It’s the end of the year (literally, 2013 starts in under 6 hours here in Wales) and that means it’s Life List update time, hurrah! I’ve done a few things in the past couple of months and of course added some new stuff to the list too. I really doubt I’ll ever get it all done, every time I tick something off I think of two more things to put in it’s place :)
I’m really looking forward to 2013. I’ve already set my resolutions (more joy, less gossip, try and face my fears, and be teetotal for the year) – if it’s anything like this year has been in terms of happiness and confidence then I’ll be in for a very fine year indeed :)
Cook a Christmas meal for the whole family
Go to a roller derby
Teach a class in something
Do something memorable for Tzevai’s 30th birthday
Buy a slow cooker
Buy a set of Le Crueset dishes
Try every flavour of Jelly Belly Bean
Make my own cheese
Have a picnic in every park in Cardiff
Try 30 different types of gin
Ask my mum to teach me her pickled onion method
Throw a Life List party
Learn how to reverse park
Get a sausage dog
Teach 50 people a new skill
Be an extra in a film
Visit Cardiff Castle
(The full list is here if anyone is interested) Here’s to 2013 :)
I said I’d try and get the second wedding post up before Christmas, so I’m just sneaking in under the wire with this one, ha. But! It is Pre-Christmas and the second post is here, whoop! This one is all about what we wore. As always, all the photos in these posts are thanks to our amazing photographer, Maria Farrelly. Thanks Maria!
The Dress: I bought it from a shop in Cardiff that has sadly closed now. It’s by a designer called Toki and Nabi and it was a steal at £90! I also wore a peach petticoat and 50s inspired underwear, both from Boux Avenue. My mum hand sewed all these tiny little gems on it so that I sparkled. Which was obviously awesome.
My something blue: our initials and the wedding date sewn into the label of the dress and into Q’s collar :)
I never wanted a traditional dress – I tried a few on and just felt so uncomfortable and weird – I actually bought this one a week after getting engaged, ha.
Those Shoes: Oh, my shoes. My beautiful, amazing yellow shoes. I loved these bad boys and since I bought them about a fortnight after we got engaged (never accuse me of hanging around) I had to wait what felt a lifetime to actually wear them. They were Reiss, via eBay and cost me £20 instead of over a hundred. Score!
Jewellery: My late grandmother’s earrings (that my sister also wore at her wedding) and my great Aunt’s pearls:
my mother’s bracelet, a ring that was given to me by my father in law and his wife, and a bracelet that Q and I made for each other. (we had one each).
We also wore heart shaped pins with each other’s initials in which were made by Love and Lovelier, and my bridesmaids and I had heart shaped rings from H&M:
Q’s Outfit: Q wore a waistcoat and shirt from Next and a tie we bought from eBay. He already owned his trousers, and didn’t want to wear a jacket. It was a fairly easy outfit to put together once he actually decided what he wanted to wear (which took bloody forever ;) )
The usher’s wore white shirts, grey trousers and navy blue ties (again from eBay. They were about a pound each, total bargain).
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: the dresses were from ASOS in the sale and the petticoats were from Boux Avenue. They wore their own shoes, all in different shades of nude. I loved how the girls ended up looking, plus I now own one of the bridesmaids dresses (Tessa is tall and it was a tiny bit short for her without the petticoat!) which means I get to twirl like a girl in Mad Men whenever I damn well please.
The Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Flower pins from H&M, large glitter hearts from Crown and Glory, brooches from Love and Lovelier and yellow sashes made by my mother.
The girls had the love brooches, and the boys had cariad, which is love in Welsh :)
Hair: Done by another quarter of #TeamMASH, Sarah. THANK YOU SARAH, OH MY GOD. Seriously, I never would have been able to make it look as amazing as she did.
Hello gratuitous boob shot.
Make Up: I did my own makeup because I don’t really trust other people to do my face. It was the most makeup I’ve probably ever worn, no joke, but at least it lasted all day!
Our friends helped us so much in the run up to the wedding, my beautiful friends Jools (or Lady Velo as she’s better known online) and Ian spent the afternoon the day before arranging all our flowers for us and my bridesmaids fluffed all our pom-poms. Andrew, Mark and Jeff blew up all our balloons for us and my mother did so much sewing that she’s almost sworn never to pick up a needle and thread again. Oops.
