31 July 2014

What Feminism Means to Me

I heard about “Women Against Feminism” on Tumblr. 

Brushing aside some of the sillier posts such as “I don’t need feminism because my boyfriend treats me right” I wanted to go through some of the comments I had seen (the below are not all verbatim but are collated via many posts) 

  • You live in a first world country, you’re employed and you have a good judicial system. You don’t need feminism.  Feminism has done its job for you”. 
  • Rape culture does not exist.
  • Women are not victims and we don’t need protecting.
  • Being a stay at home wife is my choice

As to the first point, it is mostly addressed in the replies to the other comments but I can honestly not understand anyone who says that feminism is no longer needed or relevant. 

 Rape Culture

So what is rape culture?  Rape culture is:
  • Thinking that it is funny to wear a t-shirt saying “I’m feeling rapey today”.   
  • Blaming a woman’s clothing/amount she had to drink on the fact that she was raped.  I’ve actually heard it compared to “don’t put expensive items in your window if you don’t want to get burgled”.
  • Teaching women how to not get raped, instead of teaching men not to rape.
  • When girls are raped and then photographed and harassed online. 
  • Judges telling a convicted rapist “You are not a classic rapist, you simply couldn’t resist” and overturning rape convictions because “she didn’t act like a victim”.

 The important thing to remember about rape culture is that it is both sexes that perpetuate it.  I have seen both men and women doing and saying things on the above list.   

Women are not victims and we don’t need protecting. 

You are right, we aren’t and we don’t, but what we do deserve is basic respect.  Sexual harassment, catcalling and grabbing at you is still very much in play in society.   

My own personal experience is of (countless) excuses over the years that it is ok to grab my breasts because “they are so big”.  The last time this happened (two days ago) the man in question when I confronted him with anger told me that I was overreacting and that I should “cover them up more”.   

We still live in a society where it is socially acceptable to treat a woman in this way.   Again though, I have also had experience of a woman telling me “Well he must fancy you if he grabbed you”.  Oh well that makes it alright then.  No. 

Being a stay at home wife is my choice

Well of course it is and don’t let anyone tell you differently.  Feminism is about having the right to choose what you want to do.   

So why am I a feminist?  Because I believe in breaking free of the restrictions that society imposes on me and creating my own.   I believe that basic respect should be afforded to both men and women.  I want the same opportunities, pay and treatment as everyone else.  I want to be able to make choices without being judged on what sex I am. 

Being a feminist for me doesn’t mean that I want preferential treatment.  It doesn’t mean that I hate men or disregard their rights.  I just want to be treated equally.

If only society with its antiquated views and perceptions moved as quickly as technology did, we would be a very evolved society indeed.

28 July 2014

Socialite E-Cigarettes

I have a confession to make.  I’ve fallen off the bandwagon.

After two years of not smoking, a few weeks ago, I started again.  Not in the 20 a day way that I did before, but regularly and every day.   I know, I know, what an idiot.   I am a firm believer however that it isn’t the mistakes you make that define you; it is the way in which you rectify them.

I tried pulling on the reserve of strength that I had to quit  the first time, cold turkey but unfortunately, that strength has been a bit depleted of late and the drive this time didn’t help.  So when Katy from Socialites contacted me and asked me if I wanted to review an E-Cigarette, it felt that just the opportune moment.

I started using the Platinum Starter Kit* yesterday and so far, so good.   I haven’t had any real cigarettes and the fact that the e-cig is shaped liked a cigarette I think is really helping.  It even lights up at the end.

Here is what comes in the starter pack:
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The pack comes with a rechargeable battery, a USB charger, 2 Cartomizers (80 Cigarettes) and an instruction card. 

I will let you know how I go on!

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* Item has been gifted.  The review of this product will be in one week when I have had a chance to properly test.  All opinions are my own.

27 July 2014

Suits You 2

Today is the second instalment in a new monthly challenge called Suits You created by the gorgeous Leah of ThirtySomethingCurvyMe.

