Junarose dress on a sunny day

Hello lovelies,

These photos were taken about a month ago on a lovely sunny autumnal day when it was warm enough to take my coat off. The dress is past season Junarose. It's made of lovely soft organic cotton and I wore it before here. I'm not the biggest fan of the hanky hem but the softness of the fabric more than makes up for it.

I have lovely memories of this day as the weather was gorgeous. I went for a Chinese buffet with my mum and aunt and then we had a lovely long walk around the park and some local lakes.
I love this graffiti wall. The colours are lovely.
I hope to have more lovely days like this once the weather warms up again. It's currently freezing in the UK and many places have snow. When I left home this morning it was -1 degrees C!

Everything in this post is old so I haven't linked to anything.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

How to meet the dress code of a wedding in a different culture*


It’s an exciting time when an invite for a wedding comes through the post! You’ve been selected as someone that the happy couple want to share their big day with. But what do you wear? Choosing a guest outfit for a wedding in the UK is hard enough, but what about if you’ve been invited to a wedding of a different culture? Together with Charles Tyrwhitt, retailers of timeless menswear, we look at how the dress code of a wedding changes depending on the background of the newlyweds.

What might the husband be wearing?

Many traditional grooms follow the dress code set by their ancestors. However, some modern grooms decide to wear a smart suit instead of their traditional dress.

India

The traditional dress for the husband-to-be differs by Indian region. Some husbands-to-be wear traditional dress, such as a dhoti which is a rectangular cloth ties around the waist. In other regions, they wear a sherwani (a long coat), a kurta (loose falling shirt that hangs below the knee), or a men’sformal shirt and Western-type suit.
Often only associated with women, men actually get painted with henna too. However, the patterns aren’t as elaborate and they’re often not on show.

Japan

Traditionally, a kimono is worn for the ceremony by the Japanese groom. For the after celebrations, they then change into a tuxedo. The formal kimono that he wears is called a ‘montsuki’, and often displays the family crest. More recently, younger grooms start the ceremony in a tuxedo too.

China

Traditionally, a silk black coat is worn over an embroidered robe. Younger grooms however are wearing the robe without the overcoat however.
For special ceremonies, a different dress is required and for this, the groom should wear a statement headpiece. This is usually an elaborate hat which is black with red tassels. Some younger generations are not following the traditional dress code and simply wear a tuxedo or a Western-style business suit.

What might the bride be wearing?

Brides in the UK are recognised by their impressive white dresses. How do our own bridal traditions compare to India, Japan and China?

India

Similar to the male traditions, it depends what region the bride is from as to what she wears for her wedding. In some region a saree is the garment of choice and in others it is a lehenga. A saree is a piece of clothing that looks like a long drape and a lehenga is a long skirt. Often the bride is dressed in red or another vibrant colour, her garments will be carefully embroidered with an impressive design.
Before the wedding, the bride gets painted with henna. Her hands, forearms and legs are all covered with patterns.

Japan

A wedding in Japan is a grand affair — it can cost close to £75,000! It is often the parents of the couple who organise the wedding, and they are willing to spend excessive amounts to save face. Because of the large scale of the weddings, the bride can have as many as 5 costume changes! For the ceremony, at a Shinto (traditional) wedding, the bride wears a white kimono. However, sometimes the bride chooses to wear an impressive dress that is printed with a Japanese design.

China

The bride usually wears red as this is considered good luck. In some regions, typically in northern China, the traditional attire for a bride is a one-piece dress that is embroidered with gold and silver designs. In southern China, the typical wear is a two-piece frock.
A pair of specially designed shoes are worn too. For example, they could be embroidered with a turtle or a deer which symbolises happiness and longevity.

What might the guests be wearing?

If you are attending a wedding of a different culture, you should try and dress traditionally out of respect and to avoid offence.

India

Go for bold and bright colours at an Indian ceremony. Wearing vibrant colours will mean you fit in with the Indian guests. Guests should avoid white or black as these are colours worn for funerals and mourning in India. It is also advised that red is not worn either as the bride will probably be dressed in this colour.
Women should dress respectively and cover up at an Indian wedding. The Indian female guests will most likely be dressed in colourful sarees or anarkali suits. Jewellery is important for women too, choose a statement piece for around your neck with matching earrings and bangles.
Male wedding guests dress similarly to the groom. They often wear a tailored kurta with a pyjama and a dupatta (shawl) can be added over the kurta. For their feet, sandals, jootis or chappals are often worn as these are comfortable and prevent overheating.
Some of the wedding could take place in a temple — guests are often asked to cover their heads because of this. For this, women can wear a long scarf or pashmina over their heads and men are usually provided with a head cover such as a large handkerchief.

Japan

Traditionally, Japanese guests dress overly formal. Now however, the dress code is more flexible and it is accepted for men to come dressed in suits other than black with various coloured ties. However, it is advised to avoid white clothes with black ties.
A safe option for female guests is a knee length dress and a kimono. It is best to avoid showing any shoulder as this can be deemed a disrespectful.

