5 Ways to Keep Calm While Planning a Wedding
There aren’t many big events in life that are more stressful than planning a wedding. You have to write up guest lists, arrange menus, find a dress…etc etc. And amongst other things you have to spend a ton of money. A few of my friends are also planning weddings this year, and they’ve commented on how calm I’m remaining about the whole thing. So I thought I’d share my secret on how to keep calm while planning a wedding.
5 Ways to Keep Calm While Planning a Wedding
- Tackle the tough stuff first
- Getting all the time sensitive things (venue, catering, photographer etc) out of the way first; it will take some of the weight off your shoulders. Of course there’s still plenty to do, but it won’t feel as big a burden.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- This is one of the most important things to remember. You can’t always do everything by yourself. So whether it’s a family member who makes great cakes, or a friend who’s DIY savvy, don’t be afraid to ask for their help. You’d be surprised at how many people will feel honoured to be a part of your big day.
- Be selfish…kinda
- This is yours, and your partners, wedding day. Don’t let your family and friends take over or try to butt in. Most of it comes from a good place, but it can be overwhelming and stressful. Tell them when it becomes too much, and let them know that you appreciate their help, but sometimes you’ve got to do things for yourself.
- Get wedding insurance
- It might sound boring, but this is one important task you shouldn’t forget. Companies such as John Lewis and Debenhams offer cover on everything from your caterers, right down to the cake.
- Take some time away
- Wedding planning can be extremely stressful, so it’s important to remember that sometimes it’s ok to take a break. In fact it can often help to leave a task and come back to it at another time. Try setting specific dates for planning, but remember to balance them out with free days too.
If you enjoyed my ‘5 ways to keep calm while planning a wedding’ check out the rest of my Wedding Series.
5 Tips for Slow Living in London
Last year I wrote an article discussing the art of slow living and whether it was possible to do whilst living in a busy city such as London. I talked about the difficulties involved, but also the importance of wellbeing. I simultaneously ran a poll on my Instagram, asking my followers whether they thought it was possible. Most people believed it wasn’t, and as optimistic as I am, I can understand why. So I decided to update my slow living series, and bring you all some tips for slow living in London, because I do honestly believe there is the possibility for us all to bring a little bit of calm and wellbeing to our everyday lives.
5 Tips for Slow Living in London
- Make time for your mental wellbeing
- Living in London, a city full of opportunities, it can be easy to just say yes to everything. And before you know it your calendar is heaving with social activities. But it’s important to realise when you can, and should, say no.
- Turn your phone off/say goodbye to social
- Social media and messaging apps can cause a lot of stress, whether it’s intentional or not. Try putting aside a few hours everyday, where you switch your phone off, and put your laptop down.
- Less is more
- Visiting new restaurant openings, or buying the latest on-trend items can be tempting in a city like London. But it’s not always rewarding. Try doing/buying less, and focusing more on the quality of the experience or item. It will help you appreciate it more, and it will save you some money along the way too.
- Make more of your evenings
- Working 9-5 can be draining, and a lot of people cherish their free time in the evening, so why not make more of it? Light some candles, put your favourite music on, have a bath, make a meal from scratch. All little things that when put together can be incredibly satisfying and relaxing.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- One big underlying problem in most people’s lives is the fear of missing out, or the idea that someone else has a better life than you do. It’s important not to compare yourself to others. After all, the grass isn’t always greener, and the world isn’t going to end if you don’t attend a social event.
If you have any tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.
If you enjoyed my tips for slow living in London, check out more of my wellbeing articles here.
I’m all about that hygge lifestyle. Whereas the trend may have died down in the UK, I’ve continued to adopt the concept. I believe in the art of slow living, and I’m always trying to bring a little bit of it into my home and life. I also know that a lot of my readers have a similar outlook. So for my second instalment in my Christmas gift guide series I decided to go with something a little different. Here is ‘The Hygge Gift Guide’, and it’s jam packed full of awesome products to bring some warmth, cosiness and comfort into your Christmas.
