Friday, 18 May 2012

Wearing my bump loud and proud!

Yes, yes, I know. Where did I disappear to again?! Well, I'm going to blame pregnancy. Because I can.

Anyway, I felt compelled to write a post this week after meeting a horrid witch of a woman, who not only upset me, but infuriated me with her words.

I am now 8 months pregnant (finally!) and have gained a fair amount of weight. Such is life. I have a healthy baby, so I will focus on my weight loss once baby arrives. This positive mental attitude took a real bashing however, when a random woman in a lift expressed her opinion to me:

"Ooh, you had better stop eating otherwise your baby is going to be too big 
and will give you lots of pain!"

Just what every pregnant woman wants to hear, right?! How dare she. Having always been very conscious of my size - I was a UK size 6-8 pre-pregnancy - I really did not need to hear this.

In fact, why is it that a pregnant woman's body becomes open to public scrutiny? If I was given a baby-grow for every comment I heard on my size or every time someone randomly rubbed my tummy, my baby would be dressed for a good few years! It's not cool people.

But I'm over it and I refuse to let this woman and others like her spoil the remaining weeks of my pregnancy and take away from the excitement I am feeling. So I have embraced my extra-large bump and put together a little collection of photos.

Welcome to my maternity capsule wardrobe - all I need to keep me going through these last weeks...

This dress has been my lifesaver throughout pregnancy. It's not a maternity dress, in fact I've been wearing it for a few years now, but it has the perfect stretching capabilities to keep me looking chic all pregnancy long. And nowadays I wrap the back ties around to my front to give my belly some extra support. Bring on the tea and scones!

Dress: Ingenue. Necklace: Mawi
Sandals: Kg by Kurt Geiger.

I was so in love with my leopard dress, that on my last trip to London, I snapped up this jade version. It's a size larger which gives it some extra length and is therefore perfect for those extra special nights out. In fact, last night I wore it to the ballet. Hubby liked it a lot (just don't tell him I have another one on order, arriving very soon!).

Dress: Ingenue. Necklace: Accessorize

This is my new fave purchase. It is ultra comfy and cooling (don't forget Hong Kong is currently reaching in to the 30s, so it is hot, hot, hot!), and is an easy way to add some sophistication to my swollen feet. Speaking of which, I don't actually wear skyscraper wedges in real pregnancy life. They just looked better in the photo ;-)

Dress: Isabella Oliver Maternity. Necklace: Mawi. Wedges: Miu Miu.

That should probably say 'waddling errands', but anyway... When I just want to throw something on and head out to the shops, I turn to my fail-safe skinny jeans and blouse combo. I am a HUGE fan of these GAP Maternity jeans. They don't look like maternity jeans, yet they give me all the support I need. And for £40/HK$480, they're pretty nice on my purse too.

Blouse: ASOS Maternity. Jeans: GAP Maternity. Pumps: Dune.

I still have a few meetings going on, setting up work for later in the year. I can breastfeed and style, can't I?! Anyway,  I like the casual chic look of this outfit and the fact that it is comfortable (not something that existed in my pre-pregnancy repertoire!).

 Vest: Gap Maternity. Jacket: Topshop
Jeans: GAP Maternity. Pumps: Dune

Being an Island, Hong Kong has lots of seaside life. What better than a nautical little number to while away those sunny days on the coast.

Vest: H&M Maternity. Shorts: H&M Maternity. Necklace: Accessorize. Sandals: Dune.

Hubby and I are trying to squeeze in as many friend dates as possible, before our lives change for ever!! A shot of colour is just what my maternity capsule wardrobe needs. Once again, heels are for purely photographic (read: vanity) reasons! The great thing about this dress is that it is perfect for disguising baby tummy post-pregnancy...and for breastfeeding. Score!

