V-Day? I think it’s time for me day!

Just a couple of days away, one of my favourite days of the year! Time to celebrate the love! V-Day. Like I said in my last blog, valentines is more about just the cards, the flowers and chocolates. And I’ve talked about sharing the love, with your partner, with your girls, with family! But one thing I haven’t mentioned is self love.

This valentines I’m celebrating me. One of the biggest parts of my journey to self love, was falling in love with underwear. Falling in love with the way it made me feel, the empowerment of treating my body. Self love is the hardest, but one of the strongest loves. It’s a long road that has its ups and downs like any relationship but on the good days it’s so good.

So when the lovely babes from Brastop gifted me some sets for this blog I couldn’t wait to share! Share the way they made me feel.

First up, the beautiful dragonfly baby doll from Curvy Kate. I’ve actually got the bra and brief set for this already and I love the fit! So when this babydoll set came to me I knew it would be a winner. When it comes to baby dolls, it felt like forever to find one with a good fit, one that actually existed in cup sizes not clothes sizing! And Curvy Kate know best. I love their baby dolls and this one doesn’t let me down at all. The sheer tulle, the deep wine colour. Sexy yet sophisticated and perfect if your having a day where you’re not feeling yourself. The floating coverage of material, a cheeky cleavage, with a cheeky brief to match! I received my set in a 36H and the fit was fabulous, the briefs I received in a size 18. With this set I think sizing up in the briefs would make it more comfortable. This set currently runs from a size 32D to a 44G.

Curvy Kate Dragonfly Babydoll.

The next set I was sent was the so pretty Pour Moi Opulence. As soon as I opened it I was so excited by the gorgeous pink, the lace detail and the balconette style. I’m still quite new to Pour Moi and each time I’m surprised with not only the fit but the value for money. This set is only £28 for the bra and £14 for the briefs and is so comfortable. This is what I’d call my sassy set. The set you wear under work wear, perfect for day to day but making you feel like a queen underneath! The set you put on when you want to read a book, have a cuppa and a cuddle in a duvet and still feel like a model in a catalogue! This set runs from a size 30E to a 44G, and the briefs a size 8 to 30 so a great range! And the hot pink bow details, super cute.

Pour Moi Opulence.

The last set is 100% my all time favourite Scantilly set to date. The way this set made me feel is how I want to feel every day. Like a goddess. The leatherette look, the sheer briefs, the high waist, the buckle detail. Every part of it is so thought out, with curves in mind. I love a high waist brief, on those bloated days, the days where you just need that extra bit of comfort in your pants! And the half cup bra. So sexy. Honestly I felt incredible. This set is currently available in a 30D to a 38H and the high waist briefs in a small to extra large. I received mine in a 36H and the briefs and extra large. This set is currently in the sale at just £35! Which if you know Scantilly is an absolute bargain. So if you want it, head over quickly as it’s selling out fast!

Scantilly Unleash.

So there we have it. This year I’m treating me! I’m putting self love first this Valentines. When I put on a properly fitted, matching set of pretty underwear, and I take a look in the mirror, I think yes girl! That’s when I know it’s going to be a good day. This valentines I’m treating myself to a yes girl moment. Are you? 💋

Date night or girls night? The look of love.

We’re finally there babes! Out of the long year, I mean month, that is January. She wasn’t that bad was she? We got there!

Anyway into February. One of my favourite months, and mainly because of Valentine’s Day (and pancake day, that’s a good one isn’t it!) So why valentines? I love valentines, I love celebrating love! And who wouldn’t? Love is wonderful. And I’m not just talking about the love for a partner or a husband or a wife. I mean all love. Love for your friends, love for your children, for your relatives, self love!

And Valentine’s Day, well it’s an excuse really isn’t it. To take time for the ones you love. To have that date night, to have that catch up with friends, to see family, or just to have some time to yourself, to treat yourself.

So today I have two looks from Joanie clothing to share with you. Which are perfect for that night!

Just for clarification the items in this blog were gifted to me in return for the blog and images, however all opinions are my own and I love this brand so much, I would spend my entire bank balance on their site if I could! Seriously afterwards head to their site and tell me you weren’t tempted!

