Afternoon of positivity

Sometimes i just want to surround myself in a blanket of positivity, wrap myself up tight in love and understanding, and this is exactly what I got to do this Saturday at The Curve Fashion Festival.

I got spend the afternoon (yes I was late) with some incredible, beautiful women who I am blessed to call my friends. Women who have walked the journey of not fitting in the box that society terms normal. Women who have struggled with body confidence but also women who have learned to love their body and embraced it with a confidence that I so admire. 

It was a wonderful afternoon, if the clothes that graced the catwalk are anything to go by I am so excited for the autumn season. I fell in love with so many items. It’s an exciting season with many new brands embracing the curve and extending their sizes to fit all women. It was so liberating to see a dress in my daughters size 8 and the same dress in my size too. Obviously there is no way she would let us match but you know what I mean.

Actually talking about my daughter I took my youngest Brodie along with me as well as my new little one and they both had an amazing time. Little one loved all the attention he got, his cuddles and his hugs were so appreciated and in fact he has demanded that I play with his hair so much today I think he is missing the lovely lady from Navabi

My daughter well she found the day incredible in her words “I loved every minute of it. From getting to meet your friends, I also realised that you don’t have to be super skinny to be beautiful”. This is a big thing for this mamas heart as she has being taking some stick for her size at school recently I mean being a size 8 is fat now days. She decided that if something called her fat again she would just ignore it because it’s not really an insult anyway, she rather someone called her fat than unkind or selfish. (I may happen to love this girl). Anyway she had an incredible time and has already told me she “must” come next year. 

How awesome is this, I may let her join us again next year. 

Anyway I just wanted to say a big well done to the Curve fashion festival team, this was my first time at the event but I was really impressed with it all from the layout to the music you could see that real thought has been placed into the event, so a big well done and i hope you all enjoy a few celebration drinks afterwards. 

I also want to say a big thank you to the lovely ladies that I got to meet and the beautiful George from Fuller figure fuller bust who was so gracious when I just fell over my words talking to her. This journey for me has not been easy I still struggle at times with who I see in the mirror, but you wonderful women have been by my side supporting and encouraging me in all that I do. I hope you know how much your friendship means to me, you ladies rock. 

So until the next time xxxx

My 40th Birthday wishlist

I’ve been having a look around the world of internet shopping trying to come up with some ideas for my forthcoming milestone birthday.

It doing so I may have got a little overexcited.

I may have fallen in love with too many items.

So rather than just cry into my pillow I thought I would share them all with you as this weeks wishlist.

First off I start with this beautiful jacket from Elvi, . I couldn’t believe the release of the Hayley Hasselhoff SS16 Edit  I absolutly love everything on it. Its a collection full of power and sass. I truly love every item on it but this Charcoal Biker Jacket is just completely stunning and anyone who knows me knows how much I love a biker jacket.

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Second on my list is this beautiful retro leather satchel from Scaramanga I don’t really have words to describe my love for this.

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My third gift on my birthday wishlist is Memento Mori, I have had this book on my wishlist for a while now.

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My fourth wish is a leather bound copy of my favourite ever book, To Kill a Mockingbird

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My fifth gift is this awesome mug from the amazing Literary Gift Company. 

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or this beautiful cushion.

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Ok seriously I love most of this shop lol.

 

Add anything from the amazing Kat Von D makeup range. I LOVE IT ALL.

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So there you go, my birthday wishlist…..

My weekly plus size fashion wishlist

The new autumn fashion are hiting the stores and I am so excited.

I am also rather shocked at what styles have been catching my eye.

Is my style changing?

Who knows anyway here is my fashion wishlist.

My first want (need) is this beautiful dress from Voodoo Vixen.

The Joni is simply beautiful.

 

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My second choice is a coat, now coats and I don’t have a great relantionship. My long arms seem to leave many coats ill fitting, but this one from ASOS really caught my eye. The style is a vintage style with a modern twist, I love it.

 

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My third choice comes from the new Martine McCutcheon from Fashion World, to be fair I could have chosen anything from this range as I absolutely love it all but this dress is just pure perfection.

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My last but not least choice for this week are these adorable boots from Evans, they are so very cute, I think they would be perfect with my new found love of dresses.

