(Camera) Bag Lady: L & K Get Married

Me and the blushing brideAt the beginning of the the month, two very special people got married. The wedding, put together on a shoestring and organised in just seven weeks, took place in a little village in Oxfordshire.

We have another wedding to go to this weekend and it will be a different type of celebration altogether, but the act of marrying, choosing one person to be with for (what is hopefully) the rest of your life is still very emotional for me. The handful of weddings I attended before my own nuptials were fun, but I feel like now I appreciate the significance of and enjoy these ceremonial occasions a lot more.

I was lucky enough to be asked to photograph this blushing bride get ready, and my (multiple) cameras and I didn’t pause to take a break for the rest of the day. All our friends pitched in to make the wedding so special, and Mr Ship-Shape even had the honour of acting as celebrant, conducting the ceremony, which was emotional to say the least.

As I plough my way through editing the 1,000+ photos I took *gulp*, I thought I’d share a few from the day. Congratulations L & K – here’s to a lifetime of happiness and cheese!

Pimms in jam jarsWhite rose button holeThe bride and groommore buntingCamera ladyLomo Diana cameras

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Lazy Sunday Breakfast: Avocado & Pancetta Toast

Avocado toast recipeI think in the year and a bit that I’ve been on Instagram, I’ve posted avocado related photos around a thousand times. Shop-bought guacamole aside, I only tried avocado for the first time last summer, and since then I’ve become hooked on the stuff, most notably in the form of this recipe, which is my favourite breakfast to eat on a lazy weekend morning.

This recipe is super simple and although avocado toast seems to be quite fashionable at the moment, I can assure you that this recipe is far better than just using an avocado like butter, and came about by combining two over my favourite foods – cheese and avocados!

Avocado and pancetta toast ingredientsAvocado & Pancetta Toast

Two slices of wholegrain bread
One whole avocado
Six slices of mature cheddar
A handful of pancetta 
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Mashed avocado with salt and pepper1. Toast the bread of your choice – I use Soya & Linseed bread by Burgen, but any will do. While the bread is toasting, fry the pancetta in a dash of olive oil until cooked.

2. Halve the avocado, discard the stone and scoop the contents into a bowl. I like to use a whole avocado in this recipe because I’m greedy, but if you prefer you can just use half.* Add a little salt and pepper and drizzle the bowl with olive oil. You don’t need much, as avocados are packed with natural oils, but this just helps loosen it a bit. Take a fork and lightly mash the avocado.

3. Once the bread has been toasted, layer it with slices of cheddar, then spoon on the mashed avocado and spread evenly across each slice. Add the cooked pancetta on top and now you’re ready to serve your avocado toast!

Avocado toast on Sophie Conran chopping boardWhen we have guests I whip out this beautiful board, sent to me by Sophie Conran, to serve the toast on, and although its purpose in life is to be chopped on, I think it’s far too pretty, hence why it’s become my favourite serving platter**.

The boards are actually a collaboration between Sophie and the Bristol-based company T&G, and come inscribed with ‘made with love’ and ‘make every day a beautiful day’, both of which are perfectly suited to serving home baked treats on. Any excuse to make another batch of brownies…

*Seriously? You don’t want the whole thing? You have more willpower than me. If you want to find a way to stop the other half of your avocado going brown and funky, check out this post by A Thrifty Mrs.
**You know you’re getting older when you start professing your love for serving platters…

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Festival Fashion 101

New Look denim dressGlastonbury may be over for another year, but the British festival circuit is only just getting started. This month Latitude, Port Elliot and Secret Garden Party all take place, which means there are still plenty of festival fashion looks to experiment with. I wish I could attend all three, but for now I’ll have to settle for wearing my festival threads to the park instead.

I’ll always preach comfort and practicality over fashion trends (I’m looking at you, wedge-heeled wellies) so I’ve teamed up with New Look to offer some festival fashion pointers to any readers attending their first festival this summer.

Floral New Look kimonoTop Tips

 My number one piece of festival fashion advice is to never take what you can’t replace. As much as I love vintage, I rarely take any to festivals as I know I’d be devastated if it got damaged or lost.

♥ Capturing the festival vibe. Kimonos are everywhere right now and they couldn’t be better suited to a festival, acting as bother a lightweight layer when the sun goes down, and a throw-back to the 60s (if you want to see how festival fashion has evolved since then, New Look have just the thing.)

♥ Accessories are your friends. Taking a rucksack can seriously limit the number of outfits you’re able to pack, so hats, face paint, glitter and colourful jewellery are a great way to enhance and alter any outfit.

