28
Jul
2014

New Video and A Giveaway!

At last I have a new video for you and not only do I introduce you to my little bean, Conor but I also have a rather special giveaway exclusively for one Liparazzi reader! I am so excited to collaborate with Ever After Press to give one of you the chance to Win your own birth announcements/christening invitations/wedding invitations worth over £250! (all entrants will receive a 10% discount on anything they order).

Have a watch of my latest video and then read on to learn more about Ever After Press, what they do and what the terms and conditions of the giveaway are!

Hello there! I’m Emily of Ever After Press. Ever After Press is a boutique design studio specialising in creating whimsical, luxury paper goods, with a focus on birth announcements, christening and birthday invitations, and wedding stationery. From the end of August I will be moving my little studio from London to Paris, but still supplying paper goods throughout the UK as well as overseas. 

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WHEN DID YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO WORK IN THE EVENT STATIONERY/WEDDING INDUSTRY?

In 2011 I married my husband in Florence, Italy, and I massively enjoyed all of the planning (perhaps a little too much)! Our wedding was featured on Stylemepretty which I was pretty thrilled about! http://www.stylemepretty.com/2011/08/23/florence-wedding-by-marianne-taylor-photography/

At the time I was working in a more corporate marketing role, but had already been studying Graphic Design part time so that I could move into a more creative role. Just before we got married my husband and I moved to London from Dubai so that I could study Graphic Design full time. After my amazing design course, which I loved, I worked in London agency as a Designer, and worked on stationery in the evenings and at weekends until making the decision to go full time on Ever After Press in January 2014, and I haven’t looked back since!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING AT EVER AFTER PRESS?

 
I really love helping people at such a special time in their lives, (I am a sentimentalist at heart), and it’s great to have the chance to work on such a variety of designs, depending on what the couple are looking for. 
All of the kind comments that you get from clients on your work are also a lovely perk of the job, as well as being able to work from home in Paris! I currently work on my own with a little help from my husband, and my little cat, Humphrey, who will be popping up on the blog now and again with some wedding planning tips of his own!
 
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WHAT DO YOU OFFER YOUR CLIENTS AND HOW DOES YOUR PRICING WORK?

 
I offer two different ranges depending on my clients’ needs and budget. Firstly, I offer an affordable personalised range, with ready made designs which are available on my website (the range is slowly growing). This includes birth announcements, christening invitations, birthday invitations, and the full range of wedding stationery, from save the dates, through invitations, to menus and thank you cards. Within my personalised range, I am more than happy to change small details/colours etc to tie in with your theme, so even my personalised range can be tailored to what you’d like.
 
The second option, for those who are interested in something completely unique, designed just for them, or in special finishes like debossing, edge painting or gilt lettering, is the bespoke service. Here I work with you from the outset. I listen to your plans for your event and create a bespoke brand (including a brand overview complete with mood boards, colour palette, patterns, fonts and a bespoke logo which can be used on multiple elements throughout the event) that perfectly reflects your individual style. 
 
My designs create a unique and cohesive feel, from your save the dates and invitations, to thank you cards, and everything in between. I can help you translate your ideas into a seamless brand and an unforgettable event. We will gather up all the details of your occasion, and use them to create a design that’s perfectly tailored to you. Sourcing everything from one designer who can apply the branding of your event through multiple elements enables you to create real wow factor. Whether you choose bespoke or personalised, at Ever After Press there’s an option for every client at every budget. 
 
As for prices, my personalised invitations start from just £2.50 each, which includes a beautifully weighted 280gm recycled matte card, and a matching envelope. The invitations are printed on both sides in colour, so even the personalised range feels luxe and uses quality paper. Matching items can be designed for all invitations, so your table plan, placecards, order of service etc. can all work together. If there is an item you would like that is not mentioned on my website, just let me know and I’m sure I’ll be able to help. I try very hard to keep my prices as low and affordable as possible for the personalised range.

SOUNDS GREAT! HOW CAN WE CONTACT EVER AFTER PRESS?

Our website is www.everafterpress.com, or just drop us a line on hello@everafterpress.com - we love to chat!

We are back in London occasionally but if you are planning to visit Paris anytime soon I’d love to meet you to discuss your plans over some macarons and a glass of champagne!

