Welcome back to another ‘Questions To Ask’ post as part of The Wedding Series! Today, I’m talking about questions to ask your wedding photographer. And let’s face it, your photographer is VERY important – they’re… More
Okay, I’ve spoken a lot on Twitter recently about my wedding checklist, so I thought it was about time I shared this with you! I started it a year ago, and I’m still adding to it now, 5 weeks before the wedding! There are things on the list that I never would have thought of before last February… Of course, you think of the big things like the dress and the venue and the cake, but it wasn’t until I started planning that I realised I needed to be thinking of things like updating my EHIC, or double checking how many chair sashes are included in our wedding package…
There’ll be some things missing from the list that you might expect to see there (transport, or hair stylist for example), and some more obvious ones, like the caterer or DJ are missing because quite a few things are included in our wedding package. But this is a list tailored specifically to our wedding. Early on, I separated it into things to buy/to book/to do/extras…so I’m going to keep that going now, though there’s no particular order. Okay, are you ready? Deep breath…
Garter (unless you’re borrowing)
Bride’s Hair Accessories
Bridesmaid Hair Accessories
Top table decor
Umbrellas (just in case!)
Wedding Party Hangers
Signs for Hashtags
Present for other half
Thankyou presents for wedding party
Hair cut and colour
Dinner tables for evening before/day after
Decide on which person/people to allocate to each item on the checklist
Decide on Budget
Give Notice of Marriage
Pay Ceremony Fee
Send Save the Dates
Have dress fitting (and follow up appointments)
Meet with florist
Meet with baker/have cake tasting
Meet with photographer
Create ‘must play’ song playlist for Reception
Choose aisle music
Choose 30 minutes pre-ceremony music
Choose 3 songs for register signing
Choose readings for ceremony
Seating Plan for Wedding Breakfast
Wear in shoes
Make emergency wedding kit
Get name changed on passport
Get name changed on EHIC
Send ‘must have’ shotlist to photographer
Have menu tasting
Have engagement shoot
Create running order for the day
Get Bridesmaid’s dresses altered
Decide on Bridesmaid’s hair
Collect wedding rings
Get engagement ring polished
DIY items for centrepieces
Organise afternoon entertainment
Find something OLD, NEW, BORROWED and BLUE
Book time off work
Confirm arrangements with vendors
Give vendor contact details to Maid of Honour
Make arrangements for day before at the venue (check in time, nails, dinner etc.)
And along with all of these things, you have to take into consideration how time consuming it will all be. I spent my free time for WEEKS searching for our signage for example, and the seating plan is a bloomin’ nightmare! I think our final plan is version 5 or 6! Whilst it can be stressful, and time consuming, and the checklist seems never ending, I’ve LOVED planning our wedding. It’s been such a special experience, and I won’t know what to do with myself when it’s over!
More and more things are getting ticked off the list AND IT’S SUCH A GOOD FEELING! Bring on the next few weeks 😊
Wedding Planning is a mammoth task.
There’s so much to do, more than you’ll realise until you actually start doing it! I’m still adding things to my checklist and I’ve been planning for 12 months! So I wanted to take this opportunity to share some tips for the planning experience with you – whether you’re deep into wedding planning, only just starting out – or just curious! Some of these are discoveries/thoughts I made and some came from advice from friends/family. There’s lots of advice out there, but I wanted to note some tips I discovered from my own experiences. So! Here we go:
DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET
Stick to it and keep track of what you’re spending! Whether you’re spending a lot, a little, or somewhere in the middle, it really doesn’t matter – but sticking to your budget is so important. The cost can quite quickly add up, and you want to make sure you’re not spending on unnecessary things at the detriment of things you want. So keep a note of everything you’re spending. I made a spreadsheet of all our expenditures as and when they got booked. It lists the vendor and/or product, the total amount, deposit amount, remaining balance, and a tick box for when the full payment had been made. And I’m so glad I did – it was quite sobering to write it all down and realise how quickly it was adding up!
CREATE A PRIORITY LIST
Linked to the last point…make an ordered list from the things that are important, down to the things that would be nice, but not necessary. This makes it easier when trying to stick to your budget. The order of the list doesn’t really matter, and we’re all different, so there’s no point in me sharing ours with you – but sit down with your significant other and decide where you want to splurge, and where you’re happy to pay less.
