Thursday, 16 March 2017

Style XL Awards With Curvy Kate

After a little fashion hiatus, I am back! I've said this before, but, of late, I have felt rather irrelevant in the blogging world, as if no one is really interested in what I'm wearing any more! So I think I let that put me off jumping back into the fashion saddle. However, after having a think about it, I decided that really, I do this for me, it's just a GIGANTIC bonus if anyone is even remotely interested in what I put on my body! So I am back!

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Style XL Awards, courtesy of Curvy Kate. The Curvy Kate girls are not only INCREDIBLE human beings, inside and out, but they have always been so supportive of me as a blogger. I would not have had even half the blogging opportunities I have had if it weren't for this brand and I really can't thank them enough! Plus their bras have made my boobies look consistently incredible for the last few years haha (there is no better brand out there for big ol' boobies in my opinion).

Now! Back to what I wore!

 
 

Dress - ASOS Curve & Shoes - Vivienne Westwood

For the first time since having Eli, I felt FABULOUS on Sunday. Like really, badass. This dress is heavenly. I had been eyeing it up for months but didn't buy it as I didn't think I'd have an occasion appropriate for it so as soon as I found out I would be attending the awards, I snapped it up! I also managed to grab it for £25 in the sale!! The plisse material is insanely soft, comfortable and stretchy. Although these photos make it look ankle length, that's just angle, it actually sits about mid calf on me and I'm 5'7! The high neck and sleeves are so retro and the simple button fastening on the neck make it really easy without you feeling choked! I did size up once just to ensure there were no 'clinging to the pouch' issues and I'm glad I did so I'd definitely say size up once if you don't want it quite as form fitting. The colour is an incredible slightly metallic burnt orange and it made me feel like a glorious fat goddess!

  
   

But even more important than the outfit, was that I got to see my girls. Elena, Becky and Em. Over the past few years we have only seen one another 2/3 times but it feels as if we have been through everything together. I am so honoured to call these incredible, strong, beautiful, courageous and badass women my friends. They continually surprise me with their capability to turn absolute shit into gold. I love them more than I can say!

 

I would like to say a huge congratulations to all the evenings winners and despite it being the furthest distance wise I had ever been from Eli, which did me slightly twitchy, I had an incredible time with wonderful people.

Lots Of Love,
KLJ x

T Shirts & Lace

I always said to myself that having a baby would not change my fashion sense and fashion choices. Now, in practice this is great, but in reality, to a degree, something has to change. You have far less time to get ready, have far more chance of getting covered in food/sick/poop/pee/dribble etc and are constantly on the go. So, with all that in mind, I have found that I can 100% remain in love with fashion and keep my own sense of style BUT I must compromise and often opt for more comfortable and practical pieces.

 
 
 

Dress - ASOS Curve, Leggings - Yours Bump It Up Maternity, Socks - Sainsbury's, Shoes - Simply Be.

This dress from ASOS, bearing in mind what I have previously said, is PERFECTION. It is comfortable and practical but still fabulous and makes me feel like me! At first, when I started seeing this deconstructed with lace trend, I was very unsure as to whether or not I liked it. However, having given it a go, I am definitely a convert! It adds a little glamour and flare to the simplest piece, like this basic black t shirt dress! For those of ya'll that follow my Instagram, you'll know that I also have this same dress in a khaki leopard print which I love just as much. I did size up once just so that I had some extra wiggle room and I would definitely recommend doing that if you carry weight on your hips/belly like I do and prefer things not to be too clingy! 

 
 

Recently the weather has been SLIGHTLY warmer for us so this has been perfect to wear, without a jacket! It's a very soft t shirt material that is plenty breathable but would also be perfect with a jacket on colder days. I was concerned that because the majority of the dress is a basic material, it wouldn't wash well, but I was wrong. It washes great and dries really quickly, which as a Mum, without a tumble dryer and less time to wait for such things haha is perfect! 

The dress is also available in a striking red and I am definitely tempted to add that one to my collection too haha.

Lots Of Love,
KLJ x

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Weaning With Babease

Ever since Eli was first born, he was always the hungriest baby. I eventually stopped breastfeeding because I as struggling to satisfy him and now he's moving on to solids, he is exactly the same! The more food the better haha. So (and believe me I am well aware that the 'government recommended' age is 6 months) at 4 and a half months, we decided to start trying Eli with a meal.

