Competition Time!


Calling All Brides- The Wedding Journal Show is back

And we have some tickets to give away!

A Home Made By Committee is teaming up with The Wedding Journal Show to give away five pairs of tickets to the show in the Citywest Complex on the 26th– 27th September.

For your chance to win a pair, answer the following question:

Where does The Wedding Journal Show take place in Dublin?

Send your answers to by September 21st to enter.


What’s it all about?

The Wedding Journal Show, Ireland’s biggest and best bridal event, is back with a dazzling amount of exciting, unique features. Located at the Citywest Complex in Dublin the show will run on the 26th & 27th of September and promises to be the ultimate wedding planning experience for any couple set to say ‘I DO!’.

From creative cakes to dream dresses, The Wedding Journal Show gathers together everything you need to craft your perfect wedding day provided by hundreds of the country’s leading wedding industry suppliers.

This year’s Autumn Show will feature new areas like ‘Say Yes To The Dress’, where brides-to-be can try on dresses and purchase at the show, as well as the inspirational Vintage Wedding Area. The informative Honeymoon Seminar Area will make a return as travel industry professionals tell you everything you need to know about booking the best post-wedding trip and the dreamy cake designs by the winners from the first Great Wedding Journal Cake Off will also be on display for your eyes to feast on.

One couple will walk away with an incredible ‘Wedding of the Year’ package worth a jaw-dropping €25,000 and the coveted competition can be entered by anyone who visits the show. This life-changing prize features an €8,000 wedding reception at the exclusive Bridge House Hotel as well as a luxurious honeymoon in Jamaica worth €6,000, courtesy of Travelmood. Simply visit the Wedding Journal stand to enter before the live final on the FM104 Style Stage on Sunday, September 27th.

Packed full of glamour, inspiration and excitement, The Wedding Journal Show once again will be an unmissable day out for the entire bridal party. The legendary Bridal Catwalk Show returns three times daily featuring the latest collections from international dress designers, and on the FM104 Style Stage hair and makeup professionals will be sharing their top styling tips for 2016 and there’s fashion advice for the curvy bride.

Be sure to grab a VIP ticket online before you visit to receive a fab goodybag filled with the latest beauty products, exclusive access to the VIP Lounge, a glass of bubbly and complimentary beauty treatments.

Opening times: 12 noon – 6pm Saturday 26th September and 12pm-6pm Sunday 27th September. Discounted tickets, VIP tickets and all other information can be found at Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Hen Party Cupcake Decoration

Hen Party Cupcake Decoration
Hen Party Cupcake Decoration

Topic: cupcakes, decoration, hen, bachelorette, party

I recently volunteered to provide cupcakes for a hen party. Now, it would have been possible to show up with a few butterfly buns, as my baking ability is not internationally renowned and the expectations were not high. But it was the hen party of my future sister-in-law and I thought it would be nice to put in a little effort and see if I could make something special.

Making the cupcakes was no problem. I cracked the spine on my favourite cookbook for alcoholic cupcakes and with a few modifications created Southern Comfort & Coke, Pina Colada, Margarita and White Maria cupcakes.

It can be sometimes tricky to get 40 women to eat cupcakes, especially if they are thinking of having to squeeze into their frock for the wedding which was only a few weeks away. I have found that the more appetising and interesting the cupcakes look, the more chance that they will be eaten. To help me with this I recruited Jean from Pretty Tasty Bakes to give me a tutorial on cupcake decoration.

The first thing Jean did was put a cupcake case in front of me. {Well, that’s a lie, the first thing she did was come into the house, unpack a suitcase worth of equipment and have a cuppa before getting started. But the first thing she did right after that was to put the cupcake case before me} so that I would keep scale in mind. There is no point making something with lots of detail that people either can’t see or that won’t fit on the top of the cupcake. Scale is very important.

I had trawled through Pinterest and picked out a few designs that I liked and saved them to a board. Jean reviewed this so that we were both on the same page. We started with the simplest design: black and pink hen party regulars.


Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada
Cocktail Cupcake: Pina Colada


  • Cutting/chopping board on which to work
  • Rolling pin
  • Circular cookie cutter
  • Craft knife
  • Gem mould if available
  • Letter stamp impressions
  • Non-toxic shimmer dust


  1. To make the black base: Take a blob of black icing, tease until warm and flexible, and roll it smooth, on a cutting board to protect your table, with a rolling pin. Black icing is one of the few colours that should be bought premade, because of the amount of dye it takes to colour white icing to make it black, as opposed to grey (red is another one of these, it takes bottles to move it from being pink to being scarlet). Then take a circular cookie cutter about the size of the cupcake case you are using and cut out enough circles to place on top of each cupcake. Put these aside to dry and harden.
  2. To make the learner signs take a blob of white icing, tease and roll out. From this cut the white square for the L sign. Use a ruler or guide to ensure these are square. Place to one side to dry. Next take a blob of pink, tease and roll out. Use a craft knife to cut out the letter L (being careful of scale). Place to the side to dry.
  3. To make the rings, take a blob of white and roll between your hands to make a worm shape. Once the worm has started to take shape, put the roll on the board and using one finger only roll until a thin long snake is made. Using only one finger will help to keep the width of the snake consistent. Once the correct diameter has been reached, cut and make a circle from it. Place to one side to harden. To make the gem, Jean had a handy gem mould which we used. However, if you did not have this, using a craft knife, impress edges onto a small ball of white icing, until it has a cut diamond appearance. Dust with shimmer dust to give gleam. Place to one side to harden
  4. To make the flags, take a blob of pink icing, tease and roll. Use a craft knife to cut out the flag shape. Use letter stamps to impress message onto the icing. Use toothpick to decorate the edge of the flag with small dots. Dust with shimmer dust to give gleam.
  5. Once the cupcakes are ready to decorate, stack pieces on top of one another, holding in place with non-toxic baking glue.

Some little tips:

How to get lots of different colours without spending a fortune?

There is no need to buy lots of different coloured icing to get different colours, instead buy small bottles of food colouring and a large block of white icing. Add a very small, tiny, miniscule drop of colouring to a blob of white icing. Mix this in by pulling apart and resticking the icing together (as you would to warm up bluetack) until the colour is uniform. This will work for ever colour except dark ones such as red, black, purple, for those colours you will need to buy the pre-dyed icing.

What to do if the icing gets too sticky?

Add some icing sugar, this will dry up some of the moisture.

Leaving it to dry:

It is best to leave your decorations harden overnight, in a cool dark space if possible. I find the oven an excellent place to do this, plus it gives me the perfect excuse to order pizza!

Hen Party Cupcake Decoration
Hen Party Cupcake Decoration

I run because …

i run because


I run because … I love food. I must be the only person who fantasies about take-away as they are pounding the pavement. I picture Sweet & Sour Chicken with Egg-fried rice. I picture McDonalds Chicken Burger with large chips. I picture prawn cocktails, steaks, lasagne, bun-burgers and cheese fries. I put one foot in front of the other and think of what I am going to eat as soon as I get home.


I run because … I have a very expensive wardrobe I want to get back into. I can’t wear my temporary pennies wardrobe forever.


I run because … I want to get back home. I intentionally run in a circular circuit, at a time when there is nobody else home, with a dog that gets travel sick in cars. There is only one way home and that is to keep going. I can’t call a taxi as the dog will puke and I’ll have to pay for cleaning. I can’t ring home because there is nobody there. There is no point in turning back half way through my work-out as it is the same distance to the end. There is only one way out. If I want to get home I need to keep on going. Or else sit by the roadside for the rest of my life.


I run because … I’m a little vain.


I run because … I need to exercise the dog. I was conned into purchasing a dog bred for farm work, and then I put it in a garden the size of a postage stamp. Poor chap will go barmy if he is not exercised. Or worse bark all night and chew my new couches.


I run because … I don’t want to be the fat one anymore.


I run because … Doctors tell me that a cardio-workout will give me a healthy heart and prolong my life. Although I come from a family with a tradition of long life, so I am not sure how much past 102 I really want to live.


