MariesConnections

A beauty, lifestyle & photography blog.

This is the #1 post of my new series on my blog which I will simply called: 5 things.
5 tings that I simply love at the moment from beauty, to food, art, fashion, photography, place etc. anything really that I just simply enjoyed at a moment in time in my life. Its a bit like a monthly favourite without being every month. I always enjoy that similar type of post from other like minded bloggers. Reading where they lately had a fabulous food experience, or enjoy a theatre play, movie etc. whatever it is I always love seeing a snippet of people life and I always love the photography that goes with it too. So after thinking about it I decided to incorporate this series into my blog. If I enjoy reading others I would absolutely love creating my own. 

Crystal & Gemstones | I love them, I used to absolutely love them when I was much younger and then adult life took over and I forgot about them until recently I had the urge to get my hand on few and start my little collection all over again. So far I only have a small amount but let be assure my collection will grow. I like their shape, colours, their healing power, their tactility ...everything. Also they are great photography props which is such an extra bonus for me too!

Primark bag | I have to admit I don't usually buy Primark bags, as I much prefer spending more money on a bag that would last me longer, but having say that when I saw this bag I just had to have it.I am loving the quilted style, the shape, the chain, the size and the light grey colours. Basically it is my proud baby that I take it  out everywhere with me and at £12 I could not get it wrong! By the way it also come in black.


Styling & Home Design Magazines | I love home decor and design and lately have been reading Your Home and Style At Home on a monthly basis. Those 2 magazines give you tons of affordable ideas and my favourite part are all those sneak peak of people home and their amazing unique decor. You would always find something that is at your taste as all is cover from stylish, retro, boho, vintage etc. if just like me you are a home design enthusiast and you wan to read affordable magazine for home decor on a budget then you now know what to read.


Autumn |  is by far my favourite season along with Winter. Every year I wait for the start of Autumn like an impatient child in a sweet shop. And what come along with Autumn its of course the golden hours, crisp air, the nature change of colours, wearing my mustardy jumper and of course pumpkins. I absolutely love pumpkin. They bring me joy every time I look at them from their colours their wobbly bits, their funny shapes etc. everything about them make me smile ( and lets not mention the are so delicious in stews, soup, pie or roasted) . And if you follow me on my Instagram you should have seen already a lot of pumpkin stories  related or pumpkin pictures on my grid. So they rightly deserve to be in my 5 things


Instagram | No unfortunately I haven't find a way to fight the algorithm but lately I really enjoyed more using Instagram and uploading better pictures. I noticed by doing so I got more likes and engagements so I may just carry on doing so. But really its not the extra few likes I enjoyed really its the content creating that really inspire me to do better on my Instagram and for this reason I want to give some love to my Instagram account

 instagram Maries Connections



What about you ? Any favourites you would like to mention on below? Tell me all!! 

 
Marie
Something that my partner and my Daughter absolutely love its banana bread. My daughter of 19 months old love so much banana that this was one of the first word she learn to tell. That saying it all. Often I am left with 1 or 2 bananas that seen better days and a banana bread is a quick and easy dessert that do not take longer than 20 minutes (but do inc. 30-45 minutes to bake) to make and it is absolutely tasty with a nice cup of tea or even with some butter and jam (try it!).

There is nothing more magical to randomly discover, few miles away from your home, a little piece of heaven. A bit out of the  blues we decided on a cold morning to take the car, go to the nearest village and have a little walk. We came across a little lake. A little lake in the middle of a path . A little brown bear feeding the fishes. That same little bear climbing rocks along the path.A little lake wearing the colour of Autumn.  A little lake gently rocking the ducks. A little lake engulfing Autumn leaves. It was perfect, the air was crisp, children were playing. And just like this you feel alive and take in the energy that surrounds you. This was the 3rd of November 2018. It was magical.






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First of all , I know it sounds very cliché to say this but, how the hell are we already in November? What happened? Did we all just wake up from a deep sleep coma? Did we went through a time travel machine? Honestly this year went so fast its unreal. Although I am not complaining as this is my favourite time of the year (Autumn & winter) so I am enjoyed it every minute of it.
How was your Halloween? This morning I removed all the Halloween decoration after a very successful 'Trick or Treat' night. I mean it was so popular this year, that I ran out of sweet one hour after my 1st knock (and yes! Then I turned off all the Halloween lights pretending no one was in).
I just have to make sure I get even more sweet next year. And now that Halloween is gone all I can see in shop windows its Christmas which, to be honest, is only around the corner. But lets talk about Christmas some other times.



