Basically this is me…

What doesn't kill you DEFINITELY makes you stronger

💜💜 Purple Hearts 💜💜

It’s been a while but guess what… I’m doing an outfit post! 😱

After spending pretty much most of the last week in bed after a rather nasty flare up of my illness. My husband and best friend took me out for a Toby Carvery today which was rather delicious

Just look at that 😍

As it was the first time I had got dressed since Tuesday. I thought I’d make an effort and wear one of my favourite dresses from the summer. My SCARLETT & JO Purple & White Lollidot Heart Print Midi Dress

Just look at the prettiness!!!!!!


As a girl who has MAJOR issues with her stomach I can not fault this dress, it floats over my stomach, gives me a shape and as a 6 foot 2 girl I am a big fan of any dress that covers my bum! And it just makes me feel so pretty and girly and just wonderful.

Any dress that can make feel that way is ok by me 💞

I am also impressed by Scarlett & Jo’s customer service. This is a replacement dress as the first one I bought was faulty. After a couple of emails and sending the original dress back, free of charge. They sent me this replacement so quickly!

In other news! You may have noticed I now have a full length mirror! After it being in the spare room for almost a year I have taken it out of its packaging and put it on the door! So get ready for a lot more outfit posts and my face! 😂

As ever thank you for reading and I hope you are all having a lovely relaxing Sunday.
xVx

 

 

Disclaimer: I bought this dress and it was my choice to write this post.

If you would like to purchase the dress – here is the link.

Lollidot Heart Print Dress

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Is it actually all in my head?

If you follow my blog on Instagram, you would have seen that this week the heatwave finally made me shred one of my public phobias.

I went outside without covering my arms!

I, like most people I know. Have insecurities about my body. After being so ill and gaining so much weight in the last couple of years my body confidence was at rock bottom.

But after finding the plus size blogger community and seeing Sofie Hagen at the Dave Comedy Festival two years ago. I totally jumped on the body positivity band wagon and started to love my body for what it is and not hate it for what it’s not.

I started wearing what I wanted and I now love dressing up and trying new clothes


However the old insecurities were always there and I still hide my body, especially my arms.

My arms are big, lumpy and flabby. I’ve always felt really self conscious of them and hid them using boleros and cardigans.

Even at my wedding, I had a shrug made as I didn’t feel confident wearing my dress with my arms on show.

I made a beautiful bride 💞

So even though I’ve improved so much and do honestly love my body, how can I still hate my body at the same time?

And I’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually all in my head.

Twice this week I’ve been outside with my arms on show. Once to work and yesterday when I went to see my father in law and brother in law. No one laughed, no one shouted, I went past a group of lads and not one of them said anything about it. I have spent so much time caring what other people think, that I’ve actually deluded myself into believing that they actually care. It has all been in my head, I have been so wrapped up and concerned about what people think of me and what they will say about me that I have almost stopped living the life I want to live.

So here is the lesson I have learnt from all of this… stop caring about what other people think.

And let your arms be free!!!!!


 

 

xVx

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16 in 16 – Update 

I am now 7 months into my 16 in 16 challenge, Link to original post 👉🏻 http://wp.me/pZ5bU-4N so I thought now would be a good time to do a slight catch up and let all you lovely people know how I have been getting on.

Unlike most of my New Years Resolutions, I have been actively working on completing theses challenges and I am happy to report that I have so far completed 6 of them, and by the end of this month I should have completed two more.

I am very proud of myself for setting these goals and not giving up. It has been a rough year and it would of been so easy for me to decide to not bother so I am very happy with myself that I haven’t.

Have a look below and see what I have completed and I will be doing a post for each goal I have been completed.

