The Best Gym Bag

As you probably know by now, I go to the gym a lot. I go every morning before work, because it’s an easy routine for me, and I feel less sluggish when I get to work. But the problem with going to the gym before work is that you have to lug around your stuff all day, you carry two bags (a handbag and a gym bag) and gym bags are butt ugly. So after writing that post, I looked online for a gym bag and found GymTote. They’re bags designed so you only need to carry one bag, and they can keep everything in specific sections.

I bought the Reese tote as a birthday present to myself and have been using it on a pretty much daily basis. It’s a great bag, but there are a few things I would change.

First – the size. The Reese is the largest women’s bag that GymTote sell, but I still feel like I could do with a bit of extra space in there! For example, there’s a pocket that they advertise to put your water bottle in – the bottle I use on a daily basis is a 700ml Lifefactory glass bottle* and there’s no way that’s fitting in there! I have reduced down my toiletries bag to this tiny hanging bag* and these travel bottles* which all work nicely, but isn’t as easy as just shoving a normal shampoo bottle in your bag.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about headphones – Alex bought me a pair of AirPods for Christmas, which I wasn’t very excited about at first, but I totally appreciate how small they are with this bag! I also picked up a Nanette Lepore tassel keychain (similar from Belkin on Amazon here) from TK Maxx before Christmas – it’s hiding a lightning cable inside it for last minute charges which is super useful.

Secondly – the material. I am happy with how this has held up over six months abuse, but one of the handles and the strap has started to show a little wear, which is expected I guess! I would have preferred to have a leather bag, but I wonder if that would hold the sweat smell more?

With the bag I chose, there is a top section where I can keep my purse and all the other rubbish I feel like I need to carry around on a daily basis – it’s obviously smaller than having a separate bag, but it does mean that I don’t feel like I need as much stuff with me as I used to. The top section isn’t exactly small though – when I used the bag to take stuff to the Forge to take these photos, I was able to fit in both my SLR and my compact camera in, as well as my purse, spare battery, etc. I’d totally buy this bag again, and I like the Charli backpack as well as the Sophia tote but I need more space in the bag!

The Best Outfit Post Ever

Grand title, right? But I only intend to wear this once, so might as well make it a big deal ;)


(I love this photo! Taken by Helen and one of the few that has my whole outfit in)

As I said in my How To Get Married post, my dress cost £22 from ASOS*. ASOS have a pretty decent bridal range*, and considering that you’ll only wear this dress once or twice, it’s worth checking theirs out. Less money on dress means more money for cakes ;) Bra wise, I bought the Wonderbra Ultimate strapless* which…it’s a strapless bra that didn’t fall down. (Yes, I bought the bra and matching pants* (because always matching pants) off Amazon since it was slightly cheaper to get the set from Amazon than just the bra from House of Fraser. Always check Amazon for things like this!)

My shoes were from Primark and cost £12, but I have found a pair on ASOS* that are pretty similar. My bouquet and Alex’s buttonhole were from Etsy* – a slightly last minute purchase as I didn’t realise peonies aren’t in season in March! The cost of a real bouquet was about the same amount as my faux fleurs, but at least we can enjoy them for a long time to come! (Also, it’s a bit of a tradition in my family that we have fake flowers and then give the bouquet to my nana which is pretty nice!) I also bought a coat from Dorothy Perkins* in the sale for £20 which was the right sort of colour – I actually bought it to replace my old winter coat but realised that it only has a tie like it’s a dressing gown which isn’t super practical.

Make up wise, I didn’t really do much different. My make up was the same as when I can be bothered to put some on but I did splash out on a new Chanel lipstick* (in Elise if you care) – I found it hilarious that the lipstick was more expensive than my dress! The thing most people commented about in the pictures was my rose gold nails* – they are by Elegant Touch and I bought them off Amazon because I bloody love Amazon Prime. I also bought a hairband from Accessorize*, again as a last minute thing. TBH, organising such a small and casual thing meant that it wasn’t until the week or so before that I started to think “what the hell am I going to do with my hair, etc?”

I promise that’s all I’m going to post about the wedding!

 

How To Get Married

Hello blog.

So, this happened.

Reader, I married him

A post shared by Hayley Howells (@hayleyc) on

We kept things small and quiet, which is exactly what we wanted. It was quite nice not telling everyone about getting engaged and organising everything, but it did make finding out how to actually do the things difficult because despite all my Google skills, not many people seem to just get married. The majority of sites and forums I found were all geared around people who want the big event, which is fine, but not what we were looking for. So, I thought I would put together the stuff I found out in the hope that it helps other people. Hooray.

We got married in what is called the Statutory Room in Bristol. You can have 4 guests with you for this, and it cost £75 to book the room and to pay for the ceremony. You need to give notice in the district that you live in (so for us, that was South Gloucestershire) which takes 28 days to clear (in the majority of cases – I think it’s double if one of you is not British, but obviously it’s best to ask your local authority), and is valid for a year. Giving notice costs £35 each, and you need to be able to provide ID – we used our passports and driving licences to prove nationality and home address.

The gov.uk site is fairly useful in telling you what is needed, but one of the things I didn’t realise is that you should book the venue first, then give notice because your notice is only valid for the location where you are getting married. Sarah was very helpful for this, because she had originally given notice to marry in one place last year, before booking the Forge and getting married at the registry office instead.

Something else I wasn’t able to find out is about rings – at least in our ceremony, it wasn’t a necessity. Alex doesn’t like the idea of wearing a ring, and I was prepared to make a dash to Argos to buy a cheap ring, but we had to go in before the ceremony to check over the details that go in the register and to choose the wording that would be said, and it was then that we found out that there’s just a separate bit to say about giving a ring. (Wording wise – there are three different parts for the two sections, and then about fifteen different ways to go “‘ere, have this ring”)

The ceremony took about 20 minutes I think – I didn’t really check the time (“A watch doesn’t really go with this outfit“) and we were able to take photos during the ceremony, and then afterwards with a fake register (You can’t take them when you’re signing the real register – I assume because it has the details of the people who have married most recently in there)

I think that’s about everything I know! If people are interested, I’ll post about what I wore – mostly because people keep saying nice things about my dress and I’m like IT WAS £22 FROM ASOS. TWENTY TWO QUID!!! MY LIPSTICK COST MORE THAN MY DRESS!