LoveSwap FatFam Style!

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I am sure in the past many of you have taken part in Secret Santa’s with friends, colleagues etc. I have taken part in a few in recent years with some of blogging buddies, at varying times in the year and not just at Christmas.   This time the gorgeous Sophie suggested a few of us take part in a Valentines themed swap, aptly naming it LoveSwap!

We were all allocated someone to send a gift to, with a budget of £10.00, and you wouldn’t receive a gift from the same person you were giving to…..  It was entirely optional whether you gave away in your gift who you were, I did send a card stating it was me, but it would be up to my giftee whether they opened that card or not…. Although I think everyone has pretty much worked it out or owned up by now!

Anyhoo…. Here is what my lovely gifter sent me, and I am ecstatic with my pretties, I cannot thank my LoveSwap enough.

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Life’s Big Canvas
Little Miss Delicious

There was also a lovely note inside on some awesome owl notepaper, which I am keeping the contents personal to me, but look at this!

imageI cannot tell you how very pleased I am to have bonded with this lovely lady over the last 12 months.   Although we had met back in 2014, we didn’t get to really know one another until the summer last year, and I think we both agree we wished we hadn’t left it as long.  My lovely person was the every so beautiful, in side and out, Kathryn of MissKathryn’s MissTakes.

I wore one of my items on Friday with my old faithful ice cream dress (previously Simply Be) and Janine Basil hair clip. I have yet to wear the badge, or find a nice frame for my card.

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Ice Cream & Doughnuts… Nom nom nom!

Everyone will be doing their own post in relation to what they received, so be sure to check them all out as listed below. I’ve put a note next to the lady I sent to, so be sure to check out what I sent.

Daisy
Kathryn (My Gifter)
Kathryn aka MoG
Katt (My Giftee)
Kelly
Nikki
Sharon
Sophie
Tanya

What did you get for Valentines, Galentines, just because someone loves you?

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

Trinkets Jewellery #realwomen Campaign

I wouldn’t normally like the term “real women”, in my mind ALL women are real women, but I will now explain what I really liked about this particular campaign.

I was drawn to the fact that Fiona, the brains behind Trinkets Jewellery is using women like me, you, and her over there to advertise her products.  She isn’t using models, photoshopped, and giving an unrealistic view on how we should look…. She is using all shapes and sizes, us! Read a bit more about it in Fiona’s words here, but basically she will provide a free item from her catalogue in exchange for some photos, sharing across your own social media platforms, and the right to use your photos to advertise on her website.  How utterly fab is that eh?

I told Fiona a bit about what I liked in a piece of jewellery, a bit about me and my style, and pointed her in the direction of my blog/social media to have a look and get some ideas of what piece to send me, and here it is!

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Make sure to stop by Trinket Jewellery’s Social Media and give them a like/follow

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Fiona did a great job choosing this piece for me, it is exactly what I would have chosen for myself, and you can grab this piece here, although once you step foot into the World of Trinkets you will be spoilt for choice, so beware!

I cannot wait to wear this out again, and hopefully on a bright sunny day so I can get some fab outdoors shots of this beauty, so keep your eyes peeled in the usual places!

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

Fashion Icons: Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds

So, if you know me or maybe follow my Instagram updates (see link at the bottom of this post if you don’t already follow but want to), you may already be aware that I absolutely love the Character Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds.  I am slowly trying to turn myself into our offices very own Penelope Garcia, and with styles like this, is it any wonder….

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So, today I am channelling my inner Baby Girl, AKA the amazing Penelope Garcia……

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Dress – Joe Browns from Simply Be UK, available here
Cardigan – Cardigan a Charity Shop find (struggling to find something similar)
Shoes – Old Dorothy Perkins picked up second hand, similar here
Tights – Donatella Tights, similar available here
Pin – Old and can’t even remember where I got it, but plenty available from Punky Pins

I am wearing the dress in a size 24, and it is true to size, very comfortable for day in the office, as it is made of soft stretch jersey.  There are plenty of lovely prints in the Joe Brown range that are screaming PG at me, they keep winking at me, you know how all the pretties wink at me!

I love this look, it is one that will get lots of wear I am sure.  Feeling like I should have put on a chunky necklace, but I will save that for next time.

Were you aware that Penelope (played by the stunning Kirsten Vangsness) share our Milliner… The ever so talented Lisa Jones from Off With Her Head MillineryOff With Her Head Millinery?  You will often see Penelope sporting an OWHH hair flower in the more recent episodes of Criminal Minds.  See below, matching hair flowers!

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Look out for other style icons I try to recreate, but I think I may continue to channel my inner Penelope for a while yet!

Do you have an icon you like to try and incorporate into your wardrobe?

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

When You Find the Dress of Dreams…..

