Sunday 29 April 2012

Weekend Woes

Well, after a better (not great, but better) night's sleep on Friday night, my Mam and I headed to Costco (Warehouse Store / Cash & Carry store). Again, having something planned for my days give me something to get out of bed for, something to get ready for. Some would say to get back to work, but when it takes me 2 hours to get ready, rather than 40 mins due to the pain I'm in, it makes things a little hard!

I tried Gel Eyeliner for the first time - and either I had too much on the brush, or it's not for me, but it got all over my eye socket, until I figured covering it in eyeshadow and blending it might work - so it looked like the picture below!

Also, how straight is my FRINGE!!

I opted for this dress - and my Mam is right, it is too short, but I do feel great in it, so I wore it anyway!

Costco, was as always, great fun: we bought basics like loo roll,  mushrooms and printer cartridges, but also picked up a big jar of Nutella, my birthday present (iPod dock) and some shoes for my Mam and her holiday to Florida in a couple of months. 

A successful, fun trip, but tiring. I attempted to nap, but glad it didn't last too long!


Sleep was uneasy, but was teaching at Sunday School with my Mam, and had Sunday lunch booked with my Grandma, so busy meant up and at 'em!

I managed to snap a photo in the car on the way into church - my twitter necklace went down well! - I'd teamed it with my ! ! skirt and managed to get out the house in time! Although the fringe wasn't as straight as well as yesterday, but this was the best I could manage!

Lunch was lovely, but tiring after running around with the Sunday School children! So headed home for a nap, before photographing for eBay... to find that eBay won't let me list what I'd wanted to list. I've added more items to the blog sale page above - tweet me, email me, comment on here, which ever, and I'll get back to you!

Not the best of weekends, but not too bad. Hope this week gets better, but I have things planned for most days this week, so no wallowing for me!

Much love my lovelies, and I hope your weekend was a good one,

K x

Friday 27 April 2012

Up and down and round and round

Today I had a reason to get out of bed.
I had a reason to get dressed.

I had a reason to leave the house. 

I was meeting a very dear friend for lunch today. I needed a reason to actually eat, and a reason to 'self care' this morning. 

I had planned to wear a different outfit, but it needs a little alteration, so I dug my trusty Beth Ditto dress, pulled on my even more trusty skinny jeans, and I was set!

It was a good start.

After a Chai Latte, and a Chicken and Bacon Arrabiata panini for me, and an Americano and the vegetarian option for Jackie, we wandered about our local highstreet, popping into Boots (picked up some gel eyeliner, mascara, and some lip tint!) and reminiscing about all the high jinx we got into some 9 years ago (trips to London for the day to meet Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, or trips to Glasgow to see the Arctic Monkeys play the Barfly, or trips to New York to see Franz Ferdinand and the Futureheads)

As we parted ways, I felt happier than I have for a long while, and did some retail therapy in actual shops!

I had a £20 Dorothy Perkins card burning a hole in my pocket, so browsed their shoes, handbags and jewellery. I wasn't that impressed.

When asked if I wanted to get a store card, my response was - "you seem to have no 22s in store, and so don't think it would be worth it, do you?". Oh yes! Quite proud!

These were my spoils from DP - Peter Pan color necklace, pyramid earrings, and some rose earrings as well - £14.81 as there was 25% off jewellery at the moment. So still left with some pennies on the card unfortunately!

I also managed to pick up this lush cardigan for half it's RRP for £7!! Bargain!

And these patterns are my new PJs! I love M&S for their PJ bottoms - they're soft and light for summer - and they're the perfect length on my long legs. I got these for £12.50, but it was buy one, get one half price, so again, a bargain, of sorts!

It also means I can have a little 'nightwear' clear out! 

So, my little trip out today was well worth it, although I'm now home, in front of the fire, and feeling a little flat - too much too soon?

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Thursday 26 April 2012

Bonding of bloggers...

In this post I took the very serious approach to the new Jacamo store in the MetroCentre - the corporate approach if you will! Now normal service will be resumed!

Now, I had left the house wearing this:

which I've accessoried with my trusty black nurses belt, and I added my Team Brassique prize of my Jewellery by Jax necklace. 

