19 December 2012

Christmas Market at the George Tavern


On Sunday 9th December 2012, me and my mum, Ellen, had a stand at a Christmas Market held at the George Tavern, East London. 

The George Tavern is a popular and legendary pub in the heart of London's east end that my friend, Philippa, told me about their market. It's a 700 year old tavern mentioned in the writing of Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys and Geoffrey Chaucer. Now it has regular gigs and is popular amongst artists and musicians. In fact their busiest night for the whole year to date had been the evening before the market!

Me and my mum drove up to London with a car filled with handmade crafts and cards. We arrived at the pub at 1pm to set up our table near the bar and it opened its doors to the public at 2pm. The bar staff were really friendly and made us feel welcome with mince pies and mulled wine for sale.

Sadly the pub never got really busy and although people said they liked our stuff and our stand (the word 'lovely' was used a lot!), there weren't many people buying. I spoke to some of the other stall holders and they seemed to have the same problem.

Aside from the disappointing sales, we were really proud of how our stand looked and won't let it put us off taking part in markets in the future.

Here's how it turned out...

Me and my mum with our stand and goodies to sell!

I helped my mum make these angels (£5 each) by drawing on their lips.
The felt gingerbread couple sold for £5.

I had some Inspired: London books to sell (I am featured on page 82).
The Father Christmas bottle covers were £8 each)

My Art Deco inspired cards were also for sale (£2.50).
The knitted angels are £8 each and the conical angels with white fluffy hair are £5 each.

Along with a range of Christmas, New Year and other greeting cards for sale (£2 each).
In the background are some hand knitted scarves made by mum.
I think they were £20 each in a variety of colours.

Here are some of my brother's light painting photography prints (£10 each).

Ta da!

If anyone has any feedback and comments on how we can improve our stand, products and prices, I would love to hear from you. Just use the comment form below or send me an email to marie-louise@lovelydesigns.co.uk

14 December 2012

Gift Guide Christmas 2012

Those organised people will have all their presents ready, wrapped and under the tree ready for Christmas can sit smugly and ignore this post. 

However, you may be racking your brains for one or two last presents for your family and friends. It's not long now and the crowds of shoppers are making you lose interest and inspiration.

So I thought I would share some of the gifts I bought for my husband's family. They live over in Dubai and came back in November for a visit. We had a mini Christmas, complete with roast turkey and present giving. I didn't have the tree up though, I had to draw the line somewhere!

Here's what I bought...

1. Personalised Football Book

2. Personalised Glasses Case (similar); 3. Silver Engraved Golf Set;
4. The OCD Chef Chopping Board; 5. Love Hearts Tealights

6. Scratch World Map

Please note that the items were available to order at the time of publishing the post. Due to demand, some items may be low in stock. Most had delivery times of 3-5 working days but please doublecheck before ordering. Happy shopping!


1. Personalised Football Book - For Your Team

from £39.99

I have bought this book for my dad's 65th birthday at the beginning of the year. He supports Chelsea and loved his book and reading newspaper clippings about the team. My father-in-law is a massive Manchester United supporter and so it was a no-brainer to get him a book for Christmas. They were both impressed with them and makes a great keepsake to dip into read every now and then.

Each book has a detailed insight into their favourite team, everything from bank-breaking transfers to cup glory to last gasp winners. It's all here.

There's even a choice of three different covers and the option of embossing the recipient's name in silver or gold.

2. Personalised Glasses Case

£15

We bought my mother-in-law a personalised handmade fabric glasses case. I chose the blue vintage floral pattern that's pictured above. Sadly the fabric is now out of stock but the makers have other patterns and fabric available so click on the link in the title above.

The case can be personalised by adding a name or short message for no extra charge. It's lovely gift for mums, sisters, aunts etc.

3. Silver Engraved Golf Set

£24

Both my father-in-law and sister-in-law's husband are mad on golf and play all the time. Well, the weather is a bit better in Dubai, so you can't really blame them!

