Mums Twelve Days of Christmas.

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Sorry. I completely abandoned you all! It’s been a busy couple of weeks here!

I thought I’d get a post in before C day. Everyone knows the way the song goes, five golden rings and a load of maids milking. Well this version is a shout out to all you mums out there that are losing your marbles right about now.

Twelve days of is it Christmas yet?!

No, it’s not.

 We haven’t just skipped half of December. Why do children lose their inability to count when it comes to counting down the days to exciting things?! I know you can count, so I’m not sure why you are insisting on asking every day if its been twelve sleeps yet.. It’s been one. One night (or half a nights sleep in my case), you haven’t hibernated, time hasn’t suddenly skipped. You don’t need to ask me every five damn minutes.. I mean heck I’m hardly even a reliable source, I can just about remember what day it is without all the stresses of Christmas!

Eleven days of Planning.

I spend half the Christmas period planning all the things I’m definitely going to do and then not doing them. I mean I come up with some pretty cool ideas.. it’s just a shame I’m running round like a headless chicken to do any of them.. or my darling one year old has kept me up all night. I mean we’ve done the salt dough decoration and P had adorned the Christmas tree with some interesting toilet roll tube decorations.. but I seriously had a list as long as my arm. I’ve not made gingerbread people or went and seen the cool house with all Christmas lights or even wrapped all the presents in the elaborate way I as going too.. and I’m probably going to do the exact same next year… sigh.

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Ten days of Calling Santa.

I’m sorry… I try not to use the whole naughty list thing but when you’re five year old forgets it’s meant to be the season of goodwill it’s an easy fall. I’ve probably rang him a billion times and she forgets that me and Santa are pals within half a second and goes back to being the ‘boss’.. Sometimes even I think she’s the boss 😐

Nine days of Shopping.

Christmas time in town with two children is what nightmares are made off. I always plan (you’ve just read how well that usually goes, so I think you know where this is going..) to do things early and every year I say I’m gonna get my shit together. Well this was my most unorganised year to date! About two weeks ago I had pretty much nothing for the girls. So as you can imagine it really has been nine days of shopping. Nine days of trying to sneakily but your kids present with the right next to you.. ‘Oh this? No it’s not for you!! Its for cousin Bills friends, aunties, daughter’ ..

Eight days of Motivation.

I don’t know about you guys but I seem to have a cleaning spurt just before Christmas. I think its because we get lots of visitors so I like the place to be spick and span! I’ve re decorated two rooms and re-arranged my living room. I have no idea why I add more work in for myself, I hate cleaning all year round then the busiest time I’m like a maid.. Well for a couple a days anyway.

Seven days of Eating.

Who’s with me?! I mean its Christmas week now right? That’s what I tell myself when I polish off another block of cheese and a pack of crackers. Christmas isn’t just one day anymore. Its definitely an entire week. A week of cheese, pate, biscuits, chocolate and all the other things that are going to make me not fit into my wedding dress! Ah fudge.

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Six days of over Excitement.

Ok guys there’s six days left! Six… Remember we practised our counting? That’s almost a whole weel.. Mummy’s still trying not to think about it and pretend it isn’t approaching at a rapid speed. No you don’t need to listen out for Santa. No he wont come early. I have no idea what list you’re on. Please stop jumping around the furniture, you’re not flying. As much as you think you are, you aren’t Rudolph just because you have a cold and a red nose..

Five days of Wrapping.

and not the Honey G kind.. (thank god!). If your kids are anything like mine and pretty nocturnal wrapping takes a few days! That’s a few days of losing the scissors, serotype and your shit. I hate (and I mean hate) cutting the wrong size paper.. This year I’ve used parcel paper so no handy cutting guide to get its right with this year! It annoys me so much sometimes I just patch up the holey twat and tell myself  they’re kids, they aren’t going to appreciate my technical and inspiring wrapping.. plus I usually run out of wrapping paper..

Four days of Forgetfulness.

