Remember, remember, the days of November.

So can I just start off by saying where have the past 11 months gone? Seriously? November?!? I can’t be the only one feeling this way. One minute it was summer and now bam! Christmas and New Years are just around the corner! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again though, I just really love this time of year! Some might say it’s the most wonderful time of the year…

So November. Halloween’s been and gone and Christmas isn’t too far away! So what’s in between? Well when some people asked what I was doing this bonfire night I had to admit I wasn’t sure until just more than a few days ago. If I’m honest I was a little apprehensive about it! Last year’s 5th of November wasn’t such a success… Nothing awful happened! It just wasn’t what I expected. It was one of those nights where everything that could go wrong – pretty much did!

Last year we drove to our local display at the racecourse, it opened at five and we arrived just after. It was bitterly cold and raining slightly. We all wrapped up and were looking at all the fun things the racecourse had put on! Including children’s fairground rides. Little one was desperate to go on one of the little car rides, the ones that go round and round, we couldn’t resist and let him have a turn. So we popped him on with me squeezed in too and he loved it! Getting off however? A no go, no way he thought. After tantrums and tears we finally got him off. We actually coaxed him off by bribing him with a hot chocolate from one of the food vans.

The hot chocolate however? Too hot. Typical! So I grabbed a fruit shoot to keep him happy, it had only been about an hour and we still had an hour to go. With fruit shoot drank, and hot chocolate cooling I thought we could finally relax. All in hand with a toddler with sugar rush. I know what you’re thinking, mum of the year right here!

We were potty training him around this time last year so constantly questioning.. do you need a wee? Do you need the toilet? The only response from him was a no. No mummy. No.

So hot chocolate now drunk and with little one getting ever so fed up we were at our wits end. We were all cold and slightly damp from the rain, and the display kept getting pushed back due to traffic and needing to get everyone in, and that was it. Parker had an accident. Not just a little one though, nope. Child and husband soaked through with wee (Paul was carrying him! Don’t worry the husband is fully potty trained!)

We headed back to the car to change into clean and dry clothes. And with the heating on, we sat and watched the fireworks from the car. It was still lovely watching them, just a little more eventful than I’d have hoped!

This year however I was prepared! I knew we had to have a plan. Finish work, pick child up from nanny Tanya’s, pick husband up, head back to nanny Tanya to pick her up and get on our way! We arrived about half hour before the display, all wrapped up in so many layers, a mild evening with no rain looked promising! We then bought a tray of over priced chips..£4! For chips! But it’s all part of the experience I thought. So we all shared. And we waited, and we watched as the sky lit up and it was beautiful. Music playing in time, with not only the fireworks but with the fire display they also had on. And with Parker being a year older and a lot more understanding it was magical. I take for granted just how long he’ll stay little, but this was a night we’ll treasure forever. Memories we can hold on to. The local display we went to at Taunton racecourse was all in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. There were hundreds of people there, the atmosphere was incredible. I haven’t seen any official figures yet but I hope they made so much for such an important charity.

I find at this time of year, in all of the darkness events like this with loved ones really make Autumn all so magical.

Not quite the scream queen of Halloween.

For as long as I remember Halloween isn’t something I’ve ever really celebrated. There were no traditions in our house growing up and there was never a time we even did trick or treating. If I’m completely honest I’m still not that fussed about it now, but for Parker this year I wanted to make an effort. I wanted to make new traditions.

First things first – a pumpkin patch! I love a good pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup. So we found our local patch and had a fab afternoon. Walking up and down the field trying to find the perfect one. Me and Parker had very different ideas of what was just right, however, his were the ones that had seen better days and probably wouldn’t last five minutes, and mine were the biggest roundest ones I could find. We met in the middle and we ended up with about six! Big ones, little ones, you name it! All different shapes, colours and sizes! It was my first time visiting a pumpkin patch as well as it was for little one, and it was wonderful. A tradition we’ve started this year that we’ll definitely keep.