So we got them this set of three golf tees, a divot repairer and ball marker, with their initials engraved on the ball marker. Each set are hand-finished with silver rhodium.

4. The OCD Chef Chopping Board

£18.00

I saw a picture of this chopping board and immediately thought of my mother-in-law. When we last visited her, she had just got an ipad and was a little bit too keen wiping the screen every five seconds. She had a bit of a mini fit when I stuck my hand print in the middle of the screen to take the piss! Oh dear, not very well behaved!

This chopping board is both a bit of fun and practical. It's etched with an array of angles for perfect paring and grid lines for truly precise dicing, the hard-wearing beechwood board will help impress guests with carrots crafted to a judicious julienne and scrupulously sculpted salads.

5. Love Hearts Tealights

£4.99

These Love Hearts Tealights were for my sister-in-law who is mad about hearts and came packaged in a roll, just like the classic Swizzels sweeties.

6. Scratch World Map

£12.99

This Scratch Map features a gold top foil layer that you can scratch to reveal a multicoloured world below. I thought it would be a perfect gift for Matthew's well travelled parents.

The idea is to use it to chart all the destinations you've been and create a personalised and unique map, one that's filled with vibrant colour and geographic detail.

12 December 2012

We were in Vogue!

I have some exciting news to write about! We were in the recent December 2012 issue of British Vogue! I have shared some pictures on my Facebook page, but life's been a bit hectic and thought it's better late than never to share the pictures.

I was approached by a lovely lady called Melissa, a sales executive from Vogue back in early October. They were running a "Planned to Perfection" wedding advertorial feature and thought Lovely Designs would be a good fit.

When I asked Melissa how she heard about me and Lovely Designs that made her get in contact, she wrote:
"I actually found you on Google, I was specifically searching for lovely stationery in the UK and you came up straight away! After having a look at your site, I thought you’d be a great fit for this."
I chose to feature Becci and Jon's rose heart invitation.



Here's how it turned out:
  

Check out number 4! Woo hoo!



This is what our text said:


LOVELY DESIGNS
No two brides are the same, so why would you want the same invite? They create gorgeous designs tailored to your preferred colours, themes and style. From invitations and table items, through to thank you cards, make your day memorable and unique. Visit www.lovelydesigns.co.uk and email marie-louise@lovelydesigns.co.uk for a quote.


19 November 2012

Featured Designer: Federica Bruno

Things have been so busy for me lately and been preparing for a Christmas Market on Sunday 9th December 2012. If you are interested in coming along, it will be at The George Tavern, London, from 2pm with FREE entry. More details here.

Last month I had my head down preparing for Zoe Lem's Vintage Wedding Fair at the end of October. It went really well and will share some photos how it went and my stand soon.

The best bits of Zoe's fair was the abundance of interesting stands and suppliers. I met some really interesting people showcasing their services and designs when I had a look around.

One of the people that stood out for me was the lovely Federica Bruno who had a stand displaying her gorgeous bridal dresses. She had obviously put a lot of hard work into her display and was so friendly when I introduced myself.

We kept in touch via email after the dust has settled and she now has some photographs of her dresses to share with you below. The pictures were taken by the very talented Piero Quaranta, an Italian friend of Federica, who recently moved to the UK. You can read all about her designs and work process after the photos and her contact details are at the end of the post.  

And now to enjoy a bit of high drama and glamour, darlings!








