Thank you to Borrow my Doggy for banishing my post wedding blues!

As I sit here on Friday 23rd December bored out of my brain at work I decide to look back on the year, it’s been an epic one!

Obviously I got married, I had 2 hen do’s and the most amazing road trip to Portugal and back with my husband but what else has 2016 done to me?!

Well, one of the most loving, empowering and fun experiences was meeting Jessie, the cute, year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel we met on www.borrowmydoggy.com back in October.

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Simon and Jessie

From the moment she came scurrying into our house we knew it was going to be a long friendship, she settled in straight away and was soon snoozing between us on the sofa.

If you haven’t heard of Borrow My Doggy then you’ve missed out! It’s the perfect idea for dog owners who need help and for people like us who yearn for a dog but just can’t due to time constraints. We help out with Jessie when Jessie’s mum Sarah needs to go out for the day or weekend and in return we get to have the love, affection and adventure only a dog lover will understand.

As a ‘borrower’ it only costs us £9.99 a year. We signed up quickly, making a short video and confirming our identity. If you’re an owner then the cost is slightly more at £44.99 a year but it is so worth it.

Every week you are sent an email listing some of the new doggys in your area that week. That’s how we found Jessie, she popped up on email one dreary afternoon when I was suffering from post wedding blues. I messaged her mum Sarah straight away to say hi and a week later we were chatting in my conservatory to see if we would make a good match.

Since our ‘first date’ we’ve never looked back, we’ve had Jessie for a sleepover, entire days and even just a few hours whilst her mum went off shopping. It means Sarah is relaxed knowing Jessie is safe with company who adore her and Jessie isn’t on her own bored at home. We’ve been for many walks and gone for trips out in the car, she’s met the family and everyone loves her!

That reminds me, I must text Jessie’s mum as I need to pop her Christmas present round.

We are really looking forward to spending some more time with Jessie next year. If you think you could help out someone with a dog or perhaps you need help from time to time, check out the website, it really is a great idea.

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Luxury in Provence

If you didn’t know already, I’ve just got married. Yay! Our venue was Portugal, so, not afraid of an adventure we decided to drive there from the UK. It’s a long way and we took 3 weeks in total to get there, get married and then drive back. We thought it would be a bit cheeky to have a honeymoon on our return home so we are saving that for next year. Instead we decided to incorporate a minimoon into our drive back.

A minimoon to me screams luxury, a short break away to relax after the wedding, somewhere romantic and of course it has to have delicious food options. After a lot of research we decided on Provence in the south of France. Beaumes-de-Venise to be specific.

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To reach this petite town on the edge of the Rhone Valley from Portugal took 2 days of driving. We left our wedding venue at lunchtime on a Saturday (in tears I might add as I was so sad to leave). We drove 460 miles, it took 7 hours give or take with a couple of driver stops to reach an over night stop in Spain. The next day we headed north along the coast to Andorra where we stopped for another night, this was another 7 hour drive but not as far, 400 miles, but it took a while because of the slower, twisty mountain roads. After a night in Andorra la Vella we then took the final leg of the drive to our minimoon destination. This took about 6 hours and was just shy of 300 miles. The journey was so diverse, vast plains, mountain villages, green forests and fields of sunflowers, we took so many photos and gawked in amazement at the sites we experienced. I really feel it is the best way to travel. You see so much at your own pace.

We had surfed the web for weeks trying to find the best, most romantic place to stay within our budget. We decided upon Les Remparts as it looked like a Boutique guest house but with the old world charm we were hoping for in that region of France. We also made sure we booked the best room.

As soon as we arrived we knew we had made the right choice. We were greeted by the French house keeper, a lovely lady who spoke no English. Our school French came back to us extremely quickly and with the added help of Google Translate we managed to communicate quite well. Phew!

Les Remparts is built within the old fortified walls of the village, this 16th century guest house screams French luxury on an extremely affordable scale. Our room was on the 4th floor, 38 steps up to the top is a lot when you are used to living in a bungalow like we are! The door to our room was OLD, it was wooden with the biggest key you have ever seen, we opened it to the most lovely smell as scented candles had been lit prior to our arrival. It was such a lovely touch, one I have never experienced before. It was very welcoming.

