VIVO from Tesco Unprotected eyeshadow palette

Hiya loves!

I have a little Bobby dazzler to show you from VIVO, which is available from their website.
**EDIT** as of August 2015 VIVO is out of business. 


This palette has 12 shades, comes in at 8.4 g and costs just £4. There's a mixture of matte and shimmery shades and they're very pigmented. I've got quite a few bits from VIVO now and I find it very good quality for the price. As ever with eyeshadow you'll get a better result if you use a primer first. My philosophy about make up is to save money on things like eyeshadow which you can get very cheaply, and spend money on good make up brushess, foundation and skin care.

The packaging on VIVO items is no fuss, black and sturdy. The applicator inside is absolute rubbish - chuck it in the bin. I don't know why any make up companies bother to include applicators any more - they're all crap!

Thanks for reading.

10 day challenge - 2 songs

Greetings earthlings!

Two songs? Two songs?! TWO SONGS? Help. Oh, goowan then! First two that pop into my head out of the thousands rattling round my head. Go!

As far as I'm concerned this is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. My mum and dad liked Simon and Garfunkel so I listened to them when I was a small child.

This is another oldie. It's really catchy and when it pops into my mind, I can listen to it over and over without being bored. My teenage friend Ruth's dad introduced me to Mike Oldfield, and lots of other music. Because things were so horrible at home I spent most of my time at Ruth's with her mum Sue and dad Paul. Sue made endless rounds of tea and toast and Paul played loads of great music and taped me lots of things. I have nothing but happy memories of the time I spent there and will be eternally grateful to Sue for being a surrogate mum to me.

If you asked me to pick two songs ten times over you'd get two different songs every time. I think in songs. I'm always singing!

Thanks for reading.

Pink leopard OOTD

Hello lovelies.

Sometimes it's good to dig through the wardrobe to find things I haven't worn in ages, or a combination of things I've never worn together before. Such was the case here and I love this outfit and will wear it again, I'm sure.

I picked up the cardigan on eBay. It's from Marks & Spencer originally.

I think pink and leopard print together are a winner, don't you?

Hair flower, via fat swap
Necklace, Extreme Largeness
Cardi, eBay
Dress, New Look
Leggings, Matalan
Shoes, Very

10 day challenge 3 films

Hello pickles!

Ah, this is going to be hard to choose, as I love the cinema.

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit.

I adore these films. 

2. Avatar.

As soon as I put my 3D glasses on and saw Pandora I was in love with the colours, the vibrancy of it.

3. Stand By Me.

I saw this for the first time when I was about 14 and it left a lasting impression on me.

What would make your top 3?

Thanks for reading!

Famous Leopard eyeshadow palette

Hi honeys!

**EDIT** Famous went out of business in 2014 I believe.

I love Famous Cosmetics. The packaging is glamorous without being tacky and the products are really good quality. I first became aware of Famous a couple of years ago when it was stocked in Superdrug. I used some of the testers and was blown away with the pigment and blendability of the shades.

This palette has 16 eyeshadows in earthy shades which are highly pigmented and blend very easily. If you're not a fan of shimmer shades perhaps this isn't the palette for you. My philosophy on life is you can' never have too much sparkle, so I love this palette.

There's a small mirror in the palette and a couple of the usual useless brushes which come in sets. There's a laminated sheet with the shade names on which goes over the eyeshadows to protect them from damage.

I remember years ago when cheap make up was pretty awful. I'm so glad in current times we can get good make up for a good price - MUA, Famous and many other brands. I believe in splashing out on certain things - foundation and skin care, for example - but we can get so many of the basics at a great price now.

What's your favourite bargain make up brand? Or are you a high end lover all the way?

Thanks for reading!

10 day challenge - 4 books

Hi pickles!

Today we're talking about books. In my life prior to Fibromyalgia I was a voracious reader, especially when I was single. In my younger days I spent a good deal of time in book shops buying books new and old. I always enjoyed escaping into a book. Since Fibromyalgia reading is difficult - my hands cramp up after about 30 seconds of holding a book so I have to constantly swap hands and after a very short time it's too painful to continue. I look forward to getting a Kindle with a case that doubles up as a rest so I can become a book worm once more.

I don't tend to have favourite books - I have favourite authors. I'm going to show a photo of a book from four different authors. If they're listed, I've loved at least a couple of their books and love their writing style.

I love Game of Thrones. I really need to carry on reading the books the series is based upon. I've been half way through the second one for about 2 years! I think I've bought the first 5 in the series.

