Category Archives: Personal Rambles

No Dicks Allowed: A Hen Do Without The Penis Straws

This weekend was my sister’s hen do (bachelorette for my American readers!) We planned everything as a surprise for her, but were under strict instructions that there be nothing pink, fluffy or penis shaped!

After posting a few photos on social media, I’ve had lots of questions about where we were and what we did (apparently a lot of you also want a send off that doesn’t involve inflatable penises or matching tee-shirts!) so I thought I’d share what we got up to. I’ve also ended the post with a few bonus tips to make sure your own alternative hen do goes off without a hitch!

Renting a house though Airb&b

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There were 11 of us, so we decided that hiring a big house that we could all stay in would be the most fun and economical option. Rachel (my sister) didn’t really want to go ‘out out’ so we didn’t need to be near a big town or city.

I trawled Airbnb for weeks to find somewhere big enough to sleep everyone, that didn’t cost a thousand pounds plus a night, and if there was a hot tub or a pool, even better! Eventually we found Lower Tadmarton House, near Banbury. It was wonderful! The house slept up to 16 (although we had to share double beds, which no-one seemed to mind) and we had the option of hiring in a hot tub at an additional cost. It was PERFECT.

If you are wanting to do the same my advice would be to start looking way earlier than you might think you need to (especially if you’re doing it over a popular weekend, like the May Bank Holiday). I booked this place in January but even then a lot of the places I considered were already booked. Plus, some people did reject our booking when they found out we were a hen do! Mean!

Crown and Glory’s Candy Shop and a henna artist

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To My Husband on Our Anniversary

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To my computer game playing, gym going, kitty obsessing, sleepy head husband:
You are my rock, my biggest supporter and all of my happiest moments. I’m so proud to call you my husband.

When I try to think about what to write to you on our eight year wedding anniversary, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a bit stumped. How can you adequately put into words a love that completely engulfs you, that makes you a better person, and that truly makes life worth living?

12th April 2008 feels like eight lifetimes ago, not just eight years. So much has changed, yet nothing has. On the outside our lives could not be more different, but inside everything is completely the same. I’m still insanely in love with you. I still get excited to see you every morning. I still want to cover you with kisses every night. You still drive me nuts with all of your ways. I still can’t load the dishwasher properly.

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Why I’m Quitting Rock n Roll Bride

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When I started this blog I had no idea just how far it could take me. From quitting a well paid full time job to all expenses paid trips to Australia! I co-founded a workshop that taught over 1000 people all over the planet and launched a print magazine!! It really has been a wild ride and I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened for the world.

Over the past 8+ years I’ve woken up excited to turn on my computer and crack on with work (and that’s something I thought I’d never have in my life)… that is until it started to get too difficult. It stopped being fun. It started feeling like more of a chore than a labour or love. And if you don’t love something any more, why would you torture yourself? Life is just too short.

So I’ve come to a big decision. Its been really hard to make but I hope you’ll understand. I’m quitting Rock n Roll Bride. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next but I know it won’t be anything to do with weddings.

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I’m Off to Japan!!

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via Girl Eat World

Kon’nichiwa! It seems like forever since I’ve written a more personal post (there’s just so much weddingness waiting to be shared in my inbox). However I wanted to pop by today and let you all know that I’m off to Japan this week! Gareth and I went there for our honeymoon in 2008, but with hardly any travel experience or money (which, let’s face it, you need in Japan!) so we are super duper excited to be going back with a bit more of both of these crucial things behind us.

We’re heading to Tokyo first, before hopping on the bullet train to Kyoto and finally Hiroshima. Oh goodness, I am so excited! I hope there will be cherry blossoms a-plenty and bountiful kawaii shopping to be had.

I’m away until the end of March, so until then the blog schedule will be a little lighter than usual. Keep popping by though because I have a post scheduled every week day so there will definitely be some things to keep you entertained and inspired in my absence.

