Dressing myself

Hands up who just sobbed their way through the last 20 minutes of My Girl. Just me? Marvellous (it’ll be on Channel 5 +1 if you missed it – off you go).

So, now, through my swollen eyelids, I shall attempt to regale you with amusing anecdotes from my week. Attempt being the operative word.

As some of you know, one of my bestest friends in the universe (yep – she’s a good friend) is getting married on Saturday, and has very nicely asked me to be a bridesmaid. Not only am I thrilled because I get to be a part of her day, but it also means that I don’t have the ‘ARGH, I NEED A DRESS AND I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT COLOUR TO WEAR ETIQUETTE-WISE AND JUST ARGH!!!!!!’ panic. And yes, when I have a dress related panic, it is all capitalised in my head.

The colour thing stems from a conversation I had with someone years ago, about how you should never wear white to a wedding (that’s reserved for the bride), and how you should also avoid black (because no-one wants to look like a crow of doom at such a happy occasion). I think this conversation may have taken place when I was about eight, with my grandmother – she was very good at that sort of thing (she taught me how to put on lipstick at the age of 11, and taught me the importance of a signature scent; she died a few years ago, and as a consequence, I had to learn how to pencil in my eyebrows on my own. Without her guidance, I’m concerned that I’ve crossed the line into drag queendom).

But, as mentioned, I don’t have that worry this time. Unfortunately, another of my gorgeous friends is getting married in a couple of months, and my lovely cousin is getting married a month after that. So, that ‘ARGH, I NEED A DRESS…’ panic will be taking place at least twice this year. The Boy and I may hold off moving in together until after the weddings, purely because I’m not sure that his nerves are up to the scale of my tantrums. (Not many people’s are.)

In a semi-related paragraph:

Through Twitter (oh yes, I’m very up on that social media lark nowadays. Well, I can write a tweet – you can follow me @fashionfarewell), I’ve met a lovely blogger, who’s also a stylist (her website is here, and you can follow her @WardrobeWorksho). A couple of months ago, I had a work thing, and was told right at the last minute that I needed a cocktail dress. So Louise (aforementioned lovely blogger) sent me an email, with lots and lots of dress choices – unfortunately, I found a dress to wear in my wardrobe, so I didn’t get to buy a cocktail dress as my emergency January item. Curses. (This turned out to be a Good Thing – I forgot tights on the way to the work event, so had to run into Tesco and buy a pack.) But I would like to heartily recommend you check out her site and/or ask her for advice. For example, I am very much hoping that she will give me advice about what to wear for these weddings. Can I wear the same thing to both? Or is that a social faux-pas? Can accessories bridge the gap? (Honestly, with things like this running through my head all day, it’s a miracle I get anything done.)

I have also discovered a hole in my favourite work dress this week. I’m meant to  be getting the sewing machine out tonight in order to fix it, but instead, I have plans to watch The Big Bang Theory, and wonder why Kaley Cuoco gets to look like Kaley Cuoco, and why I have to look like me (it’s going to be a busy night).

Then, as a highlight of the week, I got to The Boy’s on Friday night (that bit was nice, but is not the highlight). The first thing he said to me was that I’d left some clothes in his room (this is part of an ongoing battle – in traditional chick-lit style, I’ve left a toothbrush, face wipes, hairbrush, spare hairdryer, make up mirror and dressing table in his room, and it’s made him very nervous. We’re moving in together, so I know it’s not a commitment thing – why on Earth is he nervous? Yes, my stuff does now take up around 40% of his room, but as my stuff will take up approximately 70% of our room when we move in together, I’m really just easing him in gently and being fair and reasonable, right? Right?) and that he’d left them on his bed. It was this dress from Boohoo, which I’d hinted heavily (ok, tweeted him) that I wanted. I was joking though – I’m not really that high-maintenance.

He’s awesome.

It’s sold out in the red now (the colour I have), but if you buy it in the beige, we can match. Do it….

Obviously, it doesn’t help the dresses for weddings (not to be confused with wedding dresses) conundrum, but it’s a very pretty dress.

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Hen night hijinks!

So, the hen weekend that I organised is now over, and everyone is back in their own houses, napping/showering/lying on the sofa with a flannel over their face whilst small children clamber over them. I think that everyone had a good time, but I think I’m also fairly safe to say that a career in event-planning is not in my future – apparently, I find it all a bit stresseful! (Just in case any of the girls are reading this – each and every one of you is worth a small amount of sleeplessness, and a 3am panic.)

