Vana & Damien – The Love Story

April 8, 2009

Good morning guys. I am very excited today to share the love story of Vana & Damien, our fabulous competition winners.  I can’t wait to go to their wedding in November…they are just such an awesome couple.

Come on then guys…tell me all about yourselves!

When I first met Damien I was 12 and hanging around outside my music class. 

I spotted this cute boy with that odd 90’s curtain haircut that was all the rage (why?!) But obviously being 15 (so much older and  more sophisticated) he had no idea I was even alive.


At 15 I’d acquired a couple of things that made me noticeable *ahem* – and we started dating. It was a brief summer thing which ended when Damien moved to Bristol. I cried in my bedroom listening to Slayers – Undisputed Attitude for about a week, before vowing to chop my hair off, move to London and become a punk. Which I subsequently did a year later – oh the folly of youth!


Almost a decade later Damien got my e-mail address from a random mutual friend, and got back in touch with me. We e-mailed back and forth, and chatted on instant messenger for what seemed like ages.

Then one day he called me and said he was playing a gig in Camden and did I fancy meeting up.


I was so nervous I nearly didn’t go and as my friends and I were mooching around outside deciding which bar to blow the gig off for, he came out of the venue with his guitarist!

Damien tells me he knew in that instance that he’d fallen in love.

After the gig his band made their way back to Bristol minus a drummer!

We stayed up and drank ourselves sober with vodka, and talked on my sofa till 6am. Somehow he never made the train back home that day, nor the next day, or the one after that.We’ve been totally inseparable ever since.


Damien proposed to me on our two year anniversary, it was a rainy day and we were at Pendennis Castle.All of a sudden he starts saying “No way, that’s so beautiful – look babe”, I couldn’t look as he was peering out of a tiny teeny window and was blocking the view.

Then he turned around and all I saw was a sparkly ring.

I just started grinning like a village idiot, jumping up and down and all manner of strange sounds exited my for once speechless mouth!


So that’s our little love story, we’re totally blown away that Kat and David have chosen us as the winners for the competition.

It’s the best wedding present ever!


Are you as in love with them as I am?

Here they are the day they met up after all those years and feel in lurrrve!




  1. Hi Kat!

    Vices, eh? Hrmmm… cheese, sweets, chocolate, wine, ice cream, cupcakes.. hahaha. I could go on.

    I’ve actually done a cleanse a longass time ago cutting out dairy, gluten and sweets. It was SO hard, but I felt amazing after I got through the headaches and such. I’ve tried in the recent past to do it again but have failed. I’ve seen Gala mention The Clean Program before, and I’ve been intrigued. I think a guided program like this would help me to stick to it.

    And by the way, I haven’t found any good cheese alternatives. Stay away from Daiya vegan cheese.. tis gross! I find just eating less dairy is the way to go for me, but I allow myself ice cream or cheese once in a while. I use almond milk for everything else.. love it! I think really we should all strive for balance.

  2. oooo this sounds good! I’m currently in the final stages of writing up my PhD (hand in date 30th May – eek!) and can categorically state that I am in caffeine overload. I know that on June 1st I’m going to have to radically cut back on caffeine and get back into a healthy lifestyle (I’ve basically not moved from the desk in about 3 weeks) so this would be a great help! I’ve got June to sort myself out and get back into top-top condition before the big day on July 6th!

  3. Jay-Jay

    I’ve been in L.A. too – little Geordie me found myself an L.A. beau, and we’re currently applying to get my fiancé visa…a way off yet, but of course your blog is helping with our wedding plans!

    My vice isn’t a specific food…although like everyone I enjoy too many pizza’s and chocolate…my vice is my boredom! I graze rather than eat set meals, which would be fine if I wasn’t so prone to boredom during late night/early morning internet browsing. I always snack way too much at night, and it’s never a salad I reach for.

    Now a size 12-14 I’m finding it super tricky to find clothes that fit in L.A. fashion stores and I don’t feel comfortable any more…of course, I’m also wanting to look my best for my wedding day early next year! I’m aiming for long-term low-carb but with so much yummy Mexican food across the pond every time I visit my beau in L.A. my low-carb plans go out the window. Until I learn a balance when in a new land of temptation I need a boost to lose the weight…or a cleanse to get me back on track after post-carb bloat…The Clean Program would be a great USA style boost!

  4. Bethany

    Hi Kat,

    My vice is cheese, any kind, from babybels to stilton and every kind in between! I also have a weakness for a milky cup of tea!

    Being diabetic the usual low carb plan wouldn’t work for me so I’d love to give this a try!


