little red briding hood

Apr 15

Next on the ‘to do’ list…

happy extremely, ridiculously belated new year oh lovely ones! its been exactly 106 days since we opened our eyes to the promise of new beginnings, convincing ourselves this would be the year to conquer our wishlist of stubborn resolutions whilst battling a relentless post-NYE hangover. since we’re about a quarter of the way through the year, now seems a good time to ask how we are getting along with the quitting, cutting back on, finishing, starting, trying…?

Image a la

in the jackson/nimmo (‘nimson’?) household this year it was less about making new promises, but keeping the ones we started to share when we met over 8 years ago.  

2012 kicked off with an explosion of marriage-related madness. having been more than a little lax with the plans at the tail end of 2011, we’ve been rattling through the ‘to do’ list (or rather, ahem, spreadsheet) faster than a shot-gun wedding over the last 4 months. So, here’s a little run-down of the highlights:

january: to banish the blues we splurged on some bling-bling wedding rings. well, tom’s is less sparkle & more of a dull shine, but they’re simply stupendous nonetheless. mine is truly unique, and it was half what we’d originally budgeted for, so happy days all round! got it in a slightly smaller size than I needed back in January, so hopefully it doesn’t get stuck half way up my finger come august 25th….

january saw night after night of never-ending planning and emailing suppliers. we also finished our guest list for day invites, ordered lighting for the venue and I scheduled a long-awaited visit to aberdeen to see little miss magic bridesmaid, my beautiful bestie marie. 

february: we cranked it up a notch inspired by the month of lurvvveee and whizzed through designing our eclectic wedding cake, meeting our florist to plan out the bouquets, ordered my wedding dress after another trip north, and completed two out of four bridesmaids outfits (no mean feat, eh ladies!).

i also found a very cool creator of veils via folksy, and after a few email convos with Kirsty, the designer, we came up with the perfect little piece of custom-made heaven for my big day. and to finish my outfit I finally sourced the perfect pair of heels - and I deserve bonus points for the fact I can actually walk in them. high five!

march: march was utter mayhem, as we designed our entire wedding website, got our invite design from the brilliantly talented Libby Walker, then printed and posted our day ones. I had a fabulous makeup trial with ivory lovelust, and we booked our pre-wedding shoot with the gorgeous gals at mirrorbox photography

april (so far): and halfway through april we’re set to achieve a lot more over the next 30 days too. this week alone we’ve had our menu tasting at GAC (yum, is all I shall say for now), booked our beyond amazing honeymoon (that’s a whole other post) and met Sophie, our florist from I Heart Flowers, who’s fast becoming a new buddy who I really hope to keep in touch with after all the wedding shenanigans are over :) tom and I met her for some centre-piece brainstorming, and the creative juices were certainly flowing. don’t think there has ever been anything quite like it…perhaps ever…but it’s top secret for now! 

but as things are ticked off the list, more jobs seem to appear that may have been over-looked til’ now. le sigh! it’s like having another part-time job sometimes, but as much as I moan sometimes, I really wouldn’t have it any other way ;)

but anyhoo, back to resolutions (feels weird talking about these in april, but ever the unconventional, eh ;)) i did set myself one pretty major goal for the next 365 days…to decide on a target at weight watchers and achieve it. no mean feat when said target is shedding 8 stone of fat that’s taken nearly a decade to pile on. by 31 december 2011 I was just short of having lost five of the bad boys. 106 days later I’ve got rid of six of them after a little fight with the scales over the festive period. i’m 28 gruelling pounds away from success, something that hasn’t quite sunk in yet. more difficult than my honours degree, more painful than the 10 hours worth of needle to skin I’ve endured, and up there with some of the most emotional times in my short life so far. anyone that says losing weight is easy has either never been over-weight, or needs a lobotomy (and a punch in the face). because it’s fucking hard. but i’ve done it all on my own. of course, with a little help from tom, my family and some of my friends along the way, and a whole lot of online love to keep me motivated (can’t thank you all enough, seriously). it’s been some marathon, but i’m three quarters of the way there and i can see the finishline!

i used to make a recurring joke to tom and the girls about ‘we won’t give up til the fat lady sings’ and then i would belt out a little tune, and they would nervously laugh, a bit uncomfortable at my self-deprecation. i can’t wait til i’m not everyone’s funny, fat friend. what i’m looking forward to the most though is not waking up full of hate and deep disdain for the body i live in. THAT will be a good, good day.

