28 February 2013

Where the Heart Lies

The off period of Formula One has seemed to be extra long this time.   Thankfully if you are on Twitter at least, there have been continuing updates and in the case of Lotus, a constant stream of entertainment and fun for the fans.

People either get F1 or they don’t.  But if you love it, it becomes a part of your heart.  For me, it is the love of the sport first and foremost, with supporting teams and drivers coming after.

I started my love of F1 very late (gnashes teeth).  Jenson Button in his 2009 season was the start of my viewing and my love of JB has stuck with me.  Everyone else in the sport has been harder to place, both teams and driver, although who I disliked has remained pretty constant.  Vettel & Maldonaldo, I’m looking at you.

My favourite team has at last been settled in my head.  I have always cheered for McLaren in previous years, but only for the fact that JB was in the team.  But McLaren has never set right in my heart.  My heart was taken by Lotus F1 Team in the past season.

Their fan interaction, both off and on season, the constant updates and photographs is what does it for me, as well as creating a race winning car and letting Kimi say and do exactly what he wants.  I would have loved them alone for the "#ImSexyandIKnowIt on Kimi’s car in winter testing. 

When it comes to the drivers, I have a few favourites, for different reasons.

Jenson for his warmth, his amazing driving and the fact that his winning year was also my first as a fan.

Webber as he says what he thinks, when he can get away with it.  I still think he would have been better at McLaren than Red Bull this season though.

Kimi – Two words.  Team Radio.  Enough said.

The last driver who entered my heart was a surprise, because it’s be fair here, he’s a bit of git.  But it’s Fernando Alonso.   He went up in my estimation when he joined Twitter and was sharing with his photographs and humour. 

The thing that sticks with me however is that you cannot deny that he drives the wheels off any car they give him.  I believe he was right when he said in one interview that he wasn’t racing Sebastian Vettel, he was racing Adrian Newey.  Vettel is no match for Alonso.

He is the person I want to win the driver’s championship this year as I truly believe that he was robbed last year.

You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned Lewis Hamilton.  The truth is, although I wish him well in this new season with Mercedes, I have had such a love/hate/love/hate/love relationship with him that I’m done. 

So that’s it, my Formula One heart is set.   Whether you are a Red Bull fan, a McLaren, a Ferrari or a Lotus fan, I wish you all a fantastic season.  I think we’re going to have a good one.

Spring, Where art Thou?

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I don't know about you, but I for one am absolutely sick of the Winter now.  I've had it with the cold, I 've had it with the multi layers of clothing, I've had it with boots, I've just had it basically.
 
Last night I decided that whilst I couldn't physically change the season, I could dress a little more to suit Spring weather which would a least make it feel a little better.  So after raffling through my wardrobe I came across this dress which I bought from Very
 
I am only just starting on flower prints but already have a few in my wardrobe and they seem to be everywhere this season!
 
 
 
 I have worn the dress with my ever present black slip to ward off the usual excess cleavage that a wrap dress seems to come with!  The bow belt is also from @Very and I have teamed the dress with a teal cardigan and black leggings.



 
 

How do you combat Winter fashion when you have had enough?

 

27 February 2013

Knocking Down Barriers

It's weird having a blog.  At least for me.  It's my baby and I have always guarded it like a mother tiger.  Not letting hardly anyone I know actually read it.

I have been writing posts on here, from the serious to silly, from clothes to items on the news for close to two years now.  Whilst I've let my mum read the odd post and I know that my sisters have read some, it isn't quite the same as letting my close friends read it who know me best.

With my family they know the "family version" of me, not the whole.  It is undoubtedly my close friends that know me best, but I have taken this blog further then I have ever told anyone.  I've poured myself onto these blogs without holding back.

This weekend past I let my two best friends read it.  I gave them the link and then went to hide in the corner. Neither of my friends are blogging type people so I didn't know whether they would read one or two posts, or the whole lot.  

