Saturday, 26 May 2012

Call me a safe bet, I'm betting I'm not

I thought I looked pretty good when I stepped out wearing this to work in the week but then I realised I looked like I did when I was 16 and should probably listen to some Brand New an fully embrace it. It's been so hard to know what to wear this week, I have to wear tights or something long because my job can be quite physical and nobody wants to catch a sneaky peak of my underwear. I'm wearing my new favourite item of clothing again which is my Orphan's Arms t-shirt, not stopped wearing it!

We have just plastered the hallway and will clean up all the lovely old tiles soon, will have to another house renovation update post soon. My room is practically finished!



T-shirt: Orphan's Arms via ASOS
Skirt: Primark
Shoes: flat shoes, TUK c/o Spartoo
Scarf: charity shop
Belt: New Look
Bracelet: giveaway prize from Danielle

I really wanted a dipped hem skirt, I loved the one from River Island but I'm a bit skint before pay day so I opted for the £7 one from Primark instead. They come up a little big so it might be worth down sizing if you are going to get one.

What have you been wearing in the sun this week?

P.S. I've been using my tumblr more recently which you can find here and there is a giveaway on my other blog Where Are My Knees.

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Glasses: To embrace or avoid?


This year's autumn/winter catwalks are encouraging us to take a closer look at glasses, and to embrace them as a valuable addition to our outfits. The latest ensembles from Paul Smith, MaxMara and Marc Jacobs were all topped off with a good helping of specs-appeal, but I have to admit I'm not totally convinced. I believe there is a lot to be said for places like Ultralase, who offer would-be glasses wearers the chance to keep their faces frame-free! But I'm always willing to give a trend a fair run...

I like the idea put forward in Vogue, that you can have fun matching your make-up to your glasses; I mean, I'll take any excuse to buy some new beauty goodies, but I'll need a bit more persuading that four eyes are better than two before I rush out and spend a fortune on designer frames.

So I looked out for some glasses-wearing celebs to lead me along this somewhat untraveled road. First to crop up was the stunning Myleene Klass, who, I have to admit, does pull off her black frames with style. Abigail Spencer's ultra-geek glasses are another story. With such a pretty, petite face, why hide behind something of such excessive proportions?!

Looking at pictures of her, along with some ridiculous ones of JustinBieber in huge white frames - purely for comedy value - it's clear you have to be careful to match your look with your frames, or they could completely over power you.

I never wear my glasses in public, I've always felt a little uncomfortable in them. Do you prefer to be bold with your choice of frames or go without?

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Worn by you, loved by us

Tenovus, Wales’ leading cancer charity, launched a brand new campaign; ‘worn by you, loved by us’, which hopes to encourage people like you to donate their unwanted clothes to their local Tenovus charity shop and help the charity continue to support cancer patients locally. High street or high end, your fashion helps to fund the charity’s work!

Liz Rawlins, Campaign Manager, at Tenovus;

“Every single item donated to any one of our shops raises vital funds that enable us to support cancer patients and their families across Wales.

“One bag of clothing makes on average £20, and that £20 means we can continue to provide services such as treating people closer to home on our Mobile Cancer Support Unit, bereavement counseling and keeping our freephone cancer support line open 7 days a week”.

Tenovus are also encouraging people to take a look at what’s on offer in their shops - they held a photoshoot with Tenovus staff who were styled head-to-toe toe by stylist Dawn in clothing and accessories purchased from Tenovus’ shops in Cardiff and the Vale.

You can get involved with ‘worn by you, loved by us’ at – find your local shops to donate your unwanted items to and check out the Tenovus fashion shoot and pick your favourite outfits or share the fashion shoot on your blog.


Pink Skirt £3.00 Tenovus Penarth
Bag £3.00 Tenovus Cowbridge
Cream Leather Belt - £2.00 Tenovus Barry


Pink and Cream Bomber Jacket £6.00 Whitchurch Road
Patterened Roller Skates - £7.00 Whitchurch Road


Dress - £9.00 Tenovus Albany Road
Cream Leather Belt - £2.00 Tenovus Barry
Floral Umbrella - £5.00 Tenovus Whitchurch Road

I adore all of those outfits but what I really love is the price! You can get a on-trend look from the Tenovus stores for a fraction of the price you would pay on the high street. Have you seen the shoot? what are your favourite looks?

