19 December 2018

The Wedding - Our Ceremony


Maggie May's Wedding Ceremony

I know it's been a little while since my last post about our wedding {giveaways and Christmas gift guides got in the way} but the next instalment is here! And I think it's fair to say that this was our favourite part of the whole day: the ceremony.

12 December 2018

Maggie's Christmas Gift Guide 2018


Maggie's Christmas Gift Guide

It's here!

With just under 2 weeks to go, here's my Christmas Gift Guide for 2018 - a little later than last year's. Whoops!

If you've not started your shopping yet, you can find some great ideas below for him, her, and the children too.

Hope you're all enjoying the festivities - ho ho ho...

4 December 2018

The Botanist Giveaway

Last week, I was fortunate enough to go to The Botanist Cheltenham launch party - and we had such a great time!

I dragged a few friends along with me, and we were impressed from the minute we walked in. 

Maggie May - The Botanist

27 November 2018

The Wedding - My Dress


Maggie May - My Wedding Dress

I promised in my last post that I would share some details about my wedding dress with you all. 

20 November 2018

The Wedding - Getting Ready


Maggie May: The Wedding - Getting Ready

When the day finally came, I could hardly believe it.

After all these months of planning and excitement, it was here - our wedding day!

13 November 2018

November


November - Maggie May

I adore this time of year.

Admittedly when the wind is howling and it's pouring with rain, I'm not jumping for joy - but isn't there something wonderful about hearing the elements wildly hammering at the windows while you're warm and cosy inside?

2 November 2018

Maggie May Gets Married


Maggie May Gets Married

I'm back! And I'm now a married woman; a Mrs; a wife!

We had the most incredible wedding day, surrounded by our wonderful family and friends - and I can't believe it was nearly 4 weeks ago now.

We were also lucky enough to be able to jet away on our honeymoon straight away {as I'm sure those of you who follow me on Instagram are aware} so life continued to be surreal for another fortnight after the big day!

Now we're back to normality again, and although there are the mundane bits {putting out the recycling, for example}, it feels pretty great to be living as husband and wife after all this time. We're still extremely excited about it!

So what's to come on the blog now I'm back? I guess I can think of a few things to write about...


5 October 2018

Mr & Mrs


#maggiemaygetsmarried

Here we are - 1 day to go until we become Mr and Mrs!

I'll be signing off for the next few weeks whilst we enjoy this incredible time together, but hope to share some holiday snaps during our honeymoon - the great New Zealand adventure! So be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook.

I guess all that's left to say is... #maggiemaygetsmarried!

29 September 2018

Life Bucket List


Back in February, I shared my Travel Bucket List with you all {and I'm super excited that we're now actually going to one of those locations for our honeymoon in October}. I've been meaning to follow that post up for a while now with a more generic bucket list - a life bucket list!


22 September 2018

The Wedding Diaries - This Is It!


What a long break it’s been since my last post!

I mean, really long. I'm very, very sorry.

17 July 2018

The All England Club


Wimbledon 2018 - Maggie May

Last Friday saw us head to Wimbledon for The Championships.

10 July 2018

The Wedding Diaries - 3 Months To Go


The Wedding Diaries - 3 Months To Go

I can't believe that we're here already - only 3 months left to go until the big day...

28 June 2018

Skin-Boost Smoothie


Skin-Boost Smoothie - Maggie May

Yeah, OK, so it looks a bit grey.

But this is honestly one of the most delicious breakfast smoothies ever. And the best part? It's great for your skin!

23 June 2018

Flaming June


Lavender - The Secret Life of Maggie May

I’m back from my 2 week blogging hiatus! And what a 2 weeks it’s been - in fact, what a 2 months it’s been...

4 June 2018

The Wedding Diaries - Music and Cakes


The Wedding Diaries - Music and Cakes

4 months to go!

Our wedding really is getting closer now... And it doesn't feel like nearly a year ago that we got engaged. It makes me think that we should have been more productive with the wedding planning...!

26 May 2018

May Profile - THE SINGER


May's monthly profile is here - and it's a really good one.

This year, I am interviewing a range of creative, enthusiastic and dedicated professionals, passionate about their respective areas of expertise and willing to share the love for their subject with you all.

I hope that these interviews will be inspiring, helpful for those wishing to pursue similar careers, and most importantly, an interesting and insightful read.

This month, I had a chat with the amazing Rebecca Hawley, member of uber-cool electro pop band Stealing Sheep. Photography by Mike Massaro.


