Tag Archives: love

How to ensure your wedding is talked about for years to come.

** Disclosure – This post is a collaborative post  however, aside from recommending you checkout this company’s fab website, this post is all my own and comes from the heart, no integrity lost”

This post is totally my opinion, we could go as far as to say my advice, on how to make sure your wedding is THE wedding. The wedding your friends and family talk about for years to come. How to make it special for you and your partner, whilst making it feel special for your guests.

To quote the fabulous and renowned children’s author Julia Donaldson  from The Scarecrows Wedding   “Let’s have a wedding, the best wedding yet, the wedding that no one will ever forget” Said Harry O Hay to Betty O Barley – The Scarecrows’ wedding By Julia Donaldson.

My own wedding was a blissful 9 years ago. I’d love to relieve it every day, although minus the expense of course. It was everything we hoped and dreamed it would be. Hubs and I spent 18 months planning our wedding together. We hoped we had set the scene for the ultimate day of happiness. Was it perfect? No. Did it matter? Not at all. It gave us stories to tell, and hurdles to overcome. Much like everyday married life.

I think there are many choices for the types of wedding you have in the 21st century. We were one of the first of our family and friends to break from tradition and to have a civil ceremony. Our day was held in one location which house a small chapel style building for the ceremony with some picturesque grounds for photos. Followed by the rest of the day in a converted barn. There was also a house on site for us and our immediate family to stay overnight in. Checkout The Reid Rooms who hosted our wedding.

wedding

On the whole, the majority of weddings I have been very fortunate to have attended have all followed a similar suit. On the most part they are civil ceremonies conducted in a converted barn or large house. The days events continue on location. Sometimes they are a church service with the rest of the days proceedings continued in a similar location experienced in hosting wedding receptions.

For most, this is THE DREAM, especially for the bride who. She has meticulously chosen the most expensive dress she will ever buy. All hopes are pinned on seeing the grooms face whilst she wants to feel like Beyoncé for one day. All eyes on them, the happy couple.

wedding

If you hadn’t guessed by now, I LOVE weddings! I jokingly call myself a wedding connoisseur. I’m yet to start gate crashing, but it has been known for me to offer to pay to attend as a guest. I genuinely love the fairytale. Every time I see a bride turn that corner the tears well in my eyes. I can literally feel everything she is going through. The nerves, the excitement, the love.

When planning your wedding it is important to consider what will make you as a couple happy. But ultimately I believe you need to focus on what will make your guests have a day to remember. I personally wouldn’t have enjoyed my day if my guests were not content. For us, we gave the comfort and requirements of our friends and family a LOT of consideration.

wedding

Research, research, research. I used to spend every lunch hour browsing the internet and bridal forums. Having masses of wedding info collated on a website such as Confetti, is a great starting point if you don’t know where to begin. I can totally recommend you attend wedding showers in the area you intend to marry. I believe this is why many still say it was one of the more ‘memorable’ and ‘brilliant’ weddings they have attended.

Little things like ensuring there was a quiet place in the evening for older and very young guests to sit and talk away from the dancing and loud music. Making sure the venue were able to provide cups of tea throughout the day, not just in the evening and after the meal. We had grandparents with no interest in drinking alcohol. Having a simple cup of tea was all they needed to feel relaxed and comfortable.

Often when you attend weddings you can find yourself presented with food that you wouldn’t usually eat. Wedding days can be a long day for all involved. Nobody wants to feel hungry because they didn’t like the pea soup or lamb cutlets. Plus you yourself are spending an awful lot of money, you want it to be money well spent. We chose to have classic bangers (sausage) and mash with gravy with a chocolate fudge cake for after. We had a second option but it was all received well.

wedding

Whilst we had waitress service for the starter and desert and table clearing, the main course was a served buffet. Guests were encouraged to go up for seconds to avoid waste. And we used our nectar points to buy our own wine for the tables.

We tried to save money by doing a lot of things ourselves. I made the invites, buttonholes, gift card box and table plan myself, along with a photo montage of myself and hubs through the years for our guests to have a giggle at.