I like Dan Brown's books. They're a bit of a guilty pleasure since they're hardly highbrow, but he weaves a good tale.

Likewise Jeffery Deaver. I haven't kept up with his books in the last 5 years or so, but in the past he always kept me turning pages until the wee small hours.

I haven't kept up with Kathy Reichs books either, but when I was reading I read several of her books.

I also like autobiographies and true crime books.

Are you much of a reader?

Thanks for reading....pardon the pun!

Maximus OOTD

Hiya pickles!

I have a maxi skirt from New Look to show you today. It's also available in navy, blue and sunset red, which looks like good ol' coral to me.

It's 100% viscose and has POCKETS! Hallelujah for pockets.

The skirt is really long. I'm 5 foot 5 and a half (never forget the half!) and pulled up under my boobaloos it's still floor grazing. It's very summery and boho. It's semi elasticated and is shirred slightly at the front. It's really lightweight and floaty.

The photo on the left below reminds me of Queen Victoria. I'm not sure if that's a good comparison to my arse end or not! ;) You can see how long it is at the back. More hoiking up required.

Skirt, New Look
Top, Very (past season)
Scarf used as belt, H&M
Shoes, Very
Necklace, Black Heart Creatives
Headband, fat swap

Are you a fan of maxi skirts? The only one I had before was a really heavy jersey which isn't summery at all.

Thanks for peeking!

10 day challenge - 5 foods

Hi lovelies!

Hi, today we're talking about food.

Do I talk about the food I love but rarely eat, or the boring stuff I eat day to day? Decisions....sod it, let's talk about the yum stuff first and then some not so fun stuff.

1. Indian.

I have an Indian takeaway once a year if that, but when I do I enjoy it so much. I have the works - chicken korma, peshwari nan, pilau rice, onion bhajis, saag aloo and mint sauce. I have half for tea and the other half cold the next day. Heaven.

2. Pizza

I love a good Meat Feast pizza from Pizza Hut but as it's quite expensive (as pizzas go) it's a very rare treat.

3. Tomatoes. I bloody love them, and I always have. I eat them like candy. Salad tomatoes, plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes. It's a rare day when I don't eat tomatoes.

4. Chicken. I eat chicken about 4 days a week. I don't like red meat so I either have chicken, fish or veggie stuff for tea....but most often chicken.

5. Cheese. I have phases where I don't eat cheese for months but I'm loving it again at the moment. My favourite brand is McLelland Seriously Strong. It's so good!

What's on your must-eat list?

Thanks for reading.

We are family


On Friday we have 4 members of my family coming to stay for the weekend - my aunt, uncle, cousin and dad. I've spent the last couple of days cleaning house, tidying and making preparations. The apple of my eye little C is coming down from Saturday.

This reprobate is my dad.

This is my cousin with C.

Trying to keep a large 2 bedroom flat clean and tidy with Fibromyalgia and CFS with no input whatsoever from the Mr isn't easy, and because I'm a proud woman I go into meltdown every time we have visitors. In my past I did numerous cleaning jobs so I like to keep a very high standard of cleanliness, but it doesn't always happen these days. I've been talking with my CBT counsellor about how my expectations upon myself are much higher than what other people expect of me, and it's something I'm working on.

Because I've got little free time at the moment (and will have even less time free once the family arrives) there will be slightly less blog posts going up for the next few days.

Happy Hump Day! I hope your week is going great.

Thanks for reading!

Come on brown OOTD & hair cut

Hello lovelies!

I'm here with an outfit post today which involves three different patterns but similar shades of brown. My shoes, dress and cardi are all coordinating. The outfit title 'Come on brown' is a play on words from The Price Is Right, where the host Leslie Crowther used to yell 'Come on down!'

Dress, Simply Be (past season)
Belt, ASOS Curve
Cardi, New Look via fat swap
Leggings, Matalan
Shoes, Asda

Thanks for reading!

10 day malarky - 6 places

Hello you!

1. New York. This is on everyone's list, isn't it? Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty, Flatiron building, Chrysler building, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Central Park.....the list of places I'd love to see are almost without end.

2. Cornwall. It feels like home. The scenery, the proximity to water wherever you are...I love it and usually cry when I leave Cornwall for home. I've been many times and never get tired of it.

3. Kent. It's where I was born and although I've been away for more than half my lifetime, as long as one of my family members still draws breath there I will always go back. All of my family live there.

