Monthly Archives: October 2013

Raindrops on Roses…

raindrops_like_diamonds_by_rozkolysana-d3jytt1

raindrops_like_diamonds_by_rozkolysana-d3jytt1

I was inspired to write this post after a very enlightening chat I had with a friend this morning.

Somehow, through a lot of hard work and practice, and while going through a situation that made looking outside for happiness difficult, she learned to look inside, and to somehow change her perception of everything to see it through a rose-tinted super sparkly filter. It’s all about perception.

I can’t begin to explain what she did and how she did it but I want me some of that. Imagine being able to feel happy when your bus is late, your feet hurt and it’s just started to rain.

I want that!

She told me she’d managed to somehow alter her brain chemistry to see and feel everything as exciting, an adventure, and notice beauty in absolutely everything too. I couldn’t help laughing and telling her that there were people who would pay good money for a chemical that does that to their mind, and there she was getting it for nothing.

Anyway, she gave me a few hints about how to do it. Clue: it involves a lot of writing down positives and reading Byron Katie. But one of these days I want to see diamonds where the raindrops are…

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Filed under Lifestyle, Relentlessly Positive

Extreme Self Care

selfcareIt’s a bit of a buzzword at the moment, or should that be a ‘buzz-phrase’?

Extreme self care sounds like it’s probably way over the top. Too much. Not for the likes of us, but for hippy types who have nothing better to do than sit around chanting and meditating.

I kind of thought it was a bit self indulgent, to be honest. Selfish even. I mean, the thought of being selfish, putting my needs first and just doing things for me – like I’d have time, right?

Well, after having a lovely chat with Donna Highton, otherwise known as Donna on the Beach, I realised that I had it all wrong. Looking after yourself is vital, and even more so when you’re busy as hell and don’t think you have the time to go for a wee, let alone indulge yourself and chill out.

Don’t think so? Neither did I until this week. But Donna explained to me in words that even a stressed out copywriter can understand. I came across Donna via The Amazing Biz and Life group, and I love her for being down to earth, practical, funny and even a little bit sweary. If you have a car that you need to get you to work and back, you make sure it’s filled with fuel, serviced and taken care of. If you try and run the car on vapours and neglect it, eventually it will just stop running and won’t be in any state to get you anywhere. Well, the same goes for your body and soul. All the time you’re not taking care of your body and soul, running on empty, not making sure you get what you need, you’re just buying time until your body just says, “Sod this, I can’t go any further”

That’s when you get poorly, catch a cold, have a bit of a meltdown, and if you’re actually listening, you’ll realise that you’re being told to sit the hell down and rest. Eat some decent food and watch TV, dammit! If you carry on, and on…well, you’re going to crash.

I realised I’m at the “Listen to me, will you?” point. I’m trying to deal with the symptoms of lots of little pesky ailments, but the underlying cause is stress. And funnily enough, much as I REALLY hate to admit it, my diet. I’ve cut wheat out of my diet as an experiment, after reading ‘Wheat Belly’ – and I haven’t needed to take acid reflux pills for two days, my tummy has settled down, and I think my skin rash is clearing up…the one I’ve had a YEAR which hasn’t responded to anything yet. This makes me SO happy.

Even if I miss cake. Anyway, the food experiment was just a part of my self-care routine. I’ve also been trying to do something nice for myself every day, whether it’s an hour reading a book, going for a walk in the park, or listening to a meditation MP3. It’s working, I feel happier, more creative and more productive already. I think I’ve gone from a 2 out of 10 in the “How cared for do you feel?” to at least a 5.

I love that I actually listened to Donna on this! She has a fab e-book you can download for free if you sign up to her blog; and also the 110 Steps to Heal Your Money e-book is free this weekend. I’m working my way through the money e-book because, well, I have a wedding to pay for… I’ll keep you posted on how the wheat-avoidance goes, but if a little bit of diet-tweaking can cure three ailments in one go, I’m gonna be a happy girl…

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Filed under Amazing Biz and Life Academy, General, Lifestyle, Relentlessly Positive

I totally need fitness inspiration

I’ve let my fitness slide just lately.

TomorrowI could come up with a million excuses but in all honesty I’ve just not been in the mood to haul myself over to the gym. I’m busy, I’m stressed, I’m knackered.

Now I’m busy, stressed, knackered and feeling decidedly less fit than I’d like to.

