30 November 2012

I Bought a Scarf & I Liked It

Hello!  Had a lot on recently and so not been able to blog.  Bad Vicky!

One of the things, actually maybe the only thing, I like about the colder weather coming in are the pretty scarves that you get to wear.  My preference has always been to get a coat in neutral or black so that you can wear scarves of all different colours and change up your look.

This week, I have bought my favourite ever scarf from Dorothy Perkins and can be bought here

When it comes to print, my top three are stars, skulls and animals.  This scarf has all three with the star print on one half of the scarf and skulls and butterflies on the other.  Because of the different designs on the scarf, you can pretty much style it any way you choose.  I've added a few pictures of the different looks you can get from it.






Test shot - looking like a zombie for some reason
Hi!


A simple tie in the middle

On one shoulder to jazz up a boring top

Twisty Twisty

Bandanna / headband / not sure what I was doing
 So there you go.  My new favour scarf, with a few different ways to wear it.


I wasn't paid to review this scarf from Dorothy Perkins, I just saw it, bought it and loved it enough to talk about it.

23 November 2012

A Time for Joy


You know sometimes you have a day when everything around you is wrong and going badly?  When you can’t see a way forward and your mood is full of doom and gloom.  Well today isn’t that day.

Today is happiness.

I’ve posted previous about waiting for my first university essay to be marked.  After submitting 2 ½ weeks ago I have been full of trepidation, nerves and at times, sheer panic.  Had I answered the question correctly, would I pass; did I have enough examples; right through to have I made the right choice in doing a degree.

 The Open University scoring system is different to other universities. 

40%                 Pass
40 – 54            3rd
55-69               2.2
70 – 84            2.1
85 – 100          1st

There are the expectations that you have in your head and the ones that you will say aloud, and then the ones that you really want, but can’t say or think.

Aloud I said that I just wanted the pass and any mark thereafter would do, in my logical head I wanted a clear pass, a 2.2 mark.  I didn’t think that I could do any better than that on my first essay.  The little voice inside wanted a 2.1 mark.

Well today, the little voice won the bet.  I got 78% which is right in the middle of a 2.1.

Whilst it is only a very tiny step in the long road I have ahead in my degree, it has answered the question that is the most important to me.

Can I do this?  HELL YES I CAN.

Today is one to remember.

 

20 November 2012

A Walk in the Park

One of my favourite things to do during the day on a weekend is going to my local park with my dogs and having a wander around, feeding the ducks in the process.

My previous posts have been quite text heavy, so with this post, pictures galore!


I'm a sucker for a bird print

Like a lot of my clothes of late, this top is from South at Very

Minimum makeup for the park, unfortunately enhancing my wonky eyebrow.


The boots are from the South collection of Very.  Although I love the look, not impressed with the quality.



Quack!!

This is Ellie - she wanted in on the clothes blog

So there you go.  My weekend at the park look.  I never like to look to "dressed down" as my theory is you never know who you are going to meet!  So this weekend's look was a long line top/cardigan combination, black leggings (my first ever pair believe it or not) and long boots.

Hopefully in my next post this weekend I am going to be trying out some dresses for the various Christmas events I'm going to, which is always a challenge.  Feedback on those will definately be appreciated!

 

A Little Perspective

We all have busy lives.  Work, family; social life; friends; hobbies it all takes up your time and it is easy to get stressed with the day to day.
When you are busy like that sometimes you can get bogged down by the small stuff, and let it take over, making you tired, irritable and ill tempered.  I’m not talking about proper depression here, just the day to day things that exasperate you.
I’ll admit that I’ve been like that a lot recently.  I haven’t been sleeping too well and I’ve been worried about my university course which has led to my being snappish, irritable and generally not in the best of moods.
I received a little perspective last night.  A friend whom I haven’t seen for around a year had won an award relating to his business and was in the local paper.  I read with horror that he had been diagnosed with cancer six months ago.  He is four years younger than me.
At 28 years old, with a wife and young child and a new business venture, he set up a desk from his hospital bed and made that business a success, cancer or no cancer. 
Even with that news, by mid morning today, I was again back in the rut of tired, grumpy and over worked.  Then I remembered him.  It is too easy to get drawn down into the mundane details of life.  I think we all need some perspective like that to keep everything in the balance.
I may be a bit stressed out at the moment, I may be a bit tired, but I have my health, my friends, my family, I’m happy.  Things could be so much worse.
The small things don’t matter.  When you look back at your life 10 years from now; the fact that you were tired one day or were too busy on another won’t even factor.  The fact that you were happy and living your life to the full will.

