Outfit | Scarlett & Jo feather print tunic*

Hello lovelies!

Recently I was contacted by the lovely folks at Scarlett and Jo who sent me a couple of pieces from their range.

A quizzical look on my face but I like the pose, so I included it.

The tunic is made up of a stretchy navy base layer which is attached to the gauzy over layer. It's attached with a fine ribbon and small poppers as to be unobtrusive, and you can wear the layers separately if you wish. The top layer would look amazing worn over swimwear for that effortless 'hanging around the pool' chic.

The design is a gorgeous feather print in shades of white, purple, blues and red. The sleeves drape softly and don't leave my arms feeling too bare, even though they're barely there (which proves confidence in all in the illusion of body coverage!) It comes with a self-tie belt which is of more than ample length. I'm 5 ft 5 (and a half) and as you can see the tunic comes just above knee level front and back. I do love it when garments are made with this girl's ample bum in mind.

This particular piece isn't out yet, but I will update with a link as soon as I've got one - it's coming out soon! Without harping on like an absolute fan-girl, I always feel good in Scarlett & Jo. I'd be equally as effusive if I'd bought this tunic with my own money as it's just stunning.

My first purchase from Scarlett & Jo was a prom dress last year, which I wore to a wedding, and also a couple of other occasions either dressed up or down. Earlier this month I wore their navy blue angel sleeve dress.

I like clothes I can put on and feel instantly at ease in. I like to look in the mirror a couple of times and know I look good - and feel good - which is what Scarlett & Jo does for me. The mixture of comfortable and pretty clothes is a winner for me as I don't like compromises. I like to look nice in something and forget I'm wearing it. The clothes are very reasonably priced to begin with (for example the navy angel sleeve dress I linked to above is only £35) but Evans often have discount codes so you can pick up pieces for even more of a steal. I recommend signing up to Evans' mailing list so you don't miss out on any of the goodies!

My smiles say it all really - I feel good in this tunic and can't wait to wear it again - either casually or dressed up for an occasion like a wedding. I'm wearing a size 30 (I always err on the side of caution when a layer of fabric has no stretch) but it's true to size and I probably could've swung a size 28. I would say order your normal size unless you prefer a more flowing look. 

I'm wearing:

Hair flower, Off With Her Head Millinery flower of the month club
Coat, past season Bonmarché size 24
Scarlett & Jo feather tunic, £45 size 30. Shop Scarlett & Jo here.
Leggings, past Everything 5 Pounds (I had no idea how transparent they were until today!)
Shoes, past season Very

Have you got anything from Scarlett & Jo? I feel they really get the plus size woman, and long may it continue. If you have any weddings, christenings or other special occasions this year you might just find what you're looking for at Scarlett & Jo.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

*Item gifted by Scarlett & Jo. All opinions are honest and my own.

Today is one of those days


Today is one of those days where I'm struggling to deal with the losses I've faced.

Today I found my diary from 2010, and the days were marked with my period due on dates and symptoms I thought I had if I was a couple of days late, as all of 2010 was spent trying to get pregnant. Eventually it worked, and on the 28th of December I wrote 'I'm pregnant. Best day everrrrrrrrrrr! I'm going to be a mummy!'

How foolish my hope seems in retrospect. I didn't even allow myself a second to think that this pregnancy could also be ectopic. I've covered what happened back in January 2011 in more than enough detail, but I haven't really spoken too much about how this affects me now.

For a while afterwards we tried to get pregnant again, even though we'd lost 2 babies to ectopic pregnancy and were all too aware another pregnancy could kill me. James took enthusiastically to sperminating me (ha!) every other day in my fertile window and again, life was full of hope, bitter-sweet masochistic expectation. Then came the revelation that James no longer wanted to be a parent, and maybe never had, and in 2014 he had a vasectomy.

Most days I think I'm OK with this, as after all I have the time-consuming business of chronic illness to keep me occupied, but some days like today it smacks me in the face as if afresh. There will be no child to call me mummy, no life lived anew through my progeny, no one to visit me in my old age. More than that, when a life reasonably full at the moment ceases to be more so with every death of my ageing family, this sense of wrongness about the whole situation will only be heightened. There is nothing can be said or done to make this realisation any less stark. Even knowing childlessness is probably the best thing all considered with my chronic illness doesn't really take the sting out of it.

