Saturday 31 December 2011

2011 in retrospect

So I thought I got the full 'What I think of 2011' out of my system earlier - but it seems that as I'm now in the house in my PJs on the eve of 2012 I'm getting a little bit wistful.

You guys weren't with me then, not really. I might have spent some time mentally blogging, but didn't know what to do with the ideas I had.

This time last year I was still living at home. I had still over spent at Christmas. And was sober at New Year. So outwardly, nothing much has changed.

But people have noticed things - I wear more colour, I have a genuine smile on my face most of the time, and I seem more relaxed. Not all of this is down to medications, or pain management. It's down to the great things I've done this year:

Meeting G in London with the Evans Focus Group was the main turning point. Being listened to, and my views being taken on board, along with the opportunity to try on some pretty clothes, made me realise how far we had to go to get clothes that were stylish and flattering into the market place.

I then went away on business for a week, and had the opportunity to again be valued as someone with ideas that people wanted to hear.

So I started to comment on facebook - but that didn't seem to have much impact or much value. When I realised the wealth of bloggers out there, I felt my little corner of cyperspace would satisfy my desire for a platform.

And you know what? It really really does.

I've got half written posts flying around my head. I've got a few projects out there. And most of all, I've not afraid to say if I don't like something, or if something isn't quite right.

Much love my lovelies, and a Happy New Year one and all!!

K x

Domino Doll!

I'm now a Domino Doll. This was announced yesterday in my OOTD post. But who are they?

I was introduced to them by Georgina, when we were discussing the use of models who look like they could actually wear their clothes! I fell for them straight away!!

As a Christmas treat to myself, not only did I order the skirt, but I ordered this:

 I loved the bow detail, and the color, but I wasn't expecting it to look as good as it did! It is billed as: all of the comfort of a sundress but with enough drama to steal you into the nightlife!  

But it is so much more than that!!

It clings in all the right places, and skims just where you need it to skim!

These two were taken with my Curvy Kate bra on. When I then changed it to a Ewa bra, it looked like this:

All I can say is: WOW!!

The photo of the dress on the website I feel, doesn't do it justice - just goes to show the power of someone wearing the dress who could actually wear the dress!!

Now, all I need is to press it, and get it an occassion to give it an airing!

Much love my lovelies,

K x

New Years Eve...

So a lot of people have the idea that New Years Eve will be rubbish, and so either try to out do the previous year, and get all down at how it doesn't go to plan, or they play into the rubbishness of it, and plan to have a cosy night in, or just have a few friends over.

I've been guilty of both in the past, and so this year, when my good friend wanted her house warming on NYE, I thought this would be perfect - treat the night as a house warming with some very good friends - what more could you want.

However, the tummy sickness bug has turned this perfect plan into a bit of a mess (not literally though I hope) - and tonight is not off.

Those of you who follow me on twitter will know I was going to wear, and blog about, my new love - a stunning red dress. Stay tuned as I will blog about it at some point today - don't worry!

Much love my lovelies, and I hope any sicky baggages are getting well soon,

K x

Swallows aren't for me...

So as I was debating on the good ol' what to wear while doing very little before the 'NYE getting ready process' begins, the Hermes Courier arrived, and delivered this:

Now I had looked at the black and white version, but I was wanting to add a splash of even more colour to my "Rainbow" wardrobe - once known as "that drab place"!

Disclaimer - I was so wanting to see what it looked like on that I only managed my makeup before I was forced to open and try on this dress - so good did it look in the bag - so please excuse the wet hair!

I was looking for a dress to wear with leggings - and as this is described as a 'Tunic Dress' I thought it would be perfect for this job - it is also described as a 'woven fabric'; again I thought I was on to a winner as my issue with some of Simply Be's products is the material choice.

Again, I love the colour, and the print but it is:

a: too short - my curvy kates, and ample bottom make it even shorter
b: the material feels rather polyester-ish and so I think I would get rather warm in it rather quickly
c: the ruffle at the hem seems to draw the attention to my equally ample thighs!!

I do love the tunic, and as I bought in on the back of this blogpost I know most love it. I think I am just being picky, but all of the above just mean it would site in my wardrobe unworn and unloved.

