Saturday, January 31, 2015

What My Mum Wore New Year's Eve

While I spent New Year with Lee, my aunt, uncle, cousin and grandma, my mum and stepdad went to York for the night. My mum wore this outfit during the day. The jumper is from Red Herring at Debenhams and she got it in the sales after Christmas. It's cute, isn't it?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Year holiday

At New Year Lee and I went away with my aunt, uncle, one of my cousins, and my grandma. We had a cottage in the Derbyshire Dales and although they went for a whole week, Lee and I just went for four nights. We cooked two nights and we just had a really nice relaxing time. In fact lots of the time was spent like this:

Lee and my aunt concentrating on a jigsaw while I read.

This photo was taken just before we ate one night. I am not sure why my cousin is pulling that face!

You can't see my dress very well here so I'll take a better photo later, but it's from Asos and it's really lovely. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birthday post 2

These photos are from Sunday evening, when we had cake and wine (while I was in my nightie, I must point out), and from Monday where on our way home we went to a little town called Helmsley that I love. In the evening I went to Las Iguanas in Meadowhall with Lolly, Sarah, and Philippa, and Lee.

I do like to make my birthday last, what can I say?!

Cake and wine at 10pm on Sunday

There was a lake with lots of ducks in Thornton-le-Dale and on Monday morning we went to feed them. Some were so tame we could feed them from our hands!

This was the hot chocolate I had in Cafe Crema in Helmsley

And here's Sarah and I in Las Iguanas (photo by Lolly)

Here's Lolly and Philippa looking gorgeous

And here's the free cocktail I had! I must have signed up to Las Iguanas last year or something, and I got sent a voucher for a free main course. When we arrived, I got the main course AND a free cocktail! I was spoilt and it was delicious.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Birthday post 1

You've already seen what we did on the Saturday of my birthday weekend, so I thought I'd show photos from the rest of the time. We went to Scarborough on the Sunday. Scarborough is one of my favourite places so I was looking forward to going. We parked right on the seafront in south bay given that it was winter! There were still quite a few people around though.

Scarborough sea front, photo by my stepdad

The red tiled building is Ask, where we ate lunch (it was yummy)

We went into the amusement arcade and played pool a bunch of times, played on lots of the machines, and generally had fun 

This is the strawberry ice cream milkshake I had in the Harbour Bar

And here's Scarborough beach in all its cold glory!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Daxon New Year New Style

I was contacted recently by Daxon and invited to check out their new website and new styles. I have heard of the company before and think I may have even bought from them way back in time, but I hadn't checked them out in a while. The website is clean and easy to navigate. I would say that many of the items aren't aimed at me but at someone older. That isn't to put them down - they're great clothes with elegance and style, and I bet my mum would like a lot of them, especially for special occasions.

That being said, there are still a lot of things that I would wear. Part of the request from Daxon was to pick pieces that would represent how I would like my style to be this year. I'm a dress and leggings kind of person, so I headed for the plus size dresses section.

I love the colour of this and think it looks like a really comfortable dress for the summer. This is the type of thing I'd wear while camping as it's easy but stylish

I love the colour of this dress and would take it on holiday when I go to France in June. I think it's really stylish

I'm not sure this would suit me but I absolutely love it, I think the colour and the pattern are stunning.

I like this skirt especially because up close the background is blue which really makes the red pop I think. I would wear this with a cream top. 

I swim a lot and I'm always on the look out for swimwear. I don't need it to be fancy or frilly or whatever, and this looks like a good basic suit. 

I always wear Mary Jane type shoes and I'm taken by the big button on this pair. They look like they'd be a sturdy shoe for running about in!

Have you checked out Daxon recently? I'd recommend it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Photo A Day - Saturday 17th January

Louisa and Jane are sharing duties this year for Photo An Hour. It's something I really love to read because it's just the daily stuff of people's lives, so I'm going to try to join in with all of the days this year.

Saturday 17th was the first one, but it wasn't a normal Saturday for me. Monday 19th was my birthday, and on Boxing Day my family decided we should go away for it, so my mum booked it and we - me, Lee, my mum, and stepdad -  headed off to Thornton le Dale for the weekend. We stayed in Squirrel Cottage which is just a short stroll from the village centre. I'm linking to the cottage as it was absolutely beautiful and a bargain, I'd recommend a stay there if you want to see the area!

9am saw me looking at the ceiling in the cottage, barely awake. Lee and I took the twin room and it was very cosy

10am saw me wearing this very bright dress from Asos. It was in the sale at £14 and as my friend Sarah said, I'm dressed like Spring!

11am and my mum and stepdad were making a cooked breakfast for us - bacon, eggs, sausage, mushrooms and fried bread. Delicious!

Noon saw me putting on my boots in the living room ready to go out. We walked into the village. 

