Simply Be Blogger Takeover Event..

Last week I had the enormous privilege to be invited to the Simply Be Blogger Takeover event. Its been, well, a while since I’d been in a room full of lovely plus size bloggers and it was most certainly over-due. I can’t begin to describe how much such occasions mean to me – there is just a certain sort of magic that I only get when I’m surrounded by the positivity and uplifting good spirits of being amongst such lovely people. Beforehand, I met up with Becky, Toni and Rosie all whom I’d met before and also Kim who I hadn’t but is a fellow midlander like yours truly. We all headed off to the venue, not knowing what to expect (except seeing lovely clothes and even lovelier faces!)

After a little bit of mingling, things got underway…

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Em, Lauren and Laura talking about the dresses, from conception to production, from photo shoot to launch

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The Dresses! Left to Right: Laura, Lauren, Em. Mannequins back standing up right after they fell down when I walked past (I didn’t touch them, honest!)

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Some of the moodboards, including ones put together during production of the dresses

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Being talked through the buying session and some between sessions mingling

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Moodboards and clothes from the main Simply Be Autumn/Winter range. I think I fell in love with all of their clothes, but especially loving the Forties and Future Folk!

DSC_0350 DSC_0354 DSC_0355 DSC_0357 DSC_0358Slide show of what the brands Simply Be collaborate with/have on the site will offering this Autumn/Winter…was especially impressed by Anna Scholz and Project D’s offerings…

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The Girls! The Dresses!

So, all three dresses are retailing at £45, and can be found as follows: –

Laura 

Lauren 

Em  

So, all in all, a truly fantastic day! I have to say Simply Be have really pulled it off…the dresses are stunning, much like their designers, and they have managed to catch the essence of each blogger and somehow bottle it up before distilling it into a dress. I didn’t manage to get to talk to everyone I would have liked to at the event – I wasn’t being rude, just incredibly shy. Although you’d not have thought it…I did rather talk a lot during the Q&A bits, so sorry if I was a bit annoying…but its incredibly rare that I have the confidence to speak at length in public in front of lots of people. That’s what blogging, what these women and all the other women in the room do – they give ordinary girls like themselves the bravery and courage to just be themselves and to feel confident in their own skin. Whilst of course wearing beautiful dresses. I can’t wait to have one of my own.

Taking A Peek At Curvissa Spring/Summer…

It isn’t a brand that I feature often on the blog, however whenever I get emails featuring their latest picks plop into my mailbox, I always seem to find something to like. Curvissa seems to be very good at those essential items every stylish girl needs, and particularly seems more than happy to embrace colour. And we know I like a bit of colour in my life!

I was checking my emails today when an email from them dropped in…in it was a really rather lovely message, but most importantly it featured some really rather awesome videos…

First up is their current ad…its filled with bright colours, vintage-y touches and pretty much a lovely, upbeat vibe…not to mention great clothes!

 

Secondly, I’ve been given access to the behind the scenes video of when they shot the ad…if you are all as interested as I am about what goes on in fashion shoots, this will be a treat indeed!

 

I’m sure that you’ll be as captivated as I was by the range, to see more head over to Curvissa’s website!

All The Wonderous Clothes

A little while back, I had the chance to head off to that old London for a press event, which featured the likes of Marisota, Fashion World and Bonmarche.  With The Bloke safely ensconced in the London Transport Museum (yes, eagle eyed fans, he  did indeed drag, cough I mean take, me there on our last trip to London together), I was able to head of into a little side street and in particular a lovely looking mews house/building type thing. Once inside, and after a little while of thinking I wasn’t in the right place, I finally found where they were hiding the clothes. The lovely ladies were more than welcoming, despite me looking a bit dishevelled due to the rain which I’d not brought a brolly with me for. A warming cup of tea later and  I was taken for a tour of the clothes…

DSC_0222the first of many coats I want this winter…this beauty is from Bonmarche!!

DSC_0223The full rack of Bonmarche clothes…a fair few items I’d actually buy!

DSC_0226Another gorgeous coat, this time from Marisota

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The gorgeous baroque/1920s influenced Coleen Nolan range for Marisota. Yes I did just say that gorgeous beaded dress is by the woman who sang ‘I’m in the mood for dancing.’