Every month we are given a different blogger who is involved in this challenge to style an outfit for.  Having only ever styled myself I am not sure how good I will be at this but can't wait to give it a go!  For this month I am styling the lovely Kathryn and you can check her out on the below links:

Twitter: @kathroooon
Instagram: misskathryn84

I have always loved Kathryn's style and I enjoy her work outfits of the day pictures on Instagram as she loves dressing up for work just as I do.  She rocks both separates and dresses and has a penchant for a pretty cardigan to tie everything together.  Hope you like what I have chosen Kathryn!

Turn of the Sensory Dress from ModCloth - £38.00 in the sale, bargain!
The Owl and the Moon Necklace from NotontheHighstreet.com - £115.00 (a little budget breaking!)
Scallop Clutch Bag from Asos - £12.00
Natural's Own Bow Ballerina from SimplyBe - £25.00

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

24 July 2014

Friday Wishlist

I was watching “This Old Thing” last night, the vintage clothing programme with Dawn O’Porter who I have a bit of a girl crush on.  She was having a conversation with a lady who was a complete vintagephobe and in it summed my ethos to clothes perfectly.

Vintagephobe (she has a name, but I forgot it, and it’s 10pm and I don’t care that much) “But that dress, where would I wear something like that?”.

Dawn “Just put it on and wear it wherever you like!”.

I don’t believe in saving clothes for a special occasion.  The days of wearing your “Sunday best” are long since behind us.  I want to wear my best every single day.  It makes me happy.

Every night before I go to bed I have a rummage through my wardrobe and find something to wear for work the next day.  Shoes are pulled out, jewellery is selected; it takes less than ten minutes out of the day and is time that I willingly sacrifice to be able to look good the next day.  Another ten minutes (ok fifteen) with my makeup bag in the morning and I am good to go, happy and ready to face the world.

I still remember going to work every day from head to toe in black.  I felt invisible.  I made an active choice not to blend into the surroundings any more and now I celebrate the fact that I don’t.  As is well documented in this blog I love bright colours and bold prints so with that in mind, here are my current things on my lusting after list!

22 July 2014

A Little Update

I want to do a little update post today.
I haven’t been myself for the past four months or so.  It has shown in my daily life, my work; my blog and in my general temperament.  I felt like I was on a downward spiral of sadness that I couldn’t seem to break.  Tears would come from nowhere, all the time and the blues were firmly in residence.
I have always used this blog as a means of sorting through my feelings and it has always helped in the past; but my love for blogging disappeared and the writing just didn’t help.  I decided that I wanted to look into counselling, something that I have wanted to do for years but not plucked up the courage to try.
The thing is, the very last thing I wanted to do was go to my GP.  Having been told once before “lose weight and you’ll be happier” I knew that I would either get the same response again or alternatively offered anti-depressants which I didn’t want.
What I was happy to find out however is that you don’t need to be referred by your GP for counselling.  You don’t need to involve them at all.  I went along to my local Women’s Centre and am now in the middle of my NHS funded eight sessions (I think that this can be extended to twelve if needed).

If you are looking for a non judgemental environment that can offer the services that you need, I highly recommend that you check out your local alternatives.
My session last week was a real break through moment for me but it isn’t until today that I have noticed any change in how I have been feeling.  Today though, the happiness has returned.  I feel invigorated and excited to see what is ahead of me.  The smile that has been missing so much lately is back and I don’t need to put up a happy fa├žade.
I had forgotten just how happy that I was prior to my downward period and to feel like that again makes me want to dance around the room to Pharell Williams' "Happy".
So top tips of the day:
  • You don’t need to go to your GP for help, there are other ways.
  • Skeletons in your closet take up too much room and need letting out.
  • There is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if some days it is just a tiny dot, it is always there.