Most of the time I can tuck away this pain I carry, but sometimes I have to take it out, polish off the dust and look at it to be able to survive. Being reminded of someone else's joy doesn't make me begrudge them theirs, it just makes me sad that I never got mine. Tomorrow is a new day, and I have no doubt tomorrow the pain will be tucked away in some hidden place with fortress walls around it so I don't collapse into a heap, but today is not one of those days.

Outfit | ASOS Curve midi lace dress

Hello sweet peas!

I decided I NEED a pale lace dress in my life for that hippy/boho/70s vibe that's going to be so big this year.

I'm giving up shades of cowgirl and hippy chick here, I think. All I need is a field behind me and a stalk of grass in my mouth, and maybe a cow to recline next to slightly. Too much? Yeah, maybe! ;)

I meant to wear tan boots with this outfit and then totally forgot, oops. I'll probably re-jig this outfit at some point with tan boots and a tan belt. I dug these shoes out of a bag of stuff for the charity shop. When I was pissed off with Matalan last summer I threw everything I owned from them in a bag to donate, but since we're on a spending ban with a view to saving up to move it'd be daft to give hardly worn things away. It shows how long I take to send things down the charity shop as well, sheesh! It's kind of against the spirit of 40 bags in 40 days to take stuff out of the bags, but since I've cleared out my books, DVDs and CDs to donate as well as a bunch of other stuff I don't feel too guilty. I've gotta plough on with 40BI40D soon, I've been feeling the presence of the black dog the last few days and have spent a lot of time asleep or reading. Meh. The clocks will have gone forward by the time you read this so brighter days are ahead - literally!

I'm wearing:

Hat, local souvenir shop
Daisy necklace, eBay
Wooden earrings, old ASOS
Bracelet, eBay
ASOS Curve midi lace dress size 26
Denim shirt, past Everything 5 Pounds
Shoes, past season Matalan
Bag, past season Primark

Thanks for reading,

Leah xoxo

Photo Story #2

Hello and happy Saturday!

Saturday seems as good a day as any for Photo Story, especially as my views go down on the weekend as a lot of you lovely people are out having fun - as it should be!

Here's when I'm in one of my happy places - stroking a cat. This was taken in 2012 I think, when I'd bejewelled my old glasses.

You can see from the smile on my face how happy I am to have a fur buddy to stroke. I can't wait to have a couple of my own. I've already started looking online at cats in need of rescue, which is pointless but there are so many cuties out there in need of some love.

Have a great weekend. 

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

Life lately #3

Hello sweet peas,

Here are a selection of things I've enjoying right now.

I can't get this song out of my head. It's so catchy. Let me know if you get it stuck in your head too!

10 unusual beaches you've never heard of.

These household tips are SO good! 101 Household Tips for Every Room in your Home.

Dogs of the world. Who knew there were so many?!

How to make your own deodorant (thanks Meshel for sharing.) I've bought the supplies to do this as I have really really itchy pits at the moment (shaving them is hell!) and I need something kinder to my skin. Plus no nasty chemicals, bonus.

The ultimate guide to writing better than you normally do. This is good timing for me as I've decided to write something every day, either factual or fiction. I'll be doing this on my other blog, which I'll link to once I've jazzed it up a bit. I don't want to spam this blog with a million posts.

This is a lovely video of semi-wild wolves who were happy to follow their rescuer through the forest. I HATE the way wolves are portrayed to be vicious man-hunting beasts in films and so on.

I've read a couple of Jo Nesbo books on my Kindle recently. He's a Norwegian author who does crime novels. I REALLY enjoyed The Leopard, which was amazing with so many twists and turns, and it's a mammoth book at over 600 pages. I also read The Snowman, which was good but not as good as The Leopard. I'm currently reading Nemesis. Of course, I'm reading them all in the bloody wrong order as I picked one to read out of the blue, so I'll probably read them all again in the right order at some point.

I've been watching the Walking Dead and Better Call Saul, and I'm looking forward to watching the third series of Vikings soon. Ooft, all those dirty looking long haired men. Be still my beating lady places! ;) It's not long until Game of Thrones starts again too. Yay!

