Thursday, May 30, 2019

Vow Renewal Part 1

I'm going to post a few posts about the vow renewal, because I've got loads of pictures that I want to share and I want to share my experiences from the day.

I will start off by saying that the whole thing meant a lot to both of us. We were so close to splitting up last year and saying it was over for good, and we worked really hard on putting things back together. We built some things up from the ground, we started again. So it meant a lot that we would renew our vows, re pledge our lives to each other, and have a grand celebration with our family and friends. Maybe that doesn't make sense to some people - well, it doesn't have to. It made a lot of sense and really meant a lot to both Lee and me, and that's all that matters.

I will also say that it was such a perfect day. I couldn't have asked for anything else. There were a couple of niggles, but they didn't make that much of a difference, so I can't really complain about them. I had a really amazing, fun, happy, perfect day. Everyone being there and us throwing a party for 75 people was a big part of that!

So, here we go. In the morning me, Lee, Lucinda, Sam, Jac, my mum, and my stepdad all met at the venue to decorate it. We had it at the local Miners' Welfare institute in our village, which was very on brand for us. It was also free, which was good, and I liked the idea that by avoiding a chain hotel or pub we were putting money back into the local economy. The staff had been really helpful since we booked and on the day they helped us put spiral Star Wars decorations up from the ceiling! We finished there around 11am and headed home.

Lee's mam, stepdad, sister, niece, nephew, and two brothers all turned up. His mam had agreed to do my hair and his sister Kim helped. I got in the shower and then sat in my bedroom while they did my hair. I'd bought a bobble with hair the same colour as mine attached, so Kim and Bev curled mine and pinned mine into it. Then came the first of the niggles - I'd bought a really pretty comb to slide into my hair, but we couldn't find it. I was sure it was in our attic room, but couldn't find it. My niece and nephew were running all around the house and couldn't believe all the books in the back bedroom. It was nice to have them at ours, albeit briefly!

Eventually I found some other pearl hair clips and we used those instead. I loved my hair because it was out of the way and it looked so good! Next up was my make up. My friend Sarah helped me with it - she is having a bit of a bad time and she was an absolute superstar for me on the day and I love her so much for it. She is really good at make up and she and I had previously tried on every red lipstick in House of Fraser and found this gorgeous Lancome one. It was such a treat for me and I'm glad I did it.

Next, the dress. My mum made it! She really listened to what I wanted and over the months since Christmas we'd bought the material, the netting for the underskirt, and the sparkly gems and she had adjusted the pattern until I was happy. It had pockets! I wanted them because I wanted my phone close by so I could take photos throughout the day. I also wanted sleeves, but we made them sheer so my tattoos could still be seen. The sparkly gems came from an Asian jewellery shop and are wedding jewellery officially, so we joined them together (that took me, my mum, and my stepdad to do, a few weeks ago!) and my mum sewed them to the sash. I think you'll agree that the dress is beautiful.

I wanted a net underskirt and as the theme was rainbows and Star Wars I chose seven shades of netting for a whole rainbow underskirt. My mum graduated the layers so they could all be seen, and I think you'll agree that the effect is really nice. I bought the shoes from M&co when I was away in March - I liked how they were white and sparkly. I bought rainbow ribbon laces from eBay and I think this looked marvellous! I'm definitely going to wear these trainers quite a bit.

Let me show you some of the photos so far!

I wrote this on the board on the street near the venue because it isn't the easiest place to find, and at least two people told me they'd spotted it and it was useful!

This is what the cake looked like when it was all put together. I think we did a decent job!

Stuff hanging from the walls, a photobooth corner, rainbow bunting up on the music centre...

And here I am standing in the front garden, all dressed and ready! Chloe (LifesBigCanvas) made my flowers and the bridesmaid ones - I knew I wanted some and that I wanted a rainbow ball and I loved them. I've got the ball hanging up in our attic room now. 

This is Sarah's photo I think. As you can see, I had a whole rainbow of bridesmaids! These are my six best friends forever, and we decided with not too much argument about who would be each colour. For instance, Sarah was definitely yellow and Lucinda was definitely purple, but Jac and Sam decided red and orange between themselves, and Von went for green. We had a LOT of fun in the group chat looking at each other's dresses and accessories. The effect was amazing and I feel so lucky that all these amazing beautiful women came to do this with me. Get yourself a rainbow squad, I highly recommend them

Me and Sarah in the front garden - look at her skirt! It was so beautiful

Me and Lucinda - she's been in Canada for a few years and I'm glad she's back in London now! She and I have matching Libertines tattoos on our feet

Me and Lee. His t-shirt was Han and Leia saying "I love you/I know" which was adorable. Oh and he had his rainbow Converse on too! Lee isn't a formal person and that's fine - I wanted him to be comfortable and he was. And looked cute!

Here you can see the VERY flouncy skirt (there was fifteen FEET of material in the bottom of it!), the rainbow underskirt, and my shoes and laces. I thought they all looked great together!

I think I'll leave this here because it's already long enough! Next time I'll talk about the ceremony. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

What We Did 3rd of May

Lee had the 3rd of May off because we had a ton of things to do for the vow renewal. I wanted it to be a relaxed day and fun too, and it was!

In the morning we set off to pick up the cake from Marks & Spencer. I've always said that the worst thing about our wedding was the cake; it was quite dry and didn't taste that nice, and definitely wasn't worth what we paid for it. I was happy to have the opportunity to do it again, so I just ordered three tiers from M&S - two vanilla and one chocolate - with the intention of decorating it myself. It didn't cost too much either!

Then I said I'd treat us to lunch at Yo Sushi. It's one of my favourite places, and I'm really impressed by the number of new vegetarian and vegan dishes that they've made. Lee isn't keen on the stuff on the belt, but he likes a lot of the hot dishes so he was happy about it. I had a ton of stuff including a new tofu noodle dish which was really spicy and delicious. It would be perfect if you had a cold! Lee is eating chicken so he had some of the Japanese fried chicken and said it was really good. When I ordered at first, I ordered two veggie things and the fries, and the person picked up on the fact I'm vegetarian and said she'd do the fries without tuna flakes. I wasn't even aware it was tuna flakes on them, so I was impressed, and will bear that in mind in the future.

On the way back to the car I stopped by the Benefit counter in House of Fraser. I needed some concealer for the next day and ended up buying that, a mascara which made my lashes look AMAZING, and some primer. The make up artist also gave me a make up bag and some free samples, which was really nice of her! I was impressed.

We then went to Morrison's in Barnsley to pick up some lunch bits that I had ordered for the next day and to buy stuff we needed for the evening of the vow renewal. My uncle was in charge of food and he did SUCH a good job. He and my aunt made beef chilli, and Lee and I made a vegan Thai curry for the veggies and vegans so we needed to get stuff for that. Once we got home Sam and Jacqui weren't far behind us.

They were staying over in the village for two nights and had volunteered to come and help us on Friday night which was really lovely of them. We ordered pizza and I opened one of the bottle of champagne I got for Christmas because I wanted to share it with my friends. After we'd eaten Sam helped Lee make the curry and Jac and me decorated the cake.

We'd ordered Star Wars ribbon, some mini figures, and the rainbow cake topper in plenty of time, so I made some runny icing to stick everything on. Jacqui and I had a lot of fun trying to get everything stuck down in the right place. Jacqui was being the red bridesmaid in my rainbow so she borrowed a bunch of nail polishes too. We had a fun evening. I had to stay up really late for people to arrive from London, but eventually we got to bed!

I was wearing this Scarlett & Jo dress that I find easy to just pop on, and a new grey cardigan from Simply Be 

I love the marble soda in Yo Sushi, it tastes so yummy

Tofu noodles!

The rest of my face looked knackered, but my eyes looked good!

I have really long eyelashes naturally and this mascara made them look fab


Sam painting Jacqui's nails

She couldn't choose which red so just chose lots

The cakes

Some of the mini figures

Leia and Han and the rainbow topper on top of the little cake, held up with skewers!

Luke, possibly, although we thought it looked more like Ewan as Obi Wan?

Three pans of curry bubbling away!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Films of the Month - April

I feel like I didn't watch many films at the end of April because I got really caught up in family stuff and then in sorting stuff out for our vow renewal. I was really anxious about it in the run up and that always means that I don't watch many films, I prefer to watch TV as that's shorter and easier to concentrate on.

But! We did go see Captain Marvel which I LOVED! Here's what I saw:

Agatha and the Truth of Murder is on Netflix, I thought it was okay but I preferred a book about the same murder - this by Jessica Fellowes
Lee and I watched 10 Things I Hate About You near its twenty year anniversary. He's not sure he's ever seen it!
And THEN Captain Marvel! Brie Larson is my faaaaaave. I'm not much of an MCU fan but I liked this a lot. 

