26 April 2018

Tips For Blogging On The Go


Fitting in time to blog can be a hard thing.  A full time job, dates, commitments with friends and having time to actually relax and sit down to write can sometimes be challenging.

So many times I have found myself under deadline, or with an opinion piece that I really want to write and end up writing at 11pm.  Not ideal.  But writing still brings me so much joy, so how do you do it?

The challenge is to fit my blogging around my life and still being able to be creative with it and keep the joy and excitement in there, without it being a chore.

For me, that means creating a virtual office that I can take with me everywhere, whilst maintaining a home base where I collate my ideas.  Here is how I do it:

Buy a Notice Board

I have recently purchased a notice board for my room where I can pin my notes for my latest blogging ideas and projects. I use colourful post it notes along with pages from my notebook in order to create a visual aide that I can look at for reminders of what is in my to do list along with inspirations for future pieces.  For me, this works much better than a calendar or diary.


Utilize Your Travel Time

I worked out the other day that I spend 45 minutes on the bus every day.  Perfect time for a little blogging inspiration!  I have a cheap notebook that I don't mind tearing pages from where I jot down ideas and piece together blog posts using bullet points that can be typed and added to later.

If you travel to work by bus or by train, your commute is the perfect time to get started on pieces and get the inspiration flowing.

Write on the Go

A few months ago I purchased a small lightweight tablet with a removable keyboard which has proved a lifesaver.  Whilst you cannot get a tablet out on the bus (although would be great on the train), I find it perfect for transforming my notes into a few paragraphs in my lunch or when in the summer, sitting in a park and getting a little work done whilst getting some sunshine.

Maintaining Your Down Time

Remember, writing is supposed to be fun.  It is what you enjoy so don't make it a chore.  Remember to enjoy yourself, take a break, take a step back and relax.  If you schedule your time there is no reason why you should be writing late at night or getting up early to finish a piece.


18 April 2018

The things you need for an organised home

 Keeping your home organised and in order is an ongoing battle that we all face on a daily basis, but just following a few simple tips can ensure that your home is clean and clear.

Having an organised home can take a bit of effort, but keeping it this way can work wonders for your wellbeing.
These are our tips for ensuring that your home is always organised.

Keep the hall clutter free
Walking into your home that’s filled with bits and bobs in the hall is not going to give you the right mindset for the rest of your home.

Keep your hall free from clutter and think about storing coats, bags and umbrellas somewhere else. Or if you have the space for it, invest in some sort of storage solution that can keep regularly worn jackets and shoes in.

Could a letter rack make a difference too? Instead of just piling them up, sort them into levels of importance so they’re not chucked into the drawer and forgotten about.

Organise your book shelves
When was the last time you looked through and sorted your book shelves? Taking the time, even just once a year, to have a clear out and sort things out can make a big difference. Donate the books you aren’t going to read again to a local charity shop, or even just ask friends if they’d like to read them too. Recycling your books is great for the mind as well as helping to keep your shelves free from books you’re never going to read again.



Keep essentials out of sight 
Household essentials like mops, vacuum cleaners, irons and ironing boards should have a designated place in the home that is stored away neatly and tidily. Don’t leave them leaning against the bedroom wall or in the corner of a room, instead ensure that you find the space to keep them tucked away.

No dark corners
Everyone wants a light and bright home, because dark corners are areas that it’s easy for clutter to culminate. If you do have dark spaces in the home, ensure you have plenty of functional lighting in your rooms to guarantee that there aren’t any dark spaces where clutter and unorganised mess can gather. First Lighting has a huge range of functional lighting that is smart and stylish for your home.



Make use of storage areas
Cupboards in the home are a god send for storing the things we really need, but don’t necessarily use all of the time. Keep your storage areas clean and clear and ensure that you know exactly what is in them at all times. That way you won’t have anything in there that is of no use now or in ten years time. Once a year give it a little clear out and make sure it’s tidy and free from useless items. Having some practical lighting in these spaces is also a good idea to ensure that you can see exactly what is in these spaces.


17 April 2018

For The Love Of Dogs

I have always loved dogs.  The unconditional love.  The happy face that greets you when you come in the door.  They way they somehow seem to know when you are ill or sad and come to cuddle you.  

Over the past 25 years we have had many dogs.  See you if can see the (very obvious) theme of the names! Benjie, Sophie, Cindy, Ellie, Rosie and Simba.  All with the "ie" on the end apart from our latest baby boy, Simba.

