Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Meet Charlie: Adopting a greyhound.


Meet Charlie! He's our new 4 year old ex racing greyhound, he's been living with us for about a month now and I decided to write a little bit about the process of adopting a greyhound as well as our experience so far.  
Sam and I have lived together for a year and a half and we've always known that our home wouldn't feel complete until we got a furry companion! I promise we actually do like each other, we didn't just sit pining whenever we were alone in the house. ;) In October we started frequenting our local greyhound rescue website and allowed ourselves to think of the what ifs. On November 17th we got the approval from our landlord and on 30th November Charlie came to live with us! 
The process for me, as an anxious person, was nerve wracking every step of the way from landlord approval to picking Charlie up! 

How it worked for us:: 
::We spoke to one of the ladies who works for the greyhound charity who asked us a few questions about our lifestyles such as working hours etc. Once she was happy that there were no red flags we could arrange to meet some dogs! (We thought there was a red flag when we said we both work full time+ hours but I get to come home for my lunch so Charlie isn't ever alone for more than 3-4 hours).
:: We arranged to meet Charlie who was the dog on the site that had really caught our eye, the Dumfries and Cumbria charity is unlike a lot of them in that they don't have a premises, their dogs are usually fostered in homes or staying in boarding kennels. 
:: After deciding that Charlie was the boy for us (and us for him, he spent nearly our whole visit leaning on one or the other of us!) we had to arrange for a home visit. This was again, so nervewracking for me as I'd really set my heart on charlie and I was worried the rug would be pulled from under my feet! All they were worried about is that he wouldn't be able to escape (high walls in the yard) and there were no secret children or pets that we hadn't disclosed! It was in this visit that they also asked about vets we planned to use and what insurance etc we would get. I've heard lots of stories about rspca and the like being so scrupulous with home visits, looking in cupboards for un-dog friendly items and things but it wasn't scary at all once we got into it! We just had some really good chats about greys and how we were so happy to give charlie a home for christmas! 
:: A week and some adoption fees later, he was home!! 

About Charlie: 
Age: 4, born August 2012. 
Racing name: Autumn Charlie (why? he was born in August!)
Likes: Walks, toys, stealing clothes and hoarding them on his bed, the sofa, Radio 4 (what he listens to overnight!), ear and belly scratches, the smell of pizza (he's never indulged!).
Nicknames: Charlie boy, Charles, Sir Charlesworth, Charlie Lemon Barley

Greyhound tendencies: LOTS. 
Roaching: as pictured above, he's done this a handful of times and it makes me so happy. 
The howl of death!: He had to have an antibiotic jab and he genuinely screeched for 2-3 minutes solid, luckily the vet knew about greyhounds and knew it was a greyhound panic attack!. 
Hoarding: He steals our clothes, socks, shoes doesn't steal them just keeps them close by!
Sensitivity: We've run around and play and I've patted his rear end pretty heavily while we were playing but if you raise your voice or speak sharply he will sulk, heaven knows what he'd be like having a tap on the nose! I don't think he'd ever forgive us!
Laziness: Charlie loves walking, we walk about 45 minutes twice a day with a few 10 minute outings through the day however he literally sleeps for the entire rest of the time bar when he's eating. 
Ex racing quirks: Charlie had never lived in a home before ours, he is petrified of the stairs, he was very confused by the TV to start with, he had never had a toy before! :( He knows what to do with toys now and has a little collection that he stores on his bed but the stairs are still a daunting mountain to him, it means we can go to bed without the need of a baby gate though so thats a bonus. Ear tattoos, Charlie has tattoos in both of his ears (poor thing) which are used to trace where he raced etc. We also have his passport so we knew all this info without his ink!

It hasn't all been plain sailing with Charlie so far, although he was completely house trained when we got him he's had a few accidents after having a nasty stomach bug and a UTI within the space of a week! Our chosen vet practice (who we love) must be very happy with our custom. Poor Charles couldn't booze up over christmas being on antibiotics!
Although I've had a few wobbles with being upset at how much he barks at other dogs we now can't imagine our home without him, he loves people and is so eager to please. We just need to get him socialised a little with other dogs as living in kennels means he only knows what greyhounds and people are, little furry things are for chasing only!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

My favourite (none bath bomb) Lush products!

I am a big Lush fan, huge. I know lots of people think it's overpriced, and I do admit that often it's expensive, however, I just can't stay away. I honestly think that very often for what you're getting the price is justified (if you'd have asked me if that was the case when I was a student I'd have said hell naw so I do understand each to their own etc).

These are my reasons for my love affair with Lush: I have fairly sensitive skin and don't like lots of chemical nasties in my products. I also like that you can trust the ethics of Lush, something which I've definitely paid more mind to in the last few years with regards to animal testing, and the last few months with my vegetarian-ish diet (i'm eating fish still at the moment but it's all a process in my eyes, I was a full blown, militant, trying to convert everyone veggie for a few years as a teen!).  Their products are honestly just good, they work! That's the main thing! 

