Wedding Themes | Guest Outfit: Is It Worth All The Effort?

Carrying on with the wedding topic, I want to talk about wedding themes and guests’ outfits.

I have been to 2 weddings so far that have had a theme and the bride and groom have encouraged the guests to choose their outfits to go with the theme for the day.

As a guest I’ve found this really stressful on one hand, but easy on the other. Stressful because it narrows the search to a particular style, and easy because you have a guideline to follow so it makes choosing an outfit that much quicker – you hope.

In general I put a lot of thought into things and I do the same with clothes in regards to respecting people’s wishes. Many guests will wear what they want regardless whether it matches the theme or not – as I encountered on the 2 wedding days, and that’s fine, they still looked stunning but it made me feel like I had wasted all my energy into choosing something I probably wouldn’t have chosen if there was no theme.

Similar to a fancy dress party when you are the only one in costume and everyone else is in regular clothes (which btw one year that happened to 6 of my friends and I) nobody bats an eye-lid and the party still goes on.

So, it really makes me question is it worth abiding by a wedding theme request, when only a handful of the guests adhere to it and the bride & groom aren’t too fussed about it anyways – as it has appeared to be the case?

There’s me worrying that if I don’t follow the theme suggestion I’m going to upset people. It has made me question any future wedding outfits I may choose theme or not, because quite frankly it’s made me feel like a prat and annoyed at the same time.

All the extra money that could have been saved (especially when on a budget) when really, all that matters is that you have attended the ceremony anyways, right?

Have I learned anything from this? Yep, I’m going to listen to my gut and choose an outfit that matches the theme or not, as long as I’m comfortable to enjoy the celebrations. Because it seems like I’m one of a few that seem to give a shit and then it makes me feel like shit.



Coffee Date Disaster

Coffee dates with friends are something I relish nowadays. With everyone so busy with their own lives it seems everyone has time for a cup of tea or coffee so I always grab this opportunity to meet up with any of my friends (before they all disappear!)

It’s a great way to catch up, have a spot of lunch, pop into a shop or two and you can do that in just a few hours – with still time left in the day to do your regular little chores.

So, why is it that I have just returned from a coffee date with one of my oldest friends and I just feel like shit. There was conversation, yummy drinks, the weather – beautiful, we got along perfectly as always, so why do I feel worse than when I left the house?

I feel drained, sad and hurt. I admit that many topics were of the moaning variety but isn’t that the norm when girls get together? One moans to other, leaning on the other one’s shoulder? Is it that I’m not managing well with this type of chat any more because I have enough to deal with myself and to hear someone else’s all the time is just too much? Maybe, I think it is, I’m such a good listener I don’t realise I’m soaking up all the angst when it is not even mine.

But what can I possibly do? Say no to invites and then lose what friends I have left, altogether – we can’t all be the same and I fully accept that, but as of this moment the only thing that is stopping me from crying is writing this post. Unfortunately, there are some personality types where you can’t bring these types of things up, you will just get cut off or not spoken to again. Some people are just like that, they don’t argue back or give an answer they just vanish and you never hear from them again.

I don’t want to risk this, so I let this consume me which isn’t good either.

Well all I can say is thank you for listening while I have a good old fashioned vent myself! (how ironic) I hope you have a lovely evening and I’m determined not to let this ruin the rest of mine!


Wedding Guest Etiquette | Do You Mingle With The Guests You Don’t Know?

Quite recently we attended the wedding of my close friends’ younger sister – you may as well say the younger sister is like my sister pretty much, seen as I’ve known the family since she was tiny.

It was an absolutely stunning day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The bride decided to invite more friends than family, so there were many groups of people who had never met and some who had met maybe once or twice. I always find in these small-talk situations you can tell a lot about people; their general manners towards others, their social skills and rapport-building qualities.

I have been to occasions like this several times where I have literally known nobody and have had to make efforts to ‘fit’ in somehow, albeit sometimes in an exaggerated way, you just stick out like a sore thumb otherwise and ya know what? The day would get really dull and boring if you just sit in the corner staying ‘schtum’.

I probably would never on a normal day have chatted to the guests I conversed with – but that’s the thing it isn’t a normal day and I think it’s so rude not to be friendly, especially when the bride is pretty much like my own little sister! This is why I just couldn’t understand my close friends (the brides sister) and her family’s coldness towards anybody who wasn’t part of their ‘circle’.

I watched it quite obviously the whole time, they made zero effort with anybody. Only speaking to their own family and guests they knew. But this wasn’t because they are shy – they certainly aren’t that! It was like they were some sort of clique and even my husband and I – whom they’ve known for years got a frosty reception. In fact, the brides sister – my close friend even stated to me “I don’t mingle unless I know people – I just can’t be bothered”. I think that just says it all really.

