Saturday, 18 March 2017

Mother and Daughter Style Challenge Part 1

I've been blogging for quite a while now - think it's about 5 years? - and my Mam has never really understood it. It comes from a place of love, that she doesn't want me attracting 'undue attention'. 

But she slowly started to take an interest - and I thought when the team behind J D Williams contacted me, I could work my Mam into my plan!

The plan was simple - I would choose 2 pieces for her, and she would choose 2 pieces for me. I would finally let her dictate what I wear!

We both trawled through the Plus Size options on JD Williams - and it seems we both went for one that was in our usual style, and another that pushed our limits a little.

My Mam first went for this green body con number: 

My new job has me working from home, but I regularly have to go for super business smart. But as I'm still one for showing spark and personality, I like to mix up my smart with a side of Kathryn positivity!

I paired with a grey collarless jacket for a work event.

The joy of this (for me), isn't the awesome colour, but the draping detail:

Gotta say, my Mam did very well choosing this! I spent most of the event sat down, and although I did pull at the length of the skirt a bit, I still felt confident and pretty awesome in it - meaning I was giving my A Game at the event! 

I chose this number for my Mam:

I mean, just look at her face! You can tell she is a super happy in it - either that or I hit her with one of my bad jokes! 

She rocks dresses like this all the time - and a bold floral print gives her a number of options for cardigan coordination (which is where I get that particular sense of style from!).

The waist detail is a great touch, something to separate it from the other dresses in her wardrobe

She actually loves this dress so much she's picked it up in the navy / pink spot combo!

So, round one of the Mother / Daughter style challenge worked out pretty well, didn't it!

Much love my lovelies, 

K and Mama K

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Introducing.... Joanie Clothing

There is rarely a new brand on the block that makes a splash without offending / upsetting people (ie me) in some way or other. Starting a brand, gaining a following for all the right reasons, and delivering the goods? If you've seen the most recent series of the Apprentice, you'll know that this isn't easy!

So when Joanie Clothing came on the scene, using the stunning Em as one of their models, ranging from 8 - 22, with some styles up to a 26, they proved that it can indeed be done.

I love these shots of Em, who I pretty much think Joan off of Mad Men is styled on, and she is a perfect face of this vintage with a twist brand. 

My first order from Joanie was this lipstick printed dress:

I wore this at a works evening meal type thing, in Manchester, and teamed it with my fave bomber ever, the Simply Be Embroidered Bomber:

Now, I'm imbetween 24/26, so opted for the 26 in this dress, and I do think I might have been able to size down 0 but the relaxed fit of this tea dress meant it wasn't that big a deal.

I then invested in something that's been missing from my wardrobe since a zip broke - a good black skirt:

This high waisted number met all my needs - and a perfect counter point for this Alice and You pleated shirt (worn for a night of singing in the choral society)

I also picked up the Jane cut out dress, as the cut outs reminded me of a  chunky lace type fabric, and I was keen to replace one I'd sold recently.

I opted for the 26 again, just to err on the side of caution - and when it arrived, and I tried it on, I convinced myself it just needed a good iron - which improved the fit, but I still struggled with the neckline, but with a quick belt to help the fit, I was happy enough to wear it to a corporate event:

I am super happy that there is another independent brand out there that I can get behind, and it's early days in terms of fit, and the size range that they offer. There are at least 3 dresses on their site that if they went over the 22 I would bite their hands off (Tartan, Books and Cat!! - need I say more?!)

I might have been ridiculously sparse with my blogging this year, but with a new job, a new laptop, and a new love for the writing, I'm super happy that Joanie brought me out of the blogging dry spell!

Much love my lovelies,

KK x

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

For the love of Autumn

This past 4 months of Summer has been pretty hard going in the land of KK, and I know I've been quiet on the ol' blog front - but as the clouds begin to clear, and the future is not so much the pit of despair it has been recently, I'm raising my head over the parapet, as it were. Partly because I wanted to share a transitional Autumnal number with you - but also, I've missed you all!

This Hell Bunny beaut, modeled by the stunning Georgina Horne of of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, with it's thick material, longer sleeves and yet summery print, makes this dress a lush Autumn piece - to be worn with tights, or bare legged, depending on the weather!

I find the Hell Bunny sizing a little off most of the time, so opted for the 4X - my go to size in this type of brand. 