16 in 16
1. Pass my driving test
2. Get fitter- ✅ ongoing

3. Do a race for life
4. Cons, cons and more cons – ✅ Yes/Yes/Yes


5. Go to Downton Abbey
6. Do a photo shoot
7. Weekend in London and see West End show
8. Go to Edinburgh✅

9. Sing at an open mike night

10. Go to the Harry Potter experience and do a tweet up✅

11. Go to the Dr who Experience

12. Have a Spa weekend ✅

13. Buy a Designer Bag✅ – see post here- http://wp.me/pZ5bU-8u


(💞💞💞 so pretty 💞💞💞)

14. Race a car

15. Do a photography course

16. Be happy

I will keep you updated with my progress and let you know how the next 5 months of my challenge go 😊

xVx

 

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June Favourites 


I am going to start this post with HOW IS IT THE END OF JUNE ALREADY!

This month has flown by! And as it is a very nice tradition I have started here are my June Favourites

I MET GILES!!!!!!!!!!! 

I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and this month I attended the Prophecy Convention in Birmingham which was ran by Rogue Events.

This convention had a bumpy start as some of the main guests dropped out just before but I would still say this was one of the best conventions I have ever been too, I got to geek out with my friends, meet some lovely guests and I finally got my Giles Hug 💞💞💞

For thoses who don’t know Anthony Stewart Head, who plays Rupert Giles in the show, hugs are legendary! And I have been very vocal about the fact that 1) I wanted to meet him and 2) I wanted a hug! And it finally happened 💞💞💞💞


You can tell by my face how happy I was and he was a delight to meet.

I have to admit the star of the con though was the lovely Marc Blucas who played Riley on the show. Most people would say ‘I hated Riley, but big fan of Marc’

By the end of the convention, Marc had everyone swooning over him. Such a warm, funny, down to earth chap. This was his first ever convention and I really hope he does more.

I got a photo with Marc. And as I was waiting my turn. I heard him ask a convention goer their name. Which in my experience is unheard of while having photos. So when it was my turn I went straight up to him and said hi, I’m vicki. To which he replied Hi I’m Marc. Made me giggle at the time as obviously we all knew who he was but it showed just how lovely he is.

 

Bill Bailey 


My husband and I over the last couple of years have been going to more comedy gigs and last year we bought tickets to see Bill Bailey.

I will be honest, this gig was more for Phil then me. But I had a brilliant time. The only issue I had was that I was in so much pain. It is safe to say that I can no longer do a full day at work, travel and then go to a gig! Definitely need time to rest inbetween. 

New Job Present 

Started my new job, with the new team so only seemed right to buy myself a well done present. 

AND WHAT A PRESENT!!!!!


Two of my favourite things Funko Pops and Harry Potter 💞💞💞

Instagram 

Basically This Is Me is now on Instagram! Makes sure to follow me to keep up to date with posts and pictures 📷📷📷📷📷📷

Race for Life 

OMG it is this weekend!!!!!!! 

It had gone so quick but I have come so far and I am determined to cross that finish line on the 10th July 💞💞💞

So June has been a bit of a blur and how are we already 7 months into 2016. 
This year has and continues to suck! So be kind to one another. 

                             xVx 

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April/May Favourites 


It’s been a hard month and I haven’t been in the right head space to blog. I’ve given myself some time and the creative juices started to flow again.

I do enjoy completing my monthly favourites. It really does help put things into perspective. Even though my husband and I are going through a lot at the moment. It does us good to stop, breathe and think of the good things in our lives also.

So that being said I have decided to complete my monthly favourites for April and May.

Monthly Favourites 

Margaret

If you follow me on Social Media or read my previous post, you will be aware that my mother in law lost her battle with cancer at the end of April. The last month has been so sad and we miss her terribly. She is in my favourites because I wanted to celebrate her life and knowing her. From the first day I met her she welcomed me into her family. She was strong, fierce and protective but also caring and gracious. She loved cooking, ballroom dancing and spending time with her family. She will be so missed and I am so grateful that I joined her crazy family.

Race for Life 


In Margaret’s memory I am completing the race for life in July. Due to my poor health, I was considering dropping out however Margaret was the first person to sponsor me and was so touched that I was raising money and doing the race in her name, I refuse to give up!

