Giving up Pinterest

There comes a time in every brides life when they have to stop looking on Pinterest and giving it up completely.

I love wedding blogs I read them on my lunch breaks, bus ride home. Commuting means a few minutes of wedding planning a day. I read them mainly for advice from real brides rather than companies repeating generic shit.

Pinterest crazy

I had about four wedding boards filled with completely different weddings including Harry Potter wedding, a zombie wedding, if I had all the money in the world wedding and the dream wedding! I loved them I poured my hopes and dreams into them. Then a few years ago when I thought that it was never going to happen I deleted them.

I felt like they were mocking me.

Perfect brides with happy faces.

Gone.

Now that I am engaged and am much happier I started my boards again.

I still have a few boards but I have had to cut them down and now I have to stop looking.

A great source

In the first few months I started lovingly filling my boards. The wedding dress was the most stressful, as I said the prices of my perfect dress where way out of my budget.

But the worse thing was the excess! Do I need milk jugs filled with flowers?

Um no, I am not milkmade and sadly was not brought up on a farm. Don’t get me started on Prosecco walls ( it’s called a waiter!!!) donut walls etc etc.

Looking at peoples weddings is great but you don’t need anything that isn’t perfect for you.

You don’t need it!

I don’t need it!

Too many ideas and no clean message!

Pinterest is a great dream to escape into

I still have a private board for my final thoughts but now I don’t go searching for ideas.

Me and Gavin are getting married even without all fluff and stuff!

No this blog shouldn’t contradict with the details blog because that is all about personal things to us!

Have what you want at your wedding. if you need acrylic table plans and hand calligraphered quartz name tags and it’s in your budget then go for it.

Just don’t do it because it’s a trend on Pinterest!

Downside of Pinterest

There is a downside to inspiration and that is achieving the same results within your budget. I have heard of brides you have spent 20k on an Instagram worthy wedding for 40 people!

Great if that’s what she wants! But it’s such a lot of money for one day!

The other downside is people not linking there photos to original sources!

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I have no idea what brand these shoes are. If you know please let me know!

For example I love these shoes!

Can’t find where they are from!

If you know please tell me, I have tried googling, eBay but I don’t know what brand or what country they are from.

I love them but I may never find them.

Pinterest is a great place for dreaming but you don’t need to get bogged down by it, or hyped up by it!

For me it is time to give up Pinterest! I don’t need any more ideas in my head!

Achieve what you want within your budget and time limit!

Enjoy

High Street wedding Dress: Missing out on the “Dress” Experience

So I bought my dress from the high street and I love it but I don’t know if I am missing out on that magical feeling. Where you stand in front of your family and they cry happy tears whilst sipping on ice cold bubbles.

I have missed this bit out.

I love this dress.

It is beautiful and magical and suits me to a tee!

I am in no doubt about the dress and when I showed my family they said they had no idea what it would be like but that it was perfect for me.

It is perfect.

I feel like working in women’s retail all those years ago means that I can always know if something is going to suit my body. I was right and even thought the UK 10 fits me when I loose more weight it will look so much better.

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Photo by Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com

Weight Loss Update

I am doing really well at the moment.

I feel less pressure to lose weight because the dress already fits but I know I will look better if I keep working on it.

I have lost and kept off 6lbs and feel amazing for it. Although I am not skinny and still have about 6lbs to go I can see the difference. Mainly on my wobbly stomach that’s doesn’t wobble as much.

I am still calorie counting but the biggest change has been my snacking habits. It turns out my idle hands have been reaching for the chocolate! As a compulsive eater I generally ban bad foods from my home but they always sneak in! But being busy in the evenings means that I am no longer snacking.

My dress will look even better with with this weight gone and I will be thrilled if I have to take my dress in but won’t be too disappointed if I don’t.

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Will I Be Missing Out

I mentioned the magical feeling at the start of the blog. I am talking about trying on the dress, the reveal, finding the one!!!

Except I have found it, it is beautiful and didn’t cost the earth.

When I asked my married Bridesmaids they said that they paid a lot of money but didn’t think it was that amazing experience in a shop. There were other brides in the same room and it felt exposed. Not the experience they were hoping for.

I feel much better now after talking to them.

I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything.

Plus Becky plied me with lots of bubbles and lent me her veil. So it felt wonderful to be with the people I love who love the dress. When i showed my sister the dress her first words were “ask Becky, she will tell you if its right!” and she did and does thinks its right. She even shed a few tears.

I think there is a lot of pressure to have this perfect experience in all aspects of wedding planning. the perfect £2000 dress, the perfect £4000 worth of flowers. I have said about weddings being within your means. We have a house so we don’t need to save for a deposit but that doesn’t mean we should go to crazy on the day. I dont want to waste money frivolously. It is one day.

