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Free Spirited Friday: Honey, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

23 Jan

nonessentials copy Happy Friday you gorgeous creatures!

So we’ve got one simple thought for y’all to ponder over your morning coffee today, and it boils down to this:

What’s your ‘essential’?

‘Cause, put simply, if it ain’t essential, it ain’t worth your worry.

Don’t get me wrong, for many years I was a perfectionist through and through, some might argue I still am (when I allow myself to be!), but what we’re really talking about here is our priorities.

During the 9 weeks in which my beau and I planned our wedding from scratch, I learnt some seriously valuable lessons about myself and about what it meant to be successful.

‘Successful’. A successful wedding. A successful life. What are we actually saying when we use that word?

Author of Buddhist Boot Camp (read it, it’ll change your life) and one of my favourite authors, Timber Hawkeye, asks us to ‘reevaluate’ our definition of success, redefining it: ‘Success means being happy’ and here at FBrides we think this is never truer than when planning your wedding.

For me, successfully planning our wedding meant nailing every element. Everything sitting pretty, looking just as we’d imaged it, the perfect timing of every moment and not least, timeless-yet-trend-lead, original styling… You know the drill, we have high expectations of ourselves; I’m sure you dream the same dream!

The reality of this attention to microscopic detail, and the regimented organisation needed to fulfil such a vision, could have left me in tatters, and believe me, there were definitely a thousand few times I thought it may do just that!  Our saviour was our short planning period: it totally shifted our – wait no, let’s be honest here – it shifted my perspective (my husband is so laid back he’s horizontal!).

We learnt to focus on the essentials and deal quickly, or not at all, with the non-essentials. So, whereas normally I’d insist on meticulously planning every aspect, I learnt to leave elements to chance, to nature (I mean, there’s only so much you can planning an uncovered, woodland ceremony in the UK…Right?!). This ‘undone’ approach allowed a more organic feel to seep into our wedding from the peripherals.

Hear me right, I still love all the little details, I truly believe they make for a beautiful wedding, but it’s about carefully selecting the details that really matter to YOU (and your beau), channelling your energy and enthusiasm into those areas, and not sweating the other stuff!

Don't Sweat it copy A happy, healthy couple, who haven’t spent the last 6 months arguing over the ceremony seating (definitely a nonessential in our book, we had hay bales that arrived the morning we got married!), a couple who’ve done everything their way, who’ve learnt to pass tasks on and delegate to family and friends who truly want to help (thereby aiding their happiness too, as they watch the stress melt away from your face!), a wedding that’s an accumulation of positive, uplifting and loving energy and effort…

Now THAT’S a successful wedding.

Learning the art of leaving things undone, the skill of focusing your energy; well worth your while my friends.

Now, go, have a FABULOUS weekend!

Peace + Love

Clare X

Cocktail Hour: Golden Chill Time

28 Nov


Got the Friday blues?! Feeling a little overwhelmed about the whole ‘December’s-round-the-corner-and-I-haven’t-bought-a-single-present-yet’ scenario?!


Today, the main aim of the game is to provide you with a simple cocktail that you can complicate as much or as little as you like, so that you can get yourself some Golden Chill Time this evening!

Kick back, relax, get a bit festive and enjoy some serious sparkle with this sweet little tipple!

As always, major props and thanks to Old Bear Media for shooting this DIY for us!


The Good Stuff

OK, so your main ingredients, the ‘can’t-do-withouts’, if you will:

  • Disaronno (or an equivalent amaretto flavoured liqueur)
  • Gold top milk. We went all out luxurious, but if you’re tryna save your arteries a little, (good on ya!), you could totally just use whole or semi-skimmed milk
  • Sweetened cocoa powder. We didn’t have any in stock, so we used cocoa and golden caster sugar (I’ll give you ratios later)
  • Ground cinnamon

Sounding good already right?! The temptation to just whack that lot in a blender and let it make it’s own magic was high at this point!

IMG_4289 IMG_4296 Is that not just the prettiest bottle? Gives me a real overindulgent, Gatsby vibe. LOVE. IT.

She Packs a Pretty Punch

Next up are the pretty additions. If y’all are just hittin’ one of these little babies up after work it’s probably unnecessary faff. Just get it down your neck, girl, you deserve it!


If you fancy serving our creation as a welcome drink to your winter wedding, or a cheeky lil’ something at your seasonal hen party then sure as hell, you’re gonna want these pretties… They totally take it to a whole other level!