so, whatever your new years resolutions for 2012, no matter how humongous or teensy, we all have it within us to get there. whether it’s tomorrow, or in six months or even next year, all it really takes is a shitload of bravery, and a few deep breaths when the urge to quit rears its ugly head. you deserve that happiness, so believe in your strength. if i can, you can. 

wishes & kisses

c xx

ps did you see ‘Red Gets Wed Part 2’? on Marry Me Ink? Well, did ya? Leave some love over on Rachael’s awesome blog if you did :) Loved my Mamma’s wee comment xx

Dec 08

this idiots guide to inspo

inspiration…as powerful as a lorry load of red bull.  it can literally steer your life, like cruise control for creativity. but have you ever actually pressed pause and considered for a second how what inspires you has helped shape your life - whether it be that album, your Mum’s strength, the idealism of Sex & the City, your twitter feed, life’s brave survivors, beautiful sentences, people-watching from a coffee shop window? 

as you’ve probably guessed all of the above fuel my tank of va va voom. that, and christmas, my journeys on the tube, phone calls with my besties, paperchase, getting lost in fiction, my weight watcher meetings…the list is limitless!

but as i’ve been banging on about in person or online, for reason(s) i’m not quite sure of, i’ve felt a drought in that department of late. like going to willy wonkas factory and finding its filled with dead chickens, somethings held me back from seeing the beauty in what life’s whafted right under my nose. maybe the day job, maybe money worries or maybe my drastic change in calorie intake has killed the best of my brain cells (hmm, doubtful) - whatever, i’ve not been inspired enough to get blog busy recently. ‘excuse’ has become my middle name the last 4 months!

but a sharp corner has been turned dear friends! so many amazing things have happened the last few months I would’ve had to be without a pulse NOT to be inspired by them. from my journey to find the perfect wedding dress at Avorio Bridal and Candy Anthony, to my team’s category finalist at the Times Higher Education awards with work, to spending time with the most special people in my life (you know who you are), to Tom and I’s exploration into songs for the wedding, to meeting my blog idol Kat Williams and frankly some of the most phenomenally creative ladies i’ve ever encountered, both at the School of Rock(nRoll Bride), to taking time out on my own, i’ve kickstarted my writing again…and not only that, i’ve got back on the unicorn with something VERY special indeed…

did you see? well, did you? i did a wee guest post for an extraordinarily talented blogger called Rachael who i met in cyberland. not to over-gush here but she really is just a freakin’ fantastic girl. SO down to earth, SO refreshing, and a howge source of inspiration in her own right. as is her fabulous blog, Marry Me Ink…a little haven for the decorated bride and their admirers. so here i am, ‘Red Gets Wed' talking about my new wedding tattoo booked in for 2012…

yep, normal service has resumed, and shit is it good to be back. i guess all it takes is a little bit of patience, perseverance to regain your mojo and basic appreciation of the things around you, however big or small. and if ALL else fails, where better to head than pinterest

so, what inspires you in this wee world of ours? 

red xo

Sep 26

my big fat (surprise) bridal shower!

i have to say i’ve been rather lax with the ol’ blogging of late…but hey, why write about life when you can be living it, right? and holy hairspray, have we been living it. it’s been a ‘turbulent’ few months in some ways, with lessons learned, revelations good and bad and life-affirming reflections, but tom and i have grown closer than ever, and we’re really beginning to find our equilibrium planning our big day together. when we started out planning the wedding, admittedly sometimes we weren’t so much ‘chalk and cheese’, more water and oil…they just don’t mix! but add good old washing powder and they unite as one. our magical detergent was all the shit being thrown at us…instead of causing waves in our relationship, it’s only reminded us just what this wedding is all about. our immense love for each other. and now we’re back to joining all the greatest duos in life… turner & hooch, sharkey & george, bert & ernie, dick & dom….dumb & dumber?

but back to wedding business…in august my mamma and i had arranged for my bridesmaids to all rendezvous at chez jackson, garmouth up in the north-east of scotland so they could all get to know each other a bit better. so, one august weekend we all descended upon my mamma for a weekend of wedding dress shopping, cocktails, and more surprises than i ever could’ve imagined!

before i give a full blown account of all the fun we did have, first you should know something about my mum and me. you see, for the last 12 years my beautiful, strong and gentle mum has been both parents to my brother and i. not a moment has passed where she’s not put us first, and thanks to her nurturing and support i’ve kept in tact my bubbly and exuberant charisma when it could’ve easily been sucked from me for good. mum isn’t just my parent…she’s my best friend, my inspiration, my guardian angel and the most important woman in my whole world. we’ve been through so much together, and if it wasn’t for my mum i can brutally and honestly say i might not be here.