 But, once I got to the Metro Centre, I had to look in Marks and Spencer's to see if the dress my friend had bought was in a 22, and whether that would be as generous as possible and therefore fit me (I don't have a good record with M&S size 22s!) 

The print is navy blue with red polka dots, and it is a little on the large size for my waist, but I think it would be too small in the 20. I also think that this will perfectly fit my business dress requirements for when I return to work. 

The launch was a hoot and a half!! In fact, instead of mingling about the store for an hour, getting bored and leaving, Katie and I stayed until about 7:30 - a full 2 and a bit hours of mingling, sipping and, er flirting (me, not Katie!)

Other than trying on men's shirts, and buying hoodies, I spent a lot of time talking to both Jacamo and Simply Be staff. It was lovely to see some of the faces from Stockton settling into their new store, with some new faces. Some of the girls recognised me from the ol' blog, which was very sweet and made me feel very welcome indeed! 

The lads were equally sweet, although I think they were possibly just confused as to why I was there - a girl, in a blokes shop?!

I also had the chance to talk to some of the men from 'Head Office', including someone from Logistics - who explained a little about getting the stock to where it needed to be. He also mentioned that if anyone had any issues with their courier, to let them know - if you have issues, it is most likely other people will have similar issues. 

I also chatted with Tom, who is 'in IT', but as I was gushing about the Magic Mirror and it's amazing qualities - although also expressing how dubious I am at whether the men will take full advantage of their mirror - I think I got away with it!

Towards the end of the evening, as people were drifting away, Katie and I headed downstairs to play with the mirror. Now, we did not have the changing area to ourselves, there were customers being fitted for a bra, but we had a HOOT!

Nice picture here, and then we were joined by Tom, who helped us with the mirror (I say helped, I really mean, well, played with). 

Katie preferred printing the photos off, rather than tweet, email or facebook, so I have another photo of us:

See what I mean about this being the 'fun' post?!

Katie and I had a blast, chatting to the Simply Be staff about bra fitting (very knowledgeable), about the guest at the launch on May 2 (Gemma Collins), and about Vajazzling. 

If this was how much fun we had at the Jacamo launch, I really can't wait for the Simply Be launch!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Wednesday 25 April 2012

I Love My Tit Dress!

Some would argue that most of my dresses are tit dresses, and in many respects, you'd be right!

However, I am talking about this:

Yes, another Lady Vintage London dress!

Now, I have no plans to go anywhere - well, maybe for a walk later, but nothing special - but this dress has lifted my spirits. Some people might think that makes me shallow - fair enough - but I think it means that the act of getting ready, hair, makeup, outfit, is part of my 'self care' - something that I've done for years, but never knew it had a name - for a wonderful post explaining how they 'self care', lookie here

So today, in the intent of self care, I will be wearing this my usual makeup, some different glasses that aren't anti glare, but that I fancied wearing.

Those following me on twitter may have seen my excitement when this necklace arrived!

Now, in this post I debated whether paying £35+ for a necklace with my twitter handle on was a good idea. I was then pointed in the direction of @kitschensink, and Rowan has made this perfect necklace for less than half of the other brand!

And my dress:

I love the pattern, I love the fit, and for £30, the quality is astonding!

Since I first blogged and tweeted about this dress, a lot of the sizes are no longer available, but the good people at Lady Vintage have said not only will they be stocking a size 8 (at the request of Kelly) and more size 22s. I'm promised that their summer collection will be of a similar style, but with an even greater choice in patterns!

And there we have it, my self care routine, and an addictive dress! I already have my eye on another one!

So what about you, what is your self care routine? Do you dress to cheer yourself up? Or do you laze in your PJs all day (not going to lie, I did that yesterday but felt worse!)

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Monday 23 April 2012

Heavy Weight Hitting the High Street

Well, the first thing is a disclaimer: I am not a man. There, I said it! I might not be a man, but I can certainly give my opinion freely (me, opinionated? Nooooo, really?!) on the opening of the first EVER store in the MetroCentre in Gateshead. Yup, the first ever store. Which is a sign of the amount of demand for online retailers to branch into the high street - take note, high street brands shutting stores, TAKE NOTE!

When I heard that they were opening in the MetroCentre, along with SimplyBe, I had imagined a two floor shop. Makes sense, right? 

