Sunday, 1 November 2015

Birthday meal

As a treat for my birthday, my friend took me out for dinner at a lovely pub in my village. I have to admit that I had never stepped foot in there before.... it looked a little too fancy for me! But we decided to give it a go. A few weeks before, I had picked up a skirt from George at Asda, I think in the sale - bad blogger - as it was nice and long. It's not a skirt that I would usually go for, but I felt like giving it a go! So for my evening out, I just teamed it with a black vest top and my nude wedges.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

H&M Scarf

Whilst out browsing for a new purse the other week, I popped into H&M to see what I could find. To be honest, it's not a shop I usually go in due to their size range, but have been in there with my daughter and cousin (skinny girls lol) before. So I had a quick look and they didn't really have anything I liked in regards to purses, but then a certain scarf bought my eye. I had planned on getting myself a nice infinity scarf this autumn to keep warm, and I really liked the look of this one.

 It's a knitted scarf with black and white wool, which gives it an overall grey look. I thought this would go with most outfits, which I am please to say it does! It is a great length, even for me, as I have found infinity scarves in the past to not be long enough for my large neck. This is a great length as standard, and I can wrap it round twice for that snuggly cold day.

I have been wearing this scarf most days of late as the weather has turned nasty and cold, but I don't mind as I love it. So soft and warm, and I think a great buy at £12.99. I think I'll definitely be popping into H&M more often to see what other accessories I can get hold of.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

DP Curve

I was flicking through a magazine at work earlier this week and saw a big spread on the new Dorothy Perkins line.... and to my shock is was a plus size range! I used to shop in DP when I was younger, and a bit smaller, but haven't been in there, let alone bought anything in maybe 10 years. So I decided to have a peek, and I was pleasantly surprised. There is a nice range of bottom, tops and dresses, from size 18 to 28, and I have chosen my favourite few pieces to share with you.
First up is this grey and white 2 in 1 top. I have always liked this look, with a long shirt underneath a jumper, and I love the grey jumper. I would love to team this with some black skinny jeans and comfy shoes, and maybe a good colourful statement necklace as a focal point.
Next thing that caught my eye was this dip backed top in a light grey. I have been looking for some oversized tops to wear this autumn and this looks like it would be really comfortable. I like the 3/4 length sleeves and the scooped neckline and think it would go well with some leggings for a casual look.
Now i'm not sure if these would suit me, but I love the look of these treggings with a wet look. I think they are a lot more dressy than 'matt' leggings and could jazz up any top. Hopefully they have a bit of stretch to them!
Last but not least, there is this cute little black dress. I love the cure lace trim detail around the arms and bottom of the dress. This is a really sweet dress that you could dress up for a Christmas party, or make it more casual for an evening out with friends.
There is currently an offer for 25% off on orders made before midnight tonight, so hurry and take a look..... I think I'll be making a cheeky order this evening!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My Love of Crafting

I've always been creative. I loved doing cross stich with my mum when I was younger, but the back of mine was never as neat as hers! I'd sit and watch her crochet baby blankets, sewing badges on my school jumpers, and general clothing repairs. I think that's where it came from, my love of creating things, mending things and even taking one thing and turning it into something else.

About 18 months ago I went to a crafting day that my cousin was organising near where I used to live. It wasn't long after my wedding and I wanted to work on a little album to put some pictures in. So the day before, my cousin took me shopping to The Range to get basic supplies, card, embelishments and some other basics. I turned up with my handbag of bits and bobs ready to start, and I watched as ladies walked in with what can only be described as suitcases full of crafting amazingness! This was when I got hooked.

Dies, punches, inks, glitter, and so much more. It's been addictive! But I love it so much, and it's become a passion for me now. I have loved making my own cards for friends and family, for special occasions, trying out new designs and putting care and thought into each one. I've also made a few cards on request for friends, from new home, baby and birthday cards. Here are a couple I've made recently.

This care I made for my mum's birthday this year.

And this one was for my sister and her fiancée after they got engaged.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Happy September

Hello my friends!
Today is the first day of September, and I can't believe it. This year has flown by and I don't feel like I have done much. Next thing we know, Christmas will be around the corner, including both my kids birthdays, and an empty bank account for sure!
September is a busy month for us, and this year is no exception! The kids are both back to school this week, Mike is back into work routine after the holidays and the bank holiday weekend, and I have gone and got myself a job! Need to confirm hours this week, but should be starting soon. I am really looking forward to starting this new chapter of my life, and I'll be sure to let you know how I get on. We then have events pretty much every weekend, including one Saturday with two parties to go to!
Today, Maria and I went to Bluewater as we both needed clothes - I needed some black trousers for work, and she needed something to wear for my sister's wedding party this Saturday. Let me just explain why I have called it a party - her and her already husband actually got married earlier in the year when they were on holiday in Africa, but are now having a kind of wedding reception here for all their friends and family. I can't wait! I bought my outfit a few months ago, which includes this skirt from the Scarlett and Jo.
I'm teaming it with a plain black vest top and maybe a cream bolero - maybe a coat if this weather doesn't get any better! 

