Thursday, 16 October 2014

Our Wedding: Our favourite part

The favourite part of the wedding was definitely walking out of that church as man and wife after the most lovely wedding ceremony.

We were in a bubble of excitement and happiness-and very much relief!

The sun was shining, and there were smiles all around.

It took forever to get everyone out to the area we were allowed to throw confetti as everyone was chatting-despite our photographer's best efforts in calling everyone down!

I ended up waiting at the bottom of the path whilst James went awol to try and sort something-which then ended up with everyone walking past and hugging, kissing and congratulating us-eventually everyone was where they needed to be!

I love the confetti shots, I think they are our most natural photos from the whole day, and probably at our most happiest too!

The church and the arched tree were the perfect backdrop to the photos too.

Alex waited so patiently to throw the confetti at us bless him.


Just look at his little face-he really loves his Daddy :)

I love James' family friend and future sister in laws face's in this photo-James really was finding that confetti all day haha. 

I think James got the most of the confetti!

And thankfully I had a bridesmaid ready to help with confetti removal for my hair!

After that it was all a bit of organised chaos-we had planned to have only the immediate family/bridal party photos taken at the church and for everyone else to head to the venue (in hindsight it may have been better if I had put this onto the wedding programme)!

Me and James aren't the best at posed smiles (well not after 100's of snaps!), and our boy's weren't playing ball either as Sam had not had a sleep and I think Alex was for some reason tired at this point too! Nether-the-less we have a few posed family shots like this! 
Our first as a family of all Spencer's.

Once all the obligatory photos were taken James and I had a 20mins or so just to ourselves and our photographer which was lovely, if not a little awkward at times-it's quite hard being natural when you know you are being photographed. 

The photo on the right is my favourite photo of the both of us, definitely think I will be buying that as a large print or canvas.

We then had to dash off to our reception venue as were supposed to be there about 4.30 but ended up being nearer 5.30 due to ceremony and photos taking longer than we were told/thought! So it was very much calm before the storm-almost literally as it started raining in the car!

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Our wedding: The Ceremony

I've got to admit our wedding has become a bot of a blur, I vaguely remember chatting away to one of the vicars from the car to the church door, taking my last steps as an Askins in a mix of nerves and excitement.

Mum and my gorgeous boys were waiting by the church door, I gave a nervous hello and smile to Charlie-James' groomsman- and took a deep breath in!

It was only since seeing our wedding video that I realised Alex had walked beside his Auntie (James' sister who was a bridesmaid) and not just before I entered with Mum and a sleepy Sam, I don't think I was taking all that much in at that moment!

Meanwhile in the Church, word had spread of my arrival!

Despite my obvious nerves I loved walking down the isle in the beautiful, old church, a small and cosy isle with a turn towards my man.

I thought I'd hate all eyes on me during this part, but actually I felt the prettiest I've ever felt (and probably ever will be) and quite enjoyed being the centre on attention (yes I really am saying that)!!

Everyone was smiling and everyone was trying to get a glimpse of me and I guess the dress too. I did grab onto my Dad at the start as my shoe slipped off slightly, and I needed him for support through fear of falling-I didn't let go!

James' older brother, his best man was supposed to tell him when to turn around but didn't until I was virtually at his side. You can see me longingly looking at him in the wedding photos mentally shouting "TURN AROUND AND LOOK AT ME!" which is quite funny.

I think my first words to him were something along the lines of 'I made it'! But felt so at ease to be by his side, he really makes me complete.

The service itself is a little bit of a blur I must admit, and unfortunately we weren't allowed video of us taking our vows (which seems silly as to me that's the bit I really wanted to watch back but hey ho I am sure they don't make the rules).

But having said that it was a lovely ceremony. We got married in All Saints Church in Lydiard Millicent, which is the church James' family go to and the one that was linked with his primary school all those years ago! This was really brilliant for us as we know of both vicars (who are husband and wife) and James' Mum in particular is really good friends with the female one-which is why they both took the service for us.

