A sunny weekend in London

Hiya pickles!

I hope today finds you well.

Last weekend husband face and I went to visit his parents in London. They live in a nice area - Graham Norton lives just around the corner. He's often seen out walking his dogs nearby. It's always good to go visit as his mum runs around looking after us (which is a lovely rest for me.) We always have a laugh there as his parents are very young in attitude.

The obligatory 'in car' shot on the way

We went round St Katharine's Dock. I'm so drawn to water so I take any chance to be near it at home or away!

As you can see it was a beautiful sunny day, but what I call 'fresh' - in other words, bloomin' freezing!

 I love Tower Bridge so much - it's an iconic part of London and a really beautiful sight.

This shot - taken in haste - came out much better than expected!

It was very windy.

In other news, I'm temporarily phone-free. My new phone was faulty from the outset (which is why I haven't reviewed it here yet - I hate doing negative reviews!) and finally after jumping through hoops Phones 4U agreed to exchange it. I had to send it away today and as soon as they receive it they'll pop my new one in the post. I'm not taking any chances - I paid for it to be sent by special delivery. The thing I'm most missing - other than the security of having a mobile phone when I'm out alone - is Instagram! I've been looking at everyone's posts on Followgram, so I don't feel totally out of the loop.

What's the thing you'd miss the most if you didn't have your phone?

Thanks for reading!

Five Things


Rachele - cat mama, dimply-cheeked diva and mistress of awesome tagged me in a 5 Things Post. Go read Rachele's or else ferrets will invade your bum. Don't believe me? Just wait. Ferrets are the masters of suspense*.

Anyhoo, here we are with 5 things about me. I really struggled as I'm chronic over-sharer and you already know so much about me!

1. I sound like Eliza Doolittle before she had elocution lessons.

My nan on my mum's side was a Cockney born in Bermondsey who later moved to Kent with my grandad - who was also born in London. They settled about 20 miles outside of London, where accents tend to be quite similar to those in London anyway.

My grandad tending his beloved garden

My nan (on the right.)

So I'm a chirpy Cockney-sounding bird. One day I'll do a video so you can hear me but I HATE my voice on video. It's weird - I don't mind my speaking voice but hearing it back is so weird.

 2. I am an encyclopaedia of song lyrics. I think in songs. I'll hear a word that triggers a lyric and I'm off singing it. Almost every dream I have, there's a song in it, and I'll get it stuck in my head and sing it all day.

3. This may not be news to anyone, but I'm quite vain. I think a certain amount of vanity is healthy. Some people might think it's odd for a fat person to be vain, but I think that's bull. Everybody has something (hopefully many things!) they love about themselves and want to look at every now and then as positive affirmation of how great they are. Every body. I don't think money is the root of all evil - comparison is. If we all loved ourselves a bit more, jealousy would all but disappear.

*vain face*

You can see my polka dot knickers on under my skirt. Oops! As my mum would say "At least you've got some on!"

4. I got my first white hair at 22. WHITE! No, don't bring me in gently with the grey - just go straight to bloody white. Hahaha!

5. I'm pretty disorganised. When I was well enough to be working, my office and workspace were organised to the nth degree. At home, not so much! I have a notebook fetish, and they're scattered all about me. The laundry in this place never seems to be done - I'm either doing laundry, drying laundry, folding it or putting it away. (I'm sorry, but life is too short for ironing!) When laundry isn't in one of those stages it's piled on the second sofa in the living room waiting on being folded and put away. You wouldn't think there are only two of us here. I have no idea where it all comes from!

I'm gradually introducing storage solutions so I can organise things better. We've recently added a double bed in the spare room which is a storage bed. When you lift the mattress up (it's pneumatic) it makes a Star Wars-esque swooshing noise. Cool.

We also added a bathroom organiser for allll my lotions and potions.

We recently bought some furniture from our friends who are moving to Canada next month. We got a tall wardrobe but it's so large we had to take it to bits outside the main entrance to get it into the building! My last wardrobe broke under the strain of all my clothes 18 months ago, which is why I keep buying more - I can't find anything! We also bought a tall but narrow cd/dvd shelf, because it fits into a space about 9 inches wide, which is very handy.

