Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wedding Traditions: Bridal Shower

As we speak I am heading home to the States for my bridal shower, a weekend of fun with all of the women in my life and I can not believe it and can not wait! Often when I tell friends here in the UK that I'm flying to America for my bridal shower they ask, what exactly do you do at a shower? Bridal showers are a huge tradition in the States for the bride to be, but not very common here in England. Following up on my other wedding tradition posts, I wanted to share a little bit about them today. 

The history of bridal showers is said to have started back in Holland in the 17th century, who knew! I'm marrying a Dutch guy and here I thought bridal showers were so American;) The story is that a young Dutch girl fell in love with a miller's son and was head over heels in love and wanted to marry him. Her family did not approve of his poor standings as her father wanted her to marry a wealthy man {a pig farmer!} and threatened to keep her dowry if she didn't listen. When everyone in the village learned of the story, they brought the bride gifts to help her with her married life and to take place of her father's dowry if she truly wanted to marry this man. The story is that her father was so touched by the town that he agreed to the marriage and gave the couple a large dowry in replace. Since this story, the idea of showering the bride with gifts to get ready for her marriage from friends, family and her family to be has become a big tradition in parties leading up to the wedding day.

This story is very similar to how it began in the US with the dowry being a hope chest full of special items for the bride to be's life ahead. 
She-n-Him Photography on The EveryGirl

In early days the tradition grew from poor women's family who may have not been able to provide her with a dowry or when the father refused to give it up so she could marry the man she loved. The townspeople and women would get together and bring gifts, compensating for the dowry and allowing her to marry the man of her choice. 
Liz Banfield  featured on Style Me Pretty 
The actual term "shower" is believed to possibly have come from Victorian ages when presents were placed in a parasol and they would be open and "shower" down upon the bride! I love this story!
Bridal Fete on Celebrate Mag
Bridal showers have changed so much over the years. They use to be an afternoon tea where the bride would sit down and open gifts and everyone would watch and oooooo and aaaawww. Well, yes, that sometimes still happens, however incorporating cooking classes, winery tours, spa days, all different occasions that are special towards the bride have often been finding a place in newer bridal showers. 
Martha Stewart Weddings
A bridal shower is often a time to bring together your mom's friends and your mother in law to be friends and family along with your friends all for a day. For me, living so far away and having my friends all over the country, a bridal shower is an amazing day to have everyone together with me in one room and celebrate our upcoming marriage! 
The idea of showering the bride still exists, however it may no longer be full of awkward ice breakers between relatives and afternoon teas only, it has become more personal and a fun afternoon together for everyone attending! Why would someone not like the idea of a bridal shower! I think the UK needs to incorporate them back into their traditions, what do you think?


xoxo - Becca

*If you enjoyed this post you would like the other Wedding Tradition posts: The Grooms Cake & Something Old, Something New

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Urban Flip Flops on Instagram

Recently there is so much going on that I can not even keep up in sharing everything on the blog. The next three months are going to be even crazier with traveling, wedding, work, honeymoon and all fun festivities in between! Follow me over Instagram {HERE} to see what is going on behind the Urban Flop Flop posts. 
Recently behind the blog posts, my life, on Instagram: I added some ombre highlights to my hair, snuggled a lot with Sir Oliver, we went to France for the weekend, the wedding RSVP's have been arriving in the post box, I started planning a fun event at Kate Spade for next month, stopped by a fabulous new macaron and coffee shop by Anges de Sucre, bought lots of flowers, invited girlfriends over for some DIY wedding fun and well….tried to take this year in and enjoy it! 

Follow along over on Instagram to see all of the adventures on this side of the pond and my visit this weekend across the pong! 

xoxo - Becca

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bridal Shower Style for the Blushing Bride to Be

I am heading back to the States on Wednesday for my bridal shower and am beyond excited! I can not wait to see my mom, my sisters and my friends all for a big weekend full of celebrating! Bridal shower activities also include....a new little dress, right! I'm still on the hunt for a perfect little white dress for our rehearsal dinner but for the shower, I think light blush pink is the perfect way to go! 

My favorite blush pink options for a Bridal Shower:
3. Camilyn Beth Go Go Dress in Pink  {a little biased, that is what I'll be wearing on Saturday!}
4. J.Crew Bride Shirt Party Skirts Tickled Pink Knee Lady Length Skirt  - something a little different and I love it! 

It is your special day! A little pink, a little something blue, whatever makes you feel happy and like the bride to be, go get it, dress up, have fun! 

xoxo - Becca


Friday, April 25, 2014

Wedding Traditions: Something Old, Something New...