4. Hastings. It's my adopted home town and it feels a lot more like home than Kent ever did. You don't have to go very far at all to find stunning scenery - there are glorious little pockets of character virtually everywhere you turn. We're by the sea but if you go for a 10 minute drive you're in the countryside. There's lots to do here and it's a very arty place so there's quite a relaxed, Bohemian feel to it. Of course, like any place it has its drawbacks - unemployment is high, as is drug addiction. There are little in the way of jobs in the area, but it's a lovely place to live in, even if people have to commute to find good work.

5. Cyprus. We had a gorgeous holiday in Cyprus way back in 2007. This was the last 'big' holiday we had as that was a point when we were both working full time and could afford good holidays. We hired a villa for a week and it was glorious. James and I went with my brother. Here I am in the pool, which I spent about 4 hours a day in. I would go back tomorrow if I could.

6. Greece. I had my first foreign holiday ever in Corfu. It was the only time I've spent 2 weeks abroad. I went with my brother's girlfriend's mum. It sounds a bit odd but we were working together and both needed a holiday so it made sense. I still remember how much it cost - 2 weeks self catering for £169!

We stayed in Dassia but travelled the length and breadth of the island in those two weeks and walked up to 10 miles a day. We ate and drank like queens and I came back with super toned legs from swimming and walking so much. Ah, happy days! I'd love to go back. I like the relaxed island attitude.

What would be on your list? (If you haven't already done this post.)

Thanks for reading!

Life outtakes

Hiya lovelies!

Bloggers are notorious for taking a zillion photos of errr...everything. Some of these don't really fit in with blog posts, so they sit around all unloved in our hard drives. Here are a few previously unloved photos to show you.

This lovely handmade notebook was bought for us as an anniversary present by my cousin Sara. She bought it at Camden market in London. It's gorgeous! It has plain paper pages but it's too good to use.

A lovely coffee made in my Dolce Gusto machine.

A couple of lovely views from home.

A birdcage we bought for the wedding last year, which now lives in our sun room.

What do you do with 'leftover' photos? Do you print your photos or are they held prisoner in your hard drive? I'll let you into a little secret - although we have hard copies of our wedding photos we haven't even bought a photo album to put them in yet. Oops.

Thanks for peeking!

10 day thing - 7 wants

Hiya sausages!

Onwards with this challenge.

7 wants.

  1. For my health not to get worse and for the strength to fight the slide into even worse mobility if at all possible.
  2. To live a long and happy life with my husband so we grow old and eccentric together.
  3. For nothing horrible to happen to anyone in my life and the strength to deal with it if it does.
  4. For the arseholes at the DWP and in the Government to stop the witch hunt against the sick and jobless. Stop the deaths, stop the suicides, stop putting the wealth of the already heinously wealthy first.
  5. For the strength to stop being such a spendaholic. I know I'm putting pressure on my husband who is a good man. I spend when I'm sad. I spend when I'm lonely. I spend when I think about our lost babies. I'm spending away our mortgage fund. This makes me feel like a total bitch. I need help.
  6. To be able to decide if I can live without being a parent, and if the answer is no, the strength to find out what I'm going to do with the rest of my life instead. I married a man thinking we both wanted kids. He doesn't. It's complicated because of my 2 x ectopic pregnancy history and my totally fucked up reproductive system (ovarian cysts, only one fallopian tube, thickening of the womb lining) because I may never have been able to conceive again, but now I'll never know. I guess hard facts are easier to deal with than a lifetime of what ifs.
  7. Something shallow - how about a small Lotto win? That'd be grand. 

How about you? What would be at the top of your want list right now?

Thanks for reading.

OOTD/Review - Simply Be Blogger Takeover - Em's dress

Hi again lovelies!

My outfit post and review of Lauren's Simply Be blogger takeover dress is here.

Simply Be got together with three bloggers Laura, Em and Lauren and gave them free rein to design a dress each.

Now I'm going to show you Em's dress. Click on photos for larger images.