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A Valentine’s Love Letter to Myself

A Valentine's Love Letter to Myself

Dear Kat

You’ve been thinking long and hard about what to publish today. As a blog dedicated to love and marriage there’s a certain amount of extra pressure on Valentine’s Day. There’s so much expectation about what you might write about. Do you share a Valentine’s themed photo shoot? Do you write a love letter to your husband (again!)? Do you publish one of the thousands of press releases you’ve been bombarded with from companies who want to sell your readers flowers and chocolates and extravagant gifts? Do you just skip it all together!?

You were lying in a rose-scented bath the other day, thinking about this and looking down at your squishy belly, simultaneously wishing your body looked different. You starting thinking “I wonder how much happier I’d be if I looked more like those #fitspo girls on Instagram?”

And then it hit you.

Valentine’s shouldn’t just be about expressing love for others, it needs to be about expressing some love for yourself as well.

You’ve struggled with loving yourself for as long as you can remember. You might be extroverted and seem confident about most things on the outside, but I know that internally you’re constantly criticising yourself. The way you look, the way you act, the things you say… not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not cool enough…

Today I want to tell you to give yourself a break. You’re ROCKING this thing called life. Your business helps so many women realise their true beauty and how awesome they really are. You give them permission to embrace their weirdness and just be themselves. You tell them to never conform and to be happy with who they are. You need to do this for yourself too!

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A Day in the Life

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This week I was interviewed by two industry websites, Wedding Daily and The National Wedding Show. While the first asked me all about my 2015, and plans for this year, NWS asked me to write a “day in the life” type story. I laughed when I got this assignment because my working life is anything but glamorous or exciting… as you will see! 

I would imagine that when most people think of someone who runs their own blog and magazine, that they would presume that their working life would mostly consist of fancy offices, design meetings with their extensive employees, and cocktails at lunch. Well, I hate to burst the Amanda Priestly bubble, but my daily working life is literally nothing like that!

The full-time Rock n Roll Bride team is myself and my husband Gareth, and we work from our small, two bedroom house in Reading. We have a freelance design team, Shauna and Samantha of We Are Branch, based in Oregon, who do all the graphic design for the website and art direct the magazine… and we do everything over email!

Glamorous it is not, but it’s vital that we keep our businesses lean to make a profit, that means keeping our costs as low as possible. The biggest expenses for most small businesses tend to be extra full time employees and office space so we’ve chosen to work from home and keep our team as small as possible.

So what does a usual day look like for me? Well, if I’m in the office then it goes a little something like this:

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8-10am (depending on how I’m feeling, yes, being your own boss really is the best): Wake up and immediately pick up my phone and check social media before I get up. I then put on comfortable clothes (my daily uniform is sweatpants, a t-shirt and my alpaca fur slippers which were ridiculously expensive but are the softest and most amazing thing I’ve ever put on my feet) wash my face, clean my teeth and make a cup of tea the size of my head.

10 – 12pm Checking emails, replying to anything super-duper urgent, writing a couple of blog posts or magazine articles before lunch. I do my best writing before lunchtime or early afternoon so I try to do anything that really needs my brain to be at its best here.

12 – 1pm At some point I usually stop for something to eat and another cup of tea, maybe take ½ an hour away from my computer to have a cheeky lunchtime Netflix sesh. Why not hey?!

1 – 4pm For the rest of the day it usually is more of the same. Pulling together blog posts and magazine articles, replying to emails, chatting to my designer about the next issue… Gareth is a late riser (he works late into the night!) so when he gets up we usually have a quick chat about the day, what needs doing and where we both are.

We work in separate spaces so he then goes off to his office and cracks on with whatever he needs to do. Issue 6 just launched last week, so at the moment he’s spending a lot of time packing and shipping out the subscription and online orders. We’d had 750 to do this week so this is no mean feat!

4pm I usually stop for a proper shower or bath late afternoon. As I said I do my best work first thing, so I don’t really want to waste time bathing as soon as I get up. I suppose I could get up earlier to have a bath before I start work, but where’s the fun in that?! I prefer to use it as another excuse to get away from the computer and indulge in a Lush bath bomb without needing to rush back to work!

5 – 7pm Wrapping up anything that needs urgently doing that day. Compiling invoices, more emails… Go food shopping if the fridge is bare!

7pm I do all the cooking so come 7pm its dinner and wine time! I tend not to work after 7pm if I can help it.

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