Some points I do love about it though:

It does give me a great shape, and the side ties do have a function!

I also really like the detail at the front. I may have above average sized Curvy Kates, but for those less endowed, this extra detail would make them seem a little bigger (thanks to the ruffles, not the buttons. Obviously).

It is a shame, but I'll be returning this as soon as I finish typing, for someone else to get this dress who loves it.

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Friday 30 December 2011


Those of you following me on twitter (@kathroooon), will know that yesterday I had a delivery from Domino Dollhouse - a boutique who understands that if you offer a dress in a plus size, use a model who makes it aspirational - "you too, could look this good!" whilst also show us that it would suit an hourglass, but not an apple. Or vise-versa.

Today I'm wearing this skirt with a few bits and bobs I already had:

I'm wearing the Domino Doll Skirt with M&S Cobalt Blue Tights, and my trusty Evans David Bowie Tee. Shoes (barely seen) are ASDA.

Now I've already mentioned in previous posts that I struggle with dressing down - I think this proves that I can 'dress down' but still feel smart - heels (can you guess which ones!) would look amazing with this, but a little too smart for the look I was going for.

And okay, I need to learn how to take better photos! But the fullness of the skirt needed to be shown!!

So I'm now in love with 'dress down' days, as well as knowing I have a really smart black skirt for smart days too!

Oh, and this is the 3X - and with the elasticated back, I would have liked to try a 2X, but unseen are the generous sized belt loops, so I may belt this if needed!

Much love my lovelies!

K x

Thursday 29 December 2011

Vintage AND plus size?

While my friends were enjoying searching for vintage pieces in charity shops or vintage stores, I would look at the handbags. And maybe the shoes.

I had long resigned myself to not being able to wear vintage, as the ladies of old are, well, hourglass, but not quite as much of it!

Then someone thought, what if we do the trawling for you, and bring a collection of plus size vintage pieces...

I love this dress! The navy and white are a classic combination, and the design is dainty, without being in your face! The dress is a little short, but if you look at the skirt, it sits on my waist, whereas I think it was designed to be on my hips - therefore being more appropriate for the era!!

I often wear this with leggings and a tee shirt underneath to make sure that it decent! But Kathryn, in VINTAGE? This isn't just something that I was lucky enough to find: Up and coming business Dotty for Vintage do the looking for us. Or add them on facebook.

Much love my retro lovelies!

K x

One pair of shoes - All colours please!

Okay, so a just a quick blog this morning (break = 10 min!) - and I knew when I got to work this morning what that was going to be about:


Now, I've already mentioned that I'm a tall girl - 5'9ish - so when it comes to heels, I try to go on the 2" side of things - no 4" scaffolding for me !! - I also don't wear heels that often, just when the dress / occasion requires it.

However, with these:

I think I'm in shoe heaven! Because I don't wear heels a lot, when I do, my feet hurt. Hurt hurt. But when I slipped my stockinged feet into these this morning, I felt something I've not felt in heels before - comfort! Even now, 3 hours after I put them on, I don't feel them. It's the comfort of wearing flats, with the bonus of a heel!

Enough to say I'm in love!

Looks like my Simply Be account is getting hammered while I buy these up in every colour!!

Much love my lovelies,

K (but 2" taller) x

Monday 26 December 2011

Ghosts of Christmas' Past...

Now readers, the festivities change as we get older. Some of us cling to traditions we once took part in 10 - 15 years ago, others forge new ones. In this household, where it is me, Mam and Dad in the morning, followed by my Grandma joining us for lunch later on the morning, we have had to adapt.

The parents have woken me up in recent years, either hungover from the exploits the night before, or just over tired from work.

So Christmas has become more about the build up in this house, the wrapping presents together (except eachothers, obviously), the Sunday School Nativity Presentation (of which I've 'starred' in the past two years), and end of term activities with our Brownie packs (2 Brown Owls (leaders) in one house, poor Dad).

But I can't help but think back to the Christmas break when I was away at Leeds Uni. I was away for one year, and hated it - Christmas was my first real time back at home after my challenging course had ended.