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21 July 2014

Shop Your Stash 3

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Welcome to the Shop Your Stash Challenge. This is all about finding a gem in what you already own and creating a blog post on it. This is to let go a little of the stress that comes with being a blogger - even if it is just once a month. Rummage through your beauty products and climb through those clothes draws. You might surprise yourself!

For today's challenge we are looking at what you use to cope with the heat of the summer months.  For this particular post I decided to go down the makeup/skincare route and show you what I tend to use during the summer.

Hot weather is always rough on my hair because the sun rays usually turn my hair lighter and I am always throwing my hair up and out of the way giving myself endless split ends. To combat this (as well as using my usual John Frieda Brunette Shampoo and Condition) I tend to use the Tresemme Split Remedy which you put on after washing your hair but you can also use on the ends when they are feeling a bit dry.

For body moisturising I love the Body Shop Sweet Lemon Body Butter but at £13.00 it is a bit pricey and a bit heavy to lug around in your bag during the day so I carry the Vaseline Spray & Go which is both a lot lighter and also only £5.00 and it lasts for ages.

For my face I am a follower of the god that is Clinique but again, you can't always afford over £20.00 for a moisturiser so sometimes I turn to the pound shop to see what they have.  Typically their beauty products only have six months or less to go (hence the cheapness) but hey, when are you ever going to make a tube of moisturiser last so long?  I am using the Johnson & Johnson Morning Energy Moisturiser in my morning routine which works a treat and only cost me a pound.

The last in my arsenal is the NYC setting spray which I put on after I have finished with my makeup.  I think I paid £8.00 for it but you can probably get it for less if you hunt on Ebay.

A couple of things I use for my summer makeup routine:

If at all possible I try to avoid foundation when I can in the summer, during the day at the very least as my skin really disagrees with it on a hot day.  Instead, once my skin is properly moisturised I just use the Barry M Natural Dazzle at £5.99 which lasts forever and also the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder which you can pick up for around £4.00.

Finally, the favourite thing is my makeup bag is probably also the cheapest which is my Natural Collection Crushed Walnut Eyeshadow which cost me £1.79.  I use this all year round in order to fill in my eyebrows with a slanted brush which I have found more effective, and has more staying powder, than any pencil, wax or liner that I have used.

So that's it!  Some of my skincare and makeup routines for the summer!  What do you use?

Please check out the other ladies in the challenge and also my blog competition to win some Pamela Mann Tights, linked here

19 July 2014

Suspender Tights Giveaway!

You may be aware that I have been size testing tights for the company Pamela Mann

They have recently sent me some more tights, the Solid Bow Suspender Effect Tights and having tried them on in the 28-32, I can again confirm that the tights are running very small as these would be far better suited to a 20-26.  

I was a little dubious about wearing suspender tights, I thought that they might look a bit tacky.  After trying them on however, I have to admit that I totally love them and I can't wait to style them up with an outfit because they actually make me feel sexy which isn't usual for tights!
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I think that the bows are technically supposed to be worn at the front, but I rather liked the flash of the bow at the back.   Now Pamela Mann sent me a second pair of the bow suspender effect tights to give away, again in the same size of 28-32 which I can confirm having tried mine on, would perfectly fit a 20-26.

So if you want to win these tights, enter the Rafflecopter as below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 July 2014

A Summer OOTD

Today I thought that I would share with you an outfit that I wore this week when I went out for the day.   I wanted an outfit that would be cool given the gorgeous balmy weather we are currently having, but also with a bit of style to it.

What I ended up choosing was the +Simply Be  Tile Print Tea Dress which I picked up recently as I thought that it would be perfect for the Summer months.  With it I wanted a few pops of colour so I went with the Evans Turquoise Crossover Peeptoe Pumps * from +House of Fraser in a wide fit and also the Heart Pendant

The cotton dress kept me cool and calm all day and the gorgeous turquoise sandals were comfortable and gave the pop of colour to the outfit that I was looking for.

What are you wearing in the hot Summer days?