I didn't care what they thought of my writing (well ok, a little bit ;) ).  I didn't mind if they thought the blog was good or rubbish.  That was never what I was scared about.  It is one thing letting strangers read your thoughts, chances are you will never meet them, it doesn't matter.  

But letting the closest people to now read your inner most thoughts, the things you think but don't say, the things you feel but hide, the honest to god "this is me yes I'm bat shit crazy really sorry about that" stuff that you typically don't share with anyone but a counsellor.  

Ironically my oldest friend is training to be a counsellor and she knows me best.  Poor girl.  She's had to put up with a lot ;)

Both of these girls have always been cheerleaders for my confidence, knowing how I could be before I knew myself.  They also knew me well enough to know that I work at my own pace, on everything.  Either supersonic when I make a decision and go with it or a slower more steady route when things are harder.

Both say that I am a different person today than I was a year ago, in a good way.  

True friends are the people who stick with you through thick and thin.  In my case, they knew me when I was unhappy (although I rarely admitted it), under confident, scared and insecure covered at all times in black.  It is good to be with them now when I am happy, confident, strong in my thoughts and with a wardrobe full of colour.

So thank you ladies, aka Lady Jebley and Wifey  I'd have to go a long way to find better friends than you.


25 February 2013

Review SimplyBe Glamorosa Tunic Dress

I often compare finding the right dress as being similar to finding the Holy Grail.  Both being much talked about mythical objects that no one can find.

Having accomplished the feat of finding a plus size dress that is both fashion forward, to my taste and not shaped like a tent I am often thwarted at the last hurdle by the bust area.  Many times I have tried on a dress which has fit perfectly in all areas, but my breasts have either been squashed so much it looks like I have a lumpy pillow stuffed under my dress or there is far more cleavage showing than I would prefer  to show outside of my bedroom!

SimplyBe recently kindly offered me the chance to review an item from their range.  I came across their Glamorosa section which said it’s clothes were “Designed for your boobs, tailored for you”.  We’ll see I thought and decided on a Bird Print tunic dress in Voluptuous Fit.

Having high hopes I tried on the dress and hurrah!  Finally a dress that ticked all the boxes.  What I wanted from this dress was something that I could wear either at work or with the girls at the weekend.  The v neck hits me at just the right spot to be work appropriate.  With the length, if you are 5ft 4 or over, this dress may be a little short without tights or leggings.

The viscose material is light and flows perfectly, although personally I wouldn’t wear it without my trusty silk slip underneath as it is a little see through when viewed in sunlight.  After wearing it for a full day in the office, I can confirm that there was not a crease to be seen!  The bird print on the SimplyBe site appears to just be black and white but there is a smattering of pink on each bird which really adds something to the dress.

I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive as I anticipate this dress getting many an outing.  I prefer a belt that cinches in a little more at the waist so have substituted one of my own, although the belt has come into other uses, namely in my hair as you can see from one of the photographs!

The dress can be found at SimplyBe and is available in sizes 14-32, covering cup sizes from A - K.

Here are the pics!



I have not been paid to write this blog and the opinions in the same are honest and my own.

24 February 2013

MUA Blusher Review

As part of being my plan for being more sensible with my money (read not buying so many shoes) I have been looking where I spend a lot of money and have been trying to cut back.

I recently did a post on MUA Mascara which was the first product I have tried from the Makeup Academy. It has become my go to mascara for the working week and works very well, for the price I couldn't be more happy.

I was looking through my makeup collection recently though in my budget frame of mind and realised I needed a change in blusher.  I have always used Dandelion by Benefit which I used as a double up for brightening up my complexion and adding blush to my cheeks.  I adore it.  But at £23.50 a time, can I still justify it?  Probably not.

Given my good experience with the mascara, I once again raided the MUA section of my local Superdrug.  For the unbelievable price of £1 I bought the MUA Shade 2 Blusher and have been roadtesting it for over a week once.



The blusher goes on well, without being too heavy.  It has a good staying power and I have nothing bad to say about it at all.  In fact considering the price I ended up with two as I keep one at home and one at the office (sometimes a girl just have to retouch).