The Hygge Gift Guide
- Food & Drink:
It wasn’t easy breaking such an intricate concept into three categories, but I don’t think I did too bad a job, right? A cosy home is the perfect place to start, shortly followed by plenty of comforting food & drink. And last but certainly not least, some lifestyle items to keep you going in and outside of the house. As always, I have placed an emphasis on quality items from a selection of independent stores and makers, as well as some well-known brand names. With this gift guide, you’re bound to impress any hygge fan.
If you enjoyed The Hygge Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.
The Sipping Room | Drake & Morgan | European | Map
I have something to admit. I love West India Quay. I love being by the water, and staring up at the gigantic buildings that feel as though they’re hugging me (it reminds me a lot of Tokyo). And I love the hidden little gems dotted around, some of which you might not associate with the area. But I realise that not everyone feels the same way as me, so I always jump at the chance to bring someone along on my visits. And such an opportunity occurred last weekend, when VA and I decided to go for some Winter eats at The Sipping Room.
As Autumn ends, and Winter starts to draw in, I begin looking for a different kind of restaurant. I start looking for somewhere that serves comforting food, with a cosy & warm atmosphere. The Sipping Room seemed like the perfect place for this, with their warm lighting, enticing menu, and friendly staff. Some might say it’s hygge-worthy. And you can see why, with the Scandinavian stylings and the family-friendly atmosphere.
Cozy Winter Eats
With VA as my foodie sidekick, we perused the menu with ease, and chose the most delectable sounding dishes (favourites are bolded):
- London Spritz (Tanquery gin, cucumber, elderflower, apple, mint & soda)
- Vignard (Botanist gin, dark grape juice, lime, sugar syrup, egg white & lemon thyme)
- Scotch egg (chorizo & smoked paprika mayonnaise)
- Salt szechuan pepper squid (lemon mayonnaise)
- Free-range half chicken Sunday roast (Yorkshire pudding & pigs in blankets)
- Rib of beef Sunday roast (Yorkshire pudding & horseradish sauce)
- All served with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, broccoli & gravy
- Creme Brûlée (biscotti)
- Chocolate brownie (vanilla ice cream)
Our 3-course meal for two people came to a total of £74.70 (£37.35pp) with two cocktails. Not bad for a treat, however it is on the pricier side if you just fancy a casual Sunday meal. That said, we were pretty indulgent during our visit. I would definitely return for their cocktails, and that Scotch egg! Is that possible? Well if it is, I’d love to go back and check out their new outdoor igloos, where you can wrap up in a cosy sheep skin. The perfect Winter warmer!
Check out more: Where to Eat
This post is in collaboration with Drake & Morgan, however all views, photos and words are my own.
Slow Living: Is It Possible In London?
Several years ago I decided to up and change the way I looked at my approach to life. Basically I wasn’t happy. I decided that I was moving too fast, and I needed a break. That meant looking at the way I live, and the everyday things I do. A lifestyle and mentality rebrand, if you will. But let’s be honest, nothing is that straight forward. And is it even possible to incorporate slow living into a London lifestyle?
Slow Living in London
Over the past year I set out to try and find a way to bring the lifestyle concept of slow living into…well, my life. Our society is based on fast fashion, fast food, and even fast lifestyles. If you’re not living fast, then you’re not living at all. At least that’s what people say. I soon realised it wasn’t going to be easy, and the hardest part was figuring out what ‘slow living’ even meant to me.
- Stop being so materialistic. I told myself it’s good to have nice things, but it doesn’t mean anything if they have no value, and I don’t mean monetary. I’m talking about objects/experiences that have meaning. Like the expensive pair of sneakers I had wanted for years, which I finally bought myself with the first pay check from my new job.
- Quality over quantity. Whereas before I probably bought myself an item of clothing or went to a new restaurant every week, now I do it about once or twice a month. I put more thought into what I want/need, and the design and quality of the piece. I’d rather spend a little more on something that lasts longer and works better, than buy a bajillion items that don’t.