Lush often gets the rep of just a place to buy things to have an indulgent treat yo'self bubble bath but their other products are just as good as their highly snapchat-able instagram-able bath bombs. These are my faves!

Cleansers::


First off, just going to apologise for that bottom picture of the exfoliating cleanser, maybe it's just me but those shiny finger scoop marks are grossing me out. So yeah, soz. These are the only 2 cleansers I ever use for my mug.
 I use Ultrabland, which I believe amongst Lush founder and staff is like the *ultimate* Lush product,  to take off my make up. Grab a scoop and rub it onto a dry face then remove with a nice warm flannel. It removes all make up even waterproof mascara (albeit sometimes with a second go) and leaves my skin feeling hydrated but not greasy. 
Let the good times roll is more of a scrub which I use most mornings because it's so gentle. It uses polenta to make it a scrub, so none of those awful plastic beads that are polluting everything! It says to use it as a body scrub too however my purse strings tighten a touch at the thought of that. It's around £7 for this 100g pot but honestly you only need to use about a fingernail sized scoop for your whole face so it lasts a long time! I can't talk about this one without talking about the amazing smell, it's like cinnamon-y, butter-y popcorn and smells good enough to eat. Yum! (don't eat it  pls).
These are the only products I really use for my face, I think they're a good price for what they are and how long they last, I don't use Lush moisturisers as for me they're a bit more than I'm willing to pay for. 


Shower gel::
Unless you live near the Lush Oxford Street store you're not going to like me for this one, this is honestly the best smelling shower gel on the planet. It's an Oxford Street exclusive at the moment, sometimes it's not even available there and you can only get it in limited runs on the Lush Kitchen! I buy in bulk for both myself and my future sister-in-law every time it's on there. I actually asked my best friend to go into the Lush Oxford street store to get me this big boy 1kg bottle and I almost cried when she agreed and got me it. What a bae. This is, for me, the most soothing smell I've ever come across, I would love it in a perfume, it's comforting and cosy. Sweet but not sickly. I'm real good at describing smells, ahem. If you get a chance, give this a whiff and then use it forever more in your evening showers. 
They do also make a bath bomb in this scent which is available everywhere so you can indulge in the mega relaxation fairly easily. 

Winter saviours, hands and lips::


Helping Hands is a fairly new addition to my Lush collection and although in this photo it looks untouched I've actually used it everyday since I got it about 3 weeks ago! It seems infinite!  I had never really suffered with dry hands before even with being a nurse and washing my hands 100x a day, however this is my first winter working as a community nurse and the cold along with washing my hands 100x a day seems to have done it! For saying how thick and moisturising this is it sinks in really well, something I need when I have 2 seconds to put it on before driving on to my next visit. Just a great, does what it says on the tin, product. Nothing fancy. 
Honey trap lip balm is an old favourite and was actually the first ever product I bought from Lush. Unlike other petroleum based lip products (stay away!) this one actually moisturises your lips rather than coating them and making them feel slippery/moisturised but not actually doing any good! It doesn't leave your lips white and cakey either, rather settling to a slight sheen.  
The lip scrub, Sugar Plum Fairy, just happens to be the one i'm using at the moment. I've tried others and didn't much like the taste. These are basically just sugar scrubs to remove dry skin from lips then lick off (yum). 
This is the one product I've included in this post that id say probably usually isn't worth the money if you have 30 minutes to look on pinterest and make your own. I bought it in desperation because of horrendously dry and rough lips, it really helps with the mixture of scrubbing sugar and moisturising oil but as I said, unless you like a little luxury, make your own (there are loads of recipes out there) but for a treat, go for it. 

There we have it! My ultimate Lush products that aren't bath bombs, I hope you've enjoyed this post, let me know if you try anything that I recommended! I'm currently in the process of writing about our brand new (4 year old) adopted ex racing greyhound Charlie and our experience of the adoption :) So check back for that, he's reet cute. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

October Round Up!

Oh, I did that thing again. I didn't blog for a month. It's been a very busy work month for all kinds of boring reasons and I'm still not very good at chasing myself and finding time for blogging. I thought I'd do a bit of an October round up / things I've been loving in my absence!

Invites!
We posted our wedding invites!! October signified the 6 month mark until our wedding, when I look back at something from 6 months ago it feels like no time at all so I know it will come in so quickly now. I designed/mocked up our invites myself around a week after we got engaged to check with myself whether I could do it. I could! (there were a few design changes after that original 5 minute mock up!). We used printed.com to get them well, printed and I would highly recommend them. For some reason the files corrupted the first few times they were uploaded, causing a bright green border on the RSVPs! Instead of just carrying on and printing them which would have been a nightmare they called me and checked with me whether it was right as they didn't think it matched the rest of the designs. It just felt really personal that someone was checking through everything. We've received a few RSVPs back and it's so exciting building our playlist from people's requests!