The first look! Casual chic, Paris vibes. All the sass, all the style and so easy to create and so comfortable. I chose the ‘Loren’ t-shirt, mainly because the name sounded familiar…but also because I’m such a lover of a good top. And in my head I knew exactly what I wanted to pair this with. I was gifted mine in a size Large and as a size 18, fuller busted woman, it fit perfectly. Not too tight on the arms and plenty of bust room! The cotton material is so soft, and the slogan print is so funky and retro, perfect for valentines! The top currently is £20 and runs from a size Small (8-10) to an XL (20-22) which is a pretty good range of sizing. I paired this with a cheeky beret, a leopard print skirt, some tights with pumps and of course my fluffy coat. It’s far too cold to be without it at the moment! This look is perfect for day or night, and could fit around whatever plans you have, bowling, meal out, staying at home! So versatile I’ll probably wear it to work next week!

The second outfit is definitely more of a date night look for me, the ‘Willa’ dress stole my heart the minute I saw her. With the dainty floral print, and cut out detail I knew she was date night perfection. My love for a tea dress is beyond and a dress with pockets, that’s only £40? Tick, tick, tick! This dress also comes in a size 8-22, I was gifted mine in a size 18 – true to size! The one thing I really have to mention is how fuller bust friendly I’ve discovered Joanie is. I actually managed to get my boobs in, which is a miracle compared to most retailers! I chose to pair this dress with heels and a red lip, unfortunately the rain didn’t hold off for long this weekend! For a more casual look I’d simply pair this dress with a pair of tights and chunky boots.

These two looks are really my style. This was my first time trying Joanie and honestly I’m going to have to make a point of buying from there more often. Fuller bust friendly, with a retro, quirky twist and plenty of colour! It’s a dream. I can’t wait to see what tickles my fancy next, although my bank probably isn’t!

As always I’ve linked the pieces below if you’d like to take a peek. So there we have it! My two looks for Valentines from Joanie clothing. How are you spending this valentines? 💋

Joanie Willa tea dress

Joanie Loren slogan tee

Re-think the drink. Why did I go dry this January.

Dry January, we’ve all heard of it. Personally I’d never taken much thought to it, I’ve never seen the need to give up alcohol for a month. Dry January, sober October, I always understood the charity side of it, the challenge and I mean I did it for nine months when I was pregnant – easy.

But lately I think I’ve been a little too dependant on that Friday night wine, the bottle not the glass. And after lots of bubbles and a couple bottles of gin over Christmas, I realised just how numb I was to it. New Year’s Eve was a particularly worrying for me, I had the best night but after drink after drink, then shot after shot. I woke up feeling fine. More than fine.

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say, it scared me. Being so numb to drinking. Not even feeling the effects of alcohol. And suddenly the realisation, that Friday night bottle was a routine, the Saturday night numerous gins, a routine. A routine I wanted to lose for 2019. There are so many jokes and sayings, about mums needing wine to function, about wine getting women through the week and the reality is, it’s a little nerve wracking. Just how accepting I’d become to justifying my weekly routine.

So New year fresh start, letting go of the booze a little.

Week one, it was difficult. Giving up the routine. It sounds so silly writing this, but I really lusted for a cheeky tipple. But week after week it’s become easier. My body feels so much better, my skin is clearer, I’m less bloated. I feel like I have so much energy. Just from cutting a few drinks out a week? I’ve struggled with my sleep for a while now, constantly feeling exhausted, the biggest bags under my eyes. I’m not saying cutting alcohol out has made me a new woman but it’s definitely made me re-think the drink.

Today is the last day of January and I’m honestly so surprised I’ve stuck to it. It was definitely the fresh start to the new year that I needed, and I’m really going to think about how much I drink. Maybe the weekly glass, maybe the weekly one gin. I’m not saying I’m going to cut it out all together but I seriously want to cut back.

So I’m celebrating my last night of dry January with a cheeky orange juice. This was the fresh start to the New Year I needed.

Love leggings? You’ll love these.

Let’s be honest, this month I said I’d try yoga, I said I’d try a few new things! I wrote a blog on my first at home yoga lesson, only to find I’m struggling to connect with the mat again. But if I’m really honest I’m struggling to find the time to put in a good full hour session. Finding the time to just stop I guess.

