Wednesday, 29 February 2012

OOTD: Casual Business

After yesterdays guest post, today's OOTD seems a tad futile, but in life there must be light and shade and lets face it this is a fashion blog, so fashion is what you get!!

I attended a afternoon course on marketing and sales today at the local business centre, I wasn't too sure what to wear, I wanted to look smart, but not too smart, after all I don't run a formal business, I'm not an executive, I run a tea party business, but even so!!

I decided on a jeans and jacket combo, with a splash of colour courtesy of New Look

Jacket - Simply Be (Past Season)
Stripe T-shirt - New Look
"Molly" High rise Jeans - South @ Littlewoods
Maroon wedges - Marks and Spencer (Past Season)  

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

And now for something completely different: A guest blog post

Something very different tonight on the blog. I will warn you now, it is NOT fashion related, but it does have to do with something I've touched on in the past, Mental Health. As some of you may know or not, I am bi-polar and I think its important to talk about mental health issues in all their varied forms in order to break the stigma that is still attached to it right down.

My friend Susie approached me with a piece she had written on self-harming, something that I have myself have had experience with and to some extent still experience now from time to time. She wanted to get her words out there but wasn't sure how, as she herself does not have a blog. I must say I am more than thrilled to publish it here, it is in my opinion a beautifully written, honest account of her experience, that I for one can identify with.

I'll let Susie speak now, this is her story.....

Thursday is March 1st. To some it is simply the start of a new month, unbelievably three months into 2012 already.  But, to many people, Thursday is more significant, it is self-harm awareness day.  

I've spent years working in television, PR and marketing.  I've been told on many an occasion that i have a talent, a way with words.  However, this will be the most difficult thing I have ever written.  Because it is about me.  Because I risk losing certain 'friends'.  Because I may be perceived in a different light by some, perhaps even be labelled as crazy by the more ignorant.  Nonetheless, it will be written because maybe, just maybe, I can save someone else from the hell that has been the past two decades of my life.

I was 12 when I first cut myself.  Sat in my bedroom with REM on repeat, reading my crumpled copy of Prozac Nation, a school compass in my hand.  It is fair to say that I ticked every pre-teen cliché known to man.  How I got there is of little relevance.  If you're thinking it, it probably happened to me.  It was how I chose to deal with it that changed my path in life.  That day, as I drew the point of the compass across my skin and saw the blood drip from my arm, what was left of my childhood vanished and a pattern was created.  A pattern that still exists some 20 years later.

Self-harm can take on many guises: cutting, burning, scratching, punching, pinching, hair-pulling, bone breaking, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and even sexual promiscuity are classed as harming oneself.  I myself have stumbled and cried my way through a number of the above.  But it is the cutting that always saved me, that I revert to in times of need.

I suppose many reading this will think that describing it as having saved me is an interesting choice of words.  Let me make one thing clear: self-harm is not about committing suicide.  Self-harm is a coping mechanism.  Sure, there have been days where I have wanted to die.  Wanted to stop the uncontrollable, soul-destroying thoughts that exist in my microanalytical mind.  But the harming brings only relief.  I don't cut because I want to die.  I cut because i want to live.  It is the only way I know of expressing the pain I feel on the inside, on the outside.  It is the only pain I can control.

I wish i could go back in time and tell that little girl not to do it.  That she was worth more.  That she should be spending her days reading Judy Blume and listening to New Kids on the Block.  Worrying about her first kiss and how many Care Bears she could collect, not how to hide her body from people who didn't understand.  Because, from the moment that 12 year old girl chose to cut, she set a president for every decision she ever made.  The prospective partners she chose, her relationship with food, her relationships with friends and family, the career she strived for, the overwhelming desire to be perfect but falling so short of the mark, even her lack of ability to look in the mirror without wanting to smash it with her bare fists.  There was nothing that wasn't effected.  

It's cyclical you see: I cut because I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not funny enough, not clever enough.  Not enough.  I am needy but I push people away.  I don't trust people so I test them again and again.  When people eventually leave, tired, confused and weary, it simply confirms that I am all of these things and the cycle starts again, each time a little more broken.

