Sunday, 30 June 2013

Pride London 2013 - Love (& Marriage)!!

As we are sure you know by our Instagram photos, tweets and Facebook posts, it was Pride London yesterday!! Pride is our second favourite event of the year (next to Thanksmas of course) so we've been looking forward to it... well since last Pride!

This year, Pride was under new management, so we were extra excited to see how it went. The theme was Love (& Marriage), so we had planned our costumes, to be cute grooms with big hair and tutus (ironic as we'll be brides for real next year!). Unfortunately, our tuxedo t-shirt tank tops got lost in the mail, still haven't shown up two months after they were sent in the USA!

This caused for some last minute planning last week. We wracked our brains, asked Twitter for help, and finally came up with the perfect costumes! What do you think?

Snow White and Cinderella!
We were inspired by the below painting by José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros, by Lord Tebbit's recent comments about the possibility of a lesbian queen - and the thought that perhaps princesses don't always have to hold out for a prince. Oh, and L's been wanting to find a reason to dress as a princess for years!

We arrived at the parade in time to get a front row seat at Trafalgar Square, which has been where we've watched the parade for the last four years! On the way, we were stopped by a few excited children, and we were struck by how two girls dressed as princesses could accidentally be role models for youngsters - we definitely need more diversity in role models for young girls and boys!

The parade was fantastic, with less floats than in previous years (except last year), but it flowed really well and everyone was so excited! We spent the whole parade dancing along with everyone! We were pleased to see our bank (Barclays), our grocery store (ASDA) and our fav restaurant (Nandos!) all represented - and of course we took note of the other companies that marched. With 500,000+ people at Pride in London, it really is good exposure for them - we are definitely more likely to spend money with a company that supports LGBT rights, and I'm sure we aren't the only ones.

People seemed to really like our costumes and sign, and we got a lot of 'awww's, photos taken, and hugs from those in the parade. We were very pleased, and Sarah even found herself four cute gay 'dwarves' to her Snow White!

After the parade, we met up with our friend Dave (straight ally) to check out the concert in Trafalgar Square, then went to lunch at Chipotle. We must have been quite a sight eating in our princess outfits with bibs on (you know how messy Chipotle can be!).

Sarah won a competition put on by Dattch Dating, an awesome lesbian dating site, so we met one of their members to retrieve our prize - a Pride survival kit! We were so pleased, and used a good few of the contents on the day!

Afterwards, it was time to wade through the throngs of fabulous lgbts in Soho. It's always one of our favourite parts of Pride, checking out everyone else's costumes and just soaking up the joy and, well, Pride, to be part of this extraordinary subset of London. We sat on the sidewalk and people watched for awhile, Laura was used as a chair back for a random woman, and Sarah got a good few kisses from strangers (on the cheek, no hanky panky was allowed on Laura's watch!)

After Dave parted, we headed back to Trafalgar to finish off the evening watching the Pride London concert. We sat (with a large bottle of Diet Coke, of course) and listened to some awesome performers and DJs, made a few friends, and just basked in what a good day it had been. Relaxed, lots of fun, with great weather - what more could we ask for? And of course getting to spend the whole day with each other really made it a fairytale.

We have a feeling that we may miss next year's Pride London, which would be a little sad if we weren't instead writing our very own 'happily ever after' at our wedding next June! So we'll be happy to look back on this wonderful Pride until we can attend again.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Our Wedding: One Year To Go!

OMG you guys, today is exactly one year from our wedding!

We can hardly believe we've been engaged for six months already, it's just flown by! And thankfully the wedding planning is picking up too. We'v decided the theme of our planning so far is 'Laura jumps ahead and plans everything and has to be reigned in by Sarah and our wedding planner!' - I don't know what it is, but I'm just such a planner - I love nothing more than to be thinking about something fun and wedding/travel/future related while doing mundane things, such as admin at work. I'm actually convinced the excitement makes me work faster. But I'm doing my best to slow down and include others in the wedding planning process haha - I always said I'd be a bit of a bridezilla!

So we thought we'd do an update on what has happened so far, and what is coming up.

So far we've:
  • Started working with a fabulous wedding planner
  • Hired our venue, a lodge in Garden Valley, for 3 nights
  • Chosen bridesmaids and asked them
  • Booked our awesome photographers
  • Booked a videographer too
  • Bought bow ties for the bridal party men
  • Our lovely bridesmaid Lauren has agreed to make our wedding cake
  • Set up our wedding website, full of logistics, photos, and excitement!
We've also sent out our save the dates, as of this week! There was definitely a bit of a saga in getting these out, but I guess something was bound to happen as we had them designed completely for us by our wonderful bridesmaid, Julia! Special props to my Mum, who made sure these turned out so well, and addressed and sent them all out! We are so excited to see them in person and have the RSVPs start rolling in! We'll put up a pic after everyone has received theirs!