**love you mum**

but before i end up losing my laptop to a waterfall, i’ll just tell you about one of the happiest weekends of my life so far! in the lead up to our weekend, mum had hinted that she may have been a busy bee organising one or two surprises, but never in a million years did i dream she’d have organised what can only be described as my very own enchanted princess party! 

all the girls arrived early afternoon, and after a sarnie and a gossip we headed off to Avorio Bridal. mum said she’d meet us there, and by the time she’d arrived, and we’d laughed a lot at the MBFGW-style dresses, i’d chosen 3 or 4 pretties to try on in the mammoth, but decadent, changing room.  so my audience assembled, and i had some help manoeuvring into my first dress. now i’m not going to give away any of the deets of course as the boy will no doubt have a read of this, but lets just say dress 1 was nae use! dull would describe dress 2……

but dress 3…not to be a girl about this, but all i can say is eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  everyone was in tears, even the lovely lady who worked there! all i could picture was tom waiting for me at the end of the aisle, with my mum by my side, and it was enough to set me off! i never thought i’d be lucky enough to get that ‘this is the one’ moment, but i did, and with all my girls around me. it was just thee most special moment, it really was. once they’d managed to coax me out of my finery (i really didnt want to take it off!) we went upstairs to look at bridesmaids dresses, which was hilarious but not quite so successful! we headed home, me on cloud 9 :)

awaiting my return was a giant disney princess poster on the door, with my face superimposed over cinderella! our tree was decorated with pink delights, and inside was like an explosion of princess prettiness! to say i was shocked…..a princess crown was plonked on my head, the champagne was popped and i took a seat on my very own DIY pink throne!

the rest of the night comprised of a bridesmaids quiz, a dress-up box (see below for the silliness), Mr & Mrs (never ask tom what his favourite bird is, right girls!), presents, a photo gallery of wee me to big me, cocktails, a bride-to-be icecream cake, a message book from my bridesmaids, making me a princess dress and laughing til it hurt! 

my mum threw me the best surprise bridal shower i ever could’ve wished for! start to finish, it was perfect, and i just want to thank her for everything she did, and all the hard work that went into the weekend x

boy do i feel sorry for my bridesmaids having to top that…


wishes & kisses xx

Aug 29

INTERNally Rock n’ Roll…

Howdy ladies & laddies, has been a while huh? But to quote everyone’s favoured man-band, I’m ‘Back for Good’ bitches! Okay, so I added the potty-mouth profanity…ee can you imagine Take That swearing in a song? Oh so wrong…

Anyway, back to business. Of the wedding variety of course. It sure has been a rollercoaster of emotions, happenings and pleasures of the mixed kind over the last few months. SO much has been happening I’m going to break it down into a few bouts of blogging this week and next as frankly it’s just too much for my tiny mind to process in one readable post!

So today I shall recount my dramatic journey down the road to becoming the next Rock n Roll Bride intern, which you of course all know about already as for five days last month I pestered you profusely :)

When I heard at the start of July that Kat - Rock n Roll Bride herself - was on the hunt for a new intern to guest-blog once a month and generally help her with some pretty cool shenanigans related to the wedding industry, not even valium could’ve calmed me down! I was seriously freaking with excitement…she was looking for a bride-to-be, preferably with her own blog at the start of her journey to walking down the aisle in 2012. I’ve always believed in fate, and this only reinforced my credo. On saying that, as I carefully crafted my pretty lengthy submission (see below for the entry in all it’s glory) I never in a gazillion light years thought I would make her final three! Well, we actually thought Kat was going to pick her favourite and got a bit of shock finding out it was down to the masses! I sure would’ve written it differently for public consumption, but therein lies a lesson - always expect the unexpected :)

And this is the bit you lovely lot got involved in. The voting opened, I pestered you to within a inch of your cyber lives, and to cut an agonisingly long story short, after 20,000 votes (!!!!) I was pipped to the post by a lovely lil’ Liverpudlian lassie (OTT alliteration?!) who goes by the name of Roo. And a deserved winner too, I truly mean that. Her writing actually rocked my world. 