Yep. You know those days where you sit and think of what you’ve bought whilst feeling super boasty about being one hundred percent sorted and ready? To then write down a list of what you have versus what you need and fuck.. You’ve forgotten so much that you’re concerned for your short term memory! You start remember relatives that you see once a year or your child adds something else to his/her Christmas list that they’ve never mentioned before but is their apparent favourite! I forget everything, so does G which isn’t helpful! My new years resolution is to be more organised!

Three days of Dashing.

Ok its the final sprint. The last minute dash to the shops to get whatever else you need. I mean your life depends on if you have that cranberry sauce. Is it an apocalypse? Are the shops ever going to open again? I’m sure people ask these questions as they clear the fridges out of milk and the baby isles are left like a western shoot out. It’s like every year the country goes wild because one day or of all three hundred and sixty five the shops close their doors.. Calm down, don’t bash me with your trolley. I promise I’m not going to steal the last pack of pampers.

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Two days of OMG!

This is it. The big day is tomorrow and its going to be amazing. I love my kids. I love my family, its going to be nothing short of fab! Hah.. P’s going to be so excited that she blows her lid all day at the smallest of things. Her impatient character comes out in full force and the wait is all too much! I has no idea what is going on and just wants to cuddle me and feed (yep, still breastfeeding the toddler!)  because she’s completely unsociable. A part from that we are planning (LOL, I’m at it again.) on doing crafts and using my zero building skills to make a gingerbread house that will probably end in tears (my tears because I’m a control freak and I’m going to have to let P use her artistic side to decorate the thing, if it stands up anyway!)

First day of Relax..

For the first time since I was seventeen ( I’m almost twenty three now!) and moved out, I’m going home for Christmas! I’m actually really looking forward to not rushing around making the dinner ( sorry mum..) and just enjoying the day! Surrounded by family, playing charades enjoying each others company. The only thing I hope will go to plan this year. It’s the time to look around and realise that the swede you forgot, doesn’t matter, The stuffing that didn’t go to plan or the trifle which your face ended up in (yep, this happened to me one year..) doesn’t matter. What matters is who you’re with and just taking that time to appreciate what others aren’t lucky enough to have.

So Merry Christmas!

Laugh, eat, get drunk and stay happy.

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Sprinkling Magic.

So I’ve touched upon my job a few times before but haven’t posted about it properly yet. This isn’t entirely about my job (promise I’ll do one soon!) but I thought this time of year was perfect to share this.

What Christmas should be all about has been lost over the years, under the mound of presents and the last minute rush to get auntie Mildred’s favourite cheese before she pops over to tell you you’re parenting wrong.

On Wednesday life was put into perspective. A slap in the face and a reminder about how lucky I truly am. How lucky I am to have two healthy girls and a healthy family. On Wednesday I visited a Children’s hospital.

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Well Ariel did anyway..

Myself and the two wonderful girls (if you’re reading this; which you better be, look how nice I’m being 😉 )  I work with dressed up in our Princess attire and went off to spread a little bit of magic. We were so lucky to be allowed to visit all of the Children’s wards in the hospital and spend time with the children. Watching there faces light up as we walked in as Ariel, Cinderella and Belle receiving a beautiful drawing each from one little girl, battling things that I can’t even imagine. She was a sweetie. Kind and bubbly and so happy to see us, greeting us with cuddles and conversation as we read her a princess story book. Some weren’t as lucky and could just about muster up a little smile or a wave. A little baby managed to reach out and touch my hand before snuggling back into his mum. Belles dress impressed, as did Cinderella’s sparkling smile.

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It was such a rewarding morning. One I’m not sure I’ll forget anytime soon. I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived. I was nervous, yet excited to help them forget their troubles even for a second. I’m a pretty emotional person when it comes to children but in the end my worries were forgotten because it was just so nice seeing them and doing something good.

Hopefully we will do some similar things soon and me and Cinders have a pretty extreme fundraiser to plan soon! I’ll be sure to keep you all posted! You can also check us out on the Bee Imaginative Facebook page.

So please everyone hug your little ones that little bit tighter, never forget how lucky you truly are and always remember that Christmas is for family.

Making Christmas.