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The walls that you can access from your room. Photo borrowed from the guesthouse website.

Our room consisted of a huge bed with modern and comfy bedding that was fitting with the decor in the room. The ceiling was pitched and still had the original beams. We had numerous windows with shutters that gave us uninterrupted views through the old walls out over the Provence landscape. We had a wall and two archways that seperated the sleeping area and the ablution area where we had the most gorgeous free standing bath, his and hers sinks and entry to the most amazing rain shower I have ever used. In a building so old, on the 4th floor I was amazed that the water pressure was as strong as it was. To the opposite side of the shower was the toilet, in a small room with yes, you guessed it, another very old wooden door. We also had a clothes hanging area behind the shower, between the two sinks. The floor throughout the room was stone, as were the walls.

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Our room – photo borrowed from the guesthouse website
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Another picture of our room from the door way. Photo borrowed from the guesthouse website
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Our amazing rain shower

The guesthouse itself has 5 rooms in total, all with great WiFi. Breakfast is served by the housekeeper who greeted us, every morning. We were able to choose the time of breakfast. I’m not sure if that was because we were the only guests – yep, we had the entire guest house to ourselves for 5 days! 9am was the time that worked best for us now we were relaxing for a few days. Each morning we were served with fresh bread, croissants and pastries as well as freshly squeezed orange juice, mueseli and eggs however we wanted them. I had hard boiled. There were also preserves, cheese, ham and fruit too. Although we never did utilise it, I am pretty sure we could have used the kitchen to prepare our own lunches or dinners. There was an American style fridge freezer which we used though.

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The kitchen – photo borrowed from the guesthouse website

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The guesthouse has a communal lounge area where there is a lot of information on local activities, trips and tours. The lounge has large glass doors that open out into a courtyard that has a large seating area, a small pool enclosed within the walls and a hot tub too. To find the hot tub you need to find the spiral staircase to the side of the pool which takes you up to a hidden balcony where you’ll find a small couch and hot tub. You would usually have to book time slots for the hot tub but since we were the only guests we could use it when we wanted.

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The lounge, photo borrowed from the guesthouse website
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The courtyard and pool – photo borrowed from the guesthouse website
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The hot tub area – photo borrowed from the guesthouse website

 

Luckily for us, parking wasn’t an issue during our stay. The guest house has it’s own garage on the opposite side of the street. We parked there, without a problem every night but if the guesthouse was full there would have been a problem as it can only fit 2 cars. I can understand why many French people drive small cars, their villages are tough to get parked in!

Throughout our stay our room was cleaned every day, we only saw the housekeeper at breakfast and we could come and go whenever we pleased as we had a front door key. I would thoroughly recommend Les Remparts to anyone looking for a quiet, romantic break away. It is perfectly situated to explore the wineries, there are so many to choose from, it is also a great base for walkers and cyclists too. I would say it is more suited to adults, and ones that are able to walk up stairs too as there are no ground floor rooms which could be an issue if you have mobility problems. I wouldn’t suggest it as a destination for children, that’s not to say they aren’t welcome, it is just my opinion that it is better suited to adults.

My memories of a romantic minimoon will stay with me forever, I saw the most amazing sunset from our room. We had a tiny window that had a thick wooden frame. There was no curtain or shutter so it looked like a painting in a frame on the wall. The view through this window was breathtaking.

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Sunset Beaumes de Venise style

 

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The picture window

We stayed between 19th and 23rd September 2016. Our room and breakfast for 2 adults cost a total of 1040 euros.

Have you stayed here before? Are you considering staying here? Feel free to ask any questions, or, if you know of any boutique hotels which you can recommend to me in France I would love to hear about them.

 

 

Will we make it there in one piece?

Crikey, the only time in 7 years that it would be convenient for us both to be injury free and it’s just one thing after another. Someone please wrap us in bubble wrap so we can survive the next few weeks!

Injury 1:

Patient: Me
Cause: Stupidity, haste and illogical thinking
Injury: Severe burn to the hand

Wanna see?

