Hello, I am The Anti-Bride

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Hi, my name is Kat and I am the Anti-Bride! Well, I thought I was...and then I started planning my wedding!

Seriously, anyone who knows me will tell you that since my late teens I have been ridiculously anti-marriage. I'm still not 100% convinced about the whole deal, but that's something else entirely, that we won't get into right now.

Yes, I am getting exciting about planning my big day - I've chosen a theme that fits with something that we're both big fans of (that was weirdly easy), I have a rough idea about what the invitations are going to look like and we have a date to work towards. And yet, there are so many "traditions" that I really have no interest in.

The cake? Yeah, I'm not having one! The other half has other ideas, and is determined that he is going to
have one, of some kind (even if it's a birthday cake from ASDA - his words, not mine!) but nope, I don't want one. It's not that I don't want one because I don't like cake (for the record, I loooove cake more than sense), my problem is that wedding cakes are yet another over-priced entity that yes, it does look pretty, but I personally don't feel that they're worth the money (and let's face it, the word "wedding" typically adds at least one zero to the end of practically everything, when it comes to cost!). I have other ideas, that worth nicely with our theme.

The Dress? Now, this is something that I'm a little torn about. I'm not interested in a big, lavish wedding dress. Not just because I couldn't afford the expense, but because they're just not "me". Ever since I started planning, I've always known that I wanted something a little different, but something that has surprised me is the way my other half and I clash over what colour the dress should be.

Not typically one for tradition, I actually found myself being drawn to ivory or pale gold for a dress. I can't help it, it just feels "right". The other half, on the other hand, thinks I should move away from lighter shades, and wear something darker, because those are the colours that I normally wear.

Now, I'm over-the-moon that he knows me well enough to know what colours I wear, and he is right, darker shades are the direction I normally pull towards, and yet, oh those ivory dresses are so alluring!

So, when it comes to my dress, I'm torn between tradition and something a little different. We'll see how that one pans out!

I'm really glad that I've given myself two years to plan this one out, because as much as I do like organising things, I think that this one is going to be the biggest challenge - in an organisational sense - of my life. I am going to need all the help that I can get *gulp*

So, ladies (and gents) what parts of the wedding would you ditch, and which traditions could you never get rid of? If you're married, looking back, what would you have done differently?

Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)

Should I Change My Name?


In May, my other half and I will have been together for eight years, and in January of this year we decided to get engaged. It wasn't one of those spontaneous, down-on-one-knee affairs like you always hear about. Nope, we're one of those completely unromantic - according to the media - couples who talked about it because we have been together for a long time, and then - as a joke - he buys me a ring for £2.50 from a Museum Gift Shop! He handed it to me all goofy and I did initially wear it - until it turned my finger green, and finally replaced it with a ring from a collection of jewellery that I inherited.

So no, it isn't the most romantic story, but that's how we are. We're a backwards couple anyway, whereby I can never remember the exact date of our anniversary, other than the fact that it's in May and normally Facebook has to kindly remind me. My other half, well he never forgets it!

For us, marriage is still a long way off. I suggested our anniversary next year, giving us time to save up for a small ceremony with just close family and friends (even a small ceremony seems ridiculously expensive to me!), whilst he suggested making it our ten year anniversary which is when we have agreed on.

So, in just over two years time, I will be getting married.

It still seems weird to say, because for a long time marriage had no interest to me. I have always felt that I don't need a piece of paper to tell me how much my other half means to me. And, after a childhood of not being able to get away from my ridiculously long surname (and being forever grateful that my mother opted for the shortened version of "Kathryn") quick enough, in adulthood I've found that I have become quite attached to it - well, it has been with me for the past thirty years!

Which means that for the next two years, I expect to have a very lengthy internal argument with myself about what name I intend to use.

On the selfish side, I really can't be bothered to contact absolutely every company I deal with to tell them that I have changed my name. Having recently moved house, I am all too aware of how much of a pain in the rear end just changing your address can be, so changing my name doesn't sound like fun.

