Tuesday, 30 April 2013

OOTD: Let it shine....

Just a quick one from me today. Continuing my love affair with H&M I picked up this neon coral vest top along with the dark purple one (pictured) for just £3.99 each. They're a really, thin (see through) loose jersey, ideal for chucking on with my ASOS jersey peg leg trousers. Easy peasy!

Top

Top - from H&M

http://www.hm.com/gb/s/035WBD

Long, gently flared top in airy jersey.

H;amp;Mwww.hm.com


It's sunny y'all!!!

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I'm wearing H&M vest - size 22/24, ASOS Jersey Peg Leg trousers - Size 22, Matalan leopard print slippers...

Monday, 29 April 2013

If the shoe fits...


Hey! So I don't know about you but I quite often (read: a LOT) build my outfit around my shoe choice. I've always been a huge shoe fan I think a good shoe can make or break an outfit. One place I've never thought to look for shoes is Bank. I think all to often you get stuck in a shopping rut, for me I tend to forget about stores that don't stock my dress size, therefore missing out on huge shoe potential!
I've taken the same maxi dress and picked out 2 pairs of shoes from Bank around which I've built an outfit....
The first outfit is based around BANK’s classic converse ox, I've gone for a casual, comfortable outfit that could be worn for anything from the school run, to shopping or lunch with friends...
                   
                   Converse - Bank// Pendant - Warehouse// Denim Jacket - New Look// Dress - Yours// Bag - Cath Kidston
And for my second outfit I chose these gorgeous floral statement heels and added bright accessories for a striking occasion look.
                         

                      
                   
                   Shoes - Bank// Dress - Yours// Bag - Accessorize// Necklace - Accessorize






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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Wild in the Jungle...

Hey guys, hope you're all having a lovely weekend? Last night Michael and I went out with friends for a meal and to see another friends band.

I had one of those rocking outfit moments, when you put something on that makes you feel amazing, regardless of whether I did, it was how I felt that mattered.

I wore my new dress from H&M, I got a catalogue through the door the other week, I'm flicking through the pages, it's all very nice, but nothing in particular moved me, that was until I got to the maternity section. What?! Yeh it comes to something when I'm excited by the maternity section but when I saw this dress I got all excited!

MAMA Dress

MAMA Dress - from H&M

http://www.hm.com/gb/s/04NT3L

CONSCIOUS. Straight V-neck dress in softly draping jersey with a print pattern, with gathers and buttons at the front, a tie at the waist and a slightly longer back section.

H;amp;Mwww.hm.com


Ooh get H&M they have a fancy blog widget you can copy and paste onto your blog, how awesome is that? So anyway, yeh... Here's what I looked like in it...

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I wore.... Dress - H&M (details above)// Belt - ASOS Curve// Boots - Barratts// Clutch Bag - Matalan// Earrings - Primark

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Words cannot express how much I love this dress, the fabric close up is amazing, the closer you look the more things you spot, like sneaky toucans and little monkeys.. Erm amazing. The fabric is a very thin lightweight jersey, and on the hanger I thought it was going to be see-through, but luckily it wasn't. And although on this occasion I dressed it up and can see me wearing this all summer long with leggings and sandals.

The H&M plus range can be a little hit and miss in both style and sizing so I tend to stick to the main range, the size XL is equivalent to a 22/24. I haven't tried the trousers but have found the tops and dresses a really good fit, it's definitely one to remember.

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I had a really nice time with my friends but unfortunately, I made the very silly mistake of eating bread. Although I haven't had a diagnosis yet, I've managed to figure out from eliminating gluten from my diet that I am in fact intolerant and if I do eat bread, pasta etc my belly balloons out and I look 6 months pregnant, I get terrible cramps and other ickyness! But my greedy bread loving self took over last night and I paid the price having to cut my evening short. My lesson has been well and truly learnt, it's very early days for me, so I'm not being too hard on myself. Do any of you guys suffer from a gluten/wheat intolerance? What do you do when eating out? Do you have any great lunch time recipes? I'd appreciate all the advice and help I can get!

P.S. I'm currently in mourning for bagels & pretzels, it may be a while before I can get over the pain and agony ;)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Back to black.....

