Saturday, 20 December 2014

Vintage Inspired Monochrome With Taking Shape*

Recently I was browsing the Taking Shape website, eyeing up the new collections and taking a peek at the sale items when an outfit came together into my head around the dress I had my eye on.

I snapped up the petticoat (currently £15 down from £65) and tights, and Taking Shape very kindly sent me the dress and coat to complete the outfit.

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When I first laid eyes on the Carnival Rose dress I was skimming the Taking Shape page and the flash of black and white caught my eye. In that split second it almost reminded me of the cover of The Beatles' album Revolver. I know, ridiculous, but that's what registered in my sleepy brain and I've been smitten by the dress ever since. I feel so lucky to have been given the chance to try this dress and it most certainly doesn't disappoint.

This vintage inspired dress has a flared skirt that sits a fair bit below the knee (I'm 5'4") and the waist hits exactly in the right place for me. It's not too high-waisted so there are no problems for ladies who are larger in the chest department. The contrast of the monochrome and clash of stripes and florals makes the print really pop and the piping along the panels of this dress fit and flatter in all the right places.

I opted for my usual size in this dress but as you can see I may benefit from sizing down. There's a bit of gaping in the top and I prefer a slightly more fitted look around the chest and waist.

The Lavish Coat is a thing of utter beauty. The modern velour feels so luxurious and compliments the sateen dress perfectly. There are so many things about this coat. The asymmetric hem, the puffball collar with the scarf intertwined throughout and the single button make it truly special.

I sized up as I do have very wide upper arms but I would say this coat is perhaps a little generous so getting my regular size would have sufficed as I doubt I'll be layering much under this. It's not that kind of coat. It's very much an "occasion" piece for this season however I can see it getting much more use when the evenings turn a little warmer.

I have had so many compliments on this outfit and it really does make me feel glam! Despite choosing to let the dress speak for itself, after seeing these photos I think I need a nice vintage necklace to fill the space and bring it all together.

I can't wait to try this outfit in the warmer weather with bare legs and bigger petticoat. I think it'll look fabulous!

Both the dress and the coat are currently reduced on the Taking Shape website. Head over there to check out their daily Glitzmas offers.

*The Lavish coat and Carnival Rose dress were kindly gifted but all opinions are my own.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Comfort In Coatigans with JD Williams*

When JD Williams contacted me to review some items from their knitwear range, I knew there was something I had to try.
It seems there is a trend for combining two items of clothing to make something newish, and this is one such item. So move over skorts, jog on jeggings, make way for the mighty coatigan.

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Not quite a coat, not quite a cardigan, this badboy is a a cut above the rest. I am seriously in love.

I wore this on a fairly nippy school run one morning last week and I can honestly say I was surprised at how warm it kept me! It beats my autumn trench coat hands down in both warmth and comfort and is perfect not only for those dry crisp winter mornings when you don't want the bulk of several layers, but also when you want something to snuggle into of an evening when the heating's off.

I sized up for this as I always do for outerwear and I'm glad I did since I love my outerwear baggy but if you like a normal fit, then stick to your usual size as this coatigan does run true.
The coatigan is available to buy now here and is currently reduced from £40 down to £20-24. Up to half price and worth every penny.

I'll be honest, I do have one hangup on the coatigan and that is the lack of a button. On the school run I'm juggling with backpacks and lunchboxes, hats and gloves and could do with a button to stop it flapping open in the wind but then I suppose that's what shawl pins are for!

Its not the end of the world, mind you and it hasn't stopped me wearing it almost every day since it landed on my doorstep. It even accompanied me to Harry Potter World on Friday.

So go now! Grab yourself a bargain and stay warm this winter.

*This item was gifted but all opinions are my own.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday Plus Size Fashion Highlights

Love it or hate it, Black Friday has taken the UK by storm. Over the past few years, it's been adopted by us non-Americans as a giant countrywide flash sale for anyone mad enough to queue in the cold at midnight.