I wish I could drive – I’d be able to jump in the car and go to a fitness class after work or early in the day, but in reality I can only go to the daytime classes because the buses don’t run here after 6 pm. I’m also a chicken. The thought of a spinning class full of fitties scares the crap out of me, and although I love the thought of Yoga and Pilates, the classes make me feel like the odd, fat girl out as they bend into positions I couldn’t get myself into if I tried for a week.

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Probably, yes.

What am I going to do about it?

I don’t really know. I’m putting feelers out for feel good fat fitness. I need to get down that gym, too, don’t I?

If anyone has any surefire fun, fat-friendly workout DVDs to recommend, let me know!

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Plus size fashion goes with the flow

VB dress

You know the rules. We’ve been trying so long to bust the stereotypes of the plus size woman in the kaftan or loose flowing skirt, that we’ve got all militant when it comes to our fashion sense and banned anything loose from our wardrobes. We can do body-con, we love a bit of tailoring. What’s wrong with embracing our curves? No more tents, thank you very much!

Except, sometimes it’s just good to, you know, let it all loose. I follow the brilliant Mason Bentley fashion blog, and when questioned during London Fashion Week about what was hot for 2014, loose was the way to go according to Anna Mason and Kate Bentley. These two are my kind of designers – they started their journey making clothes for themselves and friends, but demand outstripped supply and now they are creating their very own capsule collection. You can see them talking fashion sense here:

So if we’re talking loose and flowy, where can we find something that looks good, rather than as if it’s been designed to double up as somewhere to camp at Glastonbury? we want curve-skimming and comfortable, not voluminous. As an aside, I love you, Victoria Beckham, but THAT dress? The one above? Didn’t do it for me.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve found.

Vintage Look Swing Dress ASOS Curve £40

.Vintage Look Swing Dress ASOS Curve in Red £40

This gorgeous swing dress is from ASOS Curve, available in red and black, and would look lovely either as it is, with tights and boots, or over leggings in the winter. At £40, you could probably get both, and it’s easy to dress up or down depending on your mood.

From Simply Be, the Rise Judy Beaded Cuff  Tunic dress – £70 – has a real seventies’ vibe to it – maybe it’s just the turquoise that’s making me think it wouldn’t look out of place on the cover of Cosmo in 1974? If you’re not brave enough to go all the way and wear the jade version, you can dress it down a bit in black instead. Would look amazing with a floppy hat and HUGE sunnies on holiday, but in colder climes it might be best to cinch it in the middle with a wide belt, slip on a pair of skinny jeans underneath and wear it with flatties for a casual and comfortable look. Or you could wear it with a pair of funky tights from Miss Difusa:

Rise Judy Cuff Tunic Simply Be £70 Miss Difusa floral tights £6.99

Long flowing skirts always feel good at this time of year and I’ve found a great buy – the half-lined georgette/jersey maxi skirt from Grazia at Simply Be. It’s currently just £20 if you want to invest in a nice little flowing number.

Grazi Maxi skirt £20 Simply Be

I’m not entirely sure why it’s so cheap, but I kinda like it.

Finally, if you want to make a very bold fashion statement, you could hunt down some of these Paper Moon wide legged palazzo pants. I found them on Amazon and I think you can also

Paper Moon Palazzo Pants £13.95 buy them on eBay; on Amazon these pirate-printed beauties were only £19.95 so they’re worth shelling out for and the elasticated waistband makes them perfect for maternity as well as “I ate way too much for dinner.”

What do you think? Will you be embracing the loose and flowing trend this season, or sticking to flaunting your feminine curves in more structured pieces?

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Filed under Fashion, Lifestyle

Break the Diet Cycle

The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed that there’s a new banner on the right. There’s another one at the top of this page, just in case you missed it! It’s for the  Break the Cycle workshop, which is run by the fabulous Never Diet Again team, who are fans of the Health at Every Size movement (so am I).

I only promote products that I really believe in, and yes, NDA have kindly asked me if I’d like to be an affiliate, so I will get commission if any of you click through my links. But that aside, if it wasn’t in Manchester I’d be going myself! Damn you, expensive train fares and needing a hotel for the night. The course is perfect for anyone who still struggles with self acceptance and the nagging desire to diet.

A day in Angela’s company will inspire you to wean yourself off of diets for good, by explaining how you’re not actually designed to win the fight against your weight, and why all the things you’ve been told to do for all these years aren’t working. Nope, not even healthy eating and portion control.

You’ll also learn how to get a grip on your dysfunctional eating habits and sigh a big sigh of relief at the realisation that stopping dieting for ever and booting your food restriction out of your life can actually make it EASIER and not harder to eat normally, and I hate to say it, sensibly.