China

Female guests should avoid wearing red. This is because it can be seen as stealing the limelight from the bride who will also be dressed in this colour. It’s best to wear pink, peach or purple instead, as these are all symbols of new life and happiness. A formal dress is suitable for a Chinese wedding. Other colours to avoid for both male and female guests is black and white. These are symbols of mourning and bad luck. 

Sources


Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

*Collaborative post

6 reasons I'm not blogging right now

'Ello love bugs!


To give you a bit of background into my life right now, I'm out of the manic phase of bipolar and back into the depressive phase, so I can concentrate a little better now. I'm starting to get my blogging mojo back a bit, but I have a few little issues stopping me from doing it as often as I'd like.

  1. The internet here is really slow. There's nothing anyone can do about it, we're in a crap area for internet so it takes a long time to upload photos.
  2. I haven't found my place to do outfit photos yet. With James, we went to so many lovely places (especially over the last couple of years) so there were plenty of nice backgrounds to stand in front of. Now I'm back to home-based photos and I haven't found the right spot for it yet. Plus, James was really good behind the camera and I don't have that technical person in my life any more.
  3. I've kinda lost my mojo with clothes and makeup. I've got rid of a HUGE amount of clothes and makeup since I split up with James, and I'm still getting rid of things all the time. There's very little point having tons of things if they're all in my aunt's garage, so I've been ruthless. I have less to wear and very little money for new things. The charity shopping scene in my part of Kent is crap - there are hardly any fat people. In East Sussex - where I used to live - plus size charity shopping was great but here it's not so good, so I need to diversify from a fashion blog. There will still be fashion, just less of it.
  4. When I wiped my laptop after J and I split (I suspected there was spyware on it after my emails and Facebook were hacked twice) I lost my photo editing software. I'm having to use Picmonkey to edit everything and it's sooooo slow (especially with the internet here) and that's stressful too.
  5. To be honest, I've lost some of my confidence. Everything here is new and strange. I've gone from having a huge 2 bedroom flat and balcony to take photos on (and having the place to myself during the day to do as I pleased) to one bedroom to take photos in. I share a house with an ensemble cast that includes my aunt (of course), my uncle (her brother) who semi-lives here, and my mum and step dad who have keys and pop in any time. It's not like I can stroll around taking underwear shots any more. 
  6. The manic phase of bipolar is BRUTAL. I don't know if you've ever felt ill at ease in your own skin and brain but imagine waking up in someone else's body and brain and the sense of what the eff is wrong with me will be about the same. I just couldn't concentrate to write at ALL. I couldn't read, I couldn't watch films, I couldn't do anything other than jitter, lol. That lasted for about 10 weeks. I'm in the depressive phase now and concentration is still a problem, but less so than in the manic phase.
I hope things get easier in time.

Thanks to those of you who are still commenting on my blog when I do post.
Leah xoxo

5 reasons dating sites are making me hate men


Whoa, that's a broad statement right?! Before the MRAs get up in arms, I'm talking about a certain type of man here, as will become obvious as you read through my 5 points. I'm waiting with baited breath for the first "Not all men!" I'm not saying all men, I'm not even saying all men on dating sites, I'm saying some men.

There is some adult content in this post.

5 reasons dating sites are making me hate men


  1. POSE FOR ME. I've been on a couple of dating sites (I've now come off them to save my sanity) and there was a pattern of men who wanted me to pose in a certain way. One wanted to see my arsehole (I wish I was joking!), one wanted me to go on all fours and take a photo over my back, one wanted a photo of a sex toy crammed where the sun don't shine........need I go on? I know men are very visual creatures but I would've needed 7 arms and 28 hours a day to fulfill the odd requests from the chaps I was talking to. I'm not some fat Barbie who can hang out all day taking photos to satisfy these whims.
  2. SELFIE RIGHT NOW. Whilst on the subject, a lot of the men I've been talking to have been quite demanding with selfies. I've had requests from as early as 6am and later than 11pm from men who want me to take a selfie of myself right now. Now I don't know about you dear readers, but I'm not photo-ready 24 hours a day. First and last thing I'm free of makeup, and besides which, the light! After dark I look like the Seer from Vikings (go Google him!). If it's not beautiful morning light which shines on me like the elixir of youth I'm not doing it.
  3. IGNORING BOUNDARIES. Another pattern I noticed was how a lot of fellas I spoke to were happy to ignore the simplest boundaries, like me saying I'm tired and needed to go to bed. "Oh no, stay up and talk to me!" - reasonably sweet. Then there'd be the guys who totally ignored that and would video call me with their dick in their hand. I've also been on a few dates with guys and ignoring of my boundaries figured heavily there. I plan to write a little about each of my dates (treating them anonymously of course) but I had one date with someone I refer to as the "grabby handed wanker" as he turned up to pick me up for a drink and actually expected me to shag him in his car. I had to tell him to piss off several times before he got the hint. If a man can't take no for something simple, what else am I going to say no to and have him hear it as a yes?!
  4. PREDATORY/TOO MUCH SEX TALK. I'm a sexual woman, but there's even a line for me. I started talking to this gorgeous guy who had a great bio, he hated the Tories and UKIP (swoon) and seemed like an amazing bloke. Before long he was asking if I had videos of me "sucking and fucking" other guys that I could send him. Uh, how about you wank off into a sock full of superglue, mate? NO. There's a time and a place for a bit of sexy chat, and for me that's when you've been talking for a while and there's been some gentle flirting first. Coming in with "How big are those jugs?" isn't going to go well with me. 
  5. GUARANTEED SEX. This is a weird one but one I've encountered quite a lot. I can see someone's photo online and think "Yeah, you're fit as!" but I need to meet them to see if there's a spark. I've seen conventionally unattractive guys turn beautiful as they make me laugh so much or they're just lovely, and I've seen really good looking guys turn me right off if their personality is cruel or big headed. Quite a lot of the men I spoke to wanted express conformation that I would in fact want to boff them, but I can't say that. I had one guy on video call refuse to show me his full face unless I guaranteed I'd have sex with him. Two words - predatory arsehole! Personality is everything for me and I can't tell if I want to bump uglies with someone until I meet them. Hell, perhaps until I've met them a few times. Guaranteeing I'm going to do the horizontal tango with someone before I've even met them ain't gonna happen in most circumstances, and that did not go down well with some of these fellas.