We decided to have a first look on the local beach before our ceremony as I knew I’d be a bit nervous and I also thought we’d be able to get some really amazing photos there. Maria was well up for it and it was a lot of fun to walk across the beach with everyone wondering what was going on! My parents have use of a beach hut so we stood outside it to have some pictures – the people sitting next to us ignored us completely which made for some very comical moments. My bridesmaids and I also had a cheeky sit down on the bouncy castle before heading to the venue for the ceremony!
I designed a ‘film poster’ as a surprise for Q on the day, since our ceremony room was a lecture theatre and we had our order of services in popcorn bags. I didn’t get to see his reaction as I was waiting out of sight but lots of people commented on it and it’s great to have something we can keep as a memento of the day! Our friend Adam did it for us and I couldn’t have asked for better :)
We had a very last minute additional guest as my sister and her husband actually had their baby, Arthur, three days before the wedding (he was due eleven days after). They managed to bring him to the ceremony and he was the quietest baby ever, plus it was wonderful to meet him, although he did steal the show a few times by being so adorable!
Transport: Since my dad works at a garage he was able to borrow a vintage Mercedes convertible to take me to the venue. We actually had an almightly row the day before over whether or not we should have the top down (he said yes, I insisted no), so much so that my mother had to mediate ;) Thankfully we sorted it out in the end and it was all okay on the day. I wasn’t expected anyone to see me arrive but we were so early a lot of people were still walking in! :)
Phew! Sorry for the epic montage guys, but it’s nice to get it all written down to look at later on :) The next post definitely won’t be up before Christmas but I might be able to sneak it in before 2013 and it’ll definitely be up before 2014 ;)
Have a great Christmas if you’re celebrating. We’re in Cornwall to snuggle Arthur and eat all the food we can get our hands on. Hurrah!
Dear Arthur (my new nephew, for those of you who don’t know),
Thanks for making Christmas magical again, I’m so looking forward to spending your first one with you – the homemade stocking from Grandma is going to become one of your most treasured items I bet :) See you on the 22nd,
Today was Q’s 30th birthday and we spent it eating crepes and singing Lonely Island songs with some of our closest friends. Not a bad way to hit a new decade, really.
See the whole list here
What’s that, I’m actually posting our wedding write up before Christmas?! Shocking. High five, anyone? No? Oh. Moving swiftly on…I’m going to split this into a couple of posts so that your eyes don’t fall out – it’s big! Yes, I am nice like that. You are welcome.
First things first, all the photos in these posts are thanks to our photographer, Maria Farrelly.
Second things second, the details!
The total cost: Some people might consider this vulgar (to those people I politely say “suck it”) but I’m always curious how much people spent. In the end we spent about £7500 (not including our honeymoon) which is about £6000 less than the ‘average UK wedding’, apparently. We saved cash by buying a cheap wedding dress and making most of our decorations, and also by not having that much money to spend in the first place, ha.
The Venue: We picked the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall. I grew up there and while we initially wanted to get married in Cardiff we couldn’t find a venue that matched up to the Maritime, so we decided to just go with it and have a wedding two hundred miles from where we live. No biggie! We had our ceremony, reception and evening do here (in three separate rooms) which meant more time with our guests, which was genuinely lovely.
The cake: Cupcakes from M&S and a cheesecake from Sainsbury’s for us. We’re not big cake people, to be honest. We added yellow marzipan hearts to the cupcakes and found a candle cake topper which spelt out ‘I Love You’ for the cheesecake.
The flowers: We bought flowers from the supermarkets for the centre pieces the day before – and it was totally fine. Luckily for us, Jools and Ian arrived early and spent a couple of hours arranging them all for us. THANK YOU, A MILLION TIMES OVER. I’m also mega indebted to my bridesmaid Amy (a quarter of #TeamMASH, the best team ever) for finding a tutorial online to create the giant paper flowers. I wanted something different and also real flowers kind of make me sneeze a lot. Q ended up making them, to stop me from throwing them across the room in a fit of frustration. Bloody crepe paper. Still tho, they were totally worth it in the end, right? Right.
