Thursday, 21 November 2013

Just Another Blogging Challenge (Nov)

I recently posted on Twitter asking if there were any blog challenges I could participate in and was offered to join Just Another Blogging Challenge - I'm very excited to be taking part! November's theme is 'Christmas is Coming'; we've been asked to talk about anything relating to Christmas and what gets us in the festive mood! I've decided to talk about what Christmas means to me, as someone who is not religious but has been brought up celebrating Christmas...

For me, Christmas is about spending quality time with family and friends, particularly over the past couple of years since I moved to London. The majority of my closest friends are on the Isle of Wight, where I've lived most of my adult life, though since last Christmas some have moved (and a few to London, which is great!) and, more importantly to me, my Dad and his partner have also moved off the Island. Because of this, Christmas this year will be a little different...

Previously, even if I haven't been living with my parents (but nearby), I have spent Christmas on the Isle of Wight at my 'family home' so to speak. As I'm not originally from the Island we don't have much in the way of family there, though my Dad's partner's family have often visited over the festive season - I enjoy this as my family is spread out across the UK, so 'family gatherings' aren't a common experience.

For some years I have spent Boxing Day, or a day near to it, with my best friend, her partner and her parents. Asides from family time, this has always been a day to look forward to for me, as they are pretty much my unofficial extended family. We traditionally give eachother lots of small presents, so there are lots of things to unwrap and it's very exciting! In addition to the traditional leftover nibbles, including bubble and squeak (which I'm slightly obsessed with and my Dad doesn't like it!).

Images © Big Fat Betty (Christmas 2012) | Whilst trying to search for images to add to this post, I've realised that I don't have very many 'Christmas' photos; I shall aim to rectify that this year. I'm mostly disappointed that I don't have a photo of my Dad's 'famous' trifle, which is one of the main food items I look forward to! I will be heading 'home' to my Dad and his partner's on 20 December, as Dad and I are going to see Black Sabbath in Birmingham; I'm more looking forward to spending quality time with my Dad as opposed to the actual gig. It'll be strange celebrating Christmas in a different house, but I'm sure it'll be lovely still. Some time after Boxing Day I shall head 'home' to the Isle of Wight to visit my friends there and exchange presents. I've been invited to a fancy dress party for New Years Eve and I intend to go as Ursula from The Little Mermaid, although a somewhat basic version to some of the elaborate costumes I've seen! After that, it's back to London to finish my final year at University.

As the poem goes; 'Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night'! Don't forget to check out the rest of the JABC crew:

Steph – http://seeingsp0ts.blogspot.co.uk

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Outside My Comfort Zone #20

I recently posted on Twitter asking if there were any blog challenges I could participate in and was offered to join Outside My Comfort Zone (OMCZ) - I'm very excited to be taking part! This challenge is 'The Colour of Confidence' and was chosen by Vicky* who wrote: 'My theme is going to be 'The Colour of Confidence'.  For me, red is the colour of confidence and everything I wear it, be it lipstick or clothing; I feel an extra boost. What is your confidence colour?'

I have to admit I've really struggled with this, as I don't feel that there's a specific colour that makes me feel confident - my favourite colour is purple and perhaps that's my colour of confidence, but I don't tend to wear purple clothes. I umm'd and ahh'd and decided to just think about an outfit that makes me feel confident, and my date on Monday night gave me the perfect opportunity to dress up. I wore my New Look Inspire Blue Chiffon Ruffle Sleeve Dress (£19.99, sizes 18-28) and teamed it with a recent purchase, the Inspire version of this Black Sequin Fluffy Shrug (which isn't online anymore, but I'm pretty sure it was £19.99 and available in sizes 18-28, I only purchased it in store this week). I was going to say that my colour of confidence is green, but apparently it's blue!