NOTICE OF MARRIAGE
Don’t forget about it! I know it’s the legal side so should be blindingly obvious, but when you’re distracted by pretty dresses and venues and cakes and flowers…going to the registry office with appropriate documents to prove you are who you say you are, and that you know the person you’re getting married to, just kind of gets lost! Also, a lot of checklists you see online have you doing that in the ‘3 Months Before’ section. Nooooooo! Unless you’re planning a last minute wedding, you have to give notice of marriage A YEAR BEFORE! So make sure you read the emails and small print about this once you’ve booked your minister/registrar.
They’re honestly a life saver. As I’ve already said, there’s SO much to organise, so having lists makes it all so much easier to deal with.
DON’T WEAR MAKEUP TO YOUR DRESS FITTING
I saw this suggested online somewhere, and it’s an amazing idea! You want your wedding day to feel as special as possible, so you don’t want to see yourself in your dress, all made up, BEFORE then! If you’re having your hair up, wear it down (and vice versa), don’t wear any makeup, and pop your glasses on (if you have them but won’t be wearing them on the day). I did this for both of my dress fittings, and honestly, I’m so glad I did.
CHOP THE GUEST LIST TO SAVE MONEY
Brutal, but when the price per head can be so much, it’s the easiest way of bringing down the cost of your wedding.
MAKE A SPREADSHEET FOR VENDOR INFORMATION
Or if you have a specific page laid out in your wedding planner like mine, great! Note the company name, the name of the person you dealt with, what they’re providing, their email, and phone number. When emails are so accessible on phones these days you don’t HAVE to, but having it all in one place is great. This set up of information is so handy, I found this particularly when we met with our venue coordinator a few weeks back who needed all of these details! It was a swift 30 second exchange of info rather than me having to riffle through emails and bits of paper for half an hour.
APPOINT A WEDDING PARTY/FAMILY MEMBER TO BE THE PHOTO ‘WRANGLER’
Suggested by our lovely photographer, and we’re definitely doing this! Though I’m not sure if we’ve told him yet… 😂 Your photographer doesn’t know who’s who, so it’s a good idea to use someone who DOES to organise who’s in what photo. On your wedding day, you don’t want to be worrying about doing the job yourself, so appoint a friendly helper, and the time for family shots will run super smoothly.
DESIGNATE SOMEONE TO COLLECT GIFTS/DECOR/PERSONAL ITEMS
We spend so much time prepping for the wedding, it’s very easy to overlook any time AFTER. Make sure that you’ve spoken to your venue about how/when things like this need to happen, and ask a trustworthy guest to help by sticking things in their car/room if needs be.
DIY TO SAVE MONEY
Soooo many articles suggest doing this to save money, and I suppose it depends on what you’re wanting, as to whether it’s doable. We’re doing the centre pieces ourselves: it’s working out more cost effective than hiring, AND it means we have total freedom to play around with ideas/do what we want. And everything we’re buying will be put to use after the wedding too!
WRITE A DO NOT PLAY LIST
This is a page in one of (I have two!) wedding planners – BRILLIANT idea! As part of our RSVPs, we asked guests for a song ‘to get them on the dancefloor’, but I wouldn’t have thought of a DO NOT PLAY list had it not been for my planner! There’s not much music we don’t enjoy, but I feel safe in the knowledge that we won’t be subject to The Beatles or Cyndi Lauper on our big day, should people request songs from the DJ.
UTILISE THE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR VENDORS
They do this for a living, so if you have a question/problem/are looking for advice – ask! For example, there’s lots of theories about freezing your wedding cake – when, how long for etc – whilst Google can be a brilliant tool, why not just ask your baker! A quick email and you’ll get a reliable answer. We also got advice from our photographer about confetti, something we wouldn’t have thought of – but as a seasoned pro, he knows what works and doesn’t work!
TRY NOT TO STRESS
It’s easier said than done, honestly, I know. But it’s true. A couple of months back, I really struggled with wedding stress, but I wrote a post about it here, took some of my own advice as well as that of family and friends, and I felt much better. It’s such a special time, and it’s really not worth getting yourself worked up over it.
And before I sign off, just remember that this is YOUR day. You’re doing it for the two of you, no one else, so make the decisions you want to make – not because you’re being made to feel guilty, or forced into something, by someone else. And enjoy your planning time! It’s going to absolutely FLY! I can’t believe it’ll be over for me in 6 weeks time! I won’t know what to do with myself 😂
Until next time,
Moving house is a massive task. As we were moving, lots of people kept telling us that it was up there with divorce as one of the biggest/most stressful things you can do in your life. It takes over your life, and however much you tell yourself it’ll be fine and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, when you’re actually living it, it can be a struggle. During our move, I made a few notes about things I was doing to help cope with stress/keep organised, and I’m going to share them with you now. I hope they might help someone out there!