Shit. Its December! I’m one hundred percent unsure about how that happened. I’m still wondering how two thousand and six was ten years ago. Life really does pass by so quickly, too quickly in fact. I can’t be the only one who hasn’t saved the hundreds I was meant too, hasn’t bought that bloody Elf like I say I’m going to every year and who definitely didn’t rush out to buy an advent calendar for P this morning… oops.

So I thought instead of a gift guide filled with things that you had to be an organised ‘proper’ grown up to afford I’d treat you all to some fab homemade present ideas I’ve found. I’ll even be trying some out myself before Christmas, so I’ll be sure to let you know how they go!

For the women in your life.

eat me..

Who doesn’t like something sweet and homemade on Christmas day?! I’ve found a super easy festive fudge recipe that you don’t have to be Nigella to make! Gingerbread Fudge!

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All you need is..

¾ cup sweetened condensed milk

12oz white chocolate, chopped (or chips)

2-3 tsp ginger, sifted

½-1 tsp cinnamon, sifted

½-1 tsp nutmeg, sifted.

Follow this link for the full recipe from this fabulous blog. They’re are hundreds of quick and easy fudge recipes out there so look around if this isn’t your cup of tea.

Next up –

drink me…

A little Christmas tipple? The only time alcohol is acceptable for breakfast right? (I’m kidding.. kind of. )  I’m definitely trying out this beauty. Christmas Gin! Cranberry infused to be precise!

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The recipe is actually from the Tescos website and can be found here. Once again its really easy to make but will definitely be more appreciated than that peach jumper in the wrong size you panic bought last year..

You will need..

200g (7oz) cranberries (which are in season at the moment so extra nice!)

1 orange

200g (7oz) caster sugar

500ml (17fl oz) gin

And the best thing about the Tesco website is you can click one button and all the ingredients you need go into your basket.

I’d present the finished product in a nice airtight bottle with a little label like this, which you can find in Ikea or similar. They’re a litre in volume which I think is a nice size to be enjoyed throughout the festive period. However it would make a lovely present in mini bottles also. The recipe itself states filling two 500ml bottles.

Last but not least –
Use me..

So now some pampering! The Christmas season can really take its toll! Rushing around getting all you need (then rushing back around getting all the things you forgot!) and doing the dreaded Christmas food shop! So why not make you’re loved ones something to truly make them feel special! Help them heal those worn out feet with a Peppermint Foot Soak! My mum and my mother in law are always on the go so I’m sure they’ll appreciate this one!

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It’s a really clear and easy recipe to follow and I adore how the finished product has been presented!

What to buy ..

1/2 cup powdered milk

1/2 cup epsom salt

2 tbsp loose peppermint tea

10 drops peppermint essential oil

Everything you need to know to make this is here! A long with some other fabulous ideas.

On to the men.

I find men really hard to buy for. They’re a tricky species and mine never really gives me ideas on what he’d actually like, so I hope this helps!

eat me..

Now this is something a little unusual but oh my it sounds good! I know G would be pretty excited to see this under the tree (although he’d much prefer it already sorted out and on a chunk of brie..)

Drum roll please….. Bacon Jam!! Americans have the best ideas don’t they?

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I can’t believe I’m just hearing about this! I mean put on crackers, bruschetta, cheese?! The possibilities are endless (you could say I was excited about this discovery..).

Here’s what you need ..

2 pounds bacon, raw, chopped

2 teaspoons butter

2 large yellow onions, diced

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons olive oil

Its a bit longer than the other ideas but I think it will be worth it! Find the recipe here and I really hope you enjoy this one!

It’s that time again –

drink me…

I’m undecided on this one.. I think it will be a love or hate thing. I’m not a rum drinker so probably wont be giving this one a go, so I really would love to hear from people who do! I’ve chosen it because its sounds festive and again a little unusual. Christmas Pudding Rum!

Our recipe for Christmas pudding spiced rum is great as a gift or for lighting the Christmas pudding itself! Prepare the rum at least two weeks before you plan to use it.:

Although the drink me options aren’t the cheapest I think they’ll be something special to give and be enjoyed. Presented the same as the gin these really would make lovely gifts!

To start you need –

70cl bottle dark rum (or bourbon)

2 vanilla pods

2 large cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

3 whole cloves

75g light brown muscovado sugar

1 orange

The recipe for this is actually another supermarket! This time its Waitrose follow this link and get busy!

