Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The world is a scary place

Right now the world is a scary place, and it can seem overwhelming at times, especially when you are outside of the US. My blog has never been a political place, but my social media is, and it's time to change that. It can feel like there is nothing you can do to help, but I wanted to compile some ways those of us outside the US can help.

One of the big organisations working hard to fight Trump and his executive orders is the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU. They do incredible work, but they need our support to keep on fighting the good fight. They brought the lawsuit that is directly fighting the #MuslimBan and are trying to bring families back together. You can donate to them directly on their website at the link below - 

Another organisation that needs support is the CAIR (Council on American-Muslim Relations). They are specifically helping the fight against the prejudices that Muslims in America are facing right now. They are America's largest Muslim civil liberties organisation. More info and ways to donate can be found here - 

In the UK, we can contact our MPs and ensure that they know how we feel. Let them know that you disagree with Theresa May's hand of friendship being extended to Trump, let them know that you disagree with the #MuslimBan and Trump's scheduled visit to the UK. The more of us that speak up and let our feelings known the better.

There are organisations within the UK that are helping refugees right here at home that need our help too. With the US potentially refusing to take the refugees they had promised to help, they need all the help they can get.

Detention Action are an organisation that aims to help refugees and asylum seekers who are already here in the UK, but who are being held in detention while they wait to see if they will be approved. Many of the people held in detention are stateless, they cannot return home, but they cannot settle here till their applications have been approved.

Many of these charities and organisations need donations, but if you can't donate, spread their links where you can. Raising awareness is absolutely key, so keep retweeting and sharing those links, every RT is a new audience that might be able to help even more.

Don't support the organisations whose leaders are cosying up with Trump or are in his cabinet. Delete your Uber account and let them know why, stand with those companies that are brave enough to speak out and risk their brands.

If you are physically able to, attend the marches and protests local to you. Not everyone is able to do this, but those who can, please do. Every voice is another voice than cannot be ignored. Share information for the marches on your social media, especially if you are a blogger with a large audience, everything we can do to help spread the word is essential. Be aware, don't take photos of people without their permission, do not share those photos of people without their permission, do not tag people in photos without their permission, it is not always safe for people to be publicly seen at a protest, use your privilege to raise the voices of those being discriminated against, don't drown out their voices. Worldwide condemnation is so important, we can come together against this hate.

The SWP have been attending many marches and handing out their placards and signs, do not take these. The SWP are hugely problematic and do not need our support. Make your own placards and be careful of which organisations you promote.

If you know of other trustworthy organisations that can help, please let me know them so I can add them to this list.

Kitty xxxx

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Inspired by Nerd About Town OOTD

One of the things about having blogger friends is that you occasionally end up with some serious lust for things you see them wear. This time it was Stephanie of Nerd About Town that is to blame. She posted an outfit post of herself in a dress that had been in my ASOS saved items list for ages, and I immediately had to go and order it. I'd been umming and aahing over it, and seeing Steph in it I just had to have it.

Dress - ASOS
Jacket - Matalan (old)
Leggings - ASOS (no longer available, similar here)
Shoes - Converse
Faux fur cuffs - ASOS (no longer available)
Bag - Skinnydip London via ASOS (no longer available)
Sunglasses - Quay Australia
Necklaces - BloodyMary Metal

I can never resist pairing anything with a faux leather jacket, so I went for a pale pink one with this dress so it matched my Andy Warhol Converses and added a bit more colour to the outfit. The faux fur cuffs are totally separate to the jacket so you can add them to anything which is so fun! It's like getting a whole new jacket without much cost.

The dress itself is sooooo good. It's comfy, it's cute, it made me feel adorable. It's an oversized smock fit, which I know is generally considered a bit of a 'no' in plus size clothing, but I love oversized and slouchy clothing! I love the fit of it, I wore it out on a lunch date with my husband and it was so good knowing I could be super comfy even after a big meal. Comfort is everything.

It sits a good length on me, I'm 5ft 11 and it's just above my knees. I'm looking forward to warmer weather and being able to wear this without leggings, it was 2 degrees when Stu took these photos for me, leggings were a must! The bag I'm holding in these photos broke immediately after we stopped clicking. Do not recommend! One of the clasps broke and it seemed to be held together with a tiny pin.

The frayed edges are possibly my favourite thing about this dress. It makes it so much cuter. I was so glad Steph posted her blog with these photos. I hadn't been sure what this dress would look like on a non-model plus size body but Steph looked so damn good I had to order it. It ended up costing me about £10 thanks to an ASOS A-List voucher too, yay!

