Being grateful: A Pre thank you

Flowers, Organising, Wedding, Wedding Budget

I am trying to prethank all my wedding party for what they are about to do, or have already done for me. Weddings can cause rifts and there is nothing like a wedding to bring out the worst in people.

I have a wonderful team of Danettes family and friends who have offered to help and I am taking them up on it. And quite frankly I don’t want to piss them off and appear ungrateful!

So this week, as a prethank you I took my mum, mother in law and sister in law out to a posh restaurant for a slap up feast. They have already done so much for me Gavin and the wedding and there are 7 months to go!! I know we will be asking a lot more of them especially their time and opinions.

Flowers

My mum was only here for a few days but she was a whirlwind of help and answers. She trained as a florist so disapproved of a few of my choice ( apparently no to pink and yelllow). But I love them together so she obliged.

She ummed and arrrd over the flower arrangements which half way through, I was like perfect, next! But she took her time and it did look really beautiful when she finished. She was happy, even with my yellow ( freesias are her favourite) so I knew she would give in!

Budget savings

I refuse to pay for vases but she was impressed with my array of jam jars thank you Dowe Egberts and your perfect coffee jars! Plus my mother in law kindly donated a lot of golden syrup jars perfect!

My table runners slightly scared Hayley and mum at first till we set it out but honestly I think the whole thing will look beautiful!

Granny Donelly wisdom ” suits the wearer not the starer”

I am going to do the rounds and make sure everyone understands how much I appreciate there help and input!

My best friend has always been my rock since I was 14 we have been thick as thieves! I am thinking of ways to thank them before I become a wedding zombie focused on all the details. She is off to Madrid for hen do planning, how crazy is that.

I need to plan something special for just us!

Grateful

Being thankful and grateful is easy but it is also easy to think our friends and family know how much we appreciate their help. Some times they need to hear it! I am trying to do this so if I do get a bit crazy, they will understand I am out of character.

I refuse to be a bridezilla! But that doesn’t mean she won’t show herself every now and then!

So that’s it,

My little Friday blog.

Hope you enjoyed it!

I need Shelp! Wedding Shoe search continues

Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding Budget

Yes I spelt it right, I need Shelp. Shoe help!

I want a beautiful pair of shoes to walk up the isle in, twice. At the moment the law doesn’t acknowledge humanist ceremony as legal which means I have to get married twice.

This does not make me happy, except I have bought both dresses and I love them equally.

Jimmy Choos Roma

Two Shoes

So now I may need two pairs of shoes!

Two you say, yes two. I need heals for the legal bit. Something gorgeous and star of the show. I want something flat or wedge for the actual wedding day. I want something I can wear all day! Something pretty. Sparkly.. not too sure.

I don’t mind a designer shoe but I am not going to turn my nose up at a high street shoe either. I am a budget bride after all.

Marks and Spenser shoes

I said from the beginning that I would rather have a beautiful pair of shoes than a super expensive wedding dress. An accessory I can wear again and again and take away on honeymoon.

So I went to shoe heaven

Have you been?

It’s a bit of a maze but it has all the pretty shoes.

The staff are really helpful and attentive. These are expensive shoes but oh so pretty.

I didn’t find any I loved except the Aquazzura Pom Pom shoes that they had in black and the wrong height! They are so beautiful, sexy and a wee bit too high. My mum loved them.

So I searched online and it looks like they are no longer available in my size.

Just look at them! I have to move on or scour Vestier for my perfect shoes. One thing I love about them that I didn’t know was the brands logo is a Pineapple which suits me to a t!

They are sold out- i have myself on a fair few waiting lists and watching Vestiaire like a hawk. We will see.

So now I need Shelp!

And I am getting it from one of my Danettes. She happens to be a shoemaker/ designer who worked for the RSC and ROH in the shoe department. Sourcing and making shoes.

I told you I picked my BMs well.

She has given me lots of options already but has told me not to rush!

So even though I would like them tucked away in their box, ready for me to break them in before the big day!

I will have to wait and except some more Shelp!

Sophia Webster shoes

Hunt continues

Here is what I am looking for

  • Not too high ( less than 3 inches)
  • Comfortable
  • Peep toes or closed toes
  • No black/ red
  • Up for glitter and colour

How is your shoe hunt going?

