Winning Trousers

Trousers! When was the last time you wore a pair of trousers. Were they black? How about Grey? Were they boot cut? Too Tight? Too Loose? Made you feel frumpy? I’m guessing most of the answers to these questions will be yes! Yes! Yes! Because when I used to wear trousers, they unfortunately ticked all of the above. But recently I went outside of my comfort zone. These floral print, slim leg trousers were calling my name from the Yours Clothing website and no matter how many wish lists I included them in I HAD to try them. I’m so happy I did.

Yours Clothing - Trousers - Pretty Big Butterflies

These trousers are simply amazing. Let me firstly talk about the fit because that’s the most important aspect here. They feel and fit perfect. Seriously, I have never had a part of trousers that work so well for me. I’m a size 24 on the bottom with my problem usually being the dreaded camel toe and digging in around the tummy area. Well, first up these trousers feel like trousers. Not leggings. They feel like trousers are supposed too with a soft sateen texture.  The waistband has elasticated sided. This is so important. Why? Because when the whole waistband is elasticated I feel like I’m wearing granny pants. (True talk) but they are only stretchy on the sides but that gives the perfect amount of stretch for fit and comfort. Especially for the ‘spread’ that happens when you sit down. You know what I’m talking about ladies.

Plus Size Trousers From Yours Clothing

They are actually quite generous size wise. I bought a 26 thinking I need to size up in these sorts of thing. But I actually exchanged them in my local Yours Clothing store (hooray! A plus size shop on the high street!) And the 24 fitted perfect, all be it still a little generous. I’m 5”6 and the length is great, just above my ankle and below my calf. The material has slight stretch to it but it doesn’t look like it so they don’t come across as leggings like I said.

Hollie - Pretty Big Butterflies - Plus Size Blogger

As for the colour, they have a gorgeous multi coloured floral print, which can be work with almost any colour. I paired it with of Yours vests that they have in almost any colour you could want. I genuinely love these trousers and at £23.00 they are really good value for money. The trousers are available in sizes 14-26 and is available in black and white. Plus I found out from the lovely Yours Clothing at their press day that these will be coming in a white and blue colour in June. Baskets at the ready!

- Shop The Look - 

Growing Your Blogs: Tips

If you want to grow your blog then it helps to have a clear plan of action. All too often people begin their blogging career with a lot of momentum and enthusiasm, which quickly peters out when they don’t get the response they’re looking for. Here are some great tips to help create a blog that has room to develop and attract a wider readership.

Keep Calm and Blog
Consider evergreen issues

Whatever field you’re focusing on with your blog, the chances are that there are some evergreen topics you can create content for. It might seem like you’re covering old ground by working on something that you and your community are already familiar with, but reaching out to people who are approaching a topic for the first time is a great way of growing your readership beyond your initial fans. Evergreen issues keep on giving to your blog, by creating a reason for new people to visit even after a long time has passed, and can hopefully encourage them to look at your other work.

Know your community

Some people start a blog with an idea for how to attract readers, but never really engage with the community they’re addressing. Devote time to developing relationships with other bloggers, posting on relevant communities, and generally giving your time to the people that are going to make your blog a success. By covering these two bases of the established community members and people who are new to a subject area, you maximise your chances of getting a good following.

Quality is key

Sometimes people start their blogging careers with a lot of fevered writing, offloading ideas they may have had for years, but then quickly find that they run out of material. In terms of retaining readers, it’s much better to scale up your content and the frequency of your posts over time than to have to scale down, or even worse attempt to keep up with an impossible workload and see the quality of your work suffer as a result. Build a sensible timetable for your blog, and try to have a good plan of what you want to cover, while being ready to adapt to new hot topics whenever possible.

Don’t get caught without email verification

As a final point of good housekeeping – don’t let inauthentic email addresses bog down your subscriber list and lead to you getting penalised. Get real time email verification to make sure the addresses that readers give you actually exist. That way as your blog grows, you’ll know that you’re actually reaching out to your readership.