T H E  S I N G E R 

Stealing Sheep - Mike Massaro
Stealing Sheep - from left to right: Lucy Mercer, Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley

22 May 2018

City Guide to Bristol


Maggie May City Guide to Bristol - Bristol Graffiti

Last year I shared a City Guide to Copenhagen on The Secret Life of Maggie May, and it seemed to go down well with you lot. Why then, I thought to myself, stop with Copenhagen? Why not write guides to several of my favourite cities?

I've got a fair few up my sleeve to share with you, but there was hardly any contest as to which one to feature first: Bristol. 

Vibrant, eclectic, loud, and colourful, it's one of England's treasures - a city which is so different to all the others, has a great vibe and is full of things to do. Here are just a few of my recommendations for things to do and places to visit.

16 May 2018

Happiness


Happiness - Maggie May

A year has passed since I published that post. 

And how do I feel one year on? Pretty damn good {Note – I am writing this whilst sat in my garden in the sunshine, so my view may be slightly skewed at present}.

I haven’t had any relapses – touch wood – although I do still get affected by my anxiety now and then. It’s strange, as while I had always been aware of my risk of becoming depressed again, and felt like I recognised the symptoms and signs quite well, my diagnosis of anxiety really took me by surprise. I won’t bang on about it again now as I wrote about it here, but I still find it odd that it’s the symptoms of anxiety which tend to rear their ugly head in my day to day life as opposed to low mood.

I feel like my experience taught me a lot though. Having engaged with cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT, I have been able to recognise patterns of behaviour and triggers which I wouldn’t have been aware of before. I still don’t get it right every time {who does?!} but at least I know now that I am taking notice of my mental health before big problems arise.

So what have I learnt this past year?

That you should say yes to things – for example, invites to social events, or opportunities which would normally pass you by – but at the same time, you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you want some introverted time to yourself. Meeting up with friends for dinner and drinks is lovely {especially if you’ve got a bunch as great as mine!} but if you want an evening on the sofa with a pizza and boxset instead, that’s totally fine too. It’s all about balance – we still exercise when we don’t quite feel up to it, and are then glad afterwards that we pushed ourselves to do it. But would you still force yourself on a run if you’d pulled a muscle and it was aching? No, because we listen to what our body’s telling us – and we should listen to what our mind is telling us too.

12 May 2018

Confessional


Confessional - Secret Maggie May

Confession time! {Probably not the sort of title you'd expect to see on The Secret Life of Maggie May} Here is a list of 10 things you probably didn't know about me.

I decided to write this post because I personally love reading this sort of thing on blogs; maybe because I am inherently nosy? But I reckon everyone is to some extent - human curiosity and all that...

Also, it's quite fun to shock and surprise people from time to time {although I'll admit, I'm not wild enough to have done anything terribly shocking} Let's see if any of my truths come as news to you!

3 May 2018

The Wedding Diaries - Don't Panic


Just over 5 months to go until our wedding.

Oh my God!

If I’m perfectly honest, very little progress has been made since my last Wedding Diaries entry. We didn’t practice baking the wedding cake over Easter, we haven’t got around to deciding on the timeline for the wedding, and I still need to sort out some tealights. Ahhh!

John Lewis Gift List - Maggie May

But it’s fine, we still have time – as Mr MM says, now we’ve got just the right amount of wedding panic that it’s driving us to get cracking. Right? Right.

Last weekend we went to choose Mr MM’s suit, which was a really fun day. We had a little lunch date first {something we realised we hadn’t actually done in ages} and then spent the next few hours combing through the shop and choosing a variety of different suits, jackets and waistcoats for him to try on. We had visited them a few months before, but we ended up starting again from scratch this time. The girls were absolutely brilliant, suggesting colour combinations which would complement our flowers, and fabrics we might not have initially considered. I personally had a great time, lounging around on a leather sofa, drinking coffee and pointing at the suits I wanted Mr MM to try! A couple of hours later, and we’d chosen his suit, picked out the waistcoats for his ushers, and paid the deposit. A few more jobs done!

It's getting to the point where I’m starting to book in a lot of the major appointments for the big day; dress fittings, hair and make-up trials, my hen do, suit fittings – I know it sounds silly, but it makes it all seem very real! A letter arrived for us this week that was addressed to future me {spoiler – I’m not really called Maggie May} and it was so odd to see my new name there in black and white.

Probably the most exciting update to share with you all is that we have booked our honeymoon. We’re off two days after the wedding {!} and we’re going to…

30 April 2018

April Profile - THE BLOGGER

Just in the nick of time, it's April's monthly profile!