….. Buy it in ALL the colourways! * Warning Picture Heavy Post *

That’s what I did with the Lady Vintage Isabella, although I don’t actually have all the colourways (yet), but I do have 8 of them now, and it all started last July, when the amazing Curvy Wordy introduced me to my dress of dreams.

We all know how hard it is, whether you are a size 6 or a size 36, to find what suits our size and shape…. I have a friend who is the same size as me at a UK24, but things she looks amazing in do me now favours and vice versa, because although we are similar, we are different…. I have bigger boobs than she does, she is taller than me, our tummys are different.  She looks AMAZING in a tunic, whereas sometimes I look a little shapeless.

I fell in love with the Isabella the moment I put the first one on back on 18th July 2015…. I remember the date so well, the day I began my love affair with this dress.

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The First

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The Most Recent Addition

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(Apologies for some of the photo quality, I have stolen a number from my social media)

I have my eye on my next addition already, although I need pennies, so I am praying that a) it doesn’t go out of stock in my size before I get some; b) if it does go out of stock it is re-stocked!!!  See it here.

I am also secretly praying they bring it out in this amazing new print, seen here on one of the new Phoebe’s recently launched on the website.  Unfortunately, the Phoebe doesn’t work for me, again proving how we are all different, but it is worth finding what works for you and embracing it…. I did!

What is your clothing item of dreams, and have you bought it in multiple colourways?

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

#Plus40Fabulous January Edition – Fashion Icons of our Childhood

PLUS40FABULOUS ROUND

Welcome to this month’s theme, which was picked by Lee who said:

“How about we talk about how our teens/childhood influence our choices in clothes and things today.”

I was born in the mid 70’s, so really the 80’s is my time when I started to really know my own mind when it came to fashion.  I can particularly recall my 9th birthday (’83) and I was having a party.  I went shopping for an outfit with my Mum and Nan, and found some amazing trousers similar to those worn by Oliver Newton John as Sandy at the end of Grease…. Needless to say, I didn’t actually get them, and ended up resembling ONJ as the earlier Sandy in a pink & white gingham ensemble instead.

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Since then, and in recent years I have most definitely experimented more in my fashion, and gone with what I like, and at times have started to resemble the closing scene Sandy on occasion….

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I was also partial to a good old movie, still am, and some more fashion icons I try to incorporate into my wardrobe are the likes of Doris Day, Ginger Rogers and of course Audrey Hepburn.

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Classic lines which never go out of fashion, no matter the era!

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But as well as all of this ultra-retro fashion, I am still an 80’s girl at heart, and although I don’t wear the neon now, and don’t have the big hair, Andie Walsh from Pretty Pink is never far from my heart, and a little bit of quirky often makes an appearance.

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So who from your childhood inspires your clothing choices today?

Be sure to check out the other bevvy of beauties taking part in this awesome challenge!

Stay tuned for some more #Plus40Fabulous posts!

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

16 in 16 – Reflection not Resolution

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Sorry I have been a bit slack getting fingers back to keyboard this new year….. I didn’t get back into the swing of things until the 5th, and made the most of the time with the familam, and it took me a good week to then finally feel normal again, if you know what I mean.

I’m not one for new years resolutions and all that, been there, done that, doesn’t work! Not to say that there are things I want to generally do more or less of, it’s an on-going process, not something I am going to just decide at the beginning of a new year, all that new year new me rubbish…. There’s nothing wrong with the old me!

Sophie came up with a fab idea of a 16 in ’16 post, so basically taking the opportunity to sit down, reflect on the past year and think about what things we did well, what things we’d like to do better in the future and, more importantly, what things we’d like to achieve in the coming twelve months.

I am going to just go with the flow here, and try and come up with 16, but I don’t think I will manage it, but let’s see…..

Shop my wardrobe – Stop adding to my already overflowing wardrobe, and dig out some of the items I haven’t worn for a while, or even forgotten I had!image

Get outside more – Pretty self explanatory, but don’t waste my weekends sat on the sofa watching the box or on the internet, get outside and get some fresh air.

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Declutter AND decorate the house – Again, kinda says it all.  I appear to be a borderline hoarder, so I need to have a good sort out, be brave and then we can decorate the house!

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Put more structure into the blog – Look at some kind of weekly themes maybe, in order to update more regularly.

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Reduce my time spent on social media – I am somewhat addicted to checking my phone ALL the time.  This needs to stop, in order to assist with number 12.

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Start reading again – I used to always have my head in a book, my friend’s Dad before he died always said that was what he remember about me, it will also help me to unwind at the end of the day.

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Walk more – Nothing too strenuous, just enough to increase my activity levels, and aim for at least 10k steps a day….

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Embrace my photography again – I used to really enjoy this, even got a few decent shots (apparently I had the eye), so it would be good to get out there again, and also this would help with point 2 above.