These are just a few ideas to help you along the way, but they cover the most important points of growing and succeeding as a blogger. Mainly it’s a case of focusing on something you love, and having some fun with it.

 

Gift ideas for Guy

 

 Picking the perfect birthday or anniversary present for the man in your life, be it your godson or your partner, isn’t as easy as it sounds. Men are notoriously reserved on the subject of what gifts they really want. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five great gift ideas that will always brighten up any guy’s life!

Gift
1. Videogames

Let’s face it: men are just big kids really, and they love playing around. Gaming is one of the most popular pastimes in the UK for men of all ages. Chances are, your fella’s got at least one games console and a respectable library of videogames already… but he’ll always appreciate a new addition to the collection!

Whether he favours the gritty realism of games like Spec Ops: the Line, or the surreal, innocent escapism of something like Super Mario: Galaxy, a quick glance at the games your man already owns will be enough to tell you the sort of thing you should consider buying.

2. An electronic cigarette kit

On a more serious note, is your guy trying to quit smoking? Smoking can shorten a man’s life expectancy, reduce his quality of life and- let’s face it- it’s pretty unattractive too. Have you ever caught a whiff of your fella’s breath after he’s had a cigarette? It’s not a pleasant experience.

Luckily, you can help your man quit with an electronic cigarette kit! E-cigarettes are a fantastic first step on the road to quitting: not only are they less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, they also allow the user to control the dose of nicotine inhaled in each breath, making it possible for them to ‘taper off’ gradually.

3. An experience pack

Experience packs are an increasingly popular gift idea. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, they’re basically pre-prepared adventures that you can buy vouchers for: they cover everything from hot air balloon flights to bungee jumping and cater to all tastes! You can even do a couples experience together and create some new memories together!

4. A car cleaning and maintenance kit 

They say that the only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys! Anyone who’s seen how men obsess over their cars knows how true this old adage is. So get your man something he’ll really appreciate: the equipment to look after his beloved vehicle or anything to enhance the pride and joy in his life, be that a vehicle or a gadget he wants to upgrade.

Pretty Big Peacocks

I was a little surprised the other day when I was informed that Peacocks now do lingerie up to a 44DD. I was even more surprised when I saw how pretty the bras are! I can’t lie, I was expecting some drab hammock looking things but I was actually greeted with some rather feminine pieces that I actually liked. What made it even better, was that all the bra’s were under £10.00! (Yes, I’m serious!) So naturally, I had to give them a go.

Peacocks 40DD bra

I tried the aqua spot mesh bra which is just so pretty. The mesh is double layered, the straps are wide and the side bands are actually REALLY generous. I was pleasantly surprised. A little more that pleasantly actually as I’ve struggled to take it off because it’s so comfy. I am wearing a 40DD and this bra is pretty spot on with sizing. One of the best I’ve tried. Hopefully you can see there is no ‘spillage‘ over the cup and the under-wire doesn’t dig in.

Peacocks plus size lingerie

It isn’t the most supportive bra I’ve had but it’s not bad at all and the comfort really is far better than I expected. It doesn’t dig in to my sides or under my bust and this is pretty good considering it only has a 2 hook fastening. I have to say that I did try the T shirt bra which wasn’t as good a fit but was really great for shaping my bust .

Cheap Lingerie

Trying this bra has definitely made me realise that I need to shop around when it comes to underwear. There is an idea that the bigger the name and price tag, the better the bra. But I have to say, this Peacocks bra really puts that thought to the test and knocks it right out of the park. I’ve

already had a look at the rest of the range and I think I might need to go down a cup size in the T shirt bras but remain my normal 40DD in the rest.  This spot mesh bra in pink is already in my shopping basket!

Peacocks T Shirt Bra

I thought I’d show you the T Shirt bra underneath a vest top. I think you’ll agree it’s a really smooth shape and once again not ‘spillage’ over the top of the cup. It wasn’t the best fit but I’m going to try a smaller cup size to see what it’s like. It’s also has adjustable straps which makes a price tag of £4.00 (yes £4.00) an absolute bargain!

