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Always the Bridesmaid

There’s a saying, “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” There’s also a film named ’27 Dresses’ that is basically based around the quote. It’s a saying that is relatively true to my life, I have been bridesmaid three times now and don’t get me wrong, each time has been a total honour and I’ve loved being part of those special days, but as mentioned in my post earlier this week about being single, as I get older, that thought does creep in – maybe I was born for the bridesmaid role and not the actual bride!

Now this isn’t a poor me, need love and sympathy blog, far from it. I am one of the lucky people to have actually experienced love, and I mean proper true love and I am very grateful for that. I have so many happy memories and it makes me have the belief that one day I will find that again.

However, it is a fear of mine that I won’t find that person, my lobster, that one person I will grow old with because I want to have my own family unit that I can love and nurture. I have always wanted to get married and have children and give them the love and experiences that I’ve been lucky to have. But as with many things in my life, I know this is, in many ways, out of my control – especially at this point in my life. I’m not in a situation where I can ‘put myself out there’ because of real, physical reasons and I would also be nervous about getting myself out there because of reasons that have impacted my self-confidence and self-worth so much. So, I’ve had to learn to be, or try to be okay with my current single situation more than ever before.

Being single totally has its perks, I know that. It meant that I could up and move to Dubai without a second thought of how it may impact on a partners life, I could travel and do as I pleased on the whole and make decisions based on my wants and needs. It means I have my whole wardrobe and bedroom to myself for storage and to house my shoe obsession and I have the entire bed to myself which is always a benefit – no snoring or quilt hogging to contend with or cold feet!

But I would happily exchange this and make adjustments if it meant meeting the right person coming into my life. I do still believe there is someone out there for everyone, it’s just a case of that chance meeting at some point, I am a strong believer in three things:

  1. It happens when you least expect it
  2. What’s meant to be won’t pass you by
  3. Everything happens for a reason

Each experience we have in life be it a relationship, job, holiday, illness, loss…they all teach us something. I’ve struggled with number 3 recently because I can’t get my head around how so much awfulness can happen to so many lovely people and explain it away with – everything happens for a reason. Yes we learn things about ourselves and others through these tough times but do we really need that to happen to such an awful extent in order for this lesson to be taught?  That I struggle with.

But in terms of relationships I have never looked for any of the meaningful relationships I’ve had, apart from one online, they’ve just happened – one from a chance meeting in a shoe shop and one through friends of a friend. My longest relationship almost didn’t happen because I told him at my 18th party that I didn’t want to dance with him because I was having too much fun with my friends – priorities!!  And because things happen when you least expect them, I believe that things won’t pass you by because if they’re meant to be, they will seek you out. And then depending on how things work out, no matter the heartache or happiness, I do believe that what is meant to be, will be.

I personally think many people are afraid of being single or admitting how long they’ve been single. It’s like being single is something to be ashamed of, like you’ve been rejected from society and are some kind of freak. I know I have felt terribly embarrassed by the length of my single life but it shouldn’t be that way, there’s nothing wrong with me, I just haven’t found anyone who is right yet that’s all. I’m actually quite pleased I’ve had this single time as an adult because I’ve had time to work out who I am for real without influences from anyone else. I’m a strong-willed, fiercely independent woman – sometimes to my own detriment – but I do believe that without being single, I may not have discovered these characteristics in their entirety and I may not have travelled and had some of the experiences I’ve had without this single time. I’m now fully aware of what I want and don’t want from life and a partner, I know what I’m willing to compromise on and what I’m not and I am happy to stick with that. The right person will come along because I know that I am meant to be a wife and a mother and it will happen when it’s meant to be…am I justifying this too much?!

Until then, I just have to keep going through my own life’s challenges and uncovering new things about myself which will in turn continue to build me as a person. So if you’re single, don’t feel sad, there’s many of us in the same pool, so lets just enjoy it until it’s time to jump out and enjoy the next chapter of our story!

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Phew – last daily blog for February, now I’ll be back to one or two blogs a week which I have to say it’s much more manageable for me! So have a lovely weekend and see you soon!