40 bags in 40 days has been stalled for about the last week as I've had someone in patching up and replastering the kitchen but I have 4 bin bags full of stuff to give away to the charity shop. I've also given away some toiletries as James can't use them up quick enough before each Christmas comes round, and I'm planning to bestow some of mine on someone soon. I'm also going to have a clothes clear out soon. I've been saying this for ages, but I really must. I need the money anyway as I hope to get a camcorder soon so I can let loose all this personality on Youtube again. ;)

That's all from me for today, but tell me, have you heard any good songs, read any good books or seen any good films lately? Let me know your recommendations in the comments.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Outfit | George at Asda yellow duster coat

Hello loves,

I have a very bright outfit for you today, so put your shades on. Since we've been seeing little warmth from that big yellow ball in the sky I decided to bring the sunshine myself! I bought this jacket after seeing it on Betty Pamper and knew immediately I had to have it. It's only £15 and it a midweight crepe with pockets and a large single popper fastening. It's also fully lined. It's just the perfect sunny shade of yellow and I'm a bit obsessed, to be frank.

George at Asda Yellow Duster Coat

George at Asda Yellow Duster Coat size 24

This dress isn't quite right with the jacket as it's a bit too long at the back, but I think grey and yellow complement each other nicely, plus it picks out the yellow swans in the dress.

I've got the jacket in a size 24 (26 & 28 weren't available.) It's plenty big enough in the arms and back. It doesn't quite do up but I'm not bothered because I don't usually do light jackets up anyway. Providing we get some ACTUAL Spring weather soon (here's hoping!) I can wear this out and about soon without freezing my bum off.

We've got an Asda 5 minutes drive away and it's so handy to order online and pick something up a day or two later. Asda clothes normally sell out really quickly so I'm glad I managed to get my hands on this bit of sunny delight!

George at Asda Yellow Duster Coat size 24

Face time!

George at Asda Yellow Duster Coat

I'm wearing:

George at Asda yellow duster coat, £15 size 24
Necklace, past season New Look
Swan dress, from Rebs
Lace side leggings, Yours Clothing £16 size 28
Shoes from a friend

Are you craving any colours right now? I've got some daffodils in the kitchen and they really cheer me up every time I wash up. Small mercies!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Is there a place for morals in fashion?

Hello loves,

I have another topic I'd like to chew over with you today - Is there a place for morals in fashion? 

You might know at some time or another I've sworn off Primark (for refusing to cough up for a compensation fund for the Rana Plaza textile factory disaster, they coughed up, I resumed shopping there), Matalan (same), New Look Inspire (for getting rid of loads of their Inspire plus size sections) and Simply Be (for seeming to prioritise thin women over fat women with their sizing of late.)

Do these companies give a shit if someone like me boycotts them? Of course not. I'm just one woman. I'm a dewdrop less in a raging sea of money floating into their gaping maws. But how many consumers actually care about the conditions and pay of the workers who make our clothes? How many people genuinely care if there are enough clothes available for people larger than them? Is there any point at all in giving a shit about things like this?

For the record, I don't think I went about my boycott of Simply Be in the right way. I still have absolutely no intention of shopping with them, and with a £600 bill to pay off (the interest rate of which has me paying over a third of each bill in interest alone) that's probably going to take the next couple of years. That ought to harden my resolve. ;) I think an open letter would've been a better way to have dealt with my feelings. Why? Because swearing off publicly is a done deal, end of the conversation and saying 'You disappoint me' is (hopefully) the start of a conversation. I'm not saying if I had written Simply Be an open letter they'd have deigned to give me a reply because I'm under no illusions about my status in the blogging world, but it would've been a start. You can change something from the inside a lot more easily than you can by shouting over the wall.

Perhaps a question I might ask myself is why do I care if companies shit on their workers and/or their loyal customers? I just do. I'm a bleeding heart who just happens to love fashion, but if I carry on caring so much I'll soon have nowhere left to shop. ;) 

I'm still disgruntled with New Look too but since I'm a tight bitch and my options are limited I've sinned! I bought something from them (via ASOS, because free next day delivery with Premier, yeah boi!) and it makes me feel dirty, dirty, dirty. But well clothed, of course. ;)

With the recent body shaming social media posts from Taking Shape and Pink Clove, is it time we start holding companies to account or is it all just about the fashion?

Where do you draw the line? Have you ever boycotted a company? What would it take for you to stop shopping at your favourite store? Do you ever think about what goes on behind the sewing machine? (Or the PR machine?)

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Outfit | Lace and ruins

Hello pickles,

Yesterday we revisited Old St Helen's Church, a ruined church in Hastings, with details from the 11th to 14th centuries. It was partly dismantled in 1870 to provide building materials for the new St Helen's church nearby. As well as the ruin there's a small graveyard too. As it was so cold we had the place to ourselves for most of our visit.

