Category: Laura’s Life

I’ve been well and truly won over

September 9th, 2012 — 9:45pm

When the logo was released I was puzzled, when the mascots were announced I laughed, I questioned just how much money had been spent on the games, I’d roll my eyes when I saw merchandise in the shops and I vowed to go no where near London during the summer of 2012.

Even when Has switched over to watch the opening ceremony I tutted and asked if there was “anything else on” but I sat down to watch and as the ceremony unfolded I was astounded.  I kept repeating over and over “This is amazing!”  From that moment on I was hooked!

Desperate to be involved in any way, we went to see Great Britain play Canada in the women’s Football and even though they lost, the atmosphere during the entire game was fantastic!

Has was able to visit the Olympic Park to watch Handball and Volleyball during the Olympics, whilst I had to work but promised he would take me to the Paralympics.

So last Sunday and this Saturday we left our flat, more than a little blurry eyed at 5.30am and made the 2 and a half hour journey down the Epping.

The moment we stepped off the train at Stratford you could feel the excitement.  The Olympic Park is simply outstanding.  I’m not sure what I expected but it’s like nothing I have ever experienced before.  I know it’s been said before but the volunteers in and around the Park are amazing.  They are all so helpful, cheerful and so welcoming.  Dancing, singing and hi-fiving.  They have all been brilliant.

Our first visit included 3 hours of swimming.  A moment I while never forget was watching a Team GB swimmer come from behind to win the the 100m x4 men’s relay race.  The noise from the stadium was unbelievable!  Everyone was on their feet shouting and cheering.  We turned to each other, completely blown away by the atmosphere in the Aquatics Centre and wondered what it would have been like if the race were for an actual medal!

That day we also saw South Africa take on Italy in the Men’s Basketball and 3 matches of our new favourite Paralymic Sport Goal Ball.

Saturday we spent the morning inside the Olympic Stadium, where we saw heat races, triple jump, javelin, shot put and very moving medal ceremonies.

As we left our seats and made our way out of the Olympic Stadium, we couldn’t help but feel a little sad.  We didn’t want to leave and we certainly didn’t want it to be over.  I have enjoyed ever single second of the Olympic and Paralympic games,  watching the country come together to celebrate, feeling a part of something so grand and embracing the emotions of the athletes.


It’s been a wonderful summer and I am incredible proud for what our country has achieved and… I have also been won over by another little guy…

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30 Years

July 31st, 2012 — 10:02pm

Today 30 years ago my parents were married.

30th Anniversary

We celebrated with the family (when we could all get together!) a few weekends ago.  I made these cupcakes.  Purple, the colour worn by my mom’s bridesmaids and Pearls to represent the 30 years of marriage.

Purple and Pearl Anniversary Cupcakes

Surrounded by little vases of freesias, the same flowers my Mom had in her bouquet.

Oh how I love this picture, it sums them up so well.


Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, may you celebrate many, many more x

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Back on Track

June 24th, 2012 — 9:49pm

You may (or may not) have noticed things have been very quiet on the pages of Purple and Pearls recently and to be honest I have no excuses other than I had lost my drive for blogging.  So instead of filling posts with moans, groans and other such drivel I decided to take a step back.

Until today. I logged on for the first time in a while and read through some of my earlier posts and it made me realise how much I miss blogging.  There have been stages throughout my blog journey where I thought I was blogging for any readers I might have, but going through my posts – especially my recollections of our wedding and honeymoon have made me so thankful that I did sit down and write a blow my blow account of two of the most amazing experiences of my life.  So from now on I am most definitely blogging for myself.

Quite a bit has happened since I last sat down to write, I have left a job that was very bad for me and I have started a new position that I am loving.  I used to dread the drive into work, my heart would thunder through my chest when I received a new email, I was constantly on edge, unable to switch off and I am ashamed to say that I had to rush to the bathroom on more than one occasion to hide the tears streaming down my face.  Happily that is a very distant memory and I now work for a successful, well-known home catalogue company with a lovely team of people.

I attribute most of my lackluster to that job.

Purple and Pearls Designs is going well and I am about to launch a new range of Save The Date announcements.  Sneak Peak below!!

We had our annual film marathon a few weeks ago… for anyone who hasn’t heard of this, 6 close friends choose 2 films each and provided a snack or meal to accompany it.  The marathon lasts 24 hours and this year it started a little differently with a change in venue.  Our first film was Promethius so we had to visit the cinema, then it was back to the flat for the remaining 12 films.