I think the reason it shocked me is because I’m the opposite, or I’ve learnt to be, because I’ve been the person nobody wants to mingle with and also have been the person to mingle.

Does this kind of scenario happen at all weddings? In my experience, I’ve only noticed this happening at weddings where there has been a higher ratio of friends versus family members and weddings where there has been quite visible snobbery and class differences.

You could argue that the cliquey family in question probably were a bit overwhelmed maybe? No, not really, the truth is they are like that in everyday life but I just thought they would make more of an effort on their sisters’, nieces’, cousins’ special day.

I just find it so sad that adults can act in this selfish way, and I wonder has this happened on your wedding day? Have you been to a wedding and witnessed this too? Or maybe you’ve heard of something like this happen to someone?

Whatever the similarity or difference I’m interested to hear your stories.

Do you mingle with wedding guests you don’t know? I do. But do you?






Charity & Volunteering | Does It Really Benefit Your CV?

I had an interview last month with a national charity that is based locally for a position I’m experienced in and had done before.

I had previously worked for a non-profit plus for the past year I’ve been helping a relative with their fundraiser; social media management, collection tin organisation, liaising with donors, community outreach etc, so I figured why the hell not apply?

To my surprise I didn’t get the job. Maybe I was too hopeful but when I added it all up, it actually didn’t make sense to me and especially as it was only for a contract position!

I had a simple test before the face-to-face interview which consisted of typing a basic letter in 30 minutes, all the info was given what to write about, nothing difficult. The interview was held by 2 managers of the company, it lasted about 1 hour, I was asked about my volunteering and that is when it became rather odd.

I’ve always maintained that the reason why I have volunteered while doing my job search is so that I can help others by using my skills for free, it helps me stay mentally productive and active and I also gain a bit of knowledge on areas I may not have done before, I get to use this stop gap on my CV, I gain more references and it shows I’m willing to work hard – even if not getting paid. I mention that the fundraiser is only for a further 4 months as that is when this particular one ends, I don’t see anything negative at all in what I have done.

“So, if you get this job how will you continue to manage all the social media and charity work?” She asks.

“I will hand in my notice of course but at the same time, if someone were to continue for the short months left, it would be the same way people who go to the gym after work or check their own social media pages like facebook or instagram – which by the way I don’t have, in their free time or on their days off. There is absolutely no way of it interfering with the working day” I reply.

Wow, I mean seriously, if I am looking for a paid job isn’t it common sense that the volunteering will end? Shouldn’t a charity head office know that? Considering this was only for a temporary position – and from what I overheard there was no intention of extending the contracts, it was all really nit-picky I felt. There were a few more focused questions on the charity and volunteering work but the question above was the one that really stuck out, and after that I just knew, I could sense it that I wasn’t going to ever get this job.

I did a ton of research on the company as soon as I found out I would be interviewing with them, so I was speechless when I received an email the day after stating that I had been unsuccessful because I didn’t have enough experience for the position (I have 5 years experience – which they knew I had) and that I didn’t know enough about the company, that in future I should research companies better.

Even though I feel you can never research enough, there is only so much you can learn yourself, I felt this was just absolute bull-shit to be honest. But what surprised me the most was that it was from a charity, I just never would have thought a charity would look at volunteering on a CV as negative. It has really made me consider not applying again to this sector in the future and it actually is quite sad that this is what they focused on rather than the years of experience I had to benefit their organisation, even for a short time.

I am completely over it now, but I am really curious if anyone else has experienced this? Or know anyone that has? Do you guys think I should remove this charity/volunteering gig and leave a massive gap on my CV instead? I don’t think this would ‘sell’ me well at all but my goodness, is that what they wanted to see?

I actually really enjoy being interviewed (yes I’m weird), so let’s hope I get another soon! I won’t give up!





The Best Exercises For Lower Back Pain

I’ve suffered from lower back pain since I was 14, I developed problems from carrying a heavy school bag. The problems would come and go for a number of years, it got so bad I visited an osteopath for 1 year after an episode had me in spasms for 1 month where I couldn’t stand straight. It was horrible.

After numerous GP visits, all they would prescribe me were muscle relaxers, which only put me to sleep and masked the issue rather than fixing it. I found the osteopath sessions too expensive for me to keep up, even though they really did help me and the lovely lady diagnosed me with having a dis-aligned hip that gave me connecting issues with the little bones in one foot (apparently all to do with a weak core).