So I jumped for joy when I was lucky enough to be sent THE most beautiful package from the lovely people at Babease, to aid us on our weaning journey!

 

Since we started trialling Eli with foods, I have realised that when buying pouches, the variety of first stage flavours, are generally, pretty sad. Mostly sweet with very little flare! But Babease are COMPLETELY the opposite. They offer a gorgeous range of organic, complex, beautifully combined and seasoned savoury and sweet flavours for first stage (4+ months) weaning. 

The package from Babease was beautifully and not only did they give us a sample of all their first stage weaning flavours but they threw in some of the second stage pouches too (7+ months). These have an equally great selection of flavours with great seasoning (herbs and spices), the only difference between the two is that the second stage pouches are thicker and more textured. (Note that they also sent a GORGEOUS organic cotton bib to help Eli stay nice and mush free haha). 

When we received this package we had been giving Eli pouches at lunch time for a little while so we decided to give something different a go. We are combining baby led weaning and the more traditional 'mush' weaning and this is working brilliantly for us, allowing Eli to get used to the full range of new flavours and textures. So I baked a sweet potato for Eli and then we added a little squeeze of one of the second stage weaning pouches to add some ace new flavours for him to try! 

 
 
 
 
As you can see, this was a HUGE success!

We have been incredibly lucky in that we have not given Eli one thing he hasn't liked. He hasn't spat anything out or refused anything, he wants to munch whatever he can haha. 

I cannot recommend Babease pouches enough! They are fantastic quality, organic and offer a BRILLIANT range of flavours and textures (including herbs and spices) from stage one weaning. Once opened they need to be stored in the fridge and eaten within 24 hours but that's perfect as Eli is currently having half a pouch per meal! Aside from online, you can grab Babease in most Boots stores and at plenty of other retailers. If you're looking for pouches for an easy, balanced meal, dinner on the go or to start trialling your baby with new flavours/textures, there's a Babease pouch for every occasion! 

Before signing off I would like to add that EVERY child is different and EVERY baby weans differently and at a different age. We started weaning Eli early as we felt he was ready and he has more than proved that we definitely made the right decision. Where baby weaning is concerned my only advice would be trust your decision and let NO ONE tell you 'what is best' for your child. Whether you combine weaning as we are, only baby led wean or only mush wean, it is YOUR decision. Never let any of these preachy online articles or 'sudden baby experts' steer you onto a path you are not comfortable with!

But thank you Babease for helping us with our weaning journey and helping Eli enjoy yet more food haha!

Lots Of Love,
KLJ x

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

LuluJo Muslin Dream

I am so new to the world of Mummy blogging! Since Eli was born, I have been contacted by a few wonderful companies and offered a few beautiful baby items to review and I am loving doing something different occasionally! I hope ya'll don't mind that I will be mixing up plus size fashion with Mum/Baby posts from now on? 

ANYWAY, onto my review, I was so kindly sent a BEAUTIFUL extra large grey peony patterned Muslin swaddle from LuluJo via Potwells and it is STUNNING.

 
 
 
 

I'd never really given very large muslins much thought before if I'm completely honest. Eli has a collection of small muslins for the usual dribble/sick wipe up jobs but this will DEFINITELY not be used for that! It is absolutely stunning. The cotton is super beautiful quality and obscenely soft, as well as ultra breathable and comfortable against Eli's little baby skin! The box states that this muslin gets softer with every wash so I can only imagine how glorious it will be in a few months time haha! You really can't tell instantly that this is a long lasting item and won't be one of those fine cotton products that disintegrates after a short while, it is absolutely a long lasting muslin and because of the size, will be just as wonderful to wrap Eli up in when he's double his current size! 

Since its arrival in the UK, Lulujo's collection of lovely everyday essentials including luxury bamboo muslins, as modelled here by Eli (this is the grey peony muslin), have proven to be a huge success with parents. They are versatile, breathable and babies will love the silky soft texture. Not to mention the impressive range of uses including: swaddling, nursing cover, baby blanket, portable crib sheet, change pad and many more! This really is the softest, most beautiful muslin I have encountered since having Eli and he absolutely adores it too!


