Wednesday, 17 February 2016

On a break

Ive been putting off doing this since before Christmas. And one day I did try but I was so rubbish that I just ran away again.
Our beloved Cleo cat went to sleep for the final time in December. I know it was peaceful because I held her and felt her slowly slip away. She knew only love in her final moments and hours and days and ever.

I am still finding things very difficult and just sitting here and writing especially so as there are other things going on.

Hoping to be back when I feel happy to share

J x

Monday, 19 October 2015

 The Honeymoon

It seems like such a long time ago, but its not actually over yet, more of that later..

We had organised the timing of the wedding to fit around D's working times and he had been very lucky to be able to book a chunk of time off in August. We have, for the last several years gone to Amsterdam for the August bank-holiday weekend (in the UK) as there is a great (for us) arts festival on at this time. It is all free and there's some really wonderful and weird stuff going on. 

So, we decided that we wanted to get married on the saturday before our 'usual' Amsterdam weekend. We have been so many times now that we have been lucky to find a lovely apartment in a great location and when we got there this time the owners of the apartment had even bought us this..
Anyway, that was the second part of the honeymoon..for the first part D's brother and his mum had for our wedding present rented us a classic car for a couple of days (an Etype Jag, and a beautiful thing it was too)..I'm not really interested in cars but even I could appreciate this one..and they had also booked us a night in a lovely country house in Yorkshire..want to see some photos?

This is the gable end of the hotel, the gardens were beautiful and we had a lovely sunny and dry time there so we sat and had a picnic we had taken on the first day just enjoying our surroundings. The first floor window you can see was our bathroom window, you cant see the bedroom one but its to the right of the bathroom.

I have also added pictures of our room, it is likely to be the most luxurious hotel room we ever stay in and I would really recommend the hotel!

Amazing room

More amazingness

Really wish I'd moved that charger lead now! Strawberries and Champagne..mmm

  It was a lovely relaxing couple of days and will always be a fantastic memory for will the second part of the honeymoon which was our stay in Amsterdam. 

  As we have been many times I suggested that we try and do some different things than just our normal 'stuff'. I did a little research before we went and came up with visiting a Jenever bar-the equivilent of Dutch gin..except this place has hundreds of different types 

it might look like a bit of a dodgy e-mail link but believe me its not! These are two of the drinks we tried, D had an old jenever and I had a raspberry one. I can't say that I liked D's but mine was amazing, as were the two that the bar man made for us next. The drinks are served in a tulip shaped glass and filled to the very top, so full that you cannot lift it and you have to bend over a take a sip also known as 'bowing to the barman!'

Not sure who Deryck is...
We also went to a lovely rooftop bar on the top of a big department store right across from the royal palace and sat enjoying the sun. 
We went on the ferry across to the old harbour and generally relaxed and recovered from the stress of the last few days. 

So that was that..we had jokingly called our honeymoon(s) our mini and we were hoping to get to New York again next year..however, things have taken a bit of a different turn and D is going to Wisconsin at the beginning of November for a couple of, we decided to see what we could afford and arrange and we are going to New York next week and then onto Wisconsin...for our maxi-moon!


Friday, 2 October 2015

Final wedding 'bits'

I cant believe it was only or indeed was as long ago as a month..five weeks..

In my defence, I have been absent (again) as I have had a horrible virus that D then got straight after and we have both been wiped I'll try and do the final bits of wedding stuff and get it out of the way.

We had a really fabulous day, I had got up to the Registry Office last time, with our choice of readings and music.

Following the ceremony, we came back to our home and had food, drinks, champagne, cakes etc with our family and friends. This was exactly what we wanted..the whole idea of a big party, with a disco and all that goes along with it would simply not have been us. So, instead people came here and we had a room with 'normal' food-what I mean by that is the normal buffet type food you would expect. (we had this provided by caterers who were here when we got back from the ceremony). It was great to not have to worry about it. We also had the wedding cake positioned in this room. D's cousin made it for us, I know I have talked about this before but she did a truly amazing job-bringing the various parts up to the house and assembling it all the afternoon before-even needing step ladders to put the last tier on!

