Thursday, 5 May 2016

City Break- Wroclaw, Poland

What is the first thing that springs to mind what you think of Poland? Vodka? Let me tell you there is so much more.

Wroclaw is the city of culture for 2016 and it is easy to see why.  I thought we were lucky living in a city as historical as York, with its beautiful buildings and city walls. But York has nothing on Wroclaw.  When I arrived it was late in the evening, which was the perfect opportunity to explore.  The first thing I noticed was the architecture, it was out of this world.  The majority of the city was destroyed in the war and had to be rebuilt.  The restoration was in keeping with the style at that time. Too think that this was all rebuilt sort of takes you back to that era.

Before arriving it is fair to say I did no research on the city, so I really didn't know what to expect. With its river running through and its city centre parks, it is much so different too any other city I have visited in England. It doesn’t have the same busy feel as London, you don’t feel enclosed.  There isn’t the pollution and overcrowding you have in London.  For a country girl it was my perfect kind of city break.  

We stayed in the Sofitel in the city centre, this is a 5 star hotel and you can tell why.  The room was spacious and the bed was amazing! The breakfast had everything you can imagine from continental to full English. I took full advantage- stocking up on food for the day ahead, 4 plates each morning.

Day One
On our first day we went on a city tour on a golf buggy. Being the most safety conscious person, this sent me into overdrive. Asking for a seatbelt and helmet wasn't well received.  But once it started it was really enjoyable.  We opted to not have the audio and the driver talked us through all the sights.  This was more personal and she was really informative.  It was great way to see the sights and have mini history lesson.

Also on the first day in the centre square there was a Guinness World Record attempt.  This was a concert to see how many people they could have playing guitars at once- the record was broken- over 7000 people.  Needless to say it was busy.

That evening we ate at Mama Manousch, I had tuna steak. It was fantastic, so fresh. The best I have tasted. I would 100% recommend this to anyone and the staff where lovely to say we spoke not even one word of Polish.  Let’s just say Hola isn't Hello!!

Day Two
Wroclaw is famous for its dwarf (or krasnale) hunt.  Around the city outside churches, restaurants and tourist spots hide little dwarfs. They are in a variety of poses, from fire fighter dwarfs protecting the cathedral from any future fires, to one outside the city bank using an ATM.  This is probably a children's activity but we had a lot of fun. With over 200 dwarfs in the city it is safe to say we only managed a few before we got distracted by ice cream.

The dwarf hunt originates from the Orange Alternative Movement. During this time any street art and political artwork was quickly painted over and covered up, meaning the people didn't have a voice. The dwarfs were the start of a rebellion and peaceful protest, which soon developed into a famous activity around the city.

Leigh was acting as my tour guide for the trip as he has been to the city on business a few times before.  As we wondered in and out of the city gardens we made our way to the Tumski Bridge.  This is a love lock bridge like the famous one in Paris.  Couples decorate the bridge with locks to symbolise they love for each other.  As we spent our trip being 'typical tourists' we added our own lock.  

After this we made a slow walk back to the hotel for our daily afternoon nap. After we had recovered from our 12,000 steps we went out for tea.  This was our treat of the trip. We went to a small restaurant called La Folie, a quiet place just off the centre square. This restaurant is famous for its steak, and it didn’t disappoint.  This was a perfect way to end the trip.  

Full of food and wine we made our way back to the hotel, ready to say our good byes to this beautiful city.  It is fair to say I have fallen in love. Until next time Wroclaw. 

Monday, 2 May 2016

Time Passes Quickly

I sit here writing this on a weekend city break in Wroclaw, Poland (a post will follow on the city as I am in love!). It has really given me time to reflect on how much has happened since I last posted- or even logged on.

The first major change is WE ARE NOW HOME OWNERS!!!!! After saving and saving for 18 months we finally managed to buy our dream little house in York.  With that out of the way, I feel like I can finally sit down to start planning this wedding!!!

Now less than 12 months away, I really should set the ball in motion.  Saying that we have managed in amongst things to put the essential plans into place.

As well as the venue we have now to me booked the most important part, the church.  It is a beautiful little church in our parish.  The inside is quaint with stain glass and modern touches here and there.

