Until I met my husband I was pretty cynical about love, so Valentines Day was more of an annual annoyance than special occasion.

I can’t lie and say I’m not a die hard romantic… because I am. I FUCKING AM! I LOVE ALL THE ROMANTIC CHEESE!! I just like to pretend I’m not, shh please don’t tell anyone.

 

We made plans for Valentines just to go out for a nice dinner, no gifts, I just wanted to be surprised! My husband is literally THE BEST. I’ve been pretty depressed for the past several months(thanks hormonal birth control!) and worrying my moodiness would ruin another special occasion I tried to keep it low key.

Last night at half seven a car picked me up to take me to my mystery destination; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. It was sweet because it was the first ‘fancy’ place we ever went for dinner after we got married, I appreciated the nostalgia.

Despite having said no gifts, he got me a present;

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Pearls from Tiffany&Co. he even had the clasp replaced, silver instead of gold because of my allergies. I had mentioned a few months earlier that I needed to get the vintage pearl necklace I owned fixed. It’d been sat in a drawer for several years broken, and tbh I don’t even know if they’re real pearls. He’s so thoughtful and such a good listener.

It wasn’t a TOTAL surprise because I had, completely by accident, discovered the receipt from Tiffany&Co. while cleaning a few days before. It didn’t say WHAT had been bought, so exactly what I was getting was still a mystery!

The day before Valentines I had rushed into the West End to find SOMETHING so as not to arrive empty handed. It wouldn’t quiet measure up to ANYTHING from Tiffany’s but I wanted to get him something! I had already cheated slightly and ordered PERFECT MATCH chocolate matches from Choc on Choc after I had seen them online, we have MATCHING MATCHSTICK tattoos and my inner romantic cheese fiend couldn’t resist…

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…but I wanted something else. He had mentioned needing another pair of sweatpants so I braved the Nike store and picked up a pair of Jordan sweatpants. Not satisfied with either of those I played my trump card; home made gifts! I made him a Valentine. I hadn’t made him one since BEFORE we were dating. Back in 2011 when we were only just starting a friendship I made him a card where I illustrated a anthropomorphised tree holding a bouquet of flowers and a heart shaped card that read ‘Single on Valentines? It could be worse! Be glad you’re not an ENT!’ …because the Ent-wives… you know? I told you I was a nerd. You were WARNED! I was going to follow that Valentine up with an ‘adult ENT-ertainment’ joke but drying a stripper Ent-wife pole dancing was way too complicated. After several failed attempts I went back to the drawing board and came up with this;

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… on theme.

Dinner was lovely, I drank too much wine and woke up with a hangover.

I hope you all had a lovely Valentines, Palentines, or Galentines. However you celebrate, or even if you don’t I hope you felt loved yesterday. Just incase you didn’t here’s a kiss from me from last night;

 

 

XOXO Gwendolyn

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Roman Holiday, sans Nicki

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We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on June 6th, but with the wedding in Milan less than two weeks later we decided to celebrate a little later. 3 days in Milan to celebrate a friend wedding then celebrating out own again with a Roman Holiday!

I really am the luckiest, I married my best friend and everyday since then has been an adventure.

Love you Joe.

We flew out from Heathrow on June 16th and arrived to out adorable rented flat that afternoon.

I didn’t do much shopping this trip, knowing I had a month of travel ahead I only picked up a few things in each place we visited, mostly spending my money on souvenirs and gifts for friends and family. In Milan Sous Vintage I found entirely by accident, or by fate, as it was just across the canal from our flat was this two story treasure trove. Sous Vintage saved the day as I was able to find an absolutely stunning dress that I actually ended up wearing to the Wedding instead of the dress I’d packed.

In Rome Patty Paillette, a shop full of fantastically beautiful and bold designer eyewear, and Vintachic small shop full of hand picked high end vintage clothes, accessories and other housewares were the highlights of my shopping experience.

Living in England we don’t have Sephora, so literally anytime I travel to a country that DOES it’s I’ll usually end up going to multiple locations making multiple purchases. Usually I end up coming a way with a handful of Sephora products, and a few items from other brands. I prefer Sephora because it has always felt more honest, staff aren’t trying to sell me one item or brand they’re trying to sell me everything lol. This time I came away with Dr. Jart masks, Urban Decays Naked Ultimate Basics palette, a glitter liner, and a blue liquid liner, as well as some Sephora make up wipes, finishing powder, and eyeshadow, and a new Beauty blender. I was really dissapointed because I couldnt find staff to help me in the 2/4 locations I visited, and in the two I ended up shopping in I wasn’t given any product samples at the till despite spending 90 euro and then 50 euro.

The day after the wedding in Milan we hopped on the fast train to Rome. We dropped out luggage of at our flat and headed off into the city almost immediately! We visited walked around the Vatican City, which is like actually recognised AS IT’S OWN COUNTRY and that I find just so fucked up. Then off to Castel de Sant’Angelo. Afterwards we just kind of aimlessly wandered the streets taking in the scenery.

Day two was the Colosseum(which looks so much bigger in the movies), Trajan’s Column (like most monuments to male conquest is just a big phallic yawn), the Altare della Patria(Altar of the Fatherland/First King of Unified Italy) which was probably the most impressive, of the spots we’d visited so far in the city.

I can’t say I really loved the eternal city. Yes it’s undeniably beautiful and has historical importance, there are ruins, monuments, and churches everywhere. It was just too hot and too crowded for me.

I don’t like people and I am actually allergic to the heat. So a literal TOURIST HOT SPOT is a total nightmare. The people hawking guided tours on every street corner, the over worked and sick looking carriage horses, the signs outside churches that demanded I cover up if I wanted to come in… it was all just a bit gross and depressing honestly.

It had it’s beautiful moments, and I’m glad I can tick it off the lists of places I’ve been… but I won’t be going back ANY TIME SOON.