The ones who have been tested and pushed and still come back for more?  They are my friends for life.  My saving grace.  I will endeavour never to fail them.  When I love, I love with everything I am and I will have these people in my heart until the day I draw my last breath.  

So, my advice to anyone reading that might be tempted to pick up that first blade? Walk away.  Seek help.  Find something to distract you then talk to a friend, a doctor, a teacher.  It is an addiction.  But razors don't come with a picture of a sliced wrist, or scarred legs, and a health warning on the packet.

And my advice to anyone who knows someone who hurts themselves?  Love them.  They are normal.  They just use a different outlet for the pain they feel than perhaps what you may deem socially acceptable.  Inform yourself.  Don't leave them when they need you.  Don't give yourself only to take yourself away.  It reiterates everything they feel about themselves.  Don't judge them, just be there.  Wrap your arms round them.  Accept the tests, prove your trust, be honest with them.  That one extra phone call or text, that one display of affection, that one compliment, that one last time of proving that you won't let them down may seem incidental to you.  But it may give them enough food for thought to put the knife down.  It may even save their life.

Despite what people may think, I have never hurt myself for attention.  On the contrary.  It is a very private, solitary act, not something that I would want to invite those closest to me to buy tickets to.  Mental health in general is a very hush hush topic.  Despite the likes of Demi Lovato, Princess Diana and Johnny Depp admitting to self-harming, it is still a social taboo.  I've 'come out' to break down the barriers.  I am not weak, have you any idea how much courage it takes to take a blade to your skin?  But I am damaged. Broken.  I know I need a little help along the way, i need to be cared for a bit more than others.  But I will get there and I will shine.

For help or more information:

Words by Susan Smith
Twitter: @susieloader

Susie has been honest, and taken a huge leap of faith in writing about her experience, please offer her the respect she deserves by commenting constructively. I will NOT condone negativity in any shape or form. 

Monday, 27 February 2012

OOTD: Wedding fairs and work wear

As you might know, my work wear is a tad different to other folk! I've always been a fan of vintage styling, and like to inject a little into most of my day to day wear, but I'm a bit of a vintage-ho if I'm quite honest. I like anything ranging from the 20's right through to the 90's dependant on my mood!

But when I'm working, my vintage style tea party business dictates I stay firmly in the 40's & 50's, being the tomboy that I am though, I normally air towards rockabilly styling because I can bang a pair of jeans on then!! Yesterday I was promoting the business at a wedding fair and this is what I wore.....

Cardigan - George @ Asda 
Tunic - New Look Inspire
Jeans - Jeffrey and Paula for Simply Be
Pumps - New Look

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Five Take: Neutrals

Five take time!! For my lovely new followers, Five take is a group of five bloggers made up of myself, Gina, Claire, Rebecca and Nicole, each week we take an agreed theme and each "do" our own version of said theme! Phew, right, now we've clarified that, onto this weeks theme - Neutrals. I'll admit I did a wee groan when I saw it, as I don't have much in my wardrobe in that palette and those bits that I do, I wouldn't wear them as an ensemble. So what I've pulled together is not my finest hour, and think it has a hint of "soccer mom" about it, ah well, you win some, you lose some!!

Jumper - New Look (past season)
Denim Shirt - South @ Littlewoods (past season)
Skinny combats - South @ Littlewoods (past season)
Loafers -  Florence and Fred (past season) 

I'm a bit run down at the moment so I've been looking a bit of a misery guts in my pics. My hair and skin aren't great and it really gets me down! I've bought loads of veges, salad and fruit today though so I'm hoping I can eat myself back to health!!!

Why not head over to the other Five Takers to see if they look any chirpier than me!!! - I'm sure they are!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

OOTD - Pretty skirt, grumpy face.

I'm in a grump. Its lady time of the month (TMI?) so here's me, in a skirt, whoop-de-dooo.

I should spend an age enthusing about this skirt, which is pretty awesome, but I feel like crap so I'm off to the market, to buy some veg and a big fat cake! (to balance things out)
BeBe Out!!

it is amazing though isn't it?

Just a quick note, as you all love the skirt so much, I'm so sorry but it is very old next (with they still had the balck writing on white background in capitals!!)(Dare I say vintage?!!)  via eBay 

Friday, 24 February 2012


You may have heard a few rumbles about Plus North? After much searching, and talking and phone calls, Toni and I are thrilled to announce the details of this exciting event!!

