Friday, 30 November 2012

Big is Beautiful

Last night I noticed a new documentary on BBC iplayer called Britain’s Biggest Beauty Queens.  Intrigued, I felt compelled to watch it. The documentary follows four of the finalists in the year leading up to the 2012 finalists, what they do to prepare for the three rounds - daywear, swimsuits, and eveningwear.  All of the contestants are plus-sized, therefore size 18 and upwards.

On the one hand, it was refreshing to see such a different approach to a beauty queen competition. Celebrating curves, encouraging normal women to have confidence in their body. The swimsuit round especially forced the women to confront their body insecurities and show off their figures to a room full of people. Given how society seems to promote a Size Zero culture, it was fantastic to see the other side of the spectrum.

One of the issues discussed was the perception of people around them as they grew up. One of the contestant talked at great length about how she had to move out of the area due to violent bullying. She even says that it became routine to be violently beaten by the bullies. This really struck a chord with me. Being a plus-size myself (I wear a size 16-18) I’ve found that I’ve been incredibly lucky to not receive this sort of treatment. I’ve always been on the larger size compared to friends, and am generally quite comfortable (people loving my rack is a great confidence boost) I’ve never received the negativity that these girls have. I think having a fantastic group of friends growing up was a huge help. I also think that how you carry yourself is also a big thing to do with it. I try to be confident, dress for my size, and make the most of my assets. A lot of women tend to cover up as soon as negative comments are thrown. Women (and men) need to realise that they are all beautiful, and need that confidence to be themselves and live their life.

However, another part of me couldn’t help but think that, to a certain extent, the whole process seemed to promote obesity. Every scene of the women eating showed them consuming junk food, drinking wine, and generally being quite unhealthy. Whilst I understand that due to some medical issues, women find it difficult to lose weight, but this seemed to promote bigger is better, but in an unhealthy way.  

Personally, I believe any size is beautiful, as long as the person is happy with their image and not putting their health at risk. Everyone is beautiful, we just all need the confidence in ourselves to believe this! 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Always Be Prepared

This afternoon, I spent the majority of my time putting together my (now bulging) suitcase ready to go on holiday for a week.....and I do not do packing lightly. Having been on many trips where key items are forgotten, I now find that I pack for every single possible eventuality, meaning I take A LOT of stuff with me.

Being a typical girl, as well as having many clothes, I have many toiletries with me. There are several things I simply could not live without for a day or two, let alone a whole week.

1. City Rush perfume from Avon - I have a real thing about smelling nice, regardless of what it is I'm doing. The new perfume from Avon is absolutely beautiful, slightly musky, but not too heavy, so perfect for day and night.
2. Cinnamon and Cranberry shower gel from Avon - perfect to get into the Autumn/Winter spirit
3. Salt Spray from Lee Stafford - this was recommended to me recently, and I absolutely LOVE IT!! Spray into your hair before blow-drying (or leave to dry naturally) and this spray gives a slight curl, creating that "just gotten out of the sea" casual look. It also has hairspray and volumiser in it, which is perfect for my fine, somewhat limp, hair, without having to back-comb it.
4. Dark hair Dry Shampoo from Lee Stafford - something I use every day to give a bit of volume and a refresher to my roots
5. Body Shop Seaweed Cleanser and Body Shop Seaweed Toner, along with Avon Anew Night Cream - these products represent my evening skin care routine. Once my make-up has been removed, I use these products to refresh my skin before heading to bed
6. Soap and Glory exfoliating face soap and Avon Anew Day Cream - I use these in the morning, mainly to wake myself and my skin up. I've only recently started using the Avon Anew creams, and have to say they are AMAZING! They do three different types, for in your 30's, 40's and 50's. I've been using the ones for 30's (yes, still 18 months away but not harm in being prepared) and my skin feels incredibly soft and smooth. Would definitely recommend!!

Along with toiletries, there are certain cosmetic items that I also cannot live without -

1. Benefit Smokin' Eyes - I've used this for years, it has a combination of colours for day and night wear, and lasts forever!
2. Falsies Mascara - does exactly what it says on the tin
3. Revlon Photoready Foundation and Powder - these are the only bases that I can find that perfectly match my skin. Being incredibly pale, others end up looking orange or yellow on me. These are amazing, and last all day.
4. Metallic Eyes set from Claire's - a huge range of colours to create the perfect eye look, whatever the occasion.

