Monday, 31 December 2012

A Look Back on My Outfits of 2012

2012 is almost over, and 2013 will soon be arriving with a fanfare of fireworks to welcome it in to our lives for the next year.

I can barely believe I've managed to get through what has essentially been the worst and hardest year of my life, and perhaps the hardest year I will ever face. I've spent 2012 in constant pain and the majority of it in bed unable to live a normal existence. It's been difficult and frustrating and lonely at times, but I've accepted my situation for what it is and refused to let it break me.

 I created this blog as a distraction, something to focus on, and I know I would not have gotten through the year without it. This blog has kept my mind busy every day since I wrote that first post back in March. There's always been something to do or something I've wanted to blog about. I've also come a long way on my journey to self-acceptance through blogging about my outfits and finding the fatshion community, and I've loved talking about fashion and beauty with like-minded individuals. Starting my blog is probably one of the best decisions I could have ever made!

So, to get to the point, I wore a lot of outfits in 2012- mostly dresses- and I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and do my first ever round-up post and take a little look back on them...

Here goes!


AX Paris // Dorothy Perkins // Dorothy Perkins
New Look Inspire // Dorothy Perkins // Dorothy Perkins

In Summer, I wore so many gorgeous dresses with cropped cardigans and a skinny belt; it was basically my daily uniform. Different day, different dress, but the same outfit formula. I adored wearing these beautiful numbers. Some were recycled from the Summer before, and many new frocks were accumulated- mostly from Dorothy Perkins and AX Paris. My favourites were easily the two amazing flamingo print circle dresses from Dorothy Perkins and the yellow polka dot number; I wore all three repeatedly and loved swishing the full skirts around. The black bird print maxi dress also deserves a mention, because it's an old favourite with great memories attached to it.


Matalan // New Look // Matalan
Dorothy Perkins // Dorothy Perkins // M&Co

From the end of Summer and through to Christmas, I generally just continued to wear dresses with long sleeved cardigans or a jacket with a snood for extra warmth. I never have much money to spare on clothes after September, as it all goes on Christmas presents, so I don't have a winter wardrobe, as such. I've spent most of the last few months living in pyjamas unable to move out of bed, so didn't have many outfits to share. I got a lot of wear from dresses in reds, browns and blacks, and dressed them with pops of colour. I loved my two Christmas outfits (top left and centre), and enjoyed bringing out my two bird print dresses (bottom centre in brown), and brightening up dull days with the red polka dot number. Looking at these photos, all I can see is that I desperately need a hair cut! (It's been a whole year)!

Headless Shots

Dorothy Perkins // AX Paris // ASOS Curve
AX Paris// Dorothy Perkins// AX Paris

When I began blogging back in March, I would only share headless photos of my outfits. It took me many months to find the guts to show my face, and even now I don't really feel completely comfortable with it.

 I've never liked having my photo taken; in fact I would go out of my way to hide from cameras whenever anyone tried to take a photo of me! For that reason, there are few photos of me from my teens until I began this blog. I spent so long hating how I looked in photos, scrutinising every single 'flaw', and hating myself... and for what? Life is far too short. I look like that person in my photos whether I like it or not! I've felt better about my appearance since I injured my back and started this blog, and I guess I've found a sense of peace with life. I will admit I do worry what family or friends would think if they stumbled upon my blog, though...

Out of the outfits above, my favourite looks were the black polka dot dress with purple tights, the white bird cage dress... although I know those shoes were not flattering on my legs, and the crazy mismatch of colours I teamed with the yellow polka dot dress. I would make a few changes to that outfit, but it was fun to wear.


Matalan // ASOS Curve // New Look Inspire

I added several new skirts to my wardrobe in 2012. These are just a few of the skirt outfits I wore. One thing I'm lacking in my wardrobe is plain coloured tops, so many of my skirts were worn with simple black vest tops and a cropped cardigan. Boring! I plan to collect more tops to wear with them in 2013. I'm still in love with my latest addition, the New Look velvet skater skirt, which is shorter than I'm used to, but I feel great in. I love that woodland print peplum top, too.

I hope I'll be able to wear skirts more often in 2013, especially with more interesting/fashionable tops.

 If you're wondering about the lack of photos of me wearing trousers... well, that's because I only wore a pair of trousers two or three times all year!

