sh*t you didn’t think you needed for your wedding!

sh*t you didn’t think you needed for your wedding!

Now, i’m sure i’m about to offend the people who’s sole income that they put food on the table is to specialize in these jobs so for that I am super sorry but JESUS CHRIST I didn’t understand how much was involved with planning a wedding and paying for everything.

INVITES

“Couldnt we just text them? Babe I really don’t think the boys are going to care about a fancy bit of paper”

“JUST PICK A FUCKING WEIGHT AND TEXTURE OF PAPER OR YOU WON’T SEE ME NAKED FOR A LONG TIME”

Now obviously invites were a given but you have to consider save the date cards, the information card, the RSVP, the envelope, invite pockets.. there is so many! A simple  invite can go from 75 pence per invite to £5.75 very quickly. Multiply that by 100 and you’re talking some real cheddar. we bought save the dates at a bargain price of £17 and I went to buy the stamps for them and they were £40!

My advice? shop around! Look for a good price and always take in consideration the price of postage. Also even though you have 4 guests (2 adults + 2 children) they all live in one house so that is 1 invite! 

FAVOURS

I went to a wedding and they didn’t even have them. Did I care? no. Did I love that my wine glass was constantly filled? hell yeah! Moral? put your money where you want it.

I’ve been to tons of weddings the amount of money that gets spend on little chocolates in organza bags or little seashells which always get left behind! I see tons of companies advertising favours for as little as £2.99 each but my god multiply by 100 and again its another huge bill.

For my wedding I *am* having favours and we are giving all the adults a shot each and all the children personalised drink bottles for squash. 1 to save parents buying tons of bloody fruit shoots and 2 it’s a nice little keepsake for them that I know they’ll appreciate. My friend did this and it was a hit!

CHAIR COVERS

In the words of Anna WIllatt (@sixpence_bridal) “FUCK CHAIR COVERS”

It’s as if venues work closely with chair cover companies by having ugly chairs so that you HAVE to have white covers and sashes on them to make them look better. Now £2.50 per chair doesn’t sound to bad does it? All together now MULTIPLY IT.

Personally i’m getting in chiavari chairs and it was honestly one of the key selling points for me. Each to their own but spending extra of frilly shit on the back of my chair was not top of my priority list.

WEDDING CEREMONY 

Again, the whole event is TO GET MARRIED DUH but to get a registrar out and for all the legal bits (bands being read etc) its costing us just out of £900 because of the date. One Saturday I got a phone call whilst I was at one of Delilahs school friends party so I nipped out to take it and it was the registrar from my local council. When she told me the cost my mouth dropped to the floor.

When looking for venues consider;

  1. If they even hold wedding ceremonies and if not find your local church/registry hall
  2. If the can hold a legal marriage. My friend is getting married in a barn and having a “wedding” in front of friends and family then separately going to the registry office. This means they can personalise it and make it as special as possible!
  3. The cost of the ceremony and what it includes. We got quoted the church for £400 but then there was extras for example to have the heating on would cost an additional £50, for having music played down the aisle was another £20, £100 for choir. I’m not even joking i was ridiculous.
  4. Check if you can add speakerss, singers, personal vows etc as some venues don’t allow it. It might be the special additions that you feel passionately about that they wont allow.
  5.  If it’s exactly what you want. Dont settle for a ceremony at a church because that’s what great granny Dorris says you HAVE to have. If you want something more intimate/personal do it your way! My brother and sister in law got married at the registry office with just the best man and bridesmaid then they came to the venue after and everyone celebrated then. It worked out pretty amazing I thought! In my brother in laws words “everyone just wants the fun bit!”.

CONFETTI 

I can’t even believe this has made the list but my GOODNESS is it when you look into it. Pre wedding i’d of said a couple of quid maybe a tenner max HAHAHA roll on confetti shopping and I’m reading an email from a company who had quoted me £156.50 for 90 people. That’s without cones or bags for them. Just the teeny paper shapes that get thrown on the floor. FFS.