They gave us such a personal and unique service, with a few fun things and stories about us thrown in, involving the younger boys in James' family as well as including our boys in a family prayer at the end. We are so grateful as they gave us so many memories and it must have taken a long time to prepare for us.

Walking in each other's shoes
Walking in each other's shoes
Changing ME to WE
James' youngest brother's didn't even know about this beforehand, it was very Funny when the vicar told them to turn around for a photo and didn't switch around, I guess any relationships have EW moments haha. 

3 Strands are stronger than 1: Husband, wife and God. 

Have a long list of positives not negatives

Keeping it a family affair one of my brother's and James' sister read our readings for us. Louis had only just got back from a boozy holiday with his mates the morning before, and wasn't left with much voice thankfully it just about held out and luckily Francesca had the longer one to read!

I got a bit teary during the vows but managed to hold it in (no one wants panda eyes on their wedding day) I don't think anyone but James and the vicar noticed either. I think it hit me, as the vows are so powerful and we meant every word of it, it just felt so special and real.

Luckily the ring which James' Dad had picked up for us the day before (I know cutting it fine) fit, I was worried it might not have, having not tried it on before (turns out I have small fingers and no where stocks size J, who knew)!

We had a slightly awkward moment with the kiss...we weren't so sure it was the time to kiss, but after the Vicar gave us the eyes after a couple of seconds we realised!

We signed the official documents-and were the last entry in the big book at the church!

We happily walked out of the church as man and wife, and we couldn't wipe the smiles of our faces about it.

Monday, 8 September 2014

First day at school and a back to school competition (Vosene Shampoo & spray, £10 Tesco voucher, rucksack and pencil case)

Well last Wednesday morning was a day that I both dreaded and looked forward to. 

Alex's first day at primary school!

He was excited, and looked huge and so grown up in his school uniform.

Outside the reception door, where all the anxious parent's and children gathered were eagerly waiting, there was a slight glimmer of nerves, he clung to me slightly, holding my hand, but when the time came, he went in fine, with (luckily) a big kiss and hug for me before I left.

He only had 2 1/2 hours there (in fact all his sessions are for the next few weeks!!) but he came out happy, and he seemed to have a great time, and loves his teacher and TA.

I just can't believe where the time has gone, 5 years ago he was still a growing bump that was kicking me in the ribs, now he's a tall, handsome young lad, in age 6-7 clothes!

Now with the new school year I have a great back to school giveaway for my readers.

The prize includes - Ruck sack, pencil case, Shampoo & Spray, £10 Tesco Voucher (total value £30).

It's a bit of a hush, hush topic, but it happens in any school-luckily we've escaped it during the preschool years!-head lice, I know, no one wants to think about it but surprisingly 25% of Mum's admit to believing there is nothing they can do to prevent it, which of course isn't the case!

Vosene Kids have just launched #Nitwatch - an online heat map that tracks head lice outbreaks to help you avoid a the dreaded bugs this Autumn! The site also has some great advice on helping to prevent head lice and you have a chance to win free samples of Vosene Kids 3 in 1 Conditioning Shampoo and Defence Spray. Check it out here.

Got questions about head lice? Vosene Kids is also hosting a Twitter chat tomorrow on Wednesday at 1pm. Tweet your questions to #AskVoseneKids. 

Good luck, and wishing all Mum's out there all the best for the new start, particularly those with reception starters-although I am quiet looking forward to the quiet!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More about the products: 
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Vosene Kids 3in1 Conditioning Shampoo (RRP £2.54, 250ml) - gently cleanses and conditions your kids’ hair and scalp leaving naturally healthy shiny hair. The specially formulated shampoo also contains natural Tea Tree Oil and Lemon Eucalyptus to help keep head lice at bay when used alongside the Conditioning Defence Spray. 
Vosene Kids Conditioning Defence Spray (RRP £2.54, 150ml) – this fantastic leave-in spray detangles and smooths your child’s hair, instantly taming the worst bed head and the most unruly knots. The clinically proven formula also helps protect against head lice - using natural ingredients such as Eucalyptus Oil, Citronella Oil and Rosemary Oil. Suitable for children aged 3 and over.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Our wedding: Before the ceremony!

