How to pick the perfect wedding ring #SP

Helping you chose the perfect wedding ring


Once you’ve found Mr. Right, you need to find the perfect wedding ring, but sometimes this can be difficult when your engagement ring was chosen for you.

With so many different types of cut, colour, clarity and carat to choose from, it can be a daunting task before the big day arrives.

Angelic Diamonds, specialist retailers in bespoke wedding rings, provide you with the definitive need-to-knows when it comes to choosing a ring that looks perfect on your finger.

The cut of your diamond


When it comes to the diamond in your ring, cut is the most important aspect. This is because the cut has the greatest influence on the diamond’s sparkle, meaning the better the cut, the more the diamond will sparkle on your wedding day.

Even when it has perfect clarity and colour grade, a diamond can still appear dull; the only thing keeping a diamond from appearing dull is its cut.

Dependent upon its light performance, a diamond’s cut is also known as its sparkle. So, the perfect ring with an ideal diamond cut will not be too shallow or too deep, and it will allow light to pass through it so that it reflects evenly throughout the diamond.

Colour


Colour is the second most important factor when choosing the ring that you’ll cherish forever. The eye detects sparkle from the diamond cut first, and then detects the colour of the diamond second.

G to H are near colourless diamond grades that will help you want to make the most of a limited budget. Colour will not be detected by the naked eye, which will make you and your diamond look perfect on the day, and in the photos. Colour in diamonds appears as a pale yellow, so if this is evident anywhere in the ring you are thinking about buying, we would recommend avoiding it.

Clarity


Small imperfections in a diamond are called inclusions, and these are common within all diamonds; they determine the overall clarity of the ring. The less inclusions in the ring, the better the clarity, which means your wedding ring will shine bright no matter where you are.

Don’t place emphasis on a small amount of inclusions – if your ring only contains a few, then they will not be seen easily. By purchasing an SI (slightly included) quality diamond, you’re able to buy something visually stunning, without having to pay the cost of a diamond that contains no inclusions and no imperfections.

Carat


Many brides misunderstand this all-important factor when it comes to the 4cs; the carat is the weight of the diamond on your wedding ring. Many believe that it refers to the diamond’s size, and not its weight, this isn’t the case – so try to keep this in mind when choosing your ideal ring for the wedding.

Gain a good balance between the cut of the diamond and how large the carat weight appears, so that it sits perfectly on the finger; the carat weight will provide your ring with the shine and brilliance it needs to turn heads on your wedding day.

Other advice to keep in mind


Keep these other considerations in mind when choosing the perfect wedding ring to match the sparkle of your wedding day:


· If carat weight is important to you, consider a diamond with a good cut, with an SI1-SI2 clarity and an I or J colour grade.

· Keep in mind that based on the size of your finger, the larger the diamond will appear.

· Not all ring fittings will fit all diamond carats and shapes, so it’s important to consider what type of diamond shape you’d like before choosing its design.

*Collaborative post with Angelic Diamonds.

Outfit August - 16th August - featuring my niece

OUTFIT-AUGUST-2017 // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Hello lovelies!

I'm back with another Outfit August post, and this one features my niece. We went to feed some ducks at a local pond. We took some porridge and we were besieged by wagging little duck bums. I fed some of them by hand and it really tickles when they peck you!

Outfit August - 9th August - Casual looks

OUTFIT-AUGUST-OUTFIT-CHALLENGE // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Hello lovelies! I've got a few casual looks to share today. I've been walking every day so I've been living in cosy jersey clothes that are comfortable to wear when I'm hot.

2 things I gave up when I started exercising - and they're not what you might think

I gave up a couple of things when I started exercising and they're not what you might think they are.

TWO-THINGS-I-GAVE-UP-WHEN-I-STARTED-EXERCISING // www.xloveleahx.co.uk

Feeling like I have to do my makeup before we go out


At this moment #5 - Lifestyle

AT-THIS-MOMENT-5 WHAT I'M WATCHING, READING, LOVING ETC // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

Hello lovelies, it's time to see what I've been up to for the last month or so. 

I'm watching series 4 of Power right now. It stars, and is produced by 50 Cent and has a predominantly black cast. James says it's kinda like Sons of Anarchy, but in the nightclub/drugs world rather than the biker world. It's really good, great story lines and suspense. Warning - it is violent. The lead role is played by Omari Hardwick and he's serious eye candy. Here's the series 1 trailer.



I also just started watching Stranger, on Netflix. It's a subtitled Korean drama - which seems to be called Secret Forest in Korea - and it's brilliant. If you're familiar with Sense8 it has the brilliant Doona Bae in it, who played Sun Bak. It's about corruption in the police and prosecutorial system. The lead role is a prosecutor who has no empathy after undergoing a lobotomy as a child. He's a cold fish but a deep thinker. I'm up to episode 4 and I have NO CLUE what's going on. Everyone's a suspect, and I suppose that's what makes it fun.

I LOVE foreign drama and discovering great new actors. Here's the trailer.



