Friday, 31 May 2013

Anniversary Date Night

Hello! Don't say it too loud as you might scare it away, but is that the sun I see in the sky? Shhhh! So last night Michael and I went out to celebrate our wedding anniversary, my mum very kindly treat us to a meal at the place we got married. As it was a Thursday night, I didn't get overly dressed up. I decided to go with a simple jeans and jacket combo, one of my kind of go-to outfits. (Something I'm going to blog about this coming week).

As it was a special occasion I decided to have a play with my hair. There's not an awful lot I can do with it but I've wanted to try curling it for a while, I don't think it worked out too bad? 

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I wore... Jacket - F&F Clothing (Past Season)//Jeans - South (Past Season)// Necklace - Chelsea Doll (Past Season)// Boots - Barratts(Past Season)// Bag - Vintage

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We had a lovely evening, a few glasses of wine, chats and giggles.I totally forgot to take any pics of the main course, but here's a pic of my yummy pudding!

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Thursday, 30 May 2013

I wish that every kiss was never ending....

I did a little wedding post the other day and as mentioned I thought I'd write a little bit about my day, it's a bit more of a personal piece, but thought it might be nice! (Very Picture Heavy, all borrowed from friends as we sadly never got the digital copies of our official ones..)

This time 4 years ago, after a couple of years planning, finally saw our special day upon us. I say a couple of years, to be completely honest, we mooched round a few wedding fairs, read a few leaflets and that was about it really. I hope I wasn't a complete bridezilla. I look back now and it all seemed like a pretty easy process apart from our original car company shut down, the cheque for the seat covers was returned to our old address and the new tenants somehow managed to cash it, and our live entertainment had double booked....oh and our original honeymoon booking was cancelled and we had chose a new hotel. Ha! So not much really then? Still, it all seemed so inconsequential. 

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Getting strapped into my dress

I was just happy to be marrying the love of my life. Even when I stepped out of the car and got oil on my dress before I'd even walked down the aisle, I remained calm. The registrar said I was the calmest, most upbeat bride she'd ever seen. 

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Oil on dress? Pah!

But as I stood outside the room where we got married, the music I walked down the aisle to (Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade) I crumbled. I vaguely remember walking down the aisle making a snorting noise, the combination of me laughing and crying, attractive huh? 

Our best man Ben signing the register under the watchful eye of Michaela

The service seemed to go by in a flash. Both Michael and I have no religious beliefs so we went for a simple civil ceremony. The plan was we were supposed to walk back down the aisle as a married couple to The Beach Boys, Wouldn't it be nice... What actually happened was the venue played the wrong track and momentarily we walked off to Dancing in Street much to the amusement of all the guests!

Calling out around the world.....!

Winston, our beautiful car.... and our not all-together there driver...

We then went off and did the food, photos, drinks, cut the cake, all the traditional stuff (of which I wont bore you). As everyone filtered off to go home and get changed for the evening party, my new husband and I, our bridesmaids and partners and my lovely, slightly crazy friend Mazza sat by the lake (I say lake, its a really big pond if I'm honest but just go with it...) In the hazy late afternoon sunshine we all sat around and chatted and giggled and relaxed after what had already been a very busy day. It really was the loveliest afternoon I'll always cherish.

My beautiful bridesmaids...

Having a beverage or two by the Lake....

We then all headed to the evening venue and partied the night away...

Sweaty dancing head!

Our first dance...
Our first dance was to Everyday by Slade, the reason being when we first got together Michael lived over the other side of the county and with neither of us driving it proved difficult to spend time with each other and we missed each other desperately, being the drama queen that I am I used to listen to this song on my own with a glass of wine in my little flat all maudlin!

So there you have it, we headed off into the sunset (well the dark to our hotel, but you get the drift.....)

A very happy anniversary to my wonderful husband, without whom, I'm not sure I'd still be here. He supports me everyday, he holds my hand through the hell that is living with a Mental Health condition, he shares the responsibility of our beautiful daughter and he's guided me through some of the most truly awful times of my life with his quiet calm manner. He also drives me bloody bonkers with his short temper, and makes me laugh 'til I cry with his silly humour and clumsy nature. I love you immeasurably Mr Barnes.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Split the difference...

Despite Angelina Jolies best effort to put everyone off thigh splits they seem to be everywhere this summer, I reviewed Simply Be's side split maxi skirt last week and this week I'm looking at the paisley print maxi dress with, yet another, thigh split!

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The dress is a light weight viscose, it's soft to the touch and really floaty. The shirred waist allows for stretch and comfort and the cut out panel to the back just adds something extra to this dress.

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The paisley pattern is really nice and although the pink in the dress is not my usual choice of colour, I really love how it clashes with the orange making it really pretty and fashionable. I ordered the 22 and it was true to size.

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As always I was a terrible denim jacket bore and wore my favourite with a little over the body bag and simple black toe posts. As always I try and pick items to review that can be used for a multitude of purposes and I think this dress definitely falls into that category. Casual like I wore it today for running errands and shopping, with heals for an evening out, maybe pop a pretty lace jacket over it for a wedding or the races. It's really versatile. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

My big fat wedding dress.....

