Basically this is me…

What doesn't kill you DEFINITELY makes you stronger

Zoella Lifestyle 

I am a big fan of Zoella and when I saw her recent YouTube video going through her new range Zoella Lifestyle I was really excited!

Her new range was released on the 19th September which just happens to be my birthday! So it would have been very rude of me not to put in a small order. I’ve been away for a couple of days celebrating my birthday so by the time I got to the Boot’s website the items I wanted had sold out, but luckily Superdrug still had them in stock!


They arrived today and I’ve gotta admit I LOVE THEM!

So what did I get???


TheNaps Fix Everything” Pillow 

As a girl fighting an ongoing battle with a chronic illness, Yes – Naps do fix everything! and I find I’m napping more and more. I really do love this pillow and when I saw it I knew it would be purchased!

“Once Upon a Time” Journal 

I’ve been after a new journal for a while and when Zoe showed this on her video I really liked the style. Admittedly it costs more than I would usually pay for a notebook but it’s really good quality and it smells amazing!

“Warm Hands Warm Heart” Travel Mug and Fingerless Gloves 

I’ve been after a travel mug for a while and I love fingerless gloves so this seemed like a good fit for me.

I also liked that the slogan ‘topped with cream & sprinkles’ as I’m lacto free and can’t have cream anymore. It makes me laugh. I know, I’m weird.

I know there has been some bad press regarding this range and the price. I am on a small budget and bought what I could afford and I honestly think for the price, effort and quality of the products. It is of good value.  And it is like anything else, don’t buy it if you aren’t happy with it.

I personally am very happy with my products and very glad I bought them. Was a lovely extra birthday treat for me.

As alway, thank you for reading.
xVx

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💜💜 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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August Favourites


Happy September all, however before we start to celebrate the kids being back at school, Poldark being on the Telly again (😍 Aidan Turner 😍) and I personally love September as it is my birthday!!! 

It’s time to look back, reflect and tell you about my favourite things from August. 

Footloose & Sister Act 

Twice this month I have been lucky enough to go and see a musical at Leicester Curve Theatre.

At the start of August,  l went to see Sister Act with my lovely friend Lainy 

The musical starred X Factor’s Alexanda Burke and the adorable Jon Robyns. Similar to the Whoopi Goldberg film it shows the story of lounge singer Delores go into Witness Protection after witnessing a murder. 

I really enjoyed the show and Alexandra’s voice was beautiful. 

I also got to finally wear my gorgeous Simple Be Jameel Jamil Red Dottie Dress. I adore this dress but I do wish the sleeves were 3/4 length. 


The second musical I went to see in August was Footloose. 


I love musicals and footloose is on of my favourites. As most of my friends can attest of Footloose comes on during a night out I will be the first one on the dance floor cutloosing! 

I’ve always wanted to see the stage show and my very lovely husband got me tickets to see the show as an early birthday present! 

I admit, the show started badly and they messed up the first song, however they got their act together really quickly and we really enjoyed the rest of the production. Very happy that I got to see it! 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 

I am a potter fanatic – I have read all the books, seen all the films, visited the Harry Potter Experience 3 times – bloody love that place. 
However I was really late to get excited about the Harry Potter play. I didn’t see the appeal and I didn’t get why people were getting excited about the play being released. 

And then it hit me like a ton of bludgers! I read reviews of the play, I saw adverts for the play and got so sucked into it all again. It was like being that 13 year old girl again reading the first book.

So of course – I bought the play! 


It is just fabulous! I know a lot of people have complained about it being a screenplay but after a couple of pages I found it just as easy to read. I’m keeping the secrets so there will be no spoilers from me. Just read it! 💞

I am also very lucky as my fabulous husband queried for 10 hours! And got got me tickets to see the play next year CAN NOT WAIT 😍😍😍

Crazy Ex Girlfriend 


This was suppose to be in my July Favourites but I was stupid and didn’t include it but this has been one of my favourite shows this year and had to be included in my favourites. 

It stars the fabulous Rachel Bloom who plays Rebecca Bunch a stressed New Yorker Lawyer who after running into an old boyfriend – Josh Chan. leaves New York and follows him to West Covina, California.  And did I mention this was a musical? 

Currently on Netflixs you will not regret watching this show!