Dress, Simply Be
Leggings, Very
Shoes, Very
Fascinator, Peacocks (past season)


Em's peacock print dress is a heavyweight polyester/elastane mix which is cut and ruched to draw attention to a curvy body. It's a work of genius. It draws attention to my bust, belly and bum yet flatters them all amazingly - more so than you can see here. It really has to be seen on to be believed. When I put this dress on I couldn't stop staring at myself in the mirror. It makes my bum look fantastic! This style of dress is life-changing for me. There is ruching at the lower back to emphasise your bottom, and also across the stomach area to the side seams to accentuate the hips. It's the kind of dress which doesn't hide your figure - it accentuates it and draws the eye to all the right places. It's slightly longer than Lauren's dress (from my previous post) but only by a whisker. Again it has just above elbow length sleeves and a flattering ruched neckline. I'd have liked to see it be a little lower to show off some of my cleavage, but perhaps that's not such a good idea when the dress already makes such a feature of the rest of my body! A girl has to leave something to the imagination. This dress is so versatile - in summer I will wear it as I do today with leggings and bare arms. In winter I can imagine setting off its jewel colours with some bright 80 denier tights, throwing a biker jacket on and donning ankle boots.

Simply Be - please make this dress over and over in numerous prints and colours. It's a style I would love to come back to over and over again.

I would like to say I also loved Laura's dress but as I don't go to very many posh occasions I would get very little wear out of it. I hope there are plenty of glam ladies out there snapping it up.

What do you think of this dress?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. This is not in any way a sponsored or collaborative post.

OOTD/Review - Simply Be Blogger Takeover - Lauren's dress


When great strides are made in plus size fashion, it's always good to be able to support that. When clothes are cute, it's a lot easier to make the decision to buy.

Simply Be got together with three bloggers Laura, Em and Lauren Pocket Rocket and gave them free rein to design a dress each.

I thought long and hard about buying two of the dresses. The reason you don't see a lot of Simply Be on this blog (at least not a lot of new items) isn't because I'm not a fan. By God, they're killing it! Have you seen their A/W previews? Ye gads, I need to rob a bank! It's because I have an account and giving a shopaholic an account with a £1500 limit is very dangerous! I'm trying to pay down my balance, which is not easy when lovely things like this dress appear on the site! :)

Look at me with my eyes closed in the shot below, swinging my dress like a child! That's a happy shot right there. :) In the shot on the left (below) you can see the dress is ever so slightly longer at the back. HALLELUJAH! A dress made to accommodate my bubble butt, which eats fabric up by the half yard. Thank you!

 It wouldn't be my blog if I didn't pull some faces for you!

Dress, Simply Be
Leggings, Very
Shoes, Very
Necklace, Extreme Largeness
Hair flower, gift


The dress is a heavy polyester/elastane fabric which hangs well and skims the figure. The just above elbow length sleeves and sweetheart neckline with ruching detail are sweet, feminine touches which would make the dress suitable for the most modest of plus size ladies especially those conscious about their upper arms. I'm very pleased to have a summer dress I don't feel the need to wear a cardigan or shrug with. The print is beautiful (click to enlarge the photos) - yellow ice cream cones on hot pink. The colour alone would be enough to make me skip with joy but the addition of the ice cream cones makes this dress summer personified. I'm 5ft 5 and a half and as you can see the dress comes to a few inches above the knee on me - certainly long enough to make it perfectly acceptable to wear bare legged, if you wish. In short, it's a girly but edgy frock you can wear all summer long. Leave it loose as I have or belt it, dress it up with candy coloured accessories or dress it down with a denim jacket, the choice is yours.

I'm very glad I bought this dress. (I'm going on a no-buy after this!)

Come back at 6pm to see the other dress reviewed.

What do you think of this dress? Which of the three dresses do you like best?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. This is not in any way a sponsored or collaborative post.

Quick Simply Be Blogger Takeover dresses preview


On Friday I have a couple of lovely outfit posts coming up, but first a preview of them both!

These two dresses are from the Simply Be blogger takeover, where 3 bloggers got to design a dress from scratch. I bought Lauren's and Em's dresses, but which one is my favourite?!

Come back tomorrow to find out and for LOTS more photos.

Thanks for reading.

Grurple OOTD and about loving yourself

Hiya pickles!

I have a casual outfit for you today, but first colour maths.  Grey+purple=grurple.

I wore this outfit today when I nipped out for a quick walk. Oops, you can see the pattern on my bra through the dress.

Here's my face today. I'm happier than I look!

Cardigan, Yours (past season)
Dress, Tesco via fat swap
Leggings, Matalan
Shoes, Asda
Necklace, Wilde at heart
Lipstick, w7 matte lip colour in nude

The more I look at my VBO the less I mind it. I'm starting to think it looks quite cute. And this my friends is the importance of taking photos of your body whatever you look like, but especially if your body is non-normative. We need to normalise a whole spectrum of bodies which aren't usually represented - fat bodies, bodies of all colours, all genders, trans* folk, disabled bodies, you get my drift.

