Image Slider

 I didn't expect to be so unapologetically entranced by Me Before You, the first book in this series. As soon as I gave into the hype, I was obsessed and finished it within 48 hours. So the day this landed on my doorstep I was in a hurry to get it read, and also slightly skeptical as to how the sequel would be able to follow suit. Could any book follow suit of it's emotionally charged predecessor? Was there really any need for a second book after the ending of the first?

 Tiny disclaimer; if you've not read Me Before You already, you're a fool, but if plan on seeing or reading Me Before You and hate spoilers, this post probably isn't for you.



After You- Jojo Moyes
The first book in the series didn't really appear to leave itself open to a sequel, and had my kindle not popped up suggesting to pre-order the next, i'd have never given a second thought that After You would ever have been written. I mean, one of the two main characters ended his life. It was just Louisa left and I didn't really like her as a character in the first book. The fact she felt she could 'change his mind' about ending his life, didn't sit right. Anyway, the momentum to read a series of books is kept going by your emotional investment in the main characters and we were only left with one of the two in the second book. 

The book begins with Louisa attempting to live this exciting life she'd promised Will she would live, except she's not leading all that an exciting life. She has a cliched 'costume' wearing job, and likes wine too much. She goes up on top of a roof, and I swear, soon as I read this, I knew exactly how the rest of the book was going to fall out. Oh no she's fallen. Oh no is she now going to be paralysed like Will? Oh no, she's falling in love with the paramedic who saved her. *sigh*. Her ability to instantly feel better about one boyfriends death, by getting herself another boyfriend just paints her as dependent on others to 'fix' her. 

I also, really question the reality of anyone letting someone live with them who claims to be their dead boyfriends child without sufficient proof. Personally, anyone who knocked on my door at midnight claiming to be just that wouldn't be let in my house to stay for as long as they fancy and eat all my food.I sort of feel, After You, was, pardon the pun, a bit of an after thought. Very predictable, and not as emotionally hooking as the first. With Me Before You becoming a film, and scoring a few big names, it feels this book was just made for the $$$. I really do love Jojo Moyes' other books and hate that  I just did not love this one. It was okay, i've read worse books, but it just wasn't anything special. 




Follow on Bloglovin
Oh June, you were a weird month. The month started with me in one of the worst places mentally that I’d even found myself in and signed off work. That was one of the worst parts if I’m honest. I wanted so badly to be back but just ‘couldn’t function’ at the time. I wrote more about it in a post the other week. However, halfway into the month I was feeling far better and I’m now back at work.  It’s nice to not feel like a total waste of space, and the first time someone asked for my help- the relief of them not thinking I was a total idiot waved over me! I cannot say I’m 100% though, I’d convinced myself that the noise from my car’s air con kicking in was a terrible sign that my car was about to break and I ended up parting with £150 for a service and check over to be told everything was fine *sigh*.

I've decided that in July I shall focus on immersing myself in positive things and surrounding myself with positive people. Everyone loves a little whinge now and again but the worst thing at the moment is moaning murtles- people who've NOTHING nice to say about anything/anyone. I just have no time for that in general, but especially lately, it's amazing how some peoples moods and bring you right down! It's a lot easier to just be nicer and just keep your mouth shut if you've nothing nice to say. On that note, lets move on to the positives!

The fiancĂ© has been such a good egg whilst I’ve been off sick, I even got the most beautiful  surprise flowers-  I'm a little obsessed with Bloom & Wild now after both sending and receiving bouquets from them this month. I think it's amazing how you don't have to wait in/ or spoil the surprise by making sure the person is going to be home to send them something. Gorgeous flowers teamed with hot and sunny weather made this month feel very much like summer which has meant I could get my BBQ on! I  swear BBQ’s are one of the few things I love about summer. Plus I got to visit the most beautiful park and have a lush picnic on such a beautiful day with one third of my bridesmaidly dream team.

Dexter The Cat also had his first birthday. I had such plans for the special day throughout the year- throwing him a birthday party being one of them, but being sick meant it just didn't happen. He did however get spoilt with so many presents and a fishy birthday cake! My little baby is all grown up!

On the wedding front, I've ordered loads of little bits from ebay. I had my first fail of an order from  china though. You know when the pictures look amazing, it's dead cheap, and it arrives and looks NOTHING like the photos? Yeah that. Given it was fairy lights which had exposed wires, I haven't even dared use them! We also done our first cake tasting! The lady was local and lovely. Cost permitting, I want everything I cannot hand make myself- ie florist, photographer, cake etc, to be a local small business. I could easily order a cheap, mass produced wedding cake from m&s, but funding giant companies to celebrate our love when we could support a local, very very talented, working mum instead, would feel wrong. 

