Monday, 28 December 2009

Love Pie

It's the last night of Christmas with my parents in up to Sheffield tomorrow for Christmas #2!

Posted via web from random thoughts/ things I like

Monday, 30 November 2009

PPQ's designer beer glasses

As part of the work we’re doing with my client BitterSweet Partnership (set up by Molson Coors to ignite women’s love for beer and dispel some of the common myths surrounding it) we’ve collaborated with PPQ’s Amy Molyneaux to design a new range of beer glasses.

BitterSweet’s research showed that 31% of women thought beer glassware is ‘ugly and manly’ – so Amy has designed four new glasses to serve beer in to bring a bit more style into the drinking experience. You can view the designs at

We’re encouraging people to go to the site to vote for their favourite most popular shape and pattern will be put into production on a trial basis in 2010. As a thank you, everyone who votes will be given the chance to win their own glass and win ASOS vouchers to spend on PPQ clothing. I can’t enter though!

Posted via email from gill's posterous

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Avoiding potential wedding headaches

Yesterday we picked our wedding rings up from Hatton Garden - hence the photo. They've now been hidden away, as the groom-to-be is more than aware that I'd wear mine around the house, given the chance (the very reason my wedding dress is in the care of my parents).

So there’s six weeks left to go! People keep asking me if I’m stressed or nervous, and have to say I’m not…yet.

However, I’ve just seen the results of a new survey which was conducted by the makers of migraine treatment Imigran Recovery around common wedding stresses and fears among brides to be.

They found nearly half of brides feared illness, including migraine, insomnia, acne or cold sores had the most chance of ruining their wedding day, ahead of family arguments, their partner not turning up, and stumbling over their vows.

Having suffered from all of those illnesses at some point, I’d have to agree. I’m very lucky that I’m not a frequent migraine sufferer, unlike 15% of adults in the UK, two thirds of which are women. Some tips for frequent sufferers around managing migraine in the run up to your wedding day include:

• Reduce the risk of an attack by trying to stick to your regular sleeping pattern. This will help you relax and recharge your batteries ahead of the big day.
• Control high stress levels by taking time to discover what is worrying you and try to change your behaviour to reduce it.

I’m also very lucky as my parents have been helping out a lot with the wedding, which is taking lots of stress off. Fingers crossed the only thing I’ll have to worry about on the day is not crying through the whole ceremony!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

If the shoe fits...

Here's my recent Bridalwave post about my fabulous wedding shoes:

Once my dress was all sorted, my thoughts turned to what I was most excited about: wedding shoes. I knew I wanted ones I could wear again, so that ruled out anything remotely bridal or made of satin.

So, the following Saturday I hot-footed it down to Selfridges shoe department to go shopping! First port of call was Gina, where I found the most amazing pair of sparkly shoes ever, which I instantly fell in love with and didn't want to take off. Thinking I couldn't find a pair I liked more than those, I then looked at Jimmy Choo, and found the less sparkly, but no less amazing classic gold slingbacks.

I was struck with indecision as they were both my dream shoes. How would I chose? In the end, after taking advice from three shop assistants, a random couple and both my parents, I opted for the gold slingbacks as they will look better with my dress. If you can afford them, the Gina shoes would look amazing with a really simple wedding dress. However, as my dad pointed out, I'd always wanted to wear Jimmy Choos when I got married.

So my wedding shoes are now nestled in tissue paper in their lovely pink bag, which has taken up temporary residence on top of our wardrobe until September. I must admit I'm finding it very hard to leave them there, and have tried them on and walked around our flat a few break them in, honestly!

Posted via email from gill's posterous

Where I was today...

Sunday, 17 May 2009

(Almost) Finding a Wedding Dress

From Bridalwave, part two to follow shortly...

When the venue was booked, thoughts began to turn to THE DRESS. Initially, I was more excited about the shoes, and I never thought I'd be too bothered about what I wore as long as it was simple and nice. But when it came down to it, of course...I was wrong!

I spent a lovely Saturday with my Mum and Gran trying on dresses in wedding shops in Shropshire. I'd been told by every married friend that the dress you pick is always the one you're least expecting to like, so we had great fun trying on everything from big frilly frothy numbers to sleek satin ones.

We worked out pretty quickly what would suit me - as I'm not very tall, nothing with a big skirt! However, I didn't really love any of them, and my very emotional mum remained dry-eyed all day. As she cried more than I did when I rang to tell her I was engaged, this wasn't a good sign!

Back in London, I decided to bite the bullet and go and try on the very expensive but very lovely wedding dresses from the designer I'd had my eye on for ages.

However, when I phoned the only London stockist to book in an appointment I was told in no uncertain terms that their next weekend appointment was in three months time - if I was lucky. And as they take a minimum of six months to make the dress, I'd be "pushing it" to have one for September.