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Seriously the autumn fashion that is hititng her ours stores is something to be excited about.

I think I need to hide my bank card.

 

Naked; you been warned

After walking round another shop that doesn’t stock any clothes in my size I actually want to scream. From the sideward smirk from one of the assistants to the pity half smile from the other, enough is enough.

It’s time the high street realises that the fashion conscience come in all shapes and sizes. That my plus size body wants to look good and I also want to try my clothes on in a store.

I want to have fun days out with my girlfriends, giggling as we try on dresses for the works party. Not to have to wait in for delivery, I want to browse the stores just looking for that must have top, that I need pair of jeans. 

Fashion for the size 16+ is improving with more designers hitting the market but the high street is not keeping up. With shops like New Look moving their inspire range online and out of their stores it’s not really making a dramatic impact for us voluptuous ladies. It certainly isn’t making clothes shopping universal for all.

Regardless of the naive believe that plus size clothes encourage obesity my plus size body still needs to be clothed. 

I have no issues walking the high street naked but I’m sure there are actually laws against it.

It’s about time high street retailers release that fashion conscious plus size women want to shop. We want to feel the materials, enter the dressing rooms with numerous clothes we may not buy. We want the same opportunities afforded to others. 

Why shouldn’t we our money holds the same value.

Times need to change and they need to do so quickly. Or maybe one day soon in your local high street you may find yourself faced with a group of naked plus size women.

Weekend wish list

I haven’t done a wish list in a while but with the new autumn fashion hitting the stores I am simply spoiled for choice. 

Here are a few of my favourites.

First off is this Longer Length Utility Shirt from Simply Be. This is bang on trend with the military style which everywhere this season. I just think it’s classy and I so love this gorgeous slate blue. 

  

Secondly I love these ripped jeans from Evans.  I am a great believer that you can never have enough pairs of ripped jeans and I would love to add these to my wardrobe. 
  
Third on my list is a dress a little out of my comfort zone but after checking out the Lindy Bop range on the suggestion of a friend I just fell in love with the Colleen isn’t she beautiful?

  
Finally I have been on the search for a pair of cute comfortable shoes. I think I have found them in the Michelle by Hotter shoes. I suffer with a lot of pain from my joints but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to wear cute shoes. These seem the best of both worlds as they come in a wide fit, woo hoo. They are seriously cute. 

  

Well that’s my weekend wish list… Anything catch your eye??

Style XL 2015, we came, we saw and we rocked it.

Last weekend was Style XL 2015 a plus size fashion event held in my local city of Birmingham.

Style XL is the brainchild of the wonderful Leah from http://www.leahxl.com.

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Leah is genuinely one of the nicest woman I know and someone who I owe a lot of my new found confidence too. It was only last year that I walked my first catwalk at Style XL 2014. This was thanks to the encouragement and support from Leah, this lady rocks.  Also a big shout out to her beautiful fiancée Clare who is truly lovely.

Seriously though I remember how much I shook with fear back there in 2014 I’m surprised I made it onto the stage.

Anyway back to Style XL 2015 how do I describe this weekend, two words “totally inspiring”.

The collaboration of plus size fashion brands and confidence building workshops created an awesome event.

Women from around the UK coming together to attend a fashion event where the size on your label is irrelevant.

Fashion brands showcasing the very best of plus size fashion proving that style comes in all sizes.

I had a blast.

I was excited to be booked to walk for the awesome Apples and Pears Clothing , Monroe Knows and Curvy Kate but on the day I actually also walked for Topsy Curvy and Lady Voluptuous too.

Five brands ooh get me.

This year was so different for me, although I was still rather shaky the woman who walked onto that catwalk was very different to the one from last year. I actually relished in the attention. I rocked my curves ha ha get me.

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Seriously Style XL was a great success.

Personally though for me Style XL wasn’t about the clothes (sorry brands). It was being surrounded by beautiful inspiring women.

Women that over the last year have become dear friends.

Woman working hard to empower others.

Building people up, encouraging, supporting.

My challenge  to myself this year was to turn the virtual hugs into real ones.

I am so confident behind my keyboard but this year I wanted to find that confidence in real life.