Blogsocks. 
Charlotte has made this brilliant blog to help people find their new favourite blogs, it's so great because I find it so hard to find blogs with a smaller following. I usually prefer these blogs because they're just a bit less polished and more personal. I've linked the round up above and this is the interview that I did, I felt like a bit of an idiot for being the only person to actually include recipes in mine but i hope if you try them you enjoy them!!

A big old change of a haircut.
A lot of people tried to talk me out of this haircut with it only being 6 months to the wedding, however, I have always been someone that has a fringe. It's only in this last year that I've managed to successfully grow out a fringe and keep it grown out for any length of time! I'm so happy with this change though and I'm sure I can figure a way to style it for the wedding. Ive basically given up on my eyebrows since having it cut and wearing not a stitch of make up day to day. It's kind of great.

Family visits. 
We had some family visits this month from Sam's fam and my future in laws and it was so lovely! We had a really nice day out in keswick, walking around, looking at the beautiful scenery and eating so much food. I had a vegetarian queasadila that I almost sent back because I was sure it had meat in it. It was very delicious but I'm not sure I enjoyed the uncertainty!!
We chose a great day for our visit, even though it was cold it was so bright and lovely. How lucky are we to live less than an hour from these views!

Absolute silliness. 

I don't know why but I feel like we have just had so many laughs this month. The top picture started off as me trying to get a nice selfie but I think these turned out so much better.
The bottom picture is proof that my personal training is paying off, we were kind of just messing around getting ready to go to the gym after work and I wondered (no idea why) if i could pick Sam up!! I honestly crack up laughing every time I look at this picture, Sam's face is hysterical, he looks so pleased. I'm also creasing up with laughter in the photo, if I hadn't been laughing so much maybe id have been able to squat while holding him up ;) I think this is a move that will have to happen on our wedding day ;)

I say this every time but I'm really going to try and keep up with blogging again now! I need to get back into practicing photography!!
Most of these pictures come from my Instagram which you can find here.
I'm also over on Twitter ranting out general life and talking about how much I love pizza.

Back soon!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

16 things you know if you rent your home.

This evening Collette and I were discussing our separate rental properties and the landlord convention that they must have every year to keep up their huge cliches when I decided to start writing this post. I haven't had #inspiration to write a post so quickly in a while so I'm a bit excited about this. (I know, bit geeky).
I've rented a few places over the last couple of years and have definitely noticed some similarities. Here we go!


1. For some reason all of the walls will definitely be magnolia.

2. If you're lucky there might even be some kind of odd textured wallpaper that has had magnolia painted over the top of it.

3. You probably wouldn't actually dare paint over any part of it no matter how bland it may be because that deposit is a lot of money to not get back just for a slightly more aesthetically pleasing wall.

4. You've probably had a bit of a tiff with a landlord/ letting agency about not getting part of your deposit back. It is soul destroying when you've been a decent tenant and spent a whole day deep cleaning before you move out. So fuck you and your cleaner who charges £50 to get some limescale off a shower screen Janice. (Any resemblance to persons living or dead is merely coincidental.)

5. The carpets are usually some kind of shit brown/taupe/tan colour.

6. If they're not and you have cream carpets you spend all of your time on edge about spills.

7. At some point you will have looked at a house for sale on your street and worked out how much less per month you'd be paying for a mortgage. If only the rental market were less extortionate and you could save for a deposit. #millenialproblems

8. Your landlord probably has a 'handyman' that they use instead of getting actual work people in. It's probably their dad.

9. If your landlord is local, you may have lived with a problem for a while instead of having the stress of them coming to inspect it themselves and seeing how you live in their house.

10. You will never want to do anything major to the house to make it feel like your own. Usually because you're not allowed but also no matter how long you may be thinking of staying somewhere it always feels a bit temporary.

11. Every so often you get itchy feet and spend every spare minute on Zoopla or Right Move lusting after other places to rent near you. (Look this one has exposed brick, think of the Instagrams!)

12. You will look on in awe at people 5+ (I'm 24) years younger than you buying their own houses and wondering if they sold their soul to do so.

13. There will always be someone who looks down on you for renting "it's dead money!". Fuck off, mate.

14. If you decide to get married or have a child before buying a house you will probably find yourself justifying it to everyone and yourself, constantly.

15. Sometimes when you're pretending you don't actually want to own your own house you can bring out the old "You know mortgage basically translates as death contract, right? I just don't want to be tied down!"

16. No (or hardly any) rental places in the UK allow pets and it's basically the most upsetting thing in my life at any given time.

Hope you liked my little listicle (isn't that what the cool cats over at Buzzfeed call them?) good bye for now from me and my patterned magnolia walls and shit brown carpet in my little rented terraced house that I love. 
 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

How I did my make up in school.

Recently these videos of how people did their make up in school have been my absolute favourite to watch, probably because of the fact that no matter where you are now it's a reminder that we all started somewhere. I wish I was exaggerating with my make up looks but I'm honestly not. I even sent these to my Mum for her to look at and check. 

