If I could dress James for the day*

If you could dress your partner for the day, would you? If I dressed James for the day I'd be tempted put him in a pinny (and nothing else) and make him be my maid for the day!

When James and I first met he was a young 'un living with his mum and dad (he's almost 7 years younger than me) and his mum was buying most of his clothes. He dressed a lot more conservatively than he does now - he used to wear sports tops, jeans and trainers - and now he's evolved to band t shirts, jeans and boots. If I were to dress him up for the day this is the kind of thing I'd want him to wear.

Yours Clothing Black Drape Pocket Sleeveless Dress

After buying the grey drape pocket dress by Yours Clothing and falling in love with it I checked the website daily for the black one to come into stock. It arrived and it's not the same dress as the grey one, alas. The fabric is a lot thinner, so it hangs lower (hence me layering a top under it) and it's a lot more stretchy. I needn't have sized up with this dress as it's plenty big already. I can barely reach the pockets as it hangs so low on me, but in summer I can wear it bare legged as it comes below my knees. Let's have some more photos, shall we?
These photos were taken in Penhurst near Battle on Saturday, a lovely little 'burb. There's not a whole lot there, but what there is is very pretty. Once the weather warms up some more I look forward to getting out and about a lot more at weekends.
Although the dress is quite thin I still like it a lot as I'm into flowing clothes in plain colours at the moment. Just be aware that it's a bit more revealing than the grey dress due to the fabric being thinner.

I'm wearing:

Yours Clothing Black Drape Pocket Sleeveless Dress
Stripey crop top, past Forever 21+
Biker, past season New Look
Leggings, Very
Bag, past season Peacocks
Hi tops, Everything 5 Pounds

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

Modcloth scotty dog dress


My blogger pal Mookie lent me a couple of Modcloth dresses, and this is the last of the bunch. You can see the one she gave me here and here's the other one she loaned me. I don't think the dress is for sale any more as Mookie's had it at least a year as far as I'm aware. This is a 4x which equates to a size 26/28 UK.




The print is so cute isn't it? I fancied wearing my Frankenstein's monster brooch with it to contrast with the red of the dress.

Although the print is lovely, the dress didn't cinch me in at the waist like the others did. Still, I've been very impressed with the quality of all the Modcloth dresses Mookie lent me. I've since bought one myself. This was $20 in their Stylish Surprise sale and I love it - it's Beetlejuice with added spring flowers! I'll do an outfit post with it soon.



Scotty dog dress, Modcloth
Brooch, Little Pink Kokoro
Leggings, Very (from a twin pack)
Shoes, past New Look

Have you tried anything from Modcloth yet? You can find plus sizes under what they call 'extended sizes' and there's quite a lot of choice. If only customs fees weren't so bad I'd buy from them more often.

Leah xoxo

Articles you need to read #2

Here are some of the articles and things I've enjoyed this week and think you might like, too.


An open letter to women who say "I want my body back"
A love letter from your fat friend.
How I lost my appetite for fat politics (I feel Lesley so hard on this one - I may do a post spurred on by this piece).
Full transcript of interview with Essence Magazine. Kath is awesome. 
A new zine for ladies over a size 22 has been created here.
Click this or this if you don't like Donald Trump.
Click this if you like cute dogs. I hope she has a detached house! :) 

Have you read/seen anything this week I should check out?

Leah xoxo

Yours Clothing split side maxi top take 2

YOURS CLOTHING BLACK SHORT SLEEVED PLUS SIZE MAXI TOP WITH LARGE SIDE SPLITS
I like the idea of wearing my new items in a couple of different ways in a short space of time. What I've always done in the past is post up one outfit using a new thing then not show it again for months. I always feel I have to rotate things a lot to not bore everyone. I don't know why I put these silly rules on myself! But that's not me. When I get something new I want to wear it all the time in lots of different ways. This is how I bundled up for a walk with James on a really cold day last week. Take one of this top is here.
BLACK SHORT SLEEVED PLUS SIZE MAXI TOP WITH LARGE SIDE SPLITS
BLACK SHORT SLEEVED PLUS SIZE MAXI TOP WITH LARGE SIDE SPLITS
BLACK SHORT SLEEVED PLUS SIZE MAXI TOP WITH LARGE SIDE SPLITS
BLACK SHORT SLEEVED PLUS SIZE MAXI TOP WITH LARGE SIDE SPLITS
YOURS CLOTHING BLACK SHORT SLEEVED MAXI TOP WITH LARGE SIDE SPLITS
Yours Clothing black short sleeved maxi top with large side splits
Jason Momoa necklace, Xmas present from Mookie
Snood Primark & touch screen gloves eBay
Jeggings, past Matalan
Boots, past Brantano
Jacket, past New Look
Fringed bag, Xmas present from my mum & step dad

Are you happy to see new takes on an item you've already seen?