I'm wearing an old New Look Inspire dress today. I was inspired to wear dusky pink and burgundy together after seeing the colour combination in another blogger's outfit, but I can't remember who it was to give credit to. If it was you, give me a yell!

Click to enlarge

I have the period bloat from hell in these photos. :/ I've spoken about these footless leggings before. They're tights, but they're so opaque they may as well be leggings and they remain opaque until they're stretched over my bum and thighs. I always wear an almost knee length dress with leggings anyway so it's not an issue for me. They're totally black and as warm as leggings, if not more so. I'm a big fan.

Click to enlarge

Although there might be flowers popping up everywhere signalling Spring, it's still bloody freezing here, rarely getting above 8 degrees C. It's my birthday in 2 weeks, and I'd quite like NOT to be freezing my butt off then.

I'm wearing:

Hair bow, old
Bronze mirror necklace, eBay
Dolly coat, ASOS Curve
Dress, past season New Look Inspire 
Footless leggings, Donatella's
Shoes from a friend
Lipstick, MeMeMe lipcream in RubyRich

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Leah xoxo

Photo Story #1

Hello sweets,

I've decided to start a photo series called Photo Story, which will be a weekly post where I post a photo or two with my recollections about where/when they were taken. Snoskred came up with the idea of doing a Wordless Wednesday/Silent Sunday type post to free me up with some time and take the pressure of myself, but I'm the kind of person who wants background when I read those kind of posts myself. I've taken thousands of photos over the years, most of which have never been shown, so it's a no-brainer that they should see the light of day here.

These two photos were taken in Porthleven, near Helston in 2010 when James and I were on holiday with his parents. His granddad died last year but his nan still lives in Cornwall and we go to visit when we can. Neither of us could remember which town this was taken in, so I enlarged the photo, saw the pub by the harbour and searched 'The Ship Inn Cornwall'. I expected there to be hundreds of entries, but hit pay dirt on the second try.

We'd driven up a steep, narrow hill (much to his dad's displeasure, as it was terrifyingly steep) to find a pub to have lunch, but it was rather full and expensive to boot so we had a drink and left. I snapped these photos just before we got back into the car. I think we may have actually had lunch in the Ship Inn itself, which is apt since it was the key to locating where these photos were taken.

Cornwall has a special place in my heart. I've been going since my early 20s and have visited around 10 times, including on our honeymoon, so there might just be some more Cornwall photos in another Photo Story to come.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

So long, ELF

Hello lovelies,

This is just a quick heads up to let the beauty lovers of you know that ELF cosmetics will soon be no more in the UK and Europe. This announcement is on the website.

ELF weren't my favourite makeup brand, but they had many things I LOVE - their HD powder, total coverage concealer and cream eyeliner which I've only just discovered is perfect for my brows. All my favourite things are already sold out, but you might be in luck.

Whaaaaaaaaaaa. That is all.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Thanks to Flintaxe for the heads up.

ELF Essential Lipsticks in Posh, Flirtatious & Sociable


Today I have a few ELF lipsticks from their Essentials range to show you. These lipsticks are £1.37 at the moment, down from £1.95. I'm not sure if they're on offer or are being discontinued as many shades aren't on the website at the moment, including Posh which I have here. I hate it when that happens. EDIT: ELF will soon no longer be for sale in Europe. See here. Boooooooo.

ELF Essential Lipsticks in Posh, Flirtatious & Sociable
Edit: Flirtatious
First up, packaging. You're not getting great packaging at this price point, but it is functional and reasonably sturdy. My one bugbear with it is the bullets are stiff and a little squeaky. All ELF packaging has a drawback - the shade name (if present at all on the actual product) will be a tiny sticker about 5mm across which will wear away before long so you have no idea what shade you're using after some time. I use a fine permanent marker to write shade names on my ELF products so if I want to re-buy I know what shade I need.

ELF Essential Lipsticks in Posh, Flirtatious & Sociable

Posh is a deep pink toned red which looks darker in the bullet than it does on my lips. It's very moisturising, doesn't have a discernible smell and lasts the standard couple of hours that most affordable moisturising lipsticks do on me.

Flirtatious is a pink, again lighter on the lips than in the bullet (it's lighter than my natural lip colour, in fact) and follows the same pattern as Posh - moisturising, no discernible smell and lasts a couple of hours.