I run because … I like to dance, and I look better when there is less junk in my trunk.


I run because … It gives me head space and time alone to think my thoughts, listen to my music, be my own self for a little bit.


I run at night because … every family has one member people would prefer would exercise under the shroud of darkness. Red faced, sweat pumping, hair askew (and that is just when I am leaving the house), tethered to the worlds most excited dog on the way out, dragging the lazy mutt behind me on the way back. Darkness is my friend here.


I run because … I wasn’t born this way.



What people don’t tell you about planning a wedding




With the perspective that only time can grant I would like to offer a few observations that are not generally discussed while wedding planning.


  1. How comfortable you become telling loved ones to ‘F’ off

Wedding planning can be a stressful time. As with most major life events, everyone has an opinion on what the wedding should be like and for some reason the most uninformed hold their opinion the strongest. However one positive I really gained from the experience was how comfortable I became with telling my nearest and dearest to just shove it where the sun don’t shine, regardless of what ‘it’ was. As time went on I derived more joy than I really should have from saying it to people. I very quickly learned that the only opinions that mattered were mine and my partners, so I learned to smile, nod, and file the advice in the trash can. This has stood to me well in life following the wedding too.


  1. How everyone has a surprisingly strong opinion on price and priorities

This piece of advice comes from a friend’s experience, but please do not let anyone tell you what you should pay for any part of your wedding. A wedding dress for instance can be a simple white dress from Penneys for e7 or a designer dress costing e100ks, with every other dress being somewhere in between. Much like house prices, the cost of dresses are dictated by what the materials they are made from and the market rate. You deserve a beautiful dress and so long as it is within budget, if you find one that you like (that does not look like it came from Big Fat Gypsy Weddings) then tell everyone else to eff off and buy it for yourself. That goes for everything else as well. Different things are more important to different people. Kate Moss rearranged her whole wedding to get the photographer she wanted – pictures being more important than a date to a professional model. I spent hours on stationary, because I love paper and it was important to me, while a friend spend 20 minutes following the design wizard and ordered everything on Vistaprint, while another got Daintree to do everything from picking the colours to sealing the envelopes. Each to their own.


  1. How some suppliers are under the impression that they will stay in business long term even if they constantly tell clients their requirements are not possible

Laugh at anyone who says you can’t have what you want in your timeframe – time equals money and in such a competitive industry there will always be someone to supply exactly what you want, when you want it, while wearing a smile and offering you champagne as they do. Please bear this in mind when confronted by a supplier that gets the impression that you need them more than they need you.


  1. How sometimes tolerating insulting dress shop assistance is worth it to try on *those* dresses

There are literally hundreds of wedding dress shops out there, but unfortunately a lot of them stock very similar merchandise. If you are looking for something a little bit different, I suggest that you try some of the specialist vintage stores. Even if you do not ultimately want to wear a vintage dress on your big day, these shops can be very inspiring, as they give you an opportunity to try styles which are out of fashion at the moment, but are extremely flattering to your figure. But, be warned, in true vintage stores, everything is designed for the very young bride (it being the fashion in bygone times to marry at 18) so everything is on the small side, and the women who own these shops are usually in dire need of a customer-service course, so be prepared for some old biddy to comment on your thick waist or engorged boobs, while manhandling your body like she is stacking recalcitrant oranges.


  1. How some suppliers forget it’s your wedding that is being planned and not theirs

Once we were engaged my partner and I wandered around wedding venues like two unschooled toddlers, picking up shiny things and generally not having clue what we wanted or why. On our first outing with a hotel wedding coordinator, she asked us what was the theme of our wedding. My partner took a moment and replied quite bluntly ‘I thought wedding was the theme’. In response he received her best withering stare (she must work on that at home with a mirror), then turned to me and suggested that we go home until we were going to take this a little more seriously.

I won’t lie, we went home a little shame faced and dejected, and sat down to concoct some suitable answer to this ridiculous question. We spent several horrifying months trapped in similar situations. At the start of the weekend we would be excited and giddy about planning the wedding, by the end of the weekend we would be huddled on our couch, drinking to forget the horrors “ enter here, cross the petal lined floor, either side of the live swans, not too close because they bite..”, blocking out images of brides unable to move without a swarm of bridesmaids, and people asking What Would Martha Steward Do?