I hope you dig out a few unloved items of clothing this weekend and donate them, it could do a great deal for someone in need.

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Sunday, 20 May 2012

'There's more to life than books, you know. But not much more.'

As many of you know, I work in a library. This week I got a chance to meet lots of other lovely people who work in libraries across Wales and a little further. I'm a member of CILIP (Chartered Institute of
Library and Information Professionals) and the Welsh branch had a conference this week in a posh hotel in Cardiff. Huw Lewis who is Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage was there and a few of my colleagues were talking at the event. The theme was leadership and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It's really nice to speak to people who work in other libraries and it really made me think about where I want to be in a few years time.

I thought I had better make a special effort for the occasion so I wore some colour (usually wear black to work) and dusted off my smart satchel ready for the conference. One of my all time fave blogging ladies Sarah gave me this wonderful dress when we met up for Ldn Lunch a couple of months ago. This dress along with some other gorgeous ones are all to big for Sarah now but fit me perfectly. Nobody tells you that weight loss is expensive, all my money is going on new clothes so Sarah's donations were very welcome.

topshop lace dress

Dress: Topshop (via Sarah)
Cardigan: H&M
Shoes: New Look
Necklace: Dorothy Perkins

topshop orange lace dress

I don't usually go for matching make up, usually stick to pinks but I bought some orange YSL lipstick and matching gloss when I was in New Zealand a couple of years ago and I never wear it. Wearing and orangey peach dress was a great excuse to dig it out. Going to try and wear this more often. I have about 30 lipsticks and I vow not to buy anymore until I have used one up.

ysl orange lipstick, lancome artliner

YSL make up, lipstick, orange lipstick
Do you get to go to any fun events with work? Can you guess where the title of the post is from?

I'm off to see The Horrors tonight and I will be wearing all black which is my usual gig attire, can't wait!

p.s. there is a Zaggora Viva HotPants giveaway running on my other blog Where Are My Knees

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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Cardiff Blogs Jubilee Big Lunch – get involved!

As some of you may know I recently joined the Cardiff Blogs team, we put on lots of informative events for bloggers but we also organise fun social meet ups too. I love any excuse to get the bunting out and indulge in tea and a lot of cake so I'm very excited to announce that we will be holding a Big Lunch to celebrate the Jubilee.

Come one, come all!
In just a few weeks, we’re hosting a Big Lunch for the Jubilee and we want you to get involved!  On June 3rd, we’ll be setting up camp in the sunshine (optimistic…) near to Pettigrew Tea Rooms at 2pm, and with the new tea room so close, we can take advantage of as much tea and cake as we like!  The lovely David of Pettigrew’s has also kindly said that we can come on inside if the grey clouds appear (and despite it being June, that is always a possibility…)
So, what do we need?  
Well firstly, we need you.  Come along and bring friends, family, whoever you like!  We want to have a real old fashioned community gathering, so everyone is welcome.  And of course, we hope to see as many of you bloggers there.
Now, Cardiff is home to a talented bunch, so we also need help in other areas:

Bring a dish

We’re asking everyone to bring at least one dish (home-made, bought, whatever you like).  Take a look at some food ideas here

Bring some music! Bring your portable speakers (perhaps with battery life!), ipods, or even good old CDs.  All musical tastes welcome.  Or if you own a musical instrument (guitar, tambourines, a triangle) why not bring it along and serenade us all?

Bunting, bunting and more bunting!  All you crafty bloggers out there, post your ideas on how to make bunting, or easy to do decorations that will make our Jubilee gathering look pretty.  It can be red, white and blue if you like, but we’re not fussy.  Here’s some quick and easy decoration ideas to get you started.

Games and activities
As the Olympics are also fast approaching, it would be silly not to embrace a few games and enjoy some sporting fun.  We’re thinking egg and spoon, 3 legged race (think school sports day). 
Bring as much or as little as you like, but if everyone contributes at least one thing from the list above and brings along some food (in the spirit of community and all that) then we think this could be a really great day for everyone to get involved in and have fun!
We would love to see you all there, so let us know if you’re coming – tweet us, tell us on Facebook or email us.