I can't believe that two weeks ago tomorrow I was eagerly waiting to set up our wedding venue. We've since been on a short mini moon, received the official photos, put our house on the market and have gone back down to real life with a thump-I feel a bit lost! We still haven't shown James' parent's the photos but I can't wait any longer, and we are seeing them Saturday anyway!

The wedding eve
The night before the wedding James left me at the venue at 8pm for a meal with his family, I put the boys to bed, wrote a post and sat on my with my own thoughts for the night, the occasional text or message through facebook to tell me to get an early night! 

I tried that early night but it didn't really work, the nerves were already cranking up, I couldn't even get through a piece of toast for dinner that night!

I was pleasantly surprised when James skyped me at midnight, a bit naughty I know, but it calmed us both greatly. 

The wedding day
I woke at 6.45am (not bad really as didn't think I'd sleep at all) and shortly after the boys came bounding in like they normally do. 

Only Alex made me cry happy tears:

"Good morning wedding Mum! You're going to be a Spencer today"

It melted my heart, for today was the day we could finally be a proper family, I could finally write the same surname as my children on school forms, for the first time in nearly 5 years I could really be one of them.

I gave the boys breakfast, and tried to have a  drink myself, I couldn't stomach the food through the nerves, in fact I didn't eat a single thing my whole wedding day! I think that morning I had more rescue remedy than anything else!

I gave the boys a bath and rounded up our things before being picked up by Mum and heading off to theirs. 

My hairdresser (an old friend from school) was already waiting so it was straight into wedding makeover mode!

I had mine done first whilst 2 of the bridesmaid turned up and my brothers got their brekkie in their pjs (classy eh?)!!

I don't think I spoke much, and didn't appreciate the free head space for me to worry-but my bridal party tried their best to calm my nerves and tried and failed to make me eat too!

My hair was perfect, so much better than I ever expected as I felt it looked better than my hair trail a few months previous, the flowers gave it that extra special touch too as I didn't want a veil and I don't really do sparkles/hairpieces!

You can see me nervously biting my lip!
 We actually took the big rose in the middle out after as it kept falling out. 
The bridesmaids and then Mum had their hair done and looked amazing too. 

Beautiful bridesmaids
My lovely Mum
Mum's friend then came around to do my make-up and Mum's, at this point I really felt ill and a bit overcome with emotions. Any time anyone mentioned when we needed to go or asked me anything about the day I would nearly be in tears, of course I didn't-I didn't want to ruin my make-up!

James' sister came just before 2 after having her hair done, and we all got changed shortly after that-it ended up being a bit of a rush that last bit, I think we all could have done with getting ready sooner-mind you the boys we last to change as I didn't want them to ruin their lovely suits!!

Mum's friend dropped out gorgeous bouquets off (which I still feel super guilty about as the peonies really caused a LOT of hassle)!

The cars turned up and then that was it, it was finally happening. 

I was dead quiet in the car, Dad kept trying to talk to me, but I would only answer with yes or no's or as short as I possibly could. Luckily James' Uncle who was driving us had air con on as the nerves were making me so hot! 

We literally got every single red light on the way, my nerves were ok as they could be when travelling but as soon as we stopped at those red lights my heart would race and I felt so sick!

We arrived at the church, the vicars waiting for us, a quick snap from our photographer and I stepped out of the car, had a giggle with everyone about Dad chatting to his friend instead of being by my side! 

And then took my last steps as Danielle Askins.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Scott Cornwall Shine On: review and wedding hair

Aside from the wedding dress on the big day, the hair is the next big thing to worry about.

Every girl wants to look and feel pretty, and sometimes the hair can really make an outfit or tie it all together.

