Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Funky Laser Blogger Workshop

Friday was a good day! 

It was a rush-round kinda day, with a slight panic of impending car related disaster, but when I got home to find my Katnis, Voodoo Vixen dress for Simply Be, had arrived, those things were a thing of the past:

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

The green in the dress even inspired me to (badly) play with eye shadow - something I rarely do!

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

Even better, I was off to a blogging event hosted by the relatively new company Funky Laser (try not to sing that in your head! I DARE YOU!), which was set up as a jewellery making workshop, but I'd've classed it more as Glitter and Gossip, as we chatted about a number of issues, including the up coming North East Blog awards, and how Funky Laser are getting involved (but shhhhh, don't want to spill too much information!!).

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

Due to said car issues, I was a little late to arrive (the event was held in their industrial space in Hartlepool, which is a beaut of a complex and sounds almost commune-esque from what I gathered from Leah!) which is a major source of social anxiety for me - being late and getting lost - so I may have been a little uncensored with my views! Even gave a little lecture on cultural appropriation but hey! 

The room was the perfect size for the 6 of us to get a-crafting and turning pre cut acrylic feathers into individual pieces!

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

Yes, I know mine does NOT go with my dress, but you get the idea! 

After a bit of a break eating some lush and moist Gluten Free SPONGE cake:

After our energy was topped up, we headed over to where the magic happens - the workshop which housed Big Bertha, the acrylic cutting laser machine which produced:

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

It is clear that the team behind Funky Laser are passionate about what they do, and what they have to offer the market - putting the customer and their commissions first, including making cocktail stirrers, cake toppers, and even hats out of acrylic! There really seems to be no limit to what the Funky Laser team and Big Bertha can achieve together!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Social Shopping Trips with intu MetroCentre

After StyleXL, and my rare wander round a plus size shop (Yours), I have tried to replicate that feeling with some soulless online shopping. And I missed the tangible-ness of real place shopping. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm the queen of the online shop, searching for voucher code, using collect plus, and (sometimes) forgetting what I've actually ordered!!

But sometimes, you want the community shopping experience, which is what is missing from the world of the online. 

A few weeks back, I had a catch up with an old work pal at intu Metrocentre, where we both tucked into a 'cheeky nandos', and went off in search of a dress for her wedding vow renewal happening at the end of August. 

As we were up in Debenhams (where she tried on a beautiful Jacques Vert number), I managed to wrangle a sneaky trip to Simply Be!

I got lost in the rails of pretties, which I'd been stalking on line, feeling the scuba material which I may have otherwise ordered, or seeing the length and knowing it really wouldn't work. 

I snapped up this beaut Juna Rose dress in the sale

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

And as I was walking out, spotted this Alice and You shirt (no longer available online) on a rack and bought it without trying on!

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

I picked up the 26 as I wanted it oversized, but probably should have gone for 28 for the proper oversized look:

Both of which I'm not sure I would have ordered, seeing the online item alone. 

It's been so long since I 'popped in' to see the Simply Be MetroCentre team, and it was great to catch up, and lust over the new collections heading our way! 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hanky Hems & Me

The first rule of Fat Club is stay away from hanky hems, butterfly prints, and elasticated tops. They are the staple of the Plus Size Fashion world, and for those still unaware of the delights which await them if "they just let go of their fear" (to quote the lovely Daisy), they're perfectly acceptable - if hiding your body is your principle aim. 

But once you begin the journey of self love and body confidence and F*CK THE SHAMERS, you realise that there is so much MORE out there, that you don't need the hanky hems to hide this bit, or the butterfly print to show you're cute, or that black isn't the only colour. 

But just as you slink back to the colour black, because the first rule of Fat Club is really that there are no rules, you realise that there are other styles you can try again. 

Stand back ladies, I'm entering the world of the hanky hem:

No, not the oddly shaped t shirts that meant your bum and crotch were on display, but the sides of your legs were hidden (as above).


I'm talking a proper hanky hem, courtesy of Yours Clothing.

I wore this beaut to the second day of Style XL, and I wasn't kicked out of Fat Club, so YAY! It was also super comfortable for my 3 and a half hour train journey. 

These were the 22, but I ended up sizing up to a 24 for comfort and it really didn't effect the cut or the fit of the dress that much.

Just remember ladies, the first rule of Fat Club is that there are no rules (other than don't be a dick).

Much love my lovelies, 

K x 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Style XL 2015

Every time I go to one of these events, I can never find the words to explain how important they are, or how amazing it was, without it sounding exaggerated or cliched. 

This year, more than any other I think, I'm sat staring at the blank white screen, not knowing how I can put the weekend into words.

It was a weekend of new friendships and old. It was a mashup of brands and bloggers. And I kinda think the bloggers won! 

I wasn't modelling this year, but adopted my usual role of Chief Cheerleader (and did a stirling job, obviously!), and bra-fitting-bully! In fact, one of my first acts of the day was to get Wor Daisy into the Curvy Kate tents to get boosted - and between Caroline and myself, she's off on a voyage of bra-discovery! 

Daisy is awesome - FACT. She was my room mate, my tour guide, my sanity checker, and my companion. I don't think I could have got through the weekend without her by my side.

As well as the super Daisy, our room also had space for the quiet and considerate Kerry-Ann

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

I mentioned that we got to forge new friendships:

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on
And the lovely Kate

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on
Kate and I's moment is photobombed by Debz and Tanya!!

As well as strengthen old ones:

A photo posted by Leah Shafik (@leahxl) on
With the yummy Lolly.