Then came the carving. A part which although is said to be for children, is definitely more for the adults. My husband was over-joyed carving it last night. As Parker’s just three years old we thought it best not to hand him the knife quite yet! Although he loved scooping out the insides and explaining to Paul what he wanted on it! We’ve popped it by the front door tonight to let all the little ones in the neighbourhood know we’ve got treats!

Next a costume. And if I’m honest I was going to attempt to make one. But life got a little busy, I caved in and decided to buy one. But as Halloween falls just before payday an extravagant one wasn’t going to happen. So a pumpkin mask from Tesco had to do! And as for trick or treating? We made the decision not to take Parker this year. As the weathers turned bitterly cold and he’s now been put on antibiotics for bacteria on the lungs, it seems silly to take him out on the hunt for sweets when he can still have lots of Halloween fun inside!

So his special job tonight? To wear his pumpkin mask, answering the door to trick or treaters (with me by his side) and handing out the treats from the comfort of our own home. I’ve gone on the hunt to good old Poundland today to get some bumper bags of milky ways and haribos! I’d be lying if I didn’t say we might test some too!

Getting into the Halloween spirit I also challenged myself making toffee apples, and my goodness, they are so easy and so so tasty! Truth be told they could have taken a tooth out, but never the less delicious! I found a really easy recipie on ‘BBC good food’ that only uses three ingredients. It was super quick as well just taking over ten minutes to prep and make.

So our plans for tonight? I’ve got one of my girls coming over for hot dogs and toffee apples and we’re going to help little one answer the door and hand out goodies, all whilst watching a few Halloween films or anything spooky themed on the telly!

Are you celebrating this Halloween? Have you got any party plans or are you just enjoying the spirits from the comfort of home? What ever you’re doing, stay safe, take care and have a Happy Halloween!

Autumn loves Asos.

Autumn, pretty much my favourite season. The leaves falling, the pumpkin spiced lattes, wrapping up in your biggest coat only to be sweating after ten minutes. So cliche but just perfect! Maybe it’s because I’m a December babe, my birthday is so close to Christmas. And if you didn’t know, I love Christmas.

Any way back to the wrapping up and sweating, well not the quite the sweating! Let’s get on to the good stuff, I’ve found a couple of outfits from Asos that I not only love, but that are perfect for wrapping up in. Perfect for Autumn. Basically fab for layering up and still perfect on their own!

The first item I had my heart set on was this quirky floral pleated skirt. It was perfect, in the sale, fabulous for Autumn, the right length, the darker tones and the pattern, flowers and stars? Elegant yet a little bit jazzy. This skirt is one of those statement pieces, dress up with heels or down with boots or flats. Just a really fun skirt. I paired it up with my tan boots and a mustard top. A little chilly? Add a scarf and jacket! A little warm? Strip back with a T-shirt. I bought mine in a size 18 and the fit was just great. The perfect length and not too tight on the waist!

The second item I fell head over heels for was the corded tan jacket. I could wear this with everything, and did I mention? It’s got a fluffy inside! So snug and again, perfectly paired with any outfit. I bought this again in a size 18 and it was baggy enough to fit a jumper underneath but not too baggy to look like you were wearing the wrong size, if you get what I mean!

Last but certainly not least was this super cute dungaree dress in burgundy. Also corded, I thought this and the jacket were a match made in heaven! I popped a plain white tee underneath and some chunky boots and I was sorted. A sunny autumn day? No problem.

As I said at the start I love Autumn, so I’m loving seeing all of the new gorgeous items on display, but I’m also loving styling up some of my summer dresses with tights and boots.

So what do you think? Are there any items you’ve got your eye on? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to see what you’re all loving! As always I’ll link the items below lovelies.

Asos Curve Dungaree Dress

Asos Curve Cord Jacket

Asos Curve Pleated Floral Skirt

Chop chop 12 inches off!

Last week I braved up and did something I’ve wanted to do for so long. I braved the chop. The mop chop. Now you may be reading this and think braved? But it’s just a hair cut? But for me it wasn’t.

