Growing my own bouquet: a budget step too far?

Flowers, Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

So on an early post I wrote about how trying to find the perfect September flowers are hard. I also said that it’s hard to find what actual flowers are in season.

My mum and Charlotte are doing my flowers.

My sister said I should try growing my own dahlias , so for my birthday I bought two lots of dahlia tubers.

Sarah Raven has got the most beautiful selection and it’s where I bought mine from!

This beauty is the Rubens collection

Which are the most Devine colours ever! These are all dahlias but all so very different.

I figured that if it works great!

If they don’t flower in time then my garden will be beautiful. If I just get one bloom I will be over the moon!! If it’s a Cafe au Lait even better.

I fell in love with them so much I bought a second set of tubers in a slightly different palette. This is the Flamboyant selection!

I figured that they would all work beautifully together if I was lucky enough to grow them all.

I am on Dahlia watch

I planted them just after the last frost and have been monitoring the weather ever since.

I am like a crazy plant lady.

I actually screamed when the parcel arrived. And then I had to wait almost a month because the weather was bad.

I also bought cheap pots that I had to cut wholes in so my plants don’t drown with the amount of rain we are sure to have.

I also ran out of soil and had to top up a week later.

Being a planner I had to plan which ones to do first!

Luckily everything is written on the bag so while I was writing out the sticks I could match it to the tuber. Makes me happy!

My friend said to write the name on both sides because rain and sun will fade them.

Measure twice, cut once

This makes me so happy. I am pretty sure I am supposed to snip the top so that I get more flowers but I will do a bit more research before I make the final cut.

My garden is now covered with plant pots and Dahlias.

I have used plant pots because my garden is dark and this means I can find the best spots for them.

Couch to 5k my journey and tips from someone who is struggling!

confidence, Fitness, running, weight loss

I have said before that if I have an idea I can do something it’s because I can. This has always been my approach to life. You would think that this would mean that I am highly successful and motivated.

Ha ha

Nope

So when I decided to run I thought I can run 5k. Don’t get me started on the half marathon farce. I started couch to 5k had two bad runs and gave up.

Oh I can do anything can I?

In my head I ran 3k which was good enough for me. So this time my end game is 21K which is so bloody far I cant truly focus on it.

So because I started couch to 5k last time I knew that I didn’t have to start from the very beginning. I could run 5minutes fine so I started from week 5.

Beginning

Which was a perfect place to start. If you are a beginner please please start from the beginning.

All you need to start is

  • Good running shoes ( go get fitted)
  • A phone that you can down load the app onto
  • The app
  • Headphones
  • A pocket you can zip away your phone
  • Keys to get into your house
  • Money in case you are desperate for a drink or a bus ride home!

That’s it. Nothing fancy. Oh ladies please get a sports bra!

Don’t beat yourself up

What I have learned from last time is that if you don’t make it. Just repeat it till you do!

I have stayed on week five for 3 weeks now. Monday I ran for 20 minutes straight and I was fine, I could have run further but I was so happy. Wednesday is was a 5minute, 8 minutes, 5minute run and I was a hot mess.

Yes it’s hot but that redness is not sunburn. I have SPF on, that redness is my heart pounding so fast! I was sweaty and my knees felt weak!

Heart rate was 151!

Did I feel good after, yes after my shower. It put a little doubt in my head. But I will push on to week six day 2. I have too. You have to. Pushing yourself is part of it.

If I don’t complete my next run I will just go back to the start of the week until I can complete it.

The NHS app is great. I love Laura, her voice is soothing and encouraging! She is getting me through it even if I do swear at her when I think I only have a minute to go and she tells me I am half way through. Sorry Laura.

Now I am in a good place.

I am visualising completing the 5k and moving onto the 10K. I am visualing my training up to run the 21K. It will be a great accomplishment for me.