Thanks for reading. xoxo

Plus 40 Fabulous February


This month's subject is something that makes us excited or happy. Sometimes the fatigue of ME makes me feel like I have no passions, but a good energy day reminds me that's SO untrue. I have a lot of passions.

My family

I've always been quite close to my family but since my step dad had cancer I think we've pulled together even more. I've vowed to spend one weekend a month in my hometown and I really look forward to it. I had a great time there last month. I also get to see this monkey who is the light of my life (alongside my other niece, who'll be 3 in April). She's wearing my faux fur stole as a hat. :)





James

It goes without saying that husband face is one of my joys in life, even though he's a bone idle git when it comes to housework. ;) He has a cracking sense of humour and often does silly things to make me laugh like dancing around in his pants or putting his balls on my face when I'm not expecting it. (When would you expect balls in the face?!) What a treasure! He's fab when I have a migraine or need a nap - he tucks me in on the sofa and turns the lights down. He even taps away on the pc quietly when I'm napping. Awww, I love his face.

The people's eyebrow

My friends

I have loads of good people in my life, on and offline. My 2 Rachels (Canada Rach and hometown Rach), Mookie, old school friends I'm still in touch with, and loads of other lovely people on and off my computermabob. There are too many to mention and that means I'm blessed.



My blog

Of course this is a passion or I wouldn't still be doing it. I've met so many lovely people through blogging - both readers and other bloggers - and although at times the pressure of it makes me want to rip my hair out, I honestly can't imagine a life where I don't blog.

Music

A day without music is a day wasted. I love music - it gives me oomph when I have none. I'm a rock/metal chick but I also love my female singers like Sia, Adele, Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding and Lissie. The last big gig I went to was Bullet For My Valentine and it was great.

Animals

I don't have any yet but when we move we're going to rescue a couple of cats. A good walk for me is when I get to stroke cats or dogs. Anyone who knows me well knows I adore animals and children. Most of what I post on Facebook is animal videos. I'm sure people probably think I have shit all to say about myself but at least they get I really like cute critters.

TV

There's a lot of time not doing a lot (or not sleeping a lot) with chronic illness so TV is a big thing. The only soaps I watch are Eastenders and Home and Away, but I love a whole heap of shows. In the last few months I've devoured the Sopranos box set, 2 series of Broadchurch, Dark Matter (SO good!), all series of American Horror Story, Fortitude (it was brilliant!) and probably some more I've forgotten. I'm currently watching The Wire. My favourite show right now is Chicago Fire, with Chicago PD and Chicago Med coming up close. Next on the watchlist will be The X Files, Vikings when it's back, The Walking Dead, and in April, Game of Thrones.

When I feel up to it issues of equality, feminism and of course fat issues are my passions, but I need to be well to devote myself to them and that hasn't really been the case for months. Obviously the way women over 40 are seen is a passion of mine too, and I'm going to do my best to grow old disgracefully as my 2 fingers up to that notion. :)

What are your passions?

Others who may be taking part this month.

Cathy: http://www.southernyacht.blogspot.co.uk/
Christy: http://www.sprintingwithscissors.blogspot.co.uk/
Daisy: http://daisysays.co.uk
Kate: https://wearingmywardrobein2016.wordpress.com
Kath: https://fatheffalump.wordpress.com
Lee: http://www.pinkybellesshed.co.uk/
Mookie: http://www.mookieslife.com/
Nikki :http://www.nattynikki.com/
Perelandra: http://www.pamperandcurves.com/
Sarah: http://www.plussizeproud.co.uk
Steph: http://www.misskittenheel.com
Vicky: http://www.therandomnessoftwee.blogspot.co.uk
Yvonne: http://woosangwashere.blogspot.com


Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo 

ASOS Curve Floral Gem Crop Top

I bought this crop top last summer from ASOS Curve and I only recently got around to wearing it. It has diamonds and flowers printed on it, a couple of a girl's best friends. You might be able to pick one up on eBay. Actually, everything in this outfit is past season.