We have booked the photographer, an amazing local photographer Neil Jackson.  He is based in Scarborough, so nice and local.  His work really is amazing, you could say more like art.  A post will definitely follow on this as it was an easy decision to go with him, and I will go into more detail as too why in a later post.

So with the three big things in place, I now cant wait to start looking for things properly!!!!  Here is too a stress free (I hope) and fun 12 months!! The countdown starts now.

Love Faye

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Wedding Stationary- To D.I.Y or not to D.I.Y

When planning a wedding there is so much to consider. From themes, budget and colour schemes.  All this comes into play when trying to choose wedding stationary. Do you splash out on matching save the dates, invites, name cards and table plans? Or do you go down the now fashionable route of d.i.y ing the day?

With all this too consider here are some different options which may help you when trying to decide.

Themes (I have made these invites using Canva)



The great thing about DIY is you can source materials from pretty much anywhere these days.  Craft shops now seem to be popping up in every village, with a great supply of materials and workshops most weekends, this really is a great ways to do things cheaply. So why not get the wedding party involved and have a cutting and sticking (and wine) night.

If you want to make something yourself, but still want to keep the professional element. Canva is perfect for this.  I have just discovered this online design tool which allows you to create invites, posters and a lot of other graphic things for free.  With a select amount of backgrounds and images available free of charge this is a great way to try your hand at graphic design. – This is something which I am seriously considering as I love this sort of thing.  Here is an example I have created

Alternatively if you want to take the hassle out of making things yourself, here are a great selection of invitations from Nottingham based company Edward & Lace. All their designs can be fully customised, so you can really let you personality shine.  All the stationary is made form recycled materials. So a great way to keep environmentally friendly on the day.

You can find there website here or visit the shop on Etsy.

Chevron Vinyl CD Favour

This vinyl style invite is perfect for any couple who might be going for a rock / music theme. You could then incorporate this into place mats and have it match other reception decoration.

Floral Watercolor Invitation Set // Blue

This simple but elegant theme can be fully tailored to suit any colour theme.  The water colour effect would perfectly match a spring wedding. I think this would look great in pastel pinks and purples. 

Remember this is the first chance your guests get even a hint of what the day will be like. So choose wisely.

Friday, 17 April 2015

To church or not to church

So a little update... We have FINALLY reserved a wedding date! Saturday 15th April 2017. With saving for a house we want to make sure we have enough time to plan and arrange things with out it being too much of a rush.
Now we have found out dream venue of Sandburn Hall, we now have a larger dilemma of whether to get married in a church.
Being brought up in a family of going to Sunday school and being surrounded by grandparents who where church wardens, getting married in a church is important to me.  I understand it isn't for everybody but for me it is something I have grown up dreaming of a nice church wedding.
With this in mind the big dilemma of finding a church has risen. We want to get married in York as that is where we will be buying a house.  It is important for us to find a church which we can continue to go to and have out children christened in.
Not being part of a parish in York. I am finding it tricky on how to get the ball rolling.  I have found a website which joins together all the churches in the city center.
This is really informative and has links to other sites which goes in to details about how you qualify for a church wedding, the fees and how you go about arranging it.
After finding this site it put my mind at ease that we should be able to arrange somewhere with not much hassle.
For the time being there is no rush.... I don't think, so I will keep you all updated on where we decide.
Faye xx

Friday, 13 March 2015

How I found my love for running.

At the end of September we arrived back from a fantastic holiday in Spain.  With another week before I started back at work I was conscious I need to do something to drastically to shift the extra holiday pounds I seemed to of found.  ( This is what three scoops of ice cream a day does to you.)

With this in mind I spent the next week at my parents which is in the lovely country side of West Yorkshire and decided this was the week I was going to once and for all force myself to love exercise. 

The week went something like this, it was a mix between playing badminton with my twin brother, which he basically stood still and I did all the work ( I was exhausted at the end of it), with a daily run thrown in.  I stated basic, just running around the village for a gentle 2k and I was surprised how it made me feel.