Short bursts of exercise each day is definitely something that works best for me. The 20 minute run used to be a favourite, the quick round of circuits in the garden, the skipping rope routine for a good 10 minutes. All physical activities that I found not only helped me understand my body and how it moved, but also helped my mind, my focus, my stamina. And for all the running and skipping I needed the right gear.

So when ‘Love leggings’ contacted me and asked if they could gift me a pair of their leggings in return for this blog I said I couldn’t wait to write about them, and put them through their paces. I was sent the ‘energise legging’ in a size 2XL, in the colour black. Currently the largest that the sports leggings go up to. However their everyday range goes from an XXS- 5XL. I’m a size 18 usually and the fit was good, high waisted with a long enough leg. And not too tight in any areas.

Time to put them to work. First a house clean. If you’re anything like me this can be more strenuous than a couple of hours at the gym! Up and down the stairs, round with the hoover, reaching high, ducking low, scrubbing the bath. Getting a right good sweat on! First test passed. No movement, no rolling down, comfortable. Surprisingly no sweat patches, so very durable, so far so good.

Second test. Outside skipping rope, and my goodness was it cold! I only lasted a few minutes, my stamina from not running has gone really down hill. Out of breath, nips like tic tacs. But the leggings? They had my back (well bum and legs really!) no chaffing, no digging in and no rubbing. Which if I’m honest I was a little surprised at as they have no waist tie. But they have amazing support. Also something that I’m always cautious over with leggings is that they have a thick enough quality to not see your fancy pants through, but breathable enough to have a good work out without your legs dripping with sweat. This pair of energiser leggings? Well they passed that test too! No cheeks on show today.

These leggings for me are great, they did the job and did it really well, they’re really soft and really comfortable. I would definitely recommend these for anyone looking for a good sports legging. And although the size only currently goes up to a 2XL in the sports range I’m hoping they’ll be expanding in the future. Us bigger girls love a good work out too! And if you’re a bit like me and just love leggings to lounge in, then take a peak at their everyday range. For mums to be, ‘Love leggings’ even have a maternity range of leggings, good for keeping that bump comfortable, and with plenty of support.

When I was pregnant I lived in leggings, but they were never a high enough quality or the right fit, and they’d always pull or be too tight, If only ‘love leggings’ were around then!

I’ve linked below the pair I received, along with a couple of my favourites from the site – if you did want a look! For such a high quality legging I was also pleasantly surprised at the price, which is really reasonable especially when compared to your local high street. Under £15 for a pair of everyday leggings? You can’t go wrong really!

So what do you think? Will you be giving ‘Love leggings’ a try? It is the season for the thicker layers after all!

Energise Sport legging.

Açai purple high waist legging.

Navy blue cropped legging.

Jumpers for January.

It’s cold, freezing to be precise. Okay it’s not that bad, but the nips are like tic tacs most days. It’s rainy most of the time. Welcome to January babes. But we’re nearly there! February is on the horizon. But for now, I’m here for you. Here to brighten things up with a splash of colour!

Colours are a funny thing in fashion aren’t they? For years I stayed away from primary or bold colours. For fear of being noticed I guess. Wearing all black, all grey. Not wanting to stick out. But here I am, in the boldest of bold. With some print clashes, and a cheeky red lip!

So to start off, both these jumpers I want to show you today are from one of my favourites – Matalan. Both of these jumpers were bought by me, for me. This is no ad, or gifted blog this is me telling you, just simply how much I love these cosy knits!

First up the gorgeous, rainbow striped, tie sleeve jumper. I studied knit wear at university for a little while, as part of my fashion and textiles degree. And after learning just how difficult the industrial knitting machines were to use, I really appreciate the quality and the skill of a good knit. I love knitwear. The different stitches, the different wools. It really excites me. So this jumper? Cute, comfy and right on trend. The boldness in the colours, paired with a red lip, a bold set of earrings and a good pair of jeans. Saturday sorted. Again I used to stay away from stripes especially on my top half, it’ll draw attention I used to think, I already look big on top. But here I am breaking the rules! Be bold babes, wear what you want and just be you! And at just £12 I think it’s an actually bargain.

