27 Feb 2015

Photo Friday #11

My very tasty free Burger from Byron

This week has just not been a great one for me, here's a run down:
  • I felt sick at the beginning of the week, but I did get a free burger and Krispie Kreme.
  • On Wednesday I fell up the escalators coming out of the Tube (yes, in front of a load of people) and rammed my knee into the edge of the step. I could barely walk after and now I have a gigantic bruise on my knee, I also manage to pull a load of muscles in my arm.
  • I broke my phone case.
  • Yesterday I left my keys at home when T was going out for work drinks, so I had to make an extra stop on the way home to collect them.
  • And today I left my lunch at home...perfect!
I am ready for the weekend and a new week!

26 Feb 2015

Planning by Birthday

So this is a bit of a silly post, and I'm not really expecting to get any responses...

It's my birthday on Friday 3rd April and as it's a Bank Holiday it means that both T and I are off work. I'd really like to do something, instead of just sitting at home, but I'm not really sure what.

Now with the Wedding and the flat, money is tight, but I still want to do something special.

At the moment I've thought of the Harry Potter Studio Tour or Afternoon Tea somewhere really nice.
But, both of those things will come in around £100 for both of us.

We've done the tourist things and we're not really museum or gallery people.
Does anyone have any ideas of something to do in London?
Or not too far from London?

25 Feb 2015

We Started Buying Stuff for our Flat

So last summer we bought a flat. We bought it on a bit of a whim, well...not really, but that's a story for another day.

The exciting thing is that we've started buying things for the flat!
It's currently still being built and won't be ready for us to move in until Dec 2015/Jan 2016. We may be getting a little ahead of ourselves by buying things so soon, but who can turn down a bargain and my Mum can store things for us in her garage.

So far the big ticket items that we can cross off our list are a dishwasher and washing machine!
Now to you the things we've bought so far may not seem super exciting...but to someone who's had to do washing up by hand for over 3 years, a dishwasher will be bliss.
Plus it was a bargain, £700 down to £250 in John Lewis. Nothing wrong with it at all!

And we got a really good deal on the washing machine. And it's one of those super quiet one, which will make a nice change from the rowdy one we have no in our rental place.

You know you're getting old when you get excited by a dishwasher and washing machine!
It's exciting though, as it's the first place that T and I own together.

This weekend we have to go to the Developer's Offices to pick our options for the kitchen, bathroom etc.
Now that will be exciting!!

23 Feb 2015

My Week #3

Nothing too exciting this week, both T and I have been unwell. But we had a nice Sunday out with some friends.

21 Feb 2015

Wedding Dress Shopping: Finding THE Dress!

So after failed attempts one and two and a rant about not being able to find the right dress...I've done it!

I have my dress...now I'd love to tell you all about it, plaster this page with photos of the dress and me in it, but that would be telling!
Instead, I'll tell you about my day and the amazing experience I had at Bridal Gowns at Jodi Ltd. in Maidstone.

I picked this shop because they had one dress I knew I wanted to try on, plus some other dresses that I wanted to try on again. With my came my Mum, sister and my mum's best friend (our closest family friend), little did I know the daughter of our family friends had also got her dress in that shop! Surely a good sign?
We arrived and I started telling the ladies in the shop which dresses I wanted and they duely went and collected them all up for me, I then went and looked around, picking out a few other dresses to try as well. Last but not least I stumbled upon a lovely dress, not similar to the others I'd picked, but I though...go on, I'll try it. It was on a total whim and I also thought my Mum wouldn't like the dress, based on her previous likes and dislikes.

On the dresses went, some were discounted straight away. I tried on the dress that I came to the store to try and really liked that one, it was different to the others, but really nice.
Then next came the 'whim' dress, I came out the changing room and my Mum LOVED it. I really liked it, but no where near as much as she did. After a while I went and changed and put on the next lot of dresses, the ones I'd tried before.
These are the ones from the second trip that I really liked, they were my top picks. After the whim dress, they were boring. Everything got compared to it, and at the end I put the whim dress back on.
After standing there for a while, trying it with accessories, looking at the dress online etc. I just felt more and more happy and comfortable in it. I got a little bit emotional and decided that it was the dress.

