Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Outfit | Park Life*

Hiya loves,

On Saturday I had a hair cut. I had my fringe cut back in, had some layers put in the sides and a lot off the ends. I had layers all over the place at the back and now it's all one length at the back so it'll look less straggly. I've been seeing the same stylist for 10 years and love going as she's a total hoot. After I left the hairdresser we went to the park to snap photos of my hair and clothes.



It makes me laugh that despite styling and products my fringe is still determined to part in the middle. ;)

This is my favourite kind of casual outfit - relaxed, but not signalling having given up on life entirely. Lololol. I call it demi-casual!





I'm wearing some new boots from Brantano, the wide fit Caravelle faux leather boots and they are so comfortable it's like wearing my slippers. Seriously. They're so light I'm pretty sure it's witchcraft, and they fit like a glove. OK, maybe the comfort isn't witchcraft but actually down to the leather insole and padding, but you know when shoes become like a religious experience? That. For this level of comfort I'd have taken ugly boots but I love the look of these and I'm considering buying the burgundy ones. When they came James and I looked at them and we both said 'They're never going to fit!' They looked so narrow and small, but they are perfect and I don't want to take them off.


The only downside I can see is the soles - they have no real grip to speak of (just wavy lines), so they're not for slippery weather - but for the milder weather these are my new go-to boots. If you can get to a Brantano, just take my word for it and try these on. Your feet will thank you for it.

I'm wearing:

Hollie oversized shirt, past season Boohoo
Longline vest top, Yours Clothing
Acid wash jeggings, Yours Clothing
Caravelle wide fit Tahlia ankle boots, (now sold out) Brantano*

OMG, I have to tell you about these jeggings. I haven't had the best luck with jeggings in the past. I love the look of my Matalan blue acid wash ones but I had to size up to get them over my hips so they fall down a lot. I need to sew the waistband a bit tighter, but then will they still go over my hips? Dilemma! I'd wanted these Yours jeggings since they came out but they only go up to a size 28, and I never thought they'd fit over my big ol' hips, thighs and arse which can take me up to a size 32 in some jeans and trousers. In the end I thought sod it and ordered them anyway and I'm so glad I did, because they're perfect. They fit me just right in the hips, they're high waisted (on short-torsoed me at least) and they're not overly big in the waist so they don't need pulling up much as I walk. I'm in love. If they came in black acid wash I'd be all over that too! They're soft and comfortable and like the boots, you're going to be sick of the sight of me in them before long.

It was lovely to see some of the trees changing colour when we were at the park. Give it another few weeks and it'll be even more beautiful. It's my favourite time of the year for walks in the park because of that. What's your favourite thing about Autumn?

Thanks for reading!
Leah xoxo

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Less is more

Hiya loves,

How was your weekend? Mine felt like a bank holiday weekend as James had yesterday off work. We had a great weekend. On Saturday I had my hair cut, then we popped to the park to take some outfit photos. We had a lovely drive to Dungeness on Sunday, following a pair of gorgeous pastel Plymouth cars for about half the way there - one pink, one mint green. They were either Savoys or Furies, both 4 door sedans with the sexy rear fins. I love American classic cars, and always get really excited when I see them.

When we got to Dungeness we had a look at the old and new lighthouses then explored some abandoned fishing sheds there. We watched a couple of films at home on Sunday, then stayed up into Monday as we watched the blood moon/super moon progress. It was beautiful - there were so many stars and they were so low in the sky. We spent about 2 hours gazing at the sky and although we were virtually falling asleep standing up, it was worth the wait to see the red moon. I also saw 3 shooting stars, which is always a treat.