The second jumper I bought was WAY out of my comfort zone. Bright pink, thick knit, with a unique stitch line down the front. The second I bought this though I knew exactly what I was going to pair it with! My leopard print skirt, my leopard print trainers and my coral tassel earrings. Too bold I thought? No Lauren you can do this, you can pull this off! So here I am, rocking this new outfit. Brightening up this dark and slightly gloomy rainy Saturday here in Somerset. The texture of this jumper is really lovely, so soft and really gentle on the skin. I always worry with cheaper knitwear that it might be a little scratchy but this was wonderful. And also very reasonably priced at just £16.

I bought both these jumpers in an XL and the fit was perfect. I’ve really fallen for Matalan and their new styles recently. It’s one of my go-to places for plus size, on trend clothes at a really affordable price. So there we have it! My two new knits, perfect for January and perfectly paired with any outfit. As always I’ve linked them just below. So have you found away to brighten up January? Or a new favourite knit? Let me know x

Matalan Rainbow striped jumper.

Matalan Pink soft touch jumper.

The art of trying something new.

Yoga. I will be the ultimate yogi I thought. I will be able to lift my leg behind my head, and do the crab in a week, I will be so flexible. I will be like a flamingo. Elegant, graceful, and with unimaginable posture and poise. I was once a ballerina so I’ve got this. Girl you are going to be so incredible this will be a piece of cake, speaking of cake I’ll have a slice after this!

Step one, get your head in the game. Get a yoga mat right? Pop on a good sports bra, (Panache if you may know!) some leggings, hair up, socks on and you’re ready, right? Get all the gear and no idea? Sounds just up my street.

Step two, connect with your body, your mind, the earth, your spirit, your energy, your strength. Feel the energy flow through your body.

So this was the part I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared for…

After taking some advice I decided to venture on Adriene Mishler’s 30 day YouTube yoga course. I’d seen a few people giving it a go. And if I’m honest I hadn’t got a clue where to start when it comes to yoga!

Day one, first session. To start with it was like having a good friend over for a chat. Releasing tension, focusing on breathing, letting go of any negative thoughts. It was wonderful. Then the hard part.

The yoga.

I never realised how unbelievably unfit I was until I tried it, how inflexible I’ve become, how much tension I hold. I couldn’t even do a plank for a few seconds. What has happened to me? This isn’t the girl that ran a half marathon?

So I stopped. The great thing about this yoga course? You can go at your own pace. You can take a break.

It was a real eye opener. Being able to be in the comfort of your own home as you embark on a new adventure.

I sweated, I struggled, my legs hurt my arms hurt. It was simple yoga. True yoga experts would probably be in shock at just how incapable I was. The downward dog, the Sphinx all moves I had no idea even existed! Let alone had a clue how to do. Step by step I learnt them. I may not be perfect, actually I’m far from it. I have the flexibility of a stick not a flamingo.

But it’s okay. I’ve learnt over time that practice makes perfect. Even if I spend years practicing, it’s all about the baby steps. I’ve given myself a break for a day after the first session.

It really was hard. Sometimes I worry that my weight holds me back but I know the reality is it’s my mind. I need to remember my body is capable, my body is worthy. I can do this.

Yoga, it’s not a sport. It’s an art, it’s a form of self expression, it’s movement of the body. It’s a journey. And believe me when I say I feel like I’ve barely started my journey. It’s going to be a long road, with some highs some lows. I know my body isn’t as strong as it once was, I know that becoming physical again after having a few months off doing any real exercise will be a challenge.

So I’m easing myself in.

For me this is a great way to start something new. Knowing that I’m in a safe space that I can relate to, having all my comforts near. Knowing that there’s no judgment. Just me, my mat, and Adrienes voice, guiding me through step by step.

And honestly the hardest part of yoga for me? Being able to stretch and let go of all the tension all at the same time. It’s such a mental battle. It’s pushing boundaries I didn’t know where there.

It’s not even day two yet and I’ve written a blog, I bet you’re all thinking why? You haven’t even scraped the surface and you’re writing your opinions down?! Your no expert, mate your not even a beginner!

But here’s why.