I went to take it off and the woman in the shop asked if I wanted to have my measurements taken and order it. I knew then that if I didn't say yes I'd go home and start doubting myself and decide not to order it.
So I took the plunge, had my measurements taken, a size 0 ordered and paid the deposit.
The dress is mine!

Since then, I've looked at the other dresses I was going to try online and now I know I picked the right one, the others just don't stand up against it and I like it more and more.

The shop was fantastic, they have no appointments. It sounds strange, but it works so amazingly well. There's someone waiting to see you, then they give you all the time in the world. I tried on 8 dresses, with no time limit, got to put on a dress again, try accessories and I didn't have to rush my decision.
The staff were so helpful and friendly, offering advice when it was needed and even staying after the shop had shut so we could finish.
It was truly a wonderful experience and I couldn't recommend Bridal Gowns at Jodi Ltd. more highly.

20 Feb 2015

17 Feb 2015

10 Months To Go...the finishing touches

And last but not least, those little extras at the end!

Half done and somewhat dusted. We've done the Save the Dates, they went out as a combination of hard copy and email a few weeks ago.
What's left is invitations, menus, programmes, table names, place names...etc?
Most of these things are being made by us on the iPad app Makr - it's pretty damn good and we get to make it look how we want and get everthing to match. We then download it from there for a very small fee and print it via an online printer - et voila!

Nearly forgot about this one. This is still a little bit up in the air, we know exactly what rings we want, bother plain platinum bands. But where to buy them, not sue yet!

And this is my biggest thing yet to sort. We've got the florist, so at least I know where any flower decorations will come from. Further than that, I'm not sure yet.
I know we get a large floral arrangement included in our ceremony room booking (yeah!), and this will probably be the only large floral display we have. Although this isn't coming from the florist I've hired, but the venue's recommended one so I really hope it turns out nicely.
For tables I have a few ideas of what to have as centres, but these keep chopping and changing and I can't make up my mind at the moment.
As for other decorations, I'm not really sure what I need...the venue will have their Christmas deocrations up, which means the mantle places will have garlands on them and there will be a big tree, but I'm not sure how it'll fit in with what else I want. But at least it's some of the decoration done for me!
I want a sort of wintery, rustic yet classy look. Not too much to ask for ;)
Anyone have any good ideas? 

Now I'm pretty sure that covers all the main areas, but if you want any extra details, just let me know!
Have I forgotten something?!

Catch up on...

16 Feb 2015

My Week #2

A fairly quiet week this week, but the weekend ended up being a little more extravagant with 3 meals out!

Edit: I actually looked back at my meals last week and realised that I had 2 meals out in the week as well!
Mon: GKB, Wed: Subway, Fri: Harvester: Sun: Dim Sum & Big Easy

15 Feb 2015

Happy Birthday Daddy

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Daddy

He was taken from us last May, far sooner than he should have been.
I love him and miss him more than anything else in the world.

A true Aussie

14 Feb 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all your love birds out there!

Me and my valentine will be having a lovely Valentine's weekend with dinner out on Sunday.

And don't worry if you haven't got someone special in your life, when I was single I used to celebrate Norm Day with my wonderful friend Clara. Named after Broadway's one and only Norm Lewis!
Norm wishes you a very Happy Norm Day!

13 Feb 2015

10 Months To Go...the food & drink

Onto one of the best parts in my opinion! I know it's wedding food, and in no way as I expecting for the food or drink to be amazing, I am still super excited. And when people say 'You'll be too busy to eat anything all day and you won't want to your at the Breakfast either'...well, they clearly haven't met me and T. There is no way that we will be missing out on the food drink and cake!