Planning a wedding in such a short timeframe had seemed easy up until that point. I began to despair - would I ever find the right dress?

An Inviting Question

My post on invites from Bridalwave (P.S - if you have any suggestions about this or anything else, let me know!)

I have to admit that invites are one of several areas in which I seem to be missing the bridal gene. Apparently the average bride spends £700 on wedding stationery, which seems like an awful lot to me - surely that's £700 that could be better spend on Champagne or shoes?

I'm all for sending out nice thank-you cards, but stories I've read about brides who obsessively match the colour of their hand-made invites to their dresses both confuse and scare me in equal measures...

So Alex and I decided to computerise our invites and email rather than post them (and my mum would then make a couple for non-computer literate Grandparents). We figured it was slightly more environmentally friendly, cheaper, and also far less effort, leaving us to spend more of our energy on grappling with the guest list.

However, that's as far as we've got! Has anyone done this before, or is there a company you'd recommend? We'd love to know, as the clock is ticking!

Picking a Venue, Setting the Date

Here's my second post for Bridalwave, on picking the venue:

Since we got engaged, I'd heard horror stories about wedding venues, which apparently get booked up years in advance. The people telling me these stories were the ones who were most shocked when I told them we were planning on getting married in September - "as in THIS September?!"

So we knew we had to start thinking about the venue pretty fast.

We decided on having our wedding in Shropshire, which is where I grew up and where my parents still live. This was mainly because I wanted us to be married in my childhood church, and it seemed easier than having two sets of relatives descend en-masse to London (especially as Alex and I live in a one bedroom flat, so space is at a premium!)

We enlisted the help of our Shropshire-based wedding planners - my Mum and Dad - to scout out all the local venues, and we went down one weekend in late February to view their top three.

In the end we decided on Madeley Court in Telford, which is a restored 16th century country house and hotel, with a really lovely mill building which is where our reception will be held. We picked it because it's practical - easy to get to, lots of rooms for visiting guests to stay in - but mostly because we both just instantly loved it.

Conveniently there was also a free Saturday at the end of September...and so we set the date.

It's a Bridal wave...

So I'm getting married...think I mentioned that before, right? ;-)

Anyway, I'm also blogging about my wedding planning on Bridalwave, the Shiny Media wedding blog. In the run-up to September, I'll be writing all about dresses, cakes, venues, shoes, rings...and so on.

Here's my first post: Gill''s Wedding Countdown Begins

I'll always remember the breakfast my boyfriend Alex made me on the morning of Saturday, February 14th this year. The food itself was lovely, but the most memorable thing was that shortly afterwards he proposed, I said yes, and he became my husband-to-be.

Even now I still can't stop looking at the amazing ring he picked for me! Being engaged is exciting and very, very lovely. I spent most of my early twenties unconsciously attempting to be as much like Bridget Jones as possible, and until Alex and I got together about two years ago I'd never really thought much about getting married; yet a few months into our relationship it was difficult to think of anything but.

However, I was never destined to be a typical bride-to-be. I've not had my perfect day planned since I was five, I shudder at the thought of anything approaching even a hint of a meringue dress, and I think the idea of putting so much time and effort into perfecting a single day is a bit extreme - let alone expensive! I'm most looking forward to us making a commitment to each other in front of our friends and family, and starting the rest of our lives together as a married couple... and obviously, attempting to look lovely at the same time :-)

So once I'd stopped crying, we'd phoned everyone we knew and updated our Facebook statuses, we started thinking about when we were going to get married. Apparently the typical wedding takes 18 months to 2 years to plan. We knew we didn't want to want to wait anywhere near that long, so decided on September of this year. And as for the rest - it can't be that hard to organise...right?

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Worlds first speed job interview - Big Yellow Self Storage Star Search

Love the sound of this - Big Yellow Self Storage (as in, the storage places that are huge and yellow – I’m always really fascinated by the idea of what secret things are hidden away inside) are currently running a campaign to offer rising social media stars the chance to win a one month internship with the company. The winner gets to work with the online comms team – and it’s a paid-for opp.

However, the best bit is the application process, which is via 12 seconds TV (the video microblogging site). The right candidate should be able to sell themselves via an virtual online interview that lasts no longer than 12 seconds. hence the world’s first ‘speed-video job interview’. You can even film yourself on your mobile and upload it to the site - perfect for lazy students who don’t want to get off the sofa and miss the second repeat of Neighbours.

I really like the way Big Yellow has applied an innovative social media approach to something as boring and traditional as a job interview. The idea of picking someone in 12 seconds is great – it reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ – about intuitively making instant decisions. And it’s surely got to be a relief for anyone that’s sat through hours of questioning when going for a job.

What’s also really nice and in the social media spirit of sharing is that they will showcase all the video entries - not just the winner - in the hope that other quality entrants will attract the attention of other recruiters. Students, what are you waiting for?