It wasn't all roses. A boy complicated matters. A boy I had known and equally not known, for a year or two. A boy that when this photo was taken:

And I wanted more than anything for something to occur.

Enough to say it fizzled out, quoting my being away at uni as a reason for this: I hated being there, the boy clearly didn't like me being there, and more than anything, I felt separated from the life I had made for myself during my undergrad at Sunderland. Christmas though. Christmas, I was home. I was welcomed. I was part of the Kollective again.

Now, I'm back living at home, so am part of the Kollective on a daily basis, and still Christmas holds a charm. Because while my Mam and I are running around preparing for the festive season, mean we lose touch with eachother... So the irony is that while preparing for the festive season, we then need the festive season to reconnect... Or reassimilate, to extend the Kollective analogy.

So Christmas is about showing people who matter to you, just how much they matter. And if that is by over buying, then over buying it is them...

Much love my lovelies - and hope this special season was good to you,

K x

Saturday 24 December 2011

Falling out of love with ASOS Curve - part 2

I mentioned yesterday that I had another dress waiting for my to try this morning, and I thought I had left the best til last... Sadly not:

Image 1 of ASOS CURVE Vintage  50s Inspired Prom Dress

Now, @FFigureFBust had mentioned that she had ordered it, and was disappointed with the fit but I wanted to try it for myself.

It was the smallest packet, and I had expected a light weight, see through dress. I was suitably impressed by the heavy material, the netting under skirt, and the slip under that - I started to see why it was originally £60 (but currently £24).

Sadly though, that is where my excitement ended.

Hellooooooooooooo breasts!! The skirt wasn't as full as I'd expected, although that may have been due to how tightly packed it was in the packet - it may open out with wear, but I'll not know as it is being returned once the Post Offices are open.

Toooooo tight for words! You can't get the full effect here, but it really isn't a dress made for breasts, of any degree. And I think that ASOS needs to use models which show aspects of the dress off - or at least fill it out! ASOS curve, unlike Evans and Simply Be, starts from size 20 (Evans and SimplyBe start size 14 / 16)... so why produce clothes smaller than a 20, just for their models to wear... It doesn't make business sense, or logical sense...

Hmmmm... Something to ponder.

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Friday 23 December 2011

Falling out of love with ASOS Curve...

Merry Christmas from ASOS Curve! With up to 50% off, it was hard to say know to some of the items in the sale!

I ordered these a couple of days ago, and they arrived today. Now, as per my previous post, I'd just returned from a pretty unsuccessful date, and was needing some cheering up! So first up for me to try was this one:

Image 1 of ASOS CURVE 40s Dress With Contrast Belt

Now, I know I'm about twice the size of her, but the 22 did / does fit rather snuggly! I thought the band accross the chess would annoy me, but actually, what it does is mean that I'm showing off a nice about of cleavage in the cut out, without feeling like I am! Win win!

Next dress - something for the office:

Image 1 of ASOS CURVE Wrap Dress With Button Waist

Now, I wasn't sure about the 'fitted' skirt, but thought I would give it a go!!

It was even worse then I'd thought!

I didn't leave the dress on long enough to take a better photo, but it was tight in all the wrong places, and the V neck comes all the way down to waaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond inappropriate! You'd think that it would be the same on that model wouldn't you...?

And this is where my main gripe comes from - how can we get an idea of what the dresses / items look like, if the models are on the wrong side of the scale (pardon the pun).

More items to be tried on tomorrow...

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Oh to be Peter Pan!

I think Hermes must be watching my every move!! Having just this morning commented on: Rosie's blog this morning that this:

And lo, it arrived just 10 minutes ago!!

I love this! I love the soft material, I love the cut, which only pulls a little across my chest (which is still wearable) and it feels so smart, without being a blouse / dress.

Now as with most 'tunics' I couldn't wear this with tights, as it is just too short, and even leggings, I'm not overly convinced with, but it would work with my smart black trousers or my jeans, depending on the occasion.

But this detail:

Takes the dress to another level of smart, to the chance of going out from the office.