Bring your friends and family along, and share what you’re going to bring in the comments below.
Please spread the word – let’s make this Cardiff’s best Jubilee party!

Cardiff Blogs Team

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Figure flattering looks - trousers

Finding trousers to both fit and suit your body shape is no easy task. The perfect pair is like the golden goose of fashion and, once you find them, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them. Knowing which style suits your body type the best is a good starting place to finding the right look for you, whatever the occasion. A flattering pair can knock off, instead of adding, unwanted inches.

Pear Shaped

One of the most common body shapes in this country, pear shaped women have a large bottom half than top half. If you're a pear then you've probably spent many a moment bemoaning the fact that your trousers make your bottom or hips look big. It's also common to struggle to find trousers that are small enough round the waist but big enough round the bottom. Balance is the key to maximising a pear shaped figure. By broadening your shoulder area and drawing attention to your top half you can minimise any issues with your bottom half.

The bootleg style of trouser is great for a pear shape because the slight kick out at the ankle also balances with the hips to create an in and out effect that is way more flattering than just having width around the hips. The Bonmarché Stretch Bootleg Trousers are an ideal stalwart for your wardrobe - nobody can have too many black trousers, particularly if you're working in an office environment. They go with everything and are effortlessly figure-friendly. If it's something summery you're looking for then stick with the idea of balance to choose. If you fancy something like the Bonmarché Linen Blend Cropped Trousers for a relaxed day out then try to balance out the width of your trousers by choosing a top with a slightly broader shoulder. Also choose chunkier sandals to go with them as a tiny, dainty pair will just make your bottom area look bigger.

PicMonkey Collage1
Apple Shaped

Apple shaped women tend to have a big mid-section with no obvious waistline. They do however tend to have great legs so the art here is to make them most of these while disguising a bigger middle.
Show off slender legs with Bonmarché's Button Hem Detail Leggings or the on trend, Stretch Cotton Capri Trousers. Choose trousers with stretch as these will be more forgiving on your waist without having to compromise on fit on the legs. Tunic tops are a great way to disguise a wider waistline and these come down nicely to skim just over the hips. Alternatively, look out for empire line tops as these nip in at your narrowest bit and then gently flare over your tummy area.

PicMonkey Collage2

Inverted Triangle (Strawberry) Shaped

Women with an inverted triangle shape figure tend to have broad shoulders, perhaps top heavy and slim hips and bottom half. When it comes to trousers they are some of the few who can get away with wide trousers and still flatter their figure.

Wide legged trousers are a tough look to carry off for many of us but women with an inverted triangle shape body are in luck. These wide trousers, such as the David Emanuel Crepe Wide Leg Trousers from Bonmarché, balance out with broader shoulders really well to create a nice hourglass silhouette. Unless you're supermodel tall, opt for a pair of slight heels for the most figure friendly look.

Athletic Shape

Women with a sporty shape tend to have few obvious ins and outs to their silhouette. They'll certainly find trouser shopping a little easier than a lot of us though. The Bonmarché Chino Trousers are a smart everyday look that can work for work or play but try nipping them in with a pretty belt to create more of an illusion of an obvious waist. You too can opt for wide legs, as these create a shapelier bottom half. Don't neglect your top half though, choosing something like a ruffled blouse will bring focus here too and create an all over elegant statement.

PicMonkey Collage3

*This content was provided by Bonmarché

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

When you wake up, you will find me

Today's outfit is one I wore to wear errands on my day off. Popped to weigh in and did the weekly shop, all very dull. I picked up this dress in Primark ages ago and it was only about £8, I have them in a few colours and I think I will get loads of wear out of them this summer. They are so light and you can wear them with anything. Still in love with my Topshop biker jacket, I wear it nearly everyday.

stripey dress, biker jacket,

Dress: Primark
Jacket: Topshop
Shoes: Converse c/o Spartoo
Necklace: eBay

topshop biker jacket, uk blogger, plus size, striped dress

ebay cross necklace

I picked up this necklace on eBay for about £1.50, took a few weeks to arrive but you can't argue for that price. I don't think it is in stock anymore but the seller has lots of other lovely pieces for around the £2 mark.