READING

I've just read about 5 Arnaldur Indridasson books, thanks to Snoskred, who kindly supplied me with a bunch. They're crime books but they concentrate more on the dynamics between people rather than gory details of murders, which is nice. We all know terrible things go on, but I don't always want to read that kind of thing before bed or when I'm already weighed down by all the real evil in the world. I've just started reading Noble Beginnings by LT Ryan. It's about a pair of American soldiers who get dragged into a conspiracy that goes right to the top of the US government. There are some predictable parts but the characters are likeable so it's not too bad.

MAKING

Making plans! James and I are going on holiday again in October, and this time we're taking my dad with us. Can you believe I've never had a holiday with my dad in my life?! He and my mum split up when I was 7 but they'd been unhappy since I was a toddler. We were too poor for holidays back then, so it'll be nice to spend some time with the ol' goat. We're going to Weymouth (again) and hopefully the weather will be OK for that time of year.

STARTING

To exercise! Rawwwwwr. I bought my first pair of walking boots today. As I said in this post I'm trying to get fitter and more mobile. I'm trying to listen closely to my body and push myself further than I think I can go, but rest up when I know I'm exhausted. It's going to take some finessing for me to get to a point where I feel well and not in constant pain, but I'm a tenacious bugger so I'll get there.

FINISHING

Well, less than 2 weeks ago we got back from our family holiday with James's mum, dad, brother, sister in law and little niece, who's 4. It was lovely to spend so much time with them, especially with my niece. My two nieces are the light of my life, and I'm seeing my older niece tomorrow. She's coming to stay for 5 days along with my dad, my aunt and my cousin.

ENJOYING

A kind of social media hiatus. I had quite a pronounced social media hiatus while on holiday and I'm trying to limit my time on social media ongoing. As much as I love catching up on everyone's news, there aren't enough hours in the day to be as nosy as I want to be.

TEXTING

My brother. He works funny shift patterns so I normally text him then he rings me when he's free. The last thing I want to do is wake him up if he's barely had any sleep.

LOVING

Being with my little niece on holiday. When we were saying goodbye on the last evening of our holiday she gave me about 15 hugs one after another and I said "I'm using up all your hugs!" She replied "It's OK, I'm FULL of hugs!" She's such a loving child.

HATING

  1. Tiny rooms in caravans. The caravan we stayed in with James's mum and dad on holiday was lovely, but the second toilet was pointless. There was a main shower room with a loo and a sink, and a separate loo and sink. It was about 2/3 the size of an airline toilet. I wish I was joking, but I'm not. On the first day when we got there someone had put the heating on, and as it's such a small 'room' I had to open the window and lean out of it whilst peeing to prevent burning my arse on the radiator! 😆😆😆
  2. Pain. I was in such a lot of pain on holiday and it really spoiled my fun. Too much exercise is painful, and so is too little. It's all about hitting that sweet spot. I'll let you know if I ever find it, lolol.

What have you been up to recently?

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Outfit August - 2nd August - Gingham mini smock dress

OUTFIT-AUGUST-2017-GINGHAM-MINI-SMOCK-DRESS // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Hello lovelies,

This is a bit of a cheat for Outfit August - I'd already taken these photos but I haven't published them yet and I don't want to leave them any longer. This dress is out of stock but gingham is really hot right now so you'll easily be able to find something similar.

The others taking part in the challenge are:
Kate
Mookie
Nikki
Cathy
Christy
Becky
Christie
Katy
Hanna  

Outfit August outfit challenge - dig out your hidden gems

OUTFIT-AUGUST-2017 // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Hello loves. I've been doing Outfit August on and off since 2014. It's a month long outfit challenge anyone can join in with - as frequently or infrequently as they like throughout the month. I see it as a chance to root right to the back of my wardrobe and hunt out long forgotten gems. Too often I buy new things and forget about older items, and I'm rubbish at accessorising at the best of times, so it's a chance for me to dig into my accessory stash and put a bit more effort in with regards to that. As a woman with chronic illness I spend a lot of time barefaced in comfy clothes so it's a reason to get made up and dressed more often than usual. Some of the outfits work and some of them don't but it's all part of the fun of experimenting. There hasn't been more than 1 or 2 fashion posts a week on this blog for a while, so I look forward to doing more. It'll be nice to do some ordinary around-the-house shots rather than fancy ones out on location as well.

I probably won't be doing an outfit every day, and even if I do, I'll post a round up every 2-3 days rather than updating daily. It's something fun for me to do, and God knows I have enough clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery so it's time to make use of them. Here are some of my previous Outfit August posts.

If you want to join in, let me know in the comments and I'll add you to my list of participants on my blog posts to share the love.

Participants:

Me (of course!)
Kate
Mookie
Nikki
Cathy
Christy
Becky
Christie
Katy
Hanna 

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Blogger in need of a media kit? Check out Influencer Tools

Hello lovelies,

If you're a blogger and you haven't gotten around to making a media kit, fear not! I have a media kit by Influencer Tools and it's great.

INFLUENCER TOOLS - THE EFFORTLESS MEDIA KIT


INFLUENCER-TOOLS-COM THE EFFORTLESS MEDIA KIT YOU CAN EMBED ON YOUR BLOG // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

It updates every Monday (on a premium account) and it's jam packed full of features and all the metrics brands want to see.

