Sunday, 20 November 2016

Christmas Party Outfit Planning with Simply Be

Hi Folks!

Yes I know it's only November but the Party season has already begun with me so today's post is a little Christmas party inspiration for all my curvy ladies out there!

I was definitely struggling for inspiration myself so when Simply Be contacted me and asked if I wanted to feature some of their Party-wear I was pretty excited!

I shop with Simply Be all the time anyway so to feature a brand I already love was a no-brainer! They have a tonne of Party Dresses, tops etc to cater to lots of different tastes You can see them all here

The Dress

As mentioned above, I was spoilt for choice and, after much deliberation I chose this Black Lace Prom Dress.
I loved the full skirt and had already mentally put an outfit together with gold because I think black and gold is a great classic combination and I love a bit of glitz for the party season.

What I love about this dress is the fact that the top is plain and fitted and the skirt is a beautiful lace design and flowy so it shows off your shape but also flatters any tummy concerns you might have (If you are anything like me!).

I also loved the length of the skirt as it's classy and saves me getting too much of my legs out.

The Shoes

Simply Be have a fab selection of party heels (check them out here) and I was drooling over some of the higher heels but I knew that they would be a little bit too adventurous and I'd be limping and wincing within about 5 minutes.
So when I saw these pretty, glittery block heeled shoes I thought they looked like the perfect in-between; a little height, glitter but not spindly and frightfully painful looking (I really do have a way with words don't I!). 

These are actually quite comfortable, I'd probably still bring flats to change in to if I was on a night out and wanted to dance the night away, but I think they are pretty cool and really match the outfit beautifully.

The Outfit

I paired the dress and shoes with a glittery gold pashmina that I got from eBay for a couple of quid. The reason I did this was; mostly because I like to cover my arms and this does it without covering up too much of the dress in the way a jacket would, but also it ties in with the shoes and pulls it all together. I also added the chunky gold Primark necklace to dress it up- I do love a statement necklace.

Thanks to simply be for sending me this outfit, it's going to be great for the party season!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Pouring my heart out- Dealing With the Loss of my Mother

Hi Folks,

I have not been on here in so long!

To tell you the truth, I fell out of love with blogging.
I am not the worlds greatest writer or photographer, I feel into the trap of not treating it as a hobby and feeling like I had to have a set schedule to get the readers and just really felt a lot of pressure, so I stopped.

That might change so keep an eye out!

I don't really know why I am doing it today other than that I've gone through a massive life event recently and I wanted to purge my thoughts so strap yourself in because it's a long one!!

If you follow me on twitter or snapchat or whatever, you will know that I lost my Mum two months ago.
It was and wasn't a shock, she had end stage COPD, nearly died last year, heart problems, diabetes and had been failing for a long time but somehow I had managed to fool myself, on some level, in to thinking that she was invincible.
Don't get me wrong, I knew that she wasn't right, I knew that she hadn't been right for a long time but getting the call to say that she might have hours left still shook me to the core.
I got the first available flight home and she died when I was in the air, I found out stood on my own in an airport- not the best of places but where is the best place to find out your Mum died?
I went straight to the hospital from the airport and when I saw her laying there, I cried but it still didn't fully sink in.

Over the years me and mammy had an up and down relationship. Mammy had her issues, I had my issues but one thing remained the same- we both loved each other and we both knew that.

When she died I cried, of course I did but I didn't have much time to dwell on it. I had the whole Irish Catholic wake and funeral Circus to deal with.
For the 3 days before the funeral we had people in the house from 11am to midnight, all needing fed and watered and talked to. Thank God for my Siblings and my Cousins or I would probably have flipped and killed someone (bit dramatic but you get the picture).

There is a certain expectation on a mourning family, in fact one particular family member basically told me off for crying as 'I was doing so well' and one stopped me from having some down time with my nieces and nephew because 'people wanted to talk to me'.
All I wanted to do was scream and tell them all to f**k off but being a reasonably polite and sane person I sucked it up and got on with it.
It was sort of good, it helped me take my mind off the Mammy wasn't going to come back and that my life would inevitably change forever.

On the Sunday, the funeral happened and the next day I came back to leeds and had to go straight in to moving house. I was numb, I had managed to rationalise things in my head and after a week off work I attempted to go back.

I was in one day and I couldn't deal with people so I took another week off. I busied myself and told myself I needed to be ok so the following week I went back to work and, for the most part, I was ok.
I was telling people about all the funny things that happened and was able to talk like it was someone else's story that I observed, that it wasn't me in the middle of it all.

