Marriage- Eight Years. What I have learnt.

Howdy Y’all,

Happy Tuesday, today is special in chez Lifestyle because Mr L and I celebrate EIGHT years of marriage. I can not believe we are at eight years which I think is a good thing since it doesn’t seem that long ago that I walked down the aisle to become a Mrs. We have packed a lot in to our eight years, an international move, six homes, a child and a dog. So never a dull moment. It is not my intention to speak of mine and Mr L’s marriage specifically or to speak in depth about him, we like to keep some privacy. I will say this. When I walked down the aisle eight years ago I knew I was marrying a good and kind man, a man of principle (sometimes bloody mindedness with an insistent need to be right.)A man confident and self-assured enough to support those around him, a man who raises women up and sees them as more than equal. A person who loves unconditionally and understands remarkably. Mr L has not disappointed. The type of personality I am, I had to be married to a man who I respected and who could be my partner in all things. A man who can accept my feisty side and encourage and support me. I am the lucky one I have found that. I have a partner in all its entirety, it is not perfect but its ours.

Today I want to share some of the observations and lessons I have found in eight years of marriage, these do not simply relate to marriage but to all partnerships,

  1. Marriage in unpredictable. Yes like life you can have an idea of what marital bliss will be like and then you are thrown a grenade and it becomes something else. I never saw us spending our lives living on another continent to our loved ones. Raising my child away from family, but it forces you to pull together and lean on each other. It tests the foundations of marriage.
  2. Your not the same person, your life experiences prior to your relationship are different . Your childhood and traditions are unalike. Navigating and respecting each others ways is part of the journey. Examples of this are should your stocking or Santa sack be at the end of your bed or by the fireplace? Does Santa wrap your gifts or not? Is Easter a time for lamb or ham?
  3. You get the marriage you think you deserve. A wise women once made that statement to me at school, at the time I thought very little of it, but whether speaking of marriage, life or friendships there is a real pearl of truth to it. If you have self respect enough to love yourself and show love to others then you deserve the same in return. Many partners will invest and reciprocate the same levels of love you show them. It is also important to remember you are the example of a healthy loving relationship to those around you, especially children and they learn how to love and give love from your example.
  4. Pick your battles, as you bed down in marital bliss you learn that you don’t have to win every battle to win the war. Either that or I am becoming so long in the tooth I care less. Now Mr L may disagree on this but I have tried in recent years to let things slide. I have made a conscious effort not to become a nag and ride his butt about everything he doesn’t do, (because I am sure there are things I don’t do, very few things but sometimes even perfect people slip up!) I am also trying to calm myself and consider is this issue really worth a disagreement and nine times out of ten it is not unless it is PMT driven.
  5. Marriage requires work, that doesn’t mean big extravagant gifts or hearts and roses (although all great ideas so Mr L if by chance your reading this don’t be put off.) You have to be that person the other requires sometimes and find common ground. It is so easy especially when you have small children to get immersed in routine and little person needs, you forget that you have needs of each other. My grandpa used to say that children flee the nest and you are left with each other so don’t forget that.
  6. Marriage has seasons, there are times when you require more from your partner or the balance changes. Life is fast pace and we all have times where things are not quite as we would want, marriage requires you to support and love your partner unconditionally. The roles could revers one day. Seasons in life and marriage are meant and you have to learn from each one.
  7. Don’t compare you marriage to other. Firstly nobody’s marriage is perfect and they are all different because we are. In the eight years I have been married I have sadly seen lots of marriages dissolve for many reasons but often I see that people compare their marriage to unrealistic expectations or society ideals. What matters is the two of you and how happy you are with each other. What others are doing or speaking about is up to them. I maintain if you were lucky enough like Mr L and I to have grown up with strong examples of marriage, it helps because you have seen the journey of marriage and the ups and downs required for true partnership.
  8. Love Languages. Something I discovered this year and I am using. You answer a series of questions and they inform you about your preferred love language. Mr L and I completed this thinking not a lot of it, we were polar opposites (no surprise.)  My main love language is “acts of service” for Mr L it is “physical touch.” So in a nutshell I feel loved and appreciated by “acts of service”  so for example if Mr L put the trash out, or I came home and the kitchen had been cleaned (your getting the idea) I would be in heaven. For Mr L he feels most loved if I give him a hug or hold his hand on the sofa ( not natural for me.) These are such simple things and I have noticed subconsciously we have been trying to appeal to each others language and although far from perfect I am quite amazed by the result. I was a skeptic but honestly humble pie I may need to eat. Would you like a post on the love languages? I encourage everyone in a relationship to take the quiz. Not only have I been grateful by the effort Mr L has made but it gives me areas at which I need to focus. 