  1. How difficult it can be to find an ready-to-wear dress that is a little off the beaten track

Dress shopping was a real eye-opener for me. When I started I was pretty confident I knew what I wanted and what would suit me. I was horrified by some of the “items” my chief bridesmaid convinced me to try on, in terms of style, quality, price and how big my a*se looked in them, but was then pleasantly surprised by others I thought I would hate (my dream dress turning out to be a diamondee encrusted meringue that could have got us on a reality TV show). In general, however, I felt that most of the dresses I tried on looked the same; floor-length meringues. I had palpitations every time I was shoved into one of them. I felt constrained and claustrophobic. I was helped out of the dressing room by dumpy middle-aged woman, muscles bulging under the weight of the petticoats and boning, and directed to a plinth upon which I was put on show to everyone in the shop, who gathered around and assessed me (not necessarily flatteringly). While they twittered away, I stood looking at my reflection thinking how impractical the dress seemed to me. How would I dance, or sit, or eat, or walk, or use the bathroom? When I voiced these fears aloud everyone in the shop smiled a little knowing, patronizing smile and said “but you look like a princess, dear, you don’t need those other things.” Ermmm …. I think my bladder would disagree! I soon made up my mind that I was having a short dress- even if I have to make it myself from toilet paper (thankfully I found the excellent dressmaker Sarah Foy, so that wasn’t necessary).

Wedding Rejection Letters

Landing Rejection Letters

One of the saddest things to see seep into a wedding is the shift from a celebration of love between two ordinary but intertwined souls to a wedding that is little more than a status symbol. Instead of a celebration of mutual adoration there is a pompous formality convened with the sole purpose of showing-off the wealth and standing of the couple.  When the boom went bust and flashing the cash was no longer the ‘done’ thing, people moved to other avenues of more subtly illustrating status. It was no longer their nearest and dearest that were the prize invitees, they were just the spectators, instead it became about the celebrity invitee – the Government Minister, who is a dear friend of the family, don’tchaknoow, or the National Sports Hero who turns out to be a distant cousin twice removed of one of the intended, or the girl from the telly who once went to school with the bride’s sister for two years in primary school.

So for our wedding, as we battled over the guest list, refusing to invite anyone we had not seen face-to-face in the last year, no matter how influential or important they were in the wider world (with the exception of my Australian relatives), it tickled our fancy to consider all the truly important and wonderful people in the world who would rather be anywhere else, doing anything else, other than attending our wedding (because what else is a wedding for other than to mock the traditions and attitudes others in your society hold dear).

As we considered the decorations for our reception area, we thought what better centre pieces could there be other than ten rejection letters from the most influential people on the planet. For us it served as a reminder to enjoy the day for what it was – a celebration at the merger of two corporate giants  families.

To relay any concerns that we may actually have written to these people and be on some sort of government watch list ourselves, we did not; these are fictional forgeries of what could have been.

Difficulty   of Project: Super   Easy
Overall   Cost of Project: Price of   printing (so practically free)
Frames   for finished product
(Ikea Nyttja frames – 10 pictures x e3 per frame= e30)
Required   for this project: Google
Microsoft   Paint
Microsoft   Word
Access   to colour printer
A4   Frames
Duration   of project: Few   hours spread over a few weeks

1. To start we selected ten international figures from the world stage that, if we were as influential the Beckhams, we would invite to our wedding.  They were:

  1. The Obamas,
  2. Beyonce & Jay-Z,
  3. Mr Kipling (maker of the exceedingly good biscuits),
  4. Kim Jong Il and his son, Kim Jong Un (because it’s good to get rarely seen celebs at your party, plus he invented the desk – how cool is that!?),
  5. Clowns without Boarders (a real organisation that go to war-torn areas and do clown gags),
  6. Stephen Hawkins (a hero of ours),
  7. Will and Kate (because who knows, it’s not like they would be traveling that far),
  8. Agatha Christy (because I just love her, even though I know her arrival at our wedding would have signalled that zombie were amongst us) and
  9. Vladimir Putin (because it’s always good to have a villain)

2. Then we used their websites and google images to find images we could use to make our interpretation of their headed paper.

