30 day challenge day 8

Hiya loves!


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Alive, hopefully, and with a good quality of life, but other than that who knows?

One thing chronic illness teaches you is to live in the moment, which is what I try to do every day. Sometimes I feel human when I wake up, and sometimes I don't, so that dictates my life. Being present is good though. I try to go into every day with no expectations, just let go. Good things happen when you do. I believe in that.

Thanks for reading.


Best matte red lip colour ever? Lime Crime Velvetines

Hello all!

I may have found THE best red lip colour ever, but I feel a bit guilty about it.

For years there has been a lot of drama in the beauty world about Lime Crime. I don't need to mention why here because there are lots of posts on Google about it so I'll leave it there. That said, I'd read enough evidence over the years from sources I trust for me to swear off them fo' lyfe. Until I saw swatches of this lip colour, and revealed myself to be a giant hypocrite.

They looked so good. Damn.

I'm not usually one to jump aboard a bandwagon. If the bloggersphere is raving on about something it makes me want to head in the opposite direction, even if things look OMG-ERMERZIN. Me no sheepie. However, after thinking about this product long and hard, I decided to buy it, and I don't regret it, even though it makes me feel a little dirty.



Cue scowly faced full-face shot for reference.


I bought this from Love Makeup at the reduced price of £10.50 (now £11.50.) You get 3g in a frosted glass container with a metal lid.

It's very wet like a lipgloss when you first apply it, which dries completely to a matte finish in about a minute.

While it dries I find myself pouting like a porn star between appendages as it feels a little bit sticky in the corners of my mouth (stop laughing!) Once it has dried it's totally matte and I can't feel I'm wearing it at all. Although it LOOKS like my lips are dried out, that's just the product settling into my fine lines. My lips don't feel dry during or after wear at all. I've been wearing this almost every day for a week and my lips don't feel any drier than normal, and I'm not an obsessive lip balm user, so my lips aren't exactly plump and juicy to start with. Even IF it did make my lips dry, I'd be quite happy to supplement them with some lip balm as this is a red which turns heads. It gives me a mouth made for sin. ;)

Wear time for me varies on different parts of my lips. The colour on the outer parts of my lips lasts all day long, but the inner parts do need a touch up after I've eaten or had a drink, and if I bite into something and my lips graze my hands, the colour does transfer from the centre part. Like when nomming on burgers, for instance.

Long story short, it's a great red which wears long and will make people stare at you in a way which will make you feel slightly violated. Scowl at them in a fierce manner and move on so you can spread your fabulous all over town. A major bonus and selling point for me is this is a cruelty free product. Yass, no bunnies hurt to aid my sass.

Despite my feelings about Lime Crime, I've considered buying a back up of this as I can't imagine life my lips without it now.

Have you ever thrown out your standards for a product you just couldn't resist? If so, how do you deal with the guilt?! Haaaalp.

I deal with it by looking in the mirror and pouting at myself. It's hard to feel guilty when you look fabulous.

Thanks for reading.

EDIT 2015: Lime Crime's recent scandal where they didn't pay for a security setting on their site leading to loads of people having their financial details stolen means I'm off Lime Crime for good. No more new purchases!

Wigglin' gingham

Hiya pickles!

It's been a while since my last outfit post so here I am with a vintage inspired get-up. I fell into a charity shop on Saturday (as you do) and came out with 4 lovely items. This top was £4.25 and looks brand new. 


Cue unexpected stern face. Who stole my sunshine?! Ah never mind, it's back. Smile off, smile on!


Top, charity shop (originally from Simply Be)
Belt, ASOS Curve
Skirt, ASOS Curve
Shoes, Simply Be (old)
Hair flower, New Look
Necklace and earrings, Extreme Largeness
Big butt, all my own

Do you ever rock a vintage-inspired look? 

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Things I am enjoying right now

Hello earthlings!

Things I am liking/loving.

RAY DONOVAN

Ray Donovan goes out on Saturday nights on Sky Atlantic and it's chuffing great. I find myself fancying the arse off of Liev Schreiber, which is new to me as previously I thought he looked like an alien, but he's a bit of a headcase in the show and I can't help but like complex men.

The show is violent and unpredictable and has a great cast. Well worth a watch. The first episode was on Saturday just gone. I recommend having a wee peek if you have a gap in your viewing schedule. It's on again tonight, people!

SUMMER*

I am currently loving the unseasonably hot weather. There is nothing I like as much as a sweaty bum crack and a musty underboob odour. Being cool and dry is for wimps. Only being wet with sweat and attracting small flies is desirable these days, dontcha know? I can't wait for more days out and about where it feels like I've gone for a jog in a bin bag.

MARTIN BASHIR

Look, he totally stiffed Michael Jackson when he interviewed him all those years ago but he has redeemed himself in my eyes. Watch:



MY FAN

Source - Bionaire

This behemoth is about 2 feet wide. It's like a jet engine. My favourite thing is bending over it and drying myself after a wash. So much so that the other day I was bent over it like a downhill skier (as you do) in the nude, air drying my lady places. It was joyous, so much so I made a Monica Seles-like grunt of appreciation, at which point I noticed my neighbour, (who was in the garden below on a ladder trimming his large bush) incline his head slightly in my direction. Said neighbour was in my line of sight, which meant it's entirely possible he saw me and my falula squatted over the fan. Happy days. All I could do was hunker down closer to the fan and laugh.

NATURAL HAIR CARE

Since I've been a sick person I've really started to consider the chemicals I put into and onto my body. I want to try out these natural hair care recipes.

WORDS ABOUT NOT COMPLIMENTING WOMEN ON WEIGHTLOSS

This makes sense to me.