Do you have any pearly words of wisdom or do you prescribe to that mantra the art of a good marriage is two people who don’t want to get divorced at the same time!!!

Happy Anniversary Mr L here is to another year! Love you.

Kx

 

 

The Duchess Dress Off

Howdy Y’all,

Today I wanted to share something fun and that is meant in good taste. On Saturday in London was Trooping the Colour, this is a ceremony performed by all regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies to mark the official birthday of the sovereign HRH The Queen. It is a tradition which began in the 17th Century. It was particularly exciting because it was the first time we got to see HRH Duchess of Sussex with the rest of the Royal Family, since her wedding. I was secretly thrilled because it was one of the first times we would see both Duchess’ in their finery as members of the family. I want to preface that I am not going to make a habit of comparing Kate and Meghan, they are both incredibly beautiful (albeit in different ways) smart and stylish and to me that is where all comparisons should end. They are both Duchess’ with very different destinies and I think that will become more evident as time progresses. I did however think it would be fun today to compare their fashion choices. To summarize I think even their fashion choices on Saturday spoke to their destinies. Nobody could take from Meghan how incredibly beautiful she was as a bride, everything about her choice of dress, accessories the way she walked down the aisle spoke to the modern, confident, informed, ethical Duchess she was becoming and her fashion choice on Saturday said much the same. I also want to cut her a little slack, royal life must be so intimidating and she is handling it like a pro. Kate on the other hand is destined to be a Queen, I thought her choice of outfit for the Royal wedding spoke much to her character. Wearing something she had worn before as not to draw attention displays the thoughtful, poised, elegant, educated, and regal woman she is. I thought her outfit on Saturday shone as she stepped out onto the balcony she projected regality.

HRH Duchess of Sussex

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It is difficult to get a full length image of Meghan and this was about the best I can do but it does show us the highlights of the dress/outfit. The dress is by Carolina Herrera and it is effortlessly elegant. The pale pink/nude color compliments Meghan’s skin tone incredibly although the color is very similar to the Goat dress she wore to the Garden Party. I was a little disappointed because I would like to see her in another color. The over jacketor neckline of the dress (not quite sure of the design, )is beautiful. I feel the way her hair is styled sort of spoils the effect and silhouette of the neckline but she looks spectacular. The buttons have a very vintage/80’s vibe as to me does the length of the jacket part. Although I love the design I am not sure is suits Meghan. Like Kate this beautiful woman could make a paper bag look good so I am in no way saying she looks bad. I feel the length of the jacket does her little favors, it sort of flattens her hips and dwarfs her beautiful curves which I think is a shame. She is too petite for that length of jacket. It doesn’t enhance her waist. I also question with the length/lack of sleeve, how appropriate this choice was for the event. I echo again I love the dress but this is a royal event and I fear there might have been a little too much flesh on show so perhaps best that her hair was down. It might have been good to have had a bracelet of something on her wrist with such a short sleeve.

