I promised myself a few months ago that I would fall back in love with reading and if I’m being honest, I’m doing pretty OK at it. I’m even branching out from my usual genre of fantasy or dark and twisty. I actually can’t remember the last fantasy book I read so I’m obviously doingContinue reading
I originally started this series back in September and to put it bluntly, it died a very quick death. However, it’s something I want to bring back as it’s nice to reflect on and to see what we did through out the year.
It’s been a quiet week as it’s been in our first week back at work after 2 weeks off but I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. This week I’ve got my University best friend coming to stay for the weekend, I’ve finally ordered our wedding photos for our album and for some more photos around the house and it’s a full week of work.
Anyway, here are the things that I’ve found I’ve enjoyed this week and loved.
Getting Some Fresh Air at The Wrekin
When I woke up on Sunday, I woke up in a horrible low mood where I was worrying about everything and felt like rubbish. I needed to get some fresh air so we decided to grab Rufus and climb The Wrekin. It’s around a 2 mile uphill climb of 1335ft with a fabulous view across Shropshire when you reach the top. It really helped me feel better getting out of the house and out my brain for a few hours and it really knackered out Rufus.
I did the truly boring and adult thing of switching our joint account to Monzo. Monzo is a digital, mobile based bank and it’s got so many more perks than what our high street bank were offering us. It rounds up all our card transactions and puts the ‘change’ into a pot, it gives us a true reflection of our balance and lets us set budgets so we can manage our money better.
Surviving the First Week of Work
I survived my first week of work after our 2 week Christmas break, which is definitely something to be happy about. Usually, I hate going back to work after some time off, not knowing what you’re going into, but the week was kind to me. It was good to see my work friends and get back into a routine again after the Christmas lull. Lets hope this week is just as kind to me!
Getting into Podcasts
I’ve started listening to podcasts at work – different ones depending on my mood and how I’m feeling. This week, I’ve binged my way through Practical Positivity which is a new podcast from Sophie Cliff. It’s very refreshing listening to it and sets me up for the week. Other podcasts I’ve been listening to are Exciting Emails by Vix Meldrew, mostly focused on blogging. I’ve also dabbled with S Town and Serial, which are worth a listen.
Have a lovely week all! It’s nearly payday and we’re nearly half way through January – we’ve got this!
Don’t we all want to plan our wedding and either come in or are under budget? Well, I’m your girl for being a budget bride yet still having that luxury feel.
We’re nearly 10 months into this married life and I can’t believe we’ll soon be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I feel I didn’t optimise my wedding enough for content and with wanting to tailor what I was going to blog about (a story for another day) – this post seemed perfect.
The biggest thing I learnt about wedding planning was is that I could spend as little or as much as I wanted to on anything. Always wanting to get the best value for money, I scoured the internet most evenings to try and get the best deals. Below are the 9 things where I think you can really save your pennies and keep that wedding budget in check.
Work out whats important
When we started planning for our wedding, the first thing we did was work out what was important to us and what we wanted to spend our cash on. It was a ‘must have’ on our list to have a venue with grounds, that could supply good food and had affordable rooms for our guests. We spent a while thinking about the weddings we had attended in the past few years and picked what we liked and didn’t like about them.
Your wedding day is the one day where you want to feel absolutely amazing. All attention is on you and you want to feel the very best version of yourself. But, it doesn’t have to come in as expensive as you think. My dress was from the known shop, Wed2B, where all dresses come in at less than £600. Though you can read mix experiences of Wed2B, I had a lovely experience there and the girls working couldn’t have done enough for me. It’s even worth going there just to look and try on the variety of different dresses, which is what I did with a friend who got married a few years ago. The wedding industry has even gone to the high street, where you can pick up wedding dresses at ASOS or Dorothy Perkins.
Our wedding venue was no corkage, which was a huge money saver when 2 families really like a drink. Though the venues are harder to find, it’s worth looking into or even paying the corkage fee, as it may come in cheaper. We supplied all our drinks from after the ceremony up until the meal had finished. Sainsburys and Marks and Spencer do some fantastic wine offers around Christmas and Easter time. We picked up our beer for the reception drinks from a majority of supermarkets depending where the offers were. For the Pimms, we went to good old Aldi. It also gives you the chance to have more of a variety of drinks, and pick a wine you like, rather than having what the venue provide.
Use your mates
I will forever be in debt to my friends and family who helped us with our wedding. Two of my closest friends spent many a weekend in our old conservatory as part of our wedding craft club. They painted crates, handpainted our names in a specific font and spent 2 weeks making me a wedding post box. My Mum spend the last 6 weeks before our wedding tentatively caring for our table decoration flowers that’ll be going in their homemade containers. It saved us a crap tonne of money in the long run and it was such a buzz walking around our venue knowing that mostly everything was handmade. We still have so many of the decorations in our house, which we could never have done if we only had flowers.
Also call in those favours. Have a friend who’s good with a camera? Get them to take some snaps. Got a mate who bakes? See if they can help you with the wedding cake.
Later in the day
It was always my intention to have our ceremony mid afternoon to break up the day. Having an earlier service means more people are left waiting around, and can leave people paying for entertainment, and can easily add some more cash onto the end of the bill.
Confession – two tiers of my wedding cake were actually made of polystyrene and were decorated by my Mum. Why? Remember step number one: realise what’s important to you. I really didn’t care about a cake and couldn’t pay three figures for it. So, we faked it.