It's now that it seems to all be hitting me. Over the past few days I've been feeling really crappy. I have cried more than normal (and I cry a fair bit anyway), I'm losing interest in things and just have had this feeling of being lost and a wee bit hopeless.
I know it's normal but I keep telling myself that I should be OK by now. I guess I'm hoping getting it out on this post will be cathartic and help me deal with it all.

My friends tell me that Mammy is looking down on me, or that's she is up there with various loved ones we have lost, but I really can't bring myself to think like that at the minute, I'm not sure what I believe in anymore.

I know this has been a bit of a depressing post but I just needed to get it out and hopefully, if someone else is going through the same thing then they'll read this and know that they aren't alone.  I'm so lucky to have my boyfriend, great friends and family to get me through this but not everyone is that lucky.
I don't want sympathy and am certainly not doing this post for attention.

I hope my next post will be a bit more upbeat and maybe I'll tell you the funny stories that got my mind through the dark times and we'll all have a good old chuckle.

In the meantime, if this has struck a chord with you then let me know in the comments, on snapchat 'lauraq88' or on twitter '@lauraq88' remember that you aren't alone.

Sleep tight Mammy, love you! xx

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Weightloss Wednesday- Feeling Positive

Well folks, it's been a wee while!

I had a couple of weeks off work on holiday and I really enjoyed it. I ate and drank what I wanted and, at the end, I put on 4lb

I actually really think that this was good for my motivation and, in turn, my weightloss because straight away, I was back on to counting points with more enthusiasm and drive than before and ended up losing the 4lb the very next week.

I was not, however, looking forward to yesterday's weigh in. Saturday night brought Pizza and Prosecco and I was less than frugal with my points.
But low and behold, I lost 1lb.

That Brings me to -3.5 stone  or -49lb of you are that way inclined!

Me- November to Now

I was so chuffed with myself yesterday and it once again spurred me on to continue!

I know I keep saying it but, little slip ups and breaks are OK as long as you get back on after!

This is the most amount of weight I've ever lost and the thinnest I've been in years (still a way to go but getting there!). I fully attribute it to my head Space and my ability to get over it and forgive my little foodie transgressions.

So I'm going to leave you with my food of the week.

This week is the DDC Rocky Rice Bars.

They are basically Puffed Rice, covered in chocolate and at 4 Smart Points and 95cals they are honestly fab at curbing the Chocolate craving and quite filling too!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Weightloss..... Thursday!

Hi Folks!

Been a wee bit slack this past week with blogposts and missed last week's weight loss Wednesday post so I thought I'd do a quick update.

So, I've been off work on holiday for about 10 days and decided not to track. I have eaten so much crap, so was dreading stepping on the scales on Tuesday.

But low and behold I had lost 2.75lb taking me to -3stone 5lb.

It just goes to show that it does catch up.
I am still being naughty though, I'm currently back home and have eaten out for every meal so I do anticipate a gain next Tuesday.

I just wanted to share a wee Non -Scale Victory with you.

I was so anxious to fly on Tuesday. Flybe planes are not the most forgiving for the larger frame. I got on the flight and honestly, I was so much more comfortable than I have been in so long. Long story short, my arse actually fit in the seat Haha!
This has really given me a boost for next time I fly alone and will help with my anxiety about it!

I hope you are enjoying this wee spell of sunshine. I certainly am!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Soap and Glory Archery 2 in 1 Brow Pencil and Brush Review

Hello all!

Today's post is another wee review, this time it's on the Soap and Glory Brow Archery pencil in Brownie Points.

This is a fine pencil on one end and a spoolie on the other. A lot of people have claimed this to be a dupe for the, very popular, Anastasia Brow Wiz but a lot cheaper. Now I've never tried it but on looks alone it looks very similar.

The Pencil

Like I say above the product is a very thin, twist up pencil on one side and a rather good spoolie on the other. The product is quite a dry, hard pencil but don't let that put you off, it just means you can control how much or how little you put on with ease and mimic hairs, for a more natural brow. The spoolie is so handy on the other end and it's a nice, dense one which is really useful for brushing the product through or before you apply.