I'm so glad to see bloggers posting themselves in clothing I've been debating over, I can't say my bank balance loves it, but I know I do! Seeing people who look like you in clothes you like is so helpful, it's why bloggers are important, especially in the plus size community. Most people don't look like models, so that's where bloggers come in. There's a blogger out there with a body like yours that can inspire you with your fashion too.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Skinnydip London Bag Haul

In the last year or so I have become bag obsessed. I used to be a one bag kind of gal, it served me for work, day, night, it didn't matter, I lugged the same old bag about. But in recent times I've began to really lust after bags, Big ones, small ones, totally impractical and ridiculous ones, and for Christmas I was lucky enough to finally fulfil one of my bag dreams, and I was given not one, but TWO Skinnydip London bags for Christmas! Skinnydip make the coolest bags and I've been dreaming of owning one for a while, and now I own two I had to share them, yay! (I know, I know, two bags is not technically a haul, but I wanted to call it that anyway!)

First up is this faux leather shoulder bag. It has an 'everyday' sort of style, but is a mini size and it's so cute. I can't find this bag on ASOS or the Skinnydip website anymore (sorry!) but it's too sweet not to share.

My favourite thing about this bag is the hardware. Rather than a traditional metal tone, they are an awesome oil slick sort of metal. I love it so much! It really adds more dimension and some extra fun to the bag. All the hardware is this sort of metal, even down to the zip on the inside.

While it has a secure flap that clips in nicely, this bag also has a zip up inside which I always like in a bag. I just feel a bit more secure in knowing that nothing is going to fall out of my bag, or potentially be sneaked out of it either.

EDIT - this bag broke the first time I used it. So disappointing!

The other bag is still available, and is the 'Druzy Ray Cross Body Bag'. I am obsessed with holographic and iridescent materials and I cannot resist a bag in them most of all. It has a really long silver chain so it is a true cross body bag, despite being the size of a clutch. It is tiny, and is definitely a bag that is more suited for nights out because you can pretty much only fit a lipstick, your phone and maybe a teeny wallet in it. It has no stretch or movement to it, so it's not a bag designed for daily use.

With the nature of the design this bag is technically reversable. One side has the poppers, the other is plain with the Skinnydip logo at the bottom. This is always handy when you are out and have maybe had a drink or two and have just thrown your bag on your shoulder, it looks adorable either way!

The texture on this is so neat, it's a sort of 3D prism and it reflects light beautifully. It's not the most practical because of the size, but it's so shiny that it had to be mine. I'm like a magpie with iridescent goodies!

Have you got any Skinnydip bags? I think I might need more, they have some really glam rock looking bags right now. I'm all about the holographic snake skin.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Rediscovering My Love For Skirts

For many years, I wore a uniform to hide myself away from the world. A plain black midi skirt, a plain t-shirt (with at least cap sleeves), full length leggings. The midi skirt was essential to this uniform, it was the basic that I felt more comfortable in. Well, really it was the only thing I felt comfortable in. When I began to finally experiment with my clothes, skirts were the first thing I ditched. No more comfort zone, no more skirts. They were too easy and familiar.

Until recently that is, when I fell back in love with the midi skirt. It's a classic for a reason, and I've been slowly sneaking them back into my wardrobe, just in more fun ways than the plain black I always used to wear. This mesh striped affair is one of the best pieces I've bought in ages, it's so comfy and it can be dressed up or down, and the mesh is just the right amount of rock and roll for me to feel like me.

This time round, the skirts are brighter and more attention grabbing. They have prints and are the statement piece in a whole outfit. They can be comfortable, but they can also be so damn cool. I'd always wanted a galaxy print skirt, but could never get one in my size, so while this skirt fitted the comfort zone in terms of the style, the print really did not, and it had to be mine! I stuck to black because it's supposed to be the colour that hid you, my bottom half is my biggest, so black it always had to be. No more!

And even more fun, the tutu! It's become an iconic item in the plus size world now, and I can totally see why. They add instant glamour, or adorable fun depending on how you style it. I love this purple one, it makes me feel like Lumpy Space Princess!

I avoided midi skirts for so long because it felt almost like I was giving in, going back to those scared ways I used to have. But in reality, I wasn't. Yes, I'll always feel comfy in a midi skirt, but I'm also not that scared little girl anymore. Instead of covering myself with full length leggings and plain prints, I bare chubby knees and fat arms with glee, all in my favourite style of skirt ever.

Now, if only I could find a good pleated midi skirt to add to my collection, then I'd be happy!

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Sunday, 22 January 2017

5 TV Shows I Recommend

In the next blog of my '5 things' series, I thought I'd recommend 5 of my all time favourite TV shows. Some are newer, some are older, but all of them are ones I'd happily rewatch and adore for different reasons.