I hadn't seen Wonder, which is based on the book. It's okay, I didn't rate it all that much
I really enjoyed Good Vibrations, about a punk record company in Northern Ireland - I'd recommend this if you like music
I have never seen Disney's Peter Pan so it was on my Disney tracker! I didn't love it, but I don't love the Peter Pan story anyway

Lee and I watched X Men Apocalypse together. I love it. I love Quicksilver most
People on Netflix kept saying Unicorn Store, also with Brie Larson, was good, so I watched it. It's good!
And I really love Legend, with Tom Hardy playing both Kray twins. I've seen it a couple of times now

I have never seen Pitch Perfect 2 before so I watched it. I liked it but felt it needed more singing?!
The Heat is one of my favourite films because it's so daft and I love Melissa and Sandra! 
...And so because I was on a bit of a Sandra kick Lee and I watched Ocean's 8 again. It's still great.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Fantastic Next Conference in Sheffield

At the end of April I went to a conference in Sheffield all about fandom. It was called Fantastic conference and was thinking critically about several facets of fandom. Everyone there was a fan of something and it was really interesting to talk to people about fan studies and about their fandoms. Most people were academics, but as someone who isn't, I didn't feel unwelcome or out of place. I really enjoyed it and will go if it runs again next year!

I got brunch with my friend Laura on Thursday as she brought across some truly excellent leftover vegetable pilaf for me, and then she dropped me off at the station in my village which goes straight to Sheffield. It's quite a nice trip, I never minded it when I was at uni. I got a taxi to the building we were in and met Miriam outside. She and I met through a clothes swap a few years ago and have several things in common, including Manic Street Preachers fandom. She was one of the organisers so I'm glad I could go and support the conference. I went inside and upstairs and registered.

On Thursday evening there was a screening of Velvet Goldmine but I was feeling really tired so Lee came to pick me up instead. I've seen it before anyway, it's one of my favourite films!

I had to leave home bright and early on Friday morning to get to Sheffield for 8.50 to start Friday. It was fine, there were hot drinks and biscuits to greet me. It was a full on day of speeches and panels, but so interesting and so much fun. Lunch was fabulous, and we also had a zine workshop in the afternoon which was fun. I learnt so much and I'm so glad I took the chance and went.

Afterwards quite a few attendees went across to Revolucion de Cuba for something to eat and some drinks, which was unexpected and really lovely. I'm glad I did that, too! I left around 8pm and got the train home. I was absolutely exhausted so we just got straight into bed and I watched Emmerdale!

Here's a few photos from the conference.

Everyone needs a very sensible and grown up notebook for a conference, so I took this Pusheen one

Me and Eve! It was so nice to meet her in real life as we've been Twitter friends for a while now

Some of the slides from panellists

This one was so interesting!

Cosplay isn't something I'm into but I love watching people who do - there's so much art and effort that goes into it

There was a bookshop! I bought three Star Wars books, but I wanted to make sure my BFFs didn't want any of these Buffy books. Turned out they already had them!

There was a Manics film so I took this photo of my Manics lyric tattoo

What I wore on Friday - Scarlett and Jo skirt and a black top 

The final speech, which was so interesting such a good closing panel

This cocktail was called a Men's Ruin, mwahahaha

And this was a Bananarama

Halloumi tacos and pulled jackfruit nachos

And finally here's me and Claire, someone else I was really happy to meet in person!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Easter Sunday with the Family

As I said, we had a really busy Easter with my family visiting. I'm glad we stayed in and did nothing on Easter Monday because we both needed it! We watched a film and planted some plants, but otherwise didn't do much.

On Easter Sunday we had a quiet morning at home, we had some brunch, then went to meet everyone at Cannon Hall. It's really close to our house but we rarely go. We'll have to remedy that cos it's really nice. Caroline, Neil and Peter went off for a walk and the rest of us went to the garden centre. My mum bought Lee and I a really cute planter with alpine plants in it that I've put on the windowsill outside at the front of our house.

We had a drink in the cafe and then my mum, stepdad and grandma sent off for my mum's house where we were having tea. It was about 5pm and I had seen a big swing in the kids' playground and I wanted a go on it. So Lee and I headed across.

First of all I went on the roundabout, which was a lot of fun, Lee managed to make it go really fast for me. Then I went on this flying saucer type of swing. I managed to get in it and while I'm sure I didn't look very graceful doing it, I had a lot of fun swinging back and forth in the sunshine. It was out of my comfort zone, but I'm so glad I did it.

We went back to my mum's and sat outside in the sun again. Wasn't it a lovely Easter for hot weather? Just as tea was ready we got the sad news that my mum's cousin in Florida had died, so we were thinking about her as we were eating.

After tea we got sucked into watching a frame of snooker which lasted ninety minutes! It was ridiculous! We had to say goodbye and come home to bed eventually, but it had been a really lovely weekend and such a nice Easter.

I was wearing this Scarlett & Jo skirt with a navy blue top from Yours. The skirt was maybe a touch too warm for the weather; it has a lining and some netting. But I liked it anyway.

The little stream that runs through the garden centre

Lee and I, I think this is a lovely photo

Banana milkshake! It was so nice

Me on the roundabout

Swinging in the sunshine

Selfie while I was swinging. I'm so impressed I managed it! It was worth the bit of pain I had the day after

The swing! Lee helped me

And finally, my outfit