We are very social so you can also:

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Pinterest
Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

COMPETITION DETAILS

Emily is giving one Liparazzi reader the chance to win 100 birth announcements/christening invitations or wedding invitations of their choice, worth over £250, with free P&P and white envelopes included. To enter just visit the Ever After Press Facebook page here, like the page and leave a comment about why you would like to win! All entrants will also be given a discount of 10% on any orders they make from www.everafterpress.com. The competition will run until the end of August.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The winner will be picked at random and the decision of Ever After Press will be final. The winner will be notified via email. Only one entry per person. Bespoke designs are not included, if you win and would like a bespoke design extra charges will be incurred. The competition will close at midday on August 31st.

25
Jul
2014

Post Pregnancy Update #3

I don’t really feel like there’s been much change in my body since last week…if anything I felt really bloated at the start of the week. I was a bit too relaxed with my eating habits over the weekend and I think that’s why I didn’t feel great. I had 2 or 3 bad days with Conor not sleeping and I must admit I did have a big glass of wine on each of those three days which probably didn’t help matters. This lead to me having a ‘fat’ day where I just felt rubbish – but a lot of it is definitely psychological because the very next day I felt good again. I definitely still have a ‘loose’ feeling in my lower abdomen and I think that’ll only be toned up by strength training which I can’t start doing until I get the all clear from my doctor in about 10 days. Breastfeeding is great at slimming you down but you are still left with a soft feeling i.e. not toned! Until the 6 week mark I’ve just got to keep trying to eat a balanced diet and doing light exercise.

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Eating: This week has really been the first time in a while that I’ve really started to consider what I’m eating and make healthier choices. I’ve started using the MyFitnessPal app again on my phone to keep a food diary. I find that this keeps me on track and I’m always more likely to choose the healthier options knowing that I have to log what I’ve eaten. Some people find logging what you eat a bit overkill but for me, it’s the only way I can keep track of the calories. You’d be surprised how many calories there are in everyday foods! It gives you a much better understanding of what you’re putting into your body and the exercise you have to do to burn it off. It also reminds you to drink more water as you log how many glasses you’ve had every day.

Exercise: Since I’m only at the 4 and a half week mark, I still can’t get into a more intense exercise routine until I get the all clear from the doctor at the 6 week point. I have stepped up my exercise slightly this week by going on two 30 minute walks a day with Conor strapped to me in the carrier. Once I get to the 6 week mark, I will be going on longer walks and hiking more as well to get my fitness levels back up.I also plan on doing light weight training to tone up as well. I must admit that I’m chomping at the bit to do more but I just don’t want to overdo it and delay my full recovery. I have loads of exercise routines and pins on Pinterest to motivate me once I can get properly into it!

Clothes: My maternity clothes are now well and truly huge on me so they have had to be packed away until the next time! (shudder). I am in that annoying in between stage, the no man’s land where your maternity clothes are too big and your pre-pregnancy clothes are a little too tight.  It breaks my heart a little to see all my lovely summer clothes hanging in my wardrobe, the sun shining outside but  being unable to wear them! Hopefully I can get into shape before all the nice weather runs out! I do have a little black body con dress which is serving as my motivation to get into shape again. I’m not sure when I’ll be brave enough to wear it yet! I seem to be losing weight everywhere else but my lower abdomen doesn’t seem to be shrinking as fast now.  This means I have to choose my outfits a bit more carefully to try and disguise my lower tummy. I mean…everyone KNOWS I just had a baby 4 weeks ago so it’s expected that I won’t have a flat stomach but it’s more about the way I feel about my own body. I feel much better when I wear things that are flattering. Tight tops are off the agenda for now but I wear them in my updates just so you can see the change.

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Health: In general I’m feeling pretty good now. I do find that I get really tired going on long walks which would have been so easy for me before. My torso still feels somewhat fragile – I can definitely feel there’s still bruising in there.  My lower abdomen still feels a bit tender which is to be expected.  Breastfeeding is going great but it does mean that when I become engorged with milk, I get shooting pains which isn’t very nice! I’m aware that’s totally normal though. Something I wasn’t expecting is how easily I seem to pull a muscle or ligament in my legs and ankles when I’m walking briskly. On reading up on this, I found out that the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which increases the size and elasticity of connective tissues (ligaments, muscles), remains in your body for up to 5 months after the birth. This is why your joints are so fragile and apparently Prolactin, the hormone which produces milk in breastfeeding mothers, has a similar effect. The more sleep I can get the better and I’m working on that one but we all know that’s very much dependent on when baby sleeps!