We decided to have a Las Vegas bachelorette party, which we are SO excited for - everyone (women and men) is invited, and we expect to have most of the international guests attend, because its actually cheaper to fly into Vegas than to Boise! It'll also make the wedding more of a big trip than travelling across the world just for a wedding. Though hopefully that'd be worth it too! :)

Coming up soon, we have a few things:

We're currently deciding on a wedding band! We want it to be alternative and folksy, so it goes with the country venue and theme, and have a few requests we'd like them to play. That should be decided on this week or next!

We're so excited that we've booked a trip HOME to Idaho in September!
Not only are we stoked that it will hopefully still be summer weather (we'll def do a post on all the fun summer things we hope to do while there another time!) but we'll get to do lots of wedding things!
Such as:
  • The design meeting with our wedding planner
  • Our professional engagement photoshoot! (EEE!)
  • Menu tasting
  • Potentially pick up our bridesmaid dresses
  • And other excitement!
Wow, when I list it out, it looks like we've done a lot! So far we're really enjoying the process, and just feel so lucky to be getting married next year. I can't believe I'm marrying the woman on my dreams, and that we've got such wonderful family and friends around us!

T minus 1 year until our wedding!!! xxx

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Throwback Thursday: Happy Birthdays to Us!

Happy Throwback Thursday!
Almost 2 weeks from Sarah's 30th, we are throwin' it back to our best childhood birthdays!


The birthday from my childhood that I'll always remember most is my 4th birthday - otherwise known as the 'fairy party'. We were living in Sydney, Australia, and my parents hired a (you guessed it!) fairy to entertain all of my friends and family.

The only problem was, I was a very shy four year old, and wanted nothing to do with it! So when the fairy asked the birthday princess (me) to go to the front of the group for some special magic, I flat out refused, and my cousin ended up going in my place! Obviously now I'd be all over it (special attention? Yes please!) so it's funny that I spent so much of my life so incredibly shy.

We had an awesome cake, and I got my face painted - what more could a birthday princess ask for?

This post was a challenge as birthdays have always worked out pretty well for me - even more so since I met my lovely Laura (boy does that girl know how to organise a good surprise!) so I've kind of cheated and picked two birthdays - one from my childhood and one from my time with Laura.

Throughout my childhood I had some amazing birthday parties - because I was a July baby, I was always lucky enough to have birthdays in the sun. The other reason was that my birthday tended to fall in the last week of school, so no-one had left for holidays, and so all came to my parties. Unlike my poor sister, whose  birthday is two weeks later, and by then everyone had left the country!

Most of my childhood birthdays involved playing in the garden surrounded by ridiculous amounts of children's toys, as my mum was a childminder. But the birthday that really stands out was my 8th birthday, which was held at a Wimpy's (UK 80's version of a McDonald's) - this was my first and only professionally organised party, and included a visit from the famous Mr. Wimpy.

Happy as a kid with a giant beefeater character next to her
The party featured the customary disco dancing competition, won by yours truly, a round of pass the parcel, a fast food lunch, and a Happy Birthday song and gifts from Mr. Wimpy himself. I got a piano keyboard with pre-set tunes so I could 'play' over it. In retrospect, pretty hardcore gift from a fast food restaurant - McDonalds wouldn't give you that these days!

I took that very keyboard in for show and tell on the first week of the new school term, so I got to relive the whole experience, and that's why it remains one of my favourite childhood birthdays!

So that just leaves me to mention my absolute best birthday ever, which was when I turned the obscure age of 29, and my beautiful fiancee organised a party and gift that was well worthy of me turning 30 (as I will be turning in 2 weeks' time!). You might remember that Laura gave me a trip to NYC over New Years! Check out the details HERE. Even better, turned out it'd be our first trip as an engaged couple!

I can't wait for my 30th now! :)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Remember the old days, where gay people couldn't get married?

As we sit here in our offices working at 15:50 pm on a grey Wednesday afternoon in London, we may not look different to our colleagues. Well, besides that Laura is fighting back tears, and Sarah's cheeks are really red. Nobody has noticed, but oh, how different we are - ten minutes ago, our marriage next year wouldn't have been legal on a federal level in the United States. But now, and we can hardly believe we are writing this... it is. DOMA has been struck down.