Following up on last weeks wedding traditions, I thought I would share one tradition that everyone knows about, but does not always know the meaning of. Our big day is around the corner, and I love knowing the meaning behind the tradition, the symbolism and story about why couples have been doing things for years now. This week I thought I would share the meaning behind, " Something Borrowed, Some Blue, Something Old, Something New" and the British ending.... and a Sixpence in your shoe". 
{Image by James Moes via Style Me Pretty}
This traditions is an old English rhyme. The rhyme is about four items that a bride adds to her wedding outfit and carries with her as good luck charms. It has got me thinking about the little things to add on to me big day a lot! Who doesn't want good luck! 
Something old represents continuity; maybe an heirloom piece of jewelry from your grandmother who had a lovely long marriage, maybe a vintage locket with photos of your parents on their wedding day.
  Something new are the little tokens of love your mother, sister,or husband to be may give you on your wedding day. Maybe he gives you new earrings, a framed picture of your engagement, a new pair of shoes, something new to remember this day as the beginning of your marriage forever! 
{Image by Abby Jiu via Style Me Pretty }
Something blue, often the most well known and most seen, symbolizes the purity and love for one another as a married couple. A simple blue bow tied under your dress, blue sole shoes, or how about a blue heart painted on one nail? 
{Image via Southern Weddings  by Heather Forsythe}
This part of the rhyme you sometimes do not hear in the States...sixpence in your shoe. This is a wish for good fortune and prosperity as a married couple. I use to think it was crazy, but actually I kind of love the idea! Maybe I'll stick a penny in my shoe on our big day, why not.

{image from Southern Weddings, photographer Stephanie Yonce}

Did you incorporate these ideas into your big day? Did your groom write you a sweet note and give you a new gift, did you wear blue lingerie under your dress, did you borrow your mothers earrings? I'm still thinking of the ways to do it on the 15th of June, however, if it brings good luck, I will be there. 
{image by Katie Lopez, featured on Floridian Weddings}

xoxo - Rebecca

*If you liked this post, you may enjoy Wedding Traditions: The Grooms Cake

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beauty Food

I have been lucky that throughout my adult years, I have had pretty good skin. Sure, I get an occasional breakout here and there but all in all, my skin isn't too dry, to oil, to broken out.....until recently. The past few weeks I have been feeling hugely stressed out {bad skin trigger}, not getting enough sleep {not good for your skin} and not eating healthy {France get away was AMAZING, but was the amount of wine and bread I consumed good for my skin?}, and resulting in these things, my face isn't looking so hot. I have recently switched my skincare regime, and am certainly questioning that one as well, however, I am going to test it out first by cleaning out my diet to hopefully clean out my skin. It has been proven, you are what you eat, so I hope some of these recipes below help me make my skin back to shiny and clean! 

{Tomato Beet Salad via Martha Stewart}
{Ottolenghi Beetroot Avocado Salad}

Tomatoes and Beets - Luckily I LOVE both of these items! Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which help to keep the skin firm by aiding collagen production. Lycophene, the part of the tomato that helps make it red in colour, also helps stimulate skin circulation. Beets are an amazing vegetable. they are full of vitamins! Beets are particularly high in vitamin A, as well as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E, which is essential for epidermal health and healing. 
Avocado - This yummy green food use to scare me away because it was high in fat, well over the last few years I have learned to LOVE IT. Avocado is a great source of vitamin E & vitamin C. Avocados reduce skin inflammation and stimulate collagen in the skin to improve the tone of your skin. All sounds good to me! 
{Steel Oats with Berries on Style Me Pretty - photo by Abby Jiu}
Berries - Packed with Vitamin C berries add to your skins structure by adding collagen to the face. People pay a lot of money to get botox in their face and make it plump, for much cheaper {and ummmmm natural}, start adding berries to your every day diet! 
Pumpkin Seeds - Since I am not a huge salmon fan, I was reading that Pumpkin Seeds can give you the same effects as eating salmon, yay! Not keen on seafood? High in vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, pumpkin seeds help clear your skin up and are a great healthy snack. 
Water - Duh. Well we all say we know water is good for us, but do we drink enough? I'm attempting to limit my coffee intake and add more water.  The Mayo Clinic recommends you drink at least 2 litres of water a day!An easy way to drink more water and make it yummy, add some fruit! 