I felt fantastic and, in case you're wondering, the date went very well ;)

Don't forget to check out the rest of the OMCZ crew:

Stephanie - http://www.seeingsp0ts.blogspot.co.uk
Leah - http://www.justmeleah.blogspot.co.uk
Mary - http://www.marysbigcloset.blogspot.pt
Becky - http://www.doesmyblogmakemelookfat.com
Rachel - http://www.adressisforlife.com
Natalie - http://awheelbarrowfullofstyle.blogspot.co.uk
Nikki - http://www.nattynikki.blogspot.co.uk
Rebs - http://sullen-hearts.blogspot.co.uk
Verena - http://aplussizefashionobsession.blogspot.de
Rebecca - http://theplussideofme.com
Hollie - http://www.prettybigbutterflies.com
Sabina - http://www.femmefatalexsabina.blogspot.de
Mookie - http://muki7x7.blogspot.co.uk
Erin - http://erinslittlebigcorner.blogspot.co.uk
Debz - http://www.wannabeprincess.co.uk

*Vicky is no longer taking part, in case you wonder where the link is!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Style it in Sequins with K&Co

There are so many womens plus size dresses at K&Co that I would love to share with you all, but as we're rapidly approaching the biggest party season of the year I thought I'd focus on something a little more glamorous - that is, sequins! Team with some fab heels and you're ready to eat, drink, dance and be merry!

Images © K&Co | So Fabulous Sequin Tunic Dress (£48.00, Sizes 14-28), AX Paris Curve Sequin Midi Dress (£59.00, Sizes 16-26), So Fabulous Sequin Hem Kaftan Dress (£44.00, Sizes 14-32) | Words cannot describe how much I adore the tunic dress! I'm still a bit skeptical about bodycon personally and the majority of sequin dresses I've fallen in love with have been in this style, so it's great to have an alternative.

Of course, no outfit is complete without shoes to match. How about these So Fabulous Quinn Sparkle Open Toe Wedge Shoes (Extra Wide Fit, £32.00, Sizes 3-8)?

Sadly I have no Christmas parties to attend and I'm going in fancy dress for New Years Eve, although I am attending a red carpet event later in the month...someone hide my purse! I'd genuinely love to hear about what events you've got coming up and what you're wearing, please leave a comment :)

NB: There is currently 20% off women's clothing at K&Co which ends 8am Friday, therefore prices may differ after this time...go go go! ;) 

Written in collaboration with K&Co

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Plus London 3

I've been thinking about this post for a while and whether or not to incorporate the various post-event Twitter/blog discussions into my write up...I don't want to put ink in the water, so I'm not going to go into details here; I may write about it separately  All that I will say now is that I didn't attend Day 2 (Sunday) following an epic self-inflicted hangover from Saturday night. I feel terribly guilty, not only for taking up an unused space so to speak but also as it's evident that I missed another brilliant day. Anyhow, onwards and upwards!

Images © Big Fat Betty (My OOTD ft. New Look Inspire Monochrome Polka Dot Dress, £19.99, Sizes 18-28 | Make-up by Betty of The Pamperbox)

 I'd not been to a Plus London event before and sadly had to miss out on Plus North due to moving house and all sorts, so I was very excited and equally anxious/nervous about attending Plus London 3 last weekend (2-3 November 2013). On the one hand I was hyped about seeing all my fabulous fatty friends again (and meeting new ones), but on the other my anxiety was making me panic. I worry terribly about offending people by not recognising/remembering them and so forth. Anyway, much to my relief and joy...sticky labels to the rescue! Huzzah! Everyone had name tags, which was not only great for when I couldn't rememeber but also for meeting new people.

So, there I was at the Hoxton Arches, donning my 'Big Fat Betty (AKA Sharon)' label and walking into a room full of beautiful people and brands. So many stylish ladies in one place! The nerves went and I actually became quite hyper, which is unusual for me.


