28 August 2014

Off to Plus North!


This weekend, along with many other plus size bloggers and lovely ladies (plus a husband or two!) I am heading to Leeds for Plus North. 

To say that I am both massively excited and nervous in equal measures in probably an understatement. 

Plus North last year was a real game changer in my life and the highlight of my year.  Being surrounded by people who had had similar life experiences to myself and knew how it felt was something very new to me. 

Plus North immediately felt like a safe environment where nerves were dissipated upon the first hello with people.  There was a wave of automatic acceptance and a friendliness from everyone that made me feel instantly at home.  I met so many amazing people whom I cannot wait to reconnect with this year as well as some faces that I have yet to meet in person and can't wait to do so. 

I have been lucky enough to be chosen to model again this year and will be on the catwalk, praying I do not fall or trip over, for Yours Clothing and So Fabulous. 



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Me modelling for Yours Clothing last year!

If you are reading this, I hope to see you there!  If you are attending this year please give me a wave and a hello.  You may get a glazed look at first as I am horrible with putting names and faces together, even if I follow you online so bear with me!

27 August 2014

Marisota Swimwear


Swimwear has always been an issue for me.  My day to day body confidence can sometimes go out of the window when I think about buying a new swimsuit as there are just so many factors to consider.

Last time I went on holiday choosing a new swimsuit was somewhat of a colossal task.  Whilst I would have no issues in wearing one, I want to make sure that I look my best but more importantly, make sure that I feel comfortable in what I am wearing.

+Marisota have created this infographic for swimwear in order to help you choose what to wear while you are lounging by the pool and there is some brilliant advice that I wish I had had last time I was browsing the swimwear section.

Whilst I do not wish to hide my body, I do want to show it off to it's full potential and then the only thing I have to worry about is getting a tan!


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A whopping 60.7% of the people surveyed found that their stomach was the area where they lacked the most confidence and I admit, this is the category I fall into as well.

Whilst I am not at a stage where I could simply throw on a bikini and not feel self conscious, having some style tips that I can work from, and grow confidence from there, will help greatly.  A bespoke swimsuit or swimdress with a cup size will help me to feel glam whilst something with a little bit of support in the stomach area would help me feel less self conscious.

Check out the Marisota Swimwear Section to find your ideal swimwear.




* In collaboration with Marisota


21 August 2014

BooHoo Ruby Leaf Print Jumpsuit

I was recently contacted by +boohoo.com and asked if I wanted to try out something from their new plus size range and of course, I jumped at the chance!
There were quite a few different options that I few for, such as the Paisley Print Batwing Dress (which I still think I need in my wardrobe pronto!) and the Paisley Print Trousers.


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In the end though I decided to go for what has been my nemesis so far, the jumpsuit!  I have tried out three different versions of jumpsuits in the past and none have been right for me so I was hoping that the Ruby Leaf Print Wrap Front Jumpsuit would fit the bill.

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This jumpsuit is 95% Polyester, 5% Elastane and comes up true to size.  If you are a little busty like me than you may want to put a little camisole on underneath or pop a strategic stitch in order to avoid any gaping.

I absolutely love the print and decided to go big with the accessories, little a wide belt (old), a chunky necklace that I picked up from a shop on Ebay and my reliable +Simply Be heels and crochet cardigan.

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Although I love the jumpsuit I am not entirely about it on me.  I would ideally prefer for my particular body shape for it to come in at the waist, which I have done by adding the belt instead. 

The colour, the material, the print and the elastic around the ankles are all things that I love about the jumpsuit so I must therefore conclude that the only thing I don't like, is me in it!  Actually you can strike that, I do like me in it, but I am so far off the edge of my comfort zone that I am practically absailing.

I would highly recommend this jumpsuit for anyone who has a penchant for them and indeed, anyone who has yet to try one.

Vicky xx

* Item gifted but all opinions my own as always



20 August 2014

Manchester Blogger Meet Up

I am a rubbish blogger.  I cannot believe how long it took me to write this blog post.  

Some time ago now I went on a blogger meet up in Manchester with some fantastic plus size blogger babes.  We decided to have a little shopping trip in the +Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre which had been arranged by the lovely Steph of Seeing Spots which was followed by a brilliant cocktail making class at +Tiger Tiger Manchester which had been sorted by the brilliant Debz of The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess

I will share a few photographs that I took during the cocktail class, please bear in mind that they were cocktail fueled photographs!