1) Oz

Possibly my all time favourite TV show, Oz was truly groundbreaking. A prison drama, it started in 1997 and features issues and themes that would still be considered controversial today. There are a whole host of main characters with massive story arcs and character development, and some seriously incredible acting. This has just been added to NowTV and is absolutely worth the watch. It can be hard to watch at times, but also laugh out loud hilarious at others. I think it was hugely influential in all the television that came after it, it was the first HBO drama that really pushed boundaries. If you watch this, I also promise you that any TV show you ever watch after this will have you shouting 'oh, that's so and so from Oz!' because their actors pop up in everything.

2) Sons of Anarchy

This isn't a show without it's problems, but it is fantastic gripping television. It follows the story of Jax Teller and his biker gang, and their criminal activities. There are so many characters in this that you will love to hate, and one episode of this made me cry like no other TV show ever has! If you like long haired beardy men, this one is full of eye candy for you too.

3) Adventure Time

So here me out, yes, this is technically a kid's cartoon, but I love it! It's creative and surreal, and completely bizarre at times, but it also features lessons and ideas that are so important to teach children. From accepting everyone regardless of their species or appearance, to having characters with no distinct gender, and a totally created family, it tackles some hard issues in fun and wonderful story lines. I will never not think that Lemongrab is hilarious, and Lumpy Space Princess is ridiculous.

4) Star Trek : The Next Generation

Way back in 2012, my life changed completely. I was finally brave enough to leave the terrible relationship I was in, which also meant some tremendous changes. I quit my job, handed in my notice on my flat, and I moved across the country to be back near my family. But before I did all that, before I knew what I wanted to do, or was strong enough to do it, TNG was there for me. It sounds daft I know, but this TV show was there for me when no actual human could be. Team Picard Forever.

5) Buffy The Vampire Slayer

I know that Buffy can be problematic, and is just about the whitest TV show ever, but for 14 year old me, this was the first time I saw a really feminine girl be a total bad ass. She didn't need anyone, not her watcher or any man to save the world, she just needed herself and her friends. She was so cool, and characters like Willow also helped me realise that being a nerd was OK too, and bad ass in her own different way. Seeing a strong female character was so huge for me and I am grateful to Buffy for existing when she did.

I could talk about a whole bunch of other shows I love, but these are probably my all time faves. This week at least! What are your faves? I'm always looking for new shows to watch!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Colourpop It's Vintage

My lovely Auntie got me this Colourpop ultra matte lip set for Christmas so I just had to share it on my blog! This set is called 'It's Vintage' and it features 5 mini ultra matte liquid lipsticks. These mini lipsticks are 0.64g of products, whereas the full size ones are 3.2g, and this set retails for $18. 

They come in a cute little cardboard pack, which makes them an ideal gift. The mini size is also perfect for popping in even the tiniest of handbags, I have some ridiculously small clutches for nights out and these will fit quite happily!

The packaging is just a mini version of the full size, but the classic holographic font seems to be a plain silver on these instead. They feel just as sturdy as the full size, just more handbag sized! It's a great way to try out new shades you aren't sure about without buying a full size product that might go to waste.

The applicator is the standard doe foot applicator, which I always like as it allows for precise application. And now for the swatches...

Love Bug

Tulle is a lovely terracotta burgundy, Bianca is a mauvey pale pink, Notion is a deep red with a slightly pink tone, Love Bug is an orange toned brown, and LAX is a red toned brown. I really like all these shades and think they are a good mix of spring and winter colours, and can see myself getting a lot of wear from this set.

Colourpop's liquid lips take a couple of minutes to dry down, and then will not budge until oil touches it, whether from food or an oil based remover. I love knowing I don't have to reapply when I'm out for the day! Definitely a cruelty free makeup fave for me.

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Alternative Work Wear OOTD

Shirt - New Look
Skirt - New Look
Leggings - ASOS
Boots - Demonia (no longer available)
Bag - ASOS
Sunglasses - Quay Australia
Necklace - BloodyMary Metal

Work wear isn't something I usually blog, mostly because I can wear whatever I want to work so it's not an integral part of my wardrobe. However, just lately I've been really loving shirts and slightly more work type looks, so I took the New Look sale as my opportunity to try it out, albeit with still a 'Kitty' sort of feel to it.

I've been looking at this chiffon shirt on and off for ages but couldn't decide if I liked it or not. Brown and khaki aren't really colours I usually wear but the animal print is very me. When this came into the sale I couldn't resist! For £11 it was a bargain. It has a slightly oversized fit, so the sleeves are long enough for my 5ft 11 frame which I was most concerned about. I always size up in New Look and it was the right decision with this shirt. It fit really nicely and didn't gape at the bust at all. It has split sides but I wore it tucked in for this look.

