July, 2013


25
Jul 13

My out-of-control ‘to do’ list

I’ve just written a list that, quite frankly, is pretty daunting. There are a mere 12 and a half weeks left until the big day and I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get everything done. At this stage, I’m sure wedding planning could easily become a full-time job. There’s just so much to do!

There are no fewer than 46 points on my list. Which is confusing, since I spent the whole of last weekend in frantic organization mode – fuelled by copious amounts of martini and helped by my amazing dad, who was in London for a visit and spent Saturday cooking for me and keeping me calm in the face of such an avalanche of wedding admin.

Dad came down to visit and we went to see the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park. It was so hot we felt like we were on holiday (doesn't it look more like Brazil than London?!). Such a lovely break from all the wedding admin. Thanks dad!

Dad came down to visit and we went to see the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park. It was so hot we felt like we were on holiday (doesn’t it look more like Brazil than London?!). Such a lovely break from all the wedding admin. Thanks dad!

I made headway into sorting out accommodation for my family, the bridal party, and all my lovely friends who are coming from abroad. I sent our invitations off to be printed (a BIG thank you to Phil on HELLO!’s art desk who designed them for us – we love them!), I wrote an ‘extra information’ sheet including taxi numbers, gift details, local hotels, etc etc, I contacted my bridal boutique to arrange my first fitting. (My dress is due to arrive in August and I’m nervous, I haven’t seen it since January). On top of all that, Sean went and picked up our ‘blues’ (official wedding documents) which went smoothly apart from him pretending that eight local women had objected to our marriage. I believed him for a fleeting moment…! Yet we don’t seem to have even made a dent into my seemingly ever-growing to do list.

Among the big things we have left to do (quite apart from the all-important business of paying for everything. Gulp…) are sorting out Sean’s wedding ring, booking a DJ, taste testing the menu, finding a hairdresser, choosing which version of the ceremony we want, deciding on logisitics – like how we’re going to get up north for the wedding, and back to London for our honeymoon flight that leaves Heathrow at 2pm the following day – buying dresses for my flower girls, getting the ushers measured up for their suits, organising our honeymoon visas, buying (and deciding on) wedding favours, and sending out the invitations.

At work we had T-shirts printed ahead of the royal wedding reading 'Keep calm it's only a wedding'. I might dig mine out and start wearing it for when I'm in organisation mode

At work we had T-shirts printed ahead of the royal wedding in 2011 reading ‘Keep calm it’s only a wedding’. I might dig mine out and start wearing it for when I’m in organisation mode!

Wow. That seems like rather a lot. And doesn’t even scratch the surface of the actual list.

One of my main concerns at the moment is the music. We thought long and hard about whether to have a DJ or a band for the evening reception. Due to the fact we both have a very clear idea of what songs we want playing, and our budget is now being stretched to the limit, we’ve opted for a DJ. (They tend to be far cheaper than hiring a band. In my head I think I’ve always imagined having a Glady Knight and the Pips-esque outfit providing the music at my big day, but we can’t have everything…)

Sean got on the case and found a DJ who lets you give him a playlist for the evening, which would be ideal for us. If we can ever get round to agreeing on what should be on it, that is. My music tastes are very pop, Motown, RnB and, ahem, reggaeton-oriented (thanks to my time living in Spain. Plus I think lots of my friends would be upset if the evening didn’t include a Daddy Yankee portion… I’m looking at you, Jude and Char!). I’m also partial to some 90s classics, whereas Sean prefers guitar-based songs that I’m not sure will work quite as well at a disco… Anyway, once we’ve reached some sort of compromise we’ll book, and that will be the DJ ticked off the list. I think we’ll create an iPod playlist, too. I don’t know what time the DJ goes home but one of the reason’s we hired our venue is because it doesn’t wind things up at a certain time. We can party on until dawn if we fancy it – so we need to make sure there’s enough music to take us through.

We’ve had to decide what music we want during the ceremony, too. I’d always presumed I’d get married in a church so there would be an organist. Since that’s not the case, we’ve decided to go for a piano, which our venue will provide for us in the room we tie the knot in. Luckily for us, an old family friend Lesley, who taught me the piano when I was at school, has very kindly offered to play for us. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather musically-accompany me up the aisle actually – she’s insanely talented and I know it will all be in safe hands with her. Not to mention how much it means to have someone you’ve known for years involved in such an important part of the day. I love these personal touches.

Our wonderful family friend Lesley has very kindly offered to provide the music for our ceremony. She is the most incredible pianist - I just know it's going to be amazing

Our wonderful family friend Lesley has very kindly offered to provide the music for our ceremony. She is the most incredible pianist – I just know it’s going to be amazing

On another note, my fitness regime is going really well – and I’m off on a FitFarms retreat this weekend. Eek. Wish me luck – I’ll report back soon!