There are A LOT of good things out there to eat and help with your skin. I have really enjoyed discovering the blog Healthfully Ever After where she shares tips for making your skin pretty before I do...and beyond. The basics: stay away from processed foods, fried food, high carb foods, think clean, green, light foods that you can read the ingredients in and will make you feel better. That is what I am hoping to feel like on our wedding day, healthy, pretty and glowing! 

xoxo - Becca

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Day in the Life

A couple of months ago I had another blogger reach out to me regarding writing a post about me and my usual day. Right, usual day? As you may be able to see from my Instagram feed and from my lack of posts over here these last two weeks, there is not really a usual day in my life right now. Wedding planning for our big day less then two months away, travelling, a new job, a new business on the horizon, event planning, exercising, the list goes on! However, I try to keep a bit of consistency to my life and thought I would share a little bit about a half way "normal" day in my life. I get a lot of questions quite often, "How do you do it all?" Well I don't, but I try, and I'm exhausted, but hey, this is my life!

5:30am – Alarm goes off. Hit snooze for a few minutes. Sometimes check twitter, emails, Instagram on my phone in bed. I think {I know!} it is a BAD habit, but I think often it is natural, I want to see what my US friends were doing when I was asleep!
5:40am – Up and dressed quickly for the gym. Sir Oliver, our puppy, runs in bed and takes my place!

5:50am – Walk to the the gym before the sun rises 
 6:00am – Work out. I prefer to work out first thing in the morning. I know, I am beyond crazy, but I like getting it over and done with, being able to run home and shower and still get to work on time. Working out early allows me to have my nights at home and be productive. Exercise is super important to me, if I am busy and can’t make a work out, I start to get moody. I have been going 3-4 times a week to my fabulous one hour ALL OUT workout at David Lloyd Orange Theory Studio for about seven months. It is a GREAT workout and even better if you are short on time.
7:15am – Home. Shower. Figure out what to wear for the day, makeup, dry my hair. If I’m in a rush…dry shampoo and up in a big bun! I love fashion and trends so I feel like my closet and style are always changing. I start thinking about what to wear during my time at the gym. If I have a client meeting, a little more business, if I am going to drinks with friends that night, a fun big necklace that can be work and play.
8:00am – Breakfast. My Beau and I try to eat breakfast together at the table. I do not know a lot of people that sit down for breakfast, but I grew up doing it, even if its for 10 minutes. We get to chat about the day ahead, and if I don’t eat breakfast at home I end up grabbing something not healthy on the go. I have been making a lot of frittatas early on in the week to reheat for a few days. I also try and take a few minutes to check Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest and post any of my posts from the night before that have been published and add the links to sites. Being an expat I often have emails from friends in the States in the morning, I will try to respond quickly so when they wake up my email is in their inbox.

8:15am – On the tube. I squeeze my way into the train and like to respond to emails on my phone during the commute. I have about a 30 minute tube ride so it is a nice time to catch up on wedding planning emails or emails to friends. 
9:00am – At the office, I get a large skinny latte or cappuccino and start checking emails. The "office" can vary. I may have an early event at wok {view of event space above, not bad!} on one side of the city or if I am going to be at my desk in the office all day, I am on the other side of the of the city, so it varies where the day begins. 

12:30am – Lunch! I eat lunch usually in my office building. While I can get lunch from my employee cafe, I prefer to bring it on my own so I know what is in the ingredients and it makes me feel healthier. Lunch is often a huge salad. 

1:15pm – Work continues at my desk, proposal, site visits, etc. If I have an afternoon meeting at Tate Modern, I have to jump on the boat and go back across the city, which is the view below, not bad. 
3:00pm – Coffee break! I always need a little pick me up. I drink lots of water through out the day but a tea or coffee and a little piece of dark chocolate or an apple is much needed in the afternoon! The rest of the afternoon varies, there is no "normal" day. I could be in the office ALL day or in and out of meetings with client, the chefs, vendor meetings, the list goes on. 
5:30pm – Out of the office. I run to the tube to get home as quickly as possible. I bring our wonderful puppy Sir Oliver out for a walk and make dinner. Nights really vary. About 2 nights a week I usually have dinner plans with Beau, meeting for drinks with a girlfriend or networking and having drinks with an industry friend or attending an event in the wedding business. Even though at the moment my full time job is more corporate business related, I still make time for the wedding industry. I try to coordinate my nights out with Beau’s nights out so when we are home, we can have some time together. Recently with our own wedding planning, I've been trying to stay home at night more often to check off or to do list. 
7:00pm – Dinner. We love cooking but it really varies on time and what we eat. Right now we are planning our wedding, both working, socializing, I’m blogging and we have lots of projects going on. Dinner can vary from Soup from Waitrose to Roasted Chicken to Steak and potatoes, you never know with us. I love making dinner on the weekend and planning our meals out so that at night when we get home from work it will just need to be warmed up. Sometimes I cook, sometimes Beau cooks. I like to make my lunch for the next day when we cook dinner and put it in the fridge. 