MAKE PRIORITY LISTS
Undoubtedly, you’re going to be buying new things for your new place (woo!). If this is your first house, you’ll be buying loads of furniture. If it’s a new build you’ll be buying curtain rails and carpets too. Or if you’re a seasoned pro and have been in your old house for a number of years, you’re moving into a new space, so there’s bound to be SOMETHING you need. Make a list, browse online, go to the furniture outlet near you, and make decisions about what you’re going to do. Don’t leave it till the last minute coz you’ll just be creating more stress for yourself!
TAKE CONTROL OF WHAT YOU CAN
When so many aspects of buying/moving house are out of your control, it can be easy to feel totally powerless. And I suppose you are; your life, your future, is in somebody else’s hands – someone who isn’t emotionally invested and working 24/7 to make this venture happen. So if you’re panicking, or freaking out, take control over what you can, like organising your packing, or going shopping for new furnishings/furniture. You’ll feel better for it (rather than just sitting home, waiting for an email or phone call), and it means when the trigger’s pulled, you’re ON IT!
ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES
Whilst you can take control of what you can, sometimes you just have to accept the rubbish that comes with moving. It’s NEVER going to be a straight forward process, so it gets to a point where you just have to go with it, accept that only in a perfect world would it be a quick, easy, painless process. I found that once I accepted this and just went with it, I stressed a little less.
USE WORK AS A DISTRACTION
Whether you’re still in the purchasing process, or whether you’re into the move itself – allow yourself to take time away from it, and work is the perfect time to do this. When you’re home, your life is completely disrupted (you’re constantly reminded when the place is littered with boxes, half your stuff is missing and your telly’s sitting on the floor!). So when you’re at work, try not to let the move bother you. During the move, when I was in work I COMPLETELY immersed myself, and it really helped.
ENLIST THE HELP OF OTHERS
Family, friends neighbours – if they offer, accept their help with big thanks! There’s soooo much to do, and splitting the work load makes the task much smaller.
LABEL EVERY BAG AND BOX
So I was really good at this, I went labelling CRAZY – until we were packing up the last minute stuff. Those every day things that sit lonely in cupboards or out on the side ever since you packed up the other 98% of your belongings. All the last minute stuff happens in such a rush (coz there’s a lot more than you realise and you have to get out), and all our stuff got thrown into various bags and boxes. Which meant that when we got to the house, I could tell you exactly where the wooden spoons and the tealight holders were, but not the shampoo or pyjamas were. Not ideal.
KNOW THAT IT WILL GET BETTER
However stressed you are, however overwhelming it all is – it WILL get better, there IS an end to all of this – and when you get there, it’ll be the BEST feeling! You’ll be in your new place, you’ll absolutely love it, and the stress will slowly melt away.
And if all else fails – a couple of drops of Rescue Remedy will calm you down! It was my driving teacher that introduced it to me, and it’s a handy little bottle to have around when it all gets a bit too much.
If you’re in the middle of moving, about to move, or just nosey (coz moving is always bound to happen!) – I hope that one or two tips help you out.
I’m writing this post at the end of January, just over 3 months before our wedding. And I have no idea what’s to come in the next few months of planning, but I’m currently lying in bed at 1am, unable to sleep because I’m feeling stressed and anxious. And I’m absolutely DONE with this feeling taking over and spoiling my experience, so I’m going to find a way to deal and manage it!
Every element of wedding planning is a mammoth task, it all takes so much TIME and there’s SO MANY things involved with each element you’re planning. Even something as simple as *wracks brain trying to think of the easiest part of wedding planning so far* the favours, can be turned into a marathon of multiple emails, tastings, design ideas, design approval, deposits, invoices, contract signing, final preparations…all with a smile on your face – because it’s your wedding, of course! Even listing it doesn’t seem to give it the credit it deserves! Whilst it’s very easy to say ‘just ask for help’, it’s really not as simple as that, when you’re the one managing the day. It’s incredibly time consuming and life encompassing, and there’s no way around that (unless you have someone else planning it for you)! I assume that it’ll be much easier to ask for help when the day gets closer and we need help organising and doing, rather than just the booking/planning that I’m doing now.
So, it’s only natural, that whilst you’re trying to plan the wedding you’ve dreamed of since you were a kid, manage your budget and keep everyone happy (along with everything else going on with planning and, you know, WORK and LIFE), you allow your mental health to deteriorate. It’s so easily done, but I really hope I can find a way around this.