And signing my name. Wow that just seems weird - my signature has always been boring, but if I change my name it'll never be the same. But is this the opportunity to reinvent that cursed thing that I always have to do the same way otherwise my bank will think I'm some fraudster! To think that men don't get the chance to reinvent their signatures - poor buggers!

Another issue is the fact that I am known as Kat Musselwhite professionally, so how do I work around that? If I keep my name, it's not really a problem. However, if I change it, then I run the risk of confusing everyone from clients to search engines (Google is a pedantic thing sometimes). It's not even a case of: well, change your name personally, but keep Musselwhite professionally, because that just gets complicated, and confusing - especially for my banking.

One argument for changing my name, is the fact that everyone expects women to. So, even if I don't change my name, you just know that I will be referred to as Mrs [insert other half's surname]. But, to be honest, I don't think that would bother me, because I already get people referring to my other half as my husband anyway!

I know that a lot of women reading this probably think I'm absolutely crazy, because for most women this isn't even an argument worth having - you just change your name, and you're happy with that. And I really, really envy you for that, because I really wish that I could think like that, but nope, my brain wants to make life difficult for me!

For the record, I am definitely not a feminist! This isn't about not wanting a man to own me and all that other bullshit. For me, this is more about identity and who I am. Musselwhite has been a huge part of my life, and I'm not sure that I am quite ready to pass on that part of my identity, just yet!

Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)

Back of the Class Kid and Aqua Aerobics

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When I was growing up, I was always one of those "Back of the Class" kids. It's weird, because stereotypes in films, TV and books always has the kids who like to sit at the back pegged as the trouble makers that don't do any work, whilst the kids who sit at the front of the class are the "swots", "nerds", "teachers pets"...you get the idea.

A lot of my classmates would probably have called me a swot, mainly because I was quiet and got on with my work (it certainly wasn't because I was smart, since my average grade all through school - expect in English!! - was C).

However, the idea of sitting at the front of the class - with everyone snickering behind me - still gives me bouts of anxiety, even today. I don't like people being behind me, it makes me nervous because I can't see what they're doing. For that reason, I really hate it when people sit directly behind me at the Cinema (seriously, there is an entire theatre of seats to choose from, and you have to sit behind the only people in the room??)

So, a few weeks ago, my friend and I started going to Aqua Aerobics as part of our big weight loss obsession for 2014, and needless-to-say, both of us opted to linger at the back of the class (it seemed that a lot of people had this same idea, and it became quite crowded). The session didn't go so well - the water was so deep at the back of the class, that even my five foot six wasn't tall enough, and we ended up feeling like we were drowning.

Another thing that didn't help me, was the fact that I didn't have my glasses on, so I couldn't see the Instructor very well - so yeah, that was fun!

Move forward to last Friday, and I decided that I was sick of not being able to see, so I opted to keep my glasses on. As a result, my friend and I decided - very anxiously - to go to the front, so that I wouldn't splash my glasses too much (I almost managed it!).

Both classic back of the class kids, we were both incredibly nervous about being at the front and very aware that people behind you watch to see what you're doing (to make sure that they're doing it right - I know, because I do it).

Being at the front scared the poop - not literally - out of me, but do you know what? I preferred it.

I don't know if it was my preference for being at the back, but I've always found myself never having confidence in my doing things right. I've always had to check around the room, that I'm doing the right thing, at the right time. Even the photographs we have from Sports Days show me looking around to make sure that I'm doing it right - and subsequently coming in last, as a result!

So how did I fare from being at the front?

loved it. It definitely wasn't a case of liking the idea of people watching me from behind (because that freaks me out like crazy!), it was more the fact that I couldn't see them. Since I couldn't see anyone, I couldn't check that I was doing it right, and hence, I just got on with it. As a result, I've found that I am enjoying myself a lot more.

So, if this the solution to my anxiety problems? Put myself at the front, so that I can't see people who I think could be judging me? I don't really think so, because in general, I'm not a "front of the class" kind of person. I don't like being the centre of attention (I found that out when I turned 30, and my friend's encouraged me to wear a big banner declaring the fact....cringe!). I also have to remember that as a general rule, I don't like not knowing what people are doing behind me.