This was the running order

TT: closer the the edge
The Green Ray
Grave of the Fireflies
Flight of the Navigator
Phantom of the Paradise
California Man
Perfect BLue
The Wrong Guy
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

A good 24 hours was spent with an assortment of food… including a salad which was served with flowers from Geoff’s back garden…!

My friend Ian took a photo from the same position every couple of hours and made this time-lapse video.  Pretty cool!

We also spent a very muddy weekend at Download Festival.

Download Festival Campsite

but a fantastic weekend was had by all!  The sun even decided to shine on Sunday!

I’ll be back soon with more regular posts!

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Happy New Year!

January 3rd, 2012 — 11:13pm

Ok so I may be a little late with my New Year wishes but I have been a rather busy bee!

It was our very first Christmas in our own place and we had huge fun decorating our home and making our own Christmas traditions.  We decided whilst on our honeymoon that we would buy a tree decoration from every place we visited, it was a great idea, we spent a wonderful evening with our memories as we embellished our tree with the ornaments we had collected.

We hosted a Christmas Jumper Party, which was a huge success!  Our flat was full of the best (read worst!) jumpers you’ve ever seen!  Everyone made such an effort either scouring eBay and charity shops for the second hand beauties and even DIYing!  Yes someone did staple felt Christmas tree’s to a cardigan…

The week’s leading up to Christmas were mad – as I’m sure they were for most families.  I baked and decorated 16 Christmas cakes to give as gifts, so spent many a night (with the help of my wonderful Mom) finishing them off.  I have to say though the response has been more than worth it.

I’ve also been busy making plans for Purple and Pearls – the next chapter! which brings me on to my New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Have more of a positive attitude.
  2. Focus 100% on Purple and Pearls
  3. Spend more time appreciating the good things I have.
  4. (The obligatory) DIET!

I’m not sure how well the above will all fit together but I’m determined by the end of 2012 to be in a better place.  I moan far too much about things I definitely have control over.  So I’ve decided this year – if I don’t like it, I’ll change it.

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November 8th, 2011 — 9:00am

It was lunch time at college.  As I sat chatting with a friend a boy she knew from one of her classes came over and asked if he could sit with us whilst he “waited for Geoff”

As the common room filled we got talking, one by one more of his friends came in and with each one I’d ask “Is that Geoff?”  I think I was actually hoping Geoff wouldn’t come so he would sit with me a little longer.

As it happens from that moment on we actually became really good friends, spending any spare minute we had together.  I would always look forward to Thursday’s.  We both finished college early so would meet up and walk slowly into town always stopping at Starbucks.  He’d order a cappuccino and I’d have a hot chocolate.  It was there about a year after we first met that Has asked me to be he’s girlfriend.

10 years ago today.

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Happy Halloween!

October 30th, 2011 — 9:02pm

Halloween Cupcakes

Last night our flat was taken over by Zombies…!  Pretty scary stuff!

Halloween Zombies

Thankfully my husband is rather educated in Zombie-removal after spending many hours watching George A Romero films.

We managed to usher them out with the promise of alcohol  and an invitation to the Zombie Ball at Birmingham’s Ballroom.

I’m pleased to say order has been restored and our apartment is back to normal……….or is it?

Halloween ZombiesMwhahahahaha!!!

Cupcake inspiration from the very wonderful Blue Door Bakery

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Welcome to the world Max James.

August 19th, 2011 — 7:10pm

Monday 15th August, my closest friend Suzie gave birth to her beautiful baby boy Max.

He is beyond perfect and I am head over heels in love with him.

I’m also over come with love for Suzie – I am in complete awe of her.  She really is amazing.  I just know that together with her husband Rob, they are going to make the most wonderful parents.


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July 11th, 2011 — 12:00pm

I have recently gone from no job, to part time job, for full-time-all-the-time job!

After being made redundant a few months before the wedding and spending 6 months struggling to find a job, feeling low and losing most of my confidence I found a relatively easy 3 day a week job.  It was at this point I decided to put wheels in motion and really really start thinking about the steps I would need to take to begin my own wedding stationery company – a dream of mine.

It was strange, being unemployed left me with endless hours to fill.  You’d think it would be the perfect time to set myself up in front of my laptop and dedicate all my energy into creating beautiful stationery,  but something happened.  Any motivation I had went into getting out of bed and dressing myself.  I realise how dramatic that sounds and to clarify I was far from depressed, but not having a job really knocked my confidence.  It wasn’t until I started my part time job that I really began to feel motivated and confident enough to start designing.

On my days off I’d sit and design, evenings after work the laptop would come out.  I have a notebook where my ideas live and any time I couldn’t get to my laptop I’d scrawl down words, shapes and roughly sketched out visions.  I had so many ideas and I’d find inspiration from any thing and every thing… Notice I’m talking in past tense?