Here Federica talks a bit about herself and her work:


Fashion and Dressmaking have always been elements really strong in my life, some of my relatives are tailors. My mother has a great talent for drawing and I’ve basically spent all my childhood in the workroom of my mother’s friend who’s a seamstress. So I’ve started to making ‘clothes’ when I was 3 years old (for my dolls at that time, of course!) and that’s probably when my passion started.
I moved to London a little bit more than 2 years ago, after years of studying and working as Fashion Designer in Italy. In my career I’ve gained a priceless amount of knowledge experimenting lots of different roles in the fashion industry, but I’ve always had one dream, to have my own Atelier, making my own unique creations for my real people, and now I’m finally trying to make this dream come true.
Making Couture gowns is the natural result of my whole background. Each creation is the result of the perfect balance between designs and sewing skills; I have an innate passion for luxury fabrics and elegant silhouettes, I’m also a lacework and hand embroidery expert so specializing in Bridal and Occasion Wear seemed a really natural choice. I’m an incurable romantic dreamer too, so I guess this influenced my choice as well! 
For my creations I take inspiration from anything around me every day, sometimes the smallest thing can make your brain switch on. But I usually look a lot at historic costumes and Art in general. I believe that’s an influence from my background as designer together with my traditional sewing skills which are quite clear elements when looking at my creations. I approach each gown as a real unique piece of art, just as much as a painting or a sculpture; I’m just using fabrics and beads rather than paint or marble. However, when it comes to dresses on commission, for my brides for example, a good 50% of the design is pure result of their own personality and taste. That’s really important for me, and a fundamental part of my job is to translate their own character in my designs, using a specific material, creating a particular shape, or when adding any detail. 
Currently I design and my Couture gowns in my East London Studio, which is a cosy and eclectic space in my own house. That’s an intentional location as I want people to feel relaxed and comfortable, opening my own space, without any compromise in the quality of the work. My aim is to offer not just a service but a whole experience. My offer ranges from Bridal to Occasion wear, from Alteration to Re-styling, and bespoke accessories. And also includes Wedding and Personal Styling. Every appointment is really pleasant and time restriction free, over a cup of tea and a cake. 

Contacts:

Website: 
www.federicabruno.com

Email: 
couture@federicabruno.com
Contact Numbers:
+44 (0) 7792420651 or +44 (0) 208 279 7319

Twitter:  
@fb_couture

Facebook:  
facebook.com/federicabruno.couture

Studio: 
63 Huxley Road, London, E10 5QT
(By Appointment Only)


Photography by Piero Quaranta.

22 October 2012

Zoe Lem's Vintage Wedding Fair

28th October 2012 – The Old Sessions House, Clerkenwell EC1M 4NN

The count down begins with less than a week to go till I exhibit at Zoe Lem's Vintage Wedding Fair. With over 15 years as a stylist, Zoe Lem is hosting her fourth fair at the Old Sessions House, London.



Zoe says:
“Vintage has become such a huge trend in both mainstream fashion and in particular the wedding market. I believe our Fair is different from others for two main reasons. 
The first is that it showcases the glamorous edge to vintage which is, I believe, the side worth revisiting; less aprons and teacakes and more Hollywood glamour. 
The second is that though the fair is about inspiring brides and giving them beautiful food for thought it is also about education so that brides can understand those elements indicative to each era and how to revitalise them whether teaching on which era suits which body shape or how to hold themselves on the day as, for example, the 1930’s ladies would have done, how to create the perfect victory roll, how to dance as they did in the 1940’s and lots more…”

Zoe Lem on stage talking about the right era to suit your body shape.
Photography – Rhapsody Road


What to expect at the fair 

There will be both original vintage and vintage inspired goods and services including Zoe’s own new vintage style wedding dresses which will be available on the day plus fashion shows, live dancing, singing, vintage dj’s, hair and make-up demos, champagne/martini bar, tearoom, charm school and lots more. Suppliers will cover all areas needed to plan the perfect vintage wedding from Photographers, videography, florists, dresses, accessories, shoes, catering, stationary (like me with Lovely Designs!), crockery, props, entertainers and much more.

Useful links

http://www.zoelem.co.uk/events.html
http://www.lovemydress.net/blog/2012/08/zoe-lems-vintage-wedding-fair-28th-october-2012-london.html

Preparations for my lovely stand

I have been super busy buying props, spraying props, making signage, cards and flyers, and generally tearing my hair out and go slightly mad!

