Monday, 17 October 2011

Knitting, naughty puppies and what to do with my hair!

Keeping Regular? Well I lied. Maybe fornightly to start with?

So after I bought the stitch and bitch book, I finally got some needles and wool at the weekend and have started to knit. Currently it looks a bit like a scarf for Barbie, with a couple of teeny gaps! 

The parents visited this weekend and we had much deserved chilling time. Plus they bring with them the crazy pups, Leo and Maisey (Llahasa Apsos dogs). Leo decided to carry my wool from the sofa right into the garden, whilst I was still hanging on to the needles. Needless to say, the wool has now got a few knots that are a bugger to get out. So tonight after Hip Hop (dance class!) I am going to attempt cutting the wool and then learning how to add the wool in again. Cue reading stitch and bitch and searching for youtube tutorials.

The weekend was somewhat overshadowed by the rugby, the welsh contingent are not happy chappies right now... crossing fingers for 3rd place, just to cheer them up!

Wedding planning: pretty quiet right now. Got a thing for 3ft yellow balloons again thanks to this lovely wedding here:

Hopefully seeing a florist on Saturday too, so can start thinking about what we want.

Oh and 'bridal bob or not' is back in force after seeing this post:

I am thinking bob all the way! (Mainly because I am fed up of growing it)

I was also extremely excited about the launch of - go take a peek!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Keeping Regular

One of the number one rules of blogging is that you blog REGULARLY.

Well surely this is if you are trying to cultivate an audience? And does anyone really expect to cultivate (is this the right term?) straight away?

But anyway, I digress, as I do... I will start to blog on a regular basis. I will book time in to do it and I will post SOMETHING at least once a week!

Yes? Yes I will.

I have also started a bit of a fitness 'regime'. Well not really a regime as such, more a smattering of occassional classes. Last week I attempted Zumba (great fun) and Step Aerobic (sadist teeny tiny instructor). Tonight I am off to a Hip Hop dance class... (dont laugh) and Wednesday is Yogalates.
YAY for new stuff!

Today I also order a book called 'Stitch n Bitch'  beginners guide to knitting. Yes, I am going to start to learn to do something creative.

It is all quiet on the wedding front. 8 Months to go and we are pretty sorted:
Venue booked, Dress purchased, Suits chosen, DJ booked, Photographer done, Honeymoon Cottage chosen.... so next jobs are: Bridemaids (yep I changed my mind again), flowers, stationery... oh thats it really! So taking the foot of the gas for a while to enjoy the run up to Christmas. :)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Honeymoon Decisions

When the whole world is your oyster*, how do you chose where you want to go?

At Christmas, shortly after our engagement, a friend of mine bought be Make the most of your time on earth: 1000 Ultimate Travel Experiences. This book is gorgeous and is filled with amazing sights from all corners of the globe (ok the globe doesn’t have corners, but you get my drift)

Since then Mr C and I have spent many a day looking through this book and trying to form some idea of where we would both like to go for  THE BIG holiday. (ok, no pressure then)

Due to the fact that we have never been outside of Europe (bar an accidental trip to Turkey), making a decision about where we might go has been pretty difficult.

We love a city break, but I also wanted a bit of swimming and sea time, He loves a bit of an adventure, I wanted to go somewhere with a bit of history. 

We eventually decided on Vietnam. 

Halong Bay:
Hoi An:
 via Flickr

And the fact that we get to go to an island called Phu Quoc.  

But the only issue was that we wouldn’t be able to afford to this directly after the wedding. We want to see quite a few things in Vietnam, and with this I can’t imagine there will be too much chilling out time which we will probably need straight after the wedding. So we have decided to go to Vietnam a little later in the year (something else to look forward to).

However, we do want to have a break straight after the wedding, (a mini moon if you will)
We love Cornwall. It is such a gorgeous, relaxing place, whatever the weather.

So, we have booked a beautiful little cottage in Cornwall for a few days after the wedding.
We are going to chill, eat pasties and cream teas, stroll along beautiful Cornish beaches and walk in the stunning countryside, all the while, I will be pretending that I live here:  

check out that view! Photos via Boutique Retreats were we booked this cottage in Mousehole.

