Tag "Lifestyle Blog"

Spa Sessions And Sensational Spices

Don’t you just love it when you get an email or phone call where you are presented with an amazing opportunity? I was asked recently by The Entertainer if I would like to spend a day with Hanna at a luxurious spa followed by a slap up dinner! Some of you may have seen that I joined their squad a few months ago and; I have since been lucky enough to try out and experience many of the fun attractions, restaurants and amenities they have to offer right here in London.

Life has a way of knocking the wind out of your sails, putting you under stress and pressure. Sometimes things can get a little on top of you and you just need some rest and relaxation. I recently have been under a lot of stress in my working life and I tend to carry it all in my back and shoulders. You can only imagine my excitement when I was invited to visit the amazing Spa Verta, located in Battersea right by the river Thames. I cannot tell you this could not have come at a better time for me! The mere thought of getting a quiet relaxing day with one of my best friends wasn’t something I could pass up…

Hanna and I were made to feel like VIPs on arrival, we were given some lovely robes and slippers to change into and, a lovely selection of teas and coffees to enjoy. Within about 20 minutes we were taken into a beautifully decorated, dimly lit, aromatic, relaxation room with soft loungers while we waited for our individual massage therapists to come and collect us for our treatments. I walked in full of tension in my back and knots in my shoulders. The minute I laid down on the massage table I could have fallen asleep, the music was really comforting and relaxing, so much so that I want to try and get a copy of it on my next visit. A series of oils from Espa were used during the treatment and I have to say my skin was left feeling baby soft and smelling like heaven, again more products I want to get hold of during my next visit lol. In a short space of time I was left feeling totally relaxed and tension free.

*Photos Courtesy Of Spa Verta

Our treatments were followed by some time spent in the incredible hydro pool. I could have stayed in that water for hours! With a choice of 3 different saunas we were able to really work on any additional tension that we may have had. First we spent some time in the UV sauna, followed by the steam room and then the traditional sauna. You cannot imagine how amazing my hair felt after all that steam! We both had the most amazing time and will be sure to book another session in there soon.

Following on from a peaceful day we headed over to The Red Fort and Zeena bar in Soho, a sexy, swanky spot where many celebrities frequent. I will say I love Indian food and have been a little cocky in my time about what’s available. As a vegetarian I have always loved this cuisine but the food was served in a very decorative fashion and was surprisingly light in flavour. I started with the Hara Kebab, a gorgeous spinach and fenugreek patties lightly filled with cheddar and onion. I then had some saffron and cumin rice with some sauteed spinach, chilli, garlic and onion for my mains and finished off the meal with some gorgeous home made ice cream. Of course Hanna and I enjoyed some South African white wine with dinner! I have to say we had a really lovely time here.

I would highly recommend these places for a nice day out with your significant other, a fun day with friends or a nice treat for your mum. If you’re ever in the big city of London you definitely will want to check out the The Entertainer for the current deals and offerings for a fun day or night out!

Remember whatever you do, feel fabulous in it and do it with a smile!

Loving The Skin You’re In

Photography By Studio 52

It’s funny how some people think that they know all that there is to know about a person just from meeting them once or from the persona they portray. I often have people writing to me or telling me in person how confident I seem and they ask me what things they can do to let their guard down and just feel comfortable in their skin. To be totally honest with you I don’t think there is a magic formula or series of steps one can take to achieve a feeling of confidence. I always refer to my own confidence as a journey, I have my good and my bad days just like everyone else but in my case I think a combination of different things has all contributed to my being the way that I am.

