Welcome to the bachelorette party! Hen do ideas you need in your life

What’s better… Christmas season or wedding season?!

As we all know from Wedding Crashers, it’s clearly WEDDING SEASON!

I am a bridesmaid for my sister-from-another-mister Penny in just a few short weeks! The bride tribe and I had so much fun organising her hen do (or bachelorette party as us Americans say) – and thought I would pass on some ideas for your future festivities!

I was in charge of decorations because (1) I’m obsessed with glitter and confetti (2) Pinterest is my Bible and (3) I love a good crafty project!

Photo by McKenna

Amazon, Ebay and Paperchase were my go-to places for operation Pen’s Hen! You can find great decorations at inexpensive prices. I first picked out a colour scheme (white, pastel pink and mint) and went from there!

Paper pom poms, balloons, a ‘bride-to-be’ banner and confetti were at the top of my list – they would look perfect in the Oxfordshire cottage we rented for the bride-to be!

Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

Although there are a few items you need to buy, there’s also so much you can do with objects you already have! I took a few of my picture frames and inserted printed personalised messages into each one including ‘Welcome to Pen’s Hen Party!’ and ‘Sip sip hooray!’ – ideal for a drinks table 🙂

Photo by McKenna

Photos are also a nice way to personalise the space – plus, a great way to reminisce and meet the rest of the bride’s friends!

Photo by McKenna

Since many of the girls were traveling from far and wide – some from outside of the country – I thought hen do ‘survival kits’ would be a nice little touch. Inside were the essentials to get any girl through a weekend away including:

  • A mini bottle of booze
  • Water
  • Mini body lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Tissues
  • Chocolate
  • Photo props (funny glasses, moustaches, lips, etc) – perfect for selfies!
  • Mints

Plus, they looked super cute!

 

Hen do survival kits | Photo by McKenna

Other necessities on the list: a tiara and veil for our beautiful bride! We also dressed her up in a ‘joke’ wedding dress for the evening. She was definitely surprised!

What decorations have been a hit at your parties/hen dos? Happy hen do!

McK x

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Croatian charm in Old Town Dubrovnik: your next European city break

Hello lovely people,

As summer comes to an end, and as autumn’s go-go-go mentality creeps in, I find my mind slipping away to the sunshine and excitement from my summer trips.

The other week I went to Dubrovnik for my cousin’s wedding – and wow, I was absolutely blown away. I had been to Zadar, Croatia before, so I assumed Old Town Dubrovnik would be a bigger version of the quiet seaside town.

Boy, was I wrong.

Dubrovnik is like no other. From its bustling cobblestone streets to picturesque beaches, this city is one of a kind.

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

After walking through impressive city walls, you’re greeted with a stunning view of a marina as you stroll through stone-studded streets. Palm trees and sunshine… yes, please!

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

Some may recognize Dubrovnik as a Game of Thrones filming location, which is cool of course, but the city is so much more than that! Dubrovnik is first and foremost a dazzling, historical European city, being a filming location comes after (wayyyy after) all of its cultural and beautiful offerings.

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

From quaint cafes to little independent shops, Old Town offers a variety of businesses and restaurants. One of my personal favourites was Pupo, where I found my desperately needed oyster fix.

Oyster goodness | Photo by McKenna

If you’re a pizza, pasta or seafood fiend, you’re in luck. Dubrovnik boasts an abundance of mouthwatering goodness on every corner. Don’t forget an ice cream cone (pistachio for me!) to top it off!

Photo by McKenna

After you’ve scoped out the city’s cobblestone alleyways and city walls, venture to Banje Beach for an afternoon of sun and sea. The beach is just a five-minute walk from the eastern wall of Old Town, equipped with a beach bar and sun loungers to rent for 100 kuna (£12).

The pebbled beach leads you to the refreshing Adriatic Sea. When we were there in late August, temperatures were HOT, making the cool sea water more than welcome.

Banje Beach | Photo by McKenna
Banje Beach | Photo by McKenna

Beach by day, cocktails and music by night. On my first evening in Dubrovnik there was a mini music festival in the main square of Old Town. It was absolutely surreal to dance to house music under flashing lights in such a historic, seaside setting!

In addition to the impromptu rave, we perused everything from little hole-in-the-wall bars to the city’s massive Club Revelin  – there really is something for everyone!

the logistics… 

To and fro 

Dubrovnik Airport is only 20 minutes away by car. An Uber is about 250 kuna (£30), but you can also take a shuttle to Old Town at the bargain price of 40 kuna (£5).

Sleeping beauties

My family rented an Airbnb just outside the city walls because we had quite a large group. However, you can find deals within the city walls, right in the middle of all the action, for £60 a night (for a couple). If you book far in advance, I’m sure you’d be able to find deals at hotels as well.

Money, money, money! 

Many places took both euros and kuna, Croatia’s official currency, but you should 100% use kuna within the Old Town. Not all places take euros, so better safe than sorry!

A view of Old Town | Photo by McKenna

I’ve posted more photos from my Dubrovnik adventure on my Instagram, so feel free to check them out if this amazing city has made it onto your travel bucket list!

What a sunset | Photo by McKenna

After all, Dubrovnik is calling your name! And you need this beautiful sunset in your life!

McK x

All aboard! Immersive dining at its finest on Bombay Sapphire’s The Grand Journey

Happy FriYAY!