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In contrast to Kate I feel Meghan hits the makeup jackpot each time. I love the natural softness that allow her beauty to shine through. Her soft pink lipstick compliments her outfit color and skin tone perfectly. She has this effortlessness with her makeup and the placement of her contour is amazing. She equally kept her jewelry minimal her decision not to wear a necklace and to allow the outfits neckline to sing was perfect. A slightly bolder earring choice might have been a little more appropriate they are royal after all. I did not feel her hair was appropriate, when wearing a hat ones hair should be back and away from the face, I think Meghan may have regretted it because she was fiddling with it a lot throughout the event. Her Phillip Treacy hat complimented the look but if her hair had been similar to her wedding style, I think the hat would have looked better.

HRH Duchess of Cambridge

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It is difficult to get a full length picture of the Duchess of Cambridge so this will have to work. This is HRH at her finest. The designer for all big events or when HRH wishes to make a statement she turns to her wedding dress designer Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Sarah never disappoints. I adore the ice blue colour of this outfit, it compliments the summer day perfectly. It is fresh and eye catching without being loud or bright. The fit and fabric is outstanding. I love the tailored look on Kate it compliments her figure, the modern square neck is softened and made feminine by the puff sleeves and who doesn’t like a bracelet length sleeve? The waist band adds a modern touch and I love how they keep the tailoring simple by having it in the same color and fabric. How is it possible she had a baby only sixish weeks ago????? The nipped waist going into a fuller pleated skirt which adds dimension and balances out her petite shoulders.

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This close up really allows us to see the details of Kate’s hat and jewelry. Her hair is so chic and tidy and allows the beauty of her spectacular hat and the simplicity of the jewelry to shine. This statement hat was spectacular by Milner Juliette Botterill, I always think this style is the most flattering on Kate and what sets is off is the flowers, netting and bow which follow through to the front of the hat. It is millinery masterpiece. Ladies and gentleman this is how one wears their hair when wearing a hat, chic and neat allowing the hat to shine. It is also positioned correctly but still allows us to see the beautiful Duchess. With her hair so neatly off her face you can see her spectacular earrings by Kiki McDonough, they match the outfit color exquisitely and their size is a perfect balance to the hat. They also look regal and are a bolder choice than say wearing a simple stud. Her choice of necklace is also stupendous because the delicacy of it does not fight the neckline and tailoring of the dress. It is also smaller and simpler than the earrings and allows those to be the statement. I love the detail on the chain, it provides balance. This closeup also gives us a chance to look at the Duchess makeup. I will confess I am not the biggest fan on the Duchess’ makeup choices I often find there is little variety to how she does it day/night and I find her eyes a little heavy and dark (sorry Kate!)At this event I thought the makeup complimented her exquisitely, her blush and lip colour were elegant and understated and complimented the ice blue of her outfit. I think the eyemakeup worked also in providing contrast to the hat.

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I added this picture because this bunch generally scrub up very well and I just love the Queen, she certainly stands out on the balcony in her blue. So elegant and poised for a lady of 92.

Whose outfit did you prefer? What are your thoughts on Kate and Meghan? I would love to know.

Have a fab week friends.

Ta Ta for now

Kx

My Fashion Favorites of The Royal Wedding

Howdy Y’all,

Well what a wonderful weekend that was, it makes me so proud to see my country displayed in so much pomp and pageantry. It is something we do so well. The God’s were with us and sent the most beautiful day and when the sun shines with a backdrop like Windsor, fairytales really do come true. Today I am sharing a few of my favorite looks from the wedding. I can honestly say I don’t think I have seen such exciting fashion choices since Diana days. I genuinely was beaming at the beautiful dresses worn, everyone came with their A game. There is nothing like a Royal Wedding to set trends and since we are at the beginning of the wedding season I wanted to share some of the themes I noticed.

