Life in Lockdown

Hello all… it’s been awhile.

My last post was over a year ago, where has time gone? It’s been sucked away in quarantine.

I took a new position in December which was swiftly followed by COVID-19 making its introduction into the world. I never thought corona virus was going to be here to stay or that it would impact everyone’s lives the way that it has.

From December to the beginning of March, I was still taking the train to work everyday, still thinking that this would all be over soon. I still looked forward to spending our anniversary in Paris at the end of March and finally going back home to see my family in the United States in September.

Those plans changed quickly as more and more cancellation emails came through, and then finally the order from the government that lockdown was now in effect. At first, we thought the lockdown would only last a few weeks. But here we are now day 201 and we are still faced with social distancing restrictions, and countless places closed.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

I was very lucky that I was able to do work from home. My husband was furloughed shortly after, if you know anyone or are someone who works in the travel industry, you know how severely they have been impacted.

Being Home

So we found ourselves home, all the time. Everything closed, nowhere to go. Everyday hearing of the rise in cases and deaths, wondering when this would turn around, if it ever would. We started taking walks as we were allowed outdoor activity once a day. Luckily, we have a park behind our house where we could go for a change of scenery.

I thought since I have so much time at home now, I can spend more time writing. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The pandemic affected me in more ways than I thought it would. We were very fortunate to have not contracted the virus so far. But there is something to be said for the way stress can rack through your body.

I think it is the constant feeling of not knowing. Not knowing what was going to happen next, would it be better or worse? Would we able to go back out or would the lockdown continue? Would it come to a point when you could lose your job, or would everything be okay?

Although I was very fortunate to be able to quarantine with another person, I did miss going out. I missed going into Central London for work. I missed seeing my friends. I missed going out on dates with my hubby and spending time with our family. The gloom of feeling isolated took a lot out of me for awhile.

But we decided not to waste this time at home. We got into a good training schedule, it’s a good thing that we had previously decided to buy gym equipment for our home. Since restaurants were closed we had no choice to but to make all of our meals at home. I spent a lot time investing in self-care routines starting with skincare. I made new routines for taking care of my skin everyday, and this is the biggest change I’ve brought with me outside of lockdown.

All of this combined with our daily walks, really helped pull me from this funk that quarantine had quickly placed me in.

I started reading. I read all the books I had on my To be Read list and kept ordering more. I spent way more than I should have online shopping. I had more outfits than I’ve ever had to stay at home in. Once the weather broke we started having picnics outside, which was a welcome change.

Going Back to Work

I finally got the word that we would be returning to the office. Very excited to be getting back to some sort of normalcy, I wasn’t expecting just how normal a life of face masks and social distancing would feel.

Walking into the office, I was met with daily temperature checks, signs everywhere reminding you to wear your mask and wash your hands and social distancing arrow reminders all around. This is the new normal.

While I am still adjusting to life outside of quarantine, I am hopeful that this won’t last forever. I know that there were countless people who lost their jobs, people who couldn’t pay rent or mortgages, people with children and families to provide for. Even worse, people who were infected and people who lost their lives. I am so grateful because I know our situation could have been much worse.

But stay strong mi gente, we will get through this together.

My First Year in the UK

I have officially been in the UK for one year. Actually, I’m very late writing this as my one year was in September. But, life has a way of keeping you busy.

I still find it funny that I live in another country. I never imagined that I would ever live outside of the United States. But being here has been amazing. There are so many things that I have learned about myself and about the world by simply putting myself in a different space.

In just this past year, I’ve done more than I have in years of my life. Sometimes I think to myself, this is what living really feels like. There really is no timeline on when you should have accomplished different milestones in life and no timeline will be the same for two people. This is something I used to struggle with. I always thought by this point in my life I would have a certain number of goals ticked off and that since I didn’t, I was somehow failing.

Restarting my life in the UK has given me a new perspective and I have to say, I’m pretty happy I didn’t get all the things I thought I wanted, at the exact moment I wanted them. I’m so happy to be able to create a new timeline with a life I’m truly in love with.