So in summary, june started crap and ended slightly better. It's still a struggle but hopefully July will bring more positives again. 



Follow on Bloglovin
Today's a special day! It's my little chubby fur babies first birthday! I can hear the screams of 'wow, crazy cat lady' from here- shush!
I fully embrace being a crazy cat mom and planned on going all out for our little monsters birthday. He didn't exactly have the best start in life but soon as he became ours he's had a life filled full of food, cuddles and love, so he doesn't exactly want for much. He already has an overflowing 'toy box' full of every possible cat toy imaginable and a cat-tower/scratching pole that has 3 tiers and is half the size of our front room, so a new one of those was out of the question too. 
I keep saying Dex is far more than a cat so I decided to buy a Cat IQ Test I found on amazon for him to prove he really is a handsome and intelligent wondercat or prove i'm insane and he really is just a bloody cat! I also decided a lovely cushion so he never has his fave spot on the sofa was a must, and I absolutely love the Sass and Belle 'Reserved For The Cat' cushion!
I've also decided a birthday cake for him is a must. If buzzfeed had to write an article on a recipe on cakes for your cat then there must be a demand for it, and I can't be the only crazy one, can I?!
Anyway, plenty of photos of Dexter's cakes, presents, and the handsome birthday boy will surely be found on my instagram- @puzzplepiecelife.



Follow on Bloglovin
Good Morning! Somehow I’ve gone from having nearly 750 days left when we booked our wedding to now having under 500. It scares me so much as I swear it was only yesterday we booked the damn thing!? 

Everyone keeps telling me I have ages left to plan things, but until you've planned your own wedding, you have no idea how bloody irritating a thing that is to say to a bride! I've got four note books full of ideas and to-do lists!  I’m not really in a good place right now, so the wedding seems like a light at the end of a  tunnel. I wish I could fast forward 500-odd days to our wedding day and see Craig’s face at the end of the aisle. I’d also be quite happy if no one else was there but I am slowly coming to terms with the fact my dream of an intimate small affair will always be just a dream.

Planning wise we have a venue which includes food, dj, set up etc. I’ve brought my beautiful maids their dresses. I've half done the favours which i'm hand making myself because hand making 100 of something for £3 rather than paying over £100 for pre-made ones, will always win! I've booked a starlight backdrop and lace covers for the chairs.  I've also decided I HATE the invites i'd previously brought so have turned to etsy to download some floral vectors and i've been messing around in photoshop to make some myself. As we're under 18 months away now, honeymoons are also on the agenda as you can search and book for some destinations already. Mexico is looking to be a strong contender at the moment, but I detest flying so anything long haul might be a bit too much.

I'm hoping that by the 400 day mark i'd have the florist, cake and photographer booked, the invites made and i've had at the very least started some of the many DIY pinterest inspired projects I have in mind! I'll probably feel a lot calmer the more things are finalised! 
 



Follow on Bloglovin


Admitting I couldn't cope, again, was one of the hardest things i've had to do. Especially as I've no 'reason' to be depressed I guess. I have a loving family, and a wonderful life with a beautiful cat and handsome a man I cannot wait to make my husband. I know I should be happy, and every day I feel I'm unable to cope makes me feel even more guilty to feel this way. Every time I feel I cannot breathe from panic over something highly insignificant makes me feel useless. My inability to wake up every morning and go about normal daily tasks without feeling sick from dread that something terrible will happen is exhausting. Not being able to go to work makes me feel like a failure. 

Pretending everything was fine for so long was the worst thing I could do. It's weird that something that has consumed how i've felt for so long, was something i've kept inside like some dirty secret.  As soon as the words left my mouth and my doctor nodded sympathetically, I felt a wave of relief. As if just telling someone how I felt had solved a million problems I had. Even though this wasn't the first time i've been ill, and the first time I couldn't have asked for a more sympathetic and understanding doctor, I still expected the second time I was going to be judged, or just told to 'worry less' or 'cheer up', because it feels the rest of the world thinks it's that easy; as if to feel this way is a choice. I really couldn't want anything more than to feel okay again, and if it was that simple I would have done it already. To go to the pub and have a laugh. To not feel sick with worry. To want to go outside and have fun. That's what I want.

Anyway, medication, talking and submerging myself in things I loved will hopefully ease things off. I know there's no quick fix that'll rewind 6 months to make everything feel okay again but it's all I want. It frustrates me so much that mental health is so poorly talked about. Why should there be shame in having difficulty coping? There really needs to be last stigma surrounding depression. It would make seeking help and discussing experiences less daunting and would allow for the education of others. It would make it far easier to ask for help...