  1. Pale Pink. This was by far the most popular color choice or perhaps it was the color chosen by the most fashionable women which is a winner. It is such a soft and romantic color and would be perfect if you have a summer wedding coming up.
  2. Strong Color, in contrast to the pale and softness of the pink, we did see strong gem colors, there was plenty of purple, emerald green and viridian. I did wonder if guests were expecting a colder, greyer day. May can be a difficult month in the UK as the weather is so changeable. It can be gorgeous one and like winter the next. If you have a fall or winter wedding these styles would be fantastic.
  3. Embroidered and Hand Painted Dresses. These were so eye-catching and beautiful, it also could probably be worn all year round.

I now will share some of the best looks of the wonderful day:-

 

Pippa Middleton

Outfit: The Fold.

Loved this look, it was Spring in  a dress. The color, the pattern was breathtaking, the mint green was so fresh and the blossom design screamed May in England. The style, the way it fit just spoke to a modern elegance. In true Pippa style it was the whole look which was mesmerizing, her hat was chic and neat and shoes modern and fun all finished with a simple clutch. Class act.

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Pretty Pink Dress

A trend amongst the female guests was pale pink, this female guest who I apologize I do not know showed us how to dress for a beautiful spring wedding. I loved the bracelet length sleeve, the dress’s midi length and of course it’s color. The simple design fit in with the wedding theme and supported the less is more theory. Her cream hat and chignon hair style just oozed class.
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Jacinda Barrett and Gabriel Macht

Outfit: Emilia Wickstead

These two were one of my best dressed couples, I adored the strong color. The way Gabriel matches her dress with his tie choice is romantic and a lovely touch. It is elegant and demur but has a modern look without being frumpy. My only slight complaint is her hair which I would have preferred to see tied up,  it would have shown off the beautiful shoulder details of the dress. What a handsome couple.
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HRH Countess of Wessex

Outfit: Suzanne.

HRH showed women in their fifties how to dress, I loved this not simply because it was so different to anything else, but it was one of the most fashion forward and interesting outfits of the day. Surprisingly the pale blue and grey color was worn by few others. What I thought was bold was the length of the skirt, we didn’t see much midi/long length outfits, the fabric of the skirt with a slight shimmer which shone and twinkled in the sunshine and the texture/pattern of the top. She accessorized with a simple hat and her hair beautifully styled in a pleat. Again she kept the bag and shoes simple so the outfit shined. HRH rocked this look.
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Sarah Rafferty & Santtu Seppala

Outfit by Lanvin

Arguably one of the most attractive couples to attend, I liked her outfit although the navy did look a little dark/hard for the beautiful May sunshine, it did compliment her hair. I enjoyed her more fashion forward approach the sleeve and stud detail. I loved the netting over her face and the proportion of the hat was perfect in contrast to the sleeves. I had to mention her husband who looked sublime and displayed morning dress as its finest.
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Another Beautiful Pink Dress

Another lady who I thought looked stunning in pale pink, the dress was simple, elegant and appropriate for the chapel setting. I like the hat although I felt it fought the bag I think carrying a simple clutch might have made the look more styled. Although I am a proponent of hair up when wearing a hat or fascinator I think this women carries it off. Very elegant.
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Serena Linley

I wish to call this the Out of Africa outfit as it has a Safari feel. I chose this because again I felt it was very different and I loved the fuller skirt look of it. The proportions of the belt with the collar works beautifully and compliments her figure. I would have liked to see it in another color. I also like her more traditional hat choice although it did fight the collar of the coat a little.
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A Classic Look

Again an unknown guest but a lady who knows how to dress. I adore a coat dress and this is so elegant. The color was so on trend in the pale pink and the fit upon her exquisite. I love the length and the slightly puffed sleeve, what I thinks also works is her hat, it compliments without fighting the look which just adds to the understated elegance. The button detail of the coat into the fuller skirt is beyond beautiful. She should be smiling because this was one of my fav looks of the day. This look will never date. Classy lady.
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Kitty Spencer

