Friday, 28 February 2014

Sarah & Laura's Wedding - 4 Months to Go!!

I can't even believe I'm typing those words. 4. months. Holy mother of holy things.

Wedding planning has seriously kicked up a gear - gone from something we thought about a few times a day to a pretty constant thought topic, waiting to spring up when I'm doing budget spreadsheets at work or awkwardly when I'm trying to get to sleep...

But we love it so much still, and haven't yet hit the wall where it's become super overwhelming or stressful - except for about 20 minutes a few days ago when I realised we haven't even THOUGHT about the post-wedding activity day or honeymoon period!!

But luckily for us, we have the best support system ever. We are frequently really surprised and touched at how much people want to help us! Our bridesmaids and a few good friends are pretty much planning Vegas at this point, my Mum is sorting everything in Boise out in record time, and of course Brandi, our wedding planner, is pulling it all together for the big (large! huge!) day.

This past month we've done so many things! We've found a drag show in Vegas and convinced like half our party to go with us, we've booked transport and accommodation for everyone in Boise, we've found our wedding jewelry, and a few outfits for the week before, we've found my American passport (pretty essential, can't have me waiting in the 'non citizens' line like a pleb), we've booked in our dress fittings, panicked about the need to lose weight in the interim, we've scheduled hair cuts and colours, we've booked a few activities and started groups on Facebook to keep everyone up to date with all the information and book them into activities - we've done it all.

I've also been super impressed at how we have been communicating over the wedding thing. In high pressure situations, we have a tendency to not see eye to eye, and be very short with each other. Or more accurately, Sarah shuts down and is short with me, and I am super emotional about it. Bad times. But we've managed (so far) to come at all of our different opinions calmly, and talk it out together - yay compromise!

I just can't get my head around that tomorrow, it'll be 3 months and 27 days until our wedding. That has a 3 in it. OMG.

This next month we are having a planning meeting with Brandi, I'm getting my hair done (yay!), we will continue to plan every day of our epic 2.2 week extravaganza, and hopefully continue to tone up.

Here's my question to all of you! On the evening before the wedding we are going to have a Welcome BBQ/Rehearsal dinner. We will then be playing a movie on a projector in the woods, but we can't for the life of us think of what movie would be great! Any suggestions?? 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Laura's Very Keto Weekend

As you probably know, I am following the keto diet during Project Wedding Dress, introduced to me by Bridesmaid Julia, and I am loving it. Because I can eat hella cheese.

This past weekend, I decided to try out some keto-tastic recipes, and have not been able to get them out of my head. Delicious!! So I thought I'd share with you.

Saturday night I made keto pizza. Because what is Saturday night without junk food, anyway? Or at least pseudo junk food! Check this baby out:

It was so hot it steamed up my camera
Julia gave me the recipe for the crust - I translated it to the following.

  • 1.5 cups mozzarella or similar
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour (though Julia used 3/4 cup almond flour and 1 egg, works just as well!)
  • seasonings (I used garlic powder and salt)
  • 1 dash of water
  1. Microwave the mozzarella and cream cheese until melty and pliable
  2. Mix the egg and flour with seasonings
  3. Mix it all together (you may need to microwave it a bit to get it to mix better)
  4. Spread on parchment paper pretty thin, bake at 190 C until a nice light brown
I wouldn't bother with a proper crust, I tried to do it but then got out more sauce to cover it, as it was a bit different of a texture to regular pizza.

Once you've got the base, cover with sauce, cheese and your favourite toppings!

It was delicious, and I could only eat half of it, perfect for Sunday leftovers!

Then, on Sunday I made some breakfast muffins for the week. They are so delicious, and even with broccoli and olives in them, Sarah requested some for her to eat! That, my friends, is saying something.

I found the recipe on Pinterest, and changed it according to what I had in the cupboards. I'll put that recipe in here, but obv put whatever you'd like in it!