Being a curvier girl I’ve always found my hair as a bit of mask, a security blanket you could say. I used to think if I had long hair people would comment on that before my size. It sounds ridiculous but having long hair used to make me feel pretty I guess, the dream of being a Disney princess with golden long locks. It was all I dreamed of as a little girl. But being able to hide behind it when I was having a bad day, angling my photos to hide my double chin or cover a bingo wing. Ridiculous I know but I’ve been in such a complex over my body for so long. The past few years I’ve grown so much in confidence, I’ve accepted my body and I have blossomed on my journey to self love. So this felt like one of the final steps.

I loved my long hair, but I found a cause so wonderful that I simply couldn’t hold on to my locks for any longer. I found the Little Princess Trust. A charity that creates and gifts wigs to children and young adults who have lost their hair through illness. It’s a truly wonderful charity.

So after seeing a few others I know braving the chop and donating I decided enough was enough, my hair had to go. All 12 inches of it actually! I booked up to see my trusted stylist in my old home town of Pembroke. And I was ready. She plaited my hair, took the scissors over the hair band, and chop chop it came off! It was, literally, a weight off my shoulders.

The feeling was amazing, not only letting go of all my dead ends but letting go of one of my biggest insecurities. The funny thing is I couldn’t imagine my hair long now! I sent it off at the start of the week and I received my certificate yesterday. It was wonderful, knowing how much of a security my hair was for me, and knowing that for someone having a wig made out of it, it meant so much.

I wish I’d have done it sooner but I guess there wouldn’t have been so much hair! I’ve wanted a change, a fresh cut for so long but silly me hadn’t braved it. But with a few changes in my life, and some new opportunities coming my way I thought now is the right time. Ready for party season too! I’m not sure what my hair plan is now, I love the colour it’s gained from the summer sun so I’m not ready to experiment with colour just yet. But I am thinking of growing it long again to donate!

If you would like to know more about the Little Princess Trust and the work they do I’ll pop the link below. And if you’re looking at taking a big chop why don’t you think about donating too! Have you taken the chop recently? Or have you donated to The Little Princess Trust? Let me know in the comments! X

Little Princess Trust

This mum runs a Half Marathon.

So as you may have seen on Sunday, I took on one of my biggest challenges yet. A half marathon.

When I signed up for it I honestly had no idea what the next 6 months would hold for me. I knew I needed to train and I knew I needed to raise money. Easy right? Well stupidly I thought so.

Training. Where to begin, do you know how far a mile is? Like seriously it’s longer than you think…Well longer than I thought it was anyway! When I started running again 6 months ago, I didn’t know how it would compare to when I ran 10k well over a year and a half ago. I now weigh a bit more and I hadn’t run since the 10k! There were some hurdles that held me back, some bigger than others. Falling ill with fluid on my lungs back in May was a massive set back which stopped me running for weeks, and then shin splints. I never even knew they were a thing until I got them! As well as the blisters and just general body aches it was hard. Getting over that first mile was the hardest. So many people were saying push through it, others were saying stop altogether. I’m no doctor, but I listened to my body I took the easier route and kept going, until the shin pain eased off. Did I find my weight an issue? Not at all.

The biggest challenge? Pushing past my own mental block. I’d get to a point on each run where my mind would tell my body I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t good enough. That I would never be able to run past 3 miles let alone 13.1! But I got past that. With one simple run, a lady lapped me twice. She was about the same size as me, her motivation and drive was incredible and she had an amazing pace, she was saying one step two step, keep going. From then on every time I wanted to stop I said don’t. One step two step you can do this. I only ever saw her that one run but she changed my mindset. My race my pace. Just get around.

Every time I felt like stopping, I thought of why I was running, who I was running for. As the miles and the money raised went up I knew I had to keep it going, that I wasn’t running for just me anymore. Raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis trust was my main goal. Fighting for a life unlimited for everyone with Cystic Fibrosis. As you may know my son Parker has Cystic Fibrosis, a life limiting disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. And although he is well now, the future is uncertain. There is currently no cure for CF. Sometimes as a mother I can feel helpless, I cant just make him better or make CF go away, so this is my way of helping.

A few people have, to my surprise, asked me for training advice and as you can probably see I’m no fitness expert. I’m just a woman who put a pair of trainers on and put one foot in front of the other. One thing that motivated my training was an App I used, the Nike run app. Recommended by the lovely Mila from Milawears, it transformed my training. It upped my game. Eight weeks ago I struggled with the 1.7 mile route. I may have signed up for the half marathon 6 months ago and started running, but my real training started when I found this App. Not only was it great for tracking my runs but also with the weekly and monthly challenges and competing through distances with friends, it kept me going.

One thing I do want to talk about is the reality of running when you are in fact fat. Fat to me isn’t a bad word, it’s just a word. Like tall like short. I am fat. I’m a size 18 and I’m pretty sure my BMI says I’m obese. And on this running journey I’ve struggled, BUT not at all with my fitness, I’m the fittest I’ve ever been! But with bullies. With fat phobic trolls. With people who like to be-little others. I’ve been body shamed 8 times whilst running over the last 6 weeks. Yes I counted. The amount of times I’ve been shouted at from a van. From a car full of ‘lads’. Every time shouting abuse.

The last time scared me until I was almost sick. Three times the car lapped me just to hurl abuse, I haven’t felt that hurt in a long time. It was horrible. It was just two days before my half marathon and I haven’t run on that road since. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it knocked my confidence. But I put my trainers back on and I ran a half marathon. My body didn’t hold me back, the body shamer’s didn’t hold me back and most importantly my mind didn’t hold me back. I did it.

Running a half marathon was one of the hardest but most rewarding challenges I’ve ever taken on. So many people running for so many reasons. Most for different charities, but all for themselves. If I’m honest I still can’t believe I did it, I had so much self doubt. But I know my privilege, I know how fortunate I am that my body allows me to run. This challenge may have been hard but I know I’ve got harder to come. I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported me and made donations, my Just Giving page will be open for a couple more weeks so I’ll pop the link below if anyone would still like to kindly donate. I feel so overwhelmed that we’ve reached well over my target! So thank you again.

This running journey may have been hard but it’s just the beginning of challenges to come. This mum can do this. This mum can run.

Just Giving – Lauren’s Bristol Half

Have you heard? The countdown is on, to what you may ask? The Curve Fashion Festival of course.

It may only be September but I already know what I’m excited for this Autumn/Winter. No not just pumpkin spiced lattes and no not even Christmas (not quite yet anyway!).

I’m starting to get a little excited about The Curve Fashion Festival. For anyone that’s never heard of it, it’s a plus size fashion festival which takes place once a year, designed for ladies of all shapes and sizes from a size 14 up. Have I got your attention?

I’ve been to many fashion festivals and catwalk shows over the years due to my passion for the design industry, but my main issue? I never felt like I really fitted in? The clothes on sale would always go up to a size 12/14 max and the models all looked liked they’d walked out of Vogue, which I’m not slating at all – they were all absolutely gorgeous! But not being able to relate, not being able to imagine how you’d look in those clothes or that my body probably didn’t even fit in those clothes, it was more than a little disappointing. Was a little diversity too much to ask for?

So do you get why I’m so excited to go this year? I only actually found out what The Curve Fashion Fest was last year and it was just a few weeks before the event. I saw so many influencers and bloggers on social media rave about how amazing it was going to be, and after catching up on social media from home, I really got the feeling it was something amazing. Everyone who was posting from the day seemed so positive, having so much fun! Last year I wasn’t prepared, after realising how much of a journey it was from Somerset to Liverpool I gave it a miss. But this year? I’m well prepared. I’ve got my VIP ticket and I’m off!

This year with a change of location it sounds like it’s going to be bigger and better than ever! St George’s Hall, Liverpool. It will be filled with a huge market hall full of all your favourite, major and independent plus size brands, a beauty hub for a cheeky pamper and a spot of beauty shopping, a catwalk that is filled with on trend up coming fashion. And did I forget to mention? So many plus sized ladies all under one roof, including a few famous faces and truly inspirational women.

Catwalk image from Curve Fashion Fest 2017.