I think brutal organisation is key for people like me who have fluctuating fatigue and pain levels. I definitely attack the housework in fits and starts rather than being able to do the same tasks every day. I do what I can when I can, but things are certainly messy more than I'm comfortable with.

I tag everyone who wants to do this! Please feel free to come back and leave your link when you've posted yours, I'd love to see!

* I may have made that up about ferrets.

Thanks for reading!

Real Techniques Starter Set review

Hiya lovelies!

I was incredibly spoiled on my birthday this year. I was gifted some lovely beauty-related things and I also bought some with my birthday money. One of the things I got was a brush set from Real Techniques, as their brushes have been lauded from the heights on just about every blog in existence.

No smoke without fire, right?

So here's my review: BUY THEM.

Seriously. These brushes are deserving of the hype and then some.

You get:
  • base shadow brush: applies a smooth, flawless foundation of color
  • deluxe crease brush: soft, oversized design for effortless contouring
  • accent brush: designed for precision detailing, spotlighting, highlighting, and smudging
  • pixel-point eyeliner brush: tapered cut is ideal for dense or fine eyeliner application
  • brow brush: distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows

I'm going to include this photo again so you can see the brushes better.

The brushes are light and comfortable to use and YAY they are cruelty free synthetic bristles. They're made by the people who make Eco Tools brushes, which I also rate highly. They're very densely and generously packed, yet are soft on the eye and not at all scratchy. It really makes a difference to the application. The blending brush is just a joy. The accent brush works really well at working brow powder in. I've recently discovered that to make brow powder look really good you need to work it in in a window-washer type movement left and right, or else it can look too obvious. You really have to get in there and wiggle the brush underneath your brow hairs and that little brush is great for that. You can use the tapered brow brush to finish off.

I bought these brushes on Amazon for about £17, which averaged out at about £3.40 a brush. They've gone up to £19.91 now (£3.98 each) but keep your eye out because they seem to vary greatly in price. Even at £3.98 each you're getting some fabulous quality brushes and a case which doubles up as a stand.

Photo from Amazon

After receiving these brushes and being absolutely wowed by them, I found out their Core Collection was down to £14-something, so I ordered those with my birthday money too. Review coming soon.

I've cleaned these brushes a few times already and they clean up well and don't lose their shape.

Have you tried Real Techniques brushes? 

Thanks for reading.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! BEETLEJUICE! OOTD

Hiya mi lovelies!

I've been a fan of Beelejuice since I was 14 years old. I saw it on video, twice - having to pay a late return fee for doing so. It's one of my favourite films of all time and I just adore black and white stripes. When I saw ASOS Curve doing some black and white striped leggings, I wanted them hard, but they were out of stock. My almost-daily stalkage of their website soon bore fruit and now they're mine all mine. You can see I'm thrilled to be in possession of these wee beauties.

Dress, New Look £16.99
Leggings, ASOS Curve £16
Shoes, Rocket Dog
Belt, came with another dress
Hair flower, New Look

The leggings seem to be out of stock at the moment but do keep checking back if you like them. Size-wise, they're a 26 and I was worried they wouldn't fit me as depending on the fit of a garment I take anything from a 24-32 on my bottom half. That said, I can also get into a size 20 in Primark leggings, so go figure! I'm pleased to say the size 26 were ample big enough for my chunky bum and thighs. They are plenty long as well - I'm 5ft 5 and I had to pull them up to Simon Cowell height for them to come higher up than my feet. I'd say they'd be ankle length on someone of 5ft 8, perhaps taller.

Have a great weekend.

A very special OOTD guest post

Hiya loves!

I have a very special outfit post today - featuring my mum. She and my step dad came to visit on Tuesday and I liked her outfit so much I took photos for the blog. I thought it was a very fashion forward outfit with the florals and the sheer top - quite daring for the older lady. Pardon the Crocs, she's got dropped metatarsal bones on both feet which means there's no padding underneath them and she has to walk directly on the bones. Owwwwies! They're the only shoes she can wear without being in serious pain, naff as they are.

The photo on the left is a little blurry but I had to put it in because mum's smile is so lovely in it.

So, what do you think of my mum's threads?

Thanks for reading.

Random facts about me

Hiya loves!

I thought I'd share some random funny/strange things that've happened to me.

