Curly girl… Who knew?!

Last night, with the encouragement of Caroline from Curvy Wordy I ‘plopped’ for the first time…! Believe me, I was as surprised as you to discover that, although plopping *may* occur alone in thwe e bathroom, it has nothing to do with anything bottom related… It’s actually to do with your head! Specifically a way of drying your hair without removing all of the moisture (as happens with regular towel drying). I found out about it literally 48 hours ago so I’m no expert, but I was desperate to give it a try.
There’s instructions on how to do it at naturallycurly.com if you want to find out more about the process. But here’s my journey so far…

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Had my hair cut and straightened (as usual) about 2 weeks ago… But any hint of humidity or moisture in the air and it looks like this:

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Which is alright, but it feels frizzy and unkempt and annoys me!

I’ve never ever considered my hair as ‘curly’. In fact I reckon I’ve spent a considerable amount of time moaning about both my mam and dad’s beautiful curls and wondered why I had hair that resembled a mushroom! (my nickname was Toad for a while – as in the helmet headed toadstool character from Mario – thanks guys!). But earlier this year, whilst on a super humid holiday, my hair became slightly curly for the fortnight!:

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And since then I think I’ve had a slight kink to my hair. But when Caroline (Curvy Wordy) suggested it might be possible to embrace and encourage the curl I thought it would be crazy not to give it a try…!
This was taken yesterday – before I ‘plopped’:

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So I bought some natural conditioner (free of nasties!):

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Washed it just with conditioner (no shampoo) and wrapped it in a t-shirt:

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Then let it dry naturally. And, as if by magic…!!!

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Tonight I’m going out so I’ve put a few pin curls in (but without setting lotion) while it’s still slightly damp, just to help encourage some of the curls. And here’s the final result:

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Silly Old Sea Dog – Review

I can’t even remember how long ago it was that I stumbled across Silly Old Sea Dog, but I think it was through Georgina from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. It was honestly love at first sight!

The dress I fell in love with was this comic book fabric 50’s dress (which seems to no longer on their website – I Googled for the image and found it on this European blog!) – but the £90 price tag and my limited clothes budget (I’ve got kids so I can’t justify spending that on one item!) meant I could only dream of owning one of these beautiful dresses.

Until I spotted they were having a sale – about 3 weeks ago – just before my holiday to Portugal. An amazing mermaid print halter neck dress in a size 26 was winking at me to buy it! 🙂

I thought I might need to take it in and alter the neckline but at a bargain price of £35 it was too good to miss! I snapped it up! And I’m so glad I did!

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(Sorry about my stupid expression!) I had to take it in a bit and I altered the halter neck to make straps and a hair ribbon! I had some lovely comments from other guests on holiday asking where my dress was from. I’m the kind of girl who likes to draw a bit of attention!

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Sorry – you can see my black tights in this one – not as warm now I’m home! 🙂

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The material is just gorgeous! The mermaids are striking – perfect for a stroll along a sunny beach.

Now I’m not saying the dresses are not good value for money – they’re beautifully handmade with care from funky, good quality fabrics. They’re worth every penny – I’m well aware I got a bargain in the sale! (I’m a crafter too so I know handmade costs!) I want to wear funky dresses like this every day – not just for a special occasion. If I could afford it I’d have 10 of them! So I’m going to start saving for my next one…

But for now – I’ll have to stick with my mermaid one. Although, now it’s tights season again – I might have to wait for the sun to shine before I can wear it again! 🙂

It’s all about the confidence!

Last weekend I had a rare night out for my cousin’s hen do! I was really excited about a girl’s night out and put a lot of thought into my outfit. I wanted to dress up and feel gorgeous!
I decided to wear one of the Collectif dresses I got in the sale – the Polly shirt dress, and these super old Evans mary jane/t-bar shoes. I then spent forever trying to hunt down a matching bag!

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I settled on this vintage one I found in a shop called Hidden Gems on Etsy from a fantastically helpful seller who posted it out next day delivery to ensure it arrived on time!

I had a bright red nail varnish in my July Birchbox so I painted my nails – for the 1st time in over 10 years!

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I also decided to give pin curls a go – with proper old school setting lotion and everything! I did 1 practice run earlier in the week so this was my 2nd attempt:

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I teamed my curls with an inverted victory roll and my amazing Janine Basil wired head tie.

I’ve finally made friends with the Benefit ‘They’re Real’ eye liner – after a bit of practice I’ve managed to perfect a reasonably good flick – and this stuff seems to last forever and stays put all night!

Here’s the final look:

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And full length, with petticoat:
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I received loads of compliments! I was particularly struck by the number of beautiful (and much smaller) ladies who said ‘I wish I had the confidence to dress like that – you look lovely!’. It reminded me that confidence is a state of mind – not a number on your dress label. And that’s what I told them! 🙂 I hope I can carry that confidence with me when I take my bikini on holiday next week! :oO xxx

My birthday haul!

It was my birthday this week (33 – that’s still early thirties isn’t it?!) and I thought you might like to have a nosey at what I got…
Husband did an amazing job this year and got me these from Janine Basil who makes awesome accessories

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I’ve been admiring her stuff for years – since I tried setting up my own Etsy shop. My husband stumbled across it himself – unprompted – so he gets double Brownie points!
He also found these earrings – which match our (matching paper anniversary) tattoos…

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These are so adorable! I’d never even heard of Clorty Cat and I was super impressed with the sentimental significance of these.
My daughter chose this cute little radio clock from Paperchase

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which, as you can see, looks right at home with my kitch little jewellery box record player (which I bought in a ‘antique’ shop when I was 12). Impressive present selection for a 3 year old! 🙂

I also got a load of hair pretties and smellies from my sisters-in-law.