IF I had lost weight and someone commented on it, wouldn't it be the coolest thing ever not to gush about how 'gross' I was before (as seems to be the 1st commandment of dieting) but to say 'I rocked before, and I rock now, but thanks for noticing my body has changed in size!' It might be food for thought anyway for the commenter, pardon the pun.

THIS FABULOUS BROW TUTORIAL

I've been obsessed with my eyebrows from a young age and have never yet mastered my brows. They say your eyebrows should be sisters and not twins, but like I said about this subject on Twitter some weeks ago, one of mine is definitely adopted!! One is higher and rounder than the other and one is thicker. I go between spending ages poring over a mirror or studiously avoiding one, depending on how my brows are going. Don't even start me on how often I have to wax away my bastard monobrow. This tutorial on how to fill your eyebrows in is magnificent.

*OK, I was joking about summer. Actually I am enjoying the ability to dry my washing in my sun room in about 2 hours flat. I love the sunshine and am enjoying turning a tiny bit browner, even though I studiously avoid the outside, you know, because there are people out there an' all.

Tell me what you're enjoying! Is there anything more glorious than airing your fadge out over a fan?! What other delights help you stay cool?

Thanks for reading.

LRD (Little Red Dress)

Hiya pickles!

As many of you will know I won a competition from New Look at Christmastime to win a £12 voucher every month of the year. This month I put my voucher towards another twin pack of skater dresses in red and black. The other one from this twin pack is black and I already have a black one from a black/pink 2 pack so I'm going to tie bleach t'other one.



The dresses are really stretchy jersey and feel really comfortable. The only drawback they do have (other than being quite thin, but that's lovely at the moment with the hot weather!) is they aren't fitted enough at the sides of the bust so they're gappy around the armpits. If you have bigger boobs than me this might not be a problem. I wear cardis with most things so it doesn't show. I might put a couple of stitches in them to gather them into spare me the indignity of having baggy armpits.

I love red, and don't know why I don't have more of it in my wardrobe so I'm happy to have a red dress.

Hair flower, New Look
Dress, from pack of 2 New Look £17.99
Cardi, Primark (old)
Cropped leggings, Very
Shoes, Asda (old)

Thanks for reading!

30 day challenge day 7

Howdy!


What was the biggest realisation you have had?

Support is everything. If you haven't got it, it's very bleak indeed. Thinking back to times past can be an incredibly painful thing to do, such as this occasion.

When you're ill, you don't understand what's happening to you, but somehow you have to dig deep within yourself to find the words to describe this alien thing happening to you to your spouse/partner, family, friends and most importantly of all if you're to get any help, your doctor. It's the worst possible time for you to have to advocate for yourself, but you have to, even though it's not going to be easy. It can be exhausting.

I lived with my partner (now hubby, of course) not 'getting' it for a long time. He is the kind of person who doesn't believe anything unless he sees it with his own eyes, and even then he tries to rationalise things. It might be because he's in IT and he has to see a problem to fix it, but me telling him things were really bad didn't work. It might be because he has a scientific mind, or because he's an annoying eternal optimist or even that he was in denial, but even him seeing things were really bad didn't work so well either. I remember the days before we had the car and having to lug the shopping home from the supermarket on foot. Carrying home heavy bags made me really suffer. We lived up a huge hill at the time which was accessed from the local supermarket by about 50 very steep steps. At the top of the steps we had to carry on up a steep hill. We also lived on the top floor flat of a house. By the time we got to the main front door of the house our flat was in, I would be sweating heavily, almost in tears of pain and fatigue and feeling like I couldn't walk another step, but James didn't get it. He'd take his part of the shopping up the 3 flight of stairs to our flat and leave me to find the energy to get myself and the rest of the shopping up the stairs. It could take anything up to 15 minutes for me to get up those 39 steps as I was done. I can't tell you how many times we repeated this same scenario and it didn't seem to sink in for him. Gradually he started to carry more of the heavy stuff, or came back down for my bags as well once he'd got his upstairs, but for a long time I was pissing into the wind. I would always tell him things were too much but he'd always ignore me and say things would be fine. There's a point where unfettered optimism turns into having your head up your arse and I'm afraid he strayed into that territory and stayed there for a while.

Things like travelling took it out of me hugely. Carrying heavy things onto trains, tubes and coaches is hard work with chronic illnesses. I remember a few years ago now when we went to Wales for the weekend (before we had the car.) We had a 90 minute train trip into London, a journey on the Tube, a walk to Victoria coach station followed by 9 hour coach trip, then an active weekend. When we were in London on the way back, we were walking to the train station from the Tube up a big flight of stairs. I was carrying a heavy backpack and I fell up the stairs because my tired brain stopped being able to move my legs in the right way (this has happened several times.) I really hurt myself, cutting and bruising my shins and bruising my arms when I landed. I remember standing in the busy station concourse sobbing my heart out in pain, exhaustion and frustration, inwardly begging James to finally grasp the notion that I AM NOT WELL ANY MORE. I ended up vocalising that as well, as a minute previously he'd wanted me to run for the train. Hello?! I had tried to tell him something like this would happen and as usual he had pooh-poohed me out of optimism. I think seeing me so bashed up was probably the first time he understood.

The honest truth is I had to hurt myself time and time again before he totally accepted/understood things had changed. Now he's brilliant and is constantly looking out for me and warning me of hazards when we're out. I do get angry when I remember how hard things were before when was pressuring me to get back into work, but I guess he was used to me being the girl who was as tough as old boots and as strong as an ox. Also, don't forget that when a person is ill they are getting some kind of help somewhere - from a doctor, a friend, or a family member, but often partners are left out in the cold somewhat. I don't think he wanted to admit anything was up as where did that leave him?!