The beautiful Naomi

Concentration for making cocktails is key with Gemma of Pink Gemma

Dude, Where's My Cocktail?

Why are our glasses empty?  I don't know, I'm blindfolded!

I must confess that I was very nervous to go to the meet up, not only because the only person I had met in the flesh before was Steph, but also because I was meeting some bloggers that I had admired from reading their blogs and was a little "blogger star struck".  Not least Naomi of DiamondsnPearls with her radiant smile, Em from Terrible Tumbles who I thought was just fabulous (and was in the flesh too) and the beautiful Nicola of Chunky Cat Cuddler who makes gorgeous jewellery and is so so lovely.

We decided to stay for a "few" drinks later on given the 50% off offer, how could we not, which resulted in my weaving my way back to Deansgate ready for a bus ride home, trying not to fall asleep or look like a drunken mess.

I had a brilliant time and I think we definately need to do it again.  Spring Fling anyone?

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18 August 2014

Days to Remember

I was having a conversation the other day with my best friend about celebrating achievements and the quintessentially British thing of downplaying.   You know what I mean, you tell somebody something good that has happened to you or you have done, only to follow up immediately with "Well it only happened because" or "It isn't as good as" etc.

In my friend's case this relates to her business Appetite for Wellbeing which is an amazing venture which runs exercise classes, support classes, COPD classes and even pole dancing.  If you live in Lancashire I urge you to check her out, her philosophy of "no scales, no mirrors, no judgement" is one which should be employed everywhere.  Check out her testimonials on Youtube as well as her other videos.

She doesn't realise how amazing her business is and the fact that she has built it from the ground up is just astounding.

While I compliment her achievements, she does the same for me, and we have both come to realise that we downplay what we have achieved.  We both said that sometimes, you need to blow your own trumpet (no dirty comments here please) and recognise when something great happens because you have worked for it.

Today is an achievement day for me.  If you are a reader of this blog you will know that I love writing.  I am never happier than when I am tapping away at the keyboard, talking about current events or body confidence.  Putting my two cents out into the world is something I love and am fiercely protective over.

Source
A couple of months ago I noticed that the brilliant Becky from The Ramblings of Mrs BeBe had started a new venture, writing for the Huffington Post. I wanted to do this myself so much.  One voice whispered in my mind "You are not good enough" whilst another simply said "Try".  

So last week I gathered together my courage and submitted a pitch to them, fully expecting to either not hear back or receive a polite "Thanks but no thanks" email.  I was however delighted to hear back the next day with a yes!!

My post The Darker Side of Fat Shaming is now live on the site and I cannot express how happy this makes me.  I have so many ideas of the things I want to write about and I cannot wait to start my next piece.

So here is my blowing my trumpet moment:  I have come a bloody long way from the time that I first started this blog.  Wanting to write and trying to find somewhere that I could.  I added to writing for my blog with my monthly column at Fashion Worked and writing a piece for Evolve Magazine (in the next issue).  Today though, today is the day that I whispered to myself "You're a writer".

My job title says "legal secretary" but my hobby, this is where my heart sings.

This day is a very good day.  Onwards!!!!


17 August 2014

I Feel Good

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You know sometimes when you spend ages getting ready for a night out, an event or even just a blog post, and the reflection in mirror isn't what you hoped? This challenge is for those times when you look in the mirror, no pre planning involved, and think "I look good today". 

We all have our good days and our bad, but this challenge is to record those good days and to remember that confidence, at any size, is beautiful.

I am late with this challenge this month as I completed got lost in the days and scheduled posts all out of sync.

I recently wrote about a hashtag on Twitter called #bodyunshamed where you were allocated a blogger to say three nice things about, and then you had to apply the same to yourself. Unfortunately I was too late to get involved but I did have a go at the three things I like about myself, found here Body Unashamed

Society tells us that if you like something about yourself, you are either vain or deluded. I personally don’t see what is wrong about saying that you like something about yourself. There are many things that I don’t like about myself so focusing on the good is surely much more positive path.