Age 12-13



This was the phase I had when I was desperately trying to fit in, if you didn't wear make up who even were you?? My Mum had banned me from wearing make up to school because in our school you weren't meant to wear it until Upper (year 10) I think! But I would sneak bronzer, eye shadow and eyeliner onto the bus with me, sometimes mascara if I was feeling brave. (It was harder to take off at the end of the day).
I wish I could remember the brand of (always baby pink) eye shadow that I used but I can't, it has been banned from my memory forever. This one is a maybelline colour tattoo that I actually love when I use it well. The bronzer I used to use was free on a magazine, and that was where I learned by bronzer SKILLZ (only put it where you naturally get tanned i.e. your nose, cheeks and forehead according to me)! Concealed lips, black eyeliner ONLY on the lower waterline you would so not put it on the top and a bit of mascara if I was brave.
My hair would be so slicked back with 2 little tendrils coming down, sometimes these would be gelled. All of this make up would then be removed with soap and water in the school toilet before I caught the bus home. Lovely. I don't have any pictures of me with my make up like this which I'm actually a little gutted about! I must have known even then that it would haunt me in the future.

Aged 14-15.


Myspace throwback anyone?! (Rawr means I love you in dinosaur). I think this happened to me when I discovered Greenday, took a trip to blue banana and just wanted to be myspace famous. My side parting couldn't be too deep and there could never be enough eyeliner. No joke, once I broke my black eyeliner and I asked Mum if I could have a day off sick because I couldn't handle it if the boy I fancied (who wore the skinniest black jeans and had the biggest black hair of course) saw me without it.
This was the time of band tees, black drainpipes and Vans. I even convinced my Nanna to buy me plain black Vans for school and they were LITERALLY PLIMSOLES. I'm so sorry Nanna. The brands of make up at this time however didn't matter it just needed to be the blackest it could be. I think bourjois did a mascara that was called blackest black so of course I used that but any black eye pencil was good. I didn't wear foundation day to day but when I did it was just the palest one I could find, gone were the bronzer days!
I do have some photos from this era:
I'm sure I was mortified by the gaps in my fringe at the time. 
The top picture isn't a good example of the eyeliner but it is peak fringe. My mum must have convinced me that masses of black eyeliner wasn't a good idea when we were at an outdoor gig in the heat. That was when we went to see Red Hot Chili Peppers, amazing. Or it could have been the start of the 'phase'. I'll have to confirm that one with mi madre.
The bottom one I remember being so mad at my mum for putting it up in our house because I was wearing a football shirt which so wasn't my vibe. It was at a family barbecue and we'd have a water fight I think which only added to my eyeliner goals.

I don't really remember the point where I stopped feeling like I had to put myself in a box but I know it happened while I was at school. Eventually I stopped wearing things to match some kind of image I was trying to build and stopped not wearing things for the same reason. I unapologetically listened to Greenday and Britney Spears. It's a way of being that has actually followed me well into adulthood in that I'll wear things if I like them, not just because they're trendy or someone else has one. I think it's a good way to be.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Life Lately, in verbs.

The wonderful Rosie over at Cider With Rosie  (one of my all time favourites) does these posts called 'Life lately, in verbs' and I love them, I contacted Rosie a while ago to see if she minded me doing one of my own, she very kindly said she didn't.
In times when it feels like time won't slow down and I don't quite know how to document everything I feel like this is a way for me to step back and look at the big picture, whilst singling out the little things.


Listening to: Vinyl! I am now the ultimate hipster, my lovely fiancĂ© Sam bought me a record player and my first vinyl this week and I LOVE it! I've wanted one for ages and always thought of reasons not to get it but vinyl shopping is my new favourite activity, we even have an independent vinyl shop in Carlisle!

Recovering: From wisdom teeth removal. I went in on Wednesday morning to have my top 2 wisdom teeth removed under sedation. In April my dentist tried for AN HOUR to remove them before giving up and referring on to the hospital. I thought the sedation hadn't worked because I could remember the whole procedure but in reality I thought I was in there 5 minutes and it was actually 30, so maybe it worked better than I thought.

Watching: Brooklyn 99. I love this show, we've now watched series 1 twice and I still laugh out loud a few times every episode. Would highly recommend (series 1 and 2 are on Netflix).

Eating: The new Italian range at Dominos! I tweeted about my fancy AF Domino's the other day and people were not as impressed as I was. My pizza came with a little pot of fresh rocket, goats cheese and a mini bottle of chill oil to drizzle! Swanky.

Buying: Plants on plants on plants. This week of leave that Sam and I had (despite the wisdom teeth bump in the middle) has been used to really get our little house how we want it. We bought and built furniture, we took a trip to Homebase and spent approx a squillion pounds (£50) on plants for every room in the house (2 for the bathroom that lucky devil). It's been hard to make this place truly our own because it was part furnished when we moved in and there's always that temporary feeling of a rental place but we love it here and a year down the line we figured we should really make it right.