Lots Of Love,

KLJ x

Monday, 5 December 2016

Rose Glow

GOD BLESS BLACK FRIDAY! I've never previously partaken in the Black Friday sales, but this year, the ASOS website was just too good to resist!

 
 

Top - ASOS Curve, Skirt - George At ASDA, Tights - Evans, Shoes - Converse.

I have been lusting after this glorious top four r so long but I didn't feel I could justify getting it as it really isn't a colour I would normally choose. However, as soon as I saw the ASOS Black Friday sale, I felt like this would be the perfect time to invest and I am NOT disappointed. Granted, since having Eli, I have dropped one if not two dress sizes but for some reason I can't get that into my head, so I ordered this top in a 26 and it's DEFINITELY too big. But, other than my inability to accept my new size, this top is FLAWLESS. The velvet is heavy and great quality, the cut is unusual and interesting and I love the fact it has long sleeves. This top has shown me that I need to start trying new things fashion wise as this is not a colour I would normally choose but I'm so glad I did, as I love it!

 

This isn't the greatest photo to showcase it, but this Plisse skirt from ASDA is fantastic. It's black and ever so slightly shimmery, super stretchy and comfy and a great length. Plisse is such a huge trend at the moment and I had been waiting to find the right piece & this is definitely it - it's so versatile and I know I'm going to wear it until it falls apart! I particularly love it as part of this outfit because the contrasting textures are so perfect! 

Lots Of Love, 
KLJ x

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Monki Business

So Monki has been a brand name that I've been hearing around for a little while now. They aren't a brand that cater to plus sizes so as a middle range fat (24-26), rather than a smaller fat, I was sceptical that they would be a brand that I could purchase from. However, after seeing a selection of fellow bloggers, all a similar size to me, raving about Monki, I decided it was time to take the plunge and I am so glad that I did!!

 
 
 

Jacket - Old Elvi, Dress - Monki, Shoes - Simply Be, Socks - Topshop, Scarf - Next (Men's range), Leggings - Yours Clothing Bump It Up Maternity.

THIS DRESS IS SO WONDERFUL!!!! I was told that most Monki items in a size L and listed as oversized would fit my size 24-26 frame. Like I said, I was sceptical, but I had no reason to be. This high neck, midi dress in a super soft jersey is PERFECT. Honestly, the sizing is actually better than a lot of items I own that are specifically designed for plus sizes. It does go to show that sometimes risking it with a 'straight size' brand is more than worth it. The jersey is super soft and super stretchy, the midi length is something I adore and the three quarter length sleeves are ace. There is a slight bat wing feel to the sleeves which i know some people don't enjoy, but it fits this dress perfectly. There are several oversized L options on the Monki website and on the ASOS website that I will absolutely be trying over time, when funds are permitting. Something else i love about Monki is that their pricing is very reasonable for what you get. This dress was only £25, which is a bargain really! 

My only TINY TINY criticism is that the material doesn't wash all that well, I've washed it twice and there is a very slight bobbling in some areas, however as the price is great, this isn't really a massive issue at all.  

So if you're a mid range fat and wondering about the possibility of Monki, try it! Be brave! Make sure you choose a size L and items listed as oversized and you'll be totally fine.

Lots Of Love,
KLJ x

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The P Word

So after nearly 11 weeks of being a Mum, I've decided to finally talk about this. Post Natal Depression.

 

From around 2 weeks after Eli I was born, I started suffering. Really suffering. But I think there are a great deal of misconseptions when it comes to postnatal depression. It isn't always feelings of wanting to harm your baby or worrying you might - it's a HUGE spectrum of things and a HUGE spectrum of feelings. 

In reality, I had a fairly traumatic birth due to it ending in an emergency C Section, but when you have a new baby you can't afford to dwell on that and feel sorry for yourself, you have to just pick yourself up and get on with it. Mulling over the details and only focusing on the bad things will not help anyone. However, that being said, I do believe that how immobile I was for the first week of Eli's life did not help. I became incredibly frustrated, felt completely useless as all I could do was feed him and cried endlessly because of this. With Eli himself, I had no issues, I loved him more than anything in the world from the very beginning and have never felt any ill feeling to him (other than oh lord please stop crying after he's been going for 3 hours). All the ill feeling was within myself. 