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Only I could have been this stupid. I was trying to glue some ribbon on to a banana stand for our wedding. Not to hang actual bananas on, a globe infact, for our rings to sit on. Anyway, this was turning out to be a 2 person job, I should’ve just stopped when that light-bulb moment occurred, but no, I carried on and not having that helpful 3rd hand that I oh so needed I managed to forcefully place my hand in a pile of scorching hot glue. Being home alone at the time I didn’t have anyone to take over the medical situation I was in. I am still not sure if I did the right thing or not, but I just ripped the glue off my hand burning my other hand in the process and removing a load of skin. Ouch! There was blood, swearing and a few tears. Obviously I ran it under the tap immediately but after an SOS phone-call to my mum I realised that the bite soothing cream I had just put on wasn’t going to do it any good (have no idea what I was thinking) so back to the cold tap I went for half an hour. This is what I have looked like for the past couple of weeks – Simon calls it my Keith Lemon hand:

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After 1 week it looked like this:

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Over 2 weeks on and it now looks like this:

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It feels like leather. It has to go though!

After receiving the pep talk from Simon about not taking my eyes off the ball, about slowing down etc etc I did just that. Our first chilled out weekend in months was approaching and we planned to spend the Sunday lying on the loungers in the garden. Sunday morning arrives, I am preparing a healthy brunch following a very late night of friends visiting for a BBQ. Simon mentions he is popping out to the garden to sort some weeds out round the pond. No less than 2 minutes later he stumbles back to tell me he has had an accident. He tells me he has cut his thumb and proceeds to run it under the tap. When I look round I see he is covered in blood! Ouch. Ok, first aid Faye needs to make an appearance now. Off I go to get him a plaster but he calls me back, no too much blood for a plaster. I put my arm around him and ask him if we need to go to hospital for stitches. He says no but then I feel him starting to shake. I grab him a chair and hug him asking him if he feels sick or faint. No he says. Next thing I know he is slumped forward, his head whacking the work top. I can’t see his face but the noises coming from him make me think he is being sick but I soon realise as he starts shaking uncontrollably that he is unconcious. SH*T!!!! I have my arm around him, I am shouting his name and he is slowly falling off the chair towards me. He is over 6ft and there was no way I was going to stop him falling so I had no choice but to cradle him down to the floor to prevent as much injury from hitting the tiles as possible. He was still shaking and making the noises. It seemed like a fit. Luckily he was on his side so if he was choking it was the best position to be in. I couldn’t move him or get any response from him so I called 999. During the call he woke up, he had no idea what had just happened and told me he was fine but I wasn’t going to risk it. Within minutes the paramedic turned up and ran a heap load of tests on him. The bleeding had stopped and Simon was awake and alert. After a clean bill of health we were told he needed to eat and relax and get his thumb glued if it didn’t heal quickly. Blimey! What a nightmare morning. Thankfully I knew he was fine when he started tucking into a family bag of vegetable crisps. It was at that point that the shock hit me and I felt awful for the rest of the day!

This is us that afternoon with matching bandages:

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It has now become a joke with our family and friends that we really do need to be wrapped in bubble wrap. I have banned any sharp objects other than those necessary to eat and prepare food with. I have banned Simon from gardening when home alone and I haven’t used my glue gun in weeks (my banana stand and ribbon project still isn’t finished).

Tuesday night this week and off Simon goes to football. Three and a half hours later I hear him walk through the front door. Before I can even see him I am asking ‘have you survived unscathed?’, ‘not exactly’ is his reply. What now?! As he walks into the room I notice immediately the grazed face and swollen eye. He then proceeds to show me his grazed shoulder, his bleeding elbow, his cut hands, his knee covered in blood, his grazed bum cheek and his scraped leg. WHAT?!!!!!! We are getting married in 3 weeks, this cannot happen. He is now banned from all sports activities until we are back from our wedding trip. He thinks playing in goal for the next few weeks will keep him injury free but I’m not having it. I’ve even tweeted David Seaman to ask him his opinion!!!!! Simon looks terrible and I can’t have him looking like a thug in our wedding photos. I honestly think he is proud of his wounds, he seems so smug, like they’re medals or badges!

All I can ask for from this point forward is luck, I hope we are lucky enough to look injury free on our wedding day. I don’t want bleeding wounds seeping through our wedding outfits, I don’t want black eyes and bandages. I have everything crossed!

