23 April 2014

8 steps to writing your perfect wedding vows

So you're getting married and thinking about writing your own vows? All I can say is do it! Writing your own vows is a beautifully personal way to celebrate your love for each other on your wedding day.

Hubby and I went for it, and the vow section of our ceremony is something I'll remember always.

Writing perfect vows was hard work though. So from someone who's been there and done it - here are my top 8 tips to writing your perfect wedding vows...

8 steps to writing perfect wedding vows
  1. First - decide do you want traditional vows, or to write your own?
    If you opt to write your own vows you'll be creating something personalised and very special for each other, that your guests will  enjoy too. However writing your own vows can be scary - so the decision needs to be made together.

    For me hubby was always keen to write our own, but I had to be convinced. I was nervous about sharing my personal thoughts and feelings in such a public way. In the end I came around to the idea, and I'm so thankful now that I did, as the words we shared I'll never forget.

    If you do decide to write your own vows ask someone you trust to read both sets of vows in advance to ensure you are both writing roughly the same amount. If possible you want to try and speak for roughly the same amount of time each.

    And if you decide to stick to the traditional route - that's great too. For many people the traditional wedding vows hold important significance.

  2. Are you religious?
    If not it is okay to remove any religious references from your vows. We did, and no-one even noticed.

  3. Write down everything you love about your other half - the fun part!!
    Are they funny? Caring? Any interesting quirks? Think about that moment when you knew you loved them, and what still makes your heart 'flip-flop' today. This will put you in the right frame of mind while writing your vows.

    If you have writers block try thinking about:
    - What's their best quality?
    - What's your favourite memory of your partner?
    - How do you feel when you're together?
    - Any attributes you love to hate?

  4. Make promises to each other.
    What would you like to promise forever and ever? Be specific here, and think long term.

    It's okay to inject a bit of humour if you want to - as long as you sincerely mean what you are saying. For example, I promised 'to always laugh at hubby's jokes' (he has a interesting sense of humour), and to 'share my food with him when he's finished his and is still hungry'.

    Remember that you're making a life long pact, so you want it to mean something to both of you, and that will make your relationship healthier.

    If you're after some extra inspiration try YouTube. Here are some very sweet vows I came across while writing mine.

  5. Pull everything together into a 'sweet love bundle' of amazing vows :)
    Start by declaring your love for your other half. I said "J - from the moment I saw you accross the room, those sparkling blue eyes, that cheeky smile, I knew you were something else. To put it simply you made me swoon. And you still do..."

    Next, add some personal touches such as a shared memory or when you knew that he was the right person for you or the thing that makes you love him more every day.

    Lastly, include your promises to one another. These can be funny, sweet and serious, but make sure you end on a loving note.

  6. Consider what your emotional state might be when it comes to saying 'I do'.
    Are you likely to be nervous or break into tears? If so you might be more secure following the 'repeat after me' route. If you're super confident and have decided to write your own words you might even choose to speak from memory. Hubby and I took the middle road - we wrote our own words, but had them typed and read from paper to take the pressure off.

  7. Practice makes perfect.
    Practice standing and speaking in front of a mirror. Think about the body language you want to use on the actual day, and make sure you know your vows well enough to have some eye-contact while saying them. Hubby and I held hands while we said ours.

  8. Lastly, consider having your vows - or whole ceremony videoed.
    The first time we heard our vows to each other was during our wedding ceremony as we said them. But with so much adrenaline pumping I'm glad the moment was captured on camera as it's hard to remember all the details and reactions. We have loved being able to re-live the moment again since.
And once your vows are done and dusted (phew), it's time to relax, celebrate and party!!!!....

Wedding photobooth
pic snapped in our wedding photo booth on our wedding night :)

21 April 2014

hello from Helsinki!

Hello from Helsinki and happy Easter Monday.

Hubby and I have spent the last four days relaxing in this very well built and designed city. The sun has been out and I've managed to do a lot of cafe hopping, so am rather high on caffeine.

Helsinki waterfront, Finland

Will fill you in on all the highs and lows of this city next Monday, and our day trip to Tallinn in Estonia just a two hour ferry ride away.

Until then...

19 April 2014

marylebone farmers market

Mouth watering, heavenly, scrumptious and tempting are just some of the 'yummy' words I would use to describe the Marylebone Farmers Market in London.

Hubby and I decided to check it out a few weekends ago on recommendation from a friend who lives close by and always seems to turn up to any party with a pie or cake purchased from the market.

