It’s coming… The #HairRevolution

I have something pretty exciting to share and it’s a secret….  but I’ll give you guys a little heads up because I love you so much. You know I go on about John Frieda and that their hair products are pretty awesome? (In particular the volume range and frizz ease range). Well…

On the 12th February 2015,  John Frieda will be revealing a breakthrough product to help eliminate frizzy hair. It’s not just any hair product its going to be a #hairrevolution. Just watch this space.

 

See you on the 12th February where I’ll show you what all the fuss is about! You know you want too!

It’s Yours, It’s Elomi, It’s A Special Kind Of Something

Valentines day is nearly upon us and although I know its a cheese-ball kind of way for us all to spend money I LOVE it! It’s a day to add something a little special to the normal 24 hours and I like buying little gifts just to show I care. Not just on Valentines day but throughout the year. Valentines day is just a way of saying come on lets make a bit of EXTRA effort. Nothing wrong with that and Yours Clothing have some fabulous underwear which really adds a special kind of something to a normal day.

Plus size Valentines Day Lingerie - Elomi at Yours clothing

Well this is where this plus size Elomi underwear set comes in. It’s a gorgeous set that once you put it on it makes me feel great and it’s available at Yours Clothing. Knowing I have that special underwear set on adds a little something to the day. Ladies you know what I mean! It’s almost an air of confidence, that and the fact that I feel like a boss when my underwear matches. (Which dare I say it, is not as often as it should be!) This Elomi set is really, really nice. So nice that when I wore it to a recent photo shoot all the gorgeous ladies were impressed with it, I literally walked around the bedroom in my bra because it felt so amazing! It’s available in back sizes 40 -46 and cup sizes DD – H.

Plus size Matching Elomi Knickers

The bra itself is an under wired plunge bra in a silky smooth animal print. The under wire in this is actually really comfortable and I think that comes from the 3 section cup giving my bust more support. It feels quite structured but still soft so my chest is well supported, has a great shape but I don’t feel like I’m in a chastity belt for boobs. It has a wide straps which again is great for comfort and support and the sides are pretty wide. The only downsize is it only has a 2 hook fastening. If it was a 3 hook fastening it would rule the world. Luckily, the cups are perfect in size and are super supportive so that works for me. The not so overstated animal print it actually really pretty and works with any skin tone plus the lace adds some sex appeal to the bra. It’s definitely sold me to the Elomi brand because it looks and feels great.

Elomi Plus Size Underwear - Yours clothing

There is something about this bra which really lifts and create cleavage that most bras don’t do for me. Well, I’m not saying yes to that! the bra also has matching briefs which have the same super silky feeling and lots of stretch making them feel soft but sexy too. I added the fringe kimono for so many reasons. Not only is it pretty damn hot but its the perfect cover up and a way to help boost your body confidence. It’s also really playful and not just for Valentines day!

Plus Size Sexy Kimono - Yours Clothing - Valenties Day coverup

Overall it’s a gorgeous set. It was meant for Valentines day but it was too good to hold off. It’s gorgeous so make sure you either get the person in your life yo buy you something special or just treat yourself to it!

A Bolt From The Blue

I’ve already shared my love of Lovedrobe and their gorgeous dresses. (My last post was about their pretty floral number) Well today I have another one to share with you. Its this lovely chiffon contrast dress. I adore the colour. Cobalt blue is my favourite, it just seems to lift against my red hair and the two make a great combination. One that makes me feel great, which of course is the most important thing.

Lovedrobe Special Occasion Plus Size Dress

This dress has a double layer effect, which is great if you feel a bit insecure about your tummy region. What works for me are the angel arms. Made of chiffon and elbow length they are not bat-wing style (which I hate) but normal sleeves that are a bit wider. It’s generally quite a floaty piece and would be perfect for a spring or summer wedding. It’s easily paired with a short or cropped jacket, I think cropped works better as it adds a little definition to quite a boxy shape dress. But when there is a slight breeze it just floats around you.