- Enjoying the little things. Because sometimes having a G&T by candlelight at home with my friends is much more mentally rewarding than going to the latest ‘on-trend’ bar, and wasting a ton of money on overpriced drinks.
- Slowing down my lifestyle. Admittedly this has been the hardest step out of them all, and it’s something I’m still working on today. A lot of people in London can’t (or won’t) grasp the concept of it, and it’s understandable when you live in a city that pulls you in all directions. After a rather successful end to 2016, the first half of 2017 was pretty rough for me. But I’m now trying to get myself back on track again. It may take some time, but if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
You can follow my attempt at ‘slow living’ and read more of my help posts here.
A Year of Self Help & Making Big Decisions
2017 has started a little differently than 2016. Last year I decided I wanted to say “yes” to as many things as possible. That actually went pretty well…well, in the sense that I did it. Unfortunately it also meant my social calendar became pretty hectic. I had to balance my social life and work. And I burnt myself out. So 2017 has seen me saying “no” to things instead.
Why? Because I soon learnt that saying yes, and wanting to please everyone was really not the way to go. Unless of course I wanted to stress myself out to the point where I knocked 10 years off my life.
A Year of Self Help
You see, I’m highly susceptible to stress. The last few years have seen me manage it relatively well, but sadly last year I didn’t give myself the time to re-energise. Something which is extremely important when it comes to keeping my sanity. Because of this, at the end of 2016 I saw my mental and physical health plummet. This isn’t entirely to do with my social life, of course. There was a death in my family, a close family member was taken ill, and other factors came in to play (again, thanks Trump/Brexit).
So I decided that this year I want to make some big changes, and some bigger decisions:
- Take better care of myself
- Both my mental & physical health
- Be happier
- Travel more
- Seriously consider moving abroad
- London life is a big contributor to stress
- It’s something I’ve been considering for a couple of years
- Amsterdam & Copenhagen are on the table
- Think about buying a house
- Ben and I have been wanting to buy somewhere for a while
- It would give us a project to work on
- No noisy upstairs-neighbours
I might mess up a little along the way. In fact I can almost definitely say I will. But if I keep my main goal in mind – take better care of myself – then I believe I can make a difference in 2017. And at least I can say I had good intentions.
How to Create a Hygge Home
What is a Hygge Home?
A home that is inviting. Not pretentious, ostentatious, or any other kind of -ious. It’s a place you can come back to and forget all your worries. It may sound silly, but it’s about creating a space where you feel safe and comfortable. Having a space where you are able to drop all of your work and social worries is tough. But I truly believe that your home can be a safe haven from this kind of stress. After a long day at work, I look forward to coming home to a hot chocolate, a comfy sofa, and some good food…with the occasional cuddle thrown in for good measure. That’s hygge.
Interiors and design obviously play a big part in this too though. If you have a home that looks good, you feel good. And no that’s not shallow or fickle. It’s scientifically proven that pretty things make us happy. They can even de-stress us! That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a ton of new stuff, or redecorate your entire home though. I’ve put together some some useful tips,
How to Create a Hygge Home – Tips
- Functional, but stylish
- Quality over quantity
- Good food, good drink, good company
- Craftsmanship – choose items with a story
- Lots of plants – bring a little nature into the home
- Lighting is very important! Keep it soft, and comfortable.
- Yes, that means lots of candles…
- Natural fabrics and materials
- E.g. wood, cotton, stone, glass, wool
- Soft furnishings
- Go on, go buy that cosy throw you always wanted
There you have it. My how to create a hygge home…in a nutshell! This is definitely not the be all end all of guides, but it is a handy go-to for those who want to bring a little hygge into their home. Don’t forget though, it’s as much about the ‘feeling’ as any material object. And now is the perfect time of year to invite people over, and spend more time with your loved ones.
Check out the rest of my ‘How to Hygge’
Read more How to Hygge