Monday, 28 April 2014

Junarose VIP Fun!

Junarose cropped up on my radar last year when Becky from The Ramblings of Mrs BeBe and Hanna from The Wardrobe Challenge became ambassadors for their UK market and started posting monthly outfits. I'll be honest and say that when I first saw what Junarose had to offer I thought it was a bit too trendy for me and although I love seeing how other people put items together I just didn't feel like they were for me. However, one of my biggest gripes about plus size shopping is that it is mostly online which means you never get to touch the item until you've already paid for it plus postage. Being a bit tight combined with my apparent inability to ever return items, I tend not to branch out from what I'm used to simply because if it doesn't work out it's a bit of a hassle. 

Becky and Hanna hosted a blogger event on 2nd April which just happened to be my birthday! I had a lovely afternoon with my hairy husband wandering about Shoreditch and drinking milkshakes at The Diner before he dropped me off at Junarose HQ and found himself a pub to wait in. Being able to browse, touch, try on and generally bother the latest collections meant I got to see what I couldn't before and as such found so many items I would absolutely wear and cannot wait to get on my back! It just goes to show how beneficial the physical aspect of shopping really is. 

I've been branching out a lot more with the clothing choices lately, I have no idea why but with that in mind there were lots of tops and even a jacket or two that really drew me in. I'm so used to heading straight for the dresses so trying new things feels like I've opened my eyes finally! The SS14 collection is full of bright colours and beautiful prints whereas the AW14 is slightly edgier with quilted jackets and more Winter suitable colours. As much as I'm trying to branch out you'll notice I was still way more drawn to the brighter colours in my photos!

Sequin tops usually remind me too much of early 00s school discos but I really, really loved this rose coloured beauty. 
Tropical loveliness!
Beebs couldn't leave this chunky cardigan alone, it was so snuggly!
Can't beat a bit of leopard!
Rivkie looking fab in the dress version of the previous top.
The material of this was so soft I could have cried.
Hanna was wearing the other colour way of this lightweight bomber jacket and I loved it!
This tee is right up my traditional tattoo loving street!
Minty fresh.
Quilted grey leopard jacket...something I never would have looked at before. 
More beautiful pastels.
Love getting to spend time with one of my blogger besties.
We were definitely treated like VIPs with delicious mini Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes, pink fizz and a fab Junarose felted bag full of goodies. I had a really lovely evening with some familiar blogger faces and some gorgeous new ones! It certainly made my birthday one to remember :)

L-R: Hanna, Me, Becky, Rivkie, Isha, Katie, Charlotte
Mrs D x

ps. I'm going to do a full post on my outfit with details on Thursday.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Liz McClarnon, Fashion World & Flamingos

If you had told me 15 years ago whilst I was secretly listening to You Can Make Me Whole Again in my bedroom (because I was clearly too cool for pop...) that I would one day be meeting one of Atomic Kitten to chat about swimwear, I would have thought you were from another world. Partly because swimwear was not my friend and partly because pop stars were surely not real people. Oddly, it turns out they absolutely are and what's more they have the same thoughts and feelings about things as you and I do! 

Unfortunately on the morning of the day I was set to meet Liz McClarnon to talk about her swimwear collection for Fashion World in a swanky London hotel I had a pretty tough hospital assessment that ran over a lot longer than I expected and as such I missed my train. And thanks to National Rail and their ridiculous train prices I couldn't stump up the 5 times what I'd payed in advance for to get on the next train. Not a great day for Mrs D! However, I had a little fairy godmother in the form of Fiona from SRPR who very, very kindly asked me if I had any questions she could pass onto Liz. I'm obviously gutted that I didn't get to meet her in person but it was brilliant to still get a few of my questions answered and to get a general feel for what she wanted from her swimwear collection.

It's so refreshing to have someone who isn't and has never been fat fighting the fat corner. It's easy to assume that only the ones affected care but it's clear that that just isn't the case with Liz. The choice to make her collection available right up to a size 32 was an easy one for her as she feels, like many of us, that "no matter what size you are if you like the look of something, you should be able to wear it".

I asked Liz how her own body confidence has changed over the years in terms of being in the limelight especially as a young teenager. Unsurprisingly she said it was tough during her teens but she couldn't give too hoots now, that we have a loyalty to ourselves to keep ourselves happy which is incredibly true. It's all too easy to get caught up in other people's perceptions of how you should look or act and it starts to chip away at you eventually. The majority of the time the people you listen to are so insignificant and it helps to take a step back occasionally and focus on doing what makes you happy and feel good.

She's definitely a girl after my own heart with the kitschy, retro prints of her swimwear especially the use of flamingos which are my latest obesssion! I've recently decided to get back into swimming and have been looking for something that will make me feel fabulous, because why should I have to give up my style just because I'm in water?! These swimsuits, along with my new Fashy bubble swim hat are perfect for my foray into chlorine. I was sent the flamingo swimsuit above which I'll be reviewing in the next couple of weeks.

I'm sad I didn't get to meet Liz in the flesh but I enjoyed putting this post together and I hope our paths cross again one day!

