Saturday, 29 April 2017

New Look Curves Black Embroidered Mesh Midi Dress

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

Thursday, 27 April 2017

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

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

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.


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.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

At this moment #2 | Lifestyle



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.



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.


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



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


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. 😛


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.


No one. I is misanthrope. 


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!


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

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Fat hippie chick

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

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.

Monday, 17 April 2017

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

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Reproductive health | Living with menorrhagia

So what does menorrhagia mean, then? It's abnormally heavy periods, and I've had them for a number of years. I've been on treatment for the last 6 months and those 5 days each month are so much better now.

Before treatment I would:

Soak through a max flow night time towel in 1-2 hours and soak through my clothes/bedsheets
Get through at least two packets of towels and 2 boxes of Feminax per period (plus other painkillers)
Get up off the toilet after a wee and have blood running down my legs and splashing on the floor
Have huge black blood clots
Have stabbing pains in my vagina and bum and evil burning pains over my left ovary

Friday, 14 April 2017

This fat girl loves horizontal stripes

I've decided the people who make up fashion rules for fat people must be really boring. Saying we need to avoid horizontal stripes as they make us look fatter makes no sense to me. Newsflash - I look fat whatever I wear because I AM FAT. I'm not going to let that curtail my fashion choices and neither should you. If you've ever been told you're too fat/skinny/old to wear anything, phooey. Wear the thing and be happy.

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:
Dress, past season George at Asda - similar here *AL, here here
Red tights, Big Tights Company
Flats, past season ASOS
Necklace, gift from a friend

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Change of blog comment system - back to Blogger comments

I feel like there's been a dizzying array of calamities on my blog recently and I want to address them all. If my head is spinning from all the stuff that's happened lately then I'm pretty sure yours will be too.


First and most importantly I've gone back to the default Blogger comment system. I know a lot of you find Google+ impossible, and I want you to be able to comment on my blog, or else I'm just talking to myself. 😝 I currently have zero blog comments anywhere on this entire blog. I lost 13 thousand comments when I uninstalled the ever-problematic Disqus about 6 months back and now I've just lost all the comments that had been left on the Google+ system since. Even though Blogger comments and G+ comments are both Google products, the comments don't transfer so feel free to drop me a comment and break my comment cherry! It feels so weird to have over 5 years of posts and not a single comment. 💩


A few days ago a reader informed me that they were getting a pop up when they visited my blog. It was telling them their computer was infected and they needed antivirus. If they clicked yes in this pop up it took them to a site selling antivirus software. It was very sneaky though as you could only see it if you were visiting my blog for the first time, or if you were using a different browser than usual. That's how I didn't know it was there. James and I spent hours trying to find out what had happened, and eventually I found malware in my blog code. I was able to find it and remove it, so the pop up stopped. Apologies to anyone who visited my blog during that time and got worried. I'm going to write a post for fellow bloggers for what to do if it happens to you.


For the last couple of weeks I *had* been cutting my RSS feed really short to put content scammers off stealing my content. In case you didn't know, someone had been nicking my blog and social media posts wholesale and was reposting them without credit on their own website, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. In case you don't know what an RSS feed is, it's a way for readers to subscribe to read blog posts in an email or read them on sites such as Bloglovin' and Feedly. The thought behind me only posting a tiny snippet of a blog post and having the reader click through to my blog to read the rest was it's harder for people to steal my work if I only post a snippet. But then I thought "Why should I disadvantage my readers because selfish people think it's OK to steal other people's work?" So I've gone back to publishing RSS posts up until the 'Read More' break, which is just the same as if you read it directly on my blog. That way you get to see the first photo and a good chunk of text and then decide if you want to click through and read the rest. If I'm unlucky enough to have my work stolen again I'll deal with it at the time.

I think that's all my blog issues for now. Go leave me a comment on something! 😉

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

About self-limiting thoughts

When I was a new blogger obsessed with what opportunities everyone else was getting (and what I wasn't getting) I often shared my thoughts about why. I'd whinge on that I must be swearing too much, I was too fat or too old, or too something else for brands to want to work with me. I thought there had to be a reason, but in hindsight I can see the reason is I wasn't ready for what I wanted. (And in hindsight, having a bursting inbox is really not all that it's cracked up to be, but that's a topic for another day).