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Have a family holiday – We have actually never had a family holiday since we had our daughter, she is now 7, so I think it is time!  I am praying for Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Parid

Cook more – Hubs is the cook in our family, it’s not that I can’t, but I have little patience, but I would really like to try more, and therefore, give him a bit of a break too.

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Get back into colouring – I started getting into adult colouring during 2015, for some reason, I have let this lapse, even though I found it very relaxing especially at more stressful times, so I am going to start this up again.

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Not allow the little things to make me so anxious – The smallest of things can make me really anxious, I don’t know why, it can actually end up me being quite angry…. I need to realise when this is happening and learn to control it, and tell myself it really isn’t worth it!

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Improve on my make up skills – I have very basic make up skills, and I don’t really differentiate between a daytime look and an evening look….. I want to conquer contouring and eyes!

Get all the AWESOME in this pic together AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE!

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More quality time with my family – If I can managed to achieve a couple of the above, this will happen naturally…. Fingers crossed, as obviously this one is very important to me.

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Continue being fabulous!

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And I did it!  I am pretty shocked, but I am glad….  Hopefully I will manage at least some of the above in some shape or form, and if things don’t pan out quite as I am initially hoping, what the heck, I shall not beat myself up about it.

I have lost track of who else took part in this as I am so late with it, the month will be over before we know it, but at least it is still January.  I am sure if you check out Sophie’s post she will have all the links, so make sure you do take a visit to the other blogs and see what their 16 in 16 are.

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

Passionate About Panache *

Like many of us, I have struggled for years on and off to find the perfect fitting bra.  One that gave me both support and comfort almost seemed non-existent.  It is important to regularly check out your measurements, as one day you may find a bra that is perfect for you, but we change shape for many reasons over the years, so what was once perfect may not be at a later point.  It is also important to remember that not all brands will fit you in the same size, so what fits you in one brand in a 38J may not fit you in a 38J in another.

I recently discovered that the 38J in the Cleo by Panache Marcie was my perfect bra, so snapped up as many in different colourways as possible in that size, and as much as my bank balance would allow me.

When I was then contacted by Panache directly to be gifted a set from their Sculptresse Range, designed specifically for the curvier amongst us, I was eager to give this a whirl to see if that range was also a good fit, to give me even more options.  Unfortunately, due to a small hiccup, the Sculptresse was all out of stock in my size by the time the order went in, but having seen my love for Cleo for Panache, I was very kindly sent the Lottie, one of the new styles to try, and here she is in all her glory.

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Unfortunately, this time of year is a bit rubbish for getting decent lighting for pics, I cant exactly prance around outside in the natural light in my undies, so have had to make do, so apologies for this, the pics don’t give the actual bra the justice it deserves, but I hope I have still managed to show you what a good fit she is overall.

The centre gore sits flush to my breast bone, as it should.  Having done a full on “Swoop and Scoop”, any migrated breast tissue under my arms is fully encased in the cup, as it should be.  I now wear these bras on a daily basis, I have 4 so I can inter-change between them (although I confess to possibly wearing my black one more than the others….), and I don’t find them to feel uncomfortable at all unlike with others in the past digging in under my arm, or cutting into me across my ribs.

I would recommend if you are struggling to give them a try for sure!

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

Bra Humbug – It’s Time to Trade In Your Bra! Simply Be Campaign

I was recently contacted by Simply Be and asked if I wanted to take part in their most recent campaign which, with the time of year, had very aptly called Bra Humbug.  They pointed me in the direction of their most recent blog post, here, and boy, did this ring true with me on so many levels!  So I thought I would take part and talk to you about my bad habits when it comes to my bras!

I would definitely rather spend my money on my outwear, rather than my underwear.  I usually end up wearing a bra into the ground almost, to the point the clasps are broken, the straps have lost their structure, need I go on?  Even I know that this isn’t always the best thing to do, so why do I continue to do it???  I don’t know!!! A good fitting bra, of good quality can actually make or break an outfit.  I have recently managed to find a good fitting brand of bra (post to follow on this very soon), and I will be embracing this going forward.  Bad habit number one may have been broken…. Woohoo!

I admit I am a dirty Gertie, and admit I often end up with a favourite bra, which ends up being washed a lot less than the others, mainly because I hardly take it off, other than to sleep!  Reading this blog post, I really know I need to crack bad habit number two, and fast!

My name is Sarah and I am a hoarder!

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Another one of my very bad habits, and not specifically bra related, but I am very much a hoarder; but what this campaign has made me do is go through my drawers and take out all the old bras that don’t fit well anymore, some may never have actually fit me well, and these have now gone.  Another one of my bad habits could be on the way to be sorted, I just need to put this into practice with all the other things I have hoarded over the years.

But my bra that I will undoubtedly never part with, for reasons, is this one….

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I wore this on my wedding day in 2004….