Mother and Daughter Day

Sorry that I’ve been a bit quiet lately, I have been so busy but also not feeling well again. I don’t know about you but weeks and weeks of just feeling fatigued and generally rubbish really takes its toll! My doctor insisted on more blood tests which, no surprise, still showed my calcium levels as horribly low. She insisted that I now need to go on the strongest calcium supplements available- but wait…..it turns out I am already on them! GREAT!

When your doctor says ‘I can’t help you anymore’ you feel relief and anxiety but this time I feel excited, strange, yep I know but when you feel awful daily for no obvious reason you just want a fix. So, I am now eagerly awaiting my appointment on 31st August at the Endocrinology department of Bedford Hospital to discuss possible Adrenal Fatigue. I will keep you updated!

Enough with the health talk already….so Saturday I was taken out for a surprise mother and daughter day with my Mum and sister Zoe. I had no idea of the plans other than I would be picked up at 9:45am and be dropped home by 5pm. Well, I woke up so excited and was told not to have breakfast. Ooooeeerrr, either I was being taken for breakfast or a medical procedure was looming and I was to be nil by mouth! Thankfully it was breakfast, phew.

Now, who writes about food but doesn’t include a picture about said food? Me. We visited the White Hart in Ampthill. I had never been for breakfast so was looking forward to it. I ordered the Eggs Funghi (like eggs benedict with mushrooms instead of meat), my Mum went for the Full English and my sister opted for the sweet potato hash. Mum and Zoe’s food arrived and it looked delicious, mine on the other hand was being re-done as the chef wasn’t happy with the poached eggs. Well,  I waited, waited and waited. It was my surprise day out and I was watching Mum and Zoe eat. In the end we had to chase up my breakfast and with much apology it arrived. It was yummy, although I made a bit of a boo boo and forgot to ask for the Hollandaise on the side. Not good when you are dairy intolerant. Oops. Everyone enjoyed their breakfasts, the pub atmosphere was laid back and chilled which is what you want on a Saturday morning. The staff were friendly and happy and they took my breakfast off the bill without us even suggesting it. Plus I bumped into an old friend on the way out which was lovely.

After breakfast I got whisked off to Hitchin for some pampering. Mum had booked us in for a Hot Wax Pedicure each at Pebbles Sanctuary. What’s more, we were all having them done at the same time which was great! Proper girly time. The salon is lovely and friendly. We were asked to choose our nail varnish from a selection in the reception before being collected by our Pedicureist (is that a word? lol). The nail studio is well laid out with 5 comfy chairs raised up on a platform where we sat comfortably with our feet in a sink of warm water below. There was no straining to get your feet in a bowl or up high for nail painting. It was pure relaxation. Take a look

As you can see we had the works! Our feet were scrubbed, filed and exfoliated. Our nails were cut and treated and then we had to dip our feet in bowls of hot wax. It felt hot to start with but after the 3rd dip it felt fine. With our feet covered in wax they were then covered in thin plastic bags before we put our feet in snug electric space looking boots. They were plugged in and they heated up making our feet so warm and toasty. We kept them on for 15 minutes before they were removed and our feet were cleaned off and our nails painted. I went for a bright OPI pink. I can’t stop looking at my feet now, they look so pretty and feel so smooth!

After our pampering Mum then took us on another mystery drive. Neither of us had any idea where we were going but it all became clear as we left Luton towards Harpenden. We were off to Luton Hoo for afternoon tea and cocktails! I was so excited. I drive past Luton Hoo often on my way to and from work and have always wanted to visit.

Afternoon tea didn’t disappoint. I started off with a Raspberry Mojito, mum had a regular Mojito and Zoe enjoyed a strawberry Margarita. We sipped them whilst chatting and people watching. There were 2 weddings being held whilst we were there and so many guests walked on by with beautiful dresses and huge hats. Once our cocktails were finished it was time to enjoy the Afternoon Tea. I had to ask for the nut free option which I enjoyed with a pot of Peppermint Tea. Zoe and Mum enjoyed the standard option, Zoe with a Red Bush Tea and Mum with a Darjeeling. It really was delicious, I couldn’t squeeze any more in.