As we have got a few parties and events on this month, expect some OOTD posts for sure! I hope to bring some more throughout the rest of the year, I have missed talking about clothes, what I like, what is on trend and how they suit me, so I shall be back with a force this month with lots of outfit pics!!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Amaretti Biscotti

This recipe is one that I first tried back before Christmas when I was looking for a recipe for some nice little food treats as gifts for friends and family. They ended up being eaten by me and the kids as we liked them so much! If you like the taste, and smell, of almond, this is a recipe for you,  I found this recipe on YouTube by the lovely Chiappa Sisters, Italian Welsh sisters who share some great recipes on their channel. So here is how I made them.

Start by separating the egg yolks and whites into two bowls. With the yolks, combine them with the caster sugar until lumpy and mixed together. Then weigh out the ground almonds, then incorporate them into the bowl also.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. You should now have a bowl of whipped whites, and a bowl of almond, egg and sugar.
Then you need to refrigerate the mixture for an hour to firm up. Once ready, form little balls with the mixture, ping pong ball sized is about right, but you can make them any size. They do spread out slightly in the oven, not too mush though, so you can fit plenty on a baking tray. Before putting them onto the tray, I rolled them in icing sugar. This gives them a great white look when cooked, and I love the cracking that forms over them once they are done. 
You can find the Chiappa Sisters recipe here.


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Moving Forward

I am still here. Still alive, but not been 'here' for a what feels like a while now. Life sometimes just sneaks up on you, drops so many things on you to deal with, then rushes past like the road runner. This has been my life for what feels like the last few months. Coping with everything going on, getting things done, and sadly, not always doing the things I want to do. But now life is settling down, I have some quiet time as the kids are away for some time over these holidays, so time for me to think about what I want to do, not just with my time, but with this blog and how I want to move forward with it.
I have sometimes felt that I needed to put up a blog post about something, anything to just for the sake of it, and to keep readers interested. But it's kind of dawned on me over this time that the reason I started this blog was for me, about me and for me to keep my memories somewhere. If a reader likes what I write, great, and if they don't, that's ok too. This is my little space of the internet for my thoughts feelings, purchases, ideas and dreams.
So what now?
To be honest, I'm not sure. I know that I love blogging, writing, and being myself on here. I am juggling a lot at the moment, and I want to make sure I don't drop any of it. I want to write about things that interest me, that I care about and want to share with anyone out there that fancy's reading it. At the moment, I am applying for jobs, sorting our house and trying to make the most of the holidays before school sets in, and the PTA work begins!

So I will be back, I can't say with what, but I hope that I can interest at least one person with the things I post, help them, and maybe make them want to read more about me and my little life, that's fine.
See you soon.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Giggling Squid

For Father's Day this year, my sister-in-law arranged a lunch for my husband's family at a restaurant in Sevenoaks that they have eaten at and really enjoyed, The Giggling Squid. I had heard of the brand before, and seen a couple of friends on Facebook had been there to eat, so I was looking forward to trying it.

So, if you have never heard of it, Giggling Squid is a Thai restaurant that serves 'simple, rustic and fresh food from Thailand'. All the food is cooked by experienced Thai chefs and ingredients are also sourced locally. We were going for lunch, and their lunchtime menu is made up of 'tasting sets' or Thai Tapas, which means you can try different dishes at once.

Mike and I arrived at the restaurant first, and waited outside in the sun. They have some lovely tables outside for that al fresco dining experience if you wanted. The outside of the place is nice and light, with their logo on the décor - which I actually love by the way!

We had booked a table as there was 10 of us altogether, so when we arrived, we were led upstairs in this gorgeous building, where we had a whole room to ourselves - there were other tables available, but just us for the majority of our meal. The décor upstairs was so pretty, long lightshades that distributed the light really well, beautiful flowers in all of the little windows, and a wall of baskets - sounds strange, but seemed to go really well with the rest of the room.


We were greeted by a waitress who bought us all some water, then we got to have a look at the lunch menu. We had actually had a little look online the day before just to give us an idea of what we'd like. Mike and I aren't great lovers of spicy food, but I have enjoyed Thai food I have had in the past, but this was Mike's first try of it. We both went for one of their 'Tapas Sets' which consisted of 4 dishes, and there are 6 sets to choose from. I went for the 'Two Giggling Squids' set, with some Thai Dumplings on the side, and Mike decided on the 'Wealthy Squid' set. Whilst we were waiting for the food to come, we got some prawn crackers and sweet chilli dip, which we so delicious.