Here are some images of my progress.

My Vintage Schmintage Pinterest board.





Making mood boards and sketching ideas.
 
My collection of props on different coloured cloths. Before and during spraying some of them.

My new Art Deco inspired design samples for the goody bags.



19 October 2012

INSPIRED: LONDON book launch



I am so excited that the new book that I feature in, Inspired: London, A guide to handmade in London, and is soon be available to buy. I am going to the private launch next week and bringing my BFF, Philippa for moral support.

Inspired: London, A guide to handmade in London

The book Inspired: London has 150 handpicked designers (including little me!), such as an embroidery designer who helped create Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, to a designer who created bespoke and exclusive cushions for Harrods and Selfridges... Oooh! Can't wait to see their work and hopefully chat to the other designers!

The guide was created by Mary McDermott, who contacted me in the summer. She is the owner of We Make London, a series of regular craft events across the city, after she spotted a rise in the interest in handmade products in the UK.

Here is a quote from Mary about how the book came about:
“While the enthusiasm for handmade products has increased in the past few years, I also noticed that customers actually wanted to know more about the designers than you can with online shopping. They wanted to have a personal experience and to know that the products they buy have been lovingly made locally. So we decided to put together a book that would allow customers to actually meet up with the designer.”
The books will be generally available after 10th November. Here are the key dates and more information.

Spitalfields 10th and 11th November:
This is the big launch to the public. It will be sold at a launch price of £10.99 and won’t be available anywhere else until after this weekend. If you want to buy the book at this special price, head along to Spitalfields Market for a unique shopping experience.

12th November:
This is when it will be available online.

1st December Battersea Arts Centre and Spitalfields 22nd December:
The book will be sold at the normal price of £12.99 at these events, plus a few other events before Christmas.

Here are the handy links... 
... for the features and more about the designers, go to http://inspiredlondon.blogspot.co.uk/
... you can buy the book at http://wemakelondon.bigcartel.com/ 

10 October 2012

4 years of marriage bliss (and tantrums)

Our wedding rings



I can't quite believe it but today marks exactly 4 years since I walked down the aisle and married Matthew. It has absolutely flown by with a mixture of good times and not so great times, all part of any relationship and normal life.

Out of curiousity, I looked up what a four anniversary is symbolised by. According to Wikipedia, in America it is linen or silk and in the UK it is fruit or flowers.

So I am now expecting a bouquet made of fruit from my husband...

If you want a fruity flower display like this one, you can find some here.


... I shan't hold my breath or be disappointed if he doesn't get me one!

It's even harder to believe that we have been together (on and off) since the age 17. We have grown up a lot together, hopefully with a sense of humour and fun, and still have more to do.

We have noticed the little physical tell tale signs of getting older in each other. Thinning hair and less perky bust. But it doesn't make us love each other any less... at least that's what he tells me!

So cheers to taking each day as they come and looking forward to growing old (fabulously) with Matthew.

Happy anniversary, Matthew! 
xxxxxxx (infinity plus one)


P.S. We both have had our share of tantrums and strops but not both at the same time.

17 September 2012

Bigging up Beyond Beyond

A couple of weeks ago I went along to a speed mentoring event for women in business. It was held near Tottenham Court Rd Station, in the modern offices of Vitamin T, a talent agency for digital creatives.

It was a free event (yey!) hosted by SheSays, who hold events, where top females in the industry share their thoughts and help people work their way up.

I went to one for graduates and people in advertising and it had loads of creative directors and high level people from creative companies such as Boyd London, Dare, Iris and loads more. They also had someone from the Young Creative Council and The Mind Gym.

The event encouraged networking with fellow newbies and designers and copywriters who wanted to get in to advertising or get general advice. Although I am in graphic design, I was given some invaluable advice that was relevant to my situation by Kerry, Simona Schimanovich (Digital Art Director) and lastly Emma Sexton (Director of SheSays and Design Manager at The Mind Gym).

