Update on the wedding plans...

I know that some of my regular readers are quite interested in how my wedding planning is going, so I thought I would post a little update on recent events.

Last weekend, not only did we manage to sort my bridesmaid's dress (it's going to be an Eggplant/Aubergine colour instead of Cadbury's purple, eek!) but on the Sunday me and my mum went to a wedding fayre.  We weren't really expecting much due to previous wedding fayre's being tiny and having hardly any exhibitors so imagine our surprise when we turned up just before it was due to open and there was a massive queue!  Outside were vintage wedding cars and even VW campervans that were available to hire.

We don't need any transport for our wedding as we are all staying in the hotel the night before, so we ventured inside as soon as the doors were opened.  The first so many brides were given a goody bag with various treats and there were numerous rooms with exhibits which were all really pretty.  In the first room there was a bridal store, photographer, cake maker and a table with a lady who made guest books and post boxes.  Mum picked up a glass of bucks fizz as we made our way into the second room where there was another photographer, florist and a rack of wedding dresses.  There were literally around 5 or 6 more rooms packed with tables!

Upstairs, there was a beauty salon offering free makeup and hair trials so I decided to queue and have mine done, especially since some places charge up to £60 just for a hair trial. I had my makeup done first and if I'm honest it wasn't really something I would want for my wedding.  I told the lady that I wanted dramatic eyes - covering my whole eyelids in black eyeshadow wasn't quite what I meant!  It was free, however so I didn't complain.  Next my hair was done.  The hairdresser curled my hair, then did some fancy thing where she pinned curls that were rolled onto the back of my head on the right hand side.  She also gave me a mini "beehive".  Once she had finished I wasn't quite sure I liked it, but as soon as I put on my tiara (I had taken it with me) I thought WOW! People in the room were taking photos which was a bit odd!  Unfortunately 30 minutes later all the curls had fallen out of the bits that were hanging down which sucks but I'm hoping that it was just because they were rushing free trials out.  I may book in for a proper hair trial with them one morning and see how long the curls last.

Also at the wedding fayre was a really lovely lady who had the most beautiful cakes and sample slices to try.  Like i'm going to turn that down!  We spoke to a few florists, other cake makers and the local bridal store where I bought my wedding dress from.  The people who run it are absolute gems and the owner even wants to take a look at some of my tiara designs!

So that was Sunday... In the week, Mr FH and I met a local photographer who was really friendly and a lot of fun. Before we went in I told Mr FH we weren't making a decision on the day but her style of photography and her manner sealed the deal there and then :) We're even getting an engagement shoot to see how we are in front of the camera together.

Thursday, mum and I went to meet with one of the florists we met at the wedding fayre.  I took along one of the cream birdcages I have bought for the centrepieces and we sat literally for hours discussing my vision and going over various flowers.  We also decided we wanted them to do our wedding flowers and ordered a bunch of things, all with cream, peach and pink roses, purple flowers (no idea what they were) and pink calla lillies.  From their sample bouquets that I held, it is going to be stunning and I can't wait!

Today we all popped to do a bit of shopping and I ended up buying a candleabra and a massive set of vintage looking letters that spelt "LOVE" for added venue decoration.

Vintage Style LOVE Letters, The Range, £14.99

So that's photographer and florist crossed off the list. Next to tackle is the cupcake tower, bridal shoes and faux fur wraps for myself and my bridesmaid... :)


An unusual place for me to find shoes

As regular readers of my blog and twitter will know, last weekend I went bridesmaid dress shopping with my lovely Bridesmaid to be.  Now don't stop reading as this post isn't another boring wedding post...  It's all about SHOES!  We found ourselves in the usual places looking for that perfect dress when we stumbled into John Lewis.  I must admit I'm not a regular shopper of John Lewis apart from around Christmas time when they sell the most delicious gingerbread houses and Christmas treats but after looking online I thought we'd give them a go.

I found myself getting more and more distracted by the shoe section.  While my bridesmaid was looking for her dress, I still needed bridal shoes so left her to it while I ventured off in the direction of the shoe department.  This is where I stumbled across Kurt Geiger.  This is in all honesty not a brand I would have previously considered due to my bargain hunter instinct in me but I was really surprised by the different styles of high heeled shoes they had in store! I came away empty handed on the day but when I got back I thought I'd take a look at the John Lewis website and have a proper nosey with a cup of tea and my pyjamas in tow!

I am a little magpie when it comes to shoes and once I had settled myself into the website I came up with numerous pairs of shoes that I bookmarked for my wishlist.  You can never have too many shoes since your feet pretty much always stay the same size!  That's my theory anyway and I am sticking to it. I thought I would share with you my top picks of Kurt Geiger* shoes that I think would be equally as perfect for work wear or parties! (shove the bridal shoes!)