Time and time again I remind myself these perfect bodies we see in the media are one person in thousands, tens of thousands even, yet we beat ourselves up for being ordinary.

Do me a favour - take a photo of yourself today if you can. Have a good look at it, but not with a critical eye. What do you like? Those legs which carry you places (if you're able bodied) - does their shape or size affect how many adventures they can carry you on? Do your bingo wings (I hate that term!) actually make for the best cuddles in the world because your arms are so soft and pillowy? Have you got great hair or a smile that could make a statue wink? Does your face reflect the kindness within you? Do you have perfect teeth, a great arse, a button nose, the cutest freckles, or the softest most stroke-able double chins in the land? Loving yourself is as simple as finding one thing a day you love about yourself, and then looking for more. Loving yourself doesn't mean you've 'given up', and it doesn't mean you can't act to change things about yourself if you're not happy (and frankly doing it from a place of love is a lot better than doing it because of any other reason.)

All it means is you're loving yourself now, today, not in 10 or 50 pounds or in 3 dress sizes away or when Brad Pitt declares undying love for you.

PLEASE stop hating yourself (if you do.) Imagine what we could all do if we stopped hating ourselves. Where would that extra energy go? What good would we be able to do with it? What power would we recognise within ourselves? What a gift it would be!

Think about it. Happiness doesn't lie in a thigh gap you can drive a truck down or cheekbones you can cut yourself on (unless of course that's how you were born!) it lies in self awareness, self acceptance and self love.

Know who you are, accept who you are and love who you are.

I love myself. There's only one me. When I focus on the love I give and receive and the joy it brings me there are SO many things more important than the size of my arse.

So take that photo, have a good long look, and tell me what you love about yourself today. If you can't find anything you love about yourself, send the photo to me and I'll tell you what I think is amazing about you. Upload it here in the comments or email me it at Seriously. Do it.

As well as accepting yourself, you have to surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are (and who accept themselves too.) Foster healthy relationships with people who aren't shallow and you'll soon feel better about yourself. I've always been a 'Take me as I am or feck off' kind of person so that kinda tends to bat away shit heads right from the start. Loving yourself today might be as simple as pulling someone up on their body-shaming bullshit and letting them know the expectation is for you to be treated better in future. Sometimes we can't avoid toxic people - they may be colleagues or family members - but we can absolutely advocate for ourselves and let them know their crap is unnecessary and unwanted and we won't stand for it any longer. Sometimes respect has to be demanded. We can absolutely refuse to be anything other than civil to people who aren't nice to us - we don't owe anyone our pleasantness. It is not our job to play nice with bigots, y'all. We don't owe 'em shit.

Thanks for reading, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Outside My Comfort Zone 9 - tv or movie character

Hello lovelies!

It's out of my comfort zone time again!

I chose the theme this time.

I love dressing up, so I want to suggest we do a challenge 'inspired by a movie/cartoon/tv character' as that's really open to interpretation and should be a lot of fun.

I think seeing everyone's creativity coming out and hearing a little explanation WHY each person picked the character they did will be a great way to learn more about each other and we might be able to put across a side of us no one normally sees.

I chose Peg Bundy from Married With Children. I love her!

She's a domestic slut who'd rather sit around filing her nails than do anything else and she gives her poor hubby a lot of stick. She's one of my fashion icons so of course I had to be fat Peg Bundy! Read more about her here.

Be prepared for my chunky self in all my 80s glory, overdone 80s make up and me channelling Peg's attitude. Hopefully these photos will make you laugh!

Swimming cossie, Bon Prix
Wet look leggings, Miss Difusa
Belt, Simply Be
Shoes, Simply Be
Sweatband, eBay
Earrings, Laura's Jewellery
Lippie, W7 matte red lip colour

Who would YOU dress up as?

10 day challenge day 8 - 8 fears


Today's post is about fears. I'm going to throw some of my longest standing fears out there, but rest assured I don't think about these things too often. I don't want this to be a sad post.