For this reason I would pack a spare pair of leggings just in case I needed to flash a little thigh - as the dress is demure enough to enable me, in the right circumstances, show a little leg!

More colours please SimpleBe?

Much love my lovelies,

K x

The time has come...

It is the end of the year, and so comes the obligatory 'How was the last year for you' post.

I've only been blogging for just over a month, and I said I wanted an honest blog.

This time last year I was on about 40 tablets, and through determination, and luck through getting a GP who wanted to help, I got my dream: I now only take medication to go to bed with and am down to the bear minimum that I can get away with: pain I can live with!!

Without those medications clouding my brain, I see things sharper, I notice colours more, and my emotions are my own! It has taken more getting used to than I'd thought it would, and some days are harder than others not to just pop one of the pills, but the effect on my personality was startling! I couldn't believe that I'd been taking these for the past 6 years thinking that I needed them to get through the day, when in reality what I needed was to strip them down and rebuild my 'cocktail'.

Now colours stand out, so I wear more colours. Now I'm more aware of how I come across, so wear more colours! Now when I need a pick me up, I wear more colours. Which is where the blogging community helps. Especially Georgina's post about plus size fashion and how colour is so important.

Here is hoping 2012 gets even better,

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Monday 19 December 2011

Inheritance - Nature vs Nurture

I've been thinking about this topic a lot recently. I have a very small family (Mam, Dad, Grandma (maternal) and a (maternal) Aunt) who live close to me. Growing up, I had no one to compare myself to, other than my Grandma and my Mam.

My Grandma is a classic 1940s hourglass. Even now, although she doesn't dress like it, she has a stunning figure, wearing a corset and shapewear every day.

My Mam is more like an apple, holding some over the tummy, and not having that defined a waist, and a rather flat behind. Her legs and arms are her best feature, and when compared with my cankles, I just didn't see how I could have put weight on my ankles. How. Is. That. Possible.

 Now, where did this well rounded behind of mine come from? My Mam and Grandma's is flat, whereas mine protrudes quite a way, and always had, even at my size 16, I had to go for 18 trousers because of this!

So my cankles are unknown, as is my rear, so what else did I inherit from my Dads side of the family. I reckon the Kaupa's and Barraclough's have a lot of explaining to do! On a recent trip to Wales to visit my Dad's side of the family, I discovered my cankles are shared with my Paternal Aunt. Which got me a-thinking.

These certainly came from the Hodgen side of the family, but what about the McDonald? If growing up, I'd had all four sides of the family, I would have seen that Reg loved my Grandma's curves, that Karl loved Nanna's cankles (as it stands I don't know if he did, but you get my point).

Having two strong but different women to build my sense of self around was influential, and important, but I do wonder what would Nanna have taught me if she was still with us, or what would Reg and Karl have thought, added to the mix.

As it stands, I think I have Reg's sense of humour, and who knows have I've inherited from Karl. We don't talk about him much in these parts.

So, what have you inheritted? What do you wonder "where did THAT come from?"?

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Thursday 15 December 2011

Will Simply Be Rise to the occasion?

We've already established that I like my dresses. A lot!

I only own 2 pairs of jeans and one pair of work / smart trousers. Give me a dress / skirt any day of the week!!

So when I saw this dress:

I quite simply fell in love! I tweeted yesterday that the parcel had arrived and I was desperate to rip it open with 'child on Christmas morning' excitement. But I knew if I waited til this morning, when I had time to lovingly unwrap, I wouldn't be dissappointed. And I wasn't.

It was sent in a box, so carefully encased in a plastic over lay (I know I'm going a little over the top here, but I did have such high hopes for this dress)

I pulled it out on it's hanger and was so impressed by the lace detailing. Even the photos on the website don't show this detail off enough!

I opted for leggings to see how it sat re: length, unzipped, pulled it on and... realised how short it was. I added a cardigan to cover the bear arms, and still, too short. I pulled at it. Too short. I asked my Mam's opinion. Too short. Looked in different mirrors... you guessed it, too short:

Not only that, but it is pulled up by my chest.

However, the rest of the dress is perfect on my 22 frame. It pulls me in, and fits in the Curvy Kates very very well.

