The Hungry traveller top 10 places to visit next!

Advice, Planning, Travel, Travel planning

Okay so with a lot of time on my hands I have been thinking about travel. Where I want to go to next and what food do I want to eat. When it comes to travel I am always led by my stomach. With unemployment dooming I know that I may have free time but I don’t have the money so these trips will contain careful planning of time and money.


But I will visit these places.


1 Korea


If Korea has taught us anything during the pandemic it is to show the rest of the world how to cope in a crisis. Just like I am still in love with Japan I feel the same sort of pull to Korea. There is something about the culture, the people and especially the food. We have been binge watching Korean dramas like Kingdom and Magic Pop up Bar, and don’t get me started on Train to Busan. Yes that is two Zombie references but Korean horror is equisite. I will need to do a lot more research but its my number one place to go to at the moment and I can’t wait.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 11+
  • Day allocation: 10-14

2 Japan


Okay I know its only been a few months since we have been back but I loved it. I still have a lot more blogs coming out about it (hope you don’t mind) but it was such an inspiring place and the food was amazing. It will be eye opening to see it when it is busy and buzzing. It will also be nice to see it with all the museums and galleries open. We missed Sumo wrestling, Team lab and the Ghibli museum to name but a few. I would like to visit in the autumn and do a tour of the gardens, we will revisit Yamagata and hopefully explore the more Northern districts.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 11+
  • Day allocation: 14

3 Vietnam & Cambodia


Are you sensing a trend?

Asia is so exciting to me.


When I lived in Australia my favourite thing was the food and they had excellent Vietnamese food. But there is so much more than food when it come to Vietnam and I cant wait to go. Hanoi looks insane but I really want to go into the country side and visit a few cities and towns, then finish on the beach for a few days. We may have our friends there with us.

I put Cambodia on here because if I visit Vietnam that it would be good to sneak a few days maybe even a week exploring.

These are both tropical countries so time of year is crucial.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 14+
  • Day allocation: 14

4 Canada Whistler


So, two of these holidays maybe birthday treats for me and my bestie. Yes they are long haul expensive trips but our partners get along and sometimes its nice to experience things in a group. Snowboarding is always best in a group. One of the nicest things about us as a foursome is that we don’t get offended if we want space from each other or want to explore different things. We just do it. No offence, no issues. We are both easy going and enjoy exploring. This will be a hiking and snowboarding activity trip. When everything was happening with Brexit and we ere considering leaving the UK Canada was one of our first thoughts. Its time to explore!!

  • Time of year: Winter
  • Flight time: 9+
  • Day allocation: 7-10

5 New York


This is Gavin’s Birthday present. We had it booked for September and it will be a Diehard 3, Ghost buster inspired trip. With a few restaurants and ‘Carrie’ moments thrown in for good measure. America is so expensive now but I have two places singled out. I think that New York is a magical place and although it would be amazing at Christmas I think I would prefer to see it in Autumn when the trees are changing colours and you have to wrap up warm and visit cosy cafes and bistros.

  • Time of year: Autumn
  • Flight time: 7+
  • Day allocation: 5-6


6 New Orleans


The Lafayette’s and Payet’s of this world a largely found in New Orleans. As my heritage is French/ African it will be amazing to see how the culture is so different from the Seychelles. In Seychelles they speak Creole and the food is creole in New Orleans cajun cooking is from here. They are very different cultures but it will be interesting to explore my heritage in a different part of the word. It will take a lot of planning to narrow down all the restaurants and bars I want to visit but it will be worth it. I have a vision of New Orleans is in my head I just hope it lives up to it. I also read a lot of Anne Rice when I was a kid and I loved all the big houses, witches and ghosts.

