Uncategorized

The Sunshine Blogger Award 2019

I was planning this week on doing a post about my progress on my cosplay for MCM, but as per usual my planned timescale for getting that done has gone to crap. I’m in major con crunch and haven’t had the time to stop and take photos. Instead, I thought I’d share a fun post since I’ve been tagged on Twitter in this, and it just looks like a lovely and positive thing to take part in.

I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Ami at UndercoverSuperhero. She runs a wonderful blog full of positivity and inspiring real life stories. You can find her at https://undercoversuperhero2.home.blog/ to check out her beautiful work.

20190425_09003210834693337106701901432043831566055072

 

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and don’t forget to link back to their site
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by your nominators
  • Nominate at least 11 more bloggers for the award
  • Write 11 new, creative questions for your nominees to answer
  • Notify your nominees via social media or by commenting on their blog
  • Lastly, List the rules and display The SunShine Blogger Award logo on your site or in your post

 

Questions from Ami

Who is your favourite superhero or supervillain and why?

I don’t know if I would necessarily call him a supervillain, because I am always able to see the good in bad boys, but I’d say Loki is entirely my favourite. Especially in the MCU interpretation of him, I like how complex he is and that he is shown to be an incredibly flawed, human character despite him and Thor constantly being referred to as Gods. I love his dark humour, sarcasm and mischief. It also helps that he’s incredibly pleasant to look at, I’ll admit.

If you could create a colour, what colours would be combined? And what would it be called?

I feel like I am incredibly unqualified for this question haha! I would combine green and gold and call it Loki. I know, unoriginal.

What are you hoping to achieve with your blog?

For me, I consider my blog a place to share whats on my mind. I would like to create a safe space for others to come and find honest discussion. I aim to be a voice that is open about my flaws, issues and failures, as I feel there are too many voices out there perpetuating the fake lifestyle on social media, and it’s damaging to many people, but especially young people. I’d like to discuss general life events and feelings honestly, and give readers a place to come and see that they’re completely normal. I also love to give information that is helpful, which is exactly why I write about such a variety of topics. If I feel I have something useful, I’m always inclined to share it.

What is your favourite movie quote?

I’ve found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said “Journeys end in lovers meeting.” What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said “love is blind”. Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. It’s called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas’, the worst Birthday’s, New Years Eve’s brought in by tears and valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I’ve been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can’t swallow! All the usual symptoms. – Iris, The Holiday (I know that’s incredibly long for a quote, but I just think it’s such beautiful writing and I felt so connected to the feeling. I’ve always loved it.)

What is the one joke that you cannot tell without laughing so hard?

I don’t know any good jokes, I know I’m rubbish! I can instead share a couple of my dad’s most used “dad jokes” that I hear on a regular basis.

Two snowmen are standing in a field. One looks at the other and says “can you smell carrots?”

I tried tapdancing once. I was rubbish, I kept falling in the sink.

Bah-bum-tshh.

What is something beautiful you see everyday?

I love the view from my new office. There’s some houses but it’s mostly just trees and I’m not used to seeing so much greenery. Helps that it’s on the third floor.

If a genie appeared, what would be your 3 wishes?

  1. I wish all of my family & loved ones would have enough money and good health to live a long, wealthy, happy life.
  2. I wish there was no more poverty or hunger.
  3. I wish for an end to all hate and evil.

What is your favourite type of weather and why?

Okay, so you know when it’s just starting to be Summer. If you’re in England like me you’re probably saying no, because Summer is a rarity here. When it’s just getting warm, and you can wear skirts/dresses/shorts but you still take a hoodie. It’s sunny, but not boiling and you’re just comfortable in any outfit. That’s the one.

What was your favourite sweets/candy when you were younger?

Pick n mix

Favourite game at the amusements/arcade?

House of the dead/dance mats. Which is hilarious because they so don’t match haha.

Favourite social media platform?

Instagram/Pinterest. So much inspiration there!

I nominate:

Claire-Anne – Brodie Creations

Charlotte – The Outspoken Blonde

Kayla – That Kayla Girl

Lucy Mary – Lucy Mary

Jamie – Jamie Lee Jenkins

Brogan – Brogan Tate

Jasmine – Thoughts From Jasmine

Helen – Helen Anderson

Ell – Ellduclos

Taiwo – A Lifestyle Nerd

Ashley – Pieces of Ashley

Questions from me

If you ever did cosplay, who would you cosplay as?

What’s one thing you consider “weird” about you?

What’s your favourite movie genre?

What’s your favourite Christmas tradition from your family?

If you could travel anywhere, unlimited budget, where would you go?

Who is your favourite fashion inspiration?

What is your dream wedding theme?

Who is your favourite Disney “prince”? (We’ll say prince because I count all the leading men in the princess movies, not just the ones who were actual royalty!)