But now for the tough bit. I’d be misinforming you if I said I dealt with this bravely, because I really didn’t. Weirdly, at the time it actually felt like last chance saloon for me and writing. Since Scarlet I’ve desperately missed putting finger to keyboard regularly - seeing my name in print - and readers finding pleasure in what I’ve had to say (although, to be clear, I didn’t write for Scarlet’s erotica section, only the PG stuff!).

Part pretentious editors, part credit crunch and part laziness have resulted in me struggling to find a new outlet for my writing. As I said in my R&RB entry, this is my second love - someone once said that words are the voice of the heart, and that really rings true with me. 

But anyhoo - one July Saturday, a bundle of snotty tissues, and a whole heap of hugs later I’d pulled myself together and realised this wasn’t the end of the road for me and writing, age 27 and a half years old. What a daft cow I was being! Who cares that I don’t do this to bring home the bacon? So what that I want a nice flat and nice holidays and even nicer leopard print shoes, and that the day job pays for that very well indeed (apart from when we’re saving for a wedding, of course, when I can afford none of the above!). But this reminded me that I never, ever want to lose sight of what makes me, me, and an enormous part of that is my love of words. It’s what got me my first front page news story aged 15, all the way to a 2.1 honours degree at Uni, a string of free nights in 5 star hotels (mmm, good times), the job I’m in and down to the final three for the internship. 

So as you may have gathered I learned a bunch of life-affirming lessons throughout this process, and have grown in more ways than one. I felt really overwhelmed and humbled to have gotten such steller support from friends, family and relative strangers…your comments amazed me, and way too often left me choking back the tears in the most inappropriate of places (think the tube, in the office, on the street, in front of my dentist!). Thank you is one word that just doesn’t lend itself to the sincerity I want to convey, but if I haven’t already said it to you personally here’s one for you…


….for taking time out your life to support me, for helping me believe in myself and for reminding me how lucky I am in this life.

Right, enough of this mush before my fake eyelashes fall off…here’s my entry to Rock n Roll bride in full as the one on Kat’s blog was slightly cut down (I don’t half rabbit on huh? and how many LOVE HEARTS do I use? I seriously need to get over them…)

Love you lots like polka dots xx


Wow…Kat, even writing this email is insanely exciting. Can’t quite believe this opportunity has come up when I’m ACTUALLY getting married and eligible to apply! I’ve been addicted to your blog since I stumbled across you as a newly-gaged six months ago, and can’t tell you how much this opportunity would mean to me. In fact, I’m SO hooked on R&RB that I ran up a rather significant phone bill for keeping up-to-date with the blog while holidaying in Morocco last month…oops! Lesson learned the hard way ;)

Okay, back to business….so here goes, a bit about us:

♥ My name’s Claire Jackson, or ‘Red’ as some folk call me. I’m marrying a man-slash-boy (he’s lovably immature) called Tom Nimmo. Yep, I’m going to be Mrs Claire Nimmo and I too will have to endure the ‘Finding Nemo’ jokes. Super! :)
♥ I’m 27, Tom’s two years nearer the big 3-0, and we live in the mighty Glasgow, Bonnie Scotland. Although the boy’s English - Blackpool born and bred - we’ve both lived here for ten years, eight of which we’ve been causing havoc together. 
♥ We’ve picked the cutest wee place for the whole shebang - Glasgow Art Club. It’s a private members club housed in a traditional tenement (Victorian) house in the heart of the city. Up and coming as a wedding venue, GAC is perfect for us. We knew from the start what we defo didn’twant - a run of the mill place that churned weddings out like a yo sushi conveyor belt. It had to allow us to hold a humanist ceremony and it had to be relatively cheap as we’re on a bit of a shoestring budget (compartive to the cost of the average wedding!). So, after three months we stumbled across GAC, and following a few visits to see Naoimh - the brilliant craic manager - we booked it for 25 August 2012. 

♥ We’ve been engaged since 6 December 2010, and starting planning the wedding in March following an awesome engagement party just after Valentines Day. It was the first time the two families had met…luckily the two clans united in peace!

