Sunday, 23 December 2012

Speak up...



Kellie from www.bigfashionista.co.uk has asked for us to donate our home page over the Christmas holidays.

The Festive period is an overwhelming time of stress and pressure and family and then... silence. Days drawing out in front of you with nothing to fill them. Our normal support network are busy, with their own family, friends. You don't want to be a burden on their festive period.

Or at least that was how I used to view this time of year.

If you need them, there are people out there who can support you, or I, and get us through this time of year, and beyond. 

Please speak out. Don't suffer in silence.

You are important.

As Sera says at http://theagoraphobicfashionista.blogspot.co.uk/: if you are feeling like you cannot cope, if you cannot see a light, if you feel like you cannot go on please, please, please... pick up the phone

MIND
www.mind.org.uk
0300 123 3393

Samaritans
www.samaritans.org
08457 90 90 90

Alcoholics Anonymous
www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/newcomers
0845 769 7555

Stonewall
www.stonewall.org.uk
Info line 08000 50 20 20


London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
0207 837 7324

SANELine
www.sane.org.uk
0845 767 8000

Preventing young suicide
www.papyrus-uk.org
For people in Northern Ireland
www.lifeline.info
0808 808 8000

Childline
www.childline.org.uk
0800 1111

Depressionalliance
www.depressionalliance.org

Refuge
www.refuge.org.uk
0808 2000 247

Eating Disorders Association
www.edauk.com
0845 634 1414

Shelter
www.shelter.org.uk
0808 800 4444

NHS Direct
www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
0845 4647

No Panic
www.no-panic.co.uk
0808 808 0545 

Combat Stress - for Service Men, Women, and their families
http://www.combatstress.org.uk/
0800 138 161

Reach out. Pick up the phone. Speak to someone.

Wishing you a safe and merry Christmas

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Lisa Legacy

This has been the year of the legacy. The Olympics needed to have one to be of value to the tax payer, the Paralympics had one, which it rightly deserved. And what else?

The "Lisa Riley" Effect. 

The "Fat Lass Does Really Rather Well On Strictly" Effect. 

The "Empowering A Nation" Effect. 

I know my news feed and time lines are unlike most, in their body positivity, in their inclusiveness, and in their supportive welcoming arms. 

But on Sunday night, when my timeline was full of these messages:


I realised that this was something new, something refreshing. And just how I see things through my wonderfully accepting timeline, I know others must see it through a very narrow minded, body shaming one. 

On Sunday night though, something wonderful happened. Cracks that had appeared over the past 2 months or so, getting a little larger over recent weeks, burst open. 

As Betty Bee talks about here, I was equally worried that Lisa would be the 'comedy' act. Then the music started, and WOW! SHE CAN DANCE!

The rollercoaster took off, and I was proud to wear my 'I *heart* Lisa" colours. Now, I know I'm vocal, opinionated and, er, LOUD, but as the weeks wore on, I got a-thinking: "were most of Lisa's fanbase silently cheering her on, while publicly supporting someone else?"

Again, I don't know, as my timeline was filled with my plussize brethren, and we were all cheering loud and proud for Lisa.

On Sunday though, Sunday had my Mam in tears, and all of twitter erupted with their support of Lisa and her 'People's Champion' status.

Now, if I'm ever asked for my inspiration, it'll be her. 

No question. 

That, is what I call a legacy.

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Friday, 7 December 2012

D-I-S-C-O

Pants that is. I'm rather impressed that I've made it to 5pm at work, and no one, NO ONE has a negative thing to say about the 'Gymnast' pants:


Now, calling them my 'Gymnast' pants does imply that I have negative feelings about my latest foray into fashion. 

I really don't!

I was so happy about them this morning when I instagrammed the HELL out of them (MissKathryn84)


So shiny and blue and unlike anything I OWN!

This is how they are meant to look on:



I sized up (after having a disheartening 'these don't fit' moment with the floral trousers earlier in the year), and first thing this morning, I was comfy and happy with my new trousers. 


