Posted in Lifestyle

Shopping Locally & Saving the Environment

I was thrilled with the response to my recent Instagram story about shopping locally, and figured there’s a conversation to be had here.

If you didn’t catch it, I filmed a short clip of the fruit & veg at a greengrocers where I live and wrote about how I’ve started shopping locally (aka from independent stores, rather than supermarkets) predominantly for fruit & veg, but to be honest I try to get as much as I can! Afterwards, I had many messages about others trying to do the same thing, which is brilliant! And definitely something we should be raising more awareness about.

Save Monday & Feel Good About It

For me, saving money is brilliant but not quite as brilliant as feeling good about where I’m spending it. We’ve all got to spend money on food, so why not spend it in local places and support local businesses & farmers (particularly in the West Country!).

That aside, shopping at a local greengrocers has been financially beneficial too. I compared what I bought this week to the prices at Morrisons and as it happens I saved about £7. That might not seem like much, but £7 every week adds up pretty quickly! Plus, that’s not a gram for gram comparison. The veg I bought from the greengrocers was definitely bigger than the veg I usually get in Morrisons, so I’m sure if I compared them gram for gram I’d be saving even more!

Shopping Locally & Saving the Environment

Being strict about where my food comes from has always been a big thing for me. Where absolutely possible, I buy produce from inside the UK. Fruit, veg, milk, eggs, meat etc goes without saying, but I’m also conscious of where my cupboard products are from too.

This is so important when it comes to the environment. Now, I’m not one to preach… But I’m going to anyway!

It is our responsibility to be more aware of where our food is coming from. Yes, it’s lovely to have an unlimited supply of out-of-season fruit whenever we want it, but we need to be thinking about how my poison is being spat into our atmosphere from the amount we import from overseas. (I appreciate the topic of imports/exports is a tad touchy at the moment… *Don’t mention Brexit*). Still, we do have to be aware of the environmental impacts.

shopping locally and saving the environment lila bailey blog

Now, let’s talk about plastic… The carbon footprint from imports is only a small part of the environmental impact. We are all aware of the plastic epidemic, and there has already been a huge push to reduce the amount of plastic that are ending up in our oceans. Still, you walk into a supermarket and are bombarded by so.much.packaging. Unnecessary amounts of single use plastic.

Yes, supermarkets have now started trying to eliminate the amount of plastic used in packaging, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

I’ve found that 90% of items at a greengrocers are loose, and they provide paper bags that can be reused and recycled. So, you can do an almost entirely plastic free shop. What’s not to love! Something to consider when trying to reduce your plastic consumption or carbon footprint…

REDUCE . REUSE . RECYCLE – we’ve all heard it before, but are we all doing our bit?

Conclusion

Before I get any backlash, I’m very aware that not every town has a greengrocers or something similar, and not every person is able to shop like this. This post is just about raising awareness, and if you’re able to, then do.

If you’re interested, the greengrocers I’ve started shopping in is Continental Fruits in Tavistock. We’re also super lucky to have many independent food shops in our town, including Roots & Vines, Crebers, Eversfield, and Cakes Bakes ‘n’ Shakes, all of which I frequently buy from!

If you’ve come from Instagram (and read my whole caption) you might be interested in doing the WWF Carbon Footprint calculator, so I’ve linked it here.

I also hope you enjoyed the photos of me unpacking my shopping…! I promise my next post won’t be as preachy, and don’t forget to check out my last post too.

Have a very happy weekend! (Here’s an image for the road…………)

shopping locally and saving the environment lila bailey blog
Posted in Lifestyle

Early to Mid Twenties… What no-one told you

So I thought I’d write a little more personal post today, and explain what’s been going on in my world recently… Navigating the early to mid twenties is something I’ve found surprisingly difficult. Did anyone else just assume that everything got easier once you were officially an adult? Because I definitely did, and I was definitely wrong. It’s not been an overly easy time and I hope this post might help others who could be going through the same thing.

24 is here, and I can only describe the earlier part of this year as a bit of a quater-life-crisis. We all know about the mid-life crisis, but no-one really talks about the earlier years: namely your early to mid twenties. Perhaps it’s just a part of growing into adulthood, and something everyone goes through. But anyway, it’s nice to shed a bit of light on the subject nonetheless. For a while I was really struggling with the whole topic of ‘the future’. I know where I want to get to, but how on earth am I going to achieve it? How do I get from here to there? Will I ever make it? You get the idea… And part of that meant falling out of love with most things, especially in a work sense. I wondered about a total career change numerous times, but mostly I just wanted to run away to a remote cabin by the lake (with Euan, obvs) and hide away from the world.

