Featured Slider

A holiday look with Debenhams

Hello lovelies,

I've teamed up with Debenhams in this post to show you a holiday look. I chose a cool and airy jersey dress from Dorothy Perkins Curve to base my look around, and accessorised it with a bang-on-trend straw bag, gold sandals and some statement earrings. I was surprised at how many plus size dresses are on the Debenhams website, with brands such as Scarlett and Jo, Studio 8 and Evans for sale.

Go buy this dress, seriously. It's so comfortable and it's under £20!
All the links are in a widget at the bottom of the page, but let's have some more pictures first, shall we?
Serving up VBO realness.
This dress is so affordable and can be dressed up for evening or down for day time. It'd look just as good with some lace up plimsolls and a denim jacket as it would strappy sandals and a sparkly clutch. One thing to point out - the dress is described as coral but is more of a tomato red. I'm wearing a size 28 and it's true to size, perhaps even a little oversized. It comes in a bunch of other colours too - black, khaki, pink, navy etc. It's effortlessly cool - the sleeves are the perfect length and the tie waist is accented with gold hardware. I'm going to buy some in other colours, I can't help myself!

Click the picture below to take you to the item.

This blog post is part of a Debenhams holiday shop campaign. Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Simply Be floral frill playsuit

Hello lovelies,

I'm back with a summery outfit today. I'm wearing the Simply Be floral frill playsuit, a lovely tomato red cardigan also from them and pumps from George at Asda. There's a widget at the end with links to all three items.


This outfit (minus the shoes) was a gift to me from one of my readers - you know who you are, thank you! I've never worn a playsuit before and didn't think they were for me but I've changed my mind. Because of chub rub I'd wear cropped leggings underneath if I were going walking though.

There's one big thing you need to know about this playsuit and that is there's no zip in the back so you have to cram your hips through the neck hole. I was convinced it was going to rip the first time I put it on, but thank God it didn't. It's a non-stretch viscose material with cute little frills on the shoulders and legs, and it has pockets!

I took these photos on self timer in the back garden as there was no one in to do my photos. I do miss my ex's photography skills, I have to admit! My photos have gone to shit since I've been a singleton.
The cardigan is lovely and soft but I didn't have it on for long as it was boiling hot. I'm wearing a size 28 in both items. If you're busty like me I'd advise sizing up in the cardi as there is some button gape when it's done up.

As you can see I've got my knobbly knees and cellulite out in these photos. I think it's a terrible state of affairs that there's this expectation on young (ish) people to only flash the flesh if it's 'perfect' and blemish free. In some respects I can't wait to be old and give no shits about my wrinkly, less-than-perfect flesh.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

At This Moment 10 | Lifestyle


Hello loves! It's been a few months since I've done one of these posts so what have I been up to?! Read on.

WATCHING

I've just powered through The Alienist on Netflix, which I loved, and now I'm watching La Mante (The Mantis) about a serial killer from the 90s and her modern day copycat. It's a French show with English subtitles. I love subtitled shows because they force me to concentrate and take my head out of my phone. Due to the nature of the show, there is some gore in the trailer. Finding a trailer with English subtitles to embed here was impossible, but you can see it here.

READING

I'm currently reading No Man's Land by David Baldacci. He certainly writes a long ol' book! I think the last one I read by him was well over 500 pages long, and this one is just over 600 pages long.

MAKING

I'm making money disappear out of my bank account. I've got a bee in my bonnet about getting a capsule wardrobe together due to space and financial constraints. I've always bought what I fancied without any thought to whether it goes with anything else. No wonder I've gotten through so many clothes and donated so many over the years. I need to shop smarter, not harder. I mentioned I was thinking of starting a capsule wardrobe in my clothing haul post and in the last few weeks I've invested in a few classics that should help my goal. Unfortunately the quest for a capsule wardrobe is not helping my bank account at the moment, although it will do long term when I've got loads to wear because I'll have all the basics.

STARTING

I'm still talking about my capsule wardrobe, sorry! I read this post by Danielle Vanier -16 key pieces to help you build a plus size wardrobe. I urge you to have a look if like me you have 67 dresses but barely any basics and feel like you never have anything to wear! I had a bunch of these pieces in my possession already, and I've bought a few more essentials in the last month. There are a couple of items that just aren't me - like a trench coat, and I'm not a fan of knitwear even in winter - but my personal peccadilloes aside, there's a load of good advice in that post. It's funny how quickly my opinion changed as well - I saw culottes were on the list and thought 'Nah, not for me!' Then last week I was in London on a boiling hot day and saw LOADS of women wearing culottes and I basically fell in love with the idea of getting my ankles out. Go me. Victorian ladies would be scandalised. 😝😝😝

I bought some black culottes and a plain white shirt dress tonight. All I need to finish off my capsule wardrobe are some skinny ankle grazer trousers, a plain black jumpsuit and (if I find some soft ones that don't irritate my skin) a good pair of skinny jeans. After that I'm putting myself on a spending ban!