I still can't get enough of crop tops. The ASOS ones are a little too short for me - I'd prefer a little more length at the back to encompass my back squidge - but I've worn my skirt up a little higher to compensate.

I'm wearing:

Necklace, blog sale
Crop top, past season ASOS Curve
Skirt, past season Yours Clothing
Shoes, past season Very

The lipstick is Serpent by Makeup Revolution if anyone is interested.

If you want to wear crop tops but aren't comfortable doing so in public just yet, ease into it gently. Knot a t shirt at the front or side to expose just a hint of skin, or wear a kimono over the top of a proper crop top. I've been out wearing crop tops several times now, and trust me, no one bats an eyelid. And if someone did stare or say something, so what? It's a couple of inches of exposed flesh on a fat person. Anyone who's threatened or offended by that is a pillock, and who cares what pillocks think? I only care about the opinions of people I like. Everyone else can go sit on a cactus.

I've been trying to do different poses in my photos recently. I look like a fool in some of them but at least I have a good giggle when I look back through my photos. :) I've tried doing that arch-fashionista death stare down the lens (which some people do so well and look so glorious doing) but it feels wrong on me. My resting bitch face has too much bitch in it, lololol. I've also taken a few sets of outfit photos out and about recently and look forward to doing that more now the days are getting longer. I've seen more than enough of that wall unit behind me - I want to replace it with one of these, but there's no point doing it until we move. Spring will be here soon, and that'll mean more walks and more opportunities to take photos outside - and less of that wall unit. ;)

Have a great week.
Leah xoxo

Yours Clothing Black Short Sleeve Maxi Top With Large Side Splits

Another thing I bought in my recent Yours Clothing order was this maxi top with long side splits. I'm really drawn to plain colours rather than patterns at the moment. I haven't got a lot of clothes on in this look, but I've also taken photos of it wearing a little more which I'll share another time. Sometimes I just want to hang out half dressed. ;)


Yours Clothing Black Short Sleeve Plus Size Maxi Top With Large Side Splits
God, I can't wait to move! The carpets are so threadbare.

Just Me Leah purple make up and shaved undercut

Yours Clothing Black Short Sleeve Plus Size Maxi Top With Large Side Splits 4

Yours Clothing Black Short Sleeve Plus Size Maxi Top With Large Side Splits 5

The top is lovely - soft, flowing and very stretchy. I'm wearing a size 26/28. It also comes in wine, khaki and grey and I think wine is calling to me! (Hahaha, in more ways than one!) This top will look great over so many things - leggings, jeggings, jeans or tights. I would wear this outside with thick tights on, and on holiday abroad somewhere hot I think I would wear it like this bare legged. It's a bit too brrrrrr over here to flash the flesh for a lot of the year.

Trinkets Jewellery 'Real Women' Campaign

Just Me Leah Plus Size Alternative Blogger undercut purple makeup

Yours Clothing Black Short Sleeve Plus Size Maxi Top With Large Side Splits 6

Yours Clothing Black Short Sleeve Plus Size Maxi Top With Large Side Splits 7

You know what? Every woman has a bit of cellulite, and I don't mind mine at all. It's a bit of texture, that's all. It can look better or worse depending on lighting, hydration or the amount of exercise I'm getting, but it's a normal part of being a woman. I've never had a fella see me with my kit off and say 'Oh no, I can't possibly shag you, you've got a bit of cellulite!' It has never happened, and if it had I would've laughed at them and buggered off. Don't let a bit of jiggle put you off getting your sexy on, especially with Valentines Day today. Go forth and get your shag on (even if it's with yourself - self love is the most enduring love, after all!)