Cobalt Blue Lovedrobe dress

Blue Lovedrobe dress

The sequins and embroidery around the neck line really draws the eye upwards and takes away the NEED to wear a necklace, of course you still could but I the neckline is enough for me. The block colour will stand out against any crowd so I like to let the dress speak for itself. I did say before that usually I have to size up in Lovedrobe dresses. I would say that this one is true to size, however, if you have a large bust than size up.

Sequins & Embroidery Dress Detail

Lovedrobe have hit the nail on the head once again. In general their plus size dresses are amazing. This one is currently on sale and also available in black. Grab it while you can!

Dress – Lovedrobe, Jacket – Missguided Plus – Shoes – Dorothy Perkins

#1 Unconditional Body Beautiful

unconditionalbodybeautiful1

#1 – MY BODY AND I FROM THE BEGINNING

Hi all! Welcome to a new post I’m collaborating on with lots of beautiful women from all over the world. Over the next 12 months we’ll be sharing our stories, opinions, ideas all about body positivity and confidence. It’s a top close to my heart and is the reason my blog exists in the first place.

Dove Size Perfect Tape Measure

I’ve never gone into why I’ve struggled with my size, weight and appearance throughout my life and to be honest I never will on here. People close to me know but really… at this point… it doesn’t matter. Throughout my life I’ve always felt abnormal and that I physically didn’t fit in. then I’d look at pictures 5 years later and think what the hell?! You were alright! You’ll find lots of the girls taking part in this challenge with full length pictures from their younger days. I don’t have any, and the ones I do are probably in my memory box somewhere.  I’m going to include pictures in the post that I never thought would see the light of day. Pictures that would have made me cringe years ago and I’ll let you know why!

Taking blog pictures outside, in the light of day with handfuls of people walking past definitely helps overcome self confidence issues!

Taking blog pictures outside, in the light of day with handfuls of people walking past definitely helps overcome self confidence issues!

So for years I’ve tried diets, swayed between 4 or 5 different dress sizes and spent hours considering how I can change. I was forced to have school uniforms altered and wear the worst trousers because I was too big. Nothing existed in life to make me feel good about myself. Apart from maybe nail polish and shoes which meant I spent endless amounts on these. Now? Now I’m OK. I stress the work OK because it’s kind of neutral. It’s that level place that I’ve wanted to be for so long. I’ve recently decided I want to be a bit healthier. That’s OK. I look in the mirror and I think you’re OK. OK is reasonable. It’s a happy place with balance and I like it. Don’t get me wrong, to get to this point it’s been hard and I’ve thrown myself out there and I’ve done things that I didn’t think anyone could even pay me to do! But it’s thickened my skin and made me appreciate my strength.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I look in the mirror and think Looooooorrrrrd! Other times I look in the mirror and think hmmmm you’re looking kind of hot today! Its swings and roundabouts. A journey of self-confidence never ends. This is a good thing. The major thing that changed in my life was finding the plus size blogging community. Big, beautiful, fashionable women who wore the clothes I wanted to wear and radiated happiness. I wanted to be that. So, I decided if they can do that then I can. So I did.

I had a bra fitting for the first time. the size I was wearing was so wrong! I went down 2 back sizes and up a cup size. Instant uplift! Curvy Kate made me feel amazing so I shared it. Yes. I can't believe it either.

I had a bra fitting for the first time. the size I was wearing was so wrong! I went down 2 back sizes and up a cup size. Instant uplift! Curvy Kate made me feel amazing so I shared it. Yes. I can’t believe it either.

It’s given me more confidence then I could ever imagine. People noticed that I was rocking bright, colourful clothes, that I was more opinionated, outgoing and just a bit more Hollie like. I learnt that I can be me and in the big scheme of things I shouldn’t really care what people think. I always looked out the corner of my eye thinking… oh gosh, they are whispering about how disgusting I am. But now (most of the time) I’ve flipped the script on that crap and think actually, they COULD be saying how amazing / brave / pretty / I am… or how much they like my shoes! Who knows and why should I care. Body shaming is not ok, but if I don’t allow words to have power… I’m the winner and sometimes your mind is your worst enemy.