My family is massive! I have tons of family members on both sides and a bunch of people who may not carry the same blood line as me but they are very much a part of the bunch also. Being around so many people who have large bold personalities can make it a challenge for some to find their own way and stand out in a positive light. Many of my friends have come from situations where they found it hard to find their voice in a sense. In my case my childhood was filled with my family, friends and of course many tumultuous times. As many of my readers know I was severely bullied in school from the age of 4-18 and always struggled with fitting in and being comfortable. My weight has always been with me despite countless diets, exercise regimes and emotional headaches. I always had a constant war going on in my head because I had the confidence of a raging bull when it came to taking the stage and entertaining people whether that be singing my heart out, acting, public speaking or otherwise. The thing is, knowing that your talent shines bright is one thing but it can easily be diminished when you’re not comfortable in your own skin…

For me I had to go through many situations and experiences with people all over to realise that I get my confidence from truly knowing who I am, what I stand for and having the courage to stand by whatever it is that I believe in. I have never been the quiet silent type unable to express myself and I know already that I’m not the sort of woman who will ever become a shrinking violet. I stand high on my morals, my faith and my relationships with the people who matter most to me in my life. All of these things have allowed me to feel confident. I guess it’s that fight of flight sort of thing; you can make a decision to panic which more often than not does nothing and can exacerbate a situation or you can stop, pull yourself together and do the best you can in a situation. I tend to be someone who takes the latter option and with this my self confidence when it comes to my self image has started to get the message.

When I was 25 years old I came to the realisation that I love who I am as a person and a woman. I figured although I had a lot to learn and a lot of growing up to do I couldn’t continue to spend another day hating the way that I looked. I had pretty much spent a quarter of a century beating myself up for not looking like other women and I eventually realised that I’m not meant to be like anyone else. I need to be the best Mayah that I can possibly be and that instead of looking at my glass as half empty I needed to look at it as half full, focus on all the things I love about myself and build on those; eventually overshadowing the doubts I had in my own mind.

Confidence isn’t something that I feel you can buy through any sort of beauty product or clothing item. These are things that can help enhance what may already be hiding beneath the surface. I think the key is learning to love parts of yourself that you previously may have hated. Take my hair for example, I have always had a constant war with my hair and when I finally realised that it is the way it is, I learned to find things about it that I enjoy and I build on those. I think the same can be said in other aspects of who you are. If you love to be creative then surround yourself around creative people who will uplift and inspire you to do the same for yourself. If you want to be more introspective then find ways to channel that energy in a positive light and the rest will follow. The old saying can also be true “fake it until you make it” it worked for me on many occasions. I think basically it’s a trial and error sort of thing and is a process that takes time. I have those days when I look in the mirror and think ewww I look hideous but I try and just take it for what it is, a bad day and I keep pushing on. What I’m saying is that when you’re having a down day try and focus on the aspects that you love about yourself and don’t feed into that negative energy. Eventually the paradigm of your thoughts will change.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Take It To The Maxi! – A Boohoo Plus Review

So we’re deep into July which means we should be in the thick of summer! Unfortunately London has had some really random weather and we’ve had more chilly days than hot ones. The good news is when it is hot and the sun is beaming in London everyone finds themselves wearing their summer best and enjoying the day out and about with friends.

Recently when shopping at Boohoo I was on the hunt for a light and airy dress to wear for those hot days. You all know I love to glam up but sometimes I just like to be comfortable and casual. The thing is everyone needs to own a plain black maxi dress so when I saw the Leah Race Back Maxi I knew I had to get it! I picked this dress in a size 24 and I have to say I love wearing it! It is so light and so comfortable that it’s perfect for one of those really humid days when you just want relief from the heat! I should note because of the size of my breasts when I wear this one my bra is slightly exposed at the sides.


Like many plus size women out there my problem area with my body is my arms. I used to feel so uncomfortable with my arms exposed and would brace the hot sun with jackets and cardigans on even if the heat was Sweltering and sticky! Last year I went out totally jacket-less for the first time and it’s this year that my aim is to keep pushing myself in that area. Due to the fact that I wanted to push my confidence and and have my arms bare a solution to the fact that the dress pulls a little in the chest for me was to wear a cropped, sleeveless denim jacket. I bought mine last year in Primark for a bargain!