The Colour

I got the shade 'Brownie Points', this is a mid-toned medium brown. It's not fully grey and ashy but it's definitely not warm and red, which makes it perfect for most mid-dark brunettes or even blondes if you like to darken your brows a little. It does come across a little warmer in the swatch picture than it is in reality.
 For me, I think I'd like it in the darker shade as my hair is a lot darker than my brows and I like to match them a little more. It looked very natural on me but I prefer a bit more of a full on look.  There are only Three shades in the range, which is annoying, but if you can make one work for you then give it a go.

Left brow filled in using the pencil and right brow Natural. (screen shot from video hence the durp face)

The Wear

I had no issues with fading or anything. I wore it for about 12 hours each time I wore it and it stayed in place.


I do like this, especially for more natural days, it's really affordable, the spoolie is fab and I'll keep using it, If I do replace it, I'll probably get the darker shade.

If you'd like to see me applying it, check out my video here.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Weightloss Wednesdays- Getting my Mojo back!

Hello folks!

This week is an altogether more positive tale!

I'm going to jump right in and say, after putting on 1.25lb last week, I've lost 2lb this week!!! That brings my total down to 3st 2.75 lb! Yay!!!!

So how did I do it? I hear you ask...

Well truth be told, I just got back on my Weight Watchers plan.

I tracked everything (aside from maybe a couple of vodkas on Sat night- sssh), I got back to eating at home for dinner and trying to bring my own lunch into work and, despite it being my 'heavy' week, It worked!

NSV (Non Scale Victory)

My NSV this week was that people have mentioned it a bit more. 'have you lost weight' and 'you can really tell you've lost a lot of weight' was mentioned a couple of times. I know I shouldn't look to others for validation and believe me, I'm not! But I can deny that it does feel good when people notice.

My goal for the week

I really want to start doing some regular exercise. 5 days a week I walk about 20 mins to and from buses/work but aside from that I've been doing very little exercise.
it is relevant... I walk past these when I go to the bus Haha! 

 I'm terrified of losing loads of weight and having a ridiculous amount of loose skin. And while I know that I will inevitably have some, I wanted try do all I can to minimise. Even if it's a few squats, sit ups, maybe some light weights, or even an extra walk or two, I really want to introduce something.

Aside from the cosmetic benefits, I want to get a bit fitter too!

So I'll check back in next week and let you know how I get on!

Any tips for me?

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation Review

Hi folks! I hope ye are all well on this fine Sunday! (or whatever day you are reading this!)

Today I have a wee review for you on the Newest Foundation release from Maybelline- The Dream Velvet Foundation and I have the colour 01 Natural.

The Packaging

It comes in a squeeze tube and the packaging is nice a sleek, it doesn't offend me or excite me but it's nice. The colour of the tube reflects the colour of the foundation which is handy.

The Colour

01- Natural seems to be the lightest shade and it is definitely on the yellow side. I have quite the pink face but it does seem to blend in OK and neutralise my redress so as long as I blend it down my neck then it is fine for me.

The Formula

Maybelline bills this as a Hydrating- Matte foundation and states that it's a 'gel- whipped formula'. The texture is very whipped but I'm not sure I agree with the hydrating aspect. It definitely clings to my dry bits- an issue I've had with nearly every Maybelline foundation I've tried. It goes on really smoothly and it is matte but I still needed to set it with a powder as it takes a long time to set, if it does set fully at all.
It doesn't do well with cream products over it, it tends to go a bit chunky but it's fine with powder blush and bronzer etc.

The Coverage

The coverage, I would say, is medium-full and slightly buildable but don't try to build it up too much as it does slip around a little so stippling it on helps with this.

The Longevity

I've tried this out on and off for 3 weeks and each time it has not wowed me. It starts to break down on my nose first after not much over an hour. It fades at my jawline and forehead and just doesn't last well at all, it goes very patchy. I really wouldn't recommend for long wear.
Another bone of contention for me was, it settled into my fine lines and wrinkles *cries into pillow dramatically*. I have started to get some very definite lines and the last thing I want is for my foundation to highlight this, this definitely did that to me.

Ignore the face but this was my nose after a full days wear with topped up powder at least twice. You can see that it's rubbed off on and around the nose and it's back to it's pinky glory haha! 

This is my face overall after 10 hours wear. I'm comparing it to my normal, Rimmel, foundation and it didn't hold up well at all. 


I was not impressed with this foundation, it has a good price point (£7.99), applies nicely and has decent coverage. If you have a normal skin or younger skin then it might be for you but it certainly didn't suit my ageing (sobs!), combination skin whatsoever.

If you want to see me apply and chat about it then take a look here.