#hairlesshannah

Pom Pom Painting

Well aren’t you lucky?! Two crafty activities in one week – I guess I’ve been feeling like exercising my teaching juices and actually really enjoyed it so I hope you do too! This one is really aimed at a younger audience but I actually found it was a relaxing activity for me so if you need a mindful time out that doesn’t cost much or take too long, this is perfect for you.

What you will need:

  • Two A3 sheets of paper (in different colours)
  • a pencil
  • a black felt tip
  • paintbrush
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • variety of paint
  • different sized pom poms
  • pegs
  • something to cover your surface with i.e newspaper

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Method

1. Get you first piece of A3 paper and fold it in half, length ways. open it back up and fold it again across the middle. (Having this piece of paper in a different colour makes it easier when it comes to painting as it easily shows you where the stencil is.)

2. Now choose the word you want to display, I have chosen ‘love’ as it is Valentines week after all! I drew out my bubble letters in pencil first so I could rub out any mistakes.When you’re happy with it, trace over in black pen and carefully cut out the letters.

3. Now you need to get your second piece of A3 paper, I went for white so that my paint comes out brighter.

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4. Before sticking your letters down, place them on and make sure you’re happy with their placement.

5. When you’ve decided, carefully stick down the letters using masking tape. **Don’t use cello tape or any other strong tape because that will rip the paper when you peel them off. You need light tape so it’s easy to remove the letters when the time comes.**

 

6. Now your letters are stuck down, the fun bit starts! Ensure your surfaces are covered so you don’t get paint on your tables etc! I chose pink, red, yellow, blue and white paint for this poster and two sizes of pom pons – large and tiny!

7. Use pegs to secure the pom-poms and dip them into the paint before dotting it on to the paper around the letters. I used one pom-pom and one peg per colour so I didn’t have to keep swapping.

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8. Keep going until you’re happy with the coverage then let your poster completely dry before the last stage.

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9. Once dry, slowly and carefully peel off your letters. You will now be aware that there are masking tape marks left – this is when I used my mini pom-poms to carefully dot more paint so that the letters become complete.

10. Let the poster dry again before you can see the final piece of art! And voila!! Now you can display it however you want! Frame it, stick it to your wall, give it to your friends – whatever you want!

 

Remember that this craft is Valentines based but you could use any word you wanted to link with any occasion and choose any colours you wanted to as well. You may want to cut out shapes rather than letters as another option. You could do this on a smaller scale and make it the front of home-made cards which would be fun to do or if your child loves animals, dinosaurs, characters from films, just cut out silhouettes and follow the same process – let your imagination run wild and get creative!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this craft – please send me any pictures of what you create! See you tomorrow for the final daily blog for Valentines week!

Happy Thursday!

#hairlesshannah

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My Valentine’s Love Playlist

Today is a super short one I’m afraid, it’s the day after Valentine’s but love is still in the air so I thought, why not share my ultimate love classics with you all?

I have a very good relationship with music, my life has a soundtrack. Hearing a song can transport me back to a time and place where I can still remember what I was wearing, who I was with and how I felt. A single song can spark roaring emotions in me from anger to hate, from love to devastation. Love songs aren’t just about being in love, to me it’s about finding love, going through the various stages of love, remembering love, being hopeful for love and simply loving life itself!

My list of 50 songs is quite random – some predictable, some you’ll wonder why and others you may not have heard of! It is a love list that covers all emotions you may feel in a relationship haha so have a look and then let me know what love songs are on your lists!