Then the food arrived and I could not wait to get tucked in!
Two Giggling Squids

Wealthy Squid

So we tucked straight in! My meal consisted of Salt and Pepper Squid, Chicken Massaman Curry, Jasmine Rice and Beef Salad, and also some Thai Dumplings on the side. I started off with one of those, and there were so good. They were packed full of meat, and tasted so good with the dipping sauce they came with. Then I couldn't wait to make a start on the squid - my favourite dish when I have an Asian meal. The batter on the outside was so crunchy and the squid was cooked perfectly. The Massaman curry was to die for. So creamy and full of flavour, and as I like it, not too spicy, and went so well with the well cooked rice. Lastly I tried the beef salad, which was a little on the spicy side as it had flakes of chilli all through it, along with cucumber, onion and a lovely dressing, was really tasty. Overall, I loved the food, and so did everyone else. We had 2 children with us too, and they had a mixture of dishes from the main lunch menu and they really liked the food too.
So, for our first Giggling Squid Thai Tapas experience, we were thoroughly pleased. I would definitely recommend the restaurant to friends, great atmosphere, amazing food and the staff were really helpful.
You can find more information about the Giggling Squid restaurants here.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Apple Muffins

I stumbled across this recipe a few weeks ago when I felt like making some breakfast muffins. The kids love an apple, and this was a good way to give them a bit of a treat along with that. I have a recipe I have shared before for an apple cake (here) but thought I'd give this recipe a go.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Swimming Fashion

So after I took a look at the swimsuits on offer on the Evans and Yours websites, I took a little trip to Bluewater to try some on. I had in my mind the ones that I had picked out online, and went into Evans to see which ones that had for me to try on.
First up was this navy and floral print swim dress. I liked that the bust area seemed to cover me up really well, and the print was really nice. It did feel comfortable, until I moved my arms and the straps twisted...
I turned it back over, but before I knew it, it had twisted back over again. I then looked at the back of it to see if I could lengthen the straps to solve the issue, and realised that the straps were not adjustable. On to suit number two.....
Going out of my comfort zone now with an all over floral print...... I really liked the look of this swim dress on the website and on the hanger, but the floral print over the bust area really made my breasts the main feature of this one. Again, the bust area did cover me well, this dress having twist front which was quite pretty. I think I would have loved this dress if the bust area was in black.
Onto Your....... Now, this was one of my favourites when I had a look through the Yours website. It's a combination of my two favourite things, purple and polka dots! So I was a little disappointed that once I got it up to my bust, I couldn't get it over them. The top on this is twisted, but didn't seem to have any 'give', or at least enough for me to get it on. Very sad.
Last, and by no means least, was this swim dress. Staying with the polka dot theme, I picked up this navy suit. Putting it on, I felt the 'tummy control' that is advertised, which made it a little tight to get on, but did feel good once I had put it on fully. The straps on this one were nice and thick, and I felt really secure in it, which was a big plus as that is the whole reason I needed to find a new swimsuit.
So I ended up going for the navy polka dot one from Yours. I was eager to try it out, so ended up popping home, grabbing my towel and heading to the swimming pool. And the swim dress did the job. I felt comfortable in it, and confident. And it kept everything in place, if you know what I mean..... Winner all round.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


I've had the same swimsuit for about 7 years now, I bought from Bon Marche. I really liked it, Black with blue polka dots, nice neckline and fitted well. But after 6 years, lots of swimming, and the likely chance that I have got larger over that times means that I now need to buy a new swimsuit. I tried swimming yesterday morning, and I expose myself after about 3 strokes of front crawl! So after finishing off the swimming doing the aptly named breast stroke, I've come home and decided to take a look at some possible new swimsuits from Bluewater as it is 15 minutes from me, and want to go and get it Wednesday morning. So here are my favourites from the plus size shops there.
I do seem to like a polka dot.... This swim dress caught my eye when I glanced through the swimsuits on the Evans website. I do prefer a swim dress as it just makes me feel more comfortable when walking through the changing rooms and pool area. The bust area looks like it will be really supportive, and the straps are adjustable so can be work cross over the back or as a halterneck.

