Style it My Way Challenge: Week 2 - An outfit suitable for a wedding guest...

I'm a little late with this one although technically the new challenge doesn't start until today...  This weeks challenge involved styling an outfit suitable for a wedding guest and I have to admit I have really struggled with my wardrobe to get anything suitable. 

We all agreed not to buy anything specific to complete these challenges and I have stuck to that and have come up with an outfit which used pieces from my wardrobe and budget ones at that!


Dress: Primark, £14, Statement Necklace: New Look, £12.99, Hairband: unknown,
Charm Bracelet: Vintage Blush*, Heels: Select

I think that if I was invited to a wedding in the near future I would probably go out and buy something new as I feel this dress is a little short for a wedding and definitely wouldn't work for an Autumn/Winter wedding...  Check back next week for the "Denim" Style It My Way Challenge and I can't wait to see how everyone else styles it!


Review of ASOS Curve Floral Mirror Print Bodycon Dress

It's time for my second review of ASOS Curve and this time it is something completely out of my comfort zone.... BODYCON!   Apart from an unworn black lace bodycon dress that I bought last Christmas that disguises all my lumps and bumps I haven't really experimented with this style before because I am quite conscious of my tummy area and wobbly bits! I decided to steer away from my safe choices and review some clothing that I wouldn't normally choose to wear.  This makes for impartial reviews rather than everything being perfect all of the time.



Bodycon dress in mirror floral print: ASOS Curve, currently reduced to £31.50,
Unknown, Bracelets: New Look & Unknown, Heels: Next

What I particularly liked about this bodycon dress, apart from the print which is absolutely gorgeous and unique, was the length.  A lot of the bodycon dresses are cut very short and I think that the extra length gives it a bit more class.  I think that I would need a lot more confidence to wear this dress out in public without some sort of jacket semi-covering myself up.  I am wearing shapewear underneath the dress from Marks and Spencer (£29.50) to smooth out my lumpy bits.  

The reason I decided not to wear a jacket or cardigan for this review is so that you can get a full view of the print of the dress.  I am wearing a size 18 which fits perfectly and is quite tight (this also helps with smoothing out any love handles!).  The dress is made very well in a soft, stretchy jersey fabric and is available on the ASOS website in the sale currently reduced from £45.00 down to £31.50, however only a size 20 and size 28 are left in stock. 

 I think that this dress is worth the price tag as it is well made and beautiful but I think I need a bit more experience in bodycon and confidence to be able to rock it as well as the model on the ASOS Curve website (Mr FH doesn't agree with that statement and he absolutely loves it!).  I have one more item to review for ASOS Curve but I am very impressed with the quality of their items and I aim to make them a regular on the site :) If you haven't already checked out their ever changing range of clothing made especially for a size 18 to 26/28, you won't regret it... it's awesome!


Outfit of the Evening: Stained Glass Pencil Skirt

If I had to choose another item of clothing that I couldn't live without apart from dresses, I would have to choose pencil skirts.  I love pencil skirts as they skim over my hips but aren't too revealing since they generally come just to or below the knee - they look classy and can be smart or dressed down slightly for a more casual occasion.

Tonight's Outfit of the Evening features a new pencil skirt that I picked up from Primark.  I can't remember the exact price but I think it was around £8 - absolute bargain.  I have seen other bloggers posting similar skirts with a cartoon / comic strip print on but I could not resist the "Stained Glass Window" effect so opted for that instead.



 Pencil Skirt: Primark (£8 I think!) - size 18, Spaghetti Vest: Select, £3, size 14 (I like them tight!), Sheer Black Blouse & Bracelets: New Look - size 18, Boots & Belt: Unknown, Necklace: Alchemy Gothic, approximately £25.

I have teamed my pencil skirt with a black spaghetti strapped top and a sheer blouse over the top.  This blouse is really cool because I can roll up the arms and fasten them with buttons, or wear it as a long sleeved blouse.  I have gone a bit gothic with this look as I have also included black boots and a gorgeous oversized cross necklace from Alchemy Gothic and bracelets from New Look.