They fit close to my body, like a second skin!


I ended up with a booty that I envied (how is that possible?!)

And, teamed with a summer dress (as the trousers were rather warming!), it made what I thought, the perfect combination!


But having worn this all day, I just feel like I've let the trousers down a little. I hope to live up to their promise later, and maybe show off my FUPA, but today, I feel like I sold out on them.

I wanted to see if they were work appropriate, and I don't really think that they are, not for me anyway. 

As I'd got the 22, I found them slipping down, with the crotch about 6 inches lower than where it should have been, and I could pull them up / down without undoing the zip & button.

The length is perfect, if not a little long on me, but I do hope if I was to size down to a 20, that the leg length would be a better length for me. Although, I'm sure if I wore them with heels, not flat Primark brogues, it would look a little better!

We'll see how they wash, and odd though it may sound, I would like them to shrink just a LITTLE in the machine!

Hopefully, you'll be able to benefit from my mistakes (see, my blog name is accurate!), and get the perfect fit for you!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

This item was sent to me to review, but my words and opinions are my own x


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Work Wear Recap

Under the #psbloggers hashtag, there was a little cry for help for some hints and tips for work wear. 

I admit that when I first entered the classroom, I was a vision in black. I added hints of my personality, but I do remember relying a LOT on a tatty pair of trousers from the high street, and long tops. I was about an 18 at the time. 

Since moving to a contact centre, my ideas of 'work wear' were quickly diluted, being allowed to wear jeans as part of the 'business casual' ethos we have.

As I've now moved up within the company, I've reverted back to my 'teacher' idea of business dress. 

I did feel a little in a rut when it came to my choices. Not because I didn't have any suitable clothes in my wardrobe, but more that I didn't have any ideas on how to make them business appropriate.

Simply Be came to my rescue!!



Which I was then able to dress up for an imagined interview situation:




The Black And Gold Baroque Skater dress has received a number of compliments from unusual sources in the office, and I have to say I'm trying my hardest not to wear it tooooooo often, through fear of wearing it out!


I finished my week (four days business dress, 1 day business casual), with a bit of an 'out there' outfit choice!




I love the mixing of the print with the pleats, and how the 'style police' would say I'm breaking a number of rules: big boobs mean no high neck tops, or tops with no shape. Well, TOUGH! I loved this combination, and certainly think I'll be wearing this combination again!

So my week of business came to a close, I've pushed my own sense of style & business dress a little bit, and hope you will too. 

This isn't a one click fix to my daily stare down with my wardrobe on what to wear today, but it is a start!!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Monday, 3 December 2012

Advent Sunday

I had a pretty action packed Sunday if I'm honest. I'm usually a 'not do much' on a Sunday kinda gal. I might pop to Church, but that would be about it. 

This Sunday involved taking my Grandma out for Lunch, showing her my house and how things are progressing, take some things back to a popular DIY store, pick up some replacement pieces, take Grandma home, take my Mam to choir practice, pick Grandma up, take her to our Advent service, read a Lesson, and take the two back home again. 

So, my outfit needed to do A LOT for me. I had no time to change, freshen up, or even glance in a mirror! After some deliberation, I settled on this bird print dress from Clothing at Tesco:



Helloooooo curves!

I ordered my standard 22, and I love how the dress fits me like a glove. It hugs and supports in the right places, but unlike my usual dress choice, it was fitted over my rear and thighs. A tough choice for me to make, but I stood by my guns and:


A happy Kathryn was had! It sits just above my 5'9 knees. Spot on. 

It has a built in, full body slip, which helps smooth where needed!

I was worried it was over warm, but given my 'active' day, I didn't find it was sweat inducing by the end of my busy period!


And there I was, at my Grandma's, with a cup of tea, all festive with snowflake earrings and preparing my voice for my reading.