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  1. Never Too Much – Luther Vandross
  2. Dream – The Everley Brothers
  3. Ordinary People – John Legend
  4. You’ve Got a Friend – Carole King and James Taylor
  5. Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
  6. Just The Way You Are – Barry White
  7. Always – Bon Jovi
  8. More Than Words – Extreme
  9. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  10. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
  11. The Way You Look Tonight – Tony Bennett
  12. Everything – Michael Buble
  13. You’re All I Need To Get By – Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell
  14. Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing – Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell
  15. My Girl – The Temptations
  16. Ain’t No Mountain – Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell
  17. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  18. At Last – Etta James
  19. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
  20. I Just Wanna Make Love To You – Etta James
  21. When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge
  22. My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
  23. But I Do Love You – LeAnn Rhymes
  24. Someone Like You – Adele
  25. Unbreakable – Westlife
  26. Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
  27. All My Life – K-Ci and JoJo
  28. Amazed – Lonestar
  29. I Wanna Be The Only One – Eternal feat. Bebe Winans
  30. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  31. For Your Babies – Simply Red
  32. Have I Told You Lately? – Van Morrison
  33. Your Song – Elton John
  34. Run To You – Whitney Houston
  35. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
  36. Feels Like Home – Chantel Kreviazuk or alternative version by Edwina Hayes is also beautiful
  37. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morisette
  38. Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin
  39. Nothin’ On You – B.o.B
  40. Pony – Genuine
  41. Girlfriend – N*Sync
  42. Trick Me – Kelis
  43. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
  44. Gold – Beverley Knight
  45. Love On Top – Beyonce
  46. Bump ’n’ Grind – R Kelly
  47. Count On Me – Bruno Mars
  48. No Living Without Loving You – Celine Dion
  49. Heaven (Candlelight Mix) – DJ Sammy
  50. Man Who Can’t Be Moved – The Script
  51. Piece Of My Heart – Erma Franklin

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Wonder if you can guess the one that’s in there just for the giggles girls?!

Have a lovely day and see you tomorrow!

#hairlesshannah

Tasty Tuesdays: Valentines baking

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!

I hope you are enjoying a day knowing you are loved, whether that be by a partner, friend, family member or someone you showed a random act of kindness towards.

Because today is a Tuesday and it’s Valentine’s, I thought a Tasty Tuesday was called for – that way you can bake for a loved one or bake and feed yourself because hey, we all need to love ourselves right?!

I will be giving you a recipe for sugar biscuits and then showing you four ways you could decorate them using homemade royal icing. I have to say, I found it really easy, messy at times but all of the biscuits were totally delicious when finished. This is my favourite Tasty Tuesday so far!

Sugar biscuits (these are the usual measurements but I doubled it for the amount of biscuits I was making hence the ingredients in the photo!)

You will need:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 200g unsalted butter in cubes
  • 100g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 free-range egg yolks

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Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper ready for later.Place the flour, butter, icing sugar and salt into the bowl attachment of your machine.

2. Mix with the dough hook slowly until breadcrumbs start to form. I used a kitchen aid with a dough hook but you can also do this using your hands, rubbing the mixture with your fingertips.

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3. Now add in the egg yolks and mix again until a dough forms.

4. Here’s a great way to roll out your dough that I discovered which has changed my baking ways forever! Instead of flouring your surface and rolling-pin, pull out a longer strip of greaseproof paper, fold it in half and re open. Pop your ball of dough in the middle of one side and gently flatten it a little. Now fold over the rest of the greaseproof paper and roll out the dough with the rolling pin over the top!

5. Pop your rolled out dough, still sandwiched between the greaseproof, into your fridge for an hour until the dough is chilled and hard.

6. Uncover the top half of the greaseproof and then cut your shapes using cookie cutters.I used various sized heart cutters for the different biscuits I was making.

7. Pop your cut out biscuits onto a lined baking tray and place into the fridge again for about 15 minutes before the oven as this will help them keep their shape more as they bake.

8. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until they are slightly brown around the edges.

9. Remove and after 5-10 minutes transfer onto a cooling rack. Don’t move before hand because they will be soft and break.

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Now to decorate.

For jammy dodger biscuits you will need:

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  • jam of your choice -raspberry or strawberry
  • icing sugar

Method:

You will see from the pictures here that when I made my sugar biscuits, I had to pair up the biscuits, one whole biscuit with one that has a smaller heart cut out in the centre.

1. Once the biscuits are totally cool, take the complete half of the biscuit and gently cover it with a layer of jam.

2. Now get the top half with the heart-shaped hole and tap icing sugar over it.

3. Finally place the sugar-coated half on top of the jam covered half and voila, jammy dodger biscuits complete!

Top Tip – keep these biscuits in a tin and keep in the fridge. Otherwise the jam will soften the biscuits really quickly.