On first glimpse the Marylebone Farmers Market looked quite small when we arrived, but I soon learnt that looks can be deceiving, as every single stall and seller here was quality - so by the time I had sampled and shopped my way around almost two hours had passed!

Here are some of the goodies I came home with...

Fresh pasta - Marylebone farmers market, London
fresh roasted beetroot & ricotta ravioli  - amazing to look at, and to gobble down

Fresh pasta sauce - Marylebone farmers market, London
homemade pasta sauce. Hubby and I went for the Roasted Butternut Squash

Yummy baked goods - Marylebone farmers market, London
yummy baked goods!! This seller was a Aussie lass - and she made a Lemon Slice almost as good as my mums. Needless to say I couldn't go passed this brownie either!

Organic apples - Marylebone farmers market, London
fresh organic apples, perfect for cleansing the palette

Giant beef burger - Marylebone farmers market, London
hubby sampled a home grown beef burger too!

Cheese! - Marylebone farmers market, London
cheese, glorious cheese. Need I say more? It was so pretty too...

Free range double yolk eggs - Marylebone farmers market, London
double yolk free range eggs

Purple broccoli - Marylebone farmers market, London
purple broccoli - gotta get some veges too

Tomatos! - Marylebone farmers market, London
fresh and flavoursome tomatoes

The Marylebone Farmers Market is held every Sunday between 10am and 2pm, and is a popular local shopping spot from what I could tell. If you're a Londoner and in the area it's definitely worth checking out. You might leave with an empty wallet, but you'll have a full shopping bag and belly, and a smile on your face. 

There was something for everyone - those who like to cook from scratch, and those who like to pretend they cook from scratch :)

There was plenty of cute dog watching too.

Fresh coffee - Marylebone farmers market, London
me, enjoying my morning coffee hit

And bonus, right behind the market is a lovely little garden for you to sit and watch the world go by while your body tries to digest all the food you've just packed away!!

The tulips are looking beautiful at the moment.

Garden - Marylebone farmers market, London

18 April 2014

photo Friday - Little Venice, London

Happy Good Friday to you! I hope you're all doing something exciting, spending some quality time with your family or at least being a bit lazy and enjoying a day off work :)

As you read this I'm winging my way off to Finland and Estonia for the Easter long weekend!

However, last Friday I was working. It was a glorious sunny London day, and I managed to escape from the office at lunch time to top up on vitamin D. My workplace is situated alongside the canal close to Paddington station that links up with Little Venice. So I grabbed a ice-cream (very healthy lunch) and went for a stroll...

Little Venice - London

Little Venice is an area in London that I would consider a bit of a hidden secret. It's not too well known, so is a lovely peaceful place for a walk or run. And there's also lots of lovely caf├ęs and pubs dotted along worth a visit as well.

Little Venice - London

You can start off in Paddington, and then depending which route you take either head towards Regents Park and Camden, or further west.

Little Venice - London

I had a lovely 30 minutes making my way along the canal, checking out some of the house boats and snapping these pics on my phone.

Have a great Easter everyone.

16 April 2014

bookclub - Into The Wild

Apologies for this late post today - I've been a bit under the weather, and couldn't face a computer screen last night. I did cosy up with a good book though!

On a amazing positive note - my little blog has just reached 100 followers! Wow :) Thanks to everyone who follows along and enjoys reading my updates. I write for the enjoyment of sharing my experiences of travel and life with you rather than anything else, which is why you don't see any advertising here.

A few months ago I read Into The Wild - and absolutely loved it. I think it's a fairly well known book, so today instead of my regular review I'm going to share a short synopsis to jog your memory, and some of my favourite quotes...

Into The Wild
by Jon Krakauer

"Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience."

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer


In 1992 Christopher Johnson McCandless - a young man from a well-off family, who had recently graduated from College hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. He had given all his savings to charity, abandoned his car and possessions and burned all the cash in his wallet. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters. Jon Krakauer wrote this non-fiction novel after retracing Christopher's steps over the two years between his college graduation and the discovery of his body.

“Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” 

“The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word, an epic journey that would change everything.” 

"The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences."

“I now walk into the wild.” 

4/5 claire stars

Want to know about other adventures I've visited through words? Here's my reading list:

Or read about my Book Club - the beginning here.
  1. if nobody speaks of remarkable things by Jon McGregor. 3/5 claire stars
  2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. 4/5 claire stars
  3. Battle Hymn of the TIGER MOTHER by Amy Chua. 4/5 claire stars
  4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 4/5 claire stars 
  5. three to see the king by Magnus Mills. 3/5 claire stars
  6. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. 3/5 claire stars
  7. the Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan. 2/5 claire stars
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