Thursday, 22 September 2016

Jameela Jamil for Simply Be*

When it comes to party dressesSimply Be have got you covered. With lace and mesh, winter florals, abstract patterns and lush colours, they have so many different styles and designs that you are bound to be able to find the perfect Christmas party dress. I know, it's September, and I really did say the C word, but what can I say, I'm getting organised!

And when it comes to winter party dresses, red is the ultimate colour for me, so I just had to pick out this Jameela Jamil Ponte Red Midi Dress*! Released in black earlier in the year I fell in love with it but couldn't justify it at the time. So many of my favourite bloggers rocked it and I really pined for it. So when Simply Be asked me to style my favourite party dresses, the red version had to be mine. It's a dress that does all the talking, so simple was the way to go.

Some chunky platforms from Yours Clothing (available in up to a 10EEE!) to add a 90s feel, and not take too much attention away from the dress. The dotty mesh is the stand out detailing and I went with no jewellery save for my 'everyday' jewellery as it just doesn't need anything else.

Isn't it just a beaut? The full skirt and the mesh are so lovely. I'm 5ft 11 and this falls to a good length on me, on most it would be a true midi length rather than slightly below the knee. The arms are ever so slightly short on me but not in a way that bothers me. Someone needs to host a whole bunch of Christmas parties so I can wear this please!

And of course, one incredible bag is all this outfit needed to complete it. And this Mary Frances camera bag that my parents bought me for our wedding. The beading and details mimic a real camera to perfection and it's so precious to me. And how cute is the dotty mesh on this dress? I opted for a strapless bra so you couldn't see the straps under the mesh to distract from the lines of the dress.

The long sleeves make this ideal for the cooler months, I can just see this at a winter wedding!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

*denotes an item that was gifted for review purposes. In no way does this impact upon my opinions which are entirely my own.

PS. Didn't my Dad do a good job helping with my blog photos?

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Introducing She Might Be

She Might Be is a brand new plus size magazine and community that I am so proud to be a part of. It is the brain child of the fabulous Georgina Grogan of She Might Be Loved, and the contributors are all plus size bloggers!

I'm one of 13 writers, sizes 16-28, and our ages range from early 20' to 50s. We have a great mix of different bloggers and experiences who can all bring something unique to the table.

I have three articles live at the launch which is so exciting. The feedback on my first article, which was actually the first one on the entire website, has really blown me away and been so touching.

My first article is all about reclaiming the word fat, you can read it here

I would love to hear what subjects you want me to write about. Is there a brand you are curious about? Is the latest buzzword or hashtag really getting on your nerves? Tweet me and let me know!

Next up is an article about photography and the plus size body that you can read at the link below

And finally, '#SheMightBeDiverse', all about the lack of real diversity in body positive campaigns. We got the hashtag trending on twitter! Read it here

We will have articles about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, hot topics and so much more. We were trending on twitter on the first day of the launch! How cool is that?

I am so proud to be a part of this magazine, and so proud of Georgina for creating such a positive space! I can't wait to see what comes next.

Much love,
Kitty xxxxx

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Give Me Lace Wingz*

Wingz are a company I've been aware of for a little while, but until recently I didn't quite 'get'. They make something totally different, they make sleeves that can be added to any outfit. Sleeves! What one earth would you need separate sleeves for? They started out with plain jersey styles to begin with but have recently expanded their range bringing in some lace styles, so when given the chance to review them my inner goth was more than happy to!

I'm wearing the new stretch lace Wingz in 3/4 length sleeves in black*. Once I had these, I finally got it. All those cute dresses and tops I have that I don't wear come autumn because it's too warm to wear a jacket over them, but too cold to go sleeveless? These are the answer. Any top without sleeves can be turned into a new part of your autumn wardrobe just by popping these on underneath.

Wingz are like a crop top you pop on over your bra, that is open on the bust. I'm wearing the size 3 which is a 22-26 and it fits me just fine, and I am a very broad 26. The material is nice and soft and stretchy, so if you have bigger arms they should be no problem. I'm ft 11 and they sit just below the elbow on me which I think is a great length. The pattern is lovely, and the scalloping at the hem is a really nice touch, much prettier than just a straight finish. I found these slipped a little but when I first put them on, but it was more my error when dressing myself that caused this, than the Wingz themselves. They have a video on their website showing the best way to put them on here. Once I had that right, they didn't budge.

