Monday, 3 March 2014

H&M - Alteration service


Hey guys,

Dropped into Central London today for some shopping. Desperately needed to get my shoes for the wedding, as I need it when they will do my dress fitting in a few weeks time (Oh my God, the wedding is approaching fast!).

So I dropped by H&M at Oxford Circus and noticed some signs advertising free alteration of their jeans. Now I don't know about you, but being about 5 feet tall means that most jeans/trousers don't naturally come in my length, so this seemed like an awesome opportunity - and I seized it.

I picked up 3 different pairs, paid and headed up to the 4th floor. It was the easiest and fastest process, I thoroughly recommend it! You try on all pairs and the lady pins them to whatever length you want. Wander around for about 20min or so and tah-dah - jeans in your perfect length!

You can of course do your own alterations yourself at home - which I have always previously done - but this was just so convenient and quick. If you are interested, the service is only available until Thursday and do make sure that you go there between 12-8pm.

Quick tip: make you sure you are definitely happy with the fit before you get them altered - no returns after the alteration.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What makes a happy person?

I love reading posts from They make you think about the world in a way you didn't before. If you have read any of their stuff before, I suggest to have a little visit. The post I just read from over there recently is called "10 things happy people don't care for". It is pretty brilliant so I suggest you go on over there and read it now. Yes, right now.

I normally consider myself a pretty happy, upbeat person - so looking at these I tried to see how many of these I could relate to. Aside from two of them, I pretty much struggle with the rest. In particular fear and the negative state of the world really gets to me.

Number 6, about toxic people - totally worked that one out a few years ago and slowly removed myself from their circles. The difference it made to my life was actually a lot more than I thought it would - so if you haven't done that already, I definitely recommend it.

Number 8 is about doing good for the sake of the joy it will give you and not for what you expect in return. I love that and always only give if I want to and truly do it out of pleasure than out of force - that way I never expect anything in return and also don't get disappointed.

Which ones do you struggle with? Or do you already live your life by these 10 things - and if you do, does it really make you happy?

Thursday, 20 February 2014

This awesome kid is my sister

I am about to share something amazing with you all.

My super talented, gorgeous, artistic and brainy younger sister has entered a talent show for dental students (dental student? - yes I told you she was smart). She created this mash-up/medley herself and also did the arrangement and harmonising herself. The beatbox was self-taught, as in fact was the ukulele and guitar.

Yes, she is super talented. Yes, she is kick-ass at many things. I attribute it to the fact that she often gets excited about new things and when that happens she dives head first into it and doesn't emerge into real life for days or until she has mastered her new interest. So it is easy to be envious, but I know that she spent practicing and teaching herself - so I won't be jealous, but instead be ridiculously proud (and a little jealous....).

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Changes are coming

If you have passed my blog before this moment, you will have noticed that it is looking different. I am changing some things around on my website... background, layout, colours, themes... Not sure what I want it to look like yet, but it didn't feel like me. So, while I try and figure that out I thought it would be better to be left with a clean white/blank blog to use as my blank canvas - So I apologise for this in-between stage.

I have been reading a lot of different blogs lately. My bloglovin' following list is ridiculously long, but I love it. Getting inspired from so many different people and for some many different aspects of life - food, fashion, decorating, diy-ing, fitness, happiness, wedding, motherhood (although I am not one yet), home makeovers...the list is long.

I also began to realise what made me want to follow some blogs more than others. The standout difference is the photos. I love the blogs that accompany their text with gorgeous bright photos taken from beautiful angles and that look effortlessly shot. I still struggle to take good photos, but I shall work on that - any advice?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Plot Twist!

This Saturday was a messy day in the wedding planning process.

We were booked in for an appointment at Town Hall to give notice of our intention to marry. But alas when Boyfriend picked me up from my house 15min before our appointment, he did not recall having had to bring his passport and proof of address. It was then a race to his house, followed by a frantic search for the items required, plus a nausea-inducing drive that finally brought us to the Town Hall 20 minutes late, of course only to be told that we were much to late and the next appointment had already been brought in.