  1. Anything happening to James. I dread losing this lovely man who makes me laugh every single day and accepts me faults and all, and I can't bear to think of me dying first and leaving him alone either.
  2. Anything happening to my family. I know my parents are most likely to die before me, but that doesn't mean I'm at peace with it. I want them to die at the age of 110, peacefully in their sleep. There comes the time for everyone when they have no older relatives to rely on for help or advice, and frankly that scares the piss out of me! I don't want to see my brother die either. 
  3. Anything happening to my friends, be they friends I've not yet met, friends I haven't seen in ages, even people I may no longer get on with, or people I see all the time. Horrible things do happen to good people and I can't bear to think of anyone I care about going through a horrible time.
  4. Being buried alive. Yes, I'm weird! When I was a kid I saw a Hitchcock or Hammer thriller where a man was buried alive. The person who was supposed to rescue him from the coffin (I think it was a prison escape) turned out to be the body underneath him in the coffin. Just thinking about it makes my breath catch!
  5. Creepy crawlies which move fast. I don't mind slow-moving critters, but anything which flies at my face or scurries quickly makes me jump, and when I jump I get the heart palpitations from hell. So that means huge moths, bees, wasps and spiders scare me. I don't mind the little spiders you sometimes get in the house who stay in one corner minding their own business. I generally name them and talk to them, but those monsters who break the land speed record dashing across the living room scare the crap out of me.
  6. The dark - I'm not the greatest fan of being outside on my own after dark, being indoors alone when it's dark and coming home to an empty house when it's dark. I think one of the reasons I like living in a flat is because I feel more secure than I would in a house, especially so on the upper levels as you're less likely to get burgled or intruded upon. I know some of my fear of being indoors alone comes as a result of the childhood experiences I had with my mum's previous partner, the alcoholic git I posted about previously. Because I came home late at night to find him smashing the house up in a drunken rage (twice) I carry that fear of something scary happening again. I think the mind plays tricks on us in the dark.
  7. I fear what'll happen to me when the Government stop my ESA around February next year. My illnesses get progressively worse with each passing year, yet like thousands of other people too ill to work, I'm being thrown to the wolves by a Government who are crushing the sick and disabled to enable them to pander to the filthy rich. Will I go back to work in order to bring in money and face guaranteed physical and mental ruin? Or will there be even more pressure on my poor husband to bring home the bacon? It's a really scary time and I need to try to find a way to make money without adding to the strain my body is already under. Ideas on a postcard please!
  8. I also fear how my health is going to go in the next 10 years or so. I see the way things have gone since 2007 when I became ill, despite eating so much more healthily, reducing stress and doing gentle exercise when I'm able. I notice things I did a year ago becoming more and more problematic for me now, and it scares me rigid. I don't want to end up in a wheelchair. I don't want to dependant on anyone else for my care. 

As I'm learning from the CBT I'm having, our fears are often WAY bigger than any possible reality. I'm learning how to examine my thoughts and recognise when I'm stuck in a vicious circle of worry. Something my counsellor said today resonated with me about bad thoughts - what is the PROBABILITY of them actually happening? 50%? 10%? 1%? So small it'll be a cold day in hell before it happens? ;) I think rationalising fears is useful, and it'll be something I'll be trying to master so I can live a fuller and happier life. Something else I've realised after just 2 sessions of CBT is sometimes in life, in times of depression, anxiety or stress we tend to focus on the things that go wrong. I want to focus more on the things that go well. I'm thankful for the NHS so I can have this treatment free of charge. I think it's going to be really useful alongside the meds I'm on, which are making a great difference.

If you've got time, would you care to tell me one thing you're scared of and one thing you're thankful for? 

Thanks for reading!

A few things/update


On Friday it was the first anniversary of my friend Helen's passing away. She was only 39.

Her long time partner got special permission from the people behind the Download festival to scatter Helen's ashes with some friends before the main arena opened on Friday. I knew this would be at 10am so I got up, had the same Iron Maiden beer everyone else would be drinking to toast Helen with and got out my Bagpuss bag. The significance of the Bagpuss bag is that Helen and I both had one and we took it to every gig and festival we went to together. I spent an hour reminiscing to myself, talking to Helen and having a bit of a cry, then went about my day afterwards. I'm lucky that I can 'move on', albeit with a Helen shaped hole missing from my life, but her poor partner is struggling to make his way through life without her.