When I sit back and think about everything we’ve done over the past year, I’m actually surprised we’ve squeezed so much in. I got a pretty amazing job working for FQ Magazine. We’ve been to plays, festivals, and iconic London tourist attractions. We spent a week in Wales, we moved into a bigger space and even planned a wedding. Most impressively, I mastered the underground system in London.

The UK has taught me portion control (forcibly), and that I can walk farther than the parking lot to the store. I didn’t realize how much I was overeating until I moved here. I remember our first time to going to a restaurant and thinking the waitress had only brought my dish out and then realizing that was food for two people. I remember being equally shocked at all the medium sized coffees that are masquerading around as larges.

But with smaller portions and no options other than trains and walking, I’m in better shape and much healthier so I can’t really complain.

I still feel like the same person I was a year ago. Although, if you ask my husband he’ll tell you London has changed me. That I’m now one of the impatient and aggressive people on the trains, that don’t have time for tourists wandering around…. that might be true.

Another huge event is that, we’ve been married for two years now. Marriage has taught me a lot. I’ve definitely learned to compromise, how to share a space with another person. After living on my own for years, that was an adjustment. I think most importantly, I’ve learned that people give and receive love differently than I do, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that there are different ways of communicating and that a marriage takes effort and patience…. sometimes a lot of patience. But it’s so worth it.

This past year has flown by and I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store.

Cakes, Cake and more Cake!

Finally on to the dessert, the best tasting part of a wedding.

I really wanted to have cupcakes as part of our desserts. We already had gulab jub, a traditional asian dessert served with ice cream as a part of our meal. But I really wanted to have something from my culture as well, this is where the cupcakes came in.

Thanks to Pintrest, I had the exact idea of how I wanted the cupcakes and cake to be displayed. Again, since we are not a super fancy shamncy couple we wanted a simple cake design. We decided on a semi-naked icing, which is a light layer of icing. We also wanted to have macaroons and fresh flowers to decorate the top. I really wanted to have a cake topper, like those super cute Mr and Mrs wooden lettering. However, my husband was very unimpressed with any cake topper I showed him. Marriage is a compromise, and every once in awhile I am the one who has to comprise.

La Belle Cake Company

So, flowers and macaroons, a one tier cake and 350 cupcakes was our final decision. Choosing a cake vendor was possibly the most fun of choosing all the vendors. Since each initial meeting includes a cake tasting.

We decided on La Belle Cake Company for our cake vendors. During our cake tasting, we went over cake flavors, designs and even different colors that we wanted the cupcake icing to be. They were super attentive and made sure we had everything we wanted.

We had two cakes, one for each side and then divided the cupcakes between the sides as well. The flavor of our main cake was lavender and lemon, we wanted to go with something light since it was a summer wedding. The cupcake flavors were a mix of salted caramel, vanilla, lemon and white chocolate raspberry.

Sweet Treats Bedford

Obviously, 350 cupcakes aren’t enough, we also had a dessert table. Sweet Treats Bedford, do a wide variety of dessert table options. They also have popcorn, cotton candy and even a selfie station!

The dessert table we choose had around 250 different dessert options Everything from Oreo cheesecakes to lemon meringue. They were a hit! Each dessert is hand crafted so every single one looks incredible. With so much detail added the desserts were almost too pretty to eat. They also kept with our floral theme by adding a mini-flower wall backdrop.

All things rustic and floral

For our wedding, I really wanted everything to be rustic and floral. Having worked as a bridal stylist, I had seen so many different wedding color combinations, wedding themes and everything in between. This helped me know exactly what I did and didn’t want for our wedding

This post is all about our decor vendors, Herts Vintage Hire and Kenza Creations.

Herts Vintage Hire

We originally had the idea of having a wooden type cart for desserts. As we were looking around for different rustic carts, we stumbled on Herts Vintage Hire’s website. They had not only the carts we were looking for but also, selfie station set ups and all the signage we were going to make ourselves. Ladders that could be decorated according to your own style and much more. We knew that we had to have Carla and her team to make all the elements of our wedding come together.