I really enjoyed myself and over the next few months I began to run more and more.  Mostly at the gym as it was now winter and awful outside and I didn’t feel brave enough to venture out in the cold.  I found running as a great form of stress release, it really helped me forget about a rubbish day, or clear my head if I was feeling a bit down.

By December I decided to enter the Jane Tomlinson Run For All in Leeds.  This is a 10k so I thought it would be a nice challenge for a beginner.  I roped in some family members to take part with me and currently there are 6 of us.  We are running in memory of my Grandma who passed away in July at one of the Sue Ryder hospices.  I thought it would be a fitting way to say thank you for the fantastic work they do and a great way to give back.  My Grandma was only in Manorlands for two days but the hospice has helped our family a lot over the years for various people and it is a very important charity too us. 

So after encouraging the family to take part, I am so impressed for everyone’s progress. My Dad is doing so well,  I took him to the gym on Saturday and he beat me at 5k, ( he hasn’t exercised properly for a long time !) we did 3 mins walk and 7 mins running. He was so fast, at one point he was at speed 14 and I was actively looking around for a defibrillator just in case.  He was showing off so then slowed down. We did the same on Sunday as well; I wasn't being beaten by an old man so I pushed really hard and we both finished dead on 40 mins.  He has been most days this week and on Tuesday shaved 3 minutes off his time!!!! Not bad for an oldie!! I am very proud.

With the majority of us being couch potatoes this is a big step for us, we are aiming to raise around £1000 for Sue Ryder and if you are interested in sponsoring us please click on the link below to learn more and give to a really worthy cause.

The run is on 12th July in Leeds city center. :) Donation Page

Friday, 9 January 2015

Wedding Cake Trends

Since becoming engaged one of my biggest pass times has become stalking the internet looking at amazing wedding cakes. I love how much detail you can have these days and the inner greedy girl in me loves how many different flavours are on offer.

Being wheat intolerant cake is a big guilty pleasure of mine and one of the only flower based products I do occasionally let myself have. The 10 second taste tends to out do the day long tummy ache… bad I know!

Looking through cakes I have noticed a few trends, here are examples of just a few.  All the cakes features are by local wedding company York Cakes.  They specialise in bespoke creations all designed to really show off the couples personality and to reflect any specific theme.


This metallic creation, though small really stands out. This season metallic has been every where. I think that this trend really is for the bride who is going for a full glam wedding.


This cake is gorgeous, I love the petal effect, the pastel colours are a really subtle pop of colour. I think this cake would be perfect for really feminine brides who may be more of the shy type.

Pearl and Lace

I love love love the pearl and lace effect on these two cakes.  The beautiful detail and the subtle pop of colour from the flowers on the second cake make sure it is a head turners. The attention to detail on both these cakes is amazing and you can really tell a lot of care has been put into the creation.


Though chocolate doesn't really do it for me this cake is amazing. Chocolate wedding cakes are defiantly on the up with the help of programmes such as chocywokydoda.  I think it is so interesting how the flowers and details can be made from chocolate.  Lets just hope wedding breakfast rooms don't get too hot.

Naked Cakes

If there is one type of cake which has come out of no where in 2014 it was defiantly the Naked cake.  With rustic theme weddings on the rise these cakes certainly fit the bill.  Stripped back to the basics these cakes are covered with seasonal berries and look perfect in outdoor weddings.

The Show Stopper

Having seen this cake in person at the Castle Museum Wedding Fair this cake really is the cake to compete with for me.  It has outdone any other designs I have seen.  It really focuses on every element for a vintage wedding.  The lace and pearls are details which will be heavily featured in my day and the flowers will be able to be changed to match any colour theme.  Elements of this cake could even be used in stationary and wedding flowers to really link all aspects of the day.

After all this talk about cake I am starting to get distracted. I am going to have to go and raid the kitchen.


All images are copyright of York Cakes.

                                                               Tel: 07791 701374

Pre Wedding Weight Loss

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My journey with Slimming World started just before I became engaged  we became engaged.

