If you are planning your wedding (or anybody else’s for that matter) you want it to be a great day, the best day in fact. Of course you do.

I read a ‘helpful’ article recently which outlined the trends to avoid if you are planning a wedding in 2017 which I thought I would share with you.

Here are a few of the no-no’s on their extensive list;
Floral crowns
Cowboy boots or Converse trainers with your wedding attire
Having a big bridal party
Chalkboard signs
Naked cakes
Anything boho or DIY
Giant bridal bouquets
The informal wedding breakfast

Having read their article I would like to respond with a few of my own trends to avoid. Some you might agree with, some you might not! Feel free to let me know in the comments section.

1) Having a theme or colour scheme (or anything else) because you feel like you are expected to.

For starters, there will be very few guests who will remember your colour scheme. Secondly some of the most beautiful wedding photos I have seen have been ones which had NO colour scheme at all. If you want to go down this route then cool, that’s your choice – just be aware of the “teal trap”! You pick a colour (any colour) and you will be surprised by how many different shades there are. Want to save some money? decide on a palette rather than a colour.

2) Expecting your wedding to come above your guests comfort/priorities

Your wedding is a pretty important day in your life and you want your loved ones there. Great. Do them a favour though and don’t expect them to travel hundreds of miles and spend a lot of money only to be spending the day standing around with a rumbly tummy because the person planning the wedding decided that it was “their problem if they didn’t have breakfast”.
If you invite a person they are your guest, it is common courtesy to make them feel comfortable.

That doesn’t mean an endless supply of nibbles and a free bar. It does mean letting them know if there will be a long gap between the ceremony and the food. Similarly if you don’t want to have children at your wedding, that’s understandable. Don’t be cross though if that parent you invited can’t make it due to the lack of a babysitter. That’s life.

3) Not including your In-Laws on the thank you’s if they don’t contribute to the wedding

If you value your relationship with your future spouse then you should probably just suck it up and give them that thank you. Maybe they are an enormous pain, maybe you share an immense dislike of each other, maybe. It doesn’t matter. Grow up and get behind the fact that they produced and raised their child to be the person who you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with. Be nice.

4) Asking your Bridesmaids to change their appearance to better suit your photos

Yes, it happens. Some corkers I have seen in the last few years have included them being asked to get to a tanning salon (not a spray tan, a proper one. The bride didn’t want the dress ruined), a girl being asked not to be in her wheelchair for the photos and many, many girls who were asked to dye their hair so they didn’t stand out in photos. Please. Just don’t.

5) Scrimping on the Photographer

Trust me on this. It is the biggest regret from all of the brides I speak to after their wedding. If the photos aren’t right or the photographer is “not a people person” then you are not going to be happy with the end result. That doesn’t mean you need to pay through the nose, what it does mean though is that if your budget is limited you need to do your homework big time!

5) Including (or excluding) anything for the sole reason that it is (or isn’t) en vogue.

Your wedding day should be about you. It should represent you both as a couple and as individuals and as such there is NOTHING off limits. Naked cakes are beautiful and DIY weddings can save you a LOT of money as well as bringing more than a touch of the personal to your special day.  There really are no rules at all. Don’t wear white or ivory or even a wedding dress if that’s not who you are. Or do! Whatever your day looks like, the outcome will hopefully still be the same.

So that’s my list.  Feel free to add your own to the comments section, I would love to hear them!

The things people will remember from your day will be how much fun it was, not whether you had favours or what canape they were given after the ceremony. So forget the politics, make it FUN and GOOD LUCK!

 

 

 

#Blogtober17

Before I Played With Clay For A Living

Once upon a time I worked in an office and not with clay, I worked in several office jobs actually. This particular one though saw me working on the telephones within a small team. I mainly took note of customers complaints about some (very boring) air conditioning units or spoke to engineers about their frustrations with their employer and told them why they would have to wait a week for a part we were meant to hold stock of.

It sucked. It REALLY sucked.

At the time Col was a 4 year old blonde bundle of energy. He was always my little shadow and having to drop him off with his childminder (even though she was great with him) to go to a job I hated was utterly soul destroying.

Then, I discovered I was pregnant.

Big Fat Positive

After I had gotten over the initial shock of that little line appearing, I had to think of the practicalities. At the time I was living 150 miles away from my parents and siblings and in fact all of my relatives. Childcare was expensive for 1 child, for 2 it was going to pretty much be out of our budget. Of course we would make it work. People generally do, don’t they?

I pondered the question of how. The days turned to weeks turned to months and before I knew it I was the proud owner of a great big bump and on Maternity leave. The panic was starting to set in.

One Day I Woke Up

I was 7 months pregnant, had quite severe SPD which was preventing me from walking any further than to our front door without crutches and I had an idea! Well, it wasn’t so much as an idea than a feeling. I had played with Fimo as a child with my Aunt who had taught me how to use it (and loved it) but since becoming an adult I hadn’t really thought about it at all. On this day though it was all I thought about. Off to the local craft shop I went and procured a few assorted colours of Fimo. I returned home excited and sore. This was what I made that afternoon.

I cringe when I look back at it now but at the time I was pretty pleased with how it had turned out! I popped it on Ebay with an item description explaining how I was selling a service rather than a premade item and clicked POST!

My First Sale

12 hours later I had a direct message from a lady called Kathy who lived in New York and who was desperately searching for a bride and groom in their wedding attire with faces made up to look like members of the band KISS. I accepted her challenge and that was that. My first sale!

Once the cake topper had been made I sent Kathy a photo and she quickly replied to let me know she was very pleased and wanted to order clay figures of her pets. Her 12 cats and dogs. They were to be assembled around the lower tiers of her step style wedding cake. I obliged of course and the topper was sent.

I have never forgotten that first sale and how grateful I still am that she entrusted me with such an important part of her special day.

11 Years Forward

I know how lucky I am. I get to be at home with my children. I’m am able to attend all of their special assemblies and sports days and I owe all of that to a little idea planted when I was a child which grew into something I love. I don’t like to call it work or a job because with those words comes the implication of a lack of enjoyment. Of course at times it has been difficult. Juggling a business with a demanding family is definitely a skill. Sometimes life can get in the way of time I ought to be crafting orders and usually on those occasions I am working very long hours and surviving on very little sleep. It’s worth it. Every single time.

My Favourite Part

I love creating. The design process and speaking to excited brides and grooms to be about what they would like to have included is lovely. Sitting at my desk with clay around me bringing our ideas to life has never lost its appeal. I can lose myself in those hours and let my hands take over. But when all of that is finished with and a client emails or messages to tell me how pleased they are with their cake topper and how everybody at their wedding has commented on how wonderful it is. That is an amazing feeling. That is probably why I could never give it up.

As well as wedding cake toppers I create figures for all occasions. Click HERE to win a bespoke birthday cake topper!

 

 

Win! Win! Win!

Who wants a free cake topper?

When I am not tapping away on my laptop or photographing my food and my children are otherwise occupied, I can be found creating small people and animals from plasticised clay.

I speak to wonderful people on the internet who have a special occasion coming up and who would like me to create a one of a kind piece to display on a cake and then on a shelf. Taking some details from them along with a photo or two and design and create for them something rather special

I charge £50 for a personalised birthday cake topper but YOU could get your hands on one for free….

You Can Have It Your Own Way

..To win a personalised birthday cake topper of your very own design just click the link below and enter the competition via my Claytastic Cake Toppers Facebook Page

It’s quite difficult to tell you what you will recieve, it really doesn’t exist yet. I will instead share a selection of other cake toppers I have made. Anything is possible whether the recipient is 1 or 100!

 Cake Topper Competition

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

There was a time when breakfast (when I bothered) meant either toast and peanut butter or cereal. I don’t like cereal. It was just quick and easy. 

Slimming world rules means that I could still have either of those (yay) BUT if I do I have then used up my healthy extra choices for the day (boo), and I don’t like to do that. I prefer to save them up most days just in case I am feeling a bit depleted later in the day (spoiler: I always feel depleted later in the day) 

With that in mind here are some of my favourite go to ideas for a Slimming World friendly breakfast;

1.Good Old Cooked Breakfast

It’s big, it’s filling and it’s delicious. I love onions so I always add them to the pan with my bacon medallions but you could also use Courgette or chopped Sprouts (think bubble and squeak) or Asparagus.

There are masses of great tasting low syn sausages on sale nowadays but I usually buy the Linda McCartney Red Onion & Rosemary one because I know they are syn free leaving me lots to play with for the rest of the day.

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2. Banana Pancakes

These pancakes are bananas – no, really. They use just 2 ingredients; 1 banana and 2 eggs. A cooked banana is 5 syns but you can get 8 pancakes out of that so in my opinion are well worth it! If you add a pinch of baking powder you will have a lighter, fluffier pancake. I like to have mine with berries and a teaspoon of choc shot or fruit syrup (1/2 syn per tsp) 

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3. Sausage and Egg Notmuffin 

Roasted peppers, 2 large baked mushrooms, an egg, 2 Quorn breakfast patties (1/2 syn each) and a slice of cheese if you want to use your healthy extra A choice. 1 syn for a great tasting breakfast.

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4. Just Fruit

Being a serial breakfast skipper before I started examining how I ate, I do still have days when I just want something very light. On those days I like fruit. Sometimes I even have time to arrange it in a fanciful fashion on my plate – if you think for a second that I got to eat all of this without a 2 yr olds hand diving in, you are very much mistaken! 

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5. Baked Oats

1 way to use your healthy extra B choice is to have baked oats for your breakfast. Porridge, sweetener, yoghurt (low or no syn of course), an egg and a little vanilla essence. Just mix it all up and pop it in a cake tin or a dish and cook it in the oven. You can change the flavours, I love adding raspberries and almond essence for a bakewell flavour. 

(Ok so I like this one because it is quite cakey) 

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6. The No Time for Breakfast, Breakfast

With 3 kids, a business to run and frankly not being a morning person I don’t always have the time to sit and engage in a proper breakfast. On those days I stick a pan on and hard boil some eggs. This is all stuff I can chomp on while I am shouting like a lunatic at whichever child has lost their shoes 5 minutes before we leave for school. Again. 
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So there you have it. 5 reasons for you to start today.

Good luck and let me know what your favourite Slimming World friendly breakfast is by commenting below!

Mummy & Moose x

You Baby Me Mummy

 

I don’t really do resolutions. Usually. I also don’t tend to open my life up to the world and his wife but the advent of this blog has proved me wrong on the latter so what do I know? No time like the present to give it a go, right?

I have decided that 2017 is going to be all about clawing back a bit of the me that I miss. Clichés ready? Then let’s do this..

1.Change My Body Shape

My weight doesn’t bother me. The number on the scale and the number on the little tag in my clothing. Maybe it should, its a big number, but it really doesn’t. At the moment I am uncomfortable in my skin and if I am truly honest it is interfering with my mood, how I play with my kids and…my marriage. I am not going to whine on about it but I know it has to change. Going for a walk each day is how I will begin.. and not eating chocolate for breakfast for a change (maybe)

2. Blog for Myself

The world of blogging is one I am easing myself into. I have met some incredible people and I have read some amazing posts – I feel like I am learning a massive amount and long may it continue. But I have been tying myself up in knots worrying about what people think of how I write and trying to censor myself here and there. I can’t even tell you why really, to appeal to the masses? hmm I don’t think I have ever even liked the masses so I am not certain why I would want to do a thing like that.

3. Eat Less Meat

I like meat. A rare steak is a beautiful thing to behold. I do think though that to be healthier I need to reduce my intake and also, this goes hand in hand with being a bit more creative in the kitchen. I can cook, I would love to actually be good at it though and I want to learn to cook at least a couple of meat-free dishes per month. If you have any good recipes for me, feel free to leave them in the comments section!

 4. Watch Less TV

I enjoy TV. I can watch hour upon hour of, well, pretty much anything. That’s the problem. A lot of it is amazing but most is actually quite dire. I think know that time could be better spent elsewhere, so that’s my plan! I am hoping to fill those extra hours by dedicating more time to working on the blog and also by doing some online courses.

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5. Sleep More!

This is my favourite resolution. Sleep is so underrated. I am lucky now that Moose sleeps roughly 11 hours a night but he has dropped his afternoon nap so if I have any hope of not turning into a perpetually irritated old hag I need to make sure I catch up on the ZZZZ’s too. Usually I can grab 5/6 hours a night. I am not someone who can be happy on less than 7. I need to sort it out!

New plan is.. Moose in bed for 19:30, half hour doing some kind of tidying up, 2.5 hours of either work or blog and bed for 10:30 where I will read an actual grown up book without pictures for half an hour! Part of this new routine will definitely mean cutting out the caffeine. Either its going to be great, or my family are in for a miserable few months. Watch this space!

6. Visit Edinburgh

I have never been. I have always wanted to go. I’ve no idea why it has taken me this long? So this year I would love to visit Edinburgh Castle and if anyone has any other suggestions feel free to comment below.. the planning begins!

7. Go On More Adventures

I am an indoors person. The sofa and my laptop and a nice cup of coffee.. I love until I don’t. I am prone to bouts of melancholy and this is amplified when those walls start to close in. I need to get up and get out more with Moose and I know he would want that too if he ever looked up from playing with his dinosaurs long enough to notice.

So that’s my 7. Couldn’t reduce it to 5 and 10 just feels like too many all at once. 7 is rather a good number I feel. It’s a given that I will keep you updated as to how I get on and who knows, it might just be the best year ever.

I would love to know your resolutions for the coming year so tell me! I am nosy!!  

Wishing you good health and happiness throughout 2017

Mummy & Moose x

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