 

For love bug iced biscuits you will need:

  • 375g icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites (about 60g)
  • lemon juice
  • piping bags
  • black writing icing
  • red gel food colouring
  • silver balls
  • toothpicks

Method

  1. Sift your icing sugar into a bowl.
  2. Whisk your egg whites in a separate bowl until they begin to froth.
  3. Slowly add the egg whites into the icing sugar and mix until it becomes combined and stiffer.
  4. I recommend using gel food colouring as it won’t change the consistency of the icing. Keep adding until you have your desired colour.
  5. To start with your icing needs to be slightly thicker, add into a piping bag with a small, round nozzle. You will now need to pipe the outline onto your biscuits and leave to dry for around 10 minutes – this forms a wall for the rest of the icing.
  6. Whilst the ‘wall’ is drying, thin our your icing by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice until it is slightly runnier.
  7. Pipe zig zags of icing into the biscuits- this is called flooding. Then with a toothpick, move the icing around so it fills the entire area.
  8. Leave this to dry for 15 minutes and then using the writing icing, draw in the lady bird pattern and add two silver balls for the eyes.

 

For patterned iced biscuits you will need:

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  • icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites (about 60g)
  • gel food colouring of your choice
  • lemon juice
  • piping bags
  • toothpicks

Method:

  1. As with the love bug biscuits, make up your icing and ice on the wall to your biscuits.
  2. You will then need to make up more icing or split the icing you have to mix in the colour you want for your biscuits. I kept with red and pink for my Valentines biscuits.
  3. To create little love hearts, flood the biscuits with one colour and whilst wet, dot on another colour. Now drag a toothpick from the centre top of the dot through to the bottom and it will form little love hearts – simple but so effective.
  4. To create lips, which I haven’t done here, flood the biscuit with one colour and then whilst wet, draw on little ovals and with a tooth pick draw through the middle and drag out the ends to form lip shapes.
  5. To create a zig zag effect you need to ice on lines of alternating colours and use a toothpick to make sure it cover the biscuits. How drag your toothpick from top to bottom through the icing all the way along your biscuit. Then in the gaps, drag the toothpick from bottom to top – easy as that!
  6. To create iced word biscuits you need to flood your biscuits, leave to dry for around 10 minutes and then pipe on your desired words – as you can see i forgot to wait and forgot to change to a smaller nozzle, I was tiring by this point! But you can still see what I’m trying to achieve!

 

So there yo have it, simple, delicious and quick biscuits! Hope you manage to make them and enjoy sharing them or keeping them for yourself!

Have a wonderful day, see you tomorrow!

#hairlesshannah

Love heart bunting

Hello! So today’s treat is a crafty one, a lovey dovey heart filled craft of joy!  Good activity to do at home with children or for teachers to use at school. You can adapt it for any occasion by simply changing the shape of the cookie cutter – Christmas Trees, Easter bunnies, balloons – it’s a versatile, fun craft.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of PVA glue
  • 2 cups of cornflour
  • a heart cookie cutter, medium or large
  • rolling pin
  • greaseproof paper
  • tray
  • mixing bowl
  • paintbrush
  • colouring pencils, glitter pens – anything to want to use to decorate
  • string or ribbon, red if possible

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Method

1.  To start with you will need to measure out 2 cups of cornflour and add it to your mixing bowl. I got my ‘cup’ measurer from a shop called Tiger. I find so many recipes that use America cup measurements and it’s always a faff to work out the UK conversion. So if you can, find some cup measurers! Then add to the cornflour 1 cup of PVA glue.

2. You will then need to mix it together, I started by using a normal dessert spoon but then moved on to using my hands after a while to ensure it was all combined.

3. Now you need to heavily cover your surface and rolling pin with cornflour to avoid your dough from sticking.

4. Roll out your dough until it is around 1cm thick and as smooth as you can make it.

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5. Get your heart cookie cutter and start to cut out your shapes.

6. Before placing your hearts on your greaseproof paper lined tray, you will need to poke two holes into the top of each heart ready for stringing later. You can use a pencil or any other implement that creates a hole!

