On my last day as a Miss…

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I booked the day off work today. Which I thought I probably didn’t need to do, but from the cries of outrage, all this week of, “Why are you still at work?! Aren’t you getting married?” – I thought that maybe I should take a day off before the BIG DAY to try and get any last minute bits and bobs in order and to take some time to chill before everything kicks off.

Now I’m sat here, with final phone calls made, one gigantic to-do list finally ticked off and an absolutely gigantic batch of butterflies in my stomach, it’s hitting me just how bloody excited I am for tomorrow. So, in the spirit of relaxing and keeping today about the things I love to do, I thought that I might as well jot out a little blog post on my last day as being ‘Miss Hallett’ before I become an official Mahoney tomorrow afternoon!

It’s a weird feeling, spending nearly a year and a half planning for just one day, and I honestly had no idea how I’d feel when the day rolled around (as it always seemed like an eternity away!)  but kissing Luke goodbye for the last time, before I see him at the alter tomorrow, I’m feeling hella emotional and so excited for what this weekend will bring! I think my final words were, “I love you, and please don’t forget to turn up!”

Wedding planning for me was never really a big deal. People complimented me on my lack of ‘bridezilla’ qualities (a term which I still hate, because nobody except a bride can know how stressful this day is!) – but I’d always tried to focus on the main reason that we were doing this all in the first place. To spend the rest of our lives together.

So now, waving him off – that’s a big deal to me. We’re about to spend the rest of our lives promising ourselves to each other – and I don’t want the fun and excitement (also stress) of the day itself, take away from all of that!

In the traditional way, we’re spending tonight apart. I’m going to the hotel early and having a girly sleepover with my sister and a handful of people who’ve traveled further to spend the weekend with us – so the next time I see him, I’ll be walking down the aisle to an instrumental of one of my favorite Greatest Showman songs, with my dad by my side!

The weather is looking pretty pants – but what can you expect from England in November?! Plus, I’ve got hundreds of fairy lights and lovely things to make the hotel as snug and cozy as it could possibly be for our day!

The flowers are sorted, the cake is ready (and baked by my own mumma!), the registrar has chatted with us, the dress is steamed and ready, my bridesmaids are there, I’m bundling myself into the car shortly to get my nails and hair sorted… but I guess, there’s nothing more to say really!

I’m sure that the day will be perfect to me, even if there are some hitches and things that go wrong along the way. I’m so looking forward to having everyone I love in one room with me, and it’s certainly going to be one of the most magical and important things that I ever do in my life… eeeek!

So, I guess with that said, time to go get hitched?!

I’m sure I’ll see you on the other side with dozens of beautiful photos to share, but until then – wish me luck and pray that I don’t trip!

Rach

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An updated ‘30 before 30’

Back when I was writing on this blog regularly, I made a list of the thirty things that I’d like to do before I turn 30.

After reworking my blog, I’ve decided to also rework my list and share it here again, so that I’ve got it for my own reference.

Since I’m 24 now, I wonder how many of these I’ll get ticked off in the next 6 years?!

1.Marry the love of my life

Is it cheating if I’m doing this at the weekend? Haha!

2.Go on an American Road-trip

Luke and I have been talking an awful lot lately about the possibility of going around America in a little camper van… it’s something that my dad did when he was younger and the idea is certainly becoming more and more appealing by the day!

3. Pay off my debts

I’m not proud that I’ve got a few outstanding credit card debts and a loan that’s still floating around, but they should be paid off by 2020 – so being sensible with money is my big goal!

4. See the Great Barrier Reef

I’m obsessed with Australia, and this natural beauty, but since it’s being destroyed so quickly I really need to get my act together and make sure that I experience it whilst I can.

5. See the Grand Canyon

Part of the American road-trip plan! I’ve been to Yosemite, I’ve seen Niagara – but this is one incredible natural landmark I would love to tick off the list.

6. Gamble in Vegas

*Shrug* – gotta be done once!

7. Do the Christmas markets in Germany

I often go to Winter Wonderland in London, but I’d love to experience the full markets in Germany, particularly after the Oktoberfest was SO incredible!

8. Listen to jazz in New Orleans

I adore jazz music, I’ve never been to the Deep South and the two of them marry together pretty perfectly!

9. Do the Inca Trail

I know this one would be incredibly tough, but the views from the top of Machu Picchu would make this one worth it!