To finish off the afternoon we had a stroll around the walled garden before heading home relaxed and with full bellies! I am so lucky to have such a great relationship with my Mum and my Sister. My Mum was so lovely to treat us to such a lovely day out. It was a hen do with the 2 most special women in my life. I loved it. Only 3 weeks to go!

STRESSED!!!

Not in a million years did I expect to be this stressed with the planning of our wedding! Stress and hypermobility do not go well together. I have spent the last week dizzy, unsteady, in pain and irritable. I can cope with the dizziness and the pain but its the emotions that I struggle with. I can cry in an instant right now and I have just awful thoughts and feelings about everything. The days are becoming a struggle but I just to have to fight on. Sometimes when I feel like this a urine or blood test at the doctors usually shows I am lacking a vitamin or something at an alarming rate so if it continues I will be booking myself in. They are used to my randomness there!

So, the reason I am so stressed isn’t down to my dress or the venue it’s down to the groom/best man/father of the bride outfits. I thought this would be easy but no no no no! Simon, bless him isn’t interested in fashion in the slightest, yes, he likes to look good but styling is not his thing. The best thing I could think to do was book them in with a personal shopper somewhere to get started. We live and work close to London so Brent Cross shopping centre looked like the best place especially as they have John Lewis and Fenwick. We attempted to book appointments at both but only Fenwick came back to us.  To prepare them for the trip we created a Pinterest board with styles we liked. As our wedding is in Portugal we didn’t want to go with full on suits and have them sweating all day but nor did we want to go super casual with shorts and a t-shirt. The guys still needed to stand out, Simon especially so armed with my dads measurements and with the best man Chad in tow off he went to get sorted.

It turns out that on the day of their appointment there was a 20% event going on in the store, there were models walking around in the latest fashions, a Gin bar and other exciting things going on, they told me there was a real buzz and it was a good day to be there. They loved it as they got to enjoy beers and gin whilst being styled by the lovely Ben Roberts and Andrea. They had already put out a few bits aside for them to try on based on what Simon had explained over the phone. I told them to take photos and send them through to me later on.

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Best man Chad enjoying a beer

Two hours into their appointment I get a call from Simon all excited about the fun they are having. He told me he was sure they had nailed it. Well, what can I say, they sent the pictures through and they were terrible! Think naughty school boy or someone on their way home from the party. Not one picture showed anything suitable. It tipped me over the edge and I told them both they had to start again. Ooops. I think I rained on their parade! See for yourself, this is just some of the pictures they sent me. I ended up speechless with my head in my hands.  Why on earth they couldn’t tuck their shirts in escapes me?!

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Untucked shirt in an out of focus picture! Thanks!

 

Simon blue suit

Simon awful shoes
I hate these shoes! What happened to the blue Brogues we discussed?

After a couple more hours of trying everything on again, this time tucked in it was decided that it was best that I was there with them. So, after 7 hours of shopping, beer drinking and snacks they came home empty handed with the plan that Simon and I would return the next day to try again. Simon was a ruined man as he walked through the door. He looked like he had just run a marathon! I did laugh, never before have I waited up late for him to come home from a hard day of shopping, it is usually the other way round.

The next day arrives and off we go, back to Fenwick. Ben and Andrea greet us and immediately offer us drinks. I sat in the comfiest chair in a beautifully decorated room with my ice cold water with lemon and waited for the fashion show to start. I did feel important! Surprisingly enough the suits he showed me looked completely different to the suits he had sent me photos of even though they were the same. The lighting and photography skills obviously made a huge difference and I am glad I was there as very quickly we found the right outfit. It’s a gorgeous Hardy Amies of Saville Row jacket and trousers. It isn’t lined and heavy like your typical suit which makes it light for the warmer climate in Portugal. It is a cotton blend which means it won’t crease like the linen and chino style trousers they were trying on the day before. The colour was different but it looked amazing on and really was perfect for an outdoor celebration. We teamed this with a Hugo Boss white shirt and a light blue tie. We then decided that my dad and the best man should have the same but in a different colour so we chose them the same suit but in a darker blue. We were all set!

After another 7 hour shopping day for Simon, we went to take my dads suit round to show him. I was so excited. Well the wind was blown out of my sales within 10 minutes of arriving. Forget me (the bride) being the diva, my dad wins the award for biggest wedding diva ever. Before he had even seen the suit he was refusing to wear it. I was so upset and just burst into tears. When he did eventually try on the trousers they didn’t fit and it just made everything worse. I left there disappointed, emotional and stressed. It was back to the drawing board.