Somewhere in between all that chaos I cried.

From now on I shall just shout "plot twist!" and move on.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Lets talk business | Brenton Hayden

I came across this article on Yahoo this morning when I do my usual browse of interesting news before opening up the work email.

Brenton Hayden retired at the age of 27 after deciding at 21 that life was too short and he needed to free himself up to do whatever he wanted. He built his own business, Renters Warehouse, and used this to plan his retirement. He invested in people that would slowly step up and become the directors and managers of the company, allowing himself to move towards less of a hands-on role and therefore allow the company to function independently of himself.

It is a simple strategy. One that we (in our family business) are working on right now. It is the choosing of the right people combined with the right approach to helping them grow and develop in the business that is the tricky bit. Recruiting people with the right attitude that believe in your business and that you can trust not to pull a fast one/do something dodgy on the side - this is the real skill.

His advice on starting a business? Start off with a SWOT analysis of your idea. Then get your dotcom in order and get incorporated, get your mission statement done, do the legal bit properly and then get going on marketing. His other advice includes being a billionaire in your own mind (even if you're not). It is that confidence that you need to project when you speak to people about your business.

Life is so short and I am already 26, 27 in March. I have so many things I want to do, see, learn, try.... Better get started on my retirement plan.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

No house for us

So yesterday it came down to the negotiations. Except, there were none. We placed an offer on a house which was conditional upon satisfactory survey. Survey was much less than satisfactory. We then called in the experts to assess the areas that were much below the standards of a good standing house. We took all the costs required to amend the broken house and let our solicitor inform the seller.

It appears to have been a resounding 'No' from the sellers side. Their reasoning being that they need the full amount in order to buy their house. Yes, unfortunately we are in a chain. And actually we are quite understanding of the predicament they are in. But none the less, it really doesn't leave us in a position to move forward if they are not willing to come down on the price, because really, the issues of the house are so desperate that they need to be sorted before we even move in.... so there, thank goodness we are not in a desperate situation, although I don't think anyone can ever be so desperate that they would spend huge amounts of money, rather than walking away from a deal they cannot stand behind 100%

So moving onwards and forwards.

Monday, 27 January 2014

An update on the Wedding To Do's

The list below was the original featured in my previous post.

Since it appears I haven't accomplished much, I shall at least add what I have accomplished.

The List:
+ Book church
+ Book reception venue
+ Photographer
+ Videographer
+ Wedding Dress
+ Give notice of intention to marry at the town hall
+ DJ
+ All the stationery
+ Wedding cake
+ Trees
+ Lighting
+ Outdoor game/activities (giant jenga, chess, football table...
+ DIY photo booth
+ Flowers!
+ Hair
+ Old, new, borrowed and blue
+ Honeymoon
+ Wedding night hotel
+ Wedding car
+ Drinks
+ Exercise (shaping up)
+ Wedding rings
+ Bridesmaid dresses
+ Shoes

It doesn't actually look like I have accomplished much. Lets agree that this week I will book the DJ, flowers and trees.

Meanwhile we are having house troubles. It appears the seller isn't interested in negotiating a price drop. But really, how can people expect to sell their house for full price when they have such significant problems in the structure and safety of it?! The outcome of this may come soon.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

There is a man I will soon call my husband

His fuse is short and he is quick to get annoyed. Facial expressions in particular get to him. Sometimes he thinks certain face expressions are expressing disrespect, contempt, even disgust. He loathes feeling as though he has been disrespected.  His initial reaction is to get angered, frustrated and if he isn't given the time to cool off and think things through, then his first reaction is to lash out. He can't think clearly, because his immediate reaction is to be offended.

I know him and understand him. In fact, I am in love with him. This, however, does not mean that I do not get upset or disappointed when I feel that he jumps to conclusions.

I learnt some time ago that it is the intention that matters more than the outcome. The thought that counts. Did someone intend to hurt you or was it a miscommunication/misunderstanding?