8:30pm – Sit at my computer and start working. blogging, there is ALWAYS something on my to do list! Whether it is getting back to my family/friends from the States throughout the day, researching and writing a blog post,  researching a wedding vendor, checking off our wedding list, putting together a DIY project, the list goes on! We rarely sit and watch TV on the week days. Both Beau and I usually have work stuff and projects to do, honestly, it can be exhausted. I often long for nights of laying on the couch with a magazine in hand and watching TV but for now, this is my life. Last night I was on my computer until 11:30pm and I still didn't cross off the to do list for the day, but it is what it is. 

10:30pm – We walk Oliver on a quick spin around our park.
11:00pm – Bed. I often browse around on Pinterest & Bloglovin  and then fall asleep at 11:30ish. Day, done.

The days vary but when I look at my "usual day", this is it. I love reading other bloggers thoughts on this because it is usually the same; we are all trying to get it all done! I try to catch up on US phone calls when I'm walking home, via Skype or when I’m cooking dinner. When its 9:00pm here, it is only 4:00pm there, so keeping in touch on the week days is hard. I try to stick to a blog post schedule but often ideas come to me last minute and it changes the idea for the day.  I think balancing will always be hard, keeping in touch with everyone, networking, working full time, being a good fiance/wife/friend/sister, cooking, cleaning, exercising, but what I’ve learned is; if you really want it, it will take a lot of time and effort, but you can get it done. It will get done at the day of the day. Often do I want to get home at 7:00pm and eat dinner on the couch, cuddle up with a movie and call it a day, yes, but does that happen, no. We cherish the weekends and take time then for a break. For now, this is my life, 24 hours, in the life of Urban Flip Flops

xoxo - Becca

{All Images from my Instagram feed. Follow along!}

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wedding Traditions: The Groom's Cake

Beau and I are down to less then three months with planning our wedding, eeekk. We are now planning the little details and recently something will come up where It makes me think about when the tradition begin. Traditions such as; something borrowed something blue, wedding veils, throwing confetti and especially the Groom's Cake. When did these traditions start and why? I love traditions with a lovely meaning so I thought over the next few weeks it would be to fun to share those ideas with you. First up this week, the groom's cake. The cake that many people consider an American tradition, actually begin here in the UK! 
{Armadillo Cake on Southern Weddings}
The tradition of having a separate cake for the groom is now known as more of a Southern American wedding tradition, however, the groom's cake actually begin in the Victorian era here in England. In addition to having the main wedding cake, there would be a smaller cake next to the main wedding cake for the bride and one for the groom. At the end of the wedding the smaller cakes were served and the grooms cake was served to the unmarried female guests. 
{Operation Cake on Style Unveiled}
The story goes that the unmarried women would sleep with a slice of the groom's cake under their pillow and dream of their future husband that night! However, with a few glasses of bubbly on the dance floor, was that dream a little foggy?;) That being said, I love the story! 
 {Champagne Cake on Southern Weddings  & Chocolate Praline Cake on Southern Weddings}
The tradition of the groom's cake eventually made it over to the US and the popularity of a separate smaller cake for the groom stayed popular, especially in the South. The tradition still continues till today when often the groom's cake is a nice idea to showcase a hobby, passion or love that the groom has, as so much spotlight is placed on the bride throughout the day. The groom's cake started as a traditional English fruitcake but has now become popular in less traditional wedding cake flavors like; chocolate, liquor, peanut butter and even interesting combinations with cheese. 
 {Maryland Crab Cake on Fancy Cakes by Leslie }
 {Donut Cake on OneWed}
You often see the groom's cake as a really fun cake that is decorated with the groom's favorite sports team, favorite hobby, favorite food, drink, etc. However, I think there are also fun ways to honor your new Mr. without over decorating the cake. Does your husband to be love going out for breakfast at your local diner? How about a cake all decorated with doughnuts! Or is his favorite movie popcorn Reese Peanut Butter cups, why not decorate the cake like one for the big day!
 {Peanut Butter Cup Cake from Williams Sonoma}
{Cookie Cake from B.Loved Weddings}
Is the groom a big fan of Golf? The cake below is an amazing cake that even includes personalized golf balls! 
 {Golf Cake by Brooke Roberts Photography}
Another way to honor your groom is by where he is from, somewhere you lived together, somewhere you love to holiday! I love the below cake because my beau is Dutch and if I were to get him a groom's cake, this would be a perfect choice! It is small, decorated not to elaborate but also clearly showcases a big importance in his life, where he is from. 
{Dutch Wedding Cake by Our Daily Food}
I would love to hear from you about what wedding traditions you would like to read about! Did you know the meaning behind the groom's cake? See you in a couple weeks with more wedding traditions explained! 