Best Buys

One of my favourite purchases has to be this hummingbird print skirt which I bought from Dorothy Perkins in the summer. It was on sale, and I had some birthday money, so this is an item that didn't cost me a penny of my own money, yet it's one of my most valuable garments. I absolutely love the fit and shape of this floaty skirt on me. It's so pretty and feminine, it's flattering on my figure, and so comfortable to wear. It works with so many different styles of tops, almost every colour, and some patterns, although my favourite look is still pairing it with my simple cobalt blue Matalan cardigan! (Another wardrobe favourite). I feel so good in this skirt that I've even gone out in public a couple of times baring my legs- which many of you know is something I still don't have the confidence to do.

The cobalt blue cardigan from Matalan has been another great buy. I've worn it with so many outfits this Autumn/Winter, and it looks so striking with black. I had to buy the cardigan in three other colours, although none quite live up to this one.

I love the majority of the dresses I bought, and know most of them will be getting wear for years. The best dresses I chose were definitely the flamingo print dresses, the yellow polka dot frock, the red M&CO tea dress, the black polka dot asymmetric dress, and two bird print numbers from Dorothy Perkins.

I felt on a whole, my style was very predictable and a bit stale in 2012, but with a limited income, I couldn't afford to buy the dresses I wanted and the top or trousers I had my eye on... so the dresses always won. I knew I'd wear them more. I can look back on a year of outfits and see that I made the right choices because of the price per wear.

In 2013, I'm planning to mix things up a little, and fill a few gaps in my wardrobe if I can. I want to branch out and wear separates more often, and add more accessories back in to my collection. I guess we'll see where the year takes me... I hope you'll join me and find out!

Thanks for all your support in 2012. I hope you all have a great New Year however you're celebrating it.

Happy new year!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Last Sunday Inspiration Post of 2012

Evening lovelies,

I've got a quick post of inspiration for you tonight. These posts are always jam-packed, so I'll skip all the rambling and just jump right in to it...

I'm in love with the colour and design to these nails. Perhaps something to attempt later in the year after a little more practise at nail art?

I found this helpful since I'm pretty useless when it comes to shaping my nails. I think my first real attempt at shaping my nails this year were probably closest to the almond shape, which I didn't even know existed as a nail shape name. I'm definitely a fan of the almond, rounded, and oval nails when my nails grow past my finger tips.

After a life time of staying away from velvet for fear of the texture, this A/W I've been so in love with the fabric. I adore this green number this lady is wearing. It looks great with her gorgeous red hair. If only that dress would magically appear in my wardrobe... 

This outfit is so pretty. I can see Nita rocking this look perfectly.

This outfit is perfect. I love the mix of polka dots, lace (crochet?), and red together. I really need to add a blue polka dot skirt and red cardigan in to my wardrobe next year. 

I think I've added a lady in a tulle skirt to every Sunday Inspiration post in recent weeks (or months), but I really, really want one! 

How incredible are the greens and texture of this dress? It's stunning. I also love her hair, but the main reason I added this photo is because I think her leopard print tattoos are amazing.

Love this lady's outfit! Her tattoos are awesome, too.

This dress has been on my wish list all year. I love that print!

Amazing dress, amazing hair!

Perfection in a frock.

I love her hair colour. And this makes me miss my really long hair, too.

This tattoo is amazing.

I love this! So much great advice in one image.

Take it one day at a time. That's all anybody can do!

All you need is time. Keep working at it. You will get there when you're ready! I'm twenty-seven and it's only been over the last year or two that I really began to be a little more self-assured.

It's not a solution to cure all unhappiness, but when you stop comparing yourself to every other person in the world and live life the way that's best for you, life will seem brighter. It can feel like a weight has lifted from your shoulders when you find that sense of peace.

 A celebrity may seem like they have the dream life or body, or a Facebook friend may have achieved those life goals ahead of you, but the thing about social media is that you only get to see what they want to you to see. Behind closed doors they're probably sitting at home alone in their pyjamas with unwashed hair, exhausted from working a fifty hour week, with a partner who never picks up after himself, and the housework piling up... just like you! Nobody's life is perfect, but there's no right or wrong way to look or live your life... everybody has different goals, likes, dislikes... we're all different, and that's a great thing!

Women come in all shapes and sizes! It would be a very boring world if we all looked the same.

"Fat people who love themselves scare the shit out of people who don't love themselves. Even fat people who are TRYING to love themselves scare the shit out of people who can't do the same. We force people to have to look at why they hate their bodies because we are "supposed" to hate ours and we don't. ANd sometimes they have no idea what to do with that, so they act like assholes."

