FOR THE BOYS! | BEST MAN & USHER GIFTS

Last week I gave you a few ideas of gifts for your bridesmaids so today it is the turn of the boys! They aren't always the easiest are they (!) but I am hoping that this post will give you some options to consider. Let's dive right on in to it...(all the bits featured are linked below)

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One > Personalised Print by Wordplay Design UK (via Etsy) from £32
For a bit of a lasting memory, something like this print by Wordplay Design UK would be perfect (especially for a Best Man). I love the idea of personalising it with some of the best/funniest memories of a friendship and having it remind you of those times whenever you see it! Something like this can be easily hung up on the wall of a man-cave can't it?!

Two > Personalised Blended Scotch Whisky by Loch Fyne Whiskies (via Not on the Highstreet) £40
Whilst this offering is certainly not as long lasting as the one above, it would still make someone very happy I'm sure!

Three > Personalised Leather Loop Keyring by Create Gift Love (via Not on the Highstreet) £16
For a smaller budget, this leather keyring, which can be personalised if you so choose, is something that will act as the perfect little reminder of the importance of the ushers role in your wedding and how much they mean to you; plus it is super useful too!

Four > Personalised Plectrum by Naturally Bespoke (via Etsy) £10
Another budget friendly option, for the more musical boys out there, is this little plectrum! I actually got my husband a silver plectrum, engraved with the day we met on it, for our first Valentines Day ever and he just keeps it in his wallet; he loves it bless him, so it seems like a good option!

Five > The Book of Everyone (personalised) £23.95
I'd never heard of 'The Book of Everyone' before but as I looked into it I thought it would make a wonderful gift for a Best Man or very close friend. It delves into the year they were born and also allows you to personalise it too. I just think it shows thought and is something a little more unique too.

Six > Best Man Personalised Print by Just For You (via Not on the Highstreet) £25
I feel like this personalised print would suit a Best Man with a sense of humor (and maybe one who fancies himself as a big screen actor!).

Seven > Monogram Leather Belt by Suzy Q Designs (via Not on the Highstreet) £42
If you are looking for something a bit more special, that can be personalised but is not too 'in your face' then this stunning belt may be the thing you need. Let's face it, a good belt goes a long way and will last for a long old time too.

Eight > Rose Copper Tumbler Set by Oh So Cherished (via Not on the Highstreet) £42
I chose these tumblers because they look so beautiful and would make a gorgeous decorative set (with a functional use too), aren't they lovely?

I hope my picks gave you some ideas, be sure to let me know what you think in the comments too!

FOR THE GIRLS! | BRIDESMAID GIFT IDEAS

Thanks to websites such as Not on the Highstreet and Etsy, we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to buying little gifts for our girlies to say 'thanks for being my bridesmaid'. Today I wanted to pull together a few ideas just to help you out (because you have a lot on your planning plate right?!); these gifts vary in price and there is something for everyone! Let me know in the comments which is your favourite! (Find all the links below!).

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One > Zodiac constellation necklace, by Olive Bella Jewelry $41
I adore these pretty little necklaces, aren't they cute? I am a sucker for anything stars/zodiac related, so I would love to receive this as a gift, and the fact that you can get it personalised makes it extra special.

Two > Wood Sage and Sea Salt candle, from Jo Malone £45
I know this is one very expensive candle, but if you are looking for something long-lasting and absolutely luxurious, then this is for you. Personally I have never had one, but I know people who swear that these candles are the best, so you are pretty much guaranteed they would be appreciated!

Three > Personalised painting, from Leaf Lane Studio (yep, me!) from £25
Okay, so I realise the picture shows an engagement painting, but it is just an example of the personalised messages that I offer (because you can have whatever you desire of course!). I am in the process of putting together a tab for my website all about this service, but in the mean time just pop an email to hello@leaflanestudio.com and we can sort everything out that way! Having a painting created for someone is such a unique gift and will be something they will always keep and treasure; it is a lovely way of showing that you really took some time to consider them.

Four > Personalised Ring Dish, by Kate Charlton Ceramics (via Not on the Highstreet) £17.50
A slightly more budget-friendly gift option and certainly something that would be used and would look so pretty in any room. I have a 'thing' about little bowls and dishes for jewelry, they are so handy!

Five > Starburst Necklace, by Dose of Rose (via Not on the Highstreet) £25
How cute is this necklace? If you want something delicate and not personalised then this may be for you. It is elegant and pretty without being too 'in your face' and so would suit so many people, I love this one.

Six > Leather Journal, by The Rustic Dish (via Not on the Highstreet) £25
It's kind of a given that I love all things stationery and, let's be honest, can anyone ever have too many notebooks? No, I don't think they can! The bonus to this one is that you can have it personalised if you want, making it a little more special!

Seven > Infinity Knot Bangle, by Junk Jewels (via Not on the Highstreet) £15
Another very cute, simple gift that will suit so many and, although it isn't personalised, your bridesmaid will have a constant reminder of being there when you tied the knot every time they look at it. It comes beautifully and thoughtfully packaged too!