When the sun is beaming down on you, the last thing you want is to be laden down with accessories! I decided to only wear my signature hoop earrings and hair scarf. Finishing off with a small pop of blue with my t-bar wedges from New Look my outfit was complete.


Hanna is the lipstick queen she has pretty much every shade known to man and sat me down one day to try out all the colours and see what sort of tones look nice against my complexion. Picking out a summer bright baby pink shade, she said she thought the Nikki Minaj style tone looked cool on me. I thought it would be fun to try the shade again and so here you have it, me with supper girly pink lippy!

Dressing comfortably doesn’t have to mean losing you sense of style so have fun in other ways with your makeup and hair accessories if you want to keep things simple in the summer heat!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Stripe It Lucky! – A Zelie For She Review

I have been meaning to write about this dress for ages, but with the weather all over the place I never really found the right time to wear it. Zelie For She is a brand I have kept a firm eye on for quite some time now. I love the various different collections that have come from the brand and I have to say the fresh and edgy approach is more than welcome. The independent brand focuses on creating fun and sexy clothes for us plus size women and one of the things I love the most is that they are not afraid to break the rules!


As the brand is based in Los Angeles I hadn’t had the chance to try something from them and by chance I happened to enter an Instagram competition that they held a few months ago and I was gifted a gift card to purchase an item with. This Strike Out Dress immediately caught my eye as I thought it would make for a great urban street look. Also the model in the stock images looked amazing wearing it and I new I had to get my hands on one!

We plus size women have heard for years that we are to avoid bright colours, horizontal stripes and a plethora of other dos and do not dos when it comes to our state of dress. I LOVE the fact that this t-shirt dress is top to bottom horizontal stripes! I’m wearing this one in a 3xl. What I love about this dress besides the pattern and combintion of stone tones and thick splashes of red is the fit! Not often do I buy something that is meant to look oversized and have it look that way! Usually my boobs and bum make the dress cling a little tighter and it ends up looking semi-bodycon. The v-neck cut hangs in a really nice place and allows the dress to showcase the shape of your bust whilst still being modest. I’m 5 feet 5 inches tall and this dress stops just below the knee. I wore this one bare legged but it would look great with some skin coloured or opaque tights. I love that the sleeves cut across my hands. I have always liked long sleeves and the way that they look on me. This also adds to the oversized style of the dress. This dress is perfect for this time of year as the fabric is light and airy and extremely spacious. This has that feeling of your favourite t-shirt that you have washed loads of times, making it feel really soft against the skin.


I wanted to add this dress into a biker look. I of course opted for my biker jacket from Yours Clothing, as this dress is light this would add a nice amount of coverage towards the end of the day when the breeze starts to set in. Worn with some lace up biker boots and I had the overall look I was after. To finish off I wore a metallic necklace and my hoop earrings. I wanted to use silver adornments to work with the grey in the dress and to set off the red I of course pulled out my red bandana and red lipstick.

I love having choices when it comes to my sense of style and I really love switching things up from classic and vintage to modern and on trend to a combination of things. Fashion is meant to be a place to experiment and express ourselves so I love having fun with my look. I enjoy breaking the rules that have been set by society and showing everyone that we can rock what we have and in the trends you have vetoed for us.

Unfortunately this dress is no longer available but check out Zelie For She to see what amazing new styles they have available. They ship worldwide and I can honestly say you will love whatever you buy! I can’t wait to rock this look to a club or something!

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

The Perfect Polkadot Classic – Collectif Dolores Doll!

So the start of the season has been an interesting one we have seen all kinds of weather but we were lucky to have a couple of weeks of nice warm sunshine. It was Hanna’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and us girls decided we’d have dinner and drinks in a little pub in Hampstead. As the weather was so nice I was in a really cheerful mood and I just had to wear my favourite vintage dress, my while polka Dolores Doll! I have been to a few celebrations in this one and I always feel amazing wearing it.