7. Use a paint brush or pastry brush to dust off any excess flour.

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8. Now lay the hearts on the tray and place somewhere warm to harden over night. I found the next morning that they had dried on the side facing up, but underneath the dough was still quite wet. I turned them over and within a few hours they were hard throughout.

9. Now comes the fun part of decorating. You can do what you want really – glitter pens, sparkles, stickers…I just went for colouring pencil! You can use sharpies but I found that the ink bled into the dough so pencils were better. You will achieve a rustic look because obviously the dough won’t be completely crinkle free but the effect is actually quite nice!

10. When the hearts are decorated you may find you need to gently poke through the holes again so they are easier to thread.

11. Thread your string or ribbon through the holes and hang your bunting wherever you want to make your house or classroom feel full of love!

 

Helpful Hint

Obviously you will be left with some gluey gunk to wash up at the end of this. Try to avoid washing it down the sink or popping it straight in the dishwasher because you will be left with glue stuck in, around and down the pipes – never a good thing! Use some kitchen roll to wipe away the majority of the residue before you wash up.

I hope you manage to have a go at this one, it’s simple, cheap and fun to make plus you can store it and use year after year at Valentines – winner!

See you tomorrow!

#hairlesshannah

#hairlesshannah on dating

This month I’ve decided to mainly dedicate my blog to the theme of love. This coming week we will find ourselves dealing with Valentines Day or as I know it, happy singles day! It is also half term so I will be posting daily this week with crafts, recipes and blogs relating to love, dating and relationships! Daily blogging scares me a little bit but I want to give it a whirl!

To start with I thought that I’d let you revel in the fun that is my dating history – there’s not much of it but what there is, is quite entertaining! I can’t believe I’m actually going to tell you some of these stories but I am nothing if but honest!

Dating was something I was always nervous about, I went to an all girls secondary school so to some extent boys were aliens to me! But when I was 16/17 I went on my first proper date, a guy I met when buying a pair of shoes in Dune. That date went quite well and I saw him several times after but he was older than me and was heading off to uni. Because he was the first guy I had ever dated, I was filled with the idealism of movie love so of course, I decided to write a letter to him declaring how much I was falling for him before he left.  If I remember correctly, I decided to include some song lyrics for effect because in the films this works right?! – literally cringing as I confess to this! Later that week I received a text from him saying he got the letter and had to pay for the pleasure of reading it because I’d forgotten to put a stamp on it hahaha the shame! He didn’t mention the song lyrics thank god and we stayed in touch for a while but needless to say, it went no further!

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Then there was the blind date with a friends boyfriends best mate. This was never going to go well because in the lead up we had text a lot and through text we got on really well. But as soon as he picked me up I knew it was going to be a disaster. He was so nervous and on edge and obviously not the person he portrayed via text – that was the trouble then, we hadn’t sent photos, or Skyped or checked out each others face books pages, so it had been easy to construct messages and carefully think what to say. It was one of the most awkward dates in history – he talked about cars, mechanics, bikes, football – like I was one of his blokey mates. It was so bad I even said I was too full for a pudding in order for it to be over quicker! Main course and home please! Then he tried to kiss me in the car when he dropped me off, if you’ve ever tried to dodge a kiss, you’ll know how cringe worthy that situation was and needless to say we never spoke again.

Luckily after those two disasters I met the man that I would come to be with for nearly five years, I won’t go into it because we obviously aren’t together now although we stayed in touch for years after. He was the one that made me believe in love, trust and romance and I have the best memories of our time together.

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Very unprofessionally I then went on several dates with one of my trainee teachers brother, to be fair she set us up! She is now one of my best friends and we laugh about this situation lots. I got on really well with him but we weren’t compatible, it’s funny how you discover what will put you off someone – in this case it was him biting his nails through the entirety of the film we went to see. I can’t even remember the film title because I was just fixated on the biting situation! Awful.