  5. Ashley

    Donuts, cookies, chocolate, crisps, cake, cheese, bread, nuts, ice cream, pancakes, pretzels, whipped cream, pizza, chips, burgers, popcorn, prosecco, nachos, waffles, pie, hotdogs, bagels, bacon, fried chicken, biscuits, scones, meringue, custard, muffins, flan, crumpets, tarts, pastries, battered anything, flat whites, salted caramel, potatoes: mashed, roast, baked, boiled, sautéed, creme brûlée, wine, fondant fancies, coleslaw, pasta, rice, barbecue pulled pork, onion bhaji, scotch eggs, hotpot, sorbet, spiced rum and Absolut mandrin vodka…

    Got engaged a few weeks ago…please send help!

  6. Jenna

    I’d love to try this! I try to eat healthy but find myself falling off track, mostly because I always run out of time to prepare healthy meals (working from home with a very energetic 1 1/2 year old seems to suck up all my time & energy.)I’m afraid I’d have a terrible time giving up coffee, and my ultimate vice– a delicious loaf of white crusty bread slathered with butter!

  7. Abby

    Hi Kat!

    Ooh i’m excited you shared this post! I’ve seen Gala mention it before too and wondered whether it was a good plan.

    I have tooooo many vices eek. I will say cheese is a biggie (and sweets and wine and…), i’m also finding myself in the fridge FAR too much at the moment after leaving my job (boo). I get married in August and am considering it a new start to a fantastic future me ;D I think this detox would get my body on the same page as my mind… and stop walking me towards the fridge so often hehe.

    Love xx

  8. Pauline

    I was born and bred in France so pretty much grew up on pastries, cheese, awesome breads, delicious home-cooked food with little regard for detox. It worked well until my mid-20s and then the food started to catch up with me! Stayed on my hips!! It’s taken me a long time to let go of my French eating habits and move on to something a little lighter, a little healthier…the clean program would be a great boost to keep me on the healthy road!

  9. Patricia Giles

    My vice is chips at night and my 2:00pm craving for a Snickers bar!

  10. Jayme

    Hi Kat – congrats on taking steps to get healthy! Good for you. You mentioned alternatives to cheese – I can recommend a company called Vegusto – they sell lots of Vegan food products, including Vegan Cheese Alternatives. They taste amazing and claim to be 50% less fat and half the calories of dairy cheese. Here’s a link:
    As for me – I’m allergic to gluten and dairy and I can’t tolerate most sugars. So my diet is super healthy because it has to be! 🙂

  11. Janelle

    My vice is absolutely anything with a lot of carbs: pasta, potatoes, rice, sugary treats. I’ve increased my veggie and protein intake but I still can’t kick my carb program! It would be nice to take a week off and try to re-align how I think about food.

  12. Lactofree cheddar cheese is positively revolting on its own, but definitely adds a cheese kick when melted over pasta or in a sauce etc….the lactofree cream cheese however is bloody lush, you wouldn’t be able to tell e difference!

  13. Rachel

    This post is just in time! I have been falling off the wagon in a major way. My vices are wheat, caffeine, and wine! And let’s be honest, over eating on occasion 🙂

    I have so many great events to look forward to (tons of friends weddings, summer, a boudoir shoot) that I would like to look and feel by best for!

    As for non-dairy cheese, I like Daiya. However, I’ve been cheese free for awhile and don’t miss it very often at all, so maybe just stick with it? You can make your own creamy sauce with cashews too – try the Punk Rock Kitchen blog!

  14. Alexandra Barton

    My vices? Just having food in the house is my vice. That and gin!
    If the food is there, I’ll eat it. Similarly if the food is on my plate, I’ll clear it.
    Unfortunately (or not) I’m going to Majorca in 3 weeks for one of my best friends hen weekends which I’m slightly dreading as a number of the girls in the party are gorgeously toned and look stunning – the bride is just a beaut! For some reason I’m the one that found the holiday and booked it!!! Skegness may have suited me better.
    I’ve been thinking about doing a detox since I had my baby last autumn and I’ve never gotten round to it – now that this weekend is on the horizon and fast approaching, I may have to give something drastic a crack. I need a plan to stick to and a little voice in my head to say “step away from the coffee and cake!”

  15. I’d like to get in. I have gained a few extra pounds over the years, never exercise and eat too much sugar. I have tried cleaning myself with drinking just water, but could only do it for 1 day, so I would love to give a real program a chance to clean that shit inside out! haha!
    Also, the fact that I’m becoming a father in a few months is also a wake up-call to start living healthier

  16. Tanya

    When asked do you have a sweet or savoury tooth?

    Why is this a either or answer?

    I love all food.