This doesn't mean much to many of the people in our offices (besides those who listen to our incessant speeches on the subject of marriage equality), but our whole lives have changed. We can now apply for a visa for Sarah to live in the USA. Our marriage will now be legal in 13 states. We have the chance to raise our children in the country Laura was brought up in. And no doubt this will be the catapult to more and more states recognising same sex marriages.

26th June 2013 - what an utterly fantastic work day today has been.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

London Pride: Past and Present

This year will be our fourth London Pride together, and with a week to go we thought we would take a quick look back over our past Prides.

Laura had actually attended Pride before we were together but our first official attendance as a couple was back in 2009. Before meeting Laura I had never heard of London's Pride event, I had no idea that for an entire day everywhere between Trafalgar Square and Soho became a sea of rainbows, that a huge parade of floats and dancers filled the streets and that the Soho area became a street party.

Part of the reason may have been because before meeting Laura I had never considered that a section of society would need an event to highlight the difference in rights between the LGBT community and everyone else or that the London  LGBT community would want to come together to be visible. In all honesty it was probably because LGBT rights had never been of any concern to me.

In fact up until the grand old age of 25 I had lived blissfully unaware that the society I lived in was so unequal - how crazy is that! It is still the case for a lot of my friends, LGBT rights don't impact them so why would they care. That's not because they are selfish it's purely because it they never have to consider what rights they have or don't have. They presume that things can't be that different for Laura and I. It is not until we talk about our wedding that the difference between them marrying a man and me marrying Laura really shows how different things are. They assume, like them, we will get married as we talk about us get 'married' but in reality, as it stands we will be getting 'civil-partnered'. We really hope that won't be the case for much longer though. We don't want to have to check to see what rights we do or don't have, we want the same rights, equal rights!

So with the theme of this years London Pride being 'Love (and Marriage)' I really became aware of how important these events are. How important it is to make a noise about how different LGBT rights are and how important is to take this opportunity to create awareness. Whether this year will be a celebration that equal marriage will be legal in the UK or a protest of the decision that it will not be we will be there to show our support.

Anyways back to Prides of the past:

2009: Angel and Devil
I have no idea what the theme was but this was by the far the gayest day we could have had. Not only was it our first pride, it was also the day we saw Take That at Wembley and met the actors who play Draco Malfoy and Cho Chung in the Harry Potter films!

The HP premiere was on in Leicester Square!

2011: Bumble Bee and Lady Bird (the theme was Carnival of Love)

Blue (an English boyband) were there and the Stonewall 'Some people are gay get over' campaign made the headlines!
Wonder which member of Blue is gay?!

Oh and the next day we got our NOH8 photo done....

2012: Representing our home countries (theme: World Pride)
As we started the blog in 2012 this was the first year we had really interacted with the online gay community and as we had developed relationships with a number of lesbian couples so we used Pride as a chance to meet up.

We also got to enjoy the day with Lauren and Sarah, even though we had to rely on umbrellas to keep us dry!

We can't wait for this year. The theme is 'Love and Marriage'. Fingers crossed for sunshine! Unfortunately our original costume idea has been lost in the mail somewhere between Idaho and here so we are working on a new concept. Nothing like a last minute change of plans :)

Friday, 21 June 2013

Throwback Thursday: Were You Super Awkward in Elementary School or a Primary School Charmer?

Happy Throwback Thursday, everyone!

Today's Throwback topic is elementary school crush - this should be interesting!

I can't think of anything more embarrassing than an elementary school crush. Maybe it's because I was chubby, shy, and, well... I had a long awkward stage. Hell, I got glasses, braces, and a perm in the same year - but don't worry, I've had most of those photos quarantined, and we're going a bit further back than that. I have three awkward crush stories, and I can't think of which I should tell, so I'll give you all of them! Lucky you!
Aww I'm so presh with my lunchbox!!
1. In third grade (about age 8), I moved from California to Idaho, and one of the first things I did was identify a suitable crush. Jake was smart, funny, nice to everyone, and we played a lot in the wood bark pit in the playground. And here's the bit where I admit to something I have never, to this day, admitted to anyone ever. One day, I saw him leave said bark pit, and so I went over to it to play. And when I got there, I found a big Magic 8 ball. Instead of finding out who it might belong to, I put it in my backpack, and kept it. I told my parents he had given it to me because he liked me. That's right, I probably stole a toy from my crush. I'm sure Mum and Dad knew he didn't give it to me, because of the amount of times I was asked about it, but I never gave up my story - until now. Thank you, Throwback Thursdays, for ridding me of my guilt. Mum, please throw away my magic 8 ball.