Guilt behind the diet: confessions of a chubby bride

body confidence, Fitness, health, weight loss

Everyone who has ever started a diet, cleanse or trying to be healthier is always struck by guilt. Guilt of want bad foods. Guilt of eating bad foods. Guilt of the scales for tipping over when we know we have been a bit naughty.

So as you can guess I really really didn’t want to put this picture up! But guess what this is me. Fat going over my running leggings and a belly over hanging. Now before you say I don’t look too bad you need to remember. I have excess fat over my vital organs. This is bad and unhealthy and frankly needs to go.

Being over weight isn’t about looking good or bad it’s actually just bad for you and if I don’t get fit now, then when. Plus I am unhappy so I need to do this!

Guilt is your enemy

It makes you feel like you have failed and so don’t want to try when actually you should just keep going.

Cheat days, treats these are negative words that can make you want to give up when you have been trying so hard.

Working out what your relationship with food is so important! I am emotional eater if I am upset or angry then I crave chocolate. And a little chocolate isn’t bad but I am a compulsive eater who isn’t good with portion control.

Stuck in a rut

The other problem with diets is getting stuck in a rut and convenience. There are no healthy option take always where I live. So you start off well. Putting healthy veg in your fridge. Looking at fat percentage in your mince etc.

But then you start eating the same thing all the time.

I have my go to meals that are no brainers but it’s the snacking that causes issues I love fruit but shouldn’t it be sliced and put in my gin and tonic?

An apple is delicious but it is not, nor will ever be, a bar of chocolate!

So when you fill up your fridge make sure you put things in it that you actually want to eat rather than because someone told you too.

Kale will never be my friend

Chocolate will always be my wayward friend, I will never let go of them completely. We have to much history, too many good times!

But I need to get real and focus.

Running is helping, I am more proactive to eat better after a run or long walk

But I am not giving up

I am not going to make myself feel bad if I eat 4 Bakewell tarts. I am a compulsive eater. I keep telling you this. I would have eaten all 6 but I gave 2 away.

Being negative is never going to help. Being self deprecating doesn’t motivate you to lose weight. Guilt doesn’t make you feel better.

I want to do this

I am going to do this!

My favourite healthy lunch I prepare at work

body confidence, Fitness, food, health, Personal Experience, weight loss

So I am training, toning and eating healthier. I am a stone (14lbs) over weight. I thought I would share with you some of my favourite healthy lunches that I prepare at work.

I get 30 minutes for lunch so I don’t have a lot of time. This Asian salad I saw on a website and have adapted it to suit me.

You will need:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Cabbage medley
  • Asian slaw
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Prawns ( I chose chilli and coriander)
  • Soy ( I am using Tamara less salt)
  • Sriracha ( I don’t like heat but I love this sauce)
  • A lime

This will make 2 lunches with enough salad to make 2/3 more.

I would love not to buy things with so much plastic however everything I bought was prepacked. Plus I only get 30 minutes so I have time constraints.

So Tesco is my local supermarket to work. I tend to do a shop for the weeks lunches! This isn’t a cheap lunch but I get 4 lunches out of it so it works out at about 2.50 a lunch and 250 calories per portion. I colour make this a lot cheaper by pre preparing everything at home but I would have to buy a lot of ingredients that I would have to eat all week.

Eating habits

I don’t know about you but I hate eating the same thing every day. When you are single this is the worse part of cooking!

I decided to prepare lunch for my work colleagues who only eats fish.

This Asian slaw is literally pickled cabbage and it takes so yummy. It adds an acid and freshness to this salad and I love it!

Now you want to give it a good mix

Now you add more flavour. Tamari has less salt than normal soy and it gluten free ( not that this effects me)

Hot source

sriracha is my new best friend when it comes to cooking. The level of heat is just yummy. Even for people who don’t like heat I would recommend using this! Just add a little at a time! I always find I need just a wee bit more!

Everything tastes better with sesame seeds. These roasted ones last for ages in your cupboard and they can make pretty much any dish tasty.