The plan: to make a list of things that I think I might help alleviate these feelings. And then make a conscious effort to take my own advice over the next couple of months – I’m one of those people happy to give advice, but terrible at taking my own! I pray it works. Shout out to my incredible Maid of Honour (I know you’re technically a ‘matron’ because you’re married, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it!), who’s been so wise and supportive when I’ve needed her (as always). And a couple of her pointers made this list. I love you girl 💖
1. Make a checklist 📝
I’m a sucker for a checklist anyway, but with SO many things to do, any bride will want one! It’s an overwhelming list, and I find it so easy to see all the things I’m yet to do, panic, and try to do everything as soon as I can! But that’s not realistic, not when half of the things on there won’t/can’t happen till 4 weeks before the big day! But checking things off as you get them done will really help.
2. Formal planning time 📚
Related to point 1…have a list with dates of when you can/need to do things by. It shows that you’re on top of things and that you don’t need to have everything finished just yet! Then step back and distance yourself. Have a date/time each week when you review the list to check your progress…this way, you don’t need to think about it the rest of the time.
3. Make time to spend with a loved one 💕
Ban all wedding talk if you want, or take the opportunity to vent, but set a coffee date with a special person. Someone who you know will distract you/calm you down/let you talk your frustrations out/talk you through problems.
4. Equally, make time for you 😌
Find an activity that you find peaceful and calming, and devote time to that, and that alone – don’t get distracted! Reading in the bath, colouring, yoga – whatever it is, set aside time for you and it, and allow yourself to become completely immersed in ‘chill’.
5. Talk to your venue contact 💒
They do this for a living, it’s second nature. So if you have a question, why are you stressing about not knowing, assuming an answer, or googling it? Ask! You’ll feel better!
6. Write down any problems 📓
My wonderful Maid of Honour once told me (years ago now!) to keep a notepad by my bedside for any of those nights when you have a million things flying round your head. This has proved to be invaluable advice, as the nights are when I seem to struggle most with overthinking. Sometimes even writing a problem down, without necessarily solving it, can make you feel better.
7. Be honest 💬
Talk things out with your fiancé, bridesmaid, parent, sibling or friend, don’t keep it all bottled up. Even just getting things out in the open and off your chest can feel like a weight’s been lifted. They love you, they’ll take the time to listen, and help if they can.
8. Get some fresh air 🍃
Whether you go on a walk by yourself in silence or with your earphones in, fresh air will do you the world of good!
9. Plan a month in advance 📆
This was a piece of advice I saw on a website over summer. The woman had planned her wedding, imagining it was a month earlier…which meant that even the smaller things (that you might forget about, or stress over at the last minute) like service cards, tealights and bathroom basket were taken care of! This left her and her fiance with a calm and stress free few weeks in the run up to the wedding. I can’t remember where I read it, otherwise I would give credit, but organisation Queen over here loves that idea! I hope it works…
10. It’s YOUR DAY make YOUR DECISIONS 👰🤵
SO many people have said this to me. And thankyou, I salute you, because this has turned into a little mantra. There’s so much drama that can go on with a wedding, from family politics to the table runners being the wrong shade of blue. Whilst you will accommodate certain needs and politely take suggestions into consideration, remember it’s YOUR DAY. This is the first page of a brand new book, and the start of the rest of your lives together. For everyone else there, however close you are – it’s just another (very lovely, hopefully!) day. If you know that there’s a certain detail or two that will stress you out for months in advance, or you’ll hate on the day, just don’t do it, simple!
11. Take a breath, try and find a solution 💪
Whether your brain’s in a muddle over the seating plan for the third hour, the vendor you really wanted to use can’t supply a specific item you had your heart set on, or you can’t have the band/DJ you wanted – it’ll be okay. Naturally, when it’s your wedding, every task becomes personal because you invest so much in it. Every element is just one building block in the tower that is ‘your big day’. And sometimes, something will happen that will shake the tower, or a brick will be removed, and you’ll feel like you’re absolutely powerless to keep it all together. Take a moment, take a breath…find a solution. Work out HOW you’re going to deal with that problem guest, talk to family, source other vendors, get on Pinterest and fall in love with a new decor idea, ask for recommendations from whoever let you down, knowing they’ll recommend similar products/services to their own. I promise, that as soon as you find a solution to the problem, your stress and anxiety will melt away.
12. Acceptance 💖
Nobody can control everything. You can only do what you can and then ride out the rest. Focus time on accepting that what will be, will be, and be disciplined when your mind tries to tell you that you need to control everything. You don’t! Things will fall into place.