General Mood: I did feel like I was struggling in the first couple of weeks after giving birth, not just physically but also emotionally. I was so hormonal and found myself getting upset over every little thing.  Now it feels like that is starting to dissipate and I feel altogether more positive and confident about being a mum. It’s all down to practice and getting to know your baby and their needs. I used to stress before bedtime worrying about how much he would wake up, whether I’d get any sleep etc but now I’ve learnt to just relax and go with the flow. You have little to no control over this aspect so it’s best to just take a relaxed attitude to it all. After all the more you stress, the less likely you’ll be to sleep and the more you’re baby will pick up on it and become fractious. I do get a bit stressed out sometimes when I’ve had a bad day with Conor but luckily I get time out when Chris gets home from work…my nightly bath provides a much needed rest!

Short-term Goal: I really just want to lose weight at a healthy rate to make sure it stays off.  I have about 7-10lbs to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight so I’m really just aiming at 1lb a week. I don’t want to deprive myself of too many calories as it’s important to maintain my breastmilk. I hope to lose the excess weight by the end of August when I have a big night out with friends…a rather good incentive to keep up the good work! It’ll be my first proper night out after having Conor so naturally I want to look and feel good! And if all else fails and I need a helping hand…there’s always Spanx!

24
Jul
2014

A Few Of My Current Favourites

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Today’s post is just a little look at some of the items I’ve been enjoying lately and we’ll kick it off with this gorgeous teal Jetset bag from Michael Kors which I bought for myself recently. It was a sort of push present to myself and I’ve found the cross-body style SO very handy for life as a new mummy.  It enables you to have both hands free and is the perfect size to house the essentials. Not to mention the fact that I absolutely LOVE the colour!

On a recent trip to Tesco and the inevitable beauty haul that followed, I picked up this Quick Fix Mega Moisture Gel Mask as an experiment to see if it could be a cheaper alternative to the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask.  Whilst is isn’t quite as amazing, it’s still a really great hydrating mask that has kept my skin plumped and smooth this week and the fact that it’s under £5 is also rather amazing.

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I’ve been using the This Works No Wrinkles Tired Eyes for the past couple of weeks and I have to say that this stuff was made for new mummies! It’s expensive but as the name suggest…it works!  My eyes has suffered like never before and I’ve been surviving on 2 hours sleep for the majority of my time as a new mother so I need all the help I can get to look even semi-human! This dissipates puffiness, reduces the appearance of my dark circles and generally makes the whole eye area look brighter.  This together with a good concealer and you’re good to go! The Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base has also been a regular in my makeup arsenal for the past couple of weeks. I mix it with my morning moisturiser to boost my skin’s radiance under foundation – it evens out my skin tone and has a lovely soft focus effect.  You can get away with just this and a BB cream on a good skin day.

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The Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in Streak is a rather convenient little set up isn’t it…a bronzer/contour, blush and highlighter in one – all of which are lovely.  These powders are smooth, silky and utterly blend able. The bronzer gives a really natural finish on the skin without a hint of orange, the blush livens up the cheeks for a gorgeous summer glow and the highlighter gives the prettiest sheen to your cheekbones. Need I say more? Another cheek product that has been floating my boat is the No7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick in Mango Sorbet which gives a rather flattering peachy glow to the cheeks – perfect against golden skin!

I’m all about golds and bronzy shades on the eyes in summer and lately I’ve rediscovered the beauty of Mac Amber Lights which is described as a peachy brown with shimmer. The warm tone of this bronze shade really brings out blue eyes. Pile this all over the lid and on the lower lash line, add a flick of black liner and voila! Glistening summer eyes sorted! I have really been loving the Barry M Sugar Apple and Barbara Daly Over The Moon nail polish shades for a summery pop of colour on my nails…that’s when I get the chance to paint them! It’s no mean feat when you have a baby who has to be picked up every 5 minutes!

Lastly, I found these tortoiseshell sunglasses in Asda for just £3.50 and they are almost EXACTLY the same as a pair I bought from Zara for about 4 times the price! These were such a bargain I picked up two pairs and keep one in my car for convenience. I’m far too clumsy to have designer sunglasses sitting around the place…they are just calling out to be sat on!

