30 May 2015

Say It With Flowers

I was recently contacted by an international flower delivery website called FloraQueen International and asked if I would like to choose a bouquet of flowers from their large online selection to send to someone.

I love flowers.  If I had my way, we would have a big bouquet of colourful flowers in the house permanently.  They brighten up any room, can lift your mood and come in so many varieties that you can always have a different combination whenever you wish.

I chose to send flowers to my mum as a surprise to her and as an added bonus, given that I am living with her, I get to enjoy them too!

The website is very simple to use.  You choose the country where you wish to send the flowers and then pick the bouquet that is perfect for you.  I choose the Intensity Bouquet which is priced at £39.00 and here is what I received:

The flower order is outsourced by FloraQueen to a florist local to the delivery address and in my case, this turned out to be a florist only five minutes down the road from me.  

We received the flowers exactly one week ago as I write this post and the bouquet is still going strong and looking just as beautiful.  The lillies which were included were a nice surprise (I love lillies) and opened up yesterday so I will still be enjoying them for some days to come.

Do you love having fresh flowers in your home?

*These flowers were gifted to me but all opinions are my own

27 May 2015

Charity Challenge

Hello all,

I have a question for you today.  I have promoted charities on this blog before such as Ugly Mugs and Capes for Heroes and would like it to become a monthly feature.  I have a passion for promoting smaller charities, the kind that people generally do not know about but also sharing people's stories on how they cope with potentially life threatening illnesses.

What I was wondering was whether anyone else would like to join me in this monthly feature.  The idea would be to each month promote a different charity, either one which is close to your heart, a smaller one that does amazing work or promoting a blog/website that aids, supports or provides help to people.

If you are promoting a charity, the idea would be to provide at the end of your blog the ways in which people can donate.

If anyone wishes to do this monthly challenge. please comment with your blog address and email or alternatively email me on vicky@thecurvedopinion.com and I will get in touch with the date for posting and everyone's details.

Vicky xx

                                           Facebook / Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

25 May 2015

MayBeauty Incredible Face Mask Review

I have said it once and I will say it again.  I am not a beauty blogger.

My make up skills are adequate rather than expert, my nail painting skills are the "hope for the best" method (seriously though, how do they draw pictures on their nails with varnish, I'm convinced it's witchcraft) and my product applying skills are none existent.

I recently talked about my Lazy Girl Face Mask routine and after this, I was offered the opportunity to try out the Maybeauty Incredible Face Mask starter kit which includes 5 face masks and a brush as pictured below.

The face mask promises to:

The Mask removes dirt from your face while the guide prevents your skin to produce excess fat and dead skin cells, which are the cause of acne, blackheads and inflamed skin.
Given the approaching summer months and the need to give my skin a good overhaul I decided to give it a go.  The mask is black in colour and goes on easily with the brush.  You apply, leave it on for 30-45 minutes and then peel off.

Now, this is how the mask is supposed to look when applied:

This is how it actually turns out the clumsy girl way:

As it suggests in the guide they provide to you, ensure that you do not get the mask anywhere near your eyebrows or eyelashes as the mask will stick to them (note how I did not read the instructions properly from the picture above.)

One tip that I would definately recommend when removing the face mask is to have a damp cloth to hand.  You can peel the mask off however there is a definate sting to it, proof that it does actually remove everything that it promises, but water to the edges helps.

After removing the mask my face felt wonderfully soft, the few blackheads that had appeared on my nose had been removed and my skin felt refreshed and rejuvenated.  I intend to use the mask once a week in order to keep on top on it maintaining a healthy look.

The face mask is not tested on animals and is safe to use when pregnant.

You can buy the starter kit from Maybeauty for 19 pounds and if you use my code VickyFace30 you will save a huge 30%.

I would recommend the face mask to others and will continue to use it myself.

*This item was gifted to me, however all views, as you can probably tell, are my own!

22 May 2015

Your Work Life Balance

I love blogging.  It is the best thing that I have ever done.  It has brought my love of writing to the forefront, I have met amazing people; grown in confidence and had fantastic opportunities and experiences.

Having a blog however takes a lot of juggling.  We all know this.  Whether you have a full time job, are a stay at home mum or do a combination of both; I think we all end in the same position. Squeezing what we want to do in when we have the time and writing blog posts, as I am now, at 11.00pm.

So when you have a busy work/home life, a blog and a need to do the ordinary day to day things as well as having a semblance of a social life, the question is: how do we balance it all?

I recently completed a work life balance quiz which asks you 10 questions in order to find out if to find out whether you are a separator (distinct boundaries between work and life), an integrator (blurred lines where you do a bit of everything everywhere) or a volleyer (good at prioritizing).

I am an integrator.  My bus journeys to work are filled with research and scheduling blog posts, my lunch hours are note writing and my late evenings are usually reading, as well as thinking about what I need to get done in my job the next day.  This system works well for me, although sometimes you feel like you never leave the merry go round.

However we choose to balance our work and life should be the way which works best for each of us. I think that the hard and fast rules have to be:

  • Do not take on more than you can handle.
  • Organise, organise and organise again.
  • Free time is not a myth, you need it.
  • If the system falls apart for one day, chicken licken, the sky will not fall in.

How do you juggle your work life balance?

*In collaboration with Joes Bloggers

21 May 2015

Charity Shop Bargains

One thing that I love to do at the weekends is have a look around our local +Barnardo's   I have written about my local Barnardos in my post here 

We donate regularly to the charity shop with various clothing items and so I love to have a look around and see what bargains I can find.

Here are some of my recent purchases:

 photo DSC03034_zpsdocqzwie.jpg

 photo DSC03036_zpsyyh8dzes.jpg

 photo DSC03037_zps7arftqqo.jpg

All of the necklaces were bought ranging from £1.50 to £3.50, one  of which was brand new and still had the shop tags on it.  

I am love with the turquoise Fossil purchase which I picked up, in perfect condition for the sum of £4.00.  Having had a look online, knowing that Fossil purses are expensive, I found the same purse retailing for £65.00 at Rainbows Accessories so I had gotten myself a real bargain there.

What great finds have you come across in charity shops?

20 May 2015

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

I love to wear costume jewellery.  It is inexpensive and can really change and enhance an outfit.  A bright statement necklace to jazz up a simple black dress or that elegant black jet bead necklace that goes with everything.

If I could wear one type of jewellery for the rest of my life however, it would have to be diamonds.  I do not know what it is exactly that draws me to diamonds, their sparkle, their durability, their classic elegant looks; but frequently I find myself looking at jewellery websites and dreaming of the pieces I wish I owned.

When talking about jewellery on the blog I usually feature necklaces, but for this post I wanted to show you some diamond bracelet designs. If you are going to invest in diamonds, I love the idea of wearing a diamond bracelet as it can be a sparkling luxurious feature on your wrist that you get to see every time you look down.

Here are some of my favourites:

The bracelets that I have shown you today range from £900 all the way up to £4,000.00.  Diamonds are not something that you buy every day, but their classic looks will last you a lifetime.

I aim to own a piece like this before I am 40.  That gives me three years to save for a present that I will cherish forever.

*This post is in collaboration with Anjolee however all views are my mind

19 May 2015

Coco Chanel Quotes

Sometimes I think that I may live my life according to quotes from Coco Chanel.  She said so many things that are true in life that you need to always remember.  My favourite quotes from Coco are those about being self confident in who you are:

"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself"

"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself.  Aloud"

"I don't care what you think about me.  I don't think about you at all."

Being "fierce" didn't start with Beyonce.  It started with this lady.

One other quote I love from Coco Chanel is this one:

"The best things in life are free.  The second best things are very expensive"

The best things in life are free, this is true.   Love, friendship and loyalty all come for free, but you have to work hard in order to attain and maintain them.  I believe that you get out of life what you put into it and what you receive in return is of a far greater value than anything you can buy.

Love, friendship and loyalty are in my eyes the most valuable things in the world and without them the world would not shine as bright.  If you have all of these things in your life then you are winning.

The second best things in life are all things that we could do without, that we do not need, but add a little sparkle.  With that in mind, tomorrow's post is about diamonds!

                       Facebook / Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

18 May 2015

Plus Size Separates

I recently bought and shared on the blog a gorgeous organza check skirt from +Simply Be which you can read about here 

My style over the past couple of years has evolved to the point now where I wear a dress every day, usually with some sort of print and frequently floral.  Feminine with a nod to 50's styling is my thing and I do not stray from it often.

My purchase of this skirt was an impulse buy as I fell in love with it immediately, however I did not really know how to style it, with the skirt being out of my usual comfort zone.  Straight edges, black and a separate; not my usual wardrobe choice at all.

As such, I ended up styling the skirt in my usual feminine way with sandals, a v neck and pretty necklace as you can see below.

 photo DSC03004_zpsrriaddlt.jpg

I was going out for a meal today and came across the skirt in my wardrobe and decided that today, I wanted to do it justice.  Channeling the fabulous style of MrsBeBe and using pieces from my wardrobe (and my new fringe), I went with the below.  

 photo DSC03042_zps6ueejdcg.jpg

 photo DSC03040_zpstqxxc5uj.jpg

 photo DSC03043_zpspgzdkoba.jpg

Black jumper (past season)
Neon necklace - charity shop
Organza check skirt
Black ankle boots - previously reviewed here

I believe that it is important that we always challenge ourselves when it comes to fashion.  Try things that you ordinarily would not and in my case, returning to colours like black that I had previously banished.

One thing that I will still maintain is that I am no longer a pants and top kinda gal.  I wore trousers and a top for a full day last week and I was so uncomfortable!  Long life the dress (and the separates on occasions).

Facebook / Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

9 May 2015

We Are The They

I am very late in writing this post.  I have been off social media for a while for personal reasons but this half finished blog post has been languishing in my drafts for a while now.  I can stop tweeting, stop using Facebook and checking my emails; but the urge to write stays with me so here you have my thoughts today.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will no doubt have seen on Twitter the explosion that has been the #WeAreTheThey hashtag.  It started from a wonderful idea of Debz at WannaBe Princess after the comments of the professional rent-a-gob, sorry, "singer" Jamelia and later, Fiona "my career is so shit I now have to advertise the postcode lottery" Phillips.

They are both in agreement that people under and over a certain weight (qualified as under a 6 and above a 20 by way of an "apology" from said rent-a-gob) should have to shop at specialty shops rather than the high street as:

They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they can't go in and find a size

I am tired.  Tired of fat people being the last socially allowed prejudice in society.  The problem is that it is not just the atypical prejudiced people; those who used to be openly racist and homophobic (and whom probably still are behind closed doors) who fat shame, insult, criticize and attempt to humiliate others, it is society as a whole.  

Hate against fat people is an epidemic which will not go away overnight and will not unless the subject is discussed more and hashtags like #WeAreTheThey are publicized.

As a fat women I am told that I can have a pretty face but my body "ruins it".  I am presumed to be stupid, have ill health, be lazy and be an out of work "benefit scrounger".  I am none of these things but it should not matter if I was.  I am a person, deserving of the same respect that everyone gets.  I am not a sub species.

I am tired of the number of your dress size being the way in which you are defined and treated.

I am tired of people telling a fat woman that she is "brave" for wearing a sleeveless dress, a shorter hemline or brighter colours.  She is not brave, she is merely confident in how she looks.  She has a good body image.  If you cannot do the same, find your confidence; do not disparage others for something that you wished you possessed, but do not.

That, in so many ways is what fat shaming really boils down to.  Why some many people are angry about something that effects them in no way, shape or form.  Why other people's bodies are allowed to be insulted open season.  It is jealousy.  Not because they wish they looked like you or had the same body shape, but because they wish they had your confidence.  Your positive body image.  Your happiness.

How many people do you know who own the body they have?  Who does not want to change their body/face/shape/weight.  Our bodies are constantly being compared, both by ourselves and by others to what is termed as the perfect body or as Protein World might put it "Beach Body Ready".

Time and again I see wonderful things happening in the plus size blogging world.  I see readers who (like me once) read plus size blogs and want that confidence for themselves.  The over time the comments of "I wish I had the confidence in myself to wear that" become "here is a picture of me wearing what I never thought I could".

I see women who have previously let society define who they are and how happy they are allowed to be, emerge like a butterfly coming out of a chrysalis into happy, confident women.  It is inspiring and beautiful to watch.

#WeAreTheThey is not just about women under a size 6 and over a size 20, it has been become about all women, taking a stand and refusing to let others tell them that the way that they look is wrong.  You are entitled to your own happiness.  Do not EVER let someone tell you that you aren't.

2 May 2015

A Hiatus

I am having a break from my blog and Twitter account.

After going into hospital some seven months ago, my wonderful, loving step dad died yesterday.  I will not be answering tweets, blog comments or emails to my blog account for a time as I am sure you can well understand.

My writing right now is limited to (trying to) compose a fitting goodbye to a man who has been part of my life for the last twenty eight years.