I didn't have my arms out for 4 years. I was literally a cardigan queen. When I started blogging I branched out and it was more liberating than I can ever say.

I didn’t have my arms out for 4 years. I was literally a cardigan queen. When I started blogging I branched out and it was more liberating than I can ever say. So I went all out. Bare legs and arms. Did the world end? Nope.

I’ve realised that there is beauty is everybody and no matter what flaws I have or you think you have, someone will find beauty in them and so should you. Don’t waste your life searching for the better you… you’re OK as you are now and however you’ll be in the future.

Check out the other ladies taking part in the Unconditional Body Beautiful Posts.

http://www.jaymiranda.com

http://www.JustMeLeah.co.uk

http://curvaciouslyyours.com

http://www.mode-plus.com

http://www.thecurvyandcurlycloset.com

http://www.PhatGirlFresh.com

http://www.everydayrunway365.blogspot.com.es

http://www.BBWGeneration.com

http://www.lagorditapresumida.com

http://www.shalondozier.wordpress.com

http://www.corporatecurvygirl.com

http://www.toodalookatie.com

http://www.prettypluspep.com

http://www.nattynikki.com

http://www.prettybigbutterflies.com

https://curvesbecomeher.wordpress.com

http://falalamele.blogspot.com

http://www.mariedenee.com

http://josofabscurvesity1.com

http://stylecassentials.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

Jones Bootmaker – #MeetMyJones – SS15 Preview

Today I went along to have breakfast with the Jones Bootmaker team and check out their new Spring & Summer collection. I have to say I was pretty impressed. The variety of styles were brilliant and I now have a an arms length list of shoes that I want to wear when the sun comes out. Oh… and not just shoes but bags as well. Yes it was a tough morning trying not to flash the credit card and walk out with an armful of goodies. After browsing the collection in their St Christopher’s Place store in Central London I was left seriously impressed and wanted to share my faves with you for the months ahead.

Jones BootMakers SS15

Jones BootMakers Sandals SS15

The multicolored ‘Jasper’  heels just scream out summer to me. A perfect heel with interlocking colours. The stand out shoe for me!

Sliders were all the rage last summer and they aren’t going anywhere. Super stylish, comfortable and perfect for work, rest or play. I love the metallic ones. I just need a beach to go with them. (If you can provide one, feel free to email me!)

Animal Print Sandals

Summer Trainers - Jones BootMakers

Prints, prints, prints. It’s amazing to think that Jones Botmakers is over 150 years old but still comes up with eye catching designs. I’m a massive fan of animal print sandals. I had some a couple of years ago that I wore until they literally fell apart. I  adore these cute flower shower trainers. They are a bargain at £29.00 and will be perfect for summer showers.

Jones Bootmakers spring pale blue bag

Glitter Shoes Jones BootMakers SS15

The gorgeous pale blue clutch bag feels super soft and is the perfect shade to go with summer pastels.  These ‘Glint’ shoes remind me of Dorothy and her ruby slippers apart from these are a little more grown up. Perfect with ripped jeans or summer skirts. These are so on my wish list.

Embroidered bag Jones BootMakers Press Day

Jones BootMakers SS15 Espadrilles

Embroidered clutch bags can give an outfit a wow effect and this bag would definitely do that. Perfect for summer weddings or a day at the races. I might just use it at home and keep it to look at as it’s so pretty!  These espadrille style flats are seriously cool. You can really see the quality of these and they will be super comfortable for the warmer weather. They are classy but fun at the same time.

You can see the great variety and quality that Jones Bootmakers have given their Spring and Summer range. It makes me feel like the sun is just around the corner.

What do you think of the preview?

It’s a State of Mind

I’m not into the New Year, New You thing. What I am into is a New Year, the same fabulous you with the courage to make any changes that YOU want to make. It’s OK to change it’s also OK to stay the same. Being you is OK regardless. It’s taken me time to get there, and its constant work in progress. So, moving on, this post incorporates 2 things.

Firstly, I want to be a bit healthier. I’m not fussed about losing weight, that’s not my focus here. What I want to do is be more active. I work 8 – 6 sat at a desk and then come home to check emails or blog, which incorporates more sitting down. I’m always in a rush so take lifts or drive everywhere. I literally have an urge to be more active! The problem is I hate working out. I’ve done the gym thing before and it’s well, uncomfortable for so many reasons. It’s boring and trying to find something other than leggings and an oversized T-shirt to wear is far from a push of confidence.

 State Of Mind - Plus Size Sportswear

Well I’ve found 2 things which I think might just help me with a big step in the right direction. First of all is #PSPFIT. Created by Cece over at Plus Size Princess, it’s a fun way to increase activity and is really about getting plus size women involved and feeling awesome when it comes to fitness.  Cece has 1 song workout videos (who doesn’t love dancing to a bit of Nicki Minaj!?) and it’s all about healthy curves at every size. I’m going to plod on and look into it, I know there is an official group to join but I haven’t decided my plan of action yet and I’ll keep you updated. It’s definitely inspiration.

Plus Size Workout Clothes

Secondly is wearing something that is comfortable and works for me! Well, State Of Mind have that covered. They provide plus size sports, casual and swimwear in size 14-28. I tried out a couple of pieces to see how they felt. I was super impressed. The casual hoodie is my favourite. It’s perfect for lounging around at home but at the same time it’s great to wear while getting active.

Plus Size Lounge Wear

Workout Wear

State Of Mind have really thought about what plus size women want from their sportswear and they have pretty much managed to provide it all. For example the hoodie is a great length so it covers most of my bum and it has sleeves that are actually full length, not ones that I have to keep pulling down! The cropped trousers that I’m wearing are so comfortable they are better than leggings! The waistband is super wide so you can wear it high or roll it down. No worrying about an embarrassing builders bum and they are super stretchy so perfect for things like yoga, or the dance sessions that Cece does with her #PSP challenge. These trousers are also made from soft Supplex fabric (92% Polyamide 8% Lycra). This is supposed to last for years so no risk of ripping or fading away from all the thigh rubbing and it has great wicking properties (in other words it will soak up your sweat!) Yes! You know what I’m talking about! 

State Of Mind - Plus Size Workout Wear

State Of Mind - Plus Size Workout Wear

The work out wear has lots of thought about details such as inside pockets for your keys, long length zips, high visibility trips if you want to go walking or jogging in the evenings, ruched sides for comfort and flexibility and the fit is spot on (and the clothes look quite cool too). I havent found plus size sports wear that’s fitted so well and made me feel so comfortable so I have to give State Of Mind a round of applause. It’s also nice to know the brand started from a plus size woman herself who didn’t want to shop in the mens section for sportswear. I’m so with her on this.

(Also, a massive thank you to Katie & Michaela for taking these pictures of me while I attempted to do my stretches!)

Bomb Diggity – It’s A 90′s Throwback

You  might have seen a little while ago I went along to the launch of the second Cut For Evans range at the flagship Marble Arch Store. I was pretty impressed with some of the items. It’s nice to have a bit of in your face print that’s still wearable everyday. The piece which caught my eye was the purple digital print bomber jacket. I’ve wanted it for a while, and now I have it! See, dreams can come true!

Cut For Evans - Blogger

Cut For Evans Bomber Jacket

I love the colour and there’s something about the print which is obviously eye-catching but not too obscure. I like the 90′s vibe that it brings and it’s a lovely soft jacket that will be perfect for the Spring and Summer transition. The navy blue edging makes it look structured although it really isn’t and the stretchy waistband is SUPER stretchy.

Cut For Evans 2nd collection

Plus Size River Island

The only downside to this jacket is that it’s missing pockets. It’s bizarre because your hands automatically go looking for two little hideaways, they search and realise there’s nothing for them to dig in too. If the jacket had pockets, it would be perfect. That’s it’s only down side. Other than that it’s awesome. It’s versatile, easy to wear and it’s currently in the Evans sale. What more could a girl ask for?