I really love this look and it's a bit different to my normal girly style.  I hope you like it too - seriously, go get the pencil skirt it is stretchy, comfy and a bargain! :)


My review of Sports Direct - Swimwear Editiion

Whenever I think of ladies swimwear shopping there is immediate dread across my face because there's no way to hide any lumps and bumps that are on my body and I am quite conscious of my tummy and big arms.  

I do wear swimsuits when I am on holiday but I'm going to let you into a little secret of mine - I can't actually swim and never learned how to as a child.  I have always bought swimsuits that have secret hidden panels in to suck in my tummy and I have never worn a bikini EVER!

Sports Direct got in touch with me to see if I would like to review their swimwear range and at first I was a little hesitant due to having to post photos of me in the swimsuits then I decided that I would face my fear and have a go!  I must admit I'd never considered looking in sports direct for swimwear before...

The lovely people at Sports Direct let me choose a couple of items that I thought would suit me so I chose a polka dot swimdress (I've never worn one of these before) and a simple black halterneck swimsuit both by the brand Ocean Pacific (Op).  I was surprised by how much choice they had in their ladies swimwear range, but I wasn't brave enough to try a bikini!

First up, the polka dot swimdress.  I love the idea of these as they cover slightly more of my upper thigh than a normal swimming costume.    Their swimdress comes in two colours, plain black or navy blue polka dot.  I chose the blue as it reminds me of the retro look and I thought it would look really cute with a pair of kitten heels for walking around the pool in! I chose to wear this swimdress with a pair of white low wedges from Marks and Spencer (previous season).


Wedges: Marks and Spencer

I am wearing a size 16 in this swimdress which helps to hold my tummy in a little.  The material is very good quality and overall I think this swimdress has been well made.  It also has spaghetti straps and padded underwired bra cups.  The only downside to this swimdress was that even though the cups were padded and underwired I still felt like they didn't give me much lift or boost and that I was maybe a little flattened by it in the chest area. 
I mentioned this earlier, but I really love the length of this swimdress as it hides my upper thighs and I would be happy to wear this in / around the pool.  I don't even feel like I need to wear a kaftan to cover up in this swimdress.  I think that swimdresses are a style I will be definitely beinvestigating more in the future. This Ocean Pacific (Op) swimdress is available from Sports Direct at an extremely reasonable price of £9.99 and is available up to a size 18.   

The second item that I chose from the ladies swimwear range at Sports Direct was a black halterneck plunging neckline swimming costume again from Ocean Pacific (Op) at Sports Direct.  This swimsuit is plain black  but is also available in a black and white floral print.  I opted for the black because of it being a little more slimming.



Ocean Pacific Halterneck Swimming Costume*: Sports Direct, £7.00,
Wedges: George @ Asda, £7.00

I really love this swimming costume even though it doesn't hold my tummy in and would benefit from a slimming panel.  At £7.00 you can't really expect that though and I am impressed by how it looks on.  This swimming costume feels extremely flattering and the neckline is super sexy. Perfect for the honeymoon!  I am wearing a size 16 again in this swimming costume.  The halterneck can be adjusted to make it tighter or looser and this swimming costume also has underwires and added padding in the cups.

I think that I would probably wear a sarong around my waist while walking around the pool just to cover up the tops of my legs but the good thing about this costume is that it isn't particularly high cut in the legs.  There is perfect coverage for my rather big bottom and it isn't too low cut in the back.  This swimming costume is only £7.00 which is unheard of in my world!  For the slimming panel swimsuits I have previously bought I have paid up to £40.00 each which really is quite a rip off when Sports Direct are selling equally comfortable and beautiful swimming costumes for a fraction of that price.  I am very pleased with my choices for review and think that I will venture into a Sports Direct a bit more often than I used to as generally it was for Mr FH rather than myself!

