Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

January Book Update

Posted by in Books, Projects

I started tracking my books in 2010, after setting myself a target to read 100 books and only just managing it (I finished reading my last book at 10:30pm on New Years Eve, ha).

Last year I only managed 79 books (it galls me that it wasn’t a round number, it really, really does) but I think that’s probably understandable given how busy last year was. I’ve learn that getting a head start on the numbers makes it easier for later in the year so I’ve spent much of January curled up with a good book – not a bad way to spend time in my opinion. So far this year I’ve read:

01. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
02. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix
03. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
04. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
05. NEW Jonas Jonasson – The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared
06. NEW Iain Broome – A is For Angelica
07. NEW James Symthe – The Explorer
08. NEW Tina Fey – Bossy Pants
09. NEW Danny Wallace – Awkward Situations for Men
10. RR Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife
11. NEW James Smythe – The Testimony
12. NEW Haruki Murakami – A Wild Sheep Chase

January was a good month for reading. A nice mix of old and new, my favourite new book was A is For Angelica by Iain Broome. A debut novel that was a fantastic and tense read, I’d definitely say it’s worth checking out. The Explorer by James Smythe is another one to pick up too – gritty and dark and intriguing from the first paragraph. The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared was a book club read and I was the only one who didn’t enjoy it – I thought it was too unbelievable and lacked any genuine emotion but everyone else seemed to enjoy it so maybe I’m just a bit weird?

I’m still working my way through my 1000 new books for my Life List, I started tracking those in 2011 and I’m up to 161. Still a few more to go ;) I’d probably get there quicker if I didn’t re-read so many books but there are some like  The Time Traveler’s Wife that I love to read every year. (I do not even care that people think it’s some sort of sappy love story – it’s probably my favourite book and that’s a pretty high honour given how many I read. If you haven’t read it already, YOU SHOULD. Ahem.)

What’s everyone else reading at the moment? I feel like I’m so far behind on new books, it’s shameful. Recommendations, please! :)

Mementos From The Wedding

Posted by in Projects, Wedding

Our wedding has been featured on Cwtch the Bride – the new Welsh Wedding Blog. I urge you to check it out, the whole site is beautiful and I’m not just saying that because I work for it, heh.


We have a lot of fantastic memories from our wedding day – Maria did an absolutely incredible job of capturing it all for us. We received almost 1500 photos from her in the end and she shot for 15 hours, amazing! We’ve also amassed a small collection of mementos to help remind of us the day, and I thought some of you might like to see them :)

Wedding Mementos

We bought the plate at the museum gift shop, because we wanted a reminder from the venue (we got married in a maritime museum) and they didn’t sell snow globes which is what we usually collect. The badges were in place of buttonholes – Q wore the S and I wore the T :) The ships wheel was a gift from my uncle, which I thought was a really nice touch :)


Our thank you cards, designed by the ever wonderful Leni Kauffman, to match our invitations. We had them printed with vistaprint as postcards but I wouldn’t recommend them, really. The service was just okay, the postcards are fine but a non standard size which meant when we printed 6×4 photos to go in with them they didn’t fit inside the envelopes (which I’d already pre-addressed and stamped. Oh well!).



Lisa and her husband Peter bought us this beautiful print from our Etsy registry (which I highly reccomend, by the way) – the poem on the front is the one we used on our invitations so it was lovely to receive the original inspiration for it.


My flower managed to survive the night (I cannot say the same for the girl’s flowers, heh) so we’ve stuck it in a vase. I can’t bear to throw it away after all the time Q spent making them!


Another little souvenir from the museum, little boats – blue for Q and yellow for me (of course).


Our friend Alice couldn’t make it to the wedding but sent us these beautiful Mr & Mrs forks (as well as some other lovely gifts).


We made our guestbook ourselves, and asked our friend Adam to illustrate the cover for us, as we couldn’t print straight onto it. He did a fantastic job.


We put some of our favourite photos from the engagement shoot in it, then added a little envelope for everyone and asked them to write us a note. It was so much fun to open them all, like getting 70 letters all at once! It’s not perfect by any means – the weight of the envelopes means some of the photos got a little crumpled and it doesn’t close without a ribbon holding it shut, but I totally and utterly love it all the same :)




We also put copies of the readings from the ceremony in to remind us of them.


I used Leni’s design from our invites to make them, and we also printed larger version to frame and give to the girls as gifts.

Two Become Chong

I also asked Adam to design a film poster as a surprise for Tzevai (the room we got married in looked like a cinema so we had a film theme for the ceremony), which we’re planning on framing and hanging in our new house.






This tho, is quite possibly my favourite wedding gift, if only for the amount of time, effort and thought that went into making it! Rob, Carrie, Howard and Sam all spent time putting together the story of Pip (our littlest panda) and the wedding. We read it at the reception and I couldn’t stop laughing, it was all fantastic :) This is just a selection of the illustrations they did – they worked so hard on it and it really is fantastic. Thanks guys!