With that in mind, I was looking through my recent Instagram photographs and I came across this one. It is only showing my lips and a necklace I was wearing but the reason I chose it is that it features one feature I like and one I don’t.   So focusing on the good, I like my lips!



For anyone doing the challenge, please note the updated list of bloggers involved.


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16 August 2014

Your Writing Process


I was tagged for my first blog hop by the lovely Louise of Polka Spots and Freckle Dots
I absolutely love Louise’s blog as she always has some great picks for her wishlist posts and you have to check out her weekly Serendipity Sunday which is amazing.  I am not sure who found who, but she is always a must read for me and is also a lovely and friendly girl.
So for this blog hop there are four questions to be answered about writing for your blog:

1. What are you working on? 

I am currently working on my new post for my monthly column on FashionWorked.  I always think each month that I am not going to have anything to write about but then some inspiration always hits (so far). 

I also have a dress that I want to put on the blog that I bought from  SimplyBe for a linky challenge about “Against the Rules” and I have a couple of reviews in the pipeline to do.  I have received a beautiful red jumpsuit from BooHoo which will be making an appearance soon, the jury is still out as to whether I like it on me though. 

I never really plan ahead further than a week, but I try and remember in my head when the blog challenges are on that I am involved in.  I think I need to invest in a blog to do list of some description.
2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I think that everyone’s blog style is unique in one way or another.  Whether it be your style of writing, what you like to write about or the particular poses you use in a photograph, no two blogs are ever the same. 

Mine is particular to me perhaps because I have tend to have an opinion or ten and usually use my blog as a vehicle to put them out into the world.  Although I love doing the fashion blogs and putting up my outfits of the day, I love writing the opinion pieces too so I imagine the blog will always be a combination of both. 

3. Why do I write what I do?

I love to write.  I am never happier than when I am writing, particularly about subjects that I am passionate about.  I get asked occasionally why I write about some of the things I do (like the Grand National) as “one person’s opinion isn’t going to change a nations”.  The thing is that I would rather have my voice out there, saying what I believe rather than keeping quiet and not speaking up.  I believe that we all have a voice and we should use it.

I write about fashion because I love it, it helps me to gain confidence in what I wear and try out new designs, shapes and patterns that I would never have before.  I am inspired by the other bloggers that I read and promoting body confidence is something that I am passionate about.

My day job is a legal secretary, but who I am is a writer. 

4. How does my writing process work?

Blogging for me has to work around my full time job which can be challenging at times.  I promised myself when I first started that it would never become a chore and so I will never write for more than an hour or so at night. 
Photographs are usually taken on the weekends when I have someone available to take them, but my writing is done all over the place.  I get quite a bit done in my lunch hours at work.  I write my outfit posts there and also normally have three or four documents on the go with bullet points about things that I want to write about.
When inspiration hits me for a new post I don’t want to wait until I get home to write, I need to jot down the bare bones of it so whenever I am, that is where it is done.
While writing my posts they are pinged about between work, writing to myself on the bus via email and then finally they reach my laptop where I can finalise and edit.  What I keep promising myself is that I will start saving my drafts on Google Drive so that everything can be easily accessed.
It can be a bit of a crazy system but it works for me.   I could probably do with having a tablet to assist with all this, that might make life a little easier.

Now it's time to continue the blog hop...

I've nominated two of my blogger friends to continue the hop: the ever fantastic Leah from Just me Leah and the lovely Nikki from Natty Nikki. 

If anybody else reading this post would like to take part, please do so!

Thanks for reading!

14 August 2014

Joe Browns Rambling Rose Dress

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Today I am participating in a blog hop and this month's theme is "Breaking the Rules".

During a meet up with some other fantastic bloggers in Manchester we took at trip to +Simply Be in the +Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre 

I decided to buy another Joe Browns dress (yes another) as I love that they are not afraid of bold prints and bright colours.  I went with the Joe Browns Rambling Rose Dress which is priced at £44.00.  I loved the dusky pink colour and the beautiful floral print.  





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The sweetheart neckline on the dress is just right on me and I love the pleating detail to the side and best of all, IT HAS POCKETS!!!  The length is shorter than I would usually wear being above the knee so some may want to wear leggings, but I just went with heels and a cheeky smile.

This dress definately breaks all of the rules that I am supposed to follow (screw the rules) so I thought that it would be perfect for this challenge!

