29 January 2015

Inspiration on your Wall

Sometimes we all need a bit of inspiration in our lives.  A reminder to live our lives the way that we want to, be who we want to be and embrace ourselves for who we are.

When I search for inspiration on the internet, the best quotes that I find are always more truth than inspiration.  They tell you what, in your heart, you already know.  You just have to sift through what society has indoctrinated you to think to find that truth.

My favourite quote, and one which I always remember is from Maya Angelou:

"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be".

The reminder to yourself that the best version of yourself is being exactly who you are, without trying to change yourself to meet other's expectations.

I was recently contacted by StressFreePrint and was asked if I would like to create my own inspirational quote poster.  I wanted something simple that would give me inspiration when I first wake up in the morning.  I decided to go with this:

  For me this simple sentence says so much and has been inspiring my wake up in the morning since I first received it last week.  Now StressFreePrint have given me the opportunity to give someone else the chance to design their own inspirational poster.  

Enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 January 2015

A Letter to the 15 Year Old Me

Bit of a wordy one this. 

Your life is a journey that each of us takes.  The only certainties are the beginning and the end.  The path that takes you there differs for everyone and the path is of our own choosing. 

In many ways, that path starts in our teenage years.  The choices we make, the people who we decide to be and the influences around us all fit together to formulate the future person.

When I was a teenager, I was so worried about what people thought of me.  I wanted so desperately to fit in.  I would change myself in order to fit in with what was required.  I was convinced that I was not good enough as I was.

I have seen many people write letters to their former selves; giving tips and reassurances about the people that they will become.  Today I am writing that note to the past me, who still lingers in the halls of my memory.

To Me, Age 15
From Me, Age 35

You Don't Need to Change Yourself
One of the biggest lessons that you will learn is that is ok to be yourself.  As soon as you allow yourself to embrace who you are, happiness comes.  The people around you: your family, your friends, they already see the real you and they love you.

When you eventually let out that person who at the moment only exists in private, you will discover that people have been waiting for this to happen for years.

She will grow in so many ways once you let her out of the cupboard.  You will find it impossible to believe, but in twenty years time you will have a blog, you will write part time, you will be a feminist.  You will have opinions and be passionate about them.  You will be strong.  You will be happy.

You Will Still Be Fat (but you will be ok with that)
Will it destroy you to know that in twenty years you will still be fat?  At the moment you just want to fit in and be attractive to boys.  Underneath a lot of layers you don't, admit it, actually mind the way that you look, but you are too preoccupied with what other people are telling you that you should look like, that you are ignoring yourself.

One day you will realise that you like the way that you look.  That it does not matter what other people think.  You are going to run a plus size fashion blog one day.  You will be addicted to busy patterns and dresses.  Do not shake your head in disbelief, it is true.  You will be happy.

A Boy
One day, not too many years from now, you will meet a boy.   To be with him will feel like the sun is shining on you.  I have one word of advice.  Run.

You may think you are in the sunshine, but what you will realise when things end like the explosion of a bomb, is that you were not bathing in sunlight; you were deluded and hidden away in the shadows.  You deserve better than that.  You will move on and a lesson will have been learned.  You will be happy.

Things to Remember
You have a strong will, use it.  There is confidence in there, embrace it.  You can write, do it.  You deserve love.  Don't wait for x, y  and z to happen, just go out and live.  Say yes more.  Do not let fear concur you.  Buy those red shoes.

I will end this with a quote which means a lot to me these days.

"You are enough. 
Not because you not because you did or said or bought or thought
or became or created something special,
but because you always were."

You will be happy.

15 January 2015

Where is the Love?

So, I just finished watching Cyberbully.

If there is one thing that I have learned being online it is that no matter who you are, what you do, what you look like and what you say, someone will always find a reason to send hate your way.  Not because you are fat, thin; happy; sad; successful; or down on your luck but because they are looking for their next victim and are trying you on for size.