Dress: ASOS Maternity

I may not have many outfits circulating at the moment, but the ones that I do have fill all my needs. And as you can see, I'm wearing my bump LOUD AND PROUD! I don't care what people think, as long as my baby comes in to this world healthy and happy. So go stuff yourself silly woman in the lift!

And to all other mums-to-be...enjoy your pregnancies. We are very lucky to be going through this magical experience!

Love Mummy-to-be Magpie xxx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Wedding dress woes...

So, after 3 months of being married and roughly 92 days spent looking tearfully at my wedding dress (I know wearing any outfit more than once is a no-no, but it's just so pretty and special), I couldn't resist a little trip down memory lane.

Obviously I'm not that frivolous that I'd spend an afternoon sitting in my wedding dress sipping champagne (well, actually that is what I had planned until the cleaner cancelled), so...

...I did the hoovering...

...the washing up...

...and the ironing... my wedding gown. And it felt GREAT!

Then I changed in to my dalmation print all-in-one to enjoy my champers. Well...I wouldn't want to get my wedding dress dirty would I?!


FYI these photos were taken last September, when The Bump was still a twinkle in his/her daddy's eyes and before I'd taken delivery of any furniture. We don't actually reside in a plain white box and there's no way I'd get my dress past my hips right now!!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Back with a bump!

SURPRISE! I'm back!

Yes, I've been AWOL for the past gazillion months. No excuses.

Well, actually, I have a great excuse. The main reason for my absence has been due to horrendous morning sickness. Yep...I've gone from Miss Magpie, to Mrs Magpie, to Mummy-to-be Magpie in the blink of an eye!

Now that the morning sickness has abated (FYI morning sickness does not do what it says on the label. It should be called morning-noon-night-and every-minute-inbetween sickness), I can finally enjoy life again. Seriously, it was that bad!

I'm 20 weeks down (which means 20 weeks to go) and with my bump growing by the day, my existing wardrobe is not doing me any favours. 'Slut chic' is not working so well for me right now. Surprise surprise.

With traditional maternity-wear offering me NOTHING inspiring, I've turned to the catwalk, to see what my fave designers have inadvertently designed for mummas (clearly they didn't plan it that way).

Diane von Furstenberg SS'12
The beauty of living in Hong Kong is that our winter is nearly over - nahnahnahnerner!! - so this maxi shirt dress will be the ideal pregnancy partner from now until D-Day.

Marchesa SS'12
The girls have done it again with a beautiful collection and this stunning ethereal number will have me floating my way through the rest of my pregnancy (it's more of a thud right now).

Alexander McQueen SS'12
You may not agree, but I reckon I could rock this little number with my bump. In fact, I'm not even sure you'd be able to detect my tummy behind all those ruffles. I may need a bit of extra length on it (bumps tend to raise hemlines) and perhaps I'd ditch the cap (I need some level of comfort right now), but otherwise it'll do the job just fine. Plus, red is a super lucky colour over here in HK, so it's practically made for me.

Valentino Couture SS'12
The maxi dress - a pregnant woman's best friend. And this dainty version from Valentino is now on my lust list. Once I've found a bra with the right level of support (boobs enormous, but not allowed underwire. Go figure!) it'll be perfect.

Victoria by Victoria Beckham SS'12
With 4 pregnancies under her (very skinny) belt, the Queen B must know a thing or two about maternity fashion. And I reckon she designed this whilst preggers with little Harper, because I would love to be wearing this right now. 

Sadly, with a baby on the way, I've got to become a little bit more sensible, so these dresses will all remain a pipe dream for now. Unless the respective designers would like some free pregnancy advertising. I'll even wear them to pre-natal yoga. How can they refuse an offer like that?!

Luckily the sales are on in HK and fed up of hearing me moan about my shrinking wardrobe, my darling hubby took me to Lane Crawford (HK's answer to Selfridges) and bought me a wee treat...

Thank you to Ms Diane VF for making one very emotional and hormonal pregnant woman, very happy. Now I just need the occasion to wear it, but I think hubby has that under his belt too. I'm a lucky girl. I mean grown-up woman who is about to be a mum. Eeks!

