Friday, 30 May 2014

Liebster Award

I was recently nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Hannah of Daisies and DMs, and I've been meaning to put this post together to answer the questions set to me for ages. Sorry, it's taken me so long, Hannah, and thank you for nominating me! Better late than never, though, right? 
1. What inspired you to start blogging?

A number of things inspired me to start blogging here at Polka Spots and Freckle Dots. When I first injured my back and became bed ridden in September 2011, I stumbled up on the world of body positivity and plus size style blogs one day when I was randomly browsing Tumblr. I was amazed to see plus size women looking happy, and comfortable in their own skin, while rocking fabulous outfits, and I was hooked. I began to read them every day. These blogs, combined with a wake up call from my injuries, started to change the way I saw my body after 26 years at war with myself, and my confidence gradually began to rise. 

I had loved fashion for years, and realised wearing pretty outfits was helping to raise my spirits through the pain and all the sudden changes and restrictions to my life. I felt more like myself whenever I could dress, and do my eye make up in bold colours, and that's still true today. A few months later, it occurred to me that it could be fun to have somewhere to share my outfits like a couple of my friends did. Just for something to do. I didn't have any big plans or aspirations, I just thought 'hey, a blog could keep me occupied and I could use it to try to work my way towards self-acceptance, too.' I didn't give it much thought, and I pretty much assumed I would get bored of it after a month or so and forget to update it, like I always did with old Livejournal accounts. I never imagined I would still be blogging regularly here more than two years later, or what impact it would have on my life, but starting this blog was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

2. What do you love to blog about the most?

My favourite topics to blog about are outfits, shopping hauls, my travels and adventures, and home tours. Y'know, like dressing table tours, what's in my bag, a collections of particular possessions etc. They're basically all topics I love to write about, and topics I most enjoy reading on other blogs, too.

3. Who is your fashion icon?

Bloggers are my biggest style icons! I read their blogs and follow their social media pages on a daily basis, and the internet has no shortage of incredibly stylish ladies of all shapes and sizes. There are dozens if not hundreds of bloggers whose style I adore. NitaRachel, and Kate are probably my top three style icons, but I have so many style influences that I just can't narrow the rest of my favourites down. I've been trying to for half an hour and it ain't happening, so I refer you to my list of favourite bloggers. They are all style icons in my eyes!

I can't say that I worship the style of celebrities or models like other women do. I don't hunt down the latest images of what they've been wearing, obsess over them, or constantly look to them for fashion inspiration... but I do love the way Dita Von Teese and Zooey Deschanel dress. They both have such a unique style, and wear the prettiest clothes; they always look fabulous, flawless, and so well put together. 

4. Where do you most want to visit before you die?

There are hundreds of places I hope to visit, but I'd particularly love to visit Italy. It looks like such a beautiful country, and the desire to visit it has only increased since I first saw the film Letters to Juliet. I'd love to visit Rome, Venice, Sienna, Milan, and Florence, and soak up all that history and culture. I'm equally in love with Greece, and Australia.

5. What's #1 on your bucket list?

Now that I've finally seen Fall Out Boy live and crossed it off the top of the list, I most want to see the Northern Lights, and to see whales in the wild.  Hopefully one day I'll be lucky enough to cross them both off the list!

6. Favourite magazine?

My favourite magazine used to be Company, but it's gone down hill a lot over the last couple of years and I'm swiftly going off it. I think my current favourite is probably Cosmopolitan, but I also love Marie Claire, Grazia, Glamour, and Look.

7. What is your most loved film?

My favourite film is Titanic and has been since I first saw it in 1997 aged eleven. I've watched it hundreds of times over the years, and I never tire of it. In fact, I'm actually watching it as I type! It's a classic!

Another film I have always loved is Steel Magnolias; which is in my opinion one of the best chick flicks ever made. It's feel-good, it's lovely, it's sad. The characters are fabulous, and the awful eighties fashion, hair, and beauty are alone worth watching the film for! It's one of those films that I can't help quoting in day-to-day life, and I must watch it every Easter Sunday- it's a tradition. If you haven't seen it, grab yourself a copy; you'll love it!

My sisters have called me Ouiser for years after Shirley MacClaine's character! I don't mind, she's awesome!

8. Describe your favourite outfit?

I have several favourite outfits, but I'm currently besotted with my black heart print skater dress from Alice & You. It has a fitted waist, a circular Peter Pan collar, no sleeves, and a fabulous full skirt that I love to swish. It sits on the knee, and has large white hearts all over it. I love wearing it with black opaque tights, studded ankle boots, and a red cardigan, with my black and gold Russian doll bag worn over the shoulder.

9. Describe your worst...

Oh, I've worn some horrendous clothes in my time, especially before I had any interest in fashion. Back in my early teens my friends and I would dress in tracksuit bottoms (remember those Adidas Poppers, with poppers from the hip to the cuffs?), with over-sized men's t-shirts, trainers, and fleeces! *Shudders.* Looking back we looked like characters from Little Britain, but at the time (1998-99) everybody used to dress like that. I won't even go in to the time I wore a backwards cap, and a basketball vest over shorts and a t-shirt a little earlier in the nineties on holiday in France... Thank God I've left my tomboy roots behind!

10. What's your speciality dish?

It's been a while since I've cooked anything more substantial than pate on toast, but I make a mean French Onion Soup, and a great cottage pie. I'm far more skilled in baking and dessert making, though, so my speciality dish is definitely my Blackberry, Raspberry and Apple trifle. I make it every year for Christmas and occasionally on other special days, and it always goes down a storm. It's delicious, if I do say so myself!

11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Honestly, I have absolutely no idea! With my life on hiatus and no idea when or even if my injuries will heal and my pain will go away, it's difficult to imagine my future. More than anything, I hope that I will have made a full recovery from my injuries and will no longer be in constant pain. I would just like to be happy and living life to the full, with good friends and family in my life, and a man who loves me for who I am. I'm not sure I want kids, but it would be nice to be married and settled down by the time I'm 38, hopefully with my own home and a menagerie of fur babies. I would also love to be back working in animal care, as I'm passionate about that field and loved working around animals. Perhaps I'll even pursue something in fashion... I'm quite certain I'll still be gallivanting off to concerts and taking spontaneous trips, but who knows where the next ten years will take me. At the moment I'm just hoping for the pain to go away and my freedom to return so I can start living those years and make my dreams happen.

If you've made it through to the end, thanks for reading, and thanks again to Hannah for nominating me for the award! Have a great day!


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Coral Flamingos

Sometimes I love to return to past outfits and wear them exactly the way I did before. Sometimes it's nice to be able to recreate outfits I love, instead of constantly looking for new ways to wear them. Why fix something that ain't broke?

Today's outfit is one I've recreated a few times since I first wore it and gave it its blog debut in 2012. Wait a minute- has it really been two years since this outfit post?! Woah! It was the first or one of the very first times I showed my face on the blog, and I was absolutely terrified! I've no idea where those two years have gone, but I still love the dress and outfit I am about to show you!

Two years ago, I bought this flamingo print dress in two colours from Dorothy Perkins because I fell head over heels in love with the print; I'm a sucker for flamingo prints, and I just couldn't resist them. The other dress is exactly the same style, except it's cream with a navy flamingo print.

To this day, I still think they were both great purchases, even though the cut is a bit weird. The waist is too high up and as a result, it's a little odd-fitting around the boobs. (Yet still baggy, as usual). I wasn't the only person who found the fit to be less than perfect and I can only conclude that a mistake was made in production. If the waist was an inch or two further down it would be better but it never bothered me enough to return the dresses. I love(d) them too much. 

That said, I definitely don't wear these dresses as often as I should and need to make an effort to wear them more often. I tend to save this one for beautiful hot summer days, because it's so summery!

This dress is pale blue with a pattern of bold coral flamingos all over it, and the swishiest circle skirt. I always have to play with it whenever I wear it! The five year old in me just longs to twirl! I like to dress it with coral and turquoise pieces, and always seem to gravitate to my coral Lovedrobe shrug, a turquoise patent belt from Dorothy Perkins, and a very old pair of coral peep toe sandals from Evans. I like the way they all look together. I'd usually wear it with my flamingo locket which has a pearl chain, but it's needs repairing, and I have an old turquoise bangle that goes perfectly with it. This time, I decided to mix it up just a little and added my seaside themed charm bracelet from Abilu Creations, a lilac macaron ring from And Mary, and my coral saddle bag from Accessorize. I'm sorry to tell you everything I'm wearing is old. 

I've probably had these sandals for at least eight years, if not a decade. They're still in pristine condition because I've not given them regular wear, but I still love 'em all these years later. 

Here's a closer look at the pattern, and my coral shrug. The flamingo print is one of the best flamingo prints I've ever seen; I think it's absolutely perfect. The shrug is a little baggy, but it's got the cutest scalloped edging and the colour is so summery.

I bought this charm bracelet in Camden Lock Market several years ago, from an independent brand called Abilu Creations. I have a few of their unique accessories, which are all made by hand using cute and quirky charms (many of which are vintage), and are finished with their signature guitar plectrum. This particular bracelet is sea side themed, and there are some great charms on it including a lighthouse, starfish, fish, and shells. I assume they still have a stall just outside the indoor Lock Market in Camden (which is just over the canal), but it's been a few years since my last visit there. They also have a website now, which is well worth a browse! 

My macaron ring is by a brand called And Mary, which I bought off ASOS last year. It's on an adjustable band, and isn't it just the cutest ring you've ever seen?!

My coral saddle bag is by Accessorize, and is another purchase from 2012. I love to wear it with my favourite summer outfits, because it's so bright and cheerful.

Outfit Details

Dress-Dorothy Perkins // Shrug- Lovedrobe (similar) (similar)  // Shoes-Evans // 
Bag-Accessorize (similar) (similar) // Ring-And Mary (similar) // 
Bracelet-Abilu Creations (similar) // Belt-Dorothy Perkins

I will never be one of those people who wears everything just once before moving on to the next one. I love to wear my favourite pieces over and over again until they fall apart, and always shop with the intention of getting lots of wear out of my purchases. I can't afford to buy a new outfit for every day of the year, and to be honest, even if I could, I doubt I'd want to. I enjoy revisiting old favourites from the collections I've built up over the years and some of them, like this ensemble, have the power to make me feel happy time and time again. And that to me is a sure sign of a great outfit!

Do you wear some of your outfits again and again, or do you prefer to move on and never look back?


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wednesday Wish List

Well, hello there!

This week I have dozens of gems to share with you; in fact there's more than sixty pieces in this week's wish list and it's probably the largest wish list I've ever put together! Yep, I got a little carried away... oops! I just couldn't leave any of these beauties out. 

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Let's start with the polka dot dresses, because it's a well known fact that a girl can never have too many polka dot dresses in her wardrobe. I've got my beady little eyes on two beautiful swing dresses by Bea and Dot at Modcloth; aren't they just stunning?! The red one also has ladybirds on it!!

I really like the simplicity of the two button down sun dresses from Evans. It's not often that Evans' clothes appeal to me, but these two are lovely and would be ideal for throwing on over a pair of leggings and wearing with sandals for a casual summer look.

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The fabulous skater dresses just keep on coming, and that makes me happy because they are one of my favourite styles to wear. They're so effortlessly stylish and comfortable, too. I love the pretty daisy print dresses from Koko, and the heart print dress from Evans is a classic. One of each, please!

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These billowing bold patterned midi and maxi dresses from ASOS Curve and New Look Inspire are all so fun and eye catching. They would be perfect for keeping cool on those stifling hot summer days, and for wearing to festivals, on holiday, and to the beach. I particularly love the unusual scarf dress (3) which is a mixture of animal print and florals. Amazing! I need more maxi dresses in my life.

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I'm a little bit obsessed with fruit themed fashion at the moment; especially pineapple prints and motifs, for some reason. The good thing is, they're everywhere right now! I love these three novelty tees from New Look Inspire, especially the white tee.

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I rarely wear jeans these days, but I can't resist denim dresses and skirts during the summer. I love the button down denim dress from ASOS Curve; I'm sure I had a dress just like it in the nineties! It's perfection. The denim midi skirts from Dorothy Perkins have also caught my eye; they're a great alternative to jeans and they could be dressed so many different ways. 99% of my top collection could easily be styled with them. I can't decide which wash I like best, though.

I'm loving all the rose prints which are around at the moment, and have a soft spot for crochet and lace detailing,  so naturally the bubble hem top and the crochet floral maxi dress from Dotty P's have both caught my eye... along with dozens more!

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These novelty bags are probably my favourite finds of the week. I'm amazed by all of the wacky designs that I keep finding. I've found a pineapple, a lemon wedge (which is definitely not hanging on my bedroom door as I type...), a cat, a giant teacup, and some fabulous clutches with pineapple, flamingo, and ice cream prints. I adore them all! What will they think of next? 

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My love of handbags isn't just restricted to novelties; I love all kinds of bags. I've been lusting after the mint green envelope cross body bag from Accessorize for a few weeks now and I know it would go perfectly with my yellow polka dot dress. The gingham bag is adorable, and I love the tan Marc b. Hudson shopper.

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I recently realised that all of my summer sandals are falling apart, and I have nothing suitable to wear on my feet on hot days, so I've been hunting for new sandals. (It's been three years since I last bought any!) I find it difficult to find sandals to fit my very wide feet, and it's frustrating that it's even harder to find pretty wide fit sandals. I usually have to look to Evans for sandals, but nothing had been catching my eye until last week when the above designs appeared online. They're not as pretty as most standard fit sandals, but I do like them, and I think they'll be great with everything from dresses to jeans during the summer. I've ordered a selection to try on and choose from, so fingers crossed a couple of pairs will look cute on my ugly feet.

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I'm also quite taken with this selection of shoes. Yes, even the ugly Birkenstocks with the pretty Liberty print. The grey pumps with the scalloped edging are my favourite, but the ice cream cone heels, and the polka dot cat and mouse slippers are equally gorgeous.

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And then there's the accessories. I've been coveting so many lately. I made the mistake of browsing Rockafrilly's website, after Char featured one of their grapefruit necklaces in an outfit post, and it caught my eye. Big mistake. I now want one of everything! I adore the strawberries, the cameos, the Russian dolls, the swans and shells. They're all so quirky and exactly my style. It's time to start saving, I think!

ASOS also have a great selection of accessories right now, and their hair bands, scarves and crowns keep capturing my heart. 

Of course, I would never be able to purchase all the pieces which make it on to these wish lists, but I don't think it hurts to dream. I enjoy sharing my favourite finds with you here, and showing you some of the gems that are out there. It would be selfish to keep them to myself now, wouldn't it?! 

I hope you enjoy reading them!

What's on your wish list this week? Has anything in my wish list caught your eye?


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday Favourites #83

Hey guys,

It's time for my favourite images and links of the week once again. Grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, relax, and enjoy!

If I wasn't obsessed with Sasha Unisex's tattoos enough, she's now gone and created this gorgeous unicorn and lotus flower design! 

I can't say I'm a fan of Nicole Richie, but her lavender hair is amazing.

I love this manicure; one hand painted red, and the other orange.

This fox tattoo is stunning! You can see the actual tattoo here.

This lady's make up look is so beautiful.

I love this pineapple manicure. I may have to give it a go!


I'd love to make this retro diner in to my kitchen or dining room...

How cute are these Popsicle cakes?!


These honeycomb gift toppers are so pretty! You can find the tutorial at the source.

Sasha Unisex's sunset tattoo (which I showed you last week) has now been inked. Isn't it stunning?

These photo shows frozen bubbles of flammable methane trapped beneath Alberta's Lake Abraham.

This colourful phenomenon is known as circumhorizontal arcs (or fire rainbows), which is an optical phenomenon featuring an ice halo formed by ice crystals in high level cirrus clouds.

There's a manor house hotel in Nairobi called Giraffe Manor, where giraffes (and warthogs!) roam about the grounds and like to interact with the guests. They even like to pop indoors to say hello! I've always wanted to go here... the only problem is I'd never want to leave!

This adorable monkey is the cutest primate I've ever seen!

I love this old photo!

I discovered a stunning collection of 25 vintage photographs of female firefighters on Buzzfeed, and they're all so fascinating. The pictures were taken between 1916 to 1961, and until now, I wasn't aware women were firefighters so long ago. Such bad-ass, inspiring ladies!

I can relate to this one.

This beautiful photo shows polar stratospheric clouds, also known as nacreous clouds (from nacre, or mother of pearl, due to their iridescence).

This photo of a meteor shooting through the aurora borealis is amazing. Look at all that colour!

The Waiotapu Thermal Reserve in Rotorua, New Zealand.

The migration of Christmas Island's red crabs. 43 million of them migrate to lay their eggs in the ocean. That's a lotta crabs!

This fantastic piece of street art, The Legend of Giants, can be found in Bialystok, Poland.

Did you know that there are guide ponies?! Best. Thing. Ever.

And this GIF is brilliant!

♥ A woman named Amy was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, and for her 56th birthday, her family and friends gathered to surprise her. What happened next is awesome and also made me cry.

♥ I'm inspired by Jana's tutorial for tea cup candles. I've wanted to make some for years!

♥ This video of a school of ten of thousands of modular rays is incredible! They can fly!

♥ I've repinned so many delicious looking recipes this week, I'm just going to link you to my entire Sweet Treats board.

♥ I read a helpful post with back pain and sciatica travel advice, which I think could be invaluable to you if you're inflicted with back pain and / or sciatica like I am.

♥ New York Mom fuming after daughter gets a school letter calling her overweight. Shocking!

♥ Is Instagram banning photos of plus size women?

♥ Fashion Hayley blogged about a new Japanese plus size fashion store called Punyus, and I'm in love with her strawberry print outfit!

♥ This is what happens when the public sees a woman abusing a man. Abuse shouldn't be amusing, no matter the gender of the victim.

♥ This cat as the characters of Bob's Burgers.

♥ When should you throw out your make up? 9 ways to know when cosmetics expire.

♥ I loved the post Wisdom we would share with our 20-year-old selves. I agree with the advice shared, and wish I'd been given it eight or nine years ago before I learnt it all the hard way.

♥ 26 things that will turn your bad day around in an instant.

♥ 29 celebrities who will actually make you feel good about your body. There's some great body positivity quotes from celebrities in this post.

♥ 30 natural phenomena you won't believe actually exist. Okay, I used a few of the images in this post, but the rest of them are worth a look, too.

♥ 72 facts that will teach you a damn thing for once in your life. Have I shared this one before? Yes? No? Either way, I learnt a thing or two from it this week.

and finally,

♥ Boss accidentally forwards a holiday request to the entire company. The reaction is brilliant!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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