Images © Big Fat Betty (L-R: Curvissa - this really reminded me of a vintage nightdress, in a good way! | Simply Be - the boots of dreams | Simply Be - power dress with matching jacket, what more could a girl ask for? | Simply Be - 'Be...' competition)

There were brands I recognised from the offset, such as Simply Be and Curvissa. Amongst the chatter I started eyeing up my new 'must haves', including these luscious red leopard print boots from Simply Be. I then proceeded to hover about Black Heart Creatives, run by the lovely Charlotte and creator of the famous 'fat bitch' necklace - I'm brimming with custom ideas, there are two I definitely need but they may need to wait until post-Christmas as I'm trying to discourage myself from spending money on me when I should be spending on others! I then bobbed 'next door' to Twisted Siren, run by the awesome Alyssa, whom it was a delight to finally meet - one of her necklaces caught my eye but alas was destined for another home, though again I am planning a custom order for her to work some magic on.


Images © Big Fat Betty (Twisted Siren | Black Heart Creatives)

It was great to see some clothing brands I hadn't heard of before, namely Miss Lacy Ltd and Apples & Pears. As with the other brands, both of the ladies were warm and welcoming. I was also impressed by Red Bows Boutique, run by the beautiful Michelle (who is also one of the fab ladies behind Plus London 3), offering a selection of plus size vintage garments; I wish I had spent more time looking at these and trying a few pieces, though I know some other ladies picked up some beautiful pieces.



Images © Big Fat Betty (Curvissa | Apples & Pears)

Though it may have seemed otherwise to anyone who saw me, as I had my head buried in my phone, busy instagram-ing and tweet-ing photos on the go, I very much enjoyed hearing about Charlotte and Alyssa's journeys during their brand talk and Q&A. Unfortunately (in one way) I missed the other brand talk as I had a make-up slot booked with The Pamperbox, who were sponsored by Curvissa for the day; they worked non-stop! I was really happy to finally meet Betty of Pamper and Curves, and even happier with her handiwork which lasted until the early hours. Check out those eyelashes, which Betty applied with ease!

Images © Big Fat Betty (Brand Talk - Charlotte of Black Heart Creatives, Alyssa of Twisted Siren and co-organiser Claire of Monkey See Monkey Do Monkey Wear | The Pamperbox - you can see the results of my make-up slot with Betty at the top of this post!)

Being my typical unorganised self, I paid no attention to the schedule and unfortunately missed some of the things going on later in the afternoon as I popped to a friend's house to prepare for After Dark. When we returned we were greeted by the lovely organisers and aptly named 'chub rub' shots, which were pretty lethal! Bethany (AKA Arched Eyebrow and DOMO extraordinaire) played a fantastic set of music which was just my cup of tea, and that of many others judging by the numerous people dancing the night away.

Last but not least, I was very pleased to discover that Blast Photo were still snapping away in the back room, and was 'dragged' into an impromptu shoot by my friends and fellow bloggers, Lauren of Ladyshambles and Michaela of Cardiffornia Gurl. The fab ladies from Blast were such a joy! Here's what we got up to...

Images © Blast Photo (Big Fat Betty, Lauren of Ladyshambles and Michaela of Cardiffornia Gurl | Big Fat Betty)

Overall the highlight for me was meeting so many positive women and joining in a range of conversations, fat-related and otherwise. I felt a great sense of community and belonging. I hope that there is another event next year, and this time I will get my priorities in order (NOT wine!)...

Definition of Size Art Fundraiser (Part 1)

Some of you may be familiar with Anita Bellamy, a good friend of mine as well as a businesswoman and body positivity advocate. Anita runs 'Plus Confidence in You', a not-for-profit organisation against body discrimination; she has been working very hard this year on a new project, a plus size art exhibition called 'Definition of Size'.


Image © Plus Confidence in You | I'm very keen to support this project and the forthcoming event...

As part of the preperation for the exhibition, Anita has organised a fundraising event on 30 November 2013 at Etrusco Bar in Mornington Crescent, London (near Camden). Tickets for this not-for-profit celebration are £15.00 and include complimentary wine, a buffet and entertainment including a performance by X Factor's Brick City. In addition attendees will be able to preview a selection of the images for the art exhibition, which will be held in 2014.

For further information please see the Facebook event page or contact Anita Bellamy at plusconfidenceinyou@yahoo.co.uk. Tickets are available from Eventbrite here.

Last but not least, I hope to see you there!