DSC_0266 DSC_0258Claire Richards is finally actually doing a range for Fashion World this A/W after being a brand ambassador for a while…and boy did the girl do good…

DSC_0227 DSC_0230 DSC_0231 DSC_0232I want all the dresses. And the blue coat. Need. Must Have…

DSC_0234 DSC_0235She’s also done some glorious accessories, including these Marant style boots…

DSC_0265 DSC_0242Mark Hayes (the fashion bloke off Lorraine!) has done a range forMarisota also, and I adore this lilac coat…so lovely! (I want so many coats, which makes a change from me not wanting any at all!)

DSC_0257 DSC_0256 DSC_0248 DSC_0246 DSC_0245 DSC_0244The best of the rest….

So, basically if you think Marisota, Fashion World and Bonmarche arent for you, think again ladies, as there are treasures  in store…

By George….

It may or may not have escaped your notice that I like George at Asda’s range. Mainly because it’s always with in my budget no matter what my bank balance is, it generally keeps up on the trends and I can buy clothes whilst doing my weekly shop which lately has been no bad thing. I’ve been able to get into their mainline ranges of clothing for the last year or so, but before that I’ve always gone there for things like shoes and bras. A longstanding champion of their less than a tenner ballet flats, tis me.

So, when I got the invite to head over to London to take a sneak peek at their high summer range, I was over the moon. It might sound silly, but for some reason I was really overwhelmed with being asked to go, never thought in a million years that they would! The day was billed as a non-stop summer extravaganza and that it was…all you needed was George Michael singing Club Tropicana and you could have been somewhere hot and sunny…in fact, it was actually lovely and sunny outside for a change!

I didn’t get there until the tail end of the event, simply due to having to head London way once I’d finished work, and after a wrong turn down one of the streets nearby, I was on Carnaby Street – a place with a long tradition of housing the most fashionable of London town. After a short lift ride, I walked into the room where it was all being held, albeit a bit of a nervous and sweaty wreck!

DSC_0283A room full of bloggers…I didnt talk to a single one….I was scared! But they did all seem nice…damn social anxiety!

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All the pretties….especially those rose gold flats!

DSC_0276 DSC_0273I want all the dresses. That is all.

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DSC_0275Seriously loving the fluro sports-lux. Who’d have thunked?

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Like almost everyone there, I was drawn to the spotty rucksack. It might just have to become mine…

DSC_0279I want this outfit badly. So badly.

The lovely George people had invited the Powderpuff Girls to come do hair, make-up or nails (not the actual Powderpuff girls, although kick ass cartoon characters would have been all kinds of awesome). I managed to get myself a slot to have my make-up done and not only did I enjoy a session of chatting with the mua, but I also got my whole look freshened up and polished by her…I came away looking just a little bit more awesome that I did that morning…

So, here’s some high res pics of my favourite pieces from the collections….

 

London Calling…

So I’ve been to London a fair few times over the last few months, my first visit being back in February when I took The Bloke away for Valentine’s. It happened to coincide with Plus Size Fashion Weekend,  however I’d not realised – I was convinced it was the following week! That being said, I had an incredibly amazing romantic time with The Bloke that I wouldn’t have swapped for anything…

My Valentine’s present from him was a brand spanking new camera which of course came with us…here’s  a few of my favourite pictures from the trip!

DSC_0043Liberty, how I love thee..

DSC_0047The Bloke in a phone box made entirely of Lego. He’s a Lego fan, fact fans. On his first visit to Hamleys…was very surprised he’d never been!!

DSC_0063 DSC_0060 DSC_0057St Pancras and Covent Garden

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The inside of the London Transport Museum…which apparently you can’t take pictures in, yet the only notice about it is a small one behind the till that you’d never notice unless someone pointed it out!

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The Bloke in that there Covent Garden

DSC_0116I’m a blogger, of course I went to Laduree (although I think The Bloke thought I was a bit bonkers!)

DSC_0124 DSC_0123No trip by a self-respecting blogger worth her salt is complete without a trip to pay homage to this place…although I think I prefer my own non-leather satchel!!

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I got  a new mug!

