As Europe so famously said, 'it's the final countdown'

If I had a pound for every time someone asked me "how are you staying so calm?" during the last few weeks of wedding planning, I would be giving money out to our guests as wedding favours.

Not going to lie, I'm not even sure I know the answer to the question. I don't know how I have stayed so calm.

Six months ago, I was predicting I'd be a bridezilla when, in actual fact, I've been (please excuse me for this...) a bridechilla.

I did warn you.

In all serious, though, I have been one breezy bride over the last few weeks.


Now, as we enter the last week of the countdown, everything is hopefully falling into place.

I'm starting to do the really annoying "this time next week..." thing, which I'm sure is going to grow very old, very quickly, for those who have to sit and listen to me all day.

What's more exciting at the moment - believe me, that's possible - is that my brother's girlfriend flies in from America this weekend ready for the weekend and a month-long holiday in the UK.

Jack and Lauren haven't seen each other properly since before Christmas, when Jack came home for two weeks for the festive break.

Unfortunately, Jack was then unable to go back to university to complete, what was supposed to be, his last semester. That means him and Lauren have been apart for over four months.

I've done a long distance relationship previously and, oh lord, it is not easy. Long distance for me then was a couple of hundred miles, I can't even fathom what a couple of thousand has been like.

It's been difficult for them both, particularly Lauren. Her and Jack shared an apartment together so she's found it incredibly difficult with him not being there everyday. Jack has struggled too, of course, but he's had his family around him (even if he'd probably rather us not be there sometimes!)

I am so proud of both of them for seeing these difficult four months out and I am so incredibly excited for them to be reunited. I am tempted to drive down to Heathrow myself, just to watch their emotional reunion in the arrivals hall. I imagine it will be like something out of a film.

But Jack definitely won't want me there cramping his style. He's probably already worried about all the tales I have to tell her. It's a good job she's here for a month, it's going to take me a while!

Adding the excitement of Lauren's impending arrival to everything else and it's a wonder I haven't exploded yet.

Yes, things haven't been as smooth in the last few weeks as I would have maybe anticipated/liked/imagined, but hopefully everything is all in place now and I can finally start getting properly excited.

We've started packing all the boxes with bits and bobs to take to the venue, I've got lists of lists of lists of things to send to the venue to explain what everything is and where it needs to go. They're probably back to thinking I am a psycho right now. I'm not, honestly. I'm just an insanely organised, anal person.

I don't like it when things are out of my control. I like to know that if anything goes wrong I can fix it, which has proved immensely challenging at some points during the wedding planning when things have gone spectacularly wrong and there is literally nothing I can do.

I think that's why I have remained so calm. I realised that losing my shit, kicking off and sending myself grey with worry would do nothing to help the situation or speed things along. All it would do would make my ill, again, and add more wrinkles to my ever ageing face.

So, with that in mind, 'bridechilla' is going to remain exactly that until the last available moment.

This time next week (sorry, you knew it was coming!) I will be having a pamper at my mum's as my girls slowly start to arrive throughout the morning/afternoon. Everything will be packed in my car ready to take to the venue and I can finally give my bridesmaids their presents.

I am literally so excited!! Eight days to go!


More confessions of a Slimming World target member

I haven't written a Slimming World blog for what feels like forever. But you'll all be pleased to learn my silence doesn't mean I have gone off the rails.

In fact, this is the longest I have remained within my target range since I reached target. 

For those not familiar with the workings and wordings or Slimming World, once you reach your target weight you have a six pound range - three pounds either side of your target - with which you can remain in order to still get free membership. 

When I reached target last year I was forever hovering around the top of my range, creeping out then dropping back in again the following week. Then I just gave up going to group, weighed myself at home and slowly started to slip back into old habits. 

Since I started going back to Slimming World in February I have kept within my target range, slowly creeping down to the bottom - completely unchartered territory! 

Obviously my wedding dress is huge motivation for me sticking with it, but my head feels so much more focused than when I reached target initially last year. I'm going to group every week, even though I haven't stayed all the time I have been and committed to getting myself weighed and staying on track. 

I still eat chocolate, biscuits, crisps and all the nice food I like. I still have cake at least once a week and enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. And I am still able to maintain my loss. 

I've recently found myself creating some colourful culinary delights, which instantly makes me want to eat them even more! 

I've done a sausage ragu, using Morrisons Eat Smart Cumberland style sausages which are soooooooo tasty and only half a syns each. Zero fat comes out and they're so nice. I don't want to shout about them too much, because I don't want another Porky Lights style sausage shortage across the country, but honestly people should try them. 