I knew the style I wanted for my big day: a messy updo or curls and flowers in my hair as opposed to a veil or tiara.

So I knew the quality of my hair had to really be good to pull it off.

So when I was contacted to review a professional conditioning hair glaze product from hair expert Scott Cornwall I jumped at the chance.

My hair was feeling a bit sorry for itself, I don't give it the attention I used to, I usually wash and blow dry (if I am lucky) or just stick it up when it's wet. The ends were breaking and splitting, and being a natural blonde I don't dye my hair because I am too chicken to do so.

Before (and after my hair trial)

This product was really easy to use, I made sure to do a tester patch a couple of days before (just in case)!

And then 2 days later I managed to do all the steps in the bathroom without any help from anyone else. Taking no more than 20-30 minutes in total.

The instructions say to blow dry and straighten for best results, and I can say this definitely made a difference. It always seemed much brighter when I'd straighten my hair, this is because it shuts the cuticle and encloses the crystal clear molecules inside the hair.

After using shine on

Now this isn't a treatment that will get a response from other people like when you dye your hair, however it is a product that you notice the difference yourself. And in fairness I did get a couple of comments on my hen night (when I'd straightened my hair) asking if I had dyed my hair as it was looking really blonde.

I felt like my hair just felt much more healthy after using the product which last for approx 24 washes.

I would certainly recommend to any bride to be (or any other lady for that matter) whose hair needs a bit of a 'pick me up'!

I loved my hair on the day, and think that the Shine On product really helped with that too, as my hair really shines in the photos. I was worried the product might make hair look greasy but it really doesn't, it just adds that little shimmer and spark!

Professional Hair Expert, Scott Cornwall says:
"Restore lustre, vitality, and shine to hair before the big day with my Shine On Conditioning Hair Glaze. Shine On is a collagen rich formula which works brilliantly on curly, frizzy or unruly hair, however it's actually suitable for any hair type or texture and won't alter the colour. It contains no ammonia or harsh chemicals so it's very kind and gentle, leaving the hair feeling in great condition"

Shine On is easy to use at home, takes just 20 minutes to apply and develop and lasts for up to 24 washes. It's priced at £12.99 from selected Boots stores nationwide and online at

I received one box of Shine On original to review all views and opinions are my own.

And to regular readers there will be many wedding posts to follow!

Friday, 8 August 2014

The last night as Miss Askins

The wedding venue is decorated, all the hard work has paid off.

James has left the house, bag packed, and meal out with his family. 

Both boys tucked up in bed (Sam with a big bump on the head-typical)!

The house feels empty. 

And I'm not sure sure I like the quiet and space to think about the day ahead. 

This will be the last night as Miss Askins. 

I know it's only a name. 

But it's my name, it's all I have known. 

Tomorrow our family is united. 

I can share the same name as the boys and James.

And although weird, and odd, I cannot wait to be a proper family unit. 

I can finally tick that married box on surveys. 

I can finally fill out school forms and not look like an apparent single Mum. 

I just need to kick these nerves, and survive and get through tomorrow and hopefully enjoy the day, taking it all in!

I can't wait to show some photos of things I have made, my dress and everything about the day :)

Monday, 4 August 2014

My handmade wedding dress

Despite my nerves and anxieties I got a bit giddy with excitement yesterday when my handmade dress was finally finished.

It was the first time I had seen it complete.

It was better than I imagined and remembered.

The lace is beautiful, it looks so elegant, so expensive (when really it was a bargain at £210 for material and having it made)!

It fits like a glove, far removed from the dress I had originally bought. The one I had bought because I didn't think there was any other option.

So although my original idea came from this dress, the one I have now is so, so much nicer.

It is beautiful and I can't wait to show everyone it. Not even my Mum has seen it yet as she has been busy any time my dress maker could make it over to mine.

I even have a small train-one thing I said I would have!!

I love it, and it's the only thing that's truly given me a real bubble of excitement in this whole wedding fiasco!

I can't wait to post a photo of it here afterwards!