Of course there were a fair few outfits worn on the trip, but there was the one that was the showstopper. I wore it both of the evenings that I was there…

DSC_0049 DSC_0051Dress: Next | Shoes: George at Asda | Jewellery: Accessorize and Primark | Glasses: Gok Wan at Specsavers | Eyeshadow: Undressed palette by M.U.A| Lipstick: Topshop in Brighton Rock

My hair was inspired by someone I saw on the street whilst out and about walking in London, and thus went and did my own version when back at the hotel…its become a fast favourite of mine, mostly because its easy to do but looks fairly high-maintence! I also want to say how great the dress is…its been a very, very long time since I’ve worn anything from Next (basically, I was pre-teen, most probably) and I was very impressed by what will be my first purchase of many. The fabric is gorgeous on your skin, even the lace parts don’t have that itchiness you usually get with cheaper lace. Smart enough to do evening, casual enough to do day. A total winner.

So, adieu for now….some more London-ness on the way…

Embracing Animal Print..

So, I have to admit that I am not one with the animal print normally. In fact it’s probably the one print I usually don’t like. No matter how many times its been on-trend over the years, I’ve still never been convinced. Until now.

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Dress: Matalan | Leggings: Primark | Glasses: Gok Wan at Specsavers

This beauty has barely left my side since purchasing. I’ve not bought anything from Matalan for years and ages, mainly because on the whole I’ve always been a bit unfussed by the Rogers+Rogers range (might be due to the fact it was once the only other option for me apart from Evans). This is from the main range and is a size 20, which never thought I’d ever get into, however thank heavens for the elasticated back! I will say that I think Matalan have upped their game over the last couple of years and definitely have gone onto my roster of low price but high on quality retailers along with George at Asda and Tu at Sainsbury’s.

It’s not hugely noticeable but my hair is purple, and this picture was taken not long after I dyed it that way. It’s the first time I’ve forveyed into hair that isn’t a natural colour and I think I’m likely to head ever more into such territory. It’s all about me embracing the inner me, I think…the more confidence that I gain, the more I experiment….I think this is a new phase dawning.

A Taste of India…

Now, it might have escaped your notice but I love tea. Ok, so it probably hasn’t at all, and despite some recent adjustments to my diet the one thing I’d never give up would be a good cuppa. I’ve been drinking it since little, and its been my one constant companion, good for gossiping, flirting and catching up over a fine bone-china cup of the stuff.

Since last year I’ve been educating my palate tea wise. Or just graduating to the hard stuff if you were to perhaps liken my desire for tea to an addiction. Bye bye English Breakfast, Hello Greys both Lady and Earl. A floral chorus of flavours lavender, rose and other such things. The teabag relegated to only when I’m too busy/knackered to brew a pot and tea-leaves being what fills my pot. It really does help that The Bloke is as much if not more so a fan of the humble brew. Oh, and having a few tea partners in crime doesn’t hurt either. It’s a bit like if you don’t like tea, you ain’t in my gang, sort of.

So, when Holly got in touch to ask if I’d like to sample some teas from a company called Tea India, I said hell yes. I don’t often accept things to review mainly because a) actually don’t get offered that much, b)often stuff which wouldn’t work for this blog and c)I’ve been pretty bad at reviewing stuff promptly due to my on-going now no longer mystery illness that had me doing an impression of a Victorian with consumption. Definitely sad times when even tea won’t do the trick!

It all arrived rather grandly…

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Now, I will say that the one tea I’ve not been able to get into is Chai. I’d thought ‘Well, I’ll definitely like the black tea and can let The Bloke road test the Vanilla Chai’. That being said, I did thing that if I ever was going to like a chai, it’d be one with Vanilla in, given my current and ongoing obsession with vanilla syrup in coffees.

 

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me enjoying said tea whilst looking suitably creative

I have to say I was very impressed with both teas indeed. The black tea lived up to what I expected – a fairly robust everyday tea that could be drunk in copious amounts all day long, just what the Sara ordered! However the jewel in the crown was the Vanilla Chai. Oh my word, sweet yet not over powering, a hint of something spicy yet not too much so…just heavenly really! I’d say it was a tea best drunk lunchtime onwards, definitely well suited to be savoured and lingered over, perfect for Afternoon tea!