Makes 8 muffins

  • 2 slices of salami, sliced into small bits
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (or other veggie)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of cream cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 10 or so olives, sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • half a cup of cheddar cheese, grated
Boil the broccoli until soft, cut into smaller pieces
Mix everything together
Spray non-stick onto a muffin tray, and fill as many as you can until about 1 cm from the top of each
Cook at 190 C (I cook everything pretty much at 190) for 10 minutes, or until slightly toasted

Just seriously amazing. And only like 75 cals / 0.5 carbs per muffin! Go on, have 3.

But, I also had an epic Pinterest fail this weekend. I tried to make 'Better than Goldfish' keto crackers, and... well, I'm not sure what I did wrong, except potentially not put the batter in the fridge long enough?

Anyway, here's what it is supposed to look like, and what it ended up looking like.

It's just too ugly not to laugh, really.

I'm 29.8 pounds down again, and am hoping to break into the 30s this week. Only 8 weeks to go until the dress fitting. Feeling and looking better than I have in ages, and am generally loving it. 

Have a happy Tuesday night!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A Weekend Away at Home - Valentine's Day 2014

Pretty sure you can tell by now, we love living in Birmingham. Something we've really started taking advantage of is how incredibly easy and quick it is to get to so many lovely places from our home!

This past weekend was Valentine's Day, and also our 59 monthiversary. We love celebrating, or at least acknowledging, our monthiversaries, because they are a chance to take a moment out of our hectic lives to enjoy being together and to appreciate what we have together.

On V-Day, we treated each other with lovely little gifts and thoughtful words.

We had our friends Alison and Dave come up with us for the weekend, so headed up after work, stopping to stock up on cheeses and meats and delicious things to eat for dinner that night. We watched Wreck It Ralph (because we are all partial to children's movies) and all managed to fall asleep at different times during the movie. Not because it wasn't good, but because it'd been a long and hard week - oh, and because of the joy and relaxation which exudes from our house!

The next morning Alison made her famous breakfast bake, and we headed for a 20 minute drive to Droitwich, a little spa town with a pretty canal running through it. We loved the scenery there, and drove to a stunning church overlooking the town to take some lovely photos. It rained occasionally, but for the most part was a glorious afternoon.

'Nice' photos...of gravestones.

We then headed into Birmingham city centre and showed Dave and Alison our favourite discovery so far - the canals! It's our third time now walking through the city canal-side, it's so unique and pretty down there. They loved it! We wandered into a pub along the water and took advantage of Happy Hour, had the pleasure of a very excitable older gay man who thought Sarah & I were 'adorable lesbians', and chatted away the time before our dinner reservation.

We took them to Jimmy Spices, which was, as always, delicious, and a wonder of its own. SO much delicious food, from so many different places, and we always marvel at the girls there dressed up for a night out in high heels and tight dresses. Surely JS is the worst place to go before a night out - we always wear 'extreme-eating friendly' clothing options! They loved it, as we thought they would, and we all ate... well, a bit too much.

We watched another movie that evening, the Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman version of Freaky Friday - it was funny, but really over the top and had wayyy too many unnecessary penis references.

Sunday was our favourite part of the weekend. We headed to Warwick, another 20 minute drive from home (see how easy it is to get around??) and explored the castle and surroundings in bright sunshine. It was fantastic! We climbed 160 spiral steps to the top of a nearby church, and got to witness a cannon demonstration from above. We explored gardens, bought cheese, and marveled at the old historic buildings - truly wonderful, and we really recommend going there. We'll be back in the summer with picnic in hand!

One of our favourite things about our new home is how easy it is to feel like you are on a weekend away. Obviously once we live there full time, it won't feel quite that way, but it's wonderful to think that it only take a 20 minute drive to once again be on holiday.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Why We Work

We work because Sarah makes me laugh more than anyone else I know.

We work because we both have strong opinions, and both of our inability to back down leads to huge blow outs over something obscure, or on better days to obscurely intellectual arguments that make us feel super grown up.

We work because she likes crispy fries, and I like soft ones.

We work because we surprise each other with notes and little presents - to remind each other of how much we're loved.

We work because Sarah will eat the yellow/orange/green sweets in a bag for me, and not get mad when I take all the reds and purples.

Likewise, we work because I have come to terms with Sarah's high speed of eating; I know that when we share, I'll never quite get half.