It might be corny to say but it’s nice to be surrounded by the things that remind us of such a happy day. So suck it, haters ;)

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Yellow bookmarks
  • Cinema trips
  • Curling up in a duvet on the sofa
  • Unexpected happy post
  • Keeping resolutions

See the whole list here

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Nan,

Thanks for introducing me to the world of electric blankets over twenty years ago. Some of my favourite memories of your house are the nights we stayed over and crawled into an already toasty bed. This winter would have been a much harsher beast without mine to keep me snug and warm.



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

Our Wedding – Ceremony & Reception

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Projects, Wedding

This is probably the slowest wedding recap in history (we’ve been married for almost 5 months, oy!) but here we go, onto the 3rd wedding post – the ceremony and the reception! :) These are mostly for me to be honest to be able to remember the day and what we did, so feel free to skip over if you’re not that into weddings, I won’t be offended, promise. (As always, all the photos in these posts are thanks to our amazing photographer, Maria Farrelly. Thanks Maria!)

Ring Bearer: Instead of having our best man as our ring bearer we had our pet panda, Eric. We tied the rings to his paw with yellow ribbon and sat him at the front of the theatre, ready for his big moment! Definitely less stressful that having a child or a real animal holding onto them ;)

Music: The bridesmaids walked in to You and Me by Penny and the Quarters and I walked in to a violin piece by Bernard Fanning. We walked out to Hold My Head Above the Water by Quiet Company.

Vows: We wrote our own vows and I was really nervous that I was going to be too emotional to say mine as I knew I was going second. Q was actually banking on me crying as he had a line in his vows about that, which I obviously didn’t know about at the time but lucky for him I was tearing up a little! Having our panda Eric as the ring bearer was great too, as he got a good laugh from the crowd and our registrar really got into the spirit of things with us :)

Confetti: The venue asked us not to use confetti in our reception room – it’s so close to the balcony and makes an almighty mess, apparently. Instead we gave everyone party poppers in their order of service bags with the intention of popping them as we walked out of the ceremony. We changed our minds at the last minute, opting to pop them somewhere with better light, which meant all our guests had to wait about an hour while we had some couples photos done on our own, sorry guys ;)

(I couldn’t bear how ugly the labels were so I printed up some with our names and the wedding date to cover them up!)

Favours: Our favours were homegrown wild poppy seeds courtesy of my parent’s garden, some bubbles and lottery tickets presented in lai-see (red envelopes given at Chinese New Year, as a nod to Q’s Chinese heritage). We tucked them into little pockets made from sheet music to echo our invitations, which had the same thing.

Speeches: Tze and I decided to do a joint speech but didn’t really plan what we wanted to say past who we were going to thank and give gifts too. It seemed to go down well tho, so that’s a plus! :)

Tom (our best man)’s speech was definitely funnier than ours, although he did make us a cocktail that I have no desire to drink again so he loses points for that ;)

First Dance: It took us a while to pick a first dance – for a few months it was going to be I’m Yours by Jason Mraz – but we eventually settled on Heart of Life by John Mayer because it’s pretty and (more importantly) short. I am not a lover of slow dancing and it was sort of excruciating having everyone watch us making a slow, shuffling circle around the dance floor, heh.

The End: Our last song was Grace Under Pressure by Elbow (my favourite song, I have the title tattooed on my foot as a reminder to have more grace!) and it was my absolute favourite moment from the wedding. We twirled together laughing as our friends and family formed a circle around us and it culminated in a massive group hug, Maria included, recording it all for us. It gave me goosebumps to watch the video back :)

(our group shot, complete with yellow heart shaped balloons :) )

There are actually two more wedding related posts that I have lined up, but this is the last of the recaps so you can breath a sigh of relief if weddings really don’t float you boat. Falling Foward will be back to it’s regularly scheduled programming of lists, lists and more lists in no time ;)

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Homemade soup
  • Care packages from far away friends
  • Rereading a favourite book
  • Gluten free jaffa cakes (Thanks Q!)
  • Hair long enough to put in a ponytail

See the whole list here

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Knitting for the first time in ages
  • Electric blankets
  • Reindeer jammies
  • Sequins
  • Bacon jam

See the whole list here

Life List Update

Posted by in My Life In Lists, Projects

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 :)

Completed: 6
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 shorthand
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 :)

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Learning a new skill
  • Being paid a genuine compliment
  • Scarf weather
  • Mince pies
  • Matching crockery

See the whole list here

Our Wedding – Pre-Ceremony

Posted by in Projects, Wedding

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!

Yellow Reiss Wedding Slingback Sho

Hair Accessories: Crown and Glory flower bobby pins (15% discount with the code WOLFWHISTLE thanks to Amy, btw) and a glittery heart clip from H&M.

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.

Crown and Glory Glitter Heart Hair Clip

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!