I'm Yours Clothing's featured blogger this week

Hello pickles,

Just a quickie from me to say that I'm Yours Clothing's featured blogger this week and there's a mini interview with me on the site so go check it out.

The link is here.

They're featuring a different blogger every Friday so it's a great way to find out more about your favourite bloggers. They also have hints and tips about how to find the best clothes for your body shape too.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Exercising for mobility and stamina

No, you are at the right place. I know that doesn't sound like a blog I'd write, does it?!

This was me yesterday before I sweated my butt off. Here's the deal - I'm going to be talking about exercise a little bit. Yeah, I know, mentions of sudden exercise regimes coming from fat people have made me roll my eyes round the back of my head in the past too, but bear with me. 😉

EXERCISING-FOR-MOBILITY-AND-STAMINA-FAT-GIRL-TRYING-TO-GET-FIT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

I really wanted blogging to be my full time job but it hasn't worked out

I-really-wanted-blogging-to-be-full-time-job // www.xloveleahx.co.uk

I had an epiphany on holiday and it's going to change my life.

I really wanted blogging to be my full time job but it hasn't worked out.

Let me clarify that. I wanted it to be a paying full time job. It has been a job, and at times over the last 6 years it has felt like a full time job. It has paid in the past and I had a good end to 2016, but this year things haven't been the same. My heart isn't in it.

I had a social media hiatus on my recent holiday. I had felt like I was heading for a nervous breakdown, so it was bliss to unplug. I didn't use my laptop once in 9 days despite lugging it to Bath and Dorset with me. I ignored my work email 90% of the time I was away. I avoided social media as much as I could. I didn't miss it at all. Doing real life things and having a break from my usual habits gave me pause for thought.

Plus size alternative wear - sun moon and stars kimono from EMP

ALTERNATIVE-PLUS-SIZE-SUN-MOON-STARS-KIMONO-FROM-EMP // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Hello lovelies! I'm an alternate chick at heart, and in the past plus size alt clothing has been dire. I grew tired of looking for clothes that reflected that side of my personality, realising most companies didn't see fat rock chicks as worthy of clothing. I settled for whatever I could find in my size and concentrated more on the girly side of my personality. There's no need for plus size people to feel 'grateful' for the clothing options we're given any more, and thankfully over the years all kinds of plus size options have got better, including alt styles. This kimono is from EMP who specialise in rock and geeky merchandise. This item has sold out for now (I will check to see if it comes back into stock) but don't worry because they have a lot of plus size clothing for everyone. Women - Men. (Affiliate links).

Instagram fashion round up post

instagram-fashion-round-up-post-plus-size // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Hello chubbly bubblies!

I'm really into the 'Gram above blogging at the moment and I've been whacking out really quick, not-too-done-up outfits over there. They aren't really worth a blog post on their own, but I thought I'd do a round up of a few outfits I've published over there that haven't been shown here. I'll link to any items that are still in stock.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

Crop top - Witch Worldwide - very wide armholes so it shifts about all the time, be warned
Neon trim leggings, ASOS Curve *AL

Fuller softer shinier hair - the £3.95 vegan shampoo you need in your life

Thicker-softer-shinier-hair-the-£2.95-shampoo-you-need-vegan-cruelty-free
(At the time of writing this post the shampoos were £2.95 but they're now £3.95).

Hello loveys! If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen me banging on about my new shampoo constantly for the last couple of months. I found Perfect Pamper Gifts on Google when I was looking to change my hair care routine. I haven't been paid for this post - they don't even know I'm writing it - I just want other people to know how brilliant these SLS- and paraben-free shampoos are. This is cruelty free and costs £3.95 what more could you want?!


Bagpuss and friends

ALTERNATIVE PLUS SIZE BLOGGER // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Hello babes! I've been trying to look at my fashion in a different way. Instead of thinking of everything in a fast-fashion-everything-new-is-wonderful way I'm reminding myself how many old faves I have and how glorious it is to wear things I want to wear, rather than feeling the pressure to be Mrs Bloggy McBloggerface at all times. I always feel bad if I show off old stuff on this blog, which is ridiculous because none of us are Kardashian rich (as far as I know!) Let's dispense with this obsession for new shit, yeah? Of course new things are nice an' all, but so is being able to afford your rent. 😀 So yes, I need to get rid of this blogger mentality I carry around with me and stop apologising for 'everything old' posts. So with a proud flourish and some jazz hands I say - everything in this post is old, especially the bag, which I've had since the late 90s/early 2000s.

Yours Clothing grey acid wash playsuit

Yours-Clothing-grey-acid-wash-playsuit-limited-collection // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Hello lovelies!

I'm back off my hiatus (I think) as I have a couple of outfits to share. Today I'm wearing the Yours Clothing grey acid wash playsuit from the Limited Collection. It's so comfortable and I'm a bit obsessed with it! Read on for sizing info and more photos.

Brainstorming bra fitting for the bigger bust

Hi loves,

I'm still on hiatus from blogging except for my existing commitments, but don't worry I'm still on social media.