If you reached this point, well done and THANKYOU for sticking with it. This is probably the longest post I’ve ever written, and I had no intention of it turning into an essay…but it’s something I felt passionately about sharing. It’s something I’m sure every bride and/or couple will struggle with, and if I can help in any way, it’s worth the rambling!
Something a little different for you today…
Back when I was just dabbling with blogging a couple of years ago, I posted ‘#DancerProbs Part I’ – a post with my first 5 problems that dancers encounter in everyday life. And with so many #dancerprobs out there, it seemed only right to do another post…this may even turn into a little series, you never know! And shout out to Graham Hebron for the images – they’re a couple of years old now, but he wanted a dancer project in his portfolio and I had a studio so… 🙊
6. Choreographing to Every Song On Your Phone
The best time to create is when you’re NOT TRYING to plan something, so often for me that happens when I’m out on a walk. Or driving to work. The latter is much more annoying – has anyone else tried voguing whilst driving on winding country roads? Don’t. 🙈
7. Bad pirouette days
It’s totally a thing. I don’t know why, but it is! Sometimes you just can’t turn well, regardless of the amount of effort you put into your technique , or the amount of times you try to correct/alter what you’re doing. And it can be INFURIATING!
8. Dancing Down Supermarket Aisles
I have to say I haven’t found myself doing it as much recently, perhaps because I’m the sensible one in our relationship and have to keep Ed in check when HE skips down the aisles, salad bag and shower gel swinging in hand. I did it a lot when I was at college though. And often, I wasn’t alone, it was an entire group effort – yes, sometimes we got in people’s way or our trollies accidentally collided – but I’m sure a bit of entertainment by the frozen veg is exactly what the people of Sidcup wanted, right? 😂
Photo Credit: Bob McLennan
One of the few images of Ed and I together on stage in Rock of Ages last year 🤘🏻❤️
9. Waking Up With Mysterious bruises
Again, less common for me now – I teach more therefore I dance less, so any bruises I DO get, I have a pretty good idea where they come from. But back in the day, you’ll wake up to bruises on strange parts of your body with no idea where they came from. The most juicy, recent bruise I had (a few months back now) was on the shoulder…and I wasn’t the only one. Sorry gals. Bring your pillows next time we try shoulder freezes 😂
10. Relaxing Your Smile When You Turn Away From the Audience
It makes me feel bad, but sometimes it’s necessary! If you’ve never tried smiling for a long period of time, try it. It’s painful! On stage, after months of grueling rehearsals the pain in your face can be a good distraction from the pain in your arms or quads or calves perhaps, especially when your cheeks start shaking from being fixed in that position for so long. But that doesn’t mean it’s pleasant! I don’t like dropping character on stage, even if I AM facing the backdrop, but if it’s between that and getting facial twitches (they happen if it’s fixed for too long) mid kick line…
Stay tuned, there’ll be more dancer probs posts to come, as well as some ‘new home’ and wedding planning posts!
Hey guys, welcome back to Life With Lynette! It feels like so long since I last posted, I got so used to posting every two days for Blogmas! Whilst it was fun, it’s been nice not to have to consistently think about the blog, I can’t lie about that! So I’m going back to posting once a week. Or that’s the plan anyway…on top of regular work I have an exam session, dance showcase and wedding to both plan for and do over the next few months, so we’ll see how we go!
Anyway, getting back to it, I thought it’d be fun to a little bit of a Q&A! Thankyou to those who commented on Twitter or Insta, you’re all wonderful 😘 And you lot reading this should go and check them out. So, here we go!
1.What’s the one thing that has always inspired you/inspires you most in life? Tasha at Tasha Lifestyle and Sophie at Sophie’s Choice – my two blogging bezzies asked virtually the same question, what are the chances 😂
I’m a perfectionist, so I suppose the feeling of always wanting to better myself. Whilst training it was about being able to jump higher, turn more precisely, perfect technique as much as I could. Now in work, it’s about trying to produce better material in classes, create more emotional, or fun, or slick show routines, and the aim to please is a big factor I guess. My dad’s always had a gorgeous little saying… “Aim High, Dig Deep and Never Give Up”, and that’s been my mantra for as long as I can remember. It works!