1pm and my mum was standing outside this antique shop in Thornton - le - Dale

Just after 2pm and we were in Pickering a short drive away, in a really nice cafe drinking hot chocolate. This Victoria sponge was delicious!

3pm and looking down Pickering high street. It has a lot of nice shops and good charity shops - Lee got two pairs of jeans for £11.50!

4pm and back into the warm where my stepdad built a fire 

5pm and the sun was over the yard arm as my mum and I drank Archers and lemonade

6pm and I was peeling potatoes for Lee to make Pan Haggerty for tea

7pm and I cooked steaks for my mum, stepdad, and I (Lee had chicken)

8pm saw this profiterole cake mousse thing from Sainsburys - highly recommended for the price!

9pm and Lee playing on his new tablet thing

10pm and we were playing a Who's Who game that we bought in the Mind charity shop for £1.95 - very good fun 

11pm, jewellery's off and I was on to the wine!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What My Mum Wore

Here's another post of What My Mum Wore. She's a size 18/20 and mid 50s. She wore this on Boxing Day.

Her leggings are the ones you saw previously (her first pair!) from Yours Clothing. Her jumper/tunic combo is from a shop in Bawtry near Doncaster, where she likes shopping as there's quite a lot of upmarket independent shops. There is a separate white shirt and blue jumper here, so they can be worn separately, but when worn together they are joined by a button from the shirt to the jumper.

I really like this piece, I think it's different and looks great on my mum.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What I Wore December 27th

On December 27th my stepdad's sister and her family came over to my mum's house and we had a buffet and played silly games and stuff. I love my step-aunt, she's lovely. Here's what I wore:

This tulle skirt was recently from H&M and it has been all over the place on the plus size blogger circuit! In fact you can see Debz' post featuring five fat babes wearing it here! I loved it and bought it straight away. I'm wearing the 3xl but it is so generous with lots of stretch so I'm sure smaller sizes would fit me.

The top is from Primark and is a size 20 but stretchy jumpers like this often fit me. It is quite shirt which is why I wore a grey t-shirt underneath, but in warmer weather I might think about baring my midriff!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Our Christmas table

I am still blogging lots of Christmas photos, I'm sorry as it's now the New Year and maybe no one but me still cares! But I like to spread out my posts so that I don't bore you all!

This was the table at my mum's on Christmas Day. There were just the four of us for lunch, and we like to spread out the meal throughout the day. We ate our starters of smoked salmon, prawns, tune pate, and homemade bread, at about 1pm. We ate turkey and all the trimmings at around 4pm, and we had dessert around 8pm! It makes it really nice and relaxed.

So colourful! The tablecloth is silver, the plate chargers are turquoise, the glasses are red :) 

These handmade stockings are a new tradition in our family. I made them a few years ago and my mum and I take it in turns to fill them with just a few little presents to open at the table. This year my mum did them and my gifts were nail polish, a flannel, and a clownfish keyring!

Monday, January 12, 2015

What I Wore Christmas Edition

Here's my Christmas Day outfit! I bought this dress from Debz in, like, August, and knew it would make a perfect dress for Christmas Day so I saved it.

It was originally from Marisota, which isn't somewhere that I generally check for clothes, but the few pieces I do have from them I absolutely love. This was no exception - it feels well made, I love the sheer yoke and sleeves, and who can resist a bit of gold bling for Christmas?

The lighting isn't great in this photo, but the dress is green all over. I think it was perfect!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

What I Wore Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve Lee and I went to my mum's to stay over the festive period. We cooked spaghetti carbonara and had a lovely relaxing time in readiness for the next day.

I had been saving this dress for Christmas and decided it was just casual enough for Christmas Eve. It was from Asos a few weeks ago when I had a bit of a splurge. I love the pattern on it and although I think it's quite different from what I'd usually wear, I love it.

Dress from Asos, belt from Evans

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What My Mum Wore Christmas Edition

Here's another edition of What My Mum Wore. She's a size 18/20 and mid 50s. She bought this dress from Yours in Leeds when we went at the beginning of December. It was reduced to just £17 which is a total bargain! I think it looks gorgeous on her.

The tights I gave to her as they were in my goodie bag from the bloggers meet up at Meadowhall in December and they wouldn't fit me, they look great here!

Sorry about the glare from the Christmas tree lights, I don't know why she insists on blue lights!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Yankee Candle Advent Calendar

Happy New Year! I'm scheduling posts ahead of time as I'm ~not really here~ - I'm away in Derbyshire with family!

Anyway I thought I'd show you my Yankee Candle advent calendar which I bought in November ready for advent. I love scented candles and always have, but in recent years I just haven't used them. I hadn't ever bought from Yankee Candle before though for myself as I think the prices can be high. I've had a couple as presents but the scents have been strange - I'm quite particular about which scents I like.