Food and Drink
All included in our wonderful venue package! We got the top level one, so Champagne for all!! We have a four course breakfast with coffee and petit fours, canapes at the drinks reception and probably ore booze provided than is wise! For the drinks reception we're going to have some mulled wine and Champagne (not together obviously), then everyone gets half a bottle of wine at the Breakfast, a glass of Champagne for toasting AND the additional wine we're putting on the tables.
We've been to weddings where there were 2 bottles of wine between 8-9 people and 'sparkling wine' and we were like, what is going on here? That was one thing we knew we wanted, ample booze and for it not too be too bad quality either!
So all we really need to do is the menu tasting which isn't until a few months before the wedding, I am really looking forward to that!
Although the venue don't allow additional food and drink (except for cake!), but we managed to sway them into letting us have some extra wine on the tables. We managed to convince them on sentimental reasons - now you might think that sounds pretty stupid, but I can ensure you it's quite the opposite. We're having some wine from a region of France called Cotes de Duras, it's a place where my family have been on holiday for the past few years (we're quite a wine-y family), of course with T tagging along, he is family after all! It also happens to be the place where T proposed (good boy!) and it's also wine that my Dad loved and so I want it on the table to remember him and drink to him.

Wedding Cake
Not booked, yet. But we're all decided, of course!
Last year we went to the National Wedding Show in London, there were a few cake places there where we nabbed a few taster pieces. There was one absolute stand out place, La Papillon Patisserie, to which we kept going back to to get more cake!
When we got home I looked them up, only to find that there are in the closest town to our venue, less than a 5 minute drive away - I'm calling that one fate!
We arranged a cake tasting and chomped our way through 12 amazing flavours of delicious, moist cake!
We've picked our three falvours for our three layers and the outside decoration. Now the only thing to do is order...
The only problem is, the tasting was so long ago, I think I might need a reminder session ;)

Cheese Cake
Yes, you heard me! Now I'm not talking about a cheese cake as in the pudding, but of course a stack of cheese wheels that resembles a cake - and why not?
Both T and I love cheese, and back at the good old National Wedding Show we saw a cheese cake put together by Godminster. They let us try each of the cheeses whilst explaining what they were and I'm hooked! The cheddar they make is so yummy and the cake had a good mixture of the more 'plain' cheeses whilst having a few different once thrown in.
If it was up to me, we'd have ordered already, but T things there might be a better one out there, so we'll see.
But there will definitely be a cheese cake there!

Better than this?

Still to come...

Catch up on...

11 Feb 2015

10 Months To Go...the beauty regime

Now I'm not really one for our next category. I don't fuss with my hair, I wash it and it air dries. I wear minimal make up, have never had a manicure and don't both with any sort of beauty regime (except hand cream when I remember about once and week and taking my make up off).

Hair Stylist
Lucky Duck no.2! I've had the same hair dresser (Ian) since I was about 5, so around 20 years. Obviously him and his wife are invited to the wedding, the out come of that is...free hair stylist for the day (I think!). Last time I saw him I was talking to him about it and asking prices and he got a little secret smile and wouldn't tell me the prices. So I'm not worrying about it at the moment!

Make Up
Drawing blanks. I have two options here...DIY or professional.
If I go DIY I have the potential to save some money, I got to make up counters, look online and get ideas on how to do it myself. The huge gigantic flaw in that, I'm not really a make up person. I didn't start wearing make up until I went to uni and I only wear eyeliner and mascara everyday.
If I go professional, I don't have the worry of getting it wrong, or the make up coming off in the day. I'm leaning this way, I've just got to find the right person.
I might still go for some counter sessions though!

Lucky duck no.3 - ha, bet you didn't see this one coming. Ian's (the hairdresser) wife can do professional manicures! He was as talkative about this as he was my hair, but with a 'We'll work something out', I'm leaving it alone for now!

