26 Mar 2019

Wedding Chat (#4) | Emerging From The Lull

Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

If wedding talk makes you want to eat your own arm just for something better to do, then this post probably isn’t for you. Go browse kitten videos instead; I ain’t judging. 

So: wedding. 

Total honesty: I have recently felt a teensy tiny bit bored of planning a wedding. Like have we been doing this for approx. 4589745789 years? Yes, yes we have.  

We are… on top of everything. No seriously. Sure, the to-do list is long, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s mostly been ticked off bit by bit without that much effort. I guess I imagined it to be a bit more all-consuming...?  

This has led to a lull that I wasn’t expecting. The moment the new year rang in, I was absolutely ready for everything to crank up a notch but in truth, it didn’t, and we’ve had to adjust ourselves to having more time than we expected. And naturally for a while, my way of doing that was to assume we’ve missed something major and therefore preventing myself from ever being able to relax. Sometimes I really am the life and soul of the party…. 

I haven’t particularly enjoyed the lull and perhaps – more than once – may have expressed a wish that we’d just had the wedding at the end of last year. To which G always points out that I wanted to take three weeks of annual leave which I couldn’t do last year. He's so bloody logical. 

BUT. As I write this, there are 66 days, 21 hours, 58 minutes and 8 seconds until we get married. YES I HAVE A COUNTDOWN APP, WHAT OF IT.  

Basically, two months to go (nearly). And the lull is fading. I can feel the anticipation returning, the buzz rekindling. I’ll be doing a wedding-related task and this little squeal of excitement will burst out of me. Like when I see a new bridesmaid dress (each bridesmaid is picking their own) or when my wedding ring came back or when we booked two days in Yosemite freakin’ National Park for our honeymoon. 

Oh and I had the most incredible hen do and yeah, basically one of the best weekends of my life. More on that utter gem soon. 

There is more than enough to do over the next 9 weeks and I am pumped (never said that before) for the home stretch. 

I am impatient for June, but I think it’s going to be worth the wait. 

17 Mar 2019

A Birthday Lunch at Sketch, London

Sketch, London

Sketch, London


Sketch, London

It’s afternoon’s like these – which incidentally was on my birthday – that make me fall in love with London again. I think it’s a commuter’s burden to regularly fall in and out of love with the bustling capital. The falling out happens during the morning commute. The falling in happens when we take time to delve into the capital outside of work hours.

I haven’t given London much attention over the past couple of years; too preoccupied with other things, preferring to remain in St Albans rather than dealing with shitty Thameslink trains. I mean, I’m there every week but always in the same area. But now that I work at home more than 50% of the time, my desire to see more of the city is growing; it’s the same feeling I get when I begin to think about my next travel adventure which is great because London is less than an hour away.

Anyway, here’s how my birthday afternoon went.

Sketch, London

After catching the tube to Oxford Circus and noting that my patience with tourists is much higher when it’s a non-work day, I wandered into Mayfair for lunch at Sketch which I was veeerryyy excited about. I’d been to Sketch once before years ago and I know a lot had changed since then so it felt like a fresh experience.

I am thoroughly of the belief that half the cost of Sketch is down to the fact you will leave with an extra 50 photos added to your camera roll. And yes, most of these will be of the toilets. If you haven’t been to Sketch, I realise that sounds weird. If you have, well then you know.

If you’ve never heard of Sketch: it’s a gloriously eccentric townhouse in Mayfair made up of completely different rooms which are less restaurant and more an immersive experience. This time, we were in The Glade which has an enchanted woodland theme. The walls are beautifully decorated with trees and the delicately shifting light beams give the impression of sunlight shining through the treetops. The carpet is a patchwork of greenery and spongy underfoot, resembling a forest floor and the bold fabrics on the chairs and sofas were all floral themed. Honestly, it’s a proper work of art.

Sketch, London
Sketch, London

Sketch, London


As it was my birthday, I treated myself (seriously, it was £15.50) to a bubble and pear cocktail (prosecco, lemon juice, vanilla syrup, pear puree) which was soooo nice. My starter was the cod croquette with endive salad which was the perfect combination of soft and crispy, and – something always special about fancy places – the salad tasted divine.

For mains, Alice and I both had the potato gnocchi with green veloutΓ© and roasted pine nuts. I genuinely wish I could have asked the chef how one can make gnocchi like that cos omg so soft. It melted in your mouth and the sauce was so tasty.

Naturally, we weren’t going to miss the opportunity to use the famous Sketch bathrooms and this also meant we got the opportunity to walk through The Gallery room aka the famous pink room everyone is always instagramming. Can confirm it’s just as cute as it looks and I took a few sneaky pictures whilst loitering by the bathroom door.

So the toilets! The ceiling is a patchwork of colourful neon lights, there’s cute wide-angle mirrors dotted about everywhere and you get your own individual egg to pee in. It’s quite a hard one to explain but hands down, most fun peeing experience you will ever have and the only time in your life you will take more photos of the restaurant toilets than of your food.