To finish –

use me..

I’ve definitely stuck to the theme of being different for the men! Something they wouldn’t think of but will love! How about something to make they daily shave a bit more enjoyable? Something to make them smell better, for their benefit only of course. Something like Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream!

Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream | 22 Homemade Christmas Gifts Men Will Actually Love | Cool And Creative DIY Gifts by Pioneer Settler at http://pioneersettler.com/22-homemade-christmas-gifts-men-will-actually-love/:

Looks good right? You could use the handy jars Ikea do to present these in (pick them up whilst you’re buying the bottles for you drink me gifts 😉 )

Ok so what do you need –

1/3 cup shea butter
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup jojoba or sweet almond oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
3-5 drops peppermint essential oil

and then you need to pop a long to here for the how to! Be sure to check out the other ideas on the page! Its a fab read!

So there you have it. Three ideas for the men and for the women in your life! I hope I’ve inspired you to be creative this year and be sure to keep a look out for my posts about the ones I’m trying out! Oh and if any of my family and friends are reading this I just need lots and lots of drink me’s.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, a day of… Muay Thai?!

No rest for the wicked as they say!

Sundays are always busy in this house! I’m either working, seeing family or watching P do her class. Sometimes I even join the circus and somehow juggle that into one day.

As most of you know we home school which means keeping P social is really important to us, especially as she is a social kid anyway! So a few months ago we signed her up to Muay Thai (Thai boxing). The man child of the family already trained MMA at the same gym and she seem interested so we went for it.

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I couldn’t be happier with how she’s doing! She goes to Banbury Martial Arts Centre and honestly loves it.  It keeps her active and she’s made some good friends! She adores her coach (and even raided her piggy bank to buy him a coffee today) and he’s fab at keeping her motivated and in check! She’s a bit ummm spirted sometimes 😐 but he takes it all in his stride!

The gym is like a big family, they really do look after each other! They have all welcomed both G and P with open arms (even if there’s boxing gloves attached to the end). I can hand on heart say I’ve never seen a gym like it. G is an unsociable arse most of time and I literally had to force him to go and see what they were all about  as he’s the sort of person  that just moans and says he wants to do something but never does; I call him a tomorrow person. However he’s never looked back since joining up and I even get to watch Hollyoaks, Made in Chelsea and other things he pretends to hate without having to explain to him what’s going on all the way through, whilst he’s there.

So that’s how we spent our day today! Muay Thai is a big part of us keeping P social and active and another example of natural socialisation and why home school kids aren’t hermits that never leave their shells.

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G said I had to add a photo of the ‘boys’. So here they are!

Check out the gym and give them a like here! Oh and if you’re local you know where you should be sending your offspring!

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To playdough or not to playdough.

I know. It’s fucking messy, they mix the colours and it always ends up somewhere it shouldn’t but its actually really easy and fun to make especially when its scented like Christmas and not that awful smell the stuff from the shop has (I mean seriously, vom.)

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So here’s my quick guide to making the stuff your kids love and you hate. The measurements are in cups because I find it easier for children this way.

You Will Need.

Two cups of plain flour.

One cup of salt.

Five table spoons of cinnamon.

One cup of water.

Two table spoons of oil.

Food colouring (up to you)

First things first you have to mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then you mix the water and oil (and food colouring if you’d like to) together in a jug. We home ed so we spoke a bit about the water and oil separating and P decided it was now a witches potion. Once the  oil and water is mixed up pour them into the bowl of dry ingredients. This bit is a bit messy! Now its time to get your hands in and knead it all together (if you used food colouring, gloves might be a good idea!). Keep kneading until its well, like playdough.. If it’s too sticky add some more flour, too dry add some more water!

TADAH!

You’re done. I told you it was easy! You now have playdough that smells like Christmas  but is still equally as annoying. It needs to be stored in the fridge in a zip lock bag to keep it from going hard. It’s also safe if your small tries to take a sneaky nibble (why do the do that?!?), although I’m sure it doesn’t taste good.

What we did with ours?