It’s no secret that I have a real love affair with classic prints and patterns, houndstooth, polka dots and paisley prints are must haves for me and I try to find clothes and accessories that are splashed in these patterns. What I love about this dress is firstly the vintage swing cut. This is one of those items that can be sexy, classic and understated all at the same time! The black and white colour makes this one easy to accessorise and play around with also.


I love vintage inspired fashion and I always feel amazing in it! Many plus size women don’t like to draw attention to themselves and I can understand that, the thing is vintage clothing always attracts attention but for all the right reasons! For one thing not that many people know where to buy clothes in the style and usually people go all in with victory rolls in their hair, cupcake accessories etc. others tend to adapt the clothes to suit more of a rockabilly style. In my case I simply love the dresses and like to find ways to incorporate them into my own personal style. I always wear my signature hoop earrings with my vintage dresses for example and I like to add my own personal touches in places.

I usually wear this dress with a petticoat but this time I thought it would go without. I tend to wear this one with a bright and bold bolero or cardigan. I usually go for red as I love wearing my red petticoat, cinch belt and bolero. This time around I was feeling pretty girly and so I opted for a hot pink cardigan and matching paisley print bandana. I should note that this dress is extremely giving and most women tend to downsize 1-2 dress sizes. I wear a Dolores dress in a size 20 to give myself enough boob room. The skirt is a full size circle skirt and so you could wear this with multiple petticoats if you wanted that really poofy look in the skirt.


I don’t tend to show much skin so the length of this dress is perfect for me as it stops just below the knee. Even though my confidence has soared over the past couple of years there are certain areas of my body I have always liked the look of and I have always liked the look of my cleavage. This dress moulds and shapes my bust in a way that makes them look really full and shapely and I really enjoy that element of wearing vintage fashion. Dresses in this shape tend to flatter women of all shapes and sizes with varying sizes of bust too.

For footwear I thought I would keep it simple and go for a pair of ballerina pumps. These pink and purple floral ones were a complete steal! I picked these up in Primark for just £4! When it comes to my makeup you may have noticed I don’t switch things up that much. True to my personal style and a signature feature in vintage beauty is winged eyeliner. I always wear mine winged as I like to enhance the shape of my eyes. I managed to find a deep pink lipstick to tie in everything and I was ready to have a fun evening.


For full review of this dress check out my post here. Also in the Dolores Doll style I reviewed the gorgeous summer bouquet print also. Check it out here.

Also check out how the gorgeous Georgina and Caroline have styled this dress on their blogs x

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

We Are The They, And We’re Not Going Away!

So the media has been going crazy the past few weeks with stories about body image, fashion and everything else surrounding us and how we are expected to look. This week there has been a huge focus on plus size fashion and the people involved in the industry. With talk about the term “Plus Size” what it means, how we feel about it and if we should keep it. The campaign #DropThePlus was first seen on Instagram and has been met with mixed responses from the public. Some feel that in order to embrace all women we should blur the lines and eradicate the categories we are put in due to our dress size. I personally like the term plus size. I feel that we are taking terms that were previously used to push insults at us and owning them. Fat people are no longer ashamed of the dreaded F word and have been able to form a worldwide community through the Plus Size label. Having said that I do think that Fashion and beauty is something that everyone should be entitled to regardless of their shape, size, age, race, and everything else in-between.

The recently aired documentary Plus Size Wars, focused on the evolution of fashion for people like myself and the changes the industry has faced. We saw a glimpse of how modelling agencies are now adopting a supply in demand approach in regards to who they have on their books. Men and women the world over have tapped into a new way of experiencing fashion and that in my opinion has been 100% down to the internet. Youtube videos, fashion blogs and Instagram pages have opened the eyes of people out there and are making them more aware of their choices in fashion and ways of buying it. People like the stunning Tess Holliday aka Tess Munster have really helped to changed the game, being that she is the polar opposite to what the agencies deemed acceptable for an aspiring model. Some of my friends and fellow bloggers were also involved in the channel 4 documentary and did an amazing job in representing us. The thoughts and feelings of plus size women were very well portrayed and the hour long programme did a good job in showing us all in a positive light.