Dungeness old lighthouse


I did some curating of past blog posts over the weekend. I've written 1695 posts since 2009, which is frightening. I reverted everything from 2009-2010 back to drafts as my blog had no direction then. I didn't focus on plus size fashion until 2012/2013, and even then very tentatively. I didn't really thrive till halfway through 2013, so this blog has really only come into its own in the last couple of years. A lot of outfit posts from the early days were really bad - poor light, blurry shots, a cluttered background, questionable facial expressions, outfits I really dislike, etc. I think I've probably hidden 20% of things and that REALLY made me think about quality vs quantity. Sometimes habits are so ingrained you can't see what's staring you in the face. I'm going to ease off the throttle and blog perhaps 3-4 times a week but with more effort put in, especially with outfits.
 
Here's a photo of my new hair. I had my fringe cut back in, layers cut in through the sides, and several inches off the length to keep it nice and healthy. I have noticed a distinct (and swift) change in condition of my hair for the worse in the last couple of weeks, which reminds me I need to pop to Holland and Barrett to get some hair skin and nails supplement pills.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Outfit | IGIGI dress for Autumn

Hiya sweets,

This isn't the first time I've worn this dress, but because it has so many colours in it it's versatile and can be worn in a number of different ways. I chose to pick out the warmer tones today by teaming it with a burgundy boyfriend coat and some brown beaded earrings.

This dress was gifted to me previously (I wrote about it here) and because it has a lot of different colours in the design I can bring out different colours each time by pairing it with different accessories. I could've chosen to pick out the blue, pink, orange or red, but I decided to plump for burgundy/brown on this occasion. If you have a dress like this with lots of different colours in it the world is your oyster. It is undoubtedly an expensive dress at £100, but it's incredibly well made. It's a heavyweight dress and it's lined through the body so it's perfect for the colder weather. When I next wear it I might wear it with blue accessories to bring that out, and that'll be a quite winter appropriate look too - symbolising blue fingers from the cold, ahaha!
Apologies that these photos are slightly out of focus. I took about 3 sets of outfit photos over a few days before I realised the settings are off. Bugger! I usually use the DSLR for outfit shots indoors but I think I might start using the Sony I got for my birthday for indoor outfits as well as outdoor ones. I hope you can see enough of the detail today.






I'm wearing:

Igigi Penny dress in Crimson City
Earrings, market stall
Necklace, Jewel Street 
Leggings, Very - from a twin pack of one full length, one 3/4 length leggings
Shoes, past Everything 5 Pounds
Boyfriend coat, past season New Look Inspire

I love all kinds of 'ethnic' jewellery, including Native American dream catcher designs, but refuse to buy anything like that from Western sources as I don't believe white people should profit from cultural appropriation. (I've had a few dream catchers bought for me in the past but I won't buy anything myself unless I know the money is going directly to native people). I bought these earrings from a market stall in town on the bank holiday weekend. It was run by a man and woman who were non-white/native/indigenous-to-somewhere-else but I didn't want to be the douche to ask 'Where are you from?' They're beaded dream catcher earrings which are absolutely gorgeous.

I buy these leggings over and over again. Each pair lasts at least a year and they wash and wear so well. They don't fade at all. I'll be buying them for as long as they make them!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Friday, 25 September 2015

Outfit | Scarlett & Jo skirt

Hello loves,

I bought this Scarlett & Jo skirt in an Evans sale back in July, I think. I forgot I'd started this post - it has been sat in my drafts for over a month. My brother came down to visit on this day and we went for a pub meal. This was when I got food poisoning. It was a lovely day apart from that. ;)



The skirt has sold out now. I'm pretty Scarlett & Jo obsessed, which won't be news to regular readers. If I was going to sum them up in a phrase, easy to wear would be it. When I wear anything by them I feel instantly dressy, and instantly 'enough'. I don't have to worry if I look OK throughout the day, and that's me to a tee. I want to put my clothes on and forget about them. If my clothes are uncomfortable I'm going to be thinking about them and not having fun and life's too short for that! I'm wearing a size 28, which is my usual in S&J, but I find the waistband on this skirt slightly less stretchy than the prom dresses I have in a size 28, just so you know. The skirt itself has plenty of room, it's just the waist band. And OMG, I've just remembered I have a new S&J dress I haven't even worn yet. Yasssss!