I have to say I'm far too sensible/lazy/broke to be partaking in such shenanigans so instead I sit indoors, watching the madness from my laptop, whilst checking out what Black Friday bargains are to be had in the online plus size fashion world. It'd be rude not to share the wealth, wouldn't it? So here are my tips for Black Friday shopping this afternoon.

Actual tip: Avoid Currys and Tesco unless you are invincible, invisible, superfast and completely bonkers.

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So where can we find good deals in size fat? Search no more! Here is a list of bargains I have sniffed out just for you:

Yours Clothing are offering 25% off everything in store and online for a limited time only. Which makes me rather pleased that I held off on buying anything earlier in the week!

Lady Vintage are offering up to a whopping 60% (whaaaaaat!) off their clothing today. This one had me so excited that I stayed up til midnight to bag a bargain.

ASOS have 20% off everything with code CYBERWKND20

Pink Clove are offering 20% off all new arrivals including some pieces perfect for the Christmas party!

Boohoo have up to 30% off and are also offering free delivery with code FREEDEL

Missguided have 20% off everything with code CYBER20

Topsy Curvy have 15% off with code BLACKFRIDAY14

Taking Shape are offering 25% off sitewide

Simply Be have up to 50% off selected lines here

Evans have a selection of Black Friday offers here and use code BLKFRIDAY for free nominated delivery

Lindy Bop have 15% off selected items

Collectif have 20% off everything with code BF20

Modcloth, oh Modcloth. They've got 50% off hundreds of new items in their Beyond Black Friday offer.

Hurry! Some of these end TONIGHT. I may have a little splurge (I may have already started), so keep em peeled to see what I've bought over the coming weeks.


Monday, 17 November 2014

Early Christmas Discount From Yours Clothing!

Sorry folks, talking about "that time of year" is 100% unavoidable now. X Factor and the Coca Cola advert. John Lewis and their pengiun. Cadbury and their (lack of) chocolate coins. Everyone's talking about it and with less than 6 weeks to go until Christmas, you may want to think about sorting out your outfit for the day and (if you're anything like me) maybe another outfit for Boxing Day too. Not to mention the stretchy pants for when you're as stuffed as the turkey.

To help you along, the lovelies at Yours Clothing are offering a festive £5 discount on all full-priced purchases throughout today and tomorrow both online and in store with the use of the voucher below. Enjoy!

I've taken a look at the party dresses on the Yours website and picked a few of my favourites that are currently eligible for the discount. I've been sensible and chosen mostly darker colours. Let's face it, nobody wants to witness the horror of a gravy covered sprout rolling down a baby pink dress!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Head over to Yours Clothing now to get kitted out for Christmas!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Tess Munster & Yours Clothing: A Perfect Pairing

Exciting news guys! Today it was announced that Tess Munster is going to be working with Yours Clothing for some up and coming campaigns. This is amazing for all involved and something of a breakthrough for a UK plus size high street store.

Most models hired for plus size campaigns on the high street are a size 14 or 16, which I believe is the UK average. To me it makes little sense to hire an average sized model to showcase plus size clothing. It's far more realistic to have someone larger than the national average to show us what plus size clothes may look like on a plus size target market. Why this isn't done more often is beyond me so hats off to Yours Clothing for taking this step. Let's hope more brands follow suit.

This pairing of Yours and Tess is a little more significant than just the coming together of a brand and a model for me and quite possibly many others.

As recently as 14 months ago I was a completely different Cupcake. I had no confidence and  no self esteem. I had a very negative body image and couldn't handle even the slightest suggestion that I put on a dress. And then someone shared a post on Facebook.

It was the first time I had ever heard of or seen Tess Munster and I instantly admired her attitude, her confidence and the way she was completely unashamed to stand up to everyone and say "This is me. I am beautiful. If you don't like it... That's not my problem,"

I decided I had to feel like that.
I had to turn my life around and try new things. To not feel ashamed of who I am and to accept and learn to love what I then perceived to be flaws. That weekend I went shopping in Yours Clothing and bought my first two dresses since I don't know when (my wedding dress absolutely does not count) and almost instantly became a happier, more confident version of myself.

So thank you Tess. Thank you Yours.
You got me out of a rut.

I can't wait to see the results of this campaign.