10. See Lady Gaga Live

Since the Joanne World Tour date I was supposed to go to got cancelled, I’m desperate to see Gaga perform again in person!

11. Go to Japan

I adore Japanese food and culture, and I really want to experience it for myself!

12. Buy a house

Ugh adulting is boring, but this is absolutely one of my BIG goals I’m working on! As we live just outside of London the places that I’d want to live are mad expensive, so it might take a while for this to actually come to fruition.

13. Read 50 books in a year

I’ve made this a goal since 2012 and I’m still struggling with it! The max I’ve done is 43 books in a year – but with wedding planning this year it defo escaped me in 2018!

14. Tackle my OCD

I’ve struggled with OCD since I was a child, but never to the extremes that it interfered too badly with my life. However, I’ve taken steps and started working with a CBT therapist lately to try and sort it out.

15. Try Sake

Idk why, I just thought I should perhaps put something slightly easier on my list – and I do want to try it!

16. Go white- water rafting

Our friends did this in Africa, and the videos made it look so crazy exciting! Definitely one for the bucket list!

17. Write my book and finish it

I’m an absolute sinner for declaring I don’t have enough time to write my book, when in fact I just haven’t prioritised it. One day people I will share it, I promise!

18. Swim with great whites

I LOVE sharks, and I also think that this would just be the most incredible experience!

19. Own a dog

This probably comes later down the line with responsibility haha – but I would really love to own a dog before I’m 30, as I’ve never had one before!

20. Make an exercise habit

I go through phases in my life where I’m massively into exercise- and other times where I just don’t bother. I’d like to keep up a habit at some point in my life and stick to it.

21. Have a totally relaxed lazy holiday

I’m an absolute victim of never relaxing when I go away, because I just want to see and do ALL THE THINGS. It would be nice to have a holiday where I completely chilled out and had no expectations.

22. Go to Paris with Luke

Luke has only ever been to Disneyland Paris, so I’d love to go on a romantic little weekend away together and do some proper sightseeing!

23. Go on safari

I would love to spend some time in Africa doing this and seeing animals in their natural habitat!

24. Work for a publisher

I currently work for a charity, which I absolutely adore. However, my real love in life is books and I would really love to work for a publishing house at some point in my career.

25. Swim in the blue lagoon

Iceland is so beautiful, but also so expensive! If I was going to make the trip this is the #1 thing I’d want to do there.

26. Start playing piano again

I used to play piano when my grandad was alive and he was teaching me, but I gave it up when he died. I still twiddle around on it a bit, but I’d like to cultivate it as a skill.

27. Live by the sea

I “lived” in Plymouth for a while, when my ex was at uni there. I absolutely adored living so close to the sea and would love to make that a reality again.

28. Go to an elephant sanctuary

Elephants are one of my favourite animals and spending some time in a sanctuary with them is a massive dream. We’re going to Thailand soon, so hopefully I can tick this off then!

29. Do the colour run

I honestly think about doing this most years but the price puts me off (plus the word “run”) ha!

30. Have a baby

Ah the big one! I’ve put this at the end because who’s to say if I’ll actually be ready for a baby by the time I’m 30- but if it’s right, then it’s right! No harm on putting it on the list and taking it off again eh?

What’s on your list?

Rach

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Film Review: The Hate U Give

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‘The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.’

*This review contains spoilers*

When I turned the last page of Angie Thomas’ bestseller novel ‘The Hate U Give’ last year- I was left stunned.

A book that I had assumed to be classic Young Adult Fiction, had instead taken me on a journey to understanding black identity, white privilege, modern-day America and the role of police brutality and ingrained racism.

As a huge fan of the novel, I was probably one of the only people in the cinema last night who didn’t utter a grumble of disappointment, but rather a gasp of delight, as the film title appeared in the dark and I realised that I was about to see one of my favourite books of 2017 as it made its big screen debut.

‘The Hate U Give’ follows the story of Starr Carter. A middle-school teen, who lives in a predominantly African-American community in ‘Garden Heights’. Her life, however, is split into two parts, as she also attends a prestigious and predominantly white school, on the other side of town. Her identity at school is non-confrontational, her friends unaware of her background and her family – until one weekend after a party, her childhood best friend Khalil is fatally shot by a white police officer.

What follows is Starr’s decision whether to stand up and speak for Khalil, to fight for his justice – and the realisation that her identities can no longer reside simultaneously, once facing that kind of situation.