I decided to do some kind of experiment and start a monthly series mostly because I only fairly recently find my blogging Mojo back (see my sudden burst of posts in the whole October) and to keep me motivated why not do a 'monthly to do list' to remind me all the good stuff that is happening each month (some month more than others) and making me more excited to blog about it? Lets try this and see how it goes!? I am not sure if doing a 'monthly to do list' will help me more but it certainly won't harm me. So here we go... my 5 main plan this month.

Bonfire Night | It is a tradition to have our bonfire night at my fiance's family orchard every year. It is also the tradition to eat baked potatoes and home made soup around the bonfire and this year it is no exception. I cannot wait to put on my thickest jumper, wellies and let the warmth of the fire roasting my cheeks around all the people I care.

Banbury Museum Redevelopment Press Event | My favourite local museum is having a refurbishment and the launch of a new art gallery. I've been invited to the 'behind the scene' event next week and a Q&A with the director. Also have been invited to the launch press event in few weeks time which I cannot wait to discover. I 'll report all back to you.

Blenheim Palace Christmas Light Press Event | I cannot describe how excited I am to see the preview of the Blenheim Palace Christmas Lights. When the invitation landed in my inbox I couldn't believe it and I must have done a little scream that may have sound like this : Heeeee ...!!! This is an upcoming post that I cannot wait to share with you all so keep your eyes open. And I might even do a little YouTube video about it (my first ever) so even more exciting!

Christmas | I know what you are thinking! How the heck I am already thinking of Christmas when it only just November? Well, the truth its that this year Christmas is extra special for me as it will be our first Christmas in our own new house. After many many years renting small accommodations in London, I cannot describe how excited we are to be able to decorate our own house without having to struggle to find a room for a small tree and procrastinating at the the landlord on not being aloud to put any decoration or else on walls! Very early this year we bought, on sale, the biggest and most realistic fake tree and I cannot wait to take it out the loft and have this bad boy decorate. This is my first ever big tree in my first ever own house so its  the double excitement! I already been buying new tree decorations through out the year ( mostly during Christmas sale) and I cannot wait to show you my Christmas tree theme this year. A hint :Think Woodland. I will most likely blog about it.

Wedding Invitation Card | If you are a reader of my blog you are probably sick and tired to read about my upcoming wedding which is due Summer 2019. My partner and I decided to make our own Wedding Invitation Card mainly because we have a budget to keep and as I am not bad at crafting ( thanks god for Pinterest too!!). I feel very confident on being able to make my own wedding card at a fraction of a price. Lets say that we rather spend the money on the wedding foods and drinks and our 2020 honeymoon. I 'll probably blog about it so watch this space foxies !


What about you? What is on your November to do list?

                                                Marie
I do love my jewellery. Ever since the day I had regular pocket money and I would go to the equivalent of Claire's in my home town in France.
15 or so years later this hasn't changed a bit. When I was again contacted by Happiness Boutique  (see my previous post with Happiness Boutique here) I certainly could not refuse their offer of free jewellery. When it comes to trends, at an affordable place they know what they are doing.

I was kindly invited to choose two pieces and I have to admit this was a hard decision because Happiness Boutique have something for everybody's taste from: Glamour, sophisticated, hobo chic, timeless, to classic. So whatever you fancy I am sure something, or shall I say many things, will catch your eye. As for me well ...I do like my hobo chic / sophisticated jewellery so I lay my eyes on many pieces but I chose the below two: 

Marble pendant.
I love marble and I am are not going to lie that when I saw this beautiful marble necklace appear on my screen it definitely had to be part of the two pieces I would to choose.  
What I really love about this necklace is obviously the semi precious stone which to my delight turned out to be real. I was kind of expecting a fake manufactured stone. But it wasn't, it was an actual marble piece so it offers unique vein marking. The pendant itself is heavy, as expected, and for that reason it sits well on your chest area. It will look lovely with a semi sexy open shirt for that minimalist look or just a vintage classic t-shirt if you want to be a little more rock chic. It's a must have in your collection.