Maybe I should get into travel blogging… (jokes, although how fun would that be!).

I’ve not been amazing at talking about it either, not even to Euan. Which I think is mostly down to the fact I can’t actually put it into words, or certainly not whole sentences. I guess overwhelmed is probably the most accurate way of describing it, but it goes a whole lot deeper than that. Also, I’m very good at beating myself up over the tiniest thing. So in a slightly more fragile state than normal you can but guess how unhelpful that trait has been…

Basically – in short – I spent a good few months feeling like a total failure, for no reason other than it’s what I kept telling myself. (Yes, Euan, I did just manage to admit that I’m my worst enemy). I knew deep down that I was actually doing fine and actually in a really good place. But despite knowing that, the doubt still came and still felt totally overwhelming when it did. I would get stuck in a place which I found incredibly hard to pull myself out of. A lot of crying and soooo much self-doubt. It makes you want to give up everything and start over again, and feels like you’ve ruined your life somehow. When I managed to get out of one of these moods, I’d look back and think how utterly ridiculous it was to have thought all of those things. But that somehow doesn’t seem to make it any easier at the time.

I guess it’s largely to do with the fact that the decisions I make now really are starting to shape and impact my future and the direction I take my life in. And I think this is pretty common for people in their ‘early to mid twenties’, and probably beyond too. The older you get, the harder it is to have freedom in a lot of ways. If I want to make something of my life, if I want to have a thriving future, I have to work towards that now. And in my moments of despair it often felt like I wasn’t achieving that and so need to just give up.

It’s not something that’s always easy to talk about, but the few times I have had conversations about it I’ve felt sooooo much better afterwards. I’d be surprised if there’s a single person on this planet who didn’t spend large portions of their 20s feeling like this. Which I found to be a huge comfort. You’re not weird. You’re not a failure. You’re not destined for disaster. In actual fact, you’re just human.

Some Top Tips

To be completely honest, I don’t think there’s any ‘quick fix’ for something like this. But if you’re navigating your early to mid twenties (or any age for that matter!) and feel like you’re having a bit of a quarter-life-crisis, here are a couple of tips that have helped me:

  • Firstly, something that really really helped me was weirdly enough a personality test. I actually took it just to calm myself down, but when I got the results and they described my personality to a T it made me realise that I am who I am and the reason I think/behave in certain ways is all part of my personality. Not because I’m broken or weird, but because that’s just who I am. Even just answering the questions properly & honestly opened my eyes to a lot about myself. It probably won’t work for everyone, but here is the link if you fancy giving it a go.
  • Talk about it. It’s so easy to pretend everything is fine, especially when other people around you assume that everything is fine. But keeping it all to yourself is detrimental. Trust me!
  • Don’t compare your life or achievements to others. Whether that’s your friends or – like me – people (‘proper’ adults) who have made it already, it’s just not healthy and makes everything worse. Everyone is walking down their own path, and there is no right or wrong way to do life. So just do you!
  • And closely linked with the above, don’t keeping focussing on what you think you should be doing. Like I said, there’s no right or wrong way to do life so there’s no should or shouldn’t either. (Well, to a point. I mean you shouldn’t break the law for example…).
  • Lastly, figure out what you want and keep going. Let your mind wander, put yourself out there, and invest in yourself if you need to. Even on the bad days, keep pushing and don’t give up because if you stay on the right path and are determined, you’ll get to where you want to go.

I hope that if you’re having a hard time, this post has helped a bit. Talking about it has definitely helped the process for me, just to get my head around it for the most part. And if you’re going through something similar and want to talk, I’m just on the other end of email or Instagram for a chat! And this isn’t necessarily felt by people in their ‘early to mid twenties’, it just so happens that it is the most common time for a quarter-life crisis, and it’s also the age category I fall in.

And for something a little lighter, take a look at my last post.

lila  bailey blog previous post
Posted in Wedding Tips & Advice

Choosing your Suppliers – Top Tips #3

For my third wedding planning ‘top tips’ blog post series, I thought I’d explore choosing your suppliers. I’ve touched on this subject before in a couple of previous posts, but again sometimes it’s useful to have some tips all in one place!

As a wedding planner myself, it’ll come as no surprise that I found choosing my wedding suppliers by far the easiest part of planning my own wedding. Having worked with a range of brilliant – and not so brilliant – suppliers, I know how to spot the good from the bad. But there’s also more to choosing suppliers than ‘good & bad’. There can be such a thing as a good supplier who is bad for you!