Luckily for me I have a very persuasive mum. She suggested starting again and getting bespoke suits made for all 3 of them to match what we wanted. That turned into a no go as that fabric is very unique. In the end she managed to talk my dad round into going to Fenwick to try on the bigger size. Great! Off he went on Saturday with my mum to meet the personal shoppers. They were probably sick of me and my family by now! The bigger trousers fitted and he found a better shirt. The only down side was the jacket in the bigger side didn’t fit either. My mum says they don’t make suits in that range for the more rotund man! Ha ha. We decided then that all was fine, Simon would wear a jacket but my dad and the best man wouldn’t. Easy! Then this week I get a phone call to say that the suit company have sourced the fabric and can in fact make a bespoke suit for my dad. Wow! Jackets are back on for everyone and things are finally moving in the right direction. The best man and groom have their shoes so it is just Simon’s shoes to go which I hope and pray will not be an ordeal like the rest of the outfits!

If I was to give you any advice when leaving the men to sort out their own outfits I would offer these words of wisdom:

  • Make sure all men who are meant to be wearing the same are there
  • Do not accept a mans measurements as true, they aren’t. If he says 36″ then he means 38″
  • Brief them before hand that shirts need to be tucked in!
  • Tell them that if something creases don’t consider it an option, it will look awful in your wedding photos
  • Fitted shirts don’t fit if you’ve got a belly

Sorry if that was a long winded blog, as well as being an information hub I treat it as a diary I guess. People who suffer from hypermobility tend to be emotional characters and sometimes a problem shared really is a problem halved. Just getting it off my chest is good enough medicine. I worry about everything so even though it might not sound like too big an issue it just adds to the pile of my existing worries. So thank you if you got to the end of this post!

 

Shoes – 2 out of 3 DONE!

Good morning! I am happy this morning as I have 2 out of my 3 pairs of wedding shoes sorted for my big day! Does wanting 3 pairs of shoes for one occasion make me a diva? A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes surely?

Many of us with Hypermobility often suffer with problems with our feet. I do, and it is very painful. Specifically I suffer with Plantar Fasciitis. This means that heels are pretty much out of the question and have been for a few years now. I have a huge draw under the spare bed full of heels that I can’t bare to say goodbye to. I live in trainers, sneakers, flip flops and can sometimes get away with a slight cuban style heel. I can’t stand still without shoes on EVER, especially on a hard floor. So if I am preparing food in the kitchen I have to wear something on my feet. Usually my trusty black Birkenstocks as they have a foot bed which moulds to the shape of my foot. I am always on the look out for fashionable sandals or flip flops with a foot bed style sole that are fashionable but I don’t often find them. If you think you suffer with this condition you may find it hurts more when you go to bed, or sit down to rest. It really is painful and I have so much sympathy for you. The thing that really improved my feet issues were insoles. They are amazing and have transformed my life! The lovely people at Shuropody supplied me with these…..

Insoles

They slip discreetly in my shoes and really improve the way my feet sit in my shoes and the impact my feet have on the floor. I cannot recommend them enough. My nearest store is Watford but you can order them online. I’d suggest making the journey to your local store so you can get your feet examined. They’ll recommend the best for your ailment – they have so many options. They suggest you change them every year at a cost of approximately £35 which is far cheaper then getting Orthotics made especially. They are absolutely worth a try.

Anyway, I’ve digressed….back to the wedding. As I can’t wear heels anymore I was struggling to decide what to wear on my big day. My mum really wanted to see me in heels so I compromised. I have a gorgeous pair of heels for the ceremony. Honestly, I haven’t spent much on them as I don’t expect to wear them for long. If I could I would but I refuse to be in pain on my wedding day so I will wear them for as long as feels comfortable. They were £35 from ASOS and I fell in love with them as soon I saw them. So many wedding shoes look frumpy or impossibly high for me to walk in. I still wanted something fashionable and these are perfectly matched to my dress.