Because the art of learning something new as adults is something I know most of us aren’t very good at – me especially! The challenge, the fear, the anxiety that builds at just the sheer thought of failing.

There’s a few classes around Taunton I want to try, I want to give hot pod yoga a go. I want to break my anxiety down, do a class with other people, not care what they think. I want to be brave. It may take a few more months for me to get to that stage, and to leave behind the comfort of my living room, and Adriene. And maybe a friend holding my hand all the way through.

But I’ve taken the first step, I’m trying something new. And if in 30 days (or more at the rate I’m going!) its okay to say it’s not for me, or you never know I could really be putting my leg behind my head and doing the crab! It’s the excitement of what’s to come. The unknown challenge. Becoming comfortable celebrating the movement of my own body. In 30 or do days I’ll make sure I do an update blog, maybe when I have a little more knowledge and hopefully a little more strength. Just remembering, it’s my journey, my pace. Baby steps.

So Natural, So Lush! The Naked Goddess.

If you’ve read my latest blog post you’ll have seen that this year as one of my New year, new goals, I’m trying to be more conscious of how much plastic I use day to day. Last night we did the food shop, I chose the loose veg rather than the packaged, and made sure I didn’t spend 5p on carrier bags and instead made sure I brought enough tote. Simple right? An easy change in that sense.

But what about hair and beauty products? It’s really hard. Everything is packaged in plastic bottles or containers. Make up, shampoo, heat defence. Day to day products that I use, that waste so much plastic a year. I’m not saying I’m going to become a saint and a boss at the recycling and green game. But I really believe if we all made small changes it would make a big difference. I’m just trying to make small adjustments in my life, adjustments that will hopefully be passed on.

So plastic free haircare? Hard right? Well that’s when I read about Lush shampoo bars, a few gals I know had tried them and raved about them, I’d also read a couple of articles saying how they are the way forward. Not only are they completely natural, not tested on animals and completely vegan, they also create zero percent plastic waste.

If I’m honest I’d never actually been into lush. I’d heard about their bath bombs and how crazy and cool they are, my husband treated me to one for my birthday but I’d never personally had the Lush experience before. And I have to say I was impressed to say the least.

I took the lunch break trip to town. I feel so lucky that Taunton still has a high street full of shops, full of bubbling customer service and always full of busy shoppers! So I popped into our Lush store. The smell waiting outside the front door, you can’t miss it! The staff in our local store were so, excuse the pun, just Lush! They were so informative and the girl that served me was so lovely and so honest about the products. I had a full demonstration about how it lathers up and all the different types of shampoo bars depending on your hair type. They also do conditioning bars that you rub on to your hair on the areas that need it. But as a Lush virgin I decided to try the ‘Godiva’ bar. The naked goddess. A shampoo bar that contains essences including jasmine, which is also full of nourishment with nut oils and coconut oil. It lathered up wonderfully and I thought I’d give it a try. I got sucked into the beauty of Lush, all the smells, all the colours. So many products I hadn’t even thought could be so naturally made. I even treated Paul to a cheeky aubergine emoji bath bomb!

So I got home and tried the bar, I’ve used it three times since I bought it and I’m impressed! The girl who sold it to me said it can do eighty to one hundred washes, providing you let it dry out as needed in between washes. So the result? My hair feels just as good as it did when using my regular products. And the best bit? It’s a bargain! At just £7.50 for the bar and for just £2.95 for the tin to keep it in? This was a result.

I usually spend at least double that on my haircare and buy at least once a month so I’m hoping this will be a real penny saver as well as plastic saver! And with the savings it means I can have a few different flavours on the go, and the odd hair mask treat! My hair usually dries right out In the cold weather so I may be treating myself sooner rather than later!

As a first timer on a rushed lunch break I had such a wonderful experience that I’ll definitely be popping back when I have more time. There was so so much that I really need a good bit of time to look around. And if you’re Somerset based it’s definitely worth popping into Taunton, the staff are honestly the best and nothing was too much trouble. So, do you love Lush? What product should I definitely be trying? I’d love to know! Want to try the ‘Godiva’? I’ve linked it below for you as always lovelies! X

The Lush Godiva shampoo bar.