Drinking: Green smoothies. Sorry to keep harping on about these bloody teeth but I really thought their removal and recovery was going to hinder my eating abilities more, so I panic bought green smoothie ingredients. My fave little combo has been :
a handful of strawberries,
a handful of frozen mango
as much spinach as will fit in the blender
coconut water (about 250ml)
a tsp of organic honey
It's probably the wrong time of year to begin enjoying green smoothies for breakfast again and I'll soon transition back onto porridge but for now myself and my tender mouth are enjoying the refreshment and nourishing factor of the old smoothie.

Feeling: Ridiculously excited about the wedding. I know, I've just been moaning all over twitter and here about wedding planning for the last however many weeks, let me live. We went with family and friends in tow (anything can be an excuse for a meet up when you live 200 miles apart) to our future wedding venue for a wedding fayre! It made me SO happy to see it all done up for a wedding since we'd only been there to eat and meet the wedding co-ordinator before. It also made me well up a little (on the inside) to see a few of our family members and friends get along so well and get so excited on our behalf. We're a lucky pair.

Reading: As much as I can! I had a realisation that I hadn't read a book for 2 whole months and I was so upset with myself. I always prided (??) myself on being a big reader, no matter what, I had a book on the go and I had let myself get so 'busy' that I didn't leave time to read. I've remedied that by reading 2 books in the last week. One was a complete trashy (no hate) chic-lit novel about weddings (set in the lead up to the royal wedding in 2011) that I LOVED. I eat that shit up honestly, give me a book about a strong female lead in a 'stereotypically female' conundrum with some drama in there and I'll devour it. No shame.

That's all I have for now, I'm back at work Monday after a very strange week off and I'm kind if looking forward to some normality again! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, 29 August 2016

The ugly sides of wedding planning!

I want to preface this by saying I am SO excited to be married to my wonderful fiancĂ© Sam, I have to say that here because I've made a few comments about eloping recently and he said it sounds like I'm not excited to marry him. Oops!  So yes, very in love, very excited to be husband and wife and all that heteronormative business.


Now onto the real juicy stuff. Wedding planning, probably 70% of the time I love it, the other 30% I want to email everyone I'm working with to plan it and tell them its off and we're going to Gretna Green (only 10 minutes from our house, so convenient!!). So these are some of the 'ugly sides' of wedding planning. I feel like you're really bombarded with posts and magazines that say wedding planning should be savoured and enjoyed in waves of champagne and cake tasting. Sometimes it's like that, sometimes it's shit and stressful and it is ALWAYS expensive.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder. 
Woah, straight in with the big guns. I am an anxious person, I have anxiety. This is a big factor in what makes wedding planning feel stressful for me I think! I have tweeted a few times about wedding anxiety dreams Ive had, these started before we had even booked the wedding! I wake up shaking from nightmares that awful things have happened on the wedding day, the most ridiculous being that our venue had ripped us off and booked 3 weddings on the same day then to apologise to us they had booked a motorcycle wall of death as entertainment, yeah. That's not all though it can be really awful things that I worry about such as that people arent going to turn up when they've RSVP'd yes or that they're going to be hospitalised before the wedding and they can't come! All of this obviously could happen and you take it all in your stride on the day I'm sure, GAD just makes it really hard to rationalise that.
Our matching flip flops because our shoes cut our feet to shreds. 
Some shopping experiences will be horrible. 
A few weeks ago my Mum and I went wedding dress shopping, can I be honest and say my dress is what I was most excited about getting for the day? So that's how giddy we were to go shopping. Our first shop was AMAZING, they made us feel at home, she was lovely and knew what dresses to pull for me from my random jumbled ideas of what I wanted. ("I want to be able to move, I mean I like lace but not too much lace, I just want to be comfortable, but I want to feel like a princess kind of.") So yeah, that's the shop I bought my dress from.
 After a large cheese filled meal and a good few cocktails we headed off to the next place and it. was. horrible. It started off nicely, it was a beautiful building, but then as soon as we were shown to our 'private dressing room' I started to have my doubts. It was just a bit shabby. The woman offered us prosecco, of course we said yes, and she brought us what me and my Mum can only ascertain was LAMBRINI! I am still shocked at the audacity to try and pull that off, it's hilarious honestly. The woman looking after us was just a bit rude she kept talking about 'girls of your size' (I'm a 16, the national average) and trying to make me up my already sizeable budget. She didn't help me pick out any dresses to try on, just left us to it, the only advice she gave was to 'avoid that wall over there, they're too expensive for you'.
When I was trying the dresses on she just hoiked me into them in front of my mum and then stood me in front of the mirror with a 'Well?'. It was just such a sharp contrast to the first place where she got me into the dress and brought me through to my mum, dressed me up with a veil and accessories to really see how the dresses looked. That made all the difference because, for me at least, I couldn't really see myself as a bride until I had the veil on and everything.
This is going to be the longest section but this lady also was sooooo pressurising for me to buy a dress I didn't even really like! She was trying to tell me it was being discontinued in a week so I really needed to order today, and I would need some of the shoes they sold here to go with it because then it wouldn't need any alteration. She scoffed and asked how tall Sam was when I said I would be wearing flats. Wow.
That was like some kind of bridal therapy getting all that off my chest!! I feel like I can't name the shop but if anyone is getting married and shopping for dresses in Carlisle, feel free to tweet me or something and I'll tell you the shop then to know where to avoid!