**To celebrate the announcement, Yours  Clothing are offering a 20% discount to new customers with the promotional code "TESS"

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Perfect Prints With Silly Old Sea Dog

That's it folks, I'm moving on to pastures new. Foral prints are done for!

Okay, that's obviously not entirely true. But while I love my big daisies and sparkly rose prints, recently my attention has been directed towards bigger, bolder and dare I say more exciting prints?

After a short love affair with Modcloth (which might have been a lifelong relationship if it weren't for postage costs and customs fees), during which I received three dresses with gorgeous prints and not a flower in sight, my eyes have wandered to find more of these petal-free pretties. I wasn't quite sure how I might trump a woodland print, scottie dogs and a tropical fruitgasm but I think I've done it.

You may have already heard of Silly Old Sea Dog, a wonderful company producing 50s style clothing in not-so-50s style prints, possibly due to their fantastically popular Cartoon Dress (available up to a size UK28) which is so high on my Wishlist Of Awesome Things right now. I have to get me one of these.

I've been an admirer of Silly Old Sea Dog for a while now, so I was rather excited when they contacted me showcasing some new and upcoming products. The first dress to catch my eye was this awesome quirky fox print. How cool is this little guy with his hats and neckties!

This foxy dress will be available up to a size 20 which, while great news for some, is unfortunate for a lot of us fat babes who are far too flabulous to squeeze into such sizes. My chest would be bustin seams all over the place!

Not one to be deterred however, I kept a keen eye on the Silly Old Sea Dog new arrivals and found the gorge turquoise Forest Friends dress which is available now up to a size UK28.

What a beaut! I absolutely adore the colour of this dress and it makes such a refreshing change from the butterflies or owls that seem to have overpopulated plus size fashion of late. There are wolves and eagles and bears, oh my! A fantastic take on a wildlife theme.

And now they're producing a Christmas collection which I cannot wait to see, so keep an eye out for that!

Have you bought anything from Silly Old Sea Dog? What's your favourite print?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

All You Need Is Lush; Part Deux (Pic Heavy)

Back in September Lush in Bluewater closed for a refit and earlier this month I was invited back to their relaunch party to take a look at the new layout and some fantastic seasonal products.

It's a very impressive store with a fantastic Bar-style layout which allows for much more floor space.
Lush know how to treat their guests, with bubbly and cake, product demos, live music, and of course a first glance at this years Christmas range. Snow Fairy is back, ladies!

I'm in love with the Snowman Fun Kit. How cute is that lil guy!
Giftboxes Galore & Cutie Pie Penguins

I was really excited by a product called Northern Lights, which I'd not heard of before. It's a bath bomb/fizzer and reminds me of a colourful firework, spinning and swirling around, turning the water into a rainbow of gorgeous colours. I definitely need this in my life!

One of the main attractions of the night was the brand new make up bar. This is one of only a few in the UK and has such a gorgeous, bright and extensive range of eyeliners, lipsticks, eye shadows, foundation and brushes. We were also treated to the talents of a make up artist. She recommended a lipstick to me so I tried Passionate and fell in love. It's a gorgeous pink with blue undertones that make the lips shimmer. Of course I had to test to see how easily it washed off so I grabbed a glass of bubbly. For research purposes of course!
To say the Passionate Lipstick has staying power is an understatement. The next morning my lips still had a large amount of colour and would have only needed a thin layer of touchup colour. Definitely worth the £14.50 price tag. I'll be revisiting the Lush make up bar again for sure.

Towards the end of the evening, we were treated to an acoustic session by a couple of the gorgeous Lush girls, and given our giftbags containing a couple of Lush products and the mini Comforter bubble bars we made earlier that day. I was also given a mango and a melon on my way out. Lush use fruits and natural products in their range and the fruit (just like the aloe vera orange juice from my previous visit) served as a great reminder of that.

Thanks to Lush for your warm welcome and hospitality. It's cemented my love affair with the brand and I urge you all to pop into your local store next time you're passing and see what takes your fancy.

