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Last weekend I tried on wedding dresses. After stalling somewhat on the other areas of wedding planning I thought that trying on a dress would probably be something that I could excel at without too much effort. I based this assessment on the fact I’ve been wearing clothes now for 33 years. At least 10 of them without any help from mum.

So I book and paid (wtf) for the appointment. Dragging along the Mother and Sister for support and the requisite gasps of delight.

The woman assigned to me greeted me with a small shriek of delight followed by effusive congratulations on my engagement. It was slightly unsettling in that her excitement over my engagement rivalled that of some of my own family members.

I was directed to a comfy sofa and handed champagne. At this point I was starting to feel pretty upbeat about the whole wedding planning. I felt confident that i'd be ticking off one item from the blasted wedding planner by the end of the day.

Then the questions started. Like rapid machine gun fire.

The assistant perched down in front of me with an officious looking clipboard and pen.

Assistant: “So when’s the big day”

Me: inhaling a sip of champagne “oh!....well its not set yet”

Assistant:  “Ok..."  she flashes a toothy smile at me "what season are we looking at.. Just so I can get an idea of fabrics”

Me: starting to pant slightly at the realisation that this might be an exercise in more than just simple dress trying  “Probably summer…..or Winter”

Assistant: pausing for a moment “Hmm yes lovely….Any ideas on themes?”

Me: Breathing heavily through nose and gancing wildly at my Mum as if for help… “ know...something classic” I gasp out

At this point there’s an awkward pause and the assistant shoots a furtive glance at my left hand just to check it actually has a ring on it.. She writes something down on her board which I’m pretty sure roughly equates to “FML”

“Right! “ she smiles brightly “shall we just go start by looking at the actual dresses?”

 I tried on a lot in the end. Several things were obvious though by the end of the fitting:

1. I wasn’t going to pick a dress that day

2. Getting in and out of lots of dresses exposes a lot of your flesh to everyone. Hiding my tattoo from my mum had been the right thing to do. She reacted just as I suspected she would.

3. Project wedding body needs to start asap. My arms looked like little sausages hanging out of the wedding dress sleeves.

The last point led me to the realisation that I'm going to have to either subsist on a diet of dust and kale for the foreseeable future or start working out. Which leads me to the items I’m coveting this week:

A heretofore undiscovered love of lycra has flourished in the last week. My laptop consists of a hundred open tabs on activewear. To be fair though, the closest I have actually come to exercising and breaking a sweat  is lunging across the room every time it looks like FMR is going to close one of those tabs down. The lunge is usually accompanied by me squawking “no I need that one..ive almost decided im going to buy them!!”.

He's so far managed not to look to incredulous at this recent lycra lusting, despite the large disparity between number of gym outfits i'm considering buying vs actual gym outings.

Pins to Kill

These guys have some awesome jazzy legging designs. On the down side they are based in Australia, on the plus side you can use the long delivery time as an excuse not to exercise :)



This site stocks a range of activewear designers. My current favourite is this jumper by Solow - Im obsessed with the mesh. They have some sweet cutout leggings too.


Hey Holla

These gym bags by Hey Holla are super fun. The mother bought me the “drop it like a squat” version. It’s a basic tote, but I love it.


Eat Drink Paleo

I have been loosely following paleo for some time now but with project Wedbod kicking off I am trying hard to limit my naughty treat intake. The Eat Drink Paleo site has  wonderful recipes for healthier versions of  well known treats. Im a huge fan of her “ No bake chocolate caramel slice”. Her cook book is awesome too. You probably shouldnt eat the whole tray bake in one go thoug...



4 Feb 2017 11:21:23 By Louise Rastall Friday Favourites,

This Friday Favourites is coming at you with a bit of a wedding vibe. As I assume everyone who avidly follows my insta feed (thanks mum) knows...Future Mr Rastall (FMR) has decided that Im the woman for him and put a ring on it..I see the engagement as a testament to my skill and cunning; Ive managed to persuade FMR into considering me wifely material...and now I actually have to plan a wedding.

