Tuesday, 31 July 2012

It's my birthday...I am now 27!! YAY!!

I think that's what makes life interesting - the evolution of getting older, and it's kinda fascinating to me, the whole process.
- Alexis Bledel

It's my birthday, it's my birthday, WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP.  OK, self celebration over...I haven't posted in a while. But is is because I have been meeting friends, doing things, making things - generally living.
Last week I decided that before starting any new craft projects (bar the ones for the handfasting), I should finish off the ones I have started.  This plan is going OK...I say OK because I broke 3 needles trying to recover the mini suitcase I got...and then gave into frustration. 

However, I did manage to sew two things that needed mending, which had been in a pile for a year - so I feel accomplished! :)
Also, plans for the handfasting are going well.  As our overall budget is £3000 I have been trying to do as much organizing, decorating and EVERYTHING myself...with a lot of help from friends! Thanks guys! We have had help with the following: invites, dress making, collection of crafts, food ideas/amounts, cocktail ideas and alcohol ordering...SO THANKS SO MUCH. 

Just to re-cap our budget is £3000 - a very cheap wedding in comparison to others.  Many people may wonder why spend SO MUCH on a wedding (yes I have seen lower prices) whereas others may doubt it is possible...(I think I sound like Rudi from mighy boosh.

A short look at the break-up of the prices is as below:

Wedding outfits (both mine and Aarons)  £500
We are having lots of help from friends for this - so thank you SO MUCH!! 

Flowers (my mum is paying for these)    £0

Photography                             £200
I have bought a polaroid camera and 50 shots to go with it, and have asked 2 friends to take photos on the day...although we may get a professional photographer just in case..?

Stationary                              £150
AKA: invites, thank you cards, wedding programmes and postage. Although we had to spend £120 on invites, so guessing we might go over this budget.

Ceremony                                £1300
Performed by my mum, for free :). Location fee and some books for signing are the main costs here.

Food/alchohol for guests                £500
With help from friends, family and ourselves we hope to keep this cost down (it helps that we are having a small amount of guests).

Decorations                             £400
Including mexican day of the dead banners, tissue paper bunting for the long house and fairy lights for decorations too (although we will be borrowing some of these!!).  We got loads of good tutorials for tissue paper pom-poms, home-made games, lighting etc on pinterest...which can all be found on my crafting board.

So far that's £3050 and doesn't include our wedding favours - which are super cool, but surprises!! 

There are places where costs can be cut down...so we will see :).

Oh yes, and our lovely friends A KISS WITH A WHISK are making our cake(s) or cake pops!

YAY!  Off to have a wonderful birthday morning tea and a read.



Saturday, 21 July 2012


It is never too late to be what you might have been.
- George Eliot.

I have flu!  Well I had flu and slowly I am getting better...although I feel like I have a lot more energy today.  I will probably feel tired after doing anything, so I am going to try and spend a bit of the day organizing myself and making another batch of face wash and relaxing (by using this amazing scrub!!).

Organizations for the handfastening are going well - I have ordered some of the wedding gifts and decided what will go in them...I have ordered the crafting supplies needed to make decorations and I have arranged to go to Cornwall next weekend so we can see the site properly and get any questions answered.

Although that said, we haven't started the dress(es) yet!! Which is making me feel a bit nervous!  Hopefully we will get a day or two in this coming week.

I suppose that's it for today - thought I should do a short post, as haven't been posting all that often even though it is the summer holidays.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Low Fat Wholemeal Banana (Ba na na na na na na) Bread

"The one thing you can't take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one's freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance."
~Viktor Frankl

It is very easy to blame things on other people - if only "x" had come earlier I wouldn't have felt so tired...etc.  I am sure you get the point!  If you take control of your own feelings about something e.g. yes "x" did come over later then usual, but I am going to ask them to leave at a reasonable time today so I don't get tired or actually I was having loads of fun which is the real reason why I didn't go to bed early seems to be a more optimistic and positive way of taking charge of your own feelings (well for me anyway!)

I'm trying really hard to try to stick to this approach now, as with the ceremony slowly creeping up, there a lot of people with ideas, wants, needs for the day etc.  I have also started going to hot bikram yoga, but have been getting terrible headaches afterwards - although headaches are not that unusual for me, I usually get them less when I am doing exercise and eating well.  Puzzled....hopefully it is my body detoxing and will pass.

ALSO!! Esther and I managed to go to a massive fabric warehouse yesterday and found amazing laces and silks to make my dress(es) out of!! But, we only bought some practise fabric to make the mock out of...exciting!! 

Onto the recipe.

Modified from this one.