Anyway in October a friend and I were in Peter Jones smelling all the seasonal scents from Yankee Candle so I got a gift set to split up between 3 people, and I realised that I liked all of the Christmas scents, so when I saw the advent calendar I decided to go for it. I bought it directly from Yankee Candle and it was £24.99 plus P&P.

There are 23 little tealight candles, and one bigger votive candle for the 24th which is the scent called Christmas Eve. So they are basically £1 each which suits me fine! The scents included are:

Candy Cane Lane
Christmas Memories
Christmas Garland
Spiced Orange
Christmas Cookie
Snowflake Cookie
Sugared Apple
Christmas Eve (the votive)

Now, apart from Spiced Orange, I can't definitively tell you which is which. There's one which I suppose smells like apples and one which might be Christmas Garland as it's a bit piney, but the rest are just differing flavours of 'sweet' to me. Not that I find that a problem, it's just that I can't share the knowledge with you!

I've been burning at least one every day, for several hours. In my picture, the ones that are low have been burnt three times for 3-4 hours each. So I'd say out of every tealight, the burn time is about 12 hours. I think that's really good.

I will definitely be buying this advent calendar next year as it's been really lovely and has made my house smell delicious!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Here's What I Would've Spent

Okay so here's the second Here's What I Would have spent challenge put together by Debz. Now this time we're focussing on something a bit different - we're looking at Simply Be. Now Simply Be is one of the stalwarts of the plus size shopping scene in Britain and I mostly really like it, even though the sizing is sometimes screwy and the pricing sometimes obscene (I usually wait for sales, to be honest). Simply Be's sizing has always been advertised as "from a 12 to 32" and all sizes have always been the same price. In practice, they have always had a few bits past a size 32, too, up to (currently) a size 38. In all my time buying at Simply Be, it has never been somewhere that my size 12-16 friends would shop.

However, it was recently brought to my attention that at the moment there are more items available in a size 12 than there are in a size 26. Look below:


You'll notice that the most popular sizes are 14-22, which all have over 2000 items available. But my argument is that if you're up to a size 22, you can shop lots more places than I can. If you're a size 12, you can shop literally anywhere in the country.

In Meadowhall, I can shop in Evans, New Look, Yours, and the Simply Be pop up shop. New Look and Yours have only been there a couple of years. Simply Be was only there for Christmas and I'm not sure if it's staying. I have to say, too, that when I went in, the selection on the rails tailed off drastically after a size 24. That really disappointed me.

If I was a size 22 other shops like Dorothy Perkins and River Island would open up to me. If I was a size 12, I could choose literally any shop in Meadowhall and stand a reasonable chance of finding things I liked, that fit me and were affordable. So why would I particularly choose Simply Be, apart from anything else? Especially when their pricing and quality can be shocking?

I understand that having around 1500 items to choose from is not by any means a small number. But it isn't inclusive, and that's what annoys me. There are 500 items on that website - which, let's recall, markets itself as "Size 12-32" and which has used the tagline "fashion without limits" (hah!) - that are not available to me, and that makes me sad.

The main culprits seem to be the branded items, so I had a quick look to see what I particularly liked.

Kelly Brook lace sleeve blouse - I love the lace here

This Alice and You top isn't available in a 28, and nothing in the whole collection goes above a size 28. That is shocking. 

This Koko gold dress is gorgeous, but it's a 26 and I don't think it would fit me. There are 117 items available in Koko at a size 26. There are just 18 available in a size 28. 

Please, Simply Be, think about cutting off some of the smaller sizes and extending the upper ones. Us fatties will thank you for it.

Here are the other bloggers taking part in the challenge

Monday, January 5, 2015

Festive nails

Here's what my nails looked like over Christmas. I managed to match my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day outfits to my nails, even though that wasn't my intention when I chose the nail polish on Monday 22nd

This is Illamasqua's Viridian which is a gorgeous metallic dark green. Two coats would have been okay but I did three as I miss bits. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Christmas cake

This year I baked a Christmas cake for the first time. When I was younger, my parents made the cake together - my mum measured everything while my dad did the stirring. They always had an argument over whether to make my mum's recipe (a dark, brown sugary cake) or my dad's mum's recipe (much lighter in colour, and written by her hand in a very old black book). When I was very little I didn't like Christmas cake, but I do now.

My mum still makes a cake but this year I decided to make my own, even though Lee doesn't eat it. We're away at New Year with my family who I know will like this cake.

I got the recipe from BBC Good Food here. We made the cake a few weeks ago and I have fed it twice with the brandy left over. I decorated it in the few days just before Christmas with a layer of marzipan, then icing. I bought the snowman but I made the trees and Santa.

And the verdict on the cake? It's very nice - really moist and with a strong alcohol taste. My mum says I've got myself a job for life!