Sociable is another reddish pink and is different in formula to the other two. It has far less sheen, although I wouldn't say it's totally matte and I would say it's the only true opaque of the three. It smells of berries, is less moisturising which adds to its longevity on me (about 3 hours) and feels slightly gritty as it has fine silver sparkle in it. You can only see the barest hint of glitter in the on-lip swatches, in fact oddly it shows up best if you blot it to remove some of the sheen and let the glitter shine through.

ELF Essential Lipsticks in Posh, Flirtatious & Sociable
Posh, Flirtatious, Sociable

ELF Essential Lipsticks in Posh, Flirtatious & Sociable
Typo - Flirtatious!

I'm also wearing Sociable here.

I'm the kind of person who looks up what different lipstick shades look like on different people and the difference that can occur from different skintones and natural lip colours is vast. Flirtatious looks much more of a hotter pink on people with lighter lip colouring than me and Sociable looks a lot less red on other people. I guess the moral is let swatches only guide you so far, and try things out for yourself if they're affordable.

What are you up to this weekend? I think we're having a chilled one. We keep saying that, but it hasn't happened yet. Have a good one whatever you're up to!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Outfit | Pattern Mixing

Hello lovelies!

I had to pop out to the post office to post a parcel yesterday so here's what I wore. I was rushing around as usual so I had very little makeup on. It's amazing what difference 2 minutes can make to a bare face, though!

My septum piercing has healed up enough now to get my septum clicker in. It's bigger than I was expecting, but I don't exactly do shy and retiring so I don't mind. I love the opalescent stones.
Shiny hair, and you can see it's redder at the front where my grey catches the henna more

As I sit writing this (Weds eve) I'm having an allergic reaction to my shampoo or conditioner from my hair wash today. I've been using them for months with no problems. Chemical sensitivity is another problem Fibromyalgia causes and I never know when it'll strike, even if I have previously got on with a product. My whole face is tender and itchy from my scalp down to my chin. I've taken an antihistamine and I hope it kicks in before I claw my face to bits!
My range of emotions - happy Leah, very happy Leah, bitchface Leah ;)

I'm wearing:
Septum clicker, Amazon
Scarf, eBy
Jacket, Asda size 24 (very oversized) no longer online, check stores
Maxi dress past season New Look Inspire (size 30)
Belt from 3 pack, ASOS Curve (size 26-28 very oversized - I think I'm using the smallest hole)
Shoes from a friend

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

Unconditional Body Beautiful #3 - Legs


If I ever needed any proof at all that time flies, the time between these monthly assignments is evidence as it only seems like a breath since the last post.

This month it's all about the legs. I have had thin unshapely untoned legs, fat toned legs and every possible permutation in between. One thing my legs have always done for me is carried me where I wanted to go. I grew up in a car-less one parent family and if I wanted to go anywhere - school, youth club or to see my friends, I walked, no matter how far. From 11 years old I walked at least 3 miles a day outside of my school activities. By the time I was 18 I was walking at least 5 miles a day Monday to Friday. When I was 21 I spent 2 weeks in Greece walking up to 10 miles a day and swimming too, and I came home with the most lovely tanned and toned legs I've ever had.

My legs carried me on 12 hour days cleaning aircraft, running up and down stairs carrying heavy gear on and off planes, and walking miles to and from work on top of that. When I wasn't at work I was usually visiting friends or heading into London to walk all bloody day, nourished of course with the occasional rejuvenating stop at a pub. ;) From ages 19-35 I did jobs where I was on my feet all day. (I only had one office job in my life, from age 16-18.) When I met James when I was 28, we had no car, in fact we had no car for our first 7 years together, so everywhere we went we walked. We walked to town, we walked on holidays, we walked everywhere we wanted to go. By my mid 30s it would be a fair estimate to say I was walking 25-35 miles a week to get to work, and for leisure.

Tomb of the Kings, Cyprus 2007

My legs were always FREEDOM. Sometimes they were fat - my body waxed and waned - and they were smooth and I was troubled little by cellulite as I was so active. I always had chub rub even at my adult smallest size, (a 12-14) as that's the way my pelvis is formed and nothing is ever going to change that.