Stay tuned for more pregnancy related posts coming soon (sorry - it's all I know right now!)...

Friday, 26 August 2011

Mrs Magpie: Photographer

Having been inspired by my rather fabulous wedding photographer (thank you Joe Lasky) - more wedding snaps coming soon! - I decided that it was about time I learnt how to use my rather snazzy new camera.

I've made quite a talent out of looking like I know what I am doing - but like most other tourists, I'm safely snapping away in 'Auto' mode. What's the point of having a fantastic tool and not utilising it to its best ability?

Ooh, must apply same theory to my brain.

So I booked myself on to a photography course with my new HK gal pal. I haven't told you about her yet... She's getting married next year!!! It's like all my Christmas' have come at once!

Oh yes, and she's also really lovely.

Note to self: must not forget this is not my wedding and I am not her wedding planner. Must keep friend - not let post-wedding bridezilla out of the bag...

Anyway, four days of intensive photography training later and here's what I've achieved so far...

 Hong Kong Harbour at ridiculous-o'clock in the morning

 Changing my shutter speed to capture flying water in Hong Kong Botanical Gardens

 Borrowing a long lense to shoot these caged birds (notice how you can't even see the cage!) 
at Hong Kong Botanical Gardens
The HSBC building at night, contorted with my newly learned camera skills

The iconic Bank of China building...with a twist

I'd like to thank Craig Norris (link here) for all his patience with me and for his masterful teaching. As I mentioned before, my brain is not really functioning properly these days.

Hubby and I are off to Shanghai for the weekend *excited squeal*, which provides me with the perfect opportunity to work on my newly acquired skills. Poor hubby - lots of standing around for him.

Will show you the results next week.

In the mean time, I will leave you with what my photography class think of me:

How did they find out after just four days?!!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Did you know that I am married?

Just in case it escaped anyone's notice, my father's girlfriend thought it wise to remind everyone that I had just got married.

Had anyone actually missed the fact that I am now a married woman, I would be shocked. Our very subtle wedding could easily have gone unnoticed. Not.

Nevertheless, I've been wearing this top ever since...

"Mrs Shah"
(and on the back, "nee Holding")

I totally love it - the only time you will ever catch me in a vest top ;-)

And, because it was tough not having a camera following us constantly, we had a quick, very cheesy, photo session at the wedding venue, before we had to bid it farewell...

(Photos courtesy of SiSiG)

Incidentally, we hadn't planned to be in matching outfits! And my beau's pink Havaianas were borrowed from me, after he lost his. I have since taken them back!

Love Mrs Magpie

The Final Wedding bash - The Pool Party

After a weekend filled with celebrations and partying, you'd have thought that we'd all had our fill of fun.

Well, you'd be wrong.

We all gathered again on the Sunday morning for a post-wedding brunch and pool party. Anticipating lots of sore heads, we provided guests with a delicious buffet and plenty of hair-of-the-dog bubbly!

So much for the sore heads - we all drank the bar dry!!

Here's what went down:

 Everyone cooling off in the golf-course facing infinity pool

 Just before the dessert table got fully munched at Dar Ennassim restaurant, Palmeraie Golf Palace

Dress numero 1: D&G tartan maxi dress with train (it was my wedding after all)

My gorge new Miu Miu wedges - officially the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever owned!

Dress numero 2: A Jaeger silk chiffon babydoll dress

The wedding swimsuit. Yes, I did go there. 

Over-excited on my beau's shoulders. Not so excited when he proceeded to dunk me under the water.

Hanging out with the best men and ushers...


My new hubby and I striking one of our final wedding poses!
(Courtesy of Joe Lasky Photography)

So, there you have it. At about 6pm, we all reluctantly left the poolside and said our goodbyes :-(

Our wedding weekend in Marrakech had come to an end. We had the most amazing time of our lives and can not thank everyone enough for making the effort to make it so memorable for us.