I bought this dress in the summer but I will definately be carrying it through to the winter, I just need to add a cardigan and some tights.  

Another winner from Joe Browns and SimplyBe!


Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser

When it comes to your beauty and skincare routine, is there a job that you hate doing or just don’t have the time for?  In my case, the job that I never seem to have enough time for or just plain can’t be bothered to do is body moisturise.

I always start with good intentions; I buy all the beautifully scented body butters and lotions, determined that my skin will be silky smooth and looking fabulous.  Then life gets in the way.  The rush in the morning to get ready when I just don’t have time to sit there waiting for moisturiser to sink in, at night when I have a shower and, anxious to get into my PJs, I simply forget.  

It comes down to laziness I know, but body moisturisers just seem to be my “last straw” when it comes to my beauty and skincare routine.

I have mentioned in my recent “Shop the Stash” post that I have started to use the Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser.  I have been getting on so well with it that I thought I would tell you more about it.

Unlike the usual body moisturisers which needed to be rubbed in and given time to sink in properly, this spray is light, easy and takes up no time at all.  You simply spray where you wants, run your hand over the area once and you are done.  The sprays sinks immediately into your skin and you are able to put clothes on straight away.

They retail at Boots for £3.99 but I recently managed to get two cans of the Cocoa Radiant on Ebay for two for £6.00 so make sure to check there first.

Definately recommended, it is easy to use, quick to sink in and makes your skin feel gloriously soft.


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13 August 2014

Bathroom City Competition

When you picture relaxation, what do you think of?  For me it has to be a massive bath, filled with bubbles with a glass of wine in hand.  Bliss.

Unfortunately the one thing that our house does not have is a bath, just a shower so whilst I may dream of a huge bath of bubbles, that vision only gets played out when I check into a hotel or go on holiday.

One of the consequences of this is that I am completed fixated about bathrooms.   Old fashioned taps, huge bath on legs; my dream bathroom would probably cost thousands.

I decided to have a look at Bathroom City and see if I could find my ideal bath and just look at this beauty.  I want to sink into it and luxuriate.  Now at £1,897.00 this Devon Bath might take a while for me to save up for but hey, I don't have a house yet so I can still dream. 


At the moment Bathroom City are running a competition where you win £200.00 to spend which will go towards the bathroom of your dreams.  The competition is running from the 1st August to the 31st October 2014 and all you have to do is enter your name, your email and the name of your chosen social media profile such as Twitter.  You can enter here

What does your perfect bathroom look like?



*In collaboration with Bathroom City

11 August 2014

Body UNashamed

I was recently reading posts from the gorgeous George at Fullerfigurefullerbust and fantastic Kellie at Big Fashionista about a project that had been started by Penny of Lillies and Love called #bodyunashamed

This a project I would have loved to have been involved with alas I didn't see the tweet at the time which was calling for bloggers to participate.  You were each given a blogger to write three things that you find beautiful about them, and then share three things yourself.

Whilst I was too late to join the project, I have seen many people joining in with the three things that you like about yourself, so I decided to join in.  In a time when criticism against the way you look, act and what you wear seems to be everywhere, a little self love is not a bad thing.

My Determination
I have a strong will and determination which can sometimes lead to stubbornness, not my best trait.  However, that same determination has also helped me to quit smoking over two years ago through sheer will (which I will have re-employ as I have semi started again) and has helped me to break out my shell and enabled me to go to events, meet new people and travel to places on my own which I never thought I could do.

My Face
When I say that I like my face I am not being conceited.  There are many things that I could list that I don’t like about it.  The bright red freckle on the end of my nose, the ridge above my lips; my wonky eyebrow that is higher than the other; the gap between my teeth.  But one things that taking selfies has taught me is that you only get one face and you need to embrace it.  If I share a picture of my face on Instagram it means that I was feeling pretty when I took it.  That isn't something that anyone should shy away from doing.

Love your reflection, because you only get one.

My Hair
I have long fought against my hair.  I have been a blonde, a brunette and a redhead.  My hair has been curly and straight, long and short.  When it was curly I wanted it straight; but then when it was straight I thought it looked boring.

Over the past few months though I have stopped the fight.  My hair is thick, with a natural curl and looks best when I just let it do exactly what it wants and you know what?  It looks better now than it has in years.