  • Time of year: spring
  • Flight time: 13+
  • Day allocation: 7-10

7 Iceland


This is solely about the northern lights and maybe a sleigh ride. This would be a short trip but it is definitely on my list of places I have always wanted to do. I will be wept away into his dark materials and trying to find Cities in the Sky, I just hope when we go we get to see them, the Northern lights that is. Iceland is a magical place I love the mythology. I am not sure my food obsession will be

  • Time of year: Winter New Year
  • Flight time: 3
  • Day allocation: 5

8 Montenegro


I have written a blog on Montenegro already, but there is something very exciting about this tiny country but it’s the food and the views that have me enraptured.
I think there is something truly amazing about this tiny country that needs exploring! I have a few books that I am reading about it. All the amazing seafood makes me drool.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 4-5
  • Day allocation: 6 days


9 Norway


Okay this may be due to my current obsession with Norse Gods and hiking. I really want to go on a Hiking Holiday preferably taking our little French bull dog with us. I don’t necessarily want to sleep in a tent or hostel but a nice bed and maybe a sauna. Is that too muc to ask. We will practice with the hiking holiday to Yorkshire and see how well the dog likes it. Maybe get a ferry across and and hike throughthe fjords. I need to do a lot more research but that would be a dream trip.


We are currently watching Ragnorok on Prime and loving it.

  • Time of year: Summer
  • Flight time: 3hrs
  • Day allocation: 5 minimun


10 Great Britain


Without getting to political I feel like in my lifetime we will lose Scotland. This will really break my heart as I love Scotland but they are right when they say that the Government ignores there needs, yes they have some privileges over England but being ignored and not heard is not okay. So I took Gavin to Edinburgh for his 3oth and he loved it, we have been back for a wedding, me for a hen do but it would be great to explore more of Scotland.

I am looking at the islands and north of Scotland, this my also coincide with my new love of whiskey and my first love Gin but I think staying closer to home and exploring the countries that you live in is really important.
I mentioned above a hiking trip to Yorkshire which we will take the little dog with us.

  • Time of year: All year time
  • Flight time: 1-2 hours
  • Day allocation: 3-4

Summary

We won’t be stepping on a plan this year, we just don’t think it’s safe right now so this will be a bucket list for the next ten years. I will continue to follow my stomach and plan my trips!

Have you got any trips planned?

My backpack love: buying a backpack a quick review

Advice, Planning, Travel

When we knew we were going to Japan I knew I wanted a back pack. It was an essential for travel and for just meandering around. I really wanted a cute bag but it had to be practical. We were travelling around Japan and had two single night trips planned. This meant all our bits in our back packs.

I also want to use it for work. To use every day.

What I wanted

  • Compartments
  • A water bottle holder
  • A strap for my luggage
  • A place for the passports
  • A charging port

So I did some research and my contenders where

Fjallraven, man , I want one

I love these bags, but there was a shop in London so I thought I would check them out but they felt cheap. Then I did a bit more research and discovered that there are a lot of fakes everywhere. So when you do your research on a bag it is important to see where the retailers actually sell.

When you want to invest in a brand I really wanted an actual bag. Not a fake knock off. This is brand that gets attacked all the time. You see instagram ads for 40% off….. yeah they aren’t real.

I love the colours and the brand but for practical reasons I didn’t want a top loading bag. I know they have other bags but it wasn’t in the style I wanted. It didn’t really have anything I was looking for.

The main reason I didn’t get this bag is that I didnt want a bag that was a fad! I wanted something I could use all the time. I think after all this time I will buy one. They are gorgeous bags and they last.

Fjallraven to research.

Instagram influenced by Nordace

I loved this bag. It seemed to have everything I wanted. But it’s a fairly new brand for me so I did some research. I even messaged someone who I saw on Instagram who was using one and asked her opinion and she loved it.

The main reason I liked this bag is the colour? Not very practical but it looks so nice.

The main reason I was attracted to this bag was the marketing all the Instagram images were packing videos. I love a packing blog. I watch and read them all the time. I loved how much you could fit into this bag. It’s great.

It’s pricey but great.

Again I couldn’t check the quality because they are not in shops also there was some concern on the zips mentioned in the comments. The main reason I didn’t get this bag was the fact it’s took 6 weeks to arrive and even though I had time, I didn’t want to invest in this if it wasn’t going to arrive.

Nordace to research.

What I actually bought , Matein

This was nothing like the style of what I wanted but it had everything right including the price. It did give me Nordace vibes but it wasn’t in any great colours however I love grey. So I thought I couldn’t go wrong. It was similar to the Nordace but without the elegance. I love this bag, I just wish it came in yellow or green!!

I was taking far too long to decide what I wanted and in the end this arrive two weeks before we flew to Japan. So I tried it out was happy with and it was very spacious without being bulky.

It has pretty much everything on the list! I am someone who where’s something until it falls apart and then I generally patch it and wear it for a bit longer.

I am not some one who has a lot of bags. I have a few but because I like tan leather I feel like one bag does everything. I do have some other colours and some dressy bags but I generally only have one everyday bag at a time and then I wear it all the time. Being practical a backpack is the best thing ever. It’s on your back so your hands are free and it has masses of storage!

I love this grey bag. It’s light and strong and lets me fill it to the top. Because the weather was ever changing my backpack generally held my Mac and Gavins hoodie. The rest was my charger, cables, etc. I will do a what’s in my bag in a later blog.

This bag was half the price but it did the job. I still want a fjallraven maybe Gavin will get me one for my birthday!!

Matien to research.

A surprise Hunter back pack

So Gavin bought me a backpack for our honeymoon without talking to me he surprised me with a gorgeous bag.

But it wasn’t practical at all. The side pocket zip broke on the way to the airport so Gavin contacted the brand and when we arrived at Japan the other side zip broke.

I was surprised because hunter is a good brand. We did use it but only when we went back pack only. When the crisis is over I may see if my local Tailor can fix the zip as I love the colour.

I think Gavin was disappointed that I wasn’t more enthusiastic about the bag but a top loading bag isn’t great for travel and this was proved time and time again! We organised for our luggage to be sent on ahead at every destination but it was my grey backpack that was crucial to travelling!

Hunter to research.

In summary

It’s really important to do your research when investing in a back pack. I didn’t go for my dream bag because it wasn’t quite right, but I did go for a sensible one. A someone who doesn’t believe in fast fashion but function over style I know I will have this for years. It is understated and brilliant.

I think when buying luggage you should write what you need it to do and how important access is! To me this bag had lots of pockets and compartments and is so practical. I only had to repack a few items but the majority stayed in my bag. I will write a what’s in my day to day in another blog!

Hope you enjoyed! What backpacks do you use and would recommend?

Little catch up in all this madness

Planning

I am still here, still sharing my Japan experiences with you, I have a few more blogs so I hope you are enjoying me taking you away from what is going on in the world.

Covid 19

It’s still a scary place, people are still dying every day. My family are safe and healthy which I am so grateful for.

I am still working which makes me lucky at the moment but I am dreading the time that the English government tells me I have to go back to work when this is still going on. I say the English government because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all seem to be more cautious and caring than ours.

How am I coping?

Am I? Yes I am coping working six days a week helps takes my mind of things and I have started drawing with my sister so I am keeping busy.

It makes me furious that our government want to say we may not be the worst in Europe because other countries don’t count there deaths properly. The truth is to date we have reported 34466 deaths in this country. It doesn’t matter if we don’t belong at the top of the scale all those people have died all those families are grieving and they don’t care what ranking we are at.

Cooking 3 meals a day is a bit crazy and although me and Gavin are used to it now it means that the kitchen is constantly in use and constantly a mess.

We have been cooking so much that we have invested in a few more pieces of Le Crueset we bought a cast iron such oven in black and some new pans that you can move from the stove to the hob which makes me really happy. The cleaning doesn’t.

Gavin has banned me from using art materials in the sitting room and I have agreed although I am sitting here with a sketchbook as we speak. but now our sitting room is tidy all the time which is great when the dog wakes me up at 5am and I snooze with him on the couch.

Frank

Walking the dog everyday is great. Even when it’s cold and rainy he gets us out of the house and we never regret it. It’s like going to the gym you may not want to go, but when you do you never regret it.

I hope everyone has something loving and warm to cuddle up to at the moment. I am really missing my cat but she has been gone a year now so she really isn’t coming home.

Plans

I am the dysfunctional planner and this stand well every day. Full of good intentions but peepers to plan rather than actually do.

Gardening

So we have been spending a bit more time in the garden. Gavin has repainted the BBQ with special heat paint so we could use it, then the next day he cooked a beer can chicken and brisket we ate for days.

A little boy down the street is selling home sewn plants. Obviously my bathroom is now covered in planting pots and cuttings. I invested in some rooting powder and cut some lilac leaves. I am just waiting for the soil to arrive and then I can sort out the garden a bit more.

I can’t wait.

House stuff

I need to sort out my house with the exception of the sitting room and bathroom it’s not good. My kitchen is my big tackle for today and I want to sort out the rest of the house in the next month. I just need to get on with it, maybe at the next bank holiday it will get done!

I also need to dye my hair with is looking bad but it with look healthier

Over it

The truth is like most people I just want to go to the pub and have a drink with my friends. But I understand the importance of staying home and staying safe. The NHS is our life line at the moment and if I have to give up going out to saves lives then I will do it.

It’s fine

We just won’t take it for granted again.

The biggest truth is I would rather be bored than dead! Harsh but true. We will get over this.

Honeymoon with coronavirus! Japan here we come

Advice, health, Honeymoon, Planning, Travel

So firstly, are we worried? Yes a little

Are we going? Yes unless the government tells us not to!

It’s a flu, a bad flu that mainly effects the old and vulnerable. So we are not in the danger bracket yet. We still may get sick but likely that we will be fine. It’s flu, nasty flu.

This isn’t the dream honeymoon we have been planning for two years I can tell you. Generally I am fine and level headed about the hole thing but I still get moments of panic. I went out and tried to buy hand sanitizer but Tesco had sold out. Went to another shop but it wasn’t good sanitizer so I went to Boots and bought 6 baby ones and a big one to restock it.

I went in Boots today and they had sold out !! Sainsburies had nothing. So I bought what they had. I know Gav will say it’s too much but I would rather be safe then sorry… or dead.

This isn’t all of it!!

A lady I know who works at the local GP said Dettol. It kills all bacteria so I bought a decanter to take with us on the plane. I bought the antiseptic dettol for humans and antiseptic dettol for objects. This means I can clean the plane and our trays and just make it a bit more hygienic where ever we are.

Okay I sound crazy! It takes up minimal room in my suitcase and I don’t care.

Gav is far more sure about the decision.

He mocks my fear a little but I just want to be practical. We have bought extra hand sanitizer andantibacterial wipes to clean things. We even have proper masks but apparently they don’t do anything.

We are going to be sensible.

Hopefully that will be enough.

Stay away from crowds but enjoy ourselves! Have fun eat drink and stay clean.

What else can we do.

We are also taking half a pharmacy with us as well. In case we get sick out there we are making sure that we have some medication with us. Does this sound like fun honeymoon planning to you? I have two first aid kits! A mini one and a bigger one for when we are travelling around.

Safety first for the crazy lady!

My parents are both worried. My dad is worried we will get stuck out there. He calls me every other day now. And we get it, we really do but what can we do it about it.

My mum is coming to look after the dog.. so I am thinking of moving her out before we get home. In case we are not sick but pass on the virus to her. I would hate to be responsible for getting my mum and aunt sick! This really does worry me.

So let’s have a chat in the comments! Are you going to Japan? Would you go? Are you there now?

Art Materials What I am taking to Japan

Honeymoon, Planning, Travel

I am so excited to be visiting Japan in March. When me and Gav thought about our honeymoon, we knew that we didn’t want a beach holiday because as a far as I am concerned Seychelles has the best beaches in the world. So I would rather just go and see my family and friends then visit the Maldives or Jamaica. You are a bit spoiled when every few years you get to visit paradise and call it your home. So we didn’t want beach and we didn’t want just snow. Luckily with Japan we get to have everything we want. Beaches, lakes, snow, sushi, cherry blossoms.

Note pads that I need to turn into one journal

Japan offers everything

It really does, great food, antient cultures, a land that is devoid of religion but filled with spiritualism. A history rich in tradition and folklore. It has beaches and snow-capped mountains. So even though we are only going for 3 weeks we plan to fit in a lot of sightseeing. I also want to take this opportunity to draw.

So not only will I be visiting some amazing art shops in Japan but I will also take advantage of the great views and characters. My art supplies will be coming with me. They will be scaled down to an art journal which I will try to prepared and filled with notes and maps to help us navigate Japan.

What I am taking

I can’t take too much especially as I can buy some bit there but so far I will be taking a small watercolour block as well as my travel journal with my itinerary already in it.

So far it looking like my this

• Art journal

• Watercolour block

• 2 HB pencils

• Maped sharpener which I have about 5 of

• My Winsor and newton watercolour half pans ( rearranged into what colours I think I will use)

• Gouache white

• Tombows

• Fine-liners

• Water-brush

• 2 brushes

• Atomiser

I think that’s it. I can always buy more Tombows and Fine-liners in Japan as this is where they are made but I am excited to see what other watercolour pens they have available that I can’t buy over here. I work in an art shop so I don’t need masses. I also want to pick up some beautiful washi tapes which again, I know are expensive but this is my honey moon and art supplies make me happy.

This is all going in a small case so I can easily access everything and put my new purchases in here as well. So looking at the pictures I may have to edit them again! Just over a month to go and I am so excited. Hopefully I will be able to share some of my pictures and illustrations on here, but only if I think they are good enough.

I can’t wait to visit all the art shops as well. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

Minimal skincare packing for Japan

Beauty, Planning, skincare, Travel

I think you are going to be shocked by how little I am taking to Japan. It’s minimal. But not because I have changed my ways. I love skincare and I am still learning what my skin needs.

I just don’t need to take everything.

I am looking forward to buying and trying some Japanese skincare. I have watched a lot of YouTube. @gothamista strikes again and I have taken notes of all the skincare and a few makeup bits I should get. It will all go in my Japan travel journal which I am in the process of making.

Anyway back to skincare.

I am taking 5 products in total.

Cleanser

Toner

Moisturiser

SPF

Lip balm / everything cream

That’s it! It has to be I want to have room for all the bits I plan to buy and try when I am out there. I already know I can get most of them over here but it’s Japan and exciting, so I am allowed to go crazy.

Cleanser

So normally I would take my Elemis but I have been a bit blue this January and I haven’t eaten well nor have I exercised so my skin has suffered. To me I feel like Elemis is my luxury cleanser, yes I use it every night but I feel like it’s a treat for me where as my Omaravisca is still luxurious it just feels a bit lighter perfect for holiday. Easy to decanter.

Toner

I am actually going to decant this into my little atomiser. It’s the Elemis apricot toner and it’s nice and gentle on my skin. I have enough toners ( I think, so I don’t think I will be buying any more but we will see) we haven’t hit the shops yet!

Moisturiser

It’s back to Elemis again! I am taking a small amount of my day cream and I will use it for day and night. I will be buying moisturiser in Japan there are a few brands I would like to try DHC and Sheseido are at the top of my lists! Sometimes my skin likes rich creams sometimes it just likes an everyday moisturiser. Elemis doesn’t let me down but it’s nice to try new things.

SPF don’t leave the house without it

My La Roche Posay is coming with me everywhere, I will buy a body SPF if it calls for it. But I am going snowboarding and if it’s sunny or overcast my pale skin will need protection. This is a factor 30 which will be fine for my skin I will carry it with me and top up when needed.

Lip balm

Okay I am cheating here. It’s two products not one. This one is from my Lydia Elise Millen Cult Beauty Box. It’s the Lano everything cream. So I can use it for my eyes, moisturiser, hand cream. It’s only 85mls so I don’t even have to decant it! I will also have with me my lanolips lip balm which is the best lip balm ever. Again there is a few lip balms in Japan I would like to try, they have a lot of honey flavoured ones that will be finding there way into my handbag!

