Monday, 30 March 2015

20 things you think when planning a wedding

1. OH MY GOD I'M ENGAGED! Now, I'm going to be completely normal about this. No bridezillas here. I am going to be chilled, cool, this is going to be a really laid back wedding where nobody gets stressed out or worries about details. Because, who cares about the colour of the doilies, really? Am I right? God, I'm cool.

2. OK, so apparently I should've signed up for my dream wedding location on the DAY I WAS BORN. Three year waiting list? What? OK...would it really be that bad to get married on a Tuesday? 

3. Should we get married abroad? Would anybody actually come? Oh, you have to pay for them all to come? Scrap that then.

4. Wedding magazines are just the BEST. OK, so they're all the same, and they say completely bizarre things like 'this year will see mini conifers taking over from last years' paper flower trend!' but at the same time, they've made me realise I really NEED giant light up initials and an ice cream van. Plus I can only legitimately read them for this one year without looking a bit like a crazy person so it's fine that I'm spending £22 a month on them. 

5. Wedding dress adverts are really strange...why is the bride lounging on a tree like that? And why is the groom in a state of undress? Better look at Pinterest instead.

6. I'll create a wedding inspo board and just have a look for five minutes... oh, it's 2am. 

7. Still - I've learnt that the most important thing about my wedding is that I have jam jars filled with fairy lights on the tables. So that's good to know. 

8. Flowers. Must focus on flowers. The thing is...they do all sort of look very similar, don't they? Think about any wedding you've ever been to and try to picture their can't, can you? Also whenever I ask my fiance about flowers he glazes over and starts talking about the weather.

  9. £2.50 seems a LOT for a wedding invitation when you think that what it really is amounts to 'a folded piece of card.' 

10. None of the wedding dresses in this shop look ANYTHING LIKE the ones on Pinterest. They are all giant meringues with diamante blobs on them and they are all £2000. I hate all wedding dresses. My mum keeps pointing out ones that are even worse. I want to go home.

11. I think this is the dress! I wish I could ask my fiance about it. I can't remember the last time I spent this amount of money and didn't at least vaguely ask if they thought it looked OK. What if he hates it?! Awkward. That must actually happen quite a lot.

12. When I asked six girls to be my bridesmaids, I didn't consider that I was going to have to buy each of them a dress. Can you de-bridesmaid someone? Or maybe I could just ask them to buy their own dresses? 

13. Something borrowed? What can I borrow? Does Mum have any antique jewellery she never mentioned? That would tick off off 'old' as well. Also, blue?  Maybe I could get a blue garter. What's a garter? ARGH.

14. What do you MEAN, I can't have jam jars with fairy lights at my venue? THIS IS A DISASTER. A DISASTER.

15. VW Beetle limos are a thing? That's cool. Do I want one? Should I get a Rolls Royce? Is a horse and carriage romantic, or is it a bit Gypsy Weddings? I want it to be glamorous but not like Katie Price's idea of glamorous.

16. Is my wedding soft and romantic, or timeless and elegant? How 'rustic' can I make it before it becomes like Jenny's wedding in Forrest Gump?

17. A 'hair and make up trial' seems mad until your first go, when the beautician smiles delightedly at you and you look into the mirror and see yourself looking like a clown who has gone a bit overboard with the hair curlers.

18. I love my fiance, but he has a LOT of friends 'from football.' Have I even met all these people? And their children? Really, he should pay a bit more towards the wedding, because I don't have a whole sports team attending. I won't mention that because it would be churlish. 

19. OK, why doesn't my fiance realise he needs to get his suit sorted NOW? We only have SIX MONTHS TO GO which in wedding terms means we are getting married TOMORROW and he keeps vaguely saying 'hmm, maybe I'll wear blue,' which wouldn't match anything at ALL and I think he may actually be doing this on purpose to upset me.


Friday, 27 March 2015

Cahoot’s – Mysterious Underground Speakeasy

OK, I’m going to be honest: Cahoots is one of those places that is completely ruined by blogging.

Do you know what I mean? The owners have gone  to such an extent to keep it all an exciting mystery, with a website that tells you basically nothing and a Twitter account that merely hints of the secrets you are yet to discover – and then bloggers come in and trample all over it, taking photos of everything from the entrance to the toilets and describing it all in crazy detail until you feel like you might as well not bother going. I mean, by the time I went on the Harry Potter tour, to be honest, I felt like I’d already been. These places could really do with a Secret-Cinema-esque no photo policy!
Your one little glimpse...
And I just don’t want to ruin Cahoots for you, I really don’t, because it’s brilliant and because the most fun part is all the little unexpected details. So I’m not going to overshare. We went last night; it’s a forties-themed speakeasy underground bar based in an old abandoned tube station. You have to book, and prices range from pretty reasonable (£8 for a decent sized cocktail) to as extortionate as you want, really.