For the last 4 weeks I have been slowly building up my strength, walking, swimming and strength training. My body is coping well but I get tired really quickly and at the beginning I was in agony the next day, which luckily is easing off. Training with a chronic illness has been difficult but I refuse to be beaten and in less than 6 weeks I will cross the finish line for Margaret.

If you would like to sponsor me (pretty please) here is the link to my just giving page

IWOWN 
With training for the race for life and generally wanting to improve my fitness. I bought a fitness tracker. After doing some research and having a strict budget, ( no fitbits for me!) I found this beauty on Amazon


The IWOWN smart bracelet, it’s been fab! I’ve been able to monitor the amount of steps I do a day. I was getting annoyed that I struggled to get passed 5000 a day so I changed the step goal to 6000 a day which is equivalent to 3 miles. It’s been pushing me to keep moving and on many occasions after walking a lot and wanting to stop, I’ve been saying “think of the steps”

Cons, Cons and Cons 

I love going to a convention, and in the past 8 weeks I’ve been to two!

End of April I went to Storybrooke Uk in London. Which is a convention for the TV show Once Upon A Time.

Was such a lovely weekend, got to meet my Twitter friend Alice who I have been speaking to for years. Got to see my con friend Sheena and spend the weekend geeking out 🙂

If you are a fan of the show you might recognise some of these people

Hook!!! Also known as the lovely (and very cute) Colin O’donoghue

Lee Arnberg- plays Grumpy on the show, but was also one of the Pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean

Meghan Orhy -plays Ruby in the show and is one of my favourite characters. She also said she loved my shirt ( there was a picture of her character on it)

Lana Parrilla- Regina / Evil Queen.

Rebecca Mader – Zelena/ Wicked Witch


Sean Maguire – Robin Hood

In May, I went to City of Heroes 2 with my husband. This convention is for fans of Arrow, The Flash and Gotham.

I enjoyed our weekend but it was insane!!! So busy and so crowded but the guests were fabulous.

I was able to get a photo with the stars of Arrow


Stephen Amell and David Ramsey

I also got to meet the brilliant, fabulous and VERY rude John Barrowman. He was one of the highlights of the con.

So you can understand how insane this con was – here is a picture of all the guests

For the party in the evening, I went as Agent Carter and wore this gorgeous Lindy Bop dress with a petticoat. Felt gorgeous and got so many compliments 💞

 

Day at the Races 


Last week I went to Leicester Races with my mum and dad and had such a brilliant day watching the horse racing.

We had a 3 course meal with this brilliant view and over the day I won £40!

Not something I do every week but I would definitely go again!

 

Make up Organiser 


I was lucky enough to win this make up organiser after entering a blog giveaway and it’s bloody brilliant!

1. It’s is actually making me wear make up! I don’t usually wear make up everyday however with having it on show everyday it’s making me want to have a play and make more effort with my appearance.

2. I can find my makeup! I seem to spend my life trying to find products that I have lost. Having it all together has made my life a lot easier.

X-Men Apocalypse 

Such a good film, I came out of the showing buzzing. I am a huge X-Men fan and I have loved the McAvoy/Fassbender films. Definitely one to go and see.

 


So those were my favourite things  – what have been yours??

x V x

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Hello… It’s me

My apologies to Adele but I had too!

 

Hello all, I’m back.

train

It has almost been a year since the last time I blogged. As some of you know I was (and still am) really ill and found it difficult to talk about. I have had a really rough year and it still something I am having to deal with now. However I feel stronger and I am ready to start talking again.

At the time, one of the other reasons I stopped blogging was twitter and the internet in general did not feel like a safe place to be a plus size blogger. It seemed like everyday bloggers were being attacked for being themselves and at that time I was not in a good place to join them.

People are dicks! this is what I have learnt, however that does not mean that they have the right to stop us living our life. And even though I decided to close my blog I continued working on myself, reading other PS bloggers and learning to love myself.