 Channel flower power. For Glastonbury I made floral headpieces for all my friends. Perhaps it is a massive cliché to wear flowers in your hair at a festival, but it’s also very pretty. Want to make your own? Read my floral crown DIY post.

 Make sure you take a small across body bag or backpack with you. You don’t want to be burdened carrying round a heavy bag all day, but you’ll need somewhere to stash your cash, phone, camera, sunscreen and hand sanitiser.

 A word on playsuits. Yes, they do look great with wellies and a pair of your favourite sunglasses, but have you ever tried getting out of one while inside a hot, dirty port-a-loo? Enough said… Skirts and dresses, like this gorgeous denim number, are far more festival-friendly.

What’s your favourite festival tip (fashion or otherwise)? Let me know in the comments!

Denim dress with 1/2 sleeves (now on sale) – c/o New Look / Floral kimono – c/o New Look / Chelsea boots – c/o Topshop, Cabot Circus / Black handbag – clothes swap

New Look festival outfitBright pink hydrangiasNew Look Denim dress and Chelsea bootsBaylyage hair and denim dressFloral kimono and pink hydrangiasSt Weburghs sign

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The Little Things #3 – The Glastonbury Edition

Glastonbury festival 2014Welcome to the Glastonbury edition of The Little Things, a semi-regular series that aims to highlight all the good stuff that’s been happening in my life lately. Festivals can be a surprisingly marmite topic and although I’m always very glad for a shower and fresh sheets at the end of it, I love a good festival.

I think this was my 7th or 8th Glastonbury and it was very different, as it was the first time in years that I wasn’t working there. I didn’t take my DLSR to the festival (who needs the extra weight and worry of it getting stolen?) but I did pack my teeny tiny Mini Diana. Here’s what I got up to…

Blogging about: How to make a floral crown, my favourite new vintage dress (that I wouldn’t take to a festival) and some fool-proof festival hairstyle ideas.
Listening to: Dolly Parton, M.I.A, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, Lana del Ray, MGMT, Haim and The Black Keys, to name but a few. A playlist of these acts helped me get through my first day back in the office post-festival.
Watching: London Grammar. Despite being a little underwhelmed with the main headliners, there were so many incredible acts to see this year. London Grammar closed the John Peel stage on Sunday night and were chills-down-your-spine fantastic.
Buying: New wellington boots – mine gave up the will to live by day three of the festival. Damp feet are no fun so for £20 I bought a replacement pair. Alas this meant not buying any vintage dresses, boo!
Doing: The Dolly Parton flashmob dance – ok so it wasn’t quite the 50,000 strong flashmob I’d imagined, but my friends and I fun dancing to Jolene never the less.
Eating: Pies, nachos and stone baked pizza in the Green Fields. With all the walking required to get from one side of the festival to the other, carbohydrates were a necessity.
Wearing: A vintage paisley pleated skirt from Grandma Ship-Shape, floral print dresses and lots if glitter, which I accidentally fell asleep while wearing – oops!
Shooting: Using my Mini Diana lomo camera. It’s only the second roll of film I’ve shot so I’m still getting to grips with the (limited) focusing options and the fact it seems to veer to the right.
Enjoying: Visiting one of the WaterAid She Pee stations. The toilets are always one of the worst things about attending any festival, so being able to pee standing up (TMI?) was a revelation. It made my festival experience a lot more pleasant and I’d seriously recommend giving it a try at your next festival.
Looking forward to: next year already!

Did you go to Glastonbury this year (or watch it from the comfort of your sofa)? Let me know your favourite act.

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San Francisco Photo Diary

Blueberry pancakesDue to having spent the last five days in a very muddy field (I’ll see you again next year, Glastonbury!), today’s outfit post is being replaced by a photo diary of my holiday to San Francisco. This post is long overdue since our holiday was in March, but I was waiting until I was able to get the film from my Diana Mini camera developed. Time is rushing by so quickly at the moment – it feels like only last month that these photos were taken!

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves, but highlights include cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, eating pancakes for breakfast every day, taking a ride on a cable car, visiting Alcatraz and horse riding in Point Reyes national park. Take me back there, please?

Tropical San Francisco plantsThe Golden Gate BridgeGraffiti in The MissionGolden Gate Bridge double exposureAlcatraz island signBurgers at The Ice Cream Soda BarPier 39 San FranciscoHorse riding at Five Brooks Ranch

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