All went swimmingly well, and I have to say, "Holidays are coming!"

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Advent...

My favourite season is Winter. From the cosy nights in, the comfort food, and the layering, I do get excited by the dropping temperatures, the drawing nights, and the donning of scarves and gloves. 

It's only been recent years though, that my Christmas traditions have grown in number. As a child, unfortunately, it was about the tree and the presents and not much else. Growing older, I slowly added more to my tradition list. A rare night with the house to myself? Get 'It's a Wonderful Life' on, get the wrapping paper out, and get all the presents done. By doing this early, I can make sure I've not missed anyone out, or if I've bought too much for someone. Unfortunately, one year I did this so early, that I was left having to dust my presents before handing them out because they'd been on the present piano for so long!

My traditions now include: Advent candles, being a narrator in the Sunday School Nativity, making Christingle Oranges, taking the Brownies to see Fenwicks Window, and going to the 7pm Service on Christmas Eve, then out for some drinkies with friends.

All in all, my Christmas traditions don't necessarily revolve around money, or presents, or consumerism, instead, it's about family, friends and children. Odd how I like it more now as an adult, then I remember liking it as a child. 

What is all this rambling about? Mainly another tradition I've managed to get involved in, the #YAYAdvent project. It was meant to be for Leeds residents to enjoy and partake in, but I was so jealous that a postal component was added. I've bought / sourced & wrapped 24 presents for the 24 days of advent for Beth:


And also included a separate parcel for Day 1 (today) - a festive Jigsaw puzzle! Perfect past time for the winter months!

I also had to show Beth which to open and when:


And there you go - I used a sharpie and SWEAR I got a little 'happy' on the fumes!

I collected my presents from Beth from the Post Office this morning:


I've now got them in day order, ready and waiting for me to open every morning! Rather excited by this simple but effective tradition!

My present for today was a pair of Reindeer socks! Perfect to wear to Brownies on Tuesday and show off!

I'm also rather happy to have lit the candle for Day 1 this year:


All in all, I'm thinking "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" today...

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Black And Gold Revisted!


I bought this dress to try, and it didn't sing to me. Not much anyway! I reviewed it here, and decided to send it back. 

When wanting to put together a 'Work wear' piece for you all - hold onto your hats, it is coming! - this just shouted at me to try it again, that it was very sorry, and to please give it a home. 

I relented, and allowed it to crawl back to me. 

And, well, it's a delight!

It's bright and colourful, without being too garish for my office! It is fitted, but not too bootlicious (again, I don't want to have the agents being too distracted by my outfit when training them!), but it gave me a massive confidence boost this morning. 

I knew I wasn't going to wear it with the belt provided with it, but thought this thin belt (from this dress), and I think it works perfectly, cinching my waist a little, but not too much that it faults the cut of the dress.

So sometimes, you need to give a dress a second chance... 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

This item was sent to me to review, but all my thoughts and opinions are my own

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Body Rage

An odd thing happened to me this morning:

I was sat at my desk, getting set up this morning, and a good friend of mine walked past, stopped, came back, and said "You're necklace is rather tight there". 

Now, this friend has been supportive of me through my condition, my work woes and my blog, so this comment came as a big surprise. 

I didn't know what to say! 

I responded with "No, it isn't". Thinking that would be the end of it. 

Nope, he continued. Even the look of surprise on my face wasn't enough for him to stop.

"It is. It's sitting at your Adam's Apple". 

And he walked away. 

I'm been quietly raging all day.


What right does ANYONE have to pass judgement on someone else? Our bodies are our own, what we wear on them, or put in them, are our OWN business. 

On a day when 3 fabulous ladies are looking amazing in the Times2 Supplement (full front page picture) I was on a high. Now though, I'm reminded that the playing field is in no way even. But these baby steps we're taking are going to slowly trample this field level in time. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Monday, 26 November 2012

Simply Be's Blogger Edit

When I was contacted by Simply Be to see if I wanted to take part in their Christmas Party Dress challenge, I was keen to join in. 