The saddest part about having a dog is that they have you their entire life, but you don't have them for yours.  We have had to say goodbye to 5 dogs and it is heartbreaking every single time.  But we will always remember their love, their characteristics, their personalities.

Our dining room is host to the pictures of all the dogs we have had over the years.




I realised the other day that Simba was turning 2 in June and we still not have a picture of him up in the house.  That had to be remedied ASAP so I started looking at photo canvas prints online that we could put on the wall.

I think the hardest part was choosing a photograph of him, I have hundreds on my phone as he is such a little poser!  See what you think of the photograph I chose..


Isn't he just utterly beautiful?  As you can see, we have departed from having Yorkshire Terriers to this time, a Shih Tzu this time.  When we went looking at dogs this time around after losing our wonderful Rosie and Ellie last year, I saw their faces in all the puppies we looked at.  We found Simba on Gumtree of all places, with current owners who couldn't care for him anymore so at 4 months, he became our baby instead.

Do you have photographs of your fur babies (or actual babies, whatever takes your preference that you want on your wall?  Because I am happy to tell you that I have a promotion code for www.my-picture.co.uk on their already discounted canvas print formats (87% saving in all!).  

All you have to do is go on the site, upload your photograph, select the desired print canvas format and enter the code THECURVEDOPINION in the coupon code section when checking out.  Simple!  The code is valid until the 15th May 2018.

Let me know in the comments if you buy a print and what photograph you have chosen!




*This item was gifted to me but all opinions (and fur babies) are my own

15 April 2018

Tips For Summer Holidays When You Are Plus Size

So 3 months today I'm off on holiday to Spain.  It has been 8 years since my last holiday abroad and I CANNOT WAIT.  Of course you know about this because I have been on going on about this for months!

I previously wrote about dressing while plus size on holiday and today I want to talk about how to prepare yourself in terms of confidence and preparing yourself in terms of your skin.


Look After Your Skin

One thing that I am conscious about, especially now that I am 39 is that taking care of your skin in the sun is so important and you have to be prepared.

My skin hates winter and I frequently end up with dry flaky legs and dry patches on my face, no matter what products and creams that I use.  This brings my confidence levels down and makes me cover up more.

I now attend a local thermal spa every month and indulge in the steam and sauna rooms which is fabulous for your skin and the heat exfoliates your skin a thousand times better than any product.  In addition, I am shortly going to be taking a natural collagen supplement in order to improve my skin's elasticity.  This product also helps to protect your skin from sun damage.  I will post a link on the blog when I have finished trying out the product for my thoughts and review.

Bring The Costs Down

As I haven't been on holiday for so long, I am having to buy a lot of things for this holiday when it comes to clothes, products and accessories.

This can prove expensive and one way that I have combated that expense is by researching online for the best prices and also using cashback sites.  You can get cashback on everything from the holiday itself, to travel insurance, to your clothes and the products that you need.

Do What You Need to Elevate Your Confidence Levels

He had to get in on the act!!

As a plus size woman, even with the confidence that I now have, I confess that I do find the prospect of walking around in swimwear, shorts etc a little bit daunting.  Although I feel confidence in myself, the judging eyes and occasional comments can get you down and that is the last thing that you want when you are on holiday.

Going to my local spa every month has increased my confidence exponentially in realising that people are living their own lives, having their own experiences and generally do not care what other people are doing or look like.

But if you are worried about being confidence and secure on holiday, do what I do.  Bring on the glam!!!

Work those Audrey Hepburn inspired sunglasses.  Wear the brightly coloured kaftan or sarong around the pool.  Find that swimsuit, swimdress or bikini that makes you feel fabulous.  Wear a dress every night if you want (I will be).  I have even bought a Spanish inspired fan.

Above all, OWN IT.

I spent far too many years worried about what others thought about my body without ever thinking of what I thought about it.  No more.  I own who I am, what I look like and what I wear and damn, I am going to look and FEEL fabulous on holiday.



On a side note, I share this last photograph of me in a swimsuit for a reason. I reviewed this swimsuit a few months ago and shared it on my blog and Twitter.  An idiot who disagreed with me online recently shared this photograph of me online, without comment, in order to try and silence me.

Pro tip.  If you disagree with me, use your words.  Form an argument.  Grow a set.  Because you will NEVER silence me or make me feel ashamed of my body.  If your only form of argument is to try and silence someone by attempting to disparage their body image, you are the one that needs help.  Not me.