Sketch, London


After finishing our pee-experience, we collected our coats (of course there’s a cloakroom) and took a walk through Carnaby which is an area I love. It’s just so cute, with so much going on and so much to look at. We stopped off at Doughnut Time, another place I’ve wanted to try for ages, although not as fancy as Sketch! There are so many different options but I eventually picked the ‘Hans Rolo’ and then promptly demolished a doughnut as big as my head.

And then we hit up the theatre and I FINALLY saw The Lion King which I have wanted to do for a stupidly long amount of time (Tip – the tickets aren’t going to get cheaper. Just suck it up.). We came out just as the sun was setting and walked back to the tube through Covent Garden, yet another picturesque area. My camera roll was very full by the end of the day!

Sketch, London

Sketch, London



11 Mar 2019

Spring Cleaning With Fantastic Services

Fantastic Services

Gifted

My week has started well. Guys, the flat is clean! And not just whizzed-the-hoover-round clean but CLEAN CLEAN. I'd go so far as to say cleaner than when we moved in. I can practically see my reflection in the super shiny sink and I can assure you, that has never happened before.

Tell me I'm not the only one who never achieves a sparkling bathroom? It's almost as if I'm only making a half arsed effort or summin'. Hands up okay: I could use this post to talk about how I live a busy life and never have time to clean but the truth of the matter is, yes I am busy, but I also just bloody hate cleaning. It's boring, grosses me out and I could always think of approx eight million other things I would rather do with my free time. Like eating Camembert or browsing holidays to New Zealand (latest travel obsession). But I don't actually want to live in squalor, funnily enough.

Fantastic Services


The answer? Fantastic Services.

So Fantastic Services is the one-stop shop for all home services. You name it, they do it. You can see a full list of services on their website but it includes cleaning, gardening, pest control and landscaping. Their cleaning service includes a regular cleaning service, one-off deep cleaning, upholstery, windows, guttering, end-of-tenancy, holiday rentals... honestly, the list goes on.

This afternoon, I was lucky enough to try out their one-off cleaning service. Just after lunch, a team of three arrived at my flat after keeping me updated with their arrival time via text. There's no parking nearby so they had to carry all their equipment from the car but that didn't stop them being really friendly and cheerful. They asked if I wanted a room prioritising (and I practically begged them to sort out our bathroom) and then they cracked on, leaving me to get back to work.

They blitzed the entire flat and I was so impressed by how thorough they were. They really 'gave it some welly' as my mum would say. Everything was scrubbed within an inch of its life. The floor was mopped, the bins were emptied and the upholstery hoovered. I watched them pull up all the sofa cushions to hoover underneath and tried to remember the last time we had done that (and then hid because didn't want to see what was lurking under there). I genuinely can't get over how white and shiny my bathroom looks right now - perfect for the brighter change in seasons.

Fantastic Services are mainly based in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Oxford but are currently expanding their services - check out their area coverage here. St Albans folk - see what they offer in our little city here. These guys are there for any household jobs you may need doing, from cleaning to plumbing to fitting your blinds. Also, they have a super cute Instagram page - check it out here.

I was kindly gifted this cleaning service but all opinions my own. 

Fantastic Services

Fantastic Services



A Photo A Day | 4 - 10 March 2019

A Photo A Day, Week 10
4 March 2019
Location: Home, St Albans
As predicted, the clouds returned. Cosy vibes though🧣

A Photo A Day, Week 10
5 March 2019
Location: London
If in doubt, take a photo of a pretty building πŸ“Έ

A Photo A Day, Week 10
6 March 2019
Location: Zizzi, St Albans
I’m a sucker for a lightbulb sign 😍 Lovely evening catching up with my friend Lisa at - you guessed it - Zizzi. 

A Photo A Day, Week 10
7 March 2019
Location: St Albans Museum + Gallery
My friend Dan came over to play 🀳🏻🍭

A Photo A Day, Week 10
8 March 2019
Location: Home, St Albans
Jumping into the weekend with bath bombs, wine & the best of M&S gastro pub range and yes, pretty giddy about it πŸ’« 

A Photo A Day, Week 10
9 March 2019
Location: Home, St Albans
Both regressing to childhood and bringing Easter forward by several weeks but WHAT JOY 🐣

A Photo A Day, Week 10
10 March 2019
Location: St Albans
☀️⛈❄️🌈 Five mins after this photo, it started hailing. Honestly, how is one supposed to know which jacket to put on?! #britishproblems

9 Mar 2019

A Therapeutic Weekend In Lancaster

Visiting Lancaster

I’ve been in a weird mood recently. A contradictory combination of wanting time to hurry up (I might be a bit bored of planning a wedding now) and also - I guess you could say - freaking out about the future both playing on my mind in an anxious sort of way. So that’s a jolly hoot.

