31 August 2015

Boots for Autumn

Curvissa recently contacted me and asked if I would like to try out some boots from their Autumn collection, along with another four bloggers.

My thoughts have been turning to Autumn and Winter a lot lately as the weather here has not exactly been all sunshine and blue skies.  So I jumped at the chance to try out some new boots and decided to go for the Extra Wide Fitting Boots * 

The boots come as an EE foot size fitting and are available in either an XL or XXL fitting.  I went with the latter as I wanted to be able to wear them under jeans. The boots come in either black, dark brown or cognac and have an 1 1/2 inch heel.  Happily, there is also a really good grip on the sole and the heel (Is it just me that wonders why so many companies put a good grip on the sole and usually forget the heel?)

I decided to show you two different outfits, one casual for a walk in the park and the other with my usual attire of a dress; and because I could not resist pairing the dark brown leather with burnt orange of the dress.

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The leather is lovely and soft and after wearing for a full day out I can attest that they do not even need breaking in.  Practically unheard of in my shoe collection!

I would give them a five star rating as they are comfortable, style and will be a great staple in my wardrobe.

Curvissa have been nominated at the British Plus Size Awards for the best footwear retailer.  They would love your support so why not hop on over to the website and give them a vote.

In the meantime, please take a moment to check out the other fantastic bloggers involved in this five way challenge.


30 August 2015

Fun in Blackpool

(Picture heavy post)

Last weekend I went away with my mum for a couple of days.  We both needed some fun time away so decided to have a mother/daughter weekend filled with good things.

I always say that my mum and I could laugh and have a good time wherever we happen to be and that was certainly challenged when we arrived at our hotel to find that it was a country and western themed weekend.  Both of versions of hell!  Typical of us however we managed to have a laugh, whilst being completely mystified by the stony faces of the line dancers.  I thought dancing was supposed to be fun!

Anyhow, we had some fun things planned, the first of which was a trip to the +The Blackpool Tower ballroom.  Here was my outfit, planned with a little vintage edge.  The dress is from Simplybe from last year and the shoes are from Joe Browns.  The bag is a charity shop bargain from Barnardos.

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Here are some pictures that I took at the Tower Ballroom, including the delicious afternoon tea for two which was exquisite.  I highly recommend a visit, I paid £37.00 for two which included a table for two around the edge of the dance floor.

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Me and my beautiful mum

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Four types of sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam and cakes 
(plus a cheeky glass of wine)
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A quick photo I managed to get of the stage between dances

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Now at this point my post goes slightly awry as I had some lovely photographs of my outfit later that night at Cats with some pictures of the amazing stage but unfortunately, my SD card decided to eat them.  So I have recreated my outfit for you here.

My dress* is from the Scarlett and Jo collection at the House of Fraser and is currently on sale for an amazing £20.00.  Although I usually size down for Scarlett & Jo dresses, I went for my usual size in this one as the dress is lined.

I love the ribbon tie detailing and the textured print of the prom dress.  The length, although isn't shown on the website, I would guess at around 42 inches as it lands just below my knees and I am 5ft5.

I felt like a princess wearing this dress and recreating the outfit, I still do!

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So that was my weekend, hope you enjoyed yours! x

29 August 2015

Have Bag Will Travel

I went to Blackpool for the weekend with my mum last week for a some relaxation and fun (post to follow).

Neither my mum or I are what you could call light packers.  My mum tends to bring clothes for every eventuality and I am definately the products girl.

For me there is nothing worse when you go on holiday, even if it is just for a weekend and you haven't got everything with you that you want.  Whilst I can easily plan outfits ahead of time and pack the minimum pair of shoes, if I do not have options for accessories and if I cannot bring all the makeup and products I want, I am not happy.

A couple of years ago I decided to solve this problem and bought myself a vanity case.  The one pictured below is no longer available but there are so many options about.  Mine has the added bonus of being rain proof so you don't have to worry if you are caught in a shower.

Next up is my pink leather toiletry bag.  I have all my shower and hair products on one side and keep my makeup in the other.  It holds a surprising amount of stuff whilst still being compact when you zip it all back together.  This bag was a present and I believe it was from Next.

I don't know about you, but every time I pack jewellery in my suitcase, it always seems to tangle into a horrible state and for some reason, I always end up losing an earring or two.  Enter my new jewellery case* from the House of Fraser.  It is just the right size to hold your jewellery, securely locked away in a zip and thanks to the draw string pouch inside,  every stays put with minimum tangling.

Lastly I have my old faithful make brush up case which folds away neatly for packing.  I like to have all my favourite brushes with me and this case lets me do that, without taking up much space at all. I bought mine here in a set which includes four brushes, but has more room in the sections for more.

All that is left to pack are my hair straightners and hair dryer (never rely on the hotel supplied version) and I am set for travel.  Now, where's my suitcase?  Maybe I can fit one more dress.....

28 August 2015

A Stolen Identity

It has been around ten years since I decided to take the plunge into social media and join Facebook.  My friend told me about the site and to be honest, the idea of a social media network being used as a way to catch up with friends and share images seemed a very alien concept.  What was wrong with talking on the phone, texting or developing pictures?  More to the point, was it safe?