Now, a disclaimer. I've come off the dating sites as it was too soon for me to be on them. I was using it as a distraction from my mental health issues, but it was actually making it worse. I feel a lot better now I'm off the sites, and this post is to be taken semi-humourously as I don't really hate men. I know there are good men out there. I know there are good men out there on dating sites - you just have to wade through the dross. I do know quite a few people who are happily married because they met on dating sites. Even though I've come off the sites I'm still in touch with a few guys who are lovely so watch this space.

People, tell me your worst dating stories! I'll start writing about the dates I've had soon.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Some more thoughts about being bipolar

I've had some thoughts about bipolar on my mind for a while. It's different for everyone but I want to talk about MY bipolar.

For me bipolar means a lot of pretending, both to others and myself. Pretending I'm ok, pretending this hasn't changed my whole life, pretending I don't notice the people who've abandoned me as they don't know what to say. Pretending everything is rosy and a whirlwind of fun when there are a lot of moments where I'm lower than a sausage dog's knackers.

It involves a LOT of positive thought and planning for happy times in the future as some moments are so bleak as to be breathtaking. There have to be things to look forward to to get me through the days.

There's a HELL of a lot of restlessness. There is a very slim window of feeling at ease in my own brain and skin now. I'm too happy or too sad, rarely if EVER on an even keel. But it's a physical restlessness too. I fidget a lot. I hate people who dilly dally - if I'm going to be doing something shortly I want to get going NOW. I also have to walk and exercise every day or I'll burst from inactivity.

Sadly this means I'm not always patient now and I hate it. I'm also irritable a lot, which upsets those around me, which upsets me. It's like I have no filter any more. My words come out harshly without meaning to.

My bipolar does still involve some gratuitous spending around my period, but nowhere near as badly as when I was with James.

It also brings a very high sex drive. Awkward when I'm as single as a pringle! (But I AM dating and I have some dating posts planned!)

It makes me a very NOW person. My feelings are so intense that there's little past and future. The now is so intense that it blots out a lot.

My memory is AWFUL! I live second to second and constantly need reminding of the plans I've made. @mookie7x7 is like my PA, she knows what's going on in my life better than I do!

My concentration is also awful. I can't read, I can hardly blog. My thoughts come so fast I can't catch them. I can't read and I can barely watch tv. The best way to describe bipolar to you (my bipolar at least) is like having an electric current running through you, vibrating so loudly that you can't concentrate on anything, can't cope with anything.

But it's not all bad. 😁 There's a lot of old me left in there. My humour. My sense of fun. My old friends are here for me and new ones too. It is a struggle but I'm still me. If you have a bipolar person in your life, be gentle with them. They're battling to feel at one with their brain every day. You may not understand it, but please try to be there for them. People with bipolar have a high risk of suicide and need a lot of support.

From bipolar-lives.com:
Never doubt the risk of bipolar suicide. Many studies indicate a 15% rate of suicide amongst individuals with bipolar disorder. This rate is about 30 times higher than than that of the general population. 

Do you know anyone who has bipolar?

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

How Can You Manage Your Health Using Technology?*

Technology in the modern world is incredible, and is advancing at an impressive rate. One area that’s really taken off is tech for health, and these days it’s easy to monitor, track and improve our health right from our computers or smartphones. Here are a few of the ways you can keep tabs on your health using modern technology.


