Friday, 21 April 2017

Anti Chafing Knickers - My summer must have!

The sun has finally started to come out and so have my skirts. Which means it's time to start stocking my wardrobe with some essentials. First on the list would have to be anti chafe shorts. If like me and thousands of other women, suffer from the dreaded 'chub rub' then we can all wince at the mere thought of the burning pain we endure after a warm day. So to warn off said thighs of fire, I usually wear some kind of anti chafe wear.
This year, I'm trying out the anti chafe, short leg knickers from The Big Tights Company

 

Now for me, the length was perfect. I've previously found that if the shorts are too long, my skirt sticks to them and end up bunched between my legs. Not a good look!
I opted for the short leg in hope that this wouldn't happen and I'm so happy that nothing stuck. These are actually knickers but I wore them as shorts as I felt as though I had forgotten to put my underwear on-personal preference! They are super comfortable and stretchy, as they are no designed to be shapewear, there's no 'sucking in' effect. 
I also like that the waistband isn't high waisted, unlike some which can make you feel too layered in the hotter months. They sat just above my naval and against normal waistband. 

 

 

These knickers come in sizes 12-36 in black, white and natural in both long and short leg, with or without lace trim and can be found here.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Yours Store Opening In Yate

Last week I got to pop down to my local shopping centre, West Walk in Yate and cover the opening of their brand new Yours store. 
Getting an email from head office asking if I'd like to cut the ribbon and give style advice to their competition winner was such a surprise to me that I had to re-read it over and over until it sunk in. No big deal to some bigger, well known bloggers, but for me, felt it was a pretty big deal and such a great opportunity. I mean, in my eyes, my blog is pretty small and basic and I often doubt its potential or impact. 

I arrived early to find customers eagerly awaiting the opening and once we were almost ready, a queue grew quickly, spreading down the length of the shopping centre, attracting much attention from other shoppers. 

 

Now as you know, I suffer with anxiety and this did affect me on the day. I had to arrive an hour early in order for me to calm my nerves and as I struggle in social situations, had to really push myself to let my confidence shine through the nerves. Once I was there and chatting to customers, my anxiety soon eased. 
I decided to let the first customer in the queue to cut the ribbon, the lovely Stacey. 

 


 
  One lucky customer who received a £50 voucher in her goody bag 

 
  Competition winner with her £100 gift card 


I got to chat to local press about the store, current fashion trends and a little about my blog. 
It was so lovely to see customers so excited to be able to try on clothes for their size. With no other plus size retailers in the area, Yours was eagerly anticipated and the feedback from customers was so positive. 

You can read more about the opening on the Yours blog 
here

 
 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Anxiety and How It Affects Me

 


Bit of a different one for me today, seeing as I've just sat down to write a review about fashion, I felt like I needed to write this more.
 
Anxiety. A word very commonly used and heard these days. It comes in many forms and presents itself differently to each of us but right now, I am really struggling to control mine. 
I grew up surrounded by mental health issues in my family. My grandad, mother, aunt and dad all suffered pretty badly. I saw depression in various forms, whether it be mild mood swings, sectioning, electric shock treatment and eventually suicide from my closest family members. But I was tough, right? I was aware of mental health, what to look for, how to handle and behave in certain tough situations. Of course I wouldn't go down that same path!
Now, the thing I've most often thought is, I don't suffer from mental health issues, just anxiety. But what is anxiety? 


 
 


