Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Health: Why music means so much to me

Now you might look at the title of this post and think, what an earth has music got to do with health? Well, as someone who lives with bipolar disorder and anxiety, music helps me manage my condition on so many levels. I'm working with the lovely folk at Bodyform to talk about my musical experiences and what music means to me.

Mood Music

Regardless of your mental health status I'm sure you'll agree there is nothing quite like listening to a piece of music to manage your mood or enhance your mood. Feeling sad? You might want to wallow in it for a bit by playing some of your favourite sad songs, or you might want to lift your mood by putting Steps on... No? Just me? Okay anyway, swiftly moving on. 

Although cheesy pop might not be your jam, there is no denying that music sees us through the good times and the bad. It creates memories, evokes feelings and cements those key points in your life. 

My Saviour, My Solice

Imagine if you will; it's 1994, there's a lot of baggy jean wearing, strappy tops and heather coloured lipstick. There's a pretty, chubby 14 year old who is going through some unimaginable shit, and her only escape is lying on her bed, staring at her Take That posters while listening to the harmonics musings of Gary, Robbie, Mark, Jason and Howard. Admittedly not the coolest of admissions, but you know what? Those boys where there (and still are) for me at some of the lowest and loneliest points of my life. Music does that, it comforts you, it's always there for you when need it the most. 

In My Head

My absolute travel essentials

Did I mention I'm and anxious person? Haha!! Well when it comes to travelling and/or concentration, I find headphones with my favourite Spotify playlist are complete lifesavers. It helps me stay in my head, concentrate on the task in hand and soothes my anxious feelings. Such has been my need that not only while at uni did I have to borrow some headphones from the student support officer but I have been at the train station, just about to travel and have had to send my partner to the shop to buy me replacement headphones when I've forgotten mine. You see they're not just headphones are they? They're protection, comfort, distraction and more. Listening to my favourite album can be the difference between me having or not having a panic attack. 

So whatever your experience with music, whether it's therapy, community or pure enjoyment based, I don't think there are many people who don't have some kind of affinity with music. It's something that plays a huge part in most people's lives. Which brings me neatly round to part of the reason why I wrote this post. As mentioned above, I've been working with Bodyform and their big pink ticket giveaway which runs from now until July. 

They are running such an amazing giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 10 once-in-a-lifetime VIP music festival experience for you and a friend all you have to do is purchase one of their Pink Ticket promotional packs. Visit www.BodyformVIP.co.uk and enter your unique code found inside the on-pack sticker and the lucky prize winners will instantly be revealed. 

Each prize is specially curated for the winner making it a truly unique music experience!
And it doesn't end there! For those who don’t win an exciting European music festival experience, there are still £500,000 worth of music e-gift cards up for grabs.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Style: Introducing Industrial Jewellery

Now don't be misled by the title, Industrial Jewellery (IJ) are by no means a new brand, but it was only recently that I was introduced to the brand and owner/designer Hila, and of course, they are new to this blog, so without further a do, I'd like to introduce the fabulous Industrial Jewellery

I was lucky enough to see Hila's designs up close and personal at the sumptuous Home House in London. The mix of texture, muted colours and modern styling really blew me away. Long time readers will know I'm a sucker for a statement piece of jewellery and IJ is no exception. Effortlessly chic, understated yet completely impactful. 

I opted for the 'Sienna' necklace in the rose gold and grey colour-way. I love the boldness of this piece, yet it's utter simplicity means you can wear it with anything from a chunky knit, sports luxe pieces to basics and let the jewellery do the talking. 

When it came to my first outing with Sienna, I went for a really simple outfit, oversized shirt, jersey trousers and flatform brogues.  

SHOP THE LOOK: Blouse: Similar// Trousers: ASOS// Shoes: Similar 

I just wanted to focus for a second on a couple of aspects of the necklace apart from the aesthetics that I think are so important to point out. 

Firstly, size-wise this necklace is super generous if you have a larger neck, you are not going to struggle with this. 

Secondly, the necklace fastens with a super simple magnetic clasp, which if you have dexterity issues, whether that's due to chronic pain, arthritis or any other conditions, this will be an absolute life saver. It literally just clicks together. Also if you have kids, you'll know how grabby they can get and this is going to save you heartache of another broken piece of jewellery.  

It's safe to say, I'm a huge fan of IJ already and I can't wait to invest in some pieces for my jewellery wardrobe; because let's face it, a piece of statement jewellery is the lazy girls outfit dream. You can wear head to toe black and put on an exquisite necklace or layer up some bracelets and be instantly stylish. 

Friday, 16 February 2018

Style: Lovedrobe Loves...