We found a company who allowed us to custom design our own wedding rings, and it was cheaper than many of the rings we had seen in the shops. I had also found a lot of the modern wedding rings quite bulky and they looked out-of-place against my Nan’s vintage wedding ring.

wedding

During the wedding breakfast we made a CD to be played to fill any awkward silences. The CD consisted of songs that were “the song” for our parents, siblings and other people close to us or songs that meant something to us. Each person or couple received a copy of this CD with our image on as a wedding favour. With the idea when they listened back to the CD they would always think of our day.

As my parents are divorced I didn’t want to tread on any toes so I decided to have my nephew who I’m very close to, walk me down the aisle. One of my younger nephews at the time was the adorable ring bearer. My nephew who walked me down the aisle to “give me away” was only 12 at the time but he stood up at the wedding breakfast and did a speech. He was such a cutie and we will always have a close bond.

Hubs has 2 brothers and asked them both to share the role of best man. A job they did rather comically when it came to the speech and entertaining the evening guests with their lack of dancing skills.

Breaking tradition I also gave a speech along with my mum. Hubs got so emotional I ended up reading most of his speech, until I got to the part about how wonderful I was and he was able to compose himself to continue. He’s always been teetotal pretty much. But that day he was knocking back the champers in order to get through his speech. I joked that he’d only been married 5 minutes and already I had turned him to drink.

wedding

A few other ways we tried to break with tradition… Instead of a wedding cake we had a 9 tier stand covered with 150 individual cupcakes. Hubs drove himself and I arrived in a minibus driven by my mum containing other family members. As we were staying on site there wasn’t going to be anyone to witness our arrival and it was an added expense we didn’t need. I did my own makeup and I had planned to do my own hair with my Mums help. After a failed trial run resulting in me burning my arm, we managed to persuade our usual hairdressers to do a simple up do with only 3 days notice. Everyone in the salon thought it was hilarious I had intended to do my own wedding hair. I’m so glad I didn’t.

The first dance can feel a little nerve-wracking for many. I insisted hubs and I made up a brief routine in our kitchen a week prior to the event. Making it our own and avoiding an awkward shuffle round the middle of the dance floor. If you look very closely on the DVD you can see me saying “we are doing it, we’re doing it” and him saying “No,no,no,no”. But it was great fun and added to the romanticism of dancing away at home to OUR song, Stand by Me by Ben E King.

wedding

Which brings me to my next piece of advice. Videographers. Technology has come a long way in the last 9 years. People are now using drones to get amazing 360 shots from the sky at weddings. My cousins’ wedding had a card on the table with a special hashtag for sharing any piccies you took on Instagram. Photo booths are now available for hire with props. Some companies upload the images to Facebook so you no longer have to wait for processing. All these advancements I think are a welcome addition to your day.

I totally think the day flies by in such a cheek aching blur, that to have it captured on film to watch over and over or share with the grandkids is invaluable. I would love to have my Nan and Grandad’s wedding on DVD. Who doesn’t want to remember their wedding day!

My final thought on how to make your day a memorable one that is talked about for years is this:-

 Don’t feel pressured to do what you think people expect. Make your wedding as big or as small as you would like and can afford. Get friends and family involved. Don’t forget to thank and appreciate your guests. I recently heard on the radio that on average guest spend just over £1000 attending a wedding. Share the love.

If you are thinking of planning your wedding, why not start by visiting Confetti.co.uk. Their website has so many useful links to help you choose a venue, dress and so, so much more.
I’d love to hear about your wedding day.

Our photographs were taken by Scott at The Edge Photography. Some of the images have been altered by myself for the sake of this post.

The scrupulous word

Thursday 28th September 2017 is National Poetry Day with the theme this year being;

Freedom

I may be a little late to the party but I’ve been living it up in sunny Caister, Norfolk. However, now holiday mode is officially over I’m not going to let the opportunity of a poem pass me by.
I wrote these words with the aim to inspire, provoke thought and contemplation, promote compassion and encourage positivity and love. Enjoy.