FINISHING

Spending money! Earning some would be better. 😜

ENJOYING

The lovely weather we've been having. It's a different kind of depression when the sun is shining than when it's cold and rainy.

LISTENING
(This section used to be TEXTING but music is far more interesting than texting).

I love this cover of The Cranberries' Zombie by Bad Wolves.



LOVING

The Royal wedding! I was out most of the day so I didn't watch it, but I enjoyed the highlights I saw on the news, specially Harry biting his lip when he told Meghan she looked amazing. So cute! See it here.

HATING

Umm, I'm a lover not a hater. No hate from me today.
 
You can read previous posts here.
One Two Three
Four Five Six
Seven Eight Nine

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

A clothing haul

Hello lovelies,

After splitting with my ex and going from a huge 2 bedroom flat to one small bedroom I've given away at least three quarters of my belongings. So when the warmer weather arrived recently I found myself sorely lacking in summery clothes. It was autumn when my ex dumped me, so I was planning ahead for winter and donated too many summer clothes. And in the last week I've sent another 8 bin bags and 3 carrier bags to the charity shop so my clothing choices were getting very limited. My style has changed such a lot in the last 8 months, hence the latest clear out. I'm a lot less daring than I used to be and I'm toying with the idea of a capsule wardrobe of classics due to space constraints. I want to get a lot more wear out of the items I buy and invest in some items which will never go out of style. So I had a major splurge recently and got a few classics, one fun tropical themed item and some new lingerie just because. Could I afford it? Not really, but fuck it.

Here's what I bought. Hit that arrow on the right to see more and click on the items to go direct to the website. 


Tropical print skirt, George at Asda - this has splits up the sides. My size 26/28 arse fits in the size 22 as it has a lot of stretch. This'll be nice for summery days and my holiday later in the year. I haven't wanted to wear bright colours for months so this is progress for me.

Bardot top, George at Asda. I'm also wearing a 22 in this and it's ample for my size 24/26 top half. This is a basic that will go with anything. I'm the girl who had dresses in every colour of the rainbow but no basics. This is exactly what I need to change.

Asos Design Curve Luna red lace underwear set. I got the size 28 and I'm glad I did as the lace isn't stretch. I love red and this is the only set of red underwear I have, so I snapped it up as soon as I saw it. It has no tit support, so do be aware of that if you buy it.

Asos Design shopper bag with removable pouch. I wanted a classic looking bag and this does the job nicely. It's faux leather and smells a bit funny but I'm hoping it'll pass. I can't do little handbags, I take everything and the kitchen sink when I go out.

Eyeko travel minis - their Skinny Eyeliner and Black Magic mascara are my hands-down-fave eyeliner and mascara. They're SO GOOD and just £18 for the two travel sized items and 10 remover wipes. One day I'll splash out and get myself some full sized ones. It's so easy to do winged eyeliner with the pen nib, it's the best eyeliner I've ever used by far. 

Asos Design Curve White vests x 2. You can't go wrong with a plain white vest or t shirt. I'm going to wear these with the New Look joggers (and other trousers I have) with an unbuttoned shirt over the top. I got a size 28 and they're generous. I'm gonna knot them up at the side to show off my boobs anyway.

Asos Design Curve black shirt dress. I'm going to wear this (unbuttoned) over everything. I'm really feeling shirts over things at the moment. My go to right now is a maxi dress with an unbuttoned denim shirt over the top. I got a size 30 in this as I wanted it oversized. It comes down past my knees so I might even wear it as a dress and get my pasty ol' legs out!

New Look Curve palm print joggers. I sized up 2 sizes in these as I find New Look clothes to be ridiculously small. These haven't come yet so I'm not sure if I did right in sizing up, but I'll report back. I think these joggers are low stock but New Look have them in both plain and other patterns. See here.

When was the last time you had a good splurge? It's been months since I bought more than one item.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Feeling Good Inside & Out*

Hi loves,

This post is pre-written/collaborative (not written by me).

There’s nothing worse than going through a time where you just don’t feel good about yourself. Where you feel as though you can point out every floor in the world with your body. The negative energy this creates on a daily basis can even lead to depression in some people! The positivity that comes with feeling good inside and out is just so worth it, but you do need to find a reason to feel so good! There’s a few different things that you can do to change your viewpoint, some of which we’re going to talk about below. Have a read on to see the tips we’ve got for you that could change your views for good!