I have a few staple dresses which have been my 'go to' items in the past, but, with the year I've had, I was hoping for something a little more outside of my comfort zone.

And when I saw this from the Gemma Collins Range:


I knew that this would push me well and truly out of my comfort zone!


Oooooh, so pretty! 

The pink underneath is the brightest, hottest pink you can imagine, and the lace detail sits perfectly. 


The sweetheart neckline sits wonderfully on my 36H chest, and as you can see, even I'm surprised about the overall effect!

Once I've pulled everything down and wiggled (literally, wiggled) my way into this dress, I've all set and ready to go!

To ensure a smoother (not slimmer, or smaller) silhouette, I'd probably team with my Simply Yours high waisted control pants:


And when I say high waisted, I MEAN high waisted!

They do a grand job, smoothing my tummy, and giving me a pert rear:


I won these as part of George's big giveaway in February, and I'm so glad I finally have GOOD shapewear.

I am surprised by how much I do love this dress. It is something completely removed from my usual choice of style / colour / fit, but I think that is why I can see myself wearing this. I'm becoming a person who WOULD wear something like this!


There you have it. 

I'm so honoured to be a part of the Simply Be Blogger Edit, and glad I went outside of my comfort zone with the dress! Va va vooom this Christmas!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Please note, I was sent this item to review, but all my comments and opinions are my own

Happy 1st Birthday to MissKathrynsMisstakes

MissKathryn has been making MissTakes for a year now. 

This is so hard to believe, that I've managed to fit so much into one teeny tiny YEAR!

A year ago, I was looking for an outlet, somewhere I could chart my mistakes, and hopefully learn from them. I wanted to take a few photos, put them somewhere, and write about my feelings on the combinations, the fit, the style. Mainly so I could look back and remember 'I don't like that style', or 'I need to size up / down in that brand'.

What has actually happened is, I've become so much more adventurous with my style choices, my hair is shorter (which is a big deal for me!), and I don't hide in my clothes any more. VBO? Who cares!!

On the 1 December 2011, I said this: 

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.
 
And I hope I have met this challenge head on.

This blog is more than a few words on a screen for me, but had given me a 'life' back, a quality of life back that I'd been lacking for some time. 

So, thank you for reading this, and for supporting me this past year.

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Friday, 23 November 2012

The AF Bloggers Budget Challenge

Christmas Sparkle!

The lovely Sera, over at http://www.theagoraphobicfashionista.com/
welcomed me into her challenge, and this November is her plussize edition!

So, for her November edition, we are sampling the delights of https://www.clothingattesco.com/ - and it happened to coincide with the release of their Christmas Party Dresses!



Look at us all, looking very glam! 

About a month ago, I went off, with my budget of £30 burning a hole in my virtual pocket! 

I thought I'd better start with shoes, otherwise I'd blow the lot on a pretty dress!


So pretty! I opted for the size 8, wide fitting shoe, and I'll be honest, it brightens up my day just knowing they are in there, looking at me, getting ready to be worn and set the dance floor alight! 

Okay, so, shoes sorted... Now what...

DRESS!

I knew I was now down to £20, and limited my search accordingly. 


Ta-da!

I plumped for a size 22, to be on the safe side and here we are!



As you can see, it is a great fit across the bust - always a bonus, and the lace detail is perfect! Not too indecent with the higher neckline - but the lace allows for a slightly more revealing look. 



With my £2 left over, I opted for this belt (which was £4, and I took the gamble to go 'over budget'!


I mainly chose this to connect to the sparkly shoes, and because on the model, I felt the dress needed a little extra 'something'.

BUT:




 

It unfortunately doesn't 'work' with the cut of the dress, and as you can see, it gives me some major 'VBO' (Visible Belly Outline).

So, radically, I decided to ditch the belt, and try it as a simple LBD, with the hint of sparkle only in the shoes.