Saving is hard

Wedding Budget

January is always hard on the budget but with saving for the wedding this month has been even harder.

Everything adds up.

Weddings are just money traps.

I am doing well with my savings as long as I keep going.

Self portrait

Hermit life for me

I have basically been a hermit for this month. I don’t want to wish the days away but payday can not come soon enough. I have been hitting the freezer for dinners. We have been buying a few bits of veg but it is amazing how much food your cupboards can hold.

It’s been a useful exercise.

We had a mini Christmas with my brother and sister in law. It was lovely. We ate and drank. I cooked a big roast dinner with two chickens, stuffing roast veg and cauliflower cheese.

I made extra so I could make a roast chicken dinner pie which was really good. We were eating for a fair few dinners so I didn’t have to cook for a few nights. Home cooking is so much better than take out ( not you Dominos). And a bit more friendly on the hips too!


Watching my savings

Wedding talk

Most of our conversations are about the wedding.

“Have you called blah blah” “did you hear back from the caterer”

Every one you tick something off the list you end up taking a chunk from budget.

We are doing this together and although I am probably doing the majority of the research and chasing suppliers. It’s a team effort. I would hate to do this all by myself.

I don’t mean making the decisions. Sometimes I wish I could have it all my way. But this is about our marriage not just a wedding. It has to reflect us both. We generally agree on most things but Gav is a little old fashioned.

Who knew!

Charity shop wedding dress

Keep moving, keep saving

So I will keep scrimping and saving and planning. The lists appear to be increasing.

Still to do;

  • Book caterer
  • Book hair and makeup trial
  • Book band (we have one fingers crossed)
  • Buy wedding shoes
  • Design invites
  • Send invites
  • Dye napkins
  • Collect vases
  • Cake tasting( konditor and cook)
  • Buy bridesmaids dresses
  • Grooms suits

Is that it? Probably not.

February shouldn’t be too hard on the pennies. With the goal so close I am finding it easier to go without.

Happy saving.

Rainbow cake….. not Konditor and Cook

Clean Slate: Bullet Journalling likes and dislikes

health, Organising, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget, weight loss

January always feels like a clean slate. Maybe its that everything looks dead but there is lots of promise growing beneath the surface. We just need to patient and soon we will have spring, blossom and all its glory.

It has come around so quickly.

After The chaos of Christmas we naturally have a clean out, put all the decs away, fill the house with more candles and look sadly at the corner where the tree used to live.

January is full of plans and promises.

New years resolutions are generally held for the month, even if they disappear into the either after that. I like to sit down and start my new planner. Although I didn’t need any new pens I couldn’t resist my new Staedtler fine liners.

Is anything better than crossing off a list.

If you have completed a bullet journal and are onto the next then this is the most exciting part

So I thought I would share with you my pages I use and love and the ones I started but never looked back at.

Love:

Year at a glance, it’s a yearly calendar so you can see the dates, circle any birthdays or holiday you have booked. It easy

Bill tracker. Yes I could do this all on my phone looking at my accounts but when the bills get mixed up with payments I like to tick them off. It makes me happy and feels like I am doing something. Also it makes me aware of my budget for the month.

Order tracker. I use this at work. I have my orders I have to put through every month. This makes sure that I don’t order things twice. I have to go through different systems so this little tick method reminds me of all my suppliers as well as all

Blog tracker

Again this one is for work. It helps me know what I am writing, when what images we need. Although we love other peoples work and always credit it in our blogs we know how important it is to create our own images but it takes time. Lots of planning and then follow ups on our social media.

Monthly spread

Again this is me seeing my month at a glance. This is especially good for planning my weekends, birthdays and other event. I always write when I have a workshop planned, parties just everything. When my friends meet up for a meal every so often, I can tell them when I am free. I am more likely to put in in my Bullet journal then in my phone.

Savings

We all know ( I bore you enough) that I am saving for my wedding. This fills me with Joy, I am already halfway through my target and still have 8 months of savings to go- so I am going to do it.