23
Jul
2014

Conor’s 1 Month Update

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Conor has been in our lives for 4 weeks already! In a way it feels like time has passed by so quickly but in other ways it went very slow – like at 4am when he’s whinging and won’t sleep! It’s been a complete roller coaster of emotions and a huge learning curve for both myself and Chris.  There have been times where I’ve cried from frustration, cried from happiness and cried just because I’m goddamn tired but you know something? Give me 30 mins away from my little baby and I’m pining for him like crazy. That’s the insanity of motherhood – this little person keeps you awake every night, places demands on you and your body, prevents you from doing most usual daily tasks and yet when they do fall asleep, you kind of want to wake them up just so you can have a cuddle or see them smile.  Craziness.

1month

Milestones: Conor has been holding his head up pretty much since week 2 – he is such a strong little boy! He has definitely been responding to my voice and when we lie on the bed for breastfeeding, he gets the biggest smile on his face! ha ha. I took him out for a day trip for the first time on week 2. It was so great to get out and about because I was beginning to feel like a hermit! Every day his hair has been getting lighter and so have his blue eyes.

Sleep: This has been the hardest part of having a newborn in the house – the lack of sleep! In week 1 and 2, I was only getting about 2 hours of sleep a night which was so difficult. I wasn’t even able to nap during the day because he was generally being so demanding when it cmd to feeding. Into week 3, he seemed to start sleeping for slightly longer but it was so difficult to get him settled at night. I could be going to bed at 10pm or 1am, depending on when Conor settled down. Week 4 has been a little better in that he is now sleeping for longer periods of time. For the last couple of nights he has gone to sleep at about midnight and slept through until 4am, which believe it or not is great! At least it means I get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep and he tends to sleep well in the morning, giving me an opportunity for a bit of a lie in. I have had trouble getting Conor to fall asleep in his cot – he seems to much prefer sleeping more upright in his bouncer chair so I’ve had to compromise by letting him fall asleep in the bouncer, then VERY carefully transferring him over to the cot!

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Best Moment: Seeing his cute little facial expressions – seeing him smile is the best thing ever and the faces he pulls when he is upset kind of make me laugh too…does that make me a bad mother? ha ha.  He pushes his bottom lip so far out, you can’t help but giggle. He also makes the cutest noises when he’s sleeping and he sometimes quietly laughs as if someone is whispering jokes in his ear. I could seriously stare at him for hours – every mother out there reading this will know how captivating your own child is.

Worst Moment: My worst moment DEFINITELY came in the very first week of being a mother. My community midwife came out to check up on us and to weigh Conor halfway through week 1. It turned out that he had lost 12.2% of his body weight – so about 1lb. It all came down to the fact that I was so low on iron after losing so much blood during the labour that my body was still struggling to produce enough breast milk to sustain Conor’s weight. I had no idea I wasn’t producing enough milk so naturally I had a complete emotional meltdown, went to the bathroom and burst into tears. I felt like it was my fault, that I was starving my child and the midwife had said if he had lost 0.3% more then he would have to go back to hospital. That devastated me. I felt like a failure as a mother – that I had to have my child taken away from me because I wasn’t caring for him correctly.  However, after some time to collect myself and think rationally, I realised it wasn’t my fault. I was new to this and that’s what the midwife is there for…to educate you and put you on the right path. We got a feeding plan in place for Conor and decided to top up his feeds with Aptamil until my body had fully recovered. Once we had spoken about that, I felt so relieved and much more positive that there was a plan in place t get his weight back up.

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Health: As I said, things weren’t great in the first week with regards to the weightless but once the feeding plan was in place, Conor quickly put the weight back on! He has a very healthy appetite…I would go as far as to call him a greedy baby! He did go through a spell of being sick after each feed for a couple of days but that soon passed. It seemed like he had an upset stomach which I’m told is very common in newborns. Other than that, he is a really healthy baby which I’m so grateful for.

Eating: I’m still breastfeeding every day and expressing whenever I can.  I have actually found breastfeeding relatively easy now the volume of my milk has gone up. He latches on easily every time and the fact that I top him up with Aptamil sometimes doesn’t seem to have put him off breastfeeding. Many people told me that he would go off the boob and become confused but that’s never happened luckily. I am going to keep using the Aptamil in small amounts because he can be so demanding, I want to make sure he’s getting enough. I plan on breastfeeding until the 6 month mark all going well.

Things I want to remember: I definitely want to remember those little whimpery sounds he makes when I hold his head against mine. I want to remember the feeling I got the first time he focused on my face and looked me straight in the eyes because it was incredible. I also want to remember how I felt when he was born and they first laid him on my chest – it was a moment that changed my life forever.