BRA-FITTING-FOR-THE-FULLER-BUST-MS-POMELO // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

 In just under two weeks I'm hosting a webinar about bra fitting for the fuller bust. The experts are:

  • Ilona from Ms Pomelo, who make gorgeous comfortable bras for the fuller chest 
  • Jackie Clarke, a bra fitting expert of many years experience at a major department store
  • Retha Welding, a physiotherapist from SE1 Physio

It's a half hour long chat on Weds 12th July between 7.30 and 8pm and Ilona is going to give away some bras at the end of the evening to people who attended the webinar.

If you've ever had questions about bra fitting or breast health now's your chance to get your questions in. You can drop any questions about bra fitting/breast health you might have in the comments. If you have any photos of yourself in ill-fitting bras and want to know what the problem is, you can send photos to care@mspomelo.com. Title your email LoveLeah Webinar.

You can see the event on Facebook here and if you're attending, please register here.

Further reading:
Here's a look at me wearing some Ms Pomelo lingerie. Read here about Ms Pomelo post-mastectomy bras.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Hiatus

Hiatus. I've looked at the word for so long it almost feels foreign to my eyes.

There's something almost reverential about putting pen to paper as opposed to fingers to keyboard. I think I read once that most of your brain is formed by the time you're 7, which explains why I can't think clearly unless I'm writing out my thoughts. From the time I could hold a pen and pad I poured out my every thought, childhood fantasy and embarrassing teenage lament. I write to see how I feel, and sometimes the words are scratched out by hand and a decision made before it has even registered with my brain.

I don't feel like my thoughts are half as eloquent without the scratch of pen on paper, the indent on the next few pages of an opinion fiercely expressed. I should freestyle my blog posts before I commit them to the keyboard and make them indelible. Words can be erased from the internet but not from hearts and minds, as I've discovered in the past.

Writer's block is a pain in the arse, but I call it writer-speak for being knackered. If you've never been too tired to think straight then I envy you. Sometimes there's just too much horror in the world to take in and the words retreat like clouds on a sunny day. The only thing you can do to beat it is to NOT beat it - you have to give yourself a break, which is what I intend to do now (present commitments willing).

A writer gives of themselves and life gives too, but it also takes away in increments. Our hope, our energy, and at some points the ability to take in any more suffering. This is how I find myself now - careworn, sad and overwhelmed. I'll be back when the need to share words outweighs my exhaustion, until which time be good to yourselves. ❤

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

At this moment #4 - Lifestyle

Hello loves, it's time to see what I've been up to for the last few weeks.

WATCHING

Currently I'm midway through the second/last series of Sense8 on Netflix. I really enjoy it and it's a shame it's been cancelled. It's about 8 individuals who are linked psychically and the adventures they experience. It has a very diverse cast and is filmed in places such as Germany, India, Iceland and America. It's a riot for the senses but due to all the location filming it must've been very expensive to produce.


Cherry Coke - the taste of the 80's

PLUS SIZE CHERRY COKE T SHIRT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Hello lovelies, here's another casual warm weather outfit. It's as hot as balls so I can't stand to wear fabrics which aren't cool. Also I'm on a kind of spending ban (except for essentials) as we're doing grown up stuff - saving for a mortgage. I've got to keep reminding myself that when we have our own place we can rescue a couple of cats, and that's helping me sit on my hands a bit. I have LOADS of clothes, but I lack inspiration a lot of the time. This next couple of years as I crack down on superfluous purchases will be a good chance for me to remember what it is to be thrifty. I remember years ago when I really was poor the inventiveness it took. I remember once when I was a teenager cutting the labels out of all my clothes and sewing them at jaunty angles onto a pair of old jeans to funk them up. I'd tie-dye or tie-bleach items to make them unique. Just buying things off the peg has made me lazy. I need to up my game again!

Monki-ing around in the Monki palm print dress

Monki oversized palm print dress // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Hello everyone! I've got a little message for one of my readers - hello Joan! Tanya tells me you're a big fan, so hi! 😀

I'm wearing another dress from Monki today. I've had this a couple of months now so it's out of stock but I thought it's worth blogging about for size reference alone. This is a size M/L - which is supposed to be about a UK size 12-14 - and I'm a size 28. Monki are a Swedish company who do many oversized items. I only buy oversized things from them, or else they wouldn't fit me. As they're a straight sized company you will notice the models are thin, and look especially so in the oversized items. I mention this as the size of the models was pointed out to me by a reader before. I'm happy some of their items fit me.

I've had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction with this dress. I never pay any attention to laundry labels so I've washed and tumble dried it a few times and it's shrunk so much that the slit at the front goes right up past my vag! In this weather we could all use a bit of free air con, but that much is indecent. 😨

NSFW. Pocket pleasure that packs a punch - a Lovehoney review

nsfw-pocket-pleasure-from-Lovehoney-sex-toys // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
If you know me in real life and don't want to read about my sexy-time adventures then please stop reading now! Yes Mum, that means you. 😝

OK, moving on - those babes at Lovehoney sent me some toys to play with recently and since orgasms are the best homework EVER it was my pleasure to try them out. I've been a sex toy user one and off since I was a teen and I've never written about it until recently, but sod it, most people I know love an orgasm!