6 months back at work 

This month I celebrated being back at work for 6 months! It is insane to think how far I have come.

After being so sick and pretty much bed bound for so long, I am so proud of what I have accomplished. I am struggling with my health at the moment but I know I will keep getting stronger. 

Just got to keep remembering one day at a time and make sure I keep looking after myself.

Positive Feedback 

 I am a little fish in a very big pond, I run a very small blog and very often I feel unheard and wonder why I am putting so much effort into something that in the grand scheme of things has very little to offer. 

However, I enjoy writing and running my blog and the hope is that if someone out there is plus size and feeling crap about themselves or has a chronic illness and feels the way I do very often they will know they aren’t alone. 

This month I had a lovely comment which really made me feel like I am doing something good and right. I am a fighter and with that I try to be as positive as possible. So it’s nice to see that it shows in my writing. 

One of my Motos that has helped me get through the last 18 months has been “never give up, never surrounder.” And I think this abstract from the comment I received shows that. 

“the thing I love the most about your blog is that whatever how many bad times you went through, your positive side always takes over.”

So there are my August Favourites! 
       As always thanks for reading 

                            xVx

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I’m not broken, I’m healing…

I’ve just got home from another half week at work and it’s been rough and a contentious phone call actually made me cry. 

I didn’t cry on the phone, thank god. But after I got off, I broke down. After spending about 10 minutes sobbing in the loo and calming myself down. I knew I had to speak to someone about how I felt. My manager is on Annual Leave so I went to the other manager. I broke down again and she took me into an office and talked to me for a good hour and calmed me down. 

I explained what had happened, which really doesn’t need to be discussed on here. I explained that before my illness and prolonged time off work I could of dealt with a call like that no problem. However since being so sick and coming back to work I feel broken, worthless and basically really crap at my job. She told me that I wasn’t broken, I was still healing. That they are lucky to have me and that I am doing a really good job. She said we are all human and all of us at some point have had moments that make us break. 

She also said that I should celebrate every week I am work and see it as a huge accomplishment. I am dealing with a chronic illness AND I’m still getting to work and doing my job.

Her words were like a hug I so desperately needed, she was so caring and wanted to make sure I left the office in a much better state then when I entered. she also made me think of everything I have achieved in the 5 months Since I’ve returned to work. It also reminded me of what my lovely twitter Jen spoke about in the week. She said she remembered speaking to me last year about how terrified I was about going back to work after almost 8 months off and how well I am doing now. She also called me super duper which I approve of 😍.

There are going to be hard days, but I have overcome so much and I will never give up. I just really need to stop being so hard on myself. I am my worse enemy and it needs to stop. I need to treat myself the way I would treat my friends!  I’m a fighter and I always will be, but I need to be a bit softer on myself and give myself the chance it needs to heal. My confidence will return and I will feel like me again.

I will always have this chronic illness and I will have to battle it everyday but it does not define me.           I am worth more than my illness. 

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Weekend in London 

One of my goals for this year was to go and see a play or a musical in the west end and have a weekend away in London.

Both my husband and I adore London, so when I was coming up with my 16 in 16 list, A trip to London was top of my list!

When it was announced that Lily James and Richard Madden were performing Romeo and Juliet at The Garrick Theatre, I jumped at the chance to see my favourite play in one of my favourite cities.

My husband and I planned on doing the trip, however when my friend found out I had tickets, she was desperate to go. Since I started working part time, we have had quite a lot of money concerns. So it made sense to turn it into a small budget girly weekend.

We got the coach down to London for £12 each, The hotel room was£57 each and we had a brilliant time.

First day we travelled to London. We got to the hotel which was lovely. Basic but definitely a bargain!

We stayed at St Georges Hotel in Pimlico. We were in a ground floor room with a Kingsize and 2 single beds. I very kindly bagsed the king size bed- I’m such a good friend.

 


We were close to the tube, buses and in the centre of London. The hotel was such a brilliant find.
We saw Big Ben, had some dinner and got ready to see the Play.

The Journey to the Garrick Theatre was HORRENDOUS! Traffic delays, bad directions and blindly trusting my Google Maps app meant we arrived at the theatre 5 minutes late. I still have no idea how, but they very kindly let us in and we didn’t miss the start of the play.