Plus Size Bomber Jacket

Cut For Evans - Plus Size bloggersI also need to add that I LOVE these all white Converse. They are super fresh and I’ve worn them a stupid amount of times already. Plus, River Island logo t-shirts are on point right now. Yes, they only go up to an 18 but I’ve a 22-24 and because they are designed to be ‘oversized’ they are perfect thank you very much.

All White Fresh Converse

 I’m kind of loving this 90′s vibe. What do you think?

Dos And Don’ts Of Horse Racing Fashion

In the U.K., sports enthusiasts are gearing up for spring horse racing, and for fashionistas, there’s no more exciting time on the sports calendar. This may sound strange to those unfamiliar with horse racing spectacles, but this is one sport with very close ties to fashion. For decades, men and women alike have dressed to impress while attending these events. A number of them even have designated “Ladies Days,” during which female spectators are invited to show off their best looks.

Elegant senior woman with her beautiful hat

If this sounds like fun to you, or you have interest in attending some of the races this spring throughout the U.K., here’s a quick look at some of the Dos and Don’ts of race day fashion!

Do:

Choose an oversized hat. There’s no need to point to a specific race or occasion for which you’ll need an oversized hat, because these have become standard at most marquee races. The hat is viewed as the most important piece of any race day outfit, and many of them demand quite a bit of attention! While the U.K.’s biggest races all invite this trend enthusiastically, the U.S. Kentucky Derby may provide the best examples. But basically, a race day hat should be oversized and intricately designed, often with its own accessory piece.

Don’t:

Assume warm weather. Part of the popular image of racegoing ladies tends to be of loose, light sundresses, and that’s great when the occasion is appropriate. But for some UK races like the Cheltenham Festival and even the Grand National, it can be a little bit colder. In fact, preparations for the Cheltenham Festival are well underway! This is evident on Betfair, a sports analysis and betting site that’s posting previews and early outlooks here. And it’s all in anticipation of an event that’s set to take place in two months’ time, in early March when, incidentally, the temperature can still be below 10 degrees Celsius! Needless to say, a sundress just won’t do in weather like that.

Do:

Dress in layers. Naturally, this tip walks hand-in-hand with the idea of not expecting warm weather, but it’s still worth emphasizing that layers are the way to go for a horse racing event. These can be long days, and between the races when you’re enjoying a meal, drink, or otherwise, you may be inside and out. For that reason, it’s always convenient to have a coat, jacket, or even scarf handy for flexibility. Fur Hat World even made note of fur collars and hats as suitable cold weather gear for races back in 2013, specifically highlighting Pippa Middleton at the Cheltenham Festival.

Don’t:

Focus solely on colour. It’s true that horse racing fashion tends to be fairly bright and vibrant, but there’s also a place for attire that matches the country atmosphere of stable culture. This can mean suits and/or jackets in varying shades of brown, green, and black, particularly at the aforementioned cooler-weather events. Even with darker tones in your main outfit, there are plenty of ways to show festive displays of colour through your various accessories. Speaking of which….

Do:

Accessorise heavily! If there’s ever an occasion at which it’s fine to be somewhat gaudy with your appearance, it’s at a major horse race. Look through Mirror’s images from the 2014 Royal Ascot—one of the most prestigious events, from a fashion perspective, on the UK calendar—and you’ll see it’s the accessories that bring the outfits together. Sunglasses, jewellery, handbags, etc. are all prevalent, and heavy accessorising helps some of the ladies stand out in a rather impressive way.

That should be a good start! Take these tips into account, experiment a bit, and be yourself, and you’ll be in for a great race day look this spring.

Floral Dress Delights With Lovedrobe

One of the highlights of last year was winning ‘Best New Blog’ at the British plus Size Awards. Not only was winning and having a fabulous night with some awesome bloggers feel great but I have to say I felt officially fierce in my outfit. (Which you can see here!) It was a gorgeous Lovedrobe dress that just ticked every single box for me and I know it will be in my wardrobe for a long time to come.  This is what brands need to remember, when you’re doing something well, keep doing it and it my opinion Lovedrobe have. Their dresses are simply gorgeous and are most are available in sizes 14 – 32. I’ve always found it hard to find gorgeous plus size dresses with fun detail and I sort of kick myself that I didn’t find Lovedrobe ages ago. They are perfect for going out or special occasion pieces, these dresses are usually the ones available in places like Simply Be and Evans. But they do some really pretty casual wear too on their website too. One of which is this lovely floral chiffon dress.