I naively assumed being ready to plan a wedding was a little like your biological clock - one day it would just go off and you'd be able to effortlessly compare fabric swatches, talk floral arrangements and simultaneously try on a wedding dress while eating a rice cracker (your meal for the day). My clock appears faulty.
The Mother and Sister bought me a "Wedding Planner" book.. Unfortunately it was disguised as a birthday present which I enthusiastically opened thinking it was a massive box of chocolates. As I tore off the wrapping paper I felt my field of vision narrow. I started to take shallow breaths. 
I opened the book randomly to a page titled "how to make the perfect seating plan" causing me to throw up a little in mouth. This was followed by a  blank pages  to create a montage of the joyful planning experience...I looked wildly around me for a paper bag to breath into.
If my first few weeks are an indication, my joyful montage would be photos of me slumped on the sofa listlessly flicking through pinterest while simultaneously facetiming my mum asking for help. 
Which brings me to pinterst..the Bride to Be's best friend (hollow laugh)- Why do so many pictures on Pinterest not tell you where you can get the thing in the actual picture?!? What is that?its like a cruel type of torture. I find a picture of a venue that doesnt look too weddingy - click on it thinking my prayers have been answered and it just directs me to a joyful blog about weddings with pithy comments like "isnt this so romantic"...yes..yes it is, now tell me where the hell I go to get that exact place and set up for my wedding god damn it! Am i supposed to use it for inspiration??! Create my OWN?!!
Fortunately my Sister and Mother (the creative forces behind Rastall and Daughters) have taken pity on me. (Quicker than I thought they would actually!) and have agreed to help style the wedding. I think they're worried if they left it to me guests would be nibbling on a shared bag of Tyrells salt and vinegar crisps and the wedding photography would be peoples Iphones.
Note to readers: If you've stumbled across this blogpost hoping it going to give you wedding ideas I can only apologise; 
This is an SOS 
My Friday Favourites are going to be the highlights of Wedmin. This may be the first and last wedding themed blogpost. It may be the first of many. It depends entirely on my mental fortitude
Wedding Venue
"The Asylum" in Southwark. FMR has said he doesnt want the derelict look for the wedding - so I wont be eating my Tyrells crisps in this venue. But I love it so thought I would share the hopes that someone else might get to use it
 The Asylum
Wedding Sationery
Now stationery......stationery I can get excited about. I LOVE Katie Leamon's designs. She has teamed up with Papieruk to design wedding stationery which you can check out here or see her own website here which is chock full of gorgeous stuff. 
Wedding Flowers
I've been a huge fan of Grace and Thorn for some time. Their bouquets are stunning; full of beautiful wild combinations of flowers and colours.  I want them bad for my wedding.
Grace and Thorn
Food Porn

I made the questionable decision of starting the year on the whole30 diet. When Im supposed to be looking at wedding dressses I often find myself instead looking at food porn. Which is how I came across Mae + Harveys instagram page. The food menu includes home made banana bread with creme fraich and orange compote, waffles with vanilla cream and nutella and if thats not enough the coffee looks sublime. Nothing excites me more than finding new good coffee in London. First week of February you will find me sampling the menu...In fact I may insist on holding all future wedding meetings there :)
21 Jan 2017 10:12:34 By Meryl Rastall Friday Favourites,

October heralds the start of my favourite time of year. Not only does it bring Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, but the food….oh lord the food.

I've been dreaming of hot porridge, apple crumbles and stews since May. This enthusiasm led me to make a full Gammon roast with a side of hearty cauliflower cheese last weekend. In my mind it was the perfect antidote to the bracing autumnal weather. Unfortunately the weather didn’t quite get the memo, and instead we had a mild spring like day. Far from warming our bellies the food instead put us in a bit of a sweat. FMR* soldiered on through the meal murmuring compliments, with a short break to take off his jumper and search for some shorts. Since then I've been stalking the BBC weather site for the first sign of inclement weather.

And now...onto my  Friday Favourites for the start of Autumn

1. Copper and Felt

The last few weeks have been all about Christmas for us at Rastall and Daughters. We’ve loaded our new products on the site, many of them home made in our little studio in Lincolnshire. Make sure you check them out; you can see them all here in our Christmas 2016 Brochure.

I’m completely in love with our new Copper and Felt decoration. We designed them for the Christmas tree, but I’ve had a couple hanging up in my office now for a few weeks and they look gorgeous. (Yeah I know, I’m biased)

2. Anna Jones

I'm obsessed with Anna Jones. She has a recipe called Goodness Breakfast with Maple Pears which I have been positively foaming at the mouth to make. After last weekend's sweat fest, i'm going to show some restraint and wait for the colder weather. Here's a pic and link though so you can join me in the foaming. (It also says it serves 4-6….I reckon it will be lucky if any is left over for anyone else)

3. Online Calligraphy classes.

With Christmas coming up fast it’s time to brush off those nibs and get practicing your penmanship. There are a number of great workshops held all over the UK, but if you prefer the comfort of your own home then Creative Bug offer a set of Calligraphy online classes, with a free trial.



21 Oct 2016 08:44:11 By Meryl Friday Favourites,
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