2. If you’ve seen that episode of Friends where Monica has to choose between the dress of her dreams or the band Chandler really wants, what would you do if you were in the same position with your wedding? Hannah at Hannah Mary
Haha I love this! With our wedding only months away, I can feel Monica’s pain – but, I’d go with the band. If I had to choose between a pretty dress (knowing how many gorgeous wedding dresses there are out there) or my future husband’s dream band, he wins hands down 🤵🏻
3. Who’s your favourite blogger and what do you like about them? Lav at Lavrax London
This is really tricky because there’s a few faves I have for different reasons! If we interact regularly, you can put money on me loving your blog, I always read them when you post them (even if I don’t always get chance to like/comment) – but I have to shout out to Sophie’s Choice. I love her content, I love how she writes, and (in both life and blogging) I’m forever proud of her for her commitment and determination, and the journey she’s been on.
4. What kind of blogs do you like to read? Lav at Lavrax London
I dabble, and sometimes if the pictures grab me, it really doesn’t matter what genre it is! I like to read a lot of lifestyle blogs, but recently I’ve got into reading beauty posts too. With our wedding coming up, I’ve been taking more of an interest in skincare and good makeup, and reading blogger’s reviews (bloggers who are of similar age/skin kind to me) is really useful! Much better than a general online or magazine review. My next mission is to find my wedding lipstick, so if you’re reading this and have any recommendations, drop me a comment! 💄
5. What’s your favourite colour combo? Lav at Lavrax London
Our wedding theme – Midnight Blue and Rose Gold 😍
6. Why did you start your blog? Soph at Soph Isobel
It started a couple of years ago when I came back to my home town and started working as a dance tutor. People kept asking if I was going to create a blog – so one day I just got on with it! It was purely dance/teaching based, and I wrote once every few weeks and shared on FB with friends…that’s it. It wasn’t until July of 2018 (after a long period of no posts) that I decided to re-vamp my site, create Twitter and Instagram pages, and start to blog on a bigger scale about ANYTHING that tickled my fancy. I enjoy it so much more, now that I feel I have total freedom with my content. And I’ve met some amazing people through it!
7. What’s your guilty music pleasure? Soph at Soph Isobel
This is hard because I have quite an eclectic taste anyway, especially with this job – so I don’t necessarily feel embarrassed about anything I listen to.
BUT, I suppose I enjoy the Cha Cha Slide more than I should! Probably because it gets played every week in my 18+ and Senior Commercial classes every week for the Cha Cha plank challenge!
8. What’s your favourite post you’ve ever written? Ruby at Ruby Captures
I think it’d have to be my 25 Discoveries post on my birthday! I wrote down 25 things that I’d discovered during my 25th year (lifestyle, beauty, musings, mental health – it was a real mixed bag)! It was fun to create, and was a post I was really happy and confident to share with everyone. And that was a really good feeling 💖
9. How do you grow your blog and other social media platforms? Alisha at Inside the Voyage
I’m not sure I’m necessarily the right person answer this, but I’d say engagement is key. Interacting with people (people who’s content you take an interest in, don’t be one of those people who fakes it just for likes) has helped my traffic, as well as follow/comment trains – they can be really effective tools when you’re trying to reach new/different people.
10. How do you stay motivated with your blog? Taiwo at A Lifestyle Nerd
The biggest motivator is writing about things I want to. Posts feel much more organic when I write about what I want, when I want, rather than pushing it (like I did a couple of years ago when I was just blogging about dance). And I find that by doing that (even if I go through a quiet period), I feel much more inspired to write…and therefore, motivation just keeps ticking over!
Thankyou to you lovely lot for your questions, this was a fun post to write! It’s been a really busy start to the year, and it feels like my attention has been everywhere BUT blogging…but I’m still here, and I’ll be getting back into the swing of regular posts soon. Thankyou to all of you who read or continued to visit my blog (even when I’ve been quiet on social media!), it really means a lot.
Until next time,
🎉 Happy New Year! 🎉
I hope you all had a fabulous evening celebrating! I spent yesterday over in Scarborough watching Ed in Panto, then we had a gorgeous night in with steak & homemade chips and good telly…but enough of that; I have my ‘1 Second a Day’ video to share with you!
So at the beginning of 2018, I saw a few friends sharing ‘1 Second a Day’ videos from 2017 – one second of film or a photo from every day for an entire year. They were so lovely to watch and it seemed like such a nice way to remember the year – so I started my own for 2018!
AND I’M SO GLAD I DID!…
…I had no idea when I started this little project just how special 2018 would be. As well as some amazing opportunities with work, getting SO into blogging, making new friends and generally just learning so much more, it was a year of epic life events! Getting engaged, booking our wedding, and moving into our first house…it was busy, and at times stressful, but ridiculously amazing 💖
It’s been really nice to capture a little segment of every day of my life for the last 12 months, and watching it back has actually felt quite heart warming! I’ve remembered moments and days that would’ve been lost forever, and it’s been so fun! If anyone was wondering about doing one for 2019, I’d highly recommend it!
