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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My Quest for Clear Skin


Like most teenagers, I had very spotty skin which turned into acne by the time I was 22. After being on tablets and using antibiotic cream my acne healed, however I’ve always been prone to spots and break outs. 

Since my health deteriorated last year, my poor skin was the least of my concerns. However as I continue to improve and start to live my new lifestyle, the state my skin was in was really starting to affect me. After an horrendous break out last week I knew enough was enough! 

To be honest, my skin care routine is seriously lacking and due to my illness, laziness and severe lack of interest in how I look, I had got into a very bad routine of using a baby wipe in the morning and evening to wash my face. 

But no more and after researching online and watching some YouTube videos I’ve come up with a new routine 

St Ives Sensitive Skin Apricot Scrub 


A colleague at work – who has an amazing completion actually suggested I used St Ives Products. 

She told me that last year she was struggling with the same issues and St Ives really helped her, so i thought, I would give it a try. 

It smells amazing, and is really easy to use and leaves my skin feeling really moistured after use. Hopefully it will help.

Quick Fix Facial Anti Blemish Mud Mask 


Through my research online, I saw that Mud Masks really help target spot prone skin. The one being shown online were £15+ which at the moment I cannot afford. So when I saw this in tesco for £4, made sense to give it a go and see if it helps. 

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes

It is time to ditch the Baby Wipes and try something that will do some good for my skin.

I will be using theses to take my make up off and also use them on the days that my illness stops me from cleansing my skin properly.

So here is a before picture of my skin. No filters, no make up just 100% me. 

If any of you have advice  or suggestions please comment below or message me on twitter 😊

                           xVx

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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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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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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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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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March Favourites

I have a habit of being negative and even though March has been a rough month. It has also been a pretty awesome one.

So to celebrate this fact, at the end of every month I am going to write about my favourite things that have happened and stop being so miserable all the time!

blog

I restarted my blog!!! and I’ve loved ever minute of it. I am loving writing again and I have many posts planned in the future. I am also very grateful for all the responses and support I have received since I have started writing again.

 

16

I have been working on my 16 in 16 goals and I have PASSED MY THEORY TEST!!!! So happy that I passed and my driving instructor has told me that he is happy for me to book my practical test! It is all happening 🙂

friends

Spending Time with my Friends 

I have been lucky this month to have had lots of catch up with my friends. Earlier this month my uni friends came up to stay and we had a fabulous weekend.

Last weekend I was apart of a tweet up where we went to the harry potter experience in Watford and then for food afterwards. Was lovely meeting up with the girls who I have been speaking to on twitter and my lovely husband came with me to look after me and due to being in a lot of pain and not feeling great I ended up having to be push in a wheelchair around the experience. So grateful he was there for me.

harry

Didn’t matter how hard I pushed they wouldn’t let me into Hogwarts!

I went to the cinema on my own

A strange thing to put on my March favourite list but I really enjoyed doing this. I really wanted to see Allegiant but had no one to go with. I had been feeling really rough all week and cabin fever was setting in, so I decided to go on my own.

I have always thought it be weird to go on my own, but it was actually fun and I got to see the film and rebuild my confidence after my relapse.

The film unfortunately was a bit of a let down. I enjoyed it and the experience however it was a filler film. But I got out of the house and am looking forward to going on my own again.

film

Reading

I do like reading a book and after replacing my broken tablet with a Kindle Fire I was having a sort out and found an author called E.M Tippetts.

The first book is called Someone Else’s fairytale and it is free on Amazon Kindle.

The story is about a Student with a dark history called Chloe and a movie star called Jason. I read the first book in a day and ended up buying the other books in the series as I loved them so much.

books

 

The Happiness Planner

I am a big fan of Zoella, I can quite happily spend a morning watching her vlogs and last month she spoke about the happiness planner. I have been after something like this for a while, where I can actively be positive and see the goodness in my life. When I saw her review I knew I had to get one.

planner

If you are interested in having a look yourself, here is a link to their website  http://thehappinessplanner.uk/products/the-52-week-journal

I am hoping this will help me in my quest to become more positive and see the goodness in my life.

My last favourite experience of this month has got to be The Donkey Sanctuary in Sutton Park. When I met up with my Nan last week, I asked if she would like to come with me and we had great fun seeing all the Donkeys.

donkey

donkeys

So they have been my favourite things about March – What were yours???

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Making Hard Decisions

 

filofax

For over a year, my life has been wrecked by my body. As discussed in a previous post, I have been diagnosed with Bile Acid Malabsorption. Due to how sick I have been I have had a lot of time off work.

I had 7.5 months off work last year and I have been off sick since the end of January after a nasty relapse. My return to work in November was a disaster and I struggled to do my work and manage my symptoms. Since being on long term sick again I had to really think about what my body could handle mentally and physically. After speaking to my husband I knew going back wouldn’t be an option unless I went part time.

While all this was happening, I received a letter from my manager and HR asking that I attend an absence management meeting. On the day of the meeting, my stomach decided to give me hell and I wasn’t able to go. When I called to rearrange the meeting I was informed that my work were going to start the process of retiring me due to ill health.

I was flabbergasted and as you could probably gather in a state of shock. I just kept thinking i’m 30, i’m 30!!! The meeting was rearranged and I spoke to my union rep at length. This was on a Friday and the meeting wouldn’t be until the next Wednesday. I was a wreck, however luckily I had plans to do a tweet up with some twitter friends at the Harry Potter Experience in Watford and then I was spending a couple of days back home with my friends and family so it gave me a very good distraction until my meeting.

I went to my meeting and it was decided very early on that my illness wasn’t severe enough for it to retire me. I was glad about this as I am not ready to give up yet.

It was agreed that I could work part time. I was hoping to do 3 days a week, however they could only give me 2 and a half days a week.

In terms of my job, I was given three choices.

  1. Stay in current role- I knew this wouldn’t be an option as it is too much stress and my body wouldn’t be able to cope.
  2. Go for redeployment- however if after 4/6 weeks if I couldn’t find a suitable position I would lose my job due to ill health.
  3. Take a demotion, paycut and take on another role.

I have spent the last week going through every possible option, pros and cons, working out how it will affect our finances.

After speaking to my husband, family and friends for advice and making many many lists, I have decided to take the demotion. I need to put my health first. This way I can recover, get use to working again and hopefully have less stress in my life.

I am a big believer that things happen for a reason and there is a reason that this has happened. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a short term solution for a long term problem and I am really grateful to my work for supporting me.

I start my new job tomorrow and hopefully I will continue to improve and be able to gradually get my life back together.

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16 in 16

As discussed in my recent blog, last year was awful! I was diagnosed with Bile Acid Malabsorption and it pretty much wrecked my health and my life.

I have spent the last year pretty much house bound, so when I began to get better and stronger at the end of last year I was determined to make this year count.

So in January, instead of creating new year’s revolutions. I created 16 goals

16 things to do in 2016

16

 

1. Pass my driving test

2. Get fitter

3. Do a race for life

4. Cons, cons and more cons

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

14. Race a car

15. Do a photography course

16. Be happy

 

As it is now March I have already completed some of these.

I will be writing posts about my experiences and how they helped claim my life back.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my journey back to my life.

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