Lovedrobe Dress - Blogger

Lovedrobe Plus Size Floral Dress

It is true that generally speaking you should size up in Lovedrobe dresses, however the sizes that double over (e.g. -22/24, 26/28) are spot on. So that’s a good rule to go by. I love the fact that this dress has an almost cross over effect to the top, this means lots of space if you have a large bust and no problem with it being too tight at the back. The dress is lined, a little floaty and in my opinion fits perfect. I do love a floral dress I don’t care if its summer, autumn or winter I find them the easiest of things to put on and feel great in an instant.

Plus Size Dress - Lovedrobe - Pretty Big Butterflies

Lovedrobe floral dress

There is something about the cut of the arms on Lovedrobe dresses which are uber flattering, they have a capped sleeve with an almost petal shape that somehow really flatters the tops of my arms and for me this is a huge plus. This dress is an all year piece. Not only are the colours bright but not too in your face, the are so versatile. Any colour jacket, cardigan, boots, shoes, bag…. simple. For the chillier season like now, I’ve just paired it with a super soft eye lash cardigan (which I LOVE) and ankle boots. In summer it will be perfect on its own with a little sunshine as the perfect accessory.

Lovedrobe currently have an awesome sale on that you need to check out, this dress (at the time of writing) is a bargain £19.00. Yes, you can thank me later! 

Floral Dress- Lovedrobe, Eyelash Cardigan – Evans, Wide Fit Ankle Boots - New Look, Plus Size Tights - Pretty Polly

The Best Places To Find The Ultimate Recipe

So many people make New Year resolutions that they find too difficult to keep. We have all done it. We promise ourselves to change things for the better but often life gets in the way, and we just can’t keep it up. It doesn’t matter how hard we try or how desperately we want it, we can’t stick to it. Do you ever wonder if you promise not to change anything then it will?

As foodies, we often tend to steer toward the higher quality products out there. We want great flavour and texture to make our dishes really sing. Fresh is great when we have the time to prepare it. Finding the right recipe with the right ingredients makes dinner time a real pleasure.

This year may be the year I try some new places out. I’m not committing to sticking with them, but I may give them a good go. And it certainly doesn’t mean I’m moving away from my regular haunts. But to enjoy something different from time to time could be a good resolution, even if I only do it once!

Pan photo from Flickr.com

Every so often we trawl the web or Pinterest for some new ideas. Or maybe we do it when we’re bored? Whatever leads us to great new things doesn’t matter, so long as we expose ourselves to the possibility of other choices in life. Recipes that have been tried and tested in the past quickly fall away as I find the next yummy looking thing. The trouble is, there are more in my deleted folder than there are those that I keep to use again.

I think what puts some of us off cooking too often is the risk the recipe isn’t to our taste. It is a lot of time, effort and money to invest in something we can’t sample first. But hey, if we don’t try something new once in a while, life will be pretty boring, right? There are hundreds of apps and websites out there. Some of them also sell the ingredients for the dishes that is quite handy. For example, if you like roast beef, you could look at the recipe on the site where you are buying your meat.

For all those fanatics of the five a day rule of fruit and veg, there are some places that sell you the veg in the right quantities for the recipe cards that come with them. There are even places that are selling you all the ingredients in the exact quantities for your recipe. Life is getting easier and easier when it comes to cooking. But again, it depends on you liking the dish you are making.

Wherever you buy your ingredients from, sometimes the pleasure in the meal comes from the act of us throwing the dish together ourselves. Improvising from what we have in the cupboards is sometimes more fun and more delicious than sticking religiously to a recipe card. If you are cooking for yourself tonight, bon appetite.