Eight > Personalised Cosmetics Bag, by The Personal Wedding Co (via Etsy) from £9.00
Another lower budget option which is still super cute and useful! Buying from small business means you get more unique gifts and talk to the makers to ensure you get what you want. Etsy is a fab place to search for something different. 

Nine > Personalised Heart Plaque, by Shop Paper Bee (via Etsy) £6.49
This gorgeous little Etsy shop offers lots of variety of personalised plaques, from births to engagements to weddings and more, head over to check it out. I think these affordable little hearts would also make a lovely name tag or decoration on a bigger present.

Ten > Personalised Mug, by Little Cherub Design (via Not on the Highstreet) £15
Much like notebooks, you can never have too many mugs! I love the mug I have with my initial on it, it's my favourite, so this little gift would be a winner on every level (even better if it came with a packet of biscuits!).

I hope you found this helpful, next week I will be talking about gifts for the best man / ushers, so be sure to come back for that! 

GET TO KNOW ME!

Today I wanted to write a blog post that gave you more of an insight into the face behind Leaf Lane Studio... a post that digs a bit more into who I am and what drives me forward with life and business so, naturally I Googled '... questions to get to know me and my business' and found some things I could answer for you! You may or may not find this interesting, but here we go...

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INSPIRATIONS
Quite honestly I am one of those annoying people who finds inspiration everywhere! I mean, I don't find it annoying but I am just guessing that some people might well do! Art is obviously a huge inspiration for me, from the old masters to illustrators who are working their socks off to make a living on Etsy. I adore Fran, who runs the Etsy shop 'Frannerd', because she has always been so open and honest about running a business and I have gained so much knowledge from watching her journey unfold, via her fab YouTube channel.

Of course, I am so inspired by many stationers out there but, since I have got stuck into this business of mine, I try my hardest not to seek out everything that they do as it can mean you question your own techniques and style, but honestly, there are so many wonderful and very talented artists out there.

I find a great deal of inspiration comes from podcasts I listen to (if you are interested in what ones I recommend then I can write a post on that too, just comment below!) but mostly my inspiration comes from nature and all the wonderful things our universe has to offer; I am a bit of a spiritual and space geek, so love observing the stars and pondering over all things universe, to me there is no bigger source of inspiration... other than Pinterest!!

FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD
I have to hold my hands up and say that I haven't traveled that much; I would love to see so many places, but so far that is not the hand I have been dealt so I will go with what I know so far! As you may know already, I live in beautiful Cornwall, but up until we moved here I would have said Cornwall was, without doubt, my favourite place in the world and, now that I live here I will say it still is! I feel incredibly lucky to be here, after years of dreaming of moving here. I adore the countryside and the beach and we are fortunate to have the best of both. I get up every day and am in awe of my surroundings, which more than makes up for having had no holiday abroad for ten years! 

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THE LAST BOOK I READ
I have only just made reading a part of my life again; I used to read every single day, but getting the business off of the ground made that come to an abrupt halt as so many things took over! I am currently reading a book by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadal, called 'We', which I really love. Granted, it wouldn't be for everyone, but I am on a bit of a self-development mission at the moment and so this book is ticking many boxes. Before that I read 'The Universe Has Your Back' by Gabrielle Bernstein, which I need to read again as I dipped in and out of it a bit too much to remember what was happening (my attention span needs some training!). I'd love to know what you're reading too, just pop it in the comments!

PASSIONS
I am passionate about many things, although I won't harp on about my passion for notebooks, pens, pencils, paints, lifting weights and food here or we will never get away! I have a very strong passion to support and help reduce the stigma behind mental health illness and often discuss that topic over on my lifestyle blog 'From Lucy with Love' if you are interested in checking that out! I am very open about my own story and like to help people when and where I can.

CRAZIEST THING I HAVE DONE
Wow, I don't think I have done anything particularly crazy (although quitting my long-term job to move to Cornwall and start a business could be seen as crazy to some!) but I have plenty of crazy things I would like to do... jumping out of a plane is one, although I am not sure I would have the guts! At the age of 35 I got my first tattoo and have since had two more; not particularly 'out there' to me, but I know my mum was shocked! 

WHAT I AM WORKING ON RIGHT NOW
I have learnt a lot since launching Leaf Lane Studio (a whole other blog post I am sure!) but I have realised that I am enjoying giving myself several options within the business to see what 'sticks' and to know what feels right for me; this means that I am working on quite a few things at once but I am okay with that! Right now I am about to launch a 'bespoke' service (coming up on here very soon!) and I have some brand new products that will be hitting my 'Paper Products' section soon. 

I am also getting myself sorted out, behind the scenes, in order to be in a position to do some wedding shows. I have a few things to get ready, including my two new collections (one coming out in the next couple of weeks and another not far behind) plus all the bits and pieces that make up what I want my stand to look like. All of this takes time and money, so I have been working on selling paintings in order to fund all the things I need to take the business to the next level. I am so excited for the future of Leaf Lane Studio!