    Especially at weekends I find myself snacking on cheese & crackers, nuts, chocolate and washing it down with wine & Gin. I am 30 this year and noticing these bad habits are staying on my hips and tummy.
    I’d love to try this. x

  17. Oh dear Lord, wedding is coming up in t-minus 81 days (how did that happen?!) and as such I’m on a super panicked exercise routine. I find exercising pretty easy, I do 30 minute bursts everyday and I’m trying really hard to get into shape, more for myself than anything else, and to try and feel more awake. I feel sluggish on a pretty much daily basis, I am a guilty Tea obsessive, oh and hob nobs, oh and sweeteners, with a little milk, of course. The part I’m finding really difficult about kick starting my healthy life to be is detox and cleansing. I try to drink lots of water and eat well, but I find I forget to drink water a lot and am often left dehydrated and craving sugary replacements. Being someone who has to have an aim in mind to get things done, I’m surprised I’m struggling to get my body internally kick-started when my muscles and limbs are getting a pummelling. I would love to wake up, feel awake and really reign everything in so I can see a bit more clearly. A few years ago I gave up alcohol for Lent (still don’t know how I resisted the red wine for so long) and ended up giving up drinking for months afterwards. I would love to have a deep cleanse helping me on my way to a refreshed body, it’s well overdue!

  18. Ash

    Vices food wise too many to mention but my biggest vice this past year is my stunning daughter! She is the absolutely best thing to ever happen to me and this last year has been ( besides covered in vomit, poop and more vomit and injecting needles into my tummy for my days than I care to remember) my little test tube bubba has given me the best days of my life!
    Now back at work and missing her like crazy I’m scoffing everything that comes my way; pork pies muffins,sweet pototes ( I tell myself there good carbs!) getting home late and too exhausted to play cos the 4 pack of donuts that seemed like a good idea is now bringing me down with a crash 🙁 a detox is just what I need to give me a kick up the a*s and get me back on track. ( plus if I hang my knickers out on the line the neighbours think the sun has gone in….if not for me, help Des and Pams sunflowers grow this year!)

  19. There are many witty comments above mine that are surely more deserving based solely on their humour, however, I shall throw my hat in the ring anyway. I concur with you, cheese is my absolute weakness, I can forgo most other dietary sins (seldom crave sweet things, could forgo bread and pasta if I had to), but cheese, creamy, salty, hard, soft, gooey, nutty, whichever shape it comes in, cheese is my weakness.

    The irony being, that it exacerbates a skin condition I have like nobody’s business, and accounts for way too many calories each week than is right, yet still this is not enough to make me stop. The only thing that can make cheese better, is an accompanying glass of vino….

  20. Hi Kat! Wine’s definitely my biggest vice too. Ì used to do a lot of long distance running, and after a 3 hour run Ild get home dehydrated and shattered but craving red wine. ILm drinking a bottle of Aussie Shiraz right now! Have been trying to improve my health this month though (and blogging about the challenge) so would LOVE to give this a go! Lucy x

  21. I have many vices. Two biggest are strong coffee and often. And the other one is chocolate. I have a serious problem and I’m always tired. I just started a full time job that forcing me to get up very early as work long days. I could really use the pick me up because I love my new job it would be great if my energy level would reflect that.

    I wish I was tough and quit years ago but I find it really hard to quit things without any structure. This sounds great with all the online support. Thanks for running a great giveaway x

  22. My vice…. Vanilla flavored coffee creamer and artificial sweetener. I am a major black tea addict, but I like to put coffee creamer and sweetener in every cup. I definitely have a sweet tooth so I like my tea sweet. I drink at least two cups of tea a day, which amounts to a lot of coffee creamer crap and artificial who-knows-what, but no matter how hard I try… Its how I take my tea.

  23. Laura

    Well. I struggle to think of anything that *isn’t* my vice at the moment… I guess carbs in their many forms (and coffeeeeee) are my greatest weakness. I’m not overly keen on dairy in general but do love cheese, and if there’s chocolate in the cupboard I’ll be snacking on it eventually. I just got married earlier this month, and while I failed to get myself as healthy as I’d like to have been for the wedding (I think I benefit from regular support, I find it tough to go it alone), I’d really love an opportunity to start married life in the right way, and with a hopeful house move imminent and my husband’s keenness to start a family, I’d appreciate any help I can get! I admire your resolve Kat; green juice is on my to-do list, I just need to figure out where to start! 🙂

  24. Gemma

    My vice is definitely snacking. I work long hours for a charity so I almost never do ‘proper meals’ – instead I have a bad habit of grazing on whatever is around…

    I feel like this might be the opportunity I need to be a better version of myself and start setting a more aspirational example to the people I work with!

  25. My vices are chocolate, biscuits + cakes. I have being drinking green juice for 2 weeks and all my meals are very healthy. BUT then I spoil it all by being sucked into junk food deals when I pop into a nearby shop for some almond milk + come out with chocolate!

    I need more self control + I would love to give The Clean Program a try!

    Amy xo


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