In my chat with Emma, I was telling her all about Lovely Designs and the journey I have taken so far and what is still to do. She identified that I need to work on my marketing and reaching out to my ideal client, essentially getting into their mindset and focus my energy on targeting them. All very sound advice, some of which I knew, but it always helps to hear it again!

She also offered to look at my Lovely Designs website from a completely outside perspective and give me constructive feedback. I now have a list of a few bits to tweak and improve on, but I also have the peace of mind that overall it's a good design and clearly worded. (sigh of relief!)

Emma's introduced me to her previous 'mentoree', Amma, who is also in the wedding industry and has the gorgeous blog Beyond Beyond. It was so great to meet a fellow designer who is juggling a full time job with their passion for making beautiful things.

When she gave me her business card, she was so excited that I recognised her logo from reading some of her posts. In her head, she still has this small blog and writes about wedding stuff just for fun.

Amma from Beyond Beyond



About Amma:
"Beyond Beyond started life in 2010, when I was a freelance graphic designer and office wretch who was trying to transition into living the dream (the dream being working in an office at the foot of my garden while staring out the neighbour’s cat).

When I started the Beyond Beyond blog it is was in a time before Pinterest and the blog was a great way of bookmarking the things that I loved and saving them in one digital place. Plus, I relished the fact that I got to write in the third person and be an online clown (being mature is a vastly overrated enterprise)...

... Beyond Beyond has now evolved into a well respected blog  (I still pinch myself at that fact)  as well as it being the home of my social stationery design, it has allowed me to work on lots of beautiful side projects that I would never have been able to get off the ground without this space." 

Here are some pictures and links from her blog, showcasing talent in design, photography and fashion relating to weddings, check it out!
Design Envy

Live Shoots

17 August 2012

Making Mood Boards

According to Wikipedia, a mood board is a type of poster design that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator.

They come in all shapes and sizes and can be produced with fancy specialist design software or something more readily available such as Word, Powerpoint and photo editing software like Photoshop. You can also create mood boards using online applications that are free to use, I will mention more on this later.

Mood boards are a great source of visual inspiration and communicates a theme, style or idea in a way that's quick and easy to understand. They are used by all sorts of people and industries. They are most often used by graphic and interior designers but can be used to set a scene of a storyline... and of course help you plan your wedding!

When I planned my wedding a few years ago, I had hundreds of images in folders that I found online.  I narrowed down my favourite flowers and colours to create the mood board for my theme below. As you can see, I wanted oriental lilies as my main theme with deep pinks and purple colours.

My pink and purple lily wedding mood board:
You can see my wedding stationery here and my wedding pictures here

This mood board below was created by Philippa to show me the pink and blue colours she wanted featured in her wedding invitations. As her bridesmaid, I wore a navy satin dress and pale pink satin slingback shoes. Her comprehensive mood board captured the spirit of the day she wanted for her wedding.

Navy and Pink

Of course mood boards don't have to be square with the images lined up. Below is one of the mood boards I created last October to get in the spirit of Halloween. As you can see, it shows even more ideas for the wedding, with images of make up, nails, dress, invitations and venue styling. Picking out details you want to include in your day helps to bring a cohesive look together.

Gothic:
Get more ideas on Halloween and Gothic themed weddings here.

And here are some more boards that Philippa has created for Lovely Designs for inspiration. You can see more on our Facebook page or on my Pinterest page.

English Garden

Nautical

Peacock

India:
Check out this Sikh wedding with their henna inspired invitations.

Art Deco

Frosty Winter

Here are some great sources of inspiration:

http://pinterest.com/lovedesigngirl/weddings-celebrations/

http://pinterest.com/designergalfl/mood-board-examples/
http://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-pictures/moodboards/
http://www.stylemepretty.com/inspiration-boards/

Create a wedding inspiration board online:

http://www.stylemepretty.com/gallery/
You can find a step by step guide on how to create your inspiration board on Style Me Pretty blog here.

http://pinterest.com/
Pinterest allows you to create online pinboards and organize and share beautiful things you find on the web in your own visual collections or “boards,” and view and follow other boards. I am very addicted!