14 April 2018

Horse Racing: The Most Brutal Sport In The World

Today is my annual post about the Grand National.  As always, some will read it, some won’t.  Some of you may look at the title of this post and turn away, not wanting my words to spoil your office bit of fun betting on the sweepstakes.  As ever, all I hope is that at least one person reads my blog today and changes their mind about making that bet. Forever.

The Grand National isn't the only horse racing event of the year of course.  Recently we had the Cheltenham Festival.

North Hill Harvey.  Dresden.  Sandsend.  Some Plan.

Sound familiar?  Probably not.  But they died for your viewing entertainment at the Cheltenham Festival this year.  A broken leg in the horse racing world isn't repairable.  A broken leg is a death sentence.  

Animal Aid began a record of the death of horses 11 years ago at the Cheltenham Festival.  Since then, 1677 horses have died.  That is 3 horses, every single week.  3 horses, A WEEK.  During the popular horse racing events and months, that figure increases.  In March alone 18 horses were destroyed due to injuries in a race.    

This weekend is the Grand National.  People who do not bet the whole year round get together and chose their horses, either with families or work colleagues.  It is a tradition.  After years of horses dying at every Grand National meet, they have at least improved the course and unlike places like Cheltenham who practically have fatalities every year, the Grand National hasn't had a fatality in five years.



Every year the course at the Grand National is improved.  Made safer for the horses, yet still last year 21 horses out of the 40 entered failed to finish.  In any other sport, it would be deemed too dangerous.  By a mile.  By 50 miles.  But because it is horse racing, it is somehow deemed acceptable.

When you make your bet today, what are you thinking about?  The possibility of winning a couple of pounds on  a five pound bet?  Probably.  What you won't be thinking about, what I want you to think about is a horse.  A horse who loves to run.  But a horse that doesn't know that he is entered into a race which could take his life if he breaks a leg, or a shoulder.  A horse who if he manages to make it through the 16 fences, 14 of which jumped twice, will be whipped to the finish line.  All for your two pound win.

So when you think about placing your bet today, ask yourself this.  Do I like seeing horses whipped?  Do I like watching a race where death is a very real prospect for the horses involved?  Do I want to contribute to an industry that values horses value at zero and the mob at one hundred percent?  I hope you know the answer to that question.  


We are a nation of animal lovers.  If you love animals, you do not want horses to be treated this way.

The organisers at the Grand National have started to listen.  It is time that all organisers of all horse races do the same until it is still a competitive sport, but not a fatal one.  Not one where a winner has been whipped to succeed.  

Make your choice.

2 April 2018

Summer Loving

So this was my view yesterday.  Looks idyllic doesn't it? I'm thinking 25 degrees, a cocktail beach bar at the other end, sun shining down on you..... Not so much.  This is in fact Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, England where we took my dog Simba for a walk yesterday.


Here is the boy in question, absolutely loving his first time on the beach (although he wasn't too sure of the sea, preferably to keep his little paws dry). 


Whilst today we are unfortunately back in snow covered scenes, yesterday made me really start to think about the summer ahead.

We are lucky at home to have a large patio area with beautiful views over the town to the countryside in the distance.  It is a perfect sun trap in the summer months and every year in the Spring we take advantage of great patio and garden furniture deals from Groupon, to enhance the area and maximize the space potential.

For summer evenings with a glass of wine and a beautiful view, we have a wrought iron table and chairs set on the balcony and for sun bathing during the day (when possible in the British weather), we have loungers and an ice cooler box for refreshing summer beverages.


I cannot wait to take Simba on more walks on the beach in the summer.  There are so many beautiful beaches in the UK that sometimes we do not truly appreciate until the warmer weather appears and on a sunny day, you really do feel like you could be in the Riviera.

One things that us Brits tend to forget during the summer is that the sun in England can burn you just as easily as when you are abroad.  Because we get so little really sunny days in the UK, we forget that you need to use protection against the sun here too.  All of my really bad sunburn incidents have happened whilst on a day out with no sunscreen.

I remember a particular day out at Oulton Park racing track when we presumed that the weather was going to be raining, and we ended up in blazing sunshine and for me, blisters on my shoulders that lasted for a week!  Prior preparation is key folks!

I am lucky enough to be taking a trip abroad this summer and will be sharing with you my top tips for summer holiday preparation when you are plus size.  Check back in a few days for my tips!



*Collaborative post