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What Not To Worry About #34

What Not To Worry About #34

Happy Tuesday! A little late with the post this week as my mind is consumed with the prospect of feeling the sun on my skin and the sand in between my toes. I have never felt more ready for a holiday especially since it felt like I woke up in a misty cloud this morning, the air thick with moisture even though it wasn’t even raining. And last night was the first time we had the heating on in months. Yes, I think Autumn might have arrived a little early.

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Despite the sad, sad weather we were determined to make the most of the weekend and finally get that afternoon of hiking that I’ve been talking about all summer. We arranged an afternoon climb up Cavehill with friends along with their 10 month old baby who they carried in a very impressive and very professional looking backpack thingy that I was supremely jealous of because he looked so darn cosy in it. Although I have been jabbering on about going hiking for ages and even included it in my summer bucket list,  I actually don’t own a pair of hiking boots (the pair I had from my uni days have scarpered during one of my million moves). I thought I would be grand in my gym trainers but I was oh so WRONG. After a few rain showers the grass was thoroughly muddy and so on our descent I was a victim of a perfect comedy slip (legs waaay up in the air) that left me covered in muck and a little bit of shame. I’ll be buying hiking boots for next summer for sure.

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Luckily, the rest of the weekend was a little less testing with a mountain of good things to celebrate. The first being my best friend Caoimhe getting engaged to her ‘boyfriend of a million years’ Simon which was just about the best news to hear. Caoimhe and I have been best buds since we were young cubs when we were borrowing each other’s Tammy Girl clothes and Collection 2000 make-up for the teenage disco. She has been there to listen to my worries and fears around the world, namely:

  • When I cried over my first love in the Gaeltacht (where we were supposed to be improving our Gaelic in Donegal but mostly ran after boys)
  • When we worried if we’ll actually pass our AS Levels while on our first girls holiday in Santa Ponsa
  • Holding my hand while I panicked on our first long-haul flight to San Francisco
  • When I was sick in SE Asia and made me eat food
  • When she reminded me of home while we lived in Australia
  • When she would let me talk for hours on walks around the Lagan river in Belfast

What memories we’ve made over the years and to see your friend beaming with happiness is all you can ask for, right?

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The second bit of celebrating happened on Sunday when I stood as godmother for Dara, the son of my friends Catherine and Phily. This is their third child and I find it amazing that I am even friends with people who have three children let alone being thought of as responsible enough to be a guardian in any shape or form. But it turns out I can actually pull this whole godmother thing off and I felt very grown up as I held him, proud as punch. It is on afternoons like that when I feel so glad to live close to home and be a part of such a happy event. Seeing families rallying together to welcome in their new little person, taking far too many photos and passing him around for cuddles while eating plenty of cake. It really was a good weekend.

Carrying on with this positivity, I have a few worries that I am letting go of this week…

People getting judge-y about how people should enjoy their engagement

I have never been engaged before but I’ve watched a few friends go through the experience and wondered how the hell they deal with all the pressure. All the questions and opinions even within the first few days must be a little overwhelming and it was no surprise to read this article which talks about the bucket-loads of anxiety some people might feel at first. People should just chill out and understand that everyone is different whether the couple stay engaged forever or book their wedding an hour after they get engaged. Just do what makes you happy!

My make-up bag

Ugh you do not want to go in there. I have brushes in there that haven’t been washed since I bought them (Lord knows when) and mascara so old it’s like cement. I recently read this post which taught me when I should be throwing things away instead of hoarding all of this crap that I know I will probably never use.

Worrying that I am a millennial or too old

Does a millennial have to born after 2000? Or do I belong to the most hated subset of the population? Either way I major LOL’d at this bit of internet gold.

An invisible hair on my face

Probably the most annoying thing to have on one’s face when one is trying to remain in a serious conversation with a coworker. No I don’t have a tick I just have a hair on my face which is driving me INSANE!!

Living ethically

I often worry about my impact on the environment and if I am truly doing everything I can do live as mindfully as possible which is why Mel Wiggins is my go-to gal for ideas on how to live a more ethical life. She has just started an e-course for families who are looking to improve the way they live socially and environmentally which you can find here. I think it’s amazing what she’s doing and if you’re looking for a way to begin a change but are unsure how then I couldn’t recommend this course more.

 

Have a lovely week and here’s to turning the heating on and closing the curtains the moment we get home!!

How to Afford the Wedding Season

How to Afford the Wedding Season

I’m beginning to realise that I’m approaching the age where everyone in the world seems to be getting married. As the summer rolls in so do the invitations and as delighted as we all are to see our friends happy and taking the big step, some of us feel a sheer dread calculating in our heads just how we’ll manage to afford them all.

 

I absolutely love weddings, especially Irish ones because it’s the best way to catch up with old friends and ruin your feet dancing. It’s definitely not an Irish wedding without girls in their bare feet and men with ties wrapped round their heads playing the air guitar! However, as much as I love them I’ve fast realised that one single wedding can cost almost half my monthly wage and so I’ve had to think of some cunning ways of to avoid bankruptcy.