Kurt Geiger* Empire Court Shoes, £216.00, John Lewis

How could anyone resist these beauties?  With a massive heel and platform these are really glamorous.  When people mention John Lewis to me, I always think of older people but how wrong I am!  I can imagine wearing (teetering in) these with a pencil skirt and blouse.  These also come in black patent.

Kurt Geiger* New York Court Shoes, Currently reduced to £109.00, John Lewis

Speaking of glamorous... hello spike heels!   These shoes remind me of Sex and the City and with a pricetag of £109 in the sale, I am sorely tempted by them.  Being in black, these heels would go with anything and last forever so really it's an investment right?  That's what I'm telling myself anyway!

Kurt Geiger* Britton Court Shoes, £200, John Lewis

Finally, I couldn't resist showing you these gorgeous animal print court shoes. Again with a super spike heel, these beauties would look stunning with a little black dress.  They look seductive and although they are animal print, in my opinion they look really classy.  

Who says a bride needs white bridal shoes anyway? Imagine me rocking up in these animal print heels! I am so tempted!


Free Delivery on Yours Clothing this weekend!

Just a quick little post from me to let you all know that Yours Clothing is offering free delivery & returns on all full priced items on their website this weekend :)

This special offer ends at Midnight on Sunday and all you need to do is add the coupon code: FREETREAT at the checkout...


And best of all, there is no minimum spend!  Have fun ladies.. I'm off bridesmaid dress shopping so I have to be good :'( 



Style it My Way Challenge: Week 4 - Bodycon! / OOTD for Plus North

I'm late... I know... I'm very late with these challenges and all I can say is that I'm putting it down to real hectic life, the weather and my cold that has knocked me for six.  I decided today that although I still have my cold that I was going to get myself all dressed up to make myself feel better and to make myself look more human.  There's only so long you can lounge about in fleece pyjamas right!? (Major perk of working from home though!).

Today's Style It My Way Challenge is from week 4 - Bodycon. I still have week 5 and this week to style and will aim to do that asap so that I am back on schedule.  The outfit I have chosen for the bodycon challenge is the same outfit that I wore to Plus North 2013 for the day event, minus a belt.

I am completely new to bodycon and if someone had suggested to me 5 years ago to wear it I would have told them where to go.  I always thought that bodycon actually meant "Body Conscious" and was corrected at Plus North that it means Body Confidence by a group of lovely bloggers and I felt like such an idiot! 

I am a lot more comfortable with my body and the way I look these days so when I saw this mini dress in New Look, I immediately loved the print and thought "What the heck!" and tried it on and here is the result...


Bodycon Mini Dress: New Look, £14.99 - Size 18,
Faux Leather Jacket, New Look, £39.99 - Size 18, Statement Necklace: New Look, £12.99, Ankle Boots: Tesco, £19.50 - Size 4

I'm like a walking advert for New Look! In all honesty I was panicking about what to wear to Plus North so found everything I needed in one go.  I love putting outfits together in a shop - it's so much fun!   Both the dress and the jacket are available up to a size 18 and the dress comes in either a mini style or midi if you'd like it that little bit longer.  I'd say that a size 20 would easily fit into the dress, but the jacket is kind of snug - I can just about do it up.

At Plus North, my necklace was commented on a lot which made me feel really great about myself and although I don't think I would wear a bodycon dress without some sort of jacket over the top just yet, I have since ordered 2 more bodycon dresses that will be arriving in the next few days.  They are sure to make an appearance on the blog soon!


The warped view we have of ourselves...

I was reading my daily dose of fashion blogs when I stumbled across Betty Pamper from Pamper and Curves most recent blog update - "Are you size wise".  I found this post very intriguing because it explained about a new tool that the brand Marisota had released to see the difference in what we think we are and what we really are.

I thought I would give this tool a go.  Before I started, I had to choose a body size that I thought best represented me.  Easy so far.   You aren't asked what "shape" you think you are, however for years I have assumed that I am an apple and at high risk of heart problems etc which if I'm honest has been worrying me...

Once I had clicked on the body size that I thought I was, the tool then asked me for my measurements.  I have these to hand as I have been measuring these for the last few months since I started spinning.  I don't mind sharing these with you - I am currently a 42, 37, 47.  My ass has actually come down from 50 inches since I started spinning.