This line from The Breakfast Club springs to mind and still rings true today:

Whether you are a teenager getting hassle from bullies at school, a blogger sharing your thoughts and photographs online or an actress who gets her stolen naked pictures made viral; someone who wants to hurt you will find a way to creep into your heart and afflict hurt.

So what do we do about it?  You cannot stop trolls.  A trolls is like a hydra, but on the internet.  Cut off one head and two more shall take it's place. 

I have had a small sharing of trolls.  On my pictures, on my blog; all pathetic creatures who have only one aim: to hurt me.  Having known how it feels to receive it, I cannot even imagine what a sustained onslaught would be like.

So again I say: what do we do about it?  My small part is this.  From now on, whenever I see someone who has been trolled, bullied or made to feel less than what they are online, I am going to send them love.  Whether I know them or not.  Just a simple message telling them that they are worth more than the troll who is feeding on them.

Will it stops the trolls?  Of course not.  But will it make that person feel better?  Maybe.  I know that it has for me in the past when people have sent me messages of love when I have received hate.  It helped.  It really helped.

All I do know is that I would rather send something positive than look, think "Oh no that's awful" and then scroll past.  Love is more powerful than hate. 

Whilst I may not know what a torrent of abuse feels like, and don't pretend that I do; what I do know is what is feels like when you are surrounded by a black cloud.  You feel like you are all alone, lost in a fog you cannot except from. But then sometimes, someone, even from the most unexpected place turns a tiny light on, and suddenly you have a new place to look, a new focus.

Anyone fancy joining me?

12 January 2015

Weekend Wear

One item of clothing I have always wanted is the type of blazer/jacket you can wear with everything.  The kind that you can wear with jeans to create a classy weekend outfit, that looks just right when you wear it over a dress and can create a suit for you when worn with a skirt.

The only problem is that finding this sort of jacket is like finding the holy grail.  I saw people effortlessly rocking the blazer/jeans combination but I have never got it right.  

Recently though I purchased the PU Trim Tux Jacket from +Simply Be and it has become the go to thing in my wardrobe.  I first reviewed this jacket here when I wore it with a dress for my work Christmas party.

Yesterday I was going out for a meal so I decided to try out my new lovely and jeans and for the first time ever, the combination actually worked!  

The top and jeans are from So Fabulous at +Very.co.uk  and the boots are from Clarks and have previously been reviewed here

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What outfit combination have you always wanted to get right?

8 January 2015

A Response to the Steve Miller Campaign

We are not born judging others. When we enter this world we do so free from preconceptions, we take people as they are. As such, I did not realise that I was different from other children until I reached primary school. Actually, I did not realise until the parents of my classmates told their children I was I different. I was a chubby child and that was in their eyes wrong.

Growing up, throughout primary school and high school that difference grew. I was a a little bigger than the rest of my classmates and as society's influences on us all multiplied at a massive rate, so did the judgements upon me.

I entered 20s and by this time, my thoughts were consumed by what others thought about my size. Everywhere I went I was told that I looked wrong. I walked down the street and a random man in a van would shout “Fat bitch” at me. Both men and women would make fun of me when I went out on a night out and it got to the stage where I would cross the street when I saw a group of people, afraid that they would make fun of me. Even when I met a man and he told me I was beautiful, I did not believe him. Society told me I looked wrong and I believed them.

I had been indoctrinated and I did not realise it. I had lost myself to the judgements of others and I was drowning.

When I stumbled into plus size fashion blogging it felt like a whole new world. A world where others looked like me, but were happy and confident in who they were. Something awoke in me, a spark ignited.

It started small. I started to look up instead of down. My wardrobe changed from a sea of black to packed full of dresses. I no longer crossed the street, afraid. I smiled back when a man smiled at me, without thinking that he would make fun of me.

I had at long last found myself.

Steve Miller, the creator of “Tell a friend they are fat” tells us that being fat is wrong. That you cannot be fabulous if you are fat. His whole theory seems to be based that fat people do not know that they are fat and that a friend telling them so will “fix them”. I do not know one fat person who has not always known they were fat.