Oh no, it is much better than that -  it is in the same space, but with a mezzanine level, splitting one store into two! SimplyBe have the 'ground' floor, with Jacamo situated on the mezzanine above. Each store have their own staff, own changing rooms, and most importantly, their own Magic Mirror!

And this is how the two stores look:

For those wondering where this is in the MetroCentre, Debenhams is to our right, so I'd recommend parking in the red multistory car park, for easy access!

At 5pm, LadyfromaTramp and I made our way up the store, ready for opening! Instead of heading upstairs though, we had a sneak peak around SimplyBe first, as I had to return a parcel. I had a bit of a mooch, but did not spend long enough in store to be able to review it - that will come at the 'official' launch on 2 May, although the store is open to the public now and is fully functioning!

Once upstairs, it was as if it was a completely different store (well, duh, yes it is!). It have a Urban Outfitters feel, with distressed walls and flooring, all metal and wood and industrial. In a good way. NOT in a 'The Cut' way (above TupTup Palace in Newcastle). 

The lighting was different, the styling was different, but the feel was the same - welcoming, friendly, and most of all, accessible. I didn't try the lift, but there is one, and the stairs are sweeping and easy to climb. The clothes are spread around the store, meaning no need to squeeze past people. 

The clothes are laid out in clear sections, with the 'labelled' items, such as Penguin and Henley being separate from the likes of Joe Browns and Weird Fish. 

There are a variety of options: longer length leg, from 29" - 33"; longer length tee shirts, and button shirts. There was the full range of sizes, from M - 5XL (so no having to order in the bigger sizes, therefore defeating the point of the store itself) available, and because of the M, it meant that the male shop assistants were dressed in items available from the store - again, something which is great to see. 

I had to include Freddie
in one of his suits
There was a well stocked shoe department, providing anything from deck shoes to the more formal brogue to complement the tailoring section, where a 3 piece Freddie Flintoff suit would set you back £170. 

For more information on the Freddie Collection, click here

And this brings us to Freddie himself!

I'm going to admit, I don't know much about Cricket. Or Freddie. Or his mate Steve Harmeson. But I do know that they stayed and chatted with the crowds, had numerous photos taken, and were as genuine as they seem. 

And yes, while I was there, I did buy a couple of things. I wanted a hoodie with a zip to snuggle in, and that would zip past my chest - so I purchased the blue zip hoodie worn in the very top photo, and I also bought this:

Joe Browns shirt - £42

I can't wait to wear it with black skinny jeans!!

So, there we have it. A plus size store for men in the North East. Long may it remain, and expand!

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Oh, and the great thing is, you can pay on your account, AND get items delivered in store. So no waiting for the courier. No faffing on waiting to arrange collections. Perfect!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Go Team Planning!

Today, I won my battle with the Black Dog, by getting through the day one hour at a time.

And by planning my day, I needed to get at it!

I planned to be up and out the house by 12, giving me time to slowly get ready, pacing my morning routine and not putting too much stress on myself. 

So, outfit wise, I didn't want to push the boat out too much, so opted for my New Look Inspire Skater dress, with my black nurses belt, and Simply Be skinny jeans. I added my Team Brassique prize of my Jewellery by Jax necklace. 


And off I went to Sadie The Bra Lady. Now, the last time I was there, I was safely a 38GG, whereas in this visit I was trying on bras from 34K, to a 36H, just to show how much fluctuation there is between manufacturers and makes. 

I came away with one bra, which will do to start me off, and will mean that I can start to build up a collection of good fitting bras over the coming months!

Once home, I settled on the task of making lunch, and organising things, switching my activities as much as I could to make sure I didn't worsen my pain by staying in the same position too long.

Positive Pain Management

Well, a week of roller coaster proportions!

After a positive start with my Pain Management Programme Annual Review / Conference (which I 'live tweeted' under the #pmp), leaving the day invigorated and positive, I then suffered a set back yesterday, where my confidence was knocked, and my joie de vivre seemed to have all but completely disappeared. Today is another day, and I learnt my lesson from yesterday, and I've planned my time, and activities to stretch throughout the day, so hopefully things will start looking up for me. 

Monday was an odd day, where plans were haphazard, and my mindtank was slipping into a dark place. This was clear in a twitter interaction, and I would like to apologise for that. 