The blusher has a very good level of pigmentation and as a result, you only need to dab your blusher brush once onto it in order to get the appropriate amount of blusher to apply.  I learned this at my peril after using for the first time and ending up looking like Aunt Sally.

Making a saving of £22.50 is a definate win in my budget task, although I still need to retrain my brain so I don't think "Oooooo, what can I buy instead?"

Have you found any good bargains lately?


22 February 2013

Exciting Times

This week has been a crazy one for me and my blog.

I never really had a plan, it just gradually morphed itself over the course of a couple of years into what it is today.  Opinions, rants and plus size outfits.  My very first post A Love of my 30's, Finally feels like it was written a lifetime ago, although I'm glad the blog started on a positive note!

Over the course of the past few months I have found a little confidence and have been doing a few plus size posts.  I have experienced everything from sheer terror to complete surprise and actual pleasure in writing them.  

Taking photographs of myself, of which I'm still on a massive learning curve, was definately a challenge as I always used to hide from the camera.  I was expecting nasty comments, or more likely, no feedback at all from these posts but the reaction to them has been great.  

With this in mind, the next step I have reached in the blog is twofold.  Firstly, I promised myself that when, and if, the views in one month ever went over a certain figure, I would get a domain name.  I'm quite liking the blog being TheCurvedOpinion.com now!

The second move forward is that I have been lucky enough to be gifted some dresses for review on the blog.  I have purposely chosen dresses that are completely out of my comfort zone and not what I would normally wear.  I have been pleasantly surprised!  These posts will be up in the following few weeks.

Onwards and upwards!

21 February 2013

What's in a Name?

Back in July 2012 I wrote a post entitled What's in a Name?

After much thinking and consideration I had decided to revert back to my original surname, before it was changed to be the same as my step-fathers.  I never regretted the change and only wanted to change back because I was searching, I'm not sure what for, for me I think.
 
I received various opinions on my decision to change, all unwanted to be honest as it was my decision, not anyone else's.  While some supported me, others disagreed with my choice.  I let them sit in their judgement then, I wouldn't today.  Unless I am doing something illegal, I won't be judged by anyone.
 
So much has happened in my life since I wrote that post.  I feel like a completely different person.  I am secure in myself, I know who and what I am.  I'm confident.  I'm not longer drifting.
 
Someone asked me today if I I still wanted to change my name.  I had changed it on the social networks and my email etc but so far had done nothing official as I was wanting for my student finance to be sorted out.  My answer though was yes, I really wish I still had my old last name, but the reasons I had for changing, didn't seem so important anymore.
 
I wanted to be my old last name again but in truth, back then I needed an anchor.  Something to latch on to saying "This is who I am".  I needed identity.   Eight months later, a whole world of change in me and I realise, it isn't my name that matters.  The identity inside is the one that matters.  I am who I am, regardless of what my last name is.
 
In my head, I will always be my father's daughter, I will always think of myself with his surname.  Do I need a physical proof of that anymore?  No, I don't think I do. 
 
The only change I will be keeping is my Twitter user name.  In a weird way, joining Twitter was the catalyst for all the changes I have made since and I have never been more myself than when I am speaking on Twitter.  So Vicky_Coop I shall remain.
 
 
 
 

20 February 2013

Encouraging Spring

The sun was shining gloriously this morning, I'm not sure where it's gone now. 

The sun coming out always inspires me to dress with bright colours, so I've snapped my work wear outfit today!

 
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Tunic from South at Very
Cardigan from Ebay
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Does the weather inspire you with colour?

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19 February 2013

Dressing Up

As we slowly crawl out of the winter, it is time to start looking at some pretty dresses (one of many excuses I use to look at dresses).

I have seen SimplyBe mentioned a lot in plus size blogs recently so I thought that I would use the site for my first foray into dresses for the spring and summer.  I have shopped there in the past but it has been quite a while now so I was excited to see what they had to offer.