I then tried internet dating. Even then there were proper idiots online only after one thing and not interested in anything else. But I did find one gem amongst them all. This was whilst I was on jury service and he was a well needed distraction from everything that was going on. We talked on the phone a lot, text, emailed and met up several times. After a few dates we agreed there was no physical attraction there but we got on so well that we became really good friends. He loved travelling, cricket and Strictly – even did some dance lessons and loved the old ladies he got partnered with. Although I only knew him for a year, he was one of the good guys. Tragically he was killed, hit by a car, just a few months before he was planning to go travelling around Australia. Luckily, although I hadn’t met them, I connected with some of his amazing friends who met me for lunch one day which I will always be grateful for. He was proof that internet dating can unveil some pretty amazing people who you can make connections with, romantically or not and I will be forever grateful to have had him in my life if only for a little while.

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Then I entered the phase of being set up on several more blind dates. All made possible by my very own Cilla – the ‘best!’ friend who has the nail biting brother!! Two set ups actually came to fruition, one that should go down in history as the most cringe worthy date EVER!

We met at Bluewater, I’d made an effort as one does, to look nice. He on the other hand, for some unknown reason, chose to wear a t-shirt bought at Sea World with a dolphin photograph on, hence why he will be forever known amongst my group of friends as dolphin man! I couldn’t not mention it and commented on how I loved dolphins and had also been to Sea World, to which to replied by pulling on the bottom where the SeaWorld logo was and proudly stating he’d been there too and it was the best day of his life! We then sat down for our meal, conversation didn’t flow too easily because he did most of it, which if you know me is a little unusual! Between main and pudding (yup, we made it to pudding here!) he took out his phone and asked me to choose which set of his photos I wanted to look through – sunsets or cats! I promptly told him I wasn’t a cat lover so sun sets would be my choice. He looked like I had punched him square in the mouth, he was disgusted that I didn’t like cats but still handed over the phone and I dutifully scrolled through the HUNDREDS of sun set photos while he talked about where they had been taken!

I somehow managed to move the conversation onto family and friends and I think I spoke a few sentences before we lent forward across the table, looked at me meaningfully in the eyes and asked, “have you suffered any bereavements lately?” I mean….what the actual…?! I said luckily not recently but he then went on to talk for about half an hour about the loss of his mum, how she suffered, died, the funeral… the whole shebang. I felt so uncomfortable but I guess he needed to vent. Luckily pudding arrived at this point although that didn’t stop him talking about other past bereavements he’d suffered!  At one point I stopped eating my lemon tart to have a sip of my drink and in slow motion styley he took this opportunity to lean over the table once more and take a huge swipe with his fork at MY pudding and gleefully chow down on it!! “I hadn’t finished that!” I said, “I know, but I thought we were at the sharing stage!” Seriously, how did you reach that conclusion??

The bill then arrived to my delight (by this stage I have been pinching myself to stop the giggles coming out at the pure insanity of what I was experiencing) but no offer came of bill paying..maybe that’s my fault, old fashioned first date rules? So not only had I had to endure that shocking date, I also had to pay half the bill for the pleasure! Now comes the piece de resistance, we come to say goodbye as our cars, thankfully, are parked in different directions. I went to kiss him on the cheek and say goodbye because after all. at heart I really am a nice person!  However, he put his arms around me and held on far too tightly and for far too long, nuzzled in, found my ear and whispered in a kind of serial killer way, “You’re exceptionally beautiful.” And kissed my ear, cheek and even tried for the lips. I think he could tell by me leaning back so far that he needed to let go at this point!  In any other scenario, on a good date, with attraction, that type of comment would be greatly received but in that way, with that man, with that t-shirt, no. Just no. After retelling this story to my friends and family, ‘Cilla’ then tells me he was also wearing that t-shirt when she met him at the BBQ – seriously??!! Why did I then let her set me up again?!

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Next time I decided I needed support so we set up a group situation – a pub quiz with two of my friends and two of his. To be fair, it was a fun night but they were a bit laddy for me, I know, I’m picky eh?! It just wasn’t my kind of banta – “what’s your best naked uni story?” just isn’t my kind of conversation and maybe I’m odd, but I didn’t actually have one to contribute to that discussion! Then they wanted us to pull sickies so we could drink more wine and get bladdered – again, just not my cup of tea! Nice guys, just not my type of nice guys!

