Tag "Lifestyle"

Having Fashion Fun With Binky

A plus size woman smiling wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high boots

Reality TV is massive in today’s world. We see stars from various shows fronting many campaigns for apparel, beauty products and a variety of other items. I’m not into many shows of this nature but as a Londoner, Made In Chelsea has been my guilty pleasure for the past few years. The beautifully shot scenery of my home town and dramatic stories have kept myself and many other viewers hooked! One of the show’s longest running characters, who happens to be stunningly beautiful and stylish is Alexandra Felstead aka Binky. For quite a while now Binky has teamed up with a brand I love In The Style for some fun and fresh collections. I really love the casual and edgy feel of the items and I was happy to see that many items from the range are available in their Curve collection. This oversized sweater dress being one of them.

A plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high bootsA plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high boots

Summer in the UK this year was minimal. It’s fair to say that we didn’t have much of a season and so transitional looks are how I’m making the most of my wardrobe. I really like how simple this dress is whilst still having some colour and a bit of character. I should note that when it comes to In The Style Curve items I tend to wear sizes 22 and 24. With this dress I opted for a size 28 as I really wanted it to fit in an oversized way. It’s no secret that I have a large bust, big bum and a tummy. To get the desired look I decided to up-size, I’d say it’s a true to size item more than oversized.

A plus size woman smiling wearing an oversized sweater dressA plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high boots

I really enjoy wearing dresses that can be paired with others or worn on their own. I thought about wearing this one with some wet look leggings but decided against it. What girl doesn’t love a good pair of knee high leather boots? I pulled on some fun fish net tights and opted for my Jilsen Denise boots from Wide Calf Boot Store. Ladies like myself often struggle to find good quality boots to fit our calves. I can highly recommend this brand if you’re looking for a variety of style options this season. In my case I like a pair of knee high black boots for autumn and winter as they work with so many outfits.

A plus size woman smiling wearing a knee high wide calve boots A plus size woman smiling wearing a knee high wide calve bootsA plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high boots

I have to say I really love the range of clothing items in Binky’s range. It’s really nice to see that so many of the items in the main range are available in plus size too. This dress in particular makes me feel really sexy when wearing it even though it’s essentially an oversized sweater. The length is just right for a short dress and doesn’t hitch up high over my bum. The item makes for a fun casual piece that can easily be dressed up or down. The floral embroidered sleeves are really fun and the cute detail brings some rich colour to a black piece. I even found the perfect lippy to match the flowers, Orange Danger shade 883 from Maybelline.

A plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dressA plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high bootsA plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high boots

I decided to wear this in a casual way but it could easily be dressed up with some cute stiletto heels, fun accessories and bright makeup. No doubt there will be more edgy and fun items to come from Binky and In the Style in the near future and I can’t wait to see them! Check out the other items in the current collection from In The Style Curve, rich colours, fun patterns and prints and sassy cuts are available. It’s definitely worth taking a look as there is something for everyone.

Check out my review of the Karina Dress which is still available.

A plus size woman wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high bootsA plus size woman smiling wearing an oversized sweater dress and knee high boots

Stay tuned here on the blog as I’ll be sharing more items from the brand here on the blog very soon!

Have fun with your look this season and don’t ditch those summer items just yet. You may be able to include them in a fun transitional look. If you are wanting something a little warmer you should definitely try out a sweater dress. Who would have thought that a sweater with a little extra length could be so fun and sexy to wear?!

A plus size woman smiling wearing an oversized sweater dress

*Dress And Boots Are Gifted Items
Remember whatever you wear, feel fabulous in it and do it with a smile!

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!

Embracing My Blackness

*Photography By Studio52 Clothing From Evans Clothing, Live Unlimited And Hotter Shoes

It seems that the entire planet is talking about America at the moment. They have just elected the new president, enjoyed the Superbowl Halftime show and black history month is in full swing. I’ve been watching a lot of American TV shows and news postings lately and even though the celebration of black history month doesn’t come to the UK until October, it got me thinking about the icons who have inspired me, important people in my family and of course my own blackness…

I come from a multi racial family as many of my readers know. My mother is half Irish and Trinidadian and my father is Jamaican. In both sides of my family the Caribbean influences have hints of Indian and Chinese. Having said all of that people are often interested to know where my family are from and having been exposed to all sides of my culture I have always identified as a mixed race person. I personally find that embracing a part of myself doesn’t have to mean ignoring the other and I try to merge the different areas of my background into the various areas as life such as my diet, the music I create and listen to and of course when it comes to my looks to name a few.