The thing that I have learned from writing this post today is fighting against who you are and what you look like benefits no one, especially yourself.  Embrace what you look like, celebrate the person that you are; because there is no one else like you.

So there you go, that is my three things, what are yours?

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7 August 2014

Magnificent 7th Swimwear

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We will be posting on the 7th of each month, and the aim of the challenge is to create an outfit to fit the theme, using clothes from our wardrobes, and yes that does mean digging deep into the depths and finding those long lost clothes! Hopefully one of us won’t end up in Narnia, but you never know with a bloggers wardrobe!
Today’s edition of the Magnificent 7th Challenge is swimwear.

Having not had a holiday abroad for a few years, I haven’t bought any swimwear recently and in fact the only swimwear I own has been featured on here previously in the Flash the Flesh Challenge

For today’s post what I decided to do was have a look around at what is currently available, looking specifically for swimwear that accommodates my bra size which when I looked around last time; was rarer than a body positive comment on the Daily Mail.

I am happy to report that I did find much more variety available although to get my exact bra size in a swimsuit would cost me the tune of £139.00.   Whilst this Ample Bosom swimsuit is gorgeous and something I would wear, I couldn't justify paying that much.




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I did also find a bikini top that although wasn't an exact fit, it would have been fine.  However again the pricing was an issue.  £48.00 this time just for the top which I honestly cannot see how Elomi can possibly justify.

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I found the large cup bikini at +Simply Be 


Deciding that I would either need a bank loan or a breast reduction in order to find swimwear in my bra size, I turned instead to looking for swimsuits and swimdresses and found some that I really love.

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Swimdress from SimplyBe  £38.00  (My favourite overall)


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Check out the other ladies in the challenge and see what they have done this month!









5 August 2014

Breaking All the Rules


Are you tired of being told that you and your life doesn’t fit the mould that society expects?  I know that I am.  Being expected to look a certain way, act a certain way; have all the same views as others; to “fit in”.   I have HAD IT. 

It is a pack mentality; the trouble being that the pack is far too large with too many commentators.  Any individuality you possess can be crushed under the weight of it.  The mob (aka Daily Mail readers and their ilk) will criticise you for any breaks of the rules that they perceive to be set in stone.

So what rules of society do I break? 

  • I am still single in my thirties.
  • I don’t have children (nor do I want them)
  • I am fat and happy. 
  • I don’t dress the way that many deem that I should.
  • I am not afraid to say what I think when I am passionate about something.
  • I have no inclination to “fit it” for the sake of it.  

 What society would tell me that I am, gleaned from this list is that: 
  • I am left on the shelf
  • I’m lying to myself about not wanting children but everyone does
  • I am fat and thereby it is inconceivable that I could be happy
  • I am wearing clothes they don’t want to see me in
  • I am too outspoken.

I don’t care. 

Life is about choice, not conformity and the fact that I don’t fit into society’s little “how to be” box no longer bothers me. 

My ducks will never be all lined neatly in a row.  I don’t even have any damn ducks; although I do aim to dress like a peacock.  My path in life is not straight and clear; it is winding with complicated intersections and although I have fallen off it at times; it has always been there to take me in another direction.

One day I would like to meet someone to share the rest of my days with, to get married and be happy.  That day will either come or it won’t, but I won’t think that my life is ruined if it doesn’t happen.   I am not “left on the shelf” because I was never for sale.

Today is the day that I choose to stop listening to society.  I will no longer read the Daily Fail which is full of nothing but hatred, body snarking and vile views.  I will no longer judge myself as society says that I should, just because I am single.  I will no longer let others views affect how I lead my life nor have an impact on how happy I am.

I will skip down the path that is growing day by day under my feet.  I have no idea where it leads but one thing I do know is that I am going to make damn sure that the journey is fun. 

4 August 2014

New Outfit of the Day

I haven't been able to do many outfit posts lately but I wanted to share with you what I am wearing today for work.

I love outfits that you can just throw on and feel comfortable it.  I particularly love my necklace today although I confess that it is a bit on the heavy side!

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The attempt to look sultry but ending up Monday morning grumpy look

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The dress is from +Very.co.uk for the bargain price of £25.00, the cardigan and sandals are from +Simply Be and the necklace I found in a charity shop.