Half Moon earrings.
These earrings were love at first sight. I am so into moon shape jewellery at the moment that I could not do without these. I absolutely love the copper like colour and the details all around the moon shape and the delicate flower like motif in the middle. I feel these earrings would work very well with your hair up in a bun or in a pony tail for a sophisticated look. They are quite large (3.5cm) so probably will work better as a statement piece rather than being lost with many other pieces but that's just my opinion. I have especially been wearing them on evenings out with family and friends with of course my signature red lips (Ruby Woo if you ask me). The only down side is that I can't wear them as often as i'd like because my 19 month old toddler just wants me to remove them so she can play with. That's saying it all if it also pleases a toddlers eyes.
My second experience with Happiness Boutique has been, once again, excellent. Excellent delivery services and product quality. Your order will come well protected in an individual and cute box and will be delivered very fast. Also I would like to mention that actually my order got lost, but I got it replaced and received a replacement (free of charge) in no time after communicating with their excellent customer service about the situation which was not in any way their fault. 
 
I hope I'll get to work with Happiness Boutique in the future again as I only get pleasure from this brand.
And they are so cool that they gave me a discount code that you can use on your first order which is : mariesconnections . By inserting this code at the checkout, you will get 10% discount for orders over 19 euros and it is valid until December 1st.

If you do place an order please do tell me what you got or just tell me what you think of my two jewellery pieces by commenting below. 
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*this post contains PR samples and/or Affiliate Links unless indicated otherwise - you can learn more on my Disclaimer page.
It's been a while since I have not done a post from my 'The Past Few Weeks' series actually such a long time that the last one (which you can find here) was from August 2017! I shall re-title it 'The Past Few Months' really but never mind...we'll roll with it. Here my #6.

What's new in my life? 
Let's start by Wedding talk. It is no longer a secret, as I have been talking way too much about it already, but my Fiance and I have finally decided on a Wedding date which will be Summer 2019. So it is very exciting but stressful at the same time and I may have, or not, already had a little breakdown on choosing a caterer. Sounds a bit 'dramatic' and it is I guess but making a decision to something that is due in 10 months time and that you want to be perfect can be nerve wrecking. You can already actually read 2 posts about it: One being my Wedding Decor Inspiration On A Budget and High Street wedding Dress | My Top 8

What is happening with the blog? 
You probably also notice that I don't post as much beauty reviews or beauty hauls as I use to in the past. The truth its that I no longer spend as much money that I used to on beauty products here one of the reason. I will most likely do a post about why I suddenly stop buying so much but lets just say for now that I rather having quality over quantity.
I have to admit that my blog have been left a little bit on the beauty side and lets just say that I lost a bit of my mojo along with it too. But do not worry! I found it back few weeks ago hence the sudden burst of posts for the past 5 weeks!! 
I have no plan to stop my blog anytime soon but its been a long time now since I decided that the best way to enjoy blogging its to do it when I feel like it. I am no longer chasing numbers and by that I mean page views or followers. I write what I want and when I want and whoever want to read it  then that is just a lovely bonus.
On the 'so not good news' I have been diagnosed a month ago with type 2 diabetes, it was a shock and I will, most likely, do a post about it as it s a life changing situation after all. More about it for another time but I though I'll mention it.
Any blog event planned? 
Yes! I have been invited lately to my second Body Shop bloggers event but I had to cancel it due to having on the same evening a friend and family Halloween party. But you can read my first ever Body Shop event, that happen 3 months ago, here.  I also been invited back in May to a whole day event at Oxford with the lovely peeps from Marco Polo Guides, You can find my post about it here. And finally the last event that I lately been invited to was, the launch of the new George Inn Hotel in Barford which you can read here (if you are a home design addict like me you are going to love that post, so don't hesitate to click!!).


What s next on the blog?
Get ready to see more lifestyle related posts, a lot of more home decoration, home hauls, home refurbishment theme etc. but also as mentioned earlier some  more wedding related posts.
Also thinking to do a new series title 'A picture an hour'. Something that have been thinking for a while.
No much big life change right now apart that my 19 months toddler started nursery not long ago ( she's growing too fast! boohoo....!)  . It is still odd to hand her over to the nursery twice a week but I know its good for her and well somehow good for me too.
We are still redecorating our home. So far we have four rooms completed (x 2 bedrooms, x1 studio room & living room) and two to go. The end is near although with a wedding to pay and organise for, the completion of our house will be more around end of 2019 - mid 2020. But good things come to those who wait. 
A honeymoon to plan is also on the horizon. Although right now the Wedding is more what we focus on but lets say we may go to Japan for 2 weeks or do a road trip to North Europe for 3 weeks.(Denmark, Norway, Sweden  etc.).

That s it for now foxies but what's new in your life? I want to know all your future projects or what you've been up to lately. Tell me all. 