It can be pretty frightening realising that you do have or can be suffering from a mental health issue such as anxiety, because let's face it, the anxiety stems from the mind. 
With mine, I struggle to think positively. Negative thoughts outweigh the good, I struggle to catch my breath, I'm more aware of the disorganised rythym of my heartbeat, my skin breaks out in dermatitis flare ups and I often struggle to sleep due to constantly overthinking or replaying situations that I cannot change. Which of course leads to me being tired the next day where I repeat the process all over again.
I've tried medication in the past. I didn't like it and stopped when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter and I was reluctant to go back and seek further help from my gp. I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe they'd blame my weight? Maybe they would think I was weak? I'm now looking into alternative therapies as for me, medication is not always the best answer. 
I guess this post is not to offer or seek advice but to raise some kind of awareness that you are never alone. It's all to easy to look at someone's life that they portray online and think they have it made, when more often than not, they struggle with performing the simplest of tasks. For example, I can't bare to call people on the phone. The thought of calling a stranger or answering the phone from an unknown number, literally makes me feel sick to the stomach. It also affects my relationship with my husband. I've got zero trust and so I struggle to cope with that. 
I'm not entirely sure how to end this post but I thought it was a good way to share how I'm muddling through life and that I would hate to feel like others are suffering similar alone. There is no shame in asking for help, be it from friends, family or gps. 

Supportline have a great list of useful links and help available 
here x

 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Keeping it Casual in Yours Clothing

This Mothers Day was all about keeping comfy. As much as I wanted to dress up and be spoilt, this day is never about me. I was visiting my mum for the day and making her feel special with a walk along the beach and a home cooked roast, so with this in mind, I had to be dressed practically.
So I went for my new clothes from Yours.. I've always wanted a pair of dungarees but as a round bellied girl, I doubted that they'd work on my shape. Then I stopped listening to that voice and thought that I might as well try them then decide. 

 


I chose this gorgeous black pair, as we all know that black goes with everything! And powder pink was the perfect colour to team with them for such an occasion. 

 


The dungarees  themselves are non stretch and tapered at the leg, which I love. I worried that they would be too fitted around my belly but baggy elsewhere but as I sized up, these fit in the slouchy way I hoped they would. My usual size being an 18, I went for the 20. 
The pink jersey top is like a dream. Sounds silly as it's just a long sleeve top but it's generous in arm length AND in the body. I hate tops that ride up but with this falling below my bum, there's no chance of ride up here. It's so soft and slouchy that it almost feels like I'm wearing loungewear. And I'm all about that pj life! 

 

 
I chose this cute velvet satchel like backpack to finish off the outfit. X



**Disclaimer; Although items were gifted, all views are my own.**
  

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Style XL Awards 2017


 




It's been just over a week since I went to Birmingham for the first ever Style XL awards. Run by Leah, this informal award ceremony was a personal, almost intimate affair. I was surrounded by familiar faces and friends, in the upstairs of a local pub. No fancy red carpets or sit down meals. This was just what I needed, a little event just to see all my favourite girls again.

Now back to the awards. I'll be honest with you here and tell you that due to Facebook algorithms, I had no idea that nominations were even taking place! I had a few weeks of feeling incredibly guilty that I hadn't nominated my personal favourites. So the first I had heard was my email from Leah telling me that I had been nominated as 'Most Inspiring Blogger'. WOAH! For me, this was a bit of a head scratcher. I don't blog very often, I'm not that great at it, and therefore had no real understanding as to why I had been nominated. But I'm not here to complain, obviously I was super touched! 
With this in mind, I went to the awards with no expectations of winning. I was up against some of my most favourite, influential bloggers that I happen to call good friends and I was just humble to be sharing the same category with them. So off I trotted to the awards with 20 plastic tiaras.


We've all seen that bit in Mean Girls, right? Where Cady snaps up the prom queen crown and throws pieces to all the lesser known girls for being amazing in their own right. Well that's what I did- not that I was crowned of course, but I gave out little pieces to those that did AND didn't win. Not because I felt sorry for those that lost but to remind each and every one of them that they are making a difference. Regardless of categories, awards, titles...as a blogger, you make a difference to at least one person and impact them in some amazing way. Be it confidence, opinions, compassion, style, individuality... To me, showing them their recognition was so worth so much more than winning an award. 