What is your favourite Disney song?

What’s your favourite feature about your best friend?

What’s your favourite thing about where you live that makes it home?

lifestyle · Wedding

Wedding: Ways to save money on a wedding dress

Here I find myself again writing about weddings, but at least this time I feel a tiny bit more qualified. I’ve talked a few times about wanting to DIY and save money as much as possible during our wedding planning stages. In the last post about weddings, I discussed prioritising which parts of your day were most important to you so that you can proportion the larger chunks of money toward them. For me, the most important things were photographer and videographer, as they are the things that we would keep forever. That doesn’t mean to say that I wasn’t worried about my dress, I absolutely want to have a lovely dress, but once I started looking at the prices of the average dress, I quickly started to look into other options. For me, spending £600 on an item of clothing that I’m going to wear once for a matter of hours was absolutely not attainable, and that was considered a cheap dress. If you’re also looking for ways to save money on a dress, you’ve come to the right place! These are all the options I researched in my journey to the perfect dress:

Outlet stores

Once I started googling, I realised that many of the beautiful dresses that were being sold for completely ridiculous prices in the boutiques, were also stocked in the discount and outlet stores. There’s a fair few wedding dress outlets across the U.K. which all stock the various unsold sizes of all different dress lines. They also sell ex sample or display dresses for an even bigger discount, and they’ve only ever been tried on! If you’re willing to look in these, you can still go to a boutique and have your dress trying on moment with your bridesmaids. Once you find a dress you like, before you buy it there, it’s worth calling around a few outlet stores to see if they have it in stock. Or if you’re really determined that you don’t want to be swayed by a dress in a boutique, you could start at the outlet!

Charity shops

You may laugh at this, but I have seen some genuinely beautiful dresses donated to charity. I’ve been in to a few charity shops and seen dresses that I can’t believe people would give away, and these are priced more reasonably than you will see anywhere else. If you’re not particularly picky on what kind of dress you want, or better yet, you or someone you know can sew, you pick up a bargain and adjust it however you like. This option could save you literally thousands of pounds, and if you’re only one of those awesome brides who really isn’t into the whole dress scenario, I’d definitely suggest looking in some charity shops, especially if you can find some in more affluent areas. After all, if you can save on the dress, you can spend on another part of the day you’re more invested in.

High street

I’ve been looking to the high street for Bridesmaid dresses recently after discovering how ridiculously expensive those can be too, and I was stunned to see how many places are now offering bridal collections. Everything from Asos, BooHoo and even H&M are now selling wedding dresses! This is particularly good if you’re looking for something simple, boho, grecian or similar as they many of their items are in this kind of style. Admittedly, you might struggle if you’re looking for a big princess gown, or something highly detailed, but it always worth a look!

Have a custom dress made abroad

I know a few brides who have bought their dresses from China for a fraction of the price they would pay here and have been able to have it custom designed to how they like it. I also used to work with a lady from the Philippines who went home for her wedding and had her wedding dress and all of her bridesmaids dresses hand drawn, designed and made to be one of a kind pieces. I don’t even want to know how much that would cost here! The best piece of advise I can give for this is to not go with the first thing you find on google. Get a recommendation if possible, you likely know someone who knows someone from a country where these services are more reasonable and could recommend someone for you. If not, you could always look up a wedding planner who is local and ask them for a recommendation. Whatever you do, I would absolutely advise to properly do your homework before making a decision.

Etsy

There are very few times where I would recommend Etsy as a way of saving money, but this is an exception. I’ve been very surprised at the prices of both bridal gowns, and bridesmaid dresses on here. Another benefit is that you have the freedom to customise and have things changed by the creator at the point of ordering. So if you see a dress that has everything you want except a bow on the back for example, you can just drop the seller a message and ask if they could quote to include that. Etsy has great protection for buyers, most sellers have plenty of reviews you can check and there’s so much variety. If you’re looking for something a bit more personal without the hefty price tag, have a little search on Etsy.

Second hand/Facebook

Last of all, I would consider buying a secondhand dress. Personally, I didn’t feel at all weird about the fact that it might have been worn already, but if you that’s absolutely fine. I realised that as long as I loved the dress and it had been well looked after, this was the easiest way for me to have exactly what I wanted. In all likelihood, I would end up with a nicer dress, because I can’t afford to spend £2000 on a dress, but if I got one second hand for £500 that had been beautifully looked after, then I could! In the end, this is what I ended up doing. Admittedly, I got very lucky, and found a dress that matched everything I knew I was looking for. It was being sold by a lady who had previously ran a bridal boutique which had gone out of business and she was selling the stock. It was ex display but in beautiful condition and still had the price tag on of £995, and I got it for £150! It only needs shortening slightly on the bottom and dry cleaning, and is the absolute dress of my dreams!