xoxo - Rebecca

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Fancy Friday v.27

Oh week oh week, it has been a week. We have not been home much this week, but when we were I managed to pull a couple of late nights at the computer but still I'm just feeling the pull for MORE time, anyone else. I am so happy to see the weekend here, but also, before Saturday even starts, I am already wishing I had one more day, my my my. Does anyone else have this feeling? Even though life is a bit hectic right now, I still managed to find a few seconds to fancy some things during the week, I hope you enjoy! 


Cook: {5} Healthfully Ever After's Spring Vegetable Noodles with Goat Cheese This recipe looks so light and refreshing, I am going to add it to my lunch list for next week as it looks perfect into fitting into my healthy eating plan. I also LOVE this entire clean eating plan Abby shot with her and Caitlin on SMP.

Wear: {2} Baublebar has created some pieces for Nordstrom that I am crushing on, especially this Baublebar Hinge Bracelet!{6} I peaked into Zara this week to discovery the cutest ballet flats ever; rhinestones for my wedding week and how about these swiss dot ones for spring, eeekk, love!

Watch: {4} I've really enjoyed watching Marie Forleo's videos, I find her silly, fun, inspiring and encouraging. This week she sat down with Arianna Huffington and lets just say, I need more sleep to achieve my goals;) Watch it HERE

Breathe: {3}I need to remember this myself, I can do anything but to everything…because right now my limit is being reached! 

Make: {1} I need to arrange more flowers! Seeing this simple and gorgeous centerpiece of ranaculas makes me want to run out and buy some fresh flowers. 

xoxo - Becca

Thursday, April 3, 2014

London Wedding Event: Fulham Palace Luxury Wedding Fair

Are you getting married in London and still looking for your perfect wedding venue? Are you free on Sunday? I may be biased because I love this venue {we are getting married here in less then three months!} but I would highly recommend heading over to Fulham Palace this Sunday for their Luxury Wedding Fair. 
{Image from Fulham Palace Weddings NEW site}

Last year Beau and I attended the wedding fair and met our amazing florist Jay Archer and I knew from then, she was perfect. The wedding show is a lovely time to see the Palace in action but also a wonderful time to meet creative and talented wedding suppliers that could be a good fit for your big day. 

Sunday 6th April 2014, 11am - 3pm, Fulham Palace
Head over HERE
for more information on details of the day.

BOOK YOUR COMPLIMENTARY TICKET
To apply for your complimentary ticket, please call  0207 610 7162 or 
email functions@fulhampalace.org for more information.

xoxo- Rebecca

DIY's for your Big Day - Part II

I am back today with part two of some of my favorite DIY projects for your wedding day. Today I am following up from Tuesday with some of the easier and small DIY projects you can add onto our wedding day. If you try any, do let me know, I would love to see your ideas come to life!

How amazing are these flowers! It would be a lovely addition in a photo, as a photo booth prop or even  multiplied and added to your decor. 

This headpiece is SO pretty and SO easy to make! I am thinking of making one for my rehearsal dinner, hhmmm. 

How amazing are these escort cards, WOW! I probably did not need to see this DIY, because now I love it and am envisioning even guests on the dance floor with them!

A crate, cardboard, a knife, glue, easy. This easy little project can make some of your hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour look 100 times more adorable. 

Who doesn't love a giant balloon for a photo op, I do! I know I see them all over the blogs and they still make me happy. 

Bows. Bows. Bows. I've casually mentioned before how much I love a nice bow {wink!}, well I certainly will be adding these to some gifts. 

What a better way to start the day off with the groomsmen then by giving them some nice whisky, a flask and a lovely tipsy brownie!  This is still an all time favorite that Laura and I put together when we first started Floridian Weddings and it is still a great idea! 
We haven't chose how we are getting to and from the ceremony, however, I dream of pretty garland like this attached to the cab, should I make it??

I have long been a fan of these water color cards I saw a few years ago floating around the blog world, aren't they lovely!


Whether you choose to take on some DIY projects yourself or buy all of the DIY goodies on Etsy, either way, make it personal, make it the both of yours day and add little pieces of you sprinkled all over! 

xoxo - Becca


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