I think achieved this.

I got to catch up with old friends and make some awesome new ones.

I pushed all my boundaries, I introduced myself to people and I wore underwear on a catwalk ( don’t panic dad I’ve hidden the photos).

I achieved more than I could possibly have imagined and yes I may be having a little body wobble but I can see how far I have come.

Thank you Leah for having faith in me.

Thank you to the brands for allowing me to showcase your beautiful clothes.

I  want to end this post saying this, life is to short to wait to wear the clothes you want. Wear them now and celebrate who you are. Size is a number on a label don’t let it dictate how you live your life.

You are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you different xxx

A body wobble 

This weekend I modelled at an amazing plus size fashion event Style XL. Whilst I had an amazing time I have come to realise that I’m not as far down the body confidence road that I wished I was.

For those that don’t know my journey I will briefly recap. 

I cannot say I’ve ever been a confident woman even back in the days when I was a size 8 dancer I would hide under layers of shapeless clothes. So when my illness left me carrying extra weight the clothes just got bigger and I just hid away more.

I would hide from the camera constantly. Always wanting to be the photographer never the photographed. 

Then Olivia died, and I found myself searching through all my photo albums for photos of myself and my beautiful girl. In the whole of her short nine years I had only taken three photos of us together, 3.

This realisation alone should have shocked me into taking more photos with my girls but it didn’t. In fact I couldn’t, you see I didn’t recognise myself anymore. The loss of Olivia left me struggling with who I was.

 I was lost in the grief.

Then about 4 years ago I came across the plus size community. Beautiful woman celebrating who they are. Loving their bodies as they were, not how society deems they should be. It was this amazing community and these inspiring woman who slowly started to allow me to piece my confidence together. 

I started taking family photos, making sure I was part of the memories.

Started taking little steps forward, dropping the layers after layers of shapeless clothes.

Skinny jeans, camisoles and even the occasional dress.

This journey wasn’t easy, I can promise you I deleted more photos than I shared. Yet slowly I began to like the woman I saw in the mirror. 

I began to recognise that she wasn’t all bad.

This time last year I walked on my first catwalk at Style XL and yes whilst I did shake on every step and barely spoke more than a few words it was a major personal achievement.

This year I was asked back again and this weekend I walked for 5 brands, how amazing is this. 

Yet like any journey in life sometimes we do lose our way a little and for me today I got lost. 

Somewhere I took a road back into the darkness. 

In fact I have completed fallen apart. 

Looking at the photos of the weekend event I couldn’t see how far I have come, just the woman I have self loathed for a long time.

Now I’m exhausted and I know that tiredness is one evil enemy , I mean how can one love themselves when they can barely lift their head off a pillow.

I’m in pain too and this always opens the door for the past self hate to walk right in.

So yes I’m struggling.

But as I shared this within the Plus size community I have been lifted.

Woman reminding me of all I have achieved this weekend.

Brands thanking me for wearing their clothes.

So in my darkness the light has began to shine a little again.

I’m starting to realise beyond the modelling I achieved a great deal this weekend. I may have not reached the place of body confidence I so desire but I have found myself a lot more.

I spent a wonderful weekend with woman I actually spoke to. I introduced myself more and gave out the hugs I’ve wanted to to give out for such a long time. For me this is massive and it’s something I need to see for the achievement it is.

Whilst it may take me longer to feel happy with my body I am finally happy with who I am inside.

This weekend I have laughed until I’ve cried.

I’ve chatted, met new people and caught up with the old.

But mostly I’ve been inspired.

Inspired to continue back down the road of body confidence. To accept that sometimes even the greatest journeys have setbacks but moving forward is the only thing I can do. I cannot go back to the lost woman I was, in fact I’m quite sure the amazing woman I get to call my friends wouldn’t allow me.

So now I’m just going to spent the next few days resting and hopefully as the tiredness and the pain eases I will finally be able to see all that I achieved this weekend. 

But before I do head back under the duvet I just wanted to say thank you.

Thank you to the amazing brands that allowed me to wear their clothes this weekend and thank you to the beautiful woman of the plus size community, I don’t think you realise how much you all mean to me.