Plus North,
7th July, 2012, 1pm – 6pm
Aspire, 2 Infirmary Street, Leeds, LS1 2JP

Open to members of the public and bloggers alike, Plus North is a celebration of all things Plus!! A chance for you to meet the brands, meet fellow bloggers and plus size ladies and spend an afternoon with like-minded folk, talking about the thing we love the most.....Fashion!!!

Keep checking the website for all the news, confirmation of exhibitors, activities and all things Plus North.

Tickets will be priced at £5 per person, this includes your delegate pack, name badge and automatic entry into our prize draw. Dependent on the level of interest and sponsorship we receive we're hoping to throw some extras in too! Tickets can be purchased via the website using paypal, if you don't have a paypal account and wish to pay by cheque or postal order, please email 

Along with stalls from plus size brands, retailers and independent retailers, there will be a catwalk show hosted by our Premier sponsors, Simply Be and much, much more.....

If you'd like to be involved, we are looking for sponsors, stall holders, models, anybody who thinks hey may be of help!!! Please email to express an interest. We will be sending out a press release for companies, and a newsletter to those of you interested in helping out as soon as possible. 

We REALLY hope you can make it, we're looking for ward to catching up with old friends and making new friends alike!!!

Toni & Becky

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Jump! For my love!

It would seem the jumpsuit is not going anywhere. I can hear some of you groaning already, and no, it might not be for everyone, but I personally find them incredibly comfortable, stylish and flexible and with some great variations now available, why not give it a go?

I've styled one of my favourite jumpsuits 3 different ways....

Night out....

 Team with heels, layer up bangles and pop on a statement necklace for an evening look.


Day Time.........

 A denim jacket and gladiator sandals are a great way to dress down a jumpsuit...

These are hand made leather sandals from Turkey, if you are lucky enough to go there (or anywhere that can hand make them for you) I urge you to do so, these where only £40 and were made to measure. If you have wide feet, they would be a great option. 

Leisure time......

Jumpsuits are so comfortable that you can wear them round the house with a snuggly cardi and socks! I can just envisage this look on a weekend away snuggled up in front of an open fire in some remote log cabin.... oh the romantic notions!!!

As I said there's some great plus size options available now, here's a few of my favourites around at the moment...

Simply Be - £68.00

So Fabulous - £45.00

ASOS Curve - £40.00

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Mary, Mary!

She's the flame haired, sharp dressing, high street guru, known best to Joe Public for straight talking failing businesses back onto the path of success. More recently, Mary Portas has been commissioned by the government to lead an independent review into our failing high street.

Throughout all of this Mary has never lost her passion for fashion, last year she launched a clothing range at House of Fraser aimed at "grown up women who want contemporary fashion" - from a plus size point of view its a tad disappointing that these "grown up" women apparently don't come in any sizes larger than an 18, but this is indeed a story we are very familiar with. But worry ye not, Mary has also collaborated with Clark's shoes and her second collection for them was showcased this evening by Mary herself at the Oxford Street branch.So what can we expect? Work wear with an edge, vibrant wedges and a lot of snake print!

Now, now I know all you young pips are all thinking "BeBe, she's a 50 year old woman, Clark's is for the more mature ladies!" Yes I'm fully aware of this, but lets look at it like this, she's not any 50 year old woman, she's striking, she's stylish and dare I say quirky (yes I hate that word too), and as for Clark's? Come on people, they are a British institution, combining exceptional quality with a reasonable price point, so shush yeah?!

The stand out pieces of the range for me include.....

From Top left, clockwise.....
La Marianne - Coral - £79.99 Who can resist such a classic court in a vibrant coral?
La Wesley - Gold - £89.99 These are beautiful the gold colouring and the raffia like texture, just lush
La Peep - Black - £89.99 Block heel, peep toe, classic black, get in my wardrobe!!
La Peep - Lime - £89.99 As above but in eye popping luscious lime!
La Gigi - Tan - £79.99 A great strappy flat, will look fab with maxi's, chino's....
La Amelie - Lime - £89.99 Wedge-tastic, so cute with floaty summer dresses or huge flares...