I bought 4 packs of tissue paper (99p from Card Factory), pinstripe candy bags (99p for 100 on ebay) and 100 personalised stickers (£4.50 from Etsy). I cut it all into squares but if I wanted to push the boat out and get a heart, butterfly etc hole punch I could of done but we wasn’t fussed. We mainly wanted rainbow confetti for the photographs. Total cost? £9.45, time took? 3 hours (whilst watching netflix with coffee and cake), money saved? £147.05! JOB DONE.

OUTFITS

Not essential but if you’re having a bridal shower, hen do, night before wedding dinner etc you wanna look good especially as the bride! There are so many online boutiques with cheap dress and discount codes the options are endless! Always search for a discount code, borrow a mates student ID/uni days or if not ask for one!

VAT

That cheeky three lettered middle finger.

Don’t forget to ask EVERY vendor. It always crops up and it’s a ball ache by racking up the price.

THANK YOUS

It is really important to send thank you notes to everyone came and their gifts. I do it for my daughters parties so I should 100% do it for my wedding. We have friends coming from New York for goodness sake they deserve thanking alone for the 10 hour flight! But also the special people like your parents who footed the bill (thanks again ma and pa) and the bridesmaid who held your dress up to pee!

MEALS ON THE DAY

We are having a late wedding so there is still breakfast and lunch to make sure we cover too. Make up and hair are arriving from 7:30 so it’s all GO GO GO until then. I will probably get breakfast early from our hotel and maybe bring a few picnic bits in the room for everyone to graze on (and soak up the pinotpinot cans!).

With all this spending make sure you enjoy it!

xoxo- Fifi

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The NHS let me down

The NHS let me down

I’m writing this blog post because I have been asked a lot about it before so I wanted to tell my story properly and get it out. I would like to clarify that I am great lover of the NHS and everything it does for us however in my time of need they let me down.

I was 18 when I fell pregnant with Delilah, not practical or a great time but still a blessing, I had no idea what I needed to do or what the process was so I did the only logical thing I could think of.. I booked a doctors appointment. I sat down very timidly as I forced back the tears. I was still in college, living at home and barely even paid my phone bill on time let alone take care of a baby. I hadn’t actually decided what I was going to do but before I had a chance to even think about it BAM the fill in GP slapped leaflets to the local abortion clinic down on the table before I could even think or work out what the process was. She told me to book in with the midwife at 8 weeks but I didn’t because I was too frightened so I just left it until I had an appointment with my regular doctor to follow up a recent PCOS issue where he questioned whether I might be pregnant, a routine question, and said that yes I might be. I was 14 weeks and I left it because I was to afraid of being bullied again by the people who were supposed to be ensuring my health was a priority.

It didn’t stop there. I went to the NHS maternity classes where unfortunately Pat couldn’t come with me because he was working so I was in a room filled with middle aged, middle classed married couples who all wanted the same thing. I felt like the black sheep. I relayed this back to my midwife who told me also how this had happened with two other younger mums to be and they just got up midway through.

I went to view the maternity unit and again Pat was working to save up all the money we could for the baby. I was singled out yet again because I was on my own there was subtle digs about how “women could do it on their own”, “don’t worry we’ve had young mums here before”. Why was it necessary? Did they say to older mums to be “ohh we’ve had geriatric mothers before!”.

Throughout my pregnancy I being only 5ft 2 and 18 was smaller than the average child baring mother. Time after time I was constantly reminded about “how inappropriate it was for my body to be carrying a baby at my young age”. At the end I was being closely monitored with scans every week and midwife appointments every single day. It was emotionally draining.

I made it 39 weeks and was more than ready to give birth.

I was 6 cm in active labour in a birthing pool breathing through contractions when a midwife came in and read my notes. She commented on my age which was the same as her daughters but said “well I wouldn’t allow my daughter to be pregnant”. I was at my most vulnerable with a baby being squeezed out of my birth canal and this b*tch had the audacity to have a dig at me?!

Once I returned home I was so grateful to be in my own environment and I wanted to celebrate my beautiful baby. All I got was grief.