Wearing the fabulous Passionate lipstick from Lush

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Style XL 2015

The keen eyed among you may have noticed a shiny new button on the sidebar of this very website. It's something that I am very excited about so I thought I'd tell you a little more about Style XL.

I was unfortunate enough to miss all the big plus size events this year so I vowed to make more of an effort for 2015. Enter Style XL, a plus size event showcasing all the upcoming trends from some of the best plus size retailers in the UK. There will be a chance to talk to your favourite brands, buy from market stalls, preview the latest trends on the catwalk and enjoy some fabulous entertainment over the two day event.

Next years event (organised by the awesome Leah) is being held in Birmingham over the weekend of 18th - 19th July.
Early bird tickets are available here and are £15 for the weekend, £7.50 for Saturday day, £7.50 for Saturday evening and just £5 for the Sunday day event. I am super excited to be attending next year and hopefully seeing some of you there!

Make sure to keep an eye on the Style XL website, Twitter and Facebook page for updates on brands, events and more.

Can't wait!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Scottie Saturday: An OOTD Attempt

I often feel like I'm letting myself down with my lack of outfit posts. I love seeing other people's outfit of the day and there are times when I'm rockin a new dress or my make up is top notch and I want to take a mirror selfie and proclaim to the world that I FEEL GOOOOOOD.

But every time I try, something like this happens.

Kudos to other mummy bloggers out there (human, fuzzy or otherwise). It's tricky business!

Kiddos and smeary mirror aside I had to show off this dress from Modcloth. It's adorable scottie dog print in black and grey, tartan and houndstooth is so cute it's hard to resist.

The waist is a bit big on me and floofs out making my hips look somewhat bulging (I think its the gathering at the seam) but I'll soldier on for the sake of the itty bitty scottie dogs.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Weekend Wishlist Part 2: Swing Dresses

I have a confession. I'm addicted to window shopping. Any old window shopping will do but really the absolute best kind of window shopping is the vintage inspired 50s style circle swing dress kind of window shopping. There have been some cracking new prints recently so I thought I'd show you a few of my faves. (Honestly this is just a few of them!)

- 1 - 2 -
These two dresses from Pretty Kitty Fashion have beautifully large, bold prints. I adore the sweetheart neckline of the first and the peacock feathers amongst the roses of the second. 

- 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 -
Anybody who follows my social media will know my love for the Ophelia dress from Lindy Bop. If I had to throw away my entire wardrobe and pick only one style of dress for the rest of forever, it'd be the Ophelia. There are so many prints already and new ones are constantly being produced. I'm in love with the pink bird print at the moment. Take a look at it up close. It's gorgeous.

- 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 -
Finally I've been eyeing up some goodies on the Lady V website. A couple of these are currently out of stock but hopefully they'll be back soon. Especially that cupcake one. Wowzers! I was gutted when the Estella dresses (as designed and modeled by the babely Georgina) in cream floral and green bird print sold out but the rose print is still available as well as a new polka dot variety in a few different colourways. The black is just fabulous.

So I guess that's my current top 10. Which is your favourite? Have I missed any that you think should be on this list?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Weekend Wislist Part 1: ASOS

Why do I overlook Asos so often? Their Curve selection is actually rather excellent. So, as I'm alone on a Saturday night with nothing but Doctor Who to keep me company, I thought I'd show you a few bits that are on my wishlist.

1 - 2
I've never seen leopard print as very "me" but this kind of animal print is so... charming. I love it! Especially the woodland print of the first dress. It's perfect for this time of year.

3 - 4 - 5
Checks and tartan are some more of my favourite patterns for the A/W season and I love the variety in these three dresses. I've seen the green dress on a few fellow bloggers but never got around to buying it myself. I forgot about it for a while and it's just made its way back onto my wishlist.

And just because.... Here's a bloomin magical tshirt.

Bonus Unicorn of Awesome
What are your favourites from Asos at the moment? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Chalkboards by Wooden Flamingo

I spend far too little time on Etsy these days. I love the fact that it's a community of independent sellers, buyers and browsers and really need to start checking more often again. I miss far too much good stuff!