Along with the at-home exercises I was instructed to do, I was also advised to take up one-2-one Pilates, walking and using an exercise bike. I attempted a Pilates DVD I had as I just couldn’t afford the private one-2-one classes, I ended up injuring myself further and I have been scared to do Pilates since, but I tried something else and after 1 month I did find a method that completely alleviated my pains.

The Plan That Cured Me

A few years ago I decided to purchase a magnetic exercise bike for around £100, I’ve always preferred to work out at home rather than the gym so I felt this was a really good investment as I have always been a fan of circuit training and cardio equipment. After 1 month of using my bike I noticed that when I woke up in the morning I had no stiffness in my lower back and there was no ‘stuck’ feeling I often suffered with. My spasms had also disappeared, so had the ‘clicking’ of my bone in my foot. I completely put this down to the cycling I was doing (as I had also noticed other health changes too: lighter and shorter periods, zero PMS, more energy…).

I wasn’t particularly doing anything difficult or inventive on the bike, I just rode everyday for 1 hour at my own pace, burning between 400-500 calories and that was that, some days I would go for a 1 mile walk too but this wasn’t a regular thing like the cycling. I then began to do interval training on the bike as my fitness levels were improving and I was actually getting a big buzz out of working out. Without realising I had lost weight and toned up too, even though this wasn’t the initial focus – it was an added bonus though!

I followed this regime religiously for about 18 months – 2 years, until I moved homes and my whole routine got totally messed up and I have never been able to get back into it since. It took a while, I’d say a good 3 months, but pretty soon everything that improved had reverted back to their original status – my back twinges (even though not nearly as bad), my hormones, my energy levels and my general wellbeing.

For the past 2 weeks, the intense pain I got 5 years ago has returned so I have been really trying to get back on my bike again. I’m on day 3 right now and I’m hoping that I can continue for as long as possible, even with all the goings-on around me with the packing and the move. I am having interrupted sleep because the pains wake me up every time I try to switch positions and turn, my lower back ‘locks’ and I have to grab the bed posts to pull myself as an aid. I thought I’d share this here as I know so many people have this problem and I’d love to help others out.

I have been told I will always and forever suffer with this because of the natural shape of my spine, I can delay the time in between the back attacks but I can never get rid of them, so the trick is for me is to get into a habitual routine no matter what. This is the bit that is difficult for me. I find that I fall out of routines fast as soon as I travel/get sick/relocate.

Do any of you suffer with lower back pain? Do you agree with me that exercise is the only thing to really help? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, thanks for reading 🙂




Moving Home…Again! | Tea & Lipsticks

This will be the 6th time I have moved home, but for reasons out of our control, (read: Landlord is selling the home we rent) another move is on the cards, as soon as we find a suitable place.

I actually hate moving, I find it so incredibly stressful and for this reason I am very anxious about everything to do with the move, but on another hand, I am not sorry about saying goodbye to this town.

The 4 years I have lived in this home, have been some of the worst for me, health-wise, financially and mentally. It hasn’t been a happy home, I often feel this place has bought us/me bad luck, so as much as I am worried about the amount of work to do as we can’t afford a removal company, I am trying to look at the change as a good thing. I’m hoping my luck will change as soon as we leave and break free.

The last time I moved home I was working full-time, long hours, finishing at 10 pm – this didn’t help matters, and my place of employment were not flexible with me, which did not help at all. Anyways, as I am currently unemployed and actually the only one not working, this gives me the freedom to pack things up in my own time, because of this, there are a few things I have noticed about packing-up which I hadn’t realised before:

A) The Smaller Stuff Is The Most Time-Consuming To Pack

It hadn’t really occurred to me before, but all the little bits and bobs, like junk drawer items, beauty products, accessories, general smaller appliances that end up in a lived-in home, take forever to pack. I don’t want to just throw them all into a box and then find things broken, so this is leading me to sort everything out one by one, wrapping and putting them in a clearly marked box.

I have been tempted to dispose of so many items as I just keep finding more and more in every drawer and cupboard space, things I had forgotten about, things I think I will use but probably I wont.

B) There Is No Point Packing Your Everyday Items – Whatever They May Be

Clothes-wise, It is easier to pack absolutely everything out of season first and literally only leave out what you absolutely use every single day. The same goes for electronics and paperwork.

This has left me with my laptop, phone, banking details and i.d, daily toiletries and clothes. The only exception is a formal piece of wear for possible job interviews and gym gear.

It is crazy what we think we need isn’t it? As I write this, I am actually feeling a little better about this situation, I feel pretty organised and hopeful, I know this will be very tiring but I can handle that more than stress.

Is anyone else moving soon, do you have a system you follow when boxing your belongings up? Would it be useful if I made another blog post about how I am organising everything?

Thank you so much for reading.