Go to:

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Unleashing women’s love for beer with BitterSweet

Two of my favourite things are beer and blogging, so it’s brilliant to be working on social media PR with my new work client the BitterSweet Partnership – a business which has been set up by Coors Brewers to address and remove the gender imbalance that exists around beer consumption and targeting.

As part of the ‘Love Beer?’ survey, 2,000 women were asked their thoughts about beer, and the results showed there are very real barriers and myths that exist around women and beer, including the following:

• A third of women in the UK enjoy drinking beer, but feel uncomfortable and embarrassed to order it outside of music or sporting events.
• 42% of those polled think the industry should change its advertising first and foremost if it’s to make beer more appealing to women
• It’s not a taste issue, as only a quarter (26%) said the taste should be altered.

The Bittersweet Partnership has been set up to understand what women really want when it comes to beer – everything from advertising, education about the true calorific content, through to the glass it is drunk from. This information will be used to develop new initiatives to improve the drinking experience and change the way Coors brands engage with women in the future.

It was launched at an event last week at the Bedford and Strand pub which was organised by The Red Consultancy, and we went along with Cate from BitchBuzz - you can read her report of the event and her thoughts about BitterSweet here.

You can also see the BitterSweet Partnership website at

Sunday, 15 March 2009


So the best thing that happened in February - more exciting than snow, more snow, pancakes, or most things in my life so far - was Valentine’s Day, when my lovely boyfriend Alex made me breakfast (eggs benedict) and then asked me to marry him.

He proposed by giving me an ‘I heart Balham’ mug with the beautiful ring he picked out all by himself inside. Needless to say, I cried and cried, and said yes :-).

Being engaged is fabulous, and I can’t wait to get married (I’m getting married! End of September – about six months…). Here’s Alex’s slightly sci-fi take on it here.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


So it’s Shrove Tuesday...why not plan a pancake party?

This is making me hungry....

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Sort your life with

Here's something I wrote for work, over at the Shiny Red blog...

We’re working with client on new blog ‘Sort your life’, which offers advice from different experts on how to sort out areas of your life – from body, to home, to wardrobe.

Our first blogger is the fabulous personal fitness trainer Julie Seymour, who’s written advice on health, exercise, nutrition and ways to beat those pesky winter blues.

For example, did you know that:
• Sit-ups WONT give you a flat tummy
Dehydration can lead to xerostomia or enophthalmos
• Exercise can significantly improve your sex life?

Julie has also written a handy office workout post, so there’s no excuse not to get exercising – even at work.

We’ll shortly be introducing our next expert who’ll be talking about ways to sort your home, so make sure you watch this space.

Monday, 2 February 2009

More snow in london!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Snow in london

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Google is broken!

Every search term you Google comes up with a safety warning of 'this site may harm your computer.' Even if you Google...Google :-)

Sharing the bathroom with a Dalek

Just have to say the despite buying this for Alex as a joke-y present this Christmas, it freaks me out slightly every time I see it. As a child the Daleks terrified me - despite fascinating me at the same time (I also had a similar love/hate relationship with the ‘for sale’ sign outside my parents house in Cleethorpes – must have been a very odd child).

Anyway, the aforementioned owner of the Dalek - and Dr Who fan - has just stated his own blog, Randomglish, where he’ll be blogging about “PR, Sheffield Wednesday, Jack Bauer, 99p shops in Balham - who knows?” Check it out here

Sunday, 11 January 2009


Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve just seen something interesting. SecretTweet is an anonymous secret posting service using Twitter (the clue’s in the name). You submit your deepest, darkest secret to the website and it’s then posted anonymously.

Obviously there’s the cathartic lure of getting something off your chest without revealing your identity. Recent secret tweets include

‘I’m 27 and still a virgin’ and ‘Its incredible how shallow & vain most people are who twit. I'm embarrassed to be one of them’

Online secret sharing is not a new concept – there's PostSecret and Group Hug – it just uses Twitter as another forum for venting. However, it remains strangely compelling to read other people’s secrets. But would I ever post anything? That would be telling...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

New Year Re-solutions

I’m not a massive fan of New Year’s resolutions, especially because January is cold and miserable enough already, without setting yourself up for failure. However, I do have a couple of aims I’d like to achieve as follows:

1) Update my blog more! After December’s blogging drought where I accidentally wrote a grand total of a big fat zero blog posts, oops, I resolve to not let anything like no inspiration, or having a broken mobile handset (STILL not resolved) get in my way

2) Take more photos and post more on Flikr. One of my birthday presents was a fabulous new camera which is tiny enough to carry around most of the time, so no excuses

3) Run another 10k, but quicker than I did last year

So, we’ll see how I get on throughout the year shall we?

PS, the photo is of the London Eye midnight fireworks on New Year’s Eve, which were brilliant. Happy New Year!