Here are my favourites!


Glamorosa Tunic Voluptuous EE-G
£36.00
I love this dress.  It is something that I could use both at work and also at the weekend which is an added bonus.  I love the print detail and the fact that the dress actually goes in at the waist, whilst still catering for a larger cup size.

It can be found here

This is on my wish list!








Red Print Skater Dress
£34.00
I have an ongoing love affair with red.  I love this dress because of the added bonus of a pattern, as well as the tie detail at the back to give you more shape.

It can be found here









Bespoke Penelope Poppy Dress
£60.00

I actually have no idea whether this dress would suit my shape, but I have fallen completely in love with the poppy pattern.  It is bright, colourful and perfect for summer with a 50's twist.

It can be found (maybe in my wardrobe soon but also) here












AX Paris Sleeveless Floral Dress
£35.00



Being sleeveless, patterned with a floral print and floaty, this dress is right out of my comfort zone which makes me itch to try it out.  I have heard good things about AX Paris dresses although am yet to buy one myself.

It can be found here










AX Paris Heart Print Cross Over Dress
£35.oo

This dress got a Carrie esq "Helllo lover" out of me when I saw it.  I absolutely adore the dress.  I like that the heart print gives it a feminine touch but the dress has clean cut lines and adaptable to being dressed up or down.

What's not to love.

It can be found here








So that rounds up my favourite dresses I have seen on SimplyBe.  I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised with the range, colours and style available for the plus size gal.  I think more than one of these dresses will be making their way into my wardrobe.

Do you have any favourites?





18 February 2013

Milestones

There is saying that you have confidence, and actually putting it into action.  This weekend has turned out to a milestone in confidence.
 
On Saturday night I was helping my mum out with a party.  She had decided to have a 60’s themed quiz as part of the evening and wanted me to be her “quiz master”.  Anyone who knows me would know that ordinarily, this would be the last thing in the world I would agree to.  Speaking to a room full of strangers, 12 people all looking at me, no way, no how.
 
After a little coercion however I agreed.  But then a strange thing happened.  Instead of the usual shy, embarassed, avoiding eye contact & get this over as quickly as possible girl, another girl appeared. 
 
I had just finished reading out the fifth question when suddenly I realised that I sounded different.  My voice was at normal tone, I was looking people in the eye and engaging, even joking with the people in the room.  People I had never met before.  This was a first.  A milestone reached.  An ability to be in a room full of people, and just be myself.
 
The next night I was talking to a friend on Twitter and I said something to her which again just flowed straight out of me, which I never would have thought, never mind said before:
 


"I've spent 33 years thinking 'I'll be happier when I'm thinner'. Now I worry first if I'm happy, which is healthier."


I reread that tweet this morning on the bus to work and I'll admit,  as daft as it may sound, my eyes filled up.  Because I'm happy.  Because I felt confident enough to say it to someone else.  Because it wasn't about the way I look, it was the way I felt. 

I'm not saying that suddenly all of my confidence issues are cured, tomorrow I may be back to being Holly Golightly but it's some damn good progress ;)



Have you have a confidence milestone?

 

17 February 2013

Back to Dresses

If I could walk around every day and night in a dress, I would.  On Saturday though I was helping my mum out with a party at home so dressed down rather than dressed up was the order of the day.  With heels of course, they go with everything.

I haven't done an outfit of the day post for ages so quickly took a few snaps when I had gotten ready.  I liked the long jumper when on and was certainly comfy which is always a bonus, but I don't think it is quite me.

In the end, although I liked the skinny jeans/heels combination, turns out, I'm not not a long top kinda gal.  But hey, I gave it a go and the top from Very (from the sale and is now out of stock) is certainly lovely and I love the lace insert detailing, just not particularly for me.

Back to dresses is the answer, the Summer needs to hurry up as I have lots of lovely dresses I can wear.  


Obligatory check the make-up - pointless photograph



That's a "I'm not sure about this!" face

I'll go with casual if I must, but not with the shoes!