  1. When I was single and ready to mingle I used to hang out at this cool Swedish bar/restaurant in Soho called Garlic & Shots. They had blacklights in the downstairs bar. Earlier on my friend had told me she had a UV make up pen, but I didn't believe it'd work. I wrote 'c*nt' on my forehead backwards and soon forgot about it....until I went past a mirror and saw YES I did have c*nt on my forehead and had been walking around like it visible under the blacklight for about an hour by this time. Oops. 
  2. I once shouted at a member of the rock band A at Gatwick because he burst into an area I'd blocked off for cleaning. More oops.
  3. I went to see Whitesnake and heckled David Coverdale (singer) by yelling 'Oi! David! Show us yer cock!' At which point he repeated it to the whole friggin' arena. Ahem. It made him smile though. ;)
  4. About Garlic & Shots again - I'd been going there for a couple of years and ALWAYS had the vodka, garlic and honey shot. I made the fatal mistake of trying to drink one whilst sober for the first time - usually I was blotto. I gagged and had to pinch my nose to finish it. It had SO much garlic in it it could've stunned a horse. I turned incredulously to my friend and said 'Has it always smelled like this?!' She nodded uneasily at which point I said 'People have snogged me after I've drunk it. OH. MY. GOD!!'
  5. When my friend Mich and I went to the Ozzfest many moons ago, we were 'escorted' back to our tent by a couple of amorous chaps on the way back to the camp site who mistakenly thought they were going to get invited in. Firstly, my friend had bought perhaps the smallest 2 man tent in the history of the world, and we could barely get into it, let alone anyone else. Secondly, the God of festivals had decreed it was peeing down cats and dogs, and loads of water had pooled in the entranceway. Mich got in first (it was such a low tent we had to back in sitting down) but didn't tell me me it was wet so I went in and got a soaking wet arse. That set me off into fits of giggles, which got worse when we both realised the two fellas were standing outside the tent listening to us. We both held our breath and didn't talk until they got the hint and went away. As they did one of them said 'I really like the one with the glasses!' Mich and I - both wearing glasses - looked at each other and burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter.
De-lurk and tell me something about yourself!

What is the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you?

Thanks for reading!

Outside My Comfort Zone #5

Hiya lovelies!

It's that time again! Rachel of HappynessMagnet came up with the idea to do a fortnightly fashion challenge and here we are on challenge 5 already. WOW!

 The challenge was thus:

Mixed Pastels

Any piece, accessory, shoe, bag, nail polish etc, coordinate some pastels.
At least 2 colour pastels (pale light colours.

I have an extra accessory in today's post, you will notice. I keep coming over faint so I have to have my blood pressure monitored for 24 hours. So far I'm about 3 hours in and I'm tired of the cuff already but they really need to find out why I keep nearly passing out.

Outfit details:

Mint, pink and lemon vests (the latter worn as a skirt) Simply Be
Cardigan Primark (2012)
Leggings Very
Boots Tesco
Hair flower New Look

The thing I REALLY love about these challenges is it forces me to push myself. Before, I didn't like pastels because I thought they didn't suit me, but I can see I look amazing in pastels. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to push my fashion boundaries!

Do you rock pastels?
Thanks for reading!

Sweet like Cherry Coke OOTD

Hello you!

A little story about me. When I was a kid, certainly before senior school age, I was addicted to Cherry Coke. It was my crack. I grew up in a single parent family and money was tight, so any time I got any money for birthdays, Christmas and after smiling sweetly at kindly old people I used to pop over to Mrs Egan's corner shop and get me some of that sweet, condensation-trickling-down-the-can nectar. In those days we didn't have those pop-back tabs like you do today. Oh no, you had to pull the whole thing off, which often led to blood loss, since they were bloody hard to pull back, especially when you've got tiny childlike sausage fingers. (Useless fact - I had the smallest hands in my whole class at senior school.)

As I walked back home from the shop on any given day I used to debate whether to open the can there and then or wait until I got in. Decisions, decisions. Delicious anticipation. Now, I don't have Cherry Coke in the house. I bought a multi pack of cans a couple of years ago and drank the whole lot in about 12 hours. If I bought it regularly I'd only have 2 teeth left in my head by now!

When I saw this t shirt on New Look I almost skipped with joy.