These bloggers did get to interview her so go and have a read of their experience!  

Mrs D x

ps. Big thank you to Fiona from SRPR for being so helpful!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Casual Sunday

It's easy to think by looking at fashion related blogs that we spend all of our time dolled up in a full face of make-up and our gladrags. I don't know about anyone else but I have at least three days a week (bear in mind I'm home for 5 out of 7!) where I give my skin a bit of a break, pop my hair up without worrying about what it looks like and stick on the comfiest clothes I can find. When I'm unwell like I have been for the last few months I spend a lot of time in my pyjamas but for the last month or so as I've slowly been getting myself to a more manageable state I've made myself a rule that pyjamas are for 6pm onwards and no other time! That means I've had to rummage through my wardrobe for the comfy clothes that usually get overlooked as not being 'nice enough' and add a few bits too.

I won this super cosy Junarose cardigan from the lovely Hanna a while ago along with a beautiful scarf and a dress. Unfortunately the dress doesn't do anything for my body and normally unflattering-ish clothes don't bother me but with my short body and high hips, I look like a sack of potatoes. I donated the dress to my clothes swap last weekend though so it's gone to a better place! The cardigan on the other hand is a god send. Quite often knitted cardigans can be quite scratchy and feel very acrylic but despite this being 100% acrylic it's super soft and feels lovely on. It's not overly chunky so perfect for this Spring transition period that is chillier in the shade but still not hot in the sunshine.

Last Sunday was spent in my comfiest of outfits making my way through the paperwork I'd been avoiding for weeks and writing whilst Mr D was off racing with his rowing club. Sunday is definitely my favourite day of the week because it's usually the one day we get to spend together, except when his pesky races fall on them!

Comfy clothes, hair tied up and make-up free. I haven't even bothered to photo-shop my spots out so for the love of all things good and frivolous, don't zoom in! 

Cardigan from Junarose
Dress from eBay via my mum!
Leggings from Yours
Slippers from either Tesco or Sainsburys, I can't remember!

How many 'off' days do you have? Am I alone in being sloppy?!

Mrs D x

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bowing Out(side)

I'm so pleased the sun is out a little more now because it means I can take some outfit posts in the fresh air with the lovely daylight. I'm only venturing into my (very untidy and in need of husband's muscly gardening skills) garden but it's better than nothing. 

I'm really enjoying jeans at the minute even though I do feel like I'm being a bit lazy by reaching for them so much but it's just nice to have found a bit of extra confidence in myself to wear them. My wardrobe doesn't contain too much tops so I'm trying to utilise what I already have, like this sweet little bow print cardigan from South at Very. 

Peaches Jeans from Simply Be
Peep Toe Flats from Evans
Shell locket from Etsy

I'd just had my hair re-coloured which is why it looks so lovely and bright! They also had some extra time so curled it for me too. I felt all fancy. 

Mrs D x

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer, Do

Daisy prints are err'where at the minute and I for one, love it! I picked up this Daisy Shell Top top a couple of weeks ago in Simply Be with Leah and Nancy. I had to size up to allow the non-stretch material to accommodate my massive hips and as a result I do get an excess bunch of fabric appear around the neck after a little while which means I have to pull it down a lot. It also creases super quickly because of the silky fabric but it's a small price to pay for such a pretty top. Unfortunately though I had just driven the 90 miles to my mum's so I have serious car crease going on!

I wore it to go out for afternoon tea with my mum last weekend to celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday. It was a gloriously sunny day so I'm squinting a lot and it's all very bright!

Squinty squinty.

Hair brighter than the sun!

Daisy, daisy...

Top from Simply Be
Jeans from New Look Inspire
Shoes from Simply Be
Flower headband from Crown and Glory
Glasses brooch is vintage
Lipstick is MAC Flat Out Fabulous

My 'what are you doing, mum?' face. 
Here are some beautiful bonus photos of mum and I stuffing scones into our faces! I clearly didn't get my mum's delicate eating habits...

Dainty nibbling

Get it in yer gob, girl. 
Glorious sunshine, a day with my mama and afternoon tea. What more does a girl need?! 

Mrs D x


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

30 Things To Do Before I'm 30

Today is my birthday and as I creep closer and closer to 30 I feel like I should have done a bit more by now. I know a lot of that silly pressure to be doing certain things and living up to certain expectations comes from my mental health but I do also feel like I need more goals. And so, I have made a list of 30 things I want to do before I reach the big 3-0! I've promised myself that this is just something to encourage me to try new things and do a little more, not to set myself unreachable targets that I can use as an excuse to beat myself up if I don't achieve them. Some of them are sensible, some are silly, some are personal. If any of you can help along the way, please feel free especially with the travel and savings ones haha! (I started writing this list a few months ago so I can already tick some off...that's definitely not cheating, right?!)