Hello! So, sometimes there's this kind of rule that says with our new found confidence as proud fat folk we shouldn't wear black "cover up" clothes, and yes to some extent I love how colour makes me visible, and in your face. But some days I genuinely love wearing a head to toe black outfit, it makes me feel all slick and chic and a bit bad ass!

I was getting my hair cut today and running round town so wanted to feel comfortable but smart. A couple of weeks ago now, the very lovely folk at Live Unlimited sent me some tops from their new range. For those of you who don't know, Live Unlimited is stocked in Evans, it's what I would class as mid-price range, it's not cheap, but it's not eye wateringly expensive either. It's probably more geared at 30+ I'd say, it's classic with a modern twist with lots of attention to detail.

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The black lace blouse with cami is really light weight and floaty, and the cut work is just stunning. The cami is jersey which makes a nice change. I find sometimes the cami that comes with a lot tops is normally a shiny viscose type material, but this is a lightweight soft jersey. I'm wearing the 22 and found it to be true to size.

The cami can easily be taken out if you want to wear this as a cover up for the beach (a pretty posh beach granted) or fancy a more revealing evening look!

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I've got 2 other gorgeous tops from this range to show you, but I urge you to check the whole range out, I can up honestly say I pretty much love every single piece, and coming from me that's a big statement, because I am very picky!!




Thursday, 25 April 2013

Last night a blogger saved my life.....

Hey! So, prompted by a twitter conversation with Lauren and Sara, regarding how important it is to continue to blog in the hope it will help some people with confidence, body issues etc. I just thought it was important to reiterate how blogging has dramatically changed my life, attitude and perceptions.

I know right, another soppy, heartfelt post from Becky, pass the bucket.... but if my experiences help just one person then my job here is done.

I'm one of those funny juxtaposed odd types, I've been plus size all my life and to a certain extent, fat proud, I was ok with who I was, how I looked and the clothes I wore. I love fashion, always have, always will. But there came a point in my life when the name calling, and the out and out abuse regarding my appearance became to much. I bowed to the pressures of society and thought that the only way I could feel good again would be to have weight loss surgery. My Gastric Band Surgery is well documented, I've spoke about it here, on twitter and in SLiNK, but for new readers a quick recap - in 2007 I had a gastric bypass, I lost 7 stone and went from a size 32 to a size 22. At the time I was devastated I wasn't thin, I'd gone through life threatening surgery for what I saw as nothing, I was left with endless health problems that still effect me to this day.

The fact of the matter is, my life in some respects is easier now I'm that little bit thinner. I'm not gripped with fear every time I walk into a pub hoping I can fit my bum in a chair, when going on holiday I don't stop my blood circulation for 4 hours by squeezing the seatbelt over me on the plane because I'm too embarrassed to ask for a seatbelt extension, and when I go to a shopping centre I know I'll have a wider choice of clothing. But what I will never forget is what it feels like to be that person, and how I wish I could change the world to make it more accommodating for everyone who lives there.

There's endless arguments about how fat people shouldn't have separate spaces, nightclub nights, even down to our own psbloggers hashtag on twitter, the reverse discrimination argument of "if we had #slimbloggers there'd be outrage" but the simple fact is slim people have their run of the world. It's yours to sit wherever you like, eat whatever you want without the fear of being verbally abused, hell, I can't even walk down the street without being shouted out. So yes, sometimes we build our own safe spaces, places we can be free, and proud without fear.

Nearly 2 years ago when I discovered Plus Size fashion blogs, I too found my own safe place, a place where I could wear amazing clothes and be fashionable for the sheer fun of it. I don't know about you, but as a fat woman, the amount of times I've been met with shock because I dressed nice. "Oh but you always look so nice" like fat people don't normally look so nice. "You manage to find nice clothes for your size though don't you" like I'm making the best of my shitty fat situation, the endless fat pity. Blogging gave me a place to say "I think I look nice". Full stop.

At the time I discovered this world I was slowly slipping into bad eating habits, I've suffered from eating disorders since my teens, and I found myself trying to starve myself again, punishing myself for not having lost all the weight I should have done when I had the operation, withholding food because I didn't deserve to be happy, but then binging on food because I was a stupid fat cow who didn't deserve to be slim and that I'd fucked up the only chance I had of ever being "normal". Oh that's right folks, I have some pretty deep and dark demons when it comes to food, and me, and my body.