PS: All above pictures are from my Instagram that you can find here


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It is no longer a secret that have been engaged to Chris for just under 2 years now and we finally have a wedding date for July 2019. Heeeee...!!! And since the date of the Wedding confirmation (actually I am such a liar it is since my engagement!!)  have been looking at High Street wedding dresses. 

Why High Street? 
The truth its that first of all I don't necessary agree on splashing a lot of money on one dress that I am going to wear once in my life time (but if its your thing I won't judge!) and secondly for the past few years many High Street brands offered stunning and affordable wedding dresses. Perhaps my dress is not going to be a designer dress but in all honestly, myself and my guests, won't give a toss about it. 
Here are few of the dresses that I absolutely love lately and I am slightly (that's a huge understatement) very tempted to order them all but as I am on a special diet (For health issue) it will be unwise for me to purchase one now but I will do so a month or two before the big event.
The style of my future Wedding dresses, as you will probably guess very quickly, is: Bohomian. 
In all honestly I can't think of anything worst than a dress that makes me look like a puffy meringue or that is very fitted. Don't take me wrong so many ladies rock the meringue or fitted dress but that is just not for me.
I want the freedom of movement for all the tasty food I'll be eating and also I want to dance and have fun until down.
But few things I always love and always will is: a little lace, call me old fashion but a lacy little number (as long as you don't look like a old tart from one of the character of Eastender, you're good!)  its just divine to me. 
I would love my dress to have a little lace detail with a chiffon base fabric for the fluidity.

ASOS 

Lets start with ASOS which are rocking the Boho vibe lately and that I am totally crazy about it. I am not going to lie but I very often come back to look at ASOS wedding dresses because they are just stunning and very affordable. Most likely this is where I 'll order my future dress, I guess we shall find out in 8 or so month time.
My top 2 dresses are:

ASOS Edition Embroidered Bodic (left) 
The long sleeve along with the lacy body is absolutely stunning along with the maxi skirt is just divine to me.
ASOS Long Sleeve Lace Bodice Maxi (right)
Very similar to the Edition Embroidered Bodice, as mentioned above, but I absolutely love the lace detail running from the chest area to the waist. Also the pleated detail from waist to down is so beautiful. I love it!
Both of those stunning dresses are under the £120 mark. They both have the maxi length I am after, they have the lace detail and they are chiffon base. I just hope they'll still available when I come t order my dress or at least ASOS will provide similar style.

FRENCH CONNECTION

French Connection also offer a small but absolutely exquisite range of wedding dresses. Their price range is slightly higher than ASOS. (from £195 to £295) but still affordable .
 
My top 2 dresses: 
The Genea Embroidered Maxi Wedding Dress (left)
Although this dress do not have any lace, it is so elegant that I 'll just forget it has embroideries. I am utterly loving the maxi skirt and the sleeveless stripe top which is perfect for a Summer wedding. This dress is actually on sale from £195 to £59.

The Cari Sparkle Maxi Wedding Dress.
I mean what is not to love? The balloon sleeves,the V neck, the sexy eyelash lace detail on the chest and the embroideries along the waist. This ultra romantic Bohemian dress tick all the box and at £250 it is hard to complaint.

MONSOON

Monsoon, a little like French Connection, offer a small quantity but beautiful dresses. Having say that their price is higher and perhaps a bit over my budget but still they deserve to be mentioned.
My top 2 selection are:
Florence Embellished Bridal Maxi Dress. (Left)
This beautiful dress is slightly more 'bridal' that I would choose because of the embroidery detail running along the whole dress. But I absolutely love the train of the skirt and the angel sleeves. This dress is at £499.

Hermione Embellished Bridal Maxi Dress.  (Right)
This one is also a little out of what I am really looking but I can't help loving the sweetheart neckline and the long lacy sleeves. I just which the dress was longer at the bottom part by a few inches but overall a beautiful dress. This dress is at £399.


DEBENHAMS 


Debenhams, might not be for many a place to look for bridal wear but I randomly found that they actually offer a very large amount of dresses to different style to please almost everyone taste. Also their dresses are beautiful and affordable. I could not show you what Debenhams had to offer and mostly my two favourites which are: 

Nine by Savannah Miller -Ivory 'Honesty' Floral Embroidered Bridal Dress (left)
This dress was the first I saw and the one I always come back to when I browse thru Debenhams web site. This style is ultra bohemian with the long waterfall drape at the front , the maxi dress length and the embroidered detail at the waist , Also I am loving the angel sleeves and the V neck. This dress is at 
£160 (on sale from £320).