It takes time - the building of a blog worthy of collaborations - but I was in such a hurry to try to be somewhere else other than where I was. The grass ain't always greener on the other side of the fence. The honest truth is I was putting out self-limiting thoughts about myself into the universe, which doesn't attract good things. No wonder I was frustrated!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Lazy Sunday at the beach/perfection is a myth

Something that's really important to me is being a blogger for every woman (by that I mean anyone who identifies as one), and not one who makes people feel inadequate. It's important for me to document the not-so-great outfits, the days where I've got hardly any makeup on, the days where life gets in the way. I do this because I'm not a polished blogger and I'm not a polished human so why pretend to be? I do it for you, and I do it for me because even *I* need reminding that my worth doesn't hinge on looking like I just stepped out of a catalogue shoot. A quest for 'perfection' leads us all to believe that we have to be done up to the nines to be a worthy of taking photographs and quite frankly it's bollocks. Life happens. Bad weather days happen, bad sleep days happen, ill days happen, bloated days happen, and I don't want to suggest in any way that you have to look perfect to have a great day, a great time, or a great life.

This was a lazy Sunday. I'm barely wearing any makeup, I'm wearing clothes that feel comfortable and I've got windswept hair. This is me in a nutshell, and I'm enough. You're enough.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Recent cruelty free nail/nail care purchases

I've decided to talk more about using cruelty free items. I've been on a mission for about 5 years now and about 95% of everything that comes into this house to use on my face, body, and for cleaning/laundry hasn't been tested on animals. Here are some recent nail care and nail polish purchases I've made.

I can't remember if I got these strengthening nail masques in a beauty box or if they were a gift. I wasn't expecting a lot from them as I can have an allergic reaction to anything, but they blew me away. You slip on the little pre-soaked covers and leave them on for 15 minutes then massage any excess goop into your nails and cuticles. It made my fingers and nails feel so soft and moisturised. I may buy a bunch of these and do one a week. Montagne Jeunesse are a PETA-accredited cruelty free company. Some companies are cruelty free but may not make PETA's cruelty free master list because PETA are very strict.

It gets a bit muddy here on out: companies who don't test on animals (like The Body Shop) are totally cruelty free, but sometimes their parent company (in this case L'Oreal) will perform tests on its other products. You draw your own line - I do use Body Shop products, but I wouldn't touch a L'Oreal product with a shitty stick. I totally understand if others choose to boycott an entire group, even its cruelty free sub-companies.  If you're a vegan it becomes even more complicated as even some cruelty free companies aren't fully vegan. Once you start caring about things like this you soon realise how complicated it is to have a conscience. I don't judge anyone who's trying to live a kinder life. It all makes a difference.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Book review - Big & Fabulous: The life and times of Brenda Cankles by Randi M. Sherman

I've just read a hilarious book with a plus size heroine and I think it's a great light hearted read. I devoured it over two evenings, laughing away to myself. Here's what Amazon has to say about the book:

The time for BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles is now! The emphasis is on positive body image. Big & Fabulous is a truly entertaining story that's strongly written, funny, insightful and bitingly smart. Inside its covers, readers will find no shortage of acidly hilarious accounts of the highs and lows of living life inside a big and fabulous body.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Recent cruelty free skincare/beauty purchases

Here are some recent cruelty free purchases I've made. I don't talk about cruelty free beauty items as often as I should - I've been on this CF thing for about 5 years but rarely talk about it as it's so normal to me now.

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.

Aldi don't test any of their own label products on animals, which includes their Lacura beauty range. The Lacura light-reflecting concealers are £2.99 each and I bought them from Aldi online with free delivery as they didn't have them in stock at my local store when I popped in. It's a repurchase as I love them. I bought two shades this time - Savannah and Cashmere. Cashmere is the lightest shade and I use it for my under eye area and for tidying up my brows after I've drawn them on. As it has bristles you can really fine tune with it. Savannah is for medium skintones and I got that to cover some darker marks I have on my face - melasma from the sun. This is the first time I got the darker shade. I've only had Cashmere before. It only comes in 3 shades which is a bit rubbish as there are so many shades of humans, and everyone deserves a chance to wear this great concealer. I hate that dark skins are left out of so many makeup products. The two shades I got are out of stock online in the UK now, so check in store.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Why is an hourglass figure so idolised by the plus size fashion industry?