I suspect, because the dress is a little on the big side, the neckline likes to slip and show my bra - which is the same no matter which bra I wear it with.

(I personally recommend this bra with this dress, as it gives great shape and lift! I wear a 36JJ, for reference).

To counter the revealing neckline moments, I've taken to pulling the shoulders wider, so it's a bit more of a bandeau neckline, which a bit of plunge too!

However, like I mentioned earlier, this in the 4X, while a comfortable fit, is too big in places:

I wore it recently to take my Grandma out to Sunday lunch, and the looser fit meant I was able to lift her walker in and out of the car with ease - not something people do every day, but certainly a winner with me!

I wore it bare legged with plimsolls, but would happily pair it with black tights and Chelsea boots and denim jacket for most of Autumn / Winter, I'm sure!

It's no longer available in a 3x or 4x, but there are plenty of awesome dresses on here - including some lush Hell Bunny numbers!

A short but sweet blog post from me, which is hopefully a sign of more to come!

Much love my lovelies, 

K xx

Monday, 15 August 2016

Interview at The Grand Hotel by Laura Pearman

There is nothing like coming home from Brownie Holiday, and having the chance to be super glam in an amazing location! What even is my life?!

Going from being Robin, the put upon sidekick to my Mam's Batman in the kitchen for a week, to having the chance to talk all things confidence and positivity with Laura, was just the tonic I needed!

It was part of Laura's FacebookLive series, and the interview with me was the final piece in the puzzle!

She had talked about her inspiration behind the #beachbumpinup shoot day here:

And explained all the different levels of tickets available here:

I watched her penultimate FacebookLive, live, but don't worry, you can see it in all it's glory here:

Every time Laura and I get a second together, we end up on some soapbox or other - and Saturday was no different - I'm not sure if it was the typical interview dynamic, but I'm so glad that our energy and passion came across as well as it did!!

And what did I wear?

I'd picked up this Lindybop number as a birthday pick-me-up last month, and figured this was the perfect time to give it an airing, so to speak!

Honestly, this shoot day is going to be such fun, and I can't wait to meet you all! 

Come along, get glammed up, and get your strut on!!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Being a Beach Bum

"When you're sad and feeling blue,
with nothing better to do,
don't just sit there getting stressed,
take a trip to the beach!"

Ok, so I've changed the last bit a little bit, but that's poetic licence for you!

I'm going through a ridiculously anxious time at the moment, and using all the techniques I can think of to keep my MH in check. 

One such technique is to dust myself down, glam myself up, and be the best version of myself. Something about projecting that confident persona tends to rub off on me - for a few days at least!

After working with the genius that is Laura Pearman for #bloggerspearjoy, we've often talked about working together again - and last Saturday was the perfect time to get myself glammed up, and to head to the beach to find out what she had in store. 

I honestly had no idea what I was walking in to, and that just goes to show the trust I have in Laura after just one shoot - she literally said 'Meet me at x, bring with you a swimming costume, a vintage dress, and have your usual winged eyeliner and red lip combo'.

Photo taken by Laura Pearman 
(screen shot from the YouTube taster video)

While I'm more than happy to spout about being a confident plus size woman, it's another to be able to pose like a mermaid. But the world didn't end, there was not an ounce of drama, and just good clean fun.

I even stripped off down to my bra while a group of 10k runners ran past.

While Laura and I can sit and natter about anything from Taylor Swift to the EU, we also know when to get to work!

The shoot was over, when the above photo was taken - never off duty us two!

Out of this day of fun and gossip, more than the actual reason I was in front of the camera, I got my mojo back! I mean:

Photos like these aren't about vanity, or about self promotion, but about the confidence, and the swagger they give you. The glow that means you've got this. 

Keep an eye out for the full video, and the full details as to what we've got in store for you all!

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Summer Vibes on a Grey Day with BonPrix*

Even when the weather is grey and dull outside, I am a firm believer in bringing summer into the office with you - and today I needed to push that idea just that little bit further:

I'm pretty sure this is as close to sunbathing as I'm going to get this year!

But that is no reason to let your summer wardrobe remain in winter, muted tones, NO! Bring summer to the office regardless of the weather! 

The team at Bonprix have a number of options for summer style, and below are my faves!

Stripy Day Dress
Worn with a denim jacket for a day at the beach, or worn with tights and heels for the office, it's a multi tasking little number!

