Saturday, 22 April 2017

Fat hippie chick

FAT HIPPIE CHICK FAT BOHEMIAN STYLE // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Now spring has well and truly sprung I've got loads of outfit shots set in places with lovely scenery. James has been roaming about with our zoom lens instead of using the kit lens on our camera and the shots are so much nicer.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission. 

In these photos I'm wearing:
Gold kimono, Viva Voluptuous
Cross back vest top, *AL Yours Clothing
Ruffle skirt, past season ASOS Curve
Faux suede shoes, *AL Everything 5 Pounds
Necklace and earrings, Bluebirds and Daisies
Ring, gift from Mookie
Bag, Primark

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Some words on not being the 'right' kind of competitive


This post has been in my drafts for months because I've been trying to find the right words. In coming to a realisation about myself and sharing what I've discovered I risk coming across an a self-indulgent prat, but I'm sharing this for anyone else who isn't competitive in the 'usual' way and feels out of place in the world. This post is long and may be rambling so grab a cuppa.

It's important to say I see competitiveness and being driven as different things. You can set yourself goals and pursue them independently of anyone else - that's being driven or goal-oriented. Then there's competitiveness, where a person has goals but they're about being elevated above others in their field and the prestige that it brings

I've been a plus size blogger since 2012, and in that time I've gone from a nervous wreck terrified of putting full length photos of myself into a blog post (yes, really!) to someone who's posted naked photos on Instagram to my 10k followers and shared them on my personal Facebook page for most of my friends and family to see. Although I've come on leaps and bounds in body confidence since my early days, one area of growth has been stilted until very recently - my confidence with my place as a blogger. I briefly touched on my 'I'm not wooooorthy!' feelings in my recent post 'About self-limiting thoughts' and I wanted to expand on that.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Khaki and animal - the £29 outfit

These photos were taken in Winchelsea, a lovely little East Sussex village you can walk around in about an hour. It's where the comedian Spike Milligan is buried and there are lots of lovely historic buildings to look at. We often go there for a peaceful stroll through the cemetery and to walk the pretty streets.

This outfit is a bargain one. The skirt was bought from Primark a few years ago. I think it cost about £10. It's one of those rare oversized Primark items as they only go up to a size 20. The blouse was from the New Look sale a month or so ago and cost just £4. The shoes are from Everything 5 Pounds, the bag was £9 from Primark, and the ribbon cost about £1. That comes in at £29. Not bad at all!

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

I'm wearing:
Shirt, past New Look Curves similar here *AL here up to size 24 (oversized), short sleeved here up to size 26, up to size 32 here *AL
Skirt, past season Primark similar here *AL (fitted) up to size 28
Bag, current season Primark (in store only)
Pink metallic slip ons, Everything 5 Pounds

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Reproductive health | Living with menorrhagia

So what does menorrhagia mean, then? It's abnormally heavy periods, and I've had them for a number of years. I've been on treatment for the last 6 months and those 5 days each month are so much better now.

Before treatment I would:

Soak through a max flow night time towel in 1-2 hours and soak through my clothes/bedsheets
Get through at least two packets of towels and 2 boxes of Feminax per period (plus other painkillers)
Get up off the toilet after a wee and have blood running down my legs and splashing on the floor
Have huge black blood clots
Have stabbing pains in my vagina and bum and evil burning pains over my left ovary

Friday, 14 April 2017

This fat girl loves horizontal stripes


I've decided the people who make up fashion rules for fat people must be really boring. Saying we need to avoid horizontal stripes as they make us look fatter makes no sense to me. Newsflash - I look fat whatever I wear because I AM FAT. I'm not going to let that curtail my fashion choices and neither should you. If you've ever been told you're too fat/skinny/old to wear anything, phooey. Wear the thing and be happy.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

I'm wearing:
Dress, past season George at Asda - similar here *AL, here here
Red tights, Big Tights Company
Flats, past season ASOS
Necklace, gift from a friend

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Change of blog comment system - back to Blogger comments

I feel like there's been a dizzying array of calamities on my blog recently and I want to address them all. If my head is spinning from all the stuff that's happened lately then I'm pretty sure yours will be too.

DEFAULT BLOGGER COMMENT SYSTEM

First and most importantly I've gone back to the default Blogger comment system. I know a lot of you find Google+ impossible, and I want you to be able to comment on my blog, or else I'm just talking to myself. 😝 I currently have zero blog comments anywhere on this entire blog. I lost 13 thousand comments when I uninstalled the ever-problematic Disqus about 6 months back and now I've just lost all the comments that had been left on the Google+ system since. Even though Blogger comments and G+ comments are both Google products, the comments don't transfer so feel free to drop me a comment and break my comment cherry! It feels so weird to have over 5 years of posts and not a single comment. 💩

MY BLOG HAD A MALWARE ATTACK

A few days ago a reader informed me that they were getting a pop up when they visited my blog. It was telling them their computer was infected and they needed antivirus. If they clicked yes in this pop up it took them to a site selling antivirus software. It was very sneaky though as you could only see it if you were visiting my blog for the first time, or if you were using a different browser than usual. That's how I didn't know it was there. James and I spent hours trying to find out what had happened, and eventually I found malware in my blog code. I was able to find it and remove it, so the pop up stopped. Apologies to anyone who visited my blog during that time and got worried. I'm going to write a post for fellow bloggers for what to do if it happens to you.