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We did mark making! Which sounds pretty dull but actually kept both the one year old and five year old entertained for ages! We grabbed a load of things from around the house and P had to guess how many different marks they would make. It ended up being a bit of a free for all and I is not a natural sharer but it was still good fun! I think the masher was the most popular and the best idea, until dinner time where I actually needed it and it was covered in playdough.

P.s I’m so fucking happy I have my laptop back oh and I made this.

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It’s a bunny. I know, I know it’s THE best playdough bunny you’ve ever seen!

Where for art thou laptop..

I love my kids, I love my kids, I love my kids.

Sorry just having to have that on repeat due to the fact my little huns have broke the laptop wrestling (LITERALLY) over it, hence why I haven’t posted!

My phones awful and can’t cope with all the use. I should have it back in the next few days and then I’ll be back to my happy blogging place!

Ps. Can you put children on Ebay?

Lest we forget.

Now a serious post isn’t going to be a common thing on this blog, however I wanted to do a quick post to show what me and P have been up to today to show our respect and to teach P all about Remembrance Sunday.

We had already bought our poppies on Friday so first off today we logged into twinkl (as always) and we watched some power points on what today was all about. We learnt about what veterans were and who it was today was remembering. P asked a bit about why they were fighting. I didn’t go into it massively but briefly explained that people don’t always get a long. I don’t want to scare her, just educate.

Next we made a wreath! P loved it! We worked together (including G) to make a beautiful paper poppy wreath. We’re lucky enough to have a beautiful memorial statue in a local park in our town so were best to visit.

We made our way to the park and I spoke to P about being respectful. We wanted her to know that today was a lot more personal for people who had lost loved ones in the war. We got there and saw the poppy wreaths surrounding the memorial and some things people had left on the outside. We picked a spot and hung out wreath on the railings.

You see today is about the bigger picture. What people did for their country and for in reality complete strangers. I wanted P to understand what people did and to be grateful. Sometimes she can lose here head a little and get greedy and ungrateful like any five year old who wants everything she can see in the shop, so today was an important lesson for her. An important lesson to everyone. Be grateful for what people have done and sympathise with the families that have been broken.

Lest we forget.

It’s OK.

Silence.

Yep. It’s so quiet. Both girls are at a sleepover for the second week in a row and are going again next week. So I’m sitting here telling myself it’s ok whilst I write this welcome distraction.

Most people who know me, know that I hate being away from P & I, as annoying as they can be they make me who I am. I’m sat here not knowing what to do this myself, even washing up without I attached to my leg is weird. Then it hit me.. Who the fuck am I?

I have no idea who I even am anymore to the point that I’m forcing myself to just sit here and not to just take the five-minute walk to my mums to get the girls, but they’re fine. They’re making cakes. It’s ok.

That’s what I keep telling myself anyway! So sitting here eating my cornflakes, watching my guilty pleasure; Ex on the beach, in my pyjamas, it dawned on me.

I’m just a mum and it’s ok.

Like honestly it is. I’m still me but that me is a mum and I love it! I couldn’t imagine being anyone else. Not having little gremlins to run around with all morning isn’t my idea of fun. I love spending time with G and last night (DATE NIGHT) was amazing but I’d love to have woken up to my smalls. I don’t do being alone. I mean sometimes you do need a break, but I’m happy with a few hours! P loves staying out. She’s outgoing and confident but little I isn’t so keen. She’d much rather come home at night and so would I.

So the whole point of this drawn out post; apart from distracting me, is to say that it’s ok mums! You’re still you. It’s ok to not know what to do when they’re not here. It’s ok to just enjoy them being around.

It’s Ok. I promise.

We Made Brownies.

So this last week and a half we’ve been getting into the flow of home schooling! We’ve been printing, making, planning and stressing. Stressing that I wouldn’t be good enough, she’d fall behind, we’d drive each other completely fucking insane but we haven’t we’re both still alive, we actually still like each other and both still enthusiastic about this new venture!

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The Basics?