Lace Hem Sun Dress
I'm thinking of pairing this one with a bomber jacket and plimsoles, for an afternoon in a beer garden or with a brightly coloured cardigan, and a pair of contrasting flats!

Country Check Wrap Dress
But this dress speaks for itself, and doesn't need any accessories to dress it up or down. Perfect to brighten your day whether you're in the office or going shopping with pals. 

A huge thanks to Bonprix for a box of goodies, including the flower crown, beach ball and pineapple cup. It was the perfect pick me up to step into June with!

Much love my lovelies,

K x 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Grab your Cote

God, that May. So glad to see the back of it! 

May has been, frankly, a shitty month. 

It saw my Grandma having a stroke and spending 3 weeks in hospital, with a fall three days after she was let home. 

It saw the arrival of my parents new puppy, Rory.

It saw my job thrown in serious jeopardy. 

It saw me winning a competition for a trip for 2 to Glasgow.

Glasgow gave me something to look forward to, amongst applying for all the jobs - a brief relief from the anxiety of what the future might hold. 

It started with a simple share of a picture on Instagram:

And so, thanks to the amazing team at Cote Brasserie, my best pal Jackie and I headed north of the wall, and put our hearts in the hands of Glasgow.

A video posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

Friday night saw us sat in the window of a beautiful restaurant, with the weekend spread before us. And I was delighted to have a vast selection of Gluten Free items to chose from!

After a delicious starter of Crab Mayonnaise with avocado, cucumber, capers, and tarragon with toasted gluten-free bread, I gave in to what my stomach wanted, which was chargrilled thinly beaten out minute steak with frites and garlic butter, and it was just as good as my stomach had hoped it would be!!

Dessert was a no brainer - Crème Brûlée. Oh it was heaven. 

It was a sign of the weekend to come, and with a full stomach, Jackie and I headed to our home for the weekend, the Radisson Park Inn hotel - a recently renovated hotel in an old Victorian building. 

Breakfast was included in the package from Cote, so we trotted back to them for a chilled breakfast. 

Feeding a gluten free and vegetarian table isn't easy - finding a combination restaurant that can please both parties is a bit of a challenge. 

Cote stepped up to the challenge, and while I enjoyed a simple breakfast of fruit, yogurt and toast, Jackie had what she claimed was the best vegetarian breakfast ever! High praise indeed!

Next stop on our whistle stop tour, was Gordon Street Coffee, which offered the perfect respite after a morning shopping. We were meeting a few pals there, and so settled down with coffee and cake - and I can attest that their gluten free cake was both delicious and gluten free!

After the chilled catch up, we headed up the hill to the Glasgow Theatre Royal, to see Emily Atack in Breakfast at Tiffany's. 

I knew nothing of the story, having not seen the film, or read the book, and was looking forward to an escapist couple of hours. It was not the chirpy story I'd misunderstood it to be. It spoke of the quest to rewrite your own past, take charge of your own story, and not to let others determine your path. 

A quick stop back at the hotel to freshen up:

Another warm greeting from the team at Cote, we were sat in 'our' seat by the window, and we were again faced with the epic task of WHAT TO HAVE!!

My starter was my standard pate option. It was served in a mini Kilner style jar, assuring me it wasn't contaminated, serve with apple chutney on gluten free toast. 

This Poulet Grillé, or chargrilled butterflied chicken breast with wild mushroom, crème fraîche and thyme sauce, served with gratin potato, was far better than I'd expected - I'd assumed it was going to be an up market Sunday dinner and it was so much more than that!! 

Dessert was on a theme with Friday's - this time just plain Crème Caramel - oh but there was nothing plain about it!!

We rounded the night off, after a good old stomp around the streets of Glasgow to relive student days gone by (Jackie's, not mine), we ended up in Nice'n'Sleazy's for a famous £3 White Russian:

The following morning called for stronger stuff, so a full Gluten Free selection:

We waved goodbye to Glasgow, and vowed not to leave it so long the next time!

What really made this weekend the tonic I needed though, as well as the awesome Jackie, was the welcoming, attentive, and knowledgeable staff at Glasgow Cote. Being fans of people watching, we noticed the staff weren't just attentive of us, but all their customers received the same level of service. And if that's the case, then Cote is a great jewel in Glasgow's crown. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K xx