Photo sourced from this website

Use an Online Doctor

Healthcare in the UK is fantastic, however there’s a significant amount of stress on the system. For this reason when you’re feeling unwell, it could be a few days before you’re even able to be seen by your GP. If you don’t fancy sitting in the walk in centre for four hours, you could use an online dr app. These are real doctors and are able to prescribe medication and diagnose any problems via video chat, allowing you to quickly and conveniently speak to a doctor from the comfort of your home. You don’t have to take any time off work or risk getting ill at the doctors surgery, it’s a fantastic convenient way to manage your health.

Order From an Online Pharmacy

You don’t necessarily need to speak to an online doctor, in many cases you can speak to a pharmacist at an online chemist. These can prescribe various medications that aren’t available over the counter, or can send you your repeat prescription. You save yourself a doctor’s visit and therefore save yourself time and hassle. It goes without saying you should use a legitimate, fully licensed online pharmacy so do your research before placing an order.

Utilise Health Apps

There are tonnes of great health apps out there that can help you manage specific health conditions, your weight, diet or anything else. Have a look in the app store and see what kinds of things will suit you. For diet, weight and fitness tracking apps like MyFitnessPal are useful, Apple also have things like scales which can sync data right to your phone. If you have a condition like diabetes, apps can make it easy to keep track of your blood sugar readings, they can even help you track and remind you to take your medication.

Use a Fitness Tracker

Fitness tracking bands like Fitbit track things like your heart rate and sleep, letting you know exactly how much activity and the quality of sleep you’re getting. They sync to your phone and show the results in easy to read charts and graphs. They can show you where you need to improve, motivate you to work harder when you exercise and generally help you to keep track of your health. You wear them on your wrist just like you would a regular watch so are no hassle to wear. Plus since they tell the time too, they’re a simple replacement for your ordinary timepiece. As you can get different, interchangeable bands they will suit any style.

Do you utilise technology to manage your health? Have you used any of the above, and if so what’s your opinion on it?



*collaborative post

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

New Look velvet kimono

Hello my lovelies!

It's been a while since I did an outfit post here, so here's one from a month ago when I was in the midst of bipolar induced throwing up and cut a slightly smaller figure. This kimono was gifted to me by an amazing Instagram follower who sent me a HUGE care package after my break up with James. I've been so lucky in that respect - I've been sent SO many wonderful things by friends and social media buds alike.

Sadly this kimono is no longer for sale online as we've gone straight into heavy coat weather, but I liked this outfit and wanted to share it anyway.





I'm wearing:
Kimono, New Look Curves
Vest and boots, old
Hat ASOS
Leggings ASOS

I hope you're all well!
Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

For The Love Of Blogging*

How many times have you heard someone say that they are starting to write a novel, only for you to enquire about it three months later and their enthusiasm has waned? It’s the same with blogging. Only the most ardent and passionate of bloggers tend to generate a loyal following and keep up the posting momentum. Friends have begun blogs only to quit them after four posts and a fortnight because they didn’t get a single follower. It takes a bit more effort and a lot more time before you spy your first follower.

We all know about SEO, keywording and AdWords. They are great at getting your little piece of the Internet noticed and can give you an important leg up in the ever-crowded world of the blogosphere. However, don’t lose sight of what your personal blog is all about and why you started it in the first place. It could be a release, a stress reliever or a comfort to express your thoughts. It might be your vehicle to let off steam, voice your opinions and hopefully locate fellow like-minded individuals across the globe. Don’t begin to treat it like a business or a quest for validation. If you have the commitment and passion, and you keep writing, followers will come. Everyone who has a personal piece of the web does so for the love of blogging.

For The Love Of Blogging
Image By

Personalisation

Your blog is a little piece of you. You’re opening up a little window to your likes, dislikes, passions, thoughts and emotions. It’s not unusual to spend hours, maybe even days, trying to come up with the perfect name for your blog that encompasses what your series of posts will be about. You could venture onto a domain name forum to seek advice on the best sorts of website names for your style of blog. You could find bargain domain names for sale that are already active and generate traffic. This could give you a head start in establishing an audience from the get-go.

For the love of blogging 2
Image By

Your Skills

Writing and finding your voice is a skill in itself. It may take you a few weeks or even some months before you can call yourself an established blogger. It’s great when you can begin to contribute to other top quality blogs with a guest post, and after reading it, your followers could tell that it’s written by you. You may have a certain turn of phrase, a witty or sarcastic nature or a tone that others instantly recognise. Putting this into your writing will be like second nature to you, and you won’t even have to think about it. There's nothing better than reading a comment from someone saying how you've made them laugh, brightened up their day or changed their way of thinking.

Image By

Becoming Influential

There are many bloggers out there who begin by posting for the love of blogging who then morph into the most influential writers on the Internet. Their following is so vast that companies want these bloggers to review their products and then write about them. The process is very transparent, and the most reputable bloggers will state that they are writing a sponsored post or have been given a set of earplugs or a pair of running shoes for free to review. While you may not want to go down this route, you could find yourself establishing a secure second income should you wish to review products.

If you’d rather stick to the pure nature of blogging, then do just that. Established travel blogger Nomadic Matt is well known for not taking on sponsored posts or reviewing anything for free. He uses first-hand experience to fuel his writing, and his blog is seen as a more trustworthy source for travellers because of it. He remains one of the most influential travel bloggers out there.


Stick With It

If you’re just starting out on your blogging journey and you’re looking for inspiration, just write what you know. Vent, share and express. Use the power of words to convey your message even if it feels like your writing into the ether for your first few posts. This doesn’t make your writing any less readable, and the followers will come if you regularly write, share your new posts on social media and network with other bloggers by leaving comments and guest posting.

Everyone has a story to tell - it’s up to you to get sharing and stick with it for the love of blogging. 

*collaborative post

Wardrobe Essentials to Keep You Snug as a Bug This Winter*

Wardrobe Essentials to Keep You Snug as a Bug This Winter
Photo Source

Winter is here, and things are only set to get colder as the year goes on. So, it’s time to put away your shorts and tees and start opting for layers of cosier clothes. After all, fashion now has to be aesthetically pleasing and practical at the same time. If you ignore this, you could end up finding yourself shivering and questioning why you didn’t put more thought into your outfit choice. Here are a few essentials to stock your wardrobe up with to keep you snug as a bug over the coming months.

Coats

First things first, you’re going to need to invest in one or two trusty winter coats. Remember that there’s a big difference between a coat and jacket. The first will maintain a lot more heat and
ensure you’re a whole lot more comfortable out in the elements. Opt for insulating materials and fabrics such as wool. This is a firm winter favourite, as it keeps your body heat in and can withstand windy elements. If you find that there tends to be a lot of rain, frost and snow in your region, you will want to ensure that you have a waterproof alternative too. Windbreakers are particularly great and are the latest big hit in streetwear this season. So consider outdoorsy brands such as North Face. A hood is always a great feature, and black colours draw as much heat as possible from your environment.

Scarves and gloves

It’s time to accessorise! When it comes to women’s accessories to keep you warm this winter, scarves and gloves have to top the list. For milder days, consider silk scarves. This will protect your neck and lower face from sharp, biting winds, but won’t cause you to overheat. For colder and harsher days, opt for chunky wool knits or thick, soft cashmere. Now for your hands. You need a reliable pair of gloves to avoid numb fingers. Often you will be able to find a pair to perfectly match your chosen scarf. Alternatively, you might like to try out some faux leather gloves for a more sophisticated look.


Hats

Most of your body heat is lost from your head. So wear a hat! Many people are hesitant when it comes to wearing hats. They worry that they can’t find a style that suits them. But there are so many varieties available that there’s bound to be something out there that’s perfect for your aesthetic. Berets offer timeless chic, bobble hats are cute and cosy, and flat caps can be the perfect addition to any country style outfit.

Umbrellas

Okay, you don’t wear this one, but it can definitely help you to get from A to B without arriving dripping wet. An umbrella is an absolute essential in the winter seasons. So why not have a little
fun with it. Of course, a plain black umbrella will be simple and match any outfit, but there are so many fun designs out there that you can’t help but dabble! Consider love heart shaped umbrellas, quirky prints and designer labels. If you ensure that you have all of these things tucked away in your wardrobe, you’re bound to have a much warmer, cosier and drier time in the coming months!

*collaborative post

September photo diary part 2

Hello lovelies.

Because I'm not feeling like blogging properly (and I don't have any money for clothes) I'm not writing here much at all, so here's a photo diary of September. The first part can be found here.

I've been very lucky and thoroughly spoilt by my friends and social media followers. I've been gifted several care packages with everything from chocolates to notepads to Himalayan salt tea light holders to lipsticks and a velvet kimono. This is Pugsley, a present from my friend Rosie.
I've only been wearing old things as I don't have a lot of money now but at some point I'll start doing outfit posts again, even if they're only charity shop clothes.
 My friend Izz and I. Where would I be without my friends?!
 I saw this sign in Herne Bay and it gave me a well needed laugh.
At Seasalter with my family.
Taking outfit photos in a McDonald's car park. Classy! ;)
My favourite new hang out, Bar Elba in London's Waterloo. It's a great rooftop bar which serves up amazing cocktails and burgers.
 Yum!
Bacon cheeseburger.
I hope everyone reading is doing well.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

At This Moment #7 - What I'm reading, watching and doing

AT-THIS-MOMENT-WHAT-I'M-READING-WATCHING-LOVING
Hello lovebugs! I missed this post last month but I'm back again with the latest installment of what I'm up to!

WATCHING

I'm loving Star Trek Discovery on Netflix. I'm a proud Trekkie! I'm also loving S2 of Designated Survivor.

READING

I'm reading South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami. It was a recommendation from a guy I went on a date with. The guy didn't last but the book has. 😄 I can't read much right now as I'm too hyper and I can't concentrate, but I look forward to being a bookworm again.

MAKING

Plans for my future! The future is wide open but I've got to shape it. I want my own place and I want to study psychology to the highest level. I want to be a counsellor so I can help others through  relationship breakdowns with damaging individuals. I'd do anything I could to help others going through what I'm going through right now.

STARTING

I need to start saving for a deposit on my own place as I need my independence. I'm also starting to think moving back to Kent was a good thing and this is where I'll stay. I'm also starting to date again. It feels good.

FINISHING

My grieving for that man is done. It was quite a few weeks ago. That was helped by the cruelty of his discard - every cloud has a silver lining! 😁😁😁😁😁😁

ENJOYING

Freedom! Less anxiety about using public transport - since I've been single I've been HAVING to use it and I'm gadding about here and there on trains all the time with no anxiety at all now. 

LISTENING
(This section used to be TEXTING but music is far more interesting than texting!)

I LOVE this song. When I found out who it was by I was ashamed of myself, but I can't help but adore this song so much, especially the final 90 seconds or so. I sing along loud and often!



LOVING

I'm really into Sia at the moment too. She's bipolar and I identify so much with her lyrics. Music in general is helping me so much.

HATING

Bipolar! Having bipolar and being a bi-polar-bear 🐻 are so hard. It affects everything from how many typos I make when I write (a lot, my thoughts race so much I can't spell or do grammar, and I was educated at a grammar school, FFS!) to the way I walk (seriously, bipolar mania makes you hypersexual and I walk like a panther on the prowl!) Everything is different. Even my handwriting is different when I'm manic. But it's the ups and downs, the feeling on top of the world then doubting everything which is the most painful. Well, that and all the people rushing out of my life now I have bipolar. The stigma IS HUGE. People have no idea what bipolar actually IS.

It's a mood disorder which means you go through Mount Everest level highs and Mariana Trench lows. It's not 'madness' per se, you just feel everything so deeply. But people are SO scared of it (and me) and I've been losing support left and right. It feels shit. Bipolar is shit. It affects everything - how much I eat and sleep and how energetic I am. So I need support.......and I'm so thankful to the people I still have in my corner.

What's new with you?

You can read previous posts here.
One Two Three
Four Five Six

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

September photo diary part 1

Since my break up and bipolar mania starting in mid September I've found it really hard to put fingers to keyboard, so I've decided to do photo diaries of Sept and Oct. They'll be photo heavy, do be warned. Expect outfits, selfies and more. I'll also be doing a separate photo diary of the Curve Fashion Festival, which I went to in early September.
Jacket and necklace past New Look Curves, dress past Boohoo, leggings, Skechers (similar), bag past eBay, leggings (similar)
I was gifted these workout leggings by State of Mind Active at the Curve Fashion Festival. They're great - moisture wicking and such a smooth fabric that it makes my chunky legs swish past each other effortlessly for better exercise. Normally when I go on a walk I arrive back home soaked in sweat and have to shower off immediately but I was kept cool and dry in these capris. I'm assured by a friend who has had SOMA clothes for a long time they wash and wear incredibly well and stay looking new for years. High performance workout capris. I need to reshoot these pics as the light was failing and the photo quality is awful. Keep your eyes peeled for a more in depth post.These photos were taken on a walk 2 days before James dumped me and I had NO IDEA it was coming.

Faking a smile the next day after the dump-age(with Mookie).
Three days post-dumping, out of the marital home and refusing to sink.
The kindness of friends.
Remembering what it's like to laugh again while in the pub with Mum and Mookie 5 days post dumping.
I've always been about that double chin life. Me aged 3 weeks - this photo is in my mum's bedroom.
A lovely walk on a sunny day with my family. I passed this flint statue and loved it. Shame idiots had to scrawl on it though.
Standing next to a big prick. 😜😜😜😜

I'll leave it there for now.

I hope you're all well. I'm struggling with bipolar, really struggling. It's going to be a bit of a quest to get me on the right meds and I don't think I'm there yet. It hasn't even been a month I've been on them yet so I know it's early days, but I'm really struggling to feel like me. Big hugs to all my fellow MH family and anyone else struggling for whatever reason.

I'm also really struggling to deal with the fall out of the break up, the PTSD like symptoms I have every time I have to see or interact with James. I'm really really not in a good place right now, but I'm putting one foot in front of the other each day.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

My very quick journey to bipolar disorder diagnosis

Hello lovelies,

I've wanted to put fingers to keyboard many times over the last 5 and a bit weeks since James dumped me, but I haven't been able to find the will. But I've been writing on Instagram most days, and here's something I've brought over from there and expanded upon in case it helps others - how I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder so quickly. I began exhibiting symptoms of extreme mania the day after James brought home his shitty Dear John letter.

Pic made with Wordswag/Pixabay free images

I believe what helped me get to such a quick diagnosis with bipolar is a video I took in desperation on my most manic day. I went through hysterical laughter, tears, anger and heartbreak in the space of 2 minutes of video. It must've been terrifying for people to watch (I uploaded it to social media as I was so desperate for people to believe me) and it was certainly terrifying living through it.