The Scrupulous Word

Talk to me nicely
Earn my respect
I’ll always be kind to you
But with cause and effect
I’ll be brutally honest
Without holding back
If I feel the respect is on a one way track.

Don’t take me for granted
My chances are rationed
I expect good manners
Call me old fashioned
Apologies, thanks, they are all worth their weight
Excuses and ignorance are behaviours I hate.

Be accountable for the actions you make
The words that you spit and lies that you fake
Stand up
Own the words that you speak
The thoughts that you feel
Let strength beat the meek

Take me as I come
I’ve got nothing to hide
My remarks are to help
Not to hinder or snide
I’ll say what I feel if I think it’s of use
A promoter of kindness against the abuse

 

I’m here for anyone that would like to talk anytime. Much love.

If you would like to read more about compassion, check out this fab website I stumbled upon by Sharon Bull A compassionate voice .

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

2017 – When every day is judgement day.

2017 has brought with it an increase in access to the internet, which, in my opinion, has increased our so called “knowledge”. We all think we are so damn knowledgeable about everything. Parents are literally the worst culprits of this.

Looking at my examples below, you’ll come to the conclusion that as parents we can’t do right for doing wrong. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with what you are doing or have done. Is it any of their business? No! Are they with you 24/7? Doubtful! Should you give a toss what they think? Absolutely not! Will our children all turn out ok in the end? More than likely.

And those that supposedly turn out perfect may no doubt make some poor choices in adulthood. Perhaps they’ll make choices that mess up their lives and make us judge them moreover. There are many, many ways to live and grow. Very few are the “wrong way”. Please just stop judging.

Stop judging yourself, judging others. Stop making snide comments and passing hurtful looks. Instead try offering help to a parent that looks like they are struggling. Try offering praise to someone who looks like they are doing a “good job” by your standards. Appreciate that there are other ways to parent, and enquire with the person politely about their method. You may actually find a “better” method for your own parenting/grand parenting.

Any of these sound familiar?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, bottle feeding her baby? Poor kid is missing out on all those nutrients. Why doesn’t she breastfeed. Why doesn’t she want to give the best to her baby?

Did you see that mum in the cafe, breastfeeding her baby? Attention seeking she was. Getting her boobs out for everyone to see. Just so she can make the rest of us feel inadequate like we aren’t doing the best for our babies.

Did you speak to that that mum at the park? 5 kids she has and she wants more! She’s so selfish. Those kids will never get the attention and love they need with that many to look after!

Did you speak to that mum at the park? Her little boy is an only child and she doesn’t want anymore! She’s so selfish. That child is going to miss out on so much without a sibling to share it with.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking juice and eating chocolate and sweets. More fool her. All their teeth are probably rotten and it’s all her fault.

Did you see that mum at the zoo? All her children drinking were drinking water and eating homemade sugar free muffins. More fool her. First chance they get they will be stuffing their faces secretly with sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks. And they’ll miss out at birthday parties. It’s all her fault.

My gosh did you see that mum letting her kid run along on the pavement? He could’ve run in the road and had an accident any minute. I was on edge just watching. She’s so irresponsible. (I’ve actually heard this one).

My gosh did you see that mum making her kid hold her hand and wear reins whilst walking along? Give the kid some space or he’ll never learn. She’s making a rod for her own back.

Did you see that mum ignoring her child and looking at her phone? Look at your kid for crying out loud! Watch him play.

Did you see that mum following her child on all the play equipment? Step back and let him breathe! Let him play by himself.

Did you see that mum shouting at her child in the supermarket? You should never speak to a child like that! She should always remain calm and composed.

Did you see that mum in the supermarket letting her child get away with lying on the floor screaming whilst she quietly stood there? She didn’t do anything! She’s teaching him it’s ok to be a spoilt brat.

The list goes on and on. Moral of this post…we all do things different. Every child is different and has their own needs. By all means if you are genuinely concerned for the safeguarding of a child then please take action by reporting to the appropriate authorities.