But slowly, by reading blogs and then actually writing a blog my perception of self began to shift, my attitude to life began to change. I started to be thankful for the things around me. I was exposed to a world of confident, stylish, unapologetic women who have taught me that life really is for living and health is not a dress size or a number on a scale.

I still have bad days, I have days when I pick up the flab and excess skin on my belly and dream of it's miraculous disappearance, I honestly don't think I'm human if I'm 100% ok with myself 100% of the time, but what I can say is that I walk with my head held high and a determination in my stride, I wear clothing that I love, not because it's flattering or suits my shape.

I refuse to bring my daughter up to feel the way I did. There are no scales in my house, nor will there ever be. There are no trashy magazines with their endless scrutiny of women's bodies and "helpful" diets tips. We don't talk about size, if she asks me to sit on one of her children's chairs, I make a point of saying I can't because I'm an adult, not because I'm too fat or some such nonsense. I know even now as she starts nursery, the world will try to change and twist everything I've taught her, but I will keep on trying to reinforce the mantra, all bodies are good bodies.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say in my long winded rambling way, is thank you. Thank you to the women who keep me sane, who give me a safe place to go to when the world outside is a bit scary, thank you for reminding me who I was before I was beaten down. It's not always easy being a proud fat person, when everyone around us is trying to shame us into being thin for no other reason than aesthetics. I think every single one of you is beautiful. That includes you.

S/S 13 with Curvissa

So we've had a pretty good run of sunshine now haven't we? So hopefully we can start looking at Spring/Summer trends with a bit more enthusiasm. Today I'm going to look at Curvissa UK’s on season collection of ladies plus size clothing.


Here's some of my favourite pieces from the new collection....


Colour Block dresses - £59.00

I love these dresses, I think they would look great with some wedges or ballet pumps and a denim jacket for a sunny afternoon at the pub, but equally could be dressed up with a more delicate shoe, clutch bag, change the belt and pop a pretty hair slide in for christenings and weddings. 

Striped Summer Jacket - £49.00

This is a complete summer staple, would look great over dresses, jeans and a t-shirt, with crisp white linen trousers, the options are endless really, chuck on a floral scarf with it to mix up the prints. It's just the perfect jacket really, I'm a bit in love!


Woven Knee Length Dress - £42.00

What caught my eye about this dress is how different it is to anything else I've seen. I love the mix of fabrics and the almost sporty feel about it. I think I'd probably wear it with some converse and across the body bag for a really casual sporty kind of look. 

As you might be able to tell I've got a little bit of a love affair going on with navy at the moment, I think the whole nautical look is always a huge one for Spring Summer and its so classic these are pieces you can have in your wardrobe for years to come!


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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

OMCZ - Challenge 5

Hello! So, by sheer coincidence my FFF challenge and OMCZ challenge for this week were both pastels, and as you might have read at the weekend pastels are most definitely outside my comfort zone.

                                       Mixed Pastels// At least 2 different shades


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As I have really exhausted the only piece of pastel clothing I had for the FFF challenge I decided to use accessories to meet this challenge.

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I wore... Grey marl dress - Primark// Chambray shirt - South @ Very// Pumps - Primark// Scarf - H&M

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The mint green pumps and light coral tones in the scarf are really the only pastel bits I own, and I think realistically for me are the only way I can incorporate them into my wardrobe. I just feel way too girly in them! Who knows maybe one day I'll go full on pastel pretty, but not quite ready yet!

Head on over and see how the other ladies did with their pastel challenge...



Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Swimwear Edit: Simply Be

It's time for another swimwear edit. This time I'm looking at Simply Be and their selection of swimsuits. I've gone for a couple of quite different ones this time, that are quite a bit out of my comfort zone, but I figured you guys all have different taste and some of these might be just what you're looking for.

All of the suits are available up to a size 32 from the Simply Be website...


Sea By Melissa Odabash Bandeau Swimsuit - £45.00


Now you all know when it comes to animal print my heart belongs to the leopard, but I just couldn't resist featuring this giraffe print, its a bit glam, I can just imagine it with a huge floppy hat, lots of gold and some sexy shoes for a cocktail and pool kind of holiday (a girl can dream!)

