Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Mensa Spring Ball 2014 - Great Gatsby Murder Mystery

The fact that I'm a member of Mensa is little known, and it's often something people are quite surprised about. The reason I don't talk about it, isn't because I'm ashamed or embarrassed, but because I don't particularly want it to be seen as a defining feature of my personality. I took the test when I was in the early years of high school, I think I was 12 - though my memory is foggy for a lot of those years. Since then I've been a relatively silent member; ardently awaiting my monthly magazine and enjoying reading articles on a range of topics and hearing about the adventures of other members. It was only this April that I found the time and courage to go along to a Mensa event. Organised by my incredibly talented friend Jade, the Mensa Spring Ball was spectacular for the last two years with themes of burlesque and masquerade and fast became a permanent feature in the Mensan calendar.

"A little party never killed nobody..."

Yeah, you guessed it (ok so the title of the post gives it away!) but this year the theme was Great Gatsby - except that a little party did kill somebody, because it was a murder mystery, of course!

B and I had the BEST time at the ball, with dressing up 20s stylee being the absolute cherry on the top of the fabulous cake. We met so many amazing and interesting people, made new friends, had fantastic conversations and Charleston'ed the night away. I cannot wait for next years ball!

I'm just going to go ahead and let you enjoy the photos now!
Mensa Spring Ball 2014 Great Gatsby Murder Mystery
JustRach 1920s Great Gatsby Fancy Dress
Carey Mulligan Gatsby Head Piece
1920s Fancy Dress Great Gatsby
Great Gatsby Fancy Dress 1920s
Unique Vintage Ivory Beaded Flapper Dress
I fell absolutely head over heels in love with this gorgeous ivory flapper dress from Unique Vintage, which has the most amazing selection of dresses to choose from, from any era you could want. The dress was a little pricey, but in my opinion well worth it. It was incredible quality - quite heavy with all of the beautiful beads stitched on - but the way it swished when I danced and moved was pure perfection. I like to do fancy dress properly, and I felt a million dollars in my 1920s get up. As with most proper flapper dresses, it was see through, so I purchased a simple white slip from BHS for underneath the dress.
Unique Vintage Beaded Flapper Dress
Daisy Buchanan Gatsby Head Piece
Daisy Buchanan Great Gatsby Head Piece
This absolutely beautiful head-piece is a pretty amazing replica of the one that Daisy Buchanan wears at the big party in the recent Great Gatsby film. I picked it up on Etsy.
My stunning matchy shoes are from Dune. I was so over the moon to find the perfect shoe I was looking for! I'll definitely wear them again too, they're comfortable and classic pair of shoes that I'm sure I'll cherish for years to come.
1920s chignon updo Scarlet Hair Studio
Scarlet Hair Studio 1920s chignon updo
I had my amazing hair-do done by my hairdresser Laura. Laura is crazy talented, and I'm so impressed with what she managed with my hair. As you all know its super long and it was really difficult to work with because it's so soft. Laura put together a fantastic chignon style up-do complete with 1920s finger waves at the front, which allowed my headpiece to slide perfectly into place. If you're ever in the area pop along to Scarlet Hair Studio, they're just fantastic. I did my own eye-makeup, which I'm really flippin' proud of. I'd never even attempted a smokey eye before this and I think I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!
JustRach Raddison Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury
JustRach Chivalrous Gatsby Fancy Dress
Literato Gatsby Cufflinks
These fab Gastby cufflinks B was sporting were made by none other than the man himself. You can pick up a pair, as well as a tonne of other amazing literature inspired goodies from his shop Literato.
Mensa Spring Ball 2014
The wonderful Jade, event planner extraordinaire!
Gatsby Ball dancing
Gatsby Ball meal
Chivalrous JustRach Gatsby 1920s themed fancy dress mensa ball
My next excuse to dress up (I'll take any!) is coming very soon - September, in fact. It's my sailing club's autumn social and the theme is Western (cowboys and indians), so I'm planning to go as Pocahontas... watch this space!

So, what do you think cherubs? Did we do the 1920s proud?

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

National Trust: Rufford Old Hall

National Trust Rufford Old Hall
Taking full advantage of the glorious British summer we've been blessed with this year, B and I picked a National Trust spot that we've not been to yet and headed over, picnic in tow. Rufford Old Hall is a gorgeous little mismatched country home tucked away in some incredibly stunning grounds. We took full advantage of the lovely weather and headed out to explore and find the perfect picnic spot.
Rufford Old Hall Front Garden
Rufford Old Hall Driveway
Rufford Old Hall Gardens
Rufford Old Hall Foxgloves Patch
Rufford Hall Foxgloves Patch
Close Up Purple Foxgloves
Rufford Old Hall Squirrel Topiary
Rufford Old Hall House
Peach Floral Glamorous Swing Dress
Glasses c/o Firmoo // Swing Dress c/o Glamorous // Nomination Charm Bracelet c/o Joshua James // Shoes: Primark // Bag: H&M
I opted for this wonderfully swishy number from Glamorous, which has been a summer staple in my wardrobe this season! I paired it with my trusty neon H&M shoulder bag and some simple last season Primark peep-toe pumps.
Joshua James Nomination Charm Bracelet
The bracelet I'm wearing is a Nomination charm bracelet from Joshua James. It's a gorgeous Italian silver linked band, which allows you to swap out links for charms. I chose the peridot green charm as it's my birthstone, and the leo zodiac symbol. It's so different from other charm bracelets, but I do love how simple and understated it is.
Rufford Old Hall Scarecrow Vegetable Garden
Rufford Old Hall Orchard
JustRach Glamorous Swing Dress
We found an open field that looked like the perfect picnic spot, and headed for the shady patch under the lone tree.
Rufford Old Hall Picnic Spot
Rufford Old Hall Field Tree
After settling down on our picnic blanket, I whipped off my new Firmoo glasses and got ready to relax. What do you all think of the new specs? I know they're pretty large frames, and honestly they took a little while to grow on me, but now I am in love with them. I love the purple coloured frames and the tortoiseshell arms. I was sent a pair of Firmoo glasses over a year ago now (click to look at cringeworthy pictures of me!), and they more than stood the test of time but I was definitely ready for a change. Plus, they come with UV protection and anti-glare lenses, super quality and value!
Firmoo Glasses
Sunshine Firmoo Glasses
Firmoo Purple Geek Glasses
Strawberries
JustRach reading Rufford Old Hall
After relaxing and nibbling, we went off adventuring and exploring some more, before heading into the hall itself to have a look around inside.
Rufford Old Hall Bird Spotting
Rufford Old Hall Secret Garden
Rufford Old Hall Bees at Work
Rufford Old Hall Bees
Rufford Old Hall Beehives
Rufford Old Hall beautiful flower patch
Rufford Old Hall Flower Grounds
JustRach Outfit Glamorous Swing Dress Firmoo Glasses
JustRach outfit spinning
Rufford Old Hall Coat of Arms
Inside Rufford Old Hall
JustRach Coat of Arms
Looks like I found my knight in shining armour! Don't tell Bob guys! ;)

Have you had any summer adventures? Tell me all about them!

I'd love your comments and thoughts below, or: @justrachblog // justrachblog@gmail.com

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