Friday, 31 July 2015

Style: Plus Size Fashion with M&Co.

Now things are starting to move with freelance business (hooray!) I find myself in an unfamiliar position. I'm having to attend meetings and I haven't worn business wear for quite some years (around 5!) So when M&Co asked me to choose a piece from their Plus Size collection I decided to go for this lovely shell top.

Again, apologies for the indoor pics, the weather has just been awful here! 

This lovely light cotton shell top is a gorgeous vibrant yellow, a colour along with green I don't see enough in plus size ranges. It's a really nice shape and the neckline is pleated with a little keyhole detail which is really pretty. I think this would look great with a pencil skirt or some high waist trousers too. 

The top is a woven cotton, so it doesn't have any stretch. I'm wearing the size 24 and it sits nicely on my waist/top of hips but it wouldn't even come close to going over my hips, so if you wanted more of a tunic look I would consider sizing up at least once if not twice. The quality is lovely though and the whole M&Co plus size range goes up to a 30, which is excellent. 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

**This item was sent to me for the purposes of review**

Lifestyle: Children's Toy Wishlist with House of Fraser.

Here in the UK it's the children's Summer holidays, and despite the name, the weather is decidedly un-summery! So I've put together a rainy day wish list of toys and activities that will keep the kids occupied (hopefully) for hours!

I was excited to hear that House of Fraser have a selection of toys on their website. Living just across the road from my local store, the next day buy and collect option is great! 

I wanted to go for quite gender neutral toys. I know with having Poppy that she has friends of both genders and it's nice to have activities that are suitable for everyone.

Minion Hat Kit - £5: The summer film release means Minions are everywhere at the moment, and you can guarantee the kids will be on the look out for merchandise. This fun little make a hat kit ticks that box, but also incorporates some activity time!

Sock Rabbit Kit - £6: I'm a huge fan of craft activities for the kids, not only does it mean they improve their skills set and keeps them busy, it's always nice to have something to show for it afterwards.

Play Doh - £2: There's not many a household with children around that doesn't have a set of play doh, hours of squishy modelling fun (although an absolute pig to get out of carpets!).

Mini Golf Set - £20: This is great for the under 4's keeps them active and can be played indoors or out.

Lego Creator Set - £39.99: Another classic, much like the play doh, Lego sets provide hours of fun for kids (and big kids if my husband is anything to go by).

I hope I've given you some inspiration for the holidays, for all ages and budgets. Head to the House of Fraser website to check out their full range of toys, with free delivery on orders offer £50 and free next day buy and collect!
 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

**This post was produced in partnership with House of Fraser**

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Style: Xandres at House of Fraser.

I love finding new (to me) plus size brands, and Xandres was one of those gems. House of Fraser have such a great collection of plus size fashion with brands you might be more familiar with and some maybe not so much. 

My apologies, the weather has been appalling here and as a result I had to take some indoor shots.

I'm wearing the leopard print cotton sweater, a lightweight soft knit perfect for these rainy days we've been having and even through to Autumn. Xandres is what I'd call a high end, mid range. It's not cheap but the quality is stunning, it's made from natural cotton and feels beautiful against the skin. If you're looking to invest in some work wear or casual wear that's going to last, something like this is perfect. It can be worn layered over a shirt, tucked into a pencil skirt or worn with trousers as I have done here. 

I'm wearing the size 4, which is equivalent to a 24. It's true to size I'd say maybe comes up a little small, but I guess that's subjective depending on how you like your knitwear to fit! 

I'm really impressed with the quality and as always, it's nice to showcase different items to suit different budgets. Check out the full range on their website. There are some really lovely pieces. 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Style: Reliving my Youth.

At the grand age of 35, I must say it was a bit of a slap in the face when the 90s trend came around last year. Surely I wasn't old enough to have the styles of my youth be back in style already? What the actual fuck? But yep, babydoll dresses and chokers sure as hell started gracing the pages of magazines and popping up on all the online retailers pages. Jeez. 