Lucia snaps a pic of her piece of tiara
 Kelly is a selfie superstar in her piece
Kat and her beautiful daughter, Mya
Blog queen Lottie proudly donning her piece
Double the babes in this selfie with Diana and Becky


And finally, yours truly with category winner Tanya, 'One to watch' winner Aimee of Radioactive Unicorn and the gorgeous Becky 

What i wore

Usually I would of bought a super cute new outfit for such an occasion but this time I stepped back and looked at the bigger picture. A small awards afternoon to recognise the bloggers within our plus community. So I pulled out a dress I'd had in my wardrobe for ages that I got secondhand on EBay. Wore it with my Skinnydip clutch bag and Asos velvet boots. The shawl was a strip of fur I bought at a boot sale for £1.50 I will always aim to stand out but this shouldn't have to come at a cost. Sometimes shopping your own wardrobe and adding fun accessories is all it takes for a new look. X

Monday, 6 March 2017

Spring menu at Polpo Bristol

I was super excited to go on a mid week girl date to Polpo on Whiteladies Road last week. I had been nagging my husband for a good few months about coming to this award winning Italian and the opportunity never came around.
So naturally when the super babe that is Sarah Starling of Yes Starling! asked if I'd like to join her, who was I to say no! 

After a warm welcome and a drink, I browsed the menu and I won't lie, I wanted 99% of it. From the small plates to large plates, to pizzas, to breads, to puddings, I wanted a bit of everything right there and then. Luckily, Polpo gives you the option to do just that. With no set rules on the order in which you eat, Polpo offer a range of dishes that vary in size and it really takes away the struggle of choosing your main meals. Small plates are just that. Perfect for ordering a couple of dishes and sharing them. Pasta and pizzas came in both small or large options and the bread options could be shared too. 
Now, I have eyes bigger than my belly so it was easier to discuss what we wanted and then go with the welcomed advice from our waiter. 
Here's what we feasted on: 

 
   Beetroot cured salmon, horseradish cream & dill crostini


 
Marinated baby octopuses

 
Spicy pork and fennel meatballs

 
Crab & chilli linguine

 
Squash, blue cheese & walnut bruschetta

 
Roasted sea bream, grilled fennel, brown shrimp & capers

 
Chilli & garlic prawns 

 
Chocolate salami, ricotta doughnuts with blood orange jam & an Aperol sorbet

Of course, all of these dishes were served between the two of us. I might like my food but I could never fit this lot in by myself! 
Overall, the dishes did not disappoint, although I wasn't as keen on the desserts as I had hoped. I knew if I went for something other than my favourite tiramisu, I'd be unhappy. I think this could be a personal quibble rather anything else so do not let that put you off!
As a meat lover, I didn't really opt for much meat. The menu is full of such light, flavoursome dishes that it really didn't need heavier options. I find it's so good to go for food that you wouldn't usually order and now I've poured over the entire menu, I'm already thinking about what I'm having when I return. 
A big thank you to the guys at Polpo for having me and to Sarah for yet again letting me be your date for the night x

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Rose Duo with In The Style Curve

If there's two things I'm really into this season it's plisse and pink tones.
When asking if I'd like to choose an item or two from the Curve range at In The Style, I knew it wouldn't be long before I was selecting a little pink number, the Emmeline Rose Pleated Wrap Dress. The fact it was also in that gorgeous pleated plisse fabric, only sweetened the deal a bit more. 

 
 

 I chose the dress because it's perfect for a hen do that I'm attending but as I love wrap style dresses, I wanted to see if I could work it in to a daytime outfit too. So instead of styling the dress for an evening out, I thought I'd show you how I dressed it down.

 Teaming the dress with some embroidered jeans and my silver boots, it's dressed up without being too ott. I ordered the dress in a size 20 and although it was a little on the large side, over jeans I think it works really well with that added slouchiness. 

 
 

The next item I chose was basically the same thing but in a skirt. I chose this in a size 18 and it run very small. Possibly a slight inconsistency with the sizing but don't let that put you off. The quality, cut, fabrics and price are the winning elements here. 

 
 

Again, I chose to dress the skirt down. Wearing it over tights, and dressing it with my baby pink Reeboks and khaki bomber jacket. You can find the Millie  Rose Wrap Skirt here 

 
Have you checked out the pieces in the Curve range yet? There's so many gorgeous items at such a good price here.