 

And that’s everything! I hope this has helped to broaden your horizons for your budget friendly dress hunt, and that you get lucky like I did. Start early and just keep checking, you never know when that perfect deal will appear!

Peace

Kit xx

favourites · Food · lifestyle

April Favourites!

This months favourites might be a little lacking, as I haven’t had much time to try new things or spend money on new products whilst dealing with moving house. However, I’ll do my best to still include some bits.

Beauty

Avon Christian Lacroix Bijou for Her

It’s a little bit naughty to include this in here because this has been my favourite perfume for quite some time. I am going to throw it in as I used it recently for a little boost of confidence on my first day at a new job (more on that later) and it reminded me how much I love it. I’m not really a huge fan of perfumes in general, I much prefer natural scents like vanilla or orange blossom, and I’m especially not a fan of designer perfumes as they honestly just cost too much for my liking. It doesn’t help that I’m not keen on the general perfume smell, to me most smell very chemically and similar. This one is the exception to the rule, I absolutely adore it. I got it in a set with a full size bottle of perfume, a tube of scented body cream, a mini purse spray and a matching cosmetics bag for £25 from Avon a few years ago when I used to work as a representative for them. I must admit, I’ve been treating it like gold ever since and rationing it out because I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when I run out.

PHOERA 24HR Matte Oil Control Concealer Liquid Foundation

So I will be doing a full review post on this at some point so don’t want to give too much away, but thought I’d give it a quick shout out here. I’ve been using it a fair bit and overall have been quite impressed especially for the price. As with all makeup, it has pros and cons, but on the whole I’m very happy with this.

Body Shop Aloe Vera Soothing Moisture Lotion SPF 15

Another quick cheeky inclusion, as I said I haven’t had a chance to trial new things this month, but I wanted to mention that I have once again repurchased the Body Shop moisturiser. This stuff works absolute wonders on my skin, far better than other more expensive things I have used in the past. It also does not cause any irritation or reaction from my skin, which is incredible considering that even brands that claim to be hypoallergenic have caused me issues in the past. This is perfect for first thing in the morning after washing my face, before my makeup and I’ve seen many benefits to my skin for using it. In my case, I’m seeing less redness, less grease and overall increase in the smoothness/texture of my skin. Absolutely could not recommend this highly enough!

Food

Malteasers Buttons

These were only recently released and originally I believe were only available in Tesco. I’ve noticed they are starting to pop up absolutely everywhere now, I can even get mini packets in the cafe in my new office block. This is very dangerous for me as I have been openly addicted to them for a while now.

Green Tea

Okay, I never thought I was going to say this, but I am now drinking a cup of green tea every morning as part of my morning routine. I’ve been meaning to do this for several years, mainly for the benefits to my skin and digestion, but I’ve mostly just found the stuff vile. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been experimenting with teas for about the last 3-4 months, only as simple as Breakfast Brew, Biscuit Brew etc from Yorkshire Tea. I don’t know if this has contributed to opening my taste buds a little, but I mostly thank my wonderful friend Helen for teaching me how to make green tea bearable. It consists of a brand that does a mild tasting tea, sugar and brewing it just right. Thanks Helen, as per usual you are a babe.

Movies and TV

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Season 2

I know I’ve talked about Sabrina here before, but I’m gonna rave about it some more. I was so hype for season two and I was absolutely not disappointed. This season was just as good, if not better than the first, which is unusual in my experience. I was surprised to find it went even darker, which I wasn’t sure they could do after the first season, but felt it was done tastefully and was a great direction for the show. On the whole, this show has fantastic character development that actually feels like it is done naturally, rather than forced, and by the end of Season 2 I can happily say that the Spellmans are one of my favourite TV families.

Black Summer

I was recommended this by several people at my last job and probably wouldn’t have given it a try otherwise. Karl and I are big fans of zombie films, and generally will give most apocalyptic type things a try. This was one of the best I’ve seen in a while, and had several storylines and ideas which I hadn’t seen before, which is very unusual nowadays. It was tense all the way through and very bingable, in fact we watched the entire thing in one day. There were several moments that I had to hide behind a cushion and occasionally yelled at the TV, but I couldn’t stop watching.

The Silence

Again, this was recommended by several people at work and so we thought we would give it a try. It was helped by the fact it had a fantastic cast (Hello Sabrina and Zelda it was lovely to see you after finishing season 2!) and Stanley Tucci who honestly is just a babe and is enjoyable to watch in anything. As with Black Summer, this was immensely tense all the way through, but also was far more individual. It was a very unique concept and I highly enjoyed seeing characters react to scenarios in a believable way and not behaving like clueless idiots. It’s refreshing in any apocalypse story to see characters be able to think, plan and adapt and I honestly think this is what made this movie so enjoyable.