If you believe you may be guilty of being judgemental of your fellow mama, try our three simple steps;

(1) Take a moment to think of some of the reasons this mum is doing what she is doing. Appreciate that she knows her own children and her own mind. She may be having an off day. She’s made her own choices after weighing up the facts for herself.

(2) Close your eyes and walk away. It’s not your child. It’s not your way. If there’s no safeguarding issue. You are just being a bitch. Mind your own business.

(3) Do you remember when you had your first child and when you no doubt did exactly the same thing she did? You’ve since changed your style but it doesn’t make your choice any better. It’s YOUR choice for YOUR child at THAT time.

Just to be clear. None of the above opinions are my own. Thankfully I don’t hang in circles where opinions like this are expressed. You only have to click on the comments of most Facebook stories to see this type of know-it-all negativity.

Do you think we are giving each other too much of a hard time? I know I give MYSELF a hard enough time. I don’t have anything left to berate others and wouldn’t dare. We won’t judge here.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Reasons to love and hate Christmas

So here are some reasons why to love and hate Christmas. You may relate to some of these, you may not. But however you feel about Christmas, the reality is that as with anything, Christmas is what you make of it.

So let’s start on a high with a reason I love Christmas.

christmas, magic

  1. Love:- It brings people together. Whether it’s forced or not, whether it happens on 25th December or not, people make the effort to come together at Christmas. Family, friends, neighbours, communities, they all come together to celebrate and marvel in the wonder of Christmas.
  2. Hate:- Christmas isn’t a happy time for everyone. For some it reminds them all too brutally of those they have lost. Those who are no longer around the dinner table. Then there are those who are homeless and desperately ill. For them can often just be another day of despair. Although many people now commit their time and efforts towards helping the homeless, I’m in no doubt that these services are likely oversubscribed. There are people who miss out and suffer the same as every other day. Not to forget the amazing people who work in our public services on Christmas Day, nurses, police and alike. They all give up their Christmas Day to be there to look after you and keep you safe.
  3. Love:- presents. In recent years I haven’t received as many presents. What with me being a grownup and all. We all often mutually agree to just but for the children. It’s much cheaper and we both come from a family of many siblings. Niece and nephew count this year is up to 12! But when the unwrapping commences I just love to see the smile on their faces. Hubby usually buys me something and our parents often disobey the rules claiming that technically we are their children so we receive gifts from them. I love buying, receiving, wrapping and giving presents though.
  4. Hate:- presents. Yes unfortunately as much as I love them, I also hate them. The insistence that something MUST be bought for people. I overheard a middle aged woman in the queue in M&S saying to her elderly mother, “Eugh, I’ve GOT to get you something yet!”. Talk about take the spirit out of Christmas!
  5.  Love:- The food! Oh the food! Without meaning to cause offence to anyone, I have always described myself as a fat girl in a not so fat girls body. Although trust me as I age and my metabolism slows, that and I sit on my arse a lot. I’m getting fatter all the time. Nonetheless I love using Christmas as an excuse to overindulge in all the yummy food. Just forget about points and calories and whatever else people worry about and eat, eat, eat.
  6. Hate:- The food! You’re seeing a trend here aren’t you. I love my food. I would even describe myself as a bit of a foodie. But my word, I didn’t realise I was a fussy eater until I thought about all the traditional Christmas food. Christmas pudding, mince pies, parsnips, mulled wine! Yuk! I hate them all. Then there’s the weight gain. As much as I spend Christmas minus my conscience, as soon as it’s over I feel bloated and dare not even look at the scales. The detox and healthy eating plans commence for all of 4 days until New Years and it all starts again.
  7. Hate:- The Money it costs:- Ok so you could argue that you know that Christmas is coming each year. So technically you could put some money by each month, but even this is a hardship for some. Christmas is an expense that leaves some feeling stressed or in unnecessary debt. And you could say that these people are silly to overstretch themselves but we have created a society where some kids are getting the latest technology or the must have toy for Christmas. Most parents don’t want their child to feel like they are missing out or not “good” enough. A lot of emphasis seems to be placed on the gifts you get depending on how well behaved you have been throughout the year when in fact it’s what your parents can afford.
  8. Love:-The Parties:- The obligatory Christmas work do. Despite being a stay at home mum, I still get invited to the works do where I used to work. It’s food, drink, dancing and silliness and it’s the only time of year it seems to happen. In recent years and more and more of my friends have become mummies, it’s become harder to get us all together for an evening out. Christmas seems to force this and for this reason. I love it.
  9. Love:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. The man of many names, many a disguise and many a location. He seems to crop up in more and more places and I love him for it. I love the notion of a magical land where the toys are lovingly made and distributed by the fabulous man himself. I love visiting the grotto with my now two year old and knocking on his door waiting to see him.
  10. Hate:- Father Christmas aka Santa aka St Nick. There doesn’t seem to be a place now that isn’t cashing in on this guy. He’s cropping up in schools, supermarkets, pubs, garden centres, aquariums, even the Zoo! I’m sure there wasn’t this many a Father Christmas when I was a little un. If anything I feel it spoils the magic. You can take you child to see Father Christmas and as you are leaving you bump into another. Thankfully George is still too young to notice. Only a few weeks ago we visited the Winter wonderland at Centreparcs with my brother in law and his children. Their little boy is 4 and went in before us. When we both came out and looked at our photos with Father Christmas, my nephew pointed out that ours looked different. There was two FC’s operating at the same time in rooms next to each other! For this reason I have imposed a strict “one grotto a year” rule for George. If nothing but to try and keep him believing just that little bit longer. Kids are growing up wayyyyyy too fast these days as it is!