This weekend hubby and I went to London to stay with his parents and to meet our little niece, who is now 2 months old. I was slightly apprehensive about meeting her and how it would go, with this big ol 2 x ectopic pregnancy/dying to be a mum thing hanging awkwardly over my head. P (sister in law) put me straight at ease. Her and M (brother in law) came in, got their shoes off, got baby E out of the car seat and promptly handed her over so I could feed her. Of course, it was love at first sight. She's still so tiny (she was a month premature but would've been a low weight baby even if she went full term) and she's not quite 9lbs yet and so cute! Her little nails are only about 2mm wide. She's a brilliant baby. She hardly ever cries - only when she's got a poopy nappy, is hungry or wants to be held, and as soon as her needs are met she's happy again straight away. She hates being laid down and likes being held sitting up facing you so she can see you. She's smiling already and tracking things with her eyes. Like all babies she likes being bounced on your knee and she's so chilled. I think it's because M and P are so relaxed. Some people are very protective over their offspring and guard them jealously like you're going to drop the infant on its head on top of an anvil or something. M and P are like 'Right, whose turn is it for a cuddle now?!' and pass E over for some fussing. E fell asleep on my chest for a while and it was so sweet. Is there anything lovelier than watching a contented baby sleep? We didn't take any photos of her as I don't want to be up in her grill (get me!) with a camera when I could be having cuddle time. Plus her daddy takes so many photos of her and I'd prefer them to have the control over who gets to see her.

We bought E a couple of little gifts for her to grow into - 2 leggings and a pretty broderie anglaise dress.

You can't see it in the photo, but the leggings have got cute little ruffles on the bottom. I want ruffles on the bottoms of my leggings! :)

It's amazing how a baby can unite a family, even if you're already close. We all got on so well on Saturday, which is a good thing as we're all going on holiday soon - me and James, Mike, Pam, E and James's parents. We're going for a 5 days break to Dorset. Each couple has our own caravan but we'll meet up to do things each day. Hopefully the weather will be nice!


Because we'd had a period of sunny weather followed by crappy weather I noticed how the grey days affect me. I crave white carbs so badly when the days are grey and rainy and I'm not like that on sunny days. I ate a lot of white bread last week as a consequence and now my IBS is awful. I look and feel heavily pregnant and feel really sluggish. It's just reaffirmed what I already knew - white carbs and I don't get on at all. I pushed my luck and now I'm paying the price. I'm going to keep an eye on things and do plenty of yoga in the run up to the holiday as I want to be able to keep up with everyone else. No one apart from James knows how badly my health affects me these days and if I can, I want it to remain that way. Of course it might all come back to bite me on the arse, but if I can scrape through the 5 days without the whole thing having to be embarrassingly based around my health demands that'll be just grand. I don't want to spoil anyone's fun and I certainly don't want to find myself under the microscope.


I hope you had a great weekend. What did you get up to?

Have a great week!


Hi loves!

I've been wanting a peplum top for a while and was lucky enough to find one at the fat swap last weekend. I paired it with my checkerboard skirt from ASOS Curve.

Apologies if you've seen this already. It was supposed to schedule to post yesterday but it posted Friday night instead. I blame user error! :) I quickly reverted it to a draft but some of you may have seen this post anyway.

Click on photos to enlarge.

I got junk in the trunk!

Peplum top - New Look via swap
Skirt - ASOS Curve
Belt - New Look (from another dress)
Shoes - Simply Be (past season)
Necklace - Extreme Largeness
Flower ring - New Look
Haematite bracelet, gift

This perhaps isn't the best skirt to wear a short peplum top with, but I rock it anyway. The search endures for a longer length peplum which skims over my tum. Any ideas, fashion mavens? If so, leave me a comment!

Do you like peplum tops? Do you care if your VBO (visible belly outline) is on display?

Thanks for reading!

My nail polish collection - greens, corals & shatters

Hiya loves!

This brings me to the last in this series of posts about my nail polish collection...although a few more have been gifted to me since I started this. I fear this might be a never ending task, so maybe I'll revisit it next year...or maybe I'll have a blog sale and sell some off!

Pinks are here.
Silver/grey, grurple here.
Purples and lilacs here.
Blue and teal here
Reds here.
Blacks, browns & golds here.
Whites, nudes & yellows here.

OPI Shatter The Scales, OPI Super Bass, OPI Gold shatter, MUA Shattered Ice, MUA Quiver, MUA Jailbreak,  MUA Shiver, MUA Broken Arrow.

MUA Pistachio Ice Cream, elf Mint Cream, MUA Shade 5, Sally Hansen Lickety Split Lime.

MUA Shade 13, Models Own Golden Green, W7 Metallic Saturn, Models Own Dancing Queen, Barry M 299 Racing Green.

elf Nude, Barry M 318 Peach Melba, Ruby & Millie Nude (this is about 10 years old!), Front Cover Cupric.

