31 October 2014

A Golden Oldie

I took my mum out for a meal last night and managed to take a couple of pictures of my outfit.

The AX Paris floral dress from +Simply Be , which I have previously featured on the blog here is a real favourite of mine as it is the first dress that I choose when I finally decided to move my wardrobe away from black and into what is now a staple in my wardrobe, beautiful patterned dresses. 

I am wearing in here with my new +Clarks ankle boots and a black cardigan from WearAll.


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30 October 2014

Safety Tips for the Elderly This Winter

Winter time can be especially cold if you are in your advancing years. A combination of dark nights, icy conditions, and hefty heating bills can make it a stressful time of year for pensioners. It is particularly troublesome for those who live on their own. So if you are worried about the next few months or have a relative who you are concerned about here are a few tips to help the elderly keep safe this winter.



Get Care
Services such as Extra Care At Home provide a helping hand in various aspects of a person’s home life from help getting up in a morning to and housework to providing companionship which can be very important during the isolating winter. Such organisations provide all the benefits of a retirement care home without the person having to uproot from their home.

Outdoor Physical Activity
It is important not to exert oneself as the cold weather will already put extra strain on the heart as it works overtime to keep your body warm. Do not attempt to shovel snow or carry heavy shopping, instead get a younger family member or carer to run such outdoor errands.

Prevent Falls
Wear boots with non-slip soles and keep paths and steps carefully cleared of snow or ice to avoid falls in the cold weather. Put a rubber tip on any cane or walking stick needed to walk to prevent it from slipping.

Wrap Up
Frostbite is a very real risk during extremely cold weather so it is important to cover up as much of your body as possible as areas such as your nose, cheeks, ears are most at risk as are fingers and toes. Frostbite is especially common amongst people with poor circulation and heart disease.



Keep Warm Indoors
Cold homes can lead to serious effects on a person’s health. Flu, depression, heart attacks, strokes, and pneumonia can call be caused by chilly houses. Measures such as electric blankets, eating well, wearing warm indoor clothes can all help your body keep in check when temperatures plummet.

Get a Flu Jab
It is recommended that all over-65s get a seasonal flu jab as the illness can escalate into pneumonia.

Stop Smoking
This is good advice for any time of the year but it is especially pertinent for winter. A smoke-free life will allow you to breathe easier and return your immune system to its best.      

Keep Social
To prevent the winter blues, keep in regular touch with friends and loved ones via telephone. If you feel like widening your circle of friends there are great services such as Age UK’s BefriendingService which assign older people with a befriender who provides friendly conversation on a regular basis.

SimplyBe Prom Dress

Today I have a beautiful dress to show you from +Simply Be   I am saying this in a whisper in case it runs away however as this dress appears to be very camera shy.

I bought the luxe print prom dress months ago and have worn it on a few special occasions but for some reason, I have never managed to get photographs of myself in it.  Either I forget the camera or the photographs turn out blurred; something always seems to happen to prevent me showing the prom dress to you.

You know sometimes you will try a dress on and you feel nothing short of amazing in it?  You get a little warm glow and your confidence goes up a notch or two?  This is what this dress does for me. 

As you will see from my photographs the lighting isn't great so the dress is still trying to hide away from the limelight.  Naughty dress.  The girls in the pictures are my beautiful friends Shona and Vicky by the way :)






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28 October 2014

Where is my Mojo?

Hello all!

Just wanted to do a little update as to where I am now.  You may have noticed a lack of outfit posts, my usual rants and my generally not being around on here and on Twitter.

My step dad has been in hospital for over five weeks now and time to blog; tweet and write in general is short as my mind is full of other things.  I am fulfilling my pre agreed obligations but both my time and my mojo have temporarily disappeared.

I have also unfortunately had to take a step back from my monthly column "The Plus Perspective" at the amazing Fashion Worked website but being the kind person he is, the editor/creator (sometimes known as Batman in disguise) has let me take a hiatus with a view to hopefully returning back.

Although things are now (happily) slowly improving for my step dad, my mojo seems to have taken a nosedive when it comes to writing, which makes me sad, as I love to write more than anything.  Apologies also for any blog challenges that I have missed, I will try to catch up, particularly the "Suits You" challenge which I enjoy doing.



So basically I am just here to say a quick hello and that I haven't disappeared into thin air and hopefully my blog will resume to running on full throttle again soon.  All of my obligations have now been fulfilled so I may not update again for a little while, unless my motivation suddenly decides to come out from wherever it is hiding.