*well perhaps not the whole world…. I think there were quite a few places that I would have loved to have gone that were a little beyond the price bracket! J

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Life List...well maybe not LIFE but you know...soon

So Anna (andthering) did an inspiring 30 before 30 , Kirsty (@asafemooring) also has a pretty fab list of wishes, dreams and ambitions. So after reading these, and a few others I realised that I have never done a ‘list’. Partly because I am not really a list person… I just buzz about and see what happens (work, life, everything) but also I guess in some areas of my life, I am just not that decisive..

But after reading a few lists throughout the blogosphere I thought about what it is I want from the next few months, years, decades. It sort of highlights the simple needs but also the fantasy ideas that maybe in reality are more difficult. So some of these things are simple and I just need to go and do them, some of them need a bit more money than we have, some may end up being a bit of fantasy and some just need me to be a bit more ballsy, but here we go:

Cut all of my hair all off and dye it red* note this will probably happen AFTER the wedding
Own a VW Campervan* (on a recent camping trip to Cornwall, Mike and I were pretty jealous of some of the AMAZING vans people have)
Learn to bake the best (or pretty awesome) Victoria sponge
Act. On a Stage. Again* (Just audition for an am dram, god damn it.... oh. fear. its a bastard)
Learn a difficult dance routine
Learn to Jive with Mike
Have a house with a red door and daisy trees outside
Live by the sea
Have a vegetable patch and grow my own
Work for myself, something flexible, something where I get to help people in some way OR make people smile/laugh, something that makes me happy (most days)* (yes this is pretty vague… need to work on that a bit more)
Have a reading corner in my house with a HUGE arm chair that I can get lost in and a tower of books
Get a Springer Spaniel and call him Jacko
Jump out of a plane
Learn to surf
Learn to sew
Volunteer with a local community group, maybe helping people get back to work, maybe helping young people with CVs, application forms, that kind of thing
Read all 100 books from the BBC Big Read list
Learn what to do with a whole piece of meat or fish* (again, back to the fact that my cooking skills aren’t up to much)
Oh and buy a house one day (I guess…)
Get an awesome camera and learn how to use it
Knit a scarf
Get some rollerskates
Own a 1992 Nissan Figaro in Light Blue (shhhh I don’t car if it’s a micra in a pretty coat – I love my micra)
Stop. Smoking. ASAP
Learn and then dance the Argentian Tango in BA
Write a book about being a lazy girl... make people laugh and feel less guilty for not have photoshoot perfect houses, clothes, faces, bellys ETC (because frankly, there is much much more fun in imperfection)

I am sure there a few more things to this that I cannot think about just yet, maybe some more serious ideas, maybe a career plan* (maybe), but I know ultimately the things that make me happy I already have: family, friends and my future husband who makes me laugh everyday, I am lucky to have the confidence to tell people they make me happy and the confidence to believe I make others happy in return, I have both physical and mental well being, a new found ability to budget and save like a mother fxxker and, inherent optimism.

The rest is just extras.

But as they say, reach for the stars and you'll get the moon... and who isnt going to be happy with the moon! ;)

Sunday, 21 August 2011


This weekend all my bridesmaids came to visit and I was reminded just how lucky I am. My 4 bridesmaids (My sister and my 3 best buds) all got on so well, we got drunk, we laughed and I thought all day: Wow, I am a lucky lucky girl.

So heres to my bridesmaids, who ROCK.... I cannot wait to till I see you all again.

oh and dresses.... I thought I wanted floral maxi dressed or little lace dresses but they tried on these navy dresses from coast

via Coast

and they all looked stunning in them... so just got to hold out for a sale ;o)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Boris not liking his job anymore... on the Daily Mash Up

Discovered The Daily Mash Up (might be a bit behind the times)

This article made me laugh :)


Dear Britain

I know its all a bit shit right now. But you know what, we will be ok.

PS I shall be posting something funny from around the web every day for 30 days. No wedding talk *maybe.