On The Outside

The outside is all about your physical appearance and how you present yourself. The outside is easy to master, all you have to do is know what clothes to put together that will suit your body shape and style. So, first you need to think about what’s going to make you feel really good, and us women know lingerie is definitely one of these. A fresh set can make you feel totally amazing. If you visit a lingerie outlet store, you’ll be able to view a range of different styles that will make you look completely amazing! Then, if you want to focus on the things that people are going to see each day, then you need to focus on your style and think about how that can affect your feelings. Always pick something that makes you feel good, rather than trying to pick something that you think will make everyone else like the look of you. One of the reasons why we always feel as bad about ourselves is because we’re constantly trying to please other people, rather than focusing on pleasing ourselves. Wear whatever you like to wear, and don’t be put off by the worry of others judging you. Fashion is so extensive nowadays, and pretty much everything goes as a fashion trend.

On The Inside

The inside is where we seem to panic the most. It’s where we hide all of our insecurities and worries, and bottle them up until we can no longer think about them anymore! But is this the type of life that you want to lead? No, it isn’t! Life should be about feeling good, whether it be on the inside or outside. If you feel as though you’ve got something on your mind, or you feel worried 24/7 about something, whether it be to do with your person image or not, talk to someone about it! The only way you’re going to truly be able to understand your thoughts is if you embrace them, and speak about them openly. Whilst we as a society seem to have an opinion on absolutely everything, we’re not as open about the things that truly matter in life.

If you don’t feel as good about yourself, both inside and out, after reading this, then find a way to conquer your demons and embrace life!
Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Caravans are More Convenient than Booking Hotels on Vacations*

Hi loves,

This is a pre-written/collaborative post (not written by me).

Planning a trip sounds fun but can be quite stressful when you have a fixed budget for your savings. You will do the best to save the maximum you can on your trip. For this if you plan to stay at a budget hotel, might be a pocket saviour but how about renting a caravan for your holiday?

Renting a mobile home is a popular option these days as it provides you with the most suitable feature of your stay in a hotel. With your trip with the caravan, you can save loads of money and enjoy every moment peacefully. Purchasing or renting these mobile homes entirely depends on you, and can be availed through various websites and from those who give them on rent.

Amazing benefits if you rent a caravan for your vacation


Saves money on lodging in hotels

The best pro caravan is that you can save tons of money that you pay to hotels and there no worry about staying in a hotel. This is because you have totally equipped mobile home with you that comes with bathroom, beds, kitchen and other basic necessities.

Saves your money on meals

Food is another basic necessity and without it, you cannot survive. At some of the tourist destinations food is quite an expensive thing and moreover you are not sure about is it healthy or not. But with the caravan at your back, this is not a problem as you get a fully equipped kitchen. You can easily cook food and enjoy drinks from the refrigerator. Well, this can easily save your hundreds of pounds of every meal of your trip. Also, you have more time to enjoy your trip and perform other activities.

Freedom to travel anywhere

With a rented caravan, you get the freedom to travel where you like without the stress to book hotel rooms. It saves you money, time and allows easy mobility throughout your vacation. You are free to drive at any location whenever you want.

On board bathroom facility

Overall, Caravan’s provides you with every convenience while you are travelling out on vacation. From kitchen to bathroom, you have everything on board. With this, you won't have to worry about any emergency stoppage to use the toilet. Also, if you feel tired just enjoy a shower in your caravan bathroom.

Caravan provides you with an affordable stay

A mobile home hooked at the back of your car can be a very affordable as there are various campgrounds and locations where you can park your vehicle. The price of parking your caravan is much cheaper than staying in a hotel room. Also, some places allow you with free parking.

Renting or purchasing a caravan is a way too affordable and reliable than staying at hotels or hotels. You are packed with everything you need and you don’t have to worry about is anything is left in the room. Also, it provides you complete mobility through which you can easily move along whenever you feel to go back home.

You can cook your own food, have a meal, take your shower break without looking for a stop. But it is also important to select a suitable caravan for your adventure. Not any caravan will make your trip soothing and enjoyable. So, here are some helpful tips to select a suitable caravan for vacations.

  • Search for a suitable dealer to buy or rent a caravan. Single axis caravan are easy to travel from one place to another.
  • If you are planning to buy your own, make it sure that you buy it from the owner.
  • Before renting or purchasing, go through every single specification to avoid trouble during your vacations.

Thanks for reading,
Leah

Having the Mirena coil fitted

Hiya lovelies!