This week saw a minor issue, when the transfers that I’d ordered to make the t-shirts (I was planning to do them myself to save on cost) didn’t arrive from eBay. Cue massive panic on Friday, and a phone call to an absolutely fantastic printers in my local town, who calmed me down slightly (I fear my eyes had taken on a deranged look) and promised to get the t-shirts sorted for me to pick up on Saturday morning. Which they were, which restored my faith in the t-shirt printing business.

The girls and I met up in a local pub, ready to head off for a weekend of fun and frolics. Where I realised that I had brought nothing but dresses for the weekend ahead. (I don’t know how many people you’ve seen wearing t-shirts over dresses, but they very rarely look good.) I forgot myself entirely and said ‘well, I can just pop to New Look and buy a new skirt’ – old habits and all that – until everyone reassured me that I could just wear the t-shirt over the dress (as expected, it looked dreadful).

The journey to MK wasn’t too bad (our mini convoy only got separated once, and we only nearly got killed by other people’s dreadful driving twice), but when we arrived at our house (we rented a house for the night, as it was much cheaper than a hotel and was right in the town centre), the fun started. I say fun; sense the sarcasm. I went in to pick the keys up, and our house wasn’t ready, because ‘Ooo, everyone’s turned up at the same time today!’…well, yes – if you tell people that they can pick their keys up at 1pm, chances are, they will turn up to pick their keys up at 1pm. Then, I asked if there was room for both of our cars on the driveway, fully expecting the answer to be in the affirmative, what with me confirming about six times that nine of us would be staying. This was met with a blank look, (a car, you say? On a driveway? I’ve never heard the like!) and a bleating answer of ‘Ooo, no – the man that stays there during the week, well that’s his jeep, and that never moves’. Riiight. So all of those other houses that you have, with just the one family staying – you couldn’t have perhaps given them the house that only has half a driveway, no? And you’re surprised that we used two cars to get here, despite knowing that there were nine of us? You expected half of us to travel on the roof-rack/boot/footwell, therefore getting us all into my Renault Clio did you? Eventually, a compromise was reached, and we parked halfway down the street in another house’s driveway.

I was also told that the house would be nice and warm. I can see where the confusion lay here – half of the house was absolutely boiling (one of the girls was heard to exclaim ‘My goodness, I’m going to have to sleep in my pants in here, it’s so hot!’, however, the other half of the house was freezing (three of us were in one room with a portable heater and a radiator, and our ears were still encased in blocks of ice when we woke up this morning). So, using the law of averages – boiling + freezing / 2 = warm – an easy mistake to make.

Then we tried to leave the house, and discovered that the door didn’t shut properly. All it needed was a very gentle push, and it opened right up. As you can probably imagine, with the excess of expensive girly things (GHDs, litre bottles of vodka, etc.), we weren’t really comfortable leaving the house like that. I went to tell the office about the door, and the ladies in there didn’t believe me. The cleaner then popped out to check the door, telling my brilliantly feisty friend (who was waiting next to it) that it was fine, and locked sufficiently. My friend’s reply was ‘I don’t want to disagree with you but…’ before pushing open the door. Brilliant. The cleaner then came back, whereby the other ladies in the office came to check (just in case me, my friend, the seven other girls and the cleaner were all mistaken), and started phoning around to ‘see if we can get someone to come out’. By the time we came back from cocktail making, we were told that the door was fixed, whereby the same feisty friend muttered (I’m not sure whether this was actually to the lady’s face), ‘brilliant, so you’ve actually provided the service that we’ve already paid for’. I wish I was more like her – I’m more likely to say ‘ooo thank you, thank you very much’, internalise my anger, and then take it out on The Boy instead (poor thing – honestly, I feel just as sorry for him as you do).

Apart from that, it was a good night (but I’m biased). The cocktail making was brilliant (run by Vodka Revolution – if you’re ever in the area, you should give it a go – tell them I sent you), although I did feel quite bad at one point. We were split into teams, and had to make a series of cocktails; the last competition was between me and The Bride, with the losing team having to do a round of chilli shots. I should have taken my responsibilities as a bridsmaid seriously, and let her win. But I’m a teensy, tiny bit competitive, so I decided to beat her instead. I did feel guilty, especially when one member of the losing team (who will remain nameless, to preserve her dignity), actually, properly licked the floor, just to try and get the burning taste out of her mouth. Um…I’m sorry. But, just so you know – if we’re ever in that situation again, I would do exactly the same again.