You can view the collection in it's entirety here.....

In a time when the high street is saturated with "celebrity" brands, who else gets it right for you? 

Monday, 20 February 2012

*That* Dress.....Again!

It appears New Look have done it again. You all remember the swallow dress about 5 years ago right? Everyone wanted it, I blogged about mine not that long ago, well it seems they've pulled it out of the bag and brought another excellent dress to the table. It's been blogged to death and you've probably now seen heaps of gorgeous ladies wearing it already. So I wont bang on about it, only to say its very generous in sizing, I went down to a 20 and could have easily gone to an 18, oh yeah and I kinda love it <3

I teamed mine with black jeans, coral pumps and nude skinny belt for a quick bite to eat with Mr BeBe, Miss Poppy and my folks.

Dress, New Look - £24.99
Jeans, Simply Be - £38.00 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Five Take: Tribal

Ooh its always a bit dicey when we Five Take a theme or time period because I'm concerned about the thin line between a nod to a theme and just looking like you've rocked up to a fancy dress party.

When I saw we were going to do tribal this week I automatically thought of this "So Fabulous!" shrug I've had for a couple of years, it definitely has more than a feel of the tribal about it. I'd originally teamed it with a midi tube skirt and vest but it just didn't look right, so I went with my trusty Simply Be Chloe Jeans.
The collar necklace is good old Primark, accessories wise, I think I should have loaded my arms up with heaps of bangles but I'm not sure where I've put them all (oops messy BeBe)

Please excuse the arty outstretched arm shots, I just wanted you to get an idea of the shape of the shrug and the colours!!

Shrug - So Fabulous @ Littlewoods (past season)
Vest - George @ Asda
Jeans - Simply Be
Shoe Boots - eBay
Collar necklace - Primark

Head on over to the other Five Takers and see how they tackled tribal:

Blog Sale

I've had a bit of a clear out. Head on over to to bag a bargain, there's a selection of dresses, trousers and wardrobe basics like T shirts etc.... All very reasonably priced and looking for a good home!!

Items start at just £2.00!!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

OOTD - Flouncy floral

Mr BeBe, the baby and I caught the train into Hull today, we're only 20 minutes away so it's nice and easy. It's fair to say Hull does not have the best of reputations, but it really is a lovely city, lots of free museums and art galleries, great shopping and diverse eateries. There's also 2 great theatres, the Hull New Theatre shows the more traditional shows like musicals and panto's where as Hull Truck continues to produce new and exciting theatre.

It was a wee bit more windy than I expected, so a fair few Marilyn Monroe moments where had! I've got a nice bum though, so its ok!!
I got the dress from eBay a few months back,  not really got round to wearing it, it's quite thin, and we've not had the weather for it, but despite the wind it was quite mild today, so I popped a long sleeve black t shirt underneath, some thick black woolly tights and my knee high boots to keep me warm.

This was when we'd got back so I'm looking a bit windswept and interesting!

Trying not to look like a pageant queen all he time. Not sure I've quite pulled off cool and pensive yet though...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Plus one?

Over lunch the other week with some fellow plus size bloggers we got to talking about dating, specifically plus size dating.

Being plus size can be hard in what feels like a world of slim. And when it comes to dating it can be very daunting. preconceived ideas of "levels" can be damaging....the idea that a certain type of person is only suitable for a similar type of person is unfortunately deep rooted in today's society. All too often I hear, "he's a bit out of your league", or, "punching a bit above your weight there mate". 

Maybe I'm naive, maybe I'm sat here in my ivory, married tower, being all smug, but I'd like to think that one person; fat, thin, tall, short has just as good a chance with anyone they might find attractive regardless of appearance, status, career or race. I for one never limited my choice of perspective lovers because I felt I wasn't good enough for them, or that they might be "out of my league".

Rejection can be hard to deal with, but regret is a cruel beast too, and personally I'd prefer to suffer momentary rejection than a lifetime of regret. 

Attractiveness is as personal as ones choice in music, ones taste in food or film. So surely, in that case there's just a chance he might like you? He might; shock, horror find a fat girl attractive, he might think the junk in your trunk is the best thing he's ever seen, he might get talking to you and find your sparkling wit, and intelligent conversation a turn on. Because news flash - some men *do* find fat attractive, some men just find women attractive, full stop! Regardless of shape & size.