She would probably want me to tell you that the cake was intentionally wobbly! Rather than a traditional bride and groom topper we had an Alice in wonderland themed 'Eat Me' topper to go with all the other Alice themed things like 'Drink Me' labels on the champagne and beers, a dormouse in a teacup, a 'mad' chandelier made of teacups and a flamingo, a mad hatter hat with 'in this style 10/6', bunting made from playing cards..ooh and some large white pom-pom 'roses'..some which were partially painted red.

In the next room-where we had music (our own playlist of songs that mean something to us, or just that we really like) we also had another cake, and I'm really upset I didnt take a picture of this one. It was three tiers of cheese decorated with figs and grapes.

In the next room, we had a sweet bar-again no picture, what was I thinking!! About a dozen jars and bowls with a variety of veggie sweets-I decided to forgo a colour theme as there were a lot of veggies attending the wedding-my husband (!) included.

Outside we had a small gazebo with bottled, canned and home brew  beers again, no picture. 
We had great weather-even though thunder had been predicted, it was beautifully sunny all day until about 9.30pm when there was an almighty thunder storm and the beer tent/gazebo had to be abandoned until the next morning when we found it wedged inbetween various walls!

All in all it was a great day, and pretty much exactly as we wanted..if I could have changed anything I would have made it longer!
And here's one of our favourites from the big day..

Next time..the honeymoon..!

Friday, 4 September 2015

What a day...

The last time I posted it was all about how stressed I was..and I have to say it only got worse! But, it was so worth it. We had the most amazing day, it was honestly exactly what we had hoped for. I had decided to just accept whatever weather there was on the day. The day before my weather app was telling me there'd be thunderstorms at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. We were getting married at 2.15pm so I was convinced it would be dramatic at the very least. I couldn't sleep the night before and got up at 5am the rain was pounding down in the dark..and again I just thought we'd be getting married in the rain but that the important thing was the service, not the weather going in and out. Well, there was no rain, no thunder..until 9.30 that evening! It was a beautiful day weather-wise and it just added to the day. We had friends and family around us, there were tears at the ceremony-not just ours! We were complimented on our music choices: as it was in a register office we weren't allowed anything religious or with religious wording-this didn't affect our choices as we aren't religious but it did mean D decided to be abit pedantic at a previous appointment and ask could we have 'God only knows' by the Beach Boys? He was told that the Registrar would have to think about it. We never found out! 

Our choices were: 
For my daughter and I walking in 'At Last' by Etta James-raised a laugh and a few tears.
For signing the register: Perfect Day by Lou Reed- the original album track.
For us walking out as bride and groom: Couldnt Love You More by John Martyn. 

We also had a reading by D's cousin. She did a great job and again we were asked about it afterwards, where had we found it, who was it by etc. Luckily she had brought several copies and was able to give them to people who asked. We are not overly comfortable in expressing ourselves in public way and this reading seemed to fit us and our feelings:

Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. 
It is loyalty through good and bad times. 
It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. 
It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. 
If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack.
If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.
by Laura Hendricks

Thats enough emotion for me for one day...see you soon x

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Wedding cake..and other stresses

So, one of the first things we looked at when we set the date was what were we going to do about a cake. They are horrendously expensive and to be honest I don't like fruit cake and D's not THAT keen so early on we decided we would be having a sponge. We then thought about buying a few tiers (three maybe) and doing something fancy with it in terms of decorations and toppers. Then, I saw it, the naked cake. If you have no idea what that is, have a look at this..naked wedding cake

Anyway, fast forward a few weeks and a lovely cousin of D said she would be happy to make us a cake-within some boundaries. We have done a test run, she made three tiers in an afternoon and they tasted amazing! However what I haven't mentioned is that by this time we had gone totally mad and bought some tins to make a'wobbly' cake.
At this point we felt it was only fair that we went for the easier 'cover it in buttercream' option. That was until I was looking at the photos I took of the cake a few days later. I realised all the edges were really sharp..and thought how great it would be to have a 'wobbly' naked cake. The compromise has been that I will still make the huge amount of icing flowers to decorate it incase the cake doesnt come out of the tins as well as the first time. So, thats what I'm up to alot of the time now..I have four colours of icing flowers and have made the first colour (pale blue) and started on the second colour (purple). This is a small section of the blues, not a great picture (they're in a tupperware tub with rice on the bottom and a tatty piece of greased-proof paper at the under them) but you get the idea. I am finding though that making something that you are hoping wont be used is a bit of a bummer..and makes it even more boring than normal...