But, when it comes to Aqua Aerobics, I find that I enjoy myself a lot more, and have more fun, when I just forget that there even are people behind me...I just have to splash louder so that I can't hear them ;)

Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)

Makeup in Film: Liesel (The Book Thief)

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I recently went to see The Book Thief at the cinema (read my review here), and one of the things that intrigued me the most was actually a little unexpected, and that was how well the makeup artists managed to age Sophie Nelisse, in the role of Liesel. The ageing process of Liesel's best friend Rudy wasn't quite so good, but I don't really think it matters, because most of the boys that I grew up with didn't have growth spurts until around 15/16 years of age.

It's hard to distinguish exactly what it is that makes Liesel look older, throughout the film, but the most obvious change is her hair length, which grows to represent the gradual passing of time. Hair stylists are always telling us that the length and style of our hair alters and complements our natural face shape and features, and with Liesel this really shows.

At the beginning her hair is quite short and messy, in a very childlike way. Emily Watson's character initially describes Liesel as being dirty, because she looks messy, but I also think it's a sign of being that age when you still don't care about your appearance.

In early scenes, Liesel appears to be quite baby faced, and whilst she does appear to gradually grow into her main features, especially her eyes and her cheekbones seem a little more defined.

By the book burning, Liesel's hair has grown in length, and is long enough to be put up into short plaits. 

In the last third of the film, Liesel's hair gets quite long and she tends to wear it in long pigtails with the front sections pinned back. Despite the childlike-nature of her pigtails, the way that she pins the top back feels like the start of a shift in her character's maturity, because I felt that pinning up her hair like that was like a slow move towards the way women pinned their hair in the 1940's.

Her hair stays this way pretty much until the very final scenes. 

In the scenes that take place two years after the books main events, we see the biggest real change in Liesel's appearance. Her hair is fully pinned back in a more grown-up fashion, and the way that she is dressed appears to represent her transition into adulthood.

It really is crazy how much of a transformation Sophie Nelisse goes through between her very first scenes as Liesel, to her last scene, because she looks so much older. It's weird to think how much a hair style can age you.

I'm starting to think that I should have titled this "Hair in Film", rather than "Makeup in Film" ;)

Have you seen The Book Thief? Did you love it or hate it?
Did you notice Liesel's ageing process?

Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)

How do you get invited to The Oscars?

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Last night was the biggest night on any Hollywood actors calendar. Yep, it was of course The Oscars (y'know, because maybe you somehow managed to miss that memo!!). Now, I know the title might make it look like I'm fishing for an invite, but I'm really not (well, I lie - who wouldn't want an invite to The Oscars, but that is something else completely!). What I really want to know is how some celebrities get invites?

Obviously, everyone who is nominated is invited, as are everyone who is connected with nominated film (or, if they're not, then they should be). And you get the elite actors of Hollywood who always attend, even if they haven't released a film in the past twelve months - that makes sense, because it is their field of work.

The invites that I'm not so sure about are the "celebrities" who aren't actors. They haven't contributed to any films that we're aware of, they're not directors or producers, and if they are artists, they haven't contributed a song to a film. Some celebrities are more "socially active" than being famous for actually doing anything in particular. So, why are they invited to the biggest night of the film year?

I get what is in it for the celebrity: it makes them look good to be seen as attending The Oscars. But, what is in it for The Oscars? Who determines who attends? We all know that going to such a prestigious event is strictly by invitation only, so they have obviously received one, but why?

Seat Fillers:

One answer might be the idea of "seat fillers". This is when people - who are often not famous - are hired (or cast) to fill up empty seats at Award Ceremonies, because it looks bad if there are seats with no one sat in them. By inviting as many celebrities - even those who are not connected to films - as possible, means that they can act as the "seat fillers" as well.

Does anyone know?

Let's chat, trade tips, gossip and share 

(Go on! You don't know what you're missing!)