Top Tips for Choosing your Suppliers

  • Find or create your wedding ‘vibe’. Are you having a beachy-dream? Or vintage romance? Eclectic modern, with a hint of sparkle? You need to know what kind of wedding you want to know what suppliers are the best fit for you. If you’re not sure then don’t worry, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. The easiest way to do this is (begrudgingly) Pinterest. Create a secret board, search for wedding inspiration, and start pinning. Anything & everything you’d love for your own wedding, and you’ll start to see a pattern emerge. Sometimes you then need to re-pin from the board you’ve created to narrow down your overall ‘look’, but either way you’ll soon get a feel for the type of wedding you want.
choosing your wedding suppliers top tips lila bailey blog
  • Take advice from other suppliers. Wedding professionals (suppliers) will almost always be familiar with other professionals in the area, and will have probably worked with them before. If a supplier you trust/respect warns you off another supplier, listen. There will always be a reason! Plus, you don’t want to have two suppliers working together on your dream wedding if they don’t see eye to eye…
  • Ask to see more of their work. This is especially important for photographers, but goes for most suppliers. With photographers, you always want to see at least 2 or 3 full wedding galleries. I’m talking hundreds of images, not just a few highlights. This is because you need to know that the photographer is consistent, and – more importantly – consistently good. Anyone with a camera can take a good photo every so often, but a really good photographer will have an amazing gallery full of millions of images from all their different weddings! And the same goes for other suppliers, or certainly visual ones. A cake maker may have made one outstanding cake but dozens of terrible ones. The same goes for a florist, videographer, hair stylist, and so on… And if they’re reluctant to show you more of their work, then that answers it’s own question…
  • Make sure they get you, and you get them. Having suppliers who understand what you want from them is essential. If you’re not vibing with them then they’re not the supplier for you. And there’s nothing wrong with that. They could be a world renowned wedding supplier, but if you’re not feeling comfortable or confident with what they can offer (or even just them as a person!) then don’t be afraid to walk away.
choosing your wedding suppliers top tips lila bailey blog

I could go on for hours about wedding suppliers, but I don’t think that’s overly helpful. After all, everyone is different and will have different tastes etc. But those are the 4 things that I would say are a ‘must’ for choosing your suppliers. And if you need an extra helping hand, head over to my Wedding Planning page!

Posted in Wedding Tips & Advice

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping – Top Tips #2

In my last post, I wrote about my top tips for wedding dress shopping. Today it’s all about bridesmaid dress shopping!

If you keep up with my Instagram, you’ll have seen that in June I met up with my 3 best gals to go bridesmaid dress shopping in London. And although we haven’t quite nailed the bridesmaid dresses yet, it was such a wonderful day (which I can’t wait to do all over again!).

However, it’s not just about giggles and bubbles (I mean, it’s mostly about that, but I suppose finding dresses for the bridesmaids is sort of important too…). And going in with a rough plan, and some handy tops tips, can’t go amiss!

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Top Tips

So here are a few top tips to get you started…

  • Before you go, figure out your criteria. Do you want long or short dresses? Have you got a very specific colour in mind? Are you happy to mix & match styles and/or colours? The most important thing – in my opinion – is that your bridesmaids feel comfortable with what they’re wearing, but you also have to remember that these are the dresses the girls are going to be wearing on your wedding day. If you figure out roughly what you want the dresses to look like then it gives your girls and the shop stylists a criteria to work from.
  • Be flexible. Having just said you need to figure out what you want… you also have to be flexible (figured!). It’s no good demanding everyone wears something super specific that they clearly hate. And equally, if you are so set on a particular dress/style you might really struggle to find one that matches exactly what you’re looking for. Basically, by not being flexible you’re making hard work for yourself!

  • Consider mix & match options. Whether that’s mix & match colours, necklines, shapes, or general styles, sometimes letting your bridesmaids each choose a dress they’re happy with is the best solution! A huge number of bridesmaid dress companies now create their collections with this exact idea in mind. Meaning the different dresses are designed to work together as a collection, rather than just multiples of one dress.
bridesmaid dress shopping top tips lila bailey blog mix & match bridesmaids
  • Have fun! The most important thing is – as always – to enjoy your appointments. I’ve said countless times before that your engagement period/wedding planning time should be filled with fun & excitement, and be all about making memories. Don’t get stressed, it’s just not worth it (take it from me!). And how many times will you be dress shopping, prosecco in hand, with your best gals all together? Exactly… Make the most of it whilst you can!

Some Bridesmaid Dress Brand Recommendations

Maids to Measure

Rewritten Bridesmaids

Dessy Group

Hayley Paige Bridesmaids

Two Birds