I don't think these would work with spaghetti straps because you'd be able to see the elasticated parts of the Wingz, but any top or drop that is sleeveless will be ideal. I wore them under an older Simply Be dress that I love and you couldn't tell that they were part of the dress.

If you aren't the most comfortable with your upper arms, which seems to be a sadly all too common insecurity for us plus size folks, these mean you really can buy that LBD you saw and wished had little sleeves, because you can add those sleeves yourself! They have chiffon versions, split sleeves and jersey material in a variety of colours, they can add a whole new dimension to your wardrobe! It means being able to bring those cute dresses into autumn with you, and being able to add an extra layer of warmth without adding and bulk.

A brilliant concept, and one I'm sure I'll rock this autumn!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

*indicates an item that was gifted to me for review purposes. In no way does this impact upon my opinions which are entirely my own.

PS. You have no idea how hard it is to pose to show off your arms, I am the awkwardest!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A Morris-Wood Wedding : 35mm Film

When you book a photographer like ClickClickBang, you get something really special. You get care, attention, a photographer who understands the more 'alternative' aspects of your wedding, and a real artist. When Donna mentioned shooting film at our wedding I was so so excited. There's something so special about film, you can't replicate that look. It's beautiful and the colours are so special.

There's something so incredible about the depth film cameras give, it really makes photos pop. Look at that gorgeous blur!

Film has personality, you can't predict it. Look at the scratches, the little flecks of light, you can't fake that.

Just look at that light and how it looks. A perfect sunset. A crisp moment.

I mean seriously, that depth of field is something else. To be able to so perfectly capture the engraving inside our Celia Rose Jewellery custom wedding rings, this has quickly become a favourite photo of mine. I'd almost forgotten that the date was inside the rings!

Film is timeless. It's both vintage and classic, whilst also being hard to age. This photo of our first dance could have been taken any time in the 50 years, only the fashion gives the era away.

When you book Donna, you truly get something different and extraordinary. I can't speak highly enough of her and Ste, her husband and second shooter.

Much love,
Kitty xxxxx

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Curve Fashion Festival 2016

This was my second year attending the Curve Fashion Festival, this year hosted in lovely Liverpool! it brings together plus size brands to showcase different fashions with catwalk events, talks and more. But for me, the day is really about the blogger friends I see there, they are what makes it a brilliant day for me.

What I wore! A fabulous 'Kitty' tutu (named after me!) by Tutu Factory*, a super old top that I've cut the tag out of, heels from Yours Clothing, and necklace by BloodyMary Metal. Big thanks to Hollie of Pretty Big Butterflies for taking this for me! I wanted cute but comfy and this definitely fit the bill. I don't usually wear heels, but these are so easy to wear and soft on the soles of your feet. They've had them in rose gold so I'm desperately hoping them come back in in my size!

Me, Sarah of Plus Size & Proud, and Debz of Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess all wore tutus, so we had to have a photo together! Mine and Sarah's are both Tutu Factory, and Debz's is Society+. I love that you can see what the same thing looks like on two completely different body types! I'm 5ft 11 and Sarah is 4ft 10, but we are wearing the same style tutu, though mine is the longest length they do and I suspect Sarah's isn't.

So I met Naomi of Diamonds & Pearls, and wow does she just light up a room! Her smile is so infectious and she's so sweet. And you know I just had to spend most of my time with my darling Steph of Nerdabouttown. I just completely adore her!

 The lovely folks at SimplyBe kindly sent me to TCFF, so huge thanks guys! Even if it did take me and Steph 4 photos to figure out how to use your photobooth properly haha.

I missed Gloria Shuri Henry last year, so I wasn't going to do the same again this year! I happened to be in the lobby as she arrived so took her photo and got a selfie before we wandered for a bit. Gloria and her husband are total dolls and I'm so glad we got to chat.

I had to get another selfie with Tess Holliday. She was super busy so we didn't get much chance to chat, but me and Steph had a good natter with Nick Holliday about music. Baby Bowie was there too, he just slept all day, such a quiet good baby!