General Beauty Regime
I know I've got to be better at this, I want to look good on the day...glowing as it's usually referred too.
It's winter so I need to make sure that my lips aren't chapped, my face isn't dry and my hands aren't scaley, peeling or bleeding. The skin on my hands get pretty bad in winter last December (aka 1 year to go) my hands had cuts all over them from having dry skin. Not a good look.
So I really need to up my game and take better care of myself...it's not going great at the moment. But I will formulate a plan!

Still to come...

Catch up on...

9 Feb 2015

My Week #1

I'm going to start a little post series showing my week in my diary!
Enjoy :)

10 Months To Go...the outfits are coming together

Update no.3 in the series! Onto the outfits, not you've heard quite a bit about my dress shopping so far, but what about everyone else I hear you say!

Bride's Dress
Things are coming along...I've been on shopping trips one and two and had a bit of a stress, but shopping trip three is coming along nicely.
I'm not going to expand too much, because that would be releasing the secrets of my dress!

Bridesmaid's Dresses
Boom - bridesmaids done...I hope!
After finding (in my eyes) the perfect dress, on sale, in the right sizes and just over budget (we're paying some the bridesmaids make up the rest)...I got home from work one night and went to order the dresses. Typically, one of the sizes was now out of stock.
Fast forward by a few days, I'd found various other options and was still checking the original dress and emailing around various shops to find it - breakthrough! There was a store that had one size I needed and the others were still available online. After a long phone call to order the dress from the store (I had to spell out every work od the address - the woman didn't know how to spell Leicester...I also got a call back to check the spelling of Leicester again) and a quick online purchase the dresses are on the way to me, and I cannot wait to open them and check them out! I am praying they fit!
In terms of other accessories we're yet to sort those, but I'm hoping the main hurdle is done!

Groom's Outfit
Another things that is near enough ticked off. The suit is done, a rather expensive tweed jacket, waistcoat and made to measure matching trousers! I'm not letting more info than that slip, T wants his to be a surprise too!

Groomsmen's Outfits
Not done yet - I am totally slacking! Joke, obviously.
Because of the nature of the groom's suit, there was no way we could get them to match. At the moment the thoughts are that they're going to hire something nice and elegant from Moss Bros, probably a navy 3 piece suit. Nothing really set in stone yet though!

Still to come...

Catch up on...

7 Feb 2015

10 Months To Go...the Vendors are lining up

Here's the continuing ramble about the wedding count down and where we're up to.
No doubt you'll find it thrilling ;)

The lucky ducks that we are, we managed to bag £1,600 worth of wedding photographer for free!
One of my parents oldest friends, Trevor Godfree, is a wedding photographer. And in his words, 'I tell this to all the people I like, if I'm going to do you wedding photos for you, I'm going to do them for free'.
Bob's your Uncle!

I spent ages trawling the internet, unable to find a florist that didn't have photos of their wedding flowers that included calla lilies, palm leaves, plain roses and sparkly bits...gross.
Not matter how much promise they showed, they always had one of those photos, which was a total put off for me.
I turned to Pinterest and started searching for florists in Surrey, of course nothing much came up. But a few things cropped up that looking very promising. I followed through to a website...Blush Floral Design.
One look through, my eyes turned to the shape of hearts and I knew this was the florist for me. No tacky, boring or plain floral displays, everything was gorgeous, textured and rustic.
After a fair few emails with the wonderfully helpful and friendly Bex, I took the plunge, and we're all booked in!
Just got to work out what flowers we want now!

We've hit our first stumbling block! After not much research at all we ruled out the possibility of live music, I know it's a wedding and everything is overpriced, but live music = overpriced!!
We're stuck between hiring a DJ and putting together our own music playlist.
Both have pros and cons.
If we hire a DJ we just give him a list of songs and let him do his thang (so to speak), but we have to shell out some cash.
If we put together our own list, we know we can get exactly what we want, and with a Spotify premium membership, that is basically sorted (except Tay Swizzle - damn you for removing yourself from Spotify!). The cost is minimal. However, do we then need to get someone at the wedding to overlook this and take charge. Does that mean they have to sit in the corner on their own all night?