So home schooling isn’t like you’d imagine. It was incredibly easy to start doing literally one letter to the head teacher de-registering her and everyone is entitled to do so! The school was surprisingly supportive! They even sent me a letter wishing us all the best. I’ve already learnt that everyone does is differently. Some people unschool; where you learn through life and don’t do lessons. Others follow the curriculum, have tutors and full proper lessons. Either is perfectly fine and either is ‘allowed’. Oh and some wing it.. I would say we were winging it… definitely. We kind of have a plan but we wont stress out if life takes over for a while.

What?

At the moment P has asked to learn about the Antarctica, which is cool! We’re learning  a lot together, however we did stumble across a video of a seal mating with a penguin.. (yes apparently that does happen and I’m telling you now the penguin really wasn’t fucking happy about it). Mummy what’s that seal doing?! Urmmm. th2dhdwyux

Today?

Well today we did some handwriting practise and made brownies. Yep that’s it. We were both feeling like a chilled out day and that’s allowed!

Phoebe read the recipe and measured out what we needed. She used maths and literacy skills just by making them. She also learnt cooking skills, about being safe in the kitchen and even washed up afterwards! Life skills are just as important, especially when it involves not having to wash up myself.. I mean she actually enjoyed it and I’ll be reminding her how much she loves washing up when she’s a stroppy teenager.

OH!! and she also learnt the huge importance of licking the spoon… However I think she was clued up about that any way 😉

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Resources.

Our favourite resources at the moment are twinkl which is fab for all the worksheets that we use! We’ve signed up to premium and it was so worth it!

I also love the Facebook group I’ve joined. Home schooling UK. Everyone is so friendly and answers all my stupid questions. They also have really good ideas to help with the projects P wants to do. I asked if anyone had any ideas about studying the Antarctic and next thing you know they flood the post with loads of cool shit, including an arctic webcam!

Finally.

Just thought I’d add the brownies were delicious. I mean that’s according to the overgrown arsehole Honey who broke into the dining room and helped herself to them, All of them. She didn’t get the memo that dogs can’t have chocolate. She’s a dick. Here’s a guilty Honey face to finish. DSC02826.JPG

Wedfest.

15th July 2017- My wedding.

Shit. That’s not that far away.

We’re not having a traditional wedding AT ALL! More like a festival. We’ve rented a big field where everyone can get drunk, listen to some live bands and camp over. Perfect ay?! Well lets hope!

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I’m going to keep updating this post with all the details, worries and stresses so keep a look out.

The Food.

No three course meal here. We’ve found an awesome friend of a friend who is cooking us all some amazing Mexican food! Tacos, burritos, nachos, homemade guacamole !! We tasted it all last week and oh my fucking god. It was delicious! BEAN DIP! I forgot the bean dip oh my god, yum. Im one hundred percent going to get it all down my dress but I feel like it’ll be worth it. I mean my dress is amazing but I can’t turn down a messy burrito. What’s for desert?! Well! We’re having a table full of yummy shit. We’re having a naked wedding cake, sweet shop sweets, brownies and everything else I need to stop eating so I can actually get into my fucking dress. We’ve also hired an amazing bar! Its all in the back of a retro van. They even make a shot that tastes like a cherry bakewell. Lifes complete. Click here to check out The Bar!.

Its ivory and pretty.

I can’t really say much about my dress.. I feel like G is stalking my blog and will see. So yeah its pretty.

Tattoo, on your wedding day?!

Yep. We are heading straight from the ceremoney to the tattoo shop to get some matching tats. We’ve both got quite a lot already! I’ve even got my knees done (ouch. shit. fuck) they’re roses and look pretty sick. You can wait till the big day to see what we’re getting!

Our Little Yellow Escort.

Ok. So I LOVE this car. We’re lucky enough to own the most beautiful yellow mk1 escort! She’s so bright and pretty (and the reason I NEED yellow jimmy choos to match). I’ll be going to the ceremony in her then we’ll be driving ourselves to the reception ( and the tattoo shop!)

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The Little Details.

So invites are the bain of my life. Lets make them ourselves I said.. They are looking pretty cool but we’ve got so many to make I’m going to go fucking insane. We’re saving a fortune though (positive thinking and all that).

I’ll leave it here but its not the end! Nope, soooo much more to do!

Help.