The one thing that I had before I found body confidence was my friends. They knew me, the real me and never judged me. They were my safe haven in a world that hated the way I looked. They still are. A true friend knows that telling you that you are fat is nothing that you do not already know.

I am fat. I was chubby, then grew up fat. Some of it was just the way I am, some because I have a propensity to carbs. What I finally grew to realise however that this is MY BODY. No one elses, mine. I realised that I like my face and my body, just the way it is.

I am not a barbie doll. I do not look perfect (whatever perfect even looks like). What I am is exactly myself. I do not go around telling other people not to smoke, drink or take drugs. I do not expect others to tell me what I should be and how I should look like either. If I choose to lose weight or stay the same, it is my business.

My value does not go up and down like the stock market dependent on what I weigh. My self worth does not decrease if someone decides that they do not like the way that I look. We are all unique and it should be celebrated. We are priceless.

My years of listening to other people about what I should be lead to nothing but hurt, depression, self harm and locking myself away. My acceptance of who I am set me free.

I am happier now than I have ever been. That is healthy. Steve Miller's campaign is not. It is bullying, it is dangerous and let's face it, he does not actually care what happens to the people who because of him are told that they are fat, which they already know; he cares about the fame and money it will bring him. I am sure a new book will no doubt follow.

Steve tells us that by telling a friend they are fat could add a few years to their life. Society's dictations on how I looked took over my life for two decades. Now tell me again which is healthier. Happiness, or living a life being miserable, indoctrinated into believing that you look wrong.

Be happy. Whether you are a size 8 or 28. Happiness is the key to everything good. Not judgement and persecution. If you want to lose weight, do it, for you, but do not, for one second, ever let someone tell you that you are not good enough. Reclaim your life and live it the way that you choose.

5 January 2015

Mad About Mac - A Review for the Dubious

It is rare that I choose to review make-up on my blog.  I am no beauty blogger and usually I prefer to leave the expert reviews up to them.  Today though, I have something that I wanted to rave about.

For a Christmas present this year I was given my very first Mac lipstick - in Russian Red.  Now why might you ask am I about to review something that has been done a million times before?  You can barely take a step on the internet without falling over someone's rave review of Mac lipstick so why I am bothering?

The answer to that is simple.  I, like many other people I know, always believed that Mac lipsticks were overpriced.  It is just a lipstick I thought, how could it possibly be so much better than you pay £16.00 for it?  I did not get the hype about it at all.  So this post is for those people.

The red lipstick lover in me has always wanted to try out the famous Russian Red so I decided to ask for it as a Christmas present.  I thought that I would like the colour and that would be it. It would then join the masses of other lipsticks, all interchangeable for one another.

How wrong I was.  The colour, as I suspected, is divine.  But the real selling point of this lipstick is not the rich colour or that although it a matte lipstick it is not drying as so many are, it is the fact it stays perfectly in place, all night.

I forgot to do a colour swatch of the lipstick but everyone knows what the colour looks like by now?  This explains why I am not a beauty blogger however here are a couple of shots of me wearing it, pout in place.

(I have just realised that my hair makes me look like a bobble head with a tiny neck!
I put my glorious my new red lipstick on when I was getting ready for celebrations on Christmas Day and it survived a three course meal, lots of drinks and persisted until I went to bed and I took it off.  This is quite a feat considering the sheer amount of things that passed my lips that day and the fact that I am always touching my lips and usually end up with lipstick all over my hands. 

(That sentence sounds dirty and I cannot fix it, I'm sorry. You will just have to cope with the double entendre).

Now that ladies and gentleman is a lipstick that is a keeper.  I did not need to reapply at all, the colour stayed rich and lush and I felt amazing wearing it all day.  I need more.  Immediately.  As soon as my bank account recovers from my rash Christmas spending, another Mac lovely will be entering my life pronto.

I now bow at the alter of the god of Mac.  Whatever did I ever do without you?