I'm super excited about going to a library conference tomorrow, such a work geek some times. I will be able to put faces to twitter names of lots of Welsh library folk I follow on there. Got any exciting plans this week?

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Saturday, 12 May 2012

Orphan's Arms

I wore trousers in a post a couple of weeks ago which was a shocker but now I've gone further and bought some shorts!! These were only £5 in Primark and I've bought them in a few colours. I did have to get a size 20 but then Primark is notorious for weird sizing. I've worn them to work with a nice jumper and on the weekend.
I think I look more my own age when I wear things like this, I'm not much older than the students who come in the library where I work but don't feel like I should be wearing smart office wear like some other people I work with. I'm in wardrobe limbo, don't really know what is appropriate any more.


T shirt - The Orphan's Arms
Shorts - Primark
Shoes - Low top trainers, Converse c/o Spartoo

I have been lusting after this t shirt for aaages, I wrote about it in my Reading festival post and I'm always looking on The Orphan's Arms website.I thought £35 was a little steep for a t shirt so I held off from buying it. They also stock this brand on ASOS and I took advantage of the 20% off festival style and added another 10% off code that I got from unidays so it went down to a much more reasonable £23.

asos orphan's arms denim shorts

I got a size 14 and I was surprised at how big it was, I don't like tight t shirts but if you do you might want to size down with this brand. The t shirts are hand printed in the UK and the motifs reference literature and history. I love anything history(studied it at uni) and book related so the brand is a big hit with me.


I've also been wanting a pair of these shoes for a while, they need to be a little grubby though so I will be jumping in some puddles and scuffing them up a little.


P.S. got lots of lovely size 12-22 things on eBay

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

OneStopPlus Dress

I was sent this gorgeous dress by OneStopPlus a few weeks ago to review and immediately wore it to a Cardiff Blogs event. I picked it because of the lovely colour and it is a little less girly than the dresses I would normally get, I thought it made a nice change.OneStopPlus is a online plus size fashion retailer that stocks over 100 brands in sizes 14-40. I think there is a 25% discount on the site at the moment and 10% off if you join the  mailing list.

blue one stop plus dress - Copy

I paired it with some simple black pumps and a Miss Selfridge clutch. I added my biker jacket and a little more jewellery to go to the event but that hid the button detail on the shoulder so I took the photos without the layers.

blue wrap over dress - Copy

I loved the silky material and the bright colour, it felt very luxurious. I think you could wear this to a wedding, to work with a blazer or on the weekend with some heels. It was fairly pricey at £80+ but it really is a great dress, very classic.

carmakoma dress, blue dress, one stop plus - Copy
If I were to score this dress out of 10 I think it would get an 8. It fits well, is a lovely colour and I think it flatters my shape. The only negatives I can think of are the price (which isn't too bad using the current discount codes) and the fact that it creases when you sit down a little. Overall, a very chic dress!

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Move more in May

Weight Watchers have done a report that investigates the nation’s activity habits and it has revealed that that a third of British adults admit to being lazy – I'm one of them.  Key factors which contribute to Brits leading such sedentary lifestyles include lack of time, long working hours and being too busy. But 33 per cent of people admit they simply can’t be bothered to do anything but relax in their spare time.

I have to admit that exercise simply has not featured in my weight loss plan at all. I have tried the 30 Day Shred about 3 times and given up after about 6 days, said I was going to join the gym and never did and even bought some exercise clothes which are still in the bags. I make time for blogging, socialising and relaxing. Spend hours watching box sets and going shopping on the weekends but never dedicate time to moving more.

If I'm ever going to get to goal weight I need to change my bad habits, find a form of exercise that I love and stick with it.

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To sign up to make a move, you can visit You can also enable the Move More Twibbon, and join the conversation on the #MoveMore hashtag, and also be in with a chance to win a £100 spa day treat, to reward your hard work.

So what are you waiting for? MOVE MORE IN MAY!

I hereby pledge to finish the 30 Day Shred and try out a new form of exercise in May. (Please hold me to this!)
Along with exercising regularly, a healthy eating plan is essential for a healthy body. If you need help with this, it could be useful to book an appointment with a dietician at one of the local private hospitals in Birmingham.

*collaborative post

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