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

Just to throw in a wild card, I have been weirdly obsessed with watching this as my chill out show. It’s just so easy to sit in bed with a cup of tea to watch, and it makes me feel strangely relaxed. I feel like lots of others have felt this too as it’s super popular at the moment, and I love getting organisation inspiration from it too.

Music

 

  • Malibu – Miley Cyrus
  • Drops of Jupiter – Train
  • Never Enough – Boyce Avenue
  • Letting Go For A Little While – Ryan McMullan
  • Walk Alone – Rudimental, Tom Walker
  • Rude – MAGIC!

And that’s a wrap for April! Thanks for stopping by, leave me a comment with some of your favourites from the month, I could always do with new things to try out for May!

Peace

Kit xx

lifestyle · Mental Health

Mental Health: Top 5 Self Care Tips That Have Helped Me

I’ve been talking about self care a ton since I started this blog, but I haven’t done a direct post about what works for me. I though this week it would make sense to discuss this hot topic as there are so many ways to self care!

Sitting down to a puzzle with some candles

I have never really been a fan of puzzles in general. I wouldn’t say I’m against them, it’s just not something we ever did growing up. My dad’s been hugely into puzzles for probably around the last 5 years but I’ve never seen the appeal, I actually just thought I would find them frustrating. It’s only since watching Brogan Tate’s videos that I decided to give it a go. Now, I still wouldn’t say that I enjoy puzzles, and I actually do find them a little bit frustrating. But if I put on a soothing candle, some chill music and sit down to a puzzle, there is one thing I have found; my brain goes quiet. It’s great to have a task that is simple and doesn’t require much energy, but does take concentration. When I’m doing a puzzle, all I am thinking about is the puzzle, and when I come up for air, I realise I haven’t worried for however long I’ve been doing the puzzle. Sometimes, it’s good to have a little switch off.

A book and a cup of tea

I’ve always loved reading, to the point that my mum used to get angry with me because I finished the books she bought for Christmas or my birthday too quickly. I found as I grew up though that I slowly lost that love. I still enjoyed reading, but I never seemed to have the time, and the longer I spent away from it, the less aware I was of what kind of books I enjoyed. This all became a spiral where I didn’t feel like I had the time to read, and when I did I wasn’t gripped by the books I chose. After forcing myself to give another try, I must admit that I’m enjoying it again, and it’s wonderful for winding down before bed. Especially if I add a cosy pair of pjs and a cup of Yorkshire Tea’s Bedtime Brew, heaven!

Bathing with the nice stuff, followed by all the skin care

I love a bath. This is not a new discovery for me, but I’ve definitely fallen more in love with them now. I’ve always been pretty rubbish at skincare, not doing any more than a quick face wash and a baby wipe to get off any remaining makeup. I wasn’t raised in a household where skin care was a big deal, so I didn’t have anyone to learn from but I did always have terrible skin. Now I try to keep to a minimal daily skincare regime, although that has been a struggle to get into a pattern of. To make up for all the lost days, I try to have an evening once a week now where I have an extra long bath, with some special products like a Lush bath bomb if it’s in the budget. I then do a face mask, a hair mask if I have one, paint my nails and just generally give myself an MOT. If possible, I’ll have a cheeky Netflix sesh and try to make sure that it lines up with my bedsheets just having been washed if I’m really spoiling myself.

Organising outfits for a week of being a Queen

This may sound like a weird one for self care, but just hear me out. I like to look nice, but I am a proper tramp when it comes to effort. If I allow myself, I’ll end up in a sweater and leggings every day with my hair scraped back and no make up on. However, although that may be comfortable, I definitely don’t feel good about myself when I do that. When I have time now, I like to lay out my clothes for the next day, when I still have the energy and time to think about it. I mostly just do it for the next day, and then I give up before the end of the week because I get too tired in the evening. If I’m really doing well though I’ll do it on a Sunday night for the whole week, and then I get to feel like a queen every day. This does wonders for both your self esteem, and just generally making you feel like you are adulting like a pro.

Brisk walk twice a week with Zombies, Run!

I hate exercise. Let it be known that if I could spend every day in a duvet burrito watching Netflix, even in Summer, I would. I also hate putting on a bikini and feeling like a blob, so I do have to do it sometimes. The strange side benefit I have found from exercise though is that it does in fact help with mood. Don’t get me wrong, I come home from work and most of the time feel like I would rather willingly cut off a limb than go out for a walk. Once I have sulked and mentally reasoned with myself that I do, in fact, need to go if I ever want to fit into my shorts, I get changed and go out. And I must admit, once I come home I feel good. I feel like I have accomplished something that day, my mood is pretty high, I’ve walked off any of the days stress and I actually have more energy. I find on a day where I’ve walked, I’m far more likely to get some outfits laid out or a blog post done, because I feel energised. I also find I’m much more likely to go thanks to my favourite app Zombies, Run! It’s mostly cuz I just love the story and characters, and I know I can’t find out what happens next unless I go out and move. A video game where I have to exercise to progress? I can’t decide if it’s genius or pure evil.