16 November 2012

Attack from the Side

I have another blog aside of this one.  It is a blog where I have my opinions, my rants and my general meandering thoughts.  

Tonight though I have a rant that is best posted on here.  To like minded, like shaped people.  Hell, just people.

As a plus size person you get used to a certain number of comments, views, media perceptions, collective views etc about your size, your looks, your clothes.  In my case in general I am forming a "sod off if you don't like me" attitude, but there are still certain things that make it through the screen.

The first is an irritant.  You know the one, I'm sure that many of you have had the same comment, and it bugs the hell out of me.  "You're a pretty girl, just think how good you could look if you were thin".  I can never reply properly to these comments.  Mainly because what I want to reply in retort is just as bad, because I want to hurt back.

The second is the comments that hold you back from being what you want to be, look how you want to look.  Tonight for me it was someone looking at some red skinny jeans I had ordered.  The "look" up and down, along with the comment  of "Oh...... Well maybe if you wore a really long top over them".  

To be honest, I'm not sure on them myself having only recently talked myself into exploring more colourful options.  But thanks to that comment, my attitude is bugger you, I'm ordering and I will damn well work them!

I promise, tomorrow I will be back with a post full of pictures, and no rants.  

Coats - It's a Northern Thing

I love buying clothes.  Even when my wardrobe was a bottomless pit of black, I still got that excited feeling when a parcel had arrived full of clothes.  I've never been one for trying things on in a shop, there is nothing worse than walking into a changing room with a pile full of clothes, and then walking out again with them all when nothing fits.

The one item of clothing I truly hate buying though is coats.  Like Kaye says from TestyBrunette, not wearing coats or jackets is a northern thing.  If we can get away with not wearing one, we will.   This works twofold for me as I can never find the right coat that ticks all the boxes.

My old faithful long black wool coat finally reached the end of it’s life a couple of months ago (read I finally admitted that it needed to be thrown out) and my hand was forced into the search for a new coat.

Here is my criteria: mid length, fitted but not overly, a colour that will go with most things, stylish, ok for work but will look ok for weekends, accommodate the chest area so the girls don’t look twice as big, warm, ok for wet weather. 

Yes, I’m picky but I’ve had so many coats that have failed for one reason or another, usually because they look bloody awful and are the “I give up, I’ll buy this” coat.  I was determined this time that I would find my dream coat, or just go cold for the weather.

Armed with my wish list I looked through all the clothing websites and made a list of the coats I liked.  Then discounted half as being impractical or just wouldn’t suit me (read fine on a size 8, not on me).  Eventually through, I struck gold.
Savoir Piped Classic Mac
Savoir Classic Stone Mac - Very
 
This coat ticked every box on my wish list and then some. It can be found here and comes in either the stone colour which I bought or in black.

I love the stone colour of the coat which goes with so much and enables me to mix it up with different coloured scarfs and accessories.  Rain just seems to roll off it and it looks good (so far) with everything I have worn with it.

So if you are an office girl like me who likes to keep it stylish at the weekend (I never knowingly under dress) then this may be the coat for you! 

 

14 November 2012

A Watched Kettle

I'm impatient. When I know that something big is coming, be it good or bad; I want it to happen now.

They say that a watched kettle never boils, well in this case it's the opposite. The red LED of my Blackberry is constantly flashing at me, be it a tweet, text or email but, like the 3 buses lined in a row, the one that you want is never there.

The one that I want is an email from university. The one with my score in for my first essay. I feel like someone who hasn't ridden a bicycle in years, very unsure and uncertain at first, but after that first ride you know you'll be ok.

In this case though, the bike ride is scored. It's a indication, in my head at least, as to whether going to university was a good idea after all.

It's the chance card on the Monopoly board. Will I pass go and carry on with the game or will I be sent to the dunce's jail.

I've probably got at least another week to wait before I have my answer. My head says everything will be fine, but the little voice in there is also whispering "Are you sure?".

Everyone around me tells me it will be fine, I've nothing to worry about. I can be told that 100 hundreds times and it won't make an iota of different to how I feel. What I want is someone to tell me it IS fine.

I hold myself to my own standards, what I expect is good enough from me. What I want is a clear pass. Anything less and I'll be heartbroken, however, anything more, and I will be ecstatic.

I will look at this post one day and laugh about how worried I was. How I practically ran to my phone every time it flashed. But I care. I won't apologise for that.

So come on now, Mr Tutor Man, it isn't nice to keep a lady waiting.