1. Have one proper holiday a year. 

2. Get a tattoo. *

3. Put together a photo album or scrapbook for our wedding. 

4. Visit my family in Canada. 

5. Re-learn French to a conversational level. 

6. Work on/model for a plus size fashion collection with a brand. *

7. Knit or crochet a blanket (a proper sized one, not a baby blanket!)

8. Complete a cross stitch not from a kit. 

9. Go back to university. *

10. Dye my hair a different colour. *

11. Read 10 books a year starting on 2nd April 2014. 

12. Clear all my debts. 

13. Have some savings that don't get dipped into whenever we fancy a takeaway we can't afford!

14. Complete two more beauty related courses. 

15. Have an article published in a magazine. 

16. Get my BMI into the range where we can get fertility help. 

17. Go away with my mum. 

18. Have a different pair of glasses for every day of the week. 

19. Dye my hair a new colour.

20. Move house. 

21. Learn to sew. 

22. Go on holiday with a group of friends. 

23. Go for lunch alone without having a panic attack. *

24. Up-cycle a piece of furniture. 

25. Hold two successful clothes swaps or events. 

26. Buy the chest of drawers that matches our bedroom furniture. 

27. Stand up for myself at least once. 

28. Make a new friend. *

29. Stick to some sort of regular exercise routine. Or just be able to walk a mile without dying. 

30. Be nicer to myself. 

A Slightly Older Mrs D x

ps. I'm also making this a page so you can keep track of my progress if you were that way inclined!

Spring Florals

Florals are a key trend that never seem to go out of style especially when Spring rolls around so when I was asked if I would like to review something floral based from New Look's plus size range Inspire I wanted to try something a little different to the usual floral patterns I reach for. This Pink Floral Mesh T-shirt caught my eye with it's pretty flower pattern and pastel colour. I've never ventured into mesh tops and was a little worried about the sheerness of it but once I'd tried it on it felt a lot less scary! I wore my trusty Curvy Kate Daily Boost in Nude underneath.

A pastel dream!
New Look were also kind enough to send me a pair of plus size black skinny jeans which fit like a dream. With my long legs most jeans end up being ankle grazers so I was pleased to see the Inspire collection has a range of different leg lengths right up 36 inch. I went for my usual 32 inch and they were spot on. I asked for a size 26 rather than my usual 24 because chunky thighs and skinny jeans tend to spell disaster. The size 26 fits my legs and my hips perfectly but the waist is quite loose. 

Spring florals with Spring flowers!
Cardigan from M&S
Shoes from Simply Be
Floral headband from Crown and Glory
Shell locket from Etsy

When I think of Spring the two things that spring (no pun intended...) to mind are pastels and florals so I teamed the top with a mint green cardigan, turquoise flats and my beautiful flower headband from Crown and Glory. I can't decide if I feel like a too-old hipster in it, especially with  my fab new glasses I won from The Awkward Magazine and London Retro at My Optique! Either that or a flower girl but I like it and it goes perfectly with my outfit! 

What do you think, too much pastel?!

Mrs D x

ps. It's my birthdaaaayyyyyy! Watch out for a slightly unusual birthday related post a bit later on. 

ps. I've been practising my pout although I'm still not sure if it's a pout or just a vacant expression...

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Birthday Sunflowers

My favourite outfit as a child in the mid early 90s was a pair of amazing lime green leggings with bright yellow sunflowers and white daisies on with a big white t-shirt with a giant flower in the middle. It was hideous but pretty incredible.

I'm not sure how I feel about the 90s trends this season, mostly because it reminds me of the fact that I'm old enough to be experiencing fashion I once wore and firmly left behind coming back round! But also because velvet scrunchies. No. I do however feel pretty good about the re-introduction of MASSIVE SUNFLOWERS by way of this popular ASOS Curve Sunflower Print Dress. I'm also quite enjoying the button down front. It gives it a bit of extra detail but because they're not proper button holes it retains it's shape and stops my husband thinking he's hilarious and unbuttoning it in public! The jersey material is just heavy enough so it hangs beautifully with just enough movement to it but is still light enough for the summer. I was really pleased with the length too, ASOS dresses tend to come up a little short on my 5 ft 8 frame but this sat just a couple of inches above my knees.

I promise he isn't always that miserable....
It was my hairy husband's birthday a few weeks ago so we went to stay in a nearby city overnight so we could go out for dinner and cocktails without arguing about who was going to drive home! It sounds like such a generic thing to do but it was so, so lovely. We very rarely go out for a drink just the two of us and not having to worry about anything other than what we were going to eat for a weekend was quite refreshing.

Honestly, he is happy sometimes. And also, phwoar.
We found our way into a bar having a 'soft open' where there was a guest list but for some reason the bouncer took a shine to us (or my boobs...) and let us in to drink some ridiculously tasty 2 for 1 cocktails!

Our weekend finished with a well needed Cafe Rouge breakfast. They do the tastiest Pain Perdu with teeny Bonne Maman pots!

If you've blogged about the sunflower dress, leave your link below so we can all have a nose! 

Mrs D x

ps. It's my birthday tomorrow! I'll be seeing some of your at the Junarose blogger's event so feel free to give me your share of cake :D
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