And those are my top 5 favourite self care tips! Let me know your favourite self care tips below in the comments and we can help each other out!

Peace

Kit xx

 

 

cosplay

Cosplay: Photoshoot tips for cosplayers and photographers

For cosplayers

1. Stay safe and have a chaperone

It is so easy to get swept up in the excitement of a con and general feeling of safety in numbers. In my early cosplay days, I was entirely unaware of the dangers and just assumed everyone was safe. You don’t hang out with strangers in secluded places alone in the real word, don’t do it a convention. Even with photographers you have worked with before, always make sure someone knows where you are, when you are meeting them and how long you should be. As much as possible, take a chaperone, although I know this cannot always be done. If you are booking in to work with someone new, take the time to do some research on them. Check their reviews if they have them, if possible reach out to others who have worked with them before and generally try to get an idea of how they work before you get there. Always have a chaperone if you are going to a secluded part of the convention centre, or even more importantly if you are leaving site. Personally, I would advise if they suggest a hotel room for a shoot to always decline, but that is a personal decision. At least take someone with you and make sure someone else knows where you both are. Scary things do happen at comic cons, be aware of yourself.

2. Carry cosplay cards

When it comes to finding your photos after a convention, this can be really hard work. I didn’t think about this in my early days of cosplay, and quickly realised that I was spending all day posing for photos and only seeing a few of them, either because a friend had tagged me or I had the photographers card. It can’t be solely the photographers responsibility to find you, hand out cards with links to your page too. If you both swap, then if one goes missing you still have a chance of getting your photos back.

3. Ensure you have contact details for the photographer

It is a little unwise to hand out your phone number to random strangers, but it’s also a good idea to have a way of contacting them that doesn’t depend on internet. We all know that getting internet inside a convention centre is a miracle, and if you’re running late or have to cancel, it’s just rude to leave someone waiting for you. Make sure you have a way of contacting the photographer to let them know so they’re not standing around for your half hour slot when they could be enjoying their convention. Just be respectful of people’s time.

4. Know your poses for that character

Don’t turn up like an awkward lemon with no idea what you are doing and depend entirely on the photographer to know what to do with you. Although most togs have an idea of how to pose a model and the angles they want, not everyone does and some are not overly comfortable instructing others. At the end of the day, you chose the character and you want good photos back, the responsibility is on you to make sure you get what you want. Do your research, practice some poses and even save some references to your phone if you want. This can be great for making sure you don’t go blank at the shoot, and is very helpful to communicate to the photographers what you want.

5. Communicate with your photographer

Shoots are a collaboration. Give your opinion, share what you would like to get from the shoot and be willing to listen to what the photographer wants too. However, do not be forced to do anything you do not want to. You are always in control of your body and how you are photographed, if you are uncomfortable, say no, ask for help, leave. Whatever you are comfortable doing. Do not feel like you have to do anything, you absolutely do not. As with everything else in life, consent is everything. If you do not like to be touched for posing, say so. You don’t have to feel awkward about it, there are other ways of doing it. If you have discussed some poses in advanced and now don’t feel comfortable doing them, don’t. Plans do not matter, your comfort matters.

For photographers

1. Ask permission

I can’t even believe I have to say this, but I’ve been to enough conventions to know that I most definitely still need to say it. Ask permission to take anyone’s photo. Although it is a very open environment and most of the people will reply with a “yes, of course!” not every single person there is going to want their photo taken. And some may just not want their photo taken by you. Have respect for people, just like you would anywhere else, and if someone says no, accept it.

2. Have a photography page and cards

Although you may have pre-booked some of the shoots, there will always be people you see on the day that you really want to photograph. It is always worth having business cards with a link to the page where you’ll be posting the photos for all of your subjects. Cosplayers work very hard on their costumes and hugely appreciate receiving photos of their work.

3. Always credit the cosplayer

It is worth always asking if they have a cosplay card as most do now carry them. If they do not, I like to ask if they have a Facebook page, Instragram, Twitter account etc to be credited, or if they do not want to be tagged publicly, then an email address you can send the photos to. It’s worth keeping a note on your phone of who is who, because it can be very difficult weeks after the convention looking through a pile of cosplay cards trying to work out who is who. When it comes to taking their social media, you can either take their username, or I often take a photo of them on my phone, followed by a photo of their instagram page so I can link the two.