 My second article for Indie+Design is up now!
Image via Pixabay
Although plus size women come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, most fashion choices for plus size women are designed for an hourglass figure. There aren’t many types of dresses available to us – the oversized boxy or swing dress, tight fitting bodycon, wrap dresses, and 50s style fit and flare. You almost always see the latter three dress styles modelled on hourglass women. As I mentioned in my last article a lot of plus size models pad out their bodies to imitate the hourglass figure, and conversely, some models use corsets to give an hourglass look to naturally less defined silhouettes.

That tells us that a lot of models don’t naturally have the hourglass shape, let alone the average woman. Use of padding and corsetry in modelling should make designers think about the body shapes they’re neglecting, but instead, they push this hallowed hourglass shape.

Read the rest of the post here.
Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

An outfit inspired by the Manic Street Preachers

Back when I wrote my fashion manifesto at the start of this year I said I wanted to experiment with colour/pattern mixing, both clashing and complimentary mixes. A little voice in my head had always told me that any shade of brown with grey was baaaaad, so I thought I'd mix it up and see what happened.

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:
Coat, New Look Curves sale
Dress, past season Lovedrobe *AL
Scarf, past season H&M similar here *AL
Shoes, ASOS wide fit - only available in pink velvet now *AL
Tights, Big Tights 90 denier currently out of stock but when they come back they'll be here

Friday, 31 March 2017

Reasons to be happy

I've been doing a lot of work on my mental health recently and one of the things I've been doing is concentrating on the things that make me happy, so I thought I would share some of them with you.

1. Becoming National Trust members.
James and I have got a joint membership and I can't wait to explore lots of places. I love being outdoors in spring, summer and autumn so I'm so excited. We went to Scotney Castle on Saturday, where the photo above was taken.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The third time's the charm feat. Elvi

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.
Let me let you into a little secret - the first time I wear a new item of clothing I rarely hit the jackpot in the outfit stakes. When I get something new I'm usually so excited to wear it that I take photos of it and blog them right away. I later regret that because when I wear a new item a second or third time I really get a feel for how to style it and the outfit comes out much better. So, I've been holding off blogging looks that didn't work out too well until I get it right. This is my third attempt at this wearing this skirt and finally I'm happy with how everything came out. Unfortunately because I waited so long this skirt it's now out of stock on Elvi (and it's not on ASOS or Navabi either) so keep your eyes peeled for it on eBay if you like the look of it. For reference I'm wearing a size 26 and it's VERY oversized, you could get me in it twice, so don't be afraid to try a smaller size than usual if you find it somewhere. If you've never worn Elvi before the quality is always fantastic, and although at a higher price point there are often bargains to be had if you're patient. This skirt is a heavyweight fabric which washes brilliantly and feels great on. It's my favourite skirt at the moment. I'd buy it in 5 different colours if I could.

I saw this skirt on Danie Vanier a while back and fell in love with it. That woman could wear an old potato sack and still look like the most ravishing woman to ever walk the face of the earth.

I'm wearing:
Necktie, from the skirt
Boyfriend tee, Simply Be (from a twin pack of black/grey) *AL
Skirt, Elvi  *AL - check out some of their other pleated skirts here
Hi tops, Everything 5 Pounds *AL
Bag and earrings, Primark

Sunday, 26 March 2017

About web content scrapers and why every blogger needs to be aware of them


As some of you may know, my blog content was ripped off recently by web content scrapers but what does that actually mean and why is it bad for your blog?


Content scraping is when an individual takes content from many other sites, collates it and publishes it to their own site as if it's their work. It's theft of original works and it can negatively affect the SEO of the site it was stolen from. Many sites are made up of works entirely stolen - scraped - from other people. There are a lot of content scrapers out there -  this is the second time it's happened to me. Scrapers may steal a few of your articles, or they might copy your whole damn website.

This is what an example of what a scraped website looks like. This was the site of the last person to scrape my content. As you can see it has content from several different people, but nowhere on the site does it LINK to the people whose work it has stolen.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Pink and khaki, it's officially a thing

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.