A part time, 3 days a week job was great for a while and perfect for allowing me to nurture my growing ambition, but ambition and dreams can only get you so far.  You also need money.  Unfortunately my pay was only enough to get by with no nice added extras and so it was time to go back to a full time position.

Second week over and I can honestly say I have never worked so hard before in my life!  My new hours see me working 40 hours a week and rarely returning home before 6.30.  By the time I’ve had dinner I’m exhausted and any creative thoughts I once had have flitted off with my energy.

I feel incredibly guilty that I’ve neglected Twitter and very out of the loop!  I miss it, but I just seem to have no time to tweet (at least not for me, I’m tweeting on behalf of my new company!)

I haven’t opened illustrator in over 2 weeks and I feel guilty.  Once upon a time it consumed my spare time and even a night not spent playing around with ideas would make me feel anxious.  I’m slowly adjusting to my new working commitments and I hope that after a few more early nights my brain will be back to normal and I’ll be over run with shapes, colours, themes and ideas once again.

Stay tuned.. hopefully someday soon Purple and Pearls will be providing beautiful and unique wedding stationery,  that or you’ll find me in the corner catching some zzzz’s!

Note: To prove my point I actually started this post 6 days ago…

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Want to see my Christmas present?

April 19th, 2011 — 9:00am

For Christmas Has handed me an envelope.  Inside this envelope was a piece of card.  He had asked his Dad to write down our wedding date in Arabic for me to have as a tattoo.

It’s something I had talked about before we got married.  I thought it would be really lovely to have our wedding date tattooed in a slightly different way that gave a nod to Has’ heritage.

I finally got inked last weekend.   I have had tattoos before and was rather nervous about getting one on my foot but it hurt a lot less than I had expected and was over before it really began.

So, now it’s more or less healed here is my tattoo of our wedding date.

Actual translation is 5 November 2010.  I also think it’s pretty cool that it is written in my father-in-law’s handwriting

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Blood Donation Day – April 15th 2011

April 15th, 2011 — 9:00am

Some people already donate blood. However, those who don’t tend to fall into two categories: too squeamish or too forgetful. Both reasons are totally understandable, conquering a phobia of needles or blood is a huge thing to ask, as is scheduling the time for a regular appointment to donate.

It is an astonishing fact that only 4% of the population provides donations of blood for the rest of us. That’s a lot to expect of so few people. Especially when this is one of those times when you really can have a massive impact on the lives of others, by doing something so simple.

So, why are we campaigning for this? Many of us have been affected first-hand by the importance of having a ready supply of blood, and realise how very different life could be without it. Just stop for a minute and think what might happen if you couldn’t get the blood transfusion that you take for granted will be there. This is the perfect forum to bring it to the forefront of people’s minds, especially those who have been contemplating donating blood but just haven’t got round to doing it yet.

If you’re physically able to give blood do please try to make time, it can literally make you a lifesaver. We would love it if donating blood became a regular habit for you, something that is done on a regular basis without giving it a second thought. If you can’t donate then please continue this campaign by asking all those you know who can to make an appointment – ask them to do it now… today, not when they get round to it.

Do read this blog and the associated posts from all of those involved in this campaign. There will be some very personal stories that we hope may open your eyes to how important blood donors are and how you never know when you may be the recipient of the blood that these wonderful people give.

If you feel that you are ready to donate blood, please go to the Give Blood website to find your nearest blood donor session.

I have been one of the many people who have had to rely on donated blood.  At just 8 months old I had an accident.  I was scolded by boiling water from a kettle.  The accident left me with damaged skin on my neck, chest, arms and hands.  Some areas of skin were badly damaged so I had to have an operation to graft healthy skin from my leg on to the worst affected areas of my body.  Due to my age and the nature of the operation I had to have donated blood.  It’s something we all take for granted that it will be there when we need it most.

Please visit these other fantastic blogs all involved in this inspiring campaign.

Tattybojangles Vintage Hen House

Plans & Presents Wedding & Event Planning

Anna and the Ring

All Wrapped Up Wedding & Event Planners & Coordinators

Emily Jayne Image Consultancy

Fiona Kelly Photography

Mission 2 Wed

Boho Weddings & Events

Hannah Dornford-May Photography

Source Images Photography

Purple & Pearls

My Spare Thoughts

Aisle Rock

Tamryn Kirby

Bride and Chic

The Honeymoon Project

Cake for Breakfast

The Wedding Reporter

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