“Its normally the teen mums that get their make up back on and get out again”

“You can’t go back to normal you need to grow up and become a mum”

“It’s usually the young parents who feel depressed”

“Your friends are at different stages of life”

“No more going out and partying”

“You can’t afford to shop at Next you’re a young mum!”

“Young mums always give up on breastfeeding”

Again and again I was bullied my health visitor. I stopped answering the door to her and blocked her number. Enough was enough.

When I had Indiana I was scared to go to appointments, I missed appointments, I withdrew from any sort of help that was offered. Luckily I had a really good midwife named Steph and she was amazing. I was blessed to have her but my GPs were less than helpful with my aftercare. I had given birth twice in 15 months and my body knew about it! I went months without periods and when I did I bled for weeks. I bled so much that it went through a tampon, 2 maternity towels and a mattress. Unable to move I was blue lighted to hospital and treated. I was taken seriously and I was desperate for help. 6 times I went to my GP and begged for help. Again and again and again I was turned down. The NHS have let me down time and time again.

We aren’t planning on having a baby anytime soon at least not until we get the wedding out the way. We have said that one more baby would be the perfect addition to our family for sure! What we do know is that when the time is right we will plan it properly and go privately this time round. I’m sure I will get stick for saying that but it’s the truth.

I got my two healthy babies yes and I am more than grateful for that.

Fin

 

FOR AISHA- let’s cook!

FOR AISHA- let’s cook!

When weaning came around with Indiana I struggled to find baby food I could give him because they all cleverly smuggled in dairy which wasn’t suitable for poor little Indi because of his allergies. I came across For Aisha baby food one day in Asda and thought I would give it a try because all the ingredients looked healthy, organic plus dairy free! Victories don’t happen often when you have a baby with allergies, reflux and couldn’t sleep because their belly was never fall. I did my research and found that their products were not only dairy free but Halal and all ingredients were sourced ethically.

When making baby food you always need to prepare, prepare, prepare! Do your sleepless minds a favour and bulk cook and portion them to heat them up after a busy day. I took a recipe from the For Aisha cook book soon to be released! I made the Chicken and Sweet potato meal, it went down a treat.

You will need:

• 100grams of chopped onions

• 1 tsp of garlic puree

• 1 tsp of ground ginger

• 1 tsp of ground coriander

• 1 tsp of black pepper

• 4 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander

• 50grams of chopped chicken breast

• 200grams of lentils

• 100grams of boiled and chopped butternut squash

• 300grams of peeled, boiled and chopped sweet potatoes

To make:

1. Make sure you clean your hands!

2. In a non-stick large casserole dish, place all the ingredients together over medium heat, except the sweet potatoes and squash.

3. Pour 100ml of water over the ingredients.

4. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes (to ensure lentils are fully cooked).

5. Stir occasionally to ensure the ingredients don’t stick to the pan.

6. Once cooked put all ingredients (and the potatoes and squash) into a food processor and dived up into jars to freeze or refrigerate. I got about five portions out of it. When processing the food get it to the right consistency depending on the age of the baby. Indi prefers it lumpier but smaller babies beginning weaning are going to need it really smooth. Add warm water for this.

7. Let baby enjoy!

For Aisha is available from Boots, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and even Whole Food!

This was a sponsored post by For Aisha, I would like express that I have always used their baby food and wouldn’t promote something that the children or I didn’t completely love.

#savvysleepover @ Fair Oak Farm

#savvysleepover @ Fair Oak Farm

It started last week when I had a bad day, a bad day that would rival all bad days. I was ordered to go and get in the bath by Pat whilst he cleaned up the pig sty that was Thursday. I soaked in the bubbles and promised myself better things were coming. So imagine my surprise when Hanna (@the_savvy_mummy) messaged me invite to the #savvysleepover! It was exactly what I needed.

Emma (@mumofmadlads) and I set off out into the middle of nowhere and after a breezy drive down country lanes we spotted pheasants and tractors so we knew we had made it!