Money!! 
We all know that weddings are expensive, I'm not going to moan about that. What I am going to moan about is the perception from certain people that because you're not instantly booking/buying something it's because you can't afford it. So strange! It's not a perception I've come across before but it's happened a few times with shopping. The most notable was when we went looking for wedding rings, it was our first look so were just getting a feel for the rings. I said this to the woman after actually falling in love with a ring, just because I was trying to be sensible and not jump into things! She then said 'oh we offer finance if you don't have the money to buy it today'. It was maybe meant innocently but both Sam and I were shocked by the assumption that we couldn't afford it just because we didn't jump to buy. Very strange.

Hormones, yay!!!
I wasn't going to bother with this section as I know millions of people just put up with hormones and all those lady changes everyday however when you're wedding planning (for certain aspects) it feels like it really heightens things. For example, I went wedding dress shopping, then a few days later I went to order my dress and be measured etc, I was due for a visit from Aunt Flo and the dress I had previously tried on was now a whole size too small!! It's just crazy to me how much the body changes through the month. Another breakdown that I can only blame on hormones involves me counting the weeks and realising that if I became pregnant accidentally THIS EXACT WEEK then my due date would probably be the wedding date. Yeah, cut to me sat on the bathroom floor with a pregnancy test,   3 days before my period was due panicking because OMG we would have to cancel the wedding to have a baby! Nice.

Politics. 
The most political thing you will ever do is plan a wedding guest list. It feels like you're negotiating a deal between countries, neither of which you would ever dare to offend. I've had panic attacks about the fact that some people I'm not inviting will probably decide that it's me cut off when they're not invited. I know that some people will be offended that they're only invited to the evening. I almost lost it when I decided to have less bridesmaids than I had originally planned to save money on the budget. (Thankfully before they had been asked!) It's all difficult, thankfully, we are paying for it ourselves so our families kind of don't have pull on the whole 'why aren't you inviting this couple who knew you when you were 2 but are now kind of racist and problematic and you hate talking to them?' that's a bit satisfying to be able to say no, I'm not buying them 4 drinks and a 3 course meal plus hot evening buffet thanks Mum.


I am remembering the most important part, that we will be married after this. We love each other so much that we've decided to get the government involved. I am so excited for this lovely chap to be my husband, and I know we'll have magical day. I just want to show that if you're not particularly enjoying certain aspects of wedding planning, that is totally normal. Now let me get back to browsing Etsy and Not on the High Street for all the fun bits! Thanks for reading my ramble.



Sunday, 31 July 2016

Little Loves #4.

Oh dear, I did it again! I keep forgetting/ feeling too busy for this little blog of mine. So I thought i'd come back with a bit of a favourites of late, I always find it quite easy to write these Little Loves posts since it's like speaking to a friend about what I've enjoyed recently!

Our trip to Newquay. 



If I had been on my blogging game this would have been a post all of it's own. Our trip to Newquay was just amazing. We went Monday to Friday in a random week off we had together but I wish it had been 2 weeks! We stayed in a glorious AirBnB, our first time doing so, and it was lovely! I would definitely use the site again to book somewhere. We stayed in a little campervan in someone's garden, they had 2 beautiful dogs and they really made us feel welcome. So many things were great but the main highlight for me was seeing Newton Faulkner at Lusty Glaze cove. It's a beautiful venue for music, on the beach! It rained none stop as you can see from the soggy second picture but I loved it. If you're a fan of Newton Faulkner I would highly recommend seeing him live, I think this was my 5th time and each one has been a new experience. 

PokemonGO. 

Are we fed up of this yet? Sam totally made me jump on the bandwagon, I kind of missed Pokemon the first time round which is odd because i was a *prime* candidate for the card obsession with my age etc. I think maybe we couldn't afford the cards and my mum worked her wizardry to make me realise I didn't want them. She's clever like that ;) Anyway, the game! I'm not majorly obsessed like some people *cough*Sam*cough* but i like the VR aspect of the game where you see the pokemon in your actual environment! Also, it gets you out the house and that so yeah, all good! 

Is this the messiest picture I've ever posted on my blog? Maybe. I was so annoyed that I left the bloody butter there in the picture, the rest for me is justifiable mess when showing off a cookbook, but the butter? It can bob off. Aaaaanyway, Flavour, Ruby Tandoh, my new love. If you don't follow Ruby on twitter please do, then buy this book! She tweets a lot about the wellness trend which relates to this cookbook, basically in the term of eating what you love and not feeling guilty about it! She is far better at explaining than I, just know that this first recipe I tried from the list was 1) so bloody easy 2) easy to change up (I don't like egg so added falafel) and 3) so so tasty!! If you are so inclined I think Ruby estimated that around 70% of the book is veggie with a lot being vegan/ easy to make vegan too! 