As expected when a show like this airs there will be comments and criticism to follow. With the internet everyone has an open channel to voice their opinion to the world, and in doing the same we see articles reach the print and television media. Loose Women host Jamelia has recently put herself in hot water when she very rudely expressed her opinion about people like myself. She feels that people above and bellow a certain dress size should be ostracised and made to feel ashamed by having to buy our clothes in specialist stores. Now I know that these days we are being bombarded with news about health related issues and fitness information but in the mix of all of that we have also been brainwashed with a very rigid and narrow minded view of what is beautiful. We see celebrities getting nipped and tucked every day and are constantly shown images of women with the perfect bikini body. I won’t bang on about how I feel about that because I want to make it very clear that in this post I am speaking as a fat woman and for fat women.

I don’t think it’s right for people who perhaps have never had a weight problem to speak on issues relating to the subject. We are people and that alone should let people know that most things are not what they seem and are more complicated that what you can see on the surface. You can’t always see if someone suffers from a medical condition, mental illness is also something that isn’t always visible but because someone like me has a physical issue that you can see people feel as though they can do more than pass comments, they feel as though they can be rude and insulting!

Let me make this clear to Jamelia and anyone else who shares in her opinion, we are not a group of aliens to be described as “they” we are people and we have an opinion and feelings of our own! My being a confident fat woman who blogs about fashion and beauty in no way makes me an advocate for obesity. I hate the term “promoting obesity” as it’s not only stupid, it’s ludicrous! First of all, fat people are constantly shunned by people for our size, we are discriminated against, laughed at and have to deal with comments about our appearance from strangers 365 days a year! Why would we promote something that brings us headache and grief as if it’s a good thing? Whoever would think that is actually pretty thick if you ask me. I’ll be honest here we can’t win. If we work out and exercise people laugh at us for trying to be healthy and if we are seen eating anything at all even a salad people look at you as though you have just grown 5 heads! I, like many people out there have recently had a change in mind set. It took me more than 2 decades to come to the realisation that I had been hating myself and the way that I looked due to other people’s ignorance! Almost every over weight person has had to deal with people patronising and taking the mick out out of them at some point and with that 2 things can happen. Some people lose their self esteem and crumble under the pressure and others come up fighting with a stronger and more resilient attitude to things. I like many plus size people have heard all of the insults possible, have developed defence mechanisms and have reached a place where I simply don’t have the care to fight about something so unimportant, other people’s opinions of me.

Having nice clothing available as a fat person is amazing. I can honestly say that through the options that have become available to us we have been able to embrace sides of our personality that for some have previously been hidden. When all you have to wear is ill fitting clothes that are dowdy and often not age appropriate you don’t really have a way to express your sense of style and have to make adaptations where possible. Since being able to wear the fashions I had admired on other women my confidence has soared. I am now able to look in the mirror and actually like the reflection that looks back at me. When you feel confident the way you look at yourself changes, I now take more pride in my appearance, and that has extended to my making healthier lifestyle choices. People who over eat often do so as a coping mechanism the same way that others turn to drugs and alcohol. To constantly insult and break a person down who is like this, is literally handing them the tub of ice cream and the spoon to eat it with! The problem goes beyond not knowing how to control your portions or getting more excise in. In order to fix what you think is a problem you need to understand it better. Some people are fat because they over eat and some aren’t. Some large people want to lose weight and some are happy as they are, yes I said it, happy as they are! The thing is if we are trying to change something in ourselves or carry on as we are we should be able to look good whilst doing so. I know it may surprise some people out there but we have families, friends, partners, jobs and social lives too. We need to be able to wear clothes appropriate for the occasion just as you can. When you say “they” I am one of the people you are talking about!

