Wednesday, 31 December 2014

So Long and Farewell, 2014

 Hello!
First off I want to say that I hope you all had a lovely time over the Christmas holidays, and that you have a fun new years eve too, whatever you may be doing. This year has certainly crept up fast, and I suddenly realised I had to put together my 'end of year' blog post, that I like to do at the end of each year, (obviously) before 2015 hits us. It's going to be a lengthy blog post, so well done if you manage to read through all of it! I'm going to be sharing with you my favourite outfit posts from each month throughout 2014, as well as some highlights of things I got up to. Then of course my resolutions for next year, followed by a sort-of important announcement at the end. I hope you enjoy!



January 2014 kicked off with a promise to myself to put a lot more effort into my blogging. I was sent this lovely yellow dress from Fashion World to review and I was really happy with how the photo's came out. As an ASOS Insider, I was also invited to a swap shop event at their head office in London, where us plus size ladies had our own 'curve' rail to swap things for. I came away with some nice goodies, and had a really fun time!


February, or 'Fatshion February' as I renamed it, became a month of plus size fashion events. Apart from the ASOS insider events, I hadn't ever been invited to anything before so it was an exciting time for me. I was lucky to be invited to the Cut for Evans launchAnna Scholz for Simply Be eventthe 113 catwalk show, as well as going to BPSFW for the second year running. It certainly was a fun month, especially getting to meet so many of my fellow bloggers! Oh and the 'Swings & Roundabouts' picture is from my favourite outfit post of February.


My favourite outfit post from March has to be this one where I went in search for Winnie the Pooh at the 100 Acre Wood near where I live, but I hadn't visited since I was very little - it hadn't changed a bit. However, probably my favourite highlight of the year was deciding very last minute to go on holiday to Krakow with my friend Kirsi. We found such a ridiculous cheap deal online, flights included, that got us 5 nights in Krakow, Poland in a five star hotel! I had always wanted to visit Poland, and it had been a while since I had been abroad due to University and money, so I was really excited. We fell in love with Poland straight away - it's such an amazing country and I'd love to go back. The people are friendly, the food is good, and everything is reasonably priced (to a British person anyway). We got the visit places like the Castle, the Salt Mines, Schindlers Factory, as well as Auschwitz. It was a really eye-opening yet fun holiday, and it was just what I needed.


My 'Fields of Gold' post from April was one of my favourites to shoot, and still one of my favourites to look at now. The fields looked absolutely stunning, and came out really effective in the photo's. I also hosted my first (and only - so far) giveaway of this peter pan crop top that I made myself. Thanks to all who entered, it was lovely to get such a great response from you all!


May was a very active blogging month for me with a total of nine blog posts! (I'd love to be able to do that every month) There are so many outfit posts and photo's that I'm proud of that its hard to choose my favourite, so here's three instead! This was also the month I started a book club with some of my other fellow plus size bloggers.


By June I was feeling a little down and not really like myself, which I'll come to later on. Looking at these photo's makes me sad for two reasons: 1. Because I remember how I was feeling on this day, and my Mum had to drag me out the house. 2. I miss being able to go for walks and spend time with my Mum (because as you may know, I now go to University in Nottingham and don't get to come home often). As sad as these photo's make me feel, they are sort of happy-sad, and my Mum did a good job of capturing the beautiful poppies, and these photo's are among one of my favourite outfit posts of the year.


In July things began to look up a bit, temporarily, as me and the parents went away to Bournemouth for a few days. I love having little short trips away in the UK with my parents, and as I get older I fear they will get fewer and fewer, so I do cherish the times we do. I also went to a local farm where I live to do some strawberry picking with my friend Kirsi, and we had SUCH a fun day! I'd love to do this again next Summer.


In August my blogging had unfortunately completely slowed down. My 'dreaming of Autumn' blog post is probably the last good one (in my opinion) I did of this year. I still wasn't feeling 100% happy with things in my life (again, I'll touch on this later). We did, however, go away again - this time to Eastbourne and Portsmouth, and I had such a great time.


In September I announce that I was returning to University to do a postgrad course, this time in Nottingham. By the end of September I had up and moved to Nottingham and had begun the course that I am currently on!