Nine by Savannah Miller -Ivory Embellished Frill Bridal Dress (right)
Funny enough although this is a more fitted dress I absolutely love the very sculpted Embroidered detail running from the top to mid length. This give an edgy and yet elegant twist to this beautiful dress. Also I love the frill detail at the bottom of the dress although I wish it was slightly longer by perhaps an inch or two. Overall an exquisite dress. This dress is also on sale at £225 instead of £450.


What do you think? Are you engaged or just dreaming of your perfect wedding dress? Tell me all by commenting below. 



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it is not a secret that I absolutely love Autumn, it is with Winter, my favourite season. I am not a Summer person in fact I actually dislike Summer . Its a season I never feel comfortable with, mentally and physically. But I always know that at the end of every Summer, Autumn is waiting and it is a bit like a reward to me.This morning the air was crisp, it was misty, wet and perhaps not the most attractive day but I still decided to go out with my toddler put our wellies on and just enjoy some fresh Autumn air before properly start the day in the office at home. This is today:











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Anything that has to do with interior design, soft furnishing, wall art and finding a rhyme into designing a space etc. I am attracted like a moth to the light. Since the purchase of our first home early in 2017 and finally the end of, what seemed an eternal cycle renting in London, I properly started developing a passion for anything to do with Interior design. I am sucker for any design magazines out there and as you can imagine my Insta is booming with accounts by local like-minded people that have a similar passion for design from high end to much more affordable.
So when the invitation for the new launch of George Inn in Barford landed in my inbox I was utterly excited, as you can imagine.
The George Inn, is at best described as a charming village pub right at the heart of the beautiful and very picturesque Barford, but this 17th century establishment surely had more to offer than just a 'local pub'. In 2017 the restaurant and the bar have been entirely redecorated from top to bottom to offer a beautiful, quirky and relax atmosphere much to the delight of locals and tourists alike. On the 7th of October 2018 the pub was officially launched  with 9 stunning new en-suite bedrooms, which I had the delight and privilege to view 24 hrs before the official grand opening.


Shortly after arriving at the event I was offered a glass of Prosecco and not long after that I had the privilege to discover those new bedrooms. Leading off from a large set of double doors there is a more than welcoming garden seating area. I then followed the path that lead me directly into each of the 9 en-suite bedrooms with direct views of the beautiful and tranquil Cotswold landscape.
The first thing that struck me was that all the en-suite bedrooms had been designed individually to offer a more unique experience for each guest. The vibe of each room was to keep a rural feel, very cosy but to a high standard with many quirky designs individually placed in each room, from fish eye mirror, to vintage wall art print and the many beautiful accessories. Each room is individual but yet very luxurious. My favourite was the 'honeymoon' suite with the exquisite oversized bed head and the striking sun mirror. I would happily stay there for my honeymoon due in 2019. Also I absolutely love the mixing and matching of texture from wooden furniture to gold ornaments and soft furnishings. Each room within it's own right has a beautiful and cosy atmosphere. 
Also one thing that I have to add it that in each room every little detail has been well thought out, we could tell that every little detail has been looked after and nothing has been left half done or badly done and this is what luxury is also, when the tiniest little detail has been taking care of. I'm not going to lie but I secretly just wanted on jump in and have a quick nap on all those beautiful and extra cozy beds, I'm sure I would have had the best night ever! Also I absolutely love that each bathroom is as large as my first London flat back in the day! I would enjoy the waterfall shower and you know hours of pampering as you do in such beautiful bathrooms. A little added plus is that each bathroom is fitted with two sinks, this something that I truly appreciate in an hotel. 
 








Overall I absolutely enjoyed my time at the George Inn, seeing all those gorgeous bedrooms gave me so many ideas for the redecorating of my own house, as we still have the kitchen, bathroom and landing to decorate from a 70's nightmare to a more contemporary look. I am also planning (not like he knows yet haha!) but go on a date with my partner for a cheeky meal at George Inn as I also had the chance to try some finger food during the event and it was so yummy to say the least. So look out for my food review, coming soon to you. 


Thanks to all the staff at George Inn and the PR company for their welcoming and if you ever visit the Costswolds or live near by I strongly recommend this charming establishment for just a quick drink and lunch or why not just stay over.



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** all the words are from my own thoughts **
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