4. Make sure they are ready for the shot & comfortable

Don’t take a photo when they are fiddling wig hair out of their mouth, or trying to adjust their top because their bra is showing. Yes I’m mentioning being creepy too, just don’t take closeups of body parts please, it’s gross and creepy and no one will want to work with you any more. Also ensure that if you are posing them that they are comfortable with the pose you are directing them into and the angle it is taken from. Just because someone is wearing a revealing costume, it doesn’t mean they are happy for to take a shot lying on the floor where you can see their underwear, or bending forward so you can see into their corset. Lastly, if you need to touch them to assist their posing, always just ask first if that’s okay, don’t just touch someone, it’s weird. If they say no, respect that and find another way of posing them, such as demonstrating what you want them to do. Pro-tip: if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, maybe you shouldn’t be asking.

5. Do some research

For your pre-booked shoots, do a little research on the character. What kind of setting suits them, what kind of poses would they pull. One of my absolute favourite people to work with is the lovely Eddie from Food And Cosplay (http://foodandcosplay.org/) and he always arrives to a con with reference photos that he would either like to recreate, or use as pose inspiration. I love this because it makes me feel like he understands what we are trying to create, and as someone with zero natural posing ability it helps a ton to have a visual aid to what they want me to do. I would mention though, the responsibility shouldn’t be entirely on you to pose the cosplayers and that they should have some ideas about their character. Not all of us are good at that though and new cosplayers are mostly not prepared for that, so a little pre-planning on your part will make things go smoother.

That’s everything for this week! If you have any other tips to share, please leave them in the comments.

Peace

Kit xx

lifestyle · Wedding

Wedding: How to get started

I wrote my first wedding related post back in November and I still feel like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing! I can only imagine that there are many brides out there who feel equally clueless at the beginning stages of the planning process/engagement. Today I’m just going to talk about some of the first steps I have taken to get the ball rolling in the hope that maybe it is helpful for someone!

Find sources of inspiration and advise

The very first thing that I started to do was to look for a podcast that discussed weddings. In my mind, a podcast was an easy option as it’s something I could listen to whilst driving or getting stuff done so it wouldn’t take up my time. I would personally recommend From Ring To Veil ran by two lovely ladies who cover a great deal of topics. It is an American podcast so some of the information is irrelevant but there is plenty of useful advise and some great ideas on there to get your creativity going. They also have a Facebook group full of vendors, planners and brides alike. It’s a great place to take any questions. Otherwise, I took to YouTube and made myself a playlist to save any information that I liked the sound of. There’s a wealth of information and ideas on YouTube, and some of the stuff is incredibly unique. I’ve found some wonderful DIY ideas on there and plenty of tips on budgeting too.

Start working out your budget

You really can’t start doing anything until you know how much money you have to play with. It’s an unfortunate truth that weddings are extortionately expensive nowadays, and that you can spend a small fortune on every tiny part of the day. Everything you need for your wedding is immediately three times as expensive as soon as you add the word wedding to it. There are many ways of planning a budget, most of the resources I found suggested to sit down with your partner and work out how much you can both afford to save per month, and that will give you a number. I did a combination approach of where I first looked at how much things cost, and decided what I did not want to compromise on. I got an overall price on the “dream day” and then compared that to the amount we could save per month compared to the timeline of when I wanted to get married (for me it was 2 years). When I realised the dream was way out of budget, I started to go back through the list and cut things that I didn’t feel I really needed until I could bring it to an attainable number.

Decide what is important to you

We would all love to have the best of everything, but unfortunately unless you were born into money, or are both earning very good money, that’s just not going to be possible. I can’t remember where I heard this idea, but I thought it was great so I’m going to pass it on. Sometimes, it’s hard to get your partner as involved in planning and making decisions as you. It feels like there are a million ideas between you and the wedding, and your partner is generally answering “whatever you want” to everything because they don’t want to deal with it. The best way to ensure that your day is a combination of you both and not all about you, is to make their contribution as simple as possible. Prepare a list of all the things that you will need to purchase/pay for to have a wedding. Sit down with you partner and both write down the top 5 things you care about in that list in order of how much you are. See which of these match and combine as best as possible. You now have a list of the things you want to spend the most of your money on, and can now look through the rest of the list and decide what else to DIY or simply not have.