The Bloke also enjoyed it enormously, in fact it became a bit of a running joke that unusually, when we had the Vanilla Chai in supply we had no debate over what tea was to be drunk whatsoever. Which does say rather a lot about this tea in that two people with usually differing opinions on what is the best tea flavour could so heartily agree!

There you have it – a tea that if I was to spy it in the supermarket I’d have to buy some, no matter the cost! I believe its in a supermarket near you as we speak, so highly commend buying any from this range if you do!

(I was given this tea to review, however all the words and opinions are my own)

Bunny Hop…

I really do struggle with the most simple of dilemmas most days in regards to this blog – there’s a huge part of me that wants this blog to be the best success it can be, and realises that means posting much more regularly and being more present both in terms of social media and reading other people’s blogs. But then there’s the other part which just struggles for concentration, or get inspiration when not able to actually sit down and blog, or gets energy at weird times when blogging just wont work. Oh the drama that I live. Must do better, a bit like my school reports always read!

So, here’s yet another outfit which I took the picture of several eons ago but still am wearing to death, one way or another.

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Rabbit Shirt: Asos Curve | Skirt: Asda | Necklace, Leggings and socks: Primark | Glasses: FCUK

(also featuring, inadvertently, Rory the cat!)

I really do love the print of this shirt, even so much as to ignore two things – one, that as you can see it strains over one of the buttons. Which is bizarre given that usually if I’m going to have issues with a shirt, it’d strain more from a higher point than where it does. The second issue is that it’s not exactly a crease-free fabric. Oh yes, I’m sure if one possessed an iron it’d be wrinkle-less, however I don’t so it is. I will say that it’s not too heavy but not too light a fabric so has been seeing me well over the winter and spring months. I’ve counteracted the button issue by tucking it into my skirt and then wearing a jumper on top because not quite ready for some VBO!

However this shirt has done one major thing for me sartorially – it’s turned me into a shirt lover! I’ve not really been an overt fan of shirts for many a year…I’ve dabbled a little with blouses in passing, but never proper shirts for quite some time (that might be due to my addiction to denim and checked ones in my fat hating teenage years!). I can’t help myself stop coveting anyone’s look that involves a bright knit and a gorgeous shirt,especially with pattern. I am indeed that weird girl who spends far too much time ogling other people’s jumper/shirt combos!

So there you have it, another one of my go-to outfits at the moment…many more shirts to come in the future quite possibly now I’ve become quite taken with them!

Since You’ve Been Gone…

I was going to put I’ve instead of You’ve given that would be the more factually correct version, however I would never not miss and opportunity to shoehorn a Kelly Clarkson lyric into a post.  I also feel like I should be saying ‘Its been x weeks since my last post’, like I should be confessing my sin of blog abandonment.

Being serious though, it has played heavily on my mind, that I’d seemingly neglected this beloved little corner of mine. I shall level with you all, those of you whom are still reading, that I’ve been unwell. I’ve not shouted such things from the rooftops because frankly I hate that whole ‘I’m taking a break because I want to be alone’ crap that some bloggers seem to be want to do and I didn’t want to be labelled as such. But that being said there’s a reason why all my beautifully taken photos languish on hard-drives and memory cards, why I have umpteen things yet to be reviewed, visits yet to be wax lyrical on. I’ve been suffering from a whole host of symptoms – dizziness, tiredness, lack of concentration, poor sleep, poor memory recall all cumulating in a spate of seizure type episodes ongoing since Boxing Day. Basically a shit load of things that made it very hard for me to even get up in the morning, never mind open up my blog and write.

About a month or so ago I got a prelimary diagnosis of Epilepsy and began a drug regime, and expected to see some improvement. However the opposite happened, the seizures got worse and I felt even further from getting back to all the things I love doing the most. I’ve had a fairly rough time emotionally…feeling like I’d never be normal again, despair at feeling so helpless, depressed that I was having to lean on The Bloke for not just emotional support but for practical support too…I am a very lucky girl in that not only is he domestically trained but that he’s insisted on my health came before such things like cleaning up.