15 February 2013

An 18th Century View

In today's society you can change laws, but changing views takes far longer.

We see ourselves today as a progressive society.  Our 21st century views in many cases would seem foreign, and unheard of back and in some cases scandalous in the 18th and 19th century, and yet some prejudices still remain to this day.
 
Daybreak this morning asked the question "Can women who are drunk or flirty ever be blamed for being attacked?"
 
How can it be that this question is still being asked, let alone why anyone would ever say yes as an answer. 
 
      If a house is burgled, is it the fault of the home owner for having a nice house?

      If a drunk man with his top off walks in front of a group of gay men, is he "Asking for it"?
 
      If someone steals money from their employer, is it the fault of the employer for having a lot of
      money?
 
      If a man is robbed in the street, is the first question "But had you been drinking sir?"

 
These questions are never asked, purely because a) They are nonsensical and b) The answer is either no, or "Why are you asking irrelevant questions?".

No will always be no.  Let's treat victim blaming as what it is.  An archaic view that has no place in society.

12 February 2013

Eaten by the Internet

When does social networking move from pleasurable to a pain?  When did it change from something that you nip onto in a spare five minutes, to being something that you constantly maintain and check?

I first entered the realm of social media with Myspace.  It is so long ago now I can't even remember what I did there, but it wasn't anything that was particularly addictive, or fun.  From Myspace I was encouraged by a friend to move to Facebook.  So it began.

Fast forward through to 2013 and I have Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and a blog.  How did that happen?  I'm not even sure myself but I know that a chunk of my time is taken maintaining or checking these sites.  How profitable is it to me however?

Looking at each one and the reasons I am there, it becomes easier to see how you can get caught up.

Facebook is used to catch up with friends.  It was the first of the social networks to go global and it is still the most popular, thereby being the one that you can still catch up with most people you know on.  It is however also massively irritating, although more down to the things people post as opposed to the site itself.  Baby pictures, quotes, it's just not interesting enough to hold my attention.

That took me to investing Twitter.  I joined Twitter to find like minded Formula One fans.  It has grown into an addition that I don't want to quash.  I love my Twitter and I'm keeping it.
 
Google Plus I was forced into having when I changed my email to a Gmail Account.  I ended up using it for blog purposes but don't use it for any other reason.  I see fail to see the point of it but somehow, I still end up having a look 2-3 times a week.
 
The last of my online addictions is of course this blog.  This is the place that I spend most time on and many many hours have been spent in maintaining and adding to the blog.  I don't regret these hours however as the blog gives back to me as much as I give it.
 
This is however how you end up with so many internet commitments.  I have managed to justify all of mine, quite easily.  I think that as long as it doesn't interfere with your working life, and you have a social life outside of cruising around Twitter, there isn't a problem.
 
This said, I have just got my claws into Tumblr.  Goodbye social life, it was fun xx
 
 

11 February 2013

Sarah Connor v Holly Golightly

You know that saying, “Some days you are the pigeon, some days you are the statue”.  I hate that saying.  It’s basically saying that some days you crap on people, other days they crap on you.  That's a dog eat dog world I'm not interested in.

I have my own version.  I’m more, “Some days I’m Sarah Connor, whilst others, I’m Holly Golightly”.  Yes, I did just use The Terminator and Breakfast at Tiffanys as references.  I identify with them both.

The Sarah Connor days I am strong, I can deal with whatever is thrown at me.  I have vulnerability, but I’m comfortable in my own skin.  If you screw with me I’ll fight right back.

The Holly Golightly days, I’m bravado.  I’m scared, unsure, I run a mile at the thought of exposing my heart, but I put up a damn good front.    It’s the mean reds. I let myself be Holly when I need to be, she did in the end, overcome her fears and go for it after all. 

Today, I’m Holly.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be Sarah.  One day, hopefully I’ll just be me.
 
 

9 February 2013

Review of Clinique Moisturiser

I've tried many moisturisers over the years.  

