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personal, wedding

Our Wedding Day

It’s been quite a few months since I last blogged, and I’m feeling quite bad about it as I set myself a goal to spend more time blogging this year. However, I do have a fairly good excuse for being so quiet… I got married!

On 16th March 2019, my best friend and I tied the knot after a year of somewhat stressful wedding planning! We had a rather untraditional and casual wedding, with the ceremony held at our local registry office followed by a cosy reception at one of our favourite pubs.

My Favourite Things About Our Day

Dried Flowers

Rather than opt for traditional flower arrangements from a florist, I found a wonderful Etsy store Traditional Flower Co. which specialises in the most beautiful dried flowers. I picked a bouquet and then a flower crown and buttonholes to match. I was so pleased with the result as the dried flowers look perfect in the pictures and I get to keep my bouquet as a memory of my day.

My Dress

Having picked my wedding dress a year before the wedding day, I was so excited to finally get to wear it! I absolutely adored my Phase Eight (yes, a high street brand!) vintage style lace dress. I felt so comfortable and beautiful all day, especially with my leather jacket as a finish touch!

Doc Martens

My husband and I absolutely love Dr Martens so we just had to rock them on our wedding day! I picked a beautiful lilac pair to match the colour scheme and flowers. We both had so many compliments on our choice of footwear and we were comfortable all day long.

Bridesmen

I decided to opt for “bridesmen” as opposed to traditional bridesmaids as I wanted my brothers to play a special part in our day. I’m so glad they got to walk down the aisle with me.

Making the Most of the Rain

Despite torrential rain and strong winds, our photographers got some brilliant shots! The sky looked beautiful and atmospheric and I especially love our unique photos with umbrellas.

Pub Venue

We picked the perfect cosy reception venue who provided our catering and were so helpful with decorating and making our day extra special. The pub venue was casual, relaxed and the perfect fit for our close family and friends to drink and celebrate our day with us. We felt right at home in the pub atmosphere.

Rugby Win

I can’t not mention the Wales Grand Slam win on our wedding day! We were worried we’d picked an unfortunate day to get married as it was also the Six Nations finals,however our guests were ecstatic when Wales won, and it added a special touch to the day.

The Music

Two of my uncles are musicians and offered to play for us at our wedding. We had a mixture of acoustic Stevie Wonder, Green Day and Warcraft music in the ceremony while the other uncle played an acoustic set and sang for us in the reception. It was so perfect to have our first dance to Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”. Having musicians in the family play for us felt so personal and special.

VW Campervan

As VW campervan lovers, Wally the Campervan from VW Weddings Wales was the perfect fit for our day. The van looked stunning in photos and was decorated in a beautiful vintage style inside.

All in all, it was a truly special day and we are both so happy with how it panned out. We will forever treasure the memories and photos.

The biggest lesson learned from our special day was that all the small things I spent so much time worrying and stressing about were completely irrelevant on the day. You forget about the finer details and simply enjoy the day surrounded by your loved ones. <3

goals, personal

Ditching Resolutions & Setting Goals for 2019

In an Internet world full of New Year’s resolutions and the same old “new year, new me” mantra we hear every year, I’ve decided instead to set some goals for 2019.

I’m not going to completely overhaul my life just because society tells me to. I’m simply going to aim towards completing some goals that will make me feel content and happy, as opposed to following silly resolutions like obsessively tracking the calories of everything I eat or forcing myself to go to the gym every single day of the week.

If I don’t reach my goals this year, that’s perfectly fine and I can continue working towards them in 2020. I’m not going to be strict with myself as I did when I set resolutions in previous years. It’s about the journey, just as much as the destination.

