Sunday, 30 April 2017

Food: Simply Cook

Hey! Hope you're all having an awesome bank holiday weekend (Well those in the UK anyways!) So today's post is all about food (my favourite thing), I've noticed a real surge in recipe boxes and kits hitting the internet and have always been a little weary of them; as someone who cooks everything from scratch, I kind of though it was a bit lazy to order in boxes of food, but then I was introduced to Simply Cook, which is a little bit of a different concept from your average recipe box

Simply Cook boxes contain four sets of spices and flavour combos with accompanying recipe cards that enable you to add your own ingredients in to make a delicious meal. I think what I love about it is that all too often I'll want to try a new recipe that requires a spice or flavour that I don't have, so I have to buy a massive jar of it, and then it stays in my cupboard and I don't get round to using it again. With Simply Cook, there's enough to make the meal and you're done! 

I've tried out a few of my recipes now, but I've documented my two faves so far which are so delicious I actually can't stop thinking about them. 

The Vietnamese pork was my first effort, as you can see I substituted the pork for chicken as I didn't have any and I'm not a huge fan of pork. That's what's great about these packs, you can add in or takeaway bits you're not too keen on. 

Now I know it doesn't look like the tastiest of dishes (down to my presentation skills) but my goodness it was so delicious. 

The second dish I tried was the Malay Laksa, which was so good it has haunted my dreams ever since. Seriously. 

I was really scared I'd hate it because I don't like coconut milk but OH. MY. GOD. It was so ridiculous. 

In general, the recipe cards are easy to follow and come with hints and tips about changing out ingredients or how you can use smaller quantities of the spices if you want to reduce the heat of the dish for example. 

I am absolutely loving the Simply Cook range, it pushes me to try flavours and dishes I wouldn't usually try. It's all too easy to get into a cooking rut, making the same dishes week in, week out. I am definitely hooked, my only suggestion is that they make bigger packs of the spices for dishes you've fallen in love with *cough, Malay Laksa, Cough*.

** I was sent the Simply Cook packs to review on my blog, the gushing review was all my own because I love food *that* much*

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Style: Sexual Happiness with Lovehoney

Well well well, those of you who follow me on my beckybarnesblog instagram will know that yesterday was Sexual Happiness Day and to celebrate that, myself and the good folk at Lovehoney have launched a little giveaway. Head to instagram for the details, it's running all week! 

It kind of got me thinking about the concept of sexual happiness. A few years ago it meant a cup of tea and a round of toast to be honest. I had no interest in sex, I thought my time had come and gone. 

Thing is, I was unhappy in my marriage, I was truly and utterly exhausted from full time uni, part time work and full time mum duties. My body had undergone a lot of changes, I'd lost weight, had operations and my mental health was terribly bad. 

I am wearing: Lovehoney Adore Me in 3X/4X

And the latter, for me, is a huge contributing factor to my libido. Which let's face it is pretty understandable; when your brain isn't functioning as it should and you can barely piece the day together, the amount of mental energy needed to invest in sex is non-existent. 

When I ended my marriage I found myself in a pretty good mental state (well actually I was in a false state of well-being if I'm honest, but it did the job). I was able to start exploring my sexuality again and at first it was scary, I'd slept with the same guy for 10 years. But sure enough I began to return to the fun loving, sexually happy woman I used to be, and eventually I met my partner whose care and love has made me realise that sex is a wonderful and a valid part of a relationship for me. And that's the key here... for ME. Everyone is different. Sexual happiness might be solo sex, it might be a quick flick of the bean to relax before bed time, it might be multiple partners, open relationships or it might be abstinence. Everyone's happy sex place is different. 

If you feel like you'd like to explore yourself sexually or maybe you and a partner would like to, Lovehoney is your go-to destination for toys, lubes and lingerie. They have a vast array of sexy time stuff which all comes packaged discreetly to your door. Hoorah! 

Oh and a quick P.S. Fat people do have sex, no we don't crush people, no our parts aren't any different to slim people's and no we're not grateful for the attention and therefore a 'better shag'. 

**The lingerie in this post was sent to me for the purposes of review. Words such as 'flick of  your bean before bed', are all mine. No really**

Friday, 21 April 2017

Style: Natural Curves - Ulla Dessous

With summer approaching and hopefully a holiday on the horizon for some of you, swimwear is not far from our minds. Finding swimwear options is a lot easier nowadays but finding quality, high-end plus size swimwear is another ball (or should I say bikini) game. 

I'm fairly new to the bikini game, it's been a couple of years since I've been wearing them on holiday, but I love cracking out the two piece now. Finding a great fit with that all important support is very hard to find. The set I've got for you today is from Natural Curves by premium brand Ulla Dessous

Now I will say straight away this set is not for everyone's pocket. It is high-end price wise, but in terms of fit and quality, it is outstanding. 

The support from the top and the comfort are unlike anything I've experienced in any other bikini. The fabric is thick and sturdy but so soft and comfortable. The pants are a mid-rise which I must admit are a bit scary for me after only wearing high-rise bottoms, but I am loving them now! 

Just checking the babs.

Natural Curves also carry an extensive range of lingerie, nightwear and even nursing bras. Head to the site to check out their full range!

**The items in this review were gifted to me. All words and opinions are my own!**

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Style: Quiz Clothing - Curve

Hey! As always, I try and introduce you to new plus size brands and offerings and one of the latest to launch are high street brand Quiz Clothing with their 'Curve' offering. I've got two pieces to share with you today, the first being a plus size dress and the second in the shape of plus size trousers

To be honest this post is a bit picture heavy but I'm not even sorry because both items I absolutely love and felt so lovely in them. 

This dress did push me out of my comfort zone and as you can see I'm clinging onto my more masculine side by wearing jeans with it, but when I go on holiday in June I am going to wear it as a dress, I promise. 

As I was unfamiliar with sizing I went for a 24 on this one, I'm glad I did, I think if I'd stuck with my usual 22, it would have been fine, but with the pale blush colour and soft fabric, it might have been a little too clingy for my personal taste. Speaking of the fabric, it's a lightweight crepe, the neckline and sleeves are elasticated and the length is just above the knee (I'm 5'7") with small slits to the side. It's a little sheer so I'd personally go with a slip underneath. 

My second item from Quiz are these khaki trousers, in a peg leg style. 

They come up fairly high on the waist, I'd say for those of you with a regular sized body, unlike my stupidly long trunk they would be sit great. Don't get me wrong, these do, but they just come up a little short in the body if I'm going for that true high waist look. 

They have pockets which is always a MEGA bonus, and the length is great for either wearing on the ankle or for rolling up as I have here. The fabric is a heavy jersey crepe, which hangs really well. Thing is I have lumpy bumpy legs and they do show up in lighter colour fabrics, but I'm not going to let that stop me wearing different colour trousers! 

I was tempted to style these with heels, but I wanted to show you how I would genuinely wear them, an this is it, with my cons and leather jacket. Unless I was going out on a night out then I probably would add some heels. But that's what I love about this style of trouser, it's so adaptable. 

For reference I also went for a 24 in these and they are perfect. 

My experience with Quiz has been great. I loved the two items I went for, the quality is great, the fabrics are nice and the sizing comes up a tiny bit small, but I do often border 22/24. So I'd recommend if you're on the small end of your size, stick with your size, if you're on the upper end, size up. I'll definitely be checking them out again in the future though! 

**These items were sent to me for the purposes of review. All words and opinions are my own**

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Style: Pure and Simple OOTD

Hey hey! How's the easter break working out for you? I hope you have a chance to have a rest and take advantage of the long weekend. Pops and I headed to the seaside today with my folks, it was a wee bit blustery to say the least but it was fun!

I had one of my uniform looks on today, which I thought I'd share. It's such an easy chuck on outfit, that enables me to comfortably run around after Pops without feeling too 'mumsy'. 

Shop the look: Sweatshirt - ASOS// Shirt - M&S// Jeans - Yours Clothing (similar ASOS)// Backpack - Cath Kidston// Trainers - H&M