One of my fellow bloggers highlighted the case of a (conventionally)"attractive" friend of hers, who, having recently joined an online dating agency, had received a rather large influx of interest. This had been flagged up with the website, who then suggested they would filter out the less suitable, less attractive potential suitors - for her convenience. This enraged me!! What right did they have to decide who she dates? She might have a thing for a speccy geek, a chunky biker type or a beardy weirdy!! Not everyone finds the conventionally good looking all that attractive. 

I for one cannot stand what I deem the "obvious" Brad Pitt? Keep him, Jonny Depp? No Mark Lamar, Jarvis Cocker, Vic Reeves? Yes please!!!! 

Physical attraction is a natural reaction, there's no rhyme or reason to whom one fancies! So next time you jokingly tell a friend a potential love interest is out if their league, stop, think about it, and encourage them to take a chance. You never know you could be buying your Cilla wedding hat before you know it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Five Take: Valentines

Five take is a tad late this week. As the theme was valentines we thought we'd post it on the actual day.

I'll be completely honest, Michael and I don't celebrate valentines, I think we did the first year we we're together. If I remember rightly he made me a quorn lemon and honey stir fry....(I hate lemon and honey, I didn't tell him until years later!!), served up champagne and bought me choccies. All very sweet, but he's very sweet most of the time, so I'm lucky in that fact!

Now we have Poppy we don't really get the opportunity to go out that often either, so I thought about what we might do, if we were to go out for valentines. I think we'd probably go to the cinema, no, not very original, but we get to snuggle up and have some quiet time, so suits us both!....But as we have no baby sitter and no money at the moment I had to play dress up!!!

Jacket - Simply Be (past season)
Trousers - New Look
Top - New Look

I wanted to try a couple of my items from the goodie bag I won at Plus London, I'm not totally sold on them yet, which is a shame because they we're my favourites out of the whole bag, but the trouser are very thin so I'm looking forward to wearing them over the summer with sandals. On the plus side Michael liked the outfit because, and I quote "its nice and clingy!" Boys!!! *tuts*

I did however, despite not celebrating valentines, wear a little heart pendant! All together now..."Ahhhhhhh"

Go and check out how the other five takers are celebrating and dressing for valentines....

What does valentines mean to you, is it significant to your relationship? 

Monday, 13 February 2012

OOTD - Midi me up

I'm a huge fan of the midi length, especially when its fitted, one of my very early posts I'm rocking a midi tube skirt....  I acquired this dress from eBay, its an ex-supermarket number, the seller has a couple of colourways and sizes right through to a 24. Click here for more info....

This outfit didn't quite work out how I'd hope. The dress itself is a ribbed jersey and its a bit baggy really, I think I should have sized down to a 20 to achieve the fit I wanted. I was going for effortless chic, sadly, I've not pulled that off!!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

And the winner is............


The winner of my competition, and I swear this was random, is my Plus North right hand girl..............  

So there you have it! Thank you everyone who commented and tweeted, you're all so blooming lovely! New followers, I hope you stick around and see what I'm all about.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The winner takes it all.......

Are you getting fed up of my cheesy post titles yet?! Yeah, me too!!! But anyway, back to the matter at hand, as mentioned in my Plus London Two post I was very lucky indeed (well £5 worth of raffle tickets lucky!) to win one of the many fab prizes kindly supplied by all the wonderful sponsors. I was actually in the queue to have my boobies sorted by Elomi when the raffle was drawn, so my best friend Sara collected it for me...

So what did I win?!! I won huge bag of clothes from New Look Inspire, how good is that?!!

My Haul.....!

Animal Print Leggings - £12.99

Animal Print Top - £14.99

Aztec Print Top - £19.99 

Ikat print trousers - £19.99

Coloured Skinny Jeans - £19.99

Quilted Jacket - £22.99

Sheer Back Top - £14.99

Embellished Floral Cross top - £12.99

There you have it!!! I look forward to talking about them in a bit more detail over the coming months!! And of course a huge thank you to New Look who were so very generous with this and other raffle prizes!!