This year Debenhams are a part of the sponsorship team and have just a few really exciting plans happening over the day. Including launching their new lingerie collection, showing off their plus size range on the catwalk and having one of their designers talking on the How To Stage. Literally ladies, you all know how much I love a good set of undies so I’m far too excited for this part of the day! Have you checked out their plus size range? I’ve linked it below if you haven’t already seen, as I’d be lying if I didn’t say it, I had no idea about it until recently either!

Debenhams Plus size range.

So have you got your ticket yet? Unfortunately all VIP tickets have sold out! However standard tickets are available and are selling fast so what are you waiting for? Worried about going solo? Don’t be! I’ve booked my ticket and I’m going on my own, I’m going to meet up with some mega babes throughout the day but I get the feeling from what I’ve heard, there’s such a massive sense of community and so much to see and do, that you won’t fall short of good company.

The countdown? Not long ladies! Save the date 17/11/18. If you want to grab a ticket I’ll link you up to the site below. Have you been to The Curve Fashion Festival? Or is it your first time this year? Let me know in the comments! X

The Curve Fashion Festival.

Re-discovering Evans Clothing.

Okay so I’m starting things off by going back to the beginning, why did I start writing this blog? To talk about bras, fashion and the ups and downs of general life. So one of the three? Fashion. I love fashion, I love clothes. I, like most people, wear clothes every day, and for me what I wear is a way to express my personality. And in all honesty, I just love a bit of shopping, discovering hidden gems, and when I find a hidden gem I like to share it. Although this gem wasn’t very hidden.

Evans, I’ve been aware of Evans clothing for years and I’m not going to lie, it was a brand my nanny and my mum shopped at when I was growing up. It was a brand that in the past I, regrettably, have over looked.

But over the last year, (to my surprise) I’ve noticed a lot of influencers and bloggers collaborating with them and I’d taken note how much their style had changed. I browsed online and realised they still did the basics, the flattering styles, the plus size section so many of us know and love, but also they’d upped their trend game to the max. They also have a massive range of on trend, fashionable styles that not only fitted the bigger body but broke the fashion rules. Stripes, prints, pretty cuts, bold colours, they had it all and I was sold. Not just clothes – fashion baby.

So when I received an email off them asking if they could gift me some items I was over the moon. I had no idea what the fit was going to be like or how the sizing was or even the quality, so I said I’d love to give them a try! And I can say I have not been disappointed.

All the items I’ve received have been true to size, have fitted like a dream, and have such a high quality feel. I’ve loved styling up some outfits and I have really loved experimenting with bold colours and prints.

Evans, do affordable fashion in sizes 14-32. And they also do footwear from a 4EEE to a 10EEE, which is perfect for me as a size 7 – I have wide feet and sometimes really struggle in high street stores. All the items I’ve received have been perfect for summer and I’ve loved feeling confident and sassy in all of the beautiful garments.

Also I must add! If you’re a magpie when it comes to tassels, just head over to their accessories section. The earrings are a must have in my books!

I received my items in a size 18 and the shoes in a size 7EEE. My favourite pieces from them are the simplest. The ones that you can style up or down, the ones that you can take from day to night. I’ve shared a couple of my favourite looks and pieces below that are in stock, along with the links if you want to have a peek.

Evans floral off the shoulder top.Shoes and earrings are no longer in stock. The top is Evans but is currently sold out but the earrings link is – Evans modern tassel earrings.Evans fit and flare floral dress.

As we transition into Autumn/Winter over the next few weeks and months I’ll be sharing with you over on instagram how some of these pieces will still be incorporated into my wardrobe as part of day to day. I will also be sharing some of my own cheeky purchases from them as I have my eye on some statement items that I can’t wait to style up! Evans are now certainly one of the brands on my go to list for plus size fashion.

If you have any outfits from Evans that you want to share just upload a photo to Instagram, tag Evans and use #IAmMe for a chance to be featured in their customer gallery. Or if your looking for some style inspiration head over to the gallery for a browse, you might just spot some mega babes you recognise! XEvans #IAmMe Gallery.