I also met the hilarious Sandi and Sandra of Gogglebox. These ladies are just a whirlwind of laughs! What treasures!

Big thanks to these two lovelies who made my day by wanting their photo taken with me! When you blog it can be hard to know who is really reading what you write, or who is it impacting upon, but to have someone come up to you in person and tell you that they read your blog and find you inspiring, it's so humbling. Thank you so so much, you made my day!

In total contrast, I once again turned fan girl for Hayley Hasselhoff who remembered me from last year which absolutely made me smile. I mean, just look at her! Looking at this photo I seriously need to learn to do my makeup better, that highlight!

And finally, I got to meet Bethany of ArchedEyebrow in person after much nattering on twitter, and she's just as awesome IRL as she is online. She's exactly the same. So I had to drag her in a photobooth with me. Look how good we look!

I did not take nearly enough selfies with people, I always end up forgetting and getting carried away on the day. TCFF is a fantastic day because of the people who attend it. Spending time with all the bloggers I talk to everyday online is a rarity, so getting to have so many of us together is a real treat. There is shopping to do, and catwalks, and a couple of talks, but there isn't that much to do if you don't know a lot of the people at the event. It's still in it's infancy so hopefully will continue to grow and improve! It's one of the few events up North so much easier for me to attend than anything in London. As a blogger I love the event because of the people there, but if I wasn't a blogger I don't think I could make a proper day of it like we did.

Thanks to Alfie for the group shot!

Thank you so much to everyone who let me take their photo for new project She Might Be... you'll find out more real soon!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

*Thanks so much to the Tutu Factory for dressing me!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

SimplyBe Surprises!*

Getting a surprise box in the post is always super exciting, so when SimplyBe told me they were sending a little something over, with no hint of what, I couldn't wait to get it!

What arrived was a beautiful box wrapped in silver ribbon, full of blue goodies! It's a really thick and fancy box that my cats promptly claimed as their own, such a lovely touch when things are sent in a great packaging.

The first thing to catch my eye is this lush blue Colour-Block Satchel Bag*. It's a sweet mix of sky blue and a brighter blue, with a pocket on the front.

It has gold hardware, a hand strap and a longer shoulder strap. It's a polyester material so perfect for veggies and vegans too!

Any company that puts Love Hearts in their packages has it right!

A real surprise was the Lipsy Glam* perfume. I pretty much stick to one perfume all the time so I was I was intrigued to try this. It has a a floral scent with touches of sweet, perfect for day time wear.

And how pretty is that bottle? It'd look so good on a vanity table out on display. I had no experience of the brand Lipsy, so some googling was required to find out if they were cruelty free or not. They are owned by Next PLC who operate a no animal testing policy you can read more about here.

Of course a cat wanted in on the attention and photos, this time it was our little old lady Patches.

I can't find this animal print scarf on their website, but it's soooooo soft. It's quite thin making it an ideal transitional piece for autumn. The neutral colours make it easy to match with a variety of looks.

This layered necklace has a coral gemstone, a geometric shape and a thin bar for detailing, all on a gold type chain. I'm not usually one for gold, but I like the layering and geometric trends so I'm sure I can make this work!

They also sent me an adorable dress, but I haven't had chance to photograph it yet, but I am sure it'll appear in an outfit post soon enough.

Thanks SimplyBe!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

CowCow Plus Cutie : SimplyBe Mesh Insert Dress Review

*these items were sent to me as a gift, in no way does this impact upon my opinions which are entirely my own.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

A Morris-Wood Wedding : The Venue

Me and Stu were probably pretty unusual when it came to picking our wedding venue. We had one venue in mind, looked at that one venue, and immediately booked it! There are a lot of different options in Grimsby and the surrounding area, but we fell in love with a venue in the village I had grown up in, so it was an easy choice. As a photographer, I've worked at many of the local venues, so I knew what I liked and didn't like, and I knew I didn't want to get married at any of the venues I'd worked at for a variety of reasons. We had a couple of specifications, it had to be able to seat about 120 people, (we have huge families!), and the ceremony and the reception had to be able to take place in the same location.