I have combination skin that reacts fine with makeup, but for some reason, doesn't like moisturiser.  I have tried various brands over the years, from the cheapest to the most expensive.  

Putting the wrong moisturiser on my face turns it bright red and stinging.  Not a good look.  This has happened with so many that I have tried.  Nivea worked quite well for me, but I didn't like the thick consistency which took forever to sink in and I had to wait a while before I could apply makeup.  

My review today is for Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion.

The retail price is around £29.00 for a 125ml bottle from Debenhams although you can get cheaper bottles from Ebay.  Some may say that is expensive but I can assure you that for the amount that you actually use, the time it takes to use a bottle up is very cost effective.  Once you have paid for the original outlay, you won't regret it.

The moisturiser itself it feels incredibly light going on and sinks right into your skin without feeling heavy.  You can literally put makeup straight on within two minutes.  Having tried various moisturisers over the years, this is the best one I have used in all areas.  

I have had no skin reactions with this moisturiser since starting to use it, and it has even cured my winterly complaint of dry flaky patches on my face during the cold periods which nothing has ever fixed before.

If you can't afford it, get it on your birthday list, you won't regret it.



7 February 2013

Stop Smoking, Drink Wine

My one year anniversary for quitting smoking is coming up in April.  I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, although I’ll admit that some portions dragged a lot longer than others.

I’ve had my ups and my downs, times when I could have cheerfully punched a kitten for a cigarette (I wouldn’t really) and others where my resolve has been so secure that I vowed that I was cured.  The actual state of play is that it is an ongoing affair.  I still love the smell of a burning cigarette and still miss not being able to have one after a meal and a glass of wine. 

Will I ever buy another packet again?  No.  Never.  Will I ever smoke another cigarette?  Impossible question.  The short answer is of course no, but the rest of your life is a long time, and I would be stupid to think that in all that time, I won’t be tempted to have a puff.  Never is a big word.  I prefer “try my damnest”.

I wanted to celebrate my one year in some special way.  I wanted to do something with my friends and my mum, something fun but also special.  I think what I have decided to do is make my smoking pay for me, and also the people I’m celebrating with. 

So my mum and I love to go out to see a movie and have a meal together, so my non smoking will pay for that, and my friends and I love to go out for a nice meal, have some wine and good catch up, so my non smoking will pay for that too.

In the end, spending time with my friends and my mum, acknowledging the people that have helped me on my no smoking journey, having delicious food, watching new movies and drinking nice wine, all paid for by money that used to go up in smoke, what more do you need?

I wouldn’t have gotten through my quitting journey with them, so a little thank you is more than required, along with more than a little fun.
 
 

5 February 2013

Hearts & Flowers


Against my better judgement and ignoring what my purse told me, I couldn’t resist having a little look on the Very website when their recent “70% off” email popped into my inbox.

I have a rule when sale shopping.  Don’t buy whatever you normally go for.  My view on it is that whatever you tend to usually buy when it comes to clothing, anything you may have wanted you have already bought, put on your wish list or bought a different example elsewhere.  

Sales are the times for change, for something new, and being daring.

My form of daring is patterns.  Having only in the past few months moved away from having a wardrobe crammed with black and dull clothing, colour is just about settling in my mind whilst prints are still scaring me somewhat.  

So, with an aim on buying something new, bright and patterned, I ended up with these two lovelies. 












I love the heart print black and white dress as it is something that I can style for work, a Saturday afternoon out somewhere nice or dressed up for an evening with a pair of killer heels.  The dress is still available and can be found here "So Fabulous Ditsy Day Dress" .

The flower print dress is definitely the one that frightened me the most.  Flower print?  Me?  Really?  The jury is out on that one at the moment, especially as I couldn't get a good photo for love nor money.  But in any case, you can buy it here "So Fabulous Tea Dress".

I'm still getting used to taking photographs of myself and need a better camera, but bear with me.

How do you do your sales shopping?