We have invested in out Bridal party as they mean so much to us.

My dress is perfect and cost a fraction of what I was planning on spending on my budget. I am so happy with my high street purchase. I didn’t think i would get so lucky with it. It has lovely vintage vibes to it!

Just a few more pounds and it will fit like a dream!

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Shoe Heaven

I had to send a video to my mum of me trying on the dress which is a bit sad. When she comes over I will show my mum and Gavin’s mum. This dress is mine now. The exciting bit is we are going to Shoe Heaven  and will try on all the pretty shoes. I will take my family for pedicures then shoe trying on. I have my eye on some Jimmy Choos but I will pick what ever I fancy. I wont go sky scraper high as I would like to wear them again but also at 5″7 I am already tall. Then after that we will go for lunch some where lovely.

I will make a day of it so i will have a magical experience just over something i can wear again!

Did you buy a high street or second hand wedding dress?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wedding Rant: Rules to abide by or don’t bother coming

I truly believe that you should make your wedding what you want it. This is my wedding rant brought on by a certain person hinting that they were wearing white to our wedding. I have always followed the no white at a wedding rule. I think its only fair. That include cream and other colours similar to white. I just won’t do it and think its tasteless. If you want your guests in jeans and white dresses then fine have them.

HOWEVER

If you have not said people can arrive at your wedding in white or jeans then never ever assume its going to be okay. I know you are paying to be there but weddings cost money so please take this opportunity to dress up not down.

My personal opinion

If you really want to wear white or jeans then don’t bother coming. If you can’t be bothered to make an effort for a day that means so much to the people that have invited you then why bother.

Now I am not saying that you can’t wear a nice cream/ white blazer or smart trousers etc not everyone has to wear a dress then that’s acceptable and if you are an evening guest then there really are no rules for dress code.

Accessories are also fine!

But

If you wear a white, cream ivory or champagne dress lacy or not then please don’t turn up to my wedding. I have seen so many women at weddings looking like a bride wannabe and it is always unmarried girls/women doing that.

Just make the effort

Its one day, their day, honour them and don’t wear white. As for denim I am going to say the same thing. Its one day, get your trousers out purlease.

The wedding couple go to the trouble of making/ designing an invite. Generally, there is a nod to the wedding colours on it. So if the invite is in, say white and pale green then the bridesmaids will be wearing pale green. If you don’t want to look like a bridesmaids, again don’t wear the colours.

I am not having a colour them so as long as its not white or denim I really don’t mind what you wear.

I don’t think you have a right to tell people what to wear but I do think these are just a given.

Sorry, you won’t change my mind!

Do I think that people are going to take away from me in my white dress?

Nope

Do I think that people are going to be confused who the bride is?

Absolutely not

But common curtesy is just that. I also don’t agree with cutting you nails out side your own home. Standing on the right of an escalator (there are signs people). People watching their phones without head phones. Tutting when people ask you to move your bag (it must be really tired to need a seat on its own?)

I just think that manner are manners.

And unspoken rules should be respected unless specified otherwise.

Is the wedding dress a waste of money?

The wedding dress dread continues with price tag. I am concerned that the wedding dress is the biggest waste of money.

I just can’t get over the price tag!

You are wearing a dress you wear once, once. So the idea of spending £2000 on a dress, it just baffles me. Some of you will have already spent that money or more.

Instagram and Pinterest have a lot to answer for when it comes to dress expectations.

Gorgeous picture from Siobhan Hennessy

Is the wedding dress a waste of money?

I am going to ask you a question, except for a few close friends do you really remember the details of your friends and family’s dresses?

Because I can’t. I remember my favourite, my least favourite and my closest friends but that’s it.

My friend Jess had a gorgeous navy dress that my other friend made. It was beautiful and simple. But what I remember most about Jess’s attire was her shoes and her taco purse. She still wears every accessory today!

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Jess looking stunning

Money Vs Wedding dress

Getting into debt for a wedding is just not on my cards, literally!

I don’t want a black cloud following me around after the wedding day.

We have a house so we don’t need to save for a deposit. We have are trying to be practical but the money is still adding up. Weddings are ridiculously expensive especially when they are just a fancy party!

I know I want to feel amazing I do, but does money really need to be spent to achieve this? I won’t wear the dress again! I won’t cut it up and turn it into something else.

Sam’s wedding, I love this dress!

Memories

When I was a manager in jigsaw I remember a customer coming in with her friends looking for a wedding dress. She was beautiful and pixie sized and was looking for something different. I was at a loss, showed her pretty draped dresses.

she kept sighing at me because I just didn’t get it. So I showed her a beautiful suit dress with a French trim. It was grey fitted and sharp her Friends instantly agreed it was perfect.

I was baffled.

It was her dress, a grey suit dress. She looked beautiful in it but it was just a grey tailored dress. £140 she was happy as Larry.

Now I get it

Today I ordered a wedding dress from a high street store. If it’s not great I will send it back. If it’s perfect it means that a I didn’t have to spend a fortune but b I don’t have to stand in front of my Danettes and feel unhappy. This also means that I will not have that wedding dress experience but hey if it’s perfect I can take my Danettes out for a meal instead!

I would really prefer to have a beautiful pair of Jimmy Choos instead of a gorgeous dress I will wear once.

Is it a waste of money?

No, not if you have the money it is definitely not. I would hate to regret my wedding dress. The bargain hunter in me is hoping that this dress will be amazing. I will miss out on the trying on experience but as you know I am a bit fearful of that as well. If the dress is not right then I will have to hunt for a new one anyway.

Fingers cross it suits me!

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Sams Shoes

Traveling alone: Mistakes I made

Lets face it. Travelling alone doesn’t have to suck. If everything goes smoothly then it is the ultimate piece of cake. Plus you can have the seat by the window or just switch off for the whole flight/ journey.

You just have to be realistic with your travel expectations. Packing light is key. I was bringing a lot of gifts and clothes so I made my first mistake by packing my maximum weight. 37kgs is not easy to lug around. But my biggest tip is travel scales. Buy them and if you need to pack them with you.

I recently flew to Seychelles from London via Dubai then back to Paris and got the train to Angouleme. Not the easiest of journeys but it was too stressful. I thought you may like to hear my thoughts on travelling alone. The parts I disliked and the parts that I enjoyed.

There were no direct flights from London to Seychelles on the day I flew. This would have made everything so much easier.

I did make a few mistakes but also wasted my time. I generally like Emirates, they are a clean and efficient airline that generally look after there passengers. There seats are roomy which is key to a long haul flight.

Organise your apps in one travel friendly place. I had eurostar, Oiugo, Emirates all in one box on my iphone. I also printed everything out and get it in my nice orange travel wallet so i didn’t loose anything.

Checking in

I took the train down to Gatwick and decided to book my lounge with LoungeBuddy . This was the first time using this app and I thought I would treat myself. Everything went wrong, the wrong time, their stupid 1 hour window ( no, I paid for it it should start when I get there unless you have over booked). It took me over an hour for online check in bag drop.

Lounge 1

Pretty sure this is the longest I have ever had to wait. I wasn’t impressed with how slow it was. Yes a few people went over there 30k allowance I was very fearful I was one of them. My case was jam packed with my sisters clothes. But I had weight it about 20 times to make sure I was under.

I didn’t want to pay any fees.

So I get to the lounge where the food was lousy but the amaretto kept me in good stead. I made sure I made that £40 for 1 hour count ( my bad judgement with the times not LoungeBuddy fault). Bad timing on my part but never mind, I was hoping to spend a bit longer there.

Emirates decided to sit me next to a little baby, who luckily was a perfect angel for the whole trip. She liked to hold my arm and press the screen buttons on her side and only started to cry as we landed.

After no sleep I felt like crying myself!

Then I got to Dubai and I felt a flutter of panic- I had an hour to get to my next flight and the air steward just smiled at me sympathetically rather than offering to help me in any way.

It turns out I had about 10 minutes to spare and the airport staff where laid out to help people like me who looked lost. I had no time for a toilet stop or to grab some food which was find by me.

Now on for my next flight. I had a massive selection of movies to watch and a book to read so I didn’t need company for this. The food wasn’t bad. My favourite thing is always the cheese and crackers anyway! Plus at the end of the flight I was met by my family which is just the best thing ever.

Tips

My tip is that as great as technology is always have a multi travel plug so you adapt to each country without needing a million plugs. But don’t rely on it, take a book! No one steals books, you can leave it on the beach, on your chair no one will take it. Books don’t need charging you can read it when the announcements are on. A book will never let you down. A note book is also helpful.

I don’t travel without my bullet journal.

So after 10 days I was back on the plane heading for Dubai then Paris. Obviously I didn’t want to leave but I was looking forward to seeing my mum.

Alcohol and Emirates

Now don’t forget I am travelling alone a women in an arab country. A women who likes to drink and I heard the story about the mother who was arrested for being drunk on the plane. As the airline gave her the booze I am not sure how they judge her but they did. She was separated from her daughter and arrested.