I've made a decision to show more of me on this blog (even though it may mean more unwanted attention from men) because I'm on a mission to normalise bodies, and since this is the only one I've got, it's comin' at ya! I've been taking photos at 'unflattering' angles, like sitting down with my big ol' belly scrunched up bigger than my boobs, from the side with my big ol' broken nose in profile, of my double chins, and all kinds of other bits of myself that I've instinctively been hiding. Well, I haven't been hiding them as such, but not thinking to include them, which is kinda the same thing, I guess? So expect more of me, and not just pretty, flattering angles. That whole 'acceptable fatness' thing needs to die harder than Bruce Willis in a filthy white vest (swoon!)

I'm wearing:

Yours Clothing Black Short Sleeve Maxi Top With Large Side Splits
Yours Clothing boy shorts
Boots, past season New Look
Belt, past season ASOS Curve
Elongated Etched Metal Necklace, Trinkets Jewellery*

I'm part of Trinkets Jewellery's selfie campaign, read more here. She wants women of all shapes and sizes to be a part of her website and to model her lovely necklaces. She has oodles of gorgeous jewellery and she's based in Ireland.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Outfit | Wingz and 25% discount code*

Hello lovelies,

Don't fall out of your chairs or anything, but I'm wearing a couple of new bits. I bought myself a comfy dress from Yours and I was sent some Wingz. I thought I'd try them with this dress and they look great.



So, the dress is sleeveless and Wingz are arm covers so you can wear sleeveless dresses/tops all year round. Here's a photo from the website so you can see how they fit under the bra. The sleeves are soft stretch lace and the part that goes under your bra is really stretchy and elasticated for a great fit. They come in sizes 0-3 and I'm wearing size 3, the biggest. They have loads of different designs with both fitted and baggy sleeves. I love the full length black lace ones too. I think I'm going to get a lot of wear out of these as I often wear a lace cardi in summer to cover my arms up but now I can wear these.



I shaved the side of my head the other day. I've had it done it before, but not for a long time. I love it and am tempted to do the other side! I also felt like doing some wild makeup, so I did. Sometimes I want to be all fairy princess in a pretty dress with pretty hair, and other times I want to be like Tank Girl in shit-kicking boots and ugly lipstick.


Here's a photo of the dress without the Wingz on.


Wingz have given me a lovely discount code for you. Use 'leah' for 25% off.

I'm wearing:

Stretch Lace Wingz 3/4 Length Sleeve Black
Dark Grey Marl Drape Pocket Sleeveless Dress 
Boots, past season New Look
Necklace, eBay

The dress is so lovely, so comfortable. I realised at the tail end of last year that I had a surplus of pretty dresses and loads of things with prints on, but very little plain, comfy clothes. When I was at the worst of my depression last year I'd look at all the fancy clothes in my wardrobe and shut the door defeated. I had nothing to put on on days where I needed to be swaddled in functional, cosy clothes. This dress is one of those items. It also comes in black, and if it comes back into stock I'm going to get that too. If they brought it out in 10 colours I'd probably buy them all. In winter I can wear Wingz or a long sleeved cotton top underneath, and in summer I'll wear it easy breezy. It's slightly swing in style being much bigger around the hips than the bust (great for pear shapes) and I sized up to a 30/32 as I do love my oversized comfies.

Thanks for reading,
Leah xoxo

P.S. I'm having a new blog design installed soon, a much more minimalist one. You may even see it before I do, since I'm so nocturnal these days. Let me know what you think of it when it changes over.

*Item sent by Wingz. Opinions are honest and my own.

Why I stopped saying what I have is CFS

Hey loves,

I thought I'd do a little post about why I'm suddenly referring to having ME a lot rather than calling it CFS. A small percentage of people say the two are different things, with ME being a more serious condition than CFS, but I'm not going down that track as I don't have the energy to argue - lololol.

I mention my health in passing here or there, talking about how I'm having trouble sleeping or having energy problems, but I stopped doing dedicated health posts in that period where I lost myself and became concerned with being more of a 'popular' blogger (whatever the hell that is!). I didn't think chronic illness was at all sexy and worried about turning people off. Well if it does they're not worth having around anyway. It's not sexy but it is my life so of course I'll talk about it.