I am so glad that I have James's support now, because for a while I didn't think we could stay together if he didn't believe me. It sucks, but it's imperative you get your loved ones to understand somehow. Even if like in my case if that was showing my injuries time and time again. Now James knows when I say I'm tired, it means I'm just about fit to pass out (which I have done a couple of times.) If I say I've done enough, it means I can feel I'm getting to the point where my legs will no longer work as they should and I'm about to have an accident. If I say no I can't do something, he knows I mean it. I know my body better than he does, after all. Thank God he can see that now.

It's a good job I love him, isn't it? ;)

Thanks for reading!

Starry NOTD

Hi loves.

I haven't done a NOTD post for ages. I haven't been doing my nails as often as we've been gadding about lots, and when I have done my nails I've naffed them up before I got myself to a camera.


I used:
OPI Ridge filler
OPI If You Moust You Moust
Color Club Get Your Lem-On
Kleancolor Blind Date

The latter two polishes I picked up from the fat swap. The stars were quite hard to get out of the bottle as there's too much clear polish per ratio of stars, but it was easy to position them on the nail once I did get some out. The neon shade has subtle shimmer in it and is really pretty.

What have you got on your nails? 

I think I need a supplement as my nails are awful at the moment. They keep splitting, now matter how short I keep them.

Thanks for reading.

30 day illness challenge day 6


Hiya!


If you could have told yourself when you first remember these symptoms arising, what would you have said?

Well.... not being psychic I couldn't have told myself it will all be OK, because at the time I didn't know that. I couldn't have told myself one day I will have a name to call the beast and the uncertainty would be over, because I didn't have a crystal ball. I couldn't tell myself that at some points I would feel almost suicidal and as if I was going insane, or that the uncertainty was worse than the illnesses. I didn't have much to say to myself at all, other than I knew something was terribly wrong and virtually no one believed me.

What I did have was someone who told me my symptoms sounded a lot like hers, that it was a rough road and she would be there for me. Now I try to do the same for anyone else who asks for my help, because I remember all too well how shitty it feels.

Sorry this is a bit dark! Thankfully things are a lot better now.

Thanks for reading.


Here's the deal-i-o

Hello.

I wanted to put something out there, but it's going to take some getting to, so bear with me. If I come straight out and say what I want to say without explanation it it'll make me sound like a cold bitch, but I've been dancing around saying this for a long time.

Here's the thing - I really love being myself. It has taken me most of my life to get to the point where I feel secure and happy in myself. As I've got older I've found my support system - great friends who love me regardless, my husband, who is my rock and now my readers here, who give me such lovely feedback. Because of this support system I've gradually started to care less about toning myself down to please people who may not like who I am. In the last year or so I've really found the lady balls to be myself here, warts an' all. And you know what? My readership has gone up steadily since. I was afraid to be myself, but you guys have embraced me for it. When I'm being myself and people 'get' me it's great. When people say lovely things about me just for being myself it makes me feel on top of the world.

Recently four bloggers mentioned my blog in their posts about their favourite bloggers. They said some truly wonderful things about me which made me want to cry. I was touched beyond belief and in turn it kind of prompted this post. If some bloggers think my blog is worth sharing with their readers, I have all the riches I need in this world. When my readers tell me something I've said has resonated deeply with them, I feel like the luckiest person alive.






And here's the thing I've been trying to say.

I read a lot of blogs, probably about 400. Of this number I see a lot of bloggers out there being given free clothing and makeup by brands, or else being compensated financially for articles, but that isn't ever likely to be me and I'm good with that.

Why do I think this? Firstly, I swear sometimes in my posts. I get the feeling that no (average) company likes to deal with someone who cusses like a sailor. However, swearing is a part of life. I don't know a person alive who doesn't swear occasionally. I swear in real life, and as I like to give you an authentic look into my life, I swear here too. I swear for emphasis and I swear because sometimes it feels damn good. If I stub my toe I'm not going to say 'Oh golly gosh, my poor tootsie.' I'll be more likely to say 'Jesusfuckingfuckmyfoot!'

I bet if I deleted all the swear words from this blog and became a 'Stepford blogger' I would have brands want to deal with me at some point in the future. But I don't want to have to modify myself. I have fought long and hard to love myself JUST AS I AM and it's an honest kind of self-love which accepts me good and bad. Sometimes life isn't all sunshine, and sometimes the best and quickest way to get that across is with a choice expletive. How can I tell you to love yourselves just as you are if I self-censor in the hope that people will send me free shit?! I can't.

There are other reasons why I'm not likely to be any brand's poster girl. I think bloggers fall into two categories - aspirational or inspirational. You either want to be them/want their life or feel inspired by them in some way. I'm pretty sure brands want the aspirational kind of bloggers, in which case I'm stuffed! I'm in poor health, which has sweet eff all to do with my weight, but I don't think being disabled is going to make me a marketable individual that a brand can 'sell' to its clientèle. I'm frank about my physical and mental health, and I'm a bit of a loose cannon in that respect - I'm not going to gloss over everything and pretend my life is candyfloss and diamonds for anyone. I have to wonder if enough money was dangled in front of me, would I slowly chip away pieces of myself until I was a sell out?! I don't want to slowly lose parts of myself one sponsored post at a time. I don't want to write things which don't come in my voice. I don't want to feature brands I'm not 100% in love with, or things which have nothing to do with my blog. I don't want to mislead anyone to gain something for myself. It doesn't sit well with me, especially as I know anyone of any intelligence can read between the lines anyway.

