Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Rose Duo with In The Style Curve

If there's two things I'm really into this season it's plisse and pink tones.
When asking if I'd like to choose an item or two from the Curve range at In The Style, I knew it wouldn't be long before I was selecting a little pink number, the Emmeline Rose Pleated Wrap Dress. The fact it was also in that gorgeous pleated plisse fabric, only sweetened the deal a bit more. 

 
 

 I chose the dress because it's perfect for a hen do that I'm attending but as I love wrap style dresses, I wanted to see if I could work it in to a daytime outfit too. So instead of styling the dress for an evening out, I thought I'd show you how I dressed it down.

 Teaming the dress with some embroidered jeans and my silver boots, it's dressed up without being too ott. I ordered the dress in a size 20 and although it was a little on the large side, over jeans I think it works really well with that added slouchiness. 

 
 

The next item I chose was basically the same thing but in a skirt. I chose this in a size 18 and it run very small. Possibly a slight inconsistency with the sizing but don't let that put you off. The quality, cut, fabrics and price are the winning elements here. 

 
 

Again, I chose to dress the skirt down. Wearing it over tights, and dressing it with my baby pink Reeboks and khaki bomber jacket. You can find the Millie  Rose Wrap Skirt here 

 
Have you checked out the pieces in the Curve range yet? There's so many gorgeous items at such a good price here.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Swoon Gelato, Bristol

Now, if I was to ask you if you knew the difference between gelato and ice cream, would you know the answer? Because I sure didn't! 
Gelato contains less fat and is churned slower and longer than ice cream, reducing the amount of air added giving it that wonderfully rich, creamy texture.
Previously when I got to visit Swoon Gelato  at Christmas, not only did I get to sample their beautiful Gelato, but I also got a little lesson on how it's made too. Swoon pride themselves on using only the finest ingredients and the gelato is made in store, from scratch.

 

This month Swoon have been celebrating their first birthday, and have now revealed that they are opening up a second shop in Bath. I got to celebrate with owners Pat and Bruno, siblings who have a passion for authentic Gelato, in their Park Street residence. 
On arrival I couldn't be more pleased to of been given an Aperol Spritz in sorbetto form. Sorbetto is just as creamy and silky in texture as the gelato but is completely vegan friendly. 

 

With the counter full of an array of tubs, brimming with mouth watering flavours, you can also find gelato pops, sundaes, waffles, macarons and fresh coffee. And of course the 'Flavour of the month'.

 
   
        My personal favourite, salted caramel gelato and dark chocolate sorbetto. 

Swoon can be found on Park Street and more info can be found on their website 
here. x

The Burger Joint

So not only did I go out for a burger once last week but twice!! 
So when it comes to dining out, I'll be honest and say that burgers aren't top of my list when deciding what to eat. But The Burger Joint change that. With over 60 different ingredients, there are literally thousands of different combinations you could possibly choose from, the concept of building your burger the exact way you want it, is a bit of a game changer! All ingredients are locally produced and sourced and the menu caters for gluten free, vegetarians and vegans too. You could also have the option of a salad instead. 

The restaurant itself was small, with subtle lighting and simple decor but even though there were no empty tables, I didn't feel too packed in and for a Thursday night, I was surprised at how busy it was. A testament to good burgers, I say! 

 

Once we were greeted and seated, we were given a menu and an order form to create our burgers just the way we wanted them. 
Now I'm a bit of a coward and tend to stick to what I know and like so I opted for a traditional beef patty but there were 15 varieties to choose from - And that was just the patties!!
After much deliberating, I finally settled on my choices and couldn't wait for the server to take my order so I couldn't change my mind. It's no surprise that they supply your table with pencils so you can alter your order forms! Who knew creating your own food could be so fun yet so tough? *Phew*

 

So this is what I went for. Beef patty with chorizo, Brie and guacamole in a brioche bun, served with Parmesan and truffle fries, I also went for the garlic mayo and thousand island sauces for dipping. Heaven! 
The burger was superbly juicy and full of flavour and it was generously filled with my chosen toppings, although I will point out that the chorizo was wafer thin and the flavour was lost. Maybe it wasn't the best choice for my combo. Still, I wasn't too sad, overall the Burger was delicious. The fries were so good but after finishing my burger, I had very little room left. 
I'll definitely be returning and bringing my husband. I might even be a little more adventurous and try the kangaroo! Special thank you to Dan for the invite, I had a lovely visit. 