The heel is a decent height for me to not stagger down the aisle and I have the security of them actually being attached to my foot with the strap and zip fastening on the back. I am usually a girl that wears leather shoes, you pay more and you get more comfort – especially with my feet but these are great for an hour or so.

So pair two….I need a pair of shoes suitable for photos at the beach, that are still pretty and girly but gave me the comfort my poorly feet crave. Yesterday I embarked on a shopping trip to Cambridge with my mum. I wasn’t on a mission to find shoes but I was browsing around when I came across the perfect pair in Dune. How did this happen? Things are never this easy for me usually! They are white which is what I thought I might struggle to find as a lot of shoes seem to be tan or black these days. They are pretty and what’s more, they sparkle!! What do you think? In my opinion perfect for £60.

Dune Sandals

So now, I just need pair number 3! I need something comfy, secure and cushiony (yes, not a real word I know) and lovely for my delicate feet which will be dancing and mingling all afternoon and evening. Much to my mums horror I am going for Converse! I want to add some bling with a few sparkles here and there and replace the laces with some pretty shear ribbon. I can then wear my insoles and not be hobbling around the next day. I plan to wear them with some pretty socks like we used to wear when we were kids – remember these?

Socks

Not my usual style but I think they’ll be pretty and more to the point comfortable. I’d love to hear about your wedding shoe style. Are you planning on multiple pairs like me?

 

Fast forward 12 months….

Yep, it’s now May 2016 and we are full steam ahead with the wedding planning!

The past year has been great and we’ve made steady developments with the planning. My dress has been made which is absolutely amazing! I expected the task of finding my dress to be an absolute nightmare. I’m not girly, I’m overweight and I am rubbish when it comes to buying new clothes these days. Would you believe I tried on 4 dresses in 1 shop and fell in love with the first one! I nearly had a bout of non medical related syncope – to put that in non medical terms I basically nearly fainted in shock (makes a change)! Not only did I choose my dress I also felt flipping amazing trying them all on. I mentioned I was over weight but I keep forgetting I have lost 37lbs! Thanks to Slimming World I have a figure again. Yes I still have weight I want to lose but even I can say I looked amazing in the dresses. The lovely ladies at Estilo Moda in Milton Keynes made the whole experience a breeze. Thank you ladies.

(Would insert picture here but hey, what if Simon looks, bad luck, you’ll all have to wait!)

So, that’s the dress sorted, my next and last fitting is the end of July.

Our invitations went out super early. I don’t know about you but I wanted to give our guests enough time to think about coming as it’s a big commitment for them. They need to take time off work, pay for travel etc. The longer they had to plan the longer they had to save up and also take advantage of great prices by booking as far in advance as possible. We had so many amazing comments about our invitations including ‘it is the best wedding invitation I’ve ever received!’ I made sure I fed back all comments to the lovely Kirsty who made them for us. Now I won’t lie, the idea wasn’t totally mine, Pinterest helped a lot with ideas. We wanted a travel theme so we ended up going with the design used on my blog (see below for a little reminder). The heart on Portugal was actually a tiny red heart gem which was stuck on the Algarve area of the map.

RGB Wedding Image

This was the front cover mounted on Kraft card-stock (natural brown card). It then opened like a cheque book. We had numerous pages that all got slightly smaller. They had the name of the page written vertically down the left side so they could all be seen when the front page was open….

Invitation page:

Invitation

RSVP page (this was perforated so it could be torn out like a cheque):

RSVP

We then had a page about the destination so guests got an insight into their possible holiday destination!

Portugal Page

Then it was information about accommodation:

Accomodation Page

We had a gifts page:

Gifts Page

Our final page was information about the wedding website we have set up so our guests can log in and keep up to date with the progress of the planning (the password has been scrubbed out as it’s only available to our guests, sorry folks!):

Website Page

This beautiful invitation then got sent to everyone in a matching Kraft paper envelope. They all had matching address labels which got stuck on the far left hand edge so the address appears on the front and the undelivered area appears on the back:

lABEL

We sent out a total of 30 invitations. We knew that my Grandad wouldn’t be able to come but we wanted to send him one as a keepsake, we also did the same for Simon’s Grandma. We expected the majority to not be able to make it which we were fine with but unbelievably we had 20 confirmed as YES! So including us there will be 39 of us on our special day and we cannot wait!