In the meantime, if anyone finds my mojo, can you please return to sender as I am missing it dreadfully.

Vicky xx

24 October 2014

Calendar Girls

One unfortunate side effect of getting older (yes I have to acknowledge that it is happening) is that my memory is not which it used to be.

In my early twenties I used to have a razor-sharp memory, able to recall dates, phone numbers and work file numbers with ease, but these days; after hitting my mid thirties (shush don't tell anyone!) my memory recall has definately taken a dip.

I have recently been looking into ways in which technology can help me with making better use of my time and having solved that with a tablet, I am now looking towards finding a calendar that suits my needs and to assist my forgetful memory.

What I want is a personalised calendar that I can tailor to both my blogging and personal life. With this in mind I decided to check out Photobox and see how they could help me create what I need.

One thing that I like the sound of is being able to upload your own photographs to use for each month. Whether it be family snaps, places you have visited or even quotes that you love, being able to choose my imagery and create a photo calendar specific to me is very appealing.



In the past few weeks I have committed to several monthly projects so being able to choose the starting month of the calendar rather than having to wait until January 2015 makes much more sense. Also, being able to enter my events, birthdays and blogging deadlines on the calendar before it is printed makes for easier reading and is much tidier. Much better than scribbling illegible notes and crossing out when you put an entry on the wrong date.

For an A3 calendar wall calendar with your own photographs costs £17.99 and for just £2.99 you can add in all the events and reminders that you like. Included in the £2.99 cost is the ability to add a photograph keyed to a specific date; great for adding photos for birthdays.

So with my technology sorted and my calendar arranged, my life is much more organised and I can use the extra time to have a glass of wine with a friend or just settle down with a good book. The important things in life.

What aides do you use to organise your life?

21 October 2014

Just The Way You Are

“I like you very much. Just as you are." - Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones Diary
I was talking today with my friend about body image.  How we see ourselves, the way in which others words affect us and the ways in which those words can make us change the way in which we strive to look.

If you do not like your body image or even if you are uncomfortable just with certain parts, the slightest comment can wreak havoc on the way you feel about yourself.  The day you go without makeup to work and someone says "You look tired today" or you are wearing a new dress and someone comments "Oh that dress makes you look so much slimmer".

Suddenly that no makeup day sends you running for the makeup and the comment about looking slimmer sends you into a frenzy of "So they think I usually look fat?"

These are things that happen in our day to day lives.  We look at other people, actresses, singers, celebrities in general and think about what amazing lives they must lead.  People fawning over them constantly, getting their hair done, the professional makeup artists, the perfect photographs and think "I wish I had their life".

Today I saw a photograph of Renee Zellweger.  Although she has been in many films: Jerry Maguire, Miss Potter; Chicago; the one film I really associate with her is Bridge Jones and the now iconic image of her in red pajamas.

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It always made me a little sad when after finishing the movie she would then lose the weight and revert to the Hollywood image; but I also think that if that was the way she wanted to look, who was anyone to argue.

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The image I saw of Renee today though made me stop and question just how far women are willing to go in the quest to comply with what society, and in her case, Hollywood, expects us to look like.

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The image we see today looks like a totally different person.  It took me a few minutes to even realise who it was that I was looking at.  She is practically unrecognizable from the person that she was, on the outside at least.  But what about the inside?

I tried to put myself in her shoes.  You don't get a part you really wanted "Sorry Renee, the part went to a younger actress.  You know I have heard about this amazing surgeon....."  "You look tired Renee, you know Botox is amazing?"  

How far do you go before the comments, jibes and barely disguised hints get into your head?  Before you think "Oh a little Botox can't hurt".  A little Botox there, a little filler there and day by day you change; gradually so that you don't notice until one day, your photograph is splayed across the papers with the "Who is this woman".

Isn't it time that we stopped judging each other on how we look.  Isn't time that that we stopped saying "You would amazing if you just did this".

Isn't it time that we take a line from Mark Darcy and say "I like you very much,  Just the way you are".

20 October 2014

New Work Wear

Today I have a new dress to show you which I have recently added to my work wear collection for Autumn/Winter.  The days are drawing in and there is a definate nip in the air which calls for a return to a darker colour palette and warmer fabrics.

This Ann Harvey dress ticks all the boxes for me.  I love the baroque print and at just shy of 42 inches, it hits me just below the knee which is my go to length when choosing a dress.  The dress features a wrap around style top which is brought in a the waist with a silver buckle piece which adds extra detail.  Being fully lined, it is warmer to wear on those colder days.


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I have worn the dress today with some t-bar wedges from +Simply Be and a three strand jet bead necklace.  When the weather turns colder still I will be adding a long line black cardigan and tights.  

The baroque print dress is true to size and is available at Ann Harvey in sizes 18-32 for the price of £45.00.  Today there is a 20% discount code on the site so if you like the dress as much as I do, head over and grab a bargain.

17 October 2014

Bedroom Makeovers for Autumn/Winter



When I get round to sprucing my place up, I often like to start with the bedroom; it's where you start the day, after all, so a beautiful environment to wake up in can only be a good thing! Here's a look at some of this season's trends and ideas for updating your bedroom.

Beds
The bed is a great place to start, especially if yours is feeling a little tired. Most people are aware of the importance of a good night's sleep these days, and a new bed doesn't have to cost the earth. One idea to consider if you're changing colour schemes, leaving you with soft furnishings and other clutter that you don't really want to chuck out, is an ottoman bed. The mattress lifts up to reveal a storage area underneath, useful for extra pillows and the like - or anything else you'd rather not have on public display! Bedstar have a good range with plenty of options in neutral colours.

Colours


Colour scheme choices are particularly important in the bedroom. For some people, relaxed, calming tones make it easier to get to sleep, while others like a more vibrant palette to help them get going in the morning. Mixing the two doesn't often work! You probably don't want to be redecorating every six months, so it's worth taking a tip from the luxury hotel chains if you're in doubt; neutral, calming tones seem to be most popular with those who run businesses based on keeping sleepy customers happy. You can always jazz the room up with colourful pillows, lampshades and so on. Natural fabrics are always popular; Sainsbury's "Indigo" range, new for autumn, includes bedding and soft furnishings in deep but relaxing blues.

Rustic Schemes

If you fancy a warmer, more rustic scheme, that's another way to go this season while staying fashionable. A couple of items of weathered oak furniture - say a chest of drawers and a nightstand - can look wonderful in a rustic themed bedroom. The Cotswold Company have a nice range of oak storage pieces, including small units that'll fit in an alcove. Tartan is looking like a popular theme this season as well, so a blanket or a few cushions can be deployed to give a splash of colour. Terry's Fabrics have ideas for both bold red tartan styles and more neutral, beige toned versions like "Balmoral Rosso".

Ultimately, the bedroom is perhaps the most personal room in the house, and how you choose to decorate it is down to you; but remember that clean, calm, uncluttered design will generally assist with a better night's sleep, whether you go for bright, "morning-person" colours - or the other way!




*In collaboration with Slap Up Media.

16 October 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 have been playing around with black and white photographs lately as they lean towards the vintage feel that I love.

I asked my friend to take a photograph of me today with a view to this post, a day late, I'm sorry. They say that whenever someone else takes your photograph it shows your emotions more than when you take it yourself and I think that this is true here.


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I felt good when having this photograph taken but looking at it now, I looked tired and stressed; which is exactly how I am feeling.  Life is crap at the moment with various things going on my family life and people close to me that I am very worried about.

I'm trying to keep on with maintaining my blog as it is an escape from what is happening and it still brings me joy.  I will continue to try and do more outfit posts but for the moment, I ask that you bear with me.

Check out the other ladies in the challenge who are hopefully more cheerful!



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14 October 2014

Timesaving Tablets

When you have a busy life, as many of us do, it is important to utilise your day as best as possible.  In order to be able to have a little more relaxation time at the end of the day, I have been looking at ways in which I can make better use of the time I have available.

After getting an idea for a blog post I usually end up emailing myself with thoughts and ideas, texting myself when I have no Wi-Fi available or when I am really stuck, scribbling notes to myself and throwing them in my handbag (which invariably get lost!)  This is not a good use of my time as when I sit down to do my blog; I then have to try to collate all of these things together.

Whether I am having a brainstorming session whilst on the commute to work or taking a few minutes at lunch to jot notes down, I need something that I can work on that can sync with my all my devices.  What I need is a tablet

I went over to my local Tesco this week to pick up some things for the weekend and ended up having a look around the technology section.  On the upper end of the market, you have the Microsoft Tablet which has a 10.1 inch screen with a 256GB hard drive.  It also has a handy stylus, which is great if you quickly want to make notes on a document.