I'm wearing:

Hair clip, Crown and Glory
Statement necklace, Ali Express
Lace cardi old Asda.com
Vest, old Evans.com
Skirt, Scarlett & Jo
Shoes, past season Very

Here's a pic of my brother from this day.

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend.
Leah xoxo

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Outfit | Collection by Evans ivory devore skirt

Hello you!

I fell in love with this skirt when I first saw Evans' Design Collective video months ago. When it was released it was £50, which is way out of my price range for a skirt. Lo and behold my patience paid off, and it has been reduced to £20 and is still available in all sizes. To make it even sweeter, I had a £5 Evans voucher from last years' Plus North so there was no way I could resist.

I've used a Picmonkey filter on some of these photos to warm them up, which I don't usually do, but the light was terrible this day. The quality of light is going to be a constant grumble from me on and off until spring, as in Autumn/Winter in the UK we don't often see actual sunlight. What we get instead is a poor relative which is grey diluted sun, hidden behind clouds, which gives a flat, ugly cast to photos. Grumble grumble. ;)


I'm wearing the skirt in a size 28 and I would say it's true to size. It has no stretch in the waistband, and I did the right thing by erring upwards in sizing as it's a smidgen too big in the waist and I suspect a 26 would've been a bit too small. The patterns in it are gorgeous and remind me of Art Deco, which is never a bad thing as I love all things Art Deco. I'd love to go back in a time machine to that era. It would be divine! What period of time would you go back to if time travel was a thing?



The length is lovely on me at a few inches below the knee, and the lining is a few inches shorter, but it's not indecent. The colour was a brave choice for me as I'm a walking muck-magnet, but I feel so fancy in the skirt I don't mind avoiding anything that might stain it.


I'm also wearing a lovely sheer cover up which I bought at UKPSFW a couple of weeks ago from a company from Slovakia called Trendy Plus Size. They have a website here too. It's lovely and I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of it - perhaps not so much for the rest of this year, but definitely from spring onwards next year.

I'm wearing:

Longline bolero, Trendy Plus Size (I'm wearing size 22 - it's generously sized)
Longline vest, Yours Clothing
Evans Collection ivory devore skirt
Gold shoes, past season Very.com
Necklace, past season New Look

If you ever come across these shoes by Very, I wouldn't recommend them. One of the embellishments broke off the first time I wore them, so I superglued it back on and then it broke off again the next time I wore them - on Rach and JP's wedding day, when I was bridesmaid. It was glued back on with chewing gum as that's all there was to hand. :)

I'm having my hair cut on Saturday and I can't wait. It's a right ol' mess. The condition is awful, I've lost a lot of hair at the front and it needs a real overhaul despite it only being cut 2 months ago. When my health is doing down the toilet it always shows up in my hair. I'm going to start taking a hair, skin and nails supplement as my hair is something I'm quite vain about. Straw hair be gone! I'm not sure if it's the vegan diet (which I'm not doing any more) or the menopause that's making my hair awful, but steps need to be taken!

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Life lately #6

Heya!



I could've made this a video update but TBH I didn't fancy putting makeup on for it. ;) So what's happening with me? My step dad's still in hospital on and off to make sure they get rid of every last cell of cancer in his body, even though the mass has gone. The NHS are being so thorough, which is wonderful. He's coming home on weekends when he's well enough, and he *should* be finished with chemo in 3 weeks or so. My mum's knee is still giving her trouble and I suspect she's done more than just whacked it. It's barely improved at all since last week even with lots of rest so she will be going back to the doctor to check it out.

I had a lovely couple of days with my mum when I went to look after her last week. This was the first time we'd spent together just us two for a long time. It was tiring being mum's carer (I have no idea how full time carers do it honestly) and she was doing her absolute best to not trouble me with too many requests, but I wanted to do it. I did look and feel very tired by Saturday though, and that's Fibromyalgia and CFS kicking my butt. We had a lot of laughs, especially when it came to taking her out in the wheelchair on Friday and Saturday. I need my wheelchair L plates - I nearly knocked her legs off twice. Sorry mum!