The biggest size they had was a 22 at the time, so that's what I got. It fits me fine around the boobs but not so much around the bum, because my arse is about 2 sizes bigger than the rest of me. Oh, talking of bums, 2 people came to my blog after searching 'big woman with bubble butt'. Hahaha! Well, they found me!

When I put this outfit together hubby said 'Your outfit looks lovely!' He complements me all the time. It makes up for all that time I spend picking his discarded clothes off the floor ;)

Have you ever been addicted to a seemingly innocuous product?

I might get the Diet Coke t shirt from New Look as well.

T shirt, New Look
Cardi, eBay
Skirt, Simply Be (old.)
Shoes (just seen) Rocket Dog
Hair flower, Peacocks
Necklace, Extreme Largeness

Thanks for reading!

How I deal with migraines

Hiya lovelies,

On Sunday night before psbloggerschat was about to start I decided to do some tidying in the living room. I was only doing it for about 15 minutes but it involved lots of bending over, as I was going through the storage baskets I have under our coffee table.

I sat back down at about 8.57 and realised I felt like I was going to vomit. A migraine was starting.


They happen so frequently that hubby and I have got things down pat. Here's what I do when a migraine sets in.

  1. Immediately stop whatever I'm doing and close my eyes.
  2. I lay down on the sofa while hubs turns the lights off and turns down the volume on the tv/computer.
  3. Hubby gets me a cold damp flannel or a few damp sheets of kitchen towel to lay over my eyes, and something light in weight, but dark - like a black t-shirt - to block out all light/flickering in the room.
  4. Then he gets me a blanket because I get feverish with migraines. Although I start off sweating when the migraine is starting, soon enough I'll be freezing cold.
  5. If I feel really nauseous, he puts a bowl under my chin.
  6. Do nothing until the nausea abates. Not a bloody thing. No matter how long it takes. If I have to go to the loo at any time before the migraine has abated I keep my eyes closed and covered and feel my way to the loo slowly.
  7. When the nausea has mostly gone, I remove the cover from my eyes and slowly get used to whatever dim light is in the room. If it makes me feel sick again I lay back down and cover my eyes again.
  8. When I start to feel better, I remain laying down and let my eyes acclimatise for 5 minutes before I even try to sit up.
  9. Sit up slowly, sip some water but don't do anything strenuous to bring the migraine back on.
  10. I often find myself ravenously hungry after a migraine, because my body has used up so much energy from the pain of it. I eat something simple like some toast. 
  11. Sleep as soon as possible.

Whatever I do, I listen to my body and rest. Once a migraine starts, being brave and pushing through it will leave you in a whole world of pain. Once I thought I'd be brave and do yoga at the start of a migraine. You can imagine where that left me....not in a good place! I was in bed with a sick bowl under my chin for the best part of the 3 following days. I think I slept for 18 hours out of the first 24. It was not pretty. Now I listen to my body.

It took 2 hours on Sunday night for me to feel less pukey. Soon after I'd started to feel a bit better I had something to eat, then I went to bed as I didn't want to take any chances. I was still feeling pretty ropey and didn't fancy going back to point A and starting all over again.

I take a tablet every night called Pizotifen to prevent migraines as much as possible. Before I was taking Pizotifen I was having migraines 3-4 days a week. They were affecting my vision and my balance. Although Pizotifen reduces the amount of migraines I have greatly, I still have to be very careful. No one would imagine that doing a bit of tidying would set off a migraine, but that's my reality. I have to treat myself like I'm made of bone china and full of cracks - one little knock and I start to fall to bits! ;)

Do you suffer with migraines? What are your survival tips?

Thanks for reading.

A change in the weather

Hiya dolls,

A change in the weather is good, right? Bye bye cold grey skies, hello warm(er) sunshine. Magical....err, not so much for us hyper-sensitive folks with Fibromyalgia.

I posted a comment on Facebook a couple of days ago saying how I was having the worst Fibro flare up EVER and I was very surprised when a few other people with Fibromyalgia said they were having an awful time of it, too. A flare up is when there's a noticeable increase in symptoms, especially pain and fatigue. The sad thing for me is I never know when I'm out of a flare, only when I'm in one. On a normal day I feel bad and on a flare up day (week/month) I feel terrible. There is no feeling good - well, maybe one day every few months, but they're so far apart as to almost seem like they never occur.