Minimalist skincare for me

So that’s it!

6 skincare products. I bought these little plastic containers from Primark for £1,50. Now I know plastic is bad for the environment but these will get reused again and a again. It’s all well and good skincare companies using glass bottles and jars but they are impossible to travel with. They way too much and you always worry they will smash! Foiled tubes are definitely the way forward as they can be recycled, don’t smash and are easy to transport.

I am being greener with my bamboo cotton buds which my husband bought! And my reusable cotton pads that I won in a competition I just need to buy some more!

I am going to write another post on what I plan to pick up in Japan and I can’t wait. Not long to go now.

Are you a minimal skincare packer?

Curating and Planning my Japanese wardrobe

Honeymoon, Organising, Planning, Travel, wardrobe

I am finding planning my Japanese wardrobe difficult. March means it may be cold and warm so I need to bear that in mind: we are also travelling a lot of the country so I needs to be minimum however it’s 3 weeks of clothes!!

Challenges

  • Weather changes
  • Snowboarding clothes
  • 3 weeks
  • Everything has to be comfortable
  • Limited space in the suitcases
  • We want room to bring things back!
  • Shoes need to be slip on or easy to remove

Most of this I already have but there are a few pieces I need to buy. I want my wardrobe to be mix and match

Weather Changes

We are going in March so the weather will cool and mild hopefully but as we are visiting the north and south we will be having all sorts of weather changes. Everything will need to be breathable and good for layering.

Snow boarding clothes

With the exception of my jacket which is pictured I didn’t put any of my kit in the picture. I am taking my goggles, knee pads and gloves as this is my basic amour. I will pack my new snowboarding snood as well because this doesn’t take up any room but it is tricky. I am still contemplating my trousers but I will have to see how small this all packs down. They will definitely deserve a packing cube of there own!

3 weeks

3 weeks is a good amount of time but at the moment I feel like I have a few too many pieces so I may have to edit this down even more. It’s about everything working together. We will be living out of our suitcases travelling the country. I have looked into laundry places and I think it will probably be a good idea to visit them at least once.

Comfort is king

I generally don’t wear uncomfortable clothes nothing is ever too tight but in Japan I need to make sure my clothes and especially shoes are super comfortable. We will be walking everywhere!

Gavin mentioned to me he will be buying new trainers ones that slip on so he can get out of them easier. This is smart thinking so I won’t be taking my knee high boots. My Chelsea boots and sandals will be fine although I will have to go bare foot when I wear them. I will have to have a pack of sockettes in my bag at all times.

I am also taking my gym gear. Incase I get up early and want to go for a run plus I can use them as a layer for snowboarding!

Chosen items

There is still a lot to consider but I have started washing and ironing my clothes and hanging them up on my rail to see if I need anything or better yet if I have anything I would rather take. I bought a pair of Marks and Spenser jeans and they fit so well I am going to buy another pair. My vests are a little bid grubby so I will be buying some basics and I think that’s me done!

I never wanted to spend a fortune on my wardrobe but a few nice pieces to spark it up. I will keep you informed if I buy anything else or add to it. Looking at this as a picture I know I can cut back and we have also looked at some of our hotels that have laundry service so we can invest in that and hand wash any items by taking some liquid detergent with us.

Self reflection

Advice, Dreaming, Planning, self care, Travel

This winter I have been busy. So busy I have missed out on a lot. It will be worth it if I get my bonus this year but it has still taken me away from the things I love and the people I miss. When you work in retail Christmas is your busiest time there is no doubt about it but life goes on weather you are out socialising or at home working.

Next year we are planning Christmas in January. Presents meal you name it. We will still have a Christmas meal but a less hectic one.

I love Christmas and it truely is my favourite time of year it I am just too busy to enjoy it. The week of Christmas I will be in France snowboarding and relaxing so I don’t mind how hectic it gets right now.

My head is already rocking with what I want to achieve next year.

Last years goals

Miraculously my goals last year were all hit. I had to save for the wedding, make for the wedding and look after myself for the wedding.