And since then, apart from a few Tinder conversations, dating has been put on pause. Especially since becoming ill and bald, dating seems like a far away planet that is out of my reach. On top of all the usual dating woes, I now have to overcome the issues of fatigue and baldness. Now just isn’t dating time territory for me. I need to concentrate on me, but at 30, that makes me so sad. In many ways I’m glad I’m not with anyone because I would be no good as a girlfriend at the moment and I wouldn’t have coped well with being dumped because of being ill and bald. But then there are so many times when I wish I was with someone who I could confide in, have a cuddle with, be taken care of. I know I’m lucky to have my friends and family around but it’s a different kind of love and care with a boyfriend. I think being ill has heightened my wishful thinking for that life I’d planned for myself – finding someone to settle down with, build a life with, travel with, have children with. I worry that that is something else that is unachievable now but along with everything else I am hopeful about, this is still on the list. One day, maybe, hopefully.

So there you have it, it’s not extensive like some others would be but that’s okay. I used to feel ashamed by that, not having a big dating and relationship history but I’m not now. I made an amazing friend, I had one long, treasured relationship and several funny experiences. Yes I may be picky but I am a strong minded woman who knows what she likes and doesn’t like in a man and that’s okay too. I’d rather be selective and wait for the right one to come along and that’s just my preference.

I bet you all have some funny dating stories –  I’d love to hear them, comment below but keep it clean people! See you tomorrow, have a fab day.

#hairlesshannah

 

 

How to plan a hen night!

Welcome to February! This month the majority of my blogs will be linked to matters of the heart because after all this is the month for lurve! I’m starting with a little guide for how to plan a hen do for your friend. I have been lucky enough to help organise and plan three hen dos for my friends – all of them different but equally fun and memorable. To start with here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way!

Tip One:  Audience. You have to always bear in mind who you are planning the night/weekend for. It’s not your hen do so what you will enjoy may not be their idea of fun! This is for one of the people you care about most so make sure they are always at the front of your mind when planning.

Tip Two: Cost. Hen dos have become increasingly more expensive in recent years. Remember – you are planning a celebration for someone who is getting married. Weddings are expensive for the bride and groom but also for the hen party. If you’re going to the wedding you will often want a new outfit, will stay at the venue or need to pay for a taxi, you will want to buy a gift and pay for drinks at the bar SO adding into that an extortionately priced hen do just isn’t a great idea. You can execute a fab hen do with great planning so get your creative hats on! By having a pricey hen do it often mean that some people won’t be able to come so you have to weigh up money or memories with people the hen loves.

Tip Three: Include your hen in the planning. Ask them what they do and don’t want. The last thing you want is for them to feel embarrassed or hate the event. They don’t need to know the exact details if you want it to be a surprise but knowing a few preferences will help.

Tip Four: Games. Not everyone loves a game but they can make for fun times! Not all hen games have to include stereotypical items, wink wink, but again, you can be clever with it! Get the groom involved and organise a game or Mr and Mrs or a game of ‘which body part belongs to your man?’ These don’t include much money as they can be homemade.

Tip Five: Location. Do you want to get away, have a night out, start in one place and move onto somewhere else or does your hen just want a daytime activity? Some people may need to travel to get to the hen do so try and organise places for them to stay to make them feel like they are wanted.

Tip Six: Communication. Often it isn’t just one person organising the hen do. Sometimes bridesmaids don’t know each other that well and will have conflicting ideas and tensions can run high. Don’t do everything via WhatsApp group chats – things get misconstrued and it will only end in tears. Get to know each other face-to-face with one get together where you can hash it all out in one go and delegate jobs. That way you don’t need anymore back and forths, you will each have jobs to do and you can have a second catch up a week or so before to make sure nothing else is needed. Job done.

Tip Seven: Be prompt and fair. Hen dos will incur a cost at some point and that will mean that one person will often be the one paying and will then end up chasing people for what’s owing. Having been that person, it is so frustrating having to remind people to pay up or even the worst thing, having people pull out once they’ve agreed and you’ve paid for them! BE FAIR! If you’ve said yes and then you decide you can’t go, you still need to pay otherwise someone ends up out of pocket.