I will never ever forget it. And I don't think I will ever have a weekend to compete with it.

Love Mrs Magpie

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wedding No. 3 - The White One

Having managed to successfully limit my wine intake the night before (something I'm not generally skilled at), I awoke to another glorious day at Dar Sabra in Marrakech feeling on top of the world.

I could have been very melancholy were it not for the fact that I still had another wedding to go. Yep, we'd saved the best for last. Today was the white wedding. The one where I get to wear a poofy white dress and finally tell me beaux how much I love him.

After a pretty chilled day it was once again time to get ready. With my bridesmaids taking care of me I was as relaxed as relaxed can be. And before we knew it, it was our cue to go...

My gorgeous bridesmaids (just three on this day) walked out to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons: Spring" in pretty awesome (atleast that's what I think, but I did choose them) purple dip-dyed fringed flapper dresses...

That's them a little later in the evening, cooling off. 
They were wearing shoes at the beginning. Promise!

Meanwhile, my dad was giving me a few final words of advice...

A treasured memory

And then it started...Pachelbel's "Canon in D" and off we went...

It was a truly special moment in my life.

I chose a bespoke lace and tulle fishtail number from the White Leaf Boutique in Brighton. It was the second wedding dress I ever tried on...and the last. I knew it was my dress from the minute I saw it...and as soon as I put it on, it was confirmed!

I teamed it with my gorgeous Christian Louboutin white lace heels and a bunch of fuchsia and baby pink Atlas roses. Ooh, and some diamond jewellery given to me by my lovely in-laws!


Let me tell you about these shoes...
I did indeed buy them rather prematurely. Before my beau even popped the question in fact.
You see, I was at a Christian Louboutin sample sale and when I set eyes on them, I knew I had to get married in them. I had THE man - I was pretty convinced we were going to be together for ever - so I didn't think it too harmful to buy THE shoes...and three days later, he proposed. So, it all worked out rather nicely in the end.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand...

Our darling friend Matt officiated this short, intimate ceremony...

My University saviour, Sophie, read my fave extract from "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams...

Then my beau's best gal pals, Hattie & Holly, sang the most beautiful rendition of Adele's "Make You Feel My Love"...

And finally, my lovely mummy read Kahlil Gibran's "On Marriage"...

Obvs, Joe the photographer will have a better pic of this!

Serious snaps for my amazing mum. She donned a turquoise Preen dress with Gianmarco Lorenzi skyscraper heels and vintage Dior costume jewellery. A-mazing! (more pics to come)
Once the ceremony was over...

(back of the order of events)

...everyone congregated around the pool for champagne, canapes and Frank Sinatra (music of)...

...and laughter...

...and pure hilarity...

...before heading to their tables for a yummy three course dinner, speeches and much merriment.

Joe took a brilliant pic of us...

...if only I could get my beau to be that obedient all the time!!

After dinner we moved over to the 'club' area for dancing and drinking...but first, the cutting of the cake:

A huge tower of pink macaroons, complete with giant sparklers!

The tossing of the bouquet came next...

...however there was quite a scrum and the photos did not come out very well.

Our first dance followed... Let's not go there!

And then the real party began!

It got quite hot, so some people stripped off. Seriously.

I went down a different 'cooling off' route...

...and my beau tried this...

Which was not very funny.

We kept hunger at bay with a shwarma man...

But the real stars of the night were my grandparents...who were on the dance floor until 3am!

At about 4.30am, we had to call it a night, much to everyone's dismay. But as they say, all good things must come to end :-(

Good job really, because my new hubby and I had to be up a few hours later, back in our wedding gear, for a shoot in the desert. Here's a sneak preview...

The local villagers were glued!! Haha!

All in all, a bloomin' good time was had by all...

...and there's even more to come. 

Watch this space!

Love Mrs Magie