All in all, I love this dress, but Rise, please make a longer one next year! From the peter pan colour, lace details and tuille underskirt, it screamed my name. Just a shorter me, apparently.

Much love my lovelies,

K x

The "I'll keep it in case I lose weight dress"...

I don't think I'll alone in this idea that your once favourite dress which no longer fits, has been 'kept' just in case. A few months back I found a size 16 skirt in my wardrobe - who was I trying to kid!!

Most of the items are / were expensive at the time of purchase, and perhaps didn't even fit at that point, but so desperate was I to have said item that I convinced myself it would eventually fit...

Well, I'm now realising that clinging to that idea is just overall negative to who I am NOW, never mind who I am going to be. So, I'm having a clear out. A sort out. A make space for all the lovely dresses I WILL be able to wear!

When asked by @plussized22 to get involved in their 'swap', I was apprehenisve - what if they don't have the sizes for me - a first response I always have when being offered something. Then I realised what a daft idea that was. If they don't, then tough. So I went about sorting through tops, skirts and dresses (I don't really do trousers) for the 'swap'.

The picture doesn't do them justice, but the two shirts were Evans, size 20, the grey long sleeved top is Marks and Spencers, size 20, and the skirts were given to me by my Mam and are a size 20 as well.

Here my dress obsession really shows no bounds! Dresses of all shapes and sizes! The green and blue dress in the corner is a Simply Be size 20, but is rather short for my 5'9 / 5'10 - worn it a couple of times and not really felt comfortable in it. The red dress is a lovely dress from Sainsbury's TU, size 22. The purple patterned dress on the left is a La Redoubt dress 18/20, never worn. The middle purple dress is labelled as a 22, but I would say a 18, and was an eBay purchase from China. The final dress, my 'nautical' dress, is a 22 from ASDA, and I <3 this lots, it just doesn't work on me at all.

Now, why am I keeping these reminders in my wardrobe? Clothes that I've either never worn, or haven't worn for years are not good for the self esteem! I should be able to look in my wardrobe and wear any item in there. Not think, no, I'm keeping that for when...

So, it's nearly the New Year, so time for a New Approach to clothes and esteem and the like.

I'll keep you updated on the swap, other wise I'll be having an eBay or charity shop moment with this lot!

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Monday 12 December 2011

The Dress I Could Live In!

Shocking photo, but you get a sense of length

I made huge claims about this dress when it arrived, and said that this was the one dress I would chose to live in! And given the popularity of the colour block dress in cream and hot pink, it really was a comment I may have lived to regret.

But I wore it yesterday as planned and loved it:

 The arms sit snuggly at my elbows - but I can still lift my arms.
The length sits demurly about 2 inches below my knees, but when I walk (or stomp) it does ride up - but it means that it is still a respectable length.
The belt neatly pulls the dress in at the waist:

And there is ample room for my ample Curvy Kates!

This is my new 'go to dress' - the pattern is perfect for winter business dress days, and I only hope for a more light weight one for the summer, but all in all, my favourite wardrobe item so far!

A word of warning though - I stand at 5'10 flat footed, and the dress could be overly long if I was to wear it with ballet pumps - so heels are a must for me.

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Thursday 8 December 2011

MissTake 1

There is a reason I've called my blog MissKathrynsMissTakes - because I do make rather a lot of them! But otherwise, I'd never learn, right? :D

Okay, so maybe I start to learn!

Under the tutorledge of my very good friend Jackie, I've become schooled in the power of the mix CD. Not a playlist in Spotify thanks! And who has a tape player these days (Er, me...!).

So there may be someone I want to impress, and so when challanged to make a mix CD, I accepted the challange - quite gleefully in fact!