I didn’t hit all my travel destinations but I did travel to Madrid, Bulgaria, Jersey, France and Yorkshire. This years travel is going to be really exciting with Japan and Italy on the cards!

My sister asked me what I would do if I could do anything. I said draw.

Draw and paint.

But actually put the effort in. Sit down and practice what I love. So I am setting myself a challenge. 12 pieces of art next year that I am brave enough and proud enough to sell. That’s only one a month but it will still be a challenge.

I still have to actually do it.

I have enough paints and pencils and even pads to get started but I can’t tell you the last time I sat down and created something I was proud of.

Treating myself

I have no issues spending money on food or events but when it comes to me I wimp out. Skincare and food I don’t mind spending money on, or holidays or meals out.

But me. I stop at me. I need a new back pack and I have been eyeing up a Fjallraven backpack but for some reason I haven’t bought it. I was hoping to get it for my birthday or Christmas but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

So I should just buy it for myself.

Why not, it’s not frivolous it’s essential and cheap backpacks don’t last.

I need one that fits my laptop and that won’t tire so I am doing my research and I want it in green or yellow.

I am also buying my first Mac. This will again be for my illustrations but I think it’s important to have a goal. This will be a an expensive bit of tech but to me it’s a necessity.

Getting the house sorted

I am a messy person and I need to get it sorted. My head and home are cluttered to the max and although I won’t be chucking out massive amounts of stuff somethings have to go. We are planning on buying a new kitchen and moving the bathroom. This is going to cost a lot so I need to start saving.

Read moreI love to read. It used to be every waking moment I would reach for my book and although I do have books on my phone I really do prefer to turn the pages so in the knew year I will write a list of books I plan on getting round to reading and a few I want to reread!

Organisation, self belief, travel and saving

I was to spend less on crap and invest more in me, my body, wardrobe, home and larder.

Less is more is my motto for next year

Our wedding day set up!

Advice, Cricut, Flowers, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

We got up at 7.30 and we were both mentally exhausted from the week. Planning a wedding where you have to bring in absolutely everything is so hard. Our wedding day set up was a labour of love, blood sweat and tears. Except on the Tuesday when we legally tied the knot we didn’t really have any time for ourselves. I stayed up each night making bits and bobs. Gav was on the computer sorting out music and checking off lists.

It was more than a full time job.

The night before I was cutting out the name cards on my Cricut, it made it easier but I still had to cut out 140 name cards 6 to a sheet. I ran out of the house at 8.30 to get to the shops when they opened and picked up a few more bits or the toilet boxes. ( I will explain in a later blog)

Then my brother arrived at 10.30 with the van he had to hire because we had so much stuff. The cake was a bit of an after thought so we precariously sat it on top and it fared well.

The last thing we packed was my wedding dress and though all the mad packing we almost left It behind. We had paid for our cleaner to clean for us so we came home to a nice clean house. She was already there when we left and promised to bring anything if we forgot it.

I hadn’t packed the top table tablecloth but we just got on with it!

Dysfunctional planner strikes again

Chris drove to the venue with me Gav and Frank on board plus the majority of the props and bits we needed for the day. When we arrived we unloaded the van. This bit was a bit disorganised and people came to me asking what they wanted to do. We piled it all on the grass and tried to get started from there.

I had dreams of clipboards and lists but none of that happened!

My brother in law set to work hanging our Mexican wedding flags which looked truely beautiful! We still have some left which I am excited to keep for a party! And also he and my dad hung some streamers behind us so the top table had a pretty back drop.

I changed the seating arrangement at the last minute so we had one kind top table and then six lines of 2 which worked out beautifully.

Give me a job

My sister took charge of the tables. She said she was going to set up one and we can work from there. The theme for the seating was snowboarding. The tables were supposed to be slopes

  • Green
  • Blue
  • Pink ( no blood and bandages at my wedding)
  • Black ( the one I forgot)

I left the top tables table clothes at home still not found! Great. So I just used the ends of the longer ones to make our top table. It didn’t bother me!

I had so many good people come up to me and say give me a job! We dressed the first table then the second then the third.