I'm a liberal woman and James is a liberal man and we have a good selection of toys for both of us. I'm no stranger to Lovehoney - most of our sex toys are from there. They post everything in discreet and sturdy packaging so there'll be no knowing look from your postman! Also, they have a no-quibble 365 day returns policy! I love the reviews on Lovehoney - you're left in no doubt whatsoever if something is powerful enough to do the job as the reviews go into great detail - sometimes hilariously! I usually end up crying with laughter at the reviews and the euphemisms for genitals and shagging.

I was sent three toys and some lube. Read on for what I thought of them.

Ms Pomelo post-surgery bras for breast cancer warriors

Ms Pomelo post-surgery mastectomy bras for breast cancer // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Photo of Tracie © Simon Hunt at Alt Studio Manchester

Hi loves,

Something I'm really keen on getting out there is Ms Pomelo's post mastectomy bras for breast cancer warriors. I know three people who went through breast cancer last year and who are still experiencing it. One of those friends Tracie has been kind enough to supply me with a bunch of images of her in her post-surgery bras, including some stunning pin up images of her by Alt Studio Manchester.

Mookie and Mike's visit & my OOTD

A month ago my lovely friends Mookie and Mike came to stay for the weekend. On the Sunday we all went to a lovely farm near us to hang out in the sunshine. Here are some photos from the day, plus what I was wearing. I've been erring towards casual/nothing special looks recently, and because I've not been buying many new things I'm trying to put a spin on older items. James and I have had car trouble recently plus we're saving hard for a mortgage so money is tight. The dress I'm wearing was actually a knee length harem playsuit but I hacked through the legs to make it an asymmetric hem dress. You can see me wearing another one of these hack jobs here. I've put an old galaxy print t-shirt over the top.

Yours Clothing Navy Jersey Maxi Dress With Ruched Waist and Pockets

Yours-Clothing-Navy-Plus-Size-Jersey-Maxi-Dress-With-Ruched-Waist-and-Pockets // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Hello loves. I feel like prefacing all of my posts for the next three months with "Excuse my humidity hair!" or "I don't do well in the heat" but I'm sure I'm not the only person who melts at the slightest bit of heat. If you never look pristine in the heat then *high five* because I always look hot and bothered when it's muggy.

OBD Clothing gymwear t-shirts and discount code

OBD-CLOTHING-PLUS-SIZE-GYMWEAR-TEES-MERMAIDS // www.xloveleahx.co.ukHello loves! Today I have a workwear tee to show you and a lovely 20% discount code for you.

I know I don't talk about exercise here (or even food) but that's because I was put on my first diet aged 10 and had over 2 decades of disordered eating and lots of horrible thoughts about my body. Even now it can still be a touchy subject for me so I shy away from it. But I do exercise - my fave ways are country walks and yoga. When I saw the slogans on these OBD Clothing tee shirts on Twitter I fell in love. They're available from size 18 to 28 in the Curve line, and they have straight sizes too. They come in a number of colours (except size 26/28 which at the moment only comes in black) and 11 different slogans such as 'Kindness is free' and 'You got this girl'. The owner does want to bring out the larger sizes in a full range of pretty colours but at the moment her hands are tied, so watch this space. The tees are moisture wicking, made of a lightweight material and are true to size. Mine comes down to about my hips and I'm 5ft 5, but I always wear tees knotted as I prefer that look on me. I'm wearing a size 26/28.

Bad Rhino menswear big & tall UK blogger search

Yours Clothing's plus size menswear line Bad Rhino is looking for a big and tall male UK blogger to represent them. If you fit the bill or if you know someone who does, send them here.

Perks of the job include:
Creating content with the PR team
An allocated monthly spend on new in Bad Rhino clothing
Doing social media takeovers

It's great to see plus size menswear being widely available. The industry has come on leaps and bounds for all of us in the last few years.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Yes, Monki fits fat girls too

Monki-oversize-cold-shoulder-dress // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Hiya lovelies, this is my second Monki purchase in recent weeks. If you're not familiar with Monki they're a Swedish company who do many very oversized items of clothing. This dress is a size XL which is supposed to equate to about a size 14 UK, but it's obviously much larger - I'm a size 28. Monki have a website and two UK stores - one in Bristol and one in London. The XL is now sold out online, but the L should fit people up to a size UK 26 easily. The reason I'm blogging about it so quickly is because the larger Monki sizes sell out so quickly, so here are some quick photos in case you want to snap one up. If you're looking at other Monki items, remember they're not a plus size line so the models are very thin. Look out for 'oversized' in the title of the item. Monki also sells on ASOS but the larger sized items always seem to be on their website, not ASOS.

Too hot, too cold - Fibromyalgia and temperature regulation

Because I've had Fibromyalgia and ME for nearly 10 years now, I don't tend to talk about it very much on my blog. Because I feel like I vent about a number of things my health woes seem like a step too far. But someone reminded me recently that talking about it helps people understand illnesses that are not very well understood. (Thank you Vicky!) I'm going to try to talk about my health (mental and physical) every couple of weeks ongoing.

too-hot-too-cold-fibromyalgia-temperature-regulation // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
People with Fibromyalgia will often have trouble regulating their temperature, which means we tend to veer from too hot to too cold and back again with very little just right.

Last chance to vote for me in the Navabi plus size blog awards


Hello lovelies. Today is the very last chance to vote for me in the Navabi plus size blog awards. I'm currently in 13th place and I'd really like to finish in the top 10 as this would be a feather in my cap after 6 years of plus size blogging. Being recognised within my niche as a top 10 blogger would be amazing, and it's an accolade I'd love to have.

You can vote here. As you can see, I'm up against some real plus size blogging heroes.


Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who's already voted. You've made me feel incredibly special.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

At this moment #3 | Lifestyle

AT THIS MOMENT - WHAT I'M WATCHING READING LOVING // www.xloveleahx.co.uk

WATCHING

Oh God, what haven't I watched recently?! I had a bit of a rubbish mental health spell and my go-to escape from it is watching LOTS of tv so I don't have to think. I've just finished watching Designated Survivor on Netflix. It stars Kiefer Sutherland and it's a political thriller. The series has just ended and I hope it'll be renewed.

I also watched Alien Covenant at the cinema about 10 days ago. I really enjoyed it. I know a lot of people have said it didn't have enough aliens in it, but it is a prequel. I wish it had had less Michael Fassbender in it though, his Android facial expressions are so good it gives me the creeps!

Anxiety disorder and the importance of a morning routine

Anxiety-disorder-and-the-importance-of-a-morning-routine // www.xloveleahx.co.ukHaving anxiety disorder means as soon as I wake up I'm overwhelmed with things I need to do. They say an elephant never forgets, but I think it's the same for people with anxiety disorder. I'm scared to forget things so I have a never-ending to-do list in my head the second I wake up. No task slips my mind. I wake up knowing exactly what tasks I didn't do the day before, and before I've barely drawn breath a list of today's pressing tasks comes crashing down on top of me. It's no wonder it's hard to get out of bed on some days. As soon as I wake I'm giving myself a hard time.

Over the last couple of months I've introduced an idiot-proof 2-step routine which gives me the grace to actually wake up before I start beating myself up.

The first and most important thing in my morning routine is coffee.

You could say that's true of life too. 😉

National Trust - Scotney Castle visit

James and I joined the National Trust a couple of months ago and Scotney Castle was our first 'free' visit to a NT property. It's only about 40 minutes away from us at Lamberhurst in Kent. We'd driven by it often so it was our first choice. Scotney old castle (above) was built approximately c.1378–80.

Life lately including Navabi Blog Awards - vote for me!

Hello lovelies! I've had a whirlwind few weeks and I thought I'd do a bit of an update for those of you who like to follow my life as well as what I'm wearing. A few weeks ago we went to stay with our friends M&T in Wiltshire. We had a lovely time there and did a lot of activities. It was so lovely to spend time in the countryside with them and their kitties. Here's an outfit post from that weekend.

Another exciting thing is I decided to put myself forward for the Navabi blog awards this year, and I've been overwhelmed with the votes I've already received. I was joint first place initially and now I've dropped to 7th so you can vote for me here if you like what I do. Click on my photo (and the photos of anyone else you want to vote for - you can vote for multiple people this year) then fill out the captcha at the bottom. Ta da! I entered myself into the competition on a whim and it has made me realise something. I've often felt undervalued as a blogger - not necessarily by the people who read my blog, but certainly by some of my peers. I feel that people underestimate me, don't see me as a peer, and I always feel like a black sheep. Entering and realising I'm actually viewed with some esteem has made me realise that if you don't put yourself forward for things people assume you're happy to be in the shadows. I've realised the only person underestimating me before was me. Even if I end up last in the voting by the time the two week voting period is up, I've learned a very important lesson.

Manon Baptiste from Navabi embroidered dress & giveaway

Manon Baptiste Navabi A line plus size embroidered dress // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Have I got a treat for you today! Thanks to those beauts over at Navabi I have one of the dresses in this post to give away to one of YOU! (UK only). It comes in sizes 14-28 and it's a stunner, so do read on for more photos and details about it. Scroll down to the bottom for the giveaway itself.

This is the Manon Baptiste Embroidered A-line dress *AL and I'm wearing a size 28. Because it's an A line dress it flows freely over my body, so if like me your bottom half is your most bounteous area, fear not! I sometimes have to take a size 32 to fit over my bum, tum and thighs so this A line dress is generous. Let's have some more photos, shall we?

