Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Today is one of those days

Hiya,

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.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

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

Saturday, 28 March 2015

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

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Outside My Comfort Zone #1 2015

Howdy!

We're getting back on this outfit challenge horse, yes we are!


I don't know how long it's been since the last one of these. Last year sometime? We used to post fortnightly, but now we do a monthly post - on the last Thurs of the month.

Steph picked the theme (she also does a grand job of organising us ladies too.)
I've recently bought my first pair of patterned leggings and had a few comments about being brave to wear them. It got me thinking about this challenge. For this challenge I'd like us to cover our legs in patterns. This could be tights, leggings, trousers, skirts, dresses, marker pens, anything you like as long as your legs are in some way covered in a pattern. Show people patterns look great on the bottom half of our bodies.

I decided to wear some leggings from Everything 5 Pounds I've had for ages but only worn once. They don't really go with anything as they're quite loud, so I decided to wear something matching in colour and it looks like I'm wearing my pyjamas from a distance! (Except I'm wearing wedges and hair flowers, too.) The leggings are good though, as they've got lots of animals on them like polar bears and penguins. Actually, I think I'll wear them as PJ bottoms in future. Why didn't I think of that before? D'oh!

I'm going to be honest, my kneejerk reaction when I saw these photos (as well as not liking the clothes together) was OMG I MAY AS WELL BE NAKED. You can see errrrrrthang. Then, that kneejerk reaction passed, I looked again and thought Damn, you've got it all going on. My arse looks amazing!

THIS is why it's SO important to take photos of ourselves from all angles. It isn't just important to change other people's perspectives of fat people, but also our own perspectives as well. I can't speak for anyone else but I've grown up hearing shit about my body and bodies like mine my whole life. It takes time to get rid of that crap. I'm only starting to unravel my baggage with regards to my body, and I've been working on myself in that regard for 3 or 4 years now. It's work, but it's SO worth it.

So this isn't my favourite outfit of all time by any means, but it's vital because I got reacquainted with all the ins and outs of my body.






I'm wearing:
Animal print jumper, past season New Look (size 24) via Mookie
Leggings, (size 28) past Everything 5 Pounds
Wedges, past season Evans
Hair flowers, old New Look & Peacocks

The others taking part are:

Steph
Sarah
Becky
Nikki
Natalie
Gillian
Mary
Hollie
Becca
Sam

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

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!



Photo realistic tattoo art by Russian Artist Valentina Ryabova.

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

P.S. Bloggers, do you want to guest post on my blog? I have 4 guest slots available for about 10-14 days time over my birthday period while I have a high old time of it, so let me know in the comments or email me.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

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

Monday, 23 March 2015

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

Sunday, 22 March 2015

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

Saturday, 21 March 2015

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

Friday, 20 March 2015

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

Hiya!

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

Thursday, 19 March 2015

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
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