2
Jul 13

Trying out a bride-to-be juice cleanse…

A couple of weeks ago we hit the ‘four months to go until the wedding’ mark – and it made me start to panic. Wasn’t I supposed to have started a new diet and fitness regime a while back, now? When we got engaged I was full of good intentions and felt sure I’d be all toned and in top shape by summer. But I haven’t done anything at all yet – and since Sean gave me this ring, it’s been an (admittedly very sparkly, very lovely) excuse to have cocktails, dinners out, and probably far too many cosy nights in with takeaways. I also blame the terrible ‘summer’ we’ve had so far. The cold weather hardly inspires you to eat salads, does it? But with the countdown ’til the big day ticking away, it’s finally, definitely time to get myself in gear.

A well-stocked fridge! Purifyne juices are all organic and come in loads of different flavours

A well-stocked fridge! Purifyne juices are all organic and come in loads of different flavours

I thought I’d kick start my new regime by signing up to do a juice cleanse. I’ve always wanted to do one anyway – so when I found out that Purifyne offer a bride-to-be package I was sold. And a little apprehensive… could I really go three days without food?

Well – turns out that yes, I can! And without even feeling very hungry. The programme is really easy to do, too. Purifyne deliver your juices in a package the morning of day one of the cleanse – and it includes absolutely everything you need to completely detox your system.

Last Saturday morning I was sent 12 juices – four to drink per day – colosan powder (which releases oxygen in the digestive tract for cleansing and also helps prevent some detox side-effects), beauty capsules (for healthy skin, hair and nails), aloe vera juice, acai berry juice (one shot of each to be taken every lunchtime) a green superfoods powder (brimming with nutrients), Epsom sea salts (for in the bath) and a purifying facial mask.  Oh, and a sisal brush to dry brush and exfoliate the body – always in the direction of the heart to aid the flow of lymphatic fluids. Amazing.

You have to do face masks too - the bride-to-be cleanse is all about making your skin, hair and nails amazing as well as giving your digestive system a break

You have to do face masks too – the bride-to-be cleanse is all about making your skin, hair and nails amazing as well as giving your digestive system a break and aiding weight loss

The juices are all made from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables with no added preservatives whatsoever. They’re packed full of nutrients and easy to digest. Basically, the point of a juice cleanse is to get rid of everything from your digestive system and give it a complete break, which is supposed to result in a whole host of benefits including weight loss, clearer skin and eyes, improved circulation, improved mental clarity and concentration. It’s all listed right here…

They even sent me a laminate with step-by-step directions of what to do each day – and I was allowed to sip on herbal teas, hot water with lemon, and mineral water throughout the day. They recommend you buy coconut water too, but I really don’t like it so went without. Oh, and in case your resolve is weakening, they send you daily cleanse tips via email.

These are all the powders and capsules I was sent to supplement my cleanse - Green Superfoods (one teaspoon to be taken with water every morning), Colosan Powder (one tablespoon to be taken with 1/4 of your morning juice), Beauty Oil capsules and Epsom Sea Salt for in the bath

These are all the powders and capsules I was sent to supplement my cleanse – Green Superfoods (one teaspoon to be taken with water every morning), Colosan Powder (one tablespoon to be taken with 1/4 of your morning juice), Beauty Oil capsules and Epsom Sea Salt for in the bath

I won’t lie – on day one I was absolutely miserable. It does say in the pack to alert those around you that you’re doing a cleanse in case you become irritable, and even though poor Sean made me promise I would try my best to be nice all weekend, I failed miserably. By lunchtime I was in a foul mood, I had no energy and a headache was definitely on its way. I so, so nearly gave up. Especially when at lunch time, Sean proceeded to cook himself a full on fry up with a fresh-from-the-oven baguette. So unfair!

I genuinely thought I was going to quit. But somehow, I persevered. And when I woke up on day two and hopped on the scales I found I’d already lost 2lbs. I didn’t feel hungry and I was full of energy – more than usual, actually.  And at lunchtime I was thrilled to discover my tastiest juice option to date – carrot, pineapple, ginger and cinnamon. Yum. It was definitely way easier than the previous day and my headache was completely gone. I was so happy I hadn’t given up at the first hurdle.

Step-by-step instructions are provided in the pack so you know what to do morning, noon and night

Step-by-step instructions are provided in the pack so you know what to do morning, noon and night

By the morning of day three I was well and truly into the swing of things, and it was plain sailing from there. In fact, I think I could easily have carried on and done another few days. I registered a total weight loss of 3lbs and felt lighter and more energized than I have in ages and I’ll definitely be doing one of these cleanses again in the future. So! My summer health plan is off to a flying start, and if you fancy trying out a juice cleanse too I’d definitely recommend you take a look at Purifyne’s website. Next stop – some exercise…

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