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen this outfit a while back, as I always preview things on there first. Talking of Instagram, I've been banned from posting/commenting/liking/replying/making stories on there as their algorithm as picked me up as a spammer. I'm waiting for an actual human to respond to my report, but I won't be holding my breath for a swift outcome with the weekend an' all. I think happened because I thanked 3 people for comments they'd made on a photo of me, but because I don't follow them, Instagram thinks I'm one of those annoying spambots who tag loads of people in comments. It's a massive pain in the arse, but c'est la vie!

Moving on, part of my fashion manifesto for this year was using colour in new ways - both harmoniously and in jarring ways. Pink and khaki was a match I didn't expect to like, but I really love it. This was a minimal makeup day and a chilled outfit as we were only popping out to Primark to get James a new belt, but I bought a new bag while I was there and wanted to show it off straight away.

I've decided to start putting the outfit details in the main body of my text (before I do the 'read more' section) as in my reader survey about 1/4 of you said you were bothered about not being able to read in one chunk. At least this way if it's outfit details you're after, you'll get to them quickly. I aim to please. 😜

I'm wearing:
Jacket, past season Boohoo
Top (under dress) H&M+ £8.99 *AL
Dress, local shop (hacked from a 3/4 length playsuit)
Tights, Big Tights Company 90 denier (currently out of stock)
Trainers, Evans £28 *AL
Bag, Primark (in store only)

Thursday, 23 March 2017

At this moment #1 | Lifestyle

at-this-moment-lifestyle //


A few days ago I started watching Shooter, the Netflix series starring Ryan Phillippe. It's about an ex-Marine who was set up for murder. I was expecting it to be a propaganda-fest in the usual 'Murica the greatest nation in the world style, as often happens when American patriotism, guns and TV commingle. I found it really immersive from the first episode, which was nice as the point of watching TV for me is not having to think about the day to day stuff. If I'm thinking about my laundry pile or the washing up the show really doesn't cut it. I think I'm about 6 or 7 episodes into the first series, and I really like it. I didn't see the attraction to Ryan Phillippe back in the day when he was younger - he was far too pretty for me - but he's matured nicely and he has a beard now, so there's that. 😍

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Fat Girl Casual

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've been playing around with looks, splicing dressy things with casual things. I've a new-found love for casual wear that I've never had before, and it's because as a fat person I've had to PERFORM high femininity at all times. Fat girls don't get to hang out in sweats with messy unwashed hair in a bun and get called cute. People think we're lazy slobs who look like that all the time. So I've spent a looooong time avoiding wearing anything casual to avoid The Judgement™. Well fuck that shit because I'll soon be 43 and I'll wear what the fuck I want. I didn't even realise until recently that my avoidance of casual wear was a thing. It's weird to be socialised to behave in certain ways and not even realise it until one day BOOM - epiphany. So I'm messing around with femme + casual wear to get the feel for it before I jump into full-on casual wear with both feet.

Monday, 13 March 2017

My Fertility Story part 2 - my first ectopic pregnancy

[If you're reading by RSS/email, please note my feed has been shortened to discourage theft of my blog posts. Click through to the blog to read the whole post].

It goes without saying but TW: child loss.

Only after I started writing this did I realise how much a toll bringing it all up would take, but like they say on Mastermind, I've started so I'll finish. I've had it better than some and worse than others, but everything I've been through has made me a stronger person. Here's the story of my first ectopic pregnancy. It happened 14 years ago but I'll recall it as best I can.

But first, what are ectopic pregnancies? From the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust: Ectopic pregnancy is a common, occasionally life-threatening condition that affects 1 in 80 pregnancies. Put very simply, it means “an out-of-place pregnancy”. It occurs when a woman’s ovum (egg), that has been fertilised, implants (gets stuck) outside the womb. The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy is the Fallopian tube but there are many other sites where an ectopic pregnancy can be located. It is, sadly, not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy into the womb to allow it to grow normally.

A Wednesday (Addams) state of mind

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.
FAT WEDNESDAY ADDAMS GOTH OUTFIT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK Well I had lost my outfit mojo but I've found it again. This is one of those outfits which came about in a flash. I had to go to the post office and some other errands and my hair was greasy so I needed to do something quick. Buns or plaits? Once I'd plumped for plaits the rest of the outfit came to me. It was well overdue I got my goth on again as I've been wearing a lot of 'pretty' outfits recently.