As the movie kicked off, I anticipated several walkouts (correctly so, as it turns out) – as the first twenty minutes rolled past, giving what was essentially the background of your average teen movie.

We saw Starr engaging with her friends at her current school, her on-off high school romance with her boyfriend – and snippets of her life on both sides, with family and her childhood friends.

However, when Khalil was shot – there was an audible gasp in my cinema.

That was the point that I realised that they had got this movie so perfectly right. This film not only serves the purpose of entertaining but also educating and shocking it’s audience to what is essentially a daily reality, that so many of us can easily ignore.

There were so many scenes in this film that felt unsettlingly real, particularly when it came to the close-minded and naive beliefs of Starr’s white friends.

The acting was dazzling, with stand-out performances from Starr (Amandla Stenberg) and her father (Russell Hornsby).

There was such raw emotion between the family in this film, with the protection of each other and the divisions that come from community and race – that it was entirely convincing.

Ultimately, the messages about community, strength and the impact that these divisions still bear in society made this an unmissable watch for me.

This is one of those rare films that I can almost certainly confirm lived up to my expectations from the book.

Powerful, inspiring – and one that I urge you to go and see.

Happenings: Autumn

This post was inspired by Heidi Apples – who writes one of the most beautiful blogs you could ever find!

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DOING: I’m currently sitting on my bed, finally deciding to flex my blogging muscles and try and plan out some content for this blog! (I promise once the wedding is over, I’ll be a lot more dedicated to it!)

HEARING: The hum of the heating (England is getting really cold!) and the noises of my cat as he’s playing with a box on the floor.

DRINKING: Classic English Breakfast Tea, with milk and a drizzle of agave nectar. Because yum.

EATING + COOKING: As the wedding day is edging closer I’m trying really hard to eat better and to lose the last couple of pounds that are stopping my dress from fitting perfectly! Breakfast is usually tea and a fruit with nut butter, lunch would be a salad or soup from Pret (yes- a terrible habit I need to break!) and dinners are generally chicken, rice or something hearty! I never wanted to diet, but I definitely want to feel at my most confident.

WANTING: Cake. Luke to come home from work. To see ‘A Star is Born’ at the cinema again – plus, I’ve had loads of tiny little health issues over the last few weeks, so it would be nice to be well again!

LOOKING: forward to the wedding day! I feel like this huge thing has kind of drifted by me and I haven’t really had much expectation of it. However, with 5 weeks to go, I’m really starting to feel the excitement.

DECIDING: what to do today! I’ve got a day off work as I worked on a weekend, so I’m up bright and early, writing this blog – before I decide how to fill the rest of my time.

READING: everything and anything! I’m currently reading ‘The Psychopath Test’ by Jon Ronson, which is somewhat eye-opening! It’s brilliant though! If you’ve read it please let me know what you think.

WATCHING: The Circle on Channel 4. It’s my new guilty pleasure, but I think as far as reality TV goes, this is the best that it’s going to get!

WEARING: A dressing gown currently, but as Autumn has arrived I’m starting to bring out my cosiest winter jumpers, thick tights, and fluffy boots!

ENJOYING: the moment. I’m at a good place in my life (even though the health isn’t the greatest!) as I’m enjoying working in London, I’m loving being someone’s fiancee – and I’m so lucky that I get to be as selfish with my time as I want to be.

PLAYING: in the garden. I spent the weekend with my hen party in the garden on a gloriously hot autumn day, playing the silliest games imaginable. Perfection.

PLANNING: the wedding day, the rings, the flowers, the outfits, the vows… my life is a series of plans at the moment!

CRAVING: anything unhealthy! Eating well is a struggle, but this weekend I’m going for bottomless bubbles and bagels with my two best friends, so I’m craving that already!

LOVING: the autumn weather. This is definitely the start of my favorite three months and I love London so much at this time of year!

SAVOURING: the early days of my job! I’m definitely beginning to find my feet and more responsibility, but it’s nice to enjoy the ‘being new’ and being involved in so many exciting projects.

BUYING: I’m trying to save as much money as possible at the moment, but I did just buy a new rucksack, as I kept stealing Luke’s all the time! It’s covered in roses and I absolutely love it!

FEELING: Excited to have a day to myself to be selfish and do whatever I want. Relaxed and peaceful, as my kitten is asleep next to me! Ready for the next few weeks to fly by!

If you’ve been inspired by this, why not write your own ‘happenings’? I’d love to read them!

Rach

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Image Credit: Uncoated Photography