Two simple ways to wear a black maxi dress

Two ways to wear a plus size black maxi dress // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
I've got a bit of a chilly weather two-for-one today. I created two very different looks with barely any effort at all, one of the reasons why I'll always love black maxi dresses. They're so versatile! These shots were taken on an overcast and windy day and I was really feeling the cold. I started off wearing a light boho style cardi but soon swapped it for the cropped denim jacket and scarf I'd brought with me. This sounds like such an 'nanna' thing to say, but my outfits are very much weather dependent and I often end up wearing more than I left home in. Fibromyalgia really affects my ability to regulate my temperature and I always have at least a scarf in my bag - if not a spare coat in the car - as I'm really miserable when I'm cold.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

I'm wearing:
ASOS Curve hareem drape dress (out of stock) similar
here *AL £20 up to size 28
here *AL £20 up to size 28
here *AL £18 up to size 28
here *AL £18 up to size 32
Cropped denim jacket similar here £30 up to size 32 *AL
Open knit cardigan, Simply Be £17.25 *AL
Faux suede moccasins, Everything 5 Pounds *AL

New Look Curves Black Stripe 3/4 Sleeve Swing Dress

New Look Curves Black Stripe 3/4 Sleeve Swing Dress // www.xloveleahx.co.uk
Hello lovelies! I've had this dress for about 6 weeks but have only just got around to blogging about it. This is the second time I've worn it and it's now in the sale, so get in quick as it's selling out fast. It's a really thick fabric and nice and warm so it's ideal for these WTF-happened-to-spring days.

Here are the outfit deets then read on for more pics & words.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

New Look Curves Black Stripe 3/4 Sleeve Swing Dress now £10 *AL
White lace edged crop leggings, Yours Clothing  *AL
Iridescent handbag, Primark (in store only)
Skechers (similar) *AL
Biker jacket, past season New Look

Boho looks are for fat babes too

You don't have to be thin to pull off boho styles. It's all about confidence and mixing things up a bit so you look like you got dressed out of a tent at a festival. 
Yes I'm wearing that bloody hareem dress again, but I'm trying to illustrate how easy it is to style up a black maxi in any number of ways. It's a blank canvas and you can do gothy, witchy or boho looks with ease. Previous outfits of me wearing this dress are here and here. Although this dress is now out of stock, I'm linking to a few similar black maxi dresses.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

ASOS Curve hareem drape dress out of stock similar
here *AL £20 up to size 28
here *AL £20 up to size 28
here *AL £18 up to size 28
here *AL £18 up to size 32
Maxi crochet cardigan, *AL Simply Be £20 up to size 32
Striped flats, Primark
Handbag, thrifted
Necklace, Bluebirds and Daisies

Nature goth in Wiltshire

LOVE-LEAH-PLUS-SIZE-BLOGGER-IN-RAPESEED-FIELD // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Oh God, about the last 6 outfits I've worn have involved this hareem dress, which has now sold out. I wonder if others did what I did - buy one, realise it was the comfiest dress on earth then buy another! Having two of them means it's rarely off my body. I'm sorry it's sold out (I dislike posting outfits when things are sold out) but you can knot a t-shirt over any black maxi dress and achieve the same kind of look. Carry on reading to see me frolicking in a rapeseed field and taking outfit photos with a cat sitting on my foot. As you do.

Everything I'm wearing apart from the dress is old. The leather jacket is old New Look Curves, as is the t-shirt I'm wearing over the dress. The dress is from ASOS Curve and I really hope they restock. These dresses are selling out as soon as they come in. I bought a yellow one less than a week ago and it has already completely sold out.

New Look Curves Black Embroidered Mesh Midi Dress

New-Look-Curves-Black-Embroidered-Mesh-Midi-Dress-La-Redoute-Castulana-grey-dotted-tulle-skirt
Hello lovelies! Today I'm wearing the New Look Curves Black Embroidered Mesh Midi Dress (as a top) over a La Redoute skirt from last year. There are lots of shots of bluebells in this post as we came across the most wonderful carpet of them while we were out on our travels around the Kentish countryside.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

I'm wearing:
New Look Curves Black Embroidered Mesh Midi Dress *AL £27.99 up to size 32
Castaluna dotted tulle skirt *AL La Redoute - in the sale for £17.70 right now - up to size 28
Pink trainers, Evans now sold out online, check stores
Leather jacket, past season New Look

ASOS Curve hareem drape dress

ASOS-Curve-hareem-drape-dress-witchy-boho-gothic-oversized // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
If you follow me on social media anywhere you're know I've been RAVING about this dress - the ASOS Curve drape hareem dress, which is completely out of stock in all sizes at the moment, boo! But hold on, they have it in another colour, yay! (link below). It's SO comfortable, so airy, so relaxed. I loved it so much I bought two and I've just bought a third in yellow. YES, yellow! Ohmyfrigginglord, I can't wait for it to come! I hope it's a slightly more ochre yellow than an erm, yellowy yellow. 😆 These dresses are oversized for an airy fit too, so if your size was out of stock I'm pretty sure the next size down would do.

It's wide cut at the hips and tapers a bit towards the ankle, and so by witchcraft it catches any hint of a breeze brilliantly to give you some well needed air conditioning around your nether regions. Have a look at the video on ASOS to see the drape of it. It's a thing of wonder.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

Drape hareem maxi dress *AL - link to yellow £22 up to size 28 
T shirt, old Pink Clove
Leopard print trainers, *AL Everything 5 Pounds - I always go up one size because of my wide feet
Apocalips lipstick, *AL Illamasqua £19.50 I think this teal shade is my favourite lipstick ever

What to do about shadowbanning


Up until a few days ago I'd never even heard of shadowbanning, or soft banning/stealth banning/ghost banning, but it happened to me so I'm going to tell you what I've learned.