I dress so seasonally - when it's cold and grey I need colour in my life to keep the misery at bay. But once the world comes alive again in spring I can haul out all the dark shades because life has enough colour without me having to add to it. I've tried to mix up the textures a bit to add interest to an almost all black outfit, but the light was fading a little so it may not be clear that I'm wearing leather look leggings.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Mustard and rust


As well as my ongoing fascination with pink and grey at the moment, I've also got a yen for earthy colours like rust, mustard and dark greens. Here's a very simple (and inexpensive!) outfit I wore recently which cheered me up with its burst of colour.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Current fave colour palette - pink and grey

Hello lovelies! I'm in a proper funk with regards to outfits at the moment. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but I keep finding fault with everything I put together. I've deleted about 6 whole sets of photos in the last month. Waaahhh. I'm loving colour at the moment, especially pink and grey together, so let's focus on happy things. 😊 Spring is just around the corner, so there's a lot to look forward to.

James and I went to some local woods to take these photos and there were so many people coming past. I was feeling very grumpy about interrupting my posing mid-flow until I realised all of them had dogs. It's worth being constantly stopped in my tracks to say hello to inquisitive doggies. I'm less keen on meeting their people, though. 😉

Life lately


Hello lovelies! I thought I'd do a catch up post as I have a few things going on.

It's been a rough month or so for me but hopefully things will be much sunnier soon. Many of you will know that I really struggle with life in the dark months, and that's been especially true recently. Everything has been an effort, even the most simple things like self care. I've been living out of my bed. I've been spending at least 12 hours a day asleep, trying to sleep or trying to find the strength to get out of bed. I've been having really bad troubles with my sleep recently - taking hours to get to sleep, waking up multiple times in the night, never sleeping through a whole night. I've had all kinds of things going on on top of that - a lot more gynae issues than usual, far heavier periods and a lot more ovary pain. Well, I had a routine blood test last week (just in time!) and it turns out my thyroid has gotten worse and they've had to increase my medication. This happened a few days ago and I should hopefully start to feel the benefit soon. Your thyroid controls the behaviour of every cell in your body. It affects how you process food for energy, your hunger/satiety levels, how you sleep, your mental health and even your periods. No wonder I was struggling, but better days are coming!

Another thing that's been happening is I've had a lot of my blog posts stolen/borrowed by another site (depending which way you look at it).

Thursday, 2 March 2017

My Fertility Story - Part 1

I've heard it said before that bloggers shouldn't share too much of their personal lives, but I think that's complete bollocks. Yes, people might come to my page for the outfits, but how you connect with people is through sharing stories of your life. I have a lot of stories in me and I want to tell them - I have a burning desire to do so at the moment. Sometimes I'm obsessed with doing outfit posts, sometimes it's makeup, but at the moment it's opening up my heart.

This series will talk about my reproductive health in general, my two ectopic pregnancies, the reproductive health issues I've had since I had my fallopian tube removed, and also the decision for James to have a vasectomy, thus making us a childless couple. This is quite a lot to tell, so I'm going to break it up into at least a few parts. These posts will obviously deal with child loss, so please don't read these posts if they'll upset you.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

When plus size models aren't plus enough

I've recently become a contributing writer to Indie Plus Design, whose purpose is: Independent Plus Size Bloggers and Designers promoting innovation in fashion and journalism. Expect articles about the fashion industry, blind product reviews where the tester only finds out who made the garment after they've shared their opinion, and interviews with independent designers.

My first article for Indie Plus Design

When I first heard that a lot of plus size models pad their bodies to fit the clothing they model many words sprang to mind but most of them are far too rude to share here. As a UK size 28 woman my thoughts on plus size models are already complicated. It’s galling that clothes sold by retailers for women up to UK size 32+ are modelled on someone who’s at most a size 18. Discovering that these size 18 women are actually size 12-14 and padded out to resemble an impossible standard is even more of a smack in the teeth. So common is the practice in the fashion industry well known plus models such as Iskra Lawrence are open about the practice of packing shapewear shorts with 1.5 inch thick foam pads which widen the hips and round the buttocks, and using chicken fillet bra pads to enlarge the breasts.


