We’re all going on a summer holiday.

Summer holidays, I love them! Quite honestly every year I get to a point (usually January) where I need to plan a break, I need time in the sun, time in the sea and a little time for a cheeky sangria!

But for our little family there are a few more things we have to think about, because my son Parker has Cystic Fibrosis. For those of you that are unaware of what this means it’s a life limiting genetic condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. It’s a complex condition and there is currently no cure. Sometimes I struggle talking about the things that mean the most to me, that’s why it’s taken so long for me to pop this blog up. Silly really as it’s such about such a happy time, but it’s about reality. However I think raising awareness is so important, and talking about CF is a relief for me. I’m writing this blog because sometimes CF is misunderstood, so if you’re a parent or family member with a CF child, and you can relate or know someone with CF or just someone wanting to know more and understand a little then please keep reading.

So what does having CF mean for travelling?

Currently Parker is well, so we are still lucky enough to be able to fly. Which is good because our little one loves aeroplanes!

But like I said there are a few extra things we need to add to our list. So after booking where we’re going next comes travel insurance. For this advice we sought after Martin Lewis the money saving expert for a good deal but with quality care if anything did happen. So we found Get Going Insurance who were a really reasonable price and covered Parker’s CF needs if he needed it.

Next up fit to fly letter, we had to contact our CF consultant to get one written along with the details that we needed to carry his medication in our hand luggage.

We popped his inhaler, his physio PEP mask in the case and along with everything else we were set to go!

The flight there was a dream. We had no issues with check in, and explaining to the lovely air hostess that his cough was normal for 7am before he’d had physio was okay too. Flying can sometimes be a tricky one if it’s long haul. All the bugs and bacteria in one space with reconditioned air. But thankfully after a two and a half hour flight, he was well over the week we were away.

Holiday life really is the best life a week away from the everyday stresses of reality, but again there were some things that we had to make time for. 20-30 minutes of physio a day wasn’t the easiest when the pool was calling little one! And making sure he took his vitamins whilst we were over there was so important as well as adding salt to his meals to ensure he had the right balance so he didn’t become dehydrated.

Our experience of CF on holiday was like CF day to day. Nothing really changed. On the way home however I was taken aside at Palma Airport to check for drugs because I was taking vitamins in my hand luggage, it’s fair to say that was a little embarrassing!

But overall we had the best week, and I just want to make the most of it. Keeping Parker well is one of my biggest goals in life. Giving him the most support and telling him that he can do, and be anything. Travelling the world, one summer holiday at a time!

If you’d like to find out more about CF and what work the Cystic Fibrosis Trust does. Please check out the link below x

Cystic Fibrosis Trust Website.

The ultimate summer strapless.

Now ladies every year I’ve been there, you go shopping for your summer wardrobe. You’ve got a wedding coming up, you’ve also got a couple of cheeky BBQ’s lined up where you want to dress up a little. You see all of the gorgeous summer clothes online and in store, but you also see that a lot of things you love, are in fact strapless or have thin straps. And let’s be honest the last thing you want is a bra strap peeping out hollaring I’ve got larger melons that need a little extra support. Am I right?

So my answer this year? Introducing the Curvy Kate luxe! This strapless is so good it holds my baps up with no tears and no worries. When I was in Majorca last week it was my go to bra, perfect for day to night, and with the most incredible support. I wore it most evenings and was actually really surprised at how comfortable it was for a strapless. I mean, I’ve even worn it chasing little one around Bristol today!

This bra comes in 3 different colours – nude, white and also black and runs from a size 28D to a 40J so is a massive winner in terms of size range. I received mine in a 36H and in the nude colour. I love the fit as it doesn’t sit too high up under the arms, or too high at the front so you can get away with a cheeky plunge dress! It also comes with straps if you wanted to add them on for day to day. The sling inside also gives extra support, as well as a 3 hook fastening.

This bra is perfect for all year round and is going to be my go to bra for summer days and nights! So if you have a larger bust and are looking for that extra support this is my recommendation for the ultimate summer strapless. As always I will pop the link below. Have you tried the Curvy Kate luxe? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Curvy Kate Luxe Strapless

Saving one of the best until last – Curvy Kate Maya

We’re home, it’s cold(er) and there’s no sand or sangria. But there’s still one last bikini blog I wanted to pop up. It may have been the last bikini I wore on my holiday, but it certainly wasn’t the least exciting!

Introducing the Curvy Kate Maya. As you all know I LOVE Curvy Kate underwear and I’m a sucker for their high waisted bikini styles! Last year I had two of the Curvy Kate Jetty bikinis in gorgeous colours, and this year I was very tempted and gave into it in navy!

But the Maya? Well she’s just a little more exciting. Firstly the print. So so summery, so dare I say it? A bit sexy! And the colour? The red and black tones in the print? Gorgeous! This will definitely brighten up your bikini wardrobe! I received mine in a 36H and overall I think it fits really well. It never once popped open and I didn’t have any over the cup spillage. The support in this bikini is lovely and didn’t rub at all. The bikini top runs from a size 30D to a 44G.

I’m a big lover of a high waist brief and I received mine in an 18. The briefs run from a size 10-22. I love the cheeky cut outs on the side as it looks a bit naughty without any digging in or exposing my wobbly bits. This bikini for me is an overall winner. It was the perfect bikini for the last day of holiday, swimming in the sea and splashing in the pool with little one! I was so glad but sad that I finished the holiday with one of my prettiest items of swimwear (and maybe a few gins!)

This bikini is currently in the Curvy Kate sale so if you fancy treating yourself this summer I’ll pop the link below. For now I’m going to try and escape the football madness in this house and enjoy a good brew. Have you checked out the Curvy Kate sale yet? Have you found any bargain beauties?

Curvy Kate Maya high waisted bikini

All going swimmingly in Panache.

We’re on the second to last day of our holiday and I could cry, I never want to come home. The sun, the sea, the serenity! It’s perfection. Over the last few days I’ve been sharing my ‘bikini of the day’ on social media and the last few have been from the lovelies at Panache who gifted me some share with you all and I can tell you they have not disappointed!

The first bikini was the Alanis halter neck bikini and although I was a little worried at first that this would dig in to my neck, like previous halter necks, I was reassured that with a good fit the support would all be in the back. This was completely the case. This bikini not only fit like a dream but was my cup of tea, I’m sure I’ve said before but I do love a floral print! And Panache do this so effortlessly. The briefs I was also a little nervous about, being a tie side and low cut I was nervous about my mum tum being on full show, as I do love a high waist. But after tightening the sides and adjusting to fit these were also fabulous! Mum tum, stretch marks, it all hanging out but all feeling fabulous! I had the top in a 36H and the briefs in an 18. This bikini runs from a 28D-38G and the briefs from a size 8-20.

The second bikini of the day was the Elle balconette bikini which is un-padded, which I’m not used to all but it actually was great. Bearing in mind the sea was a bit chilly and I had nips like tic tacs this bikini had such good coverage. It’s lightweight and is a really good bikini for swimming in the sea and pool. I stayed supported and the briefs have a good coverage, perfect for running after the little ones and not worrying abouts bums and boobs falling out! The print on this one was also really pretty and having adjustable straps on a bikini is really handy for making sure you have the right support all over! The Elle runs from a 30E-38J and the briefs from an 8-20.

Last but certainly not least is the Nina bandeau bikini. This was also sent to me in a 36H and 18 briefs. This was the best by far in my opinion, although the others were truly gorgeous and an amazing fit! A strapless bikini that holds up my saggy baps? Oh yes! This is the one. This bikini is a winner. I was also a little worried about the cut out briefs, but with the stretch on them they’re actually really pretty. And they emphasise my hips which I can’t complain about! I could have possibly sized up on the bikini back as it felt a little tight but never the less I was supported incredibly, and the clasps are such a good quality I had no popping out incidents. Running, swimming, jumping in the sea? All good here! This bikini runs from a 30D – 38G and the briefs an 8 – 20.

As always I will link all the sets below. Although these aren’t budget bikinis they are well worth the money. As I’ve said before the support and the quality from Panache is incredible and well worth the investment. Have you got any summer holidays planned? Are Panache bikini’s on your wish list? Let me know below in the comments, as for now I’m going to raise a margarita and enjoy the sunshine! X

Nina Bandeau bikini

Alanis halter-neck bikini

Elle balconette bikini

Feeling Fruity in Swimsuits For All.

So we’re here! In Majorca, in the sunshine, it’s currently 27 degrees and glorious sunshine, and the gins are well and truly flowing for this mum. The all inclusive life is definitely the good life! And today’s bikini of the day is the Swimsuits for all Gabi Fresh, pineapple high waisted bikini.

When I saw this bikini I was in love, but with a bit of a cheeky price on it I wasn’t sold until a 30% discount came my way. It was all in dollars on the site and I’d be lying if my mathematic skills were up to date… So when the balance came out of my account for this bikini set I realised the exhange rate wasn’t what it used to be. I think around £70 came out of my account, ( including delivery) but I’m happy to pay for quality never the less, so I brushed this off.

One thing I want to express on this blog is to check the fine print! After waiting nearly 4 weeks for this bikini to arrive I was also stung with a cheeky customs and handling fee that cost me just as much as the postage! Which in total landed this bikini at nearly £100! My husband wasn’t convinced that was for sure…

But when I finally received it what did I think?

The fit is pretty good, I ordered the top in a 16G/H and the high waist briefs in an 18. With the sizing on their site being so specific I’d get the tape measure out. As you can probably tell from the photos, the top could be a cup size up but unfortunately this was the biggest they did without going up a back size and with the issue of postage costs, I decided it was something I could live with.

The bikini overall? I’m in love! The print is fabulous (I’m sure you all know how much I love my fruity prints!) and the quality of it is incredible. It holds me up, looks super cheeky and the high waist briefs? So vintage but so cute, perfect for running around the beach with little one.

As always the link to this bikini is below, but please just double check the exchange rate, custom fees and delivery lovelies. Also just have a browse at the Gabi Fresh and other collections, there are so many stunning pieces for all women in such a range of sizes!

Swimsuits for all – Pineapple bikini

Bikini body ready? Always.

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We’re currently counting down the days until we fly to Majorca for our family holiday and I’m too excited! Sun, sea and sangria? What more could this momma want?!?

But same as every year we get bombarded with unwanted last minute ‘bikini body ready’ diet plans and workouts. It’s like suns out, diet industry is out in full force! And as a plus sized woman it can be extremely hard. Every day I hear diet talk of some sort somewhere in my day to day life. Whether it’s through advertising, day to day conversation and even sometimes it’s right in your face. Body shaming, it’s upfront, it’s personal, and I find it very challenging.

I was in our local Greggs the other day, when a mother turned to her daughter, she couldn’t have been any older than ten, and when the daughter asked for a sausage roll the mother replied you’ve put on too much weight lately, you can have a water. I wanted to cry. I felt so much for this little girl. Many a time I’ve been on the receiving end of these negative comments, I felt even worse afterwards for not stepping in. I felt disgusted that I just stood there.

I realised. It’s all around us. And we need to get past it. Something needs to change. Last year when I went on holiday I was confident, I embraced my bikini body I loved every second of it! Since then I’ve gained a bit of weight, well a lot actually, I’ve gone up a couple of dress sizes and my body has changed. And that’s okay as I’ve said many a time before bodies change all the time!

So this year as a now size 18 woman I had to buy new swimwear – what a shame! I’ve loved looking through my favourite sites, checking out my favourite plus size blogger babes rocking their two pieces, hunting for inspiration, reading so many reviews, and if I’m honest I can’t wait to get it all out on holiday now!

Body confidence however doesn’t happen overnight. People ask me how I’m so confident, how do you learn to love your body without changing a thing. It’s all about your mind, how your relationship with your body works. Do you talk and look at your body like it’s your best friend or your enemy? Do you surround yourself with positive influences that you can relate to? Do you think well if they can do it I can? It’s all about believing in your self and knowing your own worth. Self love is a journey that I’ve learnt probably will never end. We all have bad days, it’s just how you turn them around that matters.

As a white, able bodied woman I understand my privilege. I also understand that being fat is not the worst thing in the world. Being fat is nobody else’s concern. All bodies are different, mine just enjoys the food in life too much. And that’s me being honest, I love food, I love experimenting, I love cooking. And I am so so lucky that my body allows me to cook, allows me to travel, to try new things. My health is nobody else’s business.

I posted on social media earlier, how to get a bikini body? Slap on the sun lotion and put a bikini on! And it’s true that’s all you need to do. But I’ve been there, when your confidence is low, when you’re scared to show off the back rolls, the cellulite, the stretch marks, the bingo wings and when you’re scared to laugh in front of a camera in case my goodness, forbid your double chin makes an appearance. It’s hard. Loving yourself is hard.

Self love is the greatest love, but it’s also okay to not love yourself 100%. It’s okay if you still want to wear a swimsuit rather than a bikini. But I just want you all to know that EVERY body is a bikini body. The only thing that needs to change is your mind set. After all every body is beautiful. And every body, no matter what size, shape, race, gender, sexuality or ability is bikini body ready.

Bikini worn in photos is from my favourites at Brastop.com, the set is the Curvy Kate
Jetty in Navy. It’s currently in the sale too if you wanted to take a peek through I’ve linked it below.

CurvyKate Jetty Navy from Brastop.

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Mental health, it matters.

As this week draws to an end, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share how I’ve really been feeling lately.

This week was mental health awareness week. A week that means so much for so many, a chance to break the stigma, a chance to talk, a chance to try to understand, a chance to admit it’s okay to not be okay. And although I think it’s incredible how far the world has come in terms of discussing mental health, we’re not quite there yet. It’s still very much a taboo subject. It’s something that I’ll admit I still feel quite vulnerable discussing.

At the start of this week I wanted to share my story of my past, and of my battle with my own mental health. My fight with my eating disorders, to my anxiety that has held me back time after time. But the truth is I wasn’t ready to share. I can try to convince the world around me, I can try to convince me. But the truth is sometimes I’m still really not okay. And this week I wasn’t. Which is why I want to share my story now. But not a story from the past, my life right now. I like to think that I am strong, or try to be at least. I don’t show my emotions to anyone really, but this week I know I’m not okay, and that’s okay.

A few weeks ago I fell ill with a suspected chest infection. I’ve had a cough for about 6 weeks and felt I needed to do something about it. That this isn’t right. After realising after taking antibiotics that this was not an infection things have become a little more challenging. No one knows what’s wrong yet, a few words have been thrown about but we are still no closer. But this has been the hardest bit, which has made me realise I’m not as strong as I thought. The doctor mentioned the word cancer. It hit me hard. The probability is very, very minimal but the bit that was harder for me? The fact I was given steroids to help. The second he mentioned they can cause weight gain, I spiralled. Automatically re-thinking what I eat, a thousand thoughts through my head. Old tendencies, old diet tricks. Then it really hit me. I was more scared of gaining weight out of my control than I was of having cancer. Reading that sentence I just wrote makes me feel so disappointed so angry at myself. Because its the truth.

But it’s my mind. My mind that has been through so much. I overthink every thing in life. For so long I thought it was just what everyone did? But it’s not. That’s my anxiety. That’s the little voice of self doubt always there. The one that says they don’t really like you, the one that says you are just not good enough for anyone of anything, the one that says what if you just disappeard would anyone notice? This voice for so long controlled me.

I was discussing mental health with a friend the other day, she mentioned that anxiety and depression is becoming more and more common. That you hear about it so much more than you every used to. And I made a point, a point which I personally think is rather accurate. Just five years ago, mental health was never discusssed. I remember telling people about my eating disorder after diagnosis and so many people not understanding, almost not believing me. ‘You’re not skinny enough to have anorexia or bulimia’. ‘You’re skinny but you don’t look ill’. Eating disorders are usually related to as a physical health problem not a mental health. But the reality is they all start with the mind The reason I think we hear more people opening up about mental health is because we are getting there, we are in tiny, minuscule portions, chipping away at the stigma. More people feel more comfortable discussing mental health because so many more people are opening up. So many are saying do you know what it is okay not to be okay.

I would like to think I’m regards to my mental health that I’m just treading water. I have days where I’m swimming, days where I’m drowning. But mostly just treading. I’m not on any medication, but I do try to practice self care and positive thinking strategies. This is something I haven’t been coping with this week. Taking steroids to help with my physical health has actually made my mental health take a u-turn.

This week a famous celebrity, in my opinion abused her power as a ‘role model’ to hundreds of thousands of people, by promoting an appetite surprisser. I spoke about how disappointed I was briefly but the reality it was I struggled with it. I was really triggered by this. I felt for 16 year old me, popping raspberry keotonez and obsessing over step ups to burn that extra pound. And all I could think was how many 16 year old girls saw that ad and genuinely thought it was a good idea. And then it struck me how many men or woman or children saw that image and thought yes, this could work for me. And that scared me. How could someone with so much social media power abuse it so thoughtlessly?

For a few seconds this week I’ve felt like 16 year old me. Wanting to curl up in a ball, wanting to just stop, wanting to just feel the weight drop off. And it’s so toxic. So this weekend I’ve tried to be more mindful. I’ve tried to focus on positives, I’ve tried not to overthink silly comments. Just telling myself I am worthy, I can do this. Writing down the little achievements. And it regards to social media? I’ve stepped back a little, I’ve given myself the space to focus on reading other people’s stories, taking in others experiences.

The thing is mental health is often sidestepped for importance, as the focus is hugely on physical health whenever the question of health is brought up. But they should both be seen in the same way, which they rarely do. I get health trolls constantly telling me I’m unhealthy, and yes my BMI is obviously higher than others, but I lead what I believe is a average healthy lifestyle. Although even if I didn’t health is so personal, mental and physical. No one has the right to judge you. I run, I eat a massively varied diet and yes sometimes my portions are a little big. Share bag? All for me! But I don’t worry, I don’t worry about eating the cake, enjoying the cuppa. But back in my bad days when I was 18? I was considered to be at a healthy BMI, but I was smoking 20 cigarettes a day, binge drinking at weekends, and eating tablespoons of mayonnaise as I’d have no money left from my self destructive lifestyle.

My mental health is now my priority. I know life is all about the balance but you need to do what’s best for you. You need to find your own methods of coping. For a lot of people medication can be amazing, it’s okay, more than okay. Personally it doesn’t work for me and that’s also okay. I’ve spoken about it before and I find running is amazing for my mental health. I think everyone has different methods of self care. And sometimes it is more than just a bubble bath at the end of the week. Sometimes it’s getting help when you need it, seeing a doctor, speaking to someone or even just letting it all go.

I think what I really wanted to get across from this blog is that you really are never alone. There is always help, always someone to speak to, always someone who can relate, always someone to listen.