This mesh skater skirt has been in my ASOS saved items forever. It was originally £27.99 which is a little pricey for me, but patience paid off and eventually it went on sale on New Look for £14 and it had to be mine! It sits just below the knee on me, with the lining being a little higher. The lining is only attached at the waistband, so you will need to make sure to adjust it too. I'm really glad I got this skirt, I've been missing skirts as a part of my wardrobe and this is so cute. They also have it in red and I am very tempted...

My Mum got me this bag from ASOS for Christmas, but it's been a bit of a pain unfortunately. While I love the faux croc print and the satchel style, the shoulder strap is a nightmare. It kept attaching itself to the bag itself and damaging the faux leather, and then it just broke on one side entirely. I'm going to exchange it for a non-faulty one and hope it was just this one that was dodgy.

I'm a huge fan of Quay Australia sunglasses, and these 'Sorority Princess' rose gold sunglasses are over sized cat eye perfection. I have quite a big head (I'm a big person over all!) and I find their sunglasses such a comfortable fit. With my chronic head pain, comfort is key for me when it comes to sunglasses and these really fit the bill. I won my necklace from BloodyMary Metal in an instagram competition a couple of years ago!

I know the boots aren't exactly classic work wear, but they are very me and I couldn't resist. The mesh, the leopard print, the boots, peak work Kitty! I wore this outfit to an afternoon party we had for my Mum's birthday and got so many compliments on it. I think I need more shirts, I felt so cute in this one and love how it still felt a very me sort of outfit.

Where is your favourite place to shop for shirts for work?

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

Sunday, 15 January 2017

My Personal Style Discovery

Discovering your own personal style can be a mission. It's a lot of trial and error, a lot of self discovery, and when you take being a plus size gal into account to boot, it can be incredibly difficult! If you find a style you love and feels like you, you then have to be able to even buy those sort of clothes in your size too.

I feel like 2016 was a year of discovery for my personal style. Certain key pieces popped up in my styling time and again, and I found myself throwing back to my teenage years and finding my inner rocker all over again. My friend Roswell Ivory once described my style as a sort of 'heavy metal Hello Kitty', and just lately I feel like I've finally been getting there.

When you are a fashion blogger, there are certain pressures that go with that. You feel like you have to follow trends to work with brands, or that you have to wear certain things to look enough 'like a blogger'. You have to wear new things, style things elaborately with accessories and really plan outfits and well, that's just not me. Heavy metal Hello Kitty describes me well in that I love a cutesy print or a girly dress, but you also best believe I'm going to style said dress with my favourite biker boots and faux leather jacket time and time again.

I'm going to forever love fringing and draping layers because they make me feel like Stevie Nicks, and I'm always going to love cowboy boots and faux suede because my love for Dolly Parton knows no bounds. I'm going to re-wear pieces I love, and blog the same jacket over and over again, because it's who I am, and it's my personal style. I was always the girl trying to make the high street work for her aesthetic, rather than trying to fit theirs, and I lost that somewhere along the way.

In 2016 I finally realised that my style is my own, and that it might not mean my instagram ever really grows, or that brands think I'm cool, but it is authentically me. Some bloggers are absolute high fashion dreams on the daily and I love them for it, others wear the same biker boots till they have literal holes in them because they love them so much. (RIP favourite Demonia boots, I loved thee well).

2017 is going to be about my personal style, and what fits that. I've tried to push myself to be something I'm not because I had an idea in my head of what a fashion blogger should be, but that's not me. So expect skater dresses with daft prints, acid wash glam rock jeans, leggings and cute midi skirts, and definitely expect me to try and replace my beloved biker boots ASAP.

I feel like I've gone back in time to the Kitty 17 year old me always wanted to be but never felt brave enough to be, herself.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

.... I also apparently discovered posing with one hand in my hair.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Abyssrium : My New App Obsession

I'm not hugely into gaming, but sometimes I do get super obsessed with apps on my iPhone, and my newest one is the fish collecting, aquarium building adorable that is Abyssrium. It's a free app, I saw someone post about it in a Facebook group I'm in and curiosity led me to download it... and it is so damn cute.

With Abyssrium you are introduced to Lonely Coralite, your very own coral who has no fish friends. Your aim is to grow Lonely Coralite, add corals to them and gain fishies. To grow the goodies to get the fish you have to collect vitality which is obtained through tapping Lonely Coralite, and growing your corals. With vitality, you can then get fish!