It kind of freaked me out so I didn’t drink on my leg to Dubai but once I was on the Paris leg I was on the gins and wine with my food.

It may sound over cautious but lets face it. I don’t like to put myself in situations and the Arab nations have very strict alcohol / sexist issues.

So I didn’t put myself in any situation.

When you are by yourself, you have to make decisions and get your self around. With two people you get to discuss it and make your dicison together.

Two heads aren’t always better than one.

A wee bit of panic

Then when I got to CharlesDe Gaul I had to find the shuttle bus. There was no trains to Angouleme after 8 so I had to wait till 7am the next day.

I bought my train ticket for 15 euros and my easy hotel was 33 euros which is cheaper than the later train. Getting to the shuttle was a bit of a nightmare, the exit marked as shuttle wasn’t the right one. I ended up walking round in circles for twenty minutes assuring myself I could work this out.

The shuttle part at exit 3 was dark and dingy with lifts straight out of horror movies, so I took the stairs.

Shuttle driver was super friendly hotel was super basic but for 33 euros a night I cannot complain. Bed was comfy and shower worked fine. I knew I was getting up early so I had a quick shower then hit the hay.

I slept in the middle of the bed…heaven!

The shuttle dropped me off at the train station the next day and the French efficacy was out of this world. The train station tells you where the carriage would stop. The carraiges where clean and tidy and took me just over 3 hours to get to Angouleme where my mum was waiting. France was hotter than Seychelles so I enjoyed a week of sunbathing, eating and yes you guessed it drinking red wine. My suitcase was filled with champagne on the way home, so not so shabby.

My train to Lille was clean and an old French man who lived in Australia propositioned me to be his new wife. We talked about Australia, food ( he was impressed by my baguette in my bag). My decision to be child free, red belly black snakes and that he still works even though he is in his 70s. He invited me to come visit him in Queensland and it was pleasant if somewhat awkward journey!

Then I had to walk through Lille. Here was probably the only time I wish I wasn’t alone. There were a lot of Ne’re do wells around. Watching the tourists like hawks. One purposely bumped into me and I just kept walking. The police were around, just not in that area and it was the only time I felt slightly threatened. I just kept focusing on getting to the Eurostar.

If you come out of Lille station just turn right and follow the pavement you can go under the bridge an its all laid out for you. It isn’t the best signposted but it is just a short walk to it.

Eurostar was just another train but it was quick. I could wait to see Gavin. He met me at a bar in Liverpool street and we ate and drank then went home to the fur babies.

Travelling alone is fine. I have always and will continueto always do it. But travelling with a friend or partners is also good.

The heartbreak of goodbyes

I know I am lucky. I have a great family and they live in the most beautiful parts of the world. When I see them it is like we have never been apart but goodbyes hurt so much. I would give up pretty much everything to have them live closer. There is so much heartbreak in saying goodbye.

I have just said goodbye to my father. I just walked away from my sister and my nephew at the airport. I am quietly balling so much that the passport controller asks me if I am Seychellois ( soon I will be hopefully) but I just sniff to him that my father is. My family are, and they are here.

We are a close family, my parents remain friends, good friends. Goodbyes break my heart. Every airport drop off I always think that this time I will be stronger and I won’t cry. The catch in my throat lets me down and then come the tears.

This trip I travelled alone so I had no one to comfort me. No big arms to wrap around me, no kiss on the top of my head to tell me it’s alright.

So I had to pull my self together.

New Zealand is so far away.

Seychelles is so far away.

France isn’t so far but it is not up the road.

This holiday has been wonderful. Playing with my niece and nephew, eating my dads cooking. Kreole food, fresh fish everyday. The beach, seeing family and friends, a perfect holiday ( just wish Gavin was there).

What I wouldn’t give for my family to be closer to me. To be able to pop in for a cup of tea or call my dad for a recipe. I do call him to ask but I have to bear in mind if the time difference.

How did we cope without Skype?

Time difference changes everything.

I love visiting the Seychelles and learning about my family’s home and history. How Seychelles used to be but the connection ends when I leave it.

My roots.

I am on the plane to see my mum so this isn’t the saddest good bye. I will see my whole family next year at our wedding.

I can’t wait to see my mum but I know it will also be followed a heartfelt goodbye.

Exploring The Seychelles; My Recommendations

I try to explore Seychelles every two years.

I have family and friends who live out there and it is my heritage so I want to live and learn as much as I can. So, I thought if you were venturing to these beautiful set of islands that maybe you would appreciate some recommendations from me.

Yummy Food

La Perle Noire Mahe

Food recommendations

Gavin isn’t a big fish eater but he will happily eat fish every day over there due to how fresh it is (caught that day)! And how it is prepared, either grilled, baked or fried. It is just gorgeous.