Due to injury, Richard Madden was not performing and we saw the first performance of Freddie Fox playing Romeo. He was superb. The play was beautiful, heartbreaking and I am so happy we got to see it.

Lily James seemed to struggle through the first act but came alive in the second act and Sir Derek Jacobi and Meera Syal stole every scene they were in.

Unfortunately the theatre was so hot my friend almost passed out at the interval, however after fresh air and plenty of water she felt better and managed to get through the second act.

Once the play was over, we explored Leicester Square and we ended up going to TGI Fridays for some cocktails and I did something I’ve never done before.

I got drunk in the middle of London! 😂

What can I say- those Woo Woos were strong 😂😂

We headed back to the hotel and ended up getting the most gorgeous pizza delivered to the hotel at 2am!

Was such a fun night.

The next day, we slept and had a lie in. My friend googled cheap things to do in London and it suggested the Victoria and Albert Musuem. And I am so glad it did!

Based in South Kensington, the Musuem was amazing and had so much to see. We were only there for a couple of hours but both of us said we would like to go back and explore some more.

Here are some pictures of the exhibits we saw

I had the opportunity to see the World Cup and Football from the 1966 World Cup on the 50th Anniversary of England’s win

Clothes throughout time, such a beautiful collection

Curtain’s Up

Morecombe and Wise

 

Was so sad to leave as I really did have a lovely weekend.

Until next time London 💞
xVx

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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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Diary of a Chronic Illness 

A blogger I really respect Georgina Grogan ( @GeorginaGrogan_)  is doing a series on chronic pain to link with Chronic Pain Awareness Week. With how poorly I have been with my illness, it’s been brilliant seeing chronic pain being discussed and being able to see that I am not alone in my battle.
From reading her posts and other blogger’s posts which have been published, it has inspired me to write this diary for the day.

You will see what it is like to live with a chronic illness and how this affects me on a daily basis.

Tuesday 12th July 2016 

8.30am – It’s been 2 days since I completed the Race for Life and my body is hurting more than ever.

Husband wakes me up with a kiss and tells me he is off to work.

I lie in bed for a bit and then need to go to the toilet.

9.10am – finally off the toilet and my stomach is giving me hell. In a lot of pain but can’t take painkillers as I need to go downstairs to eat something first. Hurts too much to walk at the moment. Snuggle back into bed and go on twitter. Zoella has a new video so I put that on to distract myself.

9.30am – my phone keeps buzzing and I don’t know why, once the video stops. I look and see that I’ve been mentioned by another blogger @lottie_lamour in a post about coping with chronic pain. Makes me smiles and I get the idea about writing this post.

9.38am – can’t cope with the pain anymore so I start taking my medication so I can eat. I take a Lansoprazole tablet, I then have to wait 15mins until I can take my Alverine Citrate tablet. Once I’ve taken that tablet I have a 20 minutes wait til I can eat. Which means it will be at least another 40 minutes until I can take painkillers.

9.45am – still trying to distract myself of the pain so I’ve put Netflix on my laptop and I’ve put The Big Bang Theory on.

10.20am- pre food medications are taken and I slowly start getting ready to go downstairs, my legs are killing me, I feel like I need the toilet and I’m knackered.

Start walking down the stairs, my knees click with every step.

Look in the cupboard and it’s empty and there is nothing in the fridge. Was going to do an online food shop yesterday but didn’t as was suppose to be going to the dentist so thought I’d do a shop after. Neither feel appealing at the moment.

10.30am- decided on beans on toast as I have half a loaf left. Really hope it doesn’t set of my stomach.

We have no clean plates, cups or knife and forks. I love my husband dearly but he is not domesticated. If I don’t ask him to do something, it doesn’t get done. If I am feeling well, the house is manageable however if I am sick it is a mess.

There is a bag of laundry on the floor and a pile of washing up.

As I am so tall, I struggle to wash up standing up as it hurts my back. So for the last couple of months I’ve left a dining room chair in the kitchen. I sit on the chair put a load of laundry in and start washing up. I feel about 90! 30 year olds shouldn’t have to deal with this crap! Thanks body!

I’m still in agony as I’ve had no painkillers but need to do this if I want to eat! I actually find washing up quite relaxing and get through the plates quite quickly.