And I clearly couldn't be kept away from the catwalk for too long, modelling for Yours Clothing in this bodycon maxi in tropical print

A photo posted by Clare Tooth (@tloatb90) on

But there was a little time for brands, and this beaut from Bon Prix had me planning Christmas parties just so I would have somewhere to wear it!

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

This year wasn't about the modelling, or the brands, but about the people - the readers of blogs, the bloggers, those just starting their body confidence journey, and those well on their way.

Leah did an astounding job, and I know this isn't the last we'll hear of StyleXL, although perhaps not in the same guise!

Here is to the next great event, where ever, and whatever, and whenever that may be.

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

StyleXL OOTD feat. Mod Cloth French Bulldog Dress

I had decided, when it was clear I was actually going to StyleXL in Birmingham, that I would shop my wardrobe. I mean, we've seen the size of it, so it's clear that amount of choice wasn't going to be an option! Until, after a cheeky eBay search revealed this dress for sale!

A photo posted by Kathryn (@misskathryn84) on

Now, the best thing about buying from eBay is the ability to ask for measurements - something you can't always get when you're shopping online. 

This dress is the 4XL, and in all fairness, the 3XL would have probably done, but I really liked having the option of a more loose fit.

I started off the day with a nice cinched waist but midway through I was belt free and loving the freedom - two dresses in one!!

A more detailed post on #StyleXL will follow - I felt my Mod Cloth dress deserved a post of it's own!! 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Hoopla with Benefit

I've not really blogged much in the recent weeks, mainly due to new job starting! In the interim, there have been a few "twitter outrage" moments! I mean, when is there not really! But the title of the post might have given you the heads up at my topic - that Benefit Body Shaming tweet:

They posted it a fortnight ago, and this post has been forming and evolving and floating around my head ever since - I've learnt from experience not to ignore the need to write. 

I feel the need to explain myself, and in equal measure, defend myself, given that while discussing this fiasco with some fellow rad fats, someone interjected to state we were being unnecessarily harsh, and it was only one person sat behind the computer writing those tweets, not the whole brand. 

Now then, listen here: I have written many a training package on social media, and stress the importance of reflecting the brand in all you do... 


Yes, exactly. 

This tweet is basically saying that an international company thought it was okay to fat shame. No ifs, no buts. 

A slim person offered their unsolicited opinion on this matter. Errm, please don't tell me how I should be reacting over this, and I'll not dictate your feelings over skinny shaming, m'kay?

Because even fats have different options on this. Some think there are bigger matters at hand, and that battles have to be chosen. Others, like myself, think that not enough was done to apologise, and even the apologies seemed to only be made to those under a size 20 who expressed outrage. 

My main concern is that so few non fats raised concern / outrage / batted an eyelid, and expressed derision at those who did - while I am quick to join their crusade about skinny shaming (which is just as wrong). Where is the same loyalty to the body positive cause? I may be the admin of @shamebodyshame, but it doesn't stop me being disappointed at how few join the cause for fats - as though we're the lesser of the body shames, as though we deserve it somehow. 

One simple rule of thumb applies - body policing, body shaming, or any form of poking fun at someone's expense is NOT OKAY! DON'T BE A DICK.

Much love, 

K x

Thursday, 4 June 2015

#Bloggerspearjoy - Behind the Scenes

Oooh, after the lovely Rachel released her blog yesterday with you all, I couldn't wait to be able to share the wonderful, sharing, collaborative experience it was, being involved with #bloggerspearjoy. 

We ended up functioning like a hive mind towards the end - but that might have been the hunger kicking in!!

Meeting at the perfectly situated SalonLRM at Hoults Yard at 11am, we were bright eyed and bushy tailed (well, I was anyway!) and ready to get our vintage on!

After raiding my own wardrobe for a range of vintage options, Nichola (our super stylist) and I paired together the perfect 'day' outfit, from now on known as Fat Rizzo!

While the beauts that are Rachel, Alice and Laura B were getting their hairs and makeups did, I set to work, making the strongest coffee known to man, and helping Nichola out with making sure the wardrobe was as she wanted it, and that everyone had something to wear! 

We knew my hair wouldn't take that long to do, given that the brief was "Quifftastic", so I knew I had the time to be able to help out. I can't just sit and wait - and I trusted that if I was getting in the way, or getting too involved, I would be told to bugger off!!

The awesome Emily, was super kind with me, especially after I'd said I'd never worn false lashes before! She was patient, and willing to up my brow game to this:

Taken later in the day but showing her awesome brow skills!

And so, my first look! 

As I said, we opted for Rizzo from Grease as our inspiration, the rebel!


So, shirt was Simply Be - no longer available - and the skirt was a jersey stretch tube skirt, also from Simply Be - the belt I've had forever, and the neck scarf was Laura P's! Et voila!

I can't believe that I had most of these things in my wardrobe, and had never thought I'd have the confidence to wear them together, but here we go! Big thanks to Nichola (Vera to my Reg), for putting it all together so wonderfully.

And we were set!

I was paired with the super cute Laura B to be my partner in crime - land girl to my rebel:

And were the first to go off on location, for great videoing (yes, VIDEO, but more of that to come) and photoing:

But the winner for me, was this beaut:

I'm not being over dramatic here, but we maybe got upstaged by Mr Buick!! 

A quick costume change, into my Polka Dot Polly Peacock Print dress, for more videoing and photoing, including these perfect shots:

Like what you see? Sign up here to become a Pear Pin-Up Aficionado and hear about all the latest deals for the best vintage photography experience.

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

PS - I think this is my favourite picture from the day (LEGS):