I've been asked quite a few times if I was going to write a post about my experience as a plus size bride. I don't think I have before because my size didn't have an effect on my experience really, I was very lucky in the fact when I went to the bridal shop there was a good selection of gowns for me to try and I found mine after trying on the 3rd one. No traipsing round lots of shops, no sense of disappointment, so I was extremely, extremely lucky. I know this isn't the case for a lot of brides, especially plus size brides.

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So today I thought I'd look at what's available on the web because let's face it, not only is it difficult to find a wedding dress, nowadays it's not practical or necessary if I'm honest to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a wedding dress. 

Mine came in at (after some alterations) around £400 which was WAY more than I had planned on spending, I swore I was going to spend £200 max, but I kind of fell in love with my dress and just sucked it up!

Ok, so first up is Simply Be. I cannot tell you how firstly gutted I was when they launched their range (because I would have been so happy to have a Simply Be dress) but overjoyed for all the other brides who could take advantage of it!

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The pretty petal detailing to the straps of this dress don't just make it beautiful but practical too, if you're particularly big busted and feel you need the support of a full bra on the day this is a really great option.

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This dress is so pretty and with all the buzz around The Great Gatsby it's great way have your very own Art Deco inspired wedding!

To view the full Simply Be range up to size 32 click here....

Next up I thought I'd look at American company Light in the Box. They have a brilliant range of bridal gowns up to a US size 26 (UK 30). Ordering from out of the country might be a little bit scary but I kind of figured for your perfect gown, it's worth taking the risk and you can always hire a seamstress to iron out any small fitting issues should you need too. 

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This one really caught my eye as its quite traditional but has some arm coverage, an area I know a lot of people regardless of size aren't particularly comfortable with. 

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I liked this light, less structured dress as I thought it might be a nice option for brides saying "I Do" abroad or in warmer climates. 

You can see Light in the Box's extensive range here....

Last up today, I found a sight called Wedding Dress Online Sale, I'd love to hear if anyone has used them before. They have a really big selection of dresses all of which up to a size 30, a lot of which are very traditional. I particularly like this one...

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The intricate bead and lace work is just stunning and the train at the back really gives it the wow factor. 

So I hope I've given you some options to look at that cover a wide size range. For those of you up to a size 22, the choice is much more vast with retailers such as Debenhams and BHS stocking a range of gowns. 

Another option of course is the traditional bridal shop and with more plus size specialists popping up on the high street, the options for plus size brides are getting better by the day. 

Heres just some of the options in the UK...

And for blog inspiration the lovely Em at Boombands Blog did a couple of great posts on plus size brides...

So there you go, I hope you might find some inspiration or ideas in today's post... and why the wedding post? Well it's mine and Mr BeBe's wedding anniversary at the end of this month, so I'm feeling all slushy, for which I will be writing another post about the actual day... so watch this space!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Fat, Fabulous Four: Sports Luxe

Hey! It's FFF time again, we've all gotten a bit behind what with various things happening, so if they're a bit sporadic it's just us trying to fit them in with everything else (i.e. life)

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So this week we're tackling sports luxe, a trend I love but am always afraid of trying because I think of it as a very young a trend and let's face it, I'm no spring chicken (in terms of fashion) with the 34th birthday approaching this year, I often find myself asking if I'm just too old to pull off certain trends. Not that I would ever suggest you're too old to do anything you want to, but for me, I like to be mindful of looking a bit more sophisticated with a fresh edge as appose to dressing completely like a teenager, if that makes sense?

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I wore... Vest - Love Label (Past Season)// Trousers - South (Past Season)// Wedge Trainers - Next (Past Season)// Scarf - Primark (Past Season)

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I kept it really simple, I bought these cuffed khaki trousers a couple of years ago, they're a really soft silky cotton that can easily be dressed up with heels, silky cami and a blazer. A simple vest top and my only true foray into the sports luxe trend, my wedge trainers. The gold and black scarf adds colour and a "luxe" edge to the outfit.

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I'm quite enjoying this relaxed look, it's really practical but still a bit glam! Check out my other gorgeous gals doing Sports Luxe!!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Thigh High!

Hey! I'm still a bit poorly, I've really taken a battering this week, my eye infection is finally clearing up, but then I've been having "lady" problems shall we say? And as a result I've found myself really struggling with my low mood too, hence why it's been a little quiet around here (well quiet for me!) 

I digress, on the plus side the lovely folk at Simply Be were kind enough to send me some bits from the new season, the first of which is this rather lovely maxi skirt. It's not just any maxi skirt though, it has bit of a sexy slit up the side. Swit swoo!

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Excuse the douchey looking sunglasses, it was brighter than it seemed, plus manky eye = sunglasses. 

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The skirt is a lightweight cotton, with a zip fastening to the side. There is no stretch in this garment though so that's something to bear in mind when ordering. It was true to size though. I ordered the 22 and it fitted really well. The skirt is quite high waisted which I really like, it looks great for tucking vests and tshirts into. 

