2015 | A Year In Review!

I know everybody says this when they get a little older but I can’t actually believe where the past year has gone. 2015 was to be the year of many plans, lots of adventures, more me time, good health and lots of progress on my blog, my flower business aswell and in my degree.

I do feel like quite a fair bit of this was achieved but perhaps not in the way I had imagined. This was a great thing for parts; it was a good year, just a very fast one.

So I started of the year with a bang, we went to Paris for New Year to celebrate our anniversary and have  little break after a long season. We took the ferry from Dover to Callas and were in the heart of France before we knew it. Having been before it was great to see some familiar sights and explore with Dave on his first trip in the country.  On New Year’s Eve we headed to Dinseyland Paris stayed there all day to let in the New Year with everyone’s favourite cuddley characters with fancy fireworks to boot.  After a quick sleep we headed into the heart of Paris for New Year’s Day. Most tourist areas and shops were closed but we went to the Eiffel tower and had many a hot chocolate.  It was a whistle stop tour of Paris but we had a wonderful break and got to spend some good rare time together. Always thankful for that.

February was a very quiet month looking back on the blog last year however that it means it was a crazy one elsewhere. I had a ton of assignments for uni before the deadlines loomed, aswell as work and lots of flowers for some beautiful brides. So yes the second month was totally consumed by sore fingers and flowers galore.

March soon swung around and it was a little more enjoyable. I got to celebrate with family, we have quite a few special occasions around this time and spring is on its way so it’s always a fun time of year. Blogging also went a little better, I shared with you My Little Super Box which is my favourite monthly subscription and has been all year. A super inspirational message for us all was in there. 

I bundled into April full of excitement and nerves. I had bitten the bullet and signed up to go to Kingston for the weekend to Traverse 15. A event put on especially for lifestyle and travel bloggers, packed to the rafters, with guest speakers, pro bloggers, cupcakes, plus lots of time for sociable madness. Of course! It was my first time in Kingston Upon Thames and I fell in love with the town. I learnt so much that weekend which has helped me with my blog. I also got to visit Hampton Court Palace and Gardens which was stunning inside and out. Henry VIII you kept a very beautiful home! Definitely a month of highlights right there.

May oh May you brought us a brand new Baby Princess to the world, I will never forget that day little Charlotte ♡. It was also exciting for me and the blog as I got the opportunity to work with Specsavers again who were launching a campaign with Max & Co. We have worked together several times now, they are such a privilege to collaborate with from the store assistants, to the PR teams and celebrity designers. Thankyou Specsavers for some amazing opportunities over the past two years. 

Half way through the year June brought Uni to a close for the year and the beginning of summer. I was invited with the press teams to explore and share with you all the buzz of both the Spirit of Summer Fair and Ideal Home Show, where we had afternoon tea with Masterchef’s Greg Wallace. Two fantastic events, brimming with excitement, inspiration and a ton of lovely people to meet. I also shared with you many beauty boxes and beautiful candles. To round of the month we headed off to enjoy Russel Howard’s show and had a weekend in Liverpool. We were lucky enough to stay with the Hampton by Hilton just across from Albert Docks, which is such a stunning spot especially at sunset. 

July was a mix of both high and lows, we lost two beautiful girls Carly and Frances in the UK blogging world. Heartbreaking news as they were friends too many of us, however it was beautiful to see everyone coming together to share their memories and love for both girls.
Aside from these tributes, blogging wise I got to enjoy some wonderful subscription boxes, which was perfect to get us prepared for summer. My Little Box has been amazing this year, with a different theme each month, it’s always an exciting delivery to pop through the door. 

Yay for August, summer was in full flow and is always an enjoyable time of year. On the blog I got to try out the You Beauty Discovery boxes aswell as enjoy some beautiful jewellery delights from The Bling Minx, beauty and bling it was all good news for me. I also got the chance to fit in a little trip with my mum, and yes I went back to Kingston. I knew she would love this town and wanted to show here around but we also visited Hampton Court Flower Show. We happened to be having a heat wave in the UK, so it was absolutely baking to be in the outdoors all day, but it was a great show. We would definitely recommend any of the RHS shows, even if you’re not a huge a flower lover there is so much more to explore inside plus a ton of gorgeous food and drink.

September was a really important month for the blog and all my fellow ladies. As I was involved with the Target 100,000 campaign with GynaeCheck UK. Which aimed to reach out to ladies who haven’t yet been screened or had a smear test. It brought awareness of their home kit which can detect HPV. This is a first step which may lead to you taking a visit to the doctor but it is a great way for ladies who may feel nervous or self conscious about having a smear for the first time. This is such an important campaign and if it can help to detect HPV in early stages many women could be spared of the possibility of developing cervical cancer. Always get your checks ladies, this is one of the most important things that sunk in for me in 2015.