Anyway, introduction over, here it is!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2019 💖
It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow, so this is my final Blogmas post for 2018! We love a bit of telly over Christmas, so I thought I’d leave you with my fave programmes of the last 12 months. This has been a great year for telly, and there’s been some REALLY outstanding new programmes and story lines, and we’ve gotten into quite a few of them!
I started watching series 1 on catch up when I heard series 3 was starting. And then went back to re-watch it with Ed in tow, KNOWING he’d love it as much as I did. Then we caught up with series 2. Which was BETTER (and how often does that happen?)! Then series 3 happened and trumped both of those! I mean…the story lines are JUST brilliant and it’s so gripping – we binge watched it within an inch of it’s life. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to watch it.
Broadchurch is brilliant. After the first 2 series, I really had no idea how they were going to top it with series 3…but they did. Yet again, awful subject matter, but handled in a tasteful way and turned into insanely gripping telly!
3. The Handmaid’s Tale
If you haven’t seen The Handmaid’s Tale, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! The concept of a totalitarian state in this day and age, with some of the things that happen – it’s actually quite scary. An incredibly compelling watch. Under his eye.
I got into this at the beginning of the year because it had been in my suggestions on Netflix for agessss. I felt it was a little bit of a slow start, but I’m SO glad I stuck with it, because they REALLY just dove into it, and the story line just gets more and more insane! Ed and I started re-watching it at the beginning of November, and aren’t really watching anything else at the minute – we’ve been UTTERLY binge watching it!
Produced by the BBC a few months back, WOW. Rob Stark with a scottish accent, is a British Army war veteran suffering with PTSD, working as a Bodyguard for the Home Secretary. The story is compelling, juicy, and on more than one occasion, Ed had to pause the episode we were watching so we could discuss it/what we thought was going on/going to happen. After a little research, it turns out over 10 million of us tuned in to watch the finale live, and WHAT a finale! An absolute must see!
6. Doctor Who
Thoughts on the new Doc then?! We love her – as well as bringing her own spark, there’s some Tenant elements in there, which is perfect for us! David Tenant is our all time fave Doctor, and isn’t that part of the point of the Doctor anyway? To take on traits of the previous ones? It’s the same character after all! I gave up on Capaldi half way through his time for this reason (or lack of!)… I haven’t been as gripped by the last couple of episodes, but (putting those aside) the story lines have been really quite clever! I think the Rosa Parks episode was a stroke of genius – not only was it written and shot beautifully, but think of all the kids watching and learning. It’s an entertaining series, tech and aliens and planets and spiders (HOW HORRIBLE WAS THAT ONE?!) – but addressing poignant moments from our history, that’s still relevant today…good shout BBC.
7. Midsomer Murders
Ooooo this is an oldie, I couldn’t tell you when it’s on, I’ve just got it set up on series link! (If you couldn’t tell already), I love a good juicy murder mystery. So putting my feet up after work on a Sunday afternoon with a cuppa and inspector Barnaby has just been bliss.
8. How I Met Your Mother
Okay, so I’d watched this at least 3 times on Netflix, and I got Ed into it last year…and we started it again a few months back! It’s just that light hearted telly that you need some nights, that go-to show when you need a laugh. We love it! It’s funnier when you can start comparing characters to yourselves or people you know too… 🙊
9. Game of Thrones
As with above, we’ve watched it from the beginning a few times, and obviously there was the INSANITY of series 7 last year…but with series 8 in sight, we thought we’d start again! Though we got distracted by Grimm so we haven’t watched it in the last couple of months!
10. I’m a Celebrity…
This is when you KNOW it’s getting close to Christmas! I’ve never failed to watch a series, I just bloomin love it!
There we are! My top shows from 2018 – there was a bit of a running theme of murder, death and thrill, wasn’t there 😂 But I just LOVE some juicy telly! Have you got any recommendations? Have I missed anything? Drop it in the comments below!
And that, my friends, is where I leave you for now! Christmas is almost here which means Blogmas has come to an end! Thankyou to all of you who’ve visited my blog and shown support, it really does mean a lot! Sending holiday wishes to you all 😘
Okay, who doesn’t love a ‘cheeky bevvy’ at Christmas 😉 Well, it doesn’t have to be exclusively at Christmas does it, but with more parties and gatherings, it’s a decent excuse! I’m going to share with you my favourite festive drinks – not all alcoholic, but some will make the list!