2. On the very last day of fifth grade, we were playing card games in groups on the floor. And I, typically, was wearing the most inappropriate outfit for this activity - a jean skirt. And I was sat across from Chris, the first redhead I ever liked (redheads ended up being a theme in my dating history, weirdly, as were gay men and Travis's, but that's a story for another day). I was crossing my legs Indian style, and Chris's friend told me in what I can remember being a very high whiney voice that everyone in the class could see my underwear. Thanks, kid. I moved my seating position to a ladylike side-saddle - 'We can STILL see your underwear!' Instead of doing what I should have done, pop that snotty child in the nose, shy 10 year old Laura ran to the bathroom crying, and stayed there until the last day of school was over. And then I never saw him again, as he moved schools. Actually I think he ended up at my high school, but he probably still remembers me as the crying girl with pink undies.

I look very underwhelmed to have just graduated from kindergarten - perhaps I'm confused as to the whereabouts of my legs?
3. Finally, in sixth grade, I had the joy of getting my very first boyfriend. Blake sat by me in class with a broken arm and I wooed him for 6 weeks - when he finally got the cast off he asked me for scissors to cut his long arm hair, and then asked me to be his girlfriend. What a charmer. I had three days of a blissful relationship, and then the class bully found out *dun dun DUNNN* - when he asked me if Blake and I were girlfriend and boyfriend in front of EVERYONE I hesitated... then said no. I remember very clearly thinking I didn't want Blake to get made fun of, which he most likely would have been if he was my boyfriend, so I lied to protect him. How entirely sad and moving is that? Self sacrifice at 11, it's pretty impressive.

So first of all I take elementary to be primary school?! In the UK primary school is normally divided into 'infants (5-7 years old)' and 'Juniors (8-11). My school crush remained the same throughout my entire time at good old Woodley C of E.

What a cutie in my school uniform!
I actually feel weird writing this because I have remained some what friends with my school crush so if ever reads this he will probably bring it up or awkwardly quote it :)

Anyways Chris had the cutest, curliest blonde hair when we first met at school. We were both in Mrs Addis's class and for some reason we were sat next to each other. Most of the stories I remember are because other people has told me about them years later but I do have vague memories of my own.

My favourite stories are about how we used to play 'Ghostbusters', dressed with Ghostbuster packs we would bounce on his bed firing foam bullets at each other until we'd fall down laughing or get told off for jumping too hard. I haven't seen them but I've heard there is photo evidence of us eating dinner in the packs because we refused to take them off.

Then there was the times he would come over to play and we'd make our own forts, eat our dinners in there and hide when his Mum came to pick him up.

My other actually memory was one of my only notable moments at primary school and that when I became the first girl to kiss a boy in my year! Weirdly I remember it so well but that could be because I have told this story more than a few times. It was just before summer holidays and we were talking about Danny and Sandy in Grease, it seemed funny that I had Danny's hair color and Chris had Sandy's. We then said it was funny how they kissed and that as it was summer and we loved each other that we should therefore kiss. So we ran behind the grundons (wheelie bin) - glamorous right?! - and kissed. Then when we reappeared to the chart of 'Sarah and Chris sitting in a tree (clearly inaccurate), k.i.s.s.i.n.g' we'd become talk of the playground.
Everlasting love?
I'm pretty sure after that summer holiday he found a new girl but it was fun while it lasted :)

Monday, 17 June 2013

Date Night Review - The Meat Market, Covent Garden

Yesterday we had the pleasure of going to Meat Market with our friend Jemma. We had heard of it previously and stumbled across the entrance to the Meat Market while wandering the back streets of Covent Garden finding another venue.

The Meat Market is an upmarket takeaway with a menu that was ever so tasty. It also had a seating area that allows you to watch people shopping below. Not that we noticed as we had spent 3 hours catching up before we realised it!

You order on arrival, then it is brought to your table - although we had reached the seating area before we noticed that- so we headed back towards the door and made our choice of the menu board.

Jemma and I both went for the Ripper hotdog, Laura had the Dead Hippie burger and we had the most amazing mini corndogs as a side dish. Oh and the fries were really good too! It was also a benefit to have bottomless soda - who doesn't LOVE free refills!

The food was delicious. The hotdog had quite a kick, or maybe that was the mustard! Together with the chips it was really filling....although a bit pricey once you added the drink! It worked out to be £13.50.

Laura's burger had a perfect meat & cheese to bun ratio, and was cooked to perfection (still pink in the middle)! The double burger made for a satisfying meal and next time we are in the area we'll definitely stop by again.
The atmosphere was relaxed and although the service was slow-ish (as there was only one person on the till) it was still a really nice place to chill out and catch up. If you are out and about near Covent Garden and need a meal that will fill you up without being too heavy then this place is well worth checking out!