Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Crisp winter mornings
  • Creating new traditions
  • Getting excited about Christmas
  • Singing
  • Party food

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

Our Wedding – The Run Down

Posted by in Projects, Wedding

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.

my gorgeous paper flowers
and our lovely table flowers!

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? ;)

A New Mantra

Posted by in A Little Conversation

“It could be worse.”

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.

Let's Be Positive

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.

“It could be worse.”

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?

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Waking up with the sunrise
  • Refracted rainbows
  • Lazy days
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Yellow watches

See the whole list here


Posted by in Projects, Wedding

Gosh it’s been a while since I wrote an actual post, hasn’t it? Lists are all very well and good but it feels like I haven’t said anything real for months. Oops! Am I allowed to blame it on the wedding planning that I barely mentioned here but which took up a sizeable amount of my time? Or my new job which I also didn’t mention but which is fun but also demanding at times? No? Oh well. You live and you learn ;)

First Things First

Mr & Mrs Chong

Above photos taken by our amazing wedding photographer, Maria Farrelly.

Life has been good, in a crazy, whirlwind sort of insane way. I’m married now, huzzah! (I’ll do a proper post on that at some point (it was the best day). I won’t say soon because I never stick to that but, y’know, before Christmas. Probably.) We’ve been to Mexico for our honeymoon and returned tanned and full of food (double win!).

Taken on the day that we got up early to watch the sunrise from the beach :)

We came back and I cut all my hair off and now we’re in the process of trying to sell our flat so we can buy a bigger house. Fun/stressful depending on what day of the week it is at the moment. Whoever tells you wedding planning is as stressful as buying a house, it’s bullshit – house buying is much worse.

Hair cut :)

Second Things Second
In website news I’ve finally added the details to my project pages. Télégramme is here, Friday Thanks is here (it would appear I am most thankful for things beginning with S and P) and Grace in Small Things is here, if you’re interested.

I’m working on the next issue of Télégramme, slowly, and throwing myself into a couple of new projects to banish the post wedding blues. I taught a class, we’ve been cooking some fun new recipes and there are lots of exciting plans being made for the next twelve months and beyond. Yay for plans, right? :)

Sarah and Amy both wrote lovely posts about the wedding, so if you’re dying for some news head over there, they’ll tide you over until I can write my post. (You should visit them anyway, being 50% of team MASH and 100% awesome)

What have you guys been up to? :) Tell me all your news!

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Freckles
  • Thunder and lightning
  • Hearing your favourite song on the radio
  • Friendly animals
  • Blankets

See the whole list here

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • An unexpected flattering photo
  • Free cocktails
  • Ice cold cans of coke
  • Lilos
  • Watching a Disney film, cwtched up on the sofa

See the whole list here

Grace In Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Swimming in the sunshine
  • Towels shaped like animals
  • Air conditioning
  • Comfortable beds
  • People that can make you laugh

See the whole list here

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Mexico,

Thanks for holding off on the rain until our last morning there. Also thank you for providing so many avocados – we really didn’t want to leave.

Love Sarah

See other Friday Thanks here or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

Life List Update

Posted by in My Life In Lists, Projects

Hello! Life has been incredibly busy of late – the last six weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of plans, weddings, honeymoons and happiness. I’ll do a proper update post on it all soon but in the meantime here’s an update on the Life List :)

Completed: 6
Marry Tzevai (yay!)
Watch the sunrise from a beach

Try scuba diving
Learn how to play one song on the ukulele
Buy 50’s pin up underwear
Achieve a #2 toast tan

Added: 12

Find a carousel horse with my name on it

Try snorkelling
Learn how to french braid my hair
Learn one song on the piano

Attach a lock to a ‘love bridge’
See a Postsecret Live event
See a performance of the Vagina Monologues

Buy a beautiful yellow swimsuit

Pet a panda

Watch the sunrise from a beach
Swim in every ocean and sea
Visit enough countries to get a stamp for every page in my passport