3. We wrote the letters we think we would have received from these people, adding funny footnotes, to reward those who really looked at them closely.

   1. The Obamas

Dear John & Cathy,

Thank you for your polite invitation, but given the terms of the restraining order, I feel it would be inappropriate for us to join you on your big day.

Hope all goes well for you guys,

Barack Obama – President of USA



Pursuant to federal law all government-produced materials appearing in this letter may not apply to the same value of truth as would normally be expected. The United States Government hold the right to interpret the value of truth by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

2. Beyonce & Jay-Z,

Dear John & Cathy,

On behalf of Ms Knowles I would like to thank you for your very thoughtful invitation. However given that neither Beyonce nor Jay-Z have ever heard of you, they will not be joining you on your big day. I have enclosed an autographed picture as a consolation.

All the best for the future.

pp Taffy-Y

Sony Music Entertainment, Beyonce Management Team



This is an official letter from the Beyonce Management Team. Any mocking of the letter shall be interpreted as a mocking of Beyonce herself and will not be tolerated. Any views of opinion expresses within this letter do not necessarily represent the views of either the artist, Sony Entertainment, the artist’s Management Team, the person who sent the letter or the post men and women who delivered it. Please have a nice day.

3. Mr Kipling

Dearest John & Cathy,

How did you get this address??

Hoping you have an exceedingly good day,

Mr Kipling

4a. Kim Jong Il

Pathetic Infidels,


Submission of Form 58-74 책에, signalling your desire to have Supreme Leader of North Korea, His Excellency,Kim Jong-il, Party Centre; Superior Person; Dear, Respected, Wise, Brilliant, Unique, Great, Peerless Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have; Commander-in-Chief; Father of the People; Sun of the Communist Future; Shining Star of Paektu Mountain; Guiding Sun Ray; Leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces; Guarantee of the Fatherland’s Unification; Symbol of the Fatherland’s Unification; Fate of the Nation; Beloved Father; Leader of the Party, the country, and the Army; Great Leader of our Party and of our Nation; Beloved and Respected General, and Leader; Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander; Sun of Socialism; Sun of the Nation; The Great Sun of Life; World Leader of The 21st Century; Great Bright Sun of the 21st Century; Amazing politician; Glorious General, who Descended From Heaven; Supreme Leader of the Nation; Bright Sun of Juche; Leader of the Party and the People; Great Marshal; Invincible and Ever-triumphant General; Beloved and Respected Father; Guiding Star of the 21st Century; Great Man, Who Is a Man of Deeds; Great Defender; Savoir; Mastermind of the Revolution; Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradely Love join you on Juche 101, 28th July has been rejected.


Retribution for the insolence shown by your submission shall follow.

Inmin Gun

Korean People’s Army


4b. and his son, Kim Jong Un

Dear Friends,

I have thought of you often since our time in Bern, and your invitation (although much interfered with and I think nibbled by our giant rabbits) drew me back to a carefree time in my life. However since my succession to my rightful place as Supreme Leader of the Universe, I no longer acknowledge the existence of the outside world, or the ghosts which reside therein.

Also, it may be of interest for you to note, that since your invitation to my father was received only days before his death, it has been viewed as a successful attack by the West on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. I am told plans for suitable retribution are underway.

Wishing you all the best in your married life.

 Kim Jong-un

5. Clowns without Boarders

Dear Sir/Madame,

Your communication was received 23rd June, 2012.

It is government policy not to negotiate with terrorists.

With violent radicals of any flag, there shall be no talks at any level. There is no foolish delusion that an argument can make peace. We do not engage, and we will not engage.

Release the clowns or the circus will have its retribution. Your reception will not be saved from frivolity.

