My Week #51 -Wedding Dresses & All of the Food

*First Wedding dress fitting *Cookie dough loveliness

*Pickles thinks he’s a shoe *My garden wall

Rain rain, go away

And this flu can also go away. On the bright side, my head doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode today. Sinus headaches suck! Big thank yous to Topher for making me tea yesterday when I couldn’t get out of bed. Right there – that’s why I’m marrying you.

So according to the weather forecast, it’s now going to rain for the foreseeable future. Lovely! At least I got out in the garden and tamed that beast just in time.

I had my first wedding dress fitting!

It was so great to try it on and not having my back hang out like it did with the sample. In fact, it needs to be taken in a fair bit too. I reckon that’s just because I’m wearing it slightly different to how its supposed to be worn and that’s all I’m saying.

I had to laugh when I first saw the dress bag. Purple and polka dots! The most me dress bag I have ever seen in my life! I can’t wait for the next fitting.

My mum came and stayed over so she could come with me to the fitting and boy oh boy did we get shit done. We got a bunch of stuff for the wedding and she helped me get my garden back under control. It looks so pretty now!

We also found the perfect vases for the centre pieces and for a great price at Ikea. The only problem with that is that I was planning on spray painting coffee jars for vases so all the calculations I’d done on the amount of flowers needed was based on that. These new vases have wider brims so we literally need double the amount of flowers. *Screams internally. So I’ve got to seriously get my act together and get flower making.

I maintained at Slimming World

I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to maintain my weight than I was this week! How the hell did I manage that? My mum and I had 2 meals out with dessert and I had a pic n mix fuelled Thursday – Saturday so it is literally a miracle.

I’ve gotten focused now anyway and realise the problem lies in the cheat day after I’ve been weighed which ultimately turns into cheat weekend. I can’t carry on like this as I’m just throwing money away going to group every week. I want to get to target.

So I did a whole bunch of research on Tuesday and Wednesday night and found a whole load of new recipes that I’m super excited about. Thanks Pinch of Nom! So I had a great day for food yesterday, even despite being ill. It’s been a great start to the week so onwards and upwards!

I sold my dresser!

Yay, that’s one piece of big furniture gone from the living room. It’s just the leather armchairs I’m still struggling to shift. I’ve just added a listing on Facebook selling so fingers crossed they go this week.

How was your week?

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A Quick Trip to Nottingham – Bills and Street Art

This weekend I took a quick trip to Nottingham to stay with my brother who bought a flat there last year. Considering I spent my teen years in Nottinghamshire and would frequent the city quite regularly, it’s been years since I spent more than a few hours there.

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As well as seeing my brothers new flat (makes my old London one look like a shoebox!) we took a wander around the city. Being a big fan of cool street art, I was happy to see some as we walked.

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These sock puppets in particular are awesome!

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There was a guy on this side street randomly with a piano. Locals, is he there all the time?

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This one was on the side of an antique shop which I probably should have gone in but hunger won!

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For dinner we headed to Bills which I can’t believe I was only visiting for the first time. To be fair, we don’t have one in Manchester so there is that. But I never got the chance to go when we lived in London and when Topher and I tried to in Birmingham, the wait was too long. So I was pleased to finally give it a go.

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The decor is pretty quirky and shabby chic. This wall got instagramed right away!

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I had the mac and cheese with mushrooms, leek and truffle. Yum! It was so filling that I didn’t have room for dessert. Shame, maybe next time?

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The next day we went to Salt Box for lunch which is right next to the Motorpoint arena. Ideal if you’re going to a concert after! We both had the hoisin duck pizza which was really nice. Most people I know prefer their pizza thin but this one was really doughy which I’m personally a fan of. Another filler, leaving me with no room for dessert.

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Short but sweet. Until next time Nottingham!

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My Week #39 & #40 – Weirdness, Networking and Cake

my week #39 & #40 - 40

*Coworking *Mystery cake 

*I made a cheesecake! *WeBlogMcr meetup

*Back to Busaba *Floating shelves 

*Storm Doris strikes *Pickles and Luna

My oh my it’s been a weird couple of weeks!

I didn’t blog last Friday because I suddenly got really sick. I have no idea why and it wasn’t pretty. It was so annoying as now I feel like I’m super behind on everything.

So lets start from the beginning of last week. It all started out great. I was out of the house every day that week on various events and meetings which I really enjoyed. I went round to a fellow freelancers house with some of the Freelance Friday ladies for a co-working session which included a lovely walk in Whalley Bridge. Co-working is awesome – it always leaves me feeling inspired even if I don’t get too much actual work done!

The mystery cake pictured above was made by Katya and was a mystery because we had to guess which vegetable was in it. Very surprisingly it turned out to be potato! Who would have thought?

Thursday I went to Slimming World and lost 1 and a half pounds. Woop! I’m now only 2lbs away from my lowest weight I got to with them in 2014. Unfortunately this week I maintained but as I always say with Slimming World, it’s better to stay where you are then be going in the wrong direction. Fingers crossed for next week.

Last weekend my family came to visit.