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I’ve helped plan three hen dos for friends and all have been different. Number one was a two part hen do, part one at Centre Parks for a weekend and part two in London for the evening at an Adonis night!  Number two was a roller disco hen do that started at mine for dinner and a few games and then up to London for a Roller Disco and number three was a Toy Story themed hen do which started at mine and ended up in London on a party boat going up and down the Thames.

Hen Do 1.

If you plan far enough in advance you can get good deals for places like Centre Parks. We had such a fun weekend, there are so many choices and you can pay as much or as little as you want when there. You do this by choosing as many extra activities as you want, by taking food with you for breakfasts etc and planning carefully. We ate out one evening, had a take away another and cooked for the third. We took games and accessories – it always helps to have creative friends who will be happy to make a penis pinata! It was a really fun weekend.

The part in London was something that wasn’t up my street but what the hen wanted. I have to say it really was a good laugh but a once in a lifetime experience for me. It was nice to have the food included and it turned into a club after so we could have a good dance. Afraid I can’t really post photos from this hen night!

Hen Do 2.

We knew that the hen wanted to go to a roller disco which solved the big debate of what to do and where to go! We didn’t book a mini bus, we just ordered taxis from my flat after comparing which would be cheapest. I had everyone round to mine first where we played some games, took photos in our neon outfits and had some food which again, lowered the price as we didn’t go to a restaurant. Then we headed to the roller disco and had an absolute blast! We skated, danced, sang, drank and made the best memories. It was affordable and the only real cost was sorting outfits! Perfect hen night.

 

Hen Do 3.

This hen do I have to say took a little bit more organising. It was organised in partnership with the other third of our little gang which made it so much easier! The three of us had met at uni so this was a special wedding and Sarah didn’t want a “normal” hen do as she isn’t one for being embarrassed or having penis straws everywhere (we did manage to get as far as pin the hose on the fireman though which she actually quite enjoyed!).

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The hen had absolutely no involvement what so ever in this hen do – some would say we possibly know each other too well! The morning of the hen do we took ourselves to her house and organised, just for the three of us to have a pamper morning. We bought light food and foot baths but also organised for a lady to come and do our nails etc. Deborah and I planned the rest of it in accordance to her favourite film – Toy Story. We decided again to start at my flat which I transformed into Andy’s Room – that was no mean feat I can tell you! But we knew the three of us were coming back for a sleepover after so we wanted Sarah to spend the night in the Tou Story room to finish the night off perfectly.

The invites were sent out asking people to choose a character from Toy Story they wanted to come as and let us know ASAP so that we didn’t end up with five Buzz Lightyears. Everyone was fab and we didn’t have any double ups, just the entire Toy Story Gang – we looked incredible even if I do say so myself! We roped the hens mum into making her outfit and as the hen arrived at my flat, we all stayed quiet whilst Deborah and I dressed a blindfolded hen in my room and led her to Andy’s Room for the big reveal! I think she really was surprised and loved it. We had themed the food around Toy Story too with Mr Potato Head jackets, cup cakes and snacks. We set up a photo booth in my spare room which was a real hit and played Mr and Mrs which revealed quite a lot too!

Although the hen wasn’t a real clubber, she does LOVE a dance and so we booked a party boat up in London on the Thames. We did almost miss boarding (!) but once we were on it we had such a fun time. Dancing, drinks and views made for a real giggle and the hen had a really fun time – even doing tequila shots! It was a hen do that the mother of the bride/groom could enjoy too and again, wasn’t too expensive because we did most of it ourselves. I will never forget walking through London and us all being asked for photos by tourists – everyone loves a bit of Toy Story! That was the hen do that made me think I’d love to go into events organising because I just loved setting it all up and seeing how happy the hen was.

 

Hen dos really don’t have to be expensive and hard to plan, if you do it right then it’s actually really good fun. Make your own props, do your own food, book in advance, find discounts and you’ll be fine and dandy.

I hope you’ve picked up some ideas, hints and tips for planning a hen do – I’d love to hear about any unusual hen dos you’ve planned so don’t forget to comment below.

Happy Friday loved up people!

#hairlesshannah