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On the lower priced end of the market, you could also choose the Acer Iconia A1. This tablet is slightly smaller at 7.9 inches with a 16GB hard drive.  If you only intend to use the tablet as a bridge between your laptop and phone, the amount of storage should be fine, however it is extendable with the use of a micro SD card.

As our lives become busier and our free time is ever reduced, finding technology that can help you make the most of your day is always worth the investment.

*Written for Tesco.  

13 October 2014

My Winter Wardrobe

I always used to tease my mum about the amount of clothes that she owned.  Every year when the weather turned warmer and then again, when the cold breath of winter started to make its appearance she would pack away her summer/winter wardrobe in suitcases and take out her other clothes, ready for the season to come.

I never did this.  What is the point is having many clothes when they are all black?  My summer and winter clothes fit into my wardrobe with ease.  There are only so many pairs of black trousers you can own after all. 

Last year however when the first warm days appeared, I realised that my attire was expanding at a rate that my small wardrobe could not keep up with.  The riot of colour and print, which makes me beam from ear to ear every time I opened the door, was getting cramped and overcrowded. 

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I said goodbye to all of my winter dresses and cosy coats, packing them away until winter reared its ugly head again. 

This weekend I looked my wardrobe again and decided that it was time to change back to winter wear.  The nip in the air and the cold journey on the bus to work needed something a little warmer to wear than I have been wearing.

I actually found myself stood at my wardrobe talking to my clothes.  Not a good sign I know.  Dresses that I have been in love with over the summer months that I didn't want to say goodbye to.  I'll admit that a few of them have remained in the wardrobe, purely for gazing on purposes.

Upon getting my winter clothing out again though it was like greeting old friends.  My adored purple checked coat, the first leopard print dress I have ever owned, along with a body con dress that I bought when I was feeling confident.

It might have been hard to say goodbye to some dresses this year, but I can't wait to meet them again when summer comes around again!

7 October 2014

Suits You 4

I am more than a little late with this challenge I have to say sorry to Sally-Anne Wills whom I have been allocated this month.

Twitter: @sallywills
Instagram: @sallywills


I am trying my best to fit my blog into the whirlwind of things that are happening in my personal life at the moment but it doesn’t always work when you have hospital visits and a million other distractions.

I met Sally at my first ever event in London and she was very lovely, tweeting me before the event when I was nervous and scared to go in on my own!


I have looked through some of her recent outfit of the day posts and have put together this ensemble, I hope she likes it!


Vintage Floral Belted Dress - Yours Clothing
Shoe Boots - Yours Clothing
Pearl Infinity Bracelet from NotontheHighStreet

Please take a moment to check out the other ladies who are also involved in the styling challenge!


6 October 2014

Checking Out Clarks

I went for a night out with the girls on Saturday so whilst I was all dressed up and ready for a night of dancing, I decided to take a few photographs to show you what I wore.

My dress is the amazing Anna Scholz Check Print Skater Dress  I first spied this +Simply Be dress at Plus North and made frequent visits to the stand to gaze at it.  A sure sign that I was meant to own it.

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I love how the bright pinks and yellows combine with the black and the PU trim to the neck, arms and around the waist really give it an edgy detail.  I bought the dress for £50.00 but luckily for you, it is now on sale at £35.00.  Run! Quick! Buy it now!

Now the last time I went out dancing my shoes absolutely crippled me so this time I wanted something that was a little more comfortable, but also added the final edgy touch to the dress.  I decided to go with the Macay Halle * boots from +Clarks 

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These boots have a double zip, one on each side with one for fastening and the other as you can see above, which goes half way up, allowing for a little extra room.  One thing that is always important to me with ankle boots is having space to move around my ankle.

These boots goes perfectly with dresses but will work equally as well with lots of different outfits. The block heel isn't too high and the best part for me, strangely I know, is the sole.  I am the human Bambi on ice and when it comes to winter, I need a good firm grip to keep me on my feet instead on falling to the ground.
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After wearing them for a night of dancing I can testify that they were very comfortable to wear and will be a firm favourite for the coming Autumn/Winter months.  You can buy them at Clarks here for £69.99.

I finished my outfit with two strands of jet beads and a 50's style roll in my hair.  I hope you liked the outfit!

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* Denoted gifted item

1 October 2014

Instagram Roundup

I don't have much time to blog at the moment, but I realised this morning that I had not had an instagram round up lately so thought that I would share a few pictures from the past couple of months, as well as my favourite memes of the moment!

Love the little picture of my dog Ellie.  Such a little cutie.  Hope you are all well!  


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