 

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Here are a few ideas in case you’re a similar case and need a little help…

 

  1. Book in advance

People these days tend to post a ‘save the date’ notice through the door. I actually didn’t know these were a thing until recently enough but it’s actually a brilliant idea because it means you can get on the ball and book everything a good few months before the date. If you have to catch a flight to get to the wedding, it’s always good to get ahead and get accommodation that’s close to the venue. This will save you money on taxis back and forth and will give you the best choice. No one wants to stay in a run down over priced B&B that’s miles away from the venue.

 

  1. Forego the date

If you’re in a relationship you will usually get a plus one invite to a wedding that’s your own family or friend but sometimes it’s not always the best idea to bring your partner along. As much as I love forcing Andrew to dance with me all night, I usually am out of pocket because I insist on paying for the accommodation and the present since they’re my relative/friend. In these circumstances the best idea is to go with either your own family or your friends. This way, you can split the room and present (there were 3 of us girls in the one room at a wedding I was at last weekend) and you don’t have to feel guilty about keeping your partner occupied all night. Of course if Andrew knows the people that are getting married I will bring him but sometimes it’s less pressure to just bring yourself.

 

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  1. Do your own hair/make up/womany stuff

Irish women are renowned for going all out for weddings. Everything is paid for; hair, make up, nails, tan, eyebrows, elbows. Crazy stuff. I know girls who would do this for every wedding they go to and I think it’s ludicrous! Luckily I’ve never been too much in to the glamorous look, beachy waves and highlighter are usually as far as I’ll go but I still want to look like I belong there so therein lies my problem. I have paid to get my make up done before but I can’t afford to do it every time so I’ve started to buy better make up products gradually so I can just do my own. I also do my own hair although it’s usually just curls with a low side and pinned back – nothing too impressive.   The thing is, no one is there to look at you and although you want to look great, no one will notice if your cheekbones aren’t contoured like pyramids. I bloody hope not anyway.

 

  1. Borrow your mate’s dress

This is a great way to feel like you bought something new but didn’t suffer the Ted Baker price tag. I know some people are a bit funny about asking to borrow but I think it’s great. Most of my friends are similar sizes and I will lend anything to them and they will mostly lend anything to me (I’m known to be clumsy the odd time). You’re also saving yourself from having another dress that you will only wear about 5 times in your life.

 

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  1. Plan ahead

Similar to the first tip, I advise to plan ahead and start putting money aside for the summer wedding season. As the ‘save the dates’ come flying through your letterbox, start budgeting the money you will need to make it there and start the saving. These little pots of money will save you a lot of stress when the weddings draw closer and instead of allocating so much of your wage to the wedding that’s in a few weeks, you will already have most of it put away and for that you will give yourself a massive high five.

 

  1. Turn a long distance wedding in to a mini holiday

Most weddings take place around the summer time and can get in the way of a much needed holiday break. This can be frustrating as it can feel like you’re funneling your cash in to a weekend that you hadn’t really planned to go away for. What can help is to turn this weekend away in to something positive. Maybe stay an extra few days after to explore the area the wedding is in and treat this as a mini holiday. You will more than likely meet locals at the wedding so it’s a great way to get advice on what to do and see in the area. Could end up being an unexpected escape!

 

  1. Use AirBnB

I swear by this site. We use it to book accommodation for almost everywhere we go and it always save us money. Again this might mean planning ahead but once you know your dates you should try and contact friends who will more than likely invited too (oh the awkwardness of asking someone who hasn’t been invited!!) and organise to share accommodation. Splitting costs like this means you will definitely save a bit of cash and it’s also always more fun to share a place with friends and spend some time with them too.

 

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  1. Don’t stay a second night

There’s a real trend in Ireland now where the bride and groom will provide entertainment the second day and everyone stays on for another session. This is usually a great day because you see more of the newly married couple and it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere. It does mean however lots more cash to fork out for another night’s accommodation and another Corona splurge so as difficult as it is, it’s sometimes best to give it a miss. You might get a tincy but of FOMO but you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

 

  1. Miss the hen/stag so you can afford to make the wedding

 

This is a tricky one because if you’re invited to the hen or stag you’re obviously well thought of by the wedding party which makes it really difficult to say no to. However sometimes going to both means two weekends away involving flights as well as the rest and for some people this just isn’t feasible. You might have to make the choice to not go and hopefully if you live abroad the bride or groom will completely understand. Just give them plenty of notice!

 

  1. Don’t go

Another harsh one! But perhaps the only choice in some cases. There’s always that guilt that you might offend someone but really there will usually be so many people going that the bride and groom will probably not mind. The best way to do it is to be polite and send them a thank you letter along with a gift. This will show you do care about them. Don’t follow this tip if this is your brother or your best mate though because let’s face it there’s just no getting out of those ones!!!

 

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Hope those little snippets helped any victims of the upcoming wedding season!

 

Dance your wee hooves off.

 

xx