Outfit: Dolce and Gabanna

Well this beauty could not look more like her aunt, (Diana.) Everything about this look is breathtaking and this is not a color I would normally love. Her makeup is beyond stunning and the dress just fits her body like a glove, the color choice and fabric could make it look frumpy but the modern shape and hand painted design make it modern and fresh. Her hair and hat are elegant and the netting over her face just looks stunning. She makes the look fun and youthful with the orange and velvet bag and can we take a moment to look at the necklace, simple beautiful.
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Countess Spencer

Not to be outdone by her step-daughter Countess Spencer was one of the first to arrive for the wedding and she for me set the tone for the fashion stakes. The color might have been a little dark for the occasion but the bracelet length sleeve counter balanced it. She screamed sophistication and elegance. I loved the cape style but might not have wanted to sit behind her in that hat, not sure how much you would be able to see.
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Amal Clooney

Outfit: Stella McCartney

This seems to have been for most, the best dressed, I liked it but didn’t feel it was the best dressed. The color suited her complexion but I felt the design combined with the beautiful back detail/sash swamped her tiny frame, I think it might have looked better on a fuller figure. The hat was beautiful with the veil/netting but she did continually fidget with her hair throughout which suggested to me she was uncomfortable. It was a beautiful look and she does have George on her arm, although I think George might have looked better in a darker color.
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Marcus Mumford & Carrie Mulligan

Beautiful couple and she resonated with another fashion trend of the wedding the embroidered dress, they both looked happy and comfortable. I did think the black sash added a more modern edge and provided a contrast to the feminine sleeves and dress design.
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Pink Dress

Another unknown but very stylish guest the pale pink dress and the hat look sublime . A total contrast to the lady in the navy whose dress is too short. The neckline on the pink dress is to die for and the flower detail on the hat is exquisite.
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Sofia Wellesley and James Blunt

Outfit: Valentino

This might be my best dressed lady. What more needs to be said, it sings to spring and the embroidered dress trend. The little details like the collar and sleeve frill add interest. It it is so feminine and she accessorized it simply so the dress was central. It was so different, bold and pretty. I am sure this is a love/hate look but I loved loved loved it.
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Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra

Outfit: Alessandra Rich and Vivienne Westwood

Firstly I loved the vintage feel of the spotty dress with the little collar, the hat, bag, belt and shoes all fitted the look. It was so different to anything else, it was so fun and flirty but still looked demur and appropriate. It was a fantastic example of showing your personality and style in a fun way.

Priyanka’s suit blew me away, it was a modern take on a traditional suit. The fit and color was stunning, the hat even complimented that beautiful neckline. The shoes I was less keen on, but overall she was one of the front runners for best dressed.
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Serena Williams

Outfit: Versace

Serena looked simply beautiful, again in pale pink but she showed ladies how to dress curves. I was not mad about the necklace but loved her hair back and the way she let the dress be central. Beautiful work.
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The Middleton Family

Very little to say about this stylish and elegant family. They show us all how to do it. Carol Middleton exudes the mantra of “if it aint broke” by wearing a dress/coat combo from Catherine Walker as she did for both her daughters. The mint green spoke to spring and looked effortless and age appropriate. The men look super.
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Julia Carey and James Corden

Outfit: Tom Ford

Love this couple. Best dressed by a mile and looked happy and honored to be there. She looked divine and he scrubbed up well in  morning suit. The best of British ambassadors.
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Stunning Pink Dress

Another favorite pink dress look with beautiful hat. I love the bow sleeve detail which makes this dress more interesting. The flower detail of the hat is so romantic and shouts wedding. Stunning guest.
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Gina Torres

This was another different look, the red lace dress complimented her skin tone exquisitely. I loved the midi length and the high neck. The beading detail and red and white color stopped it from looking frumpy. I also adored the panama style hat she accessorized with, it let the dress be central and spoke to the many women who don’t feel comfortable in a hat. She looked so chic and appropriate. I loved it.
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What looks did you love? Do you agree with me? Let me know.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Ta Ta for now

Kx