Dessy, known for it’s bridesmaids dresses, has designed an easy to use board maker using the colour and style of bridesmaid’s dress a a starting point.


If you have any other great ways of creating your mood boards, please share with us. I would lovel to hear from you.

04 August 2012

Free Printable: Union Jack Bunting

I thought I'd get in the Olympic spirit and support Great Britain's team with this bunting design that I made last week. I printed and cut them out and hung it up at work to liven up the place.

Go Team GB!



Here is the link to download the PDF to print from:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BwHpk-2-eFGZZGtqS1p3WlhieGM

The design of my bunting is inspired by the Team GB kit designed by Stella McCartney. (Image source)


Step 1: Print out onto A4 or A3 paper. Make sure that you click the scale option to make sure it fits your paper setting.

Print multiple copies to make bunting long enough for where you will be hanging it.

Step 2: Cut out using a ruler and scalpel/craft knife on a suitable protective surface. Or cut out by
hand using scissors.


Step 3: Fold in half over a piece of string or ribbon and stick in place with glue or double sided tape.

Step 4: Hang in your windows, walls or in pride of place and lets cheer on our team!


This free printable is curtesy of Marie-Louise at Lovely Designs. This is for personal use and not to be sold or used for commercial purposes. Enjoy!
www.lovelydesigns.co.uk


27 July 2012

Featured Artist: Zarafa Jewellery

At the beginning of July I went along to a workshop called Make It Pay that was run by The Design Trust. It was a packed day of seminars and talks on how to make your design or craft business earn money. I wanted to learn tips and get professional feedback so that I can be confident on the business-y side of running Lovely Designs.

Part of the day included networking and meeting fellow designers. It was really interesting to see what aspects other people were struggling with and wanted to learn more of. I met a few people on the day itself but made a point of contacting people via Twitter and emailing people to introduce myself. A little bit of support can go a long way!

One of the lovely people who replied was Mary Ann, the owner and designer of Zarafa Designs. She is a jewellery designer, working with silver and semi-precious stones. She even offers a bespoke service for brides.

Website: www.zarafadesigns.com
Email: maryann@zarafadesigns.com

Here are some pictures of Mary Ann's gorgeous jewellery and hair pieces, and below some information about her work in her own words.

Peach Pearl

Ophelia

Rose Quartz

Snow Queen

"The word Zarafa is an Arabic word for charming or beautiful  and my work is handcrafted from design to finish in my studio in Hemel Hempstead, where I live and work. 
I enjoy working with clients to create one of a kind bespoke pieces and have been commissioned  to rework pieces of clients jewellery into their wedding jewellery and tiaras /hair clips etc.
Rose quartz has been chosen for this collection of wedding  jewellery as it symbolizes unconditional love , joy peace and calming energy.
Pearls symbolize purity, charity, honesty, wisdom and integrity, all the best within us."

All photography on this post is by Paul Mounsey (www.paulmounsey.co.uk)


20 July 2012

Turning 30


A couple of months ago, I hit the 30 mark. With all the hoo ha in the paper about Kate Middleton turning 30 this year as well, I thought I would take a look at what it means.

I spent my 20's in a state of ignorant bliss, skipping about the world and making things look pretty. I certainly didn't have a to do list for life and was generally just going with the flow. 

In fact I wasn't particularly daunted about the prospect of reaching three decades of being on the planet. On the whole, I had heard a lot of positive things about turning 30. Such as feeling more at ease and comfortable in your own skin. You know what styles work or don't for you so you look more put together. Hopefully, you are making your way up the career and life is looking pretty settled.