I also did a Slimming World version of an old favourite that mum used to cook regularly when I lived at home. It's a pork meatloaf and is honestly soooo tasty! I think I adapted it to work out at around 3 syns per portion, but it could have been less than that too by adapting and changing other ingredients. 

Then there was a lasagne, which was syn free using my cheese as HEA, and some gorgeous fish and chips on Good Friday. As well as a tasty tagliatelle packed with speed vegetables using 2 syns of red pesto for the sauce. My tummy is rumbling just recalling all the goodnes. 

While touching on the subject of Easter, I have to share with you the amazing Slimming World friendly Easter basket from my in-laws to-be. 

Very aware that I had a wedding dress to fit into in a matter of weeks, and aware of my lack of self control where chocolate is concerned, they presented me with a basket of fruit and smaller chocolate treats. I was genuinely so excited!

If you'd have told me a few years ago I'd be more excited about a basket of fruit for Easter than chocolate eggs I would've laughed in your face. 

I enjoyed every last piece of fruit, and every last syn of chocolate. 

Life is about striking the healthy balance between food that's not only tasty, but also good for you. And, boy, I am completely in my stride after finding the perfect balance. 


I do - do I?

The two week countdown is on! This time in 14 days Tom and I will be enjoying, as our photographer calls it, our 'penny drop' session before the evening celebrations get underway.

The penny drop session is self-explanatory, really. It's the moment where you realise - shit, we actually got married. 

After the years of planning, saving, deliberating and building excitement we are just 14 days away. 

I had planned so many blogs to write in the run up. I wanted to share with you all my dress fitting experiences, my make-up trial, and the exciting moment when we actually paid for the whole thing. Unfortunately, there's been a bit of an 'elephant in the room' which has been difficult to ignore in any of the blogs I have drafted. 

It's been hard to get excited because there's been a major fuck-up. 

I always poked fun at myself in previous blogs about being a stressy bridezilla and worrying about every minuscule detail. In hindsight, I'd actually remained incredibly calm. Then, when something did go wrong six weeks ago, I kept my shit together (while everyone around me lost theirs!)

I don't want to dwell on the negative, though. While I am still not ready for jokes about it, I don't want to dwell on it and bad mouth anybody. It's hopefully being sorted now and, if it isn't, I have a plan b in place now which has put my mind totally at ease. 

So, now that's been addressed, onto the exciting stuff (finally!!!!)

I went a bit mad on 'Not On The Highstreet' last week and bought loads of wedding bits, bobs and pieces. When I go home from work the other day, there were so many padded envelopes that had come through the letterbox I couldn't even open the front door!!

Thankfully, I was the first one home that day. Otherwise I'd have got a lecture from Tom about my online shopping. It'll probably come after he reads this!

One of my (many) purchases were some cute stickers to go on the soles of my shoes. 

As you can see, they say 'I do'. 

I've seen, while stalking other people's wedding photos, cute pictures of the bride's shoes with these on the bottom. I had this image in my head when I ordered them. 

I think my reality may be a bit different. 

For a start, I almost put them on the wrong shoes. I was almost ready to walk down the aisle with 'do I' on the soles of my shoes. Imagine that!! 

FYI, that's why this blog has that title. There's no cold feet over here, just mixed up feet!! 

I finally realised which foot each sticker was meant for, and voila. We'll see if the image I've imagined matches the reality on the day!

We also ordered some gorgeous petals as confetti (I say 'we' because this is one order Tom did know about!) Our venue, unfortunately, doesn't permit traditional, paper confetti due to the mess it leaves behind - which is totally understandable! What we could have instead was natural petals or dried flowers. I had no idea where on earth to find these so took to Google and stumbled across Shropshire Petals. 

We picked a gorgeous mix of pastel coloured petals and spent last night decanting them into 100 organza bags. Another little job ticked off the list! 

Tomorrow's plan is to finish putting together my bridesmaid's gifts, write their cards and make their gift boxes look all pretty. Or as pretty as someone as uncreative as me can manage! 

I can't believe the big day is finally nearly here. I am so beyond excited for it to come around, to see all our family and friends, and to share our special day with everyone we love. 

I am also excited to crack into the Easter eggs that I've stuffed at the back of what has become 'the wedding cupboard'. I've managed to absolutely smash my pre-wedding weight loss/maintenance since my hen party. So I'm determined to stick at it until the day is here. I am, however, considering taking my large Galaxy Easter egg for the bridal suite to enjoy a little midnight snack at the end of the day. If that wouldn't be the perfect end to a perfect day, I don't know what would!