Fresh lime. I love like with the sweet salty chilli dressing you have put in this just helps sharpen it all up!

Perfect quick lunch

Yum, add as little or as less as you like. If I don’t add it does feel like I am missing something.

So that’s it!

I have more healthy lunches coming but for under 300 calories this is a great lunch and if there are left overs that get to marinate over night, so tastes even better.

What’s your favourite lunches.

Looking after me, skincare update

Advice, Beauty, confidence, skincare

My mum is proud of me because I know more about skincare or at least the latest skincare since getting engaged.

I have become a little obsessed with my skincare, I have mentioned that before. I don’t wear a lot of makeup. But I have started buying a wee bit more.

We went to SpaceNK on Kings road and I am so happy we did, there was a lot of staff ready to help and we did a sweep around the store trying the sample and planning the next purchases for my Nydulge card.

I can’t wait for payday I am out of B hydra and the CFirma serum. Or I could just buy the Elizabeth Arden serum oh I still don’t know.

Skin type: I have

  • Combination skin
  • Oily tzone
  • Large pores
  • Millie
  • Blocked pores
  • Broken veins
  • Dry patches on my eyelids

How sexy do I sound! You probably think that it’s strange that I don’t wear makeup. If I go out at night then I put eye makeup, a red lips and a wee bit of blusher. I have a Lancôme tinted moisturiser with SPF. Which doesn’t smother my skin.

So with all these issue I now have skincare staples.

Morning

After reading drunk elephants skincare routine from the littles I have learned that after cleansing at night I don’t really need to cleanse in the morning as I was my face in the shower. So afterwards I just use a vitamin serum and a moisturiser. Then after that has set into my skin I use an SPF.

At night

I cleanse my face. Then I use a serum and then a retinol and sometimes a moisturiser or a night oil if I think my skin needs it. I cant get along with sheet masks. Maybe I am the ones I am using the wrong ones but I don’t really understand them. I use a face mask once a week I would use it more but I don’t want flakey skin to add to all my other issues!

I do like to mix and match

My favourite products are

  • Elemis Rose balm cleanser
  • Indee Lee Toner
  • The Ordinary Matryxal 10% +HA
    Drunk Elephant Whip moisturiser
    Alpha H retinol
    Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil
    Elemis night moisturiser
    Drunk Elephant BHydra
    Drunk Elephant C-Firma
    Drunk Elephant Babyfacial
    La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+

I own a lot more products but these are my favourites.

I will go into more detail on what the products do for my skin in a later blog and will try not to repeat myself. If you want any information about Drunk Elephant click here but Baby Facial isn’t there because I hadn’t bought it yet. Plus it deserves its own blog, I love it so much.

My mum is proud of me because I care about what goes on my skin. I am worried about my makeup on my wedding day. I understand that preparation is key.

So I am looking after it now.

Time to be more me: Wedding Saga continues

Organising, Personal Experience, Wedding

I think, maybe I am learning that when is comes to the world of weddings that people including myself get swept up into being a bride. Bridal this, wedding that. The ideal wedding and the perfect bride.

Every bride looks beautiful and that is because they are happy. Happiness makes everyone radiant. It shine through them and make you smile.

A lesson to us all.

Matchy matchy poo poo

Everything that is not me.

I am constantly striving for this bridal perfection when it isn’t nessesary. If it’s not me then why am I entertaining it.

I think that it is easy to become a bride instead of just being you! Maybe a perfect version of you, in the photos. I am not saying that you have to look like yourself if you don’t want to. I am just saying it easy to get sucked into a theme or a look just because everyone is doing something.

Social media has a lot to answer for but at the end of the day it’s you making the decisions and you paying the bills. Pinterest made me do it is a common theme.

I keep looking at nail varnish! How silly am I. Pale nudey shades that are are really pretty and delicate but not me. I am a bright colourful person trying to pale myself down.

Not any more.