Kind Regards,

President Barnes



Code of the Clown: The objective of this code is to provide a series of written guidelines of ethics for all clowns and artists who collaborate with Clowns Without Borders: The clown or collaborating artist will hold as fundamental objectives to better the situation of children who live in crisis situations of whatever type (conflict, natural disaster, social inequalities, etc.) in whatever part of the world. The main beneficiaries of CWB projects are children living in situations of crisis and the clown or collaborating artist will make no distinction between them for reasons of race, age, religion, culture, social situation or any other categorization when offering his/her work. For clowns and collaborating artists participating in CWB projects, volunteerism is the general rule. In respect to the clown/artist’s public image, he/she will not use the participation in humanitarian activities as a means to promote their professional career, separating clearly at all times such activities and not using his humanitarian work for publicity purposes or to promote his/her professional career, such as it may be.


6. Stephen Hawkins

Dear Sir / Madam,

Unfortunately Professor Hawking is unable to respond to specific scientific enquiries, academic theories, requests for voicemail service, party appearances or nuptial initiations. Please do not email these as although they may be valid, we simply do not have the resources to comment on them.

Kind Regards,

Judith Croasdell
PA to Stephen Hawking CH, CBE, FRS



I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive: we’ve created life in our own image. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change, although it is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years. The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired. I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road. There are grounds for cautious optimism that we may now be near the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature. To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit. We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

7. Will and Kate

Dear John & Cathy,

Despite the current campaign to make the House of Windsor appear more human and familiar to peasants such as yourselves, the fact remains that William and Catherine are not your friends, and therefore will not be attending your wedding.

We in the press-office however never turn down a good party – see you there!

pp. Persil Whayenstooth



simply a better class of person

8. Agatha Christy

Your Reference: Inappropriate Invitation

Our Reference: Crackpot Timewasters


Dear Mr Clarke & Ms Gibbons,

The insensitive nature of your invitation is matched only by its audacity.

Don’t save a seat or expect a gift.

Please see invoice for this letter attached.


Jonathan Heartingsberg III

The Estate of Agatha Christy



Well, now dears, a marriage indeed. Yes, now. You see, I knew very well that something was afoot, what with all the fuss and whatnot, but I could not see it clearly what the thing was until the invitation arrived. My suspicions began when Miss Codswad slipped from the pier. I had been there myself earlier and had not found it unsafe, and given the calm seas could not see how it would become so. No. No, what happened was that Mrs Fidleton pushed Miss Codswad from the pier, when the two were out walking, hoping to disguise it in some way when Miss Codswad came from the water. She did not intend to kill her, just to somehow injure her, to prevent her from dancing at the wedding with Mr Flanderspoon, who would then have to ask another, leaving Miss Codswad in the company of Mr Fidleton Jr. Beauty can be as dangerous as wealth, much coveted and often inspiring the most dangerous of all: jealousy, and a mother does not like to see her son so distressed. Unfortunately Mrs Fidleton did not know that Miss Codswad suffered from Roxtoxiphobia, and when she reached the water the fear consumed her and she drowned. In a fit of panic, when Mrs Fidleton realised what was happening she herself jumped from the pier, which is when you happened upon the scene Inspector. Mrs Fidleton was not helping Miss Codswad because she loved her, but rather because she loved herself. Yes. Reminds me of the Brother’s Wife in Saint Mary Meade. Sad sort really. Hum  

9. Vladimir Putin

Dear Mr Clarke & Ms Gibbons,

Given that the date of your union has long been prophesied as being the day hell will freeze over and the world will end, I will be busy putting my affairs in order on that date.

Thank you for the early notification of the impending doom.

Yours Sincerely,

Vladimir Putin

Premier of Russia


All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia. All hail Mother Russia.

Were they a success?