For the past few months I have been wearing my hair natural and it has been an interesting journey. I had no idea how much work and upkeep is required in taking care of my hair or how I would be perceived with the different styles I might wear. I’m still trying to get used to it to be honest with you and at times I find myself frustrated. I am finding that the most supportive people around me on my hair journey actually happen to be my white friends. I had expected in all truth that I would be bombarded with people asking questions about my hair and wanting to touch it out of a somewhat negative interest but, I was pleasantly surprised in that area and was received with positivity and enthusiasm. My friends seem to really love the “REAL” part of me and think that I should take my look to the next level with more experimental hair styles. In contrast to this I have found that some of my own family members have had some minor issues with my hair and how I have chosen to style it on occasion. I have been teased quite a lot recently and given the nickname Harriet Tubman. What’s awkward for me is that this has been given to me in a negative sense. I guess wearing my twists with scarfs or bandanas reminds some people of the kind of images we see from times past or what we see from documents surrounding slavery or something. In truth I am slightly saddened by this for several reasons. For one thing I have a lot to learn when it comes to taking care of my 4c hair but I find that using a woman like Ms Tubman as an insult is insane! For one thing she was a humanitarian, abolitionist, american spy and armed scout during the civil war, what an incredible women with an amazing legacy.

I will always enjoy a variety of different hair styles, wigs, natural and styles in between. One thing that is apparent though is that a black or brown woman wearing her hair natural to some people looks like a rebellious action or a political statement. I never would have thought that sporting the very hair that grows from my scalp would be viewed in such a way. The thing is, I will continue to use these situations as a talking point to raise awareness to things. Many of my friends and even some family members had no idea how time consuming, expensive and difficult wearing natural hair could be until they were witness to what I go through. Washing your hair can take between 3-5 hours sometimes, luckily stylists advise that women with hair like mine only wash their hair every 1-2 weeks!

I am enjoying embracing myself and learning more about influential and special people who play a huge role in black history. As a Londoner I can honestly say that what is taught in schools about black history is so minimal and it’s a shame because there are so many amazing things that can be shared. I don’t think of myself as a particularly political person but I do have a big opinion and the readiness to share it if asked or if the moment requires it.

*Photography By Studio52 Clothing From Evans Clothing And Live Unlimited

I simply think that with what’s going on in America at the moment and to a degree here in the UK; that it’s important for everyone in the world regardless of their ethnicity or their experience to speak out and share their stories. I really believe that the only way barriers are broken down, people come together and change is a possibility is through talking and sharing. People don’t understand or they can be fearful or what’s new or different and I find that even something as simple as one’s hair can be an interesting place to start and get the dialogue going. These are the things that brought for the civil rights movement, feminist movement and spawned the welcoming change to the LGBTQ community all of the world. We all have rights, we all want acceptance and love and I just think that people really need to listen to that old saying our parents told all of us “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. The thing is we have become able to experience different genres of music, various styles of cuisine and even adopt customs from our brothers and sisters. I really think a lot has been achieved but  we need to take the time to look at the topic of skin colour and the areas around it, otherwise we stand still or even worse move backwards in our way of thinking.

I may see myself as a woman of mixed race but I have always embraced areas of my blackness and I’m proud that I can do more of this through something as small as wearing my hair the way God intended for me to have it!

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

Relaxed Summer Style – An Evans Clothing Review

*All Items Worn Have Been Gifted

Summer is drawing to a close and we are being treated to the odd day of sunshine. As Autumn is starting to creep in we are in one of those transitional periods when selecting items for our wardrobe can get a little tricky. I am currently still trying to battle some of my former confidence issues and with that I aim to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone, until things get comfortable for me that is. Many of you who are familiar with my blog will know that I don’t like showing off my upper arms. My biceps have always been one of my problem areas and I have tried to pick out clothes to force me to go bare armed. I find that when I do things to push myself in a different direction, I tend to end up liking the way that part of my body looks.


Hanna and I recently took a trip to Evans in London’s Marble Arch to check out the current collections and select a few items for review. I saw this emerald green tunic from Live Unlimited and really wanted to try it out. The thickness of the shoulders and the cut of the garment is one that I knew would flatter my shape really nicely. The included pockets are a bonus too as they are deep enough to store your phone, purse and your lipstick! I’m wearing this in a size size 24.

Green isn’t a colour that I have bought a lot of over the years. I really like how certain shades of green bring out the golden tones in my complexion but I haven’t been lucky enough to find that many items I like. I really enjoy wearing this tunic as it’s comfortable, spacious and a great length. I thought it would be nice to pair this one with a pair of wide leg trousers for a relaxed summer look. I opted for this pair of white, wide legged linen trousers, I’m wearing these in a size 24. I love the lightness and the easiness of these 2 items worn together. For a really comfortable and simple look that is really nice in this transitional period, these items work really well together. The richness of the green really makes the white pop.

Tackling a bad hair day I opted for my black fringed hair scarf. I love having hair-wear that works with pretty much everything in my wardrobe, and so I have been collecting bandanas and scarves for several years now.

To finish off the outfit I pulled out my nude patent open toe heels. I think everyone woman should own a pair of nude heels as they work with so many colours and can offset a look in a different way to classic black shoes.