Still to come...

Catch up on...

6 Feb 2015

10 Months To Go...the Date is set!

As today is officially 10 months until the wedding I thought I would do a little update on where we're up to.
I think we're doing pretty well so far, and T most definitely thinks that everything is done - to which I have to firmly tell him that it is not.

I was going to keep this in one post, but I rambled so much I've decided to split it up! And I've ended up spliiting it up quite a lot, so keep your eyes peeled for more posts, with more details!

The date is set, we get married in just 10 short months! We decided on a Winter wedding, as I do love winter and the date is quite close to Christmas, so we can have a touch of sparkle! It was also cheaper to have winter rather than summer...every little helps ;)

It didn't actually take long to pick, it was the first place we visited and we'd basically ready to sign on the dotted line before we went to visit it. The place had a big tick next to it for everything we wanted - all in one place, manor house, nice gardens, lovely rooms, great package, good location, good transport links, bedrooms for guests etc.
It's set up just for conferences and weddings, so they definitely know what they're going. Even better, T used to work with their company and got us an extra discount through one of his contacts.
And to top all that off, the hotel is part of a small chain of conference hotels, the same group that own the hotel where we first met, and then (3 years later) where I actually caught on and realised that not only did T like me (I already knew that one), I liked him too! So we're continuing our tie with the hotel group by having our wedding with them too!

For us it was a no brainer to have this in the same place as the reception. We're not religious and so it would seem false to marry in a Church - plus neither of us like the stuffiness that assocaite, let along the singing (yuk!).
The hotel has a gorgeous Lounge, where I can walk up the aisle between two giant pillars and we can get married in front of a bay window with french windows overlooking the gardens. Plus the room will have a fire lit (in the fireplace of course) and a giant Christmas tree - hooray!

Just a matter of finding out which was the one for the area, and then paying some pretty heavy fees to secure them. But hey, it's the most important bit of the day. What's a wedding without a ceremony?

Still to come...
Food & Drink
Finishing Touches

4 Feb 2015

Enjoying this Blog

I must say, I'm enjoying this blog much more than I ever have.
Before I felt pressured to post about certain things, to post lots of photos and to fit in.

Now it's so much more free.
I feel like I can post what I want, when I want and no one cares, it just doesn't matter.
I like rambling on about what's happening in my life, getting things off my chest if I need to.

And who cares if anyone reads it? (Thank you if you do!)

2 Feb 2015

Wedding Dress Shopping: Mark 2

A week ago on Saturday I had my second experience of Wedding Dress shopping!
Accompanying me were my mother and my 3 bridesmaids. I picked two dress shops based on what designers and dresses I liked and which particular dresses they stocked. And spent a lot of the week before going through lots of pictures of dresses and deciding which I should try on!
I can a good idea of what dresses I wanted to try from my first trip, nearly 2 months before!

The shops I picked were rather fitting in their locations, as the first was less than 5 minutes from where I live, the closest shop to me, and it stocks loads of the deisgners I like, cannot believe it!
The second is in Islington in London, which is where I had my first date with my future husband, perfect!

The day started when I woke up 2 hours earlier than I was meant to...who knows what time I'll wake up on our Wedding day?

Shop one was Confetti & Couture in Romford, Essex. They were so lovely there and I felt totally comfortable and I wasn't rushed at all.
Shop two was Angelica Bridal in Islington, London. We were defiinitely more rushed there and didn't feel so relaxed, but they had some lovely dresses which I'd like to go back and try on.

Overall the day was sucessful, I didn't find THE dress, I did have that WOW moment, but I found a few dresses which I really like and are beautiful.
I'm going to carry on my search to try and find the one, wow dress...but I'm not sure I'm cut out for that moment!
And it means there's a lot more research to go!

I really wish I could post some of the few photos I was allowed to take, but it's probably better not to have them floating around for anyone to see. After all, I want everyone to be surprised by how fabulous I look on the day.

So exciting, nearly at 10 months to go!

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