[Image source: Refinery 29]

Monday, 27 February 2017

Dusky pink and stripes feat. New Look and Junarose

It feels like a while since I did an outfit post. I've been taking outfit photos every weekend as usual but I've found a reason not to share them every time. The reason I didn't share these? The coat arrived the day before we took these photos and the creases hadn't dropped out from being folded up in transit. 😁 I can see that's bloody ridiculous now! I fall into that daft blogging 'EVERYTHING must be perfect!' mentality every once in a while, which is a dead-cert way for me to make myself miserable. I am NOT a put-together girl. I've always got hair in my eyes, lipstick on my teeth, my skirt tucked in my knickers or some other minor calamity, or all of them at once, and that's OK. It's not like a fashion shoot where you have a hair and makeup person and someone to check everything's in place before a single shot is taken. James wouldn't notice if I dropped a tit out, let alone if my necklace is off centre or I've smudged my eyebrows halfway across my face. 😉 This is a blog, not Vogue, so I don't know why I put myself under such impossible pressure. If you're a blogger and you're nodding along to this, cut yourself some slack, yeah?

Friday, 24 February 2017

Why I'm considering making my blog a PR free zone

Why I'm considering making my blog completely free of brand and PR company involvement.

When I re-birthed this blog into a plus size fashion space in 2012 I had a purity of purpose. I wanted to help women-identifying people feel better about their bodies. At this point I was in my late 30s and I'd been dieting since I was 10. Suddenly realising I could come off the hamster wheel was an epiphany in the truest sense of the word. Radical fat acceptance bloggers like Rachele Cateyes' and her blog The Nearsighted Owl had made me realise it was OK to really exist in a fat body. To live without shame, without apologising for my existence. Plus size fashion bloggers opened my eyes to the possibilities out there to clothe my body, but my heart belonged to the women who were there in their living rooms, wearing thrifted clothes and staring at the camera defiantly, goading the reader into 'Accept me or fuck off.' It was love at first read and that has always endured.

Once this tentative love affair with myself began I hoped to be the person to others that Rachele had been to me, to show women that it's OK to love and accept yourself by living in this truth myself. Falling into fashion blogging was a mistake, really. I was high on the possibilities. There was more out there than the Simply Be catalogue and Evans for the first time in years and I was giddy on it. I fell in head first. That love affair of being blessed with clothing choices has never really ended, but my heart always lay with radical fat acceptance.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Unpopular opinion? Why IDGAF about LFW

It's London Fashion Week and social media is full of takeovers by bloggers, F-ROW photos and much excitement. Each to their own, but I don't give a flying monkey fuck about LFW (or any other straight sized fashion week) and here's why.

Straight sized fashion doesn't interest me at ALL. I can hardly think of anything with less relevance - it has no bearing on my life whatsoever. I don't coo over fashion that doesn't cater to me and people like me. I don't get excited by high fashion because I don't get to see it translated to clothes I can wear. Why get excited about all the trends that ultimately people don't think fat people deserve to wear? No thanks. Don't believe me? How many tents with butterfly patterns have you seen over the years? How many tops or dresses which would have been lovely if not ruined by cold shoulders? Because naturally an acceptable part of a fat person's body to show without offending people is their shoulders.


Have you ever just tried to buy a top, a simple black top? Let's say I want a black top with elbow length sleeves. Well, it'll have cold shoulders or a zip down the back which freezes your spine in winter and cooks it in summer. It'll have some shitty knot thing at the hem, or even worse an elasticated hem. There's no design too simple to be fucked up and shoved at fat people, as if these horrible and unnecessary 'tweaks' take the viewer's eye away from our fatness. I can't tell you how hard it is to buy the most basic of things without someone fucking it up so it's 'appropriate' for a fat person to wear. 

I don't care about all the pretty things that will never be translated to plus size fashion. I don't want to wait to see what crumbs will be thrown my way. You only have to look at a retailer who does straight sizes and plus sizes to see the jarring lack of continuity. Go to New Look or any other store which does both and have a look at the straight sized fashion, then - if you're lucky enough to find a store which has a plus size section - go and look at what's available to you as a fat person. Weep as all the beautiful colours and amazing fabrics downstairs in thin girl land are translated to muted colours and safe, boring patterns for fat people.

I don't care what models the size of my 11 year old niece are wearing - it doesn't translate to my body. Fucking hell, most plus size companies' models don't even translate to my body! I don't see a 2 grand handbag and think 'I can't wait for a high street dupe!' so I can pretend I'm a rich arsehole. I don't want to know trends months in advance. I really don't care. I don't understand why plus size bloggers (especially the larger sizes of plus size bloggers) get so excited about something which excludes them......but that's just me. I like clothes, but fashion? Nah, that's been off limits to me for as long as I've existed in a fat body. I'll just wait for the new season to come around to see what - if any - crumbs have been thrown my way.

Do you give a fuck about high fashion? Let me know.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Embracing greasy hair - one month in

[Image via Pixabay - a great free photo source]

A month ago I wrote about embracing greasy hair and this is an update on how it's going.

Since my teens I've always washed my hair at least every other day, but I'd grown tired the upkeep of the red colour on my hair. A little back-story that I didn't share in the first post: I've been using henna on my hair since about 2008/9 when I became allergic to traditional hair dyes. I'd been using my usual Directions dye for a couple of years, but one time I did it a day or two later my whole face started itching so badly I was clawing at it. I went to the doctor and they guessed it was a hair dye allergy - I was sitting there with lurid burgundy hair, dead giveaway - and they told me to stop using it. I waited a couple of months then tried a sensitivity test of the same dye on my inner elbow to see if I would still react. Uh, yeah. Within half an hour my throat started swelling up and I was starting to have problems breathing and talking so I called a friend and she rushed round some antihistamines. Since then I've only ever used henna on my hair. There's nothing in Directions which *should* make me have a reaction for any of you out there who use it and are now panicking, but Fibromyalgia causes multiple chemical sensitivities so I'm allergic to a lot of things others aren't. *shrugs*

So, getting back to the purpose of this post - if you read the first post you'll know I decided to wash my hair less often to keep my henna fresh longer. So, I've been washing my hair twice a week instead of 3-4 times and it only took a few weeks for my scalp to adjust. I'm not going to lie - the first couple of weeks were rough. My hair was SO greasy on the 3rd and 4th days it kinda grossed me out, but I slicked it back or put it in a pony tail and sucked it up. I learned to love brushing it really slowly with my Tangle Teezer as it relaxed me. I also started thinking of it as my body's natural oils rather than something dirty. Now my hair easily goes 4 days between washes without looking bad - last week I went 6 days without washing it and I only gave in then as I had roots and needed to redo my colour. I've NEVER had roots since I've used henna as it generally fades all over. Here's a photo of me from last weekend with visible roots.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Illamasqua lipsticks in Apocalips, Posture, Pinkie and ESP - a review

Illamasqua-lipsticks-Apocalips-Posture-Pinkie-ESP-review //

I recently bought 4 lipsticks from the Illamasqua sale and I have swatches and a review to share. I bought 2 sensible colours and 2 wild ones. I already had a couple of Illamasqua lipsticks, one of which I reviewed here, so I was familiar with the formula. Illamasqua lipsticks are thick, go on opaque and generally have good longevity. Many of the shades they offer are off the wall, and I ❤ them for it. Read on for more photos and my opinion of them.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Love Leah reader survey results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill in my reader survey! It was very enlightening, and you're a lovely bunch. Let's see what you all said than, shall we?

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

On the death of friendships

I've experienced most types of friendship breakups there are, as I'm sure many of us at my age have. I've had the jagged, abrupt loss of friendship after a row or misunderstanding - the burst of terse words and the bereaved feeling that follows it. I've had real bereavements - dear friends who've died suddenly, leaving important words unsaid between us. I've had friendships that have become extinct because of geographical distance between us or lack of time together. The only kind of breakup I've never experienced is one where one party suddenly stops communicating with no explanation, leaving a lack of closure and wondering what went wrong.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

New Look Curves double pocket maxi coat


Hello loveys! I'm wearing my new bargain coat today, which I got for £21.60 from New Look Curves. Both my winter coats were from New Look this year and I got them both at steep reductions. Although I know it's very tempting to buy something you've had your eye on as soon as it goes into the sale, but if you can hold on for a few days most websites will make final reductions or give you a further discount if you're an email subscriber. I rarely buy anything at full price - *Gollum voice* IT BURNS US! Anyway, read on for more photos and the rest of the details.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Love Leah reader survey

Hello lovelies!

I've made a reader survey to answer some burning questions I have for you - like your age group and which country you live in. And also does my 'Read More' doohickey annoy you? Do you click on it to read the whole post, or would you like me to post everythaaaang there so your eyes can roam freely? What kind of posts you want to see more of from me, and what are your fave kind of posts to read? I value your opinion and it's all totally anonymous.

There are only 7 questions and it should take you no longer than 2 minutes (I did a trial run myself!) so please help me shape the way this blog goes in the future. Many thanks.

<<< Fill me in! >>>

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Thursday, 9 February 2017

More adventures in layering

Once again I'm wearing one of my In The Style Curve dresses. No, they're not paying me - I bought them all myself. I just love plisse fabric - so luxe, but so wearable for every day looks too. It does show up my VBO (visible belly outline) and it does make the cellulite on my bum look worse but I don't care - those are parts of my body that millions of people share and there's nothing wrong with them on me or you. Read on for more.....

Monday, 6 February 2017

Clouds in my coffee - a bodycon outfit

I'm wearing an old dress from New Look Curves (or Inspire as it used to be called back then) and as soon as I put it on I felt RAWWWWWWR. This fierceness just came about me, and when I added the lipstick and the flower crown my look was complete. Anyone who underestimates the power of clothing to completely alter a mood is bananas. 🍌 Clothing can be camouflage, armour and more. Read on for more pics and the rest of the outfit details.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipsticks in Magick and Gothica - a review

Kat-Von-D-Studded-Kiss-lipsticks-in-Magick-and-Gothica review // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

My dad sent me some late Christmas money so I bought myself a couple of Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipsticks in Magick and Gothica. I'd had a mini sized Magick lipstick from a Love Me Beauty subscription and I immediately fell in love with the formula and the longevity and wanted a full size as it's my favourite lipstick ever. The colour suits me so well, and I think it's a shade that would suit a lot of different skin tones as well.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Cruelty free perfume - Pop by Stella McCartney gift set from Fragrance Direct*

Cruelty-free-perfume-Stella-McCartney-Pop-Fragrance Direct //

I've shopped with Fragrance Direct a few times now. They do makeup, fragrance, skincare and gifts at prices far more affordable than the high street. They got in touch to offer me a fragrance to review and I chose Pop by Stella McCartney as it's cruelty free - it isn't tested on animals. Pop is a light fragrance, perfect for every day wear. Read on to see what I think of it.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Windswept on the beach in In The Style Curve


I liked this style of dress from In The Style Curve so much I bought it in 5 colours. I only paid full price for one though - the rest were discounted. As I said in my fashion manifesto for this year, it's all about layering and wearing things in different ways to my usual style, so that brought hi tops, a shiny dress and fishnets, a combination not my usual style at all.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Viva Voluptuous launch event

Viva-Voluptuous-plus-size-luxury-lingerie-launch-event //

I was invited to the official launch event for Viva Voluptuous lingerie, which I attended in London on Thursday. It was a lovely evening of good company, gorgeous luxury lingerie, fabulous cocktails, and burlesque entertainment.

Monday, 30 January 2017

What you can do to fight bigotry and intolerance

If you're anything like me you may have been caught in a fog of inertia and helplessness since President 45 took office. His first week as leader of the free world has made plain his hatred for almost everyone and everything - women, Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants in general, and the environment. As far as I can see all he cares about are white people, preferably rich, old and male. I've been in a freefall of buying crap I don't need to try to soothe the reality of this, but there IS no soothing this, not with material things anyway.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Learning to layer

in the style curve pearless silver dress layering //

As I mentioned in my Fashion Manifesto for 2017, I want to learn to layer and wear things in different ways to maximise the items I already own. I'm wearing my pearless silver dress from In The Style Curve (which I wore dressed up here) in a more casual way.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Bears and wizards

James calls this coat my bear coat, and these shots were taken in front of a wizard themed set of graffiti in Eastbourne, hence titling this bears and wizards. Read on for more photos of me and the wizards.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Embracing greasy hair

Embracing-greasy-hair //
{Image from Pixabay}

That sounds disgusting, right?! Bear with me. My hair is coloured with henna and I've grown tired of having to refresh it every month, especially now I'm using two colours for contrast. I figured if I wash my hair less then the henna would last much longer, and perhaps my scalp and hair would be healthier too. Maybe it'll even grow quicker.

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