The Burger Joint can be found in Fishponds, Bedminster and Clifton. Offering monthly menu specials and student/lunch deals. 
More info can be found on their website 
here.


Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Cornish Burger Co at Steam Bristol

Last night I popped down to Steam in Clifton to sample their new burger pop up. Who doesn't love a big juicy burger on a boring Wednesday night?!
Although having heard of Steam, I hadn't yet visited so I was really delighted to get the invite. Walking in to the former Clifton Down railway ticket hall, I was instantly smitten with the gothic revival architecture. With big beautiful windows, pointed doors and 2 huge fireplaces at each end of the room, it had an industrial feel but with candles, leather armchairs and warm glowing lights, it still kept the coziness and charm. 
The Cornish Burger Co are Steams current residents and they did not disappoint. Having been making burgers and paella for 20 years in Cornwall, only the finest Cornish ingredients are used. 


 

I opted for The Janner. A 6oz Cornish beef burger with cheese, streaky bacon and onion marmalade, served with the usual salad/pickle garnish and a side of fries. Now, as a self confessed bacon addict, this had to be up there with the best I'd ever had. Thick, smoky and super crispy, it was like a bacon, pork scratching mash up. 

 

As you can see, portion wise, I was not left hungry. The burger itself was super juicy and well seasoned. The bun was soft and the combo of the salty bacon and the sweetness of the marmalade was pure wedded bliss.
After finishing the food, I got to have a little tour of next door, Shebeen. A quiet little bar, almost bordering on mancave, with armchairs and a little nook, is set to become the perfect Irish whiskey bar. I'll be covering more on Shebeen in the future. 

Food is available Mon-Thurs 5pm - 9pm 
Fri - Sat 12 noon - 9pm and Sun 12 noon - 8pm


Monday, 30 January 2017

Overcoming My Fear Of The Smear

 

If you didn't already know, last week was Cervical Cancer Prevention Week  and with various amazing campaign ads doing the rounds, I realised that it was time to bite the bullet and book my first ever smear. 
Now some of you may be giving me the tuts and head shakes for not going, but some of you may be in the same boat as me and feel the gut wrenching fear of getting your bits out in front of a stranger. Well I was that person until last Friday.

At almost 35, I really should know better. I've had 3 kids, I'm no stranger to baring my intimates to strangers. But the thought of laying on a little table and being so exposed and 'looked' at, filled me with dread. Did I know that it was silly? That my health should be first and foremost over dignity? Yes and yes! 
As a fat girl, I did and still do think that I have flabby extras where there normally isn't and I think that overall, I was expecting some kind of fat shaming from the nurse. It's nothing unusual being the larger type, visiting your GP for a chest infection but being made to weigh yourself. Totally unrelated to that original illness you went in with but sure, it's because of your weight. *Eyeroll*

 


So i thought instead of telling you the ins and outs of Cervical screening and what it tests, I thought I'd simply tell you my account of my first smear. I honestly feel so ashamed of myself for putting it off so long! 
So I get called in by the nurse and take a seat in her room. We talk about the procedure, what the test checks for and when to expect any results. I'm asked to go behind the screen and undress from the waist down - I wore a simple skater dress and leggings so when I was half undressed, I was still pretty covered. I was then asked to lay on the bed with my knees up. The nurse is totally lovely and we chatted the entire time. No awkward silences and I was at complete ease. It was at this point that I felt like this was no big deal. This was her job, she must of seen a thousand fannies!! After dropping my knees outwards, she gently inserted the speculum (before I visited, I envisaged being wrenched open so wide that you could toss a couple of coins in. I was so wrong! It's inserted about an inch or so in and opened very slightly just so the cervix is in view.) and used the long brush to collect the cells. I was told to expect a sweeping, scraping sensation but I could barely feel anything if I'm totally honest. Then it was done! 
There was nothing embarrassing, no gross noises and the nurse didn't recoil in horror at the sight of my giant minge. With the number of smears falling, I wonder how many of those women that put them off do so because of small insecurities? It's made me wonder how many of those are overweight. Shouldn't the health of your body come before your dignity?  I might be deemed overweight but I like to keep myself pretty fit and that shouldn't just be about exercise but about the vital screening that is accessible to me. Should you have any concerns about getting your first test, please do check out https://www.jostrust.org.uk/ This site is full of information and support. And please know that it's ok to be worried or embarrassed, it's only natural, but it doesn't compare to the possibility of cancer x

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Curvy Kate Kitty Babydoll

 


This Christmas I was kindly sent a giftcard to spend from the lovely guys at Evans. Not really needing any more clothes, I decided I'd treat myself to some new underwear. That's when I spotted the beautiful babydoll by Curvy Kate. 


 


Now, I've been fully aware of the beauties that Curvy Kate bring out every season and I even had my first proper bra fitting with them a few years back. But for some reason, I had held off buying anything until now. How could I resist this? With its deep red hue, flowy fabric and longline deep plunge bra, it was just calling my name!


 

 


I ordered this in a 38F and it fits perfectly. No pinching, gaping or over spill. And gave me a va va voom cleavage like nothing else I own. I don't think I'll be a stranger to Curvy Kate any longer. You can find the link to this item 
here x

Monday, 9 January 2017

New Year, A New Lesson Learnt

Happy New Year to all my lovely readers, whether new or regular!
I thought I'd do something a little different and write a post on my views of something I've learnt over the last week or so.
 


So if you're a plus size blogger, or reader or perhaps just part of the plus community in general, then you may of seen a popular brand run a very rewarding competition. Offering a years paid contract to 5 established plus size/curve bloggers. As a plus size blogger for the last 3 years, I initially thought I'd be mad not to enter! I was sooooo wrong. 
Now I'm going to be honest here; I read the prize and saw paid. Like Gwen Guthrie once said 'Ain't nothing going on but the rent'. I'm sure there are various reasons why people have entered this generous competition, whether it's the money, a way to further their writing career, a chance to be noticed, the love of the brands ethics or perhaps to be a voice of body positivity and size acceptance.
 As with all competitions, there'll always be that person that thinks they deserve it the most, simply because. 
Now what I naively didn't expect was the sheer lengths some people will go to to get this chance. I've seen some very dirty tactics, it's not my place to go in to detail, but the most upsetting thing is the lack of morals and dignity. 
As I've watched my blog and social media popularity grow over the years, I've forged some very special friendships and sisterly bonds within the plus community. Yes there can be cliques, the odd bit of bitching but at the end of it all, we all look out for one another and always try to support and raise each other up. It's so sad to witness such bad etiquette and behaviour from new faces, suddenly claiming to be part of it.
There's also the bigger picture to these competitions is that it's all publicity based. You have this big female audience, all suddenly wanting an easy opportunity and then sharing the brands post, it's seen by literally thousands. Great way of promoting for the brand and they are not at fault for that. But for those that enter, the whole thing is basically one big popularity contest. And that's where I began to feel uncomfortable. I've never really considered asking my friends, followers or readers for votes and the like and once I started, I felt uneasy. I lay sleepless in bed one night, suffering from anxiety about it all and knew it wasn't worth the hassle. I've learnt that it's far more rewarding being the cheerleader than tooting my own horn. I'm humbled that I have regular readers and followers that support what I do because I strive to be myself, show off my qualities and keep things real. Not by asking for recognition from those that don't know me. Should this competition had been about the quality of a bloggers content over popularity from the start, I would of been far more involved. I truly hope the established plus bloggers they do choose, be the girls I know and love and that have continuously worked hard setting a positive voice for body empowerment and equality within the movement.

Good luck to all those that have entered, I can't wait to read your posts x