Wedding stuff and bonus, snapchat! 
 

Wedding planning is becoming so so real now! It's just under 9 months until the big day and pretty much everything is booked! We bought my wedding ring the other day which Sam has subsequently hidden to stop me from trying it on, thanks bae. Time is already flying so I know the next 9 months isn't going to be any different. We wanted to get as much done as possible to have a while off from wedding planning over Christmas and it looks like we're going to succeed in our plan to do that, fingers crossed! This is why I need to update my blog more, I will be looking back in a year and wondering what I did with this time before the wedding, I just know it!

I think I'll stop now, I could keep rambling, I've been looking through my social media platforms for inspiration of things I've been loving and all it made me realise is that I need to bloody well blog more. How many times have I said bloody in this blog post? Who am I? Ron bloody Weasley. 
Okay, bye!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Our engagement shoot in Scarborough.

All photo credit to Henry Lowther. 
I had seen the idea of an engagement or couple's shoot floating around mostly Pinterest for a while now but it had never been something I considered. However, when we booked our wedding photographer he offered us one and we decided to take the opportunity to do it.

This is just a post for me to share some pictures from it, I think they're so beautiful and they've made me so happy that we chose our photographer. For me, the photography of our wedding has been at the  forefront of my mind when planning. It's probably the most important thing for me other than the fact that we are going to be married of course! I read somewhere that the only 2 tangible things you really keep from your wedding day are the rings and the photographs so pay attention to these.

 We chose Scarborough as the location for our shoot as it's the place where we first got engaged, we love it there even though it's got some of that seaside tackiness that all the best British seaside towns have, there are some beautiful areas and it will always hold a place in our hearts for sure!


 It's always a bonus when you get to munch on ice cream as you walk around, I think I was swiping some ice cream out of Sam's beard here #beardproblems.

 I think what was fascinating for me was seeing how a talented photographer really works, I mentioned to Sam the evening after the shoot that I was worried we wouldn't find all that many locations for the photos but it amazed me seeing how a true photographer worked and how Henry saw opportunities for photos that the untrained (untalented!) eye wouldn't.



We lucked out so much with the weather, for our whole week off work anyway not just the day of the shoot, we had the shoot in the evening and the golden light especially in this photo is just to die for.

 I'm wearing Benefit roller lash on my lashes just in case you wondered ;)

 My dress and cardigan are both from Fat Face and they're honestly some of the comfiest clothes I own, we both wanted to just look like ourselves and for the photos to be a real representation of us as a couple, albeit a slightly polished version! That's why I've got my wellies on! We were at the beach!




I think I managed to whittle that down to only 10 (maybe 11) of the photos Henry sent us! I absolutely loved them all and we're frantically trying to decide which ones we should get printed to hang in the house and find the balance between a few lovely pictures of us and being the most narcissistic couple ever.
If you're recently engaged and have the chance to do a shoot I would highly recommend it! I think as much as it means you've got some beautiful pictures of you as a couple pre-wedding which could be used for thank you cards after the wedding etc, you get to know your photographer and how they work and they get to know you and how to get the best picture out of you!
I was so nervous before this shoot because despite how many selfies you take you're probably not used to having a professional point a camera at you in public but I'd do it again 100x over! How do I get every part of my life documented beautifully by a talented photographer? Become a Kardashian?

Henry's links:

Friday, 6 May 2016

An accidental month off. April summarised...

I don't quite know what happened but I seem to have gone over a month without blogging quite accidentally, I just never had that urge to sit and write about anything, I'm really not sure why. I also felt the longer I left it the less I knew how to come back and what to write. So, I'm sat here at my laptop with no real plan hoping that I can summarise what I've been up to while I've been  away from the blog! I got the idea from Charlotte to do a Someday Summary from blogging days of old, but I felt I needed to update people reading (and my future self that I see reading to remember like a diary!!) about the month I was absent for!

Okay so this was actually at the end of march over Easter weekend, we finally had all of our family together for an engagement meal/party, a difficult task when Sam's siblings are based all around the country, with us also at the opposite end! It all started well with a lovely Italian meal booked and a few bottles of champagne paid for. It ended with me hugging my Sister in Law and bridesmaid to be after I fell asleep on the stairs and hugging the toilet not long after. I discovered after not being much of a drinker since my college days that I actually quite like champagne. Especially it seems when it's being used to toast my future ;)

These are probably 2 of my favourite pictures from the month of April. The top one is where I pulled over on the side of the road on my way to the place where I was going to learn to take blood (yeah!) and I realised how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country. The bottom picture was of our first day off together in the month of April, around the 20th, where we packed ourselves off to Keswick and got the boat round to do the fairly introductory walk called 'catbells'. I'd highly recommend it to anyone in the Lake District to walk, we're not hardcore walkers and this is very little work for great rewards of amazing views! It definitely felt better than slobbing around and tidying the house! We also went for a particularly lovely meal and ice cream in Keswick afterwards.