The land was simply beautiful with a huge farm house, 2 treehouses, a huge barn with a bar, coach houses, huts and barns to sleep in! With a cinema barn, outdoor play area, zip line, huge trampoline, teddy bear cottage, alpacas and peacocks to admire so the kids were perfectly entertained.

Hanna (@the_savvy_mummy) organised plenty for us to do from wine in the hot tub, afternoon tea, blow dries + hair braiding (thehairstylist_vc), pizza making (@notherndough) and even a lovely Easter egg hunt for the children!

The cinema barn was loaded with popcorn (@propercorn) for us to chill out too.

Indiana my wild child was set free to roam about and walk where he pleased which was lovely to see him enjoy the freedom of running and playing sticks. Delilah had her pick of the girl gang to play with too.

It was so nice to get out of town and breathing fresh country air and spending quality time with them. It was also nice to meet up with the mamas who you see on their tiny squares but not in real life!

Well done Hanna it was a hit! Can’t wait for the next ❤️

This was a gifted experience and the following companies sponsored the event including:

  • Fair Oak Farm- http://www.fairoakfarm.co.uk
  • Best day ever party shop
  • Nuby UK
  • Vita coco UK
  • Dorset Cereals
  • Little light PR
  • My little piccolo
  • SNS cocktail
  • Fearne Mccann for Poundland
  • Peanut
  • Nothern Dough
  • Propercorn
  • Allwrappedup UK
  • My Freda
My children have colds AGAIN

My children have colds AGAIN

**** sake

Why are we in for more snow?! Why are we still wearing a million layers and why oh why are my children’s noses still running!!!

It’s the end of March and spring needs to hurry up. Fun fact: Delilahs middle name is Spring because she was born on the first day of Spring. With her birthday on Wednesday I feel as if we should of called her Winter or Snow.

If your children go to nursery/school/baby groups/after school clubs they are bound to get the horrid ‘sniffles’ too. Here’s what I do;

  • Calpol. Dose them up! It has sugar in also so will boost them up a bit.
  • Snufflebabe rub on their chest and on their feet (with socks on) it helps tremendously)
  • Snuggle up in warm fluffy clothes with hot milk and movies (Paddington 2 for us) the milk soothes their throat. If you’re trying to ditch the dummies/comforters then save it for when they’re better.
  • Cuddles! Lots of mama/daddy love to nurture them.
  • Sterimar breath easy- I had never hurt of it until my Paddys mum bought it round (along with everything to make an entire roast, beer, treats) and it’s amazing! It’s sea water and it helps clear out all their boogers to help them breath easier which is a god sent. Delilah can blow her nose lucky but Indi puts up a fight.
  • For night time I use a Calpol vapour. The pods last around 8 hours to help them breathing allllll night long. They also glow so double up as a night light!
  • Fresh air- even for 20 minutes round to the park for a quick swing. It won’t help being bunged up all day with the heating on and it certainly helps you mentally!
  • Olbas oil- drop a little into their bedtime bath to help steam out that bug.
  • Clean- dettol spray everything. I turn into a bit of a freak when the kids get ill, I sterilise everything too to refresh it all!
  • Wine- (that’s for you) a poorly child is de stressing for both parent and child so stay calm and chill. They’ll be back to drawing on your walls in no time!

Thanking the ‘maids

Thanking the ‘maids

I soon as Pat proposed I had to do my own proposing and ask my loyal friends to help me down the aisle. I decided on;