— Tigress Osborn (via queerencia)

This above quote is so true. I'll never quite understand why people who haven't learnt to accept themselves sometimes channel their fear and jealousy in to hatred and take it out on others, but the reality is self-loathing and low self-esteem are often the foundation for bullying.

Somebody out there gets it! This is a pretty accurate definition of anxiety, at least for me personally, anyway.

This banner is brilliant. 

Frost the Arctic Ocean. I've never seen anything like these before, but apparently they're formed from imperfections in surface ice when the temperatures drop below -22c. They house microorganisms more densely than the water around them, so they're actually temporary ecosystems not unlike coral reefs! So pretty.

How amazing would it be to swim with sharks and tropical fish without the fear of getting eaten?! I wish my local pool was like this!

I hoped you've enjoyed and perhaps been inspired by this week's post. Which image or quote is your favourite?

I've got a few posts planned for the next few days, so I'll be back tomorrow with a 'proper' post for you! Until then...

That's all folks!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Fashion Tag

I came across this Fashion Tag on a couple of fashion blogs recently, so I just had to snag it and give it a go. I may have done something similar last Spring, but I really can't remember and I figure it doesn't hurt to do an up to date version either way. 

1. What are your favourite stores to shop for clothes?

I shop around a great deal, but my favourites are definitely ASOS and Dorothy Perkins.

2. What are your favourite stores to shop for accessories?

You're most likely to find me buying accessories from Accessorize, Maggie Angus, Camden Lock Market, and Etsy.

3. What are your favourite stores to shop for shoes?

I often shop for shoes in Schuh, Office, and New Look.

4. What are your favourite trends at the moment?

I'm enjoying the oxblood, velvet, and studded trends at the moment. I don't follow every single trend like my life depends on it; I don't think I much of a fashionable person in all honesty. I only wear clothes I'm drawn to, and feel work for me.

5. What are some trends you loathe?

I can't say I'm much of a fan of bodycon clothes. They look great on some ladies, but I personally feel uncomfortable and self-conscious in figure-hugging clothes. There's nothing worse than tugging at your clothes all day because you feel uncomfortable in them.

6. Are you a jewellery person? What do you prefer: bracelets, earrings, rings, or necklaces?

I love jewellery, although I'm more of a fan of costume jewellery than expensive silver or gold pieces. I probably wear necklaces more than any other type of jewellery, but I enjoy accessorising with them all.

7. Name a few pieces at the top of your wishlist at the moment.

This beautiful tan scalloped ASOS satchel is at the top of my wish list.
This bunny print ASOS Curve shirt! Need need need!
This pretty floral ASOS Curve wrap dress.
This ASOS Curve tea dress in both colours!
This ASOS Curve coat.
This ASOS Curve coat in teal.
This Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation.

In short I want to buy out ASOS right now!

8. Most expensive item you own in your wardrobe?

Probably my grey cardi Ugg boots, and my black Guess shoulder bag. I bought both in New York a year and a half ago for about 150$ each, which is just over £90 in English money. I've never had the income to really splurge on fashion, and rarely pay much more than £40 or £50 for an item of clothing, or a new handbag.

9. How much do you typically spend on fashion? (Are you a huge splurger or a thrifty shopper?)

I've always been a bit of a splurger-and by that I mean I love to shop and spend my money, but I don't spend a fortune on single pieces. I shop on the high street, and often shop online with discount codes and during promotions to grab myself fashionable bargains.

When I had the luxury of a steady income, I would typically spend upwards of two hundred pounds a month on fashion and beauty; sometimes more depending on what expenditures I had that month. Right now it's usually much less each month; some months I can't afford to spend anything on fashion, but I usually spend every last available penny.

10. List 5 wardrobe essentials that you feel every girl should possess.

1. Cardigans in various colours and sleeve/hem lengths. They can be layered over almost anything in every season.

2. Leggings for that extra bit of confidence under dresses and tunics, and for those comfortable days, too.

3. Polka dot dresses. They make a great alternative to the classic little black dress, and they never go out of style!

4. Blazers in versatile colours (such as black and navy), as they can easily dress many outfits up and down.

5. Colour! It may be daunting to many, but injecting some colour in to your wardrobe can not only brighten your mood and appearance, but it can provide you with the opportunity to create so many more looks than if you just limit yourself to black and neutrals. I wear colour almost every day and it always puts me in a cheerful mood. If you're wary of colour, why not start with a colourful bag or belt to ease yourself in gently?

11. What is your favourite season, in terms of fashion?

I personally love dressing for Summer, as I love all the floaty dresses and bright colours. However, I love all the texture, deep hues, and layering of Winter, too.

12. What would you say your style is typically like?

I'd call my personal style: girlie, quirky, colourful, and fun! It's very colourful and includes a lot of dresses and print!

13. What is your go to outfit for lazy/comfy/casual days when you just feel like throwing something on?

I usually just wear a dress with leggings, like I often do! Most dresses are insanely comfortable for slobbing around in!

14. Do you have any influential style icons?

I'm not one of those ladies who tends to obsess over everything certain celebrities wear, at least I haven't done so in my adult life. I think I've just developed my personal style by myself over time. I generally find my inspiration from bloggers more than celebrities. Especially but not inclusively from plus size ladies who stick two middle fingers up to society (quite rightly!) and wear the trends society says they shouldn't be allowed to wear. Those bloggers are definitely deserving of the title ' style icon'.

I find inspiration from Nita of Pashteit, Rachel of A Dress Is For Life, Cara of I Like Pretty Clothes, Hannah of Doodle Heartx, Olivia of Wait Until the Sunset, Kate of Scathingly Brilliant, Dani of DIY Fatshion, Mandy of Miss Indie, and my lovely friend Carol of My Stylisms. There are so many more, but I would be here listing all day. Just take a look through my blog roll, they all inspire me in different ways! These ladies have flawless style, and inspire me to wear pieces I've been too self-conscious to try, or pieces I'd never think to pair together but work so well.

As for celebrities, I love the styles of Dita Von Teese and Zooey Deschanel.

15. What is your favourite nail polish at the moment, or just some nail polish colours/brands you love?

My favourite nail polish brands are easily Barry M and Inglot. Barry M is a great budget range with polishes starting from £2.99, which are long lasting and vibrant. Inglot is probably my favourite luxury range; they do a huge range of colours, and the polishes are so chip resistant. They're the most long lasting polishes I've ever used.

My current favourites are Barry M Racing Green, Barry M Bright Red, Barry M Ruby Glitter, and Inglot 024.

16. What is your favourite fragrance?

I can't choose between DKNY's Be Delicious, Be Delicious Fresh Blossom, and Red Delicious. I love them all. I really love Escada, too. It's such a sweet, fruity summery fragrance.

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged! If you do this tag, make sure you leave a link to your post in the comment box so I can have a read!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Another Rock 'N' Roll Christmas...

Evening lovelies,

I hope you all had a perfectly wonderful Christmas, and aren't suffering from a food hangover from indulging on all those Christmas treats. I can't believe how quickly it passed this year!

I can't deny that I didn't have the Christmas I'd envisioned. I had a lovely run up to the day throughout December; shopping for and wrapping the perfect gifts, and decorating the house. I had a great Christmas Eve spending almost an entire afternoon out of bed; I did return to bed for a couple of rests, and after baking my Christmas desserts with a little help from my Mum, I spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the sofa watching Home Alone 2 and eating some nibbles. However, Christmas Day didn't quite go to plan.

My Sister woke me up at half six, and I'd only had two hours sleep as I couldn't drop off. I came downstairs, attempted to put my ipod in the dock to play some Christmas music, but it slipped from my hand and shattered an expensive musical glass snow globe, which was one of my Mum's favourite ornaments. I still feel so awful about it. 

I got some amazing presents this year, and my family were all thrilled with the gifts I gave them, which I'm so pleased about! I love seeing the look on their faces when they open gifts I give them. After opening presents I was so drained and sore, I went back to bed and slept until almost eleven, which I was upset about as I didn't get to enjoy all the little things I've always done each Christmas morning. 

We had a lovely Christmas dinner together around the table, and the home made Christmas crackers went down a treat with my family. The desserts I made were delicious, and after relaxing on the sofa with a bowl of trifle, I ended up retiring back to bed at 3:30pm. My back was causing me so much pain and discomfort I felt sick and couldn't move for the rest of the day/night. Truth be told I felt sorry for myself spending the rest of Christmas alone in bed, but I did have a lovely chat to my best friend on the phone, and a great BBM conversation with my close friend Ros, which helped raise my spirits immensely. Considering I hadn't sat downstairs or been out of bed so much in a year I managed a lot and more than I was expecting, but I guess I'd been imagining I'd have the Christmas the old, healthier me always had. I guess I forget I'm not the person I used to be, and that's frustrating. Don't get me wrong, I did still have a lovely Christmas, but it was just short and sweet. Hopefully next year I'll be in a more mobile condition so I can enjoy it all properly.

