30 April 2014

Kaleidoscope Shift Dress

In line with my blog post yesterday which highlighted some of the improvements I wanted to make to my blog, I am going to try and post more fashion posts.

With that in mind, today I have for you the Printed Ruched Front Detail Shift Dress for you from +Kaleidoscope UK.  This is the first time that I have bought from this website but I was lured by the on sale section and bought myself snapping up this dress which I got for the bargain price of £22.50.

One particular bugbare I have are the amount of dresses that you purchase that look like great quality, only to find that when you hold them up the light, you can see straight through them.  Happily the material on this dress is good quality and is lined, but without that constricted feeling you can sometimes get with lined dresses.

I am 5ft4 and for me the length of 39 inches is just perfect.  The pinks, turquoises and yellows look vibrant against the black background but without making it look tacky.  I was happy wearing this all day at work and was really comfortable.

What are you wearing at work lately?

29 April 2014

Away with the Fairy Folk

I am the first to admit that I have been a little away with the fairies for the past few weeks (on a side note, wouldn’t that be really cool, runing away with the fairies, I wanna do it!). There are various sides of my life that are madly swinging on the axis and my sense of direction seems to be all askew.

Things are finally settling down a little bit and one of the things that I want to get back into shape is my blog. Whilst I have never been one for writing and scheduling posts more than a couple of days ahead and I never work to a specific format, I feel that some sort of structure is needed.

The top on my blog priority list is the comments. I have previously answered each and every comment posted on my blog as I feel that someone is taking the time to comment, I should reciprocate in replying back. This hasn’t been happening lately, in fact for a couple of months now and I feel horrible about it.

My action plan is now to take ten minutes from each day to ensure that I reply. Replying to someone three weeks after the fact seems a little pointless and I want to make sure that I am now replying every day.

Same goes with reading other people’s blogs. There are so many that I love and read but yet again, I haven’t had time to comment. Knowing how happy it makes me to receive a comment, I feel bad for not doing the same as much as I want for others too.

This too will be rectified!

I will always put in my opinion and lifestyle pieces into my blog whenever the mood strikes me but I want to bring more fashion into the equation too. I have several pieces that I have bought but just not been able to photograph.

My life would be so much easier if I had someone following my around with a camera…… Anyone want to apply? If you are male, can make me smile at the drop of a hat and can work for free you will be hired in a millisecond!! ;)

Anyway, that is my action plan, more comments, more fashion, better organisation and if a man with a twinkle in his eye shows up along the way, I won’t complain.

27 April 2014

Sail Away With Me

Being a typical Pisces, most of the time my head is in the clouds as I dream of being in far off places so when I was contacted recently by MSC Cruises and asked to envision myself on board the MSC Splendida, experiencing cocktails, dinner with the Captain and dancing, it wasn't hard to do.

I have always wanted to go on a cruise ship. When I think of a cruise ship experience, my mind immediately takes on a theme of splendor and romance. I think of elegance, dining at the Captain’s table; waltzing around a dance floor; black tie and beautiful dresses.

Considering that I dress up every single day, the thought of dressing for dinner is one that greatly appeals to me. I can think of nothing better than a beautiful dinner, a night of dancing and then gazing at a star filled sky with a glass of champagne in my hand.

The question that immediately springs to mind when I think of this is: what would I wear? You want something comfort enough to sit down for dinner, elegant but not severe; something you can foxtrot around the floor in and above all: something that stands out from the crowd.

I was given £150.00 in order to put together my dream outfit which I decided that I wanted to be a mix of modern and vintage, seamlessly blended together, just like I think a cruise ship experience would be.

Shoes - +Simply Be 
Necklace - Jewelry boutique
Bracelet - 1950's French jet bead necklace

24 April 2014

Today's Work OOTD

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Manchester pop up shop arranged by +Marisota where I had a look at their Shapeology collection and Mark Heyes was also there with his gorgeous Ava Collection.

I tried on various outfits while I was there (see my previous post Marisota Pop Up Shops) but the one I was thinking about when I got home and decided to get, very surprisingly for me given that I am a dress girl through and through, was a pants and top combination.

I am loving the printed trousers that are everywhere at the moment and I am drawn to anything with a beautiful cobalt blue colour so here is my outfit which I was wearing today at work.