Image source
I finally bit the bullet and had the Mirena coil fitted 2 weeks ago. I've had horrible periods all my life, but they've been really heavy and painful since my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011. I currently take Mefenamic Acid and Tranexamic Acid to make my periods lighter and less painful, but it's still my least favourite 5-7 days of the month. Having the Mirena coil fitted results in 60% of women stopping their periods altogether, and most have lighter and less painful periods. The Mirena coil prevents pregnancy because it releases a hormone called Levonorgestrel which causes cervical mucus to thicken, making it harder for sperm to penetrate the cervix. It also causes the lining of the womb to thin, making it less likely for an egg to implant itself. A thinner lining of the womb means there's less to shed when it comes to your monthly period.

Before I had the coil fitted

About a month before I had the coil fitted I had sexual health checks done as you need to be free of chlamydia before you have a coil fitted. Apparently introducing chlamydia into the womb is a really bad idea as it can cause further problems like PID. All my checks came back clear (phew!) so I was good to go.

On the day

On the day my doctor asked me questions about my last period and did a pregnancy test just to make absolutely sure I wasn't with child before she fitted the coil. She went through all the possible scary outcomes with me (such as perforation of the uterus, ouch!) and along with the pregnancy test, this part probably took up 20 minutes of the 30 minute appointment. The doctor who fitted my coil was professional to a fault and really put me at ease. You can read all about the benefits and risks of the coil here on the NHS website.

Assume the position

I had to lie on my back on the medical bed with my feet flat together and my legs dropped apart. A lubriated speculum was put in for easy access to the area and my cervix was measured, numbing gel was put on it and it was clamped. Then the coil is passed through into the womb, where it'll stay for the next 5 years until I have it replaced.

Does it hurt?

Yes and no. The only bit that really stung for me was when my cervix was clamped. The doctor showed me the clamp afterwards and it had scalloped 'teeth' so it's no wonder that part of the procedure was painful, but it only lasted a few seconds. I didn't feel the fitting of the coil at all. She told me it was in and that I was a star.

Immediately afterwards

There was some bleeding immediately afterwards, which looked worse than it was as it was mixed in with the lube from the speculum. I'd already put a panty liner in my knickers ready for this eventuality.

That night

I had some bad cramping that evening, but taking a couple of paracetamol soon eased it to a bearable level. The pain was nowhere near as bad as period pain and it was light enough that I could use panty liners rather than sanitary pads.

Day 2

Day two was the worst for me because as well as the bleeding and cramping I had trapped wind as well. I was really quite uncomfortable, so if you work, I'd suggest taking the next day off if you can. I found I was windy (flatulent) for a few days after the fitting, but it soon passed.

Day 3

The third day was the last day of cramping for me so I think I got off quite luckily.

Days 4-14

Although the cramping is over, I'm still experiencing blood spotting. It isn't even enough that I need a pad any more, there's just the slightest pinky-red tinge when I wipe after going for a wee.


Altogether my experience of having the coil fitted was great and I wish I'd had it done years ago. I was put off by some real horror stories of the pain of having it fitted but I shouldn't have listened. I may experience some headaches and acne in the first few months as my body gets used to the Mirena, and my periods may even get heavier initially, but within 3 months I should see my periods get lighter or even disappear altogether. I'll be 49 when this coil needs a replacement, and my doctor says they'll put another one in and by the time that finishes at 54 my menopause should be over and done with - the hormone released in the Mirena can also be used as hormone replacement therapy. That's a lovely thought as I'm dreading the menopause!

The coil doesn't protect frm STIs so you still have to use condoms - unless you're getting regular sexual health checks with your regular partner and know you're both 'clean'.

Have you had the Mirena coil fitted? What was your experience like if so? Do you have any questions?

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

OOTD | Asda floral bardot midi dress

Hello lovelies,

I have an outfit post for you today. I did my food shopping in Asda today and spotted this dress - it had to come home with me!


Now I've got no feet in any of these shots - they all had to be cropped as my mum's thumb was in the bottom of every shot. 😆😆😆 I'm not aiming for perfection, I'm trying to get back into blogging however I can and if I aim for perfection I'll never blog again. 

I'm writing about this dress quickly as the largest two sizes have already sold out online. I'm wearing a size 24, which is oversized. I generally wear about a size 26 these days, and I think this size would easily accommodate a size 28. It has shirring at the bust, short fluttery sleeves (great if you have big arms like me) and comes just below the knee on me. See more photos of it at the link below.




Asda floral bardot midi dress £16

I'm hoping buying this dress is a sign I've turned a corner. I haven't wanted to wear anything bright or eye-catching for months. I haven't even worn earrings for 7 months (since I split with James) as I didn't feel like my body is worth ornamenting. My self esteem has been in the gutter. But I wore this dress today and felt a little like my old self. Long may it last.

I use affiliate links on some items, which means if you click and buy from them I will earn a small commission. See my disclosure for more details. http://www.xloveleahx.co.uk/p/disclosure.html 

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo