This time next month, I will be modelling at Style XL .

Guess what this time next month I am heading to Birmingham to model at one of the best plus size fashion events in the UK, Style XL. The event is so awesome that after only one year it has been nominated for the “Best Event” at the British Plus Size Awards. Have you got your vote in yet??

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I am so excited to be again part of this event which is looking so fantastic, with brands like Simply Be, Yours, Bon Prix, Jacamo, Monroe Knows, Lady Voluptuous, Chubby Cartwheels, Curvy Kate, Topsy Curvy, Pinup Popup parlour, Claireabella’s Closet, Iridenscene, Nicky Rockets, and not forgetting Apples and Pears the one company I know I am modelling for woo hoo.

So with a line up like this its going to be amazing, but thats not all thats happening, add the MODEL XL final and some fantastic workshops it really is going to be a awesome couple of days.

As for the venue, wit woo take a look at the gorgeous Paragon Hotel, its been having a major facelift over the last months and it looks simply stunning. I cannot wait to boogie the night away here.

So have you got your ticket yet?

If not you better hurry up as tickets are going fast and we are down to the last few so get ordering now.

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Seriously I am so excited, it was at this event last year that I first walked a cat walk and yes whilst I may have bricking it the company of the beautiful ladies that surrounded me gave me a new found confidence that I am simply loving and embracing.

It really is going to be a great weekend, a fantastic event full of amazing plus fashion. Come check out what we all shall be wearing this autumn/winter.

Honestly I cannot wait and don’t forget if you do join us come over and say HI. I will be the one trying not to trip up over my own feet as I strut my stuff ha ha. Seriously though one of the best things about these kind of events is the new people I get to meet. As my Grandad  once told me “Strangers are the friends you have yet to meet” so lets get saying Hello.

 

 

we have style xl

 

 

 

 

Keeping one of my #plussizepromises

Last week following a challenge set by Debz from the The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess  I blogged about some promises I was going to keep for myself.

One of those promises was I am going to get my legs out this summer.

Well the last few days have been simply gorgeous and a new beautiful dress from ASOS was the perfect time to keep this promise.

asosblack dress

My legs and guess what, the world didn’t break and I enjoyed the sunshine on my pins.

Honestly after years of hating my legs this is major for me. They are constantly swollen thanks to my illness, but guess what that’s life and I have to remind myself I am beautiful swollen legs and all.

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I am absolutely loving this dress from Asos the detail on the neck and sleeves are just stunning.

 

 

I promise

The beautiful Katt from The Curvy Cupcake  inspired the amazing  Debz at The Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess to set us all a challenge, the #PlusSizePromise.

The challenge is to blog five promises that we make to ourselves this summer.

Here’s mine.

 

1. Get my legs out, I’m tired of being hot and bothered every summer. This year I’m going to get my milky white legs out and let them breathe.

get my legs out

 

 

2. Take time out for myself. This is something I really need to work on, I need to say NO a little more and give myself some quality time, to read, to enjoy a meal with friends, a nights of dancing and copious amounts of alcohol

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3. To not back out.  I can list you a million reasons why I shouldn’t do something. This summer is the start of me doing less of this. I want to be positive and believe in myself. I CAN DO THIS.

Icando this

 

4. Its not always my fault.  I am so good at blaming myself that it could be considered an art form. I’m happy to blame myself from anything from a squashed spider to a natural disaster.  But guess what it’s not always my fault and this is something I need to learn.

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5. More time for us. To spend some more quality time with my husband. After twenty years of being together we need to start carving time into our schedule for quality time. More romantic meals, walks, cuddles.

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So here are my five promises.

Why don’t you join in x

 

Tearing our children down

I just wanted to share this clip of the Ellen Show with the beautiful Melissa Mcarthy.

Ellen asked Melissa about her recent meeting with a reporter and how she addressed some of the hurtful things he had written about her.

 
I admire Melissa so much not only is a she an extremely talented actress she is so confident in herself and her size. She makes no excuses for being plus size and why should she?  Why should any of us?

This clip really got me though. Click photo to watch. 

  
I am a mom of four beautiful daughters and I have watched them struggle with body confidence. Trying to fit in even when they don’t really want to.

I’ve sat at the dinner table watching my daughter push the food around her plate because some silly boy had called her fat.

Words can hurt and as Melissa said they are tearing strip by strip off our children.

Of course I hope that one day my daughters and everyone’s daughters will love the body they have.

But until the media stops force feeding us all false expectations, fake role models and diet craze after diet craze more of our children will be stripped to the core of their selves.

The crazy bunch of people I get to call my friends.

“I’m tired of friendships mom” words I wasn’t expecting to hear from my 14 year old daughter. I mean giving up on friendship at 14 seriously I think I was at least in my twenties before I felt this way.

My daughter and I are similar we tend to lay our hearts on the line a lot quicker than most. We have so much hope and often find ourselves a little shell shocked from life, from people.

Our hearts can be a little battered.

Friendship is a seriously strange thing, it can bring so much joy but can also turn you upside down and inside out.

My life has been blessed by friendship but also my heart has been broken by it too.

I hate watching my daughter walk this pathway, watching her turn herself in circles.  I am shocked at how cruel we can be to each other. How words can be flung about without any reproach.

I hope that one day my daughter finds the friends she deserves, those that will cherish her tender heart.

I know I am so grateful for my friends, the people that surround me in my life today. My friends keep me sane, they drag me out of my moments of darkness, they challenge me to be the best that I can be.

I love that I get to surround myself with friends who share my passions, ones that are willing to stand up for others. Fight for disability rights, free speech, equality and to challenge and change political policies.

I am honoured that I share my life with mothers and fathers of children with special needs, parents caring for their children with compassion, empathy and kindness.

With foster parents, adoptive parents who open their homes and hearts to children in need.

Recently I have found myself building friendships with amazing women who are pro active in the body positive movement, woman who are encouraging  other woman to love their bodies and celebrate who they are.

Friendships are ever evolving, some friends are there for a lifetime some for just a moment.

Yet for however long your friendship lasts its special, it changes you, makes a mark on your life,

So today I’m taking time to celebrate my friendships and to say thank you to the crazy bunch of people I get to call my friends.

I truly love you all.  xxx

 

Friends

Sugar and Spice

The last few weeks have been crazy my wardrobe of daily choice has simply been what has been ironed. Still that hasn’t stopped me looking at some gorgeous outfits and new summer styles that have been coming out.

A few months back I was on the search for an evening dress for the Mayors Awards evening and I came across the website Curvety  a site full of some beautiful dresses. Fast forward a month I was offered the chance to review one of the dresses that I had been looking at. I wasn’t going to say no was I!

Curvety

 

This Sugar and Spice dress by Kiyonna really caught my eye, I just loved the fishnet neckline which gave me a chance to show of my body art.  I loved the fact that it had a mixture of style and elegance.

The sizing is very generous, the material is beautiful. The dress felt so well made and a pleasure to wear.

I think it would be just right for a romantic meal or a formal event.

 

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Curvety have some amazing clothes for plus size woman, don’t take my word for it go check them out. Maybe you will find that perfect outfit you have been searching for.

 

 

*I was gifted this dress for the purpose of a review but all opinions, views  are my own.

 

 

True beauty

If you have been on social media this week or have watched or read the news you would have heard about the remarks Loose women, ex pop star Jamelia as said regarding clothing brands and the availability  of clothes in sizes that she doesn’t believe to be healthy. How she believes that High street stores should not stock sizes below a 6 and over a 20 as ‘they’ should feel uncomfortable if ‘they’ are unhealthy.

So many wonderful bloggers have eloquently written about this and in a way that I couldn’t do it justice.

The reason I cannot find the words is simply because Jamelia’s statement stole from me. They took away a feeling of self confidence that I had finally found only after the last few years. She made me feel like

a) a burden on society

b) someone who should be ashamed

Thankfully the amazing Debz from The not so secret diary of a wannabe princess decided to do something about these remarks. In her words

 ” I feel that by saying ‘they’ should shop in specialist shops and ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable it is all very anonymous. It is easy to say that a bunch of blank faces (and bodies) should be treated a certain way, but what Jamelia (and anyone who agrees with her) needs to realise is that WE are real people. We have REAL feelings, REAL jobs, friends and families. When you say that people should make ‘them’ feel uncomfortable you are encouraging them to treat US differently.. US as in real people.
So, Jamelia and anyone who feels that ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable 
‘WE ARE THE ‘THEY’

Then Debz encouraged women of the sizes that ‘Dr Jamelia’ doesn’t believe are healthy to take to social media and share photos of themselves
Using the hashtag #wearethethey

I cannot tell you how this hashtag has moved me over the last two days. Beautiful women size 20 and over and equally as beautiful woman size 6 and under celebrating their bodies as they blooming well should.

My own journey with body acceptable has been hard, from a teenager full of self loathing and self harm I only finally loved my body once it started to grow a child. When I could throw away all the falsehoods and realise what an amazing thing my body truly was.

I  actually don’t remember a time when I didn’t think I was fat. When my body was the size that Jamelia  considers acceptable I hated it. Living on a diet of cigarettes and vodka scared to eat. Hating my body for what it was, punishing it daily left me with a body that was failing and my mind, well let’s not go there.

I actually dread to think where I would be now if I hadn’t met my husband and got pregnant with my first born when I did.  Knowing that a life was forming inside me changed me. I finally understood what true beauty was.

Now it would be wonderful if my mind set had stayed in this place but 4 children in 5 years left my body rather ragged, but thankfully being able to be active with the girls and teaching dance my body was in a place that I was happy with or I could accept.

Then to cut a long story short I was attacked and beaten and then due to complications was left with an immune system that was failing.

10 years later I am left with a health issue that effects every part of my life. I take numerous medicines and my ability to do physical things is sorely limited. I also live in constant pain.

Now this had changed my world from one were I was a fit dance teacher to one where for a while could barely walk.

I had to find a new kind of normal.  I also had to face a changing body and one I hated . The old self hatred rose it’s ugly head. I struggled, clothes became a non issue, a uniform of jeans and baggy clothes became my wardrobe. Never did I wake up excited about what I was going to wear. Photographs of me disappeared, I became the photographer never the photographed.

Then thankfully a few years ago I came across some plus size bloggers, women who were actively shouting I’m here and I want to look good. Women who advocate that fashion should come in all sizes.

Women who changed me.

Now I look in the mirror and like what I see, yes I’m overweight but my diet is good. It’s certainly a lot better than it was back In the days of cigarettes and vodka.

I’m swimming each week, raising 4 amazing children and working  full time as a foster carer to children with special needs.

I love life and I’m really living.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this Jamelia I am not ashamed of who I am.

How dare you suggest I should be made to feel uncomfortable anywhere.  I am a beautiful, incredible woman and I only hope that one day that you will realise that beauty is not found in the number on your label and that health is not always something you can see.

Please consider your position as well, consider all those women who you destroyed with your words. Opinions are like assholes we all have them, yet when in a position of privilege in this case being beamed into thousands of homes around the UK please think before you speak. The shit you spew can and I can assure you has damaged someone.

When the world stops judging people’s value on appearance then the world will finally see true beauty.