Is it even Christmas without Baileys?!
Chai Latte from Nero
It doesn’t HAVE to be from Nero, but after shopping around, their’s is the one I prefer. Hot and creamy and filled with winter spices – Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger… It’s soooo yummy!
Tia Maria and Coke
It’s not exclusively Christmassy, but that tends to be the time of year when I have the drink, so now associate it with cosy Christmas nights in. It’s delicious.
M&S Christmas Bottles
Now, I don’t do much shopping in M&S, so I don’t know if these are new this year or if they’re around every winter…but the other month whilst browsing, we saw these! Cute little bottles, whose contents look divine, and all specifically Christmas inspired flavours. We’ve tried the Cherry Brandy, Christmas Cake Liquior, Golden Creme Brulee, and Chocolate Liquior. Whether they’re drunk straight, on the rocks, or mixed into a hot chocolate, they’re really more-ish!
A Festive Costa Hot Chocolate
I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I’ve heard that coffee is better elsewhere. When it comes to festive flavourings however, Costa has my vote, and has done for YEARS. I tried my first Black Forest Hot Chocolate in London when I was training, and I’m SO GLAD that they continue to bring the flavour back each year! Try their other flavours as well, but this is my favourite!
This was Ed’s contribution to the list. When asked why, he said ‘Coz that’s the only time of year all the required ingredients are in the house’… 🙈 After a little laugh to himself, he decided it was because it’s an association drink (like Tia Maria for me!). I’ve never actually had one, so I’m looking forward to adding it to my Christmas traditions list this year!
Whether you’re a big mulled wine fan and can drink multiple glasses of the stuff, or whether 1 cup is enough to satisfy you for the whole of the season – it’s a bit of a necessity. From personal experience, it’s best enjoyed at a market or other Christmas event, steaming hot as you’re wrapped up against the chill ❄️ Though I’ll never say no to a glass 😉
What are your fave festive drinks, did they make the list? Feel free to share them below if you think we’re missing out!
Games have always been a big part of our family, so naturally, they’re a big part of Christmas too. The games changed as Todd and I got older, but now we have a few good go-tos that come out every year! Christmas is different this year for us because #adulting, so a lot’s changed, but these games are traditions now – hopefully we’ll keep a few of them going!
This was our little sibling tradition. We’d have a late lunch whilst watching The Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, then out the Monopoly board would come, along with the Pringles, Baileys and Christmas music channels. Todd always wins, because I let him have Park Lane and Mayfair 🙄 But we always have a laugh, and it was such a lovely tradition for so many years…this’ll be the first year without it!
On most evenings around Christmas, we get out Buzz! We’ve loved Buzz for YEARS, and it wasn’t set as ‘Christmas only’ game, but that’s the only time of year when we’re all together in the same place these days! It’s a quiz show (either Music or General Knowledge, there’s a few discs you can get) with various rounds, of varying length, all controlled with a buzz pad each. You can take it as seriously (or not!) as you want, and I really would recommend it! This’ll give you an idea…
(You can probably skip through the first 45 seconds though)
Get into teams, pick a list of questions, role the lettered dice, start the timer, and fill in the list with words that start with that letter – again, you can take it as seriously (or not!) as you want – though sometimes, taking it less seriously, being more creative (and enjoying a drink or two at the same time) makes it even more fun! I LOVE this game and can’t wait for our fam to introduce it to Ed and Verity this year!
If you don’t know what Headbanz is, WHERE have you been living?! It can be frustrating if you can’t get your card, but if you’ve had a couple of drinks, it doesn’t matter as much 😉 There’s plenty of embarrassing stories attached to this game, but I’ll save them for another time…
Definitely best under the influence of alcohol (that seems to have turned into a bit of a theme doesn’t it? Oops 😜) It’s not a particularly challenging game, it’s got simple rules – get into teams, pick a card, pick one of the songs on it (of varying degrees of difficulty), and start kazooing! If they guess the song, you get the points! As I say, not particularly special, (I don’t think you need a video for this one!) but at 10:30pm on Christmas Day, after a few drinks, with certain family members (DAD) who are rubbish at kazooing, it’s hilarious 😂 It’s the perfect light hearted game if you need some daft-ness in your day!
Our Christmas will be different this year to any other, we’ll have 6 of us for our games evening on Christmas Day rather than just 4 – if you have any fun game recommendations, let me know in the comments below! Not Cards Against Humanity though! Ed and I played it a couple of times recently with friends to see if we could introduce it to my parents at Christmas… NOPE. A big fat NO. Definitely not 😂