Part three of the day will put the spring back in your step with the first steps on the yellow brick road to real happiness that’s not weight or size dependent. Yes, you really will leave with a new outlook, an ability to live like you want to and not like the diet magazines tell you to, and make real improvements in your health through treating yourself with love and kindness.

Places for this kick-ass course are strictly limited but if you’re interested in kick starting your diet-free life you can use this link or any of the banners on the blog to get your early-bird bonus.

Oh, and if you don’t think this course has made any difference to your life after 30 days, you get your money back. Win-win, as far as I can see.

Go for it 🙂

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Filed under Food and diets, General, Lifestyle

Review: Wingz by FatPhrocks

Wingz2

The Selfie is not my friend…

OK, I have to hold my hands up and confess right now that FatPhrocks are a client of mine. But I’m quite honestly wearing a pair of their darling little Wingz as I type, and I’m going to give them an honest write up.

Wingz are a hybrid underwear/outerwear garment that answers the question “What can I use to cover my arms when it gets cold?”

If, like me, you aren’t a fan of long sleeves, but you know the time’s coming to cover up your arms because goosebumps just aren’t attractive, if you own a pair of Wingz you might be able to eke out a little bit more wear from your sleeveless summer tops, rather than sadly shut them away in a drawer after September.

They look a bit odd when you get them out of their packaging, and then if you’re like me, you might put them on the wrong way around, despite the helpful little tag that indicates where the back is. Ahem. They feel a bit tricky when you first put them on, I had to fiddle with mine to make it hide my bra straps, and sit where I wanted it to.

Once I’d got mine in place over my bra and under my top, though, it felt very comfortable, and less bulky than the jersey top that I’d been wearing under my Joe Brown’s tunic. I picked the lacy sleeves, but I also have a plain black pair and a dressy pair with floaty arms that will look good under a lot of my summer short sleeved tops.

They are the perfect length for me, although I know another blogger has reviewed them and she mentioned that she found the sleeves too short. Personally, I hate sleeves that come all the way to my wrist and I always roll them up anyway, so it’s fine by me. I’d say the lace ones are elbow length, and the plain ones look about the same.

I had no problem getting them to fit my arms either, they feel stretchy enough to accommodate a bit of bingo wingage and they don’t feel too tight on me at all. I did have to pull the band down at the back to get it to stay in place, but once it was there it stayed put all day. I know, don’t remind me, I haven’t done anything more energetic than the washing up in them.

I will definitely be wearing my new Wingz again, and I’d recommend them to anyone who isn’t yet ready to put her sleeveless tops away for the winter…

Wingz1

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The REAL Style Council

sc_nicolette

Anyone who’s anyone in plus size fashion knows about Nicolette Mason, Fat Girl in a Skinny World for Marie Claire US and the drop dead gorgeous blogger who is right on the pulse when it comes to curvy girl chic. She’s a bit of a heroine of mine, and even more so now she’s announced that she’s part of the Navabi Style Council.

To those of us who associate the Style Council with one of Paul Weller’s more forgettable musical projects, as of 2013 it’s a genius idea that brings together a group of the world’s most stylish plus-size fashionistas to give us mere mortals wise words of fashion advice via the Navabi website. Nicolette Mason posts about finding the perfect pair of jeans, while the gorgeous Fluvia Lucerda (who has graced the cover of Beautiful Magazine, too) talks about why curves are hot hot hot!

Meanwhile, did you know that we actually have a plus size fashion columnist in UK Cosmo? I didn’t wither, but you can check out Laura Puddy’s advice on the just-right jacket over there now (I still want the gorgeous lace biker jacket from Evans, just so you know) too.

Luciana Scmidt

Luciana Scmidt

Other fashion experts in the know are blogger Luciana Scmidt, plus size model Elisa D’Ospina and Edith Dohman (who talks about a subject close to many of our hearts: in-between sizing)

This is a really clever move from Navabi, a high-end designer store for plus size fashion fiends. I have to confess haven’t been high up on my fashion radar until I saw Nicolette’s blog yesterday morning, but I’m thinking the designs might be aspirational enough to keep me coming back for a good nose around (I absolutely adore most things Anna Scholz and I didn’t even know Roberto Cavalli did a plus size line.)

Have to say I think it’s a genius move here by Navabi, associating their website with some of the most popular fashion bloggers and models from around the world. I’ll definitely be bookmarking it…

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