Right I can hear the icing calling me..

Be well x

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Two weeks today...

...will be our wedding day!

We only set the date in January so it was done fairly quickly in comparison with some, it worked well for us as I hate things being dragged out.
I had totally intended that I would use this blog as a way of documenting the lead up to our 'big day' but actually I have kind of retreated. Retreated into a haze of pinterest and pukka pads (or the WHS version). I have loved my pad, I have used each section for a different 'bit' of the wedding and it has worked really well-I am normally very unorganised so this has helped a huge amount. I made a section for guests, a section for food (and drink) and a section for stationery- where I included discount codes. We used a site called Zazzle and found the quality and delivery to be great.

These are the save the dates we sent, and a theme began to emerge.
We also used the same website for our invites and again were thrilled with the results. (I'm only saying this from presonal experience and have not received anything to promote them)

We originally said we wanted to do things in a way reminiscent of days gone by where everything was home made or done in a way that wasnt frivolous (or spending for the sake of spending). We have also been extremely lucky in that some family members have stepped up with offers of things such as doing us a playlist for when we come home for the reception, making the cake, making cupcakes and painting us a back drop for our 'photo booth area'. However, we did stick to what some would call a tighter budget, including having the reception back at our house. We have tried to stick to a budget of around £2,000 with the occasional bigger spend on the way, and also were able to buy things each week so that we wouldnt have as much to get all in one go.

As we are having a 'small' wedding we decided we would splash out a little and get caterers to do the food and also have 'silly extras' such as a photo booth - not an actual one but an area with a backdrop and props. These are the things we have gradually stocked up on, hats, scarves, things on get the idea.

We also didnt particularly like the idea of getting favours for the guests-with 40 ish guests it could easily have added £100 to the budget for something that would be difficult to get that would suit everyone. We decided to do a sweet bar. Many people follow a colour theme with these, again we decided to be abit less focussed on this with the only condition being it would have to be all veggie. We will have several veggie guests so it will be good for them not to have to worry. We had a couple of containers, not many so I was permanently on the look out and got a selection with things like sundae dishes and jars from various places including Wilkinsons and these from Ikea

I hope that hasnt been too boring and hopefully I will be back to waffle about the likes of dresses, suits and cat outfits!

Be well x

Thursday, 18 June 2015

quick helloooo

hi..its been too long, no really it has...
I have no excuse other than life and the fact I've been really feeling a bit down & a bit overcome...with life, and weddings..and stuff..

So I'll just quickly pop in and tell you something highly amusing (to us). Last night we had what is known in the UK as a 'chippy tea'. It had been a long day with lots of stress and not much actually being achieved. The main stress was that all of this involved a certain wedding dress. I will probably blog about this later, so onto the main event.

We got home from manchester and D offered said 'chippy tea', I asked for a potato pie, chips and gravy...mmm gravy, a thing the north was built on. He brings it back and I open it up and it was a meat pie...'aah well, I'll just eat the pastry and throw away the dense ball of 'meat in the middle' I thought.
The tray was on the table, with aforementioned tennis ball sized chunk of 'meat' in it, suddenly Slinky Malinky, the most cosmopolitan of cats (one of his particular favourites is mushroom curry) jumps up, sniffs and steals the was almost as big as his rugby ball shaped head!. He jumped off the table, landed near Cleo, she dared to look at him so he growled-shockingly as we have had him over 10 years and he has never before growled, and then, even more shockingly he hissed at her before running away with his prize! He ate the whole of the inner pie with no help from anyone else-I had thought maybe I should chop it up-like you would for a toddler but actually after the growl/hiss incident I wasn't getting near to that bad boy!
So, thats it, my beautiful furry baby has turned into a northerner...