When it comes to diagnoses you can try to explain how you feel, you can take notes of your symptoms, you can note down other people's impressions of you, (especially if you're losing your grasp on reality or disassociating) but having a video of yourself in a very manic or very depressed mood is even better. I showed my GP and my psychiatrist the video I'd taken round my cousin's flat on the day I REALLY lost my grasp on reality. I'd been to a walk in centre that day and the doctor seemed to think I was just a neurotic woman going through a break up and was otherwise fine. I felt so let down by that GP and I wanted proof things were really bad. Also I was disassociating so badly by then that I needed to look at myself in photos or video to know I was still real. I wasn't sure I existed any more. My cousin had to patiently explain the day's reality to me as I was so out of it.

That terrible day I'd had a little dance with a 90 year old man in a packed Wetherspoons pub in the middle of the lunchtime rush, and got so loud and sweary over lunch that strangers looked scared of me. I didn't miss James at all and was joking I'd been "drowning in cock" one minute, then 2 minutes later I'd be in racking tears of heartbreak, quickly followed by hysterical laughter I couldn't stop. Loud noises made me want to punch people, my eyeballs were rattling around in my head, I hadn't been sleeping, I was shaking so much I couldn't pass people money, I was sweating uncontrollably and my heart physically hurt. I was in an awful state. The doctor I saw at the walk in centre did give me some Diazepam, which at least helped me to sleep, because I'd only been having 1-2 hours a night. This was less than a week after James ended things.

As soon as I had my kinda fruitless experience at the walk in centre I called my own GP and went in a few days later, showed him the video and all the symptoms I'd written down. He could see I was a mess anyway - I was shaking uncontrollably, sweating heavily and my resting heartbeat was galloping along at twice the speed it should've been. He gave me beta blockers to stop my heart exploding (lol) and sedative antihistamines to help me sleep. Less than 2 weeks after that I had my psych evaluation, which took about 90 minutes and was incredibly in depth. I was asked about my sexual history, childhood, jobs, parents, health and so much more. At the end of it I was diagnosed with Bipolar II.

Doing the video definitely helped my speedy diagnosis. So my advice would be video yourself (no matter how painful it is to do when you're manic or very depressed), list all your symptoms as best you can, and ask your loved ones to describe how you've been acting if you've been disassociating or losing your grasp on reality.

But most of all, trust your intuition. If you KNOW things are out of control for you, don't give up until you get help. I know mental health services vary in different countries. I know they vary in different areas of the UK. Some doctors are effing useless when it comes to mental health. Persist if you can and lean on your loved ones while you're undiagnosed. Believe in yourself and your ability to know what's right and wrong in your own body and mind. You know yourself better than anyone else.


I've been medicated for 2 weeks now and I won't lie, some days are hell. I'm only getting 5 hours sleep a day at most. I wake up at 5am every day without fail. I still disassociate sometimes. I shake, I sweat, my heart races. I've gone down a dress size so quickly my hair thinned. I've been throwing up or heaving almost every day for 5 weeks. Today was the first time I could bear to eat my 5 a day. I'm missing meals and when I do eat I'm eating 1/3 of what I used to. Some days I'm high as a kite and other days I'm as low as a sausage dog's knackers. There's no predicting it. It's HARD and there's no guarantee the anti psychotic tablets I'm on are the right ones for me. It's going to be a process to start feeling better.

In my next post I'll talk about how I had undiagnosed bipolar for many years. Big hugs to my mental health fam and all suffering souls out there.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

At This Moment #6 - what I'm reading, watching & doing

AT-THIS-MOMENT-6-READING-WATCHING-DOING // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

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

WATCHING

Not a lot! I've run out of things. Game of Thrones has finished, Power has finished - I'm at a loose end. I'm still watching the second series of Shooter, with Ryan Phillippe, but I need more things to watch. Here's the series 1 trailer in case you're interested.



I've also recently watched The Story of Diana, on Netflix, about (of course) the late Princess of Wales. It followed her from childhood up until her tragic death. I need some recommendations for shows on Netflix please. I especially love subtitled shows (they force me to concentrate), Scandi dramas, crime dramas etc.

READING

In the last couple of weeks I've read two Khaled Hosseini books - The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I loved them both, they're phenomenal books and I'm a fan for life. I've also started reading Jes Baker's Things No One Tells Fat Girls, which is also great. I read a chapter before bed every few nights so I go to sleep with good thoughts in my head. Right now I'm reading a Dennis Lehane book - The Given Day, which is set around WWII and follows the lives of two families - one white and one black. It's a long book (an opus like the bloody Bible!) but it's captivating. Beware if you read it - it has a lot of racial epithets in it.

MAKING

Umm, as usual I'm making money disappear from my bank account. Last weekend's Curve Fashion Festival was a wonderful event (blog post to come!) but it was an expensive outing. I've also been buying things to help me go on walks in crappy English A/W weather - a waxed jacket to go with the walking boots I mentioned in my last At This Moment post. These bad boys are half price at £29.99 here. They're really padded around the ankle which is great for hypermobile people like me with super-bendy ankles.
This wax rain coat from ASOS is out of stock at the moment. I hope it comes back - it's already sold out twice so they're onto a winner.

STARTING

I'm starting to look forward to Autumn, even though S.A.D. makes my life a misery for 5 months of the year. This year I'm determined to go walking in all weathers, hence the wax jacket and the walking boots. I'm going to try to exercise my way out of the fog the dark months bring. I'm really looking forward to leafy walks in the park, warm A/W colours like mustard and burgundy and green, hot chocolate, Halloween and Bonfire Night! And dare I say it, I'm looking forward not to being sweaty all the time. 😆😆😆😆

FINISHING

Well, it's been another busy month. We've had three family visits in the last 5 weeks and James and I are a little bit frayed around the edges. We've had a really busy summer - we've been to Manchester, Weymouth and Bath, and I've been to Liverpool. We have some friends coming to stay in about 10 days (which we're looking forward to immensely) but after that I think we'll shut down the 'hotel' and have some time just for ourselves. God knows we need to save some money for Christmas anyway, so laying off social events for a while sounds like a plan.

ENJOYING

Being me! Going to the Curve Fashion Festival in Liverpool last weekend and being surrounded by so many vibrant, beautiful fat women has made me even more focused on living my best possible life, and that means giving no fucks! I just want to be a fat mermaid/unicorn and smother myself in glitter, so I shall. People are going to stare anyway as I'm fat, so let's give them a show!

LISTENING
(This section used to be TEXTING but music is far more interesting than texting!)

When I was in the car with Mookie and her husband Mike on the way up to Liverpool they introduced me to a band called The Cardiacs, and I fell in love with this song. It doesn't get going till halfway through, but wait till that guitar solo kicks in! I love it.



LOVING

Wearing glitter as makeup. Why use highlighter when you can highlight with glitter?!



HATING

All these weather events all over the world. It's so scary! It feels like the world is going to hell in a hand cart. There have been lots of wild fires on the US west coast, hurricanes on the east coast, landslides in Sierra Leone and other places, an earthquake in Mexico. People who deny global warming are bananas. It's so awful how many people are being displaced.

What's new with you?!

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

In The Style Curve Alexiss red floral bardot dress

IN-THE-STYLE-CURVE-ALEXISS-RED-FLORAL-SHIRRING-BARDOT-MAXI-SPLIT-DRESS // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
Hello babes! I've got a belter of a dress to show you from In The Style Curve today - the Alexiss, which has a saucy thigh split. This rusty shade of red is such a good colour for me. Read on for lots more pics and my review.

The People Keeping Slots Popular Might Surprise You*



Keeping an eye on modern gaming trends, it’s easy to understand what makes most of the popular genres great. Strategy, MMO, and RPG games have thrived with newer pay models that incentivize constant competition and advancement. Shooters and adventure games are more appealing with each new upgrade in graphics and system capabilities. And puzzle games and educational gaming experiences have done well on mobile games simply because they work well with simpler controls and limited scopes.



One popular genre is a little bit harder to explain, however: casino slots. According to a statistical report from 2016, this is the fifth most popular genre of mobile gaming, with about 9.8 million unique monthly users, and about 6 hours of playing time per month, per user! That’s a very high level of popularity, and may explain why this generally old-fashioned form of gaming doesn’t ever seem to be going away. Pull up your mobile app stores and scroll through games and you’ll likely find all kinds of different slots.



This also explains why the games you find aren’t simply old, classic slots, but rather newer games that are various in theme and appeal. Developers working in this genre appear to be busy constantly, either adapting online games for Android and iOS use, or simply building up new experiences based on new themes. The result is that your average modern slot reel isn’t just a fruit machine or something similar. It might instead involve fun animated characters, or even superheroes or other icons from popular fiction.



What may still be unclear though is where the demand is for these kinds of games. With the exception of new themes and designs, they’re basically the same games they always were, and maintain a sort of old-school flavor. Perhaps it won’t come as a surprise then to tell you that it is mostly people over 50, and primarily women, who make up the consumer market for slots. This was determined by a 2012 study, which specifically pointed to female homeowners aged 55-60, with college education and an average household income over $55,000. That more or less translates to middle-aged, middle class women.



We’ve also learned from more recent studies that women are making up a larger percentage of gamers in general. Apparently 41 percent of gamers are women, and the average female gamer is 44. So if we consider the two studies together, it actually becomes pretty easy to say that it’s primarily middle-aged and older women who are driving the seemingly relentless popularity of slot machines.



As for why women, it’s difficult to say exactly. Studies have generally indicated that slot gamers expect to lose money, however, and are doing it for the experience, or simply to pass the time. By contrast many who play other casino games like poker and blackjack feel that they have more say over the outcome, and may expect to win. It’s conceivable that women simply approach casino gaming from less of a competitive standpoint than men do (or they’re just smarter about it!).



So the next time one of the seniors in your life, or simply a middle-aged female friend of yours boots up a phone or tablet and starts spinning slot reels, don’t be surprised. It’s just as popular and appealing to those demographics as some of the newer and flashier games are to young people.

 *Guest post