I'm going to talk about the experience of shadowbanning and content blocking/link blocking on Facebook and Instagram, as this is what I've experienced. I've had problems on Facebook and Instagram for almost 6 weeks, only being let out of Facebook/Instagram jail yesterday. If you think you may have been shadowbanned on other social media sites, Google is your friend.

WHAT IS SHADOWBANNING ON SOCIAL MEDIA? 

Shadowbanning is a process where the user thinks their social media account appears to be working fine, but few other people can see their content.

At this moment #2 | Lifestyle

AT-THIS-MOMENT-LIFESTYLE // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

WATCHING

I'm currently watching Bordertown, which is a Finnish crime drama. It's set near the border of Russia and it's a typical dark Scandi thriller, which I love. I love Scandi writers like Jo Nesbo and I love their dramas too, like Wallander.

BORDERTOWN SCANDI DRAMA // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

READING

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. It's a lovely book, easy to read and heartwarming. I finished it last night and it left me feeling happy.

MAKING

Money disappear out of my bank account like a bucket with a hole in it. 


via GIPHY

STARTING

To gather birthday presents for my two gal pals whose birthdays are next month. 

FINISHING

I just finished watching Top of the Lake, a drama set in New Zealand. It was weird, but good. Weird in that the characters were all oddbods and the dialogue was kind of disjointed, but maybe that was the point. Elisabeth Moss was very good in it. I watch a lot of tv but I'm chronically ill, so bite me. 😛

ENJOYING

Eating cereal directly out of the box, avoiding housework and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Yup, a mental health slump but I'm getting through it one day at a time.

TEXTING

No one. I is misanthrope. 

LOVING

My blog! I sometimes look at it just before bed and think 'I did all this!' Considering my mental and physical health challenges I'm doing all right. And I don't do comparisons to other people anymore, so phooey to that!

HATING

The bloody Conservatives. If  you have absolutely anyone in this world you care about, vote Labour. Mr Corbyn may not be someone you can see in power, but do you really want the NHS run into the ground? Do you really want sick and disabled people to face a continuing witch hunt, blamed for all the crimes of the bankers? Jeremy has potential to grow. The Tories have potential to kill.

Thanks for reading. What are you up to at the moment? Lemme know!
Leah xoxo

Fat hippie chick

FAT HIPPIE CHICK FAT BOHEMIAN STYLE // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Now spring has well and truly sprung I've got loads of outfit shots set in places with lovely scenery. James has been roaming about with our zoom lens instead of using the kit lens on our camera and the shots are so much nicer.

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission. 

In these photos I'm wearing:
Gold kimono, Viva Voluptuous
Cross back vest top, *AL Yours Clothing
Ruffle skirt, past season ASOS Curve
Faux suede shoes, *AL Everything 5 Pounds
Necklace and earrings, Bluebirds and Daisies
Ring, gift from Mookie
Bag, Primark

Some words on not being the 'right' kind of competitive


This post has been in my drafts for months because I've been trying to find the right words. In coming to a realisation about myself and sharing what I've discovered I risk coming across an a self-indulgent prat, but I'm sharing this for anyone else who isn't competitive in the 'usual' way and feels out of place in the world. This post is long and may be rambling so grab a cuppa.

It's important to say I see competitiveness and being driven as different things. You can set yourself goals and pursue them independently of anyone else - that's being driven or goal-oriented. Then there's competitiveness, where a person has goals but they're about being elevated above others in their field and the prestige that it brings

I've been a plus size blogger since 2012, and in that time I've gone from a nervous wreck terrified of putting full length photos of myself into a blog post (yes, really!) to someone who's posted naked photos on Instagram to my 10k followers and shared them on my personal Facebook page for most of my friends and family to see. Although I've come on leaps and bounds in body confidence since my early days, one area of growth has been stilted until very recently - my confidence with my place as a blogger. I briefly touched on my 'I'm not wooooorthy!' feelings in my recent post 'About self-limiting thoughts' and I wanted to expand on that.

Khaki and animal - the £29 outfit

These photos were taken in Winchelsea, a lovely little East Sussex village you can walk around in about an hour. It's where the comedian Spike Milligan is buried and there are lots of lovely historic buildings to look at. We often go there for a peaceful stroll through the cemetery and to walk the pretty streets.

This outfit is a bargain one. The skirt was bought from Primark a few years ago. I think it cost about £10. It's one of those rare oversized Primark items as they only go up to a size 20. The blouse was from the New Look sale a month or so ago and cost just £4. The shoes are from Everything 5 Pounds, the bag was £9 from Primark, and the ribbon cost about £1. That comes in at £29. Not bad at all!

Any link with *AL written after it within this post is an affiliate link, which means if you click and buy from it I will earn a small commission.

I'm wearing:
Shirt, past New Look Curves similar here *AL here up to size 24 (oversized), short sleeved here up to size 26, up to size 32 here *AL
Skirt, past season Primark similar here *AL (fitted) up to size 28
Bag, current season Primark (in store only)
Pink metallic slip ons, Everything 5 Pounds