Hey you lovely lot! So, for those of you who follow me on social media, you will have no doubt seen that last week I shot with the lovely folk at Lovedrobe for their Lovedrobe Loves series. I headed over to Manchester where the brand is based last week to meet the lovely Katie and Liv where we spent the morning shooting in the nooks and crannies and back streets of the city. 

Jacket - ASOS// Blouse - Lovedrobe// Jeans - New Look// Shoes - ASOS

I chose two items from the range, which I then styled with my own clothes and accessories, I absolutely loved it because it gave me a chance to inject a bit of my own style and personality into the shoot. 


The second look was a bit more girly (well for me anyway) but I really enjoyed trying something out of my comfort zone!

Skirt - Lovedrobe// Top - ASOS// Jacket - ASOS// Shoes - New Look

If you haven't seen it already, which you probably have because I've flogged the life out of it haha!! here is the video from the day too where you can hear my daft laugh and terrible accent!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Opinion - Random acts of Kindness

Kindness makes us happy

It is scientifically proven that being kind makes us happy! Little acts of kindness like holding a door open, letting someone in front of you in a queue or helping someone carry some bags can make you smile. So why not do it more often!
Kindness does not have to cost a penny. It can be totally free. If you like to play bingo online you will love this bingo card. See if you can complete a line of random acts of kindness.
You can also play the ‘pass it on’ game and encourage others to show how much they appreciate those around them. 

    Much Love, B Xx

**This post is in collaboration with PaddyPower**

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Style: Plus+ Book Launch

I just wanted to pop on very quickly to let you now about the book launch I attended this morning. I'm sure a lot of you know the work of Bethany Rutter (previously Arched Eyebrow), we've been blogging around the same time now, seven years, and she was one of the first bloggers I ever met! 

Bethany has written for several huge news outlets and does amazing work with plus size retailer Navabi as their Social Editor. She also designed a capsule collection for them which you can shop here.

Anyway, I digress... So Bethany has curated and edited a beautiful collection and celebration of plus size fashion in the book Plus+ - with a foreward written by Nicolette Mason and introduction by Bethany the book celebrates the best in Plus Size Street fashion, packed full of bloggers and influencers and general gorgeous fat babes.

Me and mega babe Stephanie

It really is a feast for the eyes and soul. Having myself grown up in a world with very little plus size representation, it is a sheer joy to finger through the perfectly put together pages, bursting with colour, style and bodies that look like mine... Well one of them is identical because it's me, but rest assured I would still be waxing lyrical if I wasn't in this book, because it's just delicious. 

Cheers pal!!

Shop the book here 

I've really had the loveliest day and just wanted to thank Bethany and Penguin books for the invite and for the book. Cheers pals! 

P.S. If you'd like to shop my look today I've popped the details in the caption below...

Jacket: (Similar)// T-Shirt: Monki// Trousers: (Similar)// Trainers - Adidas 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Opinion: Picking up the Crumbs

I Feel Pretty 

The latest in Hollywood's attempt to ingratiate the ever growing fat market. Except it's missing the mark so hard that it's landed somewhere in Australia I think. The premise is a slightly chubby girl, or what we used to call 'normal' before we finally woke up and realised there is no such thing as normal, falls and hits her head, wakes up to think she's gorgeous. 

Getty Images

Oh. Okay. Because without sustaining some kind of brain injury us fatties are unable to see ourselves as attractive? 

And to add insult to injury, this girl only thinks she's attractive because she thinks she's thin and gorgeous. Not because she can see her true beauty. Hilarious right? NO.

It's really insulting and I'm so bored of trying to be grateful for society's crumbs.

I'm Tired.

I'm tired of being told I should be grateful every time a brand expands its sizes. Because 9/10 times it's a piss poor attempt at making money from the round pound. It's waterfall cardigans and floral dresses, it's jolly leggings and swing dresses and I'm. Over. It. 

As always, being the most positive negative person I know, I can see the tide changing, I see brands doing amazing things, I see shifts in the media, better representation. But that doesn't mean we have to smile politely at every single thing. We are still allowed to stand up and demand more, be visible in every way possible, continue to fight the good fight so-to-speak.

Missguided doing it right with Enam Asiama

I want to be supportive, I want to applaud every new brand that launches, every existing brand who add a plus size section to their portfolio, but, that doesn't mean we have to accept any old rope.

How can we continue to facilitate change? 

We can give feedback, email brands congratulating them, saying what you liked, and what you didn't like. We can use our buying power. Support brands you love, spend your money with the brands you think are doing well. It's not easy and it's not an overnight thing (trust me, I'been banging this drum for over 20 years now), but I've seen real change and real progress and we have to keep supporting that.