We work because even when I'm mad at her, I'm planning our next anniversary/holiday/birthday, and because I somehow feel guilty for being mad because I know she didn't mean to upset me.

We work because Sarah will apologise for pretty much anything, to get back to hand holding and cuddling.

We work because I'm a dreamer, and she's my realist.

We work because if something is really important to us, we make it happen, no matter what.

We work because if I'm on a diet, she'll go out of her way to help me on it - even if that means trying new things, or eating foods she doesn't really like.

We work because in getting these photos out, I realised I have a ton of photos of Sarah with oversized food. I count this as a win.

We work because I give full massages upon request; and because she's much better at curling my hair than I am.

We work because she almost kills me most mornings in the way to work - but I still would trust her with my life in an instant.

We work because we work - at communication, at focusing on the other's love languages, on laughing every day, and making the most of even the most mundane of days.

We work because I can't picture any great thing - trips, experiences, friendships - without her by my side, experiencing it right along with me.

Happy (early) Valentine's Day, Sarah Bearah xx

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Happy Weekend, we got featured!

Hi All,

We hope you are having wonderful weekends wherever you are in the world. Our weekend has been in Birmingham in our house, we fall in love with it again every time we open the door and other than a scoping trip to Next Home and a health food trip to Whole Foods we haven't left the house, perfect!

The chill time has allowed us to discover The Fosters though - OMG how great is that show! Episode 10 especially brought up a lot of emotions that we can relate to right now! The excitement of the wedding, the love we can't wait to share with our friends and family who can make it and the difficulty of accepting that not everyone is willing to see gay marriage the same way we do - an equal right!

In other news we were asked by the lovely Taylor and Alex, a long distance lesbian couple over at to answer a few questions about us, our relationship and our up and coming wedding in their Inspiring Individuals section so if you have he time check it out here:

We thought we leave you with advert we spotted from Chevrolet, you may have see out tweet about it earlier this week, love it:

Friday, 7 February 2014

From Sochi with not so much love!

Well, as the dark, wet evening once again surrounds London and makes our commute up to Birmingham that little bit more interesting, I thought I would put together a quick post to acknowledge the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.

As you may recall, Laura and I were in Russia not that long ago, in fact we stood in the centre of the Red Square and took kissing photos - imagine! We knew when we visited Russia that they weren't exactly a rainbow toting nation but they didn't really seem an overly friendly nation at all. Our News Years Eve involved being ushered through rows of gun wielding Russian soldiers and if you stepped out of line visiting Lenin's tomb you were yelled at. All in all the vodka was the best we've ever had, the buildings in the centre of Moscow were beautiful but the Russians weren't ready to make new friends with us!

So to the Olympics, all we hope is that the violence shown to LGBT folks over there doesn't continue and that Putin and his nasty cronies realise the joy in things that are a little bit gay - if not flying out of the closest in a rainbow flag or, you know, prancing around on ice-skates - you have to be good to prance remember otherwise it's just falling on ice!

Come on Putin, we're not all bad...
I mean how can you really hate gay people! I don't say that as a gay person, I say that as a human being who knows above all that being gay isn't about who you sleep with it's about who you love and when did loving someone ever cause society harm?! Love is love after all! And everyone will need that in the arctic cold Russian winter after a day slipping on snow and ice.

If there is a positive outcome to the homophobic Russians hosting the Winter Olympics, it's that some people, companies and businesses are pretty ready to come out, so to speak, and show their support to the LBGT community. Kudos goes to Channel 4 especially for showing this:

Not that we are all flaming gay bears ready to head up gay mountain, but it does sound fun!

Then there's Google- there is always good ole' Google:

Germany dressed to impress (kinda)

I want to know where Greece got these gloves!

And the gay Dutch snowboarder was modeling a wonderful Unicorn and rainbow glove:
Thanks for highlighting 

Canada even created this showing the games have always been a little bit gay:

The Guardian paper in the UK also added their support:

And for those brands who are yet to show support some people took matters into their own hands, Queer Nation put this together for Coca-Cola:

Let's hope that the LBGT community can be left alone to enjoy the games

"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." - Olympic Charter

and the UK win a few medals - Laura and I do love the Winter Olympics after all!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Sweating For The Wedding

Laura and I are not people who like to exercise or talk about exercising.