Well we thought they were hilarious, and actually have them displayed in our landing. Some relatives were concerned that we would end up on some sort of watch list even if they were just forgeries. Others just didn’t get it – they didn’t understand why you would want to brag about people not wanting to come to your wedding. Others still talk about them to this day – as being one of the funniest parts of our slightly crazy wedding.


a)      The Obamas,

W House

b)      Beyonce & Jay-Z


c)       Mr Kipling


d)      Kim Jong Il and his son

 Kim Jong-ilKim Jong-Un

e)      Clowns without Boarders


f)       Stephen Hawkins


g)      Will and Kate

royalh)      Agatha Christy

marplei)        Vladimir Putin


Wedding Day Dos and Don’t



Dah, dah, tadah. Dah, dah, tadah….. yup, it is finally here – the day you have been planning for since one sucker got down on one knee and the other eejit said why not? – it’s your wedding day.


You have planned. You have organised. You have quarrelled over the guest list and what is or is not appropriate for wedding transportation. You have sobbed in frustration and threatened to call the whole thing off, only to fall madly back in love twenty minutes later. You have compared four different shades of midnight forest green ribbons to find that just-right colour match. You have crafted until the bandages covering your paper-cuts look like you have third degree burns.


But it’s done. All that angst is in the past, and you are in the present, in your beautiful, sparkling, splenouriferous moment – your wedding day. But before you launch right in like an overexcited toddler into a sweet factory, here are a few tips to keep this love train from turning into a speeding off-the-tracks nightmare.


Let’s start with the Don’ts

1. Don’t get too drunk.

This can happen more easily that you think; a combination of weeks of dieting to squeeze into the dress, a very early start that morning, a champagne breakfast and before you know it your head is spinning and you are telling the same story twice.

It’s a bridal nightmare, as a guest it’s embarrassing to watch and can really effect the mood of the day. So go easy on the champagne over breakfast, try to eat some actual food, and forewarn your bridesmaids to supply plenty of fizzy drinks and water if you look like you are coming to a tipping point.

This rule also applies to the gentlemen; usually the men have to give a speech (rather than the bride’s optional one) be they the groom or the best man. Slurred speech and inappropriate jokes that are hilarious when drunk are less funny when you are watching the wedding video back with your in-laws. So go easy on the Dutch courage.


2. Don’t argue with suppliers.

This is the one day where you really ought to channel your serene inner goddess. Things will go wrong, things will be delayed, there will be hiccups – dispatch a bridesmaid/groomsman/mother to deal with it and you go back to enjoying your party. There is amazing power in a third party saying to a supplier “the bride wants ….. now”: there is less power in a screaming harpy shaking a bouquet aggressively at a supplier while she hitches up the white fufu number in order to chase them. At all times remember this is a day for dignity and serenity. Plus you can always sue them tomorrow.


3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Despite my wedding being a relatively informal affair, being specifically warned not to do it in writing (our wedding website) and knowing I would be wearing a short white dress, my just-recently-married sister-in-law decided to wear a white dress to my wedding.

Yes, it’s in bad taste, and yes, it caused a lot of negative comments among the guests on the day, and yes, the photographer had to be creative when he did the family pictures as there are only two girls on that side of the family (me and my sister-in-law) and at first glance it was hard to spot the bride as we were both in white.

But actually, on the day, I didn’t care. In my serene champagne filled bubble I gave her the benefit of the doubt and thought she probably only considered herself and the dress rather the occasion to which she was wearing it, and in fairness to her, she does look well in white. Having no power to change the situation (having double checked that there were no handy buckets of red paint on the premise) I accepted it and moved on.

If it still bothers me when I get around to making our photo album I’ll rewrite history and use Photoshop to put her in a muck brown disaster and post it all over Facebook.




And after all that, let’s get to some Do’s


1. Enjoy feeling like a rockstar.

This is the one day where everyone will be standing around in clusters remarking on how beautiful you look, everyone is eager to get you anything that you want or need and there are a band of paparazzi following your every move. This is your Beyonce moment – relish it.


2. Accept that some things will go wrong.

Our first dance was a disaster. My groom had been sick before the wedding so he didn’t have the strength for us to practice the steps enough. On the day he was so tired by the time it came to the First Dance and his legs cramped, while I got distracted by the lights and forgot some of the steps. Disaster. But do you know what, that happens. We laughed at ourselves, we salvaged the situation, and aside from thinking we were yet another couple who can’t dance, I don’t think anyone else noticed.