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You can’t beat a bit of Soap and Glory, in my humble opinion!

I also got these:

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And finally,  I also asked for money so I could pay for some sessions of cognitive hypnotherapy to address my (terrible!) relationship with food. I’ve been using Slimpods for a while but I realised (with the help of Sandra from Thinking Slimmer) that my deep seated issues with food would need a bit of extra support. She referred me to Dawn at Think It Change It who is able to give a bespoke personal service over Skype. So I’m looking forward to seeing how it will impact on my eating habits and my self esteem.

I’m very excited! I hope to be able to share my experiences here too. 🙂

So, all in all – I’m sure you will agree, I’ve been a lucky lady this year. 😉

My 1st Collectif Order – The Verdict

I collected my 1st Collectif order from the sorting office this morning! I thought you might be interested to see my purchases and see what I thought of the experience.
I’ve admired Collectif from a far for quite some time, since I heard about them from the gorgeous George via her blog,  Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. But I was worried about the sizing (a lot of lines only go up to a 22) and they’re generally a bit out of my price range. For me, over £50 for a dress is a bit too pricey for general day to day stuff! So when I saw their 50% off code I thought ‘this is my chance!’.
I ordered 3 dresses – the Tallulah, the Polly and the Cynthia. A couple of days later I received an email saying that they didn’t actually have the Tallulah in stock (a system error apparently). So after a brief period of mourning I got over it and eagerly awaited my mew friends Polly and Cynthia instead!

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Polly

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Cynthia

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Sorry the photos are a bit rubbish but my 2 yo kept photo bombing, you can see evidence on Instagram!
I’m really impressed with the quality of the dresses – they’re beautifully made, with good quality fabric. As always seems to be the case with plus size dresses, the belts are NEVER quite long enough! The white isn’t wearable at my current size.
Both dresses fit well in the waist but are too tight and gaping around the boobs. I might sew up the front to stop the gaping so I can just put it over my head. (Button front dresses and blouses always tend to pop open for me anyway – one of the occupational hazards of an ample bosum!)
I’m very impressed with the dresses but I think I’ll have to stick to sale items and special offers to make it work with my budget.
Did you get anything in their sale?! Tell me tell me! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Perfecting my Festival Look – Head!

With just over a week to go until my little family head off to the depths of Suffolk for our first family camping festival experience at Latitude Festival I’m getting super excited and starting to plan. Naturally, this planning extends beyond the practicalities and into the aesthetics – things (i.e. me) have to look pretty. As a mummy of 2 under 4s I don’t really get out much, so a weekend of letting my hair down means I want to look the part!
Now when I say ‘letting my hair down’ what I really mean is ‘cover my hair up’! I have a short, high maintenance bob – so 5 days without my straighteners isn’t ideal. But I’m not one to let a tiny detail like that get in the way!!!
I’ve explained in a previous post that I’m going for a vintage style – so a victory roll and a cool headscarf or 2 will hide a multitude of unruly hair sins! 🙂
I was struggling to find any bandanas or headscarves that would fit my head – so I asked some lovely #psbloggers for their advice. They didn’t let me down! Emily from Em’s Trends and Mel from Upon the Sea suggested I try Lush! I didn’t even know they sold scarfs – but they use them as sustainable gift wrap! Amazing! (And big enough for my giant head!)
I’ve bought two so far – and have another one on the way (found on eBay) so here’s an un styled first attempt:

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What do you think?! 🙂
Right. Now I’m off to zumba! 🙂

Overcoming Glastonbury envy!

I’ve totally got ‘Glastonbury envy’ tonight! I’m watching the TV coverage and wishing we were there! 😦
Well… I’m kinda there in spirit – my mate Russ has been there for weeks painting bins and he painted my family this amazing bin:

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It’s got an amalgamation of all our names on it! To be fair, if I was there I’d be spending my waking hours on a bin hunt so I guess it’s a kind of blessing we’re not there this year.
My husband and I are pretty keen festival goers – I started going to festivals in 2002 and have made it to Glastonbury 4 times as well as lots of others. Even managed a day festival in 2010 at almost 8 months pregnant (I didn’t want to miss Stevie Wonder!)
This year we’re taking the kids to Latitude Festival this year for their first ever camping festival experience! With only a month to go, I’ve started to make a bit of a wish list of the stuff I need to buy to prepare (including my festival wardrobe!).
We’ve bought the kids this amazing wagon (from Amazon), which I’m in the process of pimping up:

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I’ve painted the wood with blackboard paint so the kids can draw on it while we’re waiting for bands. I’m also making a little mattress so they can have a snooze if need be. We can use it if they need to shelter from the elements (rain or shine!). We took it for a test drive at the 3 Foot People Festival in Chelmsford this week and it was fab! Looking forward to putting it through it’s paces for real!
I’ve also had to upgrade my wellies – so I’ve ordered these beauties from Simply Be:

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I’m hoping the wide fit and the gather on the calf will mean I can get away with a 6! But for £12 I thought it was worth the risk! 🙂
I’m also planning just to take a few of my beautiful dresses (including my Lady Vintage faves!) so in order to make a statement I want to get myself a full, frilly underskirt to wear underneath! (Suggestions welcome!)
And I’ll be rocking my inverted victory roll under a bandana (I’ve been practicing!):

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I can’t wait! 🙂

Still wish I was at Glastonbury though… anyone else?!