205586_4859191871_7852_nWith my daddy.

This bra is 11 years old and is a Panache Special Occasions in a 38G!  I doubt this style even exists anymore!

It wasn’t a perfect fit, but I went to a small independent boutique, and we had to add a couple of extenders to do the trick.  It worked.  I have maybe worn this a couple of other times since when I have been in need of a strapless, but it doesn’t really work that well these days, the support it gives is minimal, to the point I may as well not wear anything, but it will remain in my drawer for a few more years yet I am sure, just because.

Bras for larger breasted beauties are far more accessible these days, Simply Be can offer you many choices from their own brand to the likes of Curvy Kate, Elomi, Panache and Anna Scholz to name but a few.  So really, we have no excuse, but how many of these bad habits do you have?  Let’s make 2016 the year we embrace the good fitting bra and trade our bra-humbugs in, and who better to do with this than Simply Be!

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

Going Dotty for Lollidots – Review ft Scarlett & Jo *

Scarlett & Jo have been around for a while now, but had only been exclusively available from Evans…. They are now available from Evans AND Yours Clothing, with other retailers looking to stock in the not so distant future, but did you know they also have their own Scarlett & Jo website???

If you haven’t already paid the website a visit, be sure to get your derriere over there right now, and make sure you sign up to the S&J Club.  This is free, and will get you 10% off purchases, but if you can stretch to £30 (on offer during December), may be tuck up a loved one for Christmas, you can become a VIP Club Member and get yourself 20% discount as well as priority on events etc.

I was very lucky to be sent this beautiful piece from the new Lollidots range, from what I can see this range is only available from S&J direct from the website.  You have no idea how pleased I was with this dress…. I didn’t know it was being sent, it just arrived unexpectedly after a bit of a pants week, so I stripped off immediately and tried it on.  As always I was not disappointed, S&J always know how to make dresses to compliment my curves, and it doesn’t make a difference that I am a midget too, the length, cut, everything about an S&J dress just works, whatever shape or size you are…. Well, that’s my experience to date any way!

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I have my eye on this one for my next S&J acquisition…. It will be mine!

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Have you any S&J in your wardrobe?

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x

Survival Tips : The Office Christmas Party – Ft George at Asda*

It’ all a bit Chrimbo overload here at Plus Size Proud HQ, and I am sorry about that (#sorrynotsorry), and today I want to talk to you about surviving the good old office party!

I changed companies back in January, so I haven’t experienced the Office Party here as yet, but it is on a Thursday lunchtime, with the option to go on partying after….  So, here are my tips, take note (or not) as you wish:

  1. Only stay for lunch and DON’T go partying into the evening….
  2. IF, you do decide to go partying into the evening, make sure you turn in for work on the Friday morning…. or
  3. Book Friday off as holiday! You are no good to anyone if you are too hungover, and you would be better off sleeping it off
  4. Again, if you are staying for the after party, make sure you have a lift home sorted, or book a room at the venue if possible, or close by…. I think the reasons for this are obvious
  5. Keep the tipple to a minimum, or pace yourself, I am going to have to drive at some point, so will not be partaking in any alcoholic beverage… but if you are, maybe have a glass or two of water on standby to avoid over indulgence!
  6. Due to not being able to take part in any drinking games, make up for it on the food front! You know you want to, and you deserve it.
  7. Being the sober one, try keeping tabs on your work buddies to make sure they don’t do anything they may later regret!
  8. Definitely no talking shop! Keep the chat light-hearted and non-work related…. All work and no play makes Sarah a dull lunch companion!
  9. Avoid the mistletoe at all costs!  Again, probably an obvious one.
  10. And finally….. DRESS TO THE NINES!!!!

George @ Asda very kindly offered to kit me out for my Christmas Party, and here is what I shall be wearing on the big day….

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Jumpsuit
Sequin Jacket
Handbag

I am so pleased with my choices.  With the exception of the jumpsuit needing to be shortened in the leg (story of my life), a size 24 is spot on and true to size.  The detail is lovely, and I think it looks really classy, and I would love to see more plus size ladies giving them a go, as since I bit the bullet and tried I think they look amazing in the larger of us.

You cannot beat a bit of bling for a party, and this jacket is no exception!  Again, in a size 24 and very true to size.  Highly recommended.  the handbag just finishes the look off perfectly.

All still available online, although the jacket appears to be sold out in the larger sizes – check out your local store, and at extremely reasonable prices, so there is no need to take a second mortgage to look good at your up and coming festivities!

I know that Kathryn from MissKathryn’s MissTakes is also taking part in this campaign and also chose this jacket, so make sure to stop by and see how she styled it!

Will you be taking my advice for your Office Party or throwing all caution to the wind???

If you have liked what you have read today and would like to be kept up to date with future posts, follow me here: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Bloglovin’

BIG Love

S x