  • Polly for my maid of honour because she was one of my best friends, I knew she would throw me a kick ass hen do, fill me with bubbles and make me look beautiful. She is paiiiinfully honest which I love and hate in equal measures and that is what you need in a maid of honour. I knew when she cried I had made the right choice.
  • Eleanor being my childhood friend of 15 years and sweetest human being ever she had to be my side holding my hand. Plus she is FUNNY, like real clever funny and I needed her light hearted ways to comfort me.
  • Katie she is my sister and since her getting older we have really bonded and become the closest of friends. I knew she would support me and help me with anything. She used to paint my toenails and help me get my shoes on whilst pregnant, so she would honestly say “how high?” when asking her to jump.
  • Leigh who I actually met whist I was at school. She was on the guidance/support team and helped me through a lot. From my birth dad cutting contact to break ups she is the one person who has always been there. After school we stayed in contact (she isn’t much older than me I will add) and we haven’t stopped since! I needed her support down the aisle and she also had a mature way of looking at things so she would be sensible about everything.
  • Charley who is actually one of the groomsman’s girlfriends she has grown to be a really close friend of mine also and I am so glad she said yes!
  • Delilah I couldn’t not have my beautiful daughter sprinkling a floral trail up the aisle for me and dad to walk up the aisle too.

So five bridesmaids (and one flower girl!) who all got proposed to by a pretty card they were sweet and simple it did the job.

Fast forward two years and we finally booked the wedding *celebratory dance*, this wouldn’t of happened without the girls supporting and helping me. They deserved diamonds, range rovers and flat screen tellies but due to budgets and pricey wedding and honeymoon we went for a more personal touch. I have written a guide on all things bridal boxes/bags to thank them for their help during the wedding planning, the hen and helping me down the aisle.

  • My first purchase for the bags was lipsticks for them to wear on the day. I got these from New Look and loved the colour which went with the dresses really well! To check that lippy out House of Holmes kindly gifted a personalised hand mirror to each of the girls!
  • Next I knew they would need something to relax with after a nightmare of a year with me being a bridzilla (I should of gone to bridzilla anonymous groups or something) so I found some pretty pink rose face masks from none other than Primark! At only 80 pence they were a steal.9750d8d5-6e49-4a1f-b15d-5739960f8f53
  • Equally with the relaxation theme they couldn’t have a bath without a candle so whilst I was in Primark I grabbed my favourite candle (vintage blossom) which was also a quid each! 2e3507f2-95d3-414b-937e-93241b98ccdc
  • How the stress of the wedding planning didn’t turn me to drink I don’t know (I’m kidding but gosh it is stressful) and equally whilst getting ready there is nothing better than some bubbles to get you in the party mood. PinotPinot cans kindly gifted us a tray of delish cans of sparkling wine so the bridesmaid bags will be filled with these (and some for me to help take the edge of the nerves off). I tied white and gold striped straws with gold ribbon to make them look all fancy. The straws were £2 from M and S, the gold ribbon was pennies from my local haberdashery.4651975a-259f-4b79-90c9-8289269ddcec
  • Next up the girls need some jewellery to finish off their outfits and Corrine Smith Design jewellers kindly gifted the girls (including Delilah) a beautiful silver necklace with a crystal and engraving. Their bridesmaid gowns have a lovely V neckline which complements the necklaces beautifully. I hope the girls keep these necklaces forever because they are truly stunning! These were from the Joy range by Corrine Smith Bridal range. img_0405
  • I also wanted to get them silver crystal earrings something pretty but simple! A local boutique was retiring and selling up shop so got these for a bargain too.
  • Another gorgeous keepsake the girls were gifted is a notebook each. Super pretty grey marble with rose gold vinyl personalisation!
  • To get them in the party mood after the wedding ceremony House of Holmes also gifted the girls personalised champagne flutes. Now my bride tribe LOVE a glass of bubbly so this was perfect to give them.
  • I was also kindly gifted small perfume bottles from my friend Lucy which were perfect to pop in the girls clutch bags! She even sent me a large version for myself as a bridal treat.
  • My girls like to party and celebrate. Nothing tops confetti throwing like CONFETTI CANNONS!!! Pink and rose gold confetti to spray us after we the ‘I dos’. These were from New Look also who have really stepped it up this season in the home and party department that we got a fair bit from them for Delilahs room.
  • If you ever typed ‘bridesmaid’ into Pinterest then you would have seen a million pictures of dresses hanging on personalised pretty hangers. This was new territory for me! They needed special hangers?! Say whaaat. So I did look online but I just thought hey we could make these surely?! So I bought a five pack of white wooden hangers from wilkos, a packet of sticky gems from Flying Tiger, some ribbon (75 pence for 2 metres) and vinyl name tags. We made them ourselves for a fraction of the price and they still looked fabulous. I hope the girls love them when they see all of dresses hanging up together.
  • Cheerz sent me over some personalised bookmarks with bridesmaid prints and their names on them which will slot perfectly with their bridesmaids notebooks gifted to the girls by House of Holmes. These were one of my favourites and secretly jealous of the beautiful grey marble pads with rose gold vinyl names on them.
  • The gifts were all put in Pinstriped bags with gift tags attached to them which were made by Kent Made gifts. The engraved wooden tags have their names personalised into them and will be such a lovely keepsake that they can put on their keys to remind them of the day.
  • Lastly the girls needed a sweet treat. I’ve seen bridszillas that have starved their bridesmaids to make them look “just right for the photos”. Not me though. Let’s drink and eat! I popped a mini box of pink champagne Charbonnel et Walker truffle hearts which are my all time favourite and the lovely people at Boomf sent some scrumptious personalised mallowpops over too. I had to REALLY resist the urge to munch on them because they are my favourite treat!