We went to the hospital to see my step dad on Friday and pushing a wheelchair through the winding hospital corridors was great cardio. I was sweating bullets! My step dad was quite chirpy, which was lovely to see. On Saturday morning mum and I got a cab into town to meet my dad (actual dad, not step dad) and he took over the reigns of the disabled chariot with gusto. We went to a few shops - I stocked up on Halloween decor and bought some Christmas stocking fillers - and had a drink outside a cafe soaking up the unexpected sunshine. I also bought a cosy blanket wrap from Primark which will appear in an outfit post soon.

Mum in her disabled chariot


My dad

James arrived at lunch time Saturday to take mum and I to the hospital to collect Pete who was let out for the weekend. James took over wheelchair duties without being asked, which impressed me. You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat disabled people, even if they're only temporarily impaired like my mum. Never trust anyone who sees a disabled person as less than, because any of us could end up like it in a heartbeat.

When we got back to my mum & step dad's bungalow my brother visited too, and we all tried on my mum's wig. Wayne wouldn't let me have photographic evidence, dammit!

James does his Ryan Gosling skit!

Do you think I'm sexy?!

I told Pete he looks like a Bee Gee!


All in all it was a great weekend and I feel happy at the moment.

While I was at my mum's we had a takeaway 2 nights running, and it's left me craving healthy stuff. There's nothing like a couple of days of eating rubbish to put you in the mood for lots of fruit and veg! Because the last few months took such a toll on me I've decided I need structure in my life. So that means less chaos and more routine, putting exercise into every day, and putting myself and my commitments first before I look at my phone and get sucked into a social media sinkhole. Someone wise recently said the order to think of things in is me, my family, then everyone else. I can't remember who it was, but thank you! It's so simple. First I take care of my own needs - ablutions, breakfast, exercise. Then I can check on my family if I haven't bugged them in a while, then I can look at the endless notifications on my phone, check my personal and blog emails, and respond to everything. And it seems to be working. I feel a bit more centred.

Something else that happened is I'm no longer vegan. I'm not even vegetarian. A couple of things shaped this - my hair started falling out, especially at the front. I don't know if it's stress or the vegan diet, but I've started chopping the top of my head off in close up photos to hide my scalp, which is really visible at the front. The other thing which was the death knell for being vegan was that in the last month I had unbelievable cravings for red meat. I've never been a red meat eater - steak turns my stomach. And yet I was having oh-my-God-has-James's-vasectomy-failed intensity cravings for red meat. I've never experienced anything like this level of yearning for any food, and because I wasn't buying meat I found myself having takeaways a couple of times a week, which isn't the best/healthiest thing for me. I suspect the cravings were my body's way of telling me I was getting anaemic. So meat is back on the menu. Not every day, but some. And weirdly I'm still off dairy and eggs. I'm using dairy replacements as before, but I NEED meat. And it feels shit because I really did want to be vegan because animal welfare is a big concern of mine. Gah.

So, what's new with you? Tell me in the comments. :) By the time you read this I will have had my GP appointment about my mental health, and fingers crossed it will have gone well.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Outfit | Checks on the beach

Hello lovelies!

These photos were taken on the beach and have a very strange light to them as James concentrated on getting the sky blue, which meant I was dark. They've been edited, but they look a bit pants. Onwards, and here's some resting bitch face to start us off. ;)

This is a shirt I got from a charity shop last month.






Here's a photo from my make up on this day.



I'm wearing:

Checked shirt, past season thrifted (from New Look)
Black dress, H&M+
Evans ultrastretch skinny jeans
Shoes, past season Very.co.uk

I'm really liking all kinds of checks prints right now, including tartan of course. What's your favourite kind of print?

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Monday, 21 September 2015

Beauty| MUA Spring Break eyeshadow palette & face of the day*

Hey you!