VIVO Funfair, Nails Inc Copacobana, MUA Shade 4, Accessorize Orange Flash.

Thanks for reading/looking.

Lilt OOTD/H&M discount code

Hiya pickles!

I have a totally tropical outfit post for you today. I saw this dress on H&M and fell in love with it. It was only £9.99 and is 100% cotton.

Click on photos for larger images.

The dress reminds me a bit of a can of Lilt, hence the title. Totally tropical taste!

I've just gone to look for the dress on the H&M website but it's not there. All the plus stuff seems to sell out online so quickly. If you like it you could always check eBay and in store?

Hubby came home from work while the self timer was on so I grabbed him for a quick shot.

Outfit details:
Dress, H&M
Belt, ASOS Curve
Leggings, ASOS Curve
Shoes, Very
Necklace, New Look
Red bracelet, via swap
Mint bracelet, H&M
Flower ring, Primark
Lipstick, W7 matte lippie

Also - a discount code for H&M. I've used it twice online in the last couple of months, the last time which was a couple of weeks ago. The code is 1304 and it takes £5 off your balance. I think you have to spend about £10 after the £5 off for it to work. Let me know if it works for you.

What do you think about my 'totally tropical' dress?

Thanks for reading!

10 day challenge - 9 loves

Hiya loves!

9 loves...only 9? I love so much of everything. Let's prioritise then!

1. My husband. He puts up with my spending, makes good tea, compliments me almost daily and makes me laugh all the time with his silly ways. Plus he has a really cute bum! :)
2. My family. They're all as mad as a box of frogs, but I share their DNA so I can't say anything bad about them, can I? ;)
3. My friends near and far. The ones who live in my puter, the ones who live in my heart, the ones who've left us.
4. Make up, shoes, make up, bags, make up, clothes, make up. Did I mention make up?
5. SUNSHINE! It's like my oxygen. I hate grey days.
6. Cute animals and cute kids.
7. Myself. Look, I hope to live for at least 70 years and I'm just over half way through (scary thought, fuck!) so I may as well appreciate myself or else it's going to be hell. I love myself. Things could be better, things could be worse. Why stress?! Just enjoy the journey.
8. Sea views, sunsets, and all the beauty of nature there is to look at.
9. Blogging. I feel if I didn't have this release I'd be stark raving bonkers.

How about you? Care to share 9 things you love? If you can't think of 9, give me your top 3!

What do you think of my new header, by the way?

Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend! (Ssh! P.S. Come back at 6 for an outfit post.)

NOTD - Barry M sequin nail effects

Hello lovelies!

When I heard Barry M were doing some new sequin nail polishes I was very excited and bought 2 of the 3 available at the moment - black and pink. The black one has subtle gold sequins in it and the pink one has multi coloured sequins. There's also a white one available.

 Click on photos for larger images.

The base colour I used is Papaya, from the Gelly polish range, which is more coral than these photos show.

On my forefinger I used OPI's matte top coat. On my middle finger I used the pink sequin effect polish and on my ring finger I used the black one.

The pink based sequin polish is quite watery, at least in comparison to the black one, which is crammed with sequins and lays down in a quite thick layer. With the pink one you have to artfully arrange the sequins to cover the nail as it doesn't give as much coverage. The black one is opaque on the nail, so much so you don't need another colour underneath. I painted that nail with Papaya as I assumed the black polish would be thin and watery. Wrrrrrong!

I feel that the black polish is a bit too thick and the pink one a bit too watery. It's not very often I dislike something from Barry M - they're one of my favourite make up brands by far - but on this occasion I'm not wowed. At £3.99 each (and often on 3 for 2 offer in Boots and Superdrug) at least they're the kind of thing you can experiment with at little cost. Maybe I'll like them a little more on my second attempt. I certainly prefer the black one over the pink one anyway, who has time to faff around pushing tiny bits of sequins around their nails?!

The next offering to catch my eye from Barry M are the confetti nail effects, which to my eye are Barry M's version of Nails Inc's feather nail polishes. It's basically nail polish rammed full of bar glitter. How on earth they came to call it feathers is anyone's guess, but I'd like some of what they're smoking! ;)

Have you tried any of Barry M's new polishes? I must say they're bringing so much new stuff out at the moment it's dizzying. Bravo, Bazza!

Here's a conundrum for you - why is it as soon as I do my nails I either find myself absolutely busting for a pee or with terribly itchy ears I can't scratch?! :) 

Thanks for peeking!