And also why I really needed this weekend in Lancaster. I mean, I didn’t need Lancaster specifically, more the people there. Although Lancaster was also v nice.

So last weekend, I ran away from work slightly earlier than I should have done to buy fruit pastilles at Euston station and then to hop on a train up north. It’s a sign of how much I wanted to see my girls that I willingly got on a pendolino train again. You’ll be pleased to know, thanks to drugs and sea-bands, we did not have a repeat of last time’s disastrous experience.

I hopped in a taxi at Lancaster station and within five minutes was at my friend Ele’s house where her ridiculously fluffy cat, an enormous cheese board and hugs from my gals were there to greet me.

It’s funny how you don’t realise you need something until it’s happening. This, unfortunately, seems to happen to me a lot. I feel I have a long way to go before I am in tune with myself enough to know exactly what my brain needs at any one time. At this time, my brain needed my gals, a lot of talking, good food and the joy of discovering a new place.

Visiting Lancaster

I really liked Lancaster. It was full of cobbles, history and cute cafes and we all know that is my kind of place. The freakish February blue skies vanished as March arrived but I liked seeing Lancaster on a cloudy day; it was much easier to envision the depth of history with dulled weather. It made everything more atmospheric and feel like exactly the kind of place that once held the most famous witch trials in English history.

We ate proper wholesome food (is there anything more comforting than a fish finger sandwich? I think not.) including some epic hot chocolates. I tried a white one – jury is still out but I think I would still prefer a milk; soz white hot choc of dreams. We browsed the shops in the way you can only do when not remotely limited on time. I snapped photos of pretty buildings. We sat in the bay window of a pub, deliberately tucking ourselves away in the quiet area. We talked, talked and talked some more, and I left for home feeling lighter and more content.

Ele had a sign up in her kitchen that said ‘friends: cheaper than psychiatry’… or something of that ilk and yeah, that sums it up perfectly.

Visiting Lancaster

Visiting Lancaster

Visiting Lancaster



4 Mar 2019

A Photo A Day | 25 February - 3 March 2019

A Photo A Day, Week 9
25 Feb 2019
Location: London
After dragging various people around supermarkets in search of a white twix over the past few weeks, I finally discovered one in the local petrol station, along with - woah - a white snickers. What a time to be alive eh? 

A Photo A Day, Week 9
26 Feb 2019
Location: St Albans
Yes I will continue to include the blue skies in pics/bang on about the weather until the clouds inevitable return. Because IT’S FEBRUARY AND THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Kay, bye.

A Photo A Day, Week 9
27 Feb 2019
Location: Home, St Albans
Breakfast of dreams in the morning sunshine 😍 

A Photo A Day, Week 9
28 Feb 2019
Location: Lancaster
Arrived in Lancaster to the world’s fluffiest cat (and my friends) 😍

A Photo A Day, Week 9
1 March 2019
Location: Lancaster
Kicked off March by exploring Lancaster with two of my absolute faves - involved trying white hot chocolate for the first time 😍

A Photo A Day, Week 9
2 March 2019
Location: Lancaster
Lancaster was my kind of place; cobbles, cute cafes, atmospheric. πŸ’«

A Photo A Day, Week 9
3 March 2019
Location: Home, St Albans
Pancake day arrived a little early in our household 😍 

A Photo A Day | 18-24 February 2019

A Photo A Day, Week 8
18 Feb 2019
Location: St Albans
Started the day with Monday blues but have ended it feeling quite chipper thanks to these absolutely gorgeous skies in St Albans this evening, plus a good gym session & a bowl of gnocchi πŸ˜‹

A Photo A Day, Week 8
19 Feb 2019
Location: St Albans
Before the irritations of the day got away with me, I was up & out early for a half an hour walk to the lil kitten I’m looking after this week. Fresh air & kittens is a pretty great way to start the day me thinks 🐈

A Photo A Day, Week 8
20 Feb 2019
Location: St Albans
Last day looking after this pickle who, despite how she looks, was very confident and had the biggest purr I have ever heard from a kitten 😻 

A Photo A Day, Week 8
21 Feb 2019
Location: London
That blue sky though 😍 Spring seems to be confused and has arrived early but I am here for it πŸ™ŒπŸ»

A Photo A Day, Week 8
22 Feb 2019
Location: Nkora, St Albans
Bit of sunshine, bit of cake, bit of writing☀️ 

A Photo A Day, Week 8
23 Feb 2019
Location: St Albans cathedral
This weather though! It just seems to add a bit of lightness under foot. It’s been a pretty simple Saturday: gym, errands, writing. But all with the window open and sunglasses on 😍 

A Photo A Day, Week 8
24 Feb 2019
Location: Aymi Cafe, St Albans
Took a wander across town in this deliiiightful weather to go check out Aymi Cafe which did incredible sandwiches & had the prettiest decor. And then got an ice cream and sat in the sunshine reading my book because apparently February has decided it wants in on the Spring action 🀷🏻‍