I love October, it’s my birthday month; how could I not haha! I spent a lot of it working however a fair bit of adventures and times with family were had too. At the beginning of the month I was invited by Joe Blogs and The Crafty Hen to a #crafternoon, we were we set to make a jewellery box and more. We got to work with some beautiful fabric and accessories. It was great to take some time out to do something fun and catch up with local bloggers new and old. 

After my birthday swings around it is non-stop birthdays for our family till Christmas so the last few months of the year are definitely filled with parties and too much cake. November being the craziest. I did managed to sneak a trip to Manchester though were I was invited by Joyce from Artsy nibs to take part in her Introduction to Brush Lettering Workshop.  Held in the Foundation Coffee House we had a whistle stop morning of new techniques and tools to leaving us fully equipped and excited to get home to practise. If you read my 2015 resolutions you will have seen that for my business Millefiori and Modello, the goal was to expand to other areas including stationery and design. We have definitely made steps towards this and the workshop has refined our skills with some expert advice and set us on the right path. I love anything artsy, so this was definitely a personal and blog highlight for me this year.

With all the hustle and bustle December had crept up on us before we knew it. Our Christmas shopping was nearly complete so we hopped on a plane to escape for some winter sun in Lanzarote. This was the best few weeks. A break full of absolutely nothing but relaxing and adventures. We had a BBQ on a volcano, we dove into the sea on a submarine trip, visited places from previous trips, took a ferry to Fuerteventura National Park where there was nothing but sand dunes for miles and had many a Pina Colada. Don’t worry I will be sharing these adventures soon. Holiday complete it was then time to head back to England for a final day of work and shopping because the special man in a big red suit paid us a visit. 

2015, there you have it! It was a tough year but you gave us many highlights opportunities and adventures too. I hope your year has been as fulfilled. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2016.

Hannah  ♥

Winter Sun Co-Ords with Luxemme

Outfit Details:
Two Piece – Luxemme
Scarf – Independent Boutique
Sunglasses – Max & Co at Specsavers
Sandals –  Pavers

After quite a hectic few months, we finally escaped for a slice of winter sunshine in Lanzarote before the festivities of Christmas began. A week full of relaxing, adventures and time spent together without the rushes of daily life. 

I have to admit it was hard getting my heading around packing for sunshine whilst finishing the last bits of my Christmas shopping however with a little inspiration from previous holiday snaps and a reshuffle of my summer wardrobe I was a little further along. Luxemme* kindly kitted me out with a lovely nude co-ord set making it so easy to be styled up in many ways . I find two pieces so easy to wear and they are great to add into a capsule wardrobe leaving me more space to bring goodies home. 

On our second evening we were lucky enough for the Lanzarote Marathon to be in full swing with the finishing line passing along the end of our hotel’s drive. We got ready early that evening and headed over to cheer on the runners before dinner. I wore my Luxemme two piece and kept it casual for the evening with nude sandals and a soft waterfall scarf to compliment the girly scalloped edges for the cooler evening ahead. 

Luxemme are a Manchester based company who design a small selection of handmade fashion pieces each month meaning you really will get something unique. One they’re gone they’re gone ladies. I was really impressed with the quality, it was fully lined and true to size. Big bonus points for that one. I can’t wait to see what they bring out in the year.

It was a lovely end to quite a year. How did you see out 2015?
*pr sample

2015 | November Highlights

Well I have nothing to say except where did you go November? The last four weeks have definitely flashed before my eyes even quicker that last month. It has been filled with work, coursework, appointments and nothing much else. Blogging wise has been super quiet, sorry about that if you are a regular on The Bow.

I will be back on it in December with lot of festiveness to share with you before the year comes to an end. We have lots of travel, trips and treats planned!  

Travel //  At the end of October I headed up to Manchester a few times for some birthday celebrations in the city, some early Christmas shopping with the family and for a little exciting workshop. Manchester is only an hour away from home however, it still feels like you’ve had a little break away from your normal routine, especially if you take the train.

Events //   So that little workshop I was talking about as an exciting little day I shared with you on the blog in November. I went along to Artsy Nibs’ (aka Joyce) Introduction to Brush Lettering Workshop, which was held at the Foundation Coffee house in the Northern Quarter. Joyce invited me along to the class which I was so excited about, if you read my Jump into the New Year post back in January you will have seen that I had plans to expand my floristry and designs business with personalised items, such as wrapping sets, wall art and gift tags etc….This has almost come to launch  with our website launching in the new year; however attending this lettering course means I can now also get involved with doing this (well the tags anyway) rather than somebody else.
I have always dabbled in lettering and drawing with quite a creative mind however to get a few expert tips with the help of Artsy Nibs will really help me up my game. Exciting!