So there you have it. Do you agree or disagree with any? Are there any big ones you think I’ve missed? Feel free to share with us. This list expresses how I feel personally about Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Happy 2016 Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year. X

Until next time……

You Baby Me Mummy

A belly full of nothing but a heart full of warmth. 

 A belly full of nothing, but a heart full of warmth I feel quite aptly describes how I felt returning to work after having George. The feeling most mums feel when they return to work can vary. For me it didn’t feel right. It went against my instincts and literally speaking I felt empty.

First full day back at work and the feeling in my belly is like emptiness. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve eaten or drank today, the emptiness is still there. And it’s not an emptiness I can fill because what I’m missing is my little boy. Not only is it my first full day back at work, it’s also his first long day at nursery.

We have done settle in days of two to three hours at different times of the day but today is the full shebang. And no matter how much I know it’s good for him and it will help mould him into a better person and prepare him for his life ahead at school blah blah blah, none of that fills the empty gap inside me. The gap that is usually dancing around, singing a variety of nursery rhymes and pulling silly faces, with a gorgeous little man, his own unique smell, tugging at my leg and demanding what he wants in his own little way.

My method at the start of the day was to pretend that me and this little man hadn’t become a part of each other’s lives. The less I thought about him, the easier and more pain free it was. But as the reality sunk in then suddenly this little man popped back into my head. I couldn’t eat and go out for walks when I wanted as I was now restricted to this structured day.

Then I found myself dialing the nursery to check up on him. Something which I justified by the fact that I always call to check if my cats are ok in the cattery on holiday so why would I not call to check my baby is ok in nursery!?

Hearing that he had been crying intermittently but was now napping was reassuring for me but my mind was now on him. I couldn’t concentrate fully. My imagination was playing ball and reading stories and blowing bubbles. Yet here I was in an office catching up on the last years standard operating procedure updates. Getting my qualifications back up to par.

As all my fellow mummies had reassured me, i did survive the day. I even managed to get through my new three day week without shedding a tear. My gorgeous man presented me with his first painting and a hug with lots of kisses.

I am yet to be convinced that I need this apparently fabulous thing they call “mummy time”. Unless i am misunderstanding, my perfect “mummy time” would be time spent being a mummy.

Until next time……