We are not fans of healthy options (generally, unless they are covered in unhealthy things).

We have very little time to dedicate to keeping fit! (Genuinely!)

We want to live a long, healthy and fulfilled life that does not have us depriving ourselves of our favourite foods or spending much free time in the gym. Simple. And we doubt we are alone in those feelings, so we thought we would put down a post about our experiences in sweating for our wedding. This is not a keep fit guide or a definitive guide to healthy eating, preaching about changing the way we live or urging you to do the same - this is our experience and the things we are trying.

Before getting together, we had a mixed history with eating healthy and weight loss. I swam for county up until the age of 12 so throughout my childhood I had spent up to 6 days in the swimming pool and survived on a diet of potatoes and unhealthy snacks - a diet I still prefer today. At the age of 8 I negotiated with my parents that as long as I had baked beans with every meal (British style not American) I wouldn't ever have to eat fruit or veg! At University my friends would buy me skittles and joke that it was the closest I’d get to fruit. I was coerced into trying fruit again in Uni but I am still discovering foods today that I haven't tried! Laura even used my eating habits to catch me out on my 27th birthday!

Until I met L I had no idea what calories were, or how many I should have, no idea what was good or bad for me, I just ate what I wanted and got lucky that I didn't balloon in weight. Part of me thinks that even if the diet wasn't great, the one thing I had going for me was that I was always on the move. After I gave up swimming I took up basketball from there to dance and then football. At University I played netball and did aerobics so I was always on the go or walking somewhere. That was all until the grown up world of work came about; with most days being office based, I have spent a large proportion of the last 8 years sat down – in a car, in an office, in front of the TV and that has taken a toll on my waistline. So my plan – get slimmer and get toned! I don’t want to lose masses, I want to look curvy and fit - without a belly!

I've always been a bit chubby, and I think that contributed to how incredibly shy I was for my entire youth. I have done most different diet and exercise combinations under the sun, besides things like the juice or shake diet, and luckily not had any eating disorders. I've always loved food WAY too much to give it up for juice. When I was 15 or so, I had jaw surgery, which basically forced me into a shake diet, because a straw was the only thing I could get into my wired-shut mouth for weeks. From then, I spent the rest of the summer dieting and exercising, and ended up a size 8. Which seemed tiny on my 5'10'' frame! Being 15 though, it improved my confidence, but not enough to counteract my extreme teen emotions and hormones. I didn't know how good I had it!

When I moved out on my own to college, then to the UK, I put on weight, and in turn was happier. I liked being able to eat! Most of the time. And then, I met Sarah, who (now) loves her food as much as I do, so naturally I gained a bit more. Which is all fine - I am confident in the way I am, love myself, most of my body, and am happier than I've ever been.

BUT - with a looming wedding, I want to look and feel my best, for the big day (and the photos which stay around FOREVER) and also for the week of Vegas and Boise fun beforehand. 

That brings you up to speed with the background, so on to what exactly we are doing about it? Our plan is a 3 pronged attack:

Diet (obviously)

a.       Sarah: with the help of myfitnesspal it’s not so much a restrictive diet more just managing what I eat and making decisions based on my daily intake. It’s fascinating for a geek like me to see how many calories things I used to snack on have but equally how many treats can be included in small amounts – wine gums anyone J
b.      Laura: Thanks to one of our bridesmaids, Julia, who has lost an incredible 25 pounds over the last few months, I'm trying keto - a high fat, low carb way of eating that should help me lose weight while eating my favourite foods (cheese and salami). In my first week I've lost 4 pounds, and am really enjoying it! I fear I'll become one of those annoying people constantly pinning recipes, and once I know more about it I bet there'll be a post on it!