Over the course of twelve months, I am interviewing a range of creative, enthusiastic and dedicated professionals, passionate about their respective areas of expertise and willing to share the love for their subject with you all.

I hope that these interviews will be inspiring, helpful for those wishing to pursue similar careers, and most importantly, an interesting and insightful read.

April's profile is someone I happen to know very well: a lifestyle blogger and writer who can often be found with a cup of strong coffee in one hand, and a chocolate digestive in the other - it's me!

T H E  B L O G G E R 

April Profile - THE BLOGGER Maggie May

17 April 2018

Keukenhof

Keukenhof, The Netherlands

Today's post is picture-heavy with lots of colour, so grab a big mug of tea {and a stroopwafel} and get stuck in!

One of the highlights of our trip to Amsterdam last year was definitely visiting Keukenhof.

For those of you who haven't heard of it, Keukenhof is a world-renowned tulip park just outside the Dutch capital. The focus is on spring flowers and bulbs, and its reputation is all the more impressive seeing as it's only open for eight weeks of the year {we're right in the middle of the 2018 show!}

2 April 2018

Family Easter


Family Easter

I’ve had a lovely few days in Somerset, celebrating Easter with my family and friends.

It’s been a very busy and stressful month, so I’m quite relieved to be waving goodbye to March! But the last week of the month has been a good one.

Whilst Mr MM tidied a few things up at work, I headed down to the South West on the train, sipping on a hot chocolate and reading the latest issue of The Simple Things as I went. I was determined that my relaxation would start straight away!

15 March 2018

The Wedding Diaries - Timings and Tealights


The Wedding Diaries - Timings and Tea Lights

7 months to go until our wedding!

I really do get more and more excited each day. I try to calm down {with little success} and tell myself sternly that it’s only one day; that it’s silly to spend so much time thinking about what is essentially just a big party.

But it’s our wedding day! And nothing can stop me from being completely and utterly over the moon and ecstatic about it. I’ve got an appointment this month for a calico bodice prefit for my wedding dress, where a toile will be made so my dress is the perfect fit. It’s the first of my official fittings, so it feels like things really are starting to get serious!

9 March 2018

Leftover Shortcrust Pastry & Oat Cookies


Leftover Shortcrust Pastry & Oat Cookies

Many a time has a small ball of leftover pastry slowly hardened in the corner of our fridge. I’ll look at it and think, ‘What on earth is this misshapen yellow blob? Ooh, is it CHEESE?! No? {How disappointing} Then what can it be?’

Once I’ve worked out that it is in fact some remnants of shortcrust, I’ve also worked out that it is far too old and tough to be used for anything. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this...?

But fear not! For I have a lovely little recipe for your clippings book which is simple, easy to remember, and only requires five ingredients.

6 March 2018

March Profile - THE DANCER

It's time for the next instalment in my monthly profile series!

Over the course of twelve months, I am interviewing a range of creative, enthusiastic and dedicated professionals, passionate about their respective areas of expertise and willing to share the love for their subject with you all.

I hope that these interviews will be inspiring, helpful for those wishing to pursue similar careers, and most importantly, an interesting and insightful read.

My March profile is the immensely talented Emily Brown; dancer, choreographer, teacher, and founder of Forged Line Dance Company. 

T H E  D A N C E R 

March Profile - THE DANCER Emily Brown

27 February 2018

Trying To Look Good


Trying To Look Good

For today's post, I have very nobly offered up this ridiculous picture of myself for my readers' enjoyment. Aren't I a good sport?

Ignoring the fact that I look pretty comical, the snap is pretty good for illustrating my current focus - trying to look good. Generally.

Now I admit, it may be too early to be thinking about it, but I don't want to leave sorting myself out until a few days before our wedding, and then realise that the regimes that would have worked a treat for my skin, hair etc. should have been initiated several weeks previously...

That's why I'm currently working on improving certain features, trying out different products, and getting advice from various sources {girlfriends}. It may all seem a little vain, but don't we all want to look good from time to time?

23 February 2018

Travel Bucket List


Travel Bucket List

As written in my Instagram bio, I've been bitten by the travel bug.

Even though I'm lucky enough to have explored lots of amazing places already, there are so many more I want to visit!

I've managed to tick quite a few of the European countries off my list, but there are still a couple of cities I want to spend a weekend in. Mr MM and I love city breaks - we've had some brilliant ones in the last few years, including Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Glasgow, and I'm very keen for us to organise some more!

16 February 2018

Stroopwafel Cheesecake


Stroopwafel Cheesecake

Happy Friday!

What a busy week it’s been, what with both Shrove Tuesday and Valentine’s Day in the space of 48 hours... We can barely move, what with the amount we’ve eaten.

One of the things we gorged on this week was cheesecake. And not just any old cheesecake - oh no. This was cheesecake made with stroopwafels!

As soon as I saw the lovely Jennie’s recipe appear on Instagram, I knew I had to try and make it. Mr MM and I had a wonderful trip to Amsterdam last year, and often enjoy a stroopwafel with a cup of coffee as a fond reminder of our time there. This cheesecake then was the obvious choice of dessert to whip up for Valentine’s Day.

14 February 2018

Writing

Writing - Maggie May

I’ve noticed something about my blog posts; the ones which I enjoy writing the most appear to be the ones which you, dear readers, seem to enjoy reading the most. How convenient!

My next observation is that these posts tend to be my most honest, and the ones where I really write. The ones where I truly focus on portraying my emotions and feelings in an accurate way, and sometimes lay myself very bare. It’s these posts which seem to reach out to folk, to invoke similar sentiments and reactions.

I love to hear from readers of the blog who have been through situations like mine, both the positive and the negative, or who have struggled with the same battles I have. Whether it’s to offer their own support or advice, or whether it’s to say thank you for helping them to realise that they are not alone, it is always incredibly rewarding and humbling to read these comments.

The crux of the matter is – I love writing this blog. 

9 February 2018

The Weekend Edit 09/02 - Pyjama Party




I made a bit of an embarrassing mistake with this post - it was supposed to appear on the blog a couple of weeks ago, and was enthusiastically advertised on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages - but I forgot to actually publish it...

Anyway, the post is here now! And it's an important one, because I love a good pyjama party.

My girlfriends and I used to have sleepovers all the time growing up - and it was only a few weeks ago that we had our last one. It was just like old times; a girly film, popcorn, chocolate and lots of cushions and blankets {although Prosecco never used to feature in our school days...}

It's hardly a surprise then that I have a bit of a thing for pyjamas - like I know lots of us do! So I've shared a few of my favourites in this Weekend Edit.

5 February 2018

Valentine's Gift Guide 2018





So many people dislike Valentine's Day, which I think is a real shame. I know it's easy for me to say, what with me being in a relationship, but I really do look forward to it each year. It is, after all, a day celebrating love! In all its shapes and sizes.

2 February 2018

February Profile - THE ARTIST

Back in January I kick-started my wonderful new monthly profile series.

Over the course of twelve months, I am interviewing a range of creative, enthusiastic and dedicated professionals, passionate about their respective areas of expertise and willing to share the love for their subject with you all.

I hope that these interviews will be inspiring, helpful for those wishing to pursue similar careers, and most importantly, an interesting and insightful read.

The response we've had so far has been fantastic! I am therefore really excited to introduce you all to my February profile, Sarah Elizabeth Butler - artist, illustrator, and creator of utterly beautiful things.

T H E  A R T I S T 

Sarah Elizabeth Butler, Freelance Artist

How did you initially become interested in art and drawing? 

I have had a strong passion for art for as long as I can remember, and was always drawing and making things as a young child. In fact, I spent little time doing anything else according to my family! When I was about 7, I would spend hours and hours creating tiny intricate hand drawn maps of imagined magical lands.

I remember when I was about 14, I was in a restaurant on a family trip to Bruges and the owner noticed me sketching away in my journal. He came over with his wife and their new baby, and asked if I would mind doing a sketch of their baby! I was thrilled that someone I’d never met had asked me to draw for them so, of course, I said yes. They seemed pleased with the drawing and, much to my surprise, gave me 10€ as a thank-you - that was my first ever commission!

29 January 2018

What is simple living?

Maggie May - What is simple living?

Simple living. 

We see this expression time and time again, littered across our social media feeds and splashed across magazine spreads.

A phrase coined by millennials - another word which seems to have upped in usage dramatically recently - I find it hard to understand exactly what it means. It seems to generously encompass a whole realm of definitions, whether it’s a hashtag for a healthy recipe {one which I assume is also simple to make?} or the caption for a clean and tidy snap of a cup of tea on Pinterest {I am definitely guilty of doing this.}

24 January 2018

Nan and Grandad


Nan and Grandad - Maggie May

My Nan is 98 years old.

She lives with my Grandad, who is 102 years old, in an annexe attached to my uncle’s house.

They have no carers, they are both independently mobile - albeit slowly, and with the occasional aid of a stick or a walker - and they still manage to get up the stairs to their bedroom every night using a stair lift. They sort out their own meals a lot of the time, and organise their shopping with the help of our relatives.

Granted, they don’t go out as much as they used to, but they know exactly what is going on in the world. They read the newspapers, they watch the TV, and they remember every detail of what’s going on in their family members’ lives.

They are, without a shadow of a doubt, my absolute heroes.

19 January 2018

The Weekend Edit 19/01 - For Bookworms




It's nearly the weekend! Thank goodness.

I thought that for today's Weekend Edit I'd share some excellent literary-themed gifts and treats for all the bookworms amongst you. I have always been an avid reader, and this year I am determined to tick a few more of the greats off my to-read list, and get through a few more paperbacks each month!

15 January 2018

January Profile - THE THEATRE MAKER

Welcome to a new and incredibly exciting monthly profile series on The Secret Life of Maggie May!

Over the next twelve months, I will be interviewing a range of creative, enthusiastic and dedicated professionals, passionate about their respective areas of expertise and willing to share the love for their subject with you all.

I hope that these interviews will be inspiring, helpful for those wishing to pursue similar careers, and most importantly, an interesting and insightful read.

I am delighted to kick-start the series with Hattie Brown: actor, co-founder and musical director of PaddleBoat Theatre Company - plus all-round artistic genius.

T H E  T H E A T R E  M A K E R 

Hattie Brown, PaddleBoat Theatre Company

How did you initially become interested in drama and theatre?

My first memory of theatre was watching a particularly gruesome production of Macbeth aged 2. There were heads on sticks. Clearly, I was hooked from then on. I also used to get cast in all my siblings' plays in the lounge, so was required to be 'in role' from a very young age.

12 January 2018

The Weekend Edit 12/01 - January Blues




 Navy courts {In the sale} | Candle | Mug | Lace dress {In the sale - nearly all gone!} | Over-the-knee boots {In the sale} | Wool coat | PJ bottoms {You won't believe where they're from...} | Navy dress {In the sale} | Elephant socks | Satin skirt {In the sale} | Cushion | Nail polish {In the sale!} | Gloves | Swan print dress {In the sale} | Slim jeans | Fedora {In the sale} | Faux fur collar {In the sale} | Waterproof {In the sale}

So I will admit that January is a rather cold month here in the UK, and it can be pretty miserable too once you hit the post-Christmas slump. But as many of you know, I relish this month and all there is to come!

That's why I thought I'd start back up my Weekend Edit posts with a positive spin on the old 'January Blues'. {Can you believe it was way back in October that I last did one of these? Shocking, I know...} With shades ranging from navy and midnight, to azure and sky blue, it's a colour which suits all skin tones, and is flattering no matter what your age, shape or size. Plus, let's make the most of this month when - as you can see above - nearly everything is in the January sales!

8 January 2018

The Wedding Diaries - Ultimate Wedding Checklist

The Ultimate Wedding Checklist

I realised with a jolt of surprise that it has been 4 months since my last The Wedding Diaries post - which means there are now just 9 months to go!

As you can imagine, wedding planning was put on hold slightly over Christmas, but that doesn't mean we haven't made a lot of progress since I last filled you in - not only has Mr MM been trying on wedding suits, but I have actually chosen my dress! No spoilers though.

The Ultimate Wedding Checklist

Something I have noticed whilst wedding planning is that there seems to be a distinct lack of helpful wedding checklists online. This will be the first wedding for the both of us {and hopefully the last...} so we cannot be 100% sure that we're not missing any of the important elements. When I went to find a handy to-do list, I was surprised when I struggled to find a good one.

So here's mine!

I hope it can be of some use to other brides and grooms to be - you can pin this post to your Wedding boards on Pinterest for those moments of wedding planning panic! Also, please do leave a comment below if you can think of anything I have missed. Not only will this be a huge help to all the engaged couples reading the post - but it will also be a huge help to me and Mr MM...

4 January 2018

Janvier

Janvier

Janvier {I know I'm not French, but I wanted to add a little pizzazz to my first blog post of 2018}

Happy New Year, one and all!

2017 was busy and brilliant, but somehow I think that 2018 might just cut it as the best one yet. I cannot believe that this is the year we are getting married! Blimey.

I love January. Of course Christmas is great, but I personally always look forward to peeling back the front page of the calendar and seeing the new year stretching out ahead of us. It's full of opportunity, wonderful things to come, and inevitably some mystery too.
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