Plus size Peacocks lingerie

Tess Holliday is All Yours

This is going to be one of those posts where I want to cram a million words into one post. I can feel it already, like I need to set the scene, temperature atmosphere… blah blah blah. But let me start with the banger. On Wednesday evening a pretty epic thing happened. I met Tess Holliday (Ne Munster) for dinner. Would you like to read that again?  I love how it sounds so casual and I’d love to say she just wanted to meet me because of my riveting conversation and humour… but alas… it was actually a blogger dinner in collaboration with Yours Clothing who are working with Tess on a pretty awesome summer campaign.

Tess Holliday For Yours Clothing -Pretty Big Butterflies

I felt incredibly privileged to be one of the handful of bloggers invited and I had a great time.  Once I arrived (slightly late because of some random mishap at Tower Bridge) I was somewhat overheated. I grabbed some prosecco and gave Tess an awkward ‘don’t come to close to me because you’ll stick’ kind of hug and went to have a look at the summer collection beaming from the side of the red room. Yes, the dinner we had was at the South Place Hotel in the Kuryakin room. It felt pretty seductive I can’t lie, red walls, a huge round red table with candles and roses. I’m sure you’re getting the 50 shades feel here. Moving on…

Tess Holliday & Pretty Big Butterflies

One thing to be said about Yours is they don’t hide away from bright colours and prints. This makes me love them and shows why Tess Holliday is such a good fit for them. There were a couple of pieces that really stood out for me. This skater skirt was just beautiful. The almost pastel pink mixed with the oriental print was stunning and with a simple white vest top in summer it’s an easy outfit to wear. It’s on my list. Secondly was this acid wash denim playsuit. Tess rocks this so well that I can’t help but want to give it a try!

Nude Plus Size Skater Skirt - Tess Munster

Tess Holliday Play suit from Yours clothing

Everything about the evening was great. The food was amazing, company was good and of course Tess herself was happy to take 1 or 500 selfies with us! I’ve written the post assuming that you now who Tess Holliday is. If you don’t know… (Why!?) Let me just say she is an inspiration for body confidence and positivity. The best way for me to introduce you to her is if you go and have a look at the hash tag #effyourbeautystandards on instagram. It will give you a sneak peek into the positive effect that Tess has had on women all over the world.

Tess Holliday & Pretty Big Butterflies Selfie

The below are a handful of my favourite items from the Tess Holliday look. As the warmer weather is about to wash over us it’s nice to have plus size fashion that’s bright, fun and affordable. Yours Clothing have ticked all the above.

- Shop The Tess Holliday Look - 

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Monopodollars! Monopopounds!

On Tuesday night I had the most random but incredibly fun evening. I spent a few hours playing monopoly, eating pizza and drinking prosecco with fellow bloggers. See… I told you… random but fun. It literally was a games night hosted by the Joe Blogs network and Legal & General. Yes, it was to promote their investment products but in a pretty cool way. We forget how much we learn about money growing up and Monopoly really emphasises how investments work (and how competitive you’re fellow friends can be…. mentioning no names NERD ABOUT TOWN!)

L&G Blogger Night

It really was a fun evening, I went along with my friend and fellow blogger Toodaloo Katie and as always meeting new people is always fab. I met the lovely Babs from Working Girl London who has a really interesting lifestyle blog. This is what I mean, I love love love fashion bloggers, but sometimes it’s nice to branch out and read something different. Right?

Monopoly #LandGGamesNight

The prosecco and pizza were on tap and although I didn’t win I felt like it really was the taking part that counted and I learnt how to play the game properly (I even bought a couple of properties don’t you know!) I guess this little blogging event really reminded me of when I started my blog. Taking the kind of scary move to go somewhere you don’t know and mingle with people who you’ve never met before. It leaves you slightly unhinged but feeling confident and like you’ve opened a handful of doors to getting to know really interesting people!