On the other hand, there has also been a lot of social pressure to have achieved certain things too. For example, getting married, having children and owning a property. There has been a lot of press recently about people having children earlier than they would have like so they don't miss the fertility boat. I would be lying if I said these things haven't crossed my mind. But I do wonder if maybe we should ease up on ourselves and each other, and tick things off our own personal list when we are good and ready.

One of the things I have always wanted to do is go to Ibiza. I never got round to going when I was younger so I thought my 30th birthday was a good a reason to finally go. So I went with my husband, brother, his girlfriend, my mum and godmother to Ibiza Town in May this year. There was an age range of 24 to 69, so it just goes to show you are never too old! 

Top left: with my hubby on my birthday, celebrating in Shoreditch. Top right: at the opening party at Ushuaia, Ibiza.
Bottom picture:with my brother, his girlfriend and my mum in Ibiza.

I had a look at a few media sites which took a light hearted look at things to do before you're 30. Here are a few of my favourite that I found on the Stylist online magazine, The Independent and This Is London:

Buy a property

Nope, can't afford it and don't see it happening any time soon sadly. Have you seen the house prices! Last I heard, the average age to buy their first property in London is in their 40's. I'll just wait another ten years then.  

Have a baby
I haven't felt any way near ready to commit to such a huge step yet. The fertility scare mongerings is freaking me out a bit but I would still like to feel more ready.

Co-habit
Yep, have lived with a boyfriend at Uni and then I lived with my now-husband for a number of years. Still live with him in fact! 

Get married
I got married aged 26. When I was younger I was never someone who had planned out their wedding day and picked out their dress. I had actually pictured myself getting married in my early 30's. As it happened, after many years of being together, it felt right to make the next step and commitment. What made me say yes was I could see myself grow old with him. All be it with him being a very cantankerous old computer gamer! Damn, his arthritis is going to be bad!

Be a fashion victim 
So many times. No, I shan't share pictorial evidence. I also felt quite pudgy at times and had 'fat' days, which looking back, I wish I hadn't wasted my time worrying about it. Life's just too short.

Write a book 
They say there is at least one book in each of us. One of the articles said "Your expertise and ideas might be slim but you will never be as marketable again. Flaubert, Kafka, Fitzgerald, Updike and Walcott all pushed out classics before 30, so writing a decent tome is actually possible too." I think I will wait until I have something momentously interesting to share.

Know who your friends are 
Getting married actually helped me to see who really cared and was there for me. Every so often I do a Facebook cull and get rid of a few people on my list. If they are not someone I meet up with, or if they are not voyeuristically interesting, they go. People I can't even remember who they are or where I met them, or if I saw them on the street and I would hide, they go too! It's like virtual spring cleaning.

Make a million
... or at least earn your age. 
Hitting 30k by 30 has a nice ring to it. Not quite there. Shame the recession and credit crunch hit, no pay rise for 3 years running doesn't help meet the target.

Start a business

I started Lovely Designs after designing my own wedding stationery. According to This Is London "Four in 10 London undergraduates run their own businesses. Take the plunge while you still have nothing to lose."

Backpack the world
It's something I haven't done yet and would still like to do at some stage. Maybe I will do it when I retire. In the meantime, I am trying to see a bit of the world, bit by bit.

Skinny dipping
Yep, only the once and I shan't divulge details. It did involve a lot of alcohol and was many moons ago!

Travel alone
I'm a great believer in being independent and having your own interests. I have been on a few trips on my own and without the other half. The most notable trip was going to Mexico City for one month's work experience while I was at Uni. 

Sort out a pension
I keep meaning to sort one out. I understand that it's important but it feels like such a long way away and the information is dull dull dull. Maybe this year?

And these are my favourite tweets from the Stylist article to put things in perspective!
@helenhowe82 - Realise that turning 30 may actually be the beginning...
@tashlee - Fail. Try again. 

Do you have any advice or experience you would like to share on turning 30? Get in touch or make a comment below.

And remember...
... never act your age because you're as young as you feel!