WHO WOULD I SWAP PLACES WITH FOR A DAY
Oooh, this is a question I had to answer... this is a difficult one because I am stuck between a geeky answer, like 'someone who works in Area 51 / S4 on all the secret projects' (I want all the gossip and insider info!) and then there is someone like Lori Harder, who is a super inspiring entrepreneur (her podcast 'Earn Your Happy' is so good!), and I would like to see what a typical day is like for her! What would your answer be? 

IF I COULD GO ANYWHERE IN TIME (FORWARD OR BACKWARD) WHERE WOULD I GO
I would definitely go back to Tudor times, to when Henry VIII was on the throne (but I would have to do it with Harry Potters invisibility cloak because I would hate to think of the consequences if old Henry saw me mooching about). I am really into my Tudor history, although I do like history in general, however Henry was a bit of a nut job wasn't he, bless him, so I think I would like a good old nose around his court!

WHAT WOULD A PERFECT DAY LOOK LIKE
A perfect day for me actually wouldn't be that much different from most of the things I do now. I would still get up early and hit the gym, I really love training for my mental health as well as my physical shape, I would then come home and shower, but rather than make my own breakfast I would wander to the lovely cafe down the road and have a full on breakfast (ideally waffles with fruit and syrup!). I would go for a walk on the beach and then come home, pop on a podcast and paint for a bit. If money was no concern I may pop out and treat myself to a massage or hair treatment (or both!) and then buy something yummy for dinner! 

Honestly, I wouldn't change too much at all, I like a quiet, simple existence, and am more than happy being at home with the hubby and our cat, Gizmo!

FINALLY, SOMETHING YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ME IS...
If you read my lifestyle blog, From Lucy with Love, then you will know this, but I am a huge believer in intuition and the fact that we can manifest things into our lives too. My morning routine consists of the gym, a shower, breakfast and then a ten minute manifestation meditation (using yummy peppermint oil on my palms to invigorate my mind) and then I tend to journal anything that has come up whilst meditating and I end my routine by pulling out an angel card/oracle card for my day, to give me a point of focus and a thought for the day!

There you go guys, a little (slight random) 'get to know me' post! I am open to any questions you may have, so fire away! Thank you so much for reading this post!

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WEDDING DRESSES ON A BUDGET SERIES | LONG SLEEVES

Welcome back guys (happy Friday!), today I am looking at the top picks of long-sleeve wedding dresses on the high-street for under £250! Budget wedding dresses are the theme of this weeks post so be sure to check out the other wedding dresses I have featured this week. 

psst... get your hands on my freebie whilst you are here too... my 'Wedding Planning Checklist' will arrive right in your inbox, want your copy, just click HERE!

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I think that this particular selection of wedding dresses are my absolute favourite; I guess they are just a bit more 'up my street', so much so that I struggle to pick my 'number one' from the bunch!

The first dress is so very pretty and has such a gorgeous 'v' shaped back to it too, I love it! It is the 'Rosaline' maxi dress and is available from Debenhams for under £100! It is a very similar shape to my dress in that it comes in at the waist/just above the waist (height dependent of course!) and flows out beautifully down to the floor, which worked nicely for hiding my tummy! If budget is a mega issue for you then I think you may like this one. 

Dress two is another Debenhams dress, the 'Eleanor', and is very similar to the first but has the added details of lace overlay and a few more special details. Because of the added details you obvious will find the price to be a little higher, but at £220 I think this is a stunning dress for the money; it's so pretty and elegant don't you think?

This next dress (no: 3) is the lowest priced dress of the entire series. At just £64, this gorgeous Vero Moda (at ASOS) dress has a full lace detail and a dip hem, I love the simplicity of the shape of this dress and for the price I think it really is wonderful.

Dress four is yet another Debenhams wedding piece (honestly, their dresses are so beautiful guys); this dress is called 'Joy' and is an ivory v-neck, highly embellished wedding dress. It is stunning and, in my humble opinion would look wonderful at a Christmas wedding but equally is good at any other of course! 

The very last dress (no: 5) is slightly more unusual but I thought it was super cute! It is from ASOS and priced at £150. These dresses are great if you want to show off a little of your beautiful body but still maintain some dignity! What do you think?

That is it for this weeks budget wedding dress series! There really are some fab dresses on the high-street and, quite honestly, if you can push the budget up by a little more then £250 then you have so many more to choose from. Have a good look and order things you wouldn't normally think would suit you, trust me, you will often be surprised by what a dress actually looks like on you and may find something much prettier and more suited to you then what you thought your dream dress would be!

Please leave me a comment and give this blog series a like on here too, I would love to here from you! I will be doing more on the budget wedding theme soon, so make sure you add Leaf Lane Studio to your favourites and follow me on Instagram!