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* I am incredibly lucky that Conor seems to love the car and the pushchair – any kind of movement just sends him into a deep sleep within seconds. He loves being in the carrier we have from BabyBjorn which is so handy to put him in for walking the dogs in the countryside. He also ALWAYS sleeps when I take him out in public which is just absolute perfection because it means I can nip out and have lunch or a coffee with friends without worrying if he’s going to scream the place down.

* I have found these first 4 weeks extremely demanding physically and emotionally but I know that just the norm.  No one ever said this was going to be easy and there’s a reason why they say it’s the most difficult job in the world! I felt like I was floundering a bit in the first couple of weeks and really had to rely a lot on family to help out with housework and just taking the pressure off by minding Conor for half an hour while I had a nap. But in the last couple of weeks I’ve felt my confidence building. I am much more comfortable taking him out and about, I’m getting to know all the signs of knowing what he wants and I’m generally just becoming more relaxed.

* Having a baby is something that is so challenging for your relationship with your husband/partner because those sleepless nights and baby crying spells can cause both of you to be crabby and impatient.  It’s tough at first when you realise that you never get any time alone together. You really have to work together like a tag team and make sure you’re both giving each other time out to decompress. It’s important to remember that you’re not just parents, you’re lovers and taking time out to enjoy each others company is so very important.  I’m so lucky to have my parents, my brother/his girlfriend and numerous friends living nearby who are chomping at the bit to babysit. We will definitely be taking them up on their offers so we can have monthly date nights, get our glad rags on and spent some romantic time together.

23
Jul
2014

Bargain Alert! Nude Eyeshadow Palette

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Yes you heard me right! Today I’m talking about a nude eyeshadow palette with 12 shades for just £4! Pretty unbelievable right? Well this new brand which launched in Superdrug has been making some waves across the blogging world for the past couple of months mainly due to their super affordable, great quality products. It’s no secret that nude eyeshadow palettes have been d’rigueur with just about every beauty junkie out there so naturally many of the more affordable brands have been offering up their take on the trend. Although in my book, nudes and natural looks will always be a go-to look for me regardless of what the current trend may be.

Revolution Iconic 2 Eyeshadow Palette

“Makeup Revolution launched in London in March 2014 delivering revolutionary performance and quality, in every product at revolutionary prices. Made with the finest ingredients, the range starts at an amazing £1, with a range of professional and must have products with limited edition collections – you can finally afford them all! A revolution in offering a comprehensive range of foundation and face products for all skin tones – from fair to dark, from yellow to pink tone – every shade has been covered, there is a shade and formulation for everyone at a price everyone can afford. A revolution in offering the VERY latest trends and NEW fast. With 300 affordable and desirable products in the range (so far!) collect them all, shop the trend and ensure you have the essentials from the range.”

Revolution Iconic 2 Eyeshadow Palette

This particular palette, the Iconic 2, is a mixture of pearl, shimmer and matte shades in warm and cool tones.  This eyeshadow palette pretty much has everything to take you from a natural daytime look to something more smokey for evening.  The texture of the pearl and shimmer shades are great and they have fantastic pigmentation for the price.  I would say the matte shades need slightly more work to build up the colour and blend, particularly the black on the far right hand side.  However, for £4, the quality is pretty amazing.  The packaging is basic but functional. The eyeshadows have good staying power when you apply them over a good eyeshadow primer or cream/liquid eyeshadow.

Revolution Iconic 2 Eyeshadow Palette

I personally hate those sponge eyeshadow applicators so I wouldn’t even bother using that if I were you.  There are far too many affordable makeup brushes out there for you to even think about using those sub-standard sponge ones. There are some really lovely shades in this palette, including a rose gold which is gorgeous for summer and some really pretty taupe-mushroom shades that would make a great brown smokey eye look.

Revolution Iconic 2 Eyeshadow Palette

So if you are on a budget at the moment but have been lusting over the plethora of nude eyeshadow palettes on the market from the likes of Urban Decay, Too Faced, Bobbi Brown or Smashbox, then definitely give this a go.  It’s a fantastic budget buy and for £4, you really can’t go wrong!

They have some fantastic blush palettes which I have my eye on at the moment so I think I may do a haul at the end of the month to try out some more products from this new brand on the block!

*PR Sample