14 day meal plan

Okay so Gav loved this one. After every evening meal I would ask him what he wanted and he would always say I don’t mind. I love to cook and Gav loves to order takeout. We are trying to be healthier so I tried something knew.  I wrote 14 meals which are generally our favorites. I wrote out what I needed in each meal and then combined it to make a super grocery list. There were enough ingredients to make 14 meals but we weren’t a slave to it.  Take out was also an option on it! So after dinner I would ask Gav to choose and if he couldn’t decide I asked him for a number and we chose it based on that.

No wasted food, no extra food to buy for.

Not used

I tried a reading tracker. I am a big reader I generally read a book a week (the benefits of commuting) So I wrote a list of books I wanted to read and ended up ignoring them all and just buying books on my phone whenever the next one ran out. I also tend to read more than one book at one. At the moment I have a thriller on my phone for commuting, an organizing one in my bag in case I get bored of the phone one. A book about the army, which I bought because I had to wait two hours for my phone battery to be replace and then a murder mystery which I forgot I started reading.

Netflix tracker

Hmmm really don’t need this. Lots of people love it I guess its just the pure joy of ticking something off. Again I have a bout 4 series on the go at once. Me and Gavin live different things so Lemony Snicket, Diablo and The Protector we will watch together but You, The Sinner and The Staircase he is not interested in. But Netflix stores all the info for me so I don’t worry about loosing my place.

Water Tracker

I am trying to be heathy and drink more water. Now putting on its own page doesn’t make me look at it but I do put a mini tracker at the bottom of each day I find a lot more useful.

Weight tracker

Oh shoot me. No I am only kidding. I have a weight loss app on my phone and as I have to log my food I didn’t end up redoing it. Also seeing a list I am not great at completing makes me reach for a donut and fold over the page. I didn’t like filling out this page at all but I don’t mind the clinical aspects of the app.

Mood tracker

Ha ha ha ha not going to even try. I am a Scorpio, enough said.

Conclusion

I think a clean slate is great. I think a simple bullet journal is better. This year is going to be jam packed enough without fancy pages and more trackers but I am generally happy with it.

Setting Goals: Happy new year

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel, Wedding, Wedding Budget, weight loss

I am not a fan on overpriced New Year’s Eve parties. I feel they are a waste of money and energy! You can enjoy the same evening on a normal Saturday night out!But I don’t mind a house party or a  nice meal with friends. I have had some great New Years.

Two Hogmanay’s in Edinburgh

A pie fight at a Bugsy Malone party

A meal with friends and cocktails

And then one New Year’s Eve where we had a bottle of champagne and played computer games all night.

Other than that, can’t say I have had many great ones. Like Christmas I think that it is all about family. About sharing a kiss with your loved one, Jools Holland on the tv and a big smile on your face.

Also I love my bed! If I can spend New Year in my bed with food and booze and fur babies then I am a happy girl. Sadly, my other half is very outgoing so we take it in turns.

One new year my choice, one his.

Generally, it’s like most things, a big pressure to do something to talk about. I have never been a fan of any of that. I hope I have never been or never will be, a show off. Although rooftop parties in New York look amazing I would love to experience that, I am not someone who feels left out if I choose not to go.

New Years is just a big rip off

Tickets to your local pub! Drinks doubled in price, Leery men hoping to scoop up the single girls at the end of the night. (This was my late teens clubbing in Camberley and Fleet).

This year I get 4 glorious days off.

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday…. Pure heaven.

I can’t wait. We have some tidying to do which Mrs Hinch and her Minky have prepared me for. Some wedding planning (although that may be on hold till after the break.

But a break nether the less!

Exploring and Travel

I also am not the biggest fan of setting New year’s resolutions. except this year we actually have a goal to work towards… the wedding. Planning this year is key and we are so excited. My brother called me asking me to join him and dad on a road trip to our house in France. We are taking a van and picking up some bits before Mum sells the house. This also means that we can buy some French bits for the wedding which I am so excited about. Gav may kill me.

 

Travel Plans this year:

  • Bulgaria
  • Road trip to Jarnac
  • Madrid
  • Munich

My Goals

Well I have been good at maintaining my weight but I haven’t lost any more so I still have a stone to lose and when my ankle heals, I am going to start running again. Get my whole body toned and back into shape.

