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Save The Dates

As you all know! I get married August 2018 and I'm super organised. I'm planning on having everything sorted by the beginning of 2018 so I can have a stress free 6 months.

We're getting married in prime holiday season and during the kids school holidays so I thought I best get my save the dates out early!

However, during the process of ordering my save the dates, I also decided to get a puppy. Minnie. She loved my save the dates so much that she ate the ones we had left to send out!

An excuse to buy more maybe?

I came across these on Ebay and fell in love. They're so different and pretty. I hadn't seen anyone with them before and they were a real bargain (£1.25 each) so I decided to order them.


They arrived within 1 weeks and the seller was lovely. She sent me a proof copy to make sure I was happy with them before they arrived. They came securely packaged with the cards, envelopes, pencils and twine. They took 2 minutes to put together and my guests loved them. Lots of people commented on how unique they were.

I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived as I was expecting them to be quite small but they weren't. They're a decent size and everything is so clear to see. I love them.

I'm really happy with my purchase and it's made me more excited to shop for wedding invitations!

Click here to visit the link for the seller I used. Very reputable, efficient and gorgeous work! She offers many different designs for all of your stationery needs!

Big Day Print

 
 
In case you didn't know... I'm planning a wedding! And have been for a while. The big day is next year and I'm planning obsessed!

One of the things I've been struggling with is finding something different.

I find myself scrolling through Pinterest and Etsy looking for wedding favours, thank you card, invitations etc but everything seem so generic or ridiculously expensive.

I actually gave up on my search and decided to put my creative streak to good use and make my own invitations! I'll be keeping you all updated with the finish product.

If only I found Big Day Print earlier!

I was chatting with Frankie (she and husband Mark own the company) and we were putting the world to rights! We both agreed that there isn't enough choice and we want to have our own personal touch to the day. From the minute we send the invitations until the guests go home on the evening, we want the day to be remembered as different and personal.

Frankie faced the same troubles as me when she and Mark were planning their big day. That's when Big Day Print was born! They worked together on their own wedding stationary and perfected it to their tastes. Their passion grew and they wanted to help other brides like me, to make their day as special and as unique as possible.

Mark is a graphic designer with over 10 years experience so I know I'll be in safe hands when I finally decide what I'm going to purchase from Big Day Print. I've got my eye on the cutest little memory frame which I can personalise with my own letters and words. Something I can showcase on my wedding day and then have in my home for the happy years after.

Over at Big Day Print they cater for everything from weddings, birthdays, signs, business cards, leaflets and christenings. They offer a personal service and no job is too big. Feel free to contact them for a no obligation quote, they're both so lovely and friendly.

I visited their website and was in my element. It's really easy to navigate and everything is laid out in sections. I had a mooch about and felt so at ease knowing someone else had experienced the frustrations of wedding planning and we're able to offer exactly what I was looking for.

The process is so easy too, you simply let Frankie and Mark know what you want and they work their magic! I found their prices to be really fair too considering it's completely bespoke and up to you what you want your stationary to turn out like depending on the look and impression you're trying to achieve. They also offer some amazing price crunching prices if you're looking for more than one thing.



If you're in need of stationary or business supplies then check these guys out! Finally, congratulations to Mark and Frankie and I wish you the best of luck with your new business! I'll be back soon with my stationary wish list.

*I was not compensated for this post however I did receive a discount code in exchange for an honest review of www.bigdayprint.co.uk*

Minnie at 10 weeks old

 
I can't believe we've had our little cutie for 3 weeks now! If you don't now who Minnie is, you can meet her here first.

She has settled in so well!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
The first few nights were a bit daunting for both of us, she cried a lot but by the 3rd night she was fine, she now sleeps all night in her cage in the living room and doesn't wake up until 6am. It's like having a new born baby without the night feeds.

She's had her first vet check up and they were really pleased with her progress. She's a fit and healthy little fluff ball of utter joy and love.

She's met most of the family and loves them.

Another 3 weeks and we can go and explore the world together! I can't wait to take her for nice walks to the beach and through the park. She'll love being outdoors.

She's mastered the command of sit and occasionally gives a paw. She's 80% pad trained for doing her business, this will be a lot easier when she can go outdoors!

She's been bathed and absolutely hated it! She was so scared of the water but loved her hairdryer, she thought it was a game. Her little tail was wagging away and she ended up all nice and clean with a very fluffy blowdry!

She has sooo many toys and loves them all, she's at the chewing stage now so I'm constantly following her around and telling her to stop chewing my walls and wires!