 Splendour Bandeau Tassle Swimsuit - £40.00


This one is completely not my taste, I'm not one for fussy features but I know tassles are huge this season and its quite a festival kind of look, and just adds something a bit extra to this classic black swimsuit.

MAGISCULPT Classic Swimsuit - £40.00


This ones a bit sexy no? The mesh top part is very alluring without giving too much away... Heeellllooooo!


Beach2Beach Swimsuit - Longer Length - £22.00


I love the colour and pattern of this one, its quite a boho look teamed with big bangles, some denim cut off shorts and sandals this would look so cute!!


So there you have some of my favourite picks from Simply Be all I need now is to book a holiday.... Chance would be a fine thing!!



*Sponsored post*

Day Dreaming...

I've always been a huge fan of LK Bennett shoes, but sadly, I'm testament to the old adage Champagne Taste, Lemonade Money. So, when I get approached to do these sort of posts I see them as a bit of a chance to have a day dream about fashionable footwear and for those of you lucky buggers who do have LK Bennett kind of money maybe a chance to showcase their lovely wares to you.

LK Bennett to me, means quality. The sort of shoe that's fashionable, but also classic enough that you'll pull them out of the wardrobe time and again for weddings, events and general nice shoe days!

Something classic like this, with its two tone leather will look great with both summer and winter outfits...


Where as something with pattern and a more fashion focus will brighten up any outfit...


and for everyday wear, I've fallen in love with these pumps....

The cut-out work in the leather is just stunning and the neutral tones will go with most outfits, I'm having a major swoon over these!

So there you have it, that's just some of the choice available with LK Bennett at the moment, who knows, one day I might have the champagne money to match my champagne tastes!




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Monday, 22 April 2013

Curvissa - Elbow patch cardigan

I've got a confession to make... I was sent this cardigan back in December to review by the lovely folk at Curvissa... December was a bit of a crazy one for me, it was my birthday, Christmas lots of lovely things, but my nanna passed away, so naturally something had to slip and I hung this beauty in my wardrobe and sadly forgot all about it... So firstly let's all give me a collective slap on the wrist.. Right, good, thanks.

So anyway. Luckily this cardi is still in stock and is now in the sale, so hopefully my review will still be relevant and helpful to you guys!

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I was sent the Elbow patch cardigan in navy, a colour I'm trying to incorporate into my wardrobe a bit more. What I particularly loved about this cardigan was as the name suggests - the elbow patches, I love that they're floral, it's such a cute detail and makes it that bit different to other elbow patch cardis...

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I wore... Dress - Primark// Cardigan - Curvissa// Belt - Dorothy Perkins// Shoes - New Look

The cardigan itself is 100% cotton, it feels like a really soft wool. It's a good length on my 5'7" body - bum skimming length! I've worn the cardigan open with a belt here, but it does do up with room. I ordered the 22/24 and found it to be true to size.

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It's light enough that it can be worn in summer on cooler days, or can be layered up for the autumn. It's a really good basic to have in the wardrobe that just has a little something different about it. I'm just sad it was sat in my wardrobe for so long... Silly Becky.

Read my lips!

Hey! Hope you all had a good weekend!

So you might remember a while back the lovely Alyssa sent me some jewellery to review (read here). Since then Alyssa has started new venture, Twisted Siren, and very kindly sent me a piece from the new range, which is, well, fricking awesome...

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bit blurry, sorry 

The piece I was sent is this gorgeous glitter red lips ring. Not for the wallflower amongst us, it's bold, it's big and it's HOT! The range is made up of these fab resin set pieces in varying shapes, stars, lips, domes and each one filled with sparkles, sprinkles and all manner of fabness. If you head to the website you can see a selection of what Alyssa has to offer, you'll also see that she can make any combination you'd like too, so not only is every piece unique because it's handmade, but you can choose a style and colour that's suits you!

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The rings are set onto adjustable settings so should be suitable for most sizes. I love the Pop Art feel of these pieces and am already eyeing up the green glitter version of mine...! Also Alyssa will be bringing Twisted Siren to Plus North this year so you can see her designs up close and personal too!

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Saturday, 20 April 2013

FFF do pastels

So we're a week behind due to us all, well, being slack last week! So if you missed the last Fat Fabulous Four challenge, we're basically just 4 bloggers, tackling different trends/looks every fortnight as a bit of a challenge to ourselves and to mix things up a bit on our blogs.



This week we are taking on pastels. I don't do pastels, I think I always look washed out, so I was interested to see how I could do this challenge. Luckily I'd picked up this pastel peach top from the Leeds Clothes Swap. I love clothes swaps because they give me an opportunity to try something I maybe wouldn't spend the money on when shopping but will take a chance on try because its free. 

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I'm really not girly enough to pull off a full on pastel pretty outfit, so wearing the top with jeans for me is just a way of making it wearable for me.

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I Wore... Lace Top - Clothes Swap// Jeans - South Molly @ Very// Sandals - Primark// Jewellery - Primark

I have not a clue what I'm doing with my face or feet on this picture but yes you get the general idea. I finished of the outfit with sparkly sandals and gold and cream jewellery.


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So there you have it, that's my take on pastels. Don't forget to head over to see how MhairiToni and Rosie, did with their challenge!


Friday, 19 April 2013

Tempting Fate....

Hello!

On Monday Toni and I headed to Manchester to meet with the lovely folk at Simply Be, we were going to have a look round the venue for Plus North and have a chat about promotion etc.. So what does one wear when meeting with Simply Be? Well Simply Be of course! (suck up I know!) 

So I left a relatively sunny Grimsby to trot off to a not so sunny Manchester, and it seems with me, the sun has trotted off, so maybe I was tempting fate by wearing this little summer number!!

A Toni shaped shadow!!!

I was sent this dress by Simply Be nearly 2 months ago now, but the weather had been so utterly dire this is the first chance I've had to wear it. The dress is a really nice heavy jersey. I ordered the 22 in the tall option. I'm 5'7" and this was a floor sweeping length on me, so for you taller girls this is going to be just fine. I found it true to size, but what I will say is due to the nature of the fabric, it will cling to every single lump, bump and crevice. If you're OK with this then fab, but for me it was a little too revealing, I have quite a prominent scar on my tummy from having my gallbladder removed and you could see the scar, so it might be advisable to either size up, or what I did was wear some shapewear underneath.


The dress is a simple vest style and had thick straps so you can wear any bra comfortably with it. I just teamed mine with my denim jacket, chunky jewellery and leopard print pumps. I could see this being an absolute essential for sunny holidays and lazy days, its really comfortable and didn't crease at all even after 2 3 hour train journeys. 

A slightly less shadowy spot!! 

The dress is also available in black, grey marl and magenta details of which are here....

Thursday, 18 April 2013

When the past comes back to bite you on the bum...

Hope you don't mind, but needed somewhere to have a bit of a vent. Sorry fashion peeps, this has sod all to do with clothes, but a lot to do with Mental health, so if that isn't what your here for, consider yourself excused!

So as you might recall I've been in the process of applying to study a degree course at my local uni. Sadly the course I wanted to do was cancelled, but in a happy turn of fate, the alternative I've been offered seems like so much more of a better fit for what I want to do. So YEY! YEY?....

Well it was all amazing yesterday when I met with the lecturer and I was given an unconditional offer, but then in the afternoon when I started to try and figure out the whole student finance thing I came back down to earth with a huge bump.

Let me take you back to 2002 *steps into DeLorean and dons 80's shades* I was just about to start my 2nd year at uni when my beloved grandad passes away, with a great sadness I went back to uni. I was working a 30 hour week to support my studies, I was a long way from home and suffering terribly with my depression. I was in the grips of an eating disorder (yes fat folks suffer with them too) and really was not a happy bunny. I managed to stick it out until the December, but after countless sob filled conversations with my mum, missed lectures, sessions with the counsellor I decided to give up my studies and come home. Subsequently I had to declare myself bankrupt because of the debt I'd amounted at uni. It truly was a bloody awful time for me, and something I'm not sure I've really dealt with. The massive sense of failure on my part, the memories of the pain.