Wholemeal Low-fat Banana Bread

Ingredients (to make 2 massive loaves)

7 mashed bananas (some bits can be in bigger chunks)

4 cups wholemeal flour

2 cups sugar or sweet alternative

1 cup crushed (by hand) walnuts

1 tsp salt 

1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup softened butter 

4 large eggs

2/3 non-fat plain bio yoghurt

1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cooking spray/spray oil


Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the flour in 3 batches thoroughly mixing in between.  Add the baking soda and salt and mix.

Add an egg at a time to the mixture, beating well.  Add the mashed bananas and mix well and lastly add the yoghurt, walnuts and vanilla essence.

Pour/spoon the mixture into two oiled bread pans or ceramic dishes. (Lick the bowl clean if you want).

Put in the oven and bake for 1 hour.  Check with a skewer and if it comes out of the loaf dry - then it is ready.  Leave on the side to cool. 

You can add icing to banana bread...but I prefer this one without.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Great Full Ness

“Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.”

- Sarah Ban Breathnach

I've been feeling a bit down the past couple of days, not as much I have in the past - but still after about 9 weeks of feeling great, it is a strange feeling.

It's very easy to tell others how to live their lives and cheer themselves up, or do certain things to make them feel better. But, it is a slightly different situation when it comes to doing that for yourself. 

I suppose a good place to start is to congratulate myself for things I have achieved recently:
1. Being a tidier person (even though Aaron does not seem to recognise this AT ALL).

2. Eating less sugar.

3. Going to hot yoga.

4. Passing my course and getting into good Uni's without any problems.

5. Committing to myself and going to counselling.

6. Abstaining from drinking.

Despite all of the above I am still beating myself up and wishing I applied to other Uni's or got into Cambridge...This comes from me always beating myself up and not focusing on the positive things that have happened, just the negative.

So my situation is: feeling like I didn't actually achieve anything.

Emotion is: feeling sad and worthless, like I can't do anything.

Physical sensations: feeling low energy, like I can't be bothered to do anything.

Unhelpful thoughts: Why couldn't I just do better, will I even pass Uni?  Everybody thinks I am stupid.

Alternative/more realistic thought:  I have achieved a really high pass with 42 units at distinction, 18 at merit and the rest high passes.....which is actually not that bad and accounts distinctions for over 2/3 of my grades....it really is actually good.  I should give myself a big pat on the back and look forward to going to Uni as it is a goal I set myself a while back.

This technique is part of CBT, which I find extremely helpful - although I don't know if it will work for everyone.  There are LOADS of worksheets here

Also a gratitude list:
1. I am grateful for my friends and family.

2. I am grateful for my current approach to life which really helps me.

3. I am grateful for music and having ears that can listen to it.

4. I am grateful to not be the only person that has experienced hardship in life...and to have the mass amounts of advise and support that I get.

5. I am grateful for all of the support with the wedding.

6. I am grateful for the beautiful house we get to live in that keeps me warm and safe.

7. I am grateful for all the life experiences I have had - without them I wouldn't be able to be me, or to have connections with others.

8. I am grateful to live in a place where I can get access to organic food.

9. I am grateful to have been travelling and have seen other cultures.

10. I am grateful I have a great support network.
My angel card for today: spontaneity! dictionary meaning: the quality of being spontaneous and coming from natural feelings without constraint; "the spontaneity of his laughter".

A good message to take from this: Live spontaneously and creatively with the courage to make your life what you want it to be. (borrowed from this blog). 

Cool.  Today I will be grateful, spontaneous and have compassion for myself and others....

Monday, 2 July 2012

A blog from Wales

Personal Excellence
Personal excellence means to strive to be your best in all little and big things.

To strive for excellence, invest in yourself daily.

Take 5 minutes in your morning commute to go through the following steps:

1) Identify ONE self-improvement you would like to make today.

2) Create a deeper understanding of why this is important and beneficial for you.

3) Clarify how you will keep yourself inspired and motivated throughout the day.

From - Innerspace 

1) A self improvement I would like to make today - accepting people for who they are and not taking them personally.

2) This is important for me as it means I don't judge others views and approaches to life with my own, it allows me to accept others for what they are without finding fault and wanting to change them.

3) I will not have any expectations of people I meet today.  Those that I have met before will be seen as 'new' people who I will not have expectations of (apart from to be fair and not rude to me...).

Hopefully it will work!

I still cannot believe that my course is over (little dance in my head).  Cool!!

I am now freeeeeeeeeee, and have finally joined up to hot bikram yoga and plan to go 2 -3 times a week (if not more when I have nothing else to do)....I booked my first class for this evening and am very much looking forward to going.

We have been in Wales since Saturday evening as Aaron started the three peaks challenge on Saturday morning and completed it in 23 hours and 27 minutes! I am so super proud of him...and so grateful to have such a wonderful man to stand by me, LOVE YOU Aaron.  

Hopefully we will make it back to Wales and go to the Lake District to climb mountains with our family over the summer...looking forward to that too!!