The music: We set up a Spotify playlist and hooked it up to a PA system for the evening. Simple and it meant we didn’t have to listen to a cheesy DJ trying to narrate or play ABBA. Double bonus.
Stationery: Our invites were designed by Leni Kauffman, and were fantastic. We then finished them off and printed them ourselves, along with the menus, table numbers, order of services and maps. Our panda film poster and pirate maps were designed by Adam Fellows, who also did a stellar job. Leni also did out thank you cards for us, because she is lovely and nice. Thanks, lovely nice Leni! :)
Decorations: We made giant pom poms from crepe paper, word banners from cereal boxes and gold wrapping paper, blew up some yellow balloons and made a ‘library catalogue’ box to use for our guestbook. Everything was fairly simple (we are not into complex DIY) but it did still take quite a considerable amount of time, so if you’re going to go down this route make sure you have enough time for it.
We bought a lot of supplies from Etsy, which was an absolutely godsend. I bought a customised stamp from Happie Stamps with our initials and the wedding date, which I used to decorate some tissues to put with the order of service, our favours and various other bits and pieces along the way!
We also ended up making a lot of origami hearts (seriously, so many origami hearts) – little ones to go with the favours, medium ones to use as a backdrop for our handmade photo booth and giant ones to use as a ceremony backdrop.
Theme: Yellow, obviously. (So much yellow! It was the best.) Books, love. We wanted something fun, casual and filled with things personal to us. We also had a few pandas because how could we not, and quite a few red hearts seemed to sneak in.
PHEW. Hope you enjoyed the peak into our wedding :) This has taken me far longer than I’d like, sorry! The next post is for the girls – i.e. it’s all about the dresses ;) I’ll try and get it up in the next couple of days but again, if it’s after Christmas I really wouldn’t be too surprised, okay? ;)
I’ve been experiencing a shift, lately. There are a few things that I perennially struggle with – food, exercise, being too sensitive, the list is long and old. It’s easy to lose sight of perspective when you are dealing with your personal demons – I want to eat bread but it makes me ill, we wanted to rent our flat out but our mortgage prohibits us from doing that, I want to swim but gym memberships aren’t cheap and I only work part time…
I could write pages of things that I wish were different or items that annoy, irritate or upset me. Everybody could, nobody is happy all of the time, it’s human nature – right? But I have done that in the past, hell, I think my entire blogging output from 2003-2007 was probably just one long perpetual moan about one thing or another, and it didn’t really get me anywhere. It made me feel small and petty and it didn’t help to solve anything. Over the years I’ve come to realise that it’s not my life that needs to change, it’s my mindset.
I’ve been doing fairy well in the positively department, I think. But recently I have noticed that there are a few people within my social media circle (people I don’t know in real life but follow on Twitter or have befriended on Facebook) who’s feeds are only negative. No matter what they’re doing, saying or feeling it’s overwhelmingly morose and it’s startling to see. I’m not sure they’re particularly aware of it, to be honest (and I don’t realistically feel it’s my place to tell them) but I do wonder how they’d feel if they ever read their streams back and realised that the last 20 or so entries were exclusively ‘woe is me, my life is so awful’. It reinforces the feeling that I desperately do not want to be one of those people, so instead of moaning and getting annoyed about the things I can’t have, I’m going to focus on what I can, and do.
I could be allergic to all of my favourite foods, instead of just intolerant to some of them. We could not have a flat to sell in the first place. I’m fortunate to have a job that I love. I am surrounded by grace and opportunity and my life is nothing by better for encouraging more joy into it.
My Grace in Small Things posts are designed to help me focus on the little things that often go unnoticed, a reminder that there is good everywhere. Right now I need to focus on letting go of the things I cannot change – my food allergies for one – and living a satisfied life within the boundaries that currently constrain it.
It could be worse so I fully intend to be grateful for what I’ve got. Do I expect this to be easy? No. It’s far easier to slip back into the same old routine of being bogged down by minor frustrations. But hey, if it doesn’t work (although I hope that it will) at least I gave it a shot. It can’t hurt to try, right?