Thursday, 30 July 2015

How we...

Four year anniversary

Today is our wedding anniversary, four years ago we became Team Mozzy!  I thought on our anniversary I would write a post about how we navigated the financial minefield that is hosting a wedding.

Sam and I aren't very showy with cash, we thrift and save where we can and don't have a particularly spendy mindset.  The idea of spending thousands of pounds on a wedding, just one day in our lives after all, was out of the question and as anyone who has organised a wedding will tell you the second you use the word 'wedding' £100+ gets automatically added to your bill.

I should add that we had amazing support from family and friends throughout the lead up to our wedding, financial, creative, emotional the whole nine yards we couldn't have done it without them.  I would also add that a thrifty wedding is NOT an easy option and there were a few times we wished we'd just eloped but in the end it was totally worth it.

What we did...

  • We sent out sunflower and cornflower seeds with our invitations and asked people to grow flowers to contribute to the decorations, we also grew sunflowers on the allotment and had them all over the venue they looked great!
  • My mum was amazing, the night before the wedding she went to a whole load of supermarkets and bought up bunches and bunches of reduced cut flowers and created beautiful displays with them for each of the tables.  My aunt foraged in the hedgerows for brambles and other flowers to be included in the top table floral decoration all of it looked great.
  • Now I appreciate that I'm lucky to have a sister-in-law who can rustle up amazing dresses and not everyone does but she made my dress and the two bridesmaids dressed for under £100 (basically just the cost of the fabric).  When I see that you can spend thousands on a dress alone, that blows my mind!
  • We found a venue that was new to hosting weddings so managed to get the cost of hire for much less than the more established destinations.  It did mean we were guinea pigs for their processes and organisation but for the price of the venue hire that was definitely a sacrifice we were happy to make.
  • We took a taxi to the registry office and to the venue.  Ok, ok that's not glamorous at all but we weren't prepared to pay upwards of £500 for a sleek car for what would have been a maximum of 20 minutes in transit.  Plus we didn't care that we rocked up in a taxi, and because we didn't care no one else did either.
  • My mum and aunt were once again amazing, over several months they bought up white china from charity shops and car boot sales, it didn't matter that the styles were all different because each plate was plain white it matched enough and went with the relaxed feel of the do.  At the end of the wedding we sold most of the crockery back to the venue, (after our friends and relatives had taken what they wanted!)
  • Months in advance of the wedding we made the most of supermarket offers on booze, after Christmas and New Year we were buying up Cava and Babycham like it was going out of fashion, on one visit to the supermarket we came out with two trolleys piled high which raised a few eyebrows in the car park!
  • Our venue didn't allow foil confetti so I dried petals over the radiator for weeks and weeks!  I then went to Makro and bulk bought small white paper bags (like sweetie bags) and rubber stamped on each one 'I love you more than...' (mario kart or ginger chicken udon noodles for example)  and added them to each of the bags so each guest got a unique bag of confetti.
  • Sam brewed his own alcohol, that stuff was rocket fuel but people seemed to enjoy drinking it, my favourite was the blackberry vodka, it tasted like liquid jam!
  • My mother-in-law crafted knitted flowers that we used as napkin rings, people loved them and I saw lots of guests wearing them during the reception which was lovely.
  • We bought up vases, water jugs, cutlery and cake stands at car boots the water jugs were plain glasses the vases were coloured glass.

What we would recommend...

  • If you're looking to take a similar thrifty approach it is best to go into it without thinking everything will be matchy/matchy.  We knew we would be picking stuff up from car boots and charity shops so knew there would always be an element of unpredictability to it but that just didn't matter to us and added to the ramshackle nature of our do!
  • Gauge early on if family and friends do actually want to help out and make a list of what you want them to do, don't be vague.  I probably was vague at times which may have made things frustrating for family helping us out so if I could do things again I would have a more structured plan.
  • We asked guests to bring a bottle rather than a gift, others contributed by baking cakes to be included on our desert buffet (that went down a storm!).  Guests are super generous so try not to over buy your booze if you go down this route.  Sam and I were drinking Babycham for months after the event and took boxes and boxes of wine back to the wholesaler because our guests were so incredibly generous with the alcohol they brought with them.
  • Our families had also been bringing wine back from their trips to France, this definitely helped reduce costs!
  • If you are thinking of buying up plates and things for your do rather than hiring them make sure you know what you're going to do with them afterwards.  Whether that's selling them on, donating them to charity or giving them away to friends it is super stressful if you're left with loads of stuff after the event that you don't know what to do with.
  • It helps if you go with the flow, things won't be perfect but that's totally ok, whilst there are many ways you can save money on your wedding there are many things that you really have to just shell out for and that can be stressful as well.  Have good friends around you for support and try not to take it all too seriously!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Spotlight on Pinterest: Style // hair

If my job allowed I would dye my hair every colour of the rainbow and have some severe undercuts but alas I have to remain fairly mainstream and dream of better hairstyles via Pinterest.

I have curly hair which can be tricky to style, when I have it long it loses it's curl but when I have it short or bob length the styles I can work are very limited.  I've recently had an undercut which has lightened my hair and meant I've had a much better curl which I'm loving.  I'm thinking of growing out the top portion of my hair so I can wear it down at work but then tie it up to reveal sleek super short hair... Not sure how well my current style will grow out and how I can manage that, I'll let you know how it goes.  In the meantime here is my Style // hair board:

Follow Anna's board Style // hair on Pinterest.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The view from this mat

Wardrobe malfunctions

Quite often at the gym you see way more of other people than you bargained for, leggings are more see through than one would imagine, shorts don't cover all that nature gave you, and VPL is prominent wherever you turn.  I'm not super keen on everyone being able to see the outline of my pants through my leggings so when I found some seam free pants I thought I would give them a go...

First off, they were mahoooosive, way bigger than they looked on the packet, but fine, I can cope with that no one is going to see them, no one need know how granny-ish they look... Secondly, comfortable fabric but no natural fibres, a cotton plant has been no where near these bad boys, but that shouldn't be a problem, should it?  Cue one of the hottest days of the year, Sarah and I are in the front row of Body Combat giving it our all, but its all good, no one can see my VPL hahahahaha I'm such a winner at this gym thing!  We come down to the floor to start doing our abs track when, what the fuck is this?  Synthetic material = no breathable qualities, I've sweated, of course I have it's hot and I've been kicking and punching for an hour... but it looks like I've wet myself!  This is a disaster!!!  

The situation is made worse by the fact that I have to get through the abs track and cool down without anyone noticing... but the teacher insists we all face the same way for abs, basically our bums face a massive window where the next class wait to come into the sports hall, they spend that time watching... ohhhhhh shit.  But what can I do?  I struggle through and make a hasty exit via the side door straight out into the car park, I catch up with Sarah and basically flash her my sweaty crotch.  She pointed and laughed, I would have too if the roles had been reversed.  

The hell pants were unceremoniously binned.

Have you got any wardrobe malfunctions that you can share with me to make me feel better???

Monday, 20 July 2015

Spotlight on Pinterest: Seasons // summer

As it is the middle of summer I thought today's spotlight on Pinterest had to be my Seasons // summer board.  I've tried to fill it with quirky and colourful summer pictures but would love to fill it up with even more so do send me your suggestions!

Almost every picture on this board reminds me of the holiday Sam and I spent in San Diego, it was perfect we're both so desperate to get back to California to see those beaches and palm trees!

Follow Anna's board Seasons // summer on Pinterest.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Spotlight on Pinterest: Nature // mushrooms

Blogville has had a long love affair with mushrooms and toadstools, almost every interiors post you read will have a toadstool nightlight or stool tucked in the corner somewhere (I'm no exception btw my Christmas tree is usually covered from top to bottom in toadstool decorations).

Mushrooms in real life are so weird, and fascinating.  In autumn Sam and I try to get outdoors and visit a forest or two to photograph mushrooms and moss so it was a natural progression that I started a Nature // mushroom board on Pinterest, happily thousands (millions) of other pinners have as well so there is plenty of source material out there!

Follow Anna's board Nature // mushrooms on Pinterest.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The view from 39a

The best time of year

Oh my days the allotment is in full swing now and I'm loving it!  This little pink and white beauty is a new variety of beetroot we grew this year and it is delicious, I cut this one up and put it on a pizza (dough made from scratch, passatta made from home grown tomatoes, home grown herbs, spring onions adorning the topping, smug much?).  The beetroot was so sweet it was delicious eaten raw, with some of the others we've grown I'm going to grate it, mix with carrot and have with falafel in a pitta much nom!

Our little cherry tree is fruiting this year, if we want any fruit we have to get in there quick before the birds get them.  This little fella looked good but was a bit tart, I think I'm going to have to cook our crop up into jam but that is no hardship.

Don't judge me

So my most favourite vegetable ever is baby corn, I love it on pizza, steamed or just raw it's so tasty.  I've tried growing sweetcorn before but outside and it didn't fared that well (but that may have been down to my inconsistent watering) this year we've grown some in the poly tunnel and as you can see its doing well as it towers over me!  

I can't lie I'm a little bit obsessed with the corn, it's so alien looking but beautiful as well, the photos don't do the plant justice as these fronds are so pink and red and amazing!  I picked my first corn yesterday, it seems a shame to pick them so young but if you want baby corn you gotta do it and frankly I got over it pretty quickly.

Look at that!  I mean what the hell!? I never knew that each little kernel on the cob gets it's own strand.  You peel off the outer leaves and then gently pull the corn out from it's leafy casing and this is what comes out, amazing isn't it?  (I told you I am obsessed with the baby corn.) I'm delighted to report that it was delicious as well, next year I might just shoulder out some of the tomatoes and grow a full bed of corn!

What we've been doing on the plot

  • Battling with bind weed, I doubt we'll ever get rid of it entirely but it's a lot less invasive than it was before
  • Battling black fly, we've got a full infestation on the runner beans which is an arse but I'm trying garlic infused water and just scraping the feckers of the plant, guess which method is working best?
  • Harvesting the last of the broad beans and turning it into pesto to stock up our freezer.  Also when your broad beans have finished fruiting cut it off at the base but leave the roots in the soil to rot, they have a lot of nutrients in them and will do your soil the world of good
  • Thinning out the apple tree, remove the weedy looking fruits so you only have a couple per bunch it will make the apples you do harvest a lot sweeter

I'm on holiday this week so will hopefully be spending a lot of time on the plot tidying up and planting more seeds!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Spotlight on Pinterest: Colour // neon

Argh I love all things neon!  You can spot me a mile off when I'm in my gym clobber because I simply cannot stop myself from buying neon hoodies and vest tops :)

For my second spotlight on Pinterest I am sharing my Colour // neon board, I have a collection of Colour boards which over the coming weeks I will share with you but I had to start with the neon board because it is my favourite.

Follow Anna's board Colour // neon on Pinterest.
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