Once the tool calculates your measurements, it then loads a screen which shows you what your actual size is compared to what you thought you were.  I over-estimated my size by 17.5%!!!  That is how warped my view of my own body is.... the one that I look at in the mirror daily.  Betty Pamper also over estimated the size she was too by over 22%.  I am prepared to bet that 85% of women would over estimate how big they think they are.  

This tool also told me that I am a pear shape.  I guess from looking at my measurements that does make sense but I have never considered myself as a pear.  I have chubby love handles and back fat and I've never really considered my ass to be that big before... up until now!

Why don't you have a go and see what you come up with by clicking here... I'd be interested to know your results!


I Feel Good

When Vicky from put a shout out that she was starting a new blog challenge I was excited to find out what it was.  I am still participating in the "Style it My Way Challenge" even though I am a few weeks behind due to various reasons.  Anyway, Vicky's challenge is completely different to any I have taken part in before...

"You know sometimes when you spend ages getting ready for a night out, an event or even just a blog post, and the reflection in mirror isn't what you hoped?  This challenge is for those times when you look in the mirror, no pre planning involved, and think "I look good today.

We all have our good days and our bad, but this challenge is to record those good days and to remember that confidence, at any size, is beautiful."

The photo I have chosen is one that I took on my iPhone quite a while ago and although I'm not wearing any makeup I was pratting about with my hair trying to curl it and anyone who knows me knows that I always straighten my hair.  I think that I genuinely look attractive which is not a regular occurrence for me! I may even use this hair style for my wedding hair in one way or another...


Check back next month for another "I Feel Good" photo - It's funny really because I feel so ill with my cold today - I Feel Poorly! lol :) Do you want to see the other lovely ladies taking part in this challenge? Click the links below:


...Here Comes Autumn!

You may have noticed that I am running behind on the Style it My Way Challenge and Outfit posts... I wanted to explain why :) It's not because of the wedding, or because I am too busy (In fact I am itching to get some photos taken as I really love my bodycon style challenge outfit - it's the one I wore to Plus North in the day).

The problem is... the weather!!! It has been dark, raining and dreary for days now. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I also don't want to get my camera wet... so if anyone has any tips on taking pictures inside a darkish house.. I would really appreciate them!

Fear not.. I'm not going anywhere! :) :) 



Scarlett & Jo Powerfit Dresses at Evans

Recently, Scarlett & Jo launched their brand new Powerfit dresses on the Evans website and I was lucky enough to see them in person at Plus North in Manchester last weekend.   If you've never heard of the Powerfit dresses before, they are based on the illusion style dress with black panels down the edges and a contrasting colour or pattern down the middle.  These dresses give the illusion of a smaller frame and are very on trend at the moment.

The difference between other illusion dresses and the Powerfit Dresses by Scarlett & Jo are that many of their designs include a built in mesh lining that gives support and acts as shapewear.  Personally, I probably would wear more shapewear underneath the dresses because I like a really firm look to hold in my lumps and bumps.  The dresses come in a number of gorgeous colours, such as purple, red, blue, leopard print and lace panelled.  My favourite is the red one and I think that they would suit power dressing for work or equally be beautiful for an evening occasion.

Scarlett & Jo Claret Red Powerfit Dress, Evans, £45.00

Scarlett & Jo Leopard Print Powerfit Dress, Evans, £40.00

Scarlett & Jo Blueberry Powerfit Dress, Evans, £45.00

The prices for these dresses are very reasonable from £40 for the ones without the added mesh panels and £45 for the colours that includes it.  From looking at how well made the Scarlett & Jo dresses are (including the black velvet style one I was sent to review) this is bang on for affordability versus quality.  I would spend the extra £5 for the mesh panel unless I really wanted the leopard print version!

Recently, a couple of lucky bloggers (George - Fuller Figure, Fuller Bust and Callie - From the Corners of the Curve) took part in a photoshoot to show off these dresses on real women and the results were amazing.  Both girls look simply stunning in their Powerfit dresses as you will see below...


These gorgeous dresses come in UK sizes 14 to 26.  Isn't it lovely when we can buy decent, beautiful clothing on the high street!

I am very excited about this new launch and after seeing the catwalk show of Scarlett & Jo's new collection, us plus sized girls are in for some gorgeous clothes that will be hitting selected Evans stores and the website very soon!  Check out the Evans website for more of the Scarlett & Jo range!


Plus North 2013... A night away

I have just returned from my first ever Plus North event which took place in the Renaissance Hotel in Manchester.  We woke early on Saturday morning ready for the drive ahead of us and although it took a little time to get everything packed and sorted we eventually made our way up the motorway to Manchester. I must admit, I had booked tickets, hotel etc before we booked our wedding so I did have a slight pang of guilt that the money I had spent could have been used for our wedding.  I'm such a worrier! For the day event I wore a bodycon New Look dress, brown leather jacket, ankle boots from Tesco and a sparkly statement necklace also from New Look.