Despite always being active, my legs weren't always cooperative. When I was a child my knees would sometimes give way suddenly, as if someone had kicked me hard from behind. I think it was put down to growing pains, and I shrugged it off. It certainly didn't stop me doing anything, as I had no choice but to plough on. After my childhood fall down a concrete flight of steps and a very hard landing I developed problems with sprains in my wrists and ankles, but especially my ankles. I counted to 30 ankle sprains part way through the year at the age of about 11 and then gave up counting. We were a dirt poor family with no money for public transport, so doctor visits were saved for absolute emergencies, and it has never been investigated to this day, although I suspect I have joint hypermobility, which can come on after your body has been through trauma. (Being in a fat body my whole life and the subsequent lack of respect I've received from the medical profession has made me severely doctor phobic.) These frequent sprains followed me through my teens, 20s and 30s. I have shares in support bandages! Things on that front have only got better because I walk less distance and less often now.

When I was 21 (months after the holiday to Greece, thankfully) I was in an accident at work whilst cleaning a plane. I have talked about it at length before but essentially I fell hard onto a 6 inch metal bolt which was sticking out of the floor and it went into my kneecap, causing me some of the worst physical pain I've ever had.

It was a horrible time in my life - the NHS lost my records which affected my ongoing care (the NHS really let me down full stop at the time, giving me the shittest 'care' possible) and I had no choice but to go back to a hectic physical job with a disabling injury. Quite simply I needed the money to survive and I wasn't expecting anyone else to support me. I turned to drink and drugs to numb my pain - literally. For the next couple of years I was only really sober when I was asleep, but managed to keep onto my job all that time. I was a functioning near-alcoholic. Booze was everywhere, discarded by passengers and supplemented with liquid lunches in the airport bar and again after work until closing time. (Things were quite lax then, I doubt drinking in uniform would be allowed now.)

I was in severe pain for that whole time, and to this day I sometimes still limp. My left leg (the one affected) is almost an inch shorter than the right, which causes me hip and back problems, which causes my knee to give way even more and put paid to me ever comfortably wearing heels again. It clicks constantly and is often painful, but during the long rehabilitation and onwards I walked on it still. I didn't have the option of giving up, ever. (Some of you by now might understand why my body finally threw a shit fit, bringing on Fibromyalgia & CFS. Quite simply between falling down a flight of concrete steps and sustaining a back injury as a child, being run over by a Ford Transit van as a teenager ending up with head injuries and nerve damage, and this accident to cap it all off I sometimes wonder how I'm still bloody alive!)

Cyprus 2007

With all this to deal with my legs were just there I guess. I never really thought that much about them (or their appearance) as they were good, functional legs that took me everywhere I needed to go, even if I was in pain. Only since Fibro & CFS and the piling on of weight from my quite sedentary lifestyle (compared to what I was used to) have they become a life force of their own, joining up to an arse with its own field of gravity! I have some seriously sizeable thighs and sometimes it's a struggle to love them, as it is to love the new, bigger me sometimes. I was about a size 24 before chronic illness, but a very fit and toned 24 because of all the walking I did. I've gone up 2 sizes and lost some tone, although surprisingly there is still muscle to be found. Thank you body for holding onto some of my strength. :)

Fibromyalgia also brings a series of weird rashes to the body, and my shins are red, mottled and hold onto bruises for months/years. There are whole patches with broken blood vessels at the surface, which from a distance look like dirty marks or bruises. My skin there is also really dry, and when I shave my legs they bleed in several different places as the razor knocks off tiny callouses which have formed all over my legs. Sexy, eh?!

I can't walk anywhere near as far as I used to because the pain of Fibromyalgia is like all my bones and joints are on fire, and that's without the crippling cramps I get after walking (especially if I'm out in the cold too, that makes me cramp up on its own.) It is what it is, but I still have two legs which work in some kind of fashion, and I'm very grateful for that. I might not always like the look of my legs, but they can take me to some places and to experience some things still, and that to many would be a dream. So I can't do what I did before, but I can still do something. That has to be enough.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Does blogging make you selfish?

Hello sweet peas,

I've asked myself several times: Does blogging make you selfish? I don't have a definitive answer yet, but maybe I'll have one worked out by the end of this post. I write to work my thoughts and feelings out and it has always been this way.

So much of blogging is about sharing of myself - my outfit posts, my opinions - and doing so on several different platforms as different people respond to different things. Some people might like to keep up with my life on Instagram as a photo tells an instant story, some might like my Twitter feed for the  photos & links to things that make me tick, and others might like to immerse themselves in the blog for the full whammy of text and photos. I share a lot of my life on Instagram, my blog auto-posts a link to Twitter & my Just Me Leah Facebook page, and when I remember I share my posts to Tumblr and Pinterest manually. It all takes time, not just to share my posts, but to share interesting things as well and to personalise things a little bit so I'm not just machine-gunning the same information at people on every social media channel.

In the past being a good blogger didn't always leave me enough time to be a good person. I wasn't left with as much time as I wanted to read other people's blogs, check up on my friends/family and generally be a well rounded person (if you'll excuse the pun.) A chronically ill life requires a lot of self care, a lot of sleep, and a lot of time decompressing from the world by being alone with my thoughts. I was only adding to the pressure by treating my blog as an invisible taskmaster brandishing a whip.

I'm getting close to answering my own question now. It's all about priorities, isn't it? In the past I always put the blog first to my own detriment. I don't know why I have this harsh work ethic, but I always have done. Whatever I do I put my all into, even if I half kill myself in the process. Part of being older is realising I'm worth taking care of, and no one wants to read the blog of a frazzled woman anyway. In the past, if I was going on holiday or even going away for the weekend I'd bust a gut to schedule posts for the duration, but now I think 'Sod it!' If I'm having a busy weekend with family or friends I might not post anything for a few days and although I might feel a few pangs of regret, I won't spend the whole time worrying. Not any more!

I read blogs every evening as I really enjoy it but I don't read every post by every person and I certainly don't comment on every one. I used to follow too many blogs out of FOMO (fear of missing out) but I got over that and unfollowed a lot of people and I feel better for it. Away from the blog side of things, I do feel selfish if I've not checked in on my special people on social media for a few days, but there's only so much you can do in a day. My load is relatively small compared to that of others - there's the flat and my husband to look after, and my own well-being of course - which brings me back to the importance of balance. I would say if being a blogger is detracting from your quality of life then it really IS time to take a step back and consider what is most important to you. This applies to any situation in life, of course.

Being more relaxed about my blogging and blog reading habits leaves me more time to catch up on my favourite bloggers and comment on their blogs. It leaves me more time to leave thoughtful replies to the comments I receive on my blog. It gives me more time to think about content. It leaves me more time to check up on my friends and to call my family. It leaves me more time to be happy. There is so much more joy in doing something because I want to, rather than because I have to.

I've long thought that if my blog got really successful and my social media went nuts I'd hate it, as I love to reply to genuine comments on all my social media, and not being able to do so would really stress me out. So perhaps the answer to my question is yes, blogging does make you a little selfish, but only in a way so that you work out what's really important to you, and for me it's all about balance and priorities. If there's a moral to this story, it's don't make any one thing rule your life, no matter what it is.

Your thoughts?

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

P.S. I've been kind of shying away from opinion posts recently as Fibromyalgia makes it so difficult for me to get my point across. I never have problems getting the words to come - that's never been a problem. It's whittling them down so they make sense that is the trouble. If you've been reading a long time you might know that it's always been my aim to be an author one day, and I'm constantly rattling plot lines around in my head, but in many ways Fibromyalgia is my Kryptonite.

Before I deleted my MySpace ages ago I re-read some of my old blogs from the mid 2000s and wanted to weep. It appears my grasp of vocabulary and even the ability to punctuate and spell is being taken away from me incrementally, and it's endlessly frustrating. Brain fog is a bastard of a thing, and I long for the days when I didn't have to spend ages proofreading my own writing to make sure I haven't made clangers with my spelling or punctuation. I had a grammar school education FFS. My words have always been my tool, and now it feels like that tool is in need of a bloody good sharpen! This has been a pity party. ;) Thanks for listening.

Outfit | Hell for leather

Hello buttercups!

Where is spring?! We went out to take outfit photos on Saturday and planned a nice walk round a lake in the park but we were colder than ice pops within 5 minutes. Brrr.

I'm wearing a Yours Clothing dress from last year with my leather jacket. Girly but fierce.

We took these photos then got back in the warm car before our extremities fell off. Bye bye nipples, bye bye toes!

That's enough. Time to go!


Look how long my hair's got. Click to enlarge.

I'm wearing:

Hair flower, eBay
Scarf (in one shot) Christmas gift
Leather jacket, past season New Look Inspire
Dress, past season Yours Clothing
Leggings, Very
Shoes from a friend

I got a chill while we were out and couldn't get warm all night. Some warmer weather would be very much appreciated. :)

Have a great week.
Leah xoxo