The cocktails are incredible and there’s something for everyone, as well as something disgusting for everyone (we played a game of ‘pick-your-friends-the-worst-cocktail’ – a little hint; don’t order the Red Snapper unless you really, really like tomato soup…)
My best attempt at forties dress!
Foodwise, it’s sandwiches and spam. Yup. Spam.

And that, folks, is all you’re going to get. Just go – and go early, because it’s bloody hard to find. Follow the trains!


Monday, 23 March 2015

Pancakes at the Breakfast Club & a day out in London town

On Friday I had my first day off work since Christmas (not counting weekends, I’m not mental). I’m basically saving up all my holiday this year for my wedding so January to March has been a pitiless slog of endless rainy commutes, broken up only by pausing to eat Asda value soup because our impending nuptials are bleeding me dry and I need to starve myself into my wedding dress. I might be exaggerating (slightly), but I have started to notice the exhaustion creeping in, mostly in the form of a two week cold I just can’t seem to kick.

Anyway, I have a couple of precious spare days so my sister and I decided to have a day out in London, starting with brunch at The Breakfast Club. I’ve always wanted to order the obscenely luxurious All American Breakfast – egg, sausage, potatoes, bacon, AND pancakes and syrup – but never felt like it was quite justified…today, I decided, was the day! I don't think this is the last time I'll order this beauty - I mean, just look at it...

We queued for maybe 15 minutes to get in (which baffled my parents, who at the last minute decided to join us but couldn’t imagine why anyone would ever QUEUE for breakfast) and eventually our food arrived. Honestly, every bite was like a party in my mouth. 100% worth the calories. I love the Breakfast Club, with it’s quirky interior and strangely decorated toilets – I’m really excited that they’re planning to open one in Canary Wharf soon! (Although my bikini body is less excited).

Afterwards, we did a little bit of shopping – I feel like it’s time to buy Spring pieces, even if the weather doesn’t entirely agree, so this River Island mint green satchel leapt into my bag, alongside a new pink bikini which I might save for my hen do – exciting!

With tired feet, we settled into Corney & Barrow for cocktails. It was a nice enough day to sit outside, which made me really feel like I was getting a holiday. Come on, England, we just want summer now!

 Cocktails escalated quite quickly into wine and another food blowout at the Diner. My camera died before I could take any photos of my insanely huge fried chicken burger, sweet potato fries, and strawberry milkshake, so you're just going to have to imagine how good that was! What wedding diet?

I want to tell you I feel relaxed and happy after a day off, but in actual fact I just feel desperate for another one…roll on bank holiday!

Friday, 13 March 2015

16 things all bloggers know (or should know!)

Since I started blogging around two years ago (two years! Crazy! This month has gone SO FAST, etc) I’ve become weirdly accustomed to some very odd things which I think might seem odd to people in the real, non-blogging world.
(The blogging DREAM right here).
Things like…

1.        Bananas are super popular and you can make anything out of them
Ice cream? Check. Pancakes? Obvs. Banana bread? Duh. Basically, if you can eat it, you can probably make it out of a banana, and then it will only contain 8 calories and your blogpost will get 18000 hits. Truth.  

2.       In an ideal world all interior décor would be white
Like, maybe with a bit of baby pink or dove grey as a contrast, but what you really want from a room is white wash floorboards and white walls and white curtains and white furniture. It’s all white, alright, and nobody ever trails mud through it or spills Ribena/red wine all over it, and you own no belongings because they would just completely ruin the mood. 
3.       Cath Kidston is an interior genius
Okay but if it isn’t white, it should have a pastel floral pattern, or pink and white spots. Yep, exactly like your Grandma used to have. Yep, the kind of stuff you’d have been teased for owning when you were 10. Nope, seriously, it’s cool now.

(Nan heaven right here)

4.       You can only serve food in heart shaped bowls or on wooden chopping boards etc
That crappy IKEA dinner set is NOT going to cut it, OK? If it isn’t served in some kind of fancy dish, is it even food? If we’re being fussy, you really need to put your Lucky Charms in their heart shaped bowl onto a wooden table. If it’s a white washed wooden table, EVEN BETTER. Never mind that you live in a tiny London flat, you must appear to live in a huge country farmhouse at all times, preferably complete with chickens laying fresh eggs (which you will eat poached on avacodo toast OBVIOUSLY).
5.       London nightlife is the only nightlife
OK, so you live in a huge country farmhouse with chickens, but you also live IN LONDON because London is the only place to go out worth blogging about. Restaurants in all other parts of the country are totally pointless and nobody cares, so don’t you forget it. Unless you’re in the Cotswolds, in which case a picture of your pub Sunday roast (prefs with roaring fire in shot) is borderline acceptable, because you’re escaping London, right?

