26 June 2015

What's in My Handbag

I recently bought a new handbag from +Very.co.uk the Carvela Evelin bucket bag which I managed to get on sale for £53.00.

I chose this particular bag as it is neither too big, nor too small.  It is the perfect size for those of us who carry along a lot of things, but do not want a suitcase size handbag to drag around.  With its sizing at H21 W28 D16 (cm) this is a bag that you can take to the office or on a night out with the girls (or indeed to both) as it works well for either.

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When it comes to changing handbags however, there is one thing that we all dread.  Clearing out the old handbag.  Old receipts, bills we have forgotten about, ten half empty chewing gum packets, makeup that has fallen to the bottom; it is all there.

I now start afresh, with good intentions and a vow that this bag will be different.  I will not treat you so badly.  So with that in mind, here is what is in my new handbag!

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London Retro sunglasses and case
Umbrella (From M&S)
Happy Jackson earphones case

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We all have these:
Purse from Fossil (but found in a charity shop!)
Pen, phone charger & small face powder brush

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Mini brush
Hairband & compact mirror
Vaseline to keep my lips soft in summer
Business card holder which holds work business cards and my blog card

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Mini makeup bag containing:
Two red lipsticks, one dark one light
One dark pink lipstick
MUA mascara & eyeliner for emergency touch ups
Rimmel Stay Matte Face Powder

I am not kidding myself to the fact that within a week that makeup bag will also include another five lipsticks and chewing gum pills will no doubt again multiple; but I am hopefully of maintaining some kind of order with my new lovely.

What do you carry round in your handbag?

23 June 2015

Changes at The Curved Opinion

One thing that I think most people struggle with when starting a blog is choosing the name.

Whether you want a catchy title, something descriptive or a play on words that reflects what you are about; we all start out with a idea as to the way forward in which we wish to take with our blogs and the name reflects that.

When I started The Curved Opinion a few years ago it was with the intention of featuring plus size fashion and recording my journey into body confidence.  As you can see from my post last week, that journey is not yet at an end.

What I did not expect when I started this journey is that I would change so much from the person that I was.  Confidence has brought so many amazing things into my life and with them, my personality has changed so much. I am no longer scared to say what I think on a subject.  I always had "an opinion", hence the name of my blog; but I have never been able to voice it clearly or sometimes at all.

To be honest, if I was to bump into myself from a few years ago, I do not think that I would recognize myself; more on a personal level than a physical.  The outside has changed in so far as I now wear colour, but the inside is unrecognizable from whom I was.

Along with the changes in myself, this blog has evolved along with me.  I want to write.  Not just about fashion, but about anything, and everything.

I have found myself worrying over the past few weeks that my "plus size fashion" blog, had not had much fashion involved much recently and certainly nowhere near to the extent that I used to.  As my style has evolved into essentially lots and lots of patterned dresses, I cannot afford to always have new ones.

I also worry that I write too many "talky" kind posts (and here I am again) and that people will call me a sell out for writing the odd sponsored post.

I still want to write about fashion and will always blogs the new clothes that I buy and take part in group challenges, but there are so many other directions I want to take with this blog too.  I want to do a monthly charity feature post, I want to do a weekly "Thoughts of the Week" post on current events.  I want to do so many things now that I wonder, can I still call myself a plus size fashion blogger?

All the blogs I read are from plus size fashion bloggers and this will not change.  I worry that if I change my blog to being "all things under one umbrella" will people even still be interested in what I have to say?

I know we all say and I know I have certainly said to others that your blog is your own, to do with what you wish.    But admitting that in my current mindset I am more lifestyle and opinions than fashion feels a lot like leaving a safe cocoon that I love.  The thought of not calling myself a plus fashion blogger somehow terrifies me.  Except I am not leaving, I'm just branching out.

I don't even know if this makes any sense to anyone reading it, but these are thoughts and worries that have been spinning around in my head.  The meme below is essentially what I keep thinking about the changes I want to make.

In short:  I am not going to be writing about fashion as much as I used to, I am excited about also writing new things, I hope that no one thinks that I am sticking two fingers up at the plus size blogging community which I love beyond anything or that I am a sell out.

My confidence may have changed but I am, it seems, still a worrier!

19 June 2015

In Your Eyes

When it comes to maintaining our heath and keeping up our appearances, most of us have a set routine that we follow.

We visit the dentist twice a year for check ups and cleaning, we get our hair cut every 6-8 weeks; we go for regular beauty treatments and we visit our doctor for any medication we may need.  All of these things are set features in our lives, things that we know need to be done and yet; there is one essential appointment that we always forget.

