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Musings #1 Goodbye 2017, You Were Busy!

December 30, 2017

Hello, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are ready for the beginning of a fresh new year.

For me 2017 was very much a personal one, with just the bare minimum of work being done when it was called for. I sort of feel like I should apologise for that but truth be told, I enjoyed being present in the all the crazy moments and don’t regret letting work slide – I don’t think anyone can ever feel guilty for enjoying their life, kids and family moments, can they?

This year that has passed (SO quickly, honestly it never slows down, does it?) brought lots of changes and new experiences within our family. For the first half of the year I was pregnant for the fourth time, then in August Arden arrived and made me realise that ‘just surviving’ was good enough for the time being. I learnt quite a lot about myself last year. I’ve realised that to the outside world, my friends and family, I appear to be very laid-back and in control but I can tell you that a lot of the time I feel like the most anxious and messed up person inside my head, but really my can do attitude is what has got me by and is what thankfully kicks in when I am really feeling the struggle.

When September arrived we didn’t have the usual calm back to school vibe, instead this year we were thrown head first into the transfer test process which can only be described as utterly crap! The workload really peeked from September to November for our eldest Safran. And whilst we’ve decided we would of course love to her go to and thrive at our local grammar school, that girl will move mountains with her dedication and determination no matter where the result sends her. We’ll find out at the end of January, but everyday I thank my lucky stars that I was sent this little power house to bring up.

The kids all took up swimming lessons this year, something I’ve been meaning to start them on for years but only just got around to. Safran is quite the fish, Keenan is loving it and really wants to be amazing at it and Ruby is being her usual self and giving it a good bash. It takes up every Saturday morning but I’ve really come to love our time sweating in the gallery watching them and beaming with pride!

Arden has been a wee dream of a baby, he’s just slipped in to the fold and other than a few restless nights of not wanting to sleep anywhere other than on me has been perfect – maybe I am laid-back?!

At almost five months now he is rolling around the living room floor, shouting Da-da at the top of his voice and most recently sticking his tongue out for laughs from us.

On the blog side of things I really did struggle. Weddings are my bread and butter, they’re the only area I’ve ever written about and where my passion lies, but 2017 hit me with a big dose of uncertainty. To be completely honest I fell in and out of love with The Promise. At one point I considered packing the whole thing in as I’m an old married fart now! I thought I was past the whole wedding stage. Thankfully though when it came to the crunch I just couldn’t let it go, so here I am, I’ve showed up and I’m ready to throw myself back into it. So I owe you all a huge thank you for sticking by me and to those people who helped me catch a grip and realise where my passions lay, I owe you a drink.

For 2018 I plan to add new inspiring content three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – with two wedding related pieces and one lifestyle post. The lifestyle section will cover a broad spectrum of topics with everything from my latest shoe crush (I have one at least fortnightly!), to surviving motherhood and my musings. I’ve dithered with adding a lifestyle section for a while now, stopping sometimes because I’ve been worried about what my readers will think, but I’ve decided to go for it. If you’re just here for weddings that’s fine, you don’t have to read the rest!

That’s the basic plan anyway, as there is only one of me and I’m also a full time mum of four and a freelance writer with clients to please sometimes I might change it up to suit around other priorities, but for the most part I will try my damnedest to keep the show on the road!

2018 for our family will no doubt be another very busy one. We’ve the transfer test stuff to deal with at the end of January, numerous birthdays including Arden’s first, a fab holiday in the South of France to look forward to, my youngest brothers wedding and lots of home improvements to make – 2018 WILL be the year I buy a new sofa, which makes me so excited (#sadsack).

So here we are, the fifth year into The Promise, thank you for getting this far with me, now lets make 2018 a great one, I hope you will stick around to make it so!

Happy New Year!

Much love, Em xx


Velvet: The Soft Furnishing of the Season

November 17, 2017
velvet soft furnishings

Velvet is the fabric of the moment. It is everywhere, in our homes and on every Christmas-worthy party dress and for good reason – it looks gorgeous, I really do need some in my home and on my back! One problem however, okay, four problems – four young kids including one vomitty baby. I’m already thanking the sensible me who decided not to upgrade to a new cloth sofa, wiping baby sick off leather is a lot easier, believe me.

Anyway, I digress, today we’re talking velvet. If you have non-messy kids (where did you get them?!), or no kids and an immaculate home (we can’t be friends, sorry I don’t hide jealously well) and want to add some luxurious touches to your home, here’s some pieces that might take your fancy…

After a few months of faffing around I’ve finally decided on a new posting schedule, so going forward Monday and Friday will be reserved for lifestyle, family and kids features, and Wednesday and Sunday will have ALL the wedding pretty!