So yeah, she's absolutely perfect and we're loving every minute with her. She brings so much love, laughter and joy to our home and we couldn't be without her.



*Minnie is fed on Walfcol Salmon & Potato dry food as I believe it helps keep her happy and healthy and is great for her little body. Grain free and less likely to cause sensitivity or upset. It also helps to keep her beautiful coat so white and clean*

The Benefits Of Being Grateful

 
Gratitude doesn't mean saying thank you for receiving a luxurious gift or someone doing something for you. Being grateful is much more simple than we often think and so much deeper.

Being grateful can be anything you are thankful for. I recently got sent a Gratitude Journal and I've agreed to take part in #100DaysOfGratitude. Each page has a little quote on, I love reading them! I'm a sucker for a quote.

Some of the things I've been including in my journal are:

My partner being offered a new job, better hours, more money and closer to home.

Having a good day at work and meeting all of my targets.

Minnie being happy and healthy.

Spending time with my family.

My partner helping me clean the house and eventually doing odd jobs I've been waiting for forever!

                      Treating myself to some lovely new candles and wax melts.


                                                                         

So yeah, being grateful doesn't have to be anything huge, I've been journaling 5 things every day I am grateful for. I'm so excited to see the benefits! I'm a big believer in positive vibes and as a sufferer with anxiety, I love trying different (and natural) ways to feel happier within.

''The quality of being thankful is the readiness to show and return kindness''

Being grateful has so many benefits

Emotional benefits:
1. More relaxed
2. Less envious
3. More resilient

Social benefits:
1. More friendships
2. Healthier relationships
3. Kinder

Career benefits:
1. Better management
2. Improved decision making skills
3. Increased productivity

Health benefits:
1. Improved sleep
2. Less sick
3. Increased energy levels

Personality benefits:
1.  Increased self esteem
2. Less materialistic
3. More optimistic

I'm really looking forward to completing my challenge and hopefully reaping the rewards. If you're taking part I'd love to hear from you!

What are you most thankful for today? Let me know below.




How To Budget For A Wedding

Guess what...

It's wedding season time! Now, people get married all 12 months of the year but the ''peak'' time in the wedding world is between May-August.


Many people often worry about the expense of a wedding and assume the word budget equals to pennies. They're wrong. A budget can be as tight or as extravagant as you want but its so important to have one. There are so many ''must have'' ideas when you're trolling the internet for ideas and scanning Pinterest.

My advice is to write a list of every single thing you want/need for your day, of course starting with the most vital and important and then working out the maximum you'd be willing or can afford to spend on each item. If you find things cheaper than originally planning then put that money in a pot and put it towards your honeymoon or use it to buy the things you couldn't quite justify before the budget.

So... You're now wondering how you can save money when planning a wedding? Here at my 10 top tips!

1. Decide on a venue. I opted for a hotel in the city center meaning it's easy for my guests to travel to and I don't need to provide transport. I'm also staying there the night before so no need to hire a wedding car to transport me. Also don't be afraid to ask for a discount. My sister in law got married 3 years ago and said to her venue ''If I pay a deposit today, what can you offer me for free?'' and she ended up getting 10 free places for the wedding meal. Don't be shy, the worse they can say is no.

2. Opt to hire a suit rather than buy one. Chances are the men already have a suit for other occasions and will never wear the wedding suit again so you can easy save money here and go for the option of hiring.

3. Cut down on bridesmaids. Do you really need 15 girls by your side? You can still invite friends to your wedding without giving them a status and you'll save a fortune as well as the stress of trying to keep so many women happy because we all know that's not an easy job!

4. Swap your honeymoon for a minimoon. A honeymoon doesn't have to be 2 weeks in the Bahamas, it can be a nice little getaway in the UK or even a short trip abroad. As long as you're there with your new husband/wife, I don't really think it matters where you go!

5. Reconsider the small things that mount up. Do you really need save the date cards or can you just let everyone know your chosen day by telling them or send your official invites a little earlier than planned. Do you really need lavish wedding favours? The majority of them get left on the tables and people never say ''Oh remember that wedding, the favours were amazing'' so don't be too hard on your self.

6. The latest craze is a sweet table. I've done a bit of research and found it much cheaper to DIY it and buy the jars online and then visit a wholesaler for the sweeties. The kids will be happy and I will save £££. Smiles all round.

7. The dress! Now I'm not saying scrimp on your dress, not at all! It's one of the most important bits of the day! But don't be shy. Shop around, ask for a discount, ask if there is an upcoming sale or visit a store like WED2BE who specialise is on the rack dresses, brand new and gorgeous! You can often save £1000 easily by doing this.

8. Gifts! I see people go way overboard buying gifts for the wedding party. Now don't get me wrong, I will be buying gifts for the people who play a special part in our day but it'll be a small token gist/thank you gesture to show our appreciation. Not a big lavish gift that costs more than a meal at the wedding! People don't expect much so don't go overboard. Be realistic.

9. Photographer.. one of the most important parts of your day and a big chunk out of your budget. My advice is to shop around. Look at people work who have just started out or only have a few years of experience because these are the people who will be offering discounts to build their portfolio and still offer an outstanding service. You could even contact a college and ask to borrow of their students and help them build a portfolio and gain experience.

10. The cake. If you have a guest list of 100 people then do you really need a 4 tier lavish wedding cake? Not at all. Size isn't everything and sometimes less is more.

I hope you found these 10 budget saving tips helpful, I have lots more but I found these have helped me out the most.

I'd love to know if you have any budgeting tips of your own.

10 Things To Remember When Wedding Planning

Unless you've been hiding under a rock or had no social media for the last 18 months then you'll know I'm planning our wedding! The big day is fast approaching, we still have some time left but it's flying by.

I've loved most of the planning but it can get stressful and become very overwhelming. I thought with setting our date and initially having 3 years to plan the whole swaray, it would be plain sailing and stress free. I was wrong! Wedding planning is a bumpy road, it's about learning to overcome them and move on.
 
Here's the 10 things I've realised since our wedding planning began:

1. You can't please everyone and that's okay. It's a wedding, a time to celebrate the marriage and love for each other with your nearest and dearest. It's not a people pleasing party and others opinions shouldn't matter. As long as you and your soon to be husband/wife are happy, nothing else really matters on the day. We can stress over guest lists and overthink the judgement of others but in the end does that really matter? Not at all. If you want pink candy floss draped off the ceiling then have it, if you don't want to provide entertainment then don't. It's your day, one of the rare times all attention will be on you and you have full control of how the day goes. Make the most of it!

2. You'll know when you find THE ONE. I was dreading wedding dress shopping. I knew the style I had in mind but I was worried about going and actually trying them on. Being a plus size bride to be can be very daunting! I've lost 6 stone during our planning, still more to go but my confidence is growing slowly but surely. I tried a couple of dresses on and liked them. I then tried the final dress and I felt sick with excitement and nerves. I was so emotional and didn't want to take it off. I ordered it there and then and paid the deposit. I see so many people posting in wedding groups on social media asking for opinions and sharing pictures of them in wedding dresses. I don't understand why these brides do this, the opinion of a stranger should not matter. If you feel confident, beautiful and comfortable then why torture yourself by asking for feedback online? Go with your gut. If you feel fabulous if layers of ruffles and a 10 layer underskirt then go for it. It's YOUR wedding dress! You only get one shot and wearing it. Hopefully.

3. The minor things don't really matter. I stressed for months over wedding favours and centrepieces. I spent hours on Pinterest looking for ideas and nothing was jumping out at me. I finally realised that none of these minor things actually mattered. Yes they make the tables look pretty and give a book background for photographs but no one will remember what was in the middle of the table. It's the conversations, atmosphere and excitement that makes memories. Not favours and napkins.

4. You will need a budget. I made the mistake of not setting a budget and just paying/buying things when I seen something I liked. Big mistake! I've spent a small fortune and still have a way to go. I'd highly recommend setting a budget, even if you're not limited to a budget, it's good to have some figures in mind otherwise it can get ridiculous and you'll just spend spend spend! Everything wedding related is pricey and the more you look, the more you find! Pinterest is amazing but very dangerous! There's so many ideas you just NEED on your day. Be wise and have a budget!

5. The guest list is about the people you want to share your day with. Not the people you feel like you have to invite. Unfortunately we couldn't have everyone we hoped at the daytime reception due to numbers and seating arrangements and yes some people have taken huge offence at this but at the end of the day they aren't funding our wedding and we certainly won't lose any sleep about not inviting our old next door neighbours who we haven't seen for 7 years.

6. Don't expect people to be interested in your plans. You'll be mega excitement, maybe even slightly obsessed but others won't feel the same. Yes they'll be happy for you and yes they'll ask how the plans are going from time to time but don't expect people to always be asking and don't expect people to be involved. Even bridesmaids! Luckily my bridesmaids/maid of honour is really helpful and supportive but I've cut 2 others who just weren't! You'll definitely start to question your friendships and realise who's important to you and who/what really matters. You'll be surprised who is and isn't there when you need them most.

7. Book in advance! I had my heart set on a florist, I use them all the time! I approached them 2 years before our wedding date only to find our they were already booked! Same happened with my preferred makeup artist. So definitely remember to book the important bit's (especially the church/registrar) well in advance to avoid disappoint. Leave all the small things like suits and invites until closer to the day. You may think you have ages but you really don't. Good suppliers get snapped up quickly.

8. You will change your mind. ALOT! One month you'll love pastel pinks and the next you'll want something vibrant and funky. Don't rush out buying things to match a particular colour scheme or theme because new trends and ideas will always be catching your eye and it can end up a big fat waste of money if you go out on a whim and buy everything pink and later decide you want yellow with blue stripes! Before making any official and final decisions, make sure you're sure!

9. Don't compare your day or plans to others. We have 7 friends getting married in the same year as us. I'm so excited to be attending all of these weddings because I know each and every one of them will be different and personal to each couple. Make your day special to you and don't compare your day to others. Everyone has different tasted and it's not a competition.

10. Stressing about it won't make it easier! Like I've said before, wedding planning is stressful and overwhelming. If you're getting frustrated with your plans simply take a break! Log out of Pinterest, stop searching for pretty venue décor and forget about bridesmaid dresses for a while. Recharge and go back to your plans with a clear head. You'll feel much better for it and you'll be much more productive.

Most of all remember to have fun with it! We spend so much time and effort in the build up and the day is over with no quickly! Remember to relax and take it all in... hopefully we only get to do this once!

If you've got any top tips or helpful hints for planning a wedding, I'd love to hear about them!

20 Throwbacks From The 90's

I was born in 1993 so I'm 100% a child of the noughties. What a good era that was eh!

I was chatting with friends recently and we were discussing throwbacks. It really got me thinking about how much things change.


I'm going to sound really old here! But when I was younger I remember the only meltdown I had was when the streetlights came on and I knew I had to go home. Hide and seek had to end and I couldn't build anymore dens or treehouses until the following day. Now, kids have meltdowns because the Ipad isn't charged or they can't find their ps4 controller!
I thought I'd share my 20 favourite throwbacks to remind myself how great the 90's were!

1. Inflatable chairs and bags. These were a must and you needed one in every colour possible.
2. Nokia 3210/3310. The battery lasted a week and snake kept you entertained for hours. Candy crush didn't have a look in back then.
3. MSN Messenger. You'd of course have your boyfriends name surrounded by hearts of BFF somewhere in your screen name. If you weren't on MSN then you weren't able to communicate with the world!
4. Bebo and Piczo. You'd only give your crush or your current BFF your love, limited to 3 per day. What a struggle that was!
5. The Sims. A very unrealistic way to prepare for adulthood and independence.
6. Zoe Slater and Fred Elliot. Soap opera icons! I say I say.
7. Brookside, Bad Girls, Footballers Wives and Family Affairs. Bring them back!
8. Dance mats. No weekend was complete without at least 3 goes on a dance mat!

9. Jane Norman. This was the shop you needed to shop at, just to keep the bag to use for your PE kit.
10. Nikelodeon. Keenan & Kel, Sister Sister, Two Of A Kind, My Parents Are Aliens and Sabrina The Teenage Witch - must watches of the 90's!
11. Groovy Chick. Everyone loved this purple doll with her flicky bob.
12. Woolworths. What a shop this was! Toys, clothes, sweets, gifts, media. You name it! Wooly's had it.
13. Chocolate bars that didn't make it. Mars Delight, Dream Bars and Flake Snow. The best chocolate bars EVER.
14. Pop groups. The Spicegirls, Backstreet Boys, Atomic Kitten and Busted. You knew every word!
15. Scented gel pens were a must for returning back to school.
16. Jelly shoes. Those bad boys tried to make a comeback but they just weren't the same.
17. Cabbage Patch dolls. The only doll that was ugly but smelt beautiful!
18. ''Talk To The Hand Cos The Face Aint Listening'' was the cool and polite way of saying do one!
19. If you didn't have a Gameboy to play tetris then you lived a sheltered life.
20. Stick on earrings. They lasted for about 45 seconds but you felt like such a chick for the very short time.


I'd love to know if you remember any of these throwbacks! Feel free to share your own below too.