Big people know all of the same health statistics as you so to bleat on about it isn’t telling us something we don’t already know. I hear all the time about how we are a drain on the resources and on taxes. Do you not think we have jobs or pay tax? We do all of the same things you do just in a larger body suit. I am not ashamed of how I look and if my being confident in myself helps at least 1 other fat person out there then I can carry on smiling and doing what I need to do for myself. News flash there has always been fat people in the world and there always will be. Someone will always be battling some sort of weight problem somewhere. While all of this is going on they have every right to make the best of what they have and enjoy their lives in the clothes they want to wear!

Last night the plus size community clubbed together to spread the message that “We Are The They” we look good, feel good and will do our thing as best we can! You may not like the way that we look but remember something, just like anything people will change if they want to and they won’t if they don’t. Many people already think we look bad so what would you rather we wear smart and stylish clothes or stuff ourselves into things that are ill fitting and make us look a complete mess? We are all going through things and we need to be more understanding of each other, after all the saying is true ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and wear it with a smile!

Mum In A Million!

So it’s Mother’s day here in the UK and with that we are seeing streams of lovely tributes and comments for mums all over social media today. I have to say I am a soppy chick sometimes and I’m one of those people who really enjoys seeing people express the love they have for their friends and family.

Of course today we are all celebrating mums and I would like to write a post about why I am extremely lucky to have such an amazing mother myself. Now I will just start by saying I won’t post any pictures of my mum on the blog as she’s not on social media at all and probably wouldn’t want me posting her pic.

In my case though, I have to say I have a really great relationship with my mum. I won’t lie and say it’s always been a smooth one, I think all teenage girls get to a point when they clash with their mum but in my case that was only a very short period and it actually helped me to really appreciate my mum. Growing up in London, my immediate family has always been my mum and my older brother. My parents divorced when I was young and my relationship with my father died shortly after that. I grew up only really knowing one side of my family and I have to say I wasn’t short on love, laughs and family excitement. Admittedly though growing up in a single parent family presents many struggles. I saw my mum work her fingers to the bone so that myself and my brother could not only have all that we needed but also most of the things that we wanted in addition to that. During my childhood my mum spent some time in the hospital after suffering from pneumonia and that was a really difficult time. My grandmother very much acted as a second mother to me and their influence together has helped to shape me into the woman I am today.

I know it sounds corny but my mum really is my best friend. I don’t mean that in a happy go lucky sort of way though. I know that no matter what situation I should find myself in, whatever decision I have to make etc. my mum is the first person I need to speak to. Not only has she played the role of both mum and dad in my life she’s the one person who will give me the truth in a direct, blunt manner. I’m a very “tell it like it is” sort of a person, I think this is a trait I picked up from her. I know that she has ALWAYS and will ALWAYS have the best interests of me and my brother and with that will tell us the things we may not like or may not want to hear that in turn will be the best information we could receive.

I have to say I’m so proud of my mum, I really am. I’m not naive and unable see all that she has given up for me and my brother. She had my brother at just 25 years old and I came along a year after. I’m 27 years old now and I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to be raising 2 kids in London on her own! She of course had less personal time, money and opportunities because she would do everything with us as her priority. A couple of years ago she moved out to India for a year. I of course missed having those deep chats and fun nights chilling at home with her, but to see her taking the chance to do something for her and her alone is something I more than welcomed. Not only has she been an amazing influence to me and my brother she also took the time to be there for many of our friends growing up. Mum has an ease about her which allows people to connect with her and openly chat about things. A lot of my friends also grew up in broken homes or they just didn’t have the kind of relationship with their parents that allowed them to speak about personal issues. One of my oldest friends grew up without her mother and during those difficult adolescent years as a teenager it was my mum who stepped up and helped her to deal with her first period and some of the other awkward things we girls experience.

I have been fortunate to have a mother who supports me and my brother in our career aspirations and future goals. She’s always had my back and always will and I really feel that I do have one of the best mums out there! Love you mum xxx

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at the Home Group who are running an amazing competition with Park Dean called Mum In A Million. You could win an amazing 3-4 night break for your mum. All you have to do is enter your details with a few words about why your mum is the best and you could be the lucky winner! Click here to enter!