#LandGGamesNight

Thanks Joe Blogs and L&G for a fab night and I’ll see you again soon! (Check out #LandGGamesNight on twitter for more fun and monopoly frolics)

A Bit Of Spring In My Skin

Do you ever just wake up in the morning and stare at yourself? I do this sometimes. I just start at my faces. Looking at blemishes, checking if I have any new moles and being freaked out when I can see my reflection in my eyes. (Come on… you know it’s a little odd!). Well the one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve headed towards my late (very late) 20s is that my skin is getting dryer. Especially my forehead. This has led me to believe that I need to start paying particular care to my skin. I’m VERY lucky in that I have pretty decent skin, but the trick is to keep it that way. So I’ve been testing some lotions and potions out, including this set of Q10 Day + Night Cream Set from Pharma Nord.

Q10 Day + Night Cream Set

I’ve tested both creams and they both work a treat ad adding moisture and softness back into my skin. Both are pretty thick creams so a little goes a long way and it soaks into my skin really quickly. I love this because anything that goes tacky, or makes my skin oily is a big no no for me. The Co-enzyme Q10 is supposed to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles over time so I’m hoping it will help delay mine which are due to start any time now!

Q10 Day + Night Cream Set Pharma NOrd
Day & Night Cream That Works

Their isn’t really a fragrance to it, which I don’t mind at all and as you can see the night cream is a little thicker so it really does refresh my face by the morning. These creams do feel super luxurious and I’ve already got my mum on board, whenever she comes around I see her grabbing a little sample thinking I haven’t noticed!

Pretty Big Butterflies

It’s really nice to try something new and these creams have really put some deep moisture and revitalisation  back into my face, not just a quick fix!

In Those Shorts

If you’re in London (like me) you might have felt the temperature rise a teeny tiny bit over the past couple of days. Just enough for thatomg-I-have-nothing-no-wear-in-summer-‘ thought to creep in. You know the one? Well with that in mind let me introduce you to the boyfriend shorts that will make my summer.  They are from the New Look Inspire range that’s doing pretty well in the plus size holiday style department at the moment.

Plus Size Holiday Shorts

First up the shorts are actually really true to size with a little stretch but not much. I’m wearing a 24 and I thought I might have to go to a 26 because they are quite thick looking (and you never know with jeans right!?) but the 24 was perfect. They are available in sizes 18 -26 and I guess the boyfriend design makes them a little roomier than normal. The button was a little stiff but other than that they were really great size wise.

Plus Size New Look Inspire Holiday Denim Shorts

They really are a trendy pair of shorts in my opinion. A great length for me so just above my knee (I’m just uner 5″6), a light denim colour that goes with everything from pastels to prints and a little worn effect which is always a fashionable statement. They are also super comfy which is obviously a bonus and sorry but it needs to be said, if I can wear shorts and feel good and forget about the dreaded chaffing of the thighs, I’d much rather do that in summer then fight with a summer skirt.

Pretty Big Butterflies

I didn’t get a picture of the back of the jeans (bad Hollie!) but the shorts have 2 large back pockets. I love pockets. Everything is better with pockets! I also wanted to show you this gorgeous necklace I got for 50p from the plus size clothes sale I went to recently. What a bargain and perfect for the summer.

Is your summer wardrobe starting to send you secret messages asking for a little revamp?

← SHOP THE LOOK →

Do It Like A Dude – Yessir! #NadiaxBoohoo

 It’s been a long time coming but the Nadia Aboulhosn capsule collection for Boohoo has landed. I’ve been checking every week and one or two bits keep being added which is keeping me on my toes. The collection is a little edgy with lots of shape and structure. All of which I love. Obviously I had to give it a try and this tuxedo dress had my name all over it.