So there I was today all jolly, excited about my second chance, a new start, applying for my student finance, when I find out I'm not eligible for my first years funding. Despite the fact the debt was wiped as part of my bankruptcy, and that it was over 10 years ago... It all came rushing back. I felt that I was being punished for being ill, that this painful, all consuming illness had put the kibosh on yet another aspect of my life. (Yes my depression tends to make me overdramatise things too) so after several frantic phone calls I've established there is a very small chance I might be able to appeal and get the first years funding reinstated if I can prove my departure was for "personal compelling reasons". But those of you who suffer with depression will know that proving it medically, with a doctors note for example, isn't always easy, because at the time, I just shut myself away and didn't seek any medical attention. I am hoping I can get some proof from the uni that I visited the counsellor and maybe go from there. Who knows. Needless to say I'm a bit bummed, and down.... Who am I kidding, I'm a sobbing wreck.

Are you local?!

So, never in all my days, when I started my blog did I think I would have the privilege of being able to attend rather fabulous fashion events, and, although I enjoy them massively, the travelling can be really tiring and expensive. So when I got an invitation to a fashion event in my own town I could not have been more excited! 

Stella and Alf, the brainchild of designer Paris Hodson and stylist Charlotte Hay. The collection is made up of natural and organic fabrics, sourced as locally as possible and is manufactured in the UK.

I attended a showing of the collection in the Abbey Walk Gallery, Grimsby where I got to see first hand the thinking behind the range, the patterns used for each piece and the beautiful garments themselves. 



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For me it was just fascinating to see all the patterns laid out, how they come together and the thoughts behind each design. 

It was really nice to see a room full of people taking an active interest in both fashion and local business....


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The collection is made up of beautiful, tactile capsule wardrobe pieces that are classic and stylish but with a modern twist. 

One of my favourite pieces was this stunning white skirt, I loved the simplicity of it and the texture and feel of it was so lovely.  


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What I really enjoy about events its getting up close and personal with clothes that I might not have the opportunity to get a feel for normally, as more and more companies emerge who might be predominantly online or in locations its not always easy for me to get to, I love that I can get the chance the experience the clothes first hand.



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One of the most captivating things at the event for me was the beautiful imagery used to showcase the collection, I love how they've used a diverse range of ages when choosing models, the simple but striking images really are beautiful.



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My photographs don't really do the collection any justice. Its really worth heading over to the website to get a feel for the brand and see the whole collection. 

A huge thank you to Charlotte and Paris for the invitation. It was truly lovely to see some fabulous fashion in my home town!


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Blaze(r) of Glory

Ha! Just when you thought the cheesy titles had disappeared, I come back with that obvious corker... Sorry about that.... So anyway, yes, I was contacted by the lovely folk at New Look to talk about their selection of blazers.

I don't know about you but the weather has really started to pick up, but it's by no means summer time quite yet so a blazer is a fab option for this in between type weather. I've put together some outfits that look great with the addition of a blazer.

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All items available from New Look

This is one of my go to looks if I need to feel smart, but not over the top, I love a jeans and blazer combo!

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All items available from New Look

I love this for weddings, christenings but with some flat shoes and a bigger bag this could be a great work outfit too.

Hope I've given you some blazer inspiration, and of course stuck another 80's ear worm in for the day... :)



*sponsored post*

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it...

Hello!

Hope everyone is ok! Today was my baby's first day at school. She only turned 3 a couple of weeks ago, so it all feels too soon (for me at least) Poppy on the other hand was fit to burst with excitement. Needless to say she loved it, and didn't even look back as she ran off to meet all her new friends.

Michael and I also went to school (of sorts) today, we went to enquire about some courses at the local college, where I managed to grab a couple of pictures.

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It was a bit windy so excuse the crazy hair. I kinda felt like this outfit had a Bananarama vibe about it, all that was missing really was a jaunty headscarf. What with my short hair, the tie waist blouse, slightly washed out jeans and baggy boyfriend cardigan I was more than tempted to walk around the campus knocking out some of their hits. I didn't of course, I would probably get arrested, that or dragged into the Performing Arts department and I've been there and done that one!

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Working the moody look there... I actually think it might have been the blinded by the sun look, but I'm sticking with moody..

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The spotty top is another of my fab blog sale bargains from the lovely Hanna. The cardi is an old battered Primark one, the jeans are the Molly High rise from Very (I think they still stock them) and the shoes are from Matalan. It's so nice when you can get one new (ish) item that pulls some of your old clothes together to make a fab outfit!

All together now.. "Robert De Niro's waiting, talking Italian......"