Follow on Bloglovin
I remember the 24 hours before my grandad died so very vividly. The night before, Craig and I spent the evening belting out singstar whilst I wore my ugly green pj’s. He kept beating me at ‘Friday I’m In Love’ by The Cure. On my way home from uni, I walked via the garage to pick up BBQ doritos and I sat in Beckie’s room nattering. I remember my phone ringing when I was sat there moaning about something or another. I ignored it thinking it wouldn’t be important. I was wrong. Three years ago, the perfect mundane life I had stopped, and the sheltered existence without grief and loss came to an end.

I'm very aware everyone will die eventually, but it doesn't make it feel okay. It's not okay people can just die. Young or old, aware the end is near or quick and sudden. It will never just feel alright. Death highlights how bizarrely fragile our whole existence is.

There are reasons why my grandad’s death hit me far harder than I could’ve ever imagined. It left me numb. There’s no amounts of tablets, counselling or ‘time to heal’, that fixes the void left by a person not being there anymore and the what could have been’s being unanswered. The last three years saw me lose both my grandads, whom I loved so very much, and my uncle so suddenly too, but the last three years were where I’ve achieved the most. Never did my grandad see me graduate from uni, neither got to see me get engaged, and none of them will be sat there beaming back at me on my wedding day. How is the pain of that ever going to be alright?

Losing someone you love and coming to terms with knowing you can never hear their voice, hear their laugh, feel their hugs or see their face is exceptionally painful. No one can tell you how to fix the pain, there is no 'right' way to grieve, there no checklist of what is normal to feel and it can leave you feeling hopeless, especially when you’re someone who needs to feel in control.
J

Good Morning!  Wednesday's will be wedding post days moving forward! Today’s ramblings are on the topic of telling people they’re invited to the wedding, before you actually invite them, aka- save the dates. There is nothing wrong with those who want to spend every penny they have on a wedding, but personally, that's far from what I want. Love is free, after all. So i'm rather chuffed with these super affordable save the date magnets from Vistaprint.

(The venue was also printed on the magnet, but thanks to the wonders of photoshop, I removed it for the purpose of posting all over the internet, sorry wannabe gatecrashers.)

My main concern with save the dates was they would be a lot of money for something that would be cast aside and forgotten about. Realistically, paying for a piece of card to say were getting married, finding everyone’s addresses and buying a million stamps for everyone to just bin it was not something I have time or the money for. Especially as invites provide all the information you need, and you could just send those out early if you were having a wedding some might find difficult to get to or one where people might need to book time off work.

I decided early on, if we were going to have save the dates, they would be more for the purpose of being keepsakes, and they’d need to be practical or something that wouldn’t just be opened and put to one side. Which led me to a choice of two options, a business card type save the date, which people could just slide in their purses. Practical, yes, but not so much a keepsake and you still run the risk of people not realising they should put it in their wallet. They would also be far too tiny to post. My other option was fridge magnets. Highly practical, as you can whack them on the fridge and they’re there as a daily reminder, and something that can be kept there long past the wedding as a soul-warming reminder.

After swooning over the idea of having magnet save the dates, my next issue was finding a fridge magnets which was budget friendly. Etsy was full of beautiful and cute designs but spending £3-5 per save the date was not for us. You soon realise when planning a wedding that having pinterest dreams and wanting to save all your pennies does not go hand in hand. 

Then I stumbled across the vistaprint black-Friday deal, and managed to order 40 for around £20! The best part about the vistaprint site is they always have deals on all year round and they have so many designs, which are also customisable. There are pages and pages of save the dates, invites, programs, rsvps etc. They have so many different designs too, with the option to change the colours on some designs. I'm a bit gutted I couldn't change the pink font to another colour, but it sort of matches our theme. Who will notice anyway?! They all come with free envelopes too which was amazing. The magnets are also decent size too which I didn't expect, they're roughly the size of a 6x4 photo.  I even had to cancel my order at one point as I had a major flap over the original design I picked, and they allowed me too without any fuss. Something tells me they're highly skilled in hormonal bridezilla's changing their minds.

The only thing I need to decide now, is when to give them out! I've hand stamped all the envelopes already, so they are just sat awaiting to be dished out. Most of our close friends and family have theirs already, but i'm itching to give out the rest. I'm trying to wait for Easter/Summer before I give them out, with invites going out around this time next year. If I can wait that long, that is!



Follow on Bloglovin