Check out Sports Direct's full ladies swimwear range including tankinis, bikinis and swimming costumes.  Please note, I have not been paid for this review and all opinions are 100% my own as always! :)


Review of ASOS Curve Quilted Jacket in Floral Print

Not long after I wrote an article about the new range of ASOS Curve jewellery that is due for release in August 2013 I got in touch with ASOS Curve and they were lovely, they sent me a few items to review.

I must admit I was very excited about this *insert squeal here* because although I have ordered accessories from ASOS before and one dress from their main range, I had never experienced ASOS Curve and I really love their fashion forward pieces.  For these reviews I decided to be a little more adventurous and instead of choosing things that I knew would suit me straight away I chose three items that were very different to my style even though there were three dresses I loved.  I have the opinion that if I always choose things that I am guaranteed to fall in love with it doesn't make very impartial reviews.

The first item I was sent to review is the ASOS Curve Quilted Jacket in Floral Print.  I was very unsure about the sizes since I've never tried any of their products before so I opted for a size 18.  I was delighted when it turned up - it fit perfectly, no gaping on the bust line due to my massive back.

This jacket is black with a multitude of different coloured flowers on it.  Pink, blue and orange are the other main colours that stand out on this jacket. It is very striking to look at and super comfy - made from polyester and a cotton lining it feels really smooth on your skin and although it isn't a lightweight jacket it doesn't pull you down with its weight and feels like it is a really high quality jacket.

When styling this jacket my first thoughts were to pair it with some skinny jeans and a black tank top however I noticed that this was how the model wore it on the website.  I took photos of this look anyway to show you all what it looks like on my frame/shape.  This jacket can be worn as both a casual jacket and a smart one though and is very versatile!  Try wearing it with a pencil skirt and the whole look changes completely just from changing one item of clothing (and shoes of course!).  

ASOS Curve Quilted Jacket in Floral Print *: ASOS Curve, currently £36.00,
Skinny Jeans: George @ Asda, £8, Tank Top: Select, £3, Cross Necklace: Select, £5.99, Ring: Unknown, Shoes: George @ Asda, £6. 

ASOS Curve Quilted Jacket in Floral Print *: ASOS Curve, currently £36.00,
Textured Pencil Skirt:
Select, £8, Tank Top: Select, £3,

Ring: Unknown, Necklace: Star by Julien Macdonald @ Debenhams, Shoes: Morgan

This jacket is available over on the ASOS Curve section of the website in sizes 18 to 28 and is currently reduced from £45.00 to £36.00.  I would say that even at full price this jacket is worth every penny and will be a perfect addition to any Autumn wardrobe now the weather is cooling down substantially.

So far my experience of ASOS Curve is a very positive one and I actually went to place an order the day these review items arrived but unfortunately the dresses I had been drooling over previously were all out of my size so I am trying to decide what to order potentially to wear in the daytime at Plus North.


Rapidlash - Rapid Lash Tester - Two weeks in

As you already know I was selected to be a Rapid Lash tester and I was super excited to be involved since my eye lashes are short, stubby and fall out constantly.  The trial is for 8 weeks, but I want to give you all an update every 2 weeks to follow my journey.

I have been using RapidLash every night before bed for 14 nights - applying like a liquid eyeliner on my top lashes only.  The leaflet that came with the Rapid Lash tester did say that you can use it on your lower lashes but I was worried I might get it in my eyes so decided on the top ones only.

Since using RapidLash, I have noticed that my eyelashes aren't falling out all of the time.  They appear thicker, longer and much more noticable when I am wearing mascara.  To save you scrolling back through my archives, before I started trialling Rapid Lash, my eyelashes looked like this...

Although my eye lashes appear darker in the second picture (last nights mascara oops), you can still really notice a difference in the thickness of my lashes. It's not really until I have full mascara on that I notice the difference in length so I have done two shots...Now, two weeks later, my eye lashes look like this:

Without Mascara (maybe remnants of the night before eek!)

With Mascara (Really notice a difference in length!)

I can't wait to see what happens in the 6 weeks left of the trial!  I decided to do a bit of reading on Rapid Lash and couldn't believe that it is available in stores for £39.99 per tube!  I feel so lucky to be able to take part in this trial and from the results I have seen in 2 weeks, I will definitely be using it for a good few months before my wedding. 


Style It My Way Challenge: Week 1 - Maxi Dress or Skirt

I'm so excited that this challenge is finally here!  Week one of the "Style It My Way" challenge is to present a maxi dress or skirt in your own style!  For my challenge I played it safe with one of my favourite ways to wear a maxi dress.  Team it with a cardigan and some gorgeous jewellery and away we go! 

 Halter Neck Dress: Imported (Going to be selling them if anyone is interested
please get in touch), size XXL, Cardigan: New Look, Size 18, Bracelets: Unknown,
Shoes: George @ Asda, £6

I absolutely love this halterneck maxi dress. The colours are really vibrant and I also love the added halterneck straps which feature a big wooden circle and beads.  There really is no need to wear a necklace with this style of dress. I am going to be importing a bunch of them (unfortunately they only come in XXL which fits a UK size 18 to 20, possibly a 22 with a small bust) as I think they would be really popular and they also come in a number of colours too.

I can't wait to see how everyone else has styled their maxi dress/skirt! :) Here's to the start of a really fun and interesting challenge.  If you'd like to take part, get in touch! 


The new AX Paris collection at Simply Be

As a relatively new "wearer" of AX Paris, I am delighted that there is a new range of dresses available on the Simply Be website.  When I originally reviewed the AX Paris curve range on Simply Be I was extremely surprised by how lovely the clothes fitted and couldn't wait to make a purchase.  If you look back over my archives I ordered a leopard print high-low dress from an alternative online shop and again, the dress was simply divine.

When I noticed that Simply Be had a new range of dresses available for high Summer/Autumn I was eager to take a look into the new range, colours and styles available and here are some of my favourites that are on my wishlist...

First up there is a maxi dress and a short dress which is a very similar (if not the same) floral pattern.  I absolutely love both and can't choose which I like the best but based on the item I reviewed being a shorter dress,  I think I would stick with the shorter one as I know that it would suit me.

1) AX Paris Navy Floral Skater Dress, Simply Be, £32 in sizes 12 to 32.
2) AX Paris Navy Floral Maxi Dress, Simply Be, £38 in sizes 12 to 32.

The skater dress looks very similar in style to the light green floral dress I reviewed that you can see here.  If this is the case, I am extremely tempted by this dress - the print and colours are gorgeous and more suited for this time of year and it would work through Autumn.  

Next up are two lace dresses that have also caught my eye.  I'm a little less excited about these because one, I don't think peplum would suit my shape as much as I'd love to be able to pull off that look and secondly I'm nervous about the lace not being as bold and vibrant as the floral dresses.  My style is quite colourful so these two dresses are slightly less bold for my tastes, although they are very pretty...

3) AX Paris Lace Skater Dress, Simply Be, £40 in sizes 12 to 32. (26 is low stock)
4) AX Paris Lace Peplum Dress, Simply Be, £40 in sizes 12 to 32. (16, 18 and 20

If you've never tried the AX Paris brand at Simply Be, you'll be pleasantly surprised. The sizing was fantastic on the dresses I've tried so far and feels wonderful on.  Check out the whole collection here!



Style It My Way Challenge Starts on Sunday!

I'm posting this notice a little early as I am away this weekend without the Internet.  *Gasp* - I am a bit of an Internet addict and usually check my emails every day at least (even Christmas day!).  I am only away for one night but I just wanted to remind anyone who is taking part in the "Style It My Way Challenge" with me that it starts on Sunday 11th August :)

Week 1 is maxi dresses.  How would you style your maxi dress? What maxi dress would you choose for your style?  If anyone wants to join in with me and a few other ladies in a weekly fashion challenge we'd love to have you on board! 