My Goals for 2019

  1. Further explore blogging
    I’m still fairly new to the world of blogging and although I’ve enjoyed it so far, there’s so much I’m keen to explore. I want to write more regularly and get better at promoting my blog in order to attract more readers.
  2. Play games from my backlog
    In a previous post I mentioned I’ll soon be starting a new series on my blog in which I’ll be playing through my backlog over hundreds of (mostly untouched) video games. Gaming is my number one passion and I’m so excited to get myself organised and play through all the games I’ve been missing out on for such a long time.
  3. Start Twitch streaming
    This ties in with the previous goal as I think that playing through my backlog would be an interesting way to get involved with streaming and build a Twitch community.
  4. Cycle more
    Since completing the Ride the Night London challenge in 2018, in which I cycled 100km to raise money for Women Vs Cancer, I seem to have lost my mojo for cycling. I’m no longer training for a big challenge so have been avoiding getting out on my bike, despite cycling being one of my favourite hobbies. I’m really starting to miss cycling and will definitely be aiming to cycle more often with family and friends over the next year.
  5. Learn to love myself
    I know for a fact I should stop thinking of myself so negatively and try my best to stop worrying about irrelevant little things. I would like to be more mindful and learn to treat myself with more care and respect.

Don’t forget – you are already brilliant as you are. Try not to let the incoming swarm of diet and fitness deals trick you into thinking you need to overhaul yourself and your body just because a new year has begun. These advertisements are made to make you feel bad about yourself, so you’ll spend money on products therefore allowing profit to be made from your insecurities.

Continue being yourself and live this year in the ways that you know will make you happy.

Happy New Year!

personal, sunday sharing

Sunday Sharing #3

Welcome to the third edition of ‘Sunday Sharing’. These posts are all about the things I’ve been loving lately including TV, music, gaming, blogs and other interesting links. Please feel free to share what you’ve been enjoying in the comments.

Mr Robot
My partner finally persuaded me to watch one of his favourite shows and now that I’ve binged the entire first season and made a start on the second, I regret not getting into Mr Robot much sooner! It’s such a spectacularly written show and manages to keep you on the edge of your seat all the time. Rami Malek is an outstanding actor (which reminds me, I still need to see him as Freddie in Bohemian Rhapsody!)

Synopsis: Young, anti-social computer programmer Elliot works as a cybersecurity engineer during the day, but at night he is a vigilante hacker. He is recruited by the mysterious leader of an underground group of hackers to join their organization. Elliot’s task is to help bring down corporate America, including the company he is paid to protect, which presents him with a moral dilemma.

If you’re looking for an intense and mysterious thriller with an array of interesting characters, I highly recommend binging Mr Robot over the Christmas period.

‘Illidan: World of Warcraft’ by William King
I’m a little late to the party with this book in the Warcraft series, as it was the prelude to the Legion expansion from over 2 years ago. However, I’m really enjoying it so far particularly as I’m learning more about Illidan Stormrage, one of my favourite Warcraft characters, while also beginning to better understand Demon Hunters, my class of choice in WoW.

Far Cry: New Dawn

I stumbled upon Nolletra’s stunning portrait of the heroes of World of Warcraft on Twitter this week. The artists of the Warcraft community are so talented.

personal, wedding

The Reality of Wedding Planning

My partner and I have been engaged for over two years but we only starting seriously thinking about our wedding at the beginning of this year. Being quite young, and not having attended many other weddings, we didn’t really have a clue where to begin so we reached out to family and friends for help.

I began browsing Pinterest and wedding blogs for inspiration and was beginning to envisage my wedding day. My partner and I have always said that we did not want to spend thousands of pounds on our wedding – it is a day that should represent and celebrate us without having to blow the bank. With the endless wedding inspiration you can find online, planning a cheap, DIY wedding is certainly achievable and that is exactly what we set out to do.

Before I even had a chance to start researching, I felt like I lost all say in my own wedding. When you are engaged, everyone wants to have their say and wants to tell you how a wedding SHOULD be. At first, it seemed easier to just go along with what others were saying and this resulted in us losing control of our own special day.

That is, until we realised the wedding was getting bigger and bigger and shaping up to be the exact opposite of what we wanted. So much pressure was being put on us to do things a certain way and to have a traditional wedding that it even caused conflict between loved ones.

My mental health has also been affected by wedding planning and as sad as it is to say, there have been times where I’ve lost all interest in the wedding. It sounds ridiculous that something as special as a wedding could turn negative, but that was the reality for me for many months.

That’s when I decided that enough was enough – this is our special day and it should not be steered by the opinions of others. As much as we value and listen to the ideas and suggestion of others, we should be allowed to express ourselves through our wedding and be as untraditional and wacky as we’d like, regardless of whether it displeases others.

After months of going forwards and then backwards again, scrapping various ideas, and wanting to forget about it all and just elope, we’ve decided to just scale things down. We’re having a very small wedding ceremony with close family, followed by a reception in a local pub with good food and lots of beer. And quite frankly, that is all we could ever want and need.

As people always say, planning a wedding is one of the most stressful periods of your life, why should we accept that? We should be able to enjoy the entire experience and allow ourselves to be creative, and defy what society says about stressful wedding planning.

If I’ve learned anything from wedding planning, it’s that I should just be myself and feel free to go about my life in my own unique way. I hope any future brides who read this take something away from it and will not be afraid to express themselves.

All I know for sure is that if you truly love someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, you’ll be happy regardless of what kind of wedding you have. It’s not all about the wedding day, it’s about the lifelong marriage that comes after the wedding.

P.S.  I’ll have more wedding posts in future and I promise they will be a lot more positive! Look out for these posts if you’re also a simple, budget-savvy bride.

personal, sunday sharing

Sunday Sharing #2

Welcome to the second edition of ‘Sunday Sharing’. These posts are all about the things I’ve been loving lately including TV, music, gaming, blogs and other interesting links. Please feel free to share what you’ve been enjoying in the comments.

Although I haven’t been watching much TV this week, I’ve had a blast attending some concerts over the last few evenings.

Green Haze in Cardiff
This was the second time I went to see the UK’s number one Green Day tribute band after loving their show the first time around. As a hardcore Green Day fan, I was a bit sceptical the first time I went to one of their shows but I was really impressed. They pay tribute to my favourite band so accurately and I wouldn’t hesitate to attend one of their shows again in future for an affordable and fun punk rock night out.

Skindred in Cardiff
Following catching their energetic set at Reading Festival earlier this year, I have become quite the fan of Skindred. I love that their musical style mixes heavy metal and reggae with a bit of punk, hip hop and dancehall too. They are a rather unique band and put on a truly incredible show full of energy, love and even laughter. The Cardiff show of their That’s My Jam UK tour was even better than their Reading Festival set as the rather small Tramshed venue was a lot more intimate and personal. It was a brilliant night full of singing, dancing and great beer!

‘Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War’ by Christie Golden
This beautifully written book in the Warcraft series takes place following the events of the Cataclysm. It focuses on Jaina Proudmoore and the events before and after Theramore’s fall. Jaina has always been my favourite Warcraft character but this book made me love her even more. It shows the strengths and weaknesses of her character and made me realise she is likely the most relatable character in Warcraft, due to her human reactions to tragedy. I urge all Warcraft fans to read this book, especially those who criticise Jaina’s character – it might just make you look at Jaina from a different perspective.

Image Credit: World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 3
I’ve recently started playing Diablo 3 again since it had been a ridiculously long time since I last played. I forgot just how much I adore this game. I’ve started from scratch and am playing a seasonal Demon Hunter which I’m really enjoying so far. (I’m still hopeful for Diablo 4 announcement in the near future…)

Planet Coaster
I’ve been meaning to give Planet Coaster a try for quite a while to fill the Rollercoaster Tycoon shaped void in my life.The newest game in the RCT series was not well received by critics and fans alike, whereas I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Planet Coaster. So far it seems a lot more complex than the RCT games and will take a lot of learning for sure, but I’m really enjoying the more modern take on the classic theme park tycoon genre. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in over the coming weeks.

Jerianie’s Instagram feed is always so gorgeous but I’m especially loving her photos lately from her trip to Japan. Just look how colourful and autumnal her feed is!

personal, sunday sharing

Sunday Sharing #1

Introducing a new series to my blog, in which I share my favourite discoveries from the past week.

These posts are all about the things I’ve been loving lately including TV, music, gaming, blogs, articles and other interesting links. Please feel free to share what you’ve been enjoying in the comments.

Daredevil Season 3
I absolutely love Daredevil, especially as it doesn’t feel like traditional Marvel. It feels more like an intense drama series. Season 3 is by far the best season so far;the writing was incredible, the acting was outstanding, and Kingpin is one of the most terrifying villains in any show. I’d recommend this show to anyone who enjoys Netflix originals, whether you’re a Marvel fan or not.

American Horror Story: Apocalypse
The eighth season of AHS recently came to a close, and despite many fans being critical of the last couple of seasons, it seemed that the writers went back to the true AHS style we all know and love with Apocalypse. Not only did we see the return of the witches from Coven, but the queen of AHS herself Jessica Lange made an appearance after leaving the series many years ago. Apocalypse has left me feeling hungry for more AHS and I can’t wait to find out what the theme of the ninth series will be.

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
I recently finished reading this adorable little book written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. The book provides an insight into the Danish tradition of ‘hygge’ and I found it to be a delightful read for this time of year – especially while cuddled up in a blanket with candles lit nearby. I could imagine reading this book again in future when I’m in need of a little ‘pick me up’ and I’m also very tempted to try some of the traditional Danish recipes featured.

Overwatch
The newest hero Ashe, leader of the criminal Deadlock Gang, was released this week much to players’ surprise as she was very recently announced at BlizzCon. I absolutely love everything about Ashe; her abilities and play style, her look and of course her sidekick B.O.B! The release of a new hero always gets me hooked on Overwatch and as well as trying out Ashe, I’ve really been enjoying playing Competitive Deathmatch over the last few days.

If your day needs brightening, check out this hilariously cute video of a Labrador attempting to steal a smaller dog!

gaming, personal

Rediscovering my Passion for Gaming

Over the last year or so I’ve felt out of touch with the gaming community. I haven’t been playing games as often as I used to, I feel guilty if I do spend time playing games and I’m just not feeling the spark anymore.

Nothing really seems to be holding my attention like it used to, and I often feel quite critical and negative of games. I’ve become far more selective with the games I do play and feel like I have other priorities in life.

This could be down to several factors:

Being Busy
Working full-time while also planning a wedding and generally being an adult really does not leave a lot of free time for hobbies. Long gone are my teenage years where I had no looming responsibilities and could play to my heart’s content.
Even when I do get the chance to play games, I often feel guilty and can’t help but think I could be spending my time more productively. This may sound ridiculous as I should be able to pursue my hobby and take a break from day-to-day chores without feeling guilt but unfortunately my brain doesn’t see it that way sometimes.

Mental Health
Unfortunately most of us will suffer from poor mental health at some point in our lives, with Mind reporting that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Those who do suffer know how frustrating it can be to feel demotivated and lose interest in your hobbies and passions. When you simply cannot work out why you feel this way, it can incredibly difficult to fight it and fall back in love with your hobbies again.

Feeling Overwhelmed
After many years of impulse purchases during the Steam sales, my backlog of games has been continually growing and is now in the hundreds. With such a huge backlog to tackle, it seems impossible to decide where to even start. I spend a lot of time contemplating before feeling overwhelmed and jumping back into the same games I’ve been playing for years.

I’m on a mission to reignite my passion for games. I want to feel excited about games again, whether that be shiny new triple A releases, hidden gems from indie developers or the old classics.

Gaming can often be used to escape from the stresses of everyday life and I cannot wait to get stuck into the endless immersive worlds while growing to know and love the characters once again.

I want to play an active part in the online gaming community, to feel positive about gaming events and even attend some (such as Gamescom, which I used to attend annually). I also want to rebuild relationships with friends and meet new people to play with.

Let’s be honest, video games are the most special form of media due to the endless worlds and possibilities to uncover. Gamers are some of the most creative people with excellent problem-solving skills and mental flexibility. Gaming can also build on our social skills as we make memories and let new friendships bloom online.

I know I have it in me. I’m a gamer at heart and I refuse to give up on my hobby so easily. It has become clear that I’ll need to make some changes to reignite my passion.

That is where I hope this blog will help. I want to write about games and share my experiences with like-minded gamers, in an attempt to rediscover my passion.

My Plan

  • Launch a gaming backlog series on my blog (coming soon)
  • Stream some of my gaming sessions on Twitch
  • Play more multiplayer games with friends (because playing a multiplayer game solo is not quite the same thing!)
  • Broaden my genres and choices of games
  • Experience gaming on different platforms