HIT exercise or High Intensity Training. Don’t let the name put you off, this is meant to be the latest trend out there and there is a really simple reason it got our attention – IT TAKES 3 MINUTES A WEEK! Well 1 minute 3 times a week to be precise. Check out this video for the explanation but as we understand it by going crazy on a bike for 20 seconds you are forcing your body to break down muscle which will then need glucose to rebuild. Lowering your insulin sensitivity –good for potential diabetics and sugar addicts like us – and it improves your aerobic capability! While this obviously isn't a proper workout, we like the idea of doing this as during the week we don't get home until after 20:00 oftentimes, so at least we'll still be improving our health! (The article is here)

Tae-bo – we've brought back our friend Billy Blanks from the late '90s, to take us through an 8 minute workout that has you throwing your arms in the air, kicking like crazy and providing the perfect antidote to a stressful day at work. Did we mention it’s only 8 MINUTES! We do it while we are waiting on dinner or while we are loading up our laptops. There are loads of versions on Youtube but we got started with an old school VHS. We do this to tone up on the days we aren’t doing HIT. Seriously the arm ache tells you you’ve worked out!

And we're also going on walks at weekends and doing 'fun' exercise together. So far, from our heaviest last summer, but after putting most of it back on over Christmas, 3 weeks in Sarah has lost 9lbs and Laura is 25lbs down.

The diet takes WAY more effort than the exercise. It is amazing how a lack of sugar really affects you, and how different you feel after a few days drinking gallons of water.

The most important thing for us (other than looking good in our wedding dresses) is that we don’t get to June having hated the months leading up. We love dinners out with friends and family, we love takeaways and treats so giving them up entirely is not an option (as we'd be miserable!) and we will work hard to make sure we don’t have to.

Bring on the wedding!

Monday, 3 February 2014 February

We've decided to start doing the 'Currently' monthly posts we so enjoy on Adventures in Mediocrity - thought it'd be a good way to look back on what we're doing in the lead up to the big W! (Does an excited-for-our-wedding-dance)

So! Currently...

FEELING:  EXCITED! That we're one month closer to the big day. NERVOUS! About the logistics that are going with this big day. MILDLY IRRITATED! At people not replying to emails. CONSCIOUS! Of not wanting to be Bridezillas. HAPPY! That everything is coming together!
Also, I suppose some non-wedding related feelings... excited for Valentine's Day, proud we have paid off one of our credit cards (yay depleting debt!), and lucky.

WATCHING:  SO MANY MOVIES! We've recently been on a kick, and have seen The Wolf of Wall Street (remind us to tell you of that time we worked with Jordan Belfort!), American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Frozen... all within the last three weeks! We feel so much more productive watching movies than TV, like we really get into the stories! :)

LISTENING TO: Pretty much Britney Spears 'Britney Jean' all day every day. Britters has an awesome habit of not properly pronouncing things, making her songs so much more fun as you make up your own words. It's like 'Choose your own Adventure' books, but in songs!

WORKING ON: Planning our hen do and pre-wedding festivities! We're booking hotels, researching restaurants, planning outfits, and logistics. It's overwhelming to think how soon it all is, but also so fun and something we love to do together.

  How very tragic it is nobody does a wedding-reading-worthy speech in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Laura would really like it incorporated into the day somehow, but sadly 'Don't dream it, be it', while inspiring, is not very wedding-related. Nor is 'I'm just a sweet transvestite, from trans-sexual Transylvaniaaaaaaaahaha!' (Now you have that stuck in your head, you're welcome.)

The weirdest diet ever. Our bridesmaid Julia is on keto, and is doing really well with it, so when L learned she could potentially lose weight while eating cheese, she jumped to try it. But it's the complete opposite from what she's previously been taught in the weight loss department, so it's hard to get used to. But she's trying it for a month, so wait for updates!

SO buying this!
LOOKING FORWARD TO: Valentine's Day! Spending the weekend with one of our bridesmaids and her boyf! The beginning of The Amazing Race and Ru Paul's Drag Race at the end of Feb! So many good things.

MAKING ME HAPPY:  Spending more time together, now that we have a new(er) car that gets us home at 19:30, which seems much earlier than 20:00. Planning, seeing friends, enjoying the sunshine that we've had for the last few days!

If you do a 'currently' post, tell us in the comments so we can check it out! x