13 November 2012

Mob Mentality

On Remembrance Sunday a 19 year old boy was arrested by police.  For shoplifting maybe, a drunken brawl?  No.   No doubt in an effort to look “hard” in front of his friends, he had burned a plastic poppy and put a picture of it on Facebook, with a disparaging remark about “squaddies”.  He was arrested under the Malicious Communications Act.

Was he an idiot.  Yes.  Was it completely disrespectful.  Yes.  Should he have been arrested for it?  Absolutely not.  I think what worries me even more than his arrest, is the fact that someone in his friends list, because let’s not forget that it was posted on Facebook, not Twitter, reported him to the police.  That someone actually thought that what he had done should and must be illegal, scares me just as much as his arrest.

The arrest on Sunday fuelled many conversations I had on Monday, but the most memorable of which spanned throughout the course of the day.  The person whom I was speaking to thought that it was right that the boy be arrested and that in his opinion, he should be locked in a room full of squaddies to “teach him a lesson”.  

To be honest, this is the opinion I have come to expect from the mob mentality.  Threaten first, think later.  When it becomes dangerous is when it becomes punch first and think later or becomes a pack of vigilantes who don’t think at all.

By the end of the conversation (I do confess I was banging my head against a wall by the end) he suggested that an appropriate punishment would be community service for a charity.  Whilst I still do not agree that the boy should have been arrested at all, the conversation had got me thinking.

The mob mentality.  An individual is smart and will listen to reason, a mob will listen to no one.  The person I spoke to went from saying that the boy deserved to be beaten up by a group of “squaddies” to moving towards a community service order by the end of the day.  If the conversation had been myself and a group of people who all thought the same way he did at the start, their position would not have changed. 

The problem with these arrests is simple.  This is going to escalate.  Unless questions are asked and changes are made, this is going to escalate to a point where you have to be vigilant as to what you say, who you sa it to, what you do, how you act.  If this happens, what did they actually fight for in the First and Second World Wars?  Because freedom is about choice, not restriction.

The boy was arrested and released on bail, pending further investigations.  I understand that a QC has volunteered to represent him for free should the matter go to Court.  


12 November 2012

Monday's Child

Welcome to my stecond outfit post.  I'll attempt to do better than the first which was full of nerves and badly placed photographs.  I'm new at all this so am on a learning curve.  No pun intended.

Mondays are no fun.  We all know that.  So Monday's child must have bling; a little sparkle to brighten up the day.  I always try and incorporate something sparkly into my outfits, usually my watch, seen below which I bought myself from Fossil as a treat for stopping smoking.  To add a little extra sparkle to the day, I also wore a ring, which can be found here


Now that we are heading ever faster into the colder weather, the hunt for the nice jumper has begun, with added pressure now that I don't automatically click the "black" box in the search.  So here is today's outfit.  A black pencil skirt bought earlier in the year from Next, a gorgeous camel chain print jumper which can be found here and some black t-bar shoes which I procured from the South collection at Very.


I really loved the chain pattern on the jumper and it is lovely and soft on the skin.  The shoes are a no brainer and go with everything, perfect for the office.  The bag, which I'm currently in love with was a purchase from Barnardos for the bargain price of £3.00.

That's Monday over and done with, tomorrow, another day, another outfit.  Hopefully I'll get to post something else later in the week.  Thanks for reading!

10 November 2012

The First Time

Having recently, finally, come out of my all black wardrobe to embrace colour, fashion and life; I realised to needed to take a moment and look through all my clothes, see what needed to stay and what to go.  Let's face it, even if you adore colour, you will always still have time for a little black dress in your closet.

My local Barnardos has done very well out of me in the past few weeks whilst I have been clearing out the excess black and bringing the colour in.  

One place where I didn't need to have a clear out was in my shoe collection.  I may not have worn colour on my body, but I damn sure wore it on my feet.  So my first outfit of the day is a homage to the old me, with my favourite red shoes which I used to justify my outfits with "Look, see, I'm wearing colour, on my feet!"

This particular outfit was intended for this blog a couple of months ago, but after taking the photos it took me until now so work up the courage.  So I look a lot more summery than the current weather would allow!

This is my "What the hell am I doing" face.
My favourite red shoes, every girl needs a pair
Can you tell I'm not used to taking photos of myself?

This outfit was planned for a lunch out with the girls.  The top, my first non black and patterned purchase is from last season's Next summer collection.  The dark blue jeans are from Very and the shoes are from Primark












Clearly I don't know what I'm doing yet when it comes to taking photographs of myself and the clothes I'm wearing but hey, everyone has to start somewhere!