One of the Etsy shops that slipped under my radar is Wooden Flamingo. They sell shabby chic homewares, hand knitted baby clothes and the most adorable coloured chalkboards in cute shapes such as clouds, fruit and teacups.
I received this gorgeous double sided pineapple chalkboard* last week and I love it! Isn't it just the most cheerful chalkboard you've ever seen? 

The board arrived well packaged and with it's own pale blue chalk to season the board with. (This is something I didn't know I had to do so I was happy that I was told about it at the time.) I think I will buy a few more chalks in darker shades just because my old lady eyes get a bit squinty at the contrast.

Despite it's bright colours, this chalkboard has a shabby chic feel about it. You can see and feel the brush strokes of the chalkboard paint where each and every item has been handmade with love and attention. The pineapple is double sided and can be hung by the loop of twine rather than wall-mounted so you can flip it over and use a fresh side without rubbing off that all important To Do list.

I love love love that different coloured chalkboards are so readily available these days. It opens up so many more possibilities and let's face it- You can never go wrong with a pineapple!

Are there any shapes you'd like to see in chalkboard form? 

What Etsy shop would you recommend to a frequent browser?

* denotes an item gifted for review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

All You Need Is Lush

Last month Lush Bluewater hosted their first ever blogger morning. Naturally I jumped at the chance
 of a mooch around one of my fave cosmetics stores.

I only had my phone for photos so some of the pictures aren't of the greatest quality but that didn't take away from a fantastic morning.

Gorgeous Bloggers
On arrival at the store I was welcomed in by the lovely staff and we began the morning with fruit and fresh juice which we later learned was mixed with aloe vera. Yep. Aloe vera... in a drink!
Mind. Blown.

Lush use aloe vera in so many of their products and this was a such a great way to highlight it's many uses and benefits. One of the products that contains aloe vera is the Sesame Suntan Lotion which we got to sample instore.

Did you know Lush has a suncare range? Me neither! And it's loooovely.
At SPF10, Sesame Suntan Lotion is perfect for this time of year when the sun isn't at its strongest but you still want a little bit of protection. You simply rub it into your skin and go about your business. Do have a sniff though- the blend of sesame and walnut is delicious!

We also got to try out The Sunblock. This solid sun protection block is applied onto damp skin, blotted dry and has an SPF of 30. I was surprised that the bar soaks in really well and doesn't leave an oily residue. It also goes a long way- One third of a bar is more than enough to cover all your exposed bits.

Now the weather is getting a little more autumnal, I would use Sunblock as a general massage bar too. With calamine and cocoa butter it'll leave the skin feeling lovely and protected.

Getting my Sunblock on

The next order of the day was my favourite part. Making bathbombs!
When people think of Lush, people think of bath bombs. Fizzy ones, colourful ones, ones with glitter, ones with flowers, ones with salt... so many different kinds!

During our bloggers morning we were shown how to make Big Blue. Topped with exfoliating sea salt and containing relaxing lavender oil, lemon oil and seaweed, it has a lovely scent and was great fun to make. I've not used mine yet but I know it's going to be wonderful. I've been saving it for an evening when the brood are elsewhere. As it happens, that night is tonight so I'm very much looking forward to slipping into a bath of beautiful relaxing blue.

Making our Big Blues
Lastly, we were shown the new repackaged perfume range. The solid sticks now come in handy small tins that can be kept tucked in your handbag. We sampled scents such as Karma and Vanillary. I preferred the sweet vanilla scent. What's that you say? I'm sweet enough? No such thing, darling!

How cool are those body spray bottles!
I would like to extend my thanks to the ladies of Lush for being so welcoming and lovely. And also for the incredible gift bag each of us received which included a perfume tin of our choosing, the bath bombs we made earlier in the day, one of the sun protection products amongst various other gorgeous products. There's too much to even write about here. I'm hoping to vlog about the gift bag in the next couple of weeks.

Lush Bluewater is closed for a complete overhaul and will be back open for business on the 6th of October, hopefully with their Christmassy bits. (Can anyone say Snow Fairy? Squee!) Can't wait to venture back and check out the new store. I thoroughly recommend you do the same.

Stay Fabulous!