Necklace - Primark

* I was gifted a voucher for Marisota with which I purchased the above noted items.

22 April 2014

Cyclones in the Head

I think that today is going to be a sorting my head out post.  I haven’t done one of these for a while but I find that for me, it is the best way of channelling my thoughts and problems into some sort of order.
Some people write diaries, some people talk to a counsellor, some people (like I used) bottle it up; this is the way that works best for me.  So here goes.

My head is currently mush.  Literally, if you looked inside my skull you would see something resembling apple sauce because there has been that much in there lately that I think my brain might have exploded under the pressure.

I have learnt by past experience that I cannot just file away things without dealing with them; I am and have to be more careful with myself these days.  It is all about sorting through and dealing with things one by one rather than shoving everything in a box and ignoring.

One of my good traits is that I am organised.  When everything is in its place and I know what is happening around me, the world becomes a better place.  That is what I need to do.  Organise my thoughts.

When you have a better understanding of your tolerance limits, when you know what takes you down a dark road and you recognise when you have a little more on than you can handle; you also know that it is better to deal with rather than avoid.

Today for example.  I was sat at work this morning and the thoughts in my head were whirling around like a cyclone. I got myself into such a state that I was practically in tears.  That is why I am writing this now, I put myself under a mental stop sign to take a minute and breathe.

In reality, I can cope with everything that is happening in my life at the moment.  I just need to acknowledge it all. 

I am worried about illness in a family member, but I can’t change outcomes, only support.  I am supporting another with their worries, but have to remember to also support myself.  My confidence has taken a nose dive, but it will be back.  My sense of life direction is spinning, but it will refocus.   My work life is changing and I’m not sure on the direction, but I will be.  There is a tiny knife in my back that I didn’t realise was there, but now I see it, I can steel myself to it.

I feel better for writing this.  It doesn’t change anything but it helps just to refocus.  People ask why you would hit “publish” on a personal post, but I find that by posting it, it helps to keep me on an even keel. 

Fashion, rants and daily thoughts will resume tomorrow!

Summer Sandals

We are speedily getting to that point of year (crossing fingers and toes as I type) when we need to start thinking about breaking out the summer sandals.

I tend to replace my summer sandals each year, mainly for the reason that I fall in love with new ones every time.

What I want from a summer sandal is a simple style, something that can take me from day to night if needed; comfortable and preferably with a small wedge to it.  With that in mind, this year I have decided to go for the Low Wedge Sandals from +Fashion World   They come in both black and gold and have a lovely sparkle to them.

After purchasing the black pair I also decided to go for the gold pair also.  They are ultra comfortable and come in different width fittings to make sure that you get the perfect fit.

What sandals are you wearing this summer?

15 April 2014

I Feel Good

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.

This photo was taken when I attended the Capturing the Curves photo shoot the other week.  I had already got changed into my regular clothes at this point but wanted to take a quick photo to remind myself of the make up and styling until I got the proper photographs through.
I feel very vintage in this photo and for once, I really love it :)

12 April 2014

Styling Plus

Foreword: This is a competition entry, but as ever, I am saying what I think, unedited!

La Redoute are giving two bloggers the chance to be ambassadors for a year and also a a trip to Paris.  What is not to love about that?  They have asked us to write about fashion and give a styling tip.

Now, if a friend or someone you knew asked you for styling tips, what would you say? Would you suggest colours for them to wear or perhaps recommend shapes that might be flattering to their figure? Maybe if you are playing it safe, you can go with the mainstay of “You can’t go wrong with a little black dress” – which is of course very true!

If someone had asked me a year ago for styling tips I would not have had a clue where to start, but now; my thought process when it comes to clothes has changed.

My tip for styling yourself? When choosing an outfit, forget for a moment that it is yourself that you are dressing.  Pick up the items that sings to you from the hanger.  Choose the dress that you love so much that you can stop thinking about it.

Ignore the fashion rules

Below I have shared three photographs of styles that "the rules" tell me I shouldn't wear.  Stripes, a busy pattern and a high neckline.  I love wearing each of these dresses and I think that this shines through, more than if I had been playing by rules dictated to me because of my size.