This swim dress from Yours looks really nice. I like the contrast between the black skirt part and the floral top with a flattering V neck. This dress also comes with 'Tummy Control' for a 'flattering fit' which always comes in handy!
Another swim dress that I liked from the Yours website was this navy polka dot one. I really like the neckline on this dress, and looks like that it will be nice and supportive in the bust area. Again this one has the 'Tummy Control' so would give me a bit more confidence in and out of the pool.
 This swim dress is from Evans and is a little bolder than any swimsuit I have ever owned..... But I do really like the look of it. It is a black base with an all over tropical floral print. It again, like the other Evans swim dress has the twisted style bust, which looks very flattering.
I am still undecided between the ones I have found, but I am planning on a shopping trip Wednesday morning and see which one I prefer once I get them on.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Getting ready for summer

I popped into the new, and larger, Yours store in Bluewater this week with my daughter. I had actually popped in there a while ago just before they were going to move, and then forgotten to pop back and check out the new store. It is a lot easier to manoeuvre around the store now they have more space, and just seemed a lot lighter in this store, which made the store look really nice.
My eye was caught by all of the bright colours in their summer range, which I loved! There were floral’s, neon’s and patterns galore….. I couldn’t help but grab a few things to try on.

I loved the look of this strapless top, and they had it in a few different colours and designs. And, even with my height, it was long enough for me to wear and keep everything covered! I even moved it down to below my bust, and it would work great skirt too, especially as it has the elasticated area around the bust to keep it held up. I didn’t buy this in the end, I did like the pattern but felt the plain coloured ones would suit me better, but I think I will buy at least one of them soon!

I loved the look of these floral leggings, but when I tried them on, I wasn’t too keen on the feel of them, and also how they looked on me. I can’t put my finger on what it was exactly I didn’t like about the material, I just knew that I wouldn’t feel comfy walking around in them all day. They also made my legs look really short….. which I never thought could happen! It was a same as I bought a pair of floral harem pants last year that I love, so maybe I’ll just keep looking for a new pair for this summer.

Talking of harem pants….. as we were leaving the store, these caught my eye. They are a bit brighter that the harem pants that I already have, but I think they are worth a try on! We were short on time, but I will definitely pop back soon and give them a go.
I also need to find some shorts that I like for the summer. My legs aren’t my favourite feature, so I don’t usually have them out, but I then end up with pasty white legs when I go swimming! So I need to try on some different length of shorts, and especially some denim ones. I’ll keep you posted on how I get on with  my search.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Banana and Oatmeal Muffins

Last weekend, I volunteered to run a refreshment stall for the Darent Valley 10K that starts and finishes at my son's school. The organisers start things down there around 6am, and runners start arriving from around 7am, so I knew it was going to be an early start! Not only did I plan on selling the usual teas and coffees, but I thought we could offer some little treats for the runners after finishing their run. So I wanted to share with you a couple of the recipes that I tried out - and yes they were recipes I had not tried before!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Being Positive

I saw this quote on Instagram last week, and it really struck a chord with me. I have felt a little off for a while, not knowing why really, and wanting to pick myself back up. So, I decided to put my mind to it, and planned to get healthy. Not skinny, but healthy.
I have always been 'plus size', for as long as I can remember. But I feel that over the last few years, I've become more unhealthy, and lazy. So I am going to take the advice of the quote above, and believe I can. I usually just try here and there, never commit fully, but I am going to do that from now. I have researched more healthy dinners for Mike and I, which was a little hard as Mike is a bit fussy... but I think we'll manage. Our main issue is portion sizes. So that is what I am going to work on first, as well as more vegetables and simple dishes.
I have also started a workout that I found on YouTube. It's a 25 minute workout, with warm up and cool down. I did find it difficult after about 10 minutes, but I persevered and just made sure I didn't push myself too hard. The workout is with a lovely lady called Cece who runs the blog Plus Size Princess, and is a workout with some lovely plus size ladies, showing that we do exercise, and it can be fun. She is currently running a #PSPfit challenge for January, which looks great, and I am going to try and stick to her plan. The main things are clearing out any Christmas food still hanging around, eating nice healthy food, and not to mention, some good exercise. At the end of the video I followed, it is suggested that you do a 25-30 minute workout 4 times a week, so I am going to stick to that. Not to mention fitting in a walk or two around my village during my free days during the week.
So that is the plan. Eat healthy, exercise more and enjoy life :)
Here is the video I followed, and you can find the lovely CeCe at Plus Size Princess.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Making a Statement

I am ashamed to admit that I don't actually own any statement necklaces, I have always liked them, but just never got round to buying one. I popped into Forever 21 last week with my daughter and they had such a wide range of jewellery, from earrings, bangles and some lovely necklaces. This then reminded me that I need to get my act together and get something! So, as I tried not to leave the house this last week getting Christmas packed up and all the washing done ready for back to work/school, I decided to have a browse through their website to get some inspiration for my first purchase.
I've gone a mixture of colours and styles with these five, and what I think are quite small statement necklaces. I love the floral ones, like the pink one in the bottom left, and especially the teal one in the centre. I do like the more simpler chain ones that don't aren't too long. Hopefully in the not to distant future I will be sharing my review of my first statement necklace, so keep your eyes peeled!