I can barely make it through a conversation without mentioning wedding planning these days so I could hardly leave it out of this! The month of April is our wedding month to be and this sweet little countdown is something I got for Sam (and myself, I mean, we live together) for our pre-wedding anniversary. It's also reversible with something for after the wedding so I feel like it was worth the investment ;) I honestly can't believe we're under a year to the wedding already. this whole year is going so quickly. We got engaged in January!!
The picture to the left is the best response we got to someone receiving our magnetic save the dates, Sam and I really do not face swap well. I had never really considered save the dates but we're having a weekday wedding and so wanted to give people more notice than just the invites. I just did a simple design and got them printed through printed.com as recommended by Rosie. We're doing the same with our invites (although they won't be magnetic and face swappable!) and hopefully, if I can manage it, our stationery too!


Hope you've enjoyed my little disjointed summary of April and a bit of March, I'm hoping I won't leave it quite so long next time!! I always post over on instagram if you're ever really looking out for what i'm up to ;)
I'm so excited at the moment because we had our engagement photoshoot this week with our wedding photographer and he's slowly releasing a few sneak peeks of our pics as he edits them, so exciting! I'll do a whole post on them once we get them all i'm sure!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday through my iPhone.

This is going to be one of those posts that I'm not sure anyone except my future self looking back and reminiscing will find interesting, I was going to do another photo an hour post like I've done before but if I'm being completely honest I forgot for the first few hours so instead this is like a Sunday highlights reel, a fairly mundane Sunday but a good one.

07:32
I woke up naturally today at half past 7, it's easy to see why when you can see the sunlight already streaming through the windows, honestly though it's not something that bothers me. I find my health and energy levels feel much better if I try to stick to some kind of sleep routine, plus we had planned to be up and at the gym for 8am (haha). 

10:30
We did eventually make it to the gym! This was when I accidentally opened the camera trying to swipe up to change the song, spotted my reflection and remembered I had planned to take photos today. Unfortunately I didn't take a better one than this because I was far too scared of being caught taking selfies at the gym! 

13:04
Today was the perfect first day of Spring here in Cumbria and being garden-less we decided to try make the most of it with a walk around Talkin Tarn. We took some strawberries, smoothies and iced fingers and just did a circuit of the tarn. If it weren't for the really quite cold breeze I could be fooled into thinking this was a picture from midsummer, the sky was blue, the water was blue and people were eating ice cream at every part of the walk! Some with gloved hands but I think it counts. 

14:19
The much more mundane part of Sunday came next, an hour long blitz of the house, Sam tackled upstairs, me downstairs and then we joined forces with the laundry. I love our little (deceptively large) terrace so much and although we're never short of space it really doesn't take long to get it all cleaned up nicely. 

15:16
Always the reward for some Sunday cleaning - a bath. For me there's nothing more indulgent than a bath during the day, before I changed jobs I had far more midweek days off and I used to luxuriate in the fact I was soaking in the bath while everyone else was at work. Amazing. I used half of a Lush Milky Bath, I've mentioned this so much it's my absolute favourite bubble bar and this amazing Golden Egg which putting in the bath made me feel like a Triwizard Tournament contestant. (Come seek us where our voices sound, we cannot sing above the ground...) I hadn't tried this bath bomb/melt hybrid from Lush before and it's so lovely, it has the Honey I washed the kids scent and it left my skin feels so so soft. 

16:58
What else is there to do after a bath other than put on lovely fresh pyjamas? I did get dressed again later on but that's besides the point. Here I'm holding my new favourite not bad for you snack, mozzarella and pesto Kettlebites, and an apple. The apple was meh but oh boy, those kettlebites. They're so good. 

Right:18:29 Left:18:49
Oh baby. These were worth getting dressed for. This pizza van comes to Carlisle and the surrounding areas each weekend, we had never tried it before but wow, this will not be the last time. There's something about a wood fired pizza, the dough is so perfectly crisp around the outside and just cooked to perfection in the middle. There was barely a drop of grease on the boxes after we'd finished these pizzas and although they're indulgent I really don't feel sluggish or heavy after eating them. I feel like I have to go back and try all the flavours. If you're in the Carlisle area and haven't tried these guys you're seriously missing out.

20:18
The last picture of the day because I am a true granny and all I'm planning on doing now is deciding whether to watch Louis Theroux on Netflix or Derren Brown on All 4 or whatever they call 4od these days! Got our delicious new candle burning from TK Maxx (they don't ship the UK yet but if you're lucky like we were and theres a vanilla bean in your local TK, get it!) and I might make a peppermint and liquorice tea soon, wild! 

Hope you've enjoyed this utterly mundane Sunday run through, it really has been a great, if uneventful, first day of spring for us here. 
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