Fashion should be about what you love and what makes you happy.  That is my styling tip.  Take yourself out of the equation, choose what makes you smile and that as Tim Gunn says "Make it work!"

This a competition entry for La Rodoute.

11 April 2014

The Perks of a Plus Size Blogger

The plus size community seems to be at antsy with itself lately and it is a sad thing to see.

Bloggers are being accused of various things to include: peacocking about working with brands, having too many gifted items on their blogs, always going on about going to events and generally saying that everything is "gorgeous" as long as it is free.  They are also accused of encouraging consumerism and killing fairies.  Ok, not the last one, but such negatively towards people in the same community as yourself makes me rant a little.

I properly started blogging about fashion about a year and a half ago.  I started because I caught sight of Becky's blog, saw all the fabulous, colourful and fashionable clothes that she was wearing and her awesome attitude and thought to myself, I want a piece of that.  Not the free clothes, the confidence and her attitude.

The number of plus size fashion blogs I read grows on a daily basis.  I don't pick and choose based on their brand interaction, I chose on the basis of if I find their blog interesting and also the kinds of clothes that they wear.  Seeing how clothes work on different bodies is extremely helpful to a plus size person and also seeing someone wearing something that you would not have dared to, encourages you to be a little more adventurous and jump out of your comfort zone.

One of the unexpected perks that has arisen is that occasionally I get opportunities from brands in order to review clothes or maybe attend an event. This isn't something I expect or court, but when it does happen, it is obviously extremely exciting. When I see other bloggers doing similar things, I feel happy for them also. 
The biggest perk I have gained from blogging though is this: I am so much more than the shadow of the person that I used to be.  Fashion blogging has completely changed my life. I am no longer hiding and I wear the clothes that I want to, not the clothes that I "should".
Someone said on Twitter today that wearing clothes doesn't give you confidence, but they are wrong.  Fashion can take you out of your safe place, which often can be the very place that you are hiding in, and into places that you could never dream of. 
The other bloggers in the community continue to inspire me and I draw my own confidence from them.  I don't care if the clothes they show are free, paid for, stolen or borrowed, what makes me continue to read their blogs is their confidence and their friendliness to others.

The plus size community has always been a supportive and friendly one and it is a shame when discomfort arises because some work with brands and others don't.   Blogging is hard work and time consuming, especially if you are working too, or have children, or both! If someone gets a perk from doing their blog then well done to them.
I love writing my blog, both my opinion posts and my fashion posts.  If I stop loving it, I'll stop, simple as that.  If you don't kind reading someone's blog, then don't read it.

This is just a little of my perspective, but I urge you to check out Hanna's post and Leah's post

Having read Gina's comments on the Facebook feed

Capes for Heroes

Today is the donation date that I have been speaking about on a couple of blog posts recently. 

The idea behind it stemmed from the Facebook #nomakeupselfie from a couple of weeks ago. 

What I have noticed about these Facebook games is that it is always focussed on cancer.  Whilst Cancer Research is of course a very worthy cause, what about the other charities that need donations and awareness as well? Alzheimer’s Research, The Stroke Association, FMA UK, SANE, the RSPCA, the Down’s Syndrome Association, everyone has a charity that means something to them because a friend or relative is or has been affected or indeed themselves.

I want to do something to emphasis that although charities like Cancer Research are important; there are others out there too that need help and support. 

The idea is that we are all to post on our blogs and Facebook/Twitter accounts a picture of ourselves holding a sign with the name of your chosen charity, the link or text message number of how you can donate and the hashtag #IDonated. 

Here is a bit about my chosen charity and my picture!

Capes 4 Heroes is a non profit organisation that have a very simple, but very powerful idea. Here’s what they have to say:

“We make and personalize superhero capes for kids with disabilities, kids with life threatening illnesses and kids who just need to feel empowered. We hope our capes give these deserving kids an extra boost of strength and courage and make them feel like the superheroes they truly are!”
Sometimes it isn’t about trying to cure a disease, sometimes it is as simple as putting a smile on a child’s face when they really need to smile.

You can donate a cape to a child for $30 or alternatively whatever you can afford to via Paypal on this link You can also nominate a child who you think needs a superhero cape of their own on the website. They also send capes to the UK.