Check back next week for my take on the Maxi Dress "Style It My Way Challenge".


Review of Gemma Collins Collection at Simply Be

I have wanted to try out the Gemma Collins Collection at Simply Be for a while now and Simply Be have been kind enough to let me review one of her dresses.  I decided to go for a dress from the previous collection and try something a bit different that strays from my normal "safe" style!  Although the piece I decided to try is still a dress and I do seem to live in them, it has a really bold animal print in browns and blues and I must admit I was a little nervous about seeing it on.

The "Gemma Collins Printed Sun Dress" arrived at the end of last week and thanks to the freak weather we are having at the moment I had to wait until Sunday to get some photos of me wearing it.  I am wearing a size 18, which is very roomy.  I'm not sure if it's across the board or just due to the style of the dress.  The first thought I had when I tried on the dress was to team it with a pair of strappy wedges but then looking at the Simply Be website I realised that Gemma Collins had done that, so I wanted to try a completely different look that was outside my comfort zone and run with that instead.  I think it has paid off...

Dress: Gemma Collins Collection @ Simply Be, £45, size 18
Unknown (years old!), Bracelets: New Look

Originally I wore the dress as it was, with a pair of ankle boots. I'm not normally the kind of girl to wear boots with dresses but it's a style I've always wanted to try.  I added a bracelet set from New Look to accessorize.  The print and neckline of the dress it really stunning.  I keep saying it but I am convinced that the photos on the website don't do the clothing justice and that this dress is so much prettier in real life.  The neckline consists of lots of delicate gold coloured sequins and seed beads and the colour of the dress goes from an almost burnt orange colour through to a blue coloured leopard print which should clash, but looks amazing.  The shoulders are completed with tie-style straps which means you can make it as high/low cut as you want.

Made from viscose, the "Gemma Collins Printed Sun Dress" is very lightweight and floaty and perfect for taking on holidays, wearing over a swimsuit or bikini or for warm nights as a comfortable party dress.  It's quite versatile when you think about the occasions this dress could be worn for.  I probably wouldn't wear this dress without a belt under my bustline (although it's perfect for covering up my tummy!) unless it was over a swimsuit because I like to have a bit more shape, so I decided to try the dress with a wide black belt to see how it looked. I also tried it on with a denim jacket to see how versatile this dress really was.  I think it works well with or without both accessories!

 Dress: Gemma Collins Collection @ Simply Be £45, size 18
Denim Jacket:
Primark, size 16 £16. Boots: Unknown (years old!),
New Look, Belt: Unknown

This dress is available on the Simply Be website in sizes 12 to 32 (a couple of sizes are out of stock) and I think that it would suit any frame due to the shape/cut of it.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this dress. I feel really sexy in it and I think I surprised a few of my friends too who are against such bold prints!  Another success with thanks to Simply Be!  


Day Thirty: The Blogger Challenge (A vivid memory)

Day Thirty: The Blogger Challenge - A vivid memory.

I have decided to replace day 30 with the day 31 (we had too many by accident) as I agreed with the other ladies that "react to the term letting go" was maybe a bit of a sad note to end this challenge on.  So for the final day of the challenge I will be recalling my first date with Mr FH.

Our first date was rather random.  Firstly we went to a coffee shop where I was sure that he didn't even like me!  I ordered for him at the counter which didn't go down too well - it turns out he was being sarcastic but obviously on a first date I didn't know his humour.  I also snorted when I laughed.  I can swear that I've never done that before that date, nor since so it must have been nerves!  I was MORTIFIED!

Once we'd finished our drinks (I don't even like coffee but didn't want to order anything like hot chocolate for fear of him thinking I was a fat cow) we didn't really know where to go so we came to the agreement to walk around Toys R Us!!!  We talked for quite a while as we walked around the store.  I knew he had a son but we both agreed that Toys R Us was no where near as much fun as when we were both children.

After our bizarre browsing experience, we sat in the park for hours chatting away and it's then when the nerves settled and we found out a lot about each other.  When the date had ended, we kissed but it was one of those awkward move in for the cheek or lips kisses.  

As far dates go, it was rather random but it clearly worked as we are still together (3 years today actually!) and we are planning our wedding! 

That's it!  The 30 day challenge is over... I hope you've found some of my posts interesting and I apologise for the really deep depressing ones!!


The Gemma Collins Collection @ Simply Be

For those of you who don't know who Gemma Collins is, where have you been!?  Gemma Collins is a plus sized star from the structured reality television show "The Only Way is Essex" or TOWIE for short.  I am going to be completely honest now and admit that I have never watched an episode but many of my friends do.  Even though I don't watch it, I know who Gemma Collins is.  I've seen her own official website, on the covers of magazines and more recently in a clothing line designed in collaboration with Simply Be.  

When I first saw the Gemma Collins' original collection on Simply Be, I felt that the dresses were either a little too figure hugging or too flouncy for my kind of style so I was very pleased when Simply Be announced they had released a new collection and this time it is much more suited in my opinion to curvier ladies like myself.  I really think that Simply Be and Gemma Collins have really got it right with a collection that includes maxi dresses and of course Gemma's signature bodycon style too. Let's take a look at a couple of the pieces now.

I have to say this is my favourite piece from the new collection.  I think the colours and print are absolutely stunning and it is perfect for these humid evenings we have been getting here in the UK.  At £55, the price of this dress may put some people off but when you consider that some of the maxi dresses in Gemma's physical store are £75 (yes £75!) the price of this dress doesn't seem that bad.  This dress is currently available in sizes 12 to 32, however many of the sizes are selling out fast so if you do love this dress it probably won't last long enough to end up in the sale.  

There couldn't be a Gemma Collins collection without bodycon in there somewhere.  I am a little nervous when it comes to bodycon because I am blessed with lovely love handles that I am trying to tame by taking up spinning!  (Scary!)  Gemma on the other hand rocks this new dress and what I love most about this dress is the illusion effect that is very flattering and the awesome tropical print panel to the front.  I can imagine being somewhere abroad and wearing this dress to dinner (providing my confidence kept up!).

If you are a little nervous about body con like I am, there is a saviour - shapewear.  Pop a basque under this dress and it will smooth out any bumps which is what I will do when I finally take the plunge and order a bodycon dress.

Gemma Collins said about the new collection: “I love the new pieces in my high summer collection and I can’t wait to see all the curvy girls working my summer bright designs! I can’t wait to wear all the pieces over the summer!”

See the full collection now over at Simply Be - which is your favourite? :)


Day Twenty-Nine: The Blogger Challenge (Five songs that bring back memories)

Day Twenty-Nine: The Blogger Challenge - Five songs that bring back memories...

Oooh this is a bit of a tough one because I'm terrible with remembering the names and artists of songs. Let's see what I can remember...

1.  Five - Keep on Moving
This song came on the radio on the way to work when I had my first proper job and I remember my friend and me dancing along to it in the car while someone else drove.  We must have looked like complete idiots!

2. Eagles - Hotel California
I remember this song was played while me and my family were on holiday in Mauritius and my brother in law burst into song along with it.  Was quite funny at the time as I was a teenager going through my embarrassed stage.

3.  Take That - Love Love
My step son absolutely adores this song and it is unfortunately one that is stuck in my head all of the time. Everytime he gets in the car he asks for it on. 

4.  Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
Oh my god! Mr FH and I went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert at the Coventry Ricoh arena and the atmosphere was amazing.  I have never been to such a fun gig! 

5.  I must admit I am completely stumped for the fifth song! There are bound to be many songs that bring back memories I just can't think of them :)