Then to dinner – the food was nice (except for that one bit of hair that one of the girls found in her food), and the band was good. But the entertainment (in the form of The Bride and a waiter who was a ruddy good sport) was brilliant. I cried, and thought I was going to be sick, I laughed that hard (I had also drunk 2 bubblegum shots, 3 glasses of wine and 5 cocktails by this point – I’m not saying that the sickness was unrelated to this fact). They were singing to each other like they were in a West End show, with emphatic arm gestures, use of  the ‘Bride to Be’ wand as a microphone, and heart-rending facial expressions. Then, after the band left, a compilation CD was pressed into service – at one point (mainly thanks to The Bride), we had at least half the room doing the Take That ‘Never Forget’ routine. Oh, it was magical – Robbie can keep Knebworth, I’d rather have a Midsummer Boulevard eatery in MK. Yep, it’s true.

We then had a few more drinks (some of us more than others), before going back to the house, getting into our pyjamas, and drinking wine. We laughed, we cried, we bitched and we talked about boys, before the neighbours started knocking on the walls because we were talking too loudly – the walls were so thin, they could probably hear us breathing, so I can understand how our normal-pitched conversation sounded like we were rehearsing for a Shakespearean play (‘project your voice, let them hear you in the back!’ and so on). It was just like being 16 again, and possibly my favourite part of the weekend. Except perhaps the barmaid’s face when I ordered 9 large breakfasts at 10am this morning.

Rambly ramblings

So, I lied to you all – there was no post earlier this week. But, I have a proper reason and everything – I was sick, and then at a conference. (Whilst I was still sick, but I digress.)

The dogs and I are friends again, after their ridiculous shenanigans last week; I was meant to be looking at houses with The Boy and both sets of lovely parents today (we’ve seen some houses that we like and trust their opinions more than we trust our own), but the snow, combined with living in the actual middle of nowhere meant that we were snowed in. So me, Millie and Daisy built a snowdog and had a snowball fight. By which I mean I made a snowdog and gave them credit, and threw snowballs at them. I give, and I take away.

I have also been sorting through my possessions, and sticking lots of them on eBay – turns out that moving house is a rather expensive business, and unless I want to start selling my body (starting with kidneys, moving onto lungs/pancreas/ears), I need to find ways of getting some extra cash. You may remember that around this time last year, I started raving about a website called BigWardrobe (which you should definitely join. Because it’s brilliant) but I’ve decided that there’s a bit too much temptation for me. I have a ridiculous amount of clothes, I don’t need more – what I need is a house (I fear that The Boy may have been playing subliminal messages to me in my sleep – that doesn’t sound like something I’d say…) so I’m selling things on eBay instead. One of the girls that I work with did essentially the same thing as me, so is mentoring me through the process of becoming an eBay seller (for example, eBay sell packaging. If you choose to sell, buy this packaging – it works out about 97% cheaper than buying it elsewhere – she’s a mine of information. And she very kindly keeps me company on the walk to the post office).

Other things that I’ve done this week include:

Offending an estate agent that we saw yesterday, by mentioning that I don’t like the maze-like roads of two particular housing developments. Which, it transpires, is where most of their houses are situated.

Won a competition run by the fantastic Tasty Gorgeous blog (I’m not being biased, but you should go and look at the site – it’s fantastic, and full of really interesting posts; nothing like my self-involved ramblings!)

Discovered that myself and The Boy need to have some sort of system regarding getting ready when we do (finally) live together. For example, we’ll be beautifying ourselves, ready to go out – I’ll be fiddling with my fringe, he’ll point out the time, so I’ll get a wriggle on. I then have to sit, ready, for 10 minutes whilst he faffs, losing his keys, finding his keys, losing his shoes, choosing different ones, finding the original ones, losing his keys again, and so on. Which makes me grumpy. Which then makes him grumpy. I’m thinking of setting all the clocks 10 minutes faster, just for funsies.

Stressed myself out good and proper organising a friend’s hen do. Seriously – all my other, equally awesome friends; I love you, but I will not be organising your hen weekends. If you do ask me, please be aware that absolutely everything will be outsourced – this includes collection of payment, some sort of customer service hotline, plus a personal shopper to research all of my costume options, and a PA. The last one is just because I like the idea of having a PA. But, apart from the t-shirts (which I rashly decided to make myself, to save on cost), where the potential for disaster is immense (I even got Lovely Mum to do my Year 8 textiles project for me – it was a BERET – why, oh why did I think I could make 9 t-shirts?!), I think that everything might be just about sorted. Only six little days to go…..eeek!

In other news, I’m trying to decide whether to run some sort of half-marathon this year (full blog post on this subject to follow next week. Or perhaps the week after, depending on how much of the hen weekend is printable material). What are people’s thoughts? Yes, I know – I’m vocal about the fact running bores me to tears. But please don’t let that affect your decision either way…