Just off the beach you will find fisherman with their catch of the day. Parrot fish and snapper will be bound together and you will see the locals gather and buy them. You can find saltfish samosas at most grocery stores, along with breadfruit chips (eat them and you will always return to the Seychelles or so the saying goes!) fresh fruit and cold beer.

Each shop will have their own prices but they are much cheaper than the big supermarkets in town.

This is my favorite food in the world and no one makes it better than my dad! For you guys you will have to try the restaurants and hotels. Traditionally food is served in bowls in front of you and you help yourself. No waste.

This is how I was brought up.

Lunch at Carana Beach

Seychellois have a very healthy attitude when it comes to food, they eat pretty much what they catch and they live of the land. My favourite dish is octopus curry or fried octopus it is just delicate and meaty all at the same time.

My favourite places for food

  • Café Solei holds so many memories, I told Gavin about this place on our first date. We visit every time
  • Sunset Beach Hotel ( just ridiculously beautiful we basically we live here during the day) Cocktails and fish and chips is insanely good. The views are magical, I am hoping my sister will get married here!
  • Carana Beach hotel, when we were there the waves are pretty big which was fun. It is so instagramable there!
  • La Perle Noire (Black Pearl) —————- just yum. Hospitality is like coming home, I cannot fault this place at all
  • The boat house great traditional food at a great price
  • Pizza places on Mahe – honestly we haven’t had a bad pizza there
  • For snacks we eat all the samosas we can find, fresh fruit. mmmm

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Seychellois hospitality

English is taught in schools and you will often find someone who speaks German, Spanish, Italian and Russian. They are a very well-educated people.

Okay, tricky subject. Seychellois will help you if you need it but you may find the service a bit slow.

I like to visit hotels for lunch then eat at home with my friends and family.

On more than one occasion and in multiple places I have found the service very relaxed. Waiting an hour to get served a drink. Waiting 45 minutes for a cold beer then another hour before the pizza was served. Don’t get angry get used to it. My tip is order two drinks so you don’t have to wait.

Some places you won’t find any issues, but don’t expect the same over friendly help you get in other countries.

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Boat trips

My dad has a little boat and we go across to Moyenne for lunch.

When we went with a group of friends we decided to do a boat trip to the same place. Because there were ten of us, we were the only ones on the glass bottom boat and it was great. They let us play our music, went really fast so we all got sprayed with water and were really fun guys! They dropped us off in the ocean where the swells were much bigger. There were a lot of boats bopping up and down and lots of people in the water but it was great.

The fish get bigger the further out you go. Then we waded to shore hand lunch then had a little walk round the island. Photographed the giant tortoises, visit the pirates grave and drank a fair few gin and tonics!

Grand Anse

Take your Pictures but please don’t swim here!

Explore and listen

Every islander will have their favourite beach so listen and explore. They will also know what the waves are like at that moment. I have been known to take my book into the ocean and just float along in the shallows.

There are plenty of walks in Seychelles so comfortable shoes are an absolute must!  Anse Major is an impressive hike around the coast half way up the mountain you will see some incredible views the coral and sea life there is beautiful. I followed a family of squid around for hours. it is hot and sweaty and there are a few sketchy bits (I am terrified of heights). My top tip for this hike is to get a taxi back, a taxi boat that is!

Again the views just cannot be beaten.

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Bloom Gin, in Seychelles

Night life

There isn’t that much to do, sun sets around 6-7 depending on what side of the island you are on then it goes pitch black.

That chirping noise you can hear is the geckos, don’t hate them they eat all the bugs.

As there isn’t that much to do at night so be prepared to make or take your own entertainment! Beau Vallon often has little festivals with food and stalls which are great, there are a few clubs and Seychelles do great cocktails. We always bring gin to the island and get tonic and limes in the shops. If they don’t have limes then we get the Seychelles local oranges which are sweet and sharp and taste so good with gin!

Hotel do put on shows and event nights so you are welcome to attend those, I love a good Saga night.

This is a place ripe for relaxation. The pace is slow here so leave your city legs behind and go with the flow. If things take a while don’t worry you are on holiday not in a rush. I love a nice light beer Sey Brew and lovely rum Takamaka which I prefer with lemonade rather than coke!

You are on holiday/ vacation so relax sip your ice-cold dink and watch the sunset and its incredible skies.

Seychelles is full of beauty and magic so explore it.

If you have been to the Seychelles then let me know places you have been and loved!

I hope you enjoy!

Dana

Mahe

Swimming at Beau Vallon Beach