We also had six family birthdays this month, yes six! That’s a lots of presents and cake. Included in this was my big brother’s 30th, such a grand old age now. We started the day off in style as we always do we any family birthday; everybody sat round a huge table in Frankie & Bennies enjoying a breakfast of dreams. If you haven’t been their for your breakie we would definitely recommend. The day carried on with so much cake and huge spoils for my special brother, so deserved! It was definitely a day to remember.

Blog //   As I mentioned earlier, there was not much blogging going down, however there was the best bits of October where we got up to some fun stuff and the workshop from before too. The last post of the month was the Top Ten Alternative Advent Calendars, if your not a chocolate fan or just want to give a unique gift these calendars are great. I know it is December 2nd already however the majority of these are still available, there is always time to catch up and enjoy an few extra treats on the first day.

Work //  Busy, busy, busy! With work, assignments and my flowers…. I’m currently on catch up so I can take some time off around Christmas!

Crazy times it seems, here’s hoping December will not be as buy yet full of fun and festivity. What are you most excited for this holiday?


2015 | October Highlights

Travel //  Travel wise, again like last month (we must change this) we went absolutely no where. Apart from heading up to the city in Manchester, for a workshop and birthday times. I don’t like it when I have nothing exciting to share. All will be different in November though! 
Events //  Nothing really went down in October either, it was a fairly busy time balancing work and uni before half term fell. It was however my birthday towards the end of the month. It was a quiet little affair this year, lunch in Manchester with a cheeky cocktail and a quick hours shopping. Closely followed by PJ’s, presents and a cosy night in. We’re leaving the celebrations till next month, yay! 
As for blogging events, I attended a Brush Lettering workshop organised by Artsy Nibs in Manchester. A whole new skill set away from traditional calligraphy but exciting all the same. It was such a lovely relaxed class, see what we got up to on the blog later in the week. 
Blog //  It was a fairly quiet month in Locked In A Bow land for October aswell. I caught up with sharing the latest subscription boxes with you from You Beauty Discovery and My Little Box. As well as this I also shared what we got up to at the Hillary’s #crafternoon session with The Crafty Hen, fun times and definitely something to consider if you need something different to do with the girls one weekend. 

Work //  Work wise it was a bit of a crazy month for me, in the daily land of social media it was nonstop. Chopping and changing to work extra things in, looking forward to a more settled November if that is possible with Christmas now on the way. For Millefiori and Modello, my floral and design company (if you didn’t know) it was an exciting week. There has been lots of developments behind the scenes, excited to share with you our new range in the next few weeks ready for a festive December. Eek!  


2015 | September Highlights

September came, September went. Wow, that was the end of that. Such a whirlwind of a month I’m not too sure what happened there, but I sit writing this in the early days of October. It will be Christmas before we know it. So as we are now in my BIRTHDAY month here are a few snippets from September. 
Travel //  Unusually for us we didn’t do much on the travel side over the past few weeks, not even for days trips. **makes note to change that**. On saying that I did take a trip to Manchester with Mr Bow, he went to football so I got to sneak in a few hours of shopping; autumnal purchases were had. 
The other little exciting moment of the month wasn’t too far from home but each Friday night saw the skies above The Blackpool Tower and the seaside lit up with amazing fireworks for the Fireworks championships. I LOVE fireworks, bonfire night is my night of the year in the UK so to have it each week practically on your doorstep from four different countries was incredible. Something I and many other people look forward to each year. 
Events //  With being so busy, I didn’t go crazy haha but I did manage to squeeze in two little events. I popped over to the Pro Beauty Exhibition held at Manchester Central. This is a trade event for people in the industry. A great weekend to see new trends, meet new contacts, catch up with other professionals or sneak in a quick treatment. It was great this year and thankyou to the press team who thoroughly looked after me in the press bubble this year.  
I also went to a craft event hosted my Joe’s Bloggers and made some exciting crafty gems, look out for more on that soon if you are a budding DIY fan.
Blog //  Although you may have seen me flitting around on Instagram it was a fairly quiet month over on  my social media and blog in September. If you are a regular reader of locked in a bow you will have noticed a lull in posts, it was a month of catching up and subscription box reviews on the whole. However there was one REALLY IMPORTANT post on the #Target100000 campaign. Which aims to raise awareness again around the issue of cervical cancer and women’s health. Definitely one to pop over to and share with your female friends. It could save your life and there’s!

Work //  Work oh work, for the day job it was back to my regular routine with a bang after summer, social media madness all over the place. I also went back to uni to undertake a few extra modules including wedding and event design, so although it has been crazy I have loved learning new and challenging things in the industry. 
Out of work and uni, my business Millefiori & Modello has slowly been coming along. We have designed the first draft for our bespoke gifts tags, which hopefully will be ready for your Christmas gift wrapping sessions. Aswell as many floral creations being sent out for some very lucky people. 

Overall an insanely busy few weeks, but this is good right? Three cheers that we are now in my birthday month I wonder what will come of this years celebrations. 

Until the next edit, have a great time all.