Tuesday though, was brighter, as things were planned, and I had a purpose - to look back over my year, see it in perspective, that this blip was just that, a blip, and over all, I have achieved much throughout this past year. 

I had even planned my outfit for the conference, opting for power dressing and colour to optimise my positivity:

I had taken more photos that morning, but it seems it was rather dark in my bathroom, so these are the best ones!

This dress was ordered from SimplyBe, as part of my retail therapy the week before, and it does come with a belt, just not this one:
Now I think the thinner belt looks okay, but it does make the dress appear more of an empire line / smock type dress on me, but I think that is more to do with the size of my chest taking up more fabric than this 20 dress is designed to, and my height, meaning that my waist is lower than this dress is meant for. 

However, I do love it, and on this occasion I wore it with my black skinny jeans as it was cold and forecast for rain. 

My outlook for the rest of this week is looking up, mainly because I have little activities planned for each day, allowing me something to aim for, something to plan around, and most of all, a reason to get out of bed and get dressed in a morning!

I can't stress the effect chronic pain has your mental health. It is debilitating, it is tiring, and most of all, it is something you need to come to terms with and accept. I have accepted I will live with this for the rest of my life, but sometimes, it does get too much, and this week I think was one of those weeks. 

Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Saturday 14 April 2012

Retail Therapy...

So, I've been home this week, nursing my pain and hoping that it will start to let me feel human again. 

As part of this, I've confined myself to the house, aside from trips to the doctors or the pharmacy. Enough to say I've got a little stir crazy. 

Thursday night I was home alone, after being home alone for most of the day. I cracked. My Simply Be Account got a little bit (read a big bit) of hammering! It arrived this morning.

Now, of the 3 dresses that arrived, I'm keeping all three, but obviously couldn't wear them all today.... 

I love this print, it's not too bright, but it is different enough to make me smile!!

I'm wearing it with black jeans at the moment, but looking now at some green skinny jeans to brighten the outfit up a little bit! 

As always, I wouldn't wear this as a dress as I do think it is a little short. But then, I would say that!!

And yes, I know I'm having a low cut moment, but I have some new bras on the way, so should be better soon! Hoping so any way!! 


Much love my lovelies, 

K x

Thursday 12 April 2012

Swan Song...

I was looking forward to the collaboration of Clements Riberio at Evans, but when I started to see the prices, I thought it would be best to give it a bit of a wide birth, as I knew that I would not be able to afford any of the items - although I was tempted by the £40 heart print cardigan.

But in a moment of weakness, I looked at the collection online, I pinned the dress I most loved on my board (MissKathryn84) and I weighed up my options. Using a discount code, I got 15% off the £75 price tag. I was ready to order!

Looks lovely doesn't it? 

I liked how the dress came with a sash tie belt, as well as a black belt. I loved that it had pockets. It is clear from the pictures that the 20 fit well, and that the 22 would have been unflattering in it's draping. 

 The pattern is even prettier in real life, and I really wanted to fall for this vibrant, well cut dress...


It feels like a weird fit - I feel 'bigger' than I am, and I wanted a dress that I could wear to work, and that would be business like enough that I didn't have to think the outfit through. However, you guessed it:


So, this was posted back today with a heavy heart...

Much love my lovelies,

K x

Wednesday 11 April 2012

! ! ! Domino ! ! !

So when the latest Domino Collection was launched, there was one outfit that sung to me. Yes, sung. The collection was called Rebel Rebel, and perhaps not something I would normally identify with. But this:


I soon realised that it was the skirt that 'sung' to me most - and after working out what I thought was my size, I ordered it, and waited.

Now, I've had a bit of a rubbish week, and when this arrived on Saturday I was excited:

It just hangs from my waist, and even when it sits on my hips, it is too big. The reason for this is the half elasticated back. 

I have taken it round to my Grandma's, in the attempt to stitch up part of the waist band. She has managed to come up with a plan, but, because of the elasticated back, we can't pull it as tight as I would like. But then it hit me: The nurses belt.

So, we're now a few days later, and I'm trying to lift my spirits with fashion. My outfit today is this:

Now, I'm not feeling my best, so pardon face and generally rubbish hair / face expressions, but hopefully this will make me feel a little better!


Much love my lovelies, 

K x