Speak to your family about money

Honestly, this is not a fun conversation for anyone involved. When it comes to your wedding, you need to know the overall number you are working with. Most parents want to contribute to their kids wedding, and it’s up to them whether they want to give you a lump sum to put to whatever use you choose, or pay for a particular thing such as buy your dress for you. It’s important to have this conversation about how they want to do this and how much they want to contribute, because if your parents have decided between themselves that they are going to pay for your venue for you, that is a huge cost paid for you. This will give you a chunk of your own savings that you can now spend on another part of your day. Likewise, if you parents are having financial difficulties and are unable to contribute, that’s going to impact what you can afford, and is better to know before you decide on a dream venue that is going to cost £20,000 when you can only come up with £5000. Slight exaggeration maybe, but you get the point. Have the awkward conversation, it will make early planning much easier.

Visit venues

It’s a good idea to start visiting venues pretty much straight away. This will help you to solidify what you want from the day, the size of the wedding, what kind of style you want etc. If you go to a wedding fayre or when it is set up for a wedding, it will also help you to work out what you care about and what you don’t. Perhaps you imagined a church, but when you go to view a couple you realise that you feel uncomfortable in them, or you find them too dark. It’s also a great way to ask questions, if like me you feel like you know nothing about weddings, as the venue coordinator is going to be happy to answer as many questions as it takes to sell the venue. This is another way to work out what you care about, as they can give you the estimated price of things. I used to think I wanted an abundance of flowers at my wedding, especially when I saw the gallery for my venue that showed the ceremony room adorned with large vases full of beautiful displays. Then I found out each of those vases was £300, and quick decided that DIY flowers was much more my style. Seeing it in person helps a ton!

Speak to friends and family

You’d be amazed at the contacts you have and how many people are willing to help out on your day. Your mum might know someone who is a florist, or your mother in law might have a friend who bakes beautiful cakes. You may have a friend who is a photographer (shout out to David you amazing man) or a friend who makes dresses. Speak to people, see who is willing to help but for gods sake don’t take advantage. Pay them. Ask for a price and accept or decline, do not ask for mates rates and for the love of all that is holy do not ask them to do it for free. They are your friend not a meal ticket.

Stick to your guns

By all means listen to advise, it is possible to be close to something to see a massive glaring error. However if you are sure you want something, don’t let anyone else sway you because they don’t like it. Traditions are great, but they are not mandatory. If you don’t want a religious ceremony, don’t have one. If you want lillies but Great Aunt Edna says they are a funeral flower and that would be bad luck, have bloody lillies. Always remember this day is to celebrate you and your partner, and so the only people that can make decisions is you. Everyone else can like it or not come 🙂

I hope this has helped you to make a start, and if you feel like you’re drowning in wedding stress, don’t worry we all are!

If you have any tips for getting started with wedding planning please share the in the comments.

Peace

Kit xx

favourites · Food · lifestyle

March Favourites!

I’ve enjoyed trying a few products this month so I’m actually excited to do this post! I haven’t had much of a chance to get to the cinema so I haven’t got so many new movies to discuss, but I have watched more TV.

55942659_336182683911237_7276715244230017024_n

Beauty

L’Oreal Paris, Miss Baby Roll

I finally ran out of my Miss Manga mascara, and as previously promised decided it was time for a change. I wanted to stay within this range and see if I preferred any of the other styles. I read the description for a couple, and decided on the Miss Baby Roll as I have very short eyelashes. I could just use an eyelash curler, but they terrify me and I hate them. I liked the promise of curling my eyelashes up a bit more, as most of the time you can’t even see my lashes, and I liked the look of the applicator shape. Thus far I am loving it even more than my last! It does come out a little more clumpy than I’d like, but it otherwise applies wonderfully, the applicator really does help with lash curl and pushes them up nicely. It stays so well that it is actually quite difficult to get off properly at the end of the day, and it lives up to the waterproof promise wonderfully.

L’Oreal Paris Superstar Liquid Eyeliner Pen

I got this as a freebie as Boots were doing a 3 for 2 on L’Oreal products and I also need to replace my powder foundation as I’d been scraping the bottom of the pan for a while. I would otherwise probably have purchased the Kiko eyeliner again as I’ve been using them for a while. I’ve put this on my favourites as I am generally enjoying the product, the applicator size is awesome, especially for a cat eye. It reminds me of the limited edition Kiko pen that I can’t get any more, so that really make me happy. My only issue with this product is that it could not be any less waterproof if it tried. I often wipe off the wing of my eyeliner during the day, and if god forbid you cry in it, it goes everywhere. Not a fan of that, but generally it’s pretty good. I would possibly look at buying this again if they have a waterproof version.

L’Oreal Infallible Powder

I’m cheating a little by having this in here as I’ve definitely had it in previous favourite posts. I just wanted to chuck this in here to say that I loved this so much that I have repurchased it again, and it’s still one of my favourite things in my makeup bag. It rivals Mac powder but at a much more reasonable price.