Charlotte and my mum were busy making the table flowers. We used a lot of gin bottles to use instead of vases and they looked so pretty!! I asked Charlotte for bright happy flowers with lots of colour, Dahlias, sweet Williams and daisies but what she did was so incredible they were perfect. I will do a whole blog on how amazing she was later!

I didn’t want a matchy matchy wedding. Lots of colour lots textures and silly things.

Napkins and table cloths

I bought the Table cloth fabric of eBay and dyed all the napkins myself. I didn’t want black napkins so I used a yellow dye to brighten things up. I had 120 guests and made sure I had a spare 30 napkins. I was so proud of them they looked great. I had a vision of how I wanted it to look and everyone who was there helped me achieve it.

After Vicky laid out the table Becky went through and straightend the edges. Sorting out the napkins ( Vicky folded them beautifully ina loopy way) and we had to repeat it 120 times. I didn’t want too many flowers on the table because of the food going in the middle of the table.

More Cricut crafts

I bought wooden discs and made slope markers from all our favourite places, Val Disere, Chamonix , Le Duce Alps it was so hard finding photos of the markers that I had to make a few from scratch but they came out so well! We tied them the bottles.

I was going to make a seating chart but in the end I just let people find their names. It was an open venue so after the ceremony people could go in and out while they waited so it wasn’t a big deal. Also because a quarter of the wedding helped set up they found where they were sitting.

The name cards were all cut out on my Cricut. I drew a silly mountainscape and cut out that shape on the card. Charlotte being a super star made badges for everyone. We had 3 themes for our badges, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Snowboarding. We attached the badges at the top with foam squares.

Whilst we were dressing the tables my brother and his wife where folding and hand writing our peoples names!

I told you it was a team effort!

Gavs mum was in the chiller van organising the food and booze. Rosco (papa smurf) was setting up the signs helping gav with the beer. I don’t want to miss anyone out. But there was a lot of hands on deck.

Hayley arrived later with another car full of bits! We had flags of all the countries where our family’s live to semi cover the bales of hay. Charlotte used the excess bottles and flowers and put them at the end of the hay bales.

My dad cooked dinner for everyone! All the men gathered round the fire and had to test the booze while the rest of us soldiered on. I stopped when I realised I was tired and wanted to enjoy myself. It was about 8pm at this point!

So it was all sorted with just a few tweaks to do the next day! We enjoyed the evening, had a few cheeky drinks and went to bed early!

That was the set up. A massive thank you to everyone involved you have no idea how great full we both are.

It was a mission but it was worth it.

It looked perfect!

The stress has eased and now I am just grateful

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning, self care

I feel better now

I do

I have been having a few rants and stresses lately. I know when family get involved it can all get a bit much but it’s important to know that they are here for you.

Mine have been amazing

And when I say my family that also includes my friends and people that are in my life.

I have said before that me and Gavin are very different. He hates excluding people and always feels like the bigger the better. He also welcomes new friends into his life all the time. I never have to worry about being late because Gav will have made a friend at the bar or on the way in.

He is so welcoming and I am but not as much. I don’t go out of my way to make new friends because the friendships I have had for years are so precious to me. I don’t get to spend enough time with them so without being horrible I don’t need more friends.

I hold them close to my heart and I would do anything for them. And I know that they would do the same.

The stress has eased. It may have to do with the fact that we have got a lot done. The list has halved. Things have been ordered and arrived and there are just a few makes left to do.

Monday is a prep day

Tuesday is a family day

Wednesday is when I completed the seating plan

Thursday is organise the house day

Friday is set up day

Saturday is the day

It’s almost here and it’s too late to worry about things that are out of my control.

Dear Mother Nature please don’t rain!!

My friends and family are banding around to make this day magical for me and Gavin. I took out my mother in law and mum for a prethankyou so that they would know how much there roles in my life mean to me.

I am feeling really grateful that one, Gav decided to marry me and two, that my friends and family are here to support me and Gavin.

Because we need it.

We need them here with us. I am starting to get excited now!