I know I agreed to the white dress even though I would prefer to be dressed in this beautiful creation but it was a request from the groom. Plus I never had ever had the budget for couture!

Ellie Saab dress

I love my dress

It suits me to a tea.

It isn’t the Ellie Saab dress I love but it is wonderful.

I won’t be having pretty nice nude nails. I am having a lovely plummy lavender for my legal ceremony and a pinky coral which is my absolute favourite colour for the wedding.

Obviously I may change my mind but I hope I don’t.

The wedding look

I will never understand why people strive to look the same and have the same feel of a wedding that they have seen a hundred times before. Don’t get me wrong I am totally inspired by other people’s weddings, I just want our day to represent us! So if our nieces and nephews want to dress up as ewoks so be it!

There are so many wedding trends that I do not understand. Prosecco walls? Surely someone has to stand there and fill them up no? Is this person not a waiter? Could they not just pass around the drinks and make sure everyone gets one?

Difficulties

It is hard when your family and friends have perceptions of what a wedding should be.

Bridesmaids in the same dress.

Just men doing speeches.

But I think explaining your look and vibe and including them in it helps. It also stops confusion.

I love a wedding, everything about it! The bride and groom then walking down the isle. The ceremony which is my favourite bit!

Confetti, oh how I love a smiling bride and confetti!

Food, drink and then dancing the night away with people I care about.

The wedding saga has to end, it will in four months!

It’s time to be more me.

May Day British Beach trip avec pooch!

french bulldog, Personal Experience, Travel

So Easter, then Mayday equals a lot of extra days off. This May Day bank holiday I had my mum visit me from France! Yay.

Thought I might share a nice day at the British seaside with the pooch! He hates being left at home and we love taking him with us. I think it’s great that you can take a dog with you. London is pretty good for dog friendly places but where we are going is super dog friendly!

We decided to treat her to a day trip to Leigh-on-Sea a place that if I won the lottery I would move to in a heart beat. If you have never been to Leigh it’s so lovely. A traditional British fishing town where dogs are welcome in so many places!

We got the train up and arrived at Leigh-on-Sea just before 12pm. It was busy considering that the weather was grim. Dogs were everywhere. We walked passed the cockle sheds passing lots of walkers a few tourists and a lot of locals!

All the puppies

It isn’t a long journey but obviously a pint was in order! Also more frenchies and the most gorgeous British bulldog Hugo!

He was super friendly. He jumped straight up on the table and Frank, not to be out done, jumped up to!

Then we wandered up along the front and hadn’t walked more than 10 paces before we came across Sara’s Tea garden which is an amazing dog friendly cafe. Frank had his own menu and came away with his own homemade snacks! Pretty much every table had a dog underneath it.

Oh yes the human menu was pretty great too.

The great scone debate

We all had the scones and the Essex Tiptree jam. Jam first then clotted cream!

I really don’t understand how people put jam over cream it’s practically impossible!Tea was good. As a Brit we judge tea places quite harshly. If I say it’s a good cuppa it’s a good cuppa!

Then we had to walk off our scones! So we walked all the way up to Chalkwell. The houses along the sea front are the stuff of (lottery) dreams said the weather wasnt perfect but it was great for walking. Frank tried to give me a heart attack by almost jumping in the sea!

On-Sea Estuary

Technically it’s the estuary not the sea, but do I love it! Leigh-on-Sea has won awards for its beaches even though its not big. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach which is a shame because Frank loves sand.

Just before the main beach there is a little bank between the buildings so we let Frank play with that stretch of sand whilst we waited!

Of course we walked all the way there and walk all the way back! It was a lovely walk and by the time we got back we were ready for a nice local pint at Ye Old Smack.

Plus I had some time for some planning! Lots of birthdays and appointments this month!

waiting for the train

We were happy. Eaten yummy scones, gorgeous ales, 15000 steps befriending lots of puppies.

We checked the train times. Still had time to snark in another drink!

This time something warm. Then home.

How was your bank holiday?