So I hope the girls enjoy themselves and love their gifts as much as I did organising them and wrapping them all up. The girls have been a true asset to the organising of the weddings and I just don’t know what I would have done without Ellie wiping my tears, Polly bossing everyone to get organised or Charley making me laugh!

The following companies kindly gifted the items for this blog post but all opinions are my own and wouldn’t promote a company I didn’t truly buy from already;

Kent Made Gifts- http://www.kent-made.co.uk

House of Holmes- http://www.etsy.com/shop/Thehouseofholmes

Boomf- http://www.boomf.com

Cheerz- http://www.cheerz.com

Corrine Smith Jewellery- www.corrinesmith.com (NOTH partner)

PinotPinot Cans- www.bringthefizz.com (sold in Sainsburys, Booths, Tesco, Nisa, Co-op, Drinks Inc)

What happened on our Valentine’s Day

What happened on our Valentine’s Day

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’m in a long term serious relationship with this guy

If you haven’t then this is Patrick (Pat/Paddy/Patchy/Bae/Baby Daddy) and we are getting married next year.

Today we celebrate our 5th Valentines together. I know, I know it’s not a major achievement but I’m a bloody nightmare/bridezilla at times.

So I thought I’d write a list on what we done for them:

1st- we had been together two weeks and I had already long before that promised to take my then 11 year old sister to see the Lego movie (which was shit) but I did go over to his house after to give him the cakes I baked for him. We got pizza.

2nd- we went with the friends to Bluewater for shopping and food. I was 8 months heavily pregnant and waddled about. We got tons of treats and spoilt each other. The four of us went to eat at TGI fridays and the waitress dropped dirty plates in my friends shopping bags (ruining a brand new Zara coat), we then had to move tables where a man on the next table broke up (and ended his engagement) to his girlfriend. All of food came out wrong and I don’t even think we paid for it. That night Pat and I got a Chinese and watched movies.

3rd- we went to the zoo! I was pregnant with Indiana and Delilah was only teeny! We had pizza in the evening.

4th- Pat treated me to a spa day and an afternoon tea. It was bloody heaven. Need I say more. I cooked a romantic dinner in the evening.

5th- this year we got a subway. We LOVE subway. Don’t sympathise for me because I was more than happy with it. I even cleaned the whole house, disinfected everything, deep the cleaned the oven etc. BORING I know. But we put the kids to bed, had a nice dinner and we watched a movie.

So none of these things are especially extravagant. I know. But that’s not who we are. We do however love each other verrrrrry much and making a conscious effort to make a little extra effort is nice. Just to treat each other, cuddle up and spend time together is really good to remember how much we do love and care about each other. Just to sit down and eat properly together is lovely!

I hope you all had a fab day however it was spend!

And to my babe. I love ya forever x