There are so many adorable sea creatures you can collect, from goby and clownfish, through to jellyfish, whales and sharks. My personal fave is the oarfish, pictured in the photo on the left because it is hilarious. It wiggles it's way around the screen in a way that makes me laugh every time it appears. You can unlock new fish in a variety of ways, usually by collecting vitality, but there are also secret hidden fish you are given for doing certain actions. For example, the Narwhal (seen below left) is given when you have tapped the top left corner of the screen 5000 times. I googled how to unlock them all because I have turned into an Abyssrium nerd and found a website with all the info you need, Sir Tap Tap. Also, handy tip, some of the fish are unlocked only through sharing photos you've taken them on social media. There is however a glitch in the game that means the game thinks you've shared a photo as soon as you click share to twitter, if you then cancel and don't actually share it, it counts!

I find the game weirdly relaxing, the little fish floating about are kind of soothing, and you can collect gems to change the colour of your corals and the water to make it look as pretty as you like! Lonely Coralite even has costumes! There are ads in the game, you are given gems and vitality for watching them, but it is entirely optional to watch them (they just make progressing quicker!).

If you want something cute, fun and free to play, I totally recommend Abyssrium!

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

PS. This isn't a sponsored post, I just really, really like this game.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

My Favourite Photos of 2016

I didn't do all that many photoshoots in 2016, something I absolutely plan to work on this year, but I do feel like I produced some work I'm really proud of! I always like to take the new year to reflect on my old work to see what I can improve on, and also share the work I'm still happy with. I tend to end up picking at my old work and thinking about what else I could have done, or how differently I could have done it, so if I still like it at the end of the year, I figure it must be OK!

2016 had a recurring theme of flowers and baths. I can't resist the way the water looks on camera, and I love real flowers so much. This set with Twig was a favourite for sure.

I met Paigey Christie and she is a total babe, I love her vulnerability in this shot of her wearing a tutu.

I was more experimental this year, and focused on head shots, and this photo of Roswell Ivory was from a session lasting about 10 minutes with my ring flash.

I never used to take many head shots, so Alivya was a great challenge to only shoot head shots, and getting the focus just right on her eyes was a mission!

Possibly my favourite set of photos from the entire year, 'The Wild Queen'.

More flowers, another bath! Felis is such a beauty.

I also took my camera along to the Curve Fashion Festival to photograph random babes throughout the day, including Steph of Nerd About Town in Navabi. This location was just made for that outfit!

Naomi of Diamonds & Pearls just filled my heart with glee when I took her photo, what a smile!

I plan to fill 2017 with more plus size babes, and more concepts, and hopefully a few more photo shoots than last year!

Much love,
Kitty xxx

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Colourpop Eye Shadow Haul

My Mum completely spoiled me with some amazing Colourpop eye products for Christmas, and I just had to share them on my blog. I had only tried their lip products previously so was super excited to get my hands on some of their eye range too!

This stunning quad of eyeshadows is the Kathleen Lights collaboration 'Where The Night Is'. The colours are L-R Porter and Weenie in the top row, and Midnight and Telepathy in the bottom row.

I also got the 'Studio 1400' quad, in the top row are Static and 8 Track, and in the bottom row Donna and White Rabbit. The packaging is nice and sturdy and has a good 'click' when you twist it shut, and when I managed to drop one of these on the wooden floor it was totally unharmed!

Rather than swatch them in their quads, instead I've put the similar colours from each quad together to show how different they actually are.

This is Porter and Static. Porter is a stunning red tone with gold glitter in it, and Static is a burgundy toned bronze, both have a pearlised finish. All of these swatches were done with my fingers, and only one swipe onto my hand. The pigmentation is absolutely unreal! All the eye shadows are so buttery and soft, I've never felt an eye shadow like it.

This is 8 Track on the top, and Midnight on the bottom. 8 Track is a khaki toned bronze and Midnight is a black with gold glitter. This is only one swipe, so with a second it would be a really true black.

This is Weenie and White Rabbit, and they are absolutely divine. Weenie is a stunning deep rose gold, and White Rabbit is a an orange toned metallic. On the website White Rabbit was described as a pink copper, but I don't really see any of the pink in it.

And I saved the best for last, Donna and Telepathy. When I swatched these I literally gasped out loud at how gorgeous they were, these are some of the prettiest eye shadows I have ever seen. Donna is a delightful emerald green and Telepathy is a yellow toned green, a chartreuse. Green tones are my favourite in eye shadows, and these are unbelievable.

I did also get two of the creme gel eyeliners but I couldn't actually get them open to swatch them. I need my husband's muscles for that one!

What are your favourite Colourpop products?

Much love,
Kitty xxxx