The reason I now refer to myself as having ME is because 'chronic fatigue syndrome' goes nowhere near describing the hell of the illness. It is a useless description for a complex, debilitating complaint. It's not tiredness, it's an overwhelming fatigue which can make you pass out on your feet (which has happened to me a couple of times). It can make you walk and talk with the coordination of a drunk. It barely gets better with rest, and you can be totally fine one minute and be crying through exhaustion a minute later. It's like flicking a switch.

Side story - James and I met in April 2003 and I got symptoms throughout 2007, but by September they were marked enough for me know something was really wrong. By January 2008 I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and had to leave work, and by April 2008 my symptoms were completely life altering and the pain was physically disabling. My 34th birthday dawned with me unable to lift my feet off the ground to walk, and I dragged my legs about one at a time like a lame dog, inch after tearful inch. James didn't understand. I had so many falls, so many accidents, yet he pushed me so hard all the time to do more and I felt like we were talking different languages. I'd be smothered in bruises from falls and had even put my back out from a ready bad fall and he just wasn't getting it. He couldn't see the truth in front of him, or he didn't want to. He's the kind of person who doesn't listen to what you're telling him - he has to see it happen for himself, and usually several times. (Damn science brained git!)

We had a very difficult transition. When he finally got it we'd had a 9 hour coach trip home from Wales, during which I'd been really ill because of travel sickness. It was only 3 days since the coach trip outbound so I was completely wiped out. When we got to London we got the tube from Golders Green to central London as James couldn't be bothered to wait for the coach to get to central London for some reason unbeknownst to me - man logic. ;) We were going up a flight of stairs with our heavy backpacks on when I fell UP the stairs in the tube station. I ended up bruised really badly on both legs, and I just stood and bawled my eyes out in the middle of the concourse once I managed to walk up the rest of the stairs. I remember pleading with him: "NOW do you see?!" I guess he didn't want to admit the woman he loved was changing before his eyes. Loss isn't just felt by the person with the illness. That was in December 2008, so it had been a long process for him to get it, and those were really lonely days. We can laugh about it now, but it really hurt at the time and I guess it still does, or I wouldn't mention it now.

I didn't get my diagnosis till 2011, so the support of James was really important. There was one person who kept me alive through all those dark days, my friend Lisa. She also has Fibro and ME, and she knew from the start that I did too. If not for her I'm sure I wouldn't be alive to tell you this story. The best thing you can do for a person who's chronically ill - even if they're not diagnosed - is tell them you believe them. You can keep that person alive with your support. The early days of a life-changing illness are terrifying - your life gets turned on its head. A person might lose their job, they might lose their mobility. They might even lose their partner, and they sure as hell might lose their sanity, too.

So, going back to the main part of the post - sometimes the fatigue is delayed and I think I've escaped the aftereffects of a 'big day' (one where I leave the house) but the next day it knocks me for six. A really active day like going to London for a blogger event can set me back weeks. So when you say 'chronic fatigue' and people say 'Oh, everyone gets tired!' I roll my eyes hard and want to tell them that yes, if they've been so tired they passed out and woke up with the imprint of a radiator slammed into their forehead or came round with their head in the bloody road then yes, they know my kinda tired. ;) Otherwise shuddafuggup.

But the fatigue is just a small part. It's constant infections - sties or conjunctivitis, chest infections, throat infections, UTIs. It can be early menopause, sleep disturbances (hello!), muscle pains, cold and flu symptoms, dizziness and nausea, memory loss, headaches, confusion, heavy sweating, palpitations, swollen painful glands, IBS, depression, sensitivity to light, noise, movement and smells, trouble keeping an even temperature and so on.

It affects every aspect of my life along with the Fibromyalgia, so no, CFS doesn't cover it at all. And in the 8 and a bit years I've had Fibro and ME, it's gotten worse year on year to the point where I wonder if I'll end up totally bed-bound or in a wheelchair like some ME patients are. But then I could get hit by a bus and drop down dead tomorrow so it's best not to plan too far ahead anyway. Hahaha. Black humour helps me cope. :) Everybody struggles with something, be it mental or physical health or life challenges, so this isn't the woe-is-me Olympics. Some days are better than others, hell some weeks or months are better than others. There are flare ups and other times are better so I just take it day by day. There are SO many people out there struggling with things that other people have no clue about, so this post is dedicated to everyone out there with invisible illnesses who are trying to live their life and are kinda surviving instead.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo