28 September 2014

Shirt Style Belted Dress

Today I have a beautiful tomato orange dress to show you from the Look Magazine Collection for @SimplyBe.

The Shirt Style Belted Dress* is very simple in style which lends itself to be worn in a variety of different ways depending on where you are going and how you want to look.  The material is 62% Polyester, 33% Visclose and 5% Elastane.  The fit is true to size and the material is just the right thickness for taking you into Autumn/Winter.  

Given that I wear dresses every day, I love finding a dress that I can style in different ways to create alternative looks.  For the photos today I have the dress with the buttons open at the front, with heels and a glitzy belt; worn simply with a large statement necklace and low black wedges and also with a belt added.

Opaque tights will also look great with this dress or styled with some ankle boots for an edgier look.

The dress comes with a dull gold belt that I haven't featured here.  The solid colour and simple style of the dress lets you either wear it as is, or choose a variety of different belts in different styles and colours.  I am tempted to try out a clashing coloured belt to see how this looks too.

You can buy the dress at SimplyBe for £60.00.

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* Denotes gifted item

24 September 2014

BGO Murder Mystery Event

I was recently invited by Shaun of Joe Blogs Network to attend a murder mystery event at the Rennaissance Hotel in Manchester which was sponsored by BGO which is an online gambling site in order to promote their new Murder Mystery game.  You can read more about them and the new mystery mystery game they have launched on their blog

As I have always wanted to attend a murder mystery event I of course jumped at the chance and was not disappointed.

After being greeted with a glass of bubbly upon arrival (always a good start to an evening!) we were taken through the dining and performance area. There were around 30 bloggers attending the event and the three tables were challenged to see who could solve the murder by the end of the evening.

The murder mystery theme was "Who Killed His Lordship?" which is run by The Murder Mystery Company

After being seated we were soon greeted with a staggering Lord Burlington coming into the room, shortly to meet his end and his maker, face down on the floor.  We were then immediately questioned as to what we had seen by the aptly named PC World and the famous Sherlock Holmes.

We were supplied with the list of all the known suspects as well as evidence packs, suspect requests forms, fingerprint kits and everything necessary in order to catch the culprit.

Whilst making our enquiries and voicing our suspicions as to who had committed the foul crime, we were also treated to a beautiful three course meal.

After the meal each table were asked to write down who they believed the murderer was and the winner won a bottle of champagne.  I had a brilliant night and want to thank Shaun of @JoesBloggers for the invite.

As to "whodunnit" ?  Well I'm afraid that I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you so instead, I urge you to attend a murder mystery event yourself!

23 September 2014

Unconscious Fat Shaming

I said that I would not be posting on the blog for a little while given circumstances at home; but today I want to think about something that isn't sadness, worry and hospitals so I went looking for something to pique my interest.

I ended up on the Women's Rights Page on Facebook reading this post about a lady called Brittany Miles who runs a blog on Tumblr called Full Bodied Lovin She tells her story of overcoming depression and anorexia and her journey to finding self acceptance. She describes her blog as "a place to nurture my own self love, and help create a culture of acceptance for others".

Now, whilst I am rapidly discovering that the Women's Rights Page isn't all it is cracked up to be, with many many adverts, strange off topic statuses and mixed messages; I read this post as the lady in question sounded inspirational, and she was.

The comments however soon began to make my blood boil and I needed an outlet for my thoughts, which is why this post is coming to you now.

Remembering that this was a woman who had overcome fat shaming, who had gotten through anorexia and depression as a result and brought herself out at the other end; wanting to share her story and inspire and encourage others, some of the comments were in my view harmful.

It wasn't so much the troll type comments of which there actually were few, it was the misguided ones that really bothered me.  The "she isn't fat, she's lovely", the "she isn't fat, she's gorgeous" the "you're not fat by the way, you're beautiful!"  The last comment was directly in reply to her own personal comment on the page thanking them for sharing her story.

All of these messages I know came, in the commenter's eyes, from a good place.  An encouraging place.  But that therein is the problem.  What they are actually saying is "It is ok, you are not fat now.  You are good enough".

Do you not understand how harmless and dangerous it is to saying that to someone who is recovering from an eating disorder?????

I questioned one of the said commenters saying "Why can she not be both fat and lovely" and someone else responded with:
"I think because fat has a negative connation to it"
The word fat only has a negative vibe to it if you allow it to.  If you call someone fat as an insult, that says more about you as a person than it does anything else.   

In my opinion using phrases like "You are not fat, you are beautiful" is just a sugar coated version of saying that fat is bad, you shouldn't be fat, but it is ok because I don't think you are so that is alright.  It isn't the classic version of fat shaming, but it isn't too many steps away from that.  It is unconscious fat shaming.

I believe that we need to tell people when we hear this happening, whether the comment is coming from a place of malice or a genuinely wanting to be nice.  I know when someone says something like that to me it really rattles my cage.  I am fat.  I am not shying away from that.  Those people trying to sugar coat your weight  in an attempt to what they think will make you feel "better" are actually trying to justify your weight to themselves.

To understand why you could be happy at a certain size when they could not.

The lady in question is a US size 12-14 now and is happy and body confident.  This is so amazing and she inspires me so much.  What worries me however are the people who didn't read her Tumblr page as clearly many didn't.  What would they have said to her if they knew what her dress size was?  Would the sugar coating have been dropped and replaced with venom?

I am aware that a lot of my anger and frustration in writing this post is as much about what has been occurring (unrelated) in my personal life as the comments on the Women's Rights post. With that said, I am curious as to what anyone else's views are on this topic.  What do you think about unconscious fat shaming?

20 September 2014

Disappearing for a While

Hello all,

Just letting you know that I am having a little blog hiatus.

There is a little too much going on in my life at the moment that needs my attention and has to take precedence over my blog.

My step dad is in hospital with a fractured spine and for a while my life is going to be hospital visits and being there for my mum.  I am sure I will be posting the odd thing now and again but for the main part, I am

So as Arnie says "I'll be back".  Don't get into any mischief while I am away, at least wait for me to come back so that I can join in.

Toodles xx

15 September 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 absolutely love today's photograph.  It was taken at the Friday night meal at Plus North in Leeds with the beautiful Emma from Terrible Tumbles who so kindly organised the meal for us and also some goody bags.

The photo is fuzzy and the two cocktails I had is making me a little cross eyed but I don't care, I love this picture.

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12 September 2014

Don't Be A Dick

I have received various different versions of the same article from various friends and people I know lately.  Which one?  The "Fat shaming does not help people lose weight, study finds".  I know that the intention of passing these articles to me was good, but what has actually happened is that I swiftly became irate. 

After reading various incarnations of the same kind of article, I confess that I am at the erupting volcano stage so rather than vent my anger on an unsuspecting friend or colleague, I will write here instead. 

So, fat shaming does not help people lose weight; no shit Sherlock!  I do not need a study to tell me that.  I also do not need a study to tell me that discrimination against fat people is a real thing.   

Is there actually anyone out there that does not realise that fat people are discriminated against, victimised and bullied?  The Times have reported in a recent article that " Fat-shaming is one of the last socially acceptable forms of prejudice, and should be viewed like racism and sexism" and I wholeheartedly agree.

What was laughable was the amount of articles that I read that clearly had no idea as to the extent of fat-shaming that goes on.  I read in this article in the Guardian that "Research suggests even doctors can unwittingly harbour negative attitudes and assumptions about fat people".  Are you FUCKING KIDDING me?  UNWITTINGLY?   

Have you met any fat people who have spoken to doctors?  

I'm depressed and need counselling  - lose weight and then you will be happy

I fell over and broke my toe                - lose weight that will help

I strained my wrist                               - just lose weight it will feel better

I see purple people                              - diet and I am sure that they will go away 

If you are fat, every ailment that you may have is put down to how much you weigh.   

I went to the doctors to ask about counselling.  I knew what my issues were which was nothing to do with the fact that I was fat.  I was told that if I lost weight, I would be happier and therefore not need counselling.   

I was not aware that a medical degree also enables you to read minds and see what people are thinking.  I also was not aware that a medical degree gets you a free bonus psychology degree either. 

How dare you to presume to think that I am unhappy because I am fat?   

How about instead of "Fat Shaming does not help people lose weight" the title was simply "Don't fat shame".  Concise, easy to remember, to the point.  Another way would be to quote one of my favourite shows The Last Leg. 


10 September 2014

Fast Affordable Fashion

I was recently on the hunt for a new black cardigan when I came across a fashion site that I hadn't come across before called Wear All that I thought that I would share with you.  

Sites that have fast, affordable fashion that cater to plus size ranges are few and far between and after a few items accidentally dropped into my shopping basket, I thought I would show you my new outfit!

Margaret Crochet Knitted Cardigan £9.00 from Wearall
found here

Floral Print V Neck Sleeveless Dress from Wearall
Found here
 I didn't intend to pair the two together originally, but upon getting the dress through the post, I wasn't entirely sure about the bodycon fit on me.  I loved the colours and design of the skirt so much however that I decided to do a Tim Gunn and "make it work".

Spending less than £25.00 on a dress and cardigan is my idea of a bargain so I have put together some other items from the site that I love and intend to buy to start off my new Autumn/Winter season (even though I am in denial that Autumn is fast approaching).


I love finding new places to shop and with each of these items less than £20.00, even my bank manager can't object ;)

9 September 2014

Interview with House of Fraser

I was recently given the opportunity to interview Sheila Toor, Senior Designer for the Therapy Brand at the +House of Fraser The Therapy line aims to interpret catwalk trends, being fashionable, but not too fashion forward at an affordable price. 

Here is what I asked:

What inspired you to get into fashion design?
From a young age, I have always been fascinated by clothes. My love of fashion design, however, started when I was 11 years old, after I made a pair of jodhpurs as part of a project. I made them from a horrible scratchy fabric but I didn’t care — I was so proud and I thought I looked great!

That’s when I knew that fashion design was the career for me. Even today, I’m still as passionate about crafting clothing as my eleven-year-old self was back then. The only difference is that I now steer clear of those dodgy fabrics!

If you had the chance to be able to dress anyone, who would it be and why?
Now this is a really difficult question! I’m always most excited to dress those who are similar to me and have a real passion for fashion. Someone who has their own unique style and whose eyes light up as they spot the rail of clothes are the most enjoyable to work with. 

Vintage-style prints and shaping are becoming ever more popular.  What trends from the past would you like to see return and which do you wish had never happened?
I think we’d all rather forget the questionable styles of the new-romantic era in the late 1980s. I mean seriously, what were we thinking!?

Personally, I would love to see a revival of 1940s fashion. The era’s flattering, feminine dresses perfectly enhanced a woman’s hourglass shape, while the beautiful floral prints were just to die for. Ladies always looked effortlessly elegant and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous!

The plus-size market is quickly growing momentum with more people than ever wanting the same fashion available to them as the straight-size ranges.  Do you think more fashion brands should incorporate a plus-size range?
Totally! Ladies should be able to express their individual style however they choose and should not be limited by something as silly as a garment’s size label. As attitudes change, I’m certain we’ll see more and more brands including plus-size clothes in their range as standard.

There are many rules that women obey when it comes to fashion, especially when you are a size 16 plus.  Do you believe that fashion rules should be obeyed or is your own sense of style more important?
I’m all for individuality and the beauty of fashion is its versatility. Life would be boring if everyone dressed the same, so I definitely rate individuality over style rules.

I live by the mantra that as long as you feel great, you’ll look a million dollars. Choose items you like, prints you adore and clothes you feel comfortable in. After all, confidence is the most important part of any outfit.

8 September 2014

Magnificent 7th - Workwear Post

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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!

Today’s edition of the Magnificent 7th Challenge is Workwear/Back to School.

I have had an absolutely crazy time lately and have not been able to schedule anything when it was supposed to happen.  I am hoping that this week will see a return to normality.

For this challenge what I decided to do was show you some of the outfits I wear at work.

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From +New Look 

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From +Very.co.uk 

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From +Very.co.uk 

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From the Claire Richards collection at +Fashion World 

As has been fully established on this blog, I love colour and bold print!

5 September 2014

Language of Love

The word love is bandied about often, but frequently only used to describe the more mundane, without any real feeling behind it.  You might say 'I love coffee' every single day but when was the last time you told a person that you loved them? 

La Redoute carried out a survey recently and found out that 22% of the UK has not said I love you in over a year and that only 30% of people say it daily, despite that more than half of us feel special when the words are uttered.  These statistics surprised me until I tried to think of the last time I told someone that I loved them and I could not remember. 

I love many people in my life.  My amazing mum who at 74 only looks 54 and acts much younger than her age.  I can only hope to look as good as she does when I reach 74!  My sister to whom I definitely do not say I love you enough too and my best friend, who is my rock and has been with me through thick and thin, through good times and bad.

La Redoute was founded in France in 1922 and after coming to the UK in 1995, they discovered that the UK needs a little inspiration when it comes to the language of love.  With this in mind they have created the video, complete with 'Mr La Redoute'. 

This video shows messages sent from family and partners to their loved ones, spoken in French by 'Mr La Redoute' and then the author comes out to translate the message.

 I loved seeing the reactions and responses of the people who received their messages.  First, the slight bewilderment at being addressed by an attractive French man and then the delight when their love ones come out and gave the translation.

After watching the video the first thing I did was ring my mum and tell her that I loved her.  It is such a small sentence 'I love you' but it can have a tremendous impact and can really make somebody's day.  

"If you love someone, you say it, right then, out loud.
Otherwise, the moment just passes you by"
(My Best Friend's Wedding)

At the moment you can also fall in love with French style with La Redoute who are currently offering £30.00 off a £75.00 spend when you use code 8401.

*In collaboration with La Redoute

2 September 2014

Alexi Accessories

I was recently contacted by Jen of Alexi Accessories who are a new British jewellery brand.  I was asked if I wished to review something from their Signature Collection and of course I jumped at the chance. 

I decided to choose the hollow circle necklace* which is made from sterling silver and features cubic zirconia stones around the halo of the circle.  This necklace retails for £46.50.

The necklace is simple and elegant and will feature well either to add the finishing touches to an evening outfit or alternatively add a little sparkle to a workday outfit.   The chain is a good length, 16 inches with a 2 inch extension which is neither too short (don't you just hate it when that happens) or too long. 

I have worn this necklace for an evening out matched with a simple black dress and have also worn it at work with bright colours.  It is a piece that will work easily with your wardrobe as it will never date and has a contemporary elegant look.

There are some timeless pieces in the Signature Collection that will suit most people's tastes, they also have their Brooke Collection which has been inspired by nature and the world around us.   I particularly like the Ashleigh Pendant, which is very whimsical and ornate.

I would highly recommend that you check out this new jewellery brand which has some amazing pieces, either for yourself, a friend or family member.  A well placed hint to a significant other wouldn't lead them too far astray!

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* This item was gifted to me but all views are my own.