6.       Your lips need to be better
About 95% of lipsticks reviewed on blogs will make your lips look like ‘your lips, but better.’ Because your lips are disgusting, okay? They need to be BETTER. Eurgh, get to MAC already.

7.       Food is either ‘clean’ or ‘filthy’
Basically, you can either eat quinoa with six types of kale and a weird vegan brownie made out of dates, or you can eat double cheeseburgers with cheesy chips and a strawberry milkshake. There is no in between. Your tuna and sweetcorn pasta is not welcome here. Oh, well, okay, as it’s in a heart shaped bowl, you can Instagram it – but seriously, at least make the pasta out of courgette next time, I mean, come on.

8.       Straws and jam jars will never go out of style
Pink drink in jam jar with pink and white straw = instant hits. You don’t know why you’re clicking on it – are you really going to make a raspberry and watermelon smoothie? – but you can’t stop yourself.

9.       Fashion is mostly kind of awful
OK, so most fashion bloggers look like a mixture of Twiggy and Mila Kunis and so anything would look good on them, even a bin bag…which is good, because is that actually what they’re wearing? Are fashionable clothes just a way for models to say ‘look, I’ve tried to look terrible, but I just can’t, because I’m so stunning,’ or are all fashion designers borderline mentalists? Because to me, flared sports trousers with weird lace up heels and a shearling jacket does not an outfit make. Plus everything they wear is either insanely unaffordable or only available if you live in California, so that’s useful. 

10.   ‘Sports-luxe’ is a thing
A thing that is said constantly whenever anyone is wearing anything that makes you think ‘did they come straight from the gym?’ And you will read it far more often than you might reasonably expect.

11.   Pancakes are important
Pancakes are like bananas. Big hits. You thought they were just for pancake day? Are you some kind of cretin? You can put anything on a pancake and it makes it cool. Sausages on a pancake? Cool. Ice cream? AWESOME. Banana ice cream on banana pancakes? YOU’RE BLOWING MY MIND HERE. BTW, banana pancakes taste EXACTLY like real pancakes – that is, provided you’ve never eaten a real pancake in your life, and you think they taste like eggy bananas.

12.   Packaging matters more than products
Everybody knows Alexa Chung’s book was probably a bit rubbish, but LOOK it’s pink and you can put a nail polish on it for a photo! Ditto, everything from Soap & Glory and Benefit. Some of these things are good, some of them are not, but who cares when they look so nice lined up on your shelves?!

13.   Rose gold jewellery is the only jewellery
When you were younger, you probably called this ‘bronze’, but somebody clever in marketing realised that sounded a bit rubbish so now it’s ‘rose gold’ and it’s like, literally the best thing ever, because it’s jewellery, and it’s a bit pink. 

14.   Alcohol is the devil
Weird thing about people’s blog lives: nobody seems to get drunk. It’s the Zoella effect – everybody is wholesome and healthy and seemingly spends their weekends cooking  brownies and cuddling up under blankets with puppies. Even though in reality, you’re spending Saturday night in Wetherspoons drinking wine on tap, the most alcoholic thing that can venture near your blog is maybe a glass of champagne on the table at a posh restaurant. Or a jazzy cocktail because OBVIOUSLY. But god forbid you put up photographs of you getting a bit messy, like, err, EVERYONE ELSE, because what is actually much better is pretending you’re a cross between a naïve ten year old and your Nan.

15.   Copper is the new in thing
Like, a bowl, made out of copper. Or a hanging…thing, made out of copper. You need it. No, I don’t know why. I don’t make the rules. In your post about copper, you have to put a little bit about how you’re ‘suddenly all about copper,’ tactfully neglecting to mention that so is absolutely everybody else. 

16.   Macarons
Or macaroons. Nobody seems clear. Whatever they’re called, you can’t escape them. They are beautiful. They also taste like wallpaper paste encased in paper; like, exactly how you would imagine papier mache might taste if you flavoured it with potpourri. So, enjoy that. 

17.   Blogging is mostly about blogging
’14 blog post ideas’; ‘How to attract readers to your blog’; ‘What I didn’t know about blogging but wish I had.’ The whole thing feeds itself, just bloggers writing about how to blog to bloggers who then write more posts on how to blog and eventually the world will eat itself and we’ll all be doomed, drowning in a sea of Cath Kidston quilts and rings in the shape of bows and Olivia Burton watches and soothing bath products and fucking pug puppies.

Okay, well…this list MIGHT not be entirely serious but give it a try – when Benefit are sending you make up, you’ll thank me!
© Cat Cruse. All rights reserved.