Since starting University in 2009 I have struggled with my weight.  Living on my own and having nobody to relay on to make my meals made me lazy and I would prefer to grab a burger rather than make a good meal.  Living at home, my mum was able to manage my potion sizes and watch what I ate, meaning I alway had a balanced diet and was slim with out trying hard.

Over the the past 5 years my weight has steadily gone from a 10 stone to 12 stone 13 pounds.  While at University this didn't really bother me too much as I was far too busy partying and generally having a good time.  Whenever people mentioned I had gained weight I would always brush it off and say I would lose it when I have finished Uni and don't have a dissertation to worry about. Well this soon came around and the weight stayed.

Moving into our first home together didn't help, we always tried to cook healthy meals but a lot of the time finishing work would mean we would much rather grab something quick.

Having tried fad diets in the past I knew this wasn't for me.  I tried Herbalife in the past, I found this was a quick fix to weight loss. I did this for about a month and lost around half a stone.  But the negatives really out weighed the positives, for me I see food as a social activity and I hated saying oh I'm just having a shake for lunch  On top of this I was starving, and when I say starving I literally mean I was angry I was that hungry all the time. In general it made me very unhappy, so needless to say this didn't last long, and as soon as it stop the weight just crept back on.

My journey really started on 1st April 2014 ( yes I know April fools day but I was ready to take things seriously).   I weighed up the options between joining online and finding a group.  For me if i had to attend a group every week it would be more motivational for me and would mean I had make a conscious effort to go.  I decided to join on my own as at that time I didn't really know if any one would be up for joining with me.

Initially the first meeting blew my mind!!! Lots of talk about Free foods, speed foods, super frees, A choice, B choice I left the group feeling confused.  When you join you are given a welcome pack which is now like my bible.  I went home from the first meeting and read the pack cover to cover and I found I could really get my head into it.

The founding principles with Slimming World is it is a lifestyle change.  I found working in an office was hard as there is temptation all around, whether it is someones birthday or someone just baked a cake, there is always something to snack on and this was my biggest down fall.  Slimming World really encourages you to snack on the right things. I substituted all my snacks for fruit and everyday at work I made sure I had enough supplies to take me through the day, this way I could avoid temptation.

Slimming World really works on the basis that by being on a 'diet' you needn't miss out on anything.  I didn't miss any social occasions, ate food I enjoyed and could still have treats.  The Slimming World website is really helpful as it gives you meal plans, from breakfast to snacks and from quick lunches to catering for a dinner party.  I found that this tool really helped me as I could plan what I was eating through the week and this in turn made it a lot easier to stick to the plan.  The main changes I found was eating a smaller breakfast portion, and not something packed full of sugar and changing my snacking.  As long as you combine this with healthy lunches and dinners you can still have a little bit of what you fancy.

A few months into my journey I moved areas to Doncaster, here I joined Vicky's group at Carcroft.  I went from attending a group where I sat on my own and nobody really spoke to me to being really involved and feeling very welcomed.  Vicky offers a lot of support throughout the class, sharing her personal stories and how she may have come back from a bad meal.  I found her classes are really up beat and my weigh loss came on a lot since joining her group.  I think finding a group that I loved really helped my weight loss, and I can honestly say with out Vicky's guidance I may have had slips and not reached my target.  She really is a fantastic consultant!

Here are some of my top tips:

  • Muller Light yogurts became my saviour are they are also quite sweet.
  • Snacking on fruit.
  • Making sure you have good snacks at work or on the go it is amazing how it helps.
  • Changing from full fat fizzy drinks to diet. This was a big thing for me as I love Coke.
  • Swapping your full fat caramel lattes for an americano as the sugar content is sky high.
  • Planning ahead so you have in the right foods for lunch and tea so you cannot be tempted with the ready meals.
  • keep a food diary, you will be less tempted to run astray if you have to consciously write it down.
Below are a few pictures of my journey. I reached my target weight of 10 stone on 17th November after being a member for 35 weeks.  So the next chapter is sticking to it. I am going to introduce more treats and a combination of more gym sessions to become more toned is my next step.


University Summer Ball May 2011

May 2011

September 2011


Becoming a target member

Christmas 2014

January 2014

If you are trying to became a slimmer bride. Good Luck.


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