Skin care

Well I have already started this journey so it is time to get back into the habits and truly look after my skin. This means from the inside out so I will be drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruit and its bye, bye to chocolate as this makes me break out. I just need a new serum (praying Elizabeth Arden goes in the sale)

I still need to find a beautician and book my bridesmaids there’s. I am leaving up to them if they want it done. Hair and makeup.

Hair

Well I got all my grey hairs coloured and covered and Gav wasn’t impressed with my blond skunk streaks as they are fairly bold. Now I am thinking of going a bit warmer and red. Not Bright Aerial red just a dark Auburn which is closer to my natural colour. I am growing it as long as it wants to grow and thinking of having it half up and down.

Still need to book a hairdresser for the wedding which is super stressful as I have never ever found someone who is good with curls. I get hairdressers who cut my hair really well but I leave with my hair frizzy and fly away.

Saving

No one likes to talk about money but weddings are expensive and we all know that. I am saving money on flowers, ceremony and booze but our venue is ridiculously  expensive.And its our dream to get married there. It will be totally worth it.  I have less then half my time and less then half the budget to save for. I have been working really hard to scrimp and save. Turning down nights out because of fares and expenses without neglecting my friends too much. Working overtime and extra Saturdays are making a difference to my saving now.

Makes: Getting Crafty

I have a lot of things to make. Napkins to dye, table clothes to hem. Photobooths to build and paint, and invites to cut up. The list is pretty impressive. We have a lot of details to finalise. And in a few months’ time I have to book the civil wedding.

I am hoping to make the majority of items before June so that I can fix any issues if any arrive. And not get too bogged down by it all.

Writing that list makes me a wee bit sick.

We are getting married in 8 months

8

Ocho

Cannot believe it and I cannot wait.

I almost wish I had another year to plan and make.

But I don’t.

Giving up Pinterest

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

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

Bulgaria travel: Snowboarding plans for next year

Planning, Travel, Wedding Budget

With all the wedding planning and budgeting, I didn’t think I could squeeze in a ski trip this year. It’s our 10 year anniversary so Gavin is treating me to a week snowboarding in Bulgaria.

I have never been to Bulgaria.

I can’t wait.

Planning the Snow Trip

When our snowboarding group started to talk about where we wanted to go I knew that the Alps were far out of my budget. I turned down the holiday and then they started looking further afield. I am not a great snowboarder but I have been doing it for long enough that I am confident on most slopes and situations. Unless we are talking about a sheet of ice I can pretty much tackle any slope. Just really really slowly.

pexels-photo-163912.jpeg

Photo by Borislav Krustev on Pexels.com

Bulgaria is cheap, super cheap. We are talking half the price of the French Alps in a hotel as well. We normally rough it in a french Hostel and so far I haven’t missed any luxuries. After 10 years of UCPA’s  its a hotel for us this time. The price tag is also great!

We are planning on renting a Chalet at some stage as most of us have our own equipment. We had a chalet in Samoens 4 years ago and it was so beautiful. I still have the same jacket I bought at the start of my Snowboarding life. I invested in a good coat and its only now that there is a bit of wear and tear in it. I also have amazing armour after I broke my wrist on the flattest slope on Samoens!

Borovets Ski Resort

The Apres ski is supposed to be amazing which I didn’t expect. The town has enough entertainment for us with restaurants and bars. The actual slopes are supposed to be great nothing too challenging so I will hopefully get a few more red slops under my belt. the only downside it the chairlifts as that is what they mostly are. My favourite thing to do each holiday is to board from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Then I reward myself with a nice vine chaud or Peche beer.

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I will pay for lessons for the first day to act as a warm-up plus it will just be me and my cousin in the glass. we will have some constructive tuition and then join the others on the rest of the holiday.

We are spending our evenings planning routes and looking on tripadvisor for restaurant recommendations. We like to slip out one night and just spend the evening alone. I really looking forward to not spending 40 euros on 4 bottles of beer! The pricing all over Borovets seems amazing value for money.

Living in London means I am used to spending £4-5 on a beer and £10 on a gin and tonic. With wedding planning and budgets I have been limiting my nights out but I still budget for a few.

Otherwise, what’s the point.

I am looking forward to dressing in cosy knits and sampling the sumptuous Bulgarian cuisine. I have already my guidebook as I like to be informed.

If you have been to Borovets Ski resort and have any advice let me know!