Happy Friday, have a great weekend! xx

velvet soft furnishings

1 Ornate grey throw, £25, Matalan // 2 Black bee velvet cushion, £125, Liberty // 3 Pink printed velvet cushion, £25, // 4 Velvet phonebox tree decoration, £11.25, Liberty // 5 Blue velvet French chair, £449, Swoon Editions // 6 Velvet bedspread in wasabi, from £34, West Elm // 7 Pink velvet tufted throw, £119, Marks & Spencer // 8 Leopard embroidered cushion, £20, Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic for Dunnes // 9 Palm print velvet cushion, £29, // 10 Stockholm 2017 rattan and velvet chair, £195, Ikea // 11 Tassel velvet cushion, £48, Anthropologie //

{Featured image via}


And then there were six…

September 1, 2017

Last night I did something really indulgent, I locked the bathroom door, lit some Jo Malone candles and had an hour long bath.
Actually, nope scrap that, that was in my dreams! In reality I walked around the bedrooms at 8.45pm saying night night to the three biggest kids whilst carrying Arden, the newest addition to Promise HQ. Then I managed a three minute shower before he woke up again and realised Daddy wasn’t Mummy – such is life these days.

It has been three weeks since we welcomed this new little dude into our lives and we’re so besotted with him, like seriously in love with the wee man. After almost 11 years of raising kids, I can finally say our jigsaw is complete. As a family of six we’ve got so many adventures ahead and I can’t wait.

I just wanted to get this quick post up to say a huge thank you to all the readers who have wished us well and to the fabulous bunch of local advertisers who help keep this ship afloat, your understanding and kindness has not gone unnoticed and I am truly thankful for you all.

So September has arrived and with the start of a new school year it is back to work for me. I will be continuing to take things a bit slower for the next few months but I can assure you, beautiful things are coming your way! See you on Monday for some wedding pretty, have a fab weekend whatever you’re up to & honestly, big thanks! Em, Mr P & the 4 kids xx


Bump Progress + A Little Life/Work Update {And Shoes}

June 8, 2017

If you’re this way for wedding inspiration, sorry over that way <<<, this area is reserved for me to ramble.

So I have made it three quarters of the way through and at 31 weeks have quite the basketball up my top look going on.

This has been the strangest pregnancy and I have a few suspicions why. Firstly, I have three other very lovely, but very busy kids to look after and this time of year is all about the end of year exams, dancing festivals, sports days and fun nights etc. the list really does go on and I am head taxi driver and bank – hence the meeting myself coming backwards feeling I have quite frequently.

Secondly, this is my first pregnancy in my thirties, I’m so sure those extra five years have had an impact on how I’ve been feeling mentally and physically. I have been pretty hard work to live with, my mum and husband have got a lot of it with snappy phone calls and even silence (I’m never silent) when I just couldn’t be bothered communicating! I’m not proud of it but hopefully have come out the other side of those crazy hormones, I think I’m nicer now anyway!

And thirdly, just before Easter I was offered the chance of quite a bit more work from my biggest freelance client. Not ideal timing but with sights on a new car (oh the new car debate, apparently I am a car snob which coming from Mr  ‘I only drive German vehicles’ Promise is saying something!) I couldn’t say no and went with the I’ll cope strategy. I have been coping -just- but this lovely blog which brings me so much delight most of the time has suffered, and (if you’re on the wedding inspiration hunt but are reading this for the sake of filling five minutes of your lunchtime) for that I apologise.

One thing I have found has been exactly the same fourth time around is clothes and shoes. With my clothes I am going with an ‘it’ll do’ attitude, so lots of basics going on. Shoes however, well they are a different matter. I adore shoes and have been on quite a shoe shopping spree. My Birkenstocks needed updating (every two years without fail) and when Avoca starting stocking them this Spring I had to have a couple of pairs – exciting, but not the most exciting news. Two weeks ago I was once again browsing the gorgeous rails in Avoca – their clothing is now incredible – and found these pretties from Maruti. I really couldn’t decide which I loved more so had to have both. I mean, amazing or what, the boots are my elf boots or so the kids say and even if I’m dressed in the same pair of jeans every day, these bring me so much joy! *If you fancy snapping up a pair I’d get over to Avoca very soon, they don’t have many left.


This week I have been slowly building myself back into blogging here and have quite the number of gorgeous things lined up for next week, but wanted to give you a quick update before I jump back in, and also say thank you for sticking around and supporting this one woman and her bump! In terms of the bump, which is either a boy or girl (we didn’t find out) it is doing a great job of kicking me from behind the ribs (weirdest feeling ever in a not so nice way), poking my belly button (again, eurgh) and freaking the life out of my eldest by sticking its little foot out the side of my belly! We are so excited to meet this new person and never go a day without feeling extremely lucky that we get to be in charge of a tiny person for the fourth time. See I am nice and sentimental 😉

If you’ve any thoughts for the blog (wedding or otherwise), advice on how I’m going to survive the next few months or simply fancy a chat, drop me a line at emma{at}thepromiseni{dot}com.