Imperial Leather Marshmallow

If anyone remembers this limited edition set from Imperial Leather of sweet based scents in shower gels, these were my absolute addiction for a while. I’m gutted that I can’t get all of them any more, but I’m relieved that Marshmallow is still around. I’ve stopped buying the shower gel for now, as I feel it’s important to change your scents to keep them fresh, but I can admit I’ve got a little travel bottle filled with it for emergencies, in case they scrap the last one! I have this month discovered though that they now have the Marshmallow scent in a bubble bath and honestly it’s life changing. It is the best thing I have ever put in my bath and it smells like heaven. Give it a go!

Nivea Hydro Care Lip Balm

This may seem like a really random and dull thing to have in my favourites, but I don’t care. I have constantly got cracked lips, and I keep having problems with the corners cracking and splitting. Gross I know but it’s so painful and horrid. I have tried so many lip balms, and although in most thing I love a good scent, I’ve realised I really do not enjoy that on a lip balm. It’s also a massive hassle to find a good one that is scented or tinted or some other unnecessary rubbish. I’ve been using this for a while, and it’s a god send. It’s just a good simple product that does the job. 

Food

Mini Eggs

I know this makes me sound like a total pig but I am completely obsessed with these. It’s not overly surprising for anyone who knows me as I get re-obsessed with these every year as soon as the Easter supplies come into stores. The problem is that this happens a little earlier every year and so I have to try to resist for as long as possible. For me, as soon as I get that first taste of mini eggs it’s like a beast awakens inside me that can only be satiated by mini eggs. It’s no exaggeration to say that they become my primary food source. Definitely not good for the diet!

Yorkshire Tea: Bedtime Brew

It’s a bit ridiculous that I’ve had a different type of Yorkshire Tea bag in every favourites but I’m actually on the last one now. I do not usually like flavoured tea, I can’t stand any type of herbal tea bag and that’s definitely an issue as I have crap skin and trouble sleeping, so I could really do with getting some green tea and chamomile into my routine. As a compromise, I tried the breakfast brew, and although it has got a little bit of flavour, it’s actually not bad. I still prefer a plain standard brew, but having one of these before bed even a couple of nights a week has definitely helped to chill me out for bed. If you want to know a bit more about it, this is what it says online: Warm, satisfying taste of Yorkshire Tea, gently decaffeinated and blended with lemon balm and nutmeg, for a seriously snuggly hot drink. If you ask me, it smells like hot cross buns and honestly that’s my favourite thing about it.

Movies and TV

Captain Marvel

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly bothered about going to see this. I mostly only went because it’s the last Marvel movie before End Game so it was clearly going to be relevant, and because I was super determined to support a movie led by a female superhero. I was more than a little pleasantly surprised by this film. I absolutely loved it! It was incredible, it was funny, it showed an awesome female relationship (although I admit I feel like they copped out on adding a gay relationship there where it felt natural and not forced, but that’s a conversation for another day). I also didn’t realise how awesome it would feel to see a powerful, badass woman leading a Marvel film. We definitely need more of this.

Shadow Hunters

Honestly, this is definitely not the best thing on TV. The writing is quite predictable, unfortunately the lead actress is one of the worst actors I have ever seen in anything and the constant will they/won’t they between Jace & Clary has way too much screen time for something literally no one cares about. Having said all of that, it’s a fun show to watch, it has some pretty unique ideas and now they’ve increased the budget it’s looking a lot better. Reasons to watch this show? Magnus and Alec. Simple as that. I would watch a show entirely focused on their relationship tbh. 

The Disappearance of Madeline McCann

There’s a lot of hype about this at the moment, but I think that’s honestly because there’s always a lot of hype around little Maddie. I did watch all of this, and I wouldn’t say it was amazing, but it was certainly interesting. It presented a lot of theories and that was the best part for me. Everything else was a bit mediocre. 

Queer Eye

Praise the lord Queer Eye is back! It’s been a very long wait for me for some more of this and I am so glad that season three is finally here. I love these guys so much, but most of all I just want Tan and Antony to come and live with me. This is my favourite thing to watch when I just want to chill out with a cuppa in my pjs, or to have on in the background whilst I’m working on cosplay. Absolutely cannot get enough. 

Music

I have been enjoying using Spotify much more this month, so I’ve actually been listening to things outside of my regular ipod lists for once, crazy I know! As per usual I’ve got a real mix of genres and artists, but then if you’re coming here for music recommendations you know that already. This is what I’ve been listening to most:

  • Can’t Help Falling In Love – Haley Reinhart
  • Just You And I – Tom Walker
  • Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi
  • You’re The Voice – The Kingdom Choir
  • Sunflower (Remix) – Shaun Reynolds & Esmee Denters
  • Why Her Not Me – Grace Carter
  • Back Again – You Me At Six

 

And that’s it for March! What are you March Favourites?

Peace

Kit xx