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* Denoted gifted items but all opinions my own

15 July 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 completely forgot about today's challenge (not very good considering I organise it haha) so I had to take my photograph today.

I am off work this week and am in relaxation mode.  I am clearing out my mind for the first time in ages and I feel like my life is coming together a little more.  So today, I definately do feel good :)

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14 July 2014

Guest Post from FashionWorked

As I am away this week I was hoping to be able to bring you an exciting guest post from someone I admire and I am happy to bring you the voice behind the fantastic FashionWorked

I love anyone who writes with passion and giving him the free reign that he kindly affords me on his blog every month, here he is talking about what is important to him:

Vicky blogs for me once a month and has asked me if I’d like to guest with her and well yes I would. You may all know me as the guy behind FashionWorked, but the other me is a committed activist for human rights and today I’d like to talk about that part of my life and the anger and upset I feel right now at what is happening to Gaza.

I should make it clear that I hate the rockets from the militants, deplore violence, especially against the innocent, the attacks from Hamas members are wrong, so very wrong, and the killing of three teenage boys was a disgusting tactic for which the guilty should be punished.

However the current attacks on Gaza are the latest in a history of violence and collective punishment. Thousands of Palestinians are locked up without charge, with out legal process and without legitimate cause. What we see is the vile actions of a minority used to give a reason for collective punishment of every single Palestinian.

We hear the news talk of “aggressors” and “swapping fire”, we don’t here about the breaching of over 400 UN resolutions by Israel, the starvation, lack of clean water, free trade, or rights of Gaza and the West Bank, we don’t hear how the IDF kills children for playing near its security wall that steals land from the farmers of the West Bank, we don’t hear of the refusal to allow building supplies needed to repair and build the infrastructure blown away by fighter jets, the destroyed hospitals and sanitation plants.

We might occasionally hear of the IDF soldiers posing for trophy photos with people they have arrested, we don’t hear about the children who are no longer allowed to go to school because its on the wrong side of a check point, we  don’t hear about the huge unemployment because the jobs people had are on occupied land or they are not allowed papers to get to them, we don’t hear about the segregated buses or the lack of equality.

We hear Israel say it won’t deal with Hamas because it’s a terror group, it can’t work with someone that doesn’t recognise its right to exist, well lets ask this question also, why does Israel condemn the democratically elected leaders of Palestine for seeking their own statehood, why does it ask the UN to refuse them any sort of status, and use every request as a reason to say Fatah have broken peace accords?

It talks of wanting peace when it occupies The Golan and The West Bank, has turned Gaza into a prison camp by land, sea and air, and has only just left Lebanon. It sends its agents out to the rest of the world to execute those it sees as danger. 

It is time to recognise that there are men on both sides that are men who kill indiscriminately, but that the IDF destruction needs to end, the attacks on civilian targets, the deliberate destruction of hospitals and schools must end. We must demand that both not one side lay down their guns. We must demand that we put the people under the bombs first, we must demand a Palestinian state as a real option to end the slaughter.

No more can the world stand by and watch this killing, as I write 156 people have lost their lives, including civilians and children, some are militants yes, I’m not naive, but many are the victims of the philosophy of collective punishment.

If the West continues to hand military aid to the IDF it says it is alright to kill instead of talk, it should use its influence to drive both sides back to negotiation, With Arafat and Rabin we had a chance to see that, we can bring back that day. If we don’t do something soon there will be no land and no people left for a state to be built with.

Hamas were in trouble, they had lost their backers to the south, Iran had fallen out with them over Assad, the butcher in Damascus, never in decades had there been a better time to force Hamas back into a deal, no money, no weapons, losing ground for the forthcoming elections, they were weak, now they are the Lions of Defiance once again and the innocent bleed and die for this stupid entirely balanced to one side war.

We are people all born under the same sun, the same moon, and we share that planet, its time to stand and say end this killing, end this slaughter and lets help Israel find peace by talking and not annihilation of its enemies.