3. Remember to say hi to all the guests.

People have put in a huge amount of effort to get all dolled-up and be present for your big day, remember to be gracious and thank them in person. Mingle at your reception, and between courses of the meal go to each table and say hi, that way you get to talk to people in bunches rather than finding them all individually.


4. Let your hair down after the meal (metaphorically speaking).

As far as I am concerned once the meal finishes the formalities of the day are complete, it’s time to let loose and party. If you have said hi to everyone already than search out your mates, get someone to pour a nice glass of vino and slip into your dancing shoes. There is nothing more enjoyable that watching a bride/groom having a good ole time (well, with the exception of being the bride having a good ole time).


5. Remember to take some time out to savour the day with your bride/groom.

This is it. This is your big day. It is actually happening. Take just a few minutes to stand together, hold hands, look at each other, look at your party and remember this feeling. This is happiness.



Life Myths – Fact or Fiction

Where we weed out the truth from the random clap-trap people wheel out.

5. Life Myths

Here are just a few observations I have gleamed from life so far which I have categorised into two groups; I buy that or total balderdash.

1. Dogs don’t eat crisps.

Dogs eat the sides of tables, shoes, their own bed, and if you don’t stop them the cats’ litter tray, of course they eat crisps.

2. Cats don’t eat crisps.

Now this one I felt held more water, but unfortunately, when tested fell through. The cat will eat whatever you eat, if only because you looked like you were enjoying it. I think it’s a trust thing – if it hasn’t killed the royal taster then it probably won’t kill the cat.

3. Dogs and cats SHOULDN’T eat crisps.

Now this one I believe. I’m not a vet or anything, and haven’t asked one in case they take my animals away for their own safety, and I am sure there has never been a cat or dog fed solely crisps to test it, but I feel like this one is more than a factoid – I think it could be a fact.

4. You need to live in the countryside to keep hens – you cannot do it in a housing estate.

Not true. If you have a patch without concrete or stones about 2m x 1m that you can pop a hen house on, call the council to get yourself a flock number and a local farmer to get you a couple of hens and away you go. Just bear in mind that hens poop EVERYWHERE so enclose the area, and it is not safe for little hands who are likely to touch the poop and then put those hands in their mouth to play around hens (plus hens can be fairly trigger happy with the ole pecks and those beaks are hard). Little hands that are more germaphopic should be fine.

5. Your neighbours would prefer if you lived in the countryside if you are going to keep hens.

Judging from the cooling of relations with our neighbours over the hens that woke up at 5.30am and announced the new day to the world – I’m going to say this is a fact.

6. You need to live in the countryside to keep a sheep or a pig

This one is also a fact. It seems like a great idea initially; the sheep can live in the front garden, trim the grass and give milk; the pig can live in the back garden and eventually we will eat it. Then you meet a full grown sheep and realise those huge teeth in the front are actually bone and sheep are terrifying, or, you meet a full grown pig and realise it would have no qualms eating you, cooked or not. Plus the Residents Committee are likely to picket with placards if you go this far.

7. Your school days are the best days of your life

Please tell me in what world does a day when you have no money, live at home with your nagging uncool parents and annoying siblings, are very hormonal, have bad skin and are studying hard for exams better than a day when you blow off work early, head down to the pub for a few pints, meet a nice looking someone and go home to have causal sex?

Every day that gets me further away from my awkward teenage years is the best day for me.

8. Your wedding day is the best day of your life.

Lady, all in the same day, I once found e20 in an old jacket, ordered takeaway and got it for free, spent the whole day on the couch watching great telly and then later found a mars bar down the back of that couch. No day has topped that yet.

9. Being pregnant is the most special time of your life.

This one might be true, but only because to go from pregnant to no longer pregnant a) something has to crawl out of you and b) people will judge if you opt for too many painkillers to numb the experience. I can only imagine how the time preceding that event, when you didn’t have the memories of that trauma, would seem to be very special.

10. Every day has the potential to be special

This one I buy.

Soon to follow: Things That Aren’t True but Should Be.