I have swatches and a makeup look using the MUA palette Spring Break to show you today. It's a pretty palette full of shades for all the year through, despite the Spring themed name.

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE REVIEW

MUA Spring Break palette £4 (limited edition)

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE SWATCHES

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE SWATCHES AND REVIEW

The colours are absolutely stunning, particularly the nuanced brown far right on the top row, which is called Sorrel.

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE SWATCHES

I did a quite muted makeup look using 4 colours from this palette: I used the matte brown (top left) to accentuate my eye socket, and Cherub (top second left) over my inner eye to brighten that area. This sparkly pink reminds me of Dust in the Naked palette 3. I used the minty-blue Seafoam on the main part of my lid, and Damson (bottom right) along my lower lashline.

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE REVIEW

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE AND FACE OF THE DAY

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE 40S BEAUTY BLOGGER

I didn't use eye primer and you will get a more vivid look using one.

MUA SPRING BREAK EYESHADOW PALETTE FACE OF THE DAY

I'm also wearing MUA Powerpout acrylic lip gloss in Supreme, £3.50.

When MUA first came out I found it hard to believe that anyone could knock eyeshadow palettes out at such a bargain price. Of course 5 years on MUA are a staple in my makeup bag and I probably have more eyeshadow palettes from MUA than anyone else. 

*The palette and lip gloss were sent to me but my opinions are honest and my own.

Are you an MUA shopper? You can buy MUA on their website, Superdrug.com and Superdrug stores in the UK.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Outfit | Samya contrast biker jacket from House of Fraser*

Hiya lovelies!

I'm wearing a lovely two-tone biker jacket from Samya in today's outfit post. I didn't know Samya did jackets until I saw this one, and it's half price at £30 at the moment so it's a doubly fortunate find.

Samya contrast biker jacket with paisley lining

Friday, 18 September 2015

The St Leonards on Sea Banksy and how to find it

Hello ducks!

My brother wanted to see the St Leonards on Sea Banksy when he visited recently, so of course I obliged. I've also taken some photos to show you how to find it if you want to have a look yourself. Read on!

ST LEONARDS ON SEA BANKSY MURAL

BANKSY MURAL ST LEONARDS SEA FRONT HASTINGS


The council had to put perspex over it soon after it was done as idiots were defacing it. *rolls eyes*

To find the Banksy, you'll need to be on the A259 along St Leonards sea front. The church is at 66 Marina. Look out for St Leonards parish church (see the large photo in the collage below) and cross the road at the nearest safe point opposite. You'll see the car park then the beach. Look for the marker numbered 44 (see the photo of my brother standing next to it below). Go down onto the beach and face the church and tharrrr she blows in the corner on your left.

There are also a couple of photos of Pelham Crescent and a peek of Hastings Castle in the collage below. Wayne and I went into Old Town for something to eat after visiting the Banksy. We went to The Little Larder now called Radley's which recently moved from Normans Road to George St. The menu is simple, the food to die for, and the staff are friendly and welcoming. It's a recommend from me.


There are a few other art works springing up right near the Banksy, including this one, which appears to be stencil art, similar to Banksy's style.

I've lived in Hastings for 10 years now and I've always loved it. I've lived in 4 counties in the South East and this is my home. I don't think of where I was born as my home town - this is it. I know Hastings and St Leonards gets a bad rap - rah rah underprivileged area rah rah unemployment - but people forget about the amazing talent here. Musicians, artists - both highbrow and lowbrow - and many other creatives abound who make it such a fun place to live. I'm really pleased to see how little artistic enclaves have popped up in recent years - you only have to look at the regeneration of the top end of Norman Road for that. It's Shoreditch on sea!