Hope everyone is ready for the weekend! Whether you’ve planned a chill movie night in or cocktails in town, it’s going to be a good day 🙂

I’ve always been intrigued by ‘immersive dining experiences’ where dinner and drinks are taken to the next level. I was recently invited to my very first one – Bombay Sapphire’s The Grand Journey! Guests are taken on an excursion (whilst staying put in London!) – from Java to Ghana to Tuscany – to experience the stories of 10 botanicals that fuse together Bombay Sapphire’s gin! Pairing deliciousness with fun facts – I’m in!

Upon arrival, guests are ushered to a platform where you await your carriage for the evening. I really did feel as if I was standing in the most luxurious train station on earth – complete with a fabulous conductor, train sound effects, luggage props and more!

Once we boarded, with each destination came a new cocktail and innovative dish created by Michelin-Star chef, Tom Sellers. Equipped with eye-catching and engaging special effects to match each location, this was the ultimate multi-sensory drinking and dining experience. My first realization: venturing outside my go-to G&T with cucumber is a must from here on out.

Here’s a glimpse of the evening!

Add in some gold glitter and mint, and this decadent cocktail was a hit. Paired with scallops and radishes… YUM.

Flower power! | Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Heaven in a glittery glass whilst in Morocco | Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

Bring on my next dinner party because I’m taking inspiration from the fabulous Grand Journey. Who would have thought gin was so versatile?!

Photo by McKenna

Now, cheers to that!

Aloe there! Succulents have become my go-to obsession

A little bit of greenery can make all the difference, am I right?

Perusing my local garden centre and nearby florists has become somewhat of my weekly routine.

Photo by McKenna

From cacti to succulents, ferns to flowers, I cannot have enough plants. They have truly changed the vibe in our flat for the better.

Photo by McKenna

I mean, how could a handmade pot with an aloe mohawk NOT make anyone happy? 🙂

Photo by McKenna

In addition to adopting lonely plants in need of a home, maintaining my herb garden has become somewhat of a hobby. There’s just something so satisfying about topping a caprese salad with home-grown basil. I also love making Spanish or Thai inspired dishes, so coriander is obligated to make a hefty appearance.

Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

Home is where the heart is. Or in my case, home is where my plants thrive.

Which plants are a must in your home decor scheme?

McK xxx

London snapshots: a visual walking tour through photos

Let’s be honest. When you’re in a city as gorgeous as London, every now and then you just have to stop and take a picture (…okay, lots of pictures!).

From edgy street art in Shoreditch to spectacular homes in Chelsea, there’s always something interesting and beautiful around the corner.

Join my recent walk around London – through photos.

Kentish Town | Photo by McKenna
Chelsea | Photo by McKenna
Camden Town | Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Notting Hill | Photo by McKenna
King’s Cross | Photo by McKenna
Camden Town | Photo by McKenna
Angel | Photo by McKenna
St James Park | Photo by McKenna
Camden Town | Photo by McKenna
Camden Town | Photos by McKenna

After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Smile for the camera!

McK xx

Home sweet home: bookshelf styling and cosy throws

Good morning!

I don’t know about you, but I love starting the day in a clean, organised flat. It makes me feel like I’m setting the tone for the rest of the day – 100% necessary when you have a long, stressful to-do list.

I’ve recently moved into a new flat – on a dreamy cobblestone mews in London (how appropriate for the blog?!) – and home decor and styling has been on my mind. The other week I channeled that energy into my bookshelf.

Photo by McKenna

I love a mix between new and old, high street and vintage. Some of my items are decades old – from my wooden elephant from India, a present from my dad, to a handmade vase. I love finding gems in markets and charity shops, like my white Vogue prints and candle holder.

Little hints of gold are my weakness, from my Joy pineapple candle to my fab lantern, gifted from my dear friend Hayley! Flowers and greenery are also a must!

As you’ll see, I have a grand total of 12 books (didn’t bring my collection when I moved from the states!) so I’m completely open to recommendations!

I’ve been in my flat for six months now so I’ve been taking my time finding the perfect additions to our new home.

Photo by McKenna

I love all white everything, with hints of charcoal grey and pastels – mint and light pink are my favourite! I’m also all about FLUFF. The more throws and pillows the better – this tribal pillow was only £5 at Tigre. What a steal! The faux fur throw was a gift that I will be eternally grateful for!

Photo by McKenna
IMG_5388
Photo by McKenna

I’ve discovered that peacock feathers are a cheap and easy way to add a little something extra to any surface – only £2 on Amazon!

What are your favourite go-to home accessories on a budget?

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  

– William Morris 

Columbia Road Flower Market in London: the ultimate Sunday Funday

There’s something so dreamy about freshly cut flowers.

Columbia Road Flower Market in East London is a green fiend’s paradise. You’ll find an entire street boasting the stands of local farmers and florists, offering everything from impressive peonies and succulents to palms trees and cacti. They even have lemon trees… yes, I repeat… lemon trees!

Every Sunday morning, rain or shine, the market is on in full force – and it’s calling your name. After all, a Sunday well spent brings a week of content 🙂

Photo by McKenna

Now, I’m just going to warn you. You may get overwhelmed your first time at the flower market (or second or third visit to be honest). There are just SO MANY FLOWERS (obviously!). Can’t decide between hydrangeas or tulips? No problem! You’re getting both because the option to mix-and-match is always a good idea.

Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

Once you’re done perusing the flower stands, be sure to stop into one of Columbia Road’s quaint antique stores, cafes or pubs for a shopping browse and a cappuccino. Then, if you get lucky, you’ll stumble across one of the market’s street performers – last time there was an amazing accordion player. It made me feel like I was on vacation!

Bottom line: Columbia Road Flower Market is always the right move. Always be blooming!

McK x