Part of me was secretly thrilled though. I loved some of the 90s fashion, so despite my initial horror I did start picking up a couple of bits like camisole tops and maxi cardigans. 

So this week when I had a voucher to spend with Yours Clothing, I went to the site, had a little browse and stumbled upon this. 

Grey ribbed knit and skinny straps? Love it! It definitely has a 90s feel about it, all it needs is one of those hideous stretchy chokers and an arm bracelet, but lets not get carried away. I don't mind dipping my toe back into my youth, but I'm not ready to dive right back in! Coincidentally though, I had a hairstyle quite similar to this in the 90s.

I wore: Longline Top - Yours Clothing// Jeans - JUNAROSE (similar) // Sandals - New Look

Don't forget! If you are new to Yours Clothing I have an exclusive discount. Enter BEBE15 at the checkout and get 15% off your first purchase

I just wanted to take a minute also to chat about these sandals. Oh my goodness, they are so comfortable. They are from New Look and are wide fit. They have a chunky heel and sole, but don't look too clumpy. I just love them so much! 

What decade do you feel most at home in fashion wise? 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

**The voucher used to purchase this top was given to me by Yours Clothing. All opinions are mine**

Friday, 24 July 2015

Style: 70s Floral Vibes.

Hello gang! I feel like posts have been a bit thin on the ground of late! I've been busy beavering away with various bits and bobs so my little corner of the web has been somewhat neglected. I've got some great bits coming up over the next few weeks, but in the mean time, I thought I'd share my outfit from today. 

I've been buying so much stuff from Simply Be of late. Just can't get enough of them to be honest. My credit account is suffering though! Oops. 

I wore: Floral Shirt Dress - Simply Be// Tights - M&S// Leopard Print Boots - Simply Be

Eeeeee it's loud, it's proud and I'm clashing like a mo-fo with my leopard print boots but isn't it glorious?  It was a bit chilly here today so I snapped up the opportunity to rock this ensemble. 

I'm wearing the 24, I'm glad I went for the size up. If a garment is woven and doesn't have any stretch and especially if it has buttons, I like to ensure there's going to be some room and it won't be pulling or clingy. The material itself is lightweight and silky.

Had my mop chopped today too. I still need a bit of a play with it, but I wanted something a bit shorter and choppier. Short haired girl for life! 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Style: Forgotten Denim.

I took these pictures, weeks and weeks ago. I completely forgot about them and then stumbled upon them today, so I thought I'd pop a super quick post up as it's a really nice dress and worth sharing! 

This is just one of those all round, versatile classics. I'm going to wear this in the winter with tights and boots and a chunky cardi. In the summer, bang on some sandals or converse and away we go! The denim is soft with a weight to it, but not too heavy. It doesn't have any stretch in it but it's still comfortable. I'm wearing the 24 to allow for my hips and the straight cut of it. I've got loads of wear out of it already and my mum stole it from me for her holidays too! 

I've popped all the details below of the dress and my accessories should you want to check them out! 

Shop the outfit
Denim Dress - Simply Be // Espadrille Flatform - ASOS // Prescription Sunglasses - SelectSpecs

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Style: Life's a beach.

Blimey. We've had a tough few months in the BeBe household. We had a bit of a health scare with my mum, some of my closest friends have been through some of the toughest times of their lives, and we've had a host of other crap happening. As a result of which, my anxiety has been through the roof, and the other day I'd worked myself up to the point that I was actually, physically sick. 

Well, enough was enough. We downed tools and headed to the beach for some much needed fresh air and relaxation. 

I've been making more of an effort to get my pins out this summer. My legs are still my achilles heel to be honest, but I am sick to death of spending the summer in maxi dress or jeans. So I braved it and popped on this lovely dress from New Look and my new Simply Be kimono. It was warm but windy so it was a nice added layer. 

I wore: Denim Dress (similar) - New Look Inspire// Kimono - Simply Be// Birkenstocks - Simply Be

What do you do to relax when life is getting a bit much? 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

Friday, 17 July 2015

Food: Fine Dining at The Comfy Duck, Lincolnshire.

Something a little different on the blog today. I'm always looking at ways I can change things up and grow the blog. I love eating out and great food is a passion of mine, so when Michael and I were offered the chance to review an eatery not far from us, we were excited to go along and sample all they had to offer. 

SOURCE: Oaklands House Hotel Lincolnshire

The Comfy Duck, on the outskirts of Grimsby, Lincolnshire is situated in the beautiful Oaklands Hall Hotel. The restaurant is run by Grimsby born chef Steve Bennett who makes it his mission to use locally sourced, fresh ingredients to create dishes with a modern twist.

On arrival we were greeted and seated by the friendly and personable Maître d'. The plush surroundings of the restaurant are decorated beautifully and we were made to feel welcome by all the staff. The ladies who waited on us were so down to earth and friendly. 

I'm always a little weary when I go and eat in 'posh' places, which this very much is and as much as I enjoy fine dining, the fact of the matter is I'm just a lass from Grimsby whose mum and dad worked in a factory and a supermarket. So when the staff are welcoming and friendly, it always makes it a far more pleasurable experience. 

Our drink order was taken promptly and we were served a delicious pre-starter of roasted pepper and tomato soup.

We had a full three course meal from the à la carte menu which changes seasonally in line with what's available locally. For our starters I chose the Prawn and Avocado Cannelloni and Michael went with the Charred Mackerel.  

The beautifully fresh prawns came wrapped in silky soft avocado, the lime yoghurt cut through the sweet rich flavours and the crunchy radish added a peppery warmth the the dish.

Michael's mackerel was cooked to perfection, the nori roll was packed full of flavour, the tomato panna cotta was sweet and creamy and the horseradish snow added a warmth to the dish.

Our appetites whet, we moved on to the main course. I opted for the lamb, Michael staying with a fishy vibe went for the smoked haddock.

The lamb, served two ways as tender and flavourful, the whole dish went well together and each component was cooked perfectly. I loved the pea shoots on top, they gave the it a real fresh taste. 

Michael said his dish was delicious, the flavours were well rounded and the sauce was smooth  and rich. The fish was cooked to perfection and the confit potatoes filled the dish out nicely. The poached egg topped the dish off nicely and as with mine the pea shoots added a real freshness. 

The servings on both our starters and main were just the right size, we both commented on how we felt satisfied, but not too stuffed. This is the sort of food you want to enjoy and savour. And the other plus side to perfectly formed portion sizes? Room for pudding...

Wow, what a finish. I went for the cherry parfait, which came with a grape sorbet (oh my goodness), and zingy sherbet. The parfait was smooth and delicious, I think for me personally I would have liked a stronger cherry taste, but if you want to talk about flavour, then the grape sorbet was something else. It was so, well, grapey! I honestly don't know how else to explain it, it was so intense! 

Michael opted for the Lemon tart, which was topped with an elderflower italian meringue, and surrounded by crunchy meringue, raspberry curd and a sweet fig balsamic vinaigrette. This was such a fresh dish (I sneaked a taste of it!), the raspberry curd was so delicious and cut through the sweet crunchy meringue. 

After dinner we had a little stroll around the grounds, there was a vintage car event happening too so we had a look at all the lovely Morgans. 

And what does a girl wear to dinner? Well it was a really hot day, and comfort was key but I still wanted to look smart so I wore a very old favourite jumpsuit of mine. I teamed it with my new look rose gold shoes and monki bag. 

We had the most gorgeous evening, thanks to The Comfy Duck. As local business owners ourselves it's so important to support other local businesses. I cannot recommend the restaurant highly enough, the food we sampled was delicious and I can't wait to go back and try some more of the menu. 

 photo signature_zpsdcc0d6e3.jpg

** We received a complimentary meal for the purposes of review. All opinions  are mine and as such are completely honest**