Em xx


Five Flats for Spring

March 7, 2017
Spring Flat shoes | The Promise NI

As shoes are the only things I’m guaranteed to fit into for a while, and because maternity clothes are mostly awful, this spring I am upping my shoe game – with flats of course, I’m 5’1 there’s no denying I’m short! Here’s my pick of five flats you need in your wardrobe (or at least I do!) this spring.

Spring Flat shoes | The Promise NI

Smart and stylish and totally on trend with the open back, these black loafers with canvas detail will add a touch of class to an outfit. Currently on sale £78.40 at Boden.

Spring Flat shoes | The Promise NI

I’ve always been a Converse type but this year I’ve my eye on these star beauties (and these, but the price, ouch!) Majestic star trainers, £165, Hush.

Spring Flat shoes | The Promise NI

Well, backless loafers are the shoes to be seen in so why not have two pairs?! With more than a nod to the Gucci pair these are husband-repellers of the finest type and I love them! Black embroidered backless loafers, £30, River IslandSpring Flat shoes | The Promise NI

For when I’m feeling sweet and girly, and perfect for wearing with a pleated skirt. Pink tie up ballet flats, £42, TopshopSpring Flat shoes | The Promise NI

And finally when you want to make a statement but still be comfortable these red sling backs are the answer. Red crossover sling backs, £19.99, Zara.


Baby on Board…

March 2, 2017
pregnant, fourth baby | The Promise NI

Yes! As some of the eagle-eyed amongst you noticed on my Insta stories last week, I shared some news – not in a ‘look at me’ shouty way I hope, but I am currently up the skite with my fourth baby, all being well arriving at the beginning of August.

David and I are thrilled, the kids (who are all old enough to understand it now) are super excited – although they only want a boy (eek) – and we’re revving up to head straight back to life with a newborn. Family and children are so important to me, I’d guess it’s from coming from a broken (but luckily, very happy) family that has catapulted children right to the top of my life priority list taking over career and money etc.

I have thought and thought about starting up a mummy blog, I’ve had one before, but as I’m sure you can imagine, time is not on my side and here I am with an already great platform so I’ve decided to add a little Life category to The Promise. Who know how often I’ll update, whether I’ll run out of time, energy or inspiration but if family life, babies and life outside weddings is of any interest be sure to pop over this side once in a while to read my ramblings.

So FOUR children. I can’t quite believe it myself. After we had Ruby, who is now 5, we were pretty sure the team was complete, two girls and a boy in the middle was pretty perfect to me, but I could never say never.

The next 6-9 months are going to be hard-work with not only a newborn but our eldest doing the AQE examination to move on to big school. I suppose I’m lucky because I have a get-it-done mentality, not that I’m laid-back in the slightest but that I have some sort of weird giant to-do list going on in my head all the time that I just work through. If the bathrooms aren’t cleaned this week, who cares it’s doubtful anyone will die from toothpaste scum, school uniforms can cope without being ironed and I don’t mind leaving the house without makeup. When you have happy, carefree children around your dinner table laughing about something silly, the sound completely melts your heart and in my opinion there is no better feeling than that.

If you’ve reached this far, thank you, thank you. I am far from the perfect mum, wife, daughter, sister, blogger or human but I’m content in what I am and hope you’ll join in my journey both here and over at the wedding side of things. I’ll probably keep it pretty informal this end, and if there’s anything you’d like to ask about life, kids, babies, or being a blogger, be sure to leave me a comment or drop me an email.

Until next time, thanks again, Em xx

{image by Kat Mervyn Photography}

Life Style

Promise Picks: Classic Red Lips

December 8, 2016
bride red lips | The Promise NI

On a special night out I wear red lips, I just adore the polished and statement look it gives (only if there is a MUA handy to apply it!), and I love to see a bride embrace this look. For some a striking red lip is too much and just not bridal, but we are seeing more and more brides have the confidence to rock a red lip, and this gives me all the joy!

Today we’ve gathered a little inspiration to help you decide if you’re on the fence about wearing this look and asked some of our gorgeous Directory MUA’s their favourite rosy shades. Spoiler alert, MAC wins!

bride red lips | The Promise NI

{image credits: By Tezza // Justin Aaron // Greg Finck // Be Modish}

If you’re thinking of wearing a red lippie we’ve done the hard part and asked some of our favourite makeup artists for their favourites.
bride red lips | The Promise NI

Tippy Logronio has two favourites Dubonnet by MAC (1), and Red Velvet by Bobbi Brown (2). Dubonnet has a deep claret undertone, whilst Red Velvet is a deep rich red with a moisturising finish.

Both Lesley-Ann from LA Pro and Kerry from By Kerri Bridal Make Up Artist chose my favourite, Ruby Woo by MAC. The shade is very matte with a blue base.

Stacey from S.A.K.Designs loves to use Russian Red by MAC. An intense blue-red however suits most women and gives a true Hollywood statement lip.

Do you have a favourite red lip colour?


{Featured image: This Modern Romance}