Normally when I'm in really bad pain it's in response to activity - I may have washed my hair, gone for a walk which was too long, gone out in the cold or the rain (the cold/damp gets into my bones and creates merry hell) or strained myself doing the housework. That's not to say there aren't occasions where I hurt doing nothing - there are. My whole body is tender to the touch, and what might feel like a light touch to someone else will feel like a slap or punch to me. At rest, with nothing obvious that would cause me pain, the other pain I get is neuropathic pain - nerve pain. I described it on Facebook as if someone was playing the drums on my nerve endings. Thankfully this comes in cycles, usually a few days at a time, but with periods of respite in between (usually.)

Before I'd even spoken to anyone else about the change of weather, I'd been guessing it was why I was feeling terrible. I just had a hunch. After seeing a few other people say the same thing as me a few clicks on Google quickly told me that changes in weather come high up in the list of the top triggers for Fibromyalgia flare ups.

Knowing why I'm in pain helps, strangely.

So, what is nerve pain like? It will vary from person to person, but for me it comes in a couple of ways. The first is a dead, crushing pain which is like when you have an overzealous nurse or doctor who puts the blood pressure cuff on you far too tightly. Everything feels like it's being squeezed tightly and it's totally unbearable. When it happens, it's always in my arms and shoulders. It feels like my arms have been slammed in a car door several times. That's the only way I can describe it - it feels like every bit of my arms is bruised black and blue. It's hard to concentrate on anything when this pain comes and I have to prop my arms up on pillows by my side as having them hanging by my side is too much. I'd tear my arms off if I could, it's that bad.

The other pain is what I call 'tuning fork' pain. It feels like my bones are a tuning fork, and someone is striking my bones. Pain will zing or vibrate up and down my bones just like a shock wave. I get the pain in my wrists, fingers, arms, elbows etc. It makes me wince. If I was holding or carrying something when I get this pain I'd certainly drop it.

At the moment I have both the dead pain and the tuning fork pain, so I'm in a world of hurt. All I want to do is sleep. I feel so tired. Functioning under this level of pain is extremely tiring. Looking after myself - eating, drinking, washing - all feel like a step too far.

I love the sunshine. Normally it cheers me up, but at the moment not even the glorious view from my living room is soothing me. I'm going between bed, sofa, kitchen and bathroom. Functioning rather than living. Not seeing the outside, focussing only on the immediate, on surviving. I've often likened it to being under siege. It may sound dramatic, but I am under siege - body and mind.

I wish the arseholes at the DWP could read this....or even my doctor. Sometimes it feels like few understand, even when I tell them. Maybe I need to yell a little louder, yet I know it could always be worse. Propaganda against the sick and disabled is so prevalent I still feel guilty for not being in work, even after struggling to write this for the last hour and then some. Whatever I do around the house, it never feels like enough, yet it takes so much out of me. I wonder if I'll ever get over the guilt of not working and not contributing to our finances. There are so many facets to ill health - so much of it loss. Loss of self, loss of employment, loss of earnings, loss of independence, loss of hobbies, loss of enjoyment, loss of self-respect.

This episode will pass and fade to a distant memory, just like all the others. It'll be replaced by another episode, somewhat similar but somewhat different all the same. The orchestra of pain plays a different tune every time and each instrument takes its turn for the solo. If not for the intermission between each act I'd surely go insane, so I'm thankful for any respite.

All might seem black but I'm always looking for a chink of light. I never knew I was an optimist before I got ill, but now I know I am.

Thanks for reading.

Suede effect NOTD

Hiya pickles!

I've done my nails a few times lately but haven't taken photos *bad blogger, tsk tsk!* but here's my latest mani, using 2 W7 Suede Effect polishes and Barry M 115 Red Black.

I bought the 2 suede effect polishes for £1.95 each (and got free delivery) from Nail Polish Direct. They're called Silver Suede and Night Suede and are a generous 15ml each. As you can see in the larger picture above there is a bit of texture to the nail. I really like them.

Drying time is as quick as a flash but wear time is poor. I was seeing chips by the end of the evening. I didn't use a top coat as I wasn't sure if it'd spoil the suede effect, but next time I use them I'll try a top coat on top and report back.