I really dressed down the skirt as I was going to pick Poppy up from school and do the food shopping, but it would look great with chunky heels and a bralet/crop top as its high waisted just flashing a little bit of flesh! 

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The details for the skirt can be seen here - I really like this skirt, but I would just be aware as mentioned before there is no stretch in this material, but I love the look of it and the fit. I can see it being an all year round favourite as it would look great with tights in the winter too!

Thanks Simply Be another corker!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

OCMZ - Challenge 7

Hey! It's time for another Outside My Comfort Zone. I'm a bit poorly this week, I have a raging eye infection so sorry if its not the greatest of posts!

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This weeks challenge was to tackle Geek Chic. It's a trend that's been knocking around for a couple of years now, I myself sport what you might call geek glasses, and I know there's been a lot of geek/nerd type tshirts around. I'm not a big one for slogan T's or novelty type things, but I thought I'd crack one out for this challenge. As I'm channeling my inner geek, the only thing I'm really geeky about is... Take That, yes folks my heart belongs to those cheesy tunes, dodgy boyband moves and questionable fashion choices. 

Gratuitous Boob Shot....
My T-shirt is from the Circus Tour hence the ring master style, I don't wear it enough to be honest so I'm glad I dug it out for this challenge, I'll be wearing it with pride more often now!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Pop! Goes the Fashion

Ok so this post is massively overdue (naughty blogger). Quite some weeks ago now, myself and Toni headed to the Manchester Arndale for the Flashmob Fashion event. On arrival we were greeted by the Lovely Leanne of LFJ PR, and shown round the hub area of the event. 

Just some of the fantastic stands and activities...

Over the course of 3 days the Arndale was host to a fashion extravaganza including pop up pamper stations, offering hair, make-up, skin care and perfume consultations from high street brands including The Body Shop, Boots No7 and Hotel Chocolat.

I headed over to the Body Shop stand where I was treated to a full face of make up and given lots of helpful tips on products and techniques..

Getting my face on...

After experiencing some of the pamper treatments we were whisked off to see the first Fashion Flashmob of the day. Instead of just using regular models the clothes were modeled by professional dancers who performed slick routines on a revolving stage. I loved this twist on a traditional fashion show as not only was it really entertaining but it gave you a better idea of how the clothes looked on and how the fabric moved.

After the excitement of the first flashmob we got the opportunity to speak with Debs the Arndale's resident Stylist who had worked alongside Leanne in creating this brilliant event. It was really interesting to hear how it had all taken shape, and the influences behind the styling for the flashmobs. 

We then went on over to Simply Be, where we had a great chat with the team and had a good look round the store. I was especially excited about this part as its the first time I've been to the Manchester store after having to miss the opening last year because I was in London. 

The gorgeous Simply Be Manchester store and the fab team... 

If you're based in or around the Manchester area  the Arndale hosts so many great events throughout the year, be sure to check the events page here

We really had the loveliest day thanks to the Arndale and Leanne at LFJ PR, so thanks for inviting us!!

Friday, 17 May 2013

In the swing...

Hey hey! A quick Friday afternoon OOTD from me! I bought this really cute swing dress from ASOS which arrived yesterday.. It's soooooo pretty, it's lightweight, flowing and floral, and although summer is still not rearing it's stubborn head, I felt positively sunny in it!

And now for a major photo blast...

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I wore... Dress - ASOS Curve// Jacket - South (Past Season)// Boots - Kurt Geiger

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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Swimwear Edit - Evans

Hey! It looks like weather has taken a turn for the worse again. I mean really? Can we just have a little bit of sunshine? It's not too much to ask is it? So I guess in terms of swimwear we're reserved to swimming pools and sunnier shores, doesn't look like we'll be getting the chance to wear any of it in our country!

I was sent this swimsuit by the lovely folk at Evans. I haven't had chance to give it a proper road test yet, but I can see it being a great costume to wear when taking Poppy for a swim. Please try not to get too excited about the glamourous location, you know I've had several magazines on the phone looking to do swimwear shoots in my back garden.....

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I really like the spot print and tie details to the sides. The legs are a good shape, not too high, so offer good coverage. I found the suit to be a little short in the body for me, I'm not sure if I'm particularly long bodied so it might be worth trying even if you are taller than me (5'7") because everyone is different.

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Evans swimwear comes in different cup sizes, so you order your dress size (I went for the 22) and then get your cup size, I sized down to the C/D because I find my boobs often slosh around in swimwear with bags of room. There was more than enough room in the cups for me, but there is no wires/support so this might be something to keep in mind for those of you with a larger bust. You can check the details of the swimsuit here...

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I have absolutely no idea why I look so drowsy in this picture, I promise I'm not on anything!

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The suit has quite a high back ensuring there is lots of support and coverage. I really like this suit, it's a good all rounder, great for family swims, fitness swims (maybe not vigorous Olympic type swims) and for holidays. The little tie details are cute and the straps are nice and substantial without being too chunky.

Evans have some really great swimwear in this season, head on over to the site for more inspiration..