Seems like a lot that I can't live without, but these products give me confidence in myself that I look vaguely human and presentable to the world.
What can you not live without?

Friday, 14 September 2012

Party Sparkles

Tonight I've had something of a girly evening. Inspired by some of the demo products I received in my Avon delivery (and my over-excitement at trying new things) I decided to give myself some amazing nails for the weekend.

Pink by S&C at Boots, part of a gift set from my brother and his girlfriend, Electric Dreams from Collection 2000 Hot Looks at Superdrug, and Fuchsia Dazzle ColorTrend top coat by Avon.
The picture on the left shows my nails with just the pink and blue on. I absolutely love the blue shade, and it stays so well on my nails, even at work. Also, I love having a statement nail, but I love to change the nail I make a statement of. I feel this jazzes it up a little bit.
The picture on the right shows my nails with the purple glitter top coat on them. I absolutely love this new product! Available in gold and silver, as well as the purple, the glitter top coat will be available in Avon books very very soon. Is perfect for the upcoming party season!!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fun Packed Day

Today has been wonderfully busy, seeing lovely people.

Whilst waiting for the boy to finish work, I popped into The Seven Stars to see Alix for a good old gossip. Shortly after arriving, we were joined by Ruben, Ciaron and Alex. Cue many discussions about literature, Skyrim, and LARP events (yep, we're geeks) It was so nice to get out and see people, without the hint of drama. I persuaded Ruben to try Alix's specialty stripped slush (a mixture of raspberry and strawberry slushie) which led him to inevitable brain freeze.

This afternoon saw a trip to Ramsgate with the boy to find material for his LARP costume ready for Empire next year. Due to having a sewing machine, and being creatively minded, I am going to be making the LARP costumes for several people ready for the new game. We ended up in The Haberdashery Shop, which completely blew me away. The amount and variety of buttons and beads they stocked was astounding! 

There were three aisles like this, thousands of buttons, clasps, beads, everything you could ever need for dressmaking, jewellery, whatever creative pursuits you can imagine....And yes, there was even a section just for google-y eye buttons and beads. I can see myself going back there time and again, spending a 
                                            huge amount of money! 

Whilst in Ramsgate, I also discovered the Magick Shop. It's down a small back street, and much like the Haberdashery Shop, it's an Aladdin's cave of beautiful things. I found a green aventurine ring in there for only £2.00. I couldn't not have it!

Aventurine is most commonly found in green, but can also come in orange, yellow, blue, brown or grey. The name Aventurine is derived from the Italian "a ventura" meaning "by chance". This leads Aventurine to be seen as a lucky stone, promoting prosperity and protection. 

Heading up to Westwood Cross, we decided to have a wander before going to the Vue cinema. I discovered that the Clinton Cards there is, in fact, a Yankee Candle heaven! If you don't know what Yankee Candles are, 1) where have you been? and 2) go find them and smell them! They are AMAZING!!!! I know where I will be doing most of my Christmas shopping this year.....using the philosophy of "one for you, one for me" 

All-in-all, it's been a fun day. I've decided to not comment on seeing Dredd too much, as I don't want to risk spoiling it for anyone. Suffice to say, it was good, but not necessarily my sort of film. I know the boy thoroughly enjoyed it though. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

More Money Than Sense?????

This evening, I decided to pick up a copy of Grazia magazine (yes, I am a self-confessed celebrity gossip whore) Flicking through, one headline caught my eye - "Would You Pay £185 For This Paper Bag?"


Pictured above is the bag in question. Designed by Jil Sander, the bag is made from 100% coated paper, stitched in brown thread, with two little ventilation holes in the sides....and has a price tag of £185. In her Summer collection, Sander also designed a see-through acetate shopping bag. Is it me, or does there seem to be a pattern forming?!?!?!?!

Personally, I am not completely unaware of fashion trends. Working in a fashionable accessories store, I look at a lot of magazines, seeking out the latest trends expected to arrive in the coming months. However, even I find this notion of a paper bag for £185 completely ridiculous. For a start, why would a paper bag need ventilation holes? To ensure your equally indulgent purse/lipstick/phone doesn't suffocate whilst you browse for more over-priced items to put into your paper bag?