I had gotten sick the day before and was really hoping I felt better when they arrived because we were returning to Busaba. Luckily I did because who wants to go to a yummy restaurant with a stomach bug right?

During the day we popped over to the Makers Market in Chorlton for a little walk around and to grab some lunch. Of course I somehow managed to take no photos! We ended up finding a little Syrian bakery stall which had some awesome cheese and spinach bread. The name in Arabic for what they exactly are escapes me right now.

This week I felt things pile up.

Adulting is hard. I think the combination on losing out of a days work and unforseen things coming up (I’m looking at you Storm Doris!) have made my to do list triple in length. Luckily after today, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Fingers crossed it’s all better next week.

How was your week?

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Exeter Roundup

For newer readers, Topher’s family are from Exeter in Devon and Falmouth in Cornwall. In 2014 we headed down to both (search devon and falmouth for posts) which was really fun. This year we headed down just to Exeter, Devon to see Topher’s dad’s side of the family. As well as seeing everyone again, I got to meet Topher’s dad and his half sister who live in Tenerife with the rest of their clan. It was a fun week mixed with all the weather bar snow and we packed in as much as we could. So time to photo-bomb you now!

Something I miss is walking. We definitely got in some walking on this trip, though not as much as I would have liked due to the ever changing weather. We were lucky enough that on the first day it was boiling so we were able to do this particular hike.

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This abandoned old house was so cool and I loved the random bunting someone put up.

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There’s something just so beautiful about forests. I wish we could get married in the woods. Damn you England with your laws against getting married outside.

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Since it was such a short visit two years ago, I didn’t get the chance to go into Exeter’s city centre but this time we went twice. It was great to get to a Tiger store – why are there barely any branches up north? Though there were the usual chain stores and cafes, there were a few unique gems. Vegetarians out there get yourself to The Plant Cafe. We only got drinks but the food and cakes looked awesome. Another time I guess.

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How cute are these chocolate robots? If I’d had any money I would have probably bought up the entire shop.

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This paper installation at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter gave me some serious paper plant goals. Imagine how awesome they would look if they were coloured paper!

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So when in Devon, it is a crime if you don’t get yourself a cream tea. And I’m no law-breaker! This were by far the best we had while we were there – the place was called Tea on the Green and it’s right next to the Exeter Cathedral. The scones were still warm when they brought them out and you could tell they were freshly baked. Perfection!

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The tea was also very nice and the teapots were very unusual. The bottom of the pot is pressurised so the tea comes out of there. You pick it up and press it on top of your cup and the tea comes out the bottom. Very weird but pretty cool.

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Topher’s family love their board games so there was plenty of Pictionary, Rummikubs and Uno played throughout the week. This facemats were also pretty entertaining – apparently I really suit a moustache.

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When the weather wasn’t so great, we headed to places like Bickleigh Mill which is a shop and cafe full of treasures for your home and great for gifts.

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Afterwards, we headed to Fisherman’s Cot Pub where I had one of the best beef carvery sandwiches in my life. Seriously I am still dreaming about this sandwich over two weeks later!

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And what’s a holiday without ice cream? I tried a ginger ice cream which was very tasty, while Topher and Emma had bubblegum.

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All in all it was a great trip and I’m sure one day we’ll be back!

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Our Engagement Party

Topher and I’s engagement party was definitely the highlight of our Jordan trip. Since we’re getting married in England next year, we knew not everyone from my Arab side of the family would be able to make it – especially the older great aunties and uncles. So my parents recommended having a big party this year so the whole family on that side could attend. A great excuse to buy a pretty dress.

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I got my dress from Little Mistress at the House of Fraser and felt like a princess. The skirt was huge! It’s still available online at Little Mistress here. I paired it with flat beaded sandals from New Look and a clutch bag (not pictured) from Accessorize. I’m so glad I wore flats. My feet personally thanked me at the end of the night. They also appreciated the pedicure.

Topher is wearing a royal blue suit and white shirt from Next. The tie is from Primark.

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Me, my brother and Topher.

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We held the party at my auntie’s house in her back garden and one of my uncles organised the whole thing. I just wanted a starry night kind of theme with navy, gold and lots of fairy lights. It was really pretty – I’ve always loved outdoor parties at night over here.

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Topher and I had to endure a first dance which was interesting to say the least. It’s weird trying to awkwardly shuffle your way around a dance floor with 50 people watching you. We both concluded that we need to step it up on the dance moves for our wedding and all songs are way too long!

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The difference with an Arab wedding/party is that after everyone joins you on the dance floor, it’s a lot of people standing around you clapping while you dance if it’s your night. But eventually, it gets more fun and everyone starts to dance too, phew!

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We couldn’t help but sneak in our little nerdy dance moves!

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As much as I love dancing, my favourite part of parties like this is the buffet! Far from English weddings where the bride and groom forget/don’t have time to eat, at Arab ones you have to go first! Deal.

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Rule: There must always be lamb.

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Me, Topher, my brother and all but one of my cousins

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And my auntie and uncle!

It was a great night and great practice for next year. One important thing we took away from it was that you have to get used to all eyes being on you…and we seriously need to learn how to cut a cake properly!

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