So, this is my post about how I'm OK with not being one of those bloggers who are feted over by brands. I'm at one with it. This is by NO means a dig at those bloggers who do have a great relationship with brands. More power to them! Some of my favourite bloggers get sent a lot of stuff. Of course I can see why brands send things to bloggers - one popular blogger's outfit post or beauty swatches can see hundreds of orders roll in for them. I grew up dirt poor and being able to buy things for myself (or have my husband do that) is quite nice, actually. ;)

I want you to know that even if brands can get over my use of salty language in the future, unless they're willing to work with me and have me be entirely honest with you, there will be no deal. I do not want to 'sell' things to you which don't 100% resonate with me. If I buy something myself, I must really love it and that authenticity will come across in my posts. To me 'authentic' means telling you about things I love and have paid for myself, not talking about things because I've been compensated do so. 'Authentic' means having my own voice and not someone else's. 'Authentic' means respecting the privilege I have here and not using that for my own gain.

However if (and it's a big if) a brand comes along who values you for clued-up, savvy people who can make their own minds up and want me to be 100% honest with you, then maybe we can work together. If it never happens on my terms, I am still as happy as a kid at Christmas, because I have the respect of my readers and from some of my peers. That is more than I ever expected when I started this blog and all that I could ever want. Because having you trust me is a privilege and I'm not going to throw that away. I hold you so dear for accepting me as I am - I love you for it! I take what I do here very seriously because of it and really value the honesty we share here. (I hope that doesn't sound too douchebag-gy!)

If this upsets anyone that is the last thing I want to do, these are just my feelings on the matter. I'm hitting post with extreme trepidation.

What are your thoughts? 

Thanks for reading!


Swans OOTD

Hiya lovelies!

When I stayed with Rebs last week whilst oop north she very kindly gave me a few items of clothing, including this lovely swan print dress.


The dress is so soft and comfortable it's going to be my new favourite.


Below lies one helluva blooper. I took a photo of the back of the dress then jumped round as the timer was taking another shot and this is what I got. I look so maniacal I thought I'd share!


Hahaha! I'm a special snowflake. 

You may have noticed my hair is now black. I'm going to do a photo post about it soon as my undercut is red. Fancy as fudge!

Hair flowers, New Look
Dress, Simply Be via Rebecca's special clothing emporium
Cropped leggings, Very
Shoes, Matalan

These gold shoes of mine are as shiny as tin foil and strangely comfortable. The sole is about 2mm thick but somehow they don't hurt me. Go figure! They fit my fat feet as well. Huzzah!

Thanks for peeking!

Pacific Rim

Hiya flowers.

Hubby and I went to see Pacific Rim in 3D yesterday. I wanted to see it because the trailer looked epic, and because it has Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Idris Elba (Luther, Prometheus) and Ron Perlman (just about everything.) It was excellent. If you only see one blockbuster this summer, make it this one. It's the new much better Armageddon.

The trailer:



An in depth behind the scenes look:



At the end of the film I felt exhilarated yet exhausted. The action scenes are so immersive that I found myself literally rolling with the on-screen punches. I ached all over by the time the film was over. The fight sequences are so huge in scale, so noisy, so other-worldly that it almost stuns the senses.

The cast was sprinkled with British actors - including Idris Elba, who played an Englishman; Charlie Hunnam, who played an American and Rob Kazinsky (Sean Slater from Eastenders, natch - boy done good!) who played an Australian.

The female lead was Japanese actress Ninko Kikuchi, thank you sweet baby Jesus. A heroine who doesn't have pneumatic tits and typical Western features. The male lead Charlie Hunnam brings a certain amount of twinkly-eyed cheekiness and swagger with every performance and this one is no different. He's so bloody adorable in this film I could eat him. Idris Elba is an intimidating physical presence in the film and I can see him playing a lot more military roles in the future as he has that commanding performance down pat.

I could rave on about this film for days but the best thing I can say is go see it. The action is amazing, the characters are both likeable and believable and despite the whole alien sea monsters vs giant robots thing being waaay out there, it's done so well you can suspend your belief. Go see! P.S. If you do wait through the credits as there's a little something special halfway through.

Have you see Pacific Rim yet? Have you seen any good films lately?

Care to recommend me some?

Thanks for reading.


Visiting fat blogger babes and family

Hiya!

Last weekend hub-features and I popped up to Barnsley to stay with the lovely Rebs and her hub-features. We were there to celebrate another friend Lisa's birthday. We met everyone at the fat swap (after months of talking online) a few weeks ago so it was good to meet up again.

We left on Thursday evening and stayed overnight in a hotel north of the M25 to avoid horrible Friday gridlock. We always break up our journey on the outgoing trip so it feels like more of an adventure. We headed off to Barnsley fresh as daisies early on Friday afternoon and arrived at Rebs's about 5pm after a leisurely lunch in Worksop, where I picked up some funky gold shoes in Matalan.

Lisa and Rachel were already at Rebs's so PARTY TIME! We started drinking soon afterwards, and when the men folk left to go to a gig, we went out to get a Chinese and some more alcohol. We played drinking games and took a lot of our clothes off as it was hot as balls.

Rachel getting to grips with a cardboard copper

Lisa

Me and Ken Barlow. What AM I doing with my mouth?!

BEWBS!

Shots

I use Instaport to download my Insta photos and vids but the download of videos is in beta on Instaport (not quite ready) so they come out like fast paced gifs. It's a shame to miss the audio but hey ho, they still give you the gist.

Cheers!

In this one Rachel is giving me a hug. We were quite pickled by this time!