♥ So far we’ve booked our venue (GAC), our fabby photographers (mirrorbox photography) and someone to marry us (a humanist celebrant called Senga Kemp). The caterers come with the venue, but are called en croute, though we’ve still to meet to confirm exactly what we’d like food-wise. Oo I’ve also actually found an amazing makeup artist, Ivory Lovelust - a vintage style makeup artist from Edinburgh. We’ve been in touch but I haven’t scheduled a trial with her yet. That’s to come after a few more stone is shed…♥ Which leads me to the biggest challenge related to the wedding actually. I’m a fairly curvy girl with quite a large number of pounds to lose in the run up to the wedding (approx 5 stone after losing 2.5 so far) - unless I want to take the meaning of our ‘big day’ literally that is. I’m certainly not alone as a bride-to-be battling the bulge to transform herself for her wedding, and so thought it would be a really positive thing if I could share my struggles/successes/frustrations/elations with your readers, and hopefully we can inspire each other not just in style, but in health too. Apart from wanting to look and feel the best I ever have for getting married, this weight-loss is essential if I want to live a happy and healthy life with the love of my life. The irony in ‘a lot to lose and a lot to gain’ comes to mind! :)♥ When we sat down and wrote down the things we love that we’d like to try and incorporate into the wedding in some way, it went something like this:

stars, rainbows, flamingos, 50s, Scotland, birds, skulls, rockabilly, balloons, cupcakes, tattoos, colour, polka dots, cherry blossom, robots, stripes, bows, hearts, leopard print, coconut, reggae/dancehall, USA, motown, sweets, Glasgow, rock, tutus…

An eclectic mix you could say, and we’ve already started collecting bits and bobs from vintage/retro shops across the UK. Our most recent purchase is a purple lady tin robot with lightening bolts on her from a wee shop in the Northern Quarter, Manchester. Without going into too much detail we envisage 50s dress, colourful flowers, black bridesmaids dresses with bright shoes, quirky cocktails, an american diner buffet style feast, cupcakes galore with a few surprises on the night! You can see a lot of our inspiration on our mood boards via pinterest. I’m also getting new ink on my shoulder especially for the big day, so that could be interesting…We’re not into being different for different’s sake, just being true to ourselves as individuals and as a couple.♥ To be totally honest, I’m pretty rubbish with technology. I can’t really cook, and every DIY project I set myself nearly ends up in a trip to A&E! But I live to write and in truth it’s the second love of my life. I studied journalism at University for four years, and even though the day job’s in the public sector as a University manager, I worked freelance for a women’s magazine (Scarlet - you might know it? They had an awesome alternative wedding magazine too, Black Meringue). Unfortunately it went into liquidation last year, so I’m now channelling all my creativity into the wedding, and my own wee blog. Maybe one day I can jack in the job too and blog to my heart’s content :)
Well, I’ve babbled long enough now, so all digits crossed that I’m the lucky cow that gets the good news come 25 July :)

Claire xx”

Aug 21

What was the best job you’ve ever had?

Internship @ Scarlet magazine - the UK’s sexiest mag for ladies, that is sadly no more.

Ask me anything

Aug 21

If your house was on fire and you could only grab three things, what would they be?

my boy, my bling bling engagement ring and the third is my secret…

Ask me anything

Aug 21

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten?

toss up between shark and frog’s legs - both very strange-tasting.

Ask me anything

Aug 21

Jul 30
Jul 25
image a la redbubble by theloveshop
I kept this a mahoosive secret as I never in a gazillion years thought I’d be shortlisted…BUT, turns out that I really am one of the luckiest ladies alive this sunnyside Monday! I’ve made the ‘final 3’ for the bestest god damn job in the world - an (unpaid) internship with THEE rock n roll bride herself, Kat Williams. 
It’s a super tough competition (I know I shouldn’t fraternize, but I’m just a little bit in love with no1, ‘Roo’!). I would really appreciate your vote, should you want to read more about me, my boy and I in the lead up to our kooky day next August. 
So please vote, leave comments, and generally spread the love if you are feeling it to help me live the dream! Woo! 
Wishes and kisses xx
And just incase you missed the link…. ;) 

image a la redbubble by theloveshop

I kept this a mahoosive secret as I never in a gazillion years thought I’d be shortlisted…BUT, turns out that I really am one of the luckiest ladies alive this sunnyside Monday! I’ve made the ‘final 3’ for the bestest god damn job in the world - an (unpaid) internship with THEE rock n roll bride herself, Kat Williams

It’s a super tough competition (I know I shouldn’t fraternize, but I’m just a little bit in love with no1, ‘Roo’!). I would really appreciate your vote, should you want to read more about me, my boy and I in the lead up to our kooky day next August. 

So please vote, leave comments, and generally spread the love if you are feeling it to help me live the dream! Woo! 

Wishes and kisses xx

And just incase you missed the link…. ;)