Getting our eyes tested.

For something as vital as ensuring that our eyesight is maintained, many of us are quite lackadaisical about getting them checked.

The College of Optometrists recommends that everyone over the age of 16 should be having an eye test every two years.  Personally, I am ashamed to admit that I have not had an eye sight examination in around ten years.  Considering that I work with computer screens 5 days a week and therefore my sight is more at risk, you would think that this would make me more careful.

Eye tests do not only examine your sight, they can also pick up other problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  There is also research currently being carried out in order to discover whether an eye test could also spot early Alzheimer's Disease, being symptoms have presented. 

Having decided that it is high time I did so, I am now going to be arranging an eye test.  Having done my research I have decided to go with Optical Express as I like the charity work that they do and the projects they work with; particularly Vision Aid Overseas and Lightforce International.

Many businesses have plans in place with opticians in order to offer employees eye test for free or alternatively offer recompense when presented with a receipt.   You can arrange an eye test for around £30.00 and depending on your circumstances, you may be able to arrange this for free through the NHS.

Our eye sight is so important and is something that we should no neglect.  So if you have, like me, been forgetful about your appointments, arrange one today! 

* This post is in collaboration with Optical Express but all opinions are my own

18 June 2015

I Won't Dance (But Still Ask Me)

I LOVE to dance.  Always did.  When I was in my early teens I used to have dancing lessons, learning the Latin American dances of the cha-cha and the tango and the classics like the waltz and foxtrot. I got up to my second Gold Bar before I stopped.  Looking back, I cannot actually pinpoint why or when I decided to end my lessons.

I started to go out to clubs when I was 16 and loved dancing with my friends.  We would stay out way into the small hours, dancing until our feet hurt.   We all had an active social life at the weekends for many years, but gradually, my participation on the dance floor lessened.  Again, I cannot pinpoint the exact time that I stopped, around my mid twenties I think, but this time I do know why; I got scared.  

The stares, the laughs; the comments, the ridicule at the fat girl dancing.  It did not happen all the time but regularly enough that on each night out I started to wait for it to happen.  

The fear of other people's ridicule grew greater than my love to dance.  

I stopped dancing and instead, I was the one stood on the sidelines, watching my friends happily dancing away.  Occasionally, fueled by enough alcohol and the combination of a brilliant song, I would join them; only for the fear to return and I would be back to standing at the side.

I do not want to be this way.  I have improved every aspect of my life through my growing confidence; yet my ability to go on to a dance floor still eludes me.  

The "dancing man" was recently in the headlines.  Ridiculed on Reddit for daring to dance whilst being fat (typical for the cretins on Reddit) his story went viral and only a couple of weeks ago he was thrown a party with thousands of people in attendance and with Moby as the DJ.    He has since been on numerous TV shows and appeared at a LA Dodgers game.

Would this happen to a woman?  It is perhaps a controversial question but somehow, I doubt it.  I have been fat shamed by many a fat man who does not seem to see the irony in this.  For some reason, it is more "wrong" for a woman to be fat than a man, in society's view in any case.

That said, the experiences of the dancing man warmed my heart.  It gave me courage that not all people in this world are horrible people,  That, with my new found confidence, it may be safe to once again go back onto the dance floor.

That is my mission to myself this summer.  Dance.  Without a care of who is watching. 

9 June 2015

A Rail Affair

Many years ago, I got a new wardrobe for my room.  Looking back now, it was always going to be too big.  Like Alice in Wonderland, the furniture all seemed to be huge in a small room with me, like Alice, sat in the middle.

The wardrobe was so large that I could not even open one of the doors properly.  Sitting at the end of my bed, the only place that it would fit, I was able to open one door fully but the other only slightly.  Gaining access to everything was somewhat problematic to say the least.

The danger of building flat pack furniture is that by the time you have built it up, there is no way you are taking that sucker down again!

The thing is though, back then and until recently the past couple of years; it did not matter.  Why do you need to search through clothes to wear when everything is black?  When your work clothes are the standard black trousers, black top and your evening consists of a couple of black dresses and black evening tops?  It did not matter therefore that only half of my wardrobe was accessible to me, as all my clothes were the same.

Fast forward a few years and my wardrobe is full of colour, prettiness and wonderment.  No longer did I want to hide my clothes away in disgust.  I decided to do away with my wardrobe and have a rail put up instead.  More room and some of my dresses would be on view.

This view makes me smile every morning when I wake up.  Not because I am thinking "Look how many dresses I have" but instead "Look how far I have come".

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When you have limited space in a bedroom it is always better to look for clever storage and units that do not take up much room