CONTENT THIEVES

For the last couple of weeks I *had* been cutting my RSS feed really short to put content scammers off stealing my content. In case you didn't know, someone had been nicking my blog and social media posts wholesale and was reposting them without credit on their own website, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. In case you don't know what an RSS feed is, it's a way for readers to subscribe to read blog posts in an email or read them on sites such as Bloglovin' and Feedly. The thought behind me only posting a tiny snippet of a blog post and having the reader click through to my blog to read the rest was it's harder for people to steal my work if I only post a snippet. But then I thought "Why should I disadvantage my readers because selfish people think it's OK to steal other people's work?" So I've gone back to publishing RSS posts up until the 'Read More' break, which is just the same as if you read it directly on my blog. That way you get to see the first photo and a good chunk of text and then decide if you want to click through and read the rest. If I'm unlucky enough to have my work stolen again I'll deal with it at the time.

I think that's all my blog issues for now. Go leave me a comment on something! 😉

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

About self-limiting thoughts

ABOUT-SELF-LIMITING-THOUGHTS // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
When I was a new blogger obsessed with what opportunities everyone else was getting (and what I wasn't getting) I often shared my thoughts about why. I'd whinge on that I must be swearing too much, I was too fat or too old, or too something else for brands to want to work with me. I thought there had to be a reason, but in hindsight I can see the reason is I wasn't ready for what I wanted. (And in hindsight, having a bursting inbox is really not all that it's cracked up to be, but that's a topic for another day).

It takes time - the building of a blog worthy of collaborations - but I was in such a hurry to try to be somewhere else other than where I was. The grass ain't always greener on the other side of the fence. The honest truth is I was putting out self-limiting thoughts about myself into the universe, which doesn't attract good things. No wonder I was frustrated!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Lazy Sunday at the beach/perfection is a myth

Something that's really important to me is being a blogger for every woman (by that I mean anyone who identifies as one), and not one who makes people feel inadequate. It's important for me to document the not-so-great outfits, the days where I've got hardly any makeup on, the days where life gets in the way. I do this because I'm not a polished blogger and I'm not a polished human so why pretend to be? I do it for you, and I do it for me because even *I* need reminding that my worth doesn't hinge on looking like I just stepped out of a catalogue shoot. A quest for 'perfection' leads us all to believe that we have to be done up to the nines to be a worthy of taking photographs and quite frankly it's bollocks. Life happens. Bad weather days happen, bad sleep days happen, ill days happen, bloated days happen, and I don't want to suggest in any way that you have to look perfect to have a great day, a great time, or a great life.

This was a lazy Sunday. I'm barely wearing any makeup, I'm wearing clothes that feel comfortable and I've got windswept hair. This is me in a nutshell, and I'm enough. You're enough.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Recent cruelty free nail/nail care purchases

I've decided to talk more about using cruelty free items. I've been on a mission for about 5 years now and about 95% of everything that comes into this house to use on my face, body, and for cleaning/laundry hasn't been tested on animals. Here are some recent nail care and nail polish purchases I've made.

I can't remember if I got these strengthening nail masques in a beauty box or if they were a gift. I wasn't expecting a lot from them as I can have an allergic reaction to anything, but they blew me away. You slip on the little pre-soaked covers and leave them on for 15 minutes then massage any excess goop into your nails and cuticles. It made my fingers and nails feel so soft and moisturised. I may buy a bunch of these and do one a week. Montagne Jeunesse are a PETA-accredited cruelty free company. Some companies are cruelty free but may not make PETA's cruelty free master list because PETA are very strict.

It gets a bit muddy here on out: companies who don't test on animals (like The Body Shop) are totally cruelty free, but sometimes their parent company (in this case L'Oreal) will perform tests on its other products. You draw your own line - I do use Body Shop products, but I wouldn't touch a L'Oreal product with a shitty stick. I totally understand if others choose to boycott an entire group, even its cruelty free sub-companies.  If you're a vegan it becomes even more complicated as even some cruelty free companies aren't fully vegan. Once you start caring about things like this you soon realise how complicated it is to have a conscience. I don't judge anyone who's trying to live a kinder life. It all makes a difference.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Book review - Big & Fabulous: The life and times of Brenda Cankles by Randi M. Sherman

I've just read a hilarious book with a plus size heroine and I think it's a great light hearted read. I devoured it over two evenings, laughing away to myself. Here's what Amazon has to say about the book:

The time for BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles is now! The emphasis is on positive body image. Big & Fabulous is a truly entertaining story that's strongly written, funny, insightful and bitingly smart. Inside its covers, readers will find no shortage of acidly hilarious accounts of the highs and lows of living life inside a big and fabulous body.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Recent cruelty free skincare/beauty purchases

Here are some recent cruelty free purchases I've made. I don't talk about cruelty free beauty items as often as I should - I've been on this CF thing for about 5 years but rarely talk about it as it's so normal to me now.
CRUELTY-FREE-SKINCARE-AND-BEAUTY ALDI LACURA UNANI // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

Aldi don't test any of their own label products on animals, which includes their Lacura beauty range. The Lacura light-reflecting concealers are £2.99 each and I bought them from Aldi online with free delivery as they didn't have them in stock at my local store when I popped in. It's a repurchase as I love them. I bought two shades this time - Savannah and Cashmere. Cashmere is the lightest shade and I use it for my under eye area and for tidying up my brows after I've drawn them on. As it has bristles you can really fine tune with it. Savannah is for medium skintones and I got that to cover some darker marks I have on my face - melasma from the sun. This is the first time I got the darker shade. I've only had Cashmere before. It only comes in 3 shades which is a bit rubbish as there are so many shades of humans, and everyone deserves a chance to wear this great concealer. I hate that dark skins are left out of so many makeup products. The two shades I got are out of stock online in the UK now, so check in store.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Why is an hourglass figure so idolised by the plus size fashion industry?

 My second article for Indie+Design is up now!
WHY IS THE HOURGLASS FIGURE SO IDOLISED BY THE PLUS SIZE FASHION INDUSTRY?
Image via Pixabay
Although plus size women come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, most fashion choices for plus size women are designed for an hourglass figure. There aren’t many types of dresses available to us – the oversized boxy or swing dress, tight fitting bodycon, wrap dresses, and 50s style fit and flare. You almost always see the latter three dress styles modelled on hourglass women. As I mentioned in my last article a lot of plus size models pad out their bodies to imitate the hourglass figure, and conversely, some models use corsets to give an hourglass look to naturally less defined silhouettes.

That tells us that a lot of models don’t naturally have the hourglass shape, let alone the average woman. Use of padding and corsetry in modelling should make designers think about the body shapes they’re neglecting, but instead, they push this hallowed hourglass shape.

Read the rest of the post here.
Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

An outfit inspired by the Manic Street Preachers

PLUS SIZE LEOPARD PRINT COAT // WWW.XLOVELEAH.CO.UK
Back when I wrote my fashion manifesto at the start of this year I said I wanted to experiment with colour/pattern mixing, both clashing and complimentary mixes. A little voice in my head had always told me that any shade of brown with grey was baaaaad, so I thought I'd mix it up and see what happened.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission. 

I'm wearing:
Coat, New Look Curves sale
Dress, past season Lovedrobe *AL
Scarf, past season H&M similar here *AL
Shoes, ASOS wide fit - only available in pink velvet now *AL
Tights, Big Tights 90 denier currently out of stock but when they come back they'll be here

Friday, 31 March 2017

Reasons to be happy

I've been doing a lot of work on my mental health recently and one of the things I've been doing is concentrating on the things that make me happy, so I thought I would share some of them with you.

1. Becoming National Trust members.
James and I have got a joint membership and I can't wait to explore lots of places. I love being outdoors in spring, summer and autumn so I'm so excited. We went to Scotney Castle on Saturday, where the photo above was taken.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The third time's the charm feat. Elvi

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.
ELVI GREEN PLUS SIZE MAXI SKIRT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Let me let you into a little secret - the first time I wear a new item of clothing I rarely hit the jackpot in the outfit stakes. When I get something new I'm usually so excited to wear it that I take photos of it and blog them right away. I later regret that because when I wear a new item a second or third time I really get a feel for how to style it and the outfit comes out much better. So, I've been holding off blogging looks that didn't work out too well until I get it right. This is my third attempt at this wearing this skirt and finally I'm happy with how everything came out. Unfortunately because I waited so long this skirt it's now out of stock on Elvi (and it's not on ASOS or Navabi either) so keep your eyes peeled for it on eBay if you like the look of it. For reference I'm wearing a size 26 and it's VERY oversized, you could get me in it twice, so don't be afraid to try a smaller size than usual if you find it somewhere. If you've never worn Elvi before the quality is always fantastic, and although at a higher price point there are often bargains to be had if you're patient. This skirt is a heavyweight fabric which washes brilliantly and feels great on. It's my favourite skirt at the moment. I'd buy it in 5 different colours if I could.

I saw this skirt on Danie Vanier a while back and fell in love with it. That woman could wear an old potato sack and still look like the most ravishing woman to ever walk the face of the earth.

I'm wearing:
Necktie, from the skirt
Boyfriend tee, Simply Be (from a twin pack of black/grey) *AL
Skirt, Elvi  *AL - check out some of their other pleated skirts here
Hi tops, Everything 5 Pounds *AL
Bag and earrings, Primark

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