Anyway, I got in touch with the epilepsy nurse and managed to get a last-minute cancellation to see him. I went through all what had been happening, and then BAM  came the twist. I’ve actually got something called Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder, which mean I have seizures just like epilepsy (well, mostly) yet the cause is very different – it is in fact acute stress, the kind that lingers deep down in your subconscious. All the other symptoms? Well, they go hand in hand, much like any other sort of extreme stress based problem. I’m basically having the equilivant of a tension headache, yet seizures seem to be what my body is using to deal with the stress my mind can’t handle. I had febrile convulsions as a child and they think that is where my mind has gotten that as a way to deal with stress from – apparently it’s often there’s a history of epilepsy somewhere in the family history if someone develops NEAD.

The outlook is basically all the things we all get told to do to unwind – good night’s sleep, relaxation techniques, etc. Often simply being told its Non-Eplieptic Attack Disorder is enough to make it mostly go away. I’ve a review with the nurse in a few weeks time – if it’s not under control by then, the next step will be some talking therapy of some kind to work through whatever issues are causing it.

So, after that long ramble I’m going to post one of my outfit pictures which have been sitting around forever and a day, a step in the right direction of turning a new leaf and posting every single day.

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Woodland Creature top: ASOS Curve | Skirt: Evans | Leggings: Primark |Jewellery : Presents | Glasses : Gok Wan at Specsavers

Fact for you all – this picture was taken on Christmas Day, that’s how long its been waiting to be posted!!! I really like this look and have worn it since, and have worn the top a fair bit. It’s supposed to be a soft peplum but I actually see it more just as flared or skater-ish. Anywho, I adore the print and it always gets compliments when worn. Fact Number Two – it was my Christmas present from my mum, however I had to order it myself and give it to The Bloke to confiscate lest I try to wear it before Christmas!!

So there you have it…a bit of an explanation as to why I’ve been a tad M-I-A and an outfit post. More to follow asap!!

The Plus-Size Workwear Challenge: Pencil Skirt or Pussy Bow

So, I am a little behind in my posting for this challenge; I have been taking the pictures as each week has gone along but haven’t been able to blog them. Now, I don’t want to bog this post down with too much negativity so will simply say that my on going health issue have been kicking my backside. So not laziness or being flaky in my commitments,simply the electric impulses in my brain meaning not enough focus for posting!

I have to say this week was my most anticipated…I am all about the ladylike chic at the moment, given my desire to look look like a chic 1930s/1940s librarian at all times. I did have the instinct to do both pencil skirt and upset bow but then figured that wasn’t really me…and for me this challenge is about getting me to mix it up and take that forward into my daily wardrobe after this ace challenge is done.

Anyway, you want to see the clothes, right?

DSC_0034 DSC_0038Jumper and Skirt: George at Asda | Shirt: Asos Curve | Earrings: Accessorize | Brooch (worn at neck of collar): Christmas present | Glasses: Gok Wan at Specsavers

I really like this outfit combo and have worn it again since. The shirt I find both lovely and annoying – at present I do not own an iron (baaaad fashionista!) and therefore is usually fairly creased and needs to be worn under stuff, not to mention buttons around the stomach area gape a little; but fits everywhere else like a drea plus bunny print wins me over! This is the first time I’ve rocked a bit of VBO and I feel really rather proud of myself! So yes, this outfit definitely full of win.

Pop back tomorrow for me finally posting last week’s efforts, and will blog this week’s the day after!

Check out the other lovely ladies…I’m feeling a tad lazy and am not going to hyper-link the blogs, however if you copy and paste their urls, they work just fine! (I’ll amend and link properly when have more time!!

Naomi -www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk

@naomi_griffiths

Gina –  http://fatfitfine.blogspot.co.uk/

 @eclectic_gina

Claire – http://www.amonkeyfatshionista.co.uk
@chattermonkey

Hanna – http://www.thewardrobechallenge.co.uk
@fattyschallenge

Laura – http://www.whatlauralovesuk.com
@whatlauraloves

Rosie – http://www.aroselikethis.blogspot.co.uk
@rosieroundface

Gemma – http://www.pinkgemmaplus.blogspot.co.uk
@pinkgemma

Amanda – http://www.cruellamcg.wordpress.com
@cruellamcg

Beth – http://www.tinkerbellandthelostgirls.blogspot.co.uk
@tinkslostgirls