Keep Britain Smiling :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

10 Months to go... well nearly

10 Months until Wee Day (can I call it that?, I like that it sounds like D-Day!)

10 months until the wedding and I am in that weird limbo stage again... anyone else suffer from it? (Mainly procrastinators and dreamers no doubt)

Our wedding planning as gone a bit like this:

Engaged: look at ring, read a 1000 different blogs, buy 100 magazines, have a new idea every other minute. (This happened for about 2 months)

Make decisions: looked at a few venues, one was pretty and didn’t smell funny and could offer us a BBQ: booked and deposit paid.

Make another decision: 2 months later, look into photographers, find a few we like, book Tom Smith because we like his pictures and he seems like a very nice man and deposit paid

Found local hotel, with nice big room for me to get ready in: booked

DJ, like his website, booked.

Registrar: went to local council offices, told them we are not related, sorted.

Found dress in February, didn’t want to pay full price, looked at loads of others, bought dress I originally wanted with 70% off.

I have basically got the essentials there: a location, some one to do the ceremony, some one professional to take nice pics, a BBQ, a posh dress, music and somewhere to stay afterwards....

My question is: what else is there to do other than 'fun stuff' (i.e. decorative items?)

If it wasn’t for saving the cash, I would have got married a lot quicker. It would reduce the chance of changing your mind constantly, and also spending many a week thinking 'surely I should be doing some kind of wedding planning?' Because when you have got to get stuff done, you just do it.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Venue Decisions

Before I launch into how and why we chose where to get married, I thought it might be worth adding a little back story.

Mr C and I met in Devon, at University. I am from Wiltshire and the boy is Cardiff born and bred. I moved up to Cardiff (after spending a couple of years apart) 4 years ago. On a weekend break in Bath, he proposed.

When deciding on where we would get married, we first needed to pin it down to a location to look in.

Overseas? Well this was never really an option, I wanted to be able to have as many people there as we could reasonably afford.

Cardiff? It felt like cheating on the West Country

Devon? Surprisingly, didnt find an awful lot of places that floated my boat and if they did they didnt make sense as they weren't anywhere near where we used to live.

Brides Home town? Having not lived there for most of my adult life, it didnt really seem like the place to get married.

So where then?

Well we want it to be not too far from either parents but maybe with some kind of attachment?

So we started to look for venues in Bath, where we had got engaged. Not too far from Cardiff, not too far from home.

Oh my, we could get married in a Cinema!

Oh my, we could get married in the Roman Baths!

Oh my, we could have an Italian Restuarant reception! (if I had less guests, this would have been it - it was so lovely)

And then we sat down and thought about what we wanted:
Some outdoor space, just in case the sunshines
A pretty ceremony space
A BBQ (was always on the top of the list)

So we started to look for what we really really wanted and we found Wick Farm

Wick Farm, Farleigh Hungerford

And I cannot wait to marry Mr C there next June

PS Mr C referred to some of the places we visited as: 'The one that smelt of feet', 'The one that smelt of poo' and 'The one that smelt of semolina'.
Wick Farm was pleasantly odourless.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Real Bride Competition

After entering the real bride competition on Rock My Wedding* I realised how much I enjoyed writing and putting my wedding ideas down on to paper and also designing (a few) mood boards.

So this is partly why I decided to write this blog, so that I could have a place to keep these ideas.

So although I didnt get to become a RMW Real Bride (sad face), I have still got my own little space to jot down my thoughts and ideas and who knows, one day I might actually let people know about this little online diary.

*I am addicted to this site... literally... I think I look at it more than I smoke....

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Get an actual bargain....

Now if you know me... you know that I was very very hesitant about spending (what I consider) to be a lot of money on the wedding dress.

Then I tried on a dress that was completely and utterly out of my budget. (This is a stupid thing to do, but honestly I had no idea about the price differences between dress before hand... no clue...who knew the price difference? Not me)

So did I move and pretend I didnt like this dress? No....I tried this dress on 3 times.
It has been at the back of my mind while I look into other much more reasonable options and with 11 months to go my thinking was that have plenty of time to find something else I like as much or at least like nearly as much but can afford.

But then I found out that this dress that I really liked was in a sample sale so I hotfooted it down to the designers shop this saturday just gone, and I found the dress for over 60% less than it was and only fractionally more than my orginal 'pre-bridal shop discovery' budget.