On Saturday afternoon we went to Sheffield Botanical Gardens for a picnic, which is absolutely divine - a tropical paradise. It was slightly cooler than it had been recently so it was perfect weather for being outside. We just lazed about on the grass eating, talking and being stared at continuously by some douchey blokes nearby who thought a few fat people hanging out together were hilarious. Twats. Did we let it spoil our fun? Nope. Lisa even jiggled her belly at them. :D

I had no idea Sheffield is so green and lush. I'd love to go back again and explore it more. Thanks to Rebs for putting us up.

--------

After we left Sheffield we headed for home but James decided we could pop in on my aunt who lives a couple of minutes away from the M25 in Kent. We couldn't get through to her on the phone so we just turned up. We didn't know if we'd be able to stay overnight or if we'd just pop in and leave later. Everyone was so pleased to see us and we ended up staying until Sunday evening. When my dad came home a few hours after we arrived on Saturday James and I hid in my aunt's bedroom. I tip-toed into the living room and tapped my dad on the shoulder as he had his back to me. I did it hard so he'd think it was my cousin Martin. He said 'Yeah?!' moodily then turned around and saw me and James and had the biggest smile on his face. It was so lovely! I gave him a big hug and a kiss.

My dad after he came in from work


Sunday lunch, which was gorgeous!
My cousin M, and hubby
My cousin S
C showing off her new front teeth

C has started saying something really funny. My family are a bunch of mickey takers and we're always threatening to punch each other. C has taken to saying 'Don't you hurt my Leah!' if anyone says anything. It's hilarious, more so because she's so serious about it, including an accusatory finger when she says it. My cousin Sara decided to tell C that I was 'HER Leah!' to which C argued 'NO-OOOOOOO. She's MY Leah!' Bless her!

My dad, aunt, uncle, both cousins and C are coming to visit this coming weekend, so it'll be another mad house! I can't wait.

I hope you had a lovely weekend! What did you get up to?

Thanks for reading!

Racy Red Leopard OOTD

Hello you!

Here's a slightly sexy outfit I might wear for a date night. Apologies for the huge amount of OOTD posts but I'm struggling to find the time to swatch beauty bits at the moment because the heat is exacerbating my Fibromyalgia & CFS. Constant sleepy time!




Hair flower, New Look
Blouse, Simply Be (old)
Belt, Simply Be (old)
Skirt, Primark
Shoes, Very

Thanks for peeking and I hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Rock Chick OOTD

Hello pickles!

And now for a little something different.

Avenged Sevenfold are one of my favourite bands. I bought this t shirt for James a couple of years ago and he's never worn it so I pinched it back and cut it up before taking the photos. I'm a rock chick and I have several band shirts, most of which I've chopped up like the one below. Once it's been washed a couple of times it'll get that 'lived in' look which is so nice with t-shirts.

If I was wearing this to a gig I'd probably keep a skirt of some description, but I'd wear my New Rock boots.

T shirt, can't remember
Necklace, Extreme Largeness
Skirt, Simply Be
Shoes, Rocket Dog

Do you have any band shirts? Including cheesy pop bands? Gooowan, tell me all!

Thanks for reading.

Minty Leopard OOTD

Hi lovelies,

I don't know about you, but I'm struggling in this heat. Everything feels hard. It's affecting my Fibromyalgia. I ache bone deep and need to sleep longer than usual. There will be slightly less posts until my body gets used to it. Never mind, I have pretty clothes to keep me smiling! :)


I'm really enjoying putting looks together which I wouldn't normally consider.

Cardi, H&M
Necklace, Lipstattoo Designs
Vest top, fat swap
Belt, from a dress (New Look)
Skirt, Simply Be (old)
Shoes, Very

How do you deal with the heat? Do you love it or hate it?

I love the sun but not so much the heat. I'm happy my washing dries in a flash, I love having all the windows open and everything looks sparkly new in the sunshine. I'd much rather have a heatwave than snow, though!

Thanks for reading.

FAT-TI-TUDE! BODY IMAGE! Repost by request.

Hello loves,

An awesome new follower of mine who is my long long sista from another mister Chelle asked for this to be reposted as she was the only person who commented on it and she thought it was bomb-diggity, or words to that effect. (I totally lied about the 'bomb-diggity' bit, I've just been waiting to say that my whole life.) You should totally check her blog out. I think I cracked a rib laughing so hard today. DO IT!

Onto my post, from December last year.

----------------------------------------

I want to say something about body image. I'm not 100% happy with what I see in the mirror. Is any woman? I'm fat, I have cellulite, my nose is too long and witchy in profile and I have a couple of extra chins. The easiest thing in the world would be to hate myself, especially as the world is so misogynistic and far too often women are told (through messages in the media) that we're of little or no worth unless we're young, pretty and fuckable. To hell with that. I won't let anyone dictate my worth, and neither should you. Whatever you look like, you're worthy of love, respect and all other good things.

These magazine articles where women are praised for losing 10 pounds as if they've given birth to the next Jesus also bring the hammer down on any celebrity not doing whatever it takes to be popular and fit in with this bullshit sexist male-dominated perspective. That's not to say it isn't also perpetuated by women who believe all women OWE it to society to be considered attractive, but I believe it's ultimately a symptom of patriarchy that has filtered down. Take Lauren Goodyer for instance, she of The Only Way Is Essex fame. Virtually every day there's an article in the Daily Mail thinly veiled about how hideous she looks - complete with virtually up-skirt photos to catch the tiny bit of cellulite on the back of her legs. The message is there, yet unspoken: Look at this woman who dares to be over a size 6. See how worthless she is? Then she'll diet and they'll print a photo of her looking slimmer, and they're suddenly full of praise for her. So the message is only is she worthwhile as a human being if she looks thin and attractive. Through these and other messages we are constantly being told being thin at all costs is the best thing any woman could ever hope to achieve. If I was a mum to a teenage girl right now I'd be shitting myself. These messages have always been there, but now with the internet so accessible they're everywhere you look, and it's so easy to get sucked in if you're not really strong.