8 April 2014

Marisota Pop Up Shops

Last week I was invited to attend the preview night of the +Marisota  Manchester Pop Up Shop.  Mark Heyes would be there with his beautiful Ava Range and also other items would be available to have a look at from the Marisota Shapeology range.

A new report undertaken by Marisota has revealed that more than two thirds of women in Manchester now shop by shape,preferring flattering clothes to designer labels (83%).

It's Shapeology study, which targeted 100 women over the age of 45 in Manchester, suggests that out of all occasions from graduations to first dates, women from the city found it hardest to shop for outfits for weddings (46%) and summer holidays the worst (21%) for wardrobe dilemmas.

More than one third (31%) struggle to find clothes that suit their shape, with almost half (47%) wanting to hide their flaws, while 51% want to enhance their best bits.

Marisota has used a new technology called Shapeology to ensure every garment has some sort of hidden paneling and support, as well as clever colour blocking throughout the range.

Upon arrival I was immediately offered a glass of champagne (a good start off in my books!) and was made to feel welcome from the start.  Mark was on hand to greet everyone and I was lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the clothing after which Mark picked out some items for me to try on.

Now at this point I have to say that I am an idiot.  I had my camera with me, all ready to snap pictures of the clothes, only to find after a few photographs that I had somehow forgotten my memory card.  Silly silly girl.

Here are a few of the pictures I did manage to take along with a photograph of myself and Mark. 

Edit Scuba Print Dress

You can find the dress above as well as some other favourites that I found below in the Ava Collection by Mark Heyes

I have already ordered the blue jersey top with the mesh stripe detailing and the aztec trousers and have a feeling that they will be worn a lot over the Summer!

7 April 2014

Magnificent 7th

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!

This month’s theme was something that you never wear.  

I decided to go with two things that I never wear today, eyeshadow and trousers!  So I am sporting some dark green eyeshadow which I actually rather like now it is on, and for the outfit, I am wearing my new tropical print trousers from +Curvissa which I first spotted on the lovely Hollie together with a simple black vest (also Curvissa) and a red cardigan which I have had for a while now.

I wanted to try and change up my pictures today, but the weather put paid to that!

Check out the other ladies!

6 April 2014

I'm Not Here Today

Hello all, hope that you are having a lovely Sunday.

Today is my monthly column at FashionWorked  Now if you haven't checked out this site before I urge that you do.  FashionWorked is a site that covers everything from fashion to opinion on hot topics and important issues.  

FashionWorked is ever evolving, is inclusive to everyone and there is always something interesting to read.

Today on my column I am talking about the power of your voice, where you can check out here

4 April 2014

All Bets Are Off

Well it is time for my annual get on my soap box rant about the Grand National.

Here is last year's and I am saying much the same this year. 

Animal Aid have been tracking the deaths of horses during racing since 2007 and incredibly, there have been 1089 deaths since they started their record. 1089. That’s 3 a week. That’s just in Great Britain alone. With horse racing all over the world that figure is in fact much much higher.   
Their findings are available for all to see, with the date, name of horse and the injury which caused them to be destroyed. Here’s the link for you to see for yourself.
The jockey chooses to enter the sport. He trains with the horse, rides with the horse, chooses to enter an event with the horse. The horse? Well he just likes to eat, sleep and run for fun.  He's a pack animal.

The horse can’t be briefed for the race ahead.   He doesn’t know how many fences there are, how high they are, how many people and horses are going to be jostling around him for places. He doesn’t know the fact that if he falls, he will more than likely be destroyed because he is then “useless”.  He also doesn't know that if he falls, his broken body will be merely called an obstacle (as happened two years ago at the Grand National) by commenters. 
You will either bet or you won't.  All I am asking is that you look at the link, read the information and then make your decision. 

3 April 2014

Joe Brown Vintage Tea Dress

Hello all!

Just a quick post where I thought that I would show you what I wore on Saturday in readiness for my photo shoot with Capturing the Curves.

I wanted to wear something that would put me in a fifties frame of mind so I went with a dress that has been sitting in my wardrobe for a while but I haven't had chance to wear.  The Joe Brown Vintage Tea Dress from +Simply Be 

I bought this dress a few weeks ago now and at the time wasn't sure about whether to keep it, but now I absolutely adore it.  For me, it just needed a wide black belt to pull the look together.