 I would normally have worn this with my trusty Tesco tights, but as I was recovering from surgery at the time, I couldn't face the idea of tights!

Incidently, I also suspect part of the VBO was down to the key hole surgery and the side effects, BUT, I do think this dress, sans belt, does work better.




And there you have it! I was in need of a LBD for my wardrobe, and I would certainly recommend trying this dress if you get the chance to. 

It sits just above my knee (I'm 5'9), and is the ideal dress to see you through the festive season and beyond!


 Make up wise, I opted for my usual liquid eyeliner 'flick', but added some pencil eyeliner to my bottom lashes to make it a little more dramatic than my day to day make up. 

I also added my trusty red lipstick to complete the look.


Don't forget to check out the other challenge entries this month:

Sera: http://theagoraphobicfashionista.blogspot.co.uk/
Kelly: http://www.bigfashionista.co.uk/ (post to follow later)
Beth: http://tinkerbellandthelostgirls.blogspot.co.uk/
Steph: http://sheselec.blogspot.co.uk/

So, what do you think? I'm actually really impressed that I managed to get a dress, shoes and a belt for £32. 

Well done Tesco!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x



Thursday, 22 November 2012

Dress Down Dilemmas

Being out of the habit of actually getting dressed (PJs don't really count, do they?), when it was announced that Wednesday would be a dress down day, my heart sank. Not sang, nope, SANK.

I've been doing a lot of work on the house lately, and wearing scabby work clothes... I had to stop myself for reaching for them - I'm really becoming a creature of habit!

So, armed with this skirt in teal:


I tackled the simple matter of what top to wear...

I settled for an old Ziggy Stardust tee, to really go out on the 'dress down' theme for the day.


Ta DAH!

I really like this combination. 

And, confession time - this is my first item of 'maxi' clothing. I don't have a maxi dress, and I've steered away from maxi skirts  for no reason other than 'when would I wear them'... Well, looks like I've answered that question!


What I like about this skirt, is it doesn't cling to my bum, or my tum, but hangs really well.

The picture had lulled me into thinking it had a bit of a flare to it... not to be deterred though, I persevered, and embraced the cling!


I felt confident and casual in this outfit, not at all worried or anxious about the cling. Whether that is testament to the skirt, or how much this blog has helped me challenge and push myself, is hard to tell!


I think Ziggy approved!!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

The skirt was sent to me to review, but my views are my own

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bringing Business Dress Back

I am back in our main offices (read my 'home' for the past 4 years), after 6 months of working a smaller, more low key office. 

I suddenly realised, that terms like 'business casual', 'business dress' and 'dress down', suddenly matter for me again. 

These aren't really terms that mean the same thing in this building, never mind across the UK, but for us, business casual cannot be leggings, but can be jeans. No trainers, but tee shirts are fine. 

Given that for business casual, I wore this, when we were asked for business dress (no jeans, and a 'smart' appearance), I had a bit of fluster. 

This dress came to my rescue:


Ooooh, so strikingly different to what I currently have in my wardrobe, I was glad of the chance to give it the airing it deserved. 


Oh, so pretty, unusual, and flattering. 

It is also smart, without SCREAMING 'I got all dressed up just for you'. It's a sort of effortless smart. 

On it's own, anyway. 

And here is how I 'interviewed' it up. Or would, you know, if I'd actually had an interview:


I wore it all day, and even managed to run my Brownie Meeting in it, and it was comfortable through to me getting home almost 12 hours later. 


You might be able to see from this picture that there is some pulling in the bust area, so I did adjust it every so often, but not so much as to make me not wear the dress again. 

The thin belt came with the dress, but I'd be interested to see how it would look with a wider belt, but that is fun for another post!

So, there you have it. A dress I had glanced over numerous times, ended up saving my bacon in a time of fashion need!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

This item was sent to me to review, but my opinions are my own