When we met with Carla, we gave her the entire run down of the day, the layout of the venue and our vision. We talked about what styles we liked, colors, and the props we wanted. What’s really cool is that Carla creates a Pintrest board for all her clients. So that together you can add what you like and she can get an even better idea of your style. From Carla, we ended up choosing:

  • Vintage Photo frame with a matching vintage suitcase for our selfie station
  • Rustic ladder with all sorts of decor
  • Signage that labeled the men and women’s side
  • A personalized welcome sign that were able to take home with us
  • Jars, candles and books to decorate the two cupcake tables

These are the items we choose. With Carla’s amazing eye for detail she included even more. I had only asked her to decorate the ladder, selfie station and the two cupcake tables. But she went above and beyond!

When I arrived at the venue I could not have been more thrilled with how everything was put together. The ladder had even more props that we had originally chosen. The centerpieces we made all had wooden confetti pieces (We had 35 tables in all so that was no easy task).

Every empty space was filled with props and signs that matched our theme perfectly. I would highly recommend Herts Vintage Hire for any event you may have.

Kenza Creations

I’d never been to an Asian wedding so I had no idea what the staging thing was all about. Traditionally people have a stage built for their wedding. They’re usually super elegant and have seating, this is where you take family photos and bride and groom photos.

We looked around at a couple different vendors for staging and decided on Kenza Creations. They had more stages in the style that we were going for. Neither my hubby or I really wanted a super glitzy wedding so when we saw a stage with a flower wall and massive trees, we were sold. Since we had separate sides for the men and women, we went with two different stages.

I was so impressed with this team. They were super attentive and understanding. We had a tricky time because the men’s side was much smaller than the women’s. But they handled it like the pro’s they are. We played around with switching stages, switching sofas and then finally shortening the men’s stage so that there would be enough space. They did everything we asked. They helped us play around with spacing until we were absolutely happy with everything. On the day of the wedding, they showed up right on time and got to work. The stages were beautiful and I’m so glad we’ll have these pictures with them.

All photos taken by Zan Photography

Our UK Wedding

It seems like just yesterday we were talking about venues, flowers, and wedding colors. I had been counting down the days until our wedding finally arrived, thinking that it was taking so long. Now, that I look back it actually came in a flash.

Although we started planning for our wedding well ahead of time, the week before the big day we still had TONS of last minute things to do. We had a final appointments with the venue, our decor vendor and make-up trial. We still had to pick up all the flowers and make the center pieces.

The day before the wedding was filled with still last minute preparations. Things like packing up the car, picking up my bridal bouquet and getting my nails done. Then the wedding day finally arrived.

The Wedding Day

I woke up ate a quick breakfast, then proceeded to go door to door and wake up everyone else. We headed to the venue to start setting up the tables and centre pieces. When we got there our staging vendors were there and hauling up the branches, flowers and seating that would make up the stages for the men and women’s side.

It was a stressful morning, with a huge guest list we were worried about everyone having a place to sit. We added and moved tables around, added chairs, took chairs away, made the stage on the men’s side smaller. (Oh and by we, I mean my husband and the venue director.) You could find me with a latte in hand, setting up the center pieces. After my job was done, my sister-in-laws and I headed back to the house to start getting ready.

I was so lucky to find Emma Rae, my make-up artist for the day. She was incredible and so attentive. She listened to every detail about the theme for the wedding, looked at all the ideas I had for make-up looks and even incorporated the style of my dress to make sure my make-up matched with everything. I highly recommend her, if you’re ever in need for a make-up artist.

Once everyone was ready, we headed back to the venue. Our wedding was held at the Mercure Bedford Centre Hotel. It was absolutely perfect for what we needed. It was also right on the embankment so it was perfect for all the outside wedding photography.

When we walked into the venue, I could have cried. It was so incredible to see all of our ideas and vision put into life. It was absolutely everything i wanted and more. The entire day was filled with love and happiness and I will never forget it.

I will be doing a separate right up for all of our vendors, each one was so incredible. Make sure to subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already so you don’t miss out!