Nadia Aboulhosn For Boohoo Review

This dress is super stretchy and has an almost crepe feel to it. I’m almost 5”6 and I’m wearing a 24, it’s pretty short I can’t lie. I’d rock it with black tights and heels for a night out or leggings and flats in the day. But it’s a power dress. You but it on and feel like a female boss. Go on… I dare you to try it and NOT feel like you can take on the world. The dress has pockets which are a big tick for me as there’s something about being able to res your hands that just adds something to a dress. Is this just me?

Plus Size Tuxedo Dress

The collar is a little awkward but that’s because it is a tuxedo style but I would have preferred the collar to be a little more structured.The zip though! Oh my word! I love the zip. Considering the dress is pretty body con style, the zip doesn’t bend over my belly which I was really surprised at. This is what makes the dress a little sexy and different. It’s actually pretty flatting over the belly area if that’s what you are looking for.

Nadia For Boohoo Collection - Plus Size Blogger

It’s pretty awesome that Nadia, blogger come model has collaborated on this range. It definitely resembles her style which is nice because sometimes these fashion collaborations just seem worlds apart, but not this one.  I definitely want to give a few other pieces of the collection a go, but for now…  We flawless, ladies tell ‘em, Say I look so good tonight, God damn, God damn… (In the words of Beyonce of course!)

 - SHOP THE LOOK -

A Little Push For Confidence

‘’I wish I could be confident like you’’.

 ‘’So jealous that you can wear that and look great’’.

‘You’re stunning, just beautiful’’.

These are lovely comments right? When I get comments like this on blog posts or social media I almost have to double check that these comments are being made to me and I’m not on someone else’s profile. It can be hard believe in yourself, having confidence and in particular embracing the way you look, especially if you’ve battled to change for years.  My last blog style post really broke a boundary for me and I just wanted to share a couple of tips on how to work towards being self-confident. (It’s always a work in progress, there are no overnight recipes to success with emotions and feelings!)

Super Fabulous - Believe That You Are

Super Fabulous – Believe That You Are

Self-Affirmation

Trust me, if you STOP body shaming YOURSELF, you’ll realise that most people don’t actually see what you think you see. Start looking in the mirror, picking out things which you like about yourself and work on those. Love you hair? Do a different style, look after it, condition it and soak up the compliments. The same works for everything else. Think you have pretty good legs? Moisturise them, scrub them, look after them and make an effort to show them off. Slowly you’ll be looking at parts of you and realising you naturally feel more confident. This isn’t easy, don’t get it twisted. But it’s something to work towards every day when you wake up. Tell yourself you’re great, today and every day.

Positive Comparison

People say you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. I disagree as long as it’s positive. For example, finding other plus size bloggers, plus size models and a huge plus size community full stop has made me feel that I am not alone. You’ll be surprised how much the media influences you’re judgements and when you revert back to real life slightly there are a host of confident, amazing people just like you. They might have the same shape, size, skin colour, hair colour, style, voice (the list goes on) as you, but it almost gives you a role model to look at. Someone you can relate to and think, hold on a damn second. If that person looks amazing / beautiful / confident / happy… whatever it is… then I can too. Trust me. Take a look on social media and see what’s out there. You’ll be surprised that you might just end up being someone’s inspiration.

The Bigger Picture

There is so much out there. My confidence journey means I feel a little more of an inner peace. I guess it’s a sense of spiritualism. Forgetting what you have always been told is right and accepting things for how they are. Including you! Doing things for you rather than other people acceptance suddenly makes a huge difference to your confidence journey. It’s not always easy to do this and I completely understand that. But just starting, taking small steps will make a huge difference to feeling content within you. You have to believe that positivity energy brings positive things. Don’t spend your time worrying that you’re not good enough. Turn that time into remembering you’re good enough.

The Best Is Yet To Come

The Best Is Yet To Come

Like I said, self-confidence is a total work in progress. You’ve read little things on my blog about how I covered my arms up for 3 or 4 years but now I’m slowly getting to the point where I have them out in the warmer weather. I wouldn’t take full length pictures, and now… Well… if you’ve read other posts on my blog you know I love a good outfit post. Just keep believing in you.