Apparently this is supposed to be seen as something of a joke product, designed to mock the apparent banker culture, which I can assume is something only really experienced in cities larger than humble ol' Canterbury. Worryingly, however, I probably do know more than one person who would die to own one of these bags.

From now on, I'll be keeping any McDonalds/Burger King/Starbucks paper bags that I get hold of, printing a name on them, popping in some holes each side, and flogging them on Canterbury High Street for at least £100 each.....seems like a winning business model to me!

Monday, 10 September 2012

A Personal Entry

I told myself I'd use this blog to display and promote my creative side. However, I'm having a day where I feel I need to write stuff down that's a bit more personal to me.....but I'm also not too sure how to put things into words. I'm going to be honest, I generally find this sort of thing incredibly difficult to talk about, but I'm going to give it a shot, as I feel I need to.

This morning I experienced my first ever group counselling session. I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and this group will spend the next six weeks focusing on different areas of both illnesses, along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapies designed to make both easier to cope with on a day-to-day basis. The session today was an introduction to the general meetings, and a look at how the symptoms of anxiety and depression can be broken down into a vicious circle.

The initial analogy used was that of the fire triangle. Basically you have Oxygen, Fuel, and Heat, all of which are connected together (tried to make a diagram with went hideously wrong) If you remove just one of these things, the fire will die. A vicious circle for both anxiety and depression involves Thoughts, Feelings, Body/Physical Effects, and Behavior. These things are again, all connected, and are connected to Triggers. For both illnesses, we looked at examples of each section, listing different things we associated with each. Setting everything out like that helped me to understand the whirlwind of each, and made it easier to look at how to combat, and cope, with each.

I've been asked how I think this morning went, how I feel about it. To be completely honest, I really don't know. I'm struggling to put it into words, other than wasn't distressing, it wasn't a magical cure, it just addressed how all of us were feeling and how we processed our situations. I am hoping that over the course of the six weeks I feel some improvement, not only with being able to express myself to people without feeling like I am burdening them with my issues, but also to be able to cope better in day-to-day situations, without the reliance of medication.

Friday, 7 September 2012

September Sunday Social

This past Sunday, I had a stall at The Lady Luck Sunday Social. This event occurs the first Sunday of every month, with different arts and crafts stalls, as well as a Stitch and Bitch knitting group, tombola, and reading group.

Each month I sell cupcakes, brownies, various other baked good. For this one, I decided to go for Vanilla Cupcakes, with a Raspberry centre. The recipe below makes 12 cupcakes


8oz caster sugar
8oz butter
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
8oz self-raising flour
Half a jar of raspberry jam (or any jam of your choice)


1. Cream together the caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, but don't over-work the mixture.
2. Add the vanilla essence, and sieve in the flour. Mix everything together until the mixture is smooth.
3. Spoon half of the mixture into the bottom of the cupcake cases. Then add a teaspoon of jam to each cake, and spoon the rest of the mixture into the top of the cakes

4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on cooling wrack.
5. For the icing, I cheated, and used pre-made vanilla butter icing by Betty Crocker. You can use any butter icing variant that you prefer.

A massive thank you to Rosie for giving me an icing masterclass, and helping me to get the cakes ready for the stall. Rosie did make some white chocolate decorations, simply by melting white chocolate, and using a mini piping bag to make shapes on grease-proof paper. Unfortunately, they didn't make the transport down to the Lady Luck, but they looked and tasted amazing.

Everyone who tried them at the event found them to be DELICIOUS! There will be more next month! x

Monday, 20 August 2012

New Tricks

This week I decided to try my hand at something new. Having seen all of the amazing pieces created by friends, I thought I'd give jewellery making. I popped into the Bead Pot and was overwhelmed by the amount of beautiful things available! Filled with inspiration (and some advice from the lovely lady behind the counter) I purchased some bits to make some earrings.

Now, admittedly, they are incredibly simple, but I am really pleased with them. For a beginner, they don't look too shabby. Of course, now I'm looking at everything, wondering how I can turn it into some sort of amazing jewellery piece. Ebay, of course, does not help this current obsession! Oh the possibilities!!!!!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Days out in the sunshine

This week, the boy and I decided to take a day trip to London. Even though I live so close to the capital, there are so many places that I haven't explored there yet. Walking around Kew Gardens was incredibly peaceful, even with the peacocks wandering around (birds = evil!!) The Natural History Museum was a little bit of a nightmare (good thinking going during the Summer holidays!) and I loved the Science Museum.