Luckily for me I had an experience when I was 17 which made me wise me up to this kind of bullshit. I was a fat baby, a fat toddler, a fat child and a fat teenager. I hadn't known anything else other than being fat, so I didn't know how thinner people were treated. Then I started going out with an arsehole who told me I needed to lose weight. (It strikes me as funny he only said that after we started going out. He should've found himself a slimmer girl to start with rather than trying to change me. Hey ho, you live and learn.) I was extremely unhealthy in my dieting, sometimes only eating satsumas and carrots all day. I lost a couple of stones very quickly and soon I was Miss Popular. Some people at work at the time - both men and women - were suddenly all over me when they'd paid me no mind before. I hated it. I knew they were shallow arseholes because I was persona non grata to them before. I wasn't any different inside and their sudden interest disgusted me. I wanted nothing to do with them. I guess from that age I thought anyone who didn't like me as I am could go and get screwed. I've remained that way. Anger and a dash of feminism make me bristle at the notion that women are things whose primary function is to exist to be physically appealing to men. I don't owe it to anyone to be their version of attractive, but sadly there are some men out there who believe this is the case and get all butt-hurt when they see a woman who dares not to fit the cookie cutter mould of excellence. (Any sarcasm you're getting is entirely intentional.) The Daily Mail is the equivalent of the twatty bloke outside a pub who said 'Look at the size of THAT!' as I walked past, if my very existence is going to subvert the entire human race and curdle his pint. 

So we have established I'm not perfect, and we've established I'm a bolshy feminist who couldn't give a monkey's if my body offends poor shallow souls. That says more about them than it does me. There's more to it than that though. This is why I refuse hate myself: This body of mine is the only one I've got. These legs of mine, these fat legs, they've carried me around all these years. They've helped me dance with joy in dozens of  clubs over the years, taken me on numerous journeys to see and do wonderful things and have opened up to let in a couple of good guys (and a few arseholes.) These pillowy arms of mine give a cuddle so soft and warm no one wants to let go. These chins of mine - so displeasing to some eyes (even my own sometimes - self-acceptance is a journey) - feel like pure velvet. We've been through a lot, my body and I. I fell down a flight of concrete stairs and wrecked my back before I reached the age of 10. I've been run over by a Ford Transit van, sustaining head injuries and nerve damage. I've had an 8 inch metal bolt go into my knee, leaving me with one leg shorter than the other. I've carried and lost two babies in this body. I've lost a part of my reproductive system to the hospital incinerator. My body is not a thing to be leered at or jeered at. It is SO much more than a lady garden and a pair of boobs and I really REALLY want to forcefully put my elbow into the face of anyone who dares break me down to spare parts like that, and you should too.

Don't stand for it. Don't stand for an iota of bullshit about your body. Our bodies aren't under public ownership. They aren't there to be policed, rated, or commented upon by Neanderthals in the street. Our bodies are for loving and laughing, learning, and experiencing all the wonders life has to give.

What say you, peoples of earth?

Thanks to Chelle for giving me the kick up the boo-tay to post this again.


St Clements OOTD

Hello hot stuff!

Oranges and lemons
Say the bells of St Clements

Here is a summery outfit inspired by Louise at Polka Spots and Freckle Dots, who uses colour brilliantly.

This dress may look red but it's a lovely coral shade.


You know, I'm very aware of doing the same sorts of poses all the time. I need some Naomi Campbell in my life.


This dress is lovely, but it's really thin and you can see my bra through it, hence the cardi. I need a white t-shirt bra. Me and bras do NOT get on, so I don't want to buy another one just yet. I would seriously gaffer tape my boobs up if I could! Underwired bras last all of 3 months, if I'm lucky. Non underwired bras give me the side boobs from hell. What's a gal to do?! Keep moaning by the look of it, hahaha!


Dress, £20 Simply Be sale (I can't see it on the site any more though.)
Leggings, Very
Shoes, Very
Cardi, fat swap

Now I've seen what big polka dots look like, I really want a red dress like this so I can pretend to be Minnie Mouse. That's a legitimate wish for a woman who's 39, right?!

Thanks for reading!

Outside My Comfort Zone #11

Hiya all!




It's time to see what's in store this fortnight! Becky picked the challenge and said this:

So the next OMCZ challenge is to be set by me, I thought long and hard about it, I had a few ideas ideas floating around but there was one that stood out more than others to me....so the theme is: Breaking a Fashion Rule/s

How you interpret this is up to you, it could be something us fat ladies shouldn't do or just a fashion no no in general. I like this idea as we are always being told about the 'fashion rules' but where did they actually come from, who sets these rules and why do they get to tell us what we shouldn't wear, so I say let's give two fingers to the 'fashion police' and show that breaking the rules can be all kinds of right.

So, breaking the rules of what fat bodies aren't supposed to wear or do.

Horizontal stripes. Check.
Leggings as trousers. Check.
Fat arms out. Check.
VBO on display. Check.
No fucks given.


Eat your hearts out Charlie's Angels!

I don't think you're ready for this jelly.


Outfit details:

Top, fat swap
Leggings, oh you can find black leggings bloody everywhere
Brooch, Bexhill Museum I had a brain fart! De La Warr Pavilion. See Etsy store for the seller here.

Minimal make up, no shoes, too hot. Meh. #dying. This fat girl can't cope in the heat. Never have been able to, even when I was a wee slip of a thing. I think it's the Scottish in me. I love the sunshine but hate the heat. Go figure!

Do you break the fashion 'rules'? Do you even care about them? (I mean everyone here, not just fats.)

Thanks for peeking! Have a great day.

30 day illness challenge day 5

Hiya!


How does being chronically ill make you feel?

I came across this question (but worded differently) accidentally during CBT and the answer is WEAK. It took me a long time to be able to describe it in one word.

Before I felt strong, invincible even, and now I feel weak. My body is certainly weaker than it was. It's hard for me to feel empowered or powerful when I struggle to open a bottle of water. ;) I think one of the reasons I get panic attacks sometimes when I'm out is because I don't feel able to defend myself any more. Prior to being ill I was always out on my own wearing my 'shit-kicking' New Rock boots, which are a weapon in themselves. I knew if some random guy decided to prey on lil' ol' me out on my own at stupid o'clock then I'd kick him in his baby makers and run like hell. Now? Well, it's likely I'd lift a leg off the floor and fall on my arse because my balance is so crap. Hahaha.

I guess the crux of it is I never wanted to be the type of woman most men want. I didn't want to be weak, vulnerable, in need of help. I wanted to blaze my own trail, and being physically strong felt good. Perhaps I can try to make up for my lack of physical strength with mental fortitude?!

Thanks for listening to me ramble!



Black Dog

Hi.

Most of the time my anti-depressants do a great job. Most of the time I'm so happy, but today I just can't lift the fog. Today's posts were scheduled so there's a happiness there I just don't feel today.

I was reminded of the loss of our last baby this morning when I came across my old blog from when I was pregnant, and subsequently I wrote about things there when I lost the baby. I re-read every post, relived it all - the hopes, which now seem so effing naive and stupid. I was talking like I was sure I would be a mum. How cruel life is. How stupid I was to get my hopes up. My enthusiasm and hope for the future back then seem almost childlike in the cold light of day after what happened.

I then fell into a giant slump. The baby died, I lived. Of course I'm going to get sad about it at times, especially now we're trying again. 'Will the same thing happen again?' my mind is screaming. Never so more than when you are full of hope are you also reminded of your fears, for in daring to fly you peer over the precipice and see how far there is to fall.

I was all ready to get up before that but I pulled the covers over my head and tried to forget.

When I did eventually get up the first three pieces of news I saw were these:

1. Firefighter killed in Manchester last night fighting a blaze.
2. Cory Monteith from Glee dies aged 31.
3. George Zimmerman found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.

The first two news items are tragic in themselves, but the last item knocked me for six. Are we sanctioning murder when someone with dark skin is murdered by someone with lighter skin? In this case, it appears yes. I don't want to live in a world where a life becomes cheap and throwaway because of the colour of a person's skin. I can't get my head around it. A deep, deep sadness has fallen over me. As I said on Facebook in response to someone about this:

How much time has to pass before every damn person is equal? No matter what colour their skin is, no matter who they choose to love, no matter which name they call their God. The pathetic reasons people choose to hate others for make me sick. We all bleed the same. We're all far more alike than we are different.

I hurt for Trayvon Martin's family. How will things ever be OK for them again? This is the curse of an empath. I can't just shrug this off. I wish I could DO something. It's all very good to say society is fucked, but society is made up of millions of people just like me. Change has to start with each of us. But where to begin? Honestly, where to begin?!

So today there's no smile on my face. Crying through Marley and Me was a welcome catharsis earlier but I don't feel any better for it. I can't be bothered to do anything, not even eat. 

The speed at which one can fall into a slump in depression is scary. Feeling like this scares me. 

Tomorrow is another day.

Blue Bows OOTD

Hello loves.

I'm wearing a cardi here I picked up from the fat swap a few weeks ago.

I think the skater dress (all arse-baringness aside)/cropped cardi might just be the look for me.




Cardi, fat swap
Dress, New Look
Leggings, Matalan
Shoes, Very
Hair band, fat swap
Necklace, Punky Pins

Have you found your style yet? If so, how did you find it? 

Finding my style has been totally through trial and error- through taking photos here and seeing what works.

Thanks for reading.

30 day illness challenge day 4

Hiya!


How have your friends and family reacted to it (your illness)?

My family have been great. My mum has been ill most of her life with asthma and recurrrent hernias so she knows what it's like to feel like battered crap all the time. My dad - bless him - when I told him what was up, he said 'Will be you be all right though?' Awww. My brother has been great, his girlfriend was fantastic, so accepting right from the off. Everyone has been fantastic. I have an amazing family. If anyone has said anything 'off' about it, it hasn't got back to me.

Most of my friends have been great, and the ones who weren't? They're not my friends any more. When I first got ill I was quite depressed and deleted about 50 ex-workmates from Facebook as constantly having to turn down invitations to go out then having to explain why got tiring. (Side note - why can't some people just take no for an answer?) Some people I used to hang around with and may have called friends once have ended up being acquaintances, but there are so many good people in my life I'm OK with it. But overall I've been really, really lucky.

I wish the same for all people with long term illnesses.

Thanks for reading.


Leopard love OOTD

Hiya pickles!

Because I'm a materialistic whore, I bought a couple of dresses to take on holiday with us recently. This is a grey and purple maternity dress from Simply Be. I ordered a size down from usual and it's a great fit. (I'm not pregnant by the way, I just really loved the dress!) You can't really see it in the photos but the gathering under the bust is really figure flattering. I wore this dress on holiday when we went out as a family to celebrate my M-I-L's 60th birthday and baby E loved it. She's only 3 months old but I discovered on our holiday she loves patterns. Every time I wore a patterned dress she would stare at me for ages, and when I picked her up her eyes would widen as she stared intently at me. It was so cute.

The dress is a heavy stretch jersey which feels really nice on. It has washed up great and doesn't crease, which is great. I normally wouldn't like such a high neckline, but because so much attention is drawn to the bust by the twist of fabric underneath, it's actually a classy touch. I think any pregnant lady would love this dress - it flatters the boobs and who wouldn't want to show off their baby bump?! The slightly rounded hem is a great touch - no one wants a big hike up at the front of their dress when they have a big tummy (pregnant or not) - it's not a good look. This is such a well thought out dress. Well done (again!) Simply Be.

Dress, Simply Be
Leggings, ASOS Curve
Shoes, Very
Hair flower, fat swap

Have you ever worn something 'forbidden' like maternity wear when you're not pregnant or perhaps worn a nightie as a dress?

Thanks for reading!

First look at the British Beauty Blogger Beauty Box!

Hello lovelies!

Happy Saturday! I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead.

First, an apology. I'm a bad blogger. I didn't blog about this so you could get a slice of this action for yourselves. I'm a bad, bad blogger. You can spank me now.

When Jane from British Beauty Blogger said she was doing a beauty box last week, I was in there like a rat up a drainpipe. It went on sale last Sunday, and I set 3 alarms to make sure I was up early enough to snaffle one as there were only 500 available. It sold for £15 plus £4.55 postage, which is an absolute steal as the contents are worth about £125. It sold out, of course.

It arrived this morning.


It contains: (Information below copied from the BBB blog.)

Lanolips (full size). I’ve raved about this since the first day I used it. I genuinely don’t leave the house without it and it has completely banished my dry lips.
BioEffect EGF Serum 2.5ml. I used BioEffect one evening for the first time and had a bit of a wow moment when I saw my glowing skin the next day.
Bourjois Cream Blusher (Full Size, Colours may vary). Another rave, rave, rave. I love the slip of this lighter-than-air brush that makes it so easy to apply and the fact that this shade just brings your face to life. #bourjoiscremeblush
CND Solar Oil (Pinkie size). This nutritious nail oil is something of a legend; I can’t count the number of nail artists who have recommended it and I keep a big bottle of it by my bed. With regular use it will give you strong, flexible, nourished nails and easy to maintain cuticles. #lovesolaroil
Melvita Orange Blossom Floral Water 28ml and Melvita Apicosma Ultra Nourishing Body Balm 15ml. I’ve yet to find something from Melvita I don’t like – it just has beautifully constructed formulas that are gentle and effective. It doesn’t cost the earth (literally – it’s a highly eco-conscious brand) and yet behaves as though it costs twice the price. #beehappybbbeditbox
Benefit Porefessional 7.5ml. Porefessional is no smoke and mirror product… it really does offer a buffer that hides pores under foundation. It’s a perfecting product and that’s exactly what it does – perfect the skin.
Philosophy Purity 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face & Eyes 30ml. A new discovery for me that I’m absolutely hooked on. It gives a beautiful wet cleanse that feels somewhere between a wash and an oil. There’s no doubt that my skin feels completely clean, but importantly, not stripped after use.
Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask 15ml. This was the first enzyme exfoliating mask I ever tried and I turn to it regularly for a proper skin pep. Instead of harsh grains, Tri Enzyme uses enzymes to get rid of old, dead skin cells that can make skin look dull. You can feel it tingle as it works, and afterwards, skin is simply silky. #trienzymegelmask
Trilogy Rosehip Face Oil (20ml) I’m a big fan of facial oils and Rosehip is something of a modern legend in its ability to soften and smooth the skin overnight. It’s a light, pliable oil that blends quickly into the skin (I sneak any residue onto my hands) and you will both see and feel the benefit.
NEOM Complete Bliss Moroccan Blush Rose Handcream (Travel Size, 50ml). Lovely NEOM. A big blogger favourite, NEOM products are soothing and indulgent and their hand cream is no different. It rubs in easily and quickly giving dry hands instant suppleness and hydration.
Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Electrum (full size). Illamasqua has a huge blogger following – bloggers ‘discovered’ Illamasqua and it’s a brand that maintained its fan base by constantly reinventing the beauty rules. There’s nothing not to love about this metallic cream shadow that applies so smoothly.
B. All Lengthening, Defining & Volumising Mascara (full size). B. at Superdrug is such a good value range; the quality is all there and my favourites are B foundations and mascaras which I use on my bottom lashes (extensions up top!).
Jo Loves Pomelo (Sample Size, 2ml). This is a great opportunity to sample what Jo Malone did next! It’s my favourite fragrance in the world and I’m happy every time I wear it. #joloves
Offers: Several brands have special limited time offers for BBB Edit Box customers; from 20% off Elemis to 10% off Benefit and many others in between.

I'll be giving my thoughts on everything in due course.

If you missed out on this box, never fear because Jane is thinking about doing another one at Christmas time, and possibly more. I pinky PROMISE to blog about the next one so you can all have a slice of the action.

Is there anything in here you're interested in? What do you want me to review first?

I must say, if you're a fan of beauty and you're not following British Beauty Blogger you're missing out. Jane blogs and swatches high end and high street products and gives you insider information about the kind of dodgy shenanigans that go on in the beauty world that we would otherwise be unaware of. Also, Jane recently started a Youtube channel which I've been loving because she giggles constantly, and it's infectious. Also, as an older lady myself it's lovely to see an older lady out there representin'. (Oh yes, I went ghetto on you.) I'm a fan, in other words, and you should be too. I subscribe by email so I never miss a blog.

Thanks for reading!