What do you think of suede effect nails? 

Thanks for reading.

The Magnificent 7th catch up OOTD

Hi loves!

I recently joined another fantastic outfit challenge.

We will be posting on the 7th of each month, and the aim of the challenge is to create an outfit to fit the theme, using clothes from our wardrobes, and yes that does mean digging deep into the depths and finding those long lost clothes! Hopefully one of us won’t end up in Narnia, but you never know with a bloggers wardrobe!

The first challenge post was up about 10 days ago, and although I missed the challenge at the time I asked to join in. Beth kindly said I could do a catch up post if I wanted to, so I said yes. April's challenge was monochrome. I love monochrome so here I am!

In retrospect this might have been better with a belt. I really love this dress. I'm crazy about Beetlejuice stripes!

Dress, New Look
Shrug, eBay
Leggings, Primark
Shoes, Rocket Dog
Hat, Yours
Hair flower, New Look

See you again for another Magnificent 7th post next month!
Thanks for reading.

Dispelling myths - the 'good' fatty vs the 'bad' fatty


Trigger Warning - I'm going to talk about the emotions we attach to food and weight which may be triggering for some people. 

I often take a long time to get to sleep and I whir things over in my mind instead of counting sheep. I was thinking about how I could be thought of as a 'virtuous' or 'good' fatty by some because I have quite a healthy diet, but then I realised that's bullshit. I always have a retort in mind about how healthily I eat if challenged by some fat-phobic prick, but I don't owe anyone an explanation, and neither do you. I have become so conditioned to explaining my body to people who deserve no such thing and I've only just realised it. Such is the weight of expectation (pardon the pun) on fat people to be in a state of apology or explanation for our bodies that I expect some of you reading this have a set of go-to retorts for when you're challenged by some fat-phobic jerk. Am I right?

Let me pedal back a bit. I learned to attach emotions or virtues to food at a very young age. My mum was fat and didn't want me to have a hard life like her, so she took me to the doctor to be put on a diet before I was the age of 10. (I don't blame my mum AT ALL - she was a very young single mother doing the best she could and no one could have known how it would affect me). Unfortunately I grew up messed up in the head about my weight and food. Food was the enemy. Add to that people around me who were often nasty and fat-shaming - family members, kids at school, people from my mum's church - I grew up feeling 'wrong' somehow, and I felt that way up until very recently. The language we use around children can SO damaging and it makes me really angry to recall what I went through generally. People feel they can say anything to children about their bodies and it's so wrong. The messages you put in young people's heads last a lifetime. 

It can be hard to break away from the negative feelings we have around food and our bodies when the media (and sometimes friends, families, colleagues, randoms in the street) tell us or infer that we are 'bad' for having excess adipose tissue. We are judged and made to feel bad for our food choices, even if they're good choices, as if we're supposed to give up eating altogether. Yeah, right! It's so pervasive that I feel the need to have a retort at hand for any insulting idiot who comes my way, when in truth it'd take hours to explain my weight story, hours of my time that person doesn't deserve (nor likely want to hear) as my fat body alone is proof to them of my 'failure'.

When you have a non-normative body you become public property, free to be discussed, poked, prodded and abused. If you dare fall short of the unspoken standard for bodies, it irritates people who are in the mistaken belief that we owe them our thinness. 

It's incredibly arrogant behaviour when you think about it, and it should make you angry. No one has the right to police your body. Your doctor can make suggestions if they pertain to your health (and then it's up to you whether to follow that advice or not) but unfortunately much of the medical profession is as hung up on aesthetics as your every day Neanderthal who yells abuse from a speeding car. It's often not our health which is a problem, but our size, which is why weight loss is prescribed for everything from a frozen shoulder to ingrown toenails. In truth, much of the health trolling/health 'concern' fat people receive has eff all to do with our health and a whole lot about thin people not wanting to see us.