I feel that if he trusts and truly believes that I love him (which he should since we are getting married), then he will always know that whatever he assumed I did or whatever conclusion he jumped to, must be incorrect. It frustrates me when he forgets who he is to me and how much he means to me. So I stay calm and wait for him to go through his process, because maybe he just needs that time to remind himself.

Sometimes I am impatient. Sometimes I don't want to wait for him to work through it, but rather see right now that I didn't mean what he thought I meant. For him to know that he must have misunderstood my action and forgotten my intention. So that we can move on and be happy again. This, by the way, never works. Note, he is also stubborn. That may be part of why he needs his process.

Strangely sometimes it makes me smile. Because whilst he is being stubborn and going through his process, I can feel how much I love him. So that even though he is angry and doing his whole not speaking thing, with his angry face on (which by the way is a killer), it makes me smile that I can feel how much I love him even while we are having a quarrel. To know that I love him, while I am angry at him - That's how I know we are the forever kind.

We are incredibly different and we voice this out loud often. All of out interests are different and even our humour is too. Our backgrounds and cultures are far from each other. Yet, the love we have for each other is unbreakable, unquestionable. There is no other man in the world like him. He is the most generous person I know. Generous with love, time, effort, money. If he can do something for you, he will. He is loyal. And he is loving. Oh so loving.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Tradition vs logic | Mother vs husband-to-be

It is almost the end of January and our wedding is the end of May. It is time to start thinking about wedding invitations, in particular because we haven't sent out any Save the Dates.

I have been browsing (aka. frantically scouring) the internet and eventually Etsy for a wedding stationery design. Found some super beautiful ones that I am loving from A La Carte Paperie Studio. I show some of my favourites to my mother for her opinion. It goes well to start. Eventually it turns into a "Shouldn't they be folded because it doesn't look formal if they aren't folded" and "You need to include all the names of the wedding party in the invitation", as well as "No there can't be two best men. It is not called 'best men', it is called 'best man', so there must only be one. No he cannot have both his brother and his best friend".

I started off with explaining that I am not really into folded invites. I think they can come across more like birthday cards or greeting cards. Moving onto saying that I don't think that it is logical to have the whole wedding party listed by names in the invitation, because that is irrelevant at the time of the invitation. A better place to write all the names would be on the Order of Service, when the wedding team will parade in and everyone can follow along with who is who. Well, according to my mother it is tradition to include all the names in the invites. This from the woman who is one half of the parent team who raised me to believe that if traditions do not make sense, then we don't just go along with it  anyway.

And then to the point which had her marching off and had me wondering whether I made the right move. The best man/men discussion. She insisted that we could not list two best men, there should only be one official one and the other would be a groomsmen and that is how it should be listed in the invitation and Order of Service. And besides, the wedding party had to be symmetrical. But why?! It is our wedding and for me it is all about who you care about and who you want with you up there on your wedding day. So I said that it is also his wedding and I cannot tell him that my mother has decided that he can only have one best man on his wedding day. That if he wants to then of course that is his choice.

I always end up with that guilty feeling after though.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Next on the Bridal To Do List

So much to do. I would list in order of importance, but I don't think I can.

Also, I am on a new dilemma, we are getting married in about 4 months. Do I still send Save the Dates or go straight to invitations?

The List:
+ DJ
+ All the stationery
+ Wedding cake
+ Trees
+ Lighting
+ Outdoor game/activities (giant jenga, chess...)
+ Photo booth
+ Flowers!
+ Hair
+ Old, new, borrowed and blue
+ Honeymoon
+ Wedding night hotel
+ Wedding car
+ Drinks
+ Exercise (shaping up)
+ Wedding rings
+ Bridesmaid dresses
.... etc etc....does the list ever end...

Bridal Makeup Lesson with Bobby Brown and First Wedding Dress appointment

So last weekend had the most fun bits of the wedding planning process so far.