I love an actual bargain i.e. getting want you want at a price you can (reasonably) afford.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Getting Muddy

So I have been in Glastonbury for 5 days.... and now back to normality which is kind of weird.

On Monday I was scared of traffic....

Yesterday, the telephone at work gave me the heebie-jeebies

Today I am back to (some kind) of normality.

Mr C didn't come with me as (and I quote) 'its too big' for him. So, although I had a fab time, I really missed him.

He picked me up from the bus station and I was so please to see him I had a little cry. *shhhh don't tell anyone,

The festival got me thinking about the wedding and the amazing ideas you can take from a festival and incorporate into the big day

Prior to getting engaged, I really liked the idea of an outdoor ceremony and 'festival' esque theme. A friend of mines' boy wants to have a 3 day Wedfest. And I must admit the idea is amazing.

But bloody expensive... and also (and you do have to ask this in the UK) what happens if it rains?

So although we are getting married is in a barn.... it is on a farm*, in somerset.... and Prince will be playing at ours**

*Wick not Worthy
** live via the DJ ;o)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Being Us….

A lot of people have ideas about their wedding day before they get engaged, and I must admit I had too.

As we had been together for 8 years when we got engaged, certain ideas had already crossed my mind and there has been one area which Mr C and I have discussed probably for about 4/5 years (out of 8 years together).

We talk about it most days.

For me, one of the most important parts of the day (oh after ceremony of course… maybe)… so much so that my dress decisions are being affected by it.

First Dance…..

Now I would quite like to learn some actual 'dance moves' Maybe Rock ‘n’ Roll classes, maybe Rumba, maybe Tango….

He had mentioned previously thay maybe we could go to a dance class
(I took this as YES WE CAN) but now he has changed his mind

And the other VERY IMPORTANT question is:
What will we have has as our first dance? (Also Ceremony Music has recently fallen into this discussion – apparently I am not allowed MJ here either…. Grrr)

Now 90% of the time the songs Mr C mentions are a joke, 10% actual real suggestions. Mr C has a habit of doing this where you have to work out 'what is Sarcasm, what is geniune'... I love this about him... and now I can nearly tell most of the time.... but some of the 10% actual real suggestions sometimes seem like a joke.

We spend hours playing on spotify, pick a song, dance around the room to it and then change our mind.

And I absolutely love this! It is currently my favourite time... sat there together in the evening, drinking wine, singing and dancing to songs that bring back all kinds of memories from the past 8 years.

Despite having quite different music tastes (in general) BUT you having been together for quite a while, there is definately more than ONE song….

And so, the more we play on spotify, the more the list grows, and so I think we may have music covered for most of the day. (yes it is a whole year away, I know, not very important to some this is what staying in does...can't go out to party? do it indoors)

Yet still no budging on the dance class or MJ for entrance/music.....

(NB. We met whilst doing a Theatre and Performance degree… just in case you weren’t sure)


My ‘nickname’ came about after a friend made me a birthday card and replaced GaGas head with mine… plus what with my surname starting with Har…it just stuck.

Mr C makes up new nicknames for us, oh probably about once a week… at one point we were Sergeant Elbows and Agent Side-hawk (still for the life of me, I have no idea why).

Last Sunday whilst sat in bed, he turns to me and says ‘your new nickname is Grinder’, he then prompted me…. So I called him Laurence Llewellyn Bowen … or LLB for short….

This week we are Burner and Gooch

God only knows what names he’ll come up with next week.

So of course conversations have arisen whereby we both change our names to something ridiculous before we get married, but not tell anyone until the ceremony… and then the registrar will have to be all solemn and serious and read:
‘do you Lady HarHar take Sergeant Elbows’

And then I would be Mrs Lady HarHar Elbows.... erm too much?? Maybe

Which leads me on to the real issue at heart.... What is my name going to be this time next year? I am yet to make a firm decision on whether I take his name, keep mine or make a double barrelled option. He doesnt want to take mine and have a double-barrelled name...he thinks it sounds too posh (he may have a point), but there is no expectation from HIM to take his name (expectation from others though, of course)...

But still, I will miss being miss lady harhar