Ten years on and I find myself with a Facebook account, a Twitter handle, an Instagram account and a blog.  My thoughts, and indeed my images are out there in the world; there to be read and viewed by anyone who has the right social media account or the name of my blog.  Even someone tapping my name into Google can peer in through a virtual window into my life.

The thing is, when you put yourself out there on the internet, even with just a simple Facebook profile; what compromises are you making in relation to your identity when it can be accessed all over the world?

photo credit: Via photopin (license)

I remember Googling myself for the first time and recoiling in shock when I saw my image coming up again and again.  Images that I shared on my blog without a thought, but yet appearing on Google just by typing my name. Naive perhaps, but I never realised before that point  that my pictures would end up anywhere else than where I posted them.

(I have deleted the pictures not of me, as I do not have their permission to share)

MyVoucherCodes recently undertook research that revealed that 23% of social media users have had their images used without their permission.  When you think that Facebook alone has 500 million users, that is 115 million people that have had their images misused.

Just let that figure sink in a second,  115 MILLION people.

This can lead to anything from a brand using your photograph to promote their product right through to someone stealing your image and reposting on a hate site, such as the now deleted "FatPeopleHate" on Reddit.  This has happened to more than one body positivity blogger I know and has resulted in thousands of comments of hatred, both on the thread and also on the blogger sites themselves.

Even photographs that we do not actively publish can be stolen by people who know how, such as the hacked iCloud photographs stolen of celebrities.  They did not choose to publish their images, yet they were shared by hackers for the world to see.

So what is the answer?  Retreat from the internet, remove your images and let those who would steal them win?  For me, that answer has to be no.  I have certain limitations of what I will and I will share online, be it an opinion or an image.  But if someone were to steal my images for the purpose of  ridicule; they deserve nothing but contempt and a lack of what they really crave, attention.

25 August 2015

Manchester Eating Hotspots

I was recently asked by Millenium Hotels to participate in a new infograph they were creating, relating to Manchester's Hidden Gems.

If you are new to Manchester or even if you just want to try somewhere new, having someone local to the area recommend an eatery or bar for you will always guarantee a better experience.

As can be seen from the infograph below. there are quite a few recommended places; offering everything from pizza to fine dining.

My particular recommendation was Albert's Shed, Castle Street in Manchester which runs a great two courses for £11.95 offer but also offers some amazing dishes on the A La Carte Menu.  I recommend the Malayan Chicken which is delicious.

Happy eating!


17 August 2015

Wood Watches by Jord

I was recently asked if I would like to choose a watch from one of the collections at Jord Wood Watches  Before I tell you about the watch that I decided to choose, let me tell you a little more about them.

JORD watches are all handcrafted in St Louis, Missouri (Meet Me In St Louis anyone?) and are made from woods such as sandalwood, maple, bamboo and Zebrawood.  The woods are all sustainable and as no piece of wood is ever the same, you are guaranteed to get a watch that is perfectly unique and your own.   

I chose the Ely Green Sandalwood & Maple watch which retails at 129 dollars, or around £82.00.  It arrives nestled in its own box, seated on a cushion.

The *Ely watch is splash proof, the glass is scratch proof (good for a klutz like me) and it charges by your movement rather than battery or every day winding.

I don't know about you, but I have lost count of the number of watches I have had and loved in the past, only for the battery to run out and they being relegated to a drawer until I have "time" to get a new battery fitted.  I then discover them a year later, forgotten and looking a little sad.

The watch closes with a deployment buckle with push buttons, allowing for a seamless finish and a simple release.

JORD watches range from 120 to 295 dollars but given that international postage is free, there is no issue with high postage costs.

The Ely is a truly beautiful watch and having worn it for a few weeks now I can attest that it is comfortable and the mechanism which locks the watch into place is secure without being too resistant.  When buying the watch you can also input your wrist size, to ensure a perfect fit.

In short, the JORD watches come highly recommended!

* This watch was gifted to me but as ever, all opinions are my own

6 August 2015

Curved Opinion of the Week

This is the second installment of my weekly "Curved Opinion of the Week" feature.

There have been two issues on my mind this week, the first is the case of Sandra Bland which I have written about here and the second is the hunter Walter Palmer who has been in the news after killing, actually lets not say killing, lets say murdering because that is what he did, a lion named Cecil.

What I was thinking about today are the people who tell you:

"You shouldn't be moaning about "x", when "y" is happening in the world".  

This happened to me when I was commenting on an article about Walter Palmer by someone telling me that the Sandra Bland case was more important.  The two are in no way, shape or form connected and therefore cannot be compared.

Are we not allowed to care about different subjects?  Do we have to pick just one?  If that is the case, then I am thoroughly screwed.

It seems that in the comments section these days, (I know, I know, don't read the comments sections, evil resides there) whatever the subject the article is written on, I see people try to change the subject to something entirely different, but they believe is what should be talked about.  Sometimes their subject is more important, but why can we not speak about both?

Why can I not comment on an article about (for example) how to create the perfect pin curl without being told by some guy that I should be thinking about more important issues, like ISIS.  For all they know, I could have spent the rest of the day reading about ISIS and wanted some light relief!

Can I not comment on an article about FGM without somebody saying "What about male circumcision?  What are women doing about that?"

Do we have to write a warning on all of our comments stating "I know that the issues of x, y and z are all important, I talk about them all regularly but I want to talk about something else for a second?"

Enquiring mind want to know.