The main purpose of this post was to get the first one done, out of the way.  I don't care what anyone says, the first time of doing anything isn't good. 



So there you go.  My first #ootd post.  Photos in the wrong order, me having a slight panic attack mid way through writing the post, but frankly, I'm just glad it's here.  

From here, the only way is up!

8 November 2012

Hello

This is the blog that I have been promising myself I would do, but up to today, have been too scared to set up.

That's me, my face in the corner of my blog.  That is usually all I will show, be it on Twitter, Facebook, my other blog, that's all you usually get.  Because I'm plus size.  To be exact, I'm a size 22 gal.  

I've been overweight my entire life.  Well, as far as I can remember anyway.  Definately all through primary school.  I eat like a regular person and I look like this.  Go figure.  

I've gone through my entire life being scared of what people thought of what I looked like and have hidden away.  Due to my lack of confidence (I hope that's why), I've been single for 15 years.  

There.  That's honesty for you.  I promised myself I would be.

But I've have a revolution in my head, I'm not sure what started it.  I like to think that it was some bad ass inside me shouting "Enough of this shit!".  

Black is not a rule.  I'm a happy girl, I love colour, I will wear it!  I've been reading some of the plus size blogs, namely Mrs Bebe , Betty Bee to name a couple and I have started to realise that yes, I'm plus size but that doesn't make me a outcast of society.

I can love and wear fashion, I can look nice in it, I AM NOT GROTESQUE.  Confidence isn't just for skinny people.  I see plus size gals with boyfriends, husbands etc.  If they can have it, surely I can too.  I refuse to be the girl that is liked in private but denied in public.  I deserve better.

So here I am.  My first step.  below picture is probably quite accurate, but I'm aiming to change the "fuck off" to a "hello".  


First Essay - Done!

I've now completed my first six weeks in my Open University degree and have submitted my first essay.

I think that one of the biggest struggles I have had is getting to terms with studying again, not because I haven't enjoyed it, but finding the most productive time to do it.  Typically I am a night person and so I thought that this would be the ideal time to do my work.  Turns out, not.
 
After a long day at work, the thought of opening my books and doing some study for a couple of hours was a complete turn off.  Although I wanted to get the work done, the motivation wasn't there.  I therefore tried different times to work and utilised the alternative formats available for the study materials, downloading audio to my phone and printing pages out from PDF.
 
For me, working in smaller segments seems to be the key.  I get 30 minutes reading/listening to audio done on the bus each day, I use another 30 minutes during my lunch hour at work and during all these segments of time I feel motivated and get a lot done.
 
When at home, again I tend to work in short bursts now, but over the course of the week I am still able to fit all my studying in, work at my full time time, and still have a social life.  I am massively glad that I chose to work at the 25% rate, 50% (or 25 hours per week) would have been far too much.  I need a balance in my life and all work and no play makes Vicky a sad girl!
 
Last night, after many tweaks, re-writes and worries, I submitted first essay to be marked.  For this first one to be honest I am just grateful to have completed it and as long as I pass, I don't care what the mark is.
 
Well, when I say that, of course I care, but what I mean is that I don't have any expectations.   I do admit though, there is a fair amount of crossing my fingers going on!

2 November 2012

F.I.N.E

I’m having one of those days.  I call them my Italian Job days.  Not because I am going around stealing safes, but for the scene where Donald Sutherland explains to Mark Wahlberg what fine means
 
Freaked Out
Insecure
Neurotic
Emotional
 
These days normally occur when I have too much going on, thoughts swirl madly round in my head and I start to panic.  I’ve learnt to see the warning signs now so I know what to do.  I have a plan that I go through that usually works.

I always start with that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you know that something is wrong, but you don’t know what.  The breathing gets heavier and a panicked feeling starts.  You reach the point where you feel like you are going to cry.

Before, I would let that emotion take over and meltdown, now I can stop myself. 

  1. Breathe.  Just breathe.  In and out, slowly and calmly.  Nothing can happen if you just breathe.
  2. What’s wrong?
  3. Yes, you do know what’s wrong, say it.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Everything is fixable, make a plan, step by step, find the fix.

 My “fine” moment may sound stupid to some.  But what I say is that if something is important to you, it is never stupid. My moment today was worrying about my assignment, worrying that I wasn’t clever enough to be doing a degree, worrying I was doing everything wrong, worrying myself into sheer panic. 

 I feel better now.  I’m calm.  I’m back on plan.  I can do this, of course I can; I just need to remember that I can.

Sometimes, you just forget to breathe.