We remain one world, one people, lets live the ideals of Edith Cavell . . 

“Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards any one.”

And Thomas Paine . . .  

“My country is the world, my religion to do good.”

11 July 2014


Hello all!

Well it is Friday night and we have finally reached the end of the working week.  For me, this is also the start of a long anticipated week off. 

Where am I going?  What am I doing?   The answer is nowhere and nothing and I CANNOT WAIT.   I have been itching for some complete relaxation time for a while now and now it is here!

I have John Grimshaw, Agatha Christie and Patricia Cornwell to entertain me as well as (hopefully) lots of sunshine, sitting on the patio drinking cold beer and soaking up the rays.   I have jokingly said that even if it showers, I will just cover my book in a clear plastic bag and carry on regardless.

I am hoping that by the end of the week, my body will be relaxed, my mind will be calm and I will feel rejuvenated and ready to face the world anew.

Although I will no doubt be thinking about my little blog I have no plans to write (we’ll see on that one!) but I have scheduled a couple of posts while I am away, a new outfit post and also a competition where you can win some gorgeous suspender tights from Pamela Mann.

I will also be having a post from the fantastic Fashion Worked I cannot wait to read it.

So I will say todaloo for now and see you on the other side!

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10 July 2014

Dear Daily Mail

Dear Daily Mail,

I just want to say a massive (no pun intended) THANK YOU to you and all of your lovely writers; especially ones like the delightful Linda Kelsey who has written a wonderfully enlightening article today.  

I at a size 24 have been under the dangerously misconceived notion that it is a good thing for a woman to be confident and happy in whom she is.  I thought that it was perfectly acceptable when I went out in public, by myself and with friends to hold my head high and enjoy myself.

What a fool I was!

You have generously provided the public with many insightful articles on the subject of fat women and you should be applauded.  A small side issue by the way, I’m sure it is just a simple oversight, but I couldn’t find any fat men articles?  It’s probably my fault, I am far too lazy (as you well know a fat girl is!) to bother flicking through too many articles, that is far too exhausting!

So I writing to you today not only to thank you but to tell you my plan of action as maybe you might find it helpful to share for others who have not yet seen the light.

  1. Throw away all colourful clothing.  Black clothing not only makes you look slimmer which you losing all of the weight, it will help to disguise you and blend in so as other people don’t have such an awful sight to look at. 
  2. Buy a sign.  A handmade one will do.  It must be large enough however for people to read from at least ten feet away and must read “I am sorry that you have to look at me.  I am losing weight as quickly I can.  I will hide myself as best as possible in the meantime”. 
  3. Throw away any forms of feeling confident.  You will be able to use that confidence again when you are thin and acceptable in the eyes of the general public.
I know that this is only a starter guide, but all of my free time at the moment apart from dieting of course is searching for a deep dark dank hole to live in so as I don’t scare people.


Kind regards, 

V Frankland

P.S.  Fuck you, with a side order of fuck you and shot of fuck you to have along with it. 
Oh, here is a picture of me.  Happy, confident and fat. 

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8 July 2014

Pamela Mann Tights

One thing that is the absolute bane of my life, especially in the winter months when they are essential, are tights. 

The combination of trying to find a pair that don’t cost the earth and actually fit is somewhat of a gargantuan task that I have never been able to fix. 

I was contacted recently by Simona at Pamela Mann and asked an unusual, but brilliant request.  How many times have you bought items from a company only to find that the sizing is completely out?  I know I have.  Well Pamela Mann had become aware that some of their sizing wasn’t spot on and so decided to do something about it.   

I was asked if I wouldn’t mind receiving a couple of pairs of tights to check out how the sizing was and give my measurements for a comparative for them to look at.  I was sent the baroque opaque tights and the dogstooth opaque tights in the 28-32 range which was the next section up from what I would ordinary have chosen. 

The baroque tulle tights at 28-32 were a good fit on me at a size 24 and so these are running small.   Here is a picture of the tights.