IMG_4303 So, you’re looking at the following:

  • Amaretti biscuits
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Edible gold glitter (for that extra dose of sparkle. Yes, it’s necessary!)
  • Gold striped paper straws. We love these circular straws, as opposed to the usual diagonal stripe.
  • Black cocktail napkins
  • A homemade name tag …Don’t you be stealing my drink now!

IMG_4326 IMG_4305 IMG_4307 I mean, come on. How can you say no to that!? A little warning though: fairy dust gets EVERYWHERE. 

IMG_4314 IMG_4321 IMG_4469

A Spicy Cocoa Kick

Woah now! Step away from the alcohol.

I know you’re keen (who isn’t!?), but this bit is all kinds of crucial: you’ll definitely want to prep it before your cocktail’s poured!

This is your cinnamon infused, sweet cocoa topping. The Pièce de Résistance. The smattering of snow atop your glorious mountain…

Ahem. Yeah, it’s pretty simple really.

IMG_4300 IMG_4349 1 tsp of cocoa + 1 tsp of caster sugar + 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.

Unless, of course you’re using pre-sweetened cocoa, in which case just 2 tsp of that to every 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Then mix it all up and tweak to match your taste!

I reckon this ratio would give a pretty substantial topping to 6-10 cocktails, so that’s all the gals sorted!

IMG_4350 IMG_4352 IMG_4355

Down to Business

Right then! Now that’s all ready, let’s get down to business.

For one portion, to a cocktail shaker add:

  • 1 1/2 fl oz of Disaronno
  • 2 fl oz of gold top milk (You might wanna carefully pre-shake this super creamy milk!)
  • A small cups worth of ice

IMG_4281 IMG_4358 IMG_4362 IMG_4294 IMG_4365 Yeah, yeah. We went for a ‘Festive Portion’. Whatevs!


IMG_4383 A nice little bit of stress relief / anger management in that action alone, hey?!

You wait ’til you taste it!

Dressed 2 Ways: Choose Your Look

I tried both of these ways and I simply couldn’t choose which one to show you guys, so I figured the more the merrier… Hic!

No two people like their cocktail the same, just like no two gals like their cocktail dress the same; pick a style and run with it!

Or, if like us you just can’t decide, why not facilitate both looks and let your guests dress their own?!

After all, cocktails are ALL about the fun!

IMG_4344 First up, the SUPER cute (and I think my secret favourite) vintage milk bottle.

OK, so I totally “borrowed” this one from my too-cool-for-her-own-good mama, but you can get these exact ones here.

With the ratios I’ve used, you’ll wanna pour this cocktail SANS ICE. Let the shaker’s strainer do its business.

IMG_4392 IMG_4394 Then, placing your freshly poured cocktail on a chic black napkin, gently tip a little of that warming cocoa dust in to top it beautifully.

I went a little at a time, so as not to get it everywhere!

IMG_4395 IMG_4397 Super easy: to finish simply pop in a paper straw and garnish with an Amaretti biscuit, or three. (DIET = BLOWN… Do I care right now?! Ha, you bet I don’t!)

You could even smash a biscuit up and crumble over the top for added texture. Yu-hum.

IMG_4399 IMG_4402 IMG_4403 IMG_4408 Yah, so just incase there are any dog fans out there wondering how my nosey fur-babies took to this DIY… Needless to say, Rupert paid very close attention, he totally took it upon himself to provide thorough quality control!

Anyway, enough of my little big sook!

Next up, the ever-popular, always-cool jam jar.

Add a little brown garden sting (the more frayed up, the better), a touch of glitter and you’re ready to go!

IMG_4334 With the measurements quoted above, you’ll wanna add a little ice to your jam jar to ensure the cocktail fills the jar and, incidentally, makes it suuuuper chill.

We then added a cinnamon stick garnish and a healthy smattering of that cocoa dust…

IMG_4424 IMG_4425 IMG_4432  …And that edible glitter? Yeah, go ahead girl.


IMG_4433 IMG_4437 And, of course, the excess glitter should totally be dusted over your Amaretti biscuits…

Sprinkle that stuff like it’s your job, mama!

IMG_4448 IMG_4442 All that remains is to don your sparkliest outfit, (FYI those trousers: H&M) turn on the fairy lights and treat yo’ self!

IMG_4410 IMG_4416 IMG_4460IMG_4412IMG_4398………Hic!

Peace + Love

Clare X

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