited the rents, sent the texts, and made the all important facebook announcement, the cards, presents and well wishes came pouring in. It was like Christmas, but just for us. I found a surprising amount of comfort in being a 'fiancée'; like everything was finally as it should be. Not in an I-need-a-man-to-complete-me sort of a way; it was more I've-found-the-person-I-was-always-meant-to-be-with-and-I'm-gonna-marry-the-f*ck-outta-him. And that feeling has only grown as the weeks have gone by.

We're now in the full swing of wedding planning, and so far, everything has been surprisingly easy. But we're not naive; we are fully expecting to lose our shit any day now — so please stay with us and help to keep us on track, looking forward, and most importantly, as sane as anyone planning a wedding can be.

Me & Thee

HE SAYS: The journey from boyfriend to fiancé is one of the most exhilarating adventures you’ll ever take — and coming from someone whose travelled the globe, that’s some pretty serious shit right there.

I had asked the most inspiring, insane and beautiful woman in the world to marry me, and for reasons known only to her, she’d said yes!

From the very beginning, planning the proposal was the best thing I'd ever done. Arranging a life-changing surprise for the person you'd do anything to make smile is bloody brilliant; the sleuth-like studying of her favourite things, the frantic seconds ordering that perfect prop, or the time spent researching a new idea while she's getting a drink or on the phone are all incredibly exciting.

Now don’t get me wrong, there's a certain amount of stress involved too. I’m not sure there’ll be another time in my life (excepting the big day) that I'll lose so much sleep over whether those faded pink rose petals are the best shade to display my affections, or whether 150 candles really say “I love you” enough.

But the planning paid off: I managed to hold back the emotions long enough to get through my why-I-have-to-marry-you speech (although excitable minds being what they are, there was a certain amount of ad-libbing), and after that, the excitement of planning was swiftly replaced with the excitement of being engaged — and there's nothing quite like it.

It is, quite simply, the most perfect sense of belonging I have ever felt.

You don’t expect to feel much different the next day; I mean, you still love each other the way you did the day before, and your lives are still the same, right? Wrong. It’s a brave new world.

Everything was somehow more comforting, more certain, more peaceful. I felt indestructible, with the deepest sense of knowing that my life was as it should be. I also realised that other people saw me differently: questions went from “are you going out this weekend” to “when are you having kids then”, and the aspects of life often deemed the province of adolescents suddenly stopped being part of my day-to-day conversations. It was the first time I had ever felt that people were looking at me as a grown-up.

It’s like I'd joined an elite club of people who've really got their shit together; of course, we haven't at all, but we do have an invigorating sense of purpose. And what a purpose it is. I get to spend the next year planning what will no doubt be a highly styled celebration of our love for one another, and the rest of my life showing that love to the person who's made my life the one thing I never thought it could be: perfect.

There are so many things I'm unsure of when I look ahead to next year, but there’s one thing I know for certain: it’s going to be one hell of a journey.

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