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 The dogstooth pattern tights were of a larger fitting and I could pull them up to my bra (which sometimes can be handy) but also there was too much material in the tights and they felt loose on. These were probably then true to size at 28-32. 

Pamela Mann also wanted details of my measurements to include size, height, weight, leg length and thigh circumference and so it was clear that they really wanted to provide a good quality of fit across their plus size tights range. 

I will definitely be buying from them in the future!


7 July 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 to let someone else choose your outfit for you and so I got together with my friend and we had a look around the internet and I left the choices completely in her hands.

No surprise that the accents to the outfit were red, she knows me, altogether I am quite sure that the handbag is a little bit of my reach!  The dress however from Modcloth is so utterly beautiful.  I haven't chosen to buy a black dress for a couple of years now having largely banished it from my wardrobe but I would wear this dress in a heartbeat!

Magnificent 7th Choices

Cocktail wedding dress

Evans red patent leather shoes
$55 - houseoffraser.co.uk

Judith Leiber satin handbag

Michael kors charm

Check out the other ladies!

4 July 2014

Making Fashion Work For You

Whether it is something to do with the fact that I am now (whispers) 35, but the length I prefer on dresses and skirts has definitely lengthened.

Up until the past couple of years I was happy to wear an above the knee length but now when out shopping I finding myself leaning towards the below the knee and midi lengths.  Myself and leggings have never really taken to each other so they are not an option for the shorter lengths either.

How something fits is equally growing more important as the years go by in that I no longer want to have to compromise on the fit. 

What I think that we all tend to forget, or at least me anyway, is that we don't have to compromise on fit and lengths can be changed according to what you want.  Sewing services are available everywhere and for between £8.00 - £10.00 (Lancashire pricing anyway) you can get items altered to how you want them to look.

Whenever I go shopping now I always bear this in mind and when I see a dress (my go to item as you know) I always kept seamstress services in mind.

This dress for example I bought in a recent shopping trip to Manchester at +Yours Clothing   The dress started out as a maxi dress but straight off the hanger I knew that, on me, it would work perfectly at a just under the knee length.  So I bought it and had it altered to how I wanted (seamstress in this case being my talented mum).

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Obligatory pout shot
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Having tried the dress on I think we ended up taking about 5 inches off the dress and it really does make a difference.

Have you been making your fashion work for you lately?

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2 July 2014

Lake District Holidays

One thing that I love to do is go on holiday with a good group of friends. 

Something that is important when arranging these types of getaways is that you choose a great location that has something to cater for everyone’s different tastes and needs.

When holidaying in the UK, one of my favourite places to go is the Lake District.  There are many options available for both relaxing with friends and having an action packed time with the family; you really can design your holiday to perfectly suit your needs.

Whether you want to explore the shops, have a look around a historic house or go walking and see some of the spectacular scenery, there is something available for everyone with activities to suit every taste.   Even if you are not much of an explorer but still want to take in the picturesque views of the Lake District, there are lake cruises available where you get the best of both worlds.

Last time I visited the Lake District with my friends we arranged a day per person so that everyone could do something they wanted.  My day involved pitch and putt followed by a cool glass of wine at a local pub!

There is a fantastic competition being run at the moment by Ullswater Steamers where you can win a seven night holiday in the Lake District.  The prize includes staying in an exclusive Pullman Camping Coach, a private ride on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway and also a trip on one of the famous Ullswater Steamers!

You can find the link to the competition here

Even if you don’t win the main prize there are also some runners up prizes up for grabs such as days out at Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Ullswater Steamers, Muncaster Castle, Lowther Castle & Daleman Historic House & Gardens; shopping vouchers for Rabbit Rabbit Gifts and vouchers against breaks at Waterfoot Park, Woodclose Park & Hill of Oaks!

When the sun is shining there really is nowhere better than England for a holiday so why not try your luck?

* Sponsored post