We got married at Healing Manor Hotel, in their barn setting. They have two different rooms to host weddings in, and we picked The Barn. What is probably even more unusual is that we booked our venue while it was still a construction site! They had begun work on The Barn but it wasn't finished when we booked it, but we could both just imagine how it would actually look on completion, so we risked it. 

Healing Manor Hotel has 3 different bridal suites to pick from! I picked one that is totally separate from the rest of the hotel, in a smaller converted barn of it's own. It has the main bridal suite in the middle, and two smaller double rooms built one on each side of it, with interconnecting doors. This meant my bridesmaids could stay over with me the night before, but that we could all have our own space too. I loved this idea! We spent the night before painting our nails and listening to Tsunami Bomb, before sleeping in truly enormous and comfy beds.

Staying at the venue meant a walk from our room to The Barn itself to get married. The grounds of Healing Manor Hotel are just gorgeous so it meant for pretty photos on the way over.

Stu and the groomsmen also all walked over to the venue as they weren't staying far away, we saved pennies on wedding cars as we didn't have any! I love this photo of the groom's party walking up to the venue.

The Barn is two rooms, one ceremony room, and one reception room. They are decorated in a similar way, with exposed bricks, worn wooden panels on some of the walls, and plain walls. I love the exposed beams in the ceremony room. It's all really lightly coloured which is really handy for the photographer, better lighting! It also means you can really put your own stamp on things with your decor as the room is much more versatile than one with a specific look or distinct colour theme.

The rooms are separated by these sound proof curtains, and during the meals we had them shut, but for the evening they were opened up to make the room even bigger. We had the option of using the curtains if any of the guests needed a quieter location too which is a great touch. Older guests might not have been too happy with being subjected to our heavy metal!

This is how our reception room looked! Nice and bright and full of light, which is very important to a photographer. I've worked in so many venues that are dark and dingy and really make your job as a photographer difficult, so this was something I was really keen on.

The main room had all sorts of cute cubby holes made of exposed bricks that we put paper flowers and vases in to continue the theme throughout. Healing Manor Hotel were so helpful and let us pop along to measure bits and pieces and figure out what DIY we needed to make based on these little holes and windows. We could pretty much go over whenever we wanted unless there was an event on which was such a help! 

The grounds of Healing Manor Hotel are truly lush. It is set in 36 acres of land! It has woodland, open fields, two large ponds, an island, and it also has a pub, The Pig & Whistle, which our guests made full use of! I know the grounds really well, so knew it had lots of pretty spots to take photos in. We had our couple photos taken in several different places and they all looked beautiful.

Now the staff at Healing Manor Hotel are what really makes everything easy. Kathryn who is the wedding coordinator is an absolute star. She made planning the wedding so stress-free and fun! Any question you had, she got it done. We had a totally bespoke menu rather than use one of their packages and she got it all sorted. She made sure everything ran smoothly and was really enthusiastic about the more quirky aspects of our day which was fab!

Our Master of Ceremonies Jack was hilarious and perfect for our day. We met him before hand and he really fed off us with how he ran the day, he was professional, but also knew when it was time to make a joke. When it came to cutting our cheese cake, he announced that 'Stu and Kitty are now about the cut the cheese!' which made us crease. It totally suited the laid back party atmosphere we wanted. He was brilliant!

All day the staff were just a pleasure to deal with, even Mark who owns the hotel, was mucking in and helping out. He got me my sunglasses when I realised I'd left them in the bridal suite! Several of the bar staff also bought me and Stu drinks out of their pocket when we went to the bar, being adamant the bride and groom wouldn't spend a penny on their watch. Just incredible, and something they really did not have to do. They had two weddings on the day we got married, ours and another in their Cadogan Suite. We had absolutely no idea there was another wedding at our venue, they handled it amazingly and everything ran so smoothly.

The band arriving to set up for the evening!

I can't thank Healing Manor Hotel enough for being so wonderful to us. They really got what we wanted to do with our wedding and accommodated us in every way they could. If you are local and starting to plan your wedding day, please go and check them out! It's not only a stunning venue and grounds, but the staff made sure the whole event was stress free, what more could you want!

As ever, all incredible photography by ClickClickBang Photography.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

I'm nominated for Best Plus Size Blog and Best Plus Size YouTube at the British Plus Size Awards! Place your votes here