We don't owe anybody shit - not our health, nor our explanations. The only person we are accountable to is ourselves. There's no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' fatty. Whether you exist on a diet of mung beans and quinoa or place a chair in front of the fridge and get comfortable, no one has the right to tell you or infer that you are more or less of a person as a result. There is no 'good' or 'bad' weight. We can only determine as individuals what is the comfortable weight for us, where we feel vital and good in ourselves. What feels good and healthy for one person might be another person's 'too much'. We need to take the emphasis off weight and place it squarely onto health, where it belongs. Here I sit, morbidly obese by medical standards, with great health markers - low to normal blood pressure, great cholesterol and blood sugar. Of course I have the occasional bag of crisps and a pizza here and there, but I don't feel guilty for eating them in the slightest because I know most of the time I eat healthy food which nourishes me and makes me feel good. My body may not reflect what I eat because being fat isn't as simple as calories in and calories out. I really don't give a toss if some tosser in the street thinks I inhale doughnuts 24/7. People like that mean nothing to me so why should I care?!

If you love vegetables and eat clean, or if your three main food groups are pizza, pizza and pizza it doesn't change a thing. If only we lived in a world where we judged people's goodness on character and not on the label in their clothes.

What's your say on this?

Obviously this is an emotive topic, so let's have some polite debate.

Many thanks for reading.

Pretending it's summer OOTD

Hiya lovely ones,

I saw some lovely plus bloggers wearing a Primark maxi skirt a few weeks ago and loved it. It looked great, and even better it was oversized, which meant it might fit me. I wanted to go to Primark to get some birthday treats anyway, so whilst I was there I had a look at the skirt and the 20 looked big enough to fit me so I bought it. Actually I could've bought a 16 or 18 because it's that oversized. It has an elasticated waist and is very comfortable.

Although it's a skirt, I'm wearing it as a dress. If I do wear it as a skirt, I think I'll wear it under my boobs as it's so voluminous my legs will disappear otherwise.

I decided I'd dress as if I was going to the beach with some friends. I gave my new wacky shades a spin too.

Click photos for larger images.

Red bow hair band, Primark
Sunglasses, Primark
Leopard maxi, Primark
Belt, ASOS
Handbag, Primark
Shoes, Asda

Normally I don't try things in straight sizes, apart from cardigans, which I never wear done up so it doesn't matter if they're too small.

Do you try things on even if they're a much smaller size than you normally wear?

I think I need to broaden my horizons a bit, especially with the current oversized trend, or else I might miss out on some gems!

Thanks for reading, and thanks to the gorgeous ladies who inspired me to try this skirt out.

Wake up and smell the coffee

Hello lovelies!

When I was in Kent this weekend visiting my family my dad gave my hubby and I a pretty nifty coffee machine for our anniversary.

Click photo for larger image.

The DeLonghi Dolce Gusto comes with a starter pack of 6 coffees and my dad got me a box of 8 of my favourite chococino pods as well. My aunt has the same machine and the chococino drink it makes is divine! So thick and yummy. My aunt and cousin gave me two tall glasses and 2 side plates from Costa to accompany the new machine.

I'm pretty caffeine intolerant so I'll mainly be using this machine for decaf, hot chocolate and iced tea with the occasional milky or speciality coffee thrown in for good measure. I love that it can make hot or cold drinks. When coffee lovers come to visit I'll be able to make them a lovely cup of proper coffee. Each cup comes out at a very reasonable 46p (based on a pack of 8 pods costing £3.68, as on the Dolce Gusto website) but I'm sure most of the supermarkets will have multi-buy deals on the pods now and then. Compare that with a Costa or Starbucks coffee and the difference is obvious. There's a dizzying array of 30 different drinks to choose from - everything from caramel latte macciato to lemon iced tea and decaf varieties.

Here's a video of a similar model in use (mine doesn't have the LED display.)

I got £10 credit for the Dolce Gusto store when I registered so I've just stocked up on 4 varieties - moarrrr chococino, cappucino, caramel latte macciato and vanilla latte macciato. Yum yum! I don't really drink alcohol much any more because of my irritable bladder, so this is my new drinks obsession.

Have you got a coffee or tea maker? 

Thanks for reading!

Famous Cosmetics baked bronzer in 'Bali'.

Hiya loves!

Here I am with another lovely item from Famous Cosmetics. This is the Bali baked bronzer.