I love my silver jewellery it’s no secret that’s in my preferred shade when it comes to accessories. I really like the contrast between my skin tone and the sparkly silver. My signature hoops were a must and were complimented nicely by my caged stone necklace, this one is currently available from the Dorothy Perkins website in a rose gold. You may still find the silver version in selected stores however. Finished off with this square cuff bangle from Topshop and my outfit was just as I wanted it.


I kept my makeup to it’s usual style and added a sparkly pink lipgloss from Rimmel. I opted for a deep green silk finish polish from Barry M on my nails. I have recently become obsessed with nail polish and have racked up quite a collection! More will be revealed soon on the blog…

So you know what I always say, aim to have clothes that are suitable for all occasions and moods. Separates can make this idea easier to achieve. I find that with separate items I can wear some things that were meant for the previous season into the next one, if matched with something carefully. I dress to my mood and comfort level so although I sometimes love to wear a fitted outfit or have my cleavage on show, there are times when I just like to keep it simple with a little something extra for style.

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!

Casual Blues – Keeping It Simple

Sometimes you just have one of those days when you want to keep things simple fashion wise. If I’m having a “down” day when I’m running around doing errands or just moving at a slower pace I like to dress comfortably. We all have those casual items in our closets that make us feel good and are really easy go-to items. In my case I tend to go towards a simple pair of jeans and a top combo.

On a quiet Sunday afternoon after work I like to go for a walk around my area from time to time. As we still have that winter chill that is very prominent in the air I like to dress in a weather-appropriate way. Many years ago I bought a simple three quarter length sleeved top from Simply Be I love basic items like this as they are timeless and pretty much for any trend. I love the colour against my skin tone and this is a top that I have worn pretty much everywhere. I decided to pair this with my indigo super stretch jeans from Evans. I usually go for black jeans but I think every girl needs a staple pair of indigo jeans in her closet.

To finish off the look I went for my Legroom chain boots from Fashion World. This time of year is definitely boot weather and the chain detail complimented the gold of my statement necklace perfectly. Dealing with a bad hair day my favourite black beret from Simply Be was my final touch along with gold twisted hoop earrings and I was set.

As many of you know my all time favourite colour is blue. For me you simply can’t go wrong with it. I love blue because it’s a colour that can be worked with in so many ways. Fun and interesting prints can work with any shade and you can wear both gold and silver jewellery items when accessioning.

We all have those days when we just want to throw something on and go about our business. Just a few simple touches can make a very simple outfit a lot more fun to wear. In my case when I feel that way I make sure to put my make up on, some earrings and a cute necklace and that’s me set. You can literally throw anything on and make it work a lot of the time. If you have that go-to colour that you always feel good in, start there.

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

The Sensational Scarlett & Jo And The SS15 Shoot

The past few weeks have been a major whirlwind for me, the most exciting thing was of course working with the amazing Scarlett & Jo for their Spring and Summer campaign, and getting to know 7 of my other blogging sisters better.

The cupcake party was a lot of fun and it was nice to discover how the others girls came to start their blogs and what journey’s they have been on in the process. I have said it before and I will say it again, the highlight for me was of course working with Scarlett & Jo. When I first came into the offices and met with Aoife, Louisa and Gifi the incredible journey started for me. Everyone was so welcoming and so lovely and what really struck me and put a smile on my face was of course meeting the amazing designer Gifi. For years I had spent years working as a professional singer and musician and Gifi really reminds me of many of the people I had met during my years on the stage and in theatre. He is such a character; full of life, zeal and creativity. I really gravitate towards fun and creative people and he is exactly that. I was surprised and extremely flattered to learn that he had seen my reviews of the Powerfit dress on the Evans website and then my blog posts about their clothes. It was such a pleasure to speak with him in person and to see how much passion he has for creating amazing clothes for women everywhere. Scarlett & Jo as a brand is very precious to him and he and the team are committed to bringing women beautiful garments which look great on women of all shapes and sizes. The detail and engineering that goes into the clothing is second to none and it shows whenever you wear them. I was just saying to a friend of mine earlier today that nearly 2 years after buying my first dress and wearing it EVERYWHERE it still looks and fits exactly the same as it did the first day I wore it!

Here are my final images from the shoot:

I was so honoured to have been asked to join the girls in the current campaign. So much thought has gone into every single item in the collection and there really is something to suit everyone. I have to say it was so nice to be working with a group of people who all share the same passion about fashion for the plus woman and every picture taken on the day came out so beautiful. Hats off to the incredibly talented Nicky Rockets for all of his work, he was such a pleasure to shoot with. The collection is rolling out onto the Evans website as I write this post with items being added daily. Selected stores which stock the Scarlett & Jo range will also be getting these items so keep your eyes and ears open for updates.

Here are some of my favourite out-take pictures taken on the shoot:

Photography from Nicky Rockets

Check out the blogs of the other girls and see what gorgeous garments they wore during the shoot: Betty, Gloria, Becky, Georgina, Elena, Hollie and Nancy

For more on Scarlett & Jo check out their Tumblr and Evans

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