In October I turned 24 years old, and my parents came to visit me in Nottingham to celebrate my birthday. We visited the Castle, and ate yummy food. Unfortunately I didn't do any outfit posts in October. 


In November, Hanna came to visit me in Nottingham on a very rainy day, and this was the last blog post I did of 2014.

...

And in December I did no outfit posts.
However, here is a picture of me and my friends from last week celebrating Christmas.

This time last year, when I made a blog post just like this one, I set myself some realistic resolutions for 2014, which you can check out here. I am happy to say that I have pretty much completed those resolutions. My first resolution was to either find a job, start up my own business, or return to University. I haven't spoken about it publicly on my blog before, but after interning for 6 months in 2013, I entered 2014 unemployed and constantly searching for work. I then spent the next 6 months still unemployed, and it was completely heartbreaking. I was getting the interviews, but not the job, and I was determined to not give up. In the Summer I then got another internship, which I did for another 3 months, completely unpaid (no expenses), 40 hours a week and travelled over 3 hours there and back each day. This is why, after lots of thinking and a very last minute decision ended up with me back at University. Some people may not agree with my decision, but designing and making clothes for plus size women is all I want to do, and I hate having my future being held in someone elses hands, and I wanted to take my future back into my own hands and learn the things that I want to learn. I think it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. My second resolution for this year was to clear out the spare room and make it into a sewing studio - which I did, and it was a big job! My third resolution was to work harder, blog more and turn my blog into something I am proud of - which again, I think I did do, up until the end of this year. I'm really happy with my photography and how my outfit posts turned out - I've always wanted them to tell a story, and hopefully they came across like that.

My fourth resolution for this year was to go abroad- which I did, to Krakow, Poland. My fifth resolution was to read more books - and as you may have seen, I joined a book club with some of my fellow bloggers, but that wasn't all the books I read. On Goodreads I originally set myself the task of reading 20 books this year, but I had to keep upping it as I kept overtaking my goal. My reading has considerably slowed down since returning to University, which does upset me a bit but I have very little time to read, but I happy to announce that I read 34 books this year! I am really proud of myself. Here are the books I read:


And my last resolution for this year was to 'be happy', which is the hardest of them all. I can say that I am happier now than I was earlier in the year, but University is rarely a 'happy' time but more of a stressful time. I'm also still worried about the future, much like everyone else, and there's things I am both happy and not happy about. I'm a very negative and pessimistic person, so being 'happy' doesn't come easy to me. So I did sort of do this resolution. Which brings me onto next year...

I feel very differently about 2015 compared to the prospect of 2014 this time last year. I was extremely worried about 2014 because I knew the likelihood of long-term unemployment and there was absolutely nothing planned, and I just felt miserable and lost and exhausted. This time I am still anxious, but I'm keeping an open mind. I feel it could be a big year in terms of having to complete my postgrad, and also because I'll be turning 25 next October, which is very scary! But also over the last few months I have felt a change inside of me, and I'm not the same person anymore, and I think it's just part of growing up. Bearing all this in mind, here are my resolutions for 2015: 

  1. Complete my postgrad course to the best of my ability. (pushing grades aside - it is about the personal journey and working hard)
  2. Learn, experiment and research as much as possible, and be open minded to trying new things. Make the most out of being back at University, and get everything out of the course that I want to get out of it.
  3. Get to know Nottingham and the Midlands as much as I can in a short amount of time/whilst studying.
  4. Keep up the reading, but maybe more like 15 books? I'm not Superwoman.
  5. Visit exhibitions and also read academic books.
  6. Don't let Minecraft take up all my time. (same goes for Youtube and Netflix)
  7. Be less hard on myself, and try turning negative thoughts in to positive ones.
  8. Work on my confidence, and be less afraid of failure.
  9. Return to blogging by the end of the year, but maybe in a reinvented way?
  10. Bonus one: Get a second tattoo. (sorry Mum & Dad)
Before I say goodbye to you, 2014, and this very long blog post, I just want to quickly touch on resolution number 9. Yes, I am saying goodbye to blogging for now and leaving it behind in 2014, but I don't see it as a final goodbye, the door will still be left open. I have been thinking about this for a few months now, and since I've come home for Christmas I have confirmed my own decision. Originally I was planning to do some blog posts over the holidays, but I just haven't had time inbetween uni work, seeing friends and family, and just being able to enjoy being at home. I hate doing things half-heartedly, and I really feel my blog is suffering since I've been at uni, and I feel guilty for you my readers. It's not only because of uni, but also my enthusiasm for blogging has dropped, and I would rather come back to blogging when I'm really excited to do it like I used to be. I am so happy that I have reached over 200 blog followers, it means SO MUCH to me to have your support, and I am so sorry if I have let you down, but I don't want to keep you hanging and promise blog posts that may never come. This isn't goodbye forever, it's just goodbye for the meantime. Maybe after completing my course I will return, or whenever I feel ready. However, my blog will still be here, I won't be taking it down. And of course I will still be over on Twitter and Instagram if you want to see what I'm up to at uni or my spare time.