Put my beans in a cup and put them in the microwave. Once my toast is cooked, I take my breakfast into the living room.  I make sure the remote control, my drink and my painkillers are close to me as I really don’t have the strength to get up again for a bit.

10.55am – the beans are cold 😠

Really can’t be arsed to get up and heat them up again, I just want my painkillers. So I eat my luke warm breakfast.

11am – painkiller time!

After an hour and a half I finally take some painkillers. 2 30/500 Co-Codomal and 2 tablets of Buscopan.

Put an episode of Forever on the TV and realise I am going to have to cancel my dentist appointment (again!) as there is no way I’m going to get to town in time for my 11.45am appointment.

11.05am -Call the Dentist, I am in luck. Someone else had cancelled an appointment this afternoon and they can fit me in at 3.20pm! I am relived as this appointment was first booked in April and due to my illness and the dentist being sick it has been cancelled a lot!

11.30am – lying on the sofa in a heap, not planning on moving for a while.

12.06pm- washing machine has stopped, need to go and put it on to spin. Been speaking to my sister in law over Facebook messenger about what to get our niece for her b’day in 2 weeks and also need to start getting ready to go to the dentist. I watch one more episode of Forever instead.

12.45pm – finally put the washing on spin and then head upstairs to go to the toilet. Legs still hurting like hell but at least painkillers help.

13.22pm – totally forgot to set a timer for my next lot of painkillers, I remember what time I took them earlier so set it for an hour and 45 mins.

Finish another episode of forever and put on another, this show is addictive and Ioan Grruffed is gorgeous.

13.40pm- walk into the kitchen, sit on the chair, take the laundry out put a new load in.

Take the bag of wet clothes into the dining room. Empty the clothes horse onto the dining room table (it is ridiculous how many clothes are on there)

I’m in pain and tired so I sit on my desk chair and transfer the wet clothes from the bag and put them to dry on the rack.

Go back into the living room, grab a drink and sit back on the sofa. I’m shattered. It’s not even 2pm yet.

3pm – this always happens.

Stomach kicked off, had a wash, got dressed, then had to rest due to my STUPID stomach.

Realised it is 2.50pm and my dentist appointment is in 30 mins!

Gotta call a taxi, write a shopping and to do list for while I’m out.

Also need to Sort out Simply Be order that needs to be sent back. Realise the free post label is missing. Haven’t got time to try and sort it out.

Sit down, pain killer alarm goes off.

Call three different taxi firms finally get through to one, which of course is the most expensive one.

Take Painkillers, my antidepressants, vitamin D and loperamide tablets.

I collapse in a heap and wait for my taxi to arrive.

Start to Stress that I’m going to miss my appointment.

Need to Charge my phone as it is down to 30% battery.

Promise myself to be more organised in the future—>

This is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!
4pm- dentist appointment is done. Check up went well but need a filling which is annoying. Was in a lot of pain during the appointment and actually started crying when I was told I needed a filling. Not a clue why, just find that sometimes when I’m in a lot of pain I become really emotional.

4.35pm – I walked into town to get some food and buy our niece’s birthday present. I go really light headed in Marks and Spencer’s and realise I haven’t eaten anything since 11am. I sit in the men’s shoes department and eat a sandwich I bought in boots earlier. It’s not very nice but at least it’s food.

5.15pm- so far I’ve been to the works, Boots, M+S, Card Factory and Primark. I’ve just done our food shop from Sainsburies and I’m waiting for a taxi to arrive to take me home. I’m tired, I hurt and I’m absolutely shattered. So happy I found a chair to sit on.

5.45pm- finally in a taxi but we are stuck in traffic and I am getting really car sick. I actually feel like I’m going to throw up. I keep going light headed and I just feel awful.

Get home, bring the stuff in and sit on the sofa for a bit. Have a drink and wait for my head to stop spinning.

Take the food into the kitchen, have a glass of apple juice. Sitting on the chair I put away the Fresh and frozen food but leave the rest to put away later. Apple juice isn’t working so I have a glass of my husband’s Pespi and eat starbursts. Lie on the sofa and it takes about about an hour to feel better. My body is destroyed!

7pm – alarm goes off for painkillers and food tablets.