Our Christmas tree on Christmas Day. The dog found the most inspired 'hiding' place for her Christmas present!

And now a little OOTD...

I wore my Christmas outfit for all of four hours before crawling back in to bed in my pyjamas mid-afternoon.  I think Christmas calls for some luxurious velvet and a Christmas knit! I actually wore the cardigan open over a simple black vest, but closed it to show you the fairisle pattern. I've had this Dorothy Perkins cardigan for two or three years now, I think, and it's one of my Winter wardrobe favourites; it's so warm and cosy. I wore it with my amazing New Look Inspire velvet cosmic skater skirt, and my berry Evans tights as it needed a bit of colour. The skirt is swiftly becoming one of my new favourite garments, and it was such a bargain, too. Apologies for how rough I look in the photos; I was struggling with the pain at this point.

I accessorised with my swarovski crystal star ring and earrings, as I like to wear them on special occasions. I bought these beautiful pieces of jewellery on two separate occasions from a stall in the indoor Camden Lock Market. They're hand made and I just think they're so beautiful. They glisten a beautiful pale blue in the light. I think I paid £25 for each piece, and as far as I'm aware the stall is a regular in the market, so they're worth checking out if you're ever in London. I have two other rings from them as well.

Not a very good photo, but you can see how the ring shimmers, as well as the detail to the skirt, and my Christmas manicure. I did red and green nails with glitter to the tips.

Christmas Day Outfit Details:

Skirt: New Look
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins
Vest (underneath): Dorothy Perkins
Ring: Camden Lock Market
Earrings: Camden Lock Market

I've already shown this in an OOTD, but this is a reminder of my Christmas Eve outfit.

Christmas Eve Outfit Details:

Dress: Matalan
Cardigan: Matalan
Bag: Topshop
Brooch: Cath Kidston

The tree at the beginning of December.

The tree lit up and swamped with presents on Christmas Eve.

My Mum altered the fire place display with some holly branches she picked from the garden. It looks so pretty.

I also decorated my dressing table a few days before Christmas. As I never got around to buying a little Christmas tree for my room, I decorated my jewellery mannequin instead! I also dotted my snowflake decorations around my bedroom. I may actually keep the little droplet decorations up all year.

This Christmas I made up lots of beauty boxes for my friends and Sisters.

And I also made home made Christmas crackers with my older Sister this year. I was going to do a tutorial type post for them, but we left them until the 23rd and I thought it was a little late to turn them in to a post. 

The Christmas crackers were from Hobbycraft and we filled them with cheap nail polishes from MUA and/or chocolates. Most of the Thorntons sweets were given to my best friend and her son, and we also added in Lindt chocolate bears and Ferrero Rochers. They were great fun to make and were well received.

This is my older Sister's dog, Holly. She went in for an operation at the vets last week, and unfortunately isn't very well. She currently looks fit and healthy, so you really wouldn't know anything was up, but the poor six year old puppy has cancer and 20+ tumours growing in her organs. We're just hoping she'll be around when my brother-in-law returns home for a couple of days from his detachment in March. She was put in the Cone of Shame while we had our Christmas lunch as she started licking her stitches, but otherwise she's been behaving herself and hasn't needed to be put in the cone too much in the daytime. Here she was using those puppy dog eyes to beg for more pigs in blankets. How could I refuse?

I made my Blackberry and Apple trifle on Christmas Eve, and I was so impressed with how it turned out. I think it may be the best one I've ever made in the six or seven years I've been making it. It was delicious. I can't tolerate cream, so had to eat around it, which explains the messy photo above. 

And I also made my Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. Well, Nigella's. I had a slice of it on Boxing Day, and I have to say I'm pleased with how this one turned out as well. It was the perfect consistency, and delicious, too. You can find the recipe here, along with the recipe for the trifle.

I didn't actually take many photos on Christmas Day that are worth showing, but that was the summery of my Christmas.

How was your Christmas? How did you celebrate?

Was Santa kind to you this year?

I hope you enjoy the rest of the week if you're lucky enough to have a few more days off, and if you're back at work already, don't work too hard!

I hope you all have a great New Year!
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