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate being late for anything so when we got stuck on the M6 with long delays I started to panic and ended up being around 30 minutes late - grr!  When I walked into the Exhibition Hall I was greeted by the lovely Charlotte from Yours Clothing with a goodie bag and a warm welcome which was much appreciated because for some reason I was really nervous!  There were clothing racks everywhere and pick a mix too!  Yum!  I arrived just in time for the first catwalk show which was the Simply Be catwalk.  I stood next to the Yours Clothing exhibit and watched as everyone walked down the catwalk looking fabulous.  

Afterwards I made my way around the room anti-clockwise and approached Curvissa, Bon Prix and Lovedrobe.  Every exhibitor had something that I liked on their rails but with the wedding approaching I was on a pretty strict budget and unfortunately had to window shop! Next up was the Evans stand which was really cool.  I chatted to a lovely lady about my body shape as I am still undecided if I am an apple or a pear then I entered their gift card giveaway where everyone got a gift card with a value of between £5 and £100 and would only know how much it was when I took it to an Evans Store.  Thankfully there is one in the Arndale centre in Manchester since our local one has closed down.

I then spoke with Natalie from Scarlett and Jo, who I have spoke via e-mail but never met.  She is so lovely - and had a good nosey at the Powerfit dresses from their new range which I will be blogging about later this week.  I moved onto the Slink Magazine exhibit of which I had never heard of before and spoke to them about their magazine and their new boutique which was opening that day.  

Simply Be was next and I finally got to drool over the blogger dresses in person and a bunch of other new Autumn / Winter ranges.  They also had some of their shoes on display too and they look really well made.  Next up, Excite clothing.  I had a look at this Exhibit in two parts as another catwalk show was about to start.  The Yours Clothing catwalk show was really good because it had more winter looking outfits including lots of comfy knitted jumpers and accessories too.  We had a very special treat to a Slink Boutique catwalk show straight afterwards with a mix of some really funky outfits and gorgeous eveningwear.  All of the models looked amazing!

The Excite Clothing stand had a lot of bodycon dresses that I liked the look of and after feeling a bit daring with wearing bodycon for the first time to the day event I made a mental note to check out their website again on my return.  I could have bought some there, but was being good for a change. Growing up sucks!   The Topsy Curvy stand was next; another brand I hadn't heard of and I had a good chat with the lovely Charlotte (my apologies if I have got your name wrong!) before heading over to the other exhibition room.  I didn't spend much time in this room as it was aimed at accessories and I am deadly around things like that so me and Mr FH decided to head over to the Arndale centre to have a look around since we haven't been to Manchester before.  

The Arndale centre is massive and you could get easily lost in the number of stores!  We looked in Yours Clothing, the Lego shop (omg I could live in there!), the Disney Store and I finally found the Simply Be store!! Go me!  The Simply Be store in Manchester is slightly smaller than I had imagined but it had an amazing atmosphere and the staff were all really friendly.  I tried on 3 dresses and had a good play with their magic mirror.  This feature is a fantastic idea!  You can take a photo of yourself in your outfit and tweet/facebook it too. I tried to tweet an AX Paris dress but it wasn't connected to the Internet.  I did give in and buy the navy floral print AX Paris curve dress because it was so stunning on (pictures to come soon!).  We also went to the Evans store where I had won £5, but the good thing about this is it will last for 2 years so after the wedding I will keep an eye out on what I want to order.

We went for dinner at the Slug and Lettuce before stepping back to the hotel to get changed for the Plus North after party.  By this time a migraine had set in so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't make it.  I changed into my Paper Dolls dress which has now gotten a little big for me due to spinning, so I teamed it with a cardigan in-case the straps fell down.  I wore flat shoes and a bunch of gorgeous accessories.  We arrived in the suite and were given a gorgeous goodie bag from Scarlett and Jo. Inside was a "Fatshion" acrylic necklace, some nail decals and some sample goodies.  We all sat around the tables and listened to a performance by the gorgeous Rosie O'Sullivan who was a previous Britain's Got Talent contestant.  We were then treated to a glamorous catwalk show by Scarlett and Jo featuring the new dresses and outfits all of which I want! It was a really lovely weekend meeting a bunch of bloggers - my only regret being that I didn't get enough time to chat to everyone!

*Edit - I have ONE photo from the event that is viewable! So next time.... please, someone remind me to take my Canon!