I hope we never become too arty-farty or too sanitised though. A lot of the charm of this area is in the shabby-around-the-edges places, and if we become too gentrified it'll be a crying shame. I don't know what a sunny summer afternoon would be without a ramble through Old Town's antiques and bric-a-brac shops and then a poke about through all the cast off seafarers' detritus on the fishing beach. Hastings should always be new art and old soul and everything in between, because that's where the beauty lies. We like our summer visitors, and then we like them to go away again so we can enjoy our town in her quieter moments. God forbid we become like Brighton - once the new 'it' place - with rents through the roof, poseurs stinking up every corner with their self-righteousness and skinny-yak-milk-angel-fart-grandes - and all the soul being lost to shiny new everything. Long may Hastings be the jewel in a slightly busted up crown.

What do you love (and want to protect fiercely) about where you live?

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

P.S. My mum has had a nasty fall so I'm going to look after her for a few days. I don't know if I'll get time to blog, but if not, I'll be back next week. :)

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Outfit | Transitional tartan and 10 ways to wear it

Hiya!

As soon as the days start shortening and sunlight evaporates, turning into that crappy grey light which makes everything look drab, my mind immediately turns to tartan. Maybe it's my Scottish heritage (my paternal grandfather was from Edinburgh) or perhaps it's that I lived through the grunge era, but I've always been a fan of tartans and checks.



I'd lost direction with fashion, not knowing really what I could see myself wearing in the near future (other than continuing to mix up older stuff in new ways, of course) but as soon as I saw this checked shirt dress it was like angels singing. Checked shirt dresses are going to be everywhere this autumn/winter and soon enough everyone and their mother will be selling them.

There are a lot of photos of my body and face in this post and I'm unapologetic. I was feeling myself this day and long may it last. You will probably see a lot of this shirt in different ways over autumn/winter. How will I wear thee? Let me count the ways.

Yours Clothing check shirt tunic with tie waist

Transitional tartan for autumn/winter and how to wear it
What's that? Yes I am fabulous, thank you!


Tartan plaid flannel checked shirt dress plus size

Now I sized allll the way up in this shirt, more so than would be to many people's tastes, but I care more for comfort and less for 'flattering' clothes. I wanted to make sure if the dress shrunk in the wash there'd still be plenty of room in it.


There'll be plenty of room for the bulkiest of jumpers underneath this when the weather turns bad. Do bear in mind the poppers come undone very easily so I suggest wearing a camisole underneath unless exhibitionism is your thing. ;)

Transitional tartan for autumn/winter and how to wear it

Unfortunately this top has sold out now as it was less than half price at £12, and demand was high. I hope it'll come back into stock. They also do it in black and white, which I've linked to below.

Plus size checked shirt dress plaid flannel checks


I'm wearing:

Checked shirt tunic with tie waist, past Yours Clothing
Navy leggings, past Everything 5 Pounds
Boots, past season F&F from Tesco

Ways to wear shirt dresses and checked shirts

  1. Worn as a dress over thick woollen tights and chunky boots
  2. Worn over the top of a roll neck jumper (for a proper 70s vibe!) with some flared jeans
  3. Tied at the waist over a pencil skirt, chunky flats and knee high socks
  4. Worn over a band shirt and jeggings/leggings
  5. Worn under a jumper so only the bottom half is showing with knee high boots
  6. Pattern clash - wear it with a horizontal striped top
  7. Layer up with ripped knee jeans, a chunky knit hat and a circle scarf/snood
  8. Wear it over a crop top and pencil skirt
  9. Layer it under a battered leather/faux leather jacket or a denim jacket
  10. Wear it over a plain t shirt dress, the more worn the better
I've made a Pinterest board with some visual cues if you want some more tips. The world's your oyster with checks/plaids/flannels/tartan. They're never going to go out of fashion, and they go with absolutely everything so investing in them is always a sound bet.

Follow Leah (Just me Leah)'s board How to wear shirt dresses and checked shirts on Pinterest.

Will you be wearing shirt dresses or checked shirts in the cold weather? People currently having spring, do you rock the flannel when it's cold?

Would you like more of these 'How to wear' posts from me?

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo
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