30 September 2013

The Favourites

I have posted so many outfits on my blog now and looking back, there have been some definate favourites which I have noted chart my progress quite well. 
Here are some of my favourites:
This is the second proper outfit post I put on my post and it is still one of my favourite pictures.  I still remembering feeling very "loud" and was feeling insecure without my all black security blanket.
Like many of my earlier pictures, this was taken in my long mirror as I wasn't comfortable with the whole posing thing yet as you can see as I had chopped my head off!  I may have to do this post again with this dress as I do love it.

This type of dress was so out of my comfort zone at the time, but the pictures came out well and it was hard to pack this one away for the Winter!

My first venture into the "high necked" type of dress. I'm still not that sure about the whole look, although I love the dress.

After this I seem to have got into my stride with photographs, not feeling as awkward in front of the camera and what I have definately noticed is my new love of print!

You've come a long way baby!

27 September 2013

What Would You Pack?

A fire is coming.   Assuming family & pets are already out of the house, what would you save if you only had five minutes?

First would be the irreplaceables. 

My photograph album filled with photos of my childhood with my mum and dad; my mum’s diamond cluster ring that my dad bought her; the old teacups and saucers with the dark red rose pattern that my mum has had since the age of 19.


I couldn’t bear to part with any of the above and would be devastated if they were to be lost, especially the photographs which are the most precious thing that I own.

Then, the non essential essentials:

Internet dongle
Mobile phone & charger

I figure by that point I would be left with around a minute so I would quickly throw a change of clothes into a carrier bag and I would be out of the door.

If you gave me an extra five minutes I would pack my clothes in a case as below:

Black long boots
Black Mary Jane Shoes
As many dresses as I could fit in a bag!
Another coat


26 September 2013

New Horizons

 I am a bit of scaredy cat sometimes.  I like to have some sort of a structure that I can work within and I prefer to have a plan.  Without them I get nervous and a bit overwhelmed.   

I am not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal, but I’m not obsessive about arranging things either.  As long as I have a point A that will eventually get to an arranged point Z, with the occasional point of reference in the middle, I’m ok.

Whilst these tendencies can be muted a little when in a group of friends, when I am alone it does become a little more compulsive.  This leads to my saying no to things that I actually really want to do, but are too scared to do them.  

But things are changing.  I am starting to say yes to the things that scare me, and wonderful things have happened as a result.  Over the past few months I have been a model at Plus North and now I am going next week to a fashion event in London on my own.  Neither of which I could have dreamed of doing this time last year, hell, even six months ago.

I got an email through last week from Marisota asking me if I would like to attend an evening where their new designer Mark Heyes is showing his new collection for them.  Usually I would see the word London and immediately say no.  A million problems instantly speed through my mind, giving me reasons why I shouldn’t go.

You don’t know anyone
How will you get there?
How will I find my way in London?
I’ll never be able to navigate the tube.
What if I get lost?
They’ve asked you by mistake
You can’t afford it
What if I miss my train?
What if I don’t fit in the clothes?
What if they don’t like me?
I’m scared


Enough with the what if questions.  They are not asking me to circumnavigate the globe; they are asking me to go to London for something tremendously exciting.  I get the train; I go to the event; I stay over and I go home.  It really isn’t that complicated.

I said yes.  I am so very excited and yes, very nervous and a little scared.  But I have my planning head on now; I have my train times; where I am staying; where I need to be.  I've even bought myself a travelcard so I don't need to rely on taxis. I will be fine*

There will be a post blog after the event of course and can't wait to have some adventures in London.  Am even regretting now that I didn't arrange a later train back!  By the way, if anyone reading this is going to the Marisota Mark Heyes event, give me a holler!  Would be great to see a friendly face!

* This does not mean I will not be live tweeting if I get a bit panicky and need to vent.  You’ve been warned.

25 September 2013

OMCZ 16 - Nightwear

omcz blog header

This challenge was chosen by Rebs from Sullen Hearts.
“I want to pick nightwear.  Let’s see what you wear to bed, or flash us your naughty but nice undies, or shoe us what you’d wear for a good old fashioned sleepover”.

I wasn’t sure what to wear for this challenge as all of my nightwear is mismatched and generally needs replacing! 

Recently though I have invested in the most cuddly, cute and cosy dressing gown in the entire world so that’s what I am sharing with you today, along with my fluffy slipper boots!!





I bought the dressing gown from Sorbet at @Very and you can find it here

Check out the other ladies in this challenge and see what nightwear they love!

Stephanie http://www.seeingsp0ts.blogspot.co.uk
Leah http://www.justmeleah.blogspot.co.uk
Mary http://www.marysbigcloset.blogspot.pt
Becky Brownhttp://www.doesmyblogmakemelookfat.com
Rachel http://www.adressisforlife.com/

24 September 2013

Work Wear 2

I haven't had much time lately to do any outfit posts so with that in mind.....

This the second post I have done for my work outfits of the day, thought I would share what I have been wearing!



23 September 2013

Creative Corner 6

Writing Prompt:

The Locked Room

Summer vacations in my family weren’t the usual kind.  My parents always rented a house in a different part of the country each year in order to experience what they called “a wider aspect” of society.

I was always an introverted child, much more interested in inside of the house than out of it and I preferred reading a book to touring around the local sights.  When my parents made their vacation decisions I championed the older looking houses, hoping to find something interesting in the attic or an old family story I could investigate.

In 2006 we made the 1200 mile journey from our home in New York to a small town in Louisana.

The house was huge and at least a hundred years ago.  The realtor had said that the property was permanently on let to vacationers, but somehow the place had still retained a certain charm that countless visitors hadn’t spoiled.  I immediately loved it.

After making a tour of the house, from cellar to attic, I came across a locked door to what appeared to be quite a large room.  This was unusual given that the house was on permanent let.  What could be the reason to lock it?

After much Googling I found out that the house had not had a permanent resident for the past thirty years.  The last residents had been a Glenn and Jessica Cartwright in 1976.  They were still listed as the owners today, now living in the Florida Keys.  Curious.  Why would you uproot and leave your house, never to return?  I had to find out what was behind that locked door as I felt sure that that would provide me with the answers.

I was confident after years of watching people do it on the television that I could easily pick a lock with a bobby pin.  I was wrong.  Day after day I tried, but the damn thing just wouldn’t open.  Eventually I gave up on the door and found other pursuits to amuse me.

The day before we were due to return to New York I passed the door again.  The bobby pin that I had been using was still nearby on the floor, where I had thrown it after my last failed attempt.  I decided on one last go.

This time though, with barely a wiggle of the pin, the lock on the door opened and I hesitantly opened the door and peeked around the side.

Unlike the rest of the house which had a modern, clean lines feel to it, this room was decorated in a distinct 1970’s style, the time when the owners had last lived at the property.  Moving my eyes away from the desk in the corner and the brightly coloured wallpaper, I noticed a small child’s bed in the corner with a huge teddy sitting on the pillowcase.  The name “Kimberly” was embroidered onto a picture over the fireplace.  This was a child’s room. 

Moving further into the room I saw that the linen was still on the bed, the toys were on the floor; everything appeared as though someone had walked out of the room one day and never came back, simply locking the door on it.  It was a room preserved in history.

Realisation flooded into my mind.  I now understood why the Cartwright’s had left this house, never to return.  I went back to the computer and found what I was looking for.  An article in July of 1976 about a little girl called Kimberly Cartwright, drowned in the local creek at the age of 8.

I went back to the room and carefully locked the door again with my fashioned bobby pin key.  My entry into the room had gone unnoticed by my parents and I never told them what I found inside.  It was a reminder that not every locked door should be opened.

The next day we flew back to New York.

20 September 2013

The Hidden Word

A new feature I am going to try out on the blog, check out the new section above called "The Hidden Word".


19 September 2013

Confessions of a Shoeaholic Idiot

I’m an idiot.  I will get that done and out of the way first, because I really am.

You know that phrase that gets trotted out, usually in movies, about when nothing else in your wardrobe is working “Shoes always fit”.  Well in my case, I seem to be working the opposite way to everyone else.

See my clothes fit me quite well thank.  Yes I am a fat girl but I still loves fashion and I buy clothes that I love and look good (now that’s a statement and half coming from where I was this time last year!!!).  No problems there.  My footwear however, they are like beautiful torture devices. 

The problem is that most of the pairs that I own don’t fit properly.  I have wide feet that don’t always fit into the standard widths you find in the shops and it took until yesterday, yes I did say yesterday, to realise that there was another way.  Wider fittings.

Now you see why I called myself an idiot at the beginning of this post.

For years I have just “managed”.  I have surrounded myself with beautiful shoes, many of which that pinch because they are a bit too tight and my solution has always been “I’ll break them in”.  You know what that entails.  Weeks of uncomfortable tightness until the leather eases a little, sore feet, rubbing against your skin etc etc.

The other day however I was ordering my new Winter boots when I happened across a beautiful pair of t bar wedges that I instantly fell in love with.  I noticed that they were available in a wider fitting so for the first time I decided to give it a go.

OH     MY    GOD.  They are comfortable!  They don’t rub, they fit perfectly, I can walk easier in the heels (something I always struggle with no matter what the height).  They are perfect.  I feel like I should buy the entire stock out in case they go away.

So just as I once had to resign myself to the fact that yes, Evans was “for me” and not run past it in that “I’m not fat really” kind of way; now I accept that wider feet need wider fittings in order to be comfortable.

I may be a slow learner, but I get there in the end.  Anyway, here is a picture of my new lovelies, found at +Simply Be .


18 September 2013

Model Behaviour

I have been waiting to do this post until I managed to collate a few photographs together of me on the catwalk for Plus North.  I only have a few here which I have managed to grab from other people, but I love them all.  If I get more at a later stage I will add them on.

Courtesy of Becca Simmons

 Image Courtesy of Yours Clothing

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life walking down the catwalk for Yours Clothing, Curvissa and Evans and is certainly something I will never forgot.

There is one thing that I have been waiting for to happen since Plus North ended which hasn’t happened yet.  I hope it never does.  The come down.

Plus North has boosted me so much, in so many ways that I feel like one person walked into Plus North and another walked out.

For one thing; getting changed.  I had four outfits to model on the day.  There was a side room to get changed in with all the other models, or the disabled toilet if you wanted more privacy.  I hadn’t got changed in front of people like that, even my best friends for more years than I can even count. 

Inspired by the other girls who were just happily getting changed all around me, I threw off my inhibitions and by the second outfit (changed into a millisecond as I was number 12 and 14 on the catwalk!) I didn’t give it a second thought.

The other thing that I have kept with me since Plus North is that I no longer worry about what strangers think of me.  I am me, this is the way that I look and if people don’t like it, they can go to hell.   The first thing my best friend asked me when I called up after the day event was “Please tell me that you were yourself?”  She knows only too well the front that I normally put up in public. 

I am so used to being judged, silently or verbally by strangers about the way that I look that when in public there is always a self preservation wall that I put up.  That wall was torn down within the first ten minutes of being at Plus North.  All thanks to the AMAZING people there.

The sparkle that I felt when modelling has stayed with me.  I even smiled at the cute guy walking down the street this morning.  Unheard of for the girl who always looks down at the floor.

I cannot wait for next year.


17 September 2013

Fell in Love with a Girl

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am completely besotted with the Mary Jane style of shoes.  They hold a tiny, permanent place in my heart and I have lots of different varieties. 
I wanted to show you a new pair that I originally bought for Plus North for my stint of modelling (still feeling do a little "Eeeeek!") when I say that.  Unfortunately due to a prevailing swollen ankle, I couldn't even fasten them up and they had to stay in my suitcase.
Today though, my swollen ankle is gone (hopefully for good!) so I am working the edgy librarian look today complete with below the knee butterfly print dress, purple tights and my new Mary Janes which I bought from Clarks.

I love the mixture of patent leather and suede and they are the perfect height for work.
Here are my new lovelies!

16 September 2013

Creative Corner 5

Today's theme I found to be an interesting one, here is what I did with it.

Write about a witch’s curse:

The woods next to the village of St Aubrens were dark and oppressive.  Somehow sadness and pain seem to radiate out from the branches and whether it was summer or winter, the leaves on the trees were always black.

The village itself was also a strange place.   There was a section in the village with rows of cottages that no one wanted to pass.  Misery seemed to hang in the air like an ever present cloud and the residents always looked like the weight of the world rested on their shoulders.

Whenever there was a celebration within the village, the festivities never reached those cottages.  Decorations were never hung, the brightly coloured lanterns were never lit, the people never seemed to smile.

Newcomers to the village never stayed long.  People were actively discouraged from buying in the area and the children who lived there moved away as soon as could.  This was not a happy town.  Because decades earlier, the village people had made a mistake, they had crossed a witch.

The villagers had always known about the witch who lived alone, or so they thought, in a tiny cottage in the woods.  Uneasy at the thought of a witch in their midst, the unspoken rule was that they left her alone and in turn, she would stay away from the village. 

After several years particularly bad harvests, the villagers started to mutter about the witch and about how she was bringing them bad luck.  One night, fuelled after a night at the local tavern, those mutterings turned to anger, and the anger turned to fury.  The men of the village tore through the woods with torches alight, intent of burning the witch out of her home and getting her well away from their village.

It was only when they had set fire to the witch’s cottage that the villagers heard screams of “My children! My children!” coming from behind them.  The witch raced through the trees towards the cottage which was now fully ablaze.  There was no way anyone, even the witch could have saved anyone inside.

The men had raced back to village, horrified at what had just occurred. 

The next day, the witch had appeared in the village square, stricken with grief at the loss of her children.  The smell of the fire was all around her and black smoke seemed to follow in her wake.   She proclaimed that every man who had entered the woods that night would suffer, that he would never know happiness again without pain.

The witch was never seen again.  Too afraid now to pursue her, the villagers never entered the woods again, and with good reason.  All the men who had entered the woods that night soon felt the consequences of her curse. 

Any feeling of happiness was followed by strong physical pain.  The sensation was described as having your heart pulled from your chest.  From a chuckle from a joke to a feeling of love or happiness caused hours of excruciating agony. 

The men soon realised that in order to survive the curse, they had to cut all happiness from their lives.  Their loved ones were sent away, they chose their food from the scraps left by others and they now eached lived alone, on the same street in the village.

No one in the village knew exactly how long the cursed men had actually lived.  The years and decades passed and yet they still lived on.  Some said that they would die when the witch did. When her pain had died, so to could theirs.  

No one ever entered the St Aubrens Woods again.

15 September 2013

I Feel Good Challenge

Today is the first day of a challenge that I thought up a while ago now.  I put out a call on Twitter and happily I had a great response back.  Here is the premis of the challenge:

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.
For today's photograph I have used something that I took recently.  

I was going out later and was going to start getting ready.  My hair had dried naturally so was in it's bird nest stage, the dark circles were still visible under the eyes and the red freckle on the front of my noise was staring back at me.

Ah the standards that we constantly think we have to maintain....

But that day, I looked in the mirror and thought "You know what, I look good".  The unstraightened hair, the dark circles, the freckle that no one notices but me, it didn't matter.  I just thought "You look good ladt".  So I snapped the photograph and here it is.

Please check out the other lovely ladies in this challenge.

13 September 2013

This is not a Bra Review

This is not a bra review.  I have included a couple of pictures of the bra I am talking about but it is not a proper review.  For that, and proper pictures, I would direct you to Fuller Figure Fuller Bust or Curvy Wordy who do a far better job than I.

When I attended Plus North last week I was measured for and kindly gifted a bra from the Sculptress range from Panache.  I have to tell you that I was a bit in shock whilst getting the fitting, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because it was completely unexpected.  I had wandered into the cubicle with the intention of changing into the first of my model outfits, only to be greeted by a woman telling me to take my bra off!

After the initial "What???" and then realisation, I had the fitting and for the first time, I was given my accurate bra size.

As I said, this isn't a bra review.  It isn't a how to get your bra size fitted post either.  Although if you do measure yourself and want one of those online calculator programmes, Butterfly Bras is very good.

This post is for the people who have read all the advice, done the measuring but still aren't true believers that you really can get a bra that will fit you the way it's supposed to.  The bra that doesn't leave angry red marks where your straps have been, the cup that supports your breast enclosing everything in, the band that actually does support you, not the straps like you always thought.

I was kindly given the Panache Sculptress Willow Bra which can be bought online for £35.00 in various lingerie websites.
Here are a few snippets of me wearing the bra, but I'm not a lingerie model so snippets is all you get!

Sitting on my shoulder, not cutting into my shoulder

Such a beautiful colour!

Enclosed and well fitting

 So the advice for Friday is do it!  Get your bra fitted!!  You don't have to suffer uncomfortable bras that dig in, leave nasty lines and don't support you properly.  You can be comfortable.  I have been wearing this bra all day and have felt comfortable, secure and maintained a great shape.

If your back aches with your large breasts, you are wearing the wrong bra.
If you have red welts in your shoulders after taking your bra off, you are wearing the wrong bra.
If you can fit your whole hand behind the band at the back, you are wearing the wrong bra.

Go forth and buy new bras!

12 September 2013

To the Galaxy and Beyond!

I sometimes think that choosing your mobile phone is as hard a decision as choosing the right place to live, or the right person to be with.

You need something that is going to fit you well, have functions or quirks that are compatible with you and something that you are going to be able to spend the next two years with.  It's a hard choice when you think about it.

Here is where I am stuck.  I currently have a Blackberry Bold 9900.  I adore it.  Well, I say that, but what I mean is that my heart adores it, but my head knows that it isn't the right match for me.  I have said as much about people in the past.

I love the keyboard and it is an idiosyncratic little thing; it fits my personality well in that respect.  I don't care that it isn't the most popular phone on the market, or that some people laugh when I say I have one, they can bugger off quite frankly.  It's my baby and I love it.

But.  There is a but here.  It isn't suited for what I want.  For that, I need either a Samsung Galaxy S4 or a Note 2.

So here is what I came up with.  I am writing down everything I need from the phone and will see if it takes me to any sort of decision.

Minutes - unimportant, I rarely use more than 60 minutes a month.
Texts - need unlimited.
Apps - must have the Blogger app.

This is an important one.  My home broadband situation is that I am on a mobile dongle.  This isn't about to change anything soon which means that I am stuck with 3 gigs of internet usage available there.  I need a phone with a larger screen that is going to be more useful for a more prolonged internet usage and with that, I need more than just the 750mb I currently have on my plan.

I am veering towards the Note 2 at this stage, but we will see what I think when I get hold of them both in the shop.  This is of course only if they manage to wrestle my beloved Blackberry from me....

Sorry by the way for wittering on about phones on here.  I was going to do a regular list offline, but when I blog I feel like I am talking at the same time which makes it a little more of a fun process!

Here's something funny to make up for it:

11 September 2013

The Tea Cup - Creative Corner 4

Writing Prompt from "642 Things to Write About" book.

Write a Short Story That Is Set In Argentina in 1932, In Which a Teacup Plays a Crucial Role

Julia stared fondly at the white porcelain teacup in her hands as she dried it off with a cloth from the sink.  The original set had been given to her some fifty years ago by her mother and had been passed down from generation to generation.

Dark red roses were randomly scattered across the glossy white of the porcelain, looking as beautiful now as the first time she had seen them.  Back in 1882 when her mother had given her the tea set on the eve of her marriage, there were eight cups and six saucers but time, travel and numerous grandchildren had whittled her collection down to this single cup and saucer, with a small chip on the side of the cup.

As the bright Argentinian morning sunshine streamed through the windows of her small balcony in her first floor apartment, Julia let her mind wander back over the decades, thinking of her children and her grandchildren, all of whom had loved the tea set and had played with it since they were children.

Now they all had their lives of their own.  Grandma’s rose tea set was a fond memory to them all and on family get-togethers they would all squabble about who would inherit the last cup.

Julia was now 80 years old.  In their later years Julia and her husband Charles had moved to Argentina to enjoy the winter years of their lives but now, in 1932, some 5 years after Charles had passed away, Julia suddenly felt very lonely, standing in her kitchen holding on to the small tea cup.

Maybe it was time the tea cup, and she, moved back to home, to her family in Devon.       

10 September 2013

Vlog! 10 Blogger Questions

I have recently seen both the fabulous Nikki and also Leah do this vlog challenge so I thought that I would do one too.

I didn't have the hindsight not to do it after a long day at work so I am a bit "off".  Sorry about that!

9 September 2013

The Plus Sides of Plus North

I started plus size fashion blogging with the idea of improving my confidence in myself, in what I wore and hopefully finding some inspiration and new places to shop.  What I ended up finding was myself.  I know that sounds corny as hell, but it’s true.  It has taken so very very long but finally I have the confidence to be exactly who I am, with no apologies.  I wear what I want and I am happier now than I have ever been in my life.

In a very large part I have the plus size blogging community to thank for that.  The encouragement, the comments and the friends that I have found within the community have helped to support me and hold me up when I was at a low ebb.  They were my backbone before I grew one of my own.

No matter what your confidence level is, a place where you can feel comfortable enough to be completely yourself is a very special thing.    That for me is what Plus North turned out to be.

When I first bought tickets I was more than a little scared about meeting so many people I didn’t know.  Add the fact that I had been chosen to be one of the models and I was fully expectant of being a nervous wreck on the day. 

The plus size blogging community has from the start been an accepting and friendly place.  Everyone I have spoken to has been brilliant and supportive, but when everything is online, you can’t help but wonder what will happen in real life.   In turns out, in real life, everything was even better.

I met so many wonderful people and made a lot of great memories.  Kathryn's amazing hugs and how much she cheered for everyone, the fabulous Nikki who was my co-model and who I laughed with all day; particularly when getting ready for the Evans catwalk and I took seven attempts to get one top on.  

It was brilliant to meet Becky, Emma and her husband Chris, Kaye and her husband Andy, Beth and Steph and the lovely Sel Walker to name just a few.

What Becky and Toni have achieved in Plus North is nothing short of amazing.  It was a day that I don’t think I will ever forget.  Happiness, excitement, pride in how far I’ve come and sheer joy were only a few of the feelings I had whilst walking down the catwalk for the first time.    

I didn't manage to take any photos at the event, bad blogger, but here is one of me in the dress I bought from Sorrento Clothing which I wore for the after party.

Roll on next year!