Hobbycraft sell fake cake tiers from £2. I had 2 friends bake some cupcakes for me, which went down well, and it saved us a lot of money. Plus, who really eats cake at a wedding?
DIY your invites/stationary
All our stationary was completely handmade, and another money saver. After stalking pinterest and YouTube videos, I spent a weekend with my in-laws crafting together the invites I wanted. We went for a pocket design that came in at around £1 an invite, instead of £5 per invite which we were being quotes by different suppliers. I have a full blog post about my process here.
Our Save the Dates came in cheap too, as we used a photograph our wedding photographer took, and did some simple edits. A full blog post on it is here.
Weekday/Off peak date
The most expensive day to get married on is a Saturday, and the most expensive months are July and August. We saved ourselves £5k by getting married on a weekday in March, and we got everything from the venue that we would have had from the August wedding. If you give people enough notice, people will be able to make it. It can also save you some money with suppliers, as they generally tend to be cheaper on a weekday.
Are wedding favours really needed? I’m not so sure. You can either ditch them or not have to go very extravagant. My friends favours were a bargain where you bought sweets from a wholesaler and added them into gorgeous little boxes off ebay. We had charity favours from the Dogs Trust, which were very well received at our wedding.
At the end of October, I spent 4 days in Spain’s Blackpool on sea. We were celebrating my Dad’s birthday with the small itinerary of, ‘have a few drinks and have a laugh’.
I made the concious effort not to bring my camera. It had been a long time since I’d been away where I haven’t had the pressure of blog content or creating sponsored content, or having to do something for an Instagram post or take over. There was an overwhelming feeling of just wanting to be in the moment. I made the decision that if I really needed to take a photo, I’d have my iPhone which was more than good enough.
Long story short, I regret that I didn’t pick up my camera.
We are a few days into 2019 and so far, it’s been pretty quiet in the Taylor household. We started New Year dancing in my parents kitchen, drinking champagne and being surrounded by family and good friends. It was pretty perfect to say the least.
The next few days were spent clearing out the house; taking the Christmas tree down and getting through the list of jobs that has been sat on my desk for a while. Including a bit of DIY and sending some unwanted goods off to charity.
With having a few days before going back to work to really refresh, it felt right to do the old school thing of setting myself some goals. I’m a natural goal setter – I love working towards something.
It doesn’t seem 5 minutes go where I was in my friend’s kitchen drinking an espresso martini welcoming the year 2018. I was happy to see the back of 2017 and welcome what would be a whirlwind of a year. It was the year which saw us get married in front of our closest family and friends, the year I’d welcome travel back into my life and see us buy our first home together. It’s been an expensive, crazy year but I’ve loved every moment of it.
I’m slowly trying to immerse myself back into the blogging world. It’s a heck of a lot easier now that I’m not spending every evening stripping our bedroom of woodchip wallpaper and decorating it to the way we want. It’s been a tiring few weeks but we are slowly getting there with making our house exactly how we want it.
But, on a happier note, we are officially in autumn. My favourite season! I’m very excited to be back into chunky knits, heeled boots and drinking coffee whilst walking the pooch in a thick scarf. We had our chimney swept a few days ago so now we can have our fire on in the living room, which has been lovely over the past few days when the temperature dropped.
So, what’s made me happy this week?
Oh, hi pals. How the bloody how are you?
It’s been a while since I’ve sat down, caught up and wrote down a blog post on what’s going on in my life. I feel like I haven’t done a sit down post in a while.
So, what’s been going on?
Our trip to Rome seems so long ago. It seems like months ago when we were swanning around the cobbled streets, drinking Aperol Spritz and gorging on all the different types of pasta. Oh Rome, how I miss you.
As much as I loved exploring the streets of Rome, I also loved the history. I loved wondering around the streets and seeing all the wonderful sights Rome had to offer. One of our favourite parts of the trip was of course, the Colosseum tour.
The biggest part about our trip to Rome I was excited for was the food. I love Italian food; it’s my absolute go-to comfort, celebratory, happiness, sadness food. It’s the food that makes my soul the happiest. It’s the one culinary food that bought me and my husband together; our love for pasta.
It’s easy to find any restaurant in Rome and be guaranteed a great big bowl of pasta or a pizza full of mozzarella. But, are you going to have the best pizza and pasta? Is it going to completely change your pasta game or were you pretty much better off going for a Two for Tuesday at Dominos?
Do you see my dilemma? I had been dreaming of Rome for so, so long. It had been on my bucket list for years and I needed the food to live up to all the expectations I had created. On our first night, I had a very sub-par pizza which did not hit the spot at all. Blaming it on not finding out hotel very well and being hangry, I put it down to a pants restaurant and poor choices on my behalf. Luckily, the pints of Peroni I was knocking back made up for it.
So, in order to find the best food and try everything I possibly could in the Eternal City, it seemed the best thing to do would be to go on a food tour, and I’m 100% glad that we did.
I’ve finally visited the city that was number 2 on my bucket list and spoiler: it completely hit the spot.
I expected my trip to Rome to see me fall hard and fast in love with the city. With Italy, and with every essence of the Italian culture and way of life. I so desperately wanted this trip to make me feel like everyone else does about Rome. For years, I had been told that I would love it, that husband and I had to go.
By day 2, I was hopelessly in love with everything Rome is.