Famous do packaging really well, in my opinion. You get a massive 9g of product here for £6.49 and really solid, quality packaging. The animal print lid is overlaid with metal, making it feel weighty and luxurious. There's a mirror in the lid and a wide brush which would do in a pinch if you were on the move, but obviously a proper brush would be better for use at home. Although there looks to be a lot of shimmer in the pan, it doesn't translate so much into a swatch, so this would be great for those of you who want to be bronzed without looking like an explosion in a glitter factory. My personal taste is to always look like an explosion in a glitter factory, but I appreciate that isn't for everyone.

Do you use bronzer?

Thanks for reading!

Catch up time

Hello lovelies.

I feel I've neglected my blog for a couple of days so thought I'd do a little catch up post. I had a lovely weekend away in Kent with my family this weekend. We had a get together over a pub lunch which was great. There were 11 of us there in total - me, hubby, mum, dad, step dad, brother & his girlfriend, aunt, two cousins and little C, my cousin's little girl. This was the second time the family has got together in the last month and we're doing it again next month to celebrate my dad's and brother's birthdays, which are 2 days apart.

Here's a defaced painting in the pub which tickled my fancy. He looks a bit like a one-eyed Neil Kinnock.

After the meal we went round to Superdrug so I could buy C an MUA Power Pout lippie. She'd watched me fascinated as I did my make up then wanted me to do hers. I put a little bit of blusher on her and the pink Power Pout, telling her she's too pretty to need any more make up. She loved the lippie and since she's always got dry lips, the moisturising element to it will do her some good, so I said I'd get her one. I'd already painted her nails to match mine before we left for the pub.

It was lovely to spend some time with my cousin's little girl again. Technically she's my second cousin but she asked if I could be her auntie so I said yes, of course! She always gives me massive cuddles when she first sees me, which is adorable. Yesterday she was eating her lunch and her dad kept telling her that if she didn't eat it all she couldn't have an ice cream afterwards. In an attempt to get her to eat the last of her veg I said 'Food, ice cream, bath, cuddles.' She said 'No-ooooooo! Food, cuddles, play on your phone, ice cream, bath!' She loves playing games on my phone, especially princess dress up games. Well, she ate the rest of her dinner with haste then rushed over for cuddles.

Here she is eating her dinner.

Here's the huge Sunday dinner I had.

It was bloody delicious. My aunt makes lovely, lavverly food.

After we'd eaten I gave C a bath and washed her hair. She does her own bits and bobs and I just give her back a scrub then wash and condition her hair. To be fair we spent more time playing with her bath toys than bathing her, and I had the splashes to clean up to prove it afterwards.

While we were at my aunt's house we made plans for two of my cousins, my aunt and C to come visit in the summer for a few days. When I said I'd buy C a bucket and spade so she could play by the sea she whispered conspiratorially 'I've got a bikini!' Hahaha. She's such a tonic.

Back to blog things, this week you can expect to see me with purple eyebrows (linking up a colourful brow post with another fab blogger) some outfit posts and lots of other goodies.

Have a brilliant week!

VIVO from Tesco Enchanted eye palette

Hiya pickles!

I have a lovely bargain eye palette to show you today from VIVO, which is available from selected Tesco stores and online.

**As of August 2015 VIVO is out of business.**

This palette has 12 shades, comes in at 8.4 g and costs £3.99. There's a mixture of matte and shimmery shades and they're quite pigmented. I've got some VIVO single eye shadows in matte and shimmer finishes and have been very impressed with them.

The packaging on VIVO items is no fuss, black and sturdy. I say save by snapping up cheap palettes like this one and spend on some decent brushes. The sponge applicator inside is so crap - it's both rough and flimsy - it's fit for the bin.

Have you tried anything by VIVO before?

Thanks for reading.

Double leopard OOTD

Hi loves!

This was the outfit I wore on my birthday when we went for a long walk and explore along the beach.

I can see straight away that wide legged trousers do nothing for me. You can barely tell I have legs - it looks like I have a maxi skirt on. I should have added a belt too as my arms and waist are lost in one big camouflage of leopard print! Next time I would go differently about this outfit. This is why it's SO helpful to take outfit photos.

I wore:

Leopard tunic, Yours (2011)
Trousers, Very
Leopard shoes, Rocket Dog from New Look
Hair flower, Peacocks
Little Green Men necklace, Etsy seller (since closed.)
Lippie is the MUA Power Pout in Irreplaceable

The necklace is one of the little green men from Toy Story.

Thanks for reading.