On our way to Camden, we stopped off at The Forbidden Planet. This is basically a geeks Valhalla! The ground floor is full of memorabilia from all of the classics - Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, every sci-fi / geek film or tv series you can think of. The basement is full of books and graphic novels. I have literally never seen so many comics in one place!

There was a huge section on art, both classical, and modern varieties. There were a lot of books on tattoo art, which were beautiful. I literally cannot wait for my next piece, just need to decide on what I want to get first and where on my body. I was also treated to a present by G. There was a section on Pin-up Girl Art, which included a book focusing on Gil Elvgren. He is one of my favourite artists, one of the leaders in Pin-Up Girl Art, spanning the 1940's and 50's. The book also looks at how his art was used in popular culture and advertising, as well as his influences on his peers and future artists. Having flicked through it briefly, I've already got several of his paintings in mind that I would like tattooed on me.

Camden was amazing, was my first time there. The number of markets and stalls was incredibly over-whelming. So many different things available, along with different cuisines being offered from all over the world. We ended up in a Brazilian restaurant, where we sampled delicious tapas, along with fresh fruit smoothies. It's definitely somewhere I'd go again, and would consider being more adventurous with.

All in all, we had an amazing day out, doing things we'd never done before, trying new things from around the world.....and all of this right on our doorstep.....well, a 2 hour bus ride away.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Moving Onwards and Upwards

Apparently moving house makes me suck even more at updating my blog *face-palm* Anyways, lovely new house has been moved in to, and majority of unpacking has been completed (it's always those little odds that never seem to have a home, that slow me down) 

Since my last post, I've had some exciting news. As of September, I shall be a student again! I have been accepted by UKC to study Architecture. This will not only mean re-training for my career, but it will build upon my original Interior Design degree and refresh my design skills. To say I'm massively excited is a HUGE understatement!!! 

Had a lovely wander around town at lunchtime with Alix, seeking out bargains in the summer sun. Loads of places have dwindling summer sales, but bargains are still there to be had! La Senza have all of their bras on Buy One Get One Free, including the sale items, meaning you can pick up two bras for only £5! New Look has some amazing shorts for less than £10, and Dorothy Perkins yet again tempted me with sale shoes. Picked up a pair of leopard print ballet pumps for only £10! So cute and hella comfortable!!! 

Once I get settled into the new place, I promise more craft-y activities shall occur, and be documented on here. In the meantime, if you have any tips, please feel free to message me either on Facebook, or at

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Brownies, brownies everywhere!!!!

It's become very apparent to me that I am awful at updating a blog. However, this time I seem to have more time on my hands, so am giving it another go. 

Since posting, I have taken up crochet and cross-stitch. I love both, although crochet is incredibly difficult until an amazing person *cough Bug cough* helps you with it. 

To kick off the new start, I am going to share with you guys my much loved Brownies recipe. I normally take these down to the Sunday Social at Lady Luck every month, and they go down a treat! 


100g butter (and extra for greasing)
100g dark chocolate
175g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
2 eggs
100g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cocoa powder


1. Heat oven to 180 degrees (this is what I use for a fan oven, go to 200 degree for a standard oven) Put the butter, dark chocolate, caster sugar and light brown sugar into a saucepan and heat gently until all is smooth. 

2. Take off heat and add the eggs. Sieve in flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, and mix until mixture is smooth.

3. Put mixture into a greased baking tin (I tend to use a standard round silicone tin, from Poundland), and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out of the mixture clean. 

4. Allow to cool and cut into slices. 

With this recipe, you can also experiment with different flavours and textures. Once all of the mixture is together, add 50g of your chosen ingredient, for example, which chocolate chips, mixed crushed nuts, etc. It's great for parties, and general get-togethers. 

Pictured above is a freshly baked batch of double-chocolate brownie, ready to be cut and sold.

Hopefully you all enjoy the brownies. I shall be updating soon with more tips and recipes. Also, if there's anything you would like to share on the blog, please email me at, so I can share your tips and ideas with readers