This decision has been a long time coming, but also a very hard decision to make. Even putting this blog post together has made me sad and doubt my decision from seeing all the lovely photo's from throughout the year. But I am making the right decision, and I need to focus on my uni work/future career as a designer. Again, I am sorry, but I want to thank you all for the support over the last two and a half years, and I hope you bear with me for the future.

Best wishes, and I hope you all have a great 2015.






Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Rainy Days

Dress - New Look Inspire (old), Cardigan - Dorothy Perkins (old), Bag - Nica,
Shoes - Clarks, Tights - Marks & Spencer
Hello!
What's this, another outfit post already?! I know, I know - I'm impressed too! These photo's are courtesy of my dear friend Hanna who came to visit me for the day in Nottingham at the weekend. We went for burgers and milkshakes, and then relaxed back at mine as our stomachs hurt from eating too much! We had a lovely day, and Hanna encouraged me to take some outfit pictures, despite me thinking my outfit was pretty boring. These photo's were taken beside my university, and as you can tell it was a bit wet and cold. I can't complain though as I do love Autumn/Winter weather! It's lovely having visitors whilst I'm in Nottingham - and I've probably said it already but I'm enjoying living here, and I'm enjoying being back at university too! Things are really starting to look up for me compared to the first half of this year, and I'm feeling much happier with my life. Until next time,



Thursday, 20 November 2014

Homeward Bound

Top - New Look Inspire, Skirt - ASOS Curve (old), Coat - New Look Inspire (old),
Shoes - Clarks, Bag - Nica, Tights - Marks & Spencer
Hello!
I've made a few little visits back to London recently, one for a weekend so I could go home and see my parents, but also so I could visit a few exhibitions in London. In particular I went to see the Grayson Perry exhibition about identity at the National Portrait Gallery, which I really recommend - it's free too! My other quick visit to London was for the Simply Be SS15 collection preview, in which I came down just for the day and wore this outfit. Me and Isha met up for food and chats before the event, and it was lovely to see her. It's really strange visiting London just for a day/or weekend, and even though I'm loving being in Nottingham, London will always be my home. I do miss it.

I snapped some pictures for Isha before the event, and thought I should get in on the action whilst I had the chance too. I feel so rusty at blogging at the moment - my 'posing' seems worse than ever, and editing them and writing this blog post feels weird too! I haven't been feeling very positive about my wardrobe/whats available on the highstreet for plus size at the moment, and have been really wrapped up in my own design work at uni. So I haven't really bought much, except this lovely top from New Look and these shiny shoes from Clarks to replace my burgundy Topshop ones which are about to fall apart. So my reasons for not blogging often are partly because I'm busy at uni, but also because I don't feel I have anything worthy to share as I've hardly bought anything new over the last few months and I'm just wearing the same old stuff. So I do apologise but I am so inspired by what the plus size fashion world is offering at the moment, but I am trying to change that within my own designs as it really motivates me!

However, I did enjoy the Simply Be SS15 collection preview event, and I'm excited for the clothes to come in stock next season. I have put some pictures of the garments and the event up on my Instagram if you're interested in checking it out. But what I'm really excited for is that they've started lowering their prices, and some of it is really, really affordable for the masses. It was great seeing everyone at the event as it feels like it's been ages since I last saw everyone or went to an event. So thank you Simply be for a wonderful evening! Until next time,