 

As time went on I felt more and more insecure, self conscious, like Chris would run off with someone else and leave me, like a terrible mother, like I couldn't even find 5 minutes to have to myself (which is untrue, I was putting undue pressure on myself for the house to be perfect too, so spent all my 'free' time doing that), like my body was bizarre and not my own, like if Eli keeps crying I am absolutely going to have a nervous breakdown, like I'm completely alone in the world and like I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. Which I did, a lot.

It's really hard to find the right words to explain how desperate I felt. I can't say I was suicidal because thankfully, it didn't get that far, I just felt so wrapped up in misery within myself that I couldn't see a way out. Eli is thriving and developing very quickly, he is reaching his milestones early and putting on weight like a trooper. Most of the time he is an incredibly content baby and will go to anyone but like I said, the issue was never with him or my feelings towards him, it was very much with me.

Chris was and still is incredible. He is so supportive and loving but even he was very worried about me and how I wasn't coping. He would desperately plead with me to speak to my mental health midwife or my Mum, or anyone, but I refused because being a Mum with mental health problem already, determined not to 'fail' and get put back on my medication meant I was not only in this post natal hole but also RIDICULOUSLY stubborn about the subject. 

 

Writing this post is so hard because it's really difficult to put my feelings into a cohesive timeline as such, so I do apologise if it feels chaotic to read and makes no sense! To the outside world and visitors I'm sure I seemed fine. I'd whack makeup on and a big old smile but as soon as they left I'd be a vacant, distant, tearful mess. I am very aware that 99% of new Mums and Dads feel very overwhelmed with a new baby and being tearful is very much a part of it, but this was way more than that. I didn't know who I was, I had no confidence left, I didn't know how Chris still loved me, I didn't know how I would ever feel good about myself again, I didn't want to see anyone but then I desperately didn't want to be on my own, I didn't want to be away from Eli but then I felt I couldn't cope with being with him all the time - i was a mess. 

It didn't help that I had a lot of problems with the healing of my C Section scar. Two infections, two courses of antibiotics, an open hole etc etc, it felt never ending which only added to my misery as I was still constantly having to 'be careful' with what I did physically. 

I felt as if all the old insecurities I had as a teenager had come back, I didn't know how Chris could find me attractive, I hated how I looked, I thought everyone else hated me and couldn't be bothered with me, I felt endlessly guilty that these thoughts were consuming me when I had a new baby, I was OBSESSIVELY worried about the fact I wasn't healing well and the list went on and on and on. But i was very aware that this was not to do with my Bipolar. It was an entirely different feeling all together and it went on for weeks and weeks and weeks and I felt this black cloud would never lift.


As lame and cheesy as this sounds, it was in reading Adele's Vanity Fair interview in which she addressed her post natal depression that made me realise I needed to stop pretending I was fine. I read this and cried, cried to myself and cried to Chris and told him how sorry I was that I had refused to speak to anyone. In the coming days I finally opened up and spoke to my Mum about it. As always, she was absolutely wonderful (and had been through my entire pregnancy, labour and since Eli was born) and encouraged me to speak to my mental health midwife. 

 

Now I haven't spoken to my mental health midwife yet and I was beginning to feel a lot better and coping a lot more but then my C Section wound reopened. This only happened a few days ago and it felt like a huge set back, like my healing was never happening. For the next few days I felt like everything was hopeless again but thankfully, it seemed to really heal properly my wound needed to reopen and now it's slowly healing a lot better. I will be speaking to my mental health midwife but I need to work up to that as I am still struggling to accept that doing so is not 'a failure'. 


I have the most beautiful, clever little boy whom I adore, I have a loving gorgeous supportive husband, a wonderful family and friends and as hard as it is to see sometimes, I will be fine and I will find myself again away from this cloud. But I don't think it will be who I was, it will be a new self, a different self and that's really ok. All new Mummy's NEED to remember to take time for themselves, even if it's just an hour a week, whether it's having a good nap or taking yourself out for coffee and there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about that, ever. 

If you're struggling, please speak to someone. Anyone. Vent, unload, clear your head. It's terribly hard but so worth it and the more we all talk about postnatal depression, the easier future Mums will find it to open up. It is NOTHING to be ashamed of. You are a wonderful Mother, your child adores you unconditionally and you need to feel the same way about yourself - whether your baby is 2 weeks or 2 years old. Be brave and honest. 

Lots Of Love,
KLJ x