Photo credit for the last picture goes to Mookie - Thank you!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Yours Clothing - From The Changing Room & Wishlist

A week or so ago a few bloggers, myself included, got together and had an impromptu styling session at Yours Clothing, Bluewater. The staff were so accommodating as we hijacked the biggest changing room and went to town trying on oh so many outfits.

Me, Mookie, Heidi & Abi
photos c/o Mookie @

I realised in that changing room that I have no black dresses. As we transition from summer to autumn, I'm feeling a need for black and monochrome but still with a taste of florals and accent colours. There are a few skater dresses fitting these themes that have caught my eye.

1 / 2 / 3
1. Black Panelled Skater Dress With Jewel Flower Necklace
I love this dress. It's so versatile. The jewel necklace really makes it stand out, however it is detachable for those time you want to dress down a bit or decorate your neck with something different. I tried this dress on and really regret not buying it now.

2. Black and Pink Tropical Floral Skater Dress With Belt
This dress is currently in the sale and most sizes are still available. I've been eyeing it up for a long time but it's never made it to the checkout and I'm not sure why. It's the perfect summer/autumn transition dress. Darker florals will be a staple for me this season I think. I refuse to ditch the florals just because the sun stops shining!

3. Black and White Panelled Skater Dress With Mesh Insert
This dress is so different to anything I currently own. I love the way this dress uses the black and white. I can't work out if you would call this a cold-shoulder dress as the white panel and the mesh yoke look entirely separate from each other, but I think that's what I really like about it. I didn't try this dress but I'd love to see what it looks like on.

Because... BOOBS.

Obviously as autumn approaches we have to look towards keeping that chill off our bods and Yours Clothing aren't short of a thing or two to help us along.

1 / 2
3 / 4
1 & 2: I'm a sucker for a lovely blazer. I've tried on the black with polka dot roll-ups before and it is so comfortable. It's not too rigid and is just a touch on the casual side of smart-casual. The length of the floral blazer looks perfect and would bring a fantastic pop of colour to a black dress like the one I tried on above.

2 & 3: Yep, I'm looking at coats already! The herringbone draped collar coat looks amazingly swooshy and I can imagine myself both buried in it for comfort and twirling it about. How cool would it look with a black dress and brightly coloured tights/leggings? The second coat just has such an unusual pattern and I absolutely love the purple. It makes such a lovely change from the plain coloured coats you'll see elsewhere.

I will be back at Yours Clothing for the opening of the Ashford store on September 5th. If you're in the area, do come along and say hello!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Lookin Fiiiiine with Black Heart Creatives (And 20% Discount)

For a long time I admired Black Heart Creatives from afar. With their excellent designs and custom perspex necklaces I felt a little bit spoilt for choice and, using proper backwards logic, I decided to buy nothing rather than make a decision to buy just one thing.

But I bit the bullet for Fathers Day. My eldest and I took my husband to a sci-fi event and I figured a new necklace was required for the occasion. I instantly thought to the custom necklaces I'd seen others wearing from Black Heart Creatives and emailed them about my idea. Quicker than you can say nerdfest, the necklace was around my neck.


I love this piece. I get so much wear out of it. The size is perfect, the perspex feels strong and sturdy and the length is spot on for me. It's the little personal touches that make Black Heart Creatives stand out from the rest. The time taken to make sure you are perfectly happy with your design, the presentation of each item in it's own lovely box and finishing touches to the necklace.

After receiving the necklace I was sent an item from the Palm Bling range.
These Fiiiiineapple earrings* are marvelous! They're a little bit cute and a little bit quirky and they look fab peeking out from under my pigtails! And with the options of stud or drop earrings in gold (matte or mirrored) or translucent neon (orange or yellow), there truly is something for everyone. There is even a matching necklace and brooch available so you can treat yourself to the whole set!

If you like what you see, or fancy your very own custom piece of awesome Black Heart Creatives jewellery, you can use the promo code KATT20 for 20% off for the next 7 days. So go forth to Black Heart Creatives and see what takes your fancy. And don't forget to let me know what you decide on!

*denotes a gifted item