Now, I'm a little rusty, but this was my first attempt:

Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era is a compilation album of American garage rock singles released in the mid- to late 1960s. It was assembled by Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records, and Lenny Kaye, later lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group.,_1965%E2%80%931968
Not all these songs came from Nuggets, but it was a kind of door opening into the world of 60s psych, pop, soul, funk etc:
1. 54 - 46 That's My Number The Maytals
2. The Clapping Song Shirley Ellis
3. Have Love Will Travel The Sonics
4. House That Jack Built Aretha Franklin
5. Sunshine of Your Love Spanky Wilson
6. Hush Joe South
7. I'm A Good Woman Barbara Lynn
8. I Got A Woman Ray Charles
9. Baby Please Don't Go The Amboy Dukes
10. Pictures of Matchstick Men The Status Quo
11. Nutbush City Limits Ike & Tina Turner
12. Respect Otis Reading
13. Victoria The Kinks
14. My Little Red Book Love
15. Gloria Patti Smith
16. Psychotic Reaction The Count Five
17. Hi-Heel Sneakers Tommy Tucker
18. Here Come the Girls Ernie K. Doe
19. Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White The Standells
20. Liar, Liar The Castaways
21. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) The Beatles

Now, yes, I provided the above text with the CD... and now I feel a little exposed!! Still, only time will tell.

And what did I get in return? Well, the opportunity to listen to Joy Division bootleg of course! No wonder I feel about 16. But that may be due to something else!

Much love my lovelies,
K xx

Tuesday 6 December 2011

ASOS Curve Appeal

I am a creature of habit... take my growing Curvy Kate Portia collection - I've found a bra I like, that fits, and is pretty - so I have two in white, one in black, and one in raspberry. I like what I like, when I like it!!

So, having lived in Evans clothes for about 3 years, with a hint of supermarket added into it, SimplyBe screamed at me when I started browsing through the website. I fell for the bright colours, the flattering style and the buy now, pay later incentive!

But now, my eyes are opened - ASOS CURVE, where have you been all my days???

I ordered 3 dresses on a whim, following a post by:

these were the three I went for:

Image 1 of ASOS CURVE Exclusive Floral DressImage 1 of ASOS CURVE Exclusive Colourblock DressImage 1 of ASOS CURVE Midi Dress In Geo Smudge Print

 The first dress was lovely, the first dress in a long time that my Mam actually liked - but once I pointed out the unfortunate effect of the ruffles around the chest (hard to see in the models picture, but with Curvy Kates my size, I was not in need of any additional attention being drawn their way!)

The middle dress, which was the one blogged about by Boombands, fits perfectly:

Not the best photo - memo to self, get a full length mirror! - but it pulls me in, emphasises curves, and the light colour was something that had put me off in the past, but I lovelovelove this! Compliments a-plenty, from people I wouldn't've expected.

Now the blue 'Geosmudge' dress is in my wardrobe, waiting for my debut in the Sunday School Nativity as the narrator - the demure dress which will be a joyful addition to my wardrobe.

Right, I'm off to trawl eBay for ASOS Curve bargains! I'm converted!!

Much Love my lovelies,

K x

Thursday 1 December 2011

Blogging Class...

Ok, so I'm new to this blogging world (I may have had a live journal in my youth, but that doesn't really count... Honest!), so I'm still trying to get to grips with the 'type' that I want to be.

I'd like to help people in some way - but I don't think that this in itself is a big deal.
I'd like to be witty and funny and stylish - but again, does this make my blog a Kathryn blog? Or just a show off blog? The blogs I read on a regular basis give something of their personality in the writing, in the photographs, in the admissions. They are ultimately honest.

Honest. There we go, I'd like to be an honest blog - not brutally so, but politely so, cajoling people into being better.

Honestly, I've had a weird couple of days. Meeting footballers yesterday (my company sponsors the Home Nations, so had a little visit from one or two players!). But today, today I had a break down at my desk... Tears, the whole lot. Once I'd managed to escape the office, I then sobbed on someones shoulder.

Why? Because what someone said to me, hurt. And I mean really hurt. But as with most, it was the last in a long line of put downs. Of snide comments. Of undermining. And I'd had enough. The breakdown was not really about that individual, and what they said, but the whole lot...

At school, people would say ignore them, don't rise to it. But at work, when there is little that can be done to escape it, it is a lot harder. And you reckon that you're older, you should be able to live with it.

You know what? You don't have to. I don't have to. And I won't.

Much love my lovelies,

K xx