In the past year my confidence has greatly improved, I have started swimming again and don’t try to hide my body, I am loving fashion and am making more of an effort when choosing my outfits. My current obsession is Lindy Bop dresses! they are so pretty!!!!

dress

I am also a lot more comfortable having my picture taken and not hiding my body by taking close ups or angled shots. This is me world! deal with it.

The reason I am back now is that honestly I have missed writing. It was my escape and the way I coped in the world, and no one can take away my voice. I also feel like I have a lot to say and refuse to hide anymore.

But if I am going to restart my blog and talk about my life I need to be honest. I have kept quiet about my illness as I find it embarrassing however no more! As my blog title says Basically This Is Me and it is time I start respecting that.

I will talk about my illness in a future post, but for now I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me last year and I hope you will rejoin this journey with me.

 

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Stripes, Stripes, Stripes…. From Yours Clothing

As some of you are aware, (from my constant moaning) I haven’t been very well. For the last week and a half I have been stuck in bed and wearing my very glamorous PJs while I have been recovering.

Unfortunately over the weekend, I have been really poorly and was told by the hospital to see my GP today which I have done.

So as I was going to the doctors, I thought I would wear my new top for Yours Clothing.

striped jumper from Yours Clothing

I haven’t bought much from Yours Clothing before, and actually got this jumper online as I had bought some tights and saw it in the sale and really liked it.

When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was that I bought the wrong size, it’s too big on me and I could of done with a smaller size. However I quite liked it being bigger on me. It flatters me well and with all the issues going on with my stomach at the moment it’s nice that it doesn’t cling.

I have taken a picture of myself in the top and I admit it is not the most flattering shot, especially as I’m not very well but the point of this blog was to get myself out there and stop being so harsh on myself so here goes nothing

Superwoman Pose 😂

I do really like this top and will happily wear it to work and in my free time.

I do love a stripey top and I love the added lace pattern to this top. Really gives the top something extra.

For my oh so exciting trip to the doctors, I added my leather jacket ( I’m pretending it’s spring) and wore my black skater skirt.

definitely a lovely little buy from Yours Clothing and will definitely shop there again 😊

And for those interested, the doctor has changed my medication and I’ve been signed off for a week. Fingers crossed the medication will work and I will feel better soon.

So I am now back snuggled in bed watching the white queen. How has your Monday been??

 

What I wore-

GREY MARL AND NAVY STRIPE LACE PRINT LONG SLEEVE JERSEY TOP from Yours Clothing – £12 in the Sale (usually £18) 

If you would like to purchase this top please use the following link – 

http://m.yoursclothing.co.uk/Product/22268

Disclaimer- I have not been asked to review this item of clothing by the store. I paid for the item myself.

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Scarlett and Jo Dress Review

I have been a fan of Scarlett and Jo for a while and when I saw this dress in my local Evans I knew I had to have it 🙂

I am really impressed with the changes to Evans clothing range recently, the tents are gone and now we have stylish, curvaceous clothing that flatter our figures and make us look amazing. And a big part of that is due to the clothing from Scarlett and Jo! I’ve already got my eye on a couple of other dresses that I love!

The Dress

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Scarlett and Jo Cobalt Blue Dress- Currently on sale for £25!

So this dress- I have got into this awful habit of only wearing black, so in the past couple of weeks while I have been updating my wardrobe and building my confidence, I have started to buy more colourful items and I thought this dress would fit nicely in.

It is really flattering on my figure and nicely covers the parts of my body which I do not feel comfortable to have on show. As I do not like showing my arms I love the the 3/4 size sleeves makes me feel comfortable and stylish.

Dressing Room Selfie!!!

IMG_8946

The minute I tried on this dress, I knew I loved it and wanted it and I can’t wait to wear it again.

In this picture I am wearing this dress with leggings, the dress also goes well with dark jeans or trousers.

Payday Wishlist

These are the dresses I have currently got my eye on 🙂 What outfits do you like from Scarlett and Jo?

FullSizeRender (2)

Scarlett & Jo Red Crochet Collar Fit And Flare Dress- currently on sale for £30                    

FullSizeRender (4)

Black embellished prom dress- £55

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Red Lace Yoke Swing Dress- Currently on sale for £25

To see more of Scarlett & Jo collection, please use the following link – http://www.evans.co.uk/en/evuk/category/scarlett-jo-about-250444/home

Disclaimer- This is my opinion of the brand, I have not been asked to write this review and I bought the dress in question.

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Little by Little

I haven’t blogged for a while as I haven’t been very well, I have been having issues with my stomach since January and unfortunately for the last couple of weeks it has been a real struggle. Which meant blogging went out the window. Which is a shame because I really do enjoy it and the response I have had about my last posts have been very heart warming and very appreciated, Since admitting the issues I have had with my health, my depression and self image I finally feel comfortable to be me and say what I want too. I have also been making more of an conscious effort with my appearance and what I am wearing which has already had an amazing effect on how I am feeling about myself.

Unfortunately, with how my health has been the last couple of months things have become to slide, my depression was bringing me down and I seem to have been in an awful cycle of work-home-bed-work-home-bed. I wasn’t looking after myself or my home.

I am not proud of what I am about to show you, but to truly understand what it is like to be living with illness and depression, I have to be honest.  The picture below is of my bedroom. I couldn’t move there were bags, clothes, Christmas presents and rubbish everywhere. You can even see at the corner of the picture my Wedding Veil.

IMG_8799

I had no energy to do anything but sleep, eat and repeat and I had enough. A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday when I didn’t feel too bad, I started tidying, sorting and organising. It took over 10 hours but our room went from above to this-

   IMG_8848

I sorted out the floor, organised the chest of drawers and even went through my clothes and wardrobe.

I had got into the awful cycle of having clothes hanging up that I could no longer wear, they were too short, too small, too old or falling apart and I spent every morning just trying to find anything that would fit me.

I am in the lovely position to say that every piece of clothing in my wardrobe fits me, it is such a small stupid thing but makes the world of difference to me and how I feel about myself.

In the end there were 10 bags to be thrown away, 4 recycling bags, 4 bags full of clothes to be sent to charity. One bag of clothes for my little sister and 2 bags of clothes to be thrown away.

IMG_8817

Lots and lots of bags

I’VE GOT MY ROOM BACK!!!!!! 

And it is still tidy, I have become obsessed with organising my clothes and putting things away which makes a nice change. I had to go into hospital on Monday for a procedure to help my stomach and when I came back my hubby was helping me empty my bag. In my medicated state I was being very bossy and telling him exactly where I wanted him to put my clothes and personal items I had taken with me. Good job he loves me 🙂

Little by Little I am pushing forward and making an effort to get better. Rome wasn’t built in a day but it looked beautiful in the end.

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Coming to terms with being a Plus Size Bride.

When my boyfriend (now hubby) proposed to me in April 2012 after 5 years of dating, I was thrilled, shocked and excited to spend the rest of my life with someone who meant the world to me. I was studying to finish my Psychology Degree from University of Leicester and was excited to see what the future brought.

We started planning and decided on our Wedding Date of 6th September 2014 to allow us time to save and have the wedding we wanted.

I have never been one of those girls who have know what there weddings would look like or day dreamed about what their dress would look like, and before I met Phil I honestly thought I would stay single and have lots of cats.

I was excited to go and try on dresses with my mum and the first shop we went to had many plus size dresses I could try on I just couldn’t find the one.

As many brides I decide I was going to lose weight and be thinner for the day, my body however had other ideas. My health deteriorated, I struggled to breath, I was in and out of hospital, I spent a month house bound, 6 months on oral steroids and 18 months with a physiotherapist who had to reteach me how to breath. One of the lovely side effects of being so ill was that I gained so much weight. I spent months trying to lose weight however I would just gain it back again. By January 2014 I had enough and decided to look after myself and not destroy myself by trying to lose weight. I had to come to turns with being a plus size bride.

I had in my head that it was a bad thing to be overweight and a bride, which is ridiculous! However it doesn’t help when all the magazines you see are of thin brides, in gorgeous dress which either didn’t go up to my size or would look ridiculous on me. I also had my own body issues to deal with and my never ending battle with Depression.

The first thing that helped me come to terms with being a plus size bride was our Engagement Shoot, I was terrified of having my pictures taken and thinking ‘oh my god i am going to look like a whale’ I remember sitting in the pub beforehand almost crying telling the photographer how I felt. Once I relaxed and had a giggle with Phil during the shoot, I really enjoyed the experience and was thrilled that there were so many pictures I loved.

pre wedding shoot 4

pre wedding shoot 3

pre wedding shoot 2 prewedding shoot 1

The shoot was around Brindley Place in Birmingham, Phil and I spent a lot of time around that area when we started dating and when asked about an engagement shoot it seemed like a perfect place.

The Dress

Trying to find my dress was a nightmare, one of the low points of my wedding dress hunt was going to shop where they didn’t go past a size 18 and I had to hold the dress next to me to see it. Was crushing.

My mum went on the hunt and found a shop in Coventry which was for plus size brides. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! Every dress fitted me, we had the whole shop to our selves and I finally had my bridal moment and found the dress!!! wedding dress 1wedding dress 1 back

The Dress

It felt gorgeous on and we ordered it there and then. A year before we were going to get married I had my dress and I was thrilled. It was done! No more wedding dress shopping for me… or so I thought.

3 months later I received a text message from the store owner informing me that she was closing down the business and would not be able to complete the order. I was gutted, luckily we got our money back and the dress was still available so I went to another salon to order it, I was thrilled when I was informed they had the dress in my size and I could try it on again. However the dress was faulty, it didn’t fit properly and the jewels on the front were slanted so it made the dress look lopsided,

The store owner informed me that the company had said if I wanted the dress, this would be my dress. This slanted, faulty dress was to be my wedding dress… HELL NO!!!!

I asked her to go back to them with my concerns and she said she would and would call me later in the week with an update, 3 weeks later I still hadn’t heard anything and I was chasing her for an answer. Once I did finally talk to her I was informed that the company had said there was nothing wrong with the dress and if I wanted to order it, that would be my dress, I was crushed, disheartened and felt really let down, I also lost trust in the company and refused to spend a lot of money on a dress which we would most likely have to spend a lot of money to fix- so I walked away.

This left us a couple of months to find a different dress and it was awful. We went to shop after shop in Birmingham, Walsall, Sutton trying to find something. The dresses were either ugly, made me look old, didn’t fit or weren’t right for me. On many occasions I left the shops in tears. I just wanted it to be over and I wanted to have my dress.

As I live in Leicester my mum suggested that we have a look around the wedding shops in Leicester to find my dress, and if that didn’t work we were going to a dressmaker to make me one.

We booked appointments and my mum and sister came down, and then I found my dress.

The first shop, the first dress I tried on and I fell in love.

And what makes me really laugh is that I tried it on as a joke. It was big and puffy and a proper princess dress, something that I had always avoided, I remember coming out and saying ‘ I really shouldn’t like this dress… but I REALLY like this dress,” I felt gorgeous, I looked gorgeous, I made my mum cry. I cried. After all the crap I went through to get it, I finally had my dress.

This dress was from Francesca and I will always be grateful for how they treated me.

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My Gorgeous Gorgeous dress!!!

me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All done up on our wedding day

bouncy castle

Rocking the dress on our Bouncy Castle 

Looking back it makes me feel sad that I felt that way about myself and let it affect my wedding planning and that is why I am writing this incredibly long post, to say to anyone else who feels the way I did … STOP! You are gorgeous, whether you are size 6 or a 36 you are frigging GORGEOUS!!!!! enjoy your day, enjoy your experience, Don’t be afraid of what people think.

I had such a wonderful day, I married the love of my life, had a fabulous day and we will have a fabulous life together

I am fighting an ongoing battle to love myself and be proud of who I am today, but on my wedding day I felt like the most gorgeous girl in the world.

phil and i wedding

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