On Saturday I had my bridal makeup lesson with Bobby Brown. I decided to have a makeup lesson rather than booking for a trial with a makeup artist because my experience with other people doing my makeup has not been good. Since having a few of those photo shoot sessions where they do your hair and makeup and then take pictures that they later encourage you to buy, I have always dreaded the idea of one of these supposed "makeup artists" doing my makeup. They would always layer it on. It would look completely over done. It would feel heavy and my skin would get irritated to quickly. And I never looked like me when it was done. So when a friend of mine told me that Bobby Brown does these complimentary lesson for all sorts of things, including bridal makeup, I knew I had to try it.

Elys in Wimbledon is my nearest Bobby Brown counter. I went along Saturday morning for my session with some apprehension and anxiety. Makeup makes me anxious and people trying to sell me things I know nothing about makes me more anxious. It should be noted at this time that I do not wear makeup on a daily basis and barely to social occasions. I have simply never learnt how to and I have never felt the need to learn. The best I can do is an almost nude eye shadow (so you can't mess that up) and an occasional eyeliner, but even the eye liner is sometimes too tricky to bare with.

So anyway here I am in Elys and Abbie (the makeup artist) comes over and completely changes my mind about makeup. We go through it all step by step and I explain to her that I am new to makeup. We talk about my skin type and that I prefer something that is natural and light. She explains all the things we used, how to apply it, why we apply it and which brushes to use. I asked a ton of questions and she was so patient. In short, she was amazing. I learnt a whole bunch of stuff about makeup and actually it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to do myself at home (although I have yet to test this theory).

Sunday was my first time going wedding dress shopping. It also turned out to be my last. I think I tried on 5-6 dresses in all. I thought I would be way more indecisive and go through many many more. But it was pretty clear once I put on the wedding dress.

We (My mother, sister and I) went to David's Bridal in Westfields in Stratford. Although they were a whole hour late (and we were pretty grumpy and hungry by then), I met the most wonderful wedding dress consultant, Hyweda. She was upbeat, funny, engaging and really listened to what we liked and disliked about each dress. Every dress she let me try on was always better than the previous - she truly listened. No pushy salesmanship needed. She told me if I thought I might like it, it meant it wasn't the one. She was adamant that I would know the dress when I wore it and saw it in the (huge!) mirrors. And she was absolutely right. She gave us time to be alone and talk it through, to take pictures and do pretend walks down the aisle and picture shoots so that I could fully imagine myself in the dress on W-Day.

Florence, the sweetest person from the alterations, came over and answered all our questions on how it would be shortened to fit me (I am five feet tall) and what would happen if I lost weight (what would happen if I put on weight didn't even factor in as a plausible question). And when I had chosen my wedding dress they let me hold the bell, make a wish, ring the bell and the whole store would know that another bride-to-be found her dress. A little cheesy, maybe, but you are so caught up in it that it is all so much fun. And then of course everyone hugs.

Best Wedding Planning weekend so far. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

I feel so alone

I am on the verge of having my first wedding planning breakdown. I want to cry a little, to let it out and just release. I don't want to be stressed. I want to remember this time as a fun and exciting time when I was planning the wedding. But at this moment right now it doesn't feel like that. I feel so alone. I feel alone in caring about the wedding and in trying to make all the different elements work and in believing that they work.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

It's up in the air

Trying to buy a house. In the middle of organising asbestos surveys and damp and timber surveys on the house...the house that we will hopefully get. Hope that works out. We are still both quite positive about it, even if not all his family still is.

Also desperately looking for a wedding videographer. I so want a wedding film made and I want it to be a good one. I wont compromise on photos and I wont compromise on film. I don't think FiancĂ© gets it. He thinks we can get it cheaper or not have it all, but I know it would be the biggest regret. The two I really wanted were already booked up.

Still want to try and get that bringing the outdoors into the indoors feel. So I am still hunting trees. Please let me have trees.

Business still all up in the air. We are all pulling for it. I had a day with two dentists. Neither was actually fully booked, but they did have about an hour that overlapped. That will grow. It will. It has to.

Also just back from a pretty bad flu. I haven't had the flu in years so when it hit me a few days ago I had completely forgotten what it was like to be unwell to that level. It was terrible. I started forgetting what feeling well felt like....