Because I have been out today, I haven’t taken my BAM medication yet. Need to wait an hour til I can take it. I will then have to wait 4 hours to take my second dose. It’s going to be a late night.

8.20pm – finally taken my questran and been chatting to the hubby since he got home. Feeling more rested and just watching television. Decided to write a blog post about the items I brought today, mostly as I love my new bag!!!

Had a lovely steak dinner and now resting up and continuing my Forever Marathon.

9.20pm – Finished writing, editing and uploaded my post about my little shopping spree today. Feeling really tired and after I finish this episode of Forever, I’m going to head to bed.

10.05pm – I’m in bed – YAY! It’s been a very long day. 

10.15pm – the husband has brought up all the clothes that have been piling up on the dining room table (after I put them in a big ikea bag) and then he started to hang up the clothes.:. Pause for dramatic effect… HE HUNG UP CLOTHES! 😱! Who is he and what has he done with my husband 😂😂😂 I hung up my clothes on hangers and he then put them on my clothes rails for me. Nice that another job had been done and I didn’t have to do it. 

11pm – I’m in bed and watching The Big Bang Theory. I’ve still got an hour and a half until I can take my last medication for the day. Getting sleepy.

12pm- Still waiting to take my last medication so I’m still watching Big Bang Theory. I’ve updated my Filofax, written up my happiness planner and budgeted mine and Phil’s finances for next month. 

1.03am- medication finally taken and I am so ready to go to sleep. 
I hope you enjoyed my post. I enjoyed writing it and hopefully it will help show what it is like to live with a chronic illness and chronic pain.

Thanks for reading. 

                             xVx

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Primark, Boots and The Works Haul 


Had to go to town today for a dentist appointment and afterwards had to get bday presents for my Nan and our Niece.

So only seemed right to get myself a couple of bits while I was out.

Primark 

I have been lusting after this bag for a while, one of my biggest regrets from last year was not buying the Novelty Camera Bag from Accessorize. Loveed that bag and I didn’t buy it!

So when I saw this, I knew I had to have it but I’m trying to be careful with money so when I saw they had a sale going on I thought I’d have a look and there it was!!!

Primark PopCorn bag £9 down to £5

Love it, Love it, LOVE IT!!!! And going to have a lot of fun using it.

When my stomach is playing up and I’m just trying to be comfortable, I love PJ Bottoms. But being plus size and over 6 foot is a nightmare to find some.

I really like the Primark Men PJs section as 1) they fit and 2) they are long enough for me. When I saw these I knew I had to add them to my collection.

Star Wars PJ Bottoms £7

Boots 

I mostly got my toiletries from Boots so I’m not going to show you thoses but I did buy theses beauties! My nails have been in a state for a while and with my girly weekend away coming up soon I thought I’d treat myself to these.

£7.99 each, buy one get one half price offer

The purple ones are definitely my favourite and can’t wait to use them!

The Works 

I bought my niece’s bday pressie from the works so not going to show that but will show you my new pen.

Finding Dory Pen- £1 from The Works

I am such a big kid! And will very happily use this at work this week!

And last but not least I bought this pillow from Card Factory. I have often said that my chair in the living room is my throne- I now have the pillow to prove it!

Her Majestry Pillow- £2.99 from Card Factory

Thanks for reading!
xVx

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Race for Life 💞

So I did it!


On Sunday I completed the Leicester Race for Life and I’m so proud of myself.

I’ve gone from being unable to walk long distances and having to use a wheelchair to walking a 5k in 4 months!

I struggled, I’m not going to lie. I nearly passed out at 3k, my sugar completely dropped and I struggled to focus my sight. It was really scary but I thought quickly and remembered that there was a sweet truck and I phoned my husband and he ran over to me with lots of marshmallows and milk bottles. After a rest, I was able to complete the rest of the walk with my husband and friend supporting me.

I will say though it was slightly worrying that I was sitting on the side of the course for a good 20 minutes and not one volunteer, first aider or organiser came